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GonzoTheGreat 04-29-2017 03:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WOT Ethnographer (Post 241597)
Maybe even any further details on the question if Compulsion is a Talent or just an ability? The Companion says no, obviously, but the Verin bio you posted mentions it as a Talent as Moghedien's POV in the series (in ACOS I think).

It could be like Healing and Traveling, where the standard way of doing it is a weave that can be learned by anyone with enough strength to do it, while the Talent allows one to surpass what ordinary channellers can do.
On the other hand, it could also be just an indication of the ignorance of the AS, who no longer remember many of the things that could be done in the AOL, and have garbled records of what was learned and what were Talents.

Graendal provides some support for the first view. While every channeller with reasonable strength could use Compulsion, she was far more skilled with it than anyone else. That would make no sense if it were only a matter of strength and practice.

WOT Ethnographer 04-29-2017 01:07 PM

Compusion: a Talent?
 
Hey GonzoTheGreat, I am not sure how far we can go down on line of thought on this thread, but I did want to share a couple of thoughts with you.

Yes, I have always thought the same thing regarding Compulsion, meaning that it is a Talent like Healing, Traveling, Earth Singing, etc. and not a Talent like Listening to the Winds, Seeing Ta'veren, Reading Ter'angreal, etc. Perhaps the difference is because it is a weave based Talent and less of just an ability based Talent, if the distinction makes sense.

I tend to think about Compulsion using the analogy of Healing, with, for example, Egwene's Talent in Healing. She is able to form the weave, but she cannot do much with it. I have always assumed Compulsion was a Talent, "a Talent is something one is born with and cannot be learned" (Q&A with Maria Simons) and is an ability in the "One Power in specific areas" (Companion - Talents entry), and there are also references to it being a Talent, for example:
In ACOS, Chapter 30, Moghedien wishes she had a stronger Talent in Compulsion. Also, for example, in the Verin Notes Entry Terez shared in this thread, it mentions, related to Verin's study of channeling tricks of girls coming to the White Tower, that "these things smack of Compulsion, not only a forgotten Talent, but one that would be among the forbidden if it was known."

Yet the Companion says this about Compulsion: "Compulsion, though called a Talent by some, was not one; it could be learned by any channeler, taking into account the limits of strength and skill." This seems to imply that Talents cannot be learned by everyone (similar to the above Maria quote) which makes sense, but at least some people who are not Talented in one area are able to make the weave, even if it can really not function well/correctly.

Linda also noted it as being described in a set of RJ's notes as "a weave" and not a "Talent."

So apparently, in this interpretation, someone could, through having sufficient strength and continued practice, keep building their skill at Compulsion, without dependent on a natural "knack" for the weave... And apparently that is what Graendal, Rahvin, etc. did. And Graendal is the best at it because she practiced so much and had special expertise related to psychology...

I still think I have a better time conceptualizing it as a Talent, and I am still wondering about the discrepancies between the references we have to it being a Talent and the non-Talent weave interpretation.

It also makes me think that it would be helpful to have this conversation using a typology of Talents, for example those dependent on weaves versus those that are not, and try to define them in distinction to skills and abilities in the One Power.

WOT Ethnographer 04-29-2017 01:23 PM

More questions
 
Linda and Terez, thanks for answering my questions.

I have some more if you are willing to continue sharing what you know or have seen:

First, a few questions about strength:

* Was Semirhage really noted as 1(+12) as a strength ranking in her entry? This surprised me when I read it in the Companion.

*Does the notes mention anywhere a strength in the Power for Tuon were she to start channeling? (this seems to be a question for many fans)

*So, there are no strength rankings for non-Forsaken male channelers, other than Rand?

And few about weaves:

*Is there a mention of which of the Five Powers are needed to weave Balefire for both saidin and saidar?

*What about the flows mentioned to weave Healing using saidin?

*Any details on if the saidin cuendillar weave makes black cuendillar?

Finally, one about the entries themselves:

*Do many channelers have very developed Special, Skills, Abilities, and Talents section in their notes entry? Or are they usually one item? Does this entry usually mention their abilities in all Five Powers?

I appreciate anything you can share your insight on.

Terez 04-29-2017 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WOT Ethnographer (Post 241605)
Was Semirhage really noted as 1(+12) as a strength ranking in her entry? This surprised me when I read it in the Companion.

Yes. It surprised us too when we first saw it in the notes a few years ago, because Lanfear seemed to think she was the strongest woman, but there's nothing in the series that contradicts it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by WOT Ethnographer (Post 241605)
Does the notes mention anywhere a strength in the Power for Tuon were she to start channeling? (this seems to be a question for many fans)

Not that we saw...and we looked for it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by WOT Ethnographer (Post 241605)
So, there are no strength rankings for non-Forsaken male channelers, other than Rand?

There's the one for Logain I gave above. I was happy to find that; all we found in our trip a few years ago was Forsaken strengths. I think RJ didn't often note male strengths because they just weren't as important to the story. The only reason he had an intricate ranking system for the women is because it was important to the Aes Sedai hierarchy, and it also affected how they viewed and interacted with the other female channelers. I think the only reason he bothered to give Logain's strength in the notes is because he had already noted in the series that he was one step below Rand, so why not?

The other things, I would have to look up. I'm still in Charleston (have to drive to Mississippi tomorrow) and I'm sick as a dog, so I'm not feeling it right now.

WOT Ethnographer 05-01-2017 03:04 AM

Thanks Terez. I hope you get well soon.

I look forward to any other insights you could share after feeling better.

Kiruna 05-01-2017 04:54 PM

Thank you, Terez. Hope you get well soon.

It is sad that there is no mention about Tuon's power level, I always wondered how would that effect her status if she was as weak as Morgase or as strong as Caddy.

There is also no mention about the lost Talents, oh well.

These two were among my questions so thank you for answering them Terez and thank you for asking them before I could WOT Ethnographer.

~

WOT Ethnographer asked my another favorite question: the skills and abilities of channelers. I wonder if there is anything that stands out to you like the number of weaves they can work at a time, their Talents and such.

Also, is there anything more about Earth Singing, it seems not very impressive but it is never clearly showcased in the books imo. Any channelers who have that Talent?

~

I am curious about Voice too. In back-to-back scene one of the Aes Sedai say this young Aiel boy is now grown enough to join the Singing because his voice is now deep enough for that.

I saw in Linda's blog and she mentions how men sing and women clap in that seed singing scene, there is even a line about women's clapping and life beat. I always thought singing part was more important.

So Aiel could enhance channeling (per BWBOBA iirc) or make things grow faster and better with Voice. But could women sing to make plants grow faster?

The more I look into it the more this Voice seems like a magic system on its own.

Thank you.

WOT Ethnographer 05-02-2017 04:49 AM

Yes, to echo Kiruna, knowing more about how the Aiel of the Age of Legends could enhance the One Power and about which channellers if any are mentioned as having a Talent in Earth Singing (or Emulating Ta'veren) would be interesting.

I am wondering if we are conflating seed-singing and the Voice together? Or maybe they are related? This is a bit of a mystery to me at this point.

Davian93 05-03-2017 10:43 AM

This is all awesome...thank you Terez and Linda.

Chaosanth 05-05-2017 08:29 AM

Was there anything regarding RJ'S plans for Shara or their culture in the notes?

Terez 05-05-2017 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chaosanth (Post 241654)
Was there anything regarding RJ'S plans for Shara or their culture in the notes?

Not that we have found. Brandon has said publicly that Demandred's backstory in Shara was all him.

Weird Harold 05-05-2017 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 241658)
Not that we have found. Brandon has said publicly that Demandred's backstory in Shara was all him.

That implies that RJ's notes didn't have anything specific about Demandred's whereabouts or activities?

Terez 05-05-2017 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weird Harold (Post 241659)
That implies that RJ's notes didn't have anything specific about Demandred's whereabouts or activities?

Not that we saw. We have no idea what was in the endgame notes given directly to Brandon for work on AMOL, though. We have seen RJ's working notes through KOD and some of his notes look beyond KOD, but the stuff they got from RJ on his deathbed, the drafts of the scenes he wrote, etc. were not available to us. I discussed that some with Brandon on Reddit.

fionwe1987 05-06-2017 02:19 AM

Hope you're feeling better, Terez.

I suspect RJ wasn't sure about Demandred, and only decided very late to place him in Shara. The way RJ wrote Demandred in WH, during the Cleansing, he was either going for Demandred to be Roedran, or else he would have had to do quite a bit of character growth for him to fit as anything close to the Demandred we got. Or maybe RJ would have had him be in Shara, but be the petty whiny little shit he was shown to be in Winter's Heart.

Terez, anything in the notes about Amys's strength. It was left out of the Companion, but the books themselves are a little contradictory on her strength. Melaine was placed with Faolain at 17(5), which matches Egwene's later thought putting Amys at Theodrin's level of 15(3). Do the notes confirm this? Or is Amys higher up?

Terez 05-06-2017 02:29 AM

She was 16/4 in the notes. I had a list of references for this stuff; I need to find it.

Edit: found it directly given in a partial file on Wise Ones that used to be in Box 57 (not sure now; still need to sort this stuff out):

Quote:

Strength Level: 16 (4). This is the approximately the 650 to 675-year level. She is "as strong as most Aes Sedai Egwene has met;" later, "no stronger than Theodrin and Faolain."
Her strength is also given in an Elayne file that used to be in Box 59. Thank the Light that Dom and I did this work early on and I can find references for everyone's strengths.

fionwe1987 05-06-2017 02:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 241662)
She was 16/4 in the notes. I had a list of references for this stuff; I need to find it.

Edit: found it directly given in a partial file on Wise Ones that used to be in Box 57 (not sure now; still need to sort this stuff out):



Her strength is also given in an Elayne file that used to be in Box 59. Thank the Light that Dom and I did this work early on and I can find references for everyone's strengths.

Cool, thank you! Another good place that reinforces that one level of strength is not super easy to perceive, and being even 2-3 levels below someone isn't that significant, in the lingo of Aes Sedai.

One other question, that came up because I went back to the Reddit thread you linked to. I remember wondering then about the idea of using the CK in the Last Battle that RJ had. Clearly, he wrote this out, but did the notes provide any details of how it was to be done? Was it to be Rand and Nynaeve wielding them?

Terez 05-06-2017 07:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fionwe1987 (Post 241663)
Cool, thank you! Another good place that reinforces that one level of strength is not super easy to perceive, and being even 2-3 levels below someone isn't that significant, in the lingo of Aes Sedai.

I wouldn't say this is common, and that discrepancy might actually be why her strength was left out in the Companion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fionwe1987 (Post 241663)
One other question, that came up because I went back to the Reddit thread you linked to. I remember wondering then about the idea of using the CK in the Last Battle that RJ had. Clearly, he wrote this out, but did the notes provide any details of how it was to be done? Was it to be Rand and Nynaeve wielding them?

This is something I will have to dig for. One day I'll have this stuff organized better; I need to do that before the next time I go to the library, that's for sure. Thinking about making a private wiki to sort it all out.

fionwe1987 05-06-2017 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 241664)
I wouldn't say this is common, and that discrepancy might actually be why her strength was left out in the Companion.

It happens with Mesaana discussing Alviarin's strength too. She describes her strength as "not much, but enough" for Traveling, yet Alviarin is 4 levels above minimum Traveling strength. Too, RJ called out the 5 level difference between Nynaeve and Egwene, and the 5 level difference between Egwene and Siuan, when discussing relative strengths, and this does seem to be the threshold at which an Aes Sedai transitions from mere deference to obedience.

It is also obvious in the interaction of the Salidar six. Sheriam clearly leads, but the others are far from shy with pushing their opinion forward. Nisao also has no fear of getting quite heated with Myrelle, in the same scene where they both are scandalized at Siuan for not maintaining the proprieties. There's also this statement from Egwene:

>Sheriam was clearly the strongest woman in the room aside from Egwene herself, and Myrelle next, though it was hard to be certain; the rest all seemed close, except for Siuan. She was weakest by a fair margin.

Morvrin, Carlinya and Aniaya are the same level as Myrelle, and Beonin a level below, but Egwene sees them all as very close, with Sheriam standing out becasue she alone was level 14.

So Egwene's describing Amys as "as strong as most Aes Sedai", and lumping her with Theodrin makes sense. She does it at other times too, as do other Aes Sedai.

Quote:

This is something I will have to dig for. One day I'll have this stuff organized better; I need to do that before the next time I go to the library, that's for sure. Thinking about making a private wiki to sort it all out.
I suspected it might not be readily available, but this kind of stuff will be truly fascinating to know, once you organize your way through all the files. Certainly, they'd give richer context to some of the events in the last book to know other vague ideas RJ had (or so I hope)!

I will also "selflessly" offer my help in organizing any private wiki you want to create. :D

ETA: One other thing. Going through the Companion, it is pretty obvious RJ had extensive notes on each of the ferrets. They seem to be an interesting mix of characters. Was there any hints in the notes about how RJ intended to use them in the final book? It seems Meidani was the only one Brandon used because she was the most prominent of them due to her relationship to Elaida, but I wonder if RJ had plans for them with Egwene.

Davian93 05-06-2017 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 241658)
Not that we have found. Brandon has said publicly that Demandred's backstory in Shara was all him.

That explains why it didn't really gel with the rest of what we knew of Demandred.

WOT Ethnographer 05-07-2017 06:45 AM

Terez, is there any information on the strength level of Shemari of the Brown Ajah who is the friend of Phaedrine? She does not have a strength level listed in the Companion, but I wanted to inquire in case you had seen anything in the notes.

Terez 05-07-2017 06:55 AM

Nope, nothing on her. I'd say if I was still in the library, I could look her up in the Aes Sedai file, but honestly if her strength was in there, Team Jordan wouldn't have neglected to include it in the Companion.


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