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Interviews: RJ in the Netherlands - Marion Kippers

Summary:

Entries

15

Date

Apr, 2001

Type

Paraphrased

Location

NL

TourCon

Netherlands Tour

Reporter

Marion Kippers

Links

rasfwrj

  • 1

    Marion Kippers

    Hi,

    Some time ago I posted some of the questions that I would like to ask Robert Jordan during his visit to the Netherlands, between 4 and 8 April. And now Dylan Verheul wrote:

    >So, did you ask any? Did you get any answers? Anyone?

    In the meantime I noticed Aan'allein's fantastic reports as mentioned in his "Robert Jordan visiting the Netherlands: links to reports" post—wish I had seen those earlier, they're great! Anyway, since I had already written most of this post I'll send it anyway, there might be one or two things that Aan'allein didn't mention yet. First a report, then some of the more interesting (IMHO) questions and answers below.

  • 2

    Robert Jordan

    I got to meet mr. Jordan three times. His first interview session in bookstore De Kler in Leiden was well-organised; there were about 80 to 90 people there, and RJ seemed more interested and open with his answers than on the later occasions I attended. The bookstore interviewer asked him all the usual questions, but it was nice to hear the familiar answers from the master himself. Oh, and I too heard him say that Harriet knows the ending ("she's my wife, she has ways to get things out of me").

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  • 3

    Marion Kippers

    On Friday, RJ and Terry Pratchett were interviewed by RJ's Dutch translators, Jo Thomas and Johan-Martijn Flaton, at the Donner bookstore in Rotterdam. Apparently his Dutch translators are the only translators who actually get in touch with him about details, and I think the Dutch translations for the WoT books are quite good and close to the English text. The bad news is of course that now the translators have met the creator, the Dutch translation for Winter's Heart (which was supposed to be released in April) has been pushed back until July. I do wonder what details they did overlook...

    Robert Jordan

    Anyway, I was looking forward to this interview. And the questions were original, but unfortunately Terry Pratchett had a way of not answering them, going on and on for hours until nobody knew where he was going anymore, and then RJ would pick up on something Pratchett had said which would be interesting, but miles away from the original question. I had hoped to get an answer about his idea of translations (the question to Pratchett was something like "Are you afraid of translations, that things or names or ideas get lost in process?"), but even Pratchett himself never even got close to answering that. Oh well. It was an interesting interview still, about the creative process of writing, how details grow to become important later in the story, how he created the world for WoT, why he doesn't read fan fiction, things like that. It was crowded, I think over 200 people were there, and it turned out that about three quarter of them wanted a Pratchett signature, so the queue for RJ was much smaller and even allowed me to go back twice.

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  • 4

    Marion Kippers

    Finally I saw him on Sunday at the second day of the Elf Fantasy Fair, where Dutch fantasy writer W.J. Maryson and the audience interviewed him.

    Robert Jordan

    By this time RJ seemed quite tired, and he actually said so in reply to one of the more original questions ("What question do you think we should ask you about the books that we don't?"); we (the readers in general) manage to ask everything and more than he could ever dream of—he compared it to the Calvin & Hobbes strip: "I've just been assaulted with snowballs all the way from the sidewalk, and when I manage to reach the door, a voice calls out to me 'Hey, come out here and help us make some more snowballs!'"

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  • 5

    Marion Kippers

    And to close the official part of his visit to the Netherlands, on Sunday evening there was the on-line chat at the Dromen and Demonen website. The transcript of this chat can be found at http://www.dromen-demonen.nl/luitingh_htdocs/transjordan.html. [link expired]

    Now, here are some of the more interesting questions and answers.

  • 6

    Marion Kippers

    Some FAQs:

    Robert Jordan

    RJ gave some pronounciations (I wondered how many of the Dutch readers were interested in that—the names do come out quite different if you're used to read and think of them in Dutch), he announced that Sammael is dead, and so is Asmodean, and it should be clear who killed Asmodean but he's putting in some more clues to help us found out who did it. And at least three more books.

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  • 7

    Robert Jordan

    He explained a bit more about the cleansing of the taint, but enough has been said about that here already I'd think.

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  • 8

    Robert Jordan

    I liked the explanation of how the different turnings of the Wheel of Time create similar but very different tapestries for the same age—but the Dragon Reborn will always be a male soul (that was the question), just like Birgitte will always be a female soul.

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  • 9

    Robert Jordan

    There was a question about a movie, for which we got the story about the NBC options that had passed, but now, with the Lord of the Rings movies coming up, there might be renewed interest—the actual books would require a miniseries, but for example New Spring could turn into a movie. (In later sessions he didn't mention this again though).

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  • 10

    Robert Jordan

    I asked how he comes up with names for all of his characters, and he gave a nice explanation, with some examples as well—like Nynaeve is directly from the Arthur myths, Rand Al'Thor is from Arthur (and from Thor), as is Artur Hawkwing, Merlin became Thom Merrilin and Amyrlin... He keeps a list of names he sees everywhere, in myths, street signs, newspapers, or things he misreads that might be nice for a name.

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  • 11

    Robert Jordan

    My question whether Logain knows Cadsuane (one of my main questions, a bit rephrased) got a RAFO, of course, and my question when Logain did arrive at the Black Tower got a quite confused answer. He said Logain had been there for quite a while now, but he would have to look it up in his chronology to find the exact period—not half a year, but some months. Which seems strange to me, since Logain only escaped from the Aes Sedai about two months before he captures Toveine (unless my timeline is completely off). So no real answer here. BTW, does anybody know what happened to Steven Cooper's "Chronology of the Wheel" website? I can't seem to find it at the old location anymore.

    Footnote

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  • 12

    Robert Jordan

    I also asked him whether Tam Al'Thor knows that Rand is the Dragon Reborn, and whether we'll see Tam again. He said that Tam has a suspicion from what Perrin told him, but he doesn't know for sure yet. And instead of RAFO he actually said we might not see Tam again, he's a nice guy but only a minor character and he doesn't really play a role anymore. Sigh. I would have liked to see him again... But then again, RJ might change his mind after all.

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  • 13

    Robert Jordan

    The question why there wasn't gunpowder in 'Randland' got the simple "Because nobody's thought of the use of fireworks as a weapon, and there are only a handful of people who know of the power of gunpowder—only if you've ever witnessed a chapterhouse explosion you might start to think in that direction."

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  • 14

    Robert Jordan

    And finally, RJ mentioned that cleavage is the best thing since the invention of cheese in answer to the (probably ironic) question if there will be more talk of cleavage in the next books. According to RJ it's one of the first things people notice, it's the way men look at women, and women think of it in the same way. That's why he uses it as well.

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  • 15

    Marion Kippers

    Well, that's about it. There might be some other things but I think they can all be found in Aan'allein's pages (I keep mentioning them, I'm just so happy I found them). RJ said he enjoyed his first visit to the Netherlands, and I'm looking forward to seeing some Dutch influences in the next book...

    Best wishes,
    Marion