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  #1  
Old 07-29-2011, 06:16 PM
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Default CotW - Fortuona Athaem Kore Paendrag

To recap the concept:

First, pop over here for the main thread, to see our list of upcoming characters.

I’d like discussions to link back to any existing theories, threads and ideas, but let’s try and integrate them into new theories, thoughts and ideas okay? This is less to do with whether we “like” characters – we are Theorylanders, and we are not vapid. If you want to be a Theorylander, practice thinking critically and objectively. Don’t worry, we’ll help!

(And remember: a new character of the week does preclude continuing discussion on past topics!)

This week, we'll be discussing: Fortuona Athaem Kore Paendrag.

Tuon is an enigma. She's one of the "hardest" characters we've ever encountered. Willing to take steps, to do whatever she has to do to survive. She's skilled in combat, in the courtly arts, can probably play a lyre while riding horseback and battling a grolm.

What's her modus operandi? What drives Tuon? What makes her tick? Was the ultimate goal always to be the Empress (may she live forever) or would she have stepped aside if "destiny" told her to?

Does she love Mat because she wants to, or because she thinks destiny has told her to? Does she even love him at all?

What are her real plans for the White Tower and the Aes Sedai? It seems fairly obvious after ToM, but do we think she'll surprise us? Will her connection and friendship with Setalle Anan change her mind more than she knows? Will she be willing to work with Rand or against him if he won't bend to her? Again, we seem to know the answer here, but what if Mat asks her to? leaves her if she doesn't?
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  #2  
Old 07-29-2011, 06:58 PM
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She's probably the most complex character in the entire series, as she even gives very little away in her POVs. So really, it's hard to tell. But she is also rational and is willing to learn new things. So it certainly is not out of the question for her to come around and give her support to Rand, with the proper convincing anyways.
  #3  
Old 07-29-2011, 08:40 PM
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I think that despite her many flaws (the fact that she thinks slavery is acceptable to name one) she is genuinely a good person who wants to do good. I think she is incredibly misguided which leads her to make the wrong decisions like to continuation of the conquest of Randland but I don't think its a thirst for conquest or position, power and prominence in itself that drives her . She feels she is doing what she must to fight evil(the dark one).

I think the problem with the Seanchan in general is that we have no confirmation one way or the other whose following the truer prophecy (kneeling to the crystal thrown and all that jazz) or if it is just propaganda to give their (the seanchan dynasty) imperialism credence. With Aviendah's (really sorry is if spelt that wrong) trip through the ter'angreal it seems Rand might actually do it. Which begs the question how can he justify the peace of the Dragon knowing what it would mean for channelers given his mental state post VOG.

I cant help but let my own personal view get in the way of my discussion of her, but from what I have read both of her and of recent Rand I cant help but think she will be the one to bend not the other way round. I hope I'm not wrong because i cried at Avi's viewing (yes i'm a huge softy )
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:50 PM
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I've always been under the impression that Rand will kneel to her, then after the gesture they will work together but Rand will show that it was just a gesture and he'll take charge. I still believe that. In Aviendha's trip through the ter'angreal, Rhuarc's son remembers that his father thought she was honorable.


I do think she's been too hard in the past two books. Maybe she's always been that way and I just didn't see it or want to see it, or maybe Brandon was a bit heavy handed with it. Her personality is too close to Suroth's, lately. The random displays of compassion (i.e. caring about Noal) are completely missing now.

I hope we get to read about her coming to the right decision with the damane, and I still think Setalle will have something to do with it.



As far as her plans with the White Tower, this isn't a good argument, but I feel almost certain they won't come to fruition because having three WT battles in as many books would be silly. Something is going to change her mind before that happens.

Last edited by jana; 07-29-2011 at 08:54 PM.
  #5  
Old 07-30-2011, 12:39 PM
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In many ways Tuon's views are alien compared to those of the characters from the Westlands. She supports slavery and damane but to be honest I doubt if that world view was ever challenged until she came to the Westlands with the Return. Throwing off the prejudices that one grows up with during one's formative years is really hard.

She is strong willed and that is part of her problem when it comes to changing her views. If she was not as strong willed she might change her world view a lot faster but she probably would not have survived long enougth in the position of heir. She is willing to adapt and the way she handled Beslan shows this.

Like a lot of Seanchan her views might be a bit warped but I think she seriously wants what is best for the people and she thinks that what is best for them is the order and stability that life as a subject to the empire could bring.
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Ishara View Post
What's her modus operandi? What drives Tuon? What makes her tick? Was the ultimate goal always to be the Empress (may she live forever) or would she have stepped aside if "destiny" told her to?
I think Tuon is all about Right and Duty. Culturally, the Seanchan are big on Duty, but ambition is also a huge part of it. I get the feeling Tuon would step aside though if she thought it was the right thing to do.

Quote:
Does she love Mat because she wants to, or because she thinks destiny has told her to? Does she even love him at all?
She thinks he's destined to be her husband, so she marries him "for the Empire". Love isn't part of that, though. I think she really does love him - there's her jealousy when Teslyn warns Mat about Joline; her concern when Mat looks sick on their ride; her "proprietary" air and attention when he gets cut up; her care of the rosebud cluster; and her annoyance at Edorion's "imaginings" when he notices her attention on Mat.

Quote:
What are her real plans for the White Tower and the Aes Sedai? It seems fairly obvious after ToM, but do we think she'll surprise us? Will her connection and friendship with Setalle Anan change her mind more than she knows? Will she be willing to work with Rand or against him if he won't bend to her? Again, we seem to know the answer here, but what if Mat asks her to? leaves her if she doesn't?
I think her real plans, at least currently, are exactly what she says they are - to leash every last Aes Sedai and destroy the White Tower as both a stand-alone threat and ally of the Dragon.

I don't think Mat leaves her - he's too in love. Doesn't mean he won't end up on the other side of the field from her, though. Both of them will do what they think right, even if they regret the choice the other makes.

Setalle. Right now, I don't see how this friendship will influence her thoughts towards the White Tower. She doesn't even know Setalle is a former Aes Sedai, does she? Maybe Setalle's arguments will eventually weigh in with everything else towards making her reconsider leashing damane.

Tuon's big on omens. I think she'll eventually be willing to work with Rand, but he'll have to either convince her that her prophecies are Ishmael's work or he'll have to bow. The prophecies demand it!

(My bet is on zen-Rand bowing.)
  #7  
Old 07-30-2011, 06:32 PM
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Setalle. Right now, I don't see how this friendship will influence her thoughts towards the White Tower. She doesn't even know Setalle is a former Aes Sedai, does she?
The theory is based on her finding out that Setalle was an Aes Sedai, or perhaps her getting healed (though I don't think burning out can be healed but that's a conversation for another topic). I think Setalle is probably Tuon's only friend, unless you count Mat or Selucia. She hasn't really ever had another opportunity to make friends. Setalle might be the only person she's ever had a real conversation with. Everyone else is stationed below her. Her time in Ebou Dar and the menagerie is probably the only time she's ever not been "under the veil." Of all the people for Tuon to befriend it's a former channeler. I just think there has to be a reason that it was Setalle.


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Tuon's big on omens. I think she'll eventually be willing to work with Rand, but he'll have to either convince her that her prophecies are Ishmael's work or he'll have to bow. The prophecies demand it!

(My bet is on zen-Rand bowing.)
Agreed.
  #8  
Old 07-30-2011, 07:33 PM
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(My bet is on zen-Rand bowing.)
I see this too, much as would rather it not be the case. Especially considering the nature of ta'veren: impossible is still impossible. If Darth Rand couldn't extort even a simple alliance from the Imperial Heir, I doubt Rand Sedai will attempt to get a bow from an Empress (though he might be able to now).
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:19 PM
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I think Setalle is probably Tuon's only friend, unless you count Mat or Selucia. She hasn't really ever had another opportunity to make friends. Setalle might be the only person she's ever had a real conversation with.
Interesting. I hadn't considered how unique Setalle would rate as a real friend. I can see that.
  #10  
Old 07-31-2011, 04:59 AM
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Tuon's big on omens. I think she'll eventually be willing to work with Rand, but he'll have to either convince her that her prophecies are Ishmael's work or he'll have to bow. The prophecies demand it!

(My bet is on zen-Rand bowing.)
Although zen-Rand bowing is probably more likely at this point, there is a lot more drama and conflict involved in the revelation that the Seanchan have been manipulated by Ishamael. Why, such a revelation could cause them to question their entire culture in much the same way as the Aiel were forced to. Such a revelation might force re-examination of even long-standing institutions to do with the One Power, for example....
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2011, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Nygma View Post
Tuon's big on omens. I think she'll eventually be willing to work with Rand, but he'll have to either convince her that her prophecies are Ishmael's work or he'll have to bow. The prophecies demand it!

(My bet is on zen-Rand bowing.)
An alternative is that she accepts Mat as her representative, and lets Rand and Mat work something out. This might mean that Mat becomes her co-ruler; the first Seanchan Emperor since Luthair, but I am sure that she can live with that, if it is necessary. Mat won't like it, but then, he needn't be told until after the job has been foisted upon him.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:20 AM
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I see this too, much as would rather it not be the case. Especially considering the nature of ta'veren: impossible is still impossible. If Darth Rand couldn't extort even a simple alliance from the Imperial Heir, I doubt Rand Sedai will attempt to get a bow from an Empress (though he might be able to now).
I wonder if the Prince of the Ravens is an extension of the Crystal Throne as is the Empress... could Rand bow to Mat and that count? Perhaps when Rand formally turns command over the armies of the Light to Mat.
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:54 PM
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In the eyes of Fortuona, the DotNM is equal in power to the Dragon and above the Prince of Ravens...so no bowing to Mat. Unless Rand really runs with all of the humility implied by servant of all.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:19 AM
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Why does Fortune always smile at Mat?
Because she's afraid to turn her back on him.



ba-dum-tshhhh

Tuon, to me is... one of the most boring characters that gets consistent POV's. I'm not even sure why she doesn't "click" for me seeing as on paper she should be really really awesome. Perhaps it's her difficulties with overcoming her cultural background in order to function in a world where there's sometimes dirt and people have to touch things. And talk. Gasp! The fact that she does overcome a little of it, speaks well of her character but the amount that she's simply not willing to even contemplate is... staggering.

*removed a character-attack on her from here* see? I CAN self-edit. sometimes.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:59 PM
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Since Tuon was first introduced as the Daughter of the Nine Moons, and Mat's answer that he will marry the Daughter already known, I have often wondered if Rand's bow to the Crystal Throne would be one of respect for Mat's wife, not subservience. I did not think the mentions of the Dragon bowing said exactly how, though perhaps I'm wrong on that.

Another possibility has occurred to me. Fortuona delayed her official coronation until after her meeting with the Dragon, because the Daughter and the Dragon could meet eye to eye. But the Empress, in her point of view, must be 'above' the Dragon. Pre-VoG Rand, of course, would never have allowed her that elevation. Post-VoG Rand, however, might. Therefore, his bowing may simply be the requirement to begin talks on a treaty that will see them allied for the Last Battle. As I think on it, that is probably the most likely.

It all hinges around the treatment of Channelers though. I had hoped Fortuona changing her mind on slavery and damane would have come about already, with just one book to go. I really feel like this issue would have to be addressed if there was to be any lasting peace after TG, and with how her stance is as of ToM, I don't see Fortuona plausibly changing it that quickly. But my thoughts on that are two-fold.

1)I don't think hardly anyone expects this to end 'happily ever after', and the world will still be full of political division. Clearly, we've even had a viewing from Nicola on this. The Seanchan Return and Rand-land situation, not to mention the situation in Seanchan as well, are just another possibility for the battles that the world is not yet done with, to paraphrase.

2) IF the slavery/damane issue is to be settled, I long thought that Mat would be at the core of it. I still think that. But what I also would find interesting, is if Setalle was either revealed as a stilled Aes Sedai and was able to pull influence, or better yet (but still debated of its possibility I know, yet it would have more shock impact) Setalle is Healed and confronts Fortuona along with Mat on the issue.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:10 PM
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1)I don't think hardly anyone expects this to end 'happily ever after', and the world will still be full of political division. Clearly, we've even had a viewing from Nicola on this. The Seanchan Return and Rand-land situation, not to mention the situation in Seanchan as well, are just another possibility for the battles that the world is not yet done with, to paraphrase.

2) IF the slavery/damane issue is to be settled, I long thought that Mat would be at the core of it. I still think that. But what I also would find interesting, is if Setalle was either revealed as a stilled Aes Sedai and was able to pull influence, or better yet (but still debated of its possibility I know, yet it would have more shock impact) Setalle is Healed and confronts Fortuona along with Mat on the issue.
On the healing of Setalle Anan (there are a range of quotes, but this is one of the most commonly cited):

Quote:
The [second] question was if burned out channelers could be Healed as severed or stilled channelers could. His answer, paraphrased because I wasn't recording and I was laughing at what he wrote was: "Nynaeve thinks that there is nothing that cannot be Healed. She was right about Healing stilling and she is on the right track." But he didn't confirm or deny or RAFO whether burned out channelers could or could not be Healed.
However, in relation to the freeing of damane, I've been working on an idea that the a'dam collar could be rendered useless by transforming it into cuendillar. The issue, I think, is that even if Tuon did an about face, there would still be plenty of nobles and former Sul'dam in Seanchan who might not see eye to eye with her and would go on collaring channelers, possibly surreptitiously. There would also exist the possibility that if Tuon died unexpectedly or otherwise failed in changing views, the next Empress could just change the rules back again. For this reason, I felt it would be necessary not only to free the damane but also to destroy all of the known a'dam. If it could be made useless by transformation into cuendillar, this would also be a good way for the Aes Sedai to overcome any collared channelers they faced in battle. There's also some possibility, based on the apparent quantum theory basis on which the a'dam works, that doing this to one collar might actually cause it to happen to all collars! This last might seem far-fetched, but it does seem some method of both freeing the damane and destroying the a'dam will be necessary in order to resolve the damane problem.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:39 AM
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Melting it down would seem a lot simpler that transforming the a'dam into cuendillar. The male version could not be melted but it was a form of cuendillar. As far as the female versions go, they are ordinary metal.

If its revealed that the sul'dam can learn to channell that should also help simply because the blood will not really trust the sul'dam any more and holding damane requires someone to control them. If you don't trust the people who are their handlers then the system becomes untenable and has to be reworked.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:08 AM
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I followed some of a thread discussing/debating the potential for Setalle to be Healed. I can't remember if I chimed in on it or not, but basically at this point I feel like there would be little reason to introduce that if it is possible other than just having another random Channeler for the good guys at the Last Battle. Unless, of course, she had a specific role to perform with Fortuona and the Seanchan.

That is a thought though, with the a'dam being destroyed one way or another, and/or the sul'dam being revealed. We've known about the sul'dam for so long, I didn't even think about it. Fortuona brushes aside this by saying 'I choose not to Channel like I choose not to kill babies' or something thereabouts. Yet I wonder how non-Channeling Blood would feel about that sentiment? Galgan (sp?) especially. That sul'dam plotline has simmered for so long, it'll be interesting to see if that comes to a full boil.

IIRC, there are captured sul'dam (as well as damane) in both Caemlyn and Tar Valon, so no matter where the Seanchan end up they may come face-to-face with Channeling sul'dam? Or is it just damane in the Tower?
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:35 AM
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If it’s revealed that the sul'dam can learn to channel that should also help simply because the blood will not really trust the sul'dam any more and holding damane requires someone to control them. If you don't trust the people who are their handlers then the system becomes untenable and has to be reworked.
I think this hits the nail on the head, they leashed channelers because they were enemies that they didn't trust. It was an act of self preservation and fear. POV's from Tuon and other Seanchan show that they expect marath'damane to be drunk with power and a challenge to any and all kingdoms. So widespread knowledge that Sul'dam are marath'damane would break the system. But then what? All channelers are still enemies and are still feared.

Something drastic will have to happen to change this point of view. While they treat their damane as animals, the truth is, they are enemies capable of taking over the world. Even if all the a'dam in the world are destroyed, channelers are still the greatest threat to the Empire. Look at what Rand and his Black Tower friends did to them while defending Illian. If they can no longer enslave channelers, they will instinctively want to destroy them. This can't be done well without the One Power. So loss of trust in Sul'dam is the end of the Seanchan Empire as we know it.

What has to happen to save Seanchan, is a new view of channelers. Tuon has made some headway on seeing marath'damane as human, mostly due to the discovery that Sul'dam could channel. She is still in denial, and may change with Mat's and Setalle's help, (edit) but if she is the only Seanchan to see this, it does not solve the problem (See Heinz and Zombie's comments on this).

I think this leaves us with four likely options for the end of Seanchan enslavement of/war with channelers:

1. Pattern Throws a Curve Ball: Remember Rand fighting Ishmael over Falme? The pattern projected this to build belief and subdue false dragons. Something of similar magnitude, and greater importance that proves Aes Sedai are not enemies will need to occur. A projection across the globe during the last battle, something like Aes Sedai falling in battle to protect the Prince of the Ravens and the Dragon at Shayl Ghul. It has to be some sort of selfless act by channelers that is so powerful that it cannot be ignored.

2. Access Denied: When the DO's prison is sealed, the counterstroke severs all channelers and kills most. Problem solved. Ushers in an age with no channeling. Based on Avienda's viewing in the columns, this is not likely.

3. The Way of the Leaf: Um, this will solve all problems. Not sure how, but it will. You will see.

4. Bound by Oath: Rand Sedai kneels before the Crystal Throne and willingly submits to serve the Empire. Others follow, and all Aes Sedai, male and female, are bound as servants of the Empire and the World. The oath rod could be used to do this, as the Seanchan do not trust the oaths of foreigners.

There are issues with all of these ideas, but if Seanchan is to survive without Damane and Sul'dam (the confrontation is inevitable in my opinion) something big needs to happen. Maybe the Empire will implode and get wiped out, but I doubt it.
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Last edited by JOS; 08-02-2011 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Said that Tuon say marath'damane as friends, not really true now is it . . .
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by JOS View Post
Tuon has made some headway on seeing marath'damane as human and to some extent as friends
I think you're confusing a dream with words that have actually been written down. Or maybe you're confusing Egeanin with Tuon. Tuon has made no friends with marath'damane (to any extent).
 

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