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he Complete Young Sitters Theory

by Great Lord of the Dark: 2003-10-15 | 5.29 out of 10 (7 votes)

Previous Categories: The Young Sitters

Here's a total Salidar Rebels-Young Sitters-Tower Sitters-Anaiya-Kairen-Egwene Betrayed theory. There's a quick summary at the end, but you'll have to admit this is much shorter than other infamous theories I've had. Mostly cause I dropped all quotes. But you'll know what I'm talking about, right? ;)


I still don't see how anyone can not believe Sheriam is Black Ajah after reading her part in tDR. Her subsequent breakdowns and beatings only confirm what was hinted at very early in the series: Sheriam is Black Ajah.

Rereading the initial meeting between Siuan and the Rebels (FoH), something became apparent to me: Sheriam is in charge of the rebels. Sheriam is always the one who first gives approval to these new ideas. Sheriam is the first to say "we can't possibly go back to Elaida now," after Siuan presents her fabricated story.

I submit that Sheriam was forewarned of the coup against Siuan, and the Black Ajah commanded her to lead the Rebels and ensure division in the Tower. She is to take any steps necessary to keep the Rebels and Tower Aes Sedai separate for the next several months or even years. Wintering in Salidar was her plan, but Egwene ruined it by gaining control of both the Hall and Sheriam's council, and rediscovering Travelling.

Young Sitters

The Rebel Hall was chosen before Tarna (serving Elaida) or Aran'gar arrived in Salidar. The only people left who could influence the choice of Sitters is Sheriam and her council, Siuan and Leane, or the Ajahs themsleves. Siuan figured that Sheriam's council would have rein over the Hall anyways, so she may not have tried to focus effort on the Hall's selection. She was saving herself for influencing the future Amyrlin. As the organizers of the Rebels, Sheriam and her group could have had a lot of influence in pressuring Ajahs to select certain Sitters. Young Sitters are inexperienced, and may bow to pressure from Sheriam's council more easily. As head of the council, Sheriam may have tried to get Blacks put in the Hall, provided she knew of any in Salidar. But was her influence over the council, and thus the other Ajahs, that strong? Not unless they were all Black Ajah, which is supremely unlikely.

The Ajahs themselves may have second Ajah heads in Salidar, the highest ranking Sisters present, who chose Sitters personally. For the choice of both Tower Sitters and Rebel Sitters to be linked, advance planning on the part of the five bipartisan Ajah Heads would have been required when the Rebels fled the Tower, or the five bipartisan Ajahs have been communicating between the Tower and the Rebels since before a rebel Hall was Chosen. Perhaps someone can suggest a method, but I am pretty sure the timing for pigeons is too short, and other means unlikely.

Which leaves the Ajah Heads in the Tower acting together, independently of the Rebel Ajahs and their ‘Heads' working together or thinking along the same lines. The only known collaboration between the Ajahs among the Rebels has been in Sheriam's council. Which means that if there is a conspiracy amongst the Ajahs with the Rebels, either Sheriam's council directed it, they are minor participants in it, or they are unaware of it.

A clue is that Sheriam's council did not try to become Sitters. They know the penalty for forming a Rebel Tower, and want to retain power while not appearing to. The Ajahs must also know this, yet were faced with forming a Rebel Tower. Who to nominate? It is very possible that, independently, each Ajah realized that any Sitters would be stilled if all came to a bad end for the Rebels. So, dispensable Sitters were chosen. Sitters that are young and inexperienced, and who are rebellious in some way. Troublemakers, risk-takers and shit-disturbers. People who would propose linking with male channelers and stand for declaring war on Elaida.

If each Ajah did this independently, there would be no collusion between the Young Sitters. There doesn't seem to be any based on any votes they've taken. The Young Sitters vote on gut instinct, because they know their Ajahs aren't behind them. This was their one chance for power and making change. The Rebel Hall is a sham, designed to focus Elaida's attention away from those who got the whole rebellion going, just in case it doesn't work out.

Romanda saw the Rebels as a chance to seize power, and the exiled Sitters were still so angry they would not have given up their seats. They are committed to the rebellion, but if Romanda's faction balked (Lelaine's won't), then they have access to Elaida's emissaries at the negotiations, and can give Egwene up as a gift to spare their own skins. Ironically, now that Egwene is captured, they have nothing to offer Elaida in return for amnesty.

A clue that even the Young Sitters realize how tenuous their position is when Malind and Escaralde chose the back row, farthest from the Amyrlin during the Hall's last sitting. If usually it is desirable to be seated nearest where the Power resides, their sitting furthest from Egwene indicates a desire to distance themselves from the Amyrlin. Then again, that may have more to do with their proposal to meet with the Asha'man.

Tower Sitters

Note also that the Sitters chosen in the Tower also have the common characteristic of being not the obvious choice in some way. As though they were willing to risk the penalty for being Sitters in case Egwene's Rebels were to win. Also because they fear that Elaida or the Black Ajah has control of the Tower. The prominent sisters hold back while expendable, or unconventional Sitters are chosen. In this case, the Ajahs must have independently decided that Elaida was no longer desirable as Amyrlin, and come together soon after Elaida's orders stopped making sense to them. Except for the new Sitters, all other Sitters who were Sitters at the time of the split are now considered untrustworthy by their own Ajahs. The Ajahs are in essence, preparing a counter-coup against Elaida.

Anaiya and Kairen

Now the pressure is on the Shadow to keep the Tower divided and weak for the last Battle. Talk of negotiations with Elaida or the Black Tower is bad for the Shadow. They don't want the Tower reunited, and Asha'man can both make linked circles larger and can detect Aran'gar. Very bad news. Anaiya was killed with saidin the very night after the Rebels agreed to send an embassy to the Black Tower. It served three purposes: to create instant mistrust towards the Asha'man, to make sure the Blues would feel targeted, and thus not reunite the Tower, and a chance to reduce Egwene's power by getting rid of someone sworn to obey her.

Kairen was killed to prevent the blocking of Northharbor, as well as reinforcing the idea that Asha'man can't be trusted. With the harbor blocked, Egwene may have enough leverage to force negotiations ahead and reunite the Tower. With Kairen dead, Leane or Bode were the only ones left to do the job. Sheriam taunted Egwene with the idea that she couldn't send Bode, an old childhood friend, an attempt to stop the harbours from being blocked at all, and Leane was blocking Southharbour.

The only people with an interest in keeping the harbors open is the Shadow or Elaida. Elaida is not known to have any sympathizers among the rebels, though it is possible. Romanada's faction or a Young Sitter could decide to save their own skins. More likely, as a Sitter, Delana would have known the blocking of the harbors was to take place, and either she, Sheriam, Aran'gar or another Rebel Black could have communicated with the Blacks in the Tower to warn them, by pigeon or Travelling. Thus, Egwene was betrayed.

To summarize:

The Grey, Brown, Green, Yellow, and White Ajahs chose Young Sitters for the Rebel Hall themselves, independently of each other, in case the rebellion should fail. The Ajahs, and hence most of the Rebel Aes Sedai will quickly cease any support of Egwene as soon as it appears that Elaida will win, despite whatever their nominated Sitters in the Hall may decide. Egwene's betrayal was inevitable.

The Shadow's number one goal regarding Aes Sedai is keeping the Tower weak. No alliances allowed with the Black Tower, no reunifying the White Tower.

Both Anaiya and Kairen were killed to weaken the Rebel's position in negotiations with the White or Black Towers, as well as weaken Egwene's hold on the Rebels.
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Tamyrlin: 2003-10-18

Lots of stuff to discuss. First, I agree with your assessment that the Young Sitters are being set up to fail. They are being given power because the Sitters are the most likely ones to be punished, but I would still suggest that the choosing of Young Sitters in both Towers was planned. After all is said and done, 90% of the Aes Sedai don't want war and don't want to be split up. Most likely, there have been plans in the work since the Salidar tower began or before, as you suggested. I like the Sheriam play in your theory. She supports Egwene, since she wants the towers to be split. But do you think she was worried about the "negotiations"? I still believe that she could have forced Egwene's hand and tried to get her to go on her own to do the cuendillar trick at the harbor. It could be the Black Ajah have taken Egwene, because as you pointed out, it takes away the negotiating power of some of the groups that want it all to end peacefully. Plus, we know that Egwene saw her possible future, with Elaida as Amyrlin, and herself as an Amyrlin caught and held by the Black Ajah. While it all may not happen exactly as she saw, it is possible that it represented that she would be taken by the BA. I will have to go back and read it, but does Sheriam really taunt Egwene about Bode and the harbor? This would be a fun conspiracy to map out with quotes and a timeline...I need to make the time, but my books are packed, so that won't be happening for a bit, maybe I will have to borrow some books from the library.


Dragon: 2003-10-18

I agree with your analysis of Anaiya's and Kairen's dead.

But I don't see that Sheriam has taunted Egwene so that she goes.

After all Egwene's captors never expected her.

They only knew that someone would come to Northharbour but not the Amyrlin.

I also think it's quite obvious that Sheriam is not Black Ajah.

If she were BA and the person who beats her, too (I believe it's Delana), there would be no reason to torture Sheriam to get informations. She would simply obey and tell it.

Plus, we have Min's viewing of Sheriam ("rays of silver and blue flashed about her fiery hair, and a soft golden light") which strongly indicates that she isn't evil at all, and thus must be under the BA's thumb.

To the Sitter riddle.

I believe the Ajah Heads compensate the former Sitters who are now in different Halls with new young Aes Sedai.

After the WT is whole again (if Elaida wins or Egwene doesn't matter) these new Sitters can be replaced easily by the former Sitters so that the Hall has again the same persons like before the coup.


Zaela Sedai: 2003-10-19

I definately agree with the sitter theory, it makes perfect sense. As for Sheriam, it definately appears to be black ajah. When she faints in the hall when Egwene is devulging her plans its clear. Delana was also looking very ill and we know she is BA. She is also always being beaten by delana or Halima(Aran'gar). Maybe MIn's viewing means she will come back to the light. She seems the type to be able to do so.


Aragorn: 2003-10-20

I don't think Sheriam is BA. RJ wants us to think that but hasn't made is clear, so i feel Sheriam is not BA. If she was, why torture her? I can see if it was only for punishment for failure, but not for information. Every BA sister knows that if a member of the Council, or DO forbide, a Chosen speaks you jump. Also, the reason Shieriam fainted could be that she has her instructions from "halima" and knows failure is death or worse.


Daishan: 2003-10-22

Another thing you might want to incorporate in the theory is that all the young Sitters in the Tower are guaranteed non-black-Ajah, and neither are the Ajah heads (except for Galina, and she's gone). This follows from the fact that Alviarin as head of the Blacks has no idea what the the Ajah heads are conspiring about.

For the rest, I like it, and it's definitely more digestible than most of your theories :)


Korell: 2003-10-23

Now i realize that for a BA or forsaken that beating the info out of Sheram is more fun but why not compell her and she would never even remeber what happened thats what i dont understand odviously somone has somthing on her or she would not be in the position she is in perhaps she was BA and she turned back to the light after hope showed itself with Rand


Jalt Varyd: 2003-10-23

I like Korell's idea. 'Black Ajah trying to return to the Light' would certainly explain Sheriam's beatings, and probably why she can't report them and get help.


a dragonburned fool: 2003-10-25

Some thoughts about the Young Sitters problem: 1. If Young Sitters are chosen to fail, why then one of the new Sitters in the Tower is an Ajah Head? And that in the time, when all the Tower Ajah Heads are manifesting tradition-breaking power in their Ajahs: all the Tower young Sitters are nominated by brutalinterventions of the Ajah Heads. 2. Siuan does have in mind the wish of the old AS to prevent being punished by chosing puppets for the official posts (that's what she uses when manipulating Sheriam's clique to chose Egw.), but she doesn't decide that that's the explanations of the young Sitters problem. I think that Siuan knows some counterarguments against GLotD's theory. 3. We know that everyone AS's Ajah is chosen by the Ajah itself long before she's becoming AS, that she's long prepared for the Ajah weh se's still Accepted. I believe that in the same way young AS are chosen and prepared for all the important posts inside the Ajahs, especially for the post of Ajah Head. That's the case with Siuan becoming assistant of the director of the intelligence service of the Blue A. In time of increasing loss of thrustfulness, there's possibility tjat Ajah Heads propose their assistants in the Hall (that's explains the Tower not Salidar and that's point against my suggestions)

All that is actually not enough for being alternative to GLotD's these; I think that many influential AS have just the motives GLotD pointed,and whatever the Heads intend, the AS truth in what the most of the AS belive as truth. So I belive preparing for losing is real thread in the situation. But what I say here is that there more motives in the plot.


Deadsy: 2003-10-26

"If Young Sitters are chosen to fail, why then one of the new Sitters in the Tower is an Ajah Head?"

There are a couple of them, and they had both been sitters before and resigned. So I think once it's over they will resign again.


a dragonburned fool: 2003-10-31

Deadsy, thank you for correcting me - there are really 2 Heads in Tower Hall and it's realy not so dangerous for heads as for another AS. But for them too it's not good to be there in case all fails bacause of decrease of influence in the Tower and it's somethitng very important for every Ajah head. It's not like AS and especialy not like powerful AS to taking the risks instead of weaker ones with the important exceptions of the situations, when the high ranked wants to do something, that nobody other (as she believes) has the competence and responsibility to do it, that no other sister could be thrusted. But something more important, Seaine said in "Snow" that for her the facts of the new young sitters and the new head-sitters have only one true meaning - that both are meaning conspiracy of Ajah Heads and have to do with their secret meetings. I think we can thrust Seaine for that.

Some thoghts more about the same problem in Salidar. Earlier I believed that the presence in Sheriam's clique of Captain-General Mirelle (Green Head) and other VERY high ranked in their Ajahs sisters (when Egwene creates her privat council fo ajah representatives everyone of the clique is absolutely sure she will be in and everyone is realy in) is problem because obviously Sheriam's group is confronted with the Hall including the young sitters. But I think that's important that in Sheriam's team there are 2 Blue sisters, and I think the inter-ajah conspiracy doesn't include the Blue Ajah (nor the Red A). Only the 5 divided ajahs have young Sitters. Red A. are too closed and their head is too black and Blue A. is too long time Amerlyn-maker and too dangerous to make the conspiracy their own hegemony. The non-blue members of Sheriam's group probably all try playing double game, so drisky to be not thrusted to any sister less then ajah head for Salidar (I think all they are heads of their ajahs). That's because the all-knowing Siuan knows nothing about the conspiracy and must calculate it out - the 5 ajahs will pay extreme attention for hiding their affars from the best known inteligence service - that of the Blue.

Maybe Salidar Heads even are in some secret contact with the Tower Heads. Maybe that's behind the negotiations hopes of the Grey A from Sheriam's group.


Deadsy: 2003-11-01

Myrelle is what makes it hard to come up with anything. Since she's the ajah head.. it's hard to believe it's just all the ajah heads in Salidar in on something. If she isn't black ajah (and I doubt she is), I think swearing fealty to Egwene would have forced her to say what was going on if it was anything serious that she knew about.


Arkhan: 2003-11-19

Remeber Egwene going through the last arch at the accepted test, I know there's no solid proof as far as it telling the future goes, but someone (I think Verin, probably not Moraine, as she'd been through the Rhuidean rings as well) mentioned that the third arch had in some way come true.

Now, in that third arch, not only was Egwene deopsed by Elaida, and faced by the 13 Black Ajah and 13 Myrddraal, but her keeper was stilled turned to the dark by the 13 Myrddraal and BA, now, there are no references to Sheriam being stilled (although it could the last resort of the BA when she refuses to comply) but it is more than likely that she has been turned to the dark by the BA against her will. Feel free to pick holes in this, since I haven't bothered to find any quotes to back me up, but it seems sound to me right now.


Callandor: 2003-11-19

**Now, in that third arch, not only was Egwene deopsed by Elaida, and faced by the 13 Black Ajah and 13 Myrddraal, but her keeper was stilled turned to the dark by the 13 Myrddraal and BA, now, there are no references to Sheriam being stilled (although it could the last resort of the BA when she refuses to comply) but it is more than likely that she has been turned to the dark by the BA against her will.**

Sheriam wasn't her Keeper in the Arches.

**TITLE: Dragon Reborn, CHAPTER: 22 - The Price of The Ring

Beldeine scrubbed a hand across tearstained cheeks. "I had to. You must understand. I had to. They. . . . They. . . ." She took a deep, shuddering breath; it all came out in a rush. "Three nights ago they took me while I slept and stilled me." Her voice rose to a near shriek. "They stilled me! I cannot channel any longer!"**

Also, I don't think they turned her Keeper, just stilled her. They were trying to turn Egwene, but failed.


minalth: 2004-03-30

with the whole sheriam thing, i am sure that if she is not BA, they could threaten to harm novices, they would have no need to beat her, she loves thenovices.

That could maybe be a reason why (if she did) she joined the BA, she could be trying to protect the novices that were probably being converted, and got found out, then she was beaten for that?

hope that wasnt too incoherant


mako0424: 2004-05-18

if your really interested, check out the wot faq. it gives the best most accurate theory for this yet. bascially, it says that the Rebel and White tower are still in cohoots, more particularly, the heads of the ajahs. This was done so as when the tower reunites, the halls and the sitters can be easily decided, the number of young sitters and odd choices compared to previous sitters always adds up so that when reunited, their are three previous sitters, and the extra three young/ or odd sitters. I think this is a simple display of the Ajahs and Aes Sedai skill to always try and persevere.


pacafinn: 2004-12-28

I'm a fan of mako's theory of ajah conspiracy between the Tower and the Rebels. That said, I think there is always the possibility that there is no human conspiracy at work in Ajah selection but a simple pattern-weaving of some sort. The Last Battle nears and the Pattern weaves such that odd or young sitters are selected. There is something about them that makes them special or appropriate at this time. Now, what that specialness is, I have no idea, but then if we knew what was common between all the new sitters, then we would likely know why they were chosen. The point is simply this: Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egwene, Nynaeve all come from Emond's Field. Looks like a conspiracy. Yet it is only a conspiracy of the Pattern, not a person.


Aiel Finn: 2005-04-19

Maybe they are beating Shiriam because she can't be compulsed. Rand can't be forced by the warder bond. Also, all the hints about history remembering the split as being a big plan seem to say that the split is being handled with a purpose; it's not a real split.


gemmadin: 2005-04-20

What about the fact that precedence in the Hall is according to age - not strength. That's flagged as being pretty important by Siuan in PoD. As far as I can make out Romanda and Lelaine are the only 'old' sisters in the rebel hall - tho I must admit I'm a bit hazy. Was this be some BA set-up to make sure the hall is always in a deadlock between Romanda and Lelaine - only foiled coz Egwene stood up for herself?


Great Lord of the Dark: 2005-04-21

It's been a while since I looked at this Gemmadin, but there is no way the Blacks influenced the choice of Young Sitters.

Age plays a prominent role, and if an Ajah wanted influence, they would send an old Sitter, not a young one. The fact that they haven't means that they don't want influence. They let the younger ambitious, foolhardy Aes Sedai become Sitters, and then sit back to see how things play out.

Romanda and Lelaine both want to be Amyrlin, and lost out to Siuan last time around. This is their last kick at the can, so they chose to take the risks the other Ajahs didn't.

Each Ajah and individual has been acting for their own survival and advantage, there is no Black plot. One Sitter in 18 being Black (Delana) is close to the general accepted percentage of Black Ajah in all Aes Sedai, so there is no plot there either.


Sampson: 2005-04-21

I think the pattern of choosing young AS as sitters in the hall for both the Tower and Rebels can be explained this way.

Point 1 – The older AS can see that there is a need of younger blood in the Hall.

Point 2 - The majority of AS want the Tower WHOLE. They know the Last Battle is coming and the “United” WT will be needed to win.

Point 3 – They assume at the time of re-unification that there will be more sitters than is required. So the chain of command and the seniority process would send the younger sitters back to their Ajahs duties and missions (only if they haven't shown that they are competent and worthy of the position). So while they are Sitters in the Hall it is almost like a trial position and a test if they can be the next generation of Sitters and leaders in the WT.

This way they can pick and choose the best possible Sitters. I know that there is allot more polotics that are behind this, but I'm keeping it simple.

This trial period is showing what the younger AS are made of. So if they are not allowed to keep their position as a Sitter, they can be placed in positions of power with in their own Ahjahs.

Point 4 – They do believe they can effect and persuade the younger Sitters. It seems to me that AS like being the power behind the throne. So the older AS know that they can influence a younger member of their Ahjahs, they can sit back and do the negotiations behind the scenes and then get their Sitter to Vote the way they want.

Point 5 – It makes sense to cover your back, if everything does fail (for either side) the younger Sitters may be shown more leniency than an older Sitter that should have known better. The older AS can say that they were just doing what they thought best to make the WT whole and strong.

Point 6 – The rebels have an inherent “Doubt” that they are doing the correct thing. If they lose they know that very few will not be punished. If they win they will not be able to punish the tower AS because they sided with the WT and tried to keep it whole and strong. Some of the Tower AS will be punished, but it will be a selected few.

I think that this is happening for a couple of reasons. First and most important, the WT should come out stronger and more untied than before. It will break down the long standing feuds and arguments. Second and almost as important, this will place Sitters into the Hall that will work on integrating the Black Tower with the White Tower. Third and of much less importance would be assimilating all the various groups of channelers into the WT and how they will be handled.

Last point. Sheriam is not BA. I am curious about who is beating her and why. But I do not think she is BA.....yet.