NB! The wiki may contain spoilers – you have been warned. 😘
Wheel of Time: Accepted is the term for a woman who’s training to become an Aes Sedai. Accepted is the stage before Aes Sedai and after Novice. Accepted are dressed in white and they have seven bands of colour at the hem and cuffs of their dress. The colours are blue, green, yellow, brown, grey, white and red, representing each of the seven Ajahs. They also have a Great Serpent ring that must be worn on the left hand’s middle finger.
To become an Accepted, the Novice has to pass a test to demonstrate her skills using the one power whilst facing her biggest fears from their past, present and future. The test is taken inside a ter’angreal, a kind of magical contraption, and there’s a risk you’ll get lost in there. Forever. But on the flip side, if you pass the test and make it out you’ll get better digs, a nicer dress and the right to speak at meal times. You’ll also get to study harder and shoulder more responsibilities.
Wheel of Time: The Aes Sedai are the mages of Robert Jordan’s creation. The term Aes Sedai is Old Tongue and it means servants of all. Which is what they used to be back in the day, aka the Age of Legends. Their job was to serve mankind as healers, scientists, philosophers, scholars, artists etc. Back then, there were both male and female channelers in the White Tower, and they were much stronger in the one power than the average modern Aes Sedai. They also had a lot of skills and talents that have been lost over time.
Aes Sedai are more powerful than Kings and Queens, and they insert themselves in the politics of every country on the continent. Nothing happens without their approval, as they’re not alien to the idea of physically punishing, or unseating, uncooperative regents. The general public fears them, as there are many rumours of the risks involved in trusting an Aes Sedai.
AGE OF LEGENDS
Wheel of Time: The Second Age, or the Age of Legends, was the time before the male Aes Sedai went insane and caused the Breaking of the World. This means that the Age of Legends was 3000 years before the events in the series. During this time, the Aes Sedai were great servants of humanity, using their magic powers for the greater good of mankind.
Wheel of Time: The Aiel are a people who live in the Three-fold Land, aka the Aiel Waste. It’s literally a stone desert between the Spine of the World and Shara. They are a reclusive race that, generally, keeps to themselves. For that reason, not much is know about them in the Westlands apart from the fact that they are ferocious, and extremely skilled, warriors.
The Aiel are easily recognised, because they are unusually tall, with reddish/light hair and pale eyes. They are also dressed in what Westlanders consider a peculiar fashion and wear a shoufa, a face cloth they don when they are about to kill someone.
Wheel of Time: The Aiel War was a two-year-long armed conflict between the Aiel and the Great Coalition of the Westlands. It began when the incensed Aiel crossed the Spine of the World to exact revenge on the King of Cairhien after he cut down a sacred tree.
Wheel of Time: The Aes Sedai of the White Tower are organised into seven Ajahs. In the Age of Legends, an ajah was just a group of Aes Sedai, temporarily working together for a particular reason or purpose. After the Breaking of the World, when the female Aes Sedai formed the White Tower, they organised themselves into twelve ajahs. Over time, five of these disappeared, but we don’t know what colours they were or what purpose they had. Towards the end of the second century after the Breaking (AB), the Tower began to write ajah with a capital A and the current “line-up” was established.
Each Ajah has its own colour and a specific purpose. They have their own leader and a set of rules they have to abide by. But they all have to follow Tower Law and obey the Amyrlin Seat. When an Accepted passes her test to be raided to full Aes Sedai, she gets to choose which Ajah she wants to join. She is then given a shawl in their colour and will likely choose to dress in that colour too.
The seven Ajahs are Blue (champions of justice and righteousness; spymasters), Green (the battle Ajah), Yellow (healing), White (logic and philosophy), Grey (diplomats and political mediators), Brown (historians and librarians working to preserve knowledge) and Red (policing unlawful use of magic). Rumour has it, there’s also a secret Black Ajah dedicated to the Dark One, but the Aes Sedai deny this and they get very angry if someone has the audacity to mention it.
Wheel of Time: The Amyrlin Seat, or the Amyrlin for short, is the head of the Aes Sedai and the mother of the White Tower in Tar Valon. She is the most powerful person in the world. The full title is “Watcher of the Seals. The Flame of Tar Valon. The Amyrlin Seat.” It is also the name of the throne she sits on. The name comes from the Ring of Tamyrlin, an old magical artefact from the Age of Legends that probably disappeared with Lews Therin Telamon, the last (I think) known ring holder.
Wheel of Time: A bard is, essentially, a gleeman who works at a royal court. Thom Merrilin was the court bard of Caemlyn before he fell out with Queen Morgase.
BREAKING (OF THE WORLD)
Wheel of Time: The Breaking, or the Breaking of the World, was the period after Lews Therin Telamon and the 100 Companions managed to seal Shai’tan, the Dark One, in the magic prison in Shayol Ghul. In retaliation, Shai’tan tainted Saidin, the male source of magic, which drove all male channelers insane.
During a period of time, the male channelers succumbed to insanity and they literally broke the world. This period is, therefore, also referred to as the Time of Madness. Their destruction of the world put an end to the Age of Legends, which in turn became the starting point for the Third Age.
Wheel of Time: Caemlyn is the capital of Andor and is said to be the second most beautiful city in the world. Only Tar Valon outshines it. The city consists of two parts, the Inner City which was build by Ogier stonemason, and the New City that surrounds it. It is (mostly) surrounded by a 50ft white stone wall, tall round towers and big arched gates.
The crowning glory of Caemlyn is its Royal Palace that is the most beautiful building in the country. It is home to Queen Morgase and her children Galad, Gawyn and Elaine. An estimated 300,000 people live in Caemlyn when the Wheel of Time story begins.
Wheel of Time: Cairhien is the capital of the Cairhien kingdom. This large, square city is located by the River Alguenya. The north and east gates of the city are known as the Jangai and Dragonwall gates. This was the kingdom the Aiel invaded when they started the Aiel War.
Wheel of Time: A channeler is someone who can channel the One Power. A mage. The power is described as a stream you need to open yourself up to and learn to ride to be able to control it. Only women who belong to the White Tower are allowed to channel, all other use of magic is outlawed. The source of the female power is called Saidar.
DARK ONE, THE
Wheel of Time: The Dark One is the biggest of the Big Bads in Wheel of Time. His real name is Shai’tan, but people who are scared of him think it’s bad luck to use his name and his followers consider it blasphemous.
The Dark One is a primordial being. A sentient cosmic force of evil. His goal is to remake Creation in his own image and break the hearts and spirits of all people. He seems to thrive on fear, destruction and chaos, and his servants bring enough of both wherever they appear.
By the people who oppose and/or fear him, he is also known as the: Ba’alzamon (incorrectly), Caisen Hob, Father of Lies, Father of Storms, Grassburner, Heartfang, Heartsbane, Leafblighter, Lighteater, Lord of the Grave, Lord of the Twilight, Old Grim, Shepherd of the Night’s flocks, Sightblinder, Soulsbane, Soulblinder.
Meanwhile, his loyal followers refer to him as the: Great Lord, Great Lord of the Dark, Lord of the Evening, and Lord of the Grave.
Wheel of Time: The Dragon is the Light’s champion in the eternal fight against the Shadow. A Dragon, Lews Therin Telamon, was born in the Age of Legends, and he’s been reborn again in the Third Age. He is always a reincarnation of the same soul.
Wheel of Time: The Dragonmount is a volcanic mountain west of Tar Valon. It is the tallest mountain in the world, and no human has ever climbed to its top.
Dragonmount was created by the Dragon, Lews Therin Telamon, when he killed himself during the Breaking of the World. Driven insane by the taint on Saidin, he slaughtered his family and all his friends and when he realised what he’d done, he channelled enough power to tunnel into the mantle of the Earth and cause a gigantic volcanic eruption. It killed Lews Therin and created the Dragonmount. It also divided the river that was flowing through the area and created the isle that was named Tar Valon and became the home of the White Tower.
According to Gitara Moroso’s foretelling, the Dragon Reborn was born on the slopes of Dragonmount in the final days of the Aiel War.
ELAN MORIN TEDRONAI
Wheel of Time: Elan Morin Tedronai, aka Ishamael, Ba’alzamon and Moridin, was the most powerful of the Forsaken. During the War of Power, he was their leader and later the Dark One granted him the title Nae’blis, giving him authority over all followers of the Shadow.
One of the four strongest channelers in the world, the other three being Lews Therin Telamon, the Dragon Reborn and Rahvin. He was a critically acclaimed philosopher and theologian in the Age of Legends.
The forsaken are the disciples of Shai’tan, the Dark One. Many of the Forsaken’s powers come from the Age of Legends where they had access to a wider range of weaves than the Aes Sedai have now. This means that the only way they can be defeated is to have a circle of channelers joining forces and fighting as one.
Foretelling is the present participle of the verb to foretell. The word comes from the 1300’s Middle English foretellen (fore- + tell). and it means to prophesy. Or to be able predict a future action or event before it happens. Foresay and forespeak are synonyms of foretell.
Wheel of Time: Foretelling is a Talent and the Aes Sedai seem to believe it’s somehow linked to the One Power. (You don’t actually use any power in fortelling, but Aes Sedai aren’t always as logical as they think they are.) As with most of the old Talents, foretelling is rarely seen in the Third Age.
In New Spring, we see how the foretelling works when Gitara Moroso foretells the birth of the Dragon on the slopes of Dragonmount before she dies. The message is clear, but the details not so much. And she wasn’t actively trying to foretell something—it came upon her without warning and she started speaking the words.
We also learn that foretellers rarely remember what they’ve foretold after the vision leaves them. They are passive transmitters of visions, rather than active mages delving for answers about the future.
Wheel of Time: Gaidin is the Old Tongue word for a warder. The bonded “body guard” of an Aes Sedai. The Gaidin are traditionally male, and they are easily recognised because of the distinctive cloaks they wear. Made of fancloth, they appear to be shifting in colour and help disguise the wearer by making their movements seem more diffuse.
Wheel of Time: Gentling is the masculine form of severing. Cutting a channeler off from their access to the One Power. (It’s called stilling in a woman.) Channelers who wield more power than they can handle may also “burn out,” which has the same effect. No more magic.
To be severed from the source of the One Power is the ultimate punishment. It is done to all male channelers to prevent them from succumbing to insanity, and to female channelers who have have broken some fundamental White Tower law.
Channelers who are severed rarely survive. They can still feel the Power, but they are unable to touch or wield it. This brings on depression and, unless they can find a reason to live, they slowly waste away.
Wheel of Time: Gitara Moroso was an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. She had been the advisor of Queen Mordrellen Mantear of Andor; and she was the Keeper of Chronicles under Tamra Ospenva.
In the Wheel of Time, there are a number of prophesies relating to the Dragon Reborn. Most notably, perhaps, in the Karaethon Cycle that contains the Prophecies of the Dragon.
Wheel of Time: A gleeman is the common folk’s bard. A travelling (normally) entertainer who perform in villages, at taverns, in towns and at inns etc. Wherever there are willing eyes and ears and freely given coins.
To be a gleeman, you have to be an excellent storyteller and have some talent in music, acrobatics etc so you can entertain all types of people all night long.
Gleemen are easily identified as they wear a cloak made of colourful patches and tend to lug around an instrument or two. They are welcome (or at least tolerated) everywhere, and they are one of the only three groups of people the Aiel will allow to cross the Spine of the World.
GRAND ALLIANCE, GREAT COALITION
Wheel of Time: The Great Coalition, or Grand Alliance, is the name for the allied Westland armies that fought in the Aiel War. They consisted of troupes from ten of the fourteen kingdoms.
The Aliance had 170,000 troops against the Aiel’s 80,000 but they still suffered heavy losses before the Aiel retreated after two year’s of constant warfare. After the “victory,” the coalition fell apart as the kingdoms couldn’t keep the peace among themselves.
GREAT SERPENT (RING)
Wheel of Time: The Great Serpent is an ouroboros, a snake or a serpent/dragon that swallows its own tail. It’s an ancient infinity symbol, a reminder of the never-ending wheel of time.
Aes Sedai wear a golden Great Serpent ring (unless they’ve chosen to hide it for some reason) and the shawl of their Ajah. Accepted wear the ring on the left hand’s middle finger.
Wheel of Time: Simply put, Moiraine Damodred is the Gandalf of Wheel of Time. One of the strongest Aes Sedai of her time, she sets out to find the Dragon Reborn. She spends 20 years riding all over the Westlands with her warder Lan Mandragoran, following every lead and fighting the Shadow in all its forms until she finds him. Then the real battle begins.
How do you turn a wool-headed sheepherder into a first class warrior and potential world leader?
HALL OF THE SERVANTS
Wheel of Time: The Hall of the Servants was the governing body of the Aes Sedai during the Age of Legends. The Hall, located in the capital, Paaran Disen, was lead by the First among Servants. Aes Sedai were working in many different fields back then, but the First could call on them to assemble and work together in circles if the need for some serious mage-power arose.
KEEPER OF THE CHRONICLES
Wheel of Time: The Keeper, or the Keeper of the Chronicles, is the second highest position in the White Tower. The Keeper works with/for the Amyrlin Seat, and although it is the second highest position it only carries as much power as the Amyrlin decides to bestow upon her Keeper.
Wheel of Time: Lews Therin Telamon is referred to as the Kinslayer. He was the Dragon, the Champion of the Light, who lead the 100 Companions in the attack that sealed the Dark One and the Forsaken in Shayol Ghul. He earned the name after he’d slaughtered his whole family and all the people who’d ever loved him.
Wheel of Time: al’Lan Mandragoran is Moiraine Damodred’s warder and one of the central characters in the Wheel of Time series.
Lan is the rightful king of Malkier and the last of their royal line. He carries many titles, like Aan’allein, Bearer of the Sword of the Thousand Lakes, Dai Shan, Defender of the Wall of First Fires, Lord of the Lakes, Lord of the Seven Towers, May He Sever the Shadow, and True Blade of Malkier.
Wheel of Time: In the Third Age, the Old Tongue is to the Westlanders what Latin, Old Greek or Old Norse (etc) are to us. It was the language of the Age of Legends, and the nobility and Aes Sedai still study it.
The moden languages are derived from the Old Tongue, and both the Aiel and the Seanchan have kept many words and phrases in their New Tongues. It is also evident in old inscriptions, place names and the prophecies about the Dragon.
Wheel of Time: The One Power is the magic in the Wheel of Time. It comes from the True Source and in divided into a male and a female half. They are two complementary halves of a unified whole.
The male half is called Saidin and the female is called Saidar. Women can only wield Saidar, men can only wield Saidin, and they cannot teach each other how to channel as the methods are very different.
The One Power is an energy source and it can be used in a number of different ways. Channelers can use the power for healing or to rain down death and destruction. The power is infinite and cannot be used up, but the individual channeler can “burn out” if they wield more power than they are capable of handling.
Wheel of Time: Saidar and Saidin are the female and male halves of the One Power, or the True power. Saidar can only be channeled by women and Saidin can only be channeled by men.
Wheel of Time: Tar Valon is the city of the White Tower. It’s located on an island, on the River Erinin, that was created when Lews Therin Telamon channelled himself out of, and Dragonmount into, existence.
It is the home of the Aes Sedai, the centre of their power, and with a population af 500,000 the second-largest city in all of the Westlands. Although it has suffered several assaults and sieges, Tar Valon has remained independent and is the only place where Aes Sedai have held the official administrative power since the War of the Hundred Years.
THE READER’S WIKI is a slowly growing collection of glossary/wiki entries where I collect terms from the titles I delve into.
NB! The wiki may contain spoilers – you have been warned. =)
I try to list all the (potentially) new terms as I write my blog posts and link to the wiki page where they are explained. Linked words are always this colour and underscored.
Let me know if the word/concept you’re looking for isn’t there and I’ll try to add it as soon as I can.