Galina Casban was an Aes Sedai and former Highest, or leader, of the Red Ajah. She was also of the Black Ajah. Believed dead by the White Tower, she is now the permanent personal gai'shain to Therava of the Shaido Aiel.
Appearance and Personality
Galina has long black hair and a pretty round face with hard eyes and a plump, demanding mouth.
Galina Casban was imperious, cunning, ruthless and cruel as demonstrated when she brutally tortured Rand for seemingly no reason other than simple spite. Her reputation as a cruel and merciless member of the Red Ajah was well known throughout all of the lands and she was considered the most feared of all the Aes Sedai. She has very little, if any, guilt over her actions or for the people that she hurts or kills as she is convinced that it is all for the greater good and feels that her position allows her the right to do whatever she deems necessary. By today's standards she would likely be labeled as a sociopath.
Ironically despite her strong belief in her own superiorty, Galina was shown to have an almost cowardly, or perhaps simply lazy, side to her as she tended to try and avoid physical combat whenever possible.
She has a strong dislike for men and anything to do with them, firmly believing that the female population is superior and is willing to hurt or kill anyone who dares try to challenge her beliefs. She was shown to have a bit of a sadistic side to her as she took great pleasure in torturing Rand and savoring the moment. However, the Wheel of Time Companion says she does not enjoy inflicting pain for itself, though she does enjoy it if she hates the person being tortured. She does believe that torture is necessary work, and should be done well.
She is a lesbian.
Galina has shown that she is not above using her position or power for her own gains as she had a reputation for using her authority to pressure other Aes Sedai into relationships, has some questionable dealings with Accepted students under her authority, and takes a break from brutally torturing Rand to ogle a woman nearby. Despite all this she was a firm supporter of Red Ajah and their beliefs and was even a secretly high-ranking servant of the Dark One. Suggesting that she was just as bound by her religion as the other Aes Sedai.
She displays seemingly no loyalty to anybody but herself. When she does choose to help somebody it's usually because she has a specific role for them in mind or if there's something in it for her. The second their purpose is finished, however, Galina will try to betray and kill them. This would come back to bite her later.
Galina is highly intelligent; she was able to come up with a plan to escape that actually worked briefly, despite being under the Shaido Aiel's control . However, her arrogant and confident demeanor as well as tendency to try and betray her allies ultimately proved to be her downfall, resulting in her being quickly recaptured - this time permanently.
Galina was a proud and domineering presence and was not afraid to show her superiority to her allies and enemies alike. She despised any signs of weakness and never allowed herself to show any. This would change drastically after being enslaved and utterly dominated by Therava after becoming her gai'shain. Having been forced into servitude and harshly punished whenever she stepped out of line, Galina gradually began to break, emotionally, and was implied to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Her attempt to escape only caused her to well and truly become Therava's. In the end Galina was broken completely and had resigned herself to being Therava's slave forever.
Strength and Abilities
Galina has a strength in the One Power of 14(2), very strong by Aes Sedai standards and enough to place her at the top of their hierarchy. Although, she would be easily strong enough to Travel, her capture by the Shaido isolated her from exposure to this relatively new Weave and she would not know how.
Galina was second-in-command of the Supreme Council of Black Ajah, but this is likely to have changed because most believe her dead. As would be expected, she knows Alviarin Freidhen's identity as Head of the Black Ajah, and is one of only three who know this (the others being Sedore and Velina). She is a member of a heart with Talene Minly and Temaile Kinderode.
She was made Highest of the Red Ajah in 981 NE. The reason she was chosen at such a young age was because of the death of several older sisters in that period. She was only 106, and was the youngest ever to be raised Highest.
She, along with a number of other Black Ajah sisters, had a hand in bringing down two Amyrlin Seats: Tamra Ospenya and Siuan Sanche, and she might have contributed to the murder of Tamra's successor, Sierin Vayu, since Galina was of the Red Ajah, which was induced by Chesmal Emry to murder the Amyrlin. She didn't participate in torturing Tamra because she was not a member of the Supreme Council at that time. Still, she may have been involved in her kidnapping or in returning her corpse to her bed to make it appear a natural death. She was also involved in torturing and killing the sisters Tamra chose to search for the Dragon Reborn. Acting on orders from Alviarin, Galina also influenced the Red Sitters of the Hall of the Tower to vote for Elaida's cause to depose Siuan. Galina also participated in questioning Siuan and Leane, and led the circle that stilled them as well.
Galina helped Tarna Feir by beating her until she overcame her block. Tarna refused Galina's advances to be pillow friends once she attained the shawl.
Assault and Capture
Galina was sent by Elaida a'Roihan, the newly raised Amyrlin Seat, to first make an alliance with the Shaido, then to bring Rand al'Thor back to the White Tower so that they would 'keep him safe' until Tarmon Gai'don. The only reason Elaida did not name Galina leader of the embassy was that a Red Sister would have put Rand on guard. However, per Elaida's instructions, Galina took charge once Rand was in captivity. This resulted in the torture of Rand after he killed two Warders with his bare hands. When she first meets with Rand in Cairhien, she reveals that she is one of Alviarin Freidhen's friends. This is noted by Nesune Bihara as strange, as they are from different Ajahs. In book six, Lord of Chaos, the plan to hold Rand 'safe' at the Tower was abandoned when a battle between the Tower Aes Sedai, the Asha'man, Aiel, and Perrin Aybara with the Two Rivers men ensued (see Battle of Dumai's Wells). Galina was observed by Gawyn Trakand falling off her horse after the battle then disappearing.
Thought dead by Mesaana and the Aes Sedai in the Tower, she was captured by the Shaido Aiel. After being taken captive, she was brutalized, becoming something of a "favourite" of Therava, who enjoys her dominant role over the former Aes Sedai. She is named da'tsang ("despised one") and her attempts to escape were strongly punished. Later, she was made to swear to obey the Shaido Wise Ones, first among them Sevanna and Therava, using a "binder" or Oath Rod and made gai'shain. She is now Lina, a well-trained servant and Therava's personal plaything.
After Faile and her party are captured by the Shaido, Galina is sent to Heal them. She can now only channel when instructed to or given permission. She finds out who Faile is, and uses that to blackmail her into getting Therava's Oath Rod so Galina may free herself, as she is forbidden to pick up the Oath Rod.
She is captured by Gaul and Fager Neald and brought to Perrin Aybara to be questioned, she uses the name Alyse to conceal her real identity. She promises to take Faile into Malden when the wolves howl with a low fog cover. However she has no inclination to carry out the promise and plans to kill Faile. She finally gets her hand on the Oath Rod when Faile announces that she has taken it. Galina tells her to meet her in a charred building in Malden in a few days. It is there where she sets a trap to kill Faile and the others so that she may escape. When Perrin attacks and drives the Shaido away, Therava finds Galina and forces her once again to become gai'shain, and forbids her to touch the binder again or even to think of escaping. Therava decrees the Shaido will travel back to the Aiel Waste, never to leave again and Galina will accompany them. She is thoroughly broken.
“Then we will take generations.” Therava said firmly. “We will take whatever time is necessary. And we will never leave the Three-fold Land again.” Her gaze shifted to Galina. Who flinched. “You will never touch this again,” she said, raising the rod briefly. “And you will never try to escape me again. She has a strong back. Load her, and let us be on our way. They may try to pursue us.”
Burdened with waterskins and pots and kettles till she almost felt decently covered, Galina staggered through the forest at Therava's heels. She did not think of the rod, or escape. Something had broken in her. She was Galina Casban, Highest of the Red Ajah, who sat on the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah, and she was going to be Therava's plaything for the rest of her life. She was Therava's little Lina. For the rest of her life. She knew that to her bones. Tears rolled silently down her face.
Knife of Dreams, Chapter 30 'Outside the Gates' - Galina point of view.