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Thayet jian Wilima.jpg

Thayet of Conté
Queen of Tortall
Style Her Royal Majesty
Start of Reign 439 HE
Coronation Date
End of Reign
Co-monarch King Jonathan IV
Regency Council
Heir Apparent Crown Prince Roald
Heir Presumptive
King's Champion
Prime Minister
Bequeathed by
Date Bequeathed
Princess of Sarain
Duchess of Camau and Thanhyien
Courtesy Title
Style Her Highness
Tenure ? - 438 HE
Commander of the Queen's Riders
Reigning Monarch
Liege Lord
Years of Service c. 442 (upon founding) - 450s HE
Predecessor Position founded
Successor Buriram Tourakom
Biographical Information
Birth Name
Maiden Name
Honorific '
Epithet The Peerless
Born 8 August, 421 HE[1]
Race Half K'miri
Nationality Tortallan (naturalized)
Saren (exiled)
Physical Description
Gender Female
Hair Black
Eyes Hazel
Family Information
Noble House Conté family
jin Wilima family
Parents Warlord Adigun jin Wilima
Kalasin of the Hau Ma
Adoptive Parents
Husband King Jonathan IV
Children Crown Prince Roald
Empress Kalasin
Prince Liam
Prince Jasson
Princess Lianne
Princess Vania
Adoptive Children
Grandchildren Lianokami of Conté
Binur Iliniat
Godschildren Alianne Crow
Other Family Shinkokami of Conté (daughter-in-law)
Kaddar Iliniat (son-in-law)
First Daughter jian Cadao (cousin)
Patron God
Rank Royalty
Estates Fief Conté
Residence Tortallan Royal Palace
Bazhir Tribe
K'miri Tribe Hau Ma
Sponsored by
Sponsor to
Training Master
Knight Master
Year Knighted
Affiliation Buriram Tourakom
Queen's Riders
Alanna the Lioness
Military Affiliation
Military Branch
Squad Leader Sergeant
Rider Group Group
Provost's Guard
Guard District
Guard Watch
Bibliographical Information
Tortallan Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared Lioness Rampant
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance Trickster's Choice
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales

Thayet of Conté, born Thayet jian Wilima (pronounced THIGH-yet of kohn-TAY/ JEE-ahn WILL-ih-mah), is the Queen and co-ruler of Tortall, and is the wife of King Jonathan IV. Thayet is the only child of the late Adigun jin Wilima, a Saren warlord, and the late Kalasin, a K'miri princess. While Adigun was warlord, Thayet bore the titles Duchess of Camau and Thanhyien, which were ornamental honors. She is called Thayet the Peerless for her unparalleled beauty that is second only to that of her late mother's. Queen Thayet and King Jonathan have six children: Crown Prince Roald, Empress Kalasin Iliniat, Prince Liam, Princess Lianne, Prince Jasson and Princess Vania. They have two grandchildren so far: Lianokami of Conté and Binur Iliniat.

Thayet is the founder of the Queen's Riders, a battle troop that admits both men and women into its ranks. She is representative of huge amounts of political and social change in the country.


Early life

Thayet is the only child of the Saren warlord Adigun jin Wilima and the K'mir princess Kalasin. By the time her father ascended the throne as warlord, he was the third of the jin Wilima dynasty. Thayet's relationship with her father was strained, particularly due to the fact that he openly wished for a son. They became even more estranged when the violence between the Saren Lowlanders and the K'mir tribes became even more rampant. The cruelty that the Lowlanders showed the K'miri was enough to drive Kalasin to suicide, which she did in protest by jumping off of a balcony on May 3rd, 438 HE.[1]

Before her mother's suicide, Thayet was joined by 8 year old Buriram Tourakom when Thayet was 12. The girl was kin to her mother's bodyguards.[1]

Escape from Sarain

When other Lowlanders turned against Lord Adigun, Thayet and Buriram Tourakom, her personal guard and familial servant, were forced to flee the country due to the Saren Civil War in 439 HE[2][3]. They ran into Alanna the Lioness, Liam Ironarm, and Coram Smythesson while the three were on a quest to find the Dominion Jewel. The travelers offered Thayet and Buri security as well as an invitation to come on their quest and later to Tortall after finding the Dominion Jewel. Buri was hesitant, but Thayet said that, although she didn't know of Alanna, she had heard of Liam and knew that people like him did not prey on others. During their time with the others, they were chased by Dusan zhir Anduo—an enemy of her father's—and others who wanted Lord Adigun's position and power. Thayet was forced to disguise herself a few times, and there were a few assassination attempts on her life by rivals of her father. Thayet was turned away from sanctuary by her own cousin, First Daughter jian Cadao, because of the price on her head. While Liam showed anger that Thayet would be left in danger by her own kinswoman, Thayet understood the pressure jian Cadao was in, and that neither jian Cadao, the temple, nor the others living in the temple for sanctuary, would be safe if Thayet stayed there[2].

She became good friends with Alanna throughout this journey, and gave her much needed advice on how to deal with hotheaded Liam Ironarm, Alanna's lover. They accompanied the travelers up to the base of the Roof of the World in order to attain the Dominion Jewel for Tortallan use. Thayet did not accompany Alanna to the Roof for her fight with Chitral, but soothed her friend when she and Liam had a huge fight because of this[4]. After Alanna had the Dominion Jewel in her possession, Thayet and Buri went with the travelers to Corus[5]. At first, Thayet was a bit uneasy about causing so much fuss and being an imposition, but Myles of Olau assured her that she was not. Thayet also wished to give up her noble and royal roots to become just a common citizen under King Jonathan. The king would not hear of it though, as he fell smitten with her upon sight. She was officially presented to Jon and his court as a Saren princess and a royal duchess. After Jon cleared the air with Alanna, he began his pursuing Thayet. He was unsure of himself around her, which was unlike his other experiences with women of the court, including Alanna, Delia of Eldorne, and Josiane Rittevon. He did not know whether she was just being polite or whether she actually enjoyed spending time with him. After a while, they began seriously courting and at some point, they became betrothed. Thayet was present at the Coronation Day Battle in 439 HE. She and Jon married that year.

Monarch of Tortall

Beginning of reign, policies

Thayet and Jon married in 439 HE[3], and Thayet became queen and co-ruler of Tortall. As queen, she was her husband's equal and they advised each other in matters of state. Thayet founded the Queen's Riders, a battle troop that accepted both women and men into their ranks. Their purpose was mostly to fight bandits and do disaster relief, as their ponies could move swiftly through all kinds of terrain, as opposed to the warhorses and the huge encampments used by the standing armies. Thayet began as commander of the troop before her royal and queenly duties became too great. She then passed command to Buri, who commanded it until 460 HE, when she planned to wed Raoul of Goldenlake, commander of the King's Own. During Buri's command, Thayet would often ride with them. Thayet also founded the Queen's Ladies—a group of fifteen young noblewomen who would be able to keep up with Thayet in both social functions and fighting ones. Thayet is staunchly a supporter of women and commoner rights, and is extremely progressive in that respect. She established many schools for commoner children, and worked in concert with her husband to put an end to violence against women in Tortall.

When her eldest daughter Kalasin showed interest in becoming a knight, Thayet wholeheartedly supported her. However, when she discovered that King Jonathan had talked Kally out of the idea, she was quite angry, and did not speak to him for weeks. Kally was given the privilege of helping to select her future husband and she, along with her parents, chose Kaddar Iliniat, the Emperor of Carthak, as the best option.

Daine and the Immortals War

Thayet still commanded the Queen's Riders when Veralidaine Sarrasri arrived in Corus with Onua Chamtong. Daine confused Thayet for a commoner when they first met. When Daine did learn of Thayet's true identity, she said it was unnatural and not how nobles were supposed to act. The way she said this made it comical rather than insulting, and Thayet said she liked Daine's interesting way of thinking. She allowed Daine to be assistant horsemistress to Onua, but things ran amok when they learned of griffins and other immortals in the area. When they were staying with George Cooper and Lady Alanna at Pirate's Swoop, Carthaki pirates attacked, knowing that the queen and her two oldest children were staying there. After Daine was able to get aid from a kraken and the woodland animals, thus making the Tortallans able to win the battle, Thayet was grateful and offered Daine a home.

When Emperor Ozorne of Carthak was interested in negotiating peace with the Tortallans—this was a ploy—Thayet and her husband offered Daine to go with the delegation in order to heal the emperor's prized and beloved birds. She oversaw Daine's wardrobe for the girl's time in Carthak, and made sure that the clothing was of the finest make and material. Thayet advised Daine that good clothing made people more confident and that a good wardrobe was the least that Thayet and the king could do for Daine. During the negotiations, mentions were made about a marital alliance between Prince Kaddar and Princess Kalasin. As Kally was only thirteen, neither Thayet nor Jon would consider letting her go immediately, even though royal marriages took years to arrange.

In the onslaught of the Immortals War that was against Carthak, the Copper Isles, Scanra, Uusoae the Queen of Chaos; Thayet took part in the fighting.

First girl page

When Keladry of Mindelan came out of the woodwork, Thayet was not included in the discussion between her husband, Wyldon of Cavall, and Alanna[6]. When Joren of Stone Mountain was revealed to have been the perpetrator who paid two men to kidnap Lalasa Isran, Kel's maid, Thayet and her husband were present at his trial. Joren was tried by Turomot of Wellam, the Lord Magistrate and a conservative. When Turomot could see that Joren had no respect for the law, he was incensed. Joren was required only to pay a fine for kidnapping Lalasa[7]. Kel petitioned Thayet and her husband to change the law, so that servants wouldn't only be measured in coin. After a few minutes of deliberation and discussion that included Raoul of Goldenlake, Thayet's husband agreed to begin to change the law[8].

Shinkokami and the Grand Progress

Her eldest son, Roald, was betrothed to Shinkokami, a second-degree princess from the Yamani Islands[9]. As she would be marrying the heir apparent, Thayet, her husband, and the royal court, conducted a Royal Progress that would take 2 years and started in 257 HE, in order to show the princess to the realm, and to learn what people needed. Thayet did meet Keladry of Mindelan, then a squire, during the Grand Progress, when the Yamani noblewomen introduced the naginata to her. They formed a small glaive practice group. Thayet also showed great sympathy and care toward Kel after the young squire received a near fatal jousting injury from Sir Voelden.

When the Grand Progress found its way north, the king and queen split off from the others, and were accompanied by Third Company and Lord Raoul, the Knight Commander of the King's Own, through the danger zone. This was mainly to see what they could do to help the civilians and refugees who were affected by the Scanran raiders. When Vanget haMinch, the General of the Northern Armies, discovered that the royals were in the danger zone, he practically ordered them to leave, much to Kel's surprise. As the king and queen were frustrated that they weren't able to do anything, Vanget assured them that everything possible was being done, and that he could not protect them while seeing to his other duties. The queen acquiesced, and dragged her husband along.

During the Grand Progress, Thayet also cracked down on her childhood friend, Buri, for not showing up to social events. Buri was less of a fuss about this than Lord Raoul, who acted like a child who got his toy taken away when the King ordered him to attend events.

Scanran War and raids

Keladry had her Ordeal of Knighthood before the war was officially declared in 460 HE. Thayet was present when her husband dubbed Keladry a knight of the realm, and was one of the three women, including Buri and Shinkokami, to reveal Kel's new shield[10].

Sarralyn's naming ceremony

When Veralidaine Sarrasri was pregnant, Thayet ensured that her friend received the best care at the palace. Daine gave birth to her child there, but there was a bit of an issue with the baby changing species and gender every five seconds.

Queen Thayet was present at the naming ceremony of this child, which took place in the north of Tortall at Fief Trebond. The baby's maternal grandparents, the Green Lady, and Weiryn, god of the hunt, were able to attend as well. The Green Lady got the baby to choose a species and gender for the first five years of life. The baby chose to be a human female[11].

Physical description

Thayet is often described as one of the most beautiful women in existence. In 439 HE, she is described as having creamy ivory skin, jet black hair and hazel eyes[12]. Her face, and particularly her nose, is described as strong-boned, with even brows and a naturally red mouth. Her nose makes her face human as opposed to "inhumanly beautiful", and is courtesy of her father Adigun.


Personality and traits

Thayet is a very strong and independent woman and it is observed that her relationship with her king, Jonathan, is indeed one of love. Jonathan values her opinions and ideas, the only exception to this is when he talked Kalasin out of becoming a Knight while Thayet was away, which made her so angry that she refused to speak to him for weeks. She is also very patriotic and is willing to fight for her people and country. At one point she left a court function to respond to a call of the Queen's Riders, wearing a very expensive pink tissue silk dress, worth more than 300 gold nobles. Despite this, she is a practical and just person, believing in equality amongst all.


Queen Thayet is known throughout the countries closest to Tortall for her beauty and her fighting skills. Winnamine Balitang cited Queen Thayet as a reason Alianne of Pirate's Swoop must've been a fighting woman, when the girl was still a slave to the Balitang family. Thayet is also incredibly fashionable, and sets trends in her own Court all the time. One of them was a hairstyle in which tumbling curls were pinned up in a cascade fashion.

She is also the first queen in a long time to take a stronger role in the politics of Tortall, and uses her power and influence to better the lives of the people whom she rules. This, in many ways, mirrors an ancestress of her husband's, Queen Jessamine, who was queen in the mid 200s HE. Queen Jessamine's tenure was remarkable in that she took a more active role in politics than queens before her.

Immediately upon becoming queen, Thayet has worked on helping the lives of the less privileged. The commoners of Tortall can owe their free schooling, free healers, as well as many of their other rights to Thayet. Women in Tortall can also owe many of their rights to the queen as well.

Skills and abilities

Thayet is a skilled horsewoman and archer. She is a good commander according to Raoul of Goldenlake. When she begins naginata practice sessions with her Shinkokami and the Yamani entourage, Thayet has already become quite proficient with the weapon.

She also has excellent diplomacy and presentation skills, and is a very good speaker. She is able to think quickly in immensely pressurized situations and is not easily fazed by much.

Titles and styles

  • Upon her father's accession: Her Highness Princess Thayet jian Wilima, Duchess of Camau and Thanhyien
  • Upon her father's death: (in Sarain) Lady Thayet jian Wilima[13]
    (in Tortall) Her Highness Princess Thayet of Sarain, Duchess of Camau and Thanhyien[14]
  • Upon her marriage: Her Majesty The Queen of Tortall



Her parents

Thayet's relationship was strained with her father, who openly wished for a son, although he did love her in his own way according to Thayet. She did not agree with his stance against the K'miri, as Thayet had a special love for her mother's people. When her mother committed suicide by jumping off a balcony in protest, Thayet was saddened, but resigned to life with her father. She had to flee Sarain after the Saren Civil War broke out. Even with their difference, Thayet was still sad to hear of her father's assassination while in Rachia.

King Jonathan

After Alanna had retrieved the Dominion Jewel and returned home—with Thayet and Buri—Thayet meets Jonathan only clad in a nightdress, and is really quite surprised. They are both taken with each other immediately, as they both have the regal presence and are quite attractive. They marry, and Thayet becomes a co-ruler of Tortall. They have a good enough relationship, and they both respect each other's ideas and opinions for the realm. The only large falling out that they've had was when Thayet learned that her husband had dissuaded their eldest daughter, Kally, of becoming a knight because of the fear that it would ruin a good royal marriage, one that is beneficial to the state. She did not speak to her husband for weeks. The fight ended, though, and for the most part, it is believed to be forgotten.

Her children

Upon Daine's arrival to Pirate's Swoop, her eldest children, Roald and Kalasin, are aged around 8 and 9. Daine noted that the children bowed to their mother before hugging her, and thought it must be hard to be the son and daughter of monarchs. She does have a loving relationship with them, though, and acts, with some exceptions, just like a regular common mother to them.


Buri Tourakom

Buri was her devoted K'miri servant in Sarain, whose family had served Thayet's for generations. Although Buri is technically only Thayet's servant, they have an almost sisterly relationship, as Buri is not afraid to argue with Thayet over all sorts of matters. Once Thayet is queen, though, she and Buri are a bit distanced. Their relationship, however, is still one of mutual affection and respect.

Alanna the Lioness

Thayet met Alanna in Sarain, while trying to disguise herself. Liam Ironarm recognized her immediately due to her father's strong nose. She and Alanna began a friendship, and they both greatly respected each other. When Alanna and Liam had a large fight, Thayet consoled Alanna. Thayet is also set up with Jonathan of Conté due to the machinations of Alanna. Throughout their adult lives they remained close friends.

Thayet is also a godsmother of Alanna's three children, Thom, Alan, and Alianne of Pirate's Swoop. She was close with them and gave them gifts. When Aly was younger, Thayet gave her a book on etiquette by Fronia of Whitehall, a Marenite noblewoman.


Books are listed by publication date.

Fun Fact

Her real-life model is Tamora Pierce's best friend.[15]

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tortall: A Spy's Guide, pp. 71-75; Random House hardcover
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lioness Rampant, Ch. 3
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.tamora-pierce.com/faq_timeline.html
  4. Lioness Rampant, Chapter 4
  5. LR, Chapter 5
  6. First Test, Chapter 1
  7. Squire, Chapter 8 "The Price of A Maid"
  8. Squire, Chapter 9 "Midwinter Luck"
  9. Squire, Chapter 7 (pg. 135; Random House paperback)
  10. Squire, final chapters
  11. Trickster's Choice
  12. Lioness Rampant, Cp. 6 (p. 222; Random House paperback)
  13. Her cousin, First Daughter jian Cadao, begins to call her Princess Thayet and then realizes her father is off the throne. She then switches to Lady Thayet, showing that Thayet would not keep her princely title.
  14. Despite being Lady Thayet in Sarain, Tortall chooses to recognize her heritage so that she would be a good possible wife for King Jon.
  15. Randombuzzers: Chat with Tamora Pierce - Tortall - retrieved on March 11, 2011

See also