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A Wheel of Time Wiki

Painting by Todd Cameron Hamilton

Raken are large animals from the Seanchan continent.


The raken is a large flying animal with a body longer than a horse's and about equal in girth. It possesses leathery gray skin and large, powerful wings. Reports comment that its intelligence is roughly equivalent to that of a horse. Its head is shaped like a long horny snout with hard ridges that serve both as lips and teeth and powerful jaws capable of shearing through a branch or an arm and is supported by a long, graceful neck. Two eyes set on the front of the head give the raken superior vision. It has a very long, thin, frail-looking tail that is actually very strong. The raken often lash their tail in anger when perched or on the ground. In flight, the tail is used with great dexterity to aid in balance and control. Raken have two legs, which end in feet with six long, and very strong, taloned toes arranged four before and two behind. It stands erect only when alarmed or preparing to fly. It is an omnivore, though apparently perfectly content with an all-plant diet. An egg layer, the female raken lay one egg at a time.

"... a leathery gray shape far bigger than a horse, on slow-beating widespread wings, a horny snout thrust out before and clawed feet and thin, lizardlike tail trailing behind."
   — description of a raken observed by Rand and Aviendha in Seanchan [1]


A Raken in flight

While the raken is slow and awkward on the ground, it is an extremely agile flier, and very quick. Maximum flight speed is faster than a horse and it can maintain this speed over short distances, but can fly fairly long distances at lower speeds without rest. The raken is primarily used for scouting and carrying messages by a pair of small riders. The riders control the animal with reins attached to rings fixed permanently in the nostrils, and with leg pressure. Morat'raken, sometimes called "fliers," are all either women or smaller than average men.

Exotic Animals of the Seanchan