Age of Legends
Year of Birth:
Approx 350 years prior to the Breaking
Mierin Eronaile, Daughter of the Night, Selene, Silvie, Keille Shaogi, Cyndane, Moonhunter
Actions During the Story (Spoilers)
Character Summaries (Spoilers)
Lanfear was slender and tall, about 5’11” (180 cm), and extraordinarily beautiful. Often referred to as the most beautiful woman anyone had ever seen. She had large dark eyes, her skin was creamy, pale and smooth and her hair fell in waves of raven-black locks. Her beauty was so remarkable that everyone who encountered her noted her features as being essentially human perfection. Lanfear is noted to always dress in white clothing accented by a set of silver crescent moon-and-stars motif jewelry.
Lanfear is possessive and jealous, nearly to the point of insanity at times, and her thirst for power was obsessive. She was arrogant due to her many natural gifts, often convincing herself and others that her abilities were beyond even what she was truly capable of. Her passion for power had to be tightly controlled and ultimately is what drove her to the Dark One during the Age of Legends. Lanfear was a master manipulator and often played both sides of a situation in order to achieve her goals but would turn on anyone to ensure she was on the winning side.
Actions During the Story
Actions Before the Story
Mierin Eronaile was born during the Age of Legends, likely at least 150-250 years prior to the drilling of the Bore in the Dark One’s prison. A respected, but not world-famous, researcher of the One Power, she was located at V’saine and worked in the research facility known as the Sharom within the prestigious Collam Daan. During this time, Mierin was part of a team of researchers, including a male Aes Sedai and scientific genius Biedomon, which discovered what they believed to be an alternative source of power accessible to both men and women. This was in fact the prison containing the Dark One and when the team drilled into it, they created massive damage; destroying most of the Collam Daan, including the Sharom and unleashing havoc on the world by giving Shai’tan access to touch the world of man. While Biedomon sought privacy after the incident, he was unable to do so and eventually committed suicide. This event sparked the period known as The Collapse and over the next fifty years the world saw nearly half of all Aes Sedai declare a new world order under the rule of the Dark One which ultimately brought about the War of Power.
Some years prior to her involvement with the disastrous experiment Mierin had briefly been associated with world-renown Aes Sedai leader Lews Therin Telamon, but he quickly broke off their relationship when he realized Mierin’s attraction for him was due more to his power and influence rather than love for the man himself. Fifty years prior to the War of Power Lews Therin married Ilyena Moerelle Dalisar and Mierin attempted to disrupt the wedding ceremony, going so far as to publicly approached Lews Therin on several occasions over the following year, claiming Ilyena had stolen his affection from her, Lews Therin rejected her as he truly loved his wife and despised Mierin by this point. Due at least partially to her failed obsession with Lews Therin and partially due to her lust for power, Mierin pledged her soul to the Dark One; going so far as to make a public declaration in the Hall of the Servants itself and giving herself the name Lanfear. During the Collapse and the later War of Power, she was quite valuable to the Shadow as she had dedicated so much time to studying Lews Therin, stalking him like prey, knowing his personality and habits intimately.
Unlike the other Forsaken whose names were given in scorn by others, Mierin personally took on the name “Lanfear” or “Daughter of the Night” in reference to her abilities and murderous activities within tel’aran’rhiod. As Lanfear she went on to commit many atrocities in the name of the Dark One as the War of Power broke out. At the end of the War of Power Lanfear and twelve other high ranking Forsaken were sealed inside the bore by Lews Therin and the Hundred Companions. Lanfear being placed in a dreamless sleep beyond the reach of time with the name Lanfear living in infamy and used to inspire fear in humanity for more than three thousand years.
Lanfear is sealed within the Bore and does not appear in the book.
Actions Between the Books
Lanfear is sealed within the Bore in a dreamless sleep.
Eye of the World
Lanfear is sealed within the Bore in a dreamless sleep. Lanfear is first mentioned as one of the Forsaken by Moiraine Damodred as she tries to explain how the Dark One and the Forsaken could use dreams to bind men to themselves. Lanfear along with the other Forsaken are likely released from the Bore during the events at the Eye of the World.
The Great Hunt
Lanfear is referenced in the Shadow prophecies written by a Myrddraal on the dungeon wall in Fal Dara when Padan Fain is broken free by darkfriends. Verin believes the phrase “Daughter of the Night, she walks again” must indicate that Lanfear has been freed from her prison. Moiraine notes that one of the few surviving pieces of information about Lanfear is that she had been Lews Therin’s lover before he had married Ilyena. Moiraine later asks Vandene and Adeleas Namelle what they knew of Lanfear, but the women know only that the Forsaken had been linked to Lews Therin.
Rand, Perrin and Mat have left Fal Dara with a force of Shienaran Lancers led by Ingtar Shinowa to pursue the stolen Horn of Valere and the ruby hilted dagger from Shadar Logoth. While on the road they enter a deserted hilltop village where Uno Nomesta believes he sees a woman in white standing in a window, however when they rush to find her there is nothing there.
One evening, while camping near a mysterious stone object that appears to have been marked with designs in the distant past, Rand, the Shienaran Sniffer Hurin and the Ogier Loial son of Arent son of Halan wake to find themselves alone in a strange feeling world. After realizing Hurin was still able to track Padan Fain’s group the three set out to continue their quest. The group comes upon a young woman of incredible beauty dressed all in white and silver who is being attacked by a creature which looked like a frog as large as a big bear. The creature had three ridged eyes on a wedge-shaped head and gray-green hide which was hard enough to . Rand was able to kill it by shooting an arrow directly into its center eye. After her rescue the woman introduced herself as Selene, she identifies the creature as a grolm and tells Rand she is from Cairhien and claims to not know how she arrived in this strange world where only the grolm lives. Selene joins the party after Hurin tells her they are hunting darkfriends who have stolen the Horn of Valere.
Selene immediately begins praising Rand for his heroism and tempting him with her beauty and thoughts of future greatness for the man who finds and sounds the Horn of Valere. She often becomes frustrated with him when he denies desire for the power and prestige she continuously speaks about. She also produces a salve that has a miraculous effect on Rand’s hand, which had been branded with a heron in a dream controlled by Ba’alzamon. Using the cream Selene is able to mostly heal the injury very quickly, prompting Rand to ask her if she was Aes Sedai. Selene mocks Aes Sedai as ineffectual cowards and denies any association.
Loial is very impressed with Selene’s knowledge of the Ways, noting that Selene was able to tell him that Aes Sedai from the Age of Legends had studied worlds such as the one they were in to create the Ways, worlds that mirror the real world to various levels of reality. Rand wonders how she could possibly have such knowledge, but Loial believes she must have found books on the subject in the Royal Library in Cairhien, which is one of the greatest in the world outside of Tar Valon. When Rand questions her further she becomes angry and tells him about a book she once read called “Mirrors of the Wheel'' and informs him the alantin, a word used for Ogier in the Age of Legends, didn’t know every book in existence. She then points out the Portal Stone through which she claimed to have arrived in the Mirror World. Rand is hesitant to attempt to use the Stone, but the group becomes surrounded by a pack of grolm and Selene tells him there is no choice. After trying to kill the grolm Rand eventually gives up as the odds continue to grow against them even after he seeks the Void, which Selene calls the Oneness, and rides to the Stone where he channels saidin to activate the device and return the group to the main reality. Rand is afraid Selene will realize what he has done, but she assures him she will not tell others and praises Rand for saving them and tells him again he is destined for greatness.
Rand is worried that they have lost the trail of Padan Fain’s group but Selene, drawing on knowledge from Mirrors of the Wheel, explains that time and distance in the Mirror Worlds do not act in the same way as the real world and she suspects they may be ahead of the darkfriends as Hurin was smelling the future trail in the other dimension. Rand wishes to escort Selene safely to her home in Cairhien, but she continues to encourage him to pursue the Horn and constantly uses her beauty and charm to keep Rand, Hurin and even Loial on the path. Eventually Hurin sees the light of a fire and Rand realizes it is Fain’s group. Rand and Loial sneak into the camp and recover the chest carrying the Horn and the dagger. Selene opens the chest and tells Rand he will be greater than Artur Hawkwing. Rand says he will take the Horn back to Shienar and Selene becomes angry, especially when Rand refuses to discard the dagger which she says is dangerous, but still convinces Rand he has no choice but to continue toward Cairhien as the darkfriends block his way back north.
The group continues through Kinslayer’s Dagger toward Cairhien until they come upon a village, Tremonsien, where Rand seeks to find an Inn for the night. As they enter the town, they pass a massive excavation project, which Rand is immediately drawn toward. As he approaches the area, he sees that more than a hundred paces of earth have been carved out of a large hill revealing a huge pit with workers digging at the bottom. Within the pit slanted a gigantic stone hand holding a crystal sphere, and it was this that shone with the last sunlight. Rand gaped at the size of it, a smooth ball – he was sure not so much as a scratch marred its surface – at least twenty paces through. Some distance away from the hand, a stone face in proportion had been uncovered. A bearded man's face, it thrust out of the soil with the dignity of vast years; the broad features seemed to hold wisdom and knowledge. Without realizing what he was doing Rand seized saidin. He was so intent on the face and the hand that he did not even realize what had happened but he recalls something he had once heard a ship captain speak of a giant hand holding a huge crystal sphere; Bayle Domon had claimed it stuck out of a hill on the island of Tremalking. Selene immediately becomes agitated and demands for Rand to come away from the pit. Rand struggled to release saidin and could feel the power flow between himself and the sphere but was eventually able to pull away and step away.
The group heads into town and secure rooms from Maglin Madwen at The Nine Rings Inn. Rand surprises Selene as he plays the flute after the party and has dinner in the common room. They are approached by a Cairhienin officer, Captain Aldrin Caldevwin in service of King Galldrian Riatin of Cairhien, who is suspicious of Rand’s reasons for being in the small village. And more suspicious when Rand asks about the excavation site earlier. Selene asks to be seen in her room as Caldevwin subtly probes Rand to see what his motives are. The next morning Selene has left the Nine Rings, leaving a note for Rand with the Innkeeper which simply states she must leave for a time and that she did not like Caldevwin but would await Rand in Cairhien. Rand, Hurin and Loial go on to Cairhien and search for Selene, eventually seeing her again within the Illuminator’s Guild house. She helps them escape a group of Trollocs that is chasing them, only to disappear once again.
After the battle of Falme Lanfear finds an injured Rand in Min’s care. Lanfear tells Min to care for him until she returns to claim her property.
The Dragon Reborn
Moiraine lists Lanfear as one of the Forsaken likely already freed from the Bore. Perrin, in the Wolf dream, witnesses a heated conversation between Ba’alzamon and a woman he calls Lanfear. Lanfear claims tel’aran’rhiod as her domain but is told by Ba’alzamon that she oversteps her boundaries with such a claim and wonders if she still serves the Dark One. She insists that she serves the Lord of Twilight and for her service during the Age of Legends she had been imprisoned in a dreamless sleep for thousands of years. She immediately refers to Lews Therin walking the world again and claims he is her property, having belonged to her before he ever met “that straw-haired chit Ilyena”. Perrin recognizes her from earlier dreams he has had and is more afraid of her than of Ba’alzamon and also believes that Lanfear must be who Min meant in her warning to beware of a beautiful woman as Lanfear was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
In the White Tower Lanfear, calling herself Selene, approaches Mat Cauthon after he has been Healed by the Aes Sedai and tries to tempt him with promises of glory. Informing him that he is more important than he knows and that while she intends to use him, she will not compel him to do her bidding. She becomes angry when Mat waffles in making a firm decision but leaves when she hears something beyond the walls of his rooms.
Lanfear, disguised as former Novice Else Grinwell, goes to inform Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve that the Amyrlin has arranged for the belongings of the thirteen Black Sisters to be placed in a storeroom for inspection. When Egwene follows her down the corridor Else has vanished but a tall, beautiful dark haired woman in white is in the hall and informs Egwene Else had run very fast the other direction and is not likely to be caught, then commands Egwene to leave her. Egwene immediately turns to obey before becoming angry at such a tone, only to find the woman in white has also vanished. When questioned about trusting Else, Siuan Sanche informs Nynaeve that Else had been sent away from the Tower ten days prior and the belongings of the Black Sisters had been burned.
After receiving the twisted stone ring ter’angreal from Verin Mathwin Egwene al’Vere begins entering tel’aran’rhiod to search for signs of the Black Ajah and Rand. While there she encounters an ugly old woman with a sharp nose and a face covered in warts who calls herself Silvie. Silvie acts as though she is an old family retainer of Egwene’s, who plays along and wonders if the woman has lost her wits. Silvie tells Egwene that they are in the Heart of the Stone and shows her Callandor. She then begins to rush Egwene out of the Stone as a man approaches to stare at the Sword That is Not a Sword, sending Egwene out of tel’aran’rhiod in a wave of massive pain. Egwene returns to the world of dreams many times after this but does not encounter Silvie again.
Moiraine tells Perrin that little is known of the Forsaken aside from Ishamael and Lanfear having been the strongest according to the limited histories that remained. Berelain sur Paendrag Paeron, First of Mayene delivers a letter signed by Lanfear to Moiraine that claims Lews Therin is hers forever and that she will come for him.
The Shadow Rising
In the Stone of Tear Rand encounters the woman he knows as Selene, who goes on to tell him she is in fact the Forsaken Lanfear. She drops her Mask of Mirrors to reveal an older, even more beautiful version of herself and tells Rand that Lews Therin loved her and belonged to her, which stirs a deeply buried memory causing him to defy her and exclaim that she had only loved power. This shocks them both, but Rand knows it to be the truth. Lanfear releases the shield she held on Rand when he is about to be attacked by a Gray Man. Rand rushes out to the corridor to find chaos in the form of an attack by Shadowspawn throughout the Stone. Lanfear goes on to berate him for leaving Callandor behind and using only a fraction of his power to fight the Trollocs but denies being behind a second force of Shadowspawn which had been responsible for saving Rand. He attempts to shield and bind her, but she easily evades his clumsy attacks, noting that she can do anything he can and do it better. She leaves him as he runs to his rooms to get Callandor.
In Rhuidean Rand sees through his ancestor Charn the moment Mierin Eronaile and the team she worked on destroyed the Sharom above the Collam Daan and drilled the Bore into the Dark One’s prison. Upon leaving the city Rand and Mat return to the Aiel encampment and begin heading to Cold Rocks Hold. They encounter a group of Peddlers in the Waste led by Hadnan Kadere and his partner Keille Shaogi, an enormously fat woman with a melodious voice who moved with grace that didn’t match her size. With the group is Gleeman Jasin Natael and the stunningly beautiful woman Isendre. Keille sells Mat the hat from Kadere’s head, showing who was the senior partner. As they make their way through the Waste, Keille is seen arguing with Natael and mocking Isendre often.
Within his dreams Lanfear sees Rand swimming with Aviendha, Elayne and Min and she tells him she should not let him be unfaithful to her even in his dreams. She begins to seduce him, going so far as to bite his neck to mark him as hers, but is interrupted by a man disguised by fuzzed air who accuses her of taking foolish risks. She mocks the man, but eventually follows him away.
After confronting and defeating Asmodean and claiming the Access Key ter’angreal for the Choedan Kal Rand reveals he was aware of her disguise as Keille Shaogi and of her plan to convince one of the Forsaken men to teach him. She then places a potent partial shield onto Asmodean leaving him able to only access a trickle of saidin. However, she nearly kills the man in a rage when he uses her original name, Mierin. After a quick search for the female Access Key Lanfear leaves the exhausted men.
Fires of Heaven
Lanfear convenes a group of several Forsaken including Rhavin, Graendal and Sammael to plot against Rand. She informs the group that Asmodean has forsworn his oaths to the Dark One and sided with Rand, due mostly to keep himself from certain death. Graendal, immediately suspicious of Lanfear, who she recalls was besotted with Lews Therin and unconvinced that Lanfear’s intentions were favorable to the Forsaken. Lanfear nearly loses her temper, but regains herself and proceeds, but the two women nearly come into open conflict only moments later when Lanfear implies Graendal might become a slave to Rand if she is captured. Rhavin intervenes and stops Sammael from killing both women while they are distracted. Lanfear lays out a plan to draw Rand to attack Sammael and be surprised by the four of them linked.
Lanfear continues to spy on and manipulate Rand through his dreams and elsewhere. But threatens Rand with breaking into his now warded dreams, suspicious that he is hiding a secret love affair from her. Rand realizes that the woman is not entirely stable, showing on several occasions irrational jealousy of nearly every woman in his life. She prods at Rand, enjoying that he is no longer as well trained as Lews Therin, giving her the obvious upper hand in their relationship. She gives Rand information and hints to him what the other Forsaken are plotting, and subtly points him toward her own goals and not so subtly threatening those closest to him.
Hadnan Kadere, still with Rand despite the danger to himself, has been instructed by Lanfear to keep an eye on Rand and Natael. She is also seen in tel’aran’rhiod by Birgitte and Nynaeve while meeting with Graendal, Rhavin and Sammael. Lanfear appears to Kadere in Cairhien and learns of his suspicions that Rand is sleeping with Aviendha, making the Forsaken enraged. She murders Kadere, stripping his skin from his body and in a near mindless fury attacks Rand on the docks of the city. Killing dozens of Aiel and injuring Lan, Egwene and Aviendha while hurling massive attacks at Rand. Lanfear’s power nearly overwhelms Rand who is barely able to keep himself from being shielded and bludgeoned by her weaves. When Rand tells Lanfear he will never love her she begins to use lethal force, saying if he is not hers, he will die. Lanfear climbs into a nearby wagon and finds a powerful angreal and moves in for the kill. Moiraine hurls herself at Lanfear, pushing both women through the twisted redstone door frame ter’angreal and vanishing.
Lord of Chaos
Lanfear has vanished through the ter’angreal alongside Moiraine and does not directly appear in the book, however she is mentioned on several occasions. Demandred informs the Dark One that Lanfear has vanished without a trace at the same time as Asmodean and Moghedien, believing these disappearances must be connected to Rand’s killing of Rhavin.
Through communication in tel’aran’rhiod, Nynaeve and Elayne learn of the events in Cairhien leading to the apparent death of Lanfear and Moiraine.
Mesaana considers that Semirhage rivalry with Lanfear is why the woman always wore black clothing, a way to contrast against Lanfear who always wore white, though none of the other Forsaken would dare mention it to her. After this meeting Graendal meets with Sammael who asks her if she knows anything about Lanfear’s whereabouts and she informs him the rumors from Cairhien say that she died fighting Rand on the same day Rhavin was killed. Sammael does not believe this and admits he thinks it was Lanfear who sent Trollocs to help Rand when Sammael sent a force to the Stone to kill him. Semirhage is also unconvinced of Lanfear’s death and hopes one day to be given the woman and exact revenge for previous interference in Semirhage’s plans.
A Crown of Swords
Lanfear is not directly present in the book but is mentioned on several occasions in the context of her apparent death as well as when Alviarin recounts that she had met with Lanfear and was treated like a scullery maid.
Path of Daggers
Graendal is approached by Moghedien who is with a young woman she identifies as Cyndane, which Graendal notes as translating to “Last Chance”. Cyndane is a beautiful, short, doll-like woman with long silver hair and vivid blue eyes. Her cold stare makes Graendal believe she has hidden a fire underneath. When she comes close to Graendal the Forsaken is surprised to find that she is stronger in the One Power than either Graendal or Moghedien, something incredibly rare among women in the Age of Legends, much less in modern women. Cyndane informs Graendal that she led between herself and Moghedien and they have been sent to inform Graendal that Moridin has been named Nae’blis. Graendal is unaware of Moridin’s identity and refuses the summons, leading to a confrontation between the three women. Graendal captures Cyndane and Moghedien with Compulsion and begins to interrogate them when Shaidar Haran appears and commands Graendal to obey the summons to meet Moridin.
Cyndane is present, acting as Moridin’s errand girl, when the Forsaken meet in Shayol Ghul and are told of Rand’s plans to use the Choedan Kal to Cleanse saidin. Cyndane’s identity as Lanfear reincarnated is still unknown to the other Forsaken as her strength in the One Power has been slightly reduced leading the female Forsaken to assume Cyndane was a woman of this age when they could sense her lesser strength. Cyndane is clearly being tightly controlled by Moridin and resents and fears the man’s power over her.
Cyndane, on an errand for Moridin senses when Rand and Nynaeve al’Meara link and begin channeling massive amounts of the One Power through the Choedan Kal Access Keys. She murders the bearded nobleman she is speaking to and immediately weaves a gateway to Travel to a rolling forest in a location she was unfamiliar with. Her thoughts betray her identity as Lanfear as she is enraged that Rand would use the power with another woman; as Lanfear she had offered this to him in the Stone, sa’angreal she believed powerful enough to challenge the Dark One and the Creator.
Cyndane, like the other Forsaken is immediately attacked upon their arrival on the scene, facing massive attacks of the One Power wielded through Callandor by Elza Penfell in a link with Merise Haindehl and the Asha’man Warder Jahar Narishma. Forced to run through the forested landscape surrounding Shadar Logoth and create multiple gateways to avoid the onslaught. Cyndane eventually encounters the former damane Alivia and, believing her to be a wilder due to her face, attacks the woman. Cyndane is stunned when her weave of fire unravels before it reaches Alivia and is even more stunned when the woman counter attacks with incredible strength, greater than even Lanfear prior to her captivity. This leads Cyndane to correctly believe Alivia is in possession of an angreal as well as ter’angreal. She engages Alivia with reversed flows, something the other woman does not know how to do and hopes the difference in skill will be enough for Cyndane to defeat Alivia and go on to kill Rand.
At some point between the events of Lord of Chaos and A Crown of Swords Moridin enters the realm of the ‘Finns, Sindhol, and finds Lanfear as their captive. In order to secure her release, he kills her body and the Dark One places her soul in a new body, she is mind trapped and given the name Cyndane, “Last Chance”.
Cyndane/Lanfear does not appear in the book.
Crossroads of Twilight
Cyndane is present during the Forsaken meeting in the Ansaline Gardens backdrop when Moridin informs the others that he believes Sammael may have resurfaced and instructs them to inform him immediately if they hear any reports of Trollocs or Myrddraal outside of the Blight. They go on to discuss the remaining Seals on the Dark One’s prison, Cyndane noting that only three remain intact and they are all in Rand’s possession. She proposes kidnapping him, but Moridin refuses her plan, saying she would “accidentally'' kill Rand. Moridin touches his chest where both Cyndane and Moghedien’s cour’souvra hang from his neck and the two women flinch in fear, which is noticed by Aran’gar who plans to kill Moridin, become Nae’blis and take possession of the two women who are clearly mind trapped.
Despite her knowledge and from how she spoke of Rand as Lews Therin, the Forsaken still do not believe that Cyndane is Lanfear due to her reduction in strength. Semirhage reveals that Lanfear had told the other Forsaken about Rand’s having memories coming from Lews Therin, something seen as a type of madness in the Age of Legends.
Knife of Dreams
Graendal believes Cyndane and Moghedien are spending their time rallying darkfriends to find and kill Mat Cauthon and Perrin Aybara on Moridin’s orders.
Rand considers the possibility that Lanfear has been reincarnated after learning that Ishamael had been reborn as Moridin.
The Gathering Storm
Moiraine has been told by the Aelfinn and Eelfinn that they had killed Lanfear by draining her ability to channel too quickly, but is uncertain if this was true or simply a way to elicit fear from her as they appear to feed off of strong emotion.
Despite her new form, Rand recognizes Cyndane as Mierin Eronaile, aka Lanfear, when he encounters her within his dreams. She begs him to save her from the torture she claims she undergoes nightly, but he does not trust the woman he knows from both his current and former lives.
Towers of Midnight
Moghedien notes that Moridin is still holding Cyndane’s cour’souvra when he returns hers, Moghedien has also puzzled out her identity as Lanfear although Demandred does not know this secret.
Inside a dreamshard, Moridin is surprised to learn that Lanfear has approached Rand but informs him that she is now known as Cyndane and is forbidden to use the name Lanfear now. She has been reborn and now hates Rand deeply.
When Rand encounters Lanfear, still in her Cyndane form, again in another dreamshard he greets her as Mierin and notes that she was the only Forsaken to have chosen her own name, having actively wished to be given a new name. Rand considers the woman and realizes that he had been fond of her in her guise as Selene but feels that Lews Therin had despised her deeply for how she had used him in the past. Unable to let go of his hate of Mierin even after meeting Ilyena and seeing Lanfear turn to the Shadow. She attempts to gain Rand's help, but after some consideration, he refuses to believe her damsel in distress act and challenges her to open her mind to him and give him complete control of the dreamshard in order to see her true intentions. She cannot do it and Rand tells her that he had never told her he loved her and that what he had felt for Mierin was not love, in fact he never knew love until he met Ilyena. He opens his own memories to Lanfear and shows her the love he has for Ilyena, Min, Elayne and Aviendha and that he has no feelings for Lanfear, even able to banish Lews Therin’s hate, leaving her behind completely. He leaves her after telling her that if he wins the Last Battle, she had no reason to fear for her soul but that he was finished with her forever.
Lanfear is next seen by Perrin within tel’aran’rhiod, the wolves know her as Moonhunter and warn Perrin that she is following his actions within the Dream closely. She begins offering Perrin help with his mission to destroy Slayer but vanishes after briefly looking to the sky. Reappearing as Perrin enters the Black Tower, which is covered by a Dream Spike. She informs him that channelers are being forced to the Shadow using thirteen Myrddraal and Dreadlords, something she considers crude and a waste. She then uses her abilities in the dream to add forkroot to two Asha’man guard’s wine, knocking them unconscious and surprising Perrin who continues to question her motives. Once again vanishing after looking to the sky after telling Perrin she was no longer one of the Forsaken, the privilege had been taken from her for betraying the Dark One to help Rand win. She returns shortly and tells Perrin Slayer is not there and that she is attempting to hide her activities from her master to avoid being tortured for eternity. She then shows Perrin how to deactivate the dreamspike.
Lanfear appears to Perring after he engaged Graendal, known to the wolves as Heartseeker and reborn as Hessalam, and drove her from the dream using forkroot as Lanfear had earlier. Lanfear warns him that the woman is very dangerous and not to underestimate her. Graendal is a fighter and would have many plans in place to ensure her victory. She tells Perrin that he can physically enter tel’aran’rhiod, but he must puzzle out the skill on his own if they are to be together. After telling Perrin that Graendal was invading the dreams of his father-in-law Davram Bashere she vanishes once more. Lanfear continues to appear and disappear from Perrin in the dream, offering him vague advice and information and attempting to seduce him, even Healing him after an encounter with a group of turned Aiel Samma N’Sei. However, after being defeated by Slayer Lanfear abandons Perrin telling him that she could only be with the strongest. She has begun to use compulsion on him causing Perrin to beg her for help, but she still leaves him wounded and alone.
After returning to the world of flesh and receiving Healing, Perrin is able to kill Slayer and shifts himself back to tel’aran’rhiod to help Rand defeat the Dark One. He finds Lanfear, now appearing in her original body within the dream, she draws him into the Bore and tells him to kill Moiraine while she kills Nynaeve. Perrin struggles under the compulsion she had placed on him but is able focus on his love of Faile to break free of Lanfear’s control and snaps her neck before she can strike. Her corpse then reverts to the form of Cyndane.
A Memory of Light
Lanfear is a channeler of exceptional strength, possessing the highest strength level possible for a female channeler, 1 (+12), being matched by only Semirhage and the former damane Alivia in raw strength. After her reincarnation as Cyndane her strength is slightly reduced due to her time with the Aelfinn and Eelfinn to 2 (+11) on a similar level to Mesaana, Sharina Meloy, and the Sea Folk apprentice Talaan din Gelyn.
Lanfear’s skill in the Power was also very close to the peak possible capability of any channeler, not only being a fully trained Aes Sedai during the Age of Legends but also becoming a One Power research scientist studying new methods of using the One Power during this golden age of channeling. Lanfear is one of the most formidable channelers to ever live and is shown on many occasions effortlessly using saidar to a variety of effects, overcoming some of the most powerful channelers alive even when they possessed angreal and ter’angreal giving them huge power advantages.
She is a master of the Mask of Mirrors weaving several incredibly successful disguises, some only subtly altering her natural appearance, such as Selene or Else Grinwell, and others being dramatically different from herself, such as Silvie and Keille Shaogi. She also subtly uses illusion weaves to make herself invisible on several occasions.
She also possesses a high level of combat skills and uses several powerful combat weaves such as fireballs, pain inducing weaves and a number of incredibly potent weaves of Fire and Air that kill dozens of people in her surrounding areas. She is easily able to create gateways for Traveling and created a partial shield around Asmodean that greatly reduced Forsaken's ability to access saidin. Lanfear can invert and reverse active weaves of saidar, hide her ability to channel from others as well as making her weaves invisible to other women. She can cut and unravel powerful weaves of saidin and saidar and split her flows of saidar into many flows, far surpassing most modern channelers. She has some ability with Healing as well as Compulsion though she rarely uses these weaves which are most directly associated with her main female rivals within the Forsaken, Semirhage and Graendal.
Lanfear is a highly educated woman from the Age of Legends and possesses a wealth of knowledge and skills outside of channeling that only a small handful of individuals can match. She is one of the few living people who could track a ta’veren through their effects on the pattern and seemed to be more skilled in this than the other Forsaken except for Ishamael/Moridin.
Lanfear is also a powerful Dreamwalker meaning she can enter tel’aran’rhiod without the use of ter’angreal or needing to enter in the flesh via gateways. She is seen in the World of Dreams on many occasions and her skills are extensive enough that she claims ownership of tel’aran’rhiod as her own realm. While Lanfear does possess extremely potent abilities in the World of Dreams, there are others such as Moghedien and Ishamael who match or exceed her abilities, but even these individuals are careful to avoid direct confrontation without a clear advantage. Throughout the series Lanfear is often seen spying on and communicating with others through their dreams and believes she can force her way past even the most powerfully warded dreams if she chooses to do so. She has a mastery of tel’aran’rhiod that allows her to control the very reality around her and has little problem following and interacting with other powerful Dreamwalkers such as Egwene and Perrin. During the Age of Legends Lanfear was known to use tel’aran’rhiod to invade the dreams of her enemies and use her abilities to assassinate, cause insanity, orchestrate riots, and in areas under her control she was known for driving people to high suicide rates. She was also responsible for many defections against established authority helping the Shadow gain advantage despite not commanding armies.
Lanfear is never in direct possession of any major items of the Power for prolonged periods of time, but she is associated, even obsessed with, the Choedan Kal sa’angreal. She explains their construction to Rand al’Thor and clearly covets their massive power for herself. During her fight with Rand in Cairhien she briefly uses an angreal, nearly strong enough to be a sa’angreal, that is described as a small dark ivory bracelet in the shape of an acrobat bent backwards so his wrists are tied to his ankles. This angreal ends up in the possession of Moiraine Damodred.
After her death and resurrection as Cyndane she is enslaved by Moridin via a mindtrap, her soul being captured in a crystal and wire constructed device called a cour’souvra it is unknown if this device is a type of ter’angreal or if it is connected to the True Power emanating from the Dark One, but the process of this enslavement involves being taken to Shayol Ghul where the victim’s own saliva and blood are used to effectively give their soul to whomever is in possession of the mindtrap. Channeling near the cour’souvra caused pain, the closer to it the more the pain. Cyndane’s cour’souvra was still in Moridin’s possession during the Last Battle causing her to often leave her own plot involving Perrin to ensure her actions were not noticed by Moridin.
Lanfear is the first of the female Forsaken introduced in the series and goes on to play a pivotal role in the early stages of the story, presenting the reader with our first view into the mind of one of the Forsaken and showing the reader the constant infighting inherent in the Dark One’s minions. In her disguises as Selene, Else and Silvie she manipulates Rand, Mat and Egwene as they first come into their own power hinting to them each about what they could eventually accomplish and attempting to tie strings to them for her own later use. She is seen defying Ba’alzamon and manipulating many other Forsaken to accomplish her own unknown goals. The reader also sees her uncertain temper flare on several occasions, nearly coming to blows or killing her rivals on more than one occasion before her final showdown with Rand and Moiraine. The duplicity of Lanfear is on constant display in nearly every moment she has on the page, making her next actions nearly impossible to guess.
Even though she is not present for several books and returns as a minor character who is rarely seen until the Last Battle she is always seen as one of the most iconic figures within the Wheel of Time. Her motivations and strength as a character have been the subject of debates and theories within the fandom for decades, but she is undeniably one of the most recognizable and compelling characters within the story. Her combination of intelligence, beauty, incredible strength in the One Power and abilities as a Dreamwalker make her seem like an unbeatable opponent which, when paired with her constantly shifting allegiances, make her a menacing part of the story that keeps readers uncertain about her motivations and role in the story all the way up until her death at Perrin’s hands.
Lanfear is one of only two Forsaken women that is killed outright during the series, Robert Jordan seemingly preferring to enslave and/or destroy the minds of women antagonists rather than simply killing them. In fact, she dies twice, killed first by Moridin in Sindhol, the world of the ‘Finns, before being reincarnated by the Dark One and she is killed a second time by Perrin at the conclusion of the Last Battle.
Mierin Eronaile, while blessed with beauty, intelligence and incredible strength in the Power was ultimately too selfish to achieve the things she seemed to covet most in the world. Despite her natural advantages she was never able to achieve an honorific third name during the Age of Legends and her need for power and acclaim is what drove Lews Therin to leave her and ultimately was the cause of her death at Perrin’s hands. Rand even considers the very act of taking her own Forsaken name as another failure, being forced to give herself a name while the other Forsaken were given names by the populace that feared and hated them. Lanfear is in a way a woman who failed to be the best at anything despite every advantage. She was her own worst enemy who craved attention but could never quite live up to the reputation she desperately wanted.
Lanfear’s name will undoubtedly be remembered by denizens of the Wheel of Time during the Fourth Age and the legends around her actions could well come full circle for future legendary goddess figures such as the Greek goddess of the moon Selene, one of Lanfear’s pseudonyms, or any number of mythological characters such as Pandora, Hecate or Lilith.
In Other Media
No announcement regarding Lanfear’s character has been made for the upcoming Wheel of Time TV series being produced by Amazon Studios. However, the character could make an appearance as early as season one given her timeline in the books, although producers could also choose to expand the character or combine her role with another Forsaken character to simplify the TV adaptation.