9

In The Shadow Rising, Moiraine warns Rand that a male Forsaken may try to use the Callandor (a sa'angreal) to which he replies that he has set a trap for anyone who tries to pull it out of the stone.

I am still in the fourth book and I am not sure if it is explained in later books. It seems that Callandor can only be used to amplify saidin. Do other angreal/sa'angreal/ter'angreal exhibit this kind of selectivity towards either saidar or saidin.

Are there any *angreal that are non-selective?

From the glossary:

Rumors of angreal usable by both male and female have never been confirmed.

This statement does cast some doubt on the selectivity of *angreals.

  • 1
    your second question is deep spoilers to later books. so you may just want to RAFO (read and find out) – Himarm Oct 20 '15 at 14:01
10

All Angreal and Sa'angreal are specific to saidar or saidin. They are completely unusable by the opposite power. This is backed up by The Wheel of Time Companion's entry on sa'angreal:

As with angreal, there were male and female sa'angreal.

Ter'angreal are a toss up:

  1. some can be either male or female attuned.
  2. some require both male and female to function
  3. and some draw their own saidar and/or saidin to work and can be used even by non-channelers.

At your point in the story most of the specific ter'angreal are probably spoilers, but I believe you have encountered the doorway ter'angreal in the basement of the Stone in Tear, which is an example of a ter'angreal used by men and women.

This becomes far more apparent in the later books, but Callandor is the prime example for a male sa'angreal.

  • Also am I right in assuming that the White Tower has confiscated most male *angreal they could find or are they as common as female *angreal. (sorry for multiple questions) – WYSIWYG Oct 20 '15 at 14:06
  • 2
    @WYSIWYG the white tower cant tell what male Angreal's are, since they would simply be a figurine or other object in their hands, so unless they knew a male was using them, they would not know the difference between a male angreal and trash, this leads to there being a very low number of male angreal/sa'angreals in the books, because people simply tossed them out. – Himarm Oct 20 '15 at 14:08
  • 1
    @WYSIWYG female angreal are vastly more common in the story that male ones; its never explained outright but I think the implication is that any male angreal that were discovered during the breaking (either because they were recognized, or were taken from male Aes Sedai that were using them, or ) were promptly destroyed. Afterward, no one knew how to make anymore. – KutuluMike Oct 20 '15 at 14:16
  • Thanks @MikeEdenfield but Himarm's theory also seems plausible that probably nobody but men who can channel can really distinguish an *angreal from just a random object. – WYSIWYG Oct 20 '15 at 14:23
  • 1
    @WYSIWYG there is never a confirmation of this in the books, until the encyclopedia comes out next month thats as good as it gets. but it also possibly could be in reference to the intended purposes of callindor, however, that is major spoilers so ill leave it at that. – Himarm Oct 22 '15 at 14:21
8

First of all, it's important to note that, despite the similarities in name, angreal and sa'angreal are very different from ter'angreal.

The first two are only used to enhance the amount of the One Power someone can channel; the distinction between the two is pretty blurry, but essentially boils down to "sa'angreal are just souped-up angreal". And yes, as you surmise, every one we ever see, or even hear of, in the story is keyed to either saidin or saidar. It's possible but highly unlikely that any of them can be used by both.

One example of why we believe this is true, which we learn a bit about in The Shadow Rising, are the statues Rand find in Rhuidean. These statues are actually ter'angreal, but they are tied to a pair of sa'angreal - one for men and one for woman. Specifically, they're access keys to gigantic statues, called the Choedan Kal. (This female one is the statue that starts "glowing" on the Sea Folk's island in The Great Hunt.)

Note that during his fight with Asmodean, both statues are present in Rhuidean, but Rand and Asmo fight over possession of the male. The fact that that two statues were built, one specifically male and one specifically female, combined with the fact that neither Rand nor Asmodean attempted to use the second, seems to imply that this male/female distinction is hard-coded into the process of making an angreal.


ter'angreal, on the other hand, are a totally different question. These are basically "magic items", imbued with some built-in portion of the One Power at creation. Who can use them is entirely up to the person who created it -- in some cases, they are tied to one gender or the other, in some cases either gender can use them. In some cases, you need to channel to use a ter'angreal while others can be used by anyone who knows the process.

As an example, one ter'angreal we see and hear a lot about from very early on is the Aes Sedai Oath Rod. It's probably obvious from the beginning that this is a ter'angreal and that you need to channel to activate it. We eventually learn that this ter'angreal is not gender-specific, the Aes Sedai just have no idea what its original purpose is.

It's actually a "binder", and was used to punish Age of Legends channelers who broke the law.

0

I found some references which say that angreal and sa'angreal are specific to either saidin or saidar. As Mike Edenfield mentioned, this reference is made at the end of the fight between Rand and Asmodean in The Shadow Rising. However, this still cannot be counted as an explicit statement.


Lanfear referring to the ter'angreal that links to the sa'angreal of Cairhien (man with a globe).

Keep it, certainly. To me it is nothing but a figurine.

Similarly, the twin of this ter'angreal, that links to a sa'angreal (woman with the globe) is useless to men.

Kicking aside pieces of what seemed to be spiraled glass tubes, he shoved a plain-carved chair of red crystals aside and picked up a foot-tall figurine, a robed woman with a serene face, worked in white stone, holding up a clear sphere in one hand. Unbroken. As useless to him, or to any man, as its male twin was to Lanfear.

  • That's not quite saying what you think it is, except maybe by implication. Your quotes say that the ter'angreal access keys are specific to saidin/saidar, which probably (not positively) means those particular sa'angreal are. Doesn't say anything about angreal and sa'angreal in general. – Rand al'Thor Oct 22 '15 at 12:41
  • @randal'thor. True. I did not think about it. Do you know of any explicit reference? – WYSIWYG Oct 22 '15 at 12:46
  • If I did, I'd have posted an answer myself :-) – Rand al'Thor Oct 22 '15 at 12:53
  • @randal'thor I am still keeping this answer. Perhaps I'll add more points to it as I read more. – WYSIWYG Oct 22 '15 at 12:56

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.