Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Legends Fading

by Fanatic-Templar

By now, we can start hoping for some actual losses for the Light. It would be a rather poor Tarmon Gai’don if only the Shadow had losses with names. As to who will die, we cannot be sure, but foreshadowing points towards Rand, Bashere, Lan, Cadsuane… The latter is the one who concerns us here. For starters, why exactly should she be one of the unlucky few who die? Then we’ll move on to the how.

Bluntly put, she’s old. Very old. Most Aes Sedai believe she should be dead. She agrees.

Any day now might be her last, but young al’Thor would be a fitting end to it all.
A Crown of Swords, Diamonds and Stars.

And there we have it. From Min’s Viewing, what her purpose in aiding Rand is.

“It’s Cadsuane. She is going to teach you something, you and the Asha’man. All the Asha’man, I mean. It’s something you have to learn, but I don’t know what it is, except that none of you will like learning it from her. You aren’t going to like it at all.”
A Crown of Swords, A Crown of Swords.

The Last Battle is meant to be fought by the Emond’s Fielders, and Cadsuane is much too imposing a personality right now to have her meddling with Tarmon Gai’don, it would simply be unwise from a storyline point of view. Therefore she must be removed, and we’ve been told she wishes only to achieve this last task before she dies. Fortuitous, to say the least.

So the story requires victims for the Light, and here we have a woman who’s all set to cross the Styx. But how exactly will she die? Will the Aes Sedai just wake up one morning to find her dead? Surely not. With the Last Battle ever closer, most deaths will be due to battle with the Shadow ( or Bubbles of Evil ) and as the Pattern would have it, an adversary has been set up with every reason to hate her, and the means to destroy her.

“Then I heard of Taim, and I was off to Saldaea as fast as I could ride. There’s nothing for a bit of excitement like a man who can channel.”
A Crown of Swords, Diamonds and Stars.

Mazrim Taim, of course, hates all Aes Sedai, and who can blame him, seeing as how they were about to gentle him? Of course, he is also a darkfriend, and a powerful one at that. Aside from his considerable strength in saidin, he commands a legion of Asha’man to serve his bidding. Since Cadsuane was among the Sisters who actually captured him, his hatred of Aes Sedai may well be exceptionally rabid against her.

Now, Cadsuane is protected by so many ter’angreal that it would take an army to defeat her. And as I just said, Taim has an army, an army of channellers, maybe the deadliest force ever assembled since the Trolloc Wars.

Well, there’s the evidence, make up your own minds.


Unknown said...

I do somehow expect Cadsuane to bite the dust before the series ends. But well along, she's too great a character to die before she has to.

Two possibilities for near-term rejuvenation: That old guy who owned the estate in eastern Tear where the Rand Band hid out before the Trollocs attacked. He is now studying to become an Ashaman. WQould be a good choice to become Cadsuane's warder--balance, joint access to the male source of the One Power, calm administrative (and life) experience, someone to watch her back. And an OLD warder would make her feel less guilty, especially if HE brought it up.

Second: removal of at least the oaths against battle using the (an) oath rod. RThis could extend her life physically for a century or two, though I picture her as a battle loss. The oath removal has to happen for all the Aes Sedai anyway for the Light to have a chance in the last battle. Egwene's current attitudes to the contrary seem to me to have been planted by Halima (as may others).

The Taim revenge is plausible, but so are a myriad of other possibilities.

Also, unlike other advisors, Cadsuane isn't using her strength of personality to try to overwhelm Rand and have him march to her drum beat. It wouldn't work, as she is quite aware, and she probably knows that it wouldn't even be wise.

I suspect that knowing laughter and tears is a quote from the prophacies (sp?), and I suppose he has to learn them, but the lesson he must teach the Ashamen may be quite different, maybe just working together and creating a joint Tower/command (though that seems a little obvious).

Dominic said...

"Egwene's current attitudes to the contrary seem to me to have been planted by Halima (as may others). "

There are no signs that Egwene has been compelled in any way by Halima. Halima simply interferred with Egwene's Dreaming abilities, and her limited skills in that area even made her able to do so only when Egwene let her sleep in her tent.

Egwene's opinion about the Oaths is not a mystery. It's Siuan. Siuan stuffed her with White Tower propaganda about the Oaths and it convinced Egwene. She doesn't see beyond Siuan's rhetoric anymore, but IMO eventually she will. It's a matter of time before Egwene realises for herself that the fact the Oaths are bound have freed the Aes Sedai of honour and ethics, developped a culture among them that as long as the Oaths don't stop them, whatever they do is fine. If anything it has increased the culture of deception.

Egwene embracing her version of honour and obligation, the spirit of it, is not just a personal quest, IMO, nor is the fact the WO are training AS sworn to Rand about honour a coincidence, and no more than it's a coincidence that Elayne and Nynaeve are forcing themselves to follow the Three Oaths without being bound by them. Before it's over, Egwene will come to understand that for the Aes Sedai to be respected and valued the way the WO are in their culture, they too need to adhere in spirit and letter to a code of honour and obligation and put the Binder behind it. It would help her a great deal to learn first what this ter'angreal is really for (which could come from many places...LTT, a slip by a Forsaken, Elayne's AOL library etc.). No more empty Oaths.

"I suspect that knowing laughter and tears is a quote from the prophacies (sp?), and I suppose he has to learn them, but the lesson he must teach the Ashamen may be quite different, maybe just working together and creating a joint Tower/command (though that seems a little obvious)."

I suspect it's all about "laughter and tears" for the Asha'man too. It's just at another level than Rand, but not so very different. Personally I think this will come into play when the Asha'man realise Taim is de facto holding hostage at the Black Tower all their loved ones, wives and children. They will be torn apart then, distracted from the fight against the Shadow and become extremely dangerous. IMO, this is when the Asha'man will need Cadsuane. In the larger sense, Cadsuane will teach them that they are not weapons but men forced to fight like everyone else, only with different weapons, their ability to channel, that they will have to throw the Black Tower completely overboard and start from scratch after TG, or become Aes Sedai in truth if perhaps not necessarily in name. Because the Black Tower is only a war machine, totally unsuitable and even dangeroous for times without the Shadow to fight. They have to give up the darkness, the black coats, the harsh military minding, to stop thriving on the awe and fear they inspire - or they will be unfit to live among civilians after TG.

Basically, Cadsuane is gonna teach the Asha'man and Rand the Green Ajah philosophy, to stand ready for war but also to live normal lives and never to see themselves as killers or weapons. To be strong, but not harden themselves. It's the same lesson Sorilea as Wise One to a warrior people wants to teach Rand, a lesson that is a way of life for all the Aiel. For Aiel, laughter and tears are never far away - their fiercest warriors never lose them, never become threats to their own people, the chiefs always leader and inspirational figures and never tyrants, never bullies. All but the corrupted Shaido, that is.

Anonymous said...

Cadsuane will bond Logain and be his adviser while he rules, his little slice after the last battle. ha ended the speculation for ya theres ur answer

Yamezt said...

Howabout the possibility that Cadsuane would take Egwene's offer to be released from the 3 oaths?

While the decision if that should be allowed would be made by the Hall, if it was successful in passing through, Cadsuane would be the first precedent to do so. And with such a high standing among Aes Sedai as to be a legend, it would seal Egwene's plan.

In TGS, the Aiel Wise Ones told Cadsuane Nynaeve is not the only one salvagable of the current crop. It has brought me thinking what would the meeting with Cadsuane and Egwene bring - so that was what I thought.

Gifted Designs said...

Just a comment for future people who may be reading this.

I know Reptile's comment is 2 years old, but I'd just like to point out that all it takes is one oath on the oath rod to half lifespan so to be able to prolong her life, Cad would have to renounce all three. Removing one oath is not going to be enough.

Anonymous said...

Just a reminder that the second oath will not hinder the tower AT ALL in TG. Remember that they vow "never to use the Power as a weapon except against shadowspawn, darkfriends, or in the last defense of her life, her warder's life, or that of another sister."

Pretty safe to assume them there humans fighting side by side with trollocs is darkfriends...and if there's any doubt at all, they can just wade into the thick of battle so their lives are in danger, then it's a go for fire and lightning. That,s all it took at dumai's wells, when there was no reason to suspect they wee fighting darkfriends....