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he True Origins of Mazrim Taim

by NaeffOfDreams: 2010-10-25 | 5 out of 10 (1 votes)

Previous Categories: Taim - Then and Now

In Lord of Chaos, we are introduced to Mazrim Taim, an enigmatic character of dubious intentions who has defied every theory I've seen written about him. Mazrim Taim has been channeling for a long time. Sure, you can hold off the madness for awhile. I'll buy that; every channeler is different, etc., etc. Yet Taim shows knowledge and prejudices that no Third Ager should have. He knows Travelling, how to test for the ability to channel, and how to ignore heat and cold. These could be taught if he found the right person, but his famous "so-called Aiel" comment and his disdain for melee weapons (LoC Ch 11) are red flags, however. How can a lifetime's worth of prejudices be taught in a year and a half to two years? (My best estimate of how long the Forsaken have been freed at this point.)

Nearly everyone amongst the WoT readership, at one time or another, has fallen for the Taimandred theory. Part of it was Jordan leading us there with Lews Therin's ravings, but the rest was that it fit together too well. Demandred was just a red herring to distract us from the truth: Mazrim Taim is one of the Age of Legends Forsaken. He's just not Demandred.

There were more than 13 Chosen in the War of Power.

BWB, Chapter 4, The Fall into Shadow (emphasis mine)
The Dragon and his companions arrived at Shayol Ghul to discover an unexpected bonus: a gathering of the thirteen most powerful leaders of the Forsaken Aes Sedai was taking place at the Pit of Doom deep within the mountain at the same moment, perhaps summoned by the Dark One for a conference.

This is the equivalent of the President of the US meeting with his Joint Chiefs of Staff. There are plenty of other Generals and Colonels out there fighting the war; they just aren't the ones holding press conferences. The same goes for the Forsaken. Mazrim Taim was just lower in the chain of command. Remember, between the initial drilling of the Bore and the beginning of the actual war there were a hundred years of the forces of the Shadow gathering, turning people to their side with vague promises of immortality and through other, more coercive means.

ACoS, Ch 25, Mindtrap, Moghedien POV (emphasis mine)
...she herself did not believe the will existed strong enough to resist the True Power, not once the saa appeared in your eyes. The final price was different, but no less terrible.

"You have been given distinction greater than you know," she told him. As though her filthy dress was the finest streith, she took the armchair opposite him. "Bring me some of that wine, and I will tell you. Only twenty-nine others have ever been granted—"

Use of the True Power is granted by the Dark One. Therefore, there were at least twenty-eight Chosen. Taim is most likely one of the twenty-eight granted the usage of the True Power. More on that later (see below, under *Mazrim Taim has probably used the True Power, though not enough to have saa).

Some of the top thirteen may not even have known Taim by sight, though I have reason to believe Asmodean might have. That's another theory for another time, however.

Linguistic proof

Mazrim Taim (tah-EEM) is one of very few, if not the only, Third Age character whose name has two adjacent vowels not pronounced together as a diphthong in a more Old Tongue style. Most of the separate vowel type pronunciations in this series are in words from the Old Tongue. (E.g. Shienar is pronounced shy-NAHR, while Aiel is eye-EEL) In fact, Jordan was very vocal about this particular pronunciation, usually in conjunction with his denial of Taimandred. I think he was laughing at us. It's probably one of those things he found "intuitively obvious." Sneaky RJ, hiding the truth under our noses.

If Taim wasn't caught in the Bore, then how did he survive?

After it was clear that the Bore had been sealed with their top generals trapped inside, the hierarchy amongst the lesser Chosen broke down, with each trying to wage his/her own private war, uncoordinated with the others.

BWB, Chapter 8, The Breaking of the World
But in many ways the Shadowsworn were a more immediate threat than the maddened male Aes Sedai. Deprived of their highest levels of leadership and with the loss of the Dark One's influence, the remaining Shadowsworn fell into struggles for power. Of course the war continued, complete with armies of Trollocs and Myrddraal, but increasingly those armies turned against one another as often as against the forces of the Light.

Mazrim Taim, in the classic Chosen quest for immortality, rather than die fighting for a lost cause, hid himself in a stasis box to outlast the Breaking and await the Day of Return.

Can a human being survive in a stasis box?

The gholam Sammael found had, as well as Moridin's zomara (KoD Ch 3). And the gholam, at least, has a metabolism and needs to feed fairly regularly, so the stasis boxes are surely capable of holding other life forms in suspended animation as well.

TPoD, Chapter 2, Unweaving, Gholam POV
But it was hungry, too, and there was time. Where they could run, it could follow. Settling fluidly beside the mangled body, it began to feed. Fresh blood, hot blood, was a necessity, but human blood always held the sweetest savor.

How did Taim get out of the box?

Ishamael, Sammael, and Graendal have each found at least one stasis box (KoD Ch 3, LoC Ch 23). Ishamael's was large enough to have a bunch of zomara in it, while Sammael's housed a gholam, among other things. It's possible that Taim was in either of these, or in another found by one of the above three. Be'lal is also suspect (see below, under *Why don't the other Chosen know another of their compatriots survived?). For that matter, some random person found the box and opened it, probably getting killed by Taim afterwards. I feel he still has a major part to play in this conflict and that the Wheel made someone find him. It doesn't really matter who.

Why hasn't Taim's name come down through history the way the other 13 have?

Even though the survivors of the Hundred Companions went insane on the instant, running off to raise all manner of mayhem, somehow we have an accurate recounting of who exactly was sealed in the Pit of Doom. Over the next three thousand years, strife was the status quo across the land. Ishamael, being only partially bound, was manipulating events so that no strong order would emerge amongst the nations. During this time, however, I believe he also worked to keep the names and deeds of the thirteen Forsaken trapped in the Bore alive and well in the minds of the people. According to his philosophy, as the Wheel turned, the reopening of the Bore and the Day of Return was inevitable. This was a massive propaganda effort designed, effectively I might add, to make people good and bad alike fear them. The Chosen became larger than life.

TPoD, Chapter 22, Gathering Clouds, Rand POV
He could remember as a boy hearing men laugh that when rain fell in sunshine the Dark One was beating Semirhage. Some of that laughter had been uneasy, though, and scrawny old Cenn Buie would always snarl that Semirhage would be smarting and angry after that, and come for small boys who did not keep out of their elders' way. That had been enough to send Rand running, when he was little.

Mazrim Taim's name had no place in these stories. He was just one of the weak, dead and gone, lost in the War of the Shadow, or so Ishamael thought. His name faded to obscurity and then to nothingness. The Wheel turns.

Don't believe me? Who was the only witness to the kinslaying that earned Lews Therin his moniker? Elan Morin Tedronai, the Betrayer himself. No wonder people are terrified of the Dragon's Rebirth. Propaganda is a wonderful tool.

Thematic/Authorial concerns re: stasis boxes

The concept of a stasis box was first introduced in the Prologue of LoC during a Forsaken tea-time. This is before we meet Taim for the first time. This is important, and should color the way we view his character.

Taim shows up for his first on-screen appearance in Ch 2, complete with DO Seal

Just in case we missed it the first time, stasis boxes are also mentioned in Ch 23. Sammael found one with a gholam inside, as well as some other relics of the AoL. This is several chapters before another appearance of Taim, showing up just in time to kill a Gray Man (suspiciously referring to them as "the Soulless") in Ch 28, just to keep the idea fresh in our minds.

Where did Taim get the Seal?

Though he told Rand that he received it from a farmer in the Borderlands (similar to Fain's story to Turak about the Horn of Valere, TGH Ch 34), it's just as likely that he simply brought it with him from the AoL. Though the Amyrlin is Watcher of the Seals, no Amyrlin has known the location of any since the Trolloc Wars (TGH Ch 5). Since Rand and co found one of the seals with the Horn of Valere at the Eye of the World, as well as finding another in Rhuidean, we may conjecture that the Aes Sedai since the Breaking may not have ever had all of the other 5.

Taim's on-screen appearances that make it clear that he is both Darkfriend and from the prior age

(For the most part this section will be a lot of the "proofs" for Taimandred that didn't hang together near as well for the Minion Taim theories that, of necessity, replaced it. This is by no means an exhaustive list.)

LoC Ch 2, A New Arrival, Rand POV
"I have had years more than you to study the Power. There is much I could teach you."

Hot on the heels of the disappearance of Rand's last teacher, is this a play to take Asmodean's place after killing him? Or is he just plain arrogant? Either way, Taim has been channeling a considerable amount of time, for a Third Ager. Of course, as a Forsaken from the Age of Legends, he would have immunity from the taint on saidin.

A page later, regarding the seal, Taim says, "I heard some of the seals had been broken. A hammer could break that one." Aside from a handful of main characters who have most certainly not shared such information with the Shadow, the only people who would even know what they were looking at would be the Forsaken, and only a few of them would know for certain that some of the seals are broken. Aginor and Balthamel possibly knew the one at the Eye was broken. Lanfear could have known the two in Falme we broken, if she wasn't the one who found and broke them. Moghedien may have had knowledge of the breaking of the seal Nynaeve and Elayne found in Tanchico. That's a short list. Mazrim Taim is remarkably well informed.

Mazrim Taim has other knowledge as well. He knows terminology such as Travelling and gateway. While testing Flinn for the ability to channel, he describes what he is doing in a much more scientific manner, consistent with other Forsaken speech patterns.

LoC Ch 3, A Woman's Eyes, Rand POV
"You can Travel, but you do not know how to test for the talent."

[...]

"The more Power that's used," Taim told Damer, "the easier it is to detect the resonance. On the other hand, too big a resonance could do unpleasant things to your mind, maybe kill you, so I'll start small."

The two words I find suspect here are talent and resonance. Only someone who was raised in the AoL would refer to a man channeling as talented or gifted. Third Agers might refer to it as an ability if not a curse. Resonance seems a little too precise and scientific of a word to use for someone from the Third Age. If Taim were a Chosen from the past, however, both of these words make perfect sense.

Chapter 11 includes his dismissal of Haslin, the man Rand had brought in to teach the sword. Taim's contempt for melee weapons indicates an AoL bias. Also Chapter 11 includes the "so-called Aiel" comment. This is probably the most damning evidence against him in this book.

LoC Ch 11, Lessons and Teachers, Rand POV
"...And who can know what these so-called Aiel will do." This time he paused, but Rand held his tongue.

This is a serious slip-up that Rand doesn't even catch, since, after all, he has some of those same AoL memories too, between Rhuidean and Lews Therin.

As I pointed out above, in Chapter 28, when Taim shows up, supposedly to tell Rand about having found Narishma, and just happens to kill a Gray Man in the nick of time, he says, "Nasty things, the Soulless." Not exactly common terminology among non-Forsaken.

In Chapter 42, we see more evidence of Taim's arrogance, etc, but more telling is the fact that he's figured out a complex weave like Healing. A rough, battlefield sort of Healing, but it works well enough to teach to his students. Of course, later on in ACoS, we find that hints from him and Dashiva lead Flinn to reinvent the Five Power Healing which he later uses to bridge the gap and Heal stilling. I don't buy Healing as something that Taim could have just come up with on his own. If he were from the AoL, however, it fits.

In Chapter 55, when Taim shows up at Dumai's Wells, he demonstrates a solid knowledge of military formations and tactics in the way that he's trained the Asha'man to form a line of battle, etc. This becomes more blatant in TPoD when we learn that he has created new ranks such as storm leader and attack leader, complete with fancy Old Tongue designations. This sounds like someone who had some solid military training in the uses of the One Power in battle, which makes a whole lot of sense if he's a leader from the War of the Shadow.

Remember the old saying? (KoD Epilogue) This phrase is pertinent only among Darkfriend circles, likely only among the Chosen themselves. I believe this proves Taim has been to Shayol Ghul since getting out of the stasis box. "Chosen only, you're not on the list. Oh! Master Taim! Come right in!"

Also of note in this chapter is the emblem of the fist clutching lightning bolts that we've seen by other Forsaken throughout the series (TDR Ch 51, TFoH Ch 34). Some of the minion-Taim theorists have tried to piece together a ranking for the different colors of the emblem, but it could just as easily be personal aesthetics for each of them. It is likely a symbol used on Shadowsworn banners from the War of the Shadow to let troops know where their Chosen generals and leaders were, in the same way that all Andorans fight under the White Lion.

Mazrim Taim has used the True Power, though not often enough to have saa.

WH, Prologue, Snow, Elayne POV (emphasis mine) Taim strode into the room as though he owned the Palace. She did not need him named. Blue-and-gold Dragons wove round the sleeves of his black coat from elbows to cuffs, in imitation of the Dragons on Rand's arms. Though she suspected he would not appreciate the observation. He was tall, nearly as a tall as Rand, with a hooked nose and dark eyes like augurs, a physically powerful man who moved with something of a Warder's deadly grace, but shadows seemed to follow him, as if half the lamps in the room had gone out; not real shadows, but an air of imminent violence that seemed palpable enough to soak up light.

[...]

Taim radiated danger the way a fire gave heat.

Compare to these descriptions of Rand from after his TP usage in TGS.

Ch 23, A Warp in the Air, Cadsuane POV
As she watched, the air around him seemed to warp, and she could almost think that the room had grown darker.

[...]

Dazed, she turned—and from the corner off her eye, she saw a deep darkness emanating from al'Thor, warping the air even further.

Ch 31, A Promise to Lews Therin, Cadsuane POV
As before, when she turned away from him, she thought she saw...from the corner of her eye...darkness around him, like too much shade from the clouds above.

Ch 32, Rivers of Shadow, Nynaeve POV
She'd believed that he would kill Cadsuane if he saw her face again, and thinking of the moment still gave her shivers. Surely it had been her imagination, but the room had seemed to darken distinctly at that moment, as if a cloud had passed over the sun.

Also, I lifted this from Terez's fancy interview database:

HBFFerreira on Twitter - 20 July 2010 2:35 pm
The Gathering Storm: Rand's dark aura was an effect of channeling the True Power, right? Winter's Heart prologue: didn't Taim cast a similar aura?

Brandon - 21 July 12:18 am
You're the first to notice that that I've seen.

Brandon's answer is very specifically ambiguous; however, this is some fairly strong evidence in favor of Taim having TP access. Remember, only Chosen that the DO likes get to use it. And Rand, I suppose, but he's likely a special case.

Why don't the other Chosen know another of their compatriots survived?

It's possible that, though he's never referenced in their limited time on-screen, some of them do know of his survival. I believe Ishamael, or possibly Be'lal, figured it out early on, then sending some of the Black Ajah to his rescue somewhere east of the Black Hills (TSR Ch 17). For the most part, I think the other Chosen remained ignorant of his survival because the Dark One wished it so. As the M'Hael of the Black Tower, he has so far been the most successful of the Chosen in preparing for the Day of Return, gathering an army of devoted dark side channelers. Blowing his cover would have made him a target for the other Forsaken. After all, the Dark One values selfishness most in his subordinates (TGS Ch39). It would only be a matter of time before they dragged Taim into their squabbles.

Conclusion

I feel that there is ample evidence to posit that Mazrim Taim is a 14th Chosen who has survived through the unconventional means of a stasis box. As an innovative thinker and warman, he has created the only army of channelers that the current crop of dark-siders has. Due to the success of his ambitions, Taim has been given relatively free reign compared to Moridin's ban on those of the Forsaken who have displeased him and the Dark One. He is also currently one of the very few with access to the True Power. It is possible that at least some of the others know of his survival, but likely only a few.

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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2010-10-27

Well, well, well, thanks Naeff. It's not often that I'm as delighted by the originality of an idea dealing with such a key figure. I love the idea that one so devoted to the Dark One would put himself in suspended animation to await another time when he would be found to serve the DO. Also, it feels plausible to consider that he would want to protect himself from the taint, a benefit I would imagine a stasis box would provide.

However, RJ did answer questions about Taim's age.

WinespringBrother: How old is Taim and has he slowed?

RJ: Taim has slowed, but one thing I am not going to reveal it in the books, so I'll tell you, men slow later than women do. And yes, he has slowed, and he is in his late twenties, yes his late twenties.

It's possible that he was a young channeler of the Second Age, as I'm sure many were killed during the long war and likely the Dark One had to choose from younger faithful, but would the Dark One make such a young and rather inexperienced one of the Chosen?

Very enjoyable idea!

2

M4lik: 2010-10-27

So Taim could've killed Asmodean?

That would seriously suck.

3

Ozymandias: 2010-10-27

I think I see the obvious flaw in this argument. Correct me if you dealt with this and I missed it, I skimmed the theory a few more times but didn't see a reference.

It is purely a chronological issue. Ishamael is the only Chosen we see active early on. It is strongly, strongly implied (to my mind) that Balthamel and Aginor more or less head straight for the Eye of the World upon release. Even if they don't, it simply doesn't work within the provided chronology of the books. Sammael & Co can't be finding stasis boxes straight out of the Bore. Most of them establish themselves in positions of power around the same time, we know this for a fact because Rahvin, Be'lal, and Sammael all settle in at roughly the same date, which can lead us to some vague conclusions about when they were released.

Taim, by contrast, is active months, if not years, before the Forsaken are released. We KNOW he's active at least several months, if not a year at the least, before the start of the series because Fain is able to bring word of multiple false Dragons and we hear of "trouble in Saldaea." For the information to travel that far, and to have a Dragon noteworthy enough to cause rumours, well, thats many months right there. It just doesn't fit into the chronology of when we know the Chosen are active. I suppose it might be Ishamael, but there is zero indication of that and it feels like the kind of thing we'd know about.

So who let him out, then? No one. He's just a Darkfriend. We also might expect to hear from the Chosen who found him about said discovery. It is, after all, a pretty big deal, to find another relatively high-ranking Darkfriend in a stasis box. It also brings up the issue of why said Chosen wouldn't just kill Taim and eliminate a rival.

Also, from a common sense standpoint, look at the actions of every Chosen thus far. They use their status as unaffiliated, undetectable channelers to assume positions of power quite easily. Or at least to hide themselves in comfort and secrecy a la Moghedien, Lanfear, Asmodean, and Graendal. Why wouldn't Taim do the same? He's powerful enough, just as undetectable... and yet by all accounts he was fighting a very closely contested war with the royal Saldaean forces when he could have merely seduced Tenobia with the power, as Rahvin did with Morgase.

At no point do Taim's actions, neither in a chronological nor logical sense, go hand in hand with what he could have or should have done to make himself the ultimate power in Randland. And he easily could have. A man in control of the Power without the madness would quickly assert himself as a universal ruler. It would be insidious and irresistable.

I could bring up further problems here, but I think the point is made. An interesting and innovative take, though.

4

heavytabbs: 2010-10-28

I agree with ozymandias that the probability of the stasis box and AoL chosen status is not very plausible. However, I do think you're on to something when you say that Taim is a darkfriend (I think that's pretty obvious though), that he may be able to channel the TP (good references... I can definitely see it), and that He's been to Shayol Ghul.

However, You neglect to add the famous quote, "let the lord of chaos rule." It is never explicitly made known to us whether or not (to my knowledge) the average darkfriend has been made aware of the DO's intentions for Rand (with that exact wording). We DO know that those certain few who have been to shayol ghul know, and that the forsaken know as well. I think that this knowledge definitely lends weight to him being, at least a 3rd age, high ranking DF who has had direct contact with either: the DO, Shaidar Haran, or one of the forsaken.

I agree again with ozymandias that the time-line just doesn't work for any of the forsaken helping Taim when he was threatening as a false dragon (although I wanted to believe that ISHY or someone else freed him from the Aes Sedai in Saldaea). It is more likely that it was a remnant of his followers, or black ajah (if I'm missing an excerpt that completely explains this then my bad). You do pile up quite a bit of evidence pertaining to his dialect and knowledge, but there is so much that has yet to be explained to us in the series that it can be explained in a ton of different ways.

The easiest method I can think would be using Fain as an example. The DO and whoever else changed him into the DO's hound, fundamentally changing him as a person. It isn't so impossible to believe that something like this may have happened to Taim, with a less grotesque outcome, lending him his knowledge and AoL biases. Complete speculation, but basically, it's as sound as yours. All in all I loved the theory (as speculation), but can't believe in all of it.

5

Clyve: 2010-10-28

While this is a fantastic idea, I don't buy the idea of Taim killing Asmodean. RJ has said before that it should seem obvious who did it, though five million theories and comments later it wouldn't appear as such, and Asmodean is killed in TFoH and Taim shows up in LoC.

That being said, I really like this idea. It seems to fit for so may reasons. The stasis box seems the most likely means of his persistence through the intervening 3000 years, I can't imagine Taim just happening to also be skulking around Shayol Ghul when the Hundred Companions came waltzing in. But Ozy is right, he was around before the 'real' Forsaken were free. He would have had to have been released by someone. Could Ishy have led someone to open the box? Could some Darkfriend had a vision of it and opened it? If this is Taim's story, I really doubt some farmer accidentally stumbles on it, just before Rand's story starts up, too coincidental, even for the Wheel. There does seem to be a lot of evidence for Taim being associated with the DO and the AoL. Interesting to think about.

6

Aulis Vaara: 2010-10-28

@Ozymandias:: Didn't Taim do just that though, trying to put himself in a place of power? Afterall, he was a false Dragon.

It's true that his timing clashes with that of the other Forsaken, but that does give at least some credibility to this theory. The only Forsaken who could have freed him is Ishamael, or he might have led someone to free him. I think it's more likely that he was freed by accident though, it just makes more sense. Why does it make more sense? Because if Taim was freed by accident, there's no reason for him to think the "Day Of Return" is near, hence pretending to be the Dragon. It was the best and shortest way to power.

Of course, a bit later Rand declares himself the Dragon Reborn and the pattern decides Taim is actually in the way now. What exactly he does in between being freed and arriving in Caemlyn, I don't know, but it is possible that then is his first trip to Shayol Ghul, and receives orders to infiltrate the Black Tower. Considering he has done this job well, he receives the right to channel the True Power, but since he's surrounded by countless male channelers, he simply doesn't get to use it often.

I like this theory, and I can see it coming true. At the very least I am convinced that Taim cannot be a Third Ager.

7

WinespringBrother: 2010-10-28

This is the best theory I have seem to support the thesis that Taim is a darkfriend. However, it does seem to have some holes that the 3rd ager arguments do not:

It's debatable that Taim knew how to weave Gateways (we don't see him use one before Rand demonstrated the weave for him). Why did Taim not Travel, and allow an army to tail him for hundreds of miles? Was he a 2nd ager who just didn't happen to know the weave? Was he so drained that he couldn't for his life weave a simple Gateway to let one person pass through? And it's not likely that he planned to cause chaos by leading Bashere astray, since he likely didn't know what Tenobia would do after he escaped. Also, it seems that based on later scenes that Tenobia sent the army of her own free will and wasn't compelled into doing so.

Not to mention, why was Taim apparently left to fend for himself if he was such a high level figure in the Shadow's ranks? Why not return directly to Shayol Ghul for more orders since the False Dragon scheme was not salvageable anymore?

Regarding his military knowledge, that doesn't necessarily make him a 2nd ager. Both he and Logain held off armies that were led by Aes Sedai, and yet there is no indication that Logain was a 2nd ager.

Regarding Taim's appearance, do you think he used the Mirror of Mists to appear Saldaean? Or did he just use his true appearance and risk recognition by Rand/LTT?

Was the whole "Taim is in his late 20's" a ruse by RJ (one that he stated he answered at DragonCon because he never intended to reveal that fact in the books)? Was the comment that he slowed a play on words about being slowed to no aging in a stasis box? Or the comment in Rand's POV that Taim seemed to be in his middle 30's a sly clue that Taim appeared to be older than he was? I know RJ can be sneaky, but is he THAT sneaky?

Lastly, Taim still doesn't seem to me to be intuitively obvious as Asmodean's killer.

All in all though, very intriguing.

8

Galagros: 2010-10-28

Do we ever get validation that Taim is actually the same Mazrim Taim that was a false Dragon? Has anyone actually seen/met him before and after to validate that they are one in the same? If not, it would be simple enough for him to be an impersonator, right?

I cannot recall in what book Mazrim Taim is supposedly freed from captivity (The Dragon Reborn, perhaps), but it would make the timeline work better for this theory.

9

Jain Charin: 2010-10-28

If this theory is true, could it be possible that the "unknown" could be Beidomon? He is one of the only other names mentioned in the AOL that could fit.

10

The Angry Druid: 2010-10-28

Very interesting theory, and Kudos.

But I think Taim is Moridin.

11

AK: 2010-10-28

The arguments that Taim is a 2nd ager are persuasive, although the issue of Traveling is a serious obstacle. However, IMO the stasis box argument is probably not consistent with his career. I've played around with two ideas to explain his 2nd age references, although I'm not completely happy with either:

1. We know that "hearing voices" is a symptom of the Saidin madness. In Rand, at least, it's the voice of an earlier incarnation. What if the 3rd age Mazrim Taim ended up with memories of a 2nd age dreadlord? This process (gaining memories) could have been going on during the events mentioned in the series, and perhaps Moridin or the DO could have performed a fusion of personalities using the TP. Thus the Taim the Rand meets was already a fusion of 2nd and 3rd age personalities.

2. AFAIK we don't know how long a person could be dead, and still be brought into a new body by the DO. Is it possible that a 2nd age dreadlord (or chosen) was brought into Taim's body after he was captured in the attack that "freed" him? There are holes in the memories of some of the re-bodied Chosen, and one of those holes might have included how to Travel. Alternatively, his orders when sent to Rand may have included not using that technique (or teaching it) until Rand taught it to him. (Note that all the re-bodied Chosen except Moridin have come with much more specific orders than the normal Chosen get.)

An obstacle to the second idea is that Taim is clearly envious of Rand's position as Dragon Reborn, which is much more consistent with a false dragon who actually believed himself to be the real one.

12

TankSpill: 2010-10-28

I really actually like this theory. The main problem I see with it being feasible, however, are more meta-authorial than anything practical or in-world/in-story related. I just don't think RJ would have ever planned on springing something like "Hey, there were more Chosen all along" so late in the series. Had we started really getting whiffs of it before Taim appeared in LOC, and then saw more possible evidence (Forsaken occasionally reminiscing on some other old Chosen they used to know), I think it would hold more weight.

Right now though, I look at it as a theory that could have worked really well earlier on, but now I just couldn't see it coming into the Light. But maybe I'm wrong. I've been wrong before! Thanks for your submission, it's one of the coolest ones I've read.

13

Kaveman26: 2010-10-28

I don't believe we have ever received confirmation outside of SH teaching the BA that helped retreive the domination band, but wouldn't it make just as much sense that Taim could have voluntarily turned/or 13x13 to the Dark and been given the knowledge by Dark One? Sort of a Faustian new hire packet? I imagine that process would have been less than enjoyable, which matches the SH training description, but that would also show why he was so ragged when he finally made it to Rand in LoC.

14

Myth: 2010-10-28

I liked the thoughts this theory invoked in us all. It is original and although I agree it has flaws, and is probably not plausible, I am glad it was posted. It has definitely sharpened my own theory on Taim, which hopefully I will post soon.

15

cantstandnynaeve: 2010-10-28

Reading about the darkness following the true power usage made me think on it a bit. Channelers see the darkness just as they see the weaves of saidin/ saidar. However, since the true power is open to men and women, they both see the darkness of the weaves. They also see the darkness as a resonance from using the power. I am sure this not enlightening to most of you. I don't buy the stasis box theory. The better possibility is that Taim was delivered to the DO after being rescued by the black ajah. He received knowledge from the DO to prepare him for his role. Or, Taim actually is Demandred, and RJ simply did not want to reveal it, so he misled us.

16

RDDK: 2010-10-28

I have always wondered why no Aes Sedai tossed themselves in stasis boxes for a hopefully better future.

17

amazinglarry: 2010-10-28

Great theory, I have always been very skeptical of the argument that Taim picked up the mannerisms of his Forsaken mentor to explain the his so-called Aiel, traveling, etc. slips.

I remember posting the idea that Taim was preserved in a stasis box a few years ago on the message boards. If I remember correctly no one took it seriously... :)

Ok, after a quick search I found the original thread, here it is for anyone who might be interested.

18

Ann Kalagon: 2010-10-28

Very interesting theory! I really appreciate the statement of the evidence that he is not from the Third Age, though as others have said it might add up to a slightly different conclusion. I found the evidence of his using the TP, of his use of certain terminology, and the unusual extent of his knowledge of both channeling and of military tactics and strategy to be very convincing. The fact that he shows up not long after the concept of a stasis box being first mentioned is also interesting, though not exactly proof. It might have been foreshadowing, however. It might be so?

As Galagros mentioned, we don't have proof that he is the real Mazrim Taim rather than an imposter. Yet the last name's pronunciation is that unusual as you explained.

It seems very clear that he has raised up a new echelon of Dreadlords, in any event. And I for one so want Logain to kick him to the curb.

19

NaeffOfDreams: 2010-10-28

Sorry it took me so long to reply. My day job frowns on me playing on the message boards while I'm supposed to be selling doors. I figured out how to not make this look like gibberish too. Thanks to Tam for formatting my theory. I'll learn HTML yet.

@HEAVYTABS & Ozzy

I didn't quote it, just mentioned "Remember the old saying?" We have no evidence that this phrase is known to anyone outside the Chosen, so the argument works both ways. As far as the timeline goes, Lanfear was freed at least as early as the beginning of TGH, but I pointed out that it might not have been one of the 13 to find the box. It could just as easily have been random farmer dude thinking, "I wonder what this is?" Of course, then we have random corpse dude and a new Chosen unleashed.

@Clyve

Taim's name is mentioned more times throughout TFOH than is reasonable, as well as the BA plot to free him. Combine this with him being near Caemlyn if not right there at the time of the murder and I'd say that this makes a decent case for him being the killer.

@Winespringbrother

He'd be left out to dry if the others didn't know of his survival at that point. Lots of people have hooked noses. Re Travelling: breaking out a weave like that would totally blow his cover. As far as Taim’s age, I’ll hunt down the interview, but I thought he said Taim “appeared” to be in his twenties after he cleaned up. Knowing that slowing is proportionate to strength and that Taim is quite strong in the power, he could be upwards of 50 or 60. Still young for a Chosen, but not a child by any means.

@Galagros

Bashere didn't recognize him. I'll admit that it's possible that Taim was interrogated and killed a la Cabriana.

@Jain

Beidomon committed suicide per a Jordan question of the week. Don't have the link on hand.

It was great to come home from work and find all this positive feedback. Thanks for the welcome.

20

Clyve: 2010-10-29

@ NaeffofDreams
Now that you mention it, and after looking back some LOL, you are right, he is mentioned an obnoxious amount in TFOH. So he is definitely prominent. And the fact that Asmodean recognizes him, if it is him, suggests even more that he is a mildly high level 2nd Ager, a semi-Chosen I guess. There isn't anyway Asmodean would just hear of some false Dragon after becoming free, never see him, and instantly recognize him. Interesting, the mystery continues I suppose. Man I hope that is settled in TToM.

21

CreationEdge: 2010-10-29

The books have told us that for the Last Battle NEW Dreadlords will be chosen.

I don't see a need for an extravagant theory when the book provides such an easy explanation.

Mazrim Taim was a successful False Dragon. He's very strong in the One Power. Why wouldn't the DO want him on his side?

Also, we know that a Forsaken was in the Black Tower. Sure, he stuck close to Rand, but what's to have kept him from revealing himself to Taim and teaching him, as well? Isn't it more plausible that he learned these things, rather than experiencing them? ("So-called" Aiel, for instance. And that could have just been a comment on the meaning of the word "aiel.")

I think the hints at Taim/Demandred simply indicate that Taim feels the same way Demandred did, and that Rand is treating him like LTT did Demandred. For the same reasons, Taim probably went over to the shadow of his OWN accord. Taim and Demandred are the same personality, not the same person.

On another note, the battle tactics used at DWs don't seem AoL to me, they seem logical and cutthroat, like Taim (who also commanded an army before his capture by the Tower)

22

Serenla: 2010-10-29

I love, love, love this theory! I don't really subscribe to wacky theories and the like. Not even meeting bunches of Theoryland folks at conventions can make me! But I made an account here just to comment on this one.

It makes so much sense, and I completely agree that Taim just can't be a 3rd Ager. I will say that I don't buy the stasis box bit though. I think it's more likely, and someone else mentioned above, that he's got memories of a previous Age. This would account for the "so called Aiel" and other bits. This series is full of rebirth, it makes much more sense to me.

And isn't any male channeler sworn to TDO protected from the taint?

23

ezaine: 2010-10-30

I agree with AK. But, that Taim is a 2cd age dreadlord, but came back by taking over his 3rd age counterpart who had gone insane.

I think this chronology is a simple explanation for who Taim is:

1) Taim starts out as a 3rd age false dragon
2) Taim the false dragon goes insane and is taken over by second age voice
3) Once Taim recovers second age self he re-aligns with the dark one

However, the possible flaw in this (and would make the stasis box seem more reasonable) is than Taim would also them have to be insane. Perhaps sanity was restored by dark one? But that may make this all to convoluted.

24

Mightypeon: 2010-10-30

Now this is a totally whacky theory but:

Taim shares a similiar link to Beidomon that Rand shares with Lews Therin, although it is not exactly the same.

1: Beidomon was a famous scholar, on par with Lanfear.
2: After opening the bore, we never hear a word about him again.
I thus make the hypothesis that he balefired himself after releasing the dark one, which may actually be a logical thing to do in such a situation.

If Balefire excises yourself from the pattern, and you also are the one doing the excising, could one, perhaps, attempt to place oneself back into the pattern? Perhaps especially if the thread one is is reused again? So, Beidomon frees the Dark one, is shocked, tries to Balefire himself in order to prevent what he just did, and than flows outside of the pattern (which may give him an excellent look at how the pattern progresses). He then sees that crap starts again, he wishes to get in, and, during one point of the novel, forcibly injects himself into the False Dragon Mazrim Taim, or inserts himself to be born as Mazrim Taim.

All un-Beidomon like mistakes Taim did could be regarded as:
-Sideeffects for balefiring yourself while perhaps in the presence of the Dark one
-Sideeffects for beeing outside of the pattern for 3000 years
-Sideeffects for self inserting oneself into a perhaps not very cooperative channeller
-And the Channeller may be a Darkfriend!

One could also explain Taim using the true power, as the guy who opened the whole thing up, he may be able to do so without the Dark one noticing! (And in my own theory, the Dark one is a mass of accumulated power, the key to defeating him may lie in breaking his power into no longer sentient bits, which, paradoxically, would mean to set him free and shatter him).

His not liking of Lews Therin may be quite logical.

First, he brought the ultimate sacrifice, and nobody (apart from perhaps Lannfear and the Dark one himself) knows.

Second, he may, after Balefiring himself, have seen other threads, perhaps threads in which he would have lead the light if he hadnt balefired himself.

Third, both of these emotions would be totally in line what third age Taim may feel after realising that he is a False Dragon.

25

AK: 2010-10-30

It just occured to me last night that Taim may well be Bel'al re-bodied. We all know that Bel'al died by balefire, but it just occured to me that maybe he didn't. Here's the scenario:

We know that Ishamael was present in the Stone while Bel'al was fighting Rand.

We know that Ishamael very strongly did NOT want Rand to die.

It makes sense that Ishamael had a weave prepared (perhaps the TP, perhaps just inverted) to INSTANTLY kill Bel'al if he started to kill Rand. He would have been on a hair trigger when Bel'al prepared to kill Rand.

At just this time Moiraine intervened, with balefire.

We know from many incidents that balefire can be sensed ("smelled") just before it's used.

So Ishamael, sensing balefire, pulled the trigger on Bel'al and Moiraine's balefire destroyed a body alread dead.

Then, when the black sister (Joya, IIRC) "betrayed" the plan to abduct Taim, the BA decided to make that plan come true, mostly to preserve the secret that a black sister could not betray the BA. IIRC it was the black sister who had been severed who betrayed the actual plan, to find the band of domination. Since they had Taim, they then created a plan to re-body Bel'al in him.

26

Homeschool: 2010-10-30

Interesting thought... If Taim is old enough to have been around for a while, he likely committed to the Dark One early to avoid insanity. Which suggests that he swore before Padan Fain began his hunt.

So, if that's the case, isn't it possible he went to Shayol Ghul before that too? Perhaps Taim was granted memories from the past by the Dark One; perhaps he gained early access to the True Power; maybe he's the one that started the breakdown of the Seals and freed the Forsaken.

On that last, we've seen Rand use the True Power while bound by the Domination Bands to shatter them, when it was believed the Power couldn't touch them. The True Power appears to work under different precepts, so it's entirely possible that it can undo even Cuendillar, making it weak enough to shatter.

27

WG: 2010-10-30

All the evidence says there were only thirteen, especially that Taim hasn't even been implied in any kind of favorable terms by the Forsaken. Plus, it was the thirteen *strongest* who were chosen, meaning others also turned. Finally, since the Hundred Companions ran into all the Forsaken at the Bore, they would have known about him, even if he escaped. So, this theory fails on its face, really.

28

NaeffOfDreams: 2010-10-31

@WG

They haven't referred to any of the other Chosen from the past either, though it's obvious there were more. Reread my very first quote from the BWB. It's right up at the top, only third paragraph down. "A gathering of the thirteen most powerful leaders of the Forsaken Aes Sedai" implies that there were more than thirteen Forsaken.

29

Clyve: 2010-10-31

@ MightyPeon
Ok, I don't mean to be rude, but that theory is ridiculous. Why would someone be able to lucidly perceive and control things once their "thread" in the Pattern has been REMOVED? We already know that not even the DO can return people who are balefired, so there's no way that someone could simply place themselves back into the pattern when, metaphorically, they have no thread to put back in.

@ AK
I couldn't find the quote, but wasn't there an interview where RJ said that Be'lal was balefired, thus the DO can't revive him?

30

vergere6: 2010-11-02

This is a beautiful theory! I can add a little to it, I think, to remove any worries of chronology. Bashere didn't recognize Taim, who said "I shaved, Bashere...". Bashere was right. This man isn't Taim. He's a Forsaken/Dreadlord from the AoL(or the 2nd age) who's taken the real Mazrim Taim's place.

This explains how Mazrim Taim was active for the years before Ishy came along. He really was. The Forsaken/Dreadlord "Taim" was released by Ishy (or re-recruited by him). He then killed the real Mazrim Taim. Also, Asmodean was killed at the end of book 5, and "Taim" appears in book 6. Forsaken/Dreadlord Taim could easily have been the one who killed Asmodean.

Again, great theory from NaeffofDreams!

31

Mightypeon: 2010-11-04

Well, perhaps what stops the Dark one from bringing things back into the pattern is that fact that he still is a part of this pattern. Bringing someone outside of it back could be like trying to make yourself fly by lifting yourself.

Balefire excise a string from the pattern, it does not destroy it. What happens with that string? Can it exist in a "vacuum"? Can it only continue to exist if it "coils"? Could balefiring yourself create such a coil? Couldnt the pattern have a memory for what is no longer there? Could there be an opening, a void in it? Could perhaps the simple fact that you excised yourself from the pattern yourself allow you to "control your string" in the void?

Perhaps what stops the Dark one from doing this is the fact that the pattern (as many other things) may actually be much more observable when one is looking at it from the outside?

Also, since people do not tend to balefire themselfs out of fun, it is reasonable that he is the only one that ever got the idea to do just that. I mean, suggesting to the Dark One "Hej, perhaps you should try balefiring yourself and see what happens!" would be unlikely to gain a favourable reception.

32

Lorcin: 2010-11-07

I like the balefiring yourself thoery as in doing so you would create a time paradox e.g. like killing our own grandfather, aand a paradox like that would keep on going in a continues loop thus the only way for it to be resolved would be to remove the cause of the paradox from the pattern.as we know their are things (i forget the name) that exist outside the pattern and his body would have been destroyed. Another posably use for that theory if it turns out that Taim is realy just another Darkfriend (he could have been taught by a forsaken when they were released) is that Rand will do this to himself in order to meet with Beidomon and find out how to reseal the Dark One "twice to live, twice to die" as it ties in nicly with the linling the prophecies theory.

33

Mightypeon: 2010-11-08

Well, given that we:
-Do not know anything about Beidomon apart from him opening the bore
-Lews Therin did not Balefire himself (although it could be that a much earlier version of him did, perhaps right after converting to the Shadow) sind RJ said so

Beidomon does look to be the strongest candidate for self Balefiring.

I do agree that linking him with Taim is quite a stretch though.

34

WoTcasual: 2010-11-09

#Tom Spoilers in this comment.

@ Galagros: There is still no text revelation that the current Taim is the original Taim. However the great effort the current Taim made to CONVINCE Bashere strongly suggests that he is not the same Taim.

Now that ToM has revealed the true killer of Asmodean (very casually and anti-climatic text) we know that Taim did not murder Asmo.

@ NaeffOfDreams: I always imagined (and still think) Taim is Moridin; Taim is certainly controlled by Moridin so for me it matters not if it is a disguise or some form of control. I try not to create new and fancyful possibilities to answer a mystery. Your theory is full of new possiblities that would work, but it is only your imagination and no RJ text supports it. Thank you for sharing them, they were imaginative and well developed.

35

gtatc: 2010-11-09

Really like the theory. Not entirely convinced by it, but I dig it. I agree that him being in a stasis box conflicts with the time line, but after thinking about it for a bit, I believe that it's possible that a stasis box is unnecessary--at least theoretically. We know that there's a weave that lets you physically enter Tel'aran'rhiod (is that how it's spelled?), and we also know that Ishy and Rahvin knew it. (I can't remember if Be'lal used it or not, I haven't read Dragon Reborn in a while.) Moreover, in Rand's final battle with Rahvin, we see that it is possible for one person who is physically in TAR to alter somebody else who is also there physically. So, the question then becomes: is there a rule against doing that to yourself? Could a person physically enter TAR, and while there, control their own appearance to a) stay young and avoid dying; and/or b) take on the appearance of someone else? My understanding is no, but I freely and readily admit that I have not read every single quote out there, so maybe RJ already declared this non-kosher.

I'm sorry if I'm kind of rambling and not explaining myself very well (I'm really really really tired), but it seems to me that this could, at least so far as I know, solve the stasis box issue.

Also, I'd like to point out one thing that, although not technically "evidence," does weigh in favor of this theory: it seems like just the kind of thing that Taim would do (or at least it does to me.)

36

ilikethehorse: 2010-11-10

Someone else may have mentioned this in the comments, i didn't read every single one, but in my opinion it has always been a given that their were many more than 13 "chosen".

I think that the term has become something more than it was at the time much like the chosen themselves.

In AoL they were just governors and generals, if very feared ones, and in the 3rd age they're nightmare figures.

There are many times when more chosen are referred to and the encyclopaedia simply says it outright.

This theory is the most watertight i have seen in regards to actually giving a credible backstory for Taim, even if it has been quite tidily decimated by previous comments.

To counter a few of these comments, i dont see why if Stasis technology was available that a more person friendly variant wouldn't have existed, one that allowed you to set a date for you to be awoken or something like that.

It seems likely to me that if Taim is from the AoL that he was a low level dreadlord (this is supported by his strength in the power which is near Rands, and so quite definately below any of the surviving chosen) who saw the end coming when the bore was sealed and decided to jump in a stasis chamber to avoid the veritable excrement storm heading his way during the breaking.

37

matisodin: 2010-11-12

killer idea, and it doesn't seem decimated, to me.

Though I don't have any problems of the idea of a stasis box (why couldn't it be as simple as a farmer finding a gadget? stranger things happened throughout the books), the T'A'R concept is good, too. Birgitte was pulled out, why couldn't Taim have been hiding there and pulled out, after on of the 13 was released and found him?

The idea of old tongue and AOL prejudices being explained by channeling men going mad...that doesn't make sense. Otherwise, there would just be more examples of it occurring. If every third Asha'man we met was dropping 2nd age terms and thoughts, I might bite on the "man going mad" "thoughts from an earlier Age" theory. But since that doesn't happen, it actually makes a lot more sense that Taim IS from the AOL.

Why does Traveling have to be an obstacle to him being AOL? There are plenty of examples throughout the series of one channeller or another having a particular affinity, or lack thereof, for a talent. The simplest answer as to why he didn't use a Gateway is that he simply didn't have the knowledge/ability to, himself. Maybe this lacking also explains why he was not one of the original 13 Chosen. Traveling would be a tightly-held secret/commodity in any Age, so it's not a stretch to think a lesser Chosen simply never had the opportunity to learn the weave before Rand shared it.

38

NaeffOfDreams: 2010-11-15

If I were in his position, especially if under orders from The Great Lord himself, I wouldn't want to break cover by using all manner of Lost Talents out in public. Admittedly, as a false Dragon, it's kind of hard to call any more attention to himself than he already has, but this would be a dead giveaway as to his nature.

I pointed out above that it's possible that the false Dragon Taim is not the same person as the one we meet in LoC. He could very easily have been picked up in the BA rescue and interrogated a la Cabriana Sedai.

If anything, ToM adds credibility to my theory. By the end of the book, it's evident that Taim has the other dreamspike. Some say this means he must be either Moridin himself or some kind of slightly lower minion. At this point everyone on the DO's side is a minion of Moridin. That's what Nae'blis means. He gave a dreamspike to Graendal to use, so why not another of the Chosen? Also, from the scene in Moridin's great big treasure vault, it's become even more likely that he found multiple stasis boxes of varied contents over the years.

39

Clyve: 2010-11-16

@ Matisodin:
It is definitely possible that Taim just flat out was bad at gateways. There is one small, almost throw-away line, that makes me think of it. When Androl mentions his utter weakness in the Power, but his Talent for Travelling, he says that Logain called it impressive, but Taim said it was "impossible"

40

Flinn Sedai: 2010-11-16

I find it very unlikely that Taim used a Stasis Box.

Think about the time that he came from. Servants of the Shadow got ahead by killing their rivals. This wasn't just accepted, this was expected. So, why would he put himself in a Stasis Box, where he'd be very vulnerable upon revival? He'd pretty much be asking to be destroyed. In addition, it gives up control. That's not something that ANY Darkfriend has been shown to be particularly good at. Much less Taim, who gets offended by giving up control.

I think it is far more likely that he used a vacuole. Coming from the Age of Legends, it doesn't seem that far-fetched to assume that he had known of vacuoles. With a strong Talent, he could put himself in a vacuole, and come out whenever he wanted. Might even have been put in and taken out by the Dark One.

Another big point that this would give would be that it would explain the rapid growth in power from his followers in the Black Tower. He pulls them into a vacuole with time moving slower within than without. He could spend months training them, while only a few hours go by in the real world. They come out stronger and more experienced.

Moghedian said that vacuoles could be manipulated like anything else. This means that a strong Talent isn't that unreasonable to assume existing. IT also provides safety of a sort, for those who are skilled.

Other than that, I absolutely agree.

Clearly a Darkfriend from the AoL, probably one of the other Chosen, who fled when people started going mad during the Breaking.

41

NaeffOfDreams: 2010-11-17

Who can say that someone in a stasis box would be vulnerable upon release? The person opening it wouldn't necessarily think there'd be someone inside, while as soon as the lid/door/whathaveyou opens, Taim could be ready with the balefire/angrykillingweave. We really don't have enough information on the nature of a stasis box. I'm inclined to believe that it's more of a time freeze than a literal cryogenic freeze.

I do like your vacuole idea though; it has a lot of merit, though risky if Taim doesn't know what he's doing. I seem to remember Moghedien's POV calling them unstable, especially over time. It could definitely work though. It's at least as likely as Taim's true identity being Phillip J Fry.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone. This has been a lot of fun.

42

smokeamut: 2010-11-18

WOW! This is cool! The idea that Taim is from AoL, the theory is tight. In support, what better way to earn favor of the DO than put yourself in stasis awaiting the day when you can serve. If i were the DO, and whose to say im not(theory forthcoming), i would be like wow! theres a dedicated dude! and by doing that Taim essentially becomes invisible as he is 100% opposite of the other chosen, or hes SOOOOOO selfish hes willing to do this to himself to gain power.

Its a wonderful theory, i enjoyed reading it!

43

Flinn Sedai: 2010-11-18

We don't know for certain what somebody coming out of a Stasis Box is like. However, we do know how the gholam felt after he had been out for a little while. His memory was kind of fuzzy, he was having trouble thinking clearly, processing what was going on around him, etc....

We also know what somebody is like after they come out of a vacuole, thanks to Moggy. She came out completely alert, aware and terrified for her life (yay vacuoles!)

Part of the idea, in my opinion, is that he has a particularly strong Talent for manipulating vacuoles. Alternatively, the DO could have manipulated the vacuole (as is hinted he is capable of doing) to get Taim there when he needed.

And I don't know, man. Could be that one of those artifacts are actually his dog.

*considers developing the "Taim is Fry" theory, just to frustrate Naeff*

44

sythmaster: 2010-11-24

I like this idea of Taim from AoL, but I do not agree on a few points. The stasis box is one, and I offer this explanation (probably bad to admit, but I have not read Strike at Shayol Ghul) that Taim may not have been a darkfriend in AoL, but one of the original Hundred Companions who got stuck on the 'wrong side' of the seal (seriously 113 channelers and thousands of warriors, and only 13 people get "stuck"? If someone isn't where they are suppose to be, they don't wait to push that button). Then its just a process of 1 man being stuck with 13 of his not-so-close Friends and the DO for three thousands years, of he turns that's is a resource the DO would gladly use. You've already made a case for Taim's appearance in the current age which I dont really have an issue with. The only (circumstantial) evidence I have to prove this is when LTT meets Taim inside Rand's head and goes extra crazy - he was reminded the time EVERYONE went crazy and just couldn't place the face he saw.

45

ChubbyAiel: 2010-12-01

I think this is a pretty good theory. It would explain a lot in terms of Taim's attitudes. I don't see the problem with him having hidden in a stasis box: if his side had already lost and his only other option was arrest and/or death, I don't think it is unfeasible to think he'd have taken a chance on the stasis box. The worst fate he could have experienced would have been no worse than the immediate threat facing him after the Breaking.

I also agree with the subsequent comments that this man may not actually be Mazrim Taim. I think there is reference to Bashere either not having seen him before, or being unsure of his appearance since he shaved off his beard. Whether or not that's the case, the ambiguity is there and the scope for an imposter to take on Taim's identity. Or he could have been released earlier by someone else (other than a Forsaken) by accident. Both are possible.

As for the last comment, about him being one of the Companions: that seems a bit unlikely. I would have thought the Forsaken were there because they were meeting with the Dark One. The Hundred Companions appeared and caught them by surprise, sealing the Bore with the Forsaken and the Dark One inside. There would be no reason for any of the Companions to enter the Bore. It would be like sending your special forces into the enemy's headquarters before bombing it to bits. It's much more likely as the Original Poster says, that Taim was a powerful Dreadlord who was not one of the 13 Forsaken.

46

Glen: 2010-12-01

For that sake of this comment, I'll say "Mazrim Taim" to refer to the original false dragon, and "Taim" to refer to the current M'Hael.

Has anyone considered the possibility that Taim is, indeed, another, lesser Chosen or dreadlord, but he died on being released from the Stasis box (perhaps due to either hunger or gradual aging caused by trying to keep a human in stasis - note that the Gholam was hungry on coming out of its stasis box, perhaps some time does pass in a stasis box)... at which point, the Dark One caught his soul and put it into Mazrim Taim's body?

Think about it - we know that Ishamael was free at some point during the breaking, he could easily have gotten the dreadlord to go into a stasis box. And we know that Mazrim Taim "escaped" - it's entirely plausible that he was taken with an intent to turn him to the shadow, but when given the opportunity to have a more trustworthy channeller take his place, they chose to put the dreadlord into his body, as Rand would be less suspicious of a powerful channeller that he's already heard of, and they couldn't risk him being discovered by someone who had seen Mazrim Taim - thus, using his body would ensure that this risk is minimised.

47

Lorcin: 2010-12-02

If taim is a dreadlord couldn't he have just been imprisoned near the edge of the bore and ans a result lost some of his memories and used a illusion to make him look like Mazrim Taim.

this would account for his change in apperence (irregularities in the illusion) and him not knowing traveling.

48

mtspit: 2011-01-09

hmm since the dark one gave his chosen immortality...he would have no need of a stasis box..plus why would a forsaken lock himself in a box when he was immortal?? what is the point of not living in the real world if u were immortal??? demandred is taim. read LOC again and it pretty obvious what is going on! blood and ashes!! a forgotten forsaken?? that no one else in the ranks of the forsaken remembers?? really?? to think that demandred or sammael wouldnt kill taim if that was the case to ensure that they wouldnt have to worry about another forsaken taking the coveted nae'blis position??

49

ChubbyAiel: 2011-01-11

@MTSPIT:

Maybe the man-posing-as-Taim wanted to hide in the stasis box to avoid the chaos and destruction of the Breaking. Being ageless would be no good if the Aes Sedai caught him or he was killed by mad male channellers.

Also, isn't Belthamel horribly aged and disfigured due to being trapped too close to the edge of the Bore? I know Ishamael was only partially trapped, but maybe the nature of their captivities was different. And if Belthamel was in that state, maybe Taim wouldn't have been protected by the Dark One's powers when the Dark One was securely bound in his prison. In that case he could have hopped into the stasis box until such a time when the Dark One would be able to make good on his promises of immortality, i.e. when the Seals were sufficiently weakened. Otherwise, you'd have to wonder why Ishamael didn't busy himself recruiting channellers to his cause during his 40-year stints free of the Bore and arrange for them to be granted immortality to cause maximum destruction to the White Tower and the world at large. Such channellers with such experience and extended time to plan and execute would be a real blight to the forces of light, but would ultimately be relatively weak in the Power compared to the Forsaken, so not much of a threat to them.

If Taim was a high-ranking Dreadlord (and there were loads of them; the Forsaken were the 13 most powerful Dreadlords) then maybe the Forsaken wouldn't have remembered him because he was of a lower rank and therefore unimportant to them. If they assumed he was dead, why would they ever think of him? Or maybe they do mention him in the Forsaken coffee mornings that we're not privy to; we obviously don't see them all.

And I think Taimandred has been debunked because RJ has said that we haven't seen Demandred in disguise yet - I think that's what someone else said. I'm a firm believer that anything RJ or Sanderson say in interviews isn't strictly canon, but I'm sure this statement will be backed up in the last book when we find out that Demandred has been working somewhere else behind the scenes.

50

NaeffOfDreams: 2011-02-02

In light of Rand and Moridin's exchange in TGS A Place to Begin, I think the DO's promise of immortality is only true from a certain point of view. If the DO wins, the Forsaken won't die of old age, but from the destruction of all Creation. He's the Dark One after all. Nothing says he can't lie and cheat to get what he wants, even to the point of presenting a false endgame to get his lackeys to do as he pleases.

51

Slurpy: 2011-02-16

I always thought of the DO's promise of immortality to be an "I'll put you in a new body when this one gets old or you get run over by a runaway mule" kind of deal, rather than "You'll never age." Probably this is brought on by crazy-ass old Balthamel in TEotW - if he was 50 feet away from the DO for 3000 years, you'd think the DO could have done a better job keeping him young, if it were within his power.

I have two ideas about your theory. Both, I think, work best with the argument that the unnamed Forsaken had Mazrim Taim killed, and is impersonating him to stay close to Rand, or at least be given a chance to recruit an army under Rand's nose. There's really no question in my mind that LoC Taim is NOT the false Dragon Taim, Bashere's reaction to "shaved Taim" is just too much of a Chekhov's Gun to be completely irrelevant. So Mesaana infiltrates the White Tower, and a male Forsaken infiltrates the newborn Black Tower - it makes a lot of sense.

The first idea is that Forsaken-Taim was running around the 2nd Age, causing chaos as Forsaken are wont to do, when the Bore is suddenly sealed, and suddenly FS-Taim is unemployed. It's probably not safe for FS-Taim to go to the Bore to receive orders from the DO right away, but maybe Ishamael uses his telepathic, walk-the-Earth powers (the same power he used to taunt LTT after he fried his family) to tell FS-Taim to stick himself in the stasis box. FS-Taim has to choose between a 3000 year nap, or losing his immortality & TP access as well as pissing off the DO, AND having a good chance of being recognized for who he is and run down by the forces of Light. Simple decision. After the Forsaken break free, start to run amok, and have taken care of themselves, one of them goes and frees FS-Taim, then they capture and interrogate the real Mazrim Taim for a usable identity, and then FS-Taim hops off to Andor after Rahvin gets balefired.

But I prefer my second idea better. When the Bore was sealed, no one was able to relay what actually happened. From TSaSG:

"Exactly what occured that day can never be known, only the results. Of the soldiers, not a single man or woman returned to give any account. The seals were placed safely, without ripping open the Dark One's prison as many opponents had feared. By chance, all thirteen of the Forsaken were at Shayol Ghul (perhaps summoned for a conference with the Dark One?), and they were trapped in the sealing, thus decapitating at one stroke the Shadow's leadership."

How did the female Aes Sedai know that 13, and only 13, Forsaken were at SG when the Bore was sealed? Couldn't it just as easily have been 14, or 15, or 10, or "some?" I think it's more likely that FS-Taim, and quite possibly other Forsaken that we haven't seen (remember, the other Forsaken aren't sure who the reincarnated ones are, despite supposedly having only 3 or 4 choices!) were trapped with the "famous 13" and the DO. Nobody knew how many there actually were, the soldiers all died and the 68 living Companions all went crackers on the spot. Assuming they were even able to tell that the Forsaken were there when the Bore was sealed. So 14, or 17, or 20 Forsaken were really trapped, and have been released into the wild now - and again, FS-Taim replaces the real Mazrim to infiltrate the good guys.

I've always thought it was really weird that the Hundred Companions were really 113 Companions - the difference equaling the number of Forsaken is just a bit too suspicious. Assuming the previously theory is actually correct, maybe some historian during the Breaking found some paperwork saying that 113 people were present at the sealing, and thought to himself, "Since there were 100 Companions, and 113 present, OBVIOUSLY 13 were the badass Forsaken who disappeared!" While convenient for my theory, the thing I don't like about that idea is that it's a bit too convoluted, even for RJ - I think it's simpler to argue that 13 males were doing the sealing (like the 7 females and 6 males LTT's plan originally called for), and the other hundred were just extra protection, a la the Cleansing at Shadar Logoth.

52

Wheel Philosoph: 2011-02-21

Regardless of how the False-Forsaken-Dreadlord-Darkfriend-Taim got from Age 2 to Age 3, the theory that NaeffOfDreams presents is quite plausible. Furthermore, we have no proof (unless ToM glossary proves me wrong) that Asmo was killed with Balefire. Just saying that may be interesting to consider, Asmo coming back? Anyway, Great Theory!

53

Wheel Philosoph: 2011-02-22

After re-reading LoC, I noticed strong evidence that the Taim who shows up in Caemlyn knows Compulsion and USED it during his campaigns against Bashere and the Saldaeans. [Ch.2 A New Arrival] Taim speaking to Bashere, "I hear you hid what happened to Musar and Hachari and their wives." The mockery was gone; he was just relating what had happened, now. "They shouldn't have tried to kill me under a parley flag. I trust you found found them good places as servants? All they'll really want to do now is to serve and obey; they won't be happy otherwise. I could have killed them. They all four drew daggers."

This sounds a whole lot like compulsion to me. Just saying. =)

54

Slurpy: 2011-02-25

I don't think that Asmodean will be coming back, whether or not he was balefired - I'm pretty sure the DO is pissed at him for that whole betrayal thing.

55

Wheel Philosoph: 2011-03-03

I was hopeful.. I kinda liked him.

56

Homeschool: 2011-03-07

Another suggestion that Taim may have been elevated to the Chosen later - he only approaches Rand at the beginning of Lord of Chaos, shortly after Asmodean is assassinated. Considering this is the only time one of the Chosen has actively raised a hand against another, I think we must consider it the command of the Shadow, and likely that the Dark One decided to remove Asmodean and replace him. I think it's safe to assume that, as of this point, Taim is one of the Chosen.

57

Moruitelda: 2011-03-07

Moridin spoke to Graendal at the end of Towers of Midnight as if her murder of Asmodean was not authorized or ordered by the Dark One.

58

Kamaul: 2011-05-06

In case you don't remember, it was noted by one of the Forsaken (I think it was Graendal) that Demandred liked commanding armies and Moridin stated that Demandred had a throne. Demandred probably has a throne for one of the Borderlands. That means that Demandred is not Taim and Taim is more likely one of the other male Chosen. Does anyone know what Osan'gar is doing? Taim is probably him.

59

Oden: 2011-05-06

Osan'gar is dead, killed by the darkfriend Elza. He died the second death and, IIRC, will not be reincarnated.

60

Kahsm: 2011-05-08

I think I'd actually combine this theory with the old personality take over theory that a 2nd ager took over Mazrim Taim.

In my version, I'd say Mazrim Ta-eem, a 2nd ager, took over some 3rd age farmer... an ancestor of Taim's who had the DO prison seal that was passed down along their family line. Given Taim's quote on Aiel he was likely an Aes Sedai, so this farmer may have strong OP genes that caused him to spark, get tainted, and taken over by Taim's larger than life personality (evidence below).

In the personality theory, there was a long and heated discussion over the "Realness" of the voices caused by the taint. This is irrelevant. I'm not suggesting the farmer is being puppeteered by some AoLer. It is just that the taint let enough of Taim's AoL memories and personality into the farmers' head that the farmer's meek personality got pushed aside.

"RJ: They have one soul with two personalities[...]" Referring to Rand and LTT.

If Taim's personality was sufficiently big, and this farmer's quite meek, they may both still be there, but the Taim's keeps the farmer subdued. Therefore, Mazrim Taim is a shadow of someone from the AoL, long dead, existing in a new body. Which very nicely explains why none of the Chosen would recognize 'one of their own', but why old LTT memories could recognize old Taim memories.

I can add a little more evidence for this, as well as some suggestive evidence of the personality change moment in this RJ Q&A quote:

"WinespringBrother: How did Bashere and his army manage to track Taim hundreds of miles? RJ: Because a man like Mazrim Taim leaves a trail, even when he is trying to travel quietly - traveling quietly is not in his character."

RJ clearly states Taim can't help but be a "larger than life" character. He needs to be the center of attention all the time. Obviously, we get more evidence of that when he's trying to negotiate his position with Rand. This just confirms that Taim could likely snuff out any regular competing personalities he might share a mind with.

However RJ's answer raises another question. Before he declared himself as the Dragon Reborn, who was he? As far as I can remember no one has a back story on the man who supposedly conducts himself in this "larger than life" manner even when he's trying to be discrete. Very odd. You don't become so big headed after claiming to be the Dragon Reborn, you're probably already like that. However, this could be explained if he was just some saldean farmer with a different personality before he declared himself.

Also, RJ said that Taim was in his late 20s. The stasis argument somewhat falls apart around this (though you could make the case that stasis time doesn't count I guess). However in the personality argument, this would refer to the age of Mazrim's host body.

Then there's the question, why does he appear to be immune to the taint? Answer: He's not, he's just already 100% crazy. The voices are all that's left of him.

So in summary, this would be how my proposed scenario pans out in the storyline:

Some male sparker saldean farmer is hiding out, knowing what he is, what he can do, and what the Reds would do to him. He starts going mad, alone in his farmhouse, maybe he kills his family (for added drama, clearly no evidence for that). Eventually, the memories of his AoL ancestor Mazrim "Ta-eem" start breaking through. With his new memories he learns that the family heirloom is really a seal on the DO's prison. This revelation that his family has held a seal for generations, plus the added arrogance of Taim that has seeped into his brain, starts causing delusions of grandeur and kick starts his campaign as a false dragon. When he announces himself, he uses the name Mazrim Taim. And eventually, the memories win out and he shaves his beard and stops talking about himself in the third person... captured, breaks free... gives the seal to Rand... you know the rest.

61

Oden: 2011-05-09

I think Kahsm has a good point. Even Cadsuane (IIRC) said that it's worse to have a real voice in your head than an imaginary one. Besides, it gives credence to the fact that more than Rand are having the possibility of loosing control of their bodies to an ancient personality.

62

CuteOlver: 2011-05-11

I do not believe in stasis boxes, the storyline for this theory would be far too complicated to develop and too long. Same goes for other theories that Taim might be some AoL character.

Take Corlan Dashiva, he seems to be an ordinary character of middle age popping up on the scene. It turns out he was Osan'gar/Aginor after all.

Now look at Taim - he was some Saldaean guy, able to channel, causing havoc in his homelands. Next thing we know, he is flabberghasted and caught. watching the real Dragon battling Ishamael above Falme. Exit Taim

His next appearance is in Caemlyn some time after the fall of the Stone of Tear, apparently having escaped the Red Ajah (Red Ajah, those raving loonies - Escaped? Them? Rather smells of some BA plot)

But is this person still Taim? Bashere hardly recognizes him.

Is has already been remarked on his knowledge of the AoL and the sudden appearance of a Seal in his possession. We see his ability to channel at least almost equal to Rand's, though he might be even stronger. Is this the person who fell off a horse at Falme? I doubt it.

Descriptions of Taim now have many allusions to Ishamael/Moridin. The fiery eyes, black and red, and above all the darkness around Taim implying his use of the True Power. Does anybody truly believe the DO would grant access to the True Power to some minor AoL-character? Certainly not.

The Forsaken so much love to disguise it's a wonder they still recognize each other. Now it's so much easier to conclude that Taim can only be an impersonification of Moridin.

63

Kamaul: 2011-06-05

You seem to be forgetting that Sammael is not dead. He has not been balefired, and perhaps not even killed. Although Taim approached Rand before Sammael left Illian, I believe Sammael is in some way influencing Taim. The only other place Sammael could be is in the Blight.

64

CuteOlver: 2011-06-07

@Kamaul
According to RJ Sammael is indeed dead: "He was killed by Mashadar. Sammael is toast".

65

Belcyrlis: 2011-06-07

I don't think that Moridin has time to be Taim. They're both very busy, Taim with being M'Hael and Moridin being Nae'blis. If they were one and the same, would Moridin have time to be playing the Fisher game? We know from one of Sammael's PoV in LoC that being under an Illusion doesn't pass the test of touch:

LoC, Chapter Six, Threads Woven of Shadow: His[Sammael's] skin tingled slightly as she[Graendal] channeled, and for an instant her image changed. Her skin became coppery but dull, her hair and eyes dark but flat; she appeared gaunt and frail, a once-beautiful Domani woman slowly losing a battle against illness. He barely stopped his lip from curling. One touch would prove the angular contours of that face were not hers--only the most subtle use of Illusion could pass that test--but Graendal seemed wedded to flamboyance. The next moment she was herself again, wearing a wry smile.

We'd know by now if Moridin had something against being touched; it worked for Graendal becasue her Illusion was a sickly woman, and who wants to touch a sick person? Being M'Hael is an around the clock job. I can't believe being Nae'blis allows so much "free" time to be M'Hael.

I can agree with the second personality idea. Lews Therin wouldn't recognize the face, becasue he didn't recognize Osan'gar's. But he might resonate with the 2nd-ager's memories/personality, casuing him to loose control whenever Rand's with Taim.

66

keemlin: 2011-06-09

first..i would like you all to think back to TEotW. the prologue. there a man heals/tortures lews therin claiming to be elan Morin tedronai, the betrayer of hope. the forsaken who called himself ba'alzamon was never proved to be ishamael. oh yeah..egwene..the forsaken and rand might think he is.

i remember verin having a scrap of paper saying "truth blinds and sears..a lie is our shield" and something like "ba'alzamon.name within name shrouded by name. ishamael betrays all hope" in the ToM there is a dark prophecy saying the lord of the evening would take all your body parts and make them his.

lord of the evening as opposed to lord of the morning.

so you see..it is my opinion that mazrim taim is in truth the betrayer of hope. he has access to the true power. we know moridin is nae'blis. the only one who should wield the true power.

i'll addmit that is a weak relation.

but it is my belief that there are three possibilities:-

1.the real mazrim taim's heart and mind have been made the shadow's own as in ToM dark prophecy OR he has been turned by a circle of thirteen.

2.the souls of the betrayer of hope and taim have been fused together just as Isam and Luc's have been.

3.taim and demandred have been fused.

possibility 1 does not explain how he gets the privileges of the chosen and true power besides a bunch of other privileges.

possibility 2 is highly likely. this is the only possibility that allows taim to channel the TP. so taim is the "soul of the shadow",referring again to verin's scrap of paper.i interpret "soul of the shadow" as soul posessed by the shadow/DO.like saying "sword of michael". belonging to the DO,as opposed to being the personification of the shadow.

3 however, will be a little preposterous. RJ trashed taimandred right?

i say...that theory might have to be picked right back from the bin and recleaned..because..RJ very carefully said "demandred is not taim". he did not say "demandred cannot become taim"..or some such.

i personally do not favor 3. i like the idea that moridin is gliding around as taim.

67

Oden: 2011-06-19

I spoke to a friend earlier this week and we think we found a loophole in possibility 3. When the forsaken are given a new body, they get a new name. Moridin made it quite clear that it was so in his and Rand's dream. If Demandred was given a new body, he would no longer be Demandred. He would be the new body. If his new body was Mazrim Taim's, a man that everyone knows is a strong channeler, he could channel all he wanted and even contact Rand. To make the other forsaken unaware of this, he could meet them in T'A'R in his old form. He fools everyone by not being Demandred in the real world.

68

Ashaman Leyrann Gaidin: 2011-06-27

@Oden: Where did Demandred die, so that he could be Mazrim Taim? It is on the edge if the Forsaken were free when Mazrim Taim declared himself the Dragon Reborn.

But when I think about it... Maybe Demandred died with something (no idea what), and then the captured Mazrim Taim was "freed", then used to migrate Demandred's soul in.

69

Oden: 2011-06-29

Balthamel and Aginor were to be granted fresh bodies, right? Maybe Demandred was going to get a new body too. The captured then liberated false Dragon's body would be a perfect disguise. No one would suspect the first man to seek the protection of Rand's amnesty of being a Forsaken.

70

JOS: 2011-06-30

@ASHAMAN LEYRANN GAIDIN: Taim's body could be a great way to bring Asmodean back, after his unfortunate demise in a closet. We have no evidence that Demandred died, but we do for the "tame" Forsaken. This would mean that the DO gave him another shot (unlikely), but as a mind-trapped puppet it is possible, and good help os so hard to find. Is there any evidence that Taim is wearing any jewelry around his neck? I will look for it as I re-read, just for kicks.

71

Ashaman Leyrann Gaidin: 2011-07-01

@Jos: Taim was in Caemlin the day Asmo was killed. I don't think so. Didn't the DO once stated (in LoC prolouge or so) Asmodean "died the final death"?

72

Oden: 2011-07-01

@JOS: Regarding bringing Asmodean back, look at this!

"WinespringBrother: Could the Dark One have brought back Asmodean if he wanted?

"RJ: No.

73

JOS: 2011-07-02

@ODEN: Well, that puts a fork in it!

I wasn't committed to the idea anyway, sometimes it is nice to have someone die and be gone in WOT, as it seems "death" is a rather flexible status with most characters. Back to the original theory, Taim is mentioned extensively, and seen by many un-named sisters and Saldeeans before his uneasy alliance with Rand and the formation of the black tower. He could be hard to just replace with a look alike. I think that there is more to him than there appears, as his escape on the way back to Tar Valon was mysterious and left two sisters dead, but I think he has had a secret tutor. He had been taught and used as a pawn by either Ishmael or Demandred, and has probably been to visit the DO, as there is evidence he uses the TP.

74

hollowman: 2011-07-05

dont know if anyone commented this but mazrim taim is dead he died before after he was captured by the Aes Sedai i think Demandred with the help of some of the black ajah kills taim and disguises himself as mazrim its to far fetched to belive that a powerful dark friend lasted three thousand years even in a stasis box. your theroy is probable he could have used a different name then and changed it when he got out of the stasis box but the theory as a whole is a little bit of a stretch I perfer to think he is damandred in desigues remember not even the other forsaken knows which army he controlls I think its the ashamen who are darkfriends.

75

Ashaman Leyrann Gaidin: 2011-07-06

It seems no one wants to believe he who created this world - Robert Jordan. These are things he said (sorry, I don't have the exact quote. But this is near to it): "Taimandred is false." and "Demandred did not appear on screen, but is mentioned." This second of course except for the Forsaken meetings. I myself prefer the theory (well, not a theory, but an idea) he is Jarid Sarand. It is also a bit weird Jarid Sarand was not at the Siege in Caemlin already. It lasted for at least a month. I'm pretty sure about that. And in a month you can cross Andor, even with a large army. How long did it took Rand's group in TEOTW? A month? Elayne is pregnant for four months now, and she can't have been more than two when the siege started, so if Jarid wasn't in time, he should have reached it somewhere in TOM.

76

Kamaul: 2011-07-07

Or Taim is Moridin, which is the only theory that holds water. Of the male Forsaken, only Sammael (died first death, killed by Mashadar not balefire, probably reborn, new name unknown), Demandred, and Moridin are still around. Sammael was still alive when Taim appeared Jordan has discredited Demandred as Taim. Moridin is the only one.

Unless you want to go with an even more likely theory, that Taim is an ordinary Dreadlord of the Third Age. Remember, Shaidar Haran posted Osan'gar at the Black Tower. Why would the Myrdraal do so if another of the Chosen was already there?

77

Oden: 2011-08-02

It might have been the DO's plan that Osan'gar went with Rand. To fool the non-dreadlords in the BT, Dashiva had to train as the rest before being raised to Asha'man. He even had to be disliked by Taim for Rand to choose him.

78

wantfear: 2011-08-03

"ASHAMAN LEYRANN GAIDIN: 2011-07-06 It seems no one wants to believe he who created this world - Robert Jordan."

At times like this i really wish that there was a "like" button.

79

Ashaman Leyrann Gaidin: 2011-08-05

@Kamaul: RJ said: Sammael is toast. You can have endless discussions about why he is, but we know he will not come back.

80

TamyrlinsRing: 2011-08-29

Just in response to the stasis box part of this theory, does the DO not have greater control over the dead? I might have thought that as he became more powerful and could affect the pattern in more he could have started... rebirthing... some of his most devoted followers, especially those who could channel and were obviously more useful. He could have been number 14 in the line of chosen and first to be forcably re-spun....?

81

terez: 2011-08-30

@Tamyrlingsring - He probably transmigrated all of the Chosen he could get away with before the Strike. After then, he wouldn't have had access to souls. RJ has gone into some detail on this in interviews; basically, there's only a small window period after death when he can grab the soul, though apparently he can keep them indefinitely until a suitable body can be found. (Or until he chooses to transmigrate the soul.) Apparently he doesn't often desire to do this except for his most devoted followers.

82

Kamaul: 2011-09-02

No, he never transmigrated any of the Chosen.

"Question: What does the Dark One view as the worst punishment he can inflict on his minions: Killing them as painfully as possible? Balefire? Mindtrap? Being continually resurrected to suffer at his hand for eternity? Something we haven't seen yet?

Robert Jordan Answers: The Dark One doesn't care about his minions sufficiently to invest much time in their punishment except as it serves to correct their behavior or as object lesson to others, nor is there much in the way of gradation. Simple failure and outright betrayal might be punished equally, or one might result in death and the other in becoming an object lesson or in something else. (The mindtrap, by the way, could be called an object lesson only to the one so trapped; remember, none of the Forsaken know who is mindtrapped except Moridin and those who are trapped.) The decision, death or object lesson or something else, normally would be simply a matter of whether or not he believed there was any point to an object lesson and/or whether or not he felt there was really any further use in the individual. Or, for that matter, made for reasons unknowable to a human mind. Remember, the Dark One is NOT human and thinking of him in human terms just doesn't work.

But he also operates under a constraint that did not exist in the Age of Legends. At that time, about 3% of the population could learn to channel to some extent, though not all chose to -- the training program took time, and being able to channel carried with it certain obligations that not everyone wanted to undertake -- but that still meant there were, at a minimum, hundreds of thousands of people in the world who could channel, and more likely millions. A large pool of possible recruits. Break a tool or decide it isn't working right and throw it out, because there is an endless supply of similar tools waiting on the shelf. That might be said to have been his attitude. In the here-and-now of the books, that figure is about 1%, and of that 1%, very, very few have any idea that they could learn to channel, much less have any training at all. Here-and-now, the pool of possible recruits is tiny.

Also, while the Forsaken themselves have realized that these primitives have discovered how to do things with the Power that they themselves cannot, or perhaps can once they learn how but never dreamed of doing until they found that the weaves existed here-and-now, they still think of people in the here-and-now as primitives, and their attitudes filter through to the Dark One, who believes that his people from the age of Legends are in all practical ways better -- for which read better trained, more capable, and thus better able to serve him efficiently and effectively -- than the people of the present time. And he is right. In a way. They are certainly better trained, with a much wider knowledge, at least in some areas. Some of their skills are absolutely useless in the society they are forced to live in. Aginor was a genius in biology and genetics, but in this world, he had no way to make the tools to make the tools to make the tools. Well, you get the idea. Pity the poor chip designer dropped into the seventeenth century.

In any event, the Dark One tries to conserve his resources, during this age, using and reusing those he might have killed himself, or ordered killed, in a time where there were thousands to equal them."

83

Sharan Bootay: 2011-09-06

I am fond of the idea that TGH Taim was a darkfriend false dragon who was afflicted with inevitable madness from touching Saidin (the voice) hence prompting a journey to Shayol Ghul (although I do wonder about the allegiances of the red sisters sent to 'capture him') whereby the DO eased the madness and his soul was subsumed by his past life (which links with a lot of the great ideas presented in this theory).

or, maybe he was tutored by ishy from a younger age for the express purpose of inciting chaos. Ever wondered whether the Lord of Chaos is a figurative expression or an actual individual? Perhaps Taim is the Lord of Chaos? The Shadow very probably has dark heroes of time stashed in Tel'aran'rhiod or between Shaitan's buttcheeks but we wouldn't know about them due to Ishys propaganda agenda

No evidence, just musings, cant wait til aMoL ~ Great theory btw :)

84

Destrina: 2011-10-03

I imagine someone has thought of this before, but after Taim was freed by the BA (or so we are led to believe), he may have either have been killed and replaced, or had a soul transmigrated into his body. I believe that either way it happened, Be'lal is the Taim we see on screen.

A few points of (admittedly circumstantial) evidence:

"THE CHOSEN DWINDLE, DEMANDRED. THE WEAK FALL AWAY. THOSE WHO BETRAY 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."

The DO specifically does not mention Be'lal, Aginor, Balthamel, Lanfear, or Ishamael. All four of the others have been transmigrated.

Moiraine says, when explaining balefire, that she can only remove a person from the pattern for a few seconds. Conceivably this could be a short enough time that Be'lal could be revived.

Be'lal has the knowledge to call the Aiel, "so called Aiel." He is one of the Forsaken, and could produce the ravings of LTT in Rand's head, and since we know this wasn't really LTT, since Rand believes Be'lal is permanently dead, LTT's voice would never attribute Taim as being Be'lal.

Finally Taim's disdain of swords. It could be because his new body is clumsy and lacks the muscle memory required to be a true blademaster, or it could simply be that he hates others using something that is "his". Be'lal was dubbed "The Envious" for a reason. If he is Taim, he also has no reason to carry a physical sword, as he has demonstrated the ability to channel one anyway.

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Oden: 2011-10-06

I have always wondered if Be'lal was transmigrated or if he had some vicious plan that he set in motion. He's not mentioned to be the netweaver for nothing. If he just died, he would have done worse than Asmodean.

Taim being a resurrected Be'lal is credible IMHO.

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Simonappel: 2011-10-11

Oden: 2011-10-06

I have always wondered if Be'lal was transmigrated or if he had some vicious plan that he set in motion. He's not mentioned to be the netweaver for nothing.

You do know that the DO isn't able to revive Forsaken slain with balefire?

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Oden: 2011-10-12

RJ: "There are definitely time constraints on the Dark One's power to transmigrate a soul. The soul doesn't have to be secured immediately - that is, the Dark One doesn't have to be ready to snatch the soul at the instant of death - but the longer that passes after the death, the less chance that the Dark One will be able to secure the soul. Someone who has been killed with balefire in actuality died before the apparent time of his or her death, and thus the window of opportunity for the Dark One to secure that soul for transmigration is gone before the Dark One can know that the soul must be secured unless the amount of balefire used is very small. Remember that the more balefire is used, the further back the target's thread is burned out of the pattern."

I am considering the posibility that Moiraine's balefire was weak enough for the window of soul snatching to still existed.

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Destrina: 2011-10-12

To quote your quote: "... thus the window of opportunity for the Dark One to secure that soul for transmigration is gone before the Dark One can know that the soul must be secured unless the amount of balefire used is very small."

Moiraine specifically stated she can only burn threads back a few seconds.

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Pandavatar: 2011-12-20

mazrin is an interesting character.

logain is a male character that i really think that man in books are actually

ideas while we man are human beens not all men , the twisted evil and traitors are human also morality is doubtful but later on their action are understandable.

most of the time they take responsibility for what they haven't done.

let me explain ... an avarage hero is a murderer or at lease will lead younglins to death or murder both worse

"hi i'm a hero i get a lot of girls money and honor join me"......

as to mazrin phillosofy "let chaos rule" he's making himself a vaital enemy so "good" people could hate, so they ("good") won't understand that they aren't so clean with their action.

when people try to gain logain's glory they tend to die or kill people around.

mazrin is making sure they die if neccery before hurting others while for others (unlucky) he "turns' with the fast 13X13 trick which is reveling them the truth.

truth which truly "evil" people try to stop masscures, and try to do so without spilling any drop of blood

at lease in the books ...in real life it's harder to do a shakspearain act.

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Lorcin: 2011-12-25

are you trying to say that in this case good=evil? and what do you mean by "man" do you mean the species?

besides I don't think Jordan would give Logain glory by getting him to kill a lot of people.

(also on a side note that theory I threw up in the air a while ago on a different thread is up for grabs, I don't have the time to write it up)

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Oden: 2012-01-01

You are right anbout Taim, Pandavatar, he seems to be killing only when necessary and trying to turn his opposition to his ways when able. It is a more intricate way of working, trying to weave in the others around him instead of removing their threads of the pattern. He seems quite a Netweaver. I think that Taim is Be'lal, the Netweaver, reincarnated. Look at this qoute and consider the time when Taim's rescue was first mentioned (beginning of tSR).

Week 3 Question: "There are many theories that attempt to create a connection of time duration to the transmigration of the dead Forsaken. Are there time and/or power constraints on the Dark One's ability to transmigrate souls?"

Robert Jordan Answers: "There are definitely time constraints on the Dark One's power to transmigrate a soul. The soul doesn't have to be secured immediately - that is, the Dark One doesn't have to be ready to snatch the soul at the instant of death - but the longer that passes after the death, the less chance that the Dark One will be able to secure the soul. Someone who has been killed with balefire in actuality died before the apparent time of his or her death, and thus the window of opportunity for the Dark One to secure that soul for transmigration is gone before the Dark One can know that the soul must be secured unless the amount of balefire used is very small. Remember that the more balefire is used, the further back the target's thread is burned out of the pattern.

After the soul is secured, then a suitable body must be acquired and stripped of the (former) owner's memory and soul to make way for the favored one. By the way, what constitutes a suitable body from the Dark One's perspective is not that of the recipient. Certainly Aginor would never have chosen to be reincarnated in his, shall we say, less than imposing body, nor would the womanizing Balthamel have chosen to be reincarnated as a beautiful woman. It was only chance that Moridin ended up in a body that is young, fairly good looking and physically imposing. Those things simply don't matter to the Dark One. But the body has to be basically healthy and sound, and neither too young nor too old.

After all, the Dark One wants his servants to be effective, and a body that meets those basic requirements is more desirable than one that doesn't. Since there is no stockpile of such bodies, the only way for someone to die and immediately be reincarnated would be a matter of pure chance. That is, the death occurred when a suitable body was on hand for some other reason."

Is it not credible to believe that when Be'lal was killed by Moiraine's weak balefire, "a suitable body was on hand" in the form of Taim's. A good schemer of the dark should be a good liar and he is a Forsaken to boot, they are plotting internally for favor. His disdain for swords could be an act, as could many other things be.

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Macster: 2012-01-05

@ Oden and Destrina: I am utterly with you on Taim being Be'lal. Either he was indeed reincarnated in Taim's body (Taim having been killed, or captured, interrogated, and then killed by Black sisters during his "escape" in TSR), or another Saldaean body similar but not identical to him (thus accounting for Bashere not quite recognizing him), or he even freed Taim himself with Alviarin's help (thus explaining why he pulled her into T'a'R--he had no other reason to do so, since Mesaana had sent the thirteen and Lanfear had sent El, Eg, and Ny) and then switched identities with him, letting the real Taim die in his place. (His Mirror of Mists could either be inverted/reversed, or he had access to the True Power. Note what the OP of this theory saw in the similarity between that Winter's Heart description of Taim and Rand in The Gathering Storm post-True Power usage.) He had access to knowledge of Demandred and his rivalry with Lews Therin too, so as to be able to imitate him and thus throw off Rand and the readers as to his real identity.

As for the sword fighting thing, aside from the reasons already raised, consider that by pretending lack of knowledge/disdain for sword fighting, he could prevent himself from being discovered--either from Lews Therin's memories or having fought Be'lal himself, Rand could recognize his style. Or Taim didn't know it, so he had to pretend he didn't for the disguise. Or Demandred didn't know it, so he pretended not to so people would think he was Demandred. Or best of all, he did it for the very reason people keep objecting: How could Be'lal be Taim when Taim hates swords? Exactly--he's the last person you would suspect as Taim, all the more reason for him to adopt the disguise/be transmigrated into his body. So that no one would ever guess who he really was. Sounds like something the Netweaver would do to me.