Year of Birth:
Sitter, First Selector (secretly)
Actions During the Story (Spoilers)
Character Summaries (Spoilers)
Lelaine is an attractive woman with dark hair, not yet touched by gray, brown eyes, a slender build and a dignified air about her. She stands roughly 5’4” tall and has a smile that makes her truly beautiful. She is always impeccably dressed and groomed, even in the midst of a battle. Having been bound to the Three Oaths for 144 years, Lelaine has the expected ageless look of an Aes Sedai.
Lelaine is a dignified, calculating and ambitious woman who has spent nearly forty years as an integral part of the White Tower’s leadership. Often seen as cold or solemn she was largely a distant woman but could develop close friendships and had a sense of humor that sometimes surprised her peers, she used both traits to build political relationships to her, and her Ajah’s, benefit. She was quite manipulative and used her infrequent smiles to gain people’s trust. She led her factions in the Hall with an iron grip and was known to exert a lot of pressure on those who opposed her. She had a long-standing rivalry with Romanda Cassin which often bordered on inappropriate behavior from both women and ultimately served as a tool to those that opposed either in the Hall. Lelaine technically stood below Romanda in the Aes Sedai hierarchy in both the Hall (due to tenure) and outside the Hall (due to Romanda’s shorter training time), but Lelaine never showed her rival deference of any kind. She was intelligent enough to change political tactics quickly and often came out on top just when she appeared to be in a losing situation.
Actions During the Story
Actions Before the Story
Lelaine has been a Sitter in the Hall since 962 NE and participated in the selection of quite a few women for Amyrlin Seat. This list includes: Tamra Ospenya Raised from the Blue in 973, Sieren Vayu Raised from the Gray in 979, Marith Jaen Raised from the Blue in 984, and Siuan Sanche Raised from the Blue in 988, three of these women were from Lelaine’s own Blue Ajah, hinting that Lelaine along with the other Sitters for the Blue had a remarkable amount of political ability. Upon Tamra’s ascension Romanda went into retirement, creating speculation that the long-standing rivalry between Romanda and Lelaine played a role in Tamra’s election and Romanda’s later absence opened the door for two additional Blues to be raised Amyrlin over the next few decades.
Lelaine first appears in New Spring as one of the Sisters who greet Moiraine and Siuan into the Blue Ajah. She is later part of the group that teaches Moiraine and Siuan lessons that only Aes Sedai are taught, the trick of concentration to not feel the heat/cold as well as Weaves such as the Warder Bond and the secret Ajah Weaves. Lelaine and Siuan begin to develop a friendship around this time, but she made Moiraine nervous as she always seemed to know more about a person than she seemed to reveal.
Despite being among the most senior Sisters in both age and strength, it does not appear that Tamra Ospenya included Lelaine in her group of hunters. This is probably because, as a Sitter, Lelaine would have less freedom to leave the Tower to search, and her political mindset may have made her less trustworthy to Tamra who picked women she trusted to follow the letter of Tower law very closely. Additionally, the women connected to Tamra’s search all seem to have been killed during the next few years.
Actions Between the Books
Lelaine is an instrumental part of the Hall of the Tower during the years between New Spring and the main series. She is part of raising Marith Jaen after Sieren Vayu’s death and then Siuan Sanche following Marith’s death. The Blue/Green/White alliance in the Hall of the Tower is quite influential during these years, likely in some part due to the actions of the Black and Red Ajahs during the time Cadsuane calls the “Vileness”.
Eye of the World
Although never mentioned, as a Sitter Lelaine is most likely in Tar Valon throughout the events in the book.
The Great Hunt
Although never mentioned, as a Sitter Lelaine is most likely in Tar Valon throughout the events in the book.
The Dragon Reborn
Although never mentioned, as a Sitter Lelaine is most likely in Tar Valon throughout the events in the book.
The Shadow Rising
Lelaine, along with the entire Blue Ajah and hundreds of other Aes Sedai flee the White Tower during the coup that sees Siuan deposed and Stilled and Elaida Raised from the rival Red Ajah. She is not mentioned in the book.
Fires of Heaven
Lelaine is never mentioned in the book, but it can be assumed that she is still making her way to Salidar as she was not mentioned when Siuan, Leane, Min and Logain arrive in Salidar and it is noted that Sheriam is the strongest among the Aes Sedai in Salidar at the time, later both Lelaine and Romanda are noted as the two strongest women with the Rebellion. Additionally, Lelaine having been a powerful political force in the Tower would not have been likely to take a back seat to the Salidar Six, especially given the number of Blues in Salidar.
Lord of Chaos
Lelaine is first seen on page overseeing Logain’s meeting with various Nobles in Altara. She, along with her Warder Burin are acting as both guards for Logain and to confirm his story to the Nobles. Lelaine believes that Siuan and Leane are still bound by the Oaths and tells the Nobles that Logain’s story has been confirmed to her by one who cannot lie. Lelaine is noted as one of three Sitters for the Blue Ajah in Salidar at this time, which informs the reader that Siuan’s plans are very much in motion.
Lelaine does not seem to approve of Siuan or Leane’s behavior, saying they should retain at least some of their decorum even though they were no longer Aes Sedai. She does not approve of Nynaeve’s desire to Heal them as she finds it to be holding out false hope to both women. Lelaine suggests to Nynaeve that she might consider cutting her hair as a subtle dig about Nynaeve’s maturity.
Lelaine next appears when Nynaeve has Healed Logain, along with Sheriam, Romanda, Myrelle, Morvrin, Takima, Janya, Delana, Bharatine, Beonin, Carlinya, Varilin, Dagdara, Shanelle, Therva, Nisao and a dozen more Yellows. Lelaine is present when Siuan and Leane are also Healed by Nynaeve. Siuan notes that Lelaine and Delana had been her closest friends aside from Moiraine and they now welcomed her back to the ranks of Aes Sedai. Siuan goes on to use these friendships to keep Romanda from taking control of the dream ter’angreal. This is the first on screen indication of the Lelaine/Romanda rivalry.
Lelaine stands for Egwene to be Raised Amyrlin but is the last other than Romanda to do so indicating that she intends to be a strong voice in the Hall and will not be a lapdog to the Amyrlin. Sheriam notes that had Romanda and Lelaine not stood for Egwene one of them would likely have become Amyrlin within the next few days and the Salidar Six would likely have been sent into exile, Lelaine and Romanda themselves have similar thoughts not long later. As if to drive the point home both Lelaine and Romanda went to Egwene to give her counsel. Lelaine takes a rather manipulative approach with Egwene, attempting to be reassuring and smiling to appear warm and kind, but Egwene sees through the ruse.
Lelaine is less pleased than might be expected for a Blue Sitter when Sheriam is named Keeper of the Chronicles by Egwene and quite unhappy with Egwene raising Theodrin, Faolain, Nynaeve and Elayne to the Shawl by proclamation. After this incident Lelaine quickly changes her approach to Egwene, dropping all pretense at kindness. Lelaine meets with four other Sitters, only one from the Blue and later is seen with Siuan trying to pry information about Egwene from her, but Siuan and Egwene have begun to implement their plan to play Lelaine against Romanda and Sheriam to keep them all focused on each other rather than what Egwene was doing and maneuvering the Aes Sedai Rebels into marching on Tar Valon.
When Mat arrives in Salidar Lelaine attempts to manipulate him and later Talmanes, but neither man trusts what they see from Lelaine and avoid her whenever possible until they leave Salidar. Egwene uses Lelaine’s misgivings about The Band as a spur to get her and Romanda to agree to moving the Rebels out of Salidar and toward Tar Valon. Lelaine is also among those pressing to have Logain Gentled a second time, forcing Egwene to arrange for his escape.
A Crown of Swords
Lelaine “suggests” to Egwene that they reduce pay for the army, something Egwene refuses to consider as she realizes most of the men are fighting for coin, not the cause of the Rebels. Egwene has become frustrated with how powerful both Lelaine and Romanda’s factions are, each leading factions of Sitters more consistent than Egwene herself could count on, and that between them the two Sitters had whittled Sheriam’s influence down considerably. Lelaine has also hired a serving woman, Selame, to spy on Egwene and sends various other Sitters to tel’aran’rhiod to keep her finger on the pulse of events but seldom does the dirty work herself. Lelaine creates problems for Faolain and Theodrin but offers to protect them as well.
Path of Daggers
Early in the book we learn who specifically is within Lelaine’s faction in the Rebel Hall: Faiselle (Green), Takima (Brown) and Lyrelle (Blue) while Romanda’s faction consists of Magla (Yellow), Saroiya (White) and Varilin (Gray). It is worth noting that both factions are composed of the pre-split Sitters who went with the Rebels at the behest of their Ajah Head to help control the rebellion; essentially recreating the Hall prior to the Schism on the Salidar side. In fact, the only pre-split Sitter that did not join either Lelaine or Romanda was Janya, who left the Tower of her own accord. Largely the pre-split Sitters were successful in getting too-young Sitters appointed in Salidar, which kept the Hall malleable despite Lelaine and Romanda’s influence.
Lelaine has officially taken Faolain under “patronage” and has offered the same to Siuan. Lelaine comes to Egwene to discuss the Sea Folk and Rand’s interactions with them. Unsurprisingly Romanda (with Theodrin in tow) is hot on Lelaine’s heels and the two snipe with each other, almost out of habit, disagreeing over the importance of the groups of Sea Folk in Cairhien or Caemlyn. Lelaine correctly inferred that the Sea Folk in both cities are on the same mission and are aware that Rand is the Dragon Reborn. Romanda goes on to threaten Lelaine over her supporting Merilille as ambassador in Ebou Dar, gaining the upper hand over Lelaine for the moment by suggesting collusion between Lelaine and Merilille and indirectly placing blame on Lelaine for the Bowl of the Winds unexpected usage and the Wind Finder’s involvement. Lelaine brushes the moment off and leaves the tent showing once again that she quickly adapts to her situation. Not long after they leave Siuan begins to puzzle over the too-young Sitter situation, pointing out that nearly all the new Sitters are much too young, the exceptions being Romanda and Moria, who Siuan thinks surprised Lyrelle and Lelaine with her relative independence.
Lelaine returns to Egwene on the heels of Romanda after learning of Gareth Bryne arranging a meeting with Andoran Nobles led by Pelivar and Arathelle. Lelaine chides Egwene and informs her that she is one step ahead of Romanda and that she has a grip on the Sitters on the matter and that Egwene should name Lelaine to speak in the Amyrlin’s name during the meeting.
At the meeting Lelaine learns that Talmanes and the Band are also joining and threatens Bryne, telling him his judgement has been lacking recently. Both Lelaine and Romanda are caught off guard when Egwene names neither to speak in her name and goes on to tell the assembled nobles that she is the true Amyrlin Seat and that Elaida is a usurper who has violated the core of the Tower. She then announces her army would rest for one month then be gone without crossing into Andor and formally opens the Novice books to all women of any age if they test true for the ability to channel.
That night Egwene calls for a formal sitting of the Hall to make a declaration of War on Elaida. Lelaine and Romanda each begin to change the subject, Lelaine questioning the opening of the Novice book to all and Romanda attempting to have Lelaine un-chaired, but Egwene reminds them that a question of War must be answered before anything else is discussed. Lelaine and Romanda are uncertain what to do as the proposal gains support from many of the new and too-young Sitters. Moria eventually breaks protocol and demands that Lelaine and Lyrelle of the Blue stand in favor or be silent about their resolve to remove Elaida. This commentary, while sparking Lelaine’s anger, was enough to have Lelaine rise and bring Lyrelle to join her, passing the declaration. Romanda, refused to rise in consensus. Takima then explains the Law of War giving the Amyrlin the right to prosecute the war by decree. Egwene then threatens to unchair Lelaine and hand her a stiff penance for lack of respect toward the Amyrlin. Romanda is quite pleased by the exchange until Egwene extends the threat to her as well.
Lelaine is with Egwene and Romanda as the circle of thirteen Aes Sedai open a massive gateway (30 feet high by 300 feet wide) to move the army to the foot of Dragonmount
Lelaine is never mentioned in the book, but along with the rest of the Rebel army she ends up in the camp near Dragonmount outside the walls of Tar Valon.
Both Lelaine’s and Romanda’s factions of Sitters are quietly suggesting negotiations with the Tower Hall, but most Aes Sedai in the camp are still preoccupied by the events of the Cleansing, assuming it had been the work of the Forsaken. Lelaine has taken a hardline stance on Elaida, especially since learning of Elaida’s proclamation to disband the Blue Ajah. Lelaine seems to be making a concerted, behind the scenes, effort to rally support from rank-and-file Aes Sedai to stop Egwene’s efforts outside of the war.
Lelaine is present for Akarrin’s report to the Hall regarding the Cleansing, and calls for the session to be formal, noting that she was aware that Egwene had allowed negotiations to be initiated without consulting the Hall, and while that was Egwene’s prerogative, Lelaine wishes to open the discussion to the Hall. This announcement surprises many of the Sisters that are still present, which makes Lelaine rather smug for her small victory. However, it is short-lived as Moria brings the Hall's attention back to Akarrin and her team for her report. Akarrin explains that the city of Shadar Logoth has been destroyed and that the women sent to the site were all skilled in Reading Residues (rather than simply being weaker in the Power). Nisain then goes on to give more detail that she believed the work using saidar was woven by a man and that when they tested for resonance they found that saidin had been used in significantly more quantity, but none of the Aes Sedai could begin to guess what had been done aside from the destruction of miles of land. Moira, Malind and Escaralde then propose bringing men into circles, thus allying with the Black Tower, in order to fight the Forsaken. Arguments ensue, but Lelaine (and Romanda) remain silent trying to read the other’s response. First Romanda and then Lelaine stand for the alliance, passing the proposal. Afterward Romanda and Lelaine walk together arguing, but for the first time choosing to communicate directly.
Lelaine has placed Faolain in her custody and is pressing her for information about Egwene (and Siuan’s) plans and after Anaiya’s murder Lelaine orchestrates Maigan being placed on Egwene’s council as the Blue representative and suggests that Myrelle might take on Kairen’s Warder Llyw, which Myrelle declines to do. Lelaine, through Maigan, suggests the Warder Bond be altered to compel Asha’man to obey Aes Sedai, to which Egwene tells her that should anyone do this Egwene will have them birched.
Crossroads of Twilight
Lelaine comes into a meeting of Egwene’s council after Egwene has been taken captive, where Sheriam tells her that Egwene was alive and refusing rescue. Lelaine then takes Siuan out to have a private discussion, she offers Siuan her friendship again and notes that Siuan has been a faithful friend to Egwene and hopes that she can be as faithful to Lelaine. Siuan tells Lelaine that she is faithful to her as a Sitter for her Ajah, but that Egwene is the Amyrlin Seat. Siuan then tells Lelaine that Egwene has noticed overt tension between the Ajah in the Tower and has called for a Sitting of the Rebel Hall in tel’aran’rhiod inside the Hall of the Tower which makes Lelaine laugh at the irony. Lelaine tells Siuan that she will be at the Sitting but is less than pleased with Siuan and notes that Egwene is Amyrlin Seat until she dies or is stilled. Siuan thinks that no Blue would have been behind the betrayal that saw Egwene captured, but she is certain that Lelaine is planning a betrayal of some kind now.
Lelaine tells Nisao to stop investigating the murders of Anaiya and Kairen claiming it as Blue Ajah business, but Nisao goes to Romanda as the Yellow Ajah’s First Weaver and a Sitter for permission to continue, Romanda grants the permission and tells Nisao that she will tell Lelaine. Theodrin comes in and informs Romanda that Lelaine has called a sitting of the Hall. Lelaine has the meeting Sealed to the Hall and then brings Merise and her Warders, including young Asha’man Jahar Narishma enter the meeting and go on to offer 47 Asha’man to be bonded to Aes Sedai in recompense for the Aes Sedai captured at the Black Tower. Nacelle of the Green then demonstrates a weave that can detect active male channeling and Jahar then tells the Hall about a female Forsaken who channels saidin leading Romanda to connect Halima and Delana to the murders of Anaiya and Kairen.
Knife of Dreams
Lelaine is with Siuan in the camp asking about the status of the negotiations with the Tower, Siuan informs her they are not progressing well. Siuan notices Lelaine has embraced the non-conventional Novices, likely because Romanda opposes their acceptance, and Lelaine has begun making herself appear to be tied to Egwene and has begun to take a decided lead in her political battle with Romanda. Siuan respects Lelaine, even likes her, but she does not trust her. Lelaine wants to resume political ties with nations not controlled by Rand. Lelaine also wants to pay off Siuan’s debt to Bryne, but Siuan convinces her that she can spy on Bryne more effectively if she has reason to be near him. Siuan relates to Egwene her suspicions that Lelaine is setting herself up to become Amyrlin and that Romanda wasted the advantage she gained by discovering a Forsaken in their midst by basking in her own glory. Lelaine has built up a reputation for being Egwene’s greatest ally and has begun to essentially speak in Egwene’s voice.
Sharina tells Siuan that Lelaine is the person that let slip the news that Elaida had learned Traveling deliberately creating chaos for a meeting of the Hall and causing some level of panic. Lelaine is attempting to manufacture a crisis that she can solve in order to raise her standing.
When Shemerin is discovered Lelaine is there and agrees with Siuan that a map of the Watergate would be necessary but seems genuinely shocked to hear that Elaida had demoted Shemerin to Accepted and that Shemerin had been loyal. A bubble of evil erupts, and the women are forced to destroy Romanda’s tent and possessions.
Lelaine attempts to manipulate Gawyn, who thinks that she is very aware that she is pretty but not truly beautiful but understands exactly how to use her looks and charm to get what she wants from people. Regardless, Lelaine refuses his request to attempt a rescue of Egwene and eventually commands Gawyn to leave Aes Sedai affairs to Aes Sedai only to turn around and say she could perhaps bring a proposal to the Hall, if Gawyn will give her insight into Elayne’s political agenda in Andor so the Aes Sedai could gain leverage with key Andoran noble houses.
Lelaine is confirmed to be a true Aes Sedai, not of the Black Ajah by both Verin’s investigations and by re-swearing the Three Oaths and declaring that she was not a darkfriend when Egwene returns to the Rebel Hall. She then agrees to purge the camp of Black Ajah and begin an assault on Tar Valon. Lelaine informs Egwene of Sheriam’s theft of the dream weavers and discusses the possible truth that one of the Forsaken is impersonating a Sister in the Tower.
Lelaine reverts to her opposition to Egwene after Silviana is named Keeper. Lelaine is revealed as the likely head of the Blue Ajah, the First Selector in the Glossary of the book, but it is not confirmed, only suspected. Brandon Sanderson later confirmed in an interview that Lelaine was indeed the Blue Ajah’s First Selector.
The Gathering Storm
Lelaine represents the Blue Ajah during Nynaeve’s test for the Shawl and along with Barasine of the Red and Rubinde of the Green votes to fail Nynaeve for not showing the proper decorum during the test. They are narrowly out voted by Romanda of the Yellow, Saerin of the Brown, Yukiri of the Gray and Seaine of the White.
Lelaine is part of an unannounced meeting of the Hall, attempting to curtail Egwene’s power and to warn Sitters in the unified Tower about declarations of war and the power that imbued the Amyrlin Seat. Lelaine puts forth the idea that Egwene should continue spending her time dealing with the kings and queens of the world. Romanda calls for a vote on the subject and the resolution passes the Hall. Saroiya furiously informs the other Sitters that they have just given responsibility for dealing with Rand to Egwene as he is the king of Illian.
Egwene goes on to propose several changes to Hall procedure, including appointing surrogates for Sitters who must be out of the Tower and that no meeting of the Hall can be convened until every Sitter or her surrogate has been informed and has directly sent word that they cannot attend and that the Amyrlin must be informed within a reasonable amount of time to attend. Lelaine, along with the rest of the Sitters present stand to pass the resolution.
Towers of Midnight
Lelaine is named as one of the five people in Egwene’s entourage to meet with Rand and the rulers of the various nations to discuss the Dragon’s Peace and plans for the Last Battle.
Lelaine is with Egwene, Gawyn, Romanda, Leane, Silviana, Raemassa and Warders and Soldiers at the Aes Sedai front lines fighting to hold the Trolloc and Myrddraal armies. The group wonders why the enemy is fighting so hard on this battlefront, when it is clear they have lost. Egwene orders her army to pull back to reassess the situation, when suddenly a titanic gateway opens in the Aes Sedai encampment and an enormous foreign army appears. Lelaine follows Egwene’s immediate instruction to release the Power, which saved her life, unlike Romanda who attempted escape and was incinerated on the spot. Lelaine correctly identifies the new army as Sharan, based on accounts from Cairhienin before the Aiel War. Lelaine is then separated from Egwene and Gawyn as the Aes Sedai command tent is destroyed by enemy channelers.
Lelaine last appears in the books when Mat is given control of the armies of the light after the Compulsion laid on the Great Captains is discovered and is present when Egwene reports that Demandred has linked into a full circle of 72 and has access to a sa’angreal of immense power.
A Memory of Light
Lelaine was one of the strongest living modern Aes Sedai with a strength level of 13 (1). This placed her as one of the top 5 Aes Sedai who were living at the time of the main series events, only Cadsuane of living Aes Sedai was confirmed as stronger prior to the arrival of Nynaeve, Egwene and Elayne. Kerene Nagashi (level 11) and Meilyn Arganya (level 10) were each also stronger than Lelaine, but both died during the events of New Spring known as “The Vileness”, murdered by the Black Ajah. While she equaled Elaida, Romanda and the original strength of Moiraine and Siuan she had longer training time than any of these women and would technically fall below them in the overall Tower hierarchy.
She had more than enough strength to Travel and if Verin’s assessment can be believed she had the required strength to survive using the Choedan Kal. However, Lelaine was rarely seen actively Channeling during the series so we have little understanding of her specific abilities, Talents or areas of expertise with the Power. Lelaine’s focus was always placed on internal Tower politics, with her greater strength enhancing her position she was usually quite successful at achieving her goals and was quite adept at changing her tactics when situations around her altered.
Lelaine is never directly associated with any objects of the Power, but as a Sitter she would have access to the store of objects of the Power within the Tower.
It is unknown if Lelaine survived the Last Battle as she is never seen on screen again after Mat takes control of the armies, but she is never seen dying or listed as one of the dead, so her fate is left open-ended.
Thematically it would fit that Lelaine was killed during the Last Battle as she is so frequently paired with Romanda, who was killed by the Sharans, and the two rivals were nearly always seen as two halves of a whole. Given that she is not one of the four Sitters (Saerin, Yukiri, Rubinde and Lyrelle) convincing Cadsuane to become Amyrlin Seat it is very possible she was among the Aes Sedai casualties, but it is not completely out of character for Lelaine to have sent a proxy from the Blue in the form of Lyrelle, but the POV we have from Lyrelle in the Black Tower intimates that she would like to be out from under Lelaine and stand as a Sitter in her own right.
However, if she did survive, this now means Lelaine has been involved in the Raising of a sixth woman in her tenure as a Sitter: Tamra, Sieren, Marith, Siuan, Egwene and Cadsuane. Given Lelaine’s personality there is a strong likelihood that she would want a woman of Cadsuane’s age to take over the role in order to keep the option of becoming Amyrlin herself later. Unless the Oaths are removed from Aes Sedai soon, Cadsuane would be expected to live for no more than 5-20 years, due to the Oath Rod effects only two modern Aes Sedai on record have lived past 300 years (Gitara Moroso who was 306 and Sereilla Bagand who was 304). Cadsuane is currently 295 and she might live for as many as 20 more years given her strength in the Power, but Lelaine is considerably younger at 173 and given her political clout and experience she is likely to attempt to become Amyrlin after Cadsuane, something that would be less likely if a younger woman was chosen.
In Other Media
No announcement regarding Lelaine’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 take a deeper look at the Hall of the Tower or have New Spring scenes. They could also choose to expand the character or combine her role with another Aes Sedai to simplify the TV adaptation.