Interlude: Asmodean, Demandred, Taim, and ROBERT JORDAN LIED!!!1!!one!!

Day 55. 190 pages, 89,629 words.

My old pal Ilya just dropped this on me over in Facebook land, and I felt it deserved at least something of a note here. This is going to pass way over the heads of most of you kids, but that’s never stopped me before.

It turns out that a lot of people I have so scornfully been calling “Taimandretards” over the years may actually not have been so retarded as I thought. According to this article, some “notes” have finally been uncovered revealing that not only did Robert Jordan originally intend for Mazrim Taim to turn out to be Demandred in disguise[1], but he also intended him to have been the person who killed Asmodean!

[1] Right up to Lord of Chaos, specifically, which was when both Taim and Demandred actually showed up in person in the series for the first time and also seems to be the point at which he changed his mind. Not later than that, however. Apparently.

taimandretard

Sorry Taimandretards. Guess you were just really, really whiny Taimandred Theorists all along.

Now, these are hilariously amazing revelations and just go to show what a wonderful world we live in. Naturally, I dug into it a bit more, from the Reddit source to the Theoryland origin where we get the apparent quotes:

Demandred: Hated/feared/despised Lews Therin. Like Lanfear, he plays for larger stakes than most of the others, who are trying to stake out wordly kingdoms. HE WILL SHOW UP CLAIMING TO BE MAZRIM TAIM. TAKING ADVANTAGE OF RAND’S AMNESTY.

/…/

She [Nynaeve – Ed] does not know that Asmodean was a prisoner of Rand, nor, of course, that he was killed by Demandred.

I sadly couldn’t find the actual notes referred to in the final source set, although there was a lot of interesting stuff in there.

Of course, this can all be argued as not being legit, but I’m not going to bother. It looks about right to me. My scorn for the whiners notwithstanding, I do stand by my many, many arguments of the past. Once we get into the murky world of authorial intent, it just becomes a matter of circumstance, context, the author’s mood, and whether fans wish to take author statements as canon. I still don’t think they should.

There’s also no real evidence as to why Jordan changed his mind. Did he do it because people had figured out his lame “twist”? There’s almost certainly[2] no notes or evidence to confirm that beyond resonable doubt.

[2] I won’t say “certainly”, because we live in a world where this blog post has happened.

However, none of that matters. Because he affected how his readers looked at the story. Authorial intent is murky, yeah, but when an author goes on record with his intent, to his readers, that shit sticks.

Jordan definitely screwed up by making the public statements he did, and then pulling a switcheroo and – and this is the important bit – not copping to it. Because his “Demandred was never Taim” statement is directly at odds with these notes.

Are the notes canon? No. But that was poor form – and that was what, in my defence of my own side of the theory[3], I was excusing Jordan for doing. And that was wrong.

[3] Which, it turns out, was right even before Jordan knew it was right, so *raspberry* to everyone because I fucking rule.

In one of the threads I linked above, user fionwe1987 says, RJ has the right to change his mind, of course. And he could hardly go around saying “Originally, yes, Taim was Demandred, but now I changed my mind”.

…uh, yes. Yes, Jordan totally could have – and arguably should have – said exactly that. I mean, maybe it’s just me, but that’s what I’d do with a similar plot-point. Okay, a statement like that might have to wait until after the series was over and done, in order to preserve a bit of the story immersion. And Jordan sadly didn’t get a chance to either get to the end of the series or make this sort of admission in retrospect. But that’s definitely the sort of thing you should ‘fess up to.

Probably the better thing to do would be not to commit with such statements in the first place, especially if they directly contradict notes you’ve made … but I can sort of see how that would be difficult, in a book-signing or convention context.

Still, no excuses. Jordan fucked up, and I fucked up in my defence of that behaviour. I wholeheartedly apologise. In particular, I apologise for my ridicule of this very issue, although I still think it was a little bit funny. If you’re going to poke fun, at least do it in an entertaining way. Well, joke’s on me. Turns out it wasn’t such a dumb objection after all!

Now as far as we “Taim is Taim, Demandred is Demandretards” (also known as “the ones who were right all along”) are concerned, this is all gravy. The story was better, and made more sense the way it was actually written. Jordan did the right thing, at least insofar as the writing went. The Taimandred Theory didn’t work (it would have needed serious explaining if it had turned out to be the case), and if we’re talking about authorial intent I’m still pretty sure that’s got to be at least a factor in why he changed it[4]. But it doesn’t matter.

[4] The same goes for his Asmodean thing, actually – that always seemed like a plot point he was pretty disgruntled about. So he changed it from Demandred to Graendal because the clues hung together better, and he’d already said outright that the killer had already been seen in the books – and Demandred and Taim hadn’t been seen in the books yet, not directly. So that was another fuck-up, basically.

Jordan shouldn’t have made a misleading statement – indeed, a flat-out lie – then changed the way the story went, then claimed it had always been that way. Not if he’d actually been planning this “surprise” and overturned it for whatever reason. And my esteemed Taimandred Theorist friends are well justified in their bitterness and excuse-making and finger-pointing.

Final judgement: Taim is Taim, Demandred is Demandred, Jordan fibbed about it.

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16 Responses to Interlude: Asmodean, Demandred, Taim, and ROBERT JORDAN LIED!!!1!!one!!

  1. stchucky says:

    And if you really want to mind-blow yourself on the conspiracyism of this post, it’s THE 911th POST! HOLY CRAP WORLD TRADE CENTER!

  2. aaronthepatriot says:

    Very gracious…well, mostly gracious…well, gracious of you for certain, saying what you did here. And for even posting it, because I would probably never have found this out.

    And you can call me a whiner all you want. I thought he lied to us, and he DID lie to us, and I get to have all the problem with liars I want to. The way I see it, if you’re going to whine about something, the dishonesty inherent in our species is a good topic.

    Again, thanks for informing me that in fact *I* was right all along [1].

    [1] Well, at least in part. As you say, this doesn’t prove WHY he changed it, we can only guess [2] [3]

    [2] But it’s a pretty good guess, again humans being humans, plus how he mocked us for being wrong about Taimandred. Right?

    [3] I mean, I didn’t expect to find THIS out. I would never DREAM he would actually also write “because people guessed and I hate that rawr” in his notes.

    As for what makes the story more interesting, as you already know, I go both ways on that one. More mysterious characters with Scooby-Doo reveals are fun, as are just more characters. IDC either way.

    • stchucky says:

      And you can call me a whiner all you want. I thought he lied to us, and he DID lie to us, and I get to have all the problem with liars I want to. The way I see it, if you’re going to whine about something, the dishonesty inherent in our species is a good topic.

      I think I never really approved of the attitude people copped for having alternate theories about Demandred and Taim, and this was perhaps my main reason for making fun of their “whining” (please note, this one is not about you!). If it was so pitifully obvious that you’d have to be an idiot not to accept Taimandred, then Taimandred should have been a less-shit plot point. But this is quite literally a 20+-years-old argument, and I think this finally puts it to bed.

      Which, as I said in the post, is incredible.

      What I found really interesting (and really disappointing, if I can join you in a bit of a whine about the grand dishonesty of the human species) was that Jordan apparently had this really quirky talk-like-Aes-Sedai thing that he liked to do in Q-and-A sessions, whereby he would very consciously not lie, while seeding little bits of assumption-fuelled misinformation.

      As such, his apparently flat-out “Taim was never Demandred” is … well, even more shitty. Yeah?

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Yes, even MORE shitty. If that cock weren’t already dead…. But I won’t make further points, no need to masturbate when you’re doing such a good job stroking me!

  3. aaronthepatriot says:

    I can’t emphasize this enough, though: You, sir, made my day. And the way I cringed when I first saw the blog, it was definitely a “slow clap turning into a boisterous, fast clap” moment.

  4. aaronthepatriot says:

    That blog has been taken down! Your first link is dead! Robert Jordan continues to lie to us from beyond the grave! Conspiracyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!111!!!!!!!1!!1!!!two!!!

  5. Cassie says:

    Nicely put! I always found it hard to believe that they where the same.

    And yes, I am the one and only! 🙂

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