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The Wheel Of Time - Aes Sedai
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In Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, the pivotal action revolves around an order that goes by the name of Aes Sedai (pronounced 'eye sa die'). Within the series this order consists entirely of females who can wield the one power, Saidar, using it to create weaves of healing and unification. As I am an avid fan of the Wheel of Time series, I determined that it seemed right to dedicate an article to the examination of the most influential power within the world of the Wheel.

The Aes Sedai are based within the huge city of Tar Valon. The seat of their power is reflected within the tower they reside in. This tower, the White Tower, stands at attention, straight and tall, shining white with hope for the world. Of course these ideals are not necessarily carried by all the Aes Sedai, however it is a general theme that is by and large pursued. In order to ensure that the aforementioned goals are pursued, all Aes Sedai are sworn by the Three Oaths which make it impossible for them to lie, use the True source to create weapons that may allow men to kill each other, and never use the one power to attack anyone except shadow spawn, darkfriends, and in the last defense of her life, her warder's life, or the life of other Aes Sedai.

At the time of the story, the Aes Sedai are the diplomats within the world, serving to resolve disputes between nations, advise kings and queens, and study the one power and its use. Despite the Three Oaths effect, Aes Sedai find many means of twisting and withholding information as they see fit. They are often portrayed as manipulative and most people do well to avoid becoming deeply entangled with them.

Politics within the White Tower are based around seven different Ajahs, each of a different color. There are Blue, Green, Yellow, White, Gray, Brown, and Red Ajahs, each serving a different purpose and role within the Tower. Generally speaking Blue's seek out missions to which they may devote themselves, Greens specialize in battling the minions of the Dark One, Yellow Ajah members specialize in healing, White in philosophy and logic, Gray in diplomacy, Brown in the lore, histories and study of books, and Red in the tracking down and gentling of male channelers. These Seven Ajahs all pick leaders and are granted three Sitters who represent the Ajah in the Hall. The head of the Aes Sedai, called the Amyrilin Seat, is elected by the Sitters and presides over the Hall who also appoints a Keeper of the Chronicles to assist in this role.

In order to become an Aes Sedai, young girls with the talent to channel are selected and enter the White Tower as novices. Novices perform daily chores under the watchful eye of the Mistress of Novices who also instructs them and ensures that they are taken care of. Once a novice proves herself capable, she is raised to the level of Accepted. The final promotion comes with much testing before the Accepted is 'raised to the shawl' and picks an Ajah to join.

While the Aes Sedai can occasionally be frustrating characters, they are integral to the story, for, without the Aes Sedai the world would surely have been in much more dire circumstances it is true.However times are rapidly changing and in order to the survive, the Aes Sedai must learn to adapt as swiftly as possible. Can an institution that is thousands of years old adapt fast enough to the rapidly changing world? This is a question that is still being resolved at this moment.


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