High Lords and Ladies are of even greater rank than others of the noble class. In the Westlands, it is a title only used to refer to those who are members of the ruling body of Tear in the Stone of Tear.
Name and function
The High Lords of Tear is the name of the council that serves as the governing body of Tear, or did so prior to the Dragon Reborn's arrival. Those that are members of this council are granted the title High Lord or High Lady, though it is also possible that it is also an inherited title that gives automatic admittance to be a member of this ruling body.
They determine the law of the land, presumably by consensus, and any decision they make is presented as unanimous to the world at large. The lesser lords, the Lords of the Land, then have the duty of carrying out the edicts of the High Lords of Tear.
Only these individuals truly knew what lay in the Heart of the Stone for so long. Many have objected to Rand al'Thors changes to the laws of Tear, particularly those which gave them special privileges and rights.
The Fall of the Stone
After the prophesied fall of the Stone of Tear to the Dragon Reborn, the High Lords were forced to accept a new hierarchy. This involved the Dragon Reborn as the absolute ruler of Tear and the High Lords merely carrying out his wishes. The Dragon Reborn has issued changes in law by proclamation with the High Lords having no choice but to accept – at least for the time being. Unsurprisingly, this sharp change in the government of Tear was not popular or accepted by the High Lords, particularly those changes which involved them being stripped of what they had previously seen as their rights over the lower classes. Lords were to be held as accountable as any commoner for crimes they committed, which included abuses of their position.
On the advice of Thom Merrilin, the High Lords were split in their designated tasks to prevent them from plotting. Some were sent to Cairhien to restore order in the chaos of civil war. These High Lords were Meilan Mendiana, Gueyam, Maraconn, Hearne, Simaan and Aracome. The war, the High Lords preferring to see it as a conflict of conquest, was to be financed by the richest of the Lords, Torean Andiama, with High Lady Alteima also accompanying the army to see that the starving population in Cairhien be fed using Tairen grain. Alteima did not fulfill this task, but instead went to Andor.
The remaining High Lords were left to govern Tear in the absence of the Dragon Reborn.
The night the Stone of Tear was taken, High Lord Darlin Sisnera left the Stone. Soon afterwards, he began to start a rebellion against the rule of the Dragon Reborn. This rebellion was based in Haddon Mirk and rapidly gained a following as High Lord Tedosian and High Lady Estanda joined the cause. Later, High Lords Hearne and Simaan defied Rand's orders to meet with the rest of his army on the Plains of Maredo and joined Darlin instead.
After a chance meeting with Rand in Cairhien, however, Darlin became less hostile towards the idea of the Dragon Reborn's presence in Tear. Rand wished Darlin to govern Tear in his stead as Steward of the Dragon.
The other rebels were furious at Darlin's decision to accept the position and promptly marched on the capital and besieged to the Stone. Darlin was supported by High Lord Astoril Damara. The approach of an army of Tairen Lords known to be loyal to the Dragon Reborn on the capital forced a peaceful end to the siege.
List of High Lords and Ladies of Tear
- High Lord Darlin Sisnera - Present King of Tear.
- High Lord Astoril Damara - retired general.
- High Lord Gueyam - killed in battle in Illian.
- High Lord Hearne
- High Lord Maraconn - killed in battle in Illian.
- High Lord Samon - revealed to be the Forsaken Be'lal; killed with balefire by Moiraine Damodred.
- High Lord Simaan
- High Lord Sunamon Haellin
- High Lord Tedosian
- High Lord Tolmeran
- High Lord Torean Andiama - richest Lord in Tear.
- High Lord Weiramon Saniago - exposed as Darkfriend.
- High Lord Aracome - killed in battle in Illian.
- High Lord Carleon - murdered by High Lord Tedosian in a "hunting accident."
- High Lord Meilan Mendiana - assassinated on the orders of Colavaere Saighan.
- High Lady Anaiyella Narencelona - exposed as Darkfriend.
- High Lady Estanda
- High Lady Fionnda Annariz
- High Lady Rosana
- High Lady Alteima – presumed dead.
After the death of some of them, one chosen as king, and two exposed as Darkfriends there are currently eight High Lords and three High Ladies.