Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Character Names: T


By Linda

Lady Tagren: alias of Shemerin when she was demoted and fled the White Tower. Tagren is the brand name of the medication ticlopidine used to treat cerebral thrombosis or embolism. It alludes to Shemerin’s former Ajah, Yellow and shows it was obvious that Lady Tagren was an Aes Sedai no matter how she tried to disguise the fact.

Takima: Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah. Takima is a place in Japan.

Talaan din Gelyn: Sea Folk. Tafarn-y-Gelyn is in Wales and Talann is a town in the Philippines. Talaan means catalogue; diary; directory; list; roll; ticket in Filippino.

Talene Minly: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Talia: Folktale character. Nynaeve wishes she could sleep for a year until Lan awakens her with a kiss like the Sun King did Talia (A Crown of Swords, Swovan Night). It is a very improper story, according to Nynaeve. This is a reference to the Italian folktale Sun, Moon and Talia collected by Giambattista Basile in Il Pentamerone in 1634‒6, the first part of which was subsequently bowdlerised as Sleeping Beauty. You can decide for yourselves if it is improper or not. :P

Talia was the beautiful daughter of a lord. At her birth, astrologers foretold from her horoscope that a splinter of flax would be of great danger to her, so the lord decreed that no flax or hemp was allowed in the house. When Talia became adolescent, she saw an old woman spinning on a spindle as she passed by the house. Talia called her in to try spinning herself. A splinter of flax went under her fingernail and she collapsed, seemingly dead. The old woman scarpered. Talia's devastated father had her laid out in her best clothes and placed upon a dais in a palace on one of his country estates and abandoned the estate forever.

Years later, a king was hunting in the forest near the estate when his falcon flew into the locked palace. The king himself scaled a wall and entered through a window to retrieve the bird. He found the enchanted Talia and tried unsuccessfully to waken her. The king became excited by her beauty and carried her to a bed and raped her. Then he left the unconscious Talia on the bed and returned home.

Talia had become pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful boy and girl while still asleep. Fairies attended the birth and put the babies to her breast to suckle. One day, one of the babies, being hungry, sucked at her finger and drew the splinter of flax out. Talia awoke and cared for her children (whom she named Sun and Moon) with the aid of the fairies, who brought food for them all.

Eventually the king remembered Talia and went to the palace in the wood. He was delighted to find her awake and with his instant family. Talia and the king fell in love. After a few days together he left, promising to return soon and bring her to his kingdom.

The king was already married and his wife became suspicious and jealous. The queen coerced his secretary into telling her what as going on and then sent him to Talia with a note telling Talia to let the secretary being the children to the king. The barren, jealous queen then instructed the cook to kill the children and cook them for the king's supper. The cook used newborn lambs instead, and hid the children.

Wanting more revenge, the queen then sent the secretary to bring Talia to the palace, and when she arrived, prepared to burn Talia alive as a whore. She told Talia to remove her jewel-encrusted clothes and Talia did so very slowly, screaming all the while. The king followed the sound and discovered what was going on. He ordered the queen and his secretary burnt in the fire meant for Talia. The cook brought the children to him and was rewarded. And finally they all lived happily ever after.

Talmanes Delovinde: Cairhienin /Shen an Calhar. Talmane is a personal name and a surname.

Talva: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Tamlin al'Thor: Two Rivers. Tamlin is thought by some to refer to Tamerlane (see photo by user:shakko right), (1336‒1405) the Turko-Mongol 14th-century warlord who conquered and ruled much of western and central Asia, because Tam was a high officer in the Illian Companions. Central Asia reached a high point under Tamerlane's reign, but cities in India, Iran and the Middle East were destroyed and thousands of their people killed.

A closer parallel would be Tam Lin, the hero of a Scottish Borders' folk tale, who took a possession or the virginity of any maidens who passed through the forest of Carterhaugh. One day a maiden called Janet wandered into the forest and picked two roses, whereupon Tam appeared and asked why she was in Carterhaugh and had taken what was his. He then seduced her.

When Janet eventually went home, she discovered she was pregnant and told her family that the father was an elf. They encouraged her to abort the child with a herb. When Janet went to collect the herb, Tam appeared and told her not to harm the child. Janet asked Tam if he was human and he said that he was a mortal man who was captured by the Queen of the Fairies. Every seven years the fairies paid a tithe to Hell by sacrificing one of their people, and Tam feared he would be the one on that night (Hallowe'en). They would all ride past that night, he on a white horse. If Janet caught him, he would turn into various beasts, but if she held on, he would eventually regain his form and be hers. Janet did as she was asked, and the Queen of the Fairies acknowledged that Janet had won Tam.

Tamlin al'Thor picked up the possession of a Maiden: her baby (Rand). He then cared for the child ensuring no harm came to it.

Tam is a surname, a type of hat and also the Hebrew word for "simpleton". (Tam said that Kari was wiser than himself).

Al'Thor is described under Rand, see Character Names R.

Tammuz: Taraboner. Tammuz is the Akkadian god of vegetation, the symbol of the natural cycle of death and rebirth. Each year he dies in the heat of midsummer (the summer month Tammuz was named after him) and his soul is taken to the underworld. The growing season declines until his wife Ishtar descends into the underworld and frees him.

Tamra Ospenya: Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah and Amyrlin Seat. Tamra is a personal name and a town in northern Israel and in India. Ospena is a surname.

Taringail Damodred: Cairhienin husband of Tigraine, Daughter-heir of Andor. Taringail was derived from the Duke of Tintagil of Arthurian myth, married to Igraine, who Uther lusted after and tricked into lying with him, whereby she conceived Arthur. The Duke dies in battle three hours before Uther lies with her.

Tarna Feir: turned to the Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Tel Janin Aellinsar: Sammael see Names of the Shadow article.

Temaile Kinderode: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Tenobia Kazadi: Saldaean. Tenobia probably refers to Zenobia, the beautiful and well educated third century Queen of Palmyra who had an aggressive foreign policy. Zenobia was the second wife of King Septimius Odaenathus of Palmyra. The king had a son from his first marriage and Zenobia bore him a second son. In 267, Zenobia's husband and stepson were assassinated. Her son, Vaballathus, was not old enough to rule as king, so she ruled Palmyra on his behalf. Zenobia styled herself as a 'Warrior Queen' and was a good rider and could march a few miles with her foot soldiers. She invaded and conquered Egypt and beheaded the Roman prefect of Egypt, and she conquered Asia Minor, taking trade routes from the Romans. She was eventually defeated by the Roman Emperor Aurelian near Antioch and is believed to have been taken to Rome to be displayed in Aurelian's triumph. Zenobia impressed Aurelian and was allowed to live in great comfort in a villa in Tivoli.

Tenobia is a well-educated and beautiful warrior queen; she only listens to soldiers and rides superbly. She wanted to campaign in the Blight and was only dissuaded with some difficulty by Davram Bashere (The Shadow Rising, Goldeneyes). While Tenobia supposedly ruled in her own right, the counsel of Bashere was an important input when she was younger. He was almost of the standing of a regent. Aurelian's unexpected clemency to Zenobia may be a parallel of the effect the dancing of the sa'sara has on men. Tenobia insisted in fighting in the Last Battle and was killed.

Kazadi is a surname.

Teslyn Baradon: Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah. Teslyn is a personal name and Baradon is a surname.

Tetsuan: Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah and Amyrlin Seat. Tetsuwan means 'mighty' in Japanese. Tetsuan misused the might of the White Tower out of envy of Queen Eldrene.

Thera: Amathera, former Panarch of Tarabon. Thera is a Greek island (see photo by Meersan right), the remaining eastern half of an exploded volcano. One of the largest volcanic eruptions known occurred on the island. Amathera's land of Tarabon erupted into complete disorder and was conquered by the Seanchan.

Therava: Wise One. Therava may refer to Theravada (meaning "School of the Elders"), the branch of Buddhism which tends toward doctrinal conservatism. The scriptures of the Theravadin tradition emphasize heeding the advice of the wise. Therava warned Sevanna to listen to the Shaido Wise Ones and managed to force herself as advisor on Sevanna (The Path of Daggers, Questions and an Oath). After the failure of Sevanna's policies, Therava re-adopted conservative Aiel traditions.

Thomdril Merrilin: Andoran Gleeman and Bard. Thom is a personal name and a surname. While Merrilyn is a personal name, it probably refers to Merlin, King Arthur's advisor (see Arthurian Who's Who essay). Thom is very knowledgeable and was one of the first advisors to Rand (a parallel of King Arthur, see Character Names R). As well as his mesmerising voice, Thom also has highly skilled hands—he performs sleight of hand, for instance. Both Thom and Merlin adopted humble disguises at times and they both fell in love with women (Moiraine and Nimue/Vivien) with great abilities in magic who they fear (perhaps rightly) will be their undoing. Thom went to the Otherworld of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn to rescue Moiraine.

Since Thom is a bard, Merrilyn may also commemorate James Merrill (1926‒1995), the American poet known for the fine craftsmanship and wit of his lyric and epic poems.

Thorin al Toren al Ban: The King of Manetheren who sent his son, Prince Caar, to bring Aridhol back to the Light after it fell to the evil of Mordeth. Thorin, which means 'daring' or 'bold' in Old Norse, is one of the names that appears in the Old Norse poem Voluspa and was used by Tolkien as the name of the chief dwarf in The Hobbit.

Toren is a surname. Ban may refer to King Ban of Arthurian legend. He was the father of Sir Lancelot and Sir Hector de Maris and one of King Arthur's first allies. After Ban was killed by the Frankish king Claudas, Lancelot was fostered by the Lady of the Lake.

Tigraine Mantear: Andoran Noble and Rand's biological mother. Tigraine refers to Ygraine, the mother of King Arthur (Rand's parallel). Ygraine was married to Gorlois of Tintagil, Duke of Cornwall and they had a son, Cador, but she was tricked by Uther into sleeping with him and Arthur was conceived. When Gorlois died, Ygraine married Uther. Both Tigraine and Ygraine had a son by their first marriage and both were persuaded by magic users (Tigraine by Gitara Moroso, Ygraine by the disguise Merlin made for Uther) to betray those marriages.

Timna: Amayar. Timna is a city in southern Israel. It is also an ancient city in Yemen that was an important centre on the trade route for incense. The Amayar produce goods which the Sea Folk take on their vast trade routes.

Tomas: Warder Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Toram Riatin: Cairhienin Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Torwyn Barshaw: Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Toveine Gazal: turned to the Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Tsutama Rath: Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah. Sutama is a place in Japan and also the name for typhus. Rath is a surname and also has connotations of wrath, anger. Tsutama is easily roused to anger.

Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag: Seanchan noble. (Her names as Fortuona are listed here). Tuon is a place in Vietnam.

In Finnish mythology the underworld is called Tuonela and is ruled by Tuoni and Tuonetar. Vainamoinen, a shamanistic hero (and parallel of Rand), travels to Tuonela to seek the knowledge of the dead. Tuonetar ferries him over the river Tuoni to the underworld but he is not given the spells he was looking for and barely manages to escape the underworld. The first time Rand tried to meet with Tuon he barely escaped alive and the actual meeting failed also. At the third meeting, he impressed her with a display of his power and his arguments, and she agreed to the terms of his peace treaty.

Another hero to visit Tuonela is Lemminkainen, the Finnish Trickster God (and a parallel of Mat). He was killed and his body thrown into the river Tuoni (see photo above right). Mat may find being married to Tuon dangerous. Certainly Tuon's father found being married to the ruler a bad career move (Crossroads of Twilight, A Cluster of Rosebuds).

Another possible parallel of the name Tuon is Tuan Ch'i-jui (1864-1936) a Chinese warlord, who after the overthrow of the emperor, was a consistent supporter of Yuan Shih-kai, and served as minister of war (1912‒14) and as premier several times between 1912 and 1918. He was arguably the most powerful man in China from 1916 to 1920. He tried to bring China into World War I on the side of allies and was dismissed. Tuan was well known as a successful player of Go (a parallel of stones, see Stones article). He won because his opponents usually feared beating him. Tuon is known for her skill at playing stones and her scheming. The disorder of China upon the collapse of the monarchy is a parallel of the chaos of the Seanchan empire caused by Semirhage. This parallel shows the difficulty in bringing Seanchan forces to the side of the Light in the Last Battle. Tuon was sorely tempted to grab all the damane she could, and leave the mainland to battle the Shadow alone. Mat pressed her to honour her word.

Some have suggested Athena, goddess of war, handicrafts and practical reason as a parallel of the name Athaem, since Tuon pays great attention to practical matters, such as getting artisans to make the new style of crossbow cranks, etc (Knife of Dreams, As If the World Were Fog). However, a closer parallel might be athame, which is a ceremonial black-handled knife used in Wicca.


Kore was the daughter of Demeter, goddess of the earth in Greek mythology, who was abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld. Demeter was so upset that she withdrew into herself and the earth ceased to be fertile. Eventually an arrangement was made between Demeter and Hades that Kore returned to spend two thirds of year with her mother. Kore gave birth to Plutus (wealth). Tuon is extremely wealthy and she was abducted by Mat (who is rather keen on wealth himself) and then freed to return to the Seanchan.

It is interesting that two of Tuon's names are connected with the underworld and another with witchcraft. These allusions may reflect on the negative image that channelling has in Seanchan, since Tuon herself could learn to channel. Furthermore, Tuon is Queen of the Underworld; this and all the themes and parallels associated with Tuon are discussed in the Tuon essay.

Paendrag refers to Pendragon, surname of Arthur and Uther.

Tylee Kirghan: Tylee is a surname. James Tylee is listed as one of the defenders of the Alamo.

Tylee is possibly named after General Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, (1559‒1632), who commanded the Imperial and Holy Roman Empire's forces in the Thirty Years' War. He won important victories against the Bohemians, Germans and the Danish, but was defeated by forces led by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Tylee has been ennobled for her successes in battle.



Another possible parallel is Wat Tyler (died 1381), the leader of the English Peasant's Revolt of 1381. Tyler fought at the Battle of Crecy under the Black Prince and was cited for bravery in the Battle of Poitiers and a number of naval battles against Spain and France. When his service ended, Tyler returned to his home village and became the village blacksmith. Reacting to the heavy taxes on the working class, and specifically the new poll tax, Tyler led rebels who took Canterbury and marched on London where they met King Richard II. Tyler went alone to speak with the King and his entourage and was killed by the Mayor of London and one of the king's squires at the king's request. The rebellion ended soon after.

Since meeting a blacksmith named Perrin, Tylee is finding some of her beliefs tested and other Seanchan are too: the possibility of the Seanchan Karaethon prophecies being corrupt, the sul'dam (including Tuon!) being able to channel and false beliefs about Aes Sedai, the disgust many feel for slavery, and the existence of mainland Paendrags and honourable enemies of the Seanchan. The name hints that some Seanchan will realise that history has moved on and that some Seanchan ideals are not worthy. The parallels of Bakayar Mishima, Tylee's lieutenant, support this. Tylee spoke up to the Empress that the Seanchan should fight the Shadow and not the Aes Sedai.

Kirgan is a surname.

Tylin Quintara Mitsobar: Altaran. Tylin is a surname.

Quintara is similar to Quintana and may refer to Manuel Jose Quintana and Andres Quintana Roo:

Manuel Jose Quintana (1772‒1857) was a Spanish patriot and Neoclassical poet:

esteemed by his countrymen for poems, pamphlets, and proclamations written during the War of Independence from Napoleon...Active in the Napoleonic Wars, he was imprisoned, after the return to Spain of Ferdinand VII, from 1814 to 1820. Released by the revolutionary forces, he later served as tutor to the future queen Isabella II, as director of public instruction, and finally as a senator. In 1855 he was crowned as the national poet by Queen Isabella.

Quintana's poetry is extremely rhetorical and marked by patriotism and liberalism.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Andres Quintana Roo (1787‒1851) was a Mexican writer and leader in the independence movement (1810‒1821). He played an active part in inspiring citizens to fight for independence (notably by publishing an inflammatory newspaper) and in establishing an independent Mexican government. He was forced to fly from the capital and was later persecuted by the Spanish authorities.

These parallels relate more to Beslan (see Character Names B article) than to Tylin.

Matsubar is a place in Japan and a surname.

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Written by Linda, February 2007 and updated November 2013

4 comments:

Val Mickey said...

Where's Thulin the smith (TGS Prologue)? ;-)

Linda said...

Val I look at all the names, but there are far too many to post them all, so I only write up the names of prominent characters and/or with interesting parallels. Most names are derived from real world place names, surnames and personal names.

Eric said...

Might it be worth noting that the names of the three Aes Sedai who travel with Mat and the Band of the Red Hand are conspicuously similar to the names of famous inventors?
To wit:
Teslyn- Tesla
Edesina- Edison
Joline- Joule

Linda said...

Eric: Most interesting!