Sebban Balwer

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Author: Meilen Gevedon

Contents

General

Sebban Balwer was the secretary and true spymaster for Pedron Niall, the former Lord Captain Commander of the Children of the Light (LoC, Prologue). He is described as pinch-faced, prim, and dried-up, with a disapproving mouth (LoC, Prologue, Ch. 9). Multiple characters also depict Balwer as a 'dry little stick of a secretary' and 'purse mouthed.' (ACoS, Prologue). He is almost always compared to a bird in every description. (WH, Ch. 2) Balwer always wears a plain brown coat (WH, Ch. 1).

After he helped Morgase and her companions to leave the Fortress of the Light during the Seanchan invasion, they ran across Perrin and his army, and now Balwer works as a secretary of sorts for Perrin (TPoD, Ch. 9).

Balwer is said to never believe anything he hears until he has seen or witnessed it (LoC, Ch. 9). He never likes admitting that he cannot figure something out or find some piece of information (LoC, Ch. 9). He is an extremely competent spymaster, and has agents everywhere, even in Tar Valon (ACoS, Prologue).

Timeline

  • Niall trusts Balwer and gives him the treaty that Morgase signs (LoC, Ch. 31).
  • Balwer produces a way for Morgase and her companions to get out of the Fortress of the Light during the Seanchan raid. He does this to "repay" Eamon Valda. (ACoS, Ch. 26)
  • Balwer offers Perrin his services as a secretary and a gatherer of information. He also gives Perrin some information regarding the Seanchan and the Children of the Light. Perrin decides that Balwer detests the Children of the Light for some unexplained reason (TPoD, Ch. 9).
  • Perrin allows Balwer to go around the town of Aliba and gather information while Perrin is meeting with Masema (TPoD, Ch. 30).
  • Balwer goes to see one of his eyes and ears agents while Perrin and company are in So Habor (CoT, Ch. 25).
  • Balwer sends Latian to tell Perrin that his friend is not in So Habor and so he will need to stay there for a few days to wait for his friend. They stay there for three days and return to Perrin with Tallanvor and news of the Seanchan (CoT, Ch. 27).
  • Balwer attends Perrin's meeting with the Seanchan (KoD, Ch. 4).
  • Cha Faile have started accepting directions from him (KoD, Ch. 12).
  • Balwer interrogates the Shaido captives and wants more time at Malden, but Perrin refuses ({[tgs|9}}).
  • He estimates there are as many as a hundred thousand refugees (TGS, Ch. 17).
  • He goes with the group sent to scout Cairhien, ostensibly to look for new pens and nibs (ToM, Ch. 6).
  • On his return from Cairhien, he gives Perrin one of the drawings of him that is in circulation and tells him of the rewardfor the person who can produce Perrin's corpse (ToM, Ch. 21).
  • Perrin offers him a pay rise, but he declines as it might alert people to the fact that he is more than a secretary (ToM, Ch. 21).

Relationships

Perrin trusts Balwer and sees his usefulness (WH, Ch. 6; CoT, Ch. 6) Balwer also enjoys working for Perrin because Perrin is straightforward, unlike Niall.

Balwer does not particularly like Niall because he knows that Niall has other agents and does not always regard his advice in the highest esteem. Niall sees him as a useful person (LoC, Ch. 9).

Eamon Valda dislikes Balwer because he sees him as useless (ACoS, Prologue).

Morgase, Lini, Breane, Tallanvor, Gill, and Lamgwin are suspicious of Balwer even though he helped them. Tallanvor believes Balwer is going to try to get a reward for rescuing the Queen of Andor (TPoD, Ch. 8).

Miscellaneous

  • Balwer dry washes his hands when he feels insulted (LoC, Ch. 9).
  • He is pleased when Perrin defends the Tua'a'athon (KoD, Ch. 4).

Quotes

By Balwer

"Money means nothing to me. The information—that is what is important. Facts and discoveries…they are like nuggets of gold. I could give that gold to a common banker to make coins, but I prefer to give it to the master craftsman to make something of beauty" (Towers of Midnight, Chapter 21)

"If I may say, my Lord, it is refreshing to work for someone who doesn’t see my information as simply a means of betraying or compromising those around him" (To Perrin, Towers of Midnight, Chapter 21)

About Balwer

"Niall eyed the man who had entered so silently. On the face of it, it hardly seemed possible that Balwer could move without a dry rustle announcing his presence. Everything about him was narrow and pinched; his brown coat hung from knobby shoulders, and his legs looked as though they might snap under his desiccated weight. He moved like a bird hopping from limb to limb." Niall, describing Sebban Balwer (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 9).

"The man would not show surprise one day if a horse spoke to him." Pedron Niall, after telling Balwer some astounding information and noting the 'secretary's' reaction (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 31).

"Even so, Perrin thought Balwer saw more than [Morgase/Maighdin] did. He could not say why, precisely, but the few times he had caught the bony little man's scent, he had been minded of a wolf testing the air. Strangely, there was no fear in Balwer, only quickly suppressed ridges of irritation shot through with the quivery smell of impatience." Perrin, speaking about Balwer (The Path of Daggers, Chapter 8).

"Balwer seemed to hate the Children of the Light, most especially Valda- a matter of rough treatment somewhere in his past, Perrin suspected- but like everything else about the man, it was a dry, cold hate. Passionless." Perrin, describing Sebban Balwer (Winter's Heart, Chapter 1).

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