Characters: The Wheel Of Time The Whitecloaks
An organisation dedicated to fighting the Dark One wherever his influence appears. Sadly, the current Children of the Light have devolved into fanatical Knight Templars who arrest and torture anyone they even slightly suspect of being a Darkfriend, earning themselves the detractive nickname "Whitecloaks". This extends to Aes Sedai, whom the Whitecloaks believe are the Dark One's foremost servants.
Whitecloaks as a whole
- Anti-Magical Faction: Has regretfully evolved into this over the centuries, though not overtly. A standard belief among Whitecloaks is that the Breaking was caused by channelers in general using the One Power, which they believe to be in the category of "These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know". It is more or less unheard of to have a Whitecloak willingly work alongside an Aes Sedai as a result, though only the Questioners really are willing to root out even female channelers when they pop up. They do not believe Magic Is Evil, but that people simply should not be allowed the power to use the present Background Magic Field.
- Badass Normal: Though the organization has been shrinking over the years, any capable fighter among the Children of Light is this by default.
- Black and White Morality: Great believers in this yet woefully incapable of telling the difference. They believe that a person is either allied with the Children, or an enemy of the Light in some degree.
- Black and White Insanity: Many of them smell rabid to wolves.
- Church Militant: Think "Spanish Inquisition" on a bad day. They believe that Aes Sedai are evil witches, and anyone who disagrees with them (the Whitecloaks, that is) must be a servant of the Dark One. Extremely militant.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To several orders, most prominently The Spanish Inquisition in how they deal with channelers, and The Knights Templar in their militant structure.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Members of the Whitecloaks are known as "Child" rather than Lord.
- Heel-Face Turn: The organization has taken a progressive turn toward the side of the general masses, rather than its own conservatism, as of Galad becoming Lord Captain Commander.
- Knight Templar: And, perhaps intentionally, modeled similarly to The Knights Templar in structure.
- Light Is Not Good: Ostensibly, the Children of Light are trying to be good people. The problem is that, in fighting against channelers, they are fighting some of the only people who can directly fight at Tarmon Gai'don, whether they believe it is coming or not. Also, in fighting against anyone who isn't deliberately on their side, they are also diminishing the forces for the Last Battle.
- Light Is Good: As of Towers of Midnight, they are allied with Perrin Aybara, and by extension the other armies amassed for the Last Battle.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: They are right to be suspicious of the Aes Sedai; not only are the Red Ajah as batshit crazy as the Whitecloaks themselves, but roughly a third of the Aes Sedai as a whole really are pledged to the Dark One as members of the Black Ajah. The problem is, the Whitecloaks don't actually know about the Black Ajah in the first place, and they believed that all Aes Sedai were pledged to the Dark One just by being Aes Sedai (not to mention that their own ranks, like the ranks of the rest of society, have also been infiltrated by people loyal to the Dark, whether they admit it or not).
- Sins of Our Fathers: According to the Children, "[t]he sins of the mother are visited to the fifth generation and the sins father to the tenth."
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: The general philosophy of the Children regarding Aes Sedai is that they are Darkfriends because dabbling in the One Power led to the Breaking of the World and the War of Power. Their hatred for male channelers goes without saying as well. This way of thinking goes away when Galad forces them to accept and work alongside Aes Sedai for the coming Last Battle.
- With Us or Against Us: Several of the more extreme Children believe that any who do not work alongside the Children of the Light are Darkfriends.
Pedron NiallThe Lord Captain Commander of the Whitecloaks by the time the story begins. Niall is renowned as one of the Five Great Captains, with few enemies defeating him once and none twice. Niall believes Rand to be another False Dragon and his every move is calculated to both bring him down and expand the influence of the Whitecloaks. Killed by his spymaster, Omerna, due to the machinations of Valda and Asunawa.
- An Officer and a Gentleman: Morgase thought of him as one, anyway, especially compared to his replacement, Eamon Valda.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: In strategic and military terms, yes. Not so much physically, since Niall himself is an old man past eighty.
- Batman Gambit: Many, including false Dragonsworn sent to ravage the countryside to sway opinion against Rand. None of them really work out.
- The Corruptible: Although he wasn't exactly helpful in the first place, Niall became much more paranoid and volatile after being influenced by the taint of Mashadar in Padan Fain.
- Disc One Final Boss: For a long time it looked like he was being set up to be a major threat, but his death was quiet and barely announced.
- Knight Templar: Not to the same extent as some of the other Whitecloaks, but the sentiment is still there.
- Old Master: "Despite his age, there was nothing frail about him."
- Only Sane Man: Until Galad, he was far and away the most reasonable Whitecloak shown on-screen, even going so far as to tacitly admit that Aes Sedai, even if they meddle in forces no mortal should, are not actually all Darkfriends.
- The Chessmaster: He thinks he's this. Although his battle strategies are brilliant, he isn't very good at planning and plotting outside the battlefield.
- The Strategist: As one of the Five Great Captains.
- Worthy Opponent: Morgase thinks of him as this after her abdication.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Derisively described by Pedron Niall as having this mindset as a field commander.To Valda, the best offensive strategy was the charge. And the best defensive strategy: the charge.
- Duel to the Death: Takes part in one of these with Galad. Valda loses.
- Karmic Death: Killed in a Sword Fight with Galad, whose stepmother he raped.
- Master Swordsman: A Blademaster.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: His abuse and probable rape of Morgase is what led to his eventual death.
- Replacement Scrappy: In-universe. Niall may have had his failings, but everyone seems to compare him favorably to Valda.
- The Starscream: Toward Niall, at Asunawa's urging.
- Villain Team-Up/Enemy Mine: Made an alliance with the Seanchan shortly before his death.
Rhadam AsunawaThe High Inquisitor of the Hand of the Light, derisively known even by the Children themselves as "Questioners" (with being "put to the question" being a common euphemism for torture in Randland), Asunawa orchestrated the death of Pedron Niall alongside Eamon Valda in order to gain more control over the Children of the Light.
- Bald of Evil: In pictures drawn only. In the writing, he has gray hair.
- Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: Quite a fan of these, and used them on Morgase.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: What it actually is, since most of his subjects did not actually do anything wrong.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Decapitated by his own allied Lords Captain for his treatment of Galad.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Not him, but everyone else about the Hand of the Light. Even other Whitecloaks call then Questioners and dislike their methods. Also, his hatred of Aes Sedai makes most Whitecloaks look tame.
- Evil Old Folks
- Foil: Of a sort to the Amyrlin Seat, his Arch-Enemy. While the latter addresses other Aes Sedai as "daughter", he addresses all Children, up to and including the Lord Captain Commander, as "my son".
- Karmic Death: Killed by his own Whitecloaks after capturing Galad, the new Lord Captain Commander, for trying to force a new change in leadership and name their own Lord Captain Commander a Darkfriend when their numbers are already so low.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Runs off after the duel between Valda and Galad goes south for him.
- The Starscream: In an alliance alongside Valda.
- Villain Team-Up: With Valda, though Valda still hates Asunawa simply because he is a Questioner.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: He was Compelled by Graendal to kill Perrin. It didn't work.
- Hypocrite: Is willing to do anything, even betray the strongest precepts of his order, to kill those he sees as darkfriends, which leads him to do things a lot more evil than the deeds of those he pursues.
- Jerkass: Even more so than most Whitecloaks.
- Karmic Death: Killed by Dain for trying to kill Perrin under Graendal's Compulsion after Perrin and Galad secured an alliance after a battle with Shadowspawn in Book 13.
- Lean and Mean
- Badass Grandpa
- Bolivian Army Ending: Charged into battle at Falme alongside the Heroes of the Horn thinking he was fighting the Shadow on all sides. He doesn't make it out.
- Everyone Has Standards: Bornhald is a Knight Templar just like the rest of the Whitecloaks, but he finds the methods of the Questioners to be utterly appalling.
- Fighting Your Friend: Killing, more like. He killed Byar in Book 13 for trying to kill Perrin after an agreement had been made about his sentencing (unbeknownst to him, Byar had been Compelled by Graendal), but Galad noted that he had "loved" Byar far longer than he had hated Perrin.
- Like Father, Like Son: Both he and his father joined the Whitecloaks.
- You Killed My Father: To Perrin, though the latter actually didn't. He finally accepts the truth in Book 13.