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.
The White is the smallest Ajah. Before the White Tower Schism the White collected around 100 sisters; after the Schism around thirty-two Whites sided with Elaida, approximately one-third of the entire Ajah.
In "The Wheel of Time Companion" it is stated that just prior the Last Battle there where in total only eighty White sisters living.
After twelve of them were sent to Cairhien in the expedition to kidnap the Dragon Reborn and one, Ayako Norsoni, sent to the Black Tower, there where fewer 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, who died just over 100 years ago 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 appear almost ascetic in their behaviour.
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. But their extremely rational mind can be also a limit, in fact for the other sisters they are "all logic and no heart" and this distance from the human passions not always could permit to a White to understand fully the behaviour and intentions of other people.
The Whites are good in resolving logic and mathematics questions, a skill that can be useful for more practice ways as the administration of a huge city as Tar Valon, for example in the Book Eleven two Whites are discussing the better way to calculate the spoiling rate of the food by the touch of Shaitan and how many supplies they need to replace the food damaged.
White sisters rarely go far away from Tar Valon, the majority of them stay always in the Tower, so they did not need a Warder.
Among Whites, being sent off from the Tower on a mission of some sort, even as a part of an embassy, was looked upon as drudgery at best, and at worst, punishment.
Despite this attitude about the outside world, for a reason or another after the Schism 2/3 of the Whites were living far from Tar Valon.
Whites rarely bond Warders. Obviously a White sister when is choosing a Warder is guided only by the logic and practicality of the selection on the contrary of a Green one who is also guided by the human aspects of the bond that they will start.
Due the indifference of the Whites to unnecessary and redundant, their sector of the Tower is the most sober and unadorned of all the Ajah. It is simply and plainly decorated with panels and tapestries representing scenes of serenity, as landscape covered by snow; doors, windows and carpets are signed by stylized decorations 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, and to enter there it seems to enter in a sacred place, 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 mate 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.
In "The Wheel of Time Companion" it is stated that despite what other sisters think also the White Ajah maintains secretly a minimum eyes-and-ears system of information. 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.
The First Reasoner of the White Ajah is Ferane Neheran. She is also a Sitter in the reunited Hall of the Tower, along with Saroiya and Seaine Herimon. Carlinya was the leader of the Whites among the rebels in Salidar. Aledrin and Berana were Sitters in the rebels Hall.
In "The Wheel of Time Companion" the White Ajah head is called two times "First Weaver". This is a mistake because the First Weaver in the saga is the Yellow Ajah head. It is also stated that her authority is very high, not much less than that of the Red Ajah head and roughly equal to the authority of the Green or Yellow Ajah head.
In choosing a Sitter, 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. Voting is not by secret ballot, but by open show of hands.
Beyond the Ajah Head and the Sitters, there is no constant organizational structure.
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, a great accomplishment for its size (the largest Ajah, the Red, only had three Amyrlin Seats ever, including Elaida). 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 sisters
Beside each name is reported the double strength level and the sum of the years of training as described by "The Wheel of Time Companion"
- The Wheel of Time Companion, White Ajah
- The Wheel of Time Companion, First Reasoner
- 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