In the first section of the Epilogue of Wheel of Time, when

"Rand" is carrying "Moridin" out of Shayol Ghul, he stumbles outside and he sees a figure leaning down to him.

We have the following passage:

He could...see, just faintly. A figure kneeling down beside him. "Yes," a woman whispered. He did not recognize the voice. "Yes, that's good. That is what you need to do."

She is described as being an woman with white hair, dressed in Aiel clothing. My original assumptions were Sorilea or Bair, but it is said he does not recognize the voice. Another possibility could maybe be

Nakomi, whom Aviendha meets on her way back to Rhuidean in Towers of Midnight. She is described as having greying hair.

Who is this mystery Aiel woman?

6 Answers 6


Brandon has been asked about this a lot on twitter and on tour, but cannot discuss the big mysteries from the Epilogue.

From Twitter on Jan 23, 2013:

[Asked about the Woman]

Brandon Sanderson:
I have been advised to RAFO questions regarding most everything from there on.


Brandon Sanderson:
This is one that I'm not answering, I'm afraid. RJ wanted some things about the ending to remain ambiguous.

Twitter transcript available on Theoryland, more detail and spoilers foor those who haven't read A Memory of Light on link.

But the most popular fan theory is that it was Nakomi, which (to my mind) has almost been confirmed by Brandon:

Who was the Aiel woman that Aviendha met on her trip to Rhuidean?

Brandon Sanderson
Nakomi. Also, RAFO, there's a hint in A Memory of Light.

(Later in the evening, he said that hint can be found between the chapter "The Last Battle" and the end of the book. He also said she came from deep in Jordan's notes, and he did not feel like he could give more information than that. Also, she might be explained in the encyclopedia, but no promises regarding that.)

From an interview transcript on theoryland. (Emphasis mine)

Other suggestions I've seen include:

  • Tigraine / Shaiel
  • The Avatar for the creator (as a version of Shadar Hairan was for the Dark One), occasionally mixed with the Nakomi idea.

I agree that the fact she isn't recognised, rules outone of the Wise Ones we've seen regularly in the series.

Unfortunately, the encyclopedia, The Wheel of Time Companion, sheds no extra light on the matter.

  • Very nice answer! I even read that Twitter Q&A, but the Aiel woman wasn't even on my mind until a friend pointed it out after the fact. Thanks!
    – Kyle S.
    Jan 25, 2013 at 20:12
  • I'm sorry, but what does RAFO mean?
    – acolyte
    Jan 31, 2013 at 18:03
  • 2
    @acolyte "Read and Find Out" - it was Robert Jordan's standard response to a question he couldn't answer yet, or we should be trying to figure out ourselves (by we I mean fandom). If you search the interview database at theoryland.com you get many many matches. On #torchat Brandon said this of the term Rafo - "To Jordan, RAFO didn’t always mean he was going to give the readers an answer. Rather, that he wanted readers to consider it on their own." Jan 31, 2013 at 18:47
  • @NikolaiDante that is awesome.
    – acolyte
    Jan 31, 2013 at 22:46
  • Much thanks to @CreationEdge for updating with info from the Wheel of Time Companion and making this answer more complete.
    – Kyle S.
    Nov 16, 2015 at 2:10

Another possibility is that the "Aiel" woman is Rand's mother. Yes, I know she's supposed to be dead, but it would explain other things too.


I like the Nakomi answer, but it still raises the question of "Who is Nakomi?" Perhaps,

Rand's mother Tigraine/Shaiel has been bound to the Wheel as one of the Heroes of the Horn of Valere. (Who was Valere?) As Olver was sounding the Horn in Thakan'dar at the time, the Heroes would have been present. What I don't like about this theory, is why would Tigraine appear old, as she had died as a relatively young woman, and even those like Hawkwing who would have died older, appear more youthful when the Horn calls them.


What about Miernin/Lanfear? Is there any chance her original Age of Legenda body would look like a current day Aiel? She was down at Shayol Ghul and may have returned to her more benevolent, original appearance.

  • 6
    Seems pretty unlikely considering that she was suffering from a rather severe case of broken neck at the time....
    – Beofett
    Feb 8, 2013 at 15:30

If the wheel turned and the bore was sealed once before the healer of the bore was a female. Possibly the woman was the female dragon that closed the bore the previous time.


I assumed that it was

Alivia, the Seanchan who was fated to help him die, because while Rand al'Thor didn't die at Shayol Ghul, the Dragon Reborn did.

  • 3
    Alivia is a Seanchan described as having golden hair with threads of white running through it and her face has fine lines at the corners of her eyes whom Rand knows. This is a visibly old woman with grey hair who looks like an Aiel who Rand doesn't recognize. Do you have any evidence to back up your claim?
    – Ishamael
    Jan 28, 2013 at 8:18
  • No more than the facts that she had to be involved over the next few minutes and he was near enough to death to be hallucinating.
    – rsegal
    Jan 28, 2013 at 13:09

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