Wednesday, March 13, 2002

The Noble Houses of Cairhien

By Linda and Amirebram

Unlike Andor, with its nineteen major Houses and blood lines to Ishara, or Tear, with its Council of High Lords, the list of major Houses in Cairhien is not static as their power is ever-shifting.

Another interesting point is the small number of strong Houses in Cairhien. It might be due to the diminished power of noble Houses during the Civil War, or it might just be the way with Cairhien but, unlike most countries, Cairhien is controlled by a very few and very powerful Houses, with a big drop in power to the next rank of noble Houses. Damodred and Riatin are unarguably the strongest Houses, followed by Taborwin, Saighan and Maringil’s House. The next powerful House is either a very long step below these five or it has not been mentioned in the story.

In The Fires of Heaven, Other Battles, Other Weapons, there were about twelve Cairhienin Lords with stripes reaching below their waists, ranked high enough to join the High Lords of Tear at the foot of the dais. Seven of this group have been seen (Dobraine, Maringil, Colavaere, Semaradrid, Bertome, Lorstrom and Ailil). Two others, Toram Riatin and Caraline Damodred, were entitled to be in that group, but were in rebellion against Rand. The Dragon Reborn declared that he wanted Elayne to be Queen of Cairhien, but for a long while this seemed some way off from occurring.

Elayne, Queen of Cairhien

However, in Towers of Midnight, a major shift occurred in Cairhienin politics when Elayne made a successful move on the crown. First, she sent the Band of the Red Hand’s Cairhienin units to Cairhien:

She had a letter from Talmanes, agreeing to move several companies of soldiers from the Band of the Red Hand to Cairhien. She ordered Norry to send him a writ with her seal, authorizing the soldiers to "lend aid restoring order." That was, of course, nonsense. No order needed to be restored. But if Elayne was ever going to move for the Sun Throne, she'd need to make some preliminary moves in that direction.

- Towers of Midnight, A Reunion

Her aim was to take the throne without playing the Game of Houses:

In Cairhien, a hundred different political winds always blew in a hundred different directions. She didn't have time to learn all of the different factions before she took the throne. Besides, if she was seen as playing the game, she could be seen as someone to defeat. She had to find a way to seize the Sun Throne without mixing too much in the local House politics.

- Towers of Midnight, A Terrible Feeling

She also had to:

find a way to take the Sun Throne without letting it look as if Andor is subsuming Cairhien. The nobility there might accept you as their queen, but only if they see themselves as equals to the Andorans. Otherwise, the moment they're out of your sight, the schemes will grow like yeast in a warm bowl of water."

- Towers of Midnight, A Reunion

Her solution was to give the confiscated lands of Arymilla Marne, Naean Arawn and Elenia Sarand to the ‘neutral’ Cairhienin nobles that were blocking her way to the throne, and in return grant lands to the three dispossessed Andoran nobles.

But what if she gave lands within Andor to some of the Cairhienin nobility? What if she created multiple bonds between their countries? What if she proved that she would not steal their titles—but would instead be willing to give some of them greater holdings? Would that be enough to prove that she didn't intend to steal the lands of the Cairhien nobility and give them to her own people? Would that ease their worries?
Lorstrum met her eyes. "I see great potential for alliances."
Bertome was nodding in appreciation. "I too, think this could be arranged." Neither would give up their lands, of course. They simply planned to gain estates in Andor. Wealthy ones.

- Towers of Midnight, Choosing Enemies

This worked very well and Elayne seemed to gain the Sun Throne quickly and easily. She knew that her supporters were really after both crowns themselves:

"But it's dangerous," Dyelin repeated. "Lorstrum didn't give in because of the bribe."
"He didn't?" Birgitte said, frowning. "But—"
"She's right," Elayne said, sipping her tea. "He gave in because he saw that I was handing him the chance for both thrones."
The room fell silent.
"Bloody ashes," Birgitte finally swore.
Dyelin nodded. "You have created enemies who could overthrow you, Elayne. If something were to happen to you, there is a good chance that either Lorstrum or Bertome could make a play for both countries."
"I'm counting on it," Elayne said. "They're the two most powerful noblemen in Cairhien right now, particularly since Dobraine hasn't returned from wherever Rand took him. With them actively supporting the idea of a common monarch, we actually have a chance at this."
"They'll only be supporting you because they see a chance of taking both thrones for themselves!" Dyelin said.
"Better to choose your enemies than remain in ignorance," Elayne said. "I've essentially limited my competition. They saw the dragons, and those made them envious. Then I offered them the chance not only to gain access to those weapons, but to double their wealth. And on top of that, I gave them the seed of possibility that one day, they might be named king."
"So they'll try to kill you," Birgitte said flatly.
"Perhaps," Elayne said. "Or, perhaps they'll try to undermine me. But not for many years—a decade, I'd guess. To strike now would be to risk the nations dividing again. No, first they'll establish themselves and enjoy their wealth. Only once they're certain that things are secure—and that I've grown lax—will they move. Fortunately, there are two of them, and that will let me play them against one another. And for now, we have gained two staunch allies—men who keenly want my bid for the Sun Throne to succeed. They will hand the crown right to me."

- Towers of Midnight, Choosing Enemies

Elayne totally underestimated at least one of these nobles and it was indeed a good thing that, as Elayne said, she had Birgitte to look after her. Birgitte found a poisoned needle on the throne cushion. Contrary to Elayne’s belief, an attempt had been immediately made to kill her. Lorstrum, as Elayne’s highest ranked and prominent supporter, would be blamed:

"Obviously an assassination attempt intended for the Lord Dragon, Your Majesty," Lorstrum said in a louder voice, for the benefit of the audience. "None would dare try to kill you, our beloved sister from Andor."
"That is good to hear," Elayne said, eyeing him. That expression of hers said to everyone in the room that she would put up with this ruse, intended to save his face. As her strongest supporter, the shame of an assassination attempt fell on him. Agreeing to let him save face would cost him. He lowered his eyes briefly in understanding. Light, she hated this game. But she would play it. And she would play it well.

- Towers of Midnight, Boots

Whoever planted the needle tried to kill Elayne and strike at Lorstrum at the same time. As well as the chance to gain two kingdoms, the killer would also further the Shadow’s cause. The most likely Cairhienin perpetrator is Bertome Saighan, since he was the next in strength and influence of Elayne’s supporters.

Elayne has decided the only way to stop the game is to keep the nobles too busy to scheme. Queen Elayne could be regarded as another of the Damodred monarchs.

House Aesnan

High Seat of House Aesnan is Lord Lostrum, a quiet, thin man with a narrow face who walks with his hands behind his back, and tends to look down his nose. His house colours are dark green and crimson. He rose to prominence by offering neither support for or rebellion against Rand and by quietly working against Rand’s plan to put Elayne on the Sun Throne (Towers of Midnight, Choosing Enemies).

His holdings in Cairhien are modest and Elayne bribed him by offering him the confiscated lands of either Naean Arawn or Arymilla Marne in return for his support of her for the crown of Cairhien. He agreed, not just for the lands, but also for the chance to gain the crowns of both Andor and Cairhien should she fail or be killed. And Elayne nearly was killed by a poison needle in the cushion of the Sun Throne during her coronation. Lorstrum, as Elayne’s most powerful and prominent supporter would have been blamed for her death and would have lost influence. Elayne publicly agreed with Lorstrum’s explanation that the needle was meant for Rand in such a way that everyone would know that Lorstrum owed her for saving his face (Towers of Midnight, Boots). This may make him resentful, or it may make him support her more fervently, since his position is weakened.

House Damodred

The Damodred Family Tree (click on picture to enlarge)

Note: Barthanes Damodred has been called a cousin of Laman by Robert Jordan in answer to a fan question on his relation to the King, making it extremely likely they were first degree cousins as we understand it in real life. Caraline Damodred has been described as a cousin of Moiraine in the series itself, where the nobles use the term for more distant connections. Caraline can't be closer than a second-degree cousin to Moiraine (see the text below for details). However, the connections of Barthanes and Caraline to their common ancestor, Laman's mother Queen Carenwin, can be considered factual.

Among the many noble Houses in Cairhien, House Damodred is the strongest. Their sign is the Crown and Tree, the Crown of Cairhien, and Avendoraldera, the 400-year-old scion of Avendesora, which Laman cut down. Damodred house colors are red, green, and white. It is not a popular House: Moiraine’s

great-grandmother, Carewin, ruled more than fifty years, and the Tower calls her successful because Cairhien prospered and had few wars under her, but her name is still used to frighten children.

- New Spring, Entering Home

House Damodred had acquired an ill reputation that Laman only made worse. Moiraine’s father had been alone among his generation in lacking a dark character, men and women alike. The preceding generations had been nearly as bad, when not worse. The deeds done by House Damodred had blackened the name.

- New Spring, Surprises

Laman Damodred became King of Cairhien in 965 NE and decided to have Avendoraldera cut down for wood to make his throne. This was a great insult to the Aiel, who had presented the sapling to Cairhien as a token of thanks for their aid in the early years after the Breaking. In 976 NE four Aiel clans invaded the Westlands to execute Laman for his crime. Three years later, they succeeded in killing Laman and his two brothers, thus ending the Aiel War:

The nations knew why the Aiel had crossed the Spine of the World twenty years ago—Laman's Sin, they called it, and Laman's Pride—but few knew that to the Aiel it had not been a war. Four clans had come to find an oathbreaker, and when they had killed him, they returned to the Three-fold Land.

- The Fires of Heaven, Jangai Pass

Neither Laman nor his brothers had any children to inherit the Throne; however, Laman’s other brother, Moiraine’s father, Dalresin (New Spring graphic novel, Issue #4) had had a son, Taringail, and three daughters from his two marriages before his death.

Taringail had married into House Trakand when he wed Morgase, Queen of Andor, thus by law he was unable to become King. He felt hardly done by about this and decided to further his ambitions in other ways:

"Taringail Damodred wanted more than anything else in the world to see his daughter Queen of Andor and his son King of Cairhien."

- Lord of Chaos, Tellings of the Wheel

When Tigraine vanished, in 972 NE, and the reigning Queen, Modrellein, died with no heir, Taringail married the winner of the struggle for succession, Morgase Trakand. She let him know he was a consort and not a co-ruler of Andor (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, A New Era) and in 984 NE he planned to kill her and become Andor’s first King. This plot was uncovered and Taringail killed:

"Fortunate for Morgase, Taringail’s death. I do not suppose she ever learned he meant her to die and himself to be Andor’s first king."

- The Shadow Rising, Deceptions

Of Dalresin’s three daughters, the elder two, Anvaere and Innloine were so unfit to rule that even House Damodred would not support their claim to the Throne. The youngest, Moiraine was considered a serious contender and was the target of an assassination plot in New Spring. However, she was unwilling to ascend the Throne:

“No one has ruled Cairhien for long without being willing to stoop to kidnapping, assassination and worse... Better to be forgotten than remembered like Carewin Damodred, but even with the Tower behind me, I will have to try matching her if the Hall succeeds.”

- New Spring, Entering Home

and fled the White Tower.

Caraline Damodred, Galadedrid Damodred, and Gawyn, and Elayne Trakand, along with Moiraine’s sisters and their offspring, are the last of that old line.

One thing we have seen little of in the series is the method of inheritance. For example, Galad should have inherited his father’s very significant wealth and estates, the largest in House Damodred. Yet he does not seem to have inherited anything close to his father's wealth, otherwise he would be among the richest and most powerful men in Cairhien. We know that Elayne does have significant estates in Cairhien, since she said that the Cairhienin lands she offered the opposing Andoran nobles Elenia, Naean and Arymilla would have to come from her estates (Towers of Midnight, Choosing Enemies).

Barthanes was High Seat of House Damodred after Laman until his death in 998 NE.

Barthanes was Laman's cousin and succeeded him as High Seat though not as king.

- Robert Jordan, Question of the Week

but it is not known if they shared the same grandparents (first cousins) or great-grandparents (second cousins).

He was a slim and handsome man, extremely tall for a Cairhienin, with long, graying hair and black eyes (The Great Hunt, Dangerous Words). His voice was deep and sure. Almost as powerful as King Galldrian Riatin, he wore coats with stripes to his knees, and his personal sign was the charging boar. A Darkfriend, he helped Fain by allowing him passage through the Waygate located in his manor and then passed on Fain’s message to Rand (The Great Hunt, Dangerous Words). He was torn to pieces the morning Rand left Cairhien as punishment for aiding Fain and Rand, and his manor is now home to the Academy of Cairhien.

After Barthanes’ death and the start of the Civil War, Lady Caraline became the High Seat of Damodred. She is a short and slender woman with black hair. Her stripes for rank go below her knees. She has a likeness to Moiraine; Min even mistook her for Moiraine when they first met during A Crown of Swords, Into the Woods. She also wears a kesiera, the stone hanging from the hair onto the forehead, although in her case it is green. Lady Caraline is Moiraine's cousin (Winter's Heart, Wonderful News). Since Laman's brothers, except for Moiraine's father, died childless and no sister is mentioned, she may be a second cousin (ie they shared the same great-grandparents). She is not from Moiraine's mother's family because then she would not be a Damodred and would not have referred to Elayne Trakand as ‘cousin’.

Caraline allied House Damodred with House Riatin in rebellion against Rand, but after her conversation with Rand and the unnatural fog during A Crown of Swords, she forswore her rebellion, and told Rand that she will accept Elayne on the Throne. Min also had a couple of interesting viewings regarding her future. Her first viewing was that Lady Caraline would marry High Lord Darlin Sisnera, after taking her sweet time about it and that Darlin would become a King. Later, she added that:

he [Darlin] will die in bed, and she will survive him.

- The Path of Daggers, The Bargain

In Winter’s Heart, Caraline accompanied High Lord Darlin to Tear. She stayed well away from the action during in the Last Battle.

Speculation: This marriage may have the same effect between Tear and Cairhien as the marriage of Taringail and Tigraine had between Cairhien and Andor; especially since Elayne is now Queen of Cairhien (another ambitious Damodred!). In any event it will give both Caraline and Darlin advantage in the Great Game, as Darlin would gain support from Cairhien’s most powerful House, while Caraline will gain the support of a King. The future for House Damodred seems fairly bright.

House Riatin

Galldrian is one of the characters that was often mentioned, yet never seen in the series. The High Seat of House Riatin, he became the King of Cairhien after the Aiel War when House Damodred failed to produce a successful candidate for the Sun Throne. His personal sign was a stag. He was killed by Thom Merrilin, after his henchmen killed Thom’s girlfriend, Dena, to get information about Rand.

Toram became the High Seat of Riatin upon Galldrian’s death.

Very tall for a Cairhienin, perhaps less than a full head shorter than Rand, he was slender except for broad shoulders and strikingly good looking with a strong chin and just a touch of gray at his temples.

- A Crown of Swords, Into the Woods

He had a deep rich voice and was a blademaster. Toram intended to marry Lady Caraline Damodred, but she rejected him because of his violent and egotistical character.

When Rand took Cairhien and the Civil War ended, Toram allied with House Damodred to rebel against Rand. He also hired the remnants of Rahvin’s White Lions to enlarge his army. The alliance with the White Lions, along with his closeness to Fain and his dark character, all indicate that he may have been a Darkfriend. He ran away during the unnatural fog that dispersed or killed the rebel army south of Cairhien and resurfaced in Far Madding with Fain in Winter’s Heart, where he was killed by Lan.

Lady Ailil Riatin is Toram Riatin’s sister. She is slim, pretty, and tall for a Cairhienin, with big dark eyes. She also has a very dignified manner. While her brother was in rebellion against Rand, she remained ‘loyal’ and did not join him. Rand believed rumors that she loves her brother and would do anything for him:

even join with his enemies; to hamper or to spy or both, of course.

- The Path of Daggers, Answering the Summons

On the other hand, in Winter’s Heart, Wonderful News, Verin tells Cadsuane that Ailil “dislikes her brother intensely.”

Her true aims (or alliances) are hard to see, but looking at the Altaran campaign she seems to be a pragmatic person and bestows her loyalty where it will be most beneficial to her.

“My brother Toram is …impetuous, my Lord Dragon. Even rash. I [Ailil] am not,”

- The Path of Daggers, Gathering Clouds

seems to wrap up the case for her. It is the same with her acting the spy for Cadsuane in order to keep her affair with the Windfinder Shalon a secret.

In Crossroads of Twilight, Glimmers of the Pattern, it appears that most of House Riatin want Ailil to become the next High Seat. Lady Ailil asked for Aes Sedai approval and Sashalle gave it. Ailil has forsworn any claim to the Sun Throne in favour of Elayne and is ready to swear fealty to Rand. Elayne intends to give part of Elenia Sarand’s lands to Ailil as a favour.

House Saighan

Lady Colavaere, the High Seat of Saighan, was a middle-aged, yet pretty, woman with dark hair and dark eyes (The Fires of Heaven, News Comes to Cairhien). She had stripes of rank nearly to her knees and her house colours were yellow, red and silver. She tried to gain control of Rand by getting a beautiful young lady into his bed, and was beaten by Aviendha, and made to stop her scheme.

After Rand was kidnapped, she had High Lord Meilan and Lord Maringil both killed, and held a meeting with a number of smaller Houses (Osiellin, Annalin, Chuliandred, and others) to obtain support for her claim to the Throne. These acts were spurred by Elaida’s embassy to Rand, who met with various nobles and told them of Rand’s 'departure.' She was crowned Queen and took the Sun Throne a few days after that. Rand exiled her to a farm after his return and she hanged herself in her bedchambers as Min had foreseen, rather than face the loss of position.

Bertome Saighan, Colavaere’s close cousin, became High Seat of House Saighan after her death. Colavaere had been his favourite cousin even though he found her overly ambitious. He is a short and ruggedly handsome man with the front of his head shaved. He is one of the men that Rand does not trust at all, and was summoned to Altara for the attack against the Seanchan.

Bertome is a man of intelligence and insight:

“You realize the Lord Dragon means us to die?” he [Doressin] whispered…

“An elaborate way to go about it,” he [Bertome] told Doressin dryly. “And I doubt al’Thor would have sent those fellows [Asha’man] with us, if we were just being fed into a sausage grinder.”

… A good many thought to manipulate him with Colavaere’s death. She had been his favorite cousin, but ambitious beyond reason. Saighan had good claims to the Sun Throne, yet she could not have held it against the strength of Riatin or Damodred either one, let alone both together, not without the open blessings of the White Tower or the Dragon Reborn. Still, she had been his favorite…

- The Path of Daggers, A Time of Iron.

He knows that Rand only gathered them as a reminder, not an attempt to get them all killed. He also knows that Colavaere’s attempt to become Queen had been futile without open backing. He might not like Rand because of Colavaere’s death, yet he is logical and will not be trapped into stupid plans like Colavaere. This is very interesting since Weiramon is a Darkfriend and spoke at length with Bertome during The Path of Daggers, A Time for Iron and Crossroads of Twilight, Glimmers of the Pattern.

Bertome is contemptuous of Weiramon when Weiramon only cries out for his House and glory. Bertome cries for his House and Cairhien—a patriot. Yet he listened to Weiramon, a Darkfriend.

By neither supporting nor rebelling against Rand, Bertome gained some political clout in Cairhien, but not as much as Lorstrum, perhaps because Rand was suspicious enough of Bertome to force him to take part in the Altaran campaign. Or perhaps having to attend the campaign disrupted his schemes. Elayne bribed him for his support of her bid for the Cairhien throne by offering him the confiscated lands of either Naean Arawn or Arymilla Marne. He agreed, not just for the lands, but also for the chance to gain both the crowns of Andor and Cairhien should she fail or be killed. There was an immediate attempt to kill Elayne with a poison needle in the throne cushion during her coronation. While Lorstrum is Elayne’s most powerful and prominent supporter, Bertome is a strong contender for the role of assassin, since as next in influence to Lorstrum he would be most likely to gain the crowns with Lorstrum disgraced by Elayne’s death. Plus Bertome may be a Darkfriend, since he spoke extensively with Weiramon in The Path of Daggers and Crossroads of Twilight. Elayne’s death would greatly benefit the Shadow.

Dairaine Saighan stood just below the High Seat of her House (Knife of Dreams, In Malden) prior to being captured by the Shaido. She is small and slender and has black hair to her waist. Unscrupulous, “she used her position as one of Sevanna’s gai’shain to bully gai’shain who were not, and her tale-carrying to bully those who were.”

House Taborwin

Lord Dobraine, the Steward for the Dragon Reborn in Cairhien, is a short, solid man with long, mostly gray, hair, shaved in the front in soldiers’ fashion. His face is square with deep-set eyes. The sigil of House Taborwin is two white diamonds on a blue field, and their colors are blue and white.

He is a very solemn person and is known for talking at shorter length than other nobles and to the point. Both Cadsuane and Samitsu describe him as a quiet, peaceful, and cooperative man, but he has proven his bravery at Dumai’s Wells and his loyalty by acting on Rand’s orders without letting others interfere.

During Crossroads of Twilight he ruled Cairhien and gathered support for Elayne until he was attacked in his bed chambers. Once he recovered, he went to Arad Doman to help restore order, and then to Tear where Rand’s forces were being gathered.

Another important character from House Taborwhin is Breane Taborwin, a pretty woman in her thirties with sharp eyes. Unmarried at the time of The Great Hunt, she had a reputation as a sexual athlete according to Thom. She became a refugee during the Civil War and found love with Lamgwhin in Caemlyn and joined him in Morgase’s retinue.

Maringil’s Unnamed House

Lord Maringil, slender and tall for Cairhienin with long white hair touching his shoulders, had stripes nearly to his knees (The Fires of Heaven, News comes to Cairhien). He was easily as powerful as Dobraine or Colavaere, yet the name of his House was never mentioned. He wished to become king but was killed by poison during the Feast of Lights by Colavaere’s agents. While we have seen an heir for every other Cairhienin High Seat who died, we have yet to see the next High Seat of this unnamed House.

In reality he did not play a significant role in the story. We only saw him speak in the short meeting at the end of The Fires of Heaven, when he protested the soldiers being sent south and wanted the Andoran army to be sent out of Cairhien. After that he was only seen or mentioned a few times, in passing.

Lesser Houses

A few other Houses that are not in the top rank and yet play major roles that could see their rise in the Game of Houses are:

House Annallin

High Seat of House Annallin is Dalthanes Annallin, a Colavaere supporter summoned to fight the Seanchan in Altara.

Daricain Annallin was in the sortie from Cairhien in The Fires of Heaven that met Rand and pleaded for his aid against the Shaido. His con consists of small red and black squares.

House Candevwin

Aldrin Candevwin is a minor noble who met Rand in The Great Hunt. He is entitled to a single slash of red and another of yellow across his chest.

House Chuliandred

High Seat is Doressin Chuliandred, a Colavaere supporter summoned to fight the Seanchan in Altara. He is a bony man, with his head shaved and powdered in the front. He is considered skilled in the Game of Houses by Bertome Saighan, his friend since boyhood (The Path of Daggers, A Time of Iron). He and his wife, Aliane, are rated by Elayne as of middling power and likely to cause difficulties for Elayne in taking the Cairhien throne (Towers of Midnight, Choosing Enemies). They were offered land in return for supporting Elayne.

Alaine Chuliandred tried to hit on Rand at Lord Barthanes’ party in The Great Hunt. She supported Colavaere for the Sun Throne and is now dressing in the new fashion inspired by Min. Curiously, Alaine spent time with Tairen Fionnda Annariz (Crossroads of Twilight, Glimmers of the Pattern).

House Daganred

Meresin Daganred was in the sortie from Cairhien that met Rand in The Fires of Heaven to ask for his help to end the Shaido siege and is now an officer in Mat’s Band of the Red Hand. His con consists of vertical wavy red and white stripes

House Darengil

Selande Darengil, a very pretty dark-eyed young woman, was forced by Colavaere to try to seduce Rand in The Fires of Heaven. Later, she was one of the group of young Cairhienin and Tairens who adopted Aiel ways. She pledged herself to Faile Aybara and is in charge of Cha Faile, Faile’s group of spies. Selande was with Perrin’s forces at Merrilor and assigned to helping Faile supply Merrilor and transport the Horn of Valere.

House Delovinde

Talmanes Delovinde is a few years older than Mat. He is a short man with inexpressive eyes who rarely smiles and even more rarely gives praise. Mat said that he looks like a coiled whip (The Fires of Heaven, This Place, This Day). He is quite a highly ranked Lord, as was evident from his leading the Cairhienin soldiers in The Fires of Heaven, and according to Mat he is entitled to quite a few stripes, but he usually does not wear them. His con is three yellow stars on blue background, and his sign is a black fox.

Second Commander of the Band of the Red Hand, Talmanes’ loyalties are to Mat and Rand. He has shown himself capable of following orders and of leading; he led the Band through Altara and Murandy shadowing a large Aes Sedai army and not only did he keep the Band together, he managed to almost double its size.

In Murandy he was approached by King Roedran who intended to hire the Band—whom he thought were mercenaries—and use their presence as a menace to force the nobles to gather under him, making Roedran a real King. Talmanes told Egwene that he would accept Roedran’s offer and stay in Murandy, because he felt that Mat would need him in the south (The Path of Daggers, A Peculiar Calling).

During the Last Battle Talmanes played a crucial role in defending the Caemlyn people and dragons from the Trollocs and organising the escape of both from the city, during which he singlehandedly killed two Myrddraal. He went on to lead the dragoners in the Last Battle. They fought in Braem Wood in Andor, across to Cairhien and then on the Polov Heights.

Talmanes’ friendship with Mat, and his role as Mat’s second in command of the Band will give him a higher status in the Game, in the same way that Mat’s and Perrin’s friendship with Rand has given them a high status. It will not be a surprise if Talmanes is the High Seat of a powerful house in future.

House Dhulaine

Arilyn Dhulaine is the Lady who housed Coiren Sedai and the White Tower’s embassy to Rand and also Cadsuane Sedai and her faction. Her sigil is a pair of silver stars above red and green stripes and she was entitled to stripes nearly to her waist (The Wheel of Time Companion). Egwene thought that Lady Arilyn may be one of the Gray Ajah’s eyes and ears, but that seems unlikely, since Cadsuane and a number of other Aes Sedai have stayed in Lady Arilyn’s palace. Nevertheless, she is a notable lady with (now) open connections to the White Tower, which may be an advantage or disadvantage in the game depending on the mood.

House Hamarashle

Lord and Lady Hamarashle are rated by Elayne as of middling power and likely to cause difficulties for Elayne in taking the Cairhien throne (Towers of Midnight, Choosing Enemies). They were offered land in return for supporting Elayne.

House Maravin

Semaradrid Maravin is:

a long-faced man with white streaks at his temples and dark eyes that could chip stone.

- Lord of Chaos, A Sense of Honor

He is experienced in battle and has a limp which he got from fighting Tear. He was the highest ranked noble in the Cairhienin Army that Rand had assembled to aid in taking Illian, with stripes to his waist, and shared the command with Weiramon. Being in charge of the army gave him position and an opportunity to gain advantage for his House by playing the game with those nobles who were with the army. It will also give him a higher standing once he returns to Cairhien.

He has not been openly disloyal to Rand, though this might be due to the presence of the Tairen High Lords who would take pleasure in exposing any Cairhienin Lord’s treason. He had not voluntarily told Rand about his House’s old alliances with House Riatin, which was in rebellion against Rand, but then no sensible man would have done so.

House Mavabwin

Lord Mavabwin is rated by Elayne as of middling power and likely to cause difficulties for Elayne in taking the Cairhien throne (Towers of Midnight, Choosing Enemies). He was probably offered land in return for supporting Elayne.

House Moseneillin

Daigian was a younger daughter from this, one of the lesser Houses. She was a plump pale woman with long black hair. She wore a moonstone keseira and is entitled to 4 stripes. Daighian was an Aes Sedai of the White Ajah and was weak in the Power, but had an impeccably logical mind. Her status among the Aes Sedai increased when she Bonded Eben Hopwill, an Asha’man, as her Warder. He was killed by Halima during the cleansing of saidin (Winter’s Heart, With the Choedan Kal) and Daigian herself was killed when Shaidar Haran arranged Semirhage's escape (The Gathering Storm, A Warp in the Air).

House Nolaisen

Camaille Nolaisen is a lady who became a Maiden of the Sword.

House Osiellin

High Seat of House Osiellin is moon-faced Amondrid Osiellin, a supporter of Colavaere for the Sun Throne and so summoned to join Rand’s forces in Altara against the Seanchan. He and his wife are rated by Elayne as of middling power and likely to cause difficulties for Elayne in taking the Cairhien throne (Towers of Midnight, Choosing Enemies). They were offered land in return for supporting Elayne.

Belevaere Osiellin is a married woman who tried to latch on to Rand at Barthanes’ party. She is about 30 and has stripes almost to the waist.

House Rickshan

Torven Rickshan is a Cairhienin Lord who was captured by the Shaido and freed by Perrin. He was bribing Perrin’s quartermaster for favoured treatment (Towers of Midnight, Shanna’har).

Lord Denton is a minor lord who was captured by the Shaido and refused to return to his station (Towers of Midnight, To Make A Stand). He is with Perrin’s group.

Real World Influences

Cairhien, formerly Al'cair'rahienallen, the Hill of the Golden Dawn, has flavours of Japan, Land of the Rising Sun, and of the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France. Some of the nobles’ names show an Ancient Egyptian influence, eg Amondrid, again in keeping with the solar theme, Amon/Amun being a sun god.

Written by Linda and Amirebram, June, 2004 and updated November 2013

Contributor: MJJ Sedai


Fanatic-Templar said...

If I typically do not write anything in the comments to these FAQs/posts, it is because I find myself unable to add anything worthwhile. To say that this is fantastic would be an understatement.

I would like to note that while the House Damodred family tree and the note beneath it mention Queen Carenwin Damodred, both excerpts from New Spring, Entering Home call her Carewin Damodred. My own copy of New Spring also calls her Carewin.

Thought you might like to know.

Dominic said...

Thanks for the comments Ben, and for spotting the spelling error. We'll remedy to that soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I can't understand the family tree map. What do the letters stand for? (b, a, etc)

I am most interested in how Rand, Elayne, and Moiraine are related.

Linda said...

The letters show Taringail's two wives, a being Tigraine and b being Morgase.

Rand is not related to Moiraine except by marriage. He has no blood connection to her.

Elayne is a great niece of Moiraine.

Incandescent said...

Taringail and Moiraine are siblings, so surely that should be just niece?

Linda said...

Actually what I meant to say is that Elayne is a half niece of Moiraine.

Anonymous said...

Innloine and Anvaere are probably Moiraine's full sisters not half.