The people of the nations in the series do not have a name for their continent or the part of it in which they live, but it is known by several names, including the Wetlands by the Aiel and the Westlands by the Sea Folk, who refer to the inhabitants as the Shorebound.
The Age of Legends
- Main article: Age of Legends
Little is known of the area in the Age of Legends, other than the eastern border, where the Spine of the World now stands was likely an Ocean and the area where Shayol Ghul lies was an island. Other rivers and mountains were either created or moved during the Breaking
During the period after the Breaking until the Trolloc Wars, all the land was occupied by the nations that formed the Compact of the Ten Nations. Little remains of these nations, though some cities such as Tar Valon were built in the period and other areas such as the Inner City of Caemlyn date from that time.
- Main article: The Free Era
Between the end of the Trolloc Wars and the rise of Artur Hawkwing, new nations arose. Most of the cities and monuments in existence were destroyed, leaving only isolated fragments and ruins.
- Main article: Nations of the New Era
There are currently fourteen countries in the area: Saldaea, Kandor, Arafel and Shienar running west to east from World's End to the Dragonwall, bordered by the Blight and known collectively as the Borderlands; Arad Doman and Tarabon on the eastern coast of the Aryth Ocean; Altara, Illian and Tear, going west to east on the south coast of the Sea of Storms; and the landlocked nations of Amadicia, Ghealdan, Murandy, Andor and Cairhien.
There is a great deal of unclaimed land, much of which was initially populated by the lands of Almoth, Hardan, Caralain, Goaban, Irenvelle, Kintara, Maredo and Mar Haddon. Some of these, such as Caralain, have left areas of land bearing their name, but little else. Others have left nothing but the occasional isolated villages and houses.
The continent is bordered along the north by the Mountains of Dhoom, separating it from the Blight, and to the east by the Spine of the World, separating it from the Aiel Waste. A third major range, the Mountains of Mist, runs through the continent, separating much of the eastern third from the western areas. There are many rivers and other mountain ranges criss-crossing the land, which often form political borders, either in the current era, or in one of the previous ones.