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Your search for the tag 'aiel' yielded 82 results

  • 1

    Interview: Apr 20th, 2004

    Week 14 Question

    In the middle books in the series, we see that a roofmistress is typically the clan chief's wife. What happens if the clan chief is not married? Or what status does the roofmistress have if she runs a hold that is not the home of a clan chief?

    Robert Jordan

    The roofmistress of a clan hold is always the wife of the clan chief, if he is married. If he is unmarried, his eldest first-sister would be the roofmistress until he did marry. If he didn't have a first-sister, then it would be his eldest living sister-mother, his mother's sister, who is considered more closely related to him than his father's sisters are. After that, there is a whole set of complexities involving blood-relationships that make sure that the woman is who is both the eldest and the most closely related to the clan chief has the position. This is a situation that seldom develops, however, and seldom lasts long if it does. The Wise Ones believe that a clan chief should be married, as a stabilizing influence if for no other reason, and they will arrange the matter one way or another if he himself does not. And since Aiel women in general also believe that a clan chief should be married, in most cases the woman who is temporarily roofmistress will work toward the same end as well.

    The roofmistress of a hold that is not the home of a clan chief or a sept chief has the same status as the roofmistress of a clan chief or sept chief, at least inside her own hold. She would gain that position by being the wife of the man who leads the algai'd'siswai of that hold, though her authority in some ways outstrips his inside the hold, just as the authority of clan or sept roofmistresses in some ways outstrips that of the clan or sept chiefs inside the hold. There are certain decisions that are hers alone and in which he has no say at all.

    There is a hierarchy of roofmistresses within a clan, with the roofmistress of the clan chief at the top, roofmistress of sept chiefs next, and other roofmistresses ranked below according to the size of the holds of which they are roofmistresses. Roofmistresses of other clans are considered to have comparable status in any inter-clan dealings, though without the authority in any clan save their own.

    Tags

    aiel,
  • 2

    Interview: Jul, 2002

    Question

    Rhuarc indicates that an Aiel in Rhuidean sees the past through the eyes of one of his ancestors. Is this true for the women as well? What would a non-Aiel see, if anything?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, a woman would also see through the eyes of her ancestors, at least in the "forest of crystal spires" ter'angreal, and she, too, would live the history of the Aiel, in effect. Someone who wasn't Aiel could wander through those spires forever and never see a thing except the spires. He or she might think it was a monument, or maybe a work of art. Just for a reminder, women who are chosen out to be Wise Ones have to go to Rhuidean twice, the second time for the spires and the first for another ter'angreal, one that makes her see all of the possible paths her life could take all the way to their conclusion. She can't possibly remember all of them, of course, but some things she will remember and know that it would be very bad for her to make that particular choice when it comes, or alternatively, very good. This is the ter'angreal that Moiraine went through.

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  • 3

    Interview: Oct 26th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    Overheard early during the signing: the history of the Da'shain Aiel is based on the history of the Cheyenne Indians during their several-generation migration from east of the Great Lakes to the Rocky Mountains—a period in which every man's hand was raised against them.

    Don Harlow

    Similarity between words 'shain' and 'Cheyenne' noted by me after hearing this.

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  • 4

    Interview: Oct 27th, 1994

    Tom Burke

    I introduced myself as an internet user. I told him that some on the net seemed to think that every other person was a Darkfriend. He replied, "I've heard". I told him that my feeling was that the number of Darkfriends in Randland were probably between 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 100,000.

    Robert Jordan

    He replied, "Closer to the later, of course we see more of them because of the ta'veren."

    Tom Burke

    I asked if there were fewer amongst the Aiel than in the great cities.

    Robert Jordan

    He responded, "Yes, of course."

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  • 5

    Interview: Oct 27th, 1994

    Tom Burke

    I asked if the Aiel attacks were done by the Shaido and their allies.

    Robert Jordan

    He responded, "If someone thinks otherwise, they should read the books."

    I stated that twenty Darkfriends would be a heavy investment to lose all at once. Jordan replied, "Not at all. It's very easy for me to make some more. It is their trustworthiness that is more of a problem."

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  • 6

    Interview: Oct 27th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    We talked a bit about the Aiel culture. Robert constantly referred to the Amer-Indian, Arab, and African cultures. In particular, how come they don't show signs of being malnourished? "Belly dancers live in the desert and yet, have been known to be full bodied. It is the people who have had their fields burned that might be a little malnourished."

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  • 7

    Interview: 2010

    Shivam Bhatt (8 November 2010)

    [Towers of Midnight] Chapters 48-49.—was that all in Jordan's notes? So so sad and dark!

    Brandon Sanderson (8 November 2010)

    I'm avoiding answering questions about what was specifically in the notes and what wasn't, for now.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    Ok, well, can you comment on your own feelings of those chapters, as a fan?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Awesome but very disturbing. As a fan, they're discomforting.

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  • 8

    Interview: 2010

    John Lewis (8 November 2010)

    Where those fellas in red veils? Human or Shadowspawn?

    Brandon Sanderson (8 November 2010)

    RAFO. :)

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  • 9

    Interview: Jun 21st, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    He made the Aiel look Irish because he thought it was kind of funny. He doesn't like the fact that hardened desert warriors are always described as looking a certain way, so he used the opposite description.

    Tags

  • 10

    Interview: Jun 26th, 1996

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Scott Robertson

    Mr Jordan, I was wondering where you came up with the "old language" and the Aiel language? Are there preset rules to them and it is a functioning language? Or do you just have a set of words that you devised and insert when needed?

    Robert Jordan

    It's a functioning language in that I have developed a basic grammar and syntax, and have a vocabulary list which I have devised, some from Gaelic of course, but from languages less often used...Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese. I try to follow these rules that I've set up, but occasionally I realize I have to invent a new rule because I'm doing something I've never done before. But it all follows the grammar I've devised. As far as the Aiel that I've devised as a culture, they have bits of Apache, bits of Bedouin, bits that are simply mine.

    Footnote

    The Aiel do not have their own language, but they do use some Old Tongue words that have fallen out of use on the other side of the Dragonwall.

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  • 11

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    DaveB62

    How do you explain Liah being in Shadar Logoth for so long?

    Robert Jordan

    She became absorbed into the city. She was left there and she is, after all, a Aiel, one of the people better at surviving under harsh circumstances than anyone else in the world. And also her corruption by Shadar Logoth gave her some protection.

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  • 12

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    Seraph23

    First off, I'd like to say thanks Mr. Jordan for providing my family and I countless hours of reading enjoyment, and I'd like to ask you something about the Aiel, well, who are they?

    Robert Jordan

    You're welcome. And they are the descendants of the pacifists who were in service to the Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends. If on the other hand, you mean the source of the culture...in my mind, they contain some elements of the Apache, some of the Zulu, some of the Bedouin, and some elements of my own including that I rather liked the fact of making the desert dwellers blue-eyed and fair instead of the usual dark-eyed, dark-complected desert people.

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  • 13

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    JJVORSmith

    There's been some question about how the Aiel sustain their vast numbers east and west of the Dragonwall. How can millions of Aiel live on grubs in the Waste and why don't they scavenge the land clean in Illian, Cairhien, and Caemlyn?

    Robert Jordan

    They can live in the same ways that the Bedouin manage to live in a desert where you or I would die, and the Apache did so. They make very efficient use of what they find. And if they stay in one place for too long in too great a number they would indeed strip the land bare. But there certainly aren't millions of them in Illian.

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  • 14

    Interview: Jun 16th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    The invasion of iron-clad men into the Aiel Waste as reflected on in the ancestor-memory ter'angreal he said did not refer to Artur Hawkwing, but to a much earlier event.

    Tags

  • 15

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Question

    Are the Aiel already a Remnant?

    Robert Jordan

    [smile] RAFO.

    Tags

    aiel,
  • 16

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    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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  • 17

    Interview: Nov 14th, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    The Aiel were based on bits of the Apache, Zulu, Bedouin, and Arab(?) cultures.

    Matthew Hunter

    Nothing startling here, but I don't think we've had this one answered as a complete list before. It was fired off really fast, so I may have missed some...

    Tags

  • 18

    Interview: Aug 30th, 1999

    Question

    Where do you come up with all the names for the cities? Do you just pick them out of your head?

    Robert Jordan

    Ahh, yeah. And I admit to making lists. I read fairly widely and...Newspapers, foreign newspapers, foreign to me, to the States. The Economist and other magazines that have stories about other countries' news stories. And I'll see a name that it isn't the name that I want but I realize if I twist it and turn it inside out and tie it into a knot, it's a name that sounds very nice. It's the name I want. The same way names out of myth and legend that in some cases are twisted or turned or changed and others aren't. I figure that most of you are far enough along that you read, that you know Rand al'Thor, al'Thor, yes he is an Arthur analog. He is also a Thor analog. Some of you might not have picked that one up yet. And Artur Hawkwing is also an Arthur analog. Because what I've tried to do is not give you any sort of retelling of myths or legends but to reverse engineer every one of them so that I can give you some version of what might have happened and then have been changed by telling and retelling and retelling and retelling into the myths and legends we have today.

    Question

    On that point, the cultures from the books, would you say you've used cultures from today's society as a base for the cultures from the books?

    Robert Jordan

    Not a great deal from today's society, no. Not really. The Whitecloaks are based on any number of groups who knew the truth, who know the truth and they want you to believe the truth. They want you to know the truth too. And if you don't know the truth, if you don't believe the truth they'll kill ya. There's been a lot of them, all over the world. They're the basis for the Whitecloaks. The Aiel, for instance, bits of the Bedouin, bits of the Yaqui Indians, the Apaches, bits of Zulu, bits of the Northern Cheyenne, a lot of bits of my own. Some pieces out of Japan, some bits out of China. And then structure it together how these things have all...If all these things were true, all of these bits I wanted to have, and that culture lived in the middle of the desert, a very inhospitable desert, what else has to be true about these people. And thus I get the Aiel culture.

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  • 19

    Interview: Aug 30th, 1999

    Question

    I see the books, in a way you separate the sexes quite distinctly. Have you had much feminist critique of the way you treat the male characters and the way you treat the female characters, and how, in a way the male characters seem to be... have the upper edge?

    Robert Jordan

    You think the male characters have the upper edge? I like this, no, no, I like this one. I've had women come up to me before anyone knew who Robert Jordan was. I've had women come up to me at signings and tell me that until they saw me they thought that Robert Jordan was a pen-name of a woman, because they assumed that no man could write women that well. I thought, okay, that's the best compliment I received on my writing that I was able to get inside the skin of women well enough to fool women. You know, it's pretty good. I have seen feminist critiques, I've seen other sorts of critiques. Some of them made my hair stand on end. I had a woman stand up and point something out to me just down in Melbourne a couple of days ago about how all my women are very eager and ready to take charge, take the adventure, do what has to be done and all of my guys are trying to slide out the back door. You know, I don't want any part of this, and I haven't realized quite that it was that heavy. I don't think that I've had any really bad critiques. There may have, that haven't come to my attention. Just as I say a few that had been supposedly writing things that god knows I didn't intend to write or have any meanings I didn't intend to have. Does that answer your question or come close?

    Question

    It does answer my question. I think, to me, you certainly stimulate and challenge our imagination in your work. However I don't necessarily think you challenge our concepts of sexuality in the same sense. I believe that in your writing you very much distinctly keep the females in the female roles and the males in the male roles. And I think in our society, in today's society we're starting to get very challenged in the separation between the sexes—

    Robert Jordan

    Would you like to tell an Aiel Maiden that she's in a traditional female role? Forget about Aes Sedai, I'd love to see you go up to Nynaeve before she met any of these people and tell her she's in a traditional female role. I don't think I've got anybody in a particular traditional role. And no, I'm not challenging gender stereotypes. I'm doing a lot of things here and there's only so much I can do. There are other threads, other questions, other things that would be great write about, to put into these books. The only trouble is, would you really stick around if it was twenty-two books and they were twice as thick as this? All right, if so... Not only that, I'm not sure you could stand the strain. I have notes on characters, on countries, cultures, customs, all sorts of things. Aes Sedai—I have two files of two megabytes or so on each. One's just lists of individual Aes Sedai and information about them. The other is the founding of the White Tower—the customs, the cultures, the sexual relationships among Aes Sedai in training, the whole nine yards. Everything I could think of that might be useful about them. The story isn't there. None of it is on a file anywhere, there are no charts. One of my cousins asked us, "What are your critical path charts? You gotta have critical path charts for something this complex." And I said, "Yes I do have to have critical path charts," but even putting them on a computer in 3D it looks like a mess of spaghetti. If I pull in close enough to be able to see what's happening, I am so tight on that one particular area that the rest of it becomes meaningless. The only way I can do it is keep it up here. So the charts are all up here, the stories all up here. And I'm not sure how much more complex I can make it and how many more threads I can add and still hang onto it. So if I'm going to go into gender stereotypes I'm going to have to drop some of the things from the prophecies.

    (Later) Robert Jordan

    Oh, I wanted to add something here because of gender stereotypes and so forth. Somebody asked me why didn't I have any, in another question and answer session, asked me why didn't I have any gay characters in the books. I do, but that's not my bag to bring out the question of gender stereotypes and the whole nine yards. And they're just running around doing the things that they do and you can figure out who some of them are. If you want to help them, I don't care. It's not the point if they're gay or not gay, okay?

    Tags

  • 20

    Interview: Jan, 2001

    SFBC

    Considering some of the cultures that you've come up with in your books, like the Seanchan, or the Aiel, even the building up of their history, are there any real world equivalents to them?

    Robert Jordan

    Not one-to-one. Not for any given cultures. Well, the Aiel for instance, there are bits of Berber and Bedouin cultures. Zulu. Some things from the Japanese historical cultures. From the Apache Indians. Also from the Cheyenne. I put these things together and added in some things that I also wanted to be true about the culture beyond these real cultures.

    Then I began to figure out if these things were true, what else had to be true and what things could not be true. That can be very simple. If you have a culture living in a land where water is scarce, well, obviously they value water. It's necessary for human survival. On the other hand, if they live in the middle of a waterless waste, dealing with crossing rivers or lakes is going to be difficult for them. They don't know how.

    SFBC

    It makes perfect sense.

    ROBERT JORDAN

    Those are two very simple and obvious points, but you put together a lot of things like that and you begin to get an image of what the culture is like.

    SFBC

    Even the way you have these characters talking about people who live with a lot of water, calling them "wetlanders" and so forth is very interesting. The concept of the "World of Dreams," Tel'aran'rhiod—when did you dream that up?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    I'm not sure of when that exactly came to me. I'm not certain if I could point to a source, because I cannot remember anything of that sort. It's quite possible that I read about something, some myth or legend somewhere that included this, but by the time I began writing, I had the concept of Tel'aran'rhiod quite solidified, you might say.

    SFBC

    And the concept of the Source and the True Source, the male half, the female half—when did you come up with that?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    Again, I can't point ... I thought about what I was going to write for quite a long time. The first thoughts that would turn into The Wheel of Time, I had perhaps ten years before I began writing. And after the ten years, I realized I had a story.

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  • 21

    Interview: Dec 9th, 2002

    Question

    Why have we not seen any Aiel Asha'man?

    Robert Jordan

    The Aiel have a different tradition, as I have mentioned in the books. When a young Aiel man learns that he is beginning to channel, or thinks that he is, that is taken as sign that he has been marked out to try to kill the Dark One, and he sets out for the Blight in an attempt to do so. And given that any Black Tower recruiting party that showed up in the Waste would very likely find itself in a fight to the death fairly soon after arrival, it isn't a spot that anyone would pick for recruiting. Now, it may be that some Aiel may finally join the Asha'man (I'm not saying they will!) but traditions are hard to change, especially when they have religious overtones and have lasted a few thousand years.

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  • 22

    Interview: Nov 6th, 1998

    Therese Littleton

    Are there particular historical eras that influence your stories?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, to give you an example of the way these things work... the Aiel. They have some bits of Japanese in them. Also some bits of the Zulu, the Berbers, the Bedouin, the Northern Cheyenne, the Apache, and some things that I added in myself. They are in no way a copy of any of these cultures, because what I do is say, "If A is true, what else has to be true about this culture? If B is true, what else has to be true?" And so forth.

    In this way I begin to construct a logic tree, and I begin to get out of this first set of maybe 10, maybe 30 things that I want to be true about this culture. I begin to get around an image of this culture, out of just this set of things, because these other things have to be true. Then you reach the interesting part, because this thing right here has to be true, because of these things up here. But, this thing right here has to be false, because of those things up there. Now, which way does it go, and why? You've just gotten one of the interesting things about the culture, one of the really interesting little quirks.

    To me, that in itself is a fascinating thing—the design of a culture. So that's how the Aiel came about. There are no cultures that are a simple lift of Renaissance Italy or 9th-century Persia or anything else. All of them are constructs.

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  • 23

    Interview: Apr 7th, 2001

    Question

    Are the parallels between cultures conscious?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, the parallels are conscious, but I've taken, I've tried to take come care that there's no exact duplication. There are bits from this culture and this historical period, and this sort of other culture and other historical period, fitted together to make this culture or that culture. You cannot look at the Sea Folk for instance and say, "Oh yes, ah well, that's from India. That is the culture of Japan, or India, or China, or England, or whatever." Because there is no single culture in that way. The Aiel (eye-eel) for example have bits of Zulu, and bits of Apache, and bits of Cheyenne Indians, and bits of Bedouin and bits of Japanese cultures, and also some things that I simply thought would be neat. ... So I could fit them into the culture.

    Question

    Which cultures are in the Seanchan? (based on things in the Guide)

    Robert Jordan

    The Seanchan also are the melting of things that have come from many different human cultures to make their culture. There have been many rigid stratified, rigidly hierarchical cultures. It's a very human thing. The concept of being able to climb above your station is a relatively new one in human culture. You were born where you were born for a reason, and that is the place you will stay, that has been the norm for human culture, for most of history.

    I mean, even the groups...the Whitecloaks are the people who know the truth. Not just truth, they know Truth, they know Veritas, they know Truth with a capital T, they're the Taliban, the Ku Klux Klan, they're the people who know the truth and you must believe their truth or they will kill you. but they're not the Taliban, they're not the Teutonic Knights, they're not the Ku Klux Klan. They are simply that concept.

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  • 24

    Interview: Jul 22nd, 2004

    Question

    Somebody asked what his favorite action scene in the series was.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ replied that although it wasn't necessarily an ACTION scene, his favorite scene in the series, and the one which represents the best of his writing, is where Rand goes into Rhuidean to view the history of the Aiel through the eyes of his ancestors.

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  • 25

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    ComicCon Reports (Paraphrased)

    Question

    Someone remarked for Cheyenne Raiders how much they resemble the Aiel.

    Robert Jordan

    The Cheyenne were originally farmers in eastern central North America. They were attacked again and again by more ferocious tribes from the east and pushed farther and farther west. They eventually lost the art of farming and became nomads. In a tribal council they decided to become warriors and defend themselves and they eventually became the finest light cavalry in the world—a pacifist society forced by circumstance to become warriors. The Aiel also include facets of Apache, Zulu, Bedouin and Japanese.

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  • 26

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    Question

    Another question asked about the fighting style of Far Dareis Mai, and the questioner referenced a particular form of martial art that I had never heard of.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ responded that the Maidens fight with something that could be considered a cross between Tae Kwan Do and a third style that I had never heard of. It's a style that emphasizes the use of feet, legs and hips over the use of the upper body for obvious reasons. RJ felt that an all-female community of fighters would naturally discover such a style since it focuses on a women's relative strengths and would help them overcome their relative weaknesses.

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  • 27

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Question

    Do certain races have better ability at channeling than others? For example, the Sea Folk at very good at weather, the Aiel have a high proportion of Dreamers and the Seanchan can make ter'angreal.

    Robert Jordan

    The Seanchan can only make one kind of ter'angreal. They haven't thought about making another. Certain groups are better at some abilities but it's a matter of need. The Atha'an Miere are dependent on the sea, the wind and water, and it would be natural for them to develop high skills to deal with control of weather and winds. For the Aiel, Dreaming is one of the ways to find new water, using need is how they find water. When the population in a hold is too great, and they have to find a new hold, the Dreamwalker uses need to find it. So yes, there are more Dreamwalkers there.

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  • 28

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Question

    About New Spring, I had a question about Lan. About the battle with the Aiel. How do they recognize him? I guess I am more curious about the background, how they recognize him and what they know of him and his back story?

    Robert Jordan

    They know quite a bit about his back story. They think he is a man who has much ji. He has a one man war against something he cannot beat. And they recognized him by the crescents on his helmet.

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  • 29

    Interview: 2005

    Robert Jordan

    To: Les Dabel
    Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 2:55 PM
    Subject: Re: Fw: New Spring Script

    Dear Les,

    I decided to look beyond the first few pages and found that this is indeed a new script. I'm sending you a copy of it with my comments. Chuck took my comments to heart in many places and occasionally bettered them, but in others, which are very important, he seemed to ignore them altogether. There are mentions of Aiel riding horses, wearing armor, carrying pikes; all of these things that the Aiel don't do. And he still has Moiraine, Siuan, Tamra and Gitara wearing robes instead of dresses. I hope he will take to heart the comments I have put into the script.

    Take care, Les. All my best.

    Jim

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  • 30

    Interview: 2005

    Robert Jordan

    To: Les Dabel
    Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 3:03 PM
    Subject: Re: Characters

    Dear Les,

    I'll get onto the additional characters ASAP.

    Here are my comments on the new images.

    The Aiel is very good except for the boots, which still need to look more like Apache moccasins. That is how they are described in the main sequence books, a soft, laced boots. The coat is much better. As a note, remember that the Aiel average about 6'2" for a man, about the same as the Masai. There are plenty of them as tall as Lan and Bukama, and a few taller. An Aiel man who is 5'10" tall would be considered short by himself and by other Aiel.

    The eagle-beak Trolloc is very good. It was a small thing, but the devil is in the details, and Trollocs just don't get ornamentation on their weapons. Plain—so to speak, despite all the hooks, etc—functional, and not a lot of effort into making them look good. They aren't exactly crude—crudely made weapons just don't usually function as well as well-made ones—but they are never fancy.

    Cadsuane. This is not so good. She looks too old and too thin, almost gaunt. Her dress is way too frilly for Cadsuane, and it shows way too much cleavage. Her garments are silk, but cut simply. When she has lace, it's just a touch, perhaps at the neck and cuffs, but she more likely doesn't have any lace at all. She's a woman who does a lot of traveling, and she wants clothes that are easy to care for and can be tended by a poorly trained maid at some country inn. The cross-lacing is off. Dresses in this world almost always button up the back. And Cadsuane is more likely to have a high neckline than not. She makes no efforts to appear in the highest or latest fashion, nor does she try to impress other women with her clothes or jewelry, or to attract men; she's too busy for such foolishness, as she sees it. She is quite impressive enough being who she is, thank you very much. The hair ornaments also appear to be attached to one another, which they aren't. Each one of the ten ornaments hangs from its own individual hairpin. The bun should be right on top of her head, not toward the back.

    As a note on her character. Cadsuane was born in the city-state of Far Madding, which is an out-and-out matriarchy. Far Madding has no hereditary nobility, but its politicians and wealthy merchants are all women. There are men who are craftsmen, but a wealthy man in Far Madding is one whose wife or mother gives him an over-generous allowance. The only men allowed to carry weapons of the usual sort are the Wall Guard, and then only when on duty. The Street Guard is limited to truncheons, sword-breakers and catchpoles. Men visiting from other places must either leave their weapons at checkpoints coming into the city or have them peace-bonded, with severe punishments for being found with the wires of the peace-bond broken. Very few of the city's men seem to be unhappy with the way things are. Far Madding is a prosperous trade center. The usual form of address by a woman to man whose name she doesn't know, or sometimes to one whose name she does, is "boy." None of this has any bearing on NEW SPRING, but it gives some insight into Cadsuane, because the city shaped her early years. Quite aside from being the most powerful Aes Sedai living at the time of NEW SPRING, Cadsuane is a formidable woman.

    Gitara Moroso. I like this very much, though the dress would not be off-the-shoulder. That strapless look isn't used in this world. Most Aes Sedai wouldn't show that much bosom, but Gitara would. And I like the face, too. Very good!

    Moiraine. The dress is excellent, though the sleeves are a bit too wide, I think—remember, Accepted's dresses are described as "simply cut"—but the face seems to have shifted again. I've attached the faces that I approved for Moiraine and Siuan. Also, she wouldn't have her hair in a bun. It would be worn loose. Her left hand also seems way too big; it's nearly half the width of her waist.

    Ryne. This is very good except that his expression here seems on the sour side. That would be okay at the end, when he is unmasked as a Darkfriend, but the continuous view of Ryne until then is that he is charming and personable. He's much more likely to be smiling, especially if there is a pretty woman around. As a note, the dagger he is holding is too elaborate in the blade shape. I know there are a lot of fancy blade shapes out there today—Gil Hibben has much to answer for—but knives and daggers that are, or were historically, used by actual people had practical reasons for their blade shapes, even the yatagan and the falcata.

    Tamra. Overall she looks very good. The only things I don't like are the off-the-shoulder dress, too much cleavage showing for her—her dresses would have high necklines, much like what you show on the Accepted's dress on the Moiraine image, or at least a neckline that showed no cleavage—and her hands both look much too large. The left hand is also oddly shaped.

    Bukama. Yes. I like this one much better. Whatever Andrea did to the chin works just fine. And I like the armor. I hope this helps.

    Take care, Les. All my best, Jim

    Tags

  • 31

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 2 (Verbatim)

    Question

    How do Wise Ones get gai'shain? (They don't fight, right?)

    Robert Jordan

    They can be traded, though. Besides which, there are other ways, if you read Lord of Chaos, to become gai'shain.

    Tags

  • 32

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 2 (Verbatim)

    Question

    Are you ever going to expand the existing map and perhaps open up the lands east of the Spine of the World?

    Robert Jordan

    There are no known maps of the Aiel Waste. That has been established.

    Tags

  • 33

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 2 (Verbatim)

    Question

    If Rand's mother isn't Aiel, was she formerly Queen of Andor?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out!

    Tags

  • 34

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2009

    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 that’s 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. It’s 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.

    Tags

    aiel,
  • 35

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2009

    Question

    What medieval Arthurian texts were in RJ's library?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Harriet didn't remember anything specifically Arthurian, but there were a lot of books on mythology, religion, Asimov's guide to the bible, Norse, Greek, Cheyenne Indian. RJ wrote about the Cheyenne under the name Jackson O'Reilly. The Aiel are based on the Cheyenne.

    Tags

  • 36

    Interview: Nov 17th, 2009

    Question

    I got the impression from somewhere that the Aiel were a result of tampering, to some degree, with the One Power. Am I insane, or is that based in reality?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not heard that before.

    Question

    I don’t know where I got that from.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. I certainly haven't heard anything to do with the One Power. There was tampering going on, but we're talking more like Aes Sedai, things like that. The pillars that were left behind were obviously intended to do something, and the charges that were given to them....but it's not necessarily like they were trying to make anything specific.

    Tags

  • 37

    Interview: Nov 17th, 2009

    Question

    Are the Aiel linked in some way to the Ogier, in that they both have that capability in making things grow, and that they and the Nym all worked together in the scene from the Age of Legends?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, everybody is connected in the Pattern, and certainly the Aiel would have threads connecting them to the Ogier. I can't really say anything too specific about it.

    Tags

  • 38

    Interview: Nov 19th, 2009

    forkroot

    My second question was if any of the major Aiel characters was an unexposed Darkfriend.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This got RAFO'd right away, so draw your own conclusions.

    Tags

  • 39

    Interview: Apr 30th, 2010

    Richard Fife

    Did Jim talk to you about where he was going with a story as he wrote it?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    No, it was a surprise because I really pretty much had to have it that way. If he told me about it ahead of time, I would look at it on the page and think, "I've heard this stuff, before. This isn't fresh," forgetting that it was he who told me.

    But we did go out for lunch once, towards the end of The Eye of the World, and he said, "I want to talk to you about some people who are turning up in the series," and I said OK. He wanted to discuss the Aiel and how it would happen if a Maiden had a child. Well, you know the Aiel don't even appear until book three except for the guy in the cage. So, he was planning that far ahead, and he wanted to bounce it off of me.

    And at the end, he was concerned about a young woman's reaction to her mother's love affair, and did that read true to me as a woman. He would do that very occasionally; his women were great. In fact, in an early signing, there were some women in shawls who came up to him and said, "You're Robert Jordan? We were sure that was the pseudonym of a woman, 'cause your women are so well written." That pleased him to no end. He loved that.

    Footnote

    The first Aiel is introduced in The Great Hunt (Urien). Gaul (the guy in the cage) is introduced in The Dragon Reborn along with Bain, Chiad, and Aviendha.

    Tags

  • 40

    Interview: Apr 23rd, 2010

    Terez

    When I was in line, I asked Brandon and Harriet (mostly Harriet, since she was signing my books) if the Andoran royal line is descended from Rand's Aiel line (see this post) [by Rhea, the Aiel daughter of Adan who was kidnapped along with several other women in Rand's Rhuidean visions]:

    Harriet McDougal

    I got a lovely smile from Harriet that told me she was pleased that someone had finally figured that out, and she said that she believes I am exactly right about that. She was a little sketchy on the details, though, and so was Brandon, so Brandon said it was essentially a MAFO. So I talked to Maria after that session, and she was taking a break so I didn't want to ask her about it just then, so I asked her if I could message her about it, and the other MAFO we got today, and she said yes, so I will hopefully be hearing more about that soon. Brandon asked me not to put that one in the interview database until I hear from Maria about it.

    Maria Simons

    Oops. I really have been terribly slow with these. I can’t find anything that says yea or nay on this one.

    Terez

    I think that Brandon got the impression Harriet was leaping on it too quick, and that's quite possible; I might have read too much into it.

    Tags

  • 41

    Interview: Apr 23rd, 2010

    Question

    Are you going to be doing The Travels of Jain Farstrider?

    No, but maybe The Killers of the Black Veil. I've always wanted to read that one. (laughter) That was a joke.

    Tags

  • 42

    Interview: May 25th, 2010

    Patrick

    Rodel Ituralde and especially Gareth Bryne being blademasters seemed a surprise. Do we know why this information didn't come up before? In addition, Bryne mentions only being an under-captain during the Aiel War when The Eye of the World states he was Captain-General back to Queen Modrellen's day. But then the Big White Book also says that Andor had a different Captain-General during the Aiel War. A case of Robert Jordan changing his mind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Number one, let's talk about the blademaster issue. I'm not at liberty right now to say what's in the notes and what isn't, but I can tell you I'm drawing from the notes when I'm writing. I don't know why certain things weren't mentioned before in the series.

    Maintaining the Wheel of Time continuity is an enormous task. There are so many questions like "What was Bryne's rank during the Aiel war?" where I ask Maria and Alan and just trust their instincts. There are other ones where they're not even sure.

    Much of the time, when we run into issues like this, it's just me making a mistake. I do apologize for that. I promise you, I have read these books a number of times, but I don't have the type of mind that memorizes facts and repeats them back offhandedly. I have to do a lot of reading each time I write a chapter, and I often make mistakes. A lot of the time, these mistakes come because I HAVE been reading the series for so long. I've got these long-seated impressions of characters and events in my head that go back all the way to my teenage days. And they're not always right. (I didn't learn to pronounce some character names until I was well into my 20s.) Sometimes, I just assume I know something when I've been wrong about it all along. Those are the dangerous ones, since I don't think to look up items like that.

    Anyway, with every printing of the books, Maria goes back in and fixes continuity. It happened when Robert Jordan was writing the books (though not nearly as often as it will when I'm writing them, I suspect). So what can I say about that? Well, Harriet is putting together a comprehensive encyclopedia that will become the definitive answer to these sorts of questions. Until then, I'm letting Team Jordan handle it.

    Tags

  • 43

    Interview: Nov 2nd, 2010

    Matt Hatch

    We are told the male Aiel channelers go to the Blight to "to kill the Dark One." And it is said "None survived long enough to face madness." Is this point of view or truth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. It's not that I don't know, it's that I think in reading the text you can answer that question yourself.

    Tags

  • 44

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2010

    Question

    Is there a scene planned with one of the Aiel Wise Ones as a damane?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That will be a R.A.F.O., I'm afraid! But excellent question, nonetheless.

    Tags

  • 45

    Interview: Nov 7th, 2010

    Question

    Was it an Aiel in the Epilogue?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 46

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    What is up with the red veils? Have we seen that before?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The red veils are a complete R.A.F.O.

    Tags

  • 47

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    Have we seen red veils before?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 48

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2010

    Question

    Somebody asked if we will get to see an Aiel Wise One as a damane. (Pronounced DAH-mah-nay)

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 49

    Interview: Jan 10th, 2011

    Mike Potts ()

    Any chance of a hint at the red veiled Aiel? Even the tiniest of reference anywhere else?

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    
Harriet has told me I have to RAFO all questions about this. Sorry.

    Tags

  • 50

    Interview: Oct 15th, 2011

    Ted Herman

    Does Elayne know who Rand's father is and that he killed her grandfather Laman?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not confirmed that Janduin killed Laman.

    Ted Herman

    Do Aviendha or Rand know that Laman was Elayne's grandfather (re: the sword that Aviendha gave to Rand to discharge her toh)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aviendha probably didn't know but Rand definitely did.

    Ted Herman

    ETA—these topics were to be included in possible prequels.

    Footnote

    The reply is correct that it has not been confirmed that Janduin killed Laman. However, Laman was not Elayne's grandfather since Laman died childless [NS5].

    Tags

  • 51

    Interview: Nov 11th, 2011

    Loialson

    What happened to the Jenn Aiel? What was their fate after we saw them last in the WayBack ter'angreal? I'm curious on how they disappeared after partially building Rhuidean. Were they consumed in the making of Rhuidean like the Aes Sedai that made the Eye of the World were? Or did they just stop procreating thus dying off, or something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aah. RAFO!

    WETLANDERNW

    (The exclamation point, and a smile, was clear in his voice and in his eyes. He liked that question and was pleased to have it asked. We will apparently find out soon! Loialson—I'm sorry, I should have gotten you a RAFO card too. I only actually asked the first question—since it got the RAFO, I figured there was no point in asking the rest.)

    Tags

    aiel,
  • 52

    Interview: Nov 19th, 2011

    Question

    Is Nakomi Jenn Aiel? Was Aviendha transported through a Portal Stone?

    Brandon Sanderson

    More careful thinking from Brandon. Then he said that Wetlander is a wise woman and is sniffing under the right tree. Interesting.

    Footnote

    Brandon later strongly implied there was no Portal Stone involved.

    Tags

  • 53

    Interview: Aug 27th, 1999

    Troy Terry

    Seriously, though, any bets on whether the Tinkers will ever find the Song? I bet it's the harvest song from Rand's Aiel memories.

    STEVEN COOPER

    I asked RJ about this when he was in Melbourne last week, and (amazingly) got a straight answer.

    Robert Jordan

    The Song the Tinkers are seeking is the song Rand heard in Rhuidean—or, to be exact, the memories of that song and others like it have become merged, over the years, into the concept of one mystical Song.

    STEVEN COOPER

    As to whether the Tinkers will find "the Song", I suspect they will—at least, they will be brought to understand their true history just as the Aiel were. RJ seems to intend showing an upheaval affecting every nation and society in Randland during the course of the series. I doubt the Tinkers will survive unchanged into the next Age. Unless they all get wiped out, I think "the Song" will be found at some point.

    Tags

  • 54

    Interview: May 19th, 2004

    Robert Jordan

    Someone else asked if while writing the Aiel he got his inspiration from Herbert (re: the native inhabitants of Dune [the Fremen people]); he answered that it was not that, that the real source of inspiration is the Cheyenne people, originally shepherds and forced to became warriors and to flee into the desert when the white man came.

    Tags

  • 55

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2000

    Br00se

    The next question dealt with him designing cultures.

    Robert Jordan

    He gave a familiar answer about how he started by saying if one thing is true about the people, he would ask what three other things must be true. He then repeats this until he is satisfied that he has enough to work with. He used the Aiel as an example, starting with them living in a dry wasteland, what else must be true.

    Tags

  • 56

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2011

    Loialson

    Aviendha told Rand in Lord of Chaos that ji'e'toh was who the Aiel were, at their core. Do the Aiel need to find some other purpose/faith besides ji'e'toh to avoid the calamitous future that Aviendha saw in the Way-forward ter'angreal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that...a half yes. They don't need to abandon ji'e'toh or find a new ji'e'toh but they may have to adapt ji'e'toh to certain other things....

    Tags

  • 57

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2011

    Loialson

    Was the stone Aviendha slept near during Towers of Midnight a portal stone?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Nice try! That's eliminating one theory, I'll give you that one.

    LOIALSON

    Was Aviendha in Tel'aran'rhiod or in a mirror/portal world when she met Nakomi?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO.

    LOIALSON

    Is Nakomi Jenn Aiel?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    [laughs and grins] I should RAFO that shouldn't I?

    LOIALSON

    I'd appreciate it if you didn't.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    [laughs] I want Nakomi....We're gonna RAFO that for now. Nakomi needs...there's gotta be a few things I don't answer. I'm so bad, I answer everything Robert Jordan put an answer [for, to?] [bunch of people laugh]. Track me down another time, after A Memory of Light is out.

    Tags

  • 58

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    Terez (8 April 2012)

    Ask him if the manner of the Aiel service to the Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends was just Singing, or if it was also domestic.

    TEREZ

    As a follow-up you could ask him if female Voices were also used in non-Earthy scenarios, i.e. to enhance saidar in particular?

    TEREZ

    And ask him if non-Aiel could really have the Voice (assuming the type that enhances channeling) or if Lews Therin was just confused.

    Brandon Sanderson

    PRK

    Lews Therin was confused about time and place, but what he was saying was possible.

    PRK

    There was more than just singing, but Brandon wasn't willing to go into it. Unsure if that was RAFO or irrelevance.

    PRK

    Brandon said he wasn't willing to talk much about the Voice things. I got the sense it was a subtle RAFO.

    Tags

  • 59

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    Eleanor

    Are there any Darkfriends—you'll be able to see where I am going with this—amongst the Wise Ones, the main Wise Ones with names, we have seen on screen and know?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (Laughs.) RAFO.

    ELEANOR

    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:

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    "At least one of the named characters is an unrevealed Darkfriend."

    ELEANOR

    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?

    Tags

  • 60

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    Eleanor

    On the Shaido—will we see them again in A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    ELEANOR

    Will there be fighting in the Waste? That is, Shadowspawn?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO.

    ELEANOR

    For Shaido = remnant of a remnant. I think he knew EXACTLY what I was not asking.

    Tags

  • 61

    Interview: Nov 7th, 2010

    RDDK

    I asked for clarification of Aiel male channelers.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon said that once they learned the taint was cleansed, no Aiel men were/would be sent to the Blight.

    Tags

  • 62

    Interview: Nov 16th, 2010

    Ayyad Azryelle

    What Aviendha saw in Rhuidean is something that MUST happen (a fixed point in time?) or COULD happen (anything could happen, it's in flux)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 63

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2010

    Eformo

    Brandon Sanderson

    When I had the chance, I asked Brandon whether or not Lews Therin knew The Song during the Age of Legends and drew a RAFO.

    Tags

  • 64

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    JordanCon 2012 - Terez (Paraphrased)

    yks

    Was Aviendha's usage of the crystal columns to see the future something only she could do, or something anyone could do?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 65

    Interview: 2012

    Memories of Light (Verbatim)

    Day 10

    "And farewell to you, old friend," she said to the air. "Until I dream again." (p. 367)

    Tags

  • 66

    Interview: 2012

    Memories of Light (Verbatim)

    Day 33

    If the end of the Aiel was the sacrifice required for Rand to win, she would make it. (p. 382)

    Tags

  • 67

    Interview: Jan 10th, 2013

    Question

    Now that the series is done, how does it feel and what are you planning to do now?

    Harriet McDougal

    I feel very satisfied that it’s complete; very sad that it is another occasion for me to say ‘goodbye’ to Robert Jordan. The last five years have been one goodbye after another, and none of them are easy. But I knew that he wanted the series finished, and it's done, and that's very satisfying, and also very sad. So it's sad, happy, bitter, sweet—a whole mix. It goes in and out of these things.

    There is still an Encyclopedia for me to do with Maria Simons and Alan Romanczuk; Maria worked with my husband, and now with me, for seventeen years, and Alan has been around for twelve, so they know the material very well and have been...I started the material that will be the Encyclopedia back with The Eye of the World, writing down proper nouns. Then it got to be The Great Hunt, and I said, "Oh Lord." [laughter] You get pages of the Aiel: who are in which sept, who are in which warrior society, who is married to whom—the whole thing. I think y'all will like it, and we will be turning it in perhaps some time next year...I mean this year. We're in '13 already. By its nature it couldn't be done until the series was complete. It may amuse you to know that in the contract it says it will be delivered in 2008. [laughter]

    Tags

  • 68

    Interview: 2013

    Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Dave West (23 January 2013)

    Is the 'remnant of a remnant' line just meaning that there are only a few Aiel left, or was it something else?

    Brandon Sanderson (23 January 2013)

    There is a deeper meaning. But it's philosophical more than anything else.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is in reference, in part, to their changing purpose.

    Tags

  • 69

    Interview: Feb 6th, 2013

    Question

    Can you talk more about blank in the Blight?

    Harriet McDougal

    No.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Spoiler! No spoilers please.

    Tags

  • 70

    Interview: Feb 12th, 2013

    Wetlander

    Can you tell me more about the Jenn now, or do I have to wait for the encyclopedia? Will the encyclopedia tell what happened to them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    General refusal to answer: shrugging, changing the subject, etc. :)

    Wetlander

    (Yes, it was nearly a joke, because I've been pestering Brandon about the Jenn for over a year now, either in person or by proxy...)

    Tags

    aiel,
  • 71

    Interview: Feb 6th, 2013

    Freelancer

    Who summoned Slayer to the Town and met him there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok, I'm not sure I should give an answer to this one. Who do you think it is, what are you basing it on?

    Freelancer

    I'm pretty sure it's Lanfear. Several things. She's wearing red and black, and she doesn't have a Cour'souvra around her neck. Her appearance is unknown to Slayer, and she's pretty, though she isn't comfortable with her own reflection. She expresses disgust at having to use him. This eliminates Moghedien and Graendal.

    Brandon Sanderson

    But she's ordering Slayer to kill Rand.

    Freelancer

    This will lead into the next question, but I don't think she believes that Slayer can succeed, she's using him as a distraction, and to give her options, because she's playing a deep game.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok, here's your answer. Your case is very, very, very solid, and you can stand by it.

    Tags

  • 72

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Terez

    About—if you can estimate—how many Aiel were in the Town?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, boy. I think there is an estimate in the notes.

    Terez

    There is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, so ask Maria, and if I say it, I will get it wrong because Jim has an estimate of how many Sightblinders were going to be in the Last Battle.

    Terez

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And that would include, you know, ones born there and ones captured, and...yeah.

    Tags

  • 73

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2013

    Question

    What makes you like Aviendha so much?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's hard to explain. Always as a reader, I thought she was awesome. She didn't take any nonsense, and put Rand in his place when he needed it. I liked reading about her. Her viewpoint was different. When I read the Aiel, I thought they were weird, and then reading Aviendha, I saw they were just different. It was something Robert Jordan did very well.

    Tags

  • 74

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2013

    Question

    Do Jenn Aiel still exist at the time of the book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There might be some Jenn Aiel still around.

    Tags

    aiel,
  • 75

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    Is the Town, the only human settlement in the Blight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I believe so.

    Question

    And was the Town the same cluster of building that was seen by Graendal in Towers of Midnight from Moridin's...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Tags

  • 76

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    Do we know what Moridin was doing in the Town?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Umm, Define we.

    Question

    Will we know what Moridin was doing in the town?

    QBrandon Sanderson

    That depends on how good you are at guessing.

    Harriet McDougal

    I think he was building a new Westin Hotel.

    QBrandon Sanderson

    That's right.

    (laughter)

    Question

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    Tags

  • 77

    Interview: Apr, 2013

    Question

    Trollocs invade the Borderlands pretty regularly. Do they invade from the Blight in the Aiel and Seanchan lands as well?

    Maria Simons

    No, they don’t—not much, anyway. The Trollocs call the Waste Djevik K’shar, which means the Dying Ground. Elyas is of the opinion that Trollocs "wouldn’t go a hundred miles into the Waste if all the Myrddraal in the Blight were driving them." And according to The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, all of the Trollocs and Myrddraal were completely wiped out in Seanchan during the millennium after the Breaking.

    Tags

  • 78

    Interview: Feb 13th, 2013

    Harriet McDougal

    The week after my husband's funeral, a friend was staying with me. She'd come down for the service, and she, as so many people are, was both a fan of fantasy and heavily into the net. And she put a printout in front of me—the basic sort of semi-Luddite—and said, you need to read this. And it was the eulogy that Brandon had written and posted on his website. And I read it and thought, gosh, that's just beautiful. And it's also the feeling for my husband's work that I would love to see in whoever takes over to finish the series, because in his last weeks and months, my husband had made it very clear to me that he did want the series finished. I draw a distinction—he had a horror of sharecropping, the endless work of other writers in a world that someone has created. He really had a horror of that, so that's not going to happen. But he really did want the series finished.

    He began one Saturday night. His cousin—a cousin named Wilson Grooms, who was as close to him as a brother—was visiting. And I had a friend there, thank God, who'd once been a court reporter. And I was scrabbling round in the kitchen making food or something, and Jim . . . who’s read the book? Who's not read the book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The last one? Who hasn't finished the last one?

    Harriet McDougal

    Well, okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No spoilers, then.

    Harriet McDougal

    Well, okay. My husband, called Jim, began to talk and he said, there's a blank in the blank that nobody knows about, not even Harriet. And he was off and running. And the court reporter was there, fortunately, because I was trying to take notes, and instead I was just staring at him in rapture, kind of. And Wilson went out at midnight and bought a tape recorder, and that was the start of a real outpouring of what he wanted in the rest of the series. That's how I knew he wanted it finished. Otherwise, he'd have kept his mouth shut. Which was not very much in his nature.

    [laughter]

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  • 79

    Interview: Feb 13th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    And I . . . I tell this story a lot, but it's a fun story. I flew in. Harriet herself picked me up at the airport. I had been really nervous to meet Harriet—like, you know, really nervous. I knew Harriet . . . like, she was one of the big editors in the field, and authors have this kind of—even, you know, published authors—are sometimes kind of scared of editors, right? And Harriet . . . I don't know if you guys know . . . I mean, she edited Ender's Game, okay? She edited—and discovered—Robert Jordan, and she's behind the two biggest books in fantasy and science fiction of the last 30 years—Ender's Game and Eye of the World. So I was really nervous.

    And so I'm like . . . and then I meet her, and as you can tell, she's like this wonderful, just so nice, awesome person. It was such a relief. I'm like, oh good. I actually called Emily that night and I'm like, ahh, I didn't need to be worried. Like, take your favorite grandmother and mix her with a southern gentlewoman and you have Harriet.

    Harriet McDougal

    I've hidden the whips.

    [laughter]

    Brandon Sanderson

    And she drove me to the house there in Charleston, which is this wonderful house, built in the 1700s, right?

    Harriet McDougal

    Barely. 1798.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And we walk in the door, and Harriet had been cooking dinner, and it was a bean soup. I still remember all these things where she said, well I put some soup on, and I can warm it up, and would you like to have some food? And I said, I would like the ending, please.

    [laughter] [applause]

    Because I didn't know . . . You know, I just signed the contracts without knowing. You know, you guys work for Microsoft, NDA stuff, you got to say yes first, and then you get the NDA, and then you get to be a part of it.

    And so, I knew that there was an ending, because Robert Jordan had talked about writing the ending. I knew, and Harriet had confirmed, the ending had been written. And so I walked in, and it was like ten o'clock at night. But I got that ending, and I sat down in the front room—sitting room—and I read what you now have as primarily the epilogue of A Memory of Light. Almost all the epilogue was in there.

    Also contained in there were several big important scenes from the prologue, which we split among the three prologues. There were a couple of the really cool scenes in there. There was the Tower of Ghenjei. There was a place where Egwene gets a special visitor, and—I think it's called A Cup of Tea—that scene, but really it was the ending that I wanted to read.

    Harriet McDougal

    And there's the blank in the blank.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's the blank in the blank, yes, which is in the prologue of A Memory of Light—one of the prologue sequences. And I read all of this and read his ending, which you now have in your hands.

    And Harriet afterwards—she said, well what do you think? And I said, it was satisfying. That was my word for it. It was the right ending. I felt a huge sense of relief. In a lot of ways, there wasn't a lot there. There were 200 pages, and so it wasn't huge. But at the same time, it was a huge relief to me, because the ending had been done, and it had been done right. And my job, then, was not so impossible, because all I had to do was get from well-written book to well-written ending without screwing it up too much.

    And having that ending in hand is really what has made this possible, and made me able to work on these books in a way that I really feel conformed to Robert Jordan's vision for them, because I knew where he was going. And I tend to work from an ending—that's how I write my books, is I always have the ending in mind first. And so, that is the story of how you came to get A Memory of Light. And it has been an awesome and daunting and horrifying and extremely hard and wonderful experience all in one.

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  • 80

    Interview: 2013

    DaBoffinIsMyUsername (June 2013)

    Just finished the chapter "Older, More Weathered". Funniest chapter so far IMO, what are your most humorous scenes?

    woodchuck_vomit

    New Spring—Moiraine gets thrown into a pond.

    Eye of the World—Min takes Rand aside when he re-enters the inn to tell him about Nynaeve, Thom immediately assumes they're gonna make out, Min says "Go juggle something."

    The Great Hunt—Egwene smuggling Rand into the women's quarters to hide from the Amyrlin.

    The Dragon Reborn—Moiraine catches some fish.

    The Shadow Rising—Elayne gets drunk; Aviendha describes Elayne to Rand in detail.

    The Fires of Heaven—The Aes Sedai in Salidar make Siuan and Leane go over every prank they played in the White Tower as novices and Accepted to prove they're really them; "It happened on the other side of the world and the Maidens still knew!"

    Lord of Chaos—Aiel humor; Mat before he realizes Egwene really is the Amyrlin.

    A Crown of Swords—Mat and Birgitte get drunk, Elayne gets bond-drunk; Min likes it rough.

    The Path of Daggers—Aviendha describes some of her night with Rand to Elayne; Elayne and that mysterious red rod ter'angreal; the Maidens collect some toh from Rand.

    Winter's Heart—Aviendha, Min, and Birgitte all feeling it in their heads.

    Crossroads of Twilight—"She would bond him as her Warder one day, somehow, and she would marry him, and make love to him until he cried for mercy!" Whoa there Egwene.

    Knife of Dreams—Tuon allows Mat to kiss her. "Do I remind you of your sister? Or perhaps your mother?"

    The Gathering Storm—"Women are like goats..."

    Towers of Midnight—"Your royal bloody pain in my back..."

    A Memory of Light—Aviendha suggests that the most honorable way to win would be to take the Dark One gai'shain.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    A note for those curious, but a spoiler for the ending. Regarding the AMOL one, have you noticed yet that Rand, to an extent, did this very thing?

    Mithre

    Is it just how he imprisoned the Dark One without killing him? Or did I miss something?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The usual way to take a person gai'shain is to touch them while they are holding a weapon. Rand seized and held the Dark One in his hand, then chose not to kill him, instead taking him prisoner.

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  • 81

    Interview: Jun 15th, 2015

    Robert Jordan

    AIEL EXPRESSIONS/LANGUAGE:

    Aan'allein: One Man, etc; Lan's name among the Aiel.

    algai'd'siswai: refers to those who carry the spears.

    armcry, the: the cry rousing to fight or defend.

    Car'a'carn: Aiel title meaning "chief of chiefs;" referred to in Prophecy of Rhuidean.

    Rhuarc speaks of death as "she."

    Eyeless: Aiel name for Myrddraal.

    "I ask leave to defend your roof and hold." A formal Aiel way of accepting hospitality.

    "I have toh." A straightforward acknowledgment.

    "I hear the wind." What has been said is foolish or stupid.

    "I hear you." "I do not hear you."

    "I see you." A greeting/acknowledgement.

    "If you plan for the worst, all surprises are pleasant."

    Leafblighter: a term for the Dark One.

    Leafblighter's get: Aiel term for Trollocs.

    Maiden handtalk.

    "May I never know shade if...."

    "May you find shade this morning (or day)." An Aiel greeting.

    "May you always find water and shade."

    "My water is yours;" an Aiel ways of saying thanks.

    "My water is yours, and the shade of my septhold will welcome you."
    More formal than simply "my water is yours," and more binding to obligation.

    Nightrunner: Aiel name for Myrddraal.

    "Remember me."

    "Shade of my life." "Shade of my heart."

    Shadoweyes: Aiel name for animal spies.

    Shadowman: Aiel name for Myrddraal.

    Shadowrunners: used by three Maidens to mean Darkfriends. Amys also used it.

    Shadowsouled: Aiel name for Forsaken.

    Shadowtwisted: Aiel name for Trollocs.

    siswai'aman: the Spear of the Dragon.

    "Sleep well and wake." An Aiel way of saying goodnight.

    "Some time again maybe, some day." Aiel way of saying never again when they don't want to say it right out.

    "They/he hear(s) only the wind." They don't listen; don't see/hear what is important; a fool.

    "to give a Maiden an interest gift." To do something reckless.

    twitchskirt; flipskirt (Aiel): a flirt and a tease, maybe even an actual roundheels.

    "Your honor is mine."

    Wetlander.

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