2.5: True Love and Families

This subsection contains information on and discussion of questions relating to romantic and filial relationships.

2.5.1: Who's who in the Families?

[Family trees by Erica FAQ-Dowager Sadun]


           A N D O R                            C A I R H I E N
   TRAKANDS (T) and MANTEARS(M)                       DAMODREDS
    (rumored to have Aiel blood)             
    -=----------------------+                 +-----------=LAMAN--=BARTHANES
    | |                Modrellein^ (M)        |         |           (cousin)   
    | |                    |                  |         |             
    | |                    |                  |         |          
    | (M)   clan chief | (Daughter Heir      (heir?)   (half sister 
    |       of Taardad |  of Andor ---+---------+       of Taringail,
    |                  |  aka SHAIEL) |         |       niece of
    |                  |              |         |       Laman)
    |                  |         GALADEDRID     |
    |                RAND                       |
    |                                           |
                (Daughter Heir of Andor)

                 M A L K I E R I
        |                                           |
     LAIN m. BREYAN allied with COWIN         AL'AKIR m. EL'LEANNA
         |                                             |
        ISAM                                          LAN


 * Merges with ISAM, son of BREYAN to form SLAYER       
 ** Speculated to be bastard of THOM MERRILIN, the gray fox, but probably is not. 
    (See Section 2.5.4.)
 = Exact links unknown, we just know they're related.
 ^ Also seen as "Mordrellen"; supposedly later editions of TFOH and LOC 
   have been changed to the latter spelling.

2.5.2: Who is Juilin's honey?

From [ACOS: Glossary, 675]:

"Juilin Sandar - A thief-catcher from Tear. A man in love with perhaps the very last woman he would ever have thought he could be."

So, who is it? People have suggested an Aes Sedai, Nynaeve, Birgitte, etc. However, there is only one idea backed by any demonstration of tender feelings on Juilin's part: ex-Panarch Amathera of Tarabon:

We know from [ACOS: 14, White Plumes, 273], as well as other places, that Juilin does not like nobles, so a high noble of some sort might seem to be the last person he would think he'd fall in love with.

How about some quotes?

  • [ACOS: 14, White Plumes, 274] "Tarabon must be terrible now for a woman not used to taking care of herself," Juilin murmured.
  • Going back to the group's trip away from Tarabon [TFOH: 9, A Signal, 146], we have:

    Nynaeve: "Amathera was difficult, but I do not wish her any harm. Do you?"

    Juilin: "A pretty woman, especially in one of those Taraboner serving girl's dresses, with a pretty smile. I thought she...." (shuts up when Elayne shoots him a dirty look.)

This is all confirmed in WH. Juilin convinced Thera/Amathera to run away with Mat and Co., and she joined their party in [WH: 31, What the Aelfinn Said, 586].

2.5.3: Why do we think that Thom will marry Moiraine? --Updated

Moiraine says she knows the face of the man she will marry better than El/Eg/Ny know their future husbands [TSR: 6, Doorways, 90-1]. This could mean that she will never wed, but it could mean that she really does know who she will end up marrying. Support for the latter case is that, according to Elayne, Moiraine had some passion in her voice when she mentioned a husband, despite her attempts to then brush it off. After going through the Tear twisted doorway, she immediately tells Thom that he will live through the next set of adventures. This is not the only example of Moiraine being so sure of Thom's fate; while the party is traveling through the Ways in TEOTW, Moiraine implies that Min saw something about Thom which makes her think that Thom was not killed by the Fade [TEOTW: 45, What Follows in Shadow, 568]. She certainly seems to have some sort of knowledge of Thom's future. Thom keeps referring to Moiraine as a good-looking woman with more and more sincerity as time progresses and he discovers he no longer loves Morgase.

Possible scenario: How would she know who it was? Being Aes Sedai she'd likely have a lot of chances, but here's a guess. When Min describes how her viewings work her standard example is this: I see two people who have never met and know they will marry-- and of course she had both Thom and Moiraine in front of her in Baerlon. So, this would also be the reason why 1) Moiraine was so sure Thom hadn't been killed by a Fade, despite Rand's and Mat's protestations, and 2) why she tells Thom "I will see you again. You will survive Tarabon." [TSR: 17, Deceptions, 195] At this point, she is absolutely certain that she will see Thom again. This is before she goes to Rhuidean and goes through the rings that show possible futures. When she did that, she saw nothing beyond the point where she tackled Lanfear through the Twisted Doorway. She thus decided that Min (or whatever oracle led her to think she would see Thom again) had been wrong. [Sean Hillyard] Note that, right before tackling Lanfear, Moiraine suppresses a "small bubble of hope," which she feels, even though she is sure she's about to die [TFOH: 52, Choices, 632].

 Egwene has a  Dream of Thom pulling Moiraine's blue head jewel out of a fire (i.e. Thom rescuing Moiraine from durance vile in Finnland). Nothing sparks a romance (in stories, at any rate) like a rescue. It seems that Moiraine already has tender feelings for Thom from her addressing him as "My dearest Thom" in the letter she sent to him. [KoD 10: A Village in Shiota]

It remains to be seen if Thom returns her feelings, however his eagerness to attempt the rescue is a positive sign in that direction.

2.5.4: Is Thom the father of Elayne or Gawyn?

Why would we think that Thom is Elayne or Gawyn's father?

Elayne denies that Galad is her brother. Thom was around at the right time. Thom clearly had something to do with Taringail's disappearance. Thom was Morgase's lover. In [TFOH: 19, Memories, 252], Morgase thinks about Taringail, and how the only good to come of the marriage were "two beautiful children." This could be Elayne and Gawyn, or she could mean Galad (adopted) and Gawyn.

Why is this idea wrong?

Evidence from the Glossary: "A Royal Prince of Cairhien, he married Tigraine and fathered Galadedrid. When Tigraine disappeared and was declared dead, he married Morgase and fathered Elayne and Gawyn." [TEOTW: Glossary, entry "Damodred, Prince Taringail", 661]


In [TSR: 17, Deceptions, 194], Moiraine says Thom was "Morgase's lover for a time, after Taringail died" (emphasis mine). Here, Moiraine is trying to impress Thom with how much she knows. She wouldn't include a detail she had any doubt about. To be wrong about something in such a situation would indicate faulty research, and Moiraine would not risk showing any gap in her knowledge. If she had any doubt at all, she wouldn't have mentioned the timing of events. Plus, Thom didn't say or think anything to contradict Moiraine's statement.

If Morgase had been having an affair with Thom while still married to Taringail, it is very unlikely that she would have been able to keep it entirely under wraps; surely some rumor would have been around, especially in Cairhien. However, we see no evidence of such a rumor existing. Specifically, in [LOC: 50, Thorns, 628] when Rand mentions to some Cairhienin that he means to have Elayne rule Cairhien, the Cairhienin think she'd be a good choice, due to her descent from her father Taringail Damodred. If Morgase was unfaithful, surely there would have been some doubt as to Elayne's right to the throne of Cairhien.

At a post-ACOS signing [Dunwoody, GA, 9 October, 1996], RJ strongly denied that Thom was Elayne or Gawyn's father. "Thom is exactly who he says he is."

2.5.5: Kari al'Thor: What do we know about her?

[J. R. Feehan, Anthony Padilla]


  • Tam met Kari sometime before the end of the Aiel War. (ref. Tam's ranting in the woods)
  • Kari is from Caemlyn. [TGH: 8, The Dragon Reborn, 105]
  • Kari did not give birth to Rand. [TEOTW: 6, The Westwood, 73] (and other refs, too numerous to note)
  • Kari had red hair. [TEOTW: 16, The Wisdom, 202]
  • Kari, supposedly, had gray eyes which Rand was supposed to have inherited. [TEOTW: 1, An Empty Road, 2] Rienk Tychon suggests that she may actually not have had grey eyes, but that Tam just told him that--not likely, since he was delirious at the time, and Tam should certainly know the color of his wife's eyes. "Kari" has dark eyes in Ishy's vision at the end of TEOTW. This might indicate that the "Kari" in the vision wasn't real (TEOTW near the end); however, this passage has been corrected in later printings of TEOTW to give the vision Kari gray eyes also.
  • Kari died when Rand was young, perhaps from a disease that made her "waste away" or something. (There are no refs to a wasting sickness in TEOTW or TGH, and I don't think there are any refs in other books, but I leave this in in case I find one.)
  • Kari didn't approve of Tam's sword. [TEOTW: 5, Winternight, 56]

All Rand can remember of her was her smile and her hands. Nynaeve said it was obvious that she loved Rand, and that she was very nice. Even still, she was only in the Two Rivers for a few years, if all Rand can remember is her smile. She probably had known Tam for quite a while, while he was in Andor. At any rate, their relationship went on long enough for him to say in his fever dream that she "Always said you wanted to have children." That "always" would imply that her and Tam didn't get hitched after like a month-long romance, and that maybe they'd been married a while before they found Rand, and maybe tried to have kids of their own, to no avail, which would have taken a while to find out.

At a book signing, RJ is reported to have said that we'll find out a little more about Kari later.

Loony Kari theories: People have thought that Kari was Tigraine (somehow still alive after dying on the slopes of Dragonmount) or an Aiel Wise One looking after Shaiel's kid (which cannot be because Moiraine said that Kari's from Caemlyn) or an Aes Sedai who'd been stilled (someone said she was wasting away and that's why she died and Tam was her Warder, etc. Wouldn't the White Tower have gotten to Emond's Field faster if Kari had been one?) or a Tinker or she was related to some Caemlyn noble we know. Don't know why exactly, but she does have red hair, and the Caemlyn nobles also have red hair.

2.5.6: Is Aviendha pregnant?

Not a chance. There are two reasons why:


  1. Nynaeve Delved Aviendha at the beginning of TPOD, after Elayne almost blew them up with unraveling her Gateway from the Kin farm [TPOD: 20, Into Andor, 390]. From [WH: 11, Ideas of Importance, 274], we see that Delving is a very thorough examination. If Aviendha had been pregnant, she would have been about four months along at that point, and there's no way Nynaeve wouldn't have detected it - that's a big physiological change, even if the woman isn't showing it externally. And it's absurd to think Nynaeve would detect such a life-changing condition and decide not to tell Aviendha about it. Therefore, if Avi was pregnant, she'd know.


  2. And that's why the sister-bonding ceremony in WH's prologue is proof that Avi is not pregnant. Monaelle explains that Melaine is not present at the ceremony because "the babes she carries would be part of the bond between you and Aviendha, if the weaves brushed them. If they survived, that is; the unborn are not strong enough for this" [WH: Prologue, Snow, 48]. Aviendha would not have participated in the ceremony if she were pregnant.

We do know, however, that Aviendha will be pregnant in the future (see section 4.2).

2.5.7: What's the deal with Seanchan marriage customs?

[WH: 31, What the Aelfinn Said, 588]:


"She is my wife," [Mat] said softly...
"What?" Egeanin squeaked, her head whipping toward him so fast that her tail of hair swung around to slap her face. He would not have thought she could squeak. "You cannot say that! You must not say that!"
"Why not?" he demanded. The Aelfinn always gave true answers. Always. "She is my wife. Your bloody Daughter of the Nine Moons is my wife!"

Egeanin doesn't say "What? WTF are you talking about?", she says, "You MUST not say that." So we wondered, post-WH, if there was some special significance to him saying that. Amy Gray suggested: "What if Seanchan marriage customs are such that all you have to do to be married is say it three times? If this is the case, they're already married! The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. I think this is my new pet loony theory."

Well, not quite, but damn close for a loony theory.

[COT: 28, A Cluster of Rosebuds, 625]:

Egeanin: "You can't think she'll complete the ceremony, can you? You can't be that big a fool."
Mat: "What ceremony? What are you talking about?"
"You named her your wife three times that night in Ebou Dar," she said slowly. "You really don't know? A woman says three times that a man is her husband, and he says three times she's his wife, and they're married. There are blessings involved, usually, but it's saying it in front of witnesses that makes it a marriage."


2.5.8 How far along is Elayne's pregnancy? --New

[Linda Taglieri]

Elayne’s babies were conceived on February 17 (Saban 2) [WH 12: A Lily in Winter]. Pregnancy is normally calculated from the woman’s last known period rather than the conception date. This would be about 2 real world weeks earlier, ie February 3. A typical pregnancy is 40 weeks long from the last period, or 38 weeks since conception. Elayne's due date is about November 10, 1000 NE. But twins are often born earlier.

Elayne had her first medical examination on March 8 at 4.5 weeks pregnant [COT 14: What Wise Ones Know], and finally consulted a midwife in Knife of Dreams when she was about 9 or 10 weeks pregnant (7 to 8 since conception) [KOD 35: the importance of Dyelin]. At this time Elayne complains of breast tenderness and frequency of urination, and her fatigue is also due in part to her pregnancy.

Pregnancy interferes with the ability to channel. It is harder to touch the Source or weave the flows. The mood swings of pregnancy and the resulting loss of calm may be part of the reason why. This difficulty often grows worse as the pregnancy progresses and the mother will be unable to channel at all while in labour or giving birth.

Women channellers are unaffected by morning sickness, but it is not known if they are immune to post-natal blues or depression.

Elayne’s midwife, Melfane, examines Elayne’s urine daily, even tasting it. One obvious disease that would show in the urine is diabetes of pregnancy, which would result in sweet-tasting urine. Liver disease results in orange or brown urine, kidney disease, foamy or red urine, and white urine can signify infection. Examination of urine (uroscopy) for color, consistency, smell, and sometimes taste, has been used regularly since ancient times and was still performed during the 18th century, as was examination of faeces.

Examination of Elayne’s eyelids would indicate whether she was anaemic (this is still done). Melfane checked Elayne’s heart with an early stethoscope, and has been listening for the babies’ heartbeats but has not heard them yet. She will first hear them around the time of, or perhaps shortly after, the quickening, the first movements of the baby able to be felt, has occurred, usually around weeks 16-20 for a first pregnancy (14-18 weeks since conception).

Elayne’s midwife has (correctly) forbidden alcohol, which certainly would not have happened in the 17th and 18th centuries, since plain water was often unsafe to drink and alcoholic drinks were consequently very popular. (Coffee and tea also became popular in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries respectively). Other ‘modern’ advice given to Elayne is to read to, and have music played to, her babies. Elayne is also weighed daily, which would have been atypical (Knife of Dreams, The Importance of Dyelin).

At the beginning of June 1000 NE, Elayne would be 17 real world weeks pregnant (4 months). She should be able to feel the babies about this time. By the beginning of July she would be 5 months pregnant (21 real world weeks), and getting large since she is carrying twins. It would have been 19 real world weeks since the babies were conceived.

Elayne doesn't know the twins are a boy and a girl, just that they will be born healthy. Aviendha and Birgitte got so drunk after Min told them this that they don't remember her viewing properly. Min is the only one who can give either future parent the full information. Rand has not yet been informed of Elayne’s pregnancy, the reasons being the women think he has enough to worry about already and his mental health has been poor.

Elayne tells us that there is a high infant mortality rate in the Wheel of Time world:

"My babes and I are safe." Elayne laughed, hugging back. "Min's viewing?" Her babes were safe, at least. Until they were born. So many babies died in their first year. Min had said nothing beyond them being born healthy. [KOD 15: A Different Skill]

Twins are especially at risk. To have both born and strong was not at all common in the real world in the 17th to 18th centuries. However, Elayne's twins are more at risk from their mother's overconfidence in Min's viewing.