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Your search for the tag 'balthamel' yielded 14 results

  • 1

    Interview: Apr 20th, 2004

    Week 3 Question (Matt Hatch)

    There are many theories that attempt to create a connection of time duration to the transmigration of the dead Forsaken. Are there time and/or power constraints on the Dark One's ability to transmigrate souls?

    Robert Jordan

    There are definitely time constraints on the Dark One's power to transmigrate a soul. The soul doesn't have to be secured immediately—that is, the Dark One doesn't have to be ready to snatch the soul at the instant of death—but the longer that passes after the death, the less chance that the Dark One will be able to secure the soul. Someone who has been killed with balefire in actuality died before the apparent time of his or her death, and thus the window of opportunity for the Dark One to secure that soul for transmigration is gone before the Dark One can know that the soul must be secured unless the amount of balefire used is very small. Remember that the more balefire is used, the further back the target's thread is burned out of the Pattern.

    After the soul is secured, then a suitable body must be acquired and stripped of the (former) owner's memory and soul to make way for the favored one. By the way, what constitutes a suitable body from the Dark One's perspective is not that of the recipient. Certainly Aginor would never have chosen to be reincarnated in his, shall we say, less than imposing body, nor would the womanizing Balthamel have chosen to be reincarnated as a beautiful woman. It was only chance that Moridin ended up in a body that is young, fairly good looking and physically imposing. Those things simply don't matter to the Dark One. But the body has to be basically healthy and sound, and neither too young nor too old. After all, the Dark One wants his servants to be effective, and a body that meets those basic requirements is more desirable than one that doesn't. Since there is no stockpile of such bodies, the only way for someone to die and immediately be reincarnated would be a matter of pure chance. That is, the death occurred when a suitable body was on hand for some other reason.

    There are a few other limits and constraints, but I won't go into them here, since I may want to use them in the books, and I would rather they come as a surprise if I do.

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  • 2

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    While he likes Chalker's and Varley's works, he does not intend to emulate them.

    John Novak

    "Not at all like Balthamel becoming Aran'gar?" I quipped.

    Robert Jordan

    He retorted to the effect that was one character, not a whole host of characters.

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  • 3

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 14 Question

    If the Forsaken were sealed away in Shayol Ghul since the Age of Legends, with no contact with the outside world, wouldn't they be speaking the Old Tongue when they woke back up? How did they learn the Common Tongue?

    Robert Jordan

    They still do speak the Old Tongue among themselves, but the first two who were freed, Aginor and Balthamel, had been held very near to the edge of the sealing, the reason they were so visibly affected and twisted while the rest came out whole and healthy, and they were very much aware of what had gone on in the world outside. You might say they had floated in limbo while watching three thousand plus years roll by, with the ability to zoom in. That is probably the only reason they didn't emerge entirely mad. In truth, those two have a much better understanding of the current world than any of the others because they watched it forming. They don't have a complete knowledge, because they couldn't see and hear everything at once, but they have an overview that is unavailable to any of the others, excepting Ishamael to a lesser extent. But then, he's a special case.

    For the rest (aside from Ishamael), who spend those thousands of years in a dreamless sleep, the language spoken "here and now" was derived from the Old Tongue. I've heard the analogy used of a well-educated, highly intelligent citizen of ancient Rome needing to learn modern Italian. It would hardly be a slam-dunk, but he or she would have the roots of the language already. In the case of the Forsaken, the task is actually easier than that of the ancient Roman, since modern Italian is a more complex language than Latin, while the Old Tongue, as I have said time and again, is more complex and nuanced than the language of "today."

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  • 4

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 20 Question (LordJuss)

    Why was Aginor so interested in the Eye of the World? He could channel clean saidin anyway so it shouldn't have been an issue?

    Robert Jordan

    He was able to channel clean saidin, true, but only through the "filter" which had been provided by the Dark One just a short time previously, which meant the Dark One would be aware of him channeling wherever he was. Remember, Aginor was the creator of the Trollocs; he is quite able to reason things out clearly, at least in a scientific sense. Also, he wasn't certain whether or not the Dark One also would know what he was doing when he channeled, too. For someone as secretive, competitive, and generally untrustworthy as the one of the Forsaken, the Eye of the World amounted to a valuable asset if it could be secured. To put it simply, Aginor saw a means of channeling without the Dark One looking over his shoulder, and maybe a way to increase his own power at the expense of those who didn't have that advantage. Balthamel might well have been for the long drop, administered by Aginor, if things hadn't worked out differently.

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  • 5

    Interview: Apr 5th, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    Halima is a man in a woman's body. I got Jordan to 'fess up to this one when he was talking about the new books-on-tape that will be coming out soon. He said that a male voice will read the parts that are from a man's point of view and a female voice will read the parts that are from a female character's point of view. "So, which one will read the passage from Halima's point of view?" I asked. Jordan sighed and said, "Halima's just weird." He went on to confirm that he/she is a male spirit inside a female body and suggested that he/she will change personality over time since the body affects the spirit (and vice-versa).

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  • 6

    Interview: Oct 12th, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    Someone asked Jordan about the 'gars, and mentioned that he'd seen theories that Lanfear was one of the 'gars. I was expecting a RAFO, but RJ gave the guy a disgusted look, and said that "No, Osan'gar and Aran'gar are Aginor and Balthamel." The guy said (I'm paraphrasing here), "You're confirming this, and not hinting about it?" RJ replied (more paraphrasing), "I'm confirming. After all, it's pretty obvious in the books that it's those two. After all, that's what Aginor thought was so funny; Balthamel, the lecher, was stuck in a female body." Jordan then went on to give the standard disclaimer that a lot of the clues are already in the books, and reasonably intelligent people should be able to figure a lot of this out. His job, he said, was to make sure you're still guessing about some stuff at the end of the story.

    It's fairly safe to say that this was Jordan's version of thwacking the guy with a clue stick...

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  • 7

    Interview: Oct 12th, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    The Two *gars

    RJ admitted outright that they were Aginor and Balthamel, and that Aginor was the male and Balthamel was the woman. I still feel that Aginor describing himself as "helping" make the Trollocs is not consistent, but hey, I didn't write the books. When I asked him if he was confirming their IDs, RJ said (in a slightly tired tone), "I've never denied it." This was rather surprising to me, to say the least.

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  • 8

    Interview: Aug 27th, 1999

    Robert Jordan

    I'm fairly sure he's done this before, but he said Aginor and Balthamel are Aran'gar and Osan'gar, and he also said that Terry Goodkind actually uses WOT as inspiration, instead of going to a historical source. He sounded serious.

    Finally, he also recommended several authors, but said that the guy who wrote Cryptonomicon was really good.

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  • 9

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Mort

    [something about the Forsaken]

    Robert Jordan

    Essentially learned the local language.

    Mort

    They just got free and learned the local language in a few weeks or so.

    Robert Jordan

    A little more than a few weeks.

    Mort

    Wow...That's impressive! What about the first and second that were let loose?

    Robert Jordan

    They were very near the surface. It's one of the reasons for the effects on them. They were for three thousand years aware—not in a sleep like the others; aware—and more aware of what has happened in the world. And because of the way the Bore works... See, the Bore is not located at Shayol Ghul. Shayol Ghul is simply the place where the Bore is most easily sensed. The Bore is everywhere, because of the nature of the universe. And those two guys, in effect, spent the last three thousand years in a state of feeling that they had no body—they certainly had no ability to move—that they were simply trapped minds, but aware and drifting over the face of the earth, able to hear people, able to see what was happening in one area or another. They could speak the language when they came out.

    Mort

    You are talking about Aginor and Balthamel now.

    Robert Jordan

    Yeah.

    Mort

    And Ishamael as well?

    Robert Jordan

    Ishamael is a different case. Read and find out.

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  • 10

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    Are the Forsaken defined by being allowed to tap the True True Power?

    Robert Jordan

    No, not necessarily. They are, but it takes more than that, and they may be denied it. You see there were many more than thirteen Chosen at the time of the Breaking of the World. At the time of the sealing, there were more, and they died. The reason these thirteen lived was that they were trapped and, except for Balthamel and Aginor, sealed away in large extent from the effects of time, as if they were put in suspended animation. The others who were not there at this conference died.

    Question

    May I ask you what makes a Forsaken Forsaken, or Chosen?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, many people had sworn their souls to the Dark One. To be one of the Chosen, is to be someone who is recognized by the Dark One as having enough potential to be brought to Shayol Ghul to swear this oath personally, as close to being in the presence of the Dark One as is possible, with the prison partially sealed up.

    Question

    Is it just a coincidence that all those thirteen who survived can channel?

    Robert Jordan

    Oh, no that’s no coincidence, because if you weren’t able to channel, you weren’t going to get into this game at all.

    Question

    Ah. [mumble] cannot channel?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, but somebody has to be cannon fodder.

    Question

    Yeah...poor Mat and poor Perrin.

    Robert Jordan

    Hmm, well, if they wanted to be Forsaken, yes.

    Question

    Yeah...I hope they’re not gonna be Forsaken.

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out.

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  • 11

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Sara

    When out of the three thousand year sleep, were the Forsaken still wearing the clothes from the time they were imprisoned?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, they were.

    Sara

    How does the process of waking up work, and were they conscious of it happening to them and or the other Forsaken?

    Robert Jordan

    They were conscious of waking up, but remember that Lanfear said they were in a sleep so deep they were trapped so deep, that they were denied even dreams. Most of them were in fact in suspended animation. Balthamel and Aginor, very close to the surface, were not, which is why they were so wasted when they are seen, and why they have a certain degree of madness as well. The others came out unaged, looking exactly as they did, but Aginor and Balthamel although wearing the clothes they wore, and the mask was an original he was wearing it when he went in, they were further wasted, you might say, preserved by being sealed in the Bore, but close enough to the surface that they were aware of things going on outside.

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  • 12

    Interview: Oct 5th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Dracos, the Forsaken could not talk to one another, not even Balthamel and Aginor, who were trapped near the surface and at least intermittently conscious and aware what was happening in the world. You might say that being trapped where they were, in a Bore that existed everywhere at once, allowed them to see the whole world. But for the others, it was a deep and dreamless sleep. Even for Ishamael, except when he was spun out periodically. When thinking about the Forsaken, you might factor in the effects of dream deprivation.

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  • 13

    Interview: Apr 17th, 2011

    Terez

    Demandred mentions that the sleepweavers are used to train beginners in Tel'aran'rhiod. Can any channeler be trained to enter without a ter'angreal (eventually) or is a certain amount of Talent required?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (long silence) I believe...I'll give you a percentage on these. If I say, "I believe", it means, "this is my understanding, but, um..."

    Terez

    Right, the asterisk.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's an asterisk on it. And most of my understanding is informed by the notes and what I've read, but I often get things mixed up. So, I'm going to say on a 75% surety, not everybody can be trained to enter without a ter'angreal eventually, and some talent is required, but there are some who can...there is a middle ground between, for instance, Egwene, and somebody who can't at all.

    Terez

    Like Aran'gar, who obviously has hardly any talent at all, but she can get into people's dreams.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. So, there is a middle ground. But I don't believe everybody can.

    Terez

    Have all of the Forsaken been trained to do this or do some of them have to use gateways to get there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In choosing the Forsaken—and this one is actually, um...I am quoting sources that you don't have access to, but I do...

    Terez

    Right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In choosing the Forsaken, the Dark One was careful...um, the very nature of it led to people with great talent in many areas being chosen. They are extraordinary in many areas, and having talents that others do not have, beyond being powerful channelers.

    Terez

    We're talking about the thirteen that were at Shayol Ghul...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. ...This is what led to them being at the top of the heap. That said, I do believe that, among the Forsaken, there are some who had to use gateways to get there...but the majority of the Forsaken are very talented in many areas.

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