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Nei 05-04-2012 05:23 PM

The safety of Tar Valon
 
Since it's the last book that's coming, I've decided to start a serious re-read. Previously I did my re-reads from like, book 3 onwards (when Mat is not being creepy dagger-possessed and kicks even more arse). I also decided to do something a little different, cause I normally read NS after TFoH. This time I started with NS and now go on to EoTW.

[Funnily enough, EoTW is one of my 'YMMV' books and is really the biggest hurdle to cross getting into the series. I like some parts of it, but other parts (like the weird Old Tongue exchanges and greetings at Fal Moran) appear unwieldy and you never see it done again cause you got the feeling the RJ sat back after it and read it himself after it was published then thought 'yeah, let's not do that again'.]

With that fresh in my mind, it comes to me as slightly strange that Moiraine would suggest taking the Two Rivers boys to Tar Valon at all.

Even with Siuan as the Amyrlin, Tar Valon is an incredibly unsafe place to be and they both know it. After all, their own adventure became all the more urgent when it became clear that the Black Ajah was involved.

I can't help but wonder what she and Siuan decided to do once they brought the boys there because I'm pretty sure even Tamra's original plan to find the reborn Dragon was followed by the plan to sequester him somewhere totally isolated and away from the prying eyes of the world until he was of a more suitable age.

Not forgetting that for nearly 20 years, they did not know any other sister they could trust; and they generally only managed to figure out who was trust worthy after the person was dead (i.e. Tamra's chosen and even then I think Tamra got lucky)

I guess writing wise, we could make a guess that it was a kind of later book ret-con or something :/ but it would be nice if we had some idea of what they planned to do.

Ishara 05-04-2012 08:08 PM

You're not wrong - Tar Valon would have been a dangerous hotbed of danger. ;)

But, I don't think the plan was to announce that one of the 3 new boys at the Tower was the Dragon Reborn. Maybe the plan was to get them there and under Aes Sedai influence, and then train them up to be Warders until they were able to figure out which of the 3 it was? That way there would have been lots of time for book learning and diplomacy as well...

Marie Curie 7 05-04-2012 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nei (Post 188427)
With that fresh in my mind, it comes to me as slightly strange that Moiraine would suggest taking the Two Rivers boys to Tar Valon at all.

Even with Siuan as the Amyrlin, Tar Valon is an incredibly unsafe place to be and they both know it. After all, their own adventure became all the more urgent when it became clear that the Black Ajah was involved.

I can't help but wonder what she and Siuan decided to do once they brought the boys there because I'm pretty sure even Tamra's original plan to find the reborn Dragon was followed by the plan to sequester him somewhere totally isolated and away from the prying eyes of the world until he was of a more suitable age.

A brief description of their original plan (and why it fell apart) is given in TGH:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
The Great Hunt, Ch. 5 - The Shadow in Shienar

"We had a plan! A plan, Moiraine! Locate the boy and bring him to Tar Valon, where we could hide him, keep him safe and guide him. Since you left the Tower, I have had only two messages from you. Two! I feel as if I'm trying to sail the Fingers of the Dragon in the dark. One message to say you were entering the Two Rivers, going to this village, this Emond's Field. Soon, I thought. He's found, and she'll have him in hand soon. Then word from Caemlyn to say you were coming to Shienar, to Fal Dara, not Tar Valon. Fal Dara, with the Blight almost close enough to touch. Fal Dara, where Trollocs raid and Myrddraal ride as near every day as makes no difference. Nearly twenty years of planning and searching, and you toss all our plans practically in the Dark One's face. Are you mad?"

Now that she had stirred life in the other woman, Moiraine returned to outward calm, herself. Calm, but firm insistence, too. "The Pattern pays no heed to human plans, Siuan. With all our scheming, we forgot what we were dealing with. Ta'veren. Elaida is wrong. Artur Paendrag Tanreall was never this strongly ta'veren. The Wheel will weave the Pattern around this young man as it wills, whatever our plans."

The anger left Amyrlin's face, replaced by white-faced shock. "It sounds as if you are saying we might as well give up. Do you now suggest standing aside and watching the world burn?"

"No, Siuan. Never standing aside." Yet the world will burn, Siuan, one way or another, whatever we do. You could never see that. "But we must now realize that our plans are precarious things. We have even less control than we thought. Perhaps only a fingernail's grip. The winds of destiny are blowing, Siuan, and we must ride them where they take us."


Nei 05-04-2012 11:34 PM

Yeah but you could hardly hide the poor kid once he starts channeling. Plus don't forget how strongly Ta'Veren they all are. The Reds know exactly what to look out for in a channeling man and the Blacks would've soon be on the look out for once birds started crashing into each other and people started spontaneously getting married en masse and all those other delightful things.

Zombie Sammael 05-05-2012 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nei (Post 188465)
Yeah but you could hardly hide the poor kid once he starts channeling. Plus don't forget how strongly Ta'Veren they all are. The Reds know exactly what to look out for in a channeling man and the Blacks would've soon be on the look out for once birds started crashing into each other and people started spontaneously getting married en masse and all those other delightful things.

Plus the fact that there are more Blacks amongst the Red Ajah than any other gives the Shadow an even greater advantage. In fairness to Moiraine and Siuan, they didn't necessarily know or have reason to suspect that though. The problem with the BA is that while less sneaky than they would have liked to be - they were unable to prevent rumours of their existence slipping out, or one or two Aes Sedai discovering them - they were still very sneaky, perhaps thanks to their evil oaths, and were able to conceal most of the details of their existence from the general public. You could say Moiraine and Siuan ought to act out of an abundance of caution and not take them to TV where they knew there to be powerful Darkfriends, but against that is the fact that there are likely to be powerful DFs anywhere else, and the relative difficulty of protecting them might have been greater off of their home territory; as for anywhere else that might have been considered home ground, Cairhien is a terrible idea for obvious reasons, Tear has prohibitions on AS entering, and Caemlyn was under the thumb of Elaida, who they had little reason to trust. It could be suggested that Tar Valon was simply the least bad option.

Boli 05-08-2012 05:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael (Post 188498)
Plus the fact that there are more Blacks amongst the Red Ajah than any other gives the Shadow an even greater advantage.

Proportion wise?... maybe slightly but unlikely, but the red Ajah is by far the biggest Ajah in the tower so for sheer numbers they would outnumber the others in black sisters as well as normal ones.

It is just they are often full of men-hating but light-sided women which distorts the issue... even Egwene's new keeper hates men :P

GonzoTheGreat 05-08-2012 06:34 AM

A problem which Siuan and Moiraine do not seem to have contemplated is what they'd do after they got the DR safely in the WT. Assuming, of course, that they could manage that.

But if he is there, then how is he going to go out and do all the things Prophecy requires him to do?

Weird Harold 05-08-2012 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael (Post 188498)
Plus the fact that there are more Blacks amongst the Red Ajah than any other ...

The last analysis I recall showed a very slight proportionate edge for the Read, but that was two books back, or so, and I don't recall any more reds in the spate of BA sisters revealed in the last two books. I think a new analysis with all the newly exposed BA might show a more balanced percentage, with the Red's proportional edge wiped out.

As Boli points out, the Red Ajah would naturally have a numeric advantage simply because it is the biggest Ajah but I haven't seen any evidence that a Red sister is statistically more likely to be BA than any other Ajah.

One other point to consider, though: The Red Ajah did have BA in its highest position(s) -- Galina was Ajah head before her caprure by the Shaido. That is going to cause some confusion between BA and Red sisters simply following orders. The "Vileness" in response to Rand's birth mostly wasn't carried out by BA, although they were heavily involved, but by overzealous, man-hating Reds, like Elaida.

By the nature of its mission, the Red Ajah is easy to manipulate, but that doesn't mean it is more of a haven for BA than any other.

Zombie Sammael 05-08-2012 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weird Harold (Post 188719)
The last analysis I recall showed a very slight proportionate edge for the Read, but that was two books back, or so, and I don't recall any more reds in the spate of BA sisters revealed in the last two books. I think a new analysis with all the newly exposed BA might show a more balanced percentage, with the Red's proportional edge wiped out.

As Boli points out, the Red Ajah would naturally have a numeric advantage simply because it is the biggest Ajah but I haven't seen any evidence that a Red sister is statistically more likely to be BA than any other Ajah.

One other point to consider, though: The Red Ajah did have BA in its highest position(s) -- Galina was Ajah head before her caprure by the Shaido. That is going to cause some confusion between BA and Red sisters simply following orders. The "Vileness" in response to Rand's birth mostly wasn't carried out by BA, although they were heavily involved, but by overzealous, man-hating Reds, like Elaida.

By the nature of its mission, the Red Ajah is easy to manipulate, but that doesn't mean it is more of a haven for BA than any other.

I think I was referring to (one of) the proportional analysis(es) you're referring to, but I'm not sure we can do a full analysis after TOM; we don't know how many of the executed and escaped Black Sisters fell into each Ajah.

Weird Harold 05-08-2012 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael (Post 188776)
I think I was referring to (one of) the proportional analysis(es) you're referring to, but I'm not sure we can do a full analysis after TOM; we don't know how many of the executed and escaped Black Sisters fell into each Ajah.

We can only base any analysis on proportions of named/exposed BA members with the presumption that BA members get named/exposed proportionate to membership. We've always had the problem of not having complete information, which is why the apparent proportions get skewed in the first place.


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