Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Character Names: D


By Linda

Daerid Ondin: Cairhienin, Band of the Red Hand. Daerid contains the word ‘daer’ which was a type of leasing in ancient Ireland:

Land was seldom sold and not often rented in ancient Ireland. Nobles and other persons holding large areas would rent to clansmen not the land itself but the right to graze cattle, and they sometimes even rented out the cattle themselves. There were two distinct methods of letting and hiring: saer (“free”) and daer (“unfree”). The conditions of saer tenure were largely settled by the law; the clansman was left free within the limits of justice to end the relationship, and no liability was imposed on the clansman's joint family. On the other hand, daer tenure, whether of cattle or of the right to graze cattle, was subject to a security. The members of the tenant's joint family were liable to make good out of their own property any default in payments.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Daerid is a commoner officer in charge of foot soldiers (and then artillery) who works with nobles in charge of cavalry and is conscious of the great gulf between nobles and commoners in Cairhien. By containing a word signifying unfree tenure, Daerid’s name emphasises his awareness of his humble origins and the powerlessness of commoners in Cairhien.



Ondin is similar to Ondine, a water nymph of European myth, who becomes human when she falls in love with a man but is doomed to die if he is unfaithful to her. Neither water nor doomed love have featured in the Band of the Red Hand.


Dagdara Finchey: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article


Dain Bornhald: Whitecloak. Dain is similar to Dane, a personal name meaning ‘from Denmark’. Dain was also the name of a dwarf in The Hobbit, a name Tolkien obtained from the Icelandic Edda sagas. Bornhald is similar to the surname Bornholdt.



Daise Congar: Two Rivers. Daise is derived from Daisy or Daisie, which are personal names. Congar is a town in Turkey, but it is also reminiscent of the conger eel, an aggressive fish. The Congars are renowned troublemakers.


Damer Flinn: Asha'man and Corele’s Warder. Damer is similar to Damon, a personal name meaning ‘constant, day’. Damer is a loyal or constant supporter of the Light. Damen is a Greek male name meaning ‘taming’. The Asha’man bonded as Warders are supposedly safely tamed, but appear to be taming their Aes Sedai as much as being tamed by them.

Flinn is probably a parallel of John Flynn (1880‒1951):

a moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Australia (1939–42) and missionary to the country's wild central and northern inland, who in 1928 founded what later became the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

The Flying Doctor Service is a method for supplying medical service by airplane to areas where doctors are few and communications difficult…More than a dozen bases, run by state branches, came to cover two-thirds of the Australian continent and part of Tasmania. The Australian state governments contribute one-third of the finances; the rest is derived from voluntary and outpost subscriptions and message charges. The Flying Doctor service is free.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

How appropriate that the most gifted male Healer is linked to the Flying Doctor Service, although it is amusing that he complains that he isn’t that great at making gateways (The Gathering Storm, A Tale of Blood). This parallel may hint at Flinn’s future role post Tarmon Gaidon: Travelling to Heal the sick and injured (as Semirhage once did) and teaching others his Healing so that they can do the same. The WOT flying doctor service.

Danelle: Mesaana see Names of the Shadow article

Dannil Lewin: Perrin’s commander of the Two Rivers Army. Dannil is similar to Daniel, a personal name meaning ‘God is my judge’.

There are a few possible parallels to Daniel from the Bible, ancient Canaanite myth and Arthurian myth.

Firstly, the biblical Daniel: Daniel and his three companions were among the Jews living in exile at the Babylonian court. They remained faithful to the laws of their religion. Through God's gift of wisdom, Daniel was able to interpret Nebuchadrezzar's dreams when the court sages failed, and, also the writing on the wall, which spelled Belshazzar's doom at his sacrilegious feast. By trusting in God, Daniel's companions, who refused to worship Nebuchadrezzar's golden idol, were miraculously delivered from a fiery furnace, and Daniel himself, thrown into a den of lions for holding fast to his tradition of prayer, was divinely protected.

Dannil was steadfastly loyalty to Perrin and the Light.

In ancient Canaanite myth, Danel was a sage and king of Haranomites who regretted that he had no son. The god El, in response to his prayers granted him a son who he named Aquat. The divine craftsman Kothar, gave Aquat one of his bows and Anath coveted it. She made Aquat tempting offers including herself, but Aquat rejected them all. Anath tried to kill Aquat by disguising herself as a falcon and dropping her henchman Yatpan onto Aquat. Yatpan killed Aquat and took his bow, which he dropped into the sea. Famine came over the land because of the blood-shedding, and Aquat’s sister and Danel discovered the crime and tried to avenge it. Danel performed rites to remove the blight from the land and found and buried Aquat’s remains (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

While Anath is Semirhage (see Semirhage essay), in this parallel Anath probably represents the Shadow generally, rather than Semirhage personally. Dannil played a part in removing the Shadow and its Blight from the land. He held Rand’s banner at the end of the Last Battle as a rallying point for the Heroes.

Sir Daniel is a minor character of Arthurian legend. He was the brother of Sir Brunor the Black and Sir Dinadan and was killed by Sir Lancelot. Sir Dinadan is a parallel of Mat, and Dannil was at Mat’s side holding Rand’s banner at the climax of the Last Battle.

Lewin is a surname.

Darlin Sisnera: Tairen. Darlin is a male version of the personal name Darla or Darlene, meaning ‘beloved one’. Judging by Min’s reaction, women find Darlin very attractive.

Darlin is more than a personal name meaning ‘beloved’ however, it also alludes to Admiral Jean Francois Darlan (1881‒1942) who served as naval chief of staff in France from 1936 and was commander in chief of the French navy in World War II from 1939 and a senior figure of the Vichy France regime. Darlan held strong anti-British feelings and by 1940 believed that Germany would win the war. Like Marshal Pétain, he therefore thought it was in the best long-term interests of France to come to an arrangement with Adolf Hitler rather than Winston Churchill, and promoted a political alliance between French Vichy Forces and German Forces.

Darlan entered Pétain's government after France's defeat by Germany in June 1940, serving as vice premier and minister for the interior, defense and foreign affairs from February 1941 to April 1942. However, the German government had become suspicious of his opportunism and "malleable loyalties" and in April he was made to surrender the majority of his responsibilities. He was made commander in chief of all (Vichy) French military forces and the High Commissioner in North Africa in 1942. In November of that year Darlan happened to be in Algiers when the Allied invasion of French-ruled Morocco and Algeria began. After a few days of talks with the Americans, he had a change of heart, announcing:

Ever since June 16, 1940, I have been a loyal collaborator of the Marshal [Petain] who often confided his feelings to me…It is, therefore, with certainty of being a loyal interpreter of his real feeling that I confirm to you my previous orders to fight at the side of American and allied forces for defense and liberation of our territories and integral restoration of French Sovereignty. I add—in agreement with American authorities—that the African Army will never be placed in the position of fighting against Frenchmen.

Darlan persuaded the local Vichy French forces to let the landings continue unopposed, and concluded an armistice with the Allies under which his forces came under Free French command. For this he was dismissed from the Vichy government, and Vichy Southern France was 'invaded' by the German army in Operation Attila. In return, General Eisenhower agreed with Darlan’s self-nomination as the High Commissioner of France for North and West Africa on November 14, a move that enraged Charles De Gaulle. On November 27, the remaining French naval vessels were scuttled at Toulon. Most French troops in Africa followed Darlan's lead but certain elements joined the German forces in Tunisia. In December 1942, Darlan was killed by an anti-Vichy assassin.

High Lord Darlin objected to Rand and the Aiel taking the Stone. He did not believe Rand was the Dragon Reborn, or that Rand’s new laws were in Tear’s best interests, a parallel with Darlan’s anti-British feelings. He participated in the rebellion against Rand, marshalling and commanding forces in the Tairen countryside and thus indirectly collaborated with the Shadow, (equivalents of the Nazis), who do not want Rand to establish a power base. Once Darlan met Rand in Cairhien and was caught in Rand’s ta’veren swirl, he had a change of heart and expressed regrets at not allying with Rand. His forces were dispersed by a bubble of evil rather than Rand’s forces, alluding to the scuttling of the French fleet and the divided loyalty of the African Vichy forces (some joined the Allies, some the Germans).

In Cairhien, Darlin was put under house arrest by Cadsuane and no doubt softened up by her. Rand appointed him King of Tear, which Tairen Lords who have served Rand longer no doubt resent. He mustered a large force to fight the Shadow and expressed doubts that Rand should break the Seals (Towers of Midnight, A Call to Stand). Darlin came close to being Compelled by Graendal and/or assassinated by Darkfriend Aiel but was saved by Aviendha and Perrin.

Sisnera is similar to Sisera, a general of the ancient Canaanites. In the 11th Century BC:
the Canaanites, under the leadership of Jabin, king of a re-established Hazor, and his general Sisera, had oppressed an apostate Israel. Deborah sent word to all the tribes to unite against the Canaanites, but only about half the tribes responded. The Canaanites had asserted control over the Valley of Jezreel, which was an important commercial thoroughfare and was commanded by the city of Megiddo. In this valley dominated by the hill of Megiddo (Armageddon)—a site of many later crucial military battles and which later became the symbolic name for the final battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil in apocalyptic literature—the Israelites met the Canaanites near the river Kishon in open battle. A cloudburst occurred, causing the river to flood, thus limiting the manoeuvrability of the Canaanite chariots. The Canaanite general Sisera, seeing defeat for his forces, fled, seeking refuge in the tent of a Kenite woman, Jael. A supporter of the cause of Israel, Jael gave Sisera a drink of milk (fermented?) and he fell asleep “from weariness.” Jael pounded a tent peg through his temple, thus ending decisively the threat of the Canaanites of Hazor.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Darlin was against Rand ruling Tear and reforming its unjust laws. He joined the rebels in Haddon Mirk and then went to the rebels in Cairhien, where he met Rand and was present in the tent when the bubble of evil unleashed devastation. High Lord/King Darlin joined Rand but then listened to Egwene, who was like Deborah in creating an alliance against Rand’s plan to break the Seals. The final battles of Tarmon Gai’don (the Wheel of Time Armageddon) were fought at Merrilor where the nations had met to hear Rand’s demands. Graendal planned to Compel Darlin, which is a bit more subtle than hammering a tent peg through his skull.

Daved Hanlon: Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article

Davram t'Ghaline Bashere: Saldaean. Davram may be derived from Davaran, a town in Iran or from Avram, the original Hebrew name of the Old Testament patriarch Abraham. Abraham left Ur in Mesopotamia because God called him to found a new nation in Canaan. He obeyed God’s commands, even being prepared to sacrifice his son.

Bashere left Saldaea to try to capture Taim. He consistently furthered the Light’s cause and obeyed Rand’s orders. One of Bashere’s sons died fighting Trollocs and he has also taken other sons to the Blightborder. Ghaline is similar to real-world place names. Bashere or Basheer is an Arabic surname. It means "bringer of good news," or "a person who promises good things" in Arabic.

Davram Bashere has some parallels with Bashir Shihab II (1767‒1850):

the Lebanese prince who established hegemony over Lebanon in the first half of the 19th century and ruled it under Ottoman and, later, Egyptian suzerainty from 1788 to 1840.

In 1788, the Lebanese emir was forced to abdicate, and the local nobility selected Bashir to fill the post. With the notable exception of the Janbulats, he destroyed the power of the Druze princes, on whose support Lebanese emirs had usually depended.

In 1821, Bashir provided military support to the pasha of Acre, who tried to draw the city of Damascus under his authority. But the Ottoman sultan declared the pasha a rebel, and Bashir fled to Egypt. Later, after the pasha was pardoned, Bashir returned to Lebanon, where, in his absence, Janbulat had plotted against him. By having Janbulat killed, Bashir became the undisputed ruler of Lebanon.

When Muhammad ‘Ali occupied the Fertile Crescent (exclusive of Iraq) in the 1830s, Bashir cooperated fully with the new regime in establishing order. In 1837, he armed 4,000 Christians to put down a rebellion that the Druzes had begun when threatened with conscription (hitherto Lebanese rulers had avoided direct clashes between the two groups). Two years later Bashir tried to disarm the same Christians whom he had previously armed, clearly as a prelude to their conscription. The Christians were determined to resist, even if it meant cooperating with the Druzes. A Druze and Christian rebellion against Bashir broke out in June 1840, supported by the British, who were intent on driving Muhammad ‘Ali out of the Fertile Crescent. Bashir could not reassert his authority, and in October he was forced into exile in Malta.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Bashere left Saldaea to hunt Taim and made decisions on Queen Tenobia’s behalf of which she disapproved. Bashere has provided military support to Rand and also has armed the Legion of the Dragon, just as Bashir armed Christians. Like the Ottoman sultan, Queen Tenobia threatened Bashere in his absence. The pardoning of the pasha is perhaps a parallel to the Borderland rulers being reconciled with Rand.

Bashere inherited the Saldaean throne once Tenobia was killed, which may be a parallel with the hostile Janbulat’s death allowing Bashir to rule undisputed. However, Bashere never took this up, because his mind was corrupted by Graendal so that he deployed thousands of soldiers to needless deaths, just as Bashir tried to disarm the Christians he had previously armed, and provoked their rebellion. Davram Bashere was turned against Rand, as Min thought likely from her viewing of a dark future threatening Bashere.

Deane Aryman: Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah and the Amyrlin Seat who replaced Bonwhin. Deane is similar to the personal names Deanne, meaning ‘divine’ and Dean, meaning ‘presiding official’. Both are appropriate names for a powerful Amyrlin.

In Hindu mythology, Aryman/Aryaman is one of the Adityas, sons of Aditi the infinite in Hindu mythology. Aryman is a minor Hindu sun god responsible for sacrifices and hospitality. This is a reference to Deane raising the Tower’s prestige and influence.

Deira ni Ghaline t'Bashere: Saldaean. Deira is a town in the United Arab Emirates. Deira was also the name of a northern Anglo-Saxon kingdom in Britain which became part of the kingdom of Northumbria in the 7th century AD. Finally, Deira is similar to Deirdra, a Celtic personal name meaning ‘sorrowful’, ‘wanderer’. Deirdre was the name of a woman in Celtic mythology whose great beauty inspired men to fight over her. Deira gave her daughter the name Zarine, evoking a similar Saldaean myth.

Ghaline is similar to real-world place names. Bashere or Basheer is an Arabic surname and is discussed more fully above under Davram Bashere.

Delana Mosalaine: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Demandred: Forsaken see Names of the Shadow article

Demetre Marcolin: Illianer and First Captain of Companions. Demetre is derived from Demetri, a Greek personal name meaning ‘lover of the Earth’.

A parallel of Demetre may be Demetrius of Phaleron (c.350‒c.280 BC), Athenian orator, statesman, and philosopher, who was appointed governor of Athens by the Macedonian general Cassander (317 BC). He favoured the upper classes and when democracy was restored in 307, Demetrius escaped to Thebes and later to Egypt (Encyclopaedia Britannica). The parallel may indicate a reluctance to accept Rand’s more democratic laws.

There have been two Macedonian and two Syrian kings called Demetrius. Marcolin is a surname.

Desaine: Wise One. Desaine may be an allusion to Morarji Desai (1896‒1995), prime minister of India (1977–79) and first leader of sovereign India not to represent the long-ruling Congress Party. Desai gained a reputation for administrative skill as well as for harshness while working in the government of Bombay.

In 1969 he resigned from the Indian government to become chairman of the opposition to Indira Gandhi and the Congress Party. He was arrested in 1975 for his political activities and detained in solitary confinement until 1977, whereupon he became active in the Janata Party, a coalition of four smaller parties. That same year, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi unexpectedly held elections after a 19-month suspension of political processes, and Janata achieved a surprising and overwhelming victory. Desai was chosen to be prime minister as a compromise candidate among Janata's leaders.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

The coalition unravelled and Desai resigned.

Desaine was also a high ranking independent thinker—it led to her surprise death rather than her imprisonment, and united Sevanna and her close Wise Ones in complicity. Their coalition was broken and the remainder may well unravel since the Shaido are doomed according to prophecy.

Desala Nevanche: turned to the Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Devi: One of Tuon’s new names adopted when she became Empress. Devi is the Sanskrit word for goddess, and as such is related to ‘the Goddess’ of the Celts, the Goddess of Sovereignty. She embodies the Feminine without which the male divinity is impotent. In other words, she completes him and provides balance. She is pictured right, with Shiva (a parallel of Rand, see Rand essay) at her feet. Devi is a later arrival in Hinduism: the early Hindu goddesses such as Lakshmi (a parallel of Tuon, see Tuon essay) and Parvati were subsumed into her as one ultimate goddess. Tuon’s mother Radhanan also had a Hindu name, so it is not surprising that Tuon adopted the name of the Hindu Divine Mother or Goddess of Sovereignty. The Empress is regarded as semi-divine, with the Seanchan addressing their daily devotions to her, and wishing that she would live forever. Rand bowed to her as a courtesy.

Dobraine Taborwin: Cairhienin. Dobrain is a surname. There are a few real-world place names similar to Taborwin.

Dobser: Asha’man turned to the Shadow see Names of the Shadow article

Doesine Alwain: Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah. Doesine may allude to Johan van der Does, poet (1545‒1604), and historian who commanded the citizens' resistance movement during the Spanish siege of Leiden (1573–74):

In recognition of his leadership during the siege, as well as his background as a humanist scholar at the universities of Louvain and Paris, van der Does was appointed curator of the university, which was founded in 1575 to commemorate the raising of the siege… Van der Does led a delegation (1584–85) that unsuccessfully offered sovereignty of the Netherlands to Queen Elizabeth I of England. He also served as legal adviser to the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad) of Holland from 1591.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Doesine is an independent Sitter and was part of the Tower’s resistance movement exposing the infiltration of the Black Ajah and the rebel Aes Sedai. Like van der Does, she voted to offer rulership of the Aes Sedai to Egwene. At one stage, she feared she would lose her seat in the Hall over her activities, but, as van der Does’ posting as a legal advisor to the Dutch Supreme Court indicates, her fears were unfounded.

Alwain is a surname.

Doilin Mellar: Daved Hanlon see Names of the Shadow article

Donalo Sandomere Asha’man turned to the Shadow see Names of the Shadow article

Donel do Morny a'Lordeine: Murandian Lord. Donel is similar to Donal and Donelle, personal names meaning ‘world leader’ and appropriate in an influential lord. It may also be meant ironically here, since Murandy has little world influence.

Morny probably refers to Charles duke of Morny (1811‒1865):

French political and social leader during the Second Empire who played an important part in the coup d'etat of Dec. 12, 1851, which eventually led to the establishment of Charles Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, Morny's half brother, as Emperor Napoleon III.

Morny began his career as a lieutenant in the French Army, serving mainly in Africa (1832–36), but neither his interests nor his ambitions were military. Above all addicted to social pleasures, he resigned his commission and devoted himself to Parisian society… Becoming minister of the interior on the day of Louis-Napoléon's coup, Morny organized the plebiscite that made Louis-Napoleon dictator. Soon resigning his ministry, he served briefly as ambassador to Russia (1856) and then became president of the legislature. In this office he abandoned his formerly reactionary role and tried to persuade Napoleon III to give the country more liberty. He saw that Napoleon's dictatorial power could not last and urged him to yield it voluntarily rather than be compelled to do so.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Like the duke of Morny, Murandian lords are considered frivolous by nobles of other lands. King Roedran strengthened his hold on Murandy by using the Band of the Red Hand as a threat. It could be that Donel became an advisor to the King.

A ‘Lord-ine’ would be a petty lord.

Duhara Basaheen: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Dunsinin: Hero of the Horn who made a bargain with Rogosh Eagle-Eye. Dunsinin probably refers to Dunsinane, the peak in Scotland on which stands:

the ruins of an ancient fort traditionally identified with the castle of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Both are in close proximity to Birnam Wood, about 12 miles (19 km) to the northwest, which played a role in the traditional account of the defeat of Macbeth by Siward, earl of Northumbria, in 1054.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

It also refers to done with sinning—Dunsinin has fought so well for the Light that she is bound to the Horn.

Duram Laddel Cham: Be'lal see Names of the Shadow article

Dyelin Taravin: Andoran High Seat. Dyeli is a place in Mali and Taravin is similar to real-world place names.

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Written by Linda, May 2005 and updated November 2013

Contributor: Amirebram



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