Author: Atarah al'Norahn
Barid Bel was tall with dark hair and a hawk nose. He was considered to be handsome, though not as much so as was Lews Therin Telamon, the man that Barid Bel hated most (TWoRJTWoT).
In order to fully understand the man who would one day become Demandred, it is necessary to first understand his overwhelming hatred of Lews Therin Telamon. Barid Bel's life seemed to made up of 'almost' and 'not quite'. He wasn't as tall, nor as handsome as Lews Therin. He wasn't as talented or skilled as Lews Therin. Everything that Barid Bel could do, Lews Therin could do better.
Demandred was an acclaimed man, one of the most acclaimed of his age. He held several public offices and is known to have written books on a wide variety of subjects during the Age of Legends, for which he received both critical and popular acclaim.
When the War of Power began, Barid Bel started out opposing the Shadow. For the first three years of the war, he was a high-ranking general within the army, due to his strategic vision and tactical flair. The only thing that kept him from surpassing Lews Therin in this area was that he was a gambler and put too much stock in taking risks.
When Lews Therin was promoted above him, Barid Bel was, of course, disgusted. Angry, he once went so far as to say that, with Lews Therin in charge, the Shadow had a better chance of winning. It was Lews Therin's promotion that finally pushed him over the edge. He traveled to Shayol Ghul to pledge his soul to the Dark One, and took the name Demandred (TFoH, Ch. 3).
After turning, Demandred turned his skills as a military general against the forces that he had previously fought along side. He turned out to be as good a general for the Shadow as he had been against it (TWoRJTWoT). He also acted as governor over conquered territory several times, but always he returned to the battlefield; he wanted to be the one to personally kill Lews Therin Telamon.
During the War of Power, Demandred committed many heinous crimes. One of the most notorious incidents was capturing two cities and feeding them to the Trollocs. His reason? He believed that they had slighted him before the war (LoC, Ch. 2). To him, this was a completely suitable fate for these people. Demandred believed that anyone who slighted him should be punished.
Like all of the other Forsaken, Demandred holds high hopes of being named Nae'blis. Though that hope must have been dimmed somewhat upon Moridin's ascension, he no doubt still hopes that he may one day achieve this station.
- Barid Bel was born some 400 years before the War of Power (TWoRJTWoT).
- Three years after the beginning of the War of Power, Barid Bel turns to the Shadow. (LoC, Prologue).
- Demandred and the other Forsaken are sealed into the Bore at Shayol Ghul (This passage needs a reference).
- Demandred escapes from the Bore (time unknown). At some point after he is released, Demandred sets himself up in Shara, under the name Bao the Wyld, as a figure from prophecy (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- Demandred meets Shaidar Haran at Shayol Ghul and speaks to the Dark One, who tempts him with the title of Nae'blis and gives him his orders, which are not revealed to us other than that Demandred has been instructed to "Let the Lord of Chaos rule" (LoC, Prologue).
- Seventeen days after his trip to Shayol Ghul, Demandred meets with Mesaana, Graendal, and Semirhage and shares his orders from the Dark Lord (LoC, Prologue).
- Demandred meets again with Mesaana and Graendal, although Semirhage does not attend; none of the others knows why (LoC, Ch. 6).
- Demandred once again travels to Shayol Ghul to report to the Dark One on his progress. The Dark One laughs in pleasure (LoC, Epilogue).
- Demandred meets with Graendal, Osan'gar, and Aran'gar. Moridin and Cyndane also show up, although Semirhage and Mesaana do not. Demandred is frustrated about not knowing where Rand is. Graendal insinuates that Demandred's loyalty might soon be in question if Rand is able to cleanse saidin, as Demandred would no longer need the Dark One's protection from the taint. Moridin tells the others about Rand's plan to use the Choedan Kal to clenase saidin, and commands that they will all try to capture or kill Rand when he reveals himself to them by using the Choedan Kal (WH, Ch. 13).
- Demandred attends the meeting called by Moridin and claims he believes Sammael dead until Moridin says that Sammael sent Trollocs and Myrddraal into the Ways. Demandred says that sounds like the sort of thing Sammael would do, but Aran'gar thinks that might be to divert suspicion (KoD, Ch. 3).
- Demandred and Mesaana meet with Moridin to try and persuade him to help them free Semirhage. He is refused (TGS, Prologue).
- Demandred claims his rule is secure and he is gathering for war (TGS, Prologue).
- Moridin has been making the other Forsaken meet with him frequently. During one meeting, Moridin introduces Mazrim Taim as a new Forsaken who has taken the name M’Hael. Demandred reminds Moridin that he wants to be the one to kill Rand (AMoL, Prologue). Moridin assigns Moghedien to help Demandred by infiltrating the Seanchan army (AMoL, Prologue; AMoL, Ch. 37).
- Demandred commands the Shadow’s forces in the Last Battle (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- Demandred and his Sharan army attack the White Tower camp in Kandor, killing many of the people there. Leane is captured and Demandred sends her with a message to Rand: that Demandred has come to kill him (AMoL, Ch. 22).
- Demandred periodically enhances his voice with the One Power and yells across the battlefield for Rand to face him (AMoL, Ch. 29; AMoL, Ch. 37).
- Demandred and Mat have been trying to outsmart each other as they command their armies in the Last Battle. Demandred thinks that there is no way a “mortal general” has the skill with war that Mat has shown, and so is convinced that Rand is actually the one organizing the Light’s forces. Mat is surprised that Demandred hasn’t just Traveled to the Light’s command centre to attack, but it is because Demandred is afraid this is what Lews Therin wants (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- Demandred attacks using a full circle of 72 along with Sakarnen, killing thousands of the Light’s forces. Hearing about this, Gawyn decides to slip away and attack him, using the Bloodknife rings to help him. When Gawyn locates Demandred on the battlefield, they fight, and Demandred thinks that Gawyn has been sent by Rand. In the end, Demandred mortally wounds Gawyn (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- Demandred sends a force to attack the Light’s command post. The intention is not to kill Mat, but just to disrupt the command post. He hopes Rand will reveal himself to be disguised as Mat (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- M’Hael arrives to report to Demandred. M’Hael expresses contempt for Demandred, and Demandred punishes him by seizing M’Hael’s access to the True Power and showing that he is the stronger one (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- While Androl, Pevara, and their group are trying to locate the seals, Androl and Pevara approach Demandred, disguised as Nensen and Alviarin. Demandred orders Androl and Pevara to get back to M’Hael, who has been ordered to attack the White Tower army with all of his Dreadlords (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- Demandred decides to go after Elayne to try to get to Rand. He announces his intentions across the battlefield (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- After Demandred threatens Elayne, Galad attacks Demandred, angered that the Forsaken has killed Galad’s brother and now wants to take his sister. Galad announces to Demandred that the Dragon Reborn’s brother has come to fight him. Galad manages to draw blood from Demandred, which impresses Demandred. Demandred cuts Galad’s right arm off and knocks him unconscious. Although Demandred announces across the battlefield that Galad is dying, Galad survives (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- Logain wants to go up against Demandred, so Mat lets him. When Logain attacks Demandred, they battle using the One Power, and Demandred shields Logain. Logain throws a piece of shale at Demandred, which distracts the Forsaken long enough that Logain is able to escape through a gateway (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- Demandred takes M’Hael to task over not having killed Egwene yet. He gives M’Hael Sakarnen to help him. M’Hael thinks about using Sakarnen to kill Demandred, but Demandred warns that the sa’angreal is bonded to him and that M’Hael will be burned from the Pattern by it if he tries (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- With the end of the war near, Demandred is bellowing across the battlefield for Rand again (AMoL, Ch. 37).
- Lan attacks Demandred. Demandred is impressed by Lan’s skill, as Lan is a much better swordsman than Gawyn and Galad. Demandred considers the possibility that Lan is actually Rand in disguise (AMoL, Ch. 37). Lan finally manages to defeat Demandred by impaling himself on Demandred’s sword in order to get close enough to cut his head off (AMoL, Ch. 37; AMoL, Ch. 39).
- Moghedien tries to trick the Sharans into thinking she is Demandred (AMoL, Ch. 41).
Strengths and Talents
Like all of the other Forsaken, Demandred is very strong in the One Power, stronger than most of the men who can channel in today's world. We do not know his exact standing among the Forsaken, but it is safe to say that, no matter how powerful a channeler he is, he is less powerful than Ishamael and Moridin.
He is also known to have a Talent that only three others possess: Lews Therin (and therefore Rand) and Semirhage. This Talent is to be able to block a gateway open, as Rand did when Aviendha ran away from him (TFoH, Ch. 32).
Aside from the One Power, Demandred was a good military general. He had the skills and intellect, and put them to good use both for the Light, and against the Light. War was the only thing he was better than Lews Therin at (AMoL, Ch. 37).
Relationships with Other Characters
Demandred hated Lews Therin Telamon with a deep vengeance, his only reason being that Lews Therin achieved greater success than he did. Demandred is also known to have wanted Ilyena, Lews Therin's wife, to himself. All in all, Lews Therin was the reason that Demandred turned to the Shadow. Rand thinks to himself that if he had "offered a hand instead of a smirk," or "congratulated instead of competed," perhaps Berid Bel would not have turned to the Shadow and become Demandred (AMoL, Ch. 1).
Demandred hates Rand as he hated Lews Therin. His hatred pretty much simply shifts from one to the other (This passage needs a reference).
He is not known to have a particularly good relationship with the other Forsaken, especially Sammael. This most likely arises from the fact that, during the War of Power, both Demandred and Sammael were military generals, and both wanted the honor of killing Lews Therin (This passage needs a reference).
Demandred, Mesaana, and Semirhage have formed a loose alliance in which they have decided to eliminate all of the other Forsaken before turning on each other (WH, Ch. 13). This alliance is strong enough that Demandred argued for Semirhage's rescue (TGS, Prologue).
He becomes involved with Shendla, a Sharan woman. Although Demandred no longer feels capable of affection, Shendla is almost enough to change this. Shendla is not committed to the Shadow, but she is committed to Demandred (AMoL, Ch. 37).
Over time, because no one knew until A Memory of Light where Demandred had established his base, a number of theories were developed as to his identity and location.
One of the most popular theories was that Demandred has disguised himself as Mazrim Taim. There was a lot of evidence as to this throughout the series. What better way to get revenge on Lews Therin Telamon/Rand al'Thor than to get close to him, and then backstab him? Additionally, Mazrim Taim ordered Rand's death in "Winter's Heart". However, this theory came to an end when Robert Jordan came out and said that Demandred and Mazrim Taim were not the same person.
Some people believed that Demandred was working with Semirhage in Seanchan. In support of this was the fact that Demandred, Mesaana, and Semirhage were loosely allied.
Other theories were that Demandred had placed himself with the Whitecloaks, the Sea Folk, or the Sharans. Forsaken had been seen all over the world--Semirhage with the Seanchan, Mesaana in the White Tower, Graendal in Arad Doman, Sammael in Illian, Rahvin in Andor, etc.--but none with either of these two groups.
- Barid Bel Medar was born one day after Lews Therin Telamon (LoC, Prologue).
- Barid Bel's hatred and jealousy grew with every honor that Lews Therin awarded him (TWoRJTWoT).
"Should I expect more, Lanfear? Have you convinced Demandred to stop thinking he is all but the Great Lord's heir?" (Rahvin to Lanfear; The Fires of Heaven, Prologue)
"Great Lord, the Dragon can be destroyed. He is ignorant and weak, scattering his attentions in a dozen directions." (Demandred to the Dark One; Lord of Chaos, Prologue)
"How much has the Great Lord known, for how long? How much of what has happened has been at his design all along?" (Demandred to Mesaana, Semirhage, and Graendal; Lord of Chaos, Prologue)
"Let the Lord of Chaos rule." (Demandred to himself; Lord of Chaos, Chapter 7)
"Why have you called us here? I have much to do, and no time for idle talk." (Demandred to Moridin; Winter's Heart, Chapter 13)
"My rule is secure," Demandred said simply. "I gather for war. We will be ready." (To Moridin; The Gathering Storm, Prologue)
"I want Lews Therin. Semirhage knows that. She also knows that if she'd killed him, I would have found her and claimed her life in retribution. Nobody kills al'Thor. Nobody but me." (To Moridin; The Gathering Storm, Prologue).
“If I kill Lews Theirn, in victory I will be given the right to remake the world as I wish. The Great Lord cares nothing for rule. The only way to protect this world is to destroy it, and then shelter its people. Is that not what your Dragon claims he can do?” (Demandred to Gawyn; AMoL, Ch. 37).