Friday, December 23, 2016

Robert Jordan's Channeller Strength Ranking — A Christmas Present from the 13th Depository


By Linda


This article details Robert Jordan’s channeller strength ranking collated from individual character entries in the Wheel of Time Companion. At a booksigning, Jordan said he had a 21 level strength list for women (here is my version of that, consistent with the books), but obviously his strength ranking has far more levels, even just for Aes Sedai.

For women, the numbers in parentheses refer to Aes Sedai level ranks only. Plus numbers are “above” regular Aes Sedai ranks. The double plus numbers are the six levels above the women's levels for the strongest men.

++1 (top level for men) Ishamael/Moridin, Lews Therin, Rand, Rahvin

++2 Aginor/Osan’gar, Demandred, Logain, Sammael

++3 Asmodean, Balthamel/Aran’gar

++4 Be’lal

++5

++6

1 (+12) (top level for women) Alivia, Lanfear, Semirhage

2 (+11) Cyndane, Mesaana, Sharina Melloy, Talaan din Gelyn

3 (+10) Caraighan Maconar, Graendal, Nynaeve ti al’Maera Mandragoran

4 (+9) Moghedien, Someryn

5 (+8) Cadsuane Melaidhrin, Tamela

6 (+7)

7 (+6)

8 (+5) Egwene al’Vere, Elayne Trakand

9 (+4) Mabriam en Shereed, Metarra din Junalle, Nicola Treehill

10 (+3) Meilyn Arganya, Viendre

11 (+2) Aviendha, Kerene Nagashi

12 (+1) Edarra, Therava

13 (1) Colinda, Elaida a’Roihan, Lelaine Akashi, Moiraine Damodred (old), Rainyn din Burun, Romanda Cassin, Siuan Sanche (old), Garenia Rosoinde/Zarya Alkaese

14 (2) Aisha Raveneos, Bera Harkin, Cetalia Delarme, Cosain, Galina Casban, Ibrella, Kirstian Chalwin, Kiruna Nachiman, Larelle Tarsi, Leane Sharif (old), Liandrin Guirale, Martine Janata, Merean Redhill, Merise Haindehl, Pevara Tazanovni, Reanne Corly, Saerin Asnobar, Sashalle Anderly, Sheriam Byanar, Valera Gorovni, Yukiri Haruna

15 (3) Anaiya Carel, Carlinya Sorevin, Desandre Alraed, Dorailla, Katerine Alruddin, Lemai Ambani, Maigan, Marillin Gemalphin, Morvrin Thakanos, Myrelle Berengari, Nesune Bihara, Shemerin, Silviana Brehon, Talene Minly, Theodrin Dabei

---Level above which can make a larger gateway---

16 (4) Adelorna Bastine, Aisling Noon, Beldeine Nyram, Beonin Marinye, Bernaille Gelbarn, Brendas, Doesine Alwain, Eldrith Jhondar, Ester Stepashin, Faeldrin Harella, Haesel Lusara, Julanya Fote, Kwamesa Taramasu, Masuri Sokawa, Naime din Malzar, Nisao Dachen, Rafela Cindal, Rysael din Yulan

17 (5) Alanna Mosvani, Aloisia Nemosni (max), Alviarin Freidhen, Annharid Matoun, Caire din Gelyn, Cathal Devore, Dailin, Danelle, Delora, Erian Boroleos, Falion Bhoda, Faolain Orande, Felaana Bevaine, Ispan Shefar, Janya Frende, Joline Maza, Meidani Eschede, Melaine, Merana Ambrey, Seaine Herimon, Seonid Traighan, Tebreille din Gelyn, Temaille Kinderode, Teslyn Baradon, Verin Mathwin

18 (6) Asne Zeramene, Ayako Norsoni, Azzara din Karak, Belinde, Carelle, Chesmal Emry, Coiren Saeldain, Corele Hovian, Delana Mosalaine, Demira Eriff, Jeaine Caide, Jennet Cobb, Kairen Stang, Kurin din Calis, Marith Riven, Mikio Vadere, Narenwin Barda (may be 19/7), Renaile din Calon Blue Star, Sarene Nemdahl, Shevan Gadarin, Sierin Vayu, Sumeko Karistovan, Tialin

19 (7) Berenicia Morsad, Celestin Eguilera, Chaelin, Chanelle din Seran, Dagdara Finchey, Dorile din Eiran, Elaiva Walfor, Faeral din Rao, Gabrelle Brawley, Gitara Moroso, Nadere, Rhiale, Rubinde Acedone, Sedore Dajenna, Senine din Ryal, Tamra Ospenya, Tarna Feir, Tiana Noselle, Toveine Gazal, Zanica Ghodar, Zerah Dacan

20 (8) Evanellein Lorn, Faiselle Darone, Magla Daronos (max, given as 29 (8), so may be 29 (17)), Samitsu Tamagowa, Vandene Namelle (but limited herself to be equal to her sister)

21 (9) Covarla Baldene, Ferane Neheran, Jesse Bilal, Juilaine Madome, Mayam Colona, Rhianna Andomeran, Sereille Bagand, Tsutama Rath, Valene Sural

22 (10) Ashmanaille (can make gateway), Cairlyn Nesolle, Carniele Emares, Emerys, Losaine (max, given as 22 (15), so may be 27 (15)), Merilille Ceandevwin (can’t make gateway), Rina Hafden, Ronelle, Samalin Naerodan, Sibella (can’t make gateway), Suana Dragand

---Level above which can make a useful gateway---

23 (11) Adeleas Namelle (can’t make gateway), Duhara Basaheen, Escaralde Hamdey, Janina, Nevarin, Serafelle Tanisloe, Shielyn din Sabura, Takima Deraghdin

24 (12) Akoure Vayet, Aledrin Malenry, Andaya Forae, Edesina Azzedin, Kumira Dhoran, Lirene Doirellin, Lyrelle Arienwin, Meira, Saroiya Farseen

25 (13) Beldemaine, Elza Penfell, Javindhra Doraille, Jenare Balmaen, Keatlin, Malind Nachenin, Modarra, Moria Karentanis, Velina Behar, Zemaille Amassa

26 (14) Lanita, Mirlene Cornwell, Sareitha Tomares, Turanna Norill, Varilin Zanaire

27 (15) Aeldene Stonebridge, Amico Nagoyin, Amira Moselle, Berylla Naron, Careane Fransi, Janine Pavlara, Losaine (min, given as 22 (15), so may be 22 (10)), Micara, Niande Moorwyn, Ronaille Vevianos, Salita Toranes, Tabiya

28 (16) Berana Shermon, Joiya Byir, Larissa Lyndel, Marline, Nelavaire Demasiellin, Razina Hazzan

29 (17) Lucilde, Magla Daronos (min, given as 29 (8), so may be 20 (8)), Pura/Ryma Galfrey

30 (18) Daviena, Emara

---Level below which cannot make any gateway at all---

31 (19) Calindin, Cavandra, Ieine

32 (20) Rosara Medrano, Shanelle, Teire Alentaine

33 (21) Annoura Larisen, Bharatine, Fera Sormen, Silvane Redfor, Valinde Nathenos

34 (22) Adine Canford, Afara, Akarrin Comeris, Cabriana Mecandes, Memara, Shahal Comanli, Shimoku, Therva Maresis, Vayelle Kamsa

35 (23) Cariandre Temalien, Guisin, Phaedrine, Shana Goridien, Siuan Sanche (new)

36 (24) Leane Sharif (new), Nacelle Kayama

37 (25) Bennae Nalsad, Caren Endelle, Chilares Arman, Nisain a’Cowel

38 (26) Famelle Juarde, Reiko Kerevon

39 (27) Ivara

40 (28) Solain Morgeillin

41 (29) Derys Nermala, Eldase Takashi

42 (30) Berowin Doraisin

44 (32) Marris Thornhill

45 (33) Daigian Moseneillin, Monaelle

---Level below which was not allowed to test for Aes Sedai---

46 (34) Alise Tenjile, Dimana Corrand, Janira (max), Melore (max), Sarainya Vostovan

47 (35) Sorilea (max, given as 57 (35), so may be 57 (45)), Tamarla

49 (37) Keraille Surtovni

---Level below which was not allowed to test for Accepted---

54 (42) Asra Zigane, Setsuko (max)

57 (45) Sorilea (min, given as 57 (35); Egwene thought her too weak to be tested for Accepted (Lord of Chaos, A Taste of Solitude), so this is her likely level)

66 (54) Moiraine (new)


Notes

As stated, there are six strength levels for men above the women’s ranks. However, as Jordan repeatedly explained, women have superior dexterity than men to the degree that they make up for the less amounts of the One Power that they draw:

Men can be much stronger than women in the pure quantity of the Power that they can channel, but on a practical level, women are much more deft in their weaving and that means the strongest possible woman can do just about anything that the strongest possible man could, and to the same degree.

Robert Jordan on his blog

Very strong male channellers would fill these six levels, with strong male channellers on the same levels as the very strong women, and so on down through the medium and weak channellers.

It is interesting that not all strength levels were “filled out” with characters appearing in the series—notably levels 6 (+7) and 7 (+6), and the ++5 and ++6 men's levels. A few characters have double entries because they were given inconsistent number rankings.

In this ranking, I have included those channellers whose actual ranking was stated in the Companion plus those where it was stated that they could or could not qualify for a test or gateway ability. I have not included rankings based on further inferences and will not on this list. Such channellers are included on my saidar strength ranking list. Conversely, I have not added channellers with a ranking number in the Companion to my own strength ranking who do not have references in the book as to their relative strength because the two rankings are approximately compatible. For actual book quotes regarding the female channellers’ strengths, please see the saidar strength article linked above.

Some notable changes of mind that Jordan made in the series are the strengths of Aviendha—repeatedly stated as equal to Elayne and Egwene in the books but not in Jordan’s strength ranking, where Aviendha is three levels below them—and Cadsuane, who is not as strong as Elayne and Egwene in the books but is placed a level above them in Jordan’s strength ranking. Likewise, Talaan is said to be equal to Nynaeve in the books but is placed a level higher in Jordan’s ranking notes.

Morgase would be lower than Moiraine (new) but she was not given a ranking in the Companion.

Channellers in levels 23 (11) to 30 (18) are able to make very small gateways that are barely, or even not, useful. Note that even level 22 contains channellers who are known to be unable to make a gateway that is useable—Merilille, for instance, relied on Reanne Corly to make a gateway for her to visit the Borderlander army. I have marked where this is known. Androl is a noted exception; he is a weak channeller who can make very large gateways.

Comparison with my 21 level saidar strength list:

I will give the 21 level list number first and then Jordan’s ranking level/s. On the whole, the lists are broadly similar.

Level 21 — 1 (+12)
Level 20 — 2 (+11)
Levels 19 and 18 — 3 (+10)
Level 17 — 4 (+9)
Level 16 — 5 (+8)
Level 15 — 8 (+5)
Level 14 and some of 13 and 15 — 9 (+4)
Level 13 — 10 (+3), 11 (+2) and 12 (+1)
Level 12 — 13/1
Level 11 — 14/2
Level 10 — 15/3
Level 9 — 16/4
Level 8 — 17/5
Level 7 — 18/6 to 22/10 inclusive
Level 6 — 23/11 to 33/21 inclusive
Level 5 — 34/22 and parts of 35/23
Level 4 — part of 35/23 and 36/24 to 45/33 inclusive
Level 3 — part of 46/34
Level 2 — part of 46/34 and 47/35 to at least 57/45
Level 1 — below 57/45, for negligible channellers such as Morgase, who was not given a ranking number on Jordan’s list


Best wishes to all for the Festive Season and for 2017.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Memory of Light Read-through #24: Chapter 21—Not a Mistake to Ignore


By Linda

Siuan POV

Yukiri used a cushion of Air to break their fall through her open gateway. Fortunately it offered a fine escape route. It strikes me that tents are not very strategic, and later we see that the Seanchan are ambushed and trapped within their command tent. Yukiri is probably thinking that using Air to prop up a channeller would enable him/her to fly.

Siuan broke ranks in complaining to Yukiri about her weave, apart from being ungrateful. She is still not following traditional Aes Sedai ranking. True, times are different, and hard, but Siuan also has accepted her new position rather grudgingly. The grumbling is to mask her pain at the losses from this one attack, which are immense—almost 50% of the soldiers and about 32% of the Aes Sedai. While Siuan pretends that the Aes Sedai that died treated her badly:

"Bah," Siuan said, "most of them treated me like fish guts anyway. They resented me as Amyrlin, laughed when I was cast down; and then made a servant of me when I returned."

A Memory of Light, Not a Mistake to Ignore

her off-hand summary of her situation is true in outline. Many sisters have acted in this manner to her, for example, the Blue Sitter Maigan—just not necessarily those that died.

Siuan believes that Egwene is still alive. Like Moiraine, she trusts the Pattern as well as Egwene’s resourcefulness.

Bryne realises that he is making mistakes, but doesn’t know why. The chapter title refers to his mistakes being too large, too obvious, to ignore. Even by him. He has lost confidence and this makes him look old.

Lyrelle POV

As we see from her ‘so-called Black Tower’ description, Lyrelle does not accept the Black Tower as a legitimate entity. This is bolstered by her receipt of a warning from the Amyrlin that the Black Tower has joined the Shadow. Egwene and/or Lyrelle imply that they believe most, or all, Asha’man are Darkfriends. If they truly did believe this, then why Bond them? Just because Aes Sedai were Bonded? This is nonsensical reasoning and a justification for feelings of superiority.

Even though Lyrelle is a Sitter, the thirty reinforcing Aes Sedai accept her leadership reluctantly. In a way, I’m not surprised since I’m not impressed with her attitudes and thoughts.

The Blue Sitter is appalled that she has to accept that the Black Ajah is public knowledge, and that therefore Aes Sedai are not superior to Asha’man—and, in fact, are more like them than is acceptable. Both groups had to cleanse their ranks of Darkfriends.

Lyrelle plans to bind the strongest Asha’man, although she knows—but took a while to accept—that she won’t be able to Compel him. Wait until she finds out that even one of medium strength will probably be stronger than her when he reaches his potential. (Of course, she would be more dextrous in her weaving, which will compensate.) She thinks she can intimidate him in short order into telling her which of the others are the most talented, so her cohorts can Bond them. On the other hand, she doesn’t believe the taint is cleansed, or that the Asha’man could outfight them. We’ve hear this all before… Lyrelle is like a Blue version of Elaida or Toveine. However, unlike Elaida, Lyrelle is observant and good at reading people. I notice that she doesn’t return Androl’s greeting, and I’m sure so does Androl!

Her comment that:

It said something about these Black Tower men that they chose to finish the walls around their grounds before actually building their tower.

A Memory of Light, Not a Mistake to Ignore

shows that she doesn’t understand why the wall was finished and not the Tower, even though her group was kept out, and many men kept in, for weeks. Also, the most important parts, as far as Taim is concerned, are already built.

Pevara says that Bonding Asha’man is a misguided mission. She advises not to Bond randomly by coercion, but to take the willing. Rand’s order for the Asha’man to be men first and weapons second arrived in time to prevent the men from tamely accepting Aes Sedai demands to Bond them. This is definitely for the good of the Asha’man, but does stretch the bargain he made with Egwene, who in turn thinks they may be Darkfriends.

Pevara emphasises that Logain leads the Asha’man now. Like Elaida, Lyrelle wishes he had not survived. For one thing, Lyrelle was going to take over the Black Tower to have more influence than Lelaine, her Ajah Head.

Ironically, not having control through the Bond will mean that she has to treat her Warder as an equal, a partner, and not a servant. It will be a painful shock for one so power hungry that she wants own Asha’man troops forced to her will.

Androl says that his trick is “worthy of an Aes Sedai”, who have the reputation of being tricky by meeting the words of a bargain but not the spirit of it. And yet Androl more than meets this bargain in spirit, since he has gathered men who agree to be Bonded. Lyrelle was going to take whoever she wished. She still can, but it has to be from this select group. It is indeed not the time to whine, but the time for pragmatic politics—what with half Egwene’s army wiped out and Rand in Shayol Ghul.

Bonding goes two ways and negotiating will soften attitudes out of necessity. The Asha’man and Aes Sedai will each live long lives—again, equality. If some non-Green Sitters with Lyrelle are bonding two men, this will doubly break Ajah custom (since it is not customary to bond other channellers).

Pevara POV

Pevara is on the side of the Asha’man against Lyrelle’s cold and calculating intentions. Like Seaine, Lyrelle thinks Pevara chose the wrong Ajah. She has effectively abandoned her position as a Sitter, although for a very good reason.

Androl makes light of Pevara’s warnings about the Aes Sedai, saying that the men will weather the dangers of being seen as a threat or a tool. He points out that Pevara changed—but she was positively disposed towards them compared to some of Lyrelle’s Aes Sedai. Myrelle will also be won over easily to see their points of view.

Pevara and Androl can see the psychological damage that the Turning processes has left on Logain and Emarin. Once complete, the Turning results in irreversible moral as well as psychological destruction.

The Asha’man don’t know what to think about the fact that Rand knew something was wrong at the Black Tower and did nothing. Jonneth, a loyal Emond’s Field man, believes Rand must have had good reason. Emarin thinks the worst of him. Androl points out that Rand’s attitude is all of a piece—he has never had much to do with the Black Tower. Of course, Taim manipulated Rand to ensure that, and Rand fell for it. Emarin is right that Rand became harsh and even callous—but that stopped with his epiphany, which these Asha’man don’t know about. It occurred too late for Rand to do much for the Black Tower except fall into the trap while trying to save them (which Rand was tempted to do).

Logain is their true leader, not Rand, and Androl second. Pevara sees that Rand cannot remain their leader anyway since he is the world’s sacrifice. The Asha’man must be independent and not reliant on any one man. Their own men. Not weapons. They have a positive outlook and a future now beyond the Last Battle.