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is Taim an impostor?


herid
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  1. 1. Is the current Taim the original Taim who declared himself the Dragon?



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There still seems to be no agreement in the raging debate on the Taim=Moridin issue and I don't want to start another thread on that (so please try to stay away from that one of you respond). But I was recently surprised to discover that there is no agreement even among old timers on the issue of whether the current Taim is the same as the original Taim. I would have thought that this would be settled long ago. Some might not think it's important but I think it bears on Taim=Moridin question so I'd like to clarify it. I posted on this in another thread but it was very peripheral to the subject of that thread and quickly got buried there. Besides, I wanted to make this a poll, so here goes.

 

Whether or not Taim is Moridin or just Moridin's top lieutenant, I'm sure he is an impostor and not the original Taim who declared himself the Dragon.

 

My reasons are

1. Bashere does not recognize Taim when Taim first shows up. That's extremely suspicious all by itself. And not just because Bashere really ought to recognize him but from a storytelling point of view. If this is the original Taim why put something so strange into the story at all? It serves no purpose if that's the original Taim. The issue never comes up again and is not used for anything. And RJ said that very little in the books is done by accident.

2. Taim is very quick with an explanation that he shaved because it's so hot this far south.

 

Bashere took advantage of the silence. “You say you’re Mazrim Taim?” He sounded doubtful, and Rand looked at him in confusion. Was this Taim or not? Only a madman would claim that name if it was not his.

 

The prisoner’s mouth quirked in what might have been the beginning of a smile, and he rubbed his chin. “I shaved, Bashere.” His voice held more than a hint of mockery. “It is hot this far south, or had you not noticed?

 

-LoC, Ch 2

 

 

 

 

But that explanation doesn't make sense. In the same scene it's mentioned that he is not sweating.

 

The heat hardly seemed to touch him. The Maidens’ eyes followed his progress.

-LoC, Ch 2

and just a bit later, in case somebody didn't clue in the first time, it's mentioned again in the same scene

 

Taim studied Rand a moment before speaking. Despite the heat, the fellow barely sweated.

-LoC, Ch 2

It's beyond reason that something like this would be brought up twice in the same scene if it was not important.

 

A few chapters later Taim teaches Rand the anti-sweating trick and Rand is quite happy about it.

 

At least he seemed to be getting the way of the mental trick Taim had shown him; sweat trickled down Bashere’s face, but the heat hardly touched Rand. He wore his silver-embroidered coat of gray silk buttoned to the neck, and if he felt a little warm, he did not sweat a drop. Taim assured him that in time he would not even feel heat or cold great enough to disable another man.

-LoC, Ch 10

 

The issue comes up a couple more times in the next few chapters when Taim discusses teaching the trick to other Asha'man. In short, Taim seems to be a real master of the anti-sweating technique and so there is no reason for him to shave because of heat (and risk not being recognized on top of that).

3. Right after giving this phony reason for shaving Taim immediately diverts Bashere's attention by enraging him. Taunting Bashere is the last thing he should be doing in this situation if he is the real Taim. It's liable to get him killed on the spot. it almost does:

 

“Taim,” Bashere growled, hand darting for his hilt, “you . . . !”

 

Rand stepped in front of him, seizing his wrist with the blade half-drawn. The guards’ blades, Tumad’s as well, were touching Taim now, very likely touching flesh the way they were shoved against his coat, but he did not flinch

-LoC, Ch 2

 

This is a diversion. And it works too as the shaving issue is quickly forgotten and Bashere is pissed and wants to go for Taim's throat.

 

 

Do you want proof of me? Shall I channel for you?” His dark eyes flickered to Rand, then back to Bashere, whose face was growing darker by the minute. “Perhaps not that, not now. I remember you. I had you beat at Irinjavar, until those visions appeared in the sky. But everyone knows that. What does everyone not know, that you and Mazrim Taim will?” Focused on Bashere, he seemed unaware of his guards, or their swords still hovering near his ribs. “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 them good places as servants? All they’ll really want to do now is serve and obey; they won’t be happy otherwise. I could have killed them. They all four drew daggers.”

 

“Taim,” Bashere growled, hand darting for his hilt, “you . . . !”

-LoC, Ch 2

Note that he even refers to himself in 3rd person in this explanation. And of course he'd be ready with an explanation like this. I'm sure that the original Taim was thoroughly "debriefed" once taken.

 

 

4. This one if often cited in Taim=Moridin debate but it's relevant here as well. Taim's height seems to change overtime. In the original scene he is described to be slightly above middle height.

 

Tumad emerged into the sunlight first, then a black-haired man of slightly above average height whose dark face and tilted eyes, hooked nose and high cheekbones, marked him another Saldaean, though he was clean-shaven and garbed like a once prosperous Andoran merchant lately fallen on hard times. His dark blue coat had been of fine wool trimmed in darker velvet, but wear had made the cuffs ragged, his breeches bagged at the knee, and dust coated his cracked boots.

-LoC, Ch 2

 

 

But in Winterheart, when he is firmly established in the Black Tower, he is tall, almost as tall as Rand.

 

 

He was tall, nearly as 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.

-WH, prologue

 

Note that Rand is 6'6'' according to RJ which is extremely tall. Even if Taim is, say, 6'4'' that's still very tall.

It very much looks like he is using a power created disguise, hence the change in height. The original Taim would have absolutely no need for this.

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Taim is Taim and has always been Taim. And the height discrepancy has been corrected in later printings of the books.

I did not know that. which part was corrected then? My copy of LoC is from 1998 and my WH copy is from 2000. they both agree with the quotes I gave. and in any case, what of the shaving/sweating issue then?

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Taim is Taim and has always been Taim. And the height discrepancy has been corrected in later printings of the books.

I did not know that. which part was corrected then? My copy of LoC is from 1998 and my WH copy is from 2000. they both agree with the quotes I gave. and in any case, what of the shaving/sweating issue then?

 

That was something either Luckers or Terez clarified in one of the other threads during a Taim discussion. So I have no quote or info other than my memory of their statement. I just take the shaving thing at face value - he looked slightly different after shaving his beard. My dad used to have a mustach (sp?). After he shaved it he looked strange to me for a good week or two. This is my own dad that I saw everyday. And it wasn't even a full beard. And just because he can ignore the heat/cold doesn't mean that people still don't dress for their environment. The shaved beard allowed him to get around relatively unnoticed and it was more comfortable for the climate to boot. The argument was that Taim distracted Bashere from his differing appearance by agrivating him. However, the two see each other several times after that when Bashere is not emotional and Bashere never again mentions thinking that Taim looks strange. I just tend to think that the book described exactly how things went and there is no real mystery here.

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Taim is Taim and has always been Taim. And the height discrepancy has been corrected in later printings of the books.

I did not know that. which part was corrected then? My copy of LoC is from 1998 and my WH copy is from 2000. they both agree with the quotes I gave. and in any case, what of the shaving/sweating issue then?

 

That was something either Luckers or Terez clarified in one of the other threads during a Taim discussion. So I have no quote or info other than my memory of their statement. I just take the shaving thing at face value - he looked slightly different after shaving his beard. My dad used to have a mustach (sp?). After he shaved it he looked strange to me for a good week or two. This is my own dad that I saw everyday. And it wasn't even a full beard.

of course people look different without beard. I never said anything against that. this bears no relevance to the argument.

And just because he can ignore the heat/cold doesn't mean that people still don't dress for their environment. The shaved beard allowed him to get around relatively unnoticed and it was more comfortable for the climate to boot.

 

relatively unnoticed? how does that follow? but my main point was that he specifically said that he shaved because it's too hot here. he didn't mention some other reason that you are trying to come up with. and the reason he gave was a false one. there is no way around that. this is emphasized twice in the very scene he gave that reason. as I said, it's beyond belief that this was an accident. as for it being comfortable for the climate, the quotes I gave indicate that people who have mastered the antisweating trick care nothing about that. This is often emphasized in various Forsaken POV scenes too. Sammael in particular has a beard which he certainly never considered shaving despite the fact that it's way hotter in Illian than in Andor.

The argument was that Taim distracted Bashere from his differing appearance by agrivating him. However, the two see each other several times after that when Bashere is not emotional and Bashere never again mentions thinking that Taim looks strange. I just tend to think that the book described exactly how things went and there is no real mystery here.

they didn't see each other often after that first encounter. In fact, I believe there aren't any other scenes with both of them together. but in any case, once Bashere accepted his new face he would likely keep on accepting it having bought the shaving explanation.

 

 

BTW, I found another reference to Taim being nearly as tall as Rand

 

Mazrim Taim, almost as tall as Rand, was afoot in his black coat with the blue-and-gold Dragons climbing the sleeves, and maybe a hundred more of the Asha’man.

-CoS, Ch 2

was this corrected too? or is the original description in LoC wrong? I'd like that clarified if someone has a late copy of LoC.

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BTW, I found another reference to Taim being nearly as tall as Rand

 

Mazrim Taim, almost as tall as Rand, was afoot in his black coat with the blue-and-gold Dragons climbing the sleeves, and maybe a hundred more of the Asha’man.

-CoS, Ch 2

was this corrected too? or is the original description in LoC wrong? I'd like that clarified if someone has a late copy of LoC.

 

It's worded exactly as you wrote it in the ebook edition of CoS, for whatever that's worth.

 

The ebook edition of LoC is phrased as: "...then a black-haired man of well above average height...", different than how you had it.

 

And the ebook edition of WH is as you wrote it; he's described as nearly as tall as Rand.

Edited by Kal-El814
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relatively unnoticed? how does that follow? but my main point was that he specifically said that he shaved because it's too hot here. he didn't mention some other reason that you are trying to come up with. and the reason he gave was a false one. there is no way around that.

 

Him lying about why he shaved the beard is not surprising. I'm just saying that it is not necessarily untrue. The Aes Sedai and Asha'man don't run around naked just because they can ignore the cold. So shaving the beard based on climate doesn't have to be a lie. That said, I believe it is a lie which is why I gave the different reason for it - He wanted to escape notice, likely because he was up to other shenanigans in Andor before he presented himself to Rand. This is more believable to me than his being a completely different person.

 

BTW, I found another reference to Taim being nearly as tall as Rand

 

Mazrim Taim, almost as tall as Rand, was afoot in his black coat with the blue-and-gold Dragons climbing the sleeves, and maybe a hundred more of the Asha’man.

-CoS, Ch 2

 

was this corrected too? or is the original description in LoC wrong? I'd like that clarified if someone has a late copy of LoC.

 

My recollection is that his original description was corrected. Rather than "a man of average height" it was changed to something like "a man of well above average height". Which would match the later descriptions of him being tall. If Luckers or Terez could jump in here and confirm or deny it would be appreciated. I don't want to search through a bunch of Taim threads to find where I read that.

Edited by Mark Grayson
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BTW, I found another reference to Taim being nearly as tall as Rand

 

Mazrim Taim, almost as tall as Rand, was afoot in his black coat with the blue-and-gold Dragons climbing the sleeves, and maybe a hundred more of the Asha’man.

-CoS, Ch 2

was this corrected too? or is the original description in LoC wrong? I'd like that clarified if someone has a late copy of LoC.

 

It's worded exactly as you wrote it in the ebook edition of CoS, for whatever that's worth.

do you by chance have an e-book copy of LoC? if so could you please check the quote from my original post that gives Taim's height as "slightly above average"?

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do you by chance have an e-book copy of LoC? if so could you please check the quote from my original post that gives Taim's height as "slightly above average"?

 

Yup, I edited it into my previous post... pulled the trigger on that too soon. Sorry about that.

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relatively unnoticed? how does that follow? but my main point was that he specifically said that he shaved because it's too hot here. he didn't mention some other reason that you are trying to come up with. and the reason he gave was a false one. there is no way around that.

 

Him lying about why he shaved the beard is not surprising. I'm just saying that it is not necessarily untrue. The Aes Sedai and Asha'man don't run around naked just because they can ignore the cold. So shaving the beard based on climate doesn't have to be a lie. That said, I believe it is a lie which is why I gave the different reason for it - He wanted to escape notice, likely because he was up to other shenanigans in Andor before he presented himself to Rand. This is more believable to me than his being a completely different person.

 

so what you are saying is that he shaved to blend in (he didn't really have to btw - Caemlyn is full of foreigners), lied about his real reason for shaving, his lie was exposed twice in the very scene that he gave it and it means nothing.

I'm sorry I don't find this reasonable at all.

besides, as I said, if this is the real Taim, why write in something so strange and convoluted (provided your explanation is correct) at all? RJ said that very little in the books is by accident.

Edited by herid
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relatively unnoticed? how does that follow? but my main point was that he specifically said that he shaved because it's too hot here. he didn't mention some other reason that you are trying to come up with. and the reason he gave was a false one. there is no way around that.

 

Him lying about why he shaved the beard is not surprising. I'm just saying that it is not necessarily untrue. The Aes Sedai and Asha'man don't run around naked just because they can ignore the cold. So shaving the beard based on climate doesn't have to be a lie. That said, I believe it is a lie which is why I gave the different reason for it - He wanted to escape notice, likely because he was up to other shenanigans in Andor before he presented himself to Rand. This is more believable to me than his being a completely different person.

 

so what you are saying is that he shaved to blend in (he didn't really have to btw - Caemlyn is full of foreigners), lied about his real reason for shaving, his lie was exposed twice in the very scene that he gave it and it means nothing.

I'm sorry I don't find this reasonable at all.

besides, as I said, if this is the real Taim, why write in something so strange and convoluted (provided your explanation is correct) at all? RJ said that very little in the books is by accident.

 

No I'm saying that he shaved so that he could do his business around Andor without being as easily recognized.

 

Now I will ask - Why send in an imposter? I don't want to deal with Taim=Moridin here (he's not) because that's not the point of this thread. So what I'm asking is why not just 13x13 Taim (assuming he's not a darkfriend which is why you would need an imposter) and send him in? This is a lot less risky then sending in an imposter. He would have all Taim's memories so you won't need to torture them out of Taim and hope you don't miss anything important, and you wouldn't run the risk of running into someone like Bashere who might notice the difference.

 

My point is that if Taim is Taim and that he shaved the beard (for whatever reason he shaved) explains why Bashere had a moments trouble recognizing him is a much easier explanation than theorizing there is some kind of imposter.

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herid, I think you have noticed one of the many mysteries concerning Taim. I think your onto something, but I'm not sure if it will go any where. I believe there is more to Tiam and I'm curious if he'll get any more play in the final book.

Edited by plague fiend
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No I'm saying that he shaved so that he could do his business around Andor without being as easily recognized.

 

Now I will ask - Why send in an imposter? I don't want to deal with Taim=Moridin here (he's not) because that's not the point of this thread. So what I'm asking is why not just 13x13 Taim (assuming he's not a darkfriend which is why you would need an imposter) and send him in? This is a lot less risky then sending in an imposter. He would have all Taim's memories so you won't need to torture them out of Taim and hope you don't miss anything important, and you wouldn't run the risk of running into someone like Bashere who might notice the difference.

I really don't want to go into "why send an impostor" issue here. it's an interesting one to be sure but it's irrelevant to the evidence I presented.

 

My point is that if Taim is Taim and that he shaved the beard (for whatever reason he shaved) explains why Bashere had a moments trouble recognizing him is a much easier explanation than theorizing there is some kind of imposter.

yes, Taim shaving would explain it. but it would not explain why the whole episode was written in at all-it would be much easier to skip the whole shaving and recognition problem issue if it was the real Taim. and it does not address the issue of Taim clearly lying about his reason for shaving and the fact that he is lying being emphasized by the writer.

 

BTW, thanks a lot for responding and the pushback. I really appreciate it. Most others just voted. I suspect that the oldtimers are simply too sick of all the Taim threads. :rolleyes:

 

herid, I think you have noticed one of the many mysteries concerning Taim. I think your onto something, but I'm not sure if it will go any where. I believe there is more to Tiam and I'm curious if he'll get any more play in the final book.

oh, I'm absolutely sure I'm not the first one to raise this point. But I haven't been on the forums long enough to see it. and I can certainly promise you that Taim will be a major player in aMoL as there will be a big battle for the Black Tower. that much is not in doubt.

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yes, Taim shaving would explain it. but it would not explain why the whole episode was written in at all-it would be much easier to skip the whole shaving and recognition problem issue if it was the real Taim. and it does not address the issue of Taim clearly lying about his reason for shaving and the fact that he is lying being emphasized by the writer.

 

Perhaps just to indicate that Taim was doing something else shady that required a bit of a "disguise"?

 

BTW, thanks a lot for responding and the pushback. I really appreciate it. Most others just voted. I suspect that the oldtimers are simply too sick of all the Taim threads. :rolleyes:

 

Yeah, I always seem to get sucked into the Taim threads. Although I will say that I think this theory has some evidence going for it and has a chance of being right. It's usually the Taim=Moridin theory that I argue against and that I am completely certain is incorrect.

 

I was looking for that info on the height being corrected in some of the other Taim threads and, boy, there is a lot of them. :biggrin: I still wasn't able to find it but I'm sure that one of the more authoritative posters (pretty sure it was either Luckers or Terez) posted that info. Or I'm just losing my mind from all the Taim talks. :myrddraal:

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Taim has good reason for shaving - he is a man on the run, after all, and it would benefit him to appear a little less like Taim (to those who know what to look for). Rand has never met Taim, so it shouldn't make any difference to him if some guy said "I'm Taim." Rand would have had no reason to disbelieve had Bashere not been there - and Bashere accepts the guy is Taim, and never mentions his doubts again. As for why the lie about why he shaved, we see in the scene he's intorduced that he's willing to tweak Bashere's nose. And for the doubts themselves, it does occur to me that perhaps the intention on Jordan's part was to allay doubts - he brings in Taim, and then gets someone who knows Taim to confirm it is him. In effect, this scene makes arguments that Taim is someone disguised with an Illusion weave to be less likely, not more so. Had the identification been done purely by sight, it could be Illusion still. If Bashere still had lingering doubts, the "something only Taim would know" would be seen as insufficient. As it is, it requires elaborate scenarios for Taim to be anyone other than Taim.

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Taim has good reason for shaving - he is a man on the run, after all, and it would benefit him to appear a little less like Taim (to those who know what to look for). Rand has never met Taim, so it shouldn't make any difference to him if some guy said "I'm Taim."

 

if this was the real reason for shaving why lie about it? and more importantly, why is the lie hidden from the reader? the fact that he is lying while indisputable is somewhat subtly masked. To be sure that he is lying you need to read a few more chapters, notice the explanation about the anti-sweating trick and connect the dots. I'm certain that the vast majority of readers missed it altogether. Please raise your hand anybody who didn't. this is clearly a subterfuge by the writer done with a definite purpose. which was what exactly? as it is his lie and the way it's revealed presumably has no bearing on the plot and we should simply ignore it and move on. sorry but I can't buy that.

Rand would have had no reason to disbelieve had Bashere not been there - and Bashere accepts the guy is Taim, and never mentions his doubts again. As for why the lie about why he shaved, we see in the scene he's intorduced that he's willing to tweak Bashere's nose.

so he is lying to tweak Bashere's nose?! as I said, that should be the last thing for him to do in this situation. he almost gets killed as the result. and this doesn't make sense anyway. Bashere doesn't get angry because of the shaving thing. why should he? He gets angry when Taim tells him about what he did to the guys Bashere sent to kill him. there was no reason to shave or lie about it if he only wanted to taunt Taim. he could have easily done that without doing any of those things.

 

And for the doubts themselves, it does occur to me that perhaps the intention on Jordan's part was to allay doubts - he brings in Taim, and then gets someone who knows Taim to confirm it is him.

The way it's handled hardly allays doubts. It does the opposite. I know that when I first read that scene I totally missed the anti sweating trick issue but I certainly thought it highly suspicious that Bashere doesn't recognize Taim and I found his explanation quite suspicious too.

It would be WAY more convincing to have Bashere recognize Taim and move on. That would raise far fewer questions by the reader. Instead we get an elaborate recognition scene which raises lots of questions and makes Taim look very shady.

 

In effect, this scene makes arguments that Taim is someone disguised with an Illusion weave to be less likely, not more so. Had the identification been done purely by sight, it could be Illusion still. If Bashere still had lingering doubts, the "something only Taim would know" would be seen as insufficient. As it is, it requires elaborate scenarios for Taim to be anyone other than Taim.

elaborate scenarios? how can it be more elaborate than your interpretation? what we have is this. Taim shows up shaved which makes it difficult for Bashere to recognize him. he lies about his reasons for shaving. the fact that he is lying is hidden from the reader for some reason. It's certainly not noticed by anybody in the scene and is later exposed in a fairly tricky way but with no visible consequences for the plot. in order to explain this one has to come up with a fairly convoluted explanation (and I still haven't heard a convincing one). I don't know what can be more elaborate than that.

Edited by herid
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Taim has good reason for shaving - he is a man on the run, after all, and it would benefit him to appear a little less like Taim (to those who know what to look for). Rand has never met Taim, so it shouldn't make any difference to him if some guy said "I'm Taim."

 

if this was the real reason for shaving why lie about it? and more importantly, why is the lie hidden from the reader? the fact that he is lying while indisputable is somewhat subtly masked. To be sure that he is lying you need to read a few more chapters, notice the explanation about the anti-sweating trick and connect the dots. I'm certain that the vast majority of readers missed it altogether. Please raise your hand anybody who didn't. this is clearly a subterfuge by the writer done with a definite purpose. which was what exactly? as it is his lie and the way it's revealed presumably has no bearing on the plot and we should simply ignore it and move on. sorry but I can't buy that.

 

Rand would have had no reason to disbelieve had Bashere not been there - and Bashere accepts the guy is Taim, and never mentions his doubts again. As for why the lie about why he shaved, we see in the scene he's intorduced that he's willing to tweak Bashere's nose.

so he is lying to tweak Bashere's nose?! as I said, that should be the last thing for him to do in this situation. he almost gets killed as the result. and this doesn't make sense anyway. Bashere doesn't get angry because of the shaving thing. why should he? He gets angry when Taim tells him about what he did to the guys Bashere sent to kill him. there was no reason to shave or lie about it if he only wanted to taunt Taim. he could have easily done that without doing any of those things.

 

And for the doubts themselves, it does occur to me that perhaps the intention on Jordan's part was to allay doubts - he brings in Taim, and then gets someone who knows Taim to confirm it is him.

The way it's handled hardly allays doubts. It does the opposite. I know that when I first read that scene I totally missed the anti sweating trick issue but I certainly thought it highly suspicious that Bashere doesn't recognize Taim and I found his explanation quite suspicious too.

It would be WAY more convincing to have Bashere recognize Taim and move on. That would raise far fewer questions by the reader. Instead we get an elaborate recognition scene which raises lots of questions and makes Taim look very shady.

 

In effect, this scene makes arguments that Taim is someone disguised with an Illusion weave to be less likely, not more so. Had the identification been done purely by sight, it could be Illusion still. If Bashere still had lingering doubts, the "something only Taim would know" would be seen as insufficient. As it is, it requires elaborate scenarios for Taim to be anyone other than Taim.

elaborate scenarios? how can it be more elaborate than your interpretation? what we have is this. Taim shows up shaved which makes it difficult for Bashere to recognize him. he lies about his reasons for shaving. the fact that he is lying is hidden from the reader for some reason. It's certainly not noticed by anybody in the scene and is later exposed in a fairly tricky way but with no visible consequences for the plot. in order to explain this one has to come up with a fairly convoluted explanation (and I still haven't heard a convincing one). I don't know what can be more elaborate than that.

My scenario is much simpler than yours - yours requires whoever impersonates Taim interrogating him thoroughly, copying his mannerisms exactly so as to convince Bashere of who he is, an almost perfect Illusion disguise... that doesn't include a beard, but that is the only notable difference in appearance. Mine requires that Taim has a shave. Real or imposter, you still have to account for the beard, and the lie, but that is all you have to account for in these scenes. As for recognition, if this guy shows up and looks exactly like Taim, then readers can still say "it could be Illusion". With the scene we have, that doesn't really work - this guy looks like Taim, acts like Taim, knows things Taim knows - there's a lot more to account for. There's no reason to think Taim is an imposter. As for why lie, I already said why. It's perfectly in character, and doesn't need to be pointed out to the reader. And your theory doesn't really explain the beard issue at all - if a Power-created disguise, why not a Power-created disguise that includes a beard? Why disguise yourself as clean-shaven Taim and then lie about why you ditched the beard?
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Taim has good reason for shaving - he is a man on the run, after all, and it would benefit him to appear a little less like Taim (to those who know what to look for). Rand has never met Taim, so it shouldn't make any difference to him if some guy said "I'm Taim."

 

if this was the real reason for shaving why lie about it? and more importantly, why is the lie hidden from the reader? the fact that he is lying while indisputable is somewhat subtly masked. To be sure that he is lying you need to read a few more chapters, notice the explanation about the anti-sweating trick and connect the dots. I'm certain that the vast majority of readers missed it altogether. Please raise your hand anybody who didn't. this is clearly a subterfuge by the writer done with a definite purpose. which was what exactly? as it is his lie and the way it's revealed presumably has no bearing on the plot and we should simply ignore it and move on. sorry but I can't buy that.

 

Rand would have had no reason to disbelieve had Bashere not been there - and Bashere accepts the guy is Taim, and never mentions his doubts again. As for why the lie about why he shaved, we see in the scene he's intorduced that he's willing to tweak Bashere's nose.

so he is lying to tweak Bashere's nose?! as I said, that should be the last thing for him to do in this situation. he almost gets killed as the result. and this doesn't make sense anyway. Bashere doesn't get angry because of the shaving thing. why should he? He gets angry when Taim tells him about what he did to the guys Bashere sent to kill him. there was no reason to shave or lie about it if he only wanted to taunt Taim. he could have easily done that without doing any of those things.

 

And for the doubts themselves, it does occur to me that perhaps the intention on Jordan's part was to allay doubts - he brings in Taim, and then gets someone who knows Taim to confirm it is him.

The way it's handled hardly allays doubts. It does the opposite. I know that when I first read that scene I totally missed the anti sweating trick issue but I certainly thought it highly suspicious that Bashere doesn't recognize Taim and I found his explanation quite suspicious too.

It would be WAY more convincing to have Bashere recognize Taim and move on. That would raise far fewer questions by the reader. Instead we get an elaborate recognition scene which raises lots of questions and makes Taim look very shady.

 

In effect, this scene makes arguments that Taim is someone disguised with an Illusion weave to be less likely, not more so. Had the identification been done purely by sight, it could be Illusion still. If Bashere still had lingering doubts, the "something only Taim would know" would be seen as insufficient. As it is, it requires elaborate scenarios for Taim to be anyone other than Taim.

elaborate scenarios? how can it be more elaborate than your interpretation? what we have is this. Taim shows up shaved which makes it difficult for Bashere to recognize him. he lies about his reasons for shaving. the fact that he is lying is hidden from the reader for some reason. It's certainly not noticed by anybody in the scene and is later exposed in a fairly tricky way but with no visible consequences for the plot. in order to explain this one has to come up with a fairly convoluted explanation (and I still haven't heard a convincing one). I don't know what can be more elaborate than that.

My scenario is much simpler than yours - yours requires whoever impersonates Taim interrogating him thoroughly, copying his mannerisms exactly so as to convince Bashere of who he is, an almost perfect Illusion disguise... that doesn't include a beard, but that is the only notable difference in appearance. Mine requires that Taim has a shave. Real or imposter, you still have to account for the beard, and the lie, but that is all you have to account for in these scenes. As for recognition, if this guy shows up and looks exactly like Taim, then readers can still say "it could be Illusion". With the scene we have, that doesn't really work - this guy looks like Taim, acts like Taim, knows things Taim knows - there's a lot more to account for. There's no reason to think Taim is an imposter. As for why lie, I already said why. It's perfectly in character, and doesn't need to be pointed out to the reader. And your theory doesn't really explain the beard issue at all - if a Power-created disguise, why not a Power-created disguise that includes a beard? Why disguise yourself as clean-shaven Taim and then lie about why you ditched the beard?

the current Taim need not know the original Taim's mannerisms. where did you get that? that's never mentioned or even implied. Bashere doesn't know Taim all that well - that very clear from that scene. He just needs to know something that only the original Taim knows. That can be easily obtained by an interrogation and that's what this Taim delivers to prove that he is the real Taim. so out of your three "looks like Taim, acts like Taim, knows what Taim knows" only one is true. one is definitely false (looks like Taim) and one is simply unknown (acts like Taim). and you still didn't give any explanation for the lie. how is it "in character" ?! and more importantly why it's hidden from the reader and then subtly revealed?

 

as for why this Taim didn't use a power created beard disguise. He probably could have. But a beard is a physical object and likely harder to maintain as a perfect illusion without some accidents. There may be another reason related to his true identity which I don't want to get into too much in this thread. It could also be that the original Taim was killed before this one saw him personally so he can not imitate his appearance perfectly. if he had a beard and still didn't look like the old Taim he would have no explanation left for the difference in appearance. But mainly I think that the reason is not an in-story one but an out of story one. This is a deliberate device by the writer to subtly indicate that Taim is an impostor. After all he could have simply said that he shaved in order to make himself less recognizable. It's a perfectly reasonable explanation and it would raise none of the issues I mentioned. Instead he gives a lie, that lie is emphasized twice in the very same scene and later definitely confirmed as a lie. Nothing you said explains any of that.

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This does not make sense. If Taim was replaced after meeting Rand in LoC, why have him shave the beard for a "disguise"?

 

Are you saying the "original" Taim was different from the Taim who met Rand, who is different from the current Taim?

 

It really does not make any sense whatsoever.

 

Taim was probably trying to hide from anyone who would recognize the false Dragon until he could meet with Rand. It really is not that mysterious.

 

(Plus, it was a great red herring.)

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This does not make sense. If Taim was replaced after meeting Rand in LoC, why have him shave the beard for a "disguise"?

 

Are you saying the "original" Taim was different from the Taim who met Rand, who is different from the current Taim?

Taim was not replaced after meeting Rand in LoC. He was replaced before that. the original taim was kidnapped from the Aes Sedai that were taking him to Tar valon. he was then interrogated and killed. the new Taim who showed up in LoC is an impostor.

 

It really does not make any sense whatsoever.

 

Taim was probably trying to hide from anyone who would recognize the false Dragon until he could meet with Rand. It really is not that mysterious.

 

(Plus, it was a great red herring.)

please read what I wrote before posting. I addressed this issue several times already. If this was the reason for shaving why did Taim lie about it? and why is the lie so cleverly hidden from the reader?

the fact that he is lying while indisputable is somewhat subtly masked. To be sure that he is lying you need to read a few more chapters, notice the explanation about the anti-sweating trick and connect the dots. I'm certain that the vast majority of readers missed it altogether. Please raise your hand anybody who didn't. this is clearly a subterfuge by the writer done with a definite purpose. which was what exactly?

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If Taim was replaced before meeting Rand in Lord of Chaos, then the height discrepancy makes no sense. Read what I am saying. Why would he suddenly become taller after Rand has seen a shorter Taim? That just begs him to realize the difference. The only explanation I can think of for that would be that the imposter unraveled the Illusion at some point and when he remade it, he accidentally made himself taller -- but why would someone who is apparently a nigh-consummate actor make such a mistake?

 

It's simply an error, and it provides no evidence for your theory at all.

 

That means your theory relies solely on the fact that Bashere was uncertain that Taim was who he said he was, and that Taim's explanation for why he shaved was bogus. I agree, it was bogus. No, it does not prove he's an imposter. It proves that he is cleanshaven, and that we do not know why. That is all.

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If Taim was replaced before meeting Rand in Lord of Chaos, then the height discrepancy makes no sense. Read what I am saying. Why would he suddenly become taller after Rand has seen a shorter Taim? That just begs him to realize the difference. The only explanation I can think of for that would be that the imposter unraveled the Illusion at some point and when he remade it, he accidentally made himself taller -- but why would someone who is apparently a nigh-consummate actor make such a mistake?

 

It's simply an error, and it provides no evidence for your theory at all.

 

I suggest you read the whole thread. taim's original height is incorrectly described in early printings of LoC including mine. It was later changed but I didn't know it when I started this thread. so yes, it's not relevant to my argument.

 

That means your theory relies solely on the fact that Bashere was uncertain that Taim was who he said he was, and that Taim's explanation for why he shaved was bogus. I agree, it was bogus. No, it does not prove he's an imposter. It proves that he is cleanshaven, and that we do not know why. That is all.

ah great. so according to you Taim came, he lied about his reason for shaving, his lie was subtly exposed a few chapters later but it all means nothing and we should just ignore it and move on. I can not accept that a a reasonable explanation.

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