—Shienaran warrior's blessing
Shienar (pronounced: shy-NAHR) is one of the four Borderland nations which lie on the threshold of the Great Blight. It is the easternmost of the Borderlands, lying between the Spine of the World and Arafel. The sigil of Shienar is a swooping black hawk. By tradition, the sigil of the reigning ruler is also a sign of Shienar.
Shienar stretches from the River Mora on the border with Arafel to the Spine of the World, and from the Blight to the River Erinin. The city of Fal Dara lies in the north-east of Shienar, near Tarwin's Gap, while the capital Fal Moran is further south.
The nation of Shienar was formed early in the War of the Hundred Years. The governors of Hawkwing's five northern provinces met and agreed to form stable nations to preserve the peace and defend against the Blight. Merean Tihomar was the first Queen of Shienar.
Following the Fall of Malkier in 955 NE, Shadowspawn armies crossed into the northern parts of Shienar and Arafel. With the additional aid of Kandor, the two nations met the Shadowspawn armies at Stair of Jehaan and defeated them in the largest battle in the Westerlands since War of the Hundred Years.
At the height of the Aiel War, Shienar sent the largest expeditionary force of the Grand Alliance and fought in the Battle of the Shining Walls. The Aiel withdrew after killing Laman Damodred, and both sides considered themselves the victor of the war.
In 998 NE, Shienar faced an invasion by a Shadowspawn army. Hopelessly outnumbered and with no time to ask other countries for help, the Shienarans rode and faced the enemy at Tarwin's Gap, although they knew that they would almost certainly lose. However, the subsequent battle saw the Shienarans win a surprising victory thanks to the intervention of Rand al'Thor.
Fashion and culture
Shienaran men, especially warriors, typically shave their faces and wear their hair in a topknot. Like all the Borderlands, Shienar's culture is heavily martial due to the proximity of the Blight and the constant need for vigilance, and internal strife of the kind often seen in the southern countries is virtually nonexistent.
- Shinar is an area mentioned several times in the Bible, meaning "two rivers" , possibly a reference to the two rivers, referring to areas of Mesopotamia. In addition, another kingdom mentioned in Genesis 14:1 is Elasar, possibly transformed into Easar. The king of Shinar was Amrafel, possibly an inspiration in the naming of Arafel.
- In the "Shienar" section of The Wheel of Time Companion, the country's flag is described as consisting of a black hawk on a background of blue and white stripes (which was also previously confirmed in The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time). However, in the "Black Hawk" section of the Companion, the hawk is instead described as being displayed on a yellow background when used as the flag of Shienar. The reason for this inconsistency is unknown.
- Genesis 10:10 and 14:1
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