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"I have given my life to finding the Dragon Reborn, finding Rand, and seeing him ready to face the Last Battle. I will see that done, whatever it requires. Nothing and no one can be more important than that."
   —Moiraine Damodred[1]

Moiraine Damodred (pronounced: mwah-RAIN DAHM-oh-drehd; /mwaˈɹɛːɪn ˈdɑː.moʊˌdɹɛd/) was born in the year 956 NE in Cairhien, the youngest daughter of Dalresin Damodred, a scholar, and his second wife whose name is unknown.[2] She also goes by the name "Alys."

Moiraine became a legend among the Aes Sedai, possibly a legend even greater than Cadsuane Melaidhrin. Her extraordinary achievements were many: she avoided being put on the Sun Throne as the Queen of Cairhien for years, she tracked down and became the trusted advisor of the Dragon Reborn, and most significantly, no other Aes Sedai in history had faced—let alone survived—an encounter with a Forsaken. Moiraine faced not one but four and beat two of them, earning her a remarkable status as one of the greatest Sisters in Tower history, rivaling even the Tower's early legends of the Age.

Her heroic deeds as a member of the circle that resealed the Dark One's prison and surviving the Tower of Ghenjei likely immortalized her name.


When she arrived in Emond's Field, she was described as having dark hair that hung in ringlets. She looked the same age as Nynaeve but with large dark eyes that belong to a much older woman. She was relatively short, standing at 5'2", and had a melodious voice. She wore a sky-blue velvet cloak with vines and flowers along the edges in thick silver embroidery, a golden woven belt, and a dark blue dress slashed with cream. She wore her Great Serpent ring on the second finger of her left hand, though she was known to change the finger. Moiraine also wore the traditional Cairhienien kesiera, hers being a small sparkling blue stone held by a fine golden chain.


Moiraine and her Warder Lan.
Artwork by Jason Chan
ebook cover of New Spring

Channeling Abilities and Talents[]

Moiraine saliba2

Moiraine using balefire, portrait done by Jeremy Saliba

Moiraine was notable as a channeler in several ways aside from being born with the ability. Firstly, she was what once was considered strong in the One Power for an Aes Sedai. Among those in the White Tower before the White Tower Schism, only three other active Aes Sedai equaled her in strength: Siuan Sanche, who was Amyrlin Seat for a time; Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan, advisor to Morgase the Queen of Andor and an Amyrlin after Siuan; and Lelaine Akashi, a prominent Sitter. Romanda Cassin, who was not an active Aes Sedai but still equaled Moiraine in strength. Only one Aes Sedai surpassed Moiraine's strength: Cadsuane Melaidhrin who was retired.

New Sisters recently recruited, Egwene al'Vere, Nynaeve al'Meara, and Elayne Trakand all surpassed Moiraine in strength, Nynaeve being the most powerful.

Moiraine's original strength level in the Power was 13(1), but it had been dramatically reduced to 66(54) after her imprisonment by the Finn.

Moiraine Damodred

Moiraine Damodred
Artwork by Terese Nielsen

Among Moiraine's known Talents were Cloud Dancing and Healing. Her Talent was particularly strong in the latter. [3] She was strong enough to Travel but disappeared before she could ever learn how. She also had the ability to use Balefire cobbled together from information in old books.[4] Before coming to the White Tower, she developed a trick using the One Power to eavesdrop, using her kesiera as a focus point. Her high strength level also caused Verin to cite her as one of the few living women with the strength to use the Choedan Kal.

Despite being able to create an earthquake and a wall of fire strong enough to destroy hundreds of Trollocs and halt three Myrddraal, Moiraine said that she was not at her strongest when working with Earth and Fire. She was surprised when she was able to hold Aginor as long as she did, knowing that Aginor in the AoL was close behind Lews Therin and Ishamael in power.[5] It should be noted that, at the time, she was making ample use of one of the White Tower's angreal.[6]

After being rescued from the Finn, her strength was so reduced that she wouldn't have had the chance to test for Accepted.

Despite her strength being so reduced by the Finn, she also gained there an angreal that was so strong it was considered almost a sa'angreal. When she used it, her normal strength was increased.


Family Connections[]

Moiraine was the youngest daughter of Dalresin Damodred, a scholar and a brother to King Laman Damodred of Cairhien and High Seat of House Damodred. This relation made her minor royalty who was in line for the throne of Cairhien until the reign of Galldrian Riatin. The name of her mother, the second wife of Dalresin, is unknown to readers. Like her father, Moiraine was also a scholar. She had two sisters, Anvaere and Innloine.[7] Moiraine was also half-sister to Taringail Damodred. She spent much of her childhood in the Sun Palace. She was the aunt of Galad Damodred, Gawyn Trakand, and Queen Elayne Trakand and has other unnamed nieces and nephews through her sister Innloine. She also had several other Damodred cousins, such as Lady Caraline Damodred, the Queen of Tear, and Lord Barthanes Damodred. Her great-grandmother was Queen Carewin Damodred.

She shares no blood connection with Rand al'Thor.


Moiraine using the One Power.

At the White Tower[]

At the age of 16, Moiraine discovered that she possessed the spark that allowed her to channel the One Power. Subsequently, she left for the White Tower to become an Aes Sedai.[8] In truth, very little is known about her life before her arrival at the White Tower, although it is known that Moiraine was glad to divorce herself as much as she could from the blackened name of House Damodred. Even so, before she left for the White Tower, a grand dance was held in her honor.[9]

In truth, Moiraine was a wilder, meaning her ability to channel manifested itself before she turned 16 and outside Aes Sedai guidance. She wisely kept this a secret until she could tell King Laman's Aes Sedai advisor (who taught her for a short time before sending her to Tar Valon). All this was kept secret, so Moiraine could avoid the stigma of being a wilder. Among other talents, Moiraine had taught herself an eavesdropping trick using the One Power.

As a Novice, Moiraine became close friends—pillow friends, in fact—with a young woman named Siuan Sanche. Unusually, they arrived at the White Tower on the same day. They became pillow friends for comfort and to ease their libidos, despite neither being lesbian. Both were quick learners, passing all rituals on their first attempt, although Moiraine had the benefit of a classical education in the Old Tongue and knew much of the politics and history of the world before she arrived at the Tower, whereas Siuan did not.

Siuan always took the lead between them, which surprised Moiraine at first, until she realized Siuan had been born to lead.

She and Siuan become Accepted after three years and Aes Sedai after three more. In the history of the White Tower, only one other woman had become Aes Sedai in such a short time: Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan. Interestingly, Elaida had always kept an eye on both Moiraine and Siuan, pushing both of them to live up to her extremely high standards and not allowing a single slip.


Aiel War[]

Both Moiraine and Siuan were Accepted in 978 NE, during the Battle of the Blood Snow. On this day, the Aiel War came right up to the banks of the River Erinin outside Tar Valon itself where her uncle Laman had retreated with the remainder of his Cairhien forces. During the battle, the Moiraine and Siuan attended the Amyrlin Seat, Tamra Ospenya, and her Keeper of the Chronicles, Gitara Moroso. That day Moroso foretold that at that very moment the Dragon had been reborn on the slopes of Dragonmount not far away and then immediately died.[8]

Moiraine and Lan

Moiraine and Lan by Todd Cameron Hamilton

Moiraine and Siuan made a pact soon after: they would find the Dragon and guide him, knowing that he was the only one who could save the world from the Dark One but that others would fear him and try to hinder him—if not kill him outright. The Dragon Reborn was not the most celebrated of saviors; he was prophesied to save the world yet break it too. At an unspecified time prior to the events of 998 NE, Moiraine visited the Green Man at the Eye.[10]

Moiraine and Siuan were raised to Aes Sedai soon after Gitara's Foretelling. The night before their raising, they tried to play one last prank on Elaida by sneaking mice into her bed. Elaida caught them and made sure they were punished severely.

It was around this time when several Sitters began insinuating that Moiraine should take the throne of Cairhien. This made her uncomfortable and added to her motivation to escape the Tower (the main reason being to search for the Dragon Reborn).

At an unspecified time during her decade-long search for the Dragon Reborn, Moiraine acquired an angreal. , The Hall of the Tower gave permission, possibly through pressure on Siuan's part, as implied during their conversation in Fal Dara[11].

Quest for the Dragon[]

Moiraine teotwc

Moiraine from The Eye of the World Comic

Nineteen years of searching later, Moiraine was an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. Traveling in the Borderlands, she had picked up a Warder, al'Lan Mandragoran, last king of Malkier.[12] The two of them journeyed to the town of Emond's Field in the Two Rivers region of Andor, as Moiraine had narrowed her search to three boys in the area.[13] Her suspicions were confirmed when, on Winternight, Trollocs invaded the Two Rivers region.[14] After the attack, she and Lan persuaded the three boys -- Rand al'Thor, Matrim Cauthon and Perrin Aybara—plus Thomdril Merrilin and Egwene al'Vere (and later Nynaeve al'Meara too) to leave Emond's Field and head for the safety of the White Tower.[15] But the Shadow had picked up their scent, and their plans were derailed. Their journey ultimately took them to Shienar and to the Eye of the World, where Rand channeled consciously for the first time. Soon after, Moiraine knew she'd found the Dragon Reborn.[16]

Guide and advisor[]

Moiraine sent word immediately to Siuan, who by this time was Amyrlin Seat, and the two of them, with the unexpected help of Verin Mathwin, confronted Rand with his destiny. Moiraine left Rand, with a small group to recover the Horn of Valere only to find him again after the Battle of Falme. After that, Moiraine left Rand's side as little as possible. The only time she left him again was during the events leading up to the fall of the Stone of Tear, when Rand snuck away to see if he could draw the sword Callandor and fulfill an important prophecy concerning the Dragon Reborn or see if he was only a False Dragon. Despite his success, Rand resented what he saw as interference and manipulation on Moiraine's part. Though she seemed to be trying to help him, Aes Sedai were used to getting what they wanted and keeping their plans to themselves. Finally, after Rand's journey to Rhuidean in the Aiel Waste, the two managed to form a sort of compromise with Rand agreeing to listen if Moiraine agreed to merely advise.[17]


Moiraine teaching Egwene al'Vere to Channel


Unfortunately, their cooperation was short-lived. Just before setting out for the city of Caemlyn to confront the Forsaken Rahvin, Moiraine took Rand, Mat, Egwene, Aviendha, and Lan to the docks of Cairhien. While at Rhuidean, Moiraine had entered a ter'angreal that showed her hundreds of possible futures. As a consequence, she knew if she wasn't present at the docks that day, Lanfear, a Forsaken who was obsessed with Rand, might take control of him. When Rand refused to kill Lanfear even in his own defense, Moiraine took matters into her own hands. The twisted redstone doorframe from Rhuidean was present nearby, and Moiraine shoved Lanfear through it by tackling her, and thus joined her inside which ended the assault but presumably also both of their lives. Neither she nor Lanfear re-emerged from the doorway which immediately caught on fire and began to melt.[18] Lan also reported that he could not feel her through the Warder bond any longer; everyone believed her dead. Because she had altered her bond so that Lan would belong to another Aes Sedai instead of trying to avenge her (prior to her visions beyond the doorway and possibly because of Nynaeve), Lan left immediately, if not happily, to seek out Myrelle Berengari. [18]

Wheel of time calendar back and july image by reddera d6uy9ij-fullview

Moiraine pushing Lanfear through the Redstone Doorway
Artwork by Ariel Burgess
Official Wheel of Time Artist

Mysterious future[]

One of Egwene al'Vere's Dreamed visions linked Thom Merrilin to Moiraine: Egwene saw Thom drawing Moiraine's kesiera from a fire.[19] A certain amount of romantic tension between Thom and Moiraine had gone unresolved as of yet. Also, an important viewing of Min Farshaw's alarmingly suggests that without Moiraine's help, Rand was doomed to fail. She also promised to meet Thom again and provide him with information about who Gentled his nephew, and she sounded certain they would meet again.[20] While some have pointed to Moiraine mentioning she knew who she would marry to Elayne Trakand, Egwene, and Nynaeve as further evidence of the link between Thom and herself, this statement occurred prior to her entering the ter'angreal to Sindhol.[21],[22]


Moiraine Damodred
Artwork by Westling

Letter to Thom[]

While crossing Altara, Thom finally showed Mat the letter he had received from Moiraine saying she was not in fact dead, but she could only be brought back in a specific way. Thom, Mat, and one other would need to go to the Tower of Ghenjei to access the realm of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. Even then, their mission might not be successful. Moiraine wrote that to be successful they would need to remember what they know of the game Snakes and Foxes. What is known about the game, aside from the manner of game play, is that it begins with player saying, "Courage to strengthen, fire to blind, music to dazzle, iron to bind" while drawing a triangle with a wavy line through it in the air and that it is necessary to cheat to win. According to Birgitte, drawing the symbol on the Tower of Ghenjei will open a doorway to the dimension of the Eelfinn and/or Aelfinn.[23] From Mat's trips through the ter'angreals, he learned that the Aelfinn and Eelfin asked whether visitors had brought fire, iron, or musical instruments because they are prohibited by the "agreement."



Moiraine embracing the power - portrait by Seamas Gallagher

Mat, Thom, and Noal Charin traveled to the Tower of Ghenjei to rescue Moiraine. Using the method learned from Birgitte, they created an opening into the tower and entered. They entered the land of the Eelfinn and the Aelfinn armed with torches and Aludra's strikers (fire), spear and shortswords (iron), and flutes and a harp (implements of music). They found themselves in a labyrinthine tower with strange halls and doors, but using Mat's luck, they randomly made their way to the Chamber of Bonds where they found a barely conscious Moiraine. Moiraine was trapped and suspended in mist. Thom freed Moiraine, and Mat was forced to bargain with the Eelfinn to leave with Moiraine and receive unbarred passage out of that world. Realizing the meaning of the Aelfinn's predictions, he surrendered half the light of the world in order to save the world which meant sacrificing his left eye in exchange for Moiraine's release.

Following the bargain, they make their way through the tower; however, the safe passage out became a wild chase as the Aelfinn had not agreed to the bargain. Noal, revealing himself as Jain Farstrider, sacrificed himself to buy time for the others to get away. Mat and Thom decided to attempt escaping using the Aelfinn's red archway to escape, but when they reached its location, they discovered that it had been destroyed. As the Aelfinn closed in on them, Mat remembered that the request the Eelfinn had granted him of a way out had given him his ashandarei. Realizing that the spear was a way out, he used it to draw the same symbol that they had used to enter on the wall. This allowed them to escape through a new exit in the tower.

Being Free[]

Moiraine Damodred

Moiraine Damodred battling Lanfear
eBook cover by Dan Dos Santos

Once finally free from the Finn, Moiraine revealed that the Eelfinn and Aelfinn had decreased her ability to channel because they had been feeding off her power. She did, however, possess a bracelet angreal that allowed her to be stronger than she was before. When she went through the ter'angreal, the ancient treaty held for both her and Lanfear, and she was granted three demands. One of her demands was getting that angreal, but what her other two demands were she did not reveal to anyone.

Thom, Mat, and Moiraine settled down to rest a short walk from the tower. After some discussion of events that had occurred during her captivity, she asked Thom to marry her, fufilling a viewing Min had of her stating, without details, that she would marry Thom[24]. He accepted and decided to become Moiraine's Warder as well.

The Last Battle[]


Moiraine Damodred returns, by Isabel Westling.


Moiraine Damodred, A Servant of All - By Ariel Burgess Official Wheel of time Artist

Moiraine appeared at the Field of Merrilor when Rand and the leaders of the nations were meeting to discuss the Dragon's Peace. She entered the tent just as Rand had lost his patience and was leaving. She convinced Rand to stay to continue negotiations and reminded the leaders of several prophesies regarding the Dragon Reborn. Her appearance saved the talks and gave the impetus to everyone to sign the agreement.

Moiraine was with Rand when he Traveled to Lan's camp in Shienar. She tried to convince Rand to not join the battle, as he must save himself for his confrontation with the Dark One. Rand felt he must help his people and left anyway. Rand was not gone long before he stumbled back through the gateway. The Dreadlords were watching for him and tried to shield him with a full circle. Moiraine chided him against attacking like this again. She was with Rand, when he stood just outside Shayol Ghul testing whether the Dull dagger worked.

Moiraine and Rand had a moment to catch up before he launched his attack on Shayol Ghul. She tried to discover what his plan was against the Dark One. Rand told her that he wished to make peace with the Seanchan first, as Mat was with the Empress at this time. He also revealed that he wished to actually kill the Dark One due to him not being apart of the Pattern. Moiraine did not believe it could be done. He told her he had more wisdom over his accrued lifetime including Lews Therin's life, but she brushed him off knowing he only had the memories. Moiraine also had knowledge of Mat having other men's memories. She then commanded Rand to make some tea, which Rand moved did quickly, before realizing what she just did to him. Moiraine wondered if Rand had finally the right balance of self-effacement and pride to succeed. She then enjoyed the tea that always tasted better when Rand made it. Moiraine counciled Rand to stop delaying his attack on Shayol Ghul, telling him he should not try to go to the Black Tower because it was a trap for him.

Moiraine accompanied Rand, Nynaeve, and Thom to Shayol Ghul to assist Rand with a power circle. Thom decidef to wait at the entrance where Thom and Moiraine kiss each other goodbye. As the group entered the pit, Moiraine was shocked when they heard the Creator speak to Rand. They encountered Moridin, who had come to confront and defeat Rand. She and Nynaeve linked to provide their power to Rand who drew upon it to wield Callandor against Moridin. Moiraine and Nynaeve were caught up in a maelstrom that prevented them from most movement and were held in place until Rand was at the point of defeating the Dark One. When he dropped Callandor during his duel with Moridin, Moridin picked up the sword to use it against Rand. But Moiraine and Nynaeve used their link to control the power of the Sword, pulling the energy through Moridin, thereby also using the True Power. Once the Dark One's bore was resealed, Moiraine and Nynaeve escaped the cave. She then collapsed into Thom's waiting arms. She mourned Rand at his funeral.

Etymology and parallels[]

The name Moiraine might be connected to the Moirae, who "controlled the metaphorical thread of life of every mortal from birth to death." This is consistent with the series' main philosophy and may also reflect the fact that Moiraine had dedicated her life to Rand from the moment of his birth, and based on Min's viewings, would presumably continue to do so until his death. The word 'Moira' is also Greek for 'fate,' which is rather fitting considering her role in the series.

One might possibly parallel a connection of the character Moiraine to the character Merlin from the Arthurian legend. Merlin is Arthur's trusted advisor and helps him after he pulls the sword from the stone. Merlin meets his end in one version by being trapped in an Invisible tower. Nimue, from the Arthurian legend, also called Nynaeve in one version, hates Merlin but steeled herself, so she could learn from Merlin. 

Another likely influence on the naming and character development of Moiraine comes from the Slavic goddess Marzanna. From the Wikipedia page, "Marzanna (in Polish), Morė (in Lithuanian) or Morena (in Czech, Slovak, Russian) or also Mara, Maržena, Morana, Moréna, Mora or Marmora is [...] associated with seasonal rites based on the idea of death and rebirth of nature. She is associated with death, winter, and nightmares." The theme of death and rebirth is a vital part of Moiraine's character arc throughout the Wheel of Time series. In the first book, she was especially insistent on Rand, Perrin, and Mat informing her of any nightmares they had. She was of the Blue Ajah and described frequently as giving "cool" looks or having a "cool" or "cold" demeanor, all of which subtly allude to winter. 

Moiraine painting

Moiraine by Kristina Djordjevic

Personal Quotes[]

  • "Live with what you cannot change."[25]
  • "You learn nothing if you put someone's back up to start."[7]
  • "The wheel weaves as the wheel wills."

In the television series[]


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