2.6.5: Who's Who in the Halls of the Tower; What’s the Mystery About the "Too-Young" Sitters? --Revised

[Richard Boye, revised by James Luckman]

First noticed by Siuan amongst the Rebels in [TPOD: 16, Unexpected Absences, 341], and by Seaine within the Tower in [COT: Prologue, Glimmers of the Pattern, 51], the Too-Young Sitter Conspiracy was a plan enacted by the Ajah Head's during the early days after Siuan Sanche was deposed.

It had seemed like a brilliant plan. The division of the Tower, the departure of so many in rebellion and the raising of a new Amyrlin, had not been their fault. But it had presented several opportunities. The first had been the easiest to take hold of: send Sitters to the rebels to steer them and hasten a reconciliation. The most youthful of Sitters had been chosen, their replacements in the Tower intended to serve only a short time. The Ajah heads had been certain this ripple of a rebellion could be easily smoothed over.

They hadn't taken it seriously enough. That had been their first mistake. The second was more dire. There were indeed times in the past where the Ajah heads—not the Amyrlin Seat or the Hall of the Tower— had led the Aes Sedai. It had been done secretly, of course, but it had been very successful. Why, the reign of Cemaile Sorenthaine would have been a complete disaster if the Ajah heads hadn't stepped in. [tGS; 43, Sealed to the Flame]

Essentially the conspiracy involved filling the Hall with Sitters who were too young for the position, enabling the Ajah Heads to establish themselves as defacto rulers of the Tower. The long-term intention was that the Rebels would be brought back in under Elaida, the too-young sitters would stand aside for their mature rebel counter-parts, and the Ajah Heads (who by that time would have secured control) would lead the reunited Tower through TG.

How Was The Conspiracy Set Up?

Within the Tower the Ajah Heads enacted this plan themselves--forcing in either sitters who were too young, or taking the position themselves. Amongst the Rebels the plan was enacted by five pre-schism Sitters: Varilin, Takima, Magla, Faiselle and Saroiya. These Sitters were sent by the Ajah Heads to force the raising of too-young sitters, and ultimately lead the Rebels back to the Tower.

The Footdragging Five

It can be noted that these five frequently opposed decisions that would lead to further distance between the two groups, and agree with decisions that supported reunification, which led to them being named by the fandom The Footdragging Five. They opposed the declaration of war in [TPOD: 19, The Law, 382-389], and similarly the decision for an alliance with the Black Tower in [COT: 19, Surprises, 471-473], undoubtedly because such an alliance would make reunification under Elaida more difficult.

And though Jesse Belial states that "some of the Sitters they had sent had begun siding with the rebels more than the White Tower!" it cannot be doubted that their original intention, and the one under which they did most their work, was reunification under Elaida--those five took control of the negotiations with Elaida, and in  [KoD; 23, Call to a Sitting] Romanda notes:

"...all of them almost seemed to be negotiating for Elaida. Well, perhaps it was not that bad. They held fast against the woman's ridiculous demand that the Blue Ajah be dissolved and argued, if not nearly with sufficient force, for Elaida stepping down, but if she-and Lelaine, she was forced to admit-did not stiffen their backbones now and then, they might well accede to some of Elaida's other odious conditions"

The Oddball, Janya

Though Janya was also a Sitter prior to the schism, she seems to have had no part in the Conspiracy. She never takes any of the stances the others do, and seems genuine about her commitment to the Rebels.

How This Will Help

Though the plan was an unmitigated failure, as the Ajah Heads themselves state in tGS, it will allow for a smooth reunification of the Halls under Egwene. Essentially the too-young sitters will be displaced with a limited ruffling of feathers, something less possible had all the sitters been normal candidates for sitter-hood.

The Pre-Unification Disposition of the Halls

* denotes a rebel.

Red = 3 normal (Pevara, Duhara and Javindhra), no abnormal.

Blue = 3 normal (Lelaine*, Moria* and Lyrelle*), no abnormal.

Yellow = 4 normal (Romanda*, Magla*, Doesine, Sedore), 2 abnormal (Salita* and Suana).

White = 3 normal (Saroiya*, Seaine and Valina), 3 abnormal (Aledrin*,  Berana* and Ferane).

Gray = 3 normal (Varilin*, Yukiri and an unamed Sitter from the tower), 3 abnormal (Delana*, Kwamesa* and Andaya).

Green = 3 normal (Faiselle*, Talene, Rubinde), 3 abnormal (Malind*, Semalin* and Rina)

Brown = 4 normal (Jenya*, Takima*, Shevan and Saerin), 2 abnormal (Escarlde* and Juilaine).

A Glimpse at What the Post-Unification Hall May Look Like

Red = Pevara and Javindhra. (Duhara was ousted as Black. No idea who will replace her).

Blue = Lelaine and Lyrelle. (Moria was ousted as Black. No idea who will replace her).

Yellow = Romanda, Magla and Doesine. (Sedore was ousted as Black. No idea who will replace her).

White = Saroiya and Seaine. (Valina was ousted as Black. No idea who will replace her).

Gray = Varilin, Naroisa and Yukiri. (It remains uncertain whether Naroisa, raised to fill Delana's place, is Too-Young)

Green = Faiselle and Rubinde. (Talene was ousted as Black. No idea who will replace her).

Brown = Janya, Takima, Shevan and Saerin.

It's possible that some of the Too-Young Sitters will retain their places given those that were supposed to supplant them after unification turned out Black. The Brown, which has four viable Sitters, is somewhat problematic. It's stated that Shevan was being groomed to replace Saerin, but I suspect that's unlikely now. The highest chance is that Shevan will step down until her time comes.

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