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  • Garden of Evil: The Blight, a slowly-expanding disease on the land that spans the northern side of the main continent, where every plant and animal is poisonous, extremely deadly, and actively out to get you. Thanks a lot, Aginor. At its heart lies Shayol Ghul, the physical point that is closest to the weakness in the Dark One's prison.
  • Garden of Love:
    • Rand and his eventual love interest Elayne meet when he falls off a wall and into her garden, moving her to bandage a cut he got on the way down. It becomes much more awkward for him when he realizes he's inadvertently trespassing in the royal palace grounds.
    • After much Belligerent Sexual Tension, Mat and Tuon consummate their relationship in the Ebou Dar palace garden. In the morning, he's quite embarrassed to realize that a full squad of her guards were also present at a discreet distance.
  • Gender Bender: More than one character speculates that the Dark One must have a sense of humor after he reincarnates the infamous, womanizing Balthamel as a woman. Although extremely upset at first, she soon gets used to the change and becomes a manipulative Vamp. It helps that Balthamel's new body is a particularly alluring one.
  • Generational Magic Decline: This has been happening throughout the main continent as a result of the magical establishment systematically hunting down males with magical ability. They consider this necessary due to a taint on the male half of the Source, which causes all male channelers to inevitably go mad. The female establishment is aware of this problem, and partway through the series starts to consider some fairly severe policies in the hope of stopping the decline. Ultimately, the problem is solved when the taint is removed, allowing males to live without overt persecution.
  • Genetic Memory: Mostly early in the series, particularly with Mat, who curses at the Aes Sedai in the Old Tongue during his intensive Healing session (not to be confused with the memories of long-dead generals which get crammed into his head later by the Eelfinn). The chivalrous Genetic Memory of Manetheren is also suspected to be a contributing factor to his Wouldn't Hit a Girl tendencies.
    • Also, the wolves. It's repeatedly mentioned throughout the series that wolves retain the memories of all their kind.
  • Genius Bruiser: As the series goes on, Rand grows more and more into this, especially once he regains the memories of his past self.
    • Mat is an even better example of this. The genius part comes from a combination of his natural wit and the memories of long-dead generals in his head. After two minutes of studying a map, he comes up with the same battle plan that half-a-dozen veterans working together had come up with. The bruiser part comes from having practiced with a quarterstaff a lot back in the Two Rivers. Early on, he defeats Gawyn and Galad, both Master Swordsmen, in a two-on-one fight. Later, during a particularly nasty battle, he finds himself face-to-face with Couladin, leader of the Shaido Aiel, and defeats him in single combat.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Justified in-universe with regards to ta'veren. More than once, Aes Sedai who want to find certain characters who happen to be ta'veren do it by listening for rumors of really weird stuff going on, the kind of coincidences that happen around them all the time because they are Main Characters. In The Gathering Storm, the reverse happens: an Aes Sedai experiences a succession of extremely unlikely events, and realizes it means destiny must be pushing her towards a ta'veren.
    • Mat eventually becomes the living embodiment of this trope.
      • Early on, he gains unbelievable luck, but it also comes with hearing the sound of dice rolling every time something big is going to happen, as if he was a character in a tabletop game waiting for the GM to roll the dice. It pisses him off every time.
      • Later, after his first trip to Finnland, he gains the memories of long-dead ta'veren, and he can draw upon those memories to know nearly every outcome of any skirmish that occurred in history. He uses this trait to great advantage.
      • During his final trip to Finnland, he uses all of the knowledge from other stories about the place, as well as the game built around it, to learn both how to cheat and that he must cheat to beat the snakes and foxes.
      • When he is given command of the armies of the Light in the Last Battle, he creates a very elaborate, well thought-out battle plan that everyone is confident with. Then, betting (accurately) that there will be spies in his camp, he promptly throws away that plan as soon as the battle begins, and instead relies on a plan known only to himself, directing the battlefield commanders as the action happens.
  • Gentle Giants: The Ogier, most of the time, at least in the Westlands. The Seanchan ones are a little bit less gentle: they are called "Gardeners," and they are known for using huge axes to "prune" the limbs of their enemies.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: All over the place. Expect the mains to give and receive at least a couple of these per book. For example, Rand gets an epic one from Sulin in Lord of Chaos after he leaves his bodyguards behind when teleporting:
    “The great and powerful Car’a’carn gave his honor to Far Dareis Mai to carry,” she all but hissed in a low whisper. “If the mighty Car’a’carn dies in ambush while the Maidens protect him, Far Dareis Mai has no honor left. If the all-conquering Car’a’carn does not care, perhaps Enaila is right. Perhaps the omnipotent Car’a’carn is a willful boy who should be held by the hand lest he run over a cliff because he will not look.” -Ch. 19, "Matters of Toh," Lord Of Chaos
  • Girlish Pigtails: One of the Wise Ones threatens to do this to Egwene if she doesn't stop acting so childishly(!). And she carries it out, too.
  • Giving Up on Logic: Mat quickly does this in Towers of Midnight when he, Thom, and Noal journey to the world of the Eelfinn and Aelfinn.
  • Glass Cannon: Powerful channelers tend to be like this. They may be a Person of Mass Destruction, but they can still die to an arrow or sword just as easily as anyone else.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Happens a lot in the World of Dreams, but they are rarely serious enough for visitors to notice. There is a good chance that the average reader will miss glitches.
  • God: Entirely off-page. Anti-God, Dualism-style, is the Big Bad. It's implied in some ways that the Creator's powers are greater, since he was able to imprison the Dark One, but for whatever reason he's apparently unable to directly affect the world in ways the Dark One can.
    • Another possible interpretation is that the Creator IS the Dark One's prison, and that the reason neither normally affect the world is because the Creator uses all of his power to negate whatever the Dark One tries to do, and if he took any of his power away from the prison to do something, the dark one would be able to apply equivalent power at the same time. Which brings up the question: Does that mean that the Bore is a hole in GOD?
      • More specifically, it would imply that the Creator is made of both halves of the power and the True Power, as that is what is used to perfectly seal the Bore. So basically the Creator is both good and evil.
  • God-Emperor: Lanfear describes her plan as overthrowing the Dark One and setting herself and Rand up as God Emperors using the unlimited power of the Choedan Kal.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: The test for becoming an Aiel chief involves passing through a ter'angreal that causes them to relive key moments in the culture's history. Aiel place such emphasis on honor that the shameful truth of their origins - they betrayed the oath they lived by - hits hard. Rand enters at the same time as a real Aiel, and by the end the other man is clawing out his own eyes. (Rand has a rather unfair advantage here, since he wasn't raised as an Aiel.) Rand later reveals the truth to everyone, and hordes begin to defect from the old warrior lifestyle every day, either vanishing altogether, joining a rogue tribe, or returning to the pacifism which their culture started with.
  • The Good Chancellor: Lord Dobraine is one of the very few people that The Chosen One Rand completely trusts. He sidelines his own political ambitions when Rand claims the throne of Cairhien, helps rescue Rand when he's kidnapped, serves faithfully as Steward of Cairhien in Rand's absence until Elayne can be crowned, survives an assassination attempt, and helps stabilize the wartorn country of Arad Doman. Since Rand has to juggle four thrones and several other major campaigns, he's an invaluable asset.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Cadsuane, the Aes Sedai in general, the Aiel, and Logain. Rand is also a prime example and says so himself, though he ultimately subverts it later.
  • Good Hurts Evil: Rand, after coming to terms with his existence in The Gathering Storm, has the power to passively negate the rotting and corrupting influence of the Dark One and no Darkfriends can meet his eyes without visible difficulty. When he actually uses the Power and goes all-out, he sent a couple insane at the Light that he emanates.
  • Good Parents: Many of the characters come from genuinely loving families.
    • Rand specifically attributes his better qualities and ability to work through his Heroic BSoD to the good upbringing and parenting of his adoptive father, Tam. And although she died when he was very young, Rand's memories of his adoptive mother, Kari, are just as positive.
  • Gossip Evolution: Used frequently. Several books end like this, with an omniscient narrator describing gossip versions of the main event of the book. The narrator mentions several contradictory versions of the big epic battle but one important, portentous detail that all the different rumors agree on. Something similar happens in-story several times as well, where side characters hear twisted versions of events of the story as rumors, sometimes even things the characters they are talking to were present for. The rumors are usually wrong on important details, and the viewpoint characters are usually happy to know that their role in the real events remains obscure.
    • This is mentioned happening on a global scale in the preludes of every book, noting how "The Wheel Of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that fade into legend". Invoked in-universe by gleeman Thom Merrilin when he puts forward the "crazy" idea that later stories may cast HIM as the hero, not just telling stories and doing parlour tricks like fire-swallowing but some kind of fire-breathing wizard. Of course he's a lot more powerful than he lets on, and his name sounds a bit like "Merlin"...
  • Götterdämmerung: First the Age of Legends ended when Man Grew Proud. Then the Covenant of the Ten Nations, the closest thing to a realistic historical Golden Age, was swept away by the Trolloc Wars. Then Artur Hawkwing's empire was undermined by his insanity and collapsed upon his death. Since then, nations have dwindled in size, majesty, and vision, and by the time of the series, most monarchs cannot truthfully claim true control beyond a few hundred miles of their capital, and much of the continent is barren and uninhabited. The events of the books promise to either herald the return of original glory or a breaking worse than that seen before, with history ground to dust in the wake of chaos and war.
  • Grand Finale: The final trilogy of books, The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight, and A Memory of Light, which lead directly up to and include the Last Battle. In fact, this was all supposed to be one book when Robert Jordan was writing it, even if it required a new kind of library cart, but upon his Author Existence Failure, Brandon Sanderson decided that the sheer amount of plot threads that he needed to tie up meant he would need a trilogy, which includes a great increase in intensity over previous volumes.
  • Great Way to Go: During the Last Battle, the Borderlanders start doing this for all their dead to try and keep morale up once Lan starts it.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: If Perrin so much as looks at Berelain, Faile practically turns green.
  • Green Lantern Ring: The One Power has enough potential uses to qualify it for this, considering that it helps drive time and existence itself. It does, however, have its limits, as does the True Power.
  • Grew a Spine:
    • Nynaeve is infuriated that the Kin are helplessly deferential to the Aes Sedai despite being technically independent and in many ways more learned. She endeavours considerably to get them to collectively "grow some backbone" and stand up for themselves, and they gradually do... to her as well, which is not remotely what she intended.
    • Rand, initially over the course of the first book when he stands up to the Amyrlin Seat at the start of the second.
  • Grim Up North: The Blight, the Blasted Lands, and Shayol Ghul. See Garden of Evil above. Subverted after the Dark One is sealed away at the end, with normal plants finally growing there.
  • Happily Adopted: Rand genuinely loves his adopted father and gets over his "is-he-or-isn't-he-my-father" angst regarding Tam al'Thor relatively quickly, concluding that Tam is his father no matter what their blood relation is or isn't.
    • In the most recent book, he even attributes the fact that he's able to successfully pass through his Heroic BSoD to the good upbringing Tam gave him.
      Rand: "My father is Tam al'Thor. He found me, raised me, loved me. I wish I could have known you, Janduin, but Tam is my father."
  • Happiness in Mind Control: Zig-Zagged with the damane, mages that the Seanchan Empire enslave with Restraining Bolt collars and condition with years of Brainwashing, Dehumanization, and Emotion Control to be utterly subservient to their handlers. Some become so convinced that they need to be controlled that they lash out in a blind panic when freed and are happy to be collared again.
  • Happily Married: Perrin and Faile, as well as Lan and Nynaeve, are a bizarre variant of The Masochism Tango. In-universe, the couples are insistent that they're this trope. To be fair, there are instances of undisputed affection, especially from book 12 and onward.
    • Rand's adoptive parents, Tam and Kari al'Thor, certainly counted as this prior to Kari's death. So much so that even fifteen years later, Tam still hasn't remarried, instead devoting all of his time to raising their son and tending the family farm.
  • Harmful Healing: Traditional forms of Healing in the Third Age take strength from the recipient to power the Healing, resulting in exhaustion.
    • For an even worse, intentional example, we have what Ishamael did to Lews Therin Telamon after the event that gave the latter the name "Kinslayer". Using the True Power, Ishamael Healed Lews Therin of his madness, which is described as excruciatingly painful even before Lews Therin realizes what happened.
  • Harmony Versus Discipline: Women must use Harmony to channel saidar, men must use Discipline to channel saidin. While both can achieve pretty much identical results, trying to use the method of the opposite sex is disastrous and potentially fatal.
  • Hat of Authority: The Amyrlin and Keeper of the Chronicles each wear a stole, grander than the shawls worn by ordinary Aes Sedai.
  • Haughty Help: The upper servants of the Seanchan Empire's aristocracy are granted the title so'jhin; while they're still slaves, they hold some of their masters' authority and are often quite powerful as a result. The Seanchan princess's so'jhin bodyguard Selucia shows no deference to anyone else, even reigning monarchs of other nations.
  • Haute Cuisine Is Weird: Mat Cauthon acquires two manservants used to working for high-ranking nobility, who serve him perplexingly fancy food in their efforts to outdo each other. Mat's confusion at being served an artistic arrangement of smoked tongues and quail eggs is compounded by the fact that the servants somehow acquired the ingredients in the middle of a cross-country voyage.
  • Heads or Tails?: Mat, and sometimes Rand, use this method to make decisions. Since they both have luck-bending reality powers, this has extra significance.
  • Heads, Tails, Edge:
    • Happens around Rand all the time, due to his transient ta'veren effect. In Rhuidean, this prevents Mat from using his luck to make an important decision.
    • In book 13, Mat rolls two six-sided dice and gets a one: one of the dice landed on its corner.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: "The Nine Horse Hitch" is the name of an inn. Siuan is too embarrassed to explain the meaning of the name, and nothing else is revealed about it. Savvy readers can infer that the Inn is named for a well-endowed man, since a regular "hitch" can only hook up two or three horses.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Androl is a mediocre channeler whose only talent is in making gateways. With which, during the Last Battle, he parries balefire, reflects Fire weaves, drops dozens of people to their deaths, and swamps an entire Trolloc army in lava.
  • Henpecked Husband: Just about every married man, to some degree. Ebou Dari wives wear knives to slice up or murder their husbands when they misbehave (while women in Far Madding "only" keep a leather strap handy). Saldaean couples tend to resolve their differences through shouting matches, but this is actually a subversion, since it's supposed to prove that the husband isn't henpecked while also taking his wife seriously.
    • Perrin was like this with Faile for a long time. Since she's Saldaean, she always wanted him to stand up to her but he wouldn't. After she gets kidnapped and then subsequently rescued, he is much better about standing up to her, but occasionally backslides.
  • Hero Killer: Demandred waits until A Memory of Light to fight directly, but he takes down Gawyn, Galad (nonfatally), and very nearly Logain and Lan before being killed by the latter.
  • Hero of Another Story: The books show that everyone is a hero in their own story on the side of the Light. This is flat out stated in Book 14.
    Egwene's Spirit: Am I not allowed to be a hero, too? [...] You march to your death. Yet you forbid anyone else from doing so? [...] Let go, Rand. Let us die for what we believe, and do not try to steal that from us. You have embraced your death. Embrace mine.
    • Not just on the side of the Light; it's hinted in the last book (and confirmed by Word of God) that Demandred was essentially the hero of his own parallel version of the story in Shara.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In the second book, Ingtar doing his last stand vs the Seanchan army, to let the others escape.
    • Verin's sacrifice in the twelfth book is much quieter but no less heroic.
    • One of the most significant is Moiraine. Books 12 and 13 reveal that she's Not Quite Dead, but that doesn't make her "sacrifice" less meaningful as she did take out Lanfear out of the picture for quite a while.
    • In book 13, fittingly enough connected to undoing the previous one: Noal Charin. It, along with many other things in his life, result in him being made a Hero of the Horn.
    • Book 14 features many of these, as befits the Last Battle. Gawyn and Egwene die of these, while Lan and Galad do not.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • Mordeth. He is reason why Aridhol became Shadar Logoth because he convinced the residents there that they must become as evil as the Dark One in order to defeat the Dark One's forces.
    • Rand, as his sanity started slipping, became increasingly determined to harden himself in order to do what must be done. Characters around him become increasingly terrified of what he is becoming and what might happen if he were to fight the Dark One in such a state. Subverted at the end of book 12 when he learns to laugh again.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: The series has what are euphemistically known as "pillow friends", same-sex relationships that usually arise out of Situational Sexuality, like with the isolated trainees of the White Tower. For most of the White Tower's instances, the relationship dissolves about the time they become full Aes Sedai. Moiraine and Siuan Sanche, for instance, had such a relationship in the prequel, only to distance themselves and in later books become involved with men. The issue of "pillow friends" is complicated by how the same term can denote either such relationships, or simply mean "close friends". Though fortunately there are non-ambiguous examples, since in particular Elaida, Galina, and Thereva are clearly into women, and two of the Forsaken are bisexual. Sadly, the explicit lesbians fell into unfortunate stereotypes.
  • The High Queen: Queen Morgase.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: You have the a'dam, a slave collar that lets certain women control Chanelers. This means someone below a novice can control the strongest possible channeler if they have them captured. The male equivalent, the Domination Band, is even more appropriate, since it was made to control insane male channelers and briefly held Rand himself.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the last book:
    • In a hilariously magnificent move, Mat recruits the people of Hinderstap for the Last Battle. The villagers there are cursed to go into a murderous frenzy every night, only to be revived each morning, so by fighting in the Last Battle they were able to use the Dark One's evil against him.
    • Graendal is about to use her signature technique, Compulsion, on Aviendha when an exploding gateway backfires it onto herself.
    • During the Last Battle, Rand uses the trap within Callandor to draw a vast amount of the True Power, the Dark One's own essence, and uses it to rebuild the seal around his prison.
    • In Towers of Midnight, Rand points out that his particular manifestation of madness (which stems from the Dark One's taint on saidin) causes him to hear the voice of his previous incarnation in his head. But along with the ranting and raving comes knowledge of complex techniques and other information that help Rand succeed where he might otherwise be destroyed. As he points out, the taint itself is contributing to the Dark One's defeat.
    • The Seanchan leash and enslave any woman who displays a natural ability to channel. Not just any woman can be a sul'dam and hold the leash; only some women possess the necessary aptitude. The Seanchan are not initially aware that sul'dam are women who are capable of learning to channel, but haven't manifested it yet. They find this out when one of them is bound with the very leash she was using on a captured Aes Sedai.
    • Nynaeve works very hard to get the Kin to stand up for themselves and stop being so deferential to Aes Sedai. It works, but she did not expect them to stand up to HER.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Rand never takes full advantage of his Asha'man forces, each man a [1]. He could easily wipe out the Seanchan before they ever knew what hit them - with surprise attacks if nothing else, as male channeling cannot be directly detected by females and techniques that don't cause huge explosions are always an option. The parody says it best:
    Bashere: There are reports of a huge Seanchan army with hundreds of damane advancing towards Illian. You command over a million soldiers, and hundreds of Asha'man.
    Rand: I will take 5,000 soldiers and eight Asha'man.
    Bashere: It should work. With your mediocre planning and surrounding yourself with those who hate you, once again, you should just barely avoid complete disaster.
    • It is argued that Rand withholds his Asha'man forces for good reason: lack of trust; possibility of them going insane mid-combat (though this is less of a concern after saidin is cleansed); keeping them in reserve for the Last Battle; the worry that combat between damane and Asha'man could easily result in the effect of a small nuclear bomb; and his own almost uncontrollable urge to kill all of the Seanchan himself.
  • Holier Than Thou: The Children of the Light, and many Aes Sedai. Also the Seanchan.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Perrin's hammer Mah'alleinir burns shadowspawn at a touch.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Egwene's Dying Moment of Awesome might be the closest approximation. She uses the opposite of Balefire, repairing its damage to the fabric of reality and turning a huge chunk of the enemy forces into crystal statues.
    • The Horn of Valere also fits. A magical relic of unknown origins which summons dead heroes back from the grave to fight. First blown by Mat in book 2 to help defeat the Seanchan invaders. In the Grand Finale it is blown by Heartwarming Orphan Olver in order to save himself from the Shadowspawn who have him trapped.
  • Honor Before Reason: Rand a lot of the time.
    • The Aiel are a curious example. An extremely rigid system of honor defines the Aiel, so to them Honor is Reason.
    • The Tuatha'an and their Suicidal Pacifism have shades of this too. It is fitting, then, that the Aiel started out as a splinter sect of the Tuatha'an.
  • Hopeless War: The War of Power for the forces of the Light, the Trolloc Wars until Maighande.
    • The Aiel War was also pretty hopeless for the non-Aiel. The combined might of every nation between the Mountains of Mist and the Spine of the World, the Aes Sedai AND the Whitecloaks was only able to "win" because King Laman died in the final battle, which was all the Aiel really wanted. Not to mention that only a fraction of the Aiel actually went to fight the war.
  • Horse of a Different Color: The Seanchan ride torm (a cross between a cat and a lizard, with three eyes), raken (small pterosaurs), and to'raken (larger pterosaurs).
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Remarkably, instead of everyone becoming instant channeling masters, it takes a good three or four (or seven) books for the main characters to get a real grasp on channeling, with a lot of spectacular failures in the interim.
    • Even expert channelers have lost a lot of powerful and important techniques over the centuries
  • Human Weapon: The Asha'man are trained this way, to use their channeling for hugely destructive purposes, because of a dire need to get powerful soldiers in time for the Last Battle, but also because the price of their power drastically shortens their lifespan. Rand's instruction to the man placed in charge of the Black Tower is, "Make them weapons." He later changes his mind, sending in a messenger to tell them, "We're not weapons. We're men." This has its part in causing them to rally around him.
  • Hunter Of Her Own Kind: The Red Ajah to an extent, in that they are the Ajah that trains specifcally to take down others who can channel. Usually it's men, but that same training can be very useful for taking down Dreadlords.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Two different varieties.
    • The Ways, which was corrupted by the taint on saidin (or possibly by the Mashadar and the corruption of Shadar Logoth) and became a lightless abyss haunted by a soul-devouring wind.
    • The Void, the dark nothingness outside the Pattern that is used for Skimming. Infinite for all practical purposes - if you fall off the tiny platform you're on, you will either die of starvation, dehydration, or fear.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Here and there, but Nynaeve takes the cake, especially in book 5. Example:
    What she did not quite understand was why she liked Areina best. It was her opinion, putting this and that together, that nearly all of Areina’s troubles came from having too free a tongue, telling people exactly what she thought. [...] Nynaeve thought a few days of herself for example would do Areina worlds of good. -Ch. 49 "To Boannda," The Fires of Heaven
    • Mat complaining about Olver's behaviour with women.
  • Hypocrite: Seanchan culture is steeped in hypocrisy, which can make reading about them downright infuriating, as they spout their ideals self-righteously while subtly undermining them, though sometimes this is played for Hypocritical Humor. Major infractions include:
    • The Seanchan nobility, or Blood, claim descendancy from, and thus inheritance to, Artur Hawkwing's empire. Yet, leaving aside the fact that Hawkwing's empire technically dissolved upon his death, Seanchan operates on what seems to be a caste system but is in fact a meritocracy, with capable peasants raised to the Blood, while Blood or even imperials who have been caught in some misdeed can easily be made da'covale in retribution. Given the amount of dissent common among the High Blood, it's probable that the slave caste is more directly related to Hawkwing than the imperial family.
    • Imperial servants in general extoll forthrightness and honesty, keeping oaths etc., but the upper echelons of society are a Decadent Court, where most of the Blood periodically swear their allegiance to the throne while plotting to kill or defame each other.
    • Seanchan superstitiously follow vague and complicated omens while arbitrarily refusing to believe in more apparent supernatural phenomena such as ta'veren or Trollocs. However, some omens have been shown to be genuinely instructive, and Tuon's obedience to them was essential to her survival and ascendancy to the throne, so to a certain degree it boils down to cultural differences. It's also one of Tuon's more humanizing qualities, making her a more palatable character despite her unsettling origins and views.
    • Perhaps most disturbing of all, the Seanchan hold that all women with the "spark" or innate ability to channel must be leashed and controlled for the safety of all concerned. However, the women who hold the leashes, the sul'dam, are women without the innate "spark" but who could be taught to channel (though this is not widely known). When this is pointed out to Tuon, she refuses to accept that she is the same as the Aes Sedai, because she chooses not to channel despite having the ability, but girls collared in Seanchan are taken before the ability manifests, so they are never given the choice of whether to channel, and since they are born with the "spark" they would eventually have done so whether or not they wished to.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: In his fight against Eamon Valda, Galad deliberately holds back for most of the fight.
  • I Am Who?: Rand searches for the identity of his birth parents and is surprised by the results.
  • Idiot Ball: The first edition of the encyclopedia hands this to all the female channelers in the Age of Legends, who continued favouring the plan of using the twin super-sa'angreal against the Dark One even after the keys to them had been lost, making it entirely impossible to even attempt. The text states that they simply collectively froze like a deer in the headlights and refused to budge, forcing the Dragon and the male channelers to seal the Dark Ones prison alone. The second edition thankfully averts this by explaining that agents had been sent out to retrieve the keys and thus the plan still looked salvagable. It still wouldn't have worked - unbeknownst to anyone at the time, the agents had already failed in their mission by the time the debate raged - but it wasn't inherently unreasonable for the female channelers to put their hopes in it rather than in the Dragon's desperate gambit.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Lanfear reacts this way when Rand decisively rejects her.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Starting around the fourth book, Rand shows a lot of progress in dealing with the distracting situations he finds himself in. He's put around a bunch of Aiel women with no sense of privacy, his or theirs, and gets over it. When a political chessmaster sends women to try to seduce him, he makes an intimidating speech and scares them away. When Aviendha strips down in front of him, he looks away. (And finds a way to use it to embarrass her instead, prompting her to put her clothes back on at light-speed.) When Min, in a sort of inexperienced seduction attempt, begins planting herself in his lap while he's on his throne, he's still perfectly able to rule (though not without some initial internal discomfort). When Lanfear uses her powers to insert herself into his Erotic Dream, he doesn't even flinch.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Rand knows that the Wise Ones must know that he knows that they're trying to spy on him with Aviendha.
    • Also pretty much the definition of the Game of Houses.
  • I Like Those Odds: Birgitte tells Mat that the odds of getting back from the Tower of Ghenjei are one in a thousand. Mat responds by taking out "two dozen" coins and predicting that when he throws them every single one will land heads up (1/16,777,216 chance if there were exactly 24). They do, and Mat remarks that "One in a thousand is good odds, for me."
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Mat. Often when he gets into trouble, he is quick to remind the reader that he is "no bloody hero!"
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Considering that Birgitte, Min, and Aviendha can all feel what Elayne does when she was knocking boots with Rand, it's entirely justified that these three decide that there isn't enough booze in Caemlyn to deal with this but figure it's worth trying.
    • Mat's reaction when he finds out Birgitte's true identity. Her agreeing with him is the start of their friendship (and the fact that Elayne gets drunk by proxy is icing on the cake).
  • Informed Flaw: Elayne is occasionally described as having an uncontrollable sweet tooth, but she's never seen actually gobbling sweets, nor is there ever any indication of any softening of the waistline.
  • Inherent Gift:
    • There is a difference between people who can learn to channel and people who have the "spark" and will begin to channel whether they are trained or not.
    • Some channelers have innate Talents which let them (sometimes subconsciously) use the One Power in ways which would be difficult or impossible for those without the Talent. Examples include Healing, predicting the weather, Foretelling, finding ores, and comprehension/reconstruction of Lost Technology.
    • There are a variety of extremely rare abilities that people can be born with, such as naturally accessing the World of Dreams, talking to wolves, ways of seeing the future, sensing when another person is ta'veren, or being able to "sniff out" violence. Despite what some characters believe, these have no connection with the One Power.
  • In It for Life: Service as an Aes Sedai is intended to be lifelong. When the new Amyrlin Seat breaks tradition by demoting an Aes Sedai to Accepted, it causes a major scandal. Even when it's discovered that the Restraining Bolt that is a major part of their identity as Aes Sedai shortens their lifespan by several hundred years, there is a significant faction that would rather die as Aes Sedai than "retire" and have their lifespan restored.
  • In Name Only: In-Universe, this is how the Amyrlin Seat's position as "Watcher of the Seals" for the seals on the Dark One's prison is viewed, especially in Book 14, where this trope is brought up by name. Until very recently in the books, the seals had been missing. By the time of Book 14, when Egwene, the Amyrlin, confronts Rand about his proclamation that he is to break the seals, says that she is their Watcher... despite not even having them, and talking to their owner.
  • Insane Trolloc Logic: There's a fair share of this wandering around the westlands, partially due to Gossip Evolution. For instance, the appearance of the Dragon Reborn is a signal that The End of the World as We Know It is nigh. Therefore, if you kill The Dragon Reborn, the world will not end! What could be simpler! In a similar vein, characters suggest not hunting down the Horn of Valere, another known herald of Tarmon Gai'don.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: The Portal Stones, which were made in the First Age (our time).
  • Intimate Healing: After chasing someone into a blizzard, Rand has to do the "naked body warmth" variety. The person being someone who had been fighting her attraction to him, One Thing Leads To Another, and this particular woman had teleported herself into a blizzard precisely to avoid that.
    • After Myrelle takes custody of Lan upon Moiraine's "death," there are strong hints that she gives him a little of this to keep him distracted from the rage and grief that most Warders in his situation go through. The ethics of this treatment are left up to the reader to consider.
  • Invented Linguistic Distinction
    • Several mainland nations have linguistic quirks common to their natives, like Illianers' liberal use of "do" and "do be" as auxiliary verbs and Taraboners' tendency to end sentences with a "...yes?"
    • The Seanchan invaders have a highly distinctive slow, drawling accent, and several of them remark on how mainland accents are incomprehensibly fast and clipped by comparison.
    • The Sharans speak in a Creepy Monotone when their army shows up out of nowhere to fight for the Shadow in the Final Battle.
    • The Aiel are on Full-Name Basis with everyone: among themselves, they don't have surnames and consider it a very intimate gesture to use an abbreviated pet name.
  • Irony: At the end of the first book, Rand swears that he'd cut off his hand before touching the power again...
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: At one point Thom notes that Mat is given everything he needs even if he doesn't realize what he needs it for at the time. It's quickly attributed to his unbelievably good luck as a Ta'veren.
  • It Only Works Once: In Book 1, the party takes a shortcut from Caemlyn to Fal Dara, by use of the Waygates. Shortly after the party leaves the place, Padan Fain comes through, and encounters the Black Wind, both of which view each other as kindred spirits, of a sort. From that point on, the Black Wind is as fixated on Rand as Fain is. In Book 2, Rand and his current party attempt to take the Waygates to Falme, only to find the Black Wind right at the gate, waiting. They attempt a different Waygate, reasoning that the Wind cannot be in all locations at one time. While correct, the Wind is still waiting for them at the next Waygate.
    • Minor example, as it's only Rand that the Waygates only worked for once. Perrin uses the Waygates in book 4, only encountering the Wind at the end of the journey. And, at some point, Rand discovers both Skimming and Travelling, rendering the Waygates obsolete.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Rand takes this approach toward not only his love interests, but his father and hometown as well. The possibility of his enemies discovering his attachment to any of them is one of his greatest fears, so Rand purposely distances himself in order to protect them.
  • Jackass Genie: The Eelfinn.
  • Jerkass: Egwene seems to be the only character never called out for it—and never to reflect on it, despite her bullying of Nynaeve from book 4 onward, her condescension towards Mat and Rand, and her (rather hypocritical) judgmentalism towards Moiraine's tactics.
    • Rand doesn't bat an eye at the countless good men who die for him (or because of him), but Semirhage of all people goes onto his little list of self-punishment?
      • This changes after his little epiphany at the end of The Gathering Storm. He recognizes the idiocy in that and compiles a mental list of every single person who has ever died in his name or because of his actions.
  • Kangaroo Court: In Book 4, Siuan is on the receiving end of one of these courts, led by Elaida. Although all of the Sitters were handpicked by Elaida in order to get Siuan deposed, stilled, and executed, the rebel Sitters insist on claiming that what was done was legal, as Elaida had the bare minimum of Sitters required. Later, we find that some of those Sitters were Black Ajah, which invalidated the whole proceeding. Not to mention one of the Forsaken.
  • Karmic Rape: The fate of minor villain Galina. It couldn't have happened to a nicer lady, but being taken back to the Waste, broken and helpless, as a toy for a particularly nasty Shaido Wise One was enough to make many readers feel sorry for her, Stupid Evil or no.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The original blademaster's sword Rand gets from his father is similar in design, as the officially-licensed collectible replica demonstrates. Taking it even further, Mat gets a Blade on a Stick called an ashandarei, a possible Expy of the Japanese naginata (though it also resembles a European glaive, or a Polish war scythe) or the Chinese Guan Do, which is associated with several famous Chinese generals and more than one God of War.
  • Kidanova: Olver.
    • With some Kavorka Kid mixed in. Olver is noted as being extremely ugly, and unlikely to ever grow out of it.
  • Kill It with Fire: Happens a lot, as many channelers use fireballs as their preferred attack weaves even when there are more efficient alternatives. Despite its name, balefire doesn't really fit the trope.
  • Kissing Cousins: Zigzagged with Rand al'Thor and Elayne. Rand finds out that his mother was Tigraine and becomes worried that he is related to Elayne, since both Tigraine and Elayne's mother Morgase were noblewomen in Andor. He traces his family back, and is horrified to learn that Tigraine and Morgase were cousins which leaves him Squicked out. However, it turns out that Morgase and Tigraine were not actually closely related, and "cousins" is just a term for other noblewomen in Andor who descend from the same general bloodline, and Rand and Elayne are not really closely enough in blood to make a difference. However, while her family line is too distant from his to really make a difference, Tigraine and Morgase both descend from the same long-dead queen many generations back, meaning that Elayne really is Rand's cousin, albeit a very distant one. Also, they have a mutual half-brother, Galad, who is the son of Rand's mother and Elayne's father.
  • Kiss-Kiss-Slap: Rand's relationship with his three girlfriends. Other relationships in the series fluctuate between this and Slap-Slap-Kiss.
  • Klingon Promotion: One of the two ways to become a Blademaster is by defeating an extant Blademaster in fair, one-on-one combat. Rand and Galad become Blademasters in this way.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: Inverted. The Aiel warrior culture deeply respects blacksmiths, and they read voraciously when they can get ahold of new books.
  • Kneel Before Zod
    "...or you will be knelt!"
  • Knife Nut:
    • Thom is probably the most notable. From the very first book, he was not only performing fancy knife tricks but also using them to kill enemies with contemptuous ease.
    • Mat learned from Thom and carries enough knives to impress the Aiel. Once he gets his ashandarei he uses his knives a little bit less frequently.
    • Faile carries so many knives that Perrin worries about stabbing himself by accident if he hugs her.
    • Min packs more knives than might be necessary. She was already a Knife Nut before meeting Thom, but then picked up a few new tricks from him.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Gawyn, Perrin, Talmanes, for that matter almost every noble/general who isn't a Darkfriend or megalomaniac.
  • Kudzu Plot: And how! Of course, leading to Loads and Loads of Characters.
  • Lady Killer In Love: Mat to Tuon, not that he'll admit it.
  • Lady of Black Magic: A lot of powerful female channelers fit this mold. Many of them belong to the Green Ajah, sometimes called the "Battle Ajah," though there are plenty of other examples among the other Ajahs and in the ranks of the Shadow.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: See Fate Worse than Death, many of the entries also apply here.
    • Graendal spent the series mind-controlling people until her own Compulsion weave backfires and she gets locked into eternal Compulsion to Aviendha.
    • Mesaana, the evil scholar so proud of her intelligence, gets turned into an Empty Shell, her mind utterly broken.
    • Elaida, Lliandrin, and Galina, all overproud, powerful, and authoritarian women, all end up locked in some form of slavery.
    • The very Aes Sedai who created the a'dam, Deain, was collared at some point after she presented the idea to Luthair; apparently "her screams shook the Towers of Midnight."
  • Last Stand: When Manetheren was invaded by trollocs, their army spent itself to the last man in defense against an invading force that stretched to the horizon, and are implied to have traded themselves at a rate of at least one human to ten trollocs. This is after they had marched for days on end with no rest to reach Manetheren in time. And when the army was finally slaughtered, the queen of Manetheren killed herself to burn every single magic-wielder in the enemy army to ash.
  • Law of Conservation of Detail: It's hard to tell if this is being followed and we're just not seeing it, or if Jordan crumpled it up, stomped it a couple times, and threw it into the fire.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Assuming that Aviendha does indeed get pregnant with her quadruplets after the sex scene in book 14 as many readers assume, Rand produces an incredible six children in just three total sexual encounters with Elayne and Aviendha. Bonus points go to Elayne, who gets pregnant with twins her first time. A mild example because, while the pregnancies certainly aren't planned, they also aren't unwelcome.
  • Lean and Mean: Lampshaded. Never trust a skinny innkeeper.
  • LEGO Genetics: The Trollocs are created from "human and animal genetic stock." But hey, A Wizard Did It with SCIENCE.
    • Implied, especially in the the guide to be a serious case of You Do Not Want To Know.
    • The only person who managed it was made a Forsaken purely on the basis of being able to do that. He was mediocre at just about all of the other things the folks on the dark side do, but that accomplishment was so impressive that he got recruited to the inner circle of team evil, and took up Shadowspawn breeding full-time.
      • Given the importance of the Shadowspawn to the Shadow's strategies, Aginor (the aforementioned Forsaken) is undoubtedly one of the most useful members of that group. The others were generals and spies and demagogues. Aginor built armies that would plague the world long after he was sealed.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: Light is the force of good, while the Shadow is the force of evil.
  • Light Is Good: And Dark Is Evil
  • Light Is Not Good: The Children of the Light/"Whitecloaks," although there are a few good ones among them (and their leader, Pedron Niall, shows a refreshing amount of Pragmatic Villainy by the standards of this series).
  • Live-Action Adaptation: Amazon Studios is filming as of September 2019.
  • Living Crashpad: With Born Lucky Mat Cauthon, who once killed an attacker by intentionally throwing himself off the roof while grabbing with them. He landed on top and the other person died in the impact.
    • Mind you, the death of said attacker had less to do with the impact of the landing than with the fact that said impact managed to stab his own knife into his heart
  • Living Legend: Many, if not most, of the characters.
    • Most apt would be Birgitte Silverbow, a Hero of the Horn, who is now wandering around the real world again.
    • The ta'veren Power Trio - Rand, Mat, and Perrin - have literal, justified in-universe Plot Armor, so they can tell fate to go fudge itself. Their DistaffCounterparts - Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha - are particularly strong channelers, who have discovered long-lost or completely new weaves. Min has a completely unique prophetic ability. Most of the above, and several other characters as well, have become politically important leaders over the course of the story, except for some who started out that way. Basically, the only people who don't qualify are the people Jordan doesn't see fit to mention.
    • Cadsuane Melaidhrin gets this treatment from other Aes Sedai. When she first shows up, several of them greet her with "I thought you were dead," although it's soon clear that what they meant was "I hoped you were dead."
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Over 2600 as of Book 13: Towers of Midnight. This page lists them all.
  • Long-Running Book Series
  • Loophole Abuse: Aes Sedai take this trope and not only run with it but they manage to take the family farm, get elected as Mayor, and take over the Women's Circle. The main reason that people don't trust Aes Sedai is that they'll make a promise or statement they have no intention of keeping and just find ways around it, they are very good at this. This bites the Black Ajah in the ass when Verin exploits a very obvious loophole in their secrecy clause by poisoning herself to pass on the identites of all the Black Ajah she's been able to uncover.
  • Lord Error-Prone: Weiramon. He may or may not be displaying Obfuscating Stupidity.
    • It's hard to believe anyone could be quite as dumb, complacent, and arrogant as he seems, especially in a court like he comes from, but on the other hand he's been around for at least half the series and still has yet to reveal any hidden depths, so...
      Weiramon: Excellent plan, my liege. Shall I charge at the opposing army?
      Rand: No. That’s a corn field.
      —Isam's snarky summaries
      • Book 13 confirms that he's a Darkfriend, which might explain some of his idiocy.
  • Lost Technology: Rare remnants of the Age of Legends that draw on the One Power. Angreal increase the amount of power that can be safely channeled by a person. Sa'angreal are far rarer and more powerful versions of angreal. Ter'angreal, however, were each designed to do a particular thing and hence vary hugely in their function; some don't even require channeling to activate. The original purposes of most are largely unknown, and attempts to discover their purposes are extremely dangerous. Known ter'angreal include the Oath Rod, items allowing access to the World of Dreams, a nigh-impossible-to-control balefire rod, various portals to other dimensions, Anti-Magic and magic detection items, portable wards against evil, the Choedan Kal's buffered access keys...
  • Love Across Battlelines: Gawyn and Egwene end up on opposite sides in the schism in the White Tower.
  • Lovely Assistant: Nynaeve gets this job at Valan Luca's circus.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Lanfear. While she once loved Lews Therin, after he rejected her it became obsession.
  • Love Makes You Evil:
    • Lanfear turns to the Shadow ostensibly due to her obsession with ex-lover Lews Therin, but her main focus is always power.
    • In Book 14 Demandred considers all the ways how Lews Therin wronged him. That list ends with the reflection that Lews 'stole' Ilyena, who Lews married. It is entirely possible that Demandred's fall to evil was because of a woman.
    • And from the above two it may be inferred that had Lews married Lanfear (or Mierin as she was then), not only would Demandred have possibly married Ilyena and not fallen into evil, but that Mierin wouldn't have drilled the Bore into reality and freed the evil for anyone to fall to it (apart from those evil already, like Semirhage). For want of a nail, indeed.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: The Black Wind.

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