The Big Picture
- In Season 1 of The Wheel of Time, the White Tower in Tar Valon serves as the center of the Aes Sedai world, with each of the Seven Ajahs having specific duties and roles within the tower.
- The Blue Ajah focuses on justice and saving the world, operating a vast network of spies. The Reds hunt down men who can channel and gentle them, while the Greens prepare for the Last Battle.
- The Yellow Ajah specializes in healing, the Gray Ajah focuses on politics and conflict resolution, the Brown Ajah seeks knowledge, and the White Ajah delves into philosophy and truth. The existence of the Black Ajah is taboo but will play an important role in the series.
In Season 1 of Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time, we are introduced to the center of the world of Aes Sedai, the White Tower in the city of Tar Valon. The wayward travelers of the Two Rivers find themselves at the White Tower, pushed in that direction by Moiraine’s (Rosamund Pike) hand, even when they are separated. In the tower, and throughout the show as a whole, we see Sisters of every Ajah, even if some are unexplained. Each of the Seven Ajahs has its duty within the White Tower and will be chosen by an Accepted when she is raised to an Aes Sedai after undergoing brutal testing. An Accepted can choose any Ajah she wishes and shall stay in that Ajah unless they are raised to be the Amyrlin Seat, stilled, or dead.
The Blue Ajah
This is the Ajah we are probably the most familiar with in the show, as this is the Ajah of one of our main characters: Moiraine! The Blue Ajah in the White Tower is centered around justice, as well as knowing what is happening in the world and trying to save it. Liandrin (Kate Fleetwood) calls them a “network of spies” in the show, and in a way, they’re right, as Blue’s are known for having a large “eyes-and-ears” network. In Season One, while at the White Tower, Maigan (Sandy McDade) demonstrates her knowledge by referencing events we saw in earlier episodes, such as Moiraine sinking the Taren Ferry. This is further punctuated (as well as Blue’s rivalry with the Reds) when Moiraine, to get rid of Liandrin, blackmails her by her knowledge of the man Liandrin secretly meets. The Amyrlin, Siuan Sanche (Sophie Okonedo), was once a Blue Sister herself.
The Red Ajah
This Ajah is probably the next familiar to the show, as they are one of the more antagonistic forces of the series. The first time we see the Reds, they are hunting down a man who can channel who has already gone mad because of Saidin, and they gentle him so he can no longer be a threat. Reds pride themselves on seeking and snuffing out any dangerous use of the One Power. While this could mean women outside the White Tower, it mostly means finding and gentling men who can channel, so they can bring no harm to those around them. While it is a noble cause for the betterment of the world, the Reds can be brutal in their hunting of men, and provide no help once they are gentled. Reds, unlike any other Ajah, are the only faction of the Aes Sedai who do not have Warders.
The Green Ajah
Introduced through Alanna (Priyanka Bose), the Greens are preparing for only one thing: Tarmon Gai’don, The Last Battle. Where the Blues focus on saving the world, the Greens are preparing for the war itself. Alanna, in Episode 4, calls it “the battle Ajah” mentioning how she thought choosing it was so heroic. Being the “Battle Ajah” means that they follow different rules surrounding Warders, bonding as many as they like. In many ways, they are the opposite of the Reds because of that. While not always romantic relationships, we do see that Alanna and her two Warders, Maksim (Taylor Napier) and Ihvon (Emmanuel Imani), are in a relationship. While any Aes Sedai will be part of the inevitable Last Battle, “to be Green means to stand ready,” as Alanna says in Chapter 23 of The Dragon Reborn
The Yellow Ajah
While there are no big recurring roles for Yellow Sisters yet, we did meet a few in the show already. In the cold opening of Episode Two, we see that Whitecloak Questioner Eamon Valda (Abdul Salis) has cut off the hands of a Yellow Aes Sedai (Vilma Frantová) and proceeds to burn her at the stake. Later, after Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) show up in Tar Valon, a Yellow Sister (Evelyn Mok) has healed Perrin of his wounds from the Whitecloaks. Thus, formally introducing us to the Healing Ajah. As Moiraine says in the episode, “There are no greater healers on Earth than the Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, it’ll be like the damage never happened.” Additionally, there is some clever foreshadowing in the show if you can catch it surrounding the Yellow Ajah.
The Gray Ajah
The rest of the Ajahs from here on out are not as developed in the show but are definitely still seen in the White Tower, especially in the scenes with The Amerlyn Seat. The Gray Ajah is focused on politics, especially that of ending conflict. That is what they strive for. Sisters of the Gray Ajah will dedicate themselves to diplomacy, immersing themselves in learning about every nation within the world to help.
The Brown Ajah
The next two Ajahs seem a little similar in concept, but they do have their differences when looked at closer. The Brown Ajah is concentrated on knowledge and wisdom, especially that of ancient texts that they keep care of in the White Tower Library. In general, the Brown Sisters often find themselves detached from the mundanity of life, more concerned with their constant education than the rest of the world around them.
The White Ajah
The White Ajah, while still focused on education and seeking knowledge, falls into the intrigue of philosophy and truth instead of real-world events like the Brown Ajah. The White Ajah is known to be emotionally cold to those around them except for their passion for seeking truth, the opposite of the Brown Sisters.
The Black Ajah
The last Ajah is an unofficial one. Just mentioning the Black Ajah is a taboo subject within the White Tower. Liandrin, in Chapter 38 of The Great Hunt, describes the Black Ajah as “the opposite of everything for which the Tower stands […] any woman can belong to it, and it serves the Dark One.” Many in the White Tower would still deny that any such faction of Darkfriend Aes Sedai in the Tower exists, but as she additionally says, “Tarmon Gai’don approaches, and the time leaves when denials can be made.” The Sisters of the Black Ajah will play a great role in the series moving forward. In fact, we may have met some Black Ajah already and have no knowledge of it yet. We all know an Aes Sedai cannot lie, use the One Power as a weapon against anyone other than Shadowspawn, or make weapons, but a sister who has renounced the Three Oaths, well, she can do anything.
The Wheel of Time is streaming on Prime Video
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