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Interviews: Twitter 2011 (WoT)

Summary:

Entries

197

Date

2011

Type

Verbatim

Links

Brandon Sanderson on Twitter

Brandon Sanderson on Facebook

  • 1

    Terez

    For a complete catalog of Brandon's tweets, visit the Twitter Portal at Brandon's website.

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Happy New Year, all. It is official—I have begun working on A Memory of Light, fourteenth and final book of The Wheel of Time.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I have updated the progress bars on my website with this year's tasks. I'll try to be better about keeping them current.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The first step is to re-read the entire Wheel of Time. Towers of Midnight had some small continuity errors—mostly me forgetting who knows what.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    We fixed them for the paperback, but it is a sign that I'm starting to forget details. That means I need to re-read Mr. Jordan's work.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I fully expect this re-read to take until April. I need to divide my time among reading, outlining, and studying the notes.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    By the way, I did get a Nook for my birthday. So I'm in the process of getting e-copies of the WoT uploaded.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Since people are asking, the continuity errors were things like Grady telling Perrin about the Cleansing as if for the first time, but...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...there's a line in Knife of Dreams where Perrin notes that they'd mentioned it to him. We don't see the conversation, but it's there in narrative.

    AJ ZAETHA

    Need a devout reader of the Wheel of Time to watch over what you are writing so they can be like: "He died in book five." "oh."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The thing is, I had eight of those for Towers of Midnight. They all missed these too. It was the time crunch that did it to us, I think.

    BENJAMIN PEACOCK

    No biggie, but did you fix for ebook by chance?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, it should be all fixed for the ebook.

    MICHELLE ANDERS

    Also the fact that Min's viewings aren't always around Aes Sedai when they are supposed to be.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm working on the assumption (as she's said before) that she doesn't always pay attention to them, as there's so many of them.

    CHRIS NUCCITELLI (7 JANUARY)

    Is there a list somewhere of the continuity changes made for the Towers of Midnight paperback?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Not yet. Many things fans pointed out weren't actually errors, but the Theoryland thread caught most of the things we changed.

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  • 2

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Yes, I will be live tweeting/blogging my re-read. Should have some fun things to post about the WoT as I go.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some are asking if my tweets/blogs will have spoilers for WoT books. I'll try to keep those to a minimum. But there will be some.

    MATT HATCH

    Have you considered using a hashtag for your WoT re-read tweets? Would make it easier for fans to follow and participate.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yeah, but I always forget to put in the hashtags...

    MATT HATCH

    Pick a hashtag. We can always retweet the stuff you forget to tag. That's what HCFFs are for, right?

    MATT HATCH

    Want to join in the re-read fun? @BrandonSandrson is tweeting as he goes. Use this hashtag #wotrr to follow and comment as it progresses.

    KARA-NOEL (4 JANUARY)

    I want to do the #wotrr with you! What book are you on??

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm still on Book One. Basically, I'll do 10% of a book a day minimum.

    ANNE SOWARDS (5 JANUARY)

    I am feeling a crazy urge to re-read Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World. I blame @BrandonSandrson and his #wotrr tweets.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The end of the series draws near. An end of an Age of fantasy reading for many of us.

    JASON ROSTAR

    Does it take you longer to read WoT now than when you first read them? Do you read more carefully since you're 'working'?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, much longer.

    MATTHEW TIDMAN

    The problem with trying to read through The Wheel of Time series for the first time is that it's so huge it's just daunting.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First book stands very well on its own, and first three make a solid trilogy. You can read to either point...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...and there decide if you want to continue on. It feels less daunting that way.

    JAIME CALLAHAN

    I've never read any of the Wheel of Time books. I think this might put my fantasy book reader street cred in danger.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. It's okay. They're fun, though. (I might be biased.)

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  • 3

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Man, I love the prologue of The Eye of the World. Some of my favorite writing in the entire series. Great insight into Ishamael's personality pre-madness.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    People like to talk of Rand's character development. Elan -> Ishamael -> Moridin is almost as interesting to me. His outlook has evolved so much.

    JUSTIN LEE

    Has it really evolved? he's still the megalomanical favorite/topdog he's always seen himself to be.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No, he's really changed a lot. He's a fatalist now, as I mentioned to @dragonmount. He knows far more.

    JASON DENZEL

    How would you compare Ishamael's motivations from when he was Elan vs when he was Moridin?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Elan is actually more selfish. He still thinks he will rule, that the Dark One will take over the world and create a new one.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Moridin has been through madness and touched the mind of the Dark One. He is far more fatalistic, and actually less selfish.

    TEREZ

    And therefore...less predictable? :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that quote in relation to my tweet.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    In TGS 39, Verin tells Egwene that the Dark One looks for selfishness more than any other trait in his leaders—namely, the Chosen—because it makes them predictable.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    Is it wrong for me to have been under the impression that Moridin isn't "mad?" I've thought he was less mad than he was...

    AUSTIN MOORE

    ...as Ishamael. Mad being crazy not mad being evil because obviously he's evil.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Moridin is less insane than Ishamael was. Much as Rand is less insane than Lews Therin was.

    AZRAL HANAN

    You say Moridin is less selfish. Is he now a Dark Buddha wanting to end the suffering of existence in the nirvana of oblivion?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's not that he's unselfish. But compare his lines in The Eye of the World and Knife of Dreams and Towers of Midnight to see the difference.

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  • 4

    Matt (3 January 2011)

    Probably RAFO, but will the voice from Tarwin's Gap battle in The Eye of the World ever be explained?

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    RAFO. :)

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  • 5

    Jeff Edde (3 January 2011)

    Interesting. In The Eye of the World, Rand uses Light and Power. Is it significant that he uses Light and Power again in Towers of Midnight?

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Yes.

    JEFF EDDE (12 JANUARY)

    Can Rand channel Light and Power as a result of touching the Eye of the World, or does he have access to it because he is who he is?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It was the power in the Eye, so far as I know.

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  • 6

    Eiremauve (3 January 2011)

    Can Rand get the most POVs in A Memory of Light, please? (bambi eyes, clasped hands) We were severely deprived in Towers of Midnight. :'( (grovels)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    There will be more Rand VPs in the last book, I promise.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Rand's lack of VPs in Towers of Midnight was intentional. Much like his lessened VP role in The Dragon Reborn, and for similar reasons.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    Was the lack of Rand VPs in Towers of Midnight intended to show his change from other characters' VPs?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    In part. There are other reasons. But that's part of it.

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  • 7

    Derek Daniels (3 January 2011)

    Never did figure out what it is exactly that killed Lews Therin in the prologue. Thoughts after reread?

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    It's a toss up between getting consumed by holding too much Power and getting struck by that bolt of energy from the sky.

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  • 8

    Amy Farmer (3 January 2011)

    Out of curiosity, why aren't you starting with New Spring? Useful continuity stuff there.

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    I like reading New Spring when it was released. Feels better to me there.

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  • 9

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    The first wind is in the Mountains of Mist; I've always assumed this was a nod to Tolkien's Misty Mountains.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Look in The Way of Kings on the full map of Roshar for something similar.

    SHECKY X

    Well, his Charlestonian background makes the "Two Rivers" the Charleston area, so the "Mountains of Mist" may be...

    SHECKY X

    ... the Smoky Mountains, upstate from his home. (FYI: the Charleston area is defined by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nice note. I'd never known that.

    LYNN OLIVER

    Listening to WoT on audiobook, first time through series. Book one seems heavily influenced by Tolkien so far.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, book one is very Tolkien influenced. Very. Book two less so. It's almost gone by book three.

    Footnote

    The Way of Kings map doesn't have the Misted Mountains labeled, but they border Shinovar on the east.

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  • 10

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Reading this book, I'm reminded of how deeply Dragonsteel (one of my foundational, yet, unpublished works) was influenced by the WoT's start.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Actually, of the three fantasy epics I wrote during my early years—Dragonsteel, Elantris, & White SandElantris was the least WoT-like.

    TEREZ

    Elantris in a way reminded me of King's Eyes of the Dragon, with the fairy-tale-like writing style.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I love Eyes of the Dragon. Might be an unconscious influence.

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  • 11

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Reading the start of The Eye of the World reminds me that there's an extra person in the cover art. (More obvious in the secondary, inside piece, I think.)

    RINA

    In the cover of The Eye of the World there's only Moraine, Lan, and one boy to the side. Am I looking at the wrong one?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There are two covers. One ended up on the inside flaps. The outer one wraps around, though, and I think he's in both.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Here's the secondary cover: http://bit.ly/hZu0Uw

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    HCFFs already know who that person is, but it's a fun Easter egg to know that there's a story behind that extra figure.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    By the way, HCFF stands for "Hard Core Fan Freak" for those asking. They're self named. It's what many uber-wot-geeks call themselves.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mr. Jordan wrote a large chunk of The Eye of the World with a fourth Two Rivers lad going along with Perrin, Mat, and Rand. Was to be a major character.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Harriet talked him out of it, pointing out that the fourth lad never did anything useful. @theoryland, do you guys have a good thread on him?

    TEREZ

    Nah, nothing to talk about really. But here is RJ saying that: http://bit.ly/RJ-BN2000

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've asked Harriet if she could dig up any of the old manuscript with the fourth ta'veren in it, but she's not certain they have any.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She said she thinks he was Dannil, but couldn't remember for certain. Many think he was Ewin—a good guess and a possibility.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Cover art was commissioned when he was still a main character, and it was too late to change it when he was removed.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Looks like the fourth ta'veren was Dannil, in another form: http://bit.ly/h0iDIO (Look for Liandra's question.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Jason from @dragonmount says: "RJ once told me that Daniell's heroics ended up being done by the other Two Rivers boys."

    AZRAL HANAN

    What role would the so-called 'Fourth' ta'veren have played if he had been written into the story? Could you elaborate?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'd like to see the original drafts if I could. I do know RJ said his part was split among the other three.

    RINA

    Is the fourth boy (Dannil)'s name pronounced [dan-nil] or [daniel]?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I say the first.

    Footnote

    Some fans think this is a BS story made up as an inside joke between RJ and Harriet about the cover art, mostly because the concept of three heroes seems to work better with the mythology that RJ used to develop them.

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  • 12

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Ha. Thom showing up at night, and people grumbling, makes me smile now knowing about the unwritten prequel involving his arrival.

    SKYLA GRIMES

    Weren't there two other planned prequels that never made it? Will they ever see the light of day?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes. But they probably won't be published, I'm afraid.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For those asking, I'm not allowed to talk about the prequels yet. It's unlikely they'll be written. If they aren't, I'll see what I can say.

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  • 13

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    First laugh: "She asked the Wisdom for directions this morning," Ewin said, "and called her 'child.'" Rand and Mat both whistled...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If Mat could go back in time, he'd thump himself fawning over Moiraine in The Eye of the World. Then he'd fawn over Moiraine, but pretend he wasn't.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    "Strangers and a gleeman, fireworks and a peddler. It was going to be the best Bel Tine ever."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. From @ltnolan0347: "Trollocs and Aes Sedai, Dragon's Fang and Padan Fain. Worst Bel Tine ever...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Another thought: Cenn is right more often than wrong in these early chapters. Unexpected, as I think of him as a blowhard.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (5 JANUARY)

    "...the ramp with a thump, while Mat and Perrin announced loudly that the Taren was not half as wide as they had heard."

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  • 14

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    WoT statistics: Egwene appears for the first time about 7% into The Eye of the World. She is the first person to fold her arms beneath her breasts.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As much as we like to talk about Robert Jordan using that phrase, I think that's the only time it appears in The Eye of the World.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Amusing that, after all they've grown, Egwene and Rand's interaction in The Eye of the World 3 has many similarities to their interaction in Towers of Midnight.

    LAYLA MESSNER

    Took me a moment to realize this phrase did not refer to Egwene's breasts ;) RT @BrandonSandrson: "Amusing that, after all they've grown..."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. You just about killed me with laughter on that one.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (5 JANUARY)

    It bears remembering that of the group, only Egwene left the Two Rivers for adventure. The others were forced. (Or felt they were.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is very important for her character. In a way, she was the only one who chose this life intentionally. At least at first.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Aha. First braid tug I spotted was at the 30% mark.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (6 JANUARY)

    I wonder if Rand and Egwene dancing in Baerlon counts as a fulfillment of her Winternight promise to dance with him on Bel Tine.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 JANUARY)

    I'll admit, the Tinker scenes had me wishing—as a youth—for a Perrin+Egwene hook up. I never wanted her for Rand.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (12 JANUARY)

    "I'd like being your Warder." Rand to Egwene, near the end of The Eye of the World.

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  • 15

    E.G. Hornbostel (3 January 2011)

    Brandon, does Lan still sharpen his impossible-to-dull heron blade in the electronic edition of The Eye of the World?

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    I actually have Robert Jordan's original word files; I need to get the new ebooks.

    Footnote

    It's actually not a heron-mark blade. Just a Powerwrought blade.

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  • 16

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    And, here we have mention of Anla the Wise Counselor. For those not in the know, there is theorizing on her: http://bit.ly/f8s2T4

    FELIX PAX

    At least one...problem with that link...in "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" RJ refers to Robert Heinlein in The Great Hunt.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Didn't know that. Thanks.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    Will we see any more of those awesome references (Anla, Mosk and Merc, all the other tidbits) in the last book?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There were some in my [WoT] books that I don't think have been caught yet.

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  • 17

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Back to reading The Eye of the World, all. Posts to follow. I'll try to keep it at a steady stream, not a flood.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    WoT Easter Egg: there's an easily overlooked line in the prologue of The Eye of the World which gives huge foreshadowing of things Rand can do in Towers of Midnight.

    TEREZ

    I always thought the fact that Lews Therin could sense that there were no people around for miles was interesting.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I should have guessed that you'd be the only one who would pick out the right line, Terez.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The Easter egg in the prologue has to do with Lews Therin sensing the lack of people around him for miles and miles.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (5 JANUARY)

    Regarding yesterday's Easter Egg, Maria mentions RJ was preparing a blog post on the concept.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For those who missed it, it has to do with Lews Therin sensing nobody was nearby when he made Dragonmount.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And before you ask, no, I can't say more. Sorry. Suffice it to say that what is in the books stands as enough of an answer, for now.

    TEREZ

    My original(ish) post on the ability to sense for people: http://bit.ly/safegates in '06. I was a noob(ish) then.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Interesting theory. What do you think of it now?

    TEREZ

    I think it still holds up (despite a few details I missed), but I think it's not what you were getting at. :)

    Footnote

    Most think this has something to do with the 'one with the land' thing. (See the Fisher King tag for more info.)

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  • 18

    Diana Brewster (4 January 2011)

    Do you use Ideal Seek for your WoT research? http://dposey.no-ip.com/IdealSeek/

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    I have my own e-copy in word format of the entire series, to empower me to use searches. I've been to Ideal Seek before, though.

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  • 19

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Yes, early WoT is very Tolkien influenced. But several original things really stood out to me when I was younger.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    1) The magic. 2) Strong female protagonists. 3) A woman 'wizard' figure who was far more human than others I'd seen. 4) Tam lives.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Though I like Gandalf, Dumbledore, Belgarath, & Allanon, I prefer Moiraine as a character. (Actually, Allanon always just annoyed me.)

    HARRISON ISRAEL

    I always liked Allanon :(

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's okay. I'm fond of him. But he still annoyed me.

    HAMLETISDEAD

    Can you share what it is about Allanon that annoyed you? I can list a few, but the main reason was his decision making...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mostly the air of mystery and withholding information. Often a problem with people in his role, but he seemed more-so.

    BRYCE NIELSEN

    What about Polgara? :P

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Polgara was awesome. Belgarath was pretty cool too, but Moiraine always feels slightly more real than either one to me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But that's modern Brandon. Teenage Brandon might have thought differently.

    CHRIS WOOD

    But which of those early wizards was your favorite? I liked Belgarath, but Eddings was one of my first series.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As a youth, I often listed Eddings as my favorite author. It wasn't until I was older that WoT took over completely.

    CHRIS WOOD

    I agree, I still read Eddings and suggest him to people who are "new" into fantasy, but it has gone down my list too.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There is a perfect age to read Eddings, where he resonates best. As you age, something about his characters and plots...stiffens.

    JENN HOGAN

    I am in agreement but I love Belgarath's humor and his devotion to family and his God and his brothers.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Belgarath was interesting also in being an amalgamation of a trickster figure and a wise mentor. By far one of Eddings' most round.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Both him and Polgara. They're both also more powerful than Moiraine. But there's just something about her. True wisdom.

    JOHN STOCKTON

    I was thrown by your "when I was younger" remark until I remembered this series started 20 years ago. Wow.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I started when I was 14 or 15...

    YELLOW

    The WoT names always annoyed me because they're so close to real names. Any chance of dropping a Blixbop into A Memory of Light?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mr. Jordan did this intentionally, to hint that the WoT world was our world in the future (and the past.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's part of the 'feel' of the world. They are close to real names because they ARE real names, just many years removed.

    TADBO

    The females in The Wheel of Time are among the most two-dimensional in the history of fantasy.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I disagree. Case in point: Tolkien's female protagonists. (Which was the comparison I was making.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But even beyond that, you have to remember, this is a society with some skewed gender relationships because of the way magic works.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But Moiraine is hardly two-dimensional. Neither is Nynaeve. They can be annoying, yes, but that's not the same as two-dimensional.

    TADBO

    They scheme, they argue, they tug on their skirts and stamp their feet, or they fall at Rand's feet. Really?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Aviendha is very distinctive. Tuon is very distinctive. Min is very distinctive. Many of the Aes Sedai act as you say, but...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...I see this as an intentional effect of the society they live in.

    ZEERAK WASEEM

    Don't you get annoyed with the females in WoT? The female lead I prefer is Aviendha, the rest are full of themselves.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, I didn't say they didn't annoy me at times. I said they were strong, and I'll add that they are interesting.

    TADBO

    Final note. I would argue that Jordan's female protagonists are MAIN characters, whereas Tolkien's are mainly supporting.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The Tolkien point is valid. However, remember what started this conversation. I was saying things about the WoT that impressed me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    One was a large cast of female main characters, something a lot of fantasy by men I'd read was lacking.

    TEREZ

    WoT females are caricaturish, sometimes stereotypical, but not two-dimensional. (This from a female.)

    TADBO

    Yes, caricatures. A better description than two-dimensional.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, different people read things differently. If WoT's women didn't work for you, I understand why, though I don't feel the same.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You're not the only one to feel that way.

    TEREZ

    The fact that I see them as caricatures helps me to enjoy them as characters more. It's RJ's own type of dry humor.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I view them more of products of a society where social norms are different, and women have something 'machismo'-like.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It makes them act similar in places, even though when you see into their souls, there is something deeper.

    TEREZ

    In my opinion this is also true, but the caricature part is an important aspect of accepting ALL WoT characters as they are.

    TEREZ

    They, like the story itself, are ubertropes. There is more to them than that, just as there is more to the story.

    FELIX PAX

    It's as if RJ's sense of humor was written for a theater company on stage. Bombastic, perhaps?

    TEREZ

    I think the word you are looking for is 'exaggerated'. But yes, stage-acting a very good comparison.

    TADBO

    I don't know if I ever saw it as 'dry humor'. The Aes Sedai scared the crap out of me in high school.

    TEREZ

    Well, maybe now that you're a big boy... ;) RJ said he'd rather hunt leopards...

    TADBO

    True enough. XD

    TEREZ

    I mean, have you SEEN the map of Tar Valon? It's supposed to be funny, people. And serious at the same time, of course.

    JAMES FURLONG

    Haha! Just clicked on, never noticed THAT before. Hoho!

    HBFFERREIRA

    LOL Never noticed it before either.

    KAREN BASKINS

    LOL! In nearly twenty years of reading WoT, I never took notice of the Tar Valon map. Thank you for the laugh. I needed that. :-)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've wondered about the map for Tar Valon. That...well, that can't be an accident. I've never asked Team Jordan, though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Needless to say, it wasn't something I noticed when I was a teen.

    TEREZ

    Someone asked RJ about it. Sort of. His answer was hilarious.

    RICHARD FIFE

    Ya know, for some odd reason, I never really saw the map of Tar Valon. Now I'll never unsee it...

    TEREZ

    Indeed, it cannot be unseen. :)

    MATT HATCH

    ...wow, this really changes how I view the siege, harbor, and the iron chain becoming cuendillar.

    TEREZ

    You are such a perv, boss.

    MATT HATCH

    Showed my wife the map. Her immediate reaction: "Oh, Jim Rigney." Big smile.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You'd never seen that before?

    TEREZ

    He had. Was just inspired by the moment to show it to his wife. And he'd never seen the quote. :)

    MATT HATCH

    I'd seen it...it was a while back; I remember thinking "really???" This reminded me and the quote made it hilarious.

    TEREZ

    Could give a whole new meaning to 'Rand had daydreamed over Master al'Vere's old map...'

    TEREZ

    '...half the boys in Emond's Field had daydreamed over it.'

    NICHOLAS BROWN

    To the blind... what am I seeing? I see a fish or a submarine. Is there something else?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hm. How to do this without going places I don't care to go... Maybe a link will suffice. http://bit.ly/gMSLt6

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  • 20

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Ha! Want a twenty-year-old typo? My e-copy (RJ's original) reads: "Everything depended on whether or not the Trollops were still there."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    What to say about Narg? In my mind, he's always been a hyena. I can't shake that image, though there are no hyena Trollocs.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (5 JANUARY)

    Also, dashing my dreams of RJ typos, it turns out the original e-copies of the early WoT books were lost in a hard drive crash.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maria says she thinks that what I'm using is a file scanned from print. Trollop/Trolloc makes more sense now.

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  • 21

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    I love that RJ gave Rand such a personal, powerful internal problem at the start with questioning his relationship to Tam.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Though it's easy for us to say "Of course Tam's your father, silly" this issue was deep and meaningful for Rand and served as...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...a wonderful way to make the book about more than the action. It also foreshadows Rand's later identity crisis with Lews Therin.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    "I don't know that you are worth it, sheepherder, no matter what she says."—Lan, to Rand, walking with Moiraine to help Tam.

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  • 22

    James Powell (4 January 2011)

    Does having written for the Wheel of Time change the way you engage with it as a reader now?

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Yes, a great deal. Though I don't know if I can explain it in 140-character bursts. :)

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  • 23

    Azral Hanan (4 January 2011)

    Will there be more revelations about the metaphysical cosmology of the WOT universe...eventually?

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    The encyclopedia should have some.

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  • 24

    Austin Moore (3 January 2011)

    Has Demandred even been doing anything important besides building an army? (guessing it's in Murandy)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    He's been doing lots of important things.

    AUSTIN MOORE (4 JANUARY)

    Why do you think RJ straight up said that Taim wasn't Demandred when he could've just said RAFO and kept everyone guessing?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think he was tired of people all looking in the same place.

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  • 25

    Austin Moore (4 January 2011)

    Anymore "unnoticed" things we should look for that could help for the last book like there was for Towers of Midnight?

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    I'll let you know as I'm building my notes.

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  • 26

    Omar Subedar (4 January 2011)

    Who is your favorite member of the Chosen?

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Moridin. Followed by Demandred. Followed by Lanfear.

    OMAR SUBEDAR

    As for Moridin, I never liked the fact that he thought that Dark One winning would be THE end. I mean, according to...

    OMAR SUBEDAR

    Robert Jordan, there are no beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel right? Only relative beginnings and endings.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Moridin believes that if the Dark One wins, there will BE no Wheel. It will be broken. So in that way, there are still...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...no beginnings or endings. There is nothing. Some, including Cadsuane, believe this is a very real possibility.

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  • 27

    Brian Mavity (4 January 2011)

    I am going to have to pester @BrandonSandrson on my loony theory of Shaidar Haran being Asmodean 2.0. Who's with me? I have a decent case!

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Lol. Wow, I've never heard that one before.

    BRIAN MAVITY

    Your "lol" saddens me. You know, there's enough evidence that you could get away with adding it to the last book!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Only problem is RJ said that Asmodean's soul was outside the Dark One's reach, though he wasn't specific as to why. (As I remember.)

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    Deadsy (5 January 2011)

    Can you just re-read books 1-5 over and over so we can keep talking about Moiraine?

    DEADSY

    If not that, perhaps I can try to force you to dwell on later mentions of Moiraine, no matter how unimportant.

    DEADSY

    ...and it took me a long time but I've narrowed the "something" about Moiraine down to the fact she rarely uses contractions.

    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    Let me know what you find. One thing to note—RJ didn't use contractions in narrative, but I do. A stylistic difference.

    DEADSY

    I noticed it in The Great Hunt with Moiraine and Siuan. Siuan uses them left and right because she's not uppity enough to say "do not".

    TEREZ

    It's a good point, and probably part of that Cairhienin reserve. Or at least, it helps portray it.

    Footnote

    Deadsy had mentioned before that she found something 'off' about Moiraine. Also, not much later the graphic novel version of New Spring was released, and in it was a correspondence between RJ and the Dabel Brothers, and he mentions that Moiraine never uses contractions.

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  • 29

    Steve (5 January 2011)

    Do the WoT eBooks include proper italics and chapter icons?

    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    I'll let you know. I'm not using them yet (I'm using converted Word files) but I've asked for them.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. I love bureaucracy. Me to Tor: Hey, I need the wot ebooks. Tor: Just buy them and we'll reimburse you. It's easier that way.

    RYAN MAXWELL

    You should tell Tor that you need the audio books too. It would be a shame to pass up free books lol.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I already have those. Got them from Tor back when I started on this project. :)

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    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    People (mostly my editor) complain about my capitalization of magic-related terms. (Push and Pull in Mistborn.) I learned from RJ.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll admit, keeping track of which terms are upper case while writing these can be hard. Warder, for example, is capitalized.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. I love @GrammarGirl. She says: "Refer your editor to the section on capitalizing Platonic ideals: http://j.mp/18T09Z

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    When younger, I thought Rand's first Channeling was lightning in Four Kings. It wasn't until later that I caught the Bela thing.

    TEREZ

    No, 'channeling' is NOT capitalized. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's the one I most think should be. We always have to search/replace it after I write a book.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    Why did you use the word 'magic' in Towers of Midnight? It never showed up in WoT before that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RJ used the word a couple of times in the series.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    Did he? Because I remember being jarred out of the narrative when I saw it mentioned in Towers of Midnight. Seemed really incongruous.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yeah, a couple of times. Mostly in earlier books. In Aviendha's vision, though, it was supposed to be incongruous.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is (presumably) many, many years in the future. Language and usage has changed.

    Footnote

    The word 'magic' was actually only used once (in The Eye of the World Chapter 33). Brandon used 'magics' in Towers of Midnight Chapter 48 in Aviendha's POV, but he also used 'magical' in Faile's POV in Towers of Midnight Chapter 16 (neither word appears anywhere else in the series).

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  • 31

    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    This now reads interestingly: "With all his heart & desperation, he silently shouted at Bela to run...tried to will strength into her...

    ZEERAK WASEEM

    The Bela thing?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Rand heals Bela of her fatigue before Moiraine can.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Since people are asking, Rand's first use of the Power is healing Bela of her fatigue. He feels the effects later in Baerlon, I think.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Are there any Theorylanders/Dragonmounters who can confirm this for me? Maybe give some specifics or a thread for people?

    ADAM PETTY

    Didn't Moiraine bring that to his attention at the end of The Eye of the World or The Dragon Reborn?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think she did, but either way, I missed it first read-through.

    JO KENEBEL

    Actually doesn't Moiraine confirm it later, she says something like "I had suspicions from the first...then there was Bela..."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I was asking for confirmation on his sickness, not whether he channeled. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    On the subject of Rand's channeling, a lot of people are bringing up the event on the ship outside of Shadar Logoth.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll talk about this when we get there. I've read a lot of theories on this one arguing for both sides. I've never made up my mind.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wotfaq on Rand channeling: http://bit.ly/fBBrCz I've read enough questions from theory-types on the second one to make me question.

    TEREZ

    Like what? Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And...Linda to the rescue. Once again, 13th Depository has an exhaustive look at all this: http://bit.ly/gYgU7Z (Thanks @einarjh.)

    TEREZ

    She doesn't question it either. :D I have not seen a case against it. Also, Vin using up her 'luck' reminded me of that. :)

    MATT HATCH

    Brandon, come on over. We'd love to "entertain" your theory against Bela. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    My theory against Bela?

    MATT HATCH

    Thought "theories on this one arguing for both sides. I've never made up my mind" meant you were undecided on Bela...

    MATT HATCH

    ...as the first instance of channeling. But now I see you were speaking of the sickness.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The ship is what I was talking about. I remember reading, in the early days, some people trying to refute that one.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The reason everyone misses the first times Rand channels is because the sickness after the lightning is so much more memorable.

    HBFFERREIRA

    The mast swinging and killing a Trolloc, right? I remember thinking ta'veren during my re-read.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's what I thought for a long time too. Might still think it. I want to watch it this read.

    LUCKERS

    Re: Rand's first channelings—do you know of the theory that Rand channeled to bring them to the Eye...

    LUCKERS

    Compare the last few moments before they reach the Eye with when Rand heals Bela of her tiredness.

    LUCKERS

    If that is one of the first channelings, it's not on any list. Always intrigued me. RJ was so subtle sometimes.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll watch for that, Luckers. Thanks for the heads up.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 JANUARY)

    Okay, we come to Rand using the One Power to swing the boom on the ship and hit the Trolloc. The argument against this one...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...is that the Power doesn't actually seem to move the boom. The boat shakes for some reason, which swings it down.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    In the other two cases, Rand does something actively. In this, it seems more accidental. It's enough of an argument to make me wonder.

    TEREZ

    Who says Rand didn't shake the boat with the Power? Besides, the aftereffects are what make us sure.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    I agree. He jolted the boat which dislodged many Trollocs and the boom swept the one attacking him away.

    JOHN IN PUEBLO

    Are you saying him being ta'veren caused it to move?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm saying I've been made to wonder. The biggest point against it is the sickness he feels after.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (10 JANUARY)

    So, Rand on the rigging really must be an after-effect of channeling. But it doesn't HAVE to mean he did it on the night with the boat.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It could have happened in the days between, and... and I'm sounding like @theoryland, aren't I? You guys are a bad influence on me.

    TEREZ

    If you actually hung out @theoryland you would never put such an unsupported theory forward for fear of our scorn. ;)

    TEREZ

    Sometimes, Occam's Razor is your friend. Alas.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. You want me to think your theories are all well-supported? You think I haven't heard @theoryland's Avi theory?

    TEREZ

    Hey, that was MY theory. And it was way more supported than yours! hmph... (though I didn't believe it really)

    MATT HATCH

    Ouch. I should get Jenn to do an Asmodean panel at JordanCon. I need an outlet for my glossary disdain.

    TEREZ

    While all of us in the apathy camp think the glossary reveal was JUST PERFECT TAKE THAT YOU CHUMPS.

    MATT HATCH

    Of course you were happy, because it was the apathetic way to reveal it...I really need that panel, Jenn!

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Tell Shannan. I think we have room for another theory panel.

    TEREZ

    Also, Moiraine clearly says that early unconscious channeling always comes in response to a desperate need.

    TEREZ

    We know it was smooth sailing after they left Shadar Logoth, so no opportunity to make Rand channel.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Where did you get the idea that this was my theory? Just something I was curious about. :P

    TEREZ

    Just from the fact that you were, you know, defending it. :p I know you said you had read it back in the day though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Unfortunately, I don't really GET to have theories any more, since I can just look up the answers or ask Maria. :(

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And the theories I do have I don't really get to post about, since they will influence the series end. Maybe once A Memory of Light is done,

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll pick a few things the notes are silent on, explain that they're silent, then jump in with some good, old-fashioned theories.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That won't stop me from making random comments as I read, though, so maybe those count as my theories.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I am keeping a list, though, to get answers on as I go. Already got a few, actually....

    TEREZ

    That would be awesome. In the meantime, feel free to defend silly theories. It gives us something to do. ;)

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    Felix Pax (5 January 2011)

    Did RJ specifically state in his notes that the three Aiel Dreamwalkers were clueless about the 'breaking of the seals'?

    FELIX PAX

    I ask, because those same three Aiel Dreamwalkers are implied to know the final use of Callandor early in the series.

    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    Before I reply, expand on that question, if you will. Humor me.

    FELIX PAX

    It's Amys, Bair, Melaine reactions to Egwene's words in Towers of Midnight Chapter "A Vow" (Egwene POV) I'm wondering about.

    FELIX PAX

    Quotation: "but his words were those of madness. He said he is going to break the seals on the Dark One's prison."

    FELIX PAX

    Amys and Bair both froze. "You are certain of this?" Bair asked. "Yes."

    FELIX PAX

    "This is disturbing news," Amys said."We will consult with him on this. Thank you for bringing this to us."

    FELIX PAX

    My question is if all the Wise One sit around the Heart of the Stone, repeatedly, and look at Callandor.

    FELIX PAX

    Should not the Wise Ones have knowledge about the breaking of the seals? They already know about Callandor's use.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll say this. RJ's writing, notes, and outline were very present in that entire sequence. Much less Brandon there.

    Footnote

    Felix is a little notorious for being insane, so don't worry if you don't get it.

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  • 33

    Adam Doward (6 January 2011)

    Please tell me all the Black Tower stuff will finally be resolved in A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    The things I didn't get into Towers of Midnight with the Black Tower should be in A Memory of Light.

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  • 34

    Ryan Lawler (6 January 2011)

    I'm a bit ahead on my #wotrr but I am confused by Byar's actions in The Eye of the World chapter 38. He seems to "noble" for deceitful actions...

    RYAN LAWLER

    It also seems out of character for Byar to release suspected Darkfriends who killed Whitecloaks. Insight on his reasoning?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Byar never was noble. What he does there is more telling of who he is than anything he says or claims.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He wants them dead. Trick them into an escape attempt, then get them executed.

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  • 35

    Darth Andrea (6 January 2011)

    Quick question, From RJ's Notes on Callandor, is it a straight bladed sword, or curved, single handed or hand and a half?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    MAFO.

    FELIX PAX

    BWB claims Callandor is, "a crystal sword with a curved blade...." http://bit.ly/hiKltk

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thanks, Felix. That's how I imagined it, but with things like this, I can't always rely on my memory.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Sometimes, I have incorrect biases come from years of reading and imagining.

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  • 36

    Austin Moore (6 January 2011)

    Who was the Lord of Chaos that Demandred and Taim both mention? There has been tons of debate.

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Really? I thought that one was obvious. What's the debate about?

    Terez

    It's Rand. Look in the BWB re: Feast of Fools.

    Austin Moore

    Why was Demandred and Taim saying, "Let the Lord of Chaos rule" if it was Rand? Sorry just read through series once so far :(

    Terez

    Here's a quote for you:

    The Feast of Fools
    Celebrated in Tammaz (in Arad Doman and the Borderlands) or Saven (everywhere else), the exact day varying according to locality. A day in which all order is deliberately inverted; the high perform lowly tasks (running errands, serving at table, etc.) while the low do no work and give orders to their usual superiors. In many villages and towns the most foolish person is given a title such as the Lord/Lady of Unreason/Misrule/Chaos or the King/Queen of Fools. Not an honor sought, but for that one day everyone has to obey whatever orders, however foolish, are given by the chosen one. (Called the Festival of Unreason in Saldaea; the Festival of Fools in Kandor; Foolday in Baerlon and the Two Rivers.)

    Matt Hatch

    I've always enjoyed this theory about the Lord of Chaos. It's fun.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a good theory for people to be reading.

    Terez

    YAY. OMG, that theory has been on the rocks for years because of contradicting tour reports.

    Terez

    Also, your tour quotes were vague enough to allow it but most people didn't see it that way.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't say the theory was true, just that you should study it. :) But I would like to see those tour reports.

    Terez

    Yes, yes. :) Also, your vague(ish) wording. And the contradicting RJ reports.

    Footnote

    Adding to Brandon's implications here is Sorilea's comment in reference to the balefiring of Natrin's Barrow, in The Gathering Storm Chapter 27: "We felt the world warping from here, but did not know what had caused it. We assumed it to be the Dark One's work." (Similar to the ripples Perrin and Faile experienced in Knife of Dreams.) This opens up the possibility that people have no idea really what they're talking about when they assume that the warping of reality is due to the Dark One's touch, just as Alviarin had no idea what she was talking about when she assumed that the rotting food was the Dark One's touch (Knife of Dreams, Prologue).

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  • 37

    Austin Moore (6 January 2011)

    Yes or no, the place where Asmodean died is significant to why he can't be resurrected?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Ha. You want me to clear EVERYTHING up? I have to leave @theoryland something to talk about.

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  • 38

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Nynaeve is a divisive force among WoT fans. Yes, she likes to call men wool-headed. Next time you read, though, watch her actions.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She often speaks in a way influenced by her culture. But if you watch her body language and intent, she's a very different person.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    An excellent example of this is her conversation with Rand in The Eye of the World 16. She very reasonable, empathetic, and treats Rand as an adult.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, she calls all men wool-headed. If you want to understand Nynaeve, see these comments as kin to a Seanchan "May she live forever".

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Sure, she means them. Kind of. But mostly, they're just things you say when you are part of her culture.

    LEAH DEHNEL

    Its not just Nynaeve though, there's not a main character who is a woman who doesn't voice these sentiments at least once...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's why I argue it's cultural. Makes sense in a culture where men who have magic are a danger, but women are a resource.

    MIGNON FOGARTY

    I find Nynaeve very annoying. She's such an irrational pill.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. I can't help seeing her, even still, as a big sister.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 JANUARY)

    "Dresses were not made for stalking."—Nynaeve, trying to sneak while wearing one. Gender roles are fascinating in the WoT. For example...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Harriet edits so we're careful to use non-gender-specific terms. Fisher instead of fishermen, as that's the preferred WoT usage.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The world has blatant sexism on both sides, and yet, at the same time there's far more gender equality than found in most cultures.

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  • 39

    Austin Moore (6 January 2011)

    So what exactly is different about the outline you are making this time compared to for The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight? Besides...

    AUSTIN MOORE

    ...them being different books.

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Afraid I can't answer that without giving too much away.

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  • 40

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    At the 35% mark we have Mat speaking the Old Tongue for the first time, books ahead of him getting memories stuck in his head.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've always found this a very curious event. Of the five Two Riversers, Mat's powers are the most subtly foreshadowed in the book.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Unless you count the short exchange between Lan and Perrin about wolves in a much earlier chapter.

    KRIT PETTY

    I thought that Mat's Old Tongue was a small way of RJ letting you think maybe Mat was the important one, not Rand.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, I think you're right on that count. It was certainly meant to make us think.

    LEE DAVIS

    The speaking the Old Tongue is from his bloodline though, not his memories in that case, isn't it?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, but it's still foreshadowing. He's the one who does it, not the others.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    In The Eye of the World, is Mat remembering the Old Tongue from his own past life or from his ancestors?

    TEREZ

    Good question. He seems to have confirmed Old Blood for the Old Tongue, but the Aemon memory?

    FELIX PAX

    That's what my belief is, Aemon. Mat Cauthon is the reborn soul of Aemon. Aemon's Old Tongue.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It isn't made clear. It could be either. The implication is his bloodline.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The Aemon connection is certainly implied strongly.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 JANUARY)

    "A metal tower?" Rand said. "I'll bet there's treasure inside," Mat said. "A thing like that must have been made to protect something..."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is the start of Mat acting tainted, which always makes me sad. It will be a while before I can read him as himself again.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First time one of the boys thinks, "I wish [insert other boy] were here. He knows what to say to women" happens at the 48% mark.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (10 JANUARY)

    I love that in the scene in Four Kings, the fact that the innkeeper is thin seems almost as ill an omen as a flock of ravens.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I wonder if Mat wearing the scarf around his head here is foreshadowing intentionally, or by coincidence, of the scarf on his neck.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Either way, there's some other strong foreshadowing there of events in Towers of Midnight, though I won't say specifics to avoid spoilers.

    ADAM DOWARD

    I've been wondering for ages is Mat going to wear an eye patch? Or will he wear a strip of cloth like Gemmel's Grymauch?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Not sure what I think of the "start chapter, flashback to what has happened since last chapter" narrative style RJ prefers here.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I don't think he does it as much later. In these first books, he seems more worried about characters going chronologically off of each other.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Note that I do like flashbacks, and think that Chapter 33 is interesting structurally. I don't know if it fits just right, though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A good point: Some note that the erratic timeline here does help reinforce the sense of sickness from Rand and Mat's growing paranoia.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, it's fun that Mat is getting paranoid and crazy because of the dagger—except when he's thinking about food or a nice bed.

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  • 41

    Dylan Snider (6 January 2011)

    Tell me we're gonna have a whole lot more Mat/Tuon in A Memory of Light, I beg of you.

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    There will be.

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  • 42

    Jan Carrick (6 January 2011)

    I'm curious, why has Mat's deepest secrets become well-known rumors in Towers of Midnight? He only told Thom, Noal & Co. about this stuff.

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    That's an excellent question. That I can't answer yet. RAFO. :)

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  • 43

    Girl Geek (6 January 2011)

    I noticed in Towers of Midnight that the viewpoint momentarily switched to a man's (maybe Rand) amidst one of Min's POVs.

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    I think we fixed that one for the paperback. Basically a problem with stitching two scenes together.

    Footnote

    It was actually a mix-up between Faile's and Perrin's POVs.

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  • 44

    sleepinghour (6 January 2011)

    Without revealing names, did RJ's notes say whether any character besides Rand is the reincarnation of someone important?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    This is a difficult one to answer, as I think even an answer might give some people too much of a clue. I'll consider.

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  • 45

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Amusingly, as a young man, I was annoyed at Nynaeve and Moiraine. But I didn't bat an eye when the boys ran off alone in Shadar Logoth.

    KAT R

    How old were you when you first started reading WoT books?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    14 or 15. It was right around my birthday, so I don't know if it was before or after.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Speaking of Shadar Logoth, Harriet tells a story involving it. Tor wanted to print small teasers of The Eye of the World to distribute and hook folks.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Harriet, the editor, insisted that the booklets go all the way to Shadar Logoth. She thought that would be sure to draw people in.

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  • 46

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    First non-Rand viewpoint is Perrin, at about the 38% mark. RJ's juggling of viewpoints is something I didn't see until I was older.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Many a new fantasy writer, fresh off a WoT book, plans and plots a huge epic with twenty viewpoints. That can be overwhelming to start.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Both WoT and GRRM ease into it more than you realize. In most cases, it's better to build to complexity.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'd forgotten that Perrin nearly decides to drop his axe in the water as he swims. But he keeps it, almost against logic.

    VARGA TAMÁS

    Are there actually clues in WoT that you did not find so far? That's cool.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I always find new things when I reread.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Good suggestion: @Terez27 says if you have a WoT question, and want to see if it's been asked before, you can direct it to her first.

    AARON J

    Skipped your tweets when you warned against spoilers; are you on a #wotrr binge at the moment? Can I read without worry?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For the next four months, I'll be doing the reread. Spoilers will be present, but hopefully vague enough to not ruin things.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But I'll be posting about the reread almost every day.

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    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Lan to Thom, as they prepare to flee: "You can ride with us, or ride to Shayol Ghul, gleeman." Well...actually...

    LUCKERS

    I'm curious, do you think RJ intended Thom as a red-herring for who brought the Trollocs on Winternight?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think he wanted us to wonder about Moiraine, honestly. Just a little. I don't think Thom was a red herring, but maybe.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think "Wow, someone BROUGHT the Trollocs?" was the surprise. We didn't know they had anyone on the inside, so to speak.

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  • 48

    jwiedow (7 January 2011)

    I have been thinking about the Aes Sedai First Oath on the oath road "Speak no word that is not true"...

    JWIEDOW

    How do they get around that oath when telling others a different name; Moraine=Mistress Alys?

    JWIEDOW

    Has anyone done a theory or a blog on the use of names and the oaths?

    TEREZ

    They say 'you may call me Mistress Alys'. It's not a lie unless she says 'My name is...' which she doesn't.

    JWIEDOW

    I am trying to remember if they are all that way which is why I brought it up.

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2011)

    I don't know. If you really name yourself that, then you might be able to say it. Depends on internal rationalization.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's easy to say "I'm called Alys" because she is. You can even say "My name is Alys" if you have named yourself that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Otherwise, a Sister could never go by a nickname, a different name than she'd chosen for herself, etc.

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  • 49

    Alex Lund (7 January 2011)

    I was wondering what nation the Seanchan relate to in real life. I can peg the rest...

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2011)

    Mix of Japan and Texas, mostly. There's no perfect correlation.

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  • 50

    Luckers (7 January 2011)

    Pillow Friends = Friends brought together by an interest in the various types of pillows that exist. Right Brandon?

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2011)

    Ha. I'll say that's something I missed on my first few reads.

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  • 51

    Terez (7 January 2011)

    In The Eye of the World chapter 19, is Mordeth's body an illusion? Does this foreshadow Fain's powers in Winter's Heart and Towers of Midnight?

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2011)

    Mordeth's body is more than an illusion. But you could call it less than real.

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  • 52

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2011)

    I've been reminded by @Darth_Andrea that I never did tweet this awesome WoT fan art: http://bit.ly/fwaQ3n

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A note on that fan art—I don't think @Darth_Andrea made it. She just tweeted it to me. Find the artist at the deviantart link at the bottom.

    BRANDON KESTER

    Does anyone else find it hard to believe that neither Robert Jordan or @BrandonSandrson has won a Hugo Award?!?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's sad that RJ never won. I don't even think he got nominated, not for a Hugo or a World Fantasy award.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Does anyone have a transcript of Guy Kay talking about RJ at the World Fantasy awards?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Here's that speech I wanted: http://bit.ly/h9XuPp This should be read by every fantasy fan, WoT reader or not. (Also: G.G. Kay is awesome.)

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  • 53

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2011)

    I love that in our second Perrin viewpoint ever, he's already grumbling about being made a leader—right after expertly taking charge.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hm. Never noticed that before. First time Perrin sees Elyas's eyes: "Some memory tickled the back of Perrin's mind." Thoughts?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Perrin later dismisses this premonition as simply "Oh, I was thinking of wolf eyes." But I wonder. Was he a Wolfbrother in past lives?

    TEREZ

    RJ said that Wolfbrotherness is a soul trait. http://bit.ly/eVwO6u So, possible, though it wouldn't be a recent life.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, that depends. I know a lot of fans believe that in most cases, lives are once per Age, with the soul going somewhere between.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I can't remember if RJ ever said anything on this.

    TEREZ

    Yeah, but Birgitte lived several lives in this Age. I always assumed it was because she can't channel (shorter lifespan).

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  • 54

    Quartzlyn (7 January 2011)

    LOVING the way you write all of the WoT characters, especially Aviendha! Thank you :)

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2011)

    I've been waiting for some more Aviendha in the books, and was glad for a chance to slip her in some more.

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  • 55

    Brandon Sanderson (8 January 2011)

    Much has been made of the blue flash when Thom fights the Fade. I can't say what it was, but it's not what most seem to think.

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  • 56

    Thomas Grossnickle (10 January 2011)

    Aviendha's vision in Towers of Midnight made me wonder, how much will we get to see of what happens to the world after the Last Battle?

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    RAFO. :)

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  • 57

    Felix Pax (10 January 2011)

    If the Shadow's male channelers are called Dreadlords, what are the female channelers called in the Blight?

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    Right now, most are called Black Ajah. But I see what you're getting at. I've always thought of Dreadlords as gender neutral.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll have to ask on that one. I honestly don't have the answer handy.

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  • 58

    Darth Andrea (10 January 2011)

    Odd question: In The Dragon Reborn Prologue, a Fade comes to Jaichim Carridin, it's said that the Fade smiles...

    DARTH ANDREA

    Was that Shaidar Haran? it's mentioned later he is the only Fade who smiles or laughs?

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    Many think it's an early incarnation of him. I've read theories to support it.

    HBFFERREIRA

    In the RJ Q&As, he confirms that the smiling Fade is an earlier prototype of Shaidar Haran. http://tinyurl.com/5vy5ghl

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  • 59

    Andrew Sullivan (10 January 2011)

    Will far off lands like Shara or the Land of Madmen play an important role in the last book?

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    RAFO. Though RJ said we'd never go to Shara, at least not in any major way. He was less firm on the Madmen.

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  • 60

    Ted Herman (10 January 2011)

    Is it error when Elyas told Perrin [in The Eye of the World] chapter 29 that no Hawkwing's kin stayed in Randland? (Mayene's Firsts claim kinship)

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    I haven't looked at it specifically, but my guess would be that Elyas doesn't know or believe the claims.

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  • 61

    Daniel Beale (10 January 2011)

    Can both male and females access the True Power? Why does Cadsuane Sedai not question how Rand escapes from being collared?

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    Yes. And she doesn't have a chance.

    DANIEL BEALE

    She doesn't at the time, but afterwards why isn't she curious as to how Rand escaped being collared?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Cadsuane is curious about a lot of things. So yes, you are right. But she also is good at finding answers unexpectedly.

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  • 62

    Amy (10 January 2011)

    Is there any chance to see Moiraine & Siuan like that in the near future? :P http://fav.me/d36tic0 They're just so cute!!

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    Ha. Well, considering events in The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight, I wouldn't expect it.

    AMY (17 JANUARY)

    You know we expect so much from a Moiraine/Siuan meeting, don't you? Cause there'll be a meeting between them in A Memory of Light, right? :P

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, I know. No promises, but at least I'm aware.

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  • 63

    Shannon Alexy (10 January 2011)

    Do you include the chapter Ravens on your The Eye of the World reread or not since it's not part of the original publishing?

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    I'll read it, I just have to dig it out. I can't remember where I stuck it.

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  • 64

    Luckers (10 January 2011)

    I wonder if Whitebridge is made of spinglass. Does anyone have an answer?

    TEREZ

    I always took 'spinglass' to be a WoT way of saying 'spun glass'. Very fragile. Also...

    TEREZ

    'The man opened his mouth to protest as citizens always did; they seemed to think Aiel were made of spinglass'.

    TEREZ

    Obviously fragile is what he's getting at. Now, if you could do it like cuendillar...that's different.

    TEREZ

    Per Moghedien I get the impression there are many forms of cuendillar. Maybe iron is easiest.

    LUCKERS

    That's a good point—I missed the spinglass = fragile reference. As for cuendillar... perhaps.

    LUCKERS

    There is an argument in the same vein towards Callandor being cuendillar.

    TEREZ

    Well, people argued Callandor=cuendillar because it stopped balefire. But if Perrin can do it... :)

    LUCKERS

    There was also Osan'gar's comment during the cleansing that though the Choedan Kal would be destroyed...

    LUCKERS

    ... he'd still have Callandor. Of course he could have meant to balefire Rand and attack Narishma. Still, weird.

    KRIT PETTY

    Callandor is the most powerful sa'angreal without the Choedan Kal. He might just be noting the fact.

    LUCKERS

    It's the expectation that he would have Callandor after he balefired the hill which is significant.

    TEREZ

    He didn't say he was going to balefire the whole hill. Elza got his hill, though. ;)

    TEREZ

    Strongest Rand could manage with fat man was man-thick. He could sweep it, but it's not necessary.

    LUCKERS

    I did make that point, but it's weird, risking Narishma's response to the attack.

    LUCKERS

    Rand was distracted, why not kill Narishma first, then Rand. Also Osan'gar links the balefire to...

    LUCKERS

    ... Rand's death—"But still, he could take Callandor after al'Thor was dead."—as if it's a result.

    TEREZ

    I read it as him seeing Rand as the only real threat.

    LUCKERS

    Which is weird, in itself. Callandor circle responding to reversed webs—a scary, and impossible thing for someone from the Age of Legends.

    TEREZ

    True, but he might have figured out the ter'angreal thing like Demandred, and he was at point blank range (for balefire).

    RUTH HINCKLEY

    So if the cuendillar Egwene makes is white, why are the seals half black? Saidin-made? Different type of cuendillar?

    TEREZ

    re: black/white, I always figured this was why Elayne couldn't get the colors right with the stone ring (no man).

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    @WoTLuckers @Lironah @Terez27 Now that's an interesting conversation. Re: cuendillar.

    TEREZ

    lol, now I get to catalog the whole conversation because Brandon said it was interesting.

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    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    Pop quiz: What is the first thing that makes Perrin hate his axe? (It's something I've always found very interesting about him.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's not Whitecloaks, though that's a good guess. Perrin thinks if the ravens attack, he'll kill Egwene & save her from a worse death.

    LORI ELENA MELE

    Ah, I'd forgotten about that. Elyas goading him about it didn't help either, as I recall.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, Elyas all but taunted the truth out of him.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Regarding how Elyas goads Perrin in that scene: I'm sure he knew exactly what Perrin was thinking, and wanted to make him confront it.

    TEREZ

    Well, yeah. Perrin didn't say anything about what he was thinking. Elyas said it all, exactly what he was thinking.

    TEREZ

    Both his true motivations—choosing her death—and the motivations he feared (which were stupid, of course).

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No. Elyas claims that he thinks Perrin hates Egwene. Which is dead wrong, and Elyas knew it.

    TEREZ

    Right, that's what I was saying. Both his true motivations and the stupid ones. Elyas mocks him for the latter.

    TEREZ

    And then spells out what he really wanted: 'One clean blow of your axe, or the way the animals we saw today died?'

    TEREZ

    It's not that Perrin was thinking he hated her. He was hating himself for wanting to help her, which was dumb.

    TEREZ

    Which of course led to a philosophical conversation similar to Second Amendment debates. Which was ongoing, of course.

    TEREZ

    Did the axe make Perrin more likely to kill? Than before? Than with the hammer? What about the sword, and the spear?

    TEREZ

    I see it as Elyas very blatantly pointing out the flaw in Perrin's logic. He didn't hate her—that was exactly the flaw.

    TEREZ

    Didn't hate her, but he hated the axe, and that was a good thing. Never stopped. (Another good cover @torbooks)

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    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    Curious: First mention of the Fisher King concept happens when Rand is dreaming, still half-sick, in the back of Bunt's wagon.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Is this our first Lews Therin moment? Bunt wouldn't have mentioned it, and neither would have Ishamael. Unless it's actually something Thom said.

    TEREZ

    I assumed was a True Dream, including Thom's connection to the queen, and Rand & Tam with the sword.

    TEREZ

    But the first Lews Therin moment was in chapter nine when Rand recognized Shayol Ghul (and maybe Ishamael too).

    MATT HATCH

    I'd say Ishamael recognition is a fact in chapter nine. There are some nice comparisons with the prologue.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, you probably have a point there. Though you might argue that this is a shade of Lews Therin speaking to him, for the first time.

    TEREZ

    I might, but I wouldn't. :D It's more interesting to me the other way, and Rand didn't dream Lews Therin's dreams much.

    TEREZ

    He remarked on the strangeness of it in The Path of Daggers before Lews Therin came back (after having been chased away by Cadsuane).

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wait. What?

    TEREZ

    I remembered it wrong. Lord of Chaos 19: 'Lews Therin's dreams. That had never happened before, not dreaming the man's dreams.'

    TEREZ

    In A Crown of Swords 41 while Lews Therin is gone, Rand still hears the voice in a dream.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, I see what you're saying. (I think.) Is your argument this: "Lews Therin doesn't talk to Rand in dreams. Therefore, this isn't Lews Therin?"

    LUCKERS

    I think deep down her argument is probably more 'Lews Therin doesn't talk to Rand at all'. ;)

    TEREZ

    Whether Lews Therin really talks to Rand at all or not, this would be quite atypical & strange. As Thom? Why?

    LUCKERS

    Why would Lews Therin speak as Thom? The moustaches baby, the moustaches.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Curious. So who do you think is speaking to Rand the Fisher King words, if it's not a Lews Therin memory?

    TEREZ

    It's a dream. Why does there have to be a 'real' ;) person involved?

    TEREZ

    But I do appreciate the hint. :) [That is, the hint that Lews Therin was also one with the land, and was aware of it. This might be what Brandon was getting at with his Easter egg thing.]

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I don't normally dream things that happen to be word-for-word true prophecies. Rand's not a Dreamer. He got the info somewhere.

    TEREZ

    Now I'm going to cry. :( Why can't Rand be a Dreamer?? So chapter nine was completely fabricated by Ishamael? That is weird.

    TEREZ

    None of the other dreams influenced by Ishamael were anything like that. How did he create all of those people in Tar Valon?

    TEREZ

    Why would Ishamael first prevent Rand from reaching Tar Valon, and then force him to go to the Tower? Makes no sense. :(

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. I'm not sure if you're being serious or not. Is there some theory on Rand being a Dreamer that I should know?

    TEREZ

    I'm being serious. There's a hint Asmodean's warding might prevent True Dreams. Also...

    TEREZ

    Egwene was guided to it, but Rand had no one to guide him if he was a Dreamer. And everything in The Eye of the World nine was true.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Either it's Lews Therin, it's something someone told him in the real world, or it's Ishamael giving him the info.

    TEREZ

    Maybe he had heard The Karaethon Cycle from Thom at fireside on the way to Baerlon, though. Would make sense.

    TEREZ

    Well, not on the way to Baerlon, since he mentions them for the first time in Baerlon. But maybe on the Spray.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll entertain an argument that it's basically 'known' information, or that Thom mentioned it.

    LUCKERS

    Did you see my cultural idea? That it might be Rand's subconscious—like the way everyone knows the Dark One's name?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But it really seems like a memory, and we've never seen people mentioning it, while naming the Dark One we see.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll look up answers on this one for sure; right now, I'm just speaking by instinct. But I read the Fisher King concept as...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...coming from Lews Therin/Rand's subconscious and being fed through Thom's mouth as Rand's mind fit it into the dream.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm also pretty sure Rand's not a Dreamer, though he does have uncommon power over his dreams.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But he does not see specific prophecies in his dreams (other than a few debatable moments) nor enter Tel'aran'rhiod spontaneously.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But I'll look into it. I rebel against it because Dreaming is basically Egwene's thing.

    TEREZ

    Also, didn't Perrin pretty much just show her that it wasn't HER thing any more? :p

    TEREZ

    And yeah, I know his prophetic dreams only happen in Tel'aran'rhiod. But I just want a male Dreamer dangit!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Perrin does something different. Also, Egwene was caught off guard and had been spending a lot of time lately doing other things.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It would be unwise to assume that Perrin is better at Tel'aran'rhiod than she is because of that moment. He had just spent weeks training...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...specifically to fight like that in Tel'aran'rhiod, while Egwene has been forced to fight other fights and let herself get a tad rusty.

    TEREZ

    haha, yeah I know. I have argued much the same against Egwene-haters. I did enjoy that moment though.

    TEREZ

    Why do all the prophets have to be female? Foretelling I can see because of the taint, but the rest? Except Perrin.

    TEREZ

    The Thom dream used to make me think I was missing something, or maybe a deleted scene. Very odd.

    TEREZ

    Also, even with the taint seems like we should have had a male Foretelling by now, or a dreamer. Something.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, out of fondness, I'll let you know that I DO know of at least one male (other than Perrin) who can see the future.

    TEREZ

    lol. The male Aelfinn?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Dang. You're too clever. Okay, then, I promise you there's actually a man—human—who meets your requirements.

    Footnote

    In retrospect, it seems most likely that RJ did in fact pare down Thom's earlier conversation about the prophecies (in The Eye of the World Chapter 13, or in another place), not wanting to give too much away. The dream in Chapter 34 should have been a recollection of what Thom had told him. It's possible that Brandon was correct and it had something to do with Lews Therin, but I find it unlikely for many reasons (some covered in the conversation). Also worth noting is that in the previous chapter, during Rand's fever dreams, Thom mentioned the Black Ajah, which had not previously been mentioned to Rand on screen. Also, this hint from Brandon was the first of many concerning the male prophet; the other clues make it pretty clear that Moridin is a Dreamer.

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  • 67

    Luckers (10 January 2011)

    By the way about my question re: Moridin's sexuality, my friend now thinks Moridin is in love with the Dark One... :S

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    I didn't catch the Moridin question first time around. Would you ask again?

    TEREZ

    He asked if Moridin was gay since he's evil but doesn't appear to be interested in taking advantage of his pets.

    LUCKERS

    What she said. He seems very asexual in general. The thought came after reading the Moghedien/Shaidar Haran/Moridin scene.

    LUCKERS

    It's also not just that I think he should be raping them because he's evil, it's just there is a complete lack of interest.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As for your Moridin question, it is a good one. I'll look into it as well. I haven't seen anything either way in the notes.

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  • 68

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    "He was sure he would never get another chance to see a Queen, and he hoped he would never have another to see a False Dragon"—Rand

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. I had in my head that Elayne picked up her swearing habit while traveling—but here she is, already speaking oaths to burn Rand's ears.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    What to say of Rand falling into Elayne's garden in Chapter 40? As a youth, I rooted for Elayne and Rand quite a bit. Until I met Aviendha.

    JERA PERTH

    Never Rand and Min? Seemed the coolest choice to me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I like Min, but remember, when I first read this book it was the only WoT book. In my mind it was "Egwene or Elayne?"

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I loved this sequence as a young man. What could be better than the hero of the book accidentally falling into a princess's lap?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Of course, because of lighter-fare fantasy novels, I thought Elayne would join him immediately and pretty much only be Rand's love interest.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's amusing to look at myself twenty years ago, reading The Eye of the World when no others in the series were out and trying to guess where it would go.

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  • 69

    Benjamin Moldovan (10 January 2011)

    Have you read the Malazan series that they're rereading on Tor? What do you like/not like about it?

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    I've read some, and was impressed, but not enough to say more.

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  • 70

    Brandon Sanderson (11 January 2011)

    I'm now onto the last part of The Eye of the World. I've mentioned before that I, personally, find this the roughest part of the entire series.

    FELIX PAX

    Worse than books between Lord of Chaos and Winter's Heart? Really?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, honestly. I've mentioned before I don't have the problem with those that others do.

    DOVI JOEL

    Do you mean roughest as in not well written? I love that part, I find it so epic (especially when the Creator talks to him). [Note: this is Dovi Joel's assumption.]

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    None of it is poorly written. In fact, some of the scenes—such as the Ways—are wonderful.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's just that it seems like we have a different book, with different goals, starting on us here.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The climax for The Eye of the World doesn't completely click for me. I like the Ways, I like the Blight, but the entire package feels too sudden.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    We spend the entire book with Tar Valon as our goal and Ba'alzamon as villain. Now, the Eye is the goal and two Forsaken are villains.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Personally, I think this is due to RJ planning books 1-3 as one novel, then discovering it was too much and creating a break-point.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To be fair, I feel I had some of the same problems at the end of Mistborn. Powers manifest that I could have foreshadowed better.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    One of the great challenges as a writer, particularly in fantasy, is to learn that balance of foreshadowing vs. pacing.

    BONZI

    And I would think, foreshadowing effectively vs. giving away too much.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, exactly.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (11 JANUARY)

    For those curious, I'm reasonably sure books 1-3 were one novel at first. Tom Doherty, CEO of Tor, told me in detail of RJ's WoT pitch.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He pitched a trilogy, but the first book ended with Rand taking the sword (that wasn't a sword) from the Stone (that wasn't a stone.)

    MICHAEL REYNOLDS

    The sword in the stone!!! How on Earth did I miss that? :shame:

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. I missed it the first time too. And things like Caemlyn, Egwene, Gawyn, Galad, Merrilin. I at least got Artur Hawkwing...

    MICHAEL REYNOLDS

    Ever feel like RJ removed any possibility of borrowing from any mythology ever again? He seemingly hit 'em all buffet-style.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Actually, I've felt that very thing.

    JAMES POWELL

    I'd heard that one reason that WOT is so long is that Tor asked RJ for "more books", and he thought they meant "more WOT".

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's not actually true, from what I know. Tor never pushed RJ for more books. He was allowed to what he wanted, as he wanted.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    People are noting George R.R. Martin expanded A Song of Ice and Fire also. RJ and GRRM are similar types of writers: http://bit.ly/e59ox0 Search for 'gardener.'

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm am more of an architect than a gardener. I do more 'gardening' on character, but I plan world and plot very extensively.

    FELIX PAX

    Did RJ have a cluster of concepts, themes or concepts written down in his notes? Mindmaps? To create his story's "garden"?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, many.

    FELIX PAX (17 JANUARY)

    What do you think of the literary method of foreshadowing by saying something is impossible to do or will not occur?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think it can work very well. RJ certainly did it quite a bit. You need to be somewhat subtle with it, though.

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  • 71

    Brandon Sanderson (11 January 2011)

    You know, Lan's backstory is a lot like Superman's.

    HBFFERREIRA

    Isam = Bizarro?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    Does Lan still have the locket from his mother? It was never mentioned again after The Eye of the World.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That is an excellent question.

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  • 72

    Brandon Sanderson (12 January 2011)

    It's interesting to see how much Loial adds to these scenes. His personality is a balancing factor; calm, knowledgeable, not arrogant.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    And yet, Loial disappears in the end game. Please bring him back for the finale!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills, and I do as I must.

    KYLE WEST

    Is it hard for you to still enjoy the series now that you are "behind the scenes"?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think I enjoy it more, now, actually. Though I am a little sad not to be able to read new WoT books when everyone else does.

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  • 73

    Brandon Sanderson (12 January 2011)

    Reading about the Green Man makes me think of the Jordancon costume contest. Look for him in these pics: http://bit.ly/fovZdi

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    One of the Forsaken attacks Lan. Nynaeve's response: Charge in with a knife. That always amused me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, the foreshadowing in this sequence is brilliant. The Green Man speaks of things that become important thousands of pages away.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No, I'm not going to tell you what the VOICE at the end of The Eye of the World was. Lots of people like to ask, though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Rand, at the end of Eye of the World. "Oh, I won't ever touch it again. Not if I have to cut my hand off, first."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The book ends with a short Moiraine viewpoint. That makes four VPs in this book by my count. Rand, Nynaeve, Perrin, Moiraine.

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  • 74

    Thomas Grossnickle (12 January 2011)

    What philosophies have influenced WoT? I feelt a bit of the Hindu Creator, Preserver, & Destroyer ...

    THOMAS GROSSNICKLE

    ...with Lews Therin an avatar of preservation and Rand the Destroyer...

    THOMAS GROSSNICKLE

    Who destroys the world when it is beyond preserving, only to create it anew.

    Brandon Sanderson (12 January 2011)

    I see a lot of that too. I'm convinced RJ blended something from most major philosophies and mythologies into the books.

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  • 75

    Jonathan Ruholl (17 January 2011)

    Some friends and I are making a tournament bracket for monsters (194 total). We have three Darkhounds vs a Myrddraal. Thoughts?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    New or old Darkhounds?

    FELIX PAX

    Huh? Is there a meaningful difference between new or old Darkhounds?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    :)

    FELIX PAX

    So readers should expect new nasty winks from the Shadow, aye? It's as if Osan'gar is alive again making creatures.

    FELIX PAX

    At least during the Age of Legends, Aginor (later named Osan'gar) did create new devilish creatures.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, and they no longer have Aginor. But I wouldn't say that means there won't be anything new.

    Footnote

    Brandon is probably hinting with that last that Aginor had nothing to do with the new breed of Darkhounds. The new ones can do the Terminator II thing and reform after being chopped to pieces, and the prevailing theory suggests that this is because Slayer has been creating them in Tel'aran'rhiod, so they have some inherent properties of the Dream World. They probably cannot be killed by anything short of balefire. The old Darkhounds are nearly as tough—Moiraine used balefire to kill the ones that chased them in The Dragon Reborn—but Perrin managed to kill one after shooting it a few times.

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  • 76

    Brian LePoidevin (17 January 2011)

    Pardon me if this has been asked a million times but what did you find heartbreaking to write in Towers of Midnight? Noal? Aiel future?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    Aiel future, all the way. And the death of a certain character related to Perrin.

    JEFF EDDE

    Possibly a RAFO, but will you find A Memory of Light to be even more heartbreaking to write?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It WILL be heartbreaking, if only because it's the last. I can't say if it will be heartbreaking for similar reasons or not.

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  • 77

    Aaron Oster (17 January 2011)

    How could Verin write that note if she hadn't taken poison yet?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    An excellent question, one I'm surprised I haven't seen talked about yet. (Though I'm sure it has been.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Basically, it's for the same reason that an Aes Sedai can kill if she puts herself into a situation where she's in danger.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It involves mental gymnastics and lots of requirements. In the end, she put so many on that the note didn't get read.

    MAX (19 JANUARY)

    What would have happened if someone were to balefire Verin's cup of poison to remove its existence when it was consumed?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So far, I believe we've only see balefire used to remove living things from the Pattern that way. Am I wrong? @Terez27

    TEREZ

    There has been some serious debate over Nynaeve and her boat. Some think the rowers caused...

    TEREZ

    ...the temporal anomaly, while some think it had to be the boat itself. I forget the arguments...

    TEREZ

    I remember the argument now. The boat was filled with water at the moment of balefire, which rowers don't explain.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    Over a month later sleepinghour discovered an old letter from RJ to a fan in which RJ confirms that inanimate objects do get burned back just like living things. I suspect now that Brandon knew this from the notes, though, and that's why he used the words 'so far' and redirected the question to me. This was probably one of those things that Brandon and Maria had to piece together from the notes, and from the wording of his following tweets I'd be willing to bet that Maria won an argument.

    TEREZ (27 FEBRUARY)

    We just found an old letter from RJ to a fan in which he confirms that balefire DOES burn back inanimate objects in time.

    TEREZ

    Thanks to @sleepinghour for that. Though I know this probably drives you crazy, lol. It's almost like retcon!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, good to know. You'd think he'd mention some of these things in the notes...

    TEREZ

    I know, right? lol. Wasn't it you that said that he didn't put many things in the notes because he kept it all in his head?

    TEREZ

    We observed @Theoryland that your descriptions fit his claim better than his own descriptions re: inanimate objects.

    TEREZ

    And your assumption about living things only fit his descriptions perfectly...aside from the stupid boat!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yeah. We get lots of fragments of things he jotted down, but they are more notes to himself, so he leaves things out.

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  • 78

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    On to The Great Hunt today. #Superstars slowed me down over the weekend, but I'm ready to jump back into it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The The Eye of the World prologue is the series' best, but the one in The Great Hunt today (the 'Darkfriend social' as fans call it) has always been a favorite too.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This scene is the first one that made me start to try to figure out who was a Darkfriend and who wasn't.

    SHIKHA SINGH

    There are no Ogier mentioned at the Darkfriend social. Does that mean there are no Ogier Darkfriends?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's much discussed, but if you haven't noticed: Darkfriend social has Aes Sedai, then we learn Moiraine had been mysteriously absent.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RJ was very sneaky. This sent the WoT fandom into huge circles of wild-goose-chasing, many thinking Moiraine was a Darkfriend.

    BENJAMIN VAN HOESEN

    Do writers really think about the fan conspiracy theories that much when writing? Seems like J. K. Rowling did a bunch. Do you?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RJ certainly did. I do on occasion. Depends on the book.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    "Most of the men at Fal Dara accepted Rand...some seemed unable to forget his being an outlander. Masema was the worst of those."

    TEREZ

    heh. Because Masema thought he was an Aiel! But yeah, the host of series-running characters introduced early...

    TEREZ

    ...is well-played. Many in The Eye of the World, more in The Great Hunt today. I have wondered if Bunt was RJ's choice or yours for 'Apples'.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Someday, I may answer that question.

    Footnote

    RJ said in the 2002 Wotmania/Dragonmount Q&A that Ogier can be Darkfriends, but he did not confirm that there are any.

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  • 79

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    Moiraine's plan was for Rand to take Illian first. She's the only Aes Sedai I know to say he needed to go off on his own for a while.

    AARON CASH

    I have considered and contemplated this thought, I think Moiraine remembered that to truly control saidar you must surrender.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's a very good way of looking at it.

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  • 80

    Emil Schuffhausen (17 January 2011)

    I have six chapters left in The Eye of the World, should catch up by tonight. What scene are you most looking forward to in The Great Hunt?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    I love the ending. Probably that.

    TJ

    While doing your #wotrr, notice the metaphors. Loved RJ's style there. Not noticed in new book. Great though. Halfway so far.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Every time I try to do a Jordan-esque metaphor, I fail, so I remove it. It's an aspect of his style I can't imitate, I'm afraid.

    TJ

    Aw man, I believe you're not giving yourself enough credit, but I'll respect it. Thanks again!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll keep an eye on it. Maybe I'll figure it out. But often it's better to do things in my style rather than to poorly imitate RJ.

    JAN CARRICK

    Will you attempt to move closer to RJ's descriptive style in A Memory of Light? You were close in The Gathering Storm, but departed from that in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm afraid I knew from the beginning that I couldn't imitate RJ's style. I try in some ways, but I am not him.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will write the book the best way I know how, but will not be trying to imitate RJ. I WILL strive for character voice accuracy.

    JAN CARRICK

    Well, the descriptive style is a central feature of WoT. I don't think being more descriptive would constitute imitation.

    JAN CARRICK

    I'm asking because your narrative style was much closer to RJ in The Gathering Storm. I was surprised to see you move away from that in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, I see. You don't mean "Describe in the way RJ did." You mean "Please describe more."

    CHRIS B.

    Do you take notes, besides twittering, during #wotrr?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Many.

    MATT H.

    Can you put all of your notes online somewhere? Come on, that's easy...right?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. Those would have so many spoilers in them it would cause several people's heads to explode.

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  • 81

    Shikha Singh (17 January 2011)

    Nynaeve knitting in Fal Dara is just not her. All later books are on how she can't sew and yet...

    SHIKHA SINGH

    ...in The Great Hunt she knits. Is there any explanation in RJ's notes as to why?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    There might be an explanation for that, but it would be buried so deeply that...yeah. I'll let you know if I happen across it.

    BRANDON

    Remember, though, there are three million words worth of notes.

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  • 82

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Oh, Rand. You're such a...a...well, teenage boy in some of these chapters. Also, a wool-headed fool.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hide in fear, paranoid that the Aes Sedai want you...then the moment you think Egwene might be in danger, out you go, sword in hand!

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  • 83

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    I often equate writers and stage magicians, using misdirection, foreshadowing, and false leads to keep a plot interesting.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If you want a great example of this, watch how RJ hides a certain traitor in The Great Hunt in plain sight, yet keeps you misdirected.

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  • 84

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Much has been made of Moiraine thinking of Mat: "He is not necessary with the Horn gone." (This is long before he's blown it.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think it's a lot of fuss over nothing. Her plan was to have Mat, eager for adventure, draw Rand into carrying the Horn south.

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  • 85

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Foreshadowing some probably missed in The Great Hunt chapter seven. Prophecy of the Shadow found in the prison: "Which hand shelters? Which hand slays?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    (For further reading on that foreshadowing I mentioned, look for a chapter titled "The One He Lost" in The Gathering Storm.)

    Terez

    Ah yeah, I remember reading it now. Seemed to me to be more of a poetic connection than a real one, though.

    Terez

    I phrased that badly, but I don't know if I would have put it in the 'foreshadowing' category. Maybe 'retroshadowing'.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The connection there is poetic. The foreshadowing isn't of that moment, but more the concept.

    Footnote—Terez

    I think I pretty much figured it out before he responded—it makes a good deal of sense in reference to his Lews Therin dilemma and the dilemma of his harem. I tweeted about all that but Brandon responded to my first tweet, so I spared you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there is other foreshadowing in the books that I'm not telling you about because it references A Memory of Light.

    Terez

    I will hopefully catch some of those, though I'm bound to catch a few red herrings as well. :)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I just passed a big one in The Great Hunt.

    Terez

    haha, and you know I will be scouring the pages of your vicinity looking for it. :D

    Terez

    My first guess: Mat is immune to Fain's dagger. (chapter seven) Second guess: foreshadowing of Cyndane's importance in A Memory of Light.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope and nope. It's a very innocent line, and I won't tell you more than that. You'll spot it once you read A Memory of Light.

    Terez

    Third: Slayer's role in A Memory of Light. Fourth: Perrin puts on a crown and speaks in High Chant. (the crown at least seems likely)

    Footnote—Terez

    Brandon was responding to my first two guesses, not the third and fourth (as you can see by clicking on the link for his 'nope and nope' tweet, which should show the specific tweet he responded to). He almost certainly saw guesses three and four, but he didn't comment on them.

    Matt Hatch

    Readers, let's go HCFF on an "innocent" comment by @BrandonSandrson re: an A Memory of Light foreshadowing in The Great Hunt, discuss! http://bit.ly/gMZvLI

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've seen someone post on the innocent comment before, FYI. In fact, it was recent.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And Terez has sniffed at it before, I know.

    Terez

    Do you mean sniff as in turn my nose up at it? Or as in I got in the ballpark? Important distinction.

    Terez

    Also, I do not sniff.

    Brandon Sanderson

    "Sniff" as in I've seen you poke at the line before, and ponder if it has meaning.

    Footnote—Terez

    I don't think that Brandon follows me around on Theoryland, and knowing that I haven't really 'sniffed' at much in these chapters, I think it's most likely he is referring to my fourth guess: the line about Perrin wearing a crown and speaking in High Chant. The update to the glossary entry on Saldaea in Towers of Midnight seems to be another hint in that direction, and of course, Min had a viewing of a Broken Crown for Perrin in way back in The Eye of the World. In order for this to be fulfilled in A Memory of Light, both Tenobia and Bashere will have to abdicate or die (as it was also confirmed in Towers of Midnight that Faile is second in the line of succession).

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  • 86

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Unless I'm missing one, our first Egwene viewpoint in the series is the way into The Great Hunt. She is our fifth viewpoint character.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Point to @RajivMote: I DID miss an Egwene viewpoint. In "Ravens," the new first chapter of The Eye of the World in the Young Adult repackage of the WoT books.

    ERIN KELLY

    Sixth, if you count Bors and the five seconds of Moraine at the end of The Great Hunt.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I already counted Moraine. Not Bors, though. I'm talking Viewpoint characters, which means characters who commonly have VPs.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Fortune prick me, a Domon viewpoint. Don't know if I'll count him as the sixth VP character, though. We don't return to him frequently.

    HADNAN KADERE

    But you counted Moiraine who only shows up once in The Eye of the World, once in The Shadow Rising, and twice in The Fires of Heaven.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She's got a ton of VP time here at the beginning of The Great Hunt.

    HADNAN KADERE

    She has exactly five VPs in The Great Hunt. She has exactly nine in the whole series (not counting New Spring). That's only three more than Fain.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've been asked who was behind the plot to see Domon dead in The Great Hunt. It was Hamlet, obviously.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (19 JANUARY)

    I'll count Fain as our sixth viewpoint character (or, maybe he's fifth and Egwene is sixth.) I love the scene where they find the dead Fade.

    TEREZ

    Your Inquisitors in Mistborn always made me think of that Fade. Sorry if I've said that before; I can't remember, lol.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes I think there's got to be some kind of unconscious thing going on there on my part. (Re: Fades and Inquisitors.)

    Footnote

    Bors/Carridin had four POVs, while Thom only had four before A Memory of Light, and Domon also had four, but all four were in The Great Hunt.

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  • 87

    Justin Lee (18 January 2011)

    Any thoughts on my "Mat is Gaidal Cain" theory? His time with the snakes/foxes makes me wonder.

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Do you REALLY want me to weigh in on this?

    JUSTIN LEE

    Absolutely! Though I'm likely to get a RAFO ;)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, as I remember, RJ said that Olver was too old to be Gaidal Cain. If Olver's to old, then Mat...

    JUSTIN LEE

    He's certainly going to be late to the Big Show if he was naturally born after Olver.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Gaidal has been reborn, and I do know who he is, and he is younger than Olver. (Sorry.)

    BRIAN CAYEN

    Not sure if this was asked but have we seen Gaidal Cain reincarnated "on screen"?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO on Cain, I'm afraid.

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  • 88

    Randy Word (18 January 2011)

    Stupid question: What sword was Rand wearing in The Gathering Storm? It was implied that he knew its story.

    TEREZ

    It was Justice, Hawkwing's sword. The real one—not the one ghost-Artur was wearing at Falme. ;)

    TEREZ

    And it's not a stupid question because there was some debate over it before the word was leaked at Dragonmount.

    TEREZ

    Many thought it was Guaire Amalasan's sword, and it may be that they were right, and that Hawkwing kept it as a trophy.

    TEREZ

    That might explain the scabbard, which we know is the original scabbard. And another Excalibur parallel in addition to Callandor.

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    I haven't answered that, I don't think, but fans have a couple of really solid theories.

    TEREZ

    I like this answer. It fits with the assumption that Hawkwing kept Amalasan's sword as a trophy.

    Footnote

    Brandon did confirm this in email, or Maria did, but there was apparently a bit of controversy over the revelation (one influential fan in particular was very vocal in his disapproval), so the incident gets glossed over a bit by Brandon.

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  • 89

    Felix Pax (19 January 2011)

    A minor query for A Memory of Light: Will Nieda and Bili get a chance to 'ease the badger' in Tar Valon? A reunion with Domon or Moiraine?

    FELIX PAX

    Regarding that 'minor query', I believe Bili is the same Bili (Mandair), Moiraine aided back in New Spring, chapter six.

    Brandon Sanderson (19 January 2011)

    RAFO on Bili and Nieda. Sure has been a while since we've seen them, eh?
  • 90

    Brandon Sanderson (19 January 2011)

    One reason the WoT's world works so well is that there's a logic to the magic and the magical (yet non Power-related) abilities...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, RJ didn't try to tie it all up too neatly. For a very big world, with lots of history, this helps keep it from being stale.

    ZELDAAR

    Speaking of magical non-Power related abilities—whatever happened to sniffers?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Still around. Hurin was in The Gathering Storm.

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  • 91

    Brandon Sanderson (19 January 2011)

    Some very telling moments in the conversation between Ishamael and Rand in the Portal world of The Great Hunt.

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  • 92

    Terez (19 January 2011)

    Do you have first editions of the early books?

    Brandon Sanderson (19 January 2011)

    A lot of them. Not hardcovers. Jason gave me a trade paperback of The Eye of the World signed by RJ. I think my first hardcover is The Dragon Reborn.
  • 93

    Luckers (19 January 2011)

    Re-reading The Gathering Storm—I know I'm a silly Cadsuane lover, but I really don't like the The Gathering Storm Cadsuane and Tam scene.

    LUCKERS

    Not because Tam gives Cadsuane the verbal slap down, but because Cadsuane's stupidity in this scene cheapens Tam's victory.

    LUCKERS

    What should have been Tam's greatest moment is merely cathartic for those who hate Cadsuane.

    LUCKERS

    I know that she was off balance with worry about Rand—but even so, Tam defeating Cadsuane in her prime is a brilliant moment lost.

    ASTRIDA FITRI N

    You mean you wished she had clever retorts?

    LUCKERS

    No, actually. I think in the face of Tam's accusations Cadsuane would have openly agreed and accepted his reprimands.

    LUCKERS

    Cadsuane has never been afraid of facing the truth.

    ASTRIDA

    In short, her response to Tam's verbal attack was out of character? Hmm, I would have to reread the scene myself.

    LUCKERS

    It was out of character, yes. Cadsuane's been mostly out of character since the beginning of The Gathering Storm.

    LUCKERS

    In my opinion, of course. :D Still, i feel The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight between them were to be the books were Rand came to equal Cadsuane.

    LUCKERS

    Instead Cadsuane was made less, and it makes Rand's achievements and shut downs of Cadsuane seem small and petty.

    LUCKERS

    He did not even have a mission like Cadsuane did. As I said—cathartic to those who hate Cadsuane, but not good scenes.

    ASTRIDA

    Re: Cadsuane's oddity in The Gathering Storm. Maybe you could point this out to @BrandonSandrson, and see what explanation he could offer you.

    ASTRIDA

    Maybe Cadsuane's strength of character was sacrificed for plot's sake, or for that scene's sake. Just maybe.

    LUCKERS

    I actually did ask @BrandonSandrson about Cadsuane. And Harriet. Got a fairly similar response from both.

    FOOTNOTE

    For those unfamiliar with Twitter, this is the point at which Brandon was made aware of the conversation, as his name was invoked.

    LUCKERS

    My question was: "I think one of Jim's strongest talents was the writing of strong women, and arguably the strongest is Cadsuane...

    LUCKERS

    ...She is the character that fans seem to either love or hate. I’m curious as to your thoughts about her, and her role in the story."

    LUCKERS

    Harriet's answer was "Cadsuane has an important role, for sure."

    LUCKERS

    @BrandonSandrson's was "The fact that people are so passionate about her means that Robert Jordan wrote her the right way."

    LUCKERS

    If Cadsuane's strength of character was sacrificed for plot it's bad writing, and I don't think Brandon would do that.

    LUCKERS

    I think this might be a downside of @BrandonSandrson having been a fan beforehand. The exultation of likeable characters over...

    LUCKERS

    .....unlikeable characters. Egwene in the Tower is endemic of this. (though, I loved that anyway @BrandonSandrson. I'm a hypocrite).

    LUCKERS

    I seem to have been on a negative line of thought tonight. Be aware I love your work on WoT and my quibbles are just that.

    ASTRIDA

    I like her, though Verin intrigues me more. God forbid that I should call that scene "bad writing", but I feel that for Tam to dominate the scene, Cadsuane was made to respond that way.

    LUCKERS

    I disagree. Something along the lines of this would have worked. ... (follow link to see a bit of fanficciness from Luckers) http://tl.gd/88d5tl

    ASTRIDA

    If @BrandonSandrson wasn't a fan, though, he wouldn't handle the books with deepest care like he does. Professionally, still, but not affectionately. :)

    LUCKERS

    I agree absolutely that @BrandonSandrson's fanhood serves him well—I would not have seen the series written by...

    LUCKERS

    ...someone who wasn't a fan, and the depth of his devotion to this series is VERY clear.

    LUCKERS

    This is but one point where is was disadvantageous (in my opinion) against a sea of advantages.

    ASTRIDA

    Agreed. And a non fan would treat the greatest fantasy story of the decade as a mere job (whatever the results of @tordotcom's sff poll, I don't care. I'm muley that way).

    LUCKERS

    I'm curious what you think about my portrayal of that scene?

    ASTRIDA

    Ok, having compared the original with yours, I must say...yes, the original scene portrayed Cadsuane as being much colder than she necessarily is. Then again in defense of Brandon (why would he need it of me? I'm too full of myself), I think Cadsuane in that scene was someone who felt that she wasn't being respected and valued despite all her efforts for Rand. But yes, the verdict is: that's out of character.

    Brandon Sanderson (19 January 2011)

    Ha. I'm afraid that I didn't have a chance to follow all of that. I'm not going to object to Luckers having...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...strong opinions here, though. I don't see him saying anything that I can disagree with, except that we see things...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...differently. Poor Cads was at her wits end in some of those scenes. She was pretty sure she'd doomed the world.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Note that the fan/non fan as writer argument is a good one, and one I've mentioned myself. This is what you get.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I try hard to not let those things influence me unduly—but if they do, I (by definition) won't be able to notice.

    LUCKERS

    Lol. I would have been surprised if you had got through all that. We went a bit crazy.

    TEREZ

    Curse you Luckers, now I have to document all that because Brandon commented on it! lol...

    LUCKERS

    Hahaha. I'm so gonna look like a douche by the time you're done Terez. *sigh*

    LUCKERS

    My problem with the 'doomed the world' concept is that I reckon Cadsuane would still be there with a stern...

    LUCKERS

    ... frown as the world burns. Indeed we see her willfully risk the world at the cleansing. There is...

    LUCKERS

    ...the matter of degrees obviously. I dunno. My love for the old woman may be leading me astray. *sigh*

    LUCKERS

    And I am very much aware that most the fandom disagrees with my opinions on Cadsuane. She's just my girl. :D

    TEREZ

    Among the older members of the fandom, many agree, actually. But @BrandonSandrson 's explanation re: her growing exasperation...

    TEREZ

    ...was the explanation I came up with for myself at the time (though I still lean toward 'out of character' a bit).

    TEREZ

    That's the price for me documenting all that: my opinion. :p For example, Wetlandernw and Freelancer from tor.com agree.

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  • 94

    Darth Andrea (20 January 2011)

    Odd question, is it possible in the WoT universe, for there to have been a world where the Dragon was a woman?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 January 2011)

    RJ said that gender was a 'soul attribute.' Meaning, souls were reborn as the same gender.

    Footnote

    RJ addressed this in the CNN chat of 2000, again in Leiden in 2001, and at an unknown signing from around the same time (maybe a different report from the Leiden signing).

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  • 95

    David Hager (20 January 2011)

    To write, "The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass..." for the final time—any thoughts?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 January 2011)

    I'll try to do a post when I do it.

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  • 96

    Brandon Sanderson (20 January 2011)

    Grolm make me think of the plush grolm Baby Meatloaf has. (It was a hand-made gift. There's a pic on my twitter feed somewhere.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ah, nice. @Terez27 dug up that picture I posted of Baby Meatloaf w/his stuffed grolm. Aubree [Pham] was the one who gave it to him, I think.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Here he is: http://twitpic.com/1hvhsi Man, he had curly hair back then.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No, Rand. Lady Selene isn't suspicious AT ALL.

    MIKE RENTAS

    Did RJ ever explain her trick? I know she enhances her appearance, but is there an element of light Compulsion to it?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As far as I know, she didn't use Compulsion.

    JOSH ROBERTS

    Memory's vague on this but why doesn't Lews Therin recognize Selene? Mirror of mists? Lews Therin not aware yet?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So far as I know, Lews Therin wasn't 'aware' yet. At least, not enough for something like that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (21 JANUARY)

    Lots of responses Re: Rand and Lady Selene. Let me say this. Yes, Rand is being a wool-headed fool. But I remember being that young.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I remember when I realized the prettiest girl I knew was also a huge jerk. It was a stunning revelation. Yet it took two years to make.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Rand is not the first teenage boy to have trouble seeing the obvious in a situation like this. In fact, it would be odd otherwise.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Egwene to Elayne on their first meeting in the White Tower, right before meeting Min: "Rand seems to meet a lot of girls." Yup.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First Min viewpoint is at the halfway mark to The Great Hunt. I'm always amazed by how many viewpoints we get before Mat gets one.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I have to look back a long time, back almost twenty years, to remember that originally, I saw Mat as a side character—and this is why.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've always felt that Thom should be more surprised, excited, or...something to see Rand again here in The Great Hunt when they meet.

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  • 97

    JR (21 January 2011)

    In The Eye of the World [Lews Therin referenced] pride for believing he could match the Creator; how important is that for the world's salvation in A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson (21 January 2011)

    It's all part of the Pattern, and it's all important in one way or another.
  • 98

    Brandon Sanderson (25 January 2011)

    I've always wondered if it'd be viable when traveling the Ways to leave night, sleep in a random location outside, and go back in.

    TEREZ

    Maybe time in the Ways is compressed as well as distance? I can't recall if we have enough detail to say.

    RUTH HINCKLEY

    We have plenty of evidence that time is compressed. People seem to move slower when looking out from inside.

    TEREZ

    Good point. So then it depends on how big of a hurry you are in, I suppose.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I always feel that the chapters Egwene spends as a damane will last longer than they do. The pain feels like a full book's worth.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Another example of RJ's excellent use of foreshadowing is how he depicts Ingtar all through The Great Hunt. This often impresses me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Climbing the wall to escape: "Ingtar cursed when Mat tossed the Horn of Valere...Mat snatched it up,'it isn't even scratched.'"

    BRANDON SANDERSON (26 JANUARY)

    Yes, I have finished The Great Hunt. I'm spending a little time outlining now. Lots of work to do there.

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  • 99

    Virtuhall (25 January 2011)

    Trom is the ONLY smiling, joking, and nice Whitecloak we meet... Ever.

    Brandon Sanderson (25 January 2011)

    That's a good observation. As a side note, I've always been fond of Trom.
  • 100

    Brandon Sanderson (1 February 2011)

    Sorry to vanish from Twitter the last couple of days. Tor has requested Alloy of Law revisions by the 14th, so I need to get those done.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's sooner than I'd have liked, and I'm still creeping my way through The Dragon Reborn when I have spare moments. Will continue the #wotrr soon.

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  • 101

    John Anderson (24 February 2011)

    Given how RJ went to great length in an attempt to synchronize his plotlines before the finale, don't you feel that you had...

    JOHN ANDERSON

    ...an obligation not to destabilize the chronology the way you ended up doing? With all due respect, I think time has shown...

    JOHN ANDERSON

    ...that it was a massive mistake structuring The Gathering Storm/Towers of Midnight the way you did. Which is a shame, since your WoT-writing is GOOD.

    Brandon Sanderson (25 February 2011)

    I'm afraid I don't follow you. The plotlines weren't synchronized in previous WoT books.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I realize there may be disagreement, and am not offended by it. But I maintain that the structure of The Gathering Storm/Towers of Midnight is the right one.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I only had two choices with The Gathering Storm. Have a book more like Crossroads of Twilight with lots of slices of all characters, but without complete arcs for any...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Or do what I did, and make a Rand/Egwene book and a Mat/Perrin book with some time jumping.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Of course, this wouldn't have been a problem if it would have been possible to do a single, 600k word volume.

    JOHN ANDERSON (26 FEBRUARY)

    No, but the books showed that RJ was trying to synchronize the plotlines for the finale—sometimes at the reader's expense.

    JOHN ANDERSON

    This, combined with RJ's statements that the finale would need to be one book, suggests to me that he had a very strong wish...

    JOHN ANDERSON

    ...to tell the final part of the story in a more traditional chronological manner. Of course, this couldn't be published in...

    JOHN ANDERSON

    ...one volume, but the story still could've been told the way RJ wanted it to be told. The story just loses so much due to...

    JOHN ANDERSON

    ...this division. Take Rand and Perrin's scene at Dragonmount, for example. I feel these scenes were MEANT to be told in parallel.

    JOHN ANDERSON

    ...as opposed to one year and 500 pages apart.

    JOHN ANDERSON

    I believe that a slow The Gathering Storm and fast-paced Towers of Midnight would've been by far the best choice from a literary point of view.

    JOHN ANDERSON

    This would also lead to fewer continuity errors and better coherence in terms of both themes and action.

    JOHN ANDERSON

    The biggest mistake, for me, was the insistence on publishing before you had the full overview, i.e. before you had written...

    JOHN ANDERSON

    ...the whole part of the story that needed to be divided. The result is a structural mess far worse than Crossroads of Twilight. No offense.:)

    JOHN ANDERSON

    What annoys me is that you write WoT so well that this could've been a spectacular ending if told the way I feel RJ wanted.

    JOHN ANDERSON

    I would very much like to hear what you think about this. I'm disappointed at the way this was done, but mean no offense.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (28 FEBRUARY)

    No offense taken. You have some points. For the Hardcore breaking the book mid-story may have been better.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, the average WoT fan would have found those books a much less rewarding experience.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    In a perfect world, we could have delayed another year and just released them one after another, two months apart.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Then I could have cut the books as you suggest. That wasn't viable, however, because of the constraints placed upon me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    One of those constraints is that The Gathering Storm HAD to be a homerun. It had to be extremely powerful, not slow.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It had been years since a WoT book, and with a new writer working on it...well, we just couldn't have a slow half-book.

    COLIN WILSON (26 FEBRUARY)

    I agree with having complete arcs in The Gathering Storm but why interweave chapters in Towers of Midnight? Why not catch up first? (interested, not cross)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I tried to do so, but the book was feeling 'off' by sticking Perrin's narrative all at the front. Beyond that, chapter one had to be Rand.

    JAN CARRICK

    Why did Rand have to be in chapter one? To me, knowing he was alright pretty much killed the suspension of the other characters' threads.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (28 FEBRUARY)

    Hard to explain. It was simply the place that scene had to go.

    HBFFERREIRA (27 FEBRUARY)

    Both novels gave us closure for some plots, instead of The Gathering Storm giving us none. For what it's worth, I think you did great.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (28 FEBRUARY)

    Thanks. I didn't think it was that hard to follow. The only potential problem is Tam.

    Footnote

    Tam was the biggest problem for the more casual fans, but the hard core fans tended to have a bigger problem with the separation between Rand's and Perrin's points of view at Dragonmount. But you had something similar with several groups experiencing the cleansing of saidin, in one way or another, in Crossroads of Twilight.

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  • 102

    Brandon Daggerhart (24 February 2011)

    Everytime Valan Luca talks to Nynaeve, I picture Pepé Le Pew. Is this normal?

    Brandon Sanderson (24 February 2011)

    Uh...
  • 103

    Krit Petty (24 February 2011)

    My coworker has The Way of Kings cover for his desktop background. He's read it two times. Wants to know if WoT is worth his time.

    Brandon Sanderson (25 February 2011)

    I think it is, very much so. Tell him that the WOT is not a quick read, meant to be rushed through.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some books are a feast to be consumed quickly and ravenously. The WoT is a long, stately dinner with many courses.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've always liked the title of The Dragon Reborn. I think it's one of the best in the series.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is because it is interesting to those who haven't read the WoT, but interesting to those reading it for different reasons.

    STACY WHITMAN

    Every time I see the Young Adult book EON: Dragoneye Reborn, it makes me wonder if she ever heard of Robert Jordan.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yeah, I thought the same thing. Not to mention that "The Dragon Reborn" is actually a full-blown trademark.

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  • 104

    Austin Moore (25 February 2011)

    Has it been tough to make outline so far for A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson (25 February 2011)

    Yes, and no. The toughest part is making certain everything is in the right place.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    That's understandable. One more quick question for now. Will there be any big twists in A Memory of Light that will surprise people?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Surprising Wheel of Time Hard Core Fans is...well, it's hard to decide what will surprise them. But there WILL be twists.

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  • 105

    Luthvian (26 February 2011)

    If all of the Forsaken were sealed in the Bore, and the Madness came after that, how can the prologue of The Eye of the World happen?

    LUTHVIAN

    I mean, Ishamael is walking around and talking and channeling, shouldn't he not be able to do so?

    LUTHVIAN

    ...unless the whole thing is a vision of Lews Therin's madness?

    Brandon Sanderson (28 February 2011)

    That was really Ishamael, not madness. He wasn't sealed in as strongly as the others, remember.

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  • 106

    James Powell (27 February 2011)

    Kaladin's situation in Bridge Four reminded me a lot of Egwene's in The Gathering Storm—did you think of this at all writing either?

    Brandon Sanderson (28 February 2011)

    Though the Bridge Four situation was written first many years ago, and the Egwene situation was RJ's and not mine, I DID notice.

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  • 107

    Jarrette Marley (28 February 2011)

    Is the situation with the Black Tower addressed/resolved in the final WoT book?

    Brandon Sanderson (28 February 2011)

    RAFO. :)

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  • 108

    Brandon Sanderson (28 February 2011)

    Still working away at The Dragon Reborn. Will be going to the dentist for checkup soon. I might get some reading time in there.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So, I got recognized four times today while out. Feels strange. If it happens so often to me, I wonder how often it happens to a real celebrity

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Dude in the next dental stall, I apologize for how your hygienist jumped when she heard my name...then left you with mouth open as she ran over.

    TYSON PERNA

    Do you mind it, or do you prefer to be left alone?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 MARCH)

    I honestly don't mind; it's just a little strange.

    ASTRID (28 FEBRUARY)

    You probably need to think of an alias. How about Sander Brandson, or San Branderson... *grins*

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 MARCH)

    I've half been tempted to write a book as "Sand Branderson" before.

    JUSTIN RAY (28 FEBRUARY)

    Wondering if you have tried the audiobooks, and if they do not suit your purpose, why?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 MARCH)

    I have; I like them. But I like reading on the page better.

    KENADAK (28 FEBRUARY)

    Could you please indicate with a hash tag what book you're on during the #wotrr #TGH as it were.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 MARCH)

    I give indications now and then. I can't add a hashtag for each book as I already feel I'm low on characters for my tweets.

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  • 109

    Brandon Sanderson (28 February 2011)

    You know, I remember thinking Nynaeve was jumping at nothing when suspecting a certain Aes Sedai following the Gray Man attack.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    Any clue you can give us on who sent the Gray Man to kill Egwene and Nynaeve in The Dragon Reborn? I've always wondered about that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll get you an answer to that someday.

    MIGNON FOGARTY (1 MARCH)

    I'm finding Nynaeve less annoying as her character develops.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She's always been my favorite of the Elayne-Egwene-Nynaeve group.

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  • 110

    Troy Lenze (28 February 2011)

    By Falme in The Great Hunt, I wonder if Fain is more Mordeth than Fain? He mentions having access to a leader of men, again...

    Brandon Sanderson (1 March 2011)

    Yeah, I noticed some things like that too.

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  • 111

    Brandon Sanderson (1 March 2011)

    Finally, the first Mat viewpoint comes almost 1/3 into The Dragon Reborn. It just doesn't feel like the Wheel of Time to me until Mat is himself.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Amanda on Facebook points out that it was good RJ waited to give a Mat VP; if it had been earlier, he'd have felt less awesome.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is a good insight; dagger-tied Mat was frail, paranoid; that might have tainted perception of him strongly if we'd had a VP.

    DARTH ANDREA

    I have always felt that in The Eye of the World Mat was just baggage, in The Great Hunt he was a McGuffin, but in The Dragon Reborn his story truly starts.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Agreed.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Siuan to Mat: You remind me of my uncle...died pulling children out of a burning house... Will you be there when the flames are high?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This feels like a perfect place for him to step to center stage, as this is the book where we lose Rand for the first time.

    KURT MADSEN

    Wait, we lose Rand!?!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He's not in the third book very much. He comes back in the fourth.

    JUSTIN BRADY

    Do you have any insight into how at the start of The Dragon Reborn, Rand appears more 'mad' than he was at the end of The Great Hunt?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He is doing a poor job of dealing with having killed a person for the first time.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    Brandon might be speaking from the notes, but I rather thought it had more to do with the fact that he was proclaimed against his will by the heroes of the horn, and by his battle being broadcast for all of Falme. He was trying to resist saidin and failing, trying to figure out what to do with it and failing, and Callandor was calling him in his dreams. Who knows what else was in his dreams. He was channeling tainted saidin, and suffering from the unhealing wound given to him by Ishamael (presumably with the True Power). Turak played a part in the downward spiral, but I don't think it was really the catalyst. (Though knowing Rand, it was probably a convenient thing to dwell upon so as to avoid having to dwell too much upon the rest.) And of course, Turak was not the first person he killed, though Rand apparently didn't realize he killed Aginor (this has actually been debated) and the men in Four Kings.

    J MICHAEL SCHMIDT

    I hear you loud and clear! I love when [Mat] first learns about his Luck. Was RJ method writing it feels real watching Mat?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RJ was a 'method writer' in many ways. He very much got into a character. Harriet tells stories about it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    @josephpeavey asked me to share a story about RJ "Method writing." Well, Harriet had a great one...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She says she'd catch him slinking into the house, walking with a different mood. She knew he'd been writing Padan Fain that day.

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  • 112

    Brandon Sanderson (1 March 2011)

    You know what I'd like to see? A massive, fan-annotated WoT project, like the footnotes at http://bit.ly/7vrgs7 only more extensive.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    The guys at EWOT said they were going to do this, which makes the most sense because they've done all the detail work on the individual chapters already, but it's slow going with only two people on the job. It will no doubt happen one day, but alas, not soon enough to aid Brandon on his quest.

    ZARAKAND

    Any chance your blog will start posting copies of your tweets and replies to questions? I loved reading those and miss them.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (2 MARCH)

    It will continue to do that; I haven't been tweeting a lot lately, so we haven't been posting them. There will be more.

    ARKU (1 MARCH)

    Will there be a signing with Harriet in Utah anytime soon?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (2 MARCH)

    She is planning to come to Utah for the A Memory of Light tour.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (3 MARCH)

    Baby Meatloaf is very helpful when doing a WoT reread. He keeps bringing me various objects and toys to, you know, use in reading.

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  • 113

    Luckers (2 March 2011)

    I was just wondering, was there a reason Egwene let Tiana go and chose a new Mistress of Novices?

    Brandon Sanderson (2 March 2011)

    There were several reasons. One, however, is that she wasn't doing a particularly good job.

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  • 114

    Brandon Sanderson (1 March 2011)

    Notice the resonance between the dreaming ter'angreal and the silver arches in The Dragon Reborn chapter 22. A hint of things to come in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (2 MARCH)

    Reading Egwene's prophetic dreams in The Dragon Reborn and smiling at the ones about Mat that recently saw fulfillment. What a long wait. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To think, I read this book when it was first published. I was 15. I'm 35 now. I just got to have a hand in seeing the fulfillment.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's so strange to read these early books, where Egwene is still thinking of Rand half-romantically. And Galad full-romantically.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wow. The Dragon Reborn chapter 27 has a cool little foreshadowing for the end of A Memory of Light that I'd never noticed before.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, Wondergirls. After severe punishment for leaving the Tower without permission, what's their first thought at hearing the Black Ajah is in Tear?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (3 MARCH)

    You know, I've always been amazed Mat didn't end up causing more trouble with that letter from Siuan he was given...

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  • 115

    Brandon Sanderson (11 March 2011)

    The scene of Perrin at the forge in Tear is one of my outright favorites. People often ask if killing characters is tough...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...Yes it is. But writing the Towers of Midnight scene with Perrin and the hammer he got here in Tear was more emotional for me than most deaths.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (12 MARCH)

    I have finished The Dragon Reborn (finally) on my re-read. Next up, my favorite of the books. The Shadow Rising.

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  • 116

    Brandon Sanderson (12 March 2011)

    From questions I've gotten at signings, people still seem confused by the black threads/cords sometimes attached to Forsaken.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I thought this clear; that these were the means by which male Forsaken avoided the taint. Is there still uncertainty on this point?

    TEREZ

    RJ said in interview that they were protection from the taint but he also said at one point that...

    TEREZ

    ...they were the conduits by which the True Power could be accessed (if they had permission). [He also contradicted himself on that, apparently.]

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There may be a tad more to the cords that RJ didn't state, but I will say that one major reason is the taint protection.

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  • 117

    Brandon Sanderson (14 March 2011)

    Man, this Shadow Rising ebook cover really is full of awesome, isn't it?

    MICHAEL GIGLIOTTI

    Mat looks so dark; it's a very stark contrast to his personality.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That was one of my first thoughts too, but he does get grim once in a while. Particularly after being killed...

    BRANDON SANDERSON (20 MARCH)

    Another one for the "Huh, never noticed that before" file. Some Aiel tell Mat is death for him to enter Rhuidean. And they're right.

    TEREZ

    Are they?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    By Mat's perspective. Though he's not 100% sure.

    MANAR

    Wait. No. Mat does not die in Rhuidean, does he? I thought his death came when Rahvin strikes him with lightning.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mat thinks it counts. Of course, that whole Rahvin thing isn't something he remembers...

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  • 118

    Brandon Sanderson (14 March 2011)

    You know, chapter one of The Shadow Rising reads a LOT like the prologues in later books. Lots of side viewpoints, scattered about.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've always liked how these set up a book. I do think they fit best as prologues. (Some of my favorite writing is the Knife of Dreams prologue.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Love or hate Faile, remember this: She got Perrin to grow his awesome beard. Almost as cool as Rand taking the Stone, that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Last #wotrrr tweet for the day, and it will be a longer one. (Slight spoilers.) Thought I'd point this out, as it has often struck me. (I doubt I'm the only one.) There is a lot of symbolism to the bubble of evil sequence at the start of The Shadow Rising. Perrin's axe tries to kill him—pretty obvious there. We see through the next books how that happens in a non-bubble-of-evil way. We also see that the way he grows single-minded in some pursuits, including fighting with that axe, has dangerous implications. Interestingly, it's Mat's gambling that tries to kill him—that and the Amyrlin. Another great thematic bit of foreshadowing, though Mat—being Mat—doesn't have an arc of discovery in the same way as Rand or Perrin. The best one for me is the fact that in Rand's case, it's his own reflections that try to destroy him. He only wins when he figures out how to absorb all of those reflections into himself.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (15 MARCH)

    "In a moment...he would become the Dragon reborn again. For now, he only wanted to sit, and remember a shepherd named Rand al'Thor."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's good to have Rand back in this book. I remember reading The Dragon Reborn for the first time and begin confused as why he wasn't in it much.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (16 MARCH)

    In a way, all of Mat's trouble with the Finns can be traced back to Egwene telling him about the stone doorway.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Honestly, Egwene, what did you THINK would happen? Telling Mat about that is like telling a kid there's a surprise in the cupboard.

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  • 119

    Brandon Sanderson (15 March 2011)

    I think I either need to speed up the re-read or continue working on the book as I read. I think I like the second option better.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll be shooting for 60 pages of reading a day while trying to finish at least one scene a week. The variety is more appealing.

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  • 120

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Another reason why I find Nynaeve one of the WoT's most rational characters: compare her and Lan in Tear to Perrin/Faile or Elayne/Rand.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As I often post, the way Perrin/Mat/Rand/Egwene view her distort our perception, but the facts prove her side of things more often.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    Nynaeve can be very irrational at times, and I don't think it's a matter of distorted perception. A perfect example from her own point of view, in Lord of Chaos: 'Fire and Spirit' (one of Harriet's lovely double-meanings):

    Unable to look at Elayne, she started walking again. "You had every right to laugh. I... " She swallowed hard. "I made a complete fool of myself." She had. A few sips, Theodrin said; a cup. And she emptied the pitcher. If you were going to fail, better to have some other reason than that you just could not do it. "You should have sent for that bucket and dunked my head until I could recite The Great Hunt of the Horn without a mistake." She risked a glance from the corner of her eye. Small spots of color rested in Elayne’s cheeks. So there had been mention of a bucket.

    "It could happen to anyone," the other woman said simply.

    Nynaeve felt her own cheeks heating. When it had happened to Elayne, she had dunked the girl to wash away the wine. "You should have done whatever you needed to... to sober me."

    It was quite the oddest argument Nynaeve could remember, with her insisting she had been a total fool and deserved whatever came of it, while Elayne made excuse after excuse for her. Nynaeve did not understand why it felt so refreshing, taking all the blame on herself that way. She could not recall ever doing that before, not without hedging as far as she was able. She very nearly got angry with Elayne for not agreeing that she had been a childish buffoon. It lasted until they reached the small thatched house on the edge of the village where Logain was kept.

    "If you don’t stop this," Elayne said finally, "I vow I’ll send for a bucket of water right this instant."

    Nynaeve opened her mouth, then closed it again. Even in this newfound euphoria of admitting she had been wrong, that was going too far. Feeling this good, she could not face Logain. Feeling this good, it would be useless anyway, without Moghedien and the bracelet she definitely felt too fine to put on.

    And of course, all that was to justify the rough treatment she gave Elayne in Tanchico.

    LIRA LEIRNER

    Surely Egwene's more rational even than Nynaeve, even in the way she deals with Gawyn despite KNOWING she'll bond him.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Looking at Egwene/Nynaeve's interactions in these early books, Egwene still has a lot to learn. She gets there.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    They have very different perspectives, though, which often brings them to arguments. Nynaeve sees people; Egwene sees goals.

    DAN HIRDLER

    Nynaeve the rational one? In her relationship she has the power. Leaving Lan at Land's End was iffy. Her need for respect is childish.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, she DID save Lan's life in what she did. He'd have been dead before the Last Battle started if not.

    LISA

    I'm still sad Lan apparently dies. He was my favorite character.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Out of curiosity, which of the reasons people think he will die is the one that has persuaded you? I've not said either way.

    LISA

    Confession: I stopped reading at book seven. My friends said he hadn't come back, so I/we assume he's really dead, not fake-dead. [?]

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    Brandon Sanderson (18 March 2011)

    This Thom scene in The Shadow Rising chapter 17 is an absolute gem of writing. Wonderful characterizations, excellent motion, powerful reversals.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Guys, when I talk about how to write a great scene, THIS is what I mean.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Notice that the Siuan mentions that the Blight is retreating in this chapter. Hmmm... Wonder why...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I remember reading somewhere that some think this was an effect of the Eye of the World's usage. Hmm...

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    Brandon is probably hinting here that it rather has something to do with the Fisher King prophecies.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thom, speaking of how future ages may see him: "Not a gleeman—but what? Not eating fire, but hurling it about like an Aes Sedai..."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Will you believe that, in my youth, it wasn't until around that moment that I caught the Thom/Merlin connection?

    OWENSMTO

    Don't feel too bad. I didn't catch the Mat/Odin connection until very recently. And Perrin is Thor, it seems. heh.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I believe there's actually a Slavic god of the forge named "Perun" or something along those lines.

    NATHAN ANDRUS

    Thom/Merlin connection? I don't see it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Look really closely at Thom's last name.

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    Lira Leirner (18 March 2011)

    Here's a question: Why does Elayne (and RJ in an interview) say that Galad fancied Nynaeve when he clearly fancied Egwene?

    LIRA LEIRNER

    Especially considering that RJ said "at the beginning"... I could imagine Galad having liked Nynaeve in Samara but that's it.

    Brandon Sanderson (18 March 2011)

    Interesting. I honestly didn't know that he'd said that re: Galad/Nynaeve. Will you send me a link to the quote?

    LIRA LEIRNER

    I saw it in at least one other interview as well. Can you open this link? If not I'll copy paste x http://ow.ly/4ijHn2

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll save the link until after I get off the plane. Thanks! I have real trouble keeping track of all these interviews.

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  • 123

    Lira Leirner (18 March 2011)

    When Egwene dreams of Perrin, Faile and "a Tinker", why didn't she know it was Aram although she knows him personally?

    Brandon Sanderson (18 March 2011)

    The dreams aren't always that specific. She might not have seen a face, or recognized it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'd have to look at the specific passage to know which it is.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    [after looking at said passage] That is an oddity, I'll admit. But dreams are not always clear, as I've said. I lay my bet on his face simply wasn't clear.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There are good reasons for that—for example, Aram's place in the Pattern may not have been as set as Perrin's.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A fuzziness to accompany the uncertainty, so Egwene couldn't recognize him. After all, she doesn't describe the face.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I think Brandon might have been trying to drop hints about the dream of Egwene being saved by a Seanchan woman (the sword is as solid as the stone, but the face wavers). Sometimes fuzziness in dreams doesn't mean any uncertainty; Bair and Melaine couldn't see Aviendha's, Elayne's, and Min's faces in the dream where they were on the boat with Rand, but Nicola's Foretelling confirms that they are the three. (Foretellings are absolute, while dreams show only possibilities that can often be prevented.) Perhaps a better question is, why didn't Egwene remember anything about Perrin being a Wolfbrother in The Dragon Reborn?

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    Darth Andrea (20 March 2011)

    Timeline wise, was Aviendha's meeting with Nakomi in the waste before or after Verin had met with Egwene and died?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 March 2011)

    Ha. It seems everyone wants to know if this is possibly Verin. There will be timestamps in A Memory of Light to let you guess.

    HERIDFAN

    There are enough existing timestamps to show that Verin can't be Nakomi. But I don't believe timestamps in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So far as I know, there are no timestamp errors in Towers of Midnight. I have a solid timeline from people better at such things than I.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There COULD still be mistakes, but I think the book is more accurate than people assume because of the Tam issue.

    HERIDFAN

    I don't mean Tam issue. There are for example clouds breaking in Caemlyn in Chapter 8, way before Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's a good note. I'll fire that one off to Team Jordan and see if we made an error. Got any others?

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    Brandon Sanderson (20 March 2011)

    People are asking for info about the WoT LARP at Vericon. It was written by several members, and was very extensive.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It was set 500 years before the book series, and involved the political situation around a Shadowspawn invasion and a false Dragon.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As I understand, the Darkfriends won. The Amyrlin got stilled and the new one unwittingly picked Black Ajah as Keeper.

    JOEL MACDOUGALL

    Can you help me understand what the LARP project you spoke about is? I was intrigued.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Live Action Role Playing. Basically, people take the roles of characters in the game. (Warders, ambassadors, and Aes Sedai.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Then they play a game where they try to achieve different goals. Like a much more extensive "how to host a murder" game.

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  • 126

    Michael Mason-D'Croz (20 March 2011)

    I've been wondering this for a while. Will other authors ever be allowed to tackle outlier novels in the WoT world?

    MICHAEL MASON D'CROZ

    Also, was there ever a plan to tell more the backstory of Tam al'Thor?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 March 2011)

    Unlikely. Team Jordan feels strongly that WoT shouldn't be come an endless franchise.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There is a slim chance you will see Outriggers and/or prequels. (One of those was about Tam, by the way.)

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    NOTE—TEREZ

    This conversation starts off with some of Brandon's thoughts on the lack of female ta'veren in the story, which apparently inspired some knee-jerk posts on Twitter and Facebook about sexism in WoT. Which inspired a mild overreaction on Brandon's part, and so on, which led to a lot of discussion on semantic distinctions and the like. But it was fun. The greater (and latter) part of the conversation took place when Brandon happened to be on an airplane with a choice between reading WoT and hanging out on Twitter where some HCFFs happened to be online. [That is, people who have spent the last ten years or more (in this case) thinking about WoT more than most things, and who in this case included a gay man and a (quasi? pseudo?)-feminist.] It is, for the most part, what some might perceive to be politically biased, so I offer an apology on behalf of all of us for what might appear to be PC-ness and conservative-bashing.

    Brandon Sanderson (11 March 2011)

    I remember the first time I heard the Egwene/Nynaeve/Elayne trio called the "Wondergirls." I'm pretty sure I was in Korea at the time.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've often gotten questions from people asking if Egwene was ta'veren. Obviously not, as Siuan would have seen the glow of it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    People seem to wonder why all three boys, and not a single one of the girls, are ta'veren. I've assumed this was to confuse the Shadow.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To make it difficult to track down Rand and kill him before he grew powerful, the Pattern made three ta'veren to keep everyone guessing.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Of course, it can be argued that the Pattern doesn't do such things—it simply IS. Still, I've liked that as part of the explanation.

    JONAS MUILWIJK

    Why the hell would the Wheel want to confuse the Shadow? :S The Wheel is good nor bad, so it won't choose a side.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Think of it this way—yes, the Pattern simply IS. But evolution simply IS as well. And some times, species evolve to...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...have many offspring in order to increase the chances of survival. Likewise, we have three ta'veren. A survival mechanism.

    TIM MARGHEIM

    Weak analogy? If evolution==Pattern, you'd need "Evolution IS, and evolution itself has DMs." Pattern doesn't have species.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha ha. I didn't say Evolution==the Pattern. I was showing an amoral, natural function could create something similar to three ta'veren.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Man, people sure are quick to accuse RJ of sexism on my Twitter feed & Facebook. I think any who do this are blatantly wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's okay to not like the books, or to think RJ did a bad job with characterizations. I disagree, but everyone's tastes are different.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But he took great pains to create many strong female protagonists with a variety of strengths, and gave them their own stories.

    KATELYN HECKETT

    I've picked up some funny male bias in the books (lots of "breasts", no male equivalent, etc.) but wouldn't say RJ's sexist.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, I've noticed a few of those too.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, there are (More than a few) sexist people in the WoT. And the culture has been influenced by the male/female interactions of the Power.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, if you look at the time devoted to female viewpoints—and the plots of those characters—the "RJ is sexist" theory erodes.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Warning: Long update on this topic. As a nod to those who truly know feminist literary theory, I'll make a less "Twitter friendly" argument. Robert Jordan, by creating a world where the women and men are very aware of gender roles, spent a lot of time delving into these topics. I'm convinced he was aware of male privilege, and though biased—as all of us are—sought very hard to overcome his own biases by creating evocative female characters with plot lines that do not center around the obtaining of favor or romantic interest from male characters. He also sought to create a world where women were not defined by how they were viewed by men, but were instead defined by their intelligence, determination, and accomplishments. In this way, though he exposes some small masculine biases in various areas, he was extremely progressive as a dominant male writer of his era, and should be regarded as anything other than "sexist" for his efforts. /Scholarly Brandon

    BRANDON BALLENGER

    Agreed. Hey, how much more "Scholarly Brandon" is online? Seen your postmodernism in fantasy essay, besides that?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Not a ton. I've had to walk a fine line, as I'm not enough of a scholar to trust myself digging too deeply.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've got a Master's, so I can talk the talk—but when others spent their time in research, I spent it practicing writing.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think I have an essay or two on my website. Search for "Sanderson's First Law" and my religion essay regarding Elantris.

    TEREZ

    I didn't read all of the conversations you had about it on Twitter and Facebook, and I didn't really have gender roles in mind so much as other things. I understand what you're saying about how his world requires certain gender imbalances—I addressed that sort of offhandedly in my post by saying that the 'in practice' roles in WoT are often not what you would theoretically expect considering the circumstances. And while RJ often made comparisons to various time periods in the real world in reference to technology in particular, I'm not talking about that—I'm talking about the theoretical result of the history of the WoT world. Many of the gender imbalances are logical, but many are not, which is why they don't feel realistic at all to many readers.

    The main problem I had with your comments is that you said that anyone who accused RJ of sexism for whatever reason was 'blatantly wrong'. You sort of trivialize those things that we are 'left with' after cutting away the complex and subjective debate over gender roles, but those things we are left with are so pervasive in the novels that they give an overall impression of an old-fashioned and often casually sexist man behind the curtain. This is a big turn-off for some people, and while I feel that those who cannot overlook it are missing out on one of the greatest stories of all time, I understand that it is a legitimate complaint.

    As for the female nudity...just no. :p I mean, I know you read all the interviews at one point. 'No Male Nudity' (NMN) was not quite as popular as RAFO, but it was definitely one of his favorite stock answers (especially in reference to movie questions—it was his 'one rule') for a good few years. He was pretty blatant about his preferences there, and while I'm sure he had several cultural influences in mind, in the end it's pretty clear that he just enjoyed writing about naked women more than he enjoyed writing about naked men.

    I agree that it's wrong to judge RJ as a person anachronistically, but at the same time, I think it's wrong to make such a blanket statement about the veracity of our claims of sexism in WoT. It's there, and it's real. I agree that some people take the criticism too far without considering certain things—I've had these debates (on non-WoT forums especially) many times over the years—but it seems to me more constructive to criticize the exaggerations, or to criticize each argument on its own merits, than to denounce any and all claims of sexism in WoT in one fell swoop.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (14 MARCH)

    The "Blatantly Wrong" comment was for those who don't really know feminist theory or gender studies, and who were commenting that sexist characters and culture implied a sexist Robert Jordan. I thought better of it later, however, for the people who actually know what they're talking about. Hence the more scholarly comment directed toward people like yourself. I do not deny that there are things to talk about here. Remember, just like with the word "Racism," there are two meanings of the word "Sexist." There is the knee-jerk usage by people who intend it as an insult. And then there is the more thoughtful, careful usage by people who make a study of such things. In their hands, 'sexist' means showing one's biases and a lack of awareness of certain aspects of male privilege or gender sensitivity—using this word to describe someone is not an insult, but a description of bias. (The types of biases that we all have, and can't totally expunge—though we be aware of and try to compensate for them.) My first comment was directed at the first crowd; my second comment at the second crowd.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    For the record, I'm hardly well-read in feminist theory. I've read far more in queer theory (and most of it since then, for unrelated reasons), and queer theory is often tied up with feminist theory, but even there I'm far from an expert, and so my familiarity with feminist theory is along the lines of a vague acquaintance. I understand the distinction Brandon is making, and it's a good one, but I don't think of it as having much to do with feminist theory.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (20 MARCH)

    And, looks like I have Twitter on my flight again this time. So much for getting anything useful done...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Re: NMN. I'll give you this point in regards to Rhuidean. No good reason for Aviendha to be nude when Rand/Mat don't have to be.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As for the Aes Sedai ceremonies, they still feel very similar to sacred feminine ceremonies I've read before.

    TEREZ

    Sure, but most of the female nudity comes in the sweat tents and baths, etc. Though the baths in Fal Dara were egalitarian.

    TEREZ

    The descriptions of how Aviendha squats in the sweat tent, for instance, are really quite vulgar if you think about it.

    TEREZ

    But you don't see anything like that in the bath scene at Baerlon, for example. And even ritual nudity can get vulgar...

    TEREZ

    ...like Amys at the sister-bonding ceremony in Winter's Heart. I mean, come on.

    JAMES POWELL

    There's certainly lots o female iffy WoT nudity, but also quite a lot of male nudity—especially Rand being ogled.

    TEREZ

    Yeah, Rand does get ogled once at least. But it's a matter of balance in my opinion.

    TEREZ

    Greatest Cadsuane line ever: 'I’ve already seen more of your hairless bottomcheeks than I wish to...'

    TEREZ

    '....but if you want to flaunt them in front of all six of us, perhaps someone will enjoy the show.' :)

    JAMES POWELL

    I'm not saying that the nudity issue is balanced—clearly, it's not. But at least some effort was being made.

    TEREZ

    Yeah, @BrandSanderson and I have gone round a bit on this already. We all recognize that some effort was made. Just saying...

    TEREZ

    ...that these things were the product of RJ's heterosexual male preferences, and therefore inherently sexist.

    SETH BAKER

    Based largely upon the male characters being prudes. Doesn't that cut the other way for M/F sexual experience?

    TEREZ

    Not really, since the root cause is still RJ's brain. And Mat. Is far from a prude.

    TEREZ

    But we're at the same time not trying to make RJ out to be particularly sexist. He wasn't, especially for his Age.

    JAMES POWELL

    *nods* I'm more saddened by the almost complete lack of gay WoT characters—but that's just my personal bias.

    TEREZ

    No, it's not just your personal bias. It was RJ's. If there hadn't been lesbians you probably wouldn't care, eh?

    JAMES POWELL

    I actually found the whole issue of some women being "pillow friends", but then growing out of it and mooning over men, quite off.

    TEREZ

    Right, and the fact that the ones who don't grow out of it are for the most part evil bitches.

    LIRA LEIRNER

    There are SOME implications of being gay being equally as normal, as outlined here http://ow.ly/4imXS

    TEREZ

    Oh, we know. But it's a half-hearted implication. Not even close to half really...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, at least there wasn't the "Gay=pedophile" implication that some fantasy of the era made...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Of course, being Mormon, perhaps I'm not the best qualified to speak of someone's treatment of LGBT issues.

    LUCKERS

    Are you sure the nudity doesn't play a practical role in the ter'angreal? I note that in both the...

    LUCKERS

    ...Accepted rings and the final test the woman must be nude. Strange, two separate rituals taking the same form.

    LIRA

    And Moiraine, too. I think it's probably the rings. The other testing ter'angreal all require nakedness.

    LIRA LEIRNER

    Aviendha doesn't have to be naked when she goes through the columns. Although I thought they could have told...

    LIRA LEIRNER

    ...them to take off their clothes once they're in Rhuidean; don't see needing to taking them off before.

    TEREZ

    It's not a requirement of the ter'angreal according to them, but a sign of station (humbling).

    TEREZ

    Also, with Aviendha, there was the practical aspect of giving up her cadin'sor.

    TEREZ

    It's the same with the raisings at the Tower—they never wear those clothes again if I remember correctly.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I suspected I was half wrong when I posted this, and I was—the Accepted get their new dresses right after the test, but in New Spring, Moiraine and Siuan wore their Accepted dresses to swear the Oaths.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think Terez's argument is that women end up in these situations suspiciously more often than men.

    TEREZ

    Essentially yes. And that the description is more gratuitous. RJ could have chosen to write male nudity rituals.

    LUCKERS

    Mmm. True, but as I've argued in the past re: lack of gay men—we've been more exposed to all female...

    LUCKERS

    ...organisations and rituals. the one exception, I suppose, is the sweat tents, but again that occurred...

    LUCKERS

    ...organically. The Wise Ones were planning, and the sweat tents provided a social medium.

    LUCKERS

    By the way, my original point was simply that Moiraine and Aviendha's nudity may have served a practical purpose...

    LUCKERS

    ...when going through the ter'angreal—Mat and Rand didn't go through that ter'angreal after all.

    LUCKERS

    It's strange that the Aes Sedai and Wise Ones separately built nudity rituals around similar ter'angreal. Necessary?

    TEREZ

    Organically? You say that as if the scene wrote itself. RJ chose to use female sweat tent scenes, female nudity.

    TEREZ

    Even if the nudity does have a practical purpose that doesn't change the fact that he chose to write it that way.

    TEREZ

    He chose to develop the female organizations, and he chose to show lesbians outside those organizations rather than men.

    LUCKERS

    He chose to write the scene with Rand naked and being eyed by a dozen women too. So what?

    TEREZ

    Again, it's about balance. The 'suspiciously more often' bit. I feel you are being overly defensive about it.

    LUCKERS

    Are we to presume he did it lasciviously? To titillate? This is what I meant by it happening organically.

    LUCKERS

    I'm not being defensive—rather I don't see the problem. The female nudity was never vulgar... it just was.

    TEREZ

    As I said, it's clear enough he just enjoyed writing about naked women and lesbians more than he enjoyed...

    TEREZ

    ....writing about naked men and gay men. It's fanservice, but I don't think he thought of it like that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've got to side with Terez on this one. It IS there. RJ did a LOT of things with great equality, but...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...when it came to nudity, he liked showing naked women more than men. I don't think it was vulgar, though.

    TEREZ

    Depends on your definition of vulgar. RJ was very good at avoiding vulgarity on the surface, but hinting at it.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I had this scene from The Fires of Heaven in mind, and it sums up many tweets I made on the subject which were omitted:

    Moiraine, seeming slight and small beside the others, also looked unruffled, although sweat rolled down her pale nudity and slicked her dark hair to her scalp, with a regal refusal to acknowledge that she had no clothes on. The Wise Ones were using slim, curved pieces of bronze, called staera, to scrape off sweat and the day's dirt.

    Aviendha was squatting sweatily beside the big black kettle of hot, sooty rocks in the middle of the tent, carefully using a pair of tongs to move a last stone from a smaller kettle to the larger. That done, she sprinkled water onto the rocks from a gourd, adding to the steam. If she let the steam fall too far, she would be spoken to sharply at the very least. The next time the Wise Ones met in the sweat tent, it would be Egwene's turn to tend the rocks.

    Egwene cautiously sat down cross-legged next to Bair—instead of layered rugs, there was only rocky ground, unpleasantly hot, lumpy and damp—and realized with a shock that Aviendha had been switched, and recently. When the Aiel woman gingerly took her own place, beside Egwene, she did so with a face as stony as the ground, but a face that could not hide her flinch.

    To call these descriptions 'gratuitous' is, of course, only in comparison to RJ's (incredibly rare) treatments of male nudity (and not in comparison to, say, GRRM).

    LUCKERS

    @BrandSanderson I still think that implies a little too much premeditation in the depiction, but I'm happy with your description.

    LUCKERS

    I'm not denying its presence, I'm denying the implications that the depiction is wrong. It flowed naturally...

    LUCKERS

    ...from the plot, and wasn't lascivious. I certainly don't think RJ worked to include it.

    LUCKERS

    Besides... if you wanna have a gay male character in A Memory of Light I'd not complain. :)

    TEREZ

    Okay then. Do you think that RJ's insistence that there be no male nudity in the films was 'organic'?

    Footnote—Terez

    I was wrong about the film distinction, though I do believe there is an older report somewhere mentioning this that I am missing. However, there is a 'no male nudity' tag for all the times RJ mentioned it at signings; it was a running joke for him.

    TEREZ

    That is where this little debate started, because it is essentially the proof of the point.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. Well (though I'm on your side) it could be argued that's a marketing decision.

    TEREZ

    LOL. Many things could be argued. Some arguments are more logical than others, though. :)

    LUCKERS

    I didn't know about this insistence. That's a little... weird, honestly. No, ok, a lot weird.

    TEREZ

    See, if you had actually read my debate with @BrandSanderson we wouldn't have to catch you up. ;)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's cultural, unfortunately. You can have female nudity and get a PG-13. But not male. Of course, that...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...leads us to the whole topfreedom debate, which ISN'T something I really want to get into.

    TEREZ

    It doesn't necessarily lead there. Again, I bring it up mostly for cultural awareness reasons.

    LUCKERS

    That's really stupid—but does make some sense. Also, I don't know if you remember Terez but for a while there were...

    LUCKERS

    ...some fairly rampant pockets of homophobia amongst the fandom—I had this discussion with @zemaille at WorldCon.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I had the same discussion with Linda before Luckers did, at the previous JordanCon. I think she was a little shocked by the number of people at tor.com who refuse to even recognize that pillow friends are lesbians.

    TEREZ

    There still are. It's mostly visible at tor.com—some staunch conservatives there.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    Oh yeah!

    TEREZ

    Which is unfortunate considering Leigh's views. There is a ruckus every time she brings it up.

    LUCKERS

    *nods* And as sad as it is to think that RJ was wary of this—it's reasonable to avoid alienating your fans.

    TEREZ

    Well, if he was trying to avoid alienating THOSE fans he wouldn't have included lesbians either.

    LUCKERS

    Mmm. Lesbians have always been the safer homosexual depiction—which says a lot about our society.

    SETH BAKER

    In the end, you're indicting modern Western society, not RJ himself. He knew what you can't do and sell.

    TEREZ

    The first bit, yes. The second bit...I don't think that marketing was his only motive.

    SETH BAKER

    There're people who are not morally opposed to homosexuality, are fine with reading FF, but not MM for what it's worth.

    TEREZ

    And that is exactly the problem that is being addressed. Not judging RJ so much as ourselves.

    LUCKERS

    I hesitate to ask—but what's topfreedom? My mind went to an icky place. :S

    TEREZ

    LOL. I imagine it has to do with the fact that men can go shirtless but women can't.

    LUCKERS

    OH! That's... much nicer than what I was thinking. Hehe.

    LUCKERS

    I will say this, though—the complete lack of any sort of hetero-normative assumption in WoT gets RJ my vote.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I wish this plane would let me use Tweetlonger to jump into this with more teeth.

    TEREZ

    Feel free to jump in with teeth later. We're not going anywhere. :)

    LUCKERS

    Yes. More teeth would be awesome! But we aren't going anywhere.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This whole issue—homosexuality, conservatism, and the WoT—deserves a serious, thoughtful post.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I just can't do that in 100 character bursts.

    TEREZ

    Cool. I am looking forward to it.

    LUCKERS

    I respect that Brandon. Still, post what you want—we understand it's not your full argument.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will say that there IS a gay male in Towers of Midnight, placed there on my part as I felt similar to you on this issue.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I was going to tell you who it was, but figuring this out is the sort of thing you guys love, isn't it?

    TEREZ

    YAY! But of course, then you have to be careful not to make him too throw-away....

    TEREZ

    I considered Androl earlier, when I considered you might do this. lol. But I will think on it some more.

    LUCKERS

    Oh. Hey! Awesome. Ok, now we have to figure it out.

    LUCKERS

    Hopefully not Denezel or Hatch—their wives would be furious. :D

    FOOTNOTE

    Jason Denzel and Matt Hatch, webmasters of Dragonmount and Theoryland respectively—they were recognized as innkeepers in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll note that references to his sexuality were cut merely because I moved the chapter with mention to A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I won't say if it's a new character or one I made a decision on, since there weren't notes either way.

    TEREZ

    And he seems to have ruled out Moridin, alas. But that would be sort of Dumbledore-y anyway.

    TEREZ

    (And yes, I have read @BrandSanderson's thoughts on Dumbledore. Just saying. And we're not talking kids' books here.)

    LUCKERS

    I'm beginning to think it somewhat strange that I'm the one defending RJ the heaviest given your points...

    LUCKERS

    ... and the fact that I'm gay. Does that mean my loyalty to RJ defies reason, or that I'm so used to accepting...

    LUCKERS

    ...the dribbles that are depictions of homosexuality in fantasy? A disturbing thought.

    TEREZ

    Nah, not weird at all. You're pretty anti-activist in a lot of ways. Overcompensation, of course. ;)

    TEREZ

    I believe you are sensitive to the right-wing idea of the Gay Agenda.

    TEREZ

    So you seem to have a reluctance to champion your own causes too loudly, internally as well as externally.

    TEREZ

    In some ways it's a healthy reluctance. In some ways, it's sad that it is necessary.

    LUCKERS

    Well the gays are plotting world domination—we discussed this in our last High Council. But that's another conversation.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You have good reason to defend him, Luckers. There ARE good examples. Arrela is one.

    TEREZ

    Seonid isn't bad either. Right? :D I think they might have been responses to the criticism.

    LUCKERS

    *nods* Arrela's love was beautiful. And your scene in The Gathering Storm was heartbreaking.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, gay men are few and far between. But it could be much worse. See: Eddings, or worse, Goodkind and Newcomb.

    SETH BAKER

    I'm with you on that. I got bored reading Goodkind because of how annoyingly ANTI-PC it was.

    SETH BAKER

    In the end, I want my stories to refrain from editorializing. Tell the story, and tell it to your audience.

    BRANDON

    Goodkind is...well, let's not go there. It's good, sometimes, to be anti-PC, as the world isn't PC.

    BRANDON

    But if you're going to delve in and editorialize, I believe it important to look at the other side too.

    TEREZ

    I haven't read Newcomb, but yes, Goodkind's inclusion was of the worst sort.

    TEREZ

    Again, few people think RJ is all bad on this. But the fact that we are so appreciative of his rather biased...

    TEREZ

    ...and gratuitous inclusion shows how far behind we are as a society.

    BRANDON

    Ha. Terez, you NEED to read Newcomb. If only because I want to see your head explode when you do.

    TEREZ

    LOL. Well, I will bring it along to JordanCon then, so you can observe. ;)

    BRANDON

    It is an incredible experience. Goodkind times 1000 in the anti-feminist department. And it seems unconscious.

    LUCKERS

    Goodkind disturbs me on more levels than that, but I do take your point—it was what I meant by accepting dribbles.

    BRANDON

    The thing is, [RJ] tried. And in the end, that's the most important thing can ask. The second is that they listen.

    BRANDON

    And I do think RJ listened. I think he grew more sensitive on this subject as time passed.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    RJ was in many ways very responsive to fan criticism, but he seemed to play the Eelfinn in that he liked to make jokes out of granting our wishes. A good example: Fans complained that characters never had to use a privy while in POV. RJ added a couple of references (including an 'if you must know' from Tuon), and he even threw in urine-tasting in Crossroads of Twilight. Clearly that was RJ getting a laugh on us. He made passing mention of male homosexuality in a couple of the later books (including New Spring), and while it wasn't quite a balance for his lesbians, it was an improvement. He also made public statements that homosexuality was all around not a big deal in Randland, for either gender. He made it clear that, in general, writing about male sexuality was just a squick for him, but he tended to be rather open and modern about his sexuality (even in the family-friendly context of WoT) and so the gender bias sticks out to many modern readers.

    TEREZ

    Agreed, as I noted before re: the response to criticism. Again, it's more about us than about him.

    LUCKERS

    Interesting thought—about listening and changing. Kind of beautiful as well—that fans can give back to authors.

    LUCKERS

    That RJ touched on it at all was good—especially when we remember when he was writing these books.

    LUCKERS

    It does well to remember just how much the degree to which homosexuality is depicted has changed recently.

    TEREZ

    This is true. I just feel that now is the time to blow it out of the water, for that very reason.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm curious if either of you read Rose of the Prophet, and what you thought of it. (Because of the gay male character.)

    TEREZ

    hmm, nope, haven't heard of it. I was told Deathgate was the only thing by [Weis and Hickman] worth reading.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    To explain, I rarely find myself overly desirous of reading new books since WoT occupies so much of my time these days, so I tend to go by friend recommendations and not worry much about whether or not I would actually agree.

    LUCKERS

    Do you guys realise how much Rand's early arc resonates with a gay teenager?

    LUCKERS

    A young man who—through no choice of his own—finds himself to be something hated and feared.

    LUCKERS

    Something judged to be morally wrong though no moral choice has been made on his part.

    LUCKERS

    The whole arc—the 'men's pride, men's sin' resonated very heavily with me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's FASCINATING, honestly. I'd never thought of that.

    TEREZ

    I bet RJ never thought of it either. :D But yes, it's a good comparison in many ways.

    LUCKERS

    All of this is why I never liked Mat in my first readings (when i was like 13). His reaction to Rand was...

    LUCKERS

    ...a little to close to home. And no I haven't read [Rose of the Prophet]—I will now though. (sorry for going on this tangent).

    LUCKERS

    It doesn't really matter to me if RJ meant the comparison—that he depicted something similar with such...

    LUCKERS

    ...visceral realism is the value of a great writer, because then the fans can take what they need from it.

    LUCKERS

    And in truth Rand's arc in dealing with it taught me how to. In fact its one of the reasons I love Cadsuane...

    TEREZ

    Because Cadsuane was Rand's faghag? No wait, that was Min! No, she was his beard...

    LUCKERS

    She doesn't feel sorry for Rand, or try to coddle him—she treats him like she would any other person...

    LUCKERS

    Her refusal to let Rand allow circumstance to victimize him was a powerful and subtle theme.

    TEREZ

    Indeed, that's why I like her. And why most people hate her. Because she should respect his authoritay!

    LUCKERS

    And I think it is the greatest service anyone in the books has done him. Even if Rand couldn't appreciate it.

    LUCKERS

    Re: Parallels between Rand's early arc and being gay...[from The Great Hunt]

    "No, I can't. I mean . . . I didn't do it on purpose. It just happened. I don't want to—to channel the Power. I won't ever do it again. I swear it."

    "You don't want to," the Amyrlin Seat said. "Well, that's wise of you. And foolish, too. Some can be taught to channel; most cannot. A few, though, have the seed in them at birth. Sooner or later, they wield the One Power whether they want to or not, as surely as roe makes fish. You will continue to channel, boy. You can't help it. And you had better learn to channel, learn to control it, or you will not live long enough to go mad. The One Power kills those who cannot control its flow."

    "How am I supposed to learn?" he demanded. Moiraine and Verin just sat there, unruffled, watching him. Like spiders. "How? Moiraine claims she can't teach me anything, and I don't know how to learn, or what. I don't want to, anyway. I want to stop. Can't you understand that? To stop!"—Chapter 8, 'The Dragon Reborn'

    That desperation is something I remember. Then this...

    He paused, frowning, thinking things through. Finally, he said quietly, "Rand, can you channel?" Mat gave a strangled gasp. Rand let the banner drop; he hesitated only a moment before nodding wearily. "I did not ask for it. I don't want it. But. . . . But I do not think I know how to stop it."

    —and finally...

    Mat hesitated, looking sideways at Rand. "Look, I know you came along to help me, and I am grateful. I really am. But you just are not the same anymore. You understand that, don't you?" He waited as if he expected an answer. None came. Finally he vanished into the trees, back toward the camp.—Chapter 11, 'Glimmers of the Pattern'

    Potent scenes. Especially Mat's last lines. *shrug*

    TEREZ

    Yeah, I knew exactly what you were talking about as soon as you mentioned it. Perrin isn't much better.

    TEREZ

    Perrin is just not as thoughtlessly hurtful as Mat is. He's more the silent disapproval type.

    LUCKERS

    Though Perrin does realise the hypocrisy, and feel bad, so I didn't mind so much. :)

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    Yes, I appreciated Perrin's sympathy and tact—like when he said Rand is now a dreaded figure.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    For instance he suggested that while running was understandable, it might not be possible.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    Of course, Perrin is coming to terms with being a werewolf, so understandable he knows how Rand feels.

    LUCKERS

    And with Perrin the parallel stops—Rand is a genuine threat, whereas homosexuality isn't.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    Both Perrin and Rand loathe themselves because they feel they are a threat to society.

    LUCKERS

    Just got a rather abrupt tweet from someone who I think thought I was implying Rand was gay.

    LUCKERS

    Which clearly is accurate. The Harem are the red herring to end all red herrings.

    TEREZ

    LOL. Yeah, well...ignorance and prejudice go hand in hand (or so they say). ;)

    TEREZ

    You know you're gay when you need THREE beards to maintain your cover.

    LUCKERS

    Lol!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And...half of my in-flight WoT reread time was sucked up by a great Twitter conversation about gender and LGBT issues in the WoT.

    TEREZ

    Ohhhh, blame it on us will you! :p You knew as soon as you saw you had Twitter you weren't getting any work done. ;)

    LUCKERS

    Haha. Yeah—I've written a hundred and fifty words in three hours. Today was gonna be my productive day too. *sigh*/

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I have a new goal: to get Terez and Leigh Butler to do a feminist review of Newcomb's Fifth Sorceress for Tor.com. How can I make this happen?

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Sadist.

    TEREZ

    LOL. If you can talk Leigh into it, I'm so down with that.

    LUCKERS

    Lol. A gay, a feminist and a Mormon walk into a bar—whereupon they have a deep and meaningful conversation about sexuality in WoT. #NoJokes

    TEREZ

    LMAO. It's funny, though...I don't really think of myself as a feminist. Just an equalist.

    LUCKERS

    I was just being funny with the no jokes thing—the reality of us three having that conversation struck me.

    TEREZ

    Not to mention, you were raised Catholic, and I was raised Southern Baptist. Now we need a Muslim...

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    Brandon Sanderson (22 March 2011)

    I just passed the Perrin/Faile in the ways sequence. Like Egwene in the leash, this one always feels longer in my mind than it is.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Funny, that we should find this—one of my least favorite sequences—right in the middle of my favorite book in the series.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (23 MARCH)

    Dannil just joined Perrin. If you missed it, he's (kind of) the one who was the fourth Two Rivers boy on the cover of The Eye of the World.

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  • 129

    Brandon Sanderson (17 March 2011)

    Looks like Vin trounced her next opponent in the Suvudu cage match. Sorry to not do a write up; swamped over here. (more)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, she fights Zedd (from the Sword of Truth.) For this...I will give you something. Hopefully, it will be fun.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As for Perrin vs. Paul Atreides...whew. That's a tough match up. I pick Perrin for solidarity, but Paul is a tough enemy. Very tough.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (18 MARCH)

    Epic back-and-forth battle between Paul and Perrin going on over at Suvudu. I support Perrin, but agree that Paul is probably more powerful.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (23 MARCH)

    Vin is up against Zedd in the Suvudu Cage Match. Here's how I think the fight would go down. http://j.mp/e8SHPL

    BRANDON SANDERSON (6 APRIL)

    Vin faces Quick Ben in the Suvudu Cage Match final. Perrin meets Jon Snow in the consolation match. http://suvudu.com/tag/cage-match-2011

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  • 130

    Brandon Sanderson (17 March 2011)

    In my mind, the redstone doorway in Tear looks like Delicate Arch. This is not rational, and not how it looks, but I can't help it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Delicate Arch, by the way, is a specific redstone arch in Moab, Utah. I'd post a picture, but my wifi wizardry doesn't allow Google.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The wonderful @17thshard grabbed a delicate arch pic for you all: http://3.ly/SwCv #wotrr (As did several others.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wifi on my flight is not free, but Twitter works, for some reason. WHAT WIZARDRY IS THIS.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So, the airline wifi provider has a "Free Twitter" thing going on. Nothing supernatural. Too bad. I was already building a magic system...

    BRANDON SANDERSON (25 MARCH)

    Beginning of Chapter 36 in Book Four. The Waste is described a lot like Moab, Utah.

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  • 131

    Brandon Sanderson (25 March 2011)

    As of the middle of The Shadow Rising, Rand still depends on his sword, rather than channeling directly to kill Shadowspawn, in fights.

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  • 132

    Brandon Sanderson (28 March 2011)

    Some of the later Sea Folk are so hawkish with their trading that sometimes I forget how pleasant Jorin and her sister are.

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  • 133

    Brandon Sanderson (28 March 2011)

    I remember when I first read The Shadow Rising, I had NO idea what to make of Lord Luc.

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  • 134

    Brandon Sanderson (28 March 2011)

    Perrin's growth as a character here between his last section and the start of Chapter 40 is very well done. Subtle, but powerful.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I like how in this case, RJ skipped some time, then jumped back and showed us the contrast. A cool way of showing growth starkly.

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  • 135

    Brandon Sanderson (8 April 2011)

    You know, Nynaeve, it would have been 'wrong' and all, but I'd totally have forgiven you if you'd just offed Moghedien in the palace.

    REDHAIRBEAST

    What about Traveling? Cuendillar? And all the rest?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm not following you. What are you asking about?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, you mean "If Moghedien died, we wouldn't have these things." True, true.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But at the same time...they keep just letting the Forsaken get away. Ah, well.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Now I'm imagining Nynaeve towing Moghedien out with her and bringing her to the White Tower for justice—only to find Elaida in charge...

    HERIDFAN

    How did Moghedien know about sad bracelets [Domination Band]? Semirhage said in The Gathering Storm that they were made after the Forsaken were imprisoned.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I believe Moghedien said she'd been doing some research about the Breaking and had learned about them.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    There's been some debate about Moghedien's strength in the Power since she and Nynaeve were equal in The Shadow Rising, but...

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    ...Nynaeve hadn't reached full strength as late as The Path of Daggers. Is Moghedien the weakest of the Forsaken?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Honestly? I'd have to look it up. I don't know off-hand how Cyndane fits into things now. Still powerful, but not as powerful.

    TEREZ

    Cyndane is still the strongest female; that was made clear in Graendal's POV in The Path of Daggers. Just weaker than Lanfear.

    SLEEPINGHOUR (9 APRIL)

    Yeah, I was mostly just curious about the considerable gap between Moghedien and the strongest female Forsaken.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    There was a lot of debate on RAFO.com on whether Elayne and Egwene are close to Moghedien since she's so weak.

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    Brandon Sanderson (8 April 2011)

    This might be old news, but people keep asking me about it. Yes there ARE Dreamers among the Forsaken. Male and female.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    One male AND one female Forsaken are Dreamers?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There are multiple Dreamers. At least one male and at least one female.

    Footnote

    This might have been in response to the previous conversation about Moghedien. She and Lanfear are the top candidates for the female Dreamers, and Moridin is the obvious choice for the men, since skill in Tel'aran'rhiod and skill in invading others' dreams seem to be concurrent with the Talent of prophetic dreams. See here for more details.

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    Darth Andrea (8 April 2011)

    I seem to be one of the few who think that Taim is a transmigrated Asmodean; will we find out about Taim finally in A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson (8 April 2011)

    Some things, at least, you will discover.

    Footnote

    RJ confirmed in NYC that the Dark One wanted to transmigrate Asmodean, but could not because of how and where he died.

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    Brandon Sanderson (11 April 2011)

    The Fires of Heaven had middle-child syndrome for me. Books 4-6 are among my favorites, but I always had trouble remembering what was in 5.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I THOUGHT I knew. I'd say "Oh, it has such and such." But I'd find that was in 4. I'd try again, and end up with something in 6.

    RHABELLA

    Given the enormity of the disappearance of you know who, how is The Fires of Heaven not memorable?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (12 APRIL)

    It's more that books 4-6 blend together for me in many ways.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You know, Rhuidean is one of those words my mind refuses to pronounce correctly. Fifteen years of doing it one way in my head hold sway.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Everyone is asking how I pronounce Rhuidean. I always want to say "Roo-i-dee-un." Actually, much like Druidea from Spaceballs. Huh.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To note, that isn't the right way. #wotrr (Which, honestly, I always get mixed up, since I can't remember if the audiobooks are right or not.) I think it's Roo-i-deen. An HCFF out there can help. Did any of you hear RJ say it in person?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I really like Melindhra. #wotrr. Spoilers behind the link. Anyway, I like her a lot, probably more than I should. In the early years, reading the books, I was always annoyed when she died. I thought she was a great match for Mat. I DO like Tuon, of course, but remember, for those of us in the early days reading, she was still years off at this point.

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    Brandon Sanderson (14 April 2011)

    Salt Lake Airport has been Brandalized. Three hardcovers of Towers of Midnight signed and one The Gathering Storm paperback. On my way to Jordancon!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wheel of Time drinking game! Each time one of the Wondergirls wanders off alone or in a pair and gets kidnapped, take a shot.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If you do, you'll take a shot every two or three books. So, uh, every few weeks. Okay, it's a bad drinking game. What'd you expect? I'm Mormon. :)

    BRENT WEEKS

    Awesome dual tweet there. Well done, sir.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    :)

    JOSEPH DYE

    Just wondering, do you have any magic underwear?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You do realize that what you just asked is somewhat akin to walking up to a Muslim and calling him a towelhead, don't you?

    JASON STEELE

    Being a fan of your work doesn't mean that someone shouldn't call out nonsense when they see or hear it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm not sure what you're replying to, exactly.

    JASON STEELE

    Sorry, I was responding to your reply to @JosephWDye where you compared his question to calling a Muslim a towelhead.

    JASON STEELE

    I like your work, and I think that you are the best choice to finish WoT, but I was disappointed to find out you are LDS.

    JASON STEELE

    Where calling a Muslim a towelhead is more of a racist/cultural insult, what @JosephWDye said addresses a nonsense belief.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Asking, or challenging someone about their beliefs is a good thing to do. Ridiculing them is not.

    JASON STEELE

    I disagree. Some beliefs are so ridiculous that ridicule is the only appropriate response. And it's often effective.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wearing a symbol of my faith is no more a nonsense belief than a Muslim wearing head gear or a Catholic wearing a cross.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The simile is exactly the same.

    JASON STEELE

    Again, I disagree. A keffiyeh or cross isn't understood to be magical in the way that the Mormon undergarments are.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There is nothing magical about them. They are a symbol of faith. Faith may be a protection, true.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some may regard the garments as having innate protection, but some also believe a cross or Bible does.

    JASON STEELE

    Catholics believing that crackers and wine actually turn into flesh and blood would be similar, and also worthy of ridicule.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ridicule is an inferior way of dealing with these issues, as it will polarize and demean. Logic and common ground serve better.

    JASON STEELE

    I used to think that as well, but people of 'faith' don't hold their beliefs because of logic and evidence, and so...

    JASON STEELE

    ...it is next to impossible to demonstrate to them via those avenues that what they believe is false...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Many do not [hold their beliefs because of logic and evidence]. There are some who do, however. And I think faith should be founded in experience and evidence.

    JASON STEELE

    Then it wouldn't be faith, it would just be belief. Faith is belief in a proposition in the absence of evidence...

    JASON STEELE

    ...or in the face of contradictory evidence.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, your definition of faith is certainly one. However, I see it more as trusting in something that has been proven to you.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If my father says, "I will come through for you on such and such" and I trust him because he's proven [himself] in the past, that is faith.

    JASON STEELE

    You're conflating the term 'faith' here. I'm sure you don't have to be told that a word can have more than one meaning.

    JASON STEELE

    The meaning here equates to 'a reasonable expectation based on experience' That's not the same as religious faith.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I am aware of the different definitions. I was trying to define my definition, not say a blanket definition.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    My definition of religious faith, for myself, is exactly what you said. An expectation based on experience.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As a member of the LDS faith, who has had ample proof given to me of God's existence—the only logical way I could believe...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I find it important to search for the real truths and to understand people who disagree with me, to see if I am wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will not go so far as to say that there is never reason for ridicule, however, as I was able to think of a few exceptions.

    JASON STEELE

    Ridicule can be effective in demonstrating just how absurd the belief system is from outside...

    JASON STEELE

    ...just as all other religions are to the believer. As Heinlein said, "One man's religion is another man's belly laugh."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Proper ridicule could be appropriate, couched in a form of "Look, can you see how silly this sounds to the outsider?"

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, walking up to someone and saying "You are an idiot, and this is stupid" is hardly a good way to begin a dialogue.

    JASON STEELE

    Well, I just don't think that I owe much politeness to people who don't care in the least for logic and evidence, and are...

    JASON STEELE

    ...doing their level best to retard science education, repeal social advancements, and who look forward to the destruction...

    JASON STEELE

    ...of the majority of mankind with anticipation.

    JASON STEELE

    It's really amazing to me, having read your tweets for a while now that someone belonging to a group that was officially...

    JASON STEELE

    ...racist until you were a child, and which has done all it can to prevent homosexual marriage by backing prop 8 is so openly..

    JASON STEELE

    ...averse to those kinds of bigotry. And YET, you continue to identify yourself as LDS.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The greatest changes to good people are made through empathy and an attempt to understand.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, if I vanish, it's because I am landing and lose internet—not because I'm ignoring you. We could lose it at any moment.

    JASON STEELE

    No worries, I'm about to be off for a while as well. Again, I think your writing is great, and you seem like a great guy...

    JASON STEELE

    I just wish we could all outgrow this nonsense, and get on with the work of making the world a better place. Cheers, Jason

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    We must continue to be polite and strive for common ground. The biggest problem with our discourse these days is...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...the justification where people on any side say "I no longer need to be a civil human being to these people because of X."

    JASON STEELE

    Come on Brandon. I think that the biggest problem with discourse today is that faith gets a free pass. If someone tells you...

    JASON STEELE

    ...that he believes something on faith, then he thinks that that is unassailable, and I don't agree.

    JASON STEELE

    I don't think that I am under any obligation to treat the enemies of culture with any politeness or respect...

    JASON STEELE

    These are the people who want to ruin science education, retard research into lifesaving treatments that could alleviate...

    JASON STEELE

    ...the suffering of literally millions of men, women, and children, prevent homosexuals and other minorities from exercising...

    JASON STEELE

    ...their basic rights, and in all other ways trying to roll back human progress to the bronze age. I will not stand idly by.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If you let your disagreements turn you into hatred and incivility, you become that which you hate, my friend.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    (Sorry to go Yoda on you. That last bit was on the heavy-handed side.)

    JASON STEELE

    I think we're both better than sound-byte platitudes. What I hate is people who enshrine bigotry and ignorance behind...

    JASON STEELE

    ...a shield of 'faith,' while working to destroy everything that the enlightenment has gifted us with.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some of the people you speak of are worthy of your contempt. Most are just...well, people.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The answer to your problems is teaching them to see the other. You cannot do that unless you can do it yourself...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Faith deserves to be challenged more than it does, and we should not be able to stand behind it as an iron wall.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I just simply believe that we all need to see one another more as human beings.

    JASON STEELE

    Anyhow, good talking to you, even if it is a real pain to do so in these tiny Twitter chunks.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nice chatting with you too. Again, sorry for the Yoda. You have good arguments. But I think you're giving in to a simplistic...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...view of "Us against them" where "Them" are always trying to destroy everything that is good or virtuous.

    JASON STEELE

    Oh, and welcome to Atlanta (where I happen to live).

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thanks! And thank you for reading. I'll do my best to enjoy Atlanta.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, we're landing. Signing off from Twitter, folks, and see you at JordanCon! I have Magic cards. :)

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  • 140

    Brandon Sanderson (14 April 2011)

    Yes, Delta has free twitter again on this flight. I will try my best to get work done. Why is it so much more tempting while flying?

    LUCKERS

    Wanna have a detailed conversation about something? We already did sexuality in the Wheel.

    LUCKERS

    Seriously, its 4am here, I'm feeling loopy and sad not to be at JordanCon... I'm go for anything.

    LUCKERS

    Reverse the normal vibe. Ask me questions. :P

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Bad Luckers. Go to sleep, let him work.

    LUCKERS

    Hush.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, we could get into how timid a lot of us fantasy writers are about writing black viewpoint protagonists.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It is noticeable to me. I don't think it's intentional bias, and if it is, it's worry about doing something wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But you see a lot of black side characters (in film too) but few black leading men.

    LUCKERS

    Interesting point actually... a form of reverse-racism. The fear that you are going to step wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes. You can read up on something called "Racefail" in the sff community from a few years back, if you want.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Google it. You'll find some interesting points along these lines.

    LUCKERS

    I did so, and yeah I see what you mean.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I do wonder if it also has to do with not having racially integrated kingdoms (as makes sense) in fantasy.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So, if you want to tell a story about one kingdom, it naturally follows that you end up with a lot of people of the same race.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Then, you add someone else to be racially diverse—but that person you add becomes, by nature, the outsider.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Which, of course, only reinforces the bias, despite attempts at being diverse. It's a tough nut to crack.

    LUCKERS

    That does make sense—though I like RJ's futuristic blending of races. Sharan, Tairen, Seanchan—the blend has no meaning.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I'm not so sure this is completely true; it's probably quite significant that the Empress of Seanchan, an empire despised mostly because of slavery, is a black woman (not because it's significant in the WoT world, but because it isn't). It might also be significant that the only other known slavery of the WoT world is in Shara, which parallels Africa in many ways, including the dark-skinned natives. The dark-skinned Tairens are unique in Randland proper for their feudalistic serfdom.

    LUCKERS

    For myself, I write fantasy set in modern times—I touch on race heavily but have avoided aboriginal issues.

    LUCKERS

    Which wasn't intentional.

    JAMES POWELL

    Often, when reading a book, I don't know what colour a character's skin is—it's rarely described.

    JAMES POWELL

    I suspect this is to do with "white" = "default". The best exception I've seen is @neilhimself's Anansi Boys.

    LUCKERS

    I don't think it's white=default so much as caution about giving offense...at least on my part.

    JAMES POWELL

    I often wonder if having one black character (amid a load of white characters) is worse than having none.

    LUCKERS

    It's funny, I never realised but I have no black characters in my book, and thinking about it it's likely...

    LUCKERS

    ...because I've no idea how to write an aboriginal viewpoint. I lack the insight—though that's wrong in itself...

    LUCKERS

    ...because there will be many black and aboriginal people with an upbringing similar to mine.

    LUCKERS

    Tokenism, and the perception thereof, is an issue. Brandon's revelation of a gay character in Towers of Midnight received...

    LUCKERS

    ...some very... heated... attention based on this.

    JAMES POWELL

    Yeah, but the revelation of a gay anything causes heated attention somewhere ;)

    LUCKERS

    This is true. My high school graduation was no exception. :P

    JAMES POWELL

    Oh aye? Did you ask for a Gay Diploma? ;)

    LUCKERS

    Made out with a guy on the dance floor... it was rather dramatic, but easier than explaining.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes. Tokenism is a real danger. And it's tough to do these things without stepping into this trap.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    On one side, you have GLBT readers emailing me and asking sincerely to be better represented.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Then, you have RJ saying to fans "Yes, there are gay characters. It just hasn't been right to mention it yet."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, when the time is right to mention one, how do you keep it from feeling just like a token nod?

    LUCKERS

    On the other hand, from the perspective of a minority that has only very recently received airtime...

    LUCKERS

    ...seeing anything is kind of... well, nice. I can remember being young and avidly watching Dawson's Creek...

    LUCKERS

    ...for the characters who, by today's standards, are very much tokens.

    LUCKERS

    Avoiding a token nod: by not making it the main point. But even so, if he's the only one, he'll be seen that way.

    LUCKERS

    For all that she's a bad guy, Galina's lesbianism was the perfect non-token introduction.

    LUCKERS

    Lord of Chaos Chapter 53, her attentions to Erian....

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm curious. Did you ever read Rose of the Prophet? If so, what did you think of the gay character?

    LUCKERS

    Haha... you asked me this last time—but no. It's on my list now, but hard to find in Australia.

    LUCKERS

    She's also Mormon, no?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I liked them as a teenager, but haven't read them in years. If I remember right, however, the gay character...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...falls into the "safe gay friend" category that you see used so often in film, though he has a lot more depth.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The gay man is a major viewpoint protagonist, but his sexuality is very subtle. [Tracy] Hickman is LDS, but not Margaret [Weis].

    PETER AHLSTROM

    And Tracy Hickman is a guy.

    LUCKERS

    Really? *goes red in the face* I've been referring to him as a her for YEARS.

    LUCKERS

    Have you read R. Scott Bakker's The Prince of Nothing?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I keep meaning to read it. I think I even bought a copy. But I haven't yet.

    LUCKERS

    It's awesome. I raised it because it has a very poignant depiction character confused about his sexuality.

    LUCKERS

    Here's a question based on 'subtlety'—like the depiction of the black character, can an overly camp character work?

    LUCKERS

    In one of my early drafts I had a camp gay man, and I was accused of homophobia... it's kind of the same point...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As an aside, I really wish "homophobia" hadn't stuck as the term of choice in these matters.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I guess "homoinsensitivitia" didn't have the right ring to it.

    LUCKERS

    Fear of singularity in sexuality. Sounds like Star Trek jargon.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    This point came up in the flamewar that followed Brandon's revelation about the gay man on Dragonmount (referenced earlier by Luckers). I think that the connotations of the word are independent of the word itself, and would have likely stuck to whatever word we might have used instead of 'homophobia' (because 'phobia' itself doesn't always have connotations of hatred). In reality, there are many degrees of homophobia ranging from squick to hate, but those on the squick side tend to resent the word being applied to them as it implies a socially unacceptable prejudice.

    RI SCOTT

    On the gay character question, why do you think fantasy, in general, so badly underrepresents the LGBT community?

    RI SCOTT

    It's one thing that deeply bothers me about a genre I love so dearly.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If I had to say, I'd guess it's not intentional. It has more to do with what I posted earlier—authors not wanting to do it wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That, mixed with the desire to create sympathetic characters—and the most simple way to do that is create someone like yourself.

    RI SCOTT

    I always wondered if there was any marketability concern—that books would sell less with major gay characters.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maybe. But most writers/editors I know don't think that way. They write the book they want to, then figure out how to market it.

    LUCKERS

    I've had so much fun hanging out with you tonight, but its 5:30 in the morning and I need sleep.

    LUCKERS

    Have a blast a JordanCon. I'm really sorry I'm not there to meet you in person.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. Good night, then. Sorry I've been a little distracted this time.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Remind me again. You're over in Australia, right? If so, what city?

    LUCKERS

    Sydney. Same as Linda.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll be there next year, if I haven't mentioned. You, me, and Linda need to hang out when I come.

    LUCKERS

    We will do this. I'm definitely going to be at JordanCon 2012 as well. Still, sad... have fun on my behalf.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    It turned out that Brandon was planning on going to Australia during JordanCon 2012 (so of course Luckers changed his plans).

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  • 141

    Brandon Sanderson (14 April 2011)

    When I was younger, I found the Siuan/Bryne side plot distracting. Now it's one of my favorites. Odd, that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It might go back to the fact that, having the ending of the series in hand, I no longer feel anxious about waiting for an ending.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As RJ matured as a writer, the depth of romantic relationships grew. Mat/Tuon and Siuan/Bryne are more complex than earlier romances.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Not that I mind some of the early ones. Simple is sometimes good too. But it is a shift I've noticed in the books.

    LUCKERS

    I dunno—Nynaeve/Lan was done in much the same manner as Mat/Tuon. And is anything more complex than Moiraine/Thom?

    LUCKERS

    From their very first scene together, there was sexual tension. Read where Moiraine speaks of knowing the face of the man...

    LUCKERS

    ...she will marry, or when she tell Thom she will show him not all Aes Sedai are bad in The Shadow Rising. The subtlest of romances...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maybe complex is the wrong word. Nynaeve/Lan was very well done. But it also wasn't in the forefront.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, they both fell in love quickly and and easily—there are just lots of obstacles.

    LUCKERS

    True. Though the scene where Rand over-hears Nynaeve and Lan in The Eye of the World breaks my heart every time.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    Rand/Elayne and Gawyn/Egwene hardly spent any time together before declaring undying love.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You hit on the two basic ones that sometimes I feel lack depth in the early books.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Of course, you could argue this has to do with the age of the participants more than anything else.

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  • 142

    Brandon Sanderson (25 April 2011)

    Daes Dae'mar in the WoT always made me idly ponder a magic system where influence points between people were tracked magically.

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  • 143

    Andrew J. Parker (25 April 2011)

    Can you settle a debate? Will Rand's soul be the Light's champion in every Age, or could it ever be someone else?

    Brandon Sanderson (25 April 2011)

    I believe that Ishamael implies in the books he and Lews Therin have fought thousands of times.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So at least one major character seems to believe it's always Rand. Whether he's right or not is another question.

    Footnote

    Brandon is reported as having said on tour that Ishamael's and Rand's souls are often woven together in the Pattern, somewhat like Birgitte and Gaidal.

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  • 144

    Brandon Sanderson (26 April 2011)

    Something fun for the #wotrr: Watch Fain. Many of you know this, but it wasn't something I saw until I started reading about the WoT.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Where Fain goes, people start getting paranoid, and you can trace his taint on individuals through the books by how paranoid they get.

    HERIDFAN

    Do you mean people in immediate contact with Fain like Elaida or even people in the same town?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm mostly talking about Elaida and others who came in direct contact in this case.

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  • 145

    heridfan (26 April 2011)

    Dragonmount has cracked Taim's secret identity. Taim is Moridin's son!!! Will you admit it?

    Brandon Sanderson (26 April 2011)

    I'd like to read that thread. Will you link it for me?

    HERIDFAN

    Here it is http://bit.ly/ep6YgF I just thought you might find it amusing.

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  • 146

    Luckers (2 June 2011)

    Heya. So. Kind of harsh question—you are reported to have inferred recently that the Black Ajah and Nynaeve etc. ability to...

    LUCKERS

    ...to be solid and channel properly during the Dream Battle in Towers of Midnight has an explanation. Is this true? I struggle...

    LUCKERS

    ... to believe that given the text and my communications with Maria, and was wondering if it was misquoted?

    LUCKERS

    Aight. Literally as I posted the above to Brandon, Maria replied with that this whole issue is a Read and Find Out issue. I'm a douche.

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Did anyone check out the ebook to see if any changes have been made to that scene?

    LUCKERS

    Don't think so... been chatting with Maria about it and she's not indicated any changes.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Look for an email soon; there were changes. I'm having a difficult day; I didn't think that you might not have seen an ebook.

    FOOTNOTE

    The differences were found and posted at Theoryland.

    Brandon Sanderson (3 June 2011)

    I need to do more #wotrr posts. I've been doing most of reading away from the computer these days; flying or working out. No Twitter handy.

    TEREZ

    It's okay; we still love you. ;)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Whew. Good to know. :)

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I found the bit with Luckers after I'd done the 2011 Tweets. By date, it fits here best, but the context is not necessarily significant; I can't insert entries anywhere but at the end of an 'interview' page, but I can edit previous entries, so here it is.

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  • 147

    Brandon Sanderson (24 June 2011)

    For those asking, Red Eagle IS working on WoT video games. Those are further along than the Mistborn one. Don't know when there will be news.

    JOHN ORESKOVICH

    Who is working on the WoT games? I still remember playing the original PC version years ago.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Red Eagle, who have the movie rights, are developing them. They've got several in the works.

    LEIGH POWER

    Really? No news on the websites.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Red Eagle hasn't been forthcoming on the info; they don't want to speak too soon. They are working on them, though.

    RAY WILLMOTT

    I thought Obsidian were developing the WoT games? Are they doing that alongside Red Eagle?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Red Eagle is working with Obsidian, the latter having come on to help.

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  • 148

    Matthew Soddy (6 July 2011)

    It is NOT polite to put major spoilers in the glossary of a book. *frowns*

    Brandon Sanderson (6 July 2011)

    Sorry. I didn't actually write the spoiler. I instructed Asmodean's killer to be in that entry, & Team Jordan wrote it that way...

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  • 149

    sleepinghour (6 July 2011)

    Is it true that WoT will be reprinted with new covers once the series is finished? If so, will those be the ebook covers?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 July 2011)

    Nothing is confirmed yet. I've suggested it, but the choice is Harriet's. Right now, she doesn't want a reprint.

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  • 150

    Matt Ward (6 July 2011)

    Imagine—WoT turned into a TV series such as 'A Song of Ice and Fire'. Have you ever been approached with ideas?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 July 2011)

    Universal pictures holds rights. I think they're trying for a feature film.

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  • 151

    JD (9 July 2011)

    Without asking for spoilers, have people hit the mark on how the WoT will end? Or are the common theories way off?

    Brandon Sanderson (9 July 2011)

    Some have hit near it, others are way off. There are some major things I haven't seen guessed.

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  • 152

    Brandon Sanderson (15 July 2010)

    Really, New York Times? You couldn't review the book without insulting the rest of the genre? Again? nytimes.com...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, not every good fantasy needs to be named "Better than Tolkien." That's like starting Broadway reviews with "Better than Shakespeare!"

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's been fifty years since Tolkien. GRRM's good; your reason he's better is like putting a Lexus over a classic Packard because the Lexus has GPS.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, rant over. In better news, I'm on the plane. Only what...four hours late? Off to Toronto.

    KEVIN BERG

    Martin > Tolkien

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I certainly don't mind if people enjoy Martin more than Tolkien. There are good arguments there.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The thing is, it's not a fair comparison for a number of reasons.

    RYAN MAXWELL

    I love RJ, your own books and GRRM's, as well as many, MANY other fantasies. I hated Lord of the Rings, and I would never suggest them.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I prefer WoT to Tolkien too—but the thing is, we all owe a lot to the early pioneers in the genre.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The problem is the tone of the article, as if implying that Tolkien was a cheap hack and GRRM is the first REAL fantasy worth reading.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Just a quick reply to a lot of the tweets I'm getting about the GRRM/Tolkien posts I made earlier.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with preferring to read GRRM over Tolkien. I, personally, would generally rather read WOT than Lord of the Rings.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But a comparison must take into account that we wouldn't have WoT or A Song of Ice and Fire without Tolkien. That's why the tone of the review was off to me.

    BRYCE NIELSEN

    What?!? I have lost all faith in you, preferring WOT over Lord of the Rings! :P

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. Well, I recognize Tolkien's genius now, but couldn't get into it as a kid. Too tough for me, I think. Didn't read until college.

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  • 153

    Joseph Habich (18 July 2011)

    Do you know if MacMillan is planning to make WoT Kindle books lendable?

    Brandon Sanderson (18 July 2011)

    I think that's Harriet's call. Next time I'm talking to her, I'll suggest it to her.

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  • 154

    Josh Jersild (26 July 2011)

    I'm at the end of my WoT reread and was curious...did you add any plot elements in The Gathering Storm or Towers of Midnight, or is it all from RJ's notes?

    Brandon Sanderson (26 July 2011)

    There is some I had to add. In The Gathering Storm, Egwene is more RJ and Rand is more me. In Towers of Midnight, Perrin me, Mat RJ.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But in all cases, there's a lot of RJ in everything and some of me in everything too. It's not clear-cut.

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  • 155

    Shane Crenshaw (2 August 2011)

    When Rand saved Ituralde from the Trollocs, did he use the True Power or saidin?

    Brandon Sanderson (2 August 2011)

    Rand has resisted using the True Power except for that one dangerous moment. He can still sense it, though.

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  • 156

    Greg Noe (5 August 2011)

    Reading Towers of Midnight, not getting the Perrin/Faile chapters. Especially the pointless Perrin/Berelain rumors. Payoff, @BrandSanderson?

    Brandon Sanderson (5 August 2011)

    If you go back to the earlier books, those were a BIG deal in the Perrin plotlines, and are a thread that was never tied up.

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  • 157

    Terez (10 August 2011)

    It's official: Construct theory wins. http://bit.ly/opIvk4 (Sorry @BrandSanderson ...sort of, anyway. :p) (It was out there, so...)

    Brandon Sanderson (10 August 2010)

    Construct theory? Should I know what that is?

    TEREZ

    Nope, it's a secret. :p (The Lews Therin debate - real/construct; another person/delusion caused by insanity and memories).

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    This led to a flurry of tweets between me and Luckers, none of which Brandon responded to, but he did have to step in at one point with an email to assure us that he didn't get in trouble with Team Jordan in any way for the GeekDad interview I linked. (It seemed the most logical explanation for his subsequent clamming up on the issue, and still does really, but it's the official word.) It's also at least a little bit likely that he was hedging on not knowing what construct theory is.

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  • 158

    Terez (17 August 2011)

    Regarding my first question on Gawyn (near the top), would you still answer it the same way, knowing...

    TEREZ

    ...the dream predicted Gawyn's death rather than Egwene's? (You didn't let me finish telling you the dream. :p)

    Brandon Sanderson (17 August 2011)

    Hm... I'm going to have to look back at that dream again. Got a page number for me?

    TEREZ

    I have hardbacks (A Crown of Swords 10, pp 201-2), but @e_wot might be more helpful (CTRL-F 'marry') http://bit.ly/nCVVAB

    TEREZ

    I realized the wording wasn't very clear on @e_wot. Here's the full quote:

    In the way of dreams she floated above a long, straight road across a grassy plain, looking down upon a man riding a black stallion. Gawyn. Then she was standing in the road in front of him, and he reined in. Not because he saw her, this time, but the road that had been straight now forked right where she stood, running over tall hills so no one could see what lay beyond. She knew, though. Down one fork was his violent death, down the other, a long life and a death in bed. On one path, he would marry her, on the other, not. She knew what lay ahead, but not which way led to which. Suddenly he did see her, or seemed to, and smiled, and turned his horse along one of the forks... And she was in another dream.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    Brandon never responded (not that I expected him to), but it would not surprise me if he just didn't remember that dream correctly. And therefore, his original answer about the Egwene dream doesn't necessarily mean that the prophecy is fulfilled because he believed it referred to Egwene's possible death.

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  • 159

    Chris Jaworski (25 August 2011)

    I know this is a long shot but can we expect any cover art drafts for A Memory of Light soon?

    Brandon Sanderson (25 August 2011)

    Got a question from @SaintChristobel about A Memory of Light cover art. It's in the works. I'm told it will be ready for reveal at the end of the year.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mr. Sweet is working on it, and I've seen early drafts. They look good.

    Isabel(26 AUGUST)

    What kind of good? Good compared to the other WoT covers or good compared to for example the ebook Mat cover?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Good for a Sweet WoT cover. I like the design, and it plays to his strengths.

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  • 160

    Terez (29 August 2011)

    A signing report implies that you said that RJ changed his mind on whether balefire = eternal death of soul. This true?

    TEREZ

    Here is a direct link to that particular report: http://bit.ly/nKpOSS @Blindillusion13 is unable to clarify.

    TEREZ

    I always assumed what you really said (or really meant) was that you had believed it was the eternal death of the soul...

    TEREZ

    ...but then when you joined Team Jordan you learned differently (you said elsewhere that @MariaLSimons had to convince you).

    Brandon Sanderson (29 August 2011)

    You have the right of it, Terez. I always believed that balefire = Eternal Death.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Team Jordan instructed me that this was not the case, and balefire meant the Dark One could not recover the soul.

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  • 161

    Joshua Cahill (31 August 2011)

    Was bringing Moraine back your idea or Jordan's?

    Brandon Sanderson (31 August 2011)

    Jordan's.

    JOSHUA CAHILL

    Oh okay, thanks. It's something that's been on my mind for a while.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He wrote most of the Tower of Ghenjei scenes in that book before he passed away.

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  • 162

    Austin Moore (1 September 2011)

    Can you say without spoiling who the toughest character is for you to write in A Memory of Light to end the series?

    Brandon Sanderson (1 September 2011)

    Hm... Toughest to write because of their content, or toughest because of their voice?

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  • 163

    Tim Intyre (1 September 2011)

    When you received Robert Jordan's notes, did they include the notes he had written for earlier, already-published WoT books?

    Brandon Sanderson (1 September 2011)

    Yes, they did.

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  • 164

    Austin Moore (6 September 2011)

    If Demandred knew about Moridin's link to Rand, would he try and kill Moridin if he knew it'd affect Rand?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 September 2011)

    If Demandred thought he could get away with it, do you really think he wouldn't try to kill Moridin anyway?

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  • 165

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 NOVEMBER 2011)

    Wheel of time fans. Big news for you. We are going to do a great hunt this tour. Details to come on my website soon.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will give out the first Great Hunt Code at the midnight release tonight. I will tweet how you can get it soon.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (8 NOVEMBER)

    Want the Great Hunt clue? I'm thinking of a WoT character who has a viewpoint for the 1st time in A Memory of Light. Make a guess in person here at BYU.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First person to guess right IN PERSON to me tonight gets the clue. One guess each. Good luck!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nobody has guessed the name right yet for the code. If you have a guess, and you know someone here, call them and have them ask.

    TEREZ

    So @BrandSanderson is doing #wotgh again. Don't forget the tag. If you're at his signing guess Taim or Logain. One or the other guaranteed.

    GLEN GARETS

    Wrong. It was Tam al'Thor.

    TEREZ

    Do you know who got the clue?

    GLEN GARETS

    My friend Kyle and I.

    TEREZ

    But did @BrandSanderson give you a code to enter on his website? That's what he did last time, and it looks like it's entered.

    GLEN GARETS

    Well then I guess you know that gave him one then...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It has been guessed. The character with a viewpoint for the first time in A Memory of Light is Tam.

    17 SHARD

    I got a picture of him with Brandon and the code, but no name.—Kerry

    17TH SHARD

    Here's a pic of the clue itself: http://t.co/SWhnyD7r

    BRANDON SANDERSON (9 NOVEMBER)

    I put up a blog post about the new Wheel of Time Great Hunt that kicked off Tuesday morning. http://brandonsanderson.com/blog/1032/New-Wheel-of-Time-Great-Hunt

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will have a couple #wotgh codes for the signing today. However, until then, know that several of these are very guessable...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will give out the first Great Hunt Code at the midnight release tonight. I will tweet how you can get it soon.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    San Diego airport bookstore (near Gate 35) has signed Alloy of Law and Towers. No #wotgh clues, as it is behind security.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If I do hide one behind security, I'll pick a major hub. A former Stormleader did find me here and ask for a code. (I gave her one.)

    KATIE FREY

    Thanks for code #2 @BrandSanderson!! See you at the signing! =D

    KATIE

    Code Number 2: TREES BY COUNTRY

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First person who guesses the name of the first viewpoint in the A Memory of Light prologue and tells me in person gets a code.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This will be hard as they are a new character. So guess who they work for, and that will be enough.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For the clue: this person is in someone's army. Guess which army. I don't know if you will get it tonight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You have to ask in person for this clue, guys.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nobody guessed the right army. Here is a list of tonight's guesses. http://twitpic.com/7cmqdb

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, "The Dark One's" army or "Army of the Light" does not count. The army's specific name or direct commander is needed.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (10 NOVEMBER)

    I'll do some #wotgh clues for internet guessing soon. I want a few of the codes to be revealed first so you can get a feel for their theme.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nobody has guessed (in person to me) the army the first Viewpoint in A Memory of Light comes from. Come to my Huntington Beach signing tonight & guess.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (11 NOVEMBER)

    Nobody has guessed the army of the starting viewpoint of A Memory of Light yet to win a #wotgh code. I'll post the list of guessed armies soon.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For now, I have a clue for you to try guessing a clue on-line. You might want to coordinate with Theoryland or Dragonmount on this.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Here's your clue for the internet code (different from the army one): Felix Pax. Try your guess on the Great Hunt page of my website.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As always, @terez27 has an excellent summary page up for you all. Is there a list of failed guesses somewhere? http://bit.ly.wotgh

    ROB MOREAU

    I took a picture of the list last night, I was just about the last person through, so I think we are up to date :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Did you upload the picture anywhere for me to retweet?

    ROB

    List of armies: http://twitpic.com/7cyrd9 and there is a list of failed attempts on the same document: http://bit.ly/t4HgxV

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    List of wrong guesses last night for the #wotgh code. This one must be guessed in person. http://twitpic.com/7d5uu6

    BRANDON SANDERSON (12 NOVEMBER)

    The army clue for #wotgh has been guessed! I won't post it here; some don't like spoilers. It should be on Terez's page I posted yesterday.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Felix's clue has yet to be guessed, even by him. People have been close, though. A hint is this: (more)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The code, which comes from RJ's notes, uses a word that I believe was NEVER used in the series.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Many are thinking the word is "Magic." That is the right idea—but not the right word.

    COREY PODWINSKI

    Circus?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You are a very smart person. Now you need some more words to go with your guess. Input them on my site.

    FELIX PAX

    Invalid #wotgh codes: Circus Folk; Circus Show Folk; Seanchan Circus of Blood; Southern Circus; Circus of Winds; Imperial Circus

    BRANDON SANDERSON (13 NOVEMBER)

    You are very close. It's more simple than that. Keep trying; I view this code as being 'yours.'

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, it has come to my attention that people might be poking fun at you because I singled you out. If it's the case, I'm sorry.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It wasn't my intention; I just thought you, in specific, would be interested in this code...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Back in the US! I hid a code in the Simply Books at MSP airport gate G15. This is behind security, so get it if you are flying through.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    MSP has signed books in both the G15 bookstore and the one on the middle of the C gates. (C12ish?) Code hidden in the G15 store.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (14 NOVEMBER)

    Could the person who got code #6 and entered it tell everyone what it was?

    RYAN D JOHNSON

    Was that the one at MSP? Flying through G terminal there today.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It was at G15, though someone may have grabbed it by now. There are signed books there too, though... :)

    NETHSPACE

    OK, so, give us a great hunt clue :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. Okay, The one about the Aes Sedai is fairly easy to guess, I think. It even has "Aes Sedai" in it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It also has some punctuation in it, though, of an organizational nature.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (15 NOVEMBER)

    Layover in Atlanta; signed the books in the Buckhead bookstore near the center of the B Gates. I hid a code in one. This is behind security.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Just got recognized on the plane by a reader. He should have asked for a #wotgh code. Anyone grab that one in the atlanta airport yet?

    MIKAUS

    Book and code acquired. Glad I checked twitter before I got on the plane!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Looks like @TheMikaus got the Atlanta code. Nice work! #wotgh. I'm off to Houston, assuming this plane ever takes off...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha! So a guy who recognized me on the plane must have friends who follow my posts; he asked for a code after the flight to give to a pal.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For those asking, yes I gave the dude on the plane a code. How could I not?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (17 NOVEMBER)

    Off to the UK! Here's a #wotgh clue. I said a code had to do with something Aes Sedai could do. Hint: it'd be very useful in RJ's home town.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Those sending guesses at me need to put them into the great hunt page. Warning: the wording must be exact.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (19 NOVEMBER)

    In case you missed it earlier, I'm signing in London today. Forbidden Planet at 1:00. #Wotgh is still a go, also. I have codes for the UK.

    EBOOKWYRM

    On my way down to London now!! How do we get codes?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will have clues about them, and maybe have one or two in the store somewhere.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thanks to all who gave me Magic cards this tour! I just built a deck w/them, & have time after my London signing. Beat me for a #wotgh code.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (22 NOVEMBER)

    Okay, UK WoT fans. Time to prove yourselves. I hid a Great Hunt code in one of my books in the Waterstones Milton Keynes. Can you find it?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Just realized that I THINK the clue I left in MK is one that has been guessed. If you find it & send me a photo, I'll email you a new code.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Has anyone found the code I hid in Milton Keynes?

    MATT FELLOWS

    Tempted to make the 200+ mile round trip to go find it if it's still not been claimed...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I THINK it has been claimed, but nobody has said so for certain. Where do you live?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (23 NOVEMBER)

    Great Hunt is still going. There are codes hidden in both the UK and the states that have not been found. I still have a few to give away.

    SLEEPINGHOUR (6 DECEMBER)

    Any chance of giving us another #wotgh clue? There are a few codes left that people seem to have gotten stuck on...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Go ahead and tweet at Peter, my assistant, and prod him. He can give you some hints.

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  • 166

    Thomas Olivent (23 September 2011)

    Any talk about releasing the information on the two prologue type books that RJ originally planned to write?

    Brandon Sanderson (23 September 2011)

    We might release what they were going to be about. I don't think they will get written.

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  • 167

    Brian Mueller (6 October 2011)

    Hey Brandon—I always thought Logain had a cool character arc. How much of him do we see in A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 October 2011)

    He will be seen. How much, or in what capacity, would be a spoiler, I'm afraid.

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  • 168

    Austin Moore (16 October 2011)

    Are there any scenes in A Memory of Light that you think will bring fans to tears? Other than it being last book.

    Brandon Sanderson (16 October 2011)

    Yes.

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  • 169

    Tom Hobson (21 October 2011)

    Do you know if a WOT film or TV series is on the cards at all?

    Brandon Sanderson (21 October 2011)

    Possible. Universal Pictures has the rights, and I've visited and talked with them on several occasions.

    NATHAN STRAUSSER (25 OCTOBER)

    Been hearing some rumors/wishes on Wheel of Time movies, true? if so will it be done well?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The rights have been sold. But, like anything in Hollywood, it could take a lot of time to get a film made.

    NATHAN STRAUSSER

    Who have they been sold to? And is anyone from Team Jordan supervising? So it doesn't turn out like Eragon did.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Universal has the rights. They've brought me in several times to consult. I'm sure Team Jordan will be involved.

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  • 170

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    I'll be dong a twitter Q&A in ten minutes, using the hashtag #torchat. Most of the posts should be replies, so it won't flood your feed.

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  • 171

    Dean Foster (14 November 2011)

    Will Galad ever find out he's Rand's half brother?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Ha! You know I'm going to RAFO that.

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  • 172

    Steve Williams (14 November 2011)

    Just how many Aes Sedai are there and how the heck do you keep track with all the similar sounding names?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    I use the Encyclopaedia WoT and Tar Valon's wiki for some help, but I rely mostly on the notes and Team Jordan.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As for how many there are...well, there are a lot. Hundreds.

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  • 173

    Krishnan Murali (14 November 2011)

    How Moiraine is able to able to learn which Forsaken is in power in Tear and Illian in The Dragon Reborn?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    I believe, but am not taking the time to look it up, she used means more mundane than you're probably expecting.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Meaning good use of information networks. That said, I'll give a tentative MAFO and try to remember to look it up specifically.

    KRISHNAN

    Oh , what do mundane method do you think she used? She found which Forsaken was in power quickly and spot on in The Dragon Reborn.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She is very smart, and she knew exactly what to look for. She knew they were coming, and what they would likely do.

    TEREZ

    One good theory is that she just eavesdropped.

    KRISHNAN (19 NOVEMBER)

    In #TorChat, you said that Moiraine probably eavesdropped in The Dragon Reborn to learn the Forsaken's identity; is this a theory in Theoryland?

    KRISHNAN

    I don't mean to ask whether it is a full theory (would be silly), I wanted to know whether it has been discussed in Theoryland.

    TEREZ

    I have seen it discussed at Theoryland and Dragonmount, and @zemaille might have also written something on it.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    Moiraine did eavesdrop. Egwene saw her listening to Rand and Asmodean in The Fires of Heaven 'What can Be Learned in Dreams'.

    TEREZ

    Agreed, it seems the most logical and straightforward explanation. We saw it in The Eye of the World last POV too.

    Footnote

    Eavesdropping would also explain why Sammael detected her presence. See Maria's commentary here.

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  • 174

    Mary Buchner (14 November 2011)

    Is Mat's plot in A Memory of Light going to be satisfying? Is the Horn of Valere involved???

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Mat will be in the book quite a bit. And the Horn must be blown (for one side or the other) in the Last Battle.

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  • 175

    Dennis (14 November 2011)

    Has writing WoT affected the way you write your other books?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Some of them. I look at detail differently, foreshadowing differently, and large casts differently now.

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  • 176

    Eric Pearson (14 November 2011)

    Since the series is almost complete, if RJ could read it how would he react to your contribution to his legacy?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    I honestly don't know. I hope he'd be pleased, but I also feel he'd be sad that he didn't get to do it himself.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Harriet has said she thinks, from above, he's looking down and this is his reaction:

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First, a "Who does that kid think he is?" followed soon by a proud "That's my book, more or less."

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  • 177

    Shivam Bhatt (14 November 2011)

    Will we ever explicitly find out who killed Asmodean?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    It is stated explicitly in Towers of Midnight's appendix.

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  • 178

    Patrick Lynch (14 November 2011)

    Did the ending of A Memory of Light surprise you? As a reader and lover of the series and world, was it fully satisfying?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    I will say I found it more satisfying than surprising. There are shocking elements, but I'd read so many theories... (more)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That it was hard to be completely surprised by anything. (Even if some elements, like Verin, did surprise me.)

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  • 179

    Matthías Páll G. (14 November 2011)

    Will you be able to fit the rest of Jordan's notes into A Memory of Light, or will they be released?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    There are way too many notes to fit into one book. Many will be in the encyclopedia that Harriet is doing.

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  • 180

    Athena Franco (14 November 2011)

    Which author would you like to meet and get a book signed by him/her?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Alive? Terry Practhett. Dead? Robert Jordan.

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  • 181

    Justin Huckaby (14 November 2011)

    Who has been your favorite character to write in WoT?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Perrin has long been my favorite, and continues to be one. Mat was hard, but fun.

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  • 182

    Justin (14 November 2011)

    When writing WoT have you ever read RJ's notes and think that you would have written the plot differently?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    I wasn't totally hip on the spanking scene in The Gathering Storm. There is one other part that was tough. (Can't say now.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For the most part, though, I didn't look at it that way. If it needed to be changed, I changed it—but only if the plot demanded.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I don't look at this as "how would Brandon do it." I look at it as "How should this work in the Wheel of Time?"

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Certainly, I would have written a different series, as I'm a different person. I don't want to impose that here, though.

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  • 183

    Andrew Cyr (14 November 2011)

    Any chance of there being a biography written about RJ and the writing of tWoT?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    I think there is a good chance, though if it is done, I probably am not the right one to do it.

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  • 184

    Mary Buchner (14 November 2011)

    When did Thom and Moraine's romance develop? Came out of NOWHERE in Towers of Midnight.

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    It's in there, though subtle, in the earlier books. I'll admit, I found the engagement sudden myself.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, fans have been expecting something there for years. RJ did foreshadow it, it was just subtle.

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  • 185

    Mark Howard (14 November 2011)

    Has any recent progress been made on the WoT movie?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    There was a script done this summer, but it went to revisions.

    ERIC PEARSON

    Do you see WoT making its way to a video format like A Song of Ice and Fire? Or did that show hurt its chances?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I hope that show increases the chances. But we shall see. It's not impossible, but a feature is more likely.

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  • 186

    Ted Herman (14 November 2011)

    Would a keeping weave protect the seals on the Dark One's prison?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    No, it would not.

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  • 187

    Samantha (14 November 2011)

    You're known for your inventive magic systems—how was it using RJ's in WoT, which is a more traditional system?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    RJ's system was very rule-based and innovative for its time. It is part of what inspired me to do the systems I do.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've enjoyed it, though you will see me 'brandonizing' a few little things, like the usage of gateways.

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  • 188

    Gandy93 (14 November 2011)

    Will we ever meet Elend and Vin again? Will we see more prequels/off-spins to WoT? Do you plan a trip to Slovakia?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Elend and Vin have had their stories told. WoT spin-offs are unlikely. (Sorry.) I'd love to visit Slovakia.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm actually reading a book about Slovakia right now, written by a friend who lived there. (It's called Vodnik.)

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  • 189

    sleepinghour (14 November 2011)

    You already mentioned the Perun-Perrin connection. Any other myths we should read up on before A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Oh, let's see. Lots. The Valkyrie myth makes a brief cameo. Have a look at that one.

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  • 190

    Steve McKracken (14 November 2011)

    So Demandred will be awesome in A Memory of Light, right? :P

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    Yup.

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  • 191

    Jordan Husband (14 November 2011)

    Do you struggle to write Cadsuane from an unbiased perspective, since she's not a favorite of yours?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    I thought I would, but she has such a strong personality, she's actually easy.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The ease of writing a character has more to do with how proactive they are and how easy it is to get into their head.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've learned a lot about her, and about writing, from the series.

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  • 192

    Bronwyn ECG (1 December 2011)

    Is there ever gonna be an update to The World of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time?

    Brandon Sanderson (2 December 2011)

    Yes, there will be! Harriet is doing an encyclopedia set to come out in a couple of years.

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  • 193

    Felix Pax (13 December 2011)

    Regarding the map of WoT, if a place is named, as a reader, at some point I expect that place to be written about.

    Brandon Sanderson (13 December 2011)

    Actually, I prefer there to be lots of names on my maps that are never mentioned or written about.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If every point on the map is story-related, I feel it makes the map feel contrived.

    FELIX PAX

    I take that sentence of yours to mean, you don't care for RJ's map structure very much at all.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That is not what it means at all, Felix. It means only what I said. "I'm unlikely to explain places RJ didn't give backstory."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    My reasoning being that he left them with little or no explanation for a reason, in order to be more realistic.

    FELIX PAX

    Realistic or easy for an author?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I guess we're looking at it differently. I feel there are many places that haven't been explored or had more than a mention.

    Footnote

    Felix's comments were probably related to this argument. But, since it's Felix, only tangentially.

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  • 194

    Austin Moore (20 December 2011)

    Will there be any "calm" moments in A Memory of Light or is it mostly all pure action?

    Brandon Sanderson (20 December 2011)

    There are a few. Not as many as other books. Still, there are a few.

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  • 195

    Lira Leirner (18 March 2011)

    What's the difference between a Dreadlord and Black Ajah or Darkfriend Asha'man?

    Brandon Sanderson (21 March 2011)

    I believe that "Dreadlord" is actually a battle title, more like "general" or the like. They lead the Shadow's forces in war.

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  • 196

    Terez

    Below are some comments recovered from downloads of Brandon's Facebook pages, courtesy of Peter Ahlstrom.
  • 197

    Dave Ainaire

    The time warp that Tam al'Thor went through in Towers of Midnight was a bit disconcerting (time sync between chapters and different threads). Are you at liberty to say whether there will be any similar issues with plot lines in A Memory of Light?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    People are pretty much all caught up with each other at the end of Towers of Midnight, so it shouldn't be a problem. Mat is like three days behind. Black Tower may be further behind. But I doubt there will be any characters who seem to be in two places at the same time.

    Footnote

    Mat is probably not three days behind, since he left for Ghenjei on the same day that Perrin left for Merrilor, which was the day before the scheduled meeting.

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