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What Happened to Asmodean?#or
The Two Servants Theory#
Here it is. This is the first time the theory has ever been posted as a whole in one place. Part 1 explains why one of the two servants was the killer. Part 2 identifies the servants.
The Two Servants Theory Part 1#
Of all the theories and discussions on Asmodean's death, I have not seen a single one posted here which explains the very peculiar location, just past a random door in a random hallway. I have a scenario that explains the location. The following diagram is the hallway in the Royal Palace in Caemlyn.
| | ____ | 1 | | |_____ __| |_________________/________________________| | 2 8 3,7 \ 4 \ 5,6 _________________________________________________/ / | |_____ |____|
- Walking down a hall, he runs into Queen's Guards led by a Fade and freezes them.
- He turns a corner and runs into a couple of servants. This is odd since, the next morning, Rand notes that the servants all ran away and have not returned.
- He walks down the hall a little further and ducks balefire. He blows open the doors in front of him and
- enters a sitting room. He passes through the sitting room and
- enters a courtyard with a fountain. He detects traces of the gateway Rahvin used and follows him into Tel'aran'rhiod.
- That afternoon, Asmodean is sitting by a fountain in a courtyard. He goes looking for wine and
- passes a wall with balefire damage.
- On down the hall, looking for the pantry, he opens a small door and gets nuked.
The key to the location is that 3 and 7 are the same place. The balefire was only used once before Rahvin and Rand entered Tel'aran'rhiod, so the damage noted by Asmodean must be the same as the first balefire attack on Rand. This being the case, the courtyard with the fountain that Rand entered must be the same as the one Asmodean sat in just before he died. Now note the proximity of 2 and 8. Asmodean was killed a short distance from the place Rand found those two servants.
Conclusion: One or both of the servants killed Asmodean. Obviously, they were more than servants. One or two of the Forsaken stopped by to watch the fun in disguise. After the fight, they hid in a convenient cubbyhole to wait for the dust to clear. Asmodean walked into their hiding place and had to pay. Why wait around for hours? Enough One Power to open a gateway would be detected by Rand and/or Aviendha with unpleasant consequences. Better to wait until late at night when everyone is asleep.
Who were they? Well, that is Part 2.
The Two Servants Theory Part 2#
I think I have a new analysis on this question which leads to a previously discounted suspect in addition to the most common suspect. I will start with just two assumptions: 1) the normal whodunit rules of motive, means and method apply and, 2) Jordan's claim of sufficient clues through The Fires of Heaven is correct. This does not mean eliminate suspects till only one is left. It means a solid case can be built which leads to a specific suspect(s) who had the ability to kill him the way he was killed, had a good reason to kill him, and was probably there to do it.
First, let's look at method since that is the easiest. Even though weakened, Asmodean still had about as much strength as a Wise One channeler. Given his Age of Legends education, he should be a pretty formidable opponent against anyone but a strong channeler. Someone who could strike terror into Asmodean and kill him nearly instantly would almost certainly have to be Forsaken-level.
Motive is surprisingly difficult to start. Asmodean was killed instantly and his body removed. Why? Over and over, the Forsaken have shown they are like cats. They love to play with and torment their victims even when it is a risk. For example, Ba'alzamon with Rand, Lanfear with Rand, Moghedien with Nynaeve, Be'lal with Rand, even Lanfear with Asmodean. The general motive "any Forsaken would kill Asmodean on sight" does not really hold up. There must be something more.
Means provides the real evidence and comes from a host of small coincidences at the end of The Fires of Heaven. First, we can use the rules of means and motive to eliminate most of the Forsaken. Be'lal and Rahvin were killed with balefire. Aginor and Balthamel are not yet resurrected. Demandred and Semirhage have POV monologues in LoC,Prologue and LoC,Ch6 wondering about Asmodean. Moghedien is collared. Eliminating these seven leaves five: Graendal, Ishamael, Lanfear, Mesaana, and Sammael.
Invoking the rules of means and Jordan's statements, Ishamael, Lanfear, and Mesaana can be eliminated. There is no evidence whatsoever that Ishamael or Lanfear were physically back at all, much less Caemlyn, at the time of the murder. The earliest of the possible new Ishamael's, Shaidar Haran, is not even introduced till the day after the murder in the LoC,Prologue. After falling through the twisted red doorway, the only evidence that Lanfear is even alive is also in the LoC,Prologue where Demandred says that Lanfear, Asmodean, Rahvin, and Moghedien are missing and the Dark One only acknowledges that Asmodean and Rahvin are dead. The appearance of Cyndane makes it all the more likely that Lanfear was dead at the time of the murder. Likewise, I eliminate Mesaana and other incarnations such as Padan Fain, Shaidar Haran, Moridin, The Previously Unknown Bad Guy in Winter's Heart, etc. since there is no evidence that they were in Caemlyn and no reason for them to be in Caemlyn at the time of the murder.
Let's now focus on Sammael and Graendal and a bunch of small facts, potential Jordan clues, which add up to a big picture. First of all, we know that Sammael, Graendal, Lanfear, and Rahvin were consorting and plotting for some time. The Royal Palace palace was one of their meeting places. Most of the action in The Fires of Heaven stems from their plans. Their basic plan was to goad Rand into chasing Sammael. When Rand attacked, the other three were to be waiting, linked, and take him out. The last we see, TFoH,Ch34, Sammael was trying to renege on his role, but we do not see the conclusion of the meeting. Needless to say, they needed lots of spies to make sure they knew when he would attack. Melindhra and Melindhra are the two we know about.
Also, we know that Moghedien kept track of this quartet. She listened in on their meetings in Tel'aran'rhiod. Also, from the LoC,Prologue, we know she set up meetings with Graendal for the day of the killing and the day after.
Now let's carefully examine events just before the killing. It is clear that there is another high level spy with the Aiel who reported to one or more of the Forsaken during the night before the attack. Rand and his party show up in Caemlyn to find the streets deserted and the nearby houses and Royal Palace full of Trollocs and Fades. They were already there waiting when Rand opened the skimming gate. When Nynaeve collars Moghedien, she knows that Rand is on his way to Caemlyn and about when he will arrive. Finally, after a long absence, Lanfear arrives in Cairhien to quiz Rand right when Rand is planning to leave.
So, which of the Forsaken knew of the pending attack? For sure we know of Rahvin since he had the counterattack ready, Lanfear since she arrived at Cairhien so fortuitously, and Moghedien since she said so. Since Moghedien gets her info from listening to meetings of the four or possibly directly from Graendal, it is very probable that both Sammael and Graendal also knew about it.
Let's envision a meeting between the four sometime during the night before the killing. They've found out that, instead of coming after Sammael in the future, Rand is coming after Rahvin first thing in the morning. Rahvin already has his wards set to detect Rand (because he is suspicious of the others). They send Lanfear to scope out the latest information. They quickly rearrange the plan so Rahvin is the target and the other three will trap Rand.
Moghedien is listening in and catches up on the plan. If she is perceptive enough, loner that she is, to figure out that Rahvin does not trust the others and Lanfear has her own agenda, then surely Sammael, a great general, and Graendal, a psychologist, can do the same. When Lanfear does not return, it is no stretch at all to assume that Sammael and Graendal plan to double cross Rahvin. Bottom line: Both Sammael and Graendal had every reason to be in the Royal Palace during Rand's attack.
Now let's look at more events. When Rand gates directly into the throne room Rahvin "started up in surprise." Why is he surprised? He knows Rand is attacking. He knows that Trollocs and Fades and his lightning will take out some Aiel but are unlikely to get Rand. He knows Rand can Travel. He did not expect Rand to reach him because Sammael and Graendal were supposed to intercept Rand.
Part 1 goes here. It is most likely that one or both of the two servants offed Asmodean.
We have: It is quite plausible that Sammael and Graendal were in the Caemlyn palace. A couple of "servants" were hanging around where they had no business being. Asmodean was killed in a good hiding place, a servants passage, in the same hall.
Scenario: Sammael and Graendal were in the palace to trap Rand with Lanfear. When he shows and she does not, they say "Hey. Let's wait a bit. See who wins. The winner may be so weak we can take him out, too, with little risk." They hang out in disguise to watch the action. When Rand wins, they hide out in the nearest servants passage (remember, the servants have all fled) to wait their chance. Eventually, Graendal has to leave for her meeting with Moghedien, the one Demandred says Moghedien missed in the LoC,Prologue. Asmodean walks in on Sammael and has a natural reaction. What are Sammael's choices? Their plans are in disarray. The last thing Sammael wants is Rand coming after him now. If Asmodean gets away, he will certainly tell Rand and who knows what will happen? Clearly Asmodean has to go. Immediately. Now Sammael has a body on his hands. If he leaves it around, Rand will certainly be suspicious and may guess what happened. Better to remove the evidence.
Of course, Graendal can be interchanged for Sammael in the previous paragraph. Most folks seem to think she is the much more likely culprit primarily citing the scene described in the following paragraph. In addition, there is the possibility that the two servants were a Forsaken and the world's unluckiest genuine servant. If that is the case, then the Forsaken was definitely Graendal as the female servant appeared to be in charge.
We now come to two final tidbits from the last two books. This first point actually weakens the case a little. There are two dialogues in LoC,Ch6 and LoC,Ch23 between Sammael and Graendal mentioning Asmodean, one from each point of view. They both verbally imply they do not know about Asmodean although Graendal states that he is dead. However, neither one clearly states, in their thoughts, that they really do not know about Asmodean. So, possibly, either one could have done the dirty deed. The only point that is clear, from their verbal sparring, is that they did not kill him together. The only reason to lean toward Sammael as the culprit is that Graendal had that appointment. The second point of interest is the scenes with Sammael, Graendal, and Sevanna's crew in ACoS,Ch20 and ACoS,Ch40. For no obvious reason, they adopt disguises and act roles with the Shaido. Note that they avoid being touched as did the woman servant. As soon as they are out of sight, they drop the Illusions. This fits well with Sammael having his normal appearance when Asmodean walks in on him.
There is the case that Sammael murdered Asmodean. The other alternative, Graendal, is slightly less likely, but, given the evidence and lack of other suspects, I feel that one of these two is probably the culprit.