Episode 5 of The Wheel of Time Season 2 introduces Aviendha, a warrior from the Aiel – but who exactly is the mysterious warrior clan?
*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for “The Wheel of Time”* — A fantasy series with a rich and detailed story, The Wheel of Time offers an endless array of factions to follow, and Episode 5 of Season 2 introduces Prime Video viewers to a new faction: the Aiel.
Aviendha’s introduction to The Wheel of Time
Episode 5 of The Wheel of Time Season 2, titled Damane, followed Perrin as he returned to Atuan’s Mill, the city where he, Loial, and the Shienarans were recently attacked.
As he approaches the city, he comes across a series of cages and in one of them is a woman named Aviendha.
Another man named Dain Bornhald – a Whitecloak – emerges from a nearby building and warns Perrin not to get too close, as she cannot be trusted as Aiel, before offering Perrin some food and a place at the inn.
During the following conversation, Perrin learns that Aviendha is being held because she wandered into the wrong city at the wrong time. Realizing that Aviendha’s life is in danger, Perrin frees her and stands before Aviendha to protect her when Whitecloaks show up to stop her from escaping, only to witness Aviendha defeat her almost single-handedly.
Who are the Aiel in the Wheel of Time?
The Aiel are a faction of skilled warriors who live in the desert between the Westlands and the Sharans to the east, which they call the Triple Land and which outsiders refer to as the Aiel Desert.
Originally known as Da’shain Aiel, they once served the Aes Sedai and Lews Therin Telamon, the original dragon, during the Age of Legends and the War of Power.
After the male Aes Sedai began to go mad, the Da’shain Aiel were tasked with hiding items believed to be behind the madness that eventually led to the Aiel as they are known today , settled in the Threefold Land.
The Aiel have changed dramatically over the centuries as the once pacifist group adapted to their new place in the world and split into three groups: the Jenn Aiel (who followed the traditional pacifist path of the Leaf) and the Tuatha’ which became a group of wanderers, and the modern Aiel, to which Aviendha belongs.
The modern Aiel became their own faction when they deviated from the Leaf’s pacifist path after an Aiel named Lewin killed another in self-defense.
Although they accept killing in self-defense, an Aiel will cover his face beforehand and use only a spear as a weapon, as unlike swords they have uses other than just killing.
Ji’e’toh Toh explained
After Perrin and Aviendha escape from Atuan’s mill, we meet them later in the episode, where the Aiel woman reveals that she will inevitably follow him.
She explains that this is because she has “toh”, and elaborates further by detailing the Aiel belief of “Ji’e’toh”.
Essentially this means that the Aiel follow a code of honor and duty.
Since Perrin saved Aviendha’s life by freeing her from the Whitecloaks, she has “toh,” an obligation to repay him for what he did.
This means that she now has to follow him for the foreseeable future. Their next destination is the city of Falme, recently occupied by the Seanchann and where Loial was supposedly taken.
Season 2 of The Wheel of Time is available for streaming Now on Prime Video after premiering on September 1, 2023.
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