Amazon Prime’s ‘The Wheel of Time’ is set in a vast and complex world where different factions with varying motives and powers interplay on a massive magical tapestry. The high fantasy series is populated by equally layered characters, many of whom walk a line of moral grayness, making the narrative all the more interesting. Though we’ve only seen a few glimpses of them, Whitecloaks, or Children of the Light, stand out as a particularly ominous group, despite their self-righteous title.
We’ve seen them burning a member of the Aes Sedai, and even the valiant Moiraine seems apprehensive to face them. So who are Whitecloaks? And why do they seem to bear such brutal enmity toward the Aes Sedai? Follow us as we take you through a crash course on this powerful faction from the world of ‘The Wheel of Time.’
Who are Whitecloaks?
Whitecloaks, who refer to themselves as Children of the Light or simply “Children,” are an independent military organization hailing from the city of Amador in the southern Westlands. Their penultimate goal being to root out all evil, the group takes a particularly savage approach by killing anyone even vaguely suspected of colluding with the Dark One (who are referred to as Darkfriends). Sometimes, a direct connection or proof is also not needed, which is why most people tend to give Whitecloaks a wide berth, lest they be captured and executed by the self-righteous group.
Apart from their powerful military structure, Whitecloaks are known for their brutal interrogation practices. We get a brief glimpse of this in episode 2, where Whitecloak Questioner Eamon Valda calmly but menacingly questions Moiraine while his men search the rest of her group. In the world of ‘The Wheel of Time,’ the military group’s Questioners are known to interrogate suspects so brutally that they confess out of pain, only to then be put to death for confessing.
With their overarching goal of ending darkness, military might, and brutal methods, Whitecloaks roam the lands freely. They are self-appointed guardians of the South and claim that anywhere that “men walk in the light” is their territory, thus giving them the right to interrogate and attack whoever they please, as we see them do on multiple occasions.
Why are Whitecloaks Hunting Aes Sedai Members?
The Whitecloaks’ apparent enmity toward the Aes Sedai stems from their goal of wiping out all darkness. Since the original calamity, or “Breaking of the World,” was caused due to magic, they consider all uses of it to be connected to the Dark Power, making the Aes Sedai potential targets. Due to their manic nature of killing anyone with the slightest hints of dark power, the Aes Sedai remain wary of the powerful military organization.
Though their leader claims to steer clear of the Aes Sedai, the actions of his Questioner, Eamon Valda, suggest otherwise. We see him brutally murder an Aes Sedai member by cutting off her hand (so he can take her magical ring) and then burning her alive. Moiraine (who hides her own ring) observes that Eamon Valda has seven rings hanging from his belt, meaning he has already killed seven members of the Aes Sedai. These seven seem to be part of the eight-member group that the magical organization has sent to the South to help with a war.
However, since Whitecloaks impose strict guardianship on the South, it seems Eamon feels well within his rights to kill Aes Sedai members that enter their territory. There also appears to be a larger purpose to Eamon’s actions, as he tells his leader that Questioners have a higher purpose than wars and battles. Though we don’t know his plans yet, they could include him using the magical rings he has collected from slain Aes Sedai members. Thus, the Aes Sedai (and Moiraine in particular, since she is seemingly accompanying the Dragon Reborn) have to remain constantly vigilant against Whitecloaks and now face the added threat of Eamon viciously hunting.
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