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View Full Version : Was Bode being prepared as Egwene 2.0?


fionwe1987
04-28-2014, 04:26 PM
Here's a whacky little theory that we'll probably never be able to prove one way or another. I don't have evidence of any conclusive sort, just hints. But its been forever, so here goes:

I believe RJ was prepping Bode to be Egwene's heir. Not in the sense that she'd become Amyrlin right away after Egwene's death, but as someone who'd eventually take over. Here's why I think so:

1) Like Egwene, Bode is shown as a Novice to be someone who tends to keep her head down, though she's hardly cowed.

2) She's strong in Earth, like Egwene.

3) She's just shy of Egwene's strength in the Power.

4) Romanda notes she wants to have a life of adventure and action.

5) She recognizes Bela, and is left with her when Egwene's goes on to seal Tar Valon's harbor.

6) There's no greater way to hurl egg on Tuon's face than to not only have her sister-in-law be a marath'damane but their leader.

I believe we'd have seen more clues in the last books for this. Though, this wasn't important enough for there to be notes on it, hence the absence of such hints in Brandon's work.

Thoughts?

Tollingtoy
04-28-2014, 04:31 PM
I always wondered what the point of Bode was, since she was a "name" character that served no real purpose. I definitely got the sense that perhaps RJ intended other things for her, so this is possible

fionwe1987
04-28-2014, 04:40 PM
I always wondered what the point of Bode was, since she was a "name" character that served no real purpose. I definitely got the sense that perhaps RJ intended other things for her, so this is possible
Same here. She made no appearance at all, after KoD, as far as I can tell. Which makes me question why RJ would place her in Romanda's tent at all. That brief mention was clearly for the benefit of building Bode's character and nothing else. We would probably have seen her as one of the young 'uns Egwene quickly promotes to Aes Sedai in light of the Last Battle (strange that even though Egwene mentions this in ToM, we never do see these fresh AS).

Dom
04-29-2014, 07:37 PM
That brief mention was clearly for the benefit of building Bode's character and nothing else.

In KOD RJ had managed to convince us that

a) A Sitter had betrayed Egwene's plan (of course, the one constantly spying on everyone was Nicola, who fled at the right time, so...)
b) Lelaine was probably about to make a move against Egwene, had put Siuan under her thumb, shattered Sheriam, controlled Egwene's "spie" Faolain and was blackmailing the council or close.
c) Beonin's betrayal was shattering the resolve of the Rebels.

After her capture, it looked like Egwene's salvation might be Romanda blocking Lelaine's path to the Seat, but RJ was blowing hot and cold about her, making her appear more sensible yet not quite a supporter of Egwene either.

That was probably all to peter out as Elaida lost it with Egwene (RJ was sending Egwene to a cell in her first scene..) and the Seanchan attacked, even with RJ, but in that context, it made much sense to show us the Sitters of the Yellow use as attendant Bode Cauthon, a childhood friend of Egwene they could make talk, the same way Sitters in the WT tried to make Egwene talk of her childhood with Rand. It was probably a red herring, to add to the atmosphere of conspiracy around Egwene and her allies in KOD.

RJ could eventually have decided to let Bode be captured by the Seanchan (after all, he's told us many times even children of the Empress could be made damane). RJ probably planned some sort of raid on the Rebellion as well, as Brandon has virtually admitted killing Carlinya was an error they made.

Or he had nothing specific planned for Bode... The TR girls were there mostly as a plot device at first, to have Verin/Alanna in the TR. By COT they were also a plot device to make Egwene nostalgic and also to confront her with how far she had come, and at the same how not so long ago she was those novices. Having girls from home with known names like Bode just made it all more "personal" for the readers.

The motives that lead the Hall to pick such a young inexperienced Amyrlin were exceptional and the result of much plotting from all sides. They would no longer have applied to choose Egwene's successor, and in fact, the Hall turned to the oldest sister they could find.

fionwe1987
04-29-2014, 08:36 PM
The motives that lead the Hall to pick such a young inexperienced Amyrlin were exceptional and the result of much plotting from all sides. They would no longer have applied to choose Egwene's successor, and in fact, the Hall turned to the oldest sister they could find.

Oh I don't think Bode would have succeeded Egwene. Cadsuane makes clear sense as the choice there, and I firmly believe RJ did intend that. What I'm saying is that in the future (since Cadsuane couldn't have a long stint anyway), Bode would become Amyrlin. Maybe 100 years down the line, or maybe even earlier since Egwene kind of destroyed the notion that a young Amyrling would necessarily be clueless (though that's in large measure due to Siuan, another young Amyrlin...).

I'm saying Bode would kind of carry forward Egwene's legacy. Maybe we'd have seen her be one of the first Novices sent to train with the Wise Ones, maybe after she'd briefly captured by the Seanchan, as you suggested. Basically, laying the groundwork for her to have a similar world-view as Egwene, her best friend from the Two Rivers, whose ideas and plans for the Tower she'd help continue to uphold.

GonzoTheGreat
04-30-2014, 04:53 AM
Oh I don't think Bode would have succeeded Egwene. Cadsuane makes clear sense as the choice there, and I firmly believe RJ did intend that. What I'm saying is that in the future (since Cadsuane couldn't have a long stint anyway), Bode would become Amyrlin. Maybe 100 years down the line, or maybe even earlier since Egwene kind of destroyed the notion that a young Amyrling would necessarily be clueless (though that's in large measure due to Siuan, another young Amyrlin...).
Then again, it is also possible that the AS would decide they needed a political heavyweight to follow Cadsuane, in order to keep the WT at the top of the international pyramid. For that, they can then choose between Moiraine Damodred (who is of royal descent, and thus has impeccable noble credentials), one of the contenders for "most accomplished AS ever" and Nynaeve al'Meara, the Queen (or Queen Mother then) of Malkier, who is the other* contender for the tile of "most accomplished AS ever". Either of them would be far more likely to manage to convince# Logain that joining the Towers is a good idea, with him being the second in command than Bode could ever hope to do.

* Surely no one will credit the idea that Rand al'Thor should count as AS.

# Pronounced: "bully into".

Dom
04-30-2014, 11:10 AM
Personally I doubt that RJ planned the future of WOT into much details. Unless he planned a tacky flash forward (but certainly he wouldn't have), he didn't have devices to project us via POVs more than a few years into the future (as plans, which he did). This means he had no use at all for any "future history" beyond the era the outriggers would cover, so 5-10 years ahead. If the outriggers truly consisted of only two sentences and the rest was cogitations in his head, then it's very likely the ideas for it were still nascent. Maybe he would have used Bode as a very young, newly raised AS and developed her relationship to Mat, but she can't really have been introduced for that, as she long predates any plan for outriggers. But she now was there to be used, and he might have, or not. I suspect he might have shown Bode with the Yellow Sitters and made her very strong because he had ideas in his mind to put her with Nynaeve or Romanda and the Yellows at his "hospital" during the LB.

Brandon also described RJ as a "Gardener" type of writer, which means that aside from the "big turning points" and some elements that foreshadowing (especially in the form of prophecies) forced him to plant ahead, he was the kind to follow his inspiration of the moment to craft the specific events for each book. Thus I think he probably let his options as open as possible for beyond TG events, not to hinder his creativity when he developed the plot of the outriggers.

Brandon has apparently given us virtually all he could in ways of developments/clues for the WT/BT's future, and apparently RJ had done the rest in previous books.

That means the BT/WT don't unite in the short term, and there would be at least decades or more of ambiguity, where several men were warders to AS while several sisters worked with Asha'man at the BT but the two organizations remained apart, with some tension. Any political solution or rapprochement would still be quite far, and not in RJ's mind as way outside the scope of the outriggers (that may not even have had much scenes in the Westlands)

The other big clue RJ gave us is that Egwene had realized that the Oaths have become intimately tied in the outside world with being Aes Sedai and rejecting them would be like throwing out all that it meant to be AS. To haters, it would be like the truth of the sisters' agenda is finally coming out, to those who respect AS it would be a blow to their trust and beliefs that the sisters reject the Oaths.

It wasn't the time to to abandon them, especially not with the Seanchan still around, when it would look like the WT rejected the first 2 Oaths as they plan to fight, and the third to manipulate. On the contrary, it was time to reinforce in the WT ranks the importance of adhering to the spirit and letter of the Oaths. Their allies the SF and WO already put a lot of weight in being honest and true to your word. They had to gain the moral highground by refusing to use the OP in battle (leaving the WO, SF, Asha'man be the deterrent, if needed), and to work to gain a reputation for honesty as the Seanchan leadership holds its word and speak true in an almost sacred way. They also had to face all the "legends" of Hawkwing's rule, very severe and even harsh with the leading class yet benevolent to the people. As we saw, that made an impression in the south already, and the North will have to prove it can rule its lands, just as well as Tuon.

It seems likely RJ didn't plan any more ahead than having the WT-WO-SF come to an agreement for a loose "association", essentially centered on training. It's quite possible that the first agreement with the BT, in time, will be similar and more or less an extension to men of the other agreements: the women will send trainees to Logain to learn mixed gender work, and the BT will send trainees to the WT, SF, WO to learn mixed gender work and help them train men. Some Sisters will choose to keep working with Asha'man (in time it might be attractive to those of Green personalities, healers etc.), some Asha'man will not doubt decide to serve at the WT, as warders or not, or with SF (lots of men would likely enjoy this kind of life) or eventually even with the Aiel.

As for the plans for the Kin, it's rather obvious they will eventually go forward more or less as Egwene envisioned. The older sisters set in their ways will still balk, but the younger ones won't, and with recruiting the average age of sisters will soon drop. Nothing will force the old AS to retire if they don't want to, but those wishing to will join the Kin. It's likely that the Kin's purposes/tasks will be extended, and if Elayne's bargain is a clue to RJ's intents, they might serve purposes, such as entering a kind of "private sector" in service to nations etc., that the Oaths-bound Aes Sedai (nor WO) can't enter without harming their image or purpose of neutrality. "Retirement" will become another form of service, not a life in hiding, barely using the OP. The three Oaths among the retired/non sisters will be replaced by a reformed Rule of the Kin, overseen by the WT. It would be a form of return to the AOL ways, but no longer with a single monolithic Guild.

Another thing that's been set in motion is a kind of decline of the Ajahs as political entities. Egwene was working toward that, and Cadsuane is another who blamed petty politics and ambitions for the woes of the Tower. The Ajah will likely not disappear, but their role will change.

That plan for the Kin Egwene has had time to put on the table is also Cadsuane's "get out of jail free" card. Cadsuane is serene in the face of death (like several people so old would be), but she's not tired of living. She hated idle retirement with a passion, but she didn't want to remain in the Tower (not that she ever loved that) because at her age and strength the WT always seemed to push her into jobs of administration she didn't want to hold... so growing roses while getting bored it was. That gives a good taste of how much she'll enjoy being Amyrlin, and she will certainly make those who picked her pay for it. She now sees the rest of her life saddled to a job she never wanted and that don't especially fits her very active personality nor her love, similar to Egwene, to be free of pursuing her own things as she wishes. She will get bored of being Amyrlin very fast. I think Cadsuane will do it for just a few years, to see the WT back on the right track, finish some reforms like recruitement, training, and to merge the Kin into the Tower system, then she will retire into the Kin to return to a more active life... and Cadsuane being Cadsuane, as a Kinswoman she will probably cause a few headaches to her successor.

I don't think RJ had the slightest idea who would one day succeed Cadsuane. From the few hints we have from Tower history, the Tower has tended to elect Amyrlins a lot in reaction to the reign of the previous one so they might go with mild woman (not weak, but mild) or a traditionalist, or someone they think would work with the Hall rather than dominate it, which would exclude the likes of Nynaeve and Moiraine (in the short term, anyway).

The Hall saw a need to elect another very strong Amyrlin after Egwene (and might after Cadsuane too, depending on the world's situation), but the choice of Cadsuane is also telling: a very old sister who will have a short rule (for those pro-Kin she will no doubt retire soon to live 700 years, and for those anti-Kin she will put an end to that and other reforms but die in a few years); a very old sister they believe very attached to traditions when in fact she thinks a lot of them are silly; a sister they think "almost red" when it comes to male channelers, when she's much more pragmatic on the issue and she never hated those men, nor wished them dead but just made harmless. If anything, Cadsuane is likely to bury the Red Ajah mentality once and for all, just as much as she's likely to bully Logain into some sort of agreement. They're most likely hoping Cadsuane will be strong toward the outside world, but internally will slow down or get rid of Egwene's reforms. They're probably in for a very bad surprise... Cadsuane respects the WO, and have huge reservations on the sort of "training" the AS now get, and will likely see to that. The short term of the WT is most likely to go forward as RJ had Egwene envision. Cadsuane is also very well placed, almost as well as Egwene was, to finalize the rapprochement with the WO and thus save something of the role of the WT with the nations, but now in agreement with the Aiel, which means the WO. The WO will need the WT anyway for their mission, they don't know the Westlands well enough to do without the Grey Ajah and the Amyrlin's help. That is probably something else the Hall thought Cadsuane would make go away, but she won't. She will force the WT to work with the WO and keep Rand's pact that buys them 100-200 years of peace in place.

I think those were the essence of RJ's plans. No doubt he's given personal thoughts to what the WT could be like in 200, 500 years, but I seriously doubt he bothered to put those thoughts on paper or to detail them, as they were purely useless to him as a writer. As for the details about how it would go in the first decade or so, he likely kept that totally open to devise what he wanted when he crafted the Seanchan trilogy, which is likely why Brandon could put virtually nothing about it in the main series... none of those details existed and rather than invent some, he presented RJ's extremely limited vision for the WOT future. I seriously doubt RJ bothered to put pawns on the board for the future of his world beyond 5-10 years, at least at the WT.

I think he put in place a few things for the outriggers, and I think these include Perrin's new ability to jump between worlds, Mat having kept his Ashan'darei and the Finns calling themselves the "almost ancient" and "warriors" and the Ogier Book of Translation*. I think RJ intended some sort of "War of the Worlds" to take place over the reconquest of Seanchan. It might well have included a return of the race(s) that made the Portal Stones and Horn of Valere if these were not the Finns. I think he might have used the "breakdown of barriers" caused by Shai'tan to allow new enemies to come into the human world behind the scenes - and that they already had in Seanchan, well away from the focus of attention on Shai'tan in the Westlands. The mystery around which RJ shrouded the *Finns and their powers even in the Ghenjei scenes (which offered more tantalizing teasers than brought final answers to anything) make me suspect it's them RJ intended to become "villains" or at least one "faction" involved in the outriggers.

* Apparentely Brandon said they found nothing whatsoever in the notes about the Book of Translation. That would be a good example of RJ not crafting "useless stuff" for nothing too much ahead of time. Whatever he would have revealed of it, he would have made up as he wrote AMOL, or the outriggers since the Ogier Gardeners would have no doubt featured in those books.

SauceyBlueConfetti
04-30-2014, 11:51 AM
I think he put in place a few things for the outriggers, and I think these include Perrin's new ability to jump between worlds, Mat having kept his Ashan'darei and the Finns calling themselves the "almost ancient" and "warriors" and the Ogier Book of Translation*. I think RJ intended some sort of "War of the Worlds" to take place over the reconquest of Seanchan.

I disagree. Obviously we know next to nothing about his 'outrigger plans' and never will, but...

the 'finns provided Mat with "filled" memories of those who had entered their world through three points: two ter'angreals and the Tower of Ghenjei. This is directly from RJ. None of the memories we are shown through Mat appear to be a SEANCHAN first person memory. (I could be wrong here, I am sifting through stuff to check this, but I don't think so) It makes sense, as the two ter'angreals and the Tower are not easily accessible to Seanchan folk, if at all, historically.

My point is the 'finn do have limits to their knowledge based on whose memories and minds they feed upon. Their interaction with Seanchan is limited if non-existent. Tying the 'finn to a Seanchan military movement seems a bit far reaching.

fionwe1987
04-30-2014, 01:33 PM
...
I agree with you on Cadsuane, and the way she'd deal with Egwene's reform. She's the last person on earth to believe you're too old to learn something, so Aes Sedai hoping to reinstate the 18 year limit are going to find a big surprise. Same with, as you said, rapprochement with the WO. As for the Sea Folk, she has a more difficult relationship with them, but Harine is quite scared of her, and once she becomes Mistress of the Ships, I think there'll be a shift in the balance of power in that relationship, much more so than Egwene was able to achieve.

But I don't think that just because RJ didn't have a systematic plan for the future of this world, he could not have placed odd hints here and there. He always said he intended to keep the world alive, and we lost a lot of that because Brandon did not want to speculate on what RJ would have done.

I have a feeling RJ would have left us a lot of hints of what is to come without making anything explicit. He almost certainly would have made this up as he wrote aMoL. I'm just speculating that Bode being an eventual successor of to the Amyrlin Seat is maybe something he was toying with.

Dom
04-30-2014, 02:14 PM
the 'finns provided Mat with "filled" memories of those who had entered their world through three points: two ter'angreals and the Tower of Ghenjei. This is directly from RJ. None of the memories we are shown through Mat appear to be a SEANCHAN first person memory.

You must have missed the part where I said the "breaking of the barriers" that occurred in the lead up to Tarmon Gai'don might could have created possibly temporary entry points between the worlds that those "villains" could have used. There is a link somehow between jumping between worlds and this, as the Makers of the Portal Stones were described in the AOL book (or AOL knowledge anyway) as "those who knew the numbers of chaos", which is pretty foreboding. The makers of the Horn also knew how to "break" the barrier between TAR and the real world somehow. Those races, which could even be the Finns, might still be around somewhere.

Also, I would point out we learned that Moridin used then destroyed the Portal in Tear (which he used to get to the Tower.. not to get questions answered), and of course Moiraine and Lanfear caused the destruction of the Rhuidean one. But if you noticed in the Ghenjei scene, the party saw other Portals beside the destroyed one(s). Those were not the only two.. the Finns have other accesses, either to the human world or to other worlds...

I agree with you they haven't have contact with Seanchan people since the AOL, but it doesn't mean they can't.

RJ never resolved the question whether the Finns made the objects they gave ("of which they had great stores" dixit Brandon) or if they collected them from AS in the AOL. That they gave Mat a Foxhead Medallion specifically is certainly suspicious. It's not that they ignore the OP completely, they even fed on it using Moiraine and Lanfear. They also had very bizarre Myrddraal-like powers to appear and vanish from shadows in the Ghenjei scenes.

The Genjhei scenes added to their mystery more than it resolved anything, but it really showed the Finns as malevolent to humans, and a big threat to channelers. It could well have been teasers.

As for Portal Stones, clearly they exist in Seanchan (because they got their other worldly beasts from there, long ago), and Mat knows roughly how to use them, all he would need is a strong channeler. Their symbols are often similar to those seen on the Portals to the Finns. It could well be their own script...

The "Book of Translation" is also another device or source of knowledge related to other worlds.

In the late series, RJ also introduced the notion that Mat was convinced the Finns could see the human world through his eyes.

We also got glimpses of the Finns through the weakened barriers around SG.

It's not quite impossible RJ had ideas to go on with them as some sort of foe, now that Rand has gotten all worlds rid of Shai'tan, which they opposed. He's left clues, including in a direct Q&A answer, that the worlds of the Finns were even weaker to the Shadow's power than the human worlds, that naming Shai'tan there would be more dangerous than in the human world, notably.

Birgitte made clear to Perrin that if they aren't linked to the Shadow, they're still very dangerous to humans, and could be called "evil". There's this theory that they might actually have been "defeated" in the early second Age, when men discovered channeling. It's been suggested before that the Great Serpent Ring might be based on the "ring of Tamyrlin" and that in turn it might have been taken from the Snakes... The "Great Serpent", a conception of the universe predating the Wheel (likely "invented" by channelers) might even have been the mythology/cosmology of the Snake People long ago.

I don't think it's far-fetched that RJ had ideas to use them, or races from other worlds not yet introduced, as his "fantasy elements" during the reconquest of Seanchan, now that he got rid of the Shadow. New powers, new form of "magic" that may well be also linked to the OP but not "channeled" somehow etc. Don't forget it's also totally unresolved how the Stedding can keep channeling at bay altogether.

He had a lot of stuff he could have mined in all this, if that's the direction he intended to go. Of course, we'll likely never know unless there are additional clues to be found in Shadar Logoth notes, Ghenjei notes, Mirror Worlds notes that we could in turn connect with unused elements he introduced in the late series.