Poll: Dagda Mor vs. Tael Riverine

alexander-taelriverineWards of Faerie and Bloodfire Quest reintroduced one of Terry’s most vile villains—Tael Riverine. He is a twisted character, one of the worst Terry has written, a demon whose desire to breed with Grianne Ohmsford during her capture in the High Druid of Shannara trilogy made for chilling reading.

Tael Riverine isn’t done yet. Now that the Ellcrys is ending again, he plans on subjugating the Four Lands in his mad hunt to find Grianne and carry out his desire to have progeny. Not a pretty picture, to be sure. It ranks him as one of the worst demons Terry has written about, in my opinion.

And there is more to come in Witch Wraith when it publishes in July 2013!

In February 2013, a fan wrote into Ask Terry and posed an interesting question about Tael Riverine. Here it is:

Justin McKinney writes: My question is about everybody’s favorite Straken Lord, Tael Riverine. At the time of Elfstones, the Dagda Mor seemed to be firmly in charge of the Demons in the Forbidding. My question is, was Tael Riverine around at that time as well? Did he move in to fill the power vacuum left by the Dagda Mor’s death? Or was Tael born after that time? I’d just be curious to know what kind of dynamic may have existed between these two demons.

Terry Brooks replies: Because of the gap of time that elapsed between the two books, I had always envisioned that Tael Riverine’s rise came much later and he was not around at the time of the Dagdo Mor or the latter would have gotten rid of him as a potential threat. But that’s one of those areas I purposely leave blank so you can use your imagination. What do you think?

Let’s all use our imaginations and wonder what would have happened if the Tael Riverine seen in Bloodfire Quest had existed during the time of the Dagda Mor. And there was a confrontation. Who would win between the two of them?

I’ll let you vote, decide, and comment!



35 responses to “Poll: Dagda Mor vs. Tael Riverine”

  1. The Dagda Mor would have first sent the Reaper to deal with Riverine. And possibly would have attacked him with his staff while Riverine was engaged with the Reaper. Dagda Mor wins that conflict.

  2. Dagda mor. He had the Reaper and the Changeling. Plus he flew around on a giant bat. (I think). Maybe we need a short story about him? When he almost trapped and killed Allanon at Paranor.

  3. I have been a Terry Brooks fan for many years and while the dagda mor DID go up against allanon, who is, in shannara lore, still th greatest and most legendary druid, he also never had to face grianne ohmsford who was not only the isle witch, but also ard rhys of the third druid order AND had use of the wishsong which was not even a magic in existence at the pique of the dagda mor’s power when he was killed by allanon. Tael riverine, on the other hand fought her evenly matched and survived. I think that if there were a confrontation between the two that they would either kill each other or that tael would win by a narrow margin.

    • I may be having a lapse in memory, but I’m pretty sure that Tael was never around Grianne without her collar on. So he couldn’t have fought her or at least not at full strength. Also I don’t remember a fight.

      Now, Dogda Mor fought Allanon and held his own. Tael fought Khyber and had to win through trickery, had she not been exhausted, she would have killed him. Hands down, Dogda Mor.

    • Benjamin

      Good point but remember that that fight took place within the forbidding and we have no clue as to what magical power Teal was using. There is also the questionable Ulk Bog who could have drugged Grainne as he was quite prepared to use her in his attempt to escape the forbidding. This does not bode well for the forthcoming book were we are having to trust the intentions of the Ulk bog once more

  4. But this is just the Dagda Mor himself vs Tael. The Dagda Mor was way more “bark” than “bite” without his companions (who, I might add, he often referred to as being nearly his equals in power), but Tael was rose to his position as an accomplished Straken Lord by himself. Tael would definitely win.

  5. But Tael Riverine is much more cunning/strategic than the Dagda Mor, isn’t he? Rather than brute force and strength of magic, he’d probably find a twisty way of making things work in his favour I reckon. It would probably be a close run thing though!

  6. Shawn,

    This doesn’t affect me, but you did run a poll recently asking if people would wait until the final book was out before they read any of the trilogy. I seem to remember a fair amount of people saying they would wait. Might be a good idea to post a spoiler warning.

  7. Dagda Mor… because bat’s are cool. And besides who want’s to have sex with Grainne? Shea maybe or Brin? I am also the author of Raven Cult, a fantasy novel, and a moddler for such games as Dawn of Darkness, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Thief VI. Shameless Plug!

  8. I love these kinds of questions. Just the other day I was thinking about the different forms of magic described in Mr Brooks’ series and wondering if there was an official ranking (list of 1-10) of what magic is considered the most powerful. For example seeking elfstones, the wishsong and a staff from a Knight of the Word might all be on the list. Given all of these magics are essentially as powerful as the bearer the answer might be more complicated like, the elfstones with Shea Ohmsford was the most powerful magic to date for example. While I get the authors intention to leave questions like that vague it wouldn’t diminish the stories to know what the Mr Brooks was thinking as he described a magic, and if he was attempting to describe any one thing as being a supreme power. As for the question at hand and the reason for my musings is that I suspect Findo Gask was more powerful then both Tael and Dagda Mor given it took the combined power of the elfstones and a Knight of the Words staff before he was overcome. A credit to Mr Brooks and his writing that we have such discussion points!

    • Justin

      I will agree that Findo Gask was probably the evilest and very powerful but as far as magic is concerned I think we are missing out on the Gipsey morph. This magic was powerful enough to lock away the elves lizards and humans during the great destruction for 500 years. I think its about time it resurfaced “Mr Brooks are you listening your fans want more”

  9. Dadga Mor would win. He was able to hold his own against Allanon where as Tael Riverine would have been killed by Khyber Elessedil had he not essentially ‘poisoned’ her.

  10. Dagda would hardly notice Tael as he wiped his feet on his hide. Tael has only beat grianne and Khyber by drugging them. Take on a full strength Druid Tael!!!

  11. I chose the Dagda Mor, although I think it is a difficult question. We only had one book to read about the Dagda Mor, while we have two entire series to read about Tael Riverine. So we know more about him.

  12. The Dagda Mor, was the alpha demon of the Hordes that broke out of the forbidding. He was more powerful than the Changling and the Reaper combined, becuase if he wasn’t they would have killed him themselves and ascended to the pinnacle of the demon ranks. Not to mention he went toe to toe with Allanon…. who had the staff given to him by the Elcrys….. Tael would get his azz whooped by the Dagda Mor hands down.

      • Exactly! I believe that the only reason the Dagda Mor was in charge was because he was more intelligent possibly and also the Reaper didn’t care for being in charge.

      • Correction from Elfstones:

        Dagda Mor and Reaper: “Even the Dagda Mor was wary of the Reaper, though the Reaper did not possess his power.”

        Allanon on Dagda Mor: “at least one possesses sorcery very nearly as great as
        my own.”

  13. We’ll never know. We’ve only seen the Dagda Mor in action in the Four Lands; weakened by the branch of the Elcrys. We’ve only seen Tael Riverine in action in the Forbidding. I believe we’re all free to decide on our own.

  14. How about this idea….. Tael Riverine is the “Darkling boy” who took the elfstones from Almeria in the very beginning? She got pregnant but before giving birth she becomes the Ellcrys and he has been looking for a replacement ever since. Then he finds Griamme.

  15. A fun fight it would be but Dagda Mor would stand victory. I always liked the Demon “Rag Picker”. He had a little extra sinister about him.

  16. Yes, Tael Riverine should be the Darkling boy. And Grianne is the first thing he has seen that has reminded him of his first love. He has been alive since the beginning of the Forbidding. Terry wrote in the Elfstones:
    “These creatures that were shut within the place beyond the Forbidding-what of them?” he asked. finally. “How have they survived for so many years? Why have they not perished?”
    Allanon’s dark expression did not change. “Call them Demons, for that is what they have become. They were sent to a non-place, a dark emptiness beyond any living world. Within that darkness, there was no passing of time to bring age and death.”

    So since there is no death, Tael was alive at the time of Elfstones as well. What he was doing then is inexplicable. This is probably just another one of the several gaps and inconsistencies in Terry’s writing, which to be fair does span decades, but still as its creator, he should me a master of the Shannara world.

  17. I would argue Tael is the more powerful. The Dagda Mor was seemingly limited in its abilities, as it could only wield his magic through the Staff of Power. While we haven’t seen Tael in magical combat (he did not use magic during his duel with Khyber), we’ve never seen any evidence of Tael being similarly handicapped.

    Tael also seems to be more physically adept than the Dagda Mor, as seen by his strength and speed in battle (not to mention his skill with a wide assortment of weapons). The Dagda Mor had that hump that likely slowed its movement.

    I suppose we’ll see in Witch Wraith though 🙂 so excited!

  18. Daga Mor wins, As for a comment posted here earlier Daga Mor never acknowledges that the Reaper is as powerful as he is. He is wary, for the Reaper feared nothing and respects nothing, Daga was more powerful, during their time in the forbidding he would give the reaper lesser demons to kill to keep it from going insane, the Reaper was his tool a very deadly tool. Which when it was mentioned that Daga had less cunning and used brute force this can be refuted. He had two very deadly weapons, both Reaper and Changeling, this is his cunning and thoughtful planning.

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