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So What Sets the Order of Departure? (New Spring Puzzle)

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When Moiraine and Siuan were raised to Aes Sedai, there is a curious comment:



Once their direction became clear, the sisters from other Ajahs began making their courtesies to the Amyrlin and departing, first the Yellows, then the Greens, gliding from the chamber with their Sitters leading the way in regal procession. The Browns left, and then the Whites. What set the order, Moiraine did not know, but once the Reds were gone, the last...


I don't know what sets the order either, and it's been bothering me since I first read it. Since I often re-read parts of New Spring, this bothers me even more.


The more simple list of departure is here, leaving out the Blues since we have no idea where they'd be in the hierarchy:




What I've determined is this:

  • It has nothing to do with the order of the colors on an Accepted's dress;
  • It is not in relation to Ajah size



  • It MAY be related to the Portal Stones, which are only described in the following manner: "Something about the steps caught his eye, the different colors, seven rising from blue to red. “One for each Ajah,” he said." (Rand POV, tGH, Chapter 13).


This presumes that the Blue would leave first if not chosen in the ceremony, and also presumes the rest of the steps and their color order. It's really too bad no other description is available (that I can recall; I checked both where Rand was teleported for the first time and when he used the Portal Stone to get back).


Any other thoughts or information would be welcome.

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It could do with how the Ajahs are ranked by accomplishment at the time. Since it is after the Battle of the Shining Wall, I would think the Yellow would be most important, because they are needed to Heal, which is why they left first. I think the Green left second, because in the Hall's eyes, they helped keep the battle from entering Tar Valon.

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Then I would think the Grays would be higher than the Browns and Whites, both of whom I can't see doing much in wartime (maybe the Browns, but not the Whites... then again, who knows >_> )


Has anyone ever noticed a pattern of how Sitters depart or enter the Hall?

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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I thought the reason the sitters had to be in the hall before the amyrlin arrives (she comes, she comes etc...)  and remained until she (the amyrlin) left again was to avoid exactly this type of hierarchical shenanigans.

Could it be decided, when necessary, by the order of the colours on the stole, or the chair?

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According to the companion here are the ajahs sizes at the time of the Last Battle:


Red 200 members

Green 180 members

Grey 140 members

Brown 130 members

Yellow 120 members

Blue 100 members

White 80 members 


Also have to remember about the green, they didn't seek fights.  The main focus of the ajah was to be ready for Tarmon Gai'don.  It became known as the battle ajah during the trolloc wars.  It wasn't necesaarily that they were always out looking for a fight.  They weren't going to get involved in wars but held themselves ready to fight shadowspawn.


Could be something such as the ajah with the oldest or strongest sitters had importance.











Edited by Sabio
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Yes, as I said, it had nothing to do with Ajah size.


Perhaps it has to do with the Sitters themselves. It's too bad the order wasn't mentioned again after Nynaeve's test.

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