‘The Wheel of Time’: All 13 Known Forsaken Explained

Ishamael Semirhage and Lanfear in The Wheel of Time
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The Wheel of Time’s “Daughter of the Night” (S02E04) finally revealed that Rand’s lover, Selene, was actually the dreaded Forsaken called Lanfear. The Dark One’s lieutenant, Ishmael, is also wreaking havoc on the world, and Rand has no idea how to defeat him just yet. Unfortunately for the Dragon Reborn, these two are just an introduction to the wave of the powerful servants of the Dark One that the good guys are about to face in the show.

The Wheel of Time book series features 13 of these powerful individuals known as the Forsaken. They were once revered as the most skilled and influential channelers during the Age of Legends. However, Each turned to the Dark One for one reason or another, gaining immortality and more power in the process.

Rand Al’Thor is the reincarnation of Lews Therin, the original Dragon, who managed to imprison them. The Forsaken are back again, and Rand has to do what Lews did once again. Here’s a brief description of each Forsaken and their fate in the books.

1. Ishamael/Moridin: The Betrayer of Hope

Fares Fares as Ishamael in The Wheel of Time

Ishmael (Fares Fares), also known as Moridin, was once known as Elan Morin Tedronai, a renowned philosopher in the Age of Legends. He is the most powerful Forsaken, as he was a powerful channeler only comparable to Lews Therin back in the day. After studying the Dark One and Dragon Reborn for years, Ishamael concluded that the Dark One would eventually win and chose to become his lieutenant.

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Unlike the rest of the Forsaken, who were totally trapped in the Dark One’s prison, Ishmael wasn’t properly sealed and managed to escape and roam the planet for millennia, waiting for Lews Therin to be reborn. Reincarnated as Moridin, Ishamael faced Rand Al’thor at the battle of Shader Logoth, where the two became accidentally connected. Moridin, as a version of Ishamael, was weak and withdrawn from the desire for power and, eventually, willingly died in Rand’s body in the final battle with the Dark One, allowing Rand to live on in Moridin’s body.

2. Lanfear/Cyndane: The Temptress of Power

lanfear wheel of time

Once known as Mierin Eronaile, Lanfear (Natasha O’Keeffe) was a brilliant scientist and Lews Therin’s lover. She was the most powerful female channeler in the Age of Legends. She is only loyal to herself and only joined the Dark One, hoping to win back Lews Therin’s love once she has the True Power.

In the show, Moraine describes her as the most dangerous of the forsaken as she tries to compel Rand to unite with her. She plans to unite with the Dragon and overpower even the Dark One to become the ultimate ruler. She takes multiple identities over the years, always looking to win over the Dragon’s heart as Selene does in the show. She ultimately met her end in a confrontation with Moiraine Damodred.

3. Be’lal: The Netweaver of Compulsion

Wheel of Time BelAl Fan Art by reddera Credits Redera

Bel’al, known in the Age of Legends as Duram Laddel Cham, was a master of Compulsion and manipulation. He is one of Lews Therin’s former friends who shifted alliances to the Shadow out of jealousy for The Dragon.

His insatiable desire for control led him to become one of the most ruthless generals of the Shadow forces in the Age of Legends. After his release, he disguised himself as Lord Samon of Tear and provoked a rebellion to lure Rand to a battle. In the climactic battle, Rand used balefire to erase Bel’al from existence.

4. Aginor/Osan’gar: The Twisted Creator

Trollocs in the Wheel of Time season 2

Aginor, originally named Ishar Morrad Chuain, was an intelligent genetic engineer. His insatiable curiosity and desire to create new forms of life led him to engage in experiments that were deemed unethical in the Hall of Servants. To continue his insatiable thirst, he joined the Dark One and created most of the Shadowspawn, including Trollocs and Myrddraal.

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After being reborn as Osan’gar, he manipulated his way into becoming one of Rand’s bodyguards. He led dissent in the ranks and attempted to assassinate the Dragon reborn, but Rand defeated and banished him, eventually killing him in Shader Logath.

5. Balthamel/Aran’gar: The Corrupter of Desires

Wheel of Time fan art aran gar Credits reddera

Balthamel, originally named Eval Ramman, was a renowned scholar and hedonist in the Age of Legends. His pursuit of pleasure and excesses led to his expulsion from the Hall of Servants. After joining the Forsaken, he became the leader of intelligence for the armies of the Shadow before.

Reborn as a woman called Aran’gar in Rand’s age, Balthamel infiltrated the White Tower and started planting dissent among the Aes Sedai while looking to kill the Amyrlin Seat, Egwene. Ultimately, Balthamel’s end came when Balefire consumed him.

6. Semirhage: The Mistress of Pain

Semirhage and Ishamael with the Seanchain in the Wheel of Time

Semirhage, previously Nemene Damendar Boann, was a respected healer and physician. However, her thirst for dominance and fascination with pain led her to delve into forbidden experiments on patients and prisoners that caused so much suffering that her victims often chose to commit suicide.

Upon release from the Dark One’s prison, Semirhage infiltrated Seanchan as a Truthteller and destroyed the empire. She escaped after being captured by Rand’s forces and even amputated Rand’s hand with a fireball. However, Rand summoned the True Power and destroyed her with Balefire.

7. Rahvin: The Manipulator of Reality

Rahvin in The Wheel of Time Fan Art Credits Wiki Fandom

Rahvin, formerly known as Ared Mosinel, was a powerful and charismatic ruler during the Age of Legends. His insatiable desire for control led him to use his mastery of Compulsion to manipulate others, creating an empire under his iron rule before the Dragon defeated him in the Age of Legends.

After escaping the Dark One’s prison, He manipulated Queen Morgase (Alayne’s mother) after infiltrating her court as a lord, essentially becoming the ruler of Andor. However, his undoing came when Rand Al’Thor, with the help of Nynaeve al’Meara, discovered how to use balefire, which Rand used to burn and erase him from existence.

8. Sammael: The Shadow’s General

The Aiel in The Wheel of Time

Sammael, formerly known as Tel Janin Aellinsar, was an athlete before becoming a brilliant military strategist and commander but a terrible leader. His desire for recognition and power made him jealous of Lews Therin’s victories. He joined the Forsaken to gain unrivaled power, but he ended up imprisoned with the rest of the Forsaken.

Upon his release from the Dark One’s prison, Sammael joined the Council of Nine of the Shaido Clan of Aiel and led a rebellion against Rand. His military strategies turned the rebellion into one of the strongest opposing forces to the Dragon. In the end, it was the unpredictable forces of nature that intervened, causing Sammael’s demise.

9. Demandred: The General of the Shadow

Demandred and Graendal Fan Art

Demandred, originally called Barid Bel Medar, was a brilliant military strategist and general. However, he was Fueled by a desire for recognition and power and always tried to prove himself a greater commander than Lews Therin, although he fell short. Demandren was further angered by Lews Therin winning a girl he liked, leading to his choice to join the Dark One out of hate.

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After leaving the Dark One’s prison, he led a rebellion in Shara and became the leader of an army of powerful male channelers. He was so powerful that he defeated most of the armies of light in the West and laid waste to the White Tower. Demandred’s ultimate fate came in the final battle known as the Last Battle, where he faced Mat Cauthon and was stabbed in the heart by Al’Lan.

10. Asmodean: The Forsaken Redeemed

Asmodean in The Wheel of Time Credits Redera

Asmodean, once known as Joar Addam Nessosin, was a renowned musician and composer, but he was insecure and jealous and eventually joined the Dark One to become immortal. As governor of the Shadow, Asmodean explored forbidden techniques in pursuing musical excellence, including killing and maiming competitors.

Unlike the other Forsaken, Asmodean’s redemption arc sets him apart. After leaving the Dark One’s prison, Asmodean undermined Rand Al’Thor’s leadership of the Aiel Clans by posing as a Dragon Reborn. However, Rand defeated him and severed his link to the Dark One, so Rand spared him in exchange for information. Ultimately, Asmodean was killed by his fellow Forsaken Graendal.

11. Graendal: The Mistress of Intrigue

Graendal in The Wheel of Time AI Image by Ariel Burgess

Graendal, formerly Kamarile Maradim Nindar, was a healer and psychologist who could heal mental afflictions before she became a Forsaken. She turned her skills into an asset for the Shadow Forces by using mental manipulation to turn people into zombie soldiers of the Dark Forces. Lews Therin especially hated her because he killed his lover.

After her release, Grandael posed as a lady to undermine Rand Al’Thor’s leadership among the Aiel. She even killed her fellow Forsaken, Asmodean, to keep her identity a secret. However, she was eventually captured. She faced Rand’s lover, Aviendha, in her final battle, where her own compulsion spell backfired, turning her into Aviendha’s slave.

12. Mesaana: The Keeper of Secrets

Black Ajah Aes Sedai in The Wheel of Time

In the Age of Legends, Mesaana was known as Saine Tarasind, a professor at the University of Collam Daan. She joined the Dark One mostly out of spite for her colleagues and became a governor and a general of the dark forces. She was mostly feared for turning children against their parents and teaching them to hurt people.

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She posed as a Black Ajah Aes Sedai upon her release from the Dark One’s prison and tried to undermine Egwene al’Vere’s leadership. However, the Amyrlin Seat proved too strong for her during a meeting in the Dream World and shattered her mind.

13. Moghedien: The Spider in the Shadows

wheel of time moghedien by ammotu dfnaowd

Moghedien was an investment adviser known as Lilen Moiral before she joined the Shadow Forces. She became a spy for the Shadow, undermining Lews Therin and the forces of light from within. After causing extensive damage, she was discovered and imprisoned with the rest of the Forsaken.

She is another Forsaken who infiltrated the Aes Sedai upon release. Despite her cunning, Moghedien’s undoing came when Nynaeve al’Meara captured her in the World of Dreams, Tel’aran’rhiod. Through Nynaeve’s strength, Moghedien was bound and ultimately forced to serve the forces of Light.

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