Eldrith Jhondar was an Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah. She was also Black Ajah, and one of Liandrin's Group of Black Sisters. As such it was out in the open (at least among the Aes Sedai) that she was of the Black Ajah.

In Winter's Heart, it is mentioned that (text picked from wikia):

They next traveled to Samara. Eldrith let her Bond with her Warder slip on more than one occasion. So he was able to locate her, determined to kill her as a murderer and a possible Darkfriend. He was willing to suffer madness and death to see it done. Eldrith, however, wasn't willing to suffer the pain of his death through the bond, and refused to allow the other Black Ajah to kill him.

So I have two inter related questions:

  1. Though against custom, why not use the Warder link to use Compulsion? Black Ajah have been known to use it (Liandrin's weave).
  2. Why not simply let go of the bond? Then the Warder can be killed without the "side effects."

3 Answers 3


Though against custom, why not use the Warder link to use Compulsion? Black Ajah have been known to use it (Liandrin's weave).

The version of Compulsion which is known even by modern Black Ajah Aes Sedai is but a pale shadow of real Compulsion. It's not powerful enough to force people's wills, but only to make strong suggestions to them. We see this both from Liandrin (she had puzzled out a version of Compulsion before she even came to the Tower, but even the improved version she uses after picking up a few tricks from Moghedien is laughable from the Forsaken's point of view) and from Verin:

Of course, the thing was not truly Compulsion as ancient texts described it. The weaving went with painful slowness, cobbled together as it was, and there was that need for a reason. It helped a great deal if the object of the weave was emotionally vulnerable, but trust was absolutely essential. Even catching someone by surprise did no good if they were suspicious. That fact cut down its usefulness with men considerably; very few men lacked suspicion around Aes Sedai.

-- The Path of Daggers, Prologue (Verin's PoV)

So while Eldrith could have tried to use Compulsion on her Warder, it's unlikely she would have succeeded, given that he was so determined to track her down and kill her. And even if she had succeeded, it would have taken a great deal of effort: the energy required for Compulsion increases with the mental strength of the victim, and Warders tend to be very strong. Recall how difficult it was for Rahvin (even for one of the strongest Forsaken!) to keep Morgase under Compulsion for a prolonged period.

Why not simply let go of the bond? Then the Warder can be killed without the "side effects."

I don't believe this would be possible. If breaking the bond between Aes Sedai and Warder were that easy, people (especially Black Ajah sisters) would have been doing it more. As far as I can remember, the only example we know of a bond being broken was between

Moiraine and Lan,

and that only happened when

Moiraine was trapped in another dimension (and presumed dead for several books).

In fact, Rand even asks Herid Fel about this after he's bonded by Alanna. Although the old philosopher may not be the most reliable source on Aes Sedai secrets such as the Warder bond, he's still very wise and knowledgeable, and worth listening to:

"What do you know about Aes Sedai and Warders, Herid? About the bond?"

"Warders? Bond? As much as anybody not Aes Sedai, I suppose. Which isn't saying much, mind." Herid sucked at his pipe, not seeming to realise it had gone out. "What did you want to know?"

"Can it be broken?"

"Broken? Oh, no. I don't think so. Unless you mean when the Warder or the Aes Sedai dies. That breaks it, I think. I remember hearing something about the bond once, but I can't remember ..."

-- Lord of Chaos, Chapter 18: A Taste of Solitude

  • Most of it makes sense. Only thing I can gripe about is the nature of the compusion through the bond. Liandrin's and Verin's weave may be very hollow compared to true compulsion, but we do see Morraine force Lan to immediately reach his new master once the bond is severed. Reading that in context, I feel certain that Lan could've nothing to "oppose" it, even though he is imho very strong of will as well.
    – Arcane
    Dec 3, 2016 at 13:19
  • @Arcane We don't know exactly what the limitations of the Warder bond are. Moiraine forced Lan to find his new Aes Sedai by transferring his bond. Eldrith could have done that, but then she'd have lost any vestiges of control she had over her Warder, as well as the ability to know where he was. We don't know if there's any other way for an Aes Sedai to force her Warder to go somewhere, other than by transferring the bond.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 3, 2016 at 13:23
  1. Warder bond needs no compulsion, the bond itself IS compulsion. Liandrin's weave is "like" compulsion, but it isn't, its similar to Verin's weave, in that it has the effects of compulsion, but isn't ACTUALLY compulsion.

  2. Aes Sedai become attached to their warders, even the Black Ajah become attached to their Warders both physically and mentally. There are multiple Black Ajah that simply suppress their warder bonds so their warders can not find them.

  • 2
    I remember an instance where Morraine says that she didn't have to use the bond to make Lan comply to anything, before sending him to Myrelle. So I would think it was optional and not all the time. If it were compulsion, why was the warder not with the Ajah (Like the Aes Sadai bonded to Asha'man). Knowing what they were doing, but unable to do anything for it. Seems like an oversight dropping that the warder coming to kill her and they running away because of that. Surely they could have solved it without "running away"
    – Arcane
    Sep 23, 2016 at 5:27

A Warder is no ordinary man! He has special capabilities that allow him a type of invisibility and a resistance to weather. His bond also gives him unnatural strength and agility making him far more capable than most other men. His superior skills with sword-fighting and combat are unmatched. It is exactly because of the fact that these enhanced skills and strengths can only come from an Aes Sedai that any Aes Sedai would be wary!

  • This doesn't seem to answer the question asked
    – Valorum
    Dec 3, 2016 at 10:59
  • This could be turned into an answer to the question if you made the argument that Eldrith was too afraid of her Warder's abilities to risk using Compulsion on him. Please could you edit to better address the question asked?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 3, 2016 at 12:04

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