Year of Birth:
First Weaver, Sitter
Actions During the Story (Spoilers)
Character Summaries (Spoilers)
Romanda is a handsome woman with gray hair, worn in a neat bun gathered at the nape of her neck, she has small brown eyes and a plump bosom, and she is about 5’4” tall. She has a high soprano voice that might have been well suited for singing if one could imagine Romanda singing. Having been bound to the Three Oaths for 249 years, Romanda has the expected ageless look of an Aes Sedai and if her hair was hidden there was no indication that she was any older than the other Aes Sedai around her.
Romanda is a proud woman whose identity as an Aes Sedai and as a Yellow is deeply ingrained in her, making her quite conservative toward changes to Aes Sedai traditions. Her stubborn, commanding and rather arrogant nature often saw Romanda at the center of conflicts within the Hall and because Romanda is also very ambitious she is known to actively attempt to bring herself personal power and to weaken the influence of anyone she sees as a threat. However, she lacked subtlety in her political approach which created tensions, especially with her main rival Lelaine Akashi of the Blue Ajah. This rivalry tended to open Romanda (and Lelaine) up to being manipulated.
Actions During the Story
Actions Before the Story
Romanda was one of the most influential Sitters in the Hall of the Tower for 88 years until her abrupt retirement in 973 when Tamra Ospenya was Raised Amyrlin, thus crushing Romanda’s ambition to become Amyrlin herself.
She also served as the Yellow Ajah’s First Weaver for some time prior to her retirement, but it is unclear exactly when she stepped down. Suana Dragand, the current First Weaver, is said to have held the position since 947 NE, which could mean that Romanda stepped down from the position to focus her energies on the Hall and to set herself up to become Amyrlin. With the aging Kirin Melway of the Brown as Amyrlin (from 922 NE – 950 NE) Romanda may have seen an opportunity to become the first Amyrlin from the Yellow in more than 200 years, this could have spurred her to step down from the First Weaver position to put her full energy into attaining the Stole and Staff.
However, Noane Masadim was Raised from the Blue in 950 NE and reigned until her death in 973 NE, once again Romanda failed to become Amyrlin, in favor of Tamra Ospenya, another Blue, which likely seemed to Romanda to be her last viable chance to attain the Stole as her own age would be an issue for her if Tamra had reigned for the typical 25-45 years of most Amyrlin Seats. It is unlikely Romanda had a true chance to become Amyrlin, as even after Tamra and Sierin Vayu’s deaths she was not called back to Tar Valon, rather Marith Jaen (yet another Blue) was brought out of retirement to wear the Stole, indicating that Romanda’s political influence had been eroded, perhaps due to her unprecedented tenure as a Sitter leading up to her retirement and her generally bullying manner, and possibly due to the machinations of Lelaine Akashi who she has a long-standing rivalry with.
After leaving Tar Valon, Romanda made her way to Far Madding, the city of her birth, but ran into a “misunderstanding” and only through the help of her serving woman, Aelmara, was Romanda able to escape the city. Romanda eventually settled in Altara for her retirement.
Romanda is not actually named but is brought up as one of three living women who can match Moiraine Damodred and Siuan Sanche in the Strength in the Power, the others being Lelaine and Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan, but Romanda was already in retirement and nearly as old as Cadsuane.
Actions Between the Books
During this period, Romanda is still retired and living in Altara.
Eye of the World
During this period, Romanda is still retired and living in Altara.
The Great Hunt
During this period, Romanda is still retired and living in Altara.
The Dragon Reborn
During this period, Romanda is still retired and living in Altara.
The Shadow Rising
During this period, Romanda is still retired and living in Altara.
Fires of Heaven
Romanda is never mentioned in the book, but it can be assumed that she has heard of the events in the Tower and has decided to make her way to Salidar, which is relatively nearby as she has been in Altara during her retirement. She was not mentioned when Siuan, Leane, Min, and Logain arrived in Salidar and it is noted that Sheriam is the strongest among the Aes Sedai in Salidar at the time, so we know neither Romanda nor Lelaine have established themselves with the Rebellion. Romanda would have certainly pushed herself into the leadership group as soon as she arrived, especially since there was no Yellow sitting with the Salidar Six.
Still filled with resentment for not becoming Amyrlin in 973 NE she spent the last 26 years living in Altara nursing her grudge. But upon her return to active Aes Sedai duty, Romanda firmly picked up where she had left off. Prior to the start of Lord of Chaos, Romanda has taken over positions of power, becoming First Weaver for the rebel Yellows as well as becoming one of their Sitters in the newly forming Hall and then surrounding herself with a faction of Sitters, Magla (Yellow), Saroiya (White) and Varilin (Gray), all Sitters who fled the Tower on orders from their Ajah Heads. Romanda was quite clear that she would be wielding power within the Rebel Tower and took every opportunity to be at the forefront of decision making once the Rebels began forming their own Hall of the Tower and aiming herself toward becoming Amyrlin.
Lord of Chaos
Romanda’s first on-screen appearance is when she announces to the Rebel Sisters the decisions the new Hall has made regarding Tarna Feir’s offer from Elaida. Romanda tells the assembled crowd that their purpose has not changed and that the Hall seeks truth and justice to do what is right. Elayne noting that her statements are very carefully worded and really said nothing of substance, one big Aes Sedai evasion. Elayne sees that Romanda is already working toward weakening the influence of the Salidar Six, a group with two Blues and no Yellow in their number.
Romanda speaks to Vandene and Adeleas Namelle when they arrive in Salidar and is on hand quickly after Nynaeve has Healed Logain, along with Sheriam, Lelaine, Myrelle, Morvrin, Takima, Janya, Delana, Bharatine, Beonin, Carlinya, Varilin, Dagdara, Shanelle, Therva, Nisao, and a dozen more Yellows. At first, Romanda does not believe that Nynaeve has Healed Logain, assuming Nynaeve is lying to get attention but agrees that a shield on Logain cannot hurt and names six women to take on the task. Her focus moves away from Nynaeve, who is spirited away by Sheriam and Myrelle. However, once the truth comes out and both Siuan and Leane are also Healed Romanda, along with the rest of the Yellow Ajah begin work hard at breaking Nynaeve’s block in order to learn every scrap they can about the Healing she used. Romanda is also actively working within the Hall to gain access to the dream weaver ter’angreal, but has thus far been blocked by Delana working with Lelaine at Siuan’s behest.
As the most senior Sitter Romanda plays a significant role in the ceremony to Raise an Amyrlin, but she is the last woman who stands for Egwene, 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 Romanda and moments later, Lelaine went to Egwene to give her counsel. Romanda takes a no-nonsense approach with Egwene in the early stages, attempting to intimidate the younger woman, but Egwene stands strong and is able to play Romanda against Lelaine and Sheriam to avoid being powerless.
Romanda is quite disapproving of Egwene’s selection of Sheriam as her Keeper of the Chronicles and very unhappy with Egwene raising Theodrin, Faolain, Nynaeve, and Elayne to the Shawl by proclamation, going so far as to make veiled threats for going against custom. After this incident, Romanda takes an openly adversarial approach to Egwene and Sheriam. Romanda meets with four other Sitters, only one from the Yellow, women she believed would have supported her bid to be Amyrlin and admitting to herself that she voted for Egwene because she was not certain she could have kept Lelaine from the stole otherwise.
Romanda attempts to pry information out of Nynaeve under the guise of breaking down her block, telling her to jump on one foot and gossip about Egwene’s conversations with Lelaine. Egwene, Siuan, Elayne, and Nynaeve have prepared for this though, and begin to manipulate the rivalry between Romanda, Lelaine, and Sheriam. Romanda continues to lecture Egwene about how to lead the rebellion, largely taking a conservative approach, being content to stay in Salidar for as long as possible, but use Traveling to obtain key items such as the Oath Rod from the Tower. Lelaine was used to thwart these ideas, inciting more conflict between the women. After Egwene sends Mat with Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha to Ebou Dar, Romanda notes that she believes Talmanes is up to no good with the Band, playing right into Egwene and Siuan’s plans. Romanda is one of the Sitters pressing to re-Gentle Logain, prompting Egwene to arrange for his escape.
A Crown of Swords
Alviarin tells Elaida that Tarna’s report outlines that Romanda has come out of her retirement to join the rebels. This news enhances Elaida’s belief that the rebels are weak and looking for an excuse to return to the Tower, saying that they would only Raise Egwene if these powerful women were all too aware that execution would be their own fate for taking the title of Amyrlin Seat for themselves.
Romanda “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. Romanda has also hired a serving woman, Meri, to spy on Egwene and informs Egwene of the law holding the Amyrlin from placing herself in danger. Romanda sends proxies to tel’aran’rhiod rather than going herself, unwilling to risk being seen having difficulties mastering the World of Dreams. Romanda has offered to take Theodrin and Faolain under her protection, something that angers both women. Romanda and Lelaine each complain to Egwene that Delana wishes to name Elaida Black Ajah and both find that unacceptable, yet they still bicker over the proper methods to possibly root out any Blacks, nearly coming to blows over the matter and the less than thin accusations.
Path of Daggers
Early in the book, we learn who specifically is within Romanda’s faction in the Rebel Hall: Magla (Yellow), Saroiya (White), and Varilin (Gray). Lelaine’s faction of Sitters consisted of Faiselle (Green), Takima (Brown) and Lyrelle (Blue) while 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.
Romanda has officially taken Theodrin under her wing and Lelaine has officially taken Faolain under “patronage”. Romanda and Lelaine come to Egwene to discuss the Sea Folk and Rand’s interactions with them. Unsurprisingly the two women disagree with each other 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. Romanda is not pleased that Lelaine quickly recovers her composure.
Romanda storms into Egwene’s tent, placing a ward against eavesdropping around them, and proceeds to lecture Egwene regarding Gareth Bryne arranging a meeting with an army of Andoran Nobles without permission from the Hall. Romanda goes well past the point of disrespect when speaking to the Amyrlin Seat and all but laughs at Egwene when reminded that this rudeness was a crime and then informs Egwene that she will name Romanda to speak for her at the meeting.
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.
Romanda is with Egwene and Lelaine 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
Romanda 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 with the events of the Cleansing, assuming it had been the work of the Forsaken.
Romanda is present for Akarrin’s report to the Hall regarding the Cleansing, the team explains that the city of Shadar Logoth has been destroyed and that the women sent to the sight 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 Romanda (and Lelaine) 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.
Romanda uses Theodrin to request a meeting with Egwene and tells her that Romanda has sent two sisters to Travel to Cairhien to investigate a rumor creating a stir with the Yellows that might be connected to Nynaeve. Romanda later informs Egwene that the talks with the Tower Hall were going poorly and the conversation moves on to the Kin, Egwene telling Romanda that there are well over a thousand of them and that they appear to live dramatically longer lives than Aes Sedai. When Egwene voices her thoughts about the Kin becoming a potential retirement society for Aes Sedai Romanda becomes indignant and informs Egwene that she had dreamed of becoming Aes Sedai as a girl, had lived her life as an Aes Sedai and would die and Aes Sedai and that she would not allow Egwene’s plan to proceed.
Crossroads of Twilight
Romanda, while reading what might be considered an unseemly book (The Flame, the Blade and the Heart) in her tent when Bodewhin Cauthon enters which leads Romanda’s thoughts to the vast array of new Novices and her feelings that the older women are not suitable. Romanda also notes her misadventure in Far Madding just after her retirement and that she would not require her serving woman Aelmara to clean up after Salita, a Sitter she considered inappropriate due to her age as well as disliking her temperament, Magla however, had insisted on Salita over Dagdara who she found more acceptable and likely easier for Romanda to sway.
Nisao goes to Romanda as the Yellow Ajah’s First Weaver and a Sitter for permission to continue investigating Anaiya and Karien’s murders after Lelaine tells Nisao to stop, claiming it as Blue Ajah business. 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
Siuan has begun to realize that Romanda has begun to lose the political battle with Lelaine because she wasted the advantage gained by discovering a Forsaken in their midst and spent too much time basking in her victory. Siuan continues to attempt to manipulate both women through the rivalry, but it is less successful without a common enemy in Egwene.
Romanda argues that a Red sister being in Kandor to collect tributes does not mean that Elaida has Traveling, but Ashmanaille tells them that the clerks in Kandor saw a gateway made. Lelaine ensures this news spreads through the Novices in an attempt to create panic.
When Shemerin is discovered Romanda tries to keep the information hidden from Lelaine but is unsuccessful. Romanda is considering trying to have Sheriam removed as Keeper, with herself filling the position of course but is also angered that Elaida could reduce and Aes Sedai to the condition Shemerin was now in, even though Shemerin was never the most composed of Aes Sedai. A bubble of evil erupts, and the women are forced to destroy Romanda’s tent and possessions.
Gawyn Trakand has a number of meetings with both Romanda and Lelaine, trying to convince the women to send in rescue for Egwene, but is rebuffed by both and thinks to himself that neither woman truly cared if Egwene returned or not as they were engaged in their own political war.
Romanda is confirmed to be a true Aes Sedai, not of the Black Ajah by both Verin’s investigations and by being the first woman in the rebel Hall to re-swear 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.
Romanda, much to Lelaine’s irritation, begins to show a change of temperament toward Egwene after the events of The Purge, but this is short-lived, and she reverts to her opposition to Egwene after Silviana is named Keeper of the reunified Tower.
The Gathering Storm
Romanda represents the Yellow Ajah during Nynaeve’s test for the Shawl and surprisingly voted with Saerin of the Brown, Yukiri of the Gray, and Seaine of the White to narrowly pass Nynaeve over the failing votes of Lelaine of the Blue, Barasine of the Red, and Rubinde of the Green. Romanda likely sees the political advantage to the Yellow of having a woman such as Nynaeve within the Ajah.
Romanda 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. After 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. Romanda, along with the rest of the Sitters present stand to pass the resolution.
Towers of Midnight
Romanda has taken charge of setting up Healing camps after the sack of Caemlyn.
Romanda 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.
Romanda is with Egwene, Gawyn, Lelaine, Leane, Silviana, Raemassa, several 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. Romanda ignores Egwene’s immediate instruction to release the Power, instead, attempting an escape via a gateway which resulted in her being incinerated by dozens of flows of Fire on the spot by enemy Sharan channelers.
A Memory of Light
Romanda 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 was 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 Romanda, but both died during the events of New Spring known as “The Vileness”, murdered by the Black Ajah. While she equaled Elaida 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. However, her shorter training time would have placed her higher than Lelaine, this may have been subtly seen as Romanda is nearly always seen speaking ahead of Lelaine, even when not directly related to the Hall.
She had more than enough strength to create gateways for Traveling and if Verin’s assessment can be believed she had the required strength to survive using the Choedan Kal. Even though Romanda was rarely seen actively Channeling, as a very senior Yellow Sister we can assume that Romanda had a stronger Talent for Healing, however, she herself admits that her abilities with the newer weaves are not as strong as with the traditional Aes Sedai Healing methods. Aside from Healing and Traveling, we have little understanding of any other specific abilities, Talents, or other areas of expertise with the One Power she may have possessed; as a character, her focus was always placed on internal Tower politics rather than with the Power.
Romanda 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.
While Romanda is killed by the Sharan’s during the Last Battle she will leave a legacy as being a woman of great influence within the White Tower in the 115 years leading up to Tarmon Gai’don. Having held some of the most powerful posts within the Tower as both an Ajah Head and a Sitter for the Yellow. She was also a major leader in the rebellion against Elaida. She can be credited with solving the mystery of who killed Anaiya Carel and Kairen Stang, which helped remove a Forsaken from manipulating the Aes Sedai. She also participated in the purging of the Black Ajah from the Tower. She went on to be a Sitter in the reunified White Tower who was (grudgingly) a part of major reforms to the procedures of the Hall. Romanda was an integral part of Egwene’s rise to power and despite being a primary antagonist to Egwene throughout the books, she did come to respect Egwene as the Amyrlin Seat. Along with Siuan and Lelaine, Romanda was a key player in shaping Egwene into a politically savvy leader.
She died fighting for the Light as a leader in the Yellow Ajah having the command of the emergency battlefield Healing group on the Blight border. She insisted on staying on the front lines leading a group of Aes Sedai to provide emergency Healing in the midst of the fighting, her bravery in this should be noted. She may have survived if she had listened to Egwene and not attempted to flee the Sharan ambush, but despite her final moments, Romanda was a steadfast enemy of the Dark One and a powerful proponent of the White Tower and its traditions.
In Other Media
No announcement regarding Romanda’s character has been made for the upcoming Wheel of Time TV series being produced by Amazon Studios. It seems unlikely the character will appear until later seasons unless producers choose to expand the character or combine her role with another Aes Sedai to simplify the TV adaptation.