Reene Harfor

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Author: Melisande Arneil

General

Reene Harfor is the First Maid of the Royal Palace in Caemlyn. She has a strong deep voice, and is a slightly plump woman with graying hair and a long chin (LoC, Ch. 26). She wears a red and white dress, which always looks clean and freshly pressed (LoC, Ch. 26, Ch. 28; WH, Ch. 8). After Elayne arrives back at the Palace, she adopts the scarlet tabard with the White Lion of Andor, as if the Queen is already in residence. Her hair is always in a bun on top of her head (WH, Prologue).

Timeline

  • She presents Rand with the petition for an audience from the Wavemistress of Clan Catelar of the Atha'an Miere (LoC, Ch. 26).
  • She brings Rand writing implements after he receives reports that there are in actuality thirteen Aes Sedai in Caemlyn (LoC, Ch. 49).
  • She is astonished to see Elayne return to the Palace, and takes care of Elayne's companions (TPoD, Ch. 28).
  • She is bypassed by the Sea Folk, but covers her discomfort admirably (WH, Prologue).
  • She reports to Elayne regarding spies in the Palace; she has uncovered two so far (WH, Ch. 8).
  • She takes Rand (still in disguise) to Nynaeve's room (WH, Ch. 11).
  • She reports to Elayne of finding nine more spies in the palace (WH, Ch. 26).
  • Elayne asks her to handle the glassmakers and other delegations while Elayne is away from the Palace (WH, Ch. 27).
  • She reports to Elayne of finding more spies in the Palace (CoT, Ch. 14).
  • After Elayne is victorious, she wants to dismiss the spies, but Elayne tells her to keep them (KoD, Ch. 25)

Relationships

She is appropriately deferential to Rand, yet looks him straight in the eye when she questions his intent regarding the return of the Lion Throne to Elayne (LoC, Ch. 26).

She disapproves of Sulin wearing Palace livery; walks away muttering about crazy Aiel (LoC, Ch. 26).

She has been wearing the scarlet tabard over her red-and-white dress since Elayne's return to the Palace, as if the Queen is already in residence (WH, Prologue).

She guards her territory from Halwin Norry, the First Clerk (WH, Ch. 8).

Quotes

Mistress Harfor eyed him a moment, then extended a blue-sealed letter. "This was delivered late last evening, my Lord Dragon. By a stableboy. A dirty stableboy. The Sea Folk Wavemistress was not well pleased that you were gone when she appeared for her audience." This time her disapproval was clear in her voice, though not whether it was for the Wavemistress or Rand missing the audience or the means of the letter's delivery (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 28).

Reene Harfor slipped into the room with deference but without servility, and her curtsy was restrained, suitable for the High Seat of a powerful House to her Queen. But then, any High Seat worth a pinch of salt knew enough to offer respect to the First Maid. Her graying hair was arranged in a bun, like a crown atop her head, and she wore a scarlet tabard over her red-and-white dress, with the White Lion of Andor's head resting on her formidable bosom. Reene had no say in who would sit on throne, but she had adopted full formal dress on the day of Elayne's arrival, as if the Queen already were in residence. Her round face hardened momentarily at sight of the Atha'an Miere women who had bypassed her, but that was all the notice she gave them. For now. They would learn to their cost what incurring the animosity of the First Maid entailed (Winter's Heart, Prologue).

"Jon Skellit is in the pay of House Arawn, my Lady," Reene said, her round face stern enough to fit a hangman. "Twice now he has been seen accepting a purse from men known to favor Arawn. And there is no doubt that Ester Norham is in someone's pay. She isn't stealing, but she has over fifty crowns of gold hidden under a loose floorboard, and she added ten crowns last night." (Winter's Heart, Chapter 28).

"I have hopes I may be reaching the bottom of that barrel, my Lady," Mistress Harfor said complacently. Neither spies nor the High Seats of powerful Houses ruffled her. Spies were pests she intended to rid the palace of as surely as she kept it clear of fleas and rats - though she had been forced to accept Aes Sedai aid with rats recently - while powerful nobles were like rain or snow, facts of nature to be endured until they went away, but nothing to get flustered over. "There are only so many people who can be bought, and only so many can afford to buy, or want to." (Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 14).