Did you know that Elaida and Egwene have one thing in common? Both can claim that they had the shortest tenure as Amyrlin in the history of the White Tower.
Leading up to the release of The Wheel of Time Companion on November 3, Tor.com and Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons are excerpting portions and entries from its massive store of notes, illustrations, and encyclopedia entries. Unfamiliar with the Companion? Long-time series editor and Robert Jordan’s wife Harriet explains its compilation here and offers a thank you to fans of the series.
Below, we’ve compiled the Companion entries for ALL of the Amyrlin Seats known in the history of the Wheel of Time world! Topping out at over 7000 words, this compilation includes some extraneous entries for added context, as well as large portions of the entries for Elaida and Suian.
The Amyrlins are listed in chronological order. Enjoy!
Read more excerpts from The Wheel of Time Companion at this link.
After the Breaking
Elisane Tishar: The First Amyrlin, circa 47-98 AB
An Aes Sedai at the formation of the White Tower. Note: The Aes Sedai resolved to create a new city in 47 AB, and, after considerable discussion, Ogier stonemasons began building on the island of Tar Valon in 98 AB. The Tower was a collaboration between Aes Sedai designers and Ogier builders, with the One Power being employed to aid construction. The establishment of the Amyrlin Seat also took place at this time.
Elisane Tishar was mentioned in public records as the Amyrlin Seat, the first to hold that title, which she apparently had held for at least several years at that point.
Tetsuan: Trolloc Wars
An Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah who served as the Amyrlin Seat during the Trolloc Wars. Her jealousy of Queen Eldrene led her to betray Manetheren, with the result that that nation, alone, faced the assault of a huge army of Trollocs and Dreadlords and was destroyed. When her deed was discovered, she was stripped of stole and staff, deposed and stilled. After the usual manner of the White Tower, the actual reasons were kept secret insofar as non–Aes Sedai were concerned. After being stilled, she lived three years scrubbing floors in the White Tower.
Rashima Kerenmosa: 1251-1301 AB
An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who was known as the Soldier Amyrlin. Born circa 1150 AB, she went to the Tower around 1165 AB. After spending five years as a novice and five years as Accepted, she was raised to the shawl around 1175 AB. Rashima was raised Amyrlin in 1251 AB. Personally leading the Tower armies, she won innumerable victories, most notably Kaisin Pass, the Sorelle Step, Larapelle, Tel Norwin and Maighande, where she died in 1301 AB. Her body was discovered after the battle, surrounded by her five Warders and a vast wall of Trollocs and Myrddraal which contained the corpses of no fewer than nine Dreadlords. [Note: The Battle of Maighande was a key defeat of the Trollocs that led to the cessation of the Trolloc Wars.]
The Free Years
Anghara: Time Unknown
An Amyrlin from the past. Isebele of Dal Calain had enough power to force Anghara to come to her.
Bonwhin Meraighdin: FY circa 939
An Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah. She was born in FY 738 and was raised Amyrlin circa FY 939. Bonwhin nearly caused the destruction of the White Tower by trying to make Hawkwing her puppet. She was deposed and stilled in FY 992 because of her failed manipulations of Artur Hawkwing, which led to Hawkwing turning violently against the Aes Sedai and placing the White Tower under siege. After being deposed, she was kept among the scullions—as a scullion, in truth—and exhibited to the sisters periodically as a dire example. She died in FY 996.
Deane Aryman: FY circa 992-FY 1084
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. Born circa FY 920 in Salidar, Eharon, she went to the White Tower in FY 934. After spending five years as a novice and four years as Accepted, she was raised to the shawl in FY 943. She was raised to the Amyrlin Seat circa FY 992. At the time of her selection, she was the youngest woman who had ever been raised Amyrlin. She saved the White Tower from the damage done by Bonwhin in attempting to control Artur Hawkwing and was credited with convincing Souran Maravaile to raise the siege of Tar Valon (which had begun in FY 975) at Hawkwing’s death. Deane restored the Tower’s prestige, and it is believed that at the time of her death in FY 1084, in a fall from a horse, she was on the point of convincing the nobles warring over the remains of Hawkwing’s empire to accept the leadership of the White Tower a means of restoring unity to the land.
The New Era
Selame Necoine: FY 1084-5 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who served as Amyrlin Seat from approximately FY 1084 to approximately 5 NE. An Amyrlin of average strength, she was unable to carry out what Deane had begun: to unite the nobles behind the White Tower.
Rabayn Marushta: 5-36 NE
An Aes Sedai of the White Ajah who served as Amyrlin Seat from 5 to 36 NE. Rabayn was a weak Amyrlin; she was not a puppet of the Hall, but definitely not in true control.
Dalaine Ndaye: 36-64 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 36 to 64 NE. Dalaine was a weak Amyrlin.
Edarna Noregovna: 64-115 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 64 to 115 NE. Edarna was a strong Amyrlin, which she managed by being very deft in her political manipulations.
Balladare Arandaille: 115-142 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah who served as a weak Amyrlin from 115 to 142 NE. The Kavarthen Wars occurred during her reign.
Medanor Eramandos: 142-171 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 142 to 171 NE. Medanor was a fairly strong Amyrlin who managed through her skill at gaining consensus, mediation and playing one faction off another.
Kiyosa Natomo: 171-197 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 171 to 197 NE. Kiyosa was a strong Amyrlin, managing Tower affairs through the strength of her will and the force of her personality.
Catala Lucanvalle: 197-223 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 197 to 223 NE. Catala was strong, though not as strong as her predecessor; she was, however, even more arrogant. Catala did not die while Amyrlin, though this was put about; she resigned, supposedly of her own free will, and went into retirement. This was the result of one of those rebellions buried in the Tower’s secret histories. Approximately half the Hall was forced to follow Catala into retirement, though not all of them were kept under guard. Catala was guarded until she died in 250 NE.
Elise Strang: 223-244 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 223 to 244 NE. Elise was a very weak Amyrlin who had literally to beg to get most things she wanted from the Hall.
Comarra Zepava: 244-276 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 244 to 276 NE. Comarra was a moderately strong Amyrlin, at least compared to Elise Stang. While not so firmly in control as Kiyosa or Catala, she still managed very well.
Serenia Latar: 276-306 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 276 to 306 NE. Serenia was a strong Amyrlin, a skillful negotiator who greatly increased the Tower’s influence and prestige, ending many wars and effecting many treaties. In 306 NE, Serenia died in Altara after negotiating an end to a civil war. Her corpse was seized by the Whitecloaks; they hanged it despite the fact that she was already dead. She was the only Amyrlin ever hanged by the Children of the Light.
Doniella Alievin: 306-332 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 306 to 332 NE. Doniella was a quiet Amyrlin, not particularly strong, but not in the control of the Hall, either; her benign neglect did leave the Hall pretty much in control of the Tower. Doniella quite voluntarily resigned as the Amyrlin Seat in order to spend more time on her studies; she was a Dreamer who made much-discussed notes on the Prophecies of the Dragon. She spent the next thirty-one years studying happily, but she was not allowed to return to the White Tower, and she was strongly discouraged from letting anyone know that she had been the Amyrlin Seat. She died in 363 NE.
Aliane Senican: 332-355 NE
An Aes Sedai of the White Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 332 to 355 NE. Aliane began as a strong Amyrlin, but her notions of running things according to logic—and her rages when others failed to see her logic—led by 339 NE to her becoming not so much a puppet of the Hall as ignored by them except when she had to be trotted out for ceremonies.
Suilin Escanda: 355-396 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 355 to 396 NE. Suilin was an Amyrlin of moderate strength who involved the Tower in a number of foreign intrigues. One or another faction in the Hall was always trying to thwart her, but she successfully outmaneuvered them until 396 NE when she was forced to resign as the Amyrlin Seat. It was put about as voluntary, as was her retirement to the country, but she spent the next twenty-six years in exile under constant guard until her death in 422 NE. She was returned to Tar Valon and buried with considerable pomp and honor, though.
Nirelle Coidevwin: 396-419 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 396 to 419 NE. Nirelle was a strong Amyrlin, forceful and dynamic. Chosen in the belief that she would extricate the Tower from her predecessor’s foreign intrigues, she instead continued them, involving the Tower in a number of wars. She personally led Tower contingents in battle. Had it not been for the wars, she might have been removed, but the White Tower reaction to external threats was always to gather in and do nothing that might even hint at any crack in the supposedly unbreakable facade. In 419 NE, Nirelle died on campaign.
Ishara Nawan: 419-454 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 419 to 454 NE. Ishara was a strong Amyrlin; she continued the policies of her predecessors in a modified way. Under her the Tower was involved in fewer wars than under Nirelle but more than under Suilin. She gained considerable influence for the Tower, but also entangled the Tower in several dangerous situations that came to a head only after her death.
Cerilla Marodred: 454-476 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah who served as Amyrlin between 454 and 476 NE. Cerilla was a moderately strong Amyrlin. She negotiated the Tower’s way out of the situations in which Ishara had enmeshed it. Her strength came in large part from her ability to do that. In most other ways, the Hall ran the White Tower and the Aes Sedai. Cerilla’s interest and passion lay in the outside world. In truth, though, overt Tower influence in the world, which had grown one way and another from Suilin Escanda to Ishara Nawan, began to decline once more during her reign.
Igaine Luin: 476-520 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 476 to 520 NE. Igaine was an Amyrlin of average strength, chosen in large part because she would lead the Tower away from the open involvement in the world that her four predecessors had espoused.
Beryl Marle: 520-533 NE
An Aes Sedai of the White Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 520 to 533 NE. Beryl was a weak Amyrlin, a compromise candidate chosen after the Hall had deadlocked on others; she turned out to have little interest in the world at all. The Tower’s influence waned considerably during her reign; she was not so much under the control of the Hall as she was willing to let them do whatever they wanted.
Eldaya Tolen: 533-549 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 533 to 549 NE. Eldaya was an Amyrlin of below-average strength, though not entirely weak; she was willing to let the Hall have its way in most things as long as they went along with the manipulations she planned in various countries, which she engaged in more than were usual for the Tower, which is saying a great deal. The result was that the Hall had effective control of the Tower itself and most affairs among the sisters.
Alvera Ramosanya: 549-578 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 549 to 578 NE. Alvera was a weak Amyrlin, though a woman with all the personal force and arrogance expected of her Ajah. The Hall, having gained another taste of power under her two predecessors, chose her because they calculated her personality and abilities closely and were not willing to let go. She continually attempted to establish her leadership, but failed miserably and died embittered, at a relatively young age for an Aes Sedai who died neither in a war nor an accident; she was only 248. There was some possibility that her death actually was by assassination caused by one of her attempts to assert authority going very badly wrong.
Shein Chunla: 578-601 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 578 to 601 NE. Shein, the youngest Amyrlin since Deane Aryman, was a weak Amyrlin. She attempted to run the Hall of the Tower autocratically, but failed miserably. She had been the head of the Green Ajah—although this was not known outside the Ajah—and was well respected by other Ajahs. It was not until she was chosen Amyrlin that they saw examples of how she had run the Green. The other Ajahs did not find that way to their liking at all. The Hall made her little more than a figurehead and ceremonial puppet. Although the world at large thought she died in office, in fact she was toppled by a rebellion, and a good part of the Hall that had tolerated her fell with her. Many in the Hall had been willing to deal with and around her, but discontent grew until the Sitters who were no longer willing carried out a coup. Shein actually lived another fifty-one years in a very closely controlled exile until she died in 652 NE. There was some evidence that she was assassinated—smothered in her sleep by her guards—because of a plot to return her to power. The secret Tower records did describe several plots that were aimed at returning her to Tar Valon at the very least. All of these were dealt with strongly, and Shein herself was punished in each instance, though there was no concrete evidence that she knew of all the plots. It was fairly certain that she knew of some.
Gerra Kishar: 601-638 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 601 to 638 NE. Gerra was a strong Amyrlin. She used her skills as a negotiator and mediator to play factions off against each other in the Hall. Chosen in part because her mild personality was so much in contrast to Shein’s—and possibly because the Hall thought she would be controllable—she continually got her way. She was also chosen in part because she was one of the ringleaders of the coup that toppled Shein, which should have given the others some clue to how biddable she would be. An attempted coup against her was crushed utterly. She was remembered as one of the greatest Amyrlins.
Varuna Morrigan: 638-681 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 638 to 681 NE. Varuna was an Amyrlin of average strength. She focused on the Borderlands, feeling that the battle there against Shadowspawn was much more important than any meddling with nations farther south. This effectively reduced the Tower’s power and influence to the south. Her focus on the Borderlands and external matters also left the Hall largely in control of the Tower and the Aes Sedai.
Cemaile Sorenthaine: 681-705 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 681 to 705 NE. Cemaile was an Amyrlin of moderate strength in the beginning, but she was reduced to a weak Amyrlin, certainly one of the weakest ever if not the weakest. She had grand plans to restore the White Tower to its former greatness, but those went badly awry. While it was recorded only in the secret chronicles of the Tower, from 686 NE to her death in 705 NE she was no more than a puppet of the Hall, and her Keeper was in actual fact her guardian, set to watch over her by the Hall, from whom she was forced to take orders, albeit orders which originated in the Hall. It was recorded that “the largest decision she was allowed to make in that time was what dress to don in the morning, and even that was subject to change by her Keeper.”
The appointing of a guardian was done through one of the secret laws of the Tower, those that prohibited even revealing the existence of the law. As a step short of removing an Amyrlin, the greater consensus of the Hall, convened in secret, could in effect remove everything but the title and place someone of their choosing and under their authority in what amounted to in loco parentis of the Amyrlin. This law was created after an Amyrlin became incapacitated during the Trolloc Wars, and the Tower did not want to reveal their troubles to the outside world. Despite—or perhaps because of—the specific reasons the law was created, its wording was broad enough to allow this to be done to not only an Amyrlin who had become mentally or physically incapacitated. but to one who, in the opinion of the Hall (the greater consensus), was no longer capable of carrying out her duties properly. According to the secret records of the White Tower, it was mainly because of the recent troublesome plots surrounding Shein Chunla that Cemaile was not removed and exiled, though there were certain indications that the Hall more and more grew to like the power given to them by having a true puppet on the Amyrlin Seat.
Marasale Jureen: 705-732 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 705 to 732 NE. Marasale was in large part a puppet of the Hall; they had gotten used to running things with Cemaille, an Amyrlin who had lost her authority, and chose someone they knew they could control and kept her on a very short leash.
Feragaine Saralman: 732-754 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 732 to 754 NE. Feragaine was in large part a puppet of the Hall. Like Marasale, she was chosen because the Hall thought they could control her; in large part they managed to. She made efforts to restore the power and authority of the Amyrlin Seat but was almost always outmaneuvered by the Hall, who seemed to know what she was going to do before she made a move. Her interests, like those of many Blues, had always lain outside the White Tower and its politics, and she floundered badly in the treacherous currents in the Hall.
Myriam Copan: 754-797 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 754 to 797 NE. She was justifiably known as “Beauty.” Myriam began as a weak Amyrlin known for her concern with her own looks and for her sulks and temper tantrums, as well as for her dislike of being cooped up in Tar Valon and her complete disinterest in having anything to do with running the Tower or the Aes Sedai. In 758 NE she supposedly went on a two-month retreat by herself, after which she underwent a sudden and unexplained about-face. In fact, she had been kidnapped by Cadsuane Melaidhrin and put through a short but tough course in what it meant to be adult and Amyrlin. She restored the power and authority of the Amyrlin Seat and had a distinguished reign. She was not among the most powerful of Amyrlins, but far from the least, and she developed a deft political hand.
Zeranda Tyrim: 797-817 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 797 to 817 NE. Zeranda was an Amyrlin of only average strength.
Parenia Demalle: 817-866 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 817 to 866 NE. Parenia was an Amyrlin of average strength. She was more interested in negotiations and treaties between nations than in the running of the Tower. She still kept fairly good control in order to gain backing for her treaties.
Sereille Bagand: 866-890 NE
An Aes Sedai of the White Ajah with a strength level of 21(9). Born in Far Madding in 586 NE, she went to the White Tower in 601 NE. After spending thirteen years as a novice and eleven years as Accepted, she was raised to the shawl in 625 NE. The long periods Sereille spent as novice and Accepted had more to do with her being a discipline problem than with any difficulties in learning; she was remembered vividly by Reanne Corly of the Kin, who was a novice with her, as breaking more rules and playing more pranks than any three other novices.
It was considered an attribute of women from Far Madding that they were strong-willed, and it was not considered all that unusual for one to do even dangerous things on a dare, at least while young, but Sereille once left the Tower grounds without permission, visited the guards at each bridge, in her novice white, told them her name, then returned to the Tower, managing to sneak in despite the fact that the first report of a runaway had already come in. She did it on a dare, despite knowing the punishment; in fact, it is recorded that when she was found, it was in the Mistress of Novices’ study, waiting to begin that punishment.
In 738 NE Sereille was chosen for the Hall of the Tower as a Sitter for the White, serving under the ineffectual Feragaine and then Myriam Copan, who was also a weak Amyrlin, if not a puppet, in her early years. Sereille had shown no indications that she was extraordinary until she entered the Hall; as a Sitter, she blossomed, some might say virulently. She became more and more forceful, openly asserting her strong-willed personality. She could use logic like a knife in argument, gutting her opponents and filleting them or cutting them into paper-thin slices as she chose. With weak Amyrlins and all real power residing in the Hall—a situation that historically led to vicious infighting and a hothouse atmosphere in the Hall, indeed in the entire Tower—she had plenty of opportunity. She was particularly strong in opposing, successfully, measures that would have increased the power of the individual Ajahs at the expense of the Tower’s control over them, as well as any attempts at self-aggrandizement by Sitters.
In 759 NE, she was named Mistress of Novices under Myriam Copan. Some said she was appointed Mistress to get her out of the Hall. This occurred just after “Beauty” Copan went on her retreat that changed her priorities and turned her into a strong Amyrlin. It was not then known (although a few suspected) that Cadsuane was involved in this retreat in any way. Cadsuane, then age fifty-eight, and twenty-eight years an Aes Sedai—very junior in everything except her strength, which put her at the very top of the social hierarchy—did not get on with Sereille, and the dislike was returned. Reportedly, Cadsuane was the only sister who Sereille could never make jump through hoops.
Sereille served as Mistress of Novices for an unprecedented 107 years under Myriam, Zeranda Tyrim and Parenia Demalle. Traditionally, of course, a new Amyrlin might ask the Mistress of Novices to step down so as to put her own woman in the post, but some say that Sereille remained so long in the position because the Hall thought to keep her out of their hair, at least in the beginning. Later it was said that no one had the nerve to ask her to step down.
During her tenure, she was in many ways a tyrant, and most novices and Accepted squeaked when she looked at them; if she looked twice, their teeth often chattered. Her punishments were not arbitrary—she did not play favorites or single out girls she did not like—but her standards were high, and her punishments for falling short were fierce, to say the least. In truth, given that the Mistress of Novices often played such a large part in penances served by sisters, she also quite literally put her mark on a large number of women who already were Aes Sedai during this period.
In 866 NE, she was raised Amyrlin; some reports suggest that by this time, the Hall of the Tower was afraid not to stand for her. What can be certain, though, is that once her name was suggested, all others were withdrawn. She achieved the greater consensus on the very first call, which was all but unprecedented.
As Amyrlin, she ran the Tower in many ways as if she still was the Mistress of Novices, and every sister was a novice, or at best Accepted. She expected obedience and no arguments, and she got obedience and no arguments; those who argued soon came to regret it, with the possible exception of Cadsuane Melaidhrin. Claims that even Sitters flinched when she looked at them and broke into tears when she frowned cannot be confirmed, but the fact remains that during her reign, the Hall of the Tower was firmly in her grasp.
When the Hall first tried balking her, she unchaired the entire Hall. The Ajahs then returned the same Sitters, only to have her unchair them immediately. This continued for nearly half a year before the Ajahs realized that for all that time Sereille had been ruling solely by decree and would continue to do so. A full year passed before Sereille allowed a Hall to sit, and by that time the Ajahs had, in desperation, begun choosing women they believed Sereille would accept. By the time she allowed a Hall to sit, every single Sitter was a woman Sereille would accept; in effect, she had chosen her own Hall, and she never had trouble with them again. After Sereille’s death, the Hall passed a law saying that if the entire Hall was unchaired, the new Hall had to sit for ten days before it could be unchaired again.
A plotted rebellion against her was uncovered by Cadsuane and crushed by her single-handedly.
Sereille’s reign coincided with another expansion of Aes Sedai influence, an increase in the power of the White Tower. She did not try for the return to any former days of glory, but for that period, she came very close to achieving it, by diplomacy, by manipulation and plots, and by the force of her will. When Sereille died in 890 NE, the Hall began to reassert itself within the Tower; whether or not this was the reason, the Tower’s power and influence in the world promptly began another slow decline.
Aleis Romlin: 890-922 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 890 to 922 NE. Aleis was chosen after Cadsuane Melaidhrin fled the Tower rather than be chosen. Aleis was a weak Amyrlin. It was not that she did not have a strong personality; she just did not know her way in the politics of the Tower, a fact that may well have played its part in her selection. The secret records say that the Sitters realized their close call after Cadsuane fled—they had nearly lumbered themselves with another Sereille—and so went to the other extreme, choosing a woman who had no interest in running the White Tower and no ability in administration or consensus making. Aleis herself wanted only to be out in the world; the secret records say that she was watched closely and several times stopped from leaving Tar Valon—in effect, from sneaking out—and that, coupled with her knowledge that she was entirely unsuited for the position, forced to her cooperate, if somewhat sullenly, with being a puppet of the Hall and mouthing the words given her by the Hall.
Kirin Melway: 922-950 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 922 to 950 NE. Kirin was a weak Amyrlin, though not so lacking in influence and strength as Aleis. In truth, many of the things she did helped pave the way for a stronger Amyrlin to come after her.
Noane Masadim: 950-973 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah who served as Amyrlin from 950 to 973 NE. Noane was a weak Amyrlin, although not as weak as her predecessor. Like Kirin, she managed to pave the way for a stronger Amyrlin to follow her.
Tamra Ospenya: 973-979 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah with a strength level of 19(7). She was 5’4″ tall, with a square face and hair streaked with gray. Tamra was raised to the Amyrlin Seat in 973 NE. Tamra had a habit of not telling anyone more than she believed they needed to know. Too much information, she felt, clogged people’s thoughts and slowed necessary actions.
She set Moiraine and Siuan looking for the babe her Keeper Gitara Moroso had proclaimed as the Dragon Reborn—what she actually set them doing, along with all of the other Accepted, was finding all women who had or were reported to have had babies in the vicinity of Tar Valon during the crucial time. Although she knew that the only child of interest would be one born on the west bank, preferably one who could be proved to have been born on Dragonmount, she felt it was necessary to hide the true object of the search; the openly given reason was to offer aid to the mothers in the form of a bounty of one hundred gold crowns. Tamra set them to this task claiming it was temporary and mainly to keep them quiet until she could bring in sisters she knew she could trust.
She was found dead in her bed soon after High Chasaline in 979 NE and it was assumed that she had died in her sleep; she had actually been kidnapped and put to the question by the Black Ajah when they gained hints of what she was about. Largely because the Black sisters believed that she would be working only with experienced Aes Sedai, not a pair so newly raised, and because she herself thought them no longer involved—and also partly because the Black bungled matters in their haste—she did not reveal Moiraine and Siuan’s names. Most of the sisters she had taken into her confidence died within the next year, including those who were out of the Tower searching, and eventually all were disposed of by the Black Ajah or, in a very few cases, by true accidents and natural deaths. So were a number of other senior sisters who the Black Ajah simply suspected might have been chosen by Tamra. The result was something of a pogrom among the most senior sisters of the Tower.
Sierin Vayu: 979-984 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah with a strength level of 18(6). Born in 736 NE, she went to the White Tower in 752 NE. After spending eight years as a novice and nine years as Accepted, she was raised to the shawl in 769 NE. Sierin was plump with a grim face and hard eyes; she was stern, and had more than a touch of Red in her. On being raised Amyrlin in the spring of 979 NE, rather than granting petitions and relief from penances, she exiled three sisters from the Tower and had two more birched. She also fired every male clerk in the Tower for such offenses as “flirting with novices and Accepted” or “inappropriate glances and looks.” Sierin was assassinated by a small group of Red sisters in 984 NE when she was about to put an end to the male channeler pogrom. Chesmal Emry claimed to have induced the Red Ajah to kill Sierin when Sierin was about to have her arrested.
Marith Jaen: 984-988 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. Born in 700 NE, she went to the White Tower in 717 NE. She retired to the country in 973 NE to write her memoirs. There were rumors that her decision was influenced by personality clashes with Tamra Ospenya and disappointment that Tamra was raised Amyrlin rather than she. Marith had a reputation as a “stainless-steel bitch” long before she was called back from retirement to take the Amyrlin Seat in 984 NE after the death of Sierin Vayu. The Hall felt that they had little choice, however; the previous two Amyrlins had died suddenly, and a large number of senior sisters had died in the prior few years. There were rumors in the outside world of Aes Sedai involvement in the deaths of men and even boys, and while most people didn’t believe them, the Hall had indications that they might be true. Her methods of putting paid to the male channeler pogrom while keeping the whole affair secret cemented her reputation as someone to make the Dark One himself walk on tiptoes. During her short reign, the Hall was in her grasp like a collection of dolls. Her death in 988 NE was entirely natural, though at a younger age than might have been expected. The Tower’s influence increased under her.
Siuan Sanche: 988-999 NE
A Tairen Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah and the rebel contingent, with an original strength level of 13(1); after being stilled and Healed, her strength level was 35(23). Born in 957 NE to a poor fisherman’s family, she went to the White Tower in 972 NE. Spending three years as a novice and three years as Accepted, she was raised to the shawl in late 978 NE, after the Battle of the Shining Walls; Moiraine was raised at the same time. Siuan was raised to the Amyrlin Seat in 988 NE, then the youngest to hold the post. In 999 NE, she was deposed and stilled. Her Warder Alric was killed the same day. About 5’5″ tall, she was fair-skinned, blue-eyed and more than handsome but less than beautiful. After she was deposed and stilled, she looked young, about twenty-two or twenty-three, and no longer like an Aes Sedai. Men in Lugard considered her pretty, which astonished her. Her eyes could flash fire and bore holes in stone when she wanted them to. She had a fairly small ability with Healing, and she had the minor Talent of being able to see ta’veren; to her eyes, a ta’veren person was accompanied by or surrounded by a glow proportional to the strength with which he or she was central to the weaving of the Pattern. This ability was recovered after she was Healed from being stilled.
Siuan was novice and Accepted with Moiraine. The pair were very close friends. The two most common pairings of extremely close friends among novices and Accepted were between women who were from very much the same sort of background, and between women who were from what seemed opposite backgrounds. She and Moiraine began as friends who cried on one another’s shoulder about the hardships of being a novice or after a switching from the Mistress of Novices, and they eventually became pillow friends. This relationship continued after they became Accepted, and even for a time after they were raised Aes Sedai, though never again with the intensity that it had when they were younger. As novice and Accepted both, it was Siuan who always took the lead between her and Moiraine. That startled Moiraine at first, until she decided that Siuan had been born to lead.
Siuan and Moiraine played a good many pranks, always together. They were caught for a number of these and punished together, so much so that it was said that if one was spotted waiting to go into the Mistress of Novices’ study, the other was already inside.
A great effort was made to clean up Siuan’s language when she was a novice, and it was apparently successful, but as soon as she gained the shawl, she reverted. In the same way, she apparently forgot many if not all of her deportment lessons.
As Accepted, Siuan and Moiraine were attending the Amyrlin, Tamra Ospenya, and the Keeper, Gitara Moroso, in the final hours of the Battle of the Shining Walls. Gitara had a Foretelling that the Dragon had been reborn, and fell over dead. Although Tamra did not encourage it, Siuan and Moiraine began the hunt for the Dragon Reborn as soon as they could. They were raised to the shawl soon thereafter, and Cetalia Delarme, the head of the Blue eyes-and-ears, chose Siuan to be her assistant, leaving Moiraine to begin the search outside the Tower on her own.
In her job, Siuan learned that all of the women Tamra had set on the task were being killed; she made haste to meet Moiraine in Kandor. After Moiraine defeated Merean of the Black Ajah, Siuan puzzled out that men who might be able to channel were being killed.
Siuan made her way back to the Tower and resumed working for Cetalia. It was a job that brought her information from every quarter of the world, not only hints as to the presence of the Dragon Reborn but also as to the presence of the Black Ajah. She was not pleased to go back; since she had run off without telling Cetalia and had left a large stack of reports behind, she was sure that Cetalia would hang her out in the sun to dry, and she was not far wrong. That was the beginning of her being pulled deeper and deeper into the politics of the Tower, with the eventual result of her being chosen Amyrlin only nine years later.
As Amyrlin, Siuan went to Fal Dara in 998 NE to see Moiraine and Rand, whom Moiraine had identified as the Dragon Reborn. Siuan kept the knowledge a secret from the rest of the Aes Sedai. That choice led to her deposition when Elaida became suspicious and led a coup. Siuan and her Keeper, Leane Sharif, were stilled and imprisoned. Min freed them, and with Logain, started out to find the rebel Aes Sedai. On the way, Siuan and Min, Leane and Logain took shelter in a barn in Kore Springs; when they were discovered, Logain hit the farmer, causing him to drop his lantern and set the barn alight. The barn and milkcows were lost; Logain escaped, but the women were taken for trial. Gareth Bryne presided, and they swore service to him for enough time to repay the cost of the barn and cows. Siuan, saying that she intended to fulfill her oath, and the rest then fled when Logain gave them the opportunity. They learned that the rebels were in Salidar, and made their way there, with Bryne in pursuit.
When she joined the Salidar rebels, Siuan was welcomed warmly by many, for herself and for representing hope against what every Aes Sedai feared beyond death; just as many or more offered toleration or condescension or both, blaming her for their situation. She was no longer bound by the Three Oaths, though few knew this; she used her freedom to convince the Aes Sedai that Logain had been set up as a false Dragon by the Reds. She also convinced them that they needed a young, malleable woman for the new Amyrlin, one they could manipulate and guide. Nynaeve Healed Siuan, but her strength level was dramatically lower than before. In general it was believed—and rightly— that Siuan adapted to her new circumstances much less well than Leane. Siuan could accept that she was no longer Amyrlin and would not be, though barely. What she found almost impossible to adjust to was her greatly reduced status in the hierarchy; not only that she was so much lower, but that she reacted automatically to it sometimes, that she had to defer to sisters who before her stilling, even had she not been Amyrlin, would have listened attentively and accepted her suggestions as the next thing to orders. She did not like the lesser status, and she did not like the fact that she was beginning to accept it without thought.
When Egwene was raised to the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan was told to teach Egwene the protocols of her position, and became seen as somewhat attached to Egwene, but sullenly and grudgingly. In fact, she came to be a great help to Egwene. She kept the Amyrlin’s eyes-and-ears, showing the reports to Egwene, but Aeldene Stonebridge snatched the Blue eyes-and-ears away from her. Siuan’s attitude was improved by her relationship with Gareth Bryne—the two were in love with each other long before they admitted it. Because he loved her, Bryne insisted she work off the debt to him so he could keep her near him, agreed to lead the army for the rebels and offered that army to Egwene, whose one real supporter and friend was, it appeared, Siuan. Min had also had a viewing concerning Siuan and Bryne: that Siuan had to stay close to Gareth Bryne or she would die.
After Egwene was taken by Elaida’s Aes Sedai, she talked to Siuan in Tel’aran’rhiod and forbade a rescue attempt. When the Seanchan began their attack, however, Siuan and Gawyn and decided to take matters into their own hands; Bryne agreed to help if Siuan bonded him as her Warder. They went into the Tower through a watergate. Bryne saved Siuan’s life, and she his; Siuan was convinced that Min’s viewing had been fulfilled. They succeeded in rescuing Egwene, although she was not pleased.
Siuan proved very useful in the Last Battle; she survived the Sharan attack on the command tent because of a weave Yukiri came up with to cushion their large drop from an elevated gateway. Because she believed Min’s viewing had been fulfilled, Siuan did not stay near Bryne; she went to see Tuon in Mat’s command tent while Bryne went to look for Gawyn. Siuan saved Min there from an attack by Sharans, but when the Gray Men appeared, she went inside the tent and was killed by an explosion of fire. Bryne did not long survive her.
Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan: Amadaine 16, 999 NE-circa Saven 21, 1000 NE
An Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah and the loyalist contingent, with a strength level of 13(1). Born in 950 NE, she went to the White Tower in 967 NE. After spending three years as a novice and three years as Accepted, she was raised to the shawl in 973 NE. Elaida was born to a minor noble House on an estate not much more than a farm in northern Murandy. She had dark eyes and dark hair to her shoulders. Some called her handsome rather than pretty; others called her beautiful at first glance, but her expression was permanently severe. She was 5’6″ tall. Although Elaida’s potential strength was fairly high, she was not among the very highest with respect to sisters then living; but on the other hand, her time spent as novice and as Accepted were records, equaling or bettering the best ever before. For that, she was considered quite remarkable. She also had the Talent of Foretelling. Although it was erratic, she was the first sister since Gitara Moroso to have this Talent. While still an Accepted, she had the Foretelling that the royal line of Andor would be the key to winning the Last Battle. At that time, Mordrellen of House Mantear was the Queen of Andor, but she died shortly thereafter, and her heir, Tigraine, went missing. By 974 NE Elaida had identified Morgase Trakand as the likely winner in the Succession in Andor and attached herself to the young woman. From then on her focus was on protecting and controlling House Trakand, the royal House of Andor.
Siuan and Moiraine were novices under Elaida when she was raised Accepted, and Accepted under her as Aes Sedai. Elaida was not easy on them; while she did not particularly like it that they equaled her speed in reaching the next level, she pressed them very hard, expecting only the best from them and accepting nothing less. They had a potential equal to hers, and they had an obligation to live up to it—and an obligation to live up to her standards in other ways as well. While Elaida was in Andor for the most part from 974 NE onward, she visited the White Tower often while they were in training and always took an interest in them and their progress. Elaida was called back to Tar Valon along with many other sisters when it seemed the Aiel were threatening the city in 978 NE, and she remained for a short time afterward. After Siuan and Moiraine passed their tests for the shawl, during the night they were supposed to spend in contemplation and meditation, they decided to play a trick on Elaida, who caught them. Where another sister might have let go two Accepted who were to be raised in the morning, Elaida promptly took them to the Mistress of Novices, Merean Redhill, who was not pleased at being roused from her bed in the night and made sure that their last punishment as Accepted was particularly memorable. Elaida’s dislike of Siuan came later, beginning when Siuan was chosen Amyrlin over her and exacerbated by the plans surrounding Rand which led to Siuan being deposed.
Elaida and Meidani Eschede were entered in the novice book within weeks of each other, and soon became pillow friends. Elaida broke off the relationship when she was raised, but considered herself Meidani’s friend, though she showed it by giving her the same sort of attention and pressure that she did to Moiraine and Siuan.
Elaida was not deeply involved personally in the male channeler pogrom in 979–985 NE, though she learned of it from other Reds and supported it wholeheartedly, partly because the leadership of her Ajah was behind it and partly because she considered a man who could channel dangerous enough for her to violate the law, even to do murder on suspicion; at least, she would not herself have taken part in a killing, but she would turn a blind eye. Her one involvement was seeing that Thom’s nephew was gentled on the spot when he was caught; this was at the very tail end of the pogrom. Once she became Amyrlin, she hardly cared whether anyone discovered her involvement with Owyn. Those Sitters who dared to openly oppose her would not have the nerve to suggest any discipline against the Amyrlin Seat herself, not even for so dire a violation of Tower law—not when it was so long ago, not when making it public even among the sisters could damage the Tower in its battle against the rebels, and most of all, not when attaining consensus against her would be impossible.
Elaida once met Cadsuane, during the Aiel War, the first time that Cadsuane had seemingly come back from the dead. Among other things, Cadsuane told her that she was too hard, that good steel had some give in it, and what was too rigid was too easily shattered. Cadsuane also told her that she allowed her anger too free a rein, that an Aes Sedai had to be the mistress of her emotions, not they of her. It was a cold chewing-out, in fact. Elaida had had the shawl for a few years then, but the meeting left her feeling like a novice wanting to run back to her room from the Mistress of Novices’ study.
Elaida knitted for relaxation, as much as she could ever be said to relax. She sometimes used it to try putting people off guard; someone knitting would not look at all threatening and might simply be discounted. She also liked to examine her collection of carved miniatures, sometimes doing so while giving an audience to make the person attending know that he or she was not as important as the carvings.
In 999 NE, Elaida learned that the Amyrlin, Siuan Sanche, and her Keeper, Leane Sharif, had secretly met with the Dragon Reborn, and she orchestrated a coup. She had Siuan and Leane removed from office and stilled on Amadaine 16, and she was raised Amyrlin, with Alviarin Freidhen as her Keeper.
As Amyrlin, Elaida made many mistakes: She kidnapped sitting kings and the Dragon Reborn; she initiated an attack on the Black Tower that failed miserably and led to Aes Sedai being forcibly bonded; she came under the control of a member of the Black Ajah and caused the Tower to nearly fall apart. It could be argued that her biggest mistake was ignoring the warning of a Seanchan attack. When that attack occurred, Elaida was captured, made a damane and given the name “Suffa.” Suffa was not a good damane.
Egwene al’Vere: Informally raised Danu 1, 999 NE / Formally raised circa Saven 22, 1000 NE-Danu 1000 NE (presumed)
Egwene had no Ajah, since she was never in a position to choose one, going straight from Accepted to Amyrlin. She was selected with the notion that she could be manipulated, an assumption that was dead wrong. She moved the rebel Aes Sedai north to the White Tower. While blockading the Erinin with cuendillar, she was captured by Elaida’s minions and subjected to almost continual penance at the Tower. The situation changed when the Seanchan attacked the White Tower—they captured Elaida, and Egwene was instrumental in turning the battle around in the Tower’s favor. The united Hall selected her Amyrlin of the White Tower, also hoping that she would be easily guided, a mistake on their part.
Egwene fell in love with Gawyn, idealizing him (romantic that she was), took him as her Warder and married him, making her the first Amyrlin ever to marry. After Gawyn’s death she bonded Egeanin as her Warder for a short time, releasing the bond shortly before she died during The Last Battle, wielding the Flame of Tar Valon, a counter-weave against Mazrim Taim’s balefire.