|Portrayed by||Natalie Dormer|
|Affinities||Fire/Air, Spirit, Water, Earth|
In many ways Delaine looks quite average for a young Cairhienin noblewoman: small of stature and slender of frame, with pale complexion and dark hair, there’s something about her reminiscent of an elaborately painted porcelain doll. Despite her size and slim figure, she doesn’t look younger than her age. Almost the opposite; she carries herself with poise and dignity and has been ‘passing’ for an adult since her mid teens.
Being born into a minor branch of the House Taborwin meant that, on one hand, her life as a whole has been a little less under scrutiny than if she’d been born closer to the main line. Growing up in a country estate, far from the capital city, she was able to spend time outdoors, ride and walk and climb trees, and as such she’s reasonably fit for a lady. On the other hand, her status — or lack thereof — also meant that she’s been told all her life that she’ll need to work twice as hard to achieve anything in life. Her greatest value to the House and her family is to make an advantageous tie through marriage, and to that end she’s been given the best education from the best tutors her father could find.
She takes her duty to the House very seriously, though she does have her rebellious moments and occasionally resents that she doesn’t have more choice in her life. She is very concerned with how she’s perceived and wants people to see her as mature and competent and dependable, but she’s also curious and can be impulsive at times.
Delaine is the only child of a minor branch of the House Taborwin of Cairhien, making her privileged in comparison to the majority of the country’s population, but leaving her decidedly at a disadvantage next to most of the nobility who should be her peers. Her childhood was fairly sheltered, living in an idyllic country estate with her mother, surrounded by servants and tutors. She was educated in arts, literature and music as well as history, politics and economics, and lessons took up a lot of her time, but as long as she continued to excel, she was allowed a lot of freedom outside the lessons to roam the countryside.
When she was fourteen, this changed. Her father thought it was time for her to take her education into the real world and had her brought to stay at the family’s city house in the capital. Deprived of her previous freedoms, Delaine resented the change no matter how much she tried to act the part of a dutiful daughter, and she was never particularly happy in the city but she was determined to make the best of it.
She did get used to it, even if she never grew to enjoy the politicking, and by the age of sixteen she had a fairly good grasp of how things worked in the heart of Cairhien. Though she was in no hurry to think about marriage, she was aware that her father was already on the lookout for an advantageous match and was resigned to the fact that she would likely be married the instant she turned eighteen — but that’s where fate interfered.
It was mere weeks after her seventeenth nameday that there was a ball that she and her father were to attend, which in itself was nothing out of usual, but this time there was also an Aes Sedai in attendance. Over the course of the evening, the Aes Sedai sought her out and told her that she could channel, and would start channelling soon whether she wanted to or not. Her father was not best pleased by this turn of events but he was powerless to resist as the Aes Sedai told him in great detail what might happen if his daughter was left untrained. Then it was within a matter of days that she was carted off to the Grey Tower.
- Novice (5 February 2017)