Minor Key: Silviana Brehon

This article contains spoilers for the entire series.

 

 

“Child, the Red Ajah is crumbling! Its members are turning against one another, wolves attacking their own pack. If Elaida is allowed to go through with killing one of her own Ajah, whatever support she had from within the ranks will evaporate. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised, when the dust settles, to see that the Ajah has undermined itself to the point that you could simply disband it and be done with them.”
—Saerin to Egwene about Silviana, The Gathering Storm, Chapter 38​

 

 

At two critical points in The Gathering Storm, Silviana’s fate is used to figure a potential turning point for the Red Ajah. Portrayed by one Amyrlin as a traitor and another as a near martyr, Silviana’s fate gestures alternately towards crisis or union, dissolution or renewal.

 

As Mistress of Novices during Elaida’s tenure as Amyrlin Seat, Silviana is known to be fair but exceedingly strict. She takes pride in her own effectiveness at governing her charges, telling Egwene that “I record a third of the punishments in a month that Sheriam did, because I make sure that everyone I punish leaves here wishing above all things never to be sent to me again” (KoD, Prologue). She appears to hold the respect of the Tower at large for her careful attention to duty; even Egwene, who frequently suffers under her discipline while in captivity, concedes that Silviana is “an exemplary Mistress of Novices” (TGS, Ch. 38).

 

As with the rest of the Red Ajah, Silviana initially supports Elaida’s reign, abiding by her commands and sometimes even supporting them. She fully agrees with Elaida’s decision to demote Egwene to the rank of novice, believing that Egwene was raised to Accepted too quickly in the first place, and is resolved to make Egwene see the error in her persistent claims to the Amyrlin Seat. Egwene counts it amongst her most definitive victories when Silviana begins to express resignation over her continued defiance.

 

When Silviana eventually sides with Egwene and publicly declares that Elaida should be stripped of the stole, it provokes an outburst that threatens to devastate an entire Ajah. Elaida insists that Silviana be stilled and executed, subsequently casting the Hall of the Tower into unmitigated chaos. Elaida’s reaction here is one of the most extreme we have seen from her to this point—exacerbated, no doubt, by the fact that this is the first open act of rebellion from a member of her former Ajah. Should the Hall concede to Elaida’s demands, as Saerin tells Egwene, the most likely result would be the fragmentation of the entire Red Ajah—a breaking point for a sisterhood that is already facing a crucial transformation following the founding of the Black Tower and the cleansing of saidin. Other Red sisters show distinct unease at the situation, and Egwene recognizes that the Red Ajah is “collapsing” (TGS, Ch. 38).

 

If Elaida’s attempt to have Silviana stilled and executed for treason ultimately reveals the extent to which the Red Ajah has “undermined itself” since the split in the White Tower, then Egwene’s decision to appoint Silviana to the position of Keeper of the Chronicles is, at least in part, an attempt to bolster the Red. Although Saerin considers it a practical move to allow the Ajah to be disbanded, Egwene insists that “The White Tower needs all of the Ajahs, even the Red, to face what is coming” (TGS, Ch. 38). Egwene’s vehement praise of Silviana in front of the Hall is not just an exoneration of the former Mistress of Novices. It is also an overt act of reinforcement for an Ajah that is in something near to disgrace—particularly coming, as it does, so closely on the heels of the disaster nearly instigated by Elaida. Egwene is intent on using Silviana not only to tie the Red Ajah to herself as Amyrlin, but also to help “guide” the Red Ajah towards an “expanding of vision, a renewal of duty” (TGS, Ch. 46).

 

In the end, it is unknown whether or not Silviana survives the Last Battle—and therefore whether or not she has a direct hand in shaping that “expansion of vision” and “renewal of duty” for the Red Ajah in the Fourth Age. The last we see of her, Silviana is attempting to convince Egwene not to return to the field of battle after Gawyn’s death.

 

For a brief time, however, Silviana’s fate is in many ways tied to the fate of her Ajah itself.

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#WoTWednesday: Recent News, January 22, 2020

Yesterday (January 21, 2020) unexpectedly turned out to be a huge day for news on Amazon Prime’s upcoming adaptation of The Wheel of Time. Although neither the official @WoTonPrime account nor @RafeJudkins officially shared or re-tweeted the news, a number of cast members posted photos of episode scripts on Twitter and Instagram–and while some of those cast members were already known to us, there were some exciting new reveals as well. And not only did we learn the names of several new cast members; those script photos have also revealed some details about the titles, writers, and directors for two episodes. Here’s a roundup of everything we learned yesterday!

 

First of all, the episode titles and directors: it appears that Episode 5 will be titled “Blood Calls Blood,” was written by Celine Song, and will be directed by Salli Richardson Whitfield.  Meanwhile, Episode 6 will be titled “The Flame of Tar Valon.” This means that pretty early on, we’ll be getting into material for The Great Hunt: even if “The Flame of Tar Valon” doesn’t refer to Siuan and instead refers to material from New Spring, “Blood Calls Blood’ is a line from the Dark Prophecy written on the dungeon wall in Fal Dara early in the second book.

 

And now, onto the castings.

 

 

Kate Fleetwood will be playing the role of Liandrin, the Black Aes Sedai posing as a Red sister who leads Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, and Min to the Seanchan in The Great Hunt.  We know that Liandrin will appear no later than episode 5, “Blood Calls Blood,” based on the script she’s holding.

 

 

 

Maria Doyle Kennedy, known for her work on Orphan Black and Outlander, among other credits, will be playing an Aes Sedai. While it has not been revealed which Aes Sedai she will play, many fans are guessing that she will play either Siuan or Elaida.

 

 

 

Jennifer Cheon Garcia will also be playing an Aes Sedai–and although you can’t see it in this screenshot, she posted the news with a blue square icon, indicating that she will likely play a Blue. Siuan and Leane in particular have been suggested by fans as possibilities.

 

 

 

Daryl McCormack will be playing an unknown character and will appear by episode 5, “Blood Calls Blood.” Galad and Gawyn have been suggested as possibilities, but characters like Ingtar should be in the running as well based on the episode.

 

And as nice as it is to receive so much new casting news, it’s also nice to see more from some of those whose castings were announced previously. Madeleine Madden (Egwene al’Vere), Hammed Animashaun (Loial), and Priyanka Bose (Alanna Mosani) all released photos yesterday as well.

 

 

Madeleine Madden is holding the script for episode 6 (although she says it is episode 5 in her tweet, she later corrected herself).

 

 

 

Hammed Animashaun can be seen holding a script that I believe to be for episode 5, “Blood Calls Blood.”

 

 

 

And Priyanka Bose is holding the script for episode 5, “Blood Calls Blood.” She also posted a second photo that is the clearest look we get at the script for the episode.

 

And today, running a little behind, Taylor Napier (who will play one of Alanna’s Warders, Maksim) and Daniel Henney (Lan Mandragoran) joined in as well.

 

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on all of these new revelations? Which casting are you most excited about?

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TarValon.Net Library Resources: Accepted and Soldiers

 

 

This January, TarValon.Net’s social media accounts have been featuring our Accepted and Soldiers. If you’d like to know more about how this community group functions at TarValon.Net, or about their counterparts in The Wheel of Time books, check out some of the resources in our Library listed below!

 

 

Accepted and Soldiers at TarValon.Net

 

Our Membership Manual has you covered with all of the basics on being an Accepted or a Soldier at TarValon.Net.

 

Since being an Accepted or a Soldier involves choosing the Ajah or Company that is your home, the Ajah and Company Headquarters are a great resource for Accepted and Soldiers–though of course, guesting is the best way to truly get a feel for a group! Check out the Headquarters for the Blue Ajah, the Brown Ajah, the Dai M’Hael Company, the Gray Ajah, the Green Ajah, the Mahdi’in d’ma Dieb Company, the Red Ajah, the San d’ma Shadar Company, the White Ajah, the Val’Cueran Company, and the Yellow Ajah.

 

And be sure to check out these lists of current Accepted and Soldiers who have received merits at TarValon.Net!

 

 

Accepted and Soldiers in The Wheel of Time

 

If you’re looking for general information on Accepted in the White Tower, our Library articles on Accepted and the test for Accepted are great places to start. TarValon.Net’s Library also contains a list of all characters who have ever been Accepted throughout the series, with links to individual character pages.

 

If you’ve ever wondered what the plural for “Accepted” is, check out a comprehensive explanation here!

 

And while there is not a exact counterpart within the series for TarValon.Net’s soldiers, you can find a list of characters who trained at the White Tower in the hopes of becoming Gaidin here.

 

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Randland Travel Advisor: Stedding Tsofu

 

 

Out for a jaunt through Randland? TarValon.Net’s trusty travel advisor gives you the good, the bad, and the braid-tuggingly awful!

 

 

 

I heard tell of an Ogier stedding in the Cairhien area, Stedding Tsofu. I’ve only seen the odd Ogier out and about—though perhaps it was the same one multiple times—and I must admit, it was like seeing a fairy tale come to life. For this reason, when I came across a tattered sign advertising tours, I decided to take a chance that it was not a joke. The Dark One’s own luck was on my side: it was not a joke!

 

Stedding Tsofu was just over a day’s journey from the city. No guides were provided from Cairhien, but the signs were clear, and it was a pleasant journey. It’s impossible to miss the threshold of the stedding. The feeling of crossing over is just indescribable. I felt the change and was taken aback. Soon, I saw the trees. The tree were not ordinary trees, but Great Trees, with branches a hundred paces and more above the ground and a trunk twenty paces wide!

 

If that was all I saw, I would have been satisfied for a lifetime. But Erith, a good-natured Ogier woman with a voice like a bumblebee, emerged from the forest to lead me through the town. The buildings were taller than normal, and of beautiful craftsmanship. Nothing said about Ogier is an exaggeration. Treesingers were helping out some Aiel visitors, and it was just the purest sound, leaving no room in the mind for anything but the growing earth. By the time Erith escorted me out, the sun was well past the horizon and I camped at the edge of the stedding, if only to hold on to that feeling but a little longer.

 

Truth be told, it is the experience of a lifetime. No words can do the stedding justice, and the Treesingers’ song will forever live within me.

 

(I later learned there were some Aiel heading to visit the Ogier when I was on my way there. They alerted the Ogier to my presence half a day’s ride out. If I had looked like a typical Cairheinin, the Aiel might not have let me enter the stedding at all. Thank the Light I look like an out-of-towner!)

 

(Reference: The Great Hunt, Chapter 35, “Stedding Tsofu”)

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A Day in the Life of an Accepted

This article contains spoilers for New Spring.

 

 

When Egwene and Nynaeve first arrive in Tar Valon, Sheriam tells Nynaeve in no uncertain terms that the first few weeks as an Accepted are harder than anything experienced by novices, a practice intended “To catch the few who might have slipped through novice training when they should not have” (TGH, Ch. 18). Throughout most of the series, Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve spend very little actual time in the White Tower, and are hardly ordinary Accepted once they attain the ring. Even the time spent by Elayne and Nynaeve as Accepted in Salidar is unusual, given the circumstances. It was the release of New Spring, published after ten books in the main timeline, which finally allowed us a closer look at what it is to be Accepted. So what do typical days usually look like for an Accepted of the White Tower?

 

Moiraine practicing for her Aes Sedai test with Elaida. New Spring Graphic Novel, by Robert Jordan, Chuck Dixon, Mike Miller, and Harvey Tolibao.

In many ways, Accepted are not nearly as constrained as novices are, expected to be able to think for themselves and to question things around them. Aside from caring for their own laundry and rooms, Accepted are generally not expected to do chores unless they are being punished. While they are occasionally assigned duties such as helping to sort out petitioners or assisting an Aes Sedai with another task, the majority of their time is given over to teaching novice classes and to their own studies. While Accepted occasionally attend larger lectures, much of their learning takes place through private lessons with Aes Sedai or is self-guided. Topics of study range from laws and customs of the White Tower itself, to various authors and philosophers, to different historical eras. In addition to such studies, which are long and difficult, Accepted must also learn and practice the One Hundred weaves for use in the test for Aes Sedai.

 

Of course, one must not forget that there is a lighter side to being an Accepted as well. In large part due to the stress of near-constant study, Accepted frequently like to play pranks on other Accepted and even on Aes Sedai. As Moiraine puts it, “Some relief was needed, or you would crack like an egg dropped on stone” (NS, Ch. 3). While some Accepted—such as Moiraine, Siuan, Myrelle, Pevara, and Seaine—are particularly known for pulling pranks, it is a practice that most Accepted engage in from time to time.

 

One of the other difficult things about being Accepted appears to be the way it effects relationships. As novice and Accepted training is demanding, close bonds are often formed. However, new Accepted are often expected to cut off ties with friends who are novices, and new Aes Sedai are expected to do the same with friends who are Accepted; thus, an Accepted will see a halt to many friendships over her years of study. Upon her successful completion of the test for the Shawl, Moiraine feels “a touch of sadness at the sudden withdrawal” in the faces of Sheriam and Myrelle, for “A gulf had opened between them” (NS, Ch. 10). It is a far cry from the scenes in which Myrelle helps tend to Moiraine and Siuan in the aftermath of Elaida’s “lessons” on the One Hundred weaves, an abrupt transition from the camaraderie of pranks and shared experiences to a relationship dictated by hierarchy. Sometimes, these friendships are easily resumed; Moiraine and Siuan, for instance, resume their relationship with Sheriam once Sheriam is also raised to the Shawl. Other relationships are more difficult to take up again, hindered by time or by the customs of one’s chosen Ajah. Elaida and Meidani, who were pillowfriends as novices, see an end to their relationship when Elaida attains the ring (CoT, Prologue). Similarly, Pevara and Seaine, close friends during their time as trainees in the Tower, are driven apart by custom once they attain the shawl. Their relationship does not resume for decades because of the Red Ajah’s propensity to avoid friendships outside of the Ajah (ACoS, Ch. 32).

 

If you’d like to know more about Accepted, check out TarValon.Net’s Library article!
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