A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items starting T


One of Lark's children, probably of Oak Village in Middle Valley on Gont

Sources: Winter, T


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

Tales, children's

See Children's tales


Also known as: Charms, Amulets, Fetishes

Talismans or charms (also occasionally referred to as amulets or fetishes) are used to guard against illness, and perhaps other mischance. Specific examples mentioned include emmel-stone charms against rheums, sprains and stiff necks; a sailors' talisman of petrel breastbone twined round with dried seaweed, used to avert seasickness; and a charm-bundle wrapped in goatskin and tied with coloured cord, placed with Ogion's corpse before burial. A small amulet bag affixed to a chain is mentioned for wearing talismans. In the Kargad Lands, amulets/talismans appear to be exclusively associated with wizardry, suggesting they are not used there.

Charm is also commonly used as a synonym for spell, especially a minor one

Sources: Hort Town, FS; Ogion, T; Dolphin, OW; Rejoining, OW

Related entries: Healing; Death-related customs


Sorcerer and pirate, follower of Heno, the Lord of Valmouth on Gont. After the restoration of the Archipelagan monarchy, captains three ships sent by Heno against Lebannen's fleet, resulting in his arrest

'…the sorcerer-seawolf Tally, who was feared by every merchantman from Soléa to the Andrades;'

[The Master, T]


Witch in the town of Glade on Havnor island; mother of Darkrose. She wears many bracelets, likes cats, toads and jewels; despite making a good living from healing, midwifery, curing animals and selling potions and spells, she lives in squalor, not being interested in clothes, housekeeping or motherhood. Her house has two rooms and a yard

'She was never ill-natured. She seldom thought to do anything for her daughter, but never hurt her, never scolded her, and gave her whatever she asked for…'

[Darkrose and Diamond, TfE]


Coastal village or town in the east of Gont, near East Port and Wiss

Sources: Frontispiece map, T


Titles: Isle of the Harpers

Small island in southern part of the Sea of Éa, near where Soléa formerly was found; less than 100 miles from the island of Semel. Ruled by the Prince of Éa. Main city is Meoni; other habitations include the market town of Elini. Known for singers, schools of music and the making of fine harps, such as the one owned by Vetch

Sources: Iffish, WoE; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW

'Taon is at the southern end of the Sea of Éa, not far from where Soléa lay before the sea whelmed it. That was the ancient heart of Earthsea. All those islands had states and cities, kings and wizards, when Havnor was a land of feuding tribesmen and Gont a wilderness ruled by bears. People born on Éa or Ebéa, Enlad or Taon, though they may be ditchdigger's daughter or witch's son, consider themselves to be descendants of the Elder Mages, sharing the lineage of the warriors who died in the dark years for Queen Elfarran.'

[Mending the Green Pitcher, OW]

Tarb, House of

See House of Tarb


Harpist in the town of Glade on Havnor island, he leads a band of musicians; teacher of Diamond

'…a lean, long-jawed, walleyed fellow of forty.'

[Darkrose and Diamond, TfE]


Some of the Children of the Open Sea (raft people) adorn their bodies with tatoos; these are not mentioned elsewhere in Earthsea

'…with a blue crab tattooed all across his back.'

[The Children of the Open Sea, FS]


Also known as: Pothouses

Kept by a taverner, taverns or pothouses serve beer and wine; unlike inns, they usually don't provide food or accommodation. Probably ubiquitous throughout the Archipelago, they're mentioned in Havnor City and various villages on Semel, Havnor and elsewhere

Sources: The Finder, TfE; On the High Marsh, TfE; Dolphin, OW


Cattleman's wife in Purewells village near Oraby on the High Marsh of the island of Semel. With her husband Alder of Semel, she has several children. Friend of Emer

Sources: On the High Marsh, TfE


Shipping (and possibly other) taxes are raised from merchants of the Inner Lands by the King of All the Isles, subject to the vote of the King's Council. The lords and Ruling Princes levy local taxes and, after the restoration of the Archipelagan monarchy, village councils on Gont also levy local taxes to employ bailiffs

Sources: Home, T; The Dragon Council, OW


See Industry


Also known as: North Teeth, South Teeth

Two strings of islets, the North & South Teeth, line the Jaws of Enlad. They run east--west, from the east of Enlad towards Andrad and the Andrades


Also known as: Therru
Titles: Tehanu of Gont, a woman on Gont, the Woman of Gont, Hama Gondun, Daughter of the Eldest, Daughter of Kalessin, Mistress Tehanu, Lady Tehanu

Child of tramps Senini & Hake, adopted by Tenar and later Ged, she lives at Oak Farm and then at the Old Mage's House on Gont. Severely disfigured by burning as a girl of six or seven, the right side of her face is ruined, she lacks a right eye, her right arm is clawlike and can't be raised above her shoulder, her voice weak and very hoarse, her breathing is laboured and she cannot cry. Small and slender, her single eye is dark and her thick black hair is often worn to hide her face. As a child she is very shy and has difficulty in trusting men in particular. Her birth name is unknown; her use-name Therru means 'burning, the flaming of fire' in Kargisha. Her true name Tehanu is the star the Heart of the Swan, and is given to her by the dragon Kalessin, who calls her his child. She is titled Hama Gondun, 'a woman on Gont', by Azver the Patterner. Revealed as one of the dragon-humans, as a young adult she takes the form of a gold dragon (in which form she is whole and unburned), and leaves to fly on the other wind with Kalessin

Sources: A Bad Thing, T; Ogion, T (a); Tehanu, T; Palaces, OW; Rejoining, OW

'There was a woman whom Alder took for a servant because she was very plainly dressed and stayed outside the group, turned half away as if looking out of the windows. He saw the beautiful fall of her black hair, heavy and glossy as falling water… She was young; the left side of her face was smooth copper-rose, a dark bright eye under an arched eyebrow. The right side had been destroyed and was ridged, slabby scar, eyeless. Her right hand was like a raven's curled claw.'

'The third had bright mail, gold, with wings of gold. That one flew highest and did not stoop down to them. Orm Irian played about her in the air and they flew together, one chasing the other higher and higher, till all at once the highest rays of the rising sun struck Tehanu and she burned like her name, a great bright star.

[Palaces, OW/Rejoining, OW]

Tehanu (star)

See Heart of the Swan


Old port town on the island of Pody, in the Ninety Isles. Linen making is a major industry, with flax-retting houses in the old weavers' quarter, which has a little cobbled square. Other features include Ath's House. At the time of 'The Finder' [TfE], Pody had been ruled by the lords of Wathort for a century, and the town was very run down

'…a pretty old port town, Telio, built of rosy sandstone…The sunny streets of Telio were sad and dirty. People lived in them as in the wilderness, in tents and lean-tos made or scraps, or shelterless.'

[The Finder, TfE]


Person who tells (rather than sings) the tales of the history of the Archipelago. The examples mentioned appear to be itinerant, but it is possible that tellers, like chanters, might also be attached to courts

Sources: On the High Marsh, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE

Telling the hours

In Havnor City on Havnor, four trumpeters mark the passage of time (according to sand clocks and the Pendulum of Ath) by blowing fanfares at set points during the day from the Tower of the Kings. The fanfares are derived from the Lament for Erreth-Akbe; the full tune is played only at noon, with different fragments at each of the other hours

'…four trumpeters went out on the high balcony from which rose the highest tower of the palace, the one that was topped with the slender steel blade of the hero's sword, and at the fourth and fifth hours before noon, and at noon, and at the first, second, and third hours after noon they blew their trumpets one to the west, one to the north, one to the east, one to the south. … And if you wanted to be somewhere at a certain hour, you should keep an eye on the balconies, because the trumpeters always came out a few minutes early, and if the sun was shining they held up their silver trumpets to flash and shine.'

[Palaces, OW]


Large port on the south coast of Enlad; Lebannen says that it trades with all the Reaches

Sources: Hort Town, FS

Temple of the God-Brothers

Also known as: God-Brothers, Temple of the, Temple of the Twin Gods

Temple to the Twin Gods on Atuan, set on a little knoll in the Place of the Tombs. A windowless cube of white plastered stone, with a newly gilted roof and a low porch, it is centuries older than the Temple of the Godking, but much more recent than the Hall of the Throne. Its little vaulted treasury has a large concealed spyhole onto the Painted Room of the Labyrinth

Sources: The Wall around the Place, ToA; The Man Trap, ToA

'Even from away off on the eastern plains, looking up one might see the gold roof of the Temple of the Twin Gods wink and glitter beneath the mountains like a speck of mica in a shelf of rock.'

[The Wall around the Place, ToA]

Temple of the Godking

Also known as: Godking, Temple of the

Temple to the Godking on Atuan. The newest and showiest temple in the Place of the Tombs, it has a high portico and thick white columns of solid cedar logs with carved & painted capitals. At the rear are accommodations for the High Priestess serving the Godking.

There is also a minor temple to the Godking in Ossawa

Sources: The Wall around the Place, ToA; Dreams and Tales, ToA; The Man Trap, ToA

'The columns with their carved capitals stood white with hoar-frost in the starlight, like pillars of bone.'

[The Man Trap, ToA]

Temple of the Twin Gods

See Temple of the God-Brothers

Ten Alders

Small village high on Gont Mountain, at the head of the Northward Vale in the north-east of Gont. It lies over the springs of Ar, beneath the High Fall cliffs; the nearest village is Medu. It has a single street, with a bronze-smith's forge & smelting pit, tannery, thatched houses/huts and a great yew tree. Birthplace of Ged

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; Frontispiece map, T

Ten Alders, Witch of

See Witch of Ten Alders


Major city of the island of Atuan, to the north west of the Tombs of Atuan; said to have a thousand houses

'And first we went to Tenacbah, which is a great city, though those who've seen both say it's no more to Awabath than a flea to a cow. But it's big enough for me, there must be ten hundred houses in Tenacbah!'

[The Wall Around the Place, ToA]


See Land ownership


Also known as: Arha, Goha
Titles: The Eaten One, One Priestess, First Priestess, Priestess Ever Reborn, One Ever Reborn, Priestess of the Tombs, White Lady of Gont, Tenar of the Ring, Peace Bringer, Lady Tenar

Born in a tiny hamlet west of Entat, in the north of Atuan, fifth child of an apple orchard worker, on the night of the former One Priestess's death. Supposed to be the reincarnation of the Priestess. As Arha ('the one who was devoured'), was First Priestess of the Nameless Ones at the Tombs of Atuan in the Kargad Lands; as part of her duties, she sacrificed three prisoners by starvation. Left with Ged aged sixteen, after the destruction of the Tombs, bringing with her the restored Ring of Erreth-Akbe, and travelled with him to Havnor before settling on Gont. There she studied briefly with Ogion, before marrying a farmer, Flint, and living at Oak Farm in Middle Valley; their two children are Apple and Spark. After Flint died, she adopted Tehanu and later lived at the Old Mage's House at Re Albi, married to Ged. Little description of her is given in The Tombs of Atuan, but she is known to be small, with white skin, large grey eyes and black hair, worn braided; Ged calls her beautiful. In middle-age, her hair is long and dark, with hardly any grey; she's near sighted. By The Other Wind, she's in her fifties and her hair is greying

Sources: The Wall around the Place, ToA; The Ring of Erreth-Akbe, ToA; Kalessin, T; Winter, T; The Master, T

'"You are like a lantern swathed and covered, hidden away in a dark place. Yet the light shines; they could not put out the light. They could not hide you."'

…'a foreigner to be sure, white-skinned and talking a bit strange, but a notable housekeeper, an excellent spinner, with well-behaved, well-grown children and a prospering farm: respectable.'

'"There's no mercy in me, only justice. I wasn't trained to mercy. Love is the only grace I have."

[The Ring of Erreth-Akbe, ToA/Kalessin, T/Winter, T]


See Early


See Medra


Sailing ship whose master is Tosla

Sources: Palaces, OW

Terrenon, Court of the

See Court of the Terrenon

Terrenon, the

See Stone of Terrenon


Islet at the northern end of the Ninety Isles, near Hosk

Sources: The Dragon of Pendor, WoE


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

Sources: Frontispiece map, T


Titles: High Priestess of the God-Brothers, High Priestess of the Twin Gods

High Priestess of the God-Brothers/Twin Gods, Atwah and Wuluah at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan. A tall, thin, dry-voiced woman, stern but fair. Teaches Arha (Tenar) the mysteries of the Nameless Ones including the instructions to negotiating the Labyrinth. She died of a wasting disease when Arha was around sixteen

'…tall and dry and thin as the legbone of a deer.'

[The Wall around the Place, ToA]

The Lass of Belilo

Also known as: Lass of Belilo, The

Sailors' song; tells of a sailor who left a pretty girl weeping in every port, until one turned into a dragon and flew after him, snatching him from the boat and eating him. Possibly an Archipelagan folk memory of the Vedurnan

Sources: Palaces, OW

Related entries: Dragons; Songs


See Tehanu


Titles: High King of the Four Kargad Lands

High King of the Kargad Lands after a civil war deposing the Godking some ten years into the reign of King Lebannen; claims descent from the god Wuluah (one of the Twin Gods) and King Thoreg of Hupun. Restores worship of the Twin Gods and the Nameless Ones. His daughter is Seserakh

'Thol was a violent man on a threatened throne.'

[Palaces, OW]


Inhabitant of Middle Valley on Gont; bought High Creek farm from Flint and Tenar

Sources: The Master, T


Also known as: Thoreg of Hupun
Titles: King of the Kargad Lands

King of the Kargad Lands in the time of Maharion and Erreth-Akbe (around 440), his capital was at Hupun on Karego-At. Fought against the rise of the High Priests (later Priest-Kings) at Awabath. Erreth-Akbe gave half the broken Ring of Erreth-Akbe to his daughter, Tiarath; Ensar and Anthil were the last descendants of his house, the House of Hupun

Sources: Voyage, ToA; A Description of Earthsea, TfE


Titles: Master Summoner

Master Summoner at the School of Wizardry on Roke during The Farthest Shore and 'Dragonfly'. Described as dark, tall and slender, noble looking, with a face seemingly 'carved out of dark stone'a, he is the youngest of the Masters of Roke at that time. His staff is bone-white wood. After Ged's departure, he summons himself back from death to lead the School, scheming to be elected Archmage; he is defeated by Irian, who makes him step onto Roke Knoll and thus reveal his true form: 'a huddle of clothes and dry bones and a broken staff'a

Sources: The Masters at Roke, FS; Dragonfly, TfE (a)

'…deep-voiced and tall, young, with a dark and noble face…'

'"Thorion was the best of us all---a brave heart, a noble mind."

[The Masters at Roke, FS/Dragonfly, TfE]


Lebannen's majordomo at the court on Havnor. His duties include organising royal visits and audiences, and possibly making travel arrangements and organising ceremonial processions

'…a slow and steady man…'

[Dolphin, OW]

Thousand-leaved Tree

This motif is depicted in several places in the School of Wizardry on Roke, including the horn door and the gallery. Its significance is unknown

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; The Masters of Roke, FS

Three things were that will not be

A riddle song sung in the villages around the foot of Mount Onn on Havnor, the last line of which may relate to Medra

'Three things were that will not be:
Soléa's bright isle above the wave,
A dragon swimming in the sea,
A seabird flying in the grave.

[The Finder, TfE]

Related entries: Songs

Throne of the kingdom

See Morred's High Seat

Throne of the Nameless Ones

See Empty Throne

Throne of Thoreg

Throne of the Kargad Lands, in Awabath on Karego-At

Sources: Palaces, OW

Throne room

Also known as: Great Hall of Gemal Sea-born

Formerly the great hall of Gemal Sea-born; the oldest part of the New Palace of Havnor City in which the King's Council meets. A long, plainly-decorated room with a high-beamed ceiling and high, narrow windows, furnished with cushioned benches for the councillors. On a dias at the end of the hall facing the councillors' benches stands the throne, Morred's High Seat; behind the dias is a curtained doorway. Described in the Havnorian Lay: 'A hundred warriors, a hundred women/sat in the great hall of Gemal Sea-Born/at the king's table'a

Sources: Bettering, T; The Dragon Council, OW (a)

'But the throne room, once the beamed ceiling was rebuilt, the stone walls replastered, the narrow, high-set windows reglazed, he left in its old starkness. … Some of the rich people who came to admire their expensive palace complained about the throne room and the throne. "It looks like a barn," they said, and, "Is it Morred's High Seat or an old farmer's chair?"'

[The Dragon Council, OW]


Also known as: Thwil Town, Thwil Harbour

Main habitation in the south east of Roke Island, a small town rising above Thwil Bay; it is the only harbour on the island. Location of the Great House of Roke, the heart of the Roke School of Wizardry. The streets are steep, narrow & tortuous, and in some places cobbled; there is a small market square

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; The Finder, TfE

'Few and short as were the streets of Thwil, they turned and twisted curiously among the high-roofed houses, and the way was easy to lose. It was a strange town, and strange also its people, fishermen and workmen and artisans like any others, but so used to the sorcery that is ever at play on the Isle of the Wise that they seemed half sorcerers themselves. They talked … in riddles and not one of them would blink to see a boy turn into a fish or a house fly up in the air, but knowing it for a schoolboy prank would go on cobbling shoes or cutting up mutton unconcerned.'

[The School for Wizards, WoE]

Thwil Bay

Also known as: Roke Bay, Bay of Thwil

Small bay in the southeast of Roke, backed by the rounded hill of Roke Knoll; location of the harbour town of Thwil. It's said that here 'there's no wind but the wind they want'a, as the bay is protected by the Roke wind

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; The School for Wizards, WoE; Dragonfly, TfE (a)


Clear-running stream in the south east of Roke Island, running out of the Immanent Grove, beside Roke Knoll and, presumably, into Thwil Bay. It has a wooden footbridge near the Great House of Roke

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; Dragonfly, TfE


Daughter of King Thoreg of the House of Hupun on Karego-At. Erreth-Akbe gave half of the broken Ring of Erreth-Akbe to her, and it became a treasured heirloom of their house

Sources: Voyage, ToA


Old man employed at Oak Farm in the Middle Valley on Gont; looks after the field crops. Married to Sis; they live in the lower house near Oak Farm

Sources: Kalessin, T; Home, T; The Master, T


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


Time measurements are given in years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds; as with other units of measurement, presumably these are silently translated from the Hardic or Kargish units for time. There are six hours from midnight to noon and six hours from noon to midnight, so either one Earthsea hour equals two earth hours, or the day is half the length. In Havnor City, time is measured using sand clocks and the Pendulum of Ath housed in the Tower of the Kings, from which trumpeters tell the hours by blowing their trumpets at fixed times (see telling the hours); a sandglass is also used to regulate debate in the King's Council. A sundial is referred to, which may be a major method of formal timekeeping outside Havnor City. The School of Wizardry at Roke has a bell tower which might be used for denoting passage of time. The Children of the Open Sea (raft people) have a relaxed sense of time, only keeping account of whole days and nights, with no hour measurement

Sources: Palaces, OW

Related entries: Calendar


See Gelluk


Master and mistress are common courtesy titles used across the Archipelago and Reaches, as well as on Atuan. Titles based on occupation (eg farmer, sea-captain) are used in the Archipelago and Reaches. According to 'The Rule of Names', Mr, Mrs and Goody (of widows) are used on Sattins island in the East Reach, but not mentioned elsewhere. Aristocratic titles used in the Archipelago include lord, lady, prince and princess; only the King of All the Isles or King of Earthsea is addressed as a king. In the Kargad Lands, the Godking is styled Emperor; Thol is addressed as High King

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q; Light under the Hill, ToA; Hort Town, FS; A Bad Thing, T; Palaces, OW


Small island in the East Reach, near Iffish, Holp and Insmer

Sources: Iffish, WoE; Afterword, WoE


Star visible in the far east of the Archipelago

Sources: The Open Sea, WoE

Tomb Wall

Ancient mortarless stone wall behind the Hall of the Throne and encircling the summit of the Hill of the Tombs; it completely surrounds the Tombs of Atuan. Originally three times the height of a person, by the time of The Tombs of Atuan it has partly fallen down in several places

Sources: The Wall around the Place, ToA; The Prisoners, ToA

'The rocks it was built of were massive; the least of them would outweigh a man, and the largest were big as wagons. Though unshapen they were carefully fitted and interlocked. Yet in places the height of the wall had slipped down and the rocks lay in a shapeless heap.'

[The Prisoners, ToA]

Tombs of Atuan

Also known as: Tombstones, Place of the Old Powers

Nine black stones, eighteen to twenty feet high, behind the Hall of the Throne, within an encircling wall, the Tomb Wall. Sacred to the Nameless Ones, they are said to have stood there since the creation of Earthsea. The name also encompasses the Undertomb beneath the Tombstones, where the power of the Nameless Ones is at its strongest. The Tombstones fall into the Undertomb in the earthquake that follows Ged and Tenar's escape from the Labyrinth with the Ring of Erreth-Akbe

Sources: The Wall around the Place, ToA; The Anger of the Dark, ToA

'Inside the loop of the wall several black stones eighteen or twenty feet high stuck up like huge fingers out of the earth. Once the eye saw them it kept returning to them. They stood there full of meaning, and yet there was no saying what they meant. There were nine of them. One stood straight, the others leaned more or less, two had fallen. They were crusted with grey and orange lichen as if splotched with paint, all but one, which was naked and black with a dull black gloss to it. It was smooth to the touch, but on the others, under the crust of lichen, vague carvings could be seen, or felt with the fingers -- shapes, signs. These nine stones were the Tombs of Atuan. They had been planted in the darkness when the lands were raised up from the ocean's depths. They were older by far than the Godkings of Kargad, older than the Twin Gods, older than light. They were the tombs of those who ruled before the world of men came to be, the ones not named, and she who served them had no name.'

[The Wall around the Place, ToA]


See Tombs of Atuan


Simple farming implements, including hoes, rakes, spades, scythes, pruning hooks, pruning knifes, pitchforks and wheelbarrows, are commonly employed across Earthsea, as are spinning/weaving implements, including the (drop) spindle, distaff, spinning wheel and various types of handloom. Smithying implements mentioned include forge bellows. Woodworking tools, used for ship-building, are mentioned in Havnor City during the Dark Years; they include a bubble level and unspecified fine-work tools; Ogion carves a staff using a knife and rubbing-stone. A flint and steel is used as a lighter on Atuan. Other tools mentioned include a crowbar and hatchet

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q; Warriors in the Mist, WoE; The Hawk's Flight, WoE; Prologue, ToA; The Western Mountains, ToA; Hort Town, FS; Hawks, T; Finding Words, T; Home, T; Tehanu, T; The Finder, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE


Medium-sized island in the South Reach, near Rood

Sources: The Open Sea, WoE


Northern islet off the south coast of Osskil, near Ebosskil, Enlad and the Enlades


Moderately large island in the Gontish Sea to the north-east of Havnor, near Barnisk, Way and Gont, and relatively close to Karego-At; the Torikles lie off its southern end. Under Kargish rule for at least a generation in the time of Maharion

Sources: A Description of Earthsea, TfE


Cluster of small islands south of Torheven; among the closest of the Archipelago to Karego-At. Under Kargish rule for at least a generation in the time of Maharion

Sources: A Description of Earthsea, TfE


String of tiny inhabited islands running north--south in the West Reach, east of the Dragons' Run. Has farms

Sources: Palaces, OW


Islet at the northern end of the Ninety Isles, near Hosk; possibly one of the islets of the Low Torning township


Shipmaster and voyager; dark-skinned, with a keen, hard face. In his early thirties, he's brave, keen, coolheaded, often outspoken and somewhat coarse in expression; friend of Lebannen, with whom he has sailed and fought in the Siege of Sorra. His ship is the Tern, and he also captains Lebannen's ship, the Dolphin

Sources: Palaces, OW; Dolphin, OW

'There was a man of about the king's age, dressed in velvet and airy linens, with jewels on his belt and at his throat and a great ruby stud in his earlobe: Shipmaster Tosla, said the king. Tosla's face, dark as old oak wood, was keen and hard.'

[Palaces, OW]


Village or town by the river Ar in the east of Gont; near Armouth, East Port and Chodur

Sources: Frontispiece map, T

Tower of Alabaster

Tower of the New Palace in Havnor City, built by Heru and Maharion. Perhaps another name for either the Tower of the Kings or the Tower of the Queen, perhaps a third distinct tower

Sources: The Dragon Council, OW

Tower of Erreth-Akbe

See Tower of the Kings

Tower of the Kings

Also known as: Tower of the Sword, Tower of Erreth-Akbe, Sword Tower

Highest tower of the New Palace of Havnor City on Havnor, with the Sword of Erreth-Akbe set in its pinnacle; built by Heru and Maharion. The tower houses sand clocks and the Pendulum of Ath; from an encircling balcony near its summit, trumpeters play, telling the hours

Sources: Palaces, OW; The Dragon Council, OW

Tower of the Queen

Also known as: Queen Heru's Tower, Queen's Tower

Tower of the New Palace in Havnor City, near the Tower of the Kings; built by Heru and Maharion

Sources: The Dragon Council, OW

Tower of the Sword

See Tower of the Kings


Young sheep-dealer of Re Albi on Gont; he often acts as a messenger. Said to look sly and shifty, Tenar calls him a carrion crow for being the frequent bearer of bad news

Sources: Going to the Falcon's Nest, T; Mice, T; The Master, T

'…a sharp-faced, quick-eyed man'

[Going to the Falcon's Nest, T]


See Games


Items traded in the Archipelago and Reaches include ivory and fur from the northern isles, fleecefell from Gont and the Andrades, wine from the Andrades, turbie oil from the Ninety Isles, silk from Lorbanery, gauzes from Sowl, pearls from the Isles of Sand, slaves in the South Reach, timber on Havnor and from Gont, glass beads from Venway, and tin, ox hides and sapphires from the West Reach. In the Kargad Lands, opals, turquoises and cedar are traded from Hur-at-Hur. Trade in foodstuffs other than wine, oil and grain is not mentioned, possibly due to the long travel times between islands. Great markets are found in Hort Town (Wathort) and Amrun (South Reach), and presumably also on Havnor and at Awabath. Trade routes are threatened by piracy at the edges of the Archipelago (eg the northeastern seas around Gont) during the years immediately preceding the restoration of the Archipelagan monarchy

Trade guilds

Also known as: Guilds, Workers' guilds

Organisations of people working the same trade; examples include the Seamasters and the miners' guild

Sources: The Dragon Council, OW

Trance-inducing herbs

Also known as: Herbs, trance inducing

Unnamed herbs burned on bronze trays produce fumes that enable the One Priestess in Atuan to prophesy or to enter a trance-like state whilst dancing in the ceremonies of the darkness

Sources: Dreams and Tales, ToA; Light under the Hill, ToA

Travel & transport

Ships are a major method of transport in Earthsea, and the only way of travelling any distance, as bridges between islands are rare. Despite this, it is said that many islanders have never been on a boat; presumably they never travel more than a few miles from their home village. For the villagers of Woodedge on Havnor, for example, 'Mount Onn was the world, and the shores of Havnor were the edge of the universe.'a Ged is famous as an explorer and sailor, as well as a mage. Havnor City has a network of inland canals.

Paved or cobbled streets are found in cities and wealthier towns, including Havnor City, Havnor South Port, Gont Port, Hort Town & Thwil. Though many rural roads are probably little more than a muddy cart track, some constructed roads link towns and villages, such as the zigzagging wagon road with long cuttings covering the 15 miles between Gont Port & Re Albi on Gont. Horses are rare except on Havnor, Semel and Way; even on those islands horseriding seems largely confined to the relatively wealthy and cowboys. Donkeys and mules are commonly ridden on various islands. Some people, such as peddlers and itinerant wizards & entertainers, walk long distances. Carts or wagons drawn by mules, donkeys, oxen or occasionally cart horses are a major method of transporting both people and goods inland, especially on large islands such as Havnor. A 'closed, gilt-bedizened carriage'b drawn by four grey horses carries Seserakh in state in Havnor City

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; The Great Treasure, ToA; Finding Words, T; The Finder, TfE (a); Darkrose and Diamond, TfE; On the High Marsh, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE; Palaces, OW; Dolphin, OW (b)

'Farmer, goatherd, cattleherd, hunter or artisan, the landsman looks at the ocean as at a salt unsteady realm that has nothing to do with him at all. The village two days' walk from his village is a foreign land, and the island a day's sail from his island is a mere rumour, misty hills seen across the water, not solid ground like that he walks on.'

[The Shadow, WoE]

Treasury of the Tombs

Also known as: Great Treasury of the Tombs, Great Treasury of the Tombs of Atuan, Treasury of the Tombs of Atuan, Great Treasure of the Tombs (of Atuan)

At the centre of the Labyrinth of Atuan, guarded by a pit, the treasury is a low-roofed, dusty room with rough-hewn stone walls containing six great stone chests of treasure, including half the Ring of Erreth-Akbe; Ged calls it 'a deathly place'a. Opened by a silver key with a dragon-shaped haft (one of the ring of keys)

Sources: The Great Treasure, ToA; The Ring of Erreth-Akbe, ToA (a)

'In the Great Treasury of the Tombs of Atuan, time did not pass. No light; no life; no least stir of spider in the dust or worm in the cold earth. Rock, and dark, and time not passing.'

[The Ring of Erreth-Akbe, ToA]


Constellation of the dry land, the stars that do not set

Sources: The Dragon of Pendor, WoE

Trees of the Grove

See Arhada

Trimmer's Dell

Also known as: Yaved

Small valley in the hills just inland of Gont Port on the island of Gont, on the fault line

'It was the place where the ridges parted, just inland from Gont Port, deep in the knot of hills above the city. It was the place of the fault. An earthquake centred there could shake the city down, bring avalanche and tidal wave, close the cliffs of the bay together like hands clapping.'

[The Bones of the Earth, TfE]

True name

Name given to Archipelagans by a witch/wizard when they reach thirteen at a ceremony called the Passage into manhood; a word in the Old Speech. The true name is particular to the person: no two people will bear the same name. Knowledge of this name confers power over the person, living or dead, and accordingly it is kept secret, only being revealed to very close family and perhaps to true friends. Speaking aloud the true name prevents the person from using magic, and breaks illusions, causing the person's true shape to be shown: 'As she said his name she saw him perfectly clearly, the dark scarred face she knew, the dark eyes; yet there stood the milk-faced stranger.'a Usually it is kept for life, though a wizard can rename an adult, as, for example, Ged does Akaren. It's unclear whether it's retained after death; summoning of the dead appears to use true names, but in Alder's dreams of the dry land, Lily states that her true name is no longer her name. The conferral of true names is said to have been started by the Rune Makers a thousand years before the first kings of Enlad; they used the arts of naming to lay 'a great net of spells upon all the western lands, so that when the people of the islands die, they would come to the west beyond the west and live there in spirit forever.'b

The people of the Kargad Lands do not bear true names; Azver, the Kargish Master Patterner, learned his true name from the trees of the Immanent Grove

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE; The Western Mountains, ToA (a); Lorbanery, FS; Dragonfly, TfE; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW; The Dragon Council, OW; Rejoining, OW (b)

'"They taught us to give each soul its true name: which is its truth, its self. And with their power they granted to those who bear their true name life beyond the body's death."'

[Rejoining, OW]

Related entries: Names; Naming; Religion and the afterlife

True Runes

Also known as: Runes of Power, Further Runes, Six Hundred Runes of Hardic, Runes of Éa

True Runes or Runes of Power, such as the Six Hundred Runes of Hardic, Further Runes, Runes of Éa and others unnamed, are used for magic. According to some sources, True Runes were invented by the Rune Makers; other accounts say that they date back to the creation of Earthsea, Segoy having written them in fire on the wind. The Ring of Erreth-Akbe bears nine Runes of Power including Pirr (protects from madness and from wind and fire), Ges (gives endurance) and the Bond Rune, the sign of peace. Other True Runes mentioned include Simn ('work well'), Sifl ('speed well') and Agnen, rune of Ending (closes roads and is drawn on coffin lids)

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; A Description of Earthsea, TfE; Rejoining, OW

True Speech

See Old Speech


Grey kitten from Moss's cat, Little Grey, which Alder takes to Havnor in a covered poultry basket to help him sleep. It stays with him in his room in the New Palace of Havnor City, a sand tray being provided for its use. Alder later gives the cat to the young boy Rody when he departs for Roke

Sources: Mending the Green Pitcher, OW; Palaces, OW; Dolphin, OW

'The kitten, evidently happy to be away from the household of dogs and tomcats and roosters and the unpredictable Heather, tried hard to show that it was a reliable and diligent cat, patrolling the house for mice, riding on Alder's shoulder under his hair when permitted, and settling right down to sleep purring under his chin as soon as he lay down. Alder slept all night without any dream he remembered, and woke to find the kitten sitting on his chest, washing its ears with an air of quiet virtue.'

[Mending the Green Pitcher, OW]


Wife of wealthy merchant Golden in Glade on Havnor island; mother of Diamond. Her uncle was a mage in the Court of the Lords Regent of Havnor City. A dutiful and loving wife and mother, she's prone, at least in her husband's opinion, to gossip and worrying. She has a soft, dark-toned voice

'Mothers were born to worry about their children, and women were born never to be content. There was no reason why [Golden] should listen to the litany of anxieties by which Tuly hauled herself through life. Of course she thought a merchant's life wasn't good enough for the boy. She'd have thought being King in Havnor wasn't good enough for him.'

[Darkrose and Diamond, TfE]


Small fish caught in the Ninety Isles for their oil, the foundation of the local economy

Sources: The Dragon of Pendor, WoE; Hunted, WoE


Inhabitant of Re Albi on Gont; owner of a winter-pasture for goats, for sale at the time of Tehanu

Sources: Tehanu, T

Tutok Bay

Coastal village or town in the northwest of Gont, east of Kemay and north of Kedun; presumably also the bay on which it lies

Sources: Frontispiece map, T

Twin Gods

Also known as: God-Brothers, Warrior Gods, White God-Brothers

Warrior Gods of the Kargad Lands, Wuluah and Atwah; said to be sons of the Old Powers of the Earth. Their worship is centuries older than the worship of the Godking. Their original centre of worship was Awabath; there is a Temple of the God-Brothers at the Place of the Tombs on Atuan. Symbol is the double arrow

Sources: Warriors in the Mist, WoE; Hunting, WoE; The Wall around the Place, ToA; A Description of Earthsea, TfE; Rejoining, OW



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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