Why are so many relationships with younger women and older men?

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-14' started by Leira Galene, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Gaidin

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    33,236
    Location:
    House Redwolf
    :rofl
     
  2. Elanda Tonil

    Elanda Tonil Aes Sedai Survey Project Manager Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2002
    Messages:
    12,038
    Location:
    New England, USA
    When I was 20 I was dating a guy 17 years older than me. :cheese So, I obviously don’t see anything “wrong” with it... :p What gets me is it should be the other way around given 1) Aes Sedai effective don’t age, wouldn’t they want a guy who’ll be around for anwhile? And 2) Aes Sedai generally aren’t interested in having children the biological norm of older men marrying younger women for children wouldn’t apply.

    I’ve never had issues with Nynaeve and Lan, but Siuan and Gareth felt forced, and Moiraine and Thom weird me out. I must say though, Morgase and Tallanvor took me a bit to get used to, but it ended up being one of my favorite relationships in the series once I got used to it.
     
  3. Ninya Evoneigh

    Ninya Evoneigh Super Cool Kid Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    6,584
    Moiraine and Thom make no sense for about eighteen million reasons. Besties perhaps intense frenemies in political intrigue, sure. Lovers? *squints*
     
  4. Vico'tira Amman'sor

    Vico'tira Amman'sor

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    One thing to keep in mind is that these women are much more matured than their ages, everything they are going through and accomplishing just wouldn't be compatible with another 20 something guy. They are dealing with big responsibilities so they need someone that would be able to support them in what they are going through and they aren't going to run into many young men who would be mature enough to handle it. Compare Elayne or Nynaeve to Else Grinwell, a normal girl of the same age it would disturb me to see her with a much older man. You also have to recognize that this is love we are talking about, they have the qualities that make these women complete that your average 20 something men wont have developed yet. The only time an age difference concerned me was when Elayne was being stupid about Thom, and she was being exceedingly wool-headed.
     
  5. Eliza Al'Shaw

    Eliza Al'Shaw Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Devon, England
    I agree with Victoria. Plus men never grow up so they maybe 20 years older, but they're only 20 years old in maturity :lol
     
  6. Leira Galene

    Leira Galene Mafia Admin Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    10,244
    Location:
    Sweden
    Oh god I forgot about Elayne and Thom. That was weird :lol
     
  7. Jarl Lewin

    Jarl Lewin Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    14,093
    Location:
    North Texas
    Yes, that is very true, and often true of real world relationships as well. The thing with Thom and Elayne was weird . . . but it was intriguing because it got the reader wondering if there was some fatherly connection--possibly biological--that Elayne was responding to in the only way she knew how. And as I recall, some of what she'd been through with Nynaeve and her own desire to measure up to her mother probably played a part as well. For a time I was really wondering if Thom might be her father, but that's out the window now.

    Sometimes older/younger works . . . sometimes it doesn't. Circumstances alter cases.
     
  8. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Gaidin

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    33,236
    Location:
    House Redwolf
    Yeah Jarl that's what I thought too and them together even with them not related would be just too much imo :lol
     
  9. Jarl Lewin

    Jarl Lewin Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    14,093
    Location:
    North Texas
    :lol

    Was listening to these guys earlier and this song reminded me of this thread ;)
     
  10. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2019
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Whitebridge
    I don't see the big deal? Even in our life there are numerous cases of older men with younger women and the opposite applies as well. You like who you like. Period.
     
  11. Tobias Carawin

    Tobias Carawin Citizen

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Take a look at history. It was common for younger women to get involved with older men. This is especially true for anyone in a position of power. In older times, marrying an older man was often one of the few ways women could move into a place of power themselves. Most of the relationships within WOT seem to be of equal age. But many of the "showcased" relationships are offset.

    One of the more interesting characters is Leane.
    After being stilled, she seemed to "remember" her Domani heritage. She made comments to both Matt and Perrin that showed her attraction to them. At the time she was about 46. I think this is a great addition to the story because it shows that the reverse could also be true (Older women with younger men). This could also open doors to theories on Domani relationships and how age is possibly of no consequence.

    RJ added many things into the books that are controversial topics today. Considering that The Eye Of The World released in 1990, I would say that he was brave to add those things into his books. He sampled from many cultures and belief systems. I believe the relationships are not too far off of what has occurred in history.
     
  12. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2019
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Whitebridge
    I agree % He actually kept it pretty pg13 and didn't delve too much into politics as some current authors do.
     
  13. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2019
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Whitebridge
    *100
     
  14. Bracken Farthyne

    Bracken Farthyne Novice

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2018
    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA (Metro DC area)
    :lol To be honest I think this is why I never questioned it, myself. Are Sedai training and the early lives and responsibilities of the Two Rivers women forced them to grow up very fast and develop a lot of maturity before their time. I think I accepted that they would prefer older men because those were the men who were comparable to them in their understanding of necessary sacrifice and in their experience of struggle and loss.

    Ooh, Morgase and Tallanvor are a good counterexample I hadn't considered. But I agree, that relationship baffled me a bit.

    As far as Are Sedai wanting men who would be around for a while ... I am not sure that I agree that would enter into it, since they are generally not in a position to commit long-term to anything but being an Aes Sedai.

    This defense makes sense in real life where people make decisions and connections for their own reasons, but IMO it fails as a reason to not think or talk about why it occurs in a piece of fiction, where characters do things because the author wants them to. If the author's good, those things are consistent with their established character, but all the same, the author is God in that space, so it's not beyond us to question why they made the choices they did.

    That's the same reason I question the "it's historical" defense -- there are a lot of deviations from the historical in WoT, so the author's choice to keep this element shouldn't be dismissed as meaningless. That's not to say I necessarily have a problem with the way relationships are in the books ... just that "because it's historical" doesn't make a lot of sense as a justification for it.
     
  15. Leira Galene

    Leira Galene Mafia Admin Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    10,244
    Location:
    Sweden
    Excellently put, Bracken.

    Also, large age differences in marriage were more common in the 19th century. In the Middle Ages, marriages were most commonly between women in their late teens and men in their early twenties. It was actually pretty rare for women to be married very young to much older men, even with royalty. Often children were betrothed to each other and then officially married in their teens. There were about as many marriages of much older women to much younger men as vice versa.
     
  16. Toral Delvar

    Toral Delvar Archivist Gaidin

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,511
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI, US
    Min is probably a couple of years older than Rand, Melaine substantially older than Bael. Pevara and Androl start to develop feelings for each other, and she is much older than him - It's also implied that it isn't uncommon for Aes Sedai to have sexual relations with their warders (at least the Greens), and they are mostly older
     
  17. Jarl Lewin

    Jarl Lewin Aes Sedai

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    14,093
    Location:
    North Texas
    If you mean the Two Rivers women specifically, I agree 100%!

    Wonderfully put! I don't really think it needs to be justified in the case of tWoT however. In the best of literary circumstances, the author--with all of the influences he or she has had in their life--will write just what the story requires, and like real life sometimes they are unexpected and make us scratch our heads.

    For all of us on this mundane plane, our lives are a story both individually and collectively. If we scratch our heads at the story we are all involved in every single day, is it any wonder we should scratch our head at the worlds we find on the printed page? Just thinking aloud here :cheese

    Very true. More extreme age-gaps weren't unknown, but they were often special cases (the Plantagenet dynasty immediately comes to mind). Gaps of ten or more years would have been very uncommon among the lower classes in early modern history.
     
  18. Jocasta Braithe

    Jocasta Braithe Novice

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Messages:
    1,135
    Location:
    Maine
    Someone earlier in the thread mentioned why Nynaeve fell for Lan and implied it was basically, because he was there. I definitely saw their relationship differently. He noticed her first. He respected her tracking skill, something she was proud of, but didn't fit her "profile" as the Wisdom, so she didn't expect to be recognized for it. He has always treated her with respect for her abilities. Not for her position, not for her channelling potential, not because Moiraine wanted her for the Tower, but for herself. How could she not fall for him?
     
  19. Thaddius al'Guy

    Thaddius al'Guy Soldier Forum Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2016
    Messages:
    4,160
    Location:
    Georgia (Not the country)
    Right on, Jocasta.

    Nynaeve tracked Lan, Moraine and the group all the way to Taren Ferry. Lan was extremely surprised by that. That is when he first really noticed her.
     
  20. Jocasta Braithe

    Jocasta Braithe Novice

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Messages:
    1,135
    Location:
    Maine
    Lan was actively trying to prevent them from being followed too. Nynaeve is a seriously impressive tracker. It's an attribute that gets a little lost as the series progresses, but she does some active scouting and sneaking in the early books and it's something I've always loved about her. She's a true match for Lan (and he's one for her.)