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Is Taim Actually Demandred???

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He arrives in Caemlyn playing the part of a man who had fled from capture and had been chased across the land by Bashere's men. And he's got that bloody beard. Perrin was always commenting on how hot the beard was, especially since he had grown up in Andor. We don't know that facial hair styles of the AoL. We know Sammael had a beard. And I think Belal had a pointed and oiled goatee or something. Whereas Rhavin and Natael appear clean shaven (or at least I don't remember a beard being mentioned). So it probably ran the gamut. But no mention anywhere is made of Demandred. So we have no idea of the level of comfort his having a beard in the warmer south would be.

Given the trick of ignoring the heat, and the fact he can create a beard via Illusion, he shouldn't have any discomfort. And remember, he's trying to be accepted as Taim - why would he want any doubt as to who he is? Show up with the beard, get accepted, and then ditch it later.

 

2) We had a similar experience of forsaken appearing masquerading as someone and then the reveal. Rahvin as Gaebril ; Lanfear as Keille and Selene; Asmodean as Jasin.

Always with the dissimilarity that we never had anyone question whether they were who they said they were, prove they were, and use that as part of the build up to their reveal. The business with Demandred proving he's Taim is different to all the others - we have no "something only Natael/Keille/Selene/Gaebril would know" scene. Playing it differently to the reader is surely an indicator to the reader that this is different.

 

It seems to me that in some time in writting RJ wanted the reader to think Taim was Demandred. It seems too much of a coincidence for the amount of people, who thought of this, to just pull it out of the air. Some of which ( like myself ) had never visited DM before being put straight. I like many others come to the Taimandred conclusion on my own.

I think it was initially a red herring, and when it grew too much RJ thought " O i better nip this in the bud". As i have already said it is too much of a coinicidence for so many people to independently come to the same conclusion.

Except we have a number of instances of people believing things RJ never intended them to believe - Olver/Cain for example. It could actually be interpreted a number of ways.

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Ok, yeah i guess so, but, the olver/cain theory hit no where the heights in terms of numbers, who believed and the certanty, those who believed had in Taimandred.

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Ok, yeah i guess so, but, the olver/cain theory hit no where the heights in terms of numbers, who believed and the certanty, those who believed had in Taimandred.

I think that's probably in part because it was unlikely to have much effect on the plot either way, unlike Taimandred, which could perhaps prove crucial if true. So people were just less likely to care either way.

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Ok, yeah i guess so, but, the olver/cain theory hit no where the heights in terms of numbers, who believed and the certanty, those who believed had in Taimandred.

I think that's probably in part because it was unlikely to have much effect on the plot either way, unlike Taimandred, which could perhaps prove crucial if true. So people were just less likely to care either way.
No. At one point I thought Olver could be Cain reborn. I was convinced in Taimandred. The "clues" in the books for Demandred being Taim were many. People only thought olver to be cain, because he was ugly and the right age. Edited by damandred

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 Given the trick of ignoring the heat, and the fact he can create a beard via Illusion, he shouldn't have any discomfort. And remember, he's trying to be accepted as Taim - why would he want any doubt as to who he is? Show up with the beard, get accepted, and then ditch it later.

 

I'm just going to have to disagree with you on this. I don't think it would have been such a big deal. Once Taim showed he knew something only he could know, the issue died. You'll notice Rand was never suspicious. It was only Bashere and that was likely for a host of reasons. Given how easily Demandred (had he been Taim) proved himself Taim (and how in keeping it would have been with hist character of Taim to have shaved- because we can't forget, after all, that Taim did IN FACT shave because it was hot!!!!) it never rose to become a shadow of an issue. Again, I don't think this was a big deal at all, especially in story.

 

And making a beard with illusion seems overly complex and ripe for discovery all for something as simple as a beard. Given the touchiness of illusion that we saw with Elayne and Nyneave and their disguises in Ebou Dar, something "attached" to the face and needed to hold up to scrutiny from all angles and distances....well, this seems overkill. Grow the beard or don't and explain it. As I said, in my opinion, Taim-always-as-Demandred's reasons don't seem any less valid that Taim-always-as-Taim's reasons.

 

 

 

 

 Always with the dissimilarity that we never had anyone question whether they were who they said they were, prove they were, and use that as part of the build up to their reveal. The business with Demandred proving he's Taim is different to all the others - we have no "something only Natael/Keille/Selene/Gaebril would know" scene. Playing it differently to the reader is surely an indicator to the reader that this is different.

 

In fact, we did have that in-story suspicion during the Natael and Keille scenes...only with toward Lanfear's intended decoys. Rand's interactions with Isendre and Kadere- including words he had with them- indicated that he suspected they were in fact Lanfear and Asmodean. Lanfear was quite wise in bringing them as decoys because they kept him looking in the wrong direction. That misdirection snared more than Rand. We the readers were focused on them, rather than Natael and Keille, despite their saying things that, in hindsight, scream that they are not who they say they are.

 

So I don't think this is being played differently to the reader at all. Again, the reader had been presented with numerous and varying examples of a forsaken getting close to our heroes, first unawares, as Selene (with Rand) and then as Else Grinwell (with the super-girls). Then later, as Rand has become the wiser (and in fact expected Lanfear to come looking for him in the waste) with Keille and Jasin. Rand's getting it wrong, or not being suspicious of the wrong persons, was only due to Lanfear's deviousness. Multiple situations where there is and is not in-story suspicion with regard to one of the forsaken pretending to be someone to get close to them.

 

We were primed and looking for this stuff in TFOH too, with regard to who killed Asmodean. One candidate was Rand's bannerman when he went to kill Rahvin (the one who had lost his whole family, had a scar and now never smiled). People speculated that he was actually Sammael and it was he that responsible for Asmodean's death. That same alertness is what made people watch Dashiva so closely.

 

Given all of that, I repeat that it seems probable that RJ intended us to suspect that Taim was Demandred, in exactly the same way that Lanfear set Isendre and Kadere as decoys.

 

BTW, found these while looking something up: They both come from 2000 and indicate the extent to which debate of Taimandred had taken hold of the online community. Funny to look back on this stuff from way back in the day. That angelfire is vintage 90s internet.

http://www.angelfire.com/ego/tzarchasm/wot/theories/index.html

http://www.oocities.org/area51/stargate/8513/taim.htm

http://www.theportalstone.com/bythefans/humor/taimandred.html

 

Anyway, at this point it is moot. Demandred isn't and never was Taim. However RJ intended it, a lot of people fell for it. At the very least, the previous 5 books only made us all alert to every possible statement, expression, eye raise, sniff, and adjective for this kind of stuff. If it wasn't deliberate, well, when LOC ended, there sure were a LOT of things that served to make it such a popular theory. (And of course, I maintain that the whole Where's Waldo hunt for Demandred and his turning up in Shara was executed poorly by both RJ- in the lead up books- and BS in the final volume(s).)

Edited by Ian Ohlander

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Ok, yeah i guess so, but, the olver/cain theory hit no where the heights in terms of numbers, who believed and the certanty, those who believed had in Taimandred.

I think that's probably in part because it was unlikely to have much effect on the plot either way, unlike Taimandred, which could perhaps prove crucial if true. So people were just less likely to care either way.

 

No. At one point I thought Olver could be Cain reborn. I was convinced in Taimandred. The "clues" in the books for Demandred being Taim were many. People only thought olver to be cain, because he was ugly and the right age.

 

So people thought one person was another based on a couple of similarities, and thought a different person was someone else based on a couple of similarities, and you say the different popularity of the two theories is due to one being based on a couple of similarities and the other being based on a couple of similarities, so they're completely different.

 

 

Given the trick of ignoring the heat, and the fact he can create a beard via Illusion, he shouldn't have any discomfort. And remember, he's trying to be accepted as Taim - why would he want any doubt as to who he is? Show up with the beard, get accepted, and then ditch it later.

 

I'm just going to have to disagree with you on this. I don't think it would have been such a big deal. Once Taim showed he knew something only he could know, the issue died. You'll notice Rand was never suspicious. It was only Bashere and that was likely for a host of reasons. Given how easily Demandred (had he been Taim) proved himself Taim (and how in keeping it would have been with hist character of Taim to have shaved- because we can't forget, after all, that Taim did IN FACT shave because it was hot!!!!) it never rose to become a shadow of an issue. Again, I don't think this was a big deal at all, especially in story.

 

And making a beard with illusion seems overly complex and ripe for discovery all for something as simple as a beard. Given the touchiness of illusion that we saw with Elayne and Nyneave and their disguises in Ebou Dar, something "attached" to the face and needed to hold up to scrutiny from all angles and distances....well, this seems overkill. Grow the beard or don't and explain it. As I said, in my opinion, Taim-always-as-Demandred's reasons don't seem any less valid that Taim-always-as-Taim's reasons.

 

The problem with Rand and Bashere's reactions is that Demandred doesn't know what they will be. Yes, he's able to offer a simple proof that convinces Bashere and suspicion never takes root in Rand, but it could easily have been different. What if Bashere hadn't mentioned his suspicions at the time? He could have planted suspicion in Rand's mind later. Demandred has no reason to shave. It adds risk but no benefit, as he can ignore the heat. Also, we don't know why Taim shaved. We know the reason he gave, but that is specifically noted as mockery, thus the truthfulness cannot be determined accurately. Taim is noted in that first scene as being untouched by the heat. If the heat were a genuinely given reason, that would be a curious discrepancy. As it's mockery, the discrepancy is meaningless.

 

Also, the beard Illusion doesn't have to last long. He only needs to have it long enough for him to have time to shave. And I offered the suggestion only to cover all eventualities - he can ignore the heat anyway, so it's just in case he didn't have time to grow the beard or such like. Real beard or fake, Bashere is surprised at its absence. That might just be because Taim is Saldaean, but even so, a beard helps him get accepted, being clean shaven doesn't. So he shaves despite having no reason to do so, and offers no explanation except one not intended to be taken seriously. Why would Demandred do that?

 

 

Always with the dissimilarity that we never had anyone question whether they were who they said they were, prove they were, and use that as part of the build up to their reveal. The business with Demandred proving he's Taim is different to all the others - we have no "something only Natael/Keille/Selene/Gaebril would know" scene. Playing it differently to the reader is surely an indicator to the reader that this is different.

 

In fact, we did have that in-story suspicion during the Natael and Keille scenes...only with toward Lanfear's intended decoys. Rand's interactions with Isendre and Kadere- including words he had with them- indicated that he suspected they were in fact Lanfear and Asmodean. Lanfear was quite wise in bringing them as decoys because they kept him looking in the wrong direction. That misdirection snared more than Rand. We the readers were focused on them, rather than Natael and Keille, despite their saying things that, in hindsight, scream that they are not who they say they are.

 

So I don't think this is being played differently to the reader at all. Again, the reader had been presented with numerous and varying examples of a forsaken getting close to our heroes, first unawares, as Selene (with Rand) and then as Else Grinwell (with the super-girls). Then later, as Rand has become the wiser (and in fact expected Lanfear to come looking for him in the waste) with Keille and Jasin. Rand's getting it wrong, or not being suspicious of the wrong persons, was only due to Lanfear's deviousness. Multiple situations where there is and is not in-story suspicion with regard to one of the forsaken pretending to be someone to get close to them.

 

We were primed and looking for this stuff in TFOH too, with regard to who killed Asmodean. One candidate was Rand's bannerman when he went to kill Rahvin (the one who had lost his whole family, had a scar and now never smiled). People speculated that he was actually Sammael and it was he that responsible for Asmodean's death. That same alertness is what made people watch Dashiva so closely.

 

Given all of that, I repeat that it seems probable that RJ intended us to suspect that Taim was Demandred, in exactly the same way that Lanfear set Isendre and Kadere as decoys.

Except that is being played differently - there's no decoy. So Lanfear's plan takes Rand's likely suspicion into account and diverts it, but Demandred's doesn't. If Rand had got suspicious of Demandred, what then? And the writing of Lanfear's plan takes the reader's likely suspicion into account and diverts it in the same way, but Demandred's doesn't, Demandred's tries to convince you there's nothing to be suspicious of. We're not given a "Asmodean/Lanfear can't be Jasin/Keille" moment because we're looking elsewhere, which makes the "Taim can't be Demandred" proof unusual.

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@ Mr Ares

 

So people thought one person was another based on a couple of similarities, and thought a different person was someone else based on a couple of similarities, and you say the different popularity of the two theories is due to one being based on a couple of similarities and the other being based on a couple of similarities, so they're completely different.

 

@ Damandred reply

 

 

I said there were 2 similarities in the olver/ cain theory, and many in Taimandred. That is different. 2 or a couple is not the same as many.

I dont know wether you misunderstood that, or attempted to mock my answer, because you had nothing else, if so, it was cheap.

I thought Olver could be Cain based on, Olver' age and the fact that it is said they are both pretty ugly. Thats it. Nothing else.

With Taimandred there were MANY little pointers Bashere' suspicion, the fact that he used phases the forsaken had used, ie; ( so called ) . The Lord of Chaos at the end of KoD. But the biggest of all the fact that we never saw Demandred. Here we have perhaps the most powerfull forsaken, with a deep personal hatred of LTT, we know hes important to the overall plot from the little hints through the books. But we never see him. Since a lot of other forsaken used disguises, its only logical too assume he did too, for me a big neon sign pointered at Taim for that post.

 

Was it ever stated by RJ that he didnt draw similarities between Olver and Cain so people would think Olver was Cain.

Edited by damandred

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Am I the only person who wasn't surprised that Asmo was really the gleeman?  with Asmo seen poking in the dream world at the edges of the Rhudiean Fog and then the questions the gleeman was asking made me suspect he was Asmo.  I didn't think Lanfear would take a look that wasn't beautiful, but if Natal was suppose to be a huge surprise to us I think RJ gave too many clues IMO.  But again IMO with Demandred hatred for Rand I am not sure he could pretend to be Taim and not immedietly try to kill Rand.  Also Dem made it clear throughout the series he was going to be the one to kill Rand, we know Taim sent the Asha'man to kill Rand, Dem never would of sent others to kill Rand.  So that's another clue that eliminates the Taim/Dem idea.

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Taim didnt send the Asha'man to kill Rand . Dashiva led the asha'man, who tried to kill Rand.

 

Ah to Rochaid, WH. I see.

Edited by damandred

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You keep repeating viability of Cain/Olver and it isn't there in the text. Per Birgitte in several places, heroes are reborn into newborns, and I can't recall anything in the text that would suggest otherwise. Olver is years too old. Stand and try to deliver.

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You keep repeating viability of Cain/Olver and it isn't there in the text. Per Birgitte in several places, heroes are reborn into newborns, and I can't recall anything in the text that would suggest otherwise. Olver is years too old. Stand and try to deliver.

 

Eh me? I try to down play the viability of Olver/Cain. If you read the thread, I am of the opinion that Tamandred was a red herring or curve ball thrown in by RJ, on the bases of how many people believed in it independantly. Mr Ares suggested that people have come up with many other wrong theories independently, giving Olver/Cain as a example. I stated that the Olver/Cain theory wasnt as anywhere near as popular as Taimandred. So there. * pull tongue*

But as for Olvers age im not to sure about this, but , i think i have seen a thread/theory explaining this, something to do with the differances of time between tar and the real world. ( its late cant be bothered looking) Also we know Cain is always older than Birgitte so when she is being reborn at the end of aMoL, he is out there already as a kid. I might be wrong about the ages, but, as that just strenthens the point i was trying to make to Mr Ares anyway. *shug*

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But as for Olvers age im not to sure about this, but , i think i have seen a thread/theory explaining this, something to do with the differances of time between tar and the real world. ( its late cant be bothered looking)

 

Interview: Jan 16th, 2003Question
Is Olver Gaidal Cain?
Robert Jordan
No. I didn't really think that this would last as long as it has. The timing is wrong. He has another reason for being there besides being a red herring, though.
QUESTION
He's too old.
ROBERT JORDAN
Yes. Time in Tel'aran'rhiod and the real world run at different rates, but it never runs backwards. You may spend an hour in Tel'aran'rhiod, and a day has passed when you get back, or you may spend a day, and an hour has passed when you get back, but you'll never go in on Tuesday and come back on Monday.
Edited by Suttree

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@ Mr Ares

 

So people thought one person was another based on a couple of similarities, and thought a different person was someone else based on a couple of similarities, and you say the different popularity of the two theories is due to one being based on a couple of similarities and the other being based on a couple of similarities, so they're completely different.

 

@ Damandred reply

 

 

I said there were 2 similarities in the olver/ cain theory, and many in Taimandred. That is different. 2 or a couple is not the same as many.

I dont know wether you misunderstood that, or attempted to mock my answer, because you had nothing else, if so, it was cheap.

I thought Olver could be Cain based on, Olver' age and the fact that it is said they are both pretty ugly. Thats it. Nothing else.

With Taimandred there were MANY little pointers Bashere' suspicion, the fact that he used phases the forsaken had used, ie; ( so called ) . The Lord of Chaos at the end of KoD. But the biggest of all the fact that we never saw Demandred. Here we have perhaps the most powerfull forsaken, with a deep personal hatred of LTT, we know hes important to the overall plot from the little hints through the books. But we never see him. Since a lot of other forsaken used disguises, its only logical too assume he did too, for me a big neon sign pointered at Taim for that post.

 

Was it ever stated by RJ that he didnt draw similarities between Olver and Cain so people would think Olver was Cain.

Except you overstate the similarities between Taim and Demandred. Bashere's suspicion is a point against (as I've already proved), Taimandred was long out of the window by the time KoD came on the scene, and have we ever seen Demandred use "so-called Aiel"? Let's not overlook that after Taimandred was ruled out, quite a few people tried using many of the exact same pieces of evidence to prove that Taim was Moridin or Be'lal (possibly there are other, older theories as well that were ruled out by the time I joined, but I've certainly seen people argue Belaim and Taimidin. There are probably Taimmael and Taimodean arguments out there as well *shudder*). In terms of evidence that was specifically towards Demandred, and during the timeframe before the theory was shot down (books 6-8), there were only a couple of similarities.

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But as for Olvers age im not to sure about this, but , i think i have seen a thread/theory explaining this, something to do with the differances of time between tar and the real world. ( its late cant be bothered looking)

Interview: Jan 16th, 2003

COT Signing Report - Tim Kington (Paraphrased)Question

Is Olver Gaidal Cain?Robert Jordan

No. I didn't really think that this would last as long as it has. The timing is wrong. He has another reason for being there besides being a red herring, though.QUESTION

He's too old.ROBERT JORDAN

Yes. Time in Tel'aran'rhiod and the real world run at different rates, but it never runs backwards. You may spend an hour in Tel'aran'rhiod, and a day has passed when you get back, or you may spend a day, and an hour has passed when you get back, but you'll never go in on Tuesday and come back on Monday.

Thanks again, suttree.

 

Note to Mr Ares: From the horses mouth the Olver/Cain WAS a red herring. If he brushed us slightly with that curve ball, IMO he hit us on the back of the head, with, Taimandred.

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@ Mr Ares

 

So people thought one person was another based on a couple of similarities, and thought a different person was someone else based on a couple of similarities, and you say the different popularity of the two theories is due to one being based on a couple of similarities and the other being based on a couple of similarities, so they're completely different.

 

@ Damandred reply

 

 

I said there were 2 similarities in the olver/ cain theory, and many in Taimandred. That is different. 2 or a couple is not the same as many.

I dont know wether you misunderstood that, or attempted to mock my answer, because you had nothing else, if so, it was cheap.

I thought Olver could be Cain based on, Olver' age and the fact that it is said they are both pretty ugly. Thats it. Nothing else.

With Taimandred there were MANY little pointers Bashere' suspicion, the fact that he used phases the forsaken had used, ie; ( so called ) . The Lord of Chaos at the end of KoD. But the biggest of all the fact that we never saw Demandred. Here we have perhaps the most powerfull forsaken, with a deep personal hatred of LTT, we know hes important to the overall plot from the little hints through the books. But we never see him. Since a lot of other forsaken used disguises, its only logical too assume he did too, for me a big neon sign pointered at Taim for that post.

 

Was it ever stated by RJ that he didnt draw similarities between Olver and Cain so people would think Olver was Cain.

Except you overstate the similarities between Taim and Demandred. Bashere's suspicion is a point against (as I've already proved), Taimandred was long out of the window by the time KoD came on the scene, and have we ever seen Demandred use "so-called Aiel"? Let's not overlook that after Taimandred was ruled out, quite a few people tried using many of the exact same pieces of evidence to prove that Taim was Moridin or Be'lal (possibly there are other, older theories as well that were ruled out by the time I joined, but I've certainly seen people argue Belaim and Taimidin. There are probably Taimmael and Taimodean arguments out there as well *shudder*). In terms of evidence that was specifically towards Demandred, and during the timeframe before the theory was shot down (books 6-8), there were only a couple of similarities.
The examples i gave were just from the top of my head. The LoC book is full of Taimandred hints.

There is the half smiles, Dominating stance, the rage when Rand pins the Asha'man pin on him. Theres more in other books as well, comments made about Demandred keeping a watch on Rand and more. The theories you gave about the other forsaken dont hold anything up to Taimandred as we had at least, to various degrees, knew something of there activities. Demandred nothing. Only little hints. Theres comments on Taims half smile and Demandreds in the same book dammit.

For the KoD example i made i hadnt visited DM when i read that so the Taimandred theory was still valid to me.

 

As a side thought i dont know if it has already been done, but it would be good to know if others thought if RJ intended Taimandred to be a red herring at first. Some kind of poll?

 

Ps, for the so called Aiel comment i drew attention to it as its something that someone from the age of legends would say.

Edited by damandred

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As I noted earlier the similarities were always overstated. Once again, I prefer not to call RJ a liar and take him at his word on the subject.

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As I noted earlier the similarities were always overstated. Once again, I prefer not to call RJ a liar and take him at his word on the subject.

Did RJ ever say he didnt intend Taim to be a red herring for Demandred?

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I'll pull the quote later, can't remember the exact wording but he said he was surprised by the fan reaction.

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I'll pull the quote later, can't remember the exact wording but he said he was surprised by the fan reaction.

No need i will take your word for it. But saying he was surprised is not the same as saying, that it was never his intention for people to think Taim was Demandred, maybe he was surprised by how many bought it.

 

I dont think the comparisons are overstated, i think they are just stated. Taim DID rage when Rand gave him the asha'man pin, he did say so called Aiel, There WAS refferances to half smiles.

I dont think it was unreasonable for the readers to come up with Taimandred, after those.

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@ Mr Ares

 

So people thought one person was another based on a couple of similarities, and thought a different person was someone else based on a couple of similarities, and you say the different popularity of the two theories is due to one being based on a couple of similarities and the other being based on a couple of similarities, so they're completely different.

 

@ Damandred reply

 

 

I said there were 2 similarities in the olver/ cain theory, and many in Taimandred. That is different. 2 or a couple is not the same as many.

I dont know wether you misunderstood that, or attempted to mock my answer, because you had nothing else, if so, it was cheap.

I thought Olver could be Cain based on, Olver' age and the fact that it is said they are both pretty ugly. Thats it. Nothing else.

With Taimandred there were MANY little pointers Bashere' suspicion, the fact that he used phases the forsaken had used, ie; ( so called ) . The Lord of Chaos at the end of KoD. But the biggest of all the fact that we never saw Demandred. Here we have perhaps the most powerfull forsaken, with a deep personal hatred of LTT, we know hes important to the overall plot from the little hints through the books. But we never see him. Since a lot of other forsaken used disguises, its only logical too assume he did too, for me a big neon sign pointered at Taim for that post.

 

Was it ever stated by RJ that he didnt draw similarities between Olver and Cain so people would think Olver was Cain.

Except you overstate the similarities between Taim and Demandred. Bashere's suspicion is a point against (as I've already proved), Taimandred was long out of the window by the time KoD came on the scene, and have we ever seen Demandred use "so-called Aiel"? Let's not overlook that after Taimandred was ruled out, quite a few people tried using many of the exact same pieces of evidence to prove that Taim was Moridin or Be'lal (possibly there are other, older theories as well that were ruled out by the time I joined, but I've certainly seen people argue Belaim and Taimidin. There are probably Taimmael and Taimodean arguments out there as well *shudder*). In terms of evidence that was specifically towards Demandred, and during the timeframe before the theory was shot down (books 6-8), there were only a couple of similarities.
The examples i gave were just from the top of my head. The LoC book is full of Taimandred hints.

There is the half smiles, Dominating stance, the rage when Rand pins the Asha'man pin on him. Theres more in other books as well, comments made about Demandred keeping a watch on Rand and more. The theories you gave about the other forsaken dont hold anything up to Taimandred as we had at least, to various degrees, knew something of there activities. Demandred nothing. Only little hints. Theres comments on Taims half smile and Demandreds in the same book dammit.

For the KoD example i made i hadnt visited DM when i read that so the Taimandred theory was still valid to me.

 

As a side thought i dont know if it has already been done, but it would be good to know if others thought if RJ intended Taimandred to be a red herring at first. Some kind of poll?

 

Ps, for the so called Aiel comment i drew attention to it as its something that someone from the age of legends would say.

Demandred doesn't half-smile, he doesn't smile at all. Pointing out that one of them doesn't smile and the other half-smiles is a difference, not a similarity. Bear in mind that three of the male Chosen (Demandred, Be'lal and Sammael) have LTT listed as a big part of their reason for defecting, and there are plenty of people in the Third Age who dislike Rand - so rage when he's putting the dragon pin on him is a similarity with any number of people. A dominating stance? Really? So many of the similarities between Taim and Demandred are either not similarities or they are similarities with lots of other characters as well. For similarities that point specifically towards Demandred, there are very few, and right from the start there were big stumbling blocks to Taimandred - these only grew greater as time went on, and the similarities diminished. There are also a number of suggestive points that aren't based on similarities, but they suffer from the same problems of big stumbling blocks and the evidence being easily interpreted in other ways. The problem with "so-called Aiel" is that while we've only seen AoLers use it, we don't know all of them would use the phrase, and when they have used it they've not been so careless as to do it in front of the people they are using disguises to hide from. And WH kills Taimandred.

 

By the way, I believe this is the RJ quote Suttree referred to:

 

 

ISABEL
Was Taimandred a deliberate ruse to lead your readers astray, or were you surprised (by the all of the theories connecting Taim to Demandred)?
ROBERT JORDAN
I was surprised but I wasn't going to disabuse you of it for a while, I like to watch you squirm.

Note that in this context it would imply that RJ's surprise was not at the number of people who accepted the theory, but that it was a theory at all, and that it was not a deliberate red herring that proved successful.

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The problem with Rand and Bashere's reactions is that Demandred doesn't know what they will be. Yes, he's able to offer a simple proof that convinces Bashere and suspicion never takes root in Rand, but it could easily have been different. What if Bashere hadn't mentioned his suspicions at the time? He could have planted suspicion in Rand's mind later. Demandred has no reason to shave. It adds risk but no benefit, as he can ignore the heat. Also, we don't know why Taim shaved. We know the reason he gave, but that is specifically noted as mockery, thus the truthfulness cannot be determined accurately. Taim is noted in that first scene as being untouched by the heat. If the heat were a genuinely given reason, that would be a curious discrepancy. As it's mockery, the discrepancy is meaningless....

[later]:

Bashere's suspicion is a point against (as I've already proved)

I think you overstate your position here. You offer your opinion and interpretation. That does not constitute proof. Simple logical reason. Let's go with Taim-always-as-Taim as the truth (because indeed it was.) That being the case, your very same arguments can now be leveled against Taim. Why shave? Why make it possible for Bashere to even question his identity? Why not leave the beard and then shave later? By shaving off the beard, he allowed Bashere to possibly influence Rand into being suspicious of his identity and any pact they might work out? Therefore based on that same behavior (and applying exactly the same logic you applied to Taim-as-Demandred).....he must not be Taim!!?? Because Taim wouldn't do that right?

 

Except that he is and always was Taim. And he shaved. Whatever his motivations (and at this point I really think the horse is dead and rotting about this), he shaved. End of story. The "real" Taim shaved and gave a reason you may or may not believe, but he did it. Despite all the potential objections as to why, that you brought up. He did it. End of story. It's as dead as can be. It ended up being and meaning nothing in the story.

 

Now, assume Demandred-always-as-Taim. He was not impersonating Taim, anymore than Sammael was Lord Brend or Rhavin was Gaebril. It's just his on-screen persona. He was never not Taim. He has no back story of Taim and his interaction with Bashere that he has to remember. Just as Taim wouldn't think about someone suspecting him to be pretending to be Taim (because he is Taim), so too Demandred wouldn't think people would be suspicious that he wasn't Taim. In that case, his actions are now exactly the same as Taim, because he is in fact, and has always been, Taim. Therefore, the same logic we applied to Taim-as-Taim also applies to Demandred-as-Taim. At the end of the day, Taim shaved (whether as Taim or Demandred-as-Taim). Whatever the reason, however many objections or questions as to WHY he did it are irrelevant, because they apply equally to Taim-as-Taim. If Demandred had be masquerading as an existing person then this argument might be stronger. But if he had always been Taim, then the same motivations and questions a person raises against Demandred equally apply to Taim. And yet at the end of the day, Taim did shave despite a myriad number of reasons that readers of a book can think of why he shouldn't have. And so, in LOC alone, Taimandred was still a viable and strong theory.

 

As far as I'm concerned this issue doesn't do anything except alert the reader to the possibility that we are seeing something more than is being stated. It's subtle, but taken together with all the other clues, as well as the previous patterns, our sights are focused on Taim and the question of whether or not he too might a forsaken that we are expecting to have an important influence on the current book (LOC).

 

 

Except that is being played differently - there's no decoy. So Lanfear's plan takes Rand's likely suspicion into account and diverts it, but Demandred's doesn't. If Rand had got suspicious of Demandred, what then? And the writing of Lanfear's plan takes the reader's likely suspicion into account and diverts it in the same way, but Demandred's doesn't, Demandred's tries to convince you there's nothing to be suspicious of. We're not given a "Asmodean/Lanfear can't be Jasin/Keille" moment because we're looking elsewhere, which makes the "Taim can't be Demandred" proof unusual.

I don't think we have to keep finding exact parallel executions for how RJ previously did things in order to judge this new one. The fact is, RJs MO for this is sufficiently varied that it's better to simply look at the end result. The way he did the Selene-Lanfear or Gaebril-Rhavin forsaken on-screen persona was different than how he did the Lanfear-Keille/Asmodean-Natael gambit. If anything, the evolution of the execution, as well as in-world motivations for how it was done, only serve to recognize that growing sophistication of Rand. After having learned that Lanfear had pretended to be someone else in order to be close to him, he was on guard. When she mentioned that Asmodean could teach him, he immediately became suspicious. He maneuvered that whole trip to the waste so he could be in a place where anything out of the ordinary would be immediately noticeable.

 

More than likely, he assumed that Lanfear or Asmodean wouldn't attempt to masquerade as Aiel, given the alien nature of their culture (which may or may not have been true given Semirhage in Seanchan and Demandred in Shara.) Thus, they would likely be wetlanders and would stand out in the waste. In any case, his hunch was right. Suddenly, a caravan shows up in the waste with 2 people who seem predatory and unflinching in their looking at the result of a Trolloc raid. It was enough for Rand. He knew they were with him. But this time, Lanfear (and RJ, in reality) knew Rand (and the reader) would be looking for obvious clues, so decoys were used- which, for the most part, worked.

 

RJ's MO changed to suit the situation. But that doesn't mean that any further cases of a forsaken posing as an average person would now have to follow that MO, with decoys and such. In fact, we know that wasn't the case because none of that occurred with Dashivangar or Semirhage/Anath. The hunt for Mesaana might be viewed as having decoys, only because of Alviarin's musings that there was no way she would pose as a servant- telling us that she might very well do that very thing! And in any case, there were a few suspects, aside from Danelle (which just seemed so obvious). I myself seriously suspected Shevan, especially after she "took charge" of a sitter's briefing in COT, I think. Things she said, or the way she said them, sounded seriously like something a forsaken posing as a sister might say. So at most, this situation might be most similar to the way he handled Lanfear and Asmodean. Close to the same MO.

 

Point being, of course, that there was no established MO. RJ did what was necessary for the story and made sense internally. So getting back to the issue at hand, in the previous 4 books we've seen forsaken pose as someone else so as to get close to our heroes. We've seen it repeatedly. Enough that in the last case, RJ even provided decoys so that Rand (and we) would suspect the wrong people. So here we are having been trained to look for this sort of thing. Then, you have a new forsaken show up who is indicated (esp in the absence of Ishydin) he is going to be THE big bad player (if not Naeblis, one step short). He appears and then this character shows up who throws all kinds of vibes that he's a piece of work and more than he seems. His reactions to Rand at the BT seem extreme, LTT's ravings conveniently single out Demandred, the convenient killing of the grey man, and the biggest thing- his making the BT a rival to the WT in such a short period of time and playing such a huge role. You have all that and then Demandred sits in the pit asking the Great Lord if he's done well, while the DO laughs. What are we to think but that Demandred played a huge role in this book. And who conveniently has had all the arrows and suspicion of the readers point to? Taim! It was an obvious setup.

 

Hindsight being 20/20, of course we see what really happened. Demandred used Taim as a proxy, just as Sammael mentioned (though he got it wrong- he was talking about the Seanchan, which Demandred didn't control). But AT THE TIME, we had no reason to really understand what Sammael meant, or to what extent it was true. I mean, despite his use of proxies, Demandred did in fact take a direct part among the Sharans. So the proxy statement only applies to what we later have seen it apply to. He was not Moghedien, a spider pulling string from behind, nor Graendal- both who could be described as using proxies. So the proxy statement was only of limited predictive value.

 

From the beginning RJ subverted our expectation with the way he laid the beginning of the book out- especially in view of what came before. Of course, he also laid clues that that WASN'T the case, but, as in the case of Asmodean's killer, we didn't necessarily see them. I mean RJ kept saying the Asmodean's killer was "intuitively obvious"- except that it was never obvious. It wasn't intuitively anything. Graendal was one of many viable suspects with a variety of motivations and opportunities (the "who killed JoaR" section of the faq had lists of suspects). And yet RJ acted like it was a forgone conclusion that we should know who it was. I take his statement that he was "surprised" at the fan's embracing of Taimandred in the same vein. While he may have been surprised that we took the bait so easily and held onto it despite all his little clues that we were wrong, that didn't mean that it was obvious to us. In my opinion, it was just as obvious as Asmodean's killer.

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The problem with Rand and Bashere's reactions is that Demandred doesn't know what they will be. Yes, he's able to offer a simple proof that convinces Bashere and suspicion never takes root in Rand, but it could easily have been different. What if Bashere hadn't mentioned his suspicions at the time? He could have planted suspicion in Rand's mind later. Demandred has no reason to shave. It adds risk but no benefit, as he can ignore the heat. Also, we don't know why Taim shaved. We know the reason he gave, but that is specifically noted as mockery, thus the truthfulness cannot be determined accurately. Taim is noted in that first scene as being untouched by the heat. If the heat were a genuinely given reason, that would be a curious discrepancy. As it's mockery, the discrepancy is meaningless....

[later]:

Bashere's suspicion is a point against (as I've already proved)

I think you overstate your position here. You offer your opinion and interpretation. That does not constitute proof. Simple logical reason. Let's go with Taim-always-as-Taim as the truth (because indeed it was.) That being the case, your very same arguments can now be leveled against Taim. Why shave? Why make it possible for Bashere to even question his identity? Why not leave the beard and then shave later? By shaving off the beard, he allowed Bashere to possibly influence Rand into being suspicious of his identity and any pact they might work out? Therefore based on that same behavior (and applying exactly the same logic you applied to Taim-as-Demandred).....he must not be Taim!!?? Because Taim wouldn't do that right?

 

Taim had a good reason to shave - he was trying to hide from Bashere, therefore making himself harder for Bashere to recognise is in his interest. Even if Bashere does question his identity, so what? It might damage his standing with Rand but he's still in an improved position in that he's on longer being hunted. Demandred always as Taim doesn't follow the same path of reasoning. He is not being hunted. Because there is no chance of Bashere catching him he has no reason to hide. He wants to be recognised as Taim. Thus shaving is counter-productive for anyone but Taim always as Taim. For Demandred, being in a position of reduced trust is a major issue. It could severely hamper his plans.

 

Except that he is and always was Taim. And he shaved. Whatever his motivations (and at this point I really think the horse is dead and rotting about this), he shaved. End of story. The "real" Taim shaved and gave a reason you may or may not believe, but he did it. Despite all the potential objections as to why, that you brought up. He did it. End of story. It's as dead as can be. It ended up being and meaning nothing in the story.

It did mean something in the story - it meant that Taim was always Taim.

 

 

Except that is being played differently - there's no decoy. So Lanfear's plan takes Rand's likely suspicion into account and diverts it, but Demandred's doesn't. If Rand had got suspicious of Demandred, what then? And the writing of Lanfear's plan takes the reader's likely suspicion into account and diverts it in the same way, but Demandred's doesn't, Demandred's tries to convince you there's nothing to be suspicious of. We're not given a "Asmodean/Lanfear can't be Jasin/Keille" moment because we're looking elsewhere, which makes the "Taim can't be Demandred" proof unusual.

I don't think we have to keep finding exact parallel executions for how RJ previously did things in order to judge this new one. The fact is, RJs MO for this is sufficiently varied that it's better to simply look at the end result. The way he did the Selene-Lanfear or Gaebril-Rhavin forsaken on-screen persona was different than how he did the Lanfear-Keille/Asmodean-Natael gambit. If anything, the evolution of the execution, as well as in-world motivations for how it was done, only serve to recognize that growing sophistication of Rand. After having learned that Lanfear had pretended to be someone else in order to be close to him, he was on guard. When she mentioned that Asmodean could teach him, he immediately became suspicious. He maneuvered that whole trip to the waste so he could be in a place where anything out of the ordinary would be immediately noticeable.

 

More than likely, he assumed that Lanfear or Asmodean wouldn't attempt to masquerade as Aiel, given the alien nature of their culture (which may or may not have been true given Semirhage in Seanchan and Demandred in Shara.) Thus, they would likely be wetlanders and would stand out in the waste. In any case, his hunch was right. Suddenly, a caravan shows up in the waste with 2 people who seem predatory and unflinching in their looking at the result of a Trolloc raid. It was enough for Rand. He knew they were with him. But this time, Lanfear (and RJ, in reality) knew Rand (and the reader) would be looking for obvious clues, so decoys were used- which, for the most part, worked.

 

RJ's MO changed to suit the situation. But that doesn't mean that any further cases of a forsaken posing as an average person would now have to follow that MO, with decoys and such.

 

No, but any Chosen looking to get close to Rand would likely take his suspicion and awareness of their habit of getting close to him like this into account. You don't have to do it via decoys, but the decoys take Rand's suspicions into account and use them to the advantage of Lanfear and Asmo. The same is not true of Bashere's suspicions of Taim, which serve only to cast doubt and suspicion on Taim - which Demandred wouldn't want. Osan'gar didn't try to get close to Rand (Rand picked him) and Anath didn't try to get close to him either. Thus neither of them needed to take his suspicions into account in their plan to get close to him, because they didn't have one. According to Taimandred, Demandred did have a plan, and he apparently went about it in a very slapdash and incompetent way - by showing up and having Bashere question his identity, because he didn't look enough like Taim. He acts so as to provoke Rand's suspicions, not allay or misdirect them. True, suspicion doesn't take root, but that's not due to "Demandred". He would be considered to have gotten lucky.

 

Point being, of course, that there was no established MO. RJ did what was necessary for the story and made sense internally. So getting back to the issue at hand, in the previous 4 books we've seen forsaken pose as someone else so as to get close to our heroes. We've seen it repeatedly. Enough that in the last case, RJ even provided decoys so that Rand (and we) would suspect the wrong people. So here we are having been trained to look for this sort of thing. Then, you have a new forsaken show up who is indicated (esp in the absence of Ishydin) he is going to be THE big bad player (if not Naeblis, one step short). He appears and then this character shows up who throws all kinds of vibes that he's a piece of work and more than he seems. His reactions to Rand at the BT seem extreme, LTT's ravings conveniently single out Demandred, the convenient killing of the grey man, and the biggest thing- his making the BT a rival to the WT in such a short period of time and playing such a huge role. You have all that and then Demandred sits in the pit asking the Great Lord if he's done well, while the DO laughs. What are we to think but that Demandred played a huge role in this book. And who conveniently has had all the arrows and suspicion of the readers point to? Taim! It was an obvious setup.

We've also seen trying to get close to Rand have little success, and book 6 features Demandred being given a new masterplan from Shai'tan. So the obvious set up is they keep doing what they've been doing before? "Let the Lord of Chaos rule" means "try and get close to Rand again"? We see Demandred passing instructions to the others, so clearly this plan is bigger than just Demandred. Dumai's Wells is a triumph - the Light attacking the Light, driving a wedge between the White Tower and Rand - why would he not be talking about that triumph? There are plenty of things going on in LoC. Why would you assume that the ending is about just Taim? But for Taim to be just another pawn in Demandred's game, that fits just as well, if not better. Yes, Taim is suspicious, but there is a world of difference between "suspicious" and "Demandred". When the Taimandred evidence can all be spun multiple ways, when the argument for minion Taim is as strong as Taimandred, and there are notable problems with Taimandred that minion Taim doesn't have, why assume Taimandred?

 

From the beginning RJ subverted our expectation with the way he laid the beginning of the book out- especially in view of what came before. Of course, he also laid clues that that WASN'T the case, but, as in the case of Asmodean's killer, we didn't necessarily see them. I mean RJ kept saying the Asmodean's killer was "intuitively obvious"- except that it was never obvious. It wasn't intuitively anything. Graendal was one of many viable suspects with a variety of motivations and opportunities (the "who killed JoaR" section of the faq had lists of suspects). And yet RJ acted like it was a forgone conclusion that we should know who it was. I take his statement that he was "surprised" at the fan's embracing of Taimandred in the same vein. While he may have been surprised that we took the bait so easily and held onto it despite all his little clues that we were wrong, that didn't mean that it was obvious to us. In my opinion, it was just as obvious as Asmodean's killer.

Well, most every theory but Graendal had massive holes. By the end, she was the only one with any real credibility. Plus, RJ admitted that he didn't tell people because he enjoyed messing with the fanbase - the same reason he gave for not disabusing people of Taimandred. "Intuitively obvious" was never intended to be taken seriously. That's a little different to his statements on Taimandred.

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@ Mr Ares

 

So people thought one person was another based on a couple of similarities, and thought a different person was someone else based on a couple of similarities, and you say the different popularity of the two theories is due to one being based on a couple of similarities and the other being based on a couple of similarities, so they're completely different.

 

@ Damandred reply

 

 

I said there were 2 similarities in the olver/ cain theory, and many in Taimandred. That is different. 2 or a couple is not the same as many.

I dont know wether you misunderstood that, or attempted to mock my answer, because you had nothing else, if so, it was cheap.

I thought Olver could be Cain based on, Olver' age and the fact that it is said they are both pretty ugly. Thats it. Nothing else.

With Taimandred there were MANY little pointers Bashere' suspicion, the fact that he used phases the forsaken had used, ie; ( so called ) . The Lord of Chaos at the end of KoD. But the biggest of all the fact that we never saw Demandred. Here we have perhaps the most powerfull forsaken, with a deep personal hatred of LTT, we know hes important to the overall plot from the little hints through the books. But we never see him. Since a lot of other forsaken used disguises, its only logical too assume he did too, for me a big neon sign pointered at Taim for that post.

 

Was it ever stated by RJ that he didnt draw similarities between Olver and Cain so people would think Olver was Cain.

Except you overstate the similarities between Taim and Demandred. Bashere's suspicion is a point against (as I've already proved), Taimandred was long out of the window by the time KoD came on the scene, and have we ever seen Demandred use "so-called Aiel"? Let's not overlook that after Taimandred was ruled out, quite a few people tried using many of the exact same pieces of evidence to prove that Taim was Moridin or Be'lal (possibly there are other, older theories as well that were ruled out by the time I joined, but I've certainly seen people argue Belaim and Taimidin. There are probably Taimmael and Taimodean arguments out there as well *shudder*). In terms of evidence that was specifically towards Demandred, and during the timeframe before the theory was shot down (books 6-8), there were only a couple of similarities.
The examples i gave were just from the top of my head. The LoC book is full of Taimandred hints.

There is the half smiles, Dominating stance, the rage when Rand pins the Asha'man pin on him. Theres more in other books as well, comments made about Demandred keeping a watch on Rand and more. The theories you gave about the other forsaken dont hold anything up to Taimandred as we had at least, to various degrees, knew something of there activities. Demandred nothing. Only little hints. Theres comments on Taims half smile and Demandreds in the same book dammit.

For the KoD example i made i hadnt visited DM when i read that so the Taimandred theory was still valid to me.

 

As a side thought i dont know if it has already been done, but it would be good to know if others thought if RJ intended Taimandred to be a red herring at first. Some kind of poll?

 

Ps, for the so called Aiel comment i drew attention to it as its something that someone from the age of legends would say.

Demandred doesn't half-smile, he doesn't smile at all. Pointing out that one of them doesn't smile and the other half-smiles is a difference, not a similarity. Bear in mind that three of the male Chosen (Demandred, Be'lal and Sammael) have LTT listed as a big part of their reason for defecting, and there are plenty of people in the Third Age who dislike Rand - so rage when he's putting the dragon pin on him is a similarity with any number of people. A dominating stance? Really? So many of the similarities between Taim and Demandred are either not similarities or they are similarities with lots of other characters as well. For similarities that point specifically towards Demandred, there are very few, and right from the start there were big stumbling blocks to Taimandred - these only grew greater as time went on, and the similarities diminished. There are also a number of suggestive points that aren't based on similarities, but they suffer from the same problems of big stumbling blocks and the evidence being easily interpreted in other ways. The problem with "so-called Aiel" is that while we've only seen AoLers use it, we don't know all of them would use the phrase, and when they have used it they've not been so careless as to do it in front of the people they are using disguises to hide from. And WH kills Taimandred.

 

By the way, I believe this is the RJ quote Suttree referred to:

ISABEL

Was Taimandred a deliberate ruse to lead your readers astray, or were you surprised (by the all of the theories connecting Taim to Demandred)? ROBERT JORDAN

I was surprised but I wasn't going to disabuse you of it for a while, I like to watch you squirm.

Note that in this context it would imply that RJ's surprise was not at the number of people who accepted the theory, but that it was a theory at all, and that it was not a deliberate red herring that proved successful.
Note he still doesnt deny it, the way the question is asked gives him a way out. RJ loved to mess with us, remember his ambiguous reply to the question about ishamael and the, has the dragon been turned debate? Come on, Taimandred didnt just spring up out of nothing.

 

The LoC book IMO sets the theory up from the start. Demandred in the prologue reveals his plans to mesanna, a gambe, that " could hand them everything". Also while were there mesanna' PoV " Demandred came as close to smiling as he ever did, the corners of his mouth twitched as CLOSE A SMILE AS Mesanna HAD EVER SEEN FROM HIM

 

later Rands PoV

 

Taim appeared as CLOSE TO A SMILE AS Rand HAD EVER SEEN FROM HIM.

 

So right from the start, Forsaken planning some big gamble that nearly has Demandred smiling. The readers set up for something big from them concuding at the wells.

Then nearly the whole book is Rand establishing the BT, Taim is iffy from the start and displays odd behavior and odd remarks, he says, renagade Aiel as well, how can any third ager know about the Aiel breaking from the way of the leaf? Im not going to go through all the Taimandred clues again because they can be spun back to fit both sides. All im asking is do you really believe RJ was that surprised, Really? Do you believe that in writting LoC one little thought didnt enter his head that some people might notice similiarities between Taim and Demandred and conclude there the same guy? He was to canny for that. If olvers ugliness was a red herring for cain, 1 thing. How could he fail to notice the Taimandred arc in LoC, he couldnt. That why droves of fans independently believed it, just like RJ wanted them to.

Edited by damandred

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 He wants to be recognised as Taim. Thus shaving is counter-productive for anyone but Taim always as Taim. For Demandred, being in a position of reduced trust is a major issue. It could severely hamper his plans.

 

See this is what I disagree with. If Taim was always Demandred, then I don't think this would matter. He wouldn't WANT to be recognized as Taim, as if he wanted to make sure that people thought he was masquerading as Taim. He was already Taim. So when it comes down to it, whether as Taim or Demandred as Taim, shaving would be something he could do and not think about. I mean, if a bearded criminal escapes prison and goes to hide out with someone else who might help him, does he really worry that that person won't recognize him? If that concern even occurred to him, it would also occur to him that it would take all of 2 seconds to prove who you are.

 

Shaving is not that big of a deal, at least by itself. It's not like he dyed his hair or did anything else to hide his identity. If Taim-as-Taim really had wanted to hide, he would've taken a page from Rand's book (when Rand was luring Rochaid and the other rogue Ashaman in WH). Shaving, while changing appearances somewhat, is not really all that drastic. Especially if Taim is really running and in hiding. For Taim-as-Taim, shaving seems a pretty minimal attempt at hiding. But if he shaved simply because he thought it was hot, then it would not really be a big deal. He was Taim. Had it occurred to him that people might question him, he'd be able allay any concerns without much effort, up to and including channelling. When Bashere questioned him, he didn't come across as nervous or surprised that Bashere wondered. He answered and then gave proof.

 

 

No, but any Chosen looking to get close to Rand would likely take his suspicion and awareness of their habit of getting close to him like this into account. You don't have to do it via decoys, but the decoys take Rand's suspicions into account and use them to the advantage of Lanfear and Asmo. The same is not true of Bashere's suspicions of Taim, which serve only to cast doubt and suspicion on Taim - which Demandred wouldn't want. Osan'gar didn't try to get close to Rand (Rand picked him) and Anath didn't try to get close to him either. Thus neither of them needed to take his suspicions into account in their plan to get close to him, because they didn't have one. According to Taimandred, Demandred did have a plan, and he apparently went about it in a very slapdash and incompetent way - by showing up and having Bashere question his identity, because he didn't look enough like Taim. He acts so as to provoke Rand's suspicions, not allay or misdirect them. True, suspicion doesn't take root, but that's not due to "Demandred". He would be considered to have gotten lucky.

Lanfear's usage of decoys doesn't translate to the other chosen doing the same. The fact is, Lanfear knew Rand better than any of the forsaken. She had seem him display knowledge of the AoL and even of her. She knew what he was about. It makes sense that she'd properly act to counteract any suspicion he might have. But the same cannot be said about the other chosen, up to and including Ishamael, who consistantly underestimate people of this age. Sammael called him a "jumped-up" farm boy. Yes, Graendal seemed to view Rand with more respect (though much of that was needling Sammael). I don't think the other forsaken would think it necessary to provide decoys. They don't know Rand and what he knows. They've attributed his successes up to this point mostly to luck. And we must remember that they are human. Despite their assignment, they will still get irritated at what they are asked to do. Dashiva is a good example. He never fit, despite his trying, because his pride kept being an issue. Demandred chafing as he was close to Rand would not be out of character.

 

 

 

We've also seen trying to get close to Rand have little success, and book 6 features Demandred being given a new masterplan from Shai'tan. So the obvious set up is they keep doing what they've been doing before? "Let the Lord of Chaos rule" means "try and get close to Rand again"? We see Demandred passing instructions to the others, so clearly this plan is bigger than just Demandred. Dumai's Wells is a triumph - the Light attacking the Light, driving a wedge between the White Tower and Rand - why would he not be talking about that triumph? There are plenty of things going on in LoC. Why would you assume that the ending is about just Taim? But for Taim to be just another pawn in Demandred's game, that fits just as well, if not better. Yes, Taim is suspicious, but there is a world of difference between "suspicious" and "Demandred". When the Taimandred evidence can all be spun multiple ways, when the argument for minion Taim is as strong as Taimandred, and there are notable problems with Taimandred that minion Taim doesn't have, why assume Taimandred?

Just because Lanfear had tried to get close to Rand or the light team and now the DO has a new plan doesn't mean that they dont try that again. They just do it better and work together. The fact is, up until book 6, the forsaken mostly went their own way with their own path. When that failed, the DO took more control and used Demandred reign most everyone in and let them know what he wanted. That doesn't necessarily mean that getting close to principles is now out. Indeed, we see Halima did just that with regard to Egwene. So the technique is sound. It was the execution by Lanfear (who was always playing her own game) that had made it not work.

 

And while the BT wasn't the only thing going on in LOC (by any means), when one is looking for a forsaken (as we would be expected to be, especially after he was thrust into such a position of prominence through his appearance in the prologue, his being chosen by the DO to be his spokesman (and possible Naeblis) in view of a dead Ishamael, and finally his indication that he had much to do with some major events in LOC, well Taim really seemed to be the best possibility. Without any context or veracity for Sammael's words concerning proxies (which all this turned out to be) Taim fit best. And the similarities and perceived similarities between Taim and Demandred, as well as LTT rantings and perceived double-meanings to Taim's statements and actions (which similarly later identified Dashiva as a forsaken), it seems natural.

 

Remember too that up to that point, we had no evidence that Taim was even a darkfriend, so the Minion-Taim wasn't possible. Up to that point, he had done nothing, other than be arrogant to Rand and resent him, that showed dark allegiences. Suspicious, but that's it. So he was either who he said he was and just acted suspicious or he was Demandred. By the end of LOC those were our only 2 options. And given that LOC seemed to have Demandred as a major player, Taim as Demandred fit.

 

 

 

Well, most every theory but Graendal had massive holes. By the end, she was the only one with any real credibility. Plus, RJ admitted that he didn't tell people because he enjoyed messing with the fanbase - the same reason he gave for not disabusing people of Taimandred. "Intuitively obvious" was never intended to be taken seriously. That's a little different to his statements on Taimandred.

 

 

Not really. There were a lot of viable suspects, including Sammael and even Slayer. After we had learned that Slayer had killed Amico and Joiya and was the shadow's assassin (made clear from WH forward) he became a favorite. If I recall correctly, the FAQ of 2001 makes it clear that he had jumped from a "looney theory" to a really viable suspect. Graendal, in my opinion, was a ho-hum suspect. We never had a good motivation for her to be there. One of the reasons so many wondered about who killed Asmodean was the perception that it was being kept a secret because it betrayed a larger secret, regarding someone's plan or something. The fact that that wasn't true was one of the reasons that it was a let-down. In the end, Asmodean's killing did nothing beyond deprive Rand an assett. The need for secrecy was unnecessary. While I think that RJ did enjoy messing with the fanbase concerning Asmodean's killer, I think he felt that it really was clearly obvious. He said it too many times. The fact it his perception and reality regarding what was obvious or surprising was colored by what he clearly knew. I think it was similar with Taimandred. 

 

The difficulty with this discussion is I feel like I am trying to argue why Demandred was Taim when we know he wasn't. All I'm trying to say is that as of the end of LOC, Taimandred was the best likely location for Demandred, especially given the setup of the book and what we saw of both of them up to that point.

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All im asking is do you really believe RJ was that surprised, Really? Do you believe that in writting LoC one little thought didnt enter his head that some people might notice similiarities between Taim and Demandred and conclude there the same guy? He was to canny for that. If olvers ugliness was a red herring for cain, 1 thing. How could he fail to notice the Taimandred arc in LoC, he couldnt. That why droves of fans independently believed it, just like RJ wanted them to.

This right here. RJ had to have known what he was doing, either directly or indirectly. He can't have been surprised.

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