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iokepa
10-31-2012, 07:51 PM
Does anyone have any thoughts on how RandLand should/will deal with the Seanchan post-armageddon?

It would seem to me that as long as they continue to leash women who channel, they will truly have a superior force. As Aviendha's future dream showed us - no peace or treaty will hold very long..

For a time, I thought that the whole "Sul'dam being able to channel" thing would be disruptive enough to turn things over, but I'm not so sure anymore. Matt is an obvious hope now, but can he really turn this tide alone?

This is really bugging me lately...it will seem so "not-worth-it" to me for Rand to defeat the Dark One, all to just end up taken over by the Seanchan.

GonzoTheGreat
11-01-2012, 04:16 AM
Have the Asha'man infiltrate the Seanchan held lands, and let them still any unjoined sul'dam they encounter. After a while, this will reduce the appeal of that particular career choice.

Eventually, the sul'dam will have two options: quit their job, or learn to channel on their own so that they can defend themselves. But if they do the latter, that will break the whole system to pieces.

Boli
11-01-2012, 04:51 AM
If the Seanchan do not change... they win.

if the Seanchan do change they will basically merge with the rest of Randland (being another country) and the empress will have to admit publicly she is the equal of the other rulers / DR which will cause a revolution.

The corruption of the prophecies will have a much larger reach than I think even Ishmael will have realized as it sets the stage for the next age, and perhaps even the next breaking after.

Of course that doesn't take into account "he shall bind the nine moons to serve him" perhaps the most ambiguous of the prophecies especially considering the future visions Aviendia has witnessed.

In truth I think the *only* way for the Seachan to be dealt with is with the Dragon Reborn; pretty much every other method resolves into the Seachan Winning as the only way Randland can truly win is to become Seachan themselves - binding their channellers to battle for them.

But then... for the other 99% of the population Being Seachan ain't that bad! After a point you have got to ask yourself if nothing is resolved before the end of the series will the 99% support the 1% when that 1% has done nothing but intimidate and manipulate them for the last 3,000 years?

Revolutions have always happened... especially towards those who are feared and often hated. I think the future for RandLand will be far darker than we had hoped; but remember this is not an ending afterall there are no endings to the wheel of time but only an ending :P

Jasin Natael
11-01-2012, 07:37 AM
The peace treaty didn't last because the Aiel broke it. Seanchan set great store by their word. They didn't attack Andor until they were attacked.

As we can see from Ebou Dar, Seanchan rule vastly improves the quality of life for almost everyone who can't channel. Crime is eliminated, the Tinkers are free from harassment for the first time in 3,000 years, and if you surrender promptly, the don't even take lands from the nobles. Few peasants actually resent the Seanchan.

The only people who lose are the channelers. If Mat can alter that, Seanchan rule could be the best thing for the world.

GonzoTheGreat
11-01-2012, 08:17 AM
All of which will hold true until the first time they have a substandard empress or emperor. Then the quality of life will degrade, injustice will increase, and things will generally get not quite as nice as they might have been.
That's the problem with monarchies of all stripes: while they may work very well under a good ruler, they're deucedly hard to put right once a bad ruler has botched things a bit.

Landro
11-01-2012, 09:02 AM
But then... for the other 99% of the population Being Seachan ain't that bad! After a point you have got to ask yourself if nothing is resolved before the end of the series will the 99% support the 1% when that 1% has done nothing but intimidate and manipulate them for the last 3,000 years

They should care!



First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

GonzoTheGreat
11-01-2012, 09:06 AM
But in Seanchan ruled lands, speaking out for others who are being picked on by the rulers isn't expected anyways, so that's no problem.

And yeah, some people seem to forget that the damane aren't the only slaves of the Seanchan.

Enigma
11-01-2012, 11:56 AM
Have the Asha'man infiltrate the Seanchan held lands, and let them still any unjoined sul'dam they encounter. After a while, this will reduce the appeal of that particular career choice.

Can you actually still someone who has never channelled? I could be wrong here but my understanding is that until one learns to channel there is nothing there to sever. I suppose a lot would depend on how far advanced is the sul'dam ie is she one that could be held by the adam.


On the issue of the Seanchan as a whole as others have pointed out they make good rulers compared to places like Tear or Amador or Ebou Dar. Aside from the issue of the damane the practice of slavery is a problem but then again the Seanchan could try to sell it to the locals by saying that it is only criminals who suffere. The sea folk slaves were set to labouring in the canals but they were technically rebels. I doubt if anyone would have sympathy for Suroth who did try to kill the Empress/Heir to the throne. Now slavery is wrong what ever its form but a lot of the Seanchan slaves who are not criminals have a lot of authoirty such as the death watch guard and the seekers.

Unless there is some dramatic changes with the Seanchan the only way the rest of the nations could resist is that unite and become as organised as the Seanchan.

GonzoTheGreat
11-01-2012, 12:28 PM
Can you actually still someone who has never channelled? I could be wrong here but my understanding is that until one learns to channel there is nothing there to sever.
Aviendha managed to shield a couple of sul'dam while she was having her winter romance with Rand. From what I've read, severing is shielding with a sharper edge, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Landro
11-01-2012, 12:56 PM
Aviendha managed to shield a couple of sul'dam while she was having her winter romance with Rand. From what I've read, severing is shielding with a sharper edge, so it shouldn't be a problem.

If that were true, the red Ajah could have genteled every male at birth without them wanting to die due the loss of access to the OP.

GonzoTheGreat
11-01-2012, 01:05 PM
If that were true, the red Ajah could have genteled every male at birth without them wanting to die due the loss of access to the OP.
Apart from the fact that they then would have made things a bit difficult for the Dragon Reborn, yes.
Do you really think that Aes Sedai failure to think things through is evidence that there isn't something to think through?

Davian93
11-01-2012, 03:09 PM
The peace treaty didn't last because the Aiel broke it. Seanchan set great store by their word. They didn't attack Andor until they were attacked.

As we can see from Ebou Dar, Seanchan rule vastly improves the quality of life for almost everyone who can't channel. Crime is eliminated, the Tinkers are free from harassment for the first time in 3,000 years, and if you surrender promptly, the don't even take lands from the nobles. Few peasants actually resent the Seanchan.

The only people who lose are the channelers. If Mat can alter that, Seanchan rule could be the best thing for the world.

Well, except for the massive intrique, squads of secret police and their gestapo tactics, etc etc.

Jasin Natael
11-01-2012, 04:13 PM
"All of which will hold true until the first time they have a substandard empress or emperor."

The same can be said about any of the Randland countries. Two people brought down Malkier, and they weren't even royalty. What state will Andor be in after four hundred years under Elayne?

Yeah, there's da'covale too, but from what we see, you are either born as one or are sold into slavery for some kind of crime. It's a repellant process, but I think the new Prince of the Ravens might have a thing or two to say about that.

Massive intrigue? Yes. Just like Cairhien, Tear, Andor, Mayene, Tar Valon... How many networks of eyes and ears have we seen?

iokepa
11-01-2012, 04:26 PM
Seems like we need a poll going, who would prefer to live under Seanchan rule vs. anywhere else..

Davian93
11-01-2012, 04:46 PM
"All of which will hold true until the first time they have a substandard empress or emperor."

The same can be said about any of the Randland countries. Two people brought down Malkier, and they weren't even royalty. What state will Andor be in after four hundred years under Elayne?

Yeah, there's da'covale too, but from what we see, you are either born as one or are sold into slavery for some kind of crime. It's a repellant process, but I think the new Prince of the Ravens might have a thing or two to say about that.

Massive intrigue? Yes. Just like Cairhien, Tear, Andor, Mayene, Tar Valon... How many networks of eyes and ears have we seen?

Technically, noblewomen that marry into a royal house count as royalty. Also, Lain's idiotic attempt to march on Shayol Ghul played a pretty huge part of Malkier's fall and he was most definitely royalty.

If anything, Malkier is a perfect example of why autocratic countries dont work too well depending on leadership issues. Fairheart was also a Great Lord who almost certainly had some royal blood in his family, he wasnt just a random guy in Malkier.

David Selig
11-01-2012, 08:13 PM
The peace treaty didn't last because the Aiel broke it. Seanchan set great store by their word. They didn't attack Andor until they were attacked.

As we can see from Ebou Dar, Seanchan rule vastly improves the quality of life for almost everyone who can't channel. Crime is eliminated, the Tinkers are free from harassment for the first time in 3,000 years, and if you surrender promptly, the don't even take lands from the nobles. Few peasants actually resent the Seanchan.

The only people who lose are the channelers. If Mat can alter that, Seanchan rule could be the best thing for the world.
This is a massive exaggeration I feel. I don't see how the quality of life in Ebou Dar was "vastly improved". Sure, the Seanchan reduced crime, but they did it by drastic measures and most likely punished plenty of innocents in the process - I don't see any other way to do so quickly. It's not just the sparkers who are affected by the damane issue, it's also their families and their close friends, which are probably devastated seeing them turned into trained pets. The Seanchan drove the Kin away, which drastically reduced the quality of healthcare in Ebou Dar. Then there's the secret police and the slavery issue...

Jasin Natael
11-02-2012, 07:52 AM
Well, Rand disagrees. That was why he couldn't lay waste to Ebou Dar, he noticed that Seanchan rule was better than anywhere he ruled.

The Seanchan settled a massive civil war in Tarabon and Arad Doman, triggered by Rand. Tuon is very upset when she believes Mat may have been mugged. The Rahad is for the first time safe to walk through... before that, according to Beslan, the inhabitants used to ambush the city Guard.

As we see when Mat takes Tuon to a hell, the army wipes out bandits, puts guards on the gates... And Tylin basically ruled one city, but they settled all of Altara. The peasants don't resent them.

They have listeners... but so does every other ruler, the Amyrlin, The Keeper, the Ajahs, Individual Aes Sedai, probably various individual nobles...

Yes, slavery is bad, but the US and the UK were built on the backs of slaves, and subsequently abandoned the practice. Getting the Seanchan to abandon slavery is a better option than destroying them, especially since if they collapse it'll probably end up as a massive civil war between feuding factions that will kill tens thousands of people before fading away into nothing.

Technically, noblewomen that marry into a royal house count as royalty. Also, Lain's idiotic attempt to march on Shayol Ghul played a pretty huge part of Malkier's fall and he was most definitely royalty.

If anything, Malkier is a perfect example of why autocratic countries dont work too well depending on leadership issues. Fairheart was also a Great Lord who almost certainly had some royal blood in his family, he wasnt just a random guy in Malkier.
This pretty much reinforces my point. One substandard ruler can do a lot of damage in Seandar, but that's no different than anywhere else.

GonzoTheGreat
11-02-2012, 09:48 AM
This pretty much reinforces my point. One substandard ruler can do a lot of damage in Seandar, but that's no different than anywhere else.
The difference is that the Seanchan rulers have a lot more power than Randland rulers. As a result, it is easier for them to do good. But when they are bad, that too is multiplied by their greater power.
An example of the difference: no other ruler (apart from the Amyrlin, admittedly) sincerely believes he or she stands above the Dragon Reborn in rank. No other ruler (not even the Amyrlin) can openly make that claim without being laughed out of the throne room.

suttree
11-02-2012, 01:10 PM
Well, Rand disagrees. That was why he couldn't lay waste to Ebou Dar, he noticed that Seanchan rule was better than anywhere he ruled.


Had Ebou Dar known a stable ruler outside of the capital in it's hisory? Of course things would look good in the sort term. Further we know for fact that the Seanchan propaganda of everyone being content along with totally stable is false based on the "numerous revolts" Karede talks of putting down in his time with the DW guards and the "sedition" the Seeker mentions to Rand and Avi. Even if it were true the cost of that stability would be far too high.

Hugh the Hand
11-02-2012, 01:24 PM
Had Ebou Dar known a stable ruler outside of the capital in it's hisory? Of course things would look good in the sort term. Further we know for fact that the Seanchan propaganda of everyone being content along with totally stable is false based on the "numerous revolts" Karede talks of putting down in his time with the DW guards and the "sedition" the Seeker mentions to Rand and Avi. Even if it were true the cost of that stability would be far too high.

There is a contradiction in the Seanchan rule. Rand sees a well run nation. And they talk about oaths and such all the time, but then expect rebellion and assassins and murder of the Blood.

They are still a people who are suppressed, but like the themes in Star Wars, yes I said it, with suppression and Tyrany, comes order.

That is the Seanchan, they have order through tyrany, which in short term is a good thing, but tends to stunt growth and independent thought.

Plato and Socrates used to hope for a Sage King, a benevlent ruler who controlled everything, but was wise, kind, and basically perfect. They often called that the best form of goverment. Such a ruler would bring order, but at the same time allow for science, the arts, and free speech to be had by the people.

Obviously everyone would like that, but it is contrary to human nature. Democracy by its own definition allows for disorder, and at time promotes it.

Davian93
11-02-2012, 01:47 PM
Had Ebou Dar known a stable ruler outside of the capital in it's hisory? Of course things would look good in the sort term. Further we know for fact that the Seanchan propaganda of everyone being content along with totally stable is false based on the "numerous revolts" Karede talks of putting down in his time with the DW guards and the "sedition" the Seeker mentions to Rand and Avi. Even if it were true the cost of that stability would be far too high.

Yeah, but the trains run on time and there's a nice new highway system. And we've got our national pride back. The rest is just anti-regime propaganda being stirred up by subversive elements. If anything, it shows that we need to take some forceful measures to prevent them from overthrowing our new government.

~I thought about translating that into German but I'm far too lazy to do so~

suttree
11-02-2012, 01:52 PM
Yeah, but the trains run on time and there's a nice new highway system. And we've got our national pride back. The rest is just anti-regime propaganda being stirred up by subversive elements. If anything, it shows that we need to take some forceful measures to prevent them from overthrowing our new government.

~I thought about translating that into German but I'm far too lazy to do so~

:D

GonzoTheGreat
11-03-2012, 04:37 AM
Plato and Socrates used to hope for a Sage King, a benevlent ruler who controlled everything, but was wise, kind, and basically perfect. They often called that the best form of goverment. Such a ruler would bring order, but at the same time allow for science, the arts, and free speech to be had by the people.
As someone (maybe Belgarath, but I'm not sure) once remarked about ideas like that: "what happens when the king gets a bellyache?"

Hugh the Hand
11-05-2012, 09:48 AM
As someone (maybe Belgarath, but I'm not sure) once remarked about ideas like that: "what happens when the king gets a bellyache?"

Sounds like something he would say, the answer is to have a government that runs the day to day things, as set forth by the sage king, and only leave the important decisions to the king.

Again, I would not trust someone with that much power, but I am not what one would call trusting.

Landro
11-06-2012, 12:28 AM
Seanchan rules is not perfect. I just reread tGH en both Domon's en Fain's first look at Seanchan rule are pretty disturbing.

1. Seekers: They are much like the East German Stasi
2. Damane: Slavery of channelers
3. Dacovale: Slavery of non-channelers
4. The empress playing with lives by linking a man to a damane
5. Heavy torture by Suldam to break Damane
6. Killing the entire village council in countless villages for not remembering to obey the commands of a ruler gone for 1000 years
7. Forcing people to humiliate themselves in front of nobility


Seanchan rule NEEDS to change

GonzoTheGreat
11-06-2012, 03:58 AM
Seanchan rule is based on "might makes right", just as that of the Chosen is. Frankly, I don't see how you can have fundamental problems with the Seanchan system unless you also disapprove of the Shadow.

Davian93
11-06-2012, 10:10 AM
Seanchan rules is not perfect. I just reread tGH en both Domon's en Fain's first look at Seanchan rule are pretty disturbing.

1. Seekers: They are much like the East German Stasi
2. Damane: Slavery of channelers
3. Dacovale: Slavery of non-channelers
4. The empress playing with lives by linking a man to a damane
5. Heavy torture by Suldam to break Damane
6. Killing the entire village council in countless villages for not remembering to obey the commands of a ruler gone for 1000 years
7. Forcing people to humiliate themselves in front of nobility


Seanchan rule NEEDS to change

But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Jasin Natael
11-06-2012, 12:01 PM
Seanchan rules is not perfect. I just reread tGH en both Domon's en Fain's first look at Seanchan rule are pretty disturbing.

1. Seekers: They are much like the East German Stasi
2. Damane: Slavery of channelers
3. Dacovale: Slavery of non-channelers
4. The empress playing with lives by linking a man to a damane
5. Heavy torture by Suldam to break Damane
6. Killing the entire village council in countless villages for not remembering to obey the commands of a ruler gone for 1000 years
7. Forcing people to humiliate themselves in front of nobility


Seanchan rule NEEDS to change

Yes. It does. No one claimed Seanchan rule was perfect. But who better to change it than the ta'veren Prince of the Ravens and an empress who has been exposed to new ideas? The only other way to change it is to crush Seanchan society, which will result in tens of thousands of dead people on both sides, which is not what Rand wants to leave behind, hence the reason for the Dragon's Peace in the first place.

GonzoTheGreat
11-07-2012, 03:39 AM
Yes. It does. No one claimed Seanchan rule was perfect. But who better to change it than the ta'veren Prince of the Ravens and an empress who has been exposed to new ideas? The only other way to change it is to crush Seanchan society, which will result in tens of thousands of dead people on both sides, which is not what Rand wants to leave behind, hence the reason for the Dragon's Peace in the first place.
But the Prophecies say that the Dragon will bring another Breaking.

Suppose that Rand has the following three options:
1. Not win against the DO.
2. Go the route that Aviendha saw in her vision with the Dragon's Peace, and let the current Seanchan rules overtake the entire Earth.
3. Accept that the Seanchan have to be forced to change.

Then which should he pick?

Artur pendragon
11-07-2012, 04:24 AM
The future Aviendha seen has 2 defining characteristics: 1. the Aiel were exempt from the Dragon's peace and 2 that after the year and a day the Seanchan did not release the Gai'shain from the da'covale service when they should have. both these things lead to what she saw, to prevent/change what she seen she just has to change this too things. IE make sure Rand makes the Aiel part of the Dragon's peace and make the Seanchan swear to release them. The Seanchan empire needs to change and advance but on the eve of the last battle is not the place to do it.

GonzoTheGreat
11-07-2012, 05:09 AM
What other time would provide more incentive for them to agree to a change?

Enigma
11-07-2012, 09:16 AM
The future Aviendha seen has 2 defining characteristics: 1. the Aiel were exempt from the Dragon's peace and 2 that after the year and a day the Seanchan did not release the Gai'shain from the da'covale service when they should have. both these things lead to what she saw, to prevent/change what she seen she just has to change this too things. IE make sure Rand makes the Aiel part of the Dragon's peace and make the Seanchan swear to release them. The Seanchan empire needs to change and advance but on the eve of the last battle is not the place to do it.

The non release of the gai'shan was a point that got a lot of moderate Aiel all up uset but there seemed to be a faction there that were spoiling for a fight. Hopefully Aviendhad's little view of the future will head that off at the pass.

Someone asked where you would prefer to live Seanchan or one of the other nations? I suppose a lot would depend on what other nation you were comparing them to. If I was in Andor I would be very happy to be in Andor, likewise Illian. If I was in Tear before Rand's reforms and was not a very rich and powerful High Lord would I like living in grinding poverty with the High Lords being able to kill or imprison me for a whim? Yes the Seanchan can do that as well but generally their people are more prosperous and they at least make a show of following the law rather that just the whim of the ruler. To say nothing of what it would be like living in the shadow of the dome of Truth and the Whitecloaks and their Inquisitiors.. sorry I repent, the Hand that guides the Light.

GonzoTheGreat
11-07-2012, 09:24 AM
If you were living in Tear, then you could move away and settle in Andor, Illian or some other country. The Seanchan don't permit that kind of thing; once you've been a subject of their empire you and all your descendants are counted as such. That is amply demonstrated by their "oath breakers" nonsense.

The big advantage of diversity is that it allows you some choice. The big problem of uniformity, no matter how good overall, is that you won't have options left if you run into some problem.
The Seanchan are simply the light version of the Shadow, they are what the Forsaken think they are aiming for.

Enigma
11-07-2012, 10:00 AM
If you were living in Tear, then you could move away and settle in Andor, Illian or some other country. The Seanchan don't permit that kind of thing; once you've been a subject of their empire you and all your descendants are counted as such. That is amply demonstrated by their "oath breakers" nonsense.

Unless you are discovered to be able to channell in which case you qualify for a one way ticket trip to Tar Valon, all expenses paid for by the High Lord, it might be a bit tricky starting off a few hundred if not thousand mile journey if you are poor not to mention uneducation.

The big advantage of diversity is that it allows you some choice. The big problem of uniformity, no matter how good overall, is that you won't have options left if you run into some problem.
The Seanchan are simply the light version of the Shadow, they are what the Forsaken think they are aiming for.

Given that the Seanchan control an entire continent and there are references to several racial groups in the empire they are pretty diverse.

I take your point that its a bit much for the Seanchan to claim rights over the westlands simply because 1,000 years ago Hawkwing ruled there. And I personally abhore slavery, even for those who like the seekers and deathwatch guards are treated with respect and what they do to the damane is beyond terrible however RJ did a very good job of showing that no nation to my knowledge does not have its downside.

Take Andor for example. Its typically held up as one of the nicer places to live and I probably is. The Queen follows the rule of law for the most part and its people are generally prosperous.

However just as its not right for the Seanchan to claim dominion over the westlands because Hawkwing ruled there 1,000 years ago neither I think was it right for Elaine to get up on her high horse and treaten Perrin & co for daring to rebel against Andor.

The Two Rivers had not seen a tax collector or guardsman for generations. When the brown stuff hit the fan and they had to deal with both trollocks and Whitecloaks they did so without any help from the Crown. However Queen Elayne was very upset that they did not immediatly come to her and swear fielty with their army and growing economy as soon as they could.

In case anyone things it Elayne syndrome her mum seemed equally upset and Elayne's advisor likewise did not react all surprised at her presumption.

Dom
11-07-2012, 01:02 PM
The Seanchan rule is despicable, its only good side is the security/prosperity it offers to the lower classes.

As long as they mind their own business, don't put a toe out of line etc. they live a fairly good life, much better than, say, in pre-Rand Tear or the Rahad.

But it comes with all the rest, which bears more fully on the middle and ruling classes, but still affects the lower ones.

Fortunona is very dedicated to justice and duty and takes her responsabilities very seriously, but she's blind to many more aspects of her culture.

Anyway...

Let's leave that aside. None of that would change overnight, and if Fortuona is meant to be a reformer that will mark a huge turning point in Seanchan history, it will take time.

My feeling is that the Westlands won't really have to "deal with the Seanchan".

We pretty much know Aviendha's vision won't happen, at least there will be a major difference and it's that 5 to 10 years after the LB Fortuona and Mat will leave to reconquer the Seanchan continent.

Is that the right way the Seanchan should have interpreted their Prophecy of the Return all along? Have they made a mistake by linking it to the LB and Hawkwing's original empire? Perhaps. Brandon said we might learn more about the Seachan cycle of prophecies if the Seanchan trilogy was written (we'll more likely learn this in the Encyclopedia now).

There are enough armies of Shadowspawn in the South for Rand's scouts to catch sight of some and to half-convince Rand Demandred was about to strike in the South.

My feeling is that Rand's largely right. I'm pretty sure Demandred is about to bloody the Seanchan badly, not as badly and definitively as might have happened without Mat returning to his wife, but still badly.

Then there's the plan Egwene and Egeanin seem about to hatch, and it seems likely it will focus on attempting to destroy the whole damane-sul'dam system on which Paendrag rule rests, by sending agents and information to spread the secrets. The Seekers will likely be the first to learn, could even be the ones Egeanin advises Egwene to target - she even has a contact: Almurath Mor... they just have to put a collar on a sul'dam and they'll know it's all true and the Empress hides this.

Combine the two: the Shadow striking at the Seanchan seats of military power : Ebou Dar, Amador, Tanchico, and eventually the effects of Egwene's sabotage of the Seanchan leadership.

We even know there are Waygates (stedding) in those areas where the elders refused Loial (or was it refused to do more than set guards? I don't recall. Anyway... there are Waygates for the Shadow to have used). As things stand, the odds Amadicia and Tarabon last very long in the LB are not good - if the Shadow targets them. Altara has the Prince of Ravens, and the bulk of Seanchan forces to last longer.

Rand calculates the Light can't afford to fight both the Seanchan and the Shadow. It seems to follow Demandred, a military genius, made the reverse calculation: an alliance between Rand and the Seanchan must be prevented, or one side needs to be seriously weakened. An union of the two halves of the Light wouldn't be good, especially not now, after the epiphany and Mesaana's catastrophic failure at the WT that a few weeks ago rather looked like an imminent massive success...

Ideally both sides would fight one another and Demandred would wipe the remnants. Demandred apparently loves those proxy wars (either having an ally fight your foe for you, or have bring two enemies to fight one another instead of destroying both, or just keep your adversaries busy at each other's throats while you achieve something else).

What Sammael had spotted "in the south" he found reminiscent of Demandred's tactics might shed some light on his plans. Here's what I've long believed it was all about.

South of Graendal's lair there was an "army of dragonsworn" not really belonging to Rand in Ghealdan, and the WC marshalling their forces around Amador and moving north to address that. And then something that looked very much like an extension of this conflict, the seed to expand it, was starting to appear in Altara and the fringes of Illian: bands of "dragonsworn" attacking people, a campaign Sammael could trace back to Questionners lead by Joachim Carridin in Ebou Dar, once a pawn of Ishamael (Sammael eventually seized control of Carridin and incidentally put an end to that campaign of Niall. We never heard him complain about Demandred's "friends" again, as it happens). Sammael had reached the wrong conclusions: he thought Demandred was engineering a war between fake-dragonsworn and Whitecloaks, and was alarmed to see Carridin gathering bandits and starting the same thing in Altara and near Illian. He thought Demandred meant to destabilize the whole south by throwing it in chaos, including creating a similar crisis on his own territory of Illian, perhaps starting originally with the Almoth crisis. He was wrong... Masema and Carridin were unconnected, and Carridin wasn't acting as DF but on orders from Pedron Niall who indeed aimed to create a false threat to justify a WC "rescue" of the South. Sammael's reply, to counter what he believed Demandred was planning, was to scatter the Shaido in the whole area. If Demandred controlled both sides as Sammael thought, he would have to deal with a third he didn't control... and yes, if someone in the Shadow incited Asunawa in any way to topple Pedron Niall I would also bet on Sammael who thought Niall was manipulated by Demandred.

I think this is somewhat similar to what Demandred is really planning : a chaotic and disctracting LIght vs. Light conflict.. He's placed himself between Rand's forces and the Seanchan. Semirhage was bidding her time but could take full control of the Seanchan leader at any time, and for that matter Mesaana was in position to do exactly the same with the Amyrlin Seat. Rand told us he believes Demandred will seek to divide the Light. He's right again, probably, and it adds weight to Sammael's comments on Demandred's tactics. That's now two generals who faced him who implies he likes strategies of this type.

Elayne is short on allies at the moment. Rand intends not to commit the Asha'man to more than dealing with the Waygate and evacuation. Egwene just made a mistake: she mobilized the TV armies for Andor, flagrantly going against her recent deal with the Hall. The Sitters will very shortly remind her they have full authority over military decisions, and if Egwene wants it back she must share her authority over the rulers with the Hall...Egwene's hands are tied. The Hall will listen to Rand's argument that Demandred means for the Light to scatter for the Shadow to take each isolated force out in turn. The Hall will rescind Egwene's decision to send Bryne to Andor. Aviendha all but told Elayne she can't help, and it's unlikely the Aiel will. The Hall is probably none too pleased with Elayne about the Kin, nor her dithering to take the Oaths. Elayne is about to have fairly cool relationships with the WT for a while, I fear, and Egwene has cornered herself.

That leaves Elayne the possibility to make a deal with the Sea Folk Windfinders, but with the Kin ploy she recently went and undermined their little scheme to get Travelling grounds in every nation to offer exclusive Gateway-based Trade and Travelling services (why else would they want landlocked grounds and taxation advantages for?)... The deal with the Kin not only lets Elayne mitigate the SF's commercial gains in the biggest economy of the Westlands, but she can also compete with them, offering similar services out of Andor-Cairhien. Whatever deal she tries to make to get Windfinders to help with the Shadowspawn around Caemlyn would be very costly.

That leaves Elayne the other nations... each of them more likely to either side with Rand or put their own interests first, fearing the fate of Caemlyn awaits them.

Enters King Roedran. I think he might be the one offering Elayne an alliance. Accepting the Gateways of Elayne's Kin after refusing the WT's is but the first step. Roedran will commit his armies to Elayne's campaign around Caemlyn in exchange for a defensive pact: should the Shadow, the Seanchan or another nation attack Murandy, Elayne will commit armies, her cannons, the Kin's Gateways to the conflict. Murandy is another trade hub, and he could possibly lure Zaida into a similar deal - the SF also need alllies against the Seanchan... Elayne and Roedran will promise to come back for Rand's strike (which will be delayed... the Pattern won't let Rand get the solution for the Bore until the conditions foreseen by the Aelfinn for victory are met, and it seems to involve getting his alliance and the Seanchan's "as one").

Roedran's armies will be good help with the Shadowspawn, as easy for him as it was in the Two Rivers for "Lord Luc" once. It would seem likely it will be mostly Murandians who manage to ambush Fists succesfully while Andoran forces tend to fall more often in ambushes...

Then Roedran will provoke the war with the Seanchan. It's not the war Fortuona plans, but it's the war she'll have to fight because Demandred forces her to. The Seanchan already fear an attack on Northern Altara from Andor and Murandy, it's why they moved big armies there in the first place, armies they were once reluctant to move out of position to chase Mat because they feared Andor/Murandy or Illian might attack. Demandred will make their fears come true - how exactly doesn't matter, there are many ways to start such conflict.

Between Demandred's genius and Elayne's forces and cannons, the Seanchan will sweat, push harder to gain Travelling from Elaida if it's not yet achieved. Reinforcements will be sent. That's when Demandred will start to spring his other traps: Shadowspawn armies deep south will trap Seanchan armies, others will strike at all their cities and military outposts.

The Seanchan do not know how to fight Shadowspawn. Mat has the Trolloc Wars memories for it.

In the midst of this, what Egwene sets in motion to destroy the base of power of the Seanchan leadership might start to get results, but bitterly what Egwene accomplished with this would be to doom the Seanchan has they get beaten by the Shadow and desperately need the leadership to hold. Some of the High Blood might try to revolt against Fortuona, begin to capture and slaughter or leash sul'dam. Chaos, mayhem and distaster, as the Shadow circles Ebou Dar. Gaining Travelling in the nick of time might provide the "Loyalists" with the means to escape the trap and join Rand's faction north. They might aslo already have it and simply didn't have the motive to move north yet.

What of Elayne and the Band at Roedran's side? We'll see. Tons of possiblities, and not all that revelant to the Seanchan.

But the final picture would have Seanchan "provinces" having been severely beaten by the Shadow (cities razed? possibly), the Seanchan faction that revolted against Fortuona, by nature they'd be the most conservatice and radical, being conveniently left behind and destroyed by Demandred as the loyalists escape north to ally with Egwene, Rand and co. The whole sul'dam/damane culture would be in a limbo (the LB isn't the most propitious time to figure it all out... for now those siding with the Empress would be those wise enough to decide to trust the sul'dam and the Empress until the LB battle is won, and figure it all out later...).

That wouldn't leave much of a "Seanchan problem" to deal with, really. Fortuona would spend the next years finding a new modus vivendi about her channelers. She would have lost her nations, and things are changing on the other side: men and women work together in mixed gender circles, new wonders surface, wonders the Seanchan can't match. There may be Crop Singing again too. The Seanchan might have lost enough of the Ever Victorious Army not to be a match anymore to the other Pacts that arose north and east.

My feeling is that the Seanchan will settle at Falme and on Almoth, having secured a peace treaty that includes leaving channellers but their own alone, Fortuona will spend the next years building a new compact with her channelers: sul'dam have been trusted for nearly a 1000 years and have served the Empire dutifully. Fortuona might free the damane and let those who wish to leave the Seanchan to join one or the other channeling groups do so, offering those who choose to remain with her and the ex-sul'dam who chose the same a new status as free soldiers of the Empire. Fortuona would spend the next years to rebuild her fleet, recruit soldiers. The next five to ten years would be tensed. Some nations having friendlier relationships with "New Almoth", others ostracizing them. Will the Seanchan really "launch" their Return and return home to reconquer their lost Empire, or will Fortuona die and the path to Aviendha's vision find a way to come back?

That'd be more or less the epilogue situation, fairly open ended though leaning toward a "The Return" is Fortuona's and Mat's real intention, the tension serving more the purpose of encouraging the rest of the Westlands to keep alive the unity that happened for the LB in a new Compact, or Compacts, of some sort.

The project to write a Seanchan sequel, which came late, might have influenced RJ to leave the whole thing even more open ended than he originally planned. We'll see what Brandon decides to include in the main series epilogue and next year's Encyclopedia now it's most unlikely the Seanchan trilogy gets written.

There's always the possibility RJ planned for Demandred to follow on Semirhage's actions and that he made the damane of the suspected "Emperor" discover Travelling and come into play to challenge Tuon, but it sounds like a very, very long shot. That, and the Sharan civil war rippling outside sound like purely epilogue material, part of the "open" ending of the series.

sleepinghour
11-07-2012, 06:28 PM
That leaves Elayne the possibility to make a deal with the Sea Folk Windfinders, but with the Kin ploy she recently went and undermined their little scheme to get Travelling grounds in every nation to offer exclusive Gateway-based Trade and Travelling services (why else would they want landlocked grounds and taxation advantages for?)... The deal with the Kin not only lets Elayne mitigate the SF's commercial gains in the biggest economy of the Westlands, but she can also compete with them, offering similar services out of Andor-Cairhien. Whatever deal she tries to make to get Windfinders to help with the Shadowspawn around Caemlyn would be very costly.

Another thing to consider is that the Sea Folk have recently developed an interest in dream ter'angreal, and Elayne is currently the only one producing them. They would probably also be highly interested in owning even flawed copies of Mat's medallion. So that's one thing Elayne could trade without much cost to herself, though the Tower probably wouldn't be very happy about that deal. Maybe not Egwene either, considering she was using the dream ter'angreal as a carrot in ToM and offering them a less useful type. Egwene's offer becomes less appealing if they can get more powerful ter'angreal directly from the original source.


“What if I offer to include the dream ter’angreal you were loaned?” Egwene asked.
Shielyn glanced at her hand where, in the real world, she would be holding the small plate that—with a channeled bit of Spirit—let a woman enter Tel’aran’rhiod. Egwene hadn’t given them the ter’angreal Elayne had finally perfected that let one enter without needing to channel, of course. Those were more versatile, and therefore more powerful. Best to keep those a secret.

SamJ
11-08-2012, 03:50 AM
Dom - thought provoking post, as always.

Interestingly, I'm just rereading WH and got to a passage where Elayne and Norry are discussing Roedran (chapter 9, A Cup of Tea) and Norry speculates that Roedran "may have some enterprise in northern Altara. Or in Andor, under the circumstances." It would be amusing if this is one of RJ's little foreshadowings that he drops in.

On another note - I wonder about the Seanchan. From what I understand it's not just winning the LB that matters, but how you win. So there is the question of whether they should fight using damane slaves - contrast the people we have seen heading north because a storm is coming. I always thought/hoped they have to be released or, at least, given the choice before the LB. But I wonder whether there's time. Perhaps with Egwene's intervention Tuon can be persuaded to ask them, with an offer of freedom if they win?

GonzoTheGreat
11-08-2012, 04:37 AM
A lot of them have been brainwashed to such an extend that they don't want freedom. Should those then be allowed to fight on behalf of the Shadow?

SamJ
11-08-2012, 05:04 AM
A lot of them have been brainwashed to such an extend that they don't want freedom. Should those then be allowed to fight on behalf of the Shadow?

:D Well, I wasn't quite thinking like that.

Expanding what I meant: Tuon's position of Empress gives her a unique ability here. While they are brainwashed to beleive they ought to be collared, they are also brainwashed to beleive in the absolute amazingness/authority of the Blood and in particular the Empress. For example, to a lesser extent we've seen Mat resolve the issues of the two former Sul'dam novices. If Tuon tells them they can chose whether to fight, then they at least aren't being treated like animals. Something like that would split the Seanchan though.

More a wish on my part than a theory . . .

Dom
11-08-2012, 12:10 PM
:D Well, I wasn't quite thinking like that.

Expanding what I meant: Tuon's position of Empress gives her a unique ability here. While they are brainwashed to beleive they ought to be collared, they are also brainwashed to beleive in the absolute amazingness/authority of the Blood and in particular the Empress. For example, to a lesser extent we've seen Mat resolve the issues of the two former Sul'dam novices. If Tuon tells them they can chose whether to fight, then they at least aren't being treated like animals. Something like that would split the Seanchan though.

More a wish on my part than a theory . . .

No, it's more than a wish. You hit right on the head of an important theme.

It's a theme Rand, Elaida, Egwene and Tuon have in common. Rj developped it for them in variations.

Rand and Elaida had the darkest streak of it. For both it was about tyrany. Both Elaida and Rand intended to fight the LB as they thought it should be fought and to force everyone behind it, and the further they went, the further they deshumanized people and turned them into pieces on a board to use, to position against the Shadow. It ended in madness for both. Rand wasn't the only one losing it and going nuts in TGS, and for both it was while they lost control of events and the ball was no longer running for them...

Elaida fell into slavery (to the Seanchan), Rand nearly did (to the DO/Semirhage).

Post epiphany Rand is all about guiding and convincing, and choices. He no longer will force the Light to fight the Shadow, he's about to tell them they have to make the same choice he did during his epiphany, and won't hide the possible costs. They may have to give up everything, and for sure sacrifices are coming.

Egwene is also on that path. She had grown very fond of using dictatorial means and deceptions to get her way. She's relinquising that now. To a point.

This wasn't an issue for Perrin or Mat. With them it wasn't about tyrany, it was always more about assuming their leadership, for Perrin it was more about feeling inadequate, for Mat it was more about avoiding the hard work and responsabilities attached to it, and losing the freedom (the opposite of Tuon, in many ways, yet she shares the same desire for freedom. Tuon was one of the most repressed/enslaved character in the whole series. She's been bound to her fate, duties, responsabilities since chilhood. It's one reason why the Seanchan leaders don't see the darkness around them: the higher they stand in that culture, the more restrained and enslaved they get. Tuon's position is no better than a dacovale or damane, she's worse. She has duties and duties, barely any time to herself ever. She was never treated as a human child, for her mother she was a tool to shape, not someone to love. Her own brothers and sisters were enemies who could have her killed, and who tried... No one but a few very close servants could ever meet her eyes. Barely anyone was allowed to talk to her. Her every step is ruled by protocol, her life spent in a forbidden city. Tuon's closest relationships were Selucia, and the damane she trained whom she loves like a love-deprived child would love her pets... )

It's not surprising Tuon can't see what's wrong with dacovale or damane. She's bound more tightly to her duties, and her own life is far more complex than theirs. Being beautiful or serve dishes perfectly is nothing compared to the duties of the Daughter of the Nine Moon, or to assuming the status of living goddess of the Empress. As she truly understands justice - she's as ruthless with herself as she is with others, and the higher they stand, the more justice is harsh. The highest Seanchan powers hold to ideals, and they closer to them you reach the more they will hold you to the same ideals. They hold their own word, and expect everyone else to. What makes it less "dark" than it could, and redeemable, is that Fortuona isn't corrupt, she holds herself to the same exacting standards first, even more exacting ones actually.

Fortuona is likely to have to go through a similar path of "epiphany". She has the series' champion of "personal freedom" as a husband...

I find it likely it will be a variant of the others who succeeded (Rand, Egwene). She will be on a downward spiral of some kind, she'll be overwhelmed by obstacles., cornered and eventually forced to rise above it all. The core of what she is will remain: justice, duty, leadership, order. But her whole worldview is likely to have to shatter first.

At the moment, Fortuona's system is the closest thing to the Shadow's hierarchy and means, with overtones of Mordeth too... "the victory of the light is all" - no matter the means. Slavery even for the top leaders, survival of the fittest. Even now she's apparently the target of assassination attempts by her nobility.

You're perfectly right, the Seanchan are in serious need of a "cleansing" before they are ready to fight the Shadow, this is why I think they'll face in AMOL a battle on two fronts: a massive onslaught by the Shadow bringing them on the brink of defeat, combined with the fruits of Egwene's efforts to destroy the system. And I think Egeanin will advise Egwene to target the Seekers, directly or by using the Listeners. Sending to Almurath Mor the captured sul'dam leashed and telling him the Daughter of the Nine Moons is hiding all this might do the trick. It may come to the point, for instance, the Seekers decide to plot with a High Blood man to remove Tuon and slaughter all the sul'dam. This would have the advantage of being simple and go fast if Egeanin returned and went to Mor. It would also make Egwene's plan disastrous in a dramatic way, if the Seanchan system crumbles as they face the Shadow. It's not only the Seanchan who do have it all wrong... the Aes Sedai have been up to very unsavoury and immoral schemes in 3000 years, and the first oath in particular is a complete sham. They're just no quite as black as the Seanchan ones - Tower Law, the unity of the WT, the second and third Oaths have controlled the excesses, and the means used by the Seanchan to deal with them are still atrocious.

But you're right... the Seanchan need to come to the LB with a different mindset, they can't fight the Shadow using the means of the Shadow. Their alliance with Rand in his absolute darkness would have doomed the world, that's why the Pattern prevented it, and like Rand they need a "cleansing" before the two sides can join.

GonzoTheGreat
11-09-2012, 04:35 AM
But the Seanchan don't have time for it. One man can change his mind fairly quickly (or not at all, of course). Having an entire culture change takes at least one generation.
That's what my question about the brainwashed damane was about: they won't suddenly be capable of being free and fully functional citizens after having spend 450 years as inhuman slaves. Some very few (like Alivia) can make the transition in a couple of months; others will not really manage in their lifetime. Having to resolve all that in 24 hours is going to be a tough job for Mat.

SamJ
11-09-2012, 05:20 AM
But the Seanchan don't have time for it. One man can change his mind fairly quickly (or not at all, of course). Having an entire culture change takes at least one generation.
That's what my question about the brainwashed damane was about: they won't suddenly be capable of being free and fully functional citizens after having spend 450 years as inhuman slaves. Some very few (like Alivia) can make the transition in a couple of months; others will not really manage in their lifetime. Having to resolve all that in 24 hours is going to be a tough job for Mat.

I agree that it would be *coughs* implausible for it to happen quickly. That's why I was talking about giving them the choice initially, rather than necessarily freeing them. I'm not even sure they could function effectively without the a'dams. In that scenario, there would be scope for pressure and influence, but they would have started on the right road. They could be released more plausibly after the LB - also various Seanchan might then have had the opportunity to see Aes Sedai, Asha'men, WOs etc serve with distinction - potentially making for an easier transition.

And Dom, a beautiful post on Tuon. Makes me remember why I like her - I only wish the last book (is it a Brandonism?) did not have her enjoying watching damane being broken. Though that might make sense if her arc is to show the darker sides of her personality too.

GonzoTheGreat
11-09-2012, 06:01 AM
Ah, so you're proposing a "separate but unequal" scheme. :D

Dom
11-09-2012, 12:42 PM
I agree with Gonzo and you.

Major cultural changes might happen, but in normal conditions they take time, and they're very traumatic when they go too fast/are too forced from above. Revolutions etc.

Traumatic is okay, in the context of the series, especially since the Seanchan are the last major culture in which this process hasn't really started (the Aiel are another in which a major turning point may have been reached with Aviendha's vision)... and significantly the last culture which still can't unite with the rest and aim to destroy the power of the other half. Dramatic/tragic is good, as it also would take place in the most dramatic part of the series.

That's why I do not believe either in scenarios that would see the damane and dacovale freed overnight.

Practically it can't happen, not even in my scenario where the pillars of the Empire shatter and Tuon is forced to flee with the "loyalists/realists" to escape from the faction of fanatics lead by Galgan and now bent on the only other solution left since sul'dam too are channelers and a marath'damane leads the Empire: murder of Fortuona and genocide of all channelers.

The strength of the beliefs of the Seanchan is a major asset to keep their system stable, but it's a double edged sword, as such beliefs are also likely to hold against rationality and can turn into a weakness that cripples them or even doom them, or to absolute horror.. think of the Inquisition, the Terror or even the Shoah.

It's even worse, as the Seanchan leaders are keen to see conspiracies in everything and everyone.

If Egwene goes forward with her efforts with Egeanin (and the odds are she will), it might have dramatic results she doesn't foresee.

But even if in the end Fortuona flees north with the parts of her armies that make the choice to trust her, out of raw survival instinct and a choice to rest themselves on another fundamental pillar of the Seanchan society: trust in the Empress's leadership, the sul'dam won't be trained, the damane are still conditionned and don't and won't want release and would have to go through a long "healing" process. So whatever happens, the Seanchan almost certainly will use sul'dam and leashed damane even when they join with Rand's forces. It's too late for "free damane" for the LB scenarios.

Even if the system shatters, the process of transformation will happen during those "five to ten years after TG" between the main series and the starting point of the once-planned Seanchan trilogy. We'd get seeds in the epilogue section, and nothing but the Seanchan putting a stop to leashing and agreeing to fight side by side with the rest of the Light in the end part of TG.

If the solution to the Aelfinn answer truly is that Rand must unite Seanchan and his alliance "as one", this will mark the moment when the winning conditons are reunited, the solution for the Bore will stop being elusive, the three ta'veren are all together and Rand can go forward with his Strike. Mat's return to Rand with the Seanchan would thus happen very late in the game, pretty much just before the Strike itself. There won't be time for much developments beside Westlands channellers and Seanchan tolerating each other's presence on the same battlefield until the Shadow's defeated.

salmidach
11-11-2012, 03:22 PM
Just a random thought, does the Prince of Ravens take control of the Seanchan if the Empress dies without an apparent heir????

here are a couple theories?

The assassins succeed in killing Fortuna and Mat takes over control of the Seanchan armies and sends them out to the LB

Fortuna is attacked by the Assassins and channels in defence in front of the blood and thus shows that all Suldam can channel, end of the Seanchan channelling issue.

Dom
11-11-2012, 05:24 PM
Just a random thought, does the Prince of Ravens take control of the Seanchan if the Empress dies without an apparent heir????

here are a couple theories?

The assassins succeed in killing Fortuna and Mat takes over control of the Seanchan armies and sends them out to the LB

Fortuna is attacked by the Assassins and channels in defence in front of the blood and thus shows that all Suldam can channel, end of the Seanchan channelling issue.

Tuon is one of a few characters with an immunity card for Tarmon Gai'don (because of RJ's discussion of his planned outriggers. Brandon added Perrin and, seemingly, Elaida to the list of those enjoying immunity).

In theory Fortuona won't channel. RJ is on record as explaining that even if sul'dam of many years of experience (which a whole lot of people believe can't possibly apply to Tuon, merely 20 y.o. and training damane as a hobby, not linking on a regular basis like a professional) are on the brink of touching the source and seeing the flows, they won't channel by accident. Like all others without the spark, they'd need to be guided through embracing the first touching(s) of the TS.

In theory, anyway, and so far it's how it happened with all the ex-sul'dam awakened and trained by Aes Sedai/Kin.

I think the fact Fortuona can learn is because she'll be down the line put in the same bag by fanatics as marath'damane, sparking the same fears and same prejudices as marath'damane, all as a part of the character development process to make her accept that the potential to learn to channel doesn't magically draws her to irrationally wish to misuse this power, no more than the a'dam creates a magical protection from misusing the OP. In the end it is, of course, a matter of ethics and discipline, self-restraint, ideals and loyalty to them - all things Tuon and the sul'dam have and most women they've leashed have or had.

Tuon holds in high esteem her own values, sense of duty and justice, her ethics etc. so it might help her understand, if the sul'dam and her are also suddenly considered just like damane. The more horrific/traumatic (like my hypothesis a faction might decide the solution is a mass slaughter of them all when channellers are they're only hope to avoid annihilation from the Shadow) the better chance this could work.

My hunch, and it's just a hunch, is that Jordan has found that Tuon, a character he had in the works for a very long time but who appeared late, worked on the page even better than he thought, and it's very obvious he loved writing the Mat/Tuon interaction.

Whatever original plans he had for their "ending", I think it's far more likely Tuon won't make the decision to learn to channel in the main series. At the end of the series, post TG, the Seanchan will be in a connundrum: either they abandon channeling altogether, sending sparkers to the Tower, or they reform their system by binding the channelers to be "servants of all (the Empire)" for instance. It might if the Seanchan actually go from leashing everyone to keeping the a'dam for criminal channelers and everybody else is trusted on oaths... It's in their culture and they might see bound oaths AS-style as no oaths at all, and this would kick the anthill at the WT.

Anyway... RJ loved his character oriented stories, and it seems to make more far sense he would keep the matter of Tuon's decision whether to learn to channel or not a dilemna she was to go through in the outriggers, either as a "surprise" starting point, or later as she faces the challenge that will be reconquering, reforming a whole Empire on a new basis.. a challenge that might need her sacrifice to get the long life of a channeler.

She would have faced a massive crisis that nearly undid her society, and even if she manages to hold it together and gradually bring them (and herself) to accept unleashed channelers serving the Empire, first tolerating the sul'dam will continue to use damane to survive through TG, later gradually accepting unleashed channellers,it seems really far-fetched that Fortuona herself could take the step of learning to channel right away. She would have difficult enough years ahead without adding something her people just aren't ready to accept.

Once her rule is solid again, her people have started accepting the ex-damane and sul'dam are truly serving the throne without major problems, she might consider it, after she's accepted it herself. Nynaeve's old prejudices against channeling are nothing compared to Tuon's!

There would be interesting material in there, especially if the news about sul'dam has shattered the Seanchan and sparked a tragedy Tuon barely managed to keep in control to save what could be saved. The same could happen on a much grander scale as she returns to Seanchan itself, and she wouldn't have the LB to corner her people and force them to accept in order to survive what was unthinkable a few days before.

I think what runs the chance of putting a lot of pressure(yet help) on the Westlands's Seanchan is the wonders that will emerge on the Westlands's side post TG, most of which would be inaccessible to Seanchan unless they give up the a'dam and start using circles.

The Seanchan think themselves in a very good position having gained Travelling... just wait until they discover they're still totally outclassed by enemies who can make much, much bigger gateways for its armies using circles, who can invert their weaves but can read those of the damane to find their starting point, and that their one-damane sized gateways through which mere columns of soldiers can run through have great risks when facing other channelers with circles.

And that's just warfare, not all the other OP progresses soon to emerge in the Westlands's nations.

Enigma
11-12-2012, 06:29 AM
Something would have to be worked out after the last battle and fast as Traveling makes battle lines very fluid. I believe that RJ said this is one of the reasons why the tech level in the War of Power dropped off. All the nice factories producing the high tech toys kept being blown up. Granted the Seanchan ememies would have a sort of advantage as they can link and create larger gateways and they have cannons and if they get the Asha'man on board, they would also have men who can channell.

Against that the Seanchan are very good at adapting and I doubt if it would be too long before they could capture some cannon as well.

Just one thing to consider on if the Seanchan would change quickly. I wonder how they would react if say someone that was historically very important to them, like their founder, someone like say the Great Hawkwing was to suddenly appear and tell them exactly what he thought of the idea of slavery and damane. Now how could Hawkwing ever show up. Well he is a Hero of the Horn and who do we know connected with the Seanchan is also connected with the Horn?

I know that Hawwking was no fan of the Aes Sedai but he has had about 1,000 years to cool down and while there is a lot of misinformation about the man it seems he was a just man when not being twisted to Ishamael. I doubt he would approve of the institution of damane.

Cabadrin
11-12-2012, 06:41 PM
Aren't you all forgetting the two elephants in the room? This is not a world where all men are born equal and the ruling elite is trying to pretend they are special, with blue blood or white skin or something. This is a world where two percent of the population carry the equivalent of nuclear bombs in their minds.
This is also a world touched by the DO, reducing the morals and ethics that made the relatively utopian AOL society possible.

The Seanchan fear and hatred of marath'damane is reasonable and justified, from their history. The Hawkwing armies found anarchy, a continent ruled by channelers constantly at war with one another

We see different ways to build stable societies despite these constraints. Aiel and Sea Folks, with discipline at the level of brain-washing. Tar Valon, a hierarcic society reinforced by the Oath Rod, organized to deal with rouge channelers. And Seanchan, combining discipline with the non-solution of the a'dam - who controls the sul'dam? Who controls whoever controls the sul'dam? - leading to frequent, extremely violent civil wars.

What will happen when the DO is no longer touching the world? I suspect it is easier to infect than to cure, it may take five Ages to remove the effects and set the stage for the next AOL.
Meanwhile, the long-term effects of just setting the damane free are likely to be a return to anarchy. Some structure must be found, I think Tar Valon is the least bad. But what of the male channelers, unless a Black Rod is found or made?

GonzoTheGreat
11-13-2012, 03:12 AM
The Seanchan fear and hatred of marath'damane is reasonable and justified, from their history. The Hawkwing armies found anarchy, a continent ruled by channelers constantly at war with one another
At least, that is what their propaganda apparatus claims.

Are those claims accurate, somewhat exaggerated, or wildly inaccurate?
We don't know, and we can't know. So we do not really have much reason to trust their story of "we were good, all others were bad, therefor we deserve to rule".

We do know that those supposedly anarchic and bad rulers there had managed to cooperate well enough to exterminate almost all Shadowspawn on their continent, something which neither Hawkwing nor anyone else in Randland ever even came close to achieving.

Cabadrin
11-13-2012, 04:42 AM
Strictly speaking, all we really know about Seanchan history is that Ogier guards are protecting Tuon, while on the main continent the Ogier are still debating if they will support Rand.

I am not suggesting any solutions here, just trying to remind you there is a very real problem that no society has found an acceptable answer for. Don't know which culture I detest the most, Seanchan or Aiel.

Enigma
11-13-2012, 06:09 AM
It into book three or four someone had suggested that there would be a large group of male channelers cooperating with large numbers of Aes Sedai a lot of readers would have been sceptical. Yet now we have Red's bonding Asha'man and actually working togehter for the greater good and to save their skins.

Likewise I would suspect there are already some cracks setting into the Seanchan mindset at least in the High Blood when it comes to the damane. They have all been brought up to believe that this is the only way and that channelers cannot be let loose as they will destroy or enslave everyone. I'm sure that Seanchan ship captain who was renamed by Tuon is not the only one wondering why that has not happened in the Westlands. Granted she had had a lot more interaction with channelers that most but you don't get to stay alive and free among the High Blood without being reasonably intelligent. Surely some of them are wondering why the Aes Sedai don't rule everyone or the Windfinders or the Aiel Wise Ones etc

Cabadrin
11-13-2012, 07:29 AM
We may hope. I was sorely disappointed with Tuon, surely she has had more contact with Aes Sedai than anyone but Egeanin/Leilwin, but she seems to have learnt nothing, so far. Odds are changes will have to be imposed on the Seanchan, unless Mat can do something. Of course, in a longer perspective they face challanges: the spreading knowledge that a sul'dam can learn to channel, their inability to form circles, and what to do with male channelers. But we have only one book to go.

GonzoTheGreat
11-13-2012, 08:32 AM
Another challenge for the Seanchan could be that there's now fairly widespread knowledge of how to take off the A'dam. That, combined with Traveling, means that their damane resources are not safe anymore.

Cabadrin
11-13-2012, 06:29 PM
It did occur to me, Tuon is very good at what she does, and she has a pathos for justice, so what would she do if she had realized that this must change? Perhaps what we have seen, not blink an eye until the time is right. But if Tuon leaves no clue, how do we guard against wishful thinking?

The best hope for a short-term change is that the damane-system does not really work, most likely it is a short-term fix that has survived, using captured channeler-queens against free channeler-queens.

Enigma
11-13-2012, 07:06 PM
Part of Tuon's problem is that she is strong willed so she is used to bending the world to her way of doing things not the other way around. She may get a bit of a wake up call if/when she realises that the inkeeper who she was so friendly with was an Aes Sedai.

And I'm wondering if Moiraine or at least her achievements might have anything to do with Tuon changing her mind. I don't know if it would happen but it would be nice for someone to tell her some home truths that it was an Aes Sedai who saved the Dragon Reborn from darkfriends and trollocks. It was an Aes Sedai who sheltered the Dragon Reborn and taught him the ways of the world until he was able to fend for himself. It was an Aes Sedai who destroyed forsaken to help save Rand. It was an Aes Sedai who sacraficed herself to help apparantly destroy Lanfear.

Compare that to what Tuon's done. Her No 2 was a dark friend. Her truth speaker was a Forsaken. The shadow used her name and her people to try and capture the dragon reborn and suceeded in injuring him.

It would be nice if somone were to stack up the various achievements of Moiraine v Tuon to Tuon and then to ask her who is the more deserving of respect and a position of leadership?

Brita
11-13-2012, 07:07 PM
I have always had a lingering idea that channelers (namely Egwene) will figure out how to free themselves from the a'dam. The dream sequence in which she overcomes the a'dam may foreshadow this.

FelixPax
11-13-2012, 09:36 PM
Does anyone have any thoughts on how RandLand should/will deal with the Seanchan post-armageddon?

Marriage, between First and Second Sunsets.

Huh? The marriage, a plural marriage between multiple females and males, will occur during & after Rand al'Thor flesh death and before 'The Dragon's (Wardered) Soul' flesh death.

Remember what Verin once told Rand al'Thor about battles & wars conclusions?

FYI-- It's not RandLand; It's the Dragon's Land. Distinctions matter.

Tedman
11-14-2012, 01:10 AM
I have always had a lingering idea that channelers (namely Egwene) will figure out how to free themselves from the a'dam. The dream sequence in which she overcomes the a'dam may foreshadow this.

Despite what Cadsuane says about this specifically?

Jasin Natael
11-14-2012, 06:11 AM
Part of Tuon's problem is that she is strong willed so she is used to bending the world to her way of doing things not the other way around. She may get a bit of a wake up call if/when she realises that the inkeeper who she was so friendly with was an Aes Sedai.

And I'm wondering if Moiraine or at least her achievements might have anything to do with Tuon changing her mind. I don't know if it would happen but it would be nice for someone to tell her some home truths that it was an Aes Sedai who saved the Dragon Reborn from darkfriends and trollocks. It was an Aes Sedai who sheltered the Dragon Reborn and taught him the ways of the world until he was able to fend for himself. It was an Aes Sedai who destroyed forsaken to help save Rand. It was an Aes Sedai who sacraficed herself to help apparantly destroy Lanfear.

Compare that to what Tuon's done. Her No 2 was a dark friend. Her truth speaker was a Forsaken. The shadow used her name and her people to try and capture the dragon reborn and suceeded in injuring him.

It would be nice if somone were to stack up the various achievements of Moiraine v Tuon to Tuon and then to ask her who is the more deserving of respect and a position of leadership?

Well, the obvious response is to point to Elaida.

Brita
11-14-2012, 07:50 AM
Despite what Cadsuane says about this specifically?

Unless Robert Jordan (and/or team) specifically refuted the possibility, what a character in the story believes is impossible by no means provides proof that it is in fact impossible. We have already witnessed many examples of this and we will witness more.

Davian93
11-14-2012, 08:11 AM
Unless Robert Jordan (and/or team) specifically refuted the possibility, what a character in the story believes is impossible by no means provides proof that it is in fact impossible. We have already witnessed many examples of this and we will witness more.

Exactly.

Tedman
11-14-2012, 10:27 PM
Unless Robert Jordan (and/or team) specifically refuted the possibility, what a character in the story believes is impossible by no means provides proof that it is in fact impossible. We have already witnessed many examples of this and we will witness more.

No doubt, from run of the mill people, in normal situations.

Cads does not seem to be in that category, and while I am with you on the unreliable narrator issue as it explains so much of the misinformation of the book, and a lot of where I defend RJs writing because I do believe most of it is intentional, I think the odds are against you.

Zombie Sammael
11-15-2012, 05:22 AM
No doubt, from run of the mill people, in normal situations.

Cads does not seem to be in that category, and while I am with you on the unreliable narrator issue as it explains so much of the misinformation of the book, and a lot of where I defend RJs writing because I do believe most of it is intentional, I think the odds are against you.

I'm with Brita here. I suggested in a similar thread some time ago that merely outlawing the a'dam wasn't enough; it had to be defeated, or it would be too easy for it to be used again someday by a less scrupulous ruler, too easy for one channeller without morals to enslave another. Cadsuane is knowledgeable about many things, but she found out about the a'dam at the same time everyone else in the Wetlands did - relatively recently. There's no reason she'd have special knowledge indicating whether or not it could be beaten.

Davian93
11-15-2012, 08:09 AM
No doubt, from run of the mill people, in normal situations.

Cads does not seem to be in that category, and while I am with you on the unreliable narrator issue as it explains so much of the misinformation of the book, and a lot of where I defend RJs writing because I do believe most of it is intentional, I think the odds are against you.

Why? Other than because you want it to be so?

Landro
11-15-2012, 08:31 AM
No doubt, from run of the mill people, in normal situations.

Cads does not seem to be in that category, and while I am with you on the unreliable narrator issue as it explains so much of the misinformation of the book, and a lot of where I defend RJs writing because I do believe most of it is intentional, I think the odds are against you.

Cadsuane, like all AS (and also the Forsaken) believed stilling could not be healed. Nyneave proved them all wrong and then she did it again when she Healed Naeff's madness.

GonzoTheGreat
11-15-2012, 08:47 AM
I'm with Brita here. I suggested in a similar thread some time ago that merely outlawing the a'dam wasn't enough; it had to be defeated, or it would be too easy for it to be used again someday by a less scrupulous ruler, too easy for one channeller without morals to enslave another. Cadsuane is knowledgeable about many things, but she found out about the a'dam at the same time everyone else in the Wetlands did - relatively recently. There's no reason she'd have special knowledge indicating whether or not it could be beaten.
Two things:

1. If it could be beaten, then it would seem likely someone else had already figured that out in the last 1,000 years.
Not conclusive, as the occasional freak marath'damane might have been killed.

2. If it could be beaten, then an obvious solution would be to redesign it and make an A'dam with a "lock once, unlock never" band.
That would make reusing them tricky, and the traditional version would still be needed for the yearly testing, but apart from that there's no obvious downsides to this.

Brita
11-15-2012, 08:50 AM
I'm with Brita here. I suggested in a similar thread some time ago that merely outlawing the a'dam wasn't enough; it had to be defeated, or it would be too easy for it to be used again someday by a less scrupulous ruler, too easy for one channeller without morals to enslave another. Cadsuane is knowledgeable about many things, but she found out about the a'dam at the same time everyone else in the Wetlands did - relatively recently. There's no reason she'd have special knowledge indicating whether or not it could be beaten.

Exactly. And I think it will be Egwene because a) the story has invested her heavily in the emotional damage the a'dam inflicts b)she has learned to endure extreme pain and c) the battle in Tel'aran'rhiod not so subtly forshadows this happening.

Zombie Sammael
11-15-2012, 08:54 AM
Two things:

1. If it could be beaten, then it would seem likely someone else had already figured that out in the last 1,000 years.
Not conclusive, as the occasional freak marath'damane might have been killed.


You mean like how non-Sul'dam people had worked out that pressing it just right in just one place would cause it to release before Nynaeve did?

Brita
11-15-2012, 09:03 AM
Two things:

1. If it could be beaten, then it would seem likely someone else had already figured that out in the last 1,000 years.
Not conclusive, as the occasional freak marath'damane might have been killed.

2. If it could be beaten, then an obvious solution would be to redesign it and make an A'dam with a "lock once, unlock never" band.
That would make reusing them tricky, and the traditional version would still be needed for the yearly testing, but apart from that there's no obvious downsides to this.

1. The Seanchen culture makes this a very unlikely goal to pursue. Solving the A'dam will take a huge amount dedication and tolerance to pain and suffering. The da'mane don't even really want to escape it, for the most part. So I am not surprised that it hasn't been figured out. There are also multiple examples of other discoveries that have been made by our WoT wonderteam that haven't been discovered for 1000 years. I am not sure why this would be any different.

2. The making of angreal is just newly re-discovered. The A'dam seems like a sophisticated tool. I am sure a "fix" could be eventually be discovered, but it will take a very long time, and by then culture and organization can mitigate this threat.

Davian93
11-15-2012, 09:33 AM
1. If it could be beaten, then it would seem likely someone else had already figured that out in the last 1,000 years.
Not conclusive, as the occasional freak marath'damane might have been killed.


If Healing Stilling were possible, it's likely that an AS would have discovered it...oh wait, Nynaeve did.

If Healing Madness were possible, its likely an AS during the Age of Madness would have discovered it.

If Warder Bonds were possible, its likely an AS during the AoL would have discovered it...afterall, they were the height of civilization.

etc
etc
etc

Davian93
11-15-2012, 09:34 AM
The da'mane don't even really want to escape it, for the most part.

Brita makes a fantastic point. After all, what's the first thing they do to a damane after capturing them? They physically and mentally break them to the point where they think they deserve to be collared. Thus, after that initial period, none of the damane are even trying to break free.

Terez
11-15-2012, 10:01 AM
Haven't read most of the thread, but just wanted to say that I very much disagreed with the people who thought that Egwene's a'dam drama was somehow over with when she faced Mesaana. She has a dream of a hard-faced Seanchan woman handing her an a'dam. That is clearly Egeanin. What does it mean? What if Egwene collars Tuon, and Tuon is the one to defeat it? Is Egeanin the woman with the sword, or Tuon? Is Tuon the golden hawk stretching out its wing to touch Egwene, or is it Berelain?

GonzoTheGreat
11-15-2012, 10:32 AM
1. The Seanchen culture makes this a very unlikely goal to pursue. Solving the A'dam will take a huge amount dedication and tolerance to pain and suffering. The da'mane don't even really want to escape it, for the most part. So I am not surprised that it hasn't been figured out.
The real preparations for the Return did not begin until they'd finally finished conquering their whole continent. That was about 50 years earlier, give or take a bit. Which leaves 950 years with formerly independent women getting locked up in the A'dam, where every one of them has a quite good reason to want to escape again, just as Egwene had.
Based on simple statistics, it is possible that the majority of damane were actually born outside Seanchan control, not in lands where being leashed was considered a necessary fate for women who could channel. That would definitely be true for the majority of damane throughout history.

2. The making of angreal is just newly re-discovered. The A'dam seems like a sophisticated tool. I am sure a "fix" could be eventually be discovered, but it will take a very long time, and by then culture and organization can mitigate this threat.
Depends a bit on how quickly they manage to capture Elayne, doesn't it?
Of course, capturing her would be an amazingly surprising feat, but that doesn't mean that it is totally impossible.

Davian93
11-15-2012, 10:58 AM
The Consolidation of Seanchan took 800 years, not 950 years. It was over for approximately 200 years when the Return occurred.

Brita
11-15-2012, 11:14 AM
The real preparations for the Return did not begin until they'd finally finished conquering their whole continent. That was about 50 years earlier, give or take a bit. Which leaves 950 years with formerly independent women getting locked up in the A'dam, where every one of them has a quite good reason to want to escape again, just as Egwene had.
Based on simple statistics, it is possible that the majority of damane were actually born outside Seanchan control, not in lands where being leashed was considered a necessary fate for women who could channel. That would definitely be true for the majority of damane throughout history.


True. Good point. I would say our superteam seems adept at solving problems that were seemingly unsolvable for hundreds of years- but this does diminish my culture argument. Most foreign da'mane would be broken, like Davian said- but not all, certainly.

The outcome of the Seanchan culture and the a'dam is one of the plotlines I am most looking forward to reading.

Dom
11-15-2012, 01:38 PM
Is Egeanin the woman with the sword, or Tuon?

So far, Egeanin fits perfectly the dream...

The woman helping Egwene (and expecting her protection in return) means the information she carries (a burden/moral dilemna) she means to be a weapon against the Seanchan (thus carrying a sword on her back), the "we have to help each other to reach the top" part is self-explanatory, and the setting of the dream suggests that encounter offers a solution to Egwene to a for now insurmountable problem: she's struggling to climb a mountain (the problem), the sun/light (the solution) is hidden above a cloud cover, and the Seanchan woman (who wish to destroy the Seanchan) and Egwene (who wish to advert the threat of the Seanchan) must unite to reach the top (their common goal). This fits quite well with the current situation: she needs to get the Tower out of the whole imminent Seanchan threat (the mountain), and Egeanin wants to put an end to their system and has the means to destroy the Seanchan leadership (because Egwene might try for a long time without success to undermine Tuon's rules vy spreading tales near Ebou Dar of sul'dam being able to channel.. without the evidence only Egeanin has that Tuon herself is complicit in hiding this from the High Blood, the Seekers will hear of those tales almost immediately and Fortuona's Hand will order them to find the tale-carriers and silence those who need to be silenced (if the Seekers don't do all this on their own and report to Fortuona's Hand after success). Eaganin is the key to give that (very long foreshadowed) plan any chance of success, because she knows who in Ebou Dar to target directly with evidence the information is real and that Tuon was complicit in hiding it, to make it turn into an actual scheme against Tuon and the sul'dam: either the Seekers, namely Almurath Mor, or a very powerful rival of Tuon who happens to control the armies: Lunal Galgan.

RJ has given Egeanin just the right family background to know enough of the Court to pull it off, without having the status or clout to do it on her own. Then he gave her a Seeker contact, one already known in the series to by-pass official channels - ie: his superiors - to go straight to the people who can use his information. And Mor sees plots in his soup, and it's largely thanks to his actions this Empress who hides the fact she can channel is now on the throne. which could provide a motive, a mistake he made to correct..).

I wouldn't put it pass RJ to mislead with Egeanin and the actual solution comes directly from Tuon-Egwene much later in the book, but most likely that viewing will be fulfilled with the soon to come scene when Egwene and Egeanian decide to work together to destroy the Seanchan's base of power from the inside.

Is Tuon the golden hawk stretching out its wing to touch Egwene, or is it Berelain?

That one is very much up in the air. It may already be fulfilled. We might for instance interpret this as Egwene being incidentally touched by the fact the Hawk spreads its wings, for instance. The Hawk spreading its wings could refer to Tuon becoming Fortuona, who as a side-effect of Rand's failure give Egwene a brush of its wings (the aerial attack).

Now for Berelain.

It seems... unlikely... RJ didn't have a purpose in mind for Berelain and her ancestry after placing this piece on the board again in KOD. She may be a red herring, but my hunch is still that she's not, not when the one aware of her happens to a Seanchan convinced deep down they should ally with the Westlands to face the Shadow and who's recently been given court access and is in favour with both Fortuona and Lunal Galgan. Those Tylee scenes in TGS are there for a reason.

Typical of quite a few of the "endgames" of RJ so far in TGS/TOM, the foreshadowing related to Berelain is slim. She proclaimed her ancestry to someone near key-characters, and challenged Tuon's right to the Westlands. But Tylee also implied if recognized Berelain's claim could be very relevant politically.

I'll go on a limb: Berelain is now within reach of Egwene (who even noted her presence already), and she's always been shown as a clever court schemer, ambitious beside, and very dedicated to the welfare of her nation. A potentially important question would be: does Berelain have proof of her ancestry? Perhaps. With the Seanchan, she would need more than a claim she descends in straight line from Hawkwing's and has much (or actually, as little) right as Tuon to claim a thousand years gone and short-lived Westlands Empire. Could Justice loaned by Rand serve as her "heirloom"? Maybe.

I'm convinced at least we're about to get a "Seanchan summit" soon (could be part of Merrilor's main meeting or follow it. There's also the "Asha'man/BT and Aes Sedai matters summit" to come, Rand promised to Egwene they'd discuss this at Merrilor). I think what I call the "Seanchan summit" is the fulfillment of Rand confronting Egwene and women among whom there is a Seanchan (Egeanin).

It's very unclear what Rand intends to do with the Seanchan at this point, and the potential for his plans to change rapidly is there (learning from Egwene on the morrow the WT was attacked and the Seanchan almost certainly got Traveling, or a pillow-talk about his planned "peace" and what it could mean for the Aiel with Aviendha, for instance. Both pieces of news are likely to emerge soon.).

It's also possible he does nothing, having decided it's too late and they must stay focussed on the Shadow, and it's all those who disagree with this decision who later meet and take matters in their own hands.

Another scenario, IMO the most likely given Rand's recent attitude, would be for him to change his perspective on the Seanchan matter almost completely: Cadsuane warned him any imposed truce with the Seanchan would be very unpopular/divisive with his allies, and cause strife and war after TG (to which the already dark-ish and tyran-ish Rand of the time answered along the line of "I don't care what happens after my death").

Aviendha's vision seems to confirm this path Rand intended to follow once leads to misery. There's an easy way for Rand to change Aviendha's vision and reassure her: no solution for the Seanchan would include a "Peace of Dragon". I could see Rand (sharing his views of the Seanchan from his visit to Ebou Dar, and the news Mat is Prince of Ravens and has gone to his wife) and Perrin(sharing his positive experience with Tylee) advocating in front of Egwene and the rulers for a TG alliance but instead of this going through Rand he decides to leave the matter and final decisions in Egwene's and the rulers' hands. It's their problem, after all. Rand seems to intend to focus on the Strike and some guidance/inspiration. He seems about to want everyone to take their responsabilities: he means the rulers to rule, the leaders of organizations to lead, and the Generals to lead the fighting.

The WT/Asha'man and the nations are the ones whose future is threatened by the Seanchan, who might have to fight TG on two fronts, or who will have to fight in TG without Seanchan help.

In any case, in a few scenarios like this it seems to make Berelain (with or without Perrin?) a likely choice as ambassador to Fortuona (if it's a decision of the rulers it's not "likely", it's more like the obvious choice to send the Paendrag among them...), extending one Paendrag to another Paendrag one last olive branch (alongside a proof of good faith: a warning from Rand he believes the Shadow is about to strike in the South...), and counting on Mat's presence at Fortuona's side to support Berelain's proposal: an exchange of prisoners (good luck with that, but the WT will want the sisters and the Aiel will want the WO as sine qua non condition to any deal...), an agreement similar to the one Tylee and Perrin made and to last only for the duration of the LB, and an offer of negotiations toward a permanent peace but only once the Shadow is defeated. As far as we can tell at this point, Fortuona could play with Berelain a while to buy time until her full strike at TV is ready, but would have no intent whatsoever to answer positively any such offer to ally with marath'damane.

And now to fit Egeanin and her plans with Egwene into this: Egeaning could first of all serve as "teacher" to Berelain to understand as much as she could in a short time of Fortuona and her court and the Seanchan ways to succeed in her embassy.

My guess is that Egwene could also secretely use her as "fail safe" in case the embassy fails, because the WT can't afford failure without a plan B. I think the "How much do you really trust Mat Cauthon" line will come up during Egwene's conversation with Egeanin, and Egwene's answer might be "not enough to trust the future of the WT on his marital ties...". Honestly I don't think Egwene would want much any plan for a truce to succeed anyway... but then the Light needs Mat back for the Horn, and Egwene might hesitate over the Seanchan woman with a sword dream - it's established she doesn't always recognize people from her dreams, eg: Aram, and she may never identify Egeanin as the woman even if she is) and reluctantly give it a chance. The Hall might howl, but Egwene would have exclusive authority.... In case it fails, Egwene would give Berelain all the information she needs to attempt to bring down Fortuona's rule and destroy the damane system. To leave no stone unturned, Gawyn could, with or without Egwene's knowledge, slip to someone close to Berelain (Galad, of course) who could arrange for men in her entourage to have the bloodknife rings, in case an attempt to murder Fortuona becomes the best solution.

Berelain would need an entry to General Galgan, and the only character linking those two we know of is, again, Tylee Kirghan.

ScoundrelTheToy
11-15-2012, 04:10 PM
I would be truly suprised if Egwene's dream involves Egeanin. She's a tertiary character and I can't recall any tertiary characters being in Egwenes dreams. To me it seems clear the dream is of Tuon and Egwene forging a reluctant (face wavering, but sword doesn't) aliance and Matrim is the sword on her back. You've already put the other pieces in there Dom with Demandrad attacking Tuon in Ebou Dar and Mat and Tuon being forced to retreat to the north to the other side of the light. This third paragraph follows this up.

The Seanchan is coming out of the clouds because thats where Tuon is in her own mind. You've also said that Tuon, like Egwene and Rand, needs an epiphany so I'm not sure how much clearer it can be. The first paragraph of that dream is the field of merilor meeting. The second paragraph describes Moiraines appearance at Merilor.

Davian93
11-15-2012, 05:07 PM
Is Dom Callandor reborn?

Every single post is a novel...

Terez
11-15-2012, 06:31 PM
Callandor never wrote novels; his longposts were always in response to lots of people with lots of quotes not only of the people he was responding to but also from the books. Not Dom's style. ;)

Dom
11-15-2012, 07:37 PM
She's a tertiary character and I can't recall any tertiary characters being in Egwenes dreams

Aram. Egwene's father, Gaul, Master Luhan, Aludra, Logain come to mind.

I like your angle that Mat could be the sword on Tuon's back.

Nothing says the dream couldn't mislead Egwene to think it refers to Egeanin when in fact it refers to Fortuona and Mat.

It's just that the plan to attack the Seanchan's system by sending back sul'dam has long been foreshadowed, and with what Egeanin told Egwene, and Egwene's own obsession with dealing with the Seanchan, and Elayne's views, and Gawyn's ponderings about the ter'angreal in TOM etc. It just seems too much foreshadowing to turn into a red herring and just peter out. Fortuona plans a final solution for the WT, and Egwene is about to strike back.

The Light vs. the Light, not just the way some thought around the time of KOD (a massive Seanchan attack instead of a raid, during which the alliance would somehow happen).

You've already put the other pieces in there Dom with Demandrad attacking Tuon in Ebou Dar and Mat and Tuon being forced to retreat to the north to the other side of the light.

It's still part of the same "complex" of related ideas I throw around these days, though. What I don't have is this conviction Egwene will magically overcome all her anti-Seanchan prejudices just because Rand(?) and co. asks her.

I have Egwene's plan with Egeanin be the reason why Mat and Tuon's efforts against the Shadow/Demandred eventually collapses and they have no choice left but to seek an alliance.

Fortuona finds herself in the middle of a maelstrom:

- An envoy is sent (Berelain?) but she fails to convince Tuon, who dithers. Berelain puts the plan B hatched by Egwene-Egeanin in motion.
= The Shadow start giving the Seanchan a severe beating.
- This in itself already shakes Fortuona's rule more and more, as she's supposed to lead the world to victory in the LB and now she has to delay her massive attack on Tar Valon, her last hope to take control of the Dragon, because she needs the damane in the South to face the Shadow. News come the Shadow has wiped Amador, Tanchico, all the military outposts. The war to the north with Murandy/Andor has turned sour. Fortuona at the end of TOM had all the damane and sul'dam called back to Ebou Dar, all her other cities/outposts no longer have any channeler. She's lost nearly all her conquests but Ebou Dar. Her people are losing faith in her, the omens are dark, the High Blood are getting very restless...
- Egwene's scheme exposes the secret about the sul'dam and involves Fortuona herself in hiding those truths, in taking the throne despite knowing an a'dam would likely hold her...
- It's the final straw. Fortuona is sei'mosiev (sp?) and has "doomed the Seanchan". Galgan moves to remove her and kill all the sul'dam (keeping one damane who can travel and would accept freedom.. Sufa?), plans to put Berelain on the throne because she knows the Dragon and can achieve what he's come to believe the failed Empress, the marath'damane, can no longer deliver, the only way the Seanchan can survive at this point: the Dragon serving the Crystal Throne.
- Tuon manages to escape the plot (Tylee? Mat's luck? Berelain? Beslan?) and saves the sul'dam. She muster all the authority and leadership she has left to keep it all together. The Prince of Ravens replaces Galgan, The Shadow starts to strike massively at Ebou Dar, dreadlords joined the fight, it's become hopeless. Mat convinces Fortuona it's all over - they've lost - her only hope to save what's left of her people is to evacuate and flee with the sul'dam, damane and what's left of her people and armed forces to the North, to accept the alliance Berelain offered and that she had rejected. He throws even the fact he needs to return because he's the Hornsounder into the mix. Fortuona finally surrender and accept.

The Seanchan were a way for the Shadow to have the Light fight the Light. It didn't work as well as planned, forcing the Shadow to try to eliminate one side then turn to eliminate the other. It ends up causing the two sides to unite, against all odds.

The whole Seanchan story line is likely to be more important/sizeable than some think. Mat's been sent there. Berelain's ancestry has not played out, Tylee's story in unfinished, Galgan's schemes already returned in chapter 11.

RJ really aligned many "ducks" around Fortuona: Liandrin is shielded, but Moghedien who can unravel it and try to use her as an assassin for instance, I believe to have been assigned to "oversee" the Seanchan armies for Demandred.

Egeanin is about to hatch a plan with Egwene, Elayne has sul'dam prisoners (if they're still alive..). Minor characters tied to Egeanin are in place and could easily return (eg: the Seeker Mor).

The Mylen factor may not have yet bore all its fruits.

The bloodknife rings Gawyn seized have not played out either.

There are the Tinkers too.

Really a lot of potential "threads" to pick to come up with a pre-alliance Seanchan story line.

Honestly, my feeling is that the final alliance might not happen all that long before it gets to the 50,000 words worth of LB written by RJ. The Seanchan pre-alliance story line could easily get 15 chapters, most of them Mat's.

Tsofu
11-15-2012, 07:47 PM
Is Dom Callandor reborn?

Every single post is a novel...

Speak of the devil and UP he jumps!

Tsofu

Dom
11-15-2012, 07:53 PM
. Not Dom's style. ;)

LOL. :D My English style. Lack of English vocabulary and perhaps some insecurity with making myself understood makes me write pathetically long and cluttered texts in English.

It frustrates me massively, but attempts to edit those posts to reach a better level of precision of ideas and to shorten them takes me several times as long as writing them (and in the time I wrote essays in English, even after a few rounds of editing I always ended up having to ask a native speaker to cut 30% more by doing rewrites, and try to keep all the ideas in. Poor Linda.) :)

It's all the more frustrating that I can write far leaner texts in French, but then it's not only my native language and the one I've learned to write essays in, it's also a far more precise language and I make English even more imprecise than it really is because the exact words I'd wish to use escape me and I have to make do with something else and a full explanation.

There's no helping it, sorry!

ScoundrelTheToy
11-15-2012, 08:07 PM
I agree with the general theme of the Seanchan/rest of the light ideas you have Dom. The details with things like Liandrin, how Mat becomes general over Galgan etc. who can say; your ideas are as good as any I've seen.

I used to think that the Seanchan and the rest of the Light would ally around the FOM but I think you're right and realized that they won't ally until the 'final push' in desperation.

First part of AMOL for Egwene/Rand is the Black Tower and whatever else, Lan, the Forsaken etc. The Seanchan (Tuon and Mat) deal with Demandrad and are forced to retreat. If you're right about Egwene and Egeanin with the whole Sul'dam thing, well that will make it even worse for Tuon. Galgan acquiring his own faction then him and those extremist being wiped out by Demandrad while Tuon and Mat go north to ally would be...convenient.

Anyways, like you've basically said, the first half of AMOL the two sides of the light get hammered hard. Tuon has her epiphany and wala, the third paragraph of the dream, Tuon and Egwene form an alliance in desperation.

"Suddenly a woman appeared, clambering down the sheer side of the cliff out of the clouds, making her way as deftly as if she were walking down stairs. There was a sword strapped to her back. Her face wavered, never settling clearly, but the sword seemed as solid as the stone. The woman reached Egwene's level and held out one hand. "We can reach the top together," she said in a familiar drawling accent."

That seems to describe this pretty well. Who else would come out of the clouds except Tuon? "We can reach the top together" sounds a lot like them kinda being equals and Egeanin is hardly Egwene's equal. Egeanin surrendered to Egwene as her slave or something lol. There is no 'top' for Egeanin I'm afraid. Besides, the sword on Tuon's back is Matrim, him being her uber General and all :p

Dom
11-15-2012, 09:29 PM
I agree with the general theme of the Seanchan/rest of the light ideas you have Dom. The details with things like Liandrin, how Mat becomes general over Galgan etc. who can say; your ideas are as good as any I've seen.

I used to think that the Seanchan and the rest of the Light would ally around the FOM but I think you're right and realized that they won't ally until the 'final push' in desperation.

First part of AMOL for Egwene/Rand is the Black Tower and whatever else, Lan, the Forsaken etc. The Seanchan (Tuon and Mat) deal with Demandrad and are forced to retreat. If you're right about Egwene and Egeanin with the whole Sul'dam thing, well that will make it even worse for Tuon. Galgan acquiring his own faction then him and those extremist being wiped out by Demandrad while Tuon and Mat go north to ally would be...convenient.

Anyways, like you've basically said, the first half of AMOL the two sides of the light get hammered hard. Tuon has her epiphany and wala, the third paragraph of the dream, Tuon and Egwene form an alliance in desperation.

"Suddenly a woman appeared, clambering down the sheer side of the cliff out of the clouds, making her way as deftly as if she were walking down stairs. There was a sword strapped to her back. Her face wavered, never settling clearly, but the sword seemed as solid as the stone. The woman reached Egwene's level and held out one hand. "We can reach the top together," she said in a familiar drawling accent."

That seems to describe this pretty well. Who else would come out of the clouds except Tuon? "We can reach the top together" sounds a lot like them kinda being equals and Egeanin is hardly Egwene's equal. Egeanin surrendered to Egwene as her slave or something lol. There is no 'top' for Egeanin I'm afraid. Besides, the sword on Tuon's back is Matrim, him being her uber General and all :p

It works too. Honestly, I've become pretty good at spotting the right "ingredients" and themes. My track record with assembling them together is far more spotty. :P My best theories (closet to what actually happened) have been those concerned with the first part/initial set up of an upcoming book (my most accurate ever was an analysis of Mesaana's doings that made me conclude after WH that she would end up destroying the BA or Moridin/SH were about to interfere and call her to heel). After that, all sort of new facts emerge and it derails a bit, even if often I had spotted many of the ingredients and the solution is close to my interpretation of some themes... just not quite so close plot-wise as I thought. Stuff I often got right in the past were rationalizations for why this or that couldn't happen, often concerning why some events couldn't happen as early as some thought. Specific examples of stuff I got right were "Perrin and Mat can't meet early in TOM and here's why", "Rand can't achieve his alliance with Tuon in TGS" etc.

I think I'm close with Egwene and Egeanin going forward with a scheme and targeting specific people in Ebou Dar to make it work.

Berelain's role in the Seanchan story line I'm much less certain of, though I've toyed with many variants on this since COT/KOD (before RJ announced the outrigger, I thought Berelain would end up Empress)

Demandred drawing Elayne into an alliance I'm 50-50 about, but that he intends to strike at the Seanchan first I feel more secure about.

How the plot will unfold around characters like Tylee, Liandrin etc. For all his use of foreshadowing RJ was extremely clever at hiding the details of where he was going, and there's like a ton of possible combinations, and no doubt as always there's unforshadowed twists coming at the beginning of the book that we'd need to orient speculation in the right direction.

I really love how you suggest for Rand the first part of the book will center on the BT (and by extension uniting the Asha'man and Aes Sedai concretely), by the way. It makes much sense, it's a central issue, his greatest and most personal failure - and the one he's foreshadowed in TOM to deal with soon. The build up surrounding it has been long and slow and it's become intricate. It's also become a central issue between him and Egwene. I've always been dissatisfied with solutions that have Logain save Rand's ass in the first ten chapters. The story line is too important, too linked to the resolution of bringing men and women together to be dealt with so.. summarily.

A weakness of my Demandred/Seanchan theory was that I was convinced (still am) Rand would have to delay his plans to strike at SG almost immediately, but what would be worth embroiling Rand and Egwene in for the equivalent of my "Seanchan story line"? You provide a very good solution: it will be mostly dealing with the woes caused by the BT, and what is happening in the north.

There's even an obvious way this could all come together and Rand and co. would also be in the ropes when the Seanchan finally come north: it will happen during the final battle with the Dreadlords, and it won't go well for the Asha'man/Aes Sedai (the battle might not happen at the BT but rather be an attack from the Shadow elsewhere.. Tar Valon for instance), the arrival of Mat with the sul'dam and damane, and Egwene surrendering to necessity and joining force with Tuon would be crucial.


It does jive with most of my "Bore" scenarios, but perhaps it's the "Great Battle" of Nicola's foretelling in which Rand ends up being dead but alive.

Then the "two will be as one", the winning conditions finally present, the three ta'veren will be reunited for the first time, the Aes Sedai Asha'man will be united, and the solution for the Strike/the Bore will emerge at last and the future will tether on the edge of a blade.

Well, this is turning into a variant of my KOD era theory (with tons of different details, I didn't foresee Demandred in the south at all, no severe beating to the Seanchan, it rather turned around the Seanchan and WT/Logain fighting each other as they both come to deal with the BT, and be forced to ally as the Shadow was about to win).

The other matter Rand has to deal with soon is Lan and Tarwyn Gap. My feeling considering what's knwon of his plans (and his TGS plans) is that the day after Merrilor he meant to send massive reinforcements to Lan, while himself moved with an AS/Asha'man strike team to SG.

If my hunch is correct that Rand intends to strike soon because he believes Merrilor fulfills the riddle of the Aelfinn and the solution for the Bore will come to him eminently, then he'll be forced to delay. He will have to come up with different plans to help Lan, he won't have much choice to divide his forces to an extent.

For the "north", the scenario I really have wanted to happen for years, is that Moiraine will surprise many and not stay with Rand long, and soon she will be among those who go to Lan's help leading a force of Aes Sedai (will this include Perrin and the Bordermen, we'll see... it would make sense it will be Perrin's story line, it would get him his wolf army at last).. I'm undecided whether Nynaeve will go with her or if in an inversion of their initial roles, Moiraine will tell her she should be the one staying at Rand's side and she will bring her husband back alive. Moiraine going to Lan, putting her "cause" second to that of Lan, would be a very concrete incarnation of her new found humility. Not only this would bring full circle with an inversion the Malkier story line with the AS failing to come in time, but I think it would be very moving to have the Nynaeve-Moiraine story resolved with Moiraine doing something so meaningful for Nynaeve, and it would also be very moving to have Moiraine repay Lan's 20 years of loyalty and dedication this way, by being his "warder" in a way and dedicating herself to his cause now the time has come.

Tedman
11-15-2012, 10:18 PM
Why? Other than because you want it to be so?

Not at all, I'm not invested in it in one way or another, just that when most of our evidence is how most AS and forsaken are beyond incompetent, competence is in and of itself an example to me of excellence.

As for the Nynaeve healing example, I think it is sort of a Straw man in that no one TRIED to heal stilling before, do we know for sure no one else could have done it if not for the culture of AS? I think the more accurate point is that few if anyone has ever had the nature of Nynaeve with her natural ability since the Breaking who was not already an AS for many years steeped in their culture. This applies to common lost or impossible known to all AS scenarios.

Nynaeve did it on what seems to be her second true attempt of touching the "hole" in the person.

A'dam has no such culture, mystique etc around it, it is a random ter'angreal and is a curiousity which was and is treated as such. Is there a way to break out? Of course there is a chance since I'm not RJ to answer definitively, but I think like my original point, given the attempts by one of the few truly competent people in the books failed the odds are low.

If you don't think Cadsuane is particularly competent because of the Rand situation my response would be she knows exactly what she is doing, which was her plan all along, she is just blind as many are to the true effect that they can have on a Ta'veren.


Regardless, I think that the leash\culture issue will be resolved by other means\open warfare after the LB. If I had to bet I think it will be conflict in the end even if not with Tuon, with those who disagree with her if she has an epiphany about the situation.

ScoundrelTheToy
11-15-2012, 10:48 PM
Well, once again I believe you're right about the Pattern not allowing Rand to go ahead yet with the breaking of the seals until the conditions are met; that being the two being one, which Rand is wrong about. Also belief and order create strength and the Asha'man, Aes Sedai, the rulers and the Seanchan all being united need to be met here I would think.

I see it as something like, Egwene and Rand have it out about the seals and it's like their biggest point of contention (this and the BT)...then Moiraine arrives and convinces Rand he needs to deal with other issues first. Perhaps this satisfies Min's viewing of Rand failing without Moiraine. Then Moiraine/Perrin go to Lan in the gap while Egwene/Rand deal with the BT. Moiridin, Lanfear and Graendal focus on Rand and by extension Egwene. Demandrad and Mogheiden are pointed at Tuon and Mat.

How the details of things like Pevara, Androl and Logain tie in with Rand and Egwene who knows but all those plots are linked it would seem. Elayne with Caemlyn, Taim and the BT, Tarwin's gap, Demandrad and the Seanchan in the south...it's a huge tangle and a mess they gotta deal with. If the shadow were smart they would just chill and the Light would continue to suck, but the shadows gonna give 'em the hammer and put 'em on the ropes and force them to put aside all their differences and all come to together at the last. I mean you have it right that Demandrad knows the Seanchan and Rand/Egwene can't ally so he figures to wipe out the Seanchan which will in turn have the opposite effect. What they couldn't ever do of themselves, the shadows gonna be the impetus behind them seeing what they can't see on their own. RJ loved irony and Demandrads intention of preventing them to ally will be the very reason they do ally! ha.

Dom
11-16-2012, 10:05 AM
RJ loved irony and Demandrads intention of preventing them to ally will be the very reason they do ally! ha.

And when the Light allies, the tide is starting to turn and the Shadow needs to all fall behind Demandred's leadership in the field - or follow Moridin's orders for the greater picture, and it doesn't happen... the Shadow's great moment has come, and the Chosen suddenly all focus again on getting what they want, those confined to support roles start trying to shine, try to make a too succesful rival stumble (eg: Moghedien fails to report a "detail" to Demandred or keeps aside at the wrong moment to save her ass - she's not one to take risks naturally yet she's been assigned to work under the orders of a gambler, or once she realizes where Demandred was Graendal can't resist activating pawns of her well placed to make him stumble. She's started collecting pawns near Fortuona at the end of TOM...), M'Hael's ego is too inflated and he's lead to long to simply fall in line behind Demandred for TG phase 2, or let Demandred use his men as he must, Demandred might find himself betrayed on all sides etc. The DO and Moridin finally managed to force them to work together for the first part of TG, but the closer they get to victory, the more their nature returns, the "binding" (more than a true "alliance") breaks.

belief and order create strength

I'm leaning toward this being more directly related to the solution for Bore, though it's very possible, even likely, it is reflected in other layers of the stories (the small specific pattern for the Bore fitting into a larger, less specific pattern for the plot, and an even larger pattern for the themes involved. The model of the Cleansing, for example.)

I think this will become clearer when Min finds the relevant passage in a book. It may be more than one passage/one book, for instance Min may come soon upon a passage in a book discussing the matter of belief that will give her part of the solution but the passage about order will remain elusive a while longer and when she finds it, the connection Fel made between two unrelated passages Min will have to puzzle out herself - or it's the end of her contribution and the rest is up to Rand.

I'm pretty sure it won't be anything like a "technical guide". It will be more philosophical/theorical, turning Fel's findings into a practical plan is Rand's job. Fel's will be the physicist to Rand's engineer, if you wish.

We shouldn't forget Mierin/Lanfear either. In the end this is all about undoing/inverting what she's done (contributed to, anyway).

I'm really not keen on Cyndane contributing in any way willingly, but I doubt RJ kept one of the creators of the Bore alive until the end of the series without any Bore-related reason. Rand had pushed her out of her mind, yet at the time Rand has to turn to making his final plans the woman returned. I get the feeling the Pattern wants Rand to keep Lanfear/Mierin at the forefront of his thoughts. There may be something about the Bore Rand has forgotten or a connection he has not made that being forced to dwell on Lanfear/Mierin again will bring back. There's one piece of the puzzle Rand doesn't know of: he's got two powerful Dreamers/Dreamwalkers on his team. We could have a "forget this Egwene/Perrin, You'd need thousands of expert dreamwalkers."/"Well Rand, I've got those" moment.

Something important may even be foreshadowed by how the wolves were gathered around DM in TAR during Rand's struggle and epiphany. We may not have paid enough attention to the fact Rand from the real world was visible in TAR in that scene, nor dwelt enough on how this happened. It's as if TAR and the real world became one at DM, or as if the wolves together managed to make something from the real world that shouldn't normally have been reflected in TAR be visible in TAR, or as if the dead wolves saw the events through their connection to the wolves witnessing the real world events and they recreate the scene in TAR, or perhsps it was so fundamental and important an event a living person and what he was doing got reflected in TAR. There's something there anyway - what Rand does at the Bore in the real world might be visible to Dreamers in TAR.

GonzoTheGreat
11-16-2012, 10:22 AM
Something important may even be foreshadowed by how the wolves were gathered around DM in TAR during Rand's struggle and epiphany. We may not have paid enough attention to the fact Rand from the real world was visible in TAR in that scene, nor dwelt enough on how this happened. It's as if TAR and the real world became one at DM ...
Which also happened at Falme. And it also happened during the EOTW episode. And, for that matter, at the end of the fight in the Stone of Tear, when Ishamael's corpse fell out of the Dreamworld into reality. It probably also happened during the Cleansing, though I don't think we have actual evidence of that.

All in all, it seems a fairly standard feature of the most highly good versus evil encounters, those where Rand faces the Champion of the Dark.

Dom
11-16-2012, 12:00 PM
Which also happened at Falme. And it also happened during the EOTW episode. And, for that matter, at the end of the fight in the Stone of Tear, when Ishamael's corpse fell out of the Dreamworld into reality. It probably also happened during the Cleansing, though I don't think we have actual evidence of that.

All in all, it seems a fairly standard feature of the most highly good versus evil encounters, those where Rand faces the Champion of the Dark.

Not sure the connection you make to Ishamael is right.

In EOTW this happened before their confrontation.

In Falme, if you're referring to Ishamael and Rand fighting in the sky, any connection to TAR remains unproven. All we have for an explanation from RJ is that the Wheel made this happen.

If you're right about the Cleansing (and I think you may well be), then Moridin was absent. Oh, he's bonded to Rand and all, but no confrontatial element played out.

For the epiphany, Rand struggled against some beliefs extremely close to Elan Morin's probably seeping through the bond, but it was essentially a battle against himself.

You're right this has happened before, but the common denominator seems to be Rand and important turning points foretold by prophecy, not necessarily involving Ishamael/Moridin.

Still unsure what to think about Moridin being an eternal Champion of the Shadow. My favourite notion is that those souls tainted by Shai'tan have a special purgatory style Afterlife from which the Wheel spin them out to give them a new chance to make different choices - and Moridin always or almost always end up choosing to serve Shai'tan, but I'm not very keen on the idea that Moridin and the others are full counterparts to the Heroes of the Horn and bound to the Wheel like them, with no choice to be the DO's servants.

Tollingtoy
11-16-2012, 05:50 PM
Is Dom Callandor reborn?

Every single post is a novel...


I'm a big fan of Dom's posts. They always give you something interesting to think about

newyorkersedai
11-19-2012, 11:24 PM
How do you think this is going to play out regarding Moridin's twisted inversion of the demy/semi/messy triangle? BC that's what Moridin has right now, and it's an odd twist/variation on the powerful alliance that Demandred set up for himself.

Are Morry's efforts for power and self-protection going to unravel him? Do we see Moghedien get her chance at freedom? Was Lanfear brought so low so that she could survive her own apocalypse, or will she be the death of Rand? Or will Morridin get to play them out as he intended, if for no other reason than to finally pay the audience off?



I have Egwene's plan with Egeanin be the reason why Mat and Tuon's efforts against the Shadow/Demandred eventually collapses and they have no choice left but to seek an alliance.

The Seanchan were a way for the Shadow to have the Light fight the Light. It didn't work as well as planned, forcing the Shadow to try to eliminate one side then turn to eliminate the other. It ends up causing the two sides to unite, against all odds.

The whole Seanchan story line is likely to be more important/sizeable than some think. Mat's been sent there. Berelain's ancestry has not played out, Tylee's story in unfinished, Galgan's schemes already returned in chapter 11.

RJ really aligned many "ducks" around Fortuona: Liandrin is shielded, but Moghedien who can unravel it and try to use her as an assassin for instance, I believe to have been assigned to "oversee" the Seanchan armies for Demandred.

Dom
11-21-2012, 11:09 AM
How do you think this is going to play out regarding Moridin's twisted inversion of the demy/semi/messy triangle? BC that's what Moridin has right now, and it's an odd twist/variation on the powerful alliance that Demandred set up for himself.

I don't find it so comparable. It comes from this perception many have that Semirhage and Mesaana were somehow Demandred's underlings. They were not.

Moridin has no "alliance". He's the boss. No idea how obedient Graendal will be, but Cyndane is clearly a loose cannon.

Are Morry's efforts for power and self-protection going to unravel him?

Moridin's logic and worldview seems set to play a large part in his undoing. I don't think he will be able to hold the Shadow together for very long, no. It will work in the first phase of the LB, but when the Light finally unites, the Shadow will start to fall apart. It's bound to happen the minute the Chosen run out of time to shine before final victory.

Do we see Moghedien get her chance at freedom?

We already do.

Was Lanfear brought so low so that she could survive her own apocalypse, or will she be the death of Rand?

I don't have very developed ideas for Lanfear's role in the last book. Somewhat important, I would guess. We're coming to the point of the series where the point is to undo what she's done. She also has always been the main female antagonist.

Or will Morridin get to play them out as he intended, if for no other reason than to finally pay the audience off?

It has already failed, in that purpose anyway. Rand has seen through it.

But I doubt Moridin's intent was to play on Rand's sympathy for Mierin.

I believe he sent Mierin to Rand (I'm not convinced this was the real Cyndane and not a dream creation of Moridin, by the way) with on the eve of Merrilor with another purpose altogether. He wanted Rand to know who Cyndane is.

I think it's merely a prelude to the ways in which Moridin intends to use Cyndane to distract Rand. He expected Rand to see a scheme to make him feel pity for Mierin's fate. It's not that, it's that he wants Rand to understand it's Lanfear when he puts Cyndane into play. This makes me suspect a lot Moridin intends to use Cyndane to threaten women around Rand.

Will Cyndane succeed at killing Rand? No, it may come close (could even be when Rand hangs between life and death, as seen by a Dream of Egwene) but I think the idea is to make it fail but expose the existence of the Red Veils and Isam. I think this will be the second time Perrin really needs to be there or something terrible will happen to Rand. Perrin might chase Isam in TAR who this time will escape to the Blight, which from TAR Perrin can't enter. This could be when Perrin decides to move north to join his wolf army.

As for the Red Veils, their exposure might bring the Aiel to move to the Blight to find and eradicate them. The Maidens of the Spear in particular will go berserk and be unstoppable in their obsession to eradicate the Red Veils.

I think Moridin plans to use the Red Veils to wipe out the Aiel holds in the Three-Fold Land and attack Rhuidean, however, in an attempt to draw the Aiel back home and away from Rand. So it may not be the attempt on Rand's life which draws the Aiel away to fight the Red Veils. Përhaps it may just be what will bring the Maidens and WO to also join that fight.

As I said elsewhere, I believe the correct interpretation of the Aiel prophecy is that the Aiel needs to leave the Three-Fold Land when Tarmon Gai'don begins, and a remnant of a remnant will be saved and will "take back their old places" (near the Aes Sedai, at Rand's instigation.. lpost-LB stuff, IMO. The Aiel won't return to the Way of the Leaf before the Shadow has been dealt with.). Only their warriors have left the Waste for now, the majority of their people are still there. They need to come out.

ScoundrelTheToy
11-21-2012, 03:11 PM
'He shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet the remnant of a remnant shall he save, and they shall live.’

I think this prophecy is super simple. It is just as it reads. Those who call themselves Aiel today in the third age aren't really Aiel. This is why it states in the prophecy, "Those who call themselves Aiel..." The whole point is that they aren't really Aiel. So those who fight, who aren't really Aiel, will all die pretty much according to prophecy.

The remnant of a remnant are those who go back to what the Aiel really were in the previous age. I believe this is Aviendha's main purpose and it jives with the direction those ter'angel in Rhuidean are pointing her towards really.

Dom
11-21-2012, 05:03 PM
'He shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet the remnant of a remnant shall he save, and they shall live.’

I think this prophecy is super simple. It is just as it reads. Those who call themselves Aiel today in the third age aren't really Aiel. This is why it states in the prophecy, "Those who call themselves Aiel..." The whole point is that they aren't really Aiel. So those who fight, who aren't really Aiel, will all die pretty much according to prophecy.

The remnant of a remnant are those who go back to what the Aiel really were in the previous age. I believe this is Aviendha's main purpose and it jives with the direction those ter'angel in Rhuidean are pointing her towards really.

Exactly (and I totally agree with you this refers to Aiel who are no longer Dedicated. It's not only those who fight, though, it's all the Aiel who have abandonned what they were Dedicated to and which gave them their name: non-violence and the Way of the Leaf), and this interpretation suits well a non verbatim reference (it's quoted by an Aiel, but it's probably not the exact wording of the prophecy) we know which says:

"When the Trollocs come out of the Blight again, we will leave the Three-fold Land and take back our places of old."

That's the prophecy which fooled Sevanna and her likes. There's no geographic "places of old" to take back. It's got to refer to the ancient status/role of the Da'shain Aiel.

And I think most of the warriors will die gloriously (and meaningfully) during the LB. It's among the vast population not tied to the societies, the survivors among the ones currently in the Three-Fold Land who - if the prophecy is correct and no referring to the fast contained EOTW Shadowspawn invasion, will have to leave it soon, that the remnant of a remnant will emerge.

ScoundrelTheToy
11-21-2012, 06:15 PM
There could be two interpretations for the Aiel that I never considered until I saw what you said. Obviously the "he shall save a remnant" is Rand.

So the question is, does he save them before the battles and this is how the remnant are saved since they don't fight? (With Aviendha being the leading Wise One voice in this...at Rands direction) Or does this happen after the battles and the only 'Aiel' that survive are the true Aiel...dedicated to honor through service and not being warriors?

If after all the fighting, then this tells us that Rand is alive somehow, in some form after everything at the end of the story. See what I'm saying? Who else is the 'he' besides Rand and 99.9% chance it's Rand and IF it's after everything, at the end of the story...well then he's alive and makes it through somehow. So perhaps he gets pulled out of TAR or something when Mat blows the Horn? Don't know but kinda interesting to think about lol.

Tollingtoy
11-22-2012, 09:00 AM
'He shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet the remnant of a remnant shall he save, and they shall live.’

I think this prophecy is super simple. It is just as it reads. Those who call themselves Aiel today in the third age aren't really Aiel. This is why it states in the prophecy, "Those who call themselves Aiel..." The whole point is that they aren't really Aiel. So those who fight, who aren't really Aiel, will all die pretty much according to prophecy.

The remnant of a remnant are those who go back to what the Aiel really were in the previous age. I believe this is Aviendha's main purpose and it jives with the direction those ter'angel in Rhuidean are pointing her towards really.



This makes a lot of sense. I think the traditional interpretation of "a remnant of a remnant" is a smaller piece of an already small piece, but I'm inclined to believe that it really represents the remnants from what remains from the Age of Legends. Do you think this refers to the Tinkers?

GonzoTheGreat
11-22-2012, 09:12 AM
This makes a lot of sense. I think the traditional interpretation of "a remnant of a remnant" is a smaller piece of an already small piece, but I'm inclined to believe that it really represents the remnants from what remains from the Age of Legends. Do you think this refers to the Tinkers?
Probably not, as those already had split off from the Aiel when the prophecy was given.

Tollingtoy
11-22-2012, 09:42 AM
But, they are the only remnants of those who followed the Way of the Leaf, no?

GonzoTheGreat
11-22-2012, 09:58 AM
Which raises the interesting question: what, according to that specific prophecy, is the actual definition of "Aiel"?
As we can't really answer that question, you're free to adopt my speculation as the most reasonable position. Whatever that speculation is. I haven't really fully worked it out, yet. But it's sensible, I do know that.

Tollingtoy
11-22-2012, 11:43 AM
Which raises the interesting question: what, according to that specific prophecy, is the actual definition of "Aiel"?[/i]


Excellent point!

Dom
11-22-2012, 07:34 PM
Excellent point!

Well, as a starting point those Aiel in the prophecy have to call themselves Aiel.

The Tinkers sure don't. They've completely forgotten their connection to the Aiel. Maybe they know now, several Aiel have joined them, but maybe they're too ashamed to have told the Tuatha'an. *shrugs*.

Only two groups call themselves Aiel, and the second one is made of middle-rank BT trainees and I think we can fairly safely rule that one out, which leaves only the thirteen clans.

The Tuatha'an may very well return to their lost brother people in time, become their teachers in the Way of the Leaf, but they're not the ones concerned by the "remnant of a remnant" prophecy.