Thursday, July 12, 2012

At Last: Demandred



By Linda


Until now, Demandred has held back (or been hidden by the author), but if he is ever going to strike on-screen, this is his only remaining chance. As he has always intended, he will strike at Moridin as well as Rand.

In The Gathering Storm Prologue, when Moridin asked him about the status of his preparations, Demandred said:

"My rule is secure," Demandred said simply. "I gather for war. We will be ready."

He was careful not to give any location, or even hint of where his forces are. Moridin may think he knows, but Demandred may have secreted extra in at least one other location.

In this Age the Shadow requires a general the equal of Mat Cauthon. Looked at the other way, the Pattern had to arrange for someone allied to the Light to be as good a general as Demandred, and as successful a gambler, too. The Shadow are well aware of the difference luck makes, and in the early books often commented on Lews Therin’s good fortune. After a lot of effort, Mat is both a brilliant general and a lucky gambler.

The Age of Legends was the equivalent of the Ancient Roman republic (see The Age of Legends essay) and enemies of Rome parallels of the Forsaken (see Three Strands Common to the Forsaken article). Demandred is a parallel of Hannibal, renowned for bringing elephants over the Alps to invade the Republic, the ultimate unexpected movement of forces or ultimate movement of unexpected forces. I think Demandred will move his forces via the Ways from “unlikely” places such as Seanchan.

One could compare the heights and depths of the paths and islands in the Ways with the steep passes of a mountain range. The Seanchan literally have elephants (s’redit) of course, but there are creatures from the If worlds trained for war that could also be brought to terrify mainland forces and cause chaos. These animals were able to eradicate all the Shadowspawn on the Seanchan continent (The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time) so they’d be a very useful addition to any army wanting to fight or defend itself against the Shadowspawn attacking the Westlands, whatever side that army is on.

So when Graendal remarks:

Demandred liked having armies to command, but there were none left moving in the world.

The Gathering Storm Prologue,

This is not altogether true: there are plenty on the Seanchan continent and, as Graendal muses, perhaps some on the mainland that have been at least partly subverted. Demandred may well have some forces in Murandy - not enough to be a threat to Moridin – and others elsewhere. It always puzzled me, with so many nations/areas and so few Forsaken, why some Forsaken haven’t drawn on more than one nation. Demandred has always liked using proxies, according to Sammael (Lord of Chaos, Threads Woven of Shadow), and by doing so he can amass armies in various locations until the time comes to move them into position on the gaming board.

I see him as being the general of all the Shadow's forces, but having some of his own personal forces in reserve to take control of areas he's conquered, destroy armies in his own name, or strike at Rand and Moridin.

12 comments:

Takara said...

I'm not sure about the Ways. I don't think that the Ways connect Seanchan at all.
The Ogier would know if it were so. The Talisman of Growing was given to the Ogier when the male channelers couldn't bear to live without Saidin anymore. Regarding the overall composure and patience of Aes Sedai, several years might have passed since the beginning of the destruction and Seanchan might have been separated already.
We don't know exactly how the Talisman of Growing works. The Guide says that they attached lost Stedding to the network when they were found. I thinkt it's highly probable, that they never found the Stedding in Seanchan.
Overall Seanchan doesn't really come to mind regarding Demandred. It hat too much presence in the past already. But what about Shara or the Land of the Madmen? Especially Shara would have my attention. Graendal was there or at least had servants from there (wasn't there something about the Sharan rulers being her servants?) and it's big enough a country, that two forsaken could have had there own plans working there. Okay, so is Seanchan, but I honestly don't see the ever victorious army fractured on different sides of the battle...

Nicole Santa Maria said...

Some readers believe Demandred is masquerading as King Roedran of Murandy. Maybe he's doing that and being the "murderer" who now rules Seandar? He could send one army against Rand and the other against Moridin. Since Demandred wants to kill Lews Therin, he'll probably be with the force that goes after Rand.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about Shara.

Anonymous said...

demandred strikes me as the type of general who will have multiple armies all over the map. why must he be confined to one place? if he is as as good as he thinks he is this would make the most sense to me. also the ways are not the only way to move armies. portal stones and gate ways(for dark friends) as well as dream land have all been used to move a great distance. one place not given a mention is the land of madmen. that would be a kick in the teeth if the randlanders had to fight them!

TrueCrew said...

In Winter's Heart, when the Forsaken are gathering to contemplate what they are going to do if Rand tries to cleanse saidin, there was this interesting tidbit on Demandred:

"You were responsible for watching him Oran'gar," she (Aran'gar) went on, her voice caressing every syllable. "You, and Demandred."

WH, Wonderful News (Ch. 13), Demandred POV.

I know Demandred likes to use proxies (as Linda stated), but has anyone come to any conclusions on how Demandred was supposed to be watching Rand? Or through whom?

This was after the botched assassination attempt by Oran'gar in PoD.

Linda said...

The male Aes Sedai made the Ways during the Breaking. They gave the Ogier the Talisman of growing to grow more. I think any Ways linking Seanchan were made by the male Aes Sedai and forgotten about, because no one went there. Once the Ways grew dark, the Ogier used the Ways very seldom, and then stopped altogether. Why would the Seanchan not be fractured? Many other nations have been, or will be, especially those with large forces: Aes Sedai, Aiel, Andor...

Anonymous; Yes, that is the point I am making here: Demandred, a known user of proxies, may well have amassed more than one army.

Nicole: I agree.

True Crew: No, we don't know how Demandred was keeping an eye on Rand. Judging by his complaints about pigeons, he was receiving written reports from spies, and Rand was outpacing them by using Travelling.

Anonymous said...

linda what i meant was if sammuael was the the master of defense (it took rand, matt, bashere. and several clan chiefs to plan how to crack illian open). even with all that sammuael nearly killed rand when he tricked rand into SL. demandred will be the master of attack. most likely it will be raids and full battles (like matt trying to get out of seanchan clutches and rodel ituralde's cut and run tactics). the attack on andor is most likely demandred's work. (he did visit there in tel'aran'rhiod back in lord of chaos).

Linda said...

Anon: Ah, OK. That seems right.

Adam said...

The seanchan as an empire rose up about a thousand years ago? When hawkwings armies crossed the sea? So talismans could have gone over...... And there must be steddings over there as how did the deathwatch get their ogier? Apologies if I'm wrong

Linda said...

Yes, Luthair went over 1000 years ago.

Adam: You are on the right track, but there is no need for Talismans of Growing in Seanchan at all. The Ways were created by male Aes Sedai during the Breaking. We know there are Steddings in Seanchan - more Steddings in fact, than are on the mainland, which is why the Seanchan Ogier don't have the longing. Therefore during the Breaking, some the male Aes Sedai must have taken shelter in some of the them and some of the Way paths the male Aes Sedai created must have linked to them just by the laws of probability.

The Talisman of Growing is for growing more Way paths which it does by budding off from or linking to an existing one. This is not essential to my theory.

We have only heard the mainland Ogier's history, not that of the Seanchan Ogier. (Although we do know they were not affected by the Longing and why). So we cannot be dogmatic about they do and don't have. They have a lot of Stedding, therefore chances are that Waypaths were made to at least some of them during the Breaking.

The mainland Ogier have completely lost touch with the Seanchan Ogier, in part because they can't use the Ways due to the taint. Also, because the Seanchan Ogier were not affected by the Longing, they don't depend on their Stedding and can travel as ordinary folk do, and so, didn't need to use the Ways as a shortcut. Therefore they are forgotten about, both in Seanchan and on the mainland. (If you believe a path is a dead end, you ignore it after a time. This is what I think happened.)

It's part of the lost knowledge theme of the series.

Anonymous said...

I believe mazrim taim is demadred

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read, particularly for me as I've always been fascinated by Demandred.

I originally believed Mat was destined for a showdown with Demandred, but my view has changed. All signs seem to scream at him being at the Pit of Doom with Rand and Moridin.