The Wheel of Time is one of the ongoing series currently dominating the fantasy scene, and the Aes Sedai - an all-female magical order - are undoubtedly one of the series most interesting inventions. Recent Wheel of Time episodes reveals that there are different ranks amongst the Aes Sedai, visualized in the different colors they wear when not incognito. So, what do these colors mean?
The Wheel of Time Aes Sedai: What Are They?
Before analyzing the different ranks of the Aes Sedai, we have to determine what it means to be one in-universe and how they differ from similar orders in other fantasy works.
In the Old Tongue of The Wheel of Time universe, Aes Sedai means servant to all. This role is only available to women and largely consists of channeling the One Power, that is, the world's magic. While the One Power can be wielded by all, its use is only available to women in the narrative present, as they are considered better equipped to handle it with dexterity, while men are considered likely to lose their minds to it.
The Aes Sedai are trained in the White Tower of Tar Valon - the current destination for some of the main characters in the Amazon tv series. Some of them are paired with Warders, typically male companions who guard and protect them, and who develop a highly empathetic supernatural relationship with them.
As Moiraine explains early on, the Aes Sedai are bound by three principles; they are physically unable to lie, they cannot make a lethal weapon, and they are not allowed to use the One Power as a weapon unless in extreme, life-threatening circumstances.
The Wheel of Time: Aes Sedai Colors Explained
Once they have passed their testing, the Aes Sedai take the role of Ajah and choose one of seven orders, each of which is color-coded.
Already, the Amazon tv series has demonstrated that the blue and green Ajah are on relatively good terms with each other. A rivalry can be detected between the red and blue Ajah, with Liandrin, a red Ajah, thinking that Moiraine's choice of blue was cowardly. But if you aren't familiar with the source material, you might miss what each Ajah stands for amongst all the other worldbuilding - I definitely did!
Apparently, many agree with Liandrin, given that the Red Ajah is the largest Aes Sedai order. Their role mainly involves capturing male users of the One Power, taking them to the White Tower for trial, and "gentling" them - cutting them off the Power - to prevent disasters and the possible madness that might come of it. Unlike their Blue and Green counterparts, they don't normally bond with Warders.
The Green Ajah are also known as battle Ajah, so their role involves physical conflict. They can have more than one Warder, but when they only have one they are often romantically involved with him.
The Blue Ajah - Moiraine's order - are less populous and less involved in battle than either the Red or the Green. They are preoccupied with justice and noble causes. Moiraine's obstinate determination to find the Dragon Reborn in her own way is a perfect example of their zeal to save the world. As Liandrin's behavior indicates, the Blue are often looked down upon by other Ajah, as they tend to be involved in intrigue and spying. They only bond with one Warder.
Less explored in the show - so far - are the Grey Ajah, who are involved in diplomacy and politics, the Brown Ajah, who gather and preserve knowledge, the Yellow Ajah, who are healers, and the White Ajah, the smallest order, who are mainly focused on philosophy and logic. There's an eighth rumored order, the Black Ajah, but we'll keep spoilers off this article, as we expect the tv series to pick up, reigniting interest in the books, which are definitely worth exploring!