Who Killed Asmodean? An Analysis

Working pre-The Path of Daggers

First, let's consider the facts:

  1. Asmodean was in Caemlyn.

  2. He was looking for a scullery so he could find some wine.

  3. He said ``You? No!'' immediately before becoming part of history.

  4. He was killed very quickly (his voice still hang in the air when death took him).

  5. His body was not found during LoC. Nor in aCoS or tPoD either...

I take point 3 to mean that he knew his attacker (or at least one of them if there were several), and I take points 4 and 5 to mean that he was killed with the One Power (it is much easier to use the OP when you are disposing of a body, as opposed to having to hide it on the spot or haul it away by hand).

Furthermore, RJ said (before the publication of LoC) that we had enough information to solve the mystery. This is intriguing.

So, now we get down to considering cases.

He was too busy becoming Osan'gar - no opportunity.


Do you think he suicided? Me neither.


No motive, and she was with Mat, so no opportunity.


He was too busy becoming Aran'gar - no opportunity.




I think that the person who originally suggested this had been reading way too much Terry Pratchett...


Did not know of Asmodean's death until the DO told him.


In no fit state for anything after the treatment that she received from Lanfear.


It is almost more likely that Rahvin killed Asmodean than Elayne. Especially as they were busy dealing with Moghedien at the time. She would also fail the `You?' test.


I don't think that Asmodean ever met Fain, thus meaning this fails the `You?' test.


A reasonable choice. The few points against are:

Why is she in Caemlyn?

We know that she was plotting to do something with Rahvin, Sammael and Lanfear, so she could have been there for a meeting with them, or possibly to spy on Rahvin?

Of course, she could have there on the orders of the DO...

Why did she attack?

Well, she definitely knew that he had gone over to Rand (Lanfear told her at the beginning of tFoH) so she could have set an ambush for him (all the Forsaken seem to like ambushes), or it could have been self-defence (We do not really know Graendal's strength relative to Asmodean. Just because men are generally stronger, doesn't mean that this was true in this particular case)

IMHO, neither of these points comes even close to being insurmountable.


I'm fairly sure that he died in T'A'R and, as such, is (virtually) as dead as Be'lal or Rahvin (either that, or he was busy becoming Shaidar Haran or something)


Well, she does have the strongest motive for killing him, and her being there would horrify Asmodean the most. There are some problems though...

  • She would have needed to escape very quickly from *finn-land, and it is not even certain that she survived Moiraine's last attack (the tearing away of the angreal).

  • There are definitely some time distortions in the interface between *finn-land and Randland (Mat didn't spend all that long in, but he was still there for seven days), which might make it so that even with a very quick escape (on the order of hours), Lanfear would still be adrift by several days.

  • She would have had to have left Rand well alone - this being totally uncharacteristic, given that she seems to be impulsive and highly obsessive about him. Surely we would have seen her do something during LoC, given that she was very busy (and fairly visible) during tGH, tDR, tSR and tFoH. This is just totally uncharacteristic, and (IMHO) un-Jordan-like.

I think that it is the last point which really knocks the rest of this possibility on the head at the moment. I'd be quite ready to accept this again if someone can provide evidence that Lanfear was actually free at the time.

The ironic foreshadowing points most strongly at Lanfear though. Hmm...


We have never (identifiably) seen Mesaana in action until LoC. It doesn't seem to me to be in RJ's style to have the killer as someone we have never really encountered before.


In no position to do anything at the time, as she is `busy' being leashed at the time (as well as being completely comatose).


Definitely knew about Asmodean (by using her evesdropping trick, I'd presume) and there is massive foreshadowing of her remaining alive after passing through the doorway into *finn-land. However:

  • There is massive forshadowing of Thom resuing her somehow.

  • She would have to move very fast (and probably without knowing how to Travel) to catch up with Rand, as Asmodean dies the same day that she disappears.

  • Do you really think that she could have left all the events that are going on in Randland alone, given the sort of manipulator she is?

I just don't think that she did it.


It is almost more likely that Rahvin killed Asmodean than Nynaeve. Especially as they were busy dealing with Moghedien at the time. She would also fail the `You?' test.




Thought that Asmodean had run away at the beginning of LoC.


Needed to be told of the death of Asmodean during Loc by Graendal. Not very good though, as hiding away somewhere in Caemlyn doesn't seem to be his style at all.

An outside chance: He killed Asmodean and then let Graendal think that he hadn't, as that particular section is seen from her viewpoint.


We have never (identifiably) seen Semirhage in action until LoC. It doesn't seem to me to be in RJ's style to have the killer as someone we have never really encountered before.

Admittedly, she would scare Asmodean almost as much as Lanfear, given the way that the rest of the Forsaken feel about her, but I don't think that she was the one responsible, as RJ is a much better author than Agatha Christie...

Shaidar Haran

I don't think that Asmodean and SH ever met. If this is the case, then he fails the `You?' test.


I'd have thought that we would have found out if the Dark One was out. That's just too big an event for RJ to keep it under his hat...


I don't think that Asmodean ever met Slayer, thus meaning this fails the `You?' test.

Summarising, the current best bet is Graendal, and I would rate Mesaana, Semirhage and Sammael (especially the last) above Lanfear. Naturally, this may all change when the next book comes out... :^)

In short, to get Asmodean to say what he said, given that he doesn't seem to have been in contact with Slayer or Fain, you really need one of the Forsaken offing him. Most of them are either dead, busy, or off stage left.

If I caould be convinced that Lanfear was free of the *finn, then she'd be my Number One Suspect. As this is not (from my PoV) the case, and the manner of Asmodean's death fits Sammael's MO like a pair of outsize Ogier pants, then I'd put Graendal as my best bet. Anyone with real evidence why this is not the case, should contact me and tell me so. However, pure belief is not enough to shift me on this - you need a cogently argument (preferably backed up with evidence) to get anywhere.

Please note that there have been documented cases of me changing my mind in the past, and I don't claim to be infallable (at the moment anyway :^))

Thoughts post-The Path of Daggers

I have yet to organise these systematically...

Was Moridin involved anywhere, and if so where?

Who is Cyndane? "Last Chance", eh? Apparently, she can channel saidar so (if the example of Aran'gar is anything to go by) she has a female soul in her. Her mannerisms are those of a forsaken, and she appears (from the shuddering and Moghedien's comments) to be mindtrapped as well. Could she therefore be Lanfear?

There are a number of things that bother me, one way or another about all this. Has she actually been resurrected, or is that a hoax to gull Graendal? If she was resurrected, could it have been done quickly enough to allow her to go after Asmodean? Or was she reincarnated afterwards? Were any vacuoles involved? And if she had a new body, why did Asmodean recognise her?

I suppose that last one has easy answers (like Illusion,) but I'm finding that I come up with more questions than answers every time I think about this. Perhaps it is time for a re-read.

Looney: Could she have been mindtrapped because she offed Asmodean? Hmm...

More thoughts post-Winter's Heart

So, Cyndane is Lanfear and Graendal killed Asmodean. That about wraps this up. (I was right! Yay!)

Thanks, everyone, for reading!

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