Warning: spoilers follow for the Wheel of Time series, including the last few books!

We know that Demandred recruited Mazrim Taim for the Shadow, but when exactly did this happen in Rand's timeline? In The Dragon Reborn it is revealed that the runaway Black Ajah Aes Sedai have a plan to free Mazrim. So was he converted even before he met Rand? If yes, why did he come to help Rand at the Dumai's Wells? Was it to plant his own men with Rand? Did Dashiva (Osan'gar, Aginor previously) persuade Taim to help Rand so he can later become Rand's personal Asha'man, or was it Demandred who sent Taim to Dumai's Wells because he didn't want Rand to be captured by the Shaido? Or is it possible that Taim was still not on the Shadow's side and he was there just because he cared about Rand's protection for the Black Tower?

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    I removed the spoiler from the title - hope you don't mind. (Also, what are you doing in my head? :-P )
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 27 '17 at 21:26

Here's what it says in The Wheel of Time Companion:

While not a Darkfriend originally, he was always prime material for them, a man far more interested in wealth and power than anything else, willing to do whatever was required to get them

He was being carried to Tar Valon when he was freed, supposedly by his supporters, but actually by Demandred...Demandred offered Taim a choice, and Taim accepted, going to Rand in Caemlyn with one of the seals on the Dark One's prison to make sure that Rand would trust him and take him in.

Siuan finds out about this in TSR Chapter 17 and assumes that he escaped with the help of his followers, although it was really Demandred. Before this point, he was not a Darkfriend--one of the only male channelers to not succumb to the madness who was not a Darkfriend. After, he was with the shadow all the way.

  • But why did he go to Dumai's wells to help Rand? Was it just because he went to Cairhien and found out that Rand was captured so he went to help Rand so that Rand doesn't get suspicious later if he finds out about his visit? Or did he go on Demandred's instructions so that Rand doesn't get captured by the Shaido? Sep 9 '17 at 16:57
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    @LewsTherinTelamon during that book the standing order to the foresaken was to not let rand die, but to let chaos rule. the dark one wants to turn rand to the shadow still.
    – Himarm
    Aug 7 '18 at 19:54
  • I presume the reason he freed Rand is that leaving him with the Tower would put him in the hands of Mesaana, while Rand free continues his association with Taim, which puts him within Demandred's sphere of influence. The Foraaken scheme between themselves at least as much as they fight the Light. Jan 14 at 7:19

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