Friday, March 8, 2002


By Linda

This essay will describe the sources probably used to create Sammael.

Here is a list of Sammael’s themes:

Ancient Rome

Sammael was a compact, golden-haired man with a square cut beard. His handsome looks were disfigured by:

a livid scar that slanted across his otherwise attractive face, as if a red-hot poker had been dragged from hairline to jaw,

- The Fires of Heaven, Prologue

a scar that was given to him by Lews Therin.

A notorious historical figure with a similar scar is Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the Chief of the Nazi RSHA (which included the Gestapo, the SD and Criminal Police). He had a livid scar across his left cheek, from a fencing duel.

Until he found the glories of war, Sammael (or Tel Janin Aellinsar as he was then) was a renowned and gifted sportsman, competing in a number of events, notably:

archery and a sort of bloodless competition with swords at which he was the world champion.

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

This sword sport would be similar to fencing. In hindsight, it is no coincidence that Sammael's two favoured sports involved weapons. As Graendal said:

he had always liked the most violent games.

- Lord of Chaos, To Understand A Message

And war is the most violent 'game' of all.

The various parts of Tel Janin Aellinsar continue this theme:

Tel alludes to William Tell, the famous Swiss archer and freedom fighter. It also means 'hill' in the Middle East and, in archaeology, the raised mound marking the site of an ancient city. Sammael was responsible for reducing quite a few Age of Legend cities to rubble and consigning them to history.

Janin is a town in Samara, Palestine. It is a very ancient settlement mentioned in the Amarna letters (14th century BC) found at Tell el-Amarna, Egypt. Janin was taken by crusaders in the Middle Ages and was a Turkish-German base in World War I. It is now under Israeli rule as part of the West Bank.

Aellinsar: Aelianus, was a Greek military writer of the 2nd century AD:

whose manual of tactics influenced Byzantine, Muslim, and post-15th-century European methods of warfare.

Probably written in AD 106, Aelianus' Taktike theo­ria (Tactical Theory), based on the art of warfare as practiced by the Hellenistic successors of Alexander the Great, was an instruction manual on arming, organizing, deploying, and manoeuvring an army in the field. Consulting previous authorities on the subject, Aelianus dealt with a force composed mainly of armoured infantry of the Greek hoplite type, with auxiliary light infantry and cavalry screens. Aelianus' detailed treatise became a valuable source of knowledge for European military writers of the 16th century, when infantry once again began to supersede cavalry as the decisive arm of the battlefield.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

This parallel alludes to Sammael's military knowledge and skill as a general.

Sammael has a further Ancient Greek parallel—the god Apollo.


Apollo is the Ancient Greek god of light, archery, the arts, divination, healing and plagues. He is the god of order, and of mental and moral purity. His symbols are the bow, the lyre, and the laurel (including the laurel crown.) Among the animals associated with him are the wolf and the raven. Historically, Apollo, considered the most Greek of Greek gods, was the last of the twelve Olympian gods to be introduced into Greece.

There are quite a few parallels here. Sammael was an archer, who took control of Illian and its Laurel Crown. The raven is appropriate for a Darkfriend such as Sammael, and as for the wolf, Sammael sent a pack of Darkhounds—which are derived from the souls of wolves—after Moiraine, Lan, Faile, Loial and Perrin (a Wolfbrother) in The Dragon Reborn, Hunted. While Sammael claimed he had no interest in music:

He started to tell her [Graendal] that he had no interest in music, as she knew very well...

- Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow

he decorated his rooms with sound sculptures and many works of art from a stasis box:

A small music-box sat on the marble mantelpiece, producing from its memory the soft strains of a sound-sculpture that very likely had not been heard outside this room in well over three thousand years. And she recognised several of the artworks on the walls.

She paused in front of Ceran Tol's 'Tempo of Infinity'. Not a copy. "One might think you had looted a museum, Sammael." It was hard to keep the envy from her voice, and when she saw his faint smile, she realised she had failed.

- Lord of Chaos, To Understand A Message.

Sammael had his ordered, puritanical side: he didn't like swearing, and was disgusted at the erotic carvings on Graendal's furniture and considered her self-indulgence idiocy, a waste of time and energy:

He had to get a grip on himself; he never cursed like this; it was a weakness...

- Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow

All this wasted effort [Graendal's pets and their display room], all this display of flesh, really did disgust him.

- Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow.

Sammael was also a latecomer to the Shadow; he turned from the Light (ironic in a god of light) in the fourth year of the War of the Power.

Apollo is a solar deity (although not literally personifying the Sun—that role was taken by Helios) usually depicted as a beardless young man of idealised beauty. Sammael's golden hair and handsome looks are a parallel with the solar Apollo. He was handsome enough that Graendal would like to add him to her pretties:

With his golden hair, Sammael might have been handsome enough to stand among her pets, if he would let Semirhage remove the burned furrow that slanted across his face...

- Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow.

Sammael was a darker, older Apollo—a bearded man instead of a beardless youth. As an evil Apollo, he had no interest in divination or healing; in fact, since he wore a scar as a reminder of his enemy, Sammael needed Healing.

Apollo certainly wasn't all sweetness and light. During the Trojan War, as god of plagues, he shot arrows infected with the plague into the Greek encampment. Sammael's territories were renowned for disease and he too committed wartime atrocities.

As a young man, Apollo killed the female dragon Python, and was banished from Olympus for nine years as punishment. Sammael also aspired to kill a Dragon...

Apollo is not the only god of archery with parallels to Sammael; Ull is another.


Ull is the Scandinavian god of archery.

He was the handsome stepson of the thunder god Thor

- Encyclopaedia Britannica
and was called upon for help in duels. Sammael was a handsome archer and fencer (a duellist) with golden hair and blue eyes—Scandinavian colouring.

Ull was chosen to command the Aesir for a time in place of Odin:

Odin had been accused of employing unworthy methods in overcoming the resistance of a maiden he coveted and had been banished from the skies by the other gods. In his absence, it was Ull, with the consent of all, who took over the command of the Aesir. But at the end of ten years, Odin reappeared and drove Ull away. Ull took refuge in Sweden where he acquired the reputation of a powerful enchanter.

- Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology

The parallel here is that Sammael was a powerful channeller who believed he should have Lews Therin's place and later also wanted to be Naeblis. He failed to achieve both of these ambitions.

Sammael's way to achieve his ambitions was always through war, so let's look at someone who thought the same.


The Emperor Napoleon was of minor Corsican nobility. Sammael was also conscious of his background:

He had never run from Lews Therin, and he would not run from this provincial buffoon. The Great Lord could not mean to put one like that above the Chosen. Above him!

- Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow.

The Little Corporal, as Napoleon was nicknamed, was darkhaired and of average height for his time, as Colonel Sir Neil Campbell described when he saw Napoleon at Fontainebleau:

A short, active-looking man, who was rapidly pacing the length of his apartment...

This is similar to descriptions of Sammael:

An active, solid man with golden hair, blue eyes and an abrupt manner, Sammael was ruggedly handsome. His compact physique made him seem larger than he actually was. When compared with other men, he was only of average height. This rankled him, for he felt he was judged more often by height than by skill, and was usually found lacking.

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

Sammael's colouring is an allusion to Apollo and Ull, but his issue with his height (or lack of it) is Napoleonic. Sammael paced to and fro in thought when he visited Carridin in Ebou Dar:

Waving him [Carridin] to silence, Sammael paced a few quick steps, three times up and back, hands clasped behind his back. He did not look worried, only...considering.

- A Crown of Swords, Insects

Napoleon and Sammael were both fencers, though Sammael was of a much higher standard. (Napoleon and Sammael were not the only brilliant generals to be fencers: George Patton competed in fencing in the 1912 Olympics. Interestingly, he too disregarded civilians when on campaign.)

Napoleon incorporated the bee (the ancient symbol of the French monarchy) into his coat of arms along with laurel leaves and the eagle. In the frontispiece of the two-volume work Napoleon In Exile published in 1822, Napoleon wears a laurel crown. Sammael ruled Illian, whose symbols are nine bees and the Laurel Crown.

Napoleon founded the Musee Napoleon where the spoils of his overseas military campaigns were displayed: classical sculptured from Italy, statues and columns from Egypt, oil paintings by the Old Masters of Europe (Carola Hicks, The Bayeux Tapestry). Graendal thought that Sammael’s apartment looked like he had looted a museum.

Sammael and Napoleon had similar characters:

  • They were ruthless, unpredictable, untrustworthy and distrustful:

    Napoleon stood for the lieutenant-colonelcy of the 2nd Battalion of Corsica Volunteers, an influential position from which to launch his career.

    In a contest violent and corrupt even by eighteenth-century small-town Corsican standards—featuring kidnapping, bribery, intimidation and thuggery—Napoleon was elected and his family's political friends in Paris blocked all investigation into the means.

    - Andrew Roberts, Napoleon and Wellington

    Napoleon was utterly unfaithful to the trust imposed on him by fellow sovereigns; was untruthful, completely lacking in self-control when thwarted; was frequently and maliciously inconsiderate of the feelings of others...No reliance could be placed on his honouring any agreement or not.

    - John Strawson, The Duke and The Emperor

    Sammael's character was just as dark. He was equally unpredictable:

    Sammael was a hot sofar with warped steering planes...

    - Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow

    according to Semirhage and so ruthless that Graendal was afraid of him:

    I [Graendal] never rejected him [Sammael] outright; you know Sammael is—was a dangerous man to reject.

    - A Crown of Swords, New Alliances

    None of the Forsaken could be trusted, Sammael included. There could be no truce with any of the Shadow. Untrustworthy people are always distrustful:

    Usually he refused meetings except on neutral ground, or his own. He had never been a trusting man.

    - Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow

  • They had the potential to do a lot for society:

    Napoleon gained power through his skill as a general until he became First Consul of France. Many excellent reforms of the educational, legal, financial and administration systems were made under his leadership, although they were largely the work of Jean Jacques Regis de Cambaceres, who held the office of Second Consul under Bonaparte from 1799‒1804.

    As First Consul, then as Emperor, he imposed his character and will not only on his enemies but on his own people by completely and beneficially organising the entire political, administrative, commercial and social structure of France. Here we see the most admirable side of Napoleon's character.

    - John Strawson, The Duke and The Emperor

    Sammael had earned the coveted third name, which could only be acquired through great service. Later, during the War of the Power, he used his skills as a general to defend cities and fight battles for the Light against the Shadow.

  • They had too great a desire for glory and power:

    Napoleon wanted more glory and territory for himself and France and became a conqueror and dictator. By declaring himself Emperor, Napoleon usurped or betrayed the ideals of the French Revolution.

    But Napoleon's attempt to turn Portugal and Spain into mere provinces of Imperial France changed all that. His invasion of Portugal and Spain was naked aggression.

    - John Strawson, The Duke and the Emperor

    While Wellington may have admired Napoleon's generalship, he had no such regard for his character. In 1811, he wrote of Napoleon's 'fraudulent and disgusting tyranny' and to Croker he said that Napoleon cared nothing for what was right or wrong, just or unjust, honourable or dishonourable, although he acknowledged that the huge stakes Napoleon played for 'threw knavery into the shade'.

    - John Strawson, The Duke and the Emperor

    Sammael left the Light to be on the winning side and to outdo Lews Therin Telamon. By winning vast territory for the Dark One he aimed to become Naeblis.

  • They were obsessed with war as a way to achieve their ambitions:

    Napoleon revelled in war—In order to have good soldiers, he maintained, a nation must always be at war.

    - John Strawson, The Duke and The Emperor

    ...generally showing, in [Colonel Sir Neil] Campbell's opinion, that 'his [Napoleon's] thought seemed to dwell perpetually on the operations of war'.

    - Andrew Roberts, Napoleon and Wellington

    Without a doubt he [Sammael] fell in love with war, and very likely with the honours and privileges that went with being one of the best known and highest-ranking generals.

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

    Sammael's way had always been armies and conquest...

    - The Fires Of Heaven, Prologue

  • Both were brilliant generals, especially in defense:

    Napoleon was a brilliant military strategist, able to absorb the substantial body of military knowledge of his time and to apply it to the real-world circumstances of his era. He was very good at defending:

    As well as concern about Napoleon's defensive abilities and the dangers of attacking him piecemeal...

    - Andrew Roberts, Napoleon and Wellington

    Sammael had similar talents:

    His [Sammael's] greatest ability lay in defense, and those fighting the Shadow were often on the defensive.

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

    Sammael believed he was a better general than Lews Therin Telamon and should have had overall command of the Light's forces. Napoleon insisted on sole command of the 'Army of the Alps' in the campaign against the Austrians.

  • They never withdrew voluntarily:

    But it was not in his [Napoloen's] nature to withdraw voluntarily.

    - John Strawson, The Duke and the Emperor

    Never in his life had he [Sammael] relinquished anything he considered his, however shaky his claim, not without a fight.

    - A Crown of Swords, A Crown if Swords.

    He [Sammael] was trapped in a box of his own devising, a box he would defend to the death rather than abandon, a box in which he very probably would die.

    - Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow

  • They both committed atrocities directly or indirectly :

    Though Sammael usually looked after his soldiers and neglected his civilians, whereas Napoleon tended to do the reverse.

    By following the theory that armies should live off the country they are traversing, thus totally freeing themselves from the cumbersome system of wagon-train supply, Napoleon was responsible for the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians:

    The system of his [Napoleon's] tactics was founded upon forced marches. War, being the principal resource of his government, was to be carried on at the smallest possible expense of money to his treasury, but at the greatest possible expenditure of the lives of his men, not only by the fire of the enemy, but by privations, fatigue and sickness. Till this Russian war he had never thought of supplying his armies with the necessaries requisite to enable such great bodies to keep the field. His object was to surprise his enemy by the rapidity of his marches, to fight a great battle, levy contributions, make peace and return to Paris. But these objects were always attained at the expense of the utmost privations to his troops.

    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington in the appendix of Reverend Gleig's, Life of Arthur, 1st Duke of Wellington

    Here are some examples of the consequences Wellington describes.

    In the Iberian Peninsula:

    Napoleon had despatched Junot with 24,000 men across the Spanish frontier on 18 October 1807. It took him about 6 weeks to reach Lisbon by which time his corps had been reduced to 1,500, who by this time were without food, horses, guns or ammunition.

    - John Strawson, The Duke and The Emperor

    Massena's [one of Napoleon's Marshals] men suffered enough throughout the winter, but they suffered still more when, after grimly hanging on for more than four months—and only getting enough food by ill-treating the local peasants to such an extent that their hidden food supplies were handed over—he ordered the retreat to Spain in March 1811...The whole affair was terrible from start to finish...Every conceivable horror accompanied it. It was a tale of death, destruction, starvation, pitiless revenge and cruelty, the wounded untended, the dying left to be set on by dogs driven to such brutishness by their Portuguese masters, baggage mules and asses hamstrung and left to starve, fearful atrocities committed by French soldiers on the natives, including burning women and children in their houses, pointless vandalism, wanton smashing of homes and goods.

    - John Strawson, The Duke and The Emperor

    (This is also a Masema parallel. Masema is both Mastema and Massena, see Character Names M article).

    On the Russian campaign:

    Whereas Wellington [contemporaneously in Spain] husbanded his army, Napoleon squandered his...Ten thousand horses had perished because of the cold, wet weather and unripened corn...It was not only forage that was in short supply, however. There were not enough rations for the soldiers and some of Mortier's Young Guard were already dead from starvation [before any fighting took place].

    - John Strawson, The Duke and The Emperor

    A hospital in Wilna for six thousand men was set up without provisions, beds, covering, or even straw to lie upon, and even unprovided with medicine. Those hospitals that did exist were for the wounded only; the sick shifted for themselves as they could...Proportionately more and more men were sacrificed in [Napoleon's] battles as his career progressed...

    - Andrew Roberts, Napoleon and Wellington

    None of this worried Napoleon in the least:

    When he tells Metternich [the Austrian Chancellor] that he cares nothing for the lives of a million men, or talks of burying the world beneath the ruins of his throne, or declares that the Grande Armee has been destroyed, but that his own health is excellent—we see the megalomaniac.

    - John Strawson, The Duke and The Emperor

    After all, he had committed other crimes:

    The kidnap and execution of the Bourbon Duc d'Engien and the mysterious death in his prison cell of the Royalist General Charles Pichegru were held to represent his greatest crimes, along with the massacre of around 4,400 Turkish prisoners at Jaffa during the Syrian campaign of March 1799, something Napoleon would never have considered visiting upon European soldiers. (Soon afterwards, following a plague outbreak in Jaffa, which afflicted many French soldiers, Napoleon suggested killing off the sick with lethal doses of opium, which was also subsequently held against him.)

    - Andrew Roberts, Napoleon and Wellington

    4,000 Turkish prisoners (from Jaffa) were taken. Napoleon had to choose between feeding them, freeing them for further action against him or shooting them. He chose the last.

    - John Strawson, The Duke and The Emperor

    This is a direct parallel with one of Sammael's war crimes:

    It is known that on one occasion, on being informed that the food provided to the prisoners was only half what was needed to keep them alive, he ordered the immediate execution of half the prisoners.

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

    Sammael's soldiers committed terrible atrocities when they fought and captured territories in the Age of Legends:

    "He [Sammael] escaped justice in the Rorn M'doi and at Nol Caimaine, and Sohadra..." More of Lews Therin's memories, but the pain of what had been done there, the agony of what Lews Therin's eyes had seen, burned across the void...

    - Lord of Chaos, Tellings of the Wheel

    Soldiers under Sammael's command were well treated and cared for, though impersonally. It was said that he took care of them as he had taken care of his equipment in his sporting days, so that it would not fail him.

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

    Sammael's territories experienced incalculable deaths through disease and famine, apparently because he could not be bothered with even the bare minimum of attention to sanitation and food distribution. He is recorded as being fond of grandiose schemes, and people and resources assigned to the running of the territory under the previous governor were inevitably ordered into these schemes as soon as Sammael took charge.

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

Napoleon was countered and defeated by Wellington, as Sammael was by Lews Therin/Rand. We'll now look briefly at the Rand/Wellington parallels.

Napoleon accorded Wellington:

credit only in one (second hand) account, but any generosity of spirit towards the victor that might have existed quickly receded, and was not seen again in Napoleon's lifetime. He generally wished to portray Wellington as having made an error in ever having fought the battle of Waterloo at all, but also as a plodding, cautious, over-promoted staff officer.

- Andrew Roberts, Napoleon and Wellington

Sammael had a similarly sneering opinion of Lews Therin Telamon and Rand (as does Demandred). Like Napoleon, neither Sammael nor Demandred realised that by belittling the men that defeated them they are belittling their own abilities.

Most importantly, neither the Dragon nor Wellington glory in war:

Unlike Napoleon, he [Wellington] never gloried in war...­Three weeks after Waterloo, he told Lady Shelley that he hoped he had fought his last battle [and he had]. It was a bad thing to be always fighting. It was quite impossible to think of glory: "I am wretched even at the moment of victory and I always say that, next to a battle lost, the greater misery is a battle gained."

- John Strawson, The Duke and The Emperor

This is a sentiment that Wellington often repeated:

Next to a lost battle, nothing is so sad as a battle that has been won.

- Arthur Wellesley (1769‒1852) British military and political leader

Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.

- Wellington, Despatch, 1815

These are sentiments that Rand and Lews Therin agree with. In the battle again the Shaido for Cairhien, Rand is convinced that Sammael is also attacking him. It is a major worry for much of the day. When told they have won the battle, Rand has a moment of deja vu when he thinks:

Only a battle lost is sadder than a battle won. He seemed to remember saying that before, long ago. Perhaps he had read it.

- The Fires of Heaven, The Lesser Sadness

Wellington as a former Dragon? Or read and quoted by the Dragon? This is a very strong linking of Rand to Wellington. As is Rand's and Wellington's obsession with duty:

I conceive it to be my duty to serve with unhesitating zeal and cheerfulness, when and wherever the King or his Government may think proper to employ me.

- Wellington

Rand always does his duty, even at considerable personal cost. He has adopted 'Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain' as his motto.

Both Wellington and the Dragon are kind at heart and honourable:

Every accommodation and comfort, beyond houses and stable-room, must be the result of the good will of the inhabitants, and nothing like compulsion must be used.

- Wellington,General Orders for 1809

Nor, in spite of being dubbed the Iron Duke, was he hard-hearted. At Badajoz Picton found him in tears at the appalling losses suffered by his men, and after Waterloo his despatch was blotched with tears as he contemplated the loss of so many friends.

- John Strawson, The Duke and the Emperor

Lews Therin and Rand are both just as soft-hearted, as Lanfear remarks:

"I can remember when you [Lews Therin] were too soft-hearted to use anyone. Devious in battle, hard as stone and arrogant as the mountains, but open and soft-hearted as a girl!"

- The Shadow Rising, The Traps of Rhuidean.

Rand mentally flagellates himself at the death of each woman who fights for him.

The achievements of Wellington and the Dragon are similar. After Waterloo:

Wellington would reach the highest offices of state during more than thirty-six years of diplomatic, political, military and social activity, and become one of the most renowned and revered Britons of his age or any age.

- John Strawson, The Duke and the Emperor

Lews Therin Telamon and Rand are each the most famous men of their time.

Just before Wellington left Vienna to fight Napoleon in 1815, Tsar Alexander placed his hand on his shoulder and said in French:

"It's again up to you to save the world."

This is what Lews Therin Telamon almost did and what Rand is trying to do. Rand has certainly saved the world from Sammael.

Another possible military parallel for Sammael is Louis Botha.

Louis Botha

Botha was the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Boer forces during the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa. Although a young man for this position, he became world famous for his brilliant defence strategies. Louis Botha rose from being an ordinary private fighter, to becoming the chief commanding officer of the combined Boer forces during the first part of the War.

He was hugely admired for the way he could lay out defences in a manner which had his enemies baffled and surprised.

Sammael rose to prominence for his abilities as general, particularly in defence.

Botha was closely hunted by the British forces during the latter stages of the war, but despite the fact that his imminent capture was announced several times, he always succeeded in escaping. Botha lived to become South Africa's first Union Government Premier after the war.

In a much darker way, Sammael eluded justice for his war crimes and governed territories for the Shadow. The parallel emphasises how Sammael's good qualities and service were perverted for the Shadow.

The War of Power prosecuted by the Shadow ended the Utopian Age of Legends. The Ancient Roman Republic, also regarded as a Golden Age until modern times, is a parallel of the Age of Legends (see The Age of Legends essay) with the enemies and notorious figures of Ancient Rome parallels of the Forsaken (see Three Strands Common to the Forsaken essay). Three such figures, Philip V of Macedonia, Marcus Licinus Crassus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, have parallels to Sammael.

Philip V of Macedonia

Philip V (238–179 BC) was king of Macedonia from 221‒179 BC. His attempt to extend Macedonian influence throughout Greece resulted in his defeat by Rome. On his accession at the age of 17, he quickly disbanded his regency council and re-established an absolute monarchy. In 215 BC Philip allied with Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who was invading Italy in the Second Punic War (and a parallel of Demandred). Neither Hannibal nor Philip gave each other direct assistance, but Philip’s attack on the Roman client states in Illyria was a useful diversion for Hannibal.

Philip then turned to the east. He plotted against Rhodes and in 203–202 conspired with Antiochus III of Syria to plunder the possessions of the Egyptian king Ptolemy V. But the people of Rhodes and Pergamum defeated Philip at sea off Chios (201) and so exaggerated reports of his aggression that Rome decided to declare war (Second Macedonian War, 200–196). The Roman campaigns in Macedonia (199) and Thessaly (198) shook Philip's position in Greece, and in 197 the Romans decisively defeated him at Cynoscephalae in Thessaly.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Sammael (and Demandred) joined the Shadow and attacked and overran areas ruled by the Light. Like Philip and Hannibal, they worked in concert, but have not directly aided each other in the Third Age, and maybe not in the Age of Legends, either.

Marcus Licinius Crassus

Crassus (ca. 115–53 BC) was a Roman politician who formed the First Triumvirate with Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great in the last years of the Roman Republic. As a young officer, Crassus supported Lucius Cornelius Sulla (a parallel of Be’lal) during the 83–82 BC civil war, returning to Rome to help Sulla seize power in 82. Crassus was vital to Sulla's victory in the Battle of the Colline Gate in 82, in which he commanded the right wing of Sulla's army. Crassus profited hugely under Sulla’s rule, where traitors were denounced by paid informers and had their lives and properties forfeited, by buying up the property of the condemned cheaply. He is said to have added a man's name to the proscription lists in Bruttium because he wanted his property. The hostility between Pompey and Crassus probably originated in Sulla's clear preference for Pompey.

Lews Therin, Sammael and Demandred were the three great generals for the Light in the early years of the War of Power, just as their respective parallels, Julius Caesar, Crassus and Pompey worked together.

Sulla’s regime is typical of the administration of the Shadow. All the Forsaken took advantage of the Dark One’s suspicion and execution of Darkfriends to advance themselves. The hostility between Sammael and Demandred was exacerbated by the competition encouraged by the Dark One.

In 72 BC Crassus was instrumental in ending Spartacus’ slave revolt. Historians estimate that Spartacus had over 100,000 men, women, and children with him in the later stages. Crassus personally raised and funded six new legions, and was given the remnants of the four consular legions. Two of Crassus's legions were initially defeated by Spartacus’ forces. Crassus used the dreaded and rarely used tactic of decimation to motivate his troops: the unlucky tenth who drew marked lots were beaten to death by their fellow legionaries. This was effective because it proved to the troops that their general was more dangerous to them than the enemy. Crassus then defeated Spartacus in battle and took another effective and brutal step to discourage future slave revolts by crucifying all 6,000 of his rebel prisoners naked at short intervals along the Appian Way from Capua to Rome and leaving them to rot. Pompey arrived with his extra legions at the end of the battle against Spartacus and captured 5,000 survivors fleeing north of Rome. He tried to take credit for concluding the campaign, which infuriated Crassus.

Sammael was similarly merciless to prisoners of war (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time). He also dispersed and indirectly destroyed the Shaido and other Aiel who revolted against Rand’s chieftainship. Sammael did not waste troops normally, but would happily lose an army to gain an objective such as Rand’s death, according to Asmodean:

”It is not like Sammael to throw men away," Asmodean said slowly. "But he'll see ten thousand dead, or ten times that, if it gains him what he thinks is worth the cost.”

- The Fires of Heaven, Birdcalls by Night

From 58 to 56 BC Crassus supported efforts to neutralize Pompey's power. He viewed Pompey as his greatest rival, but knew he could not match Pompey's military achievements. Both men won a second joint consulship, although at a cost of bribery, corruption and violence not seen since the Sullan-Marian conflict thirty years earlier.

Crassus was known to change his political principles to suit his fortunes, although when Caesar left Rome in 62 BC to return to Hispania, so deeply in debt that his creditors threatened to arrest him, Crassus stood surety for part of the debt.

Sammael went further than Crassus and actually changed sides during the War of Power, partly because he thought the Shadow would win, but also because he felt that Lews Therin was in debt to him for his victories:

He himself had outlived the great Lews Therin Telamon, handing out praise for victories he could not have won himself and expecting others to lap it up.

- Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow

The rivalry between Crassus and Pompey, is similar to that between Sammael and Demandred as they vied with each other to increase their standing with the Dark One.

Crassus is less well known than Caesar or Pompey, perhaps because the sheer glamour of his two contemporaries surpassed him in his own lifetime, as it has ever since. Crassus always manoeuvred for power, money and glory; though he never had as much of any of them as he desired. Sammael, too, was not as renowned as either Lews Therin or Demandred, and was never satisfied with the power, riches and glory he achieved.

Julius Caesar was betrayed by two former protégées—Brutus and Cassius—just as Lews Therin was betrayed by his former generals Demandred and Sammael, parallels of Brutus and Cassius respectively.

Gaius Cassius Longinus

Gaius Cassius Longinus (Before 85‒October, 42 BC) was a prime mover in the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar in 44 BC.

Cassius became tribune in 49, and the outbreak of the civil war in that year saved him from being brought to trial for extortion in Syria. In the war he at first commanded part of the fleet of Caesar's opponent, Pompey the Great, attacking and burning a large part of Caesar's navy in Sicilia in 48 BC. After Pompey was decisively defeated by Caesar at Pharsalus in Thessaly (48), Cassius was reconciled to Caesar, who made him one of his legates.

In 44 BC Cassius became praetor peregrinus and was promised the governorship of Syria for the following year. The appointment of his junior, Marcus Junius Brutus, as praetor urbanus deeply offended him, and only deepened the hatred and resentment Cassius felt for the dictator. He became one of the busiest conspirators against Caesar, taking a very active part in the assassination on the Ides of March, 44 BC, and striking Caesar in the face.

During the War of Power, Sammael abandoned the Light to become a general for the Shadow. He felt hatred and resentment for Lews Therin for not sufficiently recognising or rewarding his achievements. Cassius striking Caesar in the face is a reverse of Sammael having a facial scar given to him by Lews Therin, a scar he was not going to have removed until Lews Therin was defeated before him.

Much darker sources for Sammael are three historic figures from the Nazi regime: Alfred Jodl, Erwin Rommel and Arthur Seyss-Inquart. The military men, Jodl and Rommel, will be discussed first.

Alfred Jodl

Alfred Jodl was the Chief of Operations for the German High Command, involved in the planning and conduct of military affairs. He gave orders for the German army’s invasions of Holland, Belgium, Norway and Poland, and planned attacks against Greece and Yugoslavia. Other orders condoned the murder and ill-treatment of prisoners of war and also civilian populations in occupied territories and on the high seas.

Jodl not only liked war, but also thought it good for mankind.

- Telford Taylor, Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials

Jodl was far more than a mere soldier, he showed:

considerable political knowledge, much ingenuity and remarkable shrewdness.

- Judge Birkett in Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials, Telford Taylor

His analytical mind, however, could not be turned off when Hitler began to fail. As early as 1942, after Hitler had committed Germany to a two-front war, Jodl knew that his country could not win.

- Joseph Persico, Nuremberg: Infamy On Trial

Sammael also preferred war and field commands to service as a governor (Robert Jordan’s The World of the Wheel of Time), which is just as well, since in the territories that Sammael controlled, civilians fared very badly, and prisoners of war even worse. It was his assessment of the Light’s likelihood of losing the War that motivated him to turn to the Shadow, where his skills placed him towards the top of the Forsaken hierarchy.

Erwin Rommel

Rommel (1891‒1944) was a German field marshal who was best known for his spectacular victories as commander of the Afrika Korps in World War II.

In World War I Rommel fought as a lieutenant in France, Romania, and Italy. In the Prussian-German army, a career on the general staff was the normal avenue for advancement, yet Rommel declined to take that road. Both in the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic and in Hitler's Wehrmacht, he remained in the infantry as a front-line officer.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Sammael also stayed in the field as much as possible.

Rommel became the youngest recipient of Prussia's highest medal, the Pour le Mérite, which normally only generals received, for his successes fighting in the mountains of north-east Italy.

At the beginning of World War II he [Rommel] was appointed commander of the troops guarding the Führer's headquarters—not a very satisfying post for an enthusiastic front-line soldier. Rommel's chance to prove himself came in February 1940, when he assumed command of the 7th Panzer Division. He had never commanded armoured units before, yet he quickly grasped the tremendous possibilities of mechanized and armoured troops in an offensive role.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

In the invasion of France, his troops moved faster and farther than any other army in military history.

When the War of Power began, Sammael discovered his considerable military talent and won honours and fame for his efforts on the side of the Light.

The Afrika Corps was created in February 1941. Rommel’s mission was to seize the Suez Canal, cutting off the British from their Near East bases and their Indian empire beyond.

- John H Waller, The Unseen War in Europe

He earned the name “Desert Fox” in North Africa because of his audacious surprise attacks, and Hitler, impressed by such successes, promoted him to field marshal.

In 1944 Rommel was entrusted with the defense of the French channel coast against a possible Allied invasion. The master of the war of movement then developed an unusual inventiveness in the erection of coastal defense works. Nevertheless, his recommendation to prevent the enemy by all possible means from establishing large bridgeheads, his insistence that strong forces should be kept in reserve immediately behind the coastal defense line for counterattacks, and his prophecy that, unless the enemy could be successfully driven back into the sea, the fate of the invasion battle would be decided on the first day all fell on deaf ears.

When the invasion began, Rommel tried on several occasions to point out to Hitler that the war was lost and that he should come to terms with the Western powers.

In the spring of 1944 some of Rommel's friends who had joined the clandestine opposition to Hitler approached Rommel and suggested to him that it was his duty to take over as head of state after Hitler had been overthrown. Rommel did not reject the suggestion, but the men who wanted to extricate Germany from the war never revealed to Rommel that they planned to assassinate Hitler. They knew that Rommel did not accept the idea of murder for political ends; he had invariably disregarded any execution orders given by Hitler.

In the meantime, after the failure of the attempt on Hitler's life on July 20, 1944, Rommel's contacts with the conspirators had come to light.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Rommel was coerced to suicide. The true extent of Rommel's knowledge of, or involvement with, the plot is still unclear. Bormann (a parallel of Moridin, see forthcoming essay) in particular, was certain of Rommel’s involvement.

Militarily, Sammael’s greatest skill was probably in defense (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time). Like Rommel, Sammael also made the judgement that the side he was on could not win the war. This inspired him to disloyalty as it did Rommel. He changed sides to the Shadow and quickly worked his way up the hierarchy. It was his ambition to be Naeblis that led him to further his own schemes rather than the Dark One’s—his attempt/s to kill Rand and to disperse the Shaido. Moridin, as the watcher in Shadar Logoth and the wanderer near the Shaido, was keeping a close eye on Sammael to be certain of Sammael’s schemes and loyalty to the Dark One. The result of his observations led him to aid Rand to kill Sammael. Graendal, a co-conspirator with Sammael, was then reigned in. It is uncertain how much of Sammael’s plots went against the Dark One’s orders.

However, Sammael is different to Rommel in that he displayed no chivalry towards others whatsoever.

A member of the Nazi high command, Rommel had close dealings with was Hermann Goering:

Like most army generals trained in the austere philistinism of the Prussian officer corps, he [Rommel] despised Goering’s flamboyant foppery and self-indulgence.

- Anthony Read, The Devil’s Disciples

Goering is a parallel of Graendal (see Graendal essay) and Sammael was truly disgusted at Graendal’s wastefulness and erotic tastes (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow).

While Jodl is a parallel of Sammael’s strategic and political talents, and Rommel of his military talents, another Nazi, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, is a source for Sammael as a governor of occupied territories.

Arthur Seyss-Inquart

Seyss-Inquart (1892‒1946) was Austrian Chancellor, then Nazi Reich Commissioner for the Netherlands. While a member of the Austrian government, he secretly worked for Hitler to undermine Austrian independence and bring about re-unification with Germany (Anschluss).

During Seyss-Inquart’s governorship of the Netherlands, many atrocities were committed and living standards steadily declined. Over 40,000 Dutch were shot as hostages and another 40,000 died of starvation:

Every night, Dutch resistance fighters had crossed the river bearing tales of mass death by starvation, and of atrocities in the part of Holland still under Seyss-Inquart’s control.

- Joseph Persico, Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial

Sammael was a general for the Light who went over to the Shadow because he believed the Shadow would win. He preferred war to governing territories, which is just as well, since civilians in his area fared particularly badly, with incalculable deaths from disease and famine.

Another historical figure who governed vast territories and was responsible for the deaths of millions of civilians within those territories was Mao Zedong.


Mao Zedong was the leader of the Chinese communists who devised the Great Leap Forward:

the campaign undertaken by the Chinese Communists between 1958 and early 1960 to organize its vast population, especially in large-scale rural communes, to meet China's industrial and agricultural problems. The Chinese hoped to develop labour-intensive methods of industrialization, which would emphasize manpower rather than machines. Thereby, it was hoped, the country could bypass the slow, more typical process of industrialization through the gradual purchase of heavy machinery.

Under the commune system, agricultural and political decisions were decentralized, and ideological purity rather than expertise was emphasized. The peasants were organized into brigade teams, and communal kitchens were established so that women could be freed for work. The program was implemented with such haste by overzealous cadres that [tools] were often melted to make steel in the backyard furnaces, and many farm animals were slaughtered by discontented peasants. The inefficiency of the communes and the large-scale diversion of farm labour into small-scale industry disrupted China's agriculture so seriously that about 20 million people died of starvation between 1958 and 1962.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

This is the real-life parallel of the way Sammael governed his territories:

Sammael's territories experienced incalculable deaths through disease and famine, apparently because he could not be bothered with even the bare minimum of attention to sanitation and food distribution. He is recorded as being fond of grandiose schemes, and people and resources assigned to the running of the territory under the previous governor were inevitably ordered into these schemes as soon as Sammael took charge.

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

Conditions in Sammael's territories were truly hellish, or demonic, hence his new name.

Dark Names

Sammael: Like many of the Forsaken, Sammael bears a name associated with demons. In the Ascension of Isaiah of the Pseudepigrapha, Sammael is a demon that will lead Manasseh King of Judah to Beliar. In rabbinic literature, Sammael (also spelled Samael) is the chief of the Satans, and his name means "the venom of God," since he is the angel of death.

According to Gustav Davidson in A Dictionary of Angels,

...­Samael has been regarded as both evil and good; as one of the greatest and one of the foulest spirits operating in Heaven, on Earth, and in Hell.

This is appropriate, since Sammael was originally an important general on the side of the Light and changed sides when he became convinced the Light would lose the war against the Shadow.

Brend (Sammael's alias in Illian): This name is a combination of brand, a burning stick or even the mark of infamy (or the livid scar on Samamel’s face), and the Bren gun. Interestingly, in Lord of Chaos, Prologue, Graendal mocks Sammael for "moaning over not having shocklances" to arm his troops that he's marshalling in Illian. He is the only one of the Forsaken who wishes he had such weapons. This alias hints that Lord Brend is a dangerous character and knows of technologies he should not.

Caddar (Sammael's alias among the Shaido): The Caddo were an American Indian tribe who, faced with threats in 1859 of a massacre by the whites, fled to east central Oklahoma, where they were settled on a reservation on the banks of the Washita River. This is an ironic reference to Sammael's dispersal of the Shaido (a tribal society) and the resulting destruction of several sects. The Caddo were also given a dubious reputation:

There were scattered reports of ceremonial human sacrifice and cannibalism.

- Encyclopaedia Britannica

Sammael's dark reputation was even more justified.

The name Caddar also hints of 'cad' (an untrustworthy guy) and 'cadaver' (corpse). Caddaric was on a list of Welsh names in Robert Jordan’s notes that he compiled. The name means battle leader.

The Darling of the Light Turns Dark

Like Apollo, Sammael was a cultured, powerful channeller on the side of the Light, but like Napoleon, Sammael's ambition led him to his Waterloo not once, but twice—Shayol Ghul and Shadar Logoth—at the Dragon's hands.


Written by Linda, August, 2004

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