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Note that, due to the Loads and Loads of Characters nature of this series, this list is nowhere near complete or comprehensive, and is nowhere near enough to allow you to actually understand the plot.

As always, this page is still under construction. If you have the time and inclination, feel free to contribute.


Rand al'Thor

File:RandAlThor 4537.jpg

A farm boy from a village so remote that they didn't even know they were technically part of a kingdom, Rand had no idea he was adopted until one fateful Winternight when Trollocs attacked his home town. Thereafter he was told by the story's Obi-Wan that The Dark One was trying to find him (or perhaps one of his two friends, Mat Cauthon and Perrin Aybara), and convinced to flee. This was just the first step in Rand's journey into discovering that he is a male channeler, The Dragon Reborn, and fated by the Wheel of Time to lead the fight against Shai'tan...

  • Achey Scars: Caused by cursed weapons.
  • Badass: By the latest book, Rand is the single most powerful being in the world. He is the strongest channeler, arguably the most skilled channeler as well- along with controlling roughly half the continent the story takes place on. Add to this the fact that he cleansed the Taint from saidin (giving the Light its only true victory in 3,000 years) and carried enough power to unmake reality itself.
    • In book 13, Rand goes out on the battlefield against enough Trollocs, Fades, Dragkhar, to overrun the Borderlands in a few days, even if every Borderlander goes to fight against them. Alone Not only does he completely curb-stomp every single one of them, but the sheer amount of power he used drove every Darkfriend within a few miles radius completely insane.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: And it's sending a bazillion shadowspawn to say hello.
  • Celibate Hero: For the first five books or so in the series, Rand is pretty much one of these. Although at least part of it is that he considers himself in a (heretofore non-sexual) relationship first with Egwene and then with Elayne. Sort of. Still, he has a LOT of opportunities that he turns down, and he's explicitly the last of the three Two Rivers boys to get laid. The explanation is probably that he's confused and playing it safe.
    • Also a little Chaste Hero-ish at times, particularly with regards to Min and to a lesser extent Aviendha for a while.
  • Changeling Fantasy
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: With Egwene.
  • The Chosen One: Who chose him? Everyone! He's The Dragon Reborn for the Westlands and Seachan Empire; he's He Who Comes With The Dawn for the Aiel; he's The Coramoor for the Sea Folk...
    • Hell even the wolves have a name for him: Shadowkiller
  • Despair Event Horizon: Oh boy howdy does Rand ever blow straight through this and out the other side in The Gathering Storm. He gets better.
  • Determinator: Suffers from 6 separate wounds that will never heal and give him constant pain. Two of these were made by very nasty things and are literally competing with other for the opportunity to kill him- oh, and did we mention that anytime he overexerts himself they tear open and he nearly bleeds out? Then he lost a hand. Beyond this, there is the massive psychological trauma of discovering what he is and what he must do to succeed. Rand's reaction to all this? Push harder.
  • Enemy Within: Rand's personal expression of madness is that he hears the voice of his previous incarnation, Lews Therin Telamon, in his head. LTT appears to be an actual personality and has gotten into conversations with Rand, and at one point took control of Rand's ability to channel and showed off some fancy spells.
    • Interestingly, according to Semirhage, Lews Therin in Rand's head is real, where the voices that most channelers hear are not. This is not a good thing, as it only serves to highlight how far Rand's descent into madness has gone. However, this is one of the Forsaken we're talking about, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • Farm Boy
  • Fights Like a Normal: For the first half of the series, he sticks to fighting with a sword, since he's not sure exactly what's going to happen when he tries to channel.
  • Fisher King: Particularly apparent in Towers of Midnight.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Well, to start with, even if Rand wins, the world's still gonna be a shambles.
    • Subverted as of Towers of Midnight.
  • Gray Eyes: Sometimes appearing as Blue Eyes in the right lighting.
  • Heroic BSOD: An epic version.
  • Honor Before Reason
  • How Do I Shot Web?: All the channelers experience this to a large degree, but Rand especially: despite being the Reincarnation of the most powerful magician ever, he still does half of everything by instinct, sometimes learning from himself by Mega Manning a spell he didn't know existed until he saw himself cast it; and sometimes he can't even touch the Power at all. He finally manages to Take A Level In Badass during the fifth book, when he gets a teacher.
  • Hurting Hero: He's a Destructive Savior. He's the Dragon Reborn in a world where the Dragon's Fang is a symbol for evil. He's fully aware that his magic is tainted and will drive him mad. Fain sends Trollocs to ravage his hometown just to hurt him. People who should really be on his side lock him in a box, taking him out only to beat him. Semirhage nearly forces him to kill his lover.
    • Going along with the Destructive Savior motif, Rand is kind of a Lucifer figure, in certain respects. In much the same way that Rand al'Thor sounds vaguely reminiscent of Arthur, Lews Therin Telamon (AKA The Dragon, Rand's last incarnation) sounds like Lucifer. Add to this that one of Lews Therin's apellations was Lord of the Morning ("Lucifer" = "morning star"), that Rand himself is known as He Who Comes with the Dawn among the Aiel, and the manner in which the Dragon is regarded in Rand's era, and there you go. Not a 100% match, obviously, but still, it's there.
  • Idiot Ball: All the time. He is hardly alone in this; Idiot Ball seems to be a Signature Style for Robert Jordan in this series. This is exacerabated by the fact that, with their wits about them, Jordan's characters are fairly competent and sometimes even Genre Savvy.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Does this to two of his love interests, but can't bear to do it to the third. This is also the reason he never drops by to visit his village or his father.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: boy howdy.

  Jasin Natael: “I would not take your place for all the world, not with the fate that accompanies it. Death or madness, or both. ‘His blood on the rocks of Shayol Ghul... ’ That is what The Karaethon Cycle, the Prophecies of the Dragon, says, is it not? That you must die to save fools who will heave a sigh of relief at your death. No, I would not accept that for all your power and more.”


Matrim Cauthon

File:Mat 3444.jpg

A troublemaker with a penchant for jokes, women, wine and gambling, Mat was stolen away on Winternight at the same time Rand was. Figuring he was just being swept along on an adventure, Mat had no idea that he too was a ta'veren, almost as important to the Light as Rand is. While he can't channel, Mat has developed an impressive array of Badass powers and has become The General in a lot of ways. He also has more Crowning Moment of Funny to his name than the whole rest of the cast combined.

  • Accidental Marriage
  • Badass: Hoo boy.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Mat blows his Three Wishes this way. Mind you, he thought he was going to get three true answers, and made his wishes in a frustrated rant. Fortunately for him, his wishes were actually pretty good ones even if he made them without realizing it.
  • Because Destiny Says So, Mat will have to: 1) give up half the light of the world to save the world; 2) come Back From the Dead; and 3) marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons. How they played out:
    • Back From the Dead: Happened either right then and there in Book 4, in which he is hanged but not killed, or in Book 5, when he is lightning'd to death by Rahvin but gets better when Rand kills Rahvin with balefire, a spell which causes in-universe Rewrites. (Word of God is that it's the second, but Mat, who quite logically can't remember having died since, in the "official" timeline, he didn't, thinks it's the first!)
    • Arranged Marriage: He said his vows in Book 9, she in 11. (Don't ask.)
    • [[spoiler: Light of the world: book 13. Rather than winning a battle or sacrificing others, he allows the Eelfinn to rip out his eye, permanently removing half the "light" of the world and dooming half of his vision to eternal darkness.
  • Blade on a Stick: His Weapon of Choice is some sort of curve-bladed spear which he uses as a quarterstaff. Prior to this he subscribed to The Archer and Simple Staff schools of thought. He also has a ton of knives, primarily for throwing.
    • The spear turns out to be a Chekhov's Gun that can open portals between the Finn's world and Randland.
  • Blase Boast: When he wants to impress a woman.
  • Born Lucky: Very much so, especially as he comes into his power as a ta'veren. He practically can't go for a walk without tripping over a Chekhov's Gun.
  • Butt Monkey: His "luck" has more to do with random events favoring him when he desperately needs it than with being fortunate or happy. If you were to hear described everything that happens to him in the series without luck being mentioned, you wouldn't think he was lucky at all.
  • Casanova and Chivalrous Pervert
  • The Charmer: To a T.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Mat himself. There's a MacGuffin called the "Horn of Valere" which uses Summon Magic to call the souls of very special heroes into battle for a short time; its use will be mandatory during Tarmon Gai'don. Once a person has blown it, nobody else can. Mat blew it in Book Two. Do you see where we're going with this?
  • Cunning Like a Fox: Mat is referred to in prophecies as "The Fox that makes the Ravens fly" (ravens being the symbol of the Seanchan Empire, from whence his destined wife comes from).
  • Deadpan Snarker: So very much. Mat is far and away the snarkiest character in the series.
  • Deconfirmed Bachelor
  • Double Standard Rape (Female on Male): Played for Laughs. Mat gets "pursued" later in the series by a Mrs. Robinson who won't take no for an answer. He learns to live with it.
    • Black Comedy Rape: Elayne jokes about how he's getting a taste of his own medicine, although she does apologize.
  • Eye Scream: In Towers of Midnight, the Eel'finn rip one of his eyes out as their price to release Moiraine.
  • Friend to All Children: When he was infected with the Hate Plague the only people he relaxed around were children. He ends up rescuing Olver later.
  • The Gambler
  • Genetic Memory: While all three boys have this to a fair extent, Mat has more moments with it than the other two, being subconsciously fluent in the Old Tongue.
    • In the first book he shouts Manetheren's war cry
  • Genre Blind: Exhibits some of this in the first book, particularly in Shadar Logoth. This leads straight to his being infected by a...
  • Hate Plague which made him a major Jerkass. The two together soured a lot of the fandom on him.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: With a dash of Selective Obliviousness--repeatedly Mat keeps insisting he wants to protect Olver from harmful influences and would like to know who among the Band is corrupting him with swearing and Casanova / Chivalrous Pervert tendencies. But it should be fairly clear to the reader that said person is...Mat himself.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: He just wants to drink and gamble and chase girls. The Pattern keeps forcing him to deal with Aes Sedai, nobles, and people trying to kill him.
    • Unlike many examples, instead of wanting to be normal, Mat continually insists that he is normal, and is just an ordinary guy caught up in Aes Sedai business and Rand's destiny. Despite the fact that he has supernatural luck, an Anti-Magic medallion, the memories of history's greatest generals, helped invent cannons, is probably the best non-magical fighter in the series, and is married to the most powerful woman in the world. You sometimes get a sense that he knows he's lying to himself.
      • After he gets married, he continually insists that just because his wife is a noble, it does NOT make him a noble. Cue several characters telling him "Yes, it does."
  • Instant Expert: After picking up an Artifact of Doom and being cured of its Hate Plague, Mat wakes up with "holes" in his memory. Later, they are filled (and/or over-filled) with hundreds of people's memories, all of whom are soldiers. With so many leaders to draw on, he can step into the role of The Strategist with ease.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: after he gets healed of the Hate Plague (and actually becomes a narrator), he starts showing his true colors. (Not coincidentally, the fandom's opinion of him improved markedly.)

  The Amyrlin gave an exasperated sigh. “You remind me of my uncle Huan. No one could ever pin him down. He liked to gamble, too, and he’d much rather have fun than work. He died pulling children out of a burning house. He wouldn’t stop going back as long as there was one left inside. Are you like him, Mat? Will you be there when the flames are high?”


 Mat: When Thom puts this all into song, he better remember my hat. It really is a nice hat.

  • Power Trio: The McCoy side of it, with shades of Fragile Speedster, Plucky Comic Relief and The Smart Guy.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Mat is frequently characterized as having things in common with Odin, a Trickster Archetype from Norse Mythology. Notably, Odin once sacrificed an eye for wisdom, which might explain that "give up half the light of the world to save the world" thing...
    • Not forgetting that Odin had himself hanged in order to gain wisdom.
      • Nor that Odin is also The General of the Norse Pantheon, and has a magic Blade on a Stick.
      • And ravens named Thought and Memory (carved on Mat's ashanderei. And the gift of poetic inspiration (the Old Tongue). And magical abilities in a society where magic is female (the foxhead medallion). And...yeah, he's freakin Odin. As of The Gathering Storm, he rides into essentially Valhalla with a couple of Aes Sedai as his Valkyries.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Mat's Accidental Marriage to Tuon.
  • The Strategist: From Book 5 and onwards.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Book 4, when Mat gets the Three Wishes and much of his signature equipment (foxhead Anti-Magic medallion, Weapon of Choice, Instant Expert memories). However, he doesn't get to show off that level until Book 5...
  • The Trickster
  • True Love Is Exceptional: Lampshaded in one book. His destined love is a noble, can learn to channel, and is boyishly slim. His usual type is the exact opposite of that.
  • Upperclass Twit: How Mat looks upon every noble alive.
  • Winds of Destiny Change: Again, Mat is a ta'veren. This is par for the course for him. Unlike Rand and Perrin, though, he normally gets good contrived coincidences, whereas theirs can go either way.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Subverted. Kills a girl when she turns out to be The Mole. (Was also his lover.)
    • It's made clear that this was an accident. He was only trying to defend himself, and she got killed in the process — which Mat was upset about, thinking to himself that he "kisses women, not kills them." In a later book, he makes a nearly fatal mistake in hesitating to kill another woman, with Tuoncoming to the rescue and commenting on his oddly endearing "weakness". Mat's not as bad about this as Rand, but he's still pretty bad.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Mat tries to Screw Destiny on a regular basis, for instance by determinedly saddling his horse in Book 5 and deciding he will not participate in a major battle Rand is trying to win. But he sees some troops who are about to walk into an ambush and stops to warn them. By the end of the day, he has taken command of that squad, enlarged it into a personal army, killed the enemy general in single combat, and become by popular acclaim the hero of the day. (In comparison, Rand spends his time playing artillery from a tower, which eventually gets knocked over by bad-guy lightning.)

Perrin Aybara

File:Perrin 2757.jpg

An apprentice blacksmith and son of farmers, careful with his strength, Perrin is the quiet one. He thinks, he's careful, he's spare with words. He is also, like his childhood friends Rand and Mat, a ta'veren, and uniquely talented in his own right. He is the closest to the Farm Boy archetype of the Power Trio, being close with his parents and mustering most of his followers and resources from their hometown of The Two Rivers.

Others from the Two Rivers

Egwene al'Vere

File:Egwene 2761.jpg

A girl who grew up in Emond's Field with Rand, to whom she has a Childhood Marriage Promise. Being a Plucky Girl, she insists on going on the adventure with Rand, and eventually finds out that she can channel. She then spends exactly half a book at Wizarding School before getting Idiot Ball'd into various adventures and misadventures. As with many (seemingly) secondary characters, she has become a leading character in her own right as the books progress.

  • The Ace: Is quite strong in all five elements, can split her flows fourteen ways and is a very strong dreamer. Also manages to reinvent the weave to create cuendillar with only Moghedien's limited knoweledge.
    • Of course, she's like a drop in the ocean compared to Rand. (This is not meant to indicate that Egwene is weak; to the fandom's knowledge, she's one of the top 20 female channelers in the world. It's simply to point out that, where Rand is concerned, Readings Are Off the Scale.)
  • Berserk Button: During the second book, Egwene is tricked into being captured by the Seanchan, who chain her up and, as is their custom with channelers, start treating her like a dehumanized pet. Specifically, a device called an a'dam is used to let other people control her channeling. Don't show Egwene one unless you want the crap beat out of you.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In-universe, other characters tend to regard her as the most likeable and least annoying of the female Power Trio of herself, Nyneave, and Elayne. Which means that she can be just as bitchy as they are (and sometimes even worse) without anyone in-universe noticing or calling her out on it.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: With Rand. Eventually broken with no ill feelings on either side. She is still good friends with Rand, and serves as an Honest Advisor to him at times. Which he often needs.
  • Distressed Damsel
  • Dream Land: Tel'aran'rhiod, the World of Dreams. Egwene is a "dreamwalker" and can visit this place naturally, whereas most people just sort of flit in and out randomly. Eventually she goes to visit the local Proud Warrior Race, the Aiel, who have people who specialize in dreamwalking.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Egwene also has this ability, including an Either/Or Prophecy where one character will either kneel to her or kill her. It was her Love Interest Gawyn. He knelt.
  • Dream Within a Dream: One of the mechanics of T'A'R is that you can visit other people's dreams. If that person has very strong feelings about you, they can yank you into their dream — which is very dangerous in a world where Your Mind Makes It Real. Fortunately for Egwene, this turns into a bizarre Meet Cute that sets her up with her actual Love Interest.
  • Girlish Pigtails: The Aiel threaten to put her in this if she doesn't shape up. They do, during a brief time. (They are also able to do this to her in Tel'aran'rhiod at will.)
  • Guile Hero: As the Amyrlin.
  • Honor Before Reason: A quality of the Aiel culture which Egwene adopts.
  • Reassignment Backfire: Was elected Amyrlin of the rebel Aes Sedai essentially as a Fall Girl to Take The Heat, since the rebels originally intended to just make a little show of defiance before rejoining the tower. Boy did that not go according to plan.
  • Promoted to Opening Titles: not literally, but Egwene started the series looking like a supporting character and love interest, but by now is absolutely integral to the plot. By some measures she's more important than Perrin and Mat.
  • They Do: finally, as of Book 13.
  • Took a Level In Badass: What happens when she adopts Honor Before Reason. (It Makes Sense in Context: She does this right before she goes back to Wizarding School, which has a higher Smug Snake-per-capita ratio than a Corrupt Corporate Executive Convention.)
  • Ungrateful Bastard: To Mat in Book 3. Unlike Nyneave and Elayne, has never made up for it. Also to Nynaeve, in several books, but especially in Book 5. Has never made up for that, either.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: To Rand; or Rand to her (depending on which character you like better).
  • Unwanted Rescue: Siuan, Gareth and Gawyn rescuing her from the White Tower and thus potentially ruining her efforts to overthrow Elaida peacefully.
  • Whack a Mole / Witch Hunt: One of the misadventures Egwene gets into at Wizarding School. Promptly leading to another misadventure where one of said Moles gets her captured by the Seanchan. (Again, Idiot Ball moment.)
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Why was she summoned back to Wizarding School? So that they could make her a puppet Amyrlin, of course! Egwene has other ideas, which aforementioned Level In Badass helps her achieve. (Seriously. She's in charge of a rebel faction of Aes Sedai, but just via Pillars of Moral Character she manages to get all the legitimate ones to defect to her!)

Nynaeve al'Meara

File:Nynaeve 5657.jpg

A Tsundere of the highest caliber, Nynaeve was formerly the "Wisdom" (read: herb granny) of Emond's Field, despite being all of 24 when the books started. After Moiraine "kidnaps" Rand, Mat, Perrin and Egwene (Nynaeve's apprentice), Nynaeve rushes off to bring the kids back. Instead she gets roped into the adventure, especially after Moiraine notices that Nynaeve too can channel. Though she's the only Two Rivers character who hasn't become a main character in her own right, she's kept around for her muscle: she is the strongest female channeler on the good-guy side.

  • Badass: In addition to being able to handle more of the Power than most male channelers, until Book 9 she was also one of only three good-guy characters to have faced the Forsaken head-on. The second is Rand. The third had to resort to either Back Stabs with Death Rays or a Taking You with Me Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In ToM Nynaeve reveals she used to wish that Rand would 'grow up' until he actually did 'grow up' by becoming as hard as cuendillar.
  • Break the Haughty: Undergoes this in Book 5 at the hands of Moghedein and Egwene.
  • Character Tics: That whole braid-tugging thing.
  • Character Development: Starts off as one of the more annoying females, but unlike most she actually matures as the story continues. She even stops tugging her braid.
  • Cowardly Lion: Undergoes a phase of this, which began during the Break the Haughty storyline in Book 5. The last mention of it was early in Book 7, which suggests that finally hooking up with Lan later in the same book snapped her out of it.
  • Distressed Damsel: She still manages to get herself captured or compromised at least once per novel for Books 2 through 5.
  • Dye or Die
  • First Girl Wins: Nynaeve is this to Lan. (Narrative-wise, at least; Lan's like twice her age, so it's really doubtful she's the first 'girl' he ever met ever.)
    • The prequel confirms that this is only true of the main sequence novels.
  • The Gift: Nynaeve is so genetically predisposed to channeling that, even in the absence of training, she began to do it instinctively. Three people out of four who have The Gift but lack training end up killing themselves with uncontrolled channeling. The "wilders" who survive are saddled with major impediments.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Later in the series; even readers who still hate her admit that was pretty awesome.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: While all the major characters get this at Wizarding School, Nynaeve is the most prominent example: instead of spending a couple years as a Novice, she gets jumped directly to Accepted, solely on the virtue of her strength. (Egwene and Elayne get their promotions by Book 3.) By Book 6 they're Aes Sedai in name, too.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Never commented on in-universe, but she spends more time with Elayne than wiht any other character in the series.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: "Wilders" manage to control their channeling by developing a "mental block" to avoid knowing what it is they're actually doing. This block needs to be broken later so that the channeler can use the Power consistently. Nynaeve's is that she can't channel unless she's angry, and it takes her seven books to get past it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: a main perpetrator of it, due to a ferocious case of Selective Obliviousness. This may have something to do with the fandom's Love It or Hate It response to the character.
  • Mama Bear: The reason she left her hometown and learned magic was to protect the above four characters.
  • The Medic: Nynaeve's main passion is Healing, up to and including inventing her own spells for it.
  • Older Than They Look: Because Wizards Live Longer. Since she's already young for her original position, she's a bit touchy about her age.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Fortunately, Robert Jordan had the sense to avert actual Power Levels, but it's known that Egwene is stronger than every living Aes Sedai by a large margin... and that Nynaeve is stronger than her by a large margin. The only channelers on this whole Characters page who equal or exceed her strength are 1) Rand and 2) Bad Guys.
  • Recurring Boss: Moghedien, one of the Forsaken. It's Personal to both of them.
  • Tsundere: Even by the standards of this series, in which basically every woman is a Type A Tsundere, Nynaeve stands out... until her Character Development finishes and she's closer to a Type B, if anything.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: To Mat in Book 3. She has since made up for it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Aviendha and Birgitte call her and Elayne out for being Ungrateful Bastards to Mat.


Rand's horse at the beginning of the series, she gets passed around to different characters and has ended up seeing quite a bit of the world. Like Narg, below, she has become something of a literal Ensemble Darkhorse. Joking Fanon holds that Rand is a Decoy Protagonist, and Bela will destroy the Dark One with her Belafire.

Royal Line of Andor

Andor is the largest and most populous country in the West. The oldest tradition of Andor is that only a queen must sit on the Lion Throne of Andor, and wear the Rose Crown. The eldest daughter is known as the Daughter-Heir, and is always sent to Tar Valon to study. The eldest brother of the Daughter-Heir is sworn to protect her with his life, and is prepared from an early age to take control of Andor's army. He is given the title First Prince of the Sword. Elaida Sedai had a foretelling that the royal line of Andor would be critical to the Last Battle. This foretelling could refer simply to Rand who is the son of Tigraine but Galad, Elayne and Gawyn are all set to be major players in the last battle.

Elayne Trakand

File:Elayne 9925.jpg

The Daughter-Heir of Andor. Elayne, like most daughters of House Trakand, was sent to The White Tower to study with the Aes Sedai. However, unlike most daughters of House Trakand, this is not merely a formality in Elayne's case: she can actually channel, and she will be the first Aes Sedai on the Lion Throne in some years. In the meanwhile, she gets swept up into the grand scheme of things, partially because she becomes friends with Egwene and partially because she's got a thing for Rand.

  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: She is now the Queen of Andor.
  • Badass Princess
  • Blue Eyes: Rand notes when he first sees her that her eyes are "bluer than he could believe."
  • Distressed Damsel: Especially since she spends a lot of time teamed up with Nynaeve.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Her official title is "Daughter-Heir," but it's pretty obvious what that's supposed to mean.
    • It's later mentioned that the term "princess" is known, but is considered terribly old-fashioned.
  • Hair of Gold
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Has several female friends you might think are this. She's bonded Birgitte as her warder, has undergone an Aiel ceremony to become "first sister" with Aviendha and feels much the same way towards Min, and she and Egwene were best friends when they were novices. But the character she spends the most actual time with is Nyneave.
  • Kissing Cousins: Rand is Elayne's very distant cousin.
  • Love At First Sight: To Rand, when he falls into the castle garden. This is later Lampshaded by Elayne herself in Book 4.
  • Meet Cute: The falling-into-the-garden bit.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Rand, eventually, via Warder bond.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Rand, after he and Elayne finally find a room with a bed. (He does have a world to save.)
  • One Degree of Separation: Elayne's mother Morgase was originally married to Taringail Damodred; he was originally married to the then-daughter-heir Tigraine, with whom he had a son, Galad. Tigraine Put Herself On A Bus after she was given a prophecy that, if she didn't go east and join the Aiel Amazon Brigade, the world was doomed. This is because she, under the pseudonym Shaiel, was destined to become Rand's mother. Meanwhile, Taringail re-married the queen of Andor, Morgase Trakand, and had Gawyn and Elayne before he died. Elayne loves Rand.
    • Oh, and Gawyn is enamored of Egwene.
    • And yes, this does mean that Galad is half-brothers with Rand. Of the three, only Rand has made the connection, and he hasn't told anybody. Besides, while he's half-brothers with Galad, Elayne is half-siblings with Galad's other half, so it's not as if Rand and Elayne are Kissing Cousins by any meaningful standard.
  • Power Levels: Explicitly mentioned as being of similar strength to Egwene.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Raised in a palace as the heir to one of the richest and most powerful thrones on the continent, her BF Fs and boyfriend are farmers from the ass-end of nowhere (and technically her own subjects); she adopts as her sister a "savage" Aiel using their customs (making her the honorary daughter of the Wise One who performed the ceremony); she started making ter'angrael because she always wanted to work with her hands after seeing the pride of a carpenter delivering his chairs to the Palace.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Prophesied from before they even met, which Elayne isn't happy about. They go from canoodling in alcoves (Book 4) straight to doing it (Book 9), despite not seeing each other for nine months in between. (Of course, it was eight years for readers, so they probably didn't think it was as hasty.)
  • Tempting Fate: Because Min has had a viewing that her twins will be born healthy, Elayne thinks she has Plot Armor until their birth. Other characters, Min included, are Genre Savvy enough to note that Elayne might be outsmarting herself here.
    • And, surprise surprise, it happened. In Towers of Midnight, Elayne is stabbed in the stomach whilst interrogating the Black Ajah. She survives, but appears to have learned her lesson.
    • It gets to the point that it's very close to a deconstruction of Contractual Immortality. Elayne is safe from death...but not imprisonment, severe injury, mind control, or any number of other nasty things that very resourceful, very evil antagonists have done in the story. Furthermore, she seems to forget that those around her are not under said contract.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: To Mat in Book 3. She has since made up for it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Aviendha and Birgitte call her and Nyneave out for being Ungrateful Bastards to Mat.

Morgase Trakand / Maighdin

Queen of Andor, mother of Elayne and Gawyn, step-mother of Galad.

  • Arranged Marriage: Perrin tries this on her because he is tired of the way she and Tallenvor keep moping over each other. She chews him out for it then later asks Perrin to marry them anyway on her own terms.
  • Brainwashed: Gaebril Rahvin uses compulsion on her in order to take over Andor essentially reducing her to little more than a puppet and Sex Slave.
  • Brainwash Residue: Escapes from her brainwasher without realising she is brainwashed but continually feels a desire to return to him.
  • Break the Haughty: Particularly unhaughty for a queen but she sure does get broken a lot. Could be considered The Woobie or possibly Butt Monkey.
  • Driven to Suicide: But luckily is talked out of it until rescue arrives moments later.
  • Power Levels: About as magically weak as a person can get, barely enough to make a scarf move in a breeze. Yet moving a scarf does save her life at one point.
  • Queen Incognito: When Perrin rescues her from Dragonsworn bandits she claims to be a ladies Maid and joins his party to spy on him. (She’s not very good at making tea to begin with.)

Gawyn Trakand

Galadedrid Damodred

Son of the disappeared former Daughter-Heir Tigraine, adopted by Morgase when she married his father and gained the throne. He is half-brother to Elayne and Gawyn through his father and Rand through his mother.

Tigraine Mantear / Shaiel

Former Daughter-Heir, mother of Galad and Rand

  • Blade on a Stick: The weapon of choice for all Aiel and specifically the Maidens of the Spear.
  • The Determinator: Abandoning her old life she enters the Aiel Waste in search of the Maidens of the Spear, pressing on after her horse dies and after she runs out of water, she is found near death but refuses to be deterred from joining them. Later she goes into battle despite being pregnant and dies on a battlefield after giving birth (to Rand).
  • Posthumous Character: Died twenty years before the series begins but had a very serious impact on the world first.
  • Resigned to the Call: Abandoned her old life and entered the Aiel Waste upon hearing a prophesy that if she does not do this then the world would suffer. She went through with it but was somewhat bitter about having had to do it (especially abandoning her son).

The White Tower

Aes Sedai (in general)

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.
  • 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.
  • Black Ajah: If you ask an Aes Sedai whether there really is a secret organization of Darkfriends within the Tower, she will kill you with a Fascinating Eyebrow. And lightning. And, until about Book 3, there was no hard evidence that the Black Ajah did exist. But it does. These are Aes Sedai who serve The Shadow, and it's known that they are spread throughout the Tower hierarchy; almost anybody can be one, and there have been multiple attempts to root them out, of varying success.

The following tropes apply to, basically, every Aes Sedai character in existence:

  • Action Girl: While more in the Magical Girl style than Magic Knight, most Aes Sedai are able to hold their own in battle by way of channeling.
  • The Corps Is Mother: 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... and whether that culture has its own Witch Species. (Most do, but, knowing the Tower's imperialism, keep themselves secret.)
  • Exact Words: Vow to tell no lies, but get around it by technically telling the truth.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow
  • 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.
  • 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 Seven Hundred 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 backfired - no one takes anything an Aes Sedai says at face value.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: "Pillow friends".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: 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, though it is not known if this is a hard-and-fast rule or just custom; the only Aes Sedai (Elayne Trakand) with a female Warder (Birgitte Silverbow) has managed to keep that affiliation secret thus far. 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 are known to go all Death Seeker, and it's implied that Aes Sedai may have to be prevented from doing the same by their fellow sisters.
  • Determinator
  • Lightning Bruiser
  • Master Swordsman
  • 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

File:Moiraine 7627.jpg

An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, Moiraine starts the series off as The Obi-Wan, 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...

In addition to all the standard Aes Sedai habits, Moiraine exhibits the following tropes:

  • Badass: The second-best Forsaken-killer next to Rand and Graendal.
  • Blue Blood: Given that a relative of hers started a world war, she's not particularly proud of it.
  • 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.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Moiraine has that whole "Aes Sedai poise" down to a science. While no defrosting has actually happened yet, the fandom can read between the lines.
  • First Girl Wins: With Thom.
  • Heroic Sacrifice
  • Hide Your Lesbians: If "pillow friends" means what the fandom thinks it does, then Moiraine and Siuan used to be... close. (Having said that, the term's use can be read to imply Situational Sexuality, and Moiraine and Siuan have since gotten married to men.)
  • Memetic Badass: Becomes this in Salidar to other Aes Sedai who find out about her Forsaken-killing.
  • Power Levels: again, RJ keeps this vague, but it's known that Moiraine was one of the strongest channelers amongst the Aes Sedai. She's on the third level of the Character Tiers chart, bettered only by Egwene (and those tied with her; see below) and Nynaeve (and those tied with her; again, see below).
    • At least, before her trip through the redstone doorway.
  • 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. We'll have to wait till the last book to find out why...

Lan Mandragoran

File:Lan 5072.jpg

Introduced to the story merely as Moiraine's Warder, a bodyguard with a Mindlink Mates Psychic Bond 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.

In addition to the standard Warder tropes, Lan exhibits the following traits:

  • Badass: How Badass? He fights Toram Riatin, a noted blademaster, while Rand goes after Fain. Jordan doesn't bother describing the duel; it's just assumed that Lan won effortlessly. And Riatin beat Rand, who is no slouch with a sword himself, in Book 7 (though to be sure he had to use some foul play to do so).
  • Badass Normal: He is probably literally the single deadliest non-channeler in the entire world.
  • 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."


 "Perrin blinked. Lan was all of that?"


 Rand: "That mountain can get awfully heavy sometimes. When do you get to put it down?"

Lan: "When you die."


Siuan Sanche

File:Siuan 930.jpg

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.

  • Busman's Vocabulary: She hails from the port city of Tear, and her dialogue often includes fish analogies.
  • Chickification: When presented with her Love Interest (Gareth Bryne).
  • Determinator
  • 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.
  • The Mentor: To Egwene.
  • Not So Different: To Elaida. Both of them are use rumors of the others 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 dissapear 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.)
  • Spicy Latina: Subverted. She definitely has the fiery temper, but totally lacks the sensual element (to the point where even Egwene thinks she's a bit prudish; Egwene is young enough to be her daughter and probably the only major character who's still a virgin). Tear is partially based on Spain, and her last name is basically Sanchez.
  • Tsundere: Type A. She rarely resorts to violence. She doesn't need to.

Elaida do Avriny a' Roihan

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.

  • 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.
  • Does Not Like Men: Like most Reds.
  • 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.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Was once "pillow-friends" with Meidani, one of the rebel "ferrets".
  • 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.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Made a damane by the Seanchan, whom she alternately dismissed as fictional or of no threat. And it is so sweet.
    • ...except now the Seanchan have Traveling because of her.
      • True, though chances were they could have learned it from any Aes Sedai they had kidnapped. As Egwene herself states, the Seanchan were bound to get it eventually.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Stop Helping Me!: 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.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Elaida had basically attached herself to House Trakand of Andor because she had a fortelling that the royal line of Andor would be all important in the Last Battle. Unfortunately, as it turns out, Rand Al'Thor, the prophesised saviour of the world just happens to be the son of a previous heir to the throne who went AWOL. Whoops..
    • The current Queen of Andor could very well have a very large role to play in the Last Battle.

Galina Casban

The Highest 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 feel sorry for any other Aes Sedai if they were exposed to what to Therava did to her.
  • Break the Haughty: Has experienced this at the hands of the Shaido Aiel.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

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.
  • Badass Bookworm: Definitely.
  • 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".
  • 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). Doubles as a Senseless Sacrifice as if she had just waited for the Oath rod to be returned it would have been unnecessary.
    • Well, Egwene does mention that the Oath Rod may not have helped, and Verin herself agrees that the oaths made to the Dark One were "distinctive"; there was no guarantee that it would have worked. Still, it would have been worth a try.
    • Considering the sort of punishments the Dark One meets out to those who betray him, suicide may actually have been the better option than chancing it.
  • The Mentor: Is one of these to Egwene.
  • The Mole: Became one of these and a Reverse 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.
  • Redemption Equals Death

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.

Cadsuane, despite being introduced in a book that came out 15 years ago, has not been added to the character sheet until now for a very simple reason: ask any character or reader what she's really up to, and nobody will be able to tell you. She plays things close to the vest and rarely needs help, simply using her forceful personality to bully people around.

Independent Characters

Thom Merrilin

File:Thom 2438.jpg

A traveling gleeman who happens to be in Emond's Field, Thomdril Merrilin gets caught up in the mad flight out of the Two Rivers. While Moiraine fits the "wise mentor" aspect of The Obi-Wan, Thom has the "old man" side of it. He also has that name that sounds suspiciously like "Merlin". Of course, in true Gandalf fashion, he performs a Save-Yourself-style Heroic Sacrifice (practically shouted "Fly, you fools!"), and then comes back later in Book 2, though via careful escape as opposed to reincarnation. He then becomes a peripheral character, eventually becoming trapped with Mat in Ebou Dar.

  • Badass Mustache: He's always knuckling it when he thinks
  • Badass Normal
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Guile Hero
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Although he survives.
  • Knife Nut: Teaches this skill to Mat and Min.
  • My Greatest Failure: His nephew, Owyn, was a male channeler whom he wasn't able to save.
  • Mysterious Past: An extremely talented performer who is well-versed in politics... is wasting time traveling to backwater villages? Would this have anything to do with tales about Elayne's mother Morgase and her lover, a bard, whom she suddenly became angry with and had chased out? Is that why Elayne seems to find him familiar?
    • (After Elayne finds out, their relationship gets... complicated. She starts out by flirting with him, comparing herself to her mother, then starts seeing him as a father figure and trying to make sure he dresses warmly and stays out of the rain.)
    • He wasn't just Morgase's lover and the court bard... it's never explicitly stated, but if you read between the lines, he's also responsible the deaths of at least two kings. He killed Taringail Damodred (Galad and Elayne's father) upon discovering that he was plotting to take the throne of Andor, and he also is strongly implied, and outright stated in the RPG, to have killed Galldrian Riatin to avenge the death of his girlfriend. And Elayne knows - note that her offer of a position as court bard in book 12 includes forgiveness for all crimes committed in Andor or Cairhien.
  • Wandering Minstrel

Min Farshaw

File:Min 8565.jpg

Min is a little older than Rand, and wears men's clothing and has short curly hair, which he finds pretty sophisticated. Moiraine consults her once she's managed to drag everyone out of the Two Rivers, wanting to know what Min's "viewings" say about her charges. It takes another six or seven books for her to become important to the plot, but once she does...


File:Loial 4318.jpg

An Ogier who escaped his stedding in search of adventure and good books. The Ogier have Gentle Giant and botany as their Hats; by their standards, Loial is considered quite hasty. After finding out who Rand is, he decides that his life's work will be to chronicle the life and times of The Dragon Reborn, but most of the time he ends up hanging out with Perrin.

Elyas Machera

A Wolfbrother like Perrin, who teaches him about his abilities early in the series and reappears later on to aid him in his adventures.

  • Badass Beard
  • Cool Old Guy: Maybe not so old, but has certainly seen his fair share of winters.
  • Exposition Fairy: Conveniently on-hand to explain to Perrin about being a Wolfbrother. Much later they meet up again essentially so he can tell Perrin "Your wife likes it rough, smack her around a bit!"
  • Eyes of Gold: A consequence of being a Wolfbrother
  • Meaningful Name: Dubbed by the wolves as "Long Tooth" due to the large hunting knife he wields.
  • Old Shame: Used to be a Warder to an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. When his Wolfbrother abilities began to manifest, the Red Ajah thought it was a sign of the Dark One and tried to have him gentled. He killed two other Warders while escaping and regrets their deaths.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Particularly adept since he's lived in the woods for 15 years.
  • Super Senses: Has heightened senses of smell, hearing, and sight.
  • The Nose Knows: Like Perrin, can identify a person's emotional state from smell alone.
  • The Obi-Wan: To Perrin

Mazrim Taim

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A "False Dragon", Taim once declared himself the Dragon Reborn as a publicity stunt. Obviously, he's not, but that didn't stop the chaos. Unlike most False Dragons, Taim can actually channel (and very strongly too), and escaped soon after he was captured by Aes Sedai (which is more than can be said for Logain Ablar). He unexpectedly shows up in Book 6 (though he had been The Ghost since Book 2) and is placed in command of Rand's personal Wizarding School, "The Black Tower," where male channelers train to become Asha'man and fight in The Last Battle. Taim's agenda is not Rand's.

  • Combat Pragmatist: "Asha'man: kill."
  • Dark Messiah: The most powerful and dangerous False Dragon who ever lived.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: He's a boundlessly ambitious military commander who's been channeling for a decade with no sign of madness, who resents the Dragon, and whose subordinates avoid speaking his name, preferring instead to refer to him by a vaguely ominous-sounding word in the Old Tongue. Logain seems to be the only person to see any danger signs in this.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Putting on the Reich: Assigns titles blatantly stolen from the Germans. His own title - M'Hael - means leader; however his use of it as an unqualified title actually translates to "leader of everything".
  • The Resenter
  • Red Herring: Taim is introduced in the same book as Demandred, only a few chapters after Demandred gets an important task from the Dark One. When he and Rand come face to face for the first time, Lews Therin starts screaming about killing the Forsaken in Rand's head. At the end of the book, after Taim plays an integral part in the climax, Demandred is lauded for the success of his plan by the Dark One. Despite the obvious hints, Robert Jordan confirmed that Taim is not Demandred in disguise. Despite this, he is still one of the Forsaken, as at one point he refers to Asha'man being "severed", which is a term for stilling used in the Age of Legends.
    • Interestingly, since as we enter the last book, Taim is raised as a new Forsaken, M'Hael.
  • The Starscream


File:Faile 2451.jpg

AKA Zarine Bashere, she took the name Faile as an alias while a Hunter for the Horn. She is Perrin's love interest and later, his wife. She is described as taller than average with long, dark hair, tilted eyes, and a prominent "Saldean nose".

  • Badass Damsel: While held prisoner by the Shaido.
  • Badass Normal: The only major female character who can neither channel the One Power nor has any other magical abilities like Dreamwalking or Min's viewings. Yet she still manages to survive, thrive, and even lead in a Crapsack World of Badass. She qualifies.
  • The Consigliere: To Perrin. While he doesn't want to be a ruler, it's made obvious that he's going to be one, like it or not. Faile then takes on this role and forces him to act like a proper leader, advising him on the best way to handle his new position.
  • Knife Nut: Carries a ridiculous number of knives on her person. So much so that Perrin fears he may puncture himself if he holds her too tight.
  • The Masochism Tango: With Perrin.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: While this does represent the majority of relationships in the Wheel of Time universe, it is especially poignant with her. Due to her cultural norms, she expects Perrin to play along with this. He, however, can't understand why she gets angry when he tries to calm her down and reason with her, rather than yell at her.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Gains one in Rolan. Gets worse when he saves her from Attempted Rape and she realizes she needs his protection for herself and her followers, and might need him to escape ( in the end she doesn't).
  • Tsundere: Comes from a culture where this is the norm, but made worse by a Culture Clash with Perrin.

The Aiel

The Aiel are a race that live beyond the Spine of the World and every single one of them is a Proud Warrior Race Guy. Ever since The Breaking of the World they have scratched out an existance in the Three-Fold Land waging constant wars amongst themselves for scarce resources which has forged them into a highly efficient fighting force, much a like a similar desert-dwelling people. They follow a complex set of rules and social moores that can be confusing to outsiders. The history of their people is a dark and shameful secret. Those aspiring to be Clan Chiefs or Wise Ones must travel to their abandoned holy city of Rhuidean in order to learn this history. Only about one in three return, the rest suffer from Go Mad From the Revelation.


File:Aviendha 6656.jpg

A Maiden of the Spear from the Nine Valleys sept of the Tardaad Aiel, Aviendha crosses into the "wetlands" in Book 3 along with a bunch of other Aiel in search of "He Who Comes With The Dawn." She becomes friends with Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne and eventually joins forces with them. Later it is revealed that she too can channel, being roughly on par in power with Egwene and Elayne, with whom she eventually becomes BFF. When Elayne needs to go have her own campaign separate from Rand, she has Aviendha promise to watch out for him and make sure Rand stays loyal. The Aiel elders also assign her to be Rand's local guide, teaching him the customs and ways of his people. This causes a lot of conflict for Aviendha, because (according to one of Min's viewings) Rand is fated to fall in love with three women, and Aviendha is one of them...

  • Action Girl: Due to her membership in the...
  • Amazon Brigade: Maidens of the Spear have to give up membership in that society to wed or if they plan to raise children. They can have as much sex as they want, but the resultant children are given up for adoption if the mother wants to stay in the society.
  • Blood Sisters: With Elayne, eventually.
  • The Chief's Daughter: Subverted. She's Rhuarc's niece, but because the Aiel are a meritocracy, this has no special privilege associated with it (Truth in Television for many of the Native American tribes the Aiel were based on). Still ends up with the hero, though.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Aviendha is told by the Wise Ones to deploy this on Rand so that she can spy on him. Rand is Genre Savvy enough to see through it.
  • Green Eyed Red Head
  • Heroes Want Redheads
  • Honor Before Reason: She is a member of the Proud Warrior Race. (Ironically, she eventually breaks her word to Elayne, making her either the first dishonorable main character of the series or the first sane one. Maybe both.)
  • Intimate Healing: At one point, to escape her own Unrequited Love, Aviendha teleports her way into a blizzard. Rand has to resort to that whole "sharing body warmth while naked" thing. One Thing Led to Another, and one Sexy Discretion Shot later...
  • Power Levels: Again, on par with Egwene and Elayne. Remember that this ties her for second place on the "strongest female channelers alive" list.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Saw this happen when she saw her possible futures in Rhuidean, and wasn't happy about it because she felt that he belonged to Elayne and had promised to make sure he didn't stray.
  • Tsundere: At first anyway. More so than the rest of the female characters.


The Clan Chief of the Taardad Aiel and one of Rand's closest supporters. As is not unusual among the Aiel, he has two wives, Amys and Lian. He journeyed into the Westlands along with Aviendha in search of He Who Comes With The Dawn. Rhuarc is there when Rand first takes Callandor from the Stone of Tear and reveals that the Aiel are actually the fabled People of the Dragon.


A Jumai Aiel of the Shaido clan, one of the main non-darkfriend antagonists to Rand. She opposed recognition of Rand as Car'a'carn and supported her husband, Couladin, in his bid for power. Once he is defeated in battle she takes on the role as leader of the Shaido. She wages a war of pillage and plunder across the Westlands, taking many people prisoner as gai'shain, including Faile, which launches Perrin into his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.

  • Black Widow: Her husbands don't last long. Neither will Rand if she has her way.
  • Blondes Are Evil: Not a very nice person. So much so that her own people only follow her because of Honor Before Reason.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Like all Aiel, is tanned by the sun of the Three-Fold Land.
  • Distracted by the Luxury: Falls into this trap as she gains more wealth from raiding the country side.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Has a penchant for elaborate jewels acquired by conquest.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Although she is called a Wise One and is acting clan chief, she has never been to Rhuidean, unlike other Wise Ones in the Shaido, who know that Rand's revelation of the Aiel history is perfectly true.
  • The Vamp: Only married her first husband because he was a clan chief. Hooked up with his successor after he died. Determined to capture Rand, rape him to get some heirs to secure her rule, then murder him.


A Wise One from the Jarra sept. Sorilea is barely able to channel, but is one of the oldest and most revered Wise Ones. She has a formidable and forceful personality and can be quite frightening.


 "In my day, girls jumped when a Wise One said jump, and continued jumping until they were told to stop. As I am still alive, it is still my day. Need I make myself clearer?"


The Whitecloaks

An organisation dedicated to fighting the Dark One wherever his influence appears. Sadly, the current Whitecloaks have devolved into fanatical Knight Templars who arrest and torture anyone they even slightly suspect of being a Darkfriend. This extends to Aes Sedai, whom the Whitecloaks believe are the Dark One's foremost servants.

Pedron Niall

The Lord Captain Commander of the Whitecloaks by the time the story begins. Niall is renowned as one of the Five Great Captains, with few enemies defeating him once and none twice. Niall believes Rand to be another False Dragon and his every move is calculated to both bring him down and expand the influence of the Whitecloaks.

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: In strategic and military terms, yes. Not so much physically, since Niall himself is an old man past eighty.
  • Batman Gambit: Many, including false Dragonsworn sent to ravage the countryside to sway opinion against Rand. None of them really work out.
  • Disc One Final Boss: For a long time it looked like he was being set up to be a major threat, but his death was quiet and barely announced.
  • Knight Templar: Not to the same extent as some of the other Whitecloaks, but the sentiment is still there.
  • Old Master
  • The Chessmaster: He thinks he's this. Although his battle strategies are brilliant, he isn't very good at planning and plotting outside the battlefield.
  • The Strategist


Almost a thousand years before events in the book, the legendary king Artur Hawkwing (the King Arthur of the WoT universe) united the Westlands under his empire. He sent his son with a huge contingent of troops across the Aryth Ocean to the west to discover new lands for his kingdom. They never returned and were thought to be lost at sea. Hawkwing's empire eventually crumbled after his death, resulting in the independent nations of the series' present. However, the expedition survived the journey and set up a new empire in the continent they discovered. Utilizing the strange creatures native to the land as well as fearsome devices for controling channelers, they conquered the indigenous peoples. Now, they are returning to the Westlands, determined to retake their homelands which they believe is their birthright and will stop at nothing to see the Hawkwing Empire restored.


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Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag is the second and favorite daughter of the Empress of the Seanchan Empire. She comes to the Westlands to oversee the Return and ensure that the nations there are reunited under the Empire's rule. As such, she becomes another non-darkfriend antagonist to Rand. While she agrees that the world needs to be united when the Last Battle comes, it must be under Seanchan's banner and the Dragon Reborn must kneel to the Empress.

  • All Girls Like Ponies: One of her hobbies is horse-training and becomes as close to giddy as she can get when she receives a rare horse as a gift. Takes on a less than innocent tone from the fact that she also enjoys enslaving women who can channel and treating them like animals.
  • Arranged Marriage: zig-zagged. Tuon's marriage was foretold by one of her Damane, but she wanted to meet her future husband and make certain it was him. She justifies the marriage with political reasons, as it gives her a link to Rand, though she says she might grow to love Mat one day.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Has risen to her position as heir to the throne by carrying out, and surviving, numerous assassination attempts amongst her siblings. So much so, that any attempt on her life causes her to try and determine which brother or sister would benefit most from the situation.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning
  • Badass Princess
  • Bald Women: Her head is shaved as a sign of nobility.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Sort of, but not due to stupidity. Her very non-standard upbringing and life causes her to have very strange reactions to things that keep catching Mat off-guard. Attempts on her life are regarded as minor annoyances, but very simple everyday activities are fascinating new experiences to her.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Has grown fond of her new husband, to a degree.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: carries the title "Daughter of the Nine Moons," signifying her position as heir-designate to the Crystal Throne.
  • Ironic Echo: Gives Mat's Accidental Marriage Vows back to him word for word. "Matrim Cauthon is my husband. Matrim Cauthon is my husband. Matrim Cauthon is my bloody husband."
  • Lady of War: Despite her demure appearance, she is deadly to her enemies and is exceptionally skilled at hand-to-hand combat.
  • Pettanko: Conspicuously aware of the fact that she looks like a slim boy, except in the right clothes.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: Captured by Mat by being at the wrong place at the wrong time as he tries to flee Ebou Dar to the countryside. She considers this an opportunity to observe the lands that she will eventually rule as Empress.
  • Scary Black Woman: Inverted, subverted, and reverted. The color of her skin is never pointed out as being anything other than rare for the region. She is small, rather than large, yet can kick your ass without breaking a sweat. Also, the scary part comes more from the fact that she can order your death, the deaths of everyone you ever knew, the destruction of your nation, and the enslavement of your women. All with the same level of emotion she gives to picking out what she'll have for lunch.
  • Tsundere: Like most women in the Wheel of Time universe, a full on type A and only shows flashes of her deredere side around her husband.


Egeanin Tamarath was a ship captain in the Seanchan fleet. After the fall of Falme, she is sent to the Westlands to help round up escaped sul'dam and damane. After realizing that much of what she knew about channelers was wrong, she suffers a crisis of conscience.

  • Blue Eyes: Of the piercing cold variety
  • Enemy Mine: first enters the story in Book 4, working alongside Elayne and Nynaeve. Cue the inevitable "Not So Different" moments.
    • First major role, but not quite her first appearance. She was the one who captured Bayle Domon's ship in Book 2, and is thus one of the first Seanchan characters we meet. This is why Domon recognizes her in Book 4.
  • Happily Married: By all accounts to a person she would have otherwise arrested: Bayle Domon, a smuggler.
  • Important Haircut: Allowed to cut her hair in the style of the lower nobility after her promotion. A point of great pride for her.
  • Meaningful Name: After her defection from the Seanchan, Tuon gives her a new one.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Only admits her feelings for her future husband after they attack each other.
  • Tall, Dark and Bishoujo
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Used to disguise herself as Leilwin during her time with Mat, although she keeps the accent that marks her as Seanchan.


High Lady Suroth Sabelle Meldarath is in charge of securing a foothold in the Westlands to prepare for the return of the Seanchan. She is a cold and calculating individual who does not tolerate dissention amongst her ranks. Although she suffers a great defeat early on, her subsequent victories elsewhere lead some to believe that she may have secret ambitions inappropriate for her station. This is later verified as she is a Darkfriend under Semirhage with plans to make her the new Empress.

  • Ambition Is Evil
  • Evil Chancellor: Somewhat, to Tuon. This doesn't end well when her secret is exposed.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: An in-story example from her POV, judging by how she reacts to being stripped, shaved, and made da'covale to Tuon.
  • Important Haircut: Has the sides of her head shaved, leaving a crest of hair not unlike a mohawk, as a status symbol.

The Shadow & Darkfriends

The Dark One aka Shai'tan

The ultimate evil, equal and opposite of the Creator, imprisoned by him at the beginning of time. Partially released during the War of Power and resealed by mortals, his ultimate goal is complete freedom and the annihilation of reality.

The Forsaken

In the previous War Of Power, Lews lead the forces of light supported by a team of lieutenants and trusted advisers. Many died, but a many also turned cloak and joined with The Shadow and The Dark One. These best-and-brightest were called "The Chosen" by the servants of the Shadow, "The Forsaken" by everyone else. There where oringaly somwhere around thirty of these ranging in skill from tactical generals to doctors, scientists, artists, philosophers and so on, thirteen surived, sealed inside Shaylo Ghoul at the some moment the Lews placed the Thirteen Seals on The Dark One, but with the Seals wearing down, they are starting to get free...

The Forsaken are a Quirky Miniboss Squad composed of Names to Run Away From Really Fast — literally, since most of them took a Meaningful Rename after they turned to the Shadow. They are just one step below The Dragon ("Nae'blis") to the Big Bad himself; most of them are of the Card-Carrying Villain variety, and they often fight amongst themselves over who is going to be Nae'blis. (This level of Divided We Fall is implied to be one of the main reasons why The Shadow hasn't won yet, though it's also something the Dark One is implied to actively look for in lieutenants: it prefers Complete Monsters over stabler but less evil minions.) They are here in the story's "present day" with all their knowledge from the Age Of Legends intact, and the one thing everyone agrees on, both Light and Shadow, is that it's likely to be a Curb Stomp Battle once they start taking the fight to today's backwards yokels.

  • Aginor / Osan'gar / Corlan Dashiva / Ishar Morrad Chuain:

File:Aginor 5444.jpg

Formerly known as Ishar Morrad Chuain, he was a famous biologist, but his lack of ethics got his licesne revoked so he turned to the Shadow for more....creative freedom. He created most the Shadowspawn that still terrorize the world an Age latter.

    • Crippling Overspecialization: Per Word of God he's the second-strongers of the male Forsaken in the One Power (and probably third-strongest overall, after Ishamael and Lanfear), but he's focused almost entirely on making monsters using Mad Science. This made him key in the War of Power, but in the Third Age he doesn't have the Magitek he needs for this purpose and as such is one of the least effective Forsaken.
    • Evilutionary Biologist: Created trollocs and other Shadowspawn, and thus indirectly created the Myrddraal.
    • Mad Scientist: Turned to the Shadow because, hey, when your boss is an omnicidal force of utter evil, nobody bothers you about ethics in your research.
    • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: An osan'gar is a dagger dipped in slow poison.
    • Reincarnation: Aginor is killed off after 5 pages of fight scene in the first book, but The Dark One eventually manages to stick his soul into someone else's body. The same happens with Balthamel, Ishamael and Lanfear. He then went into hiding, spending several books as an unimportant secondary character, managing to accomplish little of importance... then he teleported onto the wrong hilltop at the wrong time and got glassed again. Poor bugger.
    • Unskilled but Strong: He's second-strongest of the male Forsaken, but he's neither a fighter nor a general. Even his choice of cover identity isn't great; a number of savvy fans noticed that something was up with the man, though (in fairness) few thought there would be a freaking Forsaken Hidden in Plain Sight.
    • With Catlike Tread: Attempts to sneak up on Rand and Nynaeve and steal the Choedan Kal while they're cleansing saidin.

 ...he began to skulk from tree to tree in what he imagined was a stealthy manner. It was toward the key that he skulked.


  • Asmodean / Jasin Natael / Joar Addam Nessosin:

File:Asmodean 9096.jpg

A famed musician and composure of the Age Of Legends and the least violent of all the Forsaken. He is neither a schemer nor a general, and the only reason he turned to The Shadow was so that he could gain immortality and have enough time to learn every song ever written. However he is still a ruthless jerk, and stilled his own mother among other terrible crimes. He favors Lanfear as an ally and is the weakest of the Male Forsaken (still bounds ahead of most men in the current age). His death is one of the single most famous mysteries in the series, fans arguing for years over who it was.

    • A Lighter Shade of Black: He's definitely the nicest of the Forsaken. And as compliments go, that's not one.
    • Evil Is Petty: In the previous Age, while Governor of his assigned domains in the service of the Dark One, he didn't really get up to many atrocities (compared to the rest, that is); however, he did order every single musician, artist and any professional creative talent he could get his hands on to be maimed- they lived, but they could no longer perform their craft. He particularly focused on those who had slighted him, were rivals, or had suggested he would never amount to anything.
    • Heel Face Turn: Forced on him by Lanfear, who threatened to arrange for his death unless he taught Rand to channel.
    • Heel Face Door Slam: Decided to genuinely turn back to the Light, according to Word of God.
    • Punch Clock Villain: Was lured to The Shadow because immortality would give him the chance to... listen to more music??
      • To be more specific, he wished to be immortal so that he could spend eternity perfecting his musical talent and become the greatest musician who ever lived. A bit petty, yes, but considering he was a Child Prodigy who became something of a White Dwarf Starlet after he grew up, it's a bit more understandable--akin to wanting to live forever so you can read every book in existence, or so you have the time to find cures for all diseases. The things people will do for their art...
    • Shrug of God: His murderer was left ambiguous, leading to an entire rainforest of Epileptic Trees. Robert Jordan, who claimed the answer was "intuitively obvious" and also Likes Watching Readers Sweat, never gave a definitive answer, promising only to sneak the info into the last book if he could. He couldn't, but his Replacement Goldfish Brandon Sanderson made sure to ask Harriet Dougal who had done it so that he could publicize it. (The killer: Graendal.)
    • Villain Team-Up: He and Lanfear formed one. It didn't end well for him.

  • Balthamel / Aran'gar/ Halima Saranov / Eval Ramman:

File:Balthamel 8949.jpg

The anti-Mat, he was a historian in the Age Of Legends famous for his study of primitive and extinct cultures, but is better remembered as a gambling, womanizing, jack ass. He had major anger management issues that eventually lead him to the Shadow in order to dodge a Restraining Bolt against using the power for Violence. He ran an intelligence network unmatched by any of the other Chosen except for Moghedien. His most remembered evil deed was raising and organizing breeding camps for humans to be fed to the Trolloc armies. He is resurrected in a female body part way into the series.

  • Be'lal / High Lord Samon / Duram Laddel Cham:

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A general of the Shadow, and Master Swordsmen. He was one of Lews's closest friends before jealously lead him to turn to the Shadow. The First Forsaken to actually be killed off

  • Demandred / Barid Bel Medar/ We Still Don't Know:

"Almost" would be the word to describe Barid Bel Medar's life. Born a day after Lews Therin Telamon, he is almost as handsome, close to Lews Therin in power, and almost as skilled. If not for Lews Therin, he would have been the most acclaimed man of his age. But in the War Demandred discovered something he was far better at: war. If not Sealing of Shia'tan, The Shadow would have triumphed in the war beneath his command. Since being released...he has been doing something. We just don't know what it is. Thirteen books in and we are still no closer to knowing his identity then we where in The Eye Of The World. All we know is he has armies, and their big.

    • Always Second Best: To Lews Therin, to the point where trying to prove himself better than Lews Therin is pretty much his Freudian Excuse.
    • Berserk Button: Don't tell him he's second best. Ever. And especially don't talk about how awesome / superior Lews Therin or Rand al'Thor are / is.
    • Evil Overlord: We don't know a whole lot about his Secret Identity, but apparently he rules a whole country, which makes him this one way or the other.
    • It's Personal: No-one on the side of the Shadow hated Lew Therin more than he did; according to the guide, no-one on the side of the Shadow hates anything more than he hates Lews Therin, or now Rand al'Thor. Given what utter hateful bastards the Shadow has working for it...thats a lot of hate.
    • Roaring Rampage of Revenge / Evil Is Petty / Disproportionate Retribution: One of the first things he did as general of the Shadow was feed entire cities to Trollocs; specifically, he went after cities he felt slighted him while he was on the side of the Light.
    • Shadow Archetype: As the Guide puts it, "almost" is the story of his life in relation to Lews Therin. He was born shortly after him, almost as old; he was very good looking except for his hooked-nose, almost as handsome; he was almost as strong in the One Power; he was almost as best-selling an author; he was almost as brilliant as general, he almost got the girl, etc., etc. His Face Heel Turn was explicitly prompted when Lews was chosen as the top general of the Light over him, as his Berserk Button is being told he is second to Lews in anything. Now he's transferred that rivalrly to Rand. Of course, being slightly inferior to the most Badass man on the planet means that you are still incredibly Badass yourself, which makes him a very, very dangerous enemy.
    • The Strategist: The best general on the side of the Shadow, and the only one of the Forsaken whose Secret Identity is still intact as we enter the final book.
    • The Un-Reveal: Only one book left, and Demandred is the only Forsaken with complete anonymity: he rules a country, but nobody knows which--and, as of RJ's death, his cover identity had never appeared "on-screen". While there are about forty million theories, the truth is that we do not know who he is masquerading as, and we are not supposed to.
      • Jossed: The popular "Taimandred" theory that Demandred is masquerading as Mazrim Taim. (Notably, Jordan rarely Jossed anything over the course of his life. Some fans still think he changed it out of spite.)
    • Villain Team-Up: He, Mesaana and Semirhage have an alliance to eliminate their mutual rivals and not betray each other until they are the last of the Forsaken remaining. Of course they never trust each other.
      • Amusingly, as we head into the final book Demandred is the only Forsaken remaining with uncompromised agency. Everyone else is either dead, on the run, never had political influence to begin with (looking at you, Moridin) or is being punished by having their souls stuck in Soul Jars. Which are around the neck of The Dragon. This particular plan seems to have worked for once!

  • Graendal / Lady Basene / Kamarile Maradim Nindar:

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One of the Shadow's most dangerous and competent servants. Graendal was born Kamarile Maradim Nindar and she was a famous psychologist for nearly four hundred years, able to heal mental afflictions even use of the One Power could not cure. She was also a distinct ascetic, living an unadorned life free of physical and mental pleasures. Of course, she also placed these same impossible standards on the rest of the world and felt that anyone that couldn't hold to them was morally inferior. Eventually she snapped from the realization the world would never live up to her expectations, and was general not a good place. She did a completely moral 180, creating the alter ego of "Graendal" that was the pure opposite of everything Nindar had been: lusty, indulgent, selfish, and vain.

She has a better understanding of the human mind then any living person, and is an expert at Compulsion, capable of reducing even iron willed badasses into groveling slaves with ease. According to Lews it is impossible to out think her. She, Semirhage, and Ishmael are the only Forsaken that came to the Shadow without being influenced by it.

    • Bad Powers, Bad People / Good Powers, Bad People: She appears on both tropes, which note that she is very good at Mind Control because of her background in psychology as an analyst and therapist.
    • Break the Haughty: Likes being served by brainwashed 'pets' who were once powerful people.
    • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: She will use anything as an excuse to backstab her fellow Forsaken like Asmodean and Aran'gar . Of course any of the other Forsaken would have done the same in her position.
    • Depraved Bisexual / Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Today she's more then just an analrapist. (And when it's other Forsaken who think she's depraved, you know she's out there.)
    • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Averted. She can perfectly understand good unlike Moridin who does not seem to understand why Rand would feel regret for killing thousands of people in order to kill an enemy. Of course since Evil Cannot Comprehend Good is the largest flaw of The Shadow, this is part of what makes her among their greatest assets.
    • Faith Heel Turn: She was (in)famous for her ascetic lifestyle and high moral standards before turning to the Shadow, but though she was popular with the masses for this in private those who knew her greatly disliked her because she always judged them by her ridiculously high and rigid standards, basically being a Holier Than Thou Narcissist. She pledged to the Dark One after she realized that nobody could meet her standards, and went to the opposite extreme as a purposely immoral hedonist out of spite.
    • Fate Worse Than Death: At the hands of Shaidar Haran for one too many failures (and schemes against the other Chosen).
    • The Hedonist
    • Jerkass: Pushed Mesaana's Berserk Button in Lord of Chaos for no real reason.
    • Manipulative Bitch : Made Sammael think she was manipulating him one way when she was really manipulating him in another way. Tricked Moridin into believing her greatest defeat was Just As Planned. In the backstory she apparently used psychology to outthink and manipulate everyone.
    • Mind Control: The best of the Forsaken at Compulsion and uses it in various degrees for almost everything.
    • Start of Darkness: Her POV in Towers of Midnight shows she and several of the other Forsaken had these happen to them long ago. She then uses Semirhage as a counter example of someone who was always utterly evil.
    • There Are No Psychologists: It's been pointed out that SHE is the only actual psychologist in the entire series, possibly world. Which is ironic considering one of tasks is to destroy Rand's mental state.
      • Psycho Psychologist: She is a sadist and a Manipulative Bitch who uses her knowledge of psychology in the service of Evil and to torment her enemies and innocent people. So pretty much a textbook case here.
    • Villain Team-Up: She, Lanfear, Sammael and Rahvin attempt one. When Lanfear and Rahvin die she remains with Sammael until his death. Then she organizes another one with Aran'gar

  • Ishamael / "Ba'alzamon" / Moridin / Elan Morin Tedronai:

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A famous philosopher and writer in the Age Of Legends and one of Lews closest friends. He is the most powerful of the Forsaken and their leader. Incredibly intelligent he has profound insight into the nature of the Wheel of Time and the struggle between the Dark One and the Dragon. He is unique among the Forsaken as being the only member of the group who didn't join for the promise of power or immortality, but because his logic concluded that the Dark One must inevitably win against the Dragon, and therefore the only path was to join him and rule for a time. All of the other Forsaken believe him to be insane, though some of Ishamael's statements which are taken to be mad are in fact simply esoteric beyond what the other Forsaken are capable of understanding (he brief talk on Chaos Theory at one of their meetings while burning a rat alive).

He was only partially sealed in Shaylo Ghoul and has been manipulating and influencing the Pattern for eons by the time of the main series. He is responsible for both the Trolloc Wars and the fall of Arthur Hawking.

    • A God Am I: Occasionally, he thinks that he is The Dark One himself, or an aspect thereof. It's not totally clear if he's wrong, either.
    • Arch Enemy: The only one of the Forsaken equal in power to Lews / Rand and the one who has most went out of his way to make their respective lives Hell; notably, took responsibility for Lews killing his family, and at the very least showed up to rub his face in it, even giving him a moment of sanity just so he could comprehend what he had just done.
    • Ax Crazy: The other Forsaken agree he's nuts.
    • Bad Powers, Bad People: The True Power, which is like the One Power but derives from The Dark One, and is much more dangerous and addictive.
    • The Chessmaster: Bonus points for being an actual master of this verse's version of chess.
    • Dark Messiah: Sees himself as this, representing The Dark One as a counterpart to The Dragon, who is The Messiah for The Pattern. He's right
    • Despair Event Horizon: It is implied by Rand's comments to Moridin in the World of Dreams that it was Elan Morin reaching the same conclusion as Rand did on Dragonmount at the end of The Gathering Storm that led him to become a Nietzsche Wannabe in the first place--he just didn't have an Epiphany Therapy to bring him back from the brink. This, coupled with Graendal's thoughts on Elan Morin once having been good like herself, may suggest Moridin could possibly be brought back to the Light ( particularly with Nynaeve's ability to heal insanity), but since unlike Rand he has no one to love or protect, chances of this are very slim.
    • The Dragon: Moridin was officially named Nae'blis.
    • Disc One Final Boss: In the first three books, everyone thought he actually was the Dark One (Moiraine figured out his true identity after his death), and that when Rand killed him it was all over. Boy were they wrong...
      • Recurring Boss: You'd think they'd have figured it out after Rand killed him at the end of the first three books in a row. (They actually are Genre Savvy enough by the third book, but, still.)
    • The Dreaded: The Forsaken are this in general, but for millenia men thought he was The Dark One himself thanks to misinterpreting his title Ba'alzamon (that, and he thinks he is too). Though even without it, knowing he's the most powerful of the Forsaken and is equal to The Dragon tends to be sufficient.
    • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Doesn't seem to get compassion or empathy.
    • Evil Counterpart: To Rand. Sees himself as this to The Dragon in general, believing that he literally serves as The Dragon to The Dark One in the same way Rand is The Dragon to the Pattern, that they both reincarnate and battle for eternity.
    • Fallen Hero: Not quite hero, but he was a highly respected intellectual back in the day. He was called "The Betrayer of Hope" by the public when he publicly announced for the Shadow, signalling how far he had fallen in their eyes.
    • Glowing Eyes of Doom: As Ba'alzamon. Also glowing mouth.
    • Hannibal Lecture: Every time he opens his mouth.
    • Jossed: Robert Jordan reacted with surprise/disgust to the idea that Moridin was the mysterious "You!" at the end of Book 5, thus turning "and then death took him" into a horrific pun.
    • The Man Behind the Man: Ishamael was not fully imprisoned, and, calling himself Ba'alzamon, was able to influence events unopposed for a couple of millennia. For instance, he started a world war.
      • It's implied he operated and was strongest in 1000 year cycles, and influenced both the Trolloc War and Hundred Year War.
    • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Ishamael means "Betrayer of Hope" and Moridin means "death" in the Old Tongue.
    • The Philosopher: Seems Genre Savvy to the endless repetition of the Wheel of Time.
      • Nietzsche Wannabe: The philosophical outlook he ultimately arrived at, which led him to ally with the Dark One in the first place. Ironically Rand is the Nietzschean Superman who has managed to accept Eternal Recurrance while Ishamael's failure at this led to his downfall.
    • Omnicidal Maniac: Nearly all the Forsaken and every Darkfriend believes that the Shadow is trying to Take Over the World, or will at least remake it after destroying it with its followers in positions of power and glory. Ishamael is the only one who believes (or, perhaps, realizes) that Shai'tan seeks to destroy everything for its own sake, and actually signed up for that express purpose, finding Eternal Recurrence to be unbearable, though since he believes he really is The Dark One he also is out for the taste of ultimate power that Shai'tan will enjoy once it breaks free of its prison and destoys The Wheel of Time that binds it.
    • Power Levels: Again, Jordan is fairly vague with this, but it's stated multiple times that Ishamael was comparable in power to Lews Therin during the age of legends, and is probably the single strongest channeler of either gender in the modern world other than Rand. In the first three books, his complete insanity seems to have gotten in the way of his power, but now...
    • Red and Black and Evil All Over: As Moridin.
    • Took a Level In Badass: Of sorts. He always stood at the top of the pack of the Forsaken in terms of power, intellect, and loyalty to the Dark One, but as Ba'alzamon he was too nuts to make effective use of his skills, to the point that Rand and co. were able to best him thrice. As Moridin, though hardly sane, he's regained enough presence of mind to be far more dangerous and get himself officially named as The Dragon (a position he only held unofficially before).
    • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity

  • Lanfear / Cyndane / Mierin Eronaile:

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Lews's ex-girlfriend, and the most powerful woman to ever channel. Ever. She became obsessed with winning him back by any means necessary, and one such experiment (meant to earn her glory that was sure would bring Lews back to her, despite him being married) is what originally freed the Dark One. She's skilled at scheming, lying, and manipulating to get what she wants, and she only wants one thing: Lews Therin back, even eons latter. The Dark One does not truly trust her because of this, but she is kept around because there is no one that knows him better.

She is also the only Forsaken to stand trial in front of the Hall Of Servants for her crimes, where she proudly declared herself to be a servant of the Shadow and then blasted her way free.

    • Ambition Is Evil: And her ambitions are big.
    • Berserk Button: Calling her by her birth name, Mierin Eronaile, to her face. She doesn't seem to mind when Rand does it, though.
    • Clingy Jealous Girl: To Rand.
    • Faustian Rebellion: Her master plan.
    • Generation Xerox: Lanfear seems to have dismissed any of the complications arising from the half-sided Reincarnation Romance she wants to start with Rand. Of course, he's fallen for a blonde, like he always does (Ilyena Sunhair was Lews Therin's wife).
    • Go-Karting with Bowser: Lanfear is the bad-guy character most willing to help Rand, or at least not hurt him. This is partially due to Unrequited Love, and partially because she is constantly trying to get him to Turn to The Dark Side. Particularly, she wants to join forces with him — the two strongest channelers alive — defeat both The Creator and The Dark One, and set themselves up as God Emperors. When this fails....
    • Green-Eyed Monster: If she so much as gets a hint of Rand being attracted to another woman, bad things happen.
    • If I Can't Have You: She does not take Rand telling her he would never love one of the Forsaken very well.
    • I Have Many Names: Lanfear, Selene, Mierin, Else Grinwell, Cyndane, The Daughter of the Night, and several others are all the same person.
    • Love Makes You Crazy: As you can see. Also...
    • Love Makes You Evil.
    • Murder the Hypotenuse: Her dating philosophy.
    • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The research team she led was responsible for breaking the seal on the Dark One's prison during the Age of Legends, thus starting the War of Power.
    • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: She has very dark hair and eyes, pale and fair in complexion, and always wears white. Her color scheme as Cyndane is quite a bit different, though.
    • Pet the Dog: Her emotional response when Lews Therin Telemon talks to her through Rand and calls her "Mierin." Notable in that it is the only time she is addressed by her birth name that doesn't send her into a rage.
    • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Of Lews Therin, and trying to seduce him now that he's Rand al'Thor. (In her defense, there are moments when she does seem to genuinely love him.)
    • Power Levels: The strongest female channeler alive (until Moirane tackles her through that doorway, at least, whereupon she becomes weaker but still stronger than most other Forsaken). Yes, that does mean "stronger than Nynaeve".
    • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The contrast of her pale skin and dark hair is mentioned a lot.
    • Reincarnation Romance: Well, sort of. She is in love with Rand, who is the reincarnation of her dead lover, but wasn't reincarnated herself, and the romance is rather one-sided. She later gets reincarnated herself, however, as Cyndane.
    • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: At the end of The Fires of Heaven, when she hears a rumor that Rand slept with another woman.
    • Romantic Runner-Up: To Ilyena (and to Elayne, in her own mind at least. The thought that a Forsaken might be gunning for her doesn't seem to have crossed Elayne's mind yet).
    • The Starscream: Has expressed interest in overthrowing the Dark One and the Creator using the Choeden Kal. It's unclear if this attitude continues in her present form, however.
    • Villain Team-Up: First she pretends to form one with Asmodean only to betray him. Then she, Graendel, Sammael and Rahvin attempt one to defeat Rand.
    • Voluntary Shapeshifting: She has a habit of adopting different forms as disguises. She usually appears as a beautiful, twenty-something woman with dark hair in a white dress. Her actual true form, as she reveals to Rand in Book 4, is that of a slightly older version of her usual form, only more mature, perhaps 30-ish, and even more beautiful.
    • We Can Rule Together: She makes this offer to Rand.
    • Woman in White
    • Woman Scorned: And she isn't taking it well.
    • Yandere: Have we mentioned she's interested in Rand?

  • Mesaana / Danelle / Saine Tarasind:

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"The Shadow Aymrlin" she is a teacher, organizer, and researcher from the Age Of Legends. She got turned down for a field study and was regulated to a educator's role, so she turned to the Shadow. As far as Forsaken go, she's pretty o.k. for a person ,though she still conditioned legions of children into a army of little monsters that where capable of murder. She is among the most dangerous because of her refusal to scheme and plot against and with the other Forsaken (though she does from a non-aggression pact with a Semirhage and Demandred) and instead focuses on the "down and dirty" aspects of winning this war. Up until her death she is the most successful of all the Forsaken in doing this, causing a schism in the White Tower that nearly destroyed it and murdering countless Aes Sedai.

    • Boring but Practical: According to records on the War of Power she acted as an organizer for the Shadow who reluctantly maintained order and provided a degree of unity to the other Darkfriend channelers.
    • Child Soldiers: Mesaana educated children to act like this. Even in the present day Mesaana's Children are remembered and feared.
    • Dramatic Irony: Despite joining the Shadow for being relegated to a teaching job instead of research she is the only Forsaken to willingly teach others.
    • Fate Worse Than Death: Battle in the Center of the Mind meets Mind Rape equals And I Must Scream. May count as Disproportionate Retribution, since we never really see her do anything that evil, but then again she did cause the Tower coup (which killed a lot of innocent Aes Sedai and Warders), and it's pretty clear that she would have done the same to Egwene if she could.
    • The Man Behind the Man: She was secretly manipulating Alviarin, who was in turn manipulating Elaida. She may also have been manipulating Galina and Katerine, and was certainly the one pulling the strings on Liandrin and her coven.
    • The Mole: Is somewhere in the White Tower running the Black Ajah. Her sole identifying feature is that she once wore a dress with a brown hem. Revealed to be Danelle.
    • Not So Harmless: In Towers of Midnight she uses her knowledge of Tel'aran'rhiod to create a new basement level, lures Egwene there with no chance of rescue and captures her using an a'dam, and if Egwene hadn't had a Eureka Moment allowing her to surmount her fear and escape she would have been compelled into being Mesaana's puppet.
    • The Resenter: For being relegated to a teaching position instead of getting to be a cutting-edge researcher at the Collam Daan. According to records on the War of Power her anger is second only to Demandred's.
    • Sadist Teacher
    • Villain Team-Up: She, Semirhage and Demandred have an alliance to eliminate their mutual rivals and not betray each other until they are the last of the Forsaken remaining. Of course they never trust each other.

  • Moghedien / Marigan / Lillen Moiral:

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"The Spider" Moghedien was oringally an investment advisor known Lilen Moiral, often looked down on even when she was part of the The Light, she cultivated a massive network of spies and assasins for the Shadow, using an image as a meek and little woman to lead many agents of the Light to their deaths. She escaped after being revealed as a tratior and killing thousands to engineer a distraction. She favors moving and striking "softly from the Shadows". She is a master of the World Of Dreams, making up for her lack-luster strength in the One Power.

    • The Chessmaster
    • Corrupt Corporate Executive: She was a shady "investment adviser" before going to the Shadow.
    • Compelling Voice
    • Dirty Coward
    • Fate Worse Than Death / Foe Yay : When she captured Nynaeve in Tel'aran'rhiod in The Fires Of Heaven instead of killing her she gloated about how she was going to Mind Control her, train her, and have the Dark One make her immortal so that she could turn her into a horse in Tel'aran'rhiod and make her stay that way for all eternity (but only in Tel'aran'rhiod.) Every night, she would become Moghedien's personal horse to ride everywhere.
    • Good Powers, Bad People: Moghedien is the undisputed master of Tel'aran'rhiod. (Don't tell that to Lanfear, who claims it as her domain. Moghedien is even better at manipulating it, but can't match Lanfear in the physical world and is a Dirty Coward, so...)
    • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Her name is the Old Tongue name for a very stealthy spider with a very potent poison (kills within seconds).
    • Power Levels: Moghedien is explicitly described as being equal in The Power to Nynaeve, which is part of her status as a...
    • Recurring Boss and...
    • The Rival to Nynaeve.

  • Rahvin / Lord Gaebril / Ared Mosinel:

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A diplomat and megalomaniac, his specality was pushing regions into non-violent surrender to The Shadow.

    • The Casanova
    • Deader Than Dead: Balefire's time-bending properties (it actually kills you, chronologically speaking, a few seconds before it hits you) mean that Forsaken killed by it can't be revived (the window the Dark One has to revive them is measured in fractions of a second). Rahvin got hit hard enough to rewrite fifteen minutes and over a chapter of events.
    • Villain Team-Up: He, Graendal, Lanfear and Sammael attempt one to defeat Rand.

  • Sammael / Lord Brend / Tel Janin Aellinsar:

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One of the Chief generals for the Shadow, he was friends with Lews Therin Telamon, although it is not certain how deep this friendship ran; more likely he considered himself a rival to Lews Therin. He turned to the Shadow realtively late in the game, but still won major victories for them. He was scared in battle by Lews, a scar he refused to let he healed, swearing he would do so only after killing him.

  • Blatant Lies: Tells Graendal he has a truce with Rand Al'Thor and that he has been appointed Nae'blis. The Dark One responds by sending Moridin to kill him.
  • Chekhov MIA: This was the theory on him for a long time, because, in the narration, Robert Jordan has him trapped between a Fog of Doom on one side and Rand throwing balefire down the other... but has Rand let up at the last second, thinking, "No One Could Survive That." He didn't survive that, but Rand Never Found the Body, so "He's Just Hiding" basically became Fanon. It was only after RJ Jossed the idea himself that everyone calmed down. "Sammael is toast."
  • Green-Eyed Monster, The Resenter
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: His name means "Destroyer of Hope".
  • The Napoleon: Hated the fact that he was so short.
  • Red Herring: In the most recent books, someone is impersonating him to commandeer a bunch of Shadowspawn. If not for the Word of God above, this might have just resurrected (no pun intended) those old Chekhov MIA theories. In a way, they're true, since Sammael did still come back to serve a purpose--it just isn't actually him.
  • Scars Are Forever: Played with. Sammael chooses to keep the scar until he can kill Lews Therin/Rand. It was stated that after the death, Sammael would ask for one of the other Forsaken to remove it.
  • Villain Team-Up: He, Lanfear, Graendal and Rahvin attempt one to defeat Rand. When Lanfear and Rahvin die he remains with Graendal until his death .

  • Semirhage / Anath / Nemene Damendar Boann:

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Batshit crazy and evil to the core, Semirhage required no corrupting. A world renown healer in the Age Of Legends, she was the Token Evil Teammate for The Light until The Hall Of Servants found out that she was torturing her patients as "payment" for Healing (as she felt they where unworthy of being saved). They gave her an ultimatum take a Restraining Bolt against her "pleasures" or be Severed from the One Power forever.. She said Fuck This Im Out Of Here and joined the Shadow, where she became one of their most valued assets.

She is the most feared of all the Forsaken, and even her fellows are more then a but scared of her. Prisoners have commited suicide rather then be tortured by her.

    • Break the Haughty: Cadsuane eventually realizes the key to breaking her isn't pain, but public humiliation... such as being forced to kneel and eat off the floor like a dirty beggar.
    • Depraved Bisexual
    • The Dreaded: During the War of Power, captives often commited suicide- even by biting their own wrists- when they learnt they were being taken to her, to the point her minions had to take special precautions against it for all prisoners. At one point she was captured, but she freaked out the guards so much that they actually smuggled her out and set her free. She was an incredibly sadistic torturer and Mad Scientist, who enjoyed discovering new ways to make people suffer, and she has turned the Sadistic Choice into an art form. Her rep survived down to the Third Age.
    • Flaw Exploitation: Knows Rand Wouldn't Hit a Girl. Is a girl. See where this is going?
    • Fate Worse Than Death: Being captured by her. Why? Because of the...
    • Good Powers, Bad People: She was a world-renowned healer, possibly the best in the world, back in the Age of Wonders, but also a sadist even before she joined the Dark Side. This makes her really good at...
    • Mind Rape
    • The Sociopath: As mused by Graendal, she is one of the few Forsaken to have had no Start of Darkness- she joined The Shadow because the good guys fired her for being a Token Evil Teammate. Mostly because she was already an infamous...
    • Torture Technician, at one point (post-Age of Legends) killing a man by over-stimulating his pleasure centers. She also succed in keeping a man alive four hours after replacing all the blood in his body with tar.
    • Token Minority: We don't really know what Ishamael and Baalthamel originally looked like, but Semirhage is the only black Forsaken that we know of.
    • Villain Team-Up: She, Mesaana and Demandred have an alliance to eliminate their mutual rivals and not betray each other until they are the last of the Forsaken remaining. Of course they never trust each other.

Shaidar Haran

The Myrddraal are mutant Trollocs which resemble pale humans with smooth skin where their eyes should be. Commonly used as commanders of the Dark One's armies, they are much more intelligent than their brethren and possess great fighting skills as well as minor magic, but are much weaker than the average channeler. Shaidar Haran, the most powerful of the Myrddraal, is a different story entirely, a fearsome creature that can command the loyalty and fear of even the Forsaken. Its true nature is the subject of much debate, but it is unarguably one of, if not the, most powerful weapons in the Dark One's arsenal- and might be something more...

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Some of the Forsaken have tried defying it. The results... weren't pretty.
  • Creepy Monotone
  • The Dragon: Possibly. It's unclear whether Haran answers to the Nae'blis, the Nae'blis answers to it, or if they're equals.
  • Enigmatic Minion
  • Fan Nickname: 'Fade' is common in-universe slang for a Myrddraal. Therefore Haran is 'Superfade'.
  • Fighting a Shadow: The most common fan theory is that Haran is some sort of manifestation of the Dark One himself.
    • It's expressly stated that obeying him is obeying the Dark One in fact, though the books themselves make it ambiguous if he is the Dark One or merely speaks with his voice metaphorically. Word of God clears up the issue- he's not truly the Dark One but is a vessel for a "shadow" of him. Basically, he's possessed by a much weaker, independent section of the Dark One that has to return to Shayol Ghul every so often to get "recharged".
  • Large and In Charge: Ordinary Myrddraal are human-sized. Haran is almost half again as big.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: His means "Hand of the Shadow".

Padan Fain

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Originally a Darkfriend sent to spy on the Two Rivers, Fain was forcibly recruited by Ishamael and some Myrddraal to aid in the hunt for Rand. The resulting proceedings filled him with hate for both sides, and a chance encounter in the haunted city of Shadar Logoth left him merged with the spirit of the infamous Evil Chancellor Mordeth. Now he pursues revenge against both the Dragon and the Dark One, and he may well have the power to accomplish it.

  • Artifact of Doom: That cursed knife Mat had for a while is now back in his possession.
  • Ax Crazy
  • Deal with the Devil: Mordeth bargained with the Finn, and then he found an even darker power, Mashadar, which corrupted him totally.
  • Evil Chancellor: As Mordeth. He's weaseled his way into this role a couple of times as Fain, too.
  • Evil Versus Evil: He's willing to capitalize on his former role as a Darkfriend to get what he wants, but at this point he has no love for either side. Per Word of God, his goal number one is to kill Rand, but goal number two is to kill the Dark One. You can see why neither side likes him much.
  • Fog of Doom: He is now followed around by Mashadar.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare
  • Grand Theft Me: What Mordeth tried to do to him. The result was more like an even fusion of the worst aspects of both.
  • I'm Melting: His dagger can cause this effect.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • The Necromancer: His newest ability has granted him the power to create zombies. Cue his zombie army of Trollocs, Worms, and other Shadowspawn.
    • Which results in...
  • Night of the Living Mooks
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: His speech tends to veer back and forth between the lower-class accent of Fain and the more cultured, sophisticated one of Mordeth. This happens largely unconsciously, and creepily, it'll occasionally happen in the middle of a sentence.
  • Punch Clock Villain: As Fain, initially, he was your standard rank-and-file darkfriend who joined up for the power and stayed joined because the alternative was to become Trolloc-food. After merging with Mordeth, he drops the "punch clock" and just becomes straight-up evil.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Granted the ability to find Rand, Mat, and Perrin wherever they are. The painfulness of the process where he acquired this ability is the main reason he hates both the Dark One and the heroes.
  • The Starscream: Is shaping up to be this. Quite a promotion from the Punch Clock Villain he started out as!
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: As Mordeth, initially, by Word of God.
  • Wild Card: To the point that both sides have assassins actively trying to kill him throughout the series [most of them end up dead, the lucky ones just never find him, or get killed by Fain without using his Artifact of Doom].
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Starts out as your average corrupt-but-sane Darkfriend. The more powers he gets, the more off his rocker he goes, until by the most recent books he's potentially one of the most powerful beings in the world and is completely freakin' nuts.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Per Word of God this was one of the original Mordeth's powers, and therefore presumably also one of Fain's, though he hasn't shown it (at least not explicitly) yet.


Once two different men — Lord Luc, brother of Tigraine and blood-uncle to Rand, and Isam, cousin to Lan--who had a destined encounter in the Blight; Luc was there because he'd been sent by a Foretelling made by Gitara Moroso (the same one who foretold Rand's birth and sent Tigraine off to the Waste to become a Maiden of the Spear), while Isam was there because he was trying to reclaim Malkier after his mother colluded with the Darkfriend Cowin Fairheart to betray it to the Shadow. Now they have somehow become one entity and act as Chief Assassin of the Dark.

  • Arch Enemy: To Perrin, partly due to opposing him in the Two Rivers but mostly due to his wolf-killing.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Twice over! Though his Luc persona is much more nasty, it seems.
  • Badass: It can't be denied Slayer is a damned good fighter and supplements his magical powers with physical prowess to match it.
  • Dream Land: He can enter it (in the flesh); make use of its morphability to fast travel, change things around him, and summon weapons; and stepping in and out of it is how he changes from one persona to the other.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: Pretty much describes his interactions with the wolves. The way he acts toward Perrin, as well as the notion of killing Aes Sedai, puts him very close to crossing into Hunting the Most Dangerous Game territory.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: Or at least wolves, though no animal seems to particularly like him. And with good reason.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: What he specializes in, particularly how he killed Amico and Joiya.
  • Fusion Dance: It is still left unexplained exactly how the Shadow accomplished this gestalt, but the end result is a Switcher situation, where Luc and Isam can each take over the 'body' and adapt it to their appearance. Since "one did die and one did live" during their Blight confrontation, it's implied the one who died was Isam and the one who lived was Luc, since he seems unable to be Isam except in the World of Dreams, but this has yet to be confirmed and may not even be true. It's revealed he was Isam when he killed the two Black Ajah, and though that may have been done in the World of Dreams because dying there kills you in the real world too, it seems difficult to believe nailing tongues to a door would carry over. And the Trollocs in the Two Rivers called him Isam.
    • Made even more confusing because we have no real reason to think Luc was a bad guy before the combining; he braved the incredibly dangerous Garden of Evil Blight at the mysterious command of Gitara without any real personal benefit, for instance. Isam was apparently a sort of evil counterpart of Lan already. But now they're both one weirdly combined Jerkass.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Whether human or wolven.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The in-universe example would be for Perrin in Towers of Midnight when he kills Hopper.
  • The Munchausen / Miles Gloriosus: Much of his behavior in the Two Rivers in The Shadow Rising crosses back and forth between these tropes, as it isn't clear how much of his bragging about his warrior skills and his knowledge of tactics is real. (Though Isam for certain, and probably Luc too, would have a good wealth of knowledge of both.) Even once it's revealed he really can do some of what he says, the trope is subverted since a great deal of his activity either conceals more nefarious doings, works at cross-purposes to Perrin, or even gets Emond's Field in greater danger from the Shadowspawn and Whitecloaks alike.
  • Obfuscating Vanity: Because he acts like a preening, self-absorbed, but somewhat helpful and mostly harmless lord, no one but Perrin suspects he could be a villain, at least at first.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Nobody but Perrin (and Verin) knows who he really is, and Perrin refers to him solely by the name the wolves give him. Even Moridin just calls him "the man with two souls".
  • Professional Killer: His job under the Shadow, though he also indulges for his own pleasure (and to create Darkhounds).
  • Punch Clock Villain: In some ways, Isam seems like this, at least in how he treats Perrin.

 Slayer, as Isam: Luc hates you, you know. Hates you deeply.

Perrin: And you don't?

Slayer: No more than the wolf hates the stag.

  • Ranger: A hunter who uses a bow and a two swords.
  • Synchronization: Whatever happens to Isam in the World of Dreams happens to Luc in the real world, as seen when Perrin shot him with an arrow. No indication yet whether the reverse is also true.
    • That's not really unique to Isam. Anyone hurt in Tel'aran'rhiod suffers corresponding injuries to their corporeal self; it's one of the properties of the World of Dreams.
      • True, but the reason this is notable is because Luc and Isam are two different people, yet what happens to one in the World of Dreams happens to the other in the real world. This is unique compared to the other examples of Tel'aran'rhiod, since such a correspondence could not happen between two different people without Luc and Isam being part of a Fusion Dance, and it is in fact how Perrin (along with the cold, inhuman scent they share) is able to figure out Luc is Slayer since otherwise they looked nothing alike.
  • Villainous Fashion Sense: Though considering the fact his outfits correspond with either Andoran or Borderlander nobility, this would also be a dead giveaway as to his identity--if anyone who had seen him knew who Luc or Isam was, or had described him to someone who knew they were related to Rand and Lan. (Which at this point is just Rand and Lady Dyelin for Luc, Lan and possibly Moiraine for Isam.)


One of the first Trollocs in the series and the only one given a distinctive name. Despite his early and ignominious death, he still fascinates the fandom on a level surpassed only by Bela, leading to his inclusion in lists where he really doesn't belong. For more information about the fandom's reaction to him, head over to YMMV.


Artificial beings created by Aginor during the War of Power, the Shadowspawn are notable for being Always Chaotic Evil and forming the bulk of the Dark One's forces. There are many different kinds of Shadowspawn, but the most notable are discussed below:

  • Trollocs

Brutish, bloodthirsty beast-men, the Trollocs are the most commonly encountered Shadowspawn and are the standard Mooks for the Shadow. Though inhumanly large, strong, and aggressive, they're not very good soldiers and need someone or something else in command in order to be at all effective.

    • Always Chaotic Evil: They're basically exceptionally aggressive, bloodthirsty animals; though they have their own language (and some speak the human language as well), your average Trolloc isn't interested in much but fighting and killing and their intelligence is generally subhuman.
    • Dumb Muscle: It's about all they're good for.
    • I'm a Humanitarian: Trollocs will eat just about anything with meat on it, and that includes humans. They'll usually eat their captives, and darkfriends are sometimes threatened with being fed to them to ensure obedience.
    • Mix-and-Match Critters: All Trollocs look like large, overmuscled humans with animal features mixed in, but what animal they resemble varies a great deal from Trolloc to Trolloc.
    • Mooks
    • Our Orcs Are Different
    • Super Soldier: Arguably subverted. Though individually tougher than humans, they're not nearly as smart or disciplined, which makes them less effective overall.
      • They were designed by Aginor as ideal soldiers... except Aginor had never seen real combat, and actually had no idea what makes for a good soldier.
  • Myrddraal

Throwbacks to the Trollocs' human heritage, Myrddraal make up less than 5% of the Trolloc population but are by far the most important. More human-looking- and far more intelligent- than their cousins, they generally serve as Elite Mooks or Mook Lieutenants and without their presence making Trollocs function as an effective fighting force would be all but impossible.

    • Alien Blood: It's acid
    • Always Chaotic Evil: Though unlike Trollocs, Myrddraal are smart enough to know exactly what they're doing. As such, they represent a more cold-blooded, calculated form of evil.
    • Black Cloak: The standard Myrddraal "uniform" consists of a Black Cloak worn over formfitting black armor. The cloak is particularly notable because it always hangs flat, never rippling in the wind.
    • Creepy Monotone
    • Elite Mooks / Mook Lieutenant: They're both more formidable than Trollocs and usually found in command over them.
    • Emotion Bomb: They can induce fear with a look.
    • Eyeless Face: They resemble eerily pale and graceful humans except for the fact that they have only smooth skin where eyes and sockets should be.
    • Fate Worse Than Death: The original meaning of this phrase--one of the favorite things Fades enjoy doing to mortals (and, to judge from Shaidar Haran, to use as punishment for female Forsaken) is rape. Whenever a child results from such a union, the mother usually dies in childbirth. Usually.
    • Genius Bruiser: They're noted for their cunning, but they're also deadlier warriors than regular Trollocs and can cut through all but the most Badass humans with ease.
    • Humanoid Abomination
    • Keystone Army: the simplest way for a Myrddraal to keep control of its fist of Trollocs is to bind them to it mentally. But if you kill the Myrddraal, its entire squad gets knocked over too.
    • Magic Knight: Though they're not as powerful as human channelers, Myrddraal have a number of supernatural abilities in addition to their martial prowess.
    • One-Gender Race: They all look male, but are usually referred to as "it" rather than "he" in narration. (This despite their proclivity to rape.)
    • The Stoic: Myrddraal feel very little emotion, and show next to none. This is, in fact, a tip-off that Shaidar Haran is not actually a Myrddraal, as he frequently smiles and laughs (though his sense of humor is quite cruel).
      • In the first book, Rand gets the impression that they feel hatred for every living thing; near the end, we are told that both Myrddraal Padan Fain was assigned to (as well as the Trollocs) treated him like absolute dirt and verbally and physically abused him, and one forced him to sleep in a cooking cauldron every night to remind him of what will happen if he fails (ie. Trolloc food). Sounds less like The Stoic than The Eternally Malevolvent. Its also clear that they can feel fear; for instance, theof Mashadar and Shadar Logoth.
    • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: In the first few books, they're terrifying. Later on, the protagonists can kill them with only slightly more difficulty than Trollocs, though they're still a terrible threat to most people in the setting.
    • The Worf Effect: In regards to Fain; the fact that his powers let him kill, torture, and control them is used to emphasize how powerful and evil he is (normally, Myrddraal only back down for Forsaken or the Dark One himself).
  • Draghkar

The Shadow's flying scouts and assassins, Draghkar are winged, humanoid creatures with the power to consume the souls of their victims. Fortunately they're said to be even less intelligent than Trollocs, but they're still deadly when under the command of a Myrddraal.

  • Gray Men

These are standard human Darkfriends who have surrendered their souls to the Shadow. In exchange, they get turned into Ridiculously Average Guys who can enter without anyone noticing, which serves them well in their role as assassins.

  • Beneath Notice: Invoked. Grey Men are typically written into the narration as an Unusually Uninteresting Sight, inviting The Reader to overlook them. Double Takes can follow, both In-Universe and out.
  • The Nondescript: Uses the superpowered version. They're next to impossible to see coming; they don't even trip the Spider Sense radar that channelers get with creatures of the Shadow. The only ways to survive a Grey Man attack are to get lucky (have their initial attempt miss or fail somehow, which reveals their presence), be very quick (they become a lot easier to notice right before they strike, because the "OH GOD HE HAS A KNIFE" mental response overrides their powers), or to have some other way of detecting them (Perrin, for example, can smell them coming).
  • Non-Indicative Name: Yes, women can become Grey Men.