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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** The Lady Elayne's Queen's Bodyguard **


Elayne's Bodyguard is a new creation, and gaudier even than the Andoran Queen's Guard:

    "Each woman wore a bright red hat with a long white plume lying flat along the wide brim, and a wide red sash edged in snowy lace across her chest with rampant White Lions marching up it. Their white-collared crimson coats were silk, and the cut had been altered a little, so they fit better and hung almost to the knee above scarlet breeches with a white stripe up the outsides of the legs. Pale lace hung thickly at their wrists and necks, and their black boots had been waxed till they shone ... sword belts and scabbards with gold tooling ... lacquered helmets and breastplates ... breastplates made to fit women ..." <WH: 12, 279, A Lily in Winter>

More details emerge in CoT: breastplates and helmets are burnished as well as lacquered; breeches were silk. As with regular Guardsmen, the conical helmets have face-bars <CoT: 10, 276-281, A Blazing Beacon; KoD: 13, 310, Siege>. The White Lion is embroidered on the crimson sash, and slants across the breastplate <KoD: 15, 336, A Different Skill>. Most wore swords, but occasional idiosyncrasies were allowed: Deni carries a long brass-studded cudgel as well as her sword <CoT: 10, 287, A Blazing Beacon; KoD: 31, 662, The House on Full Moon Street>.

By the end of Knife of Dreams, the Queen's Bodyguard also has red-lacquered breastplates and helmets, trimmed in white, ... "so pretty that any assailant would discount them until it was too late ... <KoD: 15, 336, A Different Skill; KoD: 31, 662, The House on Full Moon Street>

A lieutenant further wears "two golden knots on the shoulder of her red cloak" <WH: 12, 279, A Lily in Winter> (cf. guardsman-lieutenant Tallanvor's single knot of rank - a discrepancy I can't resolve, TDR: 46, 536, A Message Out of the Shadow). The Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard "... rated three golden knots of rank ..." though Mellar has them "... soldered to each shoulder of his brightly burnished breastplate. An ignorant observer might have thought he outranked Birgitte." <CoT: 11, 299, Talk of Debts> Later, Jordan notes that, though it rankles her, Elayne chooses to ignore Mellar's "six golden knots brazed to that breastplate, three on each shoulder ... " <KoD: 16, 351, The New Follower>, for the time. Captain-Generals only have four knots; Mellar suggests more by wearing them on both sides.

Mellar takes further liberties: "The falls of snow-white lace at his throat and wrists were twice as thick and twice as long as those worn by any of the Guardswomen." <CoT: 11, 299, Talk of Debts; also WH: 10, 249, A Plan Succeeds> He eschews the sash in CoT - it would hide one set of golden knots - though he wields his white-plumed hat with fervor. When he does don it, Mellar no doubt looks especially dashing with his "lace-edged sash slanting across his burnished breastplate." <KoD: 16, 351, The New Follower>

Finally Birgitte, as Captain-General, wears "... a short red coat with a high white collar ... over baggy blue trousers tucked into gleaming black boots, four golden knots on her left shoulder and four bands of gold on each white cuff." <CoT: 10, 288, A Blazing Beacon>


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