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Lord Narg
02-25-2013, 07:03 PM
From Moghedien and Birgitte, we know that Lanfear claims the dream world as her domain, but Moghedien is actually the stronger one there. However, in the series Moghedien does not accomplish anything impressive in TAR while Lanfear has some success, especially in the last book.

Moghedien's biggest achievement seems to be getting captured by Nynaeve, and then failing to remove the a'dam, which Egwene manages to do quite easily when captured by Mesaana. Nynaeve is fairly strong in TAR but surely someone as skilled as Moghedien should be able to free herself.

On the other hand in AMOL Lanfear (as Cyndane) follows Perrin around while hiding from Moridin and even manages to land Compulsion on Perrin - quite an achievement considering how experienced he is by that point.

Do we have any other evidence for the relative skill of Forsaken (and Slayer) in T'A'R, apart from Moghedien's and Birgitte's opinions? Can this be explained just by the difference in the "ineptitude factor" between the two Forsaken?

My first post here so please go easy!

Terez
02-25-2013, 07:11 PM
Probably goes like this:

Lanfear
Ishamael

Moghedien

Balthamel
Graendal

With everyone else having fairly negligible talent there. That's just based on what they have done.

Weird Harold
02-25-2013, 07:43 PM
...However, in the series Moghedien does not accomplish anything impressive in TAR ...

I thought ejecting Birgitte from T'A'R and her threat to make Nyneave a horse whenever she entered T'A'R were fairly impressive. (She never actually managed the latter, but it scared Nyneave a good bit.)

neurotopia
02-25-2013, 07:44 PM
Rahvin seemed to be toying with Rand for most of their battle in TAR IIRC, I'd put him up a bit on the list. Shame we didn't see what he was really capable of, or if that was his limit.

And Moggy did manage to rip a spirit out of TAR, which if you think about it requires creating a body from scratch in some way. That's pretty impressive. Doesn't seem like the first time she's done it either.

fionwe1987
02-25-2013, 08:25 PM
Its pretty clear that there are two aspects to TAR ability. Great strength in manipulating it, and the presence of mind and intelligence to use that strength.

Lanfear may be somewhat deficient in the first, but she clearly exceeds Moghedien in the second.

With the a'dam, Moghedien failed to do it because she was afraid of it. In TAR, when you fear something you give it power over you. That's exactly how it works in nightmares too.

In Egwene's scene with Mesaana, it doesn't quite come across that to be free of the a'dam, Egwene had to give up her fear of it before she could deny its reality. But that's how she pulled it off. She managed to quiet down her fear and remove its power over her, allowing her to once again manipulate TAR with her immense strength.

Thus, I'd agree with Terez's view that Lanfear and Ishamael exceed Moghedien in TAR because they're cleverer with it, and less likely to let their fears rule them.

The real question is, where do Egwene and Perrin fall on this scale. They are/were less experienced, but its also clear that their strength itself is more in Moghedien's range.

Lanfear, for example, seems better than Slayer because she actually managed to hide her smell from Perrin, which Slayer could never do. She was there in the flesh too, but she seems on the whole better able to control herself compared to anyone else.

Perrin and Egwene are both fast at learning these things, so I can only assume if they were trained well, they'd sit at the top of the chain. The Wise Ones seem to be on par with Lanfear, though.

Lord Narg
02-26-2013, 12:48 PM
Good points about Moghedien kicking Birgitte out of TAR and about Rahvin. When faced by Rand who had an advantage in the One Power, Rahvin immediately fled to TAR and tried to use TAR to win. Would have succeeded, too, had Nynaeve not showed up - surprisingly good judgement for a Forsaken.

Another feat by Lanfear that I remembered was how she infiltrated Rand's personal dreams and had considerable control there (replacing Aviendha, Elayne, and Min with herself :D). Something Egwene had trouble with later...

For Egwene versus Perrin, Perrin has a lot of strength and practice, while Egwene probably knew more. If Perrin had access to what the Wise Ones and Egwene knew about the dream world, his task with Slayer might have been much easier. But even without knowledge, overall Perrin is probably stronger by the end of AMOL.

Another interesting question is where Rand (with LTT's memories) goes. Must be at least Lanfear/Ishamael level considering how much Lews Therin knew and how well Rand did in TAR *before* he received the memories.

So, my personal rating would go (in terms of strength and skill, combined)

Perrin > Egwene ~ Lanfear ~ Ishamael ~ RandLTT > Moghedien > Rahvin ~ Wise Ones

Terez
02-26-2013, 04:49 PM
Oh, I don't know about that. I don't see any evidence that Perrin and Egwene were better than Lanfear and Ishamael, and plenty of evidence to the contrary. The only mistake Lanfear made was underestimating Perrin's love for Faile. She didn't understand it.

Lord Narg
02-26-2013, 07:26 PM
Heh, actually I agree that Egwene was probably weaker but I couldn't see a good argument for that, so I placed her at the same level as the Forsaken (and LTT?).

Now for Perrin, Cyndane had to resort to Compulsion to control him, suggesting that she didn't want to confront Perrin in TAR directly. And in the end he still held out - that's why he's at the top of my list, as the survivor.

Of course all of this is really subjective - with the scarce evidence we have, I don't think there's a definitive way to know short of asking Brandon.

Dom
02-26-2013, 07:43 PM
Now for Perrin, Cyndane had to resort to Compulsion to control him, suggesting that she didn't want to confront Perrin in TAR directly.

She needed Perrin to follow her orders. She tried to seduced him, which didn't work. She gave up as Slayer appeared to have defeated him. Then Perrin rebounded and killed Slayer she meant to use in his place. She ran out of time, she had to resort to Compelling Perrin.

There's nothing in there to compare her TAR skills to his. They never confronted one another. The outcome of such a confrontation would be pretty much up in the air, those two have areas of knowledge of TAR/skills the other knows little about and wasn't used to counter.

Like Terez said, Lanfear was defeated by her poor understanding of Perrin and of his love for Faile (which in TAR was enough to completely break her compulsion), much the same way she failed to seduce Rand.

Terez
02-26-2013, 09:09 PM
She needed Perrin to follow her orders.
Right, and the powers of Tel'aran'rhiod are pretty useless for that unless you're dealing with someone who has no skill at all (like Perrin imagining the Aiel to be idiots).

As for Perrin vs Egwene and the "just a weave" thing, Brandon commented on that:

Brandon Sanderson (http://twitter.com/BrandonSandrson/status/24676285330493440)
It would be unwise to assume that Perrin is better at Tel'aran'rhiod than she is because of that moment. He had just spent weeks training...
Brandon Sanderson (http://twitter.com/BrandonSandrson/status/24676425386688513)
...specifically to fight like that in Tel'aran'rhiod, while Egwene has been forced to fight other fights and let herself get a tad rusty.

fionwe1987
02-26-2013, 09:52 PM
I think while Egwene and Perrin were probably stronger in TAR, they just weren't at the skill level of Ishy and Lanfear, or even the Wise Ones. If you're stupid, like Mesaana, and end up pitting your will against theirs, you'd lose. But I don't think Lanfear and Ishy would ever let it come to that.

Terez
02-27-2013, 04:43 AM
Well, I don't know if we can make judgements about strength with so little to go on. But Ishamael and Lanfear definitely both did things that simply never occurred to Egwene and Perrin. So did Moghedien, for that matter, but she showed weakness in other areas.

fionwe1987
02-27-2013, 08:32 AM
Well, I don't know if we can make judgements about strength with so little to go on. But Ishamael and Lanfear definitely both did things that simply never occurred to Egwene and Perrin. So did Moghedien, for that matter, but she showed weakness in other areas.
Exactly. They knew more, and were much more practiced. As for strength, that simply builds from Egwene escaping Moghedien's trap, and most importantly, breaking Mesaana's mind. The Wise Ones make it clear it isn;t just a matter of being a little stronger to achieve something like that.

Terez
02-27-2013, 02:27 PM
Eh, I'm not going to trust the Wise Ones when it comes to comparing Egwene and Lanfear, for example—not when they themselves have no direct basis for comparison.

fionwe1987
02-27-2013, 03:28 PM
Eh, I'm not going to trust the Wise Ones when it comes to comparing Egwene and Lanfear, for example—not when they themselves have no direct basis for comparison.
But the Wise Ones didn't compare her to Lanfear. They compare her to some thing in TAR that broke a Wise One's mind.

Plus, the Wise Ones did day before that they would be able to face the Forsaken.

Terez
02-27-2013, 07:03 PM
*shrug* Believe what you want; I don't see any evidence that Egwene was "stronger" than Lanfear was.

fionwe1987
02-27-2013, 08:03 PM
*shrug* Believe what you want; I don't see any evidence that Egwene was "stronger" than Lanfear was.
Agreed. No point discussing this much further. But Moghedien's view is interesting to note:

The girl had been stronger than she had thought, to escape her weaving of Tel'aran'rhiod. Even Lanfear could not improve on her abilities here, whatever she claimed. Still, the girl had just been of interest because she was speaking to Elayne Trakand, who might lead her to Nynaeve al'Meara. The only reason to trap her had simply been to rid Tel'aran 'rhiod of one who could walk it freely. It was bad enough that she must share it with Lanfear.

Moghedien immediately makes a comparison to Lanfear, and from the way the words are written, its pretty clear we're meant to read that Egwene is better than Lanfear, at least. "Even Lanfear", coming after "the girl had been stronger than she had thought" doesn't leave much room for interpretation.

Kimon
02-27-2013, 08:44 PM
Agreed. No point discussing this much further. But Moghedien's view is interesting to note:



Moghedien immediately makes a comparison to Lanfear, and from the way the words are written, its pretty clear we're meant to read that Egwene is better than Lanfear, at least. "Even Lanfear", coming after "the girl had been stronger than she had thought" doesn't leave much room for interpretation.

This passage doesn't leave the impression that Egwene is, at least at this point (it's only from tFoH) stronger than Lanfear. Moghedien is only surprised that Egwene escaped her trap, she isn't saying, nor even suggesting, that Egwene is stronger than Lanfear. That mention that "even Lanfear could not improve on her abilities here", only alludes to the fact that she considers that even Lanfear could not have made such a skillful trap. So, while she is clearing making note of Egwene's skill and strength in TAR, she is still treating Egwene as an afterthought here, and immediately fixates in the next paragraph on Nynaeve, and to a lesser extent Birgitte. She doesn't give any impression that she considers Egwene her equal (nor indeed that she is, or may already be Lanfear's equal) only that she is a skilled annoyance.

Of course, this is just as of tFoH. Egwene gets much more skillful in TAR due to her training with the Wise Ones, but this passage doesn't indicate anything beyond an obvious early example of her high potential in TAR. At this point it's still clearly Nynaeve, and Nynaeve's raw strength as a channeler that is still more noteworthy to Moghedien. Had she already considered Egwene more powerful in TAR than Lanfear, it seems implausible that she would not have taken much greater notice of her as a threat, rather than immediately turning back to her obsession with Nynaeve.

fionwe1987
02-27-2013, 10:28 PM
This passage doesn't leave the impression that Egwene is, at least at this point (it's only from tFoH) stronger than Lanfear. Moghedien is only surprised that Egwene escaped her trap, she isn't saying, nor even suggesting, that Egwene is stronger than Lanfear. That mention that "even Lanfear could not improve on her abilities here", only alludes to the fact that she considers that even Lanfear could not have made such a skillful trap.
That doesn't track. Moghedien can make a better trap than Lanfear, and Egwene had to be stronger than Moghedien expected, to escape. We have independent conformation that Moghedien is indeed better with TAR than Lanfear, so Egwene would find it even easier to break any of Lanfear's weaving of TAR, no two ways about it. We know for a fact that to break someone else's creation in TAR, you need to be stronger. If it comes to a fight between Egwene and Lanfear, this strength doesn't guarantee Egwene's victory, but her greater ability to manipulate TAR will certainly be a huge bonus.

Kimon
02-27-2013, 10:46 PM
That doesn't track. Moghedien can make a better trap than Lanfear, and Egwene had to be stronger than Moghedien expected, to escape. We have independent conformation that Moghedien is indeed better with TAR than Lanfear, so Egwene would find it even easier to break any of Lanfear's weaving of TAR, no two ways about it. We know for a fact that to break someone else's creation in TAR, you need to be stronger. If it comes to a fight between Egwene and Lanfear, this strength doesn't guarantee Egwene's victory, but her greater ability to manipulate TAR will certainly be a huge bonus.

This was similar to a nightmare - real only so long as you believed it was real. Egwene realized that it wasn't right, and so she escaped the trap. That doesn't mean that she was stronger than Moghedien, or stronger than Lanfear, only that she was surprisingly perceptive. That highlights her high degree of skill, and her high degree of affinity for TAR, but really doesn't tell us whether or not she was more powerful than Lanfear. And again, had Moghedien believed that she was (as of that scene in tFoH) stronger than Lanfear, and hence potentially stronger than herself in TAR, shouldn't she have been more concerned? Compare her reaction in this scene to her utter terror at the thought of Nynaeve dragging her into the midst of the duel between Rand and Rahvin. Neither Rand or Rahvin were stronger than Moghedien in terms of skill and affinity for TAR, but she was terrified of the idea of facing either of them, albeit in part because of the fact that they were there in the flesh, but nonethess, she doesn't seem frightened, or even concerned by the realization of Egwene's skill, only surprised.

Zombie Sammael
02-27-2013, 11:10 PM
For me, what this discussion taken as a whole highlights is the degree of flexibility of TAR and how much it depends on your skill at controlling your own thoughts. The question isn't really who is strongest in TAR but rather who is best at using it, and that largely depends upon what they are using it for. For example, Moghedien was most skilled at imposing her will upon others and using TAR in conjunction with the One Power, as evidence by her quite serious threat towards Nynaeve and her actions with Birgitte. On the other hand, the Wise Ones were better at creating illusions, and Egwene could more effectively manipulate it defensively. It really comes down to strength of mind and what you're trying to do rather than any one character being "stronger" in TAR than another, as with the One Power.

fionwe1987
02-27-2013, 11:35 PM
This was similar to a nightmare - real only so long as you believed it was real. Egwene realized that it wasn't right, and so she escaped the trap. That doesn't mean that she was stronger than Moghedien, or stronger than Lanfear, only that she was surprisingly perceptive.
So Moghedien was wrong when she said it was Egwene's strength that made her capable of escaping? And for the record, the fact that it was like a nightmare is only more evidence. Fighting nightmares ain't easy, and they at least are scary and uncomfortable enough to make you want to fight them.
That highlights her high degree of skill, and her high degree of affinity for TAR, but really doesn't tell us whether or not she was more powerful than Lanfear. And again, had Moghedien believed that she was (as of that scene in tFoH) stronger than Lanfear, and hence potentially stronger than herself in TAR, shouldn't she have been more concerned? Compare her reaction in this scene to her utter terror at the thought of Nynaeve dragging her into the midst of the duel between Rand and Rahvin. Neither Rand or Rahvin were stronger than Moghedien in terms of skill and affinity for TAR, but she was terrified of the idea of facing either of them, albeit in part because of the fact that they were there in the flesh, but nonethess, she doesn't seem frightened, or even concerned by the realization of Egwene's skill, only surprised.
Moghedien isn't overly concerned precisely because Egwene lacked experience. She doesn't know the ins and outs of TAR, its limits, and its possibilities. Which made it unlikely that she'd be able to effectively use her strength.

fionwe1987
02-27-2013, 11:37 PM
For me, what this discussion taken as a whole highlights is the degree of flexibility of TAR and how much it depends on your skill at controlling your own thoughts. The question isn't really who is strongest in TAR but rather who is best at using it, and that largely depends upon what they are using it for. For example, Moghedien was most skilled at imposing her will upon others and using TAR in conjunction with the One Power, as evidence by her quite serious threat towards Nynaeve and her actions with Birgitte. On the other hand, the Wise Ones were better at creating illusions, and Egwene could more effectively manipulate it defensively. It really comes down to strength of mind and what you're trying to do rather than any one character being "stronger" in TAR than another, as with the One Power.
Of course, each character has particular abilities. But saying that strength doesn't matter at all doesn't make much sense. That's like saying each channeler has particular skills, and strength in the OP has no role at all, which is not true. There are upper limits to what you can do in TAR, and what that upper limit is depends on your strength at least partially.

Zombie Sammael
02-28-2013, 12:01 AM
Of course, each character has particular abilities. But saying that strength doesn't matter at all doesn't make much sense. That's like saying each channeler has particular skills, and strength in the OP has no role at all, which is not true. There are upper limits to what you can do in TAR, and what that upper limit is depends on your strength at least partially.

No, it isn't. The OP comparison is irrelevant. No person is "born" with a certain skill level in TAR. Instead skill in TAR is a matter of personal training and strength of will, which can be developed. A more apt comparison might be an artist who specialises in painting horses. No reason why they can't paint other things, but they're not going to be as good at those other things than they are at horses. Using TAR is like that. By contrast, it doesn't matter how good Romanda is at healing, Nynaeve will always be able to do more with the same methods purely because of strength. That is not how TAR works. TAR is flexible; it bends to the mind and skill of the user. Egwene used it to escape traps, Lanfear uses it for deception, Graendal uses it to enhance her compulsion, Perrin as a type of combat weapon. TAR is a tool. You don't "have strength" in it as such, but rather better developed skills.

GonzoTheGreat
02-28-2013, 04:44 AM
I don't think that the trap that Moghedien had made for Egwene was the absolute best that Moghedien was capable of. It seemed more like a spur of the moment "let's swat this nuisance" thing to me.

And, as for thinking that the Wise Ones might be as capable in TAR as the Forsaken: you might remember that eventually TAR became too dangerous for the WOs to risk it, but the Forsaken did not seem worried about those dangers at all.

fionwe1987
02-28-2013, 06:45 AM
No, it isn't. The OP comparison is irrelevant. No person is "born" with a certain skill level in TAR. Instead skill in TAR is a matter of personal training and strength of will, which can be developed. A more apt comparison might be an artist who specialises in painting horses. No reason why they can't paint other things, but they're not going to be as good at those other things than they are at horses. Using TAR is like that. By contrast, it doesn't matter how good Romanda is at healing, Nynaeve will always be able to do more with the same methods purely because of strength. That is not how TAR works. TAR is flexible; it bends to the mind and skill of the user. Egwene used it to escape traps, Lanfear uses it for deception, Graendal uses it to enhance her compulsion, Perrin as a type of combat weapon. TAR is a tool. You don't "have strength" in it as such, but rather better developed skills.
This is not true:

You have a strong talent for the dream; very likely you will outstrip any of us by far, one day. But if you do not learn what I can teach you-what we four can all teach you-you will never develop that talent fully. It is most likely you will not live long enough to do so."

Amys had no way of knowing this at all if there is not such thing as potential for strength in the dream. Its different than OP strength potential, but it exists.

I don't think that the trap that Moghedien had made for Egwene was the absolute best that Moghedien was capable of. It seemed more like a spur of the moment "let's swat this nuisance" thing to me.
Moghedien's PoV certainly indicates otherwise.
And, as for thinking that the Wise Ones might be as capable in TAR as the Forsaken: you might remember that eventually TAR became too dangerous for the WOs to risk it, but the Forsaken did not seem worried about those dangers at all.
The Foresaken and Perrin enter in the flesh. Moghedien is afraid of even Rahvin when he's there in the flesh. The Wise Ones refuse to enter in the flesh, and therefore couldn't brave the dangers of TAR. Who knows how it would have been if they did?

Zombie Sammael
03-01-2013, 12:38 AM
This is not true:



Amys had no way of knowing this at all if there is not such thing as potential for strength in the dream. Its different than OP strength potential, but it exists.

You can talk about "natural talent" in a lot of different ways. Where does it come from, and why do people have it? In the case of a person who paints horses, it might be because they spent a lot of time around horses, or romanticise them, or had a strong experience involving a horse or farm once. If the source of that talent isn't clear, someone else would describe them as having a natural talent for painting horses. That is basically what Amys is doing here. Egwene has a strong affinity for dreams and dreaming as a result of her talent and an exceptionally strong will as a result of her character and upbringing. Both of these translate to talent within the dream world. One Power strength, on the other hand, is measurable, quantifiable, and seemingly so natural as to require no other explanation. Individuals simply do not have such a relationship within the dream: look at Perrin. He would never have developed his skill at manipulating TAR unless he had spent the time and exercised his skills to do so. He doesn't have a natural "strength" for TAR which is being developed, he's improving upon his skills there, as anyone who could learn to enter the Dream could do. There's no reason why Perrin should be any better at manipulating TAR than Bayle Domon, should Bayle Domon devote the same energy to developing his skills there.

The reason why people talk about strength, particularly the Forsaken but also no doubt Amys as well to a certain extent, is ironically because of the One Power, which is an innate thing of certain strength. Moghedien thinks of herself as stronger than Lanfear in TAR because she knows Lanfear is stronger than her in the Power, and she's (mis-)applying that to TAR. Ironically, when she comes to believe the creation Nynaeve makes there is stronger than she is she's proved right. Throughout the series characters talk authoritatively about certain phenomena, only for actions and deeds to prove them wrong. Look at Verin's take on cosmology - she's close but not a hundred percent accurate - or Semirhage's assessment of Rand's mental state. The way that TAR actually operates is another example of the Forsaken thinking they know everything, whilst actually knowing nothing.

fionwe1987
03-01-2013, 09:23 AM
You can talk about "natural talent" in a lot of different ways. Where does it come from, and why do people have it? In the case of a person who paints horses, it might be because they spent a lot of time around horses, or romanticise them, or had a strong experience involving a horse or farm once. If the source of that talent isn't clear, someone else would describe them as having a natural talent for painting horses. That is basically what Amys is doing here. Egwene has a strong affinity for dreams and dreaming as a result of her talent and an exceptionally strong will as a result of her character and upbringing. Both of these translate to talent within the dream world. One Power strength, on the other hand, is measurable, quantifiable, and seemingly so natural as to require no other explanation. Individuals simply do not have such a relationship within the dream: look at Perrin. He would never have developed his skill at manipulating TAR unless he had spent the time and exercised his skills to do so. He doesn't have a natural "strength" for TAR which is being developed, he's improving upon his skills there, as anyone who could learn to enter the Dream could do. There's no reason why Perrin should be any better at manipulating TAR than Bayle Domon, should Bayle Domon devote the same energy to developing his skills there.

The reason why people talk about strength, particularly the Forsaken but also no doubt Amys as well to a certain extent, is ironically because of the One Power, which is an innate thing of certain strength. Moghedien thinks of herself as stronger than Lanfear in TAR because she knows Lanfear is stronger than her in the Power, and she's (mis-)applying that to TAR. Ironically, when she comes to believe the creation Nynaeve makes there is stronger than she is she's proved right. Throughout the series characters talk authoritatively about certain phenomena, only for actions and deeds to prove them wrong. Look at Verin's take on cosmology - she's close but not a hundred percent accurate - or Semirhage's assessment of Rand's mental state. The way that TAR actually operates is another example of the Forsaken thinking they know everything, whilst actually knowing nothing.
There's zero basis for any of this. Baayle Domon can't do as well as Perrin, because Bayle doesn't have the Talent to enter the Dream completely. Bair or Seanna did, Bayle did not.

Yes, without training from Hopper, Perrin would have sucked. But without training from the Aes Sedai, Nynaeve would have sucked with the OP too.

Dreaming is not about simply having a strong will. Rand and Graendal are very strong willed. Graendal has so much control over herself that she can control her emotions in real life to make the color of her streith gown what she likes. Yet neither of these are very good in TAR. Rand even says LTT spent quite a lot of time there, but he also says its a dangerous place for him to go.

Why? Because he doesn't have the innate Talent of Dreamwalking. Graendal doesn't have it, and Domon certainly doesn't have it.

Zombie Sammael
03-03-2013, 10:06 PM
There's zero basis for any of this. Baayle Domon can't do as well as Perrin, because Bayle doesn't have the Talent to enter the Dream completely. Bair or Seanna did, Bayle did not.

Yes, without training from Hopper, Perrin would have sucked. But without training from the Aes Sedai, Nynaeve would have sucked with the OP too.

Dreaming is not about simply having a strong will. Rand and Graendal are very strong willed. Graendal has so much control over herself that she can control her emotions in real life to make the color of her streith gown what she likes. Yet neither of these are very good in TAR. Rand even says LTT spent quite a lot of time there, but he also says its a dangerous place for him to go.

Why? Because he doesn't have the innate Talent of Dreamwalking. Graendal doesn't have it, and Domon certainly doesn't have it.

Anyone can enter the dream; most people, however briefly, do. Anyone can be trained to enter the dream; that's what the twisted rings are for. Some people will inevitably enter TAR and be conscious of what they do there, but this has as much to do with accident of fate and content of character as anything else. There is no "Talent of Dreamwalking" that you have to have as a prerequisite to entry. The Aes Sedai of the Third Age erroneously described Dreamwalking as a talent, but they conflated it with Dreaming, not really knowing the difference between the two. The only reason Egwene entered and was conscious of her actions was because she had the twisted ring; the Aiel later taught her how to enter, as they have been teaching their Apprentices for centuries.

I reiterate: there is nothing in the series within the true, observable mechanics of TAR to suggest that there is any unique characteristic not defined by circumstances prerequisite to entry into TAR. Nor is there anything other than Moghedien - who is clearly not as knowledgeable regarding TAR as she thinks - to suggest that strength in the Dream is anything other than a matter of skill and practice. In fact, even Moghedien's comments are in line with this way of thinking. On the other hand, the notion that TAR is like or similar to One Power use is not borne out by the way the Dream is shown in the series.

Weird Harold
03-03-2013, 10:39 PM
... The Aes Sedai of the Third Age erroneously described Dreamwalking as a talent, but they conflated it with Dreaming, not really knowing the difference between the two.

I disagree.

The White Tower knows that everyone enters T'A'R occasionally. They classify Dreamwalking as a talent because they have forgotten that it is a trainable ability, so that only someone with a natural Talent for Dreamwalking--which just happens to be a trait associated with Dreamers--will exhibit the ability.

In some ways, the White Tower's knowledge of Dreamwalking is like the Seanchan's knowledge of Channeling--they only collar those who can't resist Channeling; i.e. "Sparkers"

While it is true that anyone can learn Dreamwalking, it is also true that anyone can learn calculus. Some will be able to apply what they learn naturally, and others will struggle to apply even the most basic of principles. We say the former "has a Talent for Calculus;" why should we not say that someone "has a Talent for Dreamwalking" when they do it easier than those who struggle with T'A'R?

Most of the "Talents" lost by the WT are of similar nature, BTW. Nyneave "has a Talent for Healing" but lesser Aes Seadai learn her techniques with varying degrees of success--some have a talent for Nyneave's style of Healing and others don't.

fionwe1987
03-03-2013, 11:34 PM
Anyone can enter the dream; most people, however briefly, do. Anyone can be trained to enter the dream; that's what the twisted rings are for. Some people will inevitably enter TAR and be conscious of what they do there, but this has as much to do with accident of fate and content of character as anything else. There is no "Talent of Dreamwalking" that you have to have as a prerequisite to entry. The Aes Sedai of the Third Age erroneously described Dreamwalking as a talent, but they conflated it with Dreaming, not really knowing the difference between the two. The only reason Egwene entered and was conscious of her actions was because she had the twisted ring; the Aiel later taught her how to enter, as they have been teaching their Apprentices for centuries.

There are tons of RJ quotes confirming Dreamwalking is a Talent. Here are just a few:

RAN
Are Dreaming and Dreamwalking essentially just different names for the same Talent, or are they separate Talents that often occur together? The illustrated guide seemed to confuse the issue somewhat.
ROBERT JORDAN
No. They're very different. A Dreamwalker can enter dreams. But a Dreamer only "understands" dreams, though Dreamwalkers are generally Dreamers, too.

We've seen several people who were trained to enter TAR. None of them are Dreamers, proving that they lack the Talent that if they had, they'd be able to understand dreams.

MATT HATCH
Can Slayer dreamwalk in Tel'aran'rhiod or only go there in the flesh?
BRANDON SANDERSON
Slayer cannot dreamwalk (100% sure).

This proves that simply having the ability to manipulate TAR (and do it well) doesn't mean you're a Dreamwalker.

DREWOFWOTISM
I am curious to find out why there are no male Dreamwalkers mentioned since according to the Wise Ones it is not connected to the One Power.
ROBERT JORDAN
Simply because it's a talent that appears very rarely among men. The Wise Ones are doubtful that there actually can be a male Dreamwalker. One of the themes of the book is that no one knows everything there is to know. Another is that just because you believe something to be true, doesn't mean that it is true.

This makes it very clear this is a real Talent that "occurs", and one that women have more than men, usually. Unless you want to claim men are less strong willed than women...

QUESTION
Do individuals with Talents not directly related to channeling such as Sniffing, Wolfsiblings or Dreaming need trainers to help them discover that they have these Talents?
ALAN ROMANCZUK
No, the people will still be able to use their Talents eventually, but not at as refined a level as if they had been trained.

This is what I said, I believe.

Also, your claim that only Aes Sedai think Dreamwalking is a Talent is wrong:

“Almost anyone can touch Tel’aran’rhiod, but few can truly enter it. Of all the Wise Ones, we four alone can dreamwalk, and your Tower has not produced a dreamwalker in nearly five hundred years.
Bair clearly thinks this is something you're born with. Its not something anyone can learn.

Further, as with any Talent, you have levels of Talent. And someone totally lacking Talent wouldn't be able to learn even with the Sleepweavers:

BRANDON SANDERSON
There's an asterisk on it. And most of my understanding is informed by the notes and what I've read, but I often get things mixed up. So, I'm going to say on a 75% surety, not everybody can be trained to enter without a ter'angreal eventually, and some talent is required, but there are some who can...there is a middle ground between, for instance, Egwene, and somebody who can't at all.

This is likely why, despite being reasonably skilled in TAR, Elayne, Nynaeve and Siuan never manage to enter it on their own.

I reiterate: there is nothing in the series within the true, observable mechanics of TAR to suggest that there is any unique characteristic not defined by circumstances prerequisite to entry into TAR.
Not quite sure what you mean here. Are you saying being able to enter TAR is enough to do well there?
Nor is there anything other than Moghedien - who is clearly not as knowledgeable regarding TAR as she thinks - to suggest that strength in the Dream is anything other than a matter of skill and practice.
Except Amys also tells Egwene that she'll be stronger by far than the Aiel Dreamwalkers, and does so before Egwene is very skilled or practiced.
In fact, even Moghedien's comments are in line with this way of thinking. On the other hand, the notion that TAR is like or similar to One Power use is not borne out by the way the Dream is shown in the series.
It is borne out quite strongly, both in series, and in the comments from the authors. There is definite innate ability involved, and that ability has levels. Dreamwalkers who'll eventually enter on their own are at the top of the heap. Those weaker can be trained to enter on their own. That won't change that they are in fact weaker. Mesaana likely falls in that category.

Zombie Sammael
03-04-2013, 12:00 AM
I disagree.

The White Tower knows that everyone enters T'A'R occasionally. They classify Dreamwalking as a talent because they have forgotten that it is a trainable ability, so that only someone with a natural Talent for Dreamwalking--which just happens to be a trait associated with Dreamers--will exhibit the ability.

In some ways, the White Tower's knowledge of Dreamwalking is like the Seanchan's knowledge of Channeling--they only collar those who can't resist Channeling; i.e. "Sparkers"

While it is true that anyone can learn Dreamwalking, it is also true that anyone can learn calculus. Some will be able to apply what they learn naturally, and others will struggle to apply even the most basic of principles. We say the former "has a Talent for Calculus;" why should we not say that someone "has a Talent for Dreamwalking" when they do it easier than those who struggle with T'A'R?

Most of the "Talents" lost by the WT are of similar nature, BTW. Nyneave "has a Talent for Healing" but lesser Aes Seadai learn her techniques with varying degrees of success--some have a talent for Nyneave's style of Healing and others don't.

The difference is between a big "T" Talent (like dreaming, foretelling, or Androl's travelling) and a little "t" talent (like leatherworking, painting horses, or Nynaeve's healing). Of course, the Aes Sedai conflate the two.

Fionwe, your response needs a longer response than I have time for right now but I'm not ignoring it, I will get back to it!

GonzoTheGreat
03-04-2013, 03:14 AM
The difference is between a big "T" Talent (like dreaming, foretelling, or Androl's travelling) and a little "t" talent (like leatherworking, painting horses, or Nynaeve's healing). Of course, the Aes Sedai conflate the two.
Frankly, I would say that whereas most AS have the "talent" for Healing to some degree or another, Nynaeve has the "Talent" for that activity. The difference between her and the others (with the possible exception to a certain degree of Damer Flinn) is far too great to merely attribute to "she's a bit better at it".

Consider, for instance, running. Some people can do the 100 meter in 15 seconds. Fewer can do it in 14, 13, or even 12 seconds. A few very talented ones manage to do it in under 10 seconds. Nynaeve would, in this analogy, need less than 6 seconds. Being able to do it in nine point something means you have a great deal of talent for it, doing it in five point something is a Talent.

fionwe1987
03-25-2013, 11:29 PM
Frankly, I would say that whereas most AS have the "talent" for Healing to some degree or another, Nynaeve has the "Talent" for that activity. The difference between her and the others (with the possible exception to a certain degree of Damer Flinn) is far too great to merely attribute to "she's a bit better at it".

Consider, for instance, running. Some people can do the 100 meter in 15 seconds. Fewer can do it in 14, 13, or even 12 seconds. A few very talented ones manage to do it in under 10 seconds. Nynaeve would, in this analogy, need less than 6 seconds. Being able to do it in nine point something means you have a great deal of talent for it, doing it in five point something is a Talent.
This isn't how Talents are shown in the books. Its a continuum, and with Healing, you have Sheriam who can barely heal a scar from a thorn, and Nynaeve who can easily regrow burned skin, muscle and nerves. Nynaeve vs. the other Aes Sedai is very murky, though, because they only recently started using her weaves. Even so, they have produced a great variety of Healing weaves using all five powers. Even in that select club, Nynaeve is definitely very much at the top of the heap, and this is no doubt helped by the fact that her Delving abilities are also immense.