|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2009)|
Elayne Trakand is one of the main characters of the Wheel of Time fantasy series by Robert Jordan. She bears a resemblance both in name and appearance to Ilyena, the doomed wife of Lews Therin Telamon from the Age of Legends.
She is described as exceedingly beautiful, about 5'7", with blue eyes and red-gold hair framing an oval face.
Life as Royalty
The youngest child and only daughter of Queen Morgase Trakand of Andor, Elayne grew up in the Royal Palace in Caemlyn. She was heir apparent throughout her childhood as only women can hold the Lion Throne of Andor. She is thus known as the Daughter-Heir of Andor and since the Knife of Dreams, is the Queen of Andor. Her personal sigil is a golden lily.
Elayne's first appearance in the series, in The Eye of The World, is when Rand al'Thor literally falls into the Royal Garden and makes acquaintances with Elayne, her older brother Gawyn Trakand and their half-brother Galad Damodred, and even Queen Morgase herself. Later in the series, it is revealed that Elayne fell in love with Rand at first sight. However, she was unable to follow Rand both due to her royal duties and because, as a daughter of House Trakand, she was required by tradition to train at the White Tower, though she was the only daughter heir in Andor history to have had true strength in the One Power. She is currently the first Aes Sedai queen of any country since the last queen of Manetheren died.
To the White Tower
Elayne is the first heir of House Trakand in a thousand years to actually be able to channel the One Power with enough strength to become Aes Sedai; she is about as strong as her friends Aviendha and Egwene al'Vere. While at the Tower, she befriended some folk who, by coincidence, knew Rand quite well: his (former) childhood sweetheart Egwene al'Vere, and his village's Wisdom, Nynaeve al'Meara. She also got to know Min Farshaw, a young woman who had met Rand and was in the Tower for "safekeeping" at the time.
Out of the Tower
She went to Falme (having been tricked into going there by Aes Sedai of the Black Ajah) and then to Tear, where she was sent along with Nynaeve and Egwene to hunt the Black Ajah by then-Amyrlin Siuan Sanche, and was present when Rand drew Callandor and proclaimed himself the Dragon Reborn.
At this point, Elayne finally got her chance to express her feelings for Rand when Egwene renounced him; the two had worked it out in advance, though Elayne's part of the conversation did not go quite according to plan. Unfortunately, their time was limited, soon Rand and Egwene went to Rhuidean and Elayne and Nynaeve to Tarabon. They traveled by way of a Sea Folk ship, reputedly the fastest ships available, and Elayne quickly discovered that Sea Folk Windfinders can channel. Elayne promised to keep this secret, as the Sea Folk fear Aes Sedai meddling. Sent by Lan and Rand to look after the two were Juilin Sandar and Thom, whom Elayne eventually recognized from dusty childhood memories as her mother's former lover. She has come to see Thom as a surrogate father, a role he gladly accepts.
In Tarabon they were instrumental in routing the Black Ajah and returning the Panarch Amathera to her office. On the way to Salidar, a bizarre series of events led to Birgitte Silverbow, one of the Heroes of the Horn, being ripped from Tel'aran'rhiod and expelled into the waking world to die. To save her, Elayne bonded Birgitte as her Warder, and the famed archer has been a constant companion since. The Warder bond between the two women is not the same as the Bond between an Aes Sedai and a male Warder. Many believe that it is because both of them are women, a bonding that has never happened before and is under much scrutiny. The group arrived in Salidar just in time to receive the brand new Amyrlin Seat, Egwene al'Vere. Egwene made Elayne and Nynaeve full Aes Sedai upon her ascension. Elayne went with Nynaeve, Aviendha and Mat Cauthon to Ebou Dar and after using the Bowl of the Winds to break the endless summer caused by the Dark one, shepherded a large group of channelers, known as the Kin, to Caemlyn when the Seanchan invaded. When she returned to Caemlyn she declared for the throne of Andor following her mother's absence and supposed death (Morgase abdicated the throne in her exile, making Elayne the legal Queen). She secured the Throne of Andor following a Succession war which included her opponents besieging Caemlyn. She has also rediscovered the ability to create ter'angreal. For a short time, she also used Mat as an unwilling tutor in cursing and swearing.
Elayne is one of three women who love Rand al'Thor, and is close friends with the other two (Aviendha and Min); the three have agreed to share him, and recently Bonded him as their mutual Warder, partly for the side effect of being able to tell what the other person is feeling. Shortly after that, she and Rand found some time together alone in a room with a bed, almost immediately demonstrating one of the downsides of the Warder bond and leading Birgitte, Min and Aviendha to get blindingly drunk as soon as possible. According to Min's visions, Elayne has conceived Rand's fraternal twins, a son and daughter, who will come out "just fine". Because Min's visions are supposedly always true, Elayne believes, whether correctly or not, that she can come to no harm whilst she is pregnant and has not flinched from danger since.
It is not known if Elayne is a reincarnation of Ilyena Therin Moerelle, but there have been some hints to that effect, particularly in their similar physical appearance and first names. However, known examples of reincarnation do not show a continuity in names or physical characteristics: two of Birgitte's incarnations are named Teadra and Maerion, and the only similarity between Rand and Lews Therin Telamon is height, all else being completely different. Having said that, some personality traits are known to carry over between reincarnations: Birgitte is always an archer and always linked to Gaidal Cain, while Lews Therin was noted for his stubbornness and nobility.
Skills and abilities
Elayne is among the most powerful female channelers of the past thousand years, with fewer than ten living non-Forsaken women besting her raw strength. She has also demonstrated an immense degree of talent in the copying and creation of ter'angreal. She has successfully made copies of the twisted ring ter'angreal that Egwene obtained from Verin Sedai, a'dam, and several other objects. While recreating the a'dam she also modified the design without a leash between the collar and bracelet, which is unnecessary for maintaining the forced link. She has also made some original ter'angreal, including one which makes the user invisible and was able to re-create Mat Cauthon's foxhead medallion which repels the use of the one power, although the copies currently do not work quite as well. She has expressed interest in learning how to make angreal or sa'angreal, but as of late her studies have taken a back seat to her political campaign and pregnancy.