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Characters / The Wheel Of Time The White Tower

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“The White Tower stands, and we shall stand with it."

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    Aes Sedai (In General) 

"I vow that I will speak no word that is not true."
"I vow that I will make no weapon for one man to kill another."
"I vow that I will never use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends and Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending my life or that of my Warder or of another sister."

Aes Sedai are the Witch Species of the story. Remember how male channelers inevitably go mad and die? That means only women can safely channel, and do so under the aegis of the Aes Sedai. They run a Wizarding School, the "White Tower," in the city of Tar Valon, and have representatives all over the world. While they aren't technically a nation, they are still a force to be reckoned with politically and militarily, and their leader, "The Amyrlin Seat," is certainly the most powerful person on the continent.

Aes Sedai affiliate themselves into seven sub-families, or "Ajah"s:

  • Red Ajah: Devoted solely to hunting down and DePowering male channelers, which often results in the men's Death by Despair. (Frequently, long before they have a chance to breed. And then everyone wonders why fewer and fewer channelers show up nowadays.) The average Red Does Not Like Men and is often a Straw Feminist. Only two Amyrlins in recorded history have been elected out of the Reds, and all of them were failures; during the story itself, a third puts both of the previous ones to shame.
  • Blue Ajah: Devoted to "causes", which seems to mean Chronic Hero Syndrome. (And hey, Underdogs Never Lose.) Blues tend to be idealistic and charismatic. They are the second-smallest Ajah numerically, but still the most influential, and more Amyrlins have been elected out of the Blues than from the next two Ajahs combined.
  • Green Ajah: Also called the "Battle Ajah." Greens tend to be Action Girls, and to explicitly Like Men in contrast to the Reds. They are the only Ajah to allow the bonding of more than one Warder, and the only Ajah where marriage (generally to one of those Warders; occasionally to all of them) isn't considered unusual.
  • Yellow Ajah: The Medic, The Organization. While all Aes Sedai are taught the spells for healing, Yellows are best at it and most interested in it. Beware, though: an Aes Sedai's gift is never free.
  • Brown Ajah: The Smart Guy, The Organization. Browns love knowledge and can disappear for years into old libraries; they have a reputation for being CloudCuckooLanders... though, when an Aes Sedai is involved, you should always be careful.
  • White Ajah: The Spock, The Organization. Whites do logic, and little else; they can be extremely stoic. Though logic In this case is expanded to mean math and theoretical magic in addition to if p then q.
  • Grey Ajah: An organization consisting solely of mediators, Grays spend a lot of time in politics, helping to smooth over ruffled feathers and raw tempers. Any time a major treaty happens or someone backs down from a war, you can expect a Gray to have been involved. Also have their ranks filled with lawyers.
  • Black Ajah: If you care to ask an Aes Sedai whether there really is a secret organization of Darkfriends within the Tower, she will metaphorically kill you stone dead with a Fascinating Eyebrow and verbal lightning — unless you accidentally find one who is part of it. Who then proceeds to actually kill you and disposes of your ashes to shut you up if you happen to have even tangential proof behind your suspicions. These are Aes Sedai who serve The Shadow, and they are spread throughout the Tower's Ajahs and hierarchies; almost anybody can be one, and there have been multiple attempts to root them out, all of varying, but mostly incomplete, success (which speaks, fairly flatteringly, of their ability to stay hidden).

The White Tower runs a pretty comprehensive canvassing program over the continent, bringing in girls who need to learn to channel and sending out Reds to handle the boys. Their senatorial body, the "Hall of the Tower," consists of three "Sitters" from each of the seven Ajahs (any number of whom could, of course, also be Black), and elects the Amyrlin Seat by democratic process. The Amyrlin forswears her Ajah; the same is not so of her Number Two, the "Keeper of the Chronicles," who comes from the same Ajah as the Amyrlin. Both traditionally serve for life, or unless deposed by the Hall—something that has only happened four times in the Tower's history.

  • Exact Words: Vow to tell no lies, but get around it by technically telling the truth.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: The most common show of emotion.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The organization as a whole. While not considered villains they are universally considered Manipulative Bitches who will cheerfully sacrifice people to their agenda. Doesn't help that to a large extent this is justified.
  • Idiot Ball: Sadly, this one has to go on the list. Pretty much every serious plot problem could have been resolved had the Aes Sedai handling things actually been sensible and willing to compromise instead of being hell-bent on maintaining their power, prestige and dedicated image as cool and in control.
  • Lady Land: The Tower itself. There are men around, Warders particularly, but it's clear who wears the pants at Tar Valon.
    "Aes Sedai have no concept of consent. They are accustomed to knowing more, and having more power and authority, than those around them. They expect to be obeyed without question, to always be in power, and to always be right. When they are not acknowledged as such it is because of fear and superstition, which in its turn only enforces the idea that only the foolish or evil would reject their authority."
  • Loophole Abuse: They are very big fans of telling truths From a Certain Point of View or via Honesty Is the Best Policy (beware Exact Words), and follow this route through much of their interactions as well.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Most Aes Sedai are able to hold their own in battle by way of channeling.
  • Might Makes Right: Aes Sedai have a complex pecking order with a number of unwritten rules, but it all really boils down to "shut up and obey whoever is the strongest channeler present." Age, accomplishments and especially official rank are supposed to factor in, but the Aes Sedai tend to fall back on the practice that a weaker channeler is expected to defer to a stronger one at the drop of a hat.
  • Mutant Draft Board: Aes Sedai are of the opinion that any female channeler should go to the White Tower to train, no matter what culture she's from... or whether that culture has its own Magical Society. (Most do, but, knowing the Tower's imperialism, keep themselves secret.)
  • Power Levels: A major part of social ranking. The ability to "Travel" (teleport) has recently become the new standard, as the majority of Aes Sedai are unable to handle the necessary quantities of Power.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Being a channeler slows aging. The oldest known channeler, though not an Aes Sedai, is something over 400.
  • Restraining Bolt: An Aes Sedai, before being promoted to full membership, has to swear "The Three Oaths" on the Oath Rod:
    • To never use The Power for violence, unless in self-defense, defense of their Warder, or dealing with agents of the Shadow. (At one point, several Aes Sedai are seen flinging themselves in front of charging infantry so that they can help their side.)
    • To not make weapons using the Power. Some Heron-marked blades, the most common sort of Cool Sword in the story, are artifacts created thusly before this Oath was instituted, and owning one is appropriately unusual.
    • To never tell a lie. As mentioned, telling truths From a Certain Point of View is allowed. Unfortunately, most people in the Westlands are Genre Savvy to this, and this attempt at being trustworthy has flat out backfired - no one takes anything an Aes Sedai says at face value.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: "Pillow friends".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In-Universe. Aes Sedai can get very... strongheaded.
    Nobody could humiliate one more soundly than an Aes Sedai, for they did it without malice. Moiraine had explained it to Min once in simple terms: Most Aes Sedai felt it was important to establish control when there was no great conflict, so that if a crisis did happen, people would know where to look.
  • Witch Species
  • Wizards Live Longer: Though, curiously, the Oath Rod seems to act as a Restraining Bolt on maximum lifespan as well as behavior. (This may be due to the fact that the Oath Rod is actually repurposed Phlebotinum: back in the Age of Legends, it was used to keep paroled criminals from going back to their old ways.)

    Warders (In General) 
A "Warder" is a warrior, typically a man, who has sworn service to an Aes Sedai. They are typically confidantes, bodyguards and accomplices, occasionally lovers and/or husbands. A Warder is typically either trained in combat at the White Tower or was already really good to begin with. They are attached to their Aes Sedai via the "Warder bond," a Psychic Link that verges into Synchronization. The vast majority of Warders are men; the only Aes Sedai (Elayne Trakand) with a female Warder (Birgitte Silverbow) has managed to keep that affiliation secret for a long time. Visually, Warders are known for their cloaks, which have chameleonic properties.
  • Death by Despair: Losing the person on the other end of the Warder bond is extremely traumatic. "Orphaned" Warders go all Death Seeker, blindly and bellowing charging at the enemy. Aes Sedai get really emotional, of the curl into a ball and cry for a few months variety. The enormous self control of the Aes Sedai allows them to do basic function for themselves after a few days, anything more is a thing of Determinators.
  • Determinator: Most get chosen for the bond because they're already this. However, even those who don't start out as determined doers quickly become such, thanks to the gifts the bond brings and to the culture that exists around Warders.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Most qualify as soon as the bond settles on them: enhanced reflexes are part of the package.
  • Master Swordsman: Even if they don't start out this way, most wind up training to be masterful with not just a sword, but many other weapons, too.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: They provide the muscle, Aes Sedai the magic.
  • Synchronization: You can feel a certain amount of what's going on with the other person through the Warder bond. Injuries communicate, as does drunkenness. And, err, private fun time. (It's even worse if you're the same gender as your Warder.)

    Moiraine Damodred 

Moiraine Damodred

"The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and we are only the thread of the Pattern."

An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, Moiraine starts the series off as The Mentor, parading into the Doomed Hometown and effortlessly singling out the main characters. The fact that Rand & Co are somewhat Genre Savvy to her doesn't help a bit — but in any case, she's not here to beguile them, but rather to protect them. Eighteen years ago, the Dragon was reborn. Moiraine has been searching for him ever since, and has finally narrowed it down to one of three boys in Emond's Field. The fact that the Big Bad sends The Usual Adversaries in just confirms it. So Moiraine gets them out of there, with an express intent to guide the Dragon Reborn, teach him, and protect him until it's time to fight the Final Boss — and, also, to figure out which of the three he is...

  • Action Girl: Very much so. Moiraine is a prominent member of the Aes Sedai and an extremely powerful channeler, kicking lots and lots of ass during her time in the story.
  • A Day in the Limelight: She's the protagonist of the prequel, New Spring, that details her early days as Aes Sedai, what led to her bonding Lan, and the first hunt for the Dragon Reborn.
  • Anti-Hero: Her methods aren't always noble, but she's got the world's best interests at heart.
  • Back for the Finale: She's seemingly killed in the fifth book, but returns for the final two.
  • Badass Bookworm: Siuan wasn't alone in ferreting out what was going on, and Moiraine was the one who (made sure she) got the more active, hands-on and butt-kicking role...
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Not mentioned much, given that she is an Aes Sedai and, being consequently removed from her old life, and all of her immediate relatives might be dead, but she is a scion of House Damodred of Cairhien, which was and still is a notorious viper's nest of politics, lies and assassinations. Her uncle was King Laman, whose blasphemous actions kicked off the Aiel War, and her half-brother was Taringail, husband of Tigraine of Andor - with whom he had a son, Galad - and, following her disappearance, of Tigraine's distant cousin the eventual Queen Morgase of Andor - with whom he fathered Gawyn and Elayne. Taringail secretly plotted to murder Morgase and usurp her throne. And to top it off, she marries Thom Merrilin, the man who assassinated Taringail when he found out about his evil scheme, and who became Morgase's lover afterwards no less. This, incidentally, makes her the aunt of Elayne, Galad and Gawyn, and sister-in-law of both Morgase and Rand's mother.
  • Blue Blood: Given that a relative of hers started a world war, she's not particularly proud of it.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Both her Ajah and her general choice of clothing highlight this.
  • Catchphrase: "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills." Rand appropriates this later on.
  • Combat Pragmatist: If she knows she'd lose in a fair fight, she will not fight fair.
    • New Spring: How to defeat a Black Sister who is stronger in the Power and already has her shielded? Stab her in the back.
    • The Dragon Reborn: Knowing she has to face off against one of the strongest male Forsaken? Blast him with balefire while he's distracted by his duel with Rand.
    • The Fires of Heaven: How to defeat a very angry Lanfear? Bait her with an angreal to get her into the right position and tackle her though the door to another dimension.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Balefire. She scolds Rand for using it in Book 5, despite having done so herself in Book 3, although that may have more to do with typical Aes Sedai "We know better of the Power than everyone" attitude than the balefire itself, as she seems fully aware that it is the only reliable way to kill Darkhounds.
    • Also she killed Be'lal with it. As his name is enough for many people to crap themselves, kind of justified.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Moiraine has that whole "Aes Sedai poise" down to a science. However, post-rescue, she seems to have made a conscious decision to stop hiding her emotions. Likely because there may not be much time to indulge them with Thom before The End of the World as We Know It.
  • De-Power: After her ordeal with the Finns, she's lost a lot of power. On the other hand, she escapes with an angreal capable of making her even more powerful than she used to be.
  • Distressed Damsel: For Thom to rescue. Probably still an honorary Badass in Distress, even though she's lost most of her channeling ability and couldn't really help much during their escape.
  • First Girl Wins: With Thom.
  • Height Angst: She's notably short even for a Cairheinin, but by the time the series rolls around she's mostly gotten over it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tackles Lanfear through the twisted redstone doorway to save Rand from having himself broken down to stay with her in Book 5. The doorway melts as a result of her and Lanfear channeling at the time, sealing the entrance to Sindhol. However, she survives, albeit having most of her channeling ability drained out of her by the Finn by the time she is found again in Book 13.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Say one thing for Moiraine: she is very devoted to serving the Light, and does several things in the early books- sinking the ferry at Taren Ferry, leaving the Inn the party had just stayed in open to attack, and threatening to kill all three of the Ta'veren if it means the Dark One doesn't get them, and that's just in the first book- that make the Emond's Fielders uncomfortable. She serves as the early voice for utilitarianism, and even eventually abandons the famous Aes Sedai scheming when it no longer serves the ultimate purpose of helping Rand.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Presumably why Moiraine was pillow-friends with Siuan (and it's rather strongly implied that they continued a physical relationship at least into their early Aes Sedai years), despite neither of them being lesbian.
  • Lack of Empathy: Her emotional coldness alienates several characters.
  • Lady of Black Magic: An emotionally cold woman of high nobility who conducts herself as a Proper Lady. She is an Aes Sedai who can use balefire, but becomes weak in the Power after her imprisonment by the Finn, but can become much stronger using an angrael.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: In-Universe. Becomes a Memetic Badass in Salidar to other Aes Sedai who find out about her Forsaken-killing. One even puts her on the same level as Cadsuane.
  • Lethal Chef: There's a good reason beyond her being either Aes Sedai or a noble to explain why others get to tend the fire. Her initiation pie is also legendary.
  • Little Miss Badass: She's very short.
  • Manipulative Bitch: A heroic example.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Subverted.
  • Mis-blamed: In-Universe. Several of the Two Rivers folk, particularly Nynaeve, come to resent Moiraine for taking them out of their humble lives and thrusting them into the jaws of death. Most of them (particularly Nynaeve) eventually realize how unfair this is, particularly since they'd have probably all died on Winternight had Moiraine not been there to save them.
  • My Greatest Failure: Merean of the Black Ajah once murdered three innocent people in front of her, two of them children, and Moiraine was powerless to save a one. She holds a lot of guilt over this.
  • Never Found the Body: In-Universe, to the point that it eventually becomes a significant mission to find her.
  • Number Two: She was surprised at how comfortably she settled into this role to Siuan, as Moiraine was the one from a rich background with training for command.
  • Opposites Attract: With Siuan. Moiraine was raised among high nobility, comes from a rich (if troubled) family, and is only a few short rings away from royalty. Siuan, despite coming from a poor family, became her closest friend and the person she "loved the most."
  • Offered the Crown: She had a valid claim to the Sun Throne, and the White Tower was eager to install one of their own as queen. Moiraine went out of her way to avoid this.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Had this going on with Lan.
  • Playing with Fire: Most Aes Sedai aren't that good with either Earth or, more importantly for this trope, Fire. Moiraine is not one of them. It shows: she even worked how to create balefire out on her own (the weave needs strength, sure: but, you're scuppered if you can't reliably blend enough Fire into the complex weave). Egwene and Nynaeve picked the knack up from her.
  • Power Levels: Again, RJ keeps this vague, but it's known that Moiraine was one of the strongest channelers amongst the Aes Sedai before the series began. She's on the third level of the Character Tiers chart, bettered only by Egwene (and those tied with her) and Nynaeve (and those tied with her).
    • At least, before her trip through the redstone doorway. Now she's extremely weak in the Power, but can be made much stronger than she initially was with an angrael she has.
  • Proper Lady: Was brought up as one, and she has never seen a reason to change.
  • Regal Ringlets: Hair down, in curls and with her trademark stone woven in with its chain is her signature style.
  • Save This Person, Save the World: Why she's looking for the Dragon Reborn.
    • Ironically, thanks to Min's viewing, this trope seems to be true of herself, from the POV of Mat and Thom. As it turns out, this is because she is one of the two women (the other being Nynaeve) who uses Moridin's grip on Callandor to take control of him and enabling Rand to stop the Dark One. Perhaps even more importantly, she's the only person able to talk Rand and Egwene into backing down and compromising with each other at Merrilor, preventing them from repeating the fateful mistakes of their counterparts in the previous Age.
  • Sexy Mentor: Downplayed, but she's an attractive woman and Rand notices despite himself. One Bad Future Moiraine saw in Rhuidean was born from her and Rand becoming lovers; apparently, the results of this were so catastrophic that it's the one thing she'll never let happen.
    • At one point, Perrin accidentally walks in on her while she's wearing only a robe (and not wearing it very well, either). He notices, too.
  • Situational Sexuality: What led to her getting together with Siuan in the backstory.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Although, as it's later revealed, she's Not Quite Dead.
  • The Unfettered: She's utterly dedicated to her quest and, in her own words, will do anything short of bedding Rand to see the Dragon fulfill his destiny. (And even for that, she clearly considered it; the only reason she won't is because she had a vision of the future where she tried it and it made everything go very, very badly.)
  • Unflinching Walk: Before killing Be'lal.

    Lan Mandragoran 

Al'Lan Mandragoran

Introduced to the story merely as Moiraine's Warder, a bodyguard with a Psychic Link and some other sundry skills, Lan is later revealed to be the Last of His Kind: he is the crown prince and only surviving citizen of the nation of Malkier, which was overrun by The Usual Adversaries and the Garden of Evil when he was still a babe at the breast. Condemned to wage a one-man war against the Shadow, Moiraine managed to distract him by dangling that whole "Save This Person, Save the World" thing in front of him, and he has protected her ever since.

  • Badass Normal: He is probably literally the single deadliest non-channeler in the entire world. He goes up against Demandred in the final book, who at this point is established as a good contender for the title of World's Strongest Man, and wins.
    Demandred: No one of this Age has such skill. Asmodean? No, no. He couldn't have fought me like this. Lews Therin? It is you behind that face, isn't it?
    Lan: I am just a man. That is all I have ever been.
  • Cool Horse: Mandarb. It's so iconic of him that Nynaeve knows that even if he tries to hide his appearance in a disguise, he'll still ride that same black horse.
  • Combat Pragmatist: One of the reasons he's so incredibly effective. He's already one of the greatest swordsmen alive, but he never once considers any fight to the death "fair" and uses whatever he can to get an edge and win. This is what allows him to defeat a Foresaken during Tarmon Gaidon.
  • Death Seeker: More or less, considering he has to avenge an entire country.
  • Determinator: Here is the oath that Malkieri kings swear, and which Lan is still following:
    "To stand against the Shadow so long as iron is hard and stone abides. To defend the Malkieri while one drop of blood remains. To avenge what cannot be defended."
  • Empowered Badass Normal: To be fair, he's still a Warder, but he was still badass before.
  • Foregone Victory: Not believing in this is what allows him to kill a Darkfriend in New Spring despite the guy being better with the sword. The Darkfriend believed he had won after wounding Lan's arm and got cocky. Lan, meanwhile, knew he had won once the guy was dead.
  • Honor Before Reason: Egads, but is he ever. You can blame him for some of Rand's, even.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Huge guy to Moiraine and Nynaeve.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Says this to Nynaeve; the two of them have basically sorted out their Will They or Won't They? by the end of the first book.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Despite his rough-hewn features in the main books, he was more or less a bishounen in his youth, and a ladies' man as a result. We see some of this in New Spring.
  • King Incognito: He tries this in Towers of Midnight. He fails miserably, and it is one of the best moments in the series.
  • Last of His Kind: The last pure Malkieri of the royal line, and he regards himself as the last of the Malkieri in general. This is subverted in the last few books, as Nynaeve gathers together the remaining diaspora of his countrymen so they can fight together in the Last Battle, and with the Dark One re-sealed, it's reasonable to assume they were able to re-found their country.
  • Living Legend: To both the Aiel and the Borderlanders.
  • Married at Sea: In a very different variant, pushy Nynaeve insists her stoic Love Interest marry her immediately once they're reunited on a Sea Folk ship, only to discover mid-ceremony that the required vows are rather different and unusually specific in their culture.
  • Master Swordsman: A Blademaster and Rand's first teacher in combat, as a matter of fact. Though Demandred is better, it doesn't stop him.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Nynaeve as of Book 13.
  • Not So Different: He is aware of his position as this compared to Rand. Both of them were chosen from birth, pointed at the Blight, and told that they would die there, with that being a major part of their purpose in life.
  • Pillars of Moral Character: "Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain."
  • Rightful King Returns: What his whole arc basically entails. If a rather lengthy and downplayed version... primarily because he refuses to acknowledge it as even possible for the bulk of it. He's got a point: the Blight rarely lets anything go.
  • Static Character: Though he does open up emotionally over time, he remains more or less the same outwardly. The main difference is that the reader gets viewpoint sections from him, showing him not to be quite as emotionless as he seems to be.
  • The Stoic: On the outside, at least. Chapters he is the focus of show him to be less so, especially about his wife.
    • Hilariously lampshaded when he reflects upon almost shaming himself (by showing anger) when Moiraine sics a whole anthill on him.
  • Take Up My Sword: He was forced to do this from birth by the people of Malkier.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: al'Lan Mandragoran, Lord of the Seven Towers, Diademed Battle Lord of the Malkieri.
    "Perrin blinked. Lan was all of that?"
  • You Can't Fight Fate: "Duty is heavier than a mountain; death is lighter than a feather."
    Rand: "That mountain can get awfully heavy sometimes. When do you get to put it down?"
    Lan: "When you die."

    Siuan Sanche 

Siuan Sanche

"Well, this is a pot of fisherman's stew made only with the heads."

Introduced into the story as The Watcher of the Seals, The Flame of Tar Valon, The Amyrlin Seat. What this means is that she is the elected leader of the Aes Sedai and, as such, basically the most powerful person alive. She and Moiraine went to school together and are co-conspirators in the "Save the Dragon, Save the World" plan.

  • Alliterative Name
  • Big Good: As the Amyrlin Seat she is the most powerful character who supports Moiraine and Rand.
  • Busman's Vocabulary: She hails from the port city of Tear, and her dialogue often includes fish analogies.
  • The Chessmaster: Heroic example. She's so addicted to it she continues the habit even after losing the Seat.
    • This is also a downplayed example, as while she's a very capable strategist and manipulator, she had several extreme screwups that cost her cause dearly. Notably, sending three Accepted after 13 full Black Ajah sisters is something basically everyone thinks was a bad idea, and the fact that it includes Elayne alienates Andor, the White Tower's staunchest ally; and while she did what she could to prepare for the Dragon's return, Egwene wonders if her secretive, manipulative approach didn't sow the seeds of the later divisions in the tower.
  • Chickification: When presented with her Love Interest (Gareth Bryne), especially after showing that she is only half as strong a channeler post un-severing.
  • Determinator: When she decides to do something, it gets done. Especially if it's beyond tricky, regardless of the opposition... and, not even killing her Warder, deposing her and Stilling her will stop her. The vast majority of Aes Sedai could not manage to pull through that, let alone pull off what she did, out of both sheer willpower and rage. Elaida really should have known that about her, too.
  • Dropped A Bridge On Her: With a tiny bit of foreshadowing when Min mentions her viewing that Siuan and Gareth Bryne have to stick together or else they'll both die. Siuan says, "That's already happened," and Min says, "No, it can still happen," and Siuan says, "Who cares, we need to protect Mat," and stays away from Bryne to protect Mat. Next time Min looks, she's dead from an explosion behind her.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: The "stole" (shawl) of the Amyrlin Seat involves all the colors of the Aes Sedai (blue, red, green, yellow, brown, gray and white).
  • Fate Worse than Death: Is impeached as Amyrlin, and stilled.
  • Guile Hero: You can see her thoughts as she does this to everyone in Salidar.
  • Killed Off for Real: Both she and Gareth are abruptly killed during the Last Battle.
  • Lady Swears-a-Lot
  • The Mentor: To Egwene.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Gareth as of Book 12.
  • Number Two: She becomes Egwene's closest confidant after the latters ascension to Amyrlin.
  • Not So Different: To Elaida. Both of them use rumors of the other's involvement with false dragons and the real Dragon Reborn to have the other overthrown from the position of Amyrlin Seat and neither see anything wrong with using the backlash to disband the other's Ajah.
  • Older Than They Look: True of all Aes Sedai, but especially for Siuan. After she is stilled, the effects of the Oath Rod disappear and she reverts back to a very youthful appearence. Despite being in her late 40s, Siuan now appears as a girl in her late teens to early twenties. See the picture at right.
  • Power Levels: marginally stronger than Moiraine; roughly "Third Place" on our "Who Can Kick The Most Butt With The Power" list. (Note that sheer power is not the only criteria for being elected Amyrlin, or even the most important one.) After Nynaeve Heals her stilling, she is significantly weaker. This also applies to her Healing of Leane, but not to her Healing of Logain; this is because, according to Word of God, only saidin can fully Heal stilling and only saidar can fully Heal gentling.
  • Revenge: Clinging to this helps her stay sane after losing saidar.
  • Situational Sexuality: She had a relationship with Moiraine when they were younger; it was this trope by Word of God.
  • Spicy Latina: Tear is partially based on Spain, and her last name is basically Sanchez. She definitely has the fiery temper, but on the surface appears to totally lack the sensual element (to the point where even Egwene thought she was a bit prudish; Egwene is young enough to be her daughter and at the time probably the only major character who was still a virgin). However, Gareth Bryne's link with her reveals she's internally less of a prude; she even slept with Moiraine when they were young.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Moiraine's girly girl.
  • Tsundere: Type A. She rarely resorts to violence. She doesn't need to.
  • Unkempt Beauty

    Elaida do Avriny a' Roihan 

Elaida do Avriny a' Roihan

"This I Foretell, and swear under the Light that I can say no clearer. From this day Andor marches toward pain and division. The Shadow has yet to darken to its blackest, and I cannot see if the light will come after. Where the world has wept one tear, it will weep thousands. This I Foretell."

An Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah, formerly the adviser to Queen Morgase of Andor, and a monumental bitch with delusions of grandeur. Was Accepted when Siuan and Moiraine were novices, and an Aes Sedai for five years when they were Accepted. Always disliked them, but also did her best to ensure they would both become Aes Sedai since they were both so strong in the One Power and the White Tower would need them for the Last Battle. Has the Foretelling. Attached herself to Morgase because she (secretly) Foretold the Trakand line would be instrumental in defeating the Dark One. Eventually, she instigated a coup (encouraged by Alviarin and, though she didn't know it, Mesaana) to tear down Siuan Sanche and install herself as the Amyrlin Seat. From there she proceeded to become an arrogant, vain, petty tyrant.

  • The Alcoholic: Elaida has several hobbies and stress-relieving habits, such as cultivating flowers, knitting, and massaging figurines, but the one given particular emphasis is her penchant for wine, which she's noted to have started drinking a lot more of since coming into power.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Siuan. Later, to Egwene.
  • Bad Boss: She was always a Stern Teacher, but crosses into this when made Amyrlin. Her predecessors could be ruthless when it came to discipline, but Elaida's punishments range from capricious, to disproportionate, to tradition-breaking, to downright cruel.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The grey. She's a prominent antagonist and a thoroughly unlikeable person, but begins the series with good intentions, is undermined and manipulated by more sinister villains, and is as much an enemy of the Shadow as the protagonists. Egwene reflects that Elaida, at her core, not being an evil person makes dealing with her all the more difficult.
  • Blatant Lies: She's biased towards Elayne and wants to see her succeed as an Aes Sedai, but even so, her efforts to bring her back to the Tower – citing her fondness for the girl and reminding Elayne that she watched her grow up – fall on deaf ears as Elayne recalls Elaida as a cold and distant figure during her youth.
  • Break the Haughty: Toward the end of The Gathering Storm and her one scene in Towers of Midnight, she has gone from Amyrlin Seat, one of the most powerful stations in the world, to a damane, one of the least powerful. A Fate Worse than Death in progress.
  • Defector from Decadence: A lot of Aes Sedai, including her own supporters, end up abandoning her for the rebels or at least withdrawing their support due to her insane amounts of ego, pretentiousness, and mishandling of events, as well as the punishments she deals out. See Evil Is Petty.
  • Dehumanizing Insult: She shares many of her fellow sisters' disdain for “wilders” and derisively refers to Egwene as such. That said, she considers Tarna Feir whom she even makes her Keeper of the Chronicles a loyal and trustworthy subordinate and only reflects on Tarna's wilder status inwardly.
  • Dirty Coward: After being taken damane, she spends a lot of time trying to have 10-20 others taken in her place if the Seanchan free her.
  • Does Not Like Men: Like most Reds.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: She was this with Moiraine and Siuan when they were preparing for the Shawl. To her credit, she was hard not because she wanted the girls to fail, but because she wanted them to succeed.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the first book, her exchange with Rand and Elayne in Caemlyn's throne room certainly sets the tone for what's to come.
    He (Rand) had sometimes thought as Moiraine as steel covered with velvet; with Elaida the velvet was only an illusion.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor
  • Evil Is Petty: She decides to make an example of one of her coterie of advisers, just to prove who is in charge and make them fear her if not respect her, by demoting one back to Accepted. And the Aes Sedai goes along with it. Similarly she sends Teslyn off to Ebou Dar even though she was one of her biggest supporters, and enjoys tormenting Egwene with trips to the Mistress of Novices and demeaning drudgery far too much.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: She's actually quite intelligent, and her enemies and allies alike fear what she's capable of. However, she's an Unwitting Pawn to schemes that dwarf her own and is hamstrung by various other influences, not least of all a Treacherous Advisor.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. She has all the makings of a strong Amyrlin – cunning, ruthlessness, a drive to action – but her ego is the size of Dragonmount, and she's too focused on the I part of “I will be the woman who saves this world.”
  • Fill It with Flowers: Fond of doing this. She once asked Elayne to pick out a farm for her to illuminate with Power-wrought flowery.
  • Foreshadowing: Elaida is established as Egwene's biggest rival during the latter's test for Accepted, in which Egwene lives through visions of herself as Amyrlin dealing with a recalcitrant and insubordinate Elaida, who usurps her. Thirteen black sisters and thirteen Myrddraal, led by Elaida's apparent right-hand-woman, then attempt to turn Egwene to the Shadow. Elaida does become Egwene's most bitter rival, and Elaida's second-in-command does turn out to be Black Ajah.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Was once "pillow-friends" with Meidani, one of the rebel "ferrets".
  • Insane Troll Logic: In The Gathering Storm, Egwene finally confronts Elaida with a brutal The Reason You Suck speech. Elaida is so taken aback by the audacity that she names Egwene a Darkfriend and batters her with the Power. Think about it: Elaida, who is bound by the Three Oaths to never lie, came to earnestly believe that Egwene must be a servant of the Shadow for daring to stand up to her.
  • Irony: She saw great potential in Moiraine and Siuan while they were Accepted and was hard on them to better forge them into proper Aes Sedai. One of their friends, who was disturbed at how far Elaida was pushing them, told the then-Mistress of Novices, who punished Elaida accordingly – for helping the girls to cheat at their test. Moiraine's heart sank at this, and she knew that she and Siuan had made an enemy for life in Elaida.
    • Also, she's captured by the very Seanchan she didn't believe in.
  • It's All About Me: Elaida is convinced that she, and only she, can save the world from the Dark One, and that she must be given all praise and support as the Amyrlin who won the Last Battle and prevented another Breaking. Partly this is due to Padan Fain's influence, but also her own natural ego which was bolstered by her Foretellings. In contrast to Ewgene, who believes the Tower is more important than she is, Elaida actually tries to build a rich, opulent palace which if finished would be larger than the White Tower. Even her bringing a very expensive old clock out of mothballs partakes of this attitude, since again it's meant to bring awe and glory to her reign.
  • Kick the Dog: During Egwene's test for Accepted, she makes no effort to hide how lowly she thinks of the novice and makes several cruel remarks.
    Elaida: I do not care what her potential is. She should be put out of the Tower. Or failing that, set to scrubbing floors for the next ten years.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When she puts Alviarin back in her place and sends her running to Mesaana.
  • Lady of Black Magic: A cunning, prideful, and merciless Aes Sedai noted as a powerful channeler.
  • Lady in Red: She makes no attempt to hide where her heart lies on this count, even as Amyrlin.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Made a damane by the Seanchan, whom she alternately dismissed as fictional or of no threat. And it is so sweet.
  • Light Is Not Good: While she isn't a Darkfriend, Elaida is certainly not a hero, yet she is still on the side of the Light. In the end her idiocy, stubbornness, pride, and outright bitchiness cause as much trouble for Rand and his allies as anything the Shadow does.
  • Lonely at the Top: She considers this the way it should be, and makes a point to be particularly harsh and unforgiving toward those others might consider her friends.
  • Not So Different: With Siuan Sanche. Each rose from humble (or at least obscure) beginnings to become Amyrlin Seat, each was one of the most powerful Aes Sedai of her generation, each knew the Last Battle was coming and tried to prepare for it. But where Siuan wanted to merely guide Rand, Elaida tried to control and contain him, and while they both wanted to save the world, Elaida wanted to do so in a way that would give her fame and greatness. Despite the similarities, they have always hated each other.
  • Overly Long Name: It gets worse when you add all the Amyrlin Seat's titles and honorifics.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • An ironic and backwards example, reinforcing her Well-Intentioned Extremist tenancies. She attempted to help Siuan and Moiraine prepare to pass their tests for Aes Sedai, something forbidden as cheating... by giving them painful and testing ordeals to overcome so that they'd be able to take whatever's thrown at them in the actual trial.
    • Despite demoting Egwene back to Novice, she does state that, when Egwene was to be raised back to Accepted, she would not be required to re-take the three trials because no one deserves to have to do that a second time.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Or maybe Pinball Antagonist. With how much she got yanked around by Alviarin, Mesaana, Galina, and any number of Black Ajah behind the scenes, not to mention adding Fain into the mix, and it's any wonder she survived as long as she did or managed to do anything right—wait, she didn't. It's enough to make the reader feel sorry for her, once in a while, especially when it becomes clear she really is trying, in her own way, to serve the Light. She just has very Skewed Priorities.
  • Pride Before a Fall: A textbook example, as she doesn't seem to believe in the threat to herself until it's literally carrying her away.
  • Properly Paranoid: She's completely right about Rand and the havoc he'll cause the first time she sees him, but that alone isn't enough to detain him.
  • The Purge: She abolishes the entire Blue Ajah.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: She suspects Alviarin of treacherously reaching out to Rand behind her back, and enlists some select sisters to get to the bottom of it. This unwittingly sets off the hunt for the Black Ajah, as Elaida's cryptic orders were interpreted as a push in that direction. As it happens, Alviarin was guilty of both charges, and this mission, along with the sisters involved in it, prove integral to the Tower's safety in the long run.
  • Sanity Slippage: Elaida rules with an iron fist and aims to save the world by controlling the Dragon Reborn, but gradually becomes more unhinged as her schemes come undone and she's forced to take the fall for the Black Ajah's own misdeeds. It's also implied that, through Padan Fain, she was at least slightly corrupted by Shadar Logoth's poisonous influence in much the same way Mat was.
    • Illustrated by the paintings she had hung on her wall shortly after taking control of the Tower: one of Rand fighting Ishamael, and one of Bonwhin, a previous Amyrlin from the Red Ajah who was ousted from the office in disgrace after nearly destroying the tower; Elaida keeps them visible to remind her of what she's dealing with and the price of failure. It's mentioned later in the series that the latter is gone and the former is battered from abuse.
  • She's Back: A villainous example. When Alviarin returns to the Tower, she expects to find Elaida broken and biddable, but the Amyrlin rides over her, fires her as Keeper, sends her off for beatings, and gives her not-so-veiled death threats.
  • Smug Snake
  • Spanner in the Works: To Siuan, and later for the Black Ajah when she proves herself less biddable than they'd intended and orders an investigation that gets many of them uncovered.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Few Aes Sedai are happy with her in charge, even some who had cordial relations with her before, but they don't see a better alternative in the rebels' Amyrlin for quite a long time.
  • The Usurper: And it turns out her coup wasn't done as lawfully as she thought.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Averted. She was quite loyal to Morgase and spent a good portion of her life advising the queen in Andor, knowing that the nation would be instrumental to the Last Battle. She feels (perhaps justly) slighted when Morgase, angered by Elayne's disappearance, refuses to take Elaida back to Caemlyn with her.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: more like "Tyrant Takes the Staff & Stole" in this case!
  • Unstable Powered Woman: Elaida seizes control of the Aes Sedai in a coup, styling herself an Iron Lady and the only one who can lead them in the Last Battle. She proves to be unstable, paranoid, and cruel; her reign causes a major schism, with even her loyalists distrusting each other; and she does more harm to the Aes Sedai's international reputation than any leader in a millennium. It doesn't help that she's got The Mole within her inner circle who is trying to bring out the worst in her.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Elaida's way of making sure Siuan and Moiraine pass their Aes Sedai tests is to 'cheat' by abusing them, both verbally and with the One Power, so that they can handle any distractions and pain the testers may throw at them. She is chastised for this (by a Black, it turns out, though that is less likely Even Evil Has Standards and more that she didn't want Siuan and Moiraine to become Aes Sedai), but when they find out what she was actually doing, their response is definitely along the lines of "With friends like these..."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Despite everything, she isn't a Black. Her Foretelling warned her (and rightly so) of the pain and devastation that would occur with Rand's coming, she genuinely believed Siuan was leading the Aes Sedai and the world to ruin, and much of her early 'villainy' was brought about due to Alviarin's manipulations. Even the torture Rand undergoes, while nominally sanctioned by her, was Galina's idea and not something she decreed, having only wanted the Dragon Reborn brought to her to keep him (and the world) safe until the Last Battle. (Of course, that would have kept him from fulfilling the prophecies...) In the end her egotism, nastiness, and ignorance are as much due to Fain's corruption as her own failings, so there's no way to know what would have happened if he hadn't influenced her. A good example of her extremism, though, aside from the whole gentling men thing and her treatment of Rand, is one which dates to well before any tainting: her claim that channeling men are 'unbelievers'—that is, that because they channel (even though they can't help it), something which will lead to insanity and death and is therefore against the Pattern and the will of the Creator, they must not believe in the Light.

    Alviarin Freidhen 

Alviarin Freidhen

A cool member of the White Ajah and one of the first sisters to support Elaida's coup; unusually, she is made Elaida's Keeper afterwards despite not hailing from the same Ajah as her Amyrlin. She's actually the head of the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah, taking orders from Mesaana herself, and plays a key role in the breaking of the Tower. She eventually becomes one of the leading Dreadlords during the Last Battle.

  • Affably Evil: She's always quite civil and polite.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Gives one to Elaida. Gets one in return a novel or two later.
  • Demoted to Extra: A big supporting villain for much of the series, but her importance wanes after Egwene defeats Mesaana and purges the Black Ajah from the Tower and she shows up only twice in the final two novels.
  • Hope Spot: She offers Egwene aid in escaping the Tower, but given Egwene refuses it's hard to tell whether she was serious, or indeed what she was hoping to gain from this.
  • Karma Houdini: She survives the Last Battle and her ultimate fate is being detained in an Ogier stedding with the hope that, given time, she may yet turn back to the Light. While not the most ideal of fates, it's vastly better than what most evil characters and many of the good guys get.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: She brutalizes Elaida after blackmailing her into obedience.
  • The Woman Behind the Amyrlin
  • Mysterious Past: Unusually for a series good at fleshing out its vast cast with flavour, nothing is ever revealed about Alviarin's history and even her nationality remains unknown.
    • The Companion, however, rectifies this to some degree, detailing how she became a Darkfriend after murdering a girl a year before going to the Tower, killed a young man she seduced because the Darkfriends told her he had information about them, and murdered an Accepted on Black orders (her only friend in the Tower) simply to prove she would obey orders without question. (The Accepted was made to appear a runaway. Alviarin did the deed without remorse). It also reveals she was from Amadicia—as in, the nation of the Whitecloaks. Explains a lot about her willingness to turn on the Aes Sedai and join the Dark One, but also incredibly ironic that those convinced all Aes Sedai are Darkfriends never knew the actual head of the Shadow's Ajah was from their own nation.
  • The Starscream: Very subtly implied, but it's there. She also flirts with the idea of becoming Amyrlin herself when Elaida is no longer needed to take the fall.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: Shaidar Haran, AKA the Dark One personally marks her as his, and she becomes incredibly paranoid about people noticing his touch despite nobody being able to see it but her.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Shaidar Haran defies this on her behalf. Mesaana is prepared to kill her, but Haran marks her as his own and puts her under his protection.

    Galina Casban 

Galina Casban

She was Galina Casban, Highest of the Red Ajah, who sat on the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah. note 

The Head of the Red Ajah and one of the two second in commands of the Black Ajah. Elaida puts her in charge of the expedition to capture Rand. This fails and she is captured by the Shaido Aiel, tortured, and made to swear an Oath of obedience on a second Oath Rod and ultimately broken.

  • Asshole Victim: You'd feel sorry for any other Aes Sedai if they were exposed to what Therava did to her.
  • Break the Haughty: Has experienced this at the hands of the Shaido Aiel, finalized in Book 11.
  • Diamonds in the Buff: As a gai'shain, she is required to wear a firedrop necklace and collar over her robe. Therava often stipulates that she wear nothing but the necklace and collar.
  • Does Not Like Men: She is a Red and seems to enjoy what happens to male channelers.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When she is brought along with Therava and the Shaido survivors back to the Waste and forbidden from trying to escape.
  • Informed Ability: She is described as being one of the strongest Aes Sedai, as well as second in command of the Black Ajah, but we see very little of her strength and she is easily captured by the Shaido.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Hoooo boy, when it finally hit its target, there was no mercy. Not that any was deserved.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Will kill anyone if their existence could in any way lead to her discovery.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Apparently used her position as Highest of the Red Ajah to coerce others into relationships and had favourite Accepted (like Tarna). Now is on the receiving end of this.
  • Static Character: Despite everything she goes through, she remains the the same haughty, hateful woman up until she was broken by Therava.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Ends up experiencing this towards Therava.
  • Stupid Evil: The moment Faile's group brought her the Oath Rod she tries to kill them and run away by herself instead of escaping with them.
    • Mixed with a little Irony and Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat. If she had played the whole thing straight, with no lies, deceit, or attempted murder, she would have gotten free. But nope, she just had to try and screw everyone else over.

    Verin Mathwin 

Verin Mathwin

"Every woman in the Brown, seeks to produce something lasting. Research or study that will be meaningful. Others often accuse us of ignoring the world around us. They think we only look backward. Well, that is inaccurate. If we are distracted, it is because we look forward, towards those who will come. And the information, the knowledge we gather... we leave it for them."

A dreamy Brown Ajah who is very interested in books. Is smarter and more observant than she appears. Helps Perrin in the Two Rivers, then goes off to advise Rand. Later returns to the White Tower where she kills herself to betray the Black Ajah.

  • The Atoner Regrets joining the Black Ajah instead of choosing death, so she betrays them by poisoning herself. Her Warder also felt this way.
  • Ambiguous Allegiance: Up until the reveal, everyone, in-universe and out, was confused about which side she was on.
  • Badass Bookworm: Definitely.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She seems to be, for all intents and purposes, a space cadet of the highest order. Do not believe it.
  • Defector from Decadence: One of these during most of the White Tower schism.
  • Exact Words: How she gets around the Oath to "never reveal the Dark One's secrets until the hour of her death". Know a poison that kills within an hour? Take it and air Shaitan's dirty laundry as much as you like. Verin even lampshades how how silly a flaw in the oath this is, and whether Shaitan itself is aware of it and left it there for amusement.
  • Hidden Agenda Hero: Definitely working for the Light, but there's more to her than meets the eye and is treated with suspicion.
  • I Gave My Word: Swears an Oath to obey Rand. As the Oath Rod prevents an Aes Sedai from speaking words that are not true...
    • Subverted by being Black and able to lie.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Is forced to join the Black Ajah and ends up with a Darkfriend Warder.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Confesses everything to Egwene and gives her all her research on the Black Ajah.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Poisons herself to get around the Oath to not betray the Black Ajah (see Exact Words).
  • The Mentor: Is one of these to Egwene.
  • The Mole: Joining the Black Ajah and using her position there to spy on them for the Light.
  • More Than Mind Control: Has a version of Compulsion that only works if the victim is caught by surprise and can provide their own reasons for their actions.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Puts on an appearance of dreaminess, but is shown to be much sharper under careful examination.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: When Egwene starts to protest being called a "runaway" after the events of The Great Hunt, Verin snaps at her to be quiet. On an initial reading, it seems as if she's just lost her patience with a novice who never knows when to keep her mouth shut—which is probably partly true—but remember that it was Liandrin who took the girls to Falme, revealing herself as Black Ajah in the process. Letting Egwene blab about that little detail could be very dangerous, especially considering Sheriam is present, and is also Black Ajah. Which Verin knows, because surprise, she is also Black Ajah.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Invoked Trope. She poisons herself to cause a Loophole Abuse to enable her to give all of her secrets as a Black Ajah infiltrator.
  • Wham Line: "By the way, that dress you are wearing is green."

    Cadsuane Melaidhrin 

Cadsuane Melaidhrin

One of the oldest and most respected Aes Sedai alive (possibly the most in both categories), Cadsuane is something of a living legend for her adventures, the number of male channelers she's managed to deal with, and for being one of the Most Triumphant Examples of an Iron Lady to walk the halls of fiction. She appears out of nowhere (that is, Ghealdan) in the seventh book to add herself to the growing list of hangers-on around Rand, and the two have a very contentious relationship.

Despite the fact that everything has been said about her that ever will be, Cadsuane is still a rather opaque character. She plays things close to the vest and rarely needs help, simply using her forceful personality to bully people around. Her primary goal seems to have been simply to make sure Rand didn't become too much of a Determinator, but who knows what else she was up to.

  • The Anticipator: She makes a habit of addressing people by name when they come up behind her. Subverted in one of her viewpoint chapters, where she notes that people never notice her peeking at their reflections in her silver teapot.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: She is named the first Amyrlin Seat of the Fourth Age. Granted, the "awesome" isn't really as much so, considering that she considers this a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Bullying a Dragon: More like Bullying THE Dragon. She seems to believe this will help him build character.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: She may be one of the most powerful and skilled of the Aes Sedai but she has always used just one technique in order to achieve her goals: bullying. It's allowed her to make weak people stronger and powerful people more humble but she never seems to catch on to the fact that it is just making the situation with Rand much more volatile. Unable to successfully bully Rand leaves her quite lost for ideas.
  • Fate Worse than Death: What she regards her new, post-Tarmon-Gai'don job to be: she replaces Egwene as Amyrlin Seat.
  • Good Is Not Nice: As a 300-year-old Living Legend with a huge record of accomplishments, she has little regard for anyone else's counsel or feelings. Deconstructed since her general unpleasantness often works against her: Moiraine makes a point of avoiding her in New Spring; Verin and Sorilea question whether she's even on Rand's side (and Verin is quite prepared to poison her as a precaution); and her trying to bully Rand right after her mistake got him tortured and Min nearly killed nearly costs her her life.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: her willingness to bully Rand (and, frankly, everyone else) is a large part of the antipathy and controversy surrounding her character. Good Is Not Nice, but in her case it's so un-nice that it's quite easy to read sinister motivations in her actions.
  • Iron Lady: From her iron bun to her iron will. By all accounts, she has literally spanked at least seven reigning monarchs and kidnapped another three.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While there's been much said over her approach to trying to soften up Rand, she's absolutely right to point out that his poorly controlled temper alienates his allies, and that his idea of growing "hard" is only setting up an inevitable disaster when the stress he's holding in finally breaks him. She's more right than she could have known about the second one, though she's a large part of what causes it.
  • Living Legend: She's Famed in Story and a household name among Aes Sedai.
  • Loophole Abuse: After a particularly bad confrontation, Rand orders her never to let him see her face again, on pain of death, so she spends the rest of the book lurking around In the Hood. Rand's in a terrible mental state at the time, but even he lampshades the audacity of it.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: She leaves the Domination Band where it can be used to capture Rand and compel him to strangle Min, defaults to bullying when she walks in on the aftermath rather than admit fault, and tries to use Rand's father as a pawn between them, all of which contribute to Rand very nearly going completely insane and ending the world in a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum.
  • Nerves of Steel: When turning a Forsaken over your knee to spank her is something you can calmly contemplate doing, you've got adamantine in your nervous system.
  • Odd Friendship: Of a sort with Sorilea, just about her only equal in the series. Together they have pledged to teach Rand "laughter and tears."
  • Older Than They Look: She's one of, if not the oldest Aes Sedai.
  • Pet the Dog: Implied. It's mentioned that the male channelers she captured to be gentled tend to last substantially longer afterwards before finally losing the will to live, which usually indicates that someone is making a point of looking after them.
  • Phrase Catcher: "I thought you were dead!"
  • Remember the New Guy?: The first time her name appears anywhere in the series is when she introduces herself. This despite RJ consistently using the index at the back of each book for foreshadowing, and the whole "Living Legend" thing. It's one of the few beats he ever missed, but it's still there.
    • Having said that, there is some justification: she had been retired for decades. And, her legend is one where most Aes Sedai say "But, I thought you were dead!" with the strong subtext of "I really, sincerely hoped you were" clanging underneath. In short, raising her legend up in front of a Sister would be a good way for even an Accepted to earn a trip to the Mistress of Novices for a few generations until the butt-hurt emanating from several prominent Aes Sedai had calmed down.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Invoked. She tries to position herself as Rand's primary advisor, similar to the office Moiraine fulfilled; and, as mentioned above, Rand's not down with it—partially because of Cadsuane's caustic personality and partially because, contrary to public opinion, he was never totally happy with having Moiraine's advice in the first place.
  • Retired Badass: She's come out of retirement twice, once to assist in the Aiel War and once to help capture Logain, a powerful False Dragon. After the latter, she spent a short time Walking the Earth before deciding to join up with Rand.
  • Secret Keeper: She, Min, Aviendha, Elayne, and Alivia are the only ones who know Rand survived The Last Battle.
  • Verbal Tic: "Phaw!"
  • Wild Card: Invoked. Her motivations are not incomprehensible, but she goes about things in unexpected ways to keep people on their toes.

    Leane Sharif 

Leane Sharif

Introduced as Siuan Sanche's Keeper, also of the Blue Ajah, very competent and in control, and also runs the eyes-and-ears within the White Tower.

    Pevara Tazanovni 

Pevara Tazanovni

A century-old Kandori Red, Pevara serves as a look into a somewhat more reasonable Red.

  • Battle Couple: Of a sort with Androl during the Last Battle.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Throughout Book 14's first half, to the point where when she finally sees other Reds again, she is ashamed by how cold they can be.
  • Gaydar: She notices Emarin (really Algarin Pendaloan) of the Black Tower's homosexuality, and seems surprised that Androl does not.
  • My Ajah Doth Protest Too Much: One of the very few reasonable Red Ajah Aes Sedai.
  • Psychic Link: She and Androl end up bonding each other as Warders, resulting in straight telepathic communication rather than simply emotional connections.
    • Mindlink Mates: They develop a growing affection for each other over the course of Book 14.
  • Older Than They Look: She's more than a century old.


Liandrin Guirale

Liandrin is a doll-like Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah with a mean streak. She was raised in a poor family, and grew up resenting those with power and status, but also lusted after it. She's soon revealed to be Black Ajah, and is the first major Black sister in the series.

  • Always a Bigger Fish: As Moghedien shows her.
  • Arc Villain: She's the primary antagonist of the first Black Ajah arc.
  • Bait the Dog: She takes Egwene, Nynaeve, Min and Elyane out of the Tower and through a Waygate ostensibly to save their lives... then immediately sells them to Seanchan Darkfriends and pops back through without looking back once. Egwene is stunned by the callous, almost casual way Liandrin sells them into slavery.
  • Beauty Is Bad: She's described as attractive and youthful-looking, with a doll's face, and isn't mentioned as having acquired the agelessness yet.
  • Big Bad Wannabe
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Or broke your mind trying to Compel one of the Forsaken.
  • Demoted to Extra: She briefly reappears after her downfall, reaping the ironic consequences of an earlier meeting with High Lady Suroth.
  • Does Not Like Men: She's quite pretty, but she “wouldn't take it as a compliment” if a man pointed it out.
  • Double Meaning:
    Liandrin: I had made arrangements for you to be taken care of, but as you are here, you are here.
  • Evil All Along: She claims to have sworn her oaths to the Shadow before even entering the White Tower.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Moghedien forces an advanced, near-irreversible shield between Liandrin and the Source, cutting her off from it without stilling her, forever keeping the joy of saidar just out of reach. The Forsaken then Compels her to live, making sure Liandrin will be unable to take her own life no matter how badly she burns to.
  • Faux Affably Evil
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Towards those nobly born, whom she imitates in manner and speech.
  • I Can Rule Alone
  • Identical Stranger: Elayne and Nynaeve are shocked to meet a barmaid called Rendra who's the spitting image of Liandrin. The woman is also a Taraboner, so even has Liandrin's Verbal Tic.
  • Jerkass: Moiraine describes her as always sounding petulant and dissatisfied with something, and that's only the tip of the iceberg.
  • Made a Slave: Captured and forced to become a damane.
  • Manipulative Bitch
  • More Than Mind Control: She taught herself an incomplete, harmful form of Compulsion that allows her to do this to some degree.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Defied in the The Dragon Reborn; she chides Chesmal for defaulting to murder too quickly and is content to let fear keep people quiet. She plays it straight in Knife of Dreams, however.
  • Obviously Evil: Most of the Red Ajah are far from friendly, but Liandrin does so little to hide her evilness and contempt for everyone but herself that it hardly comes as a surprise when she reveals her true nature.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: She fakes her accent to imitate nobles, but when angered or anguished her commoner's dialect tends to creep out.
  • Pet the Dog: She steps in to stop one of her Black sisters from killing Ailhuin Guenna, a local Wise Woman in Tear, and allows her to live in return for her silence.
  • Sadist: She enjoys making people grovel before her, and treats lesser Darkfriends like pets.
  • Smug Snake
  • Sole Survivor: She's the only clear survivor of the thirteen Black sisters who fled the Tower.
  • The Starscream: To Moghedien. She seizes the chance to act on it when the Forsaken is weakened, but still finds herself outclassed.
  • Starter Villain: For Nynaeve and Elayne, although she's ultimately dealt with by another villain.
  • Tempting Fate: In the second book, she has a brief exchange with Suroth about who's going to enslave who when the time comes. It's eventually revealed that Suroth found Liandrin after the invasion of Amadicia and made her da'covale, the lowest of servants.
  • Verbal Tic: Like most Taraboners, she suffixes a lot of her questions with, “yes?”
  • Whip It Good: She's obsessed with power and dominance and is later shown carrying a whip to illustrate it.
  • You Are What You Hate: She despises wilders, yet meets the criteria herself. She was also born a peasant, but is obsessed with putting this life behind her.

    Sheriam Bayanar 

Sheriam Bayanar

An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah and an old friend of Moiraine and Siuan. She's the Mistress of Novices as the series begins, but leaves the Tower after Elaida's takeover and takes a leadership position among the rebels. She becomes Keeper of the Chronicles when Egwene is named their new Amyrlin. It's eventually revealed that Sheriam is Black Ajah.

  • Affably Evil: She sits on the Black Ajah's Supreme Council, but certainly doesn't have the expected personality.
  • Evil All Along: Revealed to have been Black Ajah in Book 12.
  • Fiery Redhead
  • Fingore: One of her fingers is severed by Mesaana, for failing to secure all of the dream ter'angreal.
  • Gossipy Hens: She was a notorious gossip as an Accepted.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Her fate is pitiful and almost every villainous thing she accomplishes is for naught.
  • The Mole: A member of the Black Ajah.
  • Not So Stoic: She becomes increasingly erratic and emotional as the series progresses. She's a complete wreck by the time she goes to her beheading.
  • Off with Her Head!: She's beheaded for treason when outed as Black Ajah and goes to the headsman's axe a broken woman.
  • Pet the Dog: She has several moments as the Mistress of Novices.
  • Supreme Chef: An excellent and passionate cook, especially in contrast to Moiraine.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: When her affiliation is revealed and she's Stilled and slated for execution, she takes advantage of being free from her Black Ajah oaths and gives the rebels names and information of other Black sisters. This falls flat with Egwene, however, as she'd already acquired this information from a more earnest defector.
  • Villainous Breakdown: See Villain's Dying Grace.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Egwene is hurt by Sheriam's betrayal, having genuinely grown to like the woman.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Moiraine and Siuan.

    Romanda & Lelaine 
Romanda Cassin and Lelaine Akashi are long-time Aes Sedai of the Yellow and Blue Ajah, respectively. Although they thoroughly dislike one another, they are frequently put in situations where they need to work together. They side with the rebels during the Aes Sedai civil war and vie for favour with the new Amyrlin.
  • Aloof Ally
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Egwene is caught by the Tower loyalists, Lelaine immediately comes out as her biggest and most vocal supporter in order to gather enough support to succeed her. When Egwene returns, she has no option but to keep the act going lest she lose face.
  • Jerkass: Both of them, though Romanda is slightly less so. Slightly.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: They're both aghast when Egwene decides to meddle with long-held Aes Sedai traditions (such as ending binds to the Oath Rod) and the pair raise some fair objections.
  • Killed Off for Real: Romanda during the Last Battle.
  • Not So Different: Hoo boy.
  • Number Two: They're both trying to be this to Egwene. They're stunned when Egwene makes Silviana her Keeper instead of one of them, and essentially become her Number Threes.
  • Pet the Dog: Romanda casts the deciding vote in allowing Nynaeve to pass the test for Aes Sedai.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork
  • The Rival: They're this to each other, and also to Egwene.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Lelaine with Siuan.

    Teslyn & Joline 
Teslyn Baradon & Joline Maza are a pair of Aes Sedai who side with Elaida during the civil war arc. They try and fail to bring Elayne and Nynaeve to heel, and end up stranded in Ebou Dar when the Seanchan take over. They eventually find themselves tied to Mat, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Teslyn, the Red, is established as the more power hungry and unpleasant of the two, but proves herself the more amiable.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Teslyn when she battles the gholam alongside Mat. She's quick on the uptake and gets around its immunity to the Power.
  • Broken Bird: Teselyn struggles with this after her ordeal as a damane.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Teslyn is one of the best examples in the series. Joline isn't quite as bad as she seems either, and sends Mat a letter of thanks.
  • Hidden Depths
  • Odd Friendship: Mat and Teslyn.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Joline eventually becomes this to Mat, and is determined to bond him as a Warder.


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