|What Happened To... Lanfear?
by Shadar the Mad
Like the death of Asmodean, Lanfear's disappearance in Fires of Heaven is a bit of a mystery. But new information from Path of Daggers, and the novella New Spring may shed light on the case.
We last saw Lanfear disappearing through the twisted gateway on the docks of Cairhien, pursued by Moiraine. Nothing has been seen of either of them since, and all witnesses consider them both dead.
But in Path of Daggers, we encountered a new character - apparently a new Forsaken - who was introduced as Cyndane. From observing a meeting between her and Graendal, we learned a fair bit about Cyndane.
The strongest point is her strength in the Power. According to Graendal, the girl is even stronger in the Power than Graendal herself. This being rare enough in the Age of Legends, it is very unlikely that Cyndane is from this age.
And then we have Cyndane's personality. She's arrogant. Even by the standards of the Forsaken. Her first act is to look around Graendal's palace, paying no attention at all to Graendal, before challenging her verbally over her use of Compulsion on her pets. This isn't just arrogance, it borders on stupidity.
Finally, she seems to be on a mind trap, just like her companion Moghedien. In Crown of Swords, we saw Moghediens reaction to Moridin playing with her mind trap - a shudder as though suddenly in pain. And in Path of Daggers, we see the same reaction from both Cyndane and Moghedien.
All these facts point to one thing. Cyndane is a reincarnated Lanfear. It all fits - Lanfear was an extremely strong channeller, she was arrogant beyond belief, and she proved herself incapable of working unsupervised.
So this brings up back to the beginning. What happened to Lanfear? How did she die. I think we can get a hint of what happened from events in New Spring.
At the end of the story, Moiraine was in a similar situation to that in Fires of Heaven. She was faced with an opponent far stronger in the Power than she, someone who beat her back, then turned to deal with another matter.
Merean Redhill died of that. Having shielded Moiraine, and believing her no danger, she turned back to the job she was there for. She died shortly after, when Moiraine drove a knife into the Black sisters back.
I'm convinced that much the same thing happened to Lanfear. While this time she held the Power instead of a knife, Moiraine may well have remembered that scene twenty years ago. Lanfear probably died seconds after falling through the ter'angreal.
So that's what I think happened. Lanfear was killed by Moiraine, possibly using a knife. She was then reincarnated by the Dark One, and given to Moridin, who holds her mind trap. How the mighty have fallen.