James, frozen, watched in disbelief as his child's body hurled into the woman's. Both collided with the servant and all three went down in a heap. The writhing stream of energy cut a swath through the stunned crowd, incinerating everyone it touched. Where friends and families had stood a moment earlier there was nothing but black soot. The attack branched out, stripping through everything in sight. Trees disintegrated, stone and marble exploded in clouds of dust. People died, some with parts of their body simply gone, blood spraying in black flecks as they crumpled. A lance of energy shot wildly skyward, flashing in the night sky within a sudden nimbus. Another struck the square with a rattling boom. A third snaked towards him as he closed the gap between him and his twin. The power struck the blade, and it and James ceased to be.

- From James' Nightmare

Saidin (pronounced: sah-ih-DEEN) is the male half of the One Power. It is described as a raging torrent of the Power which must be subdued and dominated by a strong-willed channeler in order to be controlled.


Men feel women holding the Saidar as a tingling on their skin, like goosebumps. They can also sense when another man is holding the Power though not in the way women do: a man would describe it as a feeling of awe and menace, with nothing truly visible, and not easily pinpointed to a particular location or person. The farther the channeling, the fainter the feel. While a female channeler can sense any woman channeling, sensing for men depends largely on the amount of saidin used in the weave.

No man can tell at sight if another man can channel, unless the other man has seized saidin. Testing for men involves channeling a simple flow until a "resonance" is felt from the one being tested. This may often take as long as fifteen to twenty minutes for those with the spark, and much longer for those who can only learn.

Saidin is described as a rough torrent requiring strict control, something you have to "seize" to gain, and fight to weave. This essential difference in the nature of the two halves of the Power means that a woman cannot teach a man to channel, and vice versa.

The Dark One's Taint

In the current age, the Dark One's taint on Saidin condemns any channelers of Saidin not protected by their allegiance to the Dark One to madness and insanity. This taint came about out of desperation and hubris at the end of the Age of Legends; When Lews Therin Telamon and the Hundred Companions (actually 113 male channelers) plugged the "hole" to the Dark One's prison. This was successful and stopped one cataclysm but ushered in one that is almost as final.

As the consequence of sealing the Bore Saidin became tainted.

This taint combined with the irresistible nature of channeling cause the Breaking of the World as the male channelers inevitably fell victim to the madness. In the thousands of years that followed the Taint did not weaken and it became justification to the destruction or "severing" of all discovered male channelers.

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