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Taim and Others


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We've got a few more than that. It could, in fact, be any of the surviving Foresaken.

 

Rahvin and Bel'al and Asmo are the only ones we can be pretty sure are permanently dead.

 

We don't know what the DO did with his soul the last time Aginor died.

 

We have no clue at all, at all what happens to somebody who gets eaten by Mashadar. It is remotely possible that Sam isn't really as gone as we think. ( Jordan's toast comment notwithstanding )

 

Cyndane and Moggy may not be as tightly leashed as Moridin thinks.

 

It could even be Moridin who did it himself. He loves to mess with everybody's heads. Reporting it as being Sam pretty effectively does that.

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Well if you are embracing all those as possibilities, can you say there is no chance that Taim has been promoted?

 

And I think we can count Asmodean as permanently dead.

 

We don't know what the DO did with his soul the last time Aginor died.

 

That's true. Incidentally, if Aginor is still kicking around somewhere, he and Taim could be the two Forsaken to fill the two empty seats at the Forsaken Coffee Hour meetings.

 

We have no clue at all, at all what happens to somebody who gets eaten by Mashadar. It is remotely possible that Sam isn't really as gone as we think. ( Jordan's toast comment notwithstanding )

 

Well, you can think what you like. Prepare to be dissapointed when Sammael really is gone.

 

Cyndane and Moggy may not be as tightly leashed as Moridin thinks.

 

VERY unlikely, but possible.

 

It could even be Moridin who did it himself. He loves to mess with everybody's heads. Reporting it as being Sam pretty effectively does that.

 

I fail to see the purpose here, but since Moridin is insane, -shrug- OK.

 

My point is, why are any of these options more viable than "Taim got promoted"?

 

We are given a textual clue to make it more likely: Taim is seen wearing Sammael's sigil. We don't have any textual indications of those other options.

 

So, again, why couldn't Taim have been promoted? Where have we seen his supposed lack of facility with the Power?

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Incidentally, here's the text of the Sammael quote:

 

Q: "It has been reported that you have confirmed that Sammael died at the end of A Crown of Swords. Could you confirm that you have said this and elaborate on whether Rand was correct?"

 

A: "Mashadar killed Sammael. Sammael is toast!"

 

-CNN chat transcript, 12 December 2000

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My question is why wouldn`t the Dark One make Taim a Chosen?

 

He is currently doing much better than the rest of the Chosen. After all he got 200 Asha`man at his command.

 

And I doubt that the Dark One care about how primitive Taim is, as long as he`s doing his job better than the rest.

 

Remember that half the Chosen has died in this primitive world!

 

Lews Therin and the Hundred Companions didn`t manage to kill a single one during ten years of open war.

 

In my opinion it`s the Forsaken that is underestimating the people that live now, because of the lack of advanced technology, and government

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Lews Therin and the Hundred Companions didn`t manage to kill a single one during ten years of open war.

 

Well, to be fair, while they didn't kill any of the 13 who got sealed in with the Dark One, they apparently did kill several of their contemporaries. It's just the ones they killed weren't alive to be sealed in.

 

In my opinion it`s the Forsaken that is underestimating the people that live now, because of the lack of advanced technology, and government

 

Since the Dark One gets much of his information from the Chosen, their attitude apparently is shared by him to some extent. However, if Taim was trained by one of the Chosen (as I believe) then he would likely be viewed in a different light.

 

About everything else, including the fact that Taim has universally outperformed the "Chosen" over the past few years, I totally agree. It seems very likely to me that Taim is now Chosen.

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Indeed. Given Moggy's comment about the True Power it seems there have been at least 29 Chosen, ergo somewhere along the way 16 have died.

 

In addition to Robert's comments, the chosen are dwindling, and those that remained have proven themselves untrustworthy both in their failure, and in their constant striving for personal achievement. It makes sense for the Dark One to be seeking to set up certain connections and gain access to resources outside that particular pool.

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I doubt that "making sense" has anything to do with anything.

 

My impression is that the DO feeds on chaos. Disorder, simply for the sake of disorder, seems to be what suits it best. I doubt that it conceives of victory, or progress, or usefulness in terms you or I would recognize.

 

Thus, I don't think that things we would see as useful or successsful would have the same meaning or value to the DO.

 

The actions of the being known as Moridin, despite what we would see as his numerous failures, seem to have served the DO's ultimate ends the best. Thus Moridin is now Nae'blis.

 

My point being, just because you or I might see someone as being most successful at serving the DO, don't assume the DO sees it the same way.

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The fist-and-lightning sigil seems to be a Forsaken sigil more than a sigil specifically belonging to Sammael. Be'lal uses the same sigil in The Dragon Reborn.

 

Even if that is so' date=' it is still textual support for the idea that Taim is Chosen now.[/quote']

 

It is so, and yes, that is why I used it as an argument for that position. It would really be ludicrous if I used that piece of evidence to support the position of Taim not being Chosen. I was not contradicting you.

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Just for giggles - emphasis added:

 

Week 15 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, using and reusing those he might have killed himself, or ordered killed, in a time where there were thousands to equal them.

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None of which says "The Dark One will never promote to the rank of Chosen any modern person who proves their usefulness through successful service. Also, nothing he ever does will ever make sense on any human level."

 

It just means his overall doesn't always match what humans want. For example, most of the Forsaken want: To rule the world as immortals. The Dark One likely wants: To destroy time and reduce the universe to elemental chaos. It doesn't mean he can't promote Taim.

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He can do pretty much anything he wants... except get outa jail.

 

Again, I point out that he "could", the question is why would he? He doesn't think like us. He doesn't define success in our terms. He doesn't define value in our terms. He may not define anything in terms we would recognize.

 

The arguments you put forth, while completely valid for any human acting in his place, simply don't apply to him. He isn't human, and he doesn't attach human values and concepts to anything.

 

Whichever thing the DO actually does, it's unlikely that any of us would understand the "reasoning" behind it. That's why I say "making sense" doesn't enter into it. "...thinking of him in human terms just doesn't work."

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Week 12 Question: In Winters Heart, you mention that back in the Age of Legends, there were several other Forsaken that the Dark One had killed because he suspected they would betray him. What's their story? Were those people ever as high ranking as the 13 survivors, or where they more like high-ranking Dreadlords then actual Forsaken?

 

Robert Jordan Answers: First off, Dreadlords was the name given to men and women who could channel and sided with the Shadow in the Trolloc Wars. Yes, the women were called Dreadlords, too. They might have liked to call themselves "the Chosen," like the Forsaken, but feared to. The real Forsaken might not have appreciated it when they returned, as prophecies of the Shadow foretold would happen. Some of the Dreadlords had authority and responsibility equivalent to that of the Forsaken in the War of the Shadow, however. They ran the Shadow's side of the Trolloc Wars, though without the inherent ability to command the Myrddraal that the Forsaken possess, meaning they had to negotiate with them. Overall command at the beginning was in another's hands.

 

Forsaken was the name given to Aes Sedai who went over to the Shadow in the War of the Shadow at the end of the Age of Legends, though of course, they called themselves the Chosen, and despite the tales of the "current"Age, there were many more than a few of them. Since they occupied all sorts of levels, you might say that many were equivalent to some of the lesser Dreadlords, but it would be incorrect to call them so. At the time, they were all Forsaken—or Chosen—from the greatest to the least.

 

Some of those Forsaken the Dark One killed were every bit as high-ranking as the thirteen who were remembered, and who you might say constituted a large part of the Dark One's General Staff at the time of the sealing. With the Forsaken, where treachery and backstabbing were an acceptable way of getting ahead, the turnover in the upper ranks was fairly high, though Ishamael, Demandred, Lanfear, Graendal, Semirhage, and later Sammael, were always at the top end of the pyramid. They were very skilled at personal survival, politically and physically.

 

In large part the thirteen were remembered because they were trapped at Shayol Ghul, and so their names became part of that story, though it turned out that details of them, stories of them, survived wide-spread knowledge of the tale of the actual sealing itself. Just that they had been sealed away. Other Forsaken were left behind, so to speak, free but in a world that was rapidly sliding down the tube. The men eventually went mad and died from the same taint that killed off the other male Aes Sedai. They had no access to the Dark One's protective filters. The women died, too, though from age or in battle or from natural disasters created by insane male AesSedai or from diseases that could no longer be controlled because civilization itself had been destroyed and access to those who were skilled in Healing was all but gone. And soon after their deaths, their names were forgotten, except for what might possibly be discovered in some ancient manuscript fragment that survived the Breaking. A bleak story of people who deserved no better, and not worth telling in any detail.

 

http://www.wotmania.com/faqtopic.asp?ID=152

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The arguments you put forth, while completely valid for any human acting in his place, simply don't apply to him. He isn't human, and he doesn't attach human values and concepts to anything.

 

Whichever thing the DO actually does, it's unlikely that any of us would understand the "reasoning" behind it. That's why I say "making sense" doesn't enter into it. "...thinking of him in human terms just doesn't work."

 

The next part is written assuming you are correct (an assumption I do not necessarily make).

 

Then we can never reach any conclusions about anything the Dark One ever has or ever would do. Therefore we can only deal with external evidence, and not consider the Dark One's motivations at all. Therefore, Taim being promoted, and Taim not being promoted, are precisely equally possible, and therefore neither can be used as the basis for any conclusion.

 

So why are you even talking about it?

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Precisely because many people are so absolutely sure of his "promotion" that they fail to consider other explanations for many things that happen.

 

One of the very good things that Jordan does with this series is continually reinforce two valuable precepts:

1. "Keep an open mind."

2. "When you're absolutely sure that you're right is when you're most likely to be the most wrong."

 

We see character after character after character jump to unwarranted conclusions bassed on the flimsiest of "evidence", and then act precipitously and with disatrous result.

 

It continues to amaze me how people can frequent this forum - proclaim how much they love this series - how many times they've read and reread the series - how much they loved every word of it - how it's the greatest thing since beer in a can - and still demonstrably fail to take in any of the important subtext.

 

Just like the characters in the books, too many of us are stomping around saying, "We know A, and therefore B must be true.", when in fact we do not KNOW A. We have some hints that might mean A, but they could mean other things as well. If we close our minds to any of those other possibilities, we reach wrong conclusions about so much of what really happens in the books.

 

That's why I'm talking about it. Why are you talking about it?

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"We know A, therefore B must be true" is a simplification of a philosophical concept. The complete form is:

 

1. If A, then B.

2. A.

3. Therefore B.

 

It's called a Modus Tollens. It requires two things in its used. Deductive validity--i.e. does A nessesitate B. and factual validity--do we know A.

 

Now, you are challanging the factual validity of our arguments... suggesting that we do not know A, yet you are yourself commiting a crime against the deductive validity. Your arguments go like this.

 

1. We do not know A, therefore B.

 

Philosophically speaking yours is the greater crime. Ours may be wrong, or it may be right, based on our understanding of the facts. Yours howevere is a fallacy. It is inconsistant. The premise, wether right or wrong, does not support the conclusion.

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