Balthamel (BAHL-thah-mell) is one of the primary antagonists of the Wheel of Time fantasy series by Robert Jordan. He is one of the Forsaken.


Eval Ramman was a historian who focused on vanished civilizations and studied at the M'Jinn. Although a good scholar, he had a much seedier alter-ego; he would fraternise with the lowest criminals in bars, he womanized, and was extremely reckless with a short temper, and was almost forbidden to do any violence through the use of an Oath Rod. It was this dark side that probably lost him his chance at receiving the much coveted third name.

It was the promise of immortality that lured Eval to the Shadow; making his journey to Shayol Ghul in the middle years of The Collapse. During the war, he stood high in the councils of the Shadow, heading up an intelligence network to rival Moghedien.

In the War of Power he also set up camps for humans to be turned into Trolloc food. When he was sealed in the Bore with the other Chosen, he experienced the same phenomenon as Aginor; trapped at the top of the Seal, his body was subjected to age and decrepitude. His face was completely disfigured, and his tongue had long since withered away. He covered his body completely and wore a mask of a young man laughing, a reference to his vanity. He was also the first of the Forsaken to die in the Third Age.

Death at the Eye of the WorldEdit

He and Aginor waited at the Eye of the World for Moiraine Sedai, Rand al'Thor, and company. Ever the cruel womanizer, he manhandled Nynaeve disdainfully; this as much as his treatment of Moiraine led Lan Mandragoran to attempt to stop him, knowing full well that he was powerless to resist a male channeler. He fatally burned Someshta, the Last of the Nym, although Someshta killed him before succumbing, by bursting Balthamel's body with fast-growing weeds and noxious mushrooms.

Rebirth as Aran'garEdit

Along with Aginor, his soul was reincarnated into the body of a young Borderlander; however in his case, the Dark One chose a beautiful young woman as his new vessel. Whether or not this was due to a shortage of bodies, as Shaidar Haran told her, or merely the Dark One's sick sense of humor, Balthamel was not best pleased with this turn of events at first. However, since s/he was male as a Forsaken, she retained the ability to channel saidin. This ability proved very useful when she joined the Aes Sedai under Egwene al'Vere as Halima Saranov.

Aran'gar has preserved Balthamel's lecherous and sadistic nature. She is extremely flirtatious. Technically, however, she still has the soul of a man, and thus may be properly considered transgender. Osan'gar, who was reborn with "her", found this amusing, since Balthamel was a lecherous and lust-driven man. Interestingly, she seems to be adapting remarkably well to her new form, and appears to be becoming a woman in mind as well as body. At one point in Knife of Dreams Aran'gar remarks that her sexual "tastes" have not changed, merely expanded.

Masquerade as Halima SaranovEdit

Under the pseudonym Halima Saranov, Aran'gar infiltrated the Salidar Aes Sedai, becoming the secretary of Delana Sedai, a sister of the Black Ajah, and later became Egwene al'Vere's maid. She was able to remain at Egwene's side by secretly giving Egwene splitting headaches and proving the only person able to "massage" them away. Presumably, this was a surreptitious use of the male half of the One Power. Since Aran'gar channels using saidin, she was able to avoid detection from all of the Aes Sedai around her, until the existence of a woman able to channel saidin was connected to the murders of Anaiya and Kairen Sedai; she and Delana escaped before either could be taken and shielded and their whereabouts are currently bg:Балтамел fr:Balthamel it:Balthamel nl:Balthamel sv:Balthamel

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