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azrim's Time Line

by WinespringBrother: 2005-07-03 | 3.71 out of 10 (17 votes)

Previous Categories: Taim - Then and Now

This theory will attempt to describe as full a chronology of Taim's activities to help determine what his true motivations and loyalties are. I hope to cover some new ground, and not just rehash ezboard discussions. I recommend you open your mind when reading it, to appreciate the depth of analysis I have tried to put into this. Understanding Taim on a surface level only leads to theories like Taimendred, which was shot down by Winter's Heart, and by RJ himself in multiple interviews.

1.Pre-Eye of the World

Taim has been described as about the age of 35, according to Rand's POV in LOC. Since he is a sparker, it is established that he had to start channeling by the age of 20, or a little later, which would mean that he started slowing by about age 25 at the latest. To appear to be age 35 would mean that he is older than that, but not necessarily that much. For example, Morgase, who is in her early 40's, looks to be 30 due to the slowing process. She is as weak as a channeler can be, yet still is able to take advantage of the slowing effect. It took about 12 years or so off her appearance. However, she started training at age 14, which could be 5 or more years sooner possibly than Taim started, so her slowing could have started sooner as well.

The amount of slowing depends on strength, and clearly Taim is extremely strong, as powerful as almost any Forsaken, but it is not known how much OP strength causes how much slowing, so it isn't possible to determine just by that how long Taim has been slowing. Taim may have slowed for sometime between 15 to 35 years to look his age, which means he is somewhere between age 40 to 70, but tending toward the middle somewhere, meaning he was born sometime between 930 and 960 NE, and started channeling between 945 and 985. So he has survived somehow for over a decade and perhaps longer without succumbing to the effects of the Taint. How? Is he protected by a Black cord, or is he lucky, or is it something else?

If he is protected by the Dark One, then he is a Darkfriend. However, it is not certain that he is protected, despite seeming to be as sane as a non-channeler. While some saidin channelers go insane within months, others can channel for a decade or more before going mad. Still others have survived even longer by avoiding using saidin or even cutting themselves off from the OP by living in Steddings. Taim had avoided Aes Sedai notice for a long time, possibly by lying low and not channeling, which would help him avoid the Taint, since its effects aren't felt unless saidin is used. Logain, who appears short of his middle years, which is about Taim's age, and therefore may have been channeling as long as him, shows no signs of the Taint, and yet is not accused of being a Darkfriend – in fact, he seems to be Taim's primary rival at the Black Tower. So there can certainly be something else going on with them to explain their resistance.

Taim also seems to have some knowledge of useful saidin weaves that he learned before meeting Rand in LOC. When he learned it is not known, but it is likely before he declared himself as a False Dragon in TGH, since after that he had little free time for non-critical activities. He knew some attack weaves, which he used against the Saldaean army in battle, compulsion, testing for saidin ability, and additionally the trick for ignoring temperature, which is not a channeling ability but is generally associated with channelers. Did he have a Forsaken teacher at some time, or some other as yet unrevealed teacher, or did he learn these on his own? Since Rand (though with LTT's help for some weaves) and Logain learned some weaves on their own, and saidar wilders also learn on their own, it is not beyond reason to assume that Taim could do the same. And just because few saidin channelers are recorded in recent years (mostly because of being captured by the Red Ajah) doesn't mean there weren't some that survived the Taint and lived anonymously. Who knows if they didn't even have some as yet unrevealed organization? Also, ability to learn weaves (and presumably discover them) is directly tied to channeling ability, and Taim is on the very high side in that regard, just under Rand's ability at the least, and maybe stronger. Taim's “old style” healing (commented on by Cadsuane) may have been picked up from Dashiva, since early in LOC he was not a proficient healer.

It seems clear that Logain is not a Darkfriend. Why didn't the Shadow try to get him released as well as Taim, to cause chaos? Most likely because, at the time, they didn't have the Forsaken planning structure in place to pull it off. Logain was likely already in the White Tower and stilled before even Aginor and Balthamel escaped from the Bore.

2.Troubles in Saldaea

While the troubles in Saldaea mentioned in EOTW may have just been the increased Trolloc raids, it may also be Taim-related, since it was in the same sentence as Logain. He was already known in Fal Dara by the Aes Sedai there, so had declared himself sometime before the beginning of TGH. The Pattern spun him out as a False Dragon, since he was defeated and captured when Rand fought Ishamael over the skies at Falme. At that time, his being a False Dragon wasn't just a part of some chaos plot by the Dark One.

Eye of the World, CHAPTER: 13 - Choices: "Not that they don't want to, I expect, only the Governor don't trust them no more than I do. He won't let but maybe ten or so inside the walls at one time, and ain't they mad about that. The rest have a camp a little ways north, I hear. Bet they got the farmers looking over their shoulders. The ones that do come in, they just stalk around in those white cloaks, looking down their noses at honest folk. Walk in the Light, they say, and it's an order. Near come to blows more than once with the wagoneers and miners and smelters and all, and even the Watch, but the Governor wants it all peaceful, and that's how it's been so far. If they're hunting evil, I say why aren't they up in Saldaea? There's some kind of trouble up there, I hear. Or down in Ghealdan? There's been a big battle down there, they say. Real big."

Great Hunt, CHAPTER: 5 - The Shadow in Shienar: "Yes, Moiraine. You do not have to remind me. I've lived with the Prophecies of the Dragon as long as you." The Amyrlin shook her head. "Never more than one false Dragon in a generation since the Breaking, and now three loose in the world at one time, and three more in the past two years. The Pattern demands a Dragon because the Pattern weaves toward Tarmon Gai'don. Sometimes doubt fills me, Moiraine." She said it musingly, as if wondering at it, and went on in the same tone. "What if Logain was the one? He could channel, before the Reds brought him to the White Tower, and we gentled him. So can Mazrim Taim, the man in Saldaea. What if it is him? There are sisters in Saldaea already; he may be taken by now. What if we have been wrong since the start? What happens if the Dragon Reborn is gentled before the Last Battle even begins? Even prophecy can fail if the one prophesied is slain or gentled. And then we face the Dark One naked to the storm."

Lord of Chaos, CHAPTER: 2 - A New Arrival: "Taim studied Rand a moment before speaking. Despite the heat, the fellow barely sweated. "To see you. You were the one in the vision in the sky. They say it was the Dark one himself you fought." "Not the Dark One," Rand said. Bashere was not fighting him exactly, but he could feel the tension in the man's arm. If he let go, that blade would be out and through Taim in a heartbeat. Unless he used the Power. Or Taim did. That had to be avoided, if it could be. He kept his grip on Bashere's wrist. "He called himself Ba'alzamon, but I think he was Ishamael. I killed him later, in the Stone of Tear."

3. On the run

Clearly Taim had the Black Ajah to thank for his escape while being escorted by soldiers and Aes Sedai back to Tar Valon for his gentling, and this was a plot planned out carefully some time in advance. However, they just left Taim to fend for himself in the middle of nowhere, despite his apparent importance. They would not have left him if he were an important Darkfriend, yet he had to find his own way. He traveled by land, most likely by horse, since he was going slowly enough to be tracked by Bashere's army. No Forsaken scooped him up to bring him up to speed, or even keep from being captured and stilled for once and for all (as far as they knew at the time) and to possibly be interrogated to reveal Darkfriend plots. No one taught him the weave to Travel, so he could easily evade his Saldaean pursuers, which the Shadow must have been aware of. No, he was just left to wander on his own, and create what incidental chaos that he could manage by himself. That's no way to treat a so-called Dreadlord, especially someone that was allegedly being groomed by Ishamael. And though Ishamael died before Taim was freed, any ongoing plots that he initiated would have still been followed through on.

Shadow Rising, CHAPTER: 5 - Questioners: "Joiya shrugged. "As you wish. Let me see. Different words. The false Dragon, Mazrim Taim, who was captured in Saldaea, can channel with incredible strength. Perhaps as much as Rand al'Thor, or nearly so, if the reports can be believed. Before he can be brought to Tar Valon and gentled, Liandrin means to break him free. He will be proclaimed as the Dragon Reborn, his name given as Rand al'Thor, and then he will be set to destruction on such a scale as the world has not seen since the War of the Hundred Years."

Shadow Rising, CHAPTER: 17 - Deceptions: "Leane examined the red wax seal on the end of one of the small cylinders, no larger than her own finger joint, then broke it open with a thumbnail when she was satisfied it had not been tampered with. The rolled paper inside she extracted with a slim ivory pick. "Nearly as bad as Trollocs, Mother," she said almost as soon as she began reading. "Mazrim Taim has escaped."

"Light!' Siuan barked. "How?" "This only says he was taken away by stealth in the night, Mother. Two sisters are dead." "The Light illumine their souls. But we've little time to mourn the dead while the likes of Taim are alive and ungentled. Where, Leane?"

The reason he went to Andor may have been to join Rahvin as some claim (or kill Asmodean), but south was also the only logical escape route for him. West led back to Saldaea, east to Tar Valon, and north to the Blight. However, there is no known connection between Rahvin and Liandrin's crew, who were the ones to free Taim. It is barely plausible that Taim was told to go to Caemlyn and wait for Rand to show up though his arrival there was not part of any known Shadow plot – the Forsaken were planning on dealing with Rand in Illian. And if he was to meet Rand, it is possible that he was planning on taking Asmodean's place as Rand's teacher. However, it is not something he could have planned on his own without Forsaken guidance – rather he would have needed help from someone like Sammael or Graendal.

4.Arrival in Caemlyn.

Why didn't Bashere recognize Taim? Was someone impersonating Taim at any point or is that a red herring? Taim certainly knew Bashere and mentioned an accurate portrayal of how Bashere's followers ended up (compelled by the One Power. Was Bashere compelled at some point also, affecting his short or long term memory? Was Taim planning on giving the seal to Rand the entire time he had it, which was awhile since the Black Hills are a hike from Caemlyn, or did he just decide on the spur of the moment? Was it just Rand's luck that he had it in the first place, or some Darkfriend plot?

Rand puts Taim in charge of training the Asha'man which he accepts, in exchange for his amnesty. Taim had no way of knowing that would happen before he went there, or knowing what they would even want with Taim, whether he would be in a close position to Rand. So if Taim had some ulterior motive for joining Rand, he had no way of knowing in advance how he would be in position to implement it. That works if Taim is just flying by the seat of his pants, but not if he is working some intricate plot for the Shadow.

Taim's training may or may not have been done by Asmodean, however, was Taim's placement facilitated by Asmodean's death? RJ stated the dark one didn't order his death, so it wasn't planned anyway.

Lord of Chaos, CHAPTER: 3 - A Woman's Eyes: "Taim caught up to him before he and the Maidens were halfway back to the trees. "If you stay a little longer, you can learn the test." Exasperation touched his voice. "If I really do find four or five more, anyway, which truly won't surprise me. You do seem to have the Dark One's own luck. I assume you want to learn. Unless you mean to dump it all on my shoulders. I warn you, it will be slow. However hard I press, this Darner has days yet, weeks, before he can even sense saidin, much less seize it. Just seize it, not channel even a spark."

Fires of Heaven, CHAPTER: 56 - Glowing Embers: "If his anger disturbed Bashere at all, the man gave no outward sign. Those tilted eyes watched Rand carefully, but not uneasily. “The White Tower allowed Mazrim Taim to escape. The false Dragon.” He paused, then went on when Rand said nothing. “Queen Tenobia did not want Saldaea troubled again, so I was sent to hunt him down once more and put an end to him. I have followed him south for many weeks. You need not fear I've brought a foreign army into Andor. Except for an escort often, the rest I left camped in Braem Wood, well north of any border Andor has claimed in two hundred years. But Taim is in Andor. I am sure of it.”

This part of his plan he had not meant to reveal so soon. Delay could be costly, but he had intended to have a firm hold on the nations first. Yet it might as well begin now. “I am announcing an amnesty. I can channel, Lord Bashere. Why should another man be hunted down and killed or gentled because he can do what I can? I will announce that any man who can touch the True Source, any man who wants to learn, can come to me and have my protection. The Last Battle is coming, Lord Bashere.

There may not be time for any of us to go mad before, and I would not waste one man for the risk anyway. When the Trollocs came out of the Blight in the Trolloc Wars, they marched with Dreadlords, men and women who wielded the Power for the Shadow.

We will face that again at Tarmon Gai'don. I don't know how many Aes Sedai will be at my side, but I won't turn away any man who channels if he will march with me. Mazrim Taim is mine, Lord Bashere, not yours.”

5. Running the Black Tower.

Taim does take his recruiting job seriously, doing a very good job of bringing in both channelers and legionnaires for Bashere to train. That doesn't seem to cause chaos in any meaningful way, since Rand gained a lot of followers.

Taim is good at strategic thinking, for example with regard to how Sammael would defend himself. But that shouldn't be surprising, seeing as how he has fended for himself for a long time and managed to gain a large army of followers before his capture. He is very resourceful and intelligent, which doesn't speak for his allegiance particularly.

He shows up ostensibly to tell Rand of Narishma when the gray man attacked-did he have advance notice of it somehow? It had to be sent by a Forsaken though. It's unlikely that Demandred would have sent it, even as a trick for Rand to gain Taim's trust, and it was probably from Sammael, and there is no connection from Taim to Sammael.

Taim's "so-called Aiel" comment is similar to something Moridin said, which makes people think Taim is a Darkfriend by association. However, the Forsaken don't only work with Darkfriends, and could have trained/used/manipulated Taim for their own reasons without him being a Darkfriend. It could also be that Aiel weren't ten feet tall and cannibals as they were thought of by many people. And his knowledge of the Old Tongue, as well as others', could have been picked up from Dashiva, who claims to be a scholar of it.

Taim's ego could explain why he was angry when Rand made his "Asha'man" speech and gave Taim his pins. That seemed to be one part of the Taimendred ruse, since it is similar in attitude of subservience toward Rand to Demandred. If Taim was a Darkfriend, why would he let his main rival Logain rise and gain influence that threatens his own within the Tower without taking drastic measures? He certainly doesn't seem to be someone to let bygones be bygones.

6. Rescue of Rand.

In an interview, RJ stated that Taim tracked down Rand at Dumai's Wells because of his paranoia, not due to inside knowledge of the forsaken planning the kidnapping. If he were working with the forsaken, then he would have helped them rather than taking his own initiative to rescue Rand. If not, his boss would have at least told him to stand aside. The kidnapping seems to have been intended to succeed, though even his rescue caused there to be discord between Rand and the White Tower. Taim wanted to place one of the fearsome foursome with Rand, and got upset when Rand chose Dashiva. Possibly he wanted them to spy on Rand, because he trusted them or because he was their Darkfriend boss and didn't know who Dashiva was.

7.The Fearsome Foursome

They seem to have been working with Taim closely for some time. Is this due to a dark alliance, or for some other reason. If the Foursome were more advanced than other students by having extra training, then maybe they infiltrated to gain Taim's trust, and he raised them quickly because of their ability. The Shadow's M.O. is generally to get someone in power as second in command to major institutions, like The White Tower and the Seanchan.

8. Attack on Rand.

Taim knew about Rand's wishes to cleanse saidin since early in LOC when they met for the first time. Yet nothing happens to Rand, at least at Taim's hands. In fact, Taim rescues Rand from the Shadow.

Lord of Chaos, CHAPTER: 3 - A Woman's Eyes: "How many Aes Sedai are there altogether? A thousand?" "Not so many, I think," Taim said cautiously. Culling the human race. Burn them for it, even if they had cause. "Well, there will be enemies enough anyway." One thing he did not lack was enemies. The Dark One and the Forsaken, Shadowspawn and Darkfriends. The Whitecloaks certainly and very likely Aes Sedai, or some of them, those who were Black Ajah and those who wanted to control him. Those last he counted enemies even if they did not think themselves so. There surely would be Dreadlords, just, as he had said. And more beyond that. Enemies enough to crush all his plans, crush everything. His grip tightened on the carved haft of the Dragon Scepter. Time was the greatest enemy of all, the one he had the least chance of defeating. "I am going to defeat them, Taim. All of them. They think they can tear everything down. It's always tearing down, never building up! I'm going to build something, leave something behind. Whatever happens, I will do that! I'll defeat the Dark One. And cleanse saidin, so men don't have to fear going mad, and the world doesn't have to fear men channeling. I'll ..."

"Cleanse saidin" Taim said softly. "I think that would take more power than you can imagine." His eyes lidded thoughtfully. "I have heard of things called sa'angreal. Do you have one you think could actually—"

Three months later, Rand makes another comment, and two known Darkfriends overheard it. All of a sudden, there is urgency by the Shadow, though there is no sudden change in Rand's ability to cleanse Saidin. The only difference is the fact that the Shadow now knows about his intentions. He is attacked within two weeks, despite there being no absolute lifting of the order to not kill Rand by Moridin at the time.

Path of Daggers, CHAPTER: 14 - Message from the M'Hael: "Rand had not realized he had spoken any of his thoughts aloud. Narishma's eyes, and Morr's, and Hopwil's, belonged in one face, shining with sudden hope. Dashiva looked poleaxed. Rand hoped he had not said too much. Some secrets had to be kept. Including what he would do next.

Winter's Heart, CHAPTER: 22 - Out of Thin Air: "Kill him," Demandred had commanded later, but he had added that it would be better they died than let themselves be discovered again. By anyone, even the M'Hael, as if he did not know of Taim's order.

And later still, Moridin had said, "Kill him if you must, but above all, bring everything in his possession to me. That will redeem your previous transgressions." The man said he was one of the Chosen, and no one was mad enough to make that claim unless it was true, yet he seemed to think al'Thor's belongings more important than his death, the killing incidental and not really necessary.

Winter's Heart, CHAPTER: 13 - Wonderful News: "Killed?" Moridin moved his hands as though weighing something. "If it comes to that, yes," he said finally. "But finding him is no problem. When he touches the Choedan Kal, you will know where he is.

And you will go there and take him. Or kill him, if necessary. The Nae'blis has spoken."

In conclusion, Mazrim Taim is not so obviously a Darkfriend as many make him out to be. I believe that he is his own man, and while some of his objectives in terms of gaining power and glory intersect with some Shadow goals, that is by happenstance only, though the Shadow may help or manipulate him from time to time when their interests are the same.
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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2005-08-11

I don't think you have convinced me that there is more evidence that supports Mazrim being an independent. But here are some of my thoughts. I think you can use the Pattern as the culprit in the "learning" of weaves. The Pattern needed a Dragon, so much so, that three proclaimed themselves. It stands to reason, the Pattern can be held responsible for some of the mysterious discoveries of abilities or weaves previously unknown to that individual. Isn't it possible the Black Ajah planned to have Taim create havok by turning him? Once they turned him, it seems to me they could let him go and create whatever chaos such an event would create? Maybe his "turning" is what Bashere didn't recognize about Taim? In other words, it could have been something other than how he looked that Bashere detected or sensed? We know the Black Ajah helped him escape. We know Asmodean mysteriously dies near the time he shows up on the scene. We know that Mazrim holds special sessions for individuals in the Black Tower, and we know some of those individuals are Dreadlords. I think there is more evidence that supports his connection to the Shadow than there is against a connection.

2

Ishamael: 2005-08-11

makes ya wonder..if Taim is a Darkfriend...why didn't he run and tell his master about Rand's plan to cleanse Saidin? Since he seems to fending off the taint somehow anyway..it isnt like he neglected to tell because he wants Saidin to be untainted..perhaps because he has no one to tell? He wanted to be regarded as an equal with Rand..not take orders from him...sounds like the stubborn type who doesn't like taking orders from anyone..to be his own boss..if he is a Darkfriend...he would be used to taking orders..and wouldn't be as upset at having to take orders from Rand...his orders would be to take orders from rand..or at least appear to take orders..while stabbing him in the back. He seems to like only taking his own orders. Besides..he would add a different kind of evil to the game. We got the shadow..Fain, and Taim who acts on his own accord and chooses to be evil by his actions.

3

Callandor: 2005-08-11

**The amount of slowing depends on strength, and clearly Taim is extremely strong, as powerful as almost any Forsaken, but it is not known how much OP strength causes how much slowing, so it isn't possible to determine just by that how long Taim has been slowing.**

We can come close, actually.

WOT FAQ:

**However, Rand doesn't know about the "slowing" effect of using the OP. Elayne talks about it in ACOS: "'We slow, Nynaeve. Somewhere between twenty and twenty-five, we begin aging more slowly. How much depends on how strong you are, but when doesn't'" [ACOS: 24, The Kin, 408]. According to RJ, a man with the spark doesn't slow until 25, usually closer to thirty. [Post-TPOD Signing, New York, 20 October, 1998, report by Ryan R.].

Thus, the only way Taim could be the age he looks is if he started channeling at an unusually late age. If he's legit, he'd have to be a wilder, and thus he must have started channeling young, at around Rand's age. Let's postulate that men slow at a rate similar to women. We know that Garenia ran away from the Tower 70 years ago, and presumably she slowed before then, or soon afterwards (in her early 20s, as is usual for women). Garenia looks like she is Nynaeve's age, around 26. That corresponds to about five years of physical aging in 70 years. So, if Taim started slowing at 30, then his actual age should be around 100 or so. Thus, the problem of Taim's age is even more extreme than it first appears.**

If you wish to make it 25, then it's 10 years of appearance, and roughly 140 years of slowing, making him around 165.

Get's out of hand quick.

**If he is protected by the Dark One, then he is a Darkfriend.**

Huzzah! ;)

**While some saidin channelers go insane within months, others can channel for a decade or more before going mad.**

Going to need to quote that reference. The longest non-Taim reference to a channeler withstanding the taint (by all appearances) is Logain, at 6 years. Not 10 or more.

**Still others have survived even longer by avoiding using saidin or even cutting themselves off from the OP by living in Steddings.**

Very true, but:

1. The One Power is adictive.

2. It would require good knowledge about steddings (not terribly hard to get, but a deal more than common knowledge).

3. It invariably fails. Male channelers always left the stedding in the Age of Legends, and just look at Rand's reactions to spending a few weeks in Far Madding.

**Taim had avoided Aes Sedai notice for a long time, possibly by lying low and not channeling, which would help him avoid the Taint, since its effects aren't felt unless saidin is used.**

Now, you seem already to avoid the open mindedness you told us to use ;) Taim would've avoided Aes Sedai interest if indeed he was a channeler for the time he supposedly was.

**Logain, who appears short of his middle years, which is about Taim's age, and therefore may have been channeling as long as him, shows no signs of the Taint, and yet is not accused of being a Darkfriend – in fact, he seems to be Taim's primary rival at the Black Tower.**

Logain was born in 972 NE -- now currently about 28 years old, at the time of story start (when was already a channeler) he was about 26, and had been channeling for around 6 years (993 NE he started).

Quite a difference from Taim, who is refered to at around 35.

**So there can certainly be something else going on with them to explain their resistance.**

Indeed there is difference, and Logain alone seems to be a miracle of it. But 10 or 15 years is a big difference from 6, and with the slowing it get's hoisted up to 40-70 years. That's simply unbelievable.

**He knew some attack weaves, which he used against the Saldaean army in battle, compulsion, testing for saidin ability, and additionally the trick for ignoring temperature, which is not a channeling ability but is generally associated with channelers.**

He also has the simple weaves, like shielding yourself from getting damage (and dirty from killing) which I would say might be covered quite largely under that vague term as "attack weaves" since he seems to know a heck of a lot of those, and the complex, like Healing (even though he knows little).

**Since Rand (though with LTT's help for some weaves) and Logain learned some weaves on their own, and saidar wilders also learn on their own, it is not beyond reason to assume that Taim could do the same.**

It's not. It's the number of weaves that is suspicious, if not outlandish.

**And just because few saidin channelers are recorded in recent years (mostly because of being captured by the Red Ajah) doesn't mean there weren't some that survived the Taint and lived anonymously.**

Yet, Taim makes no mention of being taught by these people, but instead is the one doing the teaching.

**Who knows if they didn't even have some as yet unrevealed organization?**

Knew that part was coming up. See my objections to your theory on the other Black Tower (or do you further propose another undiscovered school of male channelers that Aes Sedai had not found and existed before the Black Tower, that was not Shadow orientated?).

**Also, ability to learn weaves (and presumably discover them) is directly tied to channeling ability, and Taim is on the very high side in that regard, just under Rand's ability at the least, and maybe stronger. Taim's “old style” healing (commented on by Cadsuane) may have been picked up from Dashiva, since early in LOC he was not a proficient healer.**

Yes, the abilty to learn weaves seems to be correlated to strength; not the ability to discover new weaves of such complexity.

About the Healing, it could be that he learned it from Dashiva, but:

**TITLE: Lord of Chaos, CHAPTER: 42 - The Black Tower

"Rand took a slow breath. Taim was looking at him, wearing that almost-smile. "You teach them Healing?"

"The little I know, first thing. Even before how not to sweat to death in this weather. A weapon loses its utility if it's going to be laid up with the first wound. As it is, I have had one kill himself drawing too deeply and three burn themselves out, but no one has died from a sword yet." He managed to put a good deal of contempt into the word "sword."'

1. Taim refers to it as his knowledge, not something others have taught him.

2. Flinn says he was taught Healing by the M'Hael:

**TITLE: Crown of Swords, CHAPTER: 36 - Blades

"I hope nobody minds if I talk," he said, beginning to move callused hands above Rand's side. "Talking seems to help a mite." He squinted, focusing on the injuries, and his fingers writhed 'slowly. Very much as though he was weaving threads, Min realized. His tone was almost absent, only part of his mind on the words. "It was Healing made me go to the Black Tower, you might say. I was a soldier, till I took a lance in my thigh; couldn't grip a saddle proper after that, or even walk far. That was the fifteenth wound I took in near forty years in the Queen's Guards. Fifteen that counted, anyway; it don't if you can walk or ride, after. I seen a lot of friends die in them forty years. So I went, and the M'Hael taught me Healing. And other things. A rough sort of Healing; I was Healed by an Aes Sedai once—oh, nigh on thirty years back now—and this hurts, compared to that. Works as well, though. Then one day, Dashiva here—pardon; Asha'man Dashiva—says he wonders why it's all the same, no matter if a man's got a broke leg or a cold, and we got to talking, and.... Well, he's got no feel for it, himself, but me, seems I got the knack you might say. The Talent. So I started thinking, what if I... ? There. Best I can do."**

Since Taim says he teaches Healing first off, and Dashiva was clearly not apart of the first group of channelers, nor the channelers that are seen in Lord of Chaos chapter 11 (since all the recruits are refered to as "young looking" -- and Dashiva is in his middle years), it's far more likely that Taim knew of the basic weave of Healing (even though it still is a complex weave to just know), and taught the students first like he said.

**It seems clear that Logain is not a Darkfriend. Why didn't the Shadow try to get him released as well as Taim, to cause chaos?**

It could very well be two things:

1. Logain was in the White Tower and gentled of course, as you said. A gentled person doesn't have the same desire, even if they were a former false Dragon, and might whip up some support. Also, he's in the White Tower, which was at that time quite a safe place.

2. It could also be because Taim was in fact a Darkfriend, and Logain is not. ;)

And now the creme de la creme.

There is no explanation for how Taim learned how to ignore heat and cold.

As you have already pointed out (only very minimally, btw) this is not a weave. It's a mental trick used to ignore heat and cold for channelers, and apparently many people that know of it.

The overall point is that there is not one single, solitary, channeler that we have been introduced to that knows this trick that was not taught it. Everyone we've come in contact with has had to learn this trick at some point.

Except Taim. He is the magical exception....

1. Aes Sedai know this trick. Everyone of Accepted and novices do not know this trick, but once reaching Aes Sedai they are taught it.

2. Every canidate that goes to the Black Tower does not know this weave, they are taught it.

3. Rand, even with knowledge pieces from Lews Therin, even with training by Lan, even with going through the Waste and Wise Ones, even training by Asmodean (who knew it btw ;)), did not know this weave until he was taught it, by Taim.

4. The Aiel (yes, the Aiel those hardy desert warriors), do not know this trick because Aviendha had to taught it by Elayne:

**TITLE: Crossroads of Twilight, CHAPTER: 10 - A Blazing Beacon

"Thumping along on his crutch, Master Ros bowed her to the door, and bowed her out onto the broad granite step where servants wearing heavy coats waited in the bitter cold with a stirrup cup of hot spiced wine that she rejected with a murmur. Until she had a chance to adjust to the sharp air, she wanted both hands to hold her cloak closed. Aviendha would probably have found a way to make her drop it anyway. She took a cup, after wrapping her shawl around her head and shoulders, the only concession she made to the icy morning. She was ignoring the cold, of course. Elayne was the one who had taught her how. Elayne tried again to push the cold away, and to her surprise, it receded. Not all the way - she still felt chilly - but it was better than freezing."

(this of course includes the average Aiel warriors, as well as the Wise Ones).

5. Logain did not know this trick until going to the Black Tower (he's seen sweating throughout The Fires of Heaven, and Lord of Chaos) where he was taught it.

6. The Sea Folk do not know this trick, as the Windfinders are seen suffering the cold in Winter's Heart.

Every single society of channelers, and every channeler that we have come in contact with either knows of the trick due to being taught it, or they don't know it at all.

Except Mazrim Taim.

That is one heck of a big exception, and far too big of one to be made I feel. He had to be taught it somehow, by someone. The real only teachers left for him, are in the Shadow.

Couple that with his age, taint resistance, what he knows in weave alone, and a few others that will be mentioned, and I don't see how it's even under consideration.

**At that time, his being a False Dragon wasn't just a part of some chaos plot by the Dark One.**

How's that? Your quotes don't say anything about it not being a Shadow plot for Taim to declare himself. You didn't even quote the part were Taim says he declared himself because he thought he might have been the Dragon Reborn ;) (that at least has additions).

But even then, it's Taim speaking, and a Darkfriend (if he is one) wouldn't divulge information about previous plots when they might be working on a current one.

**Clearly Taim had the Black Ajah to thank for his escape while being escorted by soldiers and Aes Sedai back to Tar Valon for his gentling, and this was a plot planned out carefully some time in advance.**

Hey, cool, makes it easier :)

**However, they just left Taim to fend for himself in the middle of nowhere, despite his apparent importance.**

Where's your quote that says he was just left? He arrived in Caemlyn by himself, but that doesn't mean he had some sort of group he was with earlier.

**No Forsaken scooped him up to bring him up to speed, or even keep from being captured and stilled for once and for all (as far as they knew at the time) and to possibly be interrogated to reveal Darkfriend plots.**

Delightful supposition. Once again, please prove, don't just say it was this way.

**No one taught him the weave to Travel, so he could easily evade his Saldaean pursuers, which the Shadow must have been aware of.**

On that point, it's doubtful since he has knowledge of Traveling (at least the name -- which is a lot more than most people), when mentions are only made about gateway (but I'm sure you'll address this further down...). But it could very well be that he was simply ordered not to use it (which would be fishy too). But don't just write it off that he didn't know it so easily.

**No, he was just left to wander on his own, and create what incidental chaos that he could manage by himself. That's no way to treat a so-called Dreadlord, especially someone that was allegedly being groomed by Ishamael.**

Supposition -- once again, please show that Taim was alone from his rescue to his arrival in Caemlyn.

**The reason he went to Andor may have been to join Rahvin as some claim (or kill Asmodean), but south was also the only logical escape route for him. West led back to Saldaea, east to Tar Valon, and north to the Blight.**

He was freed in the Black Hills, so there are other Borderland nations he could hide out in, which were much closer than Andor. But south is quite a likely route to take anyway.

**However, there is no known connection between Rahvin and Liandrin's crew, who were the ones to free Taim.**

Eh? You said it was the Black Ajah that freed Taim (and indulging in not known truths there, but I'm not too worried then since it more closely ties him with the Shadow anyway), not that it was Liandrin's crew. You would think that they would've been remarking about that in the information we've gotten from them, and how they got to Tanchico from the Black Hills, quite so fast.

If he was freed by the Black Ajah, it was most likey by other than Liandrin's crew.

**is barely plausible that Taim was told to go to Caemlyn and wait for Rand to show up though his arrival there was not part of any known Shadow plot – the Forsaken were planning on dealing with Rand in Illian.**

He did arrive a month after Rand took Caemlyn.

**However, it is not something he could have planned on his own without Forsaken guidance – rather he would have needed help from someone like Sammael or Graendal.**

Indeed it would (or even better Demandred ;)), but so what? You haven't shown that it wasn't impossible for Taim to have a group or other meetings from the time he was freed to the time he arrived in Caemlyn.

**Was Bashere compelled at some point also, affecting his short or long term memory?**

Hey, that's an interesting idea that's never been brought up before. However, you would think that it would be Taim's explanation rather than "I shaved".

**Was Taim planning on giving the seal to Rand the entire time he had it, which was awhile since the Black Hills are a hike from Caemlyn, or did he just decide on the spur of the moment? Was it just Rand's luck that he had it in the first place, or some Darkfriend plot?**

Good questions. It could be that it was a Darkfriend plot to give them to Rand to gain trust (after all, maybe they can eventually break them anyway regardless if they're in there possession or not?) or not. But there is also the recent development of why the Shadow wants the seals back now it seems -- of course that could just be because the Cleansing altered the course of a few of the Shadow's plans or something else did.

**Taim had no way of knowing that would happen before he went there, or knowing what they would even want with Taim, whether he would be in a close position to Rand. So if Taim had some ulterior motive for joining Rand, he had no way of knowing in advance how he would be in position to implement it.**

Hardly. Rand had proclaimed his amnesty before Taim got to Caemlyn, so it could be counted on that Taim wanted to join, if not planning on being put in charge of the actual training (I agree that would be quite difficult to predict). A Darkfriend (if he is) in the Black Tower, even being taught, would still be worth while to have -- see the Fearsome Foursome.

**Taim's training may or may not have been done by Asmodean, however, was Taim's placement facilitated by Asmodean's death? RJ stated the dark one didn't order his death, so it wasn't planned anyway.**

Well, we don't know of course, but it could be that Asmodean's death was of course an alterior motive of one of the Forsaken, or just random dumb crap luck by Asmodean and advantage killing by the Forsaken, and it worked out to the Shadow's plans.

**Taim does take his recruiting job seriously, doing a very good job of bringing in both channelers and legionnaires for Bashere to train. That doesn't seem to cause chaos in any meaningful way, since Rand gained a lot of followers.**

Oh come on :P Look at the chaos it has caused in both White Towers alone. Rand is gaining a very good and incredibly useful force, but also there is a fantastic opprotunity for the Shadow to do recruiting inside the Black Tower for Darkfriends, especially if their leader is one himself to do the selection.

**He shows up ostensibly to tell Rand of Narishma when the gray man attacked-did he have advance notice of it somehow? It had to be sent by a Forsaken though. It's unlikely that Demandred would have sent it, even as a trick for Rand to gain Taim's trust, and it was probably from Sammael, and there is no connection from Taim to Sammael.**

About the Grey Man, eh. I could go either way on it. Let's just say it seems very fortuitous for Taim to show up in the nick of time to take care of the Grey Man (even though Rand did have it under control), but Rand is ta'veren and lucky things do happen to him.

However, why do you dismiss Demandred so easily? If he did indeed order Taim, and gave him the seal (or told him to give the seal) to Rand for trust, him sending a Grey Man to add more trust to Rand could easily be done.

About Sammael, you mentioned Taim had the good knowledge to see what Sammael had done... what if there's a reason for that beyond Taim being a tacticion? There could be your link from Sammael to Taim.

**Taim's "so-called Aiel" comment is similar to something Moridin said, which makes people think Taim is a Darkfriend by association.**

It's not similar -- the wording is exact so does the context it seems. The only instance of "so-called Aiel" ever being used in the series: Taim and Moridin. Quite interesting.

**However, the Forsaken don't only work with Darkfriends, and could have trained/used/manipulated Taim for their own reasons without him being a Darkfriend.**

Taim being trained by a Forsaken, and him just going along with it like a good guy and not putting two and two together? Very strange considering the intelligence you assert to him.

**It could also be that Aiel weren't ten feet tall and cannibals as they were thought of by many people.**

Oh please. Those rumors of the Aiel are quite well spread in Randland before the Aiel crossed the Dragonwall -- yet no one in the series but Taim and Moridin have said that in regards to them. People's illusions of the Aiel being ten feet tall are shattered on a daily basis, yet there isn't one remark made by those people at all.

**If Taim was a Darkfriend, why would he let his main rival Logain rise and gain influence that threatens his own within the Tower without taking drastic measures? He certainly doesn't seem to be someone to let bygones be bygones.**

Look to Logain's explanation:

**TITLE: Crossroads of Twilight, CHAPTER: 24 - A Strengthing Storm

"Taim gave the order," Logain said, coldly uncomfortable explaining himself in front of an audience. Sudden lightlning close to the house cast his face in lurid shadows for an instant, a bleak mask of darkness. "I assumed it came from you." His eyes moved slightly in Bashere's direction, and his mouth tightened. "Taim does a great many things people think are at your direction," he went on reluctantly, "but he has his own plans. FLinn and Narishma and Manfor are on the deserters' list, like every Asha'man you keep with you. And he has a coterie of twenty or thiry he keeps close and trains personally. Every man who wears the Dragon is one of that group except me, and he'd have kept the Dragon from me, if he dared. No matter what you've done, it is time to turn your eyes to the Black Tower before Taim splits it worse than the White Tower is. If he does, you'll find the larger part is loyal to him, not you. They know him. Most have never even seen you."'

Logain obviously being a former false Dragon as well, and whatever time he might have spent training, and gathering his current following, would be hard pressed to stop him. After all, open action against Logain would be calling the schism in the Black Tower there and then. It would be very dangerous to do. Better just to give him the pin, and let him think he's doing something worthwhile; it's not like Logain wouldn't be too terribly seen as an upstart or a small worry in Taim's arrogant eyes (as you already said he is). I'm sure Taim won't be too happy when (if he hasn't already) that Logain has gone to Rand.

**If he were working with the forsaken, then he would have helped them rather than taking his own initiative to rescue Rand.**

Or it could be that him going after Rand was helping the Forsaken, even if it might not have been ordered by them. After all, the interview information I know of, RJ said that when Taim "found out about the disappearance of Rand" he then took action, and that information could've come from a Forsaken, or simply going to where Rand was.

**Possibly he wanted them to spy on Rand, because he trusted them or because he was their Darkfriend boss and didn't know who Dashiva was.**

As an aside, this seems hard to be able to explain away in your position that Taim is just out for himself for the most part. Either he knows of the Fearsome Foursome (which he quite clearly did) and was trying to establish a Darkfriend spy around Rand... or what?

**If the Foursome were more advanced than other students by having extra training, then maybe they infiltrated to gain Taim's trust, and he raised them quickly because of their ability.**

Extra training from where? The "Shadow" Tower? ;) See my arguements on your other theory.

**The Shadow's M.O. is generally to get someone in power as second in command to major institutions, like The White Tower and the Seanchan.**

Which would be true of Taim, not his lackies -- Rand truely runs the Black Tower, Taim is second in command.

**Three months later, Rand makes another comment, and two known Darkfriends overheard it. All of a sudden, there is urgency by the Shadow, though there is no sudden change in Rand's ability to cleanse Saidin. The only difference is the fact that the Shadow now knows about his intentions. He is attacked within two weeks, despite there being no absolute lifting of the order to not kill Rand by Moridin at the time.**

Two known Darkfriends and a Forsaken. And it could also be said that Taim didn't take Rand's boast seriously at the time, or that whoever Taim reported it to didn't take it seriously. After all, look at the reaction the Forsaken show before they know he had the Choedan Kal; they were quite doubtful. At a second instance of Rand talking about it, the Shadow might take a bit of notice to that.

**I think you can use the Pattern as the culprit in the "learning" of weaves. The Pattern needed a Dragon, so much so, that three proclaimed themselves. It stands to reason, the Pattern can be held responsible for some of the mysterious discoveries of abilities or weaves previously unknown to that individual.**

It can account for a few; but not the number of weaves that Taim knows in my opinion. And not at all the trick of ignoring heat or cold.

**We know the Black Ajah helped him escape.**

We don't for sure know, but any other explanation would be a Forsaken doing it (equally possible) or some way outside pithy idea that doesn't make the greatest sense.

If it hasn't been made obvious, you haven't convinced me one bit from my stance that Taim is for sure at least a Darkfriend ;) But still well written theory.

4

lurk: 2005-08-11

What do you think of this suggestion. Mazrim Taim was not a darkfriend when he came to Rand. He had hopes of becoming the second most important man. When Rand dies (the prohecies hint in that direction) he would be the most important man in the world. Bingo his ambition is fulfilled.

But then Rand tosses him a bone. You can train the ashaman and nothing else. Taim starts but realises later on that he is not the number 2 in the world. Thus he will not be number 1 when rand dies on the slopes of shayol Gul.

Like Demandred before him he sees that his only option to gain more power is to serve the dark one and gain power as number 1 after the DO reshapes the world.

So changing sides (just like the forsaken) is his only alternative in gaining more influence.

in other word Taim is a powerhungry individual that searches every means in gaining it

5

Stilicho: 2005-08-11

Callandor: If Taim is indeed that old, where does that fit with the Ishy cycle of freedom from the bore? That is to say: would Ishy have been free at the right time to provide training (and a link to the Dark One) to the sparker Taim before the taint drove him mad. If not, how could Taim appear to be 35 unless he's using an inverted mask of mirrors? And if he's using the mask...WHY? Who is he hiding from? You seem to have some definite ideas. I'm just wondering if you've been able to tie it all together.

6

: 2005-08-11

Taim is too well aquainted with terminology to have lacked a trainer of some sort, without even getting into so-called aiel. I hearby shamelessly pillage quotes already used in this post:

Lord of Chaos, CHAPTER: 3 - A Woman's Eyes: ""I warn you, it will be slow. However hard I press, this Darner has days yet, weeks, before he can even [b]sense saidin, much less seize it. Just seize it, not channel even a spark.[/b]"

Every unschooled person I can recall refers to it as TOUCHING the source. "Embrace" and "seize" are words used by people who know something about it.

Lord of Chaos, CHAPTER: 3 -"Cleanse saidin" Taim said softly. "I think that would take more power than you can imagine." His eyes lidded thoughtfully. "I have heard of things called [b]sa'angreal[/b]. Do you have one you think could actually—"

Egwene definitely knew nothing about angreal in EotW. Even after Moiraine explained it to her, she thought her staff "had the power" (much to Moiraine's frustration). I'm loathe to believe he stubled across this word in some sort of inn, and was able to find out what it meant, especially since he specified sa'angreal rather than angreal.

A Crown of Swords, chapter 28:

"'Perhaps,' Taim said shortly, glancing at the Gray Man. 'I would give a great deal to be sure [sammael sent it].' That had the ring of simple truth. 'As for Illian, I doubt it would be as simple as disposing of a pair of Aes Sedai. I keep thinking what I would do in Sammael's place. I would have Illian warded in boxes, so if a man even thought of channeling, I'd know right where he was, and I would burn even the ground to ash before he had time to take a breath.;"

This quote not only talks about a very clever use of wards and implies a great deal of knowledge about them (again with the correct terms), the fact that he really cares WHICH forsaken sent a soulless to kill Rand is just fishy.

One last thing.

"'You must hold on,' Taim said softly. 'If sanity can be held, you must. The price is too high, if you fail.'"

He who has "held on" longer than anyone doesn't seem to know if it's possible.

On a related note, I want to explore Taim's healing. Callandor mentioned (Taim's “old style” healing (commented on by Cadsuane) may have been picked up from Dashiva). I'd like to say I can't recall any mention of bizzare and painful healing being associated with men in the AoL.

The big white book, p30:

"Certain professions were dominated by Aes Sedai. All healers were channelers, called Restorers, able to do far more healing with the one power than medicine alone allowed. No herb remedy or surgery could match a Restorer for speed or efficiency."

No mention of male and female differences here. Semhirage POVs would be the best place to check for any contradicting quotes, but I really remember nothing of the sort.

And yet:

A Crown of Swords, chapter 36:

"So I went, and the M'Hael taught me Healing. And other things. A rough sort of Healing; I was Healed by an Aes Sedai once—oh, nigh on thirty years back now—and this hurts, compared to that."

Pulled from Callandor's post. I tried valiantly to track down a quote of Taim actually performing healing (I KNOW one exists) but alas, the text searches and books themselves have failed me. Suffice it to say it is clear that Taim's healing is painful and aggressive.

This is something unique to Taim and the people he teaches. Almost.

TEotW: prologue

"Tossing back his black cloak, Elan Morin flexed his hands. 'A pity for you,' he mused, 'that one of your Sisters is not here.' ... 'But I fear Shai'tan's healing is different from the sort you know. Be healed, Lews Therin!' He extended his hands, and the light dimmed as if a shadow had been csat across the sun.

Pain blazed in Lews Therin, and he screamed, a scream that came from his depths, a scream he could not stop. Fire seared his marrow, acid rushed along his veins. ...

[b]Slowly, ever so slowly, the pain receeded.[/b] The outflowing seemed to take a thousand years and left him twitching weakly, sucking breath through a raw throat."

The word Sister over the gender default (male) does imply something about women and healing in the AoL, but the emphasis here is the extreme pain, and the fact it doesn't end when it's over. TAS healing is always described as ending abruptly, leaving someone feelin only weak. This is not the case here.

Morin is using the TP here almost without a doubt, which interferes a little, but since it's TP it's probably his own weave, based loosely on what he did with the OP. Both the big white book and an early part of the passage quoted above say Elan Morin wasn't much with healing, so he wouldn't have been doing anything fancy. Crude and rough seems the M.O. here.

7

Callandor: 2005-08-12

**Callandor: If Taim is indeed that old, where does that fit with the Ishy cycle of freedom from the bore?**

It doesn't.... Which was and is exactly my point. ;) I do not think Taim is a sparker at all. I feel very strongly he was Forsaken trained by Ishamael, quite recently. He appears 35 or so, because he started to channel at around that age (since learners do not slow before touching the Source). Then the entire point of his age becomes irrelevant.

Ishamael is referenced in the BWB as being free as early as 987 NE (11 years before the series started roughly), so that's more than enough time for Taim to be trained by him.

But that requires that he is a Darkfriend, because, let's face it, a Forsaken isn't going to train you in the One Power unless you know who you are and either:

1. Are subserviant to them (Mesaana and Alviarin).

2. Have captured them (Asmodean and Rand, and Moghedien and Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene).

The problem is in saying that Taim is not a Darkfriend. He's got so many things to explain away from him not being a Darkfriend it's ridiculous (like saying Semirhage is not Anath -- you have to explain a heck of a lot of things quite convincingly). Put it this way: the Wheel of Time FAQ, on this issue alone (Is Taim a Darkfriend?) has 18 points of contention. Granted:

1. Some of those issues are basically useless to either side (Taim's arrogance -- doesn't prove he's evil or just plain arrogant like so many other Light-followers are).

2. Most of the issues raised are far, far, more interesting when taken on the whole scale of things.

For example, when you assume that Taim is a wilder (not trained at all -- all his work), first problem is his knowledge since wilders we have seen learn roughly 2 tricks or so on their own -- Taim, I believe, at last count had roughly 7-10 if not more. At least two of those (Compulsion and Healing) are not simple weaves. Even though we have seen variants of both in wilders, we've never seen them both shown in one wilder before. (And I must, must, point out again he knows the ignoring heat and cold trick which is again not shown to be known to any channeler in Randland at all unless they have been taught it, except Taim)

Secondly, his age. As WinespringBrother as brought up, with the slowing his age for "looking" 35 quickly becomes amazing (btw, I must state with all respect that 15-35 for Taim's slowing is incredibly conservitive, as I mentioned in my above post). It's possible he's on the high end of 170 then, and for sure at least over a 100. That's not bad for Aes Sedai, but they wouldn't have 70-140 years of taint building up in them, when at most that we've seen is 6 years from someone we are quite sure is a Lightfollower and still sane. Even if you wish to throw out lame excuses like he was in the stedding or "ignoring" saidin, you still haven't explained his story of previously training male channelers for up to 2 years (which, btw, you would assumingly be forced to take for truth, if you assume he is at least a Lightfollower). With his age for being a wilder, it just throws things completely to ubsurdity.

Thirdly, you would have to explain (quite convincingly) how Taim has built, almost completely single-handedly, the Black Tower on his own, yet didn't do it before when he at least showed having the idea of training other channelers, and an army in which to mine for possible recruits. With about 1% of people being channelers, and half that being men, and given Taim's army was still considered "normal" for Randland size at the time (6,000 is average, 9-10,000 if you wish to be generous), he should've been able to get 30-45 male channelers as potentials. 30-45 even weak and barely trained male channelers could make a decisive difference in a battle (look to the Asha'man, even if they were more trained than you might assign, but you can get the general idea). Yet, none of this apparently took place. The idea was in his head, the means were present -- but no go. Why? It's not like Taim wouldn't be trusting of his recruits -- heck if anything people should know two things about Taim:

1. He can quite naturally instill admiration and loyalty in his followers (again, look to the Black Tower).

2. Taim isn't scare of killing off his subordinates (once again, back to Black Tower).

He would've had quite a while to think things through, but he didn't go for the final step. Why? Orders maybe....

Fourth, his orders that he has given. If it was just his orders, I wouldn't call him a Darkfriend. More people who are Lightfollowers have tried to order Rand's death than can be counted or known. It could've been he was just acting for himself, if it was just the orders. But it's the orders, thrown in with everthing else. He ordered 4 confirmed Darkfriends to go kill Rand. It just happens that these 4 Darkfriends were his lackies. That's a big coincidence, if Taim is not something of a Darkfriend (possible, sure, in some messed up way that RJ might have written about alone, but not with everything else with Taim).

Those four (5 really, since the taint is seperate from age, but who cares) issues alone put a black mark on Taim's name that is damn near impossible to remove or explain away. The rest can be trivialties explained by whatever side you decide to land on. All other issues can really be augmented quite to the side of your stance, but those 4 (5) issues are extremely difficult to mar, and no one who proclaims Taim as a Lightfollower (or at least not Darkfriend, whatever you wish to say) has done that sufficently that I have seen.

8

ThunderWalker: 2005-08-12


What if Taim *is* mad? Megalomania, superiority complex. Sometimes madness isn't all about blowing things up, or going on a killing spree.

Anyways, trying to look at this from the side of "Taim is not a darkfriend", one could possible follow these steps:

1) Taim learned he could channel.

2) Taim travels to places with libraries to learn about it

3) He searches for others with the ability (he mentions working with others before). When he finds male "wilders", he learns their "tricks", then kills them.

4) He thinks "I channel, I am better than everyone else, I must be the Dragon".

5) Possiblity: Ishmael sounds him out, pretending to be a wilder, shows him a few things, but realizes Taim's madness would not make him a good follower, and just lets him be, thinking he could cause a little chaos as a false dragon.

On a different track. Supposedly Taim is from the Borderlands, right? What if he actually spent his early years in Far Madding? Maybe apprenticed there or something, and didn't realize he could channel till he was older?

Personally, I think he may have been a darkfriend in the past, but his insanity, or madness made him more like Lanfear -- he is more interested in himself that in the Dark Ones plans. That is, he went rogue, but is causing enough strife that the Forsaken are letting him be (and perhaps giving him mild Compulsion to nudge him when needed).

9

Lauric: 2005-08-12

Ishamael:"why didn't he run and tell his master about Rand's plan to cleanse Saidin?"

It wasn't known to anyone, Rand kept this a very well held secret until he actually set up to do it. I don't (and I may be wrong) remember him visiting the black tower between telling everyone his plan, and actually going through with it

10

Gareth: 2005-08-12

**We know the Black Ajah helped him escape.**

We know that Aes Sedai from the black ajah swear an oath that prevent them from revealing anything about what black sisters are currently up to. They can only talk about schemes that happened a long time in the past.

I cannot find the quote but maybe one of the quotemasters will help me..

Yet, Joiya Byir had not been released from her oaths, nor was she stilled when she spoke of Liandrin's plan to free Mazrim Taim. True, Amico Nagoyin may have brought it up first but Joya definitely spoke of it, which she logically could not if it was a real plan.

So I wonder if that "plan" was a real one or just a decoy.

11

Callandor: 2005-08-13

**What if Taim *is* mad? Megalomania, superiority complex. Sometimes madness isn't all about blowing things up, or going on a killing spree.**

1. I would hope you would agree that Rand's form of madness (even with unique circumstances around it), is quite a subtle form of madness. He's hardly flipping out murdering people left and right, and destroying city after city, and the world, nor is he turned into the mind of a toddler or infant (like Morr), nor has he claimed that spiders are moving under his skin (unnamed recruit at Black Tower). Other than that, I'd call his symptoms "subtle" similar to what you would assign to Taim (megolmania doesn't have a patch on outright indiscriminant murder for subtly).

2. It doesn't explain the rotting disease. Male channelers do just die after a while because of wasting away. If that didn't happen in however long he had been channeling to look the age he is, I don't know when it would've in any other male channeler in the Age of Legends.

**1) Taim learned he could channel.**

So, he was a learner or a wilder by your proposal? Learners do not learn to channel suddenly on their own (hence why they are learners, and need to be guided). Wilders can so I'm assuming you meant that.

**2) Taim travels to places with libraries to learn about it**

Libraries full of information on how to be a male channeler? In a world where male channelers are considered near the equivalent to the Dark One? Heck, the only "safe" place for information on male channelers seems to be the White Tower, and they seem to have as little as anyone else.

**3) He searches for others with the ability (he mentions working with others before). When he finds male "wilders", he learns their "tricks", then kills them.**

He mentions training others -- not working with them. Big difference. Taim never once mentions working with other male channelers, without training them (and of course then Rand and the Black Tower).

**4) He thinks "I channel, I am better than everyone else, I must be the Dragon".**

That's the general rule of false Dragons, but what does this have to do with explaining how he knows what he knows and how he's survived what we know happens to male channelers for as long as it seems he has?

**5) Possiblity: Ishmael sounds him out, pretending to be a wilder, shows him a few things, but realizes Taim's madness would not make him a good follower, and just lets him be, thinking he could cause a little chaos as a false dragon.**

Ishamael just going around being the preverbial male channeling wilder with all the knowledge?

**On a different track. Supposedly Taim is from the Borderlands, right? What if he actually spent his early years in Far Madding? Maybe apprenticed there or something, and didn't realize he could channel till he was older?**

That's all perfectly well and good, but it doesn't explain when he touched the Source then. If he spent his early life in Far Madding, he wouldn't have been able to touch the Source, and then begin to slow.

Not to mention, again, saidin is addictive. Look at Rand spending a few weeks in Far Madding, and the women as well -- they ached to go channel, and they're practiced in will power in order to ignore the desire to channel more and more all the time.

**Personally, I think he may have been a darkfriend in the past, but his insanity, or madness made him more like Lanfear -- he is more interested in himself that in the Dark Ones plans. That is, he went rogue, but is causing enough strife that the Forsaken are letting him be (and perhaps giving him mild Compulsion to nudge him when needed).**

Maybe, but from Fain alone, we know how the Shadow deals with rogues -- they kill them (or try to very hard). Rogues mess up plans.

**It wasn't known to anyone, Rand kept this a very well held secret until he actually set up to do it. I don't (and I may be wrong) remember him visiting the black tower between telling everyone his plan, and actually going through with it**

We know he mentioned it in Taim's presence (WSB quoted it in the originial theory), and we know he mentioned the plan to Cleanse saidin again in front of Torval and Dashiva in The Path of Daggers before the Seanchan campagin. So the Shadow knew before Rand went to Cleanse saidin; they had a very good chance of knowing quite early.

The question is: did they believe it?

**We know that Aes Sedai from the black ajah swear an oath that prevent them from revealing anything about what black sisters are currently up to. They can only talk about schemes that happened a long time in the past.**

No, we don't. It's a supposed Oath they might have sworn -- and a good canidate for one. But we do not know what their Oaths are upon swearing. The same that we don't know for sure if it was indeed Black Ajah that freed Taim, just a good canidate.

12

Sodas: 2005-08-13

Riddle me this. If Joiya didn't tell anything of importance, then why was she killed by Slayer?

13

Anubis: 2005-08-13

because she was captured

14

WinespringBrother: 2005-08-13

One more little tidbit to ponder. Why didn't Aes Sedai try to recapture Taim after his escape? Why leave it to Bashere to recapture him?

15

Callandor: 2005-08-14

**Why didn't Aes Sedai try to recapture Taim after his escape? Why leave it to Bashere to recapture him?**

Because they did?

TITLE: Shadow Rising, CHAPTER: 17 - Deceptions

"It had to be some of his followers. Fools. Why won't they know when they are beaten? Choose out a dozen reliable sisters, Leane...." The Amyrlin grimaced. "Reliable," she muttered. "If I knew who was more reliable than a silverpike, I'd not have the problems that I do. Do the best you can, Leane. A dozen sisters. And five hundred of the guards. No, a full thousand."

"Mother," the Keeper said worriedly. "The Whitecloaks-"

"-would not try to cross the bridges if I left them unwatched entirely. They would be afraid of a trap. There is no telling what is going on up there, Leane. I want whoever I send to be ready for anything. And Leane . . . Mazrim Taim is to be gentled as soon as he is taken again."**

They've just never been heard from again.

16

WinespringBrother: 2005-08-14

Guess I should have been clearer. Why didn't the Aes Sedai who were guarding Taim try to recapture him? There is no indication what their fate was other than the ones who were killed.

17

Jalt Varyd: 2005-08-14

**Why didn't the Aes Sedai who were guarding Taim try to recapture him? There is no indication what their fate was other than the ones who were killed. **

What makes you think they didn't try? As you say, we know nothing about what happened to them. I see no mystery here.

18

Callandor: 2005-08-15

**Why didn't the Aes Sedai who were guarding Taim try to recapture him? There is no indication what their fate was other than the ones who were killed.**

As Jalt and you yourself have said, we don't know what happened to them. Obviously, they were sent out to try to capture Taim. Maybe he was too fast for their party to capture him (the same way he apparently outran Bashere), and last they heard he was under the protection of the Dragon. Or maybe they heard the news about the Tower split and decided that they were going to sit this out and forgot their orders. Or they joined with one side or the other, and RJ simply hasn't commented on it.

We don't know, but since they were sent out to try to hunt him down, very likely, they tried it.

19

enigma: 2005-08-15

A few points.

When Taim was broken free he may have slipped away in the night with those sisters on shielding duty either killed or knocked out. That would give him a few hours to get away and the Aes Sedai camp would move a lot slower that a lone man on horse back. He might not be a great tracker but he may be able to compenstate with laying false trails with the OP.

On the age issue it could be rationalised away. For example, say that Taim sparked very late at around the 25 year period. Before that he was living in the borderlands and may well have let a very hard life before he started to channell. If he looked older that his years before he started to channel it might account for him looking mid 30's even with slowing.

On whether he is a darkfriend or not he certainly seems to be invovled with a lot of known darkfriends and their plots. If you are acting for the defence you could argue that he is a victim of circumstance. The Shadow see him as someont they can use but not necessarily trust. Hence he is never formally inducted into the darkfriend ranks but he is surrounded by darkfriends who are given order to "help" him in certain projects his own natural arrogance and hunger of power would start up but which might be helpful for the Shadow.

20

WinespringBrother: 2005-08-15

It just seems strange, that at least 4 sisters who survived Taim's escape (since 2 died, and you need a minimum of 6 by tradition to properly maintain a shield, and probably more, since those sisters have to sleep sometimes) were swept under the carpet. Where did they go? And what happened to the 12 sisters and 1000 guards that Siuan sent out also? Did any of these join the borderlander army? That is a possibility, especially since they ended up in Andor. I doubt however that the sisters gave up on the search so easily upon hearing of Rand's amnesty. There is still the timing between his escape and the announcement. They were out there for quite some time before the amnesty announcement. What were they doing then? Maybe after the amnesty, they gave up, but there is a wide time gap there.

21

Callandor: 2005-08-17

**On the age issue it could be rationalised away. For example, say that Taim sparked very late at around the 25 year period. Before that he was living in the borderlands and may well have let a very hard life before he started to channell. If he looked older that his years before he started to channel it might account for him looking mid 30's even with slowing.**

Oh, yes, stress is the cause of Taim looking as old as he does? Stress accounts for what seems to be 140 years of slowing? Please.

**It just seems strange, that at least 4 sisters who survived Taim's escape (since 2 died, and you need a minimum of 6 by tradition to properly maintain a shield, and probably more, since those sisters have to sleep sometimes) were swept under the carpet. Where did they go?**

Good question -- we don't know.

**And what happened to the 12 sisters and 1000 guards that Siuan sent out also? Did any of these join the borderlander army?**

We don't know. Good source of where they might have gone, but we don't know.

**What were they doing then? Maybe after the amnesty, they gave up, but there is a wide time gap there.**

Before the amnesty -- probably hunting Taim. Afterwards, who knows. Maybe news of the schism startled them, who knows.

Anyway, what is this supposed to prove, besides that RJ left Aes Sedai hanging?

22

therobotbadger: 2005-08-17

****On the age issue it could be rationalised away. For example, say that Taim sparked very late at around the 25 year period. Before that he was living in the borderlands and may well have let a very hard life before he started to channell. If he looked older that his years before he started to channel it might account for him looking mid 30's even with slowing.**

Oh, yes, stress is the cause of Taim looking as old as he does? Stress accounts for what seems to be 140 years of slowing? Please.**

I think enigma was saying that "stress", if that's what you want to call it, accounts for about 10 years of pre-channeling aging, and only in appearance. He's saying that Rand's estimate of Taim's age is wrong because when Taim started channeling he already looked older than his years.

23

Callandor: 2005-08-17

**He's saying that Rand's estimate of Taim's age is wrong because when Taim started channeling he already looked older than his years.**

How many other of the Borderlanders have we met where it's even mentioned that they look older due to stress or lifestyle?

24

Anubis: 2005-08-18

People who spend their lives running and hiding tend to look older then they are. Stress causes the body to look prematurely aged. Taim could be as young as the late 20s, and who is to say when men start to slow anyways? I dont recall it ever being stated when men specificly begin to slow, just Nynaeves comment which is specific to women and proves absolutly nothing about men.

25

Anubis: 2005-08-18

**How many other of the Borderlanders have we met where it's even mentioned that they look older due to stress or lifestyle?**

How many people in the series have said something along the lines of "oh, and by the way, im 23 years old". I honestly think Tuon was the first.

26

Laughingman: 2005-08-20

**How many other of the Borderlanders have we met where it's even mentioned that they look older due to stress or lifestyle?**


Um, almost all of them? They spend their lives fighting Trollocs, Mydraal, etc. almost constantly. There are several mentions from New Spring onwards that touch on men looking older than they are due to 'seeing the wolf'.


Again, to counter my own argument, it does seem strange that both Logain and Taim would be much much older than they appear due to 'slowing' If Men and Women gain strength in the power differently, perhaps they also SLOW differently, the slowing coming on later for Men than woman, in time with the spark coming to life later for men than women.

27

Callandor: 2005-08-21

**Taim could be as young as the late 20s, and who is to say when men start to slow anyways?**

Robert Jordan.

**I asked Jordan when a man with the spark would slow. He hesitated and rubbed his chin, obviously trying to make up the answer on the spot, and doing it to be consistent with the books. The answer is: Women usually

slow at twenty, sometimes a little earlier, but usually around there. Men wouldn't slow until 25, usually closer to thirty.**

Post-TPOD Signing, New York, 20 October, 1998, report by Ryan R.

Refered to by the WoT FAQ.

**How many people in the series have said something along the lines of "oh, and by the way, im 23 years old". I honestly think Tuon was the first.**

So, you're saying that people would look younger? Well, thanks, that makes my point easier :)

**Um, almost all of them? They spend their lives fighting Trollocs, Mydraal, etc. almost constantly. There are several mentions from New Spring onwards that touch on men looking older than they are due to 'seeing the wolf'.**

Please quote them.

Davram Bashere, Agelmar Jagad, Masema, Uno (he looks old cause he is aged and his injuries ;)), Ragan -- none are refered to as aged by what they do or stress.

**Again, to counter my own argument, it does seem strange that both Logain and Taim would be much much older than they appear due to 'slowing'**

Logain isn't older than he appears. Born in 972 NE, he's only now 28 (as of Crossroads) -- was 26 at the start of the series, and sparked at 20 (channeled for 6 years). He's right at the age to start slowing, if he hasn't been for around a year (gentling probably didn't effect him at all).

Taim on the other hand, at the most gracious, is 5 physical looking years past the slowing time. That's roughly 70 years of chronological time needed to make that aging. That's being generous -- go for 10 years, and now it's 140 years he's aged chronologically. Taim has big problems with his age and how he looks and the taint -- Logain, he seems to be a lucky guy in surviving 6 years with the taint with not obvious signs of madness, and slowing isn't a problem for him.

28

hagglund: 2005-08-26

about this whole slowing thing... are we sure slowing is linear? or is it possible that it begins slowly and then accelerates, so that the first 5 years of slowing would not be equal to 5 years of slowing say 20 years later?

29

Callandor: 2005-08-27

**about this whole slowing thing... are we sure slowing is linear? or is it possible that it begins slowly and then accelerates, so that the first 5 years of slowing would not be equal to 5 years of slowing say 20 years later?**

What would be the point of even guessing that, save to try to make this theory workable?

In either case, we have a person, Garenia, who we know slowed roughly 5 physical aging years for 70 years of actual chronological time. Since Taim is stronger than Garenia, and has slowed from 5-10 years, his age is undoubtedly far greater than 35, unless he is not what he appears.

If he indeed is this age (from anywhere to 100-170 or so), he for sure must have the black cords -- there simply is not another logical explanation for surviving 70-140 or more years of taint exposure.

Or, Taim is indeed around 34,35, 36, and instead is a learner, not a sparker, and was taught to channel. This, undoubtedly, must have been the work of a Forsaken -- making Taim a very good, if not for sure canidate, of being a Darkfriend in the least (unless he is a complete dupe, and a Forsaken was just in a good training mood -- which anyone can scuff at).

30

WinespringBrother: 2005-08-27

Tamyrlin: I feel that the darkfriend-Taim evidence, while compelling, is also circumstantial, much like the evidence supporting Taimendred.

Callandor:

"Going to need to quote that reference. The longest non-Taim reference to a channeler withstanding the taint (by all appearances) is Logain, at 6 years. Not 10 or more. "

The breaking lasted a long time because male channelers survived a long time. Read the BWB regarding that:

"The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time, CHAPTER: The Breaking of the World

"Unfortunately, the Companions were not the only ones affected by the backlash. Other male Aes Sedai were touching the True Source continuously for other matters, but although they noticed the taint right away, no one knew what it was; though it covered all saidin like a coat of rancid oil, it did not prevent or directly alter the use of the One Power. Unlike the Companions, most male Aes Sedai were not affected immediately. Some time passed before other men began going insane, and still more before anyone realized the cause. While some sources date the Breaking from the major destruction caused by Lews Therin and the survivors of the hundred Companions, others put the real beginning as much as ten years later, when so many male Aes Sedai had succumbed to the taint, adding their nightmares to the destruction, that there was no longer any hope of stopping it. If there ever had been."

"Very true, but:

1. The One Power is adictive.

2. It would require good knowledge about steddings (not terribly hard to get, but a deal more than common knowledge).

3. It invariably fails. Male channelers always left the stedding in the Age of Legends, and just look at Rand's reactions to spending a few weeks in Far Madding."

Yes but to chose between living and dying a horrible death? Taim chose living.

"Now, you seem already to avoid the open mindedness you told us to use ;) Taim would've avoided Aes Sedai interest if indeed he was a channeler for the time he supposedly was. "

And what does that prove? You are making an assumption based on no facts.

"Quite a difference from Taim, who is refered to at around 35. "

On a first impression guess by Rand.

"Indeed there is difference, and Logain alone seems to be a miracle of it. But 10 or 15 years is a big difference from 6, and with the slowing it get's hoisted up to 40-70 years. That's simply unbelievable. "

BWB says it was done. See above.

"He also has the simple weaves, like shielding yourself from getting damage (and dirty from killing) which I would say might be covered quite largely under that vague term as "attack weaves" since he seems to know a heck of a lot of those, and the complex, like Healing (even though he knows little).

It's not. It's the number of weaves that is suspicious, if not outlandish."

So. He is a skilled channeler, who you claim has apparently been channeling for decades. Lots of time for him to experiment and learn on his own.

"Yet, Taim makes no mention of being taught by these people, but instead is the one doing the teaching. "

Proves nothing. Taim isn't Mr. Outgoing and we don't know very much about his personal history.

"Yes, the abilty to learn weaves seems to be correlated to strength; not the ability to discover new weaves of such complexity. "

Totally untrue. Witness Rand and Nynaeve, among the strongest channelers, and the ones to learn balefire on their own, or discover new weaves like healing stilling. And Taim is almost as strong as Rand.

"1. Taim refers to it as his knowledge, not something others have taught him. "

That is splitting hairs. What's the difference between "what little I know" and "what little I was taught"? And why would he bother to even mention such a distinction that is irrelevant to the discussion at hand?

"Since Taim says he teaches Healing first off, and Dashiva was clearly not apart of the first group of channelers, nor the channelers that are seen in Lord of Chaos chapter 11 (since all the recruits are refered to as "young looking" -- and Dashiva is in his middle years), it's far more likely that Taim knew of the basic weave of Healing (even though it still is a complex weave to just know), and taught the students first like he said. "

What is the point?

"1. Logain was in the White Tower and gentled of course, as you said. A gentled person doesn't have the same desire, even if they were a former false Dragon, and might whip up some support. Also, he's in the White Tower, which was at that time quite a safe place. "

They could have broken him free before he was gentled.

"There is no explanation for how Taim learned how to ignore heat and cold. "

Not yet anyway. RJ has left a lot of things thus far unanswered. RAFO. Besides that was used as circumstantial evidence to prove Taimendred. See how far that theory survived?

"How's that? Your quotes don't say anything about it not being a Shadow plot for Taim to declare himself. You didn't even quote the part were Taim says he declared himself because he thought he might have been the Dragon Reborn ;) (that at least has additions).

But even then, it's Taim speaking, and a Darkfriend (if he is one) wouldn't divulge information about previous plots when they might be working on a current one. "

Taim was an actual False Dragon, which the Pattern removed once Rand was declared. Why would the pattern care about someone that was only pretending to be a false dragon?

"Where's your quote that says he was just left? He arrived in Caemlyn by himself, but that doesn't mean he had some sort of group he was with earlier. "

Bashere, who tracked him for hundreds of miles, would have known if Taim was alone or not and there is no mention of Bashere looking for any allies of Taim.

"Delightful supposition. Once again, please prove, don't just say it was this way. "

It's obvious that if a forsaken met him, that forsaken wouldn't have left him wandering around in the wilderness hunted by a large army when that would be wasting time for Taim to accomplish whatever the forsaken needed him for.

"On that point, it's doubtful since he has knowledge of Traveling (at least the name -- which is a lot more than most people), when mentions are only made about gateway (but I'm sure you'll address this further down...). But it could very well be that he was simply ordered not to use it (which would be fishy too). But don't just write it off that he didn't know it so easily. "

Meanwhile, Alviarin uses gateways for joyrides, but you say Taim would avoid using a weave to save his own life. Really.

"He was freed in the Black Hills, so there are other Borderland nations he could hide out in, which were much closer than Andor. But south is quite a likely route to take anyway. "

Sure, stay right near he escaped so he can make it easier for Bashere or the sisters to recapture him.

"Eh? You said it was the Black Ajah that freed Taim (and indulging in not known truths there, but I'm not too worried then since it more closely ties him with the Shadow anyway), not that it was Liandrin's crew. You would think that they would've been remarking about that in the information we've gotten from them, and how they got to Tanchico from the Black Hills, quite so fast.

If he was freed by the Black Ajah, it was most likey by other than Liandrin's crew. "

There were no remarks by Rahvin about freeing Taim, or any other forsaken or black sisters, or anyone for that matter. But someone freed him.

"Indeed it would (or even better Demandred ;)), but so what? You haven't shown that it wasn't impossible for Taim to have a group or other meetings from the time he was freed to the time he arrived in Caemlyn. "

I deduced it. See above.

"Hey, that's an interesting idea that's never been brought up before. However, you would think that it would be Taim's explanation rather than "I shaved". "

That's just disingenious. Taim obviously wouldn't want to tell Bashere to his face that he compelled him. I think Taim would want to keep THAT secret.

"Hardly. Rand had proclaimed his amnesty before Taim got to Caemlyn, so it could be counted on that Taim wanted to join, if not planning on being put in charge of the actual training (I agree that would be quite difficult to predict). A Darkfriend (if he is) in the Black Tower, even being taught, would still be worth while to have -- see the Fearsome Foursome. "

It's likely Taim wanted to be in Rand's inner circle, since he seemed to be there to claim glory (or as you claim, to be a conspirator for the Shadow). Teaching Rand's clueless students isn't quite what Taim was signing up for.

Also you claim elsewhere that the Fearsome Foursome were recruited at the Black Tower, not beforehand.

"Oh come on :P Look at the chaos it has caused in both White Towers alone. Rand is gaining a very good and incredibly useful force, but also there is a fantastic opprotunity for the Shadow to do recruiting inside the Black Tower for Darkfriends, especially if their leader is one himself to do the selection. "

The Black Tower benefitted Rand much more than the Shadow, as you claim. There is no comparison.

"It's not similar -- the wording is exact so does the context it seems. The only instance of "so-called Aiel" ever being used in the series: Taim and Moridin. Quite interesting. "

1 word: Taimendred.

"Taim being trained by a Forsaken, and him just going along with it like a good guy and not putting two and two together? Very strange considering the intelligence you assert to him. "

No one ever said he was a goody two shoes, or is clueless about who may have trained him. It's what he could get out of it.

"Those rumors of the Aiel are quite well spread in Randland before the Aiel crossed the Dragonwall -- yet no one in the series but Taim and Moridin have said that in regards to them. People's illusions of the Aiel being ten feet tall are shattered on a daily basis, yet there isn't one remark made by those people at all. "

There are quite a few quotes from misguided folk about their incorrect assumptions about "black eyed killers", etc...

"Logain obviously being a former false Dragon as well, and whatever time he might have spent training, and gathering his current following, would be hard pressed to stop him. After all, open action against Logain would be calling the schism in the Black Tower there and then. It would be very dangerous to do. Better just to give him the pin, and let him think he's doing something worthwhile; it's not like Logain wouldn't be too terribly seen as an upstart or a small worry in Taim's arrogant eyes (as you already said he is). I'm sure Taim won't be too happy when (if he hasn't already) that Logain has gone to Rand. "

Well considering what else Taim has dared, why not keep Logain from being promoted? What danger would Taim incur from not raising Logain?

And Taim is not risk-averse, having supposedly ordered Rand killed before the 'don't kill Rand' edict was lifted.

"Or it could be that him going after Rand was helping the Forsaken, even if it might not have been ordered by them. After all, the interview information I know of, RJ said that when Taim "found out about the disappearance of Rand" he then took action, and that information could've come from a Forsaken, or simply going to where Rand was. "

No. Taim found out on his own, and acted due to his "own paranoia." Not anyone else's orders or reasons.

"As an aside, this seems hard to be able to explain away in your position that Taim is just out for himself for the most part. Either he knows of the Fearsome Foursome (which he quite clearly did) and was trying to establish a Darkfriend spy around Rand... or what? "

Then explain how Elaida has a darkfriend for her Keeper? We know she isn't a darkfriend.

"Extra training from where? The "Shadow" Tower? ;) See my arguements on your other theory. "

No quotes huh? Well, see my counter-arguments on said theory.

"Which would be true of Taim, not his lackies -- Rand truely runs the Black Tower, Taim is second in command. "

LOL. Rand runs the black tower? Then why don't most students know what he even looks like? See your own quote above regarding Logain to refute that assertion that Rand runs the black tower in any way. TAIM runs it.

"Two known Darkfriends and a Forsaken. And it could also be said that Taim didn't take Rand's boast seriously at the time, or that whoever Taim reported it to didn't take it seriously. After all, look at the reaction the Forsaken show before they know he had the Choedan Kal; they were quite doubtful. At a second instance of Rand talking about it, the Shadow might take a bit of notice to that. "

why the sudden 180 though - taking it seriously before they all learned via Cyndane at the WH Coffee Hour that Rand had the CK?

"But still well written theory. "

Thanks.

31

Callandor: 2005-08-28

**Tamyrlin: I feel that the darkfriend-Taim evidence, while compelling, is also circumstantial, much like the evidence supporting Taimendred.**

Circumstantial? Funny, since you cannot explain it away then.

**The breaking lasted a long time because male channelers survived a long time.**

Yes, but they survived a long time while they were mad. Taim, in your opinion, is not. There's a big difference.

Plus, my entire objection was that you said:

**While some saidin channelers go insane within months, others can channel for a decade or more before going mad.**

Which is not shown in the quote you gave:

**"The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time, CHAPTER: The Breaking of the World

"Unfortunately, the Companions were not the only ones affected by the backlash. Other male Aes Sedai were touching the True Source continuously for other matters, but although they noticed the taint right away, no one knew what it was; though it covered all saidin like a coat of rancid oil, it did not prevent or directly alter the use of the One Power. Unlike the Companions, most male Aes Sedai were not affected immediately. Some time passed before other men began going insane, and still more before anyone realized the cause. While some sources date the Breaking from the major destruction caused by Lews Therin and the survivors of the hundred Companions, others put the real beginning as much as ten years later, when so many male Aes Sedai had succumbed to the taint, adding their nightmares to the destruction, that there was no longer any hope of stopping it. If there ever had been."**

Some time for them to go mad.

**Yes but to chose between living and dying a horrible death? Taim chose living.**

Oh that's very nice of you to say. Do you have a quote for that supposition? Or even a hint of one?

**And what does that prove? You are making an assumption based on no facts.**

No, I'm quoting you saying that. All that I'm pointing out is that you've already made it a foregone conclusion that Taim is a non-Shadow aligned, wilder, who somehow survived 70-140 years of taint build up. You don't even consider the other side -- you just immediately assume he was a wilder and been honest about his past.

**On a first impression guess by Rand.**

And? Do you want me to quote other times Rand has guessed ages where no one has ever questioned them? Rand can judge how old a person looks; that's what people do. Rand, like many, is quite good at it.

**BWB says it was done. See above.**

False -- the BWB says that those men succumbed to the taint; not that they resisted it for 70-140 years WSB. You're reaching.

**So. He is a skilled channeler, who you claim has apparently been channeling for decades. Lots of time for him to experiment and learn on his own.**

No, no, no. That's where you misinterpret. I'm very much proposing that Taim is not a wilder at all. He's a learner, and Forsakened trained at that.

You're the one saying he's had decades to "learn on his own" and just completely writing of the taint.

**Proves nothing. Taim isn't Mr. Outgoing and we don't know very much about his personal history.**

Proves you're supposing to make up for a big gaping hole in Taim's learning curve. You propose he was a wilder, and learned on his own over decades of taint resistance; then you propose he was in fact trained by other male channelers. Which is it WinespringBrother? And please stick to that one instead of trying to have it both ways.

**Totally untrue. Witness Rand and Nynaeve, among the strongest channelers, and the ones to learn balefire on their own, or discover new weaves like healing stilling. And Taim is almost as strong as Rand.**

1. Rand has a very seperate issue as the source of his knowledge.

2. Nynaeve has discovered what on her own? Balefire, Healing of stilling... any others? You propose that Taim is like Nynaeve, but instead a five-fold increase or more, and accept it like it's nothing -- it's a mighty big something here, WinespringBrother, and I would really appreciate it if you could settle on one side of how Taim learned all this.

**That is splitting hairs. What's the difference between "what little I know" and "what little I was taught"?**

A hell of a lot. The little Taim knows, implies that it's his and gleamed on his own (going along fine with one side you've already proposed at the start of this theory); however "the little I was taught" goes completely against the side you took later on in saying that he was taught by other male channelers.

Also, the entire point was that you said Taim picked up on Healing from Dashiva, which I quite clearly showed was false.

**And why would he bother to even mention such a distinction that is irrelevant to the discussion at hand?**

My answer? He wouldn't, because he wasn't trained by other male wilders, nor Dashiva.

**What is the point?**

The point is you said:

**Taim's “old style” healing (commented on by Cadsuane) may have been picked up from Dashiva, since early in LOC he was not a proficient healer.**

To which I explained this assumption is wrong. That was the entire point.

**They could have broken him free before he was gentled.**

Oh yeah, way back sometime between The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt, while Taim still was running about, and before the Black Ajah came into the relative open? Please.

**Not yet anyway. RJ has left a lot of things thus far unanswered. RAFO. Besides that was used as circumstantial evidence to prove Taimendred. See how far that theory survived?**

Ah. So this is your new excuse for the greatest fault in your theory. "We simply don't have the information as of yet..."

And furthermore, what is the point of trying to associate my objections with the Taimandred theory? Do you think I am proposing Taimandred here? I am not, and nothing I have said has been anywhere near that, so I can only think you are embarking on some kind of smear campaign almost.

I am not pushing Taimandred here. Neither are you.

And finally about this, while you say "RAFO." on this major fault in your theory (giving up on the single biggest flaw in it, just barely beating out his age and the taint), please note the amount of information we have on the people who learn this trick. Enough can be said for this:

No one that we have seen has ever learned to ignore heat and cold on their own.

Want to shoot me down? Provide a quote of someone doing just that. Going to say "RAFO"? Please acknowledge you have a fault in your theory that a car can be driven through, and cannot be explained by Taim being a wilder.

In case anyone has missed it, here it is again:

**And now the creme de la creme.

There is no explanation for how Taim learned how to ignore heat and cold.

As you have already pointed out (only very minimally, btw) this is not a weave. It's a mental trick used to ignore heat and cold for channelers, and apparently many people that know of it.

The overall point is that there is not one single, solitary, channeler that we have been introduced to that knows this trick that was not taught it. Everyone we've come in contact with has had to learn this trick at some point.

Except Taim. He is the magical exception....

1. Aes Sedai know this trick. Everyone of Accepted and novices do not know this trick, but once reaching Aes Sedai they are taught it.

2. Every candidate that goes to the Black Tower does not know this weave, they are taught it.

3. Rand, even with knowledge pieces from Lews Therin, even with training by Lan, even with going through the Waste and Wise Ones, even training by Asmodean (who knew it btw ;)), did not know this weave until he was taught it, by Taim.

4. The Aiel (yes, the Aiel those hardy desert warriors), do not know this trick because Aviendha had to taught it by Elayne:

**TITLE: Crossroads of Twilight, CHAPTER: 10 - A Blazing Beacon

"Thumping along on his crutch, Master Ros bowed her to the door, and bowed her out onto the broad granite step where servants wearing heavy coats waited in the bitter cold with a stirrup cup of hot spiced wine that she rejected with a murmur. Until she had a chance to adjust to the sharp air, she wanted both hands to hold her cloak closed. Aviendha would probably have found a way to make her drop it anyway. She took a cup, after wrapping her shawl around her head and shoulders, the only concession she made to the icy morning. She was ignoring the cold, of course. Elayne was the one who had taught her how. Elayne tried again to push the cold away, and to her surprise, it receded. Not all the way - she still felt chilly - but it was better than freezing."

(this of course includes the average Aiel warriors, as well as the Wise Ones).

5. Logain did not know this trick until going to the Black Tower (he's seen sweating throughout The Fires of Heaven, and Lord of Chaos) where he was taught it.

6. The Sea Folk do not know this trick, as the Windfinders are seen suffering the cold in Winter's Heart.

Every single society of channelers, and every channeler that we have come in contact with either knows of the trick due to being taught it, or they don't know it at all.

Except Mazrim Taim.

That is one heck of a big exception, and far too big of one to be made I feel. He had to be taught it somehow, by someone. The real only teachers left for him, are in the Shadow.

Couple that with his age, taint resistance, what he knows in weave alone, and a few others that will be mentioned, and I don't see how it's even under consideration.**

**Taim was an actual False Dragon, which the Pattern removed once Rand was declared. Why would the pattern care about someone that was only pretending to be a false dragon?**

Why would the Pattern care about a false Dragon in the first place? How does one "pretend" to be a false Dragon (seems like a double negative)?

The Pattern would only accept the one true Dragon Reborn -- all others were not acceptable.

**Bashere, who tracked him for hundreds of miles, would have known if Taim was alone or not and there is no mention of Bashere looking for any allies of Taim.**

Please quote that. If not, you're supposing. Bashere wasn't following the Aes Sedai back to Tar Valon; he was still in Saldaea and was ordered by Tenobia to hunt down Taim. Taim just being left is shakey at best. Yes, he arrived alone, but that doesn't mean a thing to who was with him when he was freed.

**It's obvious that if a forsaken met him, that forsaken wouldn't have left him wandering around in the wilderness hunted by a large army when that would be wasting time for Taim to accomplish whatever the forsaken needed him for.**

Yes, that's true -- unfortunately you ignored my entire point. You said:

**No Forsaken scooped him up to bring him up to speed, or even keep from being captured and stilled for once and for all (as far as they knew at the time) and to possibly be interrogated to reveal Darkfriend plots.**

To which I importantly pointed out: you need to prove this. At the beginning of your theory you said that we should "open [our] mind" when we read your ideas, but instead your ideas remain hardly anything but open.

Please show that this is not what happened. So far, you haven't done anything to dent the idea that Taim was associated with a Forsaken soon after he was freed, if not right away.

**Meanwhile, Alviarin uses gateways for joyrides, but you say Taim would avoid using a weave to save his own life. Really.**

Huh. Joyrides. It's funny that Alviarin uses gateways to follow through on orders of a Forsaken; but if you want to call those joyrides -- ok. Strange definition, but ok.

**Sure, stay right near he escaped so he can make it easier for Bashere or the sisters to recapture him.**

Would they be expecting it? Taim's a borderlander, so why would he just leave the area he grew up in (apparently)? Kandor, Arafel, and Shienar may have different customs to Saldaea, but they're still much closer to "home" than Andor or anything else to the south.

**There were no remarks by Rahvin about freeing Taim, or any other forsaken or black sisters, or anyone for that matter. But someone freed him.**

Yes, very true. But how in the world does this automatically point to Liandrin's group as the ones that freed him?

**I deduced it. See above.**

Ok, that's nice but it doesn't answer my question at all.

1. You say that Taim couldn't have planned on being the teacher at the Black Tower without Forsaken help. Ok, that's a perfectly fine stance to take with my beliefs.

2. You've completely failed to prove that Taim was not alone from the time he was freed to the time he showed up in Caemlyn. What I mean by this is very simple: Taim could've easily been amongst his rescuers for a good long while, and they told him to go to Andor. There's your possible Forsaken link.

**That's just disingenious. Taim obviously wouldn't want to tell Bashere to his face that he compelled him. I think Taim would want to keep THAT secret.**

Why? Taim's doing enough in that scene to anger Bashere without a care in the world. You're telling me that Taim was afraid of retribution on that issue, but not on the issue of Compelling the ones Bashere sent to kill him? If anything, I would think Taim would flaunt it -- "You think you're so good Bashere? Too bad you don't remember when I had you dance like a chicken clucking at your wife whily she was doing advanced gymnastics, while you were so easily in my grasp."

A thing like that usually shakes people quite a bit, and Taim obviously wanted to shake Bashere a bit in the scene.

**It's likely Taim wanted to be in Rand's inner circle, since he seemed to be there to claim glory (or as you claim, to be a conspirator for the Shadow). Teaching Rand's clueless students isn't quite what Taim was signing up for.**

So, let me get this straight. First you say this:

**Taim had no way of knowing that would happen before he went there, or knowing what they would even want with Taim, whether he would be in a close position to Rand. So if Taim had some ulterior motive for joining Rand, he had no way of knowing in advance how he would be in position to implement it.**

But then say that Taim was wanting to be in Rand's inner circle. Seems like quite a flip-flop on the issue.

**Also you claim elsewhere that the Fearsome Foursome were recruited at the Black Tower, not beforehand.**

Yeah, and I make no statement to them being recruited beforehand in the section you quoted. What's your point in this?

**The Black Tower benefitted Rand much more than the Shadow, as you claim. There is no comparison.**

That's a matter of opinion. And you did not say "benefitted Rand"; you said:

**That doesn't seem to cause chaos in any meaningful way, since Rand gained a lot of followers.**

Causing chaos is surely what the Asha'man have done. They've unquestionably turned one of the biggest aspects of Randland right on it's head. That's a hell of a lot of chaos just in and of itself. If you want to get specific with it, I can name many more, while you can only say "Rand got followers."

Yes, Rand did. But if haven't noticed, they're not all that loyal to Rand. ;)

**1 word: Taimendred.**

One question: What on earth do you think this adds or disproves or does to my querry? Does the word "Taimandred" magically make logical objections disappear?

You said the wording was "similar" -- this is false. The wording is not "similar", it is exact. And it is the only two examples of this phrase being used in the entire series. You were trying to demeen that fact; I corrected you on it. Taimandred has nothing to do with it.

**No one ever said he was a goody two shoes, or is clueless about who may have trained him. It's what he could get out of it.**

I'm sorry, but now you're saying that Taim did know he was being trained by a Forsaken. Wow. And you still call him a non-Shadow alligned just by that? Jeez, that's one hell of a stretch.

**There are quite a few quotes from misguided folk about their incorrect assumptions about "black eyed killers", etc...**

No doubt there are -- but not one of them refers to the Aiel as "so-called Aiel". Not a one. No one calls the Aiel "so-called Aiel". We've seen Aes Sedai call the Hall in Salidar the "so-called Hall;" we've seen the Shaido call Rand the "so-called Car'a'carn; we've seen Niall refer to Masema as the "so-called Prophet"; we've seen Moghedien refer to the "so-called Aes Sedai" of Salidar; we've seen Nynaeve refer to Birgitte's "so-called sense of humor" -- yet we've only seen two single solitary references to the Aiel being refered to as "so-called Aiel":

1. Ishamael/Moridin -- as an Age of Legends Forsaken, he obviously knows the reasons behind calling them "so-called."

2. Mazrim Taim -- the only 3rd Ager to ever refer to the Aiel as "so-called Aiel". That's two major exceptions to Taim.

**Well considering what else Taim has dared, why not keep Logain from being promoted? What danger would Taim incur from not raising Logain?**

Good question -- whatever the answer, Taim didn't. He must have feared something or had a good enough reason to raise Logain. Did Taim fear an open schism before it is the "ripe" time? Did Taim fear retribution from a Forsaken? Was Taim afraid of Logain?

**And Taim is not risk-averse, having supposedly ordered Rand killed before the 'don't kill Rand' edict was lifted.**

Was he even aware of it? Or was he just following orders from a higher authority, and they were the risk-taker?

**No. Taim found out on his own, and acted due to his "own paranoia." Not anyone else's orders or reasons.**

Please read the interview (if you have another, please provide it):

**On the Asha'man finding Rand in LoC, he said that they knew where Rand was. How they did know he began with the following words: "Mazrim Taim is a paranoid S.O.B." [ _exact_ quote! ]. When finding out of the disappearal of Rand, and a large bunch of Aiel from Cairhien, he followed the route from Cairhien towards Tar Valon by Traveling, until he encountered Elaida's Aes Sedai. From there, he brought in the Asha'man.**

Taim could've easily been told "Rand al'Thor is missing -- follow up on it."

**Then explain how Elaida has a darkfriend for her Keeper? We know she isn't a darkfriend.**

Explain what about it? What is this meant to prove, WinespringBrother?

Taim obviously knew that the Fearsome Foursome were Darkfriends -- you yourself have admitted to this. What was he trying to do? Use them for his own advantage.

Yes, Elaida's Keeper, Alviarin, is Black Ajah. What on earth does this have any relevance to Taim and the Fearsome Foursome?

Alviarin was using Elaida -- Elaida wasn't using Alviarin. Furthermore, when Elaida had the proof she believed that worked -- she removed Alviarin from her position. If Elaida was trying to push Alviarin in on Egwene's group, ok, then the situations would be the same -- but that didn't happen. The situations couldn't be more different.

**No quotes huh? Well, see my counter-arguments on said theory.**

Hmm, sadly that doesn't work, since this is your theory, and you're providing the claims here. You say the Fearsome Foursome had extra training -- please prove it. Otherwise, drop the claim as the supposition that it is.

**LOL. Rand runs the black tower? Then why don't most students know what he even looks like? See your own quote above regarding Logain to refute that assertion that Rand runs the black tower in any way. TAIM runs it.**

No really WinespringBrother! I was completely unaware of that fact!

If you bothered to read what I said, you might not have to point out the blatantly obvious. You said:

**The Shadow's M.O. is generally to get someone in power as second in command to major institutions, like The White Tower and the Seanchan.**

Which is generally true. Rahvin controlled Andor through Morgase. Be'lal controlled Tear through the High Lords. Sammael controlled Illian through the Council of Nine and the King.

Regardless of what might be the direct control, Rand does control the Black Toer -- he is the effective leader of it; Taim is just a teacher. You remember when Rand called all those Asha'man to help with the Seanchan campaign? Yeah, I thought so -- Taim is subserviant to Rand.

Now, again. Rand may control the Black Tower in name, but it's Taim, as you have so uselessly pointed out, that runs it. What is Taim's job at the Black Tower? Second in command. Rand is the true leader; Taim is the second. It would be Taim that fits the Shadow's modus operandi, because he is being the power behind the power, as that he runs the Black Tower, even though Rand controls it in title.

**why the sudden 180 though - taking it seriously before they all learned via Cyndane at the WH Coffee Hour that Rand had the CK?**

Probably for just that reason: they were in the dark about the Choedan Kal due to Cyndane being out of the picture until, around mid-A Crown of Swords.

And as Rand even said:

**TITLE: Lord of Chaos

CHAPTER: 21 - To Shadar Logoth

"It might have to be used without time for fetching anything," Rand told him. All the Ways might have to be used, whatever the dangers. If he could cleanse them somehow.... That was almosta s grandiose as his boast to Taim that he would cleanse saidin.**

Even Rand took it as a boast. When someone says the same thing twice though....

**Thanks.**

You're welcome.

32

WinespringBrother: 2005-08-29

"Circumstantial? Funny, since you cannot explain it away then. "

I'm not explaining it away, except to point out how flimsy it is, and that there is evidence to indicate the opposite is true.

"Yes, but they survived a long time while they were mad. Taim, in your opinion, is not. There's a big difference."

They also survived a long time before they went mad. That is why the Breaking of the World lasted several hundred years.

"Oh that's very nice of you to say. Do you have a quote for that supposition? Or even a hint of one? "

We don't know that Taim sheltered in a stedding or Far Madding. But it is possible. Why can't you acknowledge that he might do that to avoid dying from the taint madness?

"No, I'm quoting you saying that. All that I'm pointing out is that you've already made it a foregone conclusion that Taim is a non-Shadow aligned, wilder, who somehow survived 70-140 years of taint build up. You don't even consider the other side -- you just immediately assume he was a wilder and been honest about his past. "

Are you saying its NOT a fact that Taim avoided Aes Sedai notice successfully until he declared himself? Then why was he not hunted down previously and gentled? That is a fact, that he was never gentled before, because he was able to channel before his capture. And its not 100% that he was a channeler for 70-140 years, only conjecture. I admit that.

"And? Do you want me to quote other times Rand has guessed ages where no one has ever questioned them? Rand can judge how old a person looks; that's what people do. Rand, like many, is quite good at it. "

Just above you say Taim is 70-140 years old, and now you say Rand accurately can guess his age at 35? That's a bloody guess!!!

"No, no, no. That's where you misinterpret. I'm very much proposing that Taim is not a wilder at all. He's a learner, and Forsakened trained at that. "

Well your conclusion supports those inferences. That's the backwards way of looking at things.

"Proves you're supposing to make up for a big gaping hole in Taim's learning curve. You propose he was a wilder, and learned on his own over decades of taint resistance; then you propose he was in fact trained by other male channelers. Which is it WinespringBrother? And please stick to that one instead of trying to have it both ways."

My point isn't to demonstrate whether he learned on his own or from others, my point is to show he could have the knowledge that he does without being a forsaken trained darkfriend. Either alternative I proposed fits that criteria.

"1. Rand has a very seperate issue as the source of his knowledge.

2. Nynaeve has discovered what on her own? Balefire, Healing of stilling... any others? You propose that Taim is like Nynaeve, but instead a five-fold increase or more, and accept it like it's nothing -- it's a mighty big something here, WinespringBrother, and I would really appreciate it if you could settle on one side of how Taim learned all this. "

1. Rand used balefire well before the first known or suspected instance of him having LTT's personality.

2. Let's see, Nynaeve was reading the weather, and healing serious diseases (when she was the Wisdom). Before she even knew she was channeling. She also knew enough to track Egwene from the link that healing creates. She blasted the Seanchan with fire, earthquakes and lightning bolts, which I'm sure she didn't learn from Moiraine or any of her teachers in the Tower. And she was only doing this for 7 years. You are attributing decades to Taim. I think someone of his high skill in the One Power could better Nynaeve, given so much time.

"A hell of a lot. The little Taim knows, implies that it's his and gleamed on his own (going along fine with one side you've already proposed at the start of this theory); however "the little I was taught" goes completely against the side you took later on in saying that he was taught by other male channelers.

Also, the entire point was that you said Taim picked up on Healing from Dashiva, which I quite clearly showed was false. "

Like I said earlier, the distinction of whether he was self taught or not doesn't matter. Anyway the issue with the healing is that Taim supposedly taught Flinn, but Flinn's healing surpasses Taim's by far, since Flinn obviously is greatly skilled in it. Unless Taim learned more while doing teaching, for example, after Dashiva enrolled.

"Oh yeah, way back sometime between The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt, while Taim still was running about, and before the Black Ajah came into the relative open? Please. "

Just because the Black Ajah wasn't out in the open, doesn't mean they can't get things done. Besides, they did reveal themselves in New Spring. Moiraine and Siuan just decided not to let anyone know.

"Ah. So this is your new excuse for the greatest fault in your theory. "We simply don't have the information as of yet..."And furthermore, what is the point of trying to associate my objections with the Taimandred theory? Do you think I am proposing Taimandred here? I am not, and nothing I have said has been anywhere near that, so I can only think you are embarking on some kind of smear campaign almost.

I am not pushing Taimandred here. Neither are you. "

It's actually the greatest flaw in your argument, that you make assumptions to fit your conclusions, which is what the Taimendred camp did.

"There is no explanation for how Taim learned how to ignore heat and cold."

Well, if only darkfriends and forsaken knew the trick, it would be a logical conclusion for him to be a darkfriend. But since many non-darkfriends know the trick, then he could have learned it from one of them. How's that for an explanation?

"Why would the Pattern care about a false Dragon in the first place? How does one "pretend" to be a false Dragon (seems like a double negative)?

The Pattern would only accept the one true Dragon Reborn -- all others were not acceptable. "

The Pattern can distinguish between someone who intends to be the Dragon, and someone who is posing.

"Please quote that. If not, you're supposing. Bashere wasn't following the Aes Sedai back to Tar Valon; he was still in Saldaea and was ordered by Tenobia to hunt down Taim. Taim just being left is shakey at best. Yes, he arrived alone, but that doesn't mean a thing to who was with him when he was freed. "

Do you have any thoughts where these "followers" ended up?

"To which I importantly pointed out: you need to prove this. At the beginning of your theory you said that we should "open [our] mind" when we read your ideas, but instead your ideas remain hardly anything but open. "

Being open-minded means looking at the situation from all sides, and creating scenarios for all the possibilities, and deducing the consequences of those scenarios. Under what circumstances would a Forsaken scoop Taim up, give him directions which he presumably would be ordered to carry them out post-haste, then plop him back in the middle of nowhere with a huge army trying to capture him? That doesn't exactly make it eary for him to follow his urgent directions, now, does it? Put yourself in the Forsaken's shoes. Would YOU do that?

"Huh. Joyrides. It's funny that Alviarin uses gateways to follow through on orders of a Forsaken; but if you want to call those joyrides -- ok. Strange definition, but ok."

Did you read Crossroads of Twilight? Let me give you a quote, that shows that Mesaana was not aware that Alviarin used a gateway without her knowledge, let alone orders to do so.

"Crossroads of Twilight, CHAPTER: 21 - A Mark

"Perhaps, she thought as she climbed, she could probe Mesaana about that impossible flare in the Power, so long as she was . . . delicate. The Chosen would think she was hiding something if she never mentioned it. Every woman who could channel in the whole world had to be wondering what had happened. She would just have to be careful not to let slip anything that suggested that she had actually visited the site. Long after the flare vanished, of course - she was not stupid enough to simply stroll into that! - but Mesaana seemed to think Alviarin should carry out her chores without taking a moment for herself. Could the woman really believe that she had no affairs of her own to see to? It was best to behave as if she did have none. For the moment it was, at least."

How do you think Alviarin visited the site? Do you think she walked? Or rode a horsey? Or flew?

"Would they be expecting it? Taim's a borderlander, so why would he just leave the area he grew up in (apparently)? Kandor, Arafel, and Shienar may have different customs to Saldaea, but they're still much closer to "home" than Andor or anything else to the south. "

Would they be expecting it? Of course not, because it is an asinine idea. Doesn't mean it would work. They'd pounce on him in a minute.

"Yes, very true. But how in the world does this automatically point to Liandrin's group as the ones that freed him? "

You are using lack of comments to disprove that Liandrin's bunch freed Taim. I am just pointing out the flaw in your reasoning.

"Why? Taim's doing enough in that scene to anger Bashere without a care in the world. You're telling me that Taim was afraid of retribution on that issue, but not on the issue of Compelling the ones Bashere sent to kill him? If anything, I would think Taim would flaunt it -- "You think you're so good Bashere? Too bad you don't remember when I had you dance like a chicken clucking at your wife whily she was doing advanced gymnastics, while you were so easily in my grasp."

A thing like that usually shakes people quite a bit, and Taim obviously wanted to shake Bashere a bit in the scene. "

Taim didn't mention the compulsion of Bashere's allies to taunt him. He brought it up to take the high moral ground (since he used the compulsion in self-defense only, and Bashere didn't even deny that, so it's a safe bet Taim was telling the truth). Saying he compelled Bashere without providing a similar defense would have been taunting, but that wasn't Taim's goal, it was only Rand's interpretation.

"But then say that Taim was wanting to be in Rand's inner circle. Seems like quite a flip-flop on the issue. "

We know Taim was seeking glory. You claim he was seeking to join the Black Tower. What glory in that? He asked Rand to be his partner, and wanted to make a compact with him. If Rand said yes, then Taim would probably not have been sent off to train newbie channelers.

"Causing chaos is surely what the Asha'man have done. They've unquestionably turned one of the biggest aspects of Randland right on it's head. That's a hell of a lot of chaos just in and of itself. If you want to get specific with it, I can name many more, while you can only say "Rand got followers." "

ONLY? Rand got an army of saidin channeling followers, and another army of loyal fighting men. That's a nice upside. And yes, I do want something more specific of this Chaos you refer to.

"Yes, Rand did. But if haven't noticed, they're not all that loyal to Rand. ;) "

Well, there are 4 disloyal ones that we know of, out of hundreds. Plus Taim obviously, but Rand suspected him from the outset anyway.



"You said the wording was "similar" -- this is false. The wording is not "similar", it is exact. And it is the only two examples of this phrase being used in the entire series. You were trying to demeen that fact; I corrected you on it. Taimandred has nothing to do with it. "

That exact wording was supposed to prove Taim was Demandred. The flaw in that was exposed. The same flaw exists to prove Taim is a darkfriend.

"I'm sorry, but now you're saying that Taim did know he was being trained by a Forsaken. Wow. And you still call him a non-Shadow alligned just by that? Jeez, that's one hell of a stretch. "

There's a nice big grey area between knowing/suspecting who is teaching you, and caring about it. We know Taim also exists in that big grey area ethically. We've seen nothing to suggest that he is a very good or very evil person, but rather that he is in it for himself.

"Good question -- whatever the answer, Taim didn't. He must have feared something or had a good enough reason to raise Logain. Did Taim fear an open schism before it is the "ripe" time? Did Taim fear retribution from a Forsaken? Was Taim afraid of Logain? "

No one knows, including Logain, who was only speculating on Taim's actions.

"Was he even aware of it? Or was he just following orders from a higher authority, and they were the risk-taker? "

I agree he wasn't aware of the don't kill rand order, since he doesn't serve any forsaken. Only darkfriends know about that.

"**On the Asha'man finding Rand in LoC, he said that they knew where Rand was. How they did know he began with the following words: "Mazrim Taim is a paranoid S.O.B." [ _exact_ quote! ]. When finding out of the disappearal of Rand, and a large bunch of Aiel from Cairhien, he followed the route from Cairhien towards Tar Valon by Traveling, until he encountered Elaida's Aes Sedai. From there, he brought in the Asha'man.**

Taim could've easily been told "Rand al'Thor is missing -- follow up on it.""

That quote implies he acted on his own, and was not ordered. He followed up on his gut instincts, not commands from someone else. How much clearer can it be made?

"Explain what about it? What is this meant to prove, WinespringBrother?

Taim obviously knew that the Fearsome Foursome were Darkfriends -- you yourself have admitted to this. What was he trying to do? Use them for his own advantage.

Yes, Elaida's Keeper, Alviarin, is Black Ajah. What on earth does this have any relevance to Taim and the Fearsome Foursome?

Alviarin was using Elaida -- Elaida wasn't using Alviarin. Furthermore, when Elaida had the proof she believed that worked -- she removed Alviarin from her position. If Elaida was trying to push Alviarin in on Egwene's group, ok, then the situations would be the same -- but that didn't happen. The situations couldn't be more different. "

I didn't 'admit' that Taim knew they were darkfriends. I only stated the possibility as part of a "rhetorical question". The other possibility, is that Taim didn't know they were darkfriends, and had some other motive for working closely with them. Same with Elaida and Alviarin.

"Hmm, sadly that doesn't work, since this is your theory, and you're providing the claims here. You say the Fearsome Foursome had extra training -- please prove it. Otherwise, drop the claim as the supposition that it is. "

This is THEORYLAND. I'm not allowed to make theories here?

"Now, again. Rand may control the Black Tower in name, but it's Taim, as you have so uselessly pointed out, that runs it. What is Taim's job at the Black Tower? Second in command. Rand is the true leader; Taim is the second. It would be Taim that fits the Shadow's modus operandi, because he is being the power behind the power, as that he runs the Black Tower, even though Rand controls it in title. "

Well a good power behind the power would be to be under someone in direct control, not an absentee ruler. Aka, the fearsome foursome under Taim.

"Probably for just that reason: they were in the dark about the Choedan Kal due to Cyndane being out of the picture until, around mid-A Crown of Swords. "

Then why did Dashiva try to kill Rand well before then, in COS? Or the fearsome foursome? Or Taim, if he is a darkfriend as you claim?

"Even Rand took it as a boast. When someone says the same thing twice though.... "

OH, when someone says something TWICE, all of a sudden things change? LOL.

33

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-06

"If you wish to make it 25, then it's 10 years of appearance, and roughly 140 years of slowing, making him around 165. "

RJ has addressed this question with a direct answer at Dragon Con.

WSB: Has Taim started slowing, and how old is he?

RJ: He has started slowing, and he is in his late 20's.

So Taim is at most 1 year older than Logain, who is not a darkfriend, does not need protection from taint since he didn't succumb to it and was probably channeling for a period of time similar to Logain. The whole idea of his age being 165 years old is eliminated.

"Now, you seem already to avoid the open mindedness you told us to use ;) Taim would've avoided Aes Sedai interest if indeed he was a channeler for the time he supposedly was. "

RJ answered Sodas' question - about avoiding Aes Sedai interest (at least after his escape from the Aes Sedai) - he went to Caemlyn to hide from Aes Sedai and gain protection.

"And? Do you want me to quote other times Rand has guessed ages where no one has ever questioned them? Rand can judge how old a person looks; that's what people do. Rand, like many, is quite good at it. "

Not this time however.

"No, no, no. That's where you misinterpret. I'm very much proposing that Taim is not a wilder at all. He's a learner, and Forsakened trained at that. "

Not according to RJ, from Q&A session on 9/3/2005:

WSB:Was Taim born with the spark or did he have to learn?

RJ: He was born with the spark.

34

Callandor: 2005-09-07

**Me: "If you wish to make it 25, then it's 10 years of appearance, and roughly 140 years of slowing, making him around 165. "

WSB: RJ has addressed this question with a direct answer at Dragon Con.

WSB: Has Taim started slowing, and how old is he?

RJ: He has started slowing, and he is in his late 20's.

So Taim is at most 1 year older than Logain, who is not a darkfriend, does not need protection from taint since he didn't succumb to it and was probably channeling for a period of time similar to Logain. The whole idea of his age being 165 years old is eliminated.**

1. Do you have a time for when he started slowing? Didn't think so....

2. Do you have a time for when he sparked? Didn't think so....

3. This maybe a cop out -- but Rand would have to be a friggin moron to say someone is 35 or more, when they're under 30.

Btw, the timing I've been using for relative slowing is incorrect -- it's actually much worse. Here's an explanation:

**And here's where the example comes in. Not Elin. Zarya Alkaese aka Garenia. Garenia ran away from the Tower 70 years ago. Let's say she slowed at 20 (and this is being generous, for it gets more extreme, if you do her slowing at older ages, like 25). How old does she look?

**TITLE: Path of Daggers, CHAPTER: 5 - The Breaking Storm

"Reanne tried to keep a cheerful, eager face, yet her hands were never still on her skirts, constantly plucking and smoothing. Kirstian simply clutched hers and sweated, appearing ready to empty her stomach any minute; when anyone looked at her, anyone at all, she shivered. The third Kinswoman, Garenia, was a Saldaean merchant with a strong nose and a wide mouth, a short slim-hipped woman, stronger than the other two, who looked not that much older than Nynaeve. A greasy dampness glistened on her pale face, and her dark eyes grew wider whenever they fell on an Aes Sedai. Elayne thought she might soon discover whether someone's eyes actually could pop out of her head. At least Garenia had stopped moaning, which she had done all the way up the hill. There really had been another pair who might have been strong enough—possibly; the Kin did not pay much attention to that—but the last had gone on her way three days past. No one else at the farm even came close. Which was why Nynaeve was still disgusted. One reason. The other was that Garenia had been one of the very first found, passed out in the farmyard. For that matter, she fainted again the first two times she was roused, as soon as her eyes fell on one of the sisters. Of course, Nynaeve being Nynaeve, she was not about to admit that she should have done anything so simple as ask Alise who was still at the farm. Or even tell Alise what she was looking for before the woman inquired. Nynaeve never expected anyone to have sense to know up from down. Except herself.**

How old is Nynaeve at this time? 26. But how old does she truely look? 22 or so:

**TITLE: Lord of Chaos

CHAPTER: 48 - Leaning on the Knife

"Tylin spoke before she could say more. "And you are? You've seen eighteen winters at most, Elayne. And you, Nynaeve, staring at me like a cat with its tail caught, how many have you seen? Twenty-two? Twenty-three perhaps? Stab my liver! I visited Tar Valon once, and the White Tower. I doubt any woman your age has ever worn that ring on her right hand."

"Twenty-six!" Nynaeve snapped. With a good part of the Women's Circle back in Emond's Field thinking she was too young to be Wisdom, it had become habit with her to flourish every, naming day she could claim. "I am Twenty-six and an Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah." She still felt a thrill of pride saying that. "Elayne may be eighteen, but she is Aes Sedai as well, and Green Ajah. Do you think Merilille or Vandene would let us wear these rings as a joke? A good many things have changed, Tylin. The Amyrlin Seat, Egwene al'Vere, is no older than Elayne."**

So, you can do this two ways.

1. Take it at chronological age: Garenia's 70 years corresponds to 5 or 6 years of slowing.

2. Closer to the probable truth: Garenia's 70 years correspond to roughly 2 or 3 years of slowing (I've always forgotten that Nynaeve slowed, jeez).

Which is the more extreme you want? Garenia slowed later on? 21, 22, 23? It get's even more extreme.**

No matter how you try to spin it, Taim being a wilder and slowing, means he's much older than he appears. If anything, this only strengthens Taim being a Darkfriend.

**RJ answered Sodas' question - about avoiding Aes Sedai interest (at least after his escape from the Aes Sedai) - he went to Caemlyn to hide from Aes Sedai and gain protection.**

Did RJ say where his source of information was? Surprisingly -- he didn't! Quote the thing, don't just refer to it (since you seem to have a new found basis of interviews....):

**Zaela: Did Taim have motives for coming to Andor after he escaped the Aes sedai?

RJ: Ta eem, (he said it phonetically) (don't know how to write down how to say it, but it's not how most people say it)

RJ: Sure, he is a men who can channel. The aes sedai see him as a men who can channel. They will hunt him down and gentle him if they can. He has one safe haven in the world. A place were there are more men like him. Just maybe, if there are enough men like him, the Aes sedai won't be able to come after him.**

Did he say where the information came from? Nope. Did he say these were his only reasons for coming to Caemlyn? No.

**Not according to RJ, from Q&A session on 9/3/2005:

WSB:Was Taim born with the spark or did he have to learn?

RJ: He was born with the spark.**

Yay, making him be a non-Darkfriend all the more improbable. Now for sure he's subject to time dealing with the taint resistance, and dealing with how he knows what he knows. Good to know, and thanks. Too bad it doesn't rule him out at all from being Forsaken trained.

35

Tamyrlin: 2005-09-07

Callandor, I am surprised you are stilling hanging on to the age thing with Taim. Rand's impression, versus Jordan's answer, I think the answer is rather explicit. Rand was wrong, Jordan is right. Men slow later than women, so you wouldn't expect he would be called 22, if he was 26. Rand has the impression, an impression of a very young man, which is real to life; estimating age as a youth is typically a guess, because everyone seems older. Jordan is being true to the thoughts of an ignorant young men, not the experience of a hundred year old channeler that is good at estimating age combined with slowing. Jordan said Taim is in his late twenties, that is final, until Jordan contradicts that answer, which he hasn't. Rand's impression is worthless in this case, just like his impression about the Black Cords was wrong.

Jordan made a point to reference how his characters often have the wrong information, wrong impressions, and they make decisions based on such assumptions. He spoke about purposefully writing in this manner. This seems to be another case of trusting the impressions of a character, and now it would be trusting the impression over Jordan's answer.

36

Astra-al: 2005-09-07

Callandor, besides there being the overwhelming evidence that Taim is in his 20's... Wouldn't it be illogical to assume that men and women slowed the same amount?

I mean, with the OP, saidin and saidar are never alike. i.e.

-Men stronger with Earth, Fire/Women stronger with Air/Water

-The way the weaves are performed

-The way to heal a stilled/gentled

-Not to mention the feeling of the OP and how they control it. Men have to fight, while women have to surrender to it.

So why, when everything is different between male and female channelers would slowing be the same?

I was just reading the last couple posts and couldn't help thinking this.

37

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-07

I'm not quite sure what is the relevance as to when Taim started slowing. More relevant would be when did he start channeling. Since we don't know that, we can only go by generalizations. He had to start sometime between the age of 16-25, with the middle more likely. But since he is a similar age to Logain, we can probably assume a similar amount of channeling time, similar amount of exposure to the taint, etc. Since he seems sane, then he probably hasn't succumbed to the taint. However, with all the other similarities, since Logain isn't a darkfriend, why are you trying to argue Taim's age favors him being a darkfriend? The age evidence all points against.

38

Callandor: 2005-09-08

**Callandor, I am surprised you are stilling hanging on to the age thing with Taim. Rand's impression, versus Jordan's answer, I think the answer is rather explicit. Rand was wrong, Jordan is right.**

Yeah, and as I said, I felt it was a cop out in saying that. Hell, everyone for years has been telling me "don't take interviews as seriously as you do," and now everyone wants to reverse their original opinion it seems.

**Men slow later than women, so you wouldn't expect he would be called 22, if he was 26.**

I know that Tam, which again brings into question that if Rand says Taim looks 35, and RJ says late 20's, are both right, is Rand wrong, or is Jordan wrong? A lot of people say Rand's wrong, and it's the most likely.

But again, was this he is in his late 20s or does he look in his late 20s?

**Rand has the impression, an impression of a very young man, which is real to life; estimating age as a youth is typically a guess, because everyone seems older. Jordan is being true to the thoughts of an ignorant young men, not the experience of a hundred year old channeler that is good at estimating age combined with slowing.**

What's this got to do with anything? We've seen Rand estimate the ages of many men, old or young, and no one doubts those.

In any case, Rand is ignorant of the slowing anyway -- all that evidence is for us since we know it occurs, and it has effected Taim.

**Jordan said Taim is in his late twenties, that is final, until Jordan contradicts that answer, which he hasn't.**

He has -- in the books.

**Callandor, besides there being the overwhelming evidence that Taim is in his 20's... Wouldn't it be illogical to assume that men and women slowed the same amount?**

Why? Other than it's more of a cop out to explain away Taim?

**I mean, with the OP, saidin and saidar are never alike. i.e.**

That's simply false -- there are many instances they are exactly the same.

**-Men stronger with Earth, Fire/Women stronger with Air/Water**

It's a general rule of thumb, the same way men are generally stronger than women -- it's not written in stone impossible for a woman to be stronger than a man in Fire or Earth if not all of them.

**-The way the weaves are performed**

This is due to training, not saidin vs. saidar.

**-The way to heal a stilled/gentled**

Do you have proof of that? Due to your examples, I can only assume you mean different weaves for Healing men than women.

**-Not to mention the feeling of the OP and how they control it. Men have to fight, while women have to surrender to it.**

Your one true fact listed.

**So why, when everything is different between male and female channelers would slowing be the same?**

Because, again, everything is NOT different.

**I'm not quite sure what is the relevance as to when Taim started slowing.**

Uh, because if we know the time, we can better calculate how long he's slowed and how old he truely is.

For example, if he started slowing at 25, he could easily be 100, or 200 even, years older than he looks. If he started slowing at 26, it's less. 27, even less. 28, even less. I hope you get the drift.

**More relevant would be when did he start channeling.**

It's important too, but not nearly as important as the slowing.

**He had to start sometime between the age of 16-25, with the middle more likely.**

Give an example of someone starting to channel past 21 who is a sparker. Please. I don't know of any.

**Since he seems sane, then he probably hasn't succumbed to the taint.**

And that is the problem....

**However, with all the other similarities, since Logain isn't a darkfriend, why are you trying to argue Taim's age favors him being a darkfriend? The age evidence all points against.**

Again, it does not. You're simply trying to spin it into it not being in favor of it. You cast aside a key point as irrelevant, when it is the major piece.

39

JakOShadows: 2005-09-08

I do think Callandor has most of it right here. And I don't think that Taim doesn't know what's going on around him. Not just the fact that he has survived the taint for so long, when most of the Asha'man have to killed after a year or two. But also the fact that his fearsome foursome have helped him, but also have been ordered by him to kill Rand. He may be seeking power, but I don't think he would be stupid enough to order someone to do a treacharous mission with out knowing for sure their background. And if we look at similar situations in the rebel and tower aes sedai, they have noticed that some manipulating is going on. So I don't see why Taim wouldn't know. Now that being said, he could be using it to his own advantage. It's a dangerous game to play, but he seems just that cocky to me. Anyway though, I think he knows more than RJ lets on.

40

Anubis: 2005-09-08

**Yeah, and as I said, I felt it was a cop out in saying that. Hell, everyone for years has been telling me "don't take interviews as seriously as you do," and now everyone wants to reverse their original opinion it seems.**

so you can change your mind but noone else can? :P

**I know that Tam, which again brings into question that if Rand says Taim looks 35, and RJ says late 20's, are both right, is Rand wrong, or is Jordan wrong? A lot of people say Rand's wrong, and it's the most likely.**

Im 20 and when I shave I look like im about 15. Im not proud of it but people don't always LOOK how old they are. Thats the beauty of Fake IDs, and 19 year olds who look like 25 year olds. It happens. Deal with it. Rand is right, Taim looks like he is 35 but in fact is younger.

**But again, was this he is in his late 20s or does he look in his late 20s?**

I really dont understand why you are struggling with this... He looks to be 35, and is in fact in his late 20s.

**Rand has the impression, an impression of a very young man, which is real to life; estimating age as a youth is typically a guess, because everyone seems older. Jordan is being true to the thoughts of an ignorant young men, not the experience of a hundred year old channeler that is good at estimating age combined with slowing.**

**What's this got to do with anything? We've seen Rand estimate the ages of many men, old or young, and no one doubts those.**

Yeah, because Rand is always right. Hes never been wrong. Not once. Are we reading the same series?

**Jordan said Taim is in his late twenties, that is final, until Jordan contradicts that answer, which he hasn't.**

**He has -- in the books.**

A characters OPINION is not contradicting fact. Unless it is written in the Glossery that Taim is 35, and not that he "appears to be 35" then there is no contradiction. Rand was mistaken, get over it.

**-The way the weaves are performed**

**This is due to training, not saidin vs. saidar.**

If you mean performed as in hand motions etc then Callandor is right, If you mean the weaves themselves then Callandor is about half right, or maybe less.

**So why, when everything is different between male and female channelers would slowing be the same?**

**Because, again, everything is NOT different.**

Slowing seems to start after a channeler has reached physical maturity. Early 20s for wemens, and later for the mens. Its just a supposition but it fits the evidence. And when have you ever seen a 30y/o prepubescent channeler?

**I'm not quite sure what is the relevance as to when Taim started slowing.**

**Uh, because if we know the time, we can better calculate how long he's slowed and how old he truely is.

For example, if he started slowing at 25, he could easily be 100, or 200 even, years older than he looks. If he started slowing at 26, it's less. 27, even less. 28, even less. I hope you get the drift.**

Unfortunatly he has slowed minimally, if at all, and is in his late 20s. So your speculation, while entertaining, is useless.

**More relevant would be when did he start channeling.**

**It's important too, but not nearly as important as the slowing.**

No. Now that we know his age, we can determine how long he has been channeling if we know when he started. I would say that he started channeling at 18 at the earliest, so he has been channeling for around 10 years.

**He had to start sometime between the age of 16-25, with the middle more likely.**

**Give an example of someone starting to channel past 21 who is a sparker. Please. I don't know of any.**

But how many male channelers have we seen spark and known their age? I can think of exactly one so your point is pretty moot. Not to mention that Taim channeling at 18, and Taim channeling at 21, both still mean he isnt 100 years old like you seem to be arguing for.

**Since he seems sane, then he probably hasn't succumbed to the taint.**

**And that is the problem....**

He seems to be sane true... the really crazy ones always do.

**However, with all the other similarities, since Logain isn't a darkfriend, why are you trying to argue Taim's age favors him being a darkfriend? The age evidence all points against.**

**Again, it does not. You're simply trying to spin it into it not being in favor of it. You cast aside a key point as irrelevant, when it is the major piece.**

Taim is in his late 20s. So... to be really generous to Callandor we are going to say he is 29. In reality its probably something like 27 or 28 but who cares! And also to be uber generous to Callandor we are going to say that he started channeling at 16. Again. name anyone who channels at 16... but im being generous to prove a point. Given these incredibly unlikely circumstances, Taim has been channeling 13 years. And given his attitudes and actions, I would not say he is completely sane.

Taim a DF = probably.

Taim a DF = proven.... not a chance.

41

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-09

"Give an example of someone starting to channel past 21 who is a sparker. Please. I don't know of any. "

Yeah, well, Logain was 22. And he is the best example in the series for comparisons with regard to Taim.

42

Callandor: 2005-09-15

**so you can change your mind but noone else can? :P**

When have I changed my mind? All Jordan's statements at DragonCon did was bring in a contradiction.

**Im 20 and when I shave I look like im about 15. Im not proud of it but people don't always LOOK how old they are. Thats the beauty of Fake IDs, and 19 year olds who look like 25 year olds. It happens. Deal with it. Rand is right, Taim looks like he is 35 but in fact is younger.**

That's great for you and a bunch of other people. But it's inconsistant with writing to deliberately write Taim being described as 35 or older, and say he's under 30.

**I really dont understand why you are struggling with this... He looks to be 35, and is in fact in his late 20s.**

Look at it this way:

Jordan says he's late 20s -- inconsistant with his writings (and we know he has been in interviews, as much as it sucks).

Jordan says Taim is in his late 30s -- perfectly in line with what he has written in the series.

**Yeah, because Rand is always right. Hes never been wrong. Not once. Are we reading the same series?**

Are you reading what I wrote? Did I ever say Rand is always right? Quit putting words into my mouth already.

People have not clamoured over Rand's age guessing at all, except in Taim. It's delightful hypocracy, so don't try to straw man out of it.

**A characters OPINION is not contradicting fact. Unless it is written in the Glossery that Taim is 35, and not that he "appears to be 35" then there is no contradiction. Rand was mistaken, get over it.**

Wow, you really do have your head in a dark, dark place, huh? Look, it's this simple: the books say Taim is 35+ in age. Jordan, says he's under 30. There's a contradiction there. Get it? Good.

**If you mean performed as in hand motions etc then Callandor is right, If you mean the weaves themselves then Callandor is about half right, or maybe less.**

What else would "performed" mean? If they meant the weaves were different they would've written that or stated it.

**Slowing seems to start after a channeler has reached physical maturity. Early 20s for wemens, and later for the mens. Its just a supposition but it fits the evidence. And when have you ever seen a 30y/o prepubescent channeler?**

It's not a supposition; Jordan himself has said that it's 25-30 for men to star slowing. No one is doubting that -- it's people for no reason assuming that men slow at different rates than women.

**Unfortunatly he has slowed minimally, if at all, and is in his late 20s. So your speculation, while entertaining, is useless.**

Pay attention to what I say -- you may learn something.

Assume for a moment (if you can grasp that), that Taim is late twenties. Jordan himself said that he has slowed. So, when did he start to slow? Unknown. Very key point of information because if he slowed at 25, and is 29, he can be upwards of 140 years older than he truely looks. Do you get the concept? Even with accepting Taim's age as late twenties, when he slowed is a key piece of information, and not something to just be fluffed away.

Got it?

**No. Now that we know his age, we can determine how long he has been channeling if we know when he started. I would say that he started channeling at 18 at the earliest, so he has been channeling for around 10 years.**

Wow. Now that we know his age, we can determine when he started to channel. You accuse me of useless supposition.

1. You do not know how old Taim is -- again, it's contradictory evidence, and in either case it's a generality.

2. How on earth is this going to tell you when Taim started channeling, since we don't know how long he's been channeling?

3. We already have a general idea of when he started to channel since he's a wilder. So it's around 18-20 that he started.

Again, you're trying to completely ignore that Taim has slowed, and is chronologically older than he looks.

**But how many male channelers have we seen spark and known their age? I can think of exactly one so your point is pretty moot. Not to mention that Taim channeling at 18, and Taim channeling at 21, both still mean he isnt 100 years old like you seem to be arguing for.**

1. Rand.

2. Logain.

3. Owyn.

That and the BWB telling us.

And again, do you even understand what I am talking about by slowing, Anubis? I can only assume that you do not and should really look back at what I have said.

**He seems to be sane true... the really crazy ones always do.**

Except for Rand, Hopwill, the man who thought his skin was crawling with spiders, and bunch of others apparently....

**Given these incredibly unlikely circumstances, Taim has been channeling 13 years. And given his attitudes and actions, I would not say he is completely sane.**

Oh, how very generous of you. Are you ready? Here's your example gone to hell if you paid any attention to what I have been saying:

**And here's where the example comes in. Not Elin. Zarya Alkaese aka Garenia. Garenia ran away from the Tower 70 years ago. Let's say she slowed at 20 (and this is being generous, for it gets more extreme, if you do her slowing at older ages, like 25). How old does she look?

**TITLE: Path of Daggers, CHAPTER: 5 - The Breaking Storm

"Reanne tried to keep a cheerful, eager face, yet her hands were never still on her skirts, constantly plucking and smoothing. Kirstian simply clutched hers and sweated, appearing ready to empty her stomach any minute; when anyone looked at her, anyone at all, she shivered. The third Kinswoman, Garenia, was a Saldaean merchant with a strong nose and a wide mouth, a short slim-hipped woman, stronger than the other two, who looked not that much older than Nynaeve. A greasy dampness glistened on her pale face, and her dark eyes grew wider whenever they fell on an Aes Sedai. Elayne thought she might soon discover whether someone's eyes actually could pop out of her head. At least Garenia had stopped moaning, which she had done all the way up the hill. There really had been another pair who might have been strong enough—possibly; the Kin did not pay much attention to that—but the last had gone on her way three days past. No one else at the farm even came close. Which was why Nynaeve was still disgusted. One reason. The other was that Garenia had been one of the very first found, passed out in the farmyard. For that matter, she fainted again the first two times she was roused, as soon as her eyes fell on one of the sisters. Of course, Nynaeve being Nynaeve, she was not about to admit that she should have done anything so simple as ask Alise who was still at the farm. Or even tell Alise what she was looking for before the woman inquired. Nynaeve never expected anyone to have sense to know up from down. Except herself.**

How old is Nynaeve at this time? 26. But how old does she truely look? 22 or so:

**TITLE: Lord of Chaos

CHAPTER: 48 - Leaning on the Knife

"Tylin spoke before she could say more. "And you are? You've seen eighteen winters at most, Elayne. And you, Nynaeve, staring at me like a cat with its tail caught, how many have you seen? Twenty-two? Twenty-three perhaps? Stab my liver! I visited Tar Valon once, and the White Tower. I doubt any woman your age has ever worn that ring on her right hand."

"Twenty-six!" Nynaeve snapped. With a good part of the Women's Circle back in Emond's Field thinking she was too young to be Wisdom, it had become habit with her to flourish every, naming day she could claim. "I am Twenty-six and an Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah." She still felt a thrill of pride saying that. "Elayne may be eighteen, but she is Aes Sedai as well, and Green Ajah. Do you think Merilille or Vandene would let us wear these rings as a joke? A good many things have changed, Tylin. The Amyrlin Seat, Egwene al'Vere, is no older than Elayne."**

So, you can do this two ways.

1. Take it at chronological age (this is me being generous to you, Anubis): Garenia's 70 years corresponds to 5 or 6 years of slowing.

2. Closer to the truth (and here's where it gets completely out of hand): Garenia's 70 years correspond to roughly 2 or 3 years of slowing.

Which is the more extreme you want? Garenia slowed later on? 21, 22, 23? It get's even more extreme.

No matter how you try to spin it, Taim being a wilder and slowing, means he's much older than he appears. If anything, this only strengthens Taim being a Darkfriend.**

Do you finally understand why it's important to know when Taim started to slow? Do you? I sure hope so.

So, Taim started to channel at 16 then in this example. Since you feel like being generous, and I'm going to exploit that to the limit, let's say Taim slowed at 25. Two years of physical aging for slowing 70 years (again, generousity), for 4 years, giving an added 140 years onto Taim's 29. Taim is 169/170. And has been suffering from the taint, for 153/154 of those years.

Do you begin to grasp the concept?

**Yeah, well, Logain was 22. And he is the best example in the series for comparisons with regard to Taim.**

Logain was 21-22 (depending on birthday, and date of sparking). Born 972 NE, started channeling 993 NE. Still, not one example of a channeler sparking at 25 which you are proposing.

43

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-16

***Jordan says he's late 20s -- inconsistant with his writings (and we know he has been in interviews, as much as it sucks).

Jordan says Taim is in his late 30s -- perfectly in line with what he has written in the series. ***

RJ told me TWICE that Taim's age is in his late 20's. Not that he looks like he is in his late 20's. He IS in his late 20's. The book did not state Taim is in his late 30's. It said Rand thought he looked like he was in his late 30's. And RJ has stated in interviews that characters' incorrect perceptions are a major driving force of the series.

The reason I asked about the slowing (I asked it as the first part of a 2 part question: Has Taim slowed and how old is he?) was to get a non-rafo in case he rafo'ed the age; I was lucky to get 2 answers there.

***Assume for a moment (if you can grasp that), that Taim is late twenties. Jordan himself said that he has slowed. So, when did he start to slow? Unknown. Very key point of information because if he slowed at 25, and is 29, he can be upwards of 140 years older than he truely looks. Do you get the concept? Even with accepting Taim's age as late twenties, when he slowed is a key piece of information, and not something to just be fluffed away. ***

That is totally contradicted by Jordan, who said that taim is in his late 20's. And your own statement doesn't make any sense. How can he be 29 and upward of 140?

FACE IT, WE KNOW HOW OLD TAIM IS! HE IS IN HIS LATE 20'S! NO CONTRADICTIONS.

44

Callandor: 2005-09-19

**RJ told me TWICE that Taim's age is in his late 20's. Not that he looks like he is in his late 20's. He IS in his late 20's. The book did not state Taim is in his late 30's. It said Rand thought he looked like he was in his late 30's. And RJ has stated in interviews that characters' incorrect perceptions are a major driving force of the series.**

Yes, WSB, I do know that Taim never states his age. But the sheer inconsistancy is striking.

**FACE IT, WE KNOW HOW OLD TAIM IS! HE IS IN HIS LATE 20'S! NO CONTRADICTIONS.**

Nope.

45

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-20

Deny Taim's real age or not Callandor, it plays into RJ's construction of his character, namely someone who has not been avoiding the effects of the taint for decades, but rather for a much shorter time.

46

Anubis: 2005-09-21

**Wow, you really do have your head in a dark, dark place, huh? Look, it's this simple: the books say Taim is 35+ in age. Jordan, says he's under 30. There's a contradiction there. Get it? Good. **

The books do NOT say taim is 35+. Not once. Ever. Rand thinks that Taim appears to be 35+. Unless you can come up with another example of Taims age being given you are quite simply wrong. Of course your wrong anyways, but I like it best when your really really wrong. :D

47

Callandor: 2005-09-22

**Deny Taim's real age or not Callandor, it plays into RJ's construction of his character, namely someone who has not been avoiding the effects of the taint for decades, but rather for a much shorter time.**

But it is a contradiction WSB. You seem to be ignoring that fact.

**The books do NOT say taim is 35+. Not once. Ever. Rand thinks that Taim appears to be 35+. Unless you can come up with another example of Taims age being given you are quite simply wrong. Of course your wrong anyways, but I like it best when your really really wrong. :D**

Yeah, that's the books saying Taim is 35+, Anubis. Yes, it's Rand judging Taim's age, but I have yet to see anyone disagree with any other age Rand has perscribed to a character. You just love to jump on Taim.

48

Anubis: 2005-09-22

**Yeah, that's the books saying Taim is 35+, Anubis. Yes, it's Rand judging Taim's age, but I have yet to see anyone disagree with any other age Rand has perscribed to a character. You just love to jump on Taim.**

I think what we are really disagreeing about is what it means when we say "the books say".

Allow me to explain my POV. In Rands chapters it is Rands point of view. In my mind this is part of what makes RJ a really good writer. He does chapters completely from the persons POV. No outside knowledge. Rand seeing Taim and thinking, 30 years +, is NOT the same as a narrator saying 30+ years. Rand is not infallable, while a narrator would (theoreticly) be. Actually, i dont think the WOT has ever had a narration aside from the beginings and ends of each book. Therefore you must take into account that the characters are dealing with their own limited perceptions and thoughts and knowledge.

Example:

Someone throws an illusionary fireball at Rand.

Rand thinks its real.

The book would say "a fireball streaked towards his head" not "an illusionary fireball streaked toward his head". We see what Rand sees.

49

haertchen: 2005-09-22

Callandor:

I am astounded. Your are taking a guess by a character in a story, very likely designed by the author to be a misleading and false guess, and turning it into a fact written in stone in the face of the authors direct denial of that guess. Good grief, man, believe it or not, Taim's age does not determine whether you live or die past the published date of Knife of Dreams. You'd look a lot less the fool if you'd concede this point and get on with arguing much more interesting things about Taim.

The number of ways of reconciling the difference between Rand's *estimate* and RJ's statement are numerous, and most aren't particularly strained. The easiest one is that Taim looks older than he actually is, naturally. I had someone once estimate that I looked like I was 25 when I was 19, and I've had many other people tell me I look older than I actually am. Another is stress, as has been mentioned. Yet another is that Rand instinctively felt like he must be older because he had been a leader with an army, without the parting just handing him one, and that skewed his judgement. Etc., etc.

Lastly, you are yelling contradiction so loud, I must beg to differ. Imagine the following dialog:

Mat: "How tall do you suppose that wall is?"

Rand: "Oh, about ten feet, maybe?"

(Rand takes out yardstick and makes measurement.)

Rand: "Doh! Silly me, it was only 5'6''. It must have been the funny angle I was looking at it---it made it seem taller."

Just where is the contradiction in this dialog, exactly?

50

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-22

***But it is a contradiction WSB. You seem to be ignoring that fact. ***

This "contradiction" as you call it is not a fact, just your opinion. RJ stated Taim's age is in his mid-twenties. That does not directly contradict the books. It contradicts Rand's opinion, but that means nothing. When RJ states in the books that Taim is older than that, then it would be a contradiction.

51

Astra-al: 2005-09-22

“Yeah, that's the books saying Taim is 35+, Anubis. Yes, it's Rand judging Taim's age, but I have yet to see anyone disagree with any other age Rand has perscribed to a character. You just love to jump on Taim.”

You could say that the books are saying that, and then from there you could say that RJ is saying that. and if everything that is in the books, is what the books say, is what RJ says, then everything in the books is true and there are contradictions all over the place.

Also, I can't find it, but RJ said somewhere that you can't always trust what someone says or thinks.

Also, RJ directly states that Taim is in his twenties. I just don't get why you keep fighting it....

52

Callandor: 2005-09-23

**No outside knowledge. Rand seeing Taim and thinking, 30 years +, is NOT the same as a narrator saying 30+ years.**

No crap, but people have never had a problem with it, unless they didn't believe Taim wasn't a Darkfriend.

**I am astounded. Your are taking a guess by a character in a story, very likely designed by the author to be a misleading and false guess, and turning it into a fact written in stone in the face of the authors direct denial of that guess.**

It's a contradiction.

**Good grief, man, believe it or not, Taim's age does not determine whether you live or die past the published date of Knife of Dreams. You'd look a lot less the fool if you'd concede this point and get on with arguing much more interesting things about Taim.**

1. What the heck are you talking about regarding my life to the Knife of Dreams release date? If you refering to the seriousness I take with the series -- believe it or not, this isn't the sole existance of my life. Other than that, learn a little bit about the history of the site before you even try to tell someone they are taking the books literally, in as subtle a form as you like.

2. The point isn't clarified; it's just a contradiction. Hell, before DragonCon, people who disagreed with it had absolutely no basis except that the didn't like it. Now we have two sources saying dissimilar things. It needs to be clarified.

**The easiest one is that Taim looks older than he actually is, naturally.**

Which does not happen with the slowing. Slowing makes you look younger, not older.

**Yet another is that Rand instinctively felt like he must be older because he had been a leader with an army, without the parting just handing him one, and that skewed his judgement. Etc., etc.**

Rand knows that age doesn't determine leadership by taking a specific example from himself.

**Just where is the contradiction in this dialog, exactly?**

There isn't in that statement if it appeared in the books since it was dealt with specifically, and we what a specific reason to trust the yardstick.

RJ's source comes from an interview (which I do hold in high regard -- even though other people like to accept them or not at random times), and nearly completely goes against what he has written in the series.

If he said Taim was 30, fine, since it'd still be even very roughly in the same general description -- but to say under 30 is simply ridiculous given the description unless Rand is a complete moron with judging ages, and no one has yet to second guess any age Rand has given anyone else.

**RJ stated Taim's age is in his mid-twenties. That does not directly contradict the books. It contradicts Rand's opinion, but that means nothing.**

No, WSB, it contradicts the books. Rand's guess is the only source we have on Taim's age in the books. To say "Well, screw that since it's in a point of view" is saying toss out basically every single thing ever given to us. It's a contradiction. Deal with it.

**Also, I can't find it, but RJ said somewhere that you can't always trust what someone says or thinks.**

Yes, yes, yes, blah, blah, blah, you're the seven millionth person to try to point out the nonsense to me. You want to discredit whatever information you don't like to suit your version of the books? Fine, go do that and leave the discussion. Otherwise, you go with what you're given, and that's in the books (interview are nice addatives as well).

53

JakOShadows: 2005-09-23

Callandor:

Somethings in the book have been mentioned in the book to be impossible, and they have actually turned happening or to be true. But they aren't contradictions because what people thought before was either biased or they didn't have the full information. I don't think I could count the number times something like this happened in the KoD prologue(when Egwene is held captive) on my fingers. That doesn't mean that its grounds to call it a contradiction. RJ himself that Rand himself as a source is not reliable, so I would assume that he know how old Taim really is. It just isn't mentioned in the book. What you are trying to do is create on contradiction? You don't want to believe that Taim is actually younger than he looks. And it is a logical belief, because he would have to deal with the taint all those years otherwise. You just don't want to admit it.

54

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-23

**No, WSB, it contradicts the books. Rand's guess is the only source we have on Taim's age in the books. To say "Well, screw that since it's in a point of view" is saying toss out basically every single thing ever given to us. It's a contradiction. Deal with it. **

No its the first reference ... we don't know it will be the only one... maybe there is something in KOD that firms it up. There are plenty of "facts" in the books that are contradicted later in the books when characters learn of their mistaken knowledge or errors in judgement. Rand just hasn't learned about his regarding Taim's age yet. And RJ has stated that a lot of stuff that characters know can be tossed out. Deal with it ;)

55

lurk: 2005-09-23

>>**The easiest one is that Taim looks older than he actually is, naturally.**

Which does not happen with the slowing. Slowing makes you look younger, not older. <<

Callandor, I think you might be blinded a little by the fact that Taim must have slowed. Looking younger is a result of the slowing Not becoming younger. Your face rather seems to freeze at a certain age and only gradually starts to look older. So with regard to channelers this would mean that when they slow they only slowly start looking older than they already did.

It is a fact that some people look older than they are and some people look younger than they are. In Taim's case he looks older than he really is (rand's guess at 35 and RJ stating he is late twenties) This would mean that Taim would look older than he really is when he starts slowing. Because we don't really know when he started channeling it is really hard to prove that he slowed a considerable bit. We learn of Taim calling himself a dragon in TGH. This means that he started channeling some time before that. If he is a sparker he could have been fumbling with saidar like rand this could mean that he started channneling for about 8 years but to a limited amount other wise he would have declared himself the dragon reborn much sooner. Slowing is due to working with much of the power for a longer time. There are even freshly raised aes sedai who do not seem have slowed yet

If he is a learner he could have started a couple of weeks to a few months before he declared himself. His top ashaman learn fast too.

It is unlikely that he channeled a lot much earlier (independent of him being a sparker or a learner) because of his own POV where he states that you cannot expect a man with the ability to level the world (sorry don't have the exact quote) to walk small.

Mind you this is still speculation. But assuming he channeled seriously for about three years (Not the assumed 10 in Rands false assumption of Taim's age) it is save tosay that he would not have slowed much.

Interesting part is that most ashaman (and Rand) start going mad because of the taint (they do or have to do everything with the OP) and Taim seems to hold the madness of.

So callandor I think you cling to strong to the fact that Taim must have slowed and should look younger than he really is. It is possible that he still looks older than he really is.

56

Dumai Wells: 2005-09-23

I have one question for you though WSB, one thing that sticks out in my mind is kisman's thought "as if he did not know of Taims order" I just think that thought is RJ showing us that demandred and taim are two different people, thats all. Remember that before this book, rj was doing everything in his power to make us believe that demandred and taim were the same person, and we dont find out for sure until the end of the book with "that tottering old man was an ashaman".. anyway what i am trying to say is that kisman is assuming that taim and demandred have contact and speak. If the shadow was trying to manipulate taim and planted the foursome at the Black Tower wouldnt they say "hey taim is not a darkfriend so dont blow your cover" kisman would not just assume that demandred and taim knew eachother, try to follow my logic here.. if the foursome were planted there to manipulate, and taim is not a darkfriend then the shadow would say what i wrote earlier about not blowing their cover, well if they cant blow their cover then why would kisman assume that demandred would know of taim's order? if he is not a darkfriend, then he has no reason to believe that demandred is involved. you see, to me, kisman and taim and all of them are in on it together. I just feel like the attack orders all came so suddenly, and together, at the same place? Cairhen. thats just too much coincidence. I know having the choedan kal triggered the kill order from the shadow, but why all of a sudden did taim want him dead if he is not also working for the shadow? You said yourself he knew the about the cleansing since LOC..2 different sides tell the foursome at the same time to kill rand? no man, thats a stretch even for rj. alviarin knows damn well that elaida is no darkfriend, so why is kisman so unsure about anything, and why is he assuming anything? i just think their assignment is so big that they would not assume anything and would know the truth about something like taim being a darkfriend, its an imperitive piece of info. remember kadere? kadere, isendre, lanfear and asmo discussed being darkfriends, even though kadere was told they were highranking darkfriends they still discussed it. my last point is that if taim is not a darkfriend, then he is as close as anybody needs to be really..everything he does seems to coincide with the shadow, even his rescue of rand at dumai wells helped sow chaos(the shadows plan at that time), i just feel there is too much coincidence even for rj. you could be right but i just respectfully disagree with u

57

Anubis: 2005-09-23

Callandor I have to wonder exactly what your point is?

Just one simple post explaining why you feel the need to keep bringing this up and ill leave it alone.

58

Callandor: 2005-09-24

**Somethings in the book have been mentioned in the book to be impossible, and they have actually turned happening or to be true. But they aren't contradictions because what people thought before was either biased or they didn't have the full information.**

No, they're contradictions to what was previously known. They've been proven false, of course.

**That doesn't mean that its grounds to call it a contradiction.**

Yes, it does.

**RJ himself that Rand himself as a source is not reliable, so I would assume that he know how old Taim really is.**

Yep, of course, everything Rand has said, done, seen, felt, tasted, all wrong. Of course.

**You don't want to believe that Taim is actually younger than he looks. And it is a logical belief, because he would have to deal with the taint all those years otherwise. You just don't want to admit it.**

Because it isn't proven yet.

**No its the first reference ... we don't know it will be the only one... maybe there is something in KOD that firms it up.**

I'm sure there will be -- I hope there will be. But do we have that reference yet? Nope.

**There are plenty of "facts" in the books that are contradicted later in the books when characters learn of their mistaken knowledge or errors in judgement. Rand just hasn't learned about his regarding Taim's age yet. And RJ has stated that a lot of stuff that characters know can be tossed out.**

But did we know that those things were wrong? NO! Do you get that?

IT'S NOT PROVEN YET! QUIT SAYING THAT IT IS. Jeez.

**Callandor, I think you might be blinded a little by the fact that Taim must have slowed.**

Since all channelers do, and RJ has said that it does? That's not blinded, that's a fact.

**So with regard to channelers this would mean that when they slow they only slowly start looking older than they already did.**

No, they look the same age as they slow, but chronologically get older. Nynaeve is 26-27 now. She looks 22-23 years old. Slowing makes you look younger, never, ever older.

**If he is a sparker he could have been fumbling with saidar like rand this could mean that he started channneling for about 8 years but to a limited amount other wise he would have declared himself the dragon reborn much sooner. Slowing is due to working with much of the power for a longer time. There are even freshly raised aes sedai who do not seem have slowed yet**

Read everything that I have said in this thread again.

Slowing occurs at specific times in your true age. Female channelers its 20-25. Male channelers its 25-30. It's not "8 or 10 years after you start channeling at some random time." No, it's specific ranges that you begin to start to slow. If you're already past those times, you start to slow immediately (but you don't revert to looking younger like stilling).

RJ has said that Taim is a sparker, and has slowed. So, he's been channeling for a while, since we've never seen a sparker beyond 22 years old older, if not 21.

The time he started to slow is the key time, since it takes many, many, years of slowing to look older than people think.

**If he is a learner he could have started a couple of weeks to a few months before he declared himself. His top ashaman learn fast too.**

Indeed he could've and that was what I was pushing for, but RJ has said he's a sparker.

**It is unlikely that he channeled a lot much earlier (independent of him being a sparker or a learner) because of his own POV where he states that you cannot expect a man with the ability to level the world (sorry don't have the exact quote) to walk small.**

He's a wilder, so he will channel at an early age -- nothing he can do to stop it.

**So callandor I think you cling to strong to the fact that Taim must have slowed and should look younger than he really is. It is possible that he still looks older than he really is.**

Your arguement is completely invalidated, since RJ has said that Taim has slowed.

**Callandor I have to wonder exactly what your point is?

Just one simple post explaining why you feel the need to keep bringing this up and ill leave it alone.**

Because I believe Taim is a Darkfriend at least? Because Taim has huge problems with him being a sparker, having slowed, and being the age that he is or could be? The problems you and WSB and others are simply ignoring completely.

59

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-24

///**There are plenty of "facts" in the books that are contradicted later in the books when characters learn of their mistaken knowledge or errors in judgement. Rand just hasn't learned about his regarding Taim's age yet. And RJ has stated that a lot of stuff that characters know can be tossed out.**

But did we know that those things were wrong? NO! Do you get that?

IT'S NOT PROVEN YET! QUIT SAYING THAT IT IS. Jeez. ///

It's up to us the readers to decide what facts to accept and what not. It is important to take into consideration the knowledge, wisdom, experience and trustworthiness when considering a source of possibly subjective information, and also if multiple sources concur on a specific fact, and how reliable/accurate are they?

The most reliable information is probably that which characters learned from direct, repeated, first-hand experience - for example, fire is hot, and water is wet. And so on. First-impression guesses like Rand's guesstimate of Taim's age may be less accurate. And there are other possible factors as well - since Bashere had a hard time recognizing Taim, maybe he was using a disguise weave or something like that, which threw off Rand's guess.

However, if Robert Jordan states something straight out in a Q&A and there is nothing in the book that contradicts it, I would believe the CREATOR. And I believe most other readers will do the same. Especially over a throwaway guesstimate of age that is not ever referenced any time else in the series. It's not like Rand was obsessed with Taim's age - he only gave it thought that one time, and didn't do any investigation of it afterwards to firm up his guess. And that guess may have been part of the "non-intentional" Taimendred ruse.

Of course, you can also subjectively pick and choose which sources you want to trust based on your own preconceived notions. Just be prepared to be asked for convincing evidence if you want to convert people to your beliefs, and if you are trying to contradict RJ, it better be really convincing ;)

60

Anubis: 2005-09-25

**Because I believe Taim is a Darkfriend at least?**

Yeah... I believe taim is a darkfriend too... I just dont see what his age has to do with it.

61

Callandor: 2005-09-26

**It's up to us the readers to decide what facts to accept and what not. It is important to take into consideration the knowledge, wisdom, experience and trustworthiness when considering a source of possibly subjective information, and also if multiple sources concur on a specific fact, and how reliable/accurate are they?**

Wow. Right. So, Rand being how old he is, living in the world that he is, judging people's ages all the time, should be a good guess of old people are, right?

Accept everything until it's brought into contention -- otherwise, you're just ignoring what evidence you don't want to deal with.

**However, if Robert Jordan states something straight out in a Q&A and there is nothing in the book that contradicts it, I would believe the CREATOR.**

As would I, like how I accept now that Taim is a sparker, and has slowed (as I have refered to many, many times). But, as you fail to notice, the books do contradict directly what RJ has said about Taim's age.

**Especially over a throwaway guesstimate of age that is not ever referenced any time else in the series.**

Like how the throwaway reference to the Tower of Ghenjei was so unimportant? Like how the throwaway reference to Egwene thinking about the strength of Earth in the Salidar sisters and Northharbor and Southharbor? Like the numerous throwaway references that are all Egwene's dreams?

You simply wish to discredit the source, and refuse to accept there is a contradiction here, without it being explained.

**And that guess may have been part of the "non-intentional" Taimendred ruse.**

So what if it was? Does that make it incorrect? Did RJ directly refer to this instance and say "Nah, that's just me lying to you"?

And this is the absolute final time I will tell you to stop trying to make my objections seem like Taimandred theories. I'm really getting sick of it.

**Yeah... I believe taim is a darkfriend too... I just dont see what his age has to do with it.**

If we know his age, since we can already gestimate roughly when he started to channel (would be lovely to know), then we can gather at least a bare minimum of years that he has been channeling. Since he's a wilder, he started to channel roughly 18-21/22, and if we know for sure his age (since again it's contended), we get the bare minimum of years he's channeled, and the number of years he's dealt with the taint.

The more important fact to know, is when he started to slow, since RJ has said Taim has slowed. If we knew from when he slowed, even with just descriptions of age we can begin to get a rough estimate of how long he's been slowing, and how much to add to his total age, and how long he's been dealing with the taint.

The point of it is, that if Taim has been dealing with the taint for over 10 years or so, it strongly brings into question how he is not visibly insane (even the most subtle forms we know of, are visible and remarked upon), or how he hasn't suffered from the rotting disease. If it's over 10 years, and trust me it adds up very quickly with slowing involved, it brings it almost into certainty that Taim has had protection from the taint, which is only available from one source: the Shadow.

62

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-27

***Wow. Right. So, Rand being how old he is, living in the world that he is, judging people's ages all the time, should be a good guess of old people are, right?

Accept everything until it's brought into contention -- otherwise, you're just ignoring what evidence you don't want to deal with.***

Actually RJ is telling you to not do that. At least when it comes to character's opinions - take them with a grain of salt.

***As would I, like how I accept now that Taim is a sparker, and has slowed (as I have refered to many, many times). But, as you fail to notice, the books do contradict directly what RJ has said about Taim's age.***

You won't let go of that huh? Well feel free to ask him on the book tour. I'm not wasting a question on how good Rand is at guessing ages.

***Like how the throwaway reference to the Tower of Ghenjei was so unimportant? Like how the throwaway reference to Egwene thinking about the strength of Earth in the Salidar sisters and Northharbor and Southharbor? Like the numerous throwaway references that are all Egwene's dreams?

You simply wish to discredit the source, and refuse to accept there is a contradiction here, without it being explained. ***

Ghenjei was referred to several times, and we saw it on screen twice. Not a throwaway. Egwene's earth strength was explained also. And we know her dreams are important. Those are poor comparisons to this. As for discrediting the source, why not? Rand has been wrong about many things, and he is only human.

***So what if it was? Does that make it incorrect? Did RJ directly refer to this instance and say "Nah, that's just me lying to you"?

And this is the absolute final time I will tell you to stop trying to make my objections seem like Taimandred theories. I'm really getting sick of it.***

RJ indirectly made a blanket referral to that, stating that characters don't know as much as they think they do. Feel free to ask him though.

As for the comparison to Taimendred, I wasn't trying to imply that your thoughts in this case relate to it at all. I'm just saying that RJ may have put in a false clue (Rand's guess about Taim's age) to trick the readers. Read my comments again and take a chill :)

63

silverwolf: 2005-09-27

The impression I had from the Dragoncon reports is that RJ has said that Taim IS in his late twenties, not just that he appears to be, and that Rand's impression of Taim's age was incorrect. In other words, athough he has slowed, the amount of time he's been channelling, while suspicious considering he's still sane, actually proves nothing. I do think he's a darkfriend (especially based on his apparent command in Winter's Heart to kill Rand), but his age doesn't come into it. (If you object to this on the basis that RJ could be contradicting himself, you have to drop the argument that Taim is a sparker just cause RJ said so; since RJ's explanation--Rand was wrong about Taim's age--is not contradicted by the books, there is no reason to reject it while accepting any quotes from any interview/Q&A).

64

lurk: 2005-09-28

Oh this tread never ends and will it ever;)

Assume for a moment (if you can grasp that), that Taim is late twenties. Jordan himself said that he has slowed. So, when did he start to slow? Unknown. Very key point of information because if he slowed at 25, and is 29, he can be upwards of 140 years older than he truely looks. Do you get the concept? Even with accepting Taim's age as late twenties, when he slowed is a key piece of information, and not something to just be fluffed away.

Short question to make the discussion even more complicated.

RJ stated that Taim IS IN HIS LATE TWENTIES.

How do we interpret this:

1) Taim is actually 28-29 years of age

2) Taim LOOKS 28-29 years of age.

I tend to believe Taim actually is 28-29 years old because of the way RJ said it. And yes Callandor this is not conclusive but very probable.

Secondly Taim started slowing. But how much is practically impossible to determine because we lack verified information. But if we go with RJ's statement that Taim is 28-29 it doesn't matter. Bottomline is Taim has been channeling some time and doesn't seem to suffer from the taint. From Logain we have no POV so we cannot say he is starting to go mad.But after six years he should be.

Furthermore We here from Taim in TGH when Siun Sanche mentions troubles is Saldaea. So Taim is out in the open for about two years. In one of the books when an ashaman tries to strike at Rand Taim puts him down. he then follows with a remark that you cannot expect a man who can level mountains to walk small (or something very alike quotemasters help). This is an indication that Taim also finds it hard to walk small. If he has been able to channel longer than two years it is unlikely that he has been able to walk small before he declared himself the dragon reborn which was two years ago.

Based on these assumptions and the fact that Taim knows more than is normal for a wilder (the pieces of eveidence from callandor) it is likely that Taim is forsaken trained but not necesarily for a very long time. If so than it is interesting to derive who might have trained Taim. Ishy? Demmy? those are the likely candidates in my book

Feel free to tear this apart I don't mind being pointed at my falty assumptions when there are any.

65

JakOShadows: 2005-09-28

Callandor: I'm not doubting that he is a sparker or anything of the like. But if he started to channel at 22 and he is now in his late twenties, it is possible that he could have lasted that long. Let's look at Rand here, after channeling massive amounts of saidin, he has lasted two years. Now lessen the amount of saidin by a fourth, and he could have lasted 8 years. It is possible, and look at his actions now. It could be interpreted as madness coming through. And in my opinion he is just as hard as Rand, so that could be more evidence for it. I'm not saying this is necessarily true, but I don't think its as cut and dry as you make it out to be.

66

Callandor: 2005-09-29

**Actually RJ is telling you to not do that. At least when it comes to character's opinions - take them with a grain of salt.**

Yeah, two things:

1. We're not RJ -- we don't know what's the real fact or the false ones that are people lying or misinterpretation.

2. You're basically saying this because the issue doesn't have any contention with you. Here -- Taim was never captured. The letters were misinterpreted. Does it make any sense? Absolutely not.

Trust what were given until there's a contradiction because that's the information we have to go on. All Jordan's quote did was make a contradiction -- not proving anything.

**You won't let go of that huh? Well feel free to ask him on the book tour. I'm not wasting a question on how good Rand is at guessing ages.**

No, I won't let it go because it is not proven -- you won't let go of the fact that it does not prove it.

**Ghenjei was referred to several times, and we saw it on screen twice. Not a throwaway. Egwene's earth strength was explained also. And we know her dreams are important. Those are poor comparisons to this. As for discrediting the source, why not? Rand has been wrong about many things, and he is only human.**

1. You had absolutely no idea what you would see more of when the Tower of Ghenjei was first given that "throwaway reference." Don't just exclude everything because it's a "throwaway reference" -- otherwise you're simply accepting what you want to accept, and forgetting everything else.

2. The reference wasn't about Egwene's strength -- it was the Earth strength of the Salidar Aes Sedai, along with Northharbor and Southharbor. It was a "throwaway reference" to what Egwene's plan was as of Crossroads of Twilight, and I know for a fact that no one I came in contact with even guessed what Egwene was going to do until more information was explained in Crossroads. But there it is.

3. Yeah, Egwene's dreams are important -- but not all are assured to come true. And, they're all "throwaway references" -- no getting around that point.

**RJ indirectly made a blanket referral to that, stating that characters don't know as much as they think they do. Feel free to ask him though.**

But how the heck are we supposed to know what they know as fact or what they are right on by guessing or what they are taking too far in thoughts? We don't. So, either accept everything until contradicted as truth -- or just exclude everything that you don't like for your theories and simple convince yourself that everything you say is right.

**As for the comparison to Taimendred, I wasn't trying to imply that your thoughts in this case relate to it at all.**

Whatever -- you've done that several times in this thread and others already, so don't try it with "throwaway references" to Taimandred.

** I'm just saying that RJ may have put in a false clue (Rand's guess about Taim's age) to trick the readers. Read my comments again and take a chill :)**

1. I've agreed with you all along WSB. You completely FAIL to realize this. There are misdirections to confuse readers -- but we have absolutely no idea what they are at all so we are forced to accept even ones that will turn out to be incorrect as truth, or you're simply excluding everything you do not like for no other reason.

67

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-29

***1. We're not RJ -- we don't know what's the real fact or the false ones that are people lying or misinterpretation. ***

Yeah but we are intelligent readers who can use all the information in the books to decide whats real and whats not. Or if RJ tells us straight out whats real and whats not.

***2. You're basically saying this because the issue doesn't have any contention with you. Here -- Taim was never captured. The letters were misinterpreted. Does it make any sense? Absolutely not. ***

Yes the issue doesn't have any contention with me obviously, since it is in favor of my argument. If it wasn't in favor, I would have presented it as well but that is beside the point. And your example is not really relevant to anything. Why would we think Siuan doesn't understand a letter addressed to her? And what does that have to do with an answer received directly from RJ which supersedes the books?

***Trust what were given until there's a contradiction because that's the information we have to go on. All Jordan's quote did was make a contradiction -- not proving anything. ***

RJ's statement wipes out Rand's guess. It says that Rand's guess is wrong. How does Rand know more than the Creator?

***No, I won't let it go because it is not proven -- you won't let go of the fact that it does not prove it. ***

Well, RJ's word is good enough for me.

***But how the heck are we supposed to know what they know as fact or what they are right on by guessing or what they are taking too far in thoughts? We don't. So, either accept everything until contradicted as truth -- or just exclude everything that you don't like for your theories and simple convince yourself that everything you say is right. ***

That's being a little bitter Callandor. RJ has given quotes that disprove my theories and factions and I accepted them. Why shouldn't I accept statements that prove my theories and factions as well? And why can't you?

***1. I've agreed with you all along WSB. You completely FAIL to realize this. There are misdirections to confuse readers -- but we have absolutely no idea what they are at all so we are forced to accept even ones that will turn out to be incorrect as truth, or you're simply excluding everything you do not like for no other reason.***

I don't think RJ is going to give misdirections at a signing from a direct answer to a direct question.

68

Callandor: 2005-09-29

**If you object to this on the basis that RJ could be contradicting himself, you have to drop the argument that Taim is a sparker just cause RJ said so; since RJ's explanation--Rand was wrong about Taim's age--is not contradicted by the books, there is no reason to reject it while accepting any quotes from any interview/Q&A**

No, the difference is we had no idea whether Taim was a sparker or a learner -- it was never commented on, just implied that he was a sparker. Jordan said he was a sparker, so there is no contradiction.

The books saying Taim is roughly 35+, and Jordan saying quite surprisingly different, is a contradiction.

**Secondly Taim started slowing. But how much is practically impossible to determine because we lack verified information. But if we go with RJ's statement that Taim is 28-29 it doesn't matter. Bottomline is Taim has been channeling some time and doesn't seem to suffer from the taint.**

Wrong -- it does matter. Look again at what I said:

**Very key point of information because if he slowed at 25, and is 29, he can be upwards of 140 years older than he truely looks.**

The slowing skews the age possiblities, and can easily make it beyond simple possibility for Taim to remain sane without help.

**So Taim is out in the open for about two years.**

About 6 months I believe. However, he does give a history of a much longer time channeling, which might or might not be true (but we take it as fact for now).

**Based on these assumptions and the fact that Taim knows more than is normal for a wilder (the pieces of eveidence from callandor) it is likely that Taim is forsaken trained but not necesarily for a very long time. If so than it is interesting to derive who might have trained Taim. Ishy? Demmy? those are the likely candidates in my book**

It need not be a long time at all. I could believe a month or two of intensive training would more than be enough.

And, yes, Demandred and Ishamael are the main contenders for being Taim's possible teacher -- a far flung one is Rahvin, but that seems kinda dead.

**But if he started to channel at 22 and he is now in his late twenties, it is possible that he could have lasted that long.**

Not with the slowing -- which is the key point people forget.

**Now lessen the amount of saidin by a fourth, and he could have lasted 8 years.**

And what if taint madness isn't triggered by amount of taint?

**It is possible, and look at his actions now. It could be interpreted as madness coming through.**

His actions are either self-centered or planned. Madness in them? Hardly. Rand's actions that are madness are blatantly madness -- Taim's hardly so.

69

silverwolf: 2005-09-29

We're not excluding Rand's comment for no reason; the author of the series told us to. Simply put, that should be the end of it. Besides which, around campus I encounter people that look 30 to me, even some that look 35, and are actually in their early 20's. Conversely, I've found people that look like they should still be in high school and are actually late 20's or early 30's. Perceived age, especially for men (and women, although that doesn't apply to this argument) in their 20's and 30's is a very relative thing. As Rand is in his early twenties, it is entirely possible that he would confuse someone in their mid to late 20's as being 35-ish. Since by it's very nature Rand's guess is shaky at best, and since RJ has directly contradicted Rand's impression, it's perfectly reasonable to throw out that opinion. There is still overwhelming evidence that Taim is a darkfriend (for instance, the "kill Rand" order revealed by Kisman in WH), so let this go.

70

WinespringBrother: 2005-09-29

Check the wotmania FAQ:

"Mazrim Taim - b. 971-973 NE, 27-29.

He looks about 15 years older than Rand, Lord of Chaos, A New Arrival, so he looks around 35 or a few years more at most. However, Taim apparently looks old for his age (the only channeller that does) and he is in fact in his late twenties:

Jordan: "Taim has slowed, but one thing I am not going to reveal it in the books, so I'll tell you, men slow later than women do. And yes, he has slowed, and he is in his late twenties, yes his late twenties."

Taim's appearance appears to be an inconsistency."

71

lurk: 2005-09-30

##Wrong -- it does matter. Look again at what I said:

Very key point of information because if he slowed at 25, and is 29, he can be upwards of 140 years older than he truely looks.** ##

No it doesn't you misunderstand what I say

Taim IS 29 not LOOKS 29

No matter if you LOOK 10 or 140 if you ARE 29 you ARE 29 years old as in you were born 29 years ago!!

72

lurk: 2005-09-30

I forgot to add.

Everybody who can channel states the exact age they have,nomatterhow old they seem. If they are 300 years old due to slowing they claim to be 300 years old not the 70 they look

That is the point slowing means your body doesn't age but you yourself do age.So if RJ claims Taim is in his late twenties, that means he was born about 28-29 years ago. Not 140 because he has slowed.Otherwise RJ would have said Taim is over a hundred years old.

73

Callandor: 2005-10-01

**We're not excluding Rand's comment for no reason; the author of the series told us to.**

We have no idea what are the false leads or the true facts. Therefore, we are FORCED to accept what we have for information as correct, unless there's a contradiction. All RJ's comments did were make a contradiction -- and a tremendous one at that.

Put it this way: who believed Moiraine that Fain's evil would keep spreading and spreading from Mat? Everyone -- because she was Aes Sedai and it was uncontradicted. RJ told us wrong.

Who believed the Black Cord theory, or at least that the Black Cords were connections to the Dark One? Just about everyone -- because we saw them and Rand said as much. RJ told us differently.

Were these wrong? Yes, apparently so. Did we know that? Absolutely not. Why? Because we didn't know certain information.

You exclude what people say for any reason unless there's a contradiction, you're simply saying "I don't like this, so it's not true."

**Since by it's very nature Rand's guess is shaky at best, and since RJ has directly contradicted Rand's impression, it's perfectly reasonable to throw out that opinion.**

But, I take it you have absolutely no objections to any other estimation made by Rand....

**Mazrim Taim - b. 971-973 NE, 27-29**

I'd like to see how they made that, since we're never given a birthday or a year or anything for reference.

74

Tamyrlin: 2005-10-01

Okay, one more rehash. Callandor, you are using the argument that we should believe what the books tell us, until we are given information that makes us reject or question what we thought we knew. You cited Black Cords, something I am intimately aware of, as an example. Jordan, in essence, said I was wrong. Now, if you make an analogous comparison to the Taim timeline, we should believe Rand, just as I believed Rand's impression about the Black Cords, until Jordan then tells us Taim is only in his late twenties, which should tell us Rand was wrong, just as his impression about the Black Cords was wrong, not that a contradiction still exists.

75

Astra-al: 2005-10-01

**Put it this way: who believed Moiraine that Fain's evil would keep spreading and spreading from Mat? Everyone -- because she was Aes Sedai and it was uncontradicted. RJ told us wrong.

Who believed the Black Cord theory, or at least that the Black Cords were connections to the Dark One? Just about everyone -- because we saw them and Rand said as much. RJ told us differently.

Were these wrong? Yes, apparently so. Did we know that? Absolutely not. Why? Because we didn't know certain information. **

But in all these cases we found out they were wrong because of what RJ said. In this case, you're implying that we found out RJ was wrong because the books said otherwise... These do nothing to help prove your point, in fact they detract from it.

**You exclude what people say for any reason unless there's a contradiction, you're simply saying "I don't like this, so it's not true." **

To me it seems more like you're the one saying that. Normally any quote from RJ is taken as absolute truth. In this case you're just flipping it around because “you don't like it, so it's not true.”

76

silverwolf: 2005-10-02

Callandor: "Who believed Moiraine that Fain's evil would keep spreading and spreading from Mat? Everyone -- because she was Aes Sedai and it was uncontradicted. RJ told us wrong.

Who believed the Black Cord theory, or at least that the Black Cords were connections to the Dark One? Just about everyone -- because we saw them and Rand said as much. RJ told us differently.

Were these wrong? Yes, apparently so. Did we know that? Absolutely not. Why? Because we didn't know certain information. "

I agree with everything you said in the above quotes. Until RJ said otherwise, we believed the opinions of the characters; until RJ said otherwise, I believed Taim had slowed and was too old to be sane and not a darkfriend. However, as in each of the examples you gave, we now have a direct contradiction to an opinion, and, as in each of those cases, we should believe the author over the characters. So, just like th black cord theory has been debunked and the "fact" that the evil of Shadar Logoth would spread has been debunked, so has Rand's impression of Taim's age.

"But, I take it you have absolutely no objections to any other estimation made by Rand...."

Show me another example where Rand's estimation is definitively contradicted by RJ and I'll have the same problem with it. In general, though, you're right--I have no problem accepting the vast majority of Rand's estimations.

"We have no idea what are the false leads or the true facts. Therefore, we are FORCED to accept what we have for information as correct, unless there's a contradiction."


Completely correct. As you yourself admit, though ("All RJ's comments did were make a contradiction -- and a tremendous one at that.") there is a contradiction. Quite frankly, that's the whole reason most people don't believe Rand's guess--because the author contradicts it.

77

Callandor: 2005-10-03

**To me it seems more like you're the one saying that. Normally any quote from RJ is taken as absolute truth. In this case you're just flipping it around because “you don't like it, so it's not true.”**

Are you kidding me?? Tell that to people who don't even read Jordan interview quotes because they have seen time and again them be contradicted.

They're taken as fact, unless they're contradicted.

78

haertchen: 2005-10-06

I'm afraid the whole question is over. From Jordan's Dragonmount blog:

"For Linda Sedai, Rand misjudges Taim's age because when they meet, you might say Taim has been rode hard and put away wet. He has just finished a long and difficult flight to reach Caemlyn, the one place where he might find refuge instead of being hunted -- along with other reasons -- and that has a wearing effect on anyone. Now that he has recovered, he doesn't look so old."

This not only confirms that Rand misjudged the age, but gives a reason why---stress. For Heaven's sake, Callandor, it's over!

79

Callandor: 2005-10-08

**This not only confirms that Rand misjudged the age, but gives a reason why---stress. For Heaven's sake, Callandor, it's over!**

Yeah, his age is different now, because RJ addressed the issue of Rand's misjudgement -- if you happen to notice, that didn't happen before.

And anyway, thanks for ignoring everything else about Taim that points to him being a Darkfriend.

80

haertchen: 2005-10-19

Warning: Knife of Dreams Spoiler




I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I didn't think Taim was a Darkfriend. Even before KoD, I thought it was pretty likely, and now I'm dead certain you were right.

All I was fighting against (as I believe most of the people here were) was the theory that Taim was 107 due to slowing. If that was true, clearly Taim would have to be a Darkfriend, if only to survive the taint. But if it wasn't, as RJ's statements quite clearly said, then that little bit of evidence would have to be thrown out as indifferent---it was neither pro nor con. The rest of the evidence would stand or fall on its own merits, and as we have seen in KoD, the rest of the evidence should have been quite compelling.

81

Callandor: 2005-10-19

**But if it wasn't, as RJ's statements quite clearly said, then that little bit of evidence would have to be thrown out as indifferent---it was neither pro nor con.**

Hardly. It's still a feat to survive nearly ten years of channeling. Taim being a wilder, and being in his late twenties (still the strangest rationale for it, but whatever), is easily near 10 years of active channeling. His age is still a factor -- just not nearly as so.

82

Realnow: 2008-07-25

It seems pretty clear that Taim is planning something to do with seizing power in the Black Tower. But that doesn't make him a Darkfriend. Everyone seems to be forgetting that there is more than just Light and Dark, and that you can be evil or selfish without being a Darkfriend.

Yes Taim has been conniving behind Rand's back at the BT since the beginning probably, but I doubt at this point that he could be with the Shadow.

Isn't it much more likely that he was released by the Forsaken to cause chaos, but he wasn't turned to the Dark. He IS simply causing trouble out of his own design.

The points presented for both arguments here would fit in with this. Even the people steadfastly saying Taim is a dreadlord have to admit that he had plenty of oppurtunities to secure victory against Rand and he would have been helped far more by the DO's agents.

83

JakOShadows: 2008-07-29

i'm not completely disagreeing with you realnow, but i do think the fact that Taim has Moridin's colors in his audience room (whatever you want to calli it) is very suggestive of the fact that he is in cahoots with Moridin.