Your Favourite Forsaken


Lady of Autumn
Oct 26, 2006
Lincolnshire, UK
It's been a while since we had a thread in here, so I thought I'd start one and see how it goes.

As a group, the Forsaken have had rather mixed results for a group of Channellers aligned to the Dark One. Some of them have had rather less success than others, but who are your favourites?

My own favourites are Moridin, Graendal, and Lanfear. Moridin, simply because he's intriguing to me - a wielder of the True Power, the Dark One's chosen Nae'blis and linked to Rand after their streams of balefire touched. He's an enigma, and I think we'll see a lot more of him in the last three books.

I like Graendal because the other Forsaken don't really seem to take her and her hedonistic ways seriously, despite how dangerous she's reputed to be. I enjoy reading her chapters simply for that reason.

Finally Lanfear. I like the fact that she was so tough, but also that she was always trying to get Rand/Lews Therin to go along with her plans. Her struggle with Moiraine at the end of Fires of Heaven was one of the best scenes in the book.
I would have to agree with lanfear aswell, for all the reasons you listed and because I have not yet seen much from the other forsaken yet. I'm currently reading the fires of heaven(the one that does not have Perrin in it). Sorry for my bad typing, im posting this from my ipod..
Ah, well in that case, I won't spoil any of the other forsaken's exploits.:)

I suppose I could also expand the question to include least favourite forsaken, too. Balthamel would definitely have to be one of my least favourites - from what I remember, he didn't actually seem to do very much in Eye of the World.
The best method for rating how good a villain is: As youself, "How evil are they?" Then ask, "How interesting are they?"

1.) Moridin - Master at playing all sides against each other and coming out on top. Completely unpredictable, malevolent and creepy as all hell. The only Forsaken wholly and completely dedicated to the Dark One, as evidenced by him using the True Power (Dark One's Power) to the exclusion of all else, and completely spurning the One Power.

2.) Demandred - We know the least about the man of any Forsaken, yet Demandred's back story is certainly the most interesting. Always second only to Lews Therin. Always "the greatest/best/brightest in thousands of years" if Lews Therin hadn't been one step better than him at everything. Demandred loved Ilyena (no doubt she did not love him back of course), but that too was "stolen" by Lews Therin. Demandred hates Lews Therin and Rand Al'Thor more completely than any of the Forsaken. And apparently, Demandred has done so well at hiding his actions, that we still don't know where and how he's pulling the strings. I'm very curious to find out exactly where he is and what he's been doing.

3.) Semirhage -- The Hannibal Lector of the Forsaken, Semirhage is astoundingly brilliant. She was the most gifted healer of the Age of Legends. And she absolutely loves inflicting pain. She loves experimenting, seeking to maximize her victims' torment, and always looking to improve upon her methods of torture. Unlike the other Forsaken, Semirhage isn't in it for the power as much as opportunity to torture people. Sure, she seems to be all in favor of the whole power thing too, but that is a distant second to her "experiments."
I must admit, Asmodean could have been a lot better used, but I suppose I could see his reasons for going over to the Dark One. I'd loved to have seen what else he could have taught Rand, though.

Still, there's a lot of mystery in his demise. The fans have been getting more interest and discussion out of his exit, rather than his life!
A little bit of threadomancy, never-mind.

Aginor - is the forsaken I find most interesting after Moridin/Ishmael. Probably mainly because I'm interested in biology and genetics in passing sort of a way.
Moridin is a bit of an enigma, obviously intelligent and yet most likely insane. I enjoyed his monologues as well.

When I first read Jordan - I was 13 - I found his villains interesting and with 'cool' back-stories. Having read much more widely since, now when I return to WoT I find little I like. They do have some interesting background - their professions prior to falling for example but most of that is swept away in a rush of greed/selfishness or just in self indulgent hatred of Lews Therin. I wonder if some of the seemingly endless, pages of arguing/women folding their arms across their breasts, had been replaced with a bit more development of the antagonists, it would have been a better series.
Can't really disagree with the 3 you've chosen Talysia as Ishamael is the primary "bad guy" in the series, Lanfear has a wonderfully complicated relationship with Rand and Graendal...well she's one of the few Foresaken to get her own chapters in the book so we get more insight into her moods, feelings and failings as a result.

I will give a shout out to Be'lal though. He was the first one to bite the dust, which I consider a shame as he seemed to have potential which others didn't. Would have been nice to see an Age of Legends blademaster match up against some of the other notable swordsmen anyway.

Although the zap! & he's gone element was a wakeup call and served noticed that, scary as they are, the Foresaken are ultimately only human. It was also an introduction to the oft-used balefire weave ever since. Slightly off topic but although balefire's so destructive to the pattern, there's been very little comeback as a result which doesn't really help sell why it's not used more often than it is. After all, it's a guaranteed 'never see you again' weapon which means the Last Battle should have tons of it going on. In theory the Pattern should probably unravel if it's used to that sort of extent?
Gotta be Lanfear. She's the only one who has really been much more than a token someone-to-die-at-the-end-of-each-book (prepares for onsluaght). But seriously though, to me she's the only one who seems to have actually been 'forsaken', living an existence that she hates, cursed (whether through her love or otherwise) for what she has done.

The best villains are the ones who are only just on the other side of the line.
Another thing I like about Graendal is her evident humanity. While she's allied with Sammael, the reader can tell she holds doubts and worries, despite her radiant grandeur, grace and status, showing a side to the Forsaken we'd never seen before.
Asmodean could've been interesting had he survived Book 5. He seemed keen to switch sides, and that could've led to some pretty interesting battles in the later books.
Most Forsaken are cool, but Ishamael/Moridin and Lanfear stand out as my favourites. Ishamael plays his games with Rand in the first three books, and returns as the formidable and mysterious Naeblis Moridin. Lanfear's obsession with Lews Therin makes her relationship with Rand complex. Both characters are more complex than simply hating Rand/Lews Therin.
Anyone who read over the individual book threads knows my favourite -- Semirhage. She was so badass. I feel like Jordan really missed out on a trick not using her more; I know we did see a bit of her fabled torture techniques but considering how terrifying she was in this regard I think she could have been a very dark and serious threat.

I also liked Graendal a fair bit by the end. I think she was largely underestimated by characters and readers alike. But she did a considerable amount of damage to the Light side in the penultimate battles even after being taken down a few pegs. Also liked that everyone thought that having her good looks taken away would break her, but she just adapted and made the best of the situation again.

Felt a bit sorry for Asmodean, particularly as he was having a change of heart at the very end, but I feel even more sorry for Osanger/Aginor that was. Mostly because he got himself killed during one of the big fights and neither side even knew who it was! Poor guy.

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