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aim is Be'lal's Protege

by vergere6: 2007-10-25 | 6 out of 10 (4 votes)

Previous Categories: Taim - Then and Now

Mazrim Taim, M'Hael (self-titled), and the man in charge of the Black tower, has been behaving strangely ever since he came on the scene.

He first appeared in Lord of Chaos, suspiciously in possession of one of the seven seals on the Dark One's prison.

Lord of Chaos
Chapter 2, a New Arrival

Rand studied Taim as the man and his escort crossed the courtyard. At least fifteen years older than himself; thirty-five, then, or a few years more at most... since the Breaking, most men who channeled had the ability born in them, ready to spring out as they grew into manhood. Some managed to keep madness at bay for years before Aes Sedai found and gentled them; others were already hopelessly mad when found, at times less than a year after first touching saidin. Rand had clung to sanity for close to two years, so far. Yet in front of him he had a man who must have managed it for ten or fifteen. That alone was worth something. Rand opened his mouth, but before he could speak, Lews Therin rose up in a frenzy in his head. Sammael and Demandred hated me, whatever honors I gave them. The more honors, the worse the hate, until they sold their souls and went over.

Now, this extract shows two things: Taim found a way to stave off madness, a rarity, but not in itself a cause for suspicion. However, Lews Therin's reaction is not the raving to "kill" Asha'man that we see in later books, but an interesting insight into the character of some of the Forsaken. Sammael went over to the Shadow, and hated the Kinslayer for any honour the former gave him. We know of another Forsaken who was leading the fight against the Shadow, before going over...Be'lal.

The Dragon Reborn
The Hammer
Loial

"...Several writers say Be'lal and Sammael were both leaders in the fight against the Dark One before they forsook the Light, and both were masters of the sword."

Also, the sigil used by Be'lal and the sigil used by Taim seems to be the same...

The Dragon Reborn
Nynaeve's POV

"...A coachman dressed like the soldiers, but without armor or sword, sat on the seat, and another opened the door as they appeared from the house. Before he did, Nynaeve saw the sigil painted there. A silver-gauntleted fist clutching jagged lightning bolts.

She supposed it was High Lord Samon's sign — A Darkfriend, he must be, if he deals with the Black Ajah. The Light burn him!..."

And now... the same sigil in KoD, from Pevara's POV:

"It was not large among palaces, but most nobles lived in buildings far smaller and less grand. Broad stone stairs rose to a wide landing in front of tall twinned doors. Each bore a gauntleted fist gripping three lightning bolts, carved large and gilded."

What's going on?

Now, I jumped to the conclusion that Be'lal is actually Taim. But of course, that's absolutely not possible...Be'lal was balefired by Moiraine in The Stone of Tear.

But Taim does seem to have some master plan, either of his own, or of the Dark One. Some overreaching plan, that involves creating a coterie of loyal and hardened followers of his own within the Black Tower. Careful planning, not overt, and Rand doesn't see it at all.

Be'lal was known as the Netweaver...Loial says this in The Dragon Reborn, and Moiraine adds her thoughts...

The Dragon Reborn
The Hammer

Loial:"...In A Study of the War of the Shadow, Moilin daughter of Hamada daughter of Juendan called Be'lal the Netweaver, but I do not know why. She mentioned him playing a game of stones with Lews Therin and winning, and that he always boasted of it"

Moiraine: "...And the Netweaver - a name for a schemer, a patient and cunning planner. You have done well, Loial"

Could Taim be another Netweaver?

Postulates:

1) Be'lal underestimated Rand, because Rand is a rookie in every way.

2) Be'lal actually beat the great Lews Therin Telamon at stones, what chance would the sheepherder have? He paid the price for underestimation, end of story for Be'lal. Or was it?

3) Taim is an agent of Be'lal, continuing his plans, an apprentice of sorts. He uses Be'lal's sigil, and his methods. He may even be directly serving the Dark One, and the first of a new generation of Dreadlords.

4) Taim works hard to save Rand because of the Dark One's orders, just like Moridin saves Rand in Shadar Logoth (at least, I'm assuming that was Moridin).

Taim is therefore a protege or a replacement for Be'lal.

One more interesting point: in the list of "Chosen" balefired and/or killed, the omissions are noteable:

Lord of Chaos, Dark One: "THE CHOSEN DWINDLE, DEMANDRED. THE WEAK FALL AWAY. WHO BETRAYS ME SHALL DIE THE FINAL DEATH. ASMODEAN, TWISTED BY HIS WEAKNESS. RAHVIN DEAD IN HIS PRIDE. HE SERVED WELL, YET EVEN I CANNOT SAVE HIM FROM BALEFIRE. EVEN I CANNOT STEP OUTSIDE OF TIME. For an instant terrible anger filled that awful voice, and — could it be frustration? An instant only. DONE BY MY ANCIENT ENEMY, THE ONE CALLED DRAGON."

Notice who wasn't mentioned:

1) Ishamael, who clearly comes back as Moridin, his soul still within the Dark One's reach.

2) Lanfear, by this point held by the Finns, but somehow within the DO's reach, she comes back as Cyndane.

3) Mesaana, Semihrage, Sammael, all demonstrably alive and well.

4) Be'lal!! Supposedly balefired, but surely he deserved a regretful mention, like Rahvin, or even an angry mention, like Asmodean.

Is Be'lal somehow still alive? If so, Taim is Be'lal, sort of a dual identity, rather than a reincarnation. Else, Taim is a protege of his.

Your thoughts?

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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2010-10-19

Vergere6 - I've never considered Be'lal in this way. I like the connections you've made and certainly, as Be'lal was killed, it is likely that another has taken his place with Taim, if it was him. But as a mentor, most have gone the Ishamael and Moridin route, while it's certainly possible that Taim was a part of Be'lal's plans. I liked the idea you had about Be'lal possibly being someone capable of being transmigrated, as Jordan has said small enough bursts of balefire may not be enough. However, he also included Be'lal in a list with Rahvin regarding those Forsaken beyond the DO's reach.

Anyway, Be'lal is not discussed much, but I think it's worth asking Brandon/Maria, as now I'm curious.

2

natasharma: 2010-10-19

That was a very interesting theory. Gives us a lot to think about. Be'lal is probably the least regarded Forsaken. It would be interesting to see him still playing a role, directly or indirectly.

3

The Angry Druid: 2010-10-19

Interesting theory, and interesting theories are always good.

However, a small bone to pick with the importance you place on the similarities of their sigils. Or actually, two bones.

First, the sigils are not identical. Yes, they both have the gauntleted fist clutching lighting bolts, true. But there is a difference which you didn't catch. Be'lal's fist is silver, as you point out in your quote. But Taim's is gold (that is what you typically gild with).

Second, there is a third Forsaken that uses the same sigil, but with a different metal: Sammael. Sammael's gauntleted fist is gilded, but with a different metal: steel. Here's the quote, tFoH, A Sliver Arrow: His [Sammael's] chair was heavy wood, carved with...a steel-gauntleted fist clasping lightning at the back's peak.

So, the more complete way to look at things is not to say Taim and Be'lal have the same sigil, and this indicates Taim is Be'lal's protege, but that Be'lal, Sammael, and Taim all have the same sigil with different metals (Sammael steel, Be'lal silver, Taim gold. This perspective tends to cast doubt on your conclusions via Be'lal and Taim (isn't Sammael now just as viable a mentor/protege?).

Second, when one considers the metals used around the fist: Sammael silver, Be'lal gold, and Taim gilded (gold). A strange picture emerges. Gold is usually the highest metal (Olympics anyone). Isn't it odd that the protege would have gold, while the mentor had silver? Not to mention Sammael's silver? This would seem to place Taim ABOVE both Sammael and Be'lal.

Well, you know where I'm going with this, Taim = Moridiin (or, at the least, a protege of). Throw in the fact that he's decked out in black and red (Moridin's colors) and add it to the sigil, and I think Moridin is the better case for the mentor (if not the actual personage), than Be'lal.

Linda at the 13th thinks they are one and the same, and her article is where I first saw the idea bout the metal used around the Sigil. I can't find her Moridin = Taim article for you to check out, but I did get one on Taim.

4

Lupusdeusest: 2010-10-19

Fascinating thought, but I must confess I was a lot more intrigued when I first misread the title as "Taim is Bela's Protege". It's now too normal. :D

5

Linda: 2010-10-19

Angry Druid: Yes, the progression hints that Taim is 'higher' than either Sammael or Be'lal.

My Taim is Moridin theory is here

6

Myth: 2010-10-19

I like the thought that Be'lal might still be alive. Kind of throws a whole new twist on everything doesnt it?

7

Icon: 2010-10-20

Another reason this makes sense, is that Liandrin and her 12 other BA were at that time connected with Be'lal. When the two BA that were captured were questioned by the supergirls, she told them of a plot to free Taim, implying a connection between Be'lal and Taim perhaps? Be'lal along with Liandrin's coven also were planning on using the 13x13 in tear. Brandon implied that the 13x13 would probably come into play before the end of the series, and Taim and the BT seems like a good candidate for a place it's being used.

I know this is nothing some conclusive but just some more connections as food for thought.

8

DarkLordChaos: 2010-10-20

I cannot find anything relating to his sigil, but I tend to lean more toward taim being demandred. I plan on posting my theory on this matter soon. Please keep an eye out for mine, I hope you will all like it.

9

jakebarnes: 2010-10-20

I find it interesting that you only 'assume' Moridin was the man at Shadar Logoth, but state as fact that Lanfear is Cyndane.

I don't like this at all, mostly because of Taim's disdain for the sword. Be'lal would have taught him to value and use the weapon.

10

Ashaman Leyrann Gaidin: 2011-07-10

This looks very well. Maybe it is even different: It could be, that Be'lal IS Taim. I know, he is balefired, but there could (maybe) be a way to avoid that. Be'lal could have gone away, letting behind some weak, compulsed male channler of the Defenders or so, and then he had to act as if he was Be'lal. And with weak I mean just strong enough to make a sword with the OP. This way, Be'lal could survive, and become Taim. And of those sigils, maybe he changed it, because he didn't want someone could recognize it.

11

keemlin: 2011-07-11

leyrann,
it may very well be that taim is be'lal/be'lal reincarnated.

you see,...we know the DO is capable of bringing people back from the dead. moiraine is rather weak in the power,..this also is known. when someone is balefired..the guy's thread is burned back proportional to the strength of the balefire...NOT totally wiped out.

the DO has unlimited power. atleast a fraction of it is applicable in the real world. which is still quite a lot. possibly enough to capture be'lal's soul before it dies outside time(even moiraine admits her balefiring is not THAT strong).

there is one more curious point.... when moiraine falls into the doorframe ter'angreal...something could have happened in there.

many things are possible in the finns' reality. the DO could possible have messed around with moiraine's thread in the pattern somehow....FAR shot i know...still a theory though.

and we know shadow questions earn you death and/or worse in that realm..so we can probably assume the DO has some measure of control there.

AND we need to consider this final point... EVERY forsaken till now has stayed for one book in the series playing a moderately major role at least.

SO why in the Light did be'lal last maximum two chapters in the whole series???.even rahvin was there in two books.

1.either be'lal is a shadow blasted idiot/cowering cur/shivering worm(loser..in general)..(scant possibility..he is the netweaver, remember)

2.OR he has another pivotal role in the series(likely according to me)

So,yes, be'lal is taim...but that does beg the question...HOW on earth does he channel the true power??

thoughts???

12

Ashaman Leyrann Gaidin: 2011-07-12

Could be...

I don't think the DO has power in Finnland, but I already thought it was weird someone called "netweaver" had such a minor play. Has RJ ever said anything about this subject, or came it up too recent?

13

Oden: 2011-07-12

I checked the interview database and the newest entry of Be'lal was in 2005. Nothing from BS so far.

14

Macster: 2011-10-27

@3 The Angry Druid: One possible error to correct--reading the description of Taim's sigil again, it is not clear that it's saying the gauntlet is gilded. Syntactically, it could also be saying the lightning bolts are gilded but not necessarily the gauntlet. This may be irrelevant, since the bolts weren't described as gilded in either Be'lal or Sammael's sigils, so your point about this seemingly marking Taim as higher than both of them still has merit. But I thought I'd just point this out.

As for the theory itself...very intriguing and interesting, and somewhat loony, which makes me have to wonder if it really might be true. No one (or hardly anyone) has ever speculated about Be'lal having a larger role in the series--he seems on the surface to be an example of what Verin is talking about in TGS, when she describes the Forsaken as squabbling children trying to get their father's attention, predictable, and valued more for their selfishness than their intelligence and craftiness. In other words, he really was an example of Stupid Evil and therefore not worth keeping around. And by far more people are convinced Taim is Moridin, or working for him, than any other possibilities now that Taimandred has been debunked.

So wouldn't it be funny if the one we never suspected and had dismissed as irrelevant turned out to be Taim, or at least had instructed him? It would certainly shock and surprise a lot of people. And I for one always found it strange that one who had been a great general for both the Light and the Shadow, who had defeated Lews Therin himself, and who had been called the Netweaver, could really be so stupid and overconfident as to get himself killed so easily and ignominiously. Not that I wish to deny Moiraine her moment of awesomeness in killing him, but it still doesn't jibe with his reputation. Was it really that inflated, was the man really that arrogant...or is there more to the story?

The sigil thing does make it a bit more problematic, and the fact Taim, Be'lal, and Sammael all have almost the exact same sigil suggests if anything that it is not a sigil for any of them in particular but a more general "Forsaken sigil". This particularly makes sense for Taim, since the red-and-black color scheme suggests his connection to Moridin already. But it doesn't rule it out completely, since Taim could have ties to more than just Moridin among the Forsaken and we witnessed an argument between Ishamael and Be'lal in Tel'aran'rhiod back in TDR--that could have been Be'lal arguing with Ishy about the plan for him and Taim, it could have been Ishy arguing about Be'lal's plan, or it could be argument which led one or both of them to come up with the plan later as a means to bring Be'lal in line/have him serve more effectively.

I have some other thoughts about this, ones that may lead to research and me proposing a more detailed theory about Be'lal as Taim later. But for now, count me in as at least on the fence, if not supporting this theory. Excellent work!