Aihal

Aihal

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Aihal is the true name
True name
A true name is a name of a thing or being that expresses, or is somehow identical with, its true nature. The notion that language, or some specific sacred language, refers to things by their true names has been central to philosophical and grammatical study as well as various traditions of magic,...

 of a fictional character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 in Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin is an American author. She has written novels, poetry, children's books, essays, and short stories, notably in fantasy and science fiction...

's Earthsea
Earthsea
Earthsea is a fictional realm originally created by Ursula K. Le Guin for her short story "The Word of Unbinding", published in 1964. Earthsea became the setting for a further six books, beginning with A Wizard of Earthsea, first published in 1968, and continuing with The Tombs of Atuan, The...

fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 series. In most of the Earthsea books he goes by the Hardic name Ogion or Ogion the Silent.

Biography


Aihal was born in Gont Port, the chief town of Gont Island. His father was a longshoreman and his mother a cook. His father died in an earthquake; his mother apprenticed him at the age of twelve to Elassen, a sorcerer in Valmouth, Gont. At the age of fifteen Elassen sent him to Roke
Islands of Earthsea
The Islands of Earthsea are the hundreds of named islands, groups of islands, and unnamed islets that make up the lands of the largely oceanic fantasy world of Earthsea in the stories of Ursula K. Le Guin.-List of Islands and Places:...

 Island, where he was schooled as a wizard. Instead of receiving his staff there, however, he returned to Gont to work with Heleth Farseer, the wizard of Re Albi (the most important mage on Gont), then going under the name of Dulse. Aihal's temperament was always compassionate but reserved, rarely speaking; therefore Heleth called him Silence. Later on, after Aihal had left Heleth's service, he took the name Ogion, which means "fir cone" in Hardic.

After Heleth Farseer gave up his life to calm a major earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

, Aihal became the Wizard of Re Albi in his place. Some ten years later he gave the young Ged his name, but after a short period of teaching him allowed Ged to attend school on Roke. Five years later, as reported in A Wizard of Earthsea
A Wizard of Earthsea
A Wizard of Earthsea, first published in 1968, is the first of a series of books written by Ursula K. Le Guin and set in the fantasy world archipelago of Earthsea depicting the adventures of a budding young wizard named Ged...

, Ged returned when being chased by the "shadow" he unleashed as a student in Roke; Aihal counseled Ged to confront it rather than fleeing from it. In The Tombs of Atuan
The Tombs of Atuan
The Tombs of Atuan is the second of a series of books written by Ursula K. Le Guin and set in her fantasy archipelago of Earthsea, first published in 1971. Its events take place a few years after those in A Wizard of Earthsea and around two decades before those in The Farthest Shore...

, Ged promised to take Tenar to Aihal after helping her escape from Atuan where she had been a priestess in the Tombs.

Tenar was raised by Aihal as his ward, and later went on to become a farmer's wife. At the end of his life, as recounted in Tehanu
Tehanu
Tehanu is the fourth of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1990, and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 1991.-Plot summary:...

, Aihal summoned Tenar to him, and gave her his name before he died, as she explained to the two wizards who came after his death: "His name was Aihal. His name in death is Aihal. In the songs he will be known as Aihal of Gont."

Aihal was a powerful mage. In Tehanu
Tehanu
Tehanu is the fourth of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1990, and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 1991.-Plot summary:...

the Master Windkey from Roke mentions that Aihal had been offered the position of Archmage, but had refused it.