#WoTWednesday: Top Five Forsaken?



First off, it looks like Rafe got in a little bit of trouble for posting a tweet of him on location in Prague (which has since been deleted, but can be viewed here). This explains why we didn’t get a #WoTWednesday post last week.



This week, Rafe asked us all to name our top five Forsaken and why!



As a reminder, which I’m sure you don’t need, here are a list of all of the Forsaken (and there’s a handy link to the character biographies of each, found in our Library!):


  • Ishamael / Moridin, the most powerful of the Forsaken, later becoming Nae’blis.
  • Aginor / Osan’gar, creator of Shadowspawn, reborn as Osan’gar after he draws in too much of the One Power.
  • Balthamel / Aran’gar, the first of the Forsaken to die, who then becomes very effective at hindering Egwene’s plans as Aran’gar.
  • Sammael, who hides in the Council of Nine in Illian, eventually being killed by Mashadar in Shadar Logoth.
  • Rahvin, who masquerades as Lord Gaebril, in an attempt to take over Andor.
  • Be’lal, who… ummm… well, he didn’t do too much, did he? His main purpose was showing that Moiraine does not mess around. You served the Shadow well.
  • Demandred, the mysterious man who doesn’t make a real appearance until A Memory of Light, but it was oh so worth the wait.
  • Asmodean, the poet, who just wanted to write his music.
  • Lanfear / Cyndane, the most powerful female Forsaken, taken out by Moiraine, later brought back much less effective.
  • Graendal, the Forsaken who is all about indulgence while also being one of the deadliest ladies out there.
  • Semirhage, who played the long game in Seanchan before eventually being broken by Cadsuane.
  • Mesaana, who decided to play the long game in Tar Valon, but her mind was eventually broken by Egwene.
  • Moghedien, everyone’s favorite spider in the World of Dreams and Nynaeve’s nemesis.



So, who’s your favorite and why?



Minor Key: Eldrene ay Ellan ay Carlan

This article contains spoilers for the entire series.



And where her heart had been was left only a thirst for vengeance, vengeance for her love, vengeance for her people and her land. Driven by grief she reached out to the True Source, and hurled the One Power at the Trolloc army. And there the Dreadlords died wherever they stood […]

The Eye of the World, Chapter 9, Tellings of the Wheel )



Queen Eldrene by Erevia on DeviantArt

I begin this series of spotlights on minor but key characters of The Wheel of Time with one of the stars of a well-known scene. It is a scene, I think, that is powerful and nostalgic for many: Moiraine with her staff aflame as she tells of the Two Rivers’ history, of a people who would not yield and a loss that demanded retribution.



An Aes Sedai and the last Queen of Manetheren, Eldrene ay Ellan ay Carlan was also known to her people as Ellisande, the Rose of the Sun. Betrayed by the jealousy of the Amyrlin Tetsuan, who withheld aid in Manetheren’s moment of greatest need, Eldrene helped to facilitate the preservation of her people during the Trolloc Wars. After overseeing the safe flight of civilians into the forests and mountains, she lashed out in grief at the fall of her husband and Warder, King Aemon. Burned out and burned up by drawing too much of the One Power, Eldrene’s death precipitated the destruction of the Trolloc army sent to obliterate her land.



As Moiraine begins her story, she laments the deaths of Eldrene and Aemon—laments, indeed, “the loss of even their memory” among their descendants. The people of the Two Rivers, long generations removed from the events of the Trolloc Wars, know nothing of this history until it is revealed by Moiraine in the aftermath of their own first brush with destruction.



And yet Eldrene, like Aemon, stands as a testament to the power of history, legend, and myth in The Wheel of Time. If conscious knowledge and memory of her is gone, vestiges remain, buried deep. Her name is, in fact, entrenched unknown within Two Rivers’ parlance as a local geographical feature—Eldrene’s Veil, a waterfall that lies in the Mountains of Mist, not far west of the Taren Ferry and north of the Sand Hills.



Once the people of Emond’s Field have heard the history of Manetheren’s fall, something of it is awakened within them. Eldrene’s name becomes a rallying call for the Two Rivers’ runaways as Mat instinctively takes up Aemon’s battlecry—“Carai an Caldazar! Carai an Ellisande! Al Ellisande!”[1]—on two separate occasions when the group engages in battle with Trollocs. On the first occasion, when the group is confronted by the enemy on the Caemlyn Road, Egwene feels a glimmer of recognition, almost able to understand the words without Moiraine’s translation and thus giving rise to fan theories of Mat and Egwene as Aemon and Eldrene reborn. On the second, as the Blight rises around and against them, we are told that Mat is “lost to the present” as he takes up the cry again, his mind unconsciously drawn to ancient days as he and his friends battle for their lives. On both occasions, Eldrene’s name constitutes a deep-seated link to the past that hovers just out of sight, obscured but not erased by the veils of time.​


Carai an Ellisande by Alsdale on DeviantArt

Equally significant is the way in which Rand’s journey from the Two Rivers to the Eye of the World—his journey, that is, to first recognize his destiny—is bracketed by references to Manetheren and to the courage and desperation of Eldrene and Aemon. The denouement of Moiraine’s story early in the first book marks the commencement of Rand’s journey from the Two Rivers; he stands spellbound until she concludes and Lan summons him to the stables to complete preparations for their departure. It is fittingly and even poetically a journey in which Rand will learn that he has been prophesied, in a mirroring of Eldrene’s and Aemon’s deaths, to sacrifice his life for the salvation of his people—of all people. At the end of the novel, once Rand has defeated Ba’alzamon at the Eye of the World, Moiraine returns to the tale of Manetheren’s last stand when she tells Rand that “Manetheren blood was always stubborn, and more so after Aemon died and Eldrene’s heart was shattered” (TEotW, Ch. 52). Although not actually born of Manetheren blood, Rand has been indelibly touched by it, raised and fostered by its strength and stubbornness.



Although Eldrene’s name itself very rarely appears in the series as a whole, other echoes of her abound; perhaps the most blatant is Egwene’s very similar finale in A Memory of Light. Indeed, like the waterfall that bears her name, Eldrene’s spectral presence continues to hang over The Wheel of Time.



[1] “For the honor of the Red Eagle. For the honor of the Rose of the Sun. The Rose of the Sun.”



#WoTWednesday: Bel(l)a?



This week Rafe posted a, um, rather interesting drawing of everyone’s favorite mare, Bela. Apparently Bela is quite a topic of discussion in The Wheel of Time Writer’s Room, and one of the writers’ assistants, who presumably doesn’t know too much about the series, drew this sketch, which captures the essence of how cool Bela is.



What do you think? Yay or neigh?


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TarValon.Net’s March Wrap-Up

Another monthly events wrap-up for TarValon.Net. At the beginning of March we received news that our dear friend Jaim al’Bearach had passed, and his loss still lies heavy on our hearts. We welcomed Novices and Recruits to the Tower, as well as three new Aes Sedai. We also celebrated our 18th Anniversary Party in Ariel, Washington.






Job Postings



Positions Appointed






Posts of Note


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#WoTWednesday: What Are Your Favorite Rituals, Festivals, or Ceremonies from tWoT?


It seems that last week’s question of where Rafe and the Wheel of Time Writers were is answered with this Tweet: they were in Bali!


Rafe asked fans to say what some of their favorite rituals, festivals, or ceremonies are from The Wheel of Time. My absolute favorite ceremony is the First Sibling Ceremony seen in Winter’s Heart between Aviendha and Elayne — not specifically because of the individuals involved, but because the ceremony itself and the meaning behind it is really beautiful. At TarValon.Net, we’ve adopted a similar ceremony, and it means a lot to quite of number of our members.


What are some of your favorite rituals, festivals, or ceremonies in The Wheel of Time?


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