There is a part in one of the books it described how a gholam can slip through a crack in a door and Matrim remembered something about Mordeth...so is he a gholam?

2 Answers 2


The being we know as Mordeth is NOT a gholam. He is a twisted amalgamation of three evils:

  • The Darkfriend known as Padan Fain, both his body AND soul. Fain's soul had been somehow altered by The Dark One so that he could track the three boys.
  • The corrupted spirit/soul of Mordeth. Mordeth was largely responsible for Shadar Logoth's destruction, and had somehow been "imprinted" on the city when his body died.
  • The tainted corruption of Mat's dagger. The dagger's taint is essentially Mashadar itself, or at least the malice that it's made of (it's never made exactly clear)

The resulting "person" is a new creature altogether, something the world has never seen before, but it still calls itself "Mordeth". The Dark One had given Fain the ability to track Rand, Mat, and Perrin, and this new Mordeth (let's call him Mordeth 2.0) has retained that ability.

Gholams, on the other hand, were a weapon created during the War of Power, and to date we've only seen one active in the Third Age. Originally, there were six made - three male, three female, and they were designed specifically to track and kill users of the Power. A Gholam would be able to track Rand using this ability, but not Matt or Perrin.

Gholams have no bones, which allows them to slip through cracks and small openings that a normal person could not. There's also something a little "off" about them when you see them, but otherwise they're not worth remembering. Contrast this to Mordeth 2.0, who looks normal but radiates an aura of evil that makes people uncomfortable around him (and therefore memorable).

Mat was most likely remembering his brief encounter with the "ghost" of Mordeth 1.0 in Shadar Logoth. Before his merger with Padan Fain, Mordeth 1.0 was essentially a spirit who could change his form at will... and did so while confronting Mat in the chambers under the city.

  • I don't know if I believe this because Mordeth came before Padan Fain. How could he have been a mix of those then? In fact, wouldn't you say that basically your second part of the mixture is really all of what Mordeth was? Mar 16, 2015 at 14:46
  • Either way it does answer the question...just thought I would argue that point. Mar 16, 2015 at 14:47
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    The original Mordeth was basically a ghost trapped within Shadar Logoth (the mist). After Fain chased the boys into the city, he was possessed by Mordeth but - because of what the Dark One had done to Fain - they merged instead of Mordeth simply taking his body over. Afterwards, the merged version still called himself Mordeth.
    – Omegacron
    Mar 16, 2015 at 14:55
  • Fair enough, but the Mordeth whom Mattrim is referring to was the one before Fain, right? That was a Mordeth that seemed to expand when they were underground, where Mattrim found the dagger. That shapeshifting what my main basis of the question. Mar 16, 2015 at 15:05
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    Yes, IIRC that was the original one. When Shadar Logoth fell, he was somehow "absorbed" by the city and became something like a ghost that haunted it. He desperately wanted to escape the city and tried to possess Fain later in order to do that.
    – Omegacron
    Mar 16, 2015 at 15:13

Mordeth is not a gholam; Mordeth is Padan Fain after he has been corrupted by the dagger from Shadar Logoth. Mordeth also is the name of someone during the Trolloc Wars who corrupted and basically destroyed a whole city (Aridhol / Shadar Logoth). There is only 1 gholam in the story, and he was created by the Forsaken in the War of Power. He is immune to channeling, feeds on human blood, and appears not to be hurt from physical damage. AFAIK he has no name.

WEEK 6 QUESTION How were the Gholams made? Were they created or bred like the Trollocs? How exactly are they controlled if they are immune to the One Power?


The gholam—singular and plural are the same—were created, not bred. Supposedly their creation involved making them so that they would be obedient to the Chosen, whoever they might be at any given time. This was an attempt at copying something that had turned up in Myrddraal, which seem incapable of disobeying one of the Chosen, possibly because of the use of the True Power in creation of the Trollocs, the parent stock of the Myrddraal... In any case, if I were you, I wouldn't try giving orders to a gholam unless I were one of the Forsaken.

WEEK 10 QUESTION Now that Shadar Logoth is gone, (cool way to get rid of it by the way), has the evil power in Padan Fain/Mordeth/the Ruby Dagger decreased any? Has it driven him even more insane? Or since the next book is called Knife of Dreams, will all these questions be answered in it?


The evil power in Padan Fain has neither decreased nor increased, nor has that in the dagger. The corruption in him was partly caused by the taint on Shadar Logoth, but it didn't constitute a real connection to the city. Remember that it was because he was Padan Fain, the Hound of the Shadow, that he was able to leave Shadar Logoth in his new condition after he merged with/absorbed Mordeth. (By the way, any other artifacts that might be lying around from Shadar Logoth would have the same long-term corrupting effect as the dagger. Fortunately, or unfortunately, any such thing would need to be metal or stone. The wood and fabric had decayed. It wouldn't have been pleasant to get a splinter from, say, a chair from Shadar Logoth.)


What is Fain?


Mordeth + person. Mordeth is a human-made evil. The Black Wind gets along with Mordeth because of professional courtesy. Fain is anti-Forsaken as well as anti-Rand. He has a lot of skills and abilities outside of channeling. He can not channel.

  • We only see 1 Golam, but there were more than 1 created originally.
    – maxywb
    Nov 5, 2014 at 17:28
  • yes, only 1 golam in the story, the others are presumed destroyed or lost in stasis boxes.
    – Himarm
    Nov 5, 2014 at 17:30
  • There were 6 gholams created originally: three male and three female. And are we sure that the one that killed Herid Fel is the same one who later shows up in Ebou Dar? Hmm, that'd actually make a good question...
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 15, 2015 at 7:46
  • @randal'thor im pretty sure its the same one, there was something in an interview about that. Moridin finds the gholam in the cache that he shows the other foresaken if im not mistaken, or i guess Sammael found the gholam, lol.
    – Himarm
    Jul 15, 2015 at 13:05

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