When Androl Genhald was trying to prevent Logain from being Turned, Mazrim Taim shot a blast of balefire at him. Androl had trouble making a Gateway because of the dreamspike, but because of his Talent he was able to create one the size of a coin. Taim's balefire went through the Gateway and Androl escaped unharmed.[1]


We are never told where Androl sent Taim's balefire.[2] My question is: What if Androl had opened the other end of the gateway only a short distance away so that the balefire hit Taim himself? The balefire would erase Taim backwards in time, so that some of his actions never happened…including shooting the balefire! And if he never shot the balefire in the first place, then he can't be destroyed by it!

To complicate matters, somethings that are erased by balefire still "count" as having happened. Mat is killed by Rahvin in Caemlyn[3] but his death is undone when Rand kills Rahvin with balefire.[4] We later find out that not only did this fulfill an Aelfinn prophecy of Mat dying and living again[5], but it also severed his connection to the Horn of Valere.[6]

So would Taim cease to exist or wouldn't he? If he survived, what would everyone have seen? Would there be any other side effects?

It's no wonder that balefire unravels the Pattern. It's paradoxical!


  1. A Memory of Light, Chapter 14
  2. That's a fan-fic just waiting to happen.
  3. The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 54
  4. The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 55
  5. The Shadow Rising, Chapter 15
  6. A Memory of Light, Chapter 39