|In Defense of Elaida
Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan is one of the most unpopular characters in the books. No one seems to realise quite the extent of the good deeds that she has done, if inadvertently, during the course of her reign as Amyrlin.
Elaida’s actions in deposing and stilling Siuan and Leane led directly to the revolutionary discovery of a way to Heal severing. Similarly, it led to the recovery of Logain, thus strengthening the Black Tower.
Elaida’s actions in attempting to kidnap Rand have led to a total of fourteen Aes Sedai swearing fealty to the Dragon Reborn.
Elaida’s actions in attempting to kidnap Rand led to the second-in-command of the Black Ajah being totally broken and humiliated.
Elaida’s actions in attempting to kidnap Elayne and Nynaeve led to the discovery of forkroot, thus the capture of Moghedien, thus the gaining of knowledge from the Age of Legends by the rebel Aes Sedai.
See? Elaida’s not so bad after all. And in addition to these results, Elaida has also performed two unheard of feats!
Siuan wants to kill Elaida - slowly and painfully. Toveine wants to kill Elaida - slowly and painfully. Elaida has actually managed to make the Blue and Red Ajahs agree with each other!
But even that pales beside her latest efforts. Not only does Toveine want to kill Elaida, so does every single Asha’man! That’s right, people, Elaida has done something as seemingly impossible as healing severing or successfully unravelling a weave. Elaida has miraculously united the Red Ajah and the Black Tower - against her.
What other Amyrlin Seat has ever achieved such success? Rashima, Deane, Gerra, Sereille - their feats are as nothing beside what Elaida has done for the Tower in her short span as Amyrlin. Ladies and gentlemen, nobles all, let us raise our glasses and drink a toast.
To Elaida. May her achievements continue!
No doubt some of you thought this was a serious essay - along the
lines of ‘In Defense of Latra Posae’ or ‘In Defense of the Red Ajah’. I
do intend to write more serious ‘Defense’ essays - I consider defending
unpopular characters a challenge - but even I have limits, and Elaida’s
position is, currently, indefensible.