One of the key climactic scenes in A Memory of Light involves two majors characters fighting and apparently killing each other:

Lan manages to kill Demandred by "sheathing the sword", that is, allowing Demandred to land a blow in order to land one of his own. In this case, both strikes appeared to be fatal.

This death leads up to the major turning point in the battle:

As the Dark One gloats about all of the deaths, Rand "zooms in" on Lan and says something like "You're wrong about one", as we see Lan stand back up and hold Demandred's severed head over his own.

I have seen several comments on this site (and elsewhere) that assume the character in question was killed and resurrected

by Rand,

but I did not get that impression at all from the novel. That, IMO, is counter to everything else we know about how things worked. To me, it was obvious that the character in question was never dead -- the apparently fatal blow was not fatal, merely extremely severe, and he was able to push through it and keep going.

Is there any indication, other than

The Dark One's claim, which is highly suspect

that the character actually died and was resurrected?

  • 2
    It didn't even occur to me that anything implied that Rand resurrected him... I don't have my copy with me, but I suspect the answer to your question is a resounding "no!".
    – Beofett
    Jan 25, 2013 at 16:42
  • 1
    Also, minor quibble: "Sheathing the sword" allows your opponent to succeed in their attack, but isn't restricted to lethal attacks (most thrusting sword-fighting techniques are considered successful if the pointy end goes into the opponent, yet not all such wounds are inherently fatal).
    – Beofett
    Jan 25, 2013 at 16:45
  • I didn't get the resurrection vibe when I read it first time. Someone should ask Brandon next time he does a Q&A. I've not seen anything on the topic on any report transcripts that I've read. Jan 25, 2013 at 16:45
  • At least I know it's not just me, but the linked question is not the first time I've seen that assertion made; its also prevalent on the Tor spoiler-review by Leigh Butler.
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 25, 2013 at 17:50
  • 3
    unfortunately, it's (B). There are at least 5 primary and probably dozens of lesser characters who have been confirmed to have "been dead at some point and not dead now". (There is a world mechanic that causes all actions taken by a specific person to be undone backwards in time, including people they killed being returned to life.) This question is about a different set of circumstances than those.
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 25, 2013 at 18:59

6 Answers 6


I'd cautiously suggest that he wasn't resurrected, because others who were resurrected, such as Moridin, bore none of their prior wounds, while this character was still half-dead. Those other characters also required new bodies, while this character didn't.

It's technically possible that said potential resurrector acquired new, unexplained powers - he has before. However, in the past, his powers made a certain amount of sense in the universe, whereas power over death really isn't his vibe.

  • this is, I think, the most convincing evidence that my interpretation was correct; the resurrections done by the Dark One always recycled the soul after it left the body. IMO it would have been cheap writing for some new, better, never before seen kind of resurrection to appear at the very last minute.
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 31, 2013 at 16:53
  • @Himarm You used a capital "A" for "Adding"... I see what you did there.
    – Omegacron
    Feb 12, 2015 at 16:30

Lan did not die because it said at the end when Lan is telling Nynaeve that she can't get rid of him, he sends "love pulsing through their bond". If he had died, then that bond would have been severed like it was with Birgitte and Elayne.

  • This is the most canonical answer.
    – rsegal
    May 1, 2015 at 4:01

He never died, and was therefore not resurrected. That move allows your opponent's attack to succeed, but also allows you inside your opponent's guard. Not every person dies from being stuck with a sword.

As for others characters confirmed dead and resurrected, balefire causes this. We see it happen at the Heights when a number of dead Sharans are "resurrected" because of the use of balefire (weakens the Pattern and undoes that which has been done), as well as with a number of refugees (? I believe) who come back to attack the Trolloc forces near the end. Because of the use of so much balefire through the series (especially in AMoL), it shouldn't be any surprise that many people who were dead come back.


I took this the same way as Rand fixing food. Rand has the ability to select a possibility that he wants out of many that can happen. In this case instead of Lan being mortally wounded, Rand selected a possibility where he was only lightly cut.


I got the impression that he had died as well, but after re-reading it is clear he did not. All of the language regarding the event is ambiguous.

At the end of Ch. 37 the "death" scene is described (emphasis mine).

Deamandred struck, and Lan saw his opening. Lan lunged forward, placing Demandred's sword point against his own side and ramming himself forward onto it


The world grew dark and Lan slipped backward off the sword. He felt Nynaeve's fear and pain as he did, and he sent his love to her.

It was really the opening line in Ch 38 that got me (emphasis mine).

Rand saw Lan fall, and it sent a spasm of anguish through him.

Since, at the time, Rand was freaking out about all the people he hadn't/couldn't save and all the other events that foreshadowed Lan's death, I read "fall" to mean that he had "fallen and died" not just "fallen".

However, if I hadn't only skimmed when he started listing dead people (yet-again) several paragraphs later, I might have noticed Lan wasn't on there. Admittedly it wasn't a complete list (thank the Light), but the recently dead notables that Rand had a relationship with were on the list.

Names streamed from his head. Egwene, Hurin, Bashere...


He never died, although it seemed like it. We all THOUGHT he would die because "sheathing the sword" was always suggested to be an embracing of your own death. That it actually was NOT a fatal blow was quite surprising but as stated by some before a strike does not have to be "lethal" in nature. Also... it might be (and that is only speculation) that Nynaeve send some energy through the bond... she was a "yellow" and also very good at healing things that were normally beyond healing. The sentence: "He felt Nynaeve's fear and pain as he did, and he sent his love to her" showed only HIS action to Nynaeve... we however do not know exactly what she sent in return.

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