Almost a thousand years before events in the book, the legendary king Artur Hawkwing (the King Arthur/Alexander the Great of the WoT universe) united the Westlands under his empire. He sent his son with a huge contingent of troops across the Aryth Ocean to the west to discover new lands for his kingdom. They never returned and were thought to be lost at sea. Hawkwing's empire eventually crumbled after his death, resulting in the independent nations of the series' present. However, the expedition survived the journey and set up a new empire in the continent they discovered. Utilizing the strange creatures native to the land as well as mystical and fearsome devices for controling channelers, they conquered the indigenous peoples. Now, they are returning to the Westlands, determined to retake their homelands which they believe is their birthright and will stop at nothing to see the Hawkwing Empire restored.
Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag is the second and favorite daughter of the Empress of the Seanchan Empire. She comes to the Westlands to oversee the Return and ensure that the nations there are reunited under the Empire's rule. As such, she becomes another non-darkfriend antagonist to Rand. While she agrees that the world needs to be united when the Last Battle comes, it must be under Seanchan's banner and the Dragon Reborn must kneel to the Empress.
- A-Cup Angst: Conspicuously aware of the fact that she looks like a slim boy, except in the right clothes.
- All Girls Like Ponies: One of her hobbies is horse-training and becomes as close to giddy as she can get when she receives a rare horse as a gift. Takes on a less than innocent tone from the fact that she also enjoys enslaving women who can channel and treating them like animals.
- Arranged Marriage: zig-zagged. Tuon's marriage was foretold by one of her Damane, but she wanted to meet her future husband and make certain it was him. She justifies the marriage with political reasons, as it gives her a link to Rand, though she says she might grow to love Mat one day.
- For Mat, it might be a Perfectly Arranged Marriage of sorts, as he wanders about for quite some time with just the name "Daughter of Nine Moons", with not much besides this and the fact that his fate does weird things when dice start rolling in his head. This becomes a Funny Moment of sorts where all this time he's been having crazy luck in everything from cards to horse racing, and then suddenly he gets pursued by the Queen of Ebou Dar, who is at least twice his age, and who treats him like a prize, causing him to try to flee the town as fast as he can. The dice stop rolling right as the Seanchan come, and he screams "What happened to my bloody luck?" At about this point, he's almost relieved to meet her.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Has risen to her position as heir to the throne by carrying out, and surviving, numerous assassination attempts amongst her siblings. So much so, that any attempt on her life causes her to try and determine which brother or sister would benefit most from the situation.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Crowned Empress of the Seanchan following her mother's death, she renames herself Fortuona.
- Bald Women: Her head is shaved as a sign of nobility.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: In A Memory of Light, she likes to visit a nearby garden at night...and practice her combat techniques by shadow boxing. Also, her reaction to a Gray Man sneaking up behind her, and realizing he was there finally? Trying to strangle him.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Sort of, but not due to stupidity. Her very non-standard upbringing and life causes her to have very strange reactions to things that keep catching Mat off-guard. Attempts on her life are regarded as minor annoyances, but very simple everyday activities are fascinating new experiences to her.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Has grown fond of her new husband, to a degree.
- Do You Want to Copulate?: She seems to view consummating her marriage as akin to performing maintenance on her spouse, not least because at that point she's the last surviving member of the imperial family and wants to produce some heirs. After she gets pregnant by Mat, she's more relaxed about the subject.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Carries the title "Daughter of the Nine Moons," signifying her position as heir-designate to the Crystal Throne.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: An odd zig-zagging case, she dismisses many supernatural things that Mat takes for granted (such as ravens and vermin acting as spies for the Dark One) as superstitious nonsense, even when presented with blatant physical proof they're true. But she has iron-clad faith in her culture's own superstitions (such as seeing constant omens in minor things,) and religiously Hand Waves away Mat's much more justified skepticism.
- Hypocritical Humor: She hears someone talking to Mat mention ta'veren, and she criticizes Rand's homeland and their "endless superstitions." Not even two seconds later, she sees a pair of birds, and takes that as a sign. Normally, she's very self-aware, but in this case, the cognitive dissonance doesn't even occur to her.
- Also averted, however, in that the sign tells her to stay with Mat; which was why she and Mat in the end married, without which the Last Battle would have been a foregone conclusion. Either Mat's ta'veren effect caused this, or the "superstitious" signs are as superstitious as ta'veren itself.
- Ironic Echo: Gives Mat's Accidental Marriage Vows back to him word for word. "Matrim Cauthon is my husband. Matrim Cauthon is my husband. Bloody Matrim Cauthon is my husband."
- Lady of War: Despite her demure appearance, she is deadly to her enemies and is exceptionally skilled at hand-to-hand combat.
- Meaningful Rename: Gives herself the name Fortuona Athaem Devi Paendrag upon ascending to the throne of Empress.
- Play-Along Prisoner: Captured by Mat by being at the wrong place at the wrong time as he tries to flee Ebou Dar to the countryside. She considers this an opportunity to observe the lands that she will eventually rule as Empress.
- Power of Trust: She expects assassins and people scheming to bring her down. But when she sees Mat return in A Memory of Light with a throwing knife that seems to be aimed for her, she knows he isn't there to kill her. In fact, it lets her know that a nigh-unobservable assassin is standing right behind her. Not only does she disregard Mat's dagger flying an inch from her face, but she turns around and tries to kill the assassin herself.
- Scary Black Woman: Inverted, subverted, and reverted. The color of her skin is never pointed out as being anything other than rare for the region. She is small, rather than large, yet can kick your ass without breaking a sweat. Also, the scary part comes more from the fact that she can order your death, the deaths of everyone you ever knew, the destruction of your nation, and the enslavement of your women. All with the same level of emotion she gives to picking out what she'll have for lunch.
- Their First Time: because her marriage to Mat is finalized as they're about to part ways for the foreseeable future, it isn't for a while. Towards the beginning of Book 14, in a garden in Ebou Dar.
- Tsundere: Like most women in the Wheel of Time universe, a full on type A and only shows flashes of her deredere side around her husband.
Egeanin Tamarath / Leilwin Shipless
Egeanin Tamarath was a ship captain in the Seanchan fleet. After the fall of Falme, she is sent to the Westlands to help round up escaped sul'dam and damane. After realizing that much of what she knew about channelers was wrong, she suffers a crisis of conscience.
- Enemy Mine: In Book 4, she works alongside Elayne and Nynaeve. Cue the inevitable "Not So Different" moments.
- Again in Book 14, where she ends up in custody of the Amyrlin Seat. When going out to fight for the last time, Egwene bonds her as her replacement Warder, fulfilling one of Egwene's own dreams that a Seanchan would help her.
- Happily Married: By all accounts to a person she would have otherwise arrested: Bayle Domon, a smuggler.
- Icy Blue Eyes
- Important Haircut: Allowed to cut her hair in the style of the lower nobility after her promotion. A point of great pride for her.
- Meaningful Rename: After her defection from the Seanchan, Tuon renames her.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Only admits her feelings for her future husband after they attack each other.
- Undying Loyalty: Shows this in the last book to the Amyrlin.
- Wig, Dress, Accent: Used to disguise herself as Leilwin during her time with Mat, although she keeps the accent that marks her as Seanchan.
Suroth Sabelle Meldarath
High Lady Suroth Sabelle Meldarath is in charge of securing a foothold in the Westlands to prepare for the return of the Seanchan. She is a cold and calculating individual who does not tolerate dissention amongst her ranks. Although she suffers a great defeat early on, her subsequent victories elsewhere lead some to believe that she may have secret ambitions inappropriate for her station. This is later verified as she is a Darkfriend under Semirhage with plans to make her the new Empress.
- Ambition Is Evil
- Evil Chancellor: Somewhat, to Tuon. This doesn't end well when her secret is exposed.
- Fate Worse than Death: An in-story example from her POV, judging by how she reacts to being stripped, shaved, and made da'covale to Tuon.
- Important Haircut: Has the sides of her head shaved, leaving a crest of hair not unlike a mohawk, as a status symbol.
- Made a Slave: Her eventual fate when her secret is exposed.
Banner General Tylee Khirgan
Tylee Khirgan is a Banner-General in the Seanchan army who later gets promoted to Lieutenant-General and of the low Blood.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Initially Perrin considers teaming up with the Seanchan to rescue Faile as almost akin to teaming up with the Dark One but learns to see Tylee as more of a Friendly Enemy.
- Friendly Enemy: After working with Perrin she suggests to the Empress that The Dragon Reborn and those associated with him would make better allies than enemies.
- Important Haircut: Upon her promotion to the low Blood.
Bakayar Mishima is a Captain in the Seanchan army under the command of Tylee Khirgan.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: "One day, I'd very much like to see some of these Trollocs I keep hearing about."
Banner General Furyk Karede
Karede is the leader of the Deathwatch Guard, the elite personal guards to the Seanchan Empress.
Selucia is a high ranking Seanchan da'covale and so'jhin to Tuon. She is described as Tuon's "shadow," her ever-present personal retainer.
High Lord Turak of House Aladon is the first commander of the Hailene meant to put a foothold in the Westlands ahead of the rest of the Seanchan, setting up a base in Falme. A collector of cuendillar and a blademaster, upon his death at the hands of Rand he is succeeded by Suroth.
- Bald of Evil: Has the shaven head of a Seanchan aristocrat.
- Collector of the Strange: Has an extensive collection of cuendillar trinkets, second only to the Empress herself.
- Cultured Badass
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Courtesy of Rand.
- Master Swordsman: The first blademaster Rand faces in a duel, and a formidable one at that, with Rand only managing to outdo him via Attack! Attack! Attack!.
- Noble Demon: Played with. While as cruel and pitiless as the average Seanchan noble, he notably waits for Rand to remove encumbrances before he begins their sword duel.
- Spot of Tea: Or, rather, spot of kaf, the Randland equivalent to coffee.