Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Character Names: C


By Linda

Caar al Thorin al Toren: Manetherin noble who was sent by his father Thorin to bring Aridhol back to the Light, but was instead imprisoned and maimed. Caar is a place name and Toren is a surname.

Thorin could be a borrowing from Tolkien – the name of the chief of the Dwarfs in The Hobbit. Tolkien in turn borrowed the name from the Icelandic Edda. In The Hobbit, Thorin’s father, Thrain, was imprisoned and tortured by Sauron, whereas Caar was the one maimed in The Wheel of Time series.

Caddar: Sammael see Names of the Shadow article.

Cadsuane Melaidhrin: Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. Casuane is in Peru. Melaidhrin is similar to real world place names.

Calian the Chooser: Hero of the Horn. Calian wears a red mask and is the sister of Shivan. Her real world parallel is Kali:

[a] major Hindu goddess whose iconography, cult, and mythology commonly associate her with death, sexuality, violence, and, paradoxically in some of her later historical appearances, motherly love. Kali is most often characterized as a black or blue goddess, partially or completely naked, with a long lolling tongue, a skirt or girdle of human arms, a necklace of decapitated heads, and multiple arms. She is often depicted standing or dancing on her husband, the god Shiva, who lies prostrate beneath her.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

The myth has been changed to show the effects of time – Calian is Shivan’s sister, whereas Kali is Shiva’s wife. Calian’s red mask alludes to the blood on Kali’s face and breast which is present in some depictions of her (Larousse Encyclopaedia Mythology). The Kali myth has been split into two by Jordan: Kali’s name and positive attributes have been used to develop Calian, while her dark skin and negative attributes have been used to develop Semirhage (see Semirhage essay).

Caraighan Maconar: Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. Carraigin is Irish Moss, a red algae harvested for commercial purposes. Maconar may be derived from Mac Conor. Her name thus has a strong Celtic flavour.

Caraline Damodred: Cairhienin. Caroline is a personal name meaning ‘beautiful woman’, which she is.

Damodred is probably a combination of Damocles and dread. Damocles was a courtier to the 4th Century Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse, and is known to history through the legend of the “Sword of Damocles”:

According to the legend, when Damocles spoke in extravagant terms of his sovereign's happiness, Dionysius invited him to a sumptuous banquet and seated him beneath a naked sword that was suspended from the ceiling by a single thread. Thus did the tyrant demonstrate that the fortunes of men who hold power are as precarious as the predicament in which he had placed his guest.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

This is basically the history of House Damodred in a nutshell – great power wielded with little appreciation of the consequences of arrogant actions. The dread in the name merely emphasises the deservedly bad reputation of most of the members of this House. Furthermore, during the Aiel War and while House Riatin held the crown, House Damodred were in a precarious position.

Careane Fransi: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Carleon: Tairen High Lord killed by Tedosian. Caerleon is a Welsh town in the UK that is traditionally a seat of the legendary King Arthur. Whether Carleon liked it or not, Tear is one of Rand’s seats. Carlyon is a personal name of similar spelling.

Carlomin: Tairen Lord in Shen an Calhar. Carlomin is similar to Carloman and there have been four rulers with that name:

Carloman (715-754) was Emperor Charlemagne’s uncle. He inherited considerable lands (Austrasia, Alemannia and Thuringia) and the suzerainty of Bavaria from his father, and fought to suppress external enemies and rebellious subjects (Encyclopaedia Britannica). After ruling for a few years, he abandoned the secular life and become a monk.

Carloman (751-771) was Emperor Charlemagne’s younger brother. He was anointed joint King of the Franks with Charlemagne and inherited the eastern part of the Franks’ lands. Upon his early death, Charlemagne annexed his territory and became sole ruler of the Frankish empire.

The third Carloman was king of the West Franks from 882 to884. He had trouble gaining recognition because he was the child of a first marriage that had been unacceptable to his grandfather Charles the Bald (Encyclopaedia Britannica). He died while hunting.

The final Carloman (828 -880) was the eldest son of Louis II the German and the father of the Emperor Arnulf:

Carloman rebelled against his father in 861 and 863, but in 865 was entrusted by Louis with a share in his authority, being granted jurisdiction over Bavaria and Carinthia. After this he remained loyal to his father, even helping to suppress the rebellion of his two younger brothers ( 866) and taking part in a campaign against the Moravians ( 869). The latter by 874 were forced to admit Frankish supremacy. After the death of the emperor Louis II ( 875), a faction in northern Italy favoured Carloman as candidate for the imperial crown; but Pope John VIII preferred Charles II the Bald. When Louis the German died ( 876), Carloman succeeded him as king of some of the German territories. In undisputed control of Bavaria, he promptly crossed the Alps on the death of Charles the Bald ( 877) and was recognized as king in northern Italy. The Pope, however, still refused him the imperial crown. Falling ill, Carloman had to renounce his lands and titles to his brother Louis III the Younger. His illegitimate son Arnulf became emperor in 896.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

None of the Carlomans ruled for long; they either abandoned the rulership for reasons of ill health or spiritual weariness, or died in an accident. Carlomin is a young lord who has left his father’s side and estates to follow and fight with Mat.

Carney: Sailor in New Spring. Carney may commemorate Robert Carney, who was an U.S. Navy admiral and military strategist during World War II. Carney was Captain of the boat Bluewing, on which Moiraine escaped Tar Valon and assassins.

Cassin: Aiel. Cassin may refer to Rene-Samuel Cassin, French jurist and president of the European Court of Human Rights. He won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1968 for his involvement in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Aiel will become international peacekeepers after the Last Battle.



Cetalia Delarme: Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. Cetalia is a surname. A parallel for Delarme may be Marion Delorme, a French courtesan whose home was used as base for rebels against the regency of Louis IV of France (see drawing right). Cetalia ran the Blues spy network.


Chai Rugan: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Chanelle din Seran: Windfinder. Chanelle may refer to Coco Chanel:

the French dress designer who ruled over Parisian haute couture for almost six decades. Her elegantly casual designs inspired women of fashion to abandon complicated, uncomfortable clothes and to adopt her now-classic innovations.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

The Sea Folk women are elegantly attired in beautiful and functional garments.

Seran is similar to real world place names.

Changu: Shienaran Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Charl Gedwyn: Black Asha'man see Names of the Shadow article.

Charlz Guybon: According to Jordan:

Charlz Guybon is named after a man whose wife won an auction for naming rights after I agreed to be part of a fund raiser for an English charity that works with victims of torture. She sent me his description, which I used.

Charn: Rand's Ancestor. Charn is the name of the dying world in The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis. A curious child struck a gong there and awakened an evil witch who entered the world of Narnia. Charn worked for Mierin, the woman whose curiosity led her to drill a hole in the Dark One’s prison and who later became evil. He was a remnant of a time before the War of the Power – a world now dead. The destruction of Charn by war and magic is similar to that of the Age of Legend’s destruction.

Chesa: Egwene’s maid. Chesa is similar to Chesna and Chessa, Slavic personal names meaning ‘peaceful’. Egwene finds Chesa soothing and peaceful. Chesa herself doesn’t seem to require a peaceful life; she enjoys Aes Sedai politicking.

Chesmal Emry: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Chowin Tsao: Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah and Hawkwing’s advisor. Chowin is similar to Chowan, a place in North Carolina. Tsao refers to Tsao Tsao:

one of the greatest of the generals at the end of the Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 220) of China. Ts'ao was initially a minor garrison commander and rose to prominence as a general when he suppressed the Yellow Turban Rebellion, which threatened the last years of Han rule. The dynasty, however, was greatly weakened by the rebellion, and in the ensuing chaos the country was divided among the major generals into three kingdoms. Ts'ao occupied the strategic northern section around the emperor's capital at Lo-yang and gradually assumed all imperial prerogatives. His domain was known as the kingdom of Wei.

Ts'ao's large armies—at one time he is said to have had a million men under arms—and his skilful manoeuvring have long been notorious in Chinese history. He was described by Confucian historians and in popular legends as the archetypal shrewd, bold, unscrupulous villain.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Chowin was Green Ajah, the Battle Ajah, and was advisor to Hawkwing, whose military skills and career were rather like Tsao’s, so the military parallels are apt. Hawkwing became suspicious of all Aes Sedai and dismissed Chowin. Like the Han dynasty, Hawkwing’s empire disintegrated upon his death.


Another parallel is Chun Tsao, the Furnace Prince in Chinese mythology, whose magical powers of alchemy produced gold dinnerware that conferred immortality on the diner (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Aes Sedai are long-lived due to their use of the magical One Power.

Chubain: High Captain of Tower Guard. Chubain possibly refers to the Sasanian king Bahram VI Chubin (reigned 590–591):

A general and head of the house of Mihran at Rayy (near modern Tehran), he performed, in gaining the throne, a feat exceptional for one not of Sasanian royal blood.

Prominent as master of the household in the Byzantine wars of the Sasanian king Hormizd IV, Bahram later received the supreme command in Khorasan and was able to repel a Turkish invasion. Following a defeat by the Romans in 589, however, he was harshly treated by Hormizd. Bahram, with the support of his army, rebelled; in the ensuing disorder, Hormizd was assassinated, and Khosrow II, his successor, marched against the irreconcilable general. The royal troops, however, mutinied, and Khosrow fled to the Byzantines. Bahram then proclaimed himself king. In 591, with Byzantine support, Khosrow regained the throne. Bahram escaped to Turkistan, where he was assassinated.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Chubain and the guards felt helpless against the Seanchan raiders and the Sharans but their duty was to hold their ground.

Cieryl Arjuna: Careane’s Warder. Cieryl is a WOT variant of Cheryl, a personal name meaning ‘beloved’ or ‘dear’.

Arjuna was one of the five Pandava brothers, who are the heroes of the Indian epic the Mahabharata (“Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty”). Arjuna's hesitation before a battle became the occasion for his friend and charioteer, the god Krishna, to deliver a discourse on duty, or the right course of human action. These verses, which are in the form of a quasi-dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, are collectively known as the Bhagavadgita, which is the most celebrated religious text of India.

- Encylcopaedia Britannica

Many Warders’ names have military parallels. Careane, Cieryl's Aes Sedai, showed a lack of duty or rightness of action since she was a Darkfriend.

Coke: probable Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Colavaere Saighan: Cairhienin. Colavaere is similar to a real world place name. Saighan is similar to Saigon in Vietnam. The Treaty of Saigon:

was signed by the last pre-colonial emperor of Vietnam, Tu Duc, and was ratified by him in April 1863.

Under the terms of the agreement, the French received Saigon and three of the southern provinces of Cochinchina, the opening of three ports to trade, freedom of missionary activity, a vague protectorate over Vietnam's foreign relations, and a large cash indemnity. Five years later France annexed the rest of Cochinchina.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Similarly, under Colavaere, House Saighan pushed its way into the rulership of Cairhien. The parallel also reinforces the strong French flavour in Cairhien names and political history.

In the Twentieth Century, Saigon was held by both sides in the Vietnam War. The Saighan family are ambitious and canny political players and there is some uncertainty about which side members are on.

Colline:Jenn Aiel who was kidnapped from the wagons. Lewin, Luca, Gearan, Charlin and Alijha saved her (although at great personal cost, since they abandoned the Way of the Leaf), and she returned to the Jenn. Colline may refer to the Battle of the Colline Gate in 82 BC, where the Romans were victorious against the Samnites (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Comar: Andoran Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Corehuin: Aiel and Wife of Aiel clan chief. Corehuin might refer to Thomas Corewin, the US politician who foresaw the impending conflict between the U.S. North and South over slavery; his efforts to help avert it, however, were in vain (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Roofmistresses pride themselves on finding and eliminating problems and threats to the clan.

Corin Ayellin: Two Rivers. Corin is a personal name. Ayellin may refer to Samuel Yellin:

One of the most gifted and dedicated iron craftsmen in the U.S., Samuel Yellin of Philadelphia, raised the standards of wrought-iron craftsmanship to its apex during the 1920s.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

This reference is to the Ayellin family as a whole, and the Two Rivers also. There is a strong tradition of craftsmanship in the Two Rivers and great pride is taken to achieve the highest standard of work. Corin Ayellin, for instance is one of the finest cooks in the Two Rivers (The Eye of the World, Earlier).

Corlan Dashiva: Aginor see Names of the Shadow article.

Coteren: Black Asha'man see Names of the Shadow article.

Couladin: Aiel. Couladin may refer to the Battle of Culloden (April 16, 1746):

the last battle of the “Forty-five Rebellion,” when the Jacobites, under Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender (“Bonnie Prince Charlie” ), were defeated by British forces under William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.

The battle, which lasted only 40 minutes, resulted in bitter defeat for the heavily outnumbered Jacobites. Some 1,000 of the Young Pretender's army of 5,000 weak and starving Highlanders were killed by the 9,000 Redcoats, who lost only 50 men. The devastating slaughter of the Jacobites was the result of the opening British cannonade and subsequent tactics of the Redcoats during the attack of the Highlanders, when each British soldier, instead of attacking the Highlander directly in front of him, bayoneted the exposed side of the man to his right. The Highlanders finally broke and fled, and some 1,000 more were killed in subsequent weeks of hounding by British troops. Hunted by troops and spies, Prince Charles wandered over Scotland for five months before escaping to France and final exile. The Battle of Culloden marked the end of any serious attempt by the Jacobites to restore the Stuart dynasty to the British throne.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Couladin was a Pretender to the leadership of the Aiel. While the battle for Cairhien lasted longer, Couladin was hunted down sooner. The channelling of Rand, Egwene and Aviendha added to the slaughter. The inhabitants of Cairhien that Couladin was besieging were weak and starving.

Covril daughter of Ella daughter of Soong: Ogier and Loial’s mother. Covril is similar to real world place names. Ella is an Old English or German name meaning beautiful fairy woman.

The Soong family was an influential Chinese family that was heavily involved in the political fortunes of China during the 20th century. Among its best-known members were Charlie, the founder of the family, and his children T.V. Soong, financier and politician; Soong Mei-ling, who became Madame Chiang Kai-shek; and Soong Ch'ing-ling, who married Sun Yat-sen.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Covril is also from a notable family – she is a Speaker, her sister is married to Elder Haman and her son Loial is a Treesinger and friend of the Dragon Reborn. Many Ogier names have an Eastern Asian influence.

Cowin Gemallan: Malkieri Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Cully: Altaran Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Cumere Powys: Far Madding Counsellor. Cumere is a place in Guinea-Bissau. In medieval times, the Powys family were Welsh princes, an apt parallel for a leader of Far Madding.

Cyndane: Lanfear see Names of the Shadow article.


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Written by Linda, January 2005 and updated October 2013

Contributor: The Mighty Mashadar


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