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Home | Interview Database

Interviews: CNN Chat

Summary:

Entries

30

Date

Dec 12th, 2000

Type

Verbatim

Links

cnn.com

  • 1

    CNN.com

    Robert Jordan chats about his 'Wheel of Time' series

    Several years ago, when Robert Jordan wrote The Eye of the World, he had no idea that his idea for a fantasy series would grow to nine books (and counting) and that an entire cottage industry would appear, devoted to his creation: the Wheel of Time. Now, every book that comes out—the latest is Winter's Heart—is an immediate bestseller, and that sound you hear is servers whirring with the constant e-mailing and message-posting of his fans, discussing the many aspects of Jordan's creation.

    Jordan recently chatted with some of his fans on CNN.com about Winter's Heart, the Wheel of Time, and the story behind the story.

  • 2

    Moderator

    Welcome to the CNN chatroom, Robert Jordan.

    Robert Jordan

    Hello, It's good to have you all here, and thanks for having me.
  • 3

    Moderator

    How did you develop the idea for the Wheel of Time saga, and where did you get the name?

    Robert Jordan

    The name comes out of Hindu mythology, where there is a belief that time is a wheel. Many older cultures believe that time is cyclic, that it repeats. In fact, I believe the best thing the ancient Greeks gave us was (the idea) that time was linear and change was possible.

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  • 4

    Infidel

    What would happen to a gholam suddenly deposited, one way or another, into a stedding?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out. That is a common answer for me, by the way!

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  • 5

    Vercingetorix

    Why do you think everyone has a hard time figuring out who killed Asmodean? Graendal killed him.

    Robert Jordan

    I don't know why people have a hard time figuring that out. To me it seems intuitively obvious even to the most casual observer. The reason I won't tell people though is that I am enjoying watching them squirm entirely too much. It's probably bad for me.

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  • 6

    Rhodric

    What kind of numbers militarily do the Seanchan have on this side of the Aryth?

    Robert Jordan

    I don't want to answer this as it could be a spoiler for those who have not read far enough.

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  • 7

    logain

    We know Taim isn't who he says, and so does Rand. But wasn't Logain supposed to reveal him as a liar? What happened to that?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out. Don't you love it, guys?

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  • 8

    Moderator

    Were you influenced by the Bible book of Revelation? Your works seem to have many scriptural allusions.

    Robert Jordan

    There are a number of influences from the Bible, but from other sources as well. My work is not overtly religious in any way.

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  • 9

    Arsolos

    It has been reported that you have confirmed that Sammael died at the end of A Crown of Swords. Could you confirm that you have said this and elaborate on whether Rand was correct?

    Robert Jordan

    Mashadar killed Sammael. Sammael is toast!

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  • 10

    dawntreader

    Why does it take you about a year to two years to issue the next book?

    Robert Jordan

    Because it takes that long to write it. The earlier books also took a long time, but what was happening there was that the usual space between handing in the manuscript and the book being published, was shrinking in my case. Normally that is nine months to a year. For my last four books, however it has been two months from me handing in the manuscript to me being on tour.

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  • 11

    hoping

    Where are the Trollocs? I miss them.

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out! They're coming.

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  • 12

    Jonan

    Mr. Jordan, is it possible that in another age, another turning of the wheel, that saidar could be tainted instead of saidin? This relates to the Female Dragon Theory.

    Robert Jordan

    That is not something I intend to explore.

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  • 13

    RawShock

    What got you into writing fantasy?

    Robert Jordan

    Fantasy is an area where it is possible to talk about right and wrong, good and evil, with a straight face. In mainstream fiction and even in a good deal of mystery, these things are presented as simply two sides of the same coin. Never really more than a matter of where you happen to be standing. I think quite often it's hard to tell the difference. I think that quite often you can only find a choice between bad and worse. But I think it's worth making the effort and I like to expose my characters to that sort of situation.

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  • 14

    Telchar

    Will the Choedan Kal be used again during the series, and if so, will other access keys be found? Let me guess ... read and find out?

    Robert Jordan

    This is my answer: You got that one right, sport!

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  • 15

    E_Tej

    I see that many of the story lines are derived (from) mythology around the world. Which culture do you draw from more?

    Robert Jordan

    I'm not certain that I draw from any one culture more than others. Many myths and legends of many different cultures are really the same story when you get to the heart of it. They are often cultural cautionary tales about how we should behave and how we should live.

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  • 16

    twayne

    When you started writing the series, were Osan'gar and Aran'gar in the original plotline, or were they added in as you went along?

    Robert Jordan

    They were in the original plot line.

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  • 17

    Cameo_Vox

    The Land of Madmen is mentioned in the coffee table book. Do you have any plans on incorporating it into one of the next books?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out! There are some things I might do that might take place there, but those things could also just as well be done in other places.

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  • 18

    Uno

    Has there been any serious discussion about making a WoT movie?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes. Not a movie as such, but a miniseries. NBC has purchased an option to do a miniseries of The Eye of the World. Most options are not exercised, however. If you want NBC to make the miniseries, write to them and say "make the miniseries of The Eye of the World."

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  • 19

    El-Loko

    Did you have the entire storyline, bar a few details, before you even started writing Book One?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes. There were a good many details I didn't have, but the story line, the major events; those were all in my head. I could have written the last scene of the last book more than 15 years ago. And what happens in that scene would not be any different from what I intend to happen now.

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  • 20

    Rodynus

    Was the name of Far Madding a literary allusion to 'An Elegy in a Country Churchyard'?

    Robert Jordan

    No. That straight-out answer shocked you, didn't it?

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  • 21

    Moderator

    Has this saga taken on a life of its own over the years?

    Robert Jordan

    I am not sure what you mean. If you are talking about the claim by some writers that characters take on a life of their own and begin writing the story then, No. I created the story. I created these characters, and I am an Old Testament God with my fist in the middle of their lives. The characters do what I want. The story goes where I want.

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  • 22

    Elzabet

    Does the healing of the taint reverse its previous effects? Or does the victim have to live with whatever he's gotten to that point and be grateful it won't get worse?

    Robert Jordan

    The second.

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  • 23

    Almindhra

    Do you think literary critics take you seriously as a good writer despite your writing of fantasy?

    Robert Jordan

    Some do, and some don't. That's the way it always works. But I would like to add there is a lot of fantasy out there that does not call itself fantasy. The magic realists are fantasists. (A.S) Byatt is a fantasist. A good many mainstream literary writers are fantasists. So maybe the critics won't put things down, just because they are fantasy, quite as readily as they once did.

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  • 24

    Moderator

    Why do stories of the titanic battles between good and evil seem to attract such a large and loyal audience?

    Robert Jordan

    Because most people believe in good and evil, in right and wrong. And I think most people would like to believe that they would stand on the side of good—of right—however they happen to define those things.

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  • 25

    GH

    Mr. Jordan, what are the most crazy reactions you have received from your fans?

    Robert Jordan

    I suppose it's the people who believe that I am telling them the absolute truth: that there is a thing called channeling, and that I can teach them how to do it. I'm not a guru. I'm not a sage. I'm not a teacher. I am just a storyteller.

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  • 26

    MengLor

    Where do you come up with the original spelling of the names of the characters?

    Robert Jordan

    Some of them come out of myths and legends. And others come because the sound is somewhat familiar, or because I like the sound of the name.

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  • 27

    Sil7ver

    Is it true that many of your characters are based on Norse mythos?

    Robert Jordan

    Not many. Some. And no character is purely based on one myth or one legend.

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  • 28

    Moderator

    What do you want readers to see in your books?

    Robert Jordan

    A good story.

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  • 29

    Moderator

    Thank you for joining us today, Robert Jordan.

    Robert Jordan

    Thank you very much for having me.
  • 30

    CNN.com

    Robert Jordan joined CNN.com by telephone from Charleston, South Carolina. CNN.com provided a typist for him. The above is an edited transcript of the interview, which took place on Tuesday, December 12, 2000.