This post is not about Harry Potter. I do, on occasion, think of other things. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled HP fest shortly.
The story of Setalle Anan breaks my heart. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT SETALLE ANAN.
Setalle Anan was an Aes Sedai who was burned out. That means she lost her ability to channel the One Power, probably due to drawing too much upon herself or while studying ter’angreal. Understand this – being burned out (or stilled, or gentled, or whatever you want to call it) is the WORST POSSIBLE THING that can happen to a channeler in this universe. Multiple characters who have the ability consider the fact that they’d rather die than lose their ability. Several characters vomit at the suggestion that it could happen to them, or upon seeing it happen to one of their associates. IT’S A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE FATE. And when it happened to Setalle, the White Tower simply put her out and expected her to crawl into a corner and die quietly.
The White Tower is an organization that is well known for meddling and manipulation. It’s mentioned by a few characters through the series that once a woman has ties to the White Tower, it isn’t through with her until she’s used up. It’s generally understood that once you become attached to the Tower, it’s for life. No backsies, homie. So that’s what makes it such a GROSS BETRAYAL how they handle women who are burned out. Just…thrown out the door. Bye. Go die somewhere. But the existence of Setalle Anan suggests that they DON’T (always) just go die – they go and forge lives for themselves and try to forget that they were once among the most powerful women in the world. They just try to be…normal again, after having been extraordinary.
It makes me so incredibly sad to think of the dozens – hundreds? – of women who had dedicated their lives to this organization, were INJURED in its service, and then tossed aside like worthless garbage because they were lacking the ability they once had. Their brains were the same; their memories intact – but they were simply tossed aside like so much refuse because of what they no longer had. Breaks my heart.