* SafetyInIndifference: Over the course of the series Rand al'Thor tries to cut himself from all feelings as an attempt to become hard enough to meet [[HeroicSacrifice his destiny. ]] [[spoiler: He gets better.]]
* ScarilyCompetentTracker: Perrin, as a Wolfbrother, has a sharper sense of smell, sight and hearing than normal humans, and puts them to good use. There are also type of people called 'sniffers', who function in this capacity for borderland lords; they have an odd innate talent that allows them to "smell" the presence of violence and death.
** In ''Fires of Heaven'', Gareth Bryne mentions a member of his family, who supposedly could track a falcon's shadow over running water. Said family member never shows up, but Gareth himself counts, as he tracked Siuan, Min, Leane, and Logain over a hefty portion of the continent. And the only reason he caught up to them ''at all'' is because the ladies asked for directions ''once.'' Siuan was appropriately dumbfounded at hearing this.
* TheScottishTrope: Sure, saying the Dark One's true name ''supposedly'' attracts his attention, [[BlatantLies but that's just superstition]]. That really bad stuff happens almost immediately following such incidents is just a coincidence. Not even [[QuirkyMinibossSquad the Forsaken/Chosen]] dare to do so, because you can't be too careful when you're working for the Lord of Darkness.
* ScrewTheRulesItsTheApocalypse: The only chance the forces of Light have to survive The Last Battle is to put aside their differences and customs and ''fight together''.
* ScrewYouElves:- Rand's character development for at least the first five or six books is basically him losing his patience with the Aes Sedai trying to tell him what to do. The same holds for the other main characters as well to a greater or lesser extent.
** That's...somewhat of an exaggeration, but not untrue. The Aes Sedai, however, never lose their authority and ability to inspire awe and respect completely and eventually builds it back again.
* SealedCastInAMultipack: The Dark One had a whole army of channelers under his command. The thirteen most powerful of them, called the Forsaken, were at the Bore when Lews Therin and his Hundred Companions sealed the Dark One's prison. The Forsaken were sealed as well and was freed only when the seal against the Dark One's prison weakened enough to allow it.
* SealedEvilInACan: The Dark One sealed behind the fabric of reality, best accessible from inside Shayol Ghul. The seal on the can has been slowly decaying for centuries, causing the events of the series.
* SecretCircleOfSecrets: The Darkfriends
* SecretKeeper: At the conclusion of the series, only [[spoiler: Elayne, Min, Aviendha, Alivia, and Cadsuane know that Rand survived the last battle. Whether they (or he) loop anyone else in during the years ahead is left up to the reader to decide]].
* SeductionProofMarriage:
** Mat Cauthorn is a ladies man bordering on {{Pornomancer}} territory. Late in the series, he becomes married to the Seanchan empress BecauseDestinySaysSo. Even though it's effectively an ArrangedMarriage that looks like it will be completely {{sexless|Marriage}}, he is scrupulous about honoring his vows, turning down several opportunities to get some on the side. (Fortunately for him, TheyDo eventually, though with hilarious DoYouWantToCopulate overtones on her part.)
** Perrin is able to shrug off powerful mind control that should make him utterly loyal to a particular villainess, by remembering that he loves his wife.
* SelfDeprecation: one of the ter'angreal is a small statue of a smiling bearded man that Jordan admitted on his blog is a self-insert. It turns out to have thousands and thousands of books recorded in it, almost certainly a little dig at Jordan's reputation for writing {{Doorstopper}}s.
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: Mat's AccidentalMarriage.
** The series is full of prophecies and visions, and while it's possible that none of them are truly self-fulfilling (Mat's marriage ceremony wasn't finished until he had proven himself to her), a great many prophecies help push themselves along. The Stone of Tear was besieged more than once precisely because of the prophecy that only the Dragon could bring it down, and knowledge of that prophecy was why Rand went there. But even if the prophecy had never been made the Dragon Reborn would probably want to go to the Heart of the Stone anyway, because that's where ''Callandor'' was kept.
** Mat receiving the holes in his memory filled was an example of this--he was given them by the Foxes, but would never have gotten them if the Snakes hadn't told him to go to Rhuidean, which fulfilled them calling him a 'son of battles'. But in ''Towers of Midnight'' we also see the Finn literally make one of their prophecies come true: [[spoiler:Mat 'giving up half the light of the world to save the world' is enforced through them demanding of him a price for Moiraine's release, a price he had already guessed thanks to knowing Rand (and therefore the world) couldn't succeed without her. So he agrees...and they take his eye.]]
* SerpentOfImmortality: The Dragon is a person who is reincarnated once an Age to deal with the Dark One. The motif of immortality is clearly in use, especially as the Dragon emblem looks decidedly snakelike, and the series makes varied use of the Ouroboros symbol for the Wheel of Time itself.
* SexlessMarriage: Mat and Tuon's, they find each other a bit too ''strange'' to get intimate, although their [=POVs=] have shown they're attracted to each other. [[spoiler:Subverted as of the last book, when they do it in the garden of the Tarasin Palace, in front of her soldiers and bodyguards. And she's pregnant.]]
* ShadowWalker: Myrddaal are stated to have this ability, though it's never clarified what constitutes adequate shadow or how far they can move. No one knows how they do it either, even the creatures themselves. The ability is seldom shown within the books, but is enough of a threat that Borderland cities keep their streets lit throughout the night by law to keep them out, as well as a similar law that everyone must keep their heads uncovered, since Myrddraal have [[EyelessFace very distinctive faces.]]
* SharingABody: Rand al'Thor and Lews Therin [[spoiler: although Rand eventually accepts that they are and always were two different versions of the same soul, leading to a SplitPersonalityMerge]]. Also, Luc and Isam, and possibly Mordeth/Fain though that seems more of a straight-up merge [[spoiler: and by ''A Memory of Light'' there isn't much Mordeth ''or'' Fain left in there]].
* ShirtlessScene: Rand training with a sword at the end of the first book, and the beginning of the second book. Maybe a few more.
** Perrin gets one in book thirteen.
* ShmuckBait: Mat treats Verin's letter like this. Unusually for this trope, he resists all temptation to open it. [[spoiler: Double-subverted when it turns out to contain vitally important information that she couldn't pass along any other way]].
* ShockAndAwe: Another channeling power.
* ShootTheMessenger: Lanfear's minion was a bit dim about [[ClingyJealousGirl what Lanfear's primary characterization is.]]
* ShouldntWeBeInSchoolRightNow: Elayne, Egwene and Nynaeve are exempt from many classes during their novitiate in the White Tower.
* ShoutOut: The Mountains of Dhoom and the Mountains of Mist are references to [[TheLordOfTheRings Middle-earth]].
** Let's not forget the inn in which Rand stays in Book 2: "'The Nine Rings' had been one of his favorite adventure stories when he was a boy; he supposed it still was."
** Shayol Ghul shares a lot thematically with Orodruin. And in both cases the protagonist has to enter the mountain in order to overcome the BigBad.
** "Galad" is Sindarin for "light." Galad Damodred, as of the beginning of ''Knife of Dreams'', commands the Children of the Light.
*** Building on the LOTR shout-outs, Galad's name may be a reference to Gil-Galad the Elven king. Gil-Galad, being an Elf and a mighty warrior, would have possessed beauty and graceful movement. Traits young Galad is renowned for having in the Wheel of Time.
*** Also possible reference to Galahad from Arthurian legend. In the Once and Future King, several knights claimed Galahad "Wasn't human" because he would ride up, save them or perform some heroic deed, then ride off without bothering with important things such as minor courtesy. Also, with the other veiled names in the series, this one fits right in.
** There's a lot of references to NorseMythology, which are most noticeable near the end of the series as the characters near the peaks of their power. The most obvious is perhaps Rand al'''Thor'', a tall, red-haired man with a tendency to drop lightning bolts on people and a magic weapon only he can pick up. And the one closest to the Norse origins is Mat, who, with his wide-brimmed black hat, a spear rumoured to never miss its target, and [[spoiler:only one eye]], is the spitting image of a young Odin. Although his personality is a lot more like Loki. And most recently, from ''Towers of Midnight'', [[spoiler: Perrin forges the Power-wrought hammer Mah'alleinir, a clear reference to Mjollnir, though it doesn't share any of that weapon's mythical traits]].
*** Rand shares many similarities with Tyr, Norse god of War and Justice, [[spoiler:in particular the loss of his hand.]] Perrin has many similarities with Perun, a slavic god similar to Thor, wielding a hammer and defending the common people, but also carrying an axe, a bow and commanding wolves. In the Christianized versions of his myth, he is named St Elias (also the name of a supporting character with similar abilities).
*** In connection to the Tyr reference (Tolkien was a fan and scholar of Norse Mythology), one handed, red haired, conflicted AntiHero who has to fight the supreme evil of the world because of an oath/prophecy and is of a disinherited noble family? Hello [[TheSilmarillion Maedhros Feanorion!]]
*** Building on Mat's similarities to Odin, the inscription on his spear has two ravens, and a poem that makes reference to "thought" and "memory," the names of Odin's ravens. Mat also jokes that he was hanged for a lack of knowledge, which the Eelfinn gave him (if not exactly knowledge he wanted). Similarly, Odin hanged himself on the World Tree Yggdrasil to acquire knowledge.
** He also includes references to his hometown, Charleston. The ogier, for example, are named for Ogier Street downtown.
** In ''A Memory of Light'', chapter 23 is called ''At the Edge of Time'', after the Music/BlindGuardian album which featured two songs about the book series.
* ShutUpKiss: Lan's go-to tactic with Nynaeve. It's quite effective.
* SilkHidingSteel: The TropeNamer. Female Aes Sedai in general, and Moiraine in particular, are often described in these terms.
* SimpleYetOpulent: How the borderlands like their decorations.
* SinglePreceptReligion: The Whitecloaks. Their beliefs and rites seem to go as far as: the Light is good, Whitecloaks are good, the Dark is bad, Darkfriends are bad, Whitecloaks can't be Darkfriends, disobeying a Whitecloak makes you a Darkfriend. Their founding principles were more complex, but over time they've been somewhat... distilled.
* SirSwearsALot: Mat and Uno, among other characters. Granted, the profanities in this series are almost always {{Unusual Euphemism}}s. Elayne becomes a female example over the course of the series.
* SituationalSexuality: Fairly common among initiates in the White Tower, where girls are isolated from men (and the world altogether) and would have problems anyway due to their powers and extended lifespan. Treated as a very private matter and not looked down upon, most (though not all) of these relationships dissolve upon completing the long training process. For instance, Moiraine and Siuan were in such a relationship during their training days, distanced themselves somewhat after becoming Aes Sedai, and eventually gained male love interests. All of the all-female organizations have some mention of this.
* SlapSlapKiss: Seems to be a cultural norm in Saldaea. Faile and Perrin are a good example.
* SlaveryIsASpecialKindOfEvil:
** This is the Seanchan's [[PlanetOfHats hat]]. Protagonists [[PragmaticHero who will make all sorts of other compromises]] in the fight against the local GodOfEvil will still balk at allying with them because of their practice of [[FantasticRacism enslaving magic-users]] in the most dehumanizing way possible.
** The [[ProudWarriorRace Aiel]] have a custom in which those who are ritualistically captured in battle (a process much more difficult, and therefore considered more honorable, than simply killing them) voluntarily submit to a year and a day of servitude. They are not property and their service cannot be bought or sold (although it can apparently be "donated" in some way to Wise Ones, female clan elders), and non-Aiel cannot be captured in this way as they do not follow the Aiel's strict CodeOfHonor. When a renegade Aiel faction begins capturing non-Aiel and refusing to let them go after their year and a day is up-- treating them as slaves, in other words-- it is considered a major MoralEventHorizon by the rest of the Aiel.
* SlutShaming: Inverted. Most of the shame applies to Mat, who gets a lot of flak for groping so many serving girls. Generally [[AvertedTrope averted]] in the series; while various cultures have wildly different sexual mores in terms of how acceptable they find promiscuity, they seem to be largely gender-neutral.
* SmugSnake: Lots and lots of scheming nobles and other ruling classes among most civilizations fit this, but Elaida really, really, really, ''really'' takes the cake for sheer incompetence while being extraordinarily vindictive and arrogant at the same time, alienating most of the Tower with her plots and failures.
* [[spoiler: SomeoneToRememberHimBy: [[SubvertedTrope Subversion]]. As far as the rest of the world knows, Elayne's twins and (presumably) Aviendha's quadruplets will be this for Rand. However, Rand is very much alive at the end of the series, albeit in a new body.]]
* SoProudOfYou: The tearful reunion between Rand al'Thor and his adoptive father in ''Towers of Midnight'' certainly invokes this trope.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: The Forsaken (with the exception of Ishamael and Lanfear, who are pretty continuous presences) are generally confronted in this sort of pattern, with later Forsaken being much more formidable than those faced early in the series. Justified because the more skilled Forsaken tended to last longer, quietly building up their power while letting their more overtly ambitious compatriots get blasted. [[spoiler: The reincarnated Forsaken, of course, break the pattern]].
** The first two faced are Aginor and Balthamel, who suffered from AgeWithoutYouth and neither was particularly skilled as a warrior even on the top of their game (Aginor was a MadScientist rather than a fighter, and Balthamel was a lazy, bad-tempered letch who was UnskilledButStrong), and they go down pretty easily.
** Next comes the WeakButSkilled Be'lal, who is a serious threat in one book but gets KilledOffForReal at the end of it.
** Rahvin and Moghedien are up next; the former is pretty solidly at the middle of the pack (though he arguably comes closer to defeating the good guys than anyone, thanks to a well-timed trap), and the latter is sneaky, but tends to fall apart when faced directly. Both are main threats over several books. [[note]]Asmodean is faced at this time as well, but he's probably the most pathetic of the lot, and is more Lanfear's catspaw than a major villain in his own right[[/note]]
** Sammael is the most visible villain for a good chunk in the middle of the series- he's one of the Shadow's top generals and is in control of a very powerful nation, in addition to being a very powerful channeler. It takes several books to ultimately bring him down [[spoiler: though he's ultimately an AntiClimaxBoss]].
** Up next we have Semirhage and Mesaana, the former being TheDreaded and a sadistic TortureTechnician who [[spoiler: takes Rand's arm and forces him to betray his vow to never kill a woman]], and the latter has been manipulating the White tower behind the scenes the whole time and is basically the "[[BoringButPractical slow and steady wins the race]]" of the Forsaken.
** Finally, at the Last Battle the Shadow's forces are lead by Demandred and Graendal, who between them are the greatest warrior and most cunning manipulator of the Forsaken and utterly ''wreck'' the Light's forces before being brought down with great difficulty and at much cost.
* SortingAlgorithmOfThreateningGeography: ''The Eye of the World'' does this. It starts off in the sleepy farming country of the Two Rivers, progressing to various grand cities, then we go to the harsh, icy pine forests of Shienar and then to the plagued jungle that is The Blight.
* SoulJar: Reserved for evil minions who ''really'' screwed up. Not much you can do when the Dark Lord's poking at your soul in a can.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: There are some examples of differing spelling in the books. Notably, one of the Heroes of the Horn can be known as Oscar or Otarin, and, in Creator/BrandonSanderson's books, the Great Captains are simply known as "great captains", with no special capitalizations.
* SphereOfDestruction: One city gets erased in a black, spherical void late in the series, through very unique circumstances.
* SplitPersonality: a likely explanation for Lews Therin's voice in Rand's head.
* [[spoiler:SplitPersonalityMerge: at the very end of ''The Gathering Storm''.]]
* SpontaneousWeaponCreation: Rand occasionally creates a sword made of fire, though, as multiple characters point out, this is a rather inefficient use of the One Power.
** SpectralWeaponCopy: Said sword is in the image of the one his father gave him. (which was destroyed in the second book)
* SpringIsLate: Several times, most notably at the beginning of the series.
* SpringtimeForHitler: The rebel Aes Sedai intended to make a show of defiance before rejoining the tower, and elected Egwene as their leader so she could absorb the brunt of the punishment for rebelling... until she masterfully manipulates them into openly declaring war on the tower.
* SpySpeak
* StandardFemaleGrabArea: Three female prisoners are being taken to trial and all are held firmly by the arm. This probably isn't the only time this happens.
* TheStarscream: Several. Lanfear is the best example; she wants to defeat the Dark One, take his place, and rule the universe with her lover. Other Forsaken are just waiting for the chance to stab in the back the one placed in charge of them by the Dark One. Padan Fain ''was'' a loyal servant of the Dark One until traumatic experiences gave him both a grudge and some unusual powers, and now he's equally willing to stab Darkfriends and heroes as he finds them. See ChronicBackstabbingDisorder above. Liandrin is also a prominent example of how not to be one, since even when shown how truly insignificant her powers were, she continued to try supplanting Moghedien so as to curry favor with the other Forsaken. This didn't work out well for her at all, and as of the most recent book she ''still'' hasn't gotten free of the punishment Moghedien gave her--which short of being stilled is the worst FateWorseThanDeath a channeler can suffer.
** All the Forsaken wish to supplant Ishamael as Nae'blis (TheDragon of the Dark One). The Dark One offered the position to all of them in ''Lord of Chaos'' to encourage the competition. The only exception is [[spoiler:Demandred]], who cares nothing for rule in any degree except in how it helps him to achieve his primary goal: [[spoiler:defeating the Dragon]].
* StartXToStopX: In the twelfth book, its revealed that [[spoiler:in order to keep the Dark One sealed away, they first need to break the seals on the prison, so they can remake the seals even stronger.]]
* StealthPun: A throwaway reference to "the ''ter'angreal'' used to produce the cloth for Warder cloaks" strongly implies that said cloth is produced by weaving with the One Power.
* StockholmSyndrome: One explanation for Mat's feelings about Tylin, though complicated by the fact that he's probably genuinely attracted to her as well.
** Seems to happen quite quickly and thoroughly to Damane as well, though it helps that many of them grew up in a culture that considers the Damane regime normal. Alivia is a notable exception; despite (according to her) more than 400 years of slavery, she turns against the Seanchan quite thoroughly almost immediately upon gaining her freedom.
* StormingTheCastle: In particular, Rand builds much of his empire through use of this trope. And what's left is generally snatched up by the Seanchan, who are fond of a bit of castle-storming of their own.
* StoryboardingTheApocalypse: Four times in ''A Memory of Light'' [[spoiler:during the duel between Rand and the Dark One outside of the Pattern]]. These are them mentioned in order of appearance.
** VillainWorld: [[spoiler:[[TheBigGuy Nynaeve]], [[TheArchmage Egwene]], [[OnlySaneMan Logain]], and [[LivingLegend Cadsuane]] have all been [[BrainwashedAndCrazy Turned]] to the Shadow and named Chosen. The [[GardenOfEvil Blight]] has extended to at least [[SmallTownBoredom the Two Rivers]], if not the entire world. [[BlondeBrunetteRedhead Elayne, Min, and Aviendha]] have been taken to Shayol Ghul to be submitted to [[AndIMustScream endless]] ColdBloodedTorture. Anyone who can channel is immediately Turned to the Shadow to avoid hope rising amongst the masses. The Chosen each control a portion of the world, and fight each other in a ForeverWar. Seanchan was completely destroyed down to the last human being there]].
** CrapsaccharineWorld: [[spoiler:In this world, the people remember that the Last Battle was won. However, [[ChaosIsEvil there is no law]], and MoralSociopathy is the new normal, with MightMakesRight being the primary way of showing authority, and acts such as murder or theft meaning absolutely nothing to those who cause them except concepts of extreme [[TheSocialDarwinist social Darwinism]].]]
** [[spoiler:TheEvilsOfFreeWill: Shown by Rand himself, this is a world where the Dark One no longer exists at all. However, as he realizes, without the Dark One and the very concept of evil, there is no conflict. And without conflict, there is no choice whatsoever, meaning no innovation or change of any sort. People in this world seem hollow, "pure" versions of themselves, in an entire world of PerfectPacifistPeople for whom the very idea of war is alien, and are nothing like how they would normally be. The Dark One lampshades that this is no better than [[BrainwashedAndCrazy Turning to the Shadow]].]]
--->'''Dark One:''' [[spoiler:[[TastesLikeDiabetes PERFECT.]] [[CreativeSterility UNCHANGING.]] [[CrapsaccharineWorld RUINED.]] DO THIS, IF YOU WISH, ADVERSARY. [[ThanatosGambit IN KILLING ME, I WOULD WIN.]]]]
** [[spoiler:CessationOfExistence: A "compromise" that the Dark One proposes to Rand, in which the entire world simply ceases to exist. If Rand were to surrender, he would destroy the world, but agree not to remake it InTheirOwnImage. He even agrees that it was the same exact promise he made to [[StrawNihilist Moridin/Ishamael]], if he managed to succeed. Unfortunately, Rand knows that he will never do this, as, being a being of pure evil, he can't be trusted to follow his word.]]
*** [[spoiler: And more importantly, defying this nihilistic compromise (where he had been about to destroy the world himself) was what allowed Rand to completely merge with his Lew Therin persona at the end of ''The Gathering Storm'' and renew his will to save the world. He wasn't about to give in now, at the very end.]]
* StrangeSecretEntrance: The Eye of The World can only be found once by any person, with a single exception. It moves, but always within a specific, very dangerous region.
* SubspaceOrHyperspace: Skimming, and also using the Ways.
* SugarBowl: [[spoiler: During the final battle, Rand explores a (potential) reality completely free of the Dark One. It TastesLikeDiabetes, and humans lack the capacity for choice and change.]]
* SuicideByCop: In ''The Great Hunt'', Ingtar's implied fate. Otherwise it seems he was planning on [[DrivenToSuicide Sheathing the Sword]] on his own.
* SuicidalPacifism: The Tuatha'an.
* SummoningArtifact: The Horn Of Valere summons the Heroes of the Ages.
* SummonToHand: Perrin does this on occasion with his special hammer, ''Mahalleinir'', while in the World of Dreams, tying into the series' connection with NorseMythology. He tries it in the waking world before he remembers it doesn't work there.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: A mark of Wolfbrothers.
* SupernaturallyMarkedGrave: Dragonmount is an epic one. The Green Man gets an everlasting tree to mark his grave in the first book. And in the last book, [[spoiler: Egwene]] created a massive pillar of crystal upon dying.
* SupernaturalSensitivity: Channelers can always tell if someone of the same gender is channeling nearby, and how strongly, but need to see the flows of Power in order to determine the nature of the weave used. Weaves can be concealed by 'inverting' them, a method rediscovered partway through the series. Also, those holding the True Power can only be sensed by those who use it.
* SuperSenses: Perrin gains increased senses, as a result of [[spoiler:being a Wolfbrother.]] And channelers gain heightened senses when they are actively embracing/seizing.
* SuperStrength: Warders and [[{{Golem}} gholam]] seem to have this to some extent.
* SwordAndSorcerer: The whole point of the Aes Sedai / Warder grouping.
* SwordFight: Rand and Turak in ''The Great Hunt''.
* TangledFamilyTree: Rand is in the middle of this. As of book 12: [[spoiler:Rand is the half-brother of Galad by the same mother, Tigraine Mantear, although Rand and Luc/Isam are the only characters who actually know this.]] Galad is the half-brother of Elayne and Gawyn by the same father, Taringail Damodred. (Probably.) Rand is in a relationship with Elayne [[spoiler:and at the end of the series she's pregnant, expecting twins]]. Gawyn wants to kill Rand in revenge because he believes Rand killed Gawyn's mother Morgase, although she isn't actually dead. Gawyn is in love with Egwene. Egwene is a friend of Elayne's and [[ChildhoodMarriagePromise used to be betrothed to Rand]]. Morgase is now working for Rand's childhood friend Perrin as a servant. Moiraine Damodred, Rand's [[TheObiWan Obi-Wan]], is Taringail's younger half-sister, and so Galad, Gawyn, and Elayne's aunt; her [[LoveInterests Love Interest]], Thom, is one of Morgase's ex-lovers, and another Morgase ex, Gareth Bryne, is, [[spoiler:engaged to Moiraine's [[SituationalSexuality former]] [[BiTheWay lover]] Siuan]]. Tigraine's brother, Luc Mantear, is also alive and merged some way or other with Isam Mandragoran, first cousin of Lan Mandragoran, another mentor figure of Rand's and Moiraine's Warder. No characters know anything at all about Luc/Isam being alive or connected except for himself.
* TautologicalTemplar: the Children of the Light.
* TechnicalPacifist: The Aiel, who swore an oath to never touch a sword. Doesn't stop them from using spears, nor from becoming a militant warrior culture. (This is the cause of the GoMadFromTheRevelation mentioned above: the Aiel found out that they had obeyed only the letter of the law, not the [[ActualPacifist spirit]].)
* TeleportInterdiction: The thirteenth book presents the ''dreamspike'' artifact, which blocks the creation of Gateways within a large radius of its position, including ones inbound from outside the area of effect. In the Dream World, it visibly manifests as a spherical, semipermeable barrier of similar effect, except that teleportation is still possible between between two points both inside the barrier.
* TeleportSpam: Battles between really high-powered channelers are often this, with both sides launching an attack and Traveling out as fast as possible. Battles in the World of Dreams are essentially always TeleportSpam.
* TemporalParadox - During the War of Power, whole cities were wiped out with rampant balefire, and the Pattern nearly [[TimeCrash unraveled]] while trying to compensate for the resulting {{Plot Hole}}s and {{Continuity Snarl}}s.
* TerrainSculpting: During the Breaking of the World, all male Aes Sedai went mad and caused total upheaval, creating mountain ranges, dredging seas and creating new ones on top of existing countries. It's suggested that the shape of all the world's landmasses has been radically changed.
* TerrifyingRescuer: In the first book when Perrin is captured by Whitecloaks, Lan scares the crap out of him while coming to the rescue. Rand is on a larger scale, what with all the prophecies saying he's going to destroy the world while saving it, but also has a few specific instances where his channeling scares people worse than whatever threat he's using it to save them from.
* TheirFirstTime: Essentially every major character under the age of thirty is either explicitly or is implied to be a virgin before the series starts, so there's a fair amount of this.
* ThemeNaming: Rand's surname might be a reference to Thor of Norse mythology. He's even got the right hair color...
** KingArthur: Most of the characters and much of the underlying skeleton of the story [[strike:are adapted from]] share names with Arthurian myth: Egwene al'Vere (Guinevere); Morgase (Morgawse); Gawyn Trakand (Gawaine); Galad Trakand (Gallahad); Elayne (Elaine of Carbonnek); Nynaeve (Nineve); Rand al'Thor (Arthur); The Sword-In-The-Stone Callandor (Caliburn); Jeraal Mordeth (Mordred); Thom Merrilin (Merlin); and many, many others. ''Sa'angreal'' = "Sangreal" = The Holy Grail, just as another data point. And of course who can forget the historic backstory character Artur Hawkwing Pendraeg, who united the known world in a single kingdom of justice and fairness a thousand years ago, and is now numbered among the greatest heroes of history who are prophesied to be recalled to life at a time of great need. A more complete list of references can be found [[http://www.darkfriends.net/wheel/3_sources/3.05_king-arthur.html here]].
** There's also the Forsaken, who are all named after demons and dark gods from various mythologies.
** The series' universe has something of a recursive chronology, where each Age will eventually be repeated after all of its events have faded beyond legend. Furthermore, our current world is strongly implied to be the first Age. Which means that the reason those characters seem familiar is because they are the reincarnated gods and heroes of our age.
** The implication seems to be that our world is the Age opposite the one taking place in the books: our misremembered present is their legends (like the reference to the ColdWar) while their misremembered present is our legends (see above).
* ThereAreNoCoincidences: Where ''ta'veren'' are concerned, coincidences happen all the time, with the Pattern working to help them. However, they all work toward some purpose or another... [[InMysteriousWays though the actual effect they work toward is unknown almost always until it has already happened]].
* ThisWasHisTrueForm: When someone dies while using [[MasterOfIllusion Mask of Mirrors]], the weave falls apart and shows the true identity of the user.
* TheoryOfNarrativeCausality - This is pretty much what it means to be ''ta'veren''.
* ThirdEye: Moiraine's forehead jewel serves as this symbolically, especially since she can use it as a CrystalBall.
* TheThreeTrials: The Test to become an Accepted of the White Tower consists of stepping into three silver doorways, within each of which the woman will be presented with some scenario that tempts her to stay and not return.
* ThreeWishes: Mat unknowingly gets them during his visit to the Eelfinn in "The Shadow Rising." His third wish is enough of a "reset button" to get him back to his former location, but he still has a bunch of other people's memories and a medallion that stops magic. Towers of Midnight reveals that [[spoiler:his third wish [[ChekhovsGun was actually]] a spear that allows him to cut his way out of the Tower of Ghenjei, and not [[RedHerring them taking him outside]]]].
** ''Towers of Midnight'' also reveals that [[spoiler: Moiraine and Lanfear each got Three Wishes as well, though not what they wished for.]]
* ThirteenIsUnlucky: There are thirteen Forsaken. There used to be more, but thirteen were [[SealedEvilInACan sealed away for 3000 years]]. Thirteen Myrddraal and thirteen Dreadlords working together can also force a channeler into the Dark One's thrall.
* ThisIsReality: Rand reminds himself several times that he isn't some hero in a story. At other points, he wonders [[RealityIsUnrealistic why "real life" isn't more like the stories portray it]].
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Elayne is saved during an assassination attempt by a guardsman [[ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks throwing his sword.]] [[spoiler:This is revealed to be a set-up. The guardsman is a Darkfriend who arranged the assassination so he could save Elayne and gain her trust.]]
** Double-subverted with Mat's ashandarei (a polearm). He explicitly notes that it's not balanced for throwing, so he's not surprised when he misses [[spoiler:the Gholam]], but he's grateful that the spear still [[spoiler:trips it up, allowing Talmanes to escape]].
* TightropeWalking: When joining Valan Luca's traveling circus in The Shadow Rising, Elayne trains herself to become a tightrope walker.
* TimeCrash: Excessive use of balefire would cause the world to dissolve like fog as the Pattern unraveled from the RetGone effect of balefire.
** The actual effect seems to be more like reality cracking and falling into oblivion, but the point stands.
* TooDumbToLive: A ton of characters, usually in high ranking positions.
** Some of the [=NPCs=] too. There are people living in Randland who are trying to kill Rand because if there's no Dragon Reborn, there's no Last Battle! [[SarcasmMode What could be simpler]]!
* TookALevelInBadass:
** Mat, twice: once after losing the tainted dagger (gaining reality-warping luck), and once after going to Rhuidean (gaining a Named WeaponOfChoice and crazy strategy skills).
*** Hell, this is all Mat does, throughout the entire series. Luck is a great way to gain levels.
** Rand takes at least three separate levels, once in ''The Great Hunt'' after learning how to use his sword properly, again in ''The Dragon Reborn'' when he pulls out [[OnlyTheChosenMayWield the Sword in the Stone]] which just happens to be a WeaponOfMassDestruction, and the third time in ''The Shadow Rising'' after [[spoiler:besting Asmodean and really cranking up his knowledge and use of The Power]]. By ''Lord Of Chaos'' he can kill 2 warders with his bare hands in the time it takes to magically restrain him. In ''Towers of Midnight'' [[spoiler:he takes another level just in time to fix most of the mistakes he made over the last 7 books]]
** Perrin: it's much more gradual, but over the course of the fourth book he really starts to stand out on his own.
*** Also [[spoiler:gains a serious Level by forging his WeaponOfChoice in book 13]]
*** Also [[spoiler: masters [[DreamLand Tel'aran'rhiod]] to the point of ''blocking balefire with his bare hands.'']]
*** Takes one last level in ''A Memory of Light'' by [[spoiler: mastering the technique of teleporting between dimensions without needing a Gateway or any other kind of weave. It allows him to ''finally'' kill Slayer and give Rand the cover he needs.]]
** Egwene: during the fifth book, as she takes the Aiel code of honor to heart, thus setting up several MomentsOfAwesome in the 11th and 12th books. Interestingly, it's not really a combat-application level, but more of a moral-rectitude one, the kind Rosa Parks took when she sat down on a bus and said, "[[CaptainAmerica No: ''you'' move]]."
** What Olver was doing during his time in the Band. We'll have to wait to see how it worked out for him.
*** As of ''A Memory of Light'': He has impressive tenacity, but he is about as much warrior as you can expect a pre-teen to be. Let's call that half a level.
* ToThePain: In Book 5, the thief-catcher Juilin tries to get information out of a group of prisoners, so he describes to his companions in explicit detail, within earshot of the prisoners, what items he will need for the torture: "Some rope to tie her, some rags to gag her until she is ready to talk, some cooking oil and salt... She will talk." [[spoiler: Later, after the interrogation, he revealed that he didn't know what he would have actually done with the oil and salt.]] Also, figs and mice would be involved...[[NoodleImplements somehow]].
* TownWithADarkSecret: In Book 12, Mat and his group enter a village which has a standing order that visitors are forbidden entry after sunset. The reason being [[spoiler: anyone killed within the bounds of the village after dark becomes trapped there, cursed to wake each day alive and well with no memory of the previous night. Which is a mercy, since nightfall turns all the villagers into mindless homicidal maniacs.]]
* TradingCardGame: One exists. It is, fittingly, incredibly complicated to play and takes a very long time to finish one game (two hours). Involves an inordinate ammount of XanatosSpeedChess and some FridgeLogic with some of the cards.
* TrainingFromHell: In order to increase their numbers as fast as possible, the Asha'man force their trainees to use their powers constantly, for everything from common chores to extremely dangerous attacks. And that's when they're not busy training to be blademasters. This naturally incurs heavy losses to death, burnout, and insanity. It works, though.
** The Aes Sedai training regimen is a prolonged version developed for a very different purpose. The White Tower is as much a SchoolForScheming as it is a WizardingSchool; its purpose is to ensure that students come out as women of immense mental fortitude as well as skill with the One Power, without breaking them in the process.
** The Asha'man training method actually makes more sense when you consider that male channelers are characterized as periodically leaping forward in strength following heavy use of the power such as battles. The whole thing works with the differing characteristics of saidar and saidin; with saidar you go with the flow and let your strength advance steadily and with saidin you have to take it firmly in hand and master it.
* TrainingTheGiftOfMagic: Approximately one percent of people have the ability to touch the True Source and draw on the One Power, but they'll never do it unless they learn the [[MeditationPowerUp proper form of meditation]]; then they have to learn the precise ways of arranging the Power into [[GeometricMagic weaves]] to create a specific desired effect. This attribute is partly genetic, partly spiritual, which basically means it crops up more often among families, but the main characters are more capable than most BecauseDestinySaysSo. Of those who can channel, about one percent have what is called the "spark", and will eventually channel whether they try or not. If they aren't guided the first few times, they have a three in four chance of dying.
* TranslationConvention: Explanation for why modern tongue does not resemble the Old Tongue.
* TraumaCongaLine: Queen Morgase. Oh, Queen Morgase. Particularly in Book 7.
** Also Galina, but she deserved it.
** Moghedien may also qualify; she deserved it as well.
* TraumaticSuperpowerAwakening: Channelers with the spark sometimes start channeling this way.
* TrilogyCreep: It was originally planned to be six books, so it would technically be 'Hexalogy Creep'. (Rumors have said 'trilogy,' but that's madness.) Also, since it's been said for the last five years or so it was going to be twelve books until Brandon Sanderson confirmed the last book is going to be split in [[strike:two]] [[http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=19734 three]], it's now also guilty of ''[='=]Dodecalogy Creep[='=]'' as well.
** Let's be fair, though. Sanderson is attempting to write a novel equal in word-count to the last ''four'' entries of the Literature/HarryPotter series. Such a tome would be less a {{Doorstopper}} and more The Great Wall of China.
** The first three books makes a pretty good standalone trilogy as the ''origin'' of a ChosenOne, where he collects his main allies, beats a StarterVillain, and the most difficult and important part, [[BecauseDestinySaysSo finally accepts his destiny]]. Same for the first six, by the end of which [[spoiler:the ObiWan is gone and]] everyone has come into their power and made a mark on the world. One could read the first three or six novels, stop, and leave the actual Last Battle to the imagination or fanfic. Given the pace of the writing, though, getting from the Two Rivers to the Last Battle in six books would never have been remotely possible.
* {{Tsundere}}: A few. Not as many as is assumed, though.
* TwoPersonPoolParty: Actually more like three or four. Fairly early in the series, Rand has a recurring EroticDream involving himself going skinny dipping in a secluded area of the Two Rivers with one (or more) of Elayne, Aviendha, and Min. As he is still in Celibate Hero mode at this point, these dreams are mostly a source of confusion and angst. Especially once [[PsychoExGirlfriend Lanfear]] decides to invite herself...
* UglyGuyHotWife: Gaidal Cain and Birgitte Silverbow, Lan and Nynaeve. Ugly ten-year-old Olver already tries to charm beautiful well-endowed women (and it works), so he'll probably end up with a hot wife too once he grows up.
* {{Uncoffee}}: The Seanchan drink "kaf".
* UndeadAuthor: Invoked pretty amusingly (though it's played for drama) in ''The Towers of Midnight''. Mat's preparing to infiltrate the Tower of Ghenjei, and Birgitte (who has memories of numerous past lives) tries to dissuade him by relating her own attempt to enter it many centuries earlier. She gets to the point in her narrative where she's trapped in the tower's maze with no provisions and all her instruments for holding off the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn depleted. Mat asks, “So how did you get out?” and Birgitte replies, “I didn't. That was the end of that story.” The amusing part is that despite this, Birgitte still expected the story of her tragic demise to get out (through Aes Sedai or others asking the Finn about her fate) and is disappointed that Mat didn't recognize it because no one knows the story. It's later implied, when Mat describes to Thom the main points of the story and its ending without using any names and it sounds familiar to him, that someone did find out about it somehow. But overall the story is only able to be told because the UndeadAuthor could do so herself thanks to the Horn of Valere and her memories of previous lives.
* TheUntwist: InUniverse, Aviendha sees the past of the Aiel and is rather underwhelmed by how their history was laid out, expecting epic decisions when everything was a natural progression. This is because she had already heard about this from Rand.
* UnusualEuphemism: Besides OhMyGods, several swear words are substituted to be more PG: "God damn you" = "Light burn you," "hell" = "Shayol Ghul" or "Pit of Doom," and the expletive so horrifying its equivalent can only be guessed at -- "Mother's milk in a cup." Other profanities in the series include "bloody" and "flaming". Given the setting, most of these make sense as profanities.
** "Blood and ashes!" "Sheep swallop and buttered onions!"
** When Birgitte senses (through the Warder bond) that Elayne's having sex with Rand, she threatens to drag her out and "kick her tickle-heart around the palace".
* UpbringingMakesTheHero: This would seem to be the Pattern's reason for having Rand raised as a farmboy in the Two Rivers, rather than with the Aiel who were his people. At the same time it arranged for his mother to become a Maiden of the Spear precisely so that he could have the great warrior blood of the Aiel, while being raised in the Two Rivers not only gave him common sense and a hero's morality but also the legendary stubbornness and warrior blood of the descendants of Manetheren. It is all these things, as well as having people like Tam, Mat, Perrin, Nynaeve, and Egwene around him, that allowed him to avoid Lews Therin's mistakes and thus keep from [[spoiler:being pushed over the DespairEventHorizon into a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds[=/=]PutThemAllOutOfMyMisery mindset, or just plain becoming HeWhoFightsMonsters]]. Rand even specifically states to Min that the reason the Dark One didn't claim him was because "I was raised better this time".
* TheUsualAdversaries: Trollocs.
* VillainEpisode: "River of Souls" is a short story centered around [[spoiler: Demandred's]] POV.
* VillainForgotToLevelGrind:
** Trollocs, Myrddraal ''et al'' never got any ''less'' dangerous; you still see them slaughtering {{Muggles}} and various armies throughout the books. The protagonists, meanwhile, are all several orders of magnitude more {{Badass}} than they started out as, with Rand's PowerLevel in particular making him a literal OneManArmy.
** Forsaken now seem to have been just a distraction for the good guys, while the real evil was preparing on various fronts. [[spoiler: Well, a good chunk of the Forsaken, that is. Mesaana, Graendal, Moridin, and Lanfear all present substantial challenges to the heroes in the last couple of books, and Demandred apparently spent his time in Shara either building up his armies or level-grinding, and when he shows up at the Last Battle he's if anything ''more'' formidable than he was in the Age of Legends]].
* VillainousBSOD: Semirhage gets one in ''The Gathering Storm'' when [[spoiler:Rand uses the True Power while she has him collared with a device that renders him unable to use Saidin.]]
* WalkingWasteland:
** [[spoiler: Padan Fain]] is one of extreme proportions. In fact, he's so much this trope that he's capable of corrupting the Dark One's own servants [[UpToEleven even more than they already are]].
** Rand temporarily becomes one of these as he gets ever closer to his DespairEventHorizon. After he recovers, he reverts back to something like FertileFeet.
* WanderingMinstrel: Thom. Rand has to be one to make his way with Mat to Caemlyn in the first book as they are split off from the rest of the party.
* WarIsHell: Rand feels TheChainsOfCommanding rather early in the series, and the theme becomes increasingly prevalent toward the Last Battle.
* WeaponOfMassDestruction: Callandor, a very powerful [[GenderRestrictedAbility male]] sa'angreal. With it, even an average channeler can wipe whole cities off the map. And even that has nothing on the Choedan Kal, which can allow a mortal to challenge a god if they want to. Just using them causes every Power-sensitive person ''on the planet'' to flip out in varying degrees.
* WeAreAsMayflies: Humans compared to the Ogier.
* WeAreEverywhere: Darkfriends, otherwise normal people who have sworn service to the Shadow, are spread throughout the world, infesting every level of authority. Whether doing the Great Lord's personal work, or just doing the best they can to spread chaos, mistrust and fear, they could be anybody... even lifelong acquaitances/friends of the main characters.
* WeAreStrugglingTogether: A big theme of the series.
** On the one hand, there's the MarsAndVenusGenderContrast that is one of the big underpinnings since all the greatest feats of the Age of Legends were performed by male and female channelers working together, and this will also be required to win the Last Battle...but thanks to the taint and the Breaking, there is fear, distrust, disgust, and outright hate between the two genders of Aes Sedai (with an entire Ajah built around hunting down the men and gentling them that tends to be filled with man-haters).
** On top of this there is the divisions between the Ajahs, the Tower split that is engineered by the Shadow, the Game of Houses, the enmities between the various nations (Andor vs. Cairhien, Tear vs. Illian, Arad Doman vs. Tarabon, the constant scheming between the nobles of Murandy and Altara), the Whitecloaks vs. the Aes Sedai, the Aiel vs. everybody else, the Seanchan vs. everybody else), and the disagreements between the various factions supporting Rand. Overcoming all of this and getting everyone unified is a big issue in Rand's mind for the Light to win, let alone for an enduring peace afterward.
** Some of this is even cleverly and diabolically induced by the Shadow--aside from the Tower split, the Seanchan's return (and mere existence) was engineered by Ishamael, the Aiel split over Rand is made possible by Asmodean marking Couladin with the dragon tattoos, a great deal of the Black Tower is Turned thanks to Taim, the Shaido are scattered by Sammael, and in the last book [[spoiler:Graendal uses MindManipulation in the World of Dreams to turn the four Great Captains into [[ManchurianAgent Manchurian Agents]], thus splitting and demoralizing the Light's forces]].
** On the other hand, the Shadow itself is struggling together too what with the ChronicBackstabbingDisorder, EvilVersusEvil, ItsAllAboutMe mentality of the Forsaken. And then when you throw [[EvilerThanThou Fain]]/[[WellIntentionedExtremist Mordeth]] and [[HeWhoFightsMonsters Aridhol]] into the mix...
* WeCanRuleTogether: Multiple times by different minions of the Dark One, usually on their master's behalf... [[FaustianRebellion but not always]].
* WellIntentionedExtremist: The nicer Whitecloaks tend to be this. The worse ones tend to be swaggering bullies who just don't care.
** The dead nation of Aridhol also qualifies. Adopting the Shadow's methods of harshness and cruelty in the name of the Light, they became just as bad and quite possibly worse than the Dark One's servants.
** Pretty much ''all'' of the series' secondary villains (people who aren't aligned with the Shadow) qualify. The Seanchan, Whitecloaks, Elaida, and the Prophet are mostly well-meaning but deeply misguided people who have evil methods of getting what they want.
* WhamLine: As expected with a series this long, lots of them. Possibly the most memorable in the entire series comes from Nynaeve: [[spoiler:"Tell her I've Healed Logain."]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Anyone with less than a photographic memory ''will'' be asking this at some point in the books. Guaranteed.
** [[ScarilyCompetentTracker Hurin.]] He returns to Shienar early in the third book, and is never mentioned again. This wouldn't be so odd, ''if'' the story weren't filled to the brim with [[ChekhovsGunman Chekhovians]].
*** [[spoiler:He comes back in ''The Gathering Storm''. The fact that Rand hadn't seen him in so long was actually enormously significant. [[DroppedABridgeOnHim And then dies during the Last Battle]].]]
** In Book 14, certain characters appear but then (evidently) just fall through the balefire-caused cracks in reality: [[spoiler:Alviarin, Bayle Domon]].
*** [[spoiler: Alviarin is among the Dreadlords tricked by Pevara and Androl and captured in a ''stedding''. Bayle]] doesn't show up after Leilwin offers herself to Egwene.
** Liandrin's and Leilwin's fates are also unmentioned.
* WhatTheHellHero: ''The Gathering Storm'' [[spoiler:Nynaeve calls Rand out for balefiring an entire castle.]]
** He gets a lot of it throughout the series. In ''A Crown of Swords'' he gets it from Perrin because he lets the Aiel beat the Aes Sedai who captured him and Min in the previous book, though this turned out to be a staged argument so that Perrin would have an excuse to leave and get the Prophet. At least, it was supposed to be only staged.
** He also gets it in ''The Gathering Storm'' for [[spoiler:returning damane to the Seanchan instead of freeing them like he should, nearly balefiring '''his own father,''' condemning tens of thousands of people in Arad Doman to starvation and Seanchan invasion, exiling Cadsuane for plotting to control him and he gets a huge WhatTheHellHero combined with WhatHaveIDone from Lews Therin when he starts channeling the True Power.]] They might as well have entitled ''The Gathering Storm'' as ''WHAT THE HELL, RAND?!?''
*** But fortunately this leads to Rand asking himself what the hell he is doing, so there is hope that he might learn a bit now.
*** Indeed most of [[spoiler: Rand's actions in ''The Gathering Storm'' are designed to show that the effects on Rand's mind of all the crap he's gone through have '''not''' been positive, and the ending makes it clear that he's finally managed to get over at least some of it, and is now somewhat more human. Sanderson saw that the only way to fix Rand was to finish off breaking him, and then fixing him again afterwards. This may be a nod to the seals on the Dark One's prison, which need to be destroyed before he can be resealed properly.]]
** Another major WhatTheHellHero moment is in ''A Crown Of Swords'', when Nynaeve and Elayne get called out for being such jerks to Mat after he crossed an entire continent to save their lives in Book 3 and for leaving him LockedOutOfTheLoop for the current story arc. They end up being forced to apologize, which is an extremely satisfying moment for a lot of fans. As soon as they apologize and let him help them out, he [[BornLucky sets off a chain of events]] that leads to the MacGuffin they're looking for.
* WickedCultured: Several of the Forsaken, but none moreso than Asmodean, who [[Literature/GoodOmens didn't fall so much as saunter vaguely downward]] so that he could... play music?
** Ishamael as well. Before he turned to the shadow, he was a world-renowned philosopher and author.
* WindsOfDestinyChange: The power that comes with being ''ta'veren.''
** In addition to the big, plot-furthering [[ThereAreNoCoincidences Coincidences]], there are more minor effects of ''ta'veren''-ness. There are frequent scenes (this happens most often when ''ta'veren'' travel to a new place, but exactly when and how is apparently random) where highly unlikely but trivial or random events happen around them. Someone walking along the street drops a bucketful of sand and it spills perfectly into some significant symbol, or someone trips over their own feet and breaks their neck, or someone proposes marriage purely as a joke and is amazed to hear the subject accept. In the 12th book, Verin explains that at one point she wanted to go north, requiring only a few hours alone to concentrate on Traveling, but after half a dozen apparently random interruptions she realized the Pattern didn't want her to do that, so instead she began circulating posters and offering rewards for directions to the nearest main character she knows of who happens to be a ''ta'veren'', assuming that the Pattern must be pulling her to him. And it worked!
* WitchSpecies: Female witches known as ''Aes Sedai'' ('servants of all'), and male witches who, during the series, take on the name ''Asha'man'' ('guardians'). (In the Age of Legends, both were called ''Aes Sedai''.) Magic is an inherited trait, though still unpredictable and rare. Male witches are doomed to go insane and die horribly unless they are cut off from the source of magic, and so Aes Sedai have a program of 'gentling' male witches. This, coupled with the fact that Aes Sedai rarely marry, has resulted a drastic weakening of magic in general by the time the series is set, except among isolated places where Aes Sedai rarely recruit. Like the village where the series begins.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: The taint on ''saidin'' causes inevitable insanity in its users. As time progresses one of the main characters begins to show the effects of this, becoming schizophrenic, moody, and temperamental; halfway through the series, he seems like a completely different person, though he ''is'' [[ChosenOne under a lot of pressure]]... The Forsaken also have access to the True Power, an extremely addictive, ''evil'' flavor of magic that also has serious psychological consequences; most would only consider using it under ''dire'' need unless they had a few screws loose to begin with.
* WizardingSchool: The White Tower in Tar Valon. Rand and the Asha'man's so-called "Black Tower" would be more of a Wizarding Boot Camp.
* WizardsLiveLonger: Channeler prolongs lifespan to a few centuries, or even longer provided that [[spoiler: the channeler hasn't used the Oath Rod, which drastically reduces lifespan.]]
* WomanInBlack: Semirhage, purely out of spite for Lanfear. The fact that this is one of the least unflattering things we know about her still doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what a monster she is.
* WomanInWhite: Lanfear.
* TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: [[spoiler:Egwene, when she becomes a political-puppet rebel Amyrlin.]]
** And also Elayne; makes sense as she is the Daughter-Heir of Andor.
* TheWorfEffect
** [[spoiler: Padan Fain's]] increased fear induction among readers mostly relates to defeating increasingly powerful Shadowspawn with limited effort, if any.
** [[spoiler: Gawyn and Galad, both regarded by nearly everyone as [[MasterSwordsman Master Swordsmen]], get easily defeated by Demandred in ''A Memory of Light'', and also received similar treatment against [[TookALevelInBadass Mat]] in Book 4. Though to be fair, the latter was before they had completed their training.]]
* TheWorldTree: There is a Tree of Life in the forbidden city of Rhuidean. In a reference to the Norse god Odin, [[spoiler:Mat is hung from this tree as a price for knowledge]].
** And [[spoiler:loses one of his eyes in Book 13. A very poetic reading of his "half the light of the world to save the world" prophecy]].
* WorldBuilding ''and'' WorldSundering.
* WouldHitAGirl: Galad, surprisingly enough, comes to this conclusion, earning a rare bit of praise from his sister and saying one of the most sensible things about men and women in the series:
-->Perhaps once I would have hesitated [to kill a woman], but that would have been the wrong choice. Women are as fully capable of being evil as men. Why should one hesitate to kill one, but not the other? The Light does not judge one based on gender, but on the merit of the heart.
* WouldntHitAGirl: Despite the great amount of political power that women wield, and their willingness to beat up on most men they meet, Randland cultures are extremely protective of women.
** Rand al'Thor is the most prominent example. He refuses to harm a woman even if she's an ancient Forsaken of legendary power using BlackMagic to kill everyone he knows and loves. He also goes out of his way to avoid putting women in danger, which upsets his Amazonian bodyguards immensely. In fact, Rand has memorized the name or identifying characteristic of every woman who died because of him or while in his service. He once goes into a Heroic BSOD after a woman who tried to steal his throne and betray him commits suicide, even though he had already prevented her execution. This is a primary symptom of his insanity and a side-effect of the fact that the person he's a reincarnation of killed his wife and family. In ''The Gathering Storm'', [[spoiler:he stops following this.]]
** Mat Cauthon also develops a case after ordering the death of a woman in ''Crossroads of Twilight''. Luckily for Mat, his betrothed has no such compulsion, and kills a treacherous female assassin for him.
** This seems more a cultural quirk of the Two Rivers than Randland in general. Characters outside the Two Rivers don't obsess over it as much.
** In the nation of Altara, women wear knives around their necks to slash up their husbands when angered, and are legally within their rights to kill them on a whim. The husbands are expected to accept this treatment without resistance.
** Perrin. [[spoiler:Until Lanfear [[BewareTheNiceOnes pushes him too far]].]]
* WoundThatWillNotHeal: Rand's side wounds. They were caused by a tainted weapon, so the presence of something ''really'' corrupted tends to set it off.
* XMeetsY: The series (especially the early books) is often described as ''TheLordOfTheRings'' meets ''{{Dune}}''. From ''TheLordOfTheRings'' we have: The Third Age, the Shire (the Two Rivers), Ents (the Ogier--they even have the same {{catchphrase}}!) and Aragorn (Lan, the ranger heir to a fallen kingdom in the north) among others. From ''{{Dune}}'' we have: the Bene Gesserit (the Aes Sedai), the Fremen (the Aiel) and the sandworms (the worms in the Blight).
* {{Yandere}}: Lanfear.
* YearInsideHourOutside: Vacuoles work this way, if they aren't [[YearOutsideHourInside the inverse]]. Combining this with GroundhogDayLoop and FateWorseThanDeath makes for quite the [[AndIMustScream horrific punishment]] for Moghedien.
* YearOutsideHourInside: As one comes closer to Shayol Ghul, time distorts more and more, with time for the person inside going at the speed of minutes, while time for someone outside goes at that of hours.
* YinYangBomb: In the last book, [[spoiler: Rand re-seals the Dark One's prison using a combination of ''Saidar'', ''Saidin'', and the True Power]].
* YinYangClash: For every weave, there is an equal and opposite. This comes into play a lot, with varying degrees of violence. There's also [[TheForce the One Power]], the opposite to [[TheDarkSide the True Power]].
* YouALLShareMyStory: As per the ChekhovsArmy, the effects of ''ta'veren'' ensure that pretty much everyone who could possibly have any importance in the story ends up coming back to finish what is necessary. This is played up in the finale, which tries to show that nearly every character's efforts in some way contributed to the ultimate result.
* [[YouCantFightFate You Can't Fight Ta'veren]]: A major theme, as Rand and crew are railroaded into fighting the Dark One, but taken very personally by Mat, who [[IJustWantToBeNormal wants nothing to do with]] the kind of adventures he ends up involved in. Mat ''tries'' to ScrewDestiny but eventually, after many painful lessons, resigns himself to the inevitability of his fate and the personal prophecies he has received.
** There are also Min's viewings, which will come true ''no matter what'' is done attempting to prevent them. Sometimes ''because'' someone tries to prevent them. A major downer occurs when Min encounters a Cairhenian rebel in the seventh book that she knows will go on to murder and rape dozens of people, knowing she can't do anything to stop him.
* YouShallNotPass: Offscreen, [[GentleGiant Loial]] gathers the women and children of the Stone of Tear in a room and guards the door against an invasion of Trollocs and Myrddraal.
** Rand, after [[spoiler: Ituralde's defence of Maradon]].
** Loial also has a LetsGetDangerous moment with Perrin, promising that no one will get to the unconscious Faile while he lives.
** Manetheren's army marched faster than anyone ever thought possible to meet the Trolloc army camped on its doorstep, managed to hold out longer than anyone ever believed and when they finally fell fought to the last man.
** The exact details aren't given, but an Amyrlin during the Trolloc Wars died in the decisive battle of the war surrounded by a wall of Trolloc and Myrddraal corpses, as well as ''nine'' enemy channelers.
** During the Last Battle [[spoiler: both Mat and Perrin (the latter more so than the former) do this in a more understated way than is usual for the trope. Each defends Rand from an enemy that they are uniquely equipped to face while Rand is otherwise occupied.]]
*** [[spoiler: Gaul probably deserves a more specific mention though; while Mat and Perrin were both very offense oriented, fighting an equal, Gaul fought against much greater odds in a purely defensive battle.]]
*** [[spoiler: Thom]] performs exactly the same function in the same location for a similar length of time, except he's doing it in the real world while [[spoiler: Gaul]] is doing it in the World of Dreams.
** Much earlier, Ingtar chooses to hold off a horde of Seanchan soldiers in ''The Great Hunt'' in order to let Rand escape with the Horn, as well as to [[spoiler: [[TheAtoner redeem himself for his actions as a Darkfriend]].]]
* YourMindMakesItReal: Injuries and deaths in the World of Dreams (''Tel'aran'rhiod'') carry over to the real world. Furthermore, if you think about something too long, it may just pop into existence. Someone summons a DeathTrap this way at one point. If you concentrate hard enough, it will disappear, but that can be hard with spikes cranking towards your face.
** Egwene and Perrin use this. He redirects [[spoiler: Balefire]], she takes off [[spoiler:an a'dam]]
** This trope is used to magnificent effect in Perrin's battles with Slayer in the aforementioned World of Dreams.
* YourNormalIsOurTaboo: The novels has several examples, but one of the most noted is the difference between Aiel and 'Wetlanders'. To Aiel, nakedness is not taboo, they use co-ed sweat tents as a fill-in for showers in their desert homeland, Wetlanders find this scandalous. And this trope occurs for both sides, to Aiel displaying affection in public is taboo. Kissing your spouse with others watching would apparently be viewed similar to how a Wetlander might view having sex with them in public.