Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Character Names: U to Z

By Linda

Uno Nomesta: Shienaran. Uno is the masculine version of the personal name Una and means one; in Uno's case it probably refers to his one eye.

Urien: Aiel seeking He Who Comes with the Dawn. Urien was an historic king of Rheged in northern England and southern Scotland during the 6th century who fought the Angles. He was incorporated into Arthurian legend as Arthur's brother-in-law. He initially did not accept Arthur as King and rebelled, but was defeated and became one of Arthur's vassals. Urien is one of those Aiel who are siswai'aman.

Valan Luca: Menagerie. Valan is a town in Iran. Luca is a personal name and a surname.

Vandene Namelle: Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. There are a few names similar to Vandene: Vandean, a surname, Vandarene, a place in Gabon and Vandana, a personal name meaning the wanderer. Namell is a surname.

Varil Nensen: Darkfriend Asha'man see Names of the Shadow article.

Varuna Morrigan: Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah and Amyrlin Seat. Varuna is the Hindu god of the sky, rain, the law and of the underworld. He is the keeper of the cosmic order and is more concerned with moral and human affairs than being a personification of nature. Varuna is portrayed as omniscient, using the stars as his spies to watch people's every movement. Aes Sedai use the One Power, the cosmic force that runs the universe. The Amyrlin watches over and governs the Aes Sedai and is also supposed to watch over the Seals to the Dark One's prison.

The Morrigan is the Celtic goddess of battle, strife, and fertility (see painting by Andre Koehne right). Her name translates as either "Great Queen" or "Phantom Queen". This is an apt parallel for a Green Amyrlin, since Greens are concerned with battle.

Vasa: Sailor. There is a Swedish warship named Vasa after the first King of modern Sweden.

Vasha: Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. Vasha is a personal name meaning king.

Vayelle Kamsa: Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah. Vayle is a personal name. In Hinduism, Kamsa was a cruel king who was told in a prophecy that the eighth son of his sister Devaki would kill him, so he decided to kill them. He murdered the first six, but the next two, Krishna and Balarama, were saved by being fostered elsewhere. Kamsa was eventually killed by Krishna. Kamsa's attempts at preventing the prophecy led to it coming true. Perhaps Vayelle Kamsa is one of the Reds involved in the illegal gentling of men, or even in the slaughter of possible male channellers after the Aiel War.

In a legend from the Talmud, senseless antagonism and a mix-up with names caused the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and the exile of the Jews by the Romans. Bar Kamsa was invited to his enemy's banquet instead of the similarly named Kamsa and felt slighted by the host, who wanted him to leave. To avenge the slight, Bar Kamsa convinced the Romans that the Jews were planning to rebel against them. The Romans attacked Jerusalem. Since the Aiel War, the Reds have been involved in such political shenanigans: the Red/Blue animosity has intensified, the Reds were induced by Chesmal Emry to murder the Amyrlin Sierin Vayu, and men were killed on suspicion of being possible channellers or were gentled illegally, leading to the Red Sitters being exiled. Again, Vayelle Kamsa may have been involved, just as she was involved in the capture of Rand by Elaida's embassy.

Velina Behar: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Verin Mathwin: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Waylin: Rina's Warder. Waylin is a variant spelling of the personal name Wayland. In Scandinavian mythology, Wayland (see photo right) was a blacksmith with supernatural powers. He was lord of the elves in some legends. Waylyn is in South Carolina.

Weiramon Saniago Darkfriend Tairen High Lord see Names of the Shadow article.

Welyn Kajima: Asha'man turned to the Shadow see Names of the Shadow article.


Yuan: Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah. Yuan is a common name in China: a surname, a river, the Chinese currency, and a Mongol dynasty.

Yukiri: Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah. Yukiri is a place in Paraguay.

Yurian Stonebow: False Dragon. Yuryan is a place in Russia. The name may commemorate Yuri Gagarin (1934-68), the first man in space.

The stone bow is a type of crossbow with a double string and a pocket, which shoots a stone, pellet or bullet. It was used for sporting purposes, primarily to kill small game animals such as birds and rabbits, or for target practice. Both men and women used them. It was probably most popular between 1760 and 1810 and had the advantage over guns of shooting silently.


Zaida din Parede Blackwing: Sea Folk. Zaida is a personal name meaning 'prosperous, fortunate' and due to her fortunate bargain with Elayne, Zaida is now Mistress of the Ships. Parede is a place on the coast of Portugal.

Zakai: Seanchan damane. Zakai is a surname and also a personal name meaning 'one who is pure', and thus is a good damane as her sul'dam insisted and innocent of causing friendly fire in Altara.

Zanica: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Zarine ni Bashere t'Aybara: Saldaean. Zarina is a personal name meaning gold. Bashir is an Arab surname. It means "bringer of good news," or "a person who promises good things" in Arabic. Certainly Perrin believed he had struck gold in Faile, even though he had no idea she was noble. See Perrin above for parallels to Aybara. For more information on Faile's real world parallels, see Faile and Berelain essay.

Zarya Alkaese: a runaway novice who joined the Kin and has now been reclaimed by Aes Sedai. Zarya means 'sunrise' in Russian and Zarya was the first module of the International Space Station and was launched in 1998. It was called Zarya because it signified the dawn of a new era of international cooperation in space. Likewise, perhaps Zarya will be part of a newly organised Aes Sedai as the Kin and other channellers are united into one group.

Zheres: a guy who stole a kiss from Mathena and aroused her enthusiasm for more so much that she wouldn't leave him alone (The Fires of Heaven, The Price of a Ship). The tale probably refers to Athena, the virgin Greek goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice and skill, who was usually portrayed wearing body armour and a helmet; emphasising her unapproachability and sexual unavailability. She was the daughter of Zeus.


In one myth Hephaestus attempted to rape Athena but was unsuccessful (see photo right). His semen fell on the ground, and Erichthonius was born from the Earth, Gaia. Athena then raised the baby as a foster mother. Athena was also surprised by Tiresias while bathing naked and she blinded him. When begged to undo her curse, she could not do so, but gave him the gift of prophecy instead. Zheres appears to be a combination of the names Tiresias and Zeus.


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Written by Linda, February 2007 and updated November 2013

3 comments:

Voscaia Sedai said...

Hmmm...what will you do if Weiramon is against all odds cleared in TofM or aMoL?

Linda said...

I'll correct it. There are always changes and additions to be made to articles after a new book.

This one is pretty likely though, which is why I've stuck my neck out in this article. The funny thing is, that he's not in the Names of the Shadow article. He was, but I removed him because I know he isn't a proven Darkfriend.

Voscaia said...

Well, now he is...