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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
Brandon looked a bit uncomfortable/hesitant answering this one. Not sure I should have warned him it was a Terez one, but he answered all the same. Theories, anyone? ALSO: Followup question asked Sun 22. Can someone ask how the stone got there? Was it dragged by teams to where it was safe to gateway?
This question was also asked by another person. I was going to ask about the stone that Taim used as his podium, a symbol of his office, beginning in Lord of Chaos, but I figured the description was too complicated for a question I had to pass on to be asked by someone else. I was thinking everything at the Black Tower was made with that same rock, so I said to ask about Taim's palace. Turns out only the walls are made out of that rock, and the original podium is still used as a podium in the palace. The palace is white marble, though it has black stone columns. Brandon probably knew the walls were made out of Shayol Ghul rock, and assumed I knew what I was talking about with the palace. (I didn't.) I didn't expect him to answer the question with a 'yes', or I might have put more effort into looking it up first. So we can probably assume that the podium and the walls are made of Shayol Ghul rock, and possibly also Moridin's Blightfortress and the Towers of Midnight in Imfaral. The significance is probably mostly symbolic, like the red-and-black floor tiles in Taim's palace.
As far as I recall, yes. But I'm not a hundred per cent sure.
No notable expression changes. Can someone check that map on Deviant Art?
Asked if there was anything else he could give us on this one and he said he could not be more descriptive. Perhaps if someone was more pointed/specific?
There will be a map in A Memory of Light. (Added something along the lines about not being aware of debate on the location.)
I wish I'd had the full background on the debate on this one with me. As it was, I didn't have enough to describe with any clarity. I know the basics of the contradiction but not the full story.
No.(Will we know more?) They will be partially revealed.
This one I can't remember too well from the notes taken, so the wording may be a little off. He looked certain and a little cheerful on this one.
Well... (This is not quite verbatim.) You have to be human of course, and all the other things as with the One Power. I don't believe so, but I am not sure. (Don't take this last sentence as gospel as I may not recall it correctly.)
I think we need to clarify what sort of conditions so he can say yes or no to them. Maybe MAFO?
Myrelle wasn't inside the grounds. They had been locked out.
This one should have been caught on my filters. Realised it as soon as it came out.
This isn't actually the answer; this is the problem. Why is there a silence when the Rebel embassy can be easily reached by gateway and vice versa? To quote Romanda, "They should have at least sent word. This silence is disturbing." That was the point behind the question—why is there such a big deal made when Nynaeve could reach them without fuss?
Amusing reaction upon the warning it was a Felix question.
Day Two—Sunday 22 April—approximately 11.50am. Lupus only questions.
Brandon Sanderson was late this day and had suitcases with him, so he may have been a little frazzled. I got the rest of my books signed and waited for the queue that had built to massive size get down to a reasonable length before starting his torment. I've tried to address the major theories I can recall off the top of my head, but given I've had about 10 hours sleep in the last 4 or 5 days, and the longest continual stretch 3.5 hours on Saturday morning, I was not as successful at avoiding RAFOs, and most of my slyness was...well, blatant.
Jason from Dragonmount?
Uh, um, uh. I'm going to allow you to theorize on this one.
A RAFO by any other name is still a RAFO, although this pretty much means it IS weird...
Oh, it already is. Have a look on Dragonmount or something.
I wish I'd had internet properly the night before. But I will hunt for this...
I thought I'd manage to dodge a RAFO with this setup, but of course to answer it he would have to confirm Rand's death or otherwise.
(This is not verbatim.) Yes, I did, and I know there is a flow issue there. They were amongst the first chapters I wrote and at that stage I had not realized that most of Mat's humor is in how he reacts to his surroundings.
There was a bit more to this; I wish I could recall more, but a lot of cues I need are missing from these notes, although what I have has been brilliant so far. Many thanks to my faithful Gaidin.
I can tell you it will be addressed in the book. (A bit more was said, but not much save me acknowledging I had not expected much of an answer from this one.)
Yes, you ask a terrible question...and you actually get a better, less pitying answer than it merits. I was not very hopeful with this question but could not think of a way to de-RAFO-worthy it.
Again, you ask a terrible question...BUT THERE IS MORE ON THIS.
I think he felt a little sad about my Sorilea attempt and his inevitable RAFO, and thus offered the following tidbit:
"At least one of the named characters is an unrevealed Darkfriend."
I know that this is pretty much a given anyway, but the way he said it—the way he presented it (with this gleam in his eyes and an invisible flourish) it suggests it is...not any old named character, but one with some importance. Of course, that is just my opinion and as such is...debatable.
But have we a list of second- and third-tier named characters who could possibly be Darkfriends?
(Blinked.) Can you...I don't know...?
Did this for the Weiramon eyes thing people, to see if we could rule out her letters to Rand. Nope.
Expression when answering gives possibility of another appearance some merit.
Something I had always wondered...ah well. Who makes the mistcoats/mistcloaks, anyway?
Will there be fighting in the Waste? That is, Shadowspawn?
For Shaido = remnant of a remnant. I think he knew EXACTLY what I was not asking.
This one I basically composed on the spot, so it got the answer it merited.
The darkness surrounding Bashere—can you give us any info on that? Was it caused by his past actions or by his future actions, or is it a result of someone else's actions against him?
What I can tell you is that being surrounded by darkness is rarely a good thing in the WoT world.
Was trying to attack the Bashere = Darkfriend uncertainty, but, uh...This was in direct response to the tidbit he considered tasty mentioned earlier on.
Oh! RAFO! Ok...just kidding.
This was a long response, but I have managed to capture the gist of it in this summary, I think. It boiled down to it made him more aware of the littler things, and how aware he became of RJ's extreme subtlety and his skill in very delicate foreshadowing. I really, really wish I had a dictaphone or some such at this point, as it was absolutely fascinating. If this question could be asked again once A Memory of Light and one more of his own books is published, it'd be absolutely fascinating to see his answers then and compare them. He may even (he said nothing of this; this is just me pondering) write a blog post once it is out and done.
So, to summarise:
Taim's palace is [or actually, the walls of the Black Tower are] made of Shayol Ghul stone and it's likely got properties that will have some effect beyond fulfilling prophecies. There's likely a Waygate near Lugard. We have clues on the ____. There will be a map in A Memory of Light giving the proper and exact location of the Field of Merrilor. We will have to keep on guessing at some of Rand and Moiraine's Aelfinn questions until the end of time, or until someone puts us out of our misery. There aren't any special requirements for touching the True Power other than the known ones (so no mandatory touching of Forsaken etc.) As stated in the books, the Salidar Aes Sedai team are still locked out of the Black Tower. Edorion is either fatherless (shush Felix) or we'll have to ask Maria. The Seanchan sul'dam issue will be addressed (does addressed mean solved or just mentioned?) in the book. I have no tact or ability at deception. We might just see Suffa/Elaida again. There is a possibility still that the remnant of the Shaido will be the remnant of a remnant (but how would he save them?) Bad things are in Bashere's future. Brandon has been influenced by the completion of WoT in areas of foreshadowing etc. At least one of the named characters is an unrevealed Darkfriend, and by his excitement, it's not some random foot soldier.
I've some images too.
On the first day, D and I arrived a bit late—the queue for people with tickets to get in when we got there would have been about 400-500m long, and it quickly spiralled on the grass outside (like a poorly-played game of Snake!) to somewhere in the vicinity of 700m. (That's 437-546 yards and 765 yards for you crazy people.) As the Weasley twins from Harry Potter, Wil Wheaton, Summer Glau, and "that dude from Twilight" Peter Facinelli (as well as Janet Fielding, Kylie Chan, Alan Dean Foster, and a few others) were all there, there were a lot more people than I had seen on prior attendance two years ago (Many, many Potter cosplayers, but surprisingly few Twihards, although we did have a few Twimoms). The next day we made sure we were there MORE than an hour early and so, whilst there more people, we got in fairly quickly.
The first day was Mistborn day for me; twitter followers would have seen me ranting about it during construction (I had no sewing machine), and D wore a Ta'veren Tee. The second day was WoT day—Aes Sedai and Warder. Yes...my photo is online. The second day we had to leave early as I have to be back up in Rockhampton (800km up the coast, 10h on trains) for work Monday. The first day's seminar as noted was for The Wheel of Time, the second day's seminar was on Warbreaker (of all things) but I was unable to attend that session due to my early leaving.
Question count: 22
Question source breakdown: 1 Terez, 1 Zommael, 1 Felix, 13 Lupusdeusest, 5 Forums (including one Luckers) (I've missed one somewhere?)
RAFO content: 4
RAFO by another name: 2
I think I've covered everything!