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  #1  
Old 02-14-2012, 10:39 AM
Daemin Daemin is offline
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Default Something that always bugged me about stilling...

We know that stilling can be used as punishment for breaking tower law that falls short of being severe enough to warrant the death sentence. We also know that every channeler thinks that stilling is worse than death. From that, I think its a reasonable assumption to think that most Aes Sedai should think that stilling someone is harming them.

The three oaths forbid Aes Sedai from using the one power as weapon except against dark friends, shadow spawn, or in defense of themselves, other Aes Sedai, or their warders.

So the thing that always bugged me is, how is it even possible for a sentence of stilling to be carried out? Why do the three oaths not prevent the Aes Sedai from doing so?

Once this thought crossed my mind, so many years ago now, it just raised further questions. How could the sisters beat Rand daily? Is unnecessary, sadistic punishment with the OP not considered using it as a weapon? What about genteling? Surely that is harming the man, especially since it is known that doing so will remove his will to live.

Any answer to this that I can think up just ends up seeming unsatisfactory and ad hoc.
  #2  
Old 02-14-2012, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Daemin View Post
We know that stilling can be used as punishment for breaking tower law that falls short of being severe enough to warrant the death sentence. We also know that every channeler thinks that stilling is worse than death. From that, I think its a reasonable assumption to think that most Aes Sedai should think that stilling someone is harming them.

The three oaths forbid Aes Sedai from using the one power as weapon except against dark friends, shadow spawn, or in defense of themselves, other Aes Sedai, or their warders.

So the thing that always bugged me is, how is it even possible for a sentence of stilling to be carried out? Why do the three oaths not prevent the Aes Sedai from doing so?

Once this thought crossed my mind, so many years ago now, it just raised further questions. How could the sisters beat Rand daily? Is unnecessary, sadistic punishment with the OP not considered using it as a weapon? What about genteling? Surely that is harming the man, especially since it is known that doing so will remove his will to live.

Any answer to this that I can think up just ends up seeming unsatisfactory and ad hoc.
The key thing is the word "weapon". This is actually highlighted in the series at the end of LOC, where the AS are able to beat Rand with the Power. They can do this only because they think of it as a punishment rather than an assault, and once one or two of them start wondering if he does deserve it, they're unable to do so anymore. As fine as the distinction is, there is a difference between a tool used for discipline and a weapon.
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:01 AM
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As Zombie states, they are simply playing semantics. Its only assault with the OP if they think of it that way.

Also, for some of those involved in the beating (Galina, Katherine), it didnt matter at all as they were Black Ajah and not subject to the Oaths.
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  #4  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
As Zombie states, they are simply playing semantics. Its only assault with the OP if they think of it that way.

Also, for some of those involved in the beating (Galina, Katherine), it didnt matter at all as they were Black Ajah and not subject to the Oaths.
The point is that given all the ritual and ceremony that normally surrounds the stilling of a woman, no AS would ever think of it as a use of the Power as a weapon in that context.
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  #5  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:37 AM
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The point is that given all the ritual and ceremony that normally surrounds the stilling of a woman, no AS would ever think of it as a use of the Power as a weapon in that context.
I agree.
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:46 AM
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The point is that given all the ritual and ceremony that normally surrounds the stilling of a woman, no AS would ever think of it as a use of the Power as a weapon in that context.
As Dr Samuel Johnson said: "The prospect of hanging concentrates the mind wonderfully."

Frankly, I would expect an AS who is faced with being stilled to think of this defense. Maybe not all of them, but it would only take one.
Or, more accurately: if AS weren't what they are, then I would expect them to have figured this out.
  #7  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:53 AM
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Frankly, I would expect an AS who is faced with being stilled to think of this defense. Maybe not all of them, but it would only take one.
Or, more accurately: if AS weren't what they are, then I would expect them to have figured this out.
Grasping for the few tufts of grass on the cliffside: the alternative is execution or some sort of bizarre life-long shielding which results in the same.
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  #8  
Old 02-14-2012, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by eht slat meit View Post
Grasping for the few tufts of grass on the cliffside: the alternative is execution or some sort of bizarre life-long shielding which results in the same.
Well, we know that a perma-shield of sorts is possible, as is a shield that merely restricts the flow of Power.

Given that stilling can now be healed, I expect that in future a sentence of stilling might be imposed for a period of time, for example seven years stilling and imprisonment. If the Asha'man are in some way incorporated into AS structure, they could even determine whether the healing will be by man or woman as part of the sentence.
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  #9  
Old 02-14-2012, 02:03 PM
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There are several ways for Aes Sedai, masters of rationalization, to justify (at least to themselves) the act of gentling:

1. Many Red sisters (and probably others) consider men who can channel to be darkfriends, whether accurately or not.

2. It is possible to consider the gentling of a possible raving madman with the powers of fire and lightning at their fingertips to be a grave danger to other sisters if they walk about unhindered.

3. Gentling can be considered healing instead of harming, since it helps prevent madness.

I find it harder to justify stillings, especially in the cases of Siuan and Leane, even though it was Galina who led the circles, since other sisters participated. Though perhaps some kind of delusions allows a loophole in the oaths.
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  #10  
Old 02-14-2012, 02:42 PM
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I cannot recall...did Elaida's proclamation against Siuan and Leane say they were Black Ajah or not.

Too lazy to look it up right now. However, if it did, that would justify any such stilling beyond the normal "Oh, its just legal punishment and acceptable under the Oaths"

EDIT: Nevermind...found the quote. Elaida doesnt say they're Darkfriends, she only implies it...which might have been good enough to convince the AS carrying out the sentences anyway:

Quote:
TITLE: Shadow Rising
CHAPTER: 47 - The Truth of a Viewing
"I don't know. There are not many Greens left, either. Not in the Tower. The other Ajahs split, one way and another. Most of the Reds are still here. As far as I know, everybody who opposed Elaida has either fled or else they are dead. Siuan. . ." It seemed odd, calling her that-Leane muttered angrily under her breath-but calling her Mother would only be a mockery, now. "Siuan, the charges posted against you claim you and Leane arranged Mazrim Taim's escape. Logain got away during the fighting, and they've blamed that on you, too. They don't quite name you Darkfriends-I suppose that would be too close to Black Ajah-but they do not miss by much. I think everyone is meant to understand, though."
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Last edited by Davian93; 02-14-2012 at 02:50 PM.
  #11  
Old 02-14-2012, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by WinespringBrother View Post
There are several ways for Aes Sedai, masters of rationalization, to justify (at least to themselves) the act of gentling:

1. Many Red sisters (and probably others) consider men who can channel to be darkfriends, whether accurately or not.

2. It is possible to consider the gentling of a possible raving madman with the powers of fire and lightning at their fingertips to be a grave danger to other sisters if they walk about unhindered.

3. Gentling can be considered healing instead of harming, since it helps prevent madness.

I find it harder to justify stillings, especially in the cases of Siuan and Leane, even though it was Galina who led the circles, since other sisters participated. Though perhaps some kind of delusions allows a loophole in the oaths.
Aren't we overlooking something even worse that doesn't involve channeling? How did they justify murdering Siuan's warder? He could have simply been shielded, but instead they killed him. They were there to arrest Siuan, not merely to carry out an illegal coup d'etat. Even if it was very tenuously legal, they did nonetheless make the effort to have a limited Hall meet to depose Siuan and thus justify their actions, yet how can this justify killing a warder that could have been easily overpowered by a group of channelers even had he raised the alarm, and thus warned Siuan of their coming. After all, if their cause was legal and just, what matter if he raise an alarm?
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:51 PM
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Aren't we overlooking something even worse that doesn't involve channeling? How did they justify murdering Siuan's warder? He could have simply been shielded, but instead they killed him. They were there to arrest Siuan, not merely to carry out an illegal coup d'etat. Even if it was very tenuously legal, they did nonetheless make the effort to have a limited Hall meet to depose Siuan and thus justify their actions, yet how can this justify killing a warder that could have been easily overpowered by a group of channelers even had he raised the alarm, and thus warned Siuan of their coming. After all, if their cause was legal and just, what matter if he raise an alarm?
I've always wondered this myself. Given the situation, it was completely unnecessary to kill Siuan's Warder.

After the Black Ajah was rounded up, there was a little bit about what to do with their Warders; that some of them would be Darkfriends, but not all. There wasn't much content to go on, but it was said that it was an incredible mess, since it would be extremely difficult to sort out the Darkfriends from those that simply were crazy due to the Bond being broken. There was no mention that the crazy ones would be put to death.

Maybe Elaida's coup felt they had to kill Siuan's Warder. But any way you slice it, it was murder, and also surprising considering how many sisters were involved and all but the Blue Ajah was represented. You can't tell me Joline thought it was the right thing to do.
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  #13  
Old 02-14-2012, 04:53 PM
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They probably either killed Siuan's warder through non-magical means, or he was killed in combat. I thought it said somewhere that he was killed in combat, come to think of it.
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  #14  
Old 02-14-2012, 05:01 PM
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They probably either killed Siuan's warder through non-magical means, or he was killed in combat. I thought it said somewhere that he was killed in combat, come to think of it.
tSR Ch 47:

Quote:
Yet it was not the sight of Leane that made her miss her step, but the tall, slender gray-haired man stretched on the floor with a knife rising from his back.
This doesn't sound much like a struggle. This sounds like they knifed him in the back before he fully knew what they were intending. There were some black ajah present, and one of the Forsaken, but they all, some known non-DFs, are complicit in this murder.

Last edited by Kimon; 02-14-2012 at 05:07 PM.
  #15  
Old 02-14-2012, 05:07 PM
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LoC Ch 47:



This doesn't sound much like a struggle. This sounds like they knifed him in the back before he fully knew what they were intending. There were some black ajah present, and one of the Forsaken, but they all, some known non-DFs, are complicit in this murder.
According to eWOT, he sensed Siuan's distress, ran to her aid, and was knife in the antechamber. That's probably what I was thinking of, unless someone has something different.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:14 PM
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According to eWOT, he sensed Siuan's distress, ran to her aid, and was knife in the antechamber. That's probably what I was thinking of, unless someone has something different.
If so, they got that information from an interview. Nothing indicates that in the text, which only relates that Siuan saw him dead on the floor as she was being led out of her inner chamber.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:01 PM
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Aren't we overlooking something even worse that doesn't involve channeling? How did they justify murdering Siuan's warder? He could have simply been shielded, but instead they killed him.
Seems to me that it's understood over the course of the series that the Warders are regularly used as a cheap (or not-so-cheap) rationalization for getting away with what one can't do with the OP. When those most willing to oppose you are dead, they're no longer a threat. So you get your warder to off Alric, start a large-scale warder v warder riot, and as long as you win, everything's gravy.

In other circumstances, they probably couldn't have gotten away with that, and I'm sure that Mesaana made things happen in a way as to force the confrontation.

And it's not as if just the BA does it either - Siuan was mighty quick to suggest having Egwene's little blackmailers meet with "accidents"...
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:32 PM
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And it's not as if just the BA does it either - Siuan was mighty quick to suggest having Egwene's little blackmailers meet with "accidents"...
Nicola and Areina were expendable nuisances, moreover the use of the word accident implies an intent to cover their tracks. Alric's death on the other hand was both pointless and in front of many witnesses.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:46 PM
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Nicola and Areina were expendable nuisances, moreover the use of the word accident implies an intent to cover their tracks. Alric's death on the other hand was both pointless and in front of many witnesses.
"Expendable nuisances"? That's a polite way to describe a cold-blooded act of murder. It was obvious to everyone present, which is why Egwene shut it down.

Alric's death was part of a larger plot, and had a very specific point - to establish a wide and growing schism in the Tower that would eventually break it.

It's very easy to convince someone of a thing like Alric when they already rationalize murders to themselves. A small sacrifice in a greater cause. If we let him live, there's the danger he will rally others against us. Not because we're wrong, but because they are so wrong, they would stand against the Tower and tear it apart.

Pre-emptive strike, really!
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~ Blightwarden Eht Slat Meit li Vaelkier
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by eht slat meit View Post
"Expendable nuisances"? That's a polite way to describe a cold-blooded act of murder. It was obvious to everyone present, which is why Egwene shut it down.

Alric's death was part of a larger plot, and had a very specific point - to establish a wide and growing schism in the Tower that would eventually break it.

It's very easy to convince someone of a thing like Alric when they already rationalize murders to themselves. A small sacrifice in a greater cause. If we let him live, there's the danger he will rally others against us. Not because we're wrong, but because they are so wrong, they would stand against the Tower and tear it apart.

Pre-emptive strike, really!
Or to be more succinct, Alric was himself merely an expendable nuisance. That does not however change the fact that his murder was unnecessary. He was simply an annoyance that could be swatted, swept under the table, then forgotten. Nicola was also an annoyance, but at least killing her would have served a purpose, albeit a ruthlessly expedient one.
 


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