From Tar Valon Library
Author: Kyria d'Oreyn
The Younglings are a group of young soldiers following Gawyn Trakand. They were initially comprised of young men who had trained in the White Tower, under the Warders, but as their reputation grew, more men joined (LoC, Prologue).
As a rule, no older men are recruited and no veterans who had served in an army or borne arms for any lord or lady, or even merchants. Recruits must be willing to put aside any loyalties except to the Younglings. Originally, they were made up of those who had studied in the White Tower, and even though Warders no longer train them, the Younglings now teach their new additions the techniques they learned from the Warders (LoC, Prologue; CoT, Glossary).
They call themselves Younglings because few are past twenty. Small ceremonies are held for those who shave their first whiskers that are not fuzz (LoC, Prologue).
Some of the Younglings wear green cloaks with Gawyn's White Boar embroidered on the breast. A silver tower embroidered on the collar marks the "veterans" of the fighting at the Tower, when Siuan Sanche was deposed (LoC, Prologue).
Gawyn brings five hundred eighty-one Younglings with him as an escort of honor for the White Tower embassy, almost every one who was far enough in training to be allowed out of Tar Valon. Fewer than two hundred of them survive the battle at Dumai's Wells. Gawyn hopes more have survived in smaller groups and that he'll be able to gather them before they are killed by bands of Aiel (ACoS, Prologue). Apparently, the numbers have increased again, because Gawyn thinks to himself he and his three hundred men would be noticed by the army besieging Tar Valon should they try to move out of Dorlan together (CoT, Prologue).
After the Tower has been re-united, many of the younglings, especially the officers bond Aes Sedai (ToM, Ch. 5). Some however, do not want that life (ToM, Ch. 22 and instead join the Tower Guard as the replacement tenth company (ToM, Ch. 23).
- They fight against their former teachers during the battle at Tar Valon. Gawyn roused the students to stop the Blue and Green Ajahs from freeing Siuan and Leane before they were stilled. He also killed Coulin, the Master of Arms, and Hammar, a blademaster (TSR, Ch. 47).
- Teslyn remarks how unruly the Younglings are, skirmishing with the Whitecloaks on either side of the River Erinin (TFoH, Prologue).
- They escort the White Tower embassy to Rand. Gawyn has the camp surrounded, ready to fight Aiel, when three Shaido Wise Ones appear to talk to the Aes Sedai (LoC, Prologue).
- The Tower Aes Sedai brought more than five hundred men as honor guard under Gawyn's command. About a hundred of them are in or around the palace of Arilyn Dhulaine, a Cairhienin noble thought to be an agent of the Gray Ajah, at all times (LoC, Ch. 25).
- When Rand is captured, the Younglings escort the Aes Sedai back to the Tower. What they don't know is that another part of the bargain with the Wise Ones entailed the death of Gawyn and his men (LoC, Ch. 53).
- At Dumai's Wells, Benji Dalfor comes galloping toward Gawyn with the news of thousands of Aiel approaching. The Younglings ready themselves to fight against the Shaido and Gawyn later gathers them to carve a path out for them (LoC, Ch. 55).
- After the battle, a group of Aiel run into them on their way east. They fight shortly and some of the Younglings pursue the Aiel, until Gawyn calls them back (ACoS, Prologue).
- The remaining Younglings escort Covarla Baldene and eleven other Aes Sedai back to the Tower, but the men are not allowed inside Tar Valon. Elaida sends them to the village of Dorlan (ACoS, Ch. 32).
- They winter in the stables in Dorlan (CoT, Prologue).
The Younglings sided with Elaida when Siuan was deposed, but she wants them out of her way and out of Tar Valon (LoC, Prologue). When the Younglings return with what is left of the embassy, they are expelled from the city (ACoS, Ch. 32). Gawyn is sure Elaida wants them all dead (CoT, Prologue).
The Younglings serve the Tower (LoC, Ch. 25). However, after what happened on their way to Cairhien and back, their loyalty slowly fades and they are hardly attached to Aes Sedai and the Tower at all (CoT, Glossary). Despite their suspicions, they are still sealed to the Tower and respectful toward any sister (CoT, Prologue).
They fight Whitecloaks around Tar Valon (TFoH, Prologue). When Valda is ordered to retreat, he leaves some Children to "keep together the brigands and bullyboys" he had gathered. They were dispersed by the Younglings, but Gawyn had wished to drive Valda off himself (LoC, Prologue.
- Main article: Youngling Character List
The Younglings include:
- Many Younglings regret not having been at the fighting in the Tower (LoC, Prologue).
- They ride war-horses and carry swords, bows or lances. They fight in twos or threes, each Youngling watching the other's back (ACoS, Prologue).
- Gawyn thinks Tarna could be a Green searching for a Warder, the way she inspects the Younglings closely every day (CoT, Prologue).
- Several sisters have offered to bond a Youngling, but they are refused (CoT, Glossary).