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alokov

Taim Vs. M'Hael

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So, am I the only one who felt that there's a maajor difference between Taim and M'Hael?

 

I loved Taim, but when he became M'Hael it felt like he went from Magnificent Bastard to just ordinary bastard. Perhaps in large part this is due to the fact that the personality traits that made him such a Magnificent Bastard were cheapened if they were jjust the result of him being a Darkfriend. The thing that I found so appealing about him was that here was a man with such utter swaggering self-confidence that he was able to holdthe Taint back by pure force of personality. Though they tried to replace him with Logain, Logain just doesn't have the falir that Taim does. He's an interesting character, as is Androl, but Logain rules by fear, and Androl by the respect of the troops, Taim rules simply by th force of his self-posession. He radiates a sense of "I am the $#%@ and I know it" to such a degree that no one can deny it. He can hold his own with the REAL Dragon by that alone.

 

It does make perfect sense that he is a Darkfriend, and is necessary  for the unification of the Towers, but still.

 

 

On a side note, since I have Pandora on in the background, I  get a very AC?DC vibe from Taim in some ways. If nothing else I can definitely see Taim saying "If you're gonna blow me, do it right." :)

Edited by alokov

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You always have to beware that we don't really see or know that much about the characters, especially 2nd string bad guys :)

 

Taim's a big presence in the series, but we never see that much of him directly. I'm not sure how much of his history we really know at that (we've gotten some details but putting it together is subject to endless argument).

 

I think LoC Taim is a bit different from the Taim we see later to mustache twirler at the end (then there's how much detail for AMoL on Taim is from RJ). We see him executing a decent plan at Dumai's Wells (whether his or not...granted that every character in the series doesn't think to do that stuff again is lol), but later he's all smash now. AMoL Taim is ineffectual, but the thing to remember is how much possible throwaway (and great throwaway or red herring it was) was in the middle of the series.

 

Also the problem is whose PoV we have of Taim: LoC and later Rand or Elayne...not the most reliable narrators :)

Edited by Cybertrolloc

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Taim set up the Black Tower for Rand, gave him Asha'man to rescue him during Dumai Wells, they helped him take down Sammael's forces in Illian, fight the Seanchan, helped Perrin during his struggle with the Shaido. Flinn was ultimately the one to save Rand from Fain's knife wound, and this helped give Rand the final clue to cleansing saidin. Ashaman allied with Aes Sedai kept Rand and Nynaeve safe during the Cleansing, and of course fought in the Last battle. 

 

BUT - how much of those events were what the Shadow wanted anyway? They wanted Rand alive until the Last Battle, he still suffered during his Aes Sedai captivity, Ishamael seemed happy to sacrifice Sammael etc. 

 

AND Taim was able to turn many of the Ashaman and use them as Dreadlords during the last batttle. 

 

SO overall, did Taim do more harm or good in setting up the Tower for Rand?

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Taim set up the Black Tower for Rand, gave him Asha'man to rescue him during Dumai Wells, they helped him take down Sammael's forces in Illian, fight the Seanchan, helped Perrin during his struggle with the Shaido. Flinn was ultimately the one to save Rand from Fain's knife wound, and this helped give Rand the final clue to cleansing saidin. Ashaman allied with Aes Sedai kept Rand and Nynaeve safe during the Cleansing, and of course fought in the Last battle. 

 

BUT - how much of those events were what the Shadow wanted anyway? They wanted Rand alive until the Last Battle, he still suffered during his Aes Sedai captivity, Ishamael seemed happy to sacrifice Sammael etc. 

 

AND Taim was able to turn many of the Ashaman and use them as Dreadlords during the last batttle. 

 

SO overall, did Taim do more harm or good in setting up the Tower for Rand?

 

In the long run definitely more good. Even just in the scope of the books, there were far more lightside channellers to come out of the BT than darkfriends. And you also have to consider the importance Logain, Androl, and probably a few others ended up having. Like Logain told Rand, Taim got the BT started but it was beyond his control, in terms of growth, relatively quickly.

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I don't think Taim was recruited by Demandred until after he had done a few 'good' deeds that helped Rand. Or maybe I screwed up with my timeline and he was a darkfriend all along.

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I don't think Taim was recruited by Demandred until after he had done a few 'good' deeds that helped Rand. Or maybe I screwed up with my timeline and he was a darkfriend all along.

I assumed that his whole "I am a badass" shtick was cause he had already been promised the world by Demandred, plus that explains why he did't go mad, though you could say there might be evidence for his "force of will defeats the Taint" argument, and it would explain the change in his character.

 

I agree AMOL Taim is a chump, that really ticked me off. I also agree with Master Ablar's sig. That's certainly why I wanted to be an Asha'mann, I don't care whether there's a Taint or not, if I get transported to Randland I better be a channeler.

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I'd say Taim = DF earlier than LoC, maybe much earlier. There's the Life and Times of Mazrim Taim thread floating around here somewhere, but like I said, there's just not much to go on, and it probably doesn't change much anyway.

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So, am I the only one who felt that there's a maajor difference between Taim and M'Hael?

 

I loved Taim, but when he became M'Hael it felt like he went from Magnificent Bastard to just ordinary bastard. Perhaps in large part this is due to the fact that the personality traits that made him such a Magnificent Bastard were cheapened if they were jjust the result of him being a Darkfriend. The thing that I found so appealing about him was that here was a man with such utter swaggering self-confidence that he was able to holdthe Taint back by pure force of personality. Though they tried to replace him with Logain, Logain just doesn't have the falir that Taim does. He's an interesting character, as is Androl, but Logain rules by fear, and Androl by the respect of the troops, Taim rules simply by th force of his self-posession. He radiates a sense of "I am the $#%@ and I know it" to such a degree that no one can deny it. He can hold his own with the REAL Dragon by that alone.

 

It does make perfect sense that he is a Darkfriend, and is necessary  for the unification of the Towers, but still.

 

 

On a side note, since I have Pandora on in the background, I  get a very AC?DC vibe from Taim in some ways. If nothing else I can definitely see Taim saying "If you're gonna blow me, do it right." :)

Logain rules through fear? Really? If anyone rule through fear it's Taim.

 

Taim set up the Black Tower for Rand, gave him Asha'man to rescue him during Dumai Wells, they helped him take down Sammael's forces in Illian, fight the Seanchan, helped Perrin during his struggle with the Shaido. Flinn was ultimately the one to save Rand from Fain's knife wound, and this helped give Rand the final clue to cleansing saidin. Ashaman allied with Aes Sedai kept Rand and Nynaeve safe during the Cleansing, and of course fought in the Last battle. 

 

BUT - how much of those events were what the Shadow wanted anyway? They wanted Rand alive until the Last Battle, he still suffered during his Aes Sedai captivity, Ishamael seemed happy to sacrifice Sammael etc. 

 

AND Taim was able to turn many of the Ashaman and use them as Dreadlords during the last batttle. 

 

SO overall, did Taim do more harm or good in setting up the Tower for Rand?

More good, but it's worth bearing in mind that but for one or two thing it could easily have swung hard in the other direction - had Nynaeve not discovered how to Heal Logain, then he would not have returned to the BT, and would not have been the figurehead for dissent that he was. That alone would probably have meant Taim ended up with rather more power in the BT than he did end up with. Most of the men there would end up with no loyalty to anyone but Taim. That means that, much like the Sharans, many non-DF, non-Turned Asha'man would end up fighting for the Shadow. You'd probably just end up with a few men making a run for it under Androl's leadership. If it wasn't for a few factors outside Taim's control, he would have had a poisoned dagger right at Rand's heart.

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So, am I the only one who felt that there's a maajor difference between Taim and M'Hael?

 

I loved Taim, but when he became M'Hael it felt 

 

It happens to more than just Taim.  I think it was RJ's writing style.

 

When the lower tiered character is needed for the plot, he/she is pretty much a bad ass.  Then he/she falls to near irrelevance once the major reason for that character being around is resolved.  That character will get a random mention here and there, but nothing like earlier.

 

To me, it happened to almost everyone that wasn't Rand, Perrin, and Mat.  Just look at the posts for various characters regarding the lack of closure or lack of relevance at the end.

Edited by Pinzarn

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So, am I the only one who felt that there's a maajor difference between Taim and M'Hael?

 

I loved Taim, but when he became M'Hael it felt 

 

It happens to more than just Taim.  I think it was RJ's writing style.

 

When the lower tiered character is needed for the plot, he/she is pretty much a bad ass.  Then he/she falls to near irrelevance once the major reason for that character being around is resolved.  That character will get a random mention here and there, but nothing like earlier.

 

To me, it happened to almost everyone that wasn't Rand, Perrin, and Mat.  Just look at the posts for various characters regarding the lack of closure or lack of relevance at the end.

At least Talmanes got to be a badass in AMOL. I suppose that style could be related to the Pattern and the way it looks at people which is amusing.

 

I definitely had a speciallove for Taim caue 1) LOC Taim is just the kind of character I love and 2) Even from EOWT (or at least TDR) I wanted to be a male channeler, so, as the founder of the BT, I had to love Taim.

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So, am I the only one who felt that there's a maajor difference between Taim and M'Hael?

 

I loved Taim, but when he became M'Hael it felt 

 

It happens to more than just Taim.  I think it was RJ's writing style.

 

When the lower tiered character is needed for the plot, he/she is pretty much a bad ass.  Then he/she falls to near irrelevance once the major reason for that character being around is resolved.  That character will get a random mention here and there, but nothing like earlier.

 

To me, it happened to almost everyone that wasn't Rand, Perrin, and Mat.  Just look at the posts for various characters regarding the lack of closure or lack of relevance at the end.

Backup quarterback syndrome?

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The way I see it, Taim was given an assignment like the other high-ranking Darkfriends and Forsaken, so like Alviarin, he had a job to do. He was concentrated on training and development of the Asha'man and then later got another promotion after Alviarin's failure to successfully bring the Black Ajah to the Last Battle as dreadlords. He had to make a reputation for himself to gain Rand's respect and then had to do the same to impress Moridin. Once you are in this position, it's hard to go out as a maverick and prove your bad a$$ery since you end up being stuck in management-style decision making.

 

I can't really extrapolate from him to other secondary characters, because it is the major characters who shine in this series. I pretty much knew that he would be a villain that Egwene would need to confront after she defeated Alviarin and then Mesaana due to his role in the story, though.

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I'd say Taim = DF earlier than LoC, maybe much earlier. There's the Life and Times of Mazrim Taim thread floating around here somewhere, but like I said, there's just not much to go on, and it probably doesn't change much anyway.

 

I agree with this. I think Taim was probably converted (convinced or turned - maybe nicely seeing as he still has a mind) by the Black Ajah after Cadsuane left him for others to transport. It could explain the ambiguity around the appearance of Taim in Caemlyn and why he looked weird (paraphrashing 'washed out, wrung out hard and hung up to dry, something wasn't right'), and then there's the whole 'Taimandred' ruckus that ensued.

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(I hope a tiny bit of thread necromancy isn't awfully frowned upon - I couldn't find any specific mention in the rules & guidelines, but hey...)

 

I, too, thought "M'Hael" was somewhat underwhelming but I thought it was because of a difference in Sanderson's writing vs. RJ's, rather than a change in Taim's role. I've been wanting to do a comparative analysis of both authors' Taim scenes - the vocabulary used to describe him and his actions - but my books are currently several countries away; I'll do this some day. Anyway. A couple of things I can remember off the top of my head that I found especially jarring about post-RJ Taim.

 

1. RJ's Taim never smiled - his signature "almost smile" was used so diligently in describing him that I'm fairly sure he was meant to be... well, non-smiling. Yet I am fairly sure my copy of AMoL (which I can't check now to be 120% certain but I remember my annoyance upon reading that bit of description) has an instance of Taim smiling.

 

2. The dragons on his sleeves just weren't there. RJ included them in just about every scene in which Taim was described, and I don't remember Sanderson doing so once. Of course it could be that he just finally found a fashion sense and realised they were ridiculous, but we're also lacking any hint towards that conclusion. The dragons were such a well-established part of his uniform, a part of him as a character, that to not have such a change commented upon seems... just a bit not good.

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Taim was evil and a DF from the start .

 

it was evident he was evil with his inital talk to Basher about what he did to one of Basher men and the total lack or remorse/pride he took in it.

 

and in the "Black Tower" chapter it is mentioned he used a great black shiney rock as a podium and it was mentioned by RJ or BS (dont rem when and where ) that this rock was brought directly fromn Shayol Gull

 

i think Taim was VERY effective DF but the huge amount of channelers Rand Ta'verness pull and Nyn healing or Logain (2 factors he couldnt controll or expect) hinder his plans, as Mr Ares said if not for Logain showing the BT would probably be a 2nd Shara.

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