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A similar entry appears in the Wheel of Time Companion confirming the information available in the main story arc.

Author: Argyle Aetemni



Sammael is one of the Forsaken, thirteen of the most powerful Aes Sedai who served the Shadow during the Age of Legends (TEotW, Glossary). He is a compact, solid man, who seems much larger than his average height. He has a piercing blue gaze, and would be handsome, if not for a scar across his face, running from hairline to jaw. He wears a short beard, has a quick stride, and an abrupt manner.

Before swearing to the Shadow he was known as Tel Janin Aellinsar, a world-renowned sportsman, excelling in a number of events, including archery, and a bloodless competition with swords. In this sport he was world champion (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5). Reportedly he was a friend of Lews Therin Telamon, before the War of Power.

During the War of Power Tel Janin was one of Lews Therin Telamon's greatest generals, best known for defense, a position the forces of light almost always were in. He certainly fell in love with war, and the privilege and honor that went with being a well-respected and high ranking officer (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).

Four years into the war, Tel Janin suddenly went over to the Shadow. Partly this was because for all his skill, he was often unwilling to commit his forces unless assured of victory, and he became certain the Shadow would win. Also, it seems his friendship with Lews Therin was over. He became jealous that Lews Therin had been given overall command, and believed that he was a better general than Lews Therin. Lews Therin gave him his scar, and he swore to wear the scar until Lews Therin lay defeated before him (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).

Sammael preferred military conquest to political intrigue or diplomacy, and field commands to governing. When he did govern, his governorships were marked by absent-minded cruelty. As a result his territories rapidly became unable to support the Shadow's war effort. Often his territories were decimated by hunger and disease, because Sammael would not even bother with minimal sanitation or food distribution. In fact he often removed such resources already allocated to sanitation and food distribution to grandiose schemes. In contrast to his ineptitude as a governor, soldiers under his command, both human and Shadowspawn, were well treated, though more for their value in combat than anything else. Sammael was merciless with prisoners. Those that didn't go to the trollocs, were often left with little or no food and water. On one occasion, Sammael was informed that there was only enough food and water to sustain half the prisoners. Ever the pragmatist, Sammael ordered the execution of half of the prisoners (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).

After Sammael escaped from the bore, he set himself up as one of the Council of Nine, in Illian. He quickly becomes the foremost of the Council, and the true power in Illian (TDR, Ch. 44). He enters into an alliance with Rahvin, Lanfear, and Graendal, he sends forces to bait Rand al'Thor into attacking him (TFoH, Prologue). When that strategy fails, to the true death of Rahvin, and the apparent death of Lanfear, he fails to attend a meeting of the surviving Forsaken (LoC, Prologue). However, he later visits the surviving member of the initial alliance, Graendal, receiving from her the message "Let the Lord of Chaos rule." (LoC, Ch. 6). He then attempts to form a non-aggression pact with Rand al'Thor, which is refused (LoC, Ch. 16). He claims the title of Nae'blis to Graendal, (LoC, Ch. 23) and enlists her help in a plot to spread the Shaido Aiel across the world, using some sort of ter'angreal that creates temporary gateways (ACoS, Ch. 40). When Rand al'Thor attacks Illian, he is reluctant to destroy his base of power. He forms a gateway to Shadar Logoth, where he is apparently killed by Mashadar, though there is no evidence of his death (ACoS, Ch. 41). Robert Jordan confirmed during a CNN chat that Sammael was dead.


  • Age of Legends - Tel Janin Aellinsar joins Forces of Light, under command of Lews Therin Telamon. (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5)
  • War of Power, year 4- Tel Janin Aellinsar seeks out the Forsaken, Graendal, who takes him to Shayol Ghul, where he swears to the Shadow. This act earns him the name Sammael (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5; LoC, Ch. 6).
  • War of Power- Sammael escapes justice at Rorn M'Doi, Nol Caimaine, and Sodharra (LoC, Ch. 16).
  • War of Power- Sammael is trapped with the other forsaken at Shayol Ghul, by Lews Therin Telamon and the hundred companions (TSR, Ch. 26).
  • Third Age- Sammael enters Illian as Lord Brend, one of the council of nine. He seizes control of the kingdom (TDR, Ch. 44).
  • Third Age- Sammael conspires with Lanfear, Rahvin, and Graendal, to lure Rand al'Thor into attacking Sammael (TFoH, Prologue).
  • Third Age- Sammael displays nervousness in the strength of his alliance with Rahvin, Lanfear, and Graendal. They are spied on by Moghedien, as well as Nynaeve, and Birgitte (TFoH, Ch. 34).
  • Third Age- Sammael attacks Rand al'Thor with saidin at the battle of Cairhien. He fails to kill Rand, but kills many Maidens, and nearly succeeds in baiting Rand (TFoH, Ch. 44).
  • Third Age- Sammael fails to attend a meeting of the Forsaken; he later meets with Graendal, and receives the message "Let the Lord of Chaos rule." (LoC, Ch. 6).
  • Third Age- Sammael sends an emissary to Rand al'Thor refuses the truce saying, "No truce with the Shadow" (LoC, Ch. 16).
  • Third Age- Graendal visits Sammael in Illian, he claims the Dark One has promised to name him Nae'blis. He asks her the locations of the other Forsaken (LoC, Ch. 23).
  • Third Age- Sammael goes to the Shaido, disguised as Caddar, with Graendal, disguised as Maisia. He offers the Shaido "traveling boxes" in exchange for something they gained in Cairhien (most likely treasure of some sort). He later tells Graendal that he will use them to increase chaos (ACoS, Ch. 20).
  • Third Age- Sammael gives Sevanna an oath rod to control Galina Casban. He delivers the nar'baha, traveling cubes. The Shaido are scattered across the land (ACoS, Ch. 40).
  • Third Age- Rand al'Thor attacks Illian. Unwilling to let his city be destroyed, Sammael forms a gateway to Shadar Logoth. There the Dragon battles Sammael, and the Forsaken is apparently killed by Mashadar. However, Rand al'Thor never sees a body, because he had used balefire on Liah, a Maiden, when she became ensnared by Mashadar (ACoS, Ch. 41).
  • One of the other Forsaken, disguised as Sammael sends Myrddraal and thousands of Trollocs through the Ways (KoD, Ch. 3).

Strengths and Talents

Sammeal is one of the most powerful channelers from the Age of Legends. While it is unclear what his strength is in relation to the other male forsaken, it can be safely assumed that, while weaker than Ishamael, he is more than a match for any Aes Sedai of the present age of illusions.

Sammael's primary talent in the power seems to be warding. He was able to ward the entire city of Illian, as well as having wards at the hillforts on the Plains of Maredo.

Aside from the power, Sammael was an excellent general responsible for many victories for both the forces of Light, as well as the forces of the Shadow, though his primary talent lay in defense.


"Oh he doesn't trust you. I don't think the man trusts himself anymore."- Graendal to Demandred (Lord of Chaos, Prologue)

"Rand al'Thor is a jumped-up farmboy, a choss-hauler who has been lucky."- Sammael (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 6)

"We will stand on different sides, you and I, come the day of the Great Lord's Return, but why should we kill each other now and leave Demandred and Graendal to contest for the world over our bones."- Sammael, through his emissary (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 16)

"Small increases in chaos are as important as large."- Sammael (Lord of Chaos, Chapter 20)

"Illian is mine! I won't destroy what belongs to me killing you, and I won't let you destroy it, either. You had the nerve to come after me here? Do you have the courage to follow me again?"- Sammael (A Crown of Swords, Chapter 41)

"She won't be goaded into fighting me, like Sammael and Rahvin were" (Rand, about Graendal, The Gathering Storm, Chapter 37).