—Min to Perrin about Rand
Elmindreda "Min" Farshaw (pronounced: MIN) is a woman, originally from Baerlon, who has viewings at times of auras and visions that can tell something about the future of the person being viewed. Min has also become a recent student of philosophy since the death of Herid Fel. She is the second woman to become the lover of Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, and is his only lover who is by his side at all times.
Appearance and Abilities
She is considered very attractive, described as 'uncommonly pretty' if short of beautiful. She is slender with short brown hair that curls about her neck, and large, dark eyes. While she adamantly refuses to wear skirts or dresses, she starts wearing short tailored coats, snug breeches and heeled boots to please Rand; the fashion is eventually adopted by noblewomen in Cairhien and Tear. She would often wear snug breeches embroidered with flowers, and with her pants legs tucked into her boots.
She is about 5'5 tall, but liked to wear boots with three-inch heels.
She had a wry, mysterious grin; she often grinned around Rand, almost to the point of laughing. She could give a smart remark with the best of them, or stamp a boot or shake a fist.
She has the unique ability to see auras and images around people (her viewings). These could tell something about people's presents and futures. She did not always know what they meant, though she did learn how to interpret them with experience. Her viewings of the future always came true, and could not be circumvented in any way.
She also learned to throw knives, and became quite capable with them in battle - once saving the life of Tuon by killing an assassin with a thrown knife. However, Aviendha thought that Min could be faster with her knives. Once, Min playfully fluorished a knife in front of Aviendha, and Aviendha thought she could have slit Min's throat in the time it took to make that display.
She would study philosophy mainly through Herid Fel's books; her knowledge helped Rand figure out how to deal with the Dark One.
Min was born in 975 NE, and her mother died in childbirth. She grew up in Baerlon, under the patronage of a father who did not curb her tomboyish tendencies. After he died in a mining accident, she was raised by her three aunts (Jan, Rana, and Miren), who failed miserably at making a "proper woman" out of her. Her full name, "Elmindreda," comes from a character in a story who spends most of her time sighing over men and trying to get them to compose songs about her. This is very unlike her, which is why she prefers to go by the diminutive version of the name. Min is fiercely independent and has a wry sense of humor. Aunt Miren was the most understanding of Min's boyishness.
She gave up running with the street urchins at age thirteen. She knew she needed some kind of trade, but would never be a seamstress as she had no facility for it. She chose to be a groom; her aunts argued with her for a year before giving up, though she had been sneaking of to the stables the whole time. She was attracted to horses because she equated them with stories of travel and adventure; only to realize that being a groom meant mucking out stables and manure. She stuck with it out of sheer stubbornness.
She had tried other things. She was a tavern maid for a month, but hated being pinched and hated wearing dresses. She was a weaver's apprentice, but disliked being inside all day, doing repetitive motions. She also was a dyer's apprentice, but hated the smells and disliked never being able to clean the dyes off herself completely. She tried being an assistant in a cutlery shop and in a shop selling clothes; she found the jobs not bad, but hated having to wear dresses again.
Her viewings first manifested at age twelve, at the onset of puberty. It took a year for her ability to grow fully, and six more months before she realized what was happening. She stopped telling people about her viewings at age fifteen. Min had realized that she could not change her viewings. Once, she viewed a man with a broken neck, and knew it would happen in that afternoon. She convinced him not to go up to his roof to check the roof tiles; he complied and went to the pub, but was killed an hour later by a falling chimney pot.
The incident that caused Min to stop telling people of her viewings was her seeing a man she knew, marrying a woman he was with. However, he was already married. When the man ran off with the woman, his wife took a mob to Min's house, claiming she was responsible. Her aunts saved her by advising her to confess she had learned about the man's plan by snooping. Her aunts made a big show of threatening to punish her. The mob dispersed without hurting her, telling her aunts to discourage her from snooping.
When she was about eighteen, some Aes Sedai visited Baerlon, seeking Min out because they thought her viewings might be a manifestation of the One Power. Min was so awed that she told everything about her ability. They concluded that Min could not be taught to channel, and that her viewings were not related to the Power at all. One of these Aes Sedai would tell Moiraine about Min. [verify]
"Only two Aes Sedai besides Siuan Sanche knew of what she could do: Moiraine, and Verin Mathwin, who had tried to study her talent." 
Meetings in Baerlon
Min first meets Rand al'Thor at Baerlon; Moiraine knew about her viewings and would consult her on them. Min manages to unnerve Rand thoroughly; not only was she a very attractive woman whose hair is cut short like a boy's and wears men's clothing, but she also has oracular visions. Min is privy to flashes of visual insight she calls "viewings" -- for instance, whenever she sees Rand, Matrim Cauthon, or Perrin Aybara, she sees him surrounded by a vast, trackless darkness, while countless thousands of fireflies dart in and out, trying to fill the void; when two or more of them stand near each other, the fireflies get stronger. This is undoubtedly due to the nature of ta'veren: it seems the viewings are glimpses at the Pattern.
Sometimes Min can immediately interpret what her viewings mean, while at other times she is mystified by the obscure visions. Whether she knows the meaning or not, however, these visions always come true; at least none have yet been known to be false, although Min believed that her visions about Moiraine being crucial to Rand's eventual success could not possibly come true when Moiraine was presumed dead.
Viewings are always thicker around those who can channel, or are connected with channelers. However, Min's ability itself has nothing to do with the One Power; Aes Sedai have tested that theory extensively, which contributes to Min's general dislike for the organization.
Min does not tell Rand about a certain vision of his aura that involves her.
Mixed up with Aes Sedai
After the events at the Eye of the World, Moiraine summons Min to the White Tower for safekeeping, something the free-spirited girl did not appreciate at all. She goes with novices Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve to Falme, where Egwene is captured as a damane by the Seanchan. Min tries to fight back but is captured as well. Min is horrified at witnessing Egwene's torture, and despairs at not being able to save her. Min is made into a servant and forced to wear a dress, though she is given some freedom of movement and is allowed to visit Egwene "to help with Egwene's adjustment".
Min finds Elayne and Nynaeve, and the three of them rescue Egwene, but they cannot escape the city as planned. Min finds an injured Rand and tends to his wounds; Elayne sees her and becomes jealous. Lanfear also finds Min, and tells her that Rand is hers and Min only a caretaker. The Seanchan attacking Falme from one side and the Whitecloaks attacking the other, the girls are present when the Heroes of the Horn are summoned and Rand fights Ba'alzamon for all to see across the sky. Min stays with Rand, who declares that he is the Dragon Reborn, and the Shienarans over the winter. Rand disappears one morning, heading for Tear, and Moiraine sends Min to the Tower with a message for the Amyrlin. A reluctant, unhappy Min complies, though she yearns to find Rand and feels she belongs at his side.
Moiraine, not wanting Min to be recognized by the sisters in the Tower, sends her off in disguise. When Min gives the Amyrlin Siuan Sanche word of Rand, Siuan insists Min stay in the Tower for the chance a viewing could uncover information regarding the Black Ajah. For Min's disguise, she miserably breaks from her preference for men's breeches and assumes her alter ego, Elmindreda, a simpering, foolish woman who takes refuge in the White Tower because she is being harassed by two suitors. An annoyed Min is forced to use her full birth name, which she hated because Elmindreda was the name of a character in a story who acted just like that - silly and simpering Laras, Mistress of the Kitchens, takes "Elmindreda" under her wing, saying she used to be like Min as a young woman. Galad does not recognize her but Gawyn does know that it is Min behind the make-up, curled hair, and frilly dresses and teases her for the transformation
Not long after Min's arrival, there is a violent coup against the Amyrlin Seat. With the help of Laras and a reluctant Gawyn, Min smuggles the stilled and deposed Siuan and Leane, and now-gentled former False Dragon Logain Ablar out of Tar Valon. The four of them find their way to Salidar, where the rebel Aes Sedai who oppose the new Amyrlin are gathered. There, Min is reunited with Elayne and Nynaeve. Min and Elayne talk about their shared love of Rand; Min confesses to Elayne that she saw both of them, plus a third woman with a temper (Aviendha), would fall in love with Rand.
Min soon sets out for Caemlyn, with a delegation of Aes Sedai from the rebel camp, to meet Rand. She leaves Salidar before Aviendha arrives (after Aviendha had spent significant time with Rand) so the two women do not cross paths. When Rand is first reunited with Min, he comments on how she is a good friend. Min takes pleasure in teasing Rand, and continues to do so in order for him to see her as a woman, not a friend who could just as easily be a man or a horse.
—Min, to Rand, on the fact that she is a woman
When Min first meets Faile Bashere, the two have a mutual lukewarm aversion to each other. Faile is initially hotly jealous when Min greets her husband Perrin Aybara warmly, but that cools when she reads the non-verbal signals of Min's romantic attachment to Rand. The two women leave their men to catch up, and Faile and Min go off together to converse about things that would supposedly bore the men, but they don't forge a friendship together. Min says about Faile, "Well, she wants what she wants when she wants it, and she will not take no for an answer. I pity poor Perrin, married to her." Rand describes it as a cool disinterest, and "[does] not understand the cool looks the two women exchanged. It was not precisely animosity, or even unfriendliness exactly, but Rand suspected that if either made a list of those she would just as soon not spend time with, the other's name would be prominent."
Min shares a viewing with Melaine - Melaine will give birth to twins - and the two hit it off. Due to her viewings, she is regarded as a sort of honorary Wise One and accepted by all Aiel. Min is one of a very short list of people the Maidens of the Spear allow in to see Rand whenever she wants, whatever he is doing, not excepting his bathing. The Maidens are highly amused of Min's teasing and Rand's reaction to her.
While on her way to the Wise One tents, Min is kidnapped by Galina Casban and forced to accompany the White Tower Aes Sedai embassy on their way back to the White Tower. She is used as leverage against Rand who was also captured and held in a box. Rand is enraged when he sees Min and kills several Warders before he is subdued. She is beaten by several Aes Sedai and eventually escapes in the Battle of Dumai's Wells. As a result of this event she has become even closer to Rand, fearing to spend even a small amount of time away from him.
Love at first sight
One vision Min had upon first meeting Rand was one that she was able to interpret quickly, although she did not tell him of it at the time: that she would fall in love with him. And not just her - two other women would love him as well. The face of one of the other women she later recognized: a friend she had made in the White Tower, the novice Elayne. The two later agreed to share him, a decision made easier by their strong friendship. The other face was one she did not recognize; it turned out to be the Aiel woman Aviendha, who ironically had promised Elayne she would keep anyone from getting their hands on Rand. Struggle against it though she might, Min did fall in love with Rand, becoming the second woman to become his lover (after Aviendha). She now plays an important role in his life: she is one of the only people in the world who can get him to smile, and certainly the only one he keeps nearby, as Elayne and Aviendha are constantly busy elsewhere.
Rand has tried to send Min away but she has steadfastly refused. She also reports any viewings she has that might help him, but doesn't know what most of them mean. After finding Colavaere Saighan hanging in her chambers, Min seeks Rand out for emotional comfort and the two end up sleeping together. Rand becomes despondent because of his role in the death of Colavaere, and believes that he had taken advantage of Min. He sulks in his room until Min reassures him that their actions were consensual. She leaves with Rand when he first meets with the Sea Folk and creates the Bargain, and then meets with the rebels outside Cairhien, where Rand gives her an alias as Jaisi Trakand. During the last meeting, Rand is slashed by Padan Fain with the Shadar Logoth dagger and she is forced to watch him carried by Darlin Sisnera, unconscious and near death by the time they arrive back in Cairhien. He is eventually Healed by Samitsu Tamagowa and Damer Flinn.
Min is left behind in Cairhien when Rand carries out his campaigns on Illian and the Seanchan. When he arrives back she joins Rand for a meeting with Cadsuane Melaidhrin. The three of them leave the throne room just before a rogue Asha'man attack aimed at Rand destroys a quarter of the Sun Palace. Rand places her in Fedwin Morr's care. Unfortunately he succumbs to the taint on saidin and reverts to the mind of a child. She tries to keep him occupied with toy blocks until Rand arrives back. She watches as Rand slips some poison into Morr's cup putting him to sleep forever.
Min Travels with Rand to pick up some of Herid Fel's books and then to the Royal Palace in Caemlyn. She rushes off to tell Elayne that Rand has arrived.
Min, Elayne, and Aviendha jointly bonded Rand as Aes Sedai do with Warders, something previously unheard of and thus necessarily done in secret. It was at that time she also revealed that Elayne would become pregnant with twins and that Rand would be the father.
She then Travels with Rand to Far Madding. She approaches Cadsuane on Rand's behalf because she believes due to a viewing Rand needs her and that she has to teach him something. When Rand leaves to find Charl Gedwyn and Peral Torval Min rushes to Cadsuane to tell her what is going on. She reports then on Rand's condition after he is placed in a small prison cell, stating that he is changing from a stone to iron due to the panic he is suffering from his claustrophobia. She is also present when Rand and Nynaeve use the Choedan Kal to cleanse saidin of the taint.
Min seems to be able to interpret Rand's mood and thoughts through the bond and has become concerned with his acceptance that he will die at Tarmon Gai'don. She also dislikes Alivia due to a viewing she had that shows her helping Rand die. Min fights in the battle with the Trollocs when they try and attack the manor and even saves Rand at one point by throwing a knife into an attacking Myrddraal. Rand allows her to attend his meeting with the Daughter of the Nine Moons, who is revealed to actually be Semirhage. When Semirhage sends the fireball into Rand, he dives to cover and protect Min. She is more upset over the loss of Rand's hand than he is.
Min travels with Rand to Lord Tellaen's manor in Arad Doman. She has taken it upon herself to try and find what Herid Fel had discovered for Rand by reading through all his books. She explains to Rand that he has to destroy all the Dark One's seals to the Bore. She finally gets Rand to open up about Lews Therin Telamon in Rand's head although she believes it's only a voice and not actually Lews Therin himself.
Semirhage manages to escape with the aid of Elza Penfell and snaps the Domination Band on Rand. Min throws a knife which hits Semirhage's cheek, causing a gash. Semirhage then forces Rand, via the a'dam, to choke Min before Rand reaches for the True Power and breaks Semirhage's hold. He blasts both Semirhage and Elza with balefire. Min feels foolish for thinking she could protect Rand merely with the knives she keeps up her shirtsleeves. Rand misinterprets her worry for him as a fear of him, and he starts to withdraw from her. Min speaks with Aviendha to see if she can do anything for Rand. The two women are awkward with each other but each respects the other.
Rand discovers that Graendal is located in Natrin's Barrow and takes Min and Nynaeve there. Rand sends Lord Ramshalan into the manor, and he returns under Compulsion, which Nynaeve confirms. Convinced that the Compulsion is Graendal's doing, Rand destroys the entire palace with balefire. Nynaeve reports that the compulsion is gone--confirming that Graendal has been burned away. Frightened of his increasing emotional detachment, Min and Nynaeve find Cadsuane to inform her of Rand's actions. Cadsuane formulates a plan to help Rand laugh again. Min accompanies Rand when he pulls his force out of Arad Doman back into Tear.
Min is with Cadsuane when Nynaeve comes back with the whereabouts of Tam al'Thor. She has continued to read through the Prophecies of the Dragon and realizes that he will need to wield Callandor at Tarmon Gai'don, an interpretation with which Cadsuane agrees. Tam then pushes through the door after his disastrous attempt to talk to Rand. Min points out that they can't make Rand how they want him to be and that he has Traveled to Ebou Dar.
Veins of gold
Min waits in Tear when Rand has his epiphany on Dragonmount. She feels his presence once he returns again, which alerts the Aiel as well. She goes with Nynaeve to investigate Alanna's mysterious disappearance from the Stone. Upon returning to Rand, she notices the depth that now exists in his eyes. Rand tasks Min to find out how he can use Callandor against the Dark One. After Rand reveals that both Weiramon Saniago and Anaiyella Narencelona are Darkfriends, he then asks for Tam's forgiveness and introduces him to Min.
She goes with Rand when he returns to Bandar Eban and watches in wonder as he reestablishes the law within the city with Durnham as Commander and Iralin as Steward. They then go to the Seafolk ships in port and again she watches as Rand uncovers barrel-loads of untainted grain and wheat that had previously been unopened, managing to start feeding the starving population again. She is waiting for Rand in Tear when he arrives back from defeating the Shadowspawn army singlehandedly. She is concerned with how exhausted Rand is from the battle but he assures her he is fine. They then escort Rodel Ituralde, who arrived with Rand, to Cadsuane's quarters where Ituralde's king Alsalam Saeed Almadar is being kept.
Min is with Rand when he decides to re-meet with the Borderlander army stationed in Far Madding. They are greeted by the four rulers of the Borderlands just outside the city, where each one measures his restraint with a solid strike across his face. Then standing all-to-near to Rand, Paitar Nachiman asks Rand the answer to a riddle involving Tellindal Tirraso. Paitr steps down when Rand answers correctly. They all sit down to formally discuss matters when Rand asks for their oath of obedience in exchange for him to teach the Borderlander rulers Aes Sedai, the secret of Traveling.
The Last Battle
Min is summoned to Elayne's tent, where Min, Elayne and Aviendha discuss how they will share Rand in the future. She is by Rand's side when all the monarchs of the world sign the Dragon's Peace. In the days leading to the Last Battle, Min stayed with Rand while Elayne prepared Andor and Aviendha trained to become a Wise One. Just before Rand launches his strike on Shayol Ghul, he reflects on how important Min had been to him during his dark days.
When Rand went to Shayol Ghul, Min is sent by Rand to help keep an eye on things at the Aes Sedai camp. Rand believes that something is about to occur there. Min stayed with the White Tower's forces as a clerk to Gareth Bryne. However, during the battle in an effort to remain useful, she volunteered to bring a message to the Seanchan. At the Seanchan camp she met with Mat, the new Prince of Ravens, and the Empress, Tuon. With the message delivered, Mat attempted to ferret Min away, but Min revealed that an assassination attempt would be made on Tuon.
Once Tuon learned how Min knew of this, she declared Min her new Doomseer and demanded Min remain at her side to reveal the omens she saw. After Mat explained to Min that Rand would want her there, she took to her duties as Doomseer willingly.
Min save Tuon during the assassination by killing an assassin with a knife, and helping Mat get Tuon to safety. As a reward for saving her life Tuon bestowed upon her the new name Darbinda. Min was not thrilled with this development.
When Seanchan army withdrew its forces from the Field of Merrilor, Min accompanies Tuon and manages to reveal that a young so'jhin was spying there and using compulsion on Yulan. Min sees a chain above his head and realizes he is being used as a spy under compulsion. Then she see many images above the so'jhin head. She uses the announcement of Yulan's treachery as a distraction to throw the knife at the so'jhin thus provoking her to channel and flee. However, Min has never realized that it was Moghedien, which is confirmed later.
After the Last Battle was won, Min joined the camp at Shayol Ghul for Rand's funeral. While she, Elayne and Aviendha stood before his pyre, it was revealed that Min could feel Rand through the bond and that therefore he was still alive; she also communicated with telepathically, along with the other women.
In the television series
- A Crown of Swords, Chapter 19
- Crossroads of Twilight, Prologue
- Knife of Dreams, Chapter 21
- The Shadow Rising, Chapter 1
- The Great Hunt, Chapter 48
- The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 6
- The Shadow Rising, Chapter 17
- Lord of Chaos, Chapter 41
- Lord of Chaos, Chapter 45
- Lord of Chaos, Chapter 46
- Lord of Chaos, Chapter 50
- A Memory of Light, Chapter 37
- A Memory of Light, Chapter 41