Galad Damodred is not one of the main Wheel of Time characters and definitely not my favourite (that’d be Perrin Aybara) but profound changes occur within him that I couldn’t help noticing, and writing about. Galad is young, half-brother to Queen Elayne and also the leader of a controversial army who call themselves ‘The Children of the Light’, yet whom others call ‘Whitecloaks’ due to the white armour they wear.
There is almost a Christian liturgy to the Children’s terminology, where they say “The Light be with you Child” to those who share their beliefs. Their white uniforms and polished armour are intended to give connotations of purity. The Children believe that only they are right, and that those championing other causes are their enemies. This is why they sound arrogant to many, and have many enemies! In one book Galad, in the heat of battle, yells “We are the Children of the Light! We do not give before the Shadow!” They were fighting monsters that outmatched and overpowered them. Galad believed the righteousness of the Children’s cause alone would protect them, yet in that moment his entire worldview crumbled. “The Children were not protected by their goodness…they weren’t poor fighters. They were just men. Average.”
In another book the Children were fighting alongside creatures that Galad up until then would have called ‘Darkfriends’ (enemies of the Light, which the Children fought for), however he defends them even when challenged by his own men, saying they were no more Darkfriends than he.” This reminded me of Jesus saying those who are not against him are for him (Mark 9:40). For Galad, this radical transformation came by being saved by a man he himself had previously called ‘Shadowspawn’, or the epitome of evil.
From calling any belief outside of his own ‘heresy’ to later on being up for sacrificing himself for someone he had previously actively opposed and even hated, Galad Damodred was a great example of a changed worldview and even life. Just like Javier in Les Miserables, Galad’s desire for justice gave him a great sense of purpose but at times threatened to destroy him. Thankfully, though he was barely significant within the overall story itself, his transformation was one of the most powerful and thus made for a great read. What does transformation mean for you? What does it look like in your life?
This picture of Galad by Richard Boye can be found here on the Wheel of Time online encyclopedia: http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/characters/g/galad.html