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Mazrim Taim...it's good to be bad *spoiler*


Setalle
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Hey out there...I have a few thoughts on Taim, hopefully someone can clarify them!

 

First, how is it that Mazrim can have been channeling for 15+ years without going insane? I know he's had some help in that regard, being a darkfriend and all, but that just doesn't make sense to me. Call me stubborn but I can't help but think that he is WAY more important than we've been led to believe. (I know, I know, he's Not Demandred! lol)

 

Second, and most troubling in my mind, he has knowledge of Compulsion! And not the piddly assed version that Liandrin uses.

 

LoC, chap.1: Taim to Bashere:

"...I hear you hid what happened to Musar and Hachari and their wives."..."I trust you found them good places as servants? All they'll really want to do now is serve and obey; they won't be happy otherwise."

 

When I just read this on my umpteenth reread, I was shocked. The Compulsion he used must have been very powerful, for there to not even be a hint of reversal.

 

I'm sure there is a good explanation for this, I'm hoping someone out there has it!

;D

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I don't know.  Maybe high ranking darkfriends are protected from the taint just like the male forsaken aren't all insane (well actually they are insane, but they were insane before they ever became forsaken  ;) ). Also I think it varies from person to person how long they can go before they are actually insane.  I'm sure there were wilders that must have manifested the power for many years (can't remember how that works for guys, it's been so long since I've read...).

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First, how is it that Mazrim can have been channeling for 15+ years without going insane?

 

I can only think of 2 options as to how he could have managed this.  1. He had a teacher.  2.  He traveled to Shayol Ghul and recieved a filter from the DO himself.

 

If it were the first option, it seems intuitively obvious that Ishamel would have been the one who recruited/trained him at first.  Perhaps this could have been done, in the hopes of using him as a teacher for new make dreadlords.  This  idea would seem to be supported by the fact the Taim, by his own admission, seems to have attempted to train others in the past.  His knowledge of the means to test for Saidin, would also seem indicative, as it would be unlikely that he would have stumbled across enough male sparkers/wilders to have figured out the test by trial and error.

 

The second option seems much less likely to me, as it takes a special kind of evil to end up kneeling in the pit of dhoom and the chances of a DF of such high standing also being one of the strongest male channelers possible seem to defy the laws of probability.  However, it does remain an option.  In a moment of stress, a DF in danger of being hanged in a whitecloak cell could concievably call upon Shaitan for assistance and unwittingly touch the source, in much the same manner that Rand did to save himself so many times in TEotW.  Such an instinctive touching of the source could have led to a gateway being formed as an escape route, and Shayol Ghul being the destination.  Its possible, but I think pretty unlikely.

 

Personally, if Taim was a pet Dreadlord to Ishmael, I think that he has been passed around to quite a number of Forsaken over the course of the books.  There are quite a number of indications of this possibility thrown in, all in a heap, at the end of KoD's.  One of the most telling, I find, is the gauntleted hand clutching lightning bolts on Taim's palace doors.  This symbol was found on the side of the coach that Be'lal sent the BA sisters in to capture the wonder girls in Tear.  It is also found at the apex of a throne that Sammael sits in during one of the TAR forsaken meetings.  Was Taim controlled by Bel'al?  Was he controlled by Sammael?  Why would these two Forsaken share a symbol?

 

Also, Taim knows the, "Let the Lord of Chaos Rule,"  commandment.  That command was given to Demandred, and was not told to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that appears in the books.  In fact Demandred even tried to limit kowledge of that command to the forsaken that appeared at the gathering he had called.  Did Demandred tell Taim about it? 

 

Lastly, it appears from Taim's palace that he has taken on the colors of Red and Black as his new favorites.  Considering that Moridin/Ishmael has had a recent habit of stuffing his servents into red and black livery, as it were, is this an indication that Ishamel has reclaimed his former pupil?

 

 

These questions and more, (hopefully,) will be answered on the next episode, "A Memory of Light" !   

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Actually, this thread had the unfortunate effect of making me go look for an old theory of mine, where I articulated all the points I made in the last post in a much more articulate manner.  Here's the link, its on the old boards, maybe I'll copy the original post to a new thread here.

 

http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=17398&start=0

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Yes I always wondered the same thing...its seems strange to me that even a high ranking DF wuold have the privilege of being given the filter and that would also mean that he bacame a DF as soon as he started channeling or was one before and in WoT DFs usually don't last that long...

As to compulsion he might have been taught that when he became a DF...

 

ilConte

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys, thanks for replying!

cloglord, that makes a lot of sense to me. The Forsken have been free for a long time. Easily fifteen years. And yeah, he probably was a darkfriend before that. Didn't Liandrin say that she sought the black from the first moment in the Tower?

Any Forsaken would teach taim to aid him in his efforts.

 

Thanks again. I'll keep it in mind on my current re read! lol

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cloglord, that makes a lot of sense to me. The Forsken have been free for a long time. Easily fifteen years.

 

To be clear, the forsaken have not been free for that long, Ishmael has been partially free prior to 15 years ago, but none others.  The forst to be freed, besides ishy, were Balthemel and Aginor around the time that they arrived at TEotW.  So, if there was a forsaken teaching Taim 15 years ago, it would have had to have been Ishmael.

 

But wasn't that number fifteen a guess on Rand's part based on his initial misconception of Taim's age?

 

Yes, there was a report of a question asked to RJ by Tamrylin from Theoryland that clarified this, and there is another point in one of RJ's blog responses that clarifies this.  If you are interested in the specific sources, and their reliability, they are mentioned by Lou and Maj in kind of a nitpicky back-and forth over in the "follow the bouncing Taim" thread.  HOwever, it is pretty clear that Taim is not 35, but some undetermined younger age, and further, it is mentioned that male sparkers can spark much later than female sparkers.  This leaves the question of just how long Taim has been channeling somewhat up in the air.

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That's about what I thought. In which case I wouldn't put Taim's channeling experience above eight years. And probably no less than three, if that mention of teaching one guy for two years before having to kill him was the truth (and if I'm remembering that bit correctly).

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I remember it being mentioned somewhere (By RJ, I'm fairly sure) that the taint affects everybody differently. It doesn't simply make you insane, it magnifies your susceptibility to whatever fears/madness' you may be more inclined to get. It also makes your mind more unstable and more likely to develop a 'tenancy' toward a type of madness, but it doesn't directly drive you mad. Rand for example (if he ever snapped) could start freaking out that he was still in that box (claustrophobia) and try to destroy everything to get out. If someone is already bordering being delusional, the taint would push them over the edge and magnify it.

 

This explains why different men suffer different forms of madness (I seem to remember one Asha'man acting like a child) and why some go mad after a few week/months and others take years to go mad. The ability to avoid it can be somewhat connected to luck, focus and mental stability. I know Taim is a Darkfriend but we're not sure he is so high up as to get a filter, or even how long he's been a darkfriend. It isn't much of a stretch that he was channeling for years without any filter.

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I remember it being mentioned somewhere (By RJ, I'm fairly sure) that the taint affects everybody differently. It doesn't simply make you insane, it magnifies your susceptibility to whatever fears/madness' you may be more inclined to get. It also makes your mind more unstable and more likely to develop a 'tenancy' toward a type of madness, but it doesn't directly drive you mad. Rand for example (if he ever snapped) could start freaking out that he was still in that box (claustrophobia) and try to destroy everything to get out. If someone is already bordering being delusional, the taint would push them over the edge and magnify it.

 

This explains why different men suffer different forms of madness (I seem to remember one Asha'man acting like a child) and why some go mad after a few week/months and others take years to go mad. The ability to avoid it can be somewhat connected to luck, focus and mental stability. I know Taim is a Darkfriend but we're not sure he is so high up as to get a filter, or even how long he's been a darkfriend. It isn't much of a stretch that he was channeling for years without any filter.

 

Indeed, based on the books we know it to be the case. The Taint seems to work as a sort of catalyst for the destabalisation of the mental state. It can even be suggested that Taim, with his behaviour, is suffering from a form of mental instablity, and is still socially functional. That being said, it seems to me that it would better serve the Shadow to protect the sanity of its male channelers, even lowely ones (which Taim, given his assignment to Rand, most probably is not).

 

 

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Further we have examples of the routine nature of DF trips to shayol Ghul.  While most DF's never make the trip, some certainly do.  Fain, a low level DF made the trip for the specific purpose of helping in the hunt, The DF social hour in TGH seems to indicate that large numbers of DF's could be summoned if the need arose, and the presence of an indeterminate number of graymen also seems indicative.  If specific DF's are summoned to SG for specific purposes with some regularity, why not DF channelers in need of a filter?

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Regardless of whether or not Taim had a filter or not, the fact remains that a channeler can remain sane for quite a long time if lucky, determined, focused or plain mentally stable to begin with. Of course it's uncertain as to how long you can relly last.

 

The question would be: How long was Taim channeling before he was a Darkfriend/Dreadlord..? I assume he is the longest known male channeler who has not gone gaga, seeing as we have no proof that he has a filter?

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I have never heard that the taint magnifies mental instability...makes a lot of sense. And also leaves some delightful scenarios for Rands breakdown ala Lews Therin-killing every female to keep them safe... ;)

It's not likely that Taim has a filter. It does make sense what was said about how long he's really been channeling. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that he's been holding off madness the likes of which Rand has for about five years. By the end he's pretty close to the edge...maybe the cleansing will save him?

I guess the re read about him just lets you know pretty quick how untrustworthy Taim is, and what gets me is Rand completely ignores it. He's so focused on dying that he's become blind to everything except killing. But then by the end it's pretty obvious rand is insane is his own little way.

I haven't paid enough attention to Taim on my rereads, this go I'll have to look at him closer!! ;D

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Regardless of whether or not Taim had a filter or not, the fact remains that a channeler can remain sane for quite a long time if lucky, determined, focused or plain mentally stable to begin with. Of course it's uncertain as to how long you can relly last.

 

The question would be: How long was Taim channeling before he was a Darkfriend/Dreadlord..? I assume he is the longest known male channeler who has not gone gaga, seeing as we have no proof that he has a filter?

 

Indeed, though i dont agree with it, there could be an argument made that Taim's unpleasent nature, and seeming meglomania and so forth is the effect of the Taint on him. He's functioning, but he's also borderline sociopathic and psychopathic.

 

As for your question, we know that darkfriends are tested for the ability to channel (from Liandrin, I believe?) so my guess is the Taim was recruited into channeling for the shadow almost immediately. We know that Ishamael more than probably put in place a recruitment of male channelers (he did so during the Trolloc Wars, so why wouldn't he have done so now, especially given he had near on twenty years warning that the Last Battle was coming--beside, Taim mentions having trained other men, and if he is a darkfriend than i doubt their training ended the way he suggested).

 

I'm still not sure that Taim IS a DF. It seems too...easy for me.

 

Unfortunately, it seems almost certain. He speaks of orders given only by Forsaken, he gives orders that the Forsaken just issued, he commands Grey Men and darkfriends. His every direct action has been toward attacking the Light, and the few that havn't, as Logain points out, are things that he simply could not stop.

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I'm still not sure that Taim IS a DF. It seems too...easy for me.

 

Unfortunately, it seems almost certain. He speaks of orders given only by Forsaken, he gives orders that the Forsaken just issued, he commands Grey Men and darkfriends. His every direct action has been toward attacking the Light, and the few that havn't, as Logain points out, are things that he simply could not stop.

 

I know it seems so certain, but this is Robert Jordan we are talking about. I think we'll get a surprise towards the end.

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Aren't there a few forsaken who are "unaccounted for" in the series up to this point? If yes, one could perhaps be Taim?

It is impossible that Taim is any of the Forsaken:

 

    - Aginor, deceased (killed by Rand al'Thor) resurrected as Osan'gar (see below) and later killed again by Elza at the cleansing.

   

    - Asmodean, deceased (his killer unknown, but irrevocable as the Dark One stated he "died the final death")

   

    - Balthamel, deceased (killed by the Green Man), resurrected as Aran'gar (see below).

 

    - Be'lal, deceased (killed irrevocably with balefire by Moiraine Sedai)

 

    - Demandred, whereabouts unknown. RJ stated that he is not Taim

 

    - Rahvin, deceased (killed irrevocably with balefire by Rand al'Thor)

 

    - Ishamael, killed by Rand al'Thor, resurrected as Moridin (see below).

 

    - Sammael, deceased (killed by Mashadar and Rand al'Thor). His death is confirmed in an interview with Robert Jordan.

 

    - Moridin, only channels the True Power and can't channel Saidin with feeling dizzy like Rand...Taim was around while Ishamael was dead.

 

    - Osan'gar killed again by Elza (ironically a Darkfriend) at the cleansing of Saidin.

 

Also if you think about it, why would Dashiva (Osan'gar) serve any other of the male Forsaken. None of them trust each other nearly enough to work together.

 

 

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Indeed. Some suggest that Taim might be Be'lal based on a comment by RJ that the Dark One might manage to recycle someone killed by balefire if the balefire used was very minute, but i don't personally hold with this. For one thing, Moiraine may not be Forsaken strength, but she is far from weak, much less 'very weak'. Secondly Be'lal was a subtle and complex man. The Netweaver. Taim on the other hand is as blunt as an axe--he and his followers sit out in the open, the attack on the Sun Palace, the Grey Man, the (unproven but likely) attack on Demira, and (unproven, but has my vote) attack on the mannor in Tear.

 

I simply think that Taim is a third ager. Recruited young by Ishamael (we know he was trained by an Age of Legender given he's adopted their mannerisms to a degree) and sent out to begin gathering channelers to be dreadlords in the upcoming Last Battle. Later as he displayed his abilities he is used by the Shadow to forment chaos and destabalize society by declaring himself Dragon. Sent to Rand upon the amnesty to work from within.

 

By that stage the Forsaken were dropping like flies, and the few that remained were proving themselves untrustworthy. The Dark One must have been chafing knowing that he couldn't replace them, but also couldn't trust them, and the mere fact that his control of the shadow ran through them must have been a concern. Yet what could he do? He makes Shaidar Haren, but even then he is relying too much on the Chosen. My suggestion is that he turns to the next best thing. A third ager trained by the Forsaken, a man who has proven himself and achieved a hell of a lot. Taim is raised Chosen (secretly) to be used like Alviarin, away from the Forsaken's line of command. Only unlike Alviarin his actions and abilities, strength and training, get him the full mark.

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Didn't Moiraine have a angreal with her when she blasted Be'lal? As we know the angreal gives you far more bang for your buck...Strange I never considered that Taim could be raised Forsaken. Never occurred to me. I don't think Taim was a child when recruited though, if it was Ishy that did the training. Remember Ishy could only get free from The Seal in cycles and when he did it is normally followed as by war  of some sort. Or some kind of worldly disturbance, Aiel War perhaps...

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