EWoT: Moghedien

"My way is best. Softly, softly, in the shadows."

Moghedien (moh-GHEH-dee-ehn; /moʊˈgɛ.di.ɛn/; Old Tongue: Spider), formerly known as Lilen Moiral, was one of the thirteen Forsaken trapped at Shayol Ghul due to the Dragon's sealing. She considers herself the master of Tel'aran'rhiod. Her strength in the power is 4(+9), putting her above almost all Aes Sedai, but still below some female Forsaken, such as Semirhage and Lanfear (prior to her stay with the Finn).


Moghedien is handsome with dark shoulder-length hair. She has large, dark eyes and is sturdy. She appears proud, even regal.[2]


Moghedien's strength in the One Power, though extraordinary by the standards of the Third Age, was not extraordinarily powerful for the Age of Legends. Of course, being one of the Forsaken she would have been one of the 13 most powerful channelers on the side of the Dark, but is the weakest of the Forsaken. However, it is her prowess in Tel'aran'rhiod that is her most notable asset.



The investment advisor Lilen Moiral joined The Shadow long before the War of Power began, hiding her allegiance, conspiring and plotting from the shadows. This later earned her the name Moghedien, a small spider from the Age of Legends that lived in hiding, with a poison that killed within seconds.

Moghedien was a relatively young Aes Sedai, roughly 200 years old in the Age of Legends when the Bore was created. She was often overlooked as harmless and unimportant, though even before pledging her soul to the Dark One there are records of Moghedien violating ethical law in her job. This appearance gave ample opportunity making her ideal in the business of spying and sabotage. In fact, it was said that she ran what was perhaps the Shadow's most extensive intelligence network during the War of Power.

Moghedien portrait done by Seamas Gallagher

Moghedien joined Lews Therin Telamon as an employee of his staff, and from her position directed several of the major setbacks for the Light in the early War. Although not a general like others who aided the Shadow in the War, Moghedien was responsible for scores of civilian deaths.[3]

One of her plots for bringing down Lews Therin was foiled by Birgitte Silverbow, then known as Teadra. This made Moghedien swear to take a gruesome revenge on the hero. She barely escaped with her life when she was discovered as a supporter of the Shadow.

Summoned together with the other twelve most powerful of the Forsaken, Moghedien found herself in the middle of the Hundred Companions' strike at Shayol Ghul, led by Lews Therin. Trapped inside, she slept for three thousand years.

WoT Japanese ACoS5

Moghedien (from a Japanese translation book cover)

"She hides and takes no risks. She attacks only where she sees weakness, and moves only in shadows. If she fears defeat, she will run; she is not one to fight to the last, even when doing so has the chance of victory. A chance is not good enough for Moghedien. Lanfear always claimed Tel'aran'rhiod for her own, but Moghedien could do things here far beyond Lanfear, though she has not Lanfear's strength in the world of flesh."
   —Birgitte to Nynaeve about Moghedien[4]



After the Seals had weakened considerably during the Age, Moghedien is released upon the world again. Immediately she adapts to the new circumstances - fairly easy since her knowledge and power made her all but invincible. As with all Chosen, she holds the current Aes Sedai in contempt.

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Moghedien as Gyldin

For the possibly imaginary Black sister by a similar name, see Gyldan.

Moghedien disguises herself as Gyldin, a Darkfriend merchant's servant, to keep an eye on Liandrin and the other Black sisters in Tanchico.[5] There, she plans to gain possession of the Domination Band in order to control Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn. She walks into the inn at which Elayne Trakand and Nynaeve al'Meara are staying and compels them to divulge everything they have discovered on the Black Ajah. When Nynaeve figures out that Moghedien has used Complusion on them, she is furious.[6] Elayne and Nynaeve thwart Moghedien's plans--Nynaeve actually bests the much more experienced Forsaken in a duel of the Power. However, Moghedien manages to slip away from Nynaeve's grasp, true to her characteristic slippery nature.[7]

Moghedien turns up in Amadicia, taking control of Liandrin and company.[8] She strikes hard at Liandrin for trying to overstep herself, shielding Liandrin with an impossibly complex weave, giving the tiniest hope that one day Liandrin can find someone able and willing to unravel it. Further, Moghedien uses Compulsion to keep Liandrin from taking her own life in despair at her powerless, mundane station.[9]

Forsaken Moghedien

The Forsaken Moghedien.

While spying on Rahvin, Sammael, Lanfear and Graendal, Moghedien finds Nynaeve and Birgitte in Tel'aran'rhiod. She traps them and tortures Nynaeve, but is badly wounded by one of Birgitte's arrows. As a counterstrike, she tears Birgitte out of the Dream World, where heroes bound to the Wheel wait to be spun out by the Pattern and reborn. Moghedien has her long-sworn revenge, separating Birgitte from her destined lover in this unnatural lifetime, and almost killing Birgitte beyond hope of rebirth.[10][9]

Captive in Salidar

Moghedien disguises herself again, this time as Marigan. She sails to Salidar with a group of Taraboner refugees who take shelter under Nynaeve, Elayne, and Birgitte. She is overconfident in Tel'aran'rhiod when Nynaeve slaps a collar on her neck, linking Moghedien to her with an a'dam. Nynaeve then uses Moghedien's channeling ability to help Rand defeat Rahvin. Throughout this whole experience Moghedien is terrified, as Nynaeve can feel through the a'dam, showing why she likes to attack from the shadows.

While still in the World of Dreams with Moghedien captive by way of the a'dam, Nynaeve works out that Moghedien knows enough of the goings on in Salidar that the Forsaken must be disguised in Salidar itself. Although the a'dam would disappear when Nynaeve leaves Tel'aran'rhiod, what happens to a person in the World of Dreams happens in the waking world. Nynaeve doses Moghedien strongly with forkroot so that in the real world, Moghedien's ability to channel is blocked, thus dissolving her disguise.



Back in the waking Salidar, Elayne fashions a sort of modified a'dam for Moghedien that looks like a necklace and bracelet without the connecting leash. Elayne and Nynaeve then extract secrets of the One Power and the Age of Legends from her. Posing as Elayne and Nynaeve's servant in Salidar, she teaches them some forgotten weaves and Talents of the One Power. Throughout her time collared, anyone who wears the corresponding bracelet can feel Moghedien's constant fear and hate oozing through the link.

Under another master

Moghedien is finally freed from the a'dam by Aran'gar and taken to Shayol Ghul, to be first beaten by Shaidar Haran and then once more have her will stolen by a mindtrap, held by Moridin, again a slave to someone else's will.


Moghedien from the CCG

Moridin sends Moghedien to track down Falion Bhoda and Ispan Shefar and check on their angreal hunting progress in Ebou Dar. While there she spots Nynaeve in a boat and in a rage shoots balefire at her, though missing. Despite hating Nynaeve so much and seeking revenge, Moghedien keeps clear of her block for the rest of the series.

Moridin then sends Moghedien along with Cyndane as messengers to summon Graendal to him. Moghedien participates in the Battle near Shadar Logoth where she hides in the background during the whole exchange. She attends the meeting with the other Chosen in Tel'aran'rhiod, which is made to look like the Ansaline Gardens. There she is told that Rand is not to be harmed and that Matrim Cauthon and Perrin Aybara are to be killed if found.

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Moghedien as depicted by the CCG

Moridin gathers the last of the Chosen within one dreamshard of his. Moghedien is given back her cour'souvra with the warning to not fail again. Moridin reveals two unfamiliar looking Chosen, the male who is Mazrim Taim is renamed M'Hael. Moghedien realizes that the unfamiliar female Chosen present called Hessalam is actually Graendal in a new body. Moghedien is placed under Demandred's command. Moridin then demands that all other plots and plans by the Chosen are to be concluded and that they are to unite for the Last Battle against the forces of the Light.

In the Last Battle, after Demandred's death she takes on Mask of Mirrors and takes command of Sharans in his place, though only for a short time before her command is destroyed by Talmanes and Dragons. She survives that and the Last Battle, considering herself the highest Chosen now. She's taken captive by a sul'dam named Shanan though, the reason behind that stated she's not wearing an Aes Sedai ring and walking like she's up to no good. Like all other damane, she is taken back to Ebou Dar.


Moghedien was the most cautious and least confrontational of the Forsaken. Her cunning exploits in the name of the Shadow earned her the name Moghedien - Spider.

She always worked from the shadows, and claimed this way was the best. She proves this by being the only Forsaken end with their life (and their faculties); she didn't even have to be reborn, unlike Graendal and Lanfear. Moreover, she proved to last the longest, in terms of appearence to demise, lasting from TSR to the very end, far longer than her combative counterparts.


  1. The Shadow Rising, Chapter 46
  2. Lord of Chaos, Chapter 37
  3. TWORJTWOT, Chapter 6
  4. The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 52
  5. The Shadow Rising, Chapter 38
  6. The Shadow Rising, Chapter 52
  7. The Shadow Rising, Chapter 54
  8. The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 18
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 35
  10. The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 34