Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Character Names: A

By Linda

Abaldar Yulan: Seanchan. It is amusing that Abaldar includes the word ‘bald’ because Abaldar Yulan is indeed bald and wears a black wig to cover up, as Seachan law requires (The Path of Daggers, A Time For Iron). Yulan is a place in Taiwan.

Abdel Omerna: Whitecloak. Abdel is an Arabic personal name meaning ‘servant’. Omerna served Niall as decoy spymaster. Omerna is similar to Omertá, the Italian conspiracy of silence associated with the Sicilian Mafia:

The Mafia survived and outlasted Sicily's foreign governments because the latter were often so despotic that they alienated the island's inhabitants and made tolerable the Mafia's peculiar system of private justice, which was regulated by a complicated moral code. This code was based on omertá—i.e., the obligation never, under any circumstances, to apply for justice to the legal authorities and never to assist in any way in the detection of crimes committed against oneself or others. The right to avenge wrongs was reserved for the victims and their families, and to break the code of silence was to incur reprisals from the Mafia.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Omerna was used as a decoy spymaster by Niall because he was usually indiscreet. Ironically, he was discreet about the conspiracy to assassinate Niall. He accepted that Niall should die because Niall was perceived to be doing nothing about Morgase; and having delivered ‘justice’ and avenged this ‘wrong’ against the Whitecloak ‘family’, was himself executed. This ensured his silence.

The name also suggests ‘omen’; apt since Niall used him as an indicator of public opinion.

Abell Cauthon: Two Rivers. Abel is a personal name meaning ‘breath’ or ‘child’ and Abell is noted for his youthful appearance. The name is also similar to ‘able’, which is appropriate for such a capable man. The spelling of the name refers to a real-world town, Abell in the US.

Like many of the more important Andoran characters, Abell has an Arthurian parallel. In Arthurian mythology, Sir Ebel was the lieutenant of King Hermance in Northern England who was a kind and liberal king who enjoyed jousting and feasting with errant knights of King Arthur’s court (Sir Thomas Mallory, Le’Morte d’Arthur). He certainly was pleased to see Perrin when Perrin left Rand’s ‘court’ and returned to the Two Rivers on a quest to expel the Whitecloaks.

Cauthon is similar to two surnames, one associated with horses, the other with social equality, although they are more appropriate to Mat than the other Cauthon family members.

Steve Cauthen is a highly successful jockey—he was the youngest jockey ever to win the US Triple Crown and was England’s champion jockey three times. He was inducted into the US Racing Hall of Fame. Both Abell and Mat have a keen eye for horses.

Georges Couthon was the poor people’s advocate during the Reign of Terror in revolutionary France in the 18th century:

In 1791 Couthon went to Paris as a deputy to the Revolution's Legislative Assembly and in 1792 was elected to the National Convention, where he joined the majority in voting for the death of King Louis XVI (January 1793). He bitterly denounced the moderate Girondin deputies before the Convention, and he introduced the motion that led to the arrest of the leading Girondins on June 2. The Jacobins, in alliance with the Parisian lower classes, then took control of the Revolution.

Meanwhile, Couthon and four other men had been added to the Committee of Public Safety on May 30, 1793. They drafted a new constitution, which was submitted to the Convention on June 10, and Couthon remained on the committee when it was reorganized a month later. On August 21 he was sent to direct the military operations against the counterrevolutionary stronghold of Lyon. Lyon surrendered on October 9, but Couthon had himself relieved of his command so that he would not have to carry out the Convention's order to destroy the city. Nevertheless, in speeches before the Convention he called for the extermination of enemies of the republic. In March-April 1794 he helped Robespierre and Saint-Just bring about the downfall of factions led by the radical democrat Jacques Hébert and the moderate Georges Danton. Couthon then secured passage of the Law of 22 Prairial (June 10, 1794), which speeded up the work of the Revolutionary Tribunal and unleashed the Reign of Terror. The Robespierrist leaders, however, were facing growing resistance, and on July 27, 1794 Couthon, Robespierre, and Saint-Just were arrested by a group of their opponents. They were guillotined, along with 19 other Robespierrists, the next day.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Mat is all for social equality, and already has skirted close to what Seanchan society can tolerate. He directed the military operations of the Last Battle, and knew that even if Rand won his duel with the Dark One, the Shadow’s armies had to be utterly destroyed.

Abors: Black Asha'man see Names of the Shadow article.

Adan: Rand's Ancestor. Adan is a personal name. The name is also similar to Aidan, and may refer to St Aidan, the apostle of Northumbria, who founded the church and monastery of Lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumberland in the 7th Century AD, from where he evangelised northern England. Bede said that "he was a pontiff inspired with a passionate love of virtue, but at the same time full of a surpassing mildness and gentleness." As was Adan, follower of the Covenant (Way of the Leaf).

Adden: probable Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Adeleas Namelle: Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah. Adeleas is similar to the personal names Adelias and Adelia, which mean generous. Namell is a surname.

Aeldra Najaf: Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. Aeldra (ehl-dra) is on a list of Welsh names and pronunciations in Robert Jordan’s notes that he compiled. Najaf is a city in Iraq.

Aemon al Caar al Thorin: King of Manetheren and Eldrene’s Warder. Aemon is similar to the name Eamon. Caar is a place in Angola. Thorin could be a borrowing from Tolkien; it was the name of the chief of the Dwarfs in The Hobbit. Tolkien in turn borrowed the name from the Icelandic Edda.

Agelmar Jagad: Shienaran. Agelmar is a mythic character in Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock; she is an eternal entity involved in the Welsh Peredur/Guiwenneth legend. The price of her magical aid is a life. Graendal ensured that Agelmar’s generalship cost many needless lives, including his own, since her Compulsion cannot be removed without destroying him.

Jagad is similar to Jagat, the site of beautiful Indian temple (see photo right). Fal Dara, Agelmar’s fortress, was built on the site of the beautiful Mafal Dadaranell. The name also evokes jagged (nothing soft about Agelmar Jagad), or jagd, which is ‘hunt’ in German (Agelmar sent off a hunt for the Horn of Valere and was involved in hunting the Dragon Reborn with the Borderlander forces).

Aginor: Forsaken see Names of the Shadow article.

Agni Neres: Sailor and smuggler, captain of Riverserpent. Agni is the god of fire in Hinduism and is described as ruddy-hued and having two faces—one beneficent and one malignant (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Neres, a smuggler, gives alms; he charged a high price to take Nynaeve and Elayne and entourage downriver, but agreed to take refugees as well and to the loss of his cargo to make room for them, albeit after some coercion.

Neres refers to Nereus in Ancient Greek mythology:

sea god called by Homer “Old Man of the Sea,” noted for his wisdom, gift of prophecy, and ability to change his shape. He was the son of Pontus, a personification of the sea, and Gaea, the Earth goddess. The Nereids (water nymphs) were his daughters by the Oceanid Doris, and he lived with them in the depths of the sea, particularly the Aegean.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

A sea god is an appropriate parallel for a sailor.

Ailhuin Guenna: Tairen. Ailhuin is similar to two personal names: Aileen and Aylwin. Aylwin means ‘good friend’, which is appropriate, since Ailhuin took in Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne and told Mat that they were taken to the Stone at considerable risk to herself. Guenna is similar to Guena, the name of a place in Portugal and a few places in Africa.

Ailil Riatin: Cairhienin. Ailil was on Robert Jordan’s list of Gaelic names in his notes. It is also the name of a character out of Irish legend:

Medb (Maeve), the warrior queen of Connaught, disputes with her husband, Ailill, over their respective wealth. Because possession of the white-horned bull guarantees Ailill's superiority, Medb resolves to secure the even-more-famous brown bull of Cooley from the Ulstermen. Although Medb is warned of impending doom by a prophetess, the Connaught army proceeds to Ulster. The climax of the fighting is a three-day combat between Cú Chulainn, the youthful Ulster champion, and Fer Diad, his friend and foster brother, who is in exile and fighting with the Connaught forces. Cú Chulainn is victorious, and, nearly dead from wounds and exhaustion, he is joined by the Ulster army, which routs the enemy. The brown bull, however, has been captured by Connaught and defeats Ailill's white-horned bull, after which peace is made.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Ailil, a Cairhienin noble, is just as arrogant and concerned with wealth and power. Like Connaught and Ulster, House Riatin has contended with House Damodred for the rule of Cairhien for many years, even to the ruin of the country and its people. Riatin is similar to real-world place names.

Ailron: Amadician. Ailron is similar to aileron, the movable part of an airplane wing that is controlled by the pilot and permits him to roll the aircraft around its longitudinal axis (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Ailerons are thus used primarily to bank the aircraft for turning, just as Niall piloted King Ailron into decreeing whatever Niall commanded. Ailron may also refer to Elron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

Aisha Raveneos: Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah. Aisha may refer to Ayesha, the long-lived and witch-like heroine of H. Rider Haggard’s novels (eg She), who offered the hero Leo a way to become immortal.

Alanna Mosvani: Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. Alanna is a Gaelic personal name meaning ‘beautiful’, which Alanna is. Mosvani is similar to a real-world place name.

Alar: Ogier. The plant growth regulator Daminozide, is also known as Alar, and it is used to improve the appearance and shelf life of apples (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Ogier also regulate plant growth and were involved in Singing to crops to increase their yield and resistance to disease.

Aldrin Caldevwin: Cairhienin. Aldrin has a couple of parallels. It is a surname and may refer to Buzz Aldrin, the US astronaut who set a record for extravehicular activity and was the second man to set foot on the Moon. His 5½-hour space-walk in November 1966 proved that people could function effectively in the vacuum of space. Caldevwin was sent to unearth the sa’angreal statue for King Galldrian, a potentially dangerous task. It was an experiment in the sense that the Cairhienin probably didn’t even know what the statue was, let alone what it could be used to do.

Aldrin is an insecticide which stimulates the central nervous system and is toxic to warm-blooded animals; poisoning can result from ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin (Encyclopaedia Britannica). In The Great Hunt, Rand found Caldevwin to be potentially dangerous.

Alijha: Jenn who became Aiel. Alijah is a Hebrew personal name, but may also refer to Elijah:

the Hebrew prophet who ranks with Moses in saving the religion of Yahweh from being corrupted by the nature worship of Baal.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Is Alija a failed Elija for abandoning the Way of the Leaf and killing men in self defence? Or a prophet who played his part in the Pattern and the War against the Shadow by helping found the Aiel and thus ensuring that the Dragon would be Reborn? Surely both.

Almen Bunt: Andoran. Almen is a place in the Netherlands. Almen also symbolises all men, everyman. As the first person to encounter Rand after his epiphany he represents all humanity.

Bunt is a baseball term:

to bunt the ball is to tap it lightly with the bat and to make it roll slowly along the ground in fair territory but off as much as possible to one side or the other of a straight line from catcher to pitcher. The bunt is usually intended to be a sacrifice; that is, the batter expects to be thrown out at first base, but one or more runners may be able to proceed to their next base while the ball is being fielded and thrown to first base.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Almen Bunt gave Rand and Mat a lift into Caemlyn in The Eye of the World, thus helping them to the next ‘base’ even though he knew they were being sought after. Inspired by Rand, he then took further risks by staying on in Caemlyn and supporting Queen Morgase.

Almurat Mor: Seanchan Seeker. Almurat is similar to the name of a character in Jean Racine’s play Bajazet (1672). The play's themes are unrequited love and the struggle for power (kind of like WOT ;)):

In the play, the main characters—the young prince Bajazet, his beloved Atalide, and the jealous sultana Roxane—are the mortal victims of the despotic cruelty of the absent sultan Amurat, whose reign is maintained by violence and secrecy.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Amurat’s regime is similar to that of the Seanchan, and the Seekers are a vital part in maintaining it. Mat's original story for the menagerie was that he and Egeanin were lovers. Egeanin and Bayle Domon, both at risk from the Seekers, then married.

A few places are named Mor.

Alnora: Rand's Ancestor. Alnora may be an allusion to Rose Alnora Hartwick Thorpe, an American poet and writer remembered largely for her poem, “Curfew Must Not Ring.” The poem, tells how a young woman saves her true love from execution (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Jonai, Alnora’s devoted husband, relied on her Dreaming for advice on where to go and what to do to keep his people safe during the Breaking.

Alric: Siuan’s Warder. Alric is an Anglo-Saxon personal name. The name may also refer to Alaric, the chief of the Visigoths from 395 AD and leader of the army that sacked Rome in August 410, an event that symbolized the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Alric’s death was the beginning of the breaking of the White Tower (which has many similarities with Rome) and the destruction of Siuan’s regime. Many Warders have names with military allusions.

Alsalam: Domani. Alsalam is similar to Absalom, a personal name meaning ‘father’ or ‘peace’. There has been no peace for Arad Doman recently, especially since Graendal kidnapped King Alsalam’s family and started sowing chaos. Alsalam was found safe in Towers of Midnight and reinstated as ruler of his country.

Another parallel is to Abd al-Salam Arif, Iraqi army officer and politician, who was president of Iraq from 1963‒1966:

Arif’s rise to power began in 1958 when he, along with General Abd al-Karim Qasim, played a prominent role in the overthrow of the Hashimite monarchy, then under Faysal II [the last king of Iraq]. After Qasim was declared president, he named Arif deputy prime minister and minister of the interior. In December 1958, however, Arif was convicted of attempting to murder Qasim and was condemned to death. He was pardoned and released in 1961.

In 1963 Arif and the Ba’th Party overthrew Qasim, and on February 8, 1963, Arif was named president. Nine months later, the Ba’thist government was toppled by troops led by Arif's brother, Brigadier General Abd al-Rahman Arif. Abd al-Salam announced on November 18, 1963, the formation of a Revolutionary Council. He also said he was assuming full powers for a year and longer if necessary. An ardent Arab nationalist, much of his effort centred on creating unity in the Arab world and peace among quarrelling factions in his country. In early 1964 he negotiated a cease-fire with Kurdish nationalists in northern Iraq, but fighting resumed by the end of the year. In April 1966, Arif died in a helicopter accident. He was succeeded by his brother Abd al-Rahman.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

This is an apt parallel for the unrest and chaos in Arad Doman, however it is Ituralde who is trying to unite the factions, while King Alsalam has vanished and the rest of the royal family were enslaved by Graendal and presumably killed when Rand balefired Graendal’s palace. It was feared Alsalam had met with an accident, but he was taken into Aes Sedai protection and restored to his position just before the Last Battle. He was killed in the Last Battle and succeeded by Rodel Ituralde.

Alsbet: Legendary ‘Queen of All’. This is probably a reference to Queen Elizabeth II of England, who is head of the British Commonwealth, a worldwide system of former colonies, protectorates and other territories.

Alvera Ramosanya: Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah and Amyrlin Seat. Alvera is similar to two Spanish personal names—Elvira, meaning ‘impartial judgment’ and Alvaro meaning ‘extremely cautious’ (good qualities in an Amylin?). Alvera may also refer to Marcelo de Alvear, statesman and political leader who served as president of Argentina from 1922‒1928. He lost the election in 1928, and was part of the coup which over threw the government in 1930. He ran for presidency in 1931, but he was declared ineligible because less than a full term had expired since he left office (Encyclopaedia Britannica). National leaders are appropriate parallels for an Amyrlin. In the White Tower, it is retired Sitters who customarily are not re-elected to the Hall until more than a decade has elapsed.

Ramosanya may be a combination of Ramos and Sanya. Ramos may refer to Fidel Ramos, military leader and politician who was president of the Philippines from 1992‒1998. He was generally regarded as one of the most effective presidents in that nation's history (Encyclopaedia Britannica). This is another national leader parallel.

Similarly, Sanya may refer to Sanya Dharmasakti, chosen in 1973 by the King of Thailand (the first time the monarchy assumed a direct role in Thai politics since 1932) to be interim prime minister and to oversee the drafting of a new constitution (Encyclopaedia Britannica). These parallels are interesting hints about Alvera’s reign, but more information on Aes Sedai history is required to say anything further.

Alviarin Freidhen: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Amaena: Leane. Amaena is similar to Amana, a personal name meaning ‘faithful’. She was faithful to Siuan, despite not knowing the full import of Siuan’s strategy until she paid the price for it, and always intended to be faithful to her oath to Gareth Bryne.

Amaresu: Hero of the Horn wielding the Sword of the Sun. Amaresu is an allusion to Amaterasu Omikami (Japanese: “Great Divinity Illuminating Heaven”), the celestial sun goddess from whom the Japanese imperial family claims descent, and an important Shinto deity (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Amathera Aelfdene Casmir Lounault: Taraboner. Amathera may have been derived from Amalthea ("am al THEE uh"), a satellite of Jupiter. (Amalthea was the nymph who nursed the infant Jupiter with goat's milk.) It was originally thought that Amalthea was a fairly strong, rigid moon, but is now thought to be a loose "rubble pile" with a lot of empty spaces. Poor Amathera has been the satellite of the Black Ajah and the Seanchan, and has not been strong enough to keep her self-confidence. Aelfdene may refer to Healfdene, a Viking family that led the earliest invasions of England. Casmir is similar to Casimir, the names of five rulers of Poland.

Casimir I the Restorer, duke of Poland, re-annexed the formerly Polish provinces of Silesia, Mazovia, and Pomerania, which had been lost during his father's reign, and restored the Polish central government…He ascended the throne after his father's death (1034). In 1037 he was deposed; manoeuvres of the magnates against his supremacy coincided with a popular revolt against the landowners and with an anti-Christian uprising by pagan tribes. Exiled to Germany, he won military aid from the German kings Conrad II and Henry III and by 1040 had regained his throne. Casimir re-established the Polish central government, revived the Roman Catholic church, and suppressed the pagan tribes that had helped to depose him. As ruler of Poland, however, he was never crowned king, and German suzerainty over Poland was, in fact, re-established during his reign.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Casimir II, spent much of his reign fighting his brother and lost the throne to him for over a year. Casmir III reunited Poland after it had split into small principalities and added two large regions to the country. Casimir IV tried to recover the lost lands of old Poland. The great triumph of his reign was the final subjugation of the Teutonic Knights (Whitecloaks?) in 1466.

These kings all struggled to attain or keep the throne, or to maintain their territories, just as Amathera has done. Whitecloaks caused problems in Tarabon, just as Teutonic Knights did in Poland. An even more apt parallel is John Casimir, who was elected king of Poland in 1648 and whose reign was marked by heavy losses of Polish territory incurred in wars against the Ukrainians, Tartars, Swedes, and Russians. The photo right shows him taking oath. Amathera is likewise an elected ruler who lost her lands due to invaders and also to the subversive efforts of the Shadow.

Amellia Arene: Amadician Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Amico Nagoyin: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Amondrid Osiellin: Cairhienin. Amondrid appears to be a combination of Amon plus drid (dread). Many Cairhien names are constructed in this way. Amon was the King of the Egyptian Gods and was combined with the Sun God Re as Amon-Re. The Sun is the emblem of Cairhien. Dread hints at the Cairhien nobles’ abuse of power. Osiellin is similar to real-world place names.

Amys: Wise One. Amys is similar to Amyas (Ay me as), the male form of the personal name Amy, meaning ‘beloved’.

Anaiya: Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. Anaya is a surname in Spanish speaking countries and a personal name in Latin. It may refer to Ennoia, another name for Sophia, wisdom or thought. Anaiya was noted for her knowledge.

Anaiyella Narencelona: Tairen Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article

Ananda: Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah. Ananda was the first cousin of the Buddha and one of his principal disciples, known as his “beloved disciple” and devoted companion. According to some sources, he persuaded the Buddha, much against the Buddha's own inclination, to allow women to become nuns (Encyclopaedia Britannica). The Aes Sedai are modelled on the medieval nunneries of Western Europe.

A more recent Ananda was Ananda Mahidol, the eighth king of the Chakkridynasty of Siam, whose mysterious death in 1946 at the age of 21 was one of the most traumatic events in the history of modern Thailand. He was found dead in his bed of a gunshot wound and the controversy over it contributed to the weakening of civilian constitutional government and helped precipitate the return of military government in Thailand (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Ananda was one of many Aes Sedai killed during the White Tower split, certainly a traumatic event in Tower history.

Anath: Semirhage see Names of the Shadow article.

Anla: the Wise Counsellor. The name probably refers to Ann Landers, the American advice columnist (1918‒2002) who:

gave down-to-earth commonsense—and sometimes wisecracking—counsel to readers with a variety of problems that ranged from everyday family, friendship, and neighbourhood concerns to such serious health issues as depression, alcoholism, and AIDS. In so doing, she gained a readership of some 90 million people in more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Annoura Larisen: Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah. Annora is a variant of the personal name Honor, which means woman of honour. Annoura felt honour-bound to find and bring Galad to safety for Berelain to restore their friendship, no matter the cost to herself. However, Annoura also has Arthurian origins. Annouwre was a sorceress who desired Arthur and tried to destroy him in the Forest Perilous when he remained faithful to Guinevere. He was rescued by Nimue (Nynaeve) and Sir Tristram. In this parallel, King Arthur is a parallel of Perrin, rather than Rand. (This is not the first time they shared a parallel; both men have characteristics of Thor). Annoure allowed Perrin’s reputation to be destroyed by Berelain while he remained faithful to Faile.

Larisen is a surname.

Aram: ex-Tinker. The name has two real-world parallels, both of them dark. Eugene Aram was:

a notorious 18th century murderer whose notoriety was romanticized in a ballad by Thomas Hood and in the novel Eugene Aram (1832), by Bulwer-Lytton.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Once he picked up a sword to defend people with it, Aram’s grandparents regarded him as a murderer.

The Arameans conquered biblical territories. They were

one of a confederacy of tribes that spoke a North Semitic language (Aramaic) and, between the 11th and 8th century BC, occupied Aram, a large region in northern Syria. In the same period some of these tribes seized large tracts of Mesopotamia.

In the Old Testament the Aramaeans are represented as being closely akin to the Hebrews and living in northern Syria around Harran from about the 16th century BC. About 1030 BC a coalition of the southern Aramaeans, led by Hadadezer, king of Zobah, in league with the Ammonites, Edomites, and the Aramaeans of Mesopotamia, attacked Israel, but were defeated by King David.

To the east, however, the Aramaean tribes spread into Babylonia, where an Aramaean usurper was crowned king of Babylon under the name of Adad-apal-iddin. By the 9th century the whole area from Babylon to the Mediterranean coast was in the hands of the Aramaean tribes known collectively as Kaldu (or Kashdu)—the biblical Chaldeans.

Between Israel and Damascus, intermittent wars continued until Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria captured Arpad, the centre of Aramaean resistance in northern Syria, in 740 BC. He overthrew Samaria in 734 and Damascus in 732. Finally, the destruction of Hamath by Sargon II of Assyria in 720 marked the end of the Aramaean kingdoms of the west.

Aramaeans along the lower Tigris River maintained their independence longer. In 626 a Chaldean general, Nabopolassar, proclaimed himself king of Babylon and joined with the Medes and Scythians to overthrow Assyria. In the New Babylonian, or Chaldean, empire, Chaldeans, Aramaeans, and Babylonians became largely indistinguishable.

In religion, though their pantheon included Canaanite, Babylonian, and Assyrian gods, the Aramaeans had deities of their own. Their chief god was Hadad, or Ramman (Old Testament Rimmon—note that this is Balthamel’s former surname), equated with the Hurrian storm god, Teshub. Their chief goddess was Atargatis (Atar'ate), a fusion of two deities corresponding to the Phoenician Astarte and Anath (Semirhage!).

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Aran son of Malan son of Senar: Ogier Historian. Aran, Malan and Senar are each real-world place names. Malan was also:

the South African statesman and politician who is best remembered for forming the first exclusively Afrikaner government of South Africa and for instituting apartheid (the enforced segregation of non-whites from whites).

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Since the Breaking, mainland Ogier largely prefer to keep themselves apart from humans.

Aran'gar: Balthamel see Names of the Shadow article.

Aravine Carnel: Amadician Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Ared Mosinel: Rahvin see Names of the Shadow article.

Arnin: probable Altaran Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article.

Arrella Shiego: Cha Faile. Arrella is similar to Arella, a Hebrew personal name meaning ‘heavenly messenger’ (appropriate for one of Faile’s spies). Shiego is a personal name and a surname.

Artur Paendrag Tanreall: Hero of the Horn. Artur Paendrag was derived from Arthur Pendragon:

the quasi-historical British king whose mythical adventures have formed the largest single sub-category of fantastic literature. The real Arthur was in all likelihood an army general, quite probably born and raised in a Roman or Romano-British family, whose skill and prowess as a battle leader resulted in a decisive defeat of the Saxons at Badon in about 495 AD. Thereafter Arthur was able to establish a period of relative prosperity and peace in Britain until his death at Camlann 40 years later. He probably had overlordship of other minor British Kingdoms.

- John Clute and John Grant, The Encyclopaedia of Fantasy

Artur Hawkwing has more in common with the historic figure than with the King Arthur of legend. In keeping with his ideas on how history changes to myth, Jordan split King Arthur into two characters: the historic King Arthur inspired Arthur Hawkwing, whereas the legends of King Arthur inspired Rand al’Thor (see Rand essay).

The name Arthur means ‘noble’ and ‘follower of Thor’. In The Great Hunt, Artur Hawking followed Rand al’Thor (who is a parallel of Thor) at Falme.

Arwin: Youngling. Arwin is a personal name meaning ‘young’ (he even is a Youngling) or ‘prince’.

Arymilla Marne: Andoran. Arimilli is a surname. Marne is a real-world place name.

Ashmanaille: Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah. Ashmanaille is similar to Ashaman and may have a similar derivation: asha was the Iranian personification of natural and ethical cosmic order and aeshma a demonic figure of violence, fury and aggression that consumes man. Ashmanaille seems to be a feminine form of the word asha’man and is an unusual name for an Aes Sedai. Asha’man are supposed to be defenders of truth and justice and thus aspire to asha, but until they freed themselves from Taim their efforts were largely aeshma.

Asidim Faisar: Whitecloak sent as spy to Tarabon. Asidim probably refers to Hasidim. The Hasidim (“Pious Ones”, appropriate in a Whitecloak) are a Jewish movement which began in Europe:

The authentic Hasid is described in terms of asceticism, humility, serenity, altruism, and strict ethical behaviour. Rather than emphasize Talmudic learning, Hasidism made an appeal to emotionalism and anti-intellectualism. Piety is superior to scholarship, and all men, however poor or ignorant, can commune with God if they have enthusiasm and a warm and trusting heart. If people serve God with a joyous heart in humility and meekness, the disunited world can be restored to unity, and saving grace will flow more freely.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

This is a kinder philosophy than that of the Whitecloaks, but no less strict. In many ways, it is the philosophy that the Whitecloaks perverted.

The name Faisar alludes to two kings of Iraq, Faisal I and II (the last king of Iraq). Faisar served the Whitecloak leadership, and may have witnessed the death of King Andric at the hands of the Seanchan.

Asmodean: Forsaken see Names of the Shadow article.

Asne Zeramene: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Asra: The Kin. Asra is a town in Afghanistan and in India, but it is also similar to Ezra and may refer to the religious leader of the Jews when they returned from exile in Babylon:

Ezra was a reformer who reconstituted the Jewish community on the basis of the Torah (Law, or the regulations of the first five books of the Old Testament). His work helped make Judaism a religion in which law was central, enabling the Jews to survive as a community when they were dispersed all over the world.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

While Asra isn’t a leader among the Kin, she typifies the experience of the Kin; their exile from the Tower, their adherence to strict rules, their subsequent dispersal to stay unnoticed, and finally, their longed for return to the Tower.

Atal Mishraile: Black Asha'man see Names of the Shadow article.

Athan Dearn: Two Rivers. Athan is similar to Ethan and may refer to Ethan Allen, a soldier and frontiersman and leader of the Green Mountain Boys during the American Revolution. The Two Rivers is a frontier-type province and provides excellent soldiers. Dearne is a place in the UK.

Atuan Larisett: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.

Avar Hachami: Myrelle’s Warder. The name has military parallels. The Avars built an empire in the area between the Adriatic and Baltic seas and the Elbe and Dnieper rivers in the 6th–8th century.

Hachiman [see photo right] is one of the most popular Shinto deities of Japan; the patron deity of the Minamoto clan and of warriors in general; often referred to as the god of war.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Such military parallels are typical of Warders’ names.

Aviendha: Apprentice Wise One. Aviendha has no close parallels in English or in place names, but it has a few suggestive parallels in other European languages. The name has a Spanish flavour in keeping with Aviendha’s fiery nature. Azienda means ‘business’ in Italian—certainly Aviendha also means business. Viendra means ‘will come’ in Italian, and avviene and avient both mean ‘happens’ in Italian and French respectively. Aviendha’s name seems to encapsulate both the determination and the fatalism of her people. It also seems to refer to Avendesora and Avendoraldera, the tree of life and the butchered sapling, both so intimately tied up with the destiny of the Aiel nation. Aviendha even purchased the tree-killer’s sword to give to Rand to absolve herself of an obligation to him. It is no coincidence that she sat near Avendesora to ponder the needs and future of the Aiel and how by clinging to their old violent warrior lifestyle the Aiel will end up as butchered as Avendoraldera.

Avi Shendar: Amadician. Avi is similar to Avis, a Latin personal name meaning birds. Avi runs a pigeon messenger service. Shendar is a surname.

Ayako Norsoni: turned to the Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article.


Written by Linda, January 2005 and updated October 2013

Contributor: Dominic

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