Hoping for either good in-book evidence or perhaps an interview with the author, but I note that in the Wheel of Time series, there's a bit of an 'oops' played in the first three books in the series, where Rand al'Thor is mistaken for a borderland lord because his name has an "al'" in it, which is a royal appellation in the Borderlands, q.v. al'Lan Mandragoran.

It occurs to me that at least three of the Two Rivers main characters (him, Nynaeve al'Maera and Egwene al'Vere) have the same prefix to their surname, and that

All three characters actually end up being either royalty or quasi-royalty (Nynaeve the dispossessed Queen of Malkier, Egwene the Amyrlin which is a peer or even superior of kings and queens. Rand, of course, the Dragon Reborn and King of Illian. I note that Perrin winds up as a liege lord of a Queen but not actually royal himself (his agreement w/ Elayne preventing him from taking the throne of Saldaea himself) and Mat's position as consort to the Empress is clearly one where he is High Blood, but not actually her peer.

So I'm curious if there's any evidence that there's actually a connection, or not.

  • You might find this interesting
    – user31178
    Jul 24, 2017 at 23:53
  • Yep, seen that and a number of other versions over the years. I started the series when the first book was released and have reread it many times. Seems like I always have new thoughts every time I go through it.
    – Paul
    Jul 24, 2017 at 23:59
  • Can't imagine having started at book 1. By the time I started, 10 were already out and it already felt like it took forever and day for the series to finish. Anyway, off the top of my head I can't recall whether or not he ever clearly said he was intending to foreshadow, but many of his interviews give the impression that yeah, some of the parallels are predictable because he was sticking to the "structure" of certain mythos. Unfortunately, don't have the time to delve into a good answer right now.
    – user31178
    Jul 25, 2017 at 0:17
  • 1
    Ah, I misread. Well, none of the al'Caars, al'Dais, or al'Seens are notable noble or royalty. Couple Asha'Man and Aes'Sedai novices is all.
    – user31178
    Jul 25, 2017 at 3:16
  • 1
    Was it not well established by the end that there was still a lot of noble blood from Manetheren in the Two Rivers? I always assumed (or perhaps it was explicitly stated) that their names still carried the royal naming from when they were a great kingdom.
    – JMac
    Jul 31, 2017 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't consider this to be foreshadowing at all. The al' is merely a holdover from the culture of Manetheren. al' means 'son of'. Just as today Jurgensen is a surname and does not mean 'Son of Jurgen'.

  • 1
    I don't recall that from the books, can you cite this assertion?
    – Paul
    May 17, 2018 at 11:49
  • It's also possible that it's both a holdover from Manetheren AND foreshadowing.
    – Allball103
    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:19

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