The “Spin the Wheel” series on Tor.com gives readers a chance to choose which entries from the forthcoming The Wheel of Time Companion encyclopedia get revealed before publication!
This week we’ll be revealing three excerpts from the Companion and our first randomly generated pick is: Comment #10 from Purple Ajah for selecting “Elayne Trakand”!
Read the entry for “Elayne Trakand” below, which is one of the many extraordinarily substantial character excerpts contained within the book and which also features character art by Ariel Burgess! Check out the full color image of Elayne on Burgess’ site.
Check this link on Thursday for one more excerpt from The Wheel of Time Companion. It’s our favorite entry so far!
Elayne Trakand — An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah and the rebel contingent, with a potential strength level of 8(+5). Born in 981 NE, she went to the White Tower in 998 NE. After spending less than a year as a novice and less than a year as Accepted, she was raised to the shawl in 999 NE by Egwene’s decree. Elayne was also Queen Morgase’s daughter, the Daughter-Heir to the Throne of Andor. Her sign was a golden lily. She became Queen of Andor and Cairhien, and participated in the Last Battle.
Elayne had red-gold curls and big blue eyes. Her face was a perfect oval, her lips full and red. About 5’7″ tall, a little shorter than Aviendha, she was quite tall for an Andoran woman. Her brother Gawyn was a head taller than she. Elayne was slim, but not too slim; curvaceous but neither overly busty nor under-endowed. She had a dimple in her cheek when she smiled; Mat thought that dimple hadn’t failed her very often in getting her own way. Her voice was not particularly high, but she believed that it was not suited for shouting, for one thing, because in her opinion her shouts came out sounding like shrieks.
As a child she had a nursemaid named Lini, of whom she was very fond; Lini had also been her mother’s and grandmother’s nursemaid.
Although basically a good and decent person, Elayne was the Daughter-Heir of Andor, born to wealth, power, position and prestige. While she was ready to bend (e.g., novice training), she usually wanted and expected her own way, and was really shocked or surprised that she could be hurt even when she had taken a risk. She was quite willing to consult with others, but truly expected the decision to go her way. She was stubborn, but willing to see when or where she was wrong, though often only after a long resistance (as with Thom), and she was not likely to say “you were right and I was wrong,” only to adopt the new position.
Elayne was by nature a peacemaker; she tried to smooth over roughnesses between people. On the other hand, if she was roused, there was no peacemaking in her.
As a commander, she expected those under her to do as they were told. She had a weakness for sweets, especially hard candies, and colorful language. Elayne had the mind of a development engineer: she was not particularly good at discovering new principles, but she was a whiz at figuring new ways to use those already known and at reverse-engineering things. These abilities were particularly well suited to making ter’angreal, and she was the first after the Breaking to be able to do so. She tried to teach others how to make ter’angreal, but no one showed much skill or success in doing so. She had real abilities with weather.
Elayne met Rand at the Royal Palace in Caemlyn when he first arrived there from the Two Rivers. She was already a novice at the White Tower when Egwene and Nynaeve arrived, and they became friends. She tested for Accepted at about the same time Egwene did. She was winkled out of Tar Valon by Liandrin, taken via the Ways to Toman Head, escaped being turned over to the Seanchan and helped to rescue Egwene, who had been captured. She traveled back to the White Tower, leaving again with Egwene and Nynaeve to hunt the Black Ajah on Siuan Sanche’s orders. She traveled with the other two young women to Tear; on the way they met Aviendha. In Tear they stayed with Mother Guenna, who introduced them to Juilin Sandar; he agreed to help them find the women of the Black Ajah, although he was not aware that the women were Aes Sedai. He was caught by the Black sisters and betrayed Elayne, Egwene and Nynaeve. The three women were taken prisoner by the Black sisters and jailed in the dungeons of the Stone of Tear. Egwene used her dream ter’angreal ring to work toward freedom; Mat and Juilin arrived and freed them.
After Rand won the Stone, Elayne and Nynaeve then headed to Tanchico, accompanied by Thom Merrilin and Juilin Sandar, aboard the Wavedancer, a Sea Folk ship. Elayne learned that Jorin, the Windfinder, could channel; Jorin taught Elayne how to weave weather, and Elayne taught Jorin how to weave with Fire. In Tanchico, Elayne and Nynaeve met Bayle Domon again and Egeanin for the first time. They learned that the Black Ajah was in the Panarch’s Palace and sneaked in. While Nynaeve fought Moghedien and found the male a’dam, Elayne and Egeanin freed the Panarch. They gave the male a’dam to Domon and Egeanin to drop into the ocean, and tried to make their way back to Tar Valon. In Mardecin, they saw a signal for a Yellow Ajah eyes-and-ears, Ronde Macura. They talked with Ronde, who dosed them with forkroot tea so that they could be taken to the Tower. Thom and Juilin rescued them, and they continued on their way in disguise.
In Sienda they encountered Galad, who wanted to take them to Caemlyn. To escape him they joined Valan Luca’s show; Elayne performed as a tightrope walker. They met Cerandin, a Seanchan who had been left behind at Falme; she gave Elayne an a’dam. Elayne studied it and figured out how it worked and thought that she could make other ter’angreal. After Birgitte was ripped bodily out of Tel’aran’rhiod by Moghedien, Elayne bonded Birgitte as her Warder to save Birgitte’s life. In Samara, Nynaeve asked both Masema and Galad to get them a ship so that they could go to Salidar; although the Whitecloaks fighting the Prophet’s men caused a great riot, they made it to the ship, Riverserpent, and sailed for Salidar. After Nynaeve captured Moghedien, Elayne created an a’dam out of Birgitte’s silver arrow to hold her.
Egwene raised Elayne, Nynaeve, Faolain and Theodrin Aes Sedai by decree when she became Amyrlin, and then sent Elayne, Nynaeve and Aviendha with other Aes Sedai and Mat to Ebou Dar to find the Bowl of the Winds. In Ebou Dar, Elayne and Nynaeve discovered the Kin, made a bargain with the Sea Folk and found the Bowl of the Winds, although they had to fight the Black Ajah and a gholam for it. Elayne, the Sea Folk and the Kin went to the Kin’s farm and used the Bowl of the Winds to heal the weather; just as they were finishing, the Seanchan arrived and they fled through a gateway to Andor. Elayne, who created the gateway, attempted to unravel it; the attacks by Seanchan damane caused her to lose her grip and a great explosion resulted, killing all of the Seanchan and injuring Elayne, Birgitte and Aviendha. Nynaeve Healed them, and they accompanied the Kin back to Caemlyn.
Elayne laid claim to the Lion Throne. Dyelin supported her; Elenia, Arymilla and Naean opposed her, leaving her in need of more Houses to support her. She became first-sisters with Aviendha, who began teaching her Maiden handtalk, though she said it was forbidden.
Dyelin and Doilin Mellar saved Elayne from an assassination attempt; though suspicious of him, she made Mellar the captain of her new group of Guardswomen. When Rand and Min paid a surreptitious visit to the palace, she, along with Aviendha and Min, bonded Rand as a Warder. Elayne and Rand slept together and she became pregnant with twins. After following Mellar to a house on Full Moon Street, Elayne and others surprised some members of the Black Ajah, and were in turn surprised by more of the Black Ajah. Sareitha, Vandene and Careane were killed, and Elayne was captured. With help from the Sea Folk, Birgitte rescued her, killed Asne and captured the other Black sisters and Mellar. At the same time, Arymilla attacked the city of Caemlyn; Elayne joined the battle and won. Pelivar, Luan, Arathelle, Ellorien, Abelle and Aemlyn then went to Caemlyn; all but Ellorien stood for Elayne and she became Queen of Andor.
Elayne made arrangements with the Kin for them to have a headquarters in Caemlyn to help with Traveling and Healing, and arrangements with Mat for use of the dragons and the Band of the Red Hand. She attempted to fool the captive Black sisters and get information from them; she was captured again and stabbed but was Healed and managed to escape. Elayne put forth a claim to Cairhien, and after some political feints won the Sun Throne. When the Trollocs entered Caemlyn through gateways at the start of the Last Battle, she set fire to the city and led her troops north, eventually taking over allied command of the campaign against the Shadowspawn.
She was almost killed by Daved Hanlon on the Field of Merrilor, but was saved by Birgitte, already dead but returned as a Hero of the Horn.
Elayne Trakand art by Ariel Burgess
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