Wise Ones

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General

Among the Aiel, some women are chosen, or choose to learn to be Wise Ones and so to have influence over clan and Sept chiefs. A Wise One can go into any Aiel hold regardless of clan, as not even blood feud touches a Wise One. Wise Ones may not be taken as gai’shain (TSR, Ch. 23). The Wise Ones find all young women who can channel and train them. All female Aiel channelers are Wise Ones, but not all Wise Ones can channel (TSR, Ch. 23).

A Talent a few Wise Ones do possess, one thought lost to the White Tower, is Dreaming. This allows the Wise Ones to communicate with others through their dreams (TSR, Ch. 34) and to gain a limited and often metaphorical view of the future (TSR, Ch. 23). Dreamers also have free access to Tel'aran'rhiod, the World of Dreams.

Training

Training is harsh, and punishments of pointless exercise (such as digging a hole with a spoon and then filling it in again) are often used to drive points home. The Wise One Melaine calls the training of novices and Accepted in the White Tower “coddling” (TSR, Ch. 23). All Wise Ones are trained in healing through herb lore and other means, but, despite the strength of many in saidar, the Talent of Healing in almost unknown to the Wise Ones (TSR, Ch. 34). There are, however, things that the Wise Ones can do that the Aes Sedai can or will not, such as picking apart, or unweaving, a weave of saidar (TPoD, Ch. 2).

During her training to become a Wise One, a woman enters the city of Rhuidean twice. The first time she enters a ter'angreal: three circular arches that, when stepped through, reveal the many possible futures. Memories of this fade almost entirely, but often resurface when events foreseen within the rings occur in reality (TSR, Ch. 23). The second entrance to Rhuidean, at the end of training, takes the potential Wise One into the heart of Rhuidean and through the same glass columns as a candidate for clan chief. Again a ter’angreal, the journey through these glass columns reveals the history of the Aiel back to the Age of Legends, when their ancestors, the Da’shain Aiel, lived by the pacifist code of the Way of the Leaf.

When a young woman is thought ready to become a full Wise One, she is pushed hard and punished severely, with no justification given until she stands up to the Wise Ones and rejects her punishment, telling them she considers herself their equal (TGS, Ch. 26)

Future

Bair, Amys, and Melaine meet with a group of Aes Sedai and a group of Sea Folk. Egwene proposes sending two Accepted to the Wise Ones and Sea Folk to train. Wise Ones and Sea Folk would send apprentices to each other as well as the White Tower to train. The trainees would have the option of returning to their respective cultures upon completion of the cross-training program. Egwene further proposes to formally announce that all ter'angreal in the possession of Wise Ones belong to the Wise Ones to prevent Aes Sedai from laying claim to their objects of power. (ToM, Ch. 36)

Characters

Main article: Wise One Character List

Quotes

"A Wise One cannot allow others to step on her" (Amys; The Gathering Storm, Chapter 26)

"But it is important - vital, even - that each Wise One be willing to defend her own well. If she believes that she is right, she cannot let herself be shoved aside, even by other Wise Ones, no matter how aged or wise." (Melaine; The Gathering Storm, Chapter 26)