Top 10 Badass Boss Bitch Moments in the Wheel of Time
Because It's Time to Burn It All Down
This article contains full spoilers for the entire Wheel of Time book series.
The Wheel of Time has a way of being there for you when you need it. A place to escape, find solace, or meet a character who reminds you of yourself—flawed, but capable of great things. A place to wrap yourself in the vast mythology of our world, see connections you never realized were there, and feel tiny in comparison to it. A place to lose yourself in the exploration of endlessly unfathomable metaphysics, form theories, and discuss them with other fans you grow to know and love.
Today, I am calling on the Wheel of Time to be a source of hope and inspiration amid the dumpster fire that is happening in the US government right now (if you are not aware of what's going on, just google SCOTUS).
To be honest, I don't have much faith that anything will save our country and our world in this increasingly devastating and terrifying time for the financially disadvantaged, the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, and all people at risk of becoming pregnant. It may seem like a long shot to rely on a book series to bring strength and hope at a time like this, but I need to start somewhere.
So, I'm summoning all the badass boss bitch women in the Wheel of Time to metaphorically bail us out of this mess. I need to take a break from the news and think about ten women with powerful moments of competence and strength. I need to remember these moments when I feel the most helpless, and the most pissed off.
I need to write an article that is only about women because it's unacceptable that a handful of powerful men get to decide anything at all about my and my spear-sisters' healthcare. (While this article will focus on women, it is important to acknowledge that all people with uteruses are suffering right now).
If you are a person with a uterus, you will understand what a profoundly painful place this article is coming from, though my intent is to find hope somehow. Hope that women can be both strong and soft. Hope that we don’t have to be any way other than the way we already are, that we can live our lives without other people deciding what we can do with our bodies. Hope that all of our spear-siblings out there will join us in protest. To fight like the badass boss bitches listed here. And if we can't find hope, if we can't persevere, we'll burn it all down together.
10. Aviendha Going Back Through the Glass Columns (TOM, Ch. 48)
“She had come seeking knowledge. She would not leave without it.
It takes a badass boss bitch to put themselves through hell for the greater good. Aviendha could have walked away after going through the glass columns once to become a Wise One. She could have walked away after that first harrowing vision of the Aiel future when she stepped back in.
But she had a mission to understand the ter’angreal, and to bring that knowledge back to her people. This required deep bravery because using the columns in a new way was not only dangerous (see: Accepted test ter'angreal research), it was devastating.
To prevail, she needed to accept the old customs were no longer relevant and face the possibility of a desolate future. But she prevailed like the queen she is and ensured the Aiel had a future and a role in the Dragon’s Peace.
9. Nynaeve Punching the Black Ajah in the Face (TDR, Ch. 55)
“It feels wonderful. Something changed about her when you hit her, Nynaeve.”
There’s something really satisfying about seeing a powerful channeler resort to hand to hand combat (see: Moiraine’s fight scene in New Spring). Nynaeve is one of the most powerful, but as a former Wisdom, she knows the value of threatening to thump people or box their ears. In The Great Hunt, she even threatens to break Egwene’s neck (metaphorically speaking).
But to attain boss bitch status, it isn’t enough to be haphazardly aggressive; you must choose the right moment to enact violence. It wasn’t really clear how a bound and shielded Amico Nagoyin, stuck halfway in tel’aran’rhiod, was still shielding Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne from the One Power, and we may never know if violence was the only way to release the shields. But when Nynaeve punches Amico in the face, it was absolutely the right moment.
8. Aludra Protecting the Dragons (AMOL, Prologue)
“You think I would leave them?”
Aludra is a boss bitch pretty much all the time. Independent, intelligent, meticulous, ingenious, the Illuminator blazes with poise and competence every time she appears in the series. And it's not just that she makes things explode. She is a master at her craft. She truly cares for her equipment and will not let it fall into the wrong hands.
As Caemlyn falls, Aludra protects her dragons with townspeople and then protects the townspeople with a barricade. Talmanes thinks the secured dragons are a beautiful sight, but I think the most beautiful sight is Aludra, in all her glory, standing on top of the barricade and holding a torch.
7. Min Supporting Rand
“Better ten days of love, than years of regretting.”
Everyone loves knife-throwing Min, but it's her love for Rand that is her ultimate superpower. To be the only one who sees him as a person instead of a tool, hero, monster, or savior. To treat him with tenderness when no one else will, especially himself. To love him when it's almost certain she will lose him. This requires bravery, and the tolerance of a tremendous amount of pain.
While stabbing people may look cooler, it’s not violence that defines a boss bitch—it’s making choices. Min chooses tenderness, understanding, and knowledge as her weapons to protect Rand (and thus the world) against the Dark. This is a crucial task, and it’s why her boss bitch status does not change just because she stops throwing knives and starts sitting on Rand’s lap.
6. Moiraine Tackling Lanfear (FOH, Ch. 52)
“Face to face, they toppled through the doorframe ter’angreal. White light swallowed everything.”
What could be worse than body-slamming the most powerful Forsaken while she is angrily channeling, launching both of you through a magical redstone doorframe that explodes in a fire? Actively knowing that all of the above is about to happen to you, and doing it anyway.