In the Old Tongue, Aes Sedai means “servants of mankind,” and the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends lived up to this definition. As scientists, healers, and philosophers of the period, they helped humanity. Unlike the Aes Sedai of modern times, the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends are considered to be more powerful, or at least more knowledgeable. Be that as it may, the Aes Sedai, both old and new, are divided into groups called Ajah.
Ajah is the name given to seven different groups in the Aes Sedai community. These seven groups are the Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, White, Gray, and Brown Ajahs. Each Ajah has its own purposes and rules and is led by its own leader.
In the continuation of this article, we are going to elaborate further, explaining every detail about the Ajah that you need to know. We’re going to answer some relevant questions, provide additional in-universe details and explain some phenomena that might be puzzling for you.
How Many Aes Sedai Colors Are There?
In the Age of Legends, ajah denoted a group of people who came together for a specific purpose. This expression continued for several centuries after the Breaking. There were more ajah when the White Tower was founded than there are now. Elisane Tishar is considered the first Amyrlin Seat of the modern era.
After 98 KS, the number of ajas decreased to the present number – seven. However, it is not known whether the aims of these seven ajah today are the same as their aims at the time of establishment, and the aims of the disappeared ajah. After 2 KS, the word Ajah became a proper name and its use with lowercase letters disappeared.
Today, the Aes Sedai are divided into seven Ajah with different duties. These groups have members in the governing councils, their own managers or administrators, their own ideology and aims, as well as most of them their own informants.
Each Ajah has its own traditions. These traditions can be about daily life, or they can be about what to wear in the White Tower. Each Accepted joins an Ajah. Among those who were accepted, no one wanted to join an Ajah and was rejected until today.
The Amyrlin Seat is not affiliated with an Ajah. Officially, it belongs to all Ajah and not to any Ajah at all. However, in the White Tower, some important duties, such as Novice Warden and Chronicler, are given to Aes Sedai, including the Ajah where the Amyrlin Seat was trained.
Aes Sedai Colors Explained
In this section, we are going to explain all of the seven Ajah colors, as well as tell you something about the enigmatic Black Ajah.
The Red Ajah of the Aes Sedai is dedicated to looking for males with the ability to channel the One Power, capture them and take them to the White Tower, where they must be tamed. Red sisters generally have no friends outside of their Ajah, and after ascending to the shawl they are often forced to abandon any non-Ajah friendships.
Among its customs, what specifically stands out is prohibiting the connection of Wardens between its members. The leader of the Red Ajah receives the title of the Highest.
The Red Ajah are the Ajah with the largest number of sisters, with about one in five of the Aes Sedai. Considering that there are about a thousand Aes Sedai, the total number of Red sisters has to be around 200.
Likewise, the Red Ajah is the one with the most members of the Black Ajah hidden among its ranks, with up to 48 names having been discovered, although until now, only 5 sisters have been identified by their proper names throughout the novels.
The Green Ajah of the Aes Sedai stand ready to fight in the front row in the Last Battle, the Tarmon Gai’don, in which the forces of Light will definitively confront the Dark One once he has freed himself from his prison. They are often called the Battle Ajah, especially in light of their performances in the Trolloc War, and their members are regarded as excellent generals and intelligent strategists.
The Green sisters can bind as many Wardens as they wish, something no other Ajah can do. Their leader receives the title of Captain-General. During the Trolloc War, the Green Ajah participated very actively, joining all the battles that he could and fighting as equals the Lords of Dread recruited by the Shadow.
The ancient green sisters were known for their bravery and combat skills, superior to those of any other Aes Sedai, and the Dreadlords and Shadowpawn were quick to learn and fear them. There are many legendary figures in the Green Ajah, considered the ideal that any sister should strive for.
Among them, Caraighan Maconar and Rashima Kerenmosa stand out, who has gone down in history as the “Warrior Amyrlin”. Cadsuane Melaidhrin is also among the few legendary Greens, considered a role model not only by her Ajah but also by others, even though she is still alive.
The Ajah Gray of the Aes Sedai are devoted to politics, negotiation, diplomacy, and meditation. Their members dedicate their lives to seeking harmony and consensus among the rest of humanity, and very often they become mediators, ambassadors, or advisers to rulers. The leader of the Gray Ajah receives the title of Head Clerk.
The Gray Sisters maintain that mediation and negotiation are their exclusive domain, a prerogative of the Ajah, who always tries to ignore others in this regard. They know the laws of all countries quite well, and are firmly convinced that any problem can be solved by talking, even if this requires much more time than any leader can afford.
The purpose of the Gray Ajah is not only to write treaties and seek concord among nations, but also to establish laws and other codes of norms, as well as to act as impartial judges in the event of conflicts.
Another aspect of the Gray Ajah is the investigation, the search for criminals and making them answer to justice for their faults. Last but not least, the Gray sisters are also engaged in meditation and seeking a state of tranquility with oneself in communion with the rest of the world.
The Brown Ajah of the Aes Sedai are dedicated to knowledge and the gathering of wisdom. In general, their members abandon all interest in worldly things and devote themselves body and soul to study and history, in such a way that they are solely responsible for the Great Library of the White Tower, among many other tasks.
The Brown Ajah are governed by the Brown Ajah Council, where a leader without an official title, often informally called the First Chair, has greater prominence.
In general, the Aes Sedai belonging to the Brown Ajah are easily recognizable by their dreamy and thoughtful nature, which often causes them to remain oblivious to what is happening around them and lose themselves in their own thoughts.
However, there are times when these daydreams are nothing more than a mask used by some Browns, who can quickly show enormous interest in something in particular before recomposing their gesture and pretending nothing had happened.
Of all the Aes Sedai, the Brown ones are the least concerned about their outward appearance, in such a way that they tend to opt for comfortable wool dresses, not very elegant and often full of ink stains.
The Yellow Ajah of the Aes Sedai are focused above all on the study and development of Healing, a valuable Talent in which the Yellow sisters far surpass the members of the other Ajahs. The leader of the Yellow Ajah receives the title of First Weaver.
The Yellow sisters are known for their great self-confidence, even higher than other Aes Sedai. Although they care about helping others and are quick to render their services, it is often said that they tend to be very conceited and care about their appearance and physical presence.
The rooms of the Yellow Ajah in the White Tower are recognizable by the large number of ornaments that curdle its walls and corridors and its ornate decoration. Healing is a Talent that not all Aes Sedai possess, but it is considered an essential requirement to be able to be part of the Yellow Ajah. The best healers are the Yellow Sisters, who are said to always try to heal whatever they come across.
However, the members of the Yellow Ajah not only stand out for their ability in Healing, but also for their desire to help others. In fact, a Yellow does not have to be skilled in handling the One Power, but only to be passionate about improving things or people.
The Blue Ajah of the Aes Sedai are focused on seeking and defending justice and just causes, understanding as such what the sister herself considers an object of interest. Despite being one of the smallest Ajah, Blue Ajah are tremendously influential both inside and outside the White Tower, and much of their prestige derives from having the largest network of eyes-and-ears (informants).
The leader of the Blue Ajah is known as the First Selector.
All Ajah have their own internal traditions and norms, which are not known to the Aes Sedai of another Ajah.
Although practically all of these customs are ignored, some of the Blue Ajah have become known and are, for example: never wear red inside the White Tower, although gems of that hue are allowed; ear blue on the first day of each month; wear blue socks when leaving Tar Valon; refrain from getting married; congratulate any new Blue sister with a welcome kiss, and that the new Aes Sedai must bake a cake for the sixth sister who greets her.
There are weaves of the One Power that have been discovered by an Ajah and their nature has not transcended beyond him. Inside the Blue Ajah there are some secret weaves, of which two have been identified.
The White Ajah of the Aes Sedai are exclusively dedicated to the fields of philosophy, logic, and reason, imposing all these matters on any interest in the external world and human emotions, to the point of being the only Ajah that lacks informants and spies service. Although they can bind a Weaver if it is his wish, the White sisters rarely do so.
The leader of the White Ajah receives the title of First Reasoner.
The Aes Sedai of the White Ajah disdain the social implications that define the Blue, Gray, Red, and Green Ajah, and do not devote their time to the knowledge that their Brown sisters and even the Yellow ones seek. It is said that in their hearts there is no room for passion, and that their only interest is the search for the truth.
They are well known for their serenity, coolness and calm, and are often described as cold and emotionless beings. While many of the Aes Sedai tend to wear the colors of their Ajah, among the White sisters this becomes the norm.
All of them wear white, or at least they wear this color in a conspicuous way, although in the rest of the world this means mourning. When an Aes Sedai of the White Ajah is in mourning, she expresses it by wearing black bows or ribbons in her hair or on her arms.
The Black Ajah are secret Ajah of the Aes Sedai, formed exclusively by the Darkfiend who, under the guise of Aes Sedai belonging to other Ajah, have actually managed to deny the Three Oaths and serve the Dark One in body and soul.
The group’s existence has been a constant rumor for centuries, but the White Tower has vehemently denied such a thing, and any Aes Sedai shows obvious anger if anyone dares to hint that there may be a Black Ajah. However, as a result of several events in recent months, it has been shown that Black Ajah is a real threat that must be taken very seriously.
The Black Ajah is led by a Supreme Council, also called the Great Council, made up of thirteen Aes Sedai who meet in such a way that each one does not know the identity of the rest. If a member of the Council dies, another is promoted in her place, in such a way that the number thirteen is always kept constant.
The Supreme Council of the Black Ajah is led by a woman, the only one who knows the identities of each and every one of the Black sisters.