Author: Kyria d'Oreyn
The White Ajah is the smallest Ajah in the White Tower, devoted to philosophy and the search for truth. They usually avoid the world and are also said to avoid worldly knowledge, they base some arguments on scientific papers (Glossary; KoD, Prologue). According to Alanna Mosvani, a White "consider[s] the questions of truth with implacable logic" and has "no room in her life for any passions at all" (TDR, Ch. 23). The total number of Whites is not known, but during the split, there were around twenty in the Tower.
The prototype White sister displays icy serenity at all times (KoD, Prologue) and insufferable coolness is their "hallmark" (TSR, Ch. 1). Throughout the series they are described as emotionless (TDR, Ch. 18), dispassionate (TSR, Ch. 1), coolly/coldly arrogant (TSR, Ch. 5; TFoH, Ch. 18) and icy (LoC, Ch. 7). Despite their cool demeanor and vaunted reserve (CoT, Ch. 19), some Whites are known to possess a temper (LoC, Ch. 25) and eagerness for certain causes, unlikely as it seems (LoC, Ch. 41).
White sisters usually wear white dresses, some even with white embroidery (LoC, Ch. 34). Their shawls are pure white, with only the stitching around the White Flame of Tar Valon to mark its existence on the snowy white background (LoC, Ch. 24). Intricate golden embroidery climbing the sleeves and encircling the hem of the skirt is an unusual degree of show for a White sister (TPoD, Ch. 26).
White Aes Sedai pride themselves in their dispassionate logic (TSR, Ch. 1). They are, in fact supposed to forsake all emotion (TPoD, Ch. 26) to be able to view a subject from all angles and reason out the truth behind it without being biased. Some say they are "all logic, and no heart" (TGH, Ch. 22) and feel absolutely no passion (TDR, Ch. 23), but they can be considered passionate in their search for truth; otherwise they could not be so fervent about their ideas (KoD, Prologue).
There seem to be many fields where Whites apply their logic, but only arithmetic has been named (KoD, Prologue).
Their ideas of truth seem to vary from sister to sister and they often disagree with one another; Falion thinks Rianna has "odd, unsound notions on several points of logic" (ACoS, Ch. 17), while Alviarin frowns upon the thought of reducing logic to numbers. Astrelle and Tesan even argue about their approximation on food spoilage, each firmly insisting that the theorem they use for their calculations is more accurate (KoD, Prologue).
Seaine also doesn't believe in "blinding herself" as some do; they put away all emotion and even withdraw from relationships and the world (TPoD, Ch. 26), becoming engrossed with and wrapped up in questions of rationality and philosophy (NS, Ch. 5). Yukiri thinks about her: "How like a White, logical in everything and often blind to the world around them" (KoD, Prologue).
Even though some sisters are really sharp and can "catch the slightest crack in the logic of an argument", like Ferane (CoT, Ch. 21), or have an "impeccable" logic, like Daigian, (TPoD, Ch. 12), others can be clearly wrong in their deductions, even though the basics are correct (TPoD, Ch. 25).
Examples of White Logic:
"When a man believes he may die, he wants to leave something of himself behind. When a woman believes her man may die, she wants that part of him desperately. The result is a great many babies born during wars. It's illogical, given the hardship that comes if the man does die, or the woman, but the human heart is seldom logical." (Meilyn Arganya; New Spring, Chapter 5)
"If you accept that the lingering heat was the Dark One's work, the change must be by some other agency. He would not have relented. You might say that he has decided to freeze or drown the world instead of baking it, but why? Had the heat continued through spring, the dead might well have outnumbered the living, no different than if snow falls into the summer. Therefore, logically, some other hand is at work." (Daigian Moseneillin; TPoD, Ch. 12)
"No ter'angreal has ever been found that can 'control' a woman's channeling. (...) Very few have ever been found that perform the same function. Therefore, logically, if such a ter'angreal were found, or more than one, improbable as that must be, there could not be sufficient of them to control more than two or three women at most. It follows that the reports of these so-called Seanchan are exaggerated wildly. If women on 'leashes' exist, they cannot channel. Plainly not. I do not deny these people hold Ebou Dar, and Amador, and perhaps more, but clearly they are but a creation of Rand al'Thor, perhaps to frighten people into flocking to him. Like this Prophet of his. It is simple logic." (Velina; TPoD, Ch. 25)
"al'Thor was the Dragon Reborn, and logically, she must follow him." (Sarene Nemdahl; WH, Ch. 13)
"Calculating with Radun’s Standard of Deviation, the rate is eleven times what it should be. Furthermore, this must indicate the intervention of the Shadow—”
"The Shadow, yes, but Radun’s Standard, it is outdated. You must use Covanen’s First Rule of Medians, and calculate separately for rotting meat or rotten. The correct answers, as I said, are thirteen and nine. I have not yet applied it to the flour or the beans and the lentils, but it seems intuitively obvious—” (Astrelle and Tesan; KoD, Prologue)
There is no love lost between the White and the Red Ajah; they have stood on opposite sides of the Hall for a thousand years (TSR, Ch. 1). Elaida thinks that if the White had not supported her (which they had not done at first), many other Sitters would not have stood for her either (TFoH, Prologue); meaning that other Ajahs support the White against the Red.
The White quarters are quite plain (NS, Ch. 12), with white floor tiles and silvered stand-mirrors lining the white walls. There are only a few simple tapestries with "images of snow capped mountains, shady forests, stands of bamboo with sunlight slanting through them" etc. for decoration. Alviarin has always thought they were soothing (KoD, Prologue).
Although the Ajah quarters are all of the same size, there are barely more than twenty White Aes Sedai in the Tower at present (KoD, Prologue).
As in any other of the Ajah quarters excepting the Red, Warders can be seen (NS, Ch. 7).
- As white is the color of mourning, Moiraine cannot understand why so many White sisters choose to wear it all the time (NS, Ch. 2).
- Moiraine thinks Zemaille is going to choose Brown or White because she is always sober and thoughtful (NS, Ch. 3).
- When it becomes clear which Ajah Moiraine and Siuan choose after swearing the Three Oaths, the White Sitters leave after the Brown; Moiraine wonders what the reason behind the order is (NS, Ch. 11).
- Alviarin was among the Whites to present a plan about having women mate with gentled men, because the White Tower finds less girls that are able to channel every year (TSR, Ch. 31).
- In the rebel Hall, White, Brown and Blue benches stand on one side with Green, Gray and Yellow on the other (TPoD, Ch. 19).
- Kumira: "I would rather an ounce of hard proof than a hundredweight of your White Ajah logic." (TPoD, Ch. 21)
- Main article: White Ajah Character List
- Velina Behar: Sitter before and during the split
- Seaine Herimon: Sitter before, during and after the split
- Saroiya: Sitter before, during and after the split
- Ferane Neheran: Sitter during and after the split
- Aledrin: Sitter in Salidar
- Berana: Sitter in Salidar
Other Notable Whites
White Ajah members with positions of power or responsibility:
- Alviarin Freidhen: Elaida's first Keeper of the Chronicles
- Sereille Bagand: A Mistress of Novices before becoming Amyrlin
Black Ajah Whites
There were seventeen White Sisters on Verin's list, approximately one third of the total. Known names are: