Verin and forgiveness of the Black

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-14' started by Calen Velervron, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. Calen Velervron

    Calen Velervron Gaidin Director of Community Outreach Forum Moderator

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    I am rereading the part of the book when Verin shows up in the tower and lies in front of Egwene and causes the downfall of a lot of the black ajah and the real start at least for me of the final battle. How does everyone feel about forgiveness of those folks? I know that Egwene wanted to be able to save Verin there at the end and I was cheering and hoping for the same thing but I also wonder how many other women deserved the same benefit. I know that the battle was coming so they had to deal with it in a short manner but in my mind there may have been a huge opportunity to save and maybe get some of the black sisters back.

    What is everyone elses thought? Did turning black or being coerced to be black enough to mean you are forever forsaken or do you think some of them would have been redeemable?
     
  2. Elania al'Manir

    Elania al'Manir Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    We also have to wonder how many of them were forcibly Turned by a circle, and if it's possible to be healed afterwards.
     
  3. Calen Velervron

    Calen Velervron Gaidin Director of Community Outreach Forum Moderator

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    I didn't even think about that, there is very little talk in the end about what happened to all of the dreadlords.. especially those turned. Where the Aes Sedai or Black Tower able to heal them? I don't remember ever being told.
     
  4. Aduiavas Ida

    Aduiavas Ida Aes Sedai Mistress of Revels - Europe Forum Moderator

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    We are told that the Turning is irreversible :(

    But then, we are also told that stilling can't be Healed, so who knows :p I bet you Nynaeve wants to try ;)
     
  5. Devonna Harren

    Devonna Harren Citizen

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    I do wonder, but doesn't Verin also say she's had to do some pretty dark stuff to stay in the Black? I have a lot of respect for her, but I'd find literally any other Sister, especially not of the Brown, suspect since she did it for the research. She's pretty detached and research oriented, but connected enough to realize what she could do with the information she gained by joining.

    As far as Turning, I do hope Nynaeve can work with that. There are several Dreadlords kept away in a Stedding to practice on (outside the stedding and shielded of course.)
     
  6. Analiese Sinclaer

    Analiese Sinclaer Gaidin

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    I think that if the last battle hadn't been literally around the corner, they might have been able to take a bit more time, but I also believe the outcomes would have been the same in that the Black sisters would have still been put to death for their crimes. They were either turned and therefore beyond help, or they chose to betray everything for whatever reason. Even if they were repentant, stilling and execution were still the penalties for those crimes. Just because Egwene wanted to save Verin does not mean she was actually legally able to.

    Say I shoot someone. I'm not defending myself. I just decide to do it. Later in my life, I come to regret it. That is great and all, but I still committed murder and I still have to deal with the legal ramifications of my actions. You don't get released from death row just because you are sorry.
     
  7. Calen Velervron

    Calen Velervron Gaidin Director of Community Outreach Forum Moderator

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    But we as a people usually except killing in self defense or in defense of someone else. If for instance you robbed a bank but you did it because I had your child hostage then I think there are mitigating circumstances. Verin had to choose between her life, or going black and trying to do some good. There is a lot of mitigation with verin such as the research that pretty much ended the black ajah. I felt less sorry for someone like Sheriam who had been working since the beginning at being a black sister and when she got caught up- was pretty much just like yep- it was me. Verin also tried to save Andor from the shadow spawn using matt unsuccessfully. I guess it just depends on how dark she got.
     
  8. Analiese Sinclaer

    Analiese Sinclaer Gaidin

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    But the law is the law. And self-defense is not the same as self-preservation. Verin was still black for quite a while and while she might have had noble reasons, she would not have been innocent in that time. Every Black sister committed horrible crimes, even her, and the good does not excuse the bad. The reason does not excuse the bad. If you make an exception based on moral ambiguity, it sets a dangerous precedent for future lawbreakers to exploit. If she were to be let go, because her intentions were noble, then any criminal could plead the same, regardless of truth. Also not everywhere allowed you to use lethal force to defend yourself or your family. And even if you accidentally cause the death of another, you can still go to prison. There is still a punishment.

    It would essentially be a situation like, well, I shot someone, as in my above example, later regret it, cause it was murder, or hell, I regretted it at the time too. I continue to hurt and kill people for decades. I am sorry, but what am I gonna do, it is my life or theirs. I take notes while I am at it. My cover is a nice grandmotherly persona so people like me. I am finally backed into a corner and have to switch sides again. I give all my notes to the person in charge, confess, and am somehow saved from my attempted suicide. I still committed all those crimes and still deserve my punishment. To not punish me for my crimes means that the authorities risk setting a dangerous precedent.

    If you knowing violate the law, you have committed a crime and regardless of why, there are consequences that must be met. It is not a moral judgement. Does it suck for Verin? Of course. Did I ugly cry when I got to that part? You bet your ass. But I still understand why it had to be that way. At least she got to die with some dignity. It was really the only way she would have. Egwene was in too precarious of a position to show weakness at that point and would have had to have Verin executed with the rest if Verin hadn't committed suicide.
     
  9. Mewl Windrunner

    Mewl Windrunner Novice

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    How would you ever know that you were successful? If I was a serious and unrepentant black sister, I'd say I was turned forcibly by fades and sisters. When Nynaeve said she healed me, or thought she'd healed me, I'd say, "Yes. I am healed! Praise the light!" whether I was or not.

    Although, now typing this out and thinking about it, I suppose you could make them swear on the oath rod again and then ask them.
     
  10. Mewl Windrunner

    Mewl Windrunner Novice

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    I agree very heavily with Analiese here. If Verin had been backed into a corner with her Warder, and swore to the Dark One to obey him, got on his payroll as it were, and then at the first possible opportunity she had, went to the Amyrlin, got use of the oath rod and confessed, I'd be much more willing to look for leniency. But Verin didn't do that.

    I love Verin, but even at the end her plan was not to take responsibility for her actions. Her plan was to use an oath rod to get out of her commitments to the Dark One, turn over her notes to Egwene, and then, presumably, go merrily on her way. It's unfortunate when the right thing and the necessary thing are not the same, but that can't be an excuse to break the law.
     
  11. Vico'tira Amman'sor

    Vico'tira Amman'sor

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    I want to forgive Verin of course. I mean she was so dedicated in the greater good that she planned to sacrifice herself. That is valiant and courageous and inspires the hope to save her. Had she found some other way to reveal the Black Ajah and save the day and expected, asked, or begged for forgiveness she wouldn't have been worthy of it. So it is a null question for me. I would not offer or even accept any pleas for forgiveness or opportunities of redemption from any of the other Black sisters either. The most I would be willing to do would be for those that would present themselves to the Tower for justice in true repentance is a prayer "By the Light and hope for Your salvation and rebirth in the next spinning of the wheel" as they face the justice befitting their crimes.
     
  12. Jarl Lewin

    Jarl Lewin Aes Sedai

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    An interesting conversation, I like it. It is a very complex situation; it was her curiosity as a Brown that led her down that path, and it does appear that she at least knew she was in over her head and realized there was nothing she could do, and not even her notes are really of redemptive value . . . but she entrusted them to one she knew to be on the side of the Light and the greater good. To me that shows some measure of, if not repentance, at least that she was doing all in her power to complete the task that she set her life to as an Aes Sedai, much like Moiraine and Suian and their quest for the Dragon Reborn.
     
  13. Jerron Vrayl

    Jerron Vrayl

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    This is a very interesting subject. I would draw a parallel between Verin Sedai and the work done by undercover police/intelligence officers; questionable methods, morality and results. She effectively went full Jack Bauer, doing what she had to to maintain her cover, all in the pursuit of information.

    Does it excuse the horrible things she admits to doing? Of course not, but one can at least understand, if not condone, her actions.
     
  14. Alenya Al'Roran

    Alenya Al'Roran Accepted Social Marketing Manager

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    I think Jerron has a good point. We knew from the first time we met her that Verin is curious by nature and a Brown through and through. I believe she did go undercover and did what was necessary to learn everything she could because of her pursuit of knowledge. Don't forget that Moiraine thinks Verin has to be quite old since she has grey in her hair. She wawasn stupid and knew exactly what she was doing by getting involved in the Black, and then gave everything she had to the Amyrlin Seat to do what she could not.
     
  15. Jarl Lewin

    Jarl Lewin Aes Sedai

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    Yes, Verin is one of my very favourite characters.
     
  16. Kasaar al'Rahtsi

    Kasaar al'Rahtsi

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    Verin discovered the Black while simply being curious (as any Brown would be). When the Black notices an Aes Sedai close to uncovering them, they are given a choice: join or die. Verin chose to join to save her skin, but capitalized on the opportunity by spending hundreds of years uncovering everything about the Black. This is nearly impossible unto itself, as every Black sister is only allowed to know 2 others. That Verin has uncovered hundreds is a testimony to her great ability and will. She admits at the end that she doesn't expect redemption, but did it for the greater good.
     
  17. Alenya Al'Roran

    Alenya Al'Roran Accepted Social Marketing Manager

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    I discovered in a reread that she asked Sorilea for something to help her sleep. She was given it with the warning that too much would kill her. I think with the Last Battle coming, she knew her information would be needed so the tower could be whole.
     
  18. Alenya Al'Roran

    Alenya Al'Roran Accepted Social Marketing Manager

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    Apologies for the double post, but I just passed this part again, and I don't think Verin ever really bought into the whole thing and only joined to save herself and create something that would last beyond her death. She planned for this when she saw the signs the Last Battle was coming and made sure to give everything she had to the woman who could put it to the best use. Egwene even forgave her right then.
     
  19. Analiese Sinclaer

    Analiese Sinclaer Gaidin

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    That still doesn't excuse the crimes that would have been required of her in her several decades of service to the Dark One. She was not a sanctioned spy, and the only reason she came clean was because she could not release herself of the oaths instead. I am almost positive she would have found a way that did not involve her dying at all, covering her so she would not be seen as Black. She had no alternative but going to Egwene though, so she had to make the best of her death. Yes she regretted what she did over that time of her life, but she had to know the risks of following that line of research in the beginning, as a highly intelligent and intuitive woman who the story shows is only playing at being the distracted Brown, so a part of her would have already accepted that she would become a Black sister if she researched them. That she never considered the possibility makes no sense to me.