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When Rand is in Caemlyn in the first book (tEotW), he meets the Andoran royals for the first time. Elaida Sedai, one of the Queen's foremost advisors, is asking him awkward questions, apparently hoping that Morgase will order him kept in custody. Then a Foretelling comes on her. Having been commanded by Morgase to speak the truth clearly (rather than Aes Sedai-ishly), she says (p.614):

"This I Foretell," Elaida replied, "and swear under the Light that I can say no clearer. From this day Andor marches toward pain and division. The Shadow has yet to darken to its blackest, and I cannot see if the Light will come after. Where the world has wept one tear, it will weep thousands. This I Foretell." [...] Elaida spoke again, barely moving her lips, so softly that [Rand] could barely hear her less than an arm's length away. "This, too, I Foretell. Pain and division come to the whole world, and this man stands at the heart of it. I obey the Queen," she whispered, "and speak it clearly."

So why doesn't she say the last bit aloud? If she had, Rand would surely have been thrown into a cell, and she could have questioned him further at her leisure. Instead Morgase lets him go, against Elaida's advice, and she never meets him again (at least as far as book 10). Does she fear that Morgase wouldn't let her, Elaida, question him if he was captured? She does later go to Master Gill's tavern (in person, if I remember rightly), but too late to catch him. Or is this part of some Aes Sedai scheme only revealed later?

Thanks in advance for any answers!

  • have you read all of the books? incase answers come from later books – Himarm Aug 7 '14 at 20:40
  • Isn't there other evidence that when an Aes Sedai gives a Foretelling she doesn't always have control over how she delivers the Foretelling, and she doesn't always remember giving it either? – Anthony Sep 23 '15 at 6:13
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If she would say it loud, it would have become public knowledge.

First of all it might create panic among ordinary citizens, or the forming of a lynch mob or such. Aes Sedai do not like to draw attention.

Second, she is of course hoping to capture the man for Aes Sedai purposes, without Morgase or anyone else interfearing. She does not know that Moiraine has already found him, or she would likely act differently. She thinks she has time to track down Rand later. How she would act if she knew Moiraine had him is just speculation; she would probably have confronted Moiraine and demanded that they take Rand to the Tower together.

Elaida can't know that he is ta'veren, but she can suspect it. Sensing ta'veren is a gift, I believe Siuan Sanche has it but not Elaida. Not even Moiraine can know for sure who Rand will become at this point, she doesn't until the events in the end of the first book and until Rand meets Siuan in the beginning of the second. In the first book, Moiraine believes that one of Rand, Mat and Perrin is the one she's been looking for, but she doesn't know which one.

Regarding Elaida's motives:

Even though Elaida has her own schemes and plots, she does remain loyal to the Aes Sedai cause throughout the books. So she has no ulterior motives beyond her own.

Also, Elaida had a previous Foretelling which told that the key to winning the Last Battle would be the throne of Andor. However, this Foretelling is more likely related to Rand's heritage being the son of Tigraine, which is revealed later, more so than House Trakand (which does also play an important part through Elayne).

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Basically she has suspicious that rand is a Ta'veren (i cant remeber if she can see ta'veren or not) and men who are centers of prophecy are "handled" by aes sedai. Elaida is able and willing to use extreme measures, but Morgase would have provided rand with the rights and protections of an andoran citizen and most likely would have not let Elaida take him to the white tower.

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    So she gambled on being able to track him down later. Bet she was annoyed when she found the birds had flown the nest! I don't think she can see ta'veren, only Foretell. – Rand al'Thor Aug 8 '14 at 13:11

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