—Common saying in the Two Rivers, demonstrating the strength of its inhabitants.
The Two Rivers is a region in western Andor, deriving its name from the two rivers that mark its boundaries: the Tarendrelle to the north and the Manetherendrelle (locally called the White River) to the south. It contains the villages of Taren Ferry, Deven Ride, Emond's Field, and Watch Hill, along with a number of independent farms.
The Two Rivers has long been viewed as a backwater area, provincial and quiet. Part of this is because of its geographical isolation: in addition to being bordered by rivers on two sides, with only one crossing in and out at Taren Ferry, it is walled off by the Mountains of Mist to the west, and the Waterwood, a treacherous uncharted swamp, effectively bars travel to the east. For long periods of time, the Two Rivers has simply let history, and world events, pass it by.
The area was not always quiet, however; once it was the capital city and heart of the great nation of Manetheren, a staunch, mighty and valiant member of the Compact of the Ten Nations and a thorn in the Dark One's foot. Its armies could, and would, appear at the defense of any of its allies quicker than was believed possible. They frequently turned the tide during the Trolloc Wars, when all areas of the Westlands were under siege.
Eventually, however, Manetheren fell; a vast army of Dreadlords, commanding seemingly endless hordes of Shadowspawn, fell upon the capital city while the armies were away. Despite a forced march and valiant defense, it was swept under and destroyed to its foundations--the nation that so selflessly helped its allies received no help in return. The survivors later resettled the area, which became the Two Rivers.
Government prior to the Caemlyn visitEdit
Though officially part of Andor, the Two Rivers has functioned autonomously for many years. Official tax collectors haven't visited in years and most of the folk don't know that the Two Rivers is included on maps of Andor. The towns are run by the Women's Circle and Village Council with the leaders of those groups being the town Wisdom and Mayor respectively. After the second invasion of Trollocs, Perrin Aybara and Faile Bashere became the Lord and Lady of the Two Rivers. Later, the two made a courtesy visit to Caemlyn and all of that changed.
Current events have forced the Two Rivers to pay attention to the world around them; with the troubles between Tarabon and Arad Doman escalating, the invasions of the Seanchan, and the army of Trollocs brought to the Two Rivers by Padan Fain through the Waygate, not to mention the slow, inevitable approach of Tarmon Gai'don, the quiet, peaceful people had to learn how to fight and provide for themselves in a changing environment. Most have adapted well to the new situation, although some complain about "foreigners," even as those foreigners bring news, trade, skills and resources into what was once a nearly forgotten corner of the world.
Future shape of the regional governmentEdit
In a meeting with Elayne, Queen of Andor, the future rule of the Two Rivers region was discussed at length and a plan of action hammered out. At first, it was suggested that the region be made a separate autonomous province with Perrin as High Lord, placing him above the Houses of Andor, but below the Queen in the authority structure. The region would be exempt from taxes. As High Lord and subject to the Queen, Perrin would be obliged to marshal troops for the defense of Andor. He would also be expected to call upon those monarchs who have sworn fealty to him for the defense of Andor, as needed. Specifically mentioned was Alliandre of Ghealdan. It was postulated that Berelain of Mayene might join in on this alliance if asked by Perrin, and through Faile's connection to the royal line of Saldaea, that country as well. Assuming Elayne took the Sun Throne, Cairhien would also join, making it an alliance of six nations, assuming Two Rivers were counted as a single nation. And though some of the members of the alliance would be small, the combined strength of all six countries would be telling.
Out of concern that because of Faile's closeness to the throne of Saldaea, she might someday ascend and the region might break off and become a Saldaean province, it was stipulated that if Faile were ever to become Queen that one of their children would become a legal claimant to the Saldaean throne and one would continue as High Lord of the Two Rivers. At Elayne's request, another Aybara child would be encouraged, but not required, to consider marriage within the Andoran royal line.
—Lord Perrin Goldeneyes
In the final round of negotiations Elayne expressed a concern for how this would be perceived by the other Andora Noble Houses, and it was decided that such perceptions could be manipulated to the best advantage of the realm if the Two Rivers were given to the Dragon Reborn as his Andoran seat (that is, it would remain a province of Andor), for the debt that Andor owed him and because it was where he grew up. He would be given an appropriate title and it would be requested of him that he appoint Perrin's line as stewards of the land. Taxes would be collected and placed in a trust for the Dragon Reborn's use if and whenever he returned. In the meantime, Perrin would have authority to draw from that fund for the building and upkeep of defense, infrastructure and any other needs of the region that might arise. Though Perrin assented to the title of "Steward of the Two Rivers," this late change in the discussion left in doubt whether Perrin would still be named "High Lord" of the region.
References and similaritiesEdit
- The Two Rivers is based on Robert Jordan's home town of Charleston, South Carolina.
- The Two Rivers has many similarities to the Shire of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
- Both are geographically isolated from the wider world
- Both can be accessed by a ferry: Taren Ferry for the Two Rivers, and the Buckleberry Ferry for the Shire
- The Shire is bordered by the Brandywine River to the East; The Winespring runs through Emonds Field in the Two Rivers