A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items starting E


Titles: the Old Island

Island in the Sea of Éa in the north of the Archipelago, south of Enlad and near Taon and Ebéa; said to be the first land that Segoy raised from the sea. An old-established college is located here. Formerly one of the principalities of the kingship it was ruled by the Prince of Éa who was of royal lineage

Sources: The Masters of Roke, FS; The Finder, TfE; The Dragon Council, OW

Ea, Sea of

See Sea of Éa

Eagle Queen

See Heru

Ear, Isle of the

See Isle of the Ear


Also known as: Teriel

During the Dark Years, powerful wizard in the service of Losen; formerly a prentice of Gelluk. Skilled in controlling others and at shape-changing, taking the shapes of gull, eagle and dragon. Later rules Havnor through Losen as his puppet. Described as wearing a 'white silk robe, holding a tall white staff, the horn of a sea beast from the farthest North'a. He sends a fleet of eighty ships against the School of Wizardry on Roke, soon after its foundation, but is defeated by Elehal

Sources: The Finder, TfE (a)

'The desire for power feeds off itself, growing as it devours. Early suffered from hunger. He starved. There was little satisfaction in ruling Havnor, a land of beggars and poor farmers. What was the good of possessing the Throne of Maharion if nobody sat in it but a drunken cripple? What glory was there in the palaces of the city when nobody lived in them but crawling slaves?'

[The Finder, TfE]


Gont Port lies on a fault line; two different earthquakes are mentioned on Gont. When Ogion was seven or eight, half a mile of the coast at Essary fell into the sea and a tidal wave swamped the Gont Port wharves; there were many casualties, including Ogion's father. When Ogion was the wizard of Gont Port, ten years before 'The Shadow' [WoE], Heleth and he stilled a second earthquake which threatened Gont Port; Heleth gave his life to do so. Ged and Tenar's actions in the Labyrinth on Atuan precipitate an earthquake which destroys the Tombs of Atuan

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; The Anger of the Dark, ToA; The Bones of the Earth, TfE


The planet, including all the islands of the Archipelago, the Reaches and the Kargad Lands, as well as the Open Sea and any undiscovered islands beyond the map. The existence of a magnetic north suggests the planet may have a molten metallic core

Related entries: World view

Further information on Earthsea

East Creek

Region of Sattins island, presumably in the east

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q

East Forest

Region in the south-east of Gont, with several towns including Ovark and possibly Wiss; hilly and presumably at least partly forested

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE

East Hand

See Hands

East Port

Port town in the east of Gont island, near Armouth; Kargish raiders landed here in around 1012 and burned the town

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE

East Reach

Group of predominantly small islands to the south-east, including the northerly cluster: The Hands, Venway, Vemish, Sattins and Yor; the northeast cluster: Koppish, Sneg and Far Toly; the southerly cluster: Korp, Kopp, Apso, Rolameny, Gale, Holp, Tok, Insmer, Soders, The Sellets and Iffish; and the easternmost cluster: Pelimer, Kornay, Gosk and Astowell. The inhabitants are dark-skinned, and speak Hardic with varying degrees of accent

Sources: Iffish, WoE; The Open Sea, WoE

Eastern Isles

See Kargad Lands


Town in west Havnor, near Glade

Sources: Darkrose and Diamond, TfE

Ebavnor Straits

Broad channel between Havnor and Ark & Ilien, part of the Inmost Sea, from which Mount Onn is visible in clear weather. A crowded shipping lane, with traders and fishing vessels of all sizes

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; The Finder, TfE

'…the next day passed the northern cape of O and entered the Ebavnor Straits. There they dropped sail and rowed, always with land on either side and always within hail of other ships, great and small, merchants and traders, some bound in from the Outer Reaches with strange cargo after a voyage of years and others that hopped like sparrows from isle to isle of the Inmost Sea.'

[The Shadow, WoE]


Small island in the Sea of Éa, near Ea, Oranéa and Havnor; in ancient times one of the islands at the heart of Earthsea. Ruled by the Lady of Ebéa

Sources: Mending the Green Pitcher, OW

Ebéa, Lady of

See Lady of Ebéa


Tiny islet in the Pelnish Sea, between Bishi and Besu; in some maps, this islet is identified as Besu

Sources: Frontispiece map, TfE


Medium-sized northwestern island, lying southwest of Osskil and north of Semel

Sources: Orm Embar, FS; Selidor, FS


Also known as: Schooling, Apprenticeship

In the Archipelago & Reaches, learning the songs and rites, usually from village witches, is the predominant non-vocational education received by most children. A school is mentioned on Sattins island; meeting out of doors or in a hayloft, it has a single schoolmistress and takes 30 children under twelve years. The curriculum includes the Rules of Names; reading & writing do not appear to be taught. The base crafts & high arts of magic are taught at the School of Wizardry on Roke to boys sent from all over the Archipelago/Reaches who have a strong gift; presumably a similar school exists on Paln. The isle of Taon has schools of music. A school is mentioned for children at court in the New Palace on Havnor, and Lebannen mentions a schoolmaster & fencing-master at the court on Enlad. Colleges are mentioned on Ea and the Enlades. Vocational education appears to be largely via apprenticeship (eg Ged with Ogion, a young girl with Weaver Fan); trade guilds such as the Seamasters also teach certain trade-specific skills.

At the Place of the Tombs on Atuan, female novices of four to fourteen years learn sacred songs & dances, histories of the Kargad Lands and the rites & mysteries of the god of their dedication from priestesses; they are also taught more prosaic tasks including spinning, weaving, farming and cooking. Forms of education elsewhere in the Kargad Lands are not detailed

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q; The Shadow, WoE; The School of Wizardry, WoE; The Wall around the Place, ToA; Sea Dreams, FS; Orm Embar, FS; The Finder, TfE; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW; Palaces, OW; The Dragon Council, OW


See Other breath


Titles: Captain Egre

A famous pirate and slavetrader. He wears a broad gold-studded leather band round his neck to hide a scar where his throat was cut, and has a strange whistling voice. Ged takes away his voice in The Farthest Shore after he takes Lebannen as a slave; some years later, at the Siege of Sorra, which Lebannen fights against the Wathort slavers, he's a mute. Hare was his weatherworker

Sources: Magelight, FS; Dolphin, OW

Related entries: Piracy; Slavery


Sorcerer of Valmouth on Gont some thirty or forty years before A Wizard of Earthsea; he taught Ogion farmwork, carpentry and possibly magic. Described as respectable, he's also generous enough to pay Ogion's passage to Roke

Sources: The Bones of the Earth, TfE


Also known as: Ember

One of the founders of the School of Wizardry on Roke in around 650; younger sister of Yahan and lover of Medra. Her parents and brothers were killed by raiders from Wathort when she was a young child. Described as short, strong, black-browed, with dark eyes, a keen, hard, round face, soft brown skin, sleek black hair, later greying. Initially fierce and stern, in middle age she is said to be quiet and even-tempered. She first lived in the Immanent Grove, then in Thwil town with Medra, and later in a little house by the Thwilburn, near the Grove, later called the Otter's House. She is the first Master Patterner

'…under her sternness, quick and tender as the first flame of a catching fire.'

[The Finder, TfE]


Titles: Elfarran the Fair, Elfarran of Soléa, Queen Elfarran

Wife of Morred, mother of Serriadh, she died around two thousand years ago, drowning in the Sea of Éa when the Isle of Soléa was lost beneath the sea by spell of the Enemy of Morred. She bore the Ring of Erreth-Akbe centuries before the time of Erreth-Akbe. Ged was trying to summon her spirit when he released the shadow-beast

Sources: The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE; A Description of Earthsea, TfE

'In the oval of light for a moment there moved a form, a human shape: a tall woman looking back over her shoulder. Her face was beautiful, and sorrowful, and full of fear.'

[The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE]

Elfarran's ring

See Ring of Erreth-Akbe


Market town in the hills of the island of Taon

Sources: Mending the Green Pitcher, OW


See Potions


Wizard who drove Yevaud (later the Dragon of Pendor) from Osskil in the time of Morred

'…a wizard, Elt, wise in names.'

[The Dragon of Pendor, WoE]


Name used by the Children of the Open Sea (raft people) for the beaches on the Long Dune in the South Reach where they come ashore annually in autumn

Sources: The Children of the Open Sea, FS


See Elehal


Also known as: Gift

Widow and cattle-farmer living on the High Marsh, half a mile from Purewells village, ten or twelve miles north of Oraby on the island of Semel; fifty years old in 'On the High Marsh' [TfE], but still strong and healthy. She keeps a dairy, making cheese. Sister of Berry of Semel; her husband, Bren, died of marsh fever two years earlier. She takes in the former mage Irioth. Ged describes her as brave

'…her round, strong arms, her hard, red hands…'

[On the High Marsh, TfE]


Blue stone used for making talismans against rheums, sprains and stiff necks, and as a dye ore at Lorbanery

Sources: Hort Town, FS; Lorbanery, FS

Empty Throne

Also known as: Throne of the Nameless Ones

Huge throne in the Hall of the Throne at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan, dedicated to the Nameless Ones. Black, encrusted with gold & jewels on its clawed arms & carved back, it is set on a high platform of red-veined marble with seven deep steps leading up to it. It is taboo to set foot on the three highest steps, which are covered in a thick layer of dust

Sources: The Eaten One, ToA; Rejoining, OW

'The throne itself was black, with a dull glimmer of precious stones or gold on the arms and back, and it was huge. A man sitting in it would have been dwarfed; it was not of human dimensions. It was empty. Nothing sat in it but shadows.'

[The Eaten One, ToA]


King or queen of Enlad before the reign of Morred. The deeds of the early rulers of Enlad are told in the Deed of Enlad

Sources: A Description of Earthsea, TfE

Related entries: King of All the Isles

Enderfalcon of Roke

Large white-and-brown-barred fishing hawk, found on Roke

Sources: The Rowan Tree, FS


Nine-star constellation of a running man or the rune Agnen, the rune of Ending, only seen in the South Reach; includes the yellow star Gobardon and eight others whose names are not known in the lore of Roke

Sources: Sea Dreams, FS; The Madman, FS; Orm Embar, FS; Winter, T

'…well up in the sky above the blank sea, burned the star Gobardon. Beneath it were the two forming a triangle with it, and beneath these, three had risen in a straight line, forming a greater triangle. Then, slipping free of the liquid plains of black and silver, two more followed as the night wore on; they were yellow like Gobardon, though fainter, slanting from right to left from the right base of the triangle. So there were eight of the nine stars which were supposed to make the figure of a man, or the Hardic rune Agnen. To Arren's eyes there was no man in the pattern, unless, as star-figures are, he was strangely distorted; but the rune was plain, with hooked arm and cross-stroke, all but the foot, the last stroke to complete it, the star that had not yet risen.'

[The Madman, FS]


Small farming village northwest of Mount Onn, near Faliern Forest, on the isle of Havnor. It has a straggling square, tavern and a stream, the Yennava

Sources: The Finder, TfE

Enemy of Morred

Also known as: Wandlord

An evil mage of great power who made whole cities and armies in thrall to him; he was defeated by Morred. Even after his death, the spell he wove against Morred was so powerful that the island of Soléa was overwhelmed by the sea

Sources: A Description of Earthsea, TfE


Also known as: Isle of the Myths

A rich and peaceful island in the north of the Archipelago, near Ea and Osskil; part of the Enlades. Ruled by the Prince of Enlad and the Enlades at the capital, Berila; other towns include Temere (on the south coast), Serilune and Semermine (in the hills behind Berila). The terrain includes hills, orchards, woods and forests, including the Forest of Aol. At the eastern end of the island are two strings of islets, the North & South Teeth, with the sea channel, the Jaws of Enlad, between them. One of the principalities of the kingship, tracing its line of descent from Morred, via Serriadh and the House of Enlad. The people of Enlad speak their own language or dialect, of which little is known

Sources: Hunted, WoE; The Rowan Tree, FS; The Masters of Roke, FS; Hort Town, FS; The Children of the Open Sea, FS

Enlad, House of

See House of Enlad


Group of small islands in the north of the Archipelago, in the Sea of Éa, next to Enlad. An old-established college is located on them. Associated from ancient times with magic

Sources: The Dragon Council, OW

Ennas of Perregal

Great mage. Former owner of Ogion's lore-books, via his pupil the sorceress Ard and her pupil Heleth; these include the Glosses of Danemer, Arcana of the Enlades and a Book of Runes

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; Mice, T; The Bones of the Earth, TfE


Person at the School of Wizardry at Roke soon after its foundation

Sources: The Finder, TfE


The last male descendant of the House of Hupun, stranded as a child on a sand bar near Karego-At (later called Springwater Isle) on the orders of the father of the Godking reigning during The Tombs of Atuan. His sister is Anthil

Sources: Hunting, WoE; Voyage, ToA


Large island in the southwest of the Archipelago, lying at the southmost end of the Ninety Isles and near the southerly islands of the West Reach

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; The Dragon of Pendor, WoE


Town in the northern hill country of Atuan, with orchard vales to the west

Sources: The Wall around the Place, ToA


Dance, music, songs, the telling of tales, feasting and drinking are sources of entertainment common to both the Archipelago and the Kargad Lands; hunting (for sport), falconry, illusion, juggling, sleight of hand, puppetry, fireworks and visiting whores may be restricted to the Archipelago. Inns, taverns and pothouses are found throughout the Archipelago, but are not mentioned in the Kargad Lands. Acting is alluded to, and street shows of an unspecified nature are mentioned in Havnor City. Games mentioned include dice and sticks, sticks and counters, net-ball and cat's cradles

Related entries: Jugglers; Teller; Puppeteers; Prostitution


Also known as: North Enwas, South Enwas

Two small islands, North & South Enwas, in the North Reach, near Bereswek; their inhabitants are white skinned

Sources: Mending the Green Pitcher, OW


Lord of the Domain of Eolg on Havnor Isle. Father of Jasper

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE


Domain on Havnor Isle

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE


Islet off the southeast coast of Paln, in the Pelnish Sea; it lies south of Lossow and north of Seppish


Also known as: Balance, the, Balance of the Whole

The world is considered to exist in equilibrium, not static but ever-changing: '"The Balance is not a stillness. It is a movement -- an eternal becoming."'a True wizards or mages strive always to maintain this state of equilibrium by using magic only at need and with due regard for all the various consequences, both direct and indirect. This principle applies especially to spells of Summoning and Changing, which 'can shake the balance of the world'b, but also (as the quotation from 'Magelight' given below makes clear) to everyday, non-magical actions of humans.

The Equilibrium also encompasses the concept of the balance of light & dark, life & death, with each being necessary for the existence of the other; as Ged puts it, '"There are two, Arren, two that make one: the world and the shadow, the light and the dark. The two poles of the Balance. Life rises out of death, death rises out of life; in being opposite they yearn to each other, they give birth to each other and are forever reborn. And with them all is reborn, the flower of the apple tree, the light of the stars. In life is death. In death is rebirth."'a

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE (b); Magelight, FS; Orm Embar, FS (a)

'…"an act is not, as young men think, like a rock that one picks up and throws, and it hits or misses, and that's the end of it. When that rock is lifted the earth is lighter, the hand that bears it heavier. When it is thrown the circuits of the stars respond, and where it strikes or falls the universe is changed. On every act the balance of the whole depends. The wind and seas, and all that the beasts and green things do, is well done, and rightly done. All these act within the Equilibrium. From the hurricane and the great whale's sounding to the fall of a dry leaf and a gnat's flight, all they do is done within the balance of the whole. But we, in so far as we have power over the world and over one another, we must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility.'

[Magelight, FS]

Equinox sacrifice

Biennial sacrifice of a goat at the Tombs of Atuan, at the full moon nearest the equinox of spring and autumn; the blood is poured by the One Priestess onto the standing stones of the Tombs

'Twice a year, at the full moon nearest the equinox of spring and of autumn, there was a sacrifice before the Throne and she came out from the low back door of the Hall carrying a great brass basin full of smoking goat's blood; this she must pour out, half at the foot of the standing black stone, half over one of the fallen stones which lay embedded in the rocky dirt, stained by the blood-offering of centuries.'

[The Wall around the Place, ToA]


See Aspen


Ancient mage and dragonlord, counsellor to King Maharion and said to be his heart's brother. A fatherless witch's son from inland Havnor. Defeated the Firelord, and decisively defeated the Kargish fleet at Waymarsh. In 440, he carried Morred's ring (later called the Ring of Erreth-Akbe) to King Thoreg as a sign of peace between the Archipelago and the Kargad Lands, but found himself in the midst of a coup; he was defeated by High Priest Intathin of the House of Tarb, who broke the Ring and, according to Kargish accounts, his staff. Killed by the dragon Orm on Selidor a few years before Maharion's death in 452. His sword is set atop the Tower of the Kings of the Havnor New Palace; his deeds are told in the Deed of Erreth-Akbe

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; Dreams and Tales, ToA; Selidor, FS; A Description of Earthsea, TfE

'He wore an armour of gilt bronze, in an ancient fashion; it was rent as if by hatchet blows, and the jewelled scabbard of his sword was empty. His face was stern, with arched black brows and narrow nose; his eyes were dark, keen, and sorrowful.'

[Selidor, FS]

Erreth-Akbe, Ring of

See Ring of Erreth-Akbe

Erreth-Akbe, Sword of

See Sword of Erreth-Akbe


Port town of the islet of Besu off the west coast of Havnor island in the Pelnish Sea; alternatively, an islet near Besu

Sources: Hunted, WoE; frontispiece map, FS


Islet off the east coast of Havnor. Also, in some sources, a name for Otrad, an islet off the east coast of Way


Lowland town or village in the south-west of Gont island; it lies near the mouth of an unnamed river, near Solwes, Kebas and Allage. Half a mile of the coastline here is said to have fallen into the sea during the first earthquake described on Gont, when Ogion was aged seven or eight

Sources: Frontispiece map, T; Kalessin, T; The Bones of the Earth, TfE


See Diamond


See Vetch


See Rose of Old Iria


Coastal village or town in the south of Gont, near Tettego and Gont South Port

Sources: Frontispiece map, T


Islet in the easterly West Reach, near Usidero and the Toringates


Eunuchs serve in the temples at Atuan, but do not exist within the Archipelago. On Gont, the practice of castrating men appears to be unheard of; Ivory (from Havnor), however, disparagingly refers to the wizards' practice of celibacy as turning them into eunuchs, castrating themselves with spells to be holy

Sources: Bettering, T; Dragonfly, TfE



WoEA Wizard of Earthsea
ToAThe Tombs of Atuan
FSThe Farthest Shore
OWThe Other Wind
W12QThe Wind's Twelve Quarters
TfETales from Earthsea

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