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EWoT: Fortuona Athaem Devi Paendrag

Fortuona Athaem Devi Paendrag is the current Empress of the Seanchan (officially recognized on this side of the Arith Ocean, while the Seanchan homeland is still in chaos). She was formerly known as Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag, the Daughter of the Nine Moons, heir to the throne, the second and favorite daughter of the late Empress of the Seanchan empire.

She is believed to be a direct descendant of Artur Hawkwing through his son Luthair, who conquered the Seanchan continent. Her personal banner is two golden lions harnessed to an ancient war-cart.

Appearance and Personality

She is dark and petite with large brown eyes, a heart-shaped face and full lips. As a mark of her station, her head is shaved and she has long, lacquered fingernails. Her rather underdeveloped figure, combined with her short stature, lack of hair, and small bust size have had the unfortunate result of causing virtually everyone she meets to initially mistake her either for a very young girl or a boy.

In general, she is extremely cold, aloof, demanding, and reserved. She is also shown to have a nearly sociopathic assurance regarding her own self-worth as the Empress of Seanchan, and appears to genuinely believe herself to be innately superior to virtually everyone she meets. She, like most Seanchan, has an extraordinary amount of disdain for women who can channel, despite the fact that she herself has the potential to channel. By contrast, she has been shown to care for her empire and its citizens, has developed a considerable amount of affection for Matrim Cauthon, and is known to have been fond of at least one of her brothers. She is also known to be very insecure about the fact that she does not look very feminine, and is known to wear clothing that purposefully emphasizes what few curves she has.

History

Seanchan-icon

Tuon was first mentioned when High Lord Turak identified her as standing highest of the Empress' children in terms of favor.[1] She mentions that she has the ability to be a sul'dam, which means she has the ability to learn to channel.

Tuon card teaser by reddera-d6hd55j

Tuon by Ariel Burgess, Official Wheel of Time Artist

Activities

Meeting Mat

She is known as the Daughter of the Nine Moons, the title taken by the heir to the Seanchan empire. and makes her first appearance in the series in Book 9 (Winter's Heart), where she docks in Ebou Dar. It is here among the city's royal palace that Tuon first meets Mat, when he barges in on a meeting between her and Tylin. She examines Mat thoroughly and seems to be very interested in the signet ring with the fox and ravens in a crescent shape on it in particular. Throughout the rest of the novel it seems that she takes great care to be wherever Mat is and based upon an earlier conversation between Tuon and Anath, her Truthspeaker, about a damane's telling of her future, many speculate that that foretelling has to do with Mat, one begins to see why. She also offers to first buy Mat, and then his ashandarei. When Mat is about to escape with Amathera and the Aes Sedai made prisoners by the Seanchan, Tuon intercedes and they struggle, but Noal Charin holds her.

She is named Daughter of the Nine Moons by Egeanin causing Mat to speak aloud (three times) that she is his wife, which in turn causes Tuon to smile. Afraid she will alert the guards, Mat kidnaps her and her servant Selucia. Mat later learns that Seanchan custom holds that proclaiming the statement aloud three times before witnesses completes the wedding ritual for that person. The person addressed as one's spouse has a full year to say the other person is their spouse three times. If both people have proclaimed the other as their spouse, they are considered married. Mat is unaware that by saying Tuon was his wife three times he has initiated a Seanchan marriage ceremony. Tuon only has to say that Mat is her husband three times and they will be wed.

Tuon athaem kore paendrag by pollyuranus

Tuon under a veil, by Pollyuranus.

Fleeing Ebou Dar

Mat tries to woo his wife-to-be while they travel in Valan Luca's circus. Learning that she is being characterized as a disloyal servant, Tuon grows angry and nicknames Mat 'Toy'. Upon returning from a shopping trip with Mat and Selucia, they all learn that a former sul'dam, Renna, has stabbed Egeanin and run away. Mat pursues and has Renna killed to protect Tuon and the others, but upon his return to the circus Tuon makes it known through decree that it and everyone in it is under her protection for the time being, except for Mat. Tuon gives Mat permission to give her her first kiss. She uses this as a ruse to check if Mat is suffering from a fever due to infections he received fighting Darkfriends in Maderin. Secretly, she liked the kiss. The Band of the Red Hand is no longer in Salidar while Aes Sedai and the Seanchan are looking for Tuon everywhere. She continues to stay with Mat rather than remain behind in safety, when he engages a number of Seanchan forces in battle. Tuon concludes the Marriage Ceremony that Mat started once Mat fulfills the prophecy spoken by a damane on her Voyage across the Aryth Ocean.

"Beware the Fox that makes the Ravens fly, for he will marry you and carry you away. Beware the Man that remembers Hawkwing's face, for he will marry you and set you free. Beware the Man of the Red Hand, for him you will marry and none other."

After Mat releases Tuon into the hands of her childhood bodyguard, Furyk Karede, and she returns to Ebou Dar, she discovers that her Mother, the Empress of Seanchan, is dead and that she is now the presumed Empress of the Seanchan Empire. Once in Ebou Dar she makes Suroth Sabelle Meldarath da'covale and assigns the Deathwatch Guards to keep an eye on her.

Becoming the Empress

After returning to Ebou Dar, she made Altara the seat of Seanchan power in the Westlands. She also became aware that Trollocs were real, and not just myths, as the Seanchan had previously believed. She met with the Dragon Reborn at Falme, and, after barely overcoming Rand's ta'veren attribute, was adamant that he should bow before the Crystal Throne. This upset Rand, and he walked away from the meeting. Tuon later told Selucia that she feared they had turned Rand against them, saying that they had been against him before but he had not been against them. After the meeting, she declared that she was Empress, and took a new name, Fortuona. It should be said that Fortuona only rules portions of the Westlands and has not solidified her rule of the Seanchan continent.

Fortuona's der'sul'dam Melitene brings her Suffa, the former Amyrlin Seat who shows Fortuona and those gathered around her how to Travel. Fortuona decrees that all damane are to learn the weave in preparation for a full-scale attack on the White Tower using Traveling to transport the army there.

Fortuona is she practicing combat forms in the Tarasin gardens, surrounded by the Deathwatch guards when she notices movement and spots Mat throwing a knife in her direction. Trusting Mat she turns to see the knife implant into the arm of a Gray Man sneaking up on her. The Deathwatch Guard charge forward and pin Mat to the ground, having not even noticed the would-be assassin, allowing the Gray Man to escape. Tuon tells them to let Mat go. She then disrobes and the two passionately kiss. Mat asks if Tuon will ever love him. She replies that an Empress never loves, but she admits that it is good to see Mat. They then spend the night together.

The Last Battle

Rand tracks down Fortuona through Mat and appears before her, unarmed and shielded. She took Mat's Silver foxhead medallion while he was asleep when she deals with the Dragon. Rand begins to rip apart Fortuona's logic behind her right to rule; forcing her to admit that he is Dragon Reborn and that he held dominion over these lands well before Artur Hawkwing began the Consolidation, as Lews Therin Telamon. Peach blossoms begin to grow and then bloom, bursting out petals all around the garden they are in. This is a very powerful omen to support his Peace. The two dispute the borders of Almoth Plain and the marath'damane captured in the main land. Rand then kneels in-front of Fortuona and holds his hand out asking to be allies. [2] Rand and the Empress agree to sign the Dragon's Peace, and the Seanchan decide to enter the Last Battle.

Fortuona informs Beslen that he will not be marching to war, but instead staying behind to govern Altara. He is not impressed but does what she asks. Fortuona asks to see Mat. He still calls her Tuon and refuses to kneel in front of her. Galgan expects her to execute Mat, instead she renames him Knotai and then appoints him as rodholder of the Seanchan empire. Reports come back that the Aes Sendai have suffered a great defeat. Tuon considers leaving the Aes Sendai, but Knotai reminds her that she signed the Dragon’s treaty. Fortuona believes that words cannot constrain the Empress, but decides to ride with the omens and trust in Knotai. The Seanchan hurry in their preparations to join the fray. As Mat leaves, Galgan gives Fortuona an unreadable look.

Fortuona Athaem Devi Paendrag is met by Egwene al'Vere to discuss the the terms for Seanchan aid in the battle against the shadow. The conversation gets off to an icy start, with Egwene revealing that she was once collared by the a'dam. Fortuona is shocked and angered that she had no knowledge on this and calls over Knotai to confirm this story. Fortuona agrees to fight, and will recognize the sovereign borders of the nations as they stand now. The Seanchan will also not force obedience on channelers that do not violate their borders. Egwene insists on the Seanchan releasing the control of Tremalking. The Seanchan have no leader set up there and do not acknowledge the Seanchan as rulers. Fortuona agrees when she sees Egwene's logic. Egwene agrees to let Seanchan emissaries come to Tar Valon, where they will have free board and collar any woman who wishes it. The women argue on the fact that the sul'dam can learn to channel one day. This point in particular hits a raw nerve with Fortuona as she could be a sul'dam. Tensions flare and Mat is forced to place himself between the two. Fortuona leaves telling Egwene that the Seanchan will fight, but under the command of their own generals.

Min volunteers to take a message to Tuon from the White Tower forces and when she is attempting to head back through the gateway, she blurts out that an assassination attempt will be made on Tuon's life. This causes Tuon to declare Min her Doomseer, one who sees the future, and commands her to remain at her side, with Mat encouraging Min to stay.

Seanchan withdrawal

Fortuona and Mat plan an argument to convince the Shadow's forces that the Seanchan are leaving the battle and will no longer fight on the side of the Light. Tuon is unsure if she will send her forces back when they are needed, but Min convinces her it's the right thing to do.

Once the Last Battle is over, Mat returns to Tuon in Merrilor at which time she tells him she is with child and hasn't decided if she will kill him or not. Mat smiles and replies "Tell me, do you ever play dice?".

Possible future

During Aviendha's second trip to Rhuidean she witnesses the results of the Aiel going to war with the Seanchan Empire, which she also hears referred to as the Raven Empire, through the eyes of her descendents. While seeing her child's perspective she learns that the Aiel considered the previous empress, presumably Tuon, a more reasonable leader, but that she had been succeeded by an unreasonable empress. They describe the new leaders of the empire as harder and more unreasonable. This implies that in this possible future outcome, Tuon is no longer alive when Aviendha's children reach adulthood.

Notes

  1. The Great Hunt, Chapter 34
  2. Fulfilling one of the prophecies of the Essanik Cycle
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