A Warder (Gaidin in the Old Tongue, lit. "Battle-brother") is a warrior who is "bonded to an Aes Sedai through the use of the One Power, often acting as her bodyguard, friend, and confidant". Aes Sedai and Warder are physically affected by each other's emotions through their bond.
Many Aes Sedai bond Warders as friends, bodyguards, and confidants. A Warder will drive himself to death looking for a way to save his Aes Sedai, as the bond creates an overwhelming instinct to protect her life above all else. If his Aes Sedai dies, a Warder will feel an unbearable sense of loss. In this case, most immediately go insane due to their immense grief, and do not long survive the death of their Aes Sedai.
Different Ajahs have different approaches to Warders. The Blue, Brown, Gray, Yellow, and White Ajahs traditionally bond one Warder, although not all choose to do so. The Red Ajah bonds no Warders, due to a general distrust of men, as their purpose is hunting down male channelers. Meanwhile, the Green Ajah may bond multiple Warders, and are more commonly involved in romantic relationships with their Warders.
Warders share a unique bond with one another, and proudly enter a lifelong brotherhood when submitting to being bonded by an Aes Sedai. Many Warders live at the White Tower with their Aes Sedai, and usually spar with one another, as well as the young men who hope to become Warders themselves one day.
List of Warders
|Lan Mandragoran||Moiraine Damodred|
Behind the scenes
One thing we worked really hard to do in the show is to show this bond between Aes Sedai and Warder. It's a bond between a woman, an Aes Sedai, and a man, her Warder, that is incredibly complicated and I think is one thing that totally sets this show apart from anything else that's on TV right now because this relationship is so interesting between this man and woman. They can actually feel what the other one feels. So to be able to really show that on the show, we didn't want characters just talking about it, we wanted to bring emotion to the forefront for them, see something (I can't say what it is) but that would elicit this kind of emotion from the characters and see that they feel each other's pain -- not just physical but also the emotions that the other one is feeling, and give light to this really unique male-female relationship that's not usually sexual, that you never get to see on a show of such balance between men and women as you get between Moiraine and Lan and between the other Aes Sedai and their warders.
Changes from the book series
The Warders are based on the (book spoilers!) from the book series.
- Cloaks - In the book series, Warders wear distinctive (book spoilers!) made of a special material named (book spoilers!) using a certain ter'angreal in the White Tower. The cloaks mimic the surrounding landscape, and therefore provide camouflage to the wearer. The distinctive cloaks are a trademark for the Warders and allow them to be recognized on sight. These cloaks are omitted in the show, as it was considered far too costly to use special effects every time a Warder is on screen. Rafe Judkins joked that if they had included the color-shifting cloaks, all of Season 1 would have to be filmed in the Winespring Inn due to draining the show's budget.
- Rosamund Pike considers the bond between a Warder and Aes Sedai to be one of the most interesting types of relationships she has ever portrayed on screen.