Characters: The Wheel Of Time Others From The Two Rivers
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"You know of whom I speak. She is young and her circumstances are unusual, but everything is unusual at the moment."
"She's too young,"
"She is young, yes, but you have to admit, there's a certain...flair to her."
A girl who grew up in Emond's Field with Rand, to whom she has a Childhood Marriage Promise
. Being a Plucky Girl
, she insists on going on the adventure with Rand, and eventually finds out that she can channel. She then spends exactly half a book at Wizarding School
before getting Idiot Ball
'd into various adventures and misadventures. Fortunately, this was the source of much Character Development
, and as with many (seemingly) secondary characters, she has become a leading character in her own right as the books progress.
- The Ace: Is quite strong in all five elements, can split her flows fourteen ways and is a very strong dreamer. She has affinity with Earth, something most women are weak with. Also manages to reinvent the weave to create cuendillar with only Moghedien's limited knoweledge, and rediscovers Traveling based on a vague description and seeing the weave to enter Tel'Aran'Riod once. Granted, she isn't perfect. She has difficulty with Healing (Nynaeve's specialty), and can't make ter'angreal (which as far as we know only Elayne can do).
- There is some justification for her extremely widespread talent: she's had the most diverse training of any woman in the setting. Throughout the series, she's learned tricks from the Aes Sedai, Seanchan, Sea Folk, and Aiel, and risen to some eminence within each of them.
- She's like a drop in the ocean compared to Rand. (This is not meant to indicate that Egwene is weak; to the fandom's knowledge, she's one of the top 20 female channelers in the world. It's simply to point out that, where Rand is concerned, Readings Are Off the Scale.) Towards the end, with Egwene getting her own army, she emerges as the most prominent female channeler on the side of the Light.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Sort of. Unlike many deaths, hers by overusing "the Flame of Tar Valon" is described as her spirit floating away on a wave of Light itself, and she posthumously speaks with Rand to rejuvenate his Heroic Resolve. She transmutes her body into a pillar of crystal in the process of her death.
- Berserk Button: During the second book, Egwene is tricked into being captured by the Seanchan, who chain her up and, as is their custom with channelers, start treating her like a dehumanized pet. Specifically, a device called an a'dam is used to let other people control her channeling. Don't show Egwene one unless you want the crap beat out of you.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In-universe, other characters tend to regard her as the most likeable and least annoying of the female Power Trio of herself, Nynaeve, and Elayne. Which means that she can be just as bitchy as they are (and sometimes even worse) without anyone in-universe noticing or calling her out on it.
- Rand finally does at the beginning of Book 14. The narration doesn't take sides.
Rand: Well, you could certainly stop being a spoiled, self-certain, unmitigated brat for once, Egwene.
- Childhood Marriage Promise: With Rand. Eventually broken with no ill feelings on either side. In the middle of the series she is still good friends with Rand, and serves as an Honest Advisor to him sometimes, which he often needs.
- Like Brother and Sister: They still acknowledge their closeness even while butting heads near the beginning of A Memory of Light, though by this point their relationship is explicitly compared to like that between siblings rather than anything close to romantic.
- Deuteragonist: She's sometimes regarded as the second most important protagonist in the series after Rand. This is most strongly emphasized by The Gathering Storm, which focuses almost entirely on their parallel story arcs.
- Distressed Damsel: The first time she's kidnapped. The second time is Damsel out of Distress.
- Dream Walker: Egwene is a "dreamwalker" for Tel'aran'rhiod, the World of Dreams, and can visit this place naturally, whereas most people just sort of flit in and out randomly. Eventually she goes to visit the local Proud Warrior Race, the Aiel, who have people who specialize in dreamwalking.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Egwene also has this ability, including an Either-Or Prophecy where one character will either kneel to her or kill her. It was her Love Interest Gawyn. He knelt.
- In the end he stops kneeling, and Gawyn's resulting death through overconfidence may have been the cause of her death, fulfilling the other side in the end.
- Dream Within a Dream: One of the mechanics of T'A'R is that you can visit other people's dreams. If that person has very strong feelings about you, they can yank you into their dream — which is very dangerous in a world where Your Mind Makes It Real. Fortunately for Egwene, this turns into a bizarre Meet Cute that pinpoints her to her actual Love Interest.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: In the Grand Finale in Book 14, Egwene went out spectacularly in a fight against Mazrim Taim, discovering the anti-Balefire in the process and turning herself into a pillar of crystal to kill all the Sharan channelers in the explosive expansion of a surrounding field of crystal.
- Fantastic Racism: Of a sort against Seanchan. They dehumanize channelers, and she absolutely despises them for what they do to channelers, each and every one of them. This finally goes away in Book 14 when she accepts Leilwin's trust. To a degree, anyway, as she just feels safe enough to use her. Seanchan are still nearly darkfriends though, just as the Children of Light see every channeler as a Darkfriend. Having been damane herself for a short time perhaps inevitably left her with rather strong and highly negative feelings on the matter.
- Girlish Pigtails: The Aiel threaten to put her in this if she doesn't shape up. They do, during a brief time. (They are also able to do this to her in Tel'aran'rhiod at will.)
- Going Native: While studying with the Wise Ones, she takes to Aiel ways so completely that most Westlanders assume her to be one of them despite having the wrong features.
- Guile Hero: As the Amyrlin.
- Honor Before Reason: A quality of the Aiel culture which Egwene adopts.
- Hero of Another Story: Invoked in her posthumous contact with Rand. See the main page for the series for more.
- Killed Off for Real: In Book 14. Given her marriage, this could potentially count as retirony.
- Not Too Dead to Save the Day: Her spirit renews Rand's Heroic Resolve when he is nearly broken by the Big Bad, allowing him to overpower the Big Bad and win.
- Obi-Wan Moment: Has one when she gives her final instructions to Leilwin.
- Promoted to Opening Titles: Egwene started the series looking like a supporting character and love interest, but by now is absolutely integral to the plot. By some measures she's more important than Perrin and Mat.
- They Do: Finally with Gawyn, as of Book 13. Possibly earlier, when she got drawn into his dream, depending on how "real" that counts as. They marry in Book 14.
- Reality Warper: When inside the World of Dreams. Through the power of sheer stubbornness, she can take on the Forsaken in there.
- She never fights Lanfear or Moghedien in the World of Dreams, but for all points and purposes, she is the Queen of Tel'aran'rhiod.
- Reassignment Backfire: Was elected Amyrlin of the rebel Aes Sedai essentially as a Fall Girl to Take The Heat, since the rebels originally intended to just make a little show of defiance before rejoining the tower. Boy did that not go according to plan.
- Took a Level in Badass: What happens when she adopts Honor Before Reason. (It Makes Sense in Context: She does this right before she goes back to Wizarding School, which has a higher Smug Snake-per-capita ratio than a Corrupt Corporate Executive Convention.)
- Try to Fit That on a Business Card: Takes on all of the titles of the Amyrlin Seat.
- Ungrateful Bastard: To Mat in Book 3. Unlike Nyneave and Elayne, has never made up for it. Also to Nynaeve, in several books, but especially in Book 5. Has never made up for that, either.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Rand; or Rand to her (depending on which character you like better).
- Unwanted Rescue: Siuan, Gareth and Gawyn rescuing her from the White Tower and thus potentially ruining her efforts to overthrow Elaida peacefully.
- Whack A Mole/Witch Hunt: One of the misadventures Egwene gets into at Wizarding School.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Why was she summoned back to the rebel Wizarding School? So that they could make her a puppet Amyrlin! Egwene has other ideas, which aforementioned Level In Badass helps her achieve. Even more: she's in charge of a rebel faction of Aes Sedai, but just via Pillars of Moral Character she manages to get all the legitimate ones to defect to her!
Nynaeve al'Meara/el'Nynaeve ti al'Meara Mandragoran
"Men always seemed to think violence could solve anything. If she had had a stout stick, she would have thumped all three of them about the shoulders until they saw reason."
of the highest caliber, Nynaeve was formerly the "Wisdom" (read: herb granny) of Emond's Field, despite being all of 24 when the books started. After Moiraine "kidnaps" Rand, Mat, Perrin and Egwene (Nynaeve's apprentice), Nynaeve rushes off to bring the kids back. Instead she gets roped into the adventure, especially after Moiraine notices that Nynaeve too can channel. Though she is the only Two Rivers character who followed Moiraine to not rise to a prominent position of leadership, she's kept around for her muscle
: she is the strongest female channeler in the main cast by far.
- Always Someone Better: Though she is likely both the most skilled at Healing overall in the world as well as one of the most talented channelers ever, there are a handful of (non-Forsaken) channelers who are either better at basic Healing or more powerful. Meeting one tends to knock her down a peg.
- Badass: In addition to being able to handle more of the Power than most male channelers, until Book 9 she was also one of only three good-guy characters to have faced the Forsaken head-on. The second is Rand. The third had to resort to either Back Stabs with Death Rays or a Taking You with Me Heroic Sacrifice.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In Towers Of Midnight Nynaeve reveals she used to wish that Rand would 'grow up' until he actually did 'grow up' by becoming as hard as cuendillar.
- Break the Haughty: Undergoes this in Book 5 at the hands of Moghedein and Egwene.
- Character Tics: That whole braid-tugging thing.
- Character Development: Starts off as one of the more annoying females, but unlike most she actually matures as the story continues. She even stops tugging her braid.
- Cowardly Lion: Undergoes a phase of this, which began during the Break the Haughty storyline in Book 5. The last mention of it was early in Book 7, which suggests that finally hooking up with Lan later in the same book snapped her out of it.
- And while it's going on, the other characters made it clear that discretion was the better part of valor, and that Nynaeve going in more boldly would be equivalent to jumping in the window screaming. The window of the house where Nightmare Fuel lives.
- Distressed Damsel: manages to get herself captured or compromised at least once per novel for Books 2 through 5.
- Dye or Die
- First Girl Wins: Nynaeve is this to Lan. (Narrative-wise, at least; Lan's like twice her age, and he's a man by the time he meets her.)
- The Gift: Nynaeve is so genetically predisposed to channeling that, even in the absence of training, she began to do it instinctively. Three people out of four who have The Gift but lack training end up killing themselves with uncontrolled channeling. The "wilders" who survive are saddled with major impediments.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Later in the series; even readers who still hate her admit that was pretty awesome.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: While all the major characters get this at Wizarding School, Nynaeve is the most prominent example: instead of spending a couple years as a Novice, she gets jumped directly to Accepted, solely on the virtue of her strength. (Egwene and Elayne get their promotions by Book 3.) By Book 6 they're Aes Sedai in name, too.
- How Do I Shot Web?: "Wilders" manage to control their channeling by developing a "mental block" to avoid knowing what it is they're actually doing. This block needs to be broken later so that the channeler can use the Power consistently. Nynaeve's is that she can't channel unless she's angry, and it takes her seven books to get past it.
- Hypocritical Humor: a main perpetrator of it, due to a ferocious case of Selective Obliviousness. This may have something to do with the fandom's Love It or Hate It response to the character.
- Mama Bear: The reason she left her hometown and learned magic was to protect the above four characters.
- The Medic: Nynaeve's main passion is Healing, up to and including inventing her own spells for it, leading to her taking the Yellow Ajah upon becoming a full Aes Sedai. Up to Eleven when she discovers a weave thatheals severing. Some deem this one to be Beyond the Impossible In-Universe, but the mechanics of it on the side of saidar are explained. Another spell she discovers in Book 13 heals taint-induced madness.
- Combat Medic: Especially in Book 14 with Talmanes and Alanna.
- Mega Manning: Has the tendency to learn instantly any weave she sees once. She does this even before she's talented enough to see weaves discretely, and while only able to channel when angry.
- Mindlink Mates: It takes a long time to get it, but she ends up acquiring Lan's Warder bond in Book 13.
- Older Than They Look: Because Wizards Live Longer. Since she's already young for her original position, she's a bit touchy about her age.
- Out of Focus: Her major character arc concludes in A Crown of Swords; from there on she stays mostly in a support role. She gets center stage again on two occasions when Rand needs to link with a woman to perform a task: when cleansing the taint from saidin and when sealing the Dark One. He chooses her because she's the strongest female he's sure he can trust.
- Readings Are Off the Scale: Fortunately, Robert Jordan had the sense to avert actual Power Levels, but it's known that Egwene is stronger than every living Aes Sedai by a large margin... and that Nynaeve is stronger than her by a large margin. The only channelers in the whole franchise who equal or exceed Nynaeve's strength are 1) Rand, 2) some of the Forsaken, and 3) a few one-shot extras who have almost no impact on the plot ( Alivia, Talaan and Sharina).
- Recurring Boss: Moghedien, one of the Forsaken. It's Personal to both of them. This stops in Book 8, when Moheigden tries to murder her by blowing up her boat with balefire while not being seen. She thinks she succeeds, and they never run into each other again.
- Tsundere: Even by the standards of this series, in which every woman is a Type A Tsundere, Nynaeve stands out... until her Character Development finishes and she's closer to a Type B, if anything.
- Ungrateful Bastard: To Mat in Book 3. She has since made up for it.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Aviendha and Birgitte call her and Elayne out for being Ungrateful Bastards to Mat. She also calls out other heroes on their actions, like Rand for his actions at Natrin's Barrow.
"Child, blue with the cold. Should have been dead too... crying there. Crying in the snow. I couldn't just leave a child... no children of our own... always knew you wanted children. I knew you'd take it to your heart, Kari. Yes, lass. Rand
is a good name. A good name."
Rand's adoptive father, Tamlin al'Thor remains in the Two Rivers after his son and his friends leave, hearing tales of adventure. However, his heron-marked blade
and a fever dream tell there's more than meets the eye...
- Archer Archetype: Reasonable, calm, and collected normally, Tam is also one of the best archers in the Two Rivers, which makes him also one of the best in the entire world.
- Badass Normal: A blademaster and one of the best archers in the Two Rivers.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: He is an excellent archer, one of the best in the Two Rivers, a village known for its archers and bow quality. He is also a blademaster.
- Colonel Badass: As of leaving the Two Rivers again, he is Perrin's First Captain and presumably his executive officer in military matters.
- Before that, he was one of the top commanders in Illian's elite Companions.
- Cool Old Guy
- Cool Sword: His heron-marked blade, which he gifts to Rand; Rand carries it until the end of the second book. Later, Rand gifts him with a replacement. Heron-marked blades are forged by the Power, a practice that was outlawed some time before the Trolloc Wars, so any genuine heron-mark sword blade is at least two thousand years old.
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Good Parents: Despite not even being Rand's actual father, he still qualifies.
- Master Swordsman: Unlike some others, he earned his Blademaster status by being voted into the position, rather than by killing one. In Book 14, Lan praises him, saying that he had earned his heron-marked blade.
- Old Soldier
- Papa Wolf/What the Hell, Hero?: Lays one on Cadsuane after Rand nearly balefires him, wanting to know what happened to his son that he can't even mention Cadsuane without being nearly killed, and not being told this was an issue.
"You were right about Bela, Rand. She has a good heart, and as much stubbornness as the rest of you Two Rivers Folk. Strange as it seems, she may be the least weary of all."
Rand's horse at the beginning of the series, she gets passed around to different characters and has ended up seeing quite a bit of the world. She has become something of a literal Ensemble Darkhorse
- All Girls Like Ponies: Although initially owned by Tam al'Thor, Bela is known as Egwene's horse once the plot picks up.
- The Alleged Steed: According to some, at least compared to thoroughbred horses. In Book 14, she proves this opinion completely wrong.
- Cool Horse: Well, pretty average horse, but don't tell that to the fanon.
- Determinator: According to Moiraine, as stated above, she's very hard to tire. However, this was because of Rand Healing her in the first time he ever channeled. Also, she sometimes runs toward Shadowspawn to help fight them, rather than away in fear as would be more natural.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: In Book 14 we really see what Bela is made of, despite being a small horse of poor breeding and no training, she still somehow manages to pour on the gas at purebreed-racehorse level during the Grand Finale of Book 14, dodging and weaving through an enemy camp until a lucky Trolloc finally brings her down. Since this got Olver and the Horn of Valere to safety, it is not inaccurate to say that Bela saved the world.