According to Birgitte, the heroes are bound to the wheel and live in Tel'aran'rhiod until reborn. The Forsaken seem to be able to enter Tel'aran'rhiod at will. Can they kill the bound heroes? If so, why don't they?

  • If the heroes go to Tel'arah'rhiod when they die and dying in Tel'arah'rhiod means you are really dead, killing them while they are in Tel'arah'rhiod probably isn't very productive. The Forsaken can definitely mess with the cycle in other ways, though. Dec 1, 2017 at 19:28
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    the birgitte explicitly say they know ways to hide from the foresaken in tel'aran'rhiod, moghedian attemps to do something worse then death to birgitte when she rips her out of tel'aran'rhiod early.
    – Himarm
    Dec 1, 2017 at 19:35
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    @ForrestVenable: the productivity of this is that if the heroes are "really dead", then when the Horn is sounded in the final battle, there'd be fewer heroes there to fight.
    – PiousVenom
    Dec 1, 2017 at 22:01
  • @MyCodeSucks Or maybe they just appear again in Tel'arah'rhiod as they would if they were killed in the real world. Dec 2, 2017 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


At least according to Brandon Sanderson, 'final' no-reincarnation death in Tel'aran'rhiod doesn't happen to humans. Some in-world people think it does, but they are wrong.


ShakaUVM ()

If people can be removed from the Wheel by dying in the Wolf Dream or the Dream World when they're there in person, how is it that there are any people left, if there's been an infinite number of turns of the Wheel?

Brandon Sanderson

They actually can't. That only works on wolves, regardless of what some people think in-world. I thought like you do, but Maria was quite firm that RJ said it couldn't happen, even in the World of Dreams. (Or even with balefire—which I thought would also remove people. Maria explained that I was wrong, and RJ was firm on this one too.)

  • Nice find - although it immediately begs the follow up question how are there any wolves left.
    – delinear
    Dec 4, 2017 at 12:49
  • shrugs that occurred to me too, but without Robert Jordan, it is probably unanswerable. If wolf souls can get destroyed and human ones can't, maybe they can be created too? Dec 6, 2017 at 3:23

Unknown, but probably.

There's nothing direct in canon that addresses this - Birgitte being ripped out of Tel'aran'rhiod early is the closest, and she straight up admits she has no idea how thorough the ramifications are - whether it un-bound her from the Wheel or not.

However, according to Hopper, wolves who die in the dream die forever. After he catches up with Perrin, who just (while in Tel'aran'rhiod) chased Slayer to the Tower of Ghenjei:

Cub foolish, digging in a groundwasps' nest. This place is evil. All know this. And you would chase evil into evil. Slayer can kill.

Perrin paused. There was a sense of finality to the emotions his mind attached the word "kill" to. "Hopper, what happens to a wolf who dies in the dream?"

The wolf was silent for a time. If we die here, we die forever, Young Bull. I do not know if the same is true for you, but I believe it is.

The Shadow Rising, chapter 28, "To the Tower of Ghenjei"

Also, when Nynaeve and Moghedien stalked Gaebril in Tel'aran'rhiod, Moghedien was quite clear about her concerns:

"...They are here in the flesh, not dreaming! They are using things you have never dreamed of! They will destroy us if we stay!"


"They will kill us," the other woman mumbled faintly, and nearly unintelligibly through her sobs...

So a member of the Forsaken clearly felt that death in Tel'aran'rhiod was final.

The Fires of Heaven, chapter 55, "The Threads Burn"

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