Alviarin Freidhen

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Author: Lyssandra Darai

ahl-vee-AH-rihn FREYE-dehn

Contents

General

Alviarin is a slim, cool-faced, swan-necked Aes Sedai. (TSR, Ch. 1; ACoS, Prologue) When she first appeared, she was cool, accepting, and willing to help others learn (TGH, Ch. 12). She was always cool and calm, as was the stereotype for any sister of the White Ajah (TSR, Ch. 1); in fact, she was often more so. It was said the woman had ice for blood (TFoH, Prologue, ACoS, Prologue). When Elaida moved to depose Siuan, Alviarin backed her despite the White's traditional alliance with the Blues (TSR, Ch. 1). Alviarin's position as Keeper of the Chronicles was the price for her bringing the White Ajah with her (TFoH, Prologue. She is never commented on as being young, so it can be assumed that she has had the shawl for at least 50 years, and likely close to 100. Nor is anything known about where she is from.

Relationships

Alviarin has never shown any friendship with anyone. She is very much a loner. Basically, her only interaction with other characters are when she has to. And she prefers to act from a position of strength and power. She is also very cruel and enjoys hurting others. She is quite skilled at it (LoC, Ch. 12).

After she flees the white Tower, she bonds Varil Nensen (AMoL, Ch. 42)

Timeline

At the start, Alviarin was simply a sister of the White Ajah. She had no official rank, but that doesn't mean she was powerless. She clearly carried considerable weight within her Ajah. When Elaida overthrew Siuan, Alviarin brought the White Ajah around to support her, becoming the Keeper of the Chronicles (TFoH, Prologue). Normally, that would mean she was second in power in the White Tower. But in this case, that isn't true: "Do you think I would not be first if I had wished it? Second suits me. Let Elaida claim credit for what she calls successes, and sweat for her failures, too. I know where the power lies"(TFoH, Ch. 19).

All her relationships with other characters are based on that power. After the disastrous attempt to capture Rand, Alviarin exerted more control over the Tower. She threatened to expose that attempt to the others, which would have resulted in Elaida's stilling. In return for staying on the Amyrlin Seat, Elaida was forced to do only as Alviarin told her (ACoS, Ch. 32).

Which in turn meant that the Black Ajah had hold over the Tower, as Alviarin is head of the Black. And, as she is working directly for Mesaana, it means that Mesaana has control in the Tower (ACoS, Ch. 32). She finds this a very useful place to be, and Alviarin to be a very useful tool. She teaches Alviarin some new weaves, like Traveling, and has her running around and doing errands (CoT, Ch. 21).

Unfortunately for Alviarin, she loses her position when she leaves the Tower for a month on business for Mesaana. When she returned, she found that Elaida had managed to pin the blame of her two failures on the people leading them and had accused Alviarin of treason for having been gone so long. Alviarin was ousted from her position of Keeper and was desperate to find some way to deflect the charges (CoT, Ch. 21).

After this, she ran down to her quarters and summoned Mesaana, who refused to help. During this interview, Shaidar Haran showed up and marked Alviarin for the Dark One (CoT, Ch. 21).

After being stripped of the stole, Alviarin tries to maintain an outward calmness, but on the inside she is on the verge of hysteria, fingering her forehead constantly where Shaidar Haran marked her. She is pleased to notice that the Dark One's touch seems to be reaching the White Tower while overhearing White Sisters discussing the food spoilage. As the Head of the Black Ajah, she orders a search to find Talene, a Black Ajah member who has fled from the Tower. Another order is to get Yukiri and Doesine, who are heading the hunt for Black Ajah in the Tower (KoD, Prologue).

The White Ajah feels the loss of the Keeper's stole, which makes Alviarin even less popular than before. She has to tolerate glares and turned backs even from sisters of her own Ajah, nearly all of whom stand far below Alviarin in the power (KoD, Prologue).

As a penance ordered by Elaida, Alviarin receives a strapping from the Mistress of Novices every morning. The penance is theoretically private, but even the servants know about it (KoD, Prologue). Elaida is furious at Alviarin because of her proclamation about Rand al'Thor, among other things (KoD, Ch. 1). Alviarin reacts poorly to the strappings, seeing each morning as adding more bruises to her already aching bottom. There is nothing she can do about it except toy with the idea of finally getting Elaida (KoD, Prologue).

Egwene overhears Alviarin taking the penance and thinks to herself that she is not taking it very well and will be screaming on the top of her lungs very soon. Alviarin suggests the possibility of escape to Egwene several times, but Egwene declines the offer which frustrates her. (KoD, Ch. 24)

Egwene sees Alviarin going to her daily punishment(TGS, Ch. 2).

Egwene sees Alviarin's name on Verin's list. She tells Meidani to have Alviarin taken into custody, questioned and forced to re-swear the oaths (TGS, Ch. 39).

Alviarin escapes before the Black Ajah hunters have time to apprehend her (TGS, Prologue).

She attacks Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne in Tel'aran'rhiod, accidentally killing another Black, Talva (ToM, Ch. 14).

She is part of the group of Black Ajah that launches an assault on Egwene's group (ToM, Ch. 37).

When Mesaana captures Egwene, she sends Alviarin to tell the others to withdraw (ToM, Ch. 38).

She survives the Last Battle and is in command of a small group of Dreadlords that get trapped inside a stedding (AMoL, Ch. 42)

Quotes

Alviarin was as cool and businesslike as a merchant come to buy wool and tabac, surprised Nynaeve was part of the lesson but accepting, sharp in her criticisms but always ready to try again. (The Great Hunt, Chapter 12)

"Talking to yourself, Elaida? I know you Reds never have friends outside your own Ajah, but surely you have friends to talk to inside it." (The Shadow Rising, Chapter 1)

With respect, I humbly beg to make myself known to the great Lord Dragon Reborn, whom the Light blesses as savior of the world.

All the world must stand in awe of you, who has conquered Cairhien in one day as you did Tear. Yet be wary, I beseech you, for your splendor will inspire jealousy even in those not toiled in the Shadow. Even here in the White Tower are the blind who cannot see your true radiance, which will illumine us all. Yet know that some rejoice in your coming, and will delight to serve your glory. We are not those who would steal your luster for ourselves, but rather those who would kneel to bask in your brilliance. You shall save the world, according to the Prophecies, and the world shall be yours.

To my shame, I must beg you to let no one see these words, and to destroy them when once read. I stand, naked of your protection, among some who would usurp your power, and I cannot know who around you is as faithful as I. I am told that Moiraine Damodred may be with you. She may serve you devotedly, obeying your words as law, as I will, yet I cannot know, for I remember her as a secretive woman, much given to plotting, as Cairhienin are. Yet even if you believe she is your creature, as I do, I beg you to keep this missive secret, even from her. My life lies beneath your fingers, my Lord Dragon Reborn, and I am your servant.

(Letter to Rand, The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 51).

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