|Portrayed by||Natalie Dormer|
|Affiliation||The Grey Tower|
|Affinities||Air/Spirit, Water, Fire, Earth|
The Simirs are not a grand house and they do not keep track of their lineage, but there are certain characteristics that remain true throughout the family, and Leanora is no exception. Her brown hair with glints of honey, fair skin, high cheekbones, and thin, slightly pointed nose were inherited from her mother. Her blue eyes are a mark from the father she has never met, as is a certain expressiveness to her features that stands out amidst her relatives. Although she was raised in Tarabon she has opted to set aside the traditional veil and braids, and wears her waist-length hair in whatever manner seems best for her current activity.
Leanora’s mother taught her early on that the only person she could rely on was herself, and that her appearance had an affect on those around her. Thus she has taken care to develop her presence to reflect what she wants others to see, and maintains that facade at all costs. She carries herself in a manner at odds with her humble upbringing, bringing both graceful poise and sultry allure into every movement. She hides much of her true opinions of the world and its inhabitants behind a quirky smile and a light-hearted laugh. Underneath her mask she is uncertain, a little frightened of the future, and maintains a flickering spark of hope that her mother's beliefs are wrong.
Lea has played the Great Game to her advantage throughout her entire youth and adulthood, and feels no particular desire to or logical reason to stop, especially not now she is a part of the Tower. She is not intimidated by those of higher rank; her wide-eyed head-on look can be disconcerting to those used to immediate obeisance. In her mind, interacting with and challenging her betters presents an interesting opportunity for advancement. She has a strong reaction to parents who abandon their children, and a single-minded desire to find her father and show him what a mistake he made.
When Avarie Simir returned to Tanchico with a baby girl in her arms, the story she told seemed straightforward enough. She had met a Tairen with blue eyes and a charming smile while working in Hama Valon. He had promised her the world and treated her like a queen. Although she had had some misgivings, his murmurs of true love and happy marriage eventually wore her down and she acquiesced to his demands. When her belly began to grow some months after, the charming man left her to care for her child alone. When she went to the Grey Tower to seek justice for the wrong he had done her, the authorities there had given her a small purse and banished her from the city.
The Simir family was renowned for its lace, but Avarie disdained to participate in that business. Instead she spent her time engaging in more social pursuits, ever seeking for the next step up from the common world she had been born into. Her ambitions took up much of her time, and thus little Leanora spent most of her childhood living with her grandmother. She learned to make lace, to cook, and to read. She also played with her cousins and tried her hardest to ignore the loneliness that ate at her when she watched them with their mothers.
Avarie eventually seemed to realize that her daughter needed more attention, or perhaps it occurred to her that Lea could be a useful ally in her machinations. At first Lea reveled in her mother’s affection. Avarie dressed her in fine clothes, filled her with extravagant food, and spent hours teaching her about the finer points of court etiquette, history, and intrigue. As time passed, it became apparent even to Lea that not all was quite right, however. In her mother’s eyes all men were liars and all women were competition, but both had their uses when it came to the Great Game. The biggest lesson Lea took from their new relationship was the necessity of hiding her true opinions from her mother to avoid uncontrollable flashes of temper and spite.
In her thirteenth summer, Leanora attended a late-night party with her mother, dressed like a fine noblewoman of twenty or more. She mingled with a smile, spoke gaily of trivial things when approached. Eventually she found herself facing a round woman whose face seemed at odds with her gray hair. They spoke briefly, then parted easily. However, Leanora felt oddly uneasy about the encounter, and had a hard time maintaining her appearance. A few minutes later the woman came back, this time with two others.
That was how Leanora Simir found herself in a wagon headed for Tar Valon to train as a novice. The Aes Sedai had not allowed Avarie to come along, but assured mother and daughter that letters were encouraged. Once in the White Tower, however, Leanora found she had very little time to spend on considerations of home. She studied, worked, and kept her head down. Six years later she passed the Three Arches and the Amyrlin Seat slipped a gold ring on her finger. Two weeks after that, Accepted Leanora Simir disappeared in the night, in pursuit of what most would consider a ridiculous dream. She had seen a different future in that test, one she had not realized she wanted or could have, and she had every intention of achieving it.
In the middle of one of the coldest winters the Mountains of Mist had known in a decade, a slender woman with brown hair and a quirky smile walked through the gates of Hama Valon and asked to speak to the Mistress of Novices. The glint of gold on her finger was unmistakable in the cool summer sun, and the guard wasted no time getting her to the Tower.
- Accepted (4 September 2016)