Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Character Names: E

By Linda

Eagan Padros: Illianer. Eagan is similar to the personal name Egan. The name Padros may refer to the Padris:

Sumatran reformist Muslims who objected to local institutions that were not in accordance with the pure teaching of Islam and launched guerrilla war against the chiefs. The Dutch, afraid of the influence of the Muslim reformists, sided with the chiefs but were still engaged in the Java War (1825–30) and thus unable to send troops to crush the Padris until the end of that war. Tuanku Imam Bondjol, the leader of the Padris, surrendered to the Dutch in 1832 but soon renewed his rebellion. The war continued until 1837, when the Dutch seized the Padris’ base.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Padros was part of a guerrilla force that attacked Rand’s forces while they were readying to battle the Seanchan. He surrendered to Rand and then tried to kill him. The guerrilla forces were destroyed and Rand took control of their base, Illian.

Eamon Valda: Whitecloak. Eamon Valda’s real-world parallel is Eamon de Valera (1882‒1975):

Irish politician and patriot, prime minister (1932–48, 1951–54, 1957–59), and president (1959–73). An active revolutionary from 1913, he became president of Sinn Fein in 1918 and founded the Fianna Fáil Party in 1924. In 1937, he took the Irish Free State out of the British Commonwealth and made his country a “sovereign” state, renamed Ireland, or Eire.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

De Valera joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and rose rapidly through the ranks. He took the oath to join the Irish Republican Brotherhood, which secretly controlled the leadership of the Volunteers. In 1917, de Valera became president of Sinn Fein and, having won a majority of seats in the 1918 election, formed an Irish parliament early in 1919. This photo shows him reviewing Irish Republican Army troops in County Clare in 1918. De Valera became Prime Minister of this government and Michael Collins, de Valera’s rival, who actually did the day to day running of the government, was his Minister for Finance. Whitecloaks also swear an oath when joining. Michael Collins is probably a real-world parallel of Pedron Niall; the difference being that Niall was older than Valda, and ranked above him.

Conflict between Britain and the Dail (Irish Government) escalated into the Irish War of Independence (also call the Anglo-Irish War). The Anglo-Irish Treaty, negotiated in 1921, established the independence of 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties as the Irish Free State, with the remaining 6 in the north under British sovereignty as Northern Ireland. De Valera wasn’t present at the negotiations himself, having sent delegates, and was furious, not at the contents of the Treaty, but that it was signed without consulting him, their president. The Treaty for the Formation of Northern Ireland is equivalent to the Treaty between the Whitecloaks and Andor. Just as the Anglo-Irish Treaty was very important for Ireland, so the Treaty with Andor was a milestone for the Children. In exchange for the Whitecloaks regaining her throne, a thousand Whitecloaks would be quartered in Caemlyn, with their own courts of law, outside Andoran law, in perpetuity, and they would stand equal with the Queen's Guards throughout Andor, in perpetuity. Morgase would be the first Andoran queen ever to accept foreign soldiers on Andoran soil (Lord of Chaos, Red Wax ). These are rights the Children have never possessed anywhere except Amadicia (A Crown of Swords, Prologue).

The Anglo-Irish treaty was divisive and resulted in the Irish Civil War (1922) in which the pro-Treaty Free State forces defeated de Valera’s Republicans. De Valera made highly inflammatory speeches at this time which incited further hostility and violence. These bloodthirsty speeches and resulting violence have a parallel in Valda’s atrocities:

He had managed to kill some of that filth, at least, though it was hard fighting foes who melted away more often than they stood, who could blend into the accursed streams of refugees, and worse, of brainless wanderers who seemed to think al'Thor had turned all order on its head. He had found a solution, however, if not a completely satisfactory one. The roads behind his legion were littered now, and the ravens fed to bursting. If it was not possible to tell the Prophet's trash from refugee trash, well then, kill whoever clogged the way. The innocent should have remained in their homes where they belonged; the Creator would shelter them anyway. As far as he was concerned, the wanderers were added plums on the cake.

- Lord of Chaos, Red Wax

The Irish civil War is equivalent to Valda’s coup and the Seanchan invasion of Amador. Valda used Niall’s lack of action with regard to Andor and the treaty as reason to assassinate him. The assassination of Michael Collins, the death President Arthur Griffith and the execution of treaty signatory Robert Childers have a parallel in the assassination of Pedron Niall, and the treatment of Galad at the hands of the Questioners, while the destruction of the Irish state records has a minor parallel in the destruction of Niall’s important message from Tarabon.

De Valera resigned from the presidency of Sinn Fein and formed a new party, Fianna Fail (Soldiers of Destiny—an apt parallel for Whitecloaks) in 1924. Fianna Fail members refused to take the Oath of Allegiance, which was to the Irish Free State with a secondary oath of fidelity to the (British) King as signatory of the Treaty. The party gained the most seats in the Irish Government in 1932 and de Valera was appointed Prime Minister. He worked to abolish the oath and change the Irish constitution drafted under Michael Collins, his rival. Notably, he changed the clauses regarding equal rights for women. When Valda took over as Lord Captain Commander, he completely changed Niall’s policies. Valda forced himself upon Morgase, who as Queen of Andor is a parallel of the British crown. It also parallels his disregard of women's rights. Valda fought the Seanchan with Ailron, and retreated from the field. Whitecloaks that did not escape with Valda refused to swear the Seanchan Oaths and were made da’covale.

When World War II broke out, Germany investigated whether Ireland should be invaded or whether the IRA could be used to distract Britain. Germany made overtures to Eire before and during the War, but de Valera kept Ireland neutral throughout the entire war. Ireland did aid the Allies by allowing downed Allied airmen to ‘escape’ into Northern Ireland and secretly provided weather reports for D-Day. The Irish referred to World War II as The Emergency. The Forsaken have many similarities with the Nazi commanders, yet only Niall had any feeling of emergency or sense of Tarmon Gai’don approaching for most of the series. Just as Germany tried to court Eire, so the Shadow tried to use the Children of the Light. The Children, however, have no wish to align themselves with either the Shadow or Rand. They remained as neutral as Eire until Galad took command.

In 1948, de Valera’s government lost power, regained it in 1951 for three years and again in 1957 for sixteen years. This photo shows him reviewing the guard of honour in 1940, linking him with the military aspect of Valda. De Valera was elected President of Ireland in 1959. He was almost totally blind, but hid this by having an aide guide him with whispers. With the loss of their base in Amadicia, the Children have lost much power. Like Valera, Valda was also blind—to events. Was someone whispering in his ear?

The Children of the Light is a conservative group which rejects the White Tower and wages war against them. Religious warfare has also been a major part of Irish history. The Irish government and de Valera in particular (See this photo) have promoted Catholicism; yet a major parallel for the White Tower is the Roman Catholic Church and for the Amyrlin Seat, the Papacy. Jordan’s point here is that the Children and the Tower should be working together, not in conflict; a comment on the warfare between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland.

Easar Togita: Shienaran. The name Easar may be derived from Easal, the ancient Irish god of abundance and prosperity. He was the King of the Golden Pillars and had seven magical pigs that reappeared after they were eaten. Togita is a surname.

Eben Hopwil: Asha'man and Daigian’s Warder. Eben is a Hebrew personal name meaning ‘rock’, appropriate in a reliable supporter of Rand, particularly one who held on to life so that his Aes Sedai could drive off a Forsaken. A real-world parallel of Hopwil is probably Hopewell, Virginia:

the birthplace (1773) of statesman John Randolph of Roanoke and Edmund Ruffin, who fired the first shot at Fort Sumter at the start of the American Civil War. Its Appomattox Manor (1635) was shelled by troops led by Benedict Arnold during the American Revolution. City Point, later annexed by Hopewell in 1923, served as the headquarters of Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant (June 1864–April 1865) during the Union siege of nearby Petersburg.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Eben was one of the first Asha’man to join Rand and played an important part in the battle against the Shadow.

Ebram: Domani Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article

Edeyn ti Gemallen Arrel: Malkieri. Edeyn may refer to Edeyrn, a knight of Arthurian myth who was hostile to Arthur’s knights at first, but after being defeated joined the Round Table. There is also a Welsh saint named Edeyrn. Gemallen is similar to real-world place names. The similarly spelled Gemallan is the surname of the Darkfriend Cowin Gemallan. He may have been a relative by blood or marriage of Edeyn. Arrel is a surname.

Egeanin Sarna Tamarath: Seanchan. Egeanin may allude to the Aegean Sea, appropriate in a mariner. Sarna is a place in India and a surname and Tamarath is an uncommon personal name.

Egwene al'Vere: Amyrlin Seat. The name Egwene al’Vere is similar to Guinevere, wife and queen of King Arthur (a parallel of Rand). In early Welsh literature, Guinevere was considered “the first lady of this island”. As Amyrlin, Egwene rules the Aes Sedai and the island of Tar Valon.

In the Latin romance, The Rise of Sir Gawain, Guinevere was a powerful sorceress as well as Arthur's wife and had the ability of foretelling. Egwene is a powerful channeller who has prophetic dreams.

In the poem known as the Welsh Triad, Arthur had three queens. All three wives were named Gwenhwyfar and they probably were the personification of Sovereignty in Britain, just as there were three figures representing the Sovereignty of Ireland (Eriu, Banba and Fodla) and the triple mother-goddesses Danu in Irish myths. Gwenhwyfar represented the land of the kingdom, and was a powerful goddess as well as a queen. And in order for Arthur to become king of Britain, he had to wed the three goddesses to ensure the prosperity and fertility of the land. Jordan split this myth: Rand and Egwene will not marry and Rand has three lovers who he wishes to marry.

Guinevere’s marriage to Arthur was not a success and she had a long love affair with Lancelot, which brought disaster upon the Kingdom: division among the Knights of the Round Table, war and the death of Arthur. In the Wheel of Time, Rand was expected to marry Egwene, but once they left the Two Rivers they grew apart and acknowledged this. While using the Portal Stones in The Great Hunt, Rand experienced lives where he did marry Egwene. They resulted in the Dark One winning. Instead, Egwene loves Gawain and Rand his three queens, none of whom are named Guinevere.

Lancelot was inspired by his love for Guinevere to perform great deeds in the Arthurian tales. Likewise, in The Wheel of Time, Gawain’s best actions have been inspired by his love for Egwene: letting Siuan, Leane and Min escape Tar Valon, remaining with the White Tower and rescuing Egwene. (His worst had been inspired by envy of others and a desire to do something notable).

From the earliest tales, abduction has been a major theme of Guinevere’s storyline. Similarly, Egwene has been abducted by the Whitecloaks, the Seanchan, Darkfriends in Cairhien, Liandrin’s group, the Tower Aes Sedai and a Sharan.

Guinevere was wrongly accused of poisoning a knight at a feast and was tried and condemned to burn at the stake if no knight would act as her champion. None were willing to defend her. Arthur asked Gawain to be her champion, but he would not do so, believing that if she was guilty he would lose his honour defending her. Finally, Lancelot returned and defended Guinevere successfully. Guinevere was also accused of adultery and treason and rescued by Lancelot.

Twice Gawyn rescued Egwene from the Seanchan. The second time he rushed back to stop her being knifed as she lay in bed helpless and despite being discouraged by Egwene. Rand accused Egwene of being obstructionist and undermining him.

Towards the end of the Battle of Camlann, while Arthur and Mordred fought, Guinevere fled to an abbey and became a nun. Egwene went to the White Tower to become Aes Sedai, the Tower having strong parallels to 15th‒16th century convents. While Rand fought Moridin, Egwene did not flee or wait passively as the Arthurian ladies usually did, but fought in the Last Battle, where she died.

The name Egwene is similar to a real-world place name. There is an historic parallel to Vere, Egwene’s surname. The Vere family is:

a noted English family that held the hereditary office of lord great chamberlain from 1133 to 1779 and the earldom of Oxford from 1142 to 1703. Over the centuries, many members of the family have commanded English troops in wars.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Similarly, the al’Vere family has wielded a great deal of influence in the Two Rivers for some time, and more recently also on a wider stage.

Einor Saren: Whitecloak. Einor is similar to Einar, a Norwegian personal name meaning ‘warrior’, ‘leader’. Saren is similar to sarin, a nerve gas used in chemical warfare and also to Suren, a Parthian noble who successfully defended Mesopotamia against Marcus Licinius Crassus and superior numbers of Roman soldiers at the Battle of Carrhae in 53BC. These are all appropriate parallels for a member of a military organisation.

Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan: Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah and Amyrlin Seat. Elida is a place in the US, Avrigny is a place in France and Rohan is in France. Elaida may also refer to the Ulaid, a people of early Ireland who gave their name to the modern province of Ulster. The Ulaid feature in Irish legends, most notably in the story The Cattle Raid of Cooley. Queen Medb of Connaught, her husband Ailill and their allies, gathered an army in order to gain possession of the most famous bull in Ireland, which was the property of a chieftain of the Ulaid. All the men of Ulster were afflicted with a debilitating curse that prevented them fighting, except the seventeen-year-old Cuchulain who had to defend Ulster single-handedly. He did so, but not before Medb managed to capture the bull and take him to Connaught. Elaida sent an ‘embassy’ to bring, by fair means or foul, the Dragon Reborn to Tar Valon. When he was taken, Galina sent a coded message to Elaida that:

The ring has been placed in the bull’s nose.

- A Crown of Swords, Prologue

Rand’s rescue was not a single-handed affair, but it was organised by the twenty-year-old Perrin. Due to the Oaths, the Aes Sedai with him had to place themselves in personal danger before they were able to channel offensively.

Elan Morin Tedronai: Ishamael see Names of the Shadow article

Elayne Trakand: Andoran Noble and Aes Sedai. Elayne and the more commone Elaine are variants of Helen, which means 'bright' or 'shining light' (as is the name of another golden-haired beloved of the Dragon soul, Ilyena, incidentally, and this may hint that Elayne is Ilyena reborn). There are several women in Arthurian myth named Elaine, and Elayne has parallels with a few of them.

Probably the most important parallel is Elaine the Grail Bearer, daughter of Pelles the Fisher King of Corbenic Castle. She bore the Grail in procession before Perceval. Pelles wanted the greatest knight in the world to be the father of the future Grail Hero. When Lancelot came to Corbenic Castle, he was given a drug that made him think he was making love to Guinevere rather than Elaine. Elaine conceived Galahad, who would be the knight who restored the kingdom, which had been turned into a waste land. Elaine agreed to sleep with Lancelot in the hope she would conceive a son who would save her kingdom. In The Wheel of Time series, the equivalent of the Grail is the Bowl of Winds, which Elaine and Nynaeve, both Grail maidens, located and used to restore the seasons and heal the Land. In Winter’s Heart, Elayne decided not to use contraceptives when she and Rand made love in the hope that she would conceive a child for her kingdom.

Perceval’s sister, the Grail Heroine, was also named Elaine. During the quest for the Grail, she met Galahad, Perceval and Bors and told them about the significance of the Sword of the Strange Belt, the magical ship and the Tree of Life. They boarded the ship and sailed to the land where the Grail was. On disembarking, they came to a castle where the Countess was afflicted with leprosy. Each virgin maiden travelling through the land was coerced into filling a dish with her blood because it had been foretold that the Countess would be healed of leprosy by a virgin’s blood. The three knights fought off the castle soldiers, but Elaine decided to donate her blood to Heal the Countess even though it would mean her death. The Countess was healed successfully. Elaine’s body was placed on a boat and set adrift. When the knights reached the Holy City of Sarras where the Grail was kept, her body arrived and was buried in the city. Again, Elayne is associated with the Grail—in The Wheel of Time series this would be the Bowl of Winds and the sa’angreal. Elayne fought for the good of the Land even though she is pregnant with twins. Elaine is closely linked with Galahad in Arthurian myth. Likewise, for all that Elayne doesn’t want Galad for a brother, she has encountered him more often than Gawain since leaving Andor. The Sword of the Strange Belt may refer to Laman’s sword, which was originally in a jewel-encrusted scabbard and is now on Rand’s leather belt with its gilded dragon buckle—a strange setting. There was an important knife that Elayne gave to Rand—the artham dagger which hid him from the Shadow. The Trees of Life are the chora trees, Avendesora in Rhuidean and Avendoraldera which Laman, owner of the Sword of the Strange Belt, had cut down. So far, a magical ship has not featured, but there is an unfulfilled prophecy of Rand and three women—one of them Elayne—in a boat.

The daughter of Bernard of Astolat was called Elaine the Fair and her sigil was a lily. She fell in love with Lancelot and tried to win his love. When he rejected her, she died of a broken heart and was brought by boat up the Thames to Arthur's court at Camelot with a letter saying why she had died. She is also known as the Lady of Shalott. Elayne’s sigil is a golden lily, but she is in love with Rand (Arthur) not Lan (Lancelot). And that’s the second parallel with Elayne on a boat.

Lastly, there was an Elaine who was the daughter of Igraine, sister of Morgan and Morgause and half-sister of Arthur. She married King Nentres of Garlot. In the Wheel of Time series, Elaine is the daughter of Morgase and Rand is the son of Tigraine, but Elayne and Rand are not related by blood to each other.

Trakand is similar to real-world place names.

Elber: Queen's Guard Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article

Eldrith Jondar: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Elegar: Andoran Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article

Elise Strang: Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah and Amyrlin Seat. Elise is a personal name. Strang may refer to Gunnar Strang, Swedish finance minister from 1955–76 and the chief architect of Sweden's national social-welfare system, appropriate for an Amyrlin.

Elsbet: Legendary queen of the whole world. Elsbet is probably a reference to Queen Elizabeth II, head of the British Commonwealth and thus monarch of a large number of nations.

Thom was right to query whether she was queen of the whole world, and sister to Anla as the legends claimed. Anla (see Character Names A) is a nod to columnist Ann Landers. Note that Great Britain had a queen named Ann as well as two queens named Elizabeth, hence the linking of their names in the myths (for all that their roles were completely different in history; RJ’s point here is to show how history changes to legend).

Else Grinwell: Andoran. Else is similar to the personal name Elsa. There was a woman in Arthurian myth named Elsa. She was the heiress to Brabant and married Lohengrin, who warned her not to ask his name. She bore him two children, but then asked and he left her. Grinwell could be derived from Grinnell, a town in US or it could allude to Else grinning well at boys.

Elver Shaene: Sailor. An elver is a young eel; a fish name is appropriate for a sailor. Shaene is similar to the surname Sheen.

Elyas Machera: Rina’s Warder and Wolfbrother. Elyas is similar to Elias a personal name. It is also the name of a character in Arthurian myth: Sir Elias, captain of the men at arms of Sessoin, France who besieged King Mark of Cornwall in Castle Tintagel. King Mark was forced to ask Sir Tristram for help and Elias was slain by Sir Tristram. The Sessoins were forced to deliver hostages and walk home to France. Elyan, the son of Sir Bors by the daughter of King Brandegoris was another minor Arthurian character. He helped rescue Guinevere and later became Emperor of Constantinople. Elyas did his part to battle the Shadow and warned the Light’s leaders that the Great Captains had been corrupted by Graendal. He stopped Ituralde from issuing more destructive commands.

A possible historic parallel of Elyas is Elias of Cortona (1180‒1253), disciple of St. Francis of Assisi and a leading figure in the early history of the Franciscan Order, which he twice governed, from 1226‒7 and from 1232‒9.

Elias met with opposition from those who wanted strict observance of Francis' rule of poverty; they thought Elias too worldly and too dictatorial. He was deposed in 1239 and withdrew ultimately to Cortona with a few followers. Supporting the antipapal policy of Frederick II, Holy Roman emperor, he was excommunicated in 1240 by Gregory and again in 1244 by Pope Innocent IV when Frederick made him ambassador to Nicaea and Constantinople. In 1245 he built a church and cloister at Cortona in honour of St. Francis. He became reconciled with the church before his death.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Elyas is a renegade Warder who killed two Warders when the Tower tried to capture him and lived in poverty thereafter. The parallel shows that he may be reconciled with the White Tower.

Another possible parallel is Elias Boudinot (1740‒1821), American lawyer and public official who was involved in the American Revolution. He became a member of the Revolutionary Party at the outbreak of the war, serving first as deputy in the New Jersey provincial assembly and then as one of New Jersey's representatives in the Continental Congress. Elyas participated in the War against the Shadow and passed on the important news that the Great Captains had been corrupted.

Machera is a surname.

Elza Penfell: Black Ajah see Names of the Shadow article

Emerys: Shaido Wise One. Emerys may be a feminised version of the German personal name Emery. Emery is also a hard dark mineral, just as Emerys is unusual among the hard Aiel in having dark hair.

Enid: Altaran. Enid is a personal name meaning ‘quiet woman’. There was a lady of King Arthur’s court named Enid who married Erec/Geraint. He then spent time in her company rather than in performing heroic deeds and Enid began to worry when people commented on this. After much misunderstanding, they sorted their relationship out. Enid, the cook of The Wandering Woman, is an older, experienced Enid who has a protective eye for young men. She gave Mat advice on relationships with women.

Erian Boroleos: Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. Erian is a Greek personal name meaning ‘sweet as many flowers’. It was also the name of the city gates in ancient Athens. Illian, Erian’s nation, is based on Greece. Borolea is a place in Romania.

Erith daughter of Iva daughter of Alar: Ogier. Erith is a place in the UK and Canada and Iva is a place in Russia and the US. Iva is also a personal name. 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.

Estean Andiama: Tairen. Estean is similar to Esteban, a personal name meaning ‘crown’. Estean is a noble. Estean may refer to Esteban Echeverria (1805‒1851) Argentinian poet, fiction writer, cultural promoter, and political activist who devoted himself to the overthrow of the Juan Manuel de Rosas dictatorship. His renown as a writer rests on his story El Matadero ("The Slaughterhouse"), which displays the clash between “civilization and barbarism,” between European mores and more primitive and violent American ways (Encyclopaedia Britannica). Estean is a member of the Band of the Red Hand. He saw a lot of bloody fighting, the worst being in the Last Battle. Estean probably saw the Aiel in Tear and Cairhien as barbarians, but now knows the Shadow was a far greater threat to the mainland nations.

Andiama is a place in Mali.

Ethenielle Cosaru Noromago or Ethenielle Kirukon Materasu: Kandori Noble. Ethenielle is similar to Ethanael, a personal name meaning ‘god given endurance’. She certainly has had to endure much tragedy, culminating in the destruction of her nation.

Cosaru is similar to real-world place names. Noromago may be a combination of Noro and Mago. Noro is a mountain in Japan; Kandor is a mountainous country. Mago or Magon was a leading Carthaginian general during the Second Punic War (218–201 BC) against Rome. He was the youngest of the three sons of the Carthaginian statesman and general Hamilcar Barca. After being at war with the Blight for many centuries, Kandor was overrun by the Shadow. Kirukon probably refers to Karikon an ancient fortress in Morocco. Materasu is derived from Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess:

Amaterasu's chief place of worship is the Grand Shrine of Ise, the foremost Shinto shrine in Japan. She is manifested there in a mirror that is one of the three Imperial Treasures of Japan (the other two being a jewelled necklace and a sword).

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

The Sword of Kirukan is an important artefact of Kandori sovereignty.

Eval Raman: Balthamel see Names of the Shadow article

Evin Vinchova: Asha’man turned to the Shadow see Names of the Shadow article

Evon: Amadician Darkfriend see Names of the Shadow article


Written by Linda, May 2005 and updated November 2013

1 comment:

RabidWombat said...

Elyan as the king of Constantinople may also be a parallel of Elayne as Queen of a large nation in the east.