Year of Birth:
Actions During the Story (Spoilers)
Character Summaries (Spoilers)
Vandene stands about 5’5” (165 cm) tall, is slender and graceful with fine bones and a long, patrician face. She has dark eyes and her hair has gone almost entirely white and was typically gathered at the back of her neck. She looked nearly identical to her older sister Adeleas Namelle of the Brown Ajah, but the two are not actually twins. She has the ageless face of an Aes Sedai who has worn the shawl for many years.
Vandene is an atypical Green Sister as she has spent many years studying and writing along with her sister Adeleas. However, Vandene is quite fierce and has a firm determination to accomplish her goals, showing a personality with a sense of humor, but does not possess a lot of patience. At her core, she is a very emotional woman with a strong sense of loyalty to her friends and family.
Actions During the Story
Actions Before the Story
Vandene Namelle was born in 737 NE, in 752 NE, at age 15, she and her older sister Adeleas Namelle enrolled as Novices in the White Tower. She became Accepted in 757 NE and five years later in 762 NE she passed the tests for the Shawl and was raised Aes Sedai, choosing the Green Ajah. Along with her sister, who progressed in lockstep with Vandene and chose the Brown Ajah. In 930 NE, after 168 years as active Aes Sedai, Adeleas and Vandene retired to a small town in Arafel, Tifan’s Well, with the intent of writing an extensive history of the world since the Breaking. Vandene’s Warder Jaem, who she Bonded in 949 NE, lived with the sisters and largely spent his time as a handyman and gardener.
Vandene is never mentioned in the book but has been retired for close to 50 years and is likely presumed dead by most Aes Sedai having been away from the Tower since 930 NE.
Actions Between the Books
Adeleas and Vandene are discovered to still be alive by Moiraine Damodred of the Blue Ajah during the years following New Spring.
Eye of the World
Vandene is never mentioned in the book.
The Great Hunt
Adeleas and Vandene, along with Vandene’s elderly Warder Jaem, help Moiraine research various historical points after she has left the Two Rivers group behind at Fal Dara. Moiraine asks Vandene what she and her sister knew regarding the Horn of Valere and any connections between The Dragon Reborn and Toman Head. Vandene explains that she and her sister disagreed on some points, including a translation of the importance of the word ma’vron which led Vandene to conclude the Dragon will proclaim himself over Toman Head, Arad Doman, or Saldaea. Adeleas believes Vandene is being too literal with her translation. Vandene also informs Moiraine that Adeleas is the true expert on the city of Shadar Logoth and explains that no Shadowspawn would knowingly take an item from the dead city because of the nature of the evil contrasts with the Shadow. Moiraine evades questions about the Dragon being reborn, even though Vandene connects her questions regarding Lanfear to Lews Therin Telamon and directly asks Moiraine if she has clues about the Rebirth. Moiraine is later attacked by a Draghkar which has been warded with the One Power leading Vandene and Adeleas to suspect the Black Ajah may be a reality.
The Dragon Reborn
Adeleas is never mentioned in the book.
The Shadow Rising
Adeleas is never mentioned in the book.
Fires of Heaven
Adeleas is never mentioned in the book. She and Vandene hear of the Schism and leave Tifan’s Well during the events of the book.
Lord of Chaos
Along with her sister, Vandene arrives in Salidar to join the Rebel sisters. First being seen when Nynaeve al’Meara accidentally bumps into the sisters, literally, as she rushes down the street to avoid being questioned by White Sister Brendas.
Vandene and Adeleas are sent with Elayne Trakand and Nynaeve to accompany Mat Cauthon to Ebou Dar to search for the Bowl of the Winds and join the court of Queen Tylin Quintara of House Mistobar as part of the Salidar Aes Sedai embassy, led by Merilille Ceandevin of the Gray Ajah. Vandene informs Mat that neither she nor Adeleas are strong enough in the Power to make gateways for Traveling and that he must speak to Elayne about why they will be arriving several days' ride from the city. Neither of the Namelle sisters has accepted Elayne or Nynaeve as full Aes Sedai during the journey to Ebou Dar, learning that Birgitte Trahelion was Elayne’s Warder creating even more tension between the women that Mat picks up on quickly. During this time Adeleas and Vandene begin to study the effects of the foxhead ter’angreal in Mat’s possession, making him quite nervous and frustrating Elayne. On the fourth day of their journey, Adeleas discovers that indirect weaves can be used to hurl objects at Mat without being affected by the ter’angreal, a fact that sends Mat off to get immediately drunk. Upon arriving in Ebou Dar Vandene leads the women into the Tarasin palace through a small side gate, expecting to be given rooms by Merilille. Adeleas and Vandene educate Nynaeve and Elayne on certain Ebou Dari customs and have told Nynaeve and Elayne that they have come to Ebou Dar to look for runaways, but when questioned on the matter further Vandene tells Nynaeve that all Aes Sedai keep an eye out for runaways and neither woman will speak further of the matter, leading to Nynaeve being suspicious of both Namelle sisters, which only increases when she sees the women on several occasions wandering about the dangerous area known as the Rahad. Adeleas even being forced to use the One Power to stop an attempted robbery, which had the locals keeping a wide berth of the Aes Sedai.
A Crown of Swords
Adeleas and Vandene continue in Ebou Dar, Adeleas having confrontations with Tower Embassy members Teslyn Baradon of the Red Ajah and Joline Maza of the Green Ajah over Mat, Nynaeve, and Elayne. Merilille, Adeleas, and Vandene participate in upbraiding Elayne when she reveals she and Nynaeve had uncovered the Kin as well as finding the Bowl of the Winds, the three Aes Sedai acting as informal Judges while Sareitha Tomares took on the role of Seat of Rebuke and Careane Fransi acting as the Seat of Pardon, aligning with the Aes Sedai strength hierarchy amongst the group. All five Aes Sedai are surprised when Elayne, after receiving an infuriating letter from Whitecloak Inquisitor and known darkfriend Jaichim Carridin, takes command of the women. Elayne points out her mandate as well as her right to the title of Aes Sedai comes from the Amyrlin Seat and her authority supersedes Merilille’s. Given her strength advantage, the women begin to fall in line, Adeleas and Vandene telling Elayne about the secret history of the Kin and how the Aes Sedai have used the group to hunt runaways rather than disbanding them. Elayne takes the Aes Sedai and returns to Reanne Corly’s home to prove to the Kin she is in fact Aes Sedai.
Path of Daggers
Adeleas and Vandene leave Ebou Dar for the Farm along with the group preparing to use the Bowl of the Winds to correct the weather. Along with the other Aes Sedai Adeleas is unhappy with Elayne and Nynaeve’s decision to leave Black Ajah member Ispan Shefar, formerly of the Blue Ajah in the custody of the Kin during their journey away from the city and make repeated efforts to sway Elayne. Adeleas also puts some effort into pushing Aviendha to become a Novice of the Tower after Aviendha picks apart her gateway weaving and admits to having the Talent for reading residues. Adeleas also plants the idea with Elayne and Aviendha that the Sea Folk Windfinders are slightly afraid of Aviendha as they are unaccustomed to Aiel ways and believe she is somewhat savage. She believes if the Windfinders feel they need the Aes Sedai to control Aviendha it would restore some balance between the Sisters and the Atha’an Miere women.
Adeleas and Vandene are present when the Kinswomen are discovered on the Farm and are nearby when the circle using the Bowl of the Winds forms and uses the ter’angreal to break the Dark One’s hold on the weather. They leave with the group just ahead of the Seanchan force, leaving through a gateway toward Caemlyn to aid Elayne in her quest to claim the Lion Throne of Andor.
Eventually, Elayne agrees to give custody of Ispan to Adeleas and Vandene and the two elder Aes Sedai link and take over her shield and begin the process of questioning the darkfriend. They maintain Tower law and refuse to allow Ispan to be put to the question when Aviendha and Elayne consider the idea, sequestering themselves with Ispan in a woodcutter’s hut for private discussions. The Sisters made some rapid progress and learned of old Black Ajah plots from the woman, but eventually suspecting Ispan had taken an Oath against betraying other members of the Black Ajah.
While on the road Adeleas recognizes one of the Kinswomen, Garenia Rosoinde, as a woman who had run away from the White Tower seventy years ago, her true name being Zarya Alkaese. Adeleas insists she must be put back in Novice white and punished for running from the Tower. Kirstian Chalwin then admits to also having run away from the Tower, almost three hundred years ago, and begs Adeleas for mercy and is then also put in Novice white and put under Adeleas and Vandene’s guardianship.
Adeleas is found alongside Ispan, murdered by an unknown assailant near the town of Harlan Bridge. The two women are served a poison in their tea, crimsonthorn root, which paralyzes them. Adeleas is disposed of by brutally slashing her throat but Ispan’s fate is even more gruesome, having a stake slowly planted through her heart. Vandene noting that Adeleas had developed a taste for sweet tea while they had been in Ebou Dar and noting that her sister would have known whoever had done this as she would never have accepted a drink from someone she did not know while she was guarding Ispan. Vandene begins to mourn her sister and it becomes obvious to Elayne that the woman would be seeking to avenger her sister’s murder.
Vandene is deeply shaken by the death of her sister, becoming withdrawn from the other Aes Sedai, she has begun to lose weight and has taken to wearing her sisters clothing, using her saddle, and even wearing Adeleas’ perfume. Vandene is consumed with finding her sister’s murderer, constantly hunting for the darkfriend in their midst.
Zarya and Kirstian deduce that Adeleas murder was committed by a member of the Black Ajah, meaning either Merilille, Sareitha, or Careane must be a darkfriend and bring their thoughts to Vandene who orders them to be silent about the revelation. Vandene takes them to Elayne and attempts to force Elayne or Nynaeve to take over the training of the former Kinswomen but ends up taking them under her wing. However, she warns the two women that her teaching style had been noted by legendary Mistress of Novices Sereille Bagand as too hard on her students, a scary prospect given Sereille’s reputation as one of the most intense women to ever wear the Shawl.
Vandene refuses to participate in training the Windfinders because she is too busy training Zarya and Kirstian, infuriating Nynaeve. Vandene also teaches Elayne how to mask the Warder Bond and after some questioning made it clear that Tower Law did not prohibit multiple women from Bonding the same man. Elayne has gained a great deal of respect for the older Aes Sedai’s knowledge, even considering bringing Vandene with her to meet the Borderland armies as she believes Vandene’s experience living in the Borderlands could be useful. Vandene’s knowledge allowed Elayne to recognize the four rulers on sight.
Vandene is still so focused on finding Adeleas murderer that she ignores attempts to confer made by the other Aes Sedai as the women all begin to feel the vast amounts of saidar being wielded to the west of Caemlyn. She is still avoiding teaching the Windfinders, a task Careane asks Elayne to push on Vandene to share in but Elayne refuses her request on grounds that Vandene is still in mourning and is supported by Sareitha. Elayne learns of Cadsuane Melaidhrin being involved with Rand and is told by Vandene that the woman was opinionated and muleheaded.
Crossroads of Twilight
Vandene informs Elayne of Reanne Corly’s murder and along with Zarya and Kirstian go on to explain that the killer went out of her way to make the manner of Reanne’s death obvious but using far more saidar than necessary. After discovering a far more subtle piece of evidence linking the killer to Mirane Larinen of the Kin, who had been presumed as a runaway. Vandene suspects all the Kinswomen who have vanished have in fact been murdered and now the killer is trying to be less subtle to create fear. Vandene advises Elayne to keep this knowledge quiet to avoid chaos among the Kin but believes they will all remain safe if they can be ordered to stay in groups.
When the presence of Falion Bhoda and Marillin Gemalphin is discovered by Elayne’s spying on Daved Hanlon Vandene immediately agrees with Elayne’s plan to ambush the Black Sisters at the House on Full Moon Street. At the house, Vandene sends Jaem to investigate and the Warder returns to inform them that the kitchen door is unlatched as well as the back door and that all the windows are dark except for one they can see from their position on the street. Elayne links with Sareitha and Vandene takes control of a link with Careane to ensure if one of them was of the Black that they were unable to use the Power against Elayne or Vandene. The group enters the house and finds Falion and Marillin with Lady Shiaine Avarhin (aka Mili Skane) and binds the women with saidar. Elayne announces they are under arrest for being darkfriends, but before she can take them into custody the Aes Sedai are blindsided by Black Ajah members Asne Zeramene, Temaile Kinderode, Chesmal Emry, and Eldrith Jhondar. Marillin informs the others to spare Careane who is also Black and thus behind all the murders. Vandene realizes this and stabs Careane through the heart and tells her it was a gift from Adeleas. Vandene, as well as Sareitha are then murdered by Chesmal using a complex weave of Fire, Earth, and Water.
Knife of Dreams
Vandene is dead and is never mentioned in the book.
The Gathering Storm
Elayne expresses regret at the death of Vandene and Sareitha due to the events in Caemlyn. Egwene notes that with Adeleas and Vandene dead the only siblings left in the Tower are Raechin and Viria Connoral, now Sitters for the Red Ajah in a reunited White Tower.
Towers of Midnight
Vandene is dead and is never mentioned in the book.
A Memory of Light
Vandene is a channeler of moderate strength in saidar. She possesses a strength level of 22 (10) which puts her slightly above Aes Sedai noted as “middling”, interestingly Vandene never reached her absolute strength potential which is noted as level 20 (8) due to her desire to maintain equal footing with her sister Adeleas who was weaker. Within the hierarchy of known Aes Sedai strength, Vandene would have been in the top ~120 women within the Tower, on par with women who achieved high ranking positions such as Sitters for several Ajah and at least one known Ajah Head, Suana Dragand of the Yellow. Within the Green Ajah Vandene’s strength would have placed her in the top ~25 members. As an Aes Sedai Vandene would be considered a skilled modern channeler, knowing all the standard weaves used by the White Tower and having gone through the extensive training given to Novices and Accepted. However, she possessed insufficient strength to use some of the newer innovations brought to the Tower by Elayne, Nynaeve, and Egwene. While unable to create gateways on her own, while linked with her sister Adeleas she held a shield on Ispan Shefar around the clock and would have been easily able to form gateways.
Vandene and Adeleas were in possession of one of the most extensive personal libraries known in the series. Only depositories of the great libraries of major cities such as Tar Valon, Cairhien, and Caemlyn outstrip what the sisters have created in Tifan’s Well during their nearly seventy-year retirement. As a member of the Green Ajah this is not a typical activity for Vandene, but with her close relationship with her sister it is unsurprising to see her pick up some tendencies associated with members of the Brown Ajah. The two Aes Sedai intended to write an expansive history of the world and use the collection in their research. Moiraine Damodred uses their library to research several topics, ranging from the Forsaken to Prophecies of the Dragon, and possibly found evidence leading her to piece together the weave for balefire.
Vandene has one Warder, Jaem, who she bonded roughly 50 years prior to her death. Jaem suffers from Warder madness and dies shortly after Vandene is murdered by Chesmal Emry of the Black Ajah.
Vandene is dead long before the Last Battle and had been living in seclusion with her sister Adeleas for nearly seventy years prior to the events of the main series. When first introduced Vandene is out of touch with current events, but quickly involves herself with the world once more after the Schism within the White Tower. Vandene plays a small but pivotal role in the plotline of Elayne and Nynaeve during the events in Salidar, Ebou Dar, and then into Caemlyn. Vandene’s hunt for her sister Adeleas’ murderer by a member of the Black Ajah sparks a series of events that ultimately lead to the capture and death of several Black Sisters from Liandrin’s original thirteen in Caemlyn, bringing a close to the original mission given to Egwene and Nynaeve by Siuan Sanche.
Vandene was one of the oldest Aes Sedai living in the series, with only Cadsuane Melaidhrin, Romanda Cassin, Ferane Neheran, and her sister Adeleas surpassing her in age. At the time of her death, Vandene was around 263 years old and had worn the Shawl for 238 years. Through Vandene and her sister Adeleas the reader sees the vast amount of experience many Aes Sedai have, as well as the effects of the strength-based hierarchy leading to much less experienced women taking leadership. The reader also learns (indirectly) of the effects of the Oath Rod on a channelers lifespan and sees some of the deep ignorance of the Aes Sedai organization. When the ages of the Kin are revealed Vandene along with the other Aes Sedai believe the women to be liars, but eventually Adeleas and Vandene seem to accept the Kin’s word.
In Other Media
No announcement regarding Vandene’s character has been made for the upcoming Wheel of Time TV series being produced by Amazon Studios. However, the character could make an appearance as early as season one given her timeline in the books, although producers could also choose to expand the character or combine her role with another Aes Sedai character to simplify the TV adaptation.