Year of Birth:
Black, with white streaks
Actions During the Story (Spoilers)
Character Summaries (Spoilers)
Saerin is an attractive woman, but by no means a beauty, she stands about 5’6” tall and has straight black hair touched with white at her temples and dark eyes. She has a dark, olive complexion, typical in the southern areas of Altara and the thin, age-faded, white knife scar across one cheek, indicating she participated in at least one duel in her long-ago childhood outside of Ebou Dar. She is often seen scowling and always carries a long, curved knife behind her belt, and like most Browns wears understated clothing with no adornment and in nondescript colors. Having been sworn to the Three Oaths for 180 years, she has the expected ageless appearance of an Aes Sedai.
Saerin is a fierce woman, known for her temper as well as an Ebou Dari sense of humor, which, coupled with her frequent scowls and a tendency to fondle her large knife, left many Tower residents, even Sitters, intimidated by Saerin. However, her respect could be earned, and she seemed to develop friendships with women who had strong convictions and took risks to uphold their beliefs. Mistress of the Kitchens, Laras, earned Saerin’s respect because she was willing to hold even an Aes Sedai serving penance accountable to the job she was given.
Actions During the Story
Actions Before the Story
Saerin was a member of the last known group of unsanctioned female-channelers, known as the Daughters of Silence, a name they apparently did not live up to. The group was founded in 794 NE by two Accepted who had been put out of the Tower and were likely guided to make their way toward Ebou Dar by the Kin, who often helped women after they had been put out of the Tower. Along with five other women they recruited Saerin two years later. The group was likely also turned into the Tower by the Kin, who lived in constant fear of discovery and had been known to quietly pass certain information to Aes Sedai when necessary. The ringleaders and their trainees were captured and brought back to Tar Valon, being displayed and punished in every town and village on the way in 798 NE. The 17-year-old Saerin, along with the entire group, was birched in front of the entire Tower and then enrolled as a Novice. These women were all closely watched throughout their training and were held back as both Novice and Accepted. Saerin was the only woman from the Daughters of Silence who was able to earn the Shawl.
Saerin has been a Sitter in the Hall since 960 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. As a Sitter for the Brown Saerin is the most senior woman in the Hall of the Tower when the main series begins, only Romanda Cassin is known to have served as a Sitter for longer and she has been in retirement since 973.
Saerin is not mentioned in the book but is known to be a Sitter for the Brown Ajah.
Actions Between the Books
Saerin 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. There is much upheaval during these years due to the actions of the Black and Red Ajahs during the time Cadsuane calls “The Vileness”, which likely put the Brown Sitters, who were often seen as more neutral than either the Blue/Green/White faction or the Yellow/Gray/Red faction, in a position to swing the Hall in either direction.
Eye of the World
Although never mentioned, as a Sitter Saerin is most likely in Tar Valon throughout the events in the book.
The Great Hunt
Although never mentioned, as a Sitter Saerin is most likely in Tar Valon throughout the events in the book. It is likely that Saerin is one of the Sitters Siuan considers hostile toward Moiraine and the Blue at this time.
The Dragon Reborn
Although never mentioned, as a Sitter Saerin is most likely in Tar Valon throughout the events in the book.
The Shadow Rising
Saerin was one of the Sitters who stood to depose Siuan Sanche and Raise Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan to the Amyrlin Seat. Saerin is, in fact, the only Brown Sitter involved, with the other two Brown Sitters joining the rebellion. Takima Deraighdin, was sent by Brown Ajah Chair, Jesse Bilal and replaced by Julaine Madorne, one of the too-young Sitters, while Janya Frende, who was replaced by Shevan Gadarin (a more traditional choice for the Hall) left the Tower of her own accord.
Fires of Heaven
Saerin has remained in the Tower Hall as a “Loyalist '' Sitter but is not seen as part of the council surrounding Elaida, instead, Danelle is seen as the representative of the Brown. It is at this time when Elaida begins to plan handing penances, even demoting Shemerin to Accepted, to high ranking Aes Sedai as part of her plan to gain control of the Hall and the Tower.
Lord of Chaos
With the rebellion in full-swing Elaida has begun to force women to resign their Seats in the Hall and handing penances to many women, including Saerin who is sent to the Mistress of Kitchens Laras for a period of time to serve as a scullion. Saerin is surprised, and impressed, with Laras who gives even a Sitter of Saerin’s stature no leeway and expects her to fulfill her role as a scullion to the best of her abilities for the term of the penance.
A Crown of Swords
Saerin is never mentioned in the book but is active in Tar Valon as a Sitter in Elaida’s Hall.
Path of Daggers
Saerin first appears on screen in the series, seen and described by Seaine as she is noting the early stages of the rift forming between the Ajah. Seaine notes Saerin is rather intimidating/fierce even toward another Sitter and is irritated with herself for the illogical response to the woman.
Saerin is next seen as one of the small group of Sitters that have noticed Seaine and Pevara sneaking about in corners and have followed them into a basement room where they have taken the Oath Rod. Along with Yukiri, Doesine and Talene Saerin question the pair, and it is Saerin who figures out what they are up to. She immediately takes the Oath Rod, re-swears the Oath against lying and proclaims she is not a Darkfriend. Seaine, Pevara, Yukiri and Doesine each follow suit, but when Talene balks she is shielded by Pevara and taken into custody by the collective of Sitters who are now officially hunting the Black Ajah.
Saerin is with the Black Ajah Hunters putting Talene to the question using the Chair of Remorse, a ter’angreal used by the Aes Sedai to deter criminals by showing them their worst fears in a guided format. Saerin has taken the lead within the group and points out that they can trust no one else in the Tower. Saerin has no mercy for Talene and pushes Doesine, who is operating the Chair, to put Talene back under and let her go back to being either fed to Trollocs or raped by the Myrddraal. Under this pressure Talene uses the Oath Rod to forswear all Oaths and re-swears the Three Oaths, admitting she is in fact a member of the Black Ajah. Talene believes Elaida is of the Black as well but has no proof beyond the Black leadership knowing all of Elaida’s decisions before they are announced. Saerin and Pevara correctly deduce that Talene believing this to be true does not make it actually true. Saerin admits to having regrets over standing for Elaida, but does not believe she is Black, only a fool. Saerin, taking even more of a leadership position now decides that Seaine will need to be put under watch for her own protection. Pevara and Seaine then tell the rest of the group about the group of rebel ferrets they have uncovered, and they begin to plan how to use them to uncover more members of the Black Ajah.
Saerin continues to lead the Black Ajah Hunters as they uncover a handful of darkfriends in the Tower. Seaine has worked out a logical rationale that Elaida cannot be Black or she would have been long dead and defies Saerin’s edict that she stays under the radar and sequestered. Seaine also notes that Saerin told her that Julaine was essentially hand-picked by Brown leadership to replace Takima, but that Shevan was more than likely to have been the woman to succeed Saerin herself when she chose to step down.
Crossroads of Twilight
Saerin is responsible for placing Talene in hiding while they determine how to manage the Black Ajah. With Talene being summoned to the Black leadership the options were kill her, hide her or risk discovery so Saerin chose to hide her.
Knife of Dreams
Saerin is discovered by Egwene, through Meidani, as one of the Black Ajah Hunters. Saerin is the least surprised to see that Meidani has found a way around the Oath to obey what she had given the Hunters. Saerin is combative with Egwene and Meidani in this encounter, but ultimately begins to see Egwene as more than a mere Novice. Egwene takes note that Saerin is clearly the leader within the group and works toward convincing her that she is the true Amyrlin, eventually making headway when she hits on the fact that there where Black Ajah who voted to raise Elaida, and that without the Black Siuan would not have been legally deposed. Saerin is clearly troubled by this realization, but moves forward quickly, correctly noting that the past cannot be changed. Even Egwene notes that Saerin is formidable, especially since she is a Brown, who most think of as docile.
Saerin goes on to prove her formidable nature when she sets down Red Sister Barasine who is guarding Egwene. Saerin has clearly begun to swing to favor Egwene, although she has still not fully come around to believing she is the true Amyrlin. She does give her information on the Hall’s censure of Elaida after her beating of Egwene with the Power and the imprisonment of Silviana after her denouncing of Elaida in public. Saerin notes that the Red Ajah is crumbling and clearly wants to enhance the problems.
During the Seanchan raid on the Tower, Saerin takes command of the ground floor and mounts a successful counter-offensive to fend off the Seanchan invaders. Saerin organizes both Aes Sedai and military leadership during the event using the Tower guard as snipers using bows to attack enemy channelers from a distance. Saerin faces down Katerine Alruddin and notes that Egwene’s predictions should be taken seriously. Saerin realizes that Egwene is likely behind the counter-offensive also taking place on the twenty-second level, where the Novice quarters and Brown Ajah quarters have been swapped. After the battle Saerin reads reports that Egwene had rallied over sixty Novices and forty Aes Sedai, losing only three Novices and one Sister in the fighting, they had also managed to capture ten damane and killed thirty raken, far more than even Saerin’s group had managed. She then hears from the Accepted Mair that Elaida was among the captured.
Saerin’s name is brought up by Jesse Bilal as a possible candidate for Amyrlin, but ultimately decided to support Egwene and re-unite the Tower. Saerin gives Egwene the Oath Rod, which she then uses to uncover the Black Ajah within the rebel group before returning to claim the Stole in the Tower. Saerin, as the oldest Sitter, leads the ceremony to Raise Egwene in a unanimous decision from the Hall. Egwene chooses Silviana as her Keeper but notes that Saerin could have deserved the role as well but would have been seen as the true power behind such a young Amyrlin.
The Gathering Storm
Even Siuan finds Saerin formidable as she discusses Rand and his intentions as he comes to Tar Valon. Saerin admits that Rand’s level of ta’veren was crushing, even to her.
Saerin goes on to be a powerful ally to Egwene and continues her role leading the Hunters for Black Ajah, now looking for the true identity of Mesaana, working to identify how Mesaana may have been able to circumvent the Oaths and digging up information on Mesaana’s character and status as a Forsaken.
Saerin participates in Nynaeve’s test for the Shawl and is furious with how her Sisters from other Ajah behave during the test, claiming they were a disgrace for what they did to Nynaeve. Saerin, despite being unhappy with Nynaeve’s stance on balefire, chooses to pass Nynaeve and is the one to announce the result of the vote.
She supports Egwene when Lelaine and Romanda attempt to rally the Hall to resist Egwene’s leadership and dryly notes that the Sitters in opposition have shown poor judgement and deserved the backlash of not being allowed to deal with Rand.
Saerin survives the early stages of battle of tel’aran’rhiod and informs Egwene that Shevan and Carlinya are among the casualties before leaving with the remaining Sisters leaving the battle to Egwene, Nynaeve and the Wise Ones.
Towers of Midnight
Saerin 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.
Saerin is present and argues with Gareth Bryne over his decisions concerning the use of the Aes Sedai forces, which leads Egwene to realize that Compulsion is being used on the Great Captains and takes responsibility for notifying Lan of these realizations.
Saerin is with Egwene on the battlefield, working as the defensive formation as Egwene attacked the Sharan channelers.
After the Last Battle Saerin along with Elswell Sedai is part of the group pushing Ituralde to take the throne of Arad Doman now that Alsamam is dead and in her final appearance in the books is seen along with Rubinde, Yukiri and Lyrelle pushing Cadsuane to take the Amyrlin Seat.
A Memory of Light
Saerin was one of the strongest living modern Aes Sedai with a strength level of 14 (2). Saerin is the strongest known member of the Brown Ajah mentioned throughout the series and given her age she may well sit on the council that runs the Ajah along with Jesse Bilal. This also placed her as one of the top 20 Aes Sedai who were living at the time of the main series events, only Cadsuane Melaidhrin, Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan, Moiraine Damodred, Romanda Cassin and Lelaine Akashi of living Aes Sedai were confirmed as stronger than Saerin prior to the arrival of Nynaeve, Egwene and Elayne. Kerene Nagashi (level 11) and Meilyn Arganya (level 10), were known to be stronger than Saerin, but along with many of the senior Aes Sedai who could match Saerin’s strength they died during the events of New Spring known as “The Vileness”, murdered by the Black Ajah.
Her strength was the equal of women such as Sheriam, Pevara and Yukiri but due to her history with the Daughters of Silence she would be considered a Wilder and she had longer training time than any other women at this strength tier and would technically fall below them in the overall Tower hierarchy. However, her tenure as a Sitter along with her strong will and intimidating personality allowed her to take the lead in nearly every situation.
She had more than enough strength to Travel. Saerin 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. But she was more than likely a very effective combat channeler surviving the Seanchan Raid, even serving as a leader, rallying women to fight the invading force off as well as engaging the Black Ajah in tel’aran’rhiod and going on to fight in and survive the Last Battle. Saerin was also quite familiar with knife fighting from her youth near Ebou Dar, where she engaged in at least one duel which left her with the now faint scar on her cheek.
Saerin 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. Possibly her most notable possession is her Ebou Dari style belt knife, something she carried with her despite having left her native Altara behind more than 200 years ago.
Saerin is known to have survived the Last Battle and was last seen as part of the group of Sitters pushing Cadsuane to take up the mantle of Amyrlin Seat. With this scene we know Saerin has now been involved in the Raising of seven women to Amyrlin in her tenure as a Sitter: Tamra, Sieren, Marith, Siuan, Elaida, Egwene and Cadsuane. Saerin is one of the most senior Aes Sedai surviving the Last Battle, and even without removing the Oaths will likely live for at least 60-80 more years. She will likely be in a leadership role for the Aes Sedai for many more decades.
Saerin is unique to the Tower as the sole living woman to have been associated with a group of unsanctioned women channelers and go on to become Aes Sedai. Her example may well help set the stage for the re-entry of the Kin to the Tower and in the long term relationships with the Wise Ones and Wind Finders as Egwene planned.
Saerin is a powerful ally, but was also an early antagonist to Siuan and Moiraine, even though she was not seen on screen during these times. Saerin is also quite self-aware throughout the series, noting flaws within the Aes Sedai society that most other Aes Sedai are unable to face. She is a powerful leader, but is also willing to step back when she knows she is the wrong choice for a role, looking for Elaida or a senior Green to lead the defense against the Seanchan and willing to admit that she has no interest in becoming Amyrlin during these times.
In Other Media
No announcement regarding Saerin’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.