Guide To The World of Wheel of Time: Who Is The Dragon? - Comic Years
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Guide To The World of Wheel of Time: Who Is The Dragon?

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BY November 10, 2021

With the premiere of The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime rapidly approaching, the anticipation for this new epic fantasy show is high. The series by Robert Jordan contains a ton of world-building, characters, and historical events that can be overwhelming for new viewers. So here at Comic Years, we have been exploring the world of The Wheel of Time with helpful guides. Today we are tackling a big question in the series: who is the Dragon? Read on to learn more, in this (relatively) spoiler-free guide to learn the history of this pivotal character.

Who Is The Dragon In The Wheel of Time?

Wheel of Time Lews Therin Dragon Image via Tor/Forge

In our guide covering the origins of the Aes Sedai,  we touched briefly on the history of the world in The Wheel of Time. In ages past, both men and women could be Aes Sedai. During the Age of Legends, these powerful magic users created wonders using the One Power. Male and female channelers worked together in harmony. By combining forces, they were able to create advanced technologies, construct architectural marvels, and do so much  more.

One of the male Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends was a man named Lews Therin Telamon. He was one of the most powerful Aes Sedai of the age. Lews Therin held the title “First Among Servants.” This title corresponds to the fact that Aes Sedai in the Old Tongue means “Servant of All.” He bore a powerful artifact called The Ring of Tamyrlin, worn by the leaders of the Aes Sedai.

The War Of Power And The Dark One’s Taint

Wheel of Time Shadowspawn Image via Amazon

Despite the wonders created during the Age of Legends, the Aes Sedai began to chafe under the restrictions of the One Power. But some found what appeared to be another Source,  one that both men and women could tap into freely. In their hubris, these Aes Sedai drilled a hole into the Pattern that runs the world. This allowed the presence of The Dark One to leak into the world. Many began to turn to the Shadow, swearing allegiance to The Dark One. Among these individuals were some Aes Sedai, jealous the power that Lews Therin held. The utopian civilization created by the Aes Sedai gradually shifted to a dark and violent society. Battles broke out between the forces of light and darkness. And thus, the War of Power began.

Lews Therin Telamon became a general who led the forces of light during The War of Power.  This was when he earned the title of Dragon. These mythical creatures do not actually appear in the Wheel of Time series (I am so sorry to break this to you).  However, there are still legends surrounding them much like in the real world. The dragon is a symbol of strength and power. Two things that Lews Therin Telamon wielded in abundance.

Sealing The Bore On The Dark One’s Prison

wheeloftimelogo Image via Tor

Great atrocities were committed during The War of Power. And the Aes Sedai turned to darker methods to turn the tide in their favor. It was at this time that the Shadowspawn were created. Despite all of their efforts, the forces of the light were losing to the darkness. It was Lews Therin who came up with a risky plan to end the war for good. He proposed that a group of the most powerful Aes Sedai travel to the hole in the Dark One’s prison – called The Bore  – and seal it up. He knew that this would likely be a one-way journey for the Aes Sedai involved, and that if they made any mistakes the Dark One could easily break free and destroy the world entirely.

One of the women of the Aes Sedai objected to Lews Therin’s dangerous plan. She rallied the other female Aes Sedai behind her, certain that Lews Therin would not attempt this dangerous feat without the powerful female Aes Sedai at his side. Actions that utilize so much power required both men and women working together to combine saidar (the female half of the One Power) and saidin (the male half). But Lews Therin could not be swayed, and a division emerged in the Aes Sedai across gender lines.  In the end, Lews Therin enacted his plan despite objections from the rest of the Aes Sedai. He took a group of male Aes Sedai with him to seal the Bore – the 100 companions – and none of the women joined him.

In the end Lews Therin Telamon – The Dragon – was successful in sealing the Bore and trapping both the Dark One and his most powerful channelers (the Forsaken) away. However, a final blow by the Dark One touched the male half of The One Power and tainted it. The surviving members of the 100 Companions instantly went mad, including The Dragon himself.

The Breaking of the World

Wheel of Time Image via Tor/Forge

With saidin – the male half of the One Power – now tainted by the Dark One, all male channelers around the world went insane. Although the War of Power had ended, the Breaking of the World had just begun. The men of the Aes Sedai began to lose control of their powers, wreaking dramatic destruction. This cataclysm reshaped the face of the world, and the order of the Aes Sedai as the women struggled to rein in their former compatriots whose immense powers wrought incredible devastation.

Lews Therin Telamon was also driven mad, although he survived the sealing of the Bore when few others did. In the end he traveled home where in  his madness he murdered his entire family in his madness. The prologue of the first book  –  The Eye of the World – shows the aftermath of this event. Lews Therin wanders the halls of his home, searching for his wife whom he has killed. He is confronted by one of the Forsaken who was not fully imprisoned by his seal on the Dark One’s prison. As Lews Therin recalls what he has done, he flees his home and kills himself in a dramatic final display of The One Power. From the immense power created by his death, a volcano erupts from the ground. This becomes known as Dragonmount, and it is also where the Dragon is prophesied to be reborn.

The Karaethon Cycle And Prophecies Of The Dragon

Wheel of Time Trailer Tar Valon with The White Tower in the foreground and Dragonmount in the background | Image via Amazon Prime

In the world of The Wheel of Time, prophecy is typically delivered by an Aes Sedai in a process known as Foretelling. This is a rare talent among those who can channel. A Foretelling comes upon an Aes Sedai suddenly, and many with this ability cannot recall what they have said afterwards. It is up to other Aes Sedai to record these Foretellings, and make sense of the prophecies.

During the War of Power and for generations afterwards, many of these Foretellings centered around Lews Therin Telamon. These prophecies are collected in a text called The Karaethon Cycle. Although the prophecies are vague, they are still considered highly dangerous. The Karaethon Cycle is banned in many lands, and only a few Aes Sedai scholars truly know all of them. However, some of the prophecies are still well-known enough to bring hope and fear to the people of the world. Because although the Dragon was responsible for the taint on saidin, and the Breaking of The World – he was also the most powerful Aes Sedai of his age and the one destined to battle against the Dark One endlessly across the cycles of the Wheel. (For more on this concept, check out our article about the trope of Eternal Recurrence.)

A Prophecy Spurs Moiraine’s Journey

Wheel of Timie Image via Amazon Prime

It is one of these prophecies that spurs Moiraine’s quest to find the Dragon Reborn. As a young Aes Sedai, Moiraine witnesses a Foretelling from one of her sisters. She swears to seek out this new reincarnation of The Dragon. To protect them, and also prepare them for the battle to come. Her journey eventually takes her to the Two Rivers where she finds five young men and women who are likely candidates to be the reincarnation of the Dragon. But who is The Dragon Reborn? You’ll have to tune into the first season of The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime to find out.
The first three episodes of The Wheel of Time will air on Amazon Prime on November 19, 2021. For more news and reviews, along with our guides to the world of The Wheel of Time – be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today. May the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

AdaptationsAmazon PrimeGuideRobert JordanThe Dragon RebornWheel of Time

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