The White Ajah is one of the seven legitimate Aes Sedai Ajahs. Sisters of this Ajah abstain from matters of the world and worldly knowledge, and instead devote themselves to questions of philosophy and truth. The head of the White Ajah is called the First Reasoner.
Also see List of White Ajah sisters.
The White is the smallest Ajah. Before the White Tower Schism, around eighty Aes Sedai belonged to the White.; after the Schism around thirty Whites sided with Elaida, slightly more than the expected one third of all Aes Sedai that stayed in the Tower. It is likely that the appointment of Alviarin as Keeper bought their loyalty.
Seven of these sisters were sent to Cairhien in the expedition to kidnap the Dragon Reborn and one, Ayako Norsoni, sent to the Black Tower. There were barely more than twenty Whites in residence at the Tower.
The nationalities of all known named Aes Sedai within recent history is as follows:
- Arafel, Tarabon: 4
- Kandor: 3
- Arad Doman, Cairhien, Illian: 2
- Amadicia, Mayene, Murandy, Saldaea, Sheinar, Tear: 1
- Altara, Andor, Ghealdan, Far Madding: 0
- Unknown: 10
The famed Amyrlin, Sereille Bagand (866-890 NE) was from Far Madding.
White sisters ignore the social causes that define the Blue, Gray, Green and Red Ajahs, and have no room for the worldly knowledge that the Browns and to some extent the Yellows seek. It is said that they have no room in their hearts for passions at all, yet they are deeply passionate in their search for the truth. Many Whites have an aesthetic appearance in their dress.
They are known for their serenity and calm heads, and are often described as emotionless and icy. It is this coolness that aids them in their search for the truth; forsaking all emotion enables them to approach each subject without bias.
The judgement given by a White sister is considered usually the most impartial and the less conditioned by sentiments, interests and personal involvements. It can, however, be seen as a weakness and justification to dismiss their opinions as "all logic and no heart". Their uniquely abstract way of thinking also has the tendency to alienate them and make them incapable of fully understanding the behaviour and intentions of other people.
The Whites are good in resolving logical and mathematical questions, a skill that can be put to practical use in the administration of a huge city like Tar Valon. They can also extrapolate a reliable model of true events from rumour and incomplete information. Indeed, mathematical modelling is another technique that separates them from the more qualitive sciences studied by the Brown - a concrete example being Tesan and Astrelle's use of statistical modelling to calculate the rate of the food spoilage caused by the touch of the Dark One on the world, thereby enabling the Tower to plan replenishment.
White sisters rarely venture far from Tar Valon when they have the choice. Their laboratory is inside their own head and between the pages of books, so they seldom feel the need.
They are, nonetheless, still Aes Sedai in a dwindling Tower and are called upon to perform the general duties expected of an Aes Sedai towards humanity. Such mandatory missions are looked upon by Whites as drudgery at best, and at worst, punishment.
Despite this, the Whites seems to have split along the same proportions as the other Ajahs when it comes to the loyalties generated during the White Tower Schism, with the majority finding home among the rebels or unaligned and elsewhere in the world.
Whites rarely bond Warders. Such choices would, in theory, be guided solely along the principles of logic and maximum utility. More Whites considered Bonding as the Last Battle approached. This is logical as they will be expected to be put in danger and can no longer take refuge in theoretical concerns. The Whites are still human, however, and can experience love and passion as deeply as any woman, although they may take care to hide it (see Sarene Nemdahl).
Due the indifference of the Whites towards unnecessary ostentation, their sector of the Tower is the most sober and unadorned of all the Ajah. It is plainly decorated with panels and tapestries representing scenes of serenity; snow landscapes, falling white petals etc. Doors, windows and carpets are decorated with stylized or abstract figures and only some silver objects are used to bring some luxury to their rooms. Some green plants are also kept in vases to give some vitality to their quarters. Their sector is the most quiet and silent, the Whites rarely speak with loud voices, resembling some sacred cloister, or haven of serenity and calm.
It was sisters of the White who first made the connection between the purpose of the Red Ajah and the dwindling numbers and strengths of female channelers. They proposed to the Tower that male channelers should, either before or after gentling, be allowed to bear children with Aes Sedai. While it was not without merit, the idea was flatly refused by the Hall of the Tower. They did not appreciate it when it was suggested that the White should take the responsibility upon themselves as they had been the ones to suggest it.
White sisters tend to dress exclusively in all white, which outside of the White Ajah is considered full mourning dress. As Aes Sedai never wear full mourning, White sisters do not consider their clothing to be so. Conversely, when actually in mourning, White sisters are unique in wearing glossy black ribbons tied in their hair and around their arms.
Despite the non-White belief that the Ajah has no network of eyes-and-ears, the White does have one, albeit minimal. Even the Whites try to manipulate world events - along strictly logical lines, of course.
Just after the Aiel War there was some tension between the White and Blue, over which they had the support of the Brown Ajah, but the reason for this strain was not explained to the Blue Ajah. The White and Blue Ajahs generally were friendly toward each other however, due to both Ajahs having been at odds with the Red for a millennium.
There is no internal structure to the White Ajah except for the First Reasoner whose authority is very high, not much less than that of the Red Ajah Head and roughly equal to the authority of the Green Captain-General or Yellow First Weaver. The current First Reasoner of the White Ajah is Ferane Neheran. It is unknown who the First Reasoner in the
Sitters are chosen, not by secret ballot, but by an open show of hands. The support of ten sisters is required to become a candidate. It is considered unseemly to campaign in any way, either to become a candidate or to win selection as a Sitter. The current Sitters in the reunited Hall of the Tower are Ferane Neheran, Saroiya Farseen and Seaine Herimon. Aledrin Malenry and Berana Shemon were Sitters in the rebels Hall. Velina Behar was also a Sitter for the White Tower under the Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan and the previous four Amyrlins, but was revealed to be Black Ajah.
List of Amyrlin Seats from the White Ajah
Despite being the smallest Ajah in the last millennium, the White was able to elect four Amyrlin Seat from its ranks. Although the first three were rather weak, the last Amyrlin raised from the White became legendary, one of the most influential and strongest Amyrlins ever.
- Rabayn Marushta (5 NE - 36 NE)
- Aliane Senican (332 NE - 355 NE)
- Beryl Marle (520 NE - 533 NE)
- Sereille Bagand 21(9) (866 NE - 890 NE)
List of Known White Ajah
- TWORJTWOT, White Ajah
- The Wheel of Time Companion, First Reasoner
- The Wheel of Time Companion, White Ajah
- Crossroads of Twilight, Prologue
- The Gathering Storm, Chapter 39
- The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 28
- Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 19
- The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 18
- A Crown of Swords, Chapter 34
- New Spring, Chapter 5
- The Shadow Rising, Chapter 31
- New Spring, Chapter 14
- The Shadow Rising, Chapter 1