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Interviews: TGS Midnight Release - Matt Hatch

Summary:

Entries

21

Date

Oct 27th, 2009

Type

Verbatim

Location

Provo, UT

TourCon

The Gathering Storm Book Tour

Bookstore

BYU

Reporter

Matt Hatch

Links

Theoryland

  • 1

    Matt Hatch

    Note, I did not transcribe all of the Q&A questions. There were many repeats from many other signings and tours, etc.
  • 2

    Question

    How do you and Robert Jordanís widow feel while working on Robert Jordanís legacy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say there is a healthy amount of reverence going on. Itís a solemn experience working with these notes. In her case itís her husbandís legacy. In my case it is my heroís legacy. And so, weíve been very careful and very solemn. It has been an amazing experience for me, indescribable really. Itís like walking being the first one to walk into Davinciís workshop after he had walked out of it and left everything there. Thatís what I am. I am walking into the masterís workshop and I get to see everything before even the dust is settled. As a writer and someone who has loved these books thatís surreal and awe inspiring and daunting at the same time. And there are so many weird emotions going on connected to this that it is actually hard to explain, but yeah reverence. Itís a reverent sort of thing to work on this book.

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  • 3

    Matt Hatch

    —Skipped question about A Memory of Light titling and explanation—
  • 4

    Question

    Robert Jordan uses a great deal of mythology and lore in his books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    My answer is, Iím doing my darndest. One thing I love and always have loved about the Wheel of Time is Robert Jordanís use of mythology. He doesnít use mythology in kind of almost, how should I say, the bubble gum pop version of it that you see in some other fantasy works. There is a depth and a reality to his mythology that has always amazed me. One of the greatest concepts is what he says in that first paragraph: an Age long past, an Age yet to come. I didnít get these things the first read through, I was a fifteen-year-old kid I didnít know whatís going on. I didnít notice the first time I was reading it that Buzz Aldren and the Cold War are referenced as mythological events in The Eye of the World. [...] I love how heís used mythology as his history and just how Mat in particular but a lot of them are founding myths that become our mythology. I donít know if you guys have read up on Odin and Locke. Go read up on the mythology of Odin and Locke. They were actually thought to be one person in all of the original myths. See the things attributed to them, including things like ravens and the spear of Odin and things like this. And then see what Mat is doing. The idea is that Mat is actually founding these myths and by the time our Age comes we remember Mat but we have all of this other mythology associated with him and weíve forgotten that he was even known as Mat. Thatís just genius So, Iím doing my best to continue that. It would be very easy to over do it in fan sort of a way. I have to be very careful to not put a reference to something like that in every chapter just because itís fun. But if you search through The Gathering Storm you should be able to find a few things that are happening. Particularly, I donít want to give any hints, but the things happening in Hinderstap were intended as things that through a lot of mythology later on become myths in our time. There are references to writers from our world being referenced in The Gathering Storm among books people are studying.

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  • 5

    Question

    Are you studying up on military tactics?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, Harriet has sent me multiple large volumes of military tactics which she said Robert Jordan had been using and that I should reference, even specific battles, historical battles that he had talked about as references for battles. The answer is yes, I have a lot of reading to do, specifically for the last battle.

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  • 6

    Question

    How do you think working on these books will influence your future books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís a good question...It has had a couple of effects. One thing, partially Harrietís pushing me on concrete details has helped me a lot. Harriet is very good at that as an editor. She is one of the best editors in the field. I donít know if you guys are familiar and aware of Harrietís history. Editors donít get a lot of fame, it all kind of goes to the authors but she was the first person Tom Doherty hired when he founded Tor, she was his Editorial Director which means she was in charge of all of the editorial side. She edited some of the greatest books in the field over the last thirty years. She edited Enderís Game for instance. If you have ever read that book, that was brought to us through the efforts of Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordanís wife, before she even met him (rest of the answer cut off).

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  • 7

    Matt Hatch

    —Missed a few questions when the video feed cut—
  • 8

    Question

    Which characters did you find the easiest to write and which ones did you find were the hardest to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Easy and hard? I would say the most natural ones for me to write were Rand and Egwene. Iím not sure why. Perrin was very natural for me as well. The Two Rivers folk, the kids from Two Rivers that Iíve grown up with as my friends from high school that just feel like my buddies and think kind of...well Rand doesnít think like I do anymore but you know what I mean. The hardest single person to write was Aviendha because Aiel are so odd and they think so strangely and getting her right I actually had to throw away two chapters. I wrote one from her perspective threw it away. Wrote another one, it wasnít right, sent it to Charleston and said what am I doing wrong and they are like you are doing it wrong and I said I know, what am I doing wrong and Harriet gave me some pointers I tossed that one and wrote a third one and that is when it started to work. Tuon was not terribly easy either, but I had a little more practice by the time I wrote Tuon and so I got her on the first try but it was after a lot of research. So, there you go, Aviendha, hard to write, sheís crazy. She would say that she isnít because she would say she acts the most normal of everyone.

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  • 9

    Matt Hatch

    óskipped question of how he keeps track of all of the characters and plots...itís a very involved answeró

    Brandon Sanderson

    Note: Brandon said that he wrote seventeen drafts of The Gathering Storm trying to get it right.

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  • 10

    Question

    Slayer, is he going to be in the thirteen or fourteenth book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has a role to play in both, you will see him in both, probably. Unless you know he dies in the thirteenth, because he very well might. So, he has a role to play, yet.

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  • 11

    Matt Hatch

    óskipped a few repetitive questions...Padan Fain will show up at some point in the next two booksó

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  • 12

    Question

    Are you going to discuss Moiraine in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Way to give me a great out. Moiraine will be mentioned in future books. [...] In future books there will certainly be references. Her name will at least be mentioned, at the very least in the Appendix. In fact, I think in The Gathering Storm the entire letter to Thom is in the Appendix.

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  • 13

    Question

    Was Ishamael partially, or was he responsible for the initiation of the Three Oaths? Was he a part of what brought them about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís a MAFO. Type that one out. Thatís a MAFO.

    MARIA SIMONS (VIA LUCKERS)

    No. What is now the second oath (To make no weapon with which one man may kill another) was the first one that the Aes Sedai adopted. ďIt grew from an impulse within the Aes Sedai themselves coming from tales passed down regarding the War of the Shadow. The other two oaths certainly grew out of the suspicion of ordinary people towards these Aes Sedai.Ē (Thatís a quote from the notes, btw). Sometimes things happen without an agent of the Dark Oneís involvement, and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

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  • 14

    Question

    When Perrin is chasing Slayer in Tel'aran'rhiod, does Slayer actually disappear into the Tower of Ghenjei or does he disappear from the Dream?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís actually something I wondered and I asked and thatís a RAFO. Both Slayer and the Tower of Ghenjei are things that are reserved for Towers of Midnight.

    Footnote

    RJ said that you cannot enter the Tower of Ghenjei in Tel'aran'rhiod at all. Most fans conclude that Slayer must have stepped out.

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  • 15

    Question

    Do the Finns care whether or not the Dark One wins?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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  • 16

    Question

    Why do the Aiel revere and protect blacksmiths?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It has a lot to do with the fact that without the blacksmiths there can be no warriors. The blacksmiths are the ones who make the spears and who keep them going. But, in a way the blacksmiths are among those who sacrifice being able to go and fight themselves so that others can and thatís kind of a holy calling to the Aiel. There is also a lot of spirituality to it related to where they live, being in the desolate wasteland and the whole concept of being forged. [...] There is a spiritual aspect to a blacksmith forging something because of the place that they live. Those are the two of the main reasons. Itís cultural which means there is going to be more than one reason that it is deeply ingrained, but those are two big ones that roll of the top that are in the notes.

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  • 17

    Question

    We know that The Karaethon Cycle and The Essanik Cycle are different. Is that because there were different contributors to each, or some other reason (like tampering by Ishamael)? Which is more correct?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Essanik Cycle is had only in Seanchan and there were different contributors. Which is more correct? Iím not going to say which is more correct. There has been tampering...

    QUESTION

    In both?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    People are not perfect, alright? Letís just say that and there are lots of forces at work. The Essanik Cycle, they have tried to preserve it as perfectly as they can. If the Outriggers ever get written there will be more information about what The Essanik Cycle is. It is had only in Seanchan. It was given by damane in Seanchan, so nobody knows about it on the main continent.

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  • 18

    Question

    Is the Court of Nine Moons something that moves with the Empress? In other words, wherever the Empress is holding court is that the Court of Nine Moons?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that would be subject of debate, depending on what...I think that if the Empress were to declare herself on a different continent she would expect that it would and I think there would be those that would argue with her and wouldnít expect that it would. Does that make sense? So, my answer would be that it would move with the Empress, but there are those that would disagree with me and with the Empress, may she live forever.

    Footnote

    This was asked in reference to the Karaethon prophecy stating that Rand will 'bind the nine moons to serve him'. A similar question might have been asked about the Crystal Throne.

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  • 19

    Matt Hatch

    There is a character in the book that appears to die on page 574...
    [reads page]..there is a woman that actually dies here...[couldn't decipher for certain if this was a statement or a moving question/comment.]

    MATT HATCH

    Did this character actually die?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Letís go on record with this, I am not going to say until after Towers of Midnight, but I will...they are looking for a ďtoastĒ comment, and I am not going to give the ďtoastĒ comment yet. The scene that Iím talking about, there will be things related to it in the next book, so I donít want to say yet. Corner me after Towers of Midnight and I will give you a definitive answer, but Towers of Midnight may in itself give a definitive answer.

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  • 20

    Matt Hatch

    Is it an assumption that we havenít seen the last of these individuals right here (I was pointing at the Seanchan assassins)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There were five sent. We know one is dead. The other four, they may have lived or died through the assault, it was pretty chaotic, but they are expert warriors with teríangreal focused on letting them hide.

    QUESTION

    How long does that affect last? Days?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That effect can be stretched if they take it off, for several weeks. It is going to kill them eventually. If they are wearing it straight, itís not going to last long, a matter of days, but if they take it off they can hide for a matter of weeks. So, there are four unaccounted for, who have orders to kill as many Aes Sedai as they can.

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  • 21

    Matt Hatch

    You had a quote that we all talked about just recently, that there is a small detail with this secret thing. There were two quotes we put together where you told somebody from Chicago where you say this detail first comes out between books 4-6. Is that verified?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís been going for a long time. Somewhere in four and six the first hints of it are mentioned.

    MATT HATCH

    But thatís not the only time itís ever mentioned?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Itís not the only time itís ever mentioned. It isÖhints about this hidden thing appear in pretty much...in several of the books. It first, somewhere in one of those three is the beginning of where it shows up. The first hint that you get. [...] I mean, itís a small thing that means something large, that sort of thing...and you guys are very good at finding things and Iím not going to say whether you hit it or not.

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