Essay for Raising to Accepted: Samira

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Author: Samira Forghani

What Was - You will write an essay explaining which of the lost Talents from the Age of Legends would best suit three mid-main, non-Aes Sedai female characters from the books in your opinion.

What Was:

The three main female characters that came to my mind when I read this question were Min, Queen Tylin Quintara of Altara, and High Lady Suroth.

I think that Min could really benefit from the Talent of dreamwalking as the dreamwalkers are often able to see into the future. This would help her with her gift of seeing signs around people's head as she is not always able to understand what she is viewing. If she could dreamwalk then maybe she would understand more of those signs and be able to elaborate on the things she does understand. Such as when she tells Rand he and all the Asha'man need to learn a lesson from Cadsuane but she is not sure what that lesson is. If she could dreamwalk she might be able to see what that lesson was and tell him. Saving him from being under Cadsuane's control. Although in this situation it may have an adverse effect as Cadsuane keeps Rand out of danger a few times just by using her control over him.

Queen Tylin of Altara would have fun with Illusion as she loves to play with Mat. I think that although this may not help her with any major problems she would still get great enjoyment from being able to disguise herself as someone else and play with Mat's mind, hide herself so she can observe him, and even change his appearance. The Talent of Illusion may also have prevented her death as if she was able to disguise her existence then the "Gray Man" would not have seen and killed her when she was tied up under her bed during Mat's escape.

I think the Talent of Compulsion really suits the High lady Suroth as she likes to make people do what she wants them to and with Compulsion she would have to exert less effort. Suroth does not seem to be some one who likes to exert unnecessary effort. This would especially help her deal with the Daughter of the Nine Moons and the rulers whose countries she is trying to take over as by creating a relatively "simple" weave of Compulsion, they would do as she told them to and nothing else.

What Is - You will write an essay about how the Game of the Houses, while openly accepted and played, is also a factor in at least three other Nations in the books. Explain the similarities and how it affects the nation and culture in general.

What Is:

Daes Dae'mar (Game of Houses) is played by the nobles or ruling class of a country. It is about being deceitful, dishonest, and manipulative to gain power and advantage for your House. It is also about being able to judge when other Houses are playing the Game of Houses and scheming and plotting to work it to your House's advantage. Misdirection is the aim of the Game; i.e. Making other Houses think you are doing one thing while in reality you are actually working towards a completely different goal.

While it is played in almost every country to a certain degree I feel that Andor, Cairhien, and Tear all play the Game well. Though Cairhien plays it to a much greater extent than the other two countries.

Cairhien is the country that plays Daes Dae'mar to the point where there is reason for concern; that they may become another Aridhol. Aridhol was absolutely destroyed by Daes Dae'mar. Yes, Mordeth helped destroy it. But, it was the suspicious mind set created by Daes Dae'mar that Mordeth nurtured until it consumed every one causing them to turn on each other. Cairhien's most famous action caused by the Game of Houses was when King Laman chopped down the Avendoraldera the Aiel had given him to make himself a unique throne. King Laman did it in order to show the other noble Houses of Cairhien how strong his house was and to use the throne as a constant visual reminder for the other Houses of this strength. Unfortunately for him, this sparked off the Aiel War, the aim of which was to kill him (the Aiel succeeded).

I feel that Andor and Tear play it to the same extent. While it does infect both their nation's nobles, they do not allow it to take over their lives and only play it to a lesser extent than Cairhien. It is through the application of the Game of Houses (mostly by Thom Merrilin), that Morgase gains the throne of Andor. I think that while Andor and Tear play the Game of Houses, and treat it almost like a small hobby, the Nobles of Andor succeed at it more than the nobles of Tear.

Daes Dae'mar is about being in a suspicious and manipulative mind set. When people have these states of mind they are often not able to make new friendships with others and become withdrawn from all except their family. And some times if they are really caught up in Daes Dae'mar they do not even trust their own families. This is a major problem. In order to create a healthy and vibrant society and in doing so increase consumer morale, stimulating the country's economy, you need to have happy people. Suspicious people are never happy as they are always reading things into every one's actions. Trust is vital to building and maintaining good personal relationships. So the nation's economy will probably suffer or will be prevented from attaining it's full potential due to Daes Dae'mar.

I take culture to mean not just the traditional ceremonies and rituals, but also the mindset of a nation. The mindset created by the Game of Houses is as I said before suspicion and manipulation, which are not very good things in excess and will lead to destruction if left untamed (as shown by the nation of Aridhol).

I think the Game of Houses is a very bad thing with too many adverse effects to warrant playing it. Even if you attain your goal, there are too many negative consequences to make it worthwhile. I.e. The ends do not justify the means.

What Will Be - What are you looking forward to most about becoming an Accepted?

What Will Be:

I will look forward to being able to interact with everyone in the Tar Valon community again, as I have missed going to the Olde Warder and the Hen and the Citizen's Apartments as I feel that this is where a lot of the people in the Tar Valon community feel comfortable enough to really be themselves and kick back and have fun. I am also looking forward to taking a class as partaking in the classes has helped me really understand the books and remind me of the little things which seemed so insignificant, but when you look back are actually quite major events. Also I look forward to being one step closer to my goal of becoming an Aes Sedai. I hope that along the way I am given opportunities to give back to the Tar Valon community a fraction of the benefits I have enjoyed from this global group. If there is any thing I can do to help that doesn't involve too much technical knowledge then I try to do it as I have gotten so much from this community; a wide network of friends, a new friend who is so close to me he is like a brother, a sense of being and a support network, and somewhere to come and hang out and escape my problems. I hope to chose an Ajah in the relatively close future and in doing so gain yet another support group who will be there for me and let me be there for it.