Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Character Names: P



By Linda

Padan Fain: Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Paitar Nachiman: Arafellin. Paitar is similar to the personal name Peter. Nachiman may refer to Hachiman (see photo right), one of the most popular Shinto deities of Japan. Often regarded as the god of war, he is the patron deity of the Minamoto clan and of warriors in general. This is an appropriate name for a royal Borderlander House.


Paitr Conel: Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.


Patrick: also called Paedrig the Peacemaker, a Hero of the Horn. Patrick is a personal name (Padraig in Irish) and may refer to Saint Patrick (see photo by Patnac, right), a Christian missionary in the second half of the fifth century and the patron saint of Ireland. He was credited with banishing snakes from the island, though Ireland has not had snakes since the last Ice Age. The Heroes of the Horn fight the Shadow, which is associated with serpents (see Animal Symbolism essay).

Pedron Niall: Whitecloak. Pedron is a surname and is similar to Pedro, a personal name.

Niall is a personal name and the surname of a royal family in Celtic Ireland. There were a couple of High Kings of Ireland named Niall, the most relevant being the 5th century king Niall of the Nine Hostages. He was famous for taking hostages from the ruling families of provinces and petty kingdoms and is said to have made raids on the coasts of Britain and Gaul and even kidnapped Saint Patrick. Niall supposedly won the kingship of Ireland when he kissed a loathly lady in exchange for a drink of water from her well: she turned into a beautiful woman, the Sovereignty of Ireland.

Pedron Niall, ruler of the Whitecloaks, took seven hostages, not nine: Morgase, Lini, Breane, Tallanvor, Gill, Lamgwin and the saintly Galad.

Morgase knew she was a prisoner in the Fortress of the Light in all but name...Her stepson was a lever to use on her at need...

- A Crown of Swords, Prologue

Niall was famous for his abilities as a general and the political leverage he used on other nations.

Peral Torval: Darkfriend Asha'man see Names of the Shadow article.

Perival Mantear: Andoran. Perival is similar to a name out of Arthurian myth: Percival, one of King Arthur's knights. He is most famous for his involvement in the quest for the Holy Grail. Percival was a noble who was raised by his mother in the forest ignorant of the ways of men until the age of 15. Then a group of knights passed by and inspired in Percival a wish to be a knight himself, so he travelled to King Arthur's court, where he proved his worthiness as a warrior, was knighted and invited to join the Knights of the Round Table. Percival met the crippled Fisher King in the Grail castle and even saw the Grail, but failed to ask the question that would heal the injured monarch and the Land. In later versions of the tale he was one of only two knights (the other was Sir Bors) who accompanied Galahad to the Grail castle and achieved the Grail, and then died a virgin.

Perival is the youngest of the Andoran High Seats, only 12 or 13, but he is the least ignorant and the most perceptive of them and asks awkward questions. He is worthy of his position, although we don't know if, or how, he participated in Tarmon Gai’don.

Mantear is similar to real-world place names and has the connotations of tearing men ('man tear’).

Perrin t'Bashere Aybara: Two Rivers. Perrin is a surname. Claude Victor-Perrin (1764‒1841) (see photo right) was a leading French general of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. He was Marshal of France. Perrin is one of Rand's generals.

Ami Perrin (d. 1561) was an influential figure in Geneva who at first supported Calvin and the Reformation in Geneva, but eventually led a party of moderation, the Libertines, against Calvin's theocracy. They were defeated by the Calvinists and Perrin was condemned to death. He escaped to Berne, where with a few supporters (Fugitifs), he continued a futile opposition in exile. Perrin Aybara is a voice of moderation, as we saw when he faced down Rand, and later the Wise Ones, about ill-treating Aes Sedai. Rand 'exiled' Perrin over it. Perrin has run afoul of two theocracies: the Whitecloaks and the Dragonsworn.

The name also refers to Perun, the sky smith, and thunder and war god in Slavic mythology. Perun was ruler of the sky and earth, and was often symbolised by an eagle sitting at the top of the World Tree, from which he kept watch over the world. At the tree’s roots lived his enemy, Veles, symbolised by a serpent or a dragon. Perun's weapons were a club (or a hammer), a battle-axe, and a bow, from which he loosed arrows of thunder and lightning. Perrin uses all of these weapons and, like Perun, doesn't carry a sword. He has certainly played his part in fighting the Shadow, which is associated with serpents (see Animal Symbolism essay). Most particularly, he kept watch over Rand from the World of Dreams while Rand confronted the Dark One.


A name similar to Perrin is found in Arthurian myth: Sir Percival or Peredur was the original hero of the Grail. Peredur/Percival was a noble who was raised by his mother in the forest isolated and innocent of worldly society until he was 15. Inspired by the sight of a group of knights, he travelled to King Arthur's court, to prove his worthiness as a warrior and become a knight. He was so successful that he was invited to join the Knights of the Round Table. Percival met the crippled Fisher King in the Grail castle and even saw the Grail, but failed to ask questions about the Fisher King's wounds and the Grail procession because he thought that so many questions would be rude. Had he asked the questions, the Fisher King, and thus the Land, would have been healed. When he learned this, he vowed to find the castle again and fulfil the quest. In later versions of the tale he was one of only two knights (the other was Sir Bors) who accompanied Galahad to the Grail castle and achieved the Grail, and then died.

Perrin was raised humbly, ignorant of weapons, warfare and politics, but has more than proved his worth. He was aware when the sa'angreal statues (equivalents of the Grail) were used and reassured others about them. However, he has asked few questions of Rand himself (the parallel of the Fisher King), far more than most people dare. Perrin achieved his grail quest of protecting Rand's back in Tel'aran'rhiod, while Rand confronted the Dark One, by killing Slayer and Lanfear. For more information on Perrin’s Arthurian parallels, see Arthurian Who’s Who.

As for Perrin's surname, Aybara is the surname of two saints: St. Romanus Aybara and St Paul Aybara, both martyred at Nagasaki. The Shadow wrongly believed that Perrin would fall to them (Towers of Midnight, Writings).

For Perrin’s real-world parallels see Perrin essay.



Petra Anhill: Luca's Menagerie. Petra means rock, and is the name of a city in Jordan which was the centre of the caravan trade in the Middle East in ancient times (see photo right by David Bjorgen), and a personal name. Petra is the strong man in the menagerie's caravanserai. Anhill is a surname.


Pevara Tazanovni: Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah. There are quite a few place names with names very similar to Pevara and a couple similar to Tazanovni.


Phaedrine: Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah. Phaedrine may refer to Phaedra of Greek mythology. The wife of Theseus, she lusted after her stepson and falsely accused him of raping her. When he was punished, she suicided in remorse (see painting right).

Powl: Asne's Darkfriend Warder see Names of the Shadow article.


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Written by Linda, February 2007 and updated November 2013

3 comments:

Frank said...

Outside of Galad, Perival is also probably one of Rand's closest relatives, though whether or not they'll ever acknowledge that, who knows. And what about Janduin's family? Shouldn't Rand have met some of them?

Ewan said...

It would be very interesting to see a family tree of the Dragon.

There has to be thousands of distant links between him and the nobility and him and the aiel.

Linda said...

There is one of the Damodred/Mantear/Trakand families here on the blog in the Noble Houses of Andor and Noble Houses of Cairhien articles. But that's only a few generations.