The Wheel of Time Companion: Strength Chart of Major Channelers

If a female channeler can form a gateway, then they are guaranteed a life expectancy of 550 years. If they take care of themselves, that is. And swear no Oaths. Males “only” get 500 years.

The very first peek we got at The Wheel of Time Companion, out very soon now, was Robert Jordan’s explanation of how he ranked the strength of channelers, the magic users in his epic fantasy world. Although Jordan establishes a 72-level ranking for the strength for both male and female channelers, the specific rankings of the major (and not so major) characters in that scale are listed separately, in each channeler’s individual Companion entry.

There is no single chart listing every channeler within the One Power strength scale. So, with the permission of Harriet McDougal, Maria Simons, and Alan Romanczuk, the astounding authors of the Companion, we made one! And we discovered some interesting things along the way.

In Jordan’s explanation regarding strength in the One Power, Jordan explains how strength in the Power correlates with the life expectancy of a channeler. The One Power suffuses its users with life, and extends the biological lifespan of an individual to incredible lengths. Here is the applicable explanation from Jordan:

For example, at the so-called 800-year level, a person could reasonably be expected to live to between roughly 775 and 825 years of age, with some making it to 850, and a very few making it to as much as 900. Strength level 56(44) was the 300-year age level, 67(55) the 200-year age level, and the bottom level, 72(60), approximately the 150-year level for women. The male equivalents were approximately the 240-year, 180-year, and 135-year levels for men.

Using these data points for users of saidar, I was able to calculate a graph of likely life expectancies for all 72 levels in the One Power strength scale. (Thanks to mathemagician Michael Carlisle for helping me with the formula, which is f(x) = -0.00208023x^3 + 0.264216x^2 – 17.5246 x + 816.746 if you’re interested.) Please note that only the data points provided by Robert Jordan are canonical, the rest of this is extrapolation and can only theoretically be applied to the Wheel of Time series.

Interestingly, life expectancy for channelers of saidar doesn’t correlate with strength in the One Power in a straight progression upwards–it actually flattens out a little just before the middle of the strength scale, around level 40.

Saidar life expectancy chart

Compiling the chart also inadvertently revealed the strength level threshold for making gateways (unless you have a Talent, like Androl), and made Cadsuane even more of a mold-breaking living legend, as she was the strongest Aes Sedai known before Nynaeve came onto the scene.

A few notes: This is not a chart of ALL channelers in the series, even though that information is included in the Companion. I’ve only included major characters from the series, as well as minor characters whose placement on the scale revealed interesting information.

The saidin side of chart is mostly blank because the Companion does not provide that information for Asha’man like it does for Aes Sedai. The placement of Logain and Mazrim Taim are my guesses based on their comparisons to Rand throughout the series. (Logain can hold almost as much as Rand can, according to Knife of Dreams, and this threatens Taim’s position in The Black Tower, as mentioned in many of the books.)

Here’s the saidar One Power strength chart, with accompanying life expectancies:

Current
Strength Level
(Old Strength Level) Saidar Channelers Life Expectancy (Years)
1 (+12) Lanfear, Alivia, Semirhage 799.48
2 (+11) Cyndane, Mesaana, Graendal,
Sharina Melloy, Talaan din Gelyn (potential)
782.74
3 (+10) Nynaeve (potential), Caraighan
Maconar
766.49
4 (+9) Nynaeve (initial), Talaan din
Gelyn (initial), Moghedien
750.74
5 (+8) Cadsuane 735.47
6 (+7) 720.66
7 (+6) 706.31
8 (+5) Elayne (potential), Egwene 692.39
9 (+4) Nicola (potential) 678.91
10 (+3) 665.84
11 (+2) Aviendha 653.18
12 (+1) Therava 640.90
13 (1) Moiraine (pre-Finn), Siuan
(Amyrlin), Romanda, Lelaine, Elaida
629.01
14 (2) Sheriam, Liandrin, Galina, Leane
(pre-stilling)
617.48
15 (3) 606.30
16 (4) 595.47
17 (5) Verin, Alviarin, Melaine, Alanna 584.97
18 (6) 574.78
19 (7) Gitara Moroso, Gabrelle Brawley 564.89
20 (8) 555.30 Traveling One Power threshold
21 (9) 545.98 Traveling One Power threshold
22 (10) Vandene 536.94
23 (11) Adeleas 528.14
24 (12) 519.59
25 (13) Elza Penfell 511.26
26 (14) 503.15
27 (15) Careane 495.25
28 (16) 487.54
29 (17) 480.00
30 (18) 472.64
31 (19) 465.42
32 (20) 458.35
33 (21) 451.41
34 (22) 444.58
35 (23) Suian (post-Amyrlin) 437.86
36 (24) Leane (post-stilling) 431.23
37 (25) 424.68
38 (26) 418.19
39 (27) 411.76
40 (28) 405.37
41 (29) 399.01
42 (30) 392.67
43 (31) 386.33
44 (32) 379.98
45 (33) 373.62
46 (34) 367.21
47 (35) 360.77
48 (36) 354.26
49 (37) 347.69
50 (38) 341.03
51 (39) 334.27
52 (40) 327.41
53 (41) 320.43
54 (42) 313.31
55 (43) 306.05
56 (44) 298.63
57 (45) Sorilea 291.04
58 (46) 283.26
59 (47) 275.29
60 (48) 267.12
61 (49) 258.72
62 (50) 250.09
63 (51) 241.21
64 (52) 232.08
65 (53) 222.68
66 (54) Moiraine (post-Finn) 212.99
67 (55) 203.01
68 (56) 192.72
69 (57) 182.11
70 (58) 171.16
71 (59) 159.88
72 (60) Morgase 148.23

 

Here’s the relevant saidin One Power strength chart, with accompanying life expectancies:

Strength
Level
(Saidar Strength Level Equivalent) Saidin Channelers Life Expectancy (Years)
 ++1 Rand, Moridin, Rahvin 800.00
 ++2 Aginor/Osan’gar, Demandred,
Sammael, Logain, Taim (possible)
785.70
 ++3 Balthamel/Aran’gar, Asmodean,
Taim (possible)
771.60
 ++4 Be’lal 757.69
 ++5 743.97
 ++6 730.43
7 1(+12) 717.08
8 2(+11) 703.91
9 3(+10) 690.92
10 4(+9) 678.11
11 5(+8) 665.48
12 6(+7) 653.02
13 7(+6) 640.73
14 8(+5) 628.61
15 9(+4) 616.65
16 10(+3) 604.86
17 11(+2) 593.23
18 12(+1) 581.77
19 13(1) 570.46

Although not depicted here, the weakest a saidin channeler can be (72 on the saidin scale) is the equivalent of 65(53) on the saidar scale. To put this in context, that’s still one level above the meager strength level at which the Eelfinn left Moiraine.

The life expectancy progression for saidin channelers is different as well, and is a more uniform shape. (The formula for this is f(x) = -0.000369429x^3 + 0.0989288x^2 – 14.5901x + 814.491.)

Saidin life expectancy chart

Just like Robert Jordan stresses in the “Strength in the One Power” entry from the Companion, One Power strength levels are not an indication of the talent or effectiveness of an individual channeler. There is clearly differentiation within the same strength rank, as well, as evidenced in the channelers who are considered 1(+12) on the saidar strength scale. In Winter’s Heart, it is clearly stated that Alivia can hold more saidar than Lanfear, and Semirhage is clearly below Lanfear in the Forsaken ranks, as well. This differentiation applies to saidin, as well, as it’s difficult to believe that Rahvin could overpower Moridin/Ishamael and Rand, even though he is within the same strength level.

Compiling this chart made The Last Battle all the more impressive to me, as there are a staggering number of monumentally powerful channelers active on the field. We know this while we’re reading, but having numbers and comparison to Aes Sedai channelers really codifies just how underpowered the forces of Light were before the events of The Wheel of Time.

I’ve been poring through The Wheel of Time Companion over these past couple months, and by far the most enjoyable part is being privy to these mechanics and quiet interconnections of Jordan’s world. Suddenly I have all the information I need to deduce channeler life expectancy, or how time travel works, or how the economy of the Westlands continent functions. (I didn’t even GET to that one… yet!) Reading through the Companion has been inspiring.

Soon it will be everyone else’s turn! I’m curious to know what may come…

The life expectancy of Chris Lough is pretty good. It would be better if he didn’t bother his co-workers so much.

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