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WinespringBrother
11-13-2010, 11:48 AM
WinesprngBrothr Mon Nov 08
@BrandonSandrson will save a lot of theorising if RAFO'ed :D (not that I mind theorising, of course!) Is Taim a darkfriend? #portalstone

BrandonSandrson Mon Nov 08
@WinesprngBrothr Wow. I could really blow things up with that one, eh? I'll be safe and RAFO. #portalstone

Some people interpret that differently. However, I think that Brandon who likely knows that the majority of the HCFF community believes that Taim is a darkfriend, he is avoiding blowing up things for them! :D:p

So, what has happened since I last did a major writeup on this topic?

Someone asked Brandon about the dark aura around Taim when he was visiting the Palace in Caemlyn, and he stated that is the first time anyone asked him about that. It is similar to the aura seen around Rand various times during TGS, after he channeled the True Power. Does that mean he is a darkfriend? It is interesting that there is no mention of an aura around the other 2 known TP users, Graendal and Moridin. Also, Rand is obviously not a darkfriend.

There is the famous "Let the Lord of Chaos Rule" line from Knife of Dreams, and the color scheme from the new Palace at the Black Tower. Was he shouting out the the members of the Red Ajah, who he may be aware have a high percentage of Black Ajah members? Was he just being mysterious? Is that really just an old saying, as has been pondered on the updated WOTFAQ? And if he is a darkfriend, why is he speaking openly of confidential Shadow secrets and plans to possible non-darkfriends? While on the KOD tour, RJ refused to ID Taim as a darkfriend, despite this supposed obvious point of evidence proclaiming his allegiance.

We do get some on-screen time finally in Towers. Taim is shown having a conversation with Pevara and Javindhra (who is apparently a darkfriend). He reiterated his rule to Javindhra despite her badgering that no Asha'man could be bonded by the sisters there. Why would he not play along with a supposed ally? Why is Javindhra insistent? Could it be that they need to bond someone inside Taim's inner circle to keep a closer eye on him?

Taim also said "Fools will always choke themselves when they grasp for too much, Aes Sedai. What matters that to me?" He doesn't care about Aes Sedai anymore, now that the taint is clean and he doesn't have to worry about himself or his men being gentled.

He also warned the 2 Aes Sedai that he needed to be alerted if they wanted to leave, now that his defenses were in place. Likely, he does not anyone he doesn't trust to leave with information on the Black Tower defenses. They are certainly more prepared to deal with possible attacks from Shadowspawn or the Seanchan than the White Tower was, or Caemlyn, and don't want to lose that advantage. They could obviously have left anytime they wanted before that, since they apparently overstayed their welcome long since.

So, why is the dreamspike there, to limit Traveling? That can be easily explained. The Shadow does not want Asha'man, clearly the best fighting force around (based on their victories over the Shaido at Dumai's Wells and over the Seanchan in the Altara campaign) to interfere with the Trolloc attack on Caemlyn.

Rand has been apparently ignoring the Black Tower, downplaying Logain's warnings, though at some point in TofM, he did try to go to the Black Tower, for as yet unexplained reasons. He was not able to Travel there, so he sent Naeff undercover to investigate. Likely, he wanted to have the Black Tower send representatives to the Field of Merrilor, especially with the apparent absence of Logain. Rand probably also wanted to make an inspirational speech and acquaint himself with those he never met at the BT. But there is no sense of great worry from Rand, or thinking that Taim betrayed him. He has communicated with Taim off-screen at least once, when he sent Taim to recruit at the Two Rivers, betraying his concern for them that he spent so long hiding from everyone. Yet we see no mention of the Shadow taking advantage of this, despite Rand's worries to the contrary. While the Two Rivers soldiers and dedicated are kept out of Taim's inner circle, that may be on orders from Rand, to keep an eye on them, but not to coddle them and have them painted as targets by the other Asha'man.

So, there is clearly more to Taim than meets the eye. Some have speculated that he is a 2nd ager, having survived in a Stasis box. Whatever the case, it is not as simple as many have claimed it to be. He isn't Demandred, he isn't Demandred's proxy, and I have a hard time believing that Moridin is masquerading as him. The mannerisms just don't add up, and Rand nevers recognizes Taim's face as the one he sees periodically. Taim does have something brewing, no doubt, that will throw a large part of the community for a loop.

TankSpill
11-13-2010, 01:15 PM
Rand has been apparently ignoring the Black Tower, downplaying Logain's warnings, though at some point in TofM, he did try to go to the Black Tower, for as yet unexplained reasons. He was not able to Travel there, so he sent Naeff undercover to investigate. Likely, he wanted to have the Black Tower send representatives to the Field of Merrilor, especially with the apparent absence of Logain. Rand probably also wanted to make an inspirational speech and acquaint himself with those he never met at the BT. But there is no sense of great worry from Rand, or thinking that Taim betrayed him.

Actually, according to this, Rand expresses definite worry, fear, and concern about the tower:


Rand turned to Naeff. "Naeff, there has still been no word from the Black Tower?"

"No, my Lord," the tall Asha'man said.

"I have been unable to Travel there," Rand said. "That implies great trouble, worse than I had feared. Use this weave. It can disguise you. Travel to a place a day's ride outside, and ride in, hiding yourself. See what you can discover. Help if you can, and when you find Logain and those loyal to him, deliver him a message for me."

"What message, my Lord?"

Rand looked distant. "Tell them that I was wrong. Tell them that we're not weapons. We're men. Perhaps it will help. Take care. This could be dangerous. Bring me word. I will need to fix things there, but I could easily stumble into a trap more dangerous than any I've avoided so far. Problems ... so many problems that need fixing. And only one of me. Go in my place, Naeff, for now. I need information."

"I . . . Yes, my Lora1." He seemed confused, but he ducked out of the room to obey.

I think it likely that the reason he wanted to go there was to finally see what's going on that Logain has been warning him about for months now (as well as to get some representatives).

Frenzy
11-13-2010, 06:09 PM
i think the pertinent question is was Taim a darkfriend prior to first meeting Rand, or did he switch afterwards.

Davian93
11-13-2010, 06:13 PM
i think the pertinent question is was Taim a darkfriend prior to first meeting Rand, or did he switch afterwards.

I say and have said afterwards. I think he flipped sometime after LoC personally.

morat'corlm
11-13-2010, 06:34 PM
Taim is shown having a conversation with Pevara and Javindhra (who is apparently a darkfriend). He reiterated his rule to Javindhra despite her badgering that no Asha'man could be bonded by the sisters there. Why would he not play along with a supposed ally? Why is Javindhra insistent? Could it be that they need to bond someone inside Taim's inner circle to keep a closer eye on him?The obvious (i.e. Darkfriend) interpretation is that he is playing along with Javindhra, or rather that she's playing along with him as he holds the Red embassy there to be forcibly turned. Most of your other explanations, while ingenious, are likewise considerably more complicated than the simply ones accompanying Taim being a Darkfriend, so I'll go with Occam's Razor.

I have a feeling that Sanderson was being sarcastic.

WinespringBrother
11-13-2010, 08:12 PM
i think the pertinent question is was Taim a darkfriend prior to first meeting Rand, or did he switch afterwards.

I say and have said afterwards. I think he flipped sometime after LoC personally.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that Taim was recruited or turned after their first meeting. That doesn't explain Taim's knowledge of Traveling from that first meeting, something the Darkfriend camp uses as evidence.

The obvious (i.e. Darkfriend) interpretation is that he is playing along with Javindhra, or rather that she's playing along with him as he holds the Red embassy there to be forcibly turned. Most of your other explanations, while ingenious, are likewise considerably more complicated than the simply ones accompanying Taim being a Darkfriend, so I'll go with Occam's Razor.

I have a feeling that Sanderson was being sarcastic.

What does Occam's Razor have to do with anything? Have you read the theories around here? They are not simple by any means. And simplicity would not be interesting to discuss.

And as for holding the Red Embassy to be turned, why has only one been turned then? Tarna's behavior is obviously suspicious, so why not turn all of them at once?

morat'corlm
11-13-2010, 08:22 PM
What does Occam's Razor have to do with anything? Have you read the theories around here? They are not simple by any means. And simplicity would not be interesting to discuss.Perhaps not. Yet the simpler theories (simple being relative to the context of the story) have had a fairly high success rate. And this is a fairly well-ordered world; I see no reason to abandon Occam's razor when analyzing it.And as for holding the Red Embassy to be turned, why has only one been turned then? Tarna's behavior is obviously suspicious, so why not turn all of them at once?Well, that's the question, isn't it? The simple answer is perhaps that they can't. Maybe it (as has been proposed) uses up the Myrddraal, maybe it takes time... Taim obviously has enough loyal men to hold them if he so wished, so it seems he's just arrogant enough to let them roam relatively free within the larger prison that is the Black Tower. The dreamspike prevents Traveling, and their own Oaths constrain them from trying to force their way out.

WinespringBrother
11-13-2010, 08:42 PM
Perhaps not. Yet the simpler theories (simple being relative to the context of the story) have had a fairly high success rate. And this is a fairly well-ordered world; I see no reason to abandon Occam's razor when analyzing it.

I think it is more relevant in this context that this world is extremely complicated. How many different plot lines are converging here? Taim's, the Red Ajah's purpose, the balancing of bonding Aes Sedai and Asha'man #'s, the lockdown of the Black Tower, the turning of Tarna (that Brandon has not confirmed when asked about). There are many layers of complexity to take into account, and I don't think RJ and BS thought about Occam when creating and fleshing out the world.

As for simple theories, or maybe in this context the highly popular or accepted theories, they don't always turn out to be the correct ones. Most people came out on the wrong side of Taimendred, and on Sheriam's and Verin's Shadow leanings. Also, most of the so-called simple theories have explicit resolutions at this point. If you want to see my original writeup by the way, http://www.theoryland.com/theories.php?func=5&rec=121&theo=2251.


Well, that's the question, isn't it? The simple answer is perhaps that they can't. Maybe it (as has been proposed) uses up the Myrddraal, maybe it takes time... Taim obviously has enough loyal men to hold them if he so wished, so it seems he's just arrogant enough to let them roam relatively free within the larger prison that is the Black Tower. The dreamspike prevents Traveling, and their own Oaths constrain them from trying to force their way out.

That's not such a simple answer, is it? Yes and No are simple ;), maybe is complex. It is a logical explanation though, but in and of itself not any "simpler" than the one I proposed. So maybe simplicity for simplicity's sake can be abandoned, no? In this case, at least?

morat'corlm
11-13-2010, 08:58 PM
I think it is more relevant in this context that this world is extremely complicated.Right, but that doesn't mean their interactions are chaotic. What happens can be very complex, but why – especially in this world, where information is precious – can be very simple.

As for simple theories, or maybe in this context the highly popular or accepted theories, they don't always turn out to be the correct ones. Most people came out on the wrong side of Taimendred, and on Sheriam's and Verin's Shadow leanings. Also, most of the so-called simple theories have explicit resolutions at this point. If you want to see my original writeup by the way, http://www.theoryland.com/theories.php?func=5&rec=121&theo=2251.That's very helpful, thanks. As for the other theories: Verin was obviously Jordan's most insidious plot line so far, and I don't claim in that case that anyone should have foreseen how deep things went; Sheriam I thought was obviously Black since the beatings started, though not before; and Taimandred was obviously in the original plans before Jordan decided to alter them to screw with us. :p
That's not such a simple answer, is it?I think it's fairly simple. Obviously the mechanism is not, because we have no information to work with, but the motivations of everyone involved are crystal clear.

WinespringBrother
11-13-2010, 09:12 PM
Right, but that doesn't mean their interactions are chaotic. What happens can be very complex, but why especially in this world, where information is precious can be very simple.

In any 2 person interaction, you can have both working for the Light, both for the Shadow, or one working for each. That can stir things up quite a bit. And that scene was three people, (Taim, Pevara and Javindhra) and just a few pages of chatting, with Creator knows what going on underneath the surface, since we don't know why Javindhra keeps pestering Taim, apparently for weeks. That is one of those little overlooked details though, which makes WOT so interesting and complex.


That's very helpful, thanks. As for the other theories: Verin was obviously Jordan's most insidious plot line so far, and I don't claim in that case that anyone should have foreseen how deep things went; Sheriam I thought was obviously Black since the beatings started, though not before; and Taimandred was obviously in the original plans before Jordan decided to alter them to screw with us. :p
I think it's fairly simple. Obviously the mechanism is not, because we have no information to work with, but the motivations of everyone involved are crystal clear.

As you can see from my writeup, I went into detail on Taim's motivations, and I think they are something that RJ spent a lot of time fleshing out. He is one of the more interesting secondary characters in the series, and unfortunately he gets so little screen time. I think that complexity is why some think he is a Chosen, and not some boring run-of-the-mill Randlander.