Nynaeve was born between 972 and 973 NE in a small homestead very near the Two Rivers proper. When she was very young, the village was attacked, and her parents hid her in the cellar. The last words her parents said to her were "Ayend'an Atha'an'shari'a marath allende'nesodhin an'ara'rhiod e'fel loviyagae zavilat'a'veren Ba'asa" (We shall go into the land so our children can always hold us and will never be alone.), the same last words that King Aemon said to Queen Eldrene.
She was subsequently found and raised by Doral Barran, a Wisdom of the Two Rivers, and raised in Emond's Field, quickly learning to heal, to listen to the wind, and to forage for plants and track animals. Nynaeve's foster mother told her how she walked to Tar Valon from the Two Rivers when she knew she could listen to the wind at the age of thirteen, but was sent away. Since then, Nynaeve harbored a strong dislike of the Aes Sedai.
Around 988 NE, a young Egwene was brought to Doral and Nynaeve by her parents, Bran and Marin, who was suffering badly from breakbone fever. Doral did not know what to do, so made a tea to ease Egwene's passing, but Nynaeve could not let it happen. She took Egwene's hands and held her tight, and listened to her pleas to stay alive, and by the morning, she saw that the fever had broken.
In 993 NE, she was deemed old enough to braid her hair, and joined the Women's Circle. When Doral Barran passed away, Nynaeve became the new Wisdom, the youngest that the Two Rivers had ever seen. Without any family of her own, she began to consider the whole Two Rivers to be her family. Shortly before Egwene is due to join the Women's Circle, Nynaeve approached her and asked her to train as an apprentice Wisdom, as she believed Egwene had the talent to listen to the wind.
On Winternight, 7 Aine 998 NE, Nynaeve welcomes Egwene into the Women's Circle by giving a speech on the significance of a grown woman braiding her hair in the Two Rivers. She then tells Egwene to be strong, before pushing her off the cliffside into the river below in order to have the young woman prove her strength, and Egwene successfully makes it to the riverbank. Nynaeve goes to the Winespring Inn in Emond's Field for the subsequent celebrations with the Women's Circle. When a stranger enters in the evening, Nynaeve is first to approach, asking the man to name himself. The stranger says he is Lan Mandragoran, and introduces the woman as Moiraine, who is quickly identified as an Aes Sedai. She then speaks to Rand and Perrin, noting her distaste for Moiraine, and asking Perrin to check on Laila.
The following day, Nynaeve is cleaning the sacred pool of the cave, where Moiraine approaches her during a walk, inquiring about Nynaeve's origins and her age, which offends the Wisdom. Nynaeve relates Doral's story to Moiraine, and treats the Aes Sedai abrasively. Nynaeve lights a lantern for those she has lost on Bel Tine, and is at the inn when the festivities begin, though the village is attacked by Trollocs. She attempts to heal several wounded villagers, but it is too late for many. Nynaeve defends Egwene by holding off the Trollocs with a blade, and the pair are saved by Moiraine's channeling, but she is dragged away by a Trolloc and is believed dead by her friends. While being dragged away, the Trolloc takes the opportunity to feast on a wounded ally, and Nynaeve takes the chance to run away as fast as she can, retreating to the Women's Circle cave. The Trolloc corners her inside, but when it enters the pool, Nynaeve stabs it to death. After the battle, Nynaeve leaves the Two Rivers in search of her friends, and tracking them all the way to Shadar Logoth, where she holds a blade to Lan's throat after he and Moiraine have been separated from the others, demanding to be taken to them immediately or she will kill him. Lan tells her he will provide answers if she can heal Moiraine, but after she attempts to attack him again, he easily disarms her and ties her to a tree.
Eventually, Nynaeve agrees to help Moiraine in exchange for answers about her friends. She starts to make a poultice for the wound, and Lan observes her, curious about just how she tracked him. When she is done, the poultice does restore some of Moiraine's strength, but it is not enough, and Lan leads them southwest until they meet another party of Aes Sedai guarding the False Dragon Logain Ablar. Liandrin Guirale of the Red Ajah takes an interest in Nynaeve, and the Wisdom talks to her in exchange for learning more about Moiraine. However, she immediately notices Liandrin's duplicitous nature, and spends her time with the Warders, and her opinion of them begins to change for the better slightly. When seeing Lan pray for Malkier, she interrupts him, and offers an Old Tongue phrase that her parents taught her. Nynaeve is moved when Lan translates the phrase for her, but they are interrupted when Logain's followers attack the camp. In the fighting, Nynaeve manages to stab one of the attackers, and she heads to the cave where Logain has broken free with the Aes Sedai and Warders. When Stepin attacks Logain in his grief for Kerene Nagashi, his dual axes splinter into metal shrapnel that wound many and slit open Lan's throat. Nynaeve desperately looks over him and unleashes a great wave of Healing that heals the wounds of all still alive in the cave, and Logain is shocked to see how much raw power she possesses. Her Healing of the Aes Sedai and Warders allow for the other women to link and gentle Logain.
Over the next month, Nynaeve travels with the rest of the group on the way to Tar Valon, sharing the Warders' fire as they camp. When they arrive in the White Tower, Nynaeve is kept in the Warder's Quarters away from the prying eyes of Aes Sedai who would wish to make her a novice at once. While staying at the Tower, she helps provide goatstongue tea for Stepin in his grief for Kerene, and tries to comfort him. She is approached by an Ogier, Loial, and is taken to the Light's Blessing Inn in the city where she reunites with Rand and Mat for the first time since Bel Tine, and takes a look at Mat's unusual affliction, telling him to rest. Nynaeve and Rand sit outside, wondering if Mat can channel, and reminisce about Egwene. On her return to the Tower, she is cornered by Liandrin again, and attends Stepin's funeral after he commits suicide in his grief for Kerene. Moiraine and Lan enter the inn the next time Nynaeve visits her friends, and the Aes Sedai chastises Nynaeve for not finding her as soon as she saw the darkness in Mat. She is later brought to the Hall of the Tower, where she reunites with Egwene, and the pair are brought to the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche, for a private meeting. Nynaeve is initially abrasive, but Siuan's warm demeanor stops, and speaks to the pair about their great destiny. Later, Nynaeve is brought outside the city to a Waygate, where the five friends are reunited, and she sees Perrin for the first time since they left the Two Rivers. Nynaeve agrees to enter the Ways to reach the Eye of the World, but the Waygate closes before Mat can enter.
Nynaeve demands that Moiraine opens the Waygate again, and almost attempts to open it herself, but Loial warns them of the danger of Mashadar and its attraction to channeling. Nynaeve resolves to find Mat once everything is over, and the group continues to a defaced Guiding Stone, where Loial pauses to investigate. Egwene (as well as Rand) channels after panicking and seeing a Trolloc, and the group realizes that Shadowspawn have entered the Ways. They rush to the Fal Dara Waygate before the Black Wind can attack, but the strange entity catches up to them, whispering to Nynaeve that she will lose all her friends. Nynaeve manages to battle the entity, and holds off Machin Shin with a powerful surge of channeling, which gives Moiraine enough time to open the Waygate, and they appear outside the Shienaran fortress-city. They make their way to Fal Dara's keep, where they are eventually welcomed by Lord Agelmar and Lady Amalisa Jagad.
Moiraine soon brings the Two Rivers youths to a bar in the city, and while they chat and laugh for a time, Nynaeve notices Moiraine speaking to the barkeep, Min, for a long amount of time. In the keep, Moiraine admits that Min can see glimpses of the Pattern, but that she does not know who the Dragon Reborn is, and resolves that she has no choice but to take them all to the Eye of the World, knowing that three will die. Nynaeve does not trust Moiraine at all, but after she leaves, Egwene begins to convince her that it is the right thing to do. The group remains tense, and Nynaeve tries to stop Rand and Perrin fighting over Egwene, which starts to worsen the bonds between the group. Later, Nynaeve follows Lan in the streets of Fal Dara, and sees him enjoying a meal with a Malkieri family. He notices Nynaeve, and invites her to join, and Zahir's family is very welcoming towards her. Nynaeve thanks Lan, and the two spend a romantic moment together, admitting their feelings for one another when they kiss for the first time. Lan tells her that he is the uncrowned king of Malkier and what Zahir did for him as a child, and Nynaeve chooses to spend the night with Lan.
In the morning, Egwene notices that Nynaeve has not slept in her own bed, but they then turn to talk of the Eye, and Egwene resolves to go. However, Lan informs them that Moiraine has masked their bond, and they realize that Rand is missing, deducing that he is the Dragon and has gone into the Blight with Moiraine. Nynaeve tells Lan about a tell Moiraine has so that he can track her in the Blight, and they declare their love for each other before Lan departs. The remaining Two Rivers youths and Loial go to Min for answers, but she informs them she cannot say anything more about Rand. At that moment, the city begins to prepare for an imminent battle against Shadowspawn from Tarwin's Gap. Lady Amalisa calls for all women who can channel to gather outside the city, and Nynaeve and Egwene link with Amalisa, a Shienaran channeler, and the Malkieri woman from Zahir's family. When the Shadowspawn approach, they unleash a great surge of channeling that defeats their enemies, but Amalisa cannot let go of the One Power, and threatens to kill all the women. Nynaeve shields Egwene from the damage by taking more of it for herself, and is grievously injured. However, she is Healed by Egwene, and the two friends embrace one another at the end of the battle.
Nynaeve is fierce and assertive, and commands respect from her position as Wisdom. She is brash and unpredictable, but driven by her desire to heal. Her ability to cure even the sickest in the community allows many to overlook her more abrasive personality traits.
At first, Nynaeve was extremely suspicious of Lan in the Two Rivers. After he and Moiraine left Emond's Field with her friends, she threatened to slit his throat once she caught up to him outside Shadar Logoth. However, they began to tolerate one another when she made a poultice for Moiraine. Their relationship becomes one of affection and mutual understanding, and Nynaeve's deep concern for Lan allowed her to access her extremely powerful channeling abilities. Nynaeve is avoidant of Lan for a time after the incident, though many others take note of the blossoming affection between the pair. In Fal Dara, Nynaeve learns of Lan's past and his lost homeland, and spends time with Lan and the other Malkieri refugees. When they returned to the keep, Nynaeve and Lan kissed for the first time, and spent the night together.
Nynaeve is a young woman with dark skin. She has tightly coiled dark brown hair, worn in a very long braid.
Nynaeve is an extremely strong and powerful channeler, considered the most powerful the Tower has seen in a thousand years. Her first act of conscious channeling is an incredible surge of the One Power that is able to Heal everyone in the cave. She is also an expert in healing without the use of the One Power, such as using herbs and poultices. Her life as a Wisdom has made her an expert tracker, and she has some skill with a blade.
However, since she first consciously channeled, some of her "listening to the wind" abilities seem to be dampened.
Nynaeve appears in the following episodes:
|The Wheel of Time appearances||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8|
|Season 1 episodes||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Season 2 episodes||tbd|
- — Nynaeve to Lan, 1.06 The Flame of Tar ValonIf you can't lead the world from a room built of wood and dirt, how can you call yourself a leader?
- In the audition scripts, Nynaeve was named "Nadie".
- Rafe Judkins stated that Nynaeve was the hardest character for him to write for at the beginning of the writing process, though he later said that Perrin turned out to be the hardest character to write for after filming had wrapped.
Changes from the book series
Nynaeve is an adaptation of the (book spoilers!) from the book series.
- Upbringing: Aspects of Nynaeve's upbringing are more exaggerated in the television series. In the books, while Nynaeve was indeed an orphan brought up by the Wisdom, she lost her parents as a teenager rather than a baby, and can remember both her parents well. The al'Meara family likely is not originally from Emond's Field in the books, either, as she had no extended relatives to raise her after her parents' deaths, but likely still originate from land within the Two Rivers proper.
- Ta'veren: Nynaeve is not ta'veren in the book series.