Aes Sedai behavior towards those stilled

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-14' started by The Gambler Matrim, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

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    Does it bother anyone else the way Aes Sedai treat former Aes Sedai who have been stilled? To me it would be the same as active military treating wounded warriors as inferior because they can no longer function the same as they once had.
     
  2. Elania al'Manir

    Elania al'Manir Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    I think that there are multiple things at play. The biggest part is that being stilled is quite possibly considered worse than death for most Aes Sedai, because normally you'll live for a few years and then die anyway. Seeing someone who's suffered that fate reminds them of their own "mortality" and they'd rather not think about it. And then a smaller part of it is that the person isn't Aes Sedai any more, and the best chance for them to live is to move on completely and find a different life. That's easier to do when the people in your former life treat you poorly.

    That being said, of course it bothers me that one human could treat another badly. But I think their reactions are very human and potentially helpful for the stilled women.
     
  3. Leala al'Dareis

    Leala al'Dareis Aes Sedai Community Care Coordinator Forum Moderator

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    Going with the train of thought that someone who was still has suffered a fate worse than death, I would think Aes Sedai would treat them with respect. It takes a lot of strength and courage to come out of trauma like that and still move forward.

    As far as helping them break away and move on, I think that while it's human to ostracize them, it's certainly not helpful. :look I think breaking away would come after a lot of communication and soul-searching, with former sisters to help. Unfortunately, that's not what happens...
     
  4. Thaddius al'Guy

    Thaddius al'Guy Soldier Forum Moderator

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    Well you do have to remember that there is a difference here.
    Stilling is when it is done deliberately. That means there was a reason they were cut off from the source, good or bad. It goes hand in hand with the punishment that they get the cold shoulder from other Aes Sedai because they have committed an act that leads to them being removed from the group.

    I can't think of any instances off the top of my head at the moment where someone who burns out is treated the same way other than "You can't be here anymore because you can't channel", but that's the politics of the tower.
     
  5. Leala al'Dareis

    Leala al'Dareis Aes Sedai Community Care Coordinator Forum Moderator

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    Oh! Stilled, not burned out. Never mind. :look
     
  6. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

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    I was thinking of Siuan and Leane with the Salidar Aes Sedai. They are rebels because they have at least some belief that those two are innocent. They think them dead and when they finally show up they are treated as garbage. Just because they can't channel anymore.
     
  7. Tobias Carawin

    Tobias Carawin Citizen

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    Take a look at it from the other perspective. An Aes Sedai will never feel anything that can compare to embracing the source. I would almost equate it to drugs. In many spots in the series it is conveyed that it is intoxicating and that it should be feared. When an Aes Sedai is stilled, she can no longer touch the source. Having this ripped away from you would probably be like quitting an addictive drug. They are not being weened off the power. They are having it completely stripped away in an instant. This will have devastating consequences to a persons emotional stability and even their physical body. In many cases I would assume that the Aes Sedai going through this eventually no longer resembles the person they once were. Furthermore, the person going through this will try to replace the loss with anything they can just to feel complete. So to answer your question, I will ask another. How would you react to a drug addict that is no longer the person you once knew very well. They are destroying themselves in search of a replacement drug because their body is in a constant state of withdrawal. You know that nothing you can do will improve them or their situation as the drug they need no longer exists.

    An Aes Sedai can look at a stilled woman and understand that this would be themselves in similar circumstances. Another aspect to this is that Aes Sedai live so long. Watching a friend of a few hundred years suffer for several years and die in this way would likely be unbearable.
     
  8. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

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    It is known that those who are stilled and/or burned out don't usually live very long afterwards. But maybe they disconnection from their former lives is a contributing factor? If someone was paralyzed and lost their ability to walk, should their peers turn their backs upon that person and treat them differently? Maybe if they would of loved and cared for them they would of found new strength and not wasted away as soon or not at all?
    They might of found a way to heal them as Nynaeve did?
     
  9. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

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    I see your point but again, shouldn't they help that person? Help them through the withdraws versus sending them out on their own do deal with it?
     
  10. Thaddius al'Guy

    Thaddius al'Guy Soldier Forum Moderator

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    While you might be right in context of our societal norms, that may not be how it plays out in Randland.
     
  11. Juliya Karisu

    Juliya Karisu Accepted Forum Moderator

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    I feel like when Aes Sedai see someone who has been stilled, it gives them such a horrible feeling that they'd rather ignore it and not even speak to the person. So it may not be a good reason, but that's probably part of it.

    And Siuan and Leane are constant reminders of how badly the Tower is doing with the split and the rebels and the fact that even the Amyrlin can be stilled. I think it's just part of wanting to ignore all the bad things and kind of turning your face the other way so you don't have to see it.

    For burning out, Novices are taught from the first second not to draw too much Power. So if someone gets burned out, they would be looked down on for lack of self-control.

    When it comes down to it, it all has to do with the silly Aes Sedai system of deferring to those with more Power. A stilled person is not even on the ladder.

    I believe that will be changed after the Last Battle.
     
  12. Tobias Carawin

    Tobias Carawin Citizen

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    I
    Another aspect to this is that being stilled is a punishment for only the worst crimes/actions in the Tower (For example: Bonwhin provoked Artur Hawkwing into attacking Tar Valon). If an Aes Sedai is found guilty, punishment should be dispensed swiftly. It could be seen as improper to help a stilled woman as she had earned her stilling and likely put the tower in danger through her actions that got her stilled.

    Siuan and Leane may still be treated poorly for several reasons. Keeping the knowledge of the Dragon Reborn's existence a secret from the Hall (no matter how justified a reason) was certainly grounds for punishment. Siuan was also raised to the shawl after only 6 years. This was a feat accomplished only by a few others in history. One could assume many would be jealous and have some resentment towards her. Or perhaps they treated poorly simply due to the ironic reversal of positions. What would you do to your boss if you were suddenly given ownership of the company and he/she was demoted to an entry level position?
     
  13. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

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    I see all of your points and as Thaddius al' Guy points out we are not in Randland. Just something that bothered me.
     
  14. Jocasta Braithe

    Jocasta Braithe Novice

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    It does bother me.

    The White Tower in general (the book not us!) has a real problem with not looking at things head on, they pretend they can’t see anything they don’t like. And they have a tradition or a hierarchy for everything and focus on it so rigidly that they sometimes seem to miss what is actually going on right under their noses. You treat stilled or burned out women like dirt because everyone always has, that’s what Aes Sedai do. Maybe there was some particular reason in the past why they did, but now it’s just habit with a good dose of fear that it could happen to them too (the way some people look away from a person with scars. It’s rude but it happens.)

    I am in book 9 right now, so I don’t know how it ends, but it seems right now that the most flexible Aes Sedai, the ones who are ok with bending or breaking tradition and who can think outside the box are the most effective.

    Which is why Nynaeve is successful, she has never in her life taken “it can’t be done” as a given. She makes all the yellows look bad. She’s a prodigy, but she never would’ve succeeded if she hadn’t tried.
     
  15. Brian Mandragon

    Brian Mandragon Recruit

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    Because Aes Sedai live so long they also tend to get comfortable with the power structure. Once you can no longer channel you are just a peasant in their eyes. You either were stilled for a reason or you burned yourself out because you did not have the discipline to handle the power correctly. Either way you earned your own demise. Part of the training is to remove emotion for the decision making process so it is easy to look at the fallen and not consider that they may not be been to blame for the situation.

    Driving them away makes it easier to not have to deal with the truth on either side. What good would they server the tower and would an Aes Sedia want to live as a servant in the tower, to be reminded of their failure. If you were rather powerful prior to stilling or burning out you may well have make a few enemies with your arigence so being powerless could be a very bad position to be in. Better to fade away then become a constant source of amusement for those you once pushed around.
     
  16. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

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    I guess I was referring to my previous "spoiler" example more than anything.
    Granted association with the Dragon would of been punished, she still was deposed in a most unorthodox way. Eladia wanted power, period. We see this with her trying to build her own palace.
     
  17. Brian Mandragon

    Brian Mandragon Recruit

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    What kind of drives me crazy if everyone know the Dragon must come to save their butts and it becomes apparent that Rand is the real dragon and the Dark One is breaking free yet the Aes Sedia still can't open there eyes to see they are hurting themselves.For all of their being better than the common people they still can't put aside their petty squabbles for the bigger picture.

    Just goes to show they are still human after all.
     
  18. Ilverin Matriam

    Ilverin Matriam Aes Sedai Historian

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    I think it is meant to be bothersome... I think it is meant to represent, like you say, a healthy person looking down on an unhealthy person or something similar. We see it constantly in the animal world, sick animals are left to die by the healthy animals.
    But also, the whole relationship between different Aes Sedai in the books is bothersome, they are friends while they are Novices and Accepted, but once they reach Aes Sedai status, they stop being friends.

    And as to why they don't try to heal the stilled/burned out person.... well... we do know how traditional Aes Sedai are :x If something is impossible, then it is impossible and that's that!!!
    I think this is why our main characters, Egwene and Nynaeve, are represented as wilders, so that we can see that other opinion, of someone who hasn't normally gone through the Tower ranks and wants to make things better, wants to go agains tradition etc.
     
  19. Aduiavas Ida

    Aduiavas Ida Aes Sedai Mistress of Revels - Europe Forum Moderator

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    Matrim, I appreciate your efforts to not spoil the series, this forum is dedicated for those who have read all 14 books. No spoiler tags needed in this forum ;)
     
  20. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

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    Ah okay, lol. Noted.