Each Ajah highlights a pivotal part of human nature. Robert Jordan helps us to understand ourselves better by breaking us down into categories. This is seen in the differing views on the proper use of the One Power and the purpose of Aes Sedai.
- Red – finding and gentling men who can channel
- Blue – involving themselves in various just causes
- Green – preparing for end times, the Battle Ajah
- White – pursuing truth and philosophy
- Brown – seeking knowledge
- Gray – skilled mediators
- Yellow – studying Healing
Grafted within us is the desire to better ourselves and those around us. The manner in which we choose to live out these desires can look different – as different as, say, the seven Ajahs.
Recall, if you can, the first time you read through WoT. (Because who can only read it once?!) Do you remember the sense of urgency to aid others around you? Did you feel inspired to help your neighbor or lend a listening ear? Maybe you took charge at work or at home in an unexpected way?
I was inspired to volunteer at a women’s resource center. Simply washing dishes, teaching, or just listening to the life stories of the women filled that sense of duty required of me.
This is the effect literature – rich rich literature – such as The Wheel of Time, will have on your life. Like the idiom, “walk a mile in their shoes…” we have lived through the experiences of the strongest female characters and dedicated male characters in any high fantasy series. Our ability to empathize with others grows with every chapter.
That moment Perrin hears the news of his family – we weep releasing real emotions.
With Faile holding his head beneath her breasts, Perrin lost track of how long he cried. Images of his family flashed in his thoughts, his father smiling as he showed him how to hold a bow, his mother singing while she spun wool, Adora and Deselle teasing him when he shaved the first time, Paet wide-eyed at a gleeman during Sunday long ago. Pictures of graves, cold and lonely in a row. He wept until there were no more tears in him.
As Egwene stands on the edge of a gaping hole in the tower blasting down Seanchan with the power of Vora’s sa’angreal – we feel her anger of justice and determination to conquer those who almost conquered her.
The woman stood like vengeance itself, the power of saidar like a storm around her. The very air seemed alight, and her brown hair blew from the wind of the open gap in the wall beside them. Egwene al’Vere.
When Ingtar confesses to being a Darkfriend before sacrificing himself to save the others – we hope for redemption and forgiveness.
For the first time Ingtar looked at Rand. His eyes shone with unshed tears. “You are a better man than I. Shepherd or lord, a better man. The prophecy says, ‘Let who sounds me think not of glory, but only salvation.’ It was my salvation I was thinking of. I would sound the Horn, and lead the heroes of the Ages against Shayol Ghul. Surely that would have been enough to save me. No man can walk so long in the Shadow that he cannot come again to the Light. That is what they say. Surely that would have been enough to wash away what I have been, and done.”
We absorb a hundred different lives while reading The Wheel of Time that mold our character and integrity. New obstacles are not quite so intimidating as before. Courage is attainable. Maybe we even tug our braids a little less and sniff a little quieter. Maybe.
Surprising what you can dig out of books if you read long enough, isn’t it?
It truly is, Mr. Jordan.