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What's Going on at the Black Tower? (Full Spoilers)


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#81 BladeDancer

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 02:14 PM

For one: you can't say that the Chosen haven't worked at the Aiel. Asmo did a fair job of causing a mess there, so did Sammael-Graendal.  There could still be Chosen links to Aiel DFs. We don't know ---

Two: It's possible that the Chosen didn't appreciate that such a totally peaceful bunch of treehuggers had become bad-ass killers while they were all locked up in the Bore. There was so little contact until 20 years ago.
They do all seem to express shock at the "so-called Aiel".


forgot about that. your right.


I would also say that the Aiel are pretty difficult to infiltrate as their customs are unique and very difficult to understand for outsiders. Rand was getting lessons (and Egwene too) for weeks and still got confused.

Asmo was trying to get into Rhuidean. He did not know exactly what was inside but was obviously intrigued by the fact that he was being kept out in TAR.

#82 lordofsoup

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 03:57 PM

for all we know there could have been a rebellion in the BT against Taim all ready, led by the Sisters, when they find out what he is doing in his spare time.

#83 Rocky_Outcrop

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:28 PM

For some reason if it turns out that Taim is indeed a fully fledged member of the Dark Squad then I think Rand will be disappointed.

Unlike if one of his generals turns out to be one he'd just kill him and be done with it there will be a whole load of "why'd you do it" chat between them as they let rip on each other with the 1 power ultimately ending in a lot of sad faces.

I would not be surprised if the chap has some incredible history and it would be a shame to kill him off without an opportunity to find out more about him. I think he has similar motivations to Fain in that he is all about looking out for number one, while that has lead to him getting close to the DO he likes to play his cards close to his chest. He may be a scholar of sorts and a sort of pragmatic nihilist or ego driven existentialist, he may be just going along for the ride.

Thing is the guy has kept sane for a long long time, (I believe that you can't take Rand as an example as I don't see him as mad. Nor can you take LTT to be a benchmark as all of the 100 were made mad instantly at the bore. There are no real examples of mad men in the book to be honest if you exclude Maesma) he is a talented channeller, knows a lot about history and culture and ladddydah, he even has pretended to be the dragon reborn and had fun with it. I don't know but I look at the guy as being a wildcard, he cuts it right down the middle with his allegiances and just hopes to rise to the top.

He's just pushing and scheming to get some front row seats on all the things that make life interesting to the type of person who is not motivated by money, good enough looking and has enough chat to get the ladies and smart enough to know not the difference between good and evil but the fact that there is very little difference between either.

(edit - spelling)



#84 lordofsoup

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:39 PM

Taim could have been the Dragon Reborn, he did not know, and decided to take a chance, like Logain.  Rand did not know that he was the DR, but unlike Taim and Logain, he was not so power hungry that he wanted to become the DR. 

#85 Rocky_Outcrop

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:46 PM

And therein lies the difference between them. There is a lot of that sort of logic in the series, like Perrin and throwing away his axe when he starts to want to keep a hold of it. Good stuff. Taim would not be happy to hear the Finnish chaps answer about having to die, F-that he'd have said.

#86 lordofsoup

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:52 PM

True Taim just isnt a self sacrificing noble person

#87 Master_of_The_Blades90

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 08:05 PM

hi

just my two cents here. I've been going around a bit on the forums and I've seen a lot of people talking about how Taim is a Darkfriend because he's tried to kill Rand. I don't know if anyone else has suggested this, and if they have i apologize, but I remember in LoC (i think) when Rand meets with Taim, Taim mentions something about how he could have been the Dragon Reborn, and that if he wasn't defeated and became powerful, history would write it so that he did fulfill the prophecies. Also, I can't really remember (re-reading time I think) but doesn't Taim order Dashiva with the other renegade Asha'man to kill Rand? Surely a DF would know who Dashiva really is, because I remember in WH Elza knows who Dashiva is. My theory is that Taim is trying to kill Rand because he wants to be the Dragon Reborn. He doesn't believe that the Dragon Reborn is someone who is spun out of the pattern to balance it, rather, he thinks it is just the man who will defeat the Dark One. Its been mentioned many times that Taim is only slightly weaker than Rand, and so by killing Rand, he would become the most powerful male channeller. (Logain is also mentioned as being weaker than Rand, and I don't know if its been mentioned if Logain is stronger or weaker than Taim, but I'm just assuming Taim is stronger). As the most powerful male channeler, Taim believes that he could fill the role of the Dragon Reborn, and the history books will show him as the actual Dragon Reborn.

Sorry for the length of the post, hope people try to get to the end of it :)

#88 Sharaman

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 12:40 AM

hi

just my two cents here. I've been going around a bit on the forums and I've seen a lot of people talking about how Taim is a Darkfriend because he's tried to kill Rand. I don't know if anyone else has suggested this, and if they have i apologize, but I remember in LoC (i think) when Rand meets with Taim, Taim mentions something about how he could have been the Dragon Reborn, and that if he wasn't defeated and became powerful, history would write it so that he did fulfill the prophecies. Also, I can't really remember (re-reading time I think) but doesn't Taim order Dashiva with the other renegade Asha'man to kill Rand? Surely a DF would know who Dashiva really is, because I remember in WH Elza knows who Dashiva is. My theory is that Taim is trying to kill Rand because he wants to be the Dragon Reborn. He doesn't believe that the Dragon Reborn is someone who is spun out of the pattern to balance it, rather, he thinks it is just the man who will defeat the Dark One. Its been mentioned many times that Taim is only slightly weaker than Rand, and so by killing Rand, he would become the most powerful male channeller. (Logain is also mentioned as being weaker than Rand, and I don't know if its been mentioned if Logain is stronger or weaker than Taim, but I'm just assuming Taim is stronger). As the most powerful male channeler, Taim believes that he could fill the role of the Dragon Reborn, and the history books will show him as the actual Dragon Reborn.

Sorry for the length of the post, hope people try to get to the end of it :)


A few corrections.
1) Taim doesn't order Dashiva - he orders Torval, Rochain, Kisman. Dashiva has an ooprtunistic go when Rand comes out from his demolished quarters and sees him talking to the chaps who tried to kill Rand. Taim was surprised by Dashiva's attempt.

2) Taim may not know who Dashiva is. Elza doesn't. She thinks he's just a renegade Ashaman when she kills him. The Chosen don't necessarily tell Friends of the Dark or anyone else who they are. Kadere didn't know Asmo and Lanfear were Chosen. 

3) Maybe Taim is jealous of Rand and wants to replace him. But he is simply too knowledgeable about the AoL, old Tongue, etc., to believe that he is the DR anymore. He hoped he was until Rand came along but that conversation in LoC proves he accepted he wasn't the DR after he saw the fight in the air at Falme. Whether Taim is sworn to GLoD or acting on his own initiative is a different matter. Clearly several of his most trusted associates are sworn to the Dark because Demandred gives them orders and Taim also uses symbols of the Dark (the hand clutching lightning, red and black, Lords of Chaos saying). 


 

#89 Bastor

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 05:20 AM

The title of the next book in WOT is called the Towers of Midnight. This is an indicator that the Black Tower will feature heavily...


   On the Seanchan map is a place/town called Towers of Midnight...
   From what i've seen the titles of WoT books are the same as one of the book chapters. And there are usually over 30 chapters, enough for White Tower, Black Tower, Tower of Ghenjei, Towers of Midnight, and maybe some tower of Shara.

And here is a map
Posted Image
Seems too close to Seandar for comfort...
I agree with you. The Towers of Midnight were where the creator of the original A'dam was imprisoned - essentially it is some sort of notorious prison in Seanchan. So I reckon the next book will feature some scenes set on that continent - I also think that the name is so close to the Black Tower that it implies that there will be a lot of focus there in the next book. Essentially Rand needs to get the Black Tower behind him so that the last book can focus on the Last Battle.



#90 nategator

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 06:44 PM

Been enjoying the discussion, and as one person noticed the man in black messenger may be Asha'man.  Here is his description:

"The youth stood still, just two steps into the room.  And my, he was attractive! Pale golden hair as was so rare in may parts of the world, green eyes that shimmered like moss-grown pools, a lithe figure taut with just enough muscle.  Graendal clicked her tongue.  Was Moridin trying to tempt her by sending his very most pretty, or was the choice coincidental?"

And the description of Atal Mishraile from WOT wiki is as follows:

"He is tall and handsome, with long golden hair and blue eyes. He has a deep voice."

http://wot.wikia.com.../Atal_Mishraile

Atal Mishraile is one of Taim's private students.  Atal Mishraile was also used as a messenger for Taim in the COT prologue, which makes a nice symmetry to his appearance in The Gathering Storm.  If they are one and the same, his appearance in this book's prologue gives support to the proposition that Taim is not under the control of Demandred, but instead works for (or is) Moridin.

Can anyone pull a quote of his description in the COT prologue?

#91 BladeDancer

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 07:38 PM

Been enjoying the discussion, and as one person noticed the man in black messenger may be Asha'man.  Here is his description:

"The youth stood still, just two steps into the room.  And my, he was attractive! Pale golden hair as was so rare in may parts of the world, green eyes that shimmered like moss-grown pools, a lithe figure taut with just enough muscle.  Graendal clicked her tongue.  Was Moridin trying to tempt her by sending his very most pretty, or was the choice coincidental?"

And the description of Atal Mishraile from WOT wiki is as follows:

"He is tall and handsome, with long golden hair and blue eyes. He has a deep voice."

http://wot.wikia.com.../Atal_Mishraile

Atal Mishraile is one of Taim's private students.  Atal Mishraile was also used as a messenger for Taim in the COT prologue, which makes a nice symmetry to his appearance in The Gathering Storm.   If they are one and the same, his appearance in this book's prologue gives support to the proposition that Taim is not under the control of Demandred, but instead works for (or is) Moridin.

Can anyone pull a quote of his description in the COT prologue?


Mishraile is described by Gabrelle Sedai as follows, "The newcomer was almost as tall as Logain, with waves of golden hair to his wide shoulders and a winning smile. She suspected he knew it was a winning smile. He was too pretty not to know, much more beautiful than Logain. Life’s forges had hardened Logain’s face, and left edges. This young man was smooth, yet. Still, the Sword and the Dragon decorated his coat collar. He studied the two sisters with bright blue eyes."

Note that Mishraile has blue eyes and not green eyes like the person Graendal meets.

#92 nategator

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 08:11 PM

Thanks for the description.  Probably not the same person unless there was an editorial mistake. 

#93 Sharaman

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 12:02 AM

Apart from the blue eyes -green eyes business, one little point. Graendal doesn't think or even consider this guy is channeling or holding Saidin despite the Gate, because she considers using compulsion on him and doesn't try only because of her fear of Moridin. I'm assuming Graendal of all people knows that you cannot Compel somebody who is holding Saidin.
She also doesn't recognise the uniform as Ashaman - not quite clear whether she's ever seen Ashaman. She fought a circle of three females at Shadar Logoth.

#94 BladeDancer

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 04:17 AM

At this point Taim is a mystery, there are strong indications he is a Darkfriend maybe even a Forsaken (possibly a new one). One of the reasons folks initially believed the Taimendred theory was the reaction of LTT to seeing Taim. He kept babbling about Sammael and Demandred and demanding Rand kill Taim. Some folks took this to believe that LTT recognised Demandred which is why he reacted in such a way to meeting Taim.

I do not think Taim is Demandred, I think that LTT was talking about Demandred and Sammael because he recognised the strong possibility of Taim acting in the same way that those two Forsaken did. These 2 Forsaken were close and trusted allies of LTT (albeit subordinates) in key position in the Light Forces. They both turned traitor and followed the Shadow because of essentially jealousy and personal antagonism towards LTT. In doing so they betrayed the Light Forces at key moments with much loss of life. LTT somehow sensed that Taim would betray Rand/LTT himself because of personal reasons and turn to the Shadow. I think that this is what has happened. Taim became a Darkfriend because he was jealous of Rand being the Dragon Reborn rather than himself. Taim could have been the Hero/greatest Man of the Age etc except for Rand - a very similar scenario to Demandred and Sammael becoming Forsaken.

OK I might be completely wrong and Taim might have always been a Darkfriend, or at least one before he met Rand but I think the theory explains LTT's reaction to meeting Taim.

#95 Vermillion

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 02:21 PM

At this point Taim is a mystery, there are strong indications he is a Darkfriend maybe even a Forsaken (possibly a new one). One of the reasons folks initially believed the Taimendred theory was the reaction of LTT to seeing Taim. He kept babbling about Sammael and Demandred and demanding Rand kill Taim. Some folks took this to believe that LTT recognised Demandred which is why he reacted in such a way to meeting Taim.

I do not think Taim is Demandred, I think that LTT was talking about Demandred and Sammael because he recognised the strong possibility of Taim acting in the same way that those two Forsaken did. These 2 Forsaken were close and trusted allies of LTT (albeit subordinates) in key position in the Light Forces. They both turned traitor and followed the Shadow because of essentially jealousy and personal antagonism towards LTT. In doing so they betrayed the Light Forces at key moments with much loss of life. LTT somehow sensed that Taim would betray Rand/LTT himself because of personal reasons and turn to the Shadow. I think that this is what has happened. Taim became a Darkfriend because he was jealous of Rand being the Dragon Reborn rather than himself. Taim could have been the Hero/greatest Man of the Age etc except for Rand - a very similar scenario to Demandred and Sammael becoming Forsaken.

OK I might be completely wrong and Taim might have always been a Darkfriend, or at least one before he met Rand but I think the theory explains LTT's reaction to meeting Taim.


Yeah, I think Taim was originally written to be Demmy or a parallel like you said here.  Taim due to OP usage could be older than what he seems(30 years I guess).  It just seems to keep off the madness he would have had to be a DF. 

I don't know.  I just think Taim is going to be a person who is alot more than what he seems.  My choices.

A new Chosen.
A reborn Chosen outside the 13 sealed ones.  Maybe he got taint induced memories like Rand did but they took over.  Taim talkes like a Chosen.




#96 Sharaman

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 03:29 PM

Well we know that both Logain and Taim have been channeling for 7-8 years or more. Neither shows overt signs of madness.
Both may be protected as Friends of the Dark but if so, then Halima's reaction to Logain is excessive.
Taim says something like "I don't know why I haven't gone insane. I just have not."
Since there's no known timeline for going nuts from the taint it is possible that they have simply escaped until Saidin was cleansed. Perhaps neither channeled a great deal.




#97 witsd

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 05:41 PM

Well we know that both Logain and Taim have been channeling for 7-8 years or more.


We know this about Logain? Really?

#98 forzainternl

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 05:52 PM

What if Taim is a kind of Grey Asha'man? As in kind of a Verin for the Aes Sedai?

So, he pretends to be a baddy but is actually a good guy (like Snape killing Dumbledore in Harry potter, he has to pretend trying to kill people (Rand) to seem credible to other DF's maybe Osan'gar or Demandred)?

To me it seems like a possibility...

#99 Sharaman

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 10:55 PM

Well we know that both Logain and Taim have been channeling for 7-8 years or more.


We know this about Logain? Really?


One of the glossaries in the back of the books (sorry can't remember which one and don't have them) lists Logain as born 972 and channeling since 992. It's around 1000.
So yes, 7-8 years, subtracting his period as gentled.
Similarly if we believe Taim, when he's discussing the matter with Rand. They're both sparkers in their late 20s and early 30s so, this is a reasonable assumption anyway.



#100 Paerish Swar

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 01:30 AM

* WARNING:  EXCESSIVELY LONG POST AHEAD!*

So many thoughts right now. . .I just need to unload them all!  Here are some pieces that lead me to what is my own little pet theory about the background of Taim and his actions with the Black Tower.  (I'm gunna do this chronologically from the books, so please just go with me – I WILL get to the point of it all!)

- Ishamael has been running the show for the DO for the past 3000 years, especially influencing Black Ajah, Darkfriends, and Shadowspawn; all the major orders and plots have been given by him (i.e.  The Trolloc Wars, Luthair Paendrag going to Seanchan, and the orders we see from the first-hand POV of “Bors” at the beginning of tGH, etc.).
- Ishamael states in Rands dreams in tEotW that other notable false dragons from the past - Davian, Yurian, Raolain, etc. - have been “used” by the White Tower, and by implication himself, in the past for their own ends.
- When Rand appears in the sky above Falme, the FALSE dragons are “struck down,” as the wheel can no longer make room for them – Taim is one of these two false dragons at the time.
- When Eggy, Nyn, and Elayne question Joiya, one of the two captured BA after the taking of the Stone, she tells them that Liandrin was plotting to break Taim free.  She says that, “He will be proclaimed as the Dragon Reborn, his name given as Rand al'Thor, and then he will be set to destruction. . .” (the girls think this plot is unlikely and go off to Tanchico)
- Very soon after this statement is made, Taim inexplicably DOES escape from his captors and disappears from any real notice for a couple books.
- One day after Rahvin is killed by Rand, Demandred goes to Shayol Ghul where the DO ask him if he would be nae'blis (I think it is safe to assume that at about this same time Ishamael is probably somewhere in the process of getting comfortable in his new body and not yet back in the game) and then says, “THEN LISTEN, AND SERVE.  HEAR WHO WILL DIE AND WHO LIVE.”
- Several days (if not a week or two) after this meeting at SG, Taim mysteriously appears in Caemlyn to take advantage of Rand's amnesty and allies himself to the Dragon.
- RJ once made a really cryptic comment to the effect that the reason why Rand thinks Taim must be around 35 years old (Rand thinks this in LoC) is because he had recently been going through a pretty rough ordeal (RJ's statement was something to that effect, though I could not find the exact quote for you all), which also explains why he is described as being more youthful and vibrant looking in later books.
- After Dumai's Wells, Demandred returns to SG asking the DO if he had not done well, and the DO's sinister laughter ensues.
- After Kisman & Co. attempt to kill Rand in Cairhien and follow him to Far Madding, he muses about his three orders to Kill the Dragon, first from Taim, later from Demandred, and lastly from Moridin -  essentially the same order each time, but each with slightly different nuances and seemingly being motivated independently from one another.
- As observed by Pevara & Co. when they travel to the Black Tower to bond Asha'man, Taim has a penchant for the colors red and black; these have been fairly well established as Moridin's colors as well.

So, that is what we pretty much know for sure.  Now I'm going to tie all that in to my little pet theory on Taim.


Taim was a darkfriend from the start.  Ishamael knew of his ability to channel and perhaps even encouraged him to do so.  When Fain, the DO's personal hound, had narrowed down the identity of the Dragon down to three boys from Emond's Field, Ishamael ordered Taim to proclaim himself the Dragon as a backup plan to create a little chaos/distraction/destruction in case the real dragon escaped Ishamael's clutches or certain other unknown plans didn't pan out as expected (much in the same way that Ishamael may have manipulated previous false dragons).  When Taim was captured, Ishamael was disappointed, but set into motion a Black Ajah plot to break him free and start a little chaos.  Joiya knew of this plan, and used it as a plausible path upon which she could distract the “wonder girls” from following Liandrin to Tanchico.  The BA are able to break Taim free anyway, and he wisely lays low for a little.  After Ishamael is killed by Rand in the Stone there is a bit of a power vacuum and a few running plans and plots need to be taken over for a while.  The DO has Demandred track down Taim and set him to a very special task.  Demandred, in his own cruel, militaristic way, put Taim through a high-intensity, several day channelling boot camp and prepares him for his new task – attaching himself to the Dragon Reborn (this may explain some of Taim's odd knowledge).  Taim is first pretty pissed off about being set down in the country to train up other channellers, but the dark powers-that-be quickly realize how fortuitous the opportunity is for the DO to gather up new Dreadlords for Tarmon Gaidon and sew chaos (Have I not done well, Great Lord?).  Ishamael as Moridin comes back into the picture and takes a little control back over some of his old plans, but Taim is doing such a good job that he's given a certain amount of autonomy to keep up the good work.  Taim's relative autonomy swells his head a bit, so he continues to adopt various symbols of his betters (the blue and gold dragons on his coat, the red and black colors throughout the BT, the gauntleted hand clutching lighting symbols, the military ranks and titles in the old tongue for “his” forces, etc.) all to establish his ever-growing status (I dare say the only people who stand above Taim are the remaining Chosen, and even Cyndane, Moghedien, Halima, and Mesaana may not technically be favored above Taim anymore).  Taim then takes the DO's order to “let the lord of chaos rule” in a very devious direction by allowing Aes Sedai to bond Asha'man – what better way to keep an eye on some of the forces of light but by having many of them unwittingly bonded to darkfriends? 

So that's it!  What do you all think?  I know it's all really tenuous, but it's my own little pet theory.  I know it doesn't explain why we haven't seen the Aes Sedai who went there for a really long time (besides there being a whole lot of deep political currents there for everybody to have to negotiate), but I think it's a pretty good explaination of Taim's background and motivations.

(Sorry this post is excessively long!)