From Tar Valon Library
Author: Atarah al'Norahn
Tam al'Thor is Rand's adoptive father, and owns a farm in the Westwood of the Two Rivers. He has a thick chest, a broad face with sun-roughened, lined cheeks, and hair that has only a sprinkling of black among the gray. He is a head shorter than Rand. Rand thinks that he looks like "a pillar of reality in the morning, like a stone in the middle of a drifting dream" and that a flood could wash around him without uprooting his feet (TEotW, Ch. 1). Perrin thinks that it would take an earthquake to knock Tam off his feet, and more than that to fluster him (TSR, Ch. 31). Keeping his word is important to him (TEotW, Ch. 1).
Tam left the Two Rivers when he was about Rand's age. He ended up joining the army of Illian, and eventually achieved the rank of Second Captain of the Companions. When he returned, it was with a wife, Kari, and a son, Rand (TEotW, Ch. 16; TGH, Ch. 8).
After Kari's death, Tam never remarried. All of the women in Emond's Field think that he needs a good woman in his life, and they all seem to know the perfect wife for him (TEotW, Ch. 1). Tam and Rand are considered out of the ordinary both for farming in the Westwood and for being two men living alone (TEotW, Ch. 5).
- Tam and Rand travel from their farm to Emond's Field on the night before Bel Tine. After reaching Emond's Field, Tam speaks with several of the villagers before going into The Winespring Inn with Bran al'Vere (TEotW, Ch. 1).
- Tam and the rest of the Village Council leave the Winespring Inn to see Padan Fain when he arrives in the village. The Village Council reenters the Inn with Padan Fain to discuss the war and the False Dragon in Ghealdan (TEotW, Ch. 3).
- Tam and Rand head back to their farm for the night (TEotW, Ch. 4).
- Trollocs attack the farm, and Tam is injured. Although the wound is only a shallow gash along his ribs, he is running a high fever. Rand takes him to Emond's Field, where Nynaeve says that she cannot heal him. Rand takes him to the Winespring Inn, and then goes to beg Moiraine's help in saving Tam (TEotW, Ch. 5; Ch. 6; Ch. 7).
- Tam awakens and learns that Rand will be leaving Emond's Field with Moiraine and Lan (TEotW, Ch. 9).
- Tam and Abell Cauthon travel to the White Tower to find out what has happened to their sons. Lanfear tells Mat that the White Tower sent them away (TDR, Ch. 20).
- Tam and Abell arrive at the old sickhouse and greet Perrin. They agree to help him free the Luhhans and the rest of Mat's family (TSR, Ch. 31).
- Tam, Abell, Perrin and the others go to the Whitecloaks' camp to free the Luhhans and Cauthons. Tam and Abell then take the rescued prisoners to a hiding place (TSR, Ch. 32; Ch. 33).
- Tam helps organize the men when the Trollocs attack (TSR, Ch. 44).
- Perrin is in the Winespring Inn with Cenn, Tam, Abell, Bran and the rest of the Village Council. They are trying to plan for the next Trolloc attack (TSR, Ch. 53).
- In the big battle against the Trollocs, Tam is the one in control of the southern defenses (TSR, Ch. 56).
- Tam commands the Two Rivers men in the battle (KoD, Ch. 29).
- Tam tells Perrin that the men would rather stay with him than return to the Two Rivers and that he should allow them to believe in him (TGS, Ch. 9).
- Caduane brings Tam to Rand's rooms and gives him instructions on what to say (TGS, Ch. 47).
- He talks with Rand and asks him to think on why he is fighting. He tells him he'd stayed away because he didn't want to be in the way until Cadsuane told him he needed to talk to Rand (TGS, Ch. 47).
- When he hears Cadsuane's name, Rand grows so angry he almost kills Tam before fleeing (TGS, Ch. 47).
- Tam goes to see Cadsuane and tells her she has a lot of explaining to do. She holds him in air to tell him she expects civility, but he merely notes that he considers her a bully and she releases him (TGS, Ch. 48).
Strengths and Talents
Tam is one of the best trackers in Emond's Field (TEotW, Ch. 16).
Tam sometimes wins the quarterstaff competition at Bel Tine (TDR, Ch. 24).
Although his wife, Kari, died fifteen years before the beginning of The Eye of the World, he has never remarried (TEotW, Ch. 6).
Rand loves Tam very much, and still thinks of him as his father (TSR, Ch. 57).
After returning to the Two Rivers, Perrin feels odd about giving orders to men like Tam and Abell. Tam informs Perrin that "this isn't the first time I've followed a younger man who could see what had to be done" (TSR, Ch. 33).
Every year, Tam delivers two small casks of apple brandy and eight large barrels of apple cider to the Winespring Inn for use during Bel Tine (TEotW, Ch. 1).
Tam doesn't like leaving the farm these days, with the wolves and the weather the way they are (TEotW, Ch. 1).
Tam's farm was almost completely destroyed by Whitecloaks (TSR, Ch. 29).
Tam and Abell have tried to sneak into the Whitecloak camp three times, but the Whitecloaks keep too close a watch (TSR, Ch. 33).
Perrin tells Aram to ask Tam to teach him how to use the sword (TSR, Ch. 45).
"If you say so, lad. Come on, then. A horse leaves hoofprints, even on this ground. If we find them, we'll know for a fact he was there. If not, well, these are days to make a man think he's seeing things." (Tam to Rand; The Eye of the World, Chapter 1)
"I never saw or heard or smelled anything that couldn't be talked about." (Tam to Padan Fain; The Eye of the World, Chapter 3)
"Battles are always hot, even in the snow. Sweat heat. Blood heat. Ony death is cool. Slope of the mountain only place didn't stink of death. Had to get away from the smell of it, sight of it, heard a baby cry. Their women fight alongside the men, sometimes, but why they had let her come, I don't...gave birth there alone, before she died of her wounds...covered the child with her cloak, but the wind blown the cloak away...child, blue with the cold. Should have been dead, too...crying there. Crying in the snow. I couldn't just leave a child...no children of our own...always knew you wanted children. I knew you'd take it to your heart, Kari. Yes, lass. Rand is a good name. A good name." (Tam rambling from the fever; The Eye of the World, Chapter 6)
"Tam al'Thor left the Two Rivers as a boy, Mother. He joined the army of Illian, and served in the Whitecloak War and the last two wars with Tear. In time he rose to be a blademaster and the Second Captain of the Companions. After the Aiel War, Tam al'Thor returned to the Two Rivers with a wife from Caemlyn and an infant boy. It would have saved much, had I known this earlier, but I know it now." (Moiraine to Siuan; The Great Hunt, Chapter 8)
"Plenty of folk will give us a meal, or a night in the barn, sometimes even a bed, but you have to understand they're uneasy about helping people the Whitecloaks are chasing. It's nothing to blame them for. Things are stone hard, and most men are trying to look after their own families the best they can. Asking someone to take in Natti and the girls, Haral and Alsbet...Well, it might be asking too much." (Tam to Perrin; The Shadow Rising, Chapter 31)
"I killed a man who was one, did it in front of witnesses, but I've never forgiven myself for it. Though it needed doing" (On becoming a blademaster, The Gathering Storm, Chapter 47).
"The choice isn't always about what you do, son, but why you do it" (To Rand, The Gathering Storm, Chapter 47).
"I've never liked Aes Sedai. I was happy to be rid of them when I returned to my farm. A bully is a bully, whether she uses the strength of her arm or other means" (To Cadsuane; The Gathering Storm, Chapter 48).