Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Character Names: J


By Linda

Jaem: Storied Hero who was a giant killer. While Jaem is similar to the personal name James, he probably refers to Jack the giant killer, a fairy-tale character.

Jahar Narishma: Asha'man and Merise’s Warder. Jahar is a personal name and also a town in Pakistan and Yemen.

There are a few parallels for the name Jahar. Jahan Shah (reigned c. 1438–67) was the leader of the Turkmen Kara Koyunlu (Black Sheep) in Azerbaijan:

Under Jahan Shah's rule the Kara Koyunlu extended their domain over Iraq, Fars, and Esfahan (1453). In 1458, he invaded Khorasan and seized Herat from the Timurid Abu Sa’id, but the growing power of the Ak Koyunlu (White Sheep) under Uzun Hasan brought about an agreement between Abu Sa’id and Jahan Shah to divide Iran between them. Defeated by the Ottoman Turks in 1461, Uzun Hasan fought the Kara Koyunlu and defeated and killed Jahan Shah in 1467.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

This is an interesting parallel. It describes the conflict between the Black Tower and White Tower and perhaps also between the Black and ‘White’ Asha’man. Jahar would be one of the White Sheep, though, not a Black Sheep.

Another possible parallel is Shah Jahan (1592‒1666) emperor of India (1628–58) and builder of the Taj Mahal. He was the third son of the Mughal emperor Jahangir and in 1622, ambitious to win the succession, Shah Jahan rebelled, ineffectually roaming the empire until reconciled to Jahangir in 1625. After Jahangir's death in 1627, the support of Asaf Khan enabled Shah Jahan to proclaim himself emperor at Agra in 1628. Shah Jahan's reign was notable for military and political successes against the Deccan state (Encyclopaedia Britannica). He built the Taj Mahal (a white palatial tomb) as a memorial to his wife; there is a legend that he was planning to buld a matching black one for himself. This fits with the whole White Tower/Black Tower rivalry, which Asha’man Narishma and his Aes Sedai Merise kept out of. Narishma has participated in notable victories against the Shadow and the Seanchan.

Jafar ibn Muhammad (8th Century AD) also called Jafar As-Sadiq (Arabic: “Jafar the Trustworthy”) the sixth imam, or spiritual successor to the Prophet Muhammad, of the Shi’ite branch of Islam and the last to be recognized as imam by all the Shi’ite sects (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Narishma, is on the side of the Light, a trustworthy supporter of Rand and perhaps a future leader.

Narishma alludes to Narasimha, the fourth avatar of Vishnu, who was a man-lion that tore the demon Hiranya-Kashipy to pieces. Narishma is a powerful male channeller who helped Egwene battle Taim by telling her what Taim was weaving with saidin, and Healed Lan after his battle with Demandred.

Jaichim Carridin: Whitecloak Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article

Jain Charin or Jain Fastrider: Malkieri Hero of the Horn. A Jain is a follower of Jainism, a religion of non-violence and a parallel of the Da'shain Aiel and the Tinkers (see The Age of Legends essay). Charon is the figure in Greek mythology who ferries the souls of dead across the river Styx to the underworld often for the price of a coin. In Towers of Midnight, Jain sacrificed himself so that Thom and Mat could escape with Moiraine from the otherworld of the *Finns. He paid the ultimate price for their escape.

Jain Charin probably refers to Jean Chardin (1643‒1713), the French traveller to the Middle East and India. He made two long journeys to Persian and India and published an account of the coronation of the Turkish ruler Soleyman and also a complete record of his travels (Journal of the Travels of the Cavalier Chardin). Jain Farstrider made a journey east to Shara and published the account of his travels (see Writings For Armchair Travellers essay).

Jalwin Moerad: Ishamael see Names of the Shadow article

Janya Frende: Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah. Janya and Frende are both real-world place names.

Jaq Lounalt: Taraboner Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article

Jarna Malari: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Jasin Natael: Asmodean see Names of the Shadow article

Jarna Malari: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Javindhra Doraille: Black Ajah or turned to the Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Jen Barshaw: Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article

Jenare: turned to the Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Jeorad Manyard: Author who wrote a translation of the Prophecies of the Dragon. Jeorad was probably derived from the personal name Jarrod. Manyard alludes to Francois Maynard (1582‒1646), a French poet who was concerned with the clarification of the French language and the necessity of a standard grammar, the elimination of personal sentiments in writing, and an objective treatment of the subject matter. Objectivity, clarity and the elimination of personal sentiments are all useful attributes for a translator of prophecies from the Old Tongue.

Jeraal Mordeth: Padan Fain see Names of the Shadow article

Jesse Bilal: Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah. Jesse is a personal name. Bilal was the name of the Abyssinian singer Muhammad chose to chant the muezzin, the call to prayer and he became the patron of muezzins (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Jezrail: turned to the Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Jisao Hamora: Youngling. Jisao may refer to Tani Hisao, a Japanese lieutenant general in the Japanese army who, along with Matsui Iwane, commanding general of the Japanese forces invading China was convicted of war crimes for personally participating in acts of murder and rape during the Nanking Massacre (December 1937–January 1938) in the Sino-Japanese War. Jisao was one of the youngest Younglings, yet took part in the fighting in the White Tower. This parallel indicates how brutal this fighting was.

Hamora is similar to real-world place names.

Joana: Birgitte The name was derived from the personal name Joanna. Joana was a former heroic incarnation of Birgitte and may allude to St Joan of Arc:

the national heroine of France, a peasant girl who, believing that she was acting under divine guidance, led the French army in a momentous victory at Orléans that repulsed an English attempt to conquer France during the Hundred Years' War. Captured a year afterward, Joan was burned by the English and their French collaborators as a heretic.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

This shows why Birgitte’s soul is bound to the Horn.

Joar Addam Nessosin: Asmodean see Names of the Shadow article

Joiya Byir: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Joline Maza: Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. Joline is similar to Jolie, which means ‘pretty’ in French. Maza is a place name.

Jonai: Rand's Ancestor. Jonai is similar to the personal name Jonah. In the biblical Book of Jonah:

Jonah is portrayed as a recalcitrant prophet who flees from God's summons to prophesy against the wickedness of the city of Nineveh... Thus the prophet Jonah, like the Jews of the day, abhors even the idea of salvation for the Gentiles. God chastises him for his attitude, and the book affirms that God's mercy extends even to the inhabitants of a hated foreign city. The incident of the great fish, recalling Leviathan, the monster of the deep used elsewhere in the Old Testament as the embodiment of evil, symbolizes the nation's exile and return.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Jonah takes a ship to escape his task, but the ship founders in a severe storm. Jonah accepts he is to blame, sacrifices himself and the storm subsides. He is swallowed by a “great fish,” and is disgorged on dry land three days later. This time when he is commanded to prophesy to Nineveh he does so and the inhabitants repent. Jonah still wants the city destroyed though, and is rebuked by the Lord.

Jonai in the Age of Legends was far kinder, as befits a Da’shain. Paaren Disen, like Nineveh was threatened with destruction, not for its sins, but by a mad male Aes Sedai. The parallels shows that the male Aes Sedai are not evil in the eyes of the Creator, and that the Da’shain are doomed to exile (and ultimately perhaps to return). Jonah’s ship foundering in the storm is like the Breaking, where the land moved like the sea and humanity’s situations was desperate. Originally, he wanted to stay behind and try to turn the madness of the male Aes Sedai with song—in contrast to Jonah who didn’t want to urge Nineveh to repent. Also unlike Jonah, Jonai was obedient and willingly held to his vows, though at considerable personal sacrifice. Nor did he linger to see the destruction of Paaren Disen, but led the Da’shain to safety. He despaired of his task, though, and was tempted not to share food with the Ogier, contrary to the Way of the Leaf.

Jonan Adley: Asha'man. Jonan could be derived from Jonathan. Adley is a surname.

Jorin Arene: Amadician Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article

Juilin Sandar: Tairen. Juilin is derived from the personal name Julian. Sandar may refer to Jules Sandeau (1811‒1883), a French novelist:

As a young man, Sandeau became the lover of Amandine-Aurore-Lucie Dudevant (later known as George Sand) and worked with her on the novel Rose et Blanche (1831; “Red and White”), which was published under the pseudonym Jules Sand. At the end of 1832, she broke off the affair and adopted the pen name George Sand. Sandeau's most successful novel was Mademoiselle de la Seiglière (1848), a tale of the conflict between love and class consciousness.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Juilin loves Amathera, a Taraboner noble, and was at first very conscious of the class differences between them.

Jur Grady: Asha'man. Jur is a place in Sudan and in Iran. Grady may refer to Henry Woodfin Grady (1850‒1889), the American journalist and orator who promoted industrialisation and crop diversification as a way of revitalising the American South. Jur Grady was a farmer before joining Rand’s Asha’man.

Jurah Haret: Tairen Innkeeper. Jurah is a place in Syria. Haret is similar to Harut, one of two angels in Islamic mythology who unwittingly became evil. Haret disobeyed Moiraine’s order not to let anyone into their dining room and the Black Ajah were able to set a trap with a wooden hedgehog ter’angreal. It was meant for Moiraine, but nearly killed Faile and Perrin.

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Written by Linda, May 2005 and updated November 2013

1 comment:

Molly said...

For Jain Charin and his parallel of Charon, I think it also has to do with Noal Charin ( Who many, (including me, think is Jain) accompanying Thom and Mat to The Finns, an " underworld" of sorts. This ties in with the Greek tradition of a grea thero going to the underworld and coming back.