‘The Wheel of Time’: Why the Aes Sedai Wear Different Colors & What Each of Them Represents

Amazon Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time is attracting fantasy lovers and casual fans alike with its sweeping landscapes, large and complex cast of characters, and fascinating lore. And one of the most interesting aspects of the new series is the concept of the Aes Sedai. A powerful group of women who uses the One Power to prevent the Dark One from rising again, Moiraine Damodred (Rosamund Pike) and her sisters have already proven themselves a force to be reckoned with. But why do they wear different colors, and what does each shade represent?

Why do the Aes Sedai wear different colors?

Kate Fleetwood as Liandrin Guirale surrounded by several unnamed Aes Sedai in Amazon Prime Video's 'The Wheel of Time' TV series. All four women are wearing red Ajah.
The Aes Sedai in ‘The Wheel of Time’ | Amazon Content Services LLC and Sony Pictures Television Inc./Jan Thijs

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Like any fantasy series with a great deal of world-building, The Wheel of Time boasts some stunning costumes. In particular, viewers will notice those worn by the Aes Sedai, which tend to come in vibrant colors — from Moiraine’s blue garb to her sisters’ red get-ups. And the group’s attire wasn’t made that way for the aesthetic alone. In Robert Jordan’s best-selling book series, their shawls indicate a greater purpose.

In The Wheel of Time, the Aes Sedai are separated into different factions called Ajahs. There are seven distinctions in total, and each of them comes with its own objectives and set of rules. The shawls help differentiate between each of the groups. And the Amazon show has already introduced Aes Sedai from a number of them. So, what are the seven Ajahs in the fantasy series?

What each Ajah means in ‘The Wheel of Time’

The seven Ajahs in The Wheel of Time don’t have specific names beyond their color distinctions, and the Aes Sedai are assigned their place based on their skills. According to The Wheel of Time‘s Fandom page, here’s what each Ajah represents:

  • Blue: Amazon’s The Wheel of Time TV series introduces Moiraine as a member of the Blue Ajah. Those who wear these shawls are tasked with preserving justice in their world. They’re not a particularly large group, but they are well-connected.
  • Red: The Aes Sedai who don the red shawls boast one of the most important jobs in the series. They track misuses of the One Power and apprehend men caught wielding it. Viewers have already seen one instance of this in the adaptation.
  • Green: The second-largest Ajah after the Red, the Aes Sedai wearing green shawls are also known as the “Battle Ajah.” As that name suggests, members of this group must take up arms when the Dark One and his forces do rise to power. To help in that endeavor, the sisters of the Green Ajah can bond with as many Warders as they’d like.
  • Gray: The first three groups listed focus on fighting the Dark One, but the Gray Ajah excel in matters of diplomacy. With so much tension between governing forces, it makes sense the Aes Sedai need representation.
  • Brown: The Brown Ajah are the knowledge-keepers of the Aes Sedai. As such, many of them serve as librarians within the White Tower.
  • Yellow: Those who join the Yellow Ajah specialize in matters of healing. That no doubt comes in handy in their line of work, especially with sisters unable to mend themselves.
  • White: The smallest Ajah, the sisters in White uphold principles like “logic and philosophy.”

‘The Wheel of Time’ could see the Aes Sedai butting heads with one another

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Although the Aes Sedai fight for the same cause, the different groups within the organization are bound to have some in-fighting. With purposes that may conflict from time to time, viewers can expect The Wheel of Time to delve into the politics of each faction. In that sense, the show could have something in common with HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Additionally, there’s an eighth Ajah in the books that poses a threat to the other Aes Sedai. Donning black shawls, the members of this group are actually Darkfriends. Spies and traitors to the other women, they hide in plain sight, claiming one of the main Ajahs as well.

Whether the Wheel of Time TV series will feature the Black Ajah remains to be seen, but it certainly could shake things up for the main characters. They’ve probably got enough on their plates, but what’s a fantasy epic without a bit of betrayal?

The Wheel of Time is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.