The Horses of “New Spring”

 

Horses play an important role in “New Spring.” They are companions to characters and serve as a main source of transportation. Various characteristics are described, including build and coloration.
 

The rider from Tear rode a horse that “had the arched neck of good Tairen bloodstock” (p.7). Meilyn Arganya had a tall dappled gelding, and Elaida rode a “fine-ankled bay mare” (p. 84). A bandit rode “a white-stockinged brown gelding with a look of speed about him and a prancing step” (p. 292). When Moiraine entered Chachin she arrived in “a yellow-lacquered carriage behind a team of four matched greys” (p. 326).
 

Some of the equine encountered were named and served a greater role. Bukama had a “yellow roan gelding, Sun Lance” (p. 10). Moiraine rode Arrow and Lan rode Cat Dancer.
 

“Moiraine had purchased Arrow to celebrate attaining the ring” (p. 59). The bay mare “was not tall” but “could keep running long after larger horses had tired out. A fast mount was good, but a mount with endurance was better. Arrow was both. And she could jump fences that few other horses would even try” (p. 59). When Moiraine left Tar Valon on the vessel “Bluewing,” the mare was “hoisted aboard by a long wooden boom, with straps beneath her belly” (p. 210). She rode Arrow while in search of the reborn Dragon.
 

Lan’s Cat Dancer was a bay stallion. He was half-trained, but “even a half-trained warhorse was a formidable weapon” (p. 10). The stallion was “standing still and alert” while Lan dealt with guards when entering Canluum (p. 217). During a bandit attack, Cat Dancer remained still “knowing what dropped reins meant” and so waited for “the pressure of knee and heel” (p. 284).
 

Horses served an important capacity in “New Spring.” Some, like Arrow and Cat Dancer, were named and described in greater detail. Others, such as those hauling carriages and ridden by bandits, still served a role.

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TVTT VC Edition – Call of the Pack

 
 

When I first joined TarValon.Net, I was happy to have found a community of fans who enjoyed the world created by Robert Jordan. I became a Citizen, and then applied to join The Tower. As a Novice, I continued to read the series and meet members of the community. Upon passing my test, I became Accepted and began my Guesting journey.
 

As an Accepted, I continued my education. I participated in Classes and in various Events and activities. I was sure my goal was to be Aes Sedai and find which Ajah would be my home. Guesting is as much about self exploration as it is about exploring the groups that make up the community. I was determined to be open minded and explore all the groups.
 

My first round of Guesting was complete, and I had multiple groups I felt very comfortable in. Guesting allowed me to find appreciation for aspects of all the groups. I went through a second round. I was determined to find my home. I still felt there were multiple places I could fit in. This was with Ajahs and Companies.
 

The Mistress of Accepted and Soldiers (Kitan Tataru) and my mentors (Alenya Al’Roran and Ashara Koh’inor) were wonderful. They helped me find ways to reflect on my discoveries so that I could determine where my home was. Our home is not just where our friends are or where our ideal self would be, but is a place that we can serve and help to form the whole.
 

The Pack had chosen me. Deep down I knew this long before I actually admitted it. Once I came to that realization, I eagerly submitted my request to Aspire to the Val’Cueran. Thankfully I did not have to wait long. I am still excited to know I have found my home.
 

They welcomed me from the start. I had become a part of the pack before I even started Guesting. They emphasize Brotherhood, Loyalty, and Honor. They are the Heart Guard of TarValon.Net. And at some point the concept of They had become We. We are there for one another and are there to protect and serve. We are there to light the bonfire that draws us together, to celebrate victories and to face challenges.
 

Activity with the Pack might wax and wane, but its values remain. We know how to have fun, and when to be serious. I will enjoy the bonfires and the s’mores and happily provide coffee and steaks to my pack mates.
 

I am happy to say I am an Aspirant of the Val’Cueran. Someday I will be proud to be Gaidin. But for now, I am honored to be part of the Pack and to have my “Brothers and Brosters” around me. I will continue to train and to strive to be worthy of my place with the Company.

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Cairhien ‘New Spring’ Fashion

new spring fashion cairhien

 

This post contains spoilers for New Spring

 

During my read of “New Spring” I was able to take particular note of the women’s fashions of Cairhien. We were provided so much detail on the clothing of Moiraine Damodred, who was born and raised there. We were provided a general glimpse of the citizens of Cairhien as being of pale complexion and shorter stature. There was reference to “dark-clad Cairhien, easy to pick out because they were shorter and paler than nearly everyone else” (p. 64). Additionally, they were viewed as calculating, especially due to their connection to Daes Dae’mar or “Game of Houses.” “In Cairhien, even servants and farmers knew how to maneuver for advantage and deflect others from their own plans and secrets” (p. 45).
 

Even as an Accepted, Moiraine wore dark accessories when permitted. Her good riding gloves were “dark blue leather with just a touch of embroidery on the back” (p. 57).
 

When Moiraine underwent her Testing, we were provided a clear image of Cairhien fashion. At one point she was in a dress “in a dark, shimmering green, well cut and meticulously sewn. Bars of red, green, and white, each two inches wide, made a narrow line of color down the front of the dress from the high neck to below knee-leve;l” and “looking over her shoulder to do up the tiny mother-of-pearl buttons by her reflection in the stand mirror” (p. 141). She observed that “only having her hair arranged in elaborate coils on the sides of her head could have made it more” appropriate (p. 141). Additionally, we got a view of her father in a “long coat of a style at least a year out of fashion, with the House Damodred colors marching from his high down to his knees” (p. 150).
 

The use of House Colors was very important in Cairhienin fashion. Once becoming Aes Sedai, Moiraine visited a Seamstress in Tar Valon and ordered “riding dresses, in the strictest Cairhienin style, which was to say dark, though she did not put it that way, each with six slashes across the breast in red, green, and white, far fewer than she had a right to” (p. 193). Later, when Siuan Sanche posed as Suki, maid to Lady Moiraine, she wore a “dark grey dress of fine wool, entirely plain except for collar and cuffs banded in Damodred colors” (p. 326).
 

Dark colors, high necks, and embroidery were common elements to the dresses Moiraine typically wore. On leaving Tar Valon she wore a dress “suitably dark blue, with a few leafy silver vines climbing the sleeves to encircle the high neck” (p. 208.) Her cloak was lined with black fox. Later in her travels she wore a dark blue riding dress “embroidered on the neck and sleeves in a golden pattern like Maldine lace” (p. 260). She had pockets sewn inside her cloak.
 

One unique aspect of Cairhienin fashion was the kesiera. Though she could not wear it while a Novice or Accepted, Moiraine resumed the practice upon her Raising. “Her hands remembered how to weave the thin gold chain into her hair so the small sapphire hung in the middle of her forehead” and “now she looked the Lady Moiraine Damodred” (p. 171). It was likely the kesiera came in different colors, but the sapphire was associated with Moiraine.
 

Overall, the fashion of Cairhien appeared to be dark. Men seemed to wear long coats with high necks and extended at least to their knees. Women wore high necked dresses, often with embroidery on the sleeves and necks. House Colors represented by bands were important to denote their class and association. Though personal taste certainly had some influence, it appeared that these rules were generally followed.

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Tear, Illian, & Andor ‘New Spring’ Fashion

new spring fashion andor illian tear

 

This post contains spoilers for New Spring

 

During my reread of New Spring, I have found references to the fashions of the various nations. Some are provided in greater detail than others, but still help to provide a deeper understanding of the people of this world.
 

TEAR

 

The people of Tear are generally darker complected. “Some Tairens were as dark” as some “charcoal skinned” Sea Folk (p. 64). “In Tear, channeling was outlawed, and Aes Sedai were not popular” (p. 23); which explained Siuan Sanche being whisked away so abruptly and sent to the White Tower, when it was determined she could channel.
 

In general, the people of Tear seem to incorporate lace and striping colors into their fashion. The “Tairens in broad-striped coats or lace-trimmed dresses” (p. 64). “A Tairen noblewoman” was described as being “stiff-necked in a tall lace collar” (p. 63). Another Tairen was mentioned “in a striped cloak” (p. 238).
 

The best complete description comes of a soldier. The rider from Tear smelled of roses from the “oils glistening on his pointed beard” and his helmet had a “high ridge across the top and a rim that cast” his face in shadow; and a single, short white plume, marking him an officer (p. 7). He wore a dark cloak and likely “wore gilded breastplate and a silk-satin coat striped in his house colors” (p. 8). His boots were embroidered in silver schoolwork.
 

ILLIAN

 

Very little was discussed regarding Illian. In Moraine Damodred‘s room as an Accepted, there was an “Illianer carpet round and flowered” (p. 56). From this we could surmise that they like bright colors and floral motifs.
 

An Illianer wore a “vividly striped cloak” (p. 64). Another Illianer had a “beard that left his upper lip bare” (p. 238).
 

ANDOR

 

There were limited details regarding Andor. They “strode along as though they not only knew exactly where they were going but intended to reach there as soon as possible. Andorans always focused on one matter at a time, they were stubborn people, overproud, and they lacked imagination” (p. 64).
 

They were commonly referred to as “plainly garbled Andorans” (p. 64). Elin, a Novice of the White Tower, was “not tall for an Andoran” (p. 26). Just like all the Novices, she wore white. “Adine Canford (Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah), blue-eyed woman with short-cut black hair who displayed not a hint of arrogance despite being Andoran” (p. 201).
 

Each region seems to have certain aspects to their fashion. Tear appeared to like striped colors and lace. Illian appeared to like vivid colors and stripes as well. Andorans appeared to prefer plain clothing.

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Men of the Tower ‘New Spring’ Fashion

new spring fashion men

 

My re-read of the Wheel of Time series began with New Spring. In my previous article I examined the attire of the Aes Sedai. This time around I decided to focus on the men of the Tower of Tar Valon.
 

The Tower of Tar Valon was home to the Aes Sedai and to the initiates hoping to one day join as full Sisters themselves. “Few people went nearer than a hundred paces unless they had business with the Tower, or wanted to present a petition” (p. 185). Those who did go to the Tower included servants, guardsmen, and Warders.
 

SERVANTS

 

The servants of the Tower, men and women, are often referred to as being “liveried” (p. 49). These servants included the cook Laras, in her “long, spotless white apron” (p. 102); workmen, who in the winter would shovel the “path clean two or three times a day if necessary” (p. 58); and “rough-coated grooms” (p. 58). These servants are generally described as having the “white flame of Tar Valon” (p. 36) on their breast.
 

TOWER GUARDS

 

The Tower Guards were positioned throughout the Tower Gates. The guardsmen at the gates were “carrying halbreds” (p. 67). The Tower Guards “wore gray steel breast plates over nearly black coats and equally dark cloaks worked with the white teardrop of the Flame of Tar Valon” (p. 59).
 

Ranks were also distinguishable through the appearance of their uniform. “Seven-striped Tavares over the breast plates marked out bannermen and the lone officer” (p. 59). An under-lieutenant was recognized by “a short white plume” and “face-bars” on his helmet.
 

WARDERS

 

An Aes Sedai and her Warder shared a special bond. They could “sense each other’s emotions and physical condition, and each knew exactly where the other was, if they were close enough, and at least a direction if they were far apart” (p. 86). Warders could be found in any of the Ajah’s quarters “excepting the Red, but most kept rooms in the Guard’s barracks or even in the city. Greens’ Warders often lived in the same apartments as the sister!” (p. 115).
 

Warders were all described as wearing shirts, pants, and boots. Country of origin also influenced the fashion choices of Warders. “One wore silver bells in his dark Arafellin braids, one had a thick Taraboner mustache, and the third was very dark, perhaps a Tairen, or a southern Altaran” (p. 115). Another had a shaved head except for a Shienaran topknot.
 

Stepin and Karile were Warders to Kerene Nagashi of the Green Ajah. They both had longer hair than their Aes Sedai. There was reference to Stepin buttoning his coat and Karile’s coat having a “capacious coat pocket” (p. 118). Andro was Warder to Meilyn Arganya, who was “one of the few Whites to have a Warder” (p. 84). He was “lean and no taller than his Aes Sedai” and “appeared youthful” (p. 86); and whose eyes “never rested long in one place” (p. 83).
 

The one article of clothing unique to Warders was their cloak. A Warder’s cloak “was a disconcerting sight” (p. 83). The cloak had the ability to shift colors and blend with what lay behind the Warder. It could make it so that “parts of him and parts of his black gelding seemed not to be there at all” (p. 83). “None wore the distinctive cloak indoors, but the cloak was a mere decoration for a discerning eye” (p. 115).
 

The fashion of the men within the Tower of Tar Valon was directly determined by their status as a servant, guardsman, or Warder. Servants were identified by the flame of Tar Valon on the breast of their garments. The guardsmen wore the same symbol along with their uniform. The Warders, while they shared the same distinct cloak, had the most opportunity to exhibit their individuality. The country of origin would certainly influence the hair and clothing of these men.

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