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    Egwene al'Vere 

Egwene al'Vere

"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 knowledge, and rediscovers Traveling based on a vague description and seeing the weave to enter Tel'aran'rhiod 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 has figured out). Still, towards the end, with Egwene getting her own army, she emerges as the most prominent female channeler on the side of the Light.
  • Action Girl: Grows into one as she learns to utilize her magic more effectively. The results involve at least one or two truly awesome battles involving her.
  • 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.
  • Character Death: In Book 14. Given her marriage, this could potentially count as retirony.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: With Rand. Eventually broken with no ill feelings on either side. Because of their long friendship, she is able to serve 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.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Simultaneously downplayed and exaggerated. Though she grew up in the Two Rivers, the ancient lineage of Manetheren is In the Blood, for her and for everyone else from the region. Additionally, she has an incredibly varied training regimen, much more than the average channeler: she's a trained Aes Sedai, she's an accomplished Dreamer, she was collared by the Seanchan, she has spent time with the Sea Folk, and is even an honorary Proud Warrior Race Guy from her time with the Aiel Wise Ones. No one in the series, not even Rand, has had a training regimen that involves as much Walking the Earth as Egwene's. (This likely contributes to her status as The Ace, seen above.)
  • 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 did both.
  • 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 steers her towards 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 weave 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.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Egwene is a beautiful young woman who carries herself with arrogance; she stands out for being exceptionally strong in both Earth and Fire, which assists her in being a powerful channeler when she has to fight.
  • 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 Nynaeve 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. Rand at least calls her out on it all in Book 14.
  • 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 

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."

A Tsundere 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 to not rise to a prominent position of leadership, she's kept around for her muscle: she is, for all intents and purposes, the strongest female channeler of this Age.

  • Action Girl: Oh yes. Nynaeve is an exceptionally strong channeler who joins the heroes' quest and has no problem laying a good smackdown on enemies.
  • 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.
  • 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 Moghedien and Egwene.
  • Character Tics: That whole braid-tugging thing.
  • Character Development: Starts off as one of the more annoying characters, but unlike most she actually matures as the story continues. She even stops tugging her braid.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Of the fire variety when her braid is burned off during her test for the shawl in Book 13.
  • 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
  • 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, on the virtue of her strength and her exceptional talent with Healing. (Egwene and Elayne get their promotions by Book 3.) By Book 6 they're Aes Sedai in name, too.
  • Healing Hands: She uses Healing, an exceptionally difficult weave, before she even knows she's doing it and ends up as possibly the greatest Healer in the world. Her self-taught Healing weaves are much more complex and effective than the Aes Sedai version, and once she trains her abilities, she develops weaves to heal De-Powering and even the lethal madness inflicted by the Dark One's influence on male channelers.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Part of her brusqueness and stubbornness comes from having had to enforce her authority as Emond Field's youngest village Wisdom in history. As she gains more recognition for her accomplishments and becomes more confident in her position in the White Tower, she becomes less needlessly confrontational.
  • 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 polarizing response to the character.
  • Improbable Age: Became the village Wisdom — a healer, prognosticator, and head of the Women's Circle — in her late teens or early twenties, the youngest ever in the village, due to the previous Wisdom's premature death. Deconstructed: although she was a very successful Wisdom, her position isolates her from people her age and her youth means she has to work much harder to maintain her authority.
  • Last Girl Wins: Nynaeve is this from Lan's perspective. Although they meet at the very beginning of the series, Lan has lived almost half a century, had the affections of many Borderlander women including the rather tragically-fated attention of Edeyn, and spent two decades in a sort of platonic partnership with Moiraine. Of all of them, Nynaeve is the only one bullheaded enough to get him to marry her despite what he views as his impending death, and she puts in a lot of work to make sure his quest for vengeance against the shadow for Malkier isn't a suicidal effort.
  • Made of Iron: She goes through the most hellish test to be raised to full Aes Sedai in the history of the Tower.
  • Mama Bear: The reason she left her hometown and learned magic was to protect the other four characters from the Two Rivers.
  • 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 that heals 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: Egwene is stronger than every living Aes Sedai by a large margin... and 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 minor characters who have little 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 7, when Moghedien 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: She snubs Mat for rescuing her from captivity in Book 3. Later, Aviendha and Birgitte give her and Elayne a What the Hell, Hero? for their treatment of Mat, and she eventually makes amends.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Delivers a blistering one to Rand over his needlessly destructive actions at Natrin's Barrow, even though she's more than a little terrified of him at the time.

    Tam al'Thor 

Tamlin al'Thor

"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. Heron-marked blades were forged by the Power, a practice that was outlawed some time before the Trolloc Wars, making it at least two thousand years old, and are only gifted to Master Swordsmen. Rand only learns these details about his father after taking possession of the blade.
    • Named Weapon: Later, Rand gifts him with a replacement. It doesn't have a heron mark, but Rand believes it was Power-forged. More importantly, the sword is Justice, this Age's version of Excalibur, first owned and wielded by one Artur Paendrag Tanreall. Tam carries this weapon into The Last Battle.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: One of the few people to leave the Two Rivers, he ended up fighting in the Aiel War. Since the Aiel are a Badass Army of Proud Warrior Race Guys, Tam must have been a pretty good swordsman — which he was, rising to high rank in the Illianer Companions (think "French Foreign Legion"). He came back with his heron-mark blade, a "foreign"note  wife named Kari, and a son named Rand.
  • Good Parents: Despite not even being Rand's actual father, he still qualifies.
  • Master Swordsman: Killed a blademaster with witnesses and expressed some regret in doing so. In Book 14, Lan praises him, saying that he had earned his heron-marked blade.
  • Old Soldier: See above. Notably, he survives The Last Battle, while other certified blademasters do not.
  • 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 Dark Horse.

  • 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.
  • Not Quite Dead: According to the companion, she somehow survived the last battle, and returned to the Two Rivers.


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