Year of Birth:

Roughly 400 Years Before the Breaking



Hair Color:


Eye Color:


Other Names:

Elan Morin Tedroni, Ba’alzamon, Betrayer of Hope, Heartfang, Heart of the Dark, Soul of the Shadow

Article Author: 


Basic Information


Ishamael is considered to be a handsome man. He is shorter than Lews Therin Telamon but still tall. He has black hair and dark eyes. While acting as Ba'alzamon, his eyes and mouth would occasionally transform into caverns of fire.




Ishamael was a brilliant mind. His philosophy theories led him to a more nihilistic outlook. He hated the infinite turning of the Wheel and felt that he was trapped in the turnings. His only real desire was for a way to break that cycle so he could be free. This combined with his belief that the Dark One would inevitably win eventually led him to the decision to join the Dark One. It also made him look down upon the other Forsaken and their petty squabbling.

As the years ground on, Ishamael seemed to have gone at least slightly crazy. He began impersonating the Dark One, and it seems likely that he actually believed that he was the Dark One.
He also was highly addicted to the True Power granted to him from the Dark One.

Spoilers Below!!!

Actions During the Story

Actions Before the Story


Elan Morin Tendroni was a philosopher and theologian. He wrote many books including Analysis of Perceived Meaning, Reality and the Absence of Meaning, and The Disassembly of Meaning. Elan earned his third name through this, but his philosophies were still considered too esoteric for the common man.

As the War of Power raged, he theorized that the battle between the Dark One and the Dragon had been waged time and time again through all the turnings of the Wheel. This led him to the conclusion that the Dark One would inevitably win eventually. He publicly announced his turn to the Shadow in the Hall of Servants. This conversion caused rioting, and it earned him the title of Betrayer of Hope.

Ishamael was given command of the forces of the Shadow during the War of Power, although he rarely led them directly. He was defeated by Lews Therin Telamon at the gates of Paaran Disen and humbled in the Hall of Servants, but it is unknown how or when.

Ishamael was one of thirteen Forsaken in a meeting with the Dark One when Lews Therin and the Hundred Companions made their attack on Shayol Ghul. He was bound with the others at the Bore. This was, however, only a partial seal for Ishamael who was still able to, on occasion, reach out and influence the world.

Sometime during the Breaking, Ishamael visited Lews Therin, who had already gone mad. He Healed him of the madness so that Lews Therin could see the damage that he had caused, including the deaths of his entire family. This taunting from Ishamael lead to Lews Therin killing himself and creating Dragonmount and the Tar Valon island.

Many years after that, Ishamael joined in the Trolloc Wars, commanding the armies of the Dark using the name “Ba’alzamon”. During this time, he also founded the Black Ajah in the White Tower. It is also this time that he takes began claiming to be the Dark One.

When he next emerged, Ishamael advised Artur Hawkwing. He was at least partially to blame for Hawkwing's distrust of Aes Sedai, the siege of Tar Valon, and the decision not to be Healed on his deathbed. Ishamael also pushed Hawkwing to send his son and an army across the Aryth ocean.


New Spring

Ishamael is not present in this book.

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Actions Between the Books


After hearing that Jarna Malari, the head of the Black Ajah, attempted to hunt and kill the Dragon Reborn shortly after his rebirth, Ishamael murdered her. He then appointed Alvairin as the head of the Black Ajah.

Shortly before the events of the main series began, Ishamael - acting as Ba'alzamon - commanded Padan Fain to be his hound. This is how he narrowed his possibilities for the Dragon Reborn down to Rand al'Thor, Mat Cauthon, or Perrin Aybara.


Eye of the World

Ishamael begins to haunt the dreams of Rand, Perrin, and Mat, knowing that one of them is the Dragon Reborn. In these dreams, he rants about the fight they've had time and time again. He claims that the Aes Sedai are setting him - whichever boy he appears to - up to be a false Dragon. His aim in these confrontations is to turn the Dragon Reborn to the side of the Dark One. In these dreams, he calls himself Ba'alzamon exclusively, acting as the Dark One. It is here that his eyes and mouth begin shifting into caverns of flame.

Eventually, he turns his focus to Rand, determining that he is the Dragon Reborn. He continues plaguing his dreams with claims that the White Tower is using him and that "the Eye of the World will never serve [him]." He also brags about his accomplishments during the time he was supposed to be sealed in the Bore. These include manipulating Artur Hawkwing and leading the forces of the Shadow in the Trolloc Wars.

At the Eye of the World, Rand confronts "Ba'alzamon." They fight in a dream shard, Rand drawing on the pure saidin contained in the Eye. Ba'alzamon brags about the way he manipulated Rand into travelling to the Eye, and he shows Rand his mother, Kari, being tortured. The fight ends when Rand severely burns Ishamael, at which point he withdraws.

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The Great Hunt

At the start of The Great Hunt, Ishamael hosts an event for many darkfriends. He appears in a mask, seemingly still recovering from the burns Rand gave him. As Ba'alzamon, Ishamael shows the darkfriends illusions of Rand, Mat, and Perrin. He then gives specific instructions to each of the darkfriends about the three boys, though it seems that some of these instructions were contradictory.

Ba'alzamon continues plaguing Rand's dreams. At several points, Egwene runs into Ba'alzamon in her dreams, and each time he laughs at her. Rand also receives his first heron mark during a brief confrontation with Ishamael in his dreams. While Rand was in the mirror world, he somehow finds himself in a dream-like state while keeping watch. Ba’alzamon come to him surrounded by fog. He tries to convince Rand once more to change sides. When Rand refuses, he turns the fog to fire. This turns Rand’s sword redhot, branding his palm with the heron.

In Falme, Ba'alzamon confronts Rand again. They duel, Rand using a sword and Ba'alzamon a staff. Somehow, their battle is seen above the sky in Falme. Throughout the fight, Ba'alzamon orders Rand to submit, but Rand refuses. The fight finally ends when Rand uses the sword form Sheathing the Sword, taking a grievous wound from Ishamael while plunging is blade into Ishamael's heart.

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The Dragon Reborn

Perrin has a dream in which Ba'alzamon appears, taunting him about his axe. Ishamael confronts Be'lal and Rahvin in a dark place where they argue aggressively. Later, in Tel'aran'rhiod, he meets with some darkfriends and kills one for allowing Mat to escape Tar Valon. There is also a minor confrontation with Lanfear where she claims the dreamworld as her own and denies Ishamael any authority over her.

Ishamael has a third fight against Rand in the Heart of the Stone in Tear. He attempts to pull Rand's soul from his body, but with the aid of Callandor, Rand resists. Ba'alzamon then flees by twisting reality to enter Tel'aran'rhiod in the flesh. Rand follows and they fight, running throughout the Stone and throwing different attacks at one another, including balefire. Ishamael cries out to the Dark One for aid, and shadows swell around him, fed by black wires. Rand severs the black wires, which makes Ba’alzamon both grow and shrink, convulsing. This causes Ba'alzamon to hesitate, and Rand stabs him through the chest with Callandor. At that moment, both Rand and Ishamael's body return to the real world. The body rots very quickly, turning to dust.

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The Shadow Rising

Ishamael is not present in this book.

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Fires of Heaven

Ishamael is not present in this book.

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Lord of Chaos

Ishamael is not present in this book.

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A Crown of Swords

Ishamael is not present in this book.

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Path of Daggers

Ishamael is not present in this book.

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Winter's Heart

Ishamael is not present in this book.

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Ishamael is not present in this book.

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Crossroads of Twilight


Ishamael is not present in this book.

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Knife of Dreams


Ishamael is not present in this book.

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The Gathering Storm


Ishamael is not present in this book.

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Towers of Midnight


Ishamael is not present in this book.

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A Memory of Light

Character Summaries

Special Abilities


Ishamael has the power to channel Saidin. According to the Companion, he has a power level of ++1, putting him equal to Rand and Rahvin.

He has also been granted access to the True Power by the Dark One.

During the Age of Legends, Elan Morin Tendronai was known as a brilliant philosopher.

Ishamael had a very strong talent in Tel’aran’rhiod and is most likely a Dreamer.

Notable Possessions


Ishamael is not noted as having any special possessions in the series, but being the head of the forces of the Shadow, he has access to all of the tools and weapons that the Shadow has stored over the years including ter'angreal and various shadowspawn.



Ishamael's is really the Shadow's champion in much the same way as Rand. Ishamael, however, at the start of the story had gone completely mad and believed himself to be the Dark One after overusing the True Power. When he was revived by the Dark One after Rand kills him in the Dragon Reborn, he regains much of his sanity and begins orchestrating the Dark One's orders. 

His main desire throughout the series is to end the universe so that he can finally die. He doesn't desire power or wealth, but just an end to things and the only way the Dark One will allow him to die is to end the Wheel. 

In Other Media

Ishamael has not yet been cast in the upcoming Wheel of Time adaptation on Amazon.

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