Age of Legends, Port City of Shorelle
Year of Birth:
300-400 Years Before the War of Power
Joar Addam Nessosin, Jasin Natael
Actions During the Story (Spoilers)
Character Summaries (Spoilers)
Asmodean was taller than average and considered to be rather handsome with deep-set dark eyes and dark hair. He appeared to be in his middle years, meaning for a channeler of his strength in the Power he would have been around 350-400 years old when he was sealed in the Bore after the War of Power.
Asmodean was a snide man, possessing a sharp wit, almost always appearing to see a joke no one else saw. He possessed little patience, a wide streak of cowardice, and along with his strongly sarcastic personality, had a rather dark undertone to his overall demeanor, showing in moments of anger and spite. While he was quite pessimistic and quick to point out the downside of nearly every situation he was in, yet he was also a survivor with few qualms about picking the side he believed most likely to win. He was always a performer and seemed a bit flamboyant even when the situation was somewhat dire, taking any opportunity to show off his abilities, especially music.
Actions During the Story
Actions Before the Story
Joar Addam Nessosin was born to an Aes Sedai mother in the Age of Legends in the port city known as Shorelle, likely around 300-400 years before the drilling of the Bore. At a young age, he was considered a musical prodigy, but he never attained the level of fame his early potential seemed to indicate for him, making him bitter and angry. Joining the Shadow during the years known as the Collapse for the promises of immortality, notoriety, and the chance to endlessly create music. His spite became obvious as he rose to the highest levels of the Forsaken, mutilating other artists and going so far as to have severed his own mother from the Source and taken by Myrddraal. Asmodean was amongst the group of thirteen high-ranking Forsaken sealed in the Bore during the events known as the Strike on Shayol Ghul and along with the majority of this group was in a deep state of suspended animation, dreamless and non-aging, for more than 3,000 years.
Asmodean does not appear in the book and is still sealed in the Bore
Actions Between the Books
Asmodean does not appear in the book and is still sealed in the Bore
Eye of the World
Asmodean does not appear in the book and is still sealed in the Bore but is likely released during the events leading up to Moiraine taking the Two Rivers group into the Eye of the World or very soon after.
The Great Hunt
Asmodean is most likely free of the Bore but is not mentioned in the book and his whereabouts are unknown.
The Dragon Reborn
Asmodean is first mentioned by Moiraine as one of the Forsaken who is possibly freed, but he does not appear in the book and his whereabouts are unknown. It is likely that he has been in contact with Lanfear and other Forsaken around the events of The Dragon Reborn.
The Shadow Rising
Lanfear begins trying to convince Rand to come over to the Shadow, noting that Asmodean will teach him enough to allow Rand to survive, and then can be disposed of by Lanfear and Rand along with the other Forsaken. Asmodean is aware of some of the activities of other Forsaken at this time.
Asmodean appears in the Aiel Waste as a gleeman naming himself Jasin Natael. He is part of a group of peddlers caught too near to the site of Rhuidean but ultimately allowed to follow the Aiel and Rand toward Cold Rocks Hold. Natael spends a lot of time with Mat, digging for information about what Mat had seen inside Rhuidean claiming that as a gleeman he wishes to write stories from the information, offering to make Mat the hero of the tales. When Keille Shaogi arrives Natael and she argues about why they are in the Waste, Natael being angry with the woman and browbeating her into a sullen silence. Throughout their journeys in the Waste, Natael and Shaogi are often together, nearly always arguing. Nynaeve is told by Birgitte that the man she sees in tel’aran’rhiod observing the misted cloud cover around the city of Rhuidean in the Aiel Waste is in fact Asmodean.
Natael speaks to Rand about composing an epic about the Dragon Reborn, telling Rand that he would never want to be in his position, preferring to be a simple gleeman. Despite little encouragement from Rand, Asmodean in the guise of Natael continues to approach and dig for information but ultimately seems to give up trying, returning to talking to Mat or playing for the Shaido group following along. Rand is later surprised that Natael was in Cold Rocks Hold playing for an audience of Aiel children but continues to argue with Keille and the other peddlers, Hadnan Kadere and Isendre. During the time he spends with the Shaido, Asmodean decides to use Couladin and Sevanna as a distraction and places Dragon tattoos on Couladin to imitate the markings of He Who Comes With the Dawn, setting up a schism within the Aiel.
Rand goes to Alcair Dal, “The Golden Bowl”, and when he is forced to prove himself as the prophecies He Who Comes With the Dawn he tells the Aiel about their true history transforming themselves from followers of The Way of the Leaf into a warrior society. Asmodean uses the distraction provided by Couladin to open a Skimming Gateway toward Rhuidean where he has deduced the location of one of the Access Key ter’angreal for the Choedan Kal lies. He and Rand fight through the void like darkness within the Skimming world and physically fight for control of the Access Key. Rand eventually being able to use his fat man angreal to gain the upper hand and cutting the black cords he senses attached to Asmodean. Lanfear, who has been masquerading as Keille, appears to ask if the female Access Key is also present. Rand manages to keep it hidden from her but is also forced to stop her from killing Asmodean as he still requires a teacher. Lanfear then places a partial shield on Asmodean, preventing him from accessing his full strength with saidin, she claims this will eventually wear off, but doesn’t believe Asmodean has the strength of will to break through the shielding on his own.
Rand tells Asmodean that he must continue to disguise himself as Jasin Natael, now Gleeman to the Dragon Reborn, or risk being tried and executed as one of the Forsaken. Rand tells Asmodean the first thing he will be taught is how to shield his dreams.
Fires of Heaven
Lanfear tells the other Forsaken that Asmodean has turned coat and joined Rand’s cause, which surprises some like Sammael who believed Asmodean too cowardly to take such a chance. They do not know that he is severely weakened by the shield Lanfear has placed on him and has no choice but to reluctantly teach Rand various channeling techniques as well as giving Rand what information he knows about the activities, strengths, and weaknesses of the other Forsaken.
Asmodean, disguised as the gleeman Jasin Natael is with Rand in the Aiel Waste, where Rand keeps a close eye on him, keeping him close even when sharing plans with others such as Moiraine. Asmodean pushes the boundaries of his captivity leading to confrontations with Rand, who is slowly sinking into an angry and paranoid state of mind. Rand realizes that the shield on Asmodean has restricted his power greatly, making even simple channeling feats difficult and believing lifting a goblet may be the edge of his ability now. Lanfear continues to check in on Rand and tells him not to listen too closely to Asmodean as the man was untrustworthy even in the Age of Legends, having severed his own mother and giving her to Myrddraal.
Rand asks Asmodean if he ever considers coming back to the Light, to which Asmodean replies that it would be a death sentence if he was lucky and that he would prefer to give himself over to Semirhage than know what the Dark One would do to him. Asmodean teaches Rand about inverting weaves and explains that men cannot link without a woman to join them. He also explains some of the nature of the Oaths taken by Aes Sedai, clueing Rand in on the fact that if an Aes Sedai believes something to be true she will be able to speak it, even if it is false. Asmodean believes that Rand has almost no chance of winning the Last Battle, especially when Rand tells him he has destroyed the Choedan Kal Access Key. No longer protected from the taint Asmodean admits that he will also end up going mad unless Rand wins the Last Battle and thus has decided to cling to his only chance at life for the moment, but intends to commit suicide the moment he learns the Dark One is free.
As the party travels through the Spine of the World Asmodean tells Rand that the ruins of what must be a port city high in the mountains could have been from the city in which he was born, Shorelle. Kadere, who is unaware of Natael’s identity, suspects that Natael had killed Keille Shaogi and quietly disposed of her body. He has received a message from another darkfriend alluding to the Chosen and considering what his options are, believing that the note must come from one of the Aiel. Kadere, under Lanfear’s orders, has set Isendre to seduce Rand and Natael for information. Natael has given her nothing and the Maidens who have Isendre as a prisoner have effectively broken Isendre after her multiple attempts to seduce Rand were caught out. Kadere murders Isendre and hides her body to avoid any chance that she might reveal him as a darkfriend.
Asmodean continues with Rand into Cairhien, chasing the Shaido led by Couladin and Sevanna. He is present when Mat lays out what he would do in the tactical situation around the City to Lan and is surprised by what he hears, possibly suspecting that Mat is more than meets the eye. After the fighting Asmodean is with Rand as he recovers from his injuries and learns that Mat killed Couladin in battle. Later, Rand is told of Morgase’s death at Rahvin’s hands and vows to go to Caemlyn to kill the Forsaken. Asmodean tells Rand that he wishes to go with him, despite the shield still being as strong as ever Asmodean believed he could help Rand in some small way. Rand has also realized that Asmodean’s teaching has increased his own strength.
Kadere, who is still watching Asmodean, is shocked when Keille Shaogi reappears and reveals to him her identity as Lanfear. Upon learning that Rand is having a sexual relationship with Aviendha she skins Kadere alive and attacks Rand on the docks. After the battle on the docks leaves Egwene and Aviendha badly injured and Moiraine and Lanfear vanished through the redwood ter’angreal Rand reads a letter left by Moiraine intimating that she is aware of Natael’s identity as one of the Forsaken, she understands the need but warns Rand to be wary of the man.
Asmodean joins Rand, Mat, and Aviendha in the expedition to Caemlyn and is impressed with Rand’s ability to create a huge platform for skimming roughly three thousand to transport them. Once in Caemlyn Rand immediately goes to attack Rahvin, during the battle Rand sees Mat, Aviendha, and Asmodean have been killed by what appears to be lightning. Rand eventually uses a massive bolt of balefire on Rahvin and burns his thread out of the pattern, undoing some of his recent past actions including killing Mat, Aviendha, and Asmodean. Asmodean deduces what has happened as he notes the surprise many of the Aiel show when they see him alive after the attack and realizes balefire was used and he was effectively resurrected from death. Wandering into a pantry to find himself face to face with an unknown person, his last words being “You? No!” he was dead before the words faded from the air.
Lord of Chaos
In Shayol Ghul Demandred speaks to the Dark One and informs him that Rahvin and Asmodean have both suddenly vanished. Shai’tan responds that Asmodean’s betrayal meant he would not be brought back to serve and that Rahvin, who was killed by balefire, placed him outside of time and beyond the Dark One’s reach. Rand tells Taim to keep an eye out for men who learn too quickly and thinks to himself that he would deal with Asmodean should the man ever reappear.
Graendal and Sammael meet and discuss where Asmodean and Moghedien could be, Graendal saying she believes them dead at Rand’s hand along with Rahvin and Lanfear. Sammael believes it all to be a rumor. Semirhage also knows Asmodean is dead as she contemplates this as she tortures Cabriana Mecandes and her Warder.
A Crown of Swords
Asmodean is dead and only mentioned once in the book in Egwene’s thoughts when considering what male channeler might have freed Moghedien.
Path of Daggers
Asmodean is dead but Rand considers that the man is still alive when he is being attacked in the Sun Palace, making it clear that Rand is unaware of Asmodean’s fate.
Asmodean is dead and is never mentioned in the book.
Asmodean is dead and is never mentioned in the book.
Crossroads of Twilight
Asmodean is dead, only mentioned by Aran’gar who believes he must be dead.
Knife of Dreams
Asmodean is dead but Rand considers that the man is still alive, making it clear that Rand is unaware of Asmodean’s fate. Rand believes that Asmodean has betrayed his plans and activities. Rand also reveals that Asmodean had told him that Graendal was in Arad Doman, one of the few places the Forsaken could be hidden at this time. While on Dragonmount Rand uses a weave to keep himself warm that he recalls as vaguely like a weave Asmodean had tried to teach him.
The Gathering Storm
It is revealed directly in the Glossary of the book that Graendal was responsible for murdering Asmodean.
Towers of Midnight
Demandred briefly considers that Lan could be a disguised Asmodean as his skill with the sword was far superior to any man of this age, but quickly dismisses the possibility of Asmodean being as good a warrior.
A Memory of Light
While not one of the more powerful of the Forsaken, Asmodean is a channeler of exceptional strength, having a ranking of ++3, and skill levels far outstripping any modern channeler and a raw power level well above any female channeler. Even though he is a poor teacher he manages to impart a variety of skills to Rand, such as warding his dreams, traveling and skimming as well as the basics of control allowing Rand to survive the dangers of learning to channeling. Asmodean is not often seen channeling within the series, with most of his abilities being revealed only once Rand has learned the skill and during his captivity being closely watched by Rand who does not trust the man. Like many male channelers he seems to have greater strength in Fire and Earth, using these flows to attack Rand in their battle at Rhuidean but he later admits to having minimal skill with areas of the One Power such as Healing or Cloud Dancing and notes that Rand’s ability to stop a gateway from closing may only be matched by Demandred and possibly Semirhage.
After being partially shielded by Lanfear, Asmodean’s strength is greatly reduced, Rand believing he could only match one of the weaker Wise One channelers (~level 40 on the power scale), while this is never fully confirmed it is clear that Asmodean does not possess sufficient strength to Travel at this time, meaning his strength is below level 22 which is indicated as the lowest strength to make the gateway weave work to any degree.
Asmodean is associated with the Access Key for the Choedan Kal, with his main storyline as an antagonist revolving around the recovery of the Keys at Rhuidean. Asmodean is one of the lower strength male Forsaken, only Be’lal having less strength, and planned to gain control of the powerful sa’angreal to gain the upper hand on his compatriots.
Asmodean is dead long before the Last Battle but will be remembered as one of the Forsaken for many years to come. However, even Rand was unsure of Asmodean’s fate and believed it possible that the man had escaped and gone into hiding. After Tarmon Gai’don Moiraine may well be the only living character with any inclination of the role he played in Rand fulfilling the prophecy of the Dragon.
Asmodean served as Rand’s teacher, guiding him (and readers) into deeper understanding of the male half of the One Power, saidin, his actions led to several long-term situations involving the Shaido Aiel.
Asmodean’s death was the subject of much speculation for years, finally being revealed as Graendal in the glossary of Towers of Midnight. Although Robert Jordan’s notes have indicated a different killer in earlier iterations of the plot line that include the “Taimandred” theory and Demandred being Asmodean’s killer.
Asmodean was a fan favorite character due to his sarcastic wit and fatalistic view of the world. Many fans believed Asmodean could have been on a redemption arc before his death while others believe he was simply an opportunistic survivor. Asmodean himself states that he was holding onto the only chance he saw at survival but intended to commit suicide at the first hint of being taken into the Shadow’s custody. However, he was prepared to help Rand succeed even going so far as to go with Rand to kill Rahvin.
Asmodean’s name is likely a reference to Asmodeus, who was known in some traditions as the embodiment of the sin lust whose adherents will be sentenced for an eternity in hell. Many similar names are referenced throughout ancient middle eastern traditions as well as within Christian writings. Like most of the Forsaken his name calls back to some demonic parallel, even though his actions may be more aligned with sins such as greed, sloth or pride.
His original name Joar Addam Nessosin shows the reader that in the Age of Legends he had shown himself to be distinguished as he had earned a third name, presumably “Nessosin” had a meaning that implied a body of work related to some great feat performed by Joar Addam or was descriptive of something personal to him. While the word asmodean translated to musician in the third age, and like many of the Forsaken names is descriptive of a specific feature of their character but used in scorn rather than to honor.
In Other Media
No announcement regarding Asmodean’s character has been made for the upcoming Wheel of Time TV series being produced by Amazon Studios. It seems unlikely the character would make an appearance within season one given his timeline in the books, although producers could also choose to expand the character or combine his role with another Forsaken to simplify the TV adaptation.