Member Spotlight – Nymala Ingasy

Our Member Spotlight is back! This week, we take you behind the scenes with the plotsy-est of Blues, Nymala Ingasy. Nymala has served in a lot of roles in our Community, and most recently took up the mantle of the Blue’s Head of Ajah. She is someone I have personally enjoyed getting to know since I joined the community! Friendly and fun, she’s quick to jump in on shenanigans too — most recently in support of our Junior Members’ prank to create the Purple Ajah. (Cake!)

Here’s what Nymala had to say about her real life, her passion for this Community, and her goals for her time as HoA.

TVT: Tell us about yourself — what you do for a living, family, pets, etc? (Pictures?!)

Nymala: Hi there, my name is Hilary AKA Nymala Ingasy. I answer to Nym, Nyma, Nymmie, and “hey you with the face!” I am an American living abroad in New Zealand. We moved here in December after a few trials and tribulations with my husband’s health. He’s okay, but it was scary for a bit there. I was just recently granted my permanent residency by the New Zealand government, so thank you to Jacinda Ardern for that! 😀

My husband’s name is Matt, and we’ve been married for 18 years and counting. We met online through mutual friends and I first traveled to New Zealand in 1998, starting a five-year long distance relationship. He was the one who introduced me to Wheel of Time. It was something for us to talk about during our weekly phone calls. So, y’all can blame him for me being here. 😉

Right now, I am settling into life here. Learning how to drive on the other side of the road was a mind twist for me, but now I hop in the car and go without thinking about it (too much). I volunteer at the SPCA as a cat lady helping the kitties who are in quarantine and just got a job at  national retail store here….until Level 4 lockdown happened. Now that we’re on the other side of that, hopefully I’ll be able to start working; but for now, that’s enough! 

(Nym, Matt and her cousin’s corgi, Einstein)
(Hey, you with the face! <3 )
(Nym’s cat Molly who passed away in 2019)

TVT: Tell us about some of your non-WoT hobbies, and a “fun fact” about yourself.

Nymala:  I love to read (obviously), I love to sing. I sang soprano in my synagogue’s choir until we moved overseas. I hope to find a choir to join now that we’re all settled. I also love to cook and travel…at least in the before times of COVID. As for a “fun fact” about me, when I was guesting, the “fun fact” that I used was the fact that I was part of the UN Children’s Day celebration when I was 7. I met Queen Elizabeth II at the ceremony and got to present flowers to her along with my friend who was the daughter of a UN ambassador. I don’t remember much about the encounter, but I’m told I asked her where her crown was. 

TVT: What brought you to TarValon.Net? What made you want to stay and get more involved?

Nymala: I had two friends in my online D&D channel on IRC back in the day. As soon as they found out that I read Wheel of Time, they invited me to join. In fact, my Tower name, Nymala Ingasy, was my D&D character that I played at the time. I chose the same name when I made my account on TarValon so my friends could “find me.” It made sense in my head as I had no idea what I was in for when I joined. I still don’t always, truth be told. >.> As soon as I joined though, I wanted to get involved. I became a moderator on the Tower IRC channel while still a Novice and before I knew I had to make a contribution. I just wanted to be involved. 

TVT: How did you decide the Blue Ajah was right for you?

Nymala: I guested for a long time. When I got to Accepted, I decided to guest in reverse order of where I thought I fit, saving the two where I thought I fit for last. Blue was one of my first choices. Surprise, surprise! I got into Blue…and I just fit. I was so happy to be there that I got overly enthusiastic and they had to remind me to calm down more than once, but I just couldn’t help myself. I love the fact that we’re all so individualistic and yet we come together so easily when we need to. The Blues just get me. I just celebrated my 9th Blue-iversary and I’m very happy to be Blue.

TVT: You recently took on the role to serve as Head of Ajah. Do you have plans or goals during your reign?

Nymala: I’ve always wanted to be HoA and give back to my Ajah. The fact that I can serve my Siblings in this manner makes me very happy. My goal is to help our JM’s know just how awesome Blue really is, especially as we get closer and closer to the TV show coming out. I look forward to seeing Moiraine and Siuan on-screen and showing the world just what Blues do.

TVT: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Nymala: Thank you for giving me a home, a chosen family, a circle of friends all around the world, and a cause! To my Blue siblings, thank you for supporting me and showing me a true reflection of myself. To my first-siblings, Cahalan, Bryher, Ahmyra, and Morrigan, thank you for being amazing, awesome people, and letting me slap the s**t out of you. To my Warder, Vendri, thank you for being the best cyborg, ninja, wizard, dinosaur of awesome and win. Thank you to DM, my other home. Lastly, thank you to Liam al’Eire and Jaim al’Berach for watching over us all from Heaven. Indeed..

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Shaoman: A Spooky Time in Randland and TarValon.Net

In the world of the Wheel of Time, there are many feasts throughout the year, some of them meant to be lighthearted and full of joy, while others are more somber and solemn.  One of these lighthearted holidays, Shaoman, is celebrated on the twelfth day of the month of Shaldine, the eleventh month of the year. Shaoman is particularly geared towards children, who are pampered and given gifts.  And, in many places, groups of children go from door to door singing and are rewarded with small gifts or sweets.

Here at TarValon.Net, we celebrate Shaoman with a Free week, a time in which members from Guests to the Amyrlin come together to celebrate, both on the forums and on Discord. Throughout the site, many of the membership groups edit their avatars and signatures around a common theme.  We also have a tendency to spam and pull pranks in order to add to the light-heartedness.  One of the reasons we do Free weeks like Shaoman is because we want to build up community, and part of building up community is to have fun together.

So, what is the earliest recorded Shaoman festival we have on record in the Main Library? Well, if we go fifteen years back, to 2006, we will see the first themes recorded.  Four of our Community Groups are written as having themes: Blue Ajah were Fades, White Ajah were Black Ajah, Dai M’Hael were Evil Sesame Street, and San D’ma Shadar were the Not So Care Bears.  As we move through the years and travel to 2017, it is there that we see what appears to be the first recorded universal theme for the Shaoman, “Attack of the WitchCloaks.”

Now, we come to this year, 2021, in which the Outreach Activities Team has changed things up. Instead of participating with one’s own Membership Group, we have had a sign-up and our participants are playing on randomly-selected teams. This is something that we are doing on a trial basis, because of community feedback. Having teams, we’re going to have a sort of House Cup competition, and there will be activities that can be completed by the group or individually, to help gain each group points and the winner will be announced at Online Anni 2021!

Be sure to pay attention, even if you haven’t signed up to be on a Team, because there’s fun to be had in watching too.  It’s going to be a spooky time at Shaoman, be prepared!

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Celebrating Robert Jordan

Today we join with the entire Wheel of Time community, in remembrance of The Creator, Robert Jordan, on the anniversary of his birth.

The opening words of his bio in our Library, penned by Kariada Kunai, express Jordan’s spirit and impact on our Community so well:

Robert Jordan: author, mentor, friend. To most, he was the mind and pen behind the critically acclaimed fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. To us, he was that and so much more. He was the reason we are here. He brought us all together, and influenced us both in life and beyond. Those of us who had the opportunity to meet him before his passing will always remember his vibrant personality, powerful voice and quizzical smile. To hear him narrate in person, weaving together his stories in full animation, was to see the beloved characters of The Wheel of Time come to life and dance before your eyes.

The Wheel of Time series has come into each of our lives at a different time and place. TarValon.Net gives us common ground, to engage with and learn from people from all walks of life. Thanks to the imagination of The Creator.

He came like the wind, like the wind touched everything, and like the wind was gone.

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What I Missed — Reading the Great Hunt

Please note: this article contains spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time Series.

We all miss some little “easter eggs” when we read a book for the first time… even on the second time! I know I do! It is also true that everyone might notice different things while reading a book.


In this article I would like to discuss things I missed in my previous read of The Wheel of Time’s second book – “The Great Hunt.” My thoughts on the previous books can also be found on our blog: “New Spring” is here; and “The Eye of the World” has Part 1 and Part 2.


The first time I read the Great Hunt was back in 2006, so almost 15 years ago! My last re-read of this book was three years ago, and this was my third or fourth read of it. This makes it the second time I read it, since the finishing of the Wheel of Time series. It’s safe to say I am really excited to start re-reading the series again! I want to see what I’ve missed in my previous reads! Join me!



The Prologue to the Great Hunt at first glance doesn’t tell us that much in regard to moving the story forward, but it sets the stage very well for events that are coming in the main story in the book and even later.


The POV‘s in the Prologue is a man’s who the readers supposedly don’t know yet. He calls himself Bors, and so is he called by Ba’alzamon as well later. In Bors’ thoughts:


“Would the Great Lord of the Dark appear to them as a man? And masked, besides? Yet the Myrddraal, its very gaze fear, trembled and almost cowered where it stood in the figure’s shadow. The man who called himself Bors grasped for an answer his mind could contain without splitting. One of the Forsaken, perhaps. That thought was only a little less painful. Even so, it meant the Day of the Dark One’s return must be close at hand if one of the Forsaken was free.”

It’s interesting that the man Bors got to this conclusion so fast, while we see in the previous book that the main three boys do not even question Ba’alzamon’s words and appearance. However, later he continues thinking and calling the man “Great Lord”, which only blurs the reader’s mind about who this man actually is and if he really is the Dark One.


The Prologue to this book gives us other interesting tidbits some of which are not really resolved later in the books, for example –  where is this meeting held, is it a recurring meeting, and who were most of the people in attendance. Obviously, I believe, that this Prologue was intentionally written in such mystery, so as to being interesting and captivating to the reader.

Now, the main story of the Great Hunt continues one month after the end of the Eye of the World.

So, I would like to start with Chapter 1 – “The Flame of Tar Valon”. We see Rand and Lan doing their sword-practice at the top of a tower in Fal Dara. In this chapter Lan tells Rand the heron-marked swords’ history. Something that I noticed was the following:

“[…] when it was done, the Aes Sedai who still lived swore they would never again make a weapon for one man to kill another. Every Aes Sedai swore it, and every woman of them since has kept that oath.”

I cannot help but wonder if this is true and how did Lan learn this? Do Aes Sedai know where one of their Oaths truly comes from? And does it really come from this story? Interesting.


Also, Lan makes note that Rand’s sword is Aes Sedai made, making it more than 3000 years old. But if Lan’s sword is also Aes Sedai made, it should also be the same age, which makes me wonder when did it begin being called “[…] the sword of the kings of Malkier”? It must have been left from one of the old nations and could have become the sword of the first king of Malkier, when the country was first created. Also, if both swords were made by Aes Sedai, why does one carry the heron mark and the other does not? How did they decide which should be marked and which shouldn’t be? Is one wrought by a different material than the other and that’s why it has a mark on it? What did the heron symbolize back in that Age? It would be interesting to find some answers to those questions if RJ has actually left some hints along the way.


In the next few chapters, there were small details that have caught my attention better than the previous times I’ve read the book:


In Chapter 5 Siuan explains to Moiraine that the Hall wants to give her to the Reds for punishment. But… what punishment is that? What has Moiraine done? Has she gone against some law of the Tower that we don’t know of? Or was it because Moiraine is of Cairhienin roial blood that she is important to the Tower, so the Hall would like to have her there instead of running around in the world? My guess is that this is said for dramatic effect, since it’s not being mentioned later again.


Chapter 6 – The Trollocs and a Myrdraal have entered Fal Dara keep. Rand almost faces the Myrdraal himself, but Ingtar comes at this time and tell Rand to run away. Later Ingtar tells Rand the Myrdraal had gotten away. I sort of feel like Ingtar didn’t fight the Myrdraal at all, but let it escape the keep, even though he showed disappointment of not being able to fight it. 


Ingtar also tells Rand that there was no earlier order to not let anyone go out of the keep, even though Rand was told by two different people that there was such an order. This leads me to think that it was only Ingtar who could’ve given those orders, without lord Agelmar’s knowledge and everyone would think the order has come from lord Agelmar himself.


“Neither Ragan nor Tema would have made up something like that. And even if the Amyrlin Seat had given the order, Ingtar would have to know of it. So who? And how? He glanced sideways at Ingtar, wondering if the Shienaran was lying. You really are going mad if you suspect Ingtar.”


Yes, Rand was very close there for a second, but sadly, it didn’t look like there was a reason to suspect Ingtar at this point.


Chapter 7 – Moiraine hears Verin speak the Dark Prophecy written in Fal Dara’s dungeons, and she recognizes Isam’s name and thinks to herself that she shouldn’t tell Lan about this. I don’t think Isam is ever mentioned again in regards to Moiraine or Lan, but only from Perrin’s POV and I had never noticed that before.


Chapter 9 – Lan gives Rand one last lesson:


“There will come a time when you must achieve a goal at all costs. It may come in attack or in defense. And the only way will be to allow the sword to be sheathed in your own body.”

Sheathing the Sword. I remember reading this last time and thinking of the end of the book where Rand fights Ba’alzamon and let’s himself be wounded and that’s how he defeats Ba’alzamon. So, to some extent, it is a Foreshadowing.


But then… I remembered the Last Battle and how Lan defeated Demandred. I wonder if Jordan had planned this for Lan during the Last battle, or did he just mean this to happen only to Rand at the end of the Great Hunt. Whatever it is, it is a tidbit that I thought was interesting, while reading this passage.

Chapter 10 – The Hunt begins – The first night after the men leave Fal Dara, Rand opens his saddlebags intending to change his “fancy” coat, but only finds more like it:

“It’s these coats,” Rand growled, still staring at what he had unpacked. One coat was black, embroidered with silver thread, the other white worked in gold. Both had herons on the collars, and both were at least as ornate as the scarlet coat he was wearing. “The servants told me I had two good, serviceable coats in here. Look at them!”

Moiraine made certain that Rand appears as a noble, but she apparently hasn’t done that for the other two boys. It appears she doesn’t understand their importance yet, or hasn’t really thought of them as important, even though she clearly wanted Mat healed and separated from the dagger of Shadar Logoth.

And then in the next chapter, Moiraine sends Rand the Dragon banner and tells Ingtar that Rand will be second in command after him? Why would she do that? She knows how much Rand knows about battles, this seems like a very bad call this far into the story, but it could be that she believed that he will ta’veren his way into being a battle leader somehow.

Let’s jump to Chapter 23 – Testing. We all know Nynaeve’s testing for Accepted is very interesting, I personally listened to that chapter several times during my reread this time. There is something that stuck out to me however. I didn’t realize in the last test that Nynaeve actually remembers what is supposed to be her real life, she doesn’t give in to the arches’ magic. In the end she literally thinks to herself:


“Nothing has changed.” Her thoughts turned. “Nothing has changed. Egwene is alone in the White Tower. Rand will channel the Power and go mad. And what of Mat and Perrin? Can they take back any shred of their lives? And Moiraine, who tore all our lives apart, still walks free.”

Which leads to her wanting to return. Based on this decision, she decides to channel and :

“There had to be a way back still. Staring at where the silver arch had been, she tried to find some trace of it. There was nothing. […] She tried to picture the arch in her mind, to shape it and form it to the last detail, curve of gleaming metal filled with a glow like snowy fire. It seemed to waver there, in front of her, first there between her and the trees, then not, then there.”

This sounds to me that she may have read some weave residue of some sort, since she doesn’t really know what she is doing yet with the Power, we as the reader do not really get much information on what she is doing with it either. And because of this residue she is able to return back.

The question I am left with however is… have the Aes Sedai on the other side felt something? Both when the arch supposedly disappears and later it appears again? They seem to have been awaiting her when she finally steps out of it, so we can assume that they didn’t consider her failing the test.

Later in Chapter 32 – A Message from the Dark, lord Barthanes tells Rand he didn’t intend on delivering Padan Fain’s message, but decided to do it after all. It seems to me that this was more than Daes Dae’mar, it may have been more like a ta’veren tugging on him. Rand is already a very strong ta’veren, so it’s not impossible to assume that a good weave of the Pattern is for Rand to receive a message basically telling him where to go next.

Final musings come from Chapter 47 – The Grave Is No Bar to My Call, when Mat sounds the Horn of Valere and the Heroes of the Horn come to help Rand with the Seanchan.

“Down the billowing fog, as if it were the side of a mountain, rode shapes on horses. At first the dense mists hid more than that, but slowly they came closer, and it was Rand’s turn to gasp. He knew them. Men, not all in armor, and women. Their clothes and their weapons came from every Age, but he knew them all.”

Because of the mention of fog in the description, I had imagined the figures of the Heroes also in a white misty kind of way, but this time I realized that is never mentioned anywhere. I realized that the Heroes look like normal humans with color and everything. That’s why people say they’ve seen Arthur Hawking, but they never mention him looking as a ghost, like how I imagined him. Mind can sometimes play tricks on you if you don’t pay enough attention. :p

————————————————————–

My final thoughts on this book are that, surprisingly, even though the main events are happening rather slowly, the Great Hunt manages to reveal a big part of the world, lay the beginnings of plots happening in later books, and not so surprisingly, give more questions than gives answers to. But after all this is only the second book, the bigger revelations are yet to come!

And with this my reread of the Great Hunt ends. I cannot wait to start my re-read of the Dragon Reborn!

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TVTT Yellow Ajah Edition – Social Media Highlight

Please note: this article contains spoilers for the whole series

The Yellow Ajah Highlight for July 2020

The Yellow Ajah at TarValon.Net and the Yellow Ajah from the books were the highlight of July 2020 on our social media platforms.

The Yellow Ajah month began with sharing some amazing fanart of Nynaeve, our favorite Yellow from the books!

images of Nynaeve, character from the Wheel of Time

The talented artists are Manweri, Ariel Burgess, and SerenaR-art from DeviantArt. Thank you for creating these pieces!

And we also shared some fanart of Yellow Ajah Sisters, credited to the DeviantArt profiles of Asrath and DrowElfMorwen, respectively. Do you think they’ve captured the Yellow Sisters’ character well?

art of yellow ajah aes sedai

There is a clear purpose of the Yellow Ajah in the books, and of course, for some of trivia, we asked you what it is:

yellow background with black text

Yes, we knew this was an easy one, the Yellows are known for Healing. But there is also more to them than just skill in Healing, just like this quote from Suana Sedai says:

black text on a background image

And there are also some similarities between the Yellow Ajah in the books and the Yellows at TarValon.Net. Sa’areah Sedai sums it up very well here:

Black text on yellow background

Because of the Yellows’ passion for healing and fixing problems, one can say they are also passionate for helping and fixing bigger issues, like Idine Sedai, who is passionate about social justice issues among others.

black text on yellow background

Did you also know that there was a Yellow Sister from TarValon.Net featured in the books?

Black text on yellow background

Not many of you knew that, so we are very proud to say that a character was named after Niere al’Aman Aes Sedai and was seen in Towers of Midnight!

And of course, we cannot leave you without seeing some pretty Yellow Shawls!!!

two women with yellow ajah shawls on, hugging in one of the photos

For those of you interested in reading about Yellow themed blogs, here we have shared:

  • An article about Healing practices in the Westlands: read here

And if you are interested in learning more about the Yellow Ajah at TarValon.Net, you can visit their Headquarters in our Library here

DISCLAIMER: The backgrounds on some of the pictures shared on out social media represent TarValon.Net’s logos for the Yellow Ajah, and are property of TarValon.Net.

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