Monks writing at Saint-Clément, Metz, over roughly two hundred years produced conflicting images of Bishop Theodoric I (965–84). In earlier texts, he is the monks’ benefactor, in later sources, their foe. Historians have sought to flatten this contrast, partly because of their assumptions about monastic reform. This paper offers an alternative reading that questions those assumptions. It suggests that the evolution of Theodoric's image reflects changing ideas about monastic reform and the proper relationship between bishops and monks. It also cautions against accepting narratives – medieval or modern – that obscure the fluidity of such ideas and relationships.