He is tall, has black hair, with a dark, clean-shaven face, and the tilted eyes, hooked nose and high cheekbones of a Saldaean. In his first meeting with Rand al'Thor, the Dragon thought him in his mid-thirties, perhaps due to the stress of evading Davram Bashere's armies during his journey to Caemlyn. He normally looks somewhat younger, as all channelers do. When Pevara Tazanovni encounters him for the first time in the Black Tower, he is also described as having an air of physical strength and of darkness.
Mazrim Taim is a very powerful channeler, rivaled only by Logain Ablar and a few other Asha'man and surpassed only by Rand al'Thor and some of the Forsaken. Evidence of his immense channeling ability would be the destruction he is able to cause in Saldaea and how he was able to overpower his Aes Sedai captors. The fact that Rand al'Thor chooses him to be a teacher at the farm is also evidence of his channeling ability and skill.
He burnt much of Saldaea and nearly defeated Davram Bashere before he was captured, though only because he fell off his horse due to the visions of Falme. Before being captured, a farmer allegedly gave him one of the Seals of the Dark One's prison.
Capture, escape, and the Black Tower
Although captured, he escaped, and took advantage of Rand al'Thor's amnesty to male channelers to escape punishment for his crimes, and for glory.
After giving Rand the cuendillar Seal, he was appointed as leader and teacher of 'the farm'. 'The farm', later renamed the Black Tower, was a training center for male channelers. He now leads Rand al'Thor's male channelers, the Asha'man, and calls himself the M'Hael, which means Leader in the Old Tongue.
He is notably arrogant, forgoing normal Asha'man rankings for blue-and-gold dragons on his coat sleeves, paying homage to Rand's arm markings while apparently mocking him at the same time. It is also worth noting that Taim does not wear the collar pins, as all other Asha'man do. He leads the Asha'man into the Battle of Dumai's Wells but it is very suspect on how he found out and under whose direction he is. He enjoyed watching the Rebel Aes Sedai swear fealty to Rand. This led him to say one of his most famous quotes: "Kneel. Kneel before the Lord Dragon, or you will be knelt."
He later pays a visit to Elayne Trakand and is forced to observe and obey Andoran law due to the Black Tower being on Andoran land. He is also forced to accept daily visits from soldiers of the Queen's Guards on the Black Tower grounds. When Elayne is summoned by the Wise Ones, Taim sneaks a peek at her when she has to go naked.
Black Tower Factions
Taim secretly sent four Asha'man (Charl Gedwyn, Manel Rochaid, Peral Torval, and Raefar Kisman, all Darkfriends) to kill Rand in the Sun Palace. He later reports to Rand after the attack that all four men are deserters. He seems shocked and surprised when Rand also mentions that Corlan Dashiva is also a deserter. He watches Rand put Fedwin Morr to sleep for good and mutters how hard Rand is.
Logain claims that Taim has a small sect of followers whom he personally teaches weaves that no other Asha'man know. Taim refuses to believe that Rand was responsible for the cleansing of saidin.
Let the Lord of Chaos rule
Taim met with Aes Sedai and agreed to allow the bonding of Asha'man by sisters of the Red Ajah. His justification for this was "let the Lord of Chaos rule", a phrase unknown outside of the Forsaken. Atal Mishraile nearly reveals something to them before he is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head with Air from Taim. Taim will only allow him to be Healed if he survives the night.
Taim escorts Javindhra Doraille around the Black Tower grounds with Pevara Tazanovni. Javindhra again insists on letting her Aes Sedai bond Asha'man, but Taim denies her stating that they can only bond Soldiers or Dedicated. Several channelers in the Black Tower are said to be turned different, as "Shadow brought into man." It is also revealed that Moridin's second dreamspike is at the Black Tower.
The Last Battle
Moridin reveals that Mazrim Taim has been elevated to the Chosen and renamed M'Hael, confirming all suspicions of his loyalties.. Taim gained this status by undertaking a mission of gaining Rand's loyalty and then Turning his Asha'man to the Shadow with thirteen Myrddraal and thirteen Dreadlords.
Battle for the Black Tower
M'Hael learns from Evin Vinchova, that Androl Genhald and his men are launching a mission to rescue Logain. He and his men manage to corner them in Logain's cell, before M'Hael pulls down the roof on the opposing group, knocking most of them out unconscious and killing Arlen Nalaam. M'Hael's men become tired from trying to Turn Logain and Algarin Pendaloan. He has them bring in Toveine Gazal and Turn her while he sends for the Black Ajah with assistance from Hessalam. He admits to her that he possesses the Seals to the Dark One's prison. Evin is killed by M'Hael, after the former attacks Abors. Due to Androl being extremely weak in the One Powerh, and the Dreamspike blocking gateways, M'Hael does not even bother to shield him, weaving balefire. In that moment, Androl weaves a very small gateway that absorbs the balefire in spite of the Dreamspike. Taril Canler and the rest of the Two Rivers lads arrive to rescue them and attacks M'Hael and his men. Suddenly Androl is able to weave gateways again, and turns the attackers' channeling against them by placing a gateway behind them, hilling many of them. M'Hael and Hessalam and a few of his men manage to escape through another gateway.
When Rand attempts to intercede in a losing battle at the Gap, the M'Hael leads a team of Dreadlords specifically charged with engaging the Dragon Reborn and killing him. He forces Rand to retreat, and pushes the Borderland forces back through Shienaran lands. M'Hael kills Deepe Bhadar in one skirmish.
Demandred leads the combined forces of Shadowspawn, Dreadlords, and Sharans against the forces of Light. Demandred orders M'Hael to kill all of the channelers, admitting that he was the one who gave Taim the chance to join the Shadow. M'Hael comes to the conclusion that Demandred has allowed his hatred of Lews Therin to drive him insane.
During the battle, Androl Genhald approaches M'Hael in the guise of Varil Nensen and steals back the Seals when he bumps against M'Hael. M'Hael places a Mask of Mirrors on Androl, making him look like Androl and orders him to kill Logain. Androl takes the Seals and retreats to meet his team.
M'Hael battles Egwene and is forced to retreat due to her prowess with Vora's sa'angreal. Demandred scolds him for his failure, but gives him Sakarnen, a sa'angreal as powerful as Callandor. M'Hael sees an opportunity to destroy Demandred, but Demandred explains to him that the item is bonded to him and that the one to use it against him will cease to exist. M'Hael uses Sakarnen to duel Egwene and destroys the land with balefire. However, his swath of destruction is interrupted when Egwene responds with a new weave to counteract balefire's destruction, the Flame of Tar Valon. The new weave splits through his balefire and touches him, closing the cracks made by balefire and turning him into a crystalline pillar before reaching out to all channelers touched by the Shadow and doing the same.
It was widely speculated that Taim was Demandred in disguise. Evidence towards this is that he refers to the Aiel as "these so-called Aiel," a reference to Da'shain Aiel which has been made before by the Forsaken. In this same conversation, he mentions "severing," a term used only by the Forsaken. Severing is now referred to as stilling, gentling, or being burned out. Taim also makes reference to using compulsion on a peace delegation sent by Bashere. 
It is assumed that Taim is a Darkfriend which is confirmed in the last book. (Promoted to one of the Chosen)
Another theory was that Taim is, in fact, Moridin in disguise. Other theories suggested that Taim was once Ishamael's student.
It is also speculated that Taim was a long time Darkfriend, and that he was given protection from the taint on saidin by the Dark one. This would explain how he managed to go for fifteen years without falling to madness.
- ↑ Source:Blog - ONE MORE TIME, 4 October 2005
- ↑ Crossroads of Twilight, Epilogue
- ↑ The Eye of the World, Chapter 13
- ↑ The Dragon Reborn, Chapter 12
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Lord of Chaos, Chapter 2
- ↑ A Crown of Swords, Chapter 2
- ↑ Winter's Heart, Prologue
- ↑ The Path of Daggers, Chapter 29
- ↑ Knife of Dreams, Chapter 28
- ↑ Towers of Midnight, Chapter 56
- ↑ A Memory of Light, Prologue
- ↑ The "Taimandred" theory has been debunked in at least two places: Robert Jordan has explicitly said it in interviews (Source:Elf Fantasy Fair, 8 April 2001 - report by Aan'allein), and Demandred also expressed surprise and confusion over finding a man who can channel in a black coat - Damer Flinn - at the battle at Shadar Logoth. If he was Mazrim Taim, he would have understood the appearance of an Asha'man immediately.
- ↑ Lord of Chaos/Chapter 2