Lanfear (LAN-feer; /ˈlæn.fiɹ/; Old Tongue: Daughter of the Night), formerly known as Mierin Eronaile, was one of the thirteen Forsaken trapped at Shayol Ghul due to the Dragon's sealing. She died in 999 NE after Moiraine Damodred pushed her into the doorway ter'angreal of the Eelfinn. She is known to the wolves as Moonhunter.
Lanfear was known to have been as strong as a woman could be in the One Power. However, amongst the Forsaken, she was only ninth amongst the 13 in terms of raw power. Despite this, she appeared to have been very high in the pecking order established amongst the Forsaken during the War of Power.
Her original strength in the power was 1(+12), making her stronger than all other female channelers except for possibly Alivia and Semirhage, who were both in the same strength tier as she. However, she was reduced to 2(+11) after her stay with the Finn and reincarnation as Cyndane.
Lanfear's most noted physical characteristic was her astonishing beauty - she was said on multiple occasions to be one of the most beautiful women who had ever lived. Rahvin said that her presence was enough to make Graendal look only 'plumply pretty', and Graendal herself was accounted an incredibly beautiful woman. She was also stated by Rand al'Thor to have made any of the three women he loved, Elayne Trakand, Min Farshaw, and Aviendha, appear almost ordinary. She was quite tall, a little more than a hand shorter than Rand al'Thor, and had smooth, ivory-pale skin with long black hair and black eyes. She typically wore a white dress, divided for riding, with a silver belt. Her boots also had silver worked onto them.
She usually disguised her true face and age with the One Power. When masked, she looked about the age of Nynaeve al'Meara. In actuality she looked older, but not so much aged as more mature and riper. She was said to be as beautiful as Rahvin was handsome.
She often rode a tall white mare, with a white saddle that was silver mounted.
In terms of personality, her defining feature was an insatiable lust for power. Her desire was taken to such an extreme that she desired to overthrow both the Dark One and the Creator using the Choedan Kal, believing that raw power would be all such a task required. Many of those who she interacted with, including virtually all of the other Forsaken, have expressed the sentiment that she had a vastly overinflated opinion of herself. She was proud, arrogant, presumptuous, and self-absorbed, actively betraying both her allies and her master in order to gain more power for herself. She appears to have had a particularly strong rivalry with Ishamael, the most powerful and most favored of the Forsaken, though the rivalry appeared to have been almost completely one-sided on her part. She was also extremely manipulative, and had absolutely no qualms about lying to, or using, virtually anyone to get what she wanted. Additionally, she appeared to have no loyalties except to herself.
In the Age of Legends, Mierin Eronaile was a researcher at the Collam Daan, the huge floating university-sphere. When they were both young students of the One Power, she was Lews Therin Telamon's lover. She was one of the strongest female channelers of the time, as strong as a woman could be without aid.
But even though she was as strong in the Power as a woman could be, Mierin did not distinguish herself enough to earn a third name; a mark of great social service and prestige that she coveted. This presumably irked her, as she was exceedingly power-hungry. Lews Therin himself eventually left her because she loved the prestige of being his lover more than she loved Lews Therin himself.
She was known to have been quite bitter over Lews Therin leaving her, and made several blatant and public attempts to get him back from his wife Ilyena Therin Moerelle. Lews Therin, however, always rebuffed her advances, as he loved his wife and knew Mierin's character too well.
Some unknown time later in the course of her research at the Collam Daan, she and a colleague of hers named Beidomon discovered an energy source, seemingly outside the Pattern, which could be tapped by both men and women equally, without the restrictions associated in the gender split of the True Source. The Aes Sedai of the time felt that this gender split had become a significant impediment to further progress, as the innate differences between saidar and saidin evidently created problems with how they could be used in conjunction with one another. At the time, she was known to have the Da'shain Aiel Charn in her service.
She, Beidomon, and a number of other researchers bored a metaphysical hole through the Pattern and into the dimension that the new energy source existed in. Unfortunately, that energy source turned out to have been the True Power; the essence of the Dark One. In their ambition, they had bored a hole straight into the Dark One's prison, exposing the Pattern to his direct influence.
The drilling of the Bore destroyed the Collam Daan in a colossal explosion of black fire. The effects the Dark One's influence on the world would affect society at its basest level, and cause the Collapse.
Mierin managed to survive the explosion of the Collam Daan. Sometime later, during either the collapse of society that followed, or the War of Power, she pledged her soul to the dark entity that she had released. Evidently the very first Aes Sedai to betray humanity, she pledged partly due to the power she would receive from the Shadow, and partly because she wished to have Lews Therin once again.
Mierin proclaimed her loyalty to the Shadow in the Hall of Servants itself, and chose her own new name, the only Chosen to ever do so - Lanfear, the Daughter of the Night. During the War of Power, she was responsible for tormenting many through their dreams, using her mastery of Tel'aran'rhiod. Like Ishamael, she was responsible for many plots to convert Lews Therin to the Shadow. Though she never held a field command, she developed an infamous reputation for her evil deeds during the war. However, despite her role in creating the Bore and being the first of the Forsaken to pledge themselves to the Dark One, the Forsaken known as Ishamael seemed to always receive the Dark One's greatest favor. It was he who was made Chief Captain-General of the Shadow during the War of Power, giving him de-facto command over all the forces of the Shadow. The favor that was bestowed upon Ishamael by the Dark One presumably began Lanfear's one-sided rivalry with him.
When Lews Therin sealed the Bore, she was sealed too, into a dreamless sleep.
After being released, Lanfear began hunting for Rand al'Thor, Lews Therin reborn. She tracked him by tracing the effects of his being ta'veren on the Pattern. Lanfear spied on Rand's party as they hunted for the Horn of Valere, and was responsible for sending him, Hurin, and Loial into another world via a Portal Stone. There, she appeared to him in her younger form, a woman in distress named Selene, and was "rescued" by him from a herd of grolm. She led his party to another Portal Stone, and made him channel his way back to his world.
Mistress of Disguises
When she awoke from the seal, she immediately sought Rand out as the Dragon Reborn, the reincarnation of her former lover. She came to him under the guise of Selene, (pronounced: seh-LEEN) a beautiful young woman, and sought to snare him by appealing to his strong desire to protect women who seem helpless. She often used her beauty to try to seduce Rand; she would constantly urge him to grasp glory and power, although he refused. She disappeared near Cairhien, where she claimed to be from, but reappeared to both Perrin Aybara and Matrim Cauthon to try to seduce them with power and glory.
Among the wolves, she is known as Moonhunter.
She also seems to have appeared to Rand several times in his dreams and confronted him in Tear telling him that he would be hers again.
She masqueraded as Else Grinwell in the White Tower, rebuffing Mat and providing information to Nynaeve al'Meara, Elayne Trakand, and Egwene al'Vere about the belongings of the thirteen Black Ajah sisters which she had planted. She also appeared as a haggard old woman named Silvie to Egwene in Tel'aran'rhiod in the Heart of the Stone and gave her information about Callandor. Perrin later oversaw her chiding Ishamael for making "free use of her domain" (Tel'aran'rhiod), to which Ishamael, mildly amused, reminded her of her subservience to the Dark One, a fact which seemed to irritate her.
She reveals her true identity to Rand in his chambers in the Stone of Tear, and shields him while she tries to convince him to rule the world with her under the Dark One. She suggests Asmodean would teach him how to use Saidin, and that she and Rand could use "two great sa'angreal" (presumably the Choedan Kal) to challenge even the Dark One and the Creator themselves. She releases his shield when a Gray Man slips in the room to kill Rand. She then encounters Rand shortly after in the corridors during the Trolloc attack on the Stone of Tear. Rand binds her against the wall with the One Power, and she does the same to him before releasing him again and then severing his own flows restricting her. She chastises him for leaving behind Callandor, and for not using his full potential.
She returned again in the Aiel Waste, posing as a peddler named Keille Shaogi, along with the Chosen Asmodean, who was posing as the gleeman named Jasin Natael. Shielding Asmodean after his battle with Rand at Rhuidean, she allowed him only to channel a trickle of saidin, enough to teach Rand to use the One Power. Later she teamed up with Graendal, Sammael, and Rahvin to try to turn Rand to the Shadow, though Moghedien believed her true intentions to be far different. She confronted Rand at the end of The Fires of Heaven, meaning to kill him after his betrayal (discovering from Hadnan Kadere that he had slept with Aviendha). Moiraine Damodred tackled her while she was focusing on Rand, who, because he could not bring himself to kill a woman, would not kill her. Moiraine and Lanfear fell into the twisted redstone doorframe, which subsequently melted, apparently killing them both. However, the fall through the doorway itself did not kill Lanfear, and she was instead captured by the Aelfinn and Eelfinn, who fed on her ability to channel. Moridin came to their dimension and ransomed Lanfear, only to slay her so that she may be reincarnated by the Dark One.
Lately, however, a new Forsaken known as Cyndane (Old Tongue: Last Chance), has appeared, and has been confirmed by some other Forsaken to be Lanfear reincarnated. Cyndane, however, claimed she had lost the right to call herself Forsaken and that the Dark One is tormenting her, which, along with Moridin commenting on the one that is suffering more than all others (This is presumed to be the reincarnated Lanfear), indicate that she is nothing more than an ordinary shadow lord at the beginning of the Last Battle, even if an exceptionally powerful one. It is notable that she is being reincarnated even though she betrayed the Dark One in virtually every possible way. Moghedien's thoughts hint that more Forsaken have died because of the Dark One's distrust than through the hands of the fighters for the light. Indeed, Verin claims in her last conversation with Egwene that betraying the Dark One is supposed to be impossible even though betrayal itself is not necessarily evil since "egoism must be preserved".
After rebuffing several of her attempts at tricking or seducing him into freeing her from the Dark One's torments, Rand gives Lanfear one last chance at redemption. He tells her that if she will open her mind completely to him, so that she can hide nothing of her plans and schemes to him, he will free her if he sees nothing evil there. She refuses to allow herself to be so vulnerable, even with him. In response, he opens his mind to her and allows her to see that she no longer has any hold on him and that he never loved her. After this, she truly does give up on wooing Lews Therin back to her, and her hatred of him is fierce.
With the Last Battle approaching, she chooses Perrin as the new target of her "affections," trying to use him as a different path to power. Lanfear begins appearing to Perrin as he stalks Slayer in the Wolf Dream, giving the impression she has switched sides. She helps him remove the Dreamspike from the Black Tower, incapacitating guards and showing him how to deactivate the gateway-nullifying effect it produces. Later she tips him off that Graendal is invading the dreams of one or all of the great generals commanding the army of the Light, and heals him and Gaul during a lull in their fight with Slayer.
At the conclusion of Rand's battle with Moridin, Perrin finds Lanfear just outside the entrance to the Pit of Doom. Unbeknownst to him, she lays a weave of Compulsion on him while they talk. She instructs Perrin to kill Moiraine at the same time she kills Nynaeve; she will then seize Callandor from Moridin and force Rand to kneel to her before killing him. Her plan is to strike while the Dark One is helpless, thereby saving him and making herself the highest and most powerful of the Chosen.
Perrin is able to see himself as both man and wolf, and because of this duality he is able to remember his love for Faile, and his duty to do what Rand cannot. Breaking through the power of Lanfear's Compulsion, he reaches out and breaks her neck, ending her scheming and manipulations.
World of Dreams
Despite Moghedien's prowess in Tel'aran'rhiod, Lanfear has always claimed it as her own domain. Moghedien's talent for manipulating the Dream surpasses Lanfear's, though Moghedien does not make public issue of this because Lanfear is stronger than she is in the waking world. Lanfear believed in her personal claim on Tel'aran'rhiod to the point of confronting even Ishamael about him using it without her permission, though Ishamael appeared to have simply been amused by her presumption. Ironically, Ishamael was himself an actual dreamer, and as such, his capabilities in Tel'aran'rhiod were essentially guaranteed to surpass Lanfear's by a considerable amount.
Lanfear is a variation of "l'enfer," French for the inferno or hell. Her pseudonym Selene is a reference to the Greek Goddess of the Moon.
- The Fires of Heaven, Prologue
- The Great Hunt, Chapter 16
- The Great Hunt, Chapter 48
- The Shadow Rising, Chapter 9
- Lanfear's character is based on Selene.
- The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 43
- The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 20
- The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 25
- The Shadow Rising, Chapter 10
- The Shadow Rising, Chapter 36