Aug 5 2009 2:32pm

The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Fires of Heaven, Part 25

Hola, amigos! Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Re-read!

Today we will be covering the absolutely totally for reals last chapter in the fifth book of the series, The Fires of Heaven, in which there should be some decent wine – BUT THERE ISN’T. Dun!

Previous entries are located in our handy Index. This and all other posts contain spoilers for all currently published novels in the Wheel of Time series, so please beware.

Before we get started, let’s take a moment to gaze upon TFOH’s cover art, which I realized that, as with TSR, I somehow neglected to mention until the last post on the book. Which is a shame, because I’m pretty sure that TFOH’s cover is my favorite of all the American WOT covers published thus far.

Mat’s foxhead “medallion” looks absurd (and I’m not too wild about his spear, either), and Rand looks a little... craggy for a twenty-year-old (actually, I think he looks sort of like Tom Berenger, which is just wrong), but the architecture in the background is gorgeous, and I love the dawn-like colors and the shading of the light and shadow. Plus, you can actually tell that the Trollocs lurking in the alley are not just humans wearing animal-shaped helmets if you look closely enough. Continutity, yay!

So there’s that. And now let’s polish this puppy off, shall we?

Chapter 56: Glowing Embers

What Happens
Rand stands on the sill of a high window in the throne room and watches Mat, Aviendha and Asmodean in the courtyard below. He wonders if Asmodean has any suspicion of what happened, even though he should remember nothing. He is interrupted by a polite cough from Enaila, and Rand climbs down and asks for news; Enaila tells him they still hunt Trollocs, but the city is more or less secure. Somara adds that they have made him some soup; Rand regards it with suspicion, and asks hopefully if any of the cooks have come back yet, but Enaila shakes her head scornfully. He is rescued from having to eat it by the approach of a man carrying a wine jug and two goblets.

“I am Davram Bashere, Marshal-General of Saldaea. I am here to speak with the Lord Dragon, who rumors in the city say is here in the Royal Palace. I assume that I address him?” For an instant his eyes went to the glittering Dragons twining red-and-gold around Rand’s arms.

Rand confirms it, and expresses surprise that a Saldaean lord is in Caemlyn; Bashere replies he came to speak to Morgase, or “King” Gaebril, but he’s heard she’s dead. Rand tells him he killed Gaebril, but not before Gaebril killed Morgase. Bashere asks if he hails King Rand of Andor, then, and Rand snaps back that Andor has a queen, and Elayne will rule; he is the Dragon Reborn, and that’s as much as he wants, “and more”. Bashere appears unfazed by his anger, and explains that he was sent by Queen Tenobia to hunt down the false Dragon Mazrim Taim after the White Tower let him escape, and he has followed the man to Andor, but he assures Rand that he left his army north of the border. Rand hesitates, and tells Bashere that he cannot have Taim. Bashere asks why.

“I am announcing an amnesty. I can channel, Lord Bashere. Why should another man be hunted down and killed or gentled because he can do what I can? I will announce that any man who can touch the True Source, any man who wants to learn, can come to me and have my protection. The Last Battle is coming, Lord Bashere. There may not be time for any of us to go mad before, and I would not waste one man for the risk anyway.”

He continues that last time the Trollocs came, they had Dreadlords with them, and he does not know how many Aes Sedai will fight with him this time. Bashere comments flatly that he has Tear, Cairhien, and now Caemlyn; does he mean to conquer the world with his Aiel and army of channeling men? Rand replies, if he must; he would welcome a ruler who allies with him, but so far he’s seen precious little of that. The world needs peace before Tarmon Gai’don arrives, and if the only way to have it is to impose it, so be it. Bashere breaks the seal on the jug, and says he has read the Prophecies of the Dragon, as has Tenobia; he cannot speak for the other Borderland nations, but he thinks Saldaea will march with the Dragon Reborn. In the meantime, he offers his services. He hands Rand a goblet of wine, and Rand stares into it.

“Peace is far off yet,” he said softly. “It will be blood and death for some time to come.”

“It always is,” Bashere replied quietly, and Rand did not know which statement he was speaking to. Perhaps both.

Asmodean wanders away from the courtyard, tired of playing for people who do not listen, and thinks he did not want to think about what might have happened that morning; he’s seen the damage to the Palace, and knows what caused it. He wonders if being “reborn” in that way makes him a new man, but he doesn’t think so, and mourns his lost immortality. He thinks he is not sorry Lanfear is dead, nor Rahvin, but Lanfear especially.

He would laugh when each of the others died, too, and most for the last. It was not that he had been reborn as a new man at all, but he would cling to that tuft of grass on the cliff’s brink as long as he could. The roots would give way eventually, the long fall would come, but until then he was still alive.

He pulled open a small door, intending to find his way to the pantry. There should be some decent wine. One step, and he stopped, the blood draining from his face.

“You? No!” The word still hung in the air when death took him.

Morgase wipes sweat from her brow, and observes Tallanvor, riding ahead of her; she thinks it had been a good decision to not use titles, but that there is something disturbing in Tallanvor’s eyes when he calls her just “Morgase”. She curses Bryne for being off chasing fugitives, and thinks of her lack of success in rallying supporters in Andor; now they are in Altara. Lini comes up and advises her to be careful of Tallanvor; Morgase asks sharply whether she thinks him dangerous.

“Only the way any man can be dangerous. A fine figure of a man, don’t you think? More than tall enough. Strong hands, I should think. ‘There’s no point letting honey age too long before you eat it.’”

Morgase thinks the last thing she needs is to take up with an armsman ten years her junior, and warns Lini to hold her tongue. Lini snorts, and then asks if she’s sure she wants to do this. Morgase replies she will find her allies where she can. Tallanvor and Gill turn back to them, and Tallanvor tells her there’s a ferry nearby that can get them to Amadicia before dark. He also asks if she’s sure about this, and Morgase ignores his unsettling gaze and tells “young Tallanvor” that she’s made up her mind. She heels her horse ahead.

She would find her allies where she found them. She would have her throne back, and woe to Gaebril or any man who thought he could sit on it in her place.

Okay, first I am commenting on the NON-ASMODEAN parts of this chapter. Keep your pants on.

Rand: I distinctly remember my reaction the first time I read that he was introducing an amnesty for men who could channel, which was that I thought it was a completely logical move that was also the worst idea I’d ever heard. I’m pretty sure my mental comment was, “well, THAT’S not going to go horribly wrong, nosirree!” The surprising thing is that overall (so far, at least), I’ve been wrong. That could change, of course. Given Taim’s antics in KOD (what I recall of them anyway), actually, I’d be shocked if it didn’t. We Shall See.

Bashere: I love Bashere. He’s just cool from the moment he shows up, for much the same reasons Bryne and Lan are cool. Meaning, they are literally cool, no matter what. None of them are cowed by much of anything, be it Aes Sedai or the Dragon Reborn or seven million Trollocs coming their way or whatever, they’re just like “yeah, pretty much”, and get down to business.

I heart all three of them, but Bashere especially, strolling into a Palace the Dragon Reborn has just mostly torn apart and being all “yo, I gots booze!” Heh.

Morgase: the fact that her little vignette ends the entire book implied that Lord of Chaos would be much more oriented around that storyline than I recall it ending up being, really. Thank God, because that whole thing annoyed the piss out of me the first time around and every subsequent reading thereafter, and I seriously doubt this time’s going to change anything on that score. Therefore, that is all I have to say about it until such time as I am forced to recap it again in LOC.

Which brings us, inevitably, inexorably, indubitably, to the goddamn freaking murder of goddamn freaking Asmodean.

FIRST, before any of y’all do ANYTHING else, if you haven’t already read, in its entirety, the WOTFAQ’s article on Asmodean’s death, do so now.

Seriously. Yes, I know it’s not updated for KOD, I don’t care, and that’s barely relevant anyway. Read it. Read it now. I am totally not kidding.

Why? Simple: In the fervent interests of avoiding the flagellation of extremely deceased and by now frankly stanky equine corpses, you are not authorized to have an opinion on who killed Asmodean until you at LEAST read what is still, if I and Pam Korda (and multiple others) do say so ourselves, one of the more comprehensive and comprehensible compliations of the facts, speculation and conflicting theories surrounding Asmodean’s death that I am aware of on the Web. In other words, if you come in here shouting “It was Shaidar Haran, in the wine pantry, with the Shadar Logoth dagger!!!!” we’re all gonna know you didn’t read it, and we are all going to laugh at and/or be very annoyed with you. Let’s not do that. Let’s at the very least attempt to start everyone on the same difficulty level here.

So. Read it. Read it now. We’ll wait.

Back? Good. Thank you. So, who do I think killed Asmodean? Well, I’m afraid my answer is probably going to disappoint you, which is: Dunno.

You see, I don’t CARE who killed Asmodean.

Seriously. I never did. Oh, I was vaguely curious about it when I first read it, and vaguely annoyed that it was never explicated later, and then I was bemused and fascinated in a meta sort of way by the raging online controversy over the subject once I entered the fandom, but as far as having a burning desire to know who killed him? Nope, sorry, don’t really care.

Which was ironic once I took over the WOTFAQ, since I can say with pretty fair confidence that I spent more time updating and rewriting that ONE DAMN ARTICLE in the FAQ than I did just about any other section of the entire document (with the possible exception of the Military section, because Christ what was I thinking inventing that thing). This, possibly, has not sweetened my disposition regarding the subject, what with the hours and hours I spent winnowing through endless, repetitive, Möbius-like Asmodean-related theories and arguments and flamewars that ranged from the merely inane to the actually insane, in order to sift out the few granules of precious sense hidden in the dross. Let’s just say, the wheat-to-weevil ratio there was of famine-inducing badness, generally speaking, especially five to six years into the debate.

Anyway. The result of the work I did on the WOTFAQ, oddly enough, served to actually reinforce my lack of an opinion on who killed Asmodean. This is partially because the FAQ is deliberately constructed to be non-partisan on the debates where there is no definitive answer; it’s not possible to completely avoid bias, of course, but I did try to be as objective as possible, and that inevitably rubbed off on my own personal outlook on the mystery as well.

The other reason is that any theory starts to sound stupid if you look at it long enough, and I had initially come to the conclusion that there was actually no answer to be had. I was, in fact, fairly convinced for quite some time that Jordan didn’t actually know who had killed Asmodean at the time he wrote the scene, and that’s why none of the possible suspects ever seem to quite gel as the “right” one.

However, I’ve since rejected that theory, on the grounds that it is silly, and slightly smacking of bitterness to boot. Jordan may not have been correct in his assessment that the murderer is “obvious”, but in retrospect it’s absurd to believe that an author who is so noted for his attention to detail would murder a major character on a whim without even deciding beforehand who did it.

So, there is an answer. I just don’t know what it is. Or I just don’t care enough to really get behind a pony in this race, take your pick.

However, no one appears to like this answer, funnily enough. I’ve been cornered on the question several times over the years, most recently at JordanCon, and I usually try to avoid giving an answer, but just for shits and giggles I’ll give you my general feeling on the issue, which is about as close to an “answer” as you’re likely to get from me.

There are six characters who generally comprise the pool of Usual Suspects for Asmodean’s murder: Ishamael/Moridin, Lanfear, Graendal, Slayer, Moiraine, and Taim. You can read the cases for and against them in the WOTFAQ. (You did read that, right? RIGHT?)

Of these, I completely don’t believe either Moridin or Slayer did it. There’s no freakin’ way Slayer is “obviously” the killer, and if I were going to rewrite the Asmodean FAQ section (*wibble*), I would move him to the “loony but won’t go away” category, personally – I only put him in the “main” suspects category because of how het up everyone was about him after all the info we got on him in WH, but on reflection that was a flash in the pan, really. As for Moridin, it’s really stretching it in my opinion that we were supposed to magically intuit that Ishy was back from the dead after being dead for two books – especially since Jordan didn’t start resurrecting bad guys like it was going out of style until LOC. As of TFOH, I don’t think we even had any evidence that it was even possible, and certainly no reason to presuppose it before it even happened.

Taim as the killer is a cool notion but ultimately unlikely in my opinion; even with the confirmation that he is a Darkfriend in KOD, I still think he fails the “obviosity” criterion, and even if he was working for the Shadow all along, I tend to doubt he had so much clout that he could prance around offing Forsaken, even disgraced ones, without fear of reprisal – at least not before upping his credit by infiltrating Rand’s ranks, which of course he hadn’t done yet at that point. As for Moiraine, I severely dislike and reject the notion that she did it. (Frankly, I will be pissed if it turns out she’s the killer, because aside from how completely circumstantial the “evidence” in her favor is, I think it is utterly out of character for her anyway, and just generally a shitty thing to suppose she would do for any number of reasons.)

So that basically leaves Lanfear or Graendal. I personally think that of these two, Graendal makes more sense logistically (even without the fish thing to support her), but Lanfear makes more sense viscerally (even given the very large “trapped in another dimension” problem). Which makes them a wash as far as I’m concerned; neither is more likely than the other with the information that we currently have.

I’m told by fairly reliable sources that this mystery will actually be cleared up in one of the last three books of the series, which is cool, though a perverse evil part of me secretly wants the question to never be answered. Just because the howls of Internet fury would be hilarious. Ain’t I a stinker?

But actually I think the answer will be cleared up by default, since we are due Real Soon Now to find out for sure what happened to Moiraine – and, by extension I assume, Lanfear – in Finnland. Basically I expect that whatever happened there will either confirm that Lanfear used her wishes to off Asmodean, or make it clear that she was not allowed to do so, which will then leave Graendal as the only viable possibility (at least in my opinion).

So that, long-windedly, is what I think. Orange you glad you asked?

So, bye, Asmodean! I’m kind of sorry to see you go, really, but I’m pleased that if you had to die, you did us the courtesy of staying dead – at least the second time. So thanks for that.

And, bye, Fires of Heaven! Thanks for being a solid fun sort-of-middle to the series. Is it all downhill from here, as some people claim? Dunno; I will Recap And Find Out.

Five down, whoo! Join me Friday for the beginning of Lord of Chaos. I know, right? We’re actually making some headway here. Ciao!

1. OldWoman
Thanks Leigh, I too, wish this question would remain unanswered.
Amy Young
2. ceara
It really pretty much is all downhill from here (caveat: I still haven't read Knife of Dreams) - I've got a couple of books ahead of this in my re-reading, and LoC is still pretty good but starting to get decidedly wobbly, and in CoS the wheels are definitely falling off. And while I still haven't got there in my current re-read, in general, the less said about PoD, WH, and (especially) CoT, the better. Aiee.
Luke Thompson
3. thom9894
First time poster, long time reader... Have to say, it's never bothered me about who killed Asmodean. I'm curious, but more so about the Aes Sedai that is murdered later (can't remember her name...).
j p
4. sps49
And now we can discuss.

I say Lanfear. I don't know how, but from my very first reading I have been convinced.

Graendal? She is always followed by paragraphs explaining why she makes sense. Bleh.
Luke M
6. lmelior
Ah, if only Morgase had just turned around and went back to Andor. This series could've been about two books shorter.
James Jones
7. jamesedjones
5 Down! Yay!

Thanks again, Leigh. I heart your attitude towards Asmo's death. But - just 'cause I'm me - I'll disagree with your reasoning regarding the killer. :)

I don't know who it is. I don't care who it is. But I always love the looney theories.

Go Light!
TW Grace
8. TWGrace
1- I have come to hope that we never find out who killed the gleeman from ages past. The suspense is exquisite, we should savor it.

2- I am not 100% sold on Taim being a darkfriend. Yet.
9. mcrbryant
Re Asmo:

Don't think it can be Moridin or Cyndane (Lanfear) as he recognises the person.

Like your breakdown Leigh, am going with that.

And another thing... If Rahvin has been erased all the way back to before he sent Darkhounds to Rhuidean, don't we have some plot inconsistecies re: Morgase - she was still in the Palace then, wasn't she?

If he arranged for all the trollocs/fades to come to Caemlyn, surely that got unarranged and by default alot more people should not be dead...

Or is this just part of the 'unrvalleing' inconsistencies thing that makes Balefire so dangerous?
Jason Denzel
10. JasonDenzel
When I first read the book, not knowing it was a mystery, I assumed it was Lanfear. Graendal never occurred to me at the time. However, as time went on and I read all the theories, I became convinced it was Graendal. Bob Kluttz's Encyclopedia WoT site has the best theory out there (The "Two Servants" theory).

I cannot, however, comment any further on things, because I have read TGS and I Ain't Saying Nuthing on this here topic.
Casey Sanders
11. CSanders
First, I'd like to say that this was a great recap, Leigh! It really makes my day to read these!

Second, it makes my little heart go all ba-dump, ba-dump to hear so many people that don't care either. Honestly, Asmo was past his usefullness and needed to get canned.

And personally after reading and watching all the conspiracy theories on who the culprit was, I think Jordan kept stalling on finally revealing the pantry stalker just to keep his ratings up. I mean seriously. This one little murder has caused more hype and flamewars than any other story plot in the series.

Nothing drives book sales like a rabid fanbase that just NEEDS to know who offed the minstrel. ;)
12. Ian B in Manchester
I think it was Slayer.
Two reasons....firstly his name is "Slayer". He has the same name as his job.
Secondly he looks like a cousin of Rand, perhaps a lot like Rand. When Asmodean asked "You? No!" he thinks its Rand, then realises his mistake.

This must be RJ's finest moment. How much enjoyment has this one sentence given us.
Roger Powell
13. forkroot
Sorry to disappoint you all, but I already outed Asmo's killer. Unfortunately, in my exuberance I didn't wait until this thread, so you'll have to go back here to see.

Casey Sanders
14. CSanders
OH! Another thing!

I totally agree with you on Bashere. He has been awesome from his very first appearance. One of my favorite Bashere scenes has to be his first meeting with Perrin. Still makes me laugh. :)
Marcus W
15. toryx
Like Leigh, I don't really know who killed Asmodean and I don't particularly care. Also like her, I'd prefer we never find out who did it. That's a mystery that doesn't need to be solved and even if it were solved, I can't believe the explanation will be satisfying.

I will be very pissed off if Moiraine or Lanfear are revealed to be the culprits. I've always thought that Slayer was the most likely, even before KOD. But I realize I could be wrong and if so, I don't even care.

That's all I'm going to say about it. This argument has been old and boring for a decade already.


I do like Bashere, even if he's partially responsible for Faile's madness. I wish the book had ended with him, rather than Morgase who just irritates me. Why couldn't she have been killed instead of Asmodean? I liked Asmodean, at least.
Kristina Blake
16. kab1
Okay I read the post and I read the FAQ. I'm still not convinced of any one suspect, but I'm leaning towards Graendel.

I just don't think it makes any sense for Lanfear to use one of her wishes on this (unless she said it as a side comment not knowing the foxes would send her out) If she could wish for anything I think she would have gone back to get Rand/LTT or even Avhienda. Comments have been made that after the confrontation at the docks she would have decided Asmodean had taught him enough, but from what I can recall she seemed to be about to defeat Rand at the docks (and she wouldn't be aware of his personal women killing issues and would think she had won) before Moraine swept in. Although Rand was a certainly putting up quite a challenge before she got the angreal.

I do think she would have been angry and wanted revenge, but as said above, that it would have been directed at Rand, Avi, or Moraine. I think at this point she regards Asmo as finished, after all he's sheilded to the point of ineffectiveness and she knows the DO/other forsaken will kill him for going to Rand's side. Anyways, my logic is that for all her "craziness" she wouldn't have wasted her time with Asmo. I think she thought he was quite beneath her.
Roger Powell
17. forkroot
Trust me, KoD is better than the books that preceded it. With that said, I need to admit that I liked all of the books, just some more than others.

I envy you - I'm so itchy for November 4th that I can hardly stand it. Maybe you can convince ceara@2 that there is a lot of good reading ahead.

And another thing... If Rahvin has been erased all the way back to before he sent Darkhounds to Rhuidean, don't we have some plot inconsistecies re: Morgase - she was still in the Palace then, wasn't she?
Where was it asserted that Rahvin was erased that far back? AFAIK, his effects were erased to a short time prior to the lightning strike that had killed Mat and Avi.
Theodor Engström
18. Theodor

Great argument for it not being Lanfear kab1. Thumbs up.

And then there where only one left........

Graendal did it!

And knowing that Rand is probably moving against Arad Doman (Graendals base) in "The Gathering Storm", should make it quite probable that she is revealed as the killer in that book.
19. junior1234
Nice final recap.

I have to agree with the Morgase thing.
One of the comment threads on your last post was about the lack of people dying or staying dead in this series. I nominate Morgase as one person we could have definately done with a Forsaken actually killing. I have hated her storyline from pretty much beginning to now.

On Asmodontcare's death; I agree completly with you. Just.Dont.Care.

Also, whenever there is a mystery or conspiracy about something like this in a story, the intensity of peoples arguments is directly proportional to the number of people who dont actually care. So given how much internet "content" has been devoted to this subject, I would say about 98% don't care about it in the least.
John Massey
20. subwoofer
Gonna say stuff... will be pivotal to life as we know it... just not right now... Hi Leigh. It's great being regular again..
j p
21. sps49
@ 16, 18

Lanfear had an urgent motive to off Asmodean.

He is the only Darkside one to contradict her assertion that he went over to Rand.

If he had informed others of her role in his subjugation, and her dealings with Rand, the Forsaken and DO would be after her with the same rage Sammael has for her. Balefired, Asmodean is beyond even the DO.


I am not sure if KoD was that good, or if it only is good compared to it's predecessors. Seriously, if I had begun the series with one of the Super Drawn Out books, I would've never continued.
Pepijn Vemer
22. Artsapat
Graendal. Because of Bob's theory:

But yeah, I would love it when it doesn't get resolved.
23. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
@ TWGrace

"2- I am not 100% sold on Taim being a darkfriend. Yet. "

Seriously? What's it going to take? HE QUOTED THE DARK ONE!


"Don't think it can be Moridin or Cyndane (Lanfear) as he recognises the person. "

Problem is we don't have any idea when the Cyndane/Lanfear transmogrification happened. She could very well have been trapped in Finnland as "Lanfear" up until 5 minutes before we see her as Cyndane. I agree with your reasoning for Moridin, though.

I say the best candidate is Lanfear, and I think the talking about her just before the murder is RJ's "obviousity."

I'd like to start a new theory, though. Maybe it's a typo. Maybe instead of "You? NO!" it was "U-NO!" That's why it's obvious! He said the name!
24. JWezy
I too was more interested in who killed Adelas than who killed Asmodean, not least because it was clear that the killer was still close by, while Asmodean's killer could easily be long gone.

In fact, I had this great theory - I thought for about two books that Adelas was killed by ... Adelas! I decided that it was really Vandene who was killed, because somehow she found out that Adelas was a DF, and then Adelas swapped identities (c'mon, they were twins! It was almost obligatory!).

I was really sold when "Vandene" started wearing Adelas' dresses - why not, if they were really hers?

Sadly, all proved wrong, and I was greatly disappointed. I think my answer was so much better that if it had occurred to RJ, he would have written it in. *sigh*
25. HeWhoComesWithTheNoon
btw, while I am throwing groanworthy puns out there like my Uno theory, I'd also like to put forth that the capital of Finnland is Helsinnki
26. mike#numbers
The OBVIOUS answer to who killed Asmo is Lews Therin!

I'll let you mull over that
Luke M
27. lmelior
@forkroot #13
They're there, you just have to work to find them. Here is the link you want.
28. Cryptic
Didn't the early review on dragonmount say that the Asmodean thing gets some clarifications in The Gathering Storm?
AJ MacPherson
29. Mackey62
Cryptic @ 28

See # 10 who wrote the review and read the book and who is enjoying having all the knowledge. :)

Edit: Or maybe it is just misinformation to mess with us some more.
30. cps2195
I don't think it Slayer because we don't have enough info on him at this point in the story to make it "obvious."

I don't think it's Graendal because RJ stated that most people who send him letters get it wrong and she seems to be the person most people suspect.

I've always suspected Aviendha. Who knows what she learned in the rings. Maybe for Rand's survival at some point down the road she had to kill him in that place at that time. If Moiraine can learn she had to be at the docks on that day at tht time with the doorway uncovered and an angreal on the wagon who knows what Avi learned. Her interactions with Natael throughout this book are also very suspicious. She seems to be very disdainful of him.

I know people will say "how could she when she was at the fountain" in the beginning of the chapter but we have no idea how long it was between the time Rand noticed her and the time Asmo was killed.
Alice Arneson
31. Wetlandernw
mcrbryant @ 9

Ummmm.... Clarification: Rahvin hasn't been erased all the way back to Rhuidean. The Darkhounds in Rhuidean (whoever sent them) were themselves balefired and their effects removed from the Pattern. Had nothing to do with balefiring the sender.
John Fitzingo
32. Xandar01
@6. lmelior

Oh if only Morgase had insisted on hunting down Bryne. The sparks that would have flown when she showed up in Salidar. Especially if she showed up after Elayne was gone again, and they wouldn't tell her again. (Though I bet Egwene would tell her.)
Rikka Cordin
33. Rikka
Bryne, Bashere, Lan

trifecta of badassery.

they actually sit down after TG and write the book on it.


Karen Walters
34. Wrenza
Another one who isn't bothered, and doesn't feel the urge to find out. However I do love reading the speculation.

[i]wonders how long it is before someone says Bela did it
35. Lsana
Originally, I didn't care who killed Asmo, but the WOTFAQ changed my mind about that. All of the various theories and the evidence for and against each make for compelling reading--more compelling, in fact, than many chapters in the later books. I think an Asmo whodunnit could be a very interesting fantasy mystery novel.

My answer is that Graendal killed him, though for meta-story reasons rather than anything in-world. If it was any of the other suspects: Lanfear, Taim, Slayer, etc, then that would be interesting and would require fleshing out that plot thread. However, based on the total lack of interest RJ has had in this plot, I've come to the conclusion that it is not interesting, there is no story there, all we're missing is the identity of the killer. Graendal is the only one who fits in with a boring murder.

That said, I have to point out that there are possibilities for Lanfear beyond just "she used a wish." We don't know how time passed for her in Finnland. It's pretty obvious from Mat's experiences that time flows differently (it seemed he was in there for an hour tops, but it was actually a week). She might have been held for several years in Finnland and still escaped in time to kill Asmo. She might have been held for years, killed in an escape attempt, and already brought back as Cydane in time to kill Asmo (with the DO's permission of course). Many possibilities, provided you don't assume that time in Finnland is perfectly synched with Randland.
Roger Powell
36. forkroot
Tsk, tsk .. you haven't been paying attention. Click the link @13
Kurt Lorey
37. Shimrod
Considering the FAQ, I would have to say that I fall under the Lanfear did it grouping.

He knew his killer (that cuts out a lot of suspects).

He was surprised to see his killer. I would have been really surprised to see Lanfear. I don't think he would have been so surprised to see Graendel.

Leigh, I have liked Davram Bashere since we first met him here. But, by KoD I have concluded that he is a DF. The battle at the manor house did it for me. Rand is hiding. Bashere leaves. Huge army of Trollocs and Fades attack. Bashere returns. I know he's one of the Great Captains of the West, but he's been too cool about the whole thing since we met him. And, he never did contact Tenobia. Remember, she is looking for him, because he left without permission. Why? Because a higher power told him too. Meh.

And who says Moiraine and Lanfear get any wishes when they crossed over? That is highly debatable supposition.
j p
38. sps49
@ 34

Last entry, no. 143

Or, ninja'ed during my preview!

I do hope tGS sheds some light on who. Otherwise the 'Finn adventure will be (likely) pushed into the next part. I can't see Mat not getting started on that, esppecially with Thom's geas of silence removed.


Someone close to Rand has to betray him; that trope is so useful at generating tension late in the game that it should be unavoidable. Bashere may be our best candidate for that- close enough to hurt, but not someone too closely tied to Our Heroes.
39. Tabernerus
I guess I've always thought that Lanfear (in some form) killed him. Look, either Jordan misfired when he said it was intuitively obvious, or it really was, well, obvious. If it's obvious, then I'm going with the character that we know for a fact hates the victim and would probably try to kill him, and who the victim was thinking about right before he died. Not only that, but he goes so far as to specifically recall her death, and assert that he's glad she's dead. Maybe I've been reading stories like this for too long, but when he died, the first time I read it I thought, "Wait, she IS dead, right?"

Sure, there are ALL sorts of logistical reasons why it would be a tough thing to pull off, but it's also a world where there's, you know, magic and stuff.

And the Graendal argument ALWAYS boils down to, "Well, she had opportunity, she had the means as well as anybody, and she had as much motive as anybody, and later, she seems suspiciously sure he's dead, when other claim to not know."

Really? In a fantasy novel, we're going to hang out theoretical hats on that, rather than the crazy-ass lady we thought was dead who realllly wanted to kill the victim, who the victim was thinking about when he died, and who just fell into a realm where you can be granted fantastical wishes? Oh, and she's craaaaazy??? Seriously, really? And the primary reason is that it's just too illogical? I mentioned the magic and stuff, right?

In a battle between visceral and logical, go with visceral, at least when reading a novel like this.

Anyway, loving the re-read, Leigh (and Tor). Thanks!
40. RobSS
I'm with you Leigh.

If we find out who killed Asmo and why, I'm sure the reason will be cool.

But if it never comes up again... WHO CARES
41. RobSS
I'm with you Leigh.

If we find out who killed Asmo and why, I'm sure the reason will be cool.

But if it never comes up again... WHO CARES
Marcus W
42. toryx
I have two problems with the Lanfear argument (besides the obvious, how lame is it that she'd use a Wish for revenge on a minor party?):

1. She's far more pissed at Rand and Aviendha than she is at Asmodean. Asmodean is so beneath her I doubt she gives him much thought at all.

2. If Lanfear IS going to kill someone, she doesn't strike me as the type to do it secretly and hide the fact of the matter. She's far more likely to leave Aviendha's head in Rand's bed than to secretly kill Asmodean.

It's as ludicrous for Lanfear to waste her time killing Asmodean as it is for Moiraine. Both women have far bigger fish to fry.
Karen Walters
43. Wrenza
Forkroot, after being a very good girl and reading the FAQ I thought that was enough link clicking. Besides - unless it's a link posted by Leigh all other links in the comments are suspect........ :D
Alice Arneson
44. Wetlandernw
Leigh, I think someone is just begging you for a rickroll... ;)
45. swmdilla
I like the idea that Taim did it even though I'm no totally convinced myself. I just like the idea. It's not obvious...then again there is no obvious candidate.

Leigh, i would have to say TEOTW is my favorite cover. But this is definitely one of the better ones.
46. swmdilla
I like the idea that Taim did it even though I'm no totally convinced myself. I just like the idea. It's not obvious...then again there is no obvious candidate.

Leigh, i would have to say TEOTW is my favorite cover. But this is definitely one of the better ones.
Luke M
47. lmelior
Before you click on any links let the cursor hover over them, then look at the status bar. If you see youtube or any of those url shorteners (tinyurl,,, etc.), then you should be suspicious. :)
Andrew Lovsness
48. drewlovs
Look at all the people who don't care; monkey see, monkey do!! I'm having fun here, btw... please don't be offended, that would ruin the laugh.

Remember, when Jordan said most people were "wrong" in their letters to him, Granny was NOT a popular choice for who did the deed. Even on WOTFAQ.

I like Granny for the crime, but if it turned out to be someone else, that would be ok. That would probably make the murderer Lanfear, and finding ot how she did it for sure will be great reading.
Michael Catapano
49. hoping
"I care" -Luke Skywalker in 'The New Hope'

and so do I

It's amazing how RJ has kept our interest with this minor mystery, and with the whole series for that matter.

The WOTFAQ sums up all the arguments far better than I so I will not repeat any.

I think we need a survey (and someone to tally.)
Take a stand and put down your choice for asmo's killer. Anyone second the motion?

My choice is Graendal
Joseph Daly
50. Joed1414
Asmodean. Don't really care who killed him. There's one character who's never mentioned who I think may have done it. I've always thought he was a darkfriend and its strage he just pops up after Rahvin dies. Its Bashere!!! Asmodean met his demise in a wine cellar. Bashere came in to Rand with 2 bottles of wine. He killed asmo then brought some wine to Rand after he did it. Jordan has said its obvious who killed him. Man if its him Jordan musta been laughing his but off at all those who had elaborate theories on who killed asmo. I think he'll betray Rand in The Gathering Storm.
Anthony Pero
52. anthonypero
Taim, for reasons outlined in the last post. And yes, I had that opinion at the end of FoH. And no, I didn't think he was Demandred, ever.
53. MatFarshaw
Before reading any comment, I will state this:
Asmodean was killed by Isam (surpriced, dragged into T.A.R. and killed).
54. JohnA
I'm in the don't care category, but I'd like to add to the Lanfear didn't do it debate. She got three wishes, and the theory goes she used one on Asmodeon. I'd think he was anything other than number one on her list. She would have asked for Rand first, and probably got some "taveran get a pass on that" answer. But her next wish would surely have been Aviendha before Asmodean.
Joseph Daly
55. Joed1414
Actually he was in the courtyard when bashere came in nevermind.
56. Tabernerus
50. Joed1414 (re: Bashere)

I think the hitch is that Bashere appears with the wine while Asmodean is still in the courtyard, or at best just as he's leaving. At least, the way it's written strongly suggests this.

Though it could be a clever hint that whoever did it is somehow related to or affiliated with Bashere, which could indicate Taim. Basically, the entire Taim idea works better if Taim is Asmodean, which we're all certain he's not. At least, we have it on the best of authority that he's not, unless someone changed their mind during the last couple of novels.

This hits on the viewing of darkness (or whatever it was) around Bashere, which has bothered me to no end. If there is a family that I will be dismayed to see hit by the shadow, it will be the Basheres, mainly because it will destroy Perrin. Even if Tam turned out to be a darkfriend, Rand is far enough away from that part of his life (and bat-poop insane, to boot) that I don't think it would change the story as much as Faile's mom or dad being a darkfriend. And if a parent, then doesn't Perrin HAVE to suspect the missus, and THEN were are we? Chaos, that's whe ... oh, shoot, that might work. Crud.

Anyway, yeah, the "Is Bashere a darkfriend?" question is my personal least favorite yet-to-be-fulfilled viewing/question.
57. LaraBeaton
I actually asked him about Asmodean when I had him sign all of my books up to .... erm .... Path of Daggers, I think. He looked at me like I was a complete moron that just dribbled on his shoes, and said "Graendal, of course". As though it was the most obviousest thing ever.

I felt like smacking him.

(He flat out refused to answer my "what is a nine-horse hitch" question. He said "Why is it always women who ask the dirty questions?")
58. Tabernerus
On Lanfear using her wishes to kill Asmo, my personal pet theory is that she asked to be sent back to seek revenge, and the price asked was her life, which being bat-poop crazy she agreed to.

She was dropped back into the pantry, and was going to find Rand and/or Avi, but then Asmo walked in, and she had to kill him. Since she DID hate him, and likely DID want to waste his lute-strumming behind, she killed him. What the 'finn neglected to mention was that she got a single shot at revenge, them being sneaky and all that, so upon killing Asmo, the 'finn ended her little field trip.
Joseph Daly
59. Joed1414
At least one person Rand trusts is going to betray him before its all said and done. Bashere seems the most likely one to me. It also seems convienient that Trollocs don't overrun the borderlanders with their entire army being in Andor. Perhaps some of that army is of the Shadow.
j p
60. sps49
Survey? Okay.


I am anticipating learning how her power reduction fits into this, too.

And the "where" reply by RJ implies to me that 'Finnland or TAR relate.

Where is everyone? Did yesterday's entry tire out our posters? :)
61. Drew Holton
(Refusing to participate in meaningless and idle speculation as to Asmodean's killer, when it's completely obvious to the most casual untrained observer that it has to be...NEVERMIND.)...

Re the cover, I think this is one of the most technically accurate covers of the series that Darrell Sweet has done. Rather than defaulting to his usual Standard Fantasy Medieval Garb/Armor ((tm)Darrell K. Sweet), he actually puts Mat and Rand in coats that are close to RJ's description, as well as Aviendha's Wise One outfit. As for being aesthetically pleasing, frankly, it was the cover of TEOTW that kept me from reading it for four years. Gah. The epitome of cookie cutter Darrell Sweet cover art. Of all the books, I think that TDR is my favorite, as its depiction of the Stone of Tear and Callandor are how I always think of them in my mind. (I ignore the idiot costume of velvet doublet and demicape Rand is in.)
Jason Lyman
62. jlyman
Where is everyone? Did yesterday's entry tire out our posters? :)

Maybe they are all working while at work? :)

I like this cover too. But what city is it that they're in? It can't be Cairhien because of the shapes of the buildings. Is it supposed to be Caemlyn? Dunno, it's just been bugging me for the past few days.
Tess Laird
63. thewindrose
One of our regular commenters brought this up awhile ago, and I thing it is important to remember adding this into the equation of who 'dun' it:)

Tonka brought up on Part 19 tFoH:
Here's one from a book signing in October of 2005. Quote posted by WinespringBrother here:

Me: Since you said at an earlier signing that the Dark One couldn't have brought back Asmodean if he wanted, was that at the time of Asmodean's death, or after that?
Robert Jordan: The Dark One couldn't bring back Asmodean because of the combination of 2 factors: HOW HE DIED and WHERE HE DIED. Not one or the other, both factors.

Asmodean can not be recycled even if the DO was inclined to do so.

Which leads me to think that Asmo bit it in T'a'R or Finn Land. Which in turn makes me think it was Slayer(hired by DO) or Lanfear using one of her wishes.

I did post this in part 24, but since I think it is really relevant I am doing it again. Since there is nothing special about Caemlyn, we have to think of other places that would fit the bill - like T'a'R or FinnLand.
For me it is a tie between Lanfear and Slayer(being hired by someone else.)
Anthony Pero
64. anthonypero

I just don't get how that squares with the instantaneous death.

“You? No!” The word still hung in the air when death took him.

How did the words still hang in the air when death took him if he died in T'a'R?

That doesn't square in my brain.
65. Tommymcaree
Asmo death. Who cares. He is gone. Lets lament him (if required) and move on. I thought it was moiraine but with all the different theories abounding, it doesn't matter what I think. However, I have noticed that during the discussions of the books there is a tendency to jump ahead and discuss things that happen later on. I think there is a tendency therefore to have an opinion on a subject influenced by hindsight (or is that foresight). Anyway great post leigh, but i think you will have your work cut out to make the rest of the books as gripping, apart from KOD as it is back to the standard expected.
Have a great discussion folks and have fun.
66. Tommy.mcaree
Asmo death. Who cares. He is gone. Lets lament him (if required) and move on. I thought it was moiraine but with all the different theories abounding, it doesn't matter what I think. However, I have noticed that during the discussions of the books there is a tendency to jump ahead and discuss things that happen later on. I think there is a tendency therefore to have an opinion on a subject influenced by hindsight (or is that foresight). Anyway great post leigh, but i think you will have your work cut out to make the rest of the books as gripping, apart from KOD as it is back to the standard expected.
Have a great discussion folks and have fun.
67. AielAdam
Hi Leigh, thoroughly enjoying the reread as always, and looking for to LoC, which is one of my favourites judging by the state of my paperback copy (although apparently this opinion is universal!).

Anyway, I just wanted to ask that you don't mention any spoilers from the recent review of TGS, since I avoided reading them.
James Jones
68. jamesedjones
Love the Looney Theories, everyone! Thank you!

BTW some of Leigh's comments are appearing in blue on my screen. Wonder what that's all about...

69. longtimefan
The death of Asmodean is not about who did it but more about the RAFO.

Since the question has been poised (and at every release of every book since this one it has been asked) the author has said RAFO.

We read. We did not find out. It is not the lack of an answer that is irritating to me but the deliberate lie from the author.

It could be argued that no one said when you would find out but if there is a book on the table and you have not read it and you ask "is there an answer in that book" and the other person who has read it says RAFO it is reasonable to believe that in reading one will find out.

Finding out there is no answer is not what people wait two years at a time over 10 years to find out.

Honestly the point of who killed Asmodean is unimportant to the story. It motivates no plot points or reveals anthing about the killer unless the hit was ordered by the Dark Lord itself. Even then it has had no bearing on any of the following books. Even the killer of Aldeas is revealed in a shorter period of time. And without much importance. The moment was dramatic but the reveal ment nothing since it was shown and finished off all in the same scene.

I cared once about who killed Asmodean. I cared for about three books. Then I just waited. And still waiting. What bothers me more is being told to Read and Find Out and not finding anything there.
70. ProfessorPoopyPants
Robert Jordan killed Asmo.. totally obvious to me. ;)
Vincent Lane
71. Aegnor

Can't tell if you are serious are not. Are you saying RJ told you that Graendal killed Asmodean?


Yeah, that is the weird part. What is special about where he died?

The word still hung in the air when death took him.

That means it happened nearly instantly.

All very confusing.
Alice Arneson
72. Wetlandernw
AielAdam @67 It's okay to read Jason's "review" - there aren't any spoilers. He really doesn't tell you anything that wasn't already released in the publicity stuff, which is basically which story arcs get most of the focus. There's one "you'll finally find out in this book" mention, but no spoiler as to the actual answer(s). Mostly reading the review will drive you crazy because you REALLY want to read the book now, and it STILL won't be out until November.

On the subject of "why is Asmo's killer still a mystery"... I can only go with the WoTFAQ assumption that even if it's not important in itself, "Asmo's killing is itself a clue to something else that was going on, which we didn't know about yet." So, like many others, I'm mildly curious but don't have a real big care factor. I think I'm more interested in why it was kept a secret than in who did it.

Cover art: I always assumed it was set in Rhuidean, but that may be mostly because it's the first city scene in the book. Might be Caemlyn, what with the lurking Trollocs. I guess I've never put much stock in cover art as illustrative of the story line, since most of the time it appears that the artist has no clue about either story or characters. Ditto the people who write the cover blurbs. (Not specific to WoT; it holds true for most fiction, as near as I can tell.)
73. LaraBeaton

You know, I have a very clear memory of RJ telling me at a book signing that it was Graendal. He thought it was incredibly obvious from his books and was surprised that it was still a question after PoD. However, I can't find a single post from my usenet days that supports that memory. And that would be something that I definitely would have posted about.

So either he did tell me that, and I never posted about it. Or it never happened and I imagined the whole thing. Of the two, the latter is far more likely, and something that I thought was settled a long time ago is still up in the air.

I do still want to smack him, either way.
74. LaraBeaton
I did however, find this:

Question from Vercingetorix: Why do you think everyone has a hard time figuring out who killed Asmodean? Graendal killed him.

Robert Jordan: I don't know why people have a hard time figuring that out. To me it seems intuitively obvious even to the most casual observer. The reason I won't tell people though is that I am enjoying watching them squirm entirely too much. It's probably bad for me.

It's not 100% confirmation, but he certainly strongly implies that it's Graendal.
Don Barkauskas
75. bad_platypus
LaraBeaton @74:

The WoTFAQ deals with this issue, and I tend to agree with the analysis there. (It's about 75% of the way down the page, in the Graendal section, under the heading "The Great Chat Debate".)
Max Espensen
76. Andvari
Ah The Fires of Heaven. I often think it's one of my favourite books, start to read it and think "Why?" but by the end I'm always convinced again. The Rand/Mat/Egwene/Moiraine/Aviendha/Aiel plot is the worst for that, it starts very slowly and dully, but gets super-awesome once they reach Cairhien.

Rand using the One Power in a proper battle, Mat and his merry Band, killing Couladin, and becoming an archetypal reluctant leader (And typically, as discussed before, therefore probably one of the most suitable leaders there is). But my highlight is the Moiraine/Lanfear showdown and then, the next chapter with the letter. Then for a grand finale a balefire showdown in T'A'R Caemlyn with a Forsaken, aided by Nynaeve. Pretty awesome conclusion.

I think whether you like FoH as a book though depends on your reaction to the other main plotline, namely Nynaeve and Elayne, and essentially whether you like Nynaeve or not. Most of it is told through Nynaeve's eyes and along with her jaunt to Caemyln to save Rand, it mean that Leigh was entirely correct in saying she is almost THE main character of the book. For my part, I love her. Her scathing assessments of almost everyone around her, with complete delusional hypocrisy get increasingly more comedic as the series wears on, and her silly sexism is so over-the-top (deliberately or otherwise) that you can't take it seriously. And she is laught-out-loud funny at several points in the book (as is Aviendha's shaving lather comment though). Maybe it's her steadfast denial to admit blame, though deep down knows she's at fault that resonates with me cos I'm like that. And what makes her awesome is that when she is in a properly perilous situation (unlike me) is really really brave, and the overbearing matriach role she puts on to cover up what she perceives as a cowardly woman out of her depth is actually unnecessary. She's such a character, you can't help but love her. Whether I would like someone like her I knew personally is another matter, of course.

But because I like her, and that plotline, it means I am a big fan of this book overall. It comes in the middle of the TSR, FoH, LoC set which is my favourite point in the series, until KoD, which is super awesome. I don't know if I could pick a favourite.

Re: Asmodean. Heh. I would say Graendal is more realistic, looking at it properly, her main case is that she has no major points against her. Lanfear would be much more interesting though.

I was just more upset that Asmo died, I actually liked his character, and was perhaps hoping he would eventually come over to the Light in spirit and be some sort of personifcation of redemption. I was more upset that he died than who did it at first. I assumed it would come up in the net book; by the time I read it and finished it I forgot and it was only when looking on the Internet I realised it was unexplained and such a big deal.
77. kab1
@57- Yes, I was wondering if you were serious as well.

@hewhocomeswiththenoon love the name. loved the puns.

I am also confused by the whole WHERE bit of Asmo's death. This doesn't seem to jive, especially with the "it's obvious" bit. It's obvious to me that he died in a hallway. Unless the words were hanging because he was ripped into TAR? Either way not obvious to me. heh.

@21 and 58- good points! I hadn't thought of those.

As far as my vote for Asmo- I'll say Grandael. Since, I'm almost always wrong about these things, this probably means it's definitely not her.

I said before that on my first read through I wasn't that interested in who killed him, but after all the crazy theories I'll be interested to find out. If it was Lanfear or Moraine, it'll be really interesting to read how that all came about.

Honestly, I can't wait to read about what happened to them after they went into Finnland- that's the part I've been waiting for, I'd much rather read about what happened in there than find out who killed Asmo. I'd really like Lanfear's POV after Moraine pushed her in and her thoughts on the whole Cyndane/mind trap bit. She must have gone completely batshit! heh. or maybe she did hold it together. Such a brief POV from her during the cleansing.

About Bashere, on my first read I would have never thought he was a darkfriend, but now? maybe. If we go with the assumption that some of those closest to Rand/Our Heroes must be darkfriends than I think Bashere is likely.

I also liked this cover, but I can't really see the foxhead as it gets too blurry when I zoom in.
Also if it is Avi on the GS cover, this would mean they are in the same place and she could get with child. Rand could possibly have 6 babies on the way at the same time. Also Avi, rand and min would possibly be in the same place and possibly for an extended time period (as I don't think Min is leaving him anytime soon) yikes.
78. kab1
wetlandernw- you're probably right about the cover art having no reference to the plot. which basically nullifies my previous post about Avi and Rand. Which I wrote while you were writing, I just took too long to post!)
Roger Powell
79. forkroot
I like this cover too. But what city is it that they're in? It can't be Cairhien because of the shapes of the buildings. Is it supposed to be Caemlyn? Dunno, it's just been bugging me for the past few days.
Gee, I always thought it was Rhuidean. Oops ... Wetlandernw jumped in and did a better job on this

Are you viewing the web site in a frame? You might have some pre-loaded style definitions that matched the classifications of the text.

OK - Weighing in on Asmo in a more serious fashion. There seem to be a lot of people who think Lanfear or Moiraine did it. If so, I'm going to be pretty annoyed. Either of those two would require something akin to Deus Ex Machina to appear in that closet so soon after the doorway incident. Especially since neither has been seen since (remember, Asmo wouldn't recognize Cyndane.)

If we start getting into "well maybe she wished for whatever" we're out in la-la land where plot devices don't really matter.

I realize the Eelfinn grant wishes; however RJ seems to have placed enough limitations on them to avoid these being a plot-wrecking device. He followed Stephen Donaldson's lead on that one (compare with the "Power of Command" being unable to touch Lord Foul.)

Everything we've seen so far from RJ says that he doesn't do that sort of stuff. He said we should be able to figure out the killer given just the info up through tFoH.

In point of fact Graendal does seem obvious - there are just a couple of things that bug me:

1) I couldn't eliminate Sammael until a POV that comes after tFoH.
2) RJ's comment about the when and where of Asmo's death affecting his resurrectability. Howzat?

So I'll RAFO with the rest of you. Like many posters, I haven't lost any sleep over the identity of the killer.
Abraham Park
80. Abe
I don't think anyone thought Asmodean was Jasin Natal, not even the Forsaken. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Lanfear and Asmodean were the only ones in on the plot to "teach" Rand, right? And then later, you know that Moraine knew about Asmodean...

What if Moraine not only saw what damage Lanfear could've brought onto Rand, but also what Asmodean could have done to Rand later on if he continued to teach Rand. So... I'm being serious here, and I'm going to say that it was... Lan! Moraine told Lan to kill Asmodean by giving him a letter, and saying he's not to read it until she died.

What do you guys think about my hypothesis as to who killed Asmodean?
81. alreadymadwithasmomystery
Maybe RJ simply doesn't think the identity of whoever offed asmo matters. Asmo by this time was in the no man's land where both his allies and enemies don't really care whether he lived or died. It wasn't like anybody was going to avenge him. His death is a deadend plotwise.
Lannis .
82. Lannis
Thus ends my favourite book of the series... Dum dum dum... bye Asmodean!

Hi Leigh! Thanks for the recap... wonderful as always.

The "Who Killed Asmodean?" thing as always kind of bugged me... I want to know. I burn to know... but do I have anything new to add? No. I vote Graendal. My only issue with her is the whole "RJ said not many readers guessed her" point, but as mentioned above, she wasn't a very popular candidate way back when...

jwdenzel @ 10: re: reading tGS. I'm jealous, but don't take this the wrong way... I'll be avoiding your review. I'm in the "don't breathe a word to me until I read it myself" camp. Jealous, but LALALA, I can't hear you! ;)

Wow... 7 hours in and only 81 comments on our "Who Killed Asmodean?" post? I'm all for lack of redundancy (thank you WOTFAQ!) but where's our discussion? Survey it up, folks! :)

(Is it just me, or is there a remarkable number of repeated posts?) :/
83. Latercomer
Ahh the end of the good time! Hello everyone *waves* work has been keeping me from the fun for a while and I have been champing at the bit.

My vote: Lanfear.

It was my instinctive reaction too - he's thinking about her, she hates him because he's managed to teach Rand enough to resist him etc.

As to 'wasting' a wish, I see it much like Mat's expereince because of not knowing what to expect. Mo and LF fall through the doorway. They end up not together but in different places in Finnland(my reasoning for this is based on the doorway at Tear where 3 of the 'good guys' step out within seconds of each other without any clue that the others are there. Implies completely entr/ exit points for each person). Lanfear only knows that she was about to overpower Rand and she has been thwarted, and he's obviously been learning enough to resist her. Who could have taught him that - someone who has the knowledge and hates and fears her. She growls 'That Asmodean - I'd like to kill him!' Voila! Presto! etc etc etc.....

And that's my theory. :)

***Tor won't let me post*** :( ** think its working as I have a preview now but lets see. I've tried 4 times already :(
84. Latecomer
Ahh the end of the good time! Hello everyone *waves* work has been keeping me from the fun for a while and I have been champing at the bit.

My vote: Lanfear.

It was my instinctive reaction too - he's thinking about her, she hates him because he's managed to teach Rand enough to resist him etc.

As to 'wasting' a wish, I see it much like Mat's expereince because of not knowing what to expect. Mo and LF fall through the doorway. They end up not together but in different places in Finnland(my reasoning for this is based on the doorway at Tear where 3 of the 'good guys' step out within seconds of each other without any clue that the others are there. Implies completely entr/ exit points for each person). Lanfear only knows that she was about to overpower Rand and she has been thwarted, and he's obviously been learning enough to resist her. Who could have taught him that - someone who has the knowledge and hates and fears her. She growls 'That Asmodean - I'd like to kill him!' Voila! Presto! etc etc etc.....

And that's my theory. :)

***Tor won't let me post*** :(
85. Latecomer
Sorry for the double-posts. I had to try about 5 times before I got through. And then it posted my last one twice.
86. Latecomer
By the way, has anyone see this yet?

New WOT based game

Looks like fun!
87. JimmyMac80
I doubt Bashere is a DF given the fact that the other DFs could have just asked for the Seal he has instead of trying to find it in his tent and then almost killing his wife.

As for Asmo, the two servant theory doesn't really work since it's based on a theory that the servants all left before the battle began, of which there is no indication. It seems more likely that they fled once the battle began, therefore those two servants were just two servants who didn't get out fast enough. Also, there's nothing to indicate that the place where Rand runs past the servants is near where Asmo is killed.

The funniest theory I ever saw was that Tom Doherty killed Asmo. It basically went that when RJ finished tFoH Tom complained that not enough characters died, couldn't RJ kill off one more. After telling Tom how he would write the scene, Tom asks, "So who killed him?" RJ replies, "You did," going on about how he never intends to reveal every little detail and this would just be one of those things that would remain untold. Of course Brandon Sanderson has since put an end to that theory since he has confirmed that someone actually did kill Asmo, my money is on Graendal, with balefire, in the Hall.
Captain Hammer
88. Randalator
I am so not commenting on the whole who-killed-Asmo-debate, no I won't.


Come on, it was obviously Graend..ah, crap!
Hurin Smells
89. HurinSmells
Okay so thing thing that makes it obvious that Graendal did it is not even in the FAQ. When Dem visits Shayol Ghul (LoC, Prologue), the DO already knows Asmo is dead. Then later in LoC Ch 6 we have a POV from Graendal where she clearly has an opinion that Asmo is dead, and where she thinks about the trip she made to Shayol Ghul... where she told the DO she took out Asmo for a renegade. How else can the DO know, based on RJs comment that the DO himself did not order the hit?
Anthony Pero
90. anthonypero
I'm actually excited for LoC... it's my favorite book in the series (not a popular choice, I know) I only thought 8 and 9 were slow and boring... mostly because of Faile, actually, lol. Perrin is my favorite character, and I hate reading his scenes in those two books, because I just want him to ditch the b**** and do something that matters.

LoC is my favorite for three reasons:

1) The return of Perrin... yay!
2) The Aes Sedai delegation, and Rand's handling of them with Egwene's help... awesome!
3) Dumai's Wells, easily my favorite scene in the series.
Anthony Pero
91. anthonypero

Um... The DO knows Asmo is dead because... he's the DO?
Roger Powell
92. forkroot
Good point about Bashere and the whole attempt for the seal. Gives me a little hope because I've always really liked Bashere and have worried that there's never been been a POV that confirms he walks in the Light.

The problem is that everyone seems so sure that someone close to Rand will turn on him. Assuming that person is a DF, there aren't too many candidates. We have POVs from most of the major characters that clear them.

Who's left? Rhuarc? Gimme a break. Dobraine? Same point about the seals as Bashere, only much more so as he was personally stabbed.

Flinn and Narishma are clear - they would have stopped the cleansing.

Even Alanna (who is a PITA) would be a bit of a stretch.

So unfortunately Bashere is by far the closest to Rand of those who have not been confirmed for the Light. Uh-oh.
John Massey
93. subwoofer
Theory 1- Colonel Mustard- in the library- with a candlestick.

Theory 2- LTT in drag delivering a "candy gram" and offing Asmo. The surprise was that the stripes on the dress totally clashed with LTT's hair.

Theory 3- Bela. Asmo opens the door, finds he is looking at a horse's ass. Figures out which horse's ass he is looking at and instantaneously dies as Bela hoofs him upside the head.

Just sayin'.

Go Bela!
94. Latecomer
Someone close to Rand, and important who will turn out to be a Darkfriend....??


And he's going to take a whole lot of Ashaman with him therefore weakening the Light Side.

I don't think we have time for Rand to agonise over why his near and dear *insert name here* has turned to the dark side and philosophise etc.
John Massey
95. subwoofer
On a serious note here- Bashere is filled with Kool. Said it before, he is in my top 5 of favorite characters. Exhibit A- er... for awesome. Bashere strolling in- assessing the situation and making the right call. He isn't a sychophant or a leech like some of the nobles. He isn't full of himself as some others- Wieramon comes to mind. And he knows when to kick ass and when to take a back seat if he has to. He doesn't have to be in the lime light 24/7 or fear his ego getting bruised. And he has a cool mustache. 'Nuff said.


...and Uno, Rhuarc and Hopper get honorable mentions.

96. Tenesmus
In murder investigations, you eliminate suspects through alibis and evidence. Nearly every suspect has been eliminated through internal POV's or alibis. Very few suspects remain after SIX additional books of evidence. Isn't there an old saying, "Once you eliminate the obvious and unlikely, whatever remains, no matter how impossible is the truth." I probably butchered that, but you should get the gist; process of elimination leaves very few real options.

One bit of evidence that is key is who would recognize him (Asmo)? Lanfear and Asmo were disguised, Lanfear as the fat chick, and Asmo as Jasin. Very few people knew Jasin was Asmo. We can count them on one hand. If we use process of elimination, only three people knew Jasin was Asmo. Moiraine, Lanfear, and Rand. They HAVE to be the PRIME suspects. Rand didn't do it. I beleive that Lanfear continued her crazy bat-shit antics once she passed through the door frame and ended up like Mat, figuratively hanging from a tree, which lead to her reincarnation as Cyndane. That leaves Moiraine.

In Part 24 of this I have already laid out other reasons why I belive it was her.

Sorry Leigh, but prepared to be pissed. It was Moiraine. I am so sure of it, that I will donate $100.00 USD to the charity of your choice if I am wrong.
97. GregoryD
Sorry, gang, but it think it was TAIM. I always wanted Lanfear too, but she was kind of dead at the time.

One comment that someone made, made a lot of sense.


So that leave out the most obvious individuals.

There is a post that I don't think anyone has commented on. The Author builds a very good case for Taim. Here is the link:

There is a second on also:

You notice RJ brings up the fact that Taim is in Andor and that Bashere is looking for him. RJ puts this in to give the readers a reason to link Taim to having an opportunity to be where Asmo is. Why bring all this up now? A direct hint to the killer being close by.

It takes a few books to discover that Taim is a DF.
Lews Therin always hated him. I am discovering that LTT is right on most of the time about knowing who is a bad guy.

Anyway, that's my two cents.
98. GregoryD
Sorry, gang, but it think it was TAIM. I always wanted Lanfear too, but she was kind of dead at the time.

One comment that someone made, made a lot of sense.


So that leave out the most obvious individuals.

There is a post that I don't think anyone has commented on. The Author builds a very good case for Taim. Here is the link:

There is a second on also:

You notice RJ brings up the fact that Taim is in Andor and that Bashere is looking for him. RJ puts this in to give the readers a reason to link Taim to having an opportunity to be where Asmo is. Why bring all this up now? A direct hint to the killer being close by.

It takes a few books to discover that Taim is a DF.
Lews Therin always hated him. I am discovering that LTT is right on most of the time about knowing who is a bad guy.

Anyway, that's my two cents.
j p
99. sps49
Taim has been Evil since Day 1. He was looking very much like Demandred (I still think he was; readers RAFigured Out too soon for RJ), and either he is a Forsaken or someone taught by them. And very tied in with the Dark.

Forsaken own-side killing is encouraged by the DO because of his wrong-headed survival of the fittest creed. Writing in all caps doesn't make it true.

I don't know how Lanfear did it- I never said wishes. Maybe she went to TAR, maybe she made a gateway, maybe she killed off some 'Finns, escaped, vaporized Asmodean, then vengeful 'Finns caught and severed her. But get off of the "wish" fixation. That won't convert me to thinking Graendal did it.
Michael Rosenberg
100. msr
I have, in fact, been waiting through the entire reread for this very scene, but again for a completely different reason than most people likely would. Like you, I've never been fascinated to find out who did it. I assume it will come out eventually and have never been bothered by not knowing. My problem is much more fundamental and has been irritating the hell out of me since I first read these books.

Keeping in mind that I read the first six to seven books, pretty much back-to-back (having jumped into the series a bit late), everything was very fresh in my mind while reading. Thus my reaction had nothing to do with who may have killed him. My problem is much more fundamental.


Nobody. There is never a point at which some character goes, "Gee, I wonder what happened to Asmodean?" "Has anyone seen Asmodean lately?" "I wonder what that giant body-sized soot stain on the wall is?" He disappears and it doesn't so much as generate even an offhand comment from any character. It's as if he never existed, was never advising Rand. That has always bugged me infinitely more than wondering who actually did it. How can it matter who did it if no one is even aware that he died (or existed)?

You're doing a reread. As you get into Lord of Chaos, keep an eye out. Does anyone every notice he's gone?
101. Greyhawk
Never really cared all that much about Asmodean's killer. I can't shake the feeling that after seeing how insane people became trying to figure it out, that he milked it somewhat.

As for the Morgase storyline--uugghh! However, I dislike it on two levels (at least) first because it is straight up annoying and distracts from, IMO, more important, interesting, plot progressing, etc. storylines and second because I feel it represents and overused concept in fantasy--i.e. that the young protagonist must come to power while still a young protagonist (in this case Elayne) and ill prepared (at least from a timing perspective) for the job. I quite frankly would have liked to have seen Morgase remain as a minor/major supporting player as the Queen. I think it would have lead to a lot more interesting interactions and leadership challenges for Rand and relationship conundrums with him and Elayne. Also, it would have been nice to see how a mature intelligent "good" leader dealt with Rand. Jordan avoided having any of the country leaders he wants to keep as leaders meet up with Rand--I guess because he didn't want to have to figure out how to deal with that dynamic--too bad.
102. Greyhawk
Never really cared all that much about Asmodean's killer. I can't shake the feeling that after seeing how insane people became trying to figure it out, that he milked it somewhat.

As for the Morgase storyline--uugghh! However, I dislike it on two levels (at least) first because it is straight up annoying and distracts from, IMO, more important, interesting, plot progressing, etc. storylines and second because I feel it represents and overused concept in fantasy--i.e. that the young protagonist must come to power while still a young protagonist (in this case Elayne) and ill prepared (at least from a timing perspective) for the job. I quite frankly would have liked to have seen Morgase remain as a minor/major supporting player as the Queen. I think it would have lead to a lot more interesting interactions and leadership challenges for Rand and relationship conundrums with him and Elayne. Also, it would have been nice to see how a mature intelligent "good" leader dealt with Rand. Jordan avoided having any of the country leaders he wants to keep as leaders meet up with Rand--I guess because he didn't want to have to figure out how to deal with that dynamic--too bad.
craig thrift
103. gagecreedlives
I originally thought it was Lanfear and didn’t think much beyond that. But when I discovered the online fandom and the WOTFAQ my interest got dragged into it. And I would have been really pissed (but also amused) if the series finished without finding out who did it.

Bashere=Awesome. Love when he tells the story to Rand later about the old general burying the trees.


There at least you will get your answer in KoD.


Have you read KoD? I thought the last chapter pretty much proved Taim was a darkfriend.


Best charity I can think of and I’m sure Leigh would agree is the GageCreed pizza and beer fund. We accept all donations and in all currencies.
104. Valan
Damn, but that WOTFAQ Asmo article was FREAKING LONG! *blinkBLINKblink* Ah I can see again.

On to the commentary!
Hurin Smells
105. HurinSmells
In one of the visits to Shayol Ghul there's a comment by the DO that indicates he doesn't know everything that happens in the world. I don't have the books with me right now but I think it was either Dem or Mog.
craig thrift
106. gagecreedlives

I think Dem has a thought about how when he speaks with the dark one he can be surprised by both the knowledge and ignorance expressed by the dark one.

IIRC correctly its right after the first appearance of Shaidar Haran
Gregory Werner
107. wernergh
Okay for my theory on who killed Asmodean this will sound kind of crazy but I believe that before she fell through the doorway Lanfear had called out the hit on Asmodean through Slayer. That in the event of her death (I'm sure one of the Forsaken with all their knowledge of weaves could have made one for this purpose) that he was to take Amodean out. Hear me through on this. My first reasoning for this is that none of the Forsaken would have made the risk of using one of their greatest assasins on someone with the extent of the power as a Forsaken. And Lanfear being the only one to know what exactly happened to Asmo would be willing to send Slayer after him. Second is that if she died she would figure that Rand was growing to powerful with the One Power and that he would be the only one who could have killed her (seeing how the Forsaken are so arrogant in their beliefs she would never have fathomed what actually occured). So what would this mean that Asmo turned out to be a far better teacher and that Rand would never join her or the DO now and her cause could not afford to learn anymore useful stuff so what do you do you kill the teacher. Now my final belief in why it is Slayer is what makes it so crazy. It's similar to why people believe it's Moridin with the whole "death took him" statement to literally mean Moridin took him. Anyway when you read about the super girls going to TAR right before they slip off into sleep it usually tells their thoughts then something along the lines of "then sleep took her" well seeing how Slayer has powers in the dreamworld it just sort of connects in my mind like that. I've just sort of noticed all this in all my re readings on how similar the descriptions are. And to cover for how Lanfear could have planned for her demise, yes she is arrogant but not so much that she would not believe that she could die, she played a really dangerous game. And also people may counter that the Forsaken would never believe that their immortality would be lost. Well Lanfear and Ishamael were both the most powerful and perhaps had the most knowledge of the DO I mean Ishy researched believed in all of the battle for eternity thing and Lanfear opened the freakin bore and talked to the DO first. I'm pretty sure she and Ishy knew that the DO could bring them back from the dead and so that's why they both played the more dangerous game out of the Forsaken they knew that if by the off chance they died they could be brought back by DO powers and so they risked more than the other thirteen ever did. So there it is if anyone even reads this you can call me crazy if you wish but it makes a lot more sense than a lot of theories out there especially the Moiraine or even Lanfear acting directly because honestly I think that in Finnland they Fox People would never have let them go because the pact was most likely broken with the doorway to their world broken. And Moiraine would have done some exchange for Asmodean and she would be out and about.
108. whatusername
So I just thought of something. How does Moggy know that Rand is about to attack. (I know I know - dues ex machina etc) -- but seriously. She's in Salidar. How does she know exactly what Rand is planning?
Roger Powell
109. forkroot
Well sorta. There's occasional thoughts in Rand's POV where Rand assumes he has skipped out and betrayed him. In fact, I think Rand even considered that Asmo might have been the attacker when the initial blast at the Sun Palace happened.

There are also various dialogs between the Forsaken and with the DO which tend to eliminate most Forsaken as suspects (with the exception of Graendal).

Of course most everyone else had no idea of his real identity and didn't consider him worthy of much notice.

Taim has been Evil since Day 1.
Quite possibly. There is the matter of him giving Rand one of the seals. Given how much trouble some agents of the Dark went to in order to acquire them, it's hard to square with Taim being a DF. (Of course being evil does not always mean being a DF.)
Roger Powell
110. forkroot
So I just thought of something. How does Moggy know that Rand is about to attack. (I know I know - dues ex machina etc) -- but seriously. She's in Salidar. How does she know exactly what Rand is planning?
We know that there are spies in Rand's camp that are telling Rahvin/Sammael/Graendal (and Lanfear) everything. Rahvin knew Rand was coming (hence the Trolloc welcoming party).

We also know from earlier scenes that the foursome would meet in T'AR to exchange information, and that Moggy liked to spy on those meetings. I think it's reasonable to conclude that the same thing happened as before.
john mullen
111. johntheirishmongol
I had already commented in the last chapter review I didn't get what the big deal was about who killed Asmo, because he got what he deserved. He never chose the Light, just was severed from the Dark.

I do, however, enjoy the Bashere intro and look forward to his little interactions. They make more sense to me as a foil to Rand than Asmo ever did.

When I read the Rand announcement of amnesty, I was thinking that here we find a couple of guys to do the linking for the final battle, and then we grab some AS and we are almost done with this puppy. Little did I

The one thing that bothers me is at this pace, we will never be ready for the new book come Nov, but I don't want to get too far ahead because I am enjoying my (way too many number of times) reread, since I have gone thru the process with every new book for the last 6 books. It's a good thing I read very fast.
Antoni Ivanov
112. tonka
From RJ blog that's interesting:

He saw no reason to start jumping about. He thought he was maneuvering Rand into a series of traps, one of which he was sure would work. He did not expect Rand to simply leap into the same room with him. He did not expect Rand to know that he could Travel to somewhere in sight of himself without knowing the ground. So what he had expected to be a chess game where he knew the positions of all the pieces and Rand did not suddenly turned into a close-quarters slugging match. Surprise!


So I just thought of something. How does Moggy know that Rand is about to attack. (I know I know - dues ex machina etc) -- but seriously. She's in Salidar. How does she know exactly what Rand is planning?

Everyone of the Forsaken knew about that attack.Rahvin was prepared putting layers of traps , that's the reason Lanfear decided to visit Hadnan Kadere.
Maiane Bakroeva
113. Isilel
Greyhawk @101

I quite frankly would have liked to have seen Morgase remain as a minor/major supporting player as the Queen.

Ditto. I have to say that I really liked Morgase up to that point - when she refused to succumb to paranoia and Elaida's blandishments and when she, for all practical purposes a normal person, threw off Forsaken Compulsion.
And all the while afterwards I expected her to do something important enough to justify her survival - only to get more and more frustrated by her pointless wanderings and ever greater humiliations.

And yes, I do dislike the notion that the only allied rulers Rand can rely on or meaningfully interact with are his young childhood cronies and love interests.

Not to mention that Elayne was occupied with other things anyway and her bid for the throne storyline turned out to be deadly boring.
Not that I don't like cut-throat political intrigue normally, but this just wasn't written very well, IMHO.

Who killed Asmo - I am also for Taim. If Asmo hasn't been removed, he'd have been in charge of the Asha'man and moreover he'd have been able to expose Taim as a Forsaken-taught channeler rather than a wilder he claims to be. The timing of Asmo's death and Taim's appearance if far too fortuitous. And Asmo may have had dealing with Taim before.

Re: Asha'man, I think that it will yet have a partly disastrous effect. Not only did Taim obviously build a cadre of Dreadlords, not only are the people who started to channel before the Cleansing still likely to go mad at some point, but many men were lured to enroll by promises of glory and riches.
The Tower has many faults, but at least it trains people not to use OP for personal gain (and apart from the DFs is largely successful at it). The BT does nothing of the kind, fosters arrogance to even greater degree and has no compunctions about using OP in any way. Where do all the rich trappings of senior Asha'man come from? Extortion, I bet, or worse.

Oh, and with BT on her doorstep really makes Elayne's tedious gaining of the throne a completely Phyrric victory. But for Evil moving in ineffable ways she should have been dead/enslaved to the Shadow and her ter'angreal cache stolen.
John Massey
114. subwoofer
I think that the bottom line is Asmo was in the way for RJ. Like Mo, Asmo is one of the Forsaken floating around in disguise. How long that could of gone on for who knows, but a day of reckoning would of come about and the big question of "why are you harboring pond scum?" And "does that mean you wear black underwear as well?" Come to my mind so RJ needed to exit Asmo and intro a better series of characters- enter Bashere and Taim... and LTT the crazy Yoda guiding Rand from within.

I dunno, to me it is not important who killed Asmo, it was just obvious that he was in the way plot wise and this was an easy off. It was a two fer. Asmo can only be written in so much playing dreary music and giving Rand lame lessons and following him around and one of the Forsaken dies. Win-win as far as I am concerned.

James Jones
115. jamesedjones
Re: Someone close to him will betray Rand

Can't be Bashere. Min already had a viewing that Rand can't afford to lose him and Dobraine. Those two are ultra-kool light-side kats.

Let's not forget the most likely suspect. He has a DF/BA Aes Sedai - who swore to him - that he just thinks is an overzealous superfan. Of course, the swearing is a fiction, but it's one that Rand believes. Elza is prolly the one to betray him.

Almost as likely is, as has been mentioned, Taim.

On the other hand, I really like the Cadsuane idea. We still don't know what she has to teach him, but wouldn't it be important to know that 13&13 can turn you to the shadow? Smackings for all of the SGs! I know it's not exactly pillow talk, so I'll excuse Elayne. But Nyn and Egghead have both had plenty of time to just give Rand a quick heads up. Ya know, like, 'Hey, by the way...' Or even, 'Sit down, shut up, and listen for a sec...'

Damn the unbreakable no sharing important information rules.
116. birgit
One bit of evidence that is key is who would recognize him (Asmo)? Lanfear and Asmo were disguised, Lanfear as the fat chick, and Asmo as Jasin.

Is Asmo as Natael really disguised apart from wearing a gleeman cloak? People in this age don't know what the Forsaken looked like (except Rand/LTT). "Anath" isn't disguised, so Rand immediately recognizes her. Lanfear is disguised because the knows Rand would recognize her.
Marcus W
117. toryx
birgit @ 116:

I've been wondering that too. People keep talking about Asmodean being disguised, but is he really? I don't think there's ever been a passage that outright states he has changed his appearance. It's assumed, but why? No one living aside from a Forsaken is going to know what he looks like.

There's also little point in hiding who he is in Rand's party from the other Forsaken. They know he's there, and traveling as a gleeman isn't all that different from being a bard, particularly given his tastes for expensive clothes and the way he carries around the harp.

As I recall, even the Darkhounds were able to find him in Rhuidian once.
jane reynolds
118. janie
Totally agree, Leigh. Don't care who killed him, but it comes down to Lanfear or Graendal, and I'm not convinced either way. I think on first reading, I assumed it was Lanfear, and never gave it another thought, until I stumbled upon the FAQ and read all the crazy theories. But I really don't care. That being said ...

For those saying Lanfear would have gone after someone else, I agree, if she made a conscious choice, but she was pretty crazy-angry, even for Lanfear, when she fell through the doorway. Maybe she just wasn't that careful about what she was ranting about, and said something about Asmo and how she should have killed him ages ago, and someone said Done. Or I like the theory posited by Tabernerus at 58, too.

I've never taken much notice of the cover art - my first 7 books look like this:

and the last two look much like this:
KOD was the only book I had to wait for, and I have to admit that by the time I got this far (or really, any amount of far) into the series, the cover art was not something I wasted time looking at when I could be reading! I still dislike my copies of TPOD and WH for their crappy covers, though. I'd like to have them all in the same edition as the first half of the series.

I just had to stop for a moment when I realised that 7 books is actually going to be half.

Other than that, yay for Bashere, meh for Morgase, and yay for LOC!
Tess Laird
119. thewindrose
I don't think Asmo was disguised, iirc when Rand was Skimming to Rhuidian he was startled to see Natael and realized it was Asmo. Also, it would be hard to keep up a disguise with his shield and how often people come in contact with him.
Sam Mickel
120. Samadai
*shaking fist at thewindrose*

that is what I was going to say
jane reynolds
121. janie
Turns out I hadn't refreshed the page for ~4 hours. Oops. Sorry about the rehashing of stuff.

Latecomer @58
Good point about Moiraine and Lanfear being separated in Finnland. Never really thought about it before, but it would provide a plausible explanation as to why Lanfear didn't kill Mo in rage on the other side. Although, if Mo did hang on to the angreal ... I guess we'll have to RAFO.

jej @115
Thanks for clearing that up. I really didn't want Bashere to be evil.

thewindrose @119
I agree. I think Asmo's surprise at seeing his killer is probably more telling than who would recognise him.
Marcus W
122. toryx
thewindrose @ 119:

Also, it would be hard to keep up a disguise with his shield and how often people come in contact with him.

I thought that at first too, but then I remembered Moghedian. Still, I don't think Asmodean's been wearing a disguise all this time.
Tess Laird
123. thewindrose
Also, there is no body(no dead Asmo)found, or Rand would have been notified about his favorite gleeman/bard being offed. Instead Rand just thinks he took off.
And Asmo does recognize his killer. Points for Slayer or Lanfear in my book.
For instance, if Slayer shows up to your door with out an invitation from you, you can be pretty sure that he is there to kill you.
As I said I think it is either Slayer or Lanfear. If Slayer, I think the DO sent him. In his little speech he thinks about how the 'betrayer' is dead - and how he will never bring him back, sorry I don't have the book here at work.
Asmo is very scared of Lanfear, and he thinks she is dead, so that would be a surprise to see her, and also sure knowledge that she is there to kill him.
Tess Laird
124. thewindrose
I love this line from Leigh:
"in which there should be some decent wine – BUT THERE ISN’T. Dun!"
Tess Laird
125. thewindrose
@120 - err, great minds think alike?

I don't think you have chimed in on 'who done it'?
Can you tell I am at work:)
126. cps2195
I have a couple of problems with the slayer idea.

First, I don't think we know much about him at this point in the story. All we know is that he dislikes wolves, can enter the dreamworld in the body and was trying to destroy the two rivers. I don't think we learn he's an assasin for the shadow for a few more books. How can it be "obvious" when we have very little knowledge of the character?

How did he know Asmo would open that door at that time? Was he stalking him throughout the palace by jumping in and out of the dream world? He would have to have been close and right when Asmo went to open the door he would have needed to step in Telaranrhoid and step out into the closet. I don't think we get a whole lot of info (could be wrong) about how the process works for nonchannelers.

In regards to Lanfear:

I thought RJ said something about the Finns not having the power to let people out of Finnland and pul them back in. If Lanfear wished to be able to kill Asmo it seems they wouldn't have the power to take her back after the wish was fulfilled. The really question is was she already dead and ressurected as Cyndane? And if so how did she know where to be?

To me it seems we need someone with some experince with seeing the future. Someone who had to know he'd be in that spot at that exact time. It doesn't seem like foretelling because of the cryptic nature of that skill. Nor does it seem like dreaming for the same reason mentioned above. For me that leaves the rings in Rhuiden. We already know that it can show an exact time and place to be in order to accomplish a task that will prevent a future disaster. We can assume that Moiraine learned who Asmo was during her trip through the rings. What's to say another person who passed through the rings didn't learn it as well. Maybe they saw Rand putting to much trust in Asmo as time passing (almost forgetting that he was forsaken) and at a crucial moment having Asmo betray him in order to protect himself. All the evidence suggests Asmo is a coward so this wouldn't surprise me at all.

My best guess is Aviendha.
John Massey
127. subwoofer
We could go with Avi... but at some point she would of slapped Rand upside the head for being in league with Satan.

And whaddaya mean we have no good wine? I have a nice box of wine right here- I'm cracking the tetra pak as we speak...
128. MSedai
You know, I never really worried about who killed Asmo until I discovered the online community, and found out that it drove some people crazy. I have never been able to formulate a strong opinion on the topic, but I really enjoy reading all the theories, and I have especially enjoyed some of the jokes about it in these comment sections. I have a feeling that the actual answer is going to piss off anybody with a strong feeling about this topic. That said, I would rather have a lame answer than endless theorizing even after the series is "complete."

@cps: Why Aviendha? I'm curious for your reasoning.
Sam Mickel
129. Samadai

Great minds do think alike because I also am at work. don't tell the boss.

I never knew there was a great debate over who killed Asmodean until a few years ago when I found the FAQ. I always since LoC assumed Graendal did it because of her straight out telling Sammael( I think) that Asmodean was dead, when the other forsakens pov showed him only as missing
Alice Arneson
130. Wetlandernw
If Asmo wasn't disguised, why didn't Rand/LTT recognize him while he was with the peddlers,instead of waiting until he actually saw him Skimming to Rhuidean? IIRC, up to that point Rand thought Kadere was Asmo. Unless, of course, LTT didn't know what Asmo looked like during the AOL.
Tess Laird
131. thewindrose
subwoofer - a nice box of wine - hahaha
There it is folks - subwoofer did it. Asmo asked for a decent bottle of wine, sub offered him the box of wine, Asmo said what the heck is this, and subwoofer knocked him upside the head - it was a killing blow. Sub then tied him onto Bela's back, swatted her rump and off she went getting rid of that snobby bard.
Tess Laird
132. thewindrose
Wetlander, was LTT talking to Rand at that time? I don't remember.
Jason Deshaies
133. darxbane
I'm really late to this party, and don't want to lose my train of thought so I skipped most of the posts, so I apologize if I repeat anything.

First - It is almost certainly impossible for Lanfear to have been reincarnated before doing this. If she did do it, she was her original self. To be killed, reincarnated, and travel back to Caemlyn to kill Asmodean in just a few hours? She wouldn't have used the term "held" if it was only for a few minutes.
As for why she would wish for Asmo's death; how soon we forget that Mat's wishes were all done out of ignorance. The finn's are similar in their trickery to Djinn's (did I just find a parallel?). All Lanfear had to do was mutter under her breath that she wanted Asmo dead and the Finn's could have been like "Done".
Why I don't think she did it? She would not have bothered to balefire him or conceal the body. She would have torn him apart. Other than that, I always assumed that "obvious" was something that came to you without thinking about it, and the first thing I thought of when he was killed was "Lanfear came back for him".

Now, even though I lean towards the Lanfear camp, I think the WOTFAQ dismisses Sammael too quickly. His POV after Graendal leaves eludes that he was manipulating her the entire time. When you add this to the "Servant" theory, Sammael becomes likely. Also, several sections of the story mention that men are much less sensitive to detecting the power than women are. They must be much closer to detect channeling. Two things prevent me from being certain of this, though. First, Sammael's character, as described, does not handle things personnally. He may have made an exception for Asmo, but I doubt it. Second, and most importantly, since it has been confirmed that Brandon Sanderson will be revealing the killer in the upcoming books, we must assume that the killer is someone who is still alive. Unless Samy told someone, the secret died with him in Shadar Logoth.
Alice Arneson
134. Wetlandernw
The only serious curiosity I've had about killing Asmo is, how did the killer know he would open that "small door"? To me that makes it much more likely that he was killed because he surprised someone who wasn't supposed to be there, than that someone was seriously planning to off him when no one was looking. Also makes more sense of the "no body" thing - if you weren't supposed to be there in the first place, you wouldn't want to leave any evidence that you'd been there either. (Of course, a burst of balefire could have that effect in any case, but it would have to be carefully controlled so that it didn't erase him too far back and confuse anyone. If you're "not there," you don't want anyone asking questions, after all.)

No theories, just questions of logic...
Sam Mickel
135. Samadai

I am pretty sure,although I could be wrong, that LTT was not quite yet in Rands head. It isn't until LoC that Rand can feel him there. even though he has heard him speak.
Vincent Lane
136. Aegnor
I don't think it was Aviendha. If he would have ran into Aviendha, he wouldn't have reacted with suprise or fear like he does.
Richard Fife
137. R.Fife
Holy crap I'm not dead!

Anywho, on the "Dead in TAR means no resurrection" thing, I'll point out Ishy died in TDR in TAR, then Rand and the body went back to the real Stone. Also, I'm more or less convinced myself that The Green Man's Grove was in TAR also, since it phyiscally moved around all over the place. Finnland is pretty wonky, so it could likely be related to TAR after a fashion as well, therefore placing all 4 of our recycled Forsaken in TAR when they died, and also why the DO is bitching about Balefire stopping him from recycling Rahvin, and not about where he died.

On the comment about "Forsaken don't kill forsaken," oh yeah they will. Sammael almost kills Lanfear and Graendal at the beginning of this book, but Rahvin stopped him, and there are numerous comments that the DO encourages intra-office killing so that he can be sure that only the strong survive to serve him.

My vote, btw: Graendal. But I can't say I'm overly burning for it. I also recall Harriet commenting at JordanCon that she and RJ were absolutely surprised by how rabid the fandom got over the Asmo killer. My question is, why did no one care as much about who killed the two Black Sisters at the start of TSR? I mean, they died just as mysteriously, and the best shadow-assassin at the time, a Gray Man, was discounted as the likely culprit. Yes, I know we have since been told it was Slayer, but still, that was not until WH, for Light's sake. Still, no one cared. Funny, isn't it?
Jason Deshaies
138. darxbane
Unless.....Let's say it was someone close to Rand, like Aviendha or even someone that we haven't thought about. If Asmo stumbled into a DF meeting of some kind, a person who had so closely infiltrated Rand's confidence would definitely kill Asmo and cover it up. The only question is, how could any one be more or less likely than the other? Man, if work were half as fun as speculating on Wot forums I'd have my own company by now.
Marcus W
139. toryx
Wetlander @130:

LTT hadn't been that present yet when Asmodean and Lanfear joined the wagons. It was only after Asmodean began teaching Rand that the latter began to have these memories of the Forsaken bubble up in his mind. I think it's too early for him to have known Asmodean from anyone else.

Lanfear disguised herself because she'd already shown herself in her full guise and in one other similar one. I imagine she told Asmodean he had nothing to fear...after all Lews Therin was dead and Rand remembered nothing.

R.Fife @ 137:

No one really cares that much about the Black Sisters. One was already stilled and neither of them had much of an impact on the readers. It'd have been far different if Liandrin had been murdered mysteriously at the beginning but otherwise there was nothing special about those two except that they're bad guys.

Asmodean, however, we'd gotten to know. He'd also been important to Rand in a way that the BA women hadn't. Readers were far more invested in him.

I suspect that Harriet and RJ didn't realize that people would actually like Asmodean, so when they killed him off it wasn't a big deal to them. When it became such a big deal, RJ wasn't prepared and tossed off that "It's obvious" comment which made it even worse.
140. cps2195

I think Avi learned Natael's true identity in the rings. We know she learned she would fall in love with Rand there and if her life was tied with his it's safe to assume that many of her possible futures were heavily linked to Rand. I think she saw a future where she learned he was Asmodean. If Moiraine can learn this in the rings I think the woman who will be one of his wives would have learned it as well. Most of Avi's interactions with Natael since her passage through the rings displays a certain level of contempt. If she knew who he was but couldn't say or do anything about it her attitude seems perfectly in character of how she would respond.

So if we assume Avi knows who he is the question beomes why does she not rat him out or kill him right away? Once again the rings probably showed her futures where she did just that and both actions had very bad results. If she killed him right away he probably wouldn't have the knowledge necessary to defeat the other foresaken so he winds up dead. If she rats him out chances are the Aiel splinter more and don't follow him which would results once again in Rand's death.

So why did she kill him when she did? I think she saw futures where Rand was betrayed by Asmo. Either out of fear, compulsion or a promise of a return to his full power and standing. Once Cyndane is back in the picture under Moridan's control he could have forced her to use him. Like I said before Asmo is a coward and self preservation comes first. He would have turned if it benefitted him. So if Asmo sits back and turns when Rand is in danger (say when the Ashaman who was really one of the foresaken...sorry drawing a blank on both names) Rand would end up dead.

So maybe the only futre she saw where Rand survived was the one where she was in that closet at that time and could kill Asmo and make it appear that he ran away.

Avi has alot of reasons to see Rand live. Without him the Aiel would be destroyed, The DO will win the last battle and ;ast but not least she has major Toh to Elayne.
Roger Powell
141. forkroot
Welcome back. We were about ready to put out an APB for you. I also like your T'AR theory about DO resurrections.

Nice analysis on why Slayer is a questionable choice. But I gotta disagree on Avienda. Avi and Mat were in the courtyard with Asmo when he got up and left (because they were ignoring his music) and went looking for the wine. Highly unlikely that Avi would have raced ahead and hid in the closet.

You nailed it on the surprise factor. That's why Graendal makes so much sense ... we know that she and Sammy were plotting with Rahvin to surprise Rand. It seems like she and Sammy betrayed Rahvin by not coming to his aid. I suspect she was hanging around trying to gather a little more info before gatewaying out of there. Remember also that Rand might be able to detect her weave so she would likely be very careful about when to check out.
142. cps2195
Aegnor @136:

What if Avi was veiled? Asmo would know what that meant.

Forkroot@141: I agree that is the problem. If it wasn't for that there would be no doubt in my mind she killed him.

One thing to keep in mind though is that we don't get an accurate portrayl of the passage of time between when he leaves and when he finds the wine. Maybe she knew a quicker way. Also if he saw her there after seeing her in the courtyard he would be surprised to see her
Tess Laird
143. thewindrose
I think Avi has too many PoV's after this where at some point she would have thought - yeah I got rid of that filthy forsaken. She would have surely told her first sister about it as well.
Vincent Lane
144. Aegnor

The reaction still doesn't fit, even if she was veiled. His reaction definitely indicates suprise at seeing someone he is shocked to see there. He said “You? No!”. If it were just the "No!" portion of it, then it might be plausable. But the "You?" clearly indicates shock at the person being there. He wouldn't have been shocked at seeing Aviendha there.

I find it the Aviendha theory to be very unlikely.
Galen Brinn
145. GatheringStorm
And I'm back, again. Sorry for the absences but work has kept me from doing productive stuff, like reading this and posting...

I fall in the camp of it-can't-be-Lanfear, but I'm not totally sold on Graendal. That being said, I'm pretty sure that Brandon has said we'd get "some clarification" on this subject.

Bashere as DF? It's possible: I finished re-reading KoD not long ago and at the manor house, Min tells Rand that there is something "dark" around Bashere but she doesn't know what it means. I also recall that when he found out someone had rifled through his tent he sent letters off to unknown persons in a bit of a panic (not that this latter piece necessarily means anything, either).

I don't recall a viewing where she told him that he had to keep Bashere and Dobraine. I do know she said Rand had to keep Perrin close for two separate events or he would be in trouble. The first one was the kidnapping. The second one hasn't come up yet...

Taim as DF? 99.99% sure he is.
146. alreadymadwithapathy
You people who claim not to care who killed Asmodean are lying liars who lie.

And you people who are adding more fuel to the biggest annoyance in all of WoT (like Jason) are assholes.
Casey Sanders
147. CSanders
Ok. I have refrained for years on correcting a common misconception about where Asmo was killed. I am doing so now to shed further doubt that Bashere was the murderer and to get this fact straight. Here. I'll provide the necessary passage from Leigh's recap above:

He pulled open a small door, intending to find his way to the pantry. There should be some decent wine. One step, and he stopped, the blood draining from his face.

“You? No!” The word still hung in the air when death took him.

Looking at the comments already made, I feel the need to correct everyone and say that Asmo was NOT killed in the pantry. He was trying to find his way to the pantry but never made it there. This means that you can't automatically assume that since Bashere had some wine with him when he met Rand, that he had just been in the pantry offing Asmo in the process. In fact, a "small door" in a palace like Caemlyn would have likely been either a linen/storage closet or a servants passage.

Now, you can make of that what you will. I just needed to get that off my chest. I've been following the forums for a long time and, usually, we get the facts straight. But in this instance, we haven't.

As for who I feel offed the bard, as my earlier post states, I don't really care. If I had to vote, it would be Granny. But, if I had my druthers, it would be Bela's daughter. :)
Casey Sanders
148. CSanders
@146 alreadymadwithapathy

Really, I don't care. Asmo meant nothing to me. He had served his usefulness and needed to move on. RJ couldn't just let him go so he offed him. Period. I was more concerned over who killed Adeleas than I was ever concerned about the greatest non-mystery of WoT.
Hugh Arai
149. HArai
Abe@80: I think your analysis of motive is reasonable. The main problem with Lan being the killer (aside from the travel logistics, which I haven't worked out) would be that as Moiraine goes through the doorway, he's compelled to beeline for Myrelle. Side trips to the palace seem unlikely to be in the mix to me.

cps2195@142: Thoughts on why Aviendha would have to ensure Rand doesn't know what happened to Asmodean? What I mean is, Moiraine couldn't explain her vision because she worried Rand might try to save her. Aviendha can't tell Rand she killed Asmodean and her reasons because...?
I know the main characters don't always talk but I still think (hope?)she'd mention it to someone.
150. Thinker
Just to go on record so I can gloat if I'm right.

Lanfear via Slayer.

He is welcome at the Tower of Ghenji, where Lanfear is. She has motive, and means (via Slayer) and its just clever. Plus she knows he can handle a shielded Asmo. Plus it is "obvious" because we know where Lanfear is, and becomes more "obvious" later when we find out that she did not die right after going through the doorway. Plus its Slayer's job to slay.

And Grandeal is just so boring :)
151. kab1
I would have to agree that it was not Aviendha and windrose @143 and Aegnor @144 said it best.

As far as the two black sisters go, I didn't even remember that part! But I was intrigued by who killed Adeleas. I have some comments on this but will save it till get there (which I guess will be a while!)

As far as Morgase goes, I'd agree with posters above who said they would have liked it if she had remained as Queen. I loved the part when she threw off Rhavin's complusion, I was impressed with her strength.

But then she got pretty whinny in the Fortress of Light and I didn't how she treated Breann. Granted the woman wasn't all that nice to her either, but I didn't like the way Morgase looked down on her and pulled her "I'm the queen " haughtiness. and her reactions to Tallanvor are, well, ugh.

All in all, I don't really like her plot arc and her wanderings about, maybe I would have liked them better if I didn't think Morgase was being irritating most of the time. However, like Faile, she makes a pretty nice recovery when held by the Shaido, I find I like her again and am looking forward to her reunion with Galad.
Galen Brinn
152. GatheringStorm
Interesting theory, Thinker and in general, I like it. However, when we covered the Perrin/Slayer chase back in TSR, someone posited that maybe Slayer didn't go into the tower at all. Knowing him, he likely made it look like he went into it in an attempt to trick Perrin into actually going in and thereby trapping Perrin.

Just something to chew on...
153. cps2195
actually Avi only has 3 pov's in the whole series.

one in LOC
one in ACOS
One in POD (whole first chapter)

in fact for a central figure her pov's a seriously lacking. The only other central character with less pov's is Lan.
154. kab1
@ 153 yes but they are all after Asmo's death.

Does Lan ever have a POV? I can't think of one off the top of my head, but there must be a couple?

Before we move onto the next book (yay tomorrow!), any thoughts on why this book called the Fires of Heaven? Most of the other titles I can think of obvious references to, but this one I can't figure out. Is there a prophesy/viewing somewhere? If this was discussed in an earlier post, I apologize, I didn't read all the the beginning posts of tFoH.
155. RobMRobM
Keep in mind that original plan was going to bring Rand to Sammael's castle, and Rahvin, Lanfear and Graendel were going to show up. link with Sammy, and kick Rand's butt. Presumably, Sammeal would have wards set up to warn him of Rand's approach, would have some way to tell his compatriots, and they would travel to Linkfest.

No doubt there was a similar back up plan in place if he unexpectedly tackled Rahvin. However, to Rahvin's shock, Rand showed up outside the climbing wall, a place he knew well, and was able to channel directly into the throne room - preventing the Sammy and Graendel from getting there in time to link and save him. (Lanfear was already out of commission.)

So my guess is that Granny and Sammy showed up late (and could be the two servants, but query why they wouldn't have linked and taken a pot shot at him as he passed or followed behind); Sammy, given his refusal to engage unless he had an overwhelming advantage, ran back to Illium; Granny, who is quite brave, elected to stay around and see what she could learn about Rand and his folk; she saw Asmo coming and hid in the passageway to avoid premature notice and alarm; and he had the bad luck to head into her hallway and got bf'ed.

Granny than traveled to DO and passed along the news re Rahvin and Asmo, so the DO was informed when Dem showed up the next day. Ta da!!

156. MSedai
@alreadymad: Yes. We all lie; we all want to know. But seriously, I'm new to the debate, and it's already old. "It's obvious" my ass.

@cps: Haha! that's because they are both so badass, we don't actually need to know what they are thinking!
Roger Powell
157. forkroot
Can't be Bashere. Min already had a viewing that Rand can't afford to lose him and Dobraine. Those two are ultra-kool light-side kats.
I don't recall that viewing, and a quick check of Encyclopedia-WOT turns up nothing. Can you give a reference?

Lan has no POVs in the main series; however he has quite a few in New Spring. Due to those, we are 100% sure he is not a DF.

Don't know if it's planned, but it would be nice for Brandon Sanderson to give Lan some POV time as he marches across the Borderlands gathering followers.
158. cps2195
Kabi@154 said:

@ 153 yes but they are all after Asmo's death.

so after Asmo's death we also get Graendal pov's slayer pov's and Cyndane/Lanfear pov's. Since these three seem to be the lead suspects are they eliminated as well because they didn't think about it in their pov's?
James Jones
159. jamesedjones
157 forkroot

It's in COT, A Strengthening Storm. Here is a link to the wotmania site with the info.
James Jones
160. jamesedjones
157 forkroot

Or maybe this one. Just do a ctrl-f for Davram Bashere. :)
Dan Sparks
161. RedHanded
I remember not really caring about who killed Asmodean but the more I think about the problem it bugs the shit out of me. My only questions really are...was he killed in the pantry? Like did he find the pantry or was he in a hallway or what. Also if he was in the pantry, why the hell is some forsaken-killer hanging out in there? I mean really were they both just thirsty and Asmo's killer was like, well fuck you I got here first, there's not enough wine for both of us...I hope you are thirsty for Balefire or what have you! It just doesn't make sense why this person was in a pantry to me. Isn't there other shit you should be doing besides lurking in pantries? I don't know but it bugs me.
Alice Arneson
162. Wetlandernw
CSanders @147 Yeah, that's all part of the "surprise factor" business for me. Asmo was looking for the pantry, so he was opening doors that looked liked they might lead to servant's passages, which would hopefully lead to the kitchens and cellars. No, it clearly was NOT a pantry inside that door. Like a palace would have a little pantry full of wine off some random corridor...! Bashere with the wine is totally unrelated, because Asmo never found any wine and was probably nowhere near the wine cellars when he died.

RobMRobM @155 That's pretty much my assumption. I'm not 100% (if only because I'm not rabid enough on the issue), but it seems more plausible than most of the other theories.
John Massey
163. subwoofer
@thewindrose *LOL*

@RFife- ahhhh- good times- Had a theory, and I don't have the books in front of me but I am sure Asmo saw a yellow shawl before he bit it. ;)
Nice to have you back... as long as you swear on a stack of bibles to never RickRoll again...
164. BestIdeaEver
Somebody should make some lockbox where we all write down our theories and put them inside (maybe a virtual lockbox would be easier) and then we can go back after we find out the truth and see who was right (with proof!) and laugh at how wrong most of us will be.

...Although personally I think that a MUCH more interesting debate would be whether we think Rand is going to have to die at Tarmon Gaidin, or if its going to be some "prophesy is hard to interpret" thing (the scene in Pirates of the Carribean gave me hope). Thoughts on that one?
Joseph Daly
165. Joed1414
I think "his blood on the rocks of shayol ghul" means that One or both of those babes Elayne is carrying is going to be kidnapped and taken there. Rand is gonna go into such a rage when he finds out that he'll go in with guns blazing to the rescue.
Sam Mickel
166. Samadai

I believe that Elayne is at the most 3 or 4 months pregnant, and maybe only 1 to 2 months, there is little chance that she will have the babies before TG
Joseph Daly
167. Joed1414
What if she has them At TG? Three more books right could be 6 months. In the last book She was def showing.
Roger Powell
168. forkroot
You @#$%^&! You Rick-rolled me! Arrrgh... can't believe I fell for it. Did R.Fife coming back make you think of that?

OK .. so the second link was real:
“And there’s something…dark…in the images I saw around Lord Davram. If he turns against you, or dies…I heard one of the soldiers say Lord Dobraine might die. Losing one of them would be a blow. Lose all three, and it might take you a year to recover.”

-Crossroads of Twilight, A Strengthening Storm
The actual quote is somewhat different from your summary. Notice that Min even says "If he turns against you" ... hmmm... suspicious.

Too bad, I really like Bashere, but all you are doing is convincing me more and more that he will be the big betrayer.

Taim doesn't count - he's not that close to Rand. Logain has already told Rand that Taim has his own agenda.
169. LindaL
I wasn’t going to do this but:
As of KOD we know that Taim is Moridin because of “his eyes burned like fire” comment from Logain to Rand. So my thought is that Moridin assumed Taim’s identity and timed his initial meeting with Rand so that Bashere could confirm his identity. For the deception to work, Asmo could not be there to expose him. I’m assuming that Asmo had met Moridin prior to the leaving for the waste.
Please feel free to tell me what an idiot I am?
Kurt Lorey
170. Shimrod
The one thing Bashere might have been doing with the wine and grand repartee was distracting Rand from sensing channeling nearby.

@163 subwoofer.

Impossible. "R.Fife" is now synonymous with "Rickroller" on this website.
Joseph Daly
171. Joed1414
@168:So if Bashere is the big Betrayer and a darkfriend is Faile a Darkfriend? I've always thought she acted a little weird around Lord Luc in TSR.She annoys me for some reason. Its like reading about a fake person with her. Like shes acting no matter whats going on. Its also strange she doesn't get pregnant with all the whoopie her and Perrin were having before she was captured. Perhaps she is drinking that tea they always talk about to not concieve because she plans on killing him. I think she tries and Berelain stops her. Perrin and Berelain most likely will be together I think.
Sam Mickel
172. Samadai
Taim is not Moridin.
his quote was "he was just burning to know where you are" or something very close to that.
Roger Powell
173. forkroot
We don't call people "idiots" in this forum. We do refer to them as "you @#$%^&" when they Rickroll us (you know who you are).

We do politely (and occasionally impolitely) disagree on stuff.

I politely disagree that Taim is Moridin. Firstly, their descriptions are different enough that Moridin would have to be disguising himself as Taim -- at which point he shouldn't be worried about Asmo recognizing him (assuming that Asmo would have ever met him.)

Rain meets Moridin during his battle with Sammy in Shadar Logoth, another reason that Taim would have to be a disguise. Then what would he do about the saa in his eyes? Could he disguise those too?
174. BestIdeaEver

I'm totally thinking its gonna be something backward and unexpected like that. Yours is really interesting idea I never thought of.

I also realized though that I should clarify the debate I proposed. Will Rand die at TG AND if he lived would it make the ending better or worse? ie, SHOULD he die at TG???

(I personally think no on both accounts, I like happy endings)
Joseph Daly
175. Joed1414
I don't think he dies. I think they turn him to the shadow and everyone thinks he's dead. All the talk about being able to turn someone to the shadow makes me think its going to happen eventually to someone. If not Rand perhaps Egwene in the next book. Most of the AS in the tower are Black I think.
176. kab1
@158 I think that basically what wetlandernw meant and what someone else had mentioned is that during one of her (Avi) points of view, she would have thought about the incident. or told her first sister. but then again maybe not, as I think that Avi could have killed him and dismissed it as unimportant if she felt she had to do it (as he was a forsaken), and I certainly don't think she would have felt remorse.

You pointed out that she since she only had 3 povs that it wasn't a lot and therefore we didn't get her thoughts on this issue. I just was pointing out that they all came after the incident so any of them could have been a reveal. She does reveal that the rings showed her she would love rand.

I do think it might have been mentioned in her thoughts at some point since Avi's povs are a bit longer than those of Lanfear (I think Lanfear only has one short one at the cleansing, but I could be totally wrong on that)

either way I don't think she did it!
177. Shadow_Jak
This I do foretell...
Taim Did it.

Wait. Can I foretell after the fact?
178. Longtimefan
Narg Smart, Narg kill Asmodean.

How? Quite simple. Narg allegedly died at the Al'Thor farm which is known to be a good distance from the center of town in Two Rivers. How can we be certain that an inexperienced lad with a sword dealt a deadly blow? Maybe Narg smart enough to play dead twice. After things calm down at the farm but heat up in town Narg hobbles off into the woods to re-cooperate. When the Trollcs come back to attack the Two Rivers Narg joins in since there are thousands of them and he can just blend in. Narg hangs back and realizes from the back of the invasion that things are not going well and runs off into the woods again. Later he roams the country side trying to make his way back to the blight and gets lost ending up near Camelyn. By this time Ravin has a hold of the city and Narg finds out there are Trollocs there. He joins them and when Rand attacks he is in the horde that descend on Mat. Narg smart. Narg see time shift after balefire and runs back into castle to hide. Narg hides in a small room which could be mistaken for a pantry.
Asmodean makes that mistake looking for wine and upon seeing Narg exclaims "YOU! NO!" as Narg stabs first and asks questions later.

Realizing he failed to follow the final command of a Forsaken "NO" as in "don't stab me" he takes the body and eats it and runs away into the night.

Narg is now wandering on the Carnlain grassland hiding from the Dark One and the other Forsaken in this remote and unsettled land.

Mat will come across him on the way to the Tower of Genji and Narg will confess in an attempt to get closer to Mat before Mat kills him. Probably while trying to avoid him.
Anthony Pero
179. anthonypero

Just because the DO doesn't know everything, doesn't mean he doesn't know anything.

Just because he's not omniscient doesn't mean he doesn't have ways of tracking his Chosen outside of hearing about it from other Chosen, Asmodean's Black Tether been severed notwithstanding.

Also, i just re-read the LoC Prolouge, and it does NOT say that the DO knew Asmodean was dead, here's the quote:


You can certainly read it is saying the DO knew Asmo was offed, but that is not explicit, and therefore open to interpretation. When I read this, it says one of two things: the DO was refering to Asmodean betraying him, and wanting him to die the final death, OR the DO ordered Asmo offed.
Tess Laird
180. thewindrose
And... who would the DO choose to off Asmo -
Slayer who takes and kills him on the way back to T'a'R:)
181. Valan
And now i am ready for Lord of Chaos, which is (maybe) my favorite book in the series. I am terribly partial to Winter's Heart and the Shadow Rising as well though.

As for who killed Asmo, I am going with Mazrim Taim, I hope Sanderson writes some great POVs for him in aGS. His oh-so-causual mention that he's in Andor by Bashere, in the scene immediately prior to his death points to the obviosity. Lanfear would be too easy to guess, and RJ said that most people get it wrong. So........ Taim. How that squares with how and where he died? No idea.

And since I think that its probably freakin Lanfear.

I can't wait for the Finn chapters, and I have this horrible feeling that we won't get there until the end and I'll have to wait on another book for the rescue of Moraine. Damn WoT cliff-hangers. I was seriously pissed at the end of aCoS and the total lack of Mat in aPoD (which was the first book I had to wait for). But I love it anyway. In fact I can't wait until after the last book comes out and I read it, so I can read the enitire series again and see ALL of the foreshadowing clearly.
182. Renegade248
Me. I think it is obvious that Graendal did it.

To me Taim is not obvious for the fact that we did not meet him on screen yet and only assumed he was a false dragon, and did not know at the time that he could possibly be a DF or even a dreadlord.

To me, to have it stated that Rahvin, Sammael and Greandal in cahoots to ambush Rand means that the two most obvious is Sammael and Graendal. I believe Sammael was still waiting in Illian for Rand to show up, and Rahvin and Graendal were gonna show up after the battle started in Illian. Therefor, Graendal was with Rahvin when Rand attacked, and went into hiding to see what would happen. So she was still there when Asmo went looking for some wine and killed him as she knew from Lanfear that supposedly he went back to the light and was helping Rand.

I also believe that it is not Lanfear or Moirraine as I believe there is no way back from finnland if the door you just went through is melted. :)

So there are my 2 cents. We will all see when we RAFO in TGS, as I believe it has been hinted that that is the book in which this mystery will be revealed.
James Jones
183. jamesedjones
178 Longtimefan

Narg not smart. Narg frickin brilliant!
Julian Augustus
184. Alisonwonderland

And yes, I do dislike the notion that the only allied rulers Rand can rely on or meaningfully interact with are his young childhood cronies and love interests.

I know Wetlander has asked you before, but can you repeat for me why you even bother to continue reading the series? The list of things you dislike about the story seems neverending ..
jane reynolds
185. janie
Longtimefan @178
ROFL! Now if you had only managed to work Bela into there somewhere ...
Chris Hall
186. bookwormchris
I'm not sure who killed him, but I do know that Terry Pratchett's Death came for him.
sandi vogel
187. sinfulcashew
182. Renegade248
"Me. I think it is 'obvious' that Graendal did it."

Put me in the same column!

I was somewhat shocked when he got offed.
Practically right after the big shock of Moraines 'death'.
I kind of liked Asmo and wanted more from him.
Amar Ramraj
188. aiel1219
Heya Peeps.
Well I gotta agree with alotta y'all here... I just don't really care anymore abt who killed Asmo.

But still it was a fun ride while I did care a few years back.

Oh n y'all remember the fun we had with fiction on fiction when Leigh went off to Jordancon? I think that was the most I had thought of Asmo in years... and man was it fun to read some of the stories... n write one or two LOL!!!

Hmmmmm.... mb I'll go get all the fiction on fiction from that page and post it somewhere for the new recruits... uhhh but then again, thats when we broke tor with our outrageous 1000+ comments.... so mb not.
Hugh Arai
189. HArai
Shadow_Jak@177: Sure you can. You'll probably beat Elaida's batting average at accurate interpretation too, of course beating .000 isn't hard...
Antoni Ivanov
190. tonka

Robert Jordan said that the two servants are just that - servants , nothing more. Forget about the servants.
Asger Grunnet
191. asgerix
Regarding Asmodean's death: I don't think he was balefired. As thewindrose@63 mentioned, Robert Jordan has said:

The Dark One couldn't bring back Asmodean because of the combination of 2 factors: HOW HE DIED and WHERE HE DIED. Not one or the other, both factors.

Now, if Asmodean was balefired, then it wouldn't matter where he died; the "how" would be enough to ensure that the DO could not bring him back.
192. RobMRobM
Tonka - That's great news, if correct. My problem with the two servants theory is that they should have joined in and tried to blast Rand. Having them be just servants is great and makes sense in context - Rand came in a rush, and it must have taken the servants who didn't leave when Rahvin took over time to flee the castle.

I still hold to my theory - Graendel and Sammael were supposed to come and link up with Rahvin, couldn't get there in time because Rand knowingly or unknowingly picked his entry point at a spot where he knew the ground well enough to travel directly into the thone room, Sammael must have left (because of all the Foresaken POVs that he doesn't participate unless he has a clear advantage) and Graendel was hanging around and Asmo had the bad luck to walk into her short term hiding space.

Only problem is the RJ comment that where he died made a different re bringing him back. I can't figure out what that means. The dragging to TAR theory doesn't work because the death is portrayed in the book at instantaneous. Maybe it's a non-BF killing because of the confined space and the manner in which Graendel killed him prevented his reincarnation somehow.

Maiane Bakroeva
193. Isilel
Alisonwonderland @184:

I know Wetlander has asked you before, but can you repeat for me why you even bother to continue reading the series? The list of things you dislike about the story seems neverending ..

What prevents you from looking for the relevant post if you are so interested?

OK, I grow seriously tired of this. I am not even the first poster who brought the Morgase-Elayne issue up, for Pete's sake!
If you are the one person who just adored the "travails of Morgase" storyline from this point on, argue it's merits by all means.
Ditto if you are of the minority who loved Elayne's trek through Andor and struggle for the throne plot.

Otherwise don't pollute the ether, please.
194. GregoryD

I was all set and at rest to believe it was Taim until the @63 post of the Where he died and How he died revelation.

If Ishy/Moridin killed Asmo using the TRUE power then Rand would not have felt it. Balefire would tell how he died that the DO can't get to him. The fact that Rahvin is linked with him may be a clue, i.e. both balefired. But it doesn't answer the Where he died diliema.

Padan Fain could have done it with the dagger. It has a different evil than the DO. In fact that is the reason why Rand didn't die when cut by Fain. It was in his old scar that was made with DO power.
But that doesn't solve the Where issue.

It seems the only other two ways the DO can't get to someone would be to die in TaR or in Finnland. Both ways point to Slayer via Lanfear. The DO didn't order a hit on ASMO, I don't think because he could have MINDTRAPPED him like Moghedien. No death needed for that.

So Slayer is now a very prime suspect. But who ordered the hit, or was ASMO in the wrong place at the wrong time?

If Greandal did it it doesn't answer the why the DO can't get Asmo back. Again balefire would be felt by someone. The where is also a problem, as well.

So, two more cents almost makes a nickel.
Maiane Bakroeva
195. Isilel
Hm... but could it be perhaps that the DO just isn't interested in ressurecting Asmo anymore? I mean, Taim appears to be superior in every way, despite being from the Third Age.

Logically (heh), ressurection shouldn't be totally trivial even for the DO, since he uses it only for the benefit of the very few of his servants.

I also remember RJ's comment from somewhere that the DO only bothers to punish the Forsaken in order to correct their behavior and make them into better tools of his will. If he decided that Asmo has become superfluous, he wouldn't ressurect him just for the pleasure of plunging him into eternal torment.

Of course, the "how and where" hint seems to contradict this...
196. RobMRobM
@184 v. 193. I'm not part of this particular issue but I'm growing weary of and increasingly aggravated at the posts that question lsiel's motives. I don't agree with many (and perhaps most) of her points but I'll defend to the death her right to say them without people questioning her underlying intentions. I'm finding it impolite and contrary to the spirit of comradeship that has been the hallmark of this forum from the outset. Please let's give that particular debating tactic a rest, shall we? Thanks. Vent over.

John Massey
197. subwoofer
I gotta wade in on this one...Rand has to bite it in the, no pun intended. I don't see how all these prophecies and expectations and previous incarnations point in that direction and he gets off without a hitch.

I know I have mentioned this before but I will be horribly disappointed if everyone lives at the end of a big epic battle. Somebody has to be cannon fodder here.

The thing that makes me wonder is- why is it forbidden for any of the Chosen to channel around the DO? Makes me think that if somebody would, they would discover the havoc they could wreak in the immediate vicinity and maybe reseal the Bore? I dunno, but something seems fishy about that.

craig thrift
198. gagecreedlives
I think Rand will survive and so will our other 2 ta'veren. IMO for them it wont be a matter of who survives but what will be left of them.

But a lot of secondary characters will fall. I predict Tam, Bashere, Birgitte and Loial will all be fan favourites that go out.

Maybe the not channelling around the dark one is more just a show of power by the dark lord and a bit of a test to see if anyone would dare disobey him.
199. RobMRobM
Re the Rand dying point - yes, he will die before TG. Alivia will help him die, per the prophecies. But he will be reborn and live happily without the festering wound in his side ever after in the end. The question is - what is the particular manner of rebirth? DO style reincarnation with new body - unlikely, because it would involve death of an innocent. Merging and taking over Moridin's body? Maybe. Reincarnation as hero of horn once it is blown and then pulled out of TAR a la Birgitte? Maybe. At this point, I am voting for Moridin merger, as it would explain the odd thing about his babies with Avi (i.e., fathered by differnt body than Elayne's).

200. RobMRobM
Re Bashere turning, I don't believe he is a DF but keep in mind that Tenobia does not appear to be happy with him working with Rand and she may order his removal from Rand's service. Pretty clear that both Tenobia and Bashere will die so that Faile and Perrin will gain the Broken Crown per the prophecies. I could easily see Tenobia and the other borderlanders bring Bashere in to help with a direct assault on the Black Tower, which won't end well for them or the Light.

Marcus W
201. toryx
The problem with any comment by Jordan is that he's a total trickster. Let's not forget that Jordan is responsible for the Aes Sedai method of, "The truth you hear may not be the truth you think it is."

Given all that, you have to kind of take anything Jordan says with a grain of salt. His comment about how and where Asmodean died could be explained as simply as, Asmodean was killed because he turned traitor and was in Rand's company as an ally. For that reason, he couldn't be brought back because the DO doesn't given second chances to people who betray him.

Maybe that's not it at all, but remember who we're talking about. Jordan didn't like giving things away, and he hated it when people kept trying to find out things that he deliberately kept secret. He was just ornery enough to say stuff like that and "It's obvious" to drive people crazy.

This message is brought to you by someone who would rather be in Montreal.
Kurt Lorey
202. Shimrod
Anybody ever wonder why no main characters have died - yet? Maybe it's because the shocking ending will turn it all around.

Ever wonder why Brandon was selected over all other authors (not to knock his writing style, by any means) to finish the series?
James Jones
203. jamesedjones
184 Alisonwonderland

Isilel is a BIG fan of the series. She'd just like to tweak it a bit. Just like I wish Egwene had been carted off to Seanchan at the end of tGH; Isilel wishes Egwene were the main character instead of Rand.

Her general attitude in the posts is not an overall dislike of the series. It's more of a glass half empty point of view.

While I disagree with most of what she posts, I do have a great deal of respect for her willingness to share and defend her views. Think about some of the conversations you've had with someone who is unwilling to commit to any particular point of view. You walk away wondering who they really are, and why you just wasted that time trying to get to know them. Frustration, exasperation, admiration, and even disgust and anxiety. These are all emotions we experience around good friends and family because we are so close to them that they are unwilling to hide anything around us. Agree or disagree with his or her views; that is always a valuable person to have around. Like a grain of sand in an oyster, they can produce value from your reactions.
Tess Laird
204. thewindrose
195 Isilel-
Don't have LoC at work, but iirc the DO says to Damandred that betrayers will die the final death - i.e. he would not resurrect Asmo even if he could.
Helen Peters
205. Helen
Um, you know the 'where' question....
Well I was thinking of which places could be 'wheres'. There's Randland, Finnland, TAR. There's Shyoul Ghul (sp?) and maybe the bore (are they different?), but he wouldn't have been transported there in time to kick the bucket. How about an accidental death? Gren was in Caemlyn (or someone else who could channel, he cold recognise, he didn't expect to see...) and wanted out, but doesn't know the place well enough to Travel. She opens a gateway into the nothing place, makes herself a skimming platform, Asmo opens the door right where her gateway is, says 'you!?', takes a step forward without meaning to, starts falling into nothing and the 'No!' should be 'Noooooo!', which is why it's still hanging there when he dies. The DO cannot bring him back coz he can't catch up to him falling. OK it's not obvious, but would be clearer after another book coz we hear one of the aiel fall off a platform a couple of books later, or was it earlier, or was it this book? Getting confused now.

So my vote is an accidental suicide. Asmo killed Asmo, but didn't mean to.
Tess Laird
206. thewindrose
Darn - I just found this from encyclopaedia-wot:
In an interview, Jordan also stated that the Dark One did not order Asmodean's death. He knows about it from other means.
207. swfreak72
Asmo says, "You? No!". Why is everyone assuming he is terrified? There are a million ways to interpret that and he dies the instant after with no comment from the author other than punctation marks to indicate emotion. Asmo's "You?" could have been mere curiosity or bewilderment. And "No!" was most likely just a reaction to his realization of what that person was there to do. If the killer was someone he did not fear, it really opens up the possibilities. My money is on Lan or even Aviendha, if this is the case. At any rate, I think it's someone that Asmo knows and is NOT afraid of.

Great re-read, Leigh. Thanks!
Pete Pratt
208. PeteP
Nothing like a family vacation to interfere with posting.....

I remember during my first read of this book back when it came out, how much I was looking forward to the next book (LoC) and a possible reunion between Morgase and her daughter. And how disappointed I was when Morgase ended up in Whitecloakland. I had thought at the time how great it would have been for Morgase to stubble upon Salidar and her ex-boyfriend and her daughter.... Major disappointment when that did not happen...

As to who will betray Rand and who is a DF? Remember that people may have gone over to the Darkside during the series. I think MT was not a DF before, just that he was recruited to be a DF, which is why he gave over the Seal.

There was a major death in tGH -- Ingtar's death was huge. His attempt to gain back his honor is still one of my favorite passages in the books.
Jason Lyman
209. jlyman
178. Longtimefan

I didn't know that Narg is/was Randland's Bigfoot!! :)
Or would that be Bighoof...?

205. Helen

Asmo opens the door right where her gateway is

I like your thinking. I don't really think that he misstepped, but I wonder if the "Where?" question may have to do with a gateway to somewhere else in the world. But then that doesn't really explain the "How?" question either. Blood and bloody ashes! It's about as obvious as where Narg learned to speak.

'Course I really have no idea and am of the camp who doesn't really care, but it would be cool to find out. I won't be unhappy if we never find out.

208. PeteP

Ingtar's death was huge. His attempt to gain back his honor is still one of my favorite passages in the books.

Amen. I usually get a lump in my throat and start to tear up at that point. My wife thinks I'm strange when I cry at a book. But there it is...
Roger Powell
210. forkroot
I too loved Ingtar's story and attempt at redemption. What made it particularly compelling is it was the only case we've seen of a DF trying to come back to the Light.

Gotta disagree with the characterization of Ingtar as a major character though. He's really only around for one book (plus a smidge of TEotW).
Maggie M
211. Eswana
Whew, late to the party! Glad there will be a new post later today!

As far as Asmo- I'm with Leigh- never really cared a lot. However, I do find it really entertaining how intense the debate is/was in some circles. It's like the WOT version of "Who Shot JR?" ; an inside joke that we've been saying for like 14 years. I'm guessing we won't find out in tGS- Brandon will keep it under wraps until at least the second aMoL if not the third. So we've still got a few mystery years left.
Joseph Daly
212. Joed1414
@208- Seems to me that the DO doesn't really care where the seals are so I don't think Rand being in posession of them gains him anything. They are disintegrating on their own and it seems likely they aren't holding the DO in his prison too well anyway. Maybe him being in posession of them breaks them further.
Jason Lyman
213. jlyman
211. Eswana

It's like the WOT version of "Who Shot JR?"

Don't tell me it was all just a dream!!!! Aaaargh!!
Maggie M
214. Eswana
@213: Well ask any Aiel.... they'll just tell you life is dream.
Alice Arneson
215. Wetlandernw
subwoofer @197
The thing that makes me wonder is- why is it forbidden for any of the Chosen to channel around the DO?

Someone asked a similar question, and here's RJ's answer:
The Dark One is not pleasant. He is also highly distrustful. He…dislikes…things that happen outside his control or not at his order. Call him the ur-control freak. Combine these two facts, and anyone channeling in the Pit of Doom without permission can expect swift punishment on the assumption that failure to ask permission means you intend to do something he won't like. It isn't that he believes anyone can harm him, just that he is in charge, and your failure to ask permission, your presumed intention to do something he wouldn't like, means that your faithfulness quotient has just suffered a severe downturn. Myself, I'd sell you short in a skinny minute.

Alisonwonderland @184:

It's been a while since I asked the question, and came to the conclusion that if I were Isilel, I wouldn't be here; however, Isilel is herself, and here she is. (Sorry, Isilel, not to talk about you behind your back, as it were. Just thought since I was the one that asked first, I MIGHT be able to finish it too.) I went back and looked up her responses to my questions, and here's what she said: (quoted from comments 121 and 140 on tFoH part 13; you can go back and read the full text if you like.)
I am a somewhat embittered WoT fan ;). While I didn't like all this ad hoc stuff the first time around, I only found it really jarring retroactively when the series started to go sharply downhill for me after LoC. I really enjoyed the scope, imagination and intricacy of the series, the puzzles cleverly woven it though, and still do.

... I guess that as the later volumes disappointed me more and more, I became retroactively ever more critical. ...But I still want to know how it all turns out and enjoy the discussions.

I can't wait to find once and for all who killed Asmo, how they rescue Moi from the Finn, how the Prophecies concerning Rand play out (will Luc or Galad provide the requisite "blood" in his stead?), what will happen to Lan and Nyn given that Trolloc hordes are about to descend on them... etc. etc.

So while I personally find the frequent pointing out of perceived inconsistencies or failures to be somewhat irritating, I can certainly relate to being eager to find out the answers to all those hanging questions. Besides, she likes Egwene, so we're agreed on at least one point. ;) Biggest thing is, though, we're all on here only because Tor has given us the reread and the privilege of commenting on it, so until someone commits a heinous crime (ask Pablo or Torie about the definition thereof; I don't know) we're all equal. Much as I have been occasionally tempted to tell someone to go away, it's just not my place. But we do all have one HUGE power tool here: the scroll bar. You have the right to scroll down and skip any comment you don't want to read. ;P Of course, if you're as OCD as me, that's nearly impossible, but hey, there it is.

Hope that helps a little, though I doubt it. *sigh*
Alice Arneson
216. Wetlandernw
For some reason, it seems relevant to post the Google "quote of the day":
Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art.
Aren't we the artful bunch here?
Julian Augustus
217. Alisonwonderland
Thanks for a civil response to my enquiry. I have never directly debated with Isilel, nor taken part in a discussion in which she was engaged. I just noticed that she quite frequently pointed out what she didn't like about the story. Yet, she seemed to be a fan of the series and was very active on the board. I remember Wetlander had asked her once, but I didn't remember if Isilel had answered, and I was curious... seeing as she seems to have many things she dislikes about the story, I wondered what it is she does like about story, and what part of it makes her such a fan. Hence my question.

The first two paragraphs of your response, quoted below, don't say what it is she likes about the series, but it is at least in the spirit of what I thought she would answer. I was disappointed when she chose to respond with insults.

Isilel is a BIG fan of the series. She'd just like to tweak it a bit. Just like I wish Egwene had been carted off to Seanchan at the end of tGH; Isilel wishes Egwene were the main character instead of Rand.

Her general attitude in the posts is not an overall dislike of the series. It's more of a glass half empty point of view.

I don't think RobM's response was appropriate to the question I aked, but I'm not in the habit of being discourteous to others so I just let it pass.
218. catchinUp
woo hoo! Finally caught up to you all with my re-read (re-listen) (Kudos to Kate Reading & Michael Kramer - though I alwasy chuckled when they talked about the damane in Domani... If you've heard it you'd understand. Anyway.)

As I'm waiting for the LoC first post I thought I'd pipe up.

Sounds like I'm of the same mind as a lot of you - I was rather surprised when Asmo died, thought "You?" who? and re-read the paragraphs before and after... then shrugged and moved on.

The big deal the fandom had made of it, has me curious and reading the theories. Now I dont' want to know.

There are so many good theories out there that finding out that Amys was sitting there - because the rings told her to - would be quite a let down.

(Personally, I'd rather see a WoT Authors Notes book - published after the 3rd aMoL - answering all the questions and addressing each of the Who Kill Asmo theories)
(oh, and seeing RJs notes for aMoL would be cool too)
Pete Pratt
219. PeteP
Forkroot --

Ingtar was a major charachter in the WoT. I was absolutely shocked by his being a DF, shocked by his death, and entered into long debates over whether someone really can come back to the Light after being a DF back in the days of rasfw.

By the end of tGH, Ingtar was almost as big a character as Mat or Perrin, or any of the girls, and bigger than Lan or even Moiraine (who barely shows up in tGH and tEotW even). Just because he was killed off early in tWoT does not make him a minor character at the time when the series was only two books.

This is one reason why the relative lack of deaths among major characters since is so prominent. Ingtar and "Moiraine" were the only good guy deaths of note. Hey, even most of the Forsaken got recycled (except for Be'lal -- you were in the series for too short of time). I could imagine a WoT written by GRRM, with almost everyone dead already. Now that would be a very different series indeed.
Roger Powell
220. forkroot
Well you make a good point .. if the series was only two books long at that point, and it was time to kill off a major character, then we could hardly complain if he'd only been around for 2 books.

Nevertheless, I guess we differ on what constitutes "major". To me, the "major" characters in the series have multiple POVs, appear in the story in multiple threads, and so forth. I realize there's a little wiggle room there .. Lan has no POVs in the main series, yet he is obviously a "major" character.

FWIW, My "major" list:
Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, Moiraine, Min, Lan, Elayne, Gawn, Galad, Morgase, Suian, Thom, Avienda, Tuon, Verin, Cadsuane, Loial, and Bela (tee-hee).

(plus various baddies like Lanfear and Ishy/Moridin, etc.)

One could argue for/against Bayle Domon, Pedron Niall, and Gareth Bryne. Even these three get multiple POVs and appear in multiple books. I'm sure I've overlooked some other candidates.

So I'll respectfully disagree on Ingtar being "major". His death didn't shock me (although his being a DF sure did!). With that said, it was still a compelling story line. Rand's last dialog with Ingtar gave me a major lump in my throat.
221. Shadow_Jak
subwoofer @197

I know I have mentioned this before but I will be horribly disappointed if everyone lives at the end of a big epic battle. Somebody has to be cannon fodder here.

So... how many major character deaths would it take to satisfy you?
Just curious ;-)
lanyo lanyo
222. lanyo
I never worried much about Asmo's killer, but ADORE the fan theories and debates and changing my mind along with what I read. I finally (finally!!) got my mom to start reading. She's just started TGH, and I keep waiting for her to mention characters and things. This is one thing I wonder if she'll mention, or just go right on past.
Part of all the chatter must just be that it's the end of a book, so I expect some word from her.
223. Aye Aye Sedai
How come on the discussions of Slayer - no one is commenting on which persona would have been involved?

IF ISAM - then he would have looked like Lan and possibly ASmo would have recognized the similarity.

If Luc - then would he not have know the similarity to Rand?

Problem is RJ had this interesting melding of two in one but barely used it or discussed it.

My money is on either Lanfear or Moraine -

L- " What , Were did you take m you little witch - I want to know where I am, I will make you suffer for what you did, When I get out of here I want to Kill Asmo for helping Lews and then Lews will be all mine,

Fins - Done, DONE and Done thus is the bargain made. - You are in Finn Land, Moraine will suffer being trapped here with us and you are free to go kill Asmo. The price we extract will be your life after killing asmo.

Dun Dun Dun

Ok Rj would be more eloquent and take ten pages to describe the above exchange. Question is whether Mo had any impact on the real world with her wishes - perhaps no main character will die before TG :)

224. birgit
I think she saw a future where she learned he was Asmodean. If Moiraine can learn this in the rings I think the woman who will be one of his wives would have learned it as well.

Moir knows about Asmo because the eavesdropped on Rand with her stone.

Before we move onto the next book (yay tomorrow!), any thoughts on why this book called the Fires of Heaven?

The DO's summer starts in this book.

Taim can't be Moridin because Moridin later only channels the TP and the M'Hael should be seen channeling the OP by the other Ashaman.
225. Freelancer
I'm in the Graendal camp for Asmodean's killer.

Taim was already a DF when he met Rand. He had already had much communication with someone from the AoL, given his arcane points of speech that couldn't have developed in such a short time as the period after the founding of the Black Tower. They were idiomatic for him, strongly implying some level of immersion.

I'll gladly state that, minority opinion or not, I enjoy EVERY thread of the story, including the travels and travails of Morgase & Co. Including Elayne's journey to the Lion Throne. Including Gawyn and the Younglings. Other readers are certainly allowed to believe those parts are "throw-away" threads, time-wasters, pointless distractions, etc. When all is said and done I feel confident in saying that you will be shown wrong, that each of those subordinate threads will have a significant and well-designed place in bringing the overall saga to a remarkable conclusion. Does anyone here imagine for a moment that the author who so carefully embedded and intertwined multiple levels of mythology, history, and culture into this epic would not save the best for last, or would have created subplots with no value to the overall?

In the word of Vizzini, Inconceivable. And I'm sure that that word means what I think it means.
226. TiredALil
what if just WHAT IF, Robert Jordan threw the "its obvious" theory of Asmodean's killer as a Red Herring. OR and this is the less plausible, what if he thought he had written something in and later it was edited out or moved to a different book or lasted many revision of his work and was later moved out and he was recalling that he had made enough hints but forgot that he had taken it out. I mean that IS possible because he's got so many threads he's juggling. Its also plausible that he never remedied this because he enjoyed peoples reactions and confusion.

Asmodean knew the killer and he knew he was gonna die. Maybe, MAYBE it was Slayer, an assassin well known by the shadow. Jordan had written something cluing the readers into Slayer's powers that lasted many revisions of TFOH, and for some reason or another didn't make the final cut, but Jordan absent mindedly thought it was still there because it had lasted so long.

Speculation but plausible. Anyway, I dunno who did it but I frankly liked Asmodean and was sad to see him go.
227. treysdad
not sure if this is old news, but i just got done reading the prologue of the new book (gathering storm) and greandal lists all of the surviving forsaken, and she leaves out asmodian which should prove her as the killer imho, because she knows he is dead.
Birgit F
228. birgit
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229. Coreyartus
Okay, I'm a tad frustrated...

I am listening to this series for the first time, on audiobooks. I've happened upon these comments trying to find a "cliffsnotes" version of what I'm listening to, trying to make sure I've caught everything that I should. I'm feeling rather like this whole series is like a huge rabbit hole... I cannot stop listening!! I'm losing sleep, find myself repeating names for pronunciation simply for the joy of feeling the words on my tongue, and trying to recall where I am in the story each time I start up again after pausing because my ears hurt from concentrating... I'm so suckered into this series, I'm hopeless. Why is it so good?!?!

But listening has allowed me to draw one conclusion, one I wouldn't have probably come to if I was reading it--this series is about pride.

I am incredibly frustrated by how every single character in this series has a chip on their shoulder the size of Mt. Everest... Each thinks they know how things should go. Pages must have been written covering each character's sense of umbrage, their sense of being offended. There are no bulls in the china shop, no moments of "This is it, and I don't care what you want..." If I were Rand, I would have put the Wise One's and the White Tower in their place long long ago... At a certain point, the machinations that are obviously happening all around the man cannot go unaddressed by any man with any sense of patience... It almost makes me lose respect for his plight--his desire to be his own man seems to only go so far, and his moments of self-determination don't seem to extend to those whom he knows are causing him the most trouble... He almost seems to be an "enabler" for those that want to use him, and he complains endlessly but doesn't actually express his frustration to them.

And Nynaeve and Elain... Good grief, if they're as powerful as they think they are, why kowtow so much? Why not demonstrate it and instill some of the fear they've been subjected to, and make their own decisions?

So much complaining about their situations, and no real backbone--just puffed up fluffery and pouting to the point that it's just frustrating as a reader to keep listening to them whine...

Does anyone else get this? Heaven help me I can't stop listening, though. I love it!!!
230. KyleLitke
When it first happened I thought Lanfear for sure. Then, when she suddenly showed up as Cyndane with no mention of it, I became convinced it was Graendahl, who I didn't think was "obvious" but fit far better than anyone else, many of whom didn't even appear until after this book, or for whom there is no reasonable way to assume they would have done it prior to later books (Slayer, Ishamael).

Now I'm back to Lanfear. She's just so blatantly obvious at the time with the sole exception of her evidently being dead (and at the time I honestly didn't think she was dead; I was more surprised when she turned up as Cyndane than anything else, because I never once believed Moiraine was actually dead due to the viewings). Initially I assumed she either escaped or used a wish to deal with him; he even thinks about her right before he walks in. Then when she turned up as Cyndane, I figured she died going through somehow or was killed by the Finns since she's all evil. Now I'm figuring they killed her after, and that's why we haven't found out yet, all this time later; it needs Moiraine or Lanfear to think about it.
Liz J
231. Ellisande
I have to say, once you know the killer, it makes reading this whole debate utterly hilarious.

ah, if only I could go back and whisper in my younger self's ear...
232. Macster
First time poster here. Discovered these read-throughs after first posting in response to the Towers of Midnight spoiler review. Just chiming in because on that same spoiler review, I posted re: Asmodean's death and Graendal being the killer, and I wanted to mention it again here just because it is a point I have never seen anyone raise anywhere. That could just be because I am the only one who thinks it significant, but I am convinced it is the explanation for why her being the killer should have been "obvious".

We can logically guess she'd be there in Caemlyn to help Rahvin with the trap for Rand. The fact she didn't, presumably, is why Rahvin was surprised Rand made it in. We know she would kill Asmo for being a traitor, and we even know why from the next book: to curry favor with the DO, so she can become Nae'blis. But none of this is "obvious" upon first reading. However, one point does, I think, make it "obvious" she would do it, something neither Leigh nor anyone else mentioned after the commentary for TFOH Chapter 3, as well as TSR Ch. 50.

In "Traps", during the dream sequence when Lanfear and Asmo appear by the pond, Lanfear mentions that Asmo would "still be hiding in his hole" if she hadn't pulled him out of it. What hole might this be? Well, in "Pale Shadows" it is revealed: Asmo says he "spent time in Arad Doman". Now who do we know who spent all her time there? On top of this, Asmo actually tells Rand that Graendal is there. What makes this important is that until Moridin sends Cyndane and Shaidar Haran to rein Graendal in, the only Forsaken we've seen who knew where Graendal was hiding were Sammael...and Asmodean. Sammael was no threat to her because he clearly hated Rand/LTT and would never betray her in favor of him. Asmo, however, had been revealed as a traitor by Lanfear. So do you really think Graendal wouldn't take the chance to get rid of him when she ran into him, to prevent him from telling Rand where she'd been hiding? She didn't know at that point that he had already told him, the fact Rand hadn't come after her yet might have made her think she still had a chance to prevent the info from being passed on.

My theory is that Asmo had actually been allied with Graendal and hanging out at Natrin's Barrow with her (recall his love of fine things and Age of Legends artifacts as well as being a bard--her sense of style would appeal to him greatly). She was probably the only Forsaken powerful enough for him to ally with whom he wasn't afraid of or hated.

So...long story short, we know she did it (True Power is probably what made it undetectable), we know she was there (because she had Alteima among her Compelled slaves, she must have picked her up when she came to remove any sign of her presence, just as she did in Illian aftetr Sammael's death), and we know that she'd want to use offing the traitor as a way to become Nae'blis. But her being the "obvious" killer can be reduced to the simple fact she was in Arad Doman, Asmo had been in Arad Doman and knew she was there, and nobody else knew this but Sammael. It seems obvious that the killer must be someone connected to Asmo--Sammael was not, Graendal was, so even though Sammael knew where she was, he wasn't a traitor so she'd have no reason to go after him. (Plus we didn't learn he knew where she was until LOC.) The instant he died we should have gone "who would stand to gain the most from his death/have the most to fear from him living and staying with Rand?" And the only person that fit whom he had a connection to that no one else did was Graendal. (I.e., Lanfear was connected to him too, but Graendal was the only one at that point who was only connected to Asmo.)

Short short version: the minute he died, we should have thought of people he was connected to who could possibly feel personally threatened by his treachery. Only person we knew of (aside from Lanfear) was Graendal, she in turn was only connected to him, he was the only one who knew she was in Arad Doman...QED.

Short short short version: Asmo + Arad Doman = Graendal.

Oh, and to the person asking about the name of the book: aside from referencing the endless summer, it comes from the header prophecy:

With his coming are the dread fires born again. The hills burn, and the land turns sere. The tides of men run out, and the hours dwindle. The wall is pierced, and the veil of parting raised. Storms rumble beyond the horizon, and the fires of heaven purge the earth... (Note also there the reference to the dead walking again.)
233. A.W. Goold
I dont believe it goes downhill from here, In my perspective it gets better.
Lord of Chaos is a great book and it hits the best in Winters Heart and Towers of Midnight.
Mike Meyer
234. Meyer217
I have to admit when I first read this and saw Asmodean die, for some odd reason my first thoughts were that it was Padan Fain. I remember it being said he was as powerful as some of the forsaken. But the more I thought about it the more it didn't make sense.Because he had no real reason to kill him, unless one of the other forsaken sent him which was doubtful.

Oh well that was my thoughts and just want to say that it was yet another great book and re-read. Thanks Leigh.

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