Thursday, March 21, 2002

The Forsaken and their Deeds and Plans

By Linda

In the Age of Legends there were more Forsaken than the thirteen that exist now; in fact about half the Servants went over to the Shadow, either out of conviction of the Shadow’s cause, or from determination to be on the winning side. It is almost an accident of history that the current Forsaken are now ‘the Forsaken’, although some of them were at the top of the Dark One’s staff. Other powerful Forsaken perished in the Breaking, and others died due to the Dark One doubting their loyalty:

Though other Aes Sedai went over to the Shadow, none who equalled or approached in strength those now called Forsaken was still alive by the last year of the War of Power; yet not one of them is reported to have died by enemy action.

- The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time

Question: In Winters Heart, you mention that back in the Age of Legends, there were several other Forsaken that the Dark One had killed because he suspected they would betray him. What's their story?

Robert Jordan Answers: Forsaken was the name given to Aes Sedai who went over to the Shadow in the War of the Shadow at the end of the Age of Legends, though of course, they called themselves the Chosen, and despite the tales of the "current” Age, there were many more than a few of them. Since they occupied all sorts of levels, you might say that many were equivalent to some of the lesser Dreadlords, but it would be incorrect to call them so. At the time, they were all Forsaken—or Chosen—from the greatest to the least.

Some of those Forsaken the Dark One killed were every bit as high-ranking as the thirteen who were remembered, and who you might say constituted a large part of the Dark One's General Staff at the time of the sealing. With the Forsaken, where treachery and backstabbing were an acceptable way of getting ahead, the turnover in the upper ranks was fairly high, though Ishamael, Demandred, Lanfear, Graendal, Semirhage, and later Sammael, were always at the top end of the pyramid. They were very skilled at personal survival, politically and physically.

In large part the thirteen were remembered because they were trapped at Shayol Ghul, and so their names became part of that story, though it turned out that details of them, stories of them, survived wide-spread knowledge of the tale of the actual sealing itself. Just that they had been sealed away. Other Forsaken were left behind, so to speak, free but in a world that was rapidly sliding down the tube. The men eventually went mad and died from the same taint that killed off the other male Aes Sedai. They had no access to the Dark One's protective filters. The women died, too, though from age or in battle or from natural disasters created by insane male Aes Sedai or from diseases that could no longer be controlled because civilization itself had been destroyed and access to those who were skilled in Healing was all but gone. And soon after their deaths, their names were forgotten, except for what might possibly be discovered in some ancient manuscript fragment that survived the Breaking. A bleak story of people who deserved no better, and not worth telling in any detail.

- TOR Question of the Week

From Moghedien’s statement to Moridin about how greatly he had been favoured being allowed to draw the True Power:

“Only twenty-nine others have ever been granted—"

- A Crown of Swords, Mindtrap

We know that there were at least sixteen other Forsaken apart from the current thirteen (Moridin being one of those thirteen reincarnated) that were allowed to draw the True Power and so would have been at the top of the Dark One’s staff at various times. It must be emphasised, however, that all Darkfriend channellers in the Age of Legends were regarded as Chosen or Forsaken.

The thirteen we know were the ones who happened to be gathered at Shayol Ghul when Lews Therin and the Hundred Companions attacked and sealed the Bore. Most were in suspended animation while trapped until they awakened:

Sara: When out of the three-thousand-year sleep, were the Forsaken still wearing the clothes from the time they were imprisoned?

Jordan: Yes, they were.

Sara: How does the process of waking up work, and were they conscious of it happening to them and or the other Forsaken?

Jordan: They were conscious of waking up, but remember that Lanfear said they were in a sleep so deep, they were trapped so deep, that they were denied even dreams. Most of them were in fact in suspended animation. Balthamel and Aginor, very close to the surface, were not, which is why they were so wasted when they are seen, and why they have a certain degree of madness as well. The others came out un-aged, looking exactly as they did, but Aginor and Balthamel, although wearing the clothes they wore, and the mask was an original he was wearing it when he went in, they were further wasted, you might say, preserved by being sealed in the bore, but close enough to the surface that they were aware of things going on outside.

- Robert Jordan at Dragoncon

This prison could be regarded as a limbo. Until Christ’s harrowing of hell, the Devil and his aides controlled Limbo. Rand was prophesied to go down to the Pit of Doom in Shayol Ghul, a descent into hell, to face the Dark One. (Shayol Ghul refers to Sheol, a dark region in the lower world in which both good and evil souls continue to exist as shades in constant thirst (Encyclopedia Britannica)).

Once awake the Forsaken apparently had no trouble with the language:

Question: Why is it that the Chosen and Lews Therin speak a language that Rand and everyone else can understand?

Jordan: Because it is a very simple language to learn. When the Chosen are among themselves, they are not speaking the language of the current time, they are speaking the Old Tongue, which I happily translate for you, so you don’t have to struggle through it. But it is very much the same as Graendal thinking how easy it is to forge things in this time. The lettering script is simplified. But things managed to hang on for a certain extent. Printing presses for example were one of the things that managed never quite to be wiped out completely. Printing started up again, even a few times during the Breaking people managed to get printing presses going, and once the Breaking was over, printing was one of the first trades to get going…you might call it the first higher trade to get going.

- Robert Jordan at Dragoncon

After the Dark One tainted saidin, all male Forsaken were granted protection from the taint via black threads linking them to the Dark One (Robert Jordan, Forsaken notes and booksignings).
Verin studied the Forsaken closely enough to be able to understand their psychology and motivations:

Not all evil is as ... obvious as the Chosen. The Forsaken, as you'd call them."
"Obvious?" Egwene said. "The Forsaken?"
"Well, by comparison." Verin smiled and warmed her hands on her cup of tea. "The Chosen are like a bunch of squabbling children, each trying to scream the loudest and attract their father's attention. It's easy to determine what they want: Power over the other children, proof that they are the most important. I'm convinced that it isn't intelligence, craftiness, or skill that makes one Chosen—though of course, those things are important. No, I believe it is selfishness the Great Lord seeks in his greatest leaders."
Egwene frowned. Were they really having a quiet chat about the Forsaken? "Why would he choose that quality?"
"It makes them predictable. A tool you can depend upon to act as expected is far more valuable than one you cannot understand. Or perhaps because when they struggle against one another, it makes only the strong ones survive. I don't know, honestly. The Chosen are predictable, but the Great Lord is anything but. Even after decades of study, I can't be certain exactly what he wants or why he wants it. I only know that this battle isn't being fought the way that al'Thor assumes it will be."

- The Gathering Storm, A Visit From Verin Sedai

A few of the thirteen also joined the Shadow, at least in part, to be on the winning side—Sammael and Demandred, for instance—but none of the Forsaken were turned to the Shadow by outside agency, even by misadventure. For instance, here is what Jordan said about Lanfear:

As an aside, for those who think that Lanfear was in some way twisted against her will by being involved in drilling the Bore—I have heard the theory advanced—of all those involved in the project, she was the only major figure to go over to the Shadow. She was ripe for the Shadow's plucking long before the Bore was drilled.

- TOR Question of the Week

They all turned evil of their own free will, have committed atrocities, and there are no excuses for them.

This article lists the deeds and plans of the current Forsaken.

Ishamael /Elan Morin Tedronai /Moridin /Jalwin Moerad (Hawkwing’s advisor)

When Joined: Possibly the first to turn to the Shadow (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time)

Why Joined: Believed in the Dark One’s philosophy and wanted the world destroyed:

As Elan Morin Tedronai, he was one of the foremost philosophers of his time, possibly the foremost. His books (among them Analysis of Perceived Meaning, Reality and the Absence of Meaning, and the Disassembly of Reason), while too esoteric for wide popularity, were extremely influential in many areas beyond philosophy, especially in the arts…

He called for the complete destruction of the old order—indeed the complete destruction of everything.

- The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time

Ishamael’s philosophy was one of nihilism (from Latin nihil, “nothing”) or destruction. The philosopher Nietzsche wrote about nihilism (see The Age of Legends essay) and may be a parallel of Ishamael. The doctrine of eternal recurrence, the basic concept of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, asks the question: “How well disposed would a person have to become to himself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than the infinite repetition, without alteration, of each and every moment?” …According to Nietzsche, a person who could accept recurrence without self-deception or evasion would be a superhuman being (√úbermensch), someone whose distance from an ordinary man is greater than the distance between man and ape (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

This is in line with the Forsaken attitude that they are far above mortal humans and with Ishamael’s belief that:

The death of time will bring me power such as you could not dream of, worm."

- The Eye of the World, The Stag and Lion

and that he knows the ‘paths to greater power’ (The Great Hunt, Kinslayer) as though he would attain godhood through being freed of the Wheel and the eternal cycle of reincarnation and become a dark Ubermensch eternally existing free of the Pattern. (Unlike Rand, who might now be an Ubermensch within the Pattern.) (Reincarnation and moksha, liberation from the reincarnation cycle, is a concept of eastern philosophy/religion). Ishamael’s is a perverted version because his ‘liberation’ will come about when the Dark One breaks the Pattern, and at a cost of the destruction of Creation. This would explain his nihilism. Buddhists, Jains and Hindus believe that people can liberate themselves from the endless cycle of reincarnation by meditation, virtue and distancing themselves from the material world, but certainly not in the unfeeling and violent manner Ishamael preferred or expected. Ishamael alone among the Forsaken did not blind himself to the Dark One’s intent to end time and the world; in fact, he embraced it.

In The Gathering Storm, Moridin appeared to have changed his philosophy. Perhaps infected with the same despair that so plagued Rand in The Gathering Storm, a despair that Moridin ironically instituted to make Rand to feel great emotional pain and suffering and that leaked into Moridin as well though his link with Rand, Moridin was looking forward to annihilation; nothingness, rather than godhood.

He believed it inevitable that the Dark One will win in one Age, so it is futile to fight him.

"There is no path to victory," Moridin said. "The only path is to follow the Great Lord and rule for a time before all things end. The others are fools. They look for grand rewards in the eternities, but there will be no eternities. Only the now, the last days."
He laughed again, and this time there was joy in it. True pleasure.

- The Gathering Storm, A Place to Begin

Moridin nearly achieved this—without any prior temporal power he thought might be pleasant to have while he anticipated the ‘happy event’ of the end of the world—when Rand, traumatised by the very emotional misery Moridin wanted inflicted upon him, considered balefiring the world in The Gathering Storm, Veins of Gold.

After his epiphany, Rand shut out Moridin’s negative influence (and that of the tainted wound and the call of the True Power). Rand’s epiphany did not change Moridin’s desire for oblivion; in a Memory of Light it appeared to be stronger than ever.

Scene of Operations: Affected events of the main and Seanchan continents during the Third Age.

Major Deeds: - Was a renowned philosopher and writer.
- Was the Dark One’s top captain general, yet never held direct field command (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Fought Lews Therin at the gates of Paaran Disen and lost decisively, and again in the Hall of Servants (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Appeared to have escaped being Sealed in the Bore, but believed that he alone was left and doomed as a mortal in a world descending into the Dark Ages, even if his intact connection to the Dark One saved him from the taint (The Wheel of Time Companion). He started to go mad from this.
- Healed Lews Therin’s insanity with the True Power so Lews Therin would know he had slain his entire family.
- Tried to tempt Lews Therin to the Shadow with the promise of having Ilyena back if he would serve (The Eye of the World, Prologue).
- Was partially trapped when the Bore was sealed and began to fade sometime after Lews Therin’s death.
- Gradually manifested again about a millennium later. This pattern continued—freedom for 20‒40 years every millennium (ie early in the Trolloc Wars, again during Hawkwing’s rule and towards the end of the Third Age).

During his periods in the trap, he was able to observe the world periodically, sometimes able to project himself though not to communicate; the rest of the time was spent dreaming.

- Robert Jordan, Aes Sedai notes

- Founded the Black Ajah at about the time of the Trolloc Wars.
- As Jalwin Moerad, he encouraged Artur Hawkwing to persecute Aes Sedai and to send an expedition to Shara and to Seanchan in the knowledge, perhaps through prophecy, that a culture of enslaved channellers would be established which could be used against the Dragon in an invasion of the mainland in the future (The Eye of the World, The Stag and Lion). These expeditions also removed nearly all of Hawkwing’s remaining descendents, leading to a leadership crisis when Hawkwing died.
- Brought new Trolloc invasion which was destroyed by Hawkwing’s army. Was driven mad by this (The Wheel of Time Companion).
- In 983 NE, killed Jarna Malari brutally because she had the Amyrlin interrogated and killed, and Aes Sedai and lucky men killed (A Crown of Swords, Prologue) and also murdered the other two leaders on the Supreme Council, according to Jordan’s Aes Sedai notes. Ishamael wanted the Dragon Reborn to join the Dark One, not to have him killed.
- Tortured the rest of the Supreme Council until he was satisfied that they were not also responsible. Gruesomely killed some of these women, according to Jordan’s Aes Sedai notes. Promoted Alviarin to Black Ajah head due to the lack of senior Black sisters and got her to stop the pogrom against male channellers, although this took her some months.
- Sent Jain Farstrider to the Ogier (Jain was affected by channelling, since he recovered in the stedding) to tell of a threat to the Eye of the World.
- Chose Padan Fain to be turned into a hunter for the Dragon Reborn.
- Tempted Rand, Mat and Perrin in their dreams and also harassed them in their dreams.
- Used the True Power so much that he had eyes and mouth of flame.
- Projected his image to drive Shadowspawn into Shadar Logoth.
- Taunted Rand with the shade or image of Rand’s mother being tortured, and was burnt by Rand.
- Appeared in the air at a gathering of a hundred Darkfriends, showed them images of the three ta’veren and gave them secret individual orders. Used a hundred zomaran at this meeting, one per Darkfriend.
- Ordered Nynaeve and Egwene to be taken to Seanchan as damane so that instead of saving Rand they would destroy him (The Great Hunt, The Grave is No Bar to My Call).
- Offered to teach Rand how to channel if he would serve the Shadow.
- Gave Rand an unhealing wound in his side at Falme and was stabbed in the heart by Rand.
- Met Darkfriends in Tel'aran'rhiod, and killed a man from Tar Valon for letting Mat escape.
- Pulled Rand into dreams intersecting Tel’aran’rhiod and showed visions of Rand’s family and friends trying to kill him (A Memory of Light, Advantages To A Bond).
- Tried to kill Rand in Tear and was killed with Callandor. He divided in two as he died, just as Asmodean did, due to his connection to the Dark One that protected him from the taint was broken.
- Was reincarnated as Moridin.

Despite his resurrection in a new, young body, he is still more than a little mad, of course, and still suffers from delusions of godhood. Remember that he is half-mad and megalomaniacal, but highly intelligent and damned clever too.
- Robert Jordan, Forsaken notes

- Knew the Seals were weakenening and why (Robert Jordan, Forsaken notes). - Arranged for Taim to deliver a Seal to Rand to ensure that Taim was well received and also in hope that it would be placed with any other Seals Rand might have (Robert Jordan, Forsaken notes). - Thought he was playing both sides of the board in the war against the Light.
- Had spies in Tar Valon, with Rand and with the rebels, some of whom didn’t know they served him (The Path of Daggers, Unweaving).
- Rescued Lanfear from the Eelfinn by killing her:

Moridin himself had rescued Lanfear from Sindhol, freeing her from the creatures that feasted upon her ability to channel.
In order to rescue her, and of course to punish her, Moridin had slain her. That had allowed the Great Lord to recapture her soul and place it in a new body.

- A Memory of Light, Prologue

- Held two mindtraps—Cyndane’s and Moghedien’s—and already had saa from using the True Power frequently by A Crown of Swords.
- Saved Rand from Sammael in Shadar Logoth.
- Became linked to Rand when their two balefires (of saidin and True Power) touched. Rand and Moridin could sense each other (Knife of Dreams, News For the Dragon). He felt nausea when Rand seized saidin and Rand felt nausea when Moridin channelled (Knife of Dreams, Within the Stone). That is why Moridin was unable to attend the Cleansing of saidin himself while Rand was channelling huge amounts of the Power. Moridin may have had to step outside the Pattern (as he did after watching Sammael disperse the Shaido in A Crown of Swords, Patterns Within Patterns) while the Cleansing was on.
- Took Falion shielded to Shiaine. Gave Shiaine orders to have food stores burnt and the Kin killed with the One Power in Caemlyn as part of his payback to Elayne’s group for their restoration of the weather.
- Ordered Black Asha’man to bring him all of Rand’s possessions, killing Rand if necessary to obtain them (Winter’s Heart, Out of Thin Air).
- Was anointed Naeblis.
- Ordered all Forsaken to attend the Cleansing of saidin and take Rand.
- Called a meeting to make sure all Forsaken were in line and made it obvious even to someone as unobservant as Aran’gar that Moridin held the mindtraps of Cyndane and Moghedien and that Mesaana had been punished. No Forsaken was to follow their own plans or send Trollocs or Myrddraal out of the Blight. They must report immediately to him if they see any. The Forsaken were not to harm Rand in any way, but Mat and Perrin must be killed (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens).
- Ordered Semirhage to capture Rand without harming him (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Punished Moghedien and Cyndane savagely. According to Lanfear:

“He has me. He flays my soul anew each eve. Oh, please! Let it stop...He grinds my bones and snaps them like twigs, then leaves me to die before Healing me just enough to keep me alive.”

- Towers of Midnight, Epilogue

This could, of course, be a lie (see Lanfear section below). These words could be interpreted as the Dark One/Shaidar Haran, but Moridin has been abusing Lanfear since he was given her mindtrap:

Putting a hand over his heart, for all the world like a lover, Moridin tilted up Cyndane's chin on his fingertips. Resentment burned in her eyes, but her face might have been a doll's unchanging face. She certainly accepted his attentions like a pliable doll. "Cyndane knows many things," Moridin said softly, "and she tells me everything she knows. Everything." The tiny woman's expression never altered, but she trembled visibly.

- Winter’s Heart, Wonderful News

So Lanfear may well be referring to Moridin as her torturer.
- 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” (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- On his first visit to the Town in the Blight, killed at least a dozen red-veiled Aiel channellers (A Memory of Light, Prologue).
- Refused Demandred’s and Mesaana’s request to rescue Semirhage and forbade them to send her aid. Said Semirhage deserved her imprisonment for failure to follow orders.
- Humiliated Mesaana and Demandred by making them give a status report in front of Graendal.
- Offered Graendal privileges if she prevented Rand from making peace and restoring order in Arad Doman, and rewards if she made Rand feel anguish and frustration. Granted her the privilege of channelling a trickle of the True Power.
- Moved and acted like Rand. Felt Rand’s injuries and weariness of spirit in The Gathering Storm. Demanded increasing signs of obedience and deference from other Chosen as Rand did his own aides at that time (The Gathering Storm, Prologue). Rand felt his nihilism and lack of empathy; he felt Rand’s disinterest in torturing others. They made each other worse.
- Told Rand the Dark One can restore Forsaken to life unless they are balefired.
- Was going to punish Graendal for failing at Natrin’s Barrow and causing Aran’gar’s death, but she persuaded him and the Dark One not to. Thought Aran’gar died by accident; didn’t know that Graendal shielded her.
- Communicated telepathically with the Dark One (Towers of Midnight, Writings).
- Showed Graendal his store of ter’angreal and loaned her Isam and a dreamspike to use against Perrin.
- Told Graendal that he owned her as he did Isam. Ordered her to stay away from Rand.
- Showed her secret prophecies of the Shadow.
- Correctly believed the prophecies that Perrin would escape Graendal’s trap.
- Returned Moghedien’s mindtrap to her as a probation.
- In the Last Days he was linked closer to the Dark One (Towers of Midnight, Writings) as Rand was to the Creator. His voice sounded faintly like the Dark One’s. Graendal lost control against heat and cold around him.
- Was shocked when Rand took over his dream and threatened the Dark One.
- Met Rand in the Pit of Doom and duelled him there to hopefully weaken Rand for the Dark One.
- Brought Alanna to the Pit of Doom as a distraction for Rand, injured her and later killed her to make Rand go mad, but she was able to release her bond to Rand as she died.
- Picked up Callandor after making Rand drop it and discovered it is a True Power sa’angreal.
- Was trapped, seized by Nynaeve and Moiraine and forcibly brought into a ring of four.
- Provided a coating of True Power over saidin and saidar so the Dark One could not taint them.
- Was carried out of Shayol Ghul by Rand.
- His soul moved into Rand’s dying body because it really wanted to die and Rand wanted to live.

Current Status: Moridin died in Rand’s body, which was cremated, and Rand’s soul transmigrated to Moridin’s body, which recovered.

Other Comments: Ishamael/Moridin was the only one to use Shai’tan’s name.

Current Orders: The Forsaken were to put their grudges behind them and bring their plots to completion for it is the end.

Aginor /Ishar Morrad Chuain /Osan’gar /Corlan Dashiva

When Joined: Probably during the first three decades of the Collapse (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time)

Why Joined: To perform unethical research

Scene of Operations: The Eye of the World, Black Tower, Altara, Cairhien, Cleansing of saidin

Major Deeds: - Was a famous and brilliant biological scientist who was skilled in genetic engineering.
- Was cautioned for conducting unauthorised experiments on animals (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Made Trollocs, Draghkar, Gholam, Jumara (Winter’s Heart, With the Choedan Kal) and Zomaran (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens) and indirectly the Myrddraal, which are throwbacks to the human side of Trollocs (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time). The creation of Trollocs was a difficult feat and involved combining human and animal stock (genetic material).
- Destroyed over a hundred Myrddraal trying to learn how they travel in shadows (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow) .
- Took people for experiments, eg to make Shadowspawn, and also fed them to Shadowspawn (over 10,000 per day in the first half of the War rising to over 20,000 daily in the last five years of the War, The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Fought Lews Therin in the Hall of Servants. (The Eye of the World, Against the Shadow).
- Aimed for the Eye of the World so he could hide from the Dark One what he was up to (see below).
- Wanted to kill Rand.
- Overloaded himself with Power from the Eye duelling Rand and was destroyed. Was reincarnated as Osan’gar/Dashiva.
- Was responsible for watching Rand (Winter’s Heart, Wonderful News).
- Encouraged Flinn to develop his Healing Talent (A Crown of Swords, Blades).
- Tried to kill Rand in Cairhien.
- Planned to balefire those on the hilltop at the Cleansing of saidin including Rand and Nynaeve.

Current Status: Was burnt by Elza, Merise and Narishma near Shadow Logoth and apparently not reincarnated a second time.

Other Comments: Aginor wanted access to the Eye of the World even though he could channel clean saidin to prevent the Dark One from knowing what he was up to:

[Aginor] was able to channel clean saidin, true, but only through the "filter" which had been provided by the Dark One just a short time previously, which meant the Dark One would be aware of him channeling wherever he was… For someone as secretive, competitive, and generally untrustworthy as the one of the Forsaken, the Eye of the World amounted to a valuable asset if it could be secured. To put it simply, Aginor saw a means of channeling without the Dark One looking over his shoulder, and maybe a way to increase his own power at the expense of those who didn't have that advantage. Balthamel might well have been for the long drop, administered by Aginor, if things hadn't worked out differently.

- TOR Question of the Week

Asmodean /Joar Addam Nessosin /Jasin Natael

Why Joined: Believed he would reach the artistic heights foretold for him if he was immortal.

Scene of Operations: Aiel Waste, Cairhien, Caemlyn

Major Deeds: - Was a child musical prodigy in composition and performance.
- Was an effective governor and administrator of territory during the War of Power (Robert Jordan on his blog).
- Maimed any artist who displeased him or who he envied.
- Severed his own mother and let Myrddraal drag her away (The Fires of Heaven, Gateways).
- Put dragons on Couladin’s arms as a diversion for Rand and the Aiel while he went to Rhuidean (The Shadow Rising, A Breaking in the Three-Fold Land).
- Sent the Draghkar in the Waste.
- Duelled Rand at Rhuidean for the male access key.
- Had his connection to the Dark One that protected him from the taint (the black threads) cut by Rand. For a brief moment, he “divided into two” as Ishamael did after being fatally stabbed with Callandor. Asmodean "joined back together," because he was not killed. Ishamael did not (Robert Jordan, Forsaken notes).
- Was partially shielded by Lanfear.
- Taught Rand how to channel.
- Killed by Rahvin’s lightning, then was returned to life when Rand’s balefire undid what Rahvin did.

Current Status: Was killed, probably with balefire, by Graendal in Caemlyn (Towers of Midnight, Epilogue and Glossary).

Balthamel /Eval Ramman /Aran’gar /Halima Saranov

When Joined: In the middle years of the Collapse (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time)

Why Joined: Immortality

Scene of Operations: The Eye of the World, rebel Aes Sedai, Cleansing of saidin

Major Deeds: - Was an academic who specialised in the study of vanished cultures.
- Cheated at gambling to win money (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens).
- Was so violent that more than once he was almost bound against it (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Headed an intelligence network and bred people in camps to feed Trollocs (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Made alliances with Age of Legends Forsaken but killed them when their usefulness ended (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens).
- Attacked the Green Man and was killed by him. Reincarnated as Aran’gar /Halima.
- Ordered Sheriam to help raise Egwene Amyrlin (The Gathering Storm, In Darkness).
- Tried to get the rebel Hall to declare Elaida Black Ajah.
- Channelled at Mat and when her weave unravelled, sent Delana to ask Mat if be would be Delana’s Warder.
- Freed Moghedien and passed on her summons to Shayol Ghul. If Moghedien wouldn’t go, Halima was to kill her.
- Wanted Logain gentled or dead because otherwise he could expose her or sense her usage of saidin.
- Followed Egwene to her meeting with Elayne and Nynaeve in the Grand Hall of the Royal Palace in Winter”s Heart, and learned a lot by eavesdropping, but due to her lack of skill in Tel’aranrhiod, used a door and shut it too hard, alerting them that someone was spying on them (Robert Jordan, Forsaken notes).
- Gave Egwene headaches from the day after Logain escaped so that Halima could use the easing of them as an excuse to stay close to Egwene at night so she could reach her dreams (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens). Tampered with Egwene’s dreams, making her prophetic ones murky and hard to remember.
- Tried to make the rebels believe that Elaida meant to still half and break the rest (A Crown of Swords, A Morning of Victory).
- Killed two of Egwene’s maids.
- Abused Sheriam to force her to deliver information on Egwene’s activities and plans.
- Killed two Blue Aes Sedai: Anaiya and Kairen.
- Attended the Cleansing, killed Eben Hopwill and almost killed Beldeine.
- Tried to stir up strife between the rebel Ajah Heads and Sitters and perhaps between the Ajahs (Crossroads of Twilight, Secrets).
- Flirted with Graendal, who never lets herself be the lesser of any pair, although Graendal will flirt with someone she intends to kill or one who intends to kill her (A Crown of Swords, Patterns Within Patterns).
- Formed an alliance with Graendal probably before Halima had to flee the rebels (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Left the rebel Aes Sedai with Delana just prior to being exposed by Romanda.
- At Graendal’s instigation, wove Compulsion on Ramshalan.

Current Status: Dead, shielded by Graendal and balefired by Rand at Natrin’s Barrow.

Other Comments: Meant to use Graendal’s Darkfriend contacts and to kill Graendal when she was no longer useful (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens). Has previously disguised herself as other Forsaken but didn’t send Shadowspawn after Rand as Sammael. Realised Cyndane and Moghedien are mindtrapped and held by Moridin.

Be’lal /Duram Laddel Cham /Samon

When Joined: During the Collapse (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time), yet he said he fought for the Light at Lews Therin’s side (The Dragon Reborn, What is Written in Prophecy). If this is so, Be’lal wouldn’t be the only Forsaken to join the Shadow secretly while ostensibly fighting on the side of the Light. Moghedien did the same (see below).

Scene of Operations: Tear

Major Deeds: - Was a very good law advocate since he earned a third name.
- Fought at Lews Therin’s side.
- His military campaigns and governorship were marked by extreme violence and cruelty.
- Razed the Hall of Servants just before the Bore was sealed (The Dragon Reborn, The Hammer).
- Tried to capture the area where the Choedan Kal were (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Commanded Liandrin’s group to capture the three girls as bait to lure Rand into a trap so Be’lal could get Callandor from him. Also to set up the hedgehog trap for Moiraine.

Current Status: Was balefired by Moiraine in Tear

Demandred /Barid Bel Medar

When Joined: Third year of the War of Power (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time)

Why Joined: Wanted to be on the winning side, hated Lews Therin. Will laugh the day he kills Lews Therin and only then.

Scene of Operations: Black Tower (minor), Shara and Last Battle. Attacked during the Cleansing of saidin. Sammael wrongly believed Demandred was influencing events to the south of Arad Doman by proxies (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow).

Major Deeds: - Was renowned as the second man of the Age of Legends.
- Became a General for the Light, then the Shadow.
- Fought jumara (River of Souls).
- Made an agreement with Semirhage and Mesaana that they will not turn on each other until all the other Forsaken have been eliminated. Eliminated rivals by combining their efforts in this way in the Age of Legends.
- Captured two cities and fed their entire populations to Trollocs because he believed they slighted him.
- Tried to capture the area where the Choedan Kal were (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Went to Shara for Sakarnen. On a whim, disguised himself as a slave. Organised a slave revolt that became a revolution against the Sharan government. Freed the male Ayyad (River of Souls).
- Had a close relationship with Shendla, who followed him from the start, when many hated him. She swore oaths to him (presumably including obedience).
- Was adopted by Mintol, an abrishi (monk adept in the Oneness and possibly dreamwalking).
- Was branded on one hand (River of Souls).
- Found the rod section of Sakarnen.
- Fought a terrible war against the female Ayyad and gained their allegiance (River of Souls).
- Saw Elayne pledge on the Lion Throne to bond Rand (saw this in Tel'aran'rhiod), but misunderstood and thought it was a pledge of revenge against Rand for her mother's death and perhaps his conquest of Andor (Robert Jordan, Forsaken notes).

- Was asked by the Dark One whether he would use balefire in his service.
- Was instructed on who will live and who not. The Dark One’s plan was a gamble.
- Was told to let the Lord of Chaos rule and thought he did well.
- Used proxies to carry out his bidding and sow chaos.
- Was responsible for watching Rand (Winter’s Heart, Wonderful News).
- Did not understand why Moridin put his hand over his heart when threatening Cyndane at a Forsaken meeting (Winter’s Heart, Wonderful News).
- Ordered Black Asha’man to kill Rand (Winter’s Heart, Out of Thin Air).
- Attended the Cleansing and almost killed Sarene. Was driven off.
- Balefired Sharan cities, presumably when the Pattern rippled three times at the time of Crossroads of Twilight.
- Searched for the last three Seals (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens).
- Met with Moridin but let Mesaana ask the Naeblis for help in rescuing Semirage (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Forbidden by Moridin to rescue or aid Semirhage.
- Claimed his rule is secure and ‘we’ (the Sharans) were gathered for war and would be ready (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Descended chasm to where the cup of Sakarnen was held, defeated a jumara, killed a foliate head (former Nym) and returned with the complete Sakarnen within three days (River of Souls).
- Was acclaimed the Wyld. Fulfilled Sharan prophecies and broke them free of fate (and assigned social strata/castes?) (River of Souls).
- Insisted on killing Rand himself (A Memory of Light, Prologue).
- Brought a huge army of Sharans to the Last Battle.
- Was allowed to channel the True Power at the Last Battle.
- Killed inacal, slaves that the Sharans captured from the Aes Sedai camp.
- Claimed Rand was false and he was true. Wanted Rand to face him in a duel so he could kill Rand and claim the world as his own (A Memory of Light, The Wyld).
- Attacked the Light’s armies on the Polov Heights with Sakarnen and a full circle (A Memory of Light, The Last Battle).
- Fought a duel with Gawyn, whom he killed, and with Galad, whom he maimed.
- Mistakenly believed Rand was with one of the command centres of the armies and so did not attack them himself.
- Punished M’Hael for criticising him. Ordered M’Hael to use all his forces against the Aes Sedai.
- Almost wanted to stop hating Rand and love Shendla and the Sharans instead.
- Easily beat Logain in a fight.
- Gave Sakarnen to M’Hael to defeat Egwene and the Aes Sedai. Told M’Hael that he had bonded Sakarnen to him so it couldn’t be used against him.
- Duelled with Lan and was killed by him.

Current Status: Killed by Lan in a swordfight.

Graendal /Kamarile Maradim Nindar /Basene /Maisia/Hessalam

When Joined: Within the first 25 years of the Collapse; the second to join ( The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).

Scene of Operations: Arad Doman, Cleansing of saidin

Major Deeds: - Was a renowned psychiatrist.
- Incited destructive riots and manipulated several important people into harmful behaviour or suicide during the Collapse ( The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Subverted people for the Shadow.
- Opposed no one openly unless relatively certain would beat them.
- Was willing to take risks and move openly if rewards or outcomes warranted it
- Captured Jain Farstrider because he was famous and his age would highlight the beauty of her pets. When she got tired of that she sent him to Ebou Dar on the off chance there really was a cache of items of the Power, rather than kill him or discard him (Robert Jordan, Mat notes). None of the Forsaken knew he was her captive, and they could not co-opt him because he was under her Compusion.
- Killed children whose parents she enslaved so they would not suffer (Lord of Chaos, A New Arrival).
- Never used Darkfriends as servants or pets because they are too easily swayed (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow) and could be co-opted by other Forsaken.
- Killed Asmodean, probably with balefire (Towers of Midnight, Epilogue and Glossary).
- Kidnapped the Domani royal family and rulers of Shara and made them her pets.
- Believed Rand was too dangerous to let live and was determined to have him killed despite Dark One’s orders to the contrary. Aimed Sammael at Rand (Robert Jordan, Forsaken notes.
- Visited Shayol Ghul but never saw Shaidar Haran prior to his visit in The Path of Daggers, New Alliances.
- Found an angreal in Sammael’s things, and perhaps other items.
- Killed Kumira at the Cleansing.
- Had a wide range of Darkfriend contacts according to Aran’gar. Told Aran’gar that Cyndane was not Lanfear because she is weaker in the Power than Lanfear was (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens). Allowed Aran’gar to toy with her, when Graendal never let herself be the lesser of any pair, although she would flirt with someone she intended to kill or who intended to kill her (A Crown of Swords, Patterns within Patterns). It looks like Graendal had Aran’gar sussed out.
- Formed an alliance with Aran’gar (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Was allowed to listen to Mesaana and Demandred as an inducement to agree to prevent Rand from making peace and restoring order in Arad Doman. Was also granted the privilege of channelling a trickle of the True Power.
- If she made Rand feel frustration and anguish, she apparently would be rewarded by Moridin.
- Got Delana and Aran’gar to weave Compulsion on Rand’s envoy/decoy to lure Rand to visit her.
- Shielded Delana and Aran’gar so they would be killed when Rand balefired Natrin’s Barrow. The Compulsion would be undone and Graendal would be believed dead.
- Retreated to her most secret lair, a cavern on a remote island in the Aryth Ocean but was summoned to Moridin.
- Persuaded Moridin she manipulated Rand to balefire the palace so he would feel guilt and anguish. Escaped being punished.
- Suggested to Moridin that she kill Perrin, and Moridin loaned her Isam and a dreamspike.
- Was shown the Shadow’s secret prophecies by Moridin.
- Was told by Moridin that she was his.
- Had placed some strings around Fortuona in Ebou Dar.
- Manipulated Byar to kill Perrin.
- Arranged for Trollocs and Myrddraal to be transported by Portal Stone to attack Perrin. Unsuccessfully; as prophesied, Perrin got away.
- Punished by Shaidar Haran for causing the loss of three Chosen. Was raped, then killed and transmigrated to an especially ugly body. Renamed Hessalam (“without forgiveness”). Lower ranked than Moghedien, but higher than Cyndane.
-Tried to take charge at the Black Tower when brought more Black sisters to help Turn Asha’man to the Shadow.
- Tried to balefire Perrin in Tel’aran’rhiod and fled when he filled her mouth with forkroot (A Memory of Light, The Wyld).
- Compelled the great captains into making mistakes and getting large numbers of their forces killed.
- Was allowed to channel the True Power.
- Attacked the defending forces at Thakan’dar using various Aes Sedai in a ring, Dreadlords and Compelled, to the point of destruction, including Sarene and Sashalle.
- Killed Kiruna and Faeldrin.
- Compelled warriors and soldiers, including Rhuarc, to defend her.
- Badly damaged Aviendha’s feet, and was speared in the side by Aviendha.
- Was hit with her own Compulsion when Aviendha’s partly unpicked gateway exploded (A Memory of Light, Watching the Flow Writhe).

Current Status: Under Compulsion and serving Aviendha.

Lanfear /Mierin Eronaile /Cyndane / Selene /Keille Shaogi /Silvie

When Joined: About 50 years before the War of Power (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).

Why Joined: Lews Therin rejected her and eventually married Ilyena ( The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).

Scene of Operations: Portal Stone world, Aiel, Borderlands, Cleansing of saidin

Major Deeds: - Was part of the research team that bored into the Dark One’s prison.
- Was not particularly famous or skilled, since she did not earn the third name, but was respected.
- Proclaimed her allegiance to the Dark One in the Hall of Servants (The Dragon Reborn, Daughter of the Night).
- Tried to capture Lews Therin and/or turn him to the Shadow.
- Manipulated the dreams of people so that they rioted against authority. - Drove people mad or to suicide.

- Killed people in Tel’aran’rhiod.
- Disguised herself as Selene to get close to Rand.
- Probably sent visions to Masema to inspire him to be Rand’s prophet and gather Dragonsworn (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Tempted Perrin in his dreams (The Dragon Reborn, Shadows Sleeping). Compelled him and made him believe she had returned to the Light:

"You . . . you want to save the Dark One?" Perrin said, raising a hand to his head. "You joined us. I remember . . ."
She glanced at him. "Such an inferior tool," she said, smelling dissatisfied. "I hate having to use it. This makes me no better than Graendal." She shivered. "If they had given me more time, I would have had you fairly."

- A Memory of Light, Light and Shadow

- Tempted Mat in the White Tower (The Dragon Reborn, Visitations).
- Claimed that she doesn’t use Grey Men (The Shadow Rising, Decisions).
- Suggested Asmodean to Rand as a teacher.
- Also suggested that she and Rand unite to kill all other Forsaken and rule the world together under the Dark One or even use the Choedan Kal to challenge the Dark One or the Creator.
- Reminded Rand to use Callandor in Tear (The Shadow Rising, The Stone Stands).
- Disguised herself as Else in The Dragon Reborn, Questions, and Silvie in The Dragon Reborn, Tel’aran’rhiod.
- Entered Rand’s dreams and planned to seduce him (The Shadow Rising, Traps).
- Stole goods from the Aiel women to add to Isendre’s hoard so she would be punished more harshly.
- Killed Hadnan Kadere.
- Fought Rand at the docks and tried to kill him when he rejected her, and also Egwene and Aviendha.
- Was pushed by Moiraine through the doorway ter’angreal into the world of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn and held there by them. The *Finns drained some of her One Power ability. Moridin found her there before they had removed more than a small drop in her considerable strength.
- Killed by Moridin as punishment and a means of escaping the *Finns (A Memory of Light, Prologue), or as part of his bargain with them, and reincarnated by the Dark One as Cyndane in a young body that was the opposite of her previous body except that it was also beautiful (Robert Jordan, Forsaken notes).
- Injured Alivia at the Cleansing of saidin and killed a Darkfriends prior to her arrival there.
- Rallyed Darkfriends and tried to kill Mat and Perrin at Moridin’s orders (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Probably sent Masema a vision of Rand ordering him to kill Perrin (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Haunted Rand’s dream. Said she is being tortured or abused each night and then Healed:

“He has me. He flays my soul anew each eve. Oh, please! Let it stop...He grinds my bones and snaps them like twigs, then leaves me to die before Healing me just enough to keep me alive.”

- Towers of Midnight, Epilogue

This might be true, or it might be an act to snare Rand, or both. Her abuser might be Shaidar Haran, but is perhaps more likely to be Moridin, since he has bullied her since he was given her mindtrap and makes her tell him everything she knows.
- Met Isam at the inn in the Town in the Blight and told him that all other Chosen had renounced claim over him and he was to concentrate solely on killing Rand (A Memory of Light, Prologue).
- Invaded Rand’s dreamshard and begged him to free her from the Dark One/Moridin/mindtrap. He was not fooled by her act.
- Was unable to let Rand read her mind to see if she truly wanted to renounce her allegiance to the Shadow.
- Blamed Rand for her choice to join the Shadow.
- Was shocked when she read Rand’s mine and saw that, while Rand has Lews Therin’s memories, he is not Lews Therin and felt nothing for her. She was later insulted and wanted “vengeance”.
- Was able to enter Tel’aran’rhiod despite the binding of the mindtrap, found Perrin in Tel’aran’rhiod and helped him deactivate the dreamspike.
- Told Perrin she needed him to win and to be at his side when he does (A Memory of Light, Doses of Forkroot).
- Was impressed with Perrin’s skill in Tel’aran’rhiod and told him he could learn to enter and leave it in the flesh.
- Tempted Perrin with herself and the possibilities for himself if he would become more powerful.
- Told Perrin that Graendal was Compelling the great captains (A Memory of Lgiht, The Wyld).
- Insisted men prove themselves worthy of her (A Memory of Light, Drifting).
- In Shayol Ghul, changed her appearance to that of Lanfear (A Memory of Light, Light and Shadow); full circle, since this Lanfear drilled into the Bore to start the Wars.
- Planned to kill Nynaeve and Moiraine, take control of Moridin and force Rand to yield so she would save the Dark One from him:

All along, her goal had been to put herself into a position where the Dark One himself would be helpless and she could step in to bring him salvation.

- A Memory of Light, Light and Shadow

Current Status: Killed by Perrin in Shayol Ghul.

Mesaana /Saine Tarasind/Danelle

Why Joined: Thwarted ambition

Scene of Operations: At least part of the time in the White Tower. Rebel Aes Sedai

Major Deeds: - Failed to be accepted at the Collam Daan as a researcher but was offered a place as a teacher (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Established educational systems that corrupted children, teaching them to spy and report on all around them and destroy anything that detracted from the Dark One’s glory, especially knowledge, keepers of knowledge, researchers, and educators.
- Set up schools where children were taught the glories of the Dark One, taught to kill friends who didn’t learn fast enough or well enough (Lord of Chaos, A New Arrival).
- Set up courts where children tried people for not being loyal to the Dark One.
- Made an agreement with Semirhage and Demandred that they will not turn on each other until all the other Forsaken have been eliminated. Eliminated rivals by combining their efforts in this way in the Age of Legends.
- Disguised herself as a loner Aes Sedai, Danelle of the Brown Ajah.
- During the White Tower coup, Mesaana in her guise as Danelle tried to bring two hundred soldiers disguised as masons into the Tower (The Shadow Rising, The Truth of a Viewing).
- Controlled the Black Ajah in the White Tower. Knows and has contacted the other 12 sisters on the Supreme Council, even though Alviarin thinks Mesaana works only through her. Also knows the names of all the Black sisters (Robert Jordan, Aes Sedai notes.
- Mesaana/Danelle was part of the group who took Siuan into custody.
- As Danelle, Mesaana was part of Elaida's personal council and reported on Niall's political manouverings and fighting in Shienar. She also told Elaida of the responses of four rulers (Mattin Stepaneos, Roedran, Alliandre and Tylin) to Elaida's letters.
- Never considered that Danelle, while a loner, could still be noticed and liked by an Aes Sedai that was out of the Tower—one that Danelle felt little connection to—and could be exposed by her (Robert Jordan, Forsaken notes).
- Visited Shayol Ghul during the time of the Lord of Chaos, Prologue and saw Shaidar Haran, who would not speak to her.
- Sowed dissension in the White Tower and hatred between Ajahs.
- Taught Alviarin Travelling; but Alviarin must serve only her and the Dark One.
- Did not attend Moridin’s Forsaken meeting or the Cleansing of saidin.
- Was punished by Shaidar Haran for not attending the Cleansing or Forsaken meetings and not following Moridin’s orders (Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens).
- Sent Alviarin on errands, including a visit to Tremalking after the Cleansing of saidin, probably to check on the status of the female sa’angreal.
- Wanted Aran’gar to sow dissension among the rebels (Knife of Dreams, In the Gardens). Didn’t want Egwene captured because assumed the rebellion would fall apart ( Knife of Dreams, At the Gardens).
- Met with Moridin to ask him to help Mesaana and Demandred rescue Semirhage (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Was forbidden by Moridin to aid Semirhage.
- Claimed the White Tower would shortly be hers and that she had many followers, dedicated or unwitting. Said most Aes Sedai would fight for the Shadow, perhaps a reference to the turning of channellers to the Shadow that was commencing.
- Ordered Sheriam to arrange for Egwene to be deposed (The Gathering Storm, In Darkness).
- Ordered Sheriam to steal the rebel Hall’s ter’angreal and give them to her within three days, and would remove one of Sheriam’s digits for each one she failed to obtain in that time.
- Removed one of Sheriam’s fingers, therefore Sheriam failed to get one dream ter’angreal (perhaps it is with the delegation to the Black Tower?) (The Gathering Storm, Sealed to the Flame).
- Remained in the White Tower after the Black Ajah fled. Circumvented the Three Oaths, probably with a weave disguising what she was swearing.
- Set the Black Ajah to attack Egwene and the Aes Sedai in Tel’aran’rhiod using stolen dream ter’angreal and to lure them to an ambush. Failed because Perrin took the dreamspike to Tar Valon.
- Disguised Katerine as herself and ambushed Egwene with an a’dam in Tel’aran’rhiod.

Current Status: Her mind was broken in a battle of wills with Egwene in Tel’aran’rhiod.

M’Hael (Also see The Shadow's Influence on the Black Tower article)

Scene of Operations: Black Tower, Caemlyn, Dumai’s Wells, Cairhien, Two Rivers, Last Battle

Major Deeds: - Claimed he channelled for some years (and without going mad) before getting around to declaring himself the Dragon Reborn.
- Tested and found five men who could channel and actually taught one to do so. He said he had to kill this man after two years before the man killed him.
- Named himself the Dragon in 998 NE (The Fires of Heaven Glossary).
- Fought battles all over Saldaea.
- Was recruited and trained by Demandred once the latter was released from the Bore (A Memory of Light, The Last Battle).
- Destroyed the intelligence of two Saldaean officers and their wives Bashere sent under a parley to attack Taim (Lord of Chaos, A New Arrival and Robert Jordan on his blog).
- Was winning against Bashere at Irinjavar in Saldaea when a vision appeared about the time Rand declared himself the Dragon Reborn and Taim was thrown from his horse and knocked unconscious. He was captured by Aes Sedai (The Dragon Reborn, The Amyrlin Seat).
- Escaped Aes Sedai custody at Denhuir by being taken away by stealth in the night. Two sisters died (The Shadow Rising, Deceptions).
- Turned up at Caemlyn for Rand’s amnesty a month after Asmodean was killed. Originally, Taim joined Rand to be at Rand's side to influence him and hopefully derail his efforts. Once he was given the job of recruiting and training Asha’man, he began building his own faction within the Black Tower.
- Presented Rand with a Seal (Lord of Chaos, A New Arrival) as a distraction and a reassurance he was no Darkfriend.
- Hinted at how history could be rewritten to show Taim had met the Prophecies of the Dragon (Lord of Chaos, A New Arrival).
- Was shocked that Rand considered the possibility of a Forsaken infiltrating the Asha’man (Lord of Chaos, A Woman’s Eyes).
- When Rand told Taim that he would cleanse saidin:

"Cleanse saidin" Taim said softly. "I think that would take more power than you can imagine." His eyes lidded thoughtfully. "I have heard of things called sa 'angreal. Do you have one you think could actually—"

- Lord of Chaos, A Woman’s Eyes

”be strong enough” was what he hinted.
- Killed a Gray Man attacking Rand when he visited Rand in Caemlyn to inform him of Narishma, a new recruit (Lord of Chaos, Letters).
- Was furious when Rand gave him his pins of rank (Lord of Chaos, The Black Tower).
- Pressed Rand for permission to kill Aes Sedai (Lord of Chaos, The Black Tower).
- Set up the Black Tower and in six months had recruited and trained hundreds of channellers and had a palace decorated in Moridin’s colours of red and black and with the Shadow’s sigil on the doors:

Broad stone stairs rose to a wide landing in front of tall twinned doors. Each bore a gauntleted fist gripping three lightning bolts, carved large and gilded.

- Knife of Dreams, Epilogue

It has been speculated that the symbol was used by the Shadow’s generals since both Sammael and Be’lal used it and were generals.

- Searched for Rand when he was captured by Elaida’s embassy and brought Asha’man to fight at Dumai’s Wells. Didn’t want Rand in the hands of the Tower or Mesaana and co.
- Set Gedwyn to search for something, probably Rand’s angreal, at Dumai’s Wells:

[Taim] glanced to Gedwyn, who shook his head just a hair. A grimace flashed across Taim's face, gone as soon as it appeared.

- A Crown of Swords, The Butcher’s Yard

He knew Rand had one because Rand used it in front of him (Lord of Chaos, A Woman’s Eyes).
- Wanted to choose Rand’s bodyguard and recommended Torval or Rochaid (A Crown of Swords, The Butcher’s Yard). Taim wanted his young, malleable henchmen to be Rand's aides because they would be more likely to do exactly as Taim commanded and no more. Taim wanted more influence over Rand and information about Rand’s plans. Once he realised that Rand wasn't going to do what he wanted, he calmed down and then looked thoughtful as he started to change his plans.
- Created military ranks—Storm Leader and Attack Leader—in addition to the three training levels Rand created.
- Personally recruited in the Two Rivers and told Tam that Rand is the Dragon Reborn. Brought over forty men and boys back to the Black Tower (Knife of Dreams, The Last Knot).
- Poisoned Asha'man who went mad from the taint.
- Ordered Asha'man of neutral or Logain’s faction to bond the Tower Aes Sedai led by Toveine. Logain believed Rand ordered it.
- Visited Rand in Cairhien at dawn to tell him that Elayne took down Rand’s banners in Caemlyn and later that day sent Gedwyn, Rochaid, Torval and Kisman to kill Rand in Cairhien and was as furious that they were found out as that they had failed.
- Told Rand that Gedwyn, Kisman, Rochaid and Torval had deserted once he knew their attack failed. He did not name Dashiva, who participated without orders from Taim and fled at the same time as the other four. Taim was surprised Dashiva was involved (The Path of Daggers, A Cup of Sleep), since he knew who he gave the orders to.
- Had apparently channelled the True Power by Winter’s Heart, since he had the shadowy aura in Winter’s Heart Prologue that Rand developed after Rand channelled the True Power in The Gathering Storm, The Last That Could Be Done.
- Posted the names of several deserters at the Black Tower: the five that tried to kill Rand (Gedwyn, Kisman, Rochaid, Torval, Dashiva), and three loyal to Rand (Flinn, Hopwil and Narishma) (Winters Heart, Prologue). Later claimed that he made an honest mistake. Yet Rand did not mention the three men loyal to him at all when he spoke to Taim about deserters. Taim was trying to sow suspicion and chaos again and also remove those loyal to Rand so they could hopefully be replaced with those loyal to him.
- Ordered Gedwyn, Kisman, Rochaid, and Torval to kill Rand in Far Madding, their last chance (Winter’s Heart, Out of Thin Air), and therefore had contact with the supposed deserters.
- Rapidly raised men from his special classes to full Asha’man so they wouldn’t be bonded by rebel Aes Sedai.
- Badly wounded Atal Mishraile because he almost revealed to the Red sisters the important information that the rebel Aes Sedai had already been given permission to bond Asha’man. Had they known they might have left promptly, or tried to. Taim wanted them to stay.
- Agreed to six Red sisters bonding willing Asha'man and said:

”you must remember the old saying: ‘Let the lord of chaos rule.’” The chamber erupted with men's laughter.

- Knife of Dreams, Epilogue
Letting the Lord of Chaos rule was the Dark One’s command to his top henchmen, as Demandred told Mesaana, Graendal and Semirhage (Lord of Chaos, Prologue). Since then Demandred quoted it to himself in Tel’aran’rhiod, Semirhage quoted it when boasting that she had destroyed the social fabric and government in Seanchan (Knife of Dreams, Prologue), and finally, Taim when he agreed to let Red sisters bond Asha’man. This is the Shadow’s strategy to weaken the Light, since “belief and order give strength” to the Light according to Herid Fel (Lord of Chaos, Thorns).

- Pressured by Logain, promoted Androl to Dedicated. Did not promote anyone else, though, of Logain’s faction.
- Obtained the three Seals that Rand had hidden away (A Memory of Light, The Use of Dragons), and substituted fake seals during burglaries that seemingly failed.
- Allowed false rumours of Rand to spread:

"Taim's men spread rumors among the newcomers," Jonneth said softly. "They talk about the Lord Dragon, and how he drove good men to turn traitor. They say he's abandoned us, and that he's gone mad. The M'Hael doesn't want those rumors pointing back to him, but burn me if he isn't the source of them all."

- Towers of Midnight, Working Leather

- Turned channellers to the Shadow.
- Forbade people to leave the Black Tower and was given the second of Moridin’s dreamspikes to set up there so gateways couldn’t be used. It was installed after Towers of Midnight, Working Leather.
- Made a fuss over Mezar’s promotion after Mezar was turned to the Shadow, and claimed Mezar was raised by Rand (Towers of Midnight, Something Wrong).
- Promoted to Forsaken (A Memory of Light, Prologue).
- Demoted Androl (A Memory of Light, A Dangerous Place).
- Diverted the River Mora for Demandred (A Memory of Light, The Last Battle).
- Was punished for criticising Demandred and trying to turn him against Moridin (A Memory of Light, The Last Battle).
- Ordered “Nensen” to find Logain and kill him. Androl stole his belt pouch with the Seals while M’Hael was setting a disguise upon him.
- Ordered Alviarin’s group to find and destroy the hidden dragons.
- Wove balefire on the Heights.
- Tried to destroy the Aes Sedai and especially Egwene. Given Sakarnen by Demandred to do this and warned not to use Sakarnen against Demandred because Demandred bonded the sa’angreal to himself.

Current Status: Killed by Egwene (A Memory of Light, The Last Battle)

Moghedien /Lillen Moiral /Marigan /Gyldin

When Joined: During the Collapse (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).

Scene of Operations: Tanchico, Amador, Tel’aran’rhiod, Ebou Dar, Cleansing of saidin

Major Deeds: - Was a dodgy investments advisor and was warned and disciplined about violating her profession’s code of ethics more than once (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Was a spy and saboteur for the Shadow in Lews Therin’s staff, causing several major disasters early in the War of Power.
- Killed several thousand people by sabotaging a public transport system as a diversion for her escape (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Headed an intelligence and sabotage network for the Shadow.
- Brought people to Shayol Ghul to be mindtrapped.
- Is determined to ‘deal with’ Nynaeve, Elayne and Birgitte.
- Ripped Birgitte out of Tel’aran’rhiod.
- Scattered thirteen Black sisters on various missions; some placements were later useful for the Shadow.
- Wove a complex shield on Liandrin and left her to be a servant to Darkfriends.
- Set Falion and Ispan to find the cache of *angreal in Ebou Dar. Took them out of their dreams into Tel’aran’rhiod to check on their progress (A Crown of Swords, The Triumph of Logic). Probably did this with the other Black sisters she set to tasks.
- Mindtrapped, tortured by Shaidar Haran and Moridin, and raped by Shaidar Haran, for failure and for teaching weaves to Elayne, Nynaeve and Egwene (A Crown of Swords, Mindtrap), but showed fewer after-effects than Mesaana.
- Balefired Nynaeve’s boat, killing her bodyguards. Moridin gave Moghedien strict orders for Ebou Dar, which was why she was there (A Crown of Swords, The First Cup).
- Ordered Daved Hanlon and Marillin Gemalphin to report to Shiaine.
- Attended the Cleansing of saidin and did nothing except watch.
- Rallied Darkfriends and sometimes tried to kill Mat and Perrin as Moridin ordered (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Ordered by Moridin at Demandred’s request to spy on the Seanchan army since Semirhage was dead.
- Reported dissension between the Aes Sedai and Seanchan to Demandred.
- Compelled Yulan to argue that the Seanchan should stay out of the Last Battle.
- Was uncovered by Min and fled the Seanchan (A Memory of Light, The Last Battle).
- Allowed to channel the True Power.
- Burned Demandred’s body and took his place with the Seanchan.
- Killed Mintel who declared she was not Bao the Wyld.
- Was fired upon by the dragons (A Memory of Light, A Smile), knocked out and left on the battlefield.
- Killed a worker and disguise herself as her.

Current Status: Collared by sul’dam Shanan and dragged through a gateway to Ebou Dar.

Rahvin /Ared Mosinel /Gaebril

When Joined: During the Collapse (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).

Scene of Operations: Caemlyn, Aiel, Cairhien

Major Deeds: - Caused several regions to surrender to the Shadow without invasion (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Compelled Morgase and usurped her power. Filled the Queen’s Guards with his own men.
- Ordered Comar to kill the three girls in Tear.
- Compelled Alteima and the Red Ajah’s agent.
- Ordered Melindhra to kill Mat in such a way that Sammael will be blamed.
- May have attacked Rand during the battle for Cairhien.
- Warded Caemlyn and ambushed Rand’s forces; killed Asmodean, Mat and Aviendha by lightning.

Current Status: Was balefired by Rand in Caemlyn

Other Comments: Had designs on Cairhien as well as Andor.

Always repaid favours according to Moghedien (The Shadow Rising, Into the Palace).

Sammael /Tel Janin Aellinsar /Brend /Caddar

When Joined: Fourth year of the War of Power

Why Joined: Wanted to be on winning side, hated Lews Therin

Scene of Operations: Illian, Shaido, Shadar Logoth

Major Deeds: - Was a world renowned sportsman and world champion at fencing.
- Became a general for the Light, then the Shadow.
- Kept the scar Lews Therin gave him as a reminder.
- Betrayed the Gates of Hevan, carried the Shadow in to the Rorn M’doi and Satelle. (The Fires of Heaven, The Lesser Sadness).
- Neglected the people in his territory.
- Overran the area where the access keys for the Choedan Kal were made (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Established himself in Illian as head of the Council of Nine.
- Sent Darkhounds after Perrin and Moiraine.
- Sent Trollocs and Myrddraal to attack the Stone of Tear (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow).
- May have attacked Rand during the battle for Cairhien.
- Manipulated Graendal into telling him where other Forsaken were.
- Sent Andris with a supposed offer for a truce with Rand.
- Ordered Carridin’s Darkfriends to find the *angreal cache in Ebou Dar.
- Sent a gholam to deal with Nynaeve and Elayne in Ebou Dar.
- Gave Sevanna an Oath Rod/binder.
- Dispersed the Shaido, sending them to loot and sow chaos. - Sammael scattered 43 septs (301,000 Shaido; 30,000 Shaido algai'd'siswai, and about 10,320 Mera'din) through Tarabon, Amadicia, Ghealdan and Almoth Plain to loot and sow chaos, primarily in the first two, with an especial weight in Tarabon just to make a little trouble for Demandred, (as Sammael thought) (Robert Jordan’s Brotherless notes).
- Lured Rand to Shadar Logoth where he was going to kill him.

Current Status: Was killed by Mashadar in Shadar Logoth and apparently not able to be reincarnated.

Semirhage /Nemene Damendar Boann /Anath Dorje

When Joined: About the middle of the Collapse and added to the turmoil of the second half of the Collapse (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time). One of the first to go to Shayol Ghul (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow).

Why Joined: Was exposed as sadistically abusing people and given the choice of being bound against committing her crimes or being severed by the Hall (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow). Either punishment would have greatly shortened her life.

Scene of Operations: Seanchan, Shayol Ghul, Altara, Cleansing of saidin (according to Jordan).

Major Deeds: - Was a renowned Healer, especially with regard to the brain.
- Healed sadistically before the Bore was drilled (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow).
- Intimidated her jailors into freeing her (Knife of Dreams, A Plain Wooden Box).
- Tortured and killed those she believed society did not need.
- Turned captured Aes Sedai to the Shadow during the Collapse with torture alone.
- Turned captured soldiers and civilians to the Shadow with torture during the War of Power. They were then sent on missions against the Light (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Headed the Shadow’s secret police and counterespionage network (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Made an agreement with Demandred and Mesaana that they will not turn on each other until all the other Forsaken have been eliminated. Eliminated rivals by combining their efforts in this way in the Age of Legends.
- Forced the inhabitants of several captured cities to torture each other to death.
- Governed areas with extreme violence and cruelty.
- Performed experiments on individuals or small groups on the ways pain could break human will and dignity, or what people would do to avoid more pain (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time).
- Counts as one of her “greatest victories” the survival of a man for one full hour after having his blood replaced with a solution (The Gathering Storm, A Tale of Blood).
- Discovered that a circle of thirteen channellers, using thirteen Myrddraal as a sort of filter, could turn any channeller to the Shadow.
- Killed Tuon’s Truthspeaker and replaced her (Winter’s Heart, What a Veil Hides).
- Was ordered to send Trollocs and Myrddraal into Tear to battle those sent by Sammael (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow).
- Tortured Cabriana for information and then killed her. Killed Cabriana’s Warder.
- Killed the entire Imperial family of Seanchan to ‘let the Lord of Chaos rule’ (Knife of Dreams, Prologue).
- Encouraged Suroth to find and kill Tuon and become Empress.
- Was ordered to capture Rand and not harm him (The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
- Disguised herself as Tuon and aimed to capture and collar Rand and his entourage with a’dams.
- Burned Rand’s hand off and damaged his eyesight in contradiction to Moridin’s orders not to harm Rand (Knife of Dreams, A Plain Wooden Box).
- Was captured by Rand’s group and broken by Cadsuane with humiliation. - Was freed by Shaidar Haran.
- Removed Compulsion from Elza and received Domination Band from her (The Gathering Storm, The Last That Could Be Done).
- Put Domination Band on Rand and abused him and tried to make him kill Min.

Current Status: Balefired with the True Power by Rand.

Other Comments:Set up by the Dark One in the sense that he knew she wouldn’t resist the temptation to play with Rand.

Order of Joining the Shadow:


Balthamel, Be’lal, Lanfear, Moghedien, Rahvin, Semirhage


No information:
Asmodean, Mesaana


If the Dark One won the Last Battle, there was a risk that the Dark One destroyed the Forsaken as well as world and did not make the world anew in its own image. Moridin, of course, wanted this very thing to happen. The other Forsaken did not; they wanted to rule the Dark One’s Anti-Paradise. This is how Demandred reconciled it:

“Yes.” Demandred’s eyes were cold. “If I kill Lews Therin, in victory I will be given the right to remake the world as I wish. The Great Lord cares nothing for rule. The only way to protect this world is to destroy it, and then shelter its people. Is that not what your Dragon claims he can do?”

- A Memory of Light, The Last Battle

He would be given the right to remake it/design it himself. And presumably the ability to do so? Somehow.


Written by Linda, October 2007 and updated July 2013 and July 2019


Anonymous said...

Just a quick comment re: Ishamael and Nietzsche. I think that you may have misinterpreted the meaning of the Nietzsche parallel, especially in light of the chapter "Veins of Gold" in tGS.

The Overman (ubermensch) was one who could tolerate, with equanimity, the eternal recurrence of all things. As we see in a number of Moridin PoV's, Ishamael's goal is not, like other Forsaken, to achieve glory in this world. Rather it is to destory this world and END the eternal recurrence of the Pattern. He considers the endless repetition of the Wheel intolerable.

Rand, post-Veins of Gold, is the opposite. In fact, we see him transform from a Moridin-like figure who is horrified by the idea of endlessly repeating the "stupid" mistakes of kingdoms and other petty human deeds (viz. "the unbearable lightness of being"), who considers the Pattern a prison for humankind, to a figure who not only accepts but welcomes eternal recurrence. On the brink of destroying all Creation with the CK, he turns away from that and embraces life in the Pattern. He remembers hundreds if not thousands of past lives and embraces the thought of repeating them because each time he is allowed to love again, and given the chance to avoid the Kinslaying.

So, Rand--not Ishamael--is the ubermensch. The ubermensch is motivated by a love of this world and life, in contradistinction to the Christian ideal of other-worldliness--i.e. the idea that true happiness lies outside this "mortal coil", which is but a prison for the soul.

Under the Nietzschean view, Ishamael is the lesser man. He does not have the fortitude to accept eternal recurrence. Instead, he does all in his power to end it. Recurrence, to him, destroys hope. The future consists merely of a repetition of past mistakes and misdeeds. Rand manages to find hope, which steels him against the seeming absurdity of eternal recurrence.

I'm not sure what implications this has for going forward, but I think it helps explain the strategy that Ishamael and the DO have been pursuing up to now. Their goal was not to kill Rand. That would be a blow to the Pattern, but not a fatal one. Their goal has been to isolate him, cut him off from those he loves, make him believe his human emotions, his connections to this world, were a liability to be severed. As Rand became more like Ishamael, the Pattern started going all wonky. After he had channeled the TP, the "balance" of randomness that occurred around Rand disappeared. When he was in Bandar Eban, only bad events happened, and no good ones. By this point, Rand had given up all hope of living after the LB; he had lost all sense of why he was fighting at all. Obviously, the pattern is in some way responsive to the state of Rand's soul.

(In fact, I think that the pressure Tuon felt to agree to an alliance was one of these "bad" events. It would have served the Shadow to have the alliance concluded in such a manner, which is not the one foreseen by prophecy (which involves Mat). By resisting Rand Tuon actually kept the pattern on course).

All of this leads me to theorize that the only way for the DO to escape, truly, from his prison, is to drive Rand over the edge to despair and hopelessness. The Dragon is somehow at the very heart of the Pattern itself, and the state of his soul can affect its integrity. By becoming more like Moridin, Rand undermined the balance on which the Pattern had depended. By fully becoming Moriding, Rand would have the power to destroy all creation. But he turned from that in the end.

If I'm right, the key battle has already been fought and won. Rand still has to fight to limit the effects of the DO, but total anihilation is now off the table, even if Rand were to die.

Linda said...

I rewrote that section to explain my ideas better.

Moridin seems to have changed his attitude recently. He is not used to being close to anyone and I think the link with Rand has brought this change on. He used to think he would gain enormous power through being freed of the Wheel - some sort of demi-godhood existing eternally as an Ubermensch outside the Pattern - whereas now he looks forward to experiencing nothingness. This change is due to despair - the same that affected Rand so badly.

Same sex links seem to have these positive feedback loops due to too much similarity. I am reminded of what Elayne and Birgitte feel sometimes. The women are better equipped emotionally to prevent this from running out of control. Rand and Moridin were completely not equipped; Rand traumatised and in error about how to cope, Moridin completely emotionally unfeeling. Perhaps now Moridin will return to his original philosophy of gaining power from the end of time.

It will be amusing if Rand now brings about a positive change in Moridin through their link.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I hadn't considered the possibility that Rand was driving Moridin's despair. I think that's quite plausible.

Re: "positive" effects on Moridin, funily enough, when I was reading the chapter in which they have their "fireside chat", I really had the feeling that here were to old friends, who had had a major disagreement and parted ways over it (especially in light of the narrator's comment to that effect). What sealed it for me was when Rand called him "Elan", referring to "your logic". Rand/Lews Therin seems to have known him fairly well.

Given that, it wouldn't be surprising if Moridin had a Darth Vader moment and was finally turned around by Rand's insistent goodwill and his conviction that resisting the Dark One/Dark Side is not, in fact, futile.

K said...

"- Removed one of Sheriam’s fingers therefore Sheriam failed to get one dream ter’angreal (perhaps it is with the delegation to the Black Tower?) "

Actually, Siuan has the last (inferior) dream ter'angreal.
Check the chapter "Clean shirts", p149:
She[Siuan] could have been left without any of the rings. The Sitters thought this one had been with Leane when she'd been captured.

Linda said...

That is not the ter'angreal to which I was referring.

There is no reason to think that Sheriam got all the 19 ter'angreal that she told Mesaana were with the rebels and every reason to believe she didn't, since she lost a finger.

The rebel Hall probably sent a ter'angreal with their delegation to the Black Tower so they could communicate. Sheriam wouldn't know this if it were decided by the Hall, since as Keeper Sheriam isn't allowed in the Hall unless the Amyrlin (Egwene) is there. She took to standing outside it, but would not have heard this decision if it were made in a Sealed to the Hall session (warded).

The decision to take a ter'angreal might have been made privately by any Sitter too, such as one of the six Sitters on the delegation.

Spiffy said...

First, I'll say I've been a fan of this series for a long time, and have been a member of several WoT based sites(,, etc ), so that should be a signature of my love for the series. This last book was amazing.

The Forsaken took a huge blow, losing two of their members. Moridin I find especially intriguing. As someone mentioned above, his attitude most certainly has changed - I think he's coming to grips with his own vulnerability in the grand scheme of things.

What of Demandred, though? One of the things I was most anxiously awaiting is seeing what he is up to but he still is as allusive as ever. Anyone have any ideas on what he might be up to? His comment at the beginning is probably the biggest clue we have.

Anonymous said...

Great work Linda, I'll add this on Mesaana.

Apparently Brandon said at one of the Q&A's that Mesaana is still in the Tower, and Egwene's deductions in the epilogue were "not incorrect."

Either she doesn't consider herself an Aes Sedai, and therefore NOT Black Ajah, and defeated the Oath Rod, or she is now posing (or always has been) posing as a non-sister.

Anonymous said...

I think Mesaana is posing as the cook.

Unknown said...


Here's my hypothesis about Demandred. We know from TGS that he likes to command an army. There are two armies that do not have known Forsaken influence - Masema's, and the Borderlanders. All other military bodies have Forsaken with them: Seanchan have Semirhage, Arad Doman has Graendal, Illian had Sammael, White Tower has Mesaana, Black Tower has Osan'Gar, Rebel Aes Sedai have Aran'Gar. Given the choice between leading a ragtag group of ruffians that, albeit have successfully sown chaos, lack any real training or battle experience, I believe that Demandred is with the Borderlanders. They have the superior military might, and are pointed conveniently at Rand.

There is a hint in LOC, when Sammael visits Graendal in Arad Doman and states, "Events to the south had Demandred's name all over them. Demandred had always liked using proxies." (p. 179) By this point, Davram Bashere had already pledged himself to Rand, so it is possible that the rest of the Borderlanders had already begun moving south. But that is speculation, and since we hadn't heard of it yet it may not have generated the news of "events" that Sammael was referring to. This could be better evidence of Demandred messing with Masema, instead. I'll bet money that he's with one or the other group, though I favor the borderlanders. Masema's insanity strikes me more as Moridin's influence.

Molly said...

I think Demandred is with the Whitecloaks; they are very autocratic and dogmatic and it wouldn't take much for them to be tricked; as long as the one at the top is under Demandred's thumb he could easily turn them to fighting the Light.

Unknown said...


It's entirely possible that Demandred is with the White Cloaks. However, that means nobody can take credit for the Borderlanders. Now if your an incredibly talented general, and you want to lead a highly powerful army against the man you hate more than anything else in the world, do you lead <20,000 white cloaks? Or >200,000 borderlanders. Consider also that the borderlanders are poised to strike at Rand in their choice of Illian, Tear, Cairhien, Andor, and Far Madding, while the White Cloaks have been going through power struggle after power struggle and are mired in Ghealdan between the Seanchan, Aiel, and Perrin. That doesn't really get them in a position to strike at Rand directly.

Unknown said...

Mesaana might be Tsutama, Galina's replacement for the Highest of the Red Ajah. Tsutama fits the requirements - she's been out of the White Tower for a number of years, and she's had a slight personality change according to Pevara.

KOD pages 49-56.
"Exile had changed her, only not toward softness. Those eyes belonged on a hunting cat, searching for enemies or prey. The rest of Tsutama's face was not so much serene as it was still, an unreadable mask."
"As if sensing her thoughts, Tsutama shifted that unbliking gaze to her. It did not make Pevara color or start...but she did find herself wishing Duhara were there, just to give the Highest a third Sitter tos tare at, just to share them out".

I'll be the first to admit that this is far from conclusive, but I've been reading the series straight through again over the last few months and no other good candidate has really stood out to me. It must be someone that has been out of the tower for some time, the longer the better. It must be someone that we've seen, since Brandon Sanderson confirmed that her alter ego has appeared prior to TGS. And, it definitely helps if it's someone who has had a change in personality, if only slightly.

t ball said...

I was pretty surprised that in Towers we STILL don't see Demandred or find out any more info on his whereabouts. I think he may be leading the attack coming through the waygate or in the black tower.

Clarissa said...

This is rather out of left field so feel free to dismiss as I can't off hand think of any evidence to back it up but what about Murandy for Demandred's location? Forgotten by everyone but suddenly, thanks to the actions of the Band, united for once. Convenient?

Hinkel said...

@Clarissa - King Roedran of Murandy has been a somewhat popular choice for an alias of Demandred on the various WOT sites forums and it becomes a bit more likely since he's not with the Borderland monarchs or behind their actions. Also, from ToM we know that Eggy offered him gateways to bring his armies to Merrilor, but he had yet to accept.

Linda said...

tball: Much has been held over to the last book; Demandred most of all.

General Galgan said...

I think that Demandred is actually general Galgan. Probably Tuon is behaving like she is partly because she is under Demandred's compulsion. He said once that he is preapering an army - Seanchans are the only valuable military asset that might be used by the Shadow.

Yamezt said...

Quoting Linda
"There is no reason to think that Sheriam got all the 19 ter'angreal that she told Mesaana were with the rebels and every reason to believe she didn't, since she lost a finger."

I believe in Towers of Midnight, when Egwene battled the Black Ajah and Messana, she did specifically said they had 19 Ter-angreals, and thus infer the number of black sisters they have to content with after the slain each. I do think it is more likely Messana just punished Sheriam for the sake for not obtaining a ter'angreal that is somewhat impossible to get. Much like how she punished Katerine in ToM

Vicki said...

Just a quick comment to the 'Demandred' entry:
'- Refused Demandred’s and Mesaana’s request to rescue her and forbade them to send her aid. Said Semirhage deserved her imprisonment for failure to follow orders.'
I think 'to rescue her' should be changed to 'to rescue Semirhage', otherwise the sentence is ambiguous.

RE Mesaana: I wonder if the Danelle who took part in deposing Siuan in TSR was still the real Danelle or already Mesaana. On one hand, it would make sense for Mesaana to influence events. On the other, we know that the Forsaken avoided intruding on each other's power base, and the White Tower was Lanfear's base until her fall into the redstone doorway. True, Lanfear left for the Aiel Waste at some point during TSR, but there may not have been enough time for Mesaana to move in on her territory. Do you have any sources confirming that 'Danelle' was already Mesaana in TSR?

Anonymous said...

Moridin died in Rand’s body, which was cremated, and Rand’s soup transmigrated to Moridin’s body, which recovered. its soul not soup. got a good laugh over that. just a heads up linda

Linda said...

Thanks! That's so terrible it's almost worth leaving, but I fixed it.

Anonymous said...

Linda, was it moghedien that sent the attack on rand back on knife of dreams (i think. cant remember) while he was resting after the cleansing? she did make the comment to herself that she studied the other forsaken so that she could masquerade as one of them if necessary. or do you think its off base. thanks.

Linda said...

It could be, but we don't really know. Moghedien has never seemed to have access to large trolloc armies before or since.

It could also be the Forsaken who sent Slayer after Rand at Far Madding. (I think that one was Aran'gar, because Isam was so sure it was a man, and Aran'gar seemed smug about going against Moridin's orders at the "Gardens"

Anonymous said...

Confirmed by Sanderson that Lanfear was not actually killed, but instead faked her death.