He is hook nosed and handsome, but he never smiles.
"Almost" would be the word to describe Barid Bel Medar's life. Born a day after Lews Therin Telamon, he is almost as handsome, close to Lews Therin in power, and almost as skilled. If not for Lews Therin, he would have been the most acclaimed man of his age. He once desired Lews Therin's wife Ilyena, which was possibly one more reason for his eventual hatred of the Dragon.
During the War of Power, he finally equaled Lews Therin at something; as a great military commander, he won important victories for the Light. However, when Lews Therin was appointed commander of the forces of Light, Demandred was furious. Believing himself the superior general, he calculated that with Lews Therin at the command of the Light, the Shadow would triumph. Ironically, Demandred's assessment was right, for if Lews Therin Telamon had continued pursuing a military victory instead of sealing up the Bore with his Hundred Companions, the Shadow would have indeed been victorious.Filled with jealousy and contempt, Demandred decided to proclaim for the Shadow, and he sided with the other Chosen in the third year of the War. Graendal herself took him into the Pit of Doom to take his oaths for the Dark One. Later during the War, Demandred fed two entire captured cities to the Trollocs; he felt that they had slighted him when he was still fighting for the Light.
Demandred also believed himself the superior of the other Forsaken. He was at odds with Sammael in particular, since both men wanted to be the one to personally defeat Lews Therin. During another part of the war, after Demandred founded the Eighty and One, he confronted Lews Therin in battle. Tellindal Tirraso was present and was struck by lightening called down by the enemy.
Leading forces together with Be'lal, he approached the construction sites of the Choedan Kal. Barely holding the forces of Shadow at bay, Lews Therin decided to strike at Shayol Ghul itself together with the Hundred Companions. Sealing the Bore, the Companions also by happenstance managed to trap the thirteen most powerful of the Forsaken, among them Demandred, in a deep sleep for three thousand years.
Since his release, very little is known of what Demandred has done. It is known that he has been spoken to by the Dark One about him becoming nae'blis. Allying himself with Mesaana and Semirhage, he is following the orders of Moridin. Other than ordering the death of Rand al'Thor at least once, his plans and identity remained unrevealed until the beginning of The Last Battle.
Sammael once thought to himself that "events to the south" were almost certainly the work of Demandred; Sammael was in Arad Doman at the time. This could mean Demandred had a hand in the presence of the Seanchan in Tarabon, the upheaval within the Children of the Light, or the Prophet Masema and his Dragonsworn. Granted, the Seanchan were being, at least in part, controlled by Semirhage. However, Semirhage is allied with Demandred and Mesaana so it is possible that the "work of Demandred" could have referred to some part of Semirhage, Demandred and Mesaana's plan, devised by Demandred, but which was carried out by Semirhage. At a meeting with the other Forsaken , Aran'gar comments that Demandred and Osan'gar had been charged with watching Rand.
He attends the meeting with the other Chosen in Tel'aran'rhiod, which is made to look like the Ansaline Gardens. There he is told that Rand is not to be harmed and that Matrim Cauthon and Perrin Aybara are to be killed if found.
He is summoned to the Blight to meet with Moridin and Mesaana and is forbidden by Moridin to rescue Semirhage from Rand. During the meeting he also states that his rule is secure and he gathers his troops for war.
The Last Battle Edit
Demandred appears leading the Sharan forces against the White Tower army on the Kandor battlefront. As the forces of the Tower appear to be routing the Trolloc army, a massive Gateway opens and an army of Sharans pour out and overrun the White Tower camp, executing all captives in a brutal fashion.
Demandred discovers Leane as the Sharans are still securing the Aes Sedai camp and easily captures her. He then tells her to relay a message to the Dragon Reborn. He challenges Rand al'Thor to combat, revealing himself as someone he once knew as Barid, confirming his identity. As Rand was already at the Bore, this message was never delivered.
When the battle resumes at Merrilor, he is eventually pitted in tactics against Mat. He has the upper hand due to superior forces, and is easily sufficient in tactics to hold on to this advantage. However he constantly remarks how good the enemy commander is and that no one of the age could be that good with tactics. He therefore thinks this commander is in fact Lews Therin. He is devastating on the battlefield, at times leading a full circle of seventy two, and wielding a powerful sa'angreal. Demandred repeatedly calls out for Rand to face him directly in single combat.
He participates in single combat on four occasions in the battle. The first attacker is Gawyn, enhanced by three Seanchan Bloodknife rings. Demandred notices his assassination attempt, and fatally wounds him without injury to himself.
Logain attacks Demandred as the fight with Galad is concluding (enabling his escape), but Demandred manages to shield him and nearly kills him. Logain successfully flees.
Lan retrieves the foxhead medallion no longer needed by Galad and challenges Demandred. Though Demandred has the upper hand both due to channeling and skill with the sword, Lan applies the technique of Sheathing the Sword and kills Demandred at the cost of a severe wound to himself. Lan's survival of this wound is a major rallying point for the forces of the Light.
Demandred is also portrayed in a more human way before and during last battle. Rand (united with Lews Therin Telamon) thinks about how Demandred's arrogance drove him to the Shadow. Moreover, Demandred fell in love with the leader of the Sharan Ayyad, although his rage against Lews Therin won over his love. His lover hoped that after his revenge on Dragon Reborn, he could finally let go and love her.
Until the final book, Demandred was the one Forsaken whose whereabouts and cover identity remained a total mystery.
It was once widely suspected that Mazrim Taim was Demandred, but Robert Jordan has stated to the contrary. Additionally, Jordan has stated that Demandred had not appeared "on screen" as any other character before Knife of Dreams. Also, during the cleansing of saidin, Demandred saw Damer Flinn, one of Taim's first Black Tower recruits, and didn't recognize him. He also orders Raefar Kisman, Manel Rochaid, Charl Gedwyn and Peral Torval to kill Rand. It is also stated by Kisman that Taim orders the four to kill Rand as well, as if the two didn't know each others' orders.
Another popular theory was that Demandred was Charlz Guybon, partially due to his physical similarities to Demandred (tall and handsome), but also because Guybon is described by Elayne as: "... his face seemed suited to smiling. He looked as if he had not smiled in too long." This, coupled with the description of Demandred as a man who "never smiles", seemed to provide a good fit. Others theorized that he could be impersonating King Roedran of Murandy, who was also unseen on the page until the final book and has recently consolidated his power and formed a standing army for the first time. He reported to Moridin that his "rule is secure and his armies march for war."