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In the Prologue of Book 2 (The Great Hunt), there is a meeting between Friends of the Dark who receive orders about Rand, Mat and Perrin. They are all masked and disguised in order to conceal themselves to one other.

Do we ever find out who they are?

Here is an excerpt describing some of the Darkfriends (bold numbering is mine):

(1) The man who called himself Bors [...]

(2) A woman standing before a gold-and-crimson wall hanging, speaking softly to a (3) figure—impossible to say whether it was man or woman—cloaked and hooded in gray. She had obviously chosen the spot because the colors of the tapestry set off her garb. Doubly foolish to draw attention to herself, for her scarlet dress, cut low in the bodice to show too much flesh and high at the hem to display golden slippers, marked her from Illian, and a woman of wealth, perhaps even of noble blood.

Not far beyond the Illianer, (4) another woman stood, alone and admirably silent. With a swan’s neck and lustrous black hair falling in waves below her waist, she kept her back to the stone wall, observing everything. No nervousness there, only serene self-possession. Very admirable, that, but her coppery skin and her creamy, high-necked gown—leaving nothing but her hands uncovered, yet clinging and only just barely opaque, so that it hinted at everything and revealed nothing—marked her just as clearly of the first blood of Arad Doman. And unless the man who called himself Bors missed his guess entirely, the wide golden bracelet on her left wrist bore her House symbols. [...]

(5) A man in a high-collared, sky-blue Shienaran coat passed him with a wary, head-to-toe glance through the eyeholes of his mask. The man’s carriage named him soldier; the set of his shoulders, the way his gaze never rested in one place for long, and the way his hand seemed ready to dart for a sword that was not there, all proclaimed it. [...]

(6) Even a Tinker, in bright green breeches and a virulent yellow coat.

[...] (7) a High Lord of Tear, [...] (8) high officer in the Andoran Queen’s Guards. (9) A slender fellow—slender even in a floor-dragging black robe and an anonymous gray cloak caught with a plain silver pin—watched from the shadows of his deep cowl. He could be anyone, from anywhere . . . except for the six-pointed star tattooed on the web between thumb and forefinger of his right hand. One of the Sea Folk then, and a look at his left hand would show the marks of his clan and line.

[...] (10) a woman enveloped in black till nothing showed but her fingers. On her right hand rested a gold ring in the shape of a serpent eating its own tail. Aes Sedai, or at least a woman trained in Tar Valon by Aes Sedai. [...] (11) another woman swathed from head to toe in black and wearing a Great Serpent ring.

Here are my guesses:

1. Jaichim Carridin
4. Graendal
5. Ingtar
7. Karede? (but he's a peddler, not a Tinker)
10. & 11. Liandrin / Galina Casban / Alviarin

Musings: #2 and #3 are possibly associates even outside this meeting. In fact, if they didn't know each other I doubt they would talk to another and risk to reveal their identity. Moreover, if they didn't work together but had simply recognized the each other, I doubt they would talk together and waste the tactical advantage of knowing the other's real identity.

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  • 6
    Oooh, this is a question I've long been planning to ask. Nice one. (I doubt your guess for #4 though - one of the Forsaken wouldn't stoop to hanging out with humble Darkfriends.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 11, 2017 at 18:17
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    wot.wikia.com/wiki/Darkfriend_Social names Carridin, Liandrin, and Ingtar. encyclopaedia-wot.org/books/tgh/prologue.html confirms this and suggests Weiramon and Daved Hanlon as candidates for 7 and 8.
    – straycat
    Jul 11, 2017 at 22:45
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    @Randal'Thor I'd say Moghedien is not above a good stoop from time to time, but otherwise I concur. :) Moreover, it probably wouldn't even work out logistically for any of the Forsaken to be present: most were still asleep, and the rest had no network of Darkfriends to provide intel yet.
    – David H
    Jul 21, 2017 at 12:15
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    Carridin is identified as Bors several times, for instance, in A Crown of Swords (chapter 15) when speaking with Shiaine.
    – Giuseppe
    Nov 17, 2017 at 15:26
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    Honestly, I don't think it mattered to Jordan who these people were. The scene was meant more to illustrate how Darkfriends were in every culture, from every walk of life.
    – Omegacron
    Apr 11, 2018 at 14:16

3 Answers 3

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We can speculate on the identity but the actual answer to your question is: No. We are never directly told who these people are.

Spoilers follow.

To add or confirm your guesses:

- 1 Bors is Jaichim Carridin
- 7 The High Lord Of Tear is Weiramon Saniago, he is the only male High Lord that is positively identified as a darkfriend.
- 10. & 11. Liandrin / Galina Casban / Alviarin or Verin

I don't think that any of the gathered people would have been members of the Forsaken. At this time the Chosen were not following orders of Ishamael as is shown when Perrin spies Lanfear and Ishamael talking in the world of dreams in Book 3.

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Some we know, some we can guess as likely. I think the main purpose of this chapter is to show the darkfriends can be found anywhere, rather than to hint of darkfriend characters that will appear later. (Jordan probably hadn't thought that far ahead this early on in the books.)

I found this brief fragment from an interview (https://www.theoryland.com):

Interview: Jul 14th, 2005 ComicCon Reports (Paraphrased)
Question
In The Great Hunt prologue, do you know who all the Darkfriends are and are there clues for us?

Robert Jordan
He knows who some of them are. Others are generic. For the identified ones there are clues for us only for a scant handful.

I'm writing this answer from memory and brief research so I might be missing to pin-point some of them:


  • (1) The man who called himself Bors [...]

    Jaichim Carridin

  • 2,3,4) I can't come up with anyone fitting these descriptions, assuming they are indeed noblewomen from Ilian and Arad Doman. There would be some Black Ajah fitting the descriptions though.

  • (5) A man in a high-collared, sky-blue Shienaran coat passed him with a wary, head-to-toe glance through the eyeholes of his mask. The man’s carriage named him soldier; the set of his shoulders, the way his gaze never rested in one place for long, and the way his hand seemed ready to dart for a sword that was not there, all proclaimed it.

    Ingtar Shinowa.

  • (6) Even a Tinker, in bright green breeches and a virulent yellow coat.

    I can't recall any known Tuatha'an darkfriends.

  • (7) a High Lord of Tear,

    (major spoiler)

    Weiramon Saniago. He is the only High Lord who is a darkfriend. We can tell this fairly certainly since Rand gets the ability to tell who are darkfriends late in the books and then exposes Weiramon, but only him of all High Lords in Tear.

  • (8) high officer in the Andoran Queen’s Guards.

    I'm only guessing:

    Could be Daved Hanlon but it's a bit far-fetched

  • (9) A slender fellow... /--/ One of the Sea Folk then

    I don't recall any male Atha'an Miere darkfriends.

  • (10) a woman enveloped in black till nothing showed but her fingers. On her right hand rested a gold ring in the shape of a serpent eating its own tail. Aes Sedai, or at least a woman trained in Tar Valon by Aes Sedai. [...] (11) another woman swathed from head to toe in black and wearing a Great Serpent ring.

    This could be any Black Ajah and there are plenty to pick from. However, WoT wiki claims that one of them is:

    Liandrin. That she was present is supposedly later revealed in https://wot.fandom.com/wiki/The_Shadow_Rising/Chapter_38. It makes perfect sense though since she is a central character in The Great Hunt. The other would be one of her companions, but there is no way to tell.


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Wasn't #2 (Aludra) a Darkfriend? As soon as I saw that someone from Illian of noble blood was there, I thought of Aludra; I could be wrong, though.

I was not sure of the Domani woman, but I'd bet my bottom dollar the Aes Sedai (9 AND 10) are Sheriam and Liandrin. Again, I may be wrong, but I recall reading somewhere that it was confirmed by RJ that at least one of the women was Sheriam.

I think Aram was the #5, the Tinker. Wasn't it confirmed he was a Darkfriend?

I knew about #6, Weiramon, but was stumped on the rest.

The Domani woman could be Liandrin, as she was from there, but just chose to go not as Aes Sedai.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Please don't post your answers as questions; please develop your answer completely and post it as a statement. You should also include all the factual details that you are using as evidence.
    – DavidW
    Jan 4 at 20:02
  • Aludra is from Tarabon... and not a darkfriend. Aram is not a darkfriend.
    – Amarth
    Jan 4 at 22:09

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