Galina Casban

GAH-leigh-NAH Cahs-bahn

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Nationality:

unknown

Year of Birth:

875 NE

Gender:

Female

Hair Color:

Black

Eye Color:

Dark Brown

Other Names:

Little Lina, Alyse

Article Author: 

Daraus Sedai

Basic Information

Appearance

Galina has a round face, a plump mouth, and stands about 5’5” (165cm) tall with black hair and hard dark brown eyes. She looks to be in her mid-to-late twenties and might be thought of as pretty but nowhere near beautiful. She has the typical ageless appearance of an Aes Sedai who has worn the shawl for many years.

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Personality

 

Galina is an extremely arrogant woman who has a strong aversion to men. She seems to be an open lesbian who is somewhat predatory in her advances. Galina is the type of person that will do whatever she deems necessary to advance her personal agenda and tends to believe everyone around her will do as she orders without hesitation without seeing her ulterior motives. Once she has decided what she believes on a topic, she needs little evidence or proof to push forward as she sees fit in the situation.

Spoilers Below!!!

Actions During the Story

Actions Before the Story

 

Galina Casban was born in 875 NE and in 891 NE at the age of 16 she became a Novice in the White Tower.  After nine years as a Novice Galina advanced to the Accepted in 900 NE and in 907 NE, she successfully passed the Test for the Shawl and raised Aes Sedai choosing the Red Ajah.  She was recruited and joined the Black Ajah in 910 NE.  Galina was not yet a member of the Supreme Council in 978/9 NE.

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New Spring

Galina is never mentioned in the book, but it is known that she participated in covering up the murder of then Amyrlin Seat Tamra Ospena.  On the orders of the Black Ajah Supreme Council, Galina was possibly involved in the kidnapping of Tamra and was later personally involved in putting members of Tamra’s hunters to the question as well as their murders, although she was not a party to Tamra’s torture and murder.

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Actions Between the Books

 

Directly following the events of New Spring Ishamael executed several high-ranking members of the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah which included the Head of the Red Ajah, known as The Highest, possibly Tesien Jorhald.  In 981 NE Galina was elected to the role of Highest at the extremely young age of 106, having worn the Shawl for less than 80 years.  As Highest, Galina would have had autocratic control of the largest Ajah in the White Tower, whose members viewed the woman in the role as at least the equal to the Amyrlin Seat.  She was almost certainly involved in the male channeler pogrom that continued until 984 NE and was most likely complicit in the murder of Amyrlin Seat Sieren Vayu, either via the Red Ajah or the Black, the Red being induced by Black Sisters to murder Sieren before she uncovered the secret Ajah.  Around this same time, Galina became one of the highest-ranking members of the Black Ajah Supreme Council, one of only two or three women (along with Velina Behar and possibly Sedore Dajenna) to know Alviarin Freidhen’s identity as the Head of the Great Council of Thirteen.


Despite being the Highest of the Red Ajah (or perhaps because), Galina was not held accountable for her or her Ajah’s actions during the period known as the Vileness but must have had to manage through the upheaval of all three Sitters for the Red being birched and sent into exile in 985 NE.  During this time she would have also had to manage the politics of consecutive Amyrlins from the rival Blue Ajah being Raised.

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Eye of the World

Galina is never mentioned in the book, however, as Highest of the Red Ajah, she would likely be in Tar Valon at this time due to the trial and gentling of the False Dragon Logain who is captured and brought to Tar Valon during this timeframe.

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The Great Hunt

Galina is never mentioned in the book.

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The Dragon Reborn

Galina is never mentioned in the book.

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The Shadow Rising

Galina is never mentioned in the book but is known to have been in the Tower and as the Highest and a member of the Supreme Council, she would have had an active, if behind the scenes, role in the deposing of Amyrlin Seat Siuan Sanche and Keeper of the Chronicles Leane Sharif.  She was known to be part of the circle that stilled Siuan and Leane as well as participated in putting them to the question.

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Fires of Heaven

Galina is never mentioned in the book, but like all members of the Red has sided with Elaida and is in the Tower with the rest of the Loyalist contingent.  Around this time Galina would have been chosen to be part of the Embassy Elaida organized to be sent to Cairhien.

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Lord of Chaos

Galina is first seen on screen in the Prologue: The First Message.  Galina is part of the embassy Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan has sent to meet Rand al’Thor in Cairhien.  Galina is speaking to Katerine Alruddin, also of the Red Ajah, and also secretly of the Black.  Katerine notes that Galina had been the head of the Red Ajah for eighteen years and would have been put in command of the group sent to Rand by Elaida, but Galina herself noted that Rand would be suspicious of a Red leading the expedition.  Katerine also notes that she herself had been Aes Sedai for seventeen years and Black for twelve but had only learned of Galina’s allegiance to the Black that morning. Coiren Saeldain of the Gray Ajah, who is formally in charge of the Embassy, has arranged to meet with the Shaido Aiel under the leadership of Sevanna of the Jumai Sept in order to form an alliance.


Tarna Feir later tells Nynaeve and Elayne that she was a wilder and that Galina Casban had literally beaten her block out of her before she could progress in her training.  Galina had taken an interest in Tarna after seeing her as a likely candidate for the Red. Tarna tells Nynaeve this despite the fact that the identity of all the Ajah Heads was officially secret.


In Cairhien Galina hears rumors of a Green Sister accompanying Rand and tells the other Aes Sedai what she has heard and her belief that this woman must be Moiraine Damodred masquerading as a Green to remain hidden.  This infuriates Erian Boroleos, of the Green Ajah, but Saren Nemdahl of the White believes the rumor must be validated with proof before action can be taken.  Later Galina is with Coiren and Nesune Bihara of the Brown Ajah when they meet Rand and bring him what amounts to a bribe in the form of chests filled with gold and jewels.  Coiren offers Galina or Nesune to Rand as an advisor to replace Moiraine, which he refuses.  When Rand ask after Alviarin Galina tells him she is well and seems surprised to have spoken, no doubt an effect of Rand’s ta’veren nature, this leads Rand to suspect Galina is in league with Alviarin who had sent him a letter outlining her support as well as that of other Aes Sedai in the Tower.  Egwene tells Rand that she is certain Galina is Red Ajah and not to be foolish enough to trust the woman or Alviarin.  After the meeting, Coiren asks Galina about her relationship with Alviarin and Galina tells the Gray that friendship was not necessary to know Alviarin was well when they left the Tower and changed the subject.  Nesune picks up on the Aes Sedai evasion and wonders why Galina was on edge, assuming it was something to do with Rand.  She then asks Galina and Coiren if they had noticed the hidden female channeler in the room which surprises them both which Nesune finds sloppy.  They go on to speculate that the woman could have been Moiraine, the mystery Green, or even one of the Aiel Wise Ones they have encountered in the Royal Library at the Sun Palace.


Galina is with Coiren and Katerine when they next meet with Rand and brings up his Green Sister, which he believes is a reference to Alanna Mosvani who had recently Bonded him as a Warder against his will and angrily seizes saidin only to be shocked when a shield cuts him off from the True Source.  He can’t believe any three women outside of the Forsaken could possibly shield him after he had already taken hold of the Power but is served up another surprise when he realizes that several of the so-called serving women with the Aes Sedai are in fact Sisters who have either hidden their faces or had not yet achieved the ageless look.  A full circle of thirteen linked Aes Sedai holds a shield on Rand while two additional Sisters wrap him in flows of air and force him bodily into one of the chests.  Galina assumes command from Coiren, and the group leaves the palace, telling his Maidens of the Spear guards that he had been gone when they entered the room. Rand later finds out that the Aes Sedai have also captured Min, who Galina recognized as Elmindreda, an associate of Siuan Sanche, and has had questioned and brought out of Cairhien with the departing Embassy.  Enraged, Rand attempts to break free and kills several Warders, including two of Erian’s, Galina takes advantage of the other woman’s emotional distress to begin a seduction attempt.  Galina also begins having Rand beaten daily and confined in the box at all times except when he must eat and be beaten.


Galina meets with the Shaido Wise Ones and Sevanna and shows them their captive.  Sevanna then plots an attack on the group of Aes Sedai and the Younglings under the command of Gawyn Trakand, who Galina is trying to have killed.  Galina’s group includes 39 Aes Sedai (12 Red, 10 Green, seven White, three Gray, three Brown, two Yellow, and two of unidentified Ajah affiliation) various Warders and 581 Younglings under Gawyn’s command.  This force combined are able to hold a defensive perimeter against the Shaido assault, but as the fighting continues the number of available Sisters to hold Rand’s shield dwindles until he is eventually able to break the shielding, stilling three Aes Sedai in the process.  During the Battle of Dumai’s Wells Rand is actively seeking Galina to capture the woman and exact some revenge for his treatment, but she manages to slip away from Rand, the Two Rivers bowmen, Rebel Aes Sedai and various Aiel forces brought by Perrin Aybara and the troop of Asha’man brought via gateway by Mazrim Taim.

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A Crown of Swords

Galina has sent a secret missive to Elaida that Rand has been captured and is being taken to Tar Valon under the control of the Red Ajah.  With news of the battle with the Shaido yet to reach the Tower, Elaida is quite confident of her success as Amyrlin and despite Alviarin’s attempted influence chooses to focus her thoughts on other matters.


Gawyn, having regrouped with about two hundred of the Younglings, is surveying the scene of the battle from a distance, looking for survivors from the Tar Valon force to aid.  He spots an Aes Sedai, likely Galina, riding a black horse but before he and Jisao can move to help the Sister their position is attacked by a group of about one hundred Aiel also fleeing the battle.  Once the short skirmish is complete the Sister is nowhere in sight, her horse having been shot out from under her by an Aiel arrow.


Later, Covarla Baldene of the Red Ajah returns to Tar Valon with news of the battle at Dumai’s Wells and believes Galina and Katerine are either dead or captured.  When questioned further, Covarla informs Elaida that she is the highest woman left in the group of twelve, including herself, that have managed to return to Tar Valon.  She also informs Elaida of what she had seen regarding the several hundred Asha’man brought by Taim.  Elaida is angry over Gawyn and the Younglings still being alive and thinks she will make Galina pay if the woman was still alive and then sends Covarla out of the Tower to regroup with the Aes Sedai still in the tiny village of Dorian beyond the bridge towns of Tar Valon.


Galina has in fact been taken prisoner by the Shaido Aiel and has been forced to run with them back to Kinslayer’s Dagger to the west.  She attempts to mentally convince herself that her captivity will be short-lived as she is one of the most powerful women in the world, Highest of the Red Ajah as well as being next to Alviarin on the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah, being one of only three women who were aware of Alviarin’s position.  She is now under the jurisdiction of the Wise One Therava who had been in command of the Wise Ones on the western battlefront.  Galina is anxious about Therava and the seventy-odd other Wise Ones who have punished her severely for her arrogance and for her several attempts to escape.  Galina’s fear centers on Therava, partially due to the woman being very strong in the One Power, stronger than most women in the Tower including Galina herself, but mostly due to her sadistic pleasure in causing Galina pain and the various punishments she has been forced to endure at Therava’s hands.  When the group finally finds the rest of the Shaido, still led by Sevanna, Galina is shocked to learn her captivity has only lasted for nine days and nearly panics when Sevanna accuses her of lying, scared that her secret allegiance to the Black Ajah had somehow been revealed.  However, this is merely Sevanna covering her own tracks and she goes further, pronouncing Galina as da’tsang, a despised one, and is supported by two other Wise Ones.  Galina does not know what this means but is relieved that she thinks it will remove her from Therava’s control.

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Path of Daggers

Galina, who has lost track of how long she has been captive but believes it cannot be more than a month, continues to be abused at the hands of the Wise Ones, but still has moments of defiance which led to more inventive torture.  Wise One, and former Maiden, Belinde having her tied inside a leather sack and slowly cooked over a bed of hot coals because Galina slapped the woman.  As Galina fantasizes about her revenge Sevanna approaches Galina and offers to free her of being da’tsang if Galina takes an Oath to obey Sevanna in all things.  Galina immediately agrees, but when Sevanna produces an Oath Rod obtained from Caddar (Sammael in disguise) Galina hesitates.  Therava soon arrives and Galina in terror seizes the Oath Rod and swears to obey every Wise One present, first among them Sevanna and Therava.  She is then put in gai’shain white.  Galina is shocked when it starts to snow, wondering why the Dark One had released his grip on the world.


Alviarin, while speaking to Mesaana, believes that Galina is dead and thinks that it is a pity she had been the only Ajah Head who was also Black Ajah, confirming neither Ferane Neheran nor Suana Dragand are Black Ajah.

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Winter's Heart

Now with Sevanna’s group of Shaido along the border of Amadicia, Ghealdan and Altara, Galina confirms for the Wise Ones that Alliandre Maritha Kigarin is in fact the Queen of Ghealdan and that she has heard enough about what the woman’s looks like to confirm Alliandre is who she claims to be.  Galina is unsure what to make of Alliandre’s claim to have sworn fealty to Faile. Therava commands Galina, who is now calling “little Lina” to heal the women, and Faile notices the Great Serpent ring on Galina’s finger, confirming the woman as Aes Sedai and making Faile wonder what Galina was up to with the Shaido.  Galina tells Faile that what she is doing is of great importance to the Tower.  Alliandre believes Galina must have been Tower trained but is not convinced that she is truly Aes Sedai and Maighdin goes even further and tells Galina she is a disgrace to the Tower regardless, earning the insult of being called a wilder.  Galina demands to know Faile’s identity and recognizes the name Aybara as a man connected to Rand and threatens to reveal to Sevanna that Faile is connected to Rand as well.  Galina orders the group to steal the Oath Rod from Therava and tells them if they do, she will take them with her when she leaves.

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Galina’s identity as Black Ajah is revealed to Pevara Tazanovni, Seaine Herimon, Yukiri Haruna, Doesine Alwain, and Saerin Asnobar by Sitter for the Green and secret member of the Black Talene Minly.  This information infuriates Pevara who is of the Red Ajah and a fervent hater of darkfriends.  Talene, along with Temaile Kinderode of the Gray had been part of Galina’s heart within the Black, and Talene had also known the identity of Atuan Larisett of the Yellow Ajah but was unaware that Galina was a member of the Supreme Council.


Faile is worried about how to manage Galina, who she sees cowering before the Wise Ones but still believes may be working on some mysterious Aes Sedai plot.  However, she has agreed to attempt to steal the Oath Rod from Therava and has sent Maighdin to get it, but Maighdin is caught and punished.  Galina turns Faile over to Sevanna for hiding a knife and Faile is punished.

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Crossroads of Twilight

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Galina is replaced as Highest after Katerine brings word back to the Tower that she was killed in the fighting at Dumai’s Wells, the new Highest is a former Sitter brought back from exile by Elaida, Tsutama Rath.  Toveine Gazal, another of the former Red Sitters returned from exile and Sashalle Anderly, also of the Red, have each written to Galina as Highest to inform her of the situations in Andor and Cairhien respectively.  Tsutama has been given these letters and informs Red Sitters Pevara, Javindhra Doraille, and recently raised Keeper of the Chronicles Tarna Feir of their contents.


Now near the town of Malden, Galina is allowed to go out riding as the Wise Ones no longer fear she will attempt escape.  While out she is captured by Gaul of the Imran Sept of the Shaarad Aiel and Murandian Asha’man Fager Neald, part of the group with Perrin searching for Faile.  The men recognize her as Aes Sedai, and she reveals an association with Sevanna which prompts them to bring her back to Perrin’s camp.  Galina tells Perrin he may call her Alyse and that Faile and Alliandre are in the ruins of the city of Malden and under her protection but refuses his offer for her to speak to Masuri Sokawa of the Brown Ajah or Seonid Traighan of the Green Ajah who are also with his army.  Galina insists on leaving and tells Perrin the Shaido are perhaps three- or four-days distance from his camp.  But is ultimately forced to tell an outright lie which solidifies her determination to kill Faile and the others when she escapes.


Returning to the Shaido position with injuries to her face, which she herself orchestrated, Galina is severely punished by Therava, prompting Sevanna’s irritation over losing her pet and Faile’s hesitation at Galina’s motivations.  Faile cannot believe an Aes Sedai would truly endure such torture simply to advance a White Tower plot.  But Faile continues using her followers to attempt to purloin the Oath Rod from Therava, even though most of the other gai’shain also believe Galina is Therava’s plaything.


Once Faile’s followers have gained the Oath Rod she sends word to Galina and they plan how to leave the city of Malden, Faile no longer trusts Galina and has begun working on alternative escape plans with the help of her original capturer the Brotherless Aiel Rolan.  She tells Galina that the rod is hidden within the town and she will take her to it once they are safely leaving.  Faile is right not to trust Galina as the next morning once they hand over the rod Galina triggers a booby trap in an abandoned basement and flees Malden on horseback just as Perrin’s forces attack.


After their rescue Faile tells Perrin that Alyse’s true name was Galina Casban and that she must be a member of the Black Ajah as she was able to tell lies. Seonid recognizes the description as Galina and informs the pair that Galina’s prosecution must be done by three Sitters, acting like a court and if she is found guilty, she would be stilled and executed.  Faile agrees and eventually, Perrin does as well.


Galina, now hidden in the woods and changing out of her white silk robes is once again captured by Therava.  She is forbidden to ever ride a horse again and when told by Therava that she was also forbidden to ever touch the Oath Rod again a piece inside Galina breaks and she truly becomes Therava’s plaything “little Lina” and goes with the last remnant of the Shaido back to the Aiel Waste.

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Knife of Dreams

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Galina never appears in the book but is noted on Verin’s list of known Black Ajah members and was assumed by Verin to be the Head of the Red Ajah.

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The Gathering Storm

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Galina is never mentioned in the book.

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Towers of Midnight

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Galina is never mentioned in the book.

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A Memory of Light

Character Summaries

Special Abilities

 

Galina is a very strong modern Aes Sedai, standing very near the top of the strength hierarchy at level 14 (2).  Among living Aes Sedai at the start of the series only six women possess more strength:  Cadsuane Melaidhrin, Romanda Cassin, Lelaine Akashi, Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan, Moiraine Damodred, and Siuan Sanche.  There are fewer than a dozen Aes Sedai who match her strength in the White Tower and within the Red Ajah Galina’s strength with saidar places her in the second rank along with Pevara Tazanovni, Sashalle Anderly, and Liandrin Guirale.  In the Black Ajah Galina along with Liandrin and Sheriam Bayanar stood as the strongest living members at the start of the main series.


Galina is considered a skilled modern Channeler; having undergone extensive training in the White Tower she would be able to perform the standard Aes Sedai weaves to various levels of proficiency.  While she is not often seen actively channeling saidar, her ability is largely forbidden to her throughout the series by Oaths she has given the Wise Ones, Galina possessed some skill with the traditional Aes Sedai Healing methods, able to Heal several people of minor injuries and exhaustion quickly but this seems to be the limits of her Talent.

Notable Possessions

 

Galina is both the Highest of the Red Ajah and a high-ranking member of the Black Ajah Supreme Council.  Early in the series, she would be accounted as one of the most powerful people in the world having direct control of over two hundred Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah as well as many additional Aes Sedai within the Black.  The power of the Highest is stated as essentially autocratic within her Ajah giving Galina a level of influence within the White Tower that would be unmatched by nearly any other woman.  Galina is later part of Elaida’s embassy to Rand and once the decision has been made to kidnap him and bring him to Tar Valon she is the agreed-upon leader of the expedition.


Once she is captured by the Shaido Galina becomes associated with the ter’angreal known as a Binder or an Oath Rod which has the ability to place unbreakable Oaths on a channeler who is holding the device while flows of Spirit are woven into it and the oaths are spoken aloud.  Galina spends the remainder of the series in her unsuccessful quest to remove the oaths she has sworn on the device.

Legacy

 

Galina is one of several women who suffer “fates worse than death” for her nefarious association with the Shadow.  She is alive but broken and in lifelong bondage to the sadomasochist Therava who intends to effectively torture her for the next hundred or more years.  Galina’s lifespan could be shorter than anticipated as she is now bound by four Oaths which has an unknown effect on a channelers longevity.  Galina is currently 125 years old and given her strength in the Power she would normally be expected to live for another 150-175 years as an Aes Sedai, but a fourth oath could reduce that significantly (or not at all).  Galina’s story arc is not unlike other leading Aes Sedai such as Siuan and Elaida who are each among the most politically powerful women of the Age and have steep falls from power leading to significantly reduced status and/or slavery, and very similar to the fate of Liandrin as well as most of the female Forsaken Lanfear, Graendal, Moghedien, and Mesaana.


Galina is an example of the Red Ajah’s negative portrayal early in the series, along with Liandrin, Duhara Basaheen, and Elaida, however, her introduction also coincides with some of the more positive Red Ajah figures who play larger roles later in the series when The Highest is no longer a member of the Black and we see more depth to the true purpose of the Red Ajah.


Through Galina’s eyes, the reader is able to see the effects of the descent of the Shaido Aiel’s cultural beliefs as well as the darker and more negative elements of the broader Aiel life.  Galina also shows the reader some of the more morally ambiguous characters in the series such as Sevanna and Therava, neither are darkfriends yet both are cruel and/or greedy and seek power even at the expense of humanity and the Shaido, ultimately leading to the remnants of the Shaido being outcast and likely on the path to dying out.  As the Prophecy of Rhuidean indicates, only a small fraction of those who followed He Who Comes With the Dawn would survive past the Last Battle.


Robert Jordan often included human evil as a separate element to the story creating conflict with both the Shadow and the Light through man-made problems.  Galina herself was something of an opportunist, willing to commit atrocities when she could gain from it, but not specifically seeking evil deeds for the sake of doing evil.  From Galina’s POVs she does not appear to be a “true believer” so much as a woman seeking power at any cost and her personal agenda is more tied to gaining worldly power through following the Dark One rather than a personal desire to do evil things.


Galina’s portrayal is somewhat controversial in the LGBTQ+ fan community as she is seen as an example of a negatively queer-coded lesbian villain.  She is predatory, evil and at the end of the story “gets what she deserves”, a common Hollywood trope.  While the author is well known for building a world filled with strong female characters, Galina being no exception, the portrayal of a negative lesbian stereotype has often received backlash from LGBTQ+ fans.

In Other Media

No announcement regarding Galina’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 if producers choose to expand on the White Tower and its politics or combine her role with another Aes Sedai, such as Liandrin, to simplify the TV adaptation.

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