Darkfriends & Dragons: Neutral Alignments in The Eye of the World

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Author: Aintza Bisera
Published: January 21 2021 Tar Valon Times Blog

This article contains spoilers for The Eye of the World.

Welcome back fellow adventurers! I hope this finds you well! In this installment of Darkfriends and Dragons we will be further discussing alignments in The Eye of the World, specifically Neutral Alignments. These are Neutral, Chaotic Neutral, and Lawful Neutral as represented by Mashadar, Elyas Machera, and Geofram Bornhald. Warning, this discussion may include spoilers for those reading Eye of the World for the first time.

A Disclaimer and a Refresher

Alignments in Dungeons and Dragons are highly subjective and are widely argued by the community as a whole. The nine alignments are lawful good, neutral good, chaotic good, lawful neutral, neutral, chaotic neutral, lawful evil, neutral evil and chaotic evil. Alignments define a character’s creed and morality, generally helping to form the person’s view of the world as a whole. They can change following life events of significance, and are often loose or blurred depending on personality and whims.

Neutral – Mashadar

The Neutral Alignment is often described as the undecided, but I define it as the true middle of the road. Neutral characters or beings do not feel strongly one way or another regarding law or chaos. They lack conviction or bias, and rarely choose a side in conflict. The other side of this coin is purposeful neutrality, or the Devil’s Advocate. A person following this path chooses to see both sides of the story, and believes in finding balance in light and dark.

Mashadar, in my opinion, is an excellent example of True Neutral. While it can be argued that it is evil, and was definitely born of evil, the Mists of Shadar Logoth kill without prejudice. In Eye of the World, we see Mashadar attempt to consume darkspawn and Aes Sedai alike. It does not see Light or Dark, good or evil. Mashadar seeks to consume all, the ultimate neutrality.

Chaotic Neutral – Elyas Machera

The Chaotic Neutral Alignment follows their own whims and is an individualist. Chaotic Neutral characters do not live and avoid authority, are unpredictable, and above all value their own liberties. These people generally toe the line between Light and Dark, sometimes rebelling against one or the other. Chaotic Neutral characters can be considered greedy, but they never see it as such…it is merely self interest.

Elyas can be an example of Chaotic Neutral due to his carefree nature and self preservation. His escape from the Tower and murder (in self defense) of other Gaidin, are an example of his back and forth between Light and Dark. He also has a great disdain for large groups of people and authority, especially Aes Sedai. To Elyas, his life and freedom (and that of the wolves) is paramount. He will do what he has to to survive.

Lawful Neutral – Geofram Bornhald

Lawful Neutral characters are bound by law, tradition or a personal code. Order is everything to them; they are honorable without the extreme. Lawful neutral characters feel their purpose is to bring order to the world. They will keep their word and never lie. To them, life without order has no meaning.

Geofram is a good example of Lawful Neutral among the Whitecloaks. He believes in the laws of the land and of his order, above all. He is honorable, and even though it is believed Egwene and Perrin are Darkfriends, he will not harm them without conviction after trial. He follows the word of the Lord Commander of the Children of Light, and believes it is his mission to bring order to all creatures of the Light.

In the setting of the Wheel of Time, alignments can change from book to book as characters develop and experience new things. Check out EasyDamus for more information on all of the Alignments and start thinking of who you would pick for the Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil and Chaotic Evil alignments!

Next time, I will be featuring the Evil Alignments! Please comment below and thank you for reading!