Lan was born to the royal family of Malkier, House Mandragoran. On the night that Malkier fell to the Great Blight, Lan was only an infant. He was saved from the palace by a royal armsman, Zahir, and taken to Fal Dara in Shienar, where he was raised. He was subsequently considered the uncrowned king of the lost realm.
Not long after the end of the Aiel War, Lan met Moiraine Damodred, an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. Lan did not like her at first, and tossed her into a pond, while Moiraine took revenge by making ants attack him in the night. Yet they learned to trust each other deeply, and she bonded him as her Warder. Aside from the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche, Lan was the only individual to know of her true quest to find the Dragon Reborn before the Dark One did at any cost.
Lan and Moiraine begin their quest for the Dragon Reborn, traveling across the Westlands to find them. After seeing Liandrin illegally gentle a male channeler by ruins from the Age of Legends, Moiraine decides that she and Lan will next visit the Two Rivers, having heard rumors of four ta'veren in the area from her eyes and ears network. When he enters the Winespring Inn in Emond's Field, the locals are very surprised to see an Aes Sedai and presumed Warder in the region. The innkeeper, Marin al'Vere, takes the pair to their rooms, and Lan and Moiraine bathe before retiring for the night.
The next morning, the locals are celebrating Bel Tine, and Moiraine and Lan discuss the possibility of a Fade already in the Two Rivers. Lan scouts the surrounding area, and finds slaughtered sheep arranged into the shape of a Dragon's Fang. During the festivities outside the inn, Trollocs begin to attack the region. As Moiraine channels to defeat the Shadowspawn, Lan cuts them down with his skilled swordsmanship. Another horde of Trollocs arrives in the village, and Moiraine is wounded by a poisoned blade, but manages to defeat them all with the One Power before she collapses, and Lan catches her in his arms. At daybreak, she has recovered enough to Heal Tam al'Thor with the One Power. Moiraine tells Rand, Mat, Perrin and Egwene that one of them is the Dragon Reborn, and that the Shadowspawn will follow them whenever they go, insisting that they must leave or the village will be attacked again. The youths reluctantly begin to flee Emond's Field with Lan and Moiraine. The group makes it to Taren Ferry and cross the river just before the Trolloc army catches up to them, ensuring that they will not follow by having Lan cut the ferry rope and sinking the vessel with the One Power, though the ferryman wants to go back for his son, and drowns in the Taren River.
On the road to Whitebridge, the party encounters Whitecloaks on the road, and Moiraine is questioned by Geofram Bornhald and Eamon Valda, with Lan standing guard and speaking up for her when they begin to push the boundaries of respectability. During a Trolloc attack at night, Moiraine does not wake, and Lan is forced to take the others into Shadar Logoth. He tells the youths about the history of Shadar Logoth and Aridhol, and warns them to touch nothing and eat no food from the city. However, after several hours, Mashadar begins to encroach upon the party, and Moiraine wakes, shocked that Lan has "killed [them] all." The shadows of the city force the group to separate, and Lan and Moiraine escape via the city's gate, away from the rest of their companions. However, Nynaeve al'Meara from Emond's Field catches up to the duo, and holds a blade to Lan's throat, demanding that he takes her to her friends. After realizing that Nynaeve's threat is serious, he easily disarms her and ties her up, eventually having her agree to heal Moiraine in exchange for answers concerning her friends. As Nynaeve forages and makes a poultice, Lan observes her from afar, and is fascinated by how she tracked him. The poultice gives Moiraine some strength, but she is not fully healed, and Lan rides to find other Aes Sedai who can heal her, waking her when they reach a party of sisters sent to deal with the False Dragon, Logain Ablar.
Lan and the others make it to the Aes Sedai camp, where Moiraine is Healed by Kerene Nagashi. Lan spars with his old friend, Stepin, Kerene's Warder, and learns of the changes taking place at the Tower. He finds Liandrin talking to Nynaeve, joining her after they have conversed, and Nynaeve expresses her distrust of the woman to him. At night, Nynaeve dines with the Warders, joking with them by making fun of Lan, and appears to be changing her opinion of him, and of the other Warders. He joins Moiraine when he retires, and they lament their shared losses, while discussing whether Logain could truly be a candidate for the Dragon Reborn. When he wakes, Lan goes to pray for Malkier, and Nynaeve interrupts him, offering her own words for him in the Old Tongue. Lan translates the words for her as the last words King Aemon said to Queen Eldrene, and she is moved, but they are interrupted when they are alerted to Logain's followers attacking the camp. Lan, Nynaeve, and the rest of the Warders hold off the attackers in the forest, and they head to the cave where Logain is being kept. In his grief for Kerene being killed by Logain, Stepin attacks him with his dual axes, but the False Dragon reduces his weapons to shrapnel which is sent flying at all across the cave. Lan's throat is slit, and he is mortally wounded, but Nynaeve comes to him, and in her intense anger, she unleashes a great wave of Healing throughout the room which mends all wounds of those still left alive. Lan's throat is perfectly mended, and he watches Moiraine link with the other sisters in order to gentle Logain on the spot.
Lan attends the mass funeral held for the combatants, and respectfully buries the fallen King of Ghealdan. Over the following month, they travel to Tar Valon, determined to find the four from the Two Rivers within. Lan takes Nynaeve to the Warder's Quarters to guard her from the Aes Sedai wishing to enrol her as a novice, and provides support to Stepin as he prepares for the ceremony to burn Kerene's ring. He visits Stepin in his room when he makes an offer to ward off the Forsaken, and offers to stay with him until morning. However, Lan wakes to find goatstongue scattered across the room, and finds that Stepin has used it to numb the pain before stabbing his own abdomen, discovering his corpse in the hallway. At Stepin's funeral, the Lead Warder selects Lan to act as lead mourner, letting out his intense grief for Stepin, which causes Moiraine to grow tearful.
When Siuan calls Moiraine to answer before the Hall of the Tower, Lan is waiting for her outside. The two use Moiraine's eyes and ears to find the others in the city, and they discover Rand and Mat in the Light's Blessing Inn. Mat is suffering from a strange affliction, and Rand believes he is a male channeler, threatening Moiraine and Lan if they try to gentle him. Lan easily disarms Rand, and Moiraine discovers that the affliction is from a dagger from Shadar Logoth, Healing him from the affliction. Lan realizes that Moiraine has masked their bond to spend the night with Siuan, and is worried for her safety, but asks Moiraine to give his love to the Amyrlin. They discuss the fate of the Dragons when passing by Liandrin, though Moiraine easily deters the Red sister. The duo later approach Loial for his help on their upcoming journey. When Moiraine is due to be sentenced, Lan offers to stay with her, but she declines. After her exile, Lan brings the potential Dragons to the city's Waygate with Loial, and Moiraine explains that the party must journey through the Ways to the Eye of the World at once in order to defeat the Dark One. Seven of the party of eight enter, but the Waygate closes before Mat can enter.
Although the Two Rivers youths want to go back for Mat, they are informed of the danger of Machin Shin, and the group has to press on. Lan wonders if Mat may be the Dragon, but Moiraine is sure that if he is, he ought to stay far away from the Dark One. They make their way to a defaced Guiding Stone, where Loial pauses to investigate. Egwene (as well as Rand) channels out of shock when she sees a Trolloc, and they realize that Shadowspawn have entered the Ways. The party rushes to the Fal Dara Waygate, but the Black Wind catches up to them, telling Lan that he cannot protect Moiraine, and he will see her die. Nynaeve holds off the entity long enough for Moiraine to open the Waygate, and they exit near Fal Dara. At the keep, Lan reunites with Uno, and is formally greeted by Lord Yakota, who shows them to Lord Agelmar and Lady Amalisa Jagad.
Moiraine decides that she will have to take all the potential candidates into the Eye, knowing three will die, and returns to her rooms with Lan. She tells him that she feels that she has taken his life, and encourages him to meet with his foster family. Lan arrives at Zahir's house and starts sharing a meal with him, and notices Nynaeve, who followed him through the city, inviting her to meet the Malkieri refugees. Nynaeve thanks him, and the two acknowledge their feelings for one another, kissing for the first time. Lan explains who Zahir is to Nynaeve, as well as the fact that he is the uncrowned king of Malkier. The two spend the night together for the first time. By morning, Moiraine is gone, and Lan's bond has been masked by her. He and the others realize that Rand is the Dragon, and has gone with Moiraine to the Eye. Nynaeve tells Lan that it was Moiraine she was tracking after she left the Two Rivers, and that she has a tell. Lan resolves to follow Moiraine in the Blight, and reaffirms his love for Nynaeve. He heads into the Blight, and reaches the Eye after Rand's confrontation with Ishamael, believed to be the Dark One. Moiraine tells him that she cannot unmask the bond as the "Dark One" cut her from the One Power. Lan and Moiraine also notice a broken piece of cuendillar at the Eye, and realize that they had not fought the Last Battle, but had witnessed only the first of their conflicts with the Shadow.
Lan is Moiraine's Warder, and therefore, is inextricably bound to protect her. He cares for her deeply, as they feel one another's emotions, despite their equally guarded dispositions. He often looks out for her best interests and protects her for threats, though follows her lead even if he might disagree with her choices. They serve as one another's confidant in a world with few people worthy of their trust. Their relationship is made especially intimate by their bond, but their relationship is neither romantic nor sexual.
Lan is a strong warrior with dark brown, nearly black, hair that is always pulled away from his face. He has brown eyes, a stoic face, and guarded stance. He wears a leather sheath across his back that stores his elegant sword.
Lan appears in the following episodes:
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- A Wisdom never weds. But if I go to Tar Valon, it may be I'll be something other than a Wisdom.
- — Lan and Nynaeve, 1.08 The Eye of the WorldI will hate the man you choose. Because he is not me. And I will love him if he makes you smile. You are as beautiful as the sunrise. You are as fierce as a warrior. You are a lioness, Wisdom.
Changes from the book series
Lan Mandragoran is an adaptation of the (book spoilers!) from the book series.