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Interviews: ACOS Signing Report - Erica Sadun

Summary:

Entries

47

Date

Oct 9th, 1996

Type

Paraphrased

Location

Dunwoody, GA

TourCon

A Crown of Swords Book Tour

Bookstore

Perimeter Media Play

Reporter

Erica Sadun

Links

rasfwrj

rasfwrj

  • 1

    Question

    Upcoming News?

    Robert Jordan

    He will be Guest of Honor at the BYU Convention: "Life, the Universe & Everything".

    Footnote

    Footnote: Brandon was in Korea when RJ was at BYU.
  • 2

    Question

    Tell us about the Blight.

    Robert Jordan

    You can not enter it from Tel'aran'rhiod because it is apart from NORMAL UNIVERSE and can not be touched. The Blight is not part of the normal universe.

    QUESTION

    Ask about the Blight. If it is not reflected in Tel'aran'rhiod, why does the Great Lord of the Dark have so much power over Tel'aran'rhiod, the Wheel and reincarnation?

    ERICA SADUN

    See above.

    Footnote

    The Dark One doesn't have power over Tel'aran'rhiod as far as we know, but it's easy to see how one might have come to this conclusion after reading A Crown of Swords, since Moghedien noted that the properties of Tel'aran'rhiod and the area around Shayol Ghul were so similar that she could only differentiate by 'feel'. He also doesn't have any power over reincarnation beyond being able (with certain limitations) to 'catch' a soul while it is on its way to the afterlife (at which point the soul is out of his reach). RJ explained this further in the TOR Questions of the Week. There's no indication that he has any power at all over the Wheel, either, though he does seem to be able to corrupt the Pattern in a way with his touch.

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  • 3

    Question

    Have any Aes Sedai ever been refused admittance to any Ajah?

    Robert Jordan

    No. (see below)

    QUESTION

    Can an Accepted be raised to Aes Sedai and not choose an Ajah? What happens if they are raised ask for acceptance and are refused?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    This never happens. They are chosen in advance and vetted.

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  • 4

    Question

    What do members of the White Ajah actually do on a day-to-day basis?

    Robert Jordan

    Think. Study philosophy.

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  • 5

    Question

    What are the actual requirements for being raised to the shawl?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

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  • 6

    Question

    Who was the one who is no more? The innkeeper or the guy on the barrel?

    Robert Jordan

    [an amused look] RAFO.

    QUESTION

    Is the innkeeper an ex-Aes Sedai?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    RAFO.

    Footnote

    This refers to a dream shared by Amys, Melaine, and Bair referenced in Lord of Chaos. We get a clue in The Path of Daggers that Setalle Anan was Martine Janata—an Aes Sedai who burned out while studying ter'angreal—and it's near-confirmed in Knife of Dreams when Setalle takes a particular interest in Mat's medallion. Thus she was 'the one who is no longer [Aes Sedai]', and she was the key to finding the Bowl. The guy on the barrel was Jain Farstrider (Noal Charin).

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  • 7

    Question

    Once and for all end the ageless look thing. Is it obvious that it is tied to the Oath Rod?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

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  • 8

    Question

    Who killed Asmodean? (Right. Like he'll tell us). Anyway ask if the clues to figure it out are all included up to The Fires of Heaven.

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO. All clues are included up to The Fires of Heaven.

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  • 9

    Question

    Will Gawyn get a brain transplant?

    Robert Jordan

    [evil look] (laugh)

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  • 10

    Question

    Was Else always Lanfear?

    Robert Jordan

    No. Else did exist as a separate human but was played by Lanfear after Else was expelled.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    Since Lanfear as Else doesn't make much sense to me (Mesaana seeming more likely for a few reasons, not least that the 'trap' was supposedly all her plan, and personality), I asked Erica if maybe RJ didn't actually say exactly that. (Sometimes fan assumptions work their way into the wording, if no alternative is being considered.) Unfortunately, I asked her 17 years after she made the report, so she couldn't remember, but she did say it wasn't her phrasing (indicating that she apparently just wrote down what was said).

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  • 11

    Question

    New Dreadlords? Via True Power? What are limits of True Power? When did we see it used before?

    Robert Jordan

    Access to the True Power is a matter of wanting it and the Dark One letting you. NOT black cords. In the Prologue to The Eye of the World we saw True Power used to heal insanity. The One Power cannot be used to heal insanity. True Power used at Shayol Ghul will fry you instantly.

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  • 12

    Question

    How dangerous and how ambitious is Faile?

    Robert Jordan

    Exceedingly dangerous, not particularly ambitious. Perrin is due his due as lord of the Two Rivers. She has been raised as a noble with noblesse oblige. Perrin has been pushed into lording and she doesn't like him ducking out of what she sees as his obligations. She doesn't understand why he doesn't understand this in his blood like she does in hers.

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  • 13

    Question

    Is "Ogier" from "to sing Ogier"?

    Robert Jordan

    No. It's to sound like Ogre but not be exactly the same. Name of family in Charleston.

    Footnote

    It's also a small street not far from where RJ lived with Harriet in the historic district of Charleston.

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  • 14

    Greebs

    Ask what the deal is with Nynaeve being able to hold half the power as ten sisters with a sa'angreal but not being able to handle two pussy little Black Ajah by herself.

    Robert Jordan

    Some people have shielding talents.

    QUESTION (LATER)

    This is similar to Greebs' question, but from a slightly different angle: How much stronger do you have to be to forcibly shield someone else who is already holding the One Power? Is it different for men than for women, or for heterosexual shielding? If the answer is only a little stronger, then ask him how come Nynaeve couldn't shield Elayne in A Crown of Swords, Chapter 21 (Swovan Night)? Also, how much weaker can you be and still be able to hold a shield on someone, Berowin excepted?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    He did not use a "real scale" for One Power stuff. You just have to be stronger. Mostly handwaving. Consider the Kin. The woman who is very weak but has a real Talent for shielding.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    On the second answer: RJ indicated in Sweden in 1995 that he does use a 21-graded scale to keep track of channeler strength.

    The first answer appears to be an Aes Sedai answer (avoiding the question). The real answer (at least, the answer that is consistent with the rest of the books) is that RJ probably used a bit of hyperbole in the scene where Mat was Healed in The Dragon Reborn (or rather, Nynaeve did, and she even caught herself...but RJ wrote it in such a way that left room for doubt whether she was amazed at her arrogance or at her potential strength).

    The woman with the shielding talent, at least as far as we were shown in A Crown of Swords, was in the Kin (Berowin), and not one of those holding Nynaeve when they went after the Bowl (Falion, who got away, and Ispan, whom they captured). They were linked, and they waited until Elayne went upstairs with most of the Kin, then caught Nynaeve off-guard while she wasn't already holding the Power, and they (rightly) believed the remaining Kin wouldn't interfere. (Erica noted when I interrogated her about this report that these were all quick questions which he answered while signing books, so he was probably too distracted to explain properly—all indications are that he truly enjoyed explaining such things when he had the leisure to do so, and that he also would have gladly admitted to the hyperbole so long as he had time to address the rest.)

    I think one of RJ's main points in that scene was that Mat, not being able to see the weaves, wouldn't have any idea what was going on, and therefore neither should we, really. RJ even called our attention to this phenomenon in the battle between Moghedien and Nynaeve at the end of The Shadow Rising:

    "A man who came in then, or any woman unable to channel, would have seen only two women facing each other across the white silk rope from a distance of less than ten feet. Two women staring at one another in a vast hall full of strange things. They would have seen nothing to say it was a duel. No leaping about and hacking with swords as men would do, nothing smashed or broken. Just two women standing there. But a duel all the same, and maybe to the death."

    The scene in A Crown of Swords was a way of exploring that phenomenon. Presumably Nynaeve was strong enough to break the shield, but it was close enough that it came to a fight much like the Moghedien fight. Meanwhile, Nynaeve says aloud that Falion and Ispan are linked, and she chastises the Kin for not helping her. That tells us all we need to know.

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  • 15

    Question

    Ask how it was that Moghedien got to Shayol Ghul instantly...was it the Dark One using his twisty powers or was it a function of being all a dream?

    Robert Jordan

    It was a dream. Moghedien, by the way, used to be an investments councilor until the FTC got on her case.

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  • 16

    Question

    Ask about the three White Black Aes Sedai in Liandrin's group when there should only be two. [Joiya Byir (killed at Tear), Rianna Andomeran, Falion Bhoda.]

    Robert Jordan

    [Complete surprise.] Really? [Mutter mutter.] Have to check that out.

    Footnote

    This error was corrected in The Shadow Rising. Joiya is now Gray Ajah.

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  • 17

    Question

    And for fun ask whether Ogier can be Friends of the Dark.

    Robert Jordan

    [strange look] RAFO.

    Footnote

    RJ said elsewhere that they can.

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  • 18

    Question

    Could a second person have "needed" the Bowl and found it?

    Robert Jordan

    Maybe. [They] didn't think of it.

    QUESTION

    Could they have "needed" the box enclosing the Bowl?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    Probably not. They wouldn't be able to convince themselves to "need" it.

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  • 19

    Question

    What happens when two people balefire each other simultaneously?

    Robert Jordan

    [disgusted look] A lot of confusion.

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  • 20

    Erica Sadun

    What was going on in Aelfland when Mat went round and round and round the same location? Were they traveling in time?

    Robert Jordan

    Not traveling in time. The physical laws of nature differ. Mentioning the Dark One [in Randland] is bad luck. In Aelfland, it is *REALLY* bad. You cannot go to Aelfland in Tel'aran'rhiod (similar to stedding).

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  • 21

    Question

    How do you get your ideas?

    Robert Jordan

    I opened the closet one day and found three young women, diaphanously clad who had made themselves at home. They had hung up needle point embroidery and otherwise furnished the closet. I had a discipline stick available and beat them. Now, every day, they hand me a list of ten ideas.

    Question

    Have you been arrested for muse abuse?

    Robert Jordan

    They refuse to testify.

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  • 22

    Question

    Tell us about those Sea Folk rituals during the wedding...

    Robert Jordan

    How old are you?

    Question

    Over the age of consent.

    Robert Jordan

    You're too young!

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  • 23

    Question

    Are the Aiel already a Remnant?

    Robert Jordan

    [smile] RAFO.

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  • 24

    Erica Sadun

    Why doesn't Egwene just Travel her troops to Tar Valon?

    Robert Jordan

    She needs the time to be in control. Otherwise she'd just be a puppet to others' needs.

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  • 25

    Question

    When Birgitte says she remembers a tale of a female Warder after being bonded to Elayne, does she remember herself?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

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  • 26

    Question

    You might also want to ask him about the sexual preferences of Galina, Bain and Chiad. :-)

    Robert Jordan

    *chuckle* RAFO.

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  • 27

    Question

    Are shocklances guns, or energy discharge weapons?

    Robert Jordan

    Energy discharge weapons.

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  • 28

    Question

    Do you have a name for book 8 yet, if so what?

    Robert Jordan

    No.

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  • 29

    Question

    Is channeling ability strictly, or partly genetically based?

    Robert Jordan

    Partially. [I] worked it a bit with some friends but just left it mostly hanging.

    Footnote

    Erica clarified that RJ said all of that, so apparently RJ sometimes worked out plot elements with his friends. [Which seems odd, considering other things he has said about his creative process.]

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  • 30

    Question

    Have we seen Osan'gar anywhere else since his first appearance? (No doubt a RAFO)

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

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  • 31

    Question

    Can weaves be inverted in a way that prevents them being detected even while they are being woven, i.e. so you could draw and weave with saidin, and no one would detect it, or can the weaves only be hidden after they have been tied off?

    Robert Jordan

    No answer. [Stupid woman and "how do you get your ideas" question.]

    Footnote

    RJ addressed this in the text at the Cleansing, when Demandred 'reversed' his gateways so as to avoid being detected. (Cadsuane's ter'angreal, which can apparently detect reversed/inverted weaves, foiled his plan.)

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  • 32

    Question

    Is Thom Elayne and Gawyn's real father?

    Robert Jordan

    No. Absolutely no. No question about it. No. No. No. Thom is exactly who he says he is.

    Footnote

    RJ was apparently very disturbed by this question, possibly because it implied he had ventured into incest territory in The Fires of Heaven when Elayne decided to flirt with Thom.

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  • 33

    Question

    How many crescent moons are on Mat's funky new ring?

    Robert Jordan

    You guess.

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  • 34

    Question

    Is Dashiva Osan'gar?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

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  • 35

    Question

    Why doesn't somebody just balefire the Dark One?

    Robert Jordan

    The quantity necessary would destroy the world.

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  • 36

    Question

    What are those black threads on the male Forsaken?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

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  • 37

    Question

    What are the requirements for being raised from Accepted to Aes Sedai?

    Robert Jordan

    Ability to channel under extreme stress.

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  • 38

    Question

    How are the Ajahs funded?

    Robert Jordan

    Too complex to answer. Joint funding and contributions from Ajahs to full Tower.

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  • 39

    Question

    Is Moiraine's eyes-and-ears network independent of the Blue or does it overlap? How do they report?—i.e. does Moraine have someone who collects messages for her?

    Robert Jordan

    All eyes-and-ears networks overlap a little, but hers was pretty independent.

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  • 40

    Question

    Do all Darkfriends have the equivalent of the black threads seen in Tel'aran'rhiod attached to Ishamael and Asmodean? (I have a theory that Fades may use these threads to travel on, you could ask about that.)

    Robert Jordan

    No. Fades travel where light and darkness meet. [handwaving]

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  • 41

    Question

    What age number was the Age of Legends?

    Robert Jordan

    The age before the Third Age. The Breaking of the World brought on the Third Age. The Trolloc and Hundred Years Wars were only punctuations in local history.

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  • 42

    Question

    Info re: Ajahs?

    Robert Jordan

    In the illustrated guide will be information revealed about how they came about that affects the books not at all.

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  • 43

    Question

    Can you use the True Power in the stedding?

    Robert Jordan

    Ye....er...RAFO. You must be a stone cold fanatic to want to use the True Power. Moghedien is terrified of it. Avoids it.

    Footnote

    In 2005 he said no, and this is backed up by a report from Thus Spake.

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  • 44

    Question

    If the True Power were used on you, would there be negative effects with reference to the Dark One?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO. Of course, if you die, the answer is obvious.

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  • 45

    Question

    What is Fain?

    Robert Jordan

    Mordeth + person. Mordeth is a human-made evil. The Black Wind gets along with Mordeth because of professional courtesy. Fain is anti-Forsaken as well as anti-Rand. He has a lot of skills and abilities outside of channeling. He can not channel.

    QUESTION

    Is this the "Another Power"?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    [laugh] I don't know.

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  • 46

    Question

    If you die, will Piers Anthony finish the series?

    Robert Jordan

    No. No one will finish the series. The hard disks will be reformatted four times in succession.

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  • 47

    Robert Jordan (10 October 1996)

    RJ said specifically:

    • no channeling necessary to become Dreadlord

    • True Power independent of One Power

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