Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: Who is Szass Tam?

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves sets up a potential big bad for the franchise in the form of Szass Tam. While the movie largely focuses on the conflict between Chris Pine's Edgin and his former partner Forge Fitzwilliam (played by Hugh Grant) and his new associate, the Red Wizard Sofina (Daisy Head), it also sets up a potentially more dangerous threat down the line in the form of Szass Tam, the leader of the Red Wizards of Thay. Tam only appears in two scenes in the film, although it's clear that Sofina's actions in the movie are all in service for her  master, who is an undead lich and leader of an army of the undead. 

Szass Tam is an established D&D villain who rose to power as the leader of the Red Wizards of Thay during a brutal civil war. While the Red Wizards were always an amoral organization dedicated to researching magic, Tam turned the group into a more vicious and outright evil organization populated by the undead. Under Tam's command, Thay's population of the undead grew significantly, used either as enthralled servants and laborers or as ground troops for their army. 

We see a version of Tam's rise to power in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, as Xenk Yendar (the paladin played by Rege-Jean Page) explains how Tam cast a powerful spell known as beckoning death that transformed the gathered populace of Thay into undead creatures. Xenk almost was turned by one of these creatures, but escaped and was left with a strange mark that extended his lifespan by over a century. Sofina's plot was to recreate the beckoning death spell and use it on the populace of Neverwinter to create a second army for Szass Tam, although it's unclear why Tam needs a second undead army or what his end goals are in the film.   

It seems likely that Tam will continue to be a threat should Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves have a sequel film. And if the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons television series tie into the movie, we could see Tam have more of a role in that as well. 

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is out now.