Pronunciation: CAD-soo-ain meh-LIE-drihn

An Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah.

Physical Description#

She has nearly black eyes and wears her iron gray hair in a bun. (NS,Ch17) Her iron gray hair is worn in a bun with many gold ornaments. (ACoS,Ch18) She is 5'5" and handsome with a fair complexion. (Robert Jordan's notes)

Cadsuane Melaidhrin by Richard Boyé

Points of View#

See Cadsuane's chapter points of view.

Chronology (Possible Spoilers)#

Before the Series#

  • Cadsuane is thought to have been born about 705 NE in Ghealdan. However, she was really born in Far Madding. (A Crown of Swords,Glossary, WH,Ch25)
  • Cadsuane goes to the White Tower at age fifteen. She spends six years as novice and five as Accepted, largely because of her stubbornness and arrogance. (Robert Jordan's notes)
  • Cadsuane is raised to the shawl at age twenty-six, circa 731 NE. (Robert Jordan's notes)
  • Shortly after attaining the shawl, Cadsuane is taught a humbling lesson by Norla, a toothless wilder in the Black Hills. (WH,Ch34, CoT,Ch23)
  • In 758 NE, Cadsuane kidnaps the Amyrlin Seat, Myriam Copan, and teaches her strength. (Robert Jordan's notes)
  • In 846 NE Cadsuane is elected Sitter for the Green Ajah but she refuses to accept. (Robert Jordan's notes)
  • In 862 NE Cadsuane is elected as Captain-General of the Green Ajah but again she refuses to accept. (Robert Jordan's notes)
  • Despite their intense dislike for each other, when Cadsuane discovers a plot against the Amyrlin Sereille Bagand she brings the ringleaders to justice. (Robert Jordan's notes)
  • After the death of Sereille Bagand in 890 NE, Cadsuane learns that the Hall is considering her for Amyrlin and she leaves the White Tower for ten years. (Robert Jordan's notes)
  • Even though she is Green Ajah, over the years she faces more than twenty men who can channel, more than any four Reds. (ACoS,Ch18, WH,Ch34)
  • Cadsuane officially retires circa 950 NE and returns to northern Ghealdan. (Robert Jordan's notes)
  • Cadsuane comes out of retirement for a brief period at the beginning of the Aiel War then disappears again. (ACoS,Ch19)
  • Cadsuane teaches Aleis Barsalla an embarrassing lesson when she visits Far Madding during the Aiel War. (WH,Ch24)
  • Cadsuane arrives at The Gates of Heaven in Canluum. She grills Moiraine then orders Merean and Larelle to accompany her to Chachin. (NS,Ch17)
  • Larelle, Merean and Cadsuane wear their shawls in the common room of The Gates of Heaven. That night she checks on Moiraine in her room but Moiraine sneaks out, escaping her. (NS,Ch18)
  • Cadsuane somehow learns of the rebirth of the Dragon and that Moiraine and Siuan are searching for him. She arranges for her eyes-and-ears to watch them. She begins researching the Tower library and discovers the problem with Callandor. (TPoD,Ch27, WH,Ch13)

Beginning of Series#


Far Madding#



Field of Merrilor#

Other References (Possible Spoilers)#

  1. In New Spring
    1. NS,Ch17 - Cadsuane is the strongest Aes Sedai in the past thousand years.
    2. NS,Ch17 - She kidnapped a king of Tarabon who could channel. She kidnapped the king of Arad Doman and queen of Saldaea to stop a war.
    3. NS,Ch17 - After the Aiel War Cadsuane has two graying Warder.
    4. NS,Ch19 - Moiraine sneaks out of The Gates of Heaven because Cadsuane might have servants watching for her.
    5. NS,Ch25 - Moiraine thinks Cadsuane is Black Ajah.
    6. NS,Epilogue - Moiraine shares her suspicion of Cadsuane with Siuan.
  2. In A Crown of Swords
    1. ACoS,Ch18 - Even though she is Green Ajah she has faced more men who can channel than any four Reds.
    2. ACoS,Ch19 - Cadsuane helped capture both Logain and Taim. Logain nearly in her backyard (Ghealdan) was what brought her out of retirement.
    3. ACoS,Ch19 - It has been over 270 years since she took on a task she could not accomplish.
    4. ACoS,Ch33 - Rand has nightmares about Cadsuane telling him about hearing voices.
    5. ACoS,Ch33 - Rand tells Min he is afraid Cadsuane is right about him being mad. Min asks who Cadsuane is.
    6. ACoS,Ch36 - Cadsuane likes Amys and wants to meet Sorilea.
    7. ACoS,Ch41 - Min has a viewing that Cadsuane will teach Rand and the Asha'man something they need to know.
    8. Glossary - Men she brings to the White Tower to tend to live markedly longer after being gentled than those brought by other sisters.
  3. In The Path of Daggers
    1. TPoD,Prologue - Verin questions the Aes Sedai prisoners three days after Cadsuane's arrival. Verin wonders what Cadsuane is doing.
    2. TPoD,Ch12 - There are numerous mentions of the ornaments Cadsuane wears in her hair and how careful she is with them.
    3. TPoD,Ch12 - Cadsuane considered bonding Rand herself or forcing Alanna to pass the bond to her, but Alanna's utter lack of control over Rand made her reconsider.
    4. TPoD,Ch21 - Rand is anxious to get back to Cairhien to deal with the Sea Folk and Cadsuane.
    5. TPoD,Ch29 - Rand, Min and Morr leave Rand's quarters to pay a call on Cadsuane just before the explosion occurs.
  4. In Winters Heart
    1. WH,Prologue - Rand thinks Cadsuane is holding Ailil Riatin and Shalon just as she is holding Caraline Damodred and Darlin Sisnera.
  5. In Crossroads of Twilight
    1. CoT,Ch12 - Elayne receives a report that the Aes Sedai at The Silver Swan mentioned Cadsuane's name.
    2. CoT,Ch18 - Siuan has an agent in Cairhien keeping tabs on Cadsuane. Siuan thinks she might be a Darkfriend.
  6. In Knife of Dreams
    1. KoD,Ch7 - Setalle Anan thinks Cadsuane has a ter'angreal much like the foxhead medallion.
    2. KoD,Ch19 - Loial thinks it is strange that Cadsuane knows his mother.
    3. KoD,Ch22 - Harine thinks that if she could survive Cadsuane she can survive anything.
    4. KoD,Ch24 - After a frustrating session with Egwene, Adelorna thinks she would be a challenge even for Cadsuane.
    5. KoD,Ch25 - When Talmanes mentions Rand, Mat sees colors whirl then an image of Rand talking to an Aes Sedai with her gray hair in a bun.
  7. In The Gathering Storm
    1. TGS,Ch11 - Melaine praises Aviendha's action putting out the fire saying no Aes Sedai save Cadsuane could have done it.
    2. TGS,Ch15 - Rand says he will have to use balefire to destroy the Forsaken despite Cadsuane's warning.
    3. TGS,Ch22 - Semirhage does not understand how Cadsuane could humiliate her so thoroughly.
    4. TGS,Ch29 - Rand found the male access key in Cadsuane's rooms and carries it with him.
    5. TGS,Ch33 - Rand can accept Nynaeve who truly cares for him, unlike Cadsuane who only cares about the Last Battle.
    6. TGS,Ch39 - Cadsuane is not on Verin's list of Black Ajah members.
    7. TGS,Ch47 - When Rand learns that it was Cadsuane who brought Tam he goes into a rage and nearly kills Tam.
  8. In Towers of Midnight
    1. ToM,Ch3 - When Egwene asks Rand what happened to him, he says that Cadsuane set him on the right path, but by accident.

Robert Jordan's Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

The following is an excerpt from Robert Jordan's notes on Cadsuane. It was published for The Great Hunt, part of the publicity for the release and signing tour for Brandon Sanderson's 'The Alloy of Law' in November 2011.

Cadsuane Melaidhrin#

Cadsuane Melaidhrin was born in 705 NE in the city-state of Far Madding. At the age of fifteen, she went to the White Tower. There she spent six years as a novice and five years as Accepted. She might have moved faster as novice and Accepted - in fact almost certainly should have - but she was noted for both her stubbornness and her pride (read arrogance). At age 26, she was raised Aes Sedai and chose the Green Ajah.

Cadsuane was very strong in the One Power; for many years she served as the gauge by which every incoming novice was judged. In the last thousand years, no one had matched her and few had come close. Certainly no one in that time had exceeded her. Not even with her full strength yet, she was, on the very day she attained the shawl, at the pinnacle of the Aes Sedai social hierarchy.

She stood about 5'5" tall and was neither slender nor stout. She was not pretty, but she was strikingly handsome with a fair complexion. She had dark eyes, which some people occasionally mistook for black, especially when she was focused on them in an unpleasant fashion. Her hair became iron-gray, and she wore it in a bun on top of her head; the bun was decorated with small dangling golden ornaments, stars and moons and birds and fish. These hair ornaments were considered something of a trademark because she had worn them for as long as anyone could remember. For many sisters, the fact that she had was just one more indication of how set in her ways she was; they thought Cadsuane would never change, could never change. Of course, this was far from true; Cadsuane was remarkably adaptable, as befits someone who survived as long as she.

Cadsuane was considered by many to be a second Caraighan Maconar, although unlike Caraighan Maconar, she always refused offices. She preferred the field, so to speak; adventures were her bag. It was said that Cadsuane went through more Warders than most sisters have shoes; she didn't have all that many, since she was as vulnerable to the effects of a Warder's death as anyone else. Later in life, she refused to take another Warder because she felt that at her age, bonding a Warder would not be fair to the man.

Cadsuane first refused to be raised a Sitter in 846 NE; she reportedly did so a second time as well, though even on refusal was unheard of. She refused to be raised head of the Green Ajah in 862 NE, another thing that was unheard of. She was said to have vanished from the Tower for ten years (from roughly 890 NE to 900 NE) when she learned that the Hall intended to raise her Amyrlin after Sereille Bagand. She retired to northern Ghealdan about twenty-five years before the Aiel War, but came out of retirement, with her two surviving Warders, for that conflict. Soon after the Aiel War ended, she returned to her rustication. She claimed to have been raising roses when Logain appeared. His appearance drew her out of retirement again, but she was not interested in escorting him to Tar Valon and decided to wander a bit. Then Mazrim Taim rose up, and she headed for Saldaea as fast as she could ride.

When Siuan Sanche and Moiraine Damodred had reason to research Cadsuane because of their encounter with her shortly after reaching the shawl, they found many stories regarding Cadsuane. All of the ones that they were able to trace down turned out to be true, but in some cases the truth was more than the story. They were not able to follow or confirm all of the stories, of course.

One of the most prevalent Cadsuane stories was that she had once physically assaulted an Amyrlin Seat. Since physically assaulting any sister is a serious offense - and an Amyrlin even more so - the fact that Cadsuane apparently escaped any punishment at all, and that the tale is vague about which Amyrlin it was supposed to be, made most everyone think this story was false. It wasn't; it was the method Cadsuane used to turn Myriam Copan from a weak Amyrlin to a strong one in 758 NE. Myriam was thought to have gone on a two-month retreat by herself, but she had, in fact, been all but kidnaped by Cadsuane. Turning Myriam around involved, among other things, turning her upside down at least once. Although Myriam certainly had reason to keep the events of those two months secret (she was able to make a statement which seemed to deny that Cadsuane had assaulted her), it is the basis of the tale that Cadsuane once physically assaulted an Amyrlin.

Another story said that long ago she had removed a sitting king from his palace and taken him to Tar Valon to be gentled. In truth, Cadsuane had -a nose- for men who can channel. She faced more of them than any other sister living; she herself said more than any two Reds, maybe more than any ten. This seems to indicate at least twenty of them in that time, maybe more. She brought more of them to Tar Valon than any other sister. Of these, she never had to kill one, either because she could not capture him or because he was trying to escape. These men have ranged over the years from farmboys to nobles to the king of Tarabon, but one and all, they made much better adjustments to their fate than is considered normal. They eventually died short of a normal span, but they lived considerably longer than usual. For that King of Tarabon: he had to be winkled out of his palace, avoiding his army, which sought to rescue him. She carried him all the way to Tar Valon for gentling by herself, though pursued by his army that refused to believe that he was what he was.

It was also said that she kidnaped a King of Arad Doman and a Queen of Saldaea. After she released them, a war that had seemed inevitable simply faded away. She did actually spank or switch three reigning kings and four queens, though the facts of these are hidden in rumor.

Cadsuane is alleged to have once single-handedly stopped a coup in the White Tower. That did happen, though no one seems to know or agree on when. The true story: Cadsuane and Sereille Bagand did not get on with each other. In fact, they could not stand one another. Each was the sort of woman who dominated a room - or for that matter, a city! - by simply entering, and they struck sparks at every meeting. Despite her dislike for Sereille, though, Cadsuane uncovered a plot to overthrow Sereille and crushed it. The plotters thought she would be eager to join them, but she dragged the weeping ringleaders to Sereille and made them throw themselves on Sereille's rather small mercies. Sereille was not particularly pleased to have been saved - the plot was well laid out and ready to leap off - by one she so disliked.

She had a reputation for standing White Tower custom on its head, twisting it as she chose, and even violating it outright, as in her frank speech about age, her direct questions and refusals to accept oblique answers, and her interference in the actions of other sisters. The same could be said of her regarding Tower law, for that matter. She had a reputation for taking direct action, even to the point of violence, slapping faces, boxing ears, and more (especially when faced with what she considered stupidity), with high as often as low, or rather, more often. She also had a reputation for not caring whether she dented somebody's pride, if she thought it necessary.

There are the usual tales expected of a Green, only more of them. Riots suppressed and wars stopped single-handedly; rulers steadied on their thrones, or pulled from them, sometimes toppled openly and sometimes more subtly (toppling rulers was something Aes Sedai had not really done much of in the last thousand years, but Cadsuane seemed in many ways a throwback). Rescuing people carried into the Blight or kidnaped by dangerous bands of Darkfriends, breaking up murderous rings of Darkfriends plaguing villages and towns, and exposing of powerful Darkfriends who tried to kill her to protect themselves. There are dozens, even hundreds, of improbable and sometimes seemingly impossible tales.

Some of these are not so much tales about her as an impression, a belief: Cadsuane will do what she intends to do, and no one can stop her: not a king or a queen, not an Amyrlin - not even the Dark One himself, some claimed. And when Rand al'Thor arose to power as the Dragon Reborn, Cadsuane once again chose to take part in directing the events of the world.