Author: Annouk Vinkona Ùlfanna
His full name is al'Lan Mandragoran, Lord of the Seven Towers, Lord of the Lakes, and true Blade of Malkier. The "al'" in front of his name signifies royalty. It is rarely used since he is not the crowned King of Malkier. His parents are al'Akir and el'Leanna Mandragoran (TEotW, Ch. 47). He was born the same year Malkier fell to the Blight (953 NE). He is anointed Dai Shan, "consecrated as the next King of Malkier." As an infant, he is taken from Malkier by twenty men to safety in Fal Moran, Shienar. Five of these men survive and raise him. They train him to be the best sword master of his generation. He has been raised in Shienar but in Malkieri tradition (NS, Ch. 1).
Lan is described as having an angular face made from stony planes, weathered but unlined. His eyes are cold and blue. His shoulder-length hair is gray at the temples and held back by a thin braided leather cord, the hadori. He moves like a wolf. The Warder cloak he wears makes him seem to be melting into his surroundings (TEotW, Ch. 2).
- 953 NE: He is born the same year in which Malkier falls to the Blight. He is anointed Dai Shan.
- 955 NE: Infant taken from Malkier by twenty men to safety in Fal Moran, Shienar (NS, Ch. 1).
- 976-978 NE: He fights in the Aiel War for the so-called "Great Alliance" (NS, Ch. 1).
- 979 NE: He meets Moiraine (NS, Ch. 19) and is bonded to her (NS, Epilogue).
- 998 NE: He comes to Emond's Field with Moiraine at Winternight (TEotW, Ch. 2).
- 998 NE: Moiraine's vanishes through a ter'angreal(TFoH, Ch. 52).
- 1000 NE: He saves Nynaeve's life and marries her (ACoS, Ch. 37).
- 1000 NE: He is taken to the Borderlands by Nynaeve (KoD, Ch. 20).
- 1000 NE: He is joined by Bulen (ToM, Prologue)
- 1000 NE: He is joined by Andere, Nazar, and Rakim (ToM, Ch. 7)
- 1000 NE: Lan's joined by over a dozen more men with lots of supplies (ToM, Ch. 23)
- 1000 NE: Lan makes it to the Arafel border where he is recognized and joined by thousands more. (ToM, Ch. 42)
- 1000 NE: Lan and his army of 12000 attack an army of at least 150000 head on at Tarwin's Gap.(ToM, Epilogue)
When he is fifteen, Edeyn Arrel chooses to becomes his first lover, his carneira. In Malkieri tradition, a man's carneira is of great importance. At the age of sixteen, when he is given his hadori, a thin braided leather band, he goes to fight the Shadow (NS, Ch. 16).
We meet Lan when he is fighting in the Aiel War on the side of the "Great Alliance" (NS, Ch. 1). When the war is over, he travels back north, led by the urge to go to the Blight and avenge his country. In Kandor he meets Moiraine. They discover their common goal: the fight against the Shadow. She bonds him (NS, Epilogue).
He follows her on her quest to find the Dragon Reborn.
They come to Emond's Field to find it soon raided by Trollocs and Fades. Lan discovers that Rand is wearing a heron-mark blade (TEotW, Ch. 8). They leave Emond's Field on their way to Tar Valon (TEotW, Ch. 9). On their trip to Tar Valon, he starts teaching the boys the use of their weapons (TEotW, Ch. 13).
During the journey Lan is the guide. He tells everyone where to go, when to eat, and when to sleep. He is the scout and watch dog, very much a Warder. He maintains this role throughout the series.
Lan falls in love with Nynaeve. She starts impressing him by being able to read tracks and moving silently in the woods (TEotW, Ch. 16; Ch. 21). In the Blight, Nynaeve confesses her feelings for Lan. He admits that he thinks she's beautiful and a remarkable woman but he does not want to see her as a widow (TEotW, Ch. 48). Later he gives her his signet ring, which will help her if she is ever in need. He even swears that he will come to her should she ever send a message marked with it. This is the first time that he contradicts his obligation to Moiraine (TGH, Ch. 8). In Tear (Nation) they spend a lot of time together (TSR, Ch. 9). When he finds out that Nynaeve is leaving for Tanchico, he wants to go with her. She orders him to stay with Moiraine (TSR, Ch. 16).
Until Moiraine's death, he remains by her side. He starts to feel conflicted between his loyalty to Moiraine and his love of Nynaeve. Moiraine notices that he is changing. She questions his loyalty (TGH, Ch. 22; TFoH, Ch. 7). Since a Warder does not survive the breaking of the bond upon the death of his Aes Sedai, she arranges that in case of her death the bond is passed to Myrelle until she can then pass it to Nynaeve. She doesn't want him to waste his life either avenging her or taking up his useless quest in the Blight. When Lan finds out, he is not happy about it. He feels like a pet dog that is being passed around (TGH, Ch. 22). When Moiraine falls through the doorframe ter'angreal with Lanfear (TFoH, Ch. 52), Lan feels that the bond is broken. He leaves to find his new Aes Sedai (TFoH, Ch. 53).
Later Egwene finds out that Myrelle, who joined the rebels in Salidar, hides Lan to cover up that his bond was passed against his will. Lan is almost in a state of insanity. Egwene thinks that the only one who can save him is Nynaeve. She weaves a gateway to Ebou Dar for him, so that he can join her there (ACoS, Ch. 12).
When Nynaeve takes a boat to meet with the Mistress of the Ships, she is attacked by Moghedien and nearly drowns. Lan saves her. Lan tells her that he is bonded to Myrelle. Nynaeve is furious. He says that Myrelle is lending him to Nynaeve until she can find her own Warder, but Nynaeve makes it clear that she intends to have him as a husband and as a Warder (ACoS, Ch. 31). They get married immediately in a Sea Folk ceremony (ACoS, Ch. 37). From then on they don't part ways until "Knife of Dreams."
Lan and Nynaeve are still part of Rand's party at Algarin's estates in Tear. Lan disapproves of Rand's plans with the Seanchan. In his opinion, Rand should concentrate on the Borderlands now that Tarmon Gai'don is approaching (KoD, Ch. 20).
Nynaeve knows that Lan is torn between staying close to her and his duty in the Borderlands. Even though she wants him to stay near her, she cannot deny that this is not where he belongs. She offers to bring him to the Borderlands, if he vows to ride to Fal Moran before entering the Blight and to let any man who wishes to ride with him join him. They travel to the Borderlands, but before Lan realizes that she actually took him to World's End in Saldaea, instead of to Shienar, she leaves through another gateway. Before she returns to Rand, she instructs a Malkieri merchant to pass on the message of Lan riding through the Borderlands to every single Malkieri he knows. She does not want her husband to ride to Tarmon Gai'don alone (KoD, Ch. 20).
Lan makes his way across Saldea. He is trying to avoid being seen as he doesn't want anyone to join him. He is caught off guard by Bulen who joins him. Lan doesn't want him to come but thanks to his promise to Nynaeve he has to let him. His army grows from one to two. He tells Bulen not to raise the flag and to keep quiet.(ToM, Prologue) Weeks later Bulen and Lan are still travelling when Lan sees three people he thinks are highwaymen but as they walk by the three join them. He recognizes Andere and Nazar and the third man was Rakim, they came to join him. His army became five people strong.(ToM, Ch. 7) Still on their path in Kandor right before the Arafel border they are joined by eight more men who had been with Andere's group and were waiting for them. They had sold everything they owned and bought supplies. They had men pulling wagons of supplies. The five had become dozens.(ToM, Ch. 23) Lan made it to Silverwall Keeps, the way to cross the Kandor/Arafel border through the pass. Lan found several thousand people waiting with flags flying including those of the Golden Crane. Lan keeps quiet and makes it all the way to the other side before he is recognized by the grandson of the Queen of Kandor, Kaisei Noramaga. She tells him that they have all been waiting warned by Nynaeve. He said he is with the prince of Arafel who is also coming. Lan finally gives in and welcomes all of them his army going from dozens to thousands.(ToM, Ch. 42) Lan made it to Tarwin's Gap where on the other side an army of hundreds of thousands of Trollocs waited. He thinks about how normally an army tries to hold their side but not this time. This time they attack to reclaim Malkier. Lan makes a speech then his army of twelve thousand men charge the army of at least one hundred and fifty thousand Trollocs.(ToM, Epilogue)
Nynaeve: They meet each other when Rand, Mat and Perrin are taken from Emond's Field to Tar Valon by Moiraine. Slowly he falls in love with her but he doesn't want to admit it because he wants her to be happy with a man who isn't doomed to die fighting the Shadow. He tries to shake her off, make a clean cut but she is persistent. Until she proposes to him, he still tries to get her to find another husband. Needless to say, they get married.
Moiraine: He meets Moiraine by chance in Kandor when they are traveling the same road and she claims the "right of a woman alone" after being thrown in a pond by Lan because she tried to sneak up on him (NS, Ch. 19). Through what happens in "New Spring," they discover their common goal: the fight against the Shadow. Moiraine convinces him that he can more effectively fight the Shadow at her side, rather than going to the Blight to avenge a country that doesn't exist anymore. She bonds him (NS, Epilogue).
Bukama: One of the Malkieri that train the infant Lan. He's the last one to survive out of the twenty that carried Lan to safety (NS, Ch. 1). He is killed in New Spring by another Malkieri who is supposedly Lan's childhood friend but is also a Darkfriend (NS, Ch. 26).
Rand: Lan turns out to be a valuable advisor to Rand. He not only teaches him the use of the sword but also how to behave and dress to fit in with royalty (TEotW, Ch. 53; TGH, Ch. 1, Ch. 7, Ch. 8; TSR, Ch. 37, Ch. 48; TFoH, Ch. 49). Lan doesn't approve of Moiraine swearing fealty to Rand (TFoH, Ch. 7). Lan thinks that Rand shouldn't concentrate on the Seanchan now that Tarmon Gai'don is so near. He should assemble the Borderlanders and ride north because that's where Tarmon Gai'don will be (KoD, Ch. 20).
- The oath that was sworn in his name when he was an infant: "To stand against the Shadow so long as iron is hard and stone abides. To defend the Malkieri while one drop of blood remains. To avenge what cannot be defended" (NS, Ch. 16).
- Has a sword made in the Age of Legends, forged with the One Power. It was given to him at his birth (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 28; NS, Ch. 19).
- Assumes a state similar to Rand's Void which he calls ko'di, the oneness, where he feeds all his emotions into a flame (one example: NS, Ch. 19).
- Is called Aan'allein by the Aiel, which means "One Man Alone" (Lan's own translation, NS, Ch. 1) in the Old Tongue. The correct translation is "man who is an entire people" (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 28).
- Rides a "deep-chested dark stallion" named Mandarb, which means "blade" in the Old Tongue (TDR, Ch. 35).
"Death comes sooner or later to everyone unless they serve the Dark One, and only fools are willing to pay that price." (The Eye of the World, Chapter 7)
"I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile. No woman deserves the sure knowledge of widow's black as her bride price, you least of all." (to Nynaeve; The Great Hunt, Chapter 48)
"What could not be changed must be endured" (New Spring, Chapter 1)
"Death came for every man eventually, and seldom where and when he expected" (New Spring, Chapter 1)
"He had two things, he said, a sword that would not break and a war that would not end" (Moiraine about Lan; The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 7)
"My name is Nynaeve ti al'Meara Mandragoran. The message I want sent is this. My husband rides from World's End toward Tarwin's Gap, toward Tarmon Gai'don. Will he ride alone?" (Nynaeve to Malkieri merchant; Knife of Dreams, Chapter 20)
"Lan told me once that Malkier lives so long as one man wears the hadori in pledge that he will fight the Shadow, so long as one woman wears the ki'sain in pledge that she will send her sons to fight the Shadow. I wear the ki'sain, Master Aldragoran. My husband wears the hadori. So do you. Will Lan Mandragoran ride to the Last Battle alone?" (Nynaeve to Malkieri merchant; Knife of Dreams, Chapter 20)
"He will not, my Lady. I cannot stand surety for anyone else, but I swear to you under the Light and by my hope of rebirth and salvation, he will not ride alone." (Malkieri merchant to Nynaeve; Knife of Dreams, Chapter 20)
"The men who fight have glory, but the battle itself is not glory. It simply is." (Lan; A Memory of Light, Chapter 9)