The Wheel of Time: The Secrets of Moiraine and Siuan

This article contains The Wheel of Time spoilers.

The Wheel of Time has plenty to enjoy for those who haven’t read the Robert Jordan novels upon which the show is based, but there has been no shortage of frustration on the part of “book purists” who are dissatisfied with some of the changes made by the television adaptation. Complaints of women being among the Dragon Reborn candidates, for example, may have primed more defensive viewers to question the latest narrative revision: the portrayal of Moiraine and Siuan as lovers.

But before the claims of “woke nonsense” come rolling in, hold on a moment. Although the late Robert Jordan never spelled out a romantic connection between the Amyrlin Seat and the esteemed Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, there were plenty of references to the pair being “pillow friends” as novices and beyond. While Jordan’s portrayal may have been colored somewhat by his own 1990s male perspective of what young secluded women might indulge in, he did clarify in a 2005 blog post that, “Pillow friends are not just good friends. Oh, they are that, too, but they also get hot and sweaty together and muss up the sheets something fierce.”

Moiraine and Siuan actually came to the White Tower at the same time, according to Jordan’s 2005 prequel novel New Spring, which focused mainly on the two young women new to the sisterhood. Although their intimate relationship was never explicit, there were frequent mentions of deep love and devotion as well as pleasant tickling. As mentioned in one passage when the two stayed in an inn together: “They were going to be sharing that bed, and Siuan knew exactly which ticklish spots could reduce her to helpless laughter and pleading.”

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