Cadsuane Melaidhrin

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Author: Kyria d'Oreyn

CAD-soo-ain mehj-LYE-drihn

General

Cadsuane Melaidhrin is a legendary Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah and the oldest living sister.

Believed to be dead by most, the stories around Cadsuane are already given the status of legends. A lot of sisters stand in awe of her and almost all defer to her, since she stands above them in the Power, while others might wish her in her grave (NS, Ch. 17; CoT, Ch. 12). Some even say that Cadsuane will not die until the last hint of adventure is gone (ACoS, Ch. 19).

She had been the strongest Aes Sedai in a thousand years (NS, Ch. 17), until Elayne, Egwene, and Nynaeve came to the Tower (ACoS, Ch. 19).

Appearance

She is a strikingly handsome Far Maddinger with dark, nearly black eyes in a pale but strong face and an iron-gray bun adorned with golden ornaments (NS, Ch. 17; ACoS, Ch. 18).

Personality

Cadsuane is a very composed woman; she herself cannot remember the last time she let shock show on her face (CoT, Ch. 23), but her self-possession does not make her perfect; she can even remember mistakes and failure (WH, Ch. 13). To her advantage, however, most people seem to think living legends must be perfect (TPoD, Ch. 12). Like with everyone else, there are things even Cadsuane cannot do or is not good at. For one thing, she is neither very diplomatic (WH, Ch. 13), nor is she a fair player (CoT, Ch. 24).

Being raised in Far Madding, she cannot abide bad manners or lying (TPoD, Ch. 27). She prefers to be direct (TPoD, Ch. 12) and hates being delicate (CoT, Ch. 23). To achieve her goals, she is ready to make sacrifices, bend law where it suits her because the spirit of it is far more important to her, and ignore custom while she is about it (NS, Ch. 17; ACoS, Ch. 19; TPoD, Ch. 12; WH, Ch. 13). She cares about whether people are fools or not (WH, Ch. 33) and she can have a sharp tongue when she corrects behavior that exceeds her sufferance (TPoD, Ch. 12; CoT, Ch. 23).

Condensed Timeline

Strengths and Talents

Cadsuane's Hair Ornaments

Main article: Paralis-net

Cadsuane has a number of objects of the One Power in her hair, with a variety of purposes. Her golden moons, stars, birds, and fish hair ornaments are in fact angreal and ter'angreal with varying effects. She earned them from Norla in the Black Hills, though she does not know what three of their number do (TPoD, Ch. 12). She also has an angreal in the form of a shrike (WH, Ch. 35) and a Well in the form of a little golden hummingbird (WH, Ch. 34).

Relationships with Other Characters

This section contains spoilers relating to the whole series. Please expand to view.

Cadsuane tells Moiraine that she does not want to lose such a powerful channeler like her out of her own ignorance (NS, Ch. 17). Moiraine herself thinks that Cadsuane is a formidable woman, able to violate every custom if need be. But Moiraine cannot decide to assume whether she is one of Tamra's searchers for the Dragon Reborn or Black Ajah (NS, Ch. 17; Ch. 18).

Annoura believed her dead but stands in awe of her and jumps to obey her (ACoS, Ch. 18).

Merana is anxious that Cadsuane will harm Rand (ACoS, Ch. 18). She is not as shocked to see her as some of the other sisters, since she has met her once before when she was still a novice. Still, it makes her somewhat uneasy confronting Cadsuane, but on the other hand Merana asks herself if Cadsuane is still clear in her mind (ACoS, Ch. 19).

Going by Merana's reaction, Rand thinks that Cadsuane must be Red Ajah, until she tells him that she is Green. He feels threatened by her and is very suspicious of her motives of wanting to be close to him (ACoS, Ch. 18). Rand feels somehow uneasy around her (ACoS, Ch. 41), but after Min tells him of her viewing, he wants Cadsuane to advise him, no matter that she sets him different conditions and expands them at will (TPoD, Ch. 29; KoD, Ch. 18). Even Lews Therin is wary around her (TPoD, Ch. 27; WH, Ch. 23). Cadsuane herself wants to trick Rand into the direction she thinks best, but once she realizes that this helps not all, she stops. In fact, Sorilea tells her that she had better ignore Rand in order to make him come to her (TPoD, Ch. 12). Cadsuane thinks that Rand is extremely bad-mannered, something she has to mend no matter the cost (ACoS, Ch. 36). It is not wholly clear what she wants, but Cadsuane tells Rand that whatever she does will be for his own good (TPoD, Ch. 27).

Bera is also one of those sisters to be very surprised at seeing Cadsuane alive. She struggles with herself to maintain her composure and not be overawed (ACoS, Ch. 19). After steeling herself, she tells Cadsuane that she and the other sister may go against her, if they decided she means Rand harm (TPoD, Ch. 12). Cadsuane is disgusted to hear of her oath of fealty at first (ACoS, Ch. 19), but that does not keep her from admitting that Bera had a keen mind and a strong will (TPoD, Ch. 12).

Kiruna behaves almost the same as Bera and Merana is surprised to hear her sound so deferential toward Cadsuane (ACoS, Ch. 19).

Cadsuane does not follow Elaida's summons to return the White Tower. She blames her for making it nearly impossible for a sister to approach Rand (ACoS, Ch. 19).

She is disgusted about Alanna having bonded Rand without his permission (ACoS, Ch. 19), although she later asks her to pass the bond to her. After the attempt of controlling Rand proves fruitless, Cadsuane reconsiders, but she still quizzes Alanna about Rand's feelings and whereabouts. Like Elaida and Moiraine, Alanna has made her task more complicated (TPoD, Ch. 12). When Cadsuane first appears, Alanna talked of her as if she is "the Creator's sister" (ACoS, Ch. 33), but after she finds out about the bond, Cadsuane is not so pleasant. However, when Alanna finally wants to get rid of Rand's bond, Cadsuane refuses it (WH, Ch. 25).

Min thinks of Cadsuane as a strict aunt who is capable of doing the impossible, but she is determined not to step down from the woman (WH, Ch. 32; KoD, Ch. 19).

Sorilea is one of the few people to impress Cadsuane because she might be a match for herself. They both want to teach Rand "laughter and tears", but this alliance is unpredictable at best. Even though they might become friends, they do not know how far to trust each other in their dealings with Rand (TPoD, Ch. 12; WH, Ch. 13).

Cadsuane corrected a bad habit of Aleis Barsalla's once, but she thinks Aleis is a good ruler (WH, Ch. 24; WH, Ch. 34). Aleis remembers it, but she lets nothing show through her reserve at first. It is clear, however, that she hates Cadsuane for it (WH, Ch. 24).

Alivia is impressed by Cadsuane; she calls her "remarkable" and a "strict taskmistress" (WH, Ch. 33).

Verin is a mystery for Cadsuane; neither knows the other's full intentions, but Verin is sure that Rand can trust Cadsuane and Cadsuane thinks that Verin gives good advice (CoT, Ch. 23; KoD, Ch. 20).

Even though Nynaeve does not want to admit it to herself, she is intimidated by Cadsuane, for all that she stands above her in the Power (KoD, Ch. 20; KoD, Ch. 27). However, she is sure they can work out their differences (WH, Ch. 34). Cadsuane thinks that Nynaeve has much to learn yet, above all that it is possible to endure what must be, but she also sympathizes with her, since that is not a lesson to be learned in the Tower (KoD, Ch. 34).

Semirhage does not seem to impress Cadsuane at all. In fact, she is looking forward to talking to her (KoD, Ch. 27).

After the incidents in Shienar, Cadsuane has begun gathering sisters she can trust behind her. Among those are Daigian, Corele, Samitsu, Niande, Kumira, and Merise (WH, Ch. 13).


Cadsuane's Journey

Prior to the series

This section contains spoilers relating to the entire series. Please expand to view.

  • She is believed to be born around 705 NE in Ghealdan (Glossary), yet in truth she was born in Far Madding (WH, Ch. 25).
  • Around the year 730 NE, when Cadsuane was about 25, she begins earning her hair ornaments from an old wilder in the heart of the Black Hills. There, she learned what must be endured, can be endured, and she was possibly shaped to the form of composure she now displays (WH, Ch. 34).
  • Around 951 NE, 25 years before the Aiel War, Cadsuane announces her retirement from the world (ACoS, Ch. 19). She retreats to northern Ghealdan and tries to grow roses (ACoS, Ch. 18).
  • She comes back from retirement at the beginning of the Aiel War (NS, Ch. 17), in the first three months, accompanied by two Warders. After that, she retired once more (ACoS, Ch. 19). In the years between she must have made some research on Callandor, before she decided to go back into retirement, and she found out about the lacking buffer (TPoD, Ch. 27).

New Spring

This section contains spoilers relating to New Spring. Please expand to view.

  • After Cadsuane enters The Gates of Heaven in Canluum, she questions Moiraine on why she - as a newly raised sister - is in a dangerous place such as the Borderlands. Upon hearing that Moiraine is on her way to Chachin, she orders Larelle and Merean, who are also heading there, to accompany and watch Moiraine (NS, Ch. 17).
  • As she told Moiraine, Cadsuane peeks into her room to check if Moiraine is still present (NS, Ch. 18).

The Eye of the World

There is no relevant reference to Cadsuane in this book.

The Great Hunt

There is no relevant reference to Cadsuane in this book.

The Dragon Reborn

There is no relevant reference to Cadsuane in this book.

The Shadow Rising

There is no relevant reference to Cadsuane in this book.

The Fires of Heaven

There is no relevant reference to Cadsuane in this book.

The Lord of Chaos

There is no relevant reference to Cadsuane in this book.

A Crown of Swords

This section contains spoilers relating to A Crown of Swords. Please expand to view.

  • When Logain proclaims himself the Dragon Reborn, Cadsuane is among those to capture him, but escorting him to Tar Valon does not appeal to her. After a little while she gets word of Taim in Saldaea and is off to capture him as well (ACoS, Ch. 19).
  • Cadsuane arrives at the Sun Palace to have a look at Rand. She has a short conversation with him and then leaves with Merana and Annoura to talk to them (ACoS, Ch. 18).
  • They go to Bera's and Kiruna's room, where Cadsuane questions them about recent events. She pries a lot out of them that they wanted to keep hidden. Afterwards, Cadsuane leaves the Sun Palace with Corele and Daigian (ACoS, Ch. 19).
  • She is in the rebels camp at the foothills of the Spine of the World with Niande and Samitsu. When Rand is about to go after Fain, she walks up to Rand and tells him that he should leave it (ACoS, Ch. 35).
  • When the bubble of evil breaks out in the camp, Cadsuane helps in the fighting against the assaulting fog. She slaps Rand for using balefire and forbids him to ever use it again. She partially Heals him after Fain cut his side with his dagger. Without it, he might likely not have survived until Samitsu Healed him. Cadsuane then hires a farmer to drive her, Rand, and the others to the Sun Palace as fast as possible (ACoS, Ch. 36).
  • She is present when Rand wakes after two days, but leaves, however reluctantly, at Rand's request. Min then tells him that she had a viewing concerning Cadsuane (ACoS, Ch. 41).

The Path of Daggers

This section contains spoilers relating to The Path of Daggers. Please expand to view.

  • She visits the Sun Palace with Daigian and Kumira, who are to gather information among the other Aes Sedai. She has Alanna brought to her and asks her about Rand, but learns nothing new. When Sorilea comes to talk to her, they exchange information, among which how to deal with Rand best. Sorilea teaches Cadsuane the weave for Traveling, which surprises the latter, and they swear a water oath to teach Rand how to feel again (TPoD, Ch. 27).
  • Rand sends for Cadsuane after his return to the Sun Palace, but Daigian tell him that she refuses to come. Rand then goes to her himself, accompanied by four Asha'man, and asks her to be his advisor. Cadsuane agrees, but sets some rules of behavior towards her that he should keep in mind (TPoD, Ch. 27).
  • Rand spots her in the hallways of the Sun Palace, accompanied by six unknown Aes Sedai, after his apartments are blown apart by some renegade Asha'man (TPoD, Ch. 29).

Winter's Heart

This section contains spoilers relating to Winter's Heart. Please expand to view.

  • Harine complains about Cadsuane keeping Shalon, her Windfinder and sister, from her, but Cadsuane is not impressed by her threats, merely angered. After she sends them off, Verin tells her that the last Aes Sedai prisoners in the Aiel camps, all Red Ajah, have sworn fealty to Rand. Corele comes in and tells Cadsuane that Damer Flinn Healed Irgain and that she wants him to Heal the others. When Cadsuane permits her to get on with it, Narishma bursts in to inform them that Alanna has collapsed (WH, Ch. 13).
  • She Travels with Aes Sedai, Asha'man, and some of the Sea Folk to Far Madding in search of Rand. She instructs Sarene to be Harine's attendant (WH, Ch. 23). She leaves Samitsu in charge of everything in the Sun Palace (CoT, Prologue).
  • Cadsuane rides straight on to the Hall of the Counsels and meets the Counsels of Far Madding (WH, Ch. 24).
  • Cadsuane and Alanna go to The Counsel's Head to see Rand. She leaves him alone with Alanna to talk to Min. This way, she learns that Min thinks he needs her. Later, she tells Verin some of her intentions concerning Rand, which prevents Verin from the attempt to poison Cadsuane (WH, Ch. 25).
  • Min tells Alivia that she is about to go to Cadsuane to tell her about Rand's intentions regarding the renegade Asha'man and the former damane and wants to accompany her (WH, Ch. 33).
  • She and Alivia have to drag Nynaeve away from Blue Carp Street when she wants to help Lan and Rand upon their capture, which Cadsuane says would do no good. They lay out a plan and go to the Hall of the Counsels that night to force Rand out of their hands. She hoped it would go the easy way, but she has to break the Counsels by channeling inside the city (WH, Ch. 34).
  • She accompanies Rand out of Far Madding to pick up Callandor and the access keys and then Travels with him and the others to Shadar Logoth. While Rand and Nynaeve cleanse the taint on saidin, she holds up a shield around them and informs the circles around them where she detects channeling (WH, Ch. 35).
  • Cadsuane is in the Lord Algarin's manor; Verin reports about Cadsuane (WH, Ch. 25).

Crossroads of Twilight

This section contains spoilers relating to Crossroads of Twilight. Please expand to view.

  • She is out riding with Alivia, Min, and Nynaeve (WH, Ch. 32). Min then comes in to summon Cadsuane to Rand. To evade further questions from Verin, Cadsuane goes, but has a conversation with Merise on the way. Rand wants to talk to her about the Seanchan's Ever Victorious Army, when Elza, Erian, and Sarene walk in on them (CoT, Ch. 23).
  • When Samitsu comes from Cairhien, she tells Cadsuane that she is fairly sure about some Asha'man having bonded Aes Sedai. Cadsuane orders Samitsu to return to Cairhien and keep an eye on Sashalle (CoT, Ch. 24).
  • She is sewing while Logain reports to Rand. After that, Rand wants to know what Cadsuane thinks about his intended truce with the Seanchan (KoD, Ch. 18).
  • She participates in defending the manor against the hordes of Trollocs during their attack (KoD, Ch. 18).
  • She helps in disposing of the dead Trollocs and is present when Bashere comes to report to Rand (KoD, Ch. 20).
  • She accompanies Rand and the others to Tear, into the Stone, where they meet Caraline and Darlin, among others. Cadsuane has to set Rand straight when he proves he does not yet possess manners (KoD, Ch. 21).
  • She accompanies Rand when he goes to meet "the Daughter of the Nine Moons", a trap laid by Semirhage (KoD, Ch. 27).

The Gathering Storm

This section contains spoilers relating to The Gathering Storm. Please expand to view.

  • She passes some of the Domination Bands to Aes Sedai she trusts and keeps one, protected by weaves she believes to be secure (TGS, Ch. 14).
  • Cadsuane spanks Semirhage and makes her eat off the floor to break her (TGS, Ch. 17).
  • After Semirhage gets hold of one of the Domination Bands and captures Rand with it, Rand exiles Cadsuane and tells her if he ever sees her face again, he will kill her (TGS, Ch. 23).
  • Caduane recruits Tam to try and bring Rand's humanity back (TGS, Ch. 47).

Towers of Midnight

This section contains spoilers relating to Towers of Midnight. Please expand to view.

  • Cadsuane wonders where Alanna has run off to, explaining to Nynaeve that Alanna is a pathway to Rand. Cadsuane has tea brought to her, which she notes is good when all of a sudden Min says that Rand is back (ToM, Ch. 12).
  • Rand summons Cadsuane, and he apologizes and removes her exile. He then tells her he has a mission for her to fetch someone (ToM, Ch. 13).
  • Cadsuane returns with King of Arad Doman, whom she collected for Rand (ToM, Ch. 32).
  • She accompanies Rand to Tear where he gets Callandor and prepares to leave for Far Madding. Rand tells her to open a gateway if needed and explains he recognizes her hair ornament ter'angreal and knows it has a Well. He also tells her he is the only properly raised male Aes Sedai alive that hasn't turned to the shadow. She Travels with him to Far Madding and coaches him on how to treat the Borderlanders and explains who is who. At the end of the conversations, she is surprised that Rand had yet another army behind him (ToM, Ch. 51).

A Memory of Light

This section contains spoilers relating to A Memory of Light. Please expand to view.


Tales

Cadsuane has a lot of stories floating about regarding her person, half of them impossible, even those that have proof (NS, Ch. 17; CoT, Ch. 18). Most sisters are not comfortable hearing them, because they make Cadsuane dangerous and unpredictable (ACoS, Ch. 19; TPoD, Prologue). They include the following:

  • She kidnapped a King of Tarabon and dragged him to Tar Valon, after it came out that he could channel (NS, Ch. 17).
  • She abducted a King of Arad Doman and a Queen of Saldaea to prevent a war (NS, Ch. 17).
  • She assaulted an Amyrlin (NS, Ch. 17).
  • She refused being a Sitter twice and head of Ajah once (ACoS, Ch. 19).
  • She vanished from the Tower for over ten years when it was decided to raise her to the Amyrlin Seat (ACoS, Ch. 19).

Miscellaneous

This section contains spoilers relating to A Crown of Swords. Please expand to view.

  • Once, every new novice was measured by Cadsuane's standard (ACoS, Ch. 19).
  • She is fascinated by the impossible, but there has not been a task she could not accomplish in two hundred and seventy years (ACoS, Ch. 19).
  • Her retirement bored her so much, she would have taken the Hunter's Oath to get some excitement (ACoS, Ch. 19).
  • She knows her time to die may come soon, and thus she will not bond a new Warder (NS, Ch. 17; ACoS, Ch. 19).
  • Min has a viewing of Cadsuane; she tells Rand that the legendary Green will teach him and all the Asha'man something important, though they will certainly not like it (ACoS, Ch. 41).

This section contains spoilers relating to The Path of Daggers. Please expand to view.

  • She carries a number of useful things in her sewing basket. The piece she is working on shows the ancient Aes Sedai symbol held by a man's hands. The cracks on the disc's surface give no hint as to whether it is being broken or held together. All kinds of flowers will be depicted around the man but separated by nettles and briars (TPoD, Ch. 12).
  • Cadsuane has spanked two ruling kings and three queens (TPoD, Ch. 27).

This section contains spoilers relating to Winter's Heart. Please expand to view.

  • Once, Cadsuane wanted to root out the Black Ajah, but it was one of her bitterest failures. This, however, implies that she is not Black Ajah herself (WH, Ch. 13).
  • She blackmails Shalon and Ailil into spying on their siblings for Cadsuane (WH, Ch. 13).
  • She has faced more than 20 men who could channel over the years, which is more than any five Red sisters have done (ACoS, Ch. 18; WH, Ch. 34).
  • She keeps the male access key after the cleansing of the taint (WH, Ch. 35).
  • She has her own network of eyes-and-ears which she uses to keep an eye on Siuan's and Moiraine's activities, among other things (ACoS, Ch. 19; WH, Ch. 13).

This section contains spoilers relating to Knife of Dreams. Please expand to view.

  • Setalle Anan remembers that Cadsuane supposedly had a ter'angreal that can disrupt the flows of the Power (KoD, Ch. 7).
  • Cadsuane seems to know Covril, Loial's mother, and knows that she is not one to be kept waiting (KoD, Ch. 18).


Quotes

"There was something of Siuan about this woman, only magnified. Siuan had been born to lead. Cadsuane had been born to command. "(Moiraine about Cadsuane; NS, Ch. 17)

"It was Logain, practically on my doorstep, that lured me away from my roses. Phaw! A scuffle at a sheep fair could have lured me from those Light-cursed plants." (Cadsuane to Merana and Annoura; ACoS, Ch. 19)

"I've already seen more of your hairless bottomcheeks than I wish to, but if you want to flaunt them in front of all six of us, perhaps someone will enjoy the show. If you fall on your face, though, I may just spank you before I put you back to bed." (Cadsuane to Rand; ACoS, Ch. 41)

"She was a handsome woman, but not one you would notice twice in a crowd except that her smooth face did not match her hair. Once you came to know her, it was too late." (Shalon din Togara on Cadsuane; WH, Ch. 23)

"Vandene did not think much of the woman, calling her opinionated and muleheaded, but Careane had almost fainted in awe at hearing her name." (Elayne on sisters hearing about Cadsuane; CoT, Ch. 12)

"Strange to think that they had been called Aes Sedai, too. It would be like meeting a man called Cadsuane." (Cadsuane thinking about male Aes Sedai; CoT, Ch. 23)

"One might have thought that the years would also have taught her patience, but it had done the opposite. The older she grew, the less inclined she was to wait, for she knew she didn't have many years left. Anyone who claimed that old age had brought them patience was either lying or senile." (Cadsuane thinking to herself; TGS, Ch. 5)