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SaintChristobel
01-11-2011, 01:20 PM
So a few days ago a ridiculous thought popped into my head and eventually, the more I thought about it, the more I began to connect the dots and everything fit into place. I went to my friend who reads WoT about this theory and she and I brainstormed a little bit and found more evidence for it. Now I don't have the energy or the time to go through all the books for specific citations or page numbers... but she and I have a good memory of the canon of WoT so I think this is as accurate as I can get at the moment.

So it's been in collective WoT thought for a good ten years at least, probably more; everybody has come up with their own pet theories for where he could be hiding, some with more weight than others.

Of course, I'm talking about our favourite mystery Forsaken, Demandred.

Now my theory sprang out of the blue a little bit when I went around thinking about the basics of Demandred... what is the first thing that springs to mind when you think about Demandred's character? Of course, it was that whole lack of smiling thing that Graendal, Aran'gar and Messana are so keen on pointing out every time they have a POV where Demandred turns up. That and his hatred for LTT, his hawk-nose and his just being a little bit less handsome than LTT are things that we all remember about the guy.

So then I got to thinking which characters we've encountered in the third age resemble this most basic of character traits that D exhibits, and first and foremost of course was Taim, whose mouth-twitching descriptions are almost plagiarized from descriptions of D's lack of smiling. But then another character came to mind: Talmanes.

Let's think about Talmanes' humour for a second here: he rarely smiles, and is noted for his awful sense of humour. I can distinctly remember in one of the RJ/BS books (I think) Talmanes tries to joke around with Mat, having great difficulty. Mat's reaction says it all, as he is completely astounded at Talmanes' attempt at humour.

Demandred and Talmanes' lack of smiling is but only the seed that "Inception-ed" this theory in my mind... first I want to give you a look at Demandred's history and then Demandred and Talmanes' correlating events in the canon.

Demandred was known in the Age of Legends as Barid Bel Medar, one of the greatest generals and leaders of men the world had ever seen. He was known to be a gambler and played the odds in battle with a strategic style and tactical flair. He was always very resentful of Lews Therin Telamon, and consumed by bitter jealousy and hatred, switched allegiances during the war of power once Lews Therin was appointed leader of the forces of the light.

Talmanes is a general, shown to be quite competent, and second in command of the Band of the Red Hand, unquestionably the most powerful mercenary army in Randland. As a matter of fact he seems to be the de facto leader of the Band whenever Mat leaves to continue his hilarious misadventures (Ebou Dar, Ghenjei, etc). Well when you think about it, Talmanes grew into this position of second in command after Nalesean was killed by the Gholam; an attack sent by one of the Forsaken which left Talmanes mysteriously unscathed and his competition as Mat's right hand man dead. If the Gholam had killed Mat that first time, Talmanes would no doubt have inherited control of the Band. And it's no wonder that he is with Mat if indeed Talmanes is Demandred... the one character in the entire series who you would think of first at the mention of 'gambler', Mat has a Forsaken under his nose who may be unconsciously drawn towards a character who was not unlike himself in the past: a general with a certain gambler's flair and luck on the battlefield.

Now take a look at how Demandred and Talmanes' actions connect:

Talmanes was in control of the Band when he stopped trailing the Salidar Aes Sedai and made the pact with King Roedran for the Band to help unite Murandy against a foregin power. Egwene tells him to be careful and Talmanes tells her Mat needs Redarms in the south.

While Sammael meets with Graendal in Arad Doman, he comments that events in the south have "Demandred's mark all over them."

The Gholam appears in Ebou Dar and attacks Nalesean and Mat while Talmanes is safe in the north, Nalesean dies along with many of the Redarms Mat has brought with him, and Mat would have been done in too if not for the Foxhead medallion, an oversight Demandred/Talmanes could have easily missed.

Mat meets up once again with Talmanes and Mat promotes him to Lieutenant-General, second in command of the Band to Mat personally, and henceforth in the series is seen as Mat's right hand man.

Demandred: "My rule is secure. We gather for war. We will be ready."

Any thoughts?

Belazamon
01-11-2011, 01:26 PM
If only we hadn't already been told that we haven't seen who (if anyone) Demandred was posing as... I would really like your theory. :)

padfoot89
01-11-2011, 01:45 PM
Aside from the fact that we've told that we haven't seen Demandred as anything but himself, we get a lot of screen time of Talmanes with Mat. Demandred doesn't seem the type to play second fiddle to anyone. Also, the Forsaken have specific orders to kill Mat and Perrin. He would have tried to take out Mat somehow.

Seeker
01-11-2011, 01:57 PM
If Demandred was Talmanes, Mat would be dead.

Mort
01-11-2011, 05:42 PM
It's a fresh (as far as I know) and interesting idea who Demandred could be posing as. I kinda wish we didn't know that Demandred hasn't been seen on screen posing as someone else so that we could discuss it for a few weeks :)

Terez
01-11-2011, 07:32 PM
I've seen Talmanes brought up quite a few times. Mostly at Dragonmount.

The Immortal One
01-12-2011, 05:18 PM
Well when you think about it, Talmanes grew into this position of second in command after Nalesean was killed by the Gholam; an attack sent by one of the Forsaken which left Talmanes mysteriously unscathed and his competition as Mat's right hand man dead. If the Gholam had killed Mat that first time, Talmanes would no doubt have inherited control of the Band.

I wouldn't say that "Talmanes [was] mysteriously unscathed" by the gholam's attack. When the gholam killed Nalesean Talmanes was in charge of the Band in Murandy near Egwene and her army.

Besides, one of the main reasons for Demandred turning to the Shadow is that he did NOT like being second to Lews Therin Telamon. Do you really think he would let himself be second to Mat, who is himself second to Rand??

Also, if Talmanes wanted Mat dead he could have arranged it or done it himself dozens of times already.

And, of course, RJ said that we haven't seen Demandred's alter ego yet.