Jaymie here! I’ll be discussing a wide variety of topics related to The Wheel of Time. Like many of you, I’ve been reading WoT since the Age of Legends, so we’ll have lots to cover together…WoTever comes to mind.
WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS
Affecting change out in Randland or as Sitters in the Hall, who’s the biggest badass of them all?
In this series, I’ll take a look at our own G.L.O.W. – the Glorious Ladies of WoT. Specifically the smooth-cheeked, serenity-filled, skirt-smoothing, shawl-adjusting, butt-kicking Aes Sedai. I’ll select the most badass sister from each Ajah, as well as a runner-up for the title.
In Part One, we’re choosing out the most badass Aes Sedai of the Green, Red, and Gray Ajahs.
The Green Ajah stands ready for the Last Battle. Green sisters are known for their ferocity, with fiery temperaments and readier displays of emotion than their more serene sisters. They are also known for their love of men, often bonding multiple Warders, or even (gasp!) marrying them.
Maybe after 3000 years and no Last Battle, they let their guards down a bit. While they put on genuinely brave faces, these ladies seemed all about the boys at times. We learned a lot about Warder relationships (granted, it was sometimes through other Ajahs’ snarky comments about Greens and their dudes), but not a lot about their battle cred. And when push came to shove during the Seanchan raid, even their own Captain-General, Adelorna Bastine, lamented in her POV, “Battle Ajah indeed! The Greens with her had stood only minutes before being defeated.” (TGS, Ch. 40 The Tower Shakes)
Make no mistake, I’m a fan of the Green Ajah. They’re kind of the Cool Girl Ajah. We just didn’t get to see much of the badassery in which they prided themselves.
Elayne, who, despite her idiocy in later books regarding Min’s viewing about the babies, had “a lion’s courage…” according to Siuan, who realized Elayne knew the only way to save the Aes Sedai who had dreamed themselves into a nightmare was to dive into the nightmare right along with them. (LOC, Ch. 7 A Matter of Thought)
True, Siuan finished that judgment with “…and maybe a fisherbird’s sense.” But Aviendha, a Badass if there ever was one, also lauds Elayne’s bravery: “Even when Elayne is so afraid her mouth dries, her spirit does not bend,” says Aviendha during their sister ceremony. “She is braver than anyone I have ever known.” (WH, Prologue: Snow)
Alanna had the makings of a badass; fiery and funny, a willingness to put herself in the mix of goings-on. But she knocked herself out of the running when she bonded Rand without his consent. Not only was her act atrocious (considered by Aes Sedai to be on par with rape), but it put her in vulnerable position after vulnerable position. And she sure spent a lot of screen time weeping. Therefore…
Love her or hate her, she is a force. Her “legendary” status (most of the stories about her were indeed true) and sheer strength of will going for her, Cadsuane’s mere presence stopped folks in their tracks – just long enough for her to assume the advantage in nearly any situation and never look back. Her intentions for Rand had merit and her collaboration with Sorilea (Mizz Strength of Will herself) was on point, even if her methods tanked. And, unlike many Aes Sedai, Cadsuane could (finally) admit her mistakes - and learn from them. Stubborn, to be sure, but she ultimately used her centuries of perspective to work for solutions.
And…she’ll be the next Amyrlin Seat, but not because she wants to. She’ll do it, not for herself, but for the good of the Tower and for the post-Last Battle world.
It’s Pevara. That is all.
Mistress of Novices under Elaida; Keeper of the Chronicles under Egwene. Silviana was firm, fair, and did it all for the Tower. We learn to appreciate her through Egwene’s POV, as Silviana administers beatings and punishments matter-of-factly to a novice claiming to be Amyrlin. When she believes Elaida’s treatment of Egwene grows too harsh (and begins to realize exactly who is breaking the Tower, and…ahem…it ain’t Egwene), she stands up to the tyrannical Red. Says Saerin to Egwene, “She denounced Elaida, calling for her to be removed as Amyrlin. It was…quite extraordinary.” (TGS, Ch. 38 News in Tel’aran’rhiod)
Then, Silviana valiantly serves the woman she could not break.
Yes, she played a part in deposing our girl Siuan, but Yukiri did everything for the good of the Tower. One of the tiniest Aes Sedai, she acted like a queen, spoke like a farm girl, and worked tirelessly for every single ounce she achieved. Some Yukiri highlights: she worked to ferret out Black sisters in the Tower, she pledged to Egwene after the Seanchan attack, and she invented the horizontal gateway weave that allowed spying from the sky on battles below.
And after the Last Battle, believing it best for the Tower, Yukiri was one of four Sitters to approach Cadsuane about becoming the new Amyrlin Seat.
All Rebel Grays
Grays believe anything can be solved if talked through long enough. Their very nature is to stick around and work things out. But the Rebel Grays went against every instinct during the White Tower split and said (and I paraphrase), “Screw all of THIS, we need to get the hell out of Crazy Tower, regroup, and come up with a plan.”
Merilille and Merana were among our best-known Rebel Grays, but ultimately fizzled out as they tried to negotiate things and kept getting usurped. And Tiana Noselle, the Rebel faction’s Mistress of Novices, was likely given the position because of her youth, and therefore easy to move aside once the Tower became whole again. Nonetheless, she was truly in for a penny, in for a pound with such a huge role in the Little Tower.
Regardless of their fate, these sisters and the rest of the Rebel Grays were HERE FOR IT.
And there you have it. Did I miss anybody? Who do you think are the most badass Aes Sedai of the Green, Red, and Gray Ajahs?