WoT: Who is Mazrim Taim

Jordan must have been tired when he started book 6. It’s the first book in the series where I not only had to struggle to put the books down, but had to make a concerted effort to read more than a few pages at a time. He introduced so many characters in books 4 and 5 that the “recap” is tedious, which sets a slow going pace for the rest of the book.

The WoT universe: a sort of far, far, distant, post-apocalyptic earth, possibly 6 to 12 thousand years hence, which has a whiff of tolkeinism, but at the same time it has a cold practicality about it that makes the “fantasy” parts seem less so. The magic is a sort of force-like combined with various eastern concepts of gaian channeling. But some of its limitations and effects could almost be scientific. Some of the WoT rumor mills have draw parallels with the “ancient gene” from StarGate: Atlantis.

If you’re a fan of the books, Lord of Chaos (#6) has an interesting a plot as any of the earlier books when all is told, but the telling is just a little bad :).

Which brings me to the title: Who is Mazrim Taim? My first 3 readings of the series, I’ve taken him at face value, as a deposed false dragon. But this time, I’m paying a little more attention, and Mazrim Taim appears to be well worth more note than I’d previously given him…

To avoid spoiling the plot for anyone reading through the series for the first time — my further thoughts are in the comments.

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[[ possible spoiler warning ]]

This time round, I noticed just how Aes-Sedai like MTs remarks to Rand are at their first meeting. He responds to questions but he doesn’t give answers. The one response he gives that most caught my eye this time was Rand asking him about the madness, to which MT replies “I appear to have avoided it”.

My hunch is that the “taint” is a link across time, that links men who channel with former versions of themselves. Mazrim Taim would undoubtedly have been Demandred Reborn if Demandred hadn’t been outside the Pattern in the bore.

Perhaps MT had been suffering the madness, and was losing, until Demandred went to Shayol Ghul that last time. I suspect that Demandred has in effect displaced MT, the way that Lews Therin tried to take Rand over in Tel’arron’rhiod in book 5. And that Demandred’s old body is now home to something much worse.

Any WoT readers with any thoughts?

It is my understanding that MT’s body was taken over by one of the forsaken.
I don’t recall which one.
I’ve only read the series twice so I could be wrong.

Oh, and if you haven’t already purchased the last one (the prequel), don’t bother. It’s just Jordan milking his cash cow. There’s absolutely no new information at all. Everything that happens was told in the first book by Morraine.

He should have definitely saved that one for AFTER the series was completed, but I’m starting to think he doesn’t know how to end the story (the last few books have proven this to me). So, he goes back and writes what he does know.

Aye, I wish he’d saved New Spring. But then I also wish he’d stop doing the long-ass recaps at the beginning of the books. If he turned those pages into actual storyline the last half of the series would have been mightily improved. I think he also overloaded on characters. There are juuuust too many. That’s what I *didn’t* like about LotR.

I guess I like WoT for its “one power” the same way I like StarWars for the force (OK: That’s an oversimplification, I like the whole Jedi thing and the Aes Sedai thing, but I also like post-fall tales, like Cherryh’s Morgaine Saga). So I plod on thru the series despite.

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