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!)