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The Wheel of Time: Who killed Asmodean?

by Caroline Seawright

 

The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy when the World and Time themselves hand in the balance, a wind rises in the Mountains of Mist...

For those of you who haven't read Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, I highly recommend it. At the moment, there are nine books... with more to follow (the story hasn't finished, yet!) But don't let that deter you - it's a fantastic read. You can often pick the earlier books up from second hand book stores, or borrow them from the library.

The Eye of the World
The Great Hunt
The Dragon Reborn
The Shadow Rising
The Fires of Heaven
The Lord of Chaos
A Crown of Swords
The Path of Daggers
Winter's Heart

Three young men leave the lonely village of Emond's Field, going out into the world to escape from enemies they did not know they had. Creatures appeared from no-where, creatures that were fables and tall tales, to attack the young trio. Leaving, they travel with their friends and companions, and discover more about themselves than they bargained for.

It is a time for prophecies to be fulfilled. The Wheel of Time is weaving a Web in the Pattern of Ages, a Web to entangle the world. It is a time when Time itself may die, when the Eye of the World may be blinded. What was, and what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Who Killed Asmodean?

[Asmodean] pulled open a small door, intending to find his way to the pantry. There should be some decent wine. One step, and he stopped, the blood draining from his face. "You? No!" The word still hung in the air when death took him. [TFoH: Glowing Embers, 682]

Asmodean... One of the Forsaken, a man who gave himself over to the Dark One, a man corrupt and evil. A man who could channel, who could use the One Power.

When he died, he was shielded by Lanfear - a female Forsaken - except for a trickle of the One Power, so he could teach Rand how to use the male half of the One Power's source.

All we know is that he was killed. How or why was never explained by Robert Jordan, though he has said that people should be able to figure that out for themselves.

I won't bother to go through who I think didn't kill Asmodean - there are more than enough places online to find that information! But here is who I believe killed him:

Graendal

A little background on this female Forsaken...

Before the bore to the Dark One was drilled, before giving her soul to the Shadow, Graendal was known as Kamarike Mardim Nindar. She lead a simple life of an ascetic, healing mentally ill patients, those people who were beyond Healing with the One Power. She was admired and respected by many, yet those who knew her did not like her. Kamarike did not approve of anyone who lead a life not to her standards, who did not live as as she herself did. That meant that she did not approve of anyone.

Within the span of ten years of the bore being drilled, she changed completely. She finally realised that the world could not live up to her standards, so she became the opposite of everything she had ever stood for. She became the most decadent and flashy woman of her time. She denied herself nothing in the realms of the senses. Beauty and sensual pleasure became her life.

She was the second to swear to the Dark One, the second Forsaken. Using her skills and knowledge of the mind, she helped the Shadow's cause. Intrigue and manipulation a specialty. Though she never led an army, she conquered by subversion. Mysterious suicides and riots to help the Dark One's cause were some of her works...

She is purposeful, taking one solid step at a time in her plans.

She has a secret lust for power, which she hides behind her fixation on the beautiful and sensual. All of her slaves - her pets - were not only the most beautiful men and women, but they had to have been in positions of power. (Any children they had were killed off by Graendal - she called it a kindness.) She used Compulsion so strongly that her slaves are her mindless worshipers, totally devoted to her, unable to do anything else but her commands.

Despite her heavy handed use of Compulsion for her pets, she is also one of the most skillful and delicate with this skill. A fact that many forget.

From Graendal's Mouth

"So many of us have died confronting him [Rand] ... and Lanfear and Asmodean, whatever you believe." [LoC, Threads Woven of Shadow, 108]

"Asmodean and Lanfear are dead, and I am sure Moghedien must be, too." She was surprised to hear her own voice, hoarse and unsteady. [LoC, To Understand a Message, 499]

She admits that Asmodean is, indeed, dead. Once off of her own bat, once forced to talk about it. She doesn't go into any detail, but she does know for a fact that Asmodean died.

Only she herself knew that she had made her own journey to Shayol Ghul and down to the lake of fire. Only she knew that the Great Lord had all but promised to name her Nae'blis. [LoC, Threads Woven of Shadow]

Interestingly this coincides with Demadred's visit to the Dark One. It seems that the Dark One already knew that Asmodean was dead, "twisted by his weakness". And not just dead, but he had died the final death, where the Dark One had no further power over him... and that he had died "yesterday".

Because of this, I believe that Graendal killed Asmodean with Bale Fire (there are a number of other things that might kill him instantaneously, but little else that could burn him from the Pattern - little else to keep him out of the Dark One's grasp! (That's a small mercy for him!)

Now in FoH, To Caemlyn, we are told that Graendal, Lanfear, Ravhin and Sammael are plotting together to 'take' Rand. Graendal and Ravhin were to try and trap Rand together... yet Ravhin, being the un trusting sort, had set wards around Caemlyn so he'd know the instant anyone channeled in the city.

At Asmodean's death, Ravhin was Bale Fired by Rand, and no longer existed. Lanfear was pushed into the *'finn world by Moiraine. We really don't need to worry about Sammael - if it had of been a man using the Power to kill Asmodean, Rand would have felt it... so it must have been a woman. Moiraine, who was really the only woman around who could have known it was another woman channeling (Aviendha might have felt the weaves, but with so many Wise Ones around, she could have easily assumed it was one of them... whereas a man's channeling would have been so out of place that Rand would have felt it and taken action!), was with Lanfear in the *'finn world (if not dead). That leaves, of the plotters at Caemlyn, Graendal.

But wait, some people say! What if Lanfear escaped from the *'finn world and Travelled to Caemlyn and killed Asmodean. Other than the fact that she's dead (I believe she is one of the recycled Forsaken - Cyndane, which is proved to be correct in Winter's Heart), why would she suddenly want to kill Asmodean, after she set him up in that position? That makes no sense at all. (Also, as Cyndane she is immediately unrecognisable to Asmodean. He knew the face of his killer.)

Some people mention Padan Fain. If it had of been Fain, I don't see him killing Asmodean, cleaning the room and taking the body away. His killing with the knife was quite... messy. He isn't known for picking up after himself. And why on earth would he, being so close to Mat and Rand, turn tale and run off to Tar Valon? He's pulled to Rand, Mat and Perrin like a fly to a picnic! He lives to be rid of them... and having them so close, and leaving? Fain might be mad, but he must kill the young men, if he's ever to get them out of his head. It just doesn't sound like Fain at all. Anyway, Asmodean had never met Fain before, and he obviously knew his killer.

So, who else but another Forsaken. Who else but one at Caemlyn? Who else but Graendal?

Sammael believed "Graendal had always been good at hiding things in plain sight." [LoC, Threads Woven in Shadow] and that not only did she have "a desire to pull down everyone who had a particle of power," but she believed that there was a place for everyone, and everyone was to be put in their place...

Asmodean was a man out of his place - he was a traitor (no matter that he was forced into this position), and he had a place of power - he had thrown his lot in with Rand, and if Rand was to win.....

It is also interesting to note that Graendal seldom went out of her way, according to Sammael [LoC, Threads Woven in Shadow] and Asmodean was killed through pure luck! This was no planned attack... He happened to be wandering through the castle to find a pantry with some wine, and stumbled upon his killer! His killer was hiding, yet recognisable to him. This seems like the way Moghedien might work (though she would more than likely be disguised) yet she was not in Caemlyn at the time. It sounds like Graendal's style - she was in the castle after the failed attempt to take Rand, and ran into Asmodean. What better way to stop him from telling Rand that she was around, that she'd been a part of the whole mess, than to kill him with Bale Fire? After all, Compulsion of any sort would have been noticed.

And why else would the Dark One "all but promise" to name her Nae'blis?

Surely she would have been punished for the whole mess at Caemlyn, rather than praised. Why else would she make the journey, especially if she was not summoned? She never mentioned that she was summoned, just that no-one else knew that she had made "her own" journey to see the Dark One.

I believe that she went and told the Dark One herself, after killing Asmodean, and in return for her service, the Dark One promised that she might be Nae'blis, after all.

There really is no-one else.


© Caroline 'Kunoichi' Seawright 2000 - present

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