Wheel of Tipples

Hi all. I’ve decided that the world needs some incisive character analysis on the Wheel of Time, so here’s a post on which alcoholic beverage would be each character’s true spirit animal.

Because that’s what real literary criticism is all about. let’s start with a fan favourite –

Mat Cauthon – Brandy

Brandy’s one of those drinks that just screams convivial good times. It’s not a sit by yourself drink, or a casually mix it and slam it back drink. It’s a fireside sipper, a bottle at the party, something to be dragged out at Christmas. A tad old fashioned in some parts perhaps but a drink to be respected nevertheless. And the secret to a good brandy? A little bit of maturation. So is the case with Mat, who starts the series a bit of a brat but becomes the most fun of the three boys from Emond’s Field.

Perrin Aybara – IPA

There’s something reliable and ubiquitous about Perrin that speaks to me of IPA, the dominant craft beer style of the day. It’s a very versatile canvas, which fits the man who can seemingly do a little bit of just about everything. However, beware – IPAs are prone to going off and getting a bit musty tasting if left too long, just like some of Perrin’s arcs. Poor Perrin.

Moraine Sedai – Irish Coffee

What about someone not from Emond’s Field? I have to say, I’m a big Moraine fan. Yes, sometimes she can be highly snooty and annoying. There’s more than a little domineering arrogance to her. But I always admire her style. There’s a smoothness to her, even at her most abrasive. And there’s no doubting her power and commitment. That, to me, calls for a drink that is potent and energy giving on a number of different levels while staying smooth. Just like Irish Coffee.

Lan al’Mandragoran – Whisky

Well this one was easy. Because Lan is a man. A manly man. A granite-exteriored, leather and steel wearing, sharp-angled man. His masculinity demands a manly drink. One that actually tastes a bit of leather and medicine and the embrace of duty until death is kind. This is clearly whisky, unless you can get your hands on.

Thom Merrilin – Mead

Very old fashioned in appearance, yet there’s something grand to it and its making a comeback. Smooth and a little sweet, which conceals a very real capacity for danger – most traditionally mead has a dangerously high ABV for the taste. All of this fits perfectly for our favourite gleeman. About the only thing Thom Merrilin doesn’t have in common with mead is that he doesn’t originate from bees.

Elayne Trankard – Wine

I would swear on my mother’s life that I don’t do these articles just to exploit cheap homophone jokes, but I’m rather afraid she’d keel over dead and I’m not ready for that yet.

But Elayne does like to go on, doesn’t she? She really doesn’t care for the world going against her wishes at all. Is that perhaps something to do with her sophisticated upbringing? Well, it’s enough sophistication for me to go with Elayne and wine. Tannic undertones too.

Rand al’Thor – Chilli-Infused Lager

The main man himself and very much an example of his ilk as a main protagonist from trad fantasy. Good, honourable, and so on. It can feel basic if done poorly and can be very easy to do poorly because of the simplicity involved, but when done right it’s very refreshing. Just like a lager. But what elevated Rand over his peers wasn’t so much nailing a simple thing as the added depth brought by his many maimings and fall into insanity. Rand earned every victory he had. To honour that, we’re adding some chilli to this. Chilli infused lager. It really is a thing, honest.

Aviendha – Mezcal

I think if you asked people to sum up Aviendha in one word, the word ‘prickly’ would get a lot of use. She is abrasively defensive for over half her appearances on page at a guess. Her personality practically demands something something high alcohol and made from prickly plants and since the Aiel are seen as rare and exotic, I figure Mezcal over the more common Tequila. It’s an unfair reputation based thing, but that seems strangely Randland appropriate.

Min Farshaw – Moonshine Cocktail

Finally, one of my favourite characters. Min never forgot her roots as a Baerleon town girl (who didn’t want to be thought of as a girl all that much) yet grew in knowledge and sheer fucking awesomeness no end. To me, says some sort of moonshine cocktail, something that draws all of that together. No, I don’t know what type of cocktail, I’m not a cocktail maker. Bonus points to whoever posts the best moonshine cocktail recipe in the comments!

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