Semirhage

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Author: Estyrien al'Halien

SHE-mih-RHAZH

Contents

General

Semirhage is one of the Forsaken (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).

Semirhage was known as Nemene Damendar Boann in the Age of Legends (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6). After it became public that she supported the Shadow the people gave her the name Semirhage (TGH, Ch. 7). We do not know what "Semirhage" means, though it no doubt reflects her character. She was, however, also known as the Lady of Pain. It is possible that this is the literal translation of Semirhage (KoD, Ch. 27).

During the Age of Legends, Nemene was a healer of the body, known as a Restorer (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6). However, she was also a sadist and tortured her patients when she Healed them. When the Hall of Servants discovered this, they gave her the ultimatum that either she would be severed or she would be bound against torturing her patients. Semirhage joined the Shadow rather than face either fate (LoC, Ch. 6).

She proved to be very useful to the Shadow even though she was not a very good general. She tortured members of the Hall of Servants and made them claim allegiance to the Shadow. She ran a network aimed to discover all traitors to the Shadow's ranks (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).

After awakening in the Third Age from her dreamless sleep in the Bore, Semirhage travelled to Seanchan. She adopted the identity of Anath Dorje and became Tuon’s soe'feia. It was through this position that she intended to manipulate the Seanchan (KoD, Ch. 27). However, she had trouble manipulating Tuon, once referring to her as her "willful charge" (LoC, Ch. 6). Her plans were thwarted when Tuon was kidnapped and therefore out of her reach. Semirhage decided on a new course of action. She Traveled to Seandar and assassinated the entire Imperial Family, except Tuon. This resulted in complete anarchy in Seanchan. She arranged for a ship to sail to Ebou Dar to inform the Seanchan there of the tragedy. Semirhage then herself returned to Ebou Dar and ordered Suroth to arrange for Tuon to be found and murdered. Her plan was to have Suroth crowned as Empress; because Suroth was a Darkfriend it would be easy to control her (KoD, Prologue).

At the same time, Semirhage was preparing a trap for Rand. Bashere had arranged a meeting between Rand and the supposed Daughter of the Nine Moons (CoT, Epilogue). Semirhage disguised herself as Tuon and went to meet Rand. She took sul'dam, damane, a'dam, and the Domination Band with her so that she could capture and collar Rand. However, her disguise was disrupted by one of Cadsuane’s ter'angreal and Rand recognised her. Semirhage attempted to kill Rand and is captured in the resulting fighting (KoD, Ch. 27).

Semirhage has dark eyes and skin and is remarkably tall for a woman (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6). She has slender long fingers (LoC, Prologue). As Anath, who apparently has the same appearance as Semirhage, she is slender, beautiful and has full lips (WH, Ch. 14). She has short wavy black hair that is not shaved or plaited as some Seanchan have (WH, Ch. 17).

Timeline

  • Age of Legends: Semirhage's sadistic side is discovered and the Hall of Servants gives her an ultimatum (LoC, Ch. 6).
  • War of the Shadow: Semirhage is captured by the forces of the Light but her jailers set her free because she terrifies them so much (KoD, Ch. 27).
  • War of the Shadow: Semirhage tortures an entire city because she wants to (LoC, Ch. 2).
  • 999 NE: Semirhage is released from her dreamless sleep (LoC, Ch. 6).
  • 1000NE: Anath arrives at Ebou Dar after sailing with Tuon on Victory of Kidron (WH, Ch. 14).
  • Third Age: Anath goes into seclusion after Tuon disappears (CoT, Ch. 4).
  • 1000 NE: Semirhage arranges the murder of the Empress, the Imperial family and the Imperial court of Seanchan (KoD, Prologue).
  • 1000 NE: Semirhage offers to make Suroth the Empress of the Seanchan and orders her to find and kill Tuon (KoD, Prologue).
  • 1000 NE: Semirhage is captured by Rand’s forces (KoD, Ch. 27).
  • 1000 NE: Nynaeve finds Semirhage infuriating. Rand has forbidden torture (TGS, Ch. 1).
  • 1000 NE: Merise questions Semirhage, who talks about a time she took all a man's blood out of his body and kept him alive for a full hour afterwards, albeit in extreme pain (TGS, Ch. 5).
  • 1000 NE: Semirhage reacts briefly when Sorilea notes how human she is. This is the first reaction they get from her (TGS, Ch. 14).
  • 1000 NE: Sarene interviews Semirhage and tells her to be careful, that she has influence with the Amyrlin and might be able to persuade her to lessen her punishment (TGS, Ch. 17).
  • 1000 NE: Semirhage knocks her food to the floor (TGS, Ch. 17).
  • 1000 NE: Cadsuane realises that treating Semirhage with awe is a mistake. She tells Sarene to release the weaves binding Semirhage and physically spanks her before forcing her to eat her food off the floor (TGS, Ch. 17).
  • 1000 NE: Semirhage is annoyed at her loss of authority (TGS, Ch. 22).
  • 1000 NE: Elza asks her to remove the compulsion on her and hands her the Domination Band. Semirhage poses as a serving woman to get close enough to collar Rand (TGS, Ch. 22).
  • 1000 NE: Semirhage leashes Rand with the Domination Band. Min throws a knife that gashes Semirhage's face. Semirhage makes Rand hurt Min, but intends to kill Min herself as she considers it personal (TGS, Ch. 22).

Strengths and Talents

Semirhage is very strong in the One Power (WH, Glossary). However, Lanfear is stronger than her, and it is possible that some of the other female Forsaken are also stronger (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).

Semirhage cannot use the True Power now that Moridin has been named Nae'blis (WH, Ch. 13).

Semirhage's main Talent is that of Healing. It is said that she could Heal anything short of death and that she brought hope when everyone else had despaired. During the Age of Legends, she was summoned to far away places to Heal those on the brink of death. She was particularly good at Healing problems to do with the brain (This passage needs a reference). During the War of Power, Semirhage honed her power in Healing and turned attention to using the One Power for torture (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6). Her torture left her victims so changed that not even Graendal could help them. Semirhage was able to use the centers of the brain for pain and pleasure in a new form of torture (LoC, Ch. 6).

Semirhage is bad at controlling the weather (TFoH, Ch. 30), but she has the ability to block gateways (TFoH, Ch. 32). She has some ability in Tel'aran'rhiod, (TFoH, Ch. 14). She is able to mask the glow of saidar to hide when she is channeling (KoD, Ch. 27).

Relationships

None of the Forsaken trust or like each other, so it is logical to believe that this is true for Semirhage (TFoH, Ch. 3).

Lanfear and Semirhage hate each other. The reason why Semirhage wears black is because Lanfear wore white (LoC, Prologue).

Semirhage makes Mesaana feel very uneasy, (LoC, Prologue) but she, Semirhage and Demandred have agreed that they will have a loose allegiance until the other Forsaken have been killed (WH, Ch. 13).

Semirhage believes that Tuon is a wilful charge and dislikes having to spend time away from her. She was afraid that Tuon might have done something to damage her plans in her absence (LoC, Ch. 6). Anath berates Tuon strongly and some people are shocked that she speaks so harshly to the Daughter of the Nine Moons (WH, Ch. 18).

Semirhage hates all Aes Sedai, past and present. She especially hated the Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends because they wanted to sever her or bind her against torturing her patients. She thought that they only acted because they were jealous of her and thought more of her victims than she did. She got her revenge when she captured and tortured the Councillors of the Hall (LoC, Ch. 6).

Miscellaneous

  • Semirhage discovered that thirteen channellers channelling through thirteen Myrddraal could convert any channeller to the Shadow (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).
  • People who knew that they were going to be handed over to Semirhage often attempted suicide to get away from her (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).
  • Semirhage is careful in all that she does and takes one step at a time (LoC, Ch. 6).
  • Semirhage was one of the first Forsaken to go to Shayol Ghul (LoC, Ch. 6).
  • People in the Two Rivers say that when it rains when the sun is shining, it is Semirhage's tears from the Dark One beating her (TPoD, Ch. 22). However, Semirhage is calm and poised at all times and never cries (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 6).
  • Semirhage is unable to join many meetings of the Forsaken, presumably because she is surrounded by damane who would detect her channeling (WH, Ch. 13).

Quotes

"Semirhage took delight in cruelty, a pure pleasure in giving anguish" (Mesaana about Semirhage; Lord of Chaos, Prologue)

"Not even Demandred dared suggest to Semirhage's face that she wore black so often because Lanfear wore white." (Mesaana about Semirhage; Lord of Chaos, Prologue)

"She had deserved the right to do what she did; she had earned the right. She had been more valuable to the world than all those together who entertained her with their screams. And in jealously and spite the Hall had tried to pull her down." (Semirhage about her sadism; Lord of Chaos, Chapter 6)

"The woman had been almost tender about it, in an odd fashion, though she left her weeping for days." (Tuon about Anath's beating; (Winter's Heart, Chapter 14)

"'Surely you will punish her for this,' she drawled angrily, glaring holes through Anath." (Suroth to Tuon about Anath's harsh criticisms; Winter's Heart, Chapter 18)

"Look at me! I dislike the way you Seanchan avoid meeting my eyes. It makes me believe you are hiding something. You don’t want to try hiding something from me, Suroth." (Semirhage; Knife of Dreams, Prologue)

"How far do you think I would have to push before one of you would kill a blacksmith and dine on his flesh" (To Sorilea, The Gathering Storm, Chapter 14)

"During her days, prisoners hadn't been denied light. Of course, she had locked several of her experiments away in total darkness, but that was different. It had been important to discover what effect the lack of light would have on them. These so-called Aes Sedai who held her, they had no rational reason for leaving her in darkness. They just did it to humiliate her." (Semirhage; The Gathering Storm, Chapter 22)

"She had tortured hundreds, maybe thousands, in the name of understanding and reason. Torture made sense. You truly saw what a person was made of, in more ways than one, when you began to slice into them. That was a phrase she'd used on numerous occasions. It usually made her smile." (Semirhage; The Gathering Storm, Chapter 22)

"Why have you betrayed me, Great Lord? Why?" (The Gathering Storm, Chapter 22)

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