Behold: a glossary of terms.
Amazon's The Wheel of Time series brings a whole new world to science fiction and fantasy fans. Based on the 14-book series by Robert Jordan, this meticulously crafted universe spans continents, peoples, and belief systems. As such, the show's first season mentions a lot of phrases and places liberally throughout, without always explaining them. So, here's a Wheel Of Time glossary of terms for fans who might be feeling confused.
Warning: Light spoilers for The Wheel of Time Season 1, Episodes 1-3 follow. The series starts in the Two Rivers, in a tiny hamlet known as Edmond's Field, where Moiraine has arrived looking for someone she refers to as "The Dragon Reborn." It is only the beginning of fans' entry into the nameless continent of the Wheel of Times series, but it already includes a ton of confusing information. The series does explain some of this: There's a story that explained the history of the Two Rivers, and some reveal of what the Dragon Reborn was. The show also gave fans a look at some of the evils in this world.
But just as many names get dropped and left entirely unexplored. For instance, Moiraine referred to Egwene, Rand, Perrin, and Mat as "ta'veren" at the end of the first episode, without explaining what that means, only that they should come with her because of it. Episode 2 showed an Aes Sedai dressed in yellow being burnt at the stake without explaining who she was or why it was happening. Episode 3 introduced Aiel and mentioned they live far away, but not who or what they are.
Here is a rundown of the most important things to know in the early going of The Wheel of Time Season 1.
The Wheel of Time: A tremendous, seven-spoked cosmic wheel that spins out the Great Pattern of the Ages.
The Great Pattern: The great woven fabric of time, using the lives of people as threads, that encompasses everything that has happened, everything that is happening, and everything that will happen.
Saidin/Saidar: The two halves of The One Power, male and female, derived from the True Source, the driving force that powers the Wheel of Time.
Ta'veren: People who are fixed points in the pattern that threads weave around. These are usually historical figures from myths and legends who are reborn age after age when the pattern reaches a point where their heroism is needed. The Dragon Reborn is an example of a ta’veren.
Aes Sedai: Women who can wield Saidar. There are no male Sedai at this time, but there used to be a long time ago.
Warder: Bodyguards bonded to Sedai to protect them since they cannot use their abilities as a weapon.
Amyrlin Seat: The head of the Sedai, of all Ajahs and none.
Ajah: Societies within the Sedai order, dedicated to different spheres of influence, from royalty to security.
Angreal (Sa’angreal and Ter’angreal): Objects created using the One Power and imbued with it. Plain Angreal are doublers, allowing the channeler to draw more power than they usually could safely. Sa’angreal are extra-large multipliers, allowing the Sedai to channel several women’s worth. Ter’angreal are functional objects made with the power to perform specific tasks with more power than a Sedai could usually hold. For example, the Oath Rod, which the Sedai hold as part of the ritual to being raised to a full Sedai, is a ter’angreal.
Aiel: Also known as “People of the Dragon,” these desert-dwelling nomadic tribes are known for their height, red hair, and warrior culture. They follow a strict code of honor, including veiling their faces before fighting.
Tuatha'an: Also known as Tinkers, these nomadic crafters travel from village to village in brightly painted wagons, fixing things and selling their wares. They live by a pacifist philosophy known as the Way of the Leaf and open their camps to needy travelers.
Ogiers: Also known as Alantin, or Tree Brothers, this non-human race have an intense love of knowledge and peace. They are famous for their architecture and stonework. They live in giant forest enclaves known as Stedding, and become depressed if away from them too long.
Gleeman: Wandering minstrels and entertainers. Typified by brightly colored clothing to grab attention, they also usually play instruments and do acrobatics.
Whitecloaks: Also known as Children of the Light, this independent religious, military organization is technically dedicated to finding Darkfriends. Unfortunately, they also happen to believe Aes Sedai are Darkfriends and like to accuse random women who question them of being secret Aes Sedai.
The White Tower: The official home of the Aes Sedai, it is the largest building in the city of Tar Valon.
Tar Valon: The city surrounding the White Tower, known as the seat of power of the Aes Sedai. The city is located on an island on the River Erinin and sits within sight of the famous Dragonmount.
Dragonmount: A random mountain that juts out of a giant plain for no reason. It is the sight of the place where the Last Dragon perished, and it is foretold it is where he will be reborn.
Baerlon: A significant town in the country of Andor, the biggest town nearest to the Two Rivers and Edmond’s Field.
Caemlyn: This is the capital of Andor, considered the second only to Tar Valon in size and beauty. The Royal Seat of Andor sits in the city center, where Queen Morgase Trakand rules from the Lion Throne. The royal line is passed through the female side of the family; the daughter-heir is Princess Elayne Trakand.
The Waste: Also known as the Aiel Waste or The Three-Fold Land, this desert lies to the far east of the continent and is where the Aiel tribes rule.
The Dark One: The primordial, sentient force of evil in the universe, also referred to as “Shai'tan.” Using this name draws his attention, so most refer to him as The Dark One, if at all.
Myrddraal: Also known as a Fade or an Eyeless, these creatures are a type of Shadowspawn with waxy-white skin and no eyes. They were created as mid-level battle commanders to lead Trolloc armies.
Trolloc: A half-human/half-animal Shadowspawn meant for battle infantry. They are social creatures, capable of speech, and grouped by tribes. They are also carnivorous and violent.
Forsaken: Also known as “The Chosen,” these were initially the word for any Shadowspawn from the last age who could channel. Throughout the battle, the term came to refer to the 13 most powerful Aes Sedai (men and women) who sided with the Dark One and are currently supposedly imprisoned with him.
The Wheel of Time Season 1 continues with new episodes every Friday on Amazon.