Year of Birth:
Actions During the Story (Spoilers)
Character Summaries (Spoilers)
Alviarin is a slim woman, with a long swan-like neck, who stands about 5’4” (~163cm). She has dark brown hair, brown eyes and on the surface appears cool and calm, even cold; living up to the famous White Ajah demeanor. Like most members of the White, she also tends to wear gleaming white silk clothing with few adornments. She has the typical ageless face of an Aes Sedai who has worn the Shawl for many years.
Alviarin is coldly calculating much as her exterior appearance would indicate, showing little to no emotion at any time. She possesses a very analytical mind and is meticulously organized. She is pragmatic and businesslike and sharp with critique.
Actions During the Story
Actions Before the Story
Alviarin was born in Amadicia, near the Tarabon border, in 943 NE. She became a darkfriend at the age of 15 after murdering another girl in 958 NE and receiving the aid of a local nest of darkfriends. In 959 NE she was told to murder a young man who had learned about the darkfriends. She coldly seduced and stabbed him to death during sex. Later that same year Alviarin entered the White Tower as a Novice, being closely observed by the Black Ajah from her first day. In 964 NE she was raised to the Accepted and during the next five years, she was tested by the Black Ajah to ensure she would not be a security issue. In 968 NE Alviarin, on orders from the Black, murdered her only friend in the Tower without hesitation. In 969 NE she passed the tests for the Shawl and chose the White Ajah and was quickly initiated into the Black as well.
Alviarin is never mentioned in the book but is likely a high-ranking member of the Black Ajah at this time. She is likely in Tar Valon during the events of the book but did not participate in the torture and death of then Amyrlin Seat Tamra Ospenya.
Actions Between the Books
In 983 NE, after executing several members of the Black Ajah for murdering Tamra and initiating the male channeler pogrom, Ishamael handpicked Alviarin to become the Head of the Great Council of Thirteen, replacing Jarna Malari. She and the other twelve members of the Supreme Council had to prove to Ishamael that they were not responsible for these actions, at least one other member of the council was also executed at this time.
Eye of the World
Alviarin is never mentioned in the book. However, she is most likely in Tar Valon during this time as she is on hand to be part of the Amyrlin’s entourage to Fal Dara.
The Great Hunt
Alviarin first appears as one of two White Sisters who are part of the Amyrlin’s entourage to Fal Dara. She is one of the Aes Sedai who gives Egwene and Nynaeve lessons on the return to Tar Valon. She is “cool and businesslike as a merchant come to buy wool and tabac, surprised that Nynaeve was part of the lesson but accepting, sharp in her criticisms but always ready to try again”.
The Dragon Reborn
Alviarin represents the White Ajah during Egwene’s test for the Accepted but leaves immediately when Egwene approaches Alanna Mosvani of the Green to ask her about what it means to be of the Green. Alanna characterizes the White Ajah, and Alviarin, as having no room for passions in their lives.
The Shadow Rising
Alviarin notices Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan muttering to herself and approaches her to find out what has the woman frustrated. Elaida outlines her assumptions about Siuan Sanche’s possible scheming with Moiraine, Alviarin notes that Elaida has no proof however she is open to hearing more.
While never confirmed, given the timing of the event, Alviarin is the most likely culprit from the Black Ajah seen (or at least behind the order) questioning and then murdering of Sahra Covenry and Mistress Moria Elward on the latter’s farm. Sahra had escorted “Elmindreda to the Amyrlin and had seen the woman interact with Gawyn Trakand and Siuan then sent her to the farm to serve a “penance” for an unknown infraction due to what she had witnessed. She was found and questioned by an Aes Sedai to learn information that would aid in the deposing of Siuan and Leane.
Alanna and Verin discuss a proposal by the White Ajah to have women bear children of men who have been gentled to increase the population of channelers which seems to be declining. Verin notes Alviarin, specifically, was not amused when she suggested members of the White personally take part in the plan.
Alviarin, along with Elaida, Joline Maza of the Green, Shemerin of the Yellow and Danelle of the Brown participates in the coupe which deposes and stills both Siuan Sanche and Leane Sharif. She receives a burn from a tiny warding over a box on the Amyrlin’s desk while she is rifling through Siuan’s study. She then participates in the questioning and judicial stilling of Siuan and Leane. When next seen Alviarin has become Keeper of the Chronicles under new Amyrlin, Elaida.
Fires of Heaven
Alviarin is with Elaida and her council of cohorts giving reports about various actions including Borderland armies on the move and the escaped False Dragon, Mazrim Taim, who is still-at-large. Elaida is frustrated with her council and the Hall as well as Alviarin and begins setting penances for many women for failing to complete her orders. Unlike the others on the council, Alviarin remains calm under Elaida’s forcefulness. Alviarin remains when the other women leave, still sure of her position as Elaida is all too aware of the key role Alviarin played in deposing Siuan and elevating Elaida, a fact that irritated Elaida even more. Alviarin witnesses Padan Fain entering the Amyrlin’s study but is told to leave shortly after his arrival.
Alviarin captures Padan Fain, who has recovered the ruby-hilted dagger from Shadar Logoth and murdered a young pale Accepted named Verine who was set to guard the storeroom. She coldly watches as the other woman dies, noting she had failed to follow her instructions and had paid the price for stupidity. Fain believes she must be Black Ajah, and her initial answer is that this is a dangerous accusation and that Elaida has already dismissed claims of its existence from Siuan. However, she gives herself away when Fain tells her he has seen Thakan’dar and Shayol Ghul and she refers to the Chosen and demands to know why she was not informed of his presence in the Tower and releases him to leave the Tower in possession of the dagger.
Alviarin sends Rand al’Thor a secret missive promising him support from Aes Sedai and her personal allegiance. Aviendha, Egwene, and Moiraine, who confirmed the writing was in Alviarin handwriting and that lies could not be written by Aes Sedai, warn Rand to be careful but ultimately are unsure about Alviarin’s true motives. Moiraine leaves Rand a final note warning him to be watchful of any Aes Sedai, even Verin or Alviarin, which makes Rand wonder why she would have mentioned Alviarin rather than Elaida.
Lord of Chaos
The Salidar Six, using tel’aran’rhiod to spy on the Tower, have found documents within Alviarin’s papers that are often more useful than those in Elaida’s. Siuan has found at least two occasions where Alviarin has countermanded Elaida’s orders without repercussions.
Rand asks members of Elaida’s Embassy how Alviarin is doing and Galina Casban responds that she is well, something that surprises those present and leads Rand to believe that Galina is one of Alviarin’s promised supporters. Egwene is doubtful of this and concerned that Rand seems to believe Alviarin’s letter.
A Crown of Swords
Alviarin continues to manipulate Elaida through her position as Keeper of the Chronicles, passing along portions of information and secretly holding back pieces of critical importance. Alviarin wielding much more influence than a Keeper should, holding sway with several Sitters in the Hall. Her influence makes Elaida truly hate the woman, but she is still goaded into sending Toveine Gazal and with a force of fifty Aes Sedai to destroy the Black Tower and she dismisses the strength of the Rebel Aes Sedai gathered in Salidar to oppose Elaida’s reign.
After witnessing Elaida’s Foretelling that the White Tower would be reunited and stronger than ever, that Rand al’Thor will face the Amyrlin’s anger and the Black Tower will be rent in blood and fire with Aes Sedai walking its grounds, Alviarin is shaken. Entering her own rooms Alviarin is questioned by the Forsaken Mesaana about the meeting with Elaida. Alviarin is aware that Mesaana had a way to eavesdrop on these meetings as she knows details Alviarin has left out yet demands verbatim reports. She has also puzzled out that Mesaana must be hiding within the Tower itself, likely as one of the returned Aes Sedai who had no friends within the Tower. This was clear to her as she believed Mesaana had no reason to disguise herself from Alviarin unless she was maintaining an identity recognizable to Alviarin. She also reveals that she has met others of the Forsaken including Lanfear, Graendal, and Be’lal (who had taken her from her dreams to an unknown place). But years before this she had met Ishamael who she recalls placing her at the head of the Black Ajah, after confirming that she had no part in the death of Tamra Ospenya or the male channeler pogrom set in motion by Jarna Malari. After Alviarin swears allegiance, Mesaana agrees to teach Alviarin and shows her the weave to create a gateway for Traveling.
Later, Alviarin wakes Elaida to inform her that Covarla Baldene of the Red Ajah, part of the Embassy sent to Rand in Cairhien, has returned to the Tower and informs Elaida that Galina is dead or a prisoner of Rand’s. Covarla relates the events of Dumai’s Wells to Elaida and Alviarin, including the presence of the Asha’man. Elaida finally realizing that there are hundreds of men who can channel at the Black Tower and that Toveine and her group are walking into an impossible situation. Alviarin tells Elaida that no order they send to Toveine now will reach her in time and that Elaida will likely face being deposed if this news gets out. Taking advantage of Elaida’s political weakness Alviarin seizes the moment and forces Elaida to begin increasing the Tower Guard and then instructs Elaida to search the rooms of Green Sisters Adelorna Bastine and Josaine to confiscate angreal they were hiding, setting stiff punishments. At the same time, she is to present Doraise Mesianos of the Brown Ajah, Kiyoshi of the Gray Ajah, and Farellien of the Yellow Ajah with fine new horses for being models of preserving Tower law. Elaida is aghast at the tension this will create amongst the various Ajah but has little choice to preserve her position as Amyrlin.
Path of Daggers
Alviarin returns after a two-week absence from the Tower and enters Elaida’s study just as six Sitters including Andaya Forae of the Gray, Velina Behar of the White, Sedore Dajenna of the Yellow, Rubinde Acedone of the Green, Shevan Gadarin of the Brown, and Duhara Basaheen of the Red, who are preparing to leave. Elaida notices that Velina flinches when she sees Alviarin and wonders why. Alviarin takes the decrees Elaida has given the six Sitters and asks them to leave her in private with the Amyrlin. After the women leave Alviarin slaps Elaida and confronts her over making decisions without Alviarin’s approval then goes on to force Elaida to sign a proclamation of anathema on any who approaches Rand without the Tower’s express permission and sends Silviana to Elaida for a private penance. Mesaana is not pleased that Alviarin acted alone to have Elaida beaten but accepts Alviarin’s begging and denials of seeking more power for herself. While groveling at the Forsaken’s feet, Alviarin takes note that the gown under Mesaana’s illusion was of bronze silk. Mesaana then orders Alviarin to find out why the Ajah Heads are meeting in secret.
Alviarin is only mentioned once in the book as Elayne considers the letter Alviarin had sent to Rand.
Meidani Eschede of the Gray informs Yukiri Haruna, Sitter for the Gray, that she has made several attempts to renew her previous relationship with Elaida, but Alviarin had put her off. Yukiri tells Meidani that Alviarin has left the Tower and is not likely to return soon as the maids noted she had taken spare clothing when she left. The two women are part of the hunt for the Black Ajah and attempt to infiltrate Elaida’s circle as well as keep an eye on Alviarin.
Alviarin eventually returns to the Tower, after having Traveled to the Sea Folk island of Tremalking on Mesaana’s orders. She passes through the Tower Library and considers what she knows of Mesaana. Lost in thought she is surprised by Tower librarian Zemaille din Amassa, Sea Folk Sister of the Brown Ajah, and considers questioning and disposing of the woman, but notes another Sea Folk Brown Sister Aiden is nearby and decides against potentially questioning Zemaille. Noting that both women along with Nyein, the third Sea Folk Brown Sister in the Tower were the librarians of the secret Thirteenth Depository.
Alviarin makes her way up the eighty spans to Elaida’s study and barges in on a meeting of more than half the Sitters of the Hall. Elaida is pleased to see her, which makes Alviarin nervous. She notes Suana Dragand Sitter and First Weaver of the Yellow Ajah, Doesine Alwan Sitter of the Yellow, Shevan of the Brown, Ferane Neheran Sitter, and First Reasoner of the White Ajah, Andaya and Yukiri of the Gray, Rubinde, Rina Hafden, and Talene Minly of the Green. Alviarin notes that Talene, who is secretly of the Black, seems to look to Yukiri before responding to Elaida and finds this behavior odd, deciding to investigate it later. The group of Sitters are informing Elaida that the Hall and the Ajah wish to open conversations with the Rebels who have suddenly appeared outside of Tar Valon. Once the group leaves, Elaida informs Alviarin that her leverage in blackmailing the Amyrlin has evaporated thanks to the Rebels' arrival and news spreading of Toveine and Galina’s failures, the other women being blamed by most Sisters. Elaida has successfully had Alviarin removed from her position as Keeper and replaced by Red Sister Tarna Feir. Running to her rooms Alviarin, in a near panic, takes a brilliant red rod, utterly smooth except for a few lines worked into the surface, and no longer than her forefinger from a chest, a ter’angreal given to her by Mesaana to be used only in an emergency. She channels tiny thin flows of Fire and Earth into the interconnections and pressed the rod with her thumb, which alerts Mesaana. Mesaana appears and berates Alviarin for daring to use the device for such a minor issue, but Alviarin tries to convince the Forsaken that the Black Ajah is at exposure risk. Without warning the Source suddenly ceases to exist for both women and Mesaana’s disguise is exposed, Alviarin finds her face familiar but cannot place her. Shaidar Haran appears and confronts Mesaana for disobeying a direct order, Alviarin witnessing the creature and becoming terrified. However, Shaidar Haran orders Mesaana to not harm Alviarin and places a mark on Alviarin’s forehead which will be visible to Shadowspawn, who will recognize it as a sign that Alviarin is owned by the Dark One. Shaidar Haran sends Alviarin away as he punishes Mesaana.
Crossroads of Twilight
Seaine reveals to the rest of the Black Ajah Hunters that Elaida had come to her for a progress report regarding Alviarin’s “treasonous correspondence with the Dragon Reborn” and they all realize that Seaine’s assumption that Elaida could not be Black Ajah herself as they believed she had instigated the hunt was based on a false premise.
Alviarin is seen walking through the Tower, occasionally fingering the spot where Shaidar Haran had marked her forehead. While appearing as cool and collected as ever from the outside, she is near hysteria inside her own head. She overhears White Sisters, “arithmetists”, Tesan and Astrelle arguing over the rate of food spoilage in the Tower and is somewhat smug about how few women had realized the Dark One’s touch was upon the Tower. Alviarin is now looked at as something of a disgrace to the White Ajah, having been stripped of the Keeper’s Stole she has lost most of her influence within the Ajah and is being sent, by Elaida’s public order, to be strapped every morning by the Mistress of Novices Silviana Brehon, of the Red Ajah. Norine Dovarna noting this fact acidly to Arafellin Sister Ramesa as Alviarin passes them in the White Ajah quarters. Alviarin is still considering the oddity of what she witnessed in Elaida’s office with the Sitters and decides to call Black Sister, and Sitter for the Green, Talene to a Supreme Council meeting to discover what is going on.
Alviarin has several encounters with Egwene al’Vere while both are going Silviana’s study and after one of her many punishments, she attempts to engage the woman but is unsuccessful at enticing Egwene to attempt escape. Egwene questions Alviarin about her seeming loyalty to Elaida, despite the fierce penance she is facing and Alviarin is visibly tense, something very out of character for her to show.
Knife of Dreams
Still taking her penances from Silviana, Alviarin is spotted by Egwene once more, who notes that Alviarin is uncharacteristically late to her appointment. Egwene uses Alviarin’s fall to prod members of the White Ajah such as Miyasi, Tesan, and Ferane, pointing out to these women that the Whites should have seen the logical flaws in deposing Siuan.
Alviarin’s name appears in Verin’s notes as one of the leaders of the Black Ajah, which frustrates Egwene who had been communicating with the woman, and the revelation that the former Keeper was Black reinforces to her that Elaida’s name would not appear on the list as she was surrounded by Black Sisters who could pull strings from behind. When Meidani comes to give Egwene’s rooms she is instructed by the Amyrlin to take Verin’s body and to take Alviarin into the Hunter’s custody and have her Oaths removed and the original Three Oaths re-sworn. Egwene realizes that the Siuan’s deposing had been heavily instigated by both Alviarin and Galina and is thus a Black Ajah plot, meaning the Black Sisters in both factions had known of the plan and had been actively working to break the White Tower from both sides. Despite this knowledge, Alviarin and most of the other Black Sisters in the Tower faction manage to escape capture when Egwene returns and reunifies the Tower.
The Gathering Storm
Through Sheriam’s theft of many sleepweaver ter’angreal Alviarin and other Black Sisters now have access to tel'aran'rhiod. Alviarin accidentally kills Talva with a weave of Fire during an attack on Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve but manages to escape before the women can capture or kill her. Alviarin later participates in and survives the Battle of tel’aran’rhiod in the White Tower. She is seen on several occasions by Egwene and Nynaeve, partnering with Ramola and sending destructive weaves of the One Power which kill Nicola Treehill. When Egwene is captured by Mesaana she hears Alviarin being ordered to have the other Black Ajah withdraw from tel’aran’rhiod.
Towers of Midnight
Pevara impersonates Alviarin during the fighting in the Last Battle and is accepted in Demandred’s camp by Sharans and learns that Taim is under orders from Demandred to destroy the forces of the White Tower.
Alviarin has been placed in command of a group of Shadow channelers including fellow Black Ajah member Rianna Andomeran, Dark Asha’man Atal Mishraile, Varil Nensen and Kash, as well as the Bonded pair of Donalo Sandomere and Ayako Norsoni of the White Ajah who had each been Turned to the Shadow using thirteen Myrddraal and thirteen channelers. Alviarin has Bonded Nensen and orders the group to Travel to a plateau in an attempt to find and destroy the Dragons being used by the Band of the Red Hand to great effect. The group sees Rand on the battlefield and Alviarin determines to follow and capture or kill the Dragon Reborn with the hope of being raised to Chosen herself if successful. She links with Rianna and Nensen to prepare to fight Rand, keeping the rest of her channelers more flexible by remaining outside of the link, and to ensure that Alviarin must lead the link by excluding more men from joining. Following the gateway residues, the group rushes forward only to find themselves trapped in an Ogier Stedding and unable to channel. They are all captured by a group of Ogier led by their eldest Lindsar, Pevara who had devised the plan and Androl Genhald who had disguised himself as Rand and set the trap.
A Memory of Light
Alviarin is in the higher tiers of Aes Sedai Strength at level 17 (5). Her strength in the Power is likely one of the reasons she was able to gain influence within the Tower and the White Ajah at a quite young age. She stands high enough in the hierarchy to be able to influence other Sisters, especially within the White Ajah where only Carlinya Sorevin (level 15), Bernaile Gelbarn (level 16), and Brendas (level 16) are confirmed to stand above Alviarin. Seaine Herimon and Falion Bhoda each equal Alviarin at level 17 and among living Aes Sedai at the start of the series Alviarin’s strength would have placed her within the top 65-75 strongest women in the Tower. Within the Black Ajah Alviarin is the 8th strongest known member. Due to her quick advancement as a Novice and Accepted Alviarin stands below only Seaine within her strength level, meaning that fewer than 50 known Aes Sedai stood above her in the overall hierarchy.
Alviarin would be considered a highly skilled channeler by modern standards, having extensive training in the use of the One Power from the White Tower. She would be able to use all the standard Aes Sedai weaves to varying degrees and is seen creating fireballs, bonds of air, and other typical Aes Sedai combat weaves. Alviarin was also taught Traveling and likely other advanced weaves from Mesaana but was forbidden to use or pass along these teachings without permission from the Forsaken.
As the Head of the Black Ajah Alviarin has access and autocratic authority to the resources of over 200 Aes Sedai. She personally knows the identity of every member of the Black Ajah as well as the command structure employed by the group. She has dozens of books filled with personal ciphers used to communicate with the membership and serves as a middleman for the Forsaken on many occasions.
Alviarin was given a ter’angreal in the shape of a brilliant red rod no larger than her forefinger, utterly smooth except for a few fine lines worked into the surface in a sinuous, interconnecting pattern. By embracing the Source and touching that pattern with hair-thin flows of Fire and Earth at two of the interconnections and pressing one end of the rod hard with a thumb the device would send a signal to another person. The ability to channel was only necessary now, as in the Age of Legends, something called the “standing flows'' would have been used to activate it.
Alviarin is also in possession of one of the sleepweaver ter’angreal stolen by Sheriam Bayanar from the Rebels and uses the device to enter tel’aran’rhiod on several occasions.
Alviarin survives the Last Battle as a captive of the Ogier within Stedding Sholoon. The Ogier elders plan to keep Alviarin and the others in their custody within the Stedding for the remainder of their lives, potentially several hundred years assuming Slowing does not stop within the Stedding. However, as the leader of the Black Ajah, it is possible the Aes Sedai leadership after the Last Battle may attempt extradition of Alviarin to face trial, stilling and likely execution for her roles in the Tower schism as well as many counts of murder.
Alviarin is responsible for quite a few plot lines, but most of her planning and actions take place off-screen. As the Head of the Black Ajah she is likely deeply involved in nearly all Black Ajah activity seen throughout the main series. Alviarin is probably the unknown person Liandrin is communicating with to get her orders from the Tower and is very deeply involved in having Siuan deposed and Elaida Raised, with later schemes designed to destroy unity within the Tower under Elaida’s rule and create chaos by undermining the Towers political position within the world, forcing Elaida to make a proclamation of anathema on any who approach Rand without the Tower’s permission.
Alviarin is generally considered to be highly successful as an agent of the Shadow, her plans leading to months of conflict within the White Tower, putting a vital organization on the sidelines during the critical lead up to the Last Battle. Her actions throughout the books indicate that Alviarin is most likely a “true believer” rather than simply a woman seeking personal power. Unlike many other Black Sisters Alviarin seems willing to do anything necessary to see the Shadow win the Last Battle, including destroying the White Tower. She also seems to be a true sociopath, possessing little or no empathy and willing to commit cold-blooded murders with no hint of remorse.
In Other Media
No announcement regarding Alviarin’s character has been made for the upcoming Wheel of Time TV series being produced by Amazon Studios. However, the character could make an appearance as early as season one given her timeline in the books, although producers could also choose to expand the character or combine her role with another Aes Sedai to simplify the TV adaptation.