The Serpent, Spear, and Wheel of Time
A Compendium of Weaponry and Military Costuming
of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time
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Rand al'Thor
Tam's heron-mark sword
Laman's sword
the Dragon Banner
the Dragon Scepter
the Crown of Swords
Legion of the Dragon
Perrin
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Two Rivers bow
Mat Cauthon
Mat Cauthon
the Shadar Logoth dagger
the Horn of Valere
the Band of the Red Hand
The Two Rivers
Two Rivers bow
Andor
Queen's guards of Andor
Elayne's Bodyguard

The Aiel
Whitecloaks
Borderlanders
al'Lan Mandragoran
Shienaran lances
Saldaean light cavalry
the Arafellin
Kandori
Cairhienin
Illian
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the Crown of Swords
The White Tower
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Armsmen of Tar Valon
The Black Tower
Asha'man
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Deathwatch Guards
sul'dam and damane

The Other Nations
Defenders of the Stone
Tarabon
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Mayener Winged Guards
Arad Doman
Amadician pikes
Ghealdanin
Far Madding Guards
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Callandor
Loial's axe
Birgitte and her bow
Aram's sword
Sword of Kirukan
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the Ebou Dari marriage knife
Aludra's Dragons, &tc.
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** Cairhienin **


    "The shorter Cairhienin wore plain breastplates and helmets like bells cut away to expose hard faces ... Their lances were unadorned, though here and there Dobraine's con, a small stiff square on a short staff, blue with two white diamonds, marked officers or minor lords of House Taborwin." <LoC: 54, 669, The Sending>

barbuteElsewhere, the same helmets are again mentioned; this description fitting that of the Italian barbute, an elegant, bell-shaped, often open-faced helmet of the 14th and 15th centuries <TFoH: 30, 496, A Wager; RJWoT: 29, 260, Cairhien>.

Departing from the Nine Rings, the officers are noted to wear steel-backed gauntlets, and gold-worked breastplates over the blue coats; the soldiers, plain armor and the usual helmets <TGH: 21, 318, The Nine Rings>. RJWoT confirms that ornately gilded cuirasses, large white plumes attached to bell-shaped helmets, and ornate guantlets are the norm for higher-ranked officers <RJWoT: 29, 260, Cairhien>.

Further detail comes from soldiers lounging in The Nine Rings: all were dressed in a plain, dark blue coat and breeches, with exception of the officer, whose blue coat is marked with a single slash of red and yellow across the chest, from shoulder to shoulder. He also wears high boots, which presumably the soldiers do not, with the tops turned down, and carries a sword into the common room <TGH: 21, 308, The Nine Rings; see also RJWoT: 27, 238, Within the Land>.

"The soldiers' hair was clipped short, as if it all had been cut under the same bowl." This contrasts with their officer, with the front of his head shaved, but the hair grown long at the back <TGH: 21, 308, The Nine Rings>; often, the shaved forehead was also powdered. Shaving the forehead became commonplace among those nobles who commanded soldiers during or after the Shaido War, and not just a practice restricted to officers <RJWoT: 29, 260, Cairhien>.

Officers also carried "... small banners called con on short staffs harnessed to their backs ..." used to denote officers in battle <TFoH: 30, 496, A Wager; RJWoT: 29, 260, Cairhien>.

men pushing pikesLances and pikes appear to be the favoured Cairhienin weapons. Specifically, lances are tipped with "... a foot and a half of steel ..." <TFoH: 43, 684, This Place, This Day>. Infantry carries long pikes in "... thickets of pikes four deep ...", marching in blocks of 200, backed up with 50 archers or crossbowmen in the rear <TFoH: 43, 690, This Place, This Day>.

Jordan depicts "... mounted Cairhienin armsmen ... helmeted and gauntleted in precise ranks, lances raised to the same angle." <ACoS: 3, 90-1, Hill of the Golden Dawn> This is the only description of gauntlets worn by ordinary soldiers, and might only apply to cavalry. Finally, in ACoS, Dobraine's cavalry reappears in "... dark armor newly lacquered so it glistened in the sun, and silk streamers of red and white and black tied below the heads of their lances ..." <ACoS: 34, 529, Ta'veren>, a somewhat more cheerful update to their previously sober appearance.


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