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Note: Apologies, but there is no way to ask this question without revealing major spoilers.

In the Wheel of Time series, it's revealed that Thom Merrilin was once the lover of Morgase, queen of Andor. By the time of Book 4 (The Shadow Rising), Elayne Trakand starts to remember that Thom was present for the first several years of her life. Afterwards, their relationship is often described as that of a father and daughter, with Thom taking great pride in her accomplishments & skill. It is also mentioned that Morgase's marriage to Tarangail Damondred - supposedly the father of both Gawyn and Elayne - was loveless and somewhat strained. It is never said exactly when, however, Morgase's affair with Thom began. And lastly, Elayne is never described as having any of her father's features (unlike Gawyn), but only Morgase's. This all leads to the question...

Is there any indication in the Wheel of Time series that Thom Merrilin could be the biological father of Elayne Trakand, or was he simply Morgase's lover for a time?

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No, he's not her father. The story seems to hint at that a bit, but the timeline doesn't line up.

In particular, in The Shadow Rising, Moiraine is showing off how much she knows about Thom, and she claims that he was:

Courtbard at the Palace of Andor in Caemlyn. Morgase's lover for a time, after Taringail died.

If we take her at her word, then Elayne was born before Thom became Morgase's lover, so he can't be her father. It's possible that Morgase was just covering up Elayne's parentage to protect her, but that kind of thing would be very hard to keep quiet about in a royal court -- there would at least be rumors. And if there were rumors and/or any doubt, and Moiraine knew it, she wouldn't be able to make such a statement without hedging her words a bit.

I believe there's at least one POV chapter from Morgase where she also thinks about Taringails "two children", and obviously she would know.


Out of universe; Robert Jordan explicitly said Thom was not Elayne's father at one of his book signings:

QUESTION

Is Thom Elayne and Gawyn's real father?

ROBERT JORDAN

No. Absolutely no. No question about it. No. No. No. Thom is exactly who he says he is.

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