Monday, July 30, 2001

Treasonous Thoughts

by Linda

This is a theory I thought of while spending weeks compiling the myriad laws and customs of Aes Sedai.

Egwene has had a dream of her own impending execution by beheading:
Straps at waist and shoulder held her tightly to the block, and the headsman’s axe descended, but she knew that somewhere someone was running, and if they ran fast enough, the axe would stop. If not…

- A Crown Of Swords, Unseen Eyes
Beheading is a punishment in the White Tower. According to White Tower law, treason is one crime that requires the headsman, as do crimes such as the “vileness” after the Aiel War (illegal gentling of men and murder of Aes Sedai).
"Well, what's one treason more or less? The Hall can put you on your knees from here to Tarmon Gai'don for penance, but they can only take your heads once."

- A Crown of Swords, Diamonds and Stars

“I look forward to seeing your neck stretched on the headsman’s block for treason,”

- Crossroads of Twilight, A Mark
Elaida is about to meet Egwene again after some time. So far Elaida has been merciful to Egwene, despite Egwene's claim to be Amyrlin. Falsely claiming to be the Amyrlin is a crime for which stilling is mandatory:
"Any woman who falsely claims the title of Amyrlin Seat must be stilled."

- A Crown of Swords, Prologue
but since one “cannot refuse a summons to become Amyrlin” (Lord of Chaos, In The Hall of the Sitters) and further, Egwene was raised from the Accepted, who “can’t choose which sisters to obey” (Crossroads of Twilight, Prologue), Elaida was able to declare Egwene not at fault.

However, since her kidnapping, Egwene has committed another treasonable offence, namely informing the rank-and-file Aes Sedai of the existence of the Thirteenth Depository (the secret histories of the Aes Sedai) and even their contents:
Access to those secret histories, hidden deep in the Tower library, was set out in a law that was itself secret, and revealing the existence of either records or law was treason.

- A Crown of Swords, An Oath
I think that during Egwene’s imminent attendance on Elaida, there will be an interruption either of sisters demanding an answer on the Thirteenth Depository, or Sitters or Ajah Heads to complain that the rank-and-file know about it and Egwene’s actions will be exposed. This will be a crime Elaida will not be able to shift away form Egwene; nor will she desire to, since Egwene’s aim is to incite the Aes Sedai to rise up and depose Elaida.

Though, of course, assaulting the Amyrlin is also considered treason, so hopefully Egwene doesn’t lose her considerable self-control while she attends Elaida.

Probably only the arrival of the Seanchan will prevent the axe falling on Egwene.


Sun Tzu said...

Good theory.

But over the re-reads, the review of Jason Denzel and several pending theories I miss the role of the letter of Alviarin.

This letter is from LoC and can proof that miss Alvairin committed treason. I cannot escape the feeling that this letter has a big role to play in the story of Egwene.

Manar said...

"but she knew that somewhere someone was running, and if they ran fast enough, the axe would stop. If not…"

My immediate thought upon reading this was that the "someone" who could save her was Gawyn, not the Seanchan.

Kim said...

Probably need to update this one now.

Surely the dream is referring to Gawyn saving her from the Seanchan assassins?

The fact that it's a headsman's axe should be symobolic though...

Linda said...

I'll check over all my old theories. Some I might revisit, but I won't delete any that have since been disproved.

jtodd said...

Or perhaps it is during the second attack on the White Tower? Egeanin stopping Fortuona and rescuing Egwene?