Dain Bornhald (DAY-ihn) is a high-ranking officer of the Children of the Light.
He wears two golden knots of rank on his cloak beneath the sunburst symbol. He is only a little older than Rand. He has a narrow face. Since the campaign in the Two Rivers, his eyes are often bloodshot due to excessive drinking.
In Baerlon, one of his soldiers calls him 'Lord'. Whether this is a hereditary title, conferred to him because his father was given the title of Lord Captain or simply a mark of respect is unknown. Later, in the Two Rivers, Ordeith calls him Lord and 'lordling'.
He is an officer of the Children of the Light, though his precise rank is unknown. He wears one golden knot of rank on his cloak in Baerlon and wears two knots when he meets Egwene at Tar Valon. Three golden knots signifies the rank of a Lord Captain.
Dain's father Geofram mentioned that he often had to warn Dain against the dangers of overzealousness and described it as a 'grievous fault'. Eamon Valda thought that Dain worried too much about 'niceties' like proof of guilt when none can be obtained.
Geofram believed that Dain is zealous enough to fall blindly into whatever Valda might propose. Dain has a high respect for Valda, often dining with him. [verify] In turn, Valda believed Dain to be a fine young officer.
Before his bouts of depression, Dain seldom drank but sometimes liked to spend an evening in a tavern with a glass of wine to be in the company of people other than the Children. After a while, they would forget his presence and behave normally.
Up to Geofram Bornhald's death
Dain and some Children of the Light are in Baerlon when they are at the butt of one of Matrim Cauthon's pranks. When he goes to question Mat and Rand, the City Watch show up in the nick of time. Dain and his men decide to withdraw because they don't want to fight with the City Watch.
Dain later catches up with Rand and his group as they are trying to leave Baerlon and tries to arrest him. Moiraine Damodred uses a weaving of the Power called the Mask of Mirrors to confuse and terrify the Whitecloaks and cover her groups escape.
Dain is under the command of Eamon Valda while at Tar Valon. After Dain's father dies at Falme, Jaret Byar comes to him at Tar Valon. Byar tells him of his father's death and the "darkfriend" Perrin Aybara who has caused it. Dain swears vengeance on Perrin.
Dain is in charge of the Whitecloaks that menace Egwene al'Vere and company while they are heading back to the White Tower after being in Falme. Egwene attacks them with the One Power along with Nynaeve and Elayne, causing all but Dain to retreat. He is furious and swears to get his revenge.
Campaign against the Two Rivers
Dain is, at his own request, placed in command of a legion that is dispatched to the Two Rivers to root out Darkfriends there. His command is given to him by Pedron Niall and he names Jaret Byar as his second in command because of his loyalty to his father.
His orders are to seek Darkfriends and help a man named Ordeith. Almost immediately, Dain begins to detest Ordeith and his methods. Under his command, the Children instigate a campaign of turning the Two Rivers folk against one another by spreading suspicion of Darkfriends among them.
When the Trollocs attack, the Children fight them in skirmishes but never mount a real offensive. Dain finds that groups which he commands personally seem more likely to come under planned attack from Trollocs. This is likely a result of an attempt to oust him from his role as leader - perhaps orchestrated by Ordeith.
Perrin smells brandy on him later in the campaign. Clearly the events he has endured there and his interactions with Ordeith have changed him and let his hatred fester. He promises to forego usual Whitecloak tactics when Perrin invites him in to Emond's Field to help defend the village from Trollocs.
During the final battle at Emond's Field, Dain keeps his forces out of the action even when the line nearly fails, betraying his deal with Perrin. He leaves with four hundred mounted soldiers, vowing to cut through Perrin's own forces to make their way to the rest of the Children of the Light at Watch Hill.
Dain's bargain with Perrin stipulates that Perrin will hand himself over without resistance if the Children support the Two Rivers folk where the fighting is hottest. Since Dain decides not to commit his forces in the final battle, Perrin refuses to hand himself in; he points out that even the women of the Two Rivers fought more to defend against the Shadow than any Whitecloak.
Return to Amador
After leaving the Two Rivers, Dain returned to the Dome of the Light.
When Valda first arrives at the Fortress of the Light, Dain greets him and reveals that Queen Morgase is held captive within.
Dain's drinking continues, possibly because of the guilt of his past actions in standing aside while Trollocs attacked Emond's Field and his obsession with Perrin under the belief that he killed his father. Valda thinks there is no excuse for drinking brandy during the day and makes a mark against Dain for it. He verbally reprimands Dain for not being sober.
Dain drunkenly let slip rumors of Valda's treatment and alleged murder of Morgase Trakand to Galad Damodred which are reluctantly confirmed by Byar. This caused Galad to confront Eamon Valda. Dain takes the side of Galad Damodred against his commander.
Confrontation with Goldeneyes
While following the lead of Galad, the new Captain Commander of the Children, the army crosses path with a much larger army of Children of the Light, Seanchan controlled and lead by Rhadam Asunawa. Asunawa names Galad darkfriend and orders him to surrender for questioning. Rather than have Whitecloak fight Whitecloak, Galad complies and has his force merge with the other force. After Galad is brutally beaten by the Hand of the Light, he is rescued by Trom, Byar and Bornhald. They come in with the other Lord Captains previously standing against him. They drop a sack containing Asunawa's head and pledge loyalty to him.
He is guarding Galad when news reaches him of travelers being captured by their army. They turn out to be the front group of a force belonging to Perrin's army. He personally rides into Perrin's camp to inform Perrin that Galad wishes to meet with him. Still believing that Aybara killed his father, Bornhald backs up Byar's insistence that they do battle. Instead, Aybara is given a trial concerning the murder of two Children two years previously. It is during this trial that Perrin admits to killing those Whitecloaks, but insists that Geofram Bornhald was killed by the Seanchan while, in fact, fighting along side Perrin.
After Aybara comes to the aid of the Children when Trollocs attack their camp, Bornhald finally sees the truth about Perrin. After going so long hating Aybara for what he thought he did, he finds it difficult to drop his grudge, but he does so nonetheless. When Byar, still blinded to the truth, attempts to murder Perrin, Bornhald intervenes and kills Byar. He later admits his shame to Perrin, that he lied about Trollocs killing his family, and it was Ordeith instead.