In the Wheel Of Time series, polygamy is significant not only to the main character's story arc, but also an entire culture (the Aiel).

What is its significance?

My girlfriend is convinced that it's just some old guy's fantasy, not an important plot point. I feel like Robert Jordan wouldn't have included it if there weren't a deeper meaning, but I haven't found anything to really explain it.

Are there any interviews with Robert Jordan, his wife Hariet, or Brandon Sanderson that even allude to the inclusion of this phenomenon? Is it a reference to any particular culture out of universe?

If there is no such reference for the Aiel culture in general, what about Rand in particular? He ends up loving three women. Is this part of the story pulled from any specific legends/myths? Does it tie into the plot in any central way? It's interesting that there are also three central ta'veren, but that could be mere coincidence.

  • 5
    well jordan is clearly a little sexist, but alot of cultures have polygamy and he included alot of cultures in his righting
    – Himarm
    Feb 1 '17 at 2:55
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    @CHEESE - all of them, I think.
    – Radhil
    Feb 1 '17 at 3:13
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    @revenant Are you sure about that? I don't remember any Aiel women having multiple husbands.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 1 '17 at 13:51
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    "just some old-guy's fantasy, not an important plot point. I feel like Robert Jordan wouldn't have included it if there weren't a deeper meanings" It doesn't have to be either. Polygamy is a thing that exists. Feb 1 '17 at 19:00
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    There is an Aes Sedai near the end of Crossroads Of Twilight who is rumored to marry "all her warders", so it's not entirely about men marrying multiple women. Feb 9 '17 at 22:24

The point is that Rand was the Dragon Reborn - a character so important to history (his original sealed the Dark One's prison, causing all male One Source-users to go mad with the counterattack and founding the Aes Sedai), that many women would want to be part of his life, to marry him. So Rand had to live up to the expectations of history of the Dragon Reborn, and women trying to become part of the Dragon Reborn's life for the power it would give them, for love, etc. Don't forget that several kingdoms in the lands were promised to the Dragon Reborn, should he return, and thus Rand became embroiled in political intrigues.

It's important to the plot of Wheel of Time because to control Rand would be to have some control over The Final Battle for that person's group - Aes Sedai, a kingdom, the desert dwellers, etc. Several people wanted to make sure Rand would spare their family or kingdom from The Final Battle, just in case. And let the Wheel of Time roll on again afterwards.

Personally I believe it is believable that a person like Rand, so pivotal to history, would have women trying to marry him for that sole reason.

  • 2
    None of the women who end up loving him do so for personal gain. It doesn't add up as an explanation. Mar 20 '17 at 14:55

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