Asmodean

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A similar entry appears in the Wheel of Time Companion confirming the information available in the main story arc.

Author: Isarma Maracanda

ahs-MOH-dee-an

General

Asmodean is one of the thirteen Forsaken. His real name was Joar Addam Nessosin. In the Age of Legends he was a noted composer of music and had been considered a child prodigy, but he never ranked among the great composers of that Age. It is believed he turned to the Shadow because thus he would become immortal, and therefore be able to reach fame and glory through his music.

During the War of Power Asmodean served as an effective governor and administrator, but he is not believed to have held field commands. He did not use torture and murder as widely as the other Forsaken, but when he was displeased by some artist, he would blind him to prevent him from becoming a rival. This was especially the case with those who had eclipsed him before the war (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5). He also stilled his own mother and gave her to the Myrddraal (TFoH, Ch. 6).

He was trapped with the other Forsaken when Lews Therin Telamon and his Hundred Companions sealed the Bore, and remained imprisoned for nearly three thousand years. When Asmodean is freed of his prison he takes the name of Jasin Natael and appears as a gleeman, going along with Keille Shaogi (Lanfear) and Hadnan Kadere in the Aiel Waste. Under this name he appears to be in his middle years, a tall, handsome man with dark hair and dark eyes (TSR, Ch. 36; Ch. 37). He always wears fine clothes, more suitable for a concert performance than for everyday wear.

Timeline

  • Joar Addam Nessosin was born in the lost city of Shorelle (TFoH, Ch. 21).
  • When he was 15 the works he composed were played all over the world, but he never gained the recognition he desired (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).
  • During a meeting with the Dark One, Asmodean and the other Forsaken are sealed into the Bore at Shayol Ghul.
  • Asmodean escapes from the Bore and allies with Lanfear (TSR, Ch. 50).
  • Disguised as the bard Jasin Natael, he meets Rand in the Aiel Waste (TSR, Ch. 36).
  • On their way to Cold Rocks Hold, Asmodean questions Rand and Mat. He also spends time with the Shaido (TSR, Ch. 48).
  • He later gives Couladin a pair of dragon marks like Rand’s (TSR, Ch. 57).
  • He skims to Rhuidean to find the male control statue for the Choedan Kal while Rand is busy with Couladin (TSR, Ch. 57).
  • Rand follows him and they fight for the statue, thus destroying a large part of Rhuidean. Rand finally manages to sever Asmodean’s link to the Dark One and captures him (TSR, Ch. 58).
  • Asmodean is partially shielded by Lanfear so he can become Rand’s teacher for using saidin (TSR, Ch. 58).
  • Asmodean serves Rand as a bard and teaches him how to use saidin (TFoH).
  • He disguises the gateway when Rand follows Aviendha to Seanchan (TFoH, Ch. 31).
  • He helps tend the wounded after the battle of Cairhien (TFoH, Ch. 44).
  • He channels saidin into Rand when he collapses, presumably to help him (TFoH, Ch. 44).
  • Moiraine has discovered Jasin Natael is in fact Asmodean and understands, even if she cannot approve. She warns Rand to be careful as Jasin Natael is still the same man he always was (TFoH, Ch. 53).
  • Asmodean goes with Rand to fight Rahvin in Caemlyn, but is killed by lightning as soon as they arrive in the city (TFoH, Ch. 54).
  • Asmodean revives when Rand balefires Rahvin back beyond the point when he used lightning (TFoH, Ch. 55).
  • The same afternoon Asmodean walks down a hall to try to find a pantry with some wine. He opens a small door and someone kills him (TFoH, Ch. 56).

Strengths and Talents

We don’t know exactly how strong Asmodean was in the One Power before being shielded by Lanfear. He was not among the strongest Forsaken, but he was surely not weak for a male channeler. Asmodean was poor at controlling weather (TFoH, Ch. 30) and at Healing. After being partially shielded by Lanfear, Asmodean is at most able to lift a goblet with the One Power.

As his link to the Dark One was severed, Asmodean is no more protected from the Taint and could go mad.

Relationships with Other Characters

Asmodean is closely associated with Lanfear and they know each other fairly well. They plot together against Rand, but Lanfear does not hesitate to shield him and to offer him as Rand’s teacher.

He is seen as a coward by the other Forsaken, including Lanfear.

Asmodean knows the other Forsaken would kill him on sight for his treason. He seems especially afraid of Demandred, Rahvin, Lanfear, and Semirhage, but most of all he fears the Dark One’s wrath.

Rand didn't fully trust him and suspects he may have betrayed much about his plans and activities (TGS, Ch. 1).

Theories

Who murdered Asmodean? That question is one of the most popular among Wheel of Time readers… But Robert Jordan’s answer has always been RAFO (read and find out)! It is generally admitted that the murderer is one of the Forsaken. Among them, Be'lal and Rahvin have been balefired, Aginor, Balthamel, Ishamael, and Lanfear were not resurrected yet, Demandred and Semirhage admit they don’t know what happened to Asmodean, and Moghedien is a prisoner. Remain Mesaana, Graendal, and Sammael. Mesaana is hidden in the White Tower and not likely to come to Caemlyn. On the contrary, Graendal and Sammael often met with Lanfear and Rahvin at the Royal Palace in Tel'aran'rhiod, plotting to send Rand to chase Sammael in Illian. Graendal or Sammael are therefore the most likely culprits. They could have been masquerading as the two servants Rand saw in the Palace before. Based on Graendal’s discussions with Sammael in Lord of Chaos, it is generally assumed that she is the murderer.

In Towers of Midnight, it is revealed that Graendal was responsible for his death

Miscellaneous

Despite all of Asmodean's teaching, Rand often does not know what he is doing when he channels.

Quotes

"Beaten you like a dog, and not half so well as you deserve. You were never meant for greatness, Asmodean, only to follow those who are great." (Lanfear; The Shadow Rising, Chapter 58)

"He never had the courage to take a chance before. Where did he find the heart to join a lost cause?" (Sammael; The Fires of Heaven, Prologue).

"I once saw a man hanging from a cliff. The brink was crumbling under his fingers, and the only thing near enough to grasp was a tuft of grass, a few long blades with roots barely clinging to the rock. The only chance he had of climbing back up on the cliff. So he grabbed it." His abrupt chuckle held no mirth. "He had to know it would pull free." (The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 3).

"It is difficult to see the difference between oneself and one’s enemies. They want to own the world, but it seems you already own a people.” (About the siswai'aman, The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 46).

"You know my choices. I am clinging to that tuft of grass on the cliff’s lip, praying for it to hold one more heartbeat. If you fail, I am worse than dead. I must see you win and live." (To Rand; The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 52).