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Demandred's Arc (Full Spoilers)

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I enjoyed it. I thought he lived up the the hype - the awesome general skills, him subverting an entire nation (the LS forces would have stomped the trollocs at Merillor without them).

 

I never subscribed to the Roedran theory for some reason. But I thought he would have been a candidate to repent or come back to the Light at the last minute.

 

The sword duels were good at first, but got a bit repetative by the time Lan had a crack. I was cheering for Gawyn, not so much Galad, but of course was cheering for Lan. This seemed to me to be the author giving solid in-book evidence to solve the questions of who is the best swordsman. Galad = you are better than your brother, Lan = no man in this Age can have your skills etc. The scene at the meeting in Merillor where straight away Rand states that Roedran isn't Demandred is another straight up mythbuster I felt.

 

I guess I'm saying those parts werent very subtle...

 

I always thought that Demandred's Shadow reputation didnt live up to his Light reputation. He was the second most accomplished person of his age behind LTT. Once he went to the Shadow all people thought of were his generalling skills. There is more to him than that! Taking over an entire nation the size of Shara, pretending to (or actually) fulfilling their saviour prophesies and convincing them to fight for the Shadow shows his other abilities I knew he had.

Edited by Vels

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Entertaining if you were able to let go and just try to enjoy the ride.  But was definitely not Demandred.

 

The entire last battle had me imagining Demandred as some giant robot shooting lasers around the battlefield while screaming on the loud speaker.

Edited by Mark D

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So, it is pretty clear that Demandred is and has always been one of my favourite characters in the story, certainly my favourite of the Chosen and anyone from the Shadow. It has been hard to really explain or justify why Demandred appealed to me beyond hunches and inferences, small clues that may or may not have been interpreted correctly. I am happy that finally we have enough to make a judgement on his character. 

 

So first I will say, yes, he is still my favourite Chosen, much more so now than ever. However, I suspect my reasons may be different than many. 

 

I'll speak about the face value first, which I suspect many will either love/hate him for. His contribution to the Shadow, bringing an entire nation to the fight, over 400 channelers. The foreshadowed "other male sa'angreal" that is stronger than Callandor, Sakarnen and a full circle of 72. In that respect, he certainly stepped up to the plate, finally a Forsaken that did something worthy of their ancient reputation. 

 

Killing Gawyn, destroying Galad and his fight with Lan would have earned him some more points. Basically killed Egwene when he killed Gawyn, and many probably enjoyed seeing Gawyn finally getting his annoying self killed. Not to mention his General-ing got a heap of people killed and nearly defeated the Light. 

 

His death was also good for me. Being killed by Lan was fitting, although I can't explain why exactly, it just felt right. It was obvious that Channelling could not defeat Demandred, he had too much strength, too many Ayyad, it would have been a cop-out, so dying by Lan sheathing the sword was fitting. Although why and how Lan survived is beyond me. I mean, I am happy Lan survived, but what the heck was up with that? Suddenly he just gets up and he is fine after taking a sword through the stomach, after we thought he was dead. Possibly Rand did something, I don't know, anyway, not the place. It was a good end. 

 

However, I thought that the on-screen stuff we had from him was wasted. We are shown small snippets of his story (which I will go into below) that could have been truly great, yet we get him swordfighting 3 times! All which was basically fan-service, showing which order the Swordsmen ranked. So much wasted when we could have had more about THE SECOND MOST POWERFUL MALE SA'ANGREAL, or you know, HOW HE MANAGED TO GET AN ENTIRE NATION TO FOLLOW THE SHADOW WILLINGLY. Such a waste. That babbling and rambling hatred, that wasn't Demandred. As the post points out above, it was like he was some giant robot. Not Demandred. I am just happy we get something else. 

 

Having said that, the snippets we did get were my favourite part of his story. It confirmed my thoughts about Demandred's personality. He COULD have been the most well-developed Chosen. I think he was, but so much of it is only hinted at in the final book. A major error I thought, that Demandred was so absent from the series. I understand the whole "big surprise with Shara", but his story could have been one of the best arcs in the series. He and Asmodean were the only ones to show any depth of character in the Chosen. The others were evil cardboard targets, something to occupy Rand and co. until the Last Battle.

 

I am disappointed we only see small snippets of his story, but even that was enough to make him the most developed Chosen - and that says a lot about RJ's biggest failing IMO, the scorn and total disregard he wrote the other Chosen with, and even the DO itself. 

 

But getting back to my thoughts. I was very happy with his STORY. Bao the Wyld, saviour and Dragonslayer. I have always said he was more than just the Shadow's General, more than just his hatred of Lews Therin. I was right, but not in the way I thought. In fact, I believe it turned out better than my idea. Him abandoning the Shadow would have been good, but I liked the struggle he had even better. The tragedy of the situation, when he can't let go of his hatred, even though he wants to. 

 

I always knew he wasn't particularly evil, just twisted by his hatred, and I love how that showed. Him falling in love with Shendla, his "weakening" that Taim and Moghedien describe, the way he changed, and showed fondness to an old monk. His reasoning (obviously twisted by his hatred - which makes it all the more tragic) for fighting for the Shadow, the way he thinks he will re-make the Pattern to protect Shara. 

 

I just wish we saw more of his struggle. More of how he became bonded to Sakarnen, how he fulfilled the prophecies and became Bao the Wyld, of his "change" that the Sharans provoked. 

 

It may seem like a load of crap to many, and him killing and blasting the crap out of everyone is the only thing Demandred was in the story, but I am happy with it. Happy that it is confirmed, there was more to him than that!

Edited by Barid Bel Medar

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Hugely disappointed in Demandred's storyline.  I expected a lot more, and the sudden insertion of the Sharan nation seemed random and not well developed.  Less swordfights, less fighting in general, and a little more plot might have helped.  Instead, he was a loud, obnoxious distraction in this book.  For all the character he showed, he added about as much to this book as the guy with the shotgun from the Expendables did for that movie. 

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I have to agree that RJ kind of dropped the ball with demandred in not giving us background with the whole shara situation. I wish RJ could have found a way within the series to have demandred and rand interact in some way (not necessarily in a fight). There was this huge build up of rand and demandred being rivals and then they don't even see each other, but I fully enjoyed demandred in this book

Edited by Ashaman Valen

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Demandred's arc worked in theory but not practice. As with all of aMoL, it was rushed and underdeveloped. I don't mind that he didn't face Rand - it was fitting, actually. A pre-TG PoV from Demandred in Shara would have done a lot more for the story than their sudden reveal on the battlefield. 

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I loved the depth packed into the time alloted for Demandred. I get the feeling a whole book could be dedicated to D's rise and fall in Shara.

 

That said, I got the feeling that Demandred's storyline kinda mimicked Guy Gavriel Kay's book, Tigana. I don't want to spoil that book for anyone who hasn't read it, but for those who have, I bet you can see similarities.

 

I was kinda hoping D would see that Rand was NOT on the battlefield and then get pissed off at the Dark One for not allowing him the chance to kill Lews Therin. That could have sparked a side reversal.

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Question on the Gawyn V Demy duel. They have been fighting for some time going through various sword forms and then it says:

 

AMoL

Gawyn stood, dropping his knife, taking his sword in two hands.

Was he fighting with a knife in one hand and sword in the other? First time we have seen that fighting yeah?

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I thought the storyline was excellent, his PoV revealed just enough while leaving something to the imagination.

 

One of my favorite moments in the book, and one of the most vivid images I have painted in my mind, is of the lead up to the reveal. You knew something was going to happen when the WT was the only front that was having an easy time. When that camp length gate snapped open......chills.

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It was appalling, and indicative of the rot and bloat that set in with ACOS/POD. We had something half of five books devoted to rescuing Faile.

 

We had a tiny fraction of a book devoted to Demandred.

 

Who alone succeeded in mobilizing substantial forces for the Shadow.

 

Which were fleshed out in a manner reminiscent of the worst fan fiction.

 

However, I take one tiny measure of satisfaction in finally demonstrating why the Murandy theory was steaming bovine fecal matter. Shara is basically its own continent. It's the only conceivable source of major manpower for the Shadow once Seanchan is ruled out. Otherwise, Demandred's entire shtick was worthless and boring

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Question Mr. Do you claim Shara because it was the only place he could have gathered a large force or did you actually find foreshadowing and hints that showed it was where he was located?

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I like that Demandred didn't turn out to be a pushover. I liked that he took over Shara and showed up abruptly it makes sense to me that Demandred wouldn't show his card until the LB. That being said.

 

Why didn't he just kill the light's army when he had a full circle + Sarkanel?

 

When the hell did he become the best Swordsmen ever?

 

I really wanted Logain to kill him.... Or even a Gawn Galad united attack. The Gawn Galad and Lan attacks seemed kind of corny...

 

His story could have been so much better if he had more POV in the book. Maybe describe why he hated LTT so much, give some more from him other than throwing out random blasts of balefire 

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The foreshadowing was that it was the only place in RandEarth he could have possibly gathered military forces of the magnitude necessary to combat the Light armies. And because Shara was Chekov's Gun. Narratively, it had to go off.

 

You don't mention a big continent full of people ruled by militarized channelers and not have it go off by the last act

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Demandred probably was the best swordsman. But Lan has author immortality and a shield. It was grotesque though. Literally the same scene three times over. It was incredibly lazy writing

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Demandred probably was the best swordsman. But Lan has author immortality and a shield. It was grotesque though. Literally the same scene three times over. It was incredibly lazy writing

 

According to Demandred, LTT was better.

 

Everytime Demandred screamed "Lews Therin", in my head it was Iron Bars screaming "Skinner"!

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I must say that I really disliked the Roedran theory on the grounds of it being too obvious and not grandiose enough.  But I also didn't like the Shara idea because I worried it would come across as too much of a rabbit out of a hat.

So I was really pleasantly surprised at the Shara reveal and felt it was pretty satisfying. Demandred setting himself up as some sort of prophecized Sharan saviour figure had very nice parallels given his serious case of Dragon envy.  I was a little surprised by him just happening to also have the #2 male sa'angreal but on reflection that's believable.  Our view has been very Randland-centric and if it didn't feature in any Randland prophecy -- or indeed wasn't even heard of -- then it either didn't survive the Breaking or was on another continent.  And with Demandred's total control of Shara, he'd have got it if it was there.  So I was really happy with the whole aspect of where he was and why the DO was so pleased with him.

The best swordsman on the planet thing really left me cold.  I'd have bought it more if we hadn't had insights that Demandred saw himself as a general who was above fighting with the mere troops.  Yet he just happened to have the inate talent and spent the time to develop it into a skill that saw him see off Gawyn and Galad?  Let alone Lan, though who exhausted, still had to sheathe the sword to beat him.

I did wonder about the references to his changing character; we'd had them in previous books as well and it's curious.  On one hand he was possibly showing a more human side through actually caring for some Sharans, yet on the other hand his fixation on LTT/Rand had gone from a defining characteristic into major crazy territory.  It never once crossed his mind that Rand, the Dragon Reborn who had to face the DO at the LB was, you know, off facing the DO?

When Moggy was masquerading as Demandred she used the fact no one could see the Wyld's weaves as being one of his defining characteristics.  I'd wonder if Dem was drinking from more of the TP hose than we ever guessed ()rather than just using inverted weaves) and if that was affecting his character if it wasn't for the lack of saa.

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Whisky, absolutely. But they were both better than Lan. Except, as I said, Lan has author immortality

Sheating the Sword is plot armor? Come on. I could understand if you were saying Lan should have died too but they fought fair and square and Lan beat Demandred.

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I agree that the sword-fighting didn't satisfy.  It was nice to give Lan something important, and also nice to see the sheathing-the-sword come back and be relevant.  However, I feel like I would have been much happier if Gawyn had killed him using the Bloodknife rings.  When Gawyn put them on, I was so mad at him, but then I felt like at least it would be worthwhile going out killing Demandred.  And it would have been another one of those things that this Age's channelers did that Age of Legends never considered.

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Never had a dog in this fight but somewhat funny the number of people I've seen claiming Murandy was too obvious for Dem. The hints for Murandy were extremely subtle and for Shara no existent. Really the only reason anyone thought of it was because Murandy wasn't a military power and a large force could come from Shara.

Edited by Suttree

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I've seen several comments regarding Demandred built up on his rivalry with LTT/Rand and then not even getting to face him.

 

I actually think that fits. He's the second fiddle no matter how you look at it. There's nothing inherently wrong with being #2, though he gets twisted by hatred over it. #2's never face the leader of their rivals.

 

Best example I can think of for this in another medium is Angel. Throughout the series Lyndsey is an almost rival to Angel, he definately sees himself as Angel's arch nemesis by the end of it. And what happens with him is pretty similar to what happens with Demandred. In fact his last lines in the show could have come out of Demandred's mouth and I wouldn't have batted an eyelash or been surprised.

 

That's kind of part of his tragedy.

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Something which bugs me about Demandred being in Shara is that in LoC we learned that Graendal had kidnapped their Sh’boan and and her future Sh'botay (The Empress and consort basically, at least in theory), and clearly knew a lot about Shara, yet had no clue Demandred has based himself there, and completely dismmissed the idea that Shara may be useful for the Shadow in the LB.

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Proving Graendal wasn't always as smart as she thought herself.

 

That seems an easy answer. Demandred started in some section of Shara, fullfilling prophecies and beginning his role as Bao the Wyld. He might have been some small regional uprising at the time Graendal popped in and took the leaders. Heck, her taking the leaders might have helped destabilize things explaining why Demandred had an easier time conquering it all.

 

As for there being no hints to Shara. I only really needed three pieces of information to know where Demandred is, though I thought he was controlling Roedran on top of it.

 

1: Shara was set up, Chekov's Country if I ever saw one, we kept getting hints and pieces of it, bits of its culture, everything but actual relevence.

 

2. Demandred states quite simply "My Rule is secure, my forces gather" or some such. Then in the prologue he tells the others that his contribution will dwarf anything they can manage. He says this to the guy running the Black Tower. He has to have something major.

 

3. There are not sizeable armies other than Shara left unaccounted for. The only other truly open place would have been the Isle of Madmen and that was actually never developed and so really didn't have a place in the story.

 

Edit: Why is it the enter key never seems to take on my posts? :)

Edited by KakitaOCU

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I never really liked the Demandred = Roedran theory.  My gut just told me that it was wrong for some reason.  On the other hand, I never called him being in Shara either.

 

I also have this feeling that making Demandred the ultimate blademaster was completely madeup and not part of the original plan.  It could just be me, but I felt like Demandred had an aversion to swords...

 

Frankly, I am disappointed in RJ not showing off Sammael's swordsmanship.  The white book says he was the world champion at the sport of swords.  That would make him the best swordsman in the series.

Edited by Mark D

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