Friday, June 18, 2010

Knife of Dreams Read-through #3: Forsaken Actions and Plans in Knife of Dreams

By Linda

Moridin, the Naeblis

In Knife of Dreams At the Gardens, Moridin called a meeting to make sure all Forsaken are in line. No Forsaken is to follow their own plans. Nor are they to send Trollocs or Myrddraal out of the Blight; they must report immediately to him if any are seen. The Forsaken are not to harm Rand in any way, but Mat and Perrin must be killed. With so little time left before the Last Battle, Moridin thinks the Pattern won’t have time to make ta’veren alternative aides with as much following as these two have and so they can be removed to weaken Rand.

He offhandedly agreed with Demandred that the Seals must be found and directed the Forsaken to search for them.

Moridin’s playing mind-games with the other Forsaken, putting out more chairs than ‘necessary’ to make them wonder what he knows or doesn’t know. And what they don’t know that he does.

Graendal implied she chose the setting for the meeting. Lews Therin equated being ‘at the Gardens’ with a relaxing day out (Knife of Dreams, News For the Dragon). If she did make the backdrop, possibly with Moridin’s approval or instructions, she was probably trying to make this unconscious association in the other Forsaken’s minds to take them off their guard. She says that these sort of associations have an affect even on the most sophisticated (The Path of Daggers, New Alliances). With the Forsaken comparatively at ease, the mind-reading zomaran can read their thoughts, and contrary to what the other Forsaken believe, very likely pass on to Moridin what they sense. It would explain his widely acknowledged preference for them.

Aran’gar, whose POV it is, associated the Gardens with expensive goodies and winnings obtainable only by cheating, and thought up a couple of schemes at the meeting – one to squeeze Graendal, the other to kill Moridin and get the mindtraps of Moghedien and Cyndane.

Moridin made it obvious even to someone as unobservant as Aran’gar that he holds the mindtraps of Cyndane and Moghedien and that Mesaana has been punished.

A couple of other things Moridin did prior to or during Knife of Dreams are: he ordered Semirhage to capture Rand without harming him (The Gathering Storm, Prologue), which she attempted, and he had established a black fortress deep within the Blight in the northeast. Graendal noted that she was “on the second level of a deep black tower" in The Gathering Storm, Prologue with crops already being grown in the surrounding area.

Moridin feels nausea when Rand seizes saidin and Rand feels nausea when Moridin channels (Knife of Dreams, Within the Stone) (see Crossroads of Twilight Post #5: Visions of Others for an exploration of this).


While Aran’gar has previously disguised herself as other Forsaken, she didn’t disguise herself as Sammael and order Shadowspawn to attack Rand’s group at Algarin’s manor. Aran’gar left the rebel Aes Sedai with Delana just prior to being exposed by Romanda, and her whereabouts are unknown. She formed an alliance with Graendal probably before her abrupt departure (The Gathering Storm, Prologue) and aims to use Graendal’s Darkfriend contacts in ways she thought Graendal would disapprove and kill Graendal when she is no longer useful (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens).

Aran’gar also plans to kill Moridin and take over Cyndane’s and Moghedien’s mindtraps. Good luck with that.

Cyndane and Moghedien

These two have been rallying Darkfriends and trying to kill Mat and Perrin at Moridin’s orders according to Graendal (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).

It was probably Cyndane who sent Masema a vision of Rand in his dreams ordering him to kill Perrin (The Gathering Storm, Prologue). “Dream hauntings” were Lanfear’s speciality. Masema’s madness began early in The Dragon Reborn when very few Forsaken, perhaps only Ishamael and Lanfear, knew of the significance of Mat and Perrin.


Demandred said he has been looking for the last three Seals (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens). From Moridin’s complacent smile, he knows where they are and can access them when he wants, or he isn’t worried about any other Forsaken finding them. Moridin might think the Seals don’t have to be in the Shadow’s hands to open the Bore at the Last Battle.

Demandred has apparently been making his rule secure and gathering for war (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).


Aran’gar thinks Graendal has a wider range of Darkfriend contacts than she. Graendal told Aran’gar that Cyndane was not Lanfear because she is weaker in the Power than Lanfear was (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens). It is not known if Graendal believed this at that time or was dissembling. She allowed Aran’gar to toy with her, when Graendal never lets herself be the lesser of any pair, although she will flirt with someone she intends to kill or who intends to kill her (A Crown of Swords, Patterns within Patterns). It looks like Graendal has Aran’gar sussed out.

By The Gathering Storm, Prologue she had formed an alliance with Aran’gar.


Mesaana’s punishment by Shaidar Haran for not attending the Cleansing or Forsaken meetings and not following Moridin’s orders was publicised at the Forsaken meeting as a warning to the others (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens). Unheeded in Aran’gar’s case.

Mesaana wanted Aran’gar to sow further dissension among the rebels. She didn’t want Egwene captured because she assumed the rebellion would then fall apart ( Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens) despite having been warned previously by Aran’gar that Egwene is not a figurehead.

Graendal believes she knows which Aes Sedai in the White Tower is Mesaana’s alias.


As her contribution to ‘let the Lord of Chaos rule’, Semirhage killed the entire Imperial family of Seanchan and sent a ship to the mainland to inform the Return (Knife of Dreams, Prologue). She then encouraged Suroth to find and kill Tuon and become Empress.

From her words:

"Perrin Aybara and Mat Cauthon," Semirhage murmured, inspecting the two shapes. "So that is what they look like. Who knows, Moridin. If you had shared this with us before now, they might already have been dead."

- Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens

she has seen both Mat and Perrin, not just Mat.

Moridin ordered Semirhage to capture Rand and not harm him (The Gathering Storm, Prologue). She disguised herself as Tuon and aimed to collar Rand and his entourage with a’dams. In a reflex action, Semirhage burned Rand’s hand off and damaged his eyesight in contradiction to her orders and was captured by Rand’s group (Knife of Dreams, A Plain Wooden Box). She did not expect that two of the party would have ter’angreal protection devices.

These Forsaken are dead and apparently not reincarnated: Asmodean, Be’lal, Osan’gar, Rahvin, Sammael.


Anonymous said...

I'm betting Demandred is in Murandy, with an army ready to fight Dragonsworn.

Linda said...

I guess we'll find out. :)

Anonymous said...

I think somewhere was noted, that Sammael wanted Illian not to be destroyed (i just can't remember where it was said).

Also Sammael felt superior to Rand/Lews Therin and ,to be honest, his plan would have worked fine, if Moridin hadn't appeared in Shadar Logoth.

So Sammael fell to Mashadar because of the intervention of Moridin and not because he hadn't thought about Mashadar.