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a question about taim.


Demon78
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Technically over the course of the books -- he was recruited by Demandred, so it had to have happened after Demandred was freed from the Bore, therefore after the events of TEotW.

 

Whether it was before or after he appeared "on screen" in LoC is, to the best of my knowledge, still unconfirmed but the most popular view seems to be that it happened when he was freed from the Aes Sedai after his capture.

 

Personally I believe that it happened some time after Dumai's Wells, but I obviously can't put forth any hard evidence to support that.

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transformation or always; the books do not explicitly say.  And the indicators seem to point either way.  Not sure if either author commented about this.

 

Taim recruited by Demandred?  The books do not explictly tell one way or the other on that.  Influenced by Demandred seems certain.

Other Forsaken that might have had a direct influence on Taim::

-Osangar; probably since after joining the Black Tower until the time of the attack on Rand.

-Ishamael/Moridin. Ishamael before main series.  Moridin since sometime after resurrection; Crown of Swords.

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Actually, both the books and an author do say something on the subject.

 

From a Demandred PoV in ch. 37 of AMoL (page 762 in the paperback I have at hand atm);

 

 

Though Demandred himself had been the one to recruit the man, he had not expected M'Hael to rise to the rank of Chosen so quickly.

 

And besides that, it was stated by Sanderson that Taim was recruited by one of the Forsaken;

 

 

Fyodor (23 January 2013)
When did Taim become a Darkfriend? Was he a Darkfriend as false Dragon? Why did he use Age of Legends era phrasing (so-called Aiel)?
Brandon Sanderson (23 January 2013)
Taim was recruited by one of the Forsaken, so it happened after they were free.

 

 

I am relatively certain that Osan'gar influenced Taim (I always read the "scholar of the Old Tongue" thing as him having been the one to provide the words for Taim's & Gedwyn/Rochaid's fancy titles). And I believe (but can't prove) that it was originally his task to eventually bring Taim over but that it was cut short when Rand ta'verened "Dashiva" into his entourage... and then Demandred merely had to stroll in and make the offer.

 

I also like to think that yes, Ishamael influenced Taim before the events of the books, manipulating him (either directly via dreams or indirectly via Darkfriend minions) into believing he was the Dragon Reborn... but obviously I don't have any evidence whatsoever for that one.

Edited by NeverTame
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The biggest question I think that makes one wonder when he went to the Shadow is the giving Rand a seal to the DO's prison.  If he was a DF already would he of given such a prized thing away just to have to try and find it again later to steal.  Some say he was already a DF and that was to gain Rand's trust, I personally don't think any Forsaken would willingly allow on of those to be given away.  Also if Taim was already a DF in charge of the black tower why put Osan'gar there to watch over things?  Taim I feel was a lot like Dem and thus easy to turn, here was a guy playing second fiddle to the Dragon Reborn.  Taim did all the recruiting, Taim built the Black Tower, in Taim mind he rescued Rand.  Why should Rand get all the credit and Taim have to stay in the background.  Like Dem feeling he was better then Lewis, Taim felt he was better then Rand.  I agree with NeverTame, Osan'gar probably started the temptation, and then when the BT was without a forsaken monitoring it, Dem stepped in and finished the job.

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That seal might have had a tracker weave on it allowing him to find where Rand hid the seals later on.  But, it was Demandred that allowed Taim to escape after the Aes Sedai had captured him and "recruited him" if I remember right.  The guy was already arrogant, but DF from the beginning, we'll have to buy the encyclopedia I guess. 

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Sabio -- Precisely. I'm as sure as humanly possible without having the author's word on it that Taim didn't know who "Dashiva" was. Also, "Dashiva" doesn't know that Rand is thinking of cleansing saidin until that scene in TPoD where Rand does an accidental monologue with a bunch of Asha'man present and reveals it. Whereas he told Taim when he first met him. I mean I know that people in this world have massive communication problems, but it doesn't seem like the kind of information you'd withhold from your superiors, especially if one is constantly around (as Osan'gar would have been at the Black Tower after "Dashiva" was recruited).

 

Orderofolde -- About Demandred freeing him from the Aes Sedai, I don't think we know that for sure. It is a likely scenario but, to the best of my knowledge, unconfirmed. Personally, I think it was some more mundane Darkfriends/Black Ajah at this point, on orders no doubt but with no direct Forsaken involvement at this point. I could see them letting him loose to stir things up, and possibly keeping tabs on him and waiting to see if he'll prove himself potentially useful.

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Also if Taim was already a DF in charge of the black tower why put Osan'gar there to watch over things?

Osan'gar still had something to offer - his knowledge of the OP. Also, the BT is a valuable resource, so I can see why the Shadow might want someone a little more highly ranked to keep a close eye on the place and make sure things continue to go to plan, especially if Taim was newly recruited and therefore something of an unknown quantity.

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Also if Taim was already a DF in charge of the black tower why put Osan'gar there to watch over things?

Osan'gar still had something to offer - his knowledge of the OP. Also, the BT is a valuable resource, so I can see why the Shadow might want someone a little more highly ranked to keep a close eye on the place and make sure things continue to go to plan, especially if Taim was newly recruited and therefore something of an unknown quantity.

 

Had nothing to do with Taim.

He was assigned there to keep a closer eye on Rand as revealed in WH-13.

Edited by Finnssss
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True but as it said both Osan'gar and Dem were to watch Rand. but seeing how they have plenty of darkfriends there is nothing to say they were suppose to watch him directly.  I do think they expected Rand to visit the tower more,  but while in the tower I am sure but it did have a lot to do with Taim.  If they couldn't turn Taim to the Shadow I am sure Osan'agr had orders to start manipulating Taim, either to cause chaos or bring more to the side of the DO.  Once Rand picked Osan'gar to be with him forever, the tower probably fell more on Dem but we know Osan'gar still was giving orders since Taim, Osan'gar and Moridin all gave orders to the renegade Ashaman to kill Rand. Mr Ares also makes a good point about someone keeping an eye on the place, just seems to me if he started out as a DF and was trusted enough to hand over a seal to the DO prison, they shouldn't need a constant watcher.  But this is why no one will ever know unless RJ left some notes about him, because both sides Taim was already a DF and Taim became a DF after he went to Rand have good points.  I could easily see the forsaken ordering Taim rescued and being given the option of joining the shadow or going to the white tower and being stilled and then being sent to Rand.  Only reason I think it was after was simply the handing over of the seal.  Since RJ wasn't a fan of tying up all lose ends, I am not sure RJ would of ever given the answer.

 

We can guess the seals didn't have no tracker weave on it since someone tore apart Bashere's tent looking for the seal and didn't find it.  Al lthat was known was Rand gave it to Bashere.

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Also if Taim was already a DF in charge of the black tower why put Osan'gar there to watch over things?

Osan'gar still had something to offer - his knowledge of the OP. Also, the BT is a valuable resource, so I can see why the Shadow might want someone a little more highly ranked to keep a close eye on the place and make sure things continue to go to plan, especially if Taim was newly recruited and therefore something of an unknown quantity.

 

Had nothing to do with Taim.

He was assigned there to keep a closer eye on Rand as revealed in WH-13.

 

Actually, it doesn't say he was assigned to the BT for that purpose (he could have been given that task after he was taken on as Rand's bodyguard), nor does it say that was his only task (watching Rand does not preclude also watching Taim/the BT).

 

True but as it said both Osan'gar and Dem were to watch Rand. but seeing how they have plenty of darkfriends there is nothing to say they were suppose to watch him directly.  I do think they expected Rand to visit the tower more,  but while in the tower I am sure but it did have a lot to do with Taim.  If they couldn't turn Taim to the Shadow I am sure Osan'agr had orders to start manipulating Taim, either to cause chaos or bring more to the side of the DO.  Once Rand picked Osan'gar to be with him forever, the tower probably fell more on Dem but we know Osan'gar still was giving orders since Taim, Osan'gar and Moridin all gave orders to the renegade Ashaman to kill Rand.

Actually, it was Taim, Moridin and Demandred. Osan'gar didn't give a kill order, he just joined in with the kill attempt in PoD.

Mr Ares also makes a good point about someone keeping an eye on the place, just seems to me if he started out as a DF and was trusted enough to hand over a seal to the DO prison, they shouldn't need a constant watcher.

Well, it seems to me that handing over a seal and minding the BT and turning it into a Darkfriend recruitment camp are two different levels of responsibility, so it's doesn't strike me as at all unreasonable that you might trust someone to hand over an item but want to supervise them in their new management position.

 

We can guess the seals didn't have no tracker weave on it since someone tore apart Bashere's tent looking for the seal and didn't find it.  All that was known was Rand gave it to Bashere.

Although, hypothetically, a tracker weave could have been placed and either wore off or was removed. Even handing over the seal doesn't prove anything either way - the Shadow has many agendas, and has changed priorities. It could also be seen as an acceptable risk/trade - if one seal is seen as being insufficient, handing it over to a guy who already has a few just helps concentrate them - little is lost, and potentially much could be gained.

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Moridin saved Rand from Sammael and Shadar Logoth, it's not so strange to believe that the Shadow would hand over a Seal. 

 

Mesaana does think in the Prologue that the plan was very risky, but if it worked, it would pay off big time. (About Demandred's orders from the DO.) 

 

It wasn't all 7, and what it achieved - Taim ruling over the Black Tower as a Darkfriend, certainly paid off. 

 

Besides, Rand at the time wasn't ready to face the DO, and quite insane. Giving him a Seal (which radiates a darkness according to Nynaeve and Elayne) would be pretty dangerous for the Light. As it was he nearly broke it immediately after receiving it from Taim, which would have caused chaos. 

 

There was no real danger in giving him one of the Seals really. The Shadow didn't break them when they got them anyway - for what reasons, I can't say. If Rand broke one early, the DO gains ground. 

 

I would guess that the Shadow - particularly the Forsaken - wouldn't want to risk Rand and Co. hunting them down for the Seals. Nor would they want them to be spread out across the land god-knows where when they were needed. They are keeping tabs on Rand for obvious reasons, the easiest course would be to let Rand hold them, so they know where they are if they want to take them back - as they did in the end. 

 

It's how the Shadow operates. Similar to the White Tower situation. Alviarin or Mesaana weren't Amyrlin, they didn't take the reigns. They used Elaida as a front so the Light didn't have a legitimate cause to unite against the Shadow-Tower. If the Shadow had the Seals, every effort would be made to take them back - from Aes Sedai to Whitecloaks. The primary goal of the Shadow at this point was to sow chaos among the Light, and remove the Shadow from the spotlight. 

 

There's also the fact that it seems highly unlikely Taim just happened to find a Seal randomly. Possible, but the more likely option is that one of the Shadow's agents gave it to him for the purpose of gaining Rand's trust and perhaps some of the reasons I made above. 

 

I'd say that they started to steal them for one of a few reasons:

 

Precaution: Rand wasn't playing into the Shadow's hands enough, and getting closer to the end, they didn't want to risk it. 

 

It was the plan: They let the Light have the Seals where they could keep an eye on them without being attacked etc.. because Rand and co. were worried about them. Stealing them was always on the agenda when the Last Battle approached. (After all, the DO and Forsaken think much of themselves, they would not have seen Bashere or Dobraine etc.. as any real threat, and they would have thought it would be a simple thing to steal the Seals.) 

 

Moridin's Plan: As they were trying to turn Rand, they may have wanted to get the Seals away from the Light so that they could give them to Rand in his Dark Rand form. That obviously screwed up, so instead they kept them away for themselves. 

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I still think it's plausible that Taim was an unknowing instrument being played by the Shadow, up to a point.

 

His behaviour throughout LoC just doesn't seem consistent with him already being a Darkfriend and being under orders to gain Rand's trust. If I were trying to gain someone's trust, I wouldn't start by baiting and mocking their existing allies. And his frustration at being stuck with the teaching job at the "farm" -- I don't think that that would have been such a big deal if he already had his eyes on a bigger prize, a position in the new world order under the Dark One's rule.

 

I agree that him finding the Seal by chance is a long shot, but if the Shadow could give it to him for a purpose, surely they could have it end up in his possession through less direct means. A random Darkfriend strategically placed on his path. He's young and arrogant enough to accept it as "fate".

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As for unlikely Taim finding a seal randomly, why not, look at some of the other people who had found seals.  Turak I believe had one and also Domon.  So Taim finding one isn't so far fetched. 

 

Mr Ares you are correct, it was Taim, Dem, and Moridin that ordered the renegade Ashaman to kill Rand.  For some reason I thought it was Osan'gar and not Dem.

 

Since Taim didn't know about the farm, he couldn't of suspected he would be put in charge of training.  He was even surprised Rand had already found some fools who wanted to channel.  There was no way for anyone to know when he went to Rand he would of been given such responsibility of forming the male channelers.  So if he was a DF already his job would of been to stay close to Rand, no one knew of Rand's plan with the farm. 

 

People make good arguments with the seals, but for me it still come down to why give it to Rand and then have to try and steal them back later.  Just keep it and give Rand a fake.  I then assumed maybe he was given a fake, but then decided no since if it was a fake Taim gave Rand they wouldn't be trying to steal it back.  I think it was after Dumai Wells is when Taim went to the shadow.  If he was already a DF before and mesenna was behind his kidnapping, Taim showing up and ruining it I would assume of gotten him punished.  Osan'gar is disguise couldn't very well say no when ordered to go.

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His behaviour throughout LoC just doesn't seem consistent with him already being a Darkfriend and being under orders to gain Rand's trust. If I were trying to gain someone's trust, I wouldn't start by baiting and mocking their existing allies. And his frustration at being stuck with the teaching job at the "farm" -- I don't think that that would have been such a big deal if he already had his eyes on a bigger prize, a position in the new world order under the Dark One's rule.

I think there's a certain degree of sense to it - for one thing, it's essentially getting Taim to play himself, which is an easier role than trying to play a nice guy when he isn't. Also, Taim might be a git, but he's a git that needs Rand, and that right there is a reason to trust him. Taim's doing the wrong thing if he wants to be liked, but trusted? That can work - same as Cadsuane. As for disappointment with the job at the farm, bear in mind he's a guy who was sufficiently self-important that he believed he was the Dragon Reborn - or was at least willing to use that as a pretext for gathering an army. A belief that he is cut out for greater things is not unlikely. Bear in mind the Shadow isn't likely offering him a lot up front either - he's still got to work for it, he's still got to earn it. Maybe he was anticipating having Rand's ear, being the guy to take down or convert the Dragon, or being the power behind the throne and sees this job as a dead end or a setback to his ambitions, and that can be true regardless of which side he's on. It ended up working to his advantage, as he was given a free hand with recruiting and training an army of channelers, but it could easily have been a worse position, had Rand kept a closer eye on things or recruitment been slower.

 

I agree that him finding the Seal by chance is a long shot, but if the Shadow could give it to him for a purpose, surely they could have it end up in his possession through less direct means. A random Darkfriend strategically placed on his path. He's young and arrogant enough to accept it as "fate".

There's also the question of how he knew it was a seal - that's not common knowledge, and Bashere didn't know when he first saw it.

 

People make good arguments with the seals, but for me it still come down to why give it to Rand and then have to try and steal them back later.  Just keep it and give Rand a fake.  I then assumed maybe he was given a fake, but then decided no since if it was a fake Taim gave Rand they wouldn't be trying to steal it back.  I think it was after Dumai Wells is when Taim went to the shadow.  If he was already a DF before and mesenna was behind his kidnapping, Taim showing up and ruining it I would assume of gotten him punished.  Osan'gar is disguise couldn't very well say no when ordered to go.

Firstly, a fake might be spotted. That could increase Rand's suspicions and distrust. As for why give it away and try and steal them back later, you give it away because you don't need it now, and you hope to gain something giving it away. You try to steal it back because the situation has changed enough that you want it back now. The failed kidnapping plot would have failed anyway, regardless of Taim's actions - the AS were attacked by the Shaido in force and would probably have been overwhelmed - either Rand escapes, or is killed, or is taken by the Shaido. As it is, it's still a victory that works for the Shadow. Also, Taim was acting in ignorance of Mesaana's plot. It's not unreasonable that that would be considered, especially if Demandred and/or Osan'gar are looking out for him.

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His behaviour throughout LoC just doesn't seem consistent with him already being a Darkfriend and being under orders to gain Rand's trust. If I were trying to gain someone's trust, I wouldn't start by baiting and mocking their existing allies. And his frustration at being stuck with the teaching job at the "farm" -- I don't think that that would have been such a big deal if he already had his eyes on a bigger prize, a position in the new world order under the Dark One's rule.

I think there's a certain degree of sense to it - for one thing, it's essentially getting Taim to play himself, which is an easier role than trying to play a nice guy when he isn't. Also, Taim might be a git, but he's a git that needs Rand, and that right there is a reason to trust him. Taim's doing the wrong thing if he wants to be liked, but trusted? That can work - same as Cadsuane. As for disappointment with the job at the farm, bear in mind he's a guy who was sufficiently self-important that he believed he was the Dragon Reborn - or was at least willing to use that as a pretext for gathering an army. A belief that he is cut out for greater things is not unlikely. Bear in mind the Shadow isn't likely offering him a lot up front either - he's still got to work for it, he's still got to earn it. Maybe he was anticipating having Rand's ear, being the guy to take down or convert the Dragon, or being the power behind the throne and sees this job as a dead end or a setback to his ambitions, and that can be true regardless of which side he's on. It ended up working to his advantage, as he was given a free hand with recruiting and training an army of channelers, but it could easily have been a worse position, had Rand kept a closer eye on things or recruitment been slower.

 

Yes, I certainly am keeping his ego in mind. A lot of the things you say here could have been my points -- he certainly thinks his talents are wasted training a bunch of farmers and runaway apprentices, he was certainly envisioning himself as being a part of some kind of an inner circle of trusted advisers around Rand... Aaaand now that I read more carefully, you did say that this applies regardless of which side he's on. Absolutely!

 

As for the Shadow not likely offering a lot up front either, I get the feeling that the Shadow does make some sort of promises to make the Darkfriend status sound disproportionately more appealing. The Asha'man whose PoV we get in Far Madding... Kisman, he thinks of all the power he's been promised, as well as immortality, and he's even lower in the food chain than Taim. Of course Taim would still have to work for it, but he'd have something to look forward to. Being stuck with Rand for a while would be like having an exceptionally obnoxious customer in the last 30 minutes of a Friday afternoon shift; you plaster that smile on your face and nod and remind yourself it's going to be over soon.

 

The Cadsuane comparison is a good one -- but would Taim have been as perceptive as that? He's not stupid, but he doesn't come across as all that subtle.

 

//edit: Knowing about the Seal being what it is is a good point.

Edited by NeverTame
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His behaviour throughout LoC just doesn't seem consistent with him already being a Darkfriend and being under orders to gain Rand's trust. If I were trying to gain someone's trust, I wouldn't start by baiting and mocking their existing allies. And his frustration at being stuck with the teaching job at the "farm" -- I don't think that that would have been such a big deal if he already had his eyes on a bigger prize, a position in the new world order under the Dark One's rule.

I think there's a certain degree of sense to it - for one thing, it's essentially getting Taim to play himself, which is an easier role than trying to play a nice guy when he isn't. Also, Taim might be a git, but he's a git that needs Rand, and that right there is a reason to trust him. Taim's doing the wrong thing if he wants to be liked, but trusted? That can work - same as Cadsuane. As for disappointment with the job at the farm, bear in mind he's a guy who was sufficiently self-important that he believed he was the Dragon Reborn - or was at least willing to use that as a pretext for gathering an army. A belief that he is cut out for greater things is not unlikely. Bear in mind the Shadow isn't likely offering him a lot up front either - he's still got to work for it, he's still got to earn it. Maybe he was anticipating having Rand's ear, being the guy to take down or convert the Dragon, or being the power behind the throne and sees this job as a dead end or a setback to his ambitions, and that can be true regardless of which side he's on. It ended up working to his advantage, as he was given a free hand with recruiting and training an army of channelers, but it could easily have been a worse position, had Rand kept a closer eye on things or recruitment been slower.

 

 

Yes, I certainly am keeping his ego in mind. A lot of the things you say here could have been my points -- he certainly thinks his talents are wasted training a bunch of farmers and runaway apprentices, he was certainly envisioning himself as being a part of some kind of an inner circle of trusted advisers around Rand... Aaaand now that I read more carefully, you did say that this applies regardless of which side he's on. Absolutely!

 

Personally, I've never really settled on a theory as to when Taim actually joined the Shadow - prior to AMoL, we even had the "Taim was a Darkfriend from a young age, and he was trained by the still-partially-Sealed Ishamael prior to the series" theory thrown in the mix. The evidence is just too sketchy. He could easily have been a Darkfriend when we first meet him, but he could as easily not have joined until later. Most of the evidence can be as easily interpreted either way.

 

As for the Shadow not likely offering a lot up front either, I get the feeling that the Shadow does make some sort of promises to make the Darkfriend status sound disproportionately more appealing. The Asha'man whose PoV we get in Far Madding... Kisman, he thinks of all the power he's been promised, as well as immortality, and he's even lower in the food chain than Taim. Of course Taim would still have to work for it, but he'd have something to look forward to. Being stuck with Rand for a while would be like having an exceptionally obnoxious customer in the last 30 minutes of a Friday afternoon shift; you plaster that smile on your face and nod and remind yourself it's going to be over soon.

I think the Shadow tends to offer opportunities to get things rather than offering things outright - so joining up is the first step on the road to becoming an immortal God-King, but there's still a long road. And you'll probably fail or be stabbed in the back. And the person promising you things is not exactly known for His honesty (Father of Lies). But they tend not to tell you most of that - as you say, they want to make it seem appealing. So even if he has been offered the opportunity to rise high, he could still be annoyed that his opportunity seems to be sliding away, and he's left running the farm with a couple of students. Of course, the opportunities he sees slipping away could as easily be ones that he, as an ambitious person, has seen for himself rather than been offered by the Shadow. It really could go either way.

 

The Cadsuane comparison is a good one -- but would Taim have been as perceptive as that? He's not stupid, but he doesn't come across as all that subtle.

He's certainly no Cadsuane, and never displays the degree of adaptability she does, but he's not stupid. I think he should be able to see how reliant he is (or appears to be) on Rand. If Rand were to ask him outright "How do I know I can trust you?", "I think he's probably smart enough to say "Because I need you", or something to that effect. Even if he also adds an "and you need me".

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Personally, I've never really settled on a theory as to when Taim actually joined the Shadow - prior to AMoL, we even had the "Taim was a Darkfriend from a young age, and he was trained by the still-partially-Sealed Ishamael prior to the series" theory thrown in the mix. The evidence is just too sketchy. He could easily have been a Darkfriend when we first meet him, but he could as easily not have joined until later. Most of the evidence can be as easily interpreted either way.

 

Heh, I'll admit that the main reason I'm so stuck on this theory is that I didn't want him to be a Darkfriend. It took me until the aforementioned Kisman PoV in Winter's Heart to accept it. The expression "being up to your eyeballs in denial" comes to mind. And yes, I was aware of that theory... and I hated it with a passion. x)

 

Of course, it's still entirely possible that he was manipulated, if not outright trained, by Ishamael. (How does one just come up with the idea that hey, I might be the Dragon Reborn?) But obviously this is even more of a case of pure speculation.

 

 

The Cadsuane comparison is a good one -- but would Taim have been as perceptive as that? He's not stupid, but he doesn't come across as all that subtle.

He's certainly no Cadsuane, and never displays the degree of adaptability she does, but he's not stupid. I think he should be able to see how reliant he is (or appears to be) on Rand. If Rand were to ask him outright "How do I know I can trust you?", "I think he's probably smart enough to say "Because I need you", or something to that effect. Even if he also adds an "and you need me".

 

I was thinking of how Cadsuane's attitude and behaviour towards Rand seems calculated, like she knows that it's a more efficient way to deal with him than trying to be more pleasant. Whereas it seems to me that Taim is trying to rein in his attitude and temper -- and not being all that good at it. I think that, from his point of view, whether he was already Shadow or not, the reasonable thing to do would have been to get along with Rand... and that he might have been more successful at keeping his attitude in check if he had that promise of something better waiting in the horizon.

Edited by NeverTame
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Personally, I've never really settled on a theory as to when Taim actually joined the Shadow - prior to AMoL, we even had the "Taim was a Darkfriend from a young age, and he was trained by the still-partially-Sealed Ishamael prior to the series" theory thrown in the mix. The evidence is just too sketchy. He could easily have been a Darkfriend when we first meet him, but he could as easily not have joined until later. Most of the evidence can be as easily interpreted either way.

 

Heh, I'll admit that the main reason I'm so stuck on this theory is that I didn't want him to be a Darkfriend. It took me until the aforementioned Kisman PoV in Winter's Heart to accept it. The expression "being up to your eyeballs in denial" comes to mind. And yes, I was aware of that theory... and I hated it with a passion. x)

 

Of course, it's still entirely possible that he was manipulated, if not outright trained, by Ishamael. (How does one just come up with the idea that hey, I might be the Dragon Reborn?) But obviously this is even more of a case of pure speculation.

 

When I first started on this site, shortly after KoD, there was still at least one person who was still denying Taim was a Darkfriend. The guy even had an explanation for Taim's use of "let the Lord of Chaos rule" at the end of KoD.

 

 

The Cadsuane comparison is a good one -- but would Taim have been as perceptive as that? He's not stupid, but he doesn't come across as all that subtle.

He's certainly no Cadsuane, and never displays the degree of adaptability she does, but he's not stupid. I think he should be able to see how reliant he is (or appears to be) on Rand. If Rand were to ask him outright "How do I know I can trust you?", "I think he's probably smart enough to say "Because I need you", or something to that effect. Even if he also adds an "and you need me".

 

 

I was thinking of how Cadsuane's attitude and behaviour towards Rand seems calculated, like she knows that it's a more efficient way to deal with him than trying to be more pleasant. Whereas it seems to me that Taim is trying to rein in his attitude and temper -- and not being all that good at it. I think that, from his point of view, whether he was already Shadow or not, the reasonable thing to do would have been to get along with Rand... and that he might have been more successful at keeping his attitude in check if he had that promise of something better waiting in the horizon.

 

Of course, the promise doesn't have to come to the Shadow. He could see that Rand presented him with an opportunity, so he's promising himself that he can use this to his advantage. Shadow or not, he's still having to reign himself in because he doesn't want to screw this up and he does want to use this to his advantage, but he's an arrogant cock who doesn't like being under Rand or being told to run the farm. Maybe the Shadow preyed on that at the farm, maybe they preyed on that when they freed him from the AS, maybe he went over some other time.

 

And yes, he's not like Cadsuane. She's very calculating, and much more adaptable than Taim. I don't think he intentionally set out to act like an arsehole in order to get Rand to trust him, he just acted like himself. The basic principle is the same in what they are doing, it's just that if it had failed Cadsuane she would probably have a back up plan, and if it failed Taim he probably wouldn't. He approaches it the only way he can, she does it in the way she feels best.

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I have another theory here:

Since Ishamael confronted Rand even before he declared himself the dragon, due to Rand's ability with the One Power, perhaps he has similarly found Taim, or perhaps got attracted to him when Taim declared himself the Dragon Reborn.

Ishamael's insanity and hatred of the Dragon coupled with his desire to confront him might have resulted in Ishamael checking out any potential Dragon Reborn to see if one of them was indeed a reincarnation of Lews Therin Telamon.

Finding out that Taim was just a false Dragon, Ishamael might have considered in a moment respite from his madness, to use him in his plan or maybe even convert him to the Shadow.

Maybe the forsaken was busy at the time when Logain declared himself a Dragon and did not reach him in time before Logain was captured by Aes Sedai.

With Aes Sedai constantly guarding and shielding Logain, Ishamael might have been unable to do anything about the man, especially after the White Tower gentled the false Dragon.

This would explain why Logain did not become a darkfriend despite being even more powerful than Taim, but sharing many qualities of character with him - arogance, desire for power, scorn for Aes Sedai etc.

Once the real Dragon grabbed Callandor, Ishamel was already dead and/or reincarnated as Moridin and now more in control of himself.

This would give him enough clarity of mind to see the potential in converting Taim and sending him to Rand as part of the Forsaken's plot.

Logain at that time was already out of picture.

 

My final conclusion is that Taim has become a darkfriend soon after declaring himself Dragon but Ishamael was defeated by Rand so Taim was off the leash and unable to continue without guidance.

He was brought to Rand and attached himself to him awaiting further instructions from the Forsaken.

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i think when Taim was a AS captive, Demandred showed up and offered him a choice, join the shadow and live or be gentled and die.

After the amnesty on male channelers was put in place, he was comanded (taim) to join the DR and earn his trust.

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Ha, Messire Ares, that sounds like an interesting read! Does the current forum go that far back? I may need to have a look through some older Taim threads... (Although I wince at the idea of how much Taimandred I'd have to slog through.)

 

Blasph - There are some rather obvious holes in your theory, for example the fact that (as stated before in this thread and elsewhere) Taim was brought over to the Shadow by Demandred, not Ishamael. The possibility exists that Ishamael influenced Taim before/during his "career" as a false Dragon, but in this scenario Taim would have been an unknowing instrument. I could see Ishy playing him like a fiddle, though.

 

As for Ishamael thinking he might have been the real Dragon, I think it should have been fairly easy to find out that Taim was too old by at least 5 years. ("Late twenties" isn't terribly precise, but it's certainly 25+, more likely 27+ I'd say, and this is at a time when Rand is... max 22? not yet 22? anyway.) And Ishamael wasn't dead by the time Rand took Callandor; he died soon after.

 

However, the Logain part of your post is kind of interesting. I've often thought about why the Shadow approached Taim, not Logain... Surely it wouldn't have been any more difficult to break Logain free from the Aes Sedai before he got to Tar Valon. And what would have happened if they had picked Logain? A better man than Taim he may have been in the end, but he was no saint either, and if the choices were swearing to the Shadow or death... What would our noble Logain have done? Of course, sheer pride might have made him spit in Demandred's face.

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If the Shadow did choose Taim over Logain, one possible reason might be location.  Taim I guess was Saldaean before proclaiming himself; and the Borderlands I take had some degree of the Old Blood.  Not sure if Ghealdan had any degree Old Blood.  The prophecies told that the Dragon Reborn would be raised by the Old Blood.

Some scene told that Taim looked similar to Rand; I think Shadow Rising.  That might have been another possible reason (if they did choose him).

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