Dark One

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search

The Dark One is a fictional character in the The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. It is the main antagonist in the series and the main source of evil in the series' fictional universe.


In The Wheel of Time books, Verin Sedai says the Dark One is the "embodiment of paradox and chaos, destroyer of reason and logic, breaker of balance, the unmaker of order, and the opponent of the Creator." Shai'tan (Arabic word for 'Adversary', related to Satan) is the godlike figure of the creatures of darkness.[1] Sheriam tells Egwene that the ability to channel confers a weakness, that those who can channel can be turned to the Dark One by 13 Dark-friend channelers and 13 Myrddraal. This weakness does not apply to those without the ability to channel the One Power.[2] There is also a catechism in the books that states that "The Dark One was bound by The Creator at the moment of creation."


The Dark One is the source of the True Power, which is analogous to the One Power. However, one can only draw on the True Power with the Dark One's blessing. Furthermore, it is much more addictive than either saidin or saidar, and not even the strongest willpower can fight the desire to use it. The True Power is demonstrated to be centered around death and destruction; for example Moridin uses it accidentally to crush the life out of a servant. As of the end of The Gathering Storm, only Moridin and Rand can use the power as they are linked together.

The Dark One has never been actually seen in any of the novels. Padan Fain states in The Fires of Heaven that the Pit of Doom's lake of fire "holds the Great Lord of the Dark in its endless depths." Although this language may be figurative, the Dark One has several powers within the area of Shayol Ghul. He can speak, although his 'voice' is massive enough to inflict incredible ecstasy and pain on the listener, often reducing those to whom he speaks to a barely coherent state.

There are other ways the Dark One can impact the world, as well. Metaphysically, the Bore is a pathway that allows the Dark One to reach out into the physical world; Lews Therin Telamon and the Hundred Companions attempted to seal the Bore to limit the Dark One's power, but over the course of the series his influence extends, and the cuendillar seals on his prison begin to weaken and break. By Lord of Chaos, several seals have broken and the rest are fragile.

As the Bore widens, the following phenomena occur, indicative of the increasing ability of the Dark One to affect the world.


Speaking the true name of the Dark One, Shai'tan, is believed to bring misfortune on the speaker. In the books, this is represented by the world 'lurching' around the namer and causing shadowspawn to find them easier. Darkfriends claim not to fear this misfortune, but consider speaking his name to be blasphemy. As a result, there are many alternative names for him:


At the time of the books, the Dark One is imprisoned in the same nameless state the Creator placed him in at the moment of creation, but with a "Bore" drilled into that prison. The Bore, made by Mierin Eronaile, was subsequently sealed with a patch made by Lews Therin Telamon and the Hundred Companions at the end of the War of Power. A backlash of power at this moment of sealing led to the taint on saidin, the male half of the One Power.

The Dark One has the most influence in the Pit Of Doom. The Pit Of Doom is an otherworldly place beneath Shayol Ghul, a mountain in the valley of Thakan'dar, beyond the Blight. In the books, Shayol Ghul is entirely a real place, but the Pit Of Doom, while it lies beneath Shayol Ghul, is either partially or wholly not in the world. Shayol Ghul was a tropical paradise in the Age of Legends.


  1. ^ The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan, page 188.
  2. ^ The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan, "Sealed."

External links[edit]