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

Author: Estyrien al'Halien


Also known as Ba'alzamon



Ishamael was one of the thirteen Forsaken (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).

Ishamael’s name during the Age of Legends was Elan Morin Tedronai; his work as a philosopher allowed him to adopt a third name. When it was known that he served the Dark One he was renamed Ishamael, the ‘Betrayer of Hope’ (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5). In later times, Ishamael was also called Ba’alzamon, ‘Heart of the Dark’ in the Trolloc tongue (TGH, Prologue). Ishamael’s name in the wolf dream was Heartfang (TDR, Ch. 43). Other names for him included Heart of the Dark and Soul of the Shadow (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).

During the Age of Legends, Elan Morin was the foremost philosopher of his time. He wrote several influential books, such as Analysis of Perceived Meaning. His reasons for joining the Shadow are unknown but Elan Morin was one of the first to pledge his soul to the Shadow. His announcement that he served the Shadow caused large riots in a time of great unrest. Ishamael, as he was then known, became the Dark One’s best general even though he never held a field command (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).


Ishamael was not as tall as Lews Therin Telamon (TEotW, Prologue). He appeared to be in his prime and was handsome (TEotW, Ch. 14). Ishamael had black eyes (TGH, Ch. 41), and black hair (TDR, Ch. 36). Over time, his image changed. His mouth and eyes became caverns of flame. Whether this was the desired effect or it was caused by the extensive use of the One or True Powers, it is not known (TEotW, Ch. 14). He often appeared dressed in black with a mask covering his face. The mask covered skin that was horribly burned (TGH, Ch. 12).


Condensed Timeline

Ishamael was bound with the other twelve Forsaken when Lews Therin and his Companions sealed the Bore. However, unlike the others, Ishamael was not completely bound. Reports claimed that he was seen as many as forty years after the Bore was sealed. That, and other evidence, led a leading historian, Aran son of Malan son of Senar, to conclude that Ishamael was free from his prison for long periods of time. He went on to claim that Ishamael was free during various multiples of forty years. There is some evidence that Ishamael was free during, and was influencing events in, both the Trolloc Wars and the War of the Hundred Years. The partial imprisonment also led to Ishamael being completely freed earlier than the other Forsaken (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).

Lanfear says Ishamael whispered in ears and pulled the strings of monarchs "like an Aes Sedai" for over 3,000 years (TDR, Ch. 36).

Once he was truly free from his prison, Ishamael started hunting for the Dragon Reborn. He sent Padan Fain to Andor to search for the boy and learnt that he was in Emond's Field. Ishamael then sent Fain back and found that the one that he sought was one of Rand, Mat and Perrin (TEotW, Ch. 47). He used dreams to contact each of the boys (TEotW, Ch. 42), before realizing that Rand was the Dragon Reborn (TGH, Ch. 12). Ishamael fought Rand several times; near the Eye of the World, over Falme and finally in Tear, where Rand killed him (TEotW, Ch. 51; TGH, Ch. 47; TDR, Ch. 55).


Ishamael claimed that the struggles between good and evil had been going on since creation and that human substitutes were used to fight the war. He claimed that the champion for good had been lured to the Shadow several times during the turnings of the Wheel and tried to do the same to Lews Therin (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5). Ishamael also tried to turn Rand numerous times before he was killed (TGH, Ch. 47).

Lanfear did not like the fact that Ishamael used Tel'aran'rhiod to talk to Darkfriends; she claimed that it was her domain (TDR, Ch. 36).

Moghedien believed that Ishamael was only half human when she met him again after being freed (TSR, Ch. 46) .

Sammael believed that he was more than half-mad and less than half-human (TFoH, Prologue).

Strengths and Talents

Ishamael was the strongest of the thirteen Forsaken (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5). Ishamael was close in strength to Lews Therin and Aginor (TEotW, Ch. 52). Lews Therin was slightly stronger and Aginor slightly weaker (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).

Ishamael was never very good at Healing (TEotW, Prologue).

Ishamael was able to control Tel’aran’rhiod and use dreams to his advantage (TEotW, Ch. 14); (TDR, Ch. 36).


  • The War of the Shadow: Ishamael is bound when Lews Therin and his Hundred Companions reseal the Bore (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 5).
  • The Trolloc Wars: Ishamael causes the Trolloc Wars (TEotW, Ch. 14).
  • FY 992: Ishamael causes Artur Hawkwing to send an army across the Aryth Ocean to conquer Seanchan (TEotW, Ch. 14).
  • 995 NE: Ishamael commands Padan Fain to hunt for the Dragon Reborn in Emond’s Field (TEotW, Ch. 47).
  • 998 NE: Ishamael invades Rand, Mat and Perrin’s dreams, eventually focusing on Rand (TEotW, Ch. 42).
  • 998 NE: Rand fights Ishamael after he leaves the Eye of the World (TEotW, Ch. 51).
  • 998 NE: Ishamael gives Rand his first heron mark (TGH, Ch. 12).


  • Ishamael was once ‘humbled’ by Lews Therin in the Hall of Servants (TEotW, Prologue).
  • Sometimes Ishamael seemed to believe that he was the Dark One (TSR, Ch. 46).
  • Ishamael was also a theologian during the Age of Legends (LoC, Ch. 6).
  • Some of Ishamael’s orders are still being carried out (ACoS, Ch. 15).
  • Ishamael never liked admitting that he was wrong (KoD, Ch. 3).


“Ishamael (ih-SHAH-may-EHL): In the Old Tongue, ‘Betrayer of Hope.’ One of the Forsaken. Name given to the leader of the Aes Sedai who went over to the Dark One in the War of the Shadow. It is said that even he forgot his true name.” (The Great Hunt, Glossary)

“This war has not lasted ten years, but since the beginning of time. You and I have fought a thousand battles with the turning of the Wheel, a thousand times a thousand, and we will fight until time dies and the Shadow is triumphant!” (Ishamael to Lews Therin; The Eye of the World, Prologue)

“If my hounds must pull you down, they may not be gentle. They are jealous of what you will be, once you have knelt at my feet. It is your destiny. You belong to me.” (Ishamael to Rand; The Eye of the World, Chapter 33)

“I am your only salvation. Serve me, and I will give you the world. Resist, and I will destroy you as I have so often before. But this time I will destroy you to your very soul, destroy you utterly and forever.” (Ishamael to Rand; The Great Hunt, Chapter 47)

“Verin showed my a page from an old book that mentioned Ba’alzamon and Ishamael together. It was almost High Chant and very nearly incomprehensible, but I remember something about ‘a name hidden behind a name.’ Maybe Ba’alzamon was Ishamael.” (Egwene about Ishamael; The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 56)

“All his pride at being only half-caught, whatever the price- there was less human left in him than any of us when I saw him again; I think he half-believed he was the Great Lord of the Dark- all his three thousand years of machinations, and it comes to an untaught boy hunting him down.” (Moghedien about Ishamael; The Shadow Rising, Chapter 46)