art by Jake Johnson

Theoryland Resources

WoT Interview Search

Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.

Wheel of Time News

An Hour With Harriet

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.

The Bell Tolls

2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."

Theoryland Community

Members: 7611

Logged In (0):

Newest Members:johnroserking, petermorris, johnadanbvv, AndrewHB, jofwu, Salemcat1, Dhakatimesnews, amazingz, Sasooner, Hasib123,

Theoryland Tweets

WoT Interview Search

Home | Interview Database

Your search for the tag 'channeling' yielded 95 results

  • 1

    Interview: Apr 20th, 2004

    Week 7 Question

    I would like to ask about knotting a weave. Does a channeler determine how long it will last when she knots it or is it dependent on her strength? If a channeler who knotted a weave died, would the weave dissipate immediately?

    Robert Jordan

    The length of time the knot lasts is the choice of whoever makes the knot. It is not strength dependent. And the knot would continue in existence if the channeler died, at least if the channeler had not set it to unravel in a certain time. Remember, tying off a weave is a way to keep the weave in existence without having to actually channel to maintain it, so once it is tied off, there is really no need for the channeler to continue living for the weave to be maintained.

    Tags

  • 2

    Interview: Apr 20th, 2004

    Week 15 Question

    What does the Dark One view as the worst punishment he can inflict on his minions: Killing them as painfully as possible? Balefire? Mindtrap? Being continually resurrected to suffer at his hand for eternity? Something we haven't seen yet?

    Robert Jordan

    The Dark One doesn't care about his minions sufficiently to invest much time in their punishment except as it serves to correct their behavior or as object lesson to others, nor is there much in the way of gradation. Simple failure and outright betrayal might be punished equally, or one might result in death and the other in becoming an object lesson or in something else. (The mindtrap, by the way, could be called an object lesson only to the one so trapped; remember, none of the Forsaken know who is mindtrapped except Moridin and those who are trapped.) The decision, death or object lesson or something else, normally would be simply a matter of whether or not he believed there was any point to an object lesson and/or whether or not he felt there was really any further use in the individual. Or, for that matter, made for reasons unknowable to a human mind. Remember, the Dark One is NOT human and thinking of him in human terms just doesn't work.

    But he also operates under a constraint that did not exist in the Age of Legends. At that time, about 3% of the population could learn to channel to some extent, though not all chose to—the training program took time, and being able to channel carried with it certain obligations that not everyone wanted to undertake—but that still meant there were, at a minimum, hundreds of thousands of people in the world who could channel, and more likely millions. A large pool of possible recruits. Break a tool or decide it isn't working right and throw it out, because there is an endless supply of similar tools waiting on the shelf. That might be said to have been his attitude. In the here-and-now of the books, that figure is about 1%, and of that 1%, very, very few have any idea that they could learn to channel, much less have any training at all. Here-and-now, the pool of possible recruits is tiny.

    Also, while the Forsaken themselves have realized that these primitives have discovered how to do things with the Power that they themselves cannot, or perhaps can once they learn how but never dreamed of doing until they found that the weaves existed here-and-now, they still think of people in the here-and-now as primitives, and their attitudes filter through to the Dark One, who believes that his people from the age of Legends are in all practical ways better—for which read better trained, more capable, and thus better able to serve him efficiently and effectively—than the people of the present time. And he is right. In a way. They are certainly better trained, with a much wider knowledge, at least in some areas. Some of their skills are absolutely useless in the society they are forced to live in. Aginor was a genius in biology and genetics, but in this world, he had no way to make the tools to make the tools to make the tools.... Well, you get the idea. Pity the poor chip designer dropped into the seventeenth century.

    In any event, the Dark One tries to conserve his resources, using and reusing those he might have killed himself, or ordered killed, in a time where there were thousands to equal them.

    Tags

  • 3

    Interview: Jul, 2002

    Question

    How does your knowledge of physics influence your idea of channeling and the Talents involved in the books, such as Traveling, Skimming, etc? Do you have other hobbies or talents that influence your writing?

    Robert Jordan

    My knowledge of physics influenced channeling to the extent that I have attempted to treat channeling as if it were a form of science and engineering rather than magic. You might say that the Laws of Thermodynamics apply in altered form. I expect that my reading in history has influenced the books more than my knowledge of physics or engineering. I have not tried to copy any actual historical culture or period, but a knowledge of the way things actually were done at various times has helped shape my vision of the world of The Wheel, as has the study of cultures meeting that are strange to one another, and cultures undergoing change, willingly or, as is more often the case, unwillingly. I used to spend summers working on my grandfather’s farm, a very old-fashioned set-up even then, so I have some feel for country life, and I like to hunt and fish, and spent a good part of my growing up in the woods or on the water, so I have a fair feel for the outdoors and the forests, which also helps. And of course, I can use a little of my Vietnam experience. Not for setting out the actual battles, but because I know firsthand the confusion of battle and what it is like to try to maintain some semblance or order while all around you random events are pushing everything toward chaos.

    Tags

  • 4

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 9 Question

    When a person channels, where do the flows appear to originate from? Do they extrude themselves somehow from the person's body, or do they seem to appear out of thin air in the channeler's general vicinity? What do the flows look like to a person who can channel? Are they colored, clear or indeterminate, smooth or rough, wispy or solid?

    Robert Jordan

    To the channeler, the flows seem to originate in his or her very immediate vicinity, not to emanate from themselves, although to another channeler, those flows do seem to be emanating from the channeler. The latter is the actual case, as the One Power is passing through the channeler, one of the reasons for individual limits on how much of the Power a particular person can handle. (And you have seen characters react as if to a blow from having a flow snapped or cut.)

    A channeler sees the flows as colored very faintly, according to which of the Five Powers is involved (red = Fire, Blue = Water, green = Earth, yellow = Air, white = Spirit), although the "feel" of the flows are also different to a channeler, so that a channeler can tell one from another without actually seeing them. (That is how someone can tell that somebody else has channeled, say, Fire and Earth, in their vicinity without seeing the flows.) It isn't a physical feel; you might almost as well say that they have different flavors. They appear to be smooth and nearly transparent, tinged with color.

    Tags

  • 5

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 18 Question

    Who were the first channelers, and how did they learn? By trial and error? Are there any Ages where channeling does not exist?

    Robert Jordan

    The first people to discover the ability to channel learned through trial and error, with fairly high casualty rates until they learned enough not to kill themselves accidentally. Their appearance marked the beginning of the previous Age to that of the books, or at least the end of the Age before that one.

    Yes, as I have set things up, there are Ages when no one has any idea of how to channel or even that the One Power exists. Our own, for one. (The Wheel of Time turns.)

    Footnote

    RJ hints in the glossary of the split version of The Eye of the World that Tamyrlin was the name of the person who discovered the One Power at the dawn of the Age of Legends.

    Tags

  • 6

    Interview: Jul 19th, 2005

    Week 13 Question

    Can a weave be moved or otherwise affected by external non-Power related forces? For example, can a non-channeler take a sword of Air and use it for battle? Or can a shield of Air be moved by the wind? Or can a natural event disturb a weave without affecting the channeler?

    Robert Jordan

    The first example given has to be treated separately, I think. A sword woven of Air—or Fire or any other of the Five Powers—could be wielded by a non-channeler if the weave had been tied off or the channeler maintained it. But that is a difficult way to acquire a sword and not really worth the effort unless there is great need for a sword and no other sword available. But in that case, why wouldn't the channeler simply handle things another way? To paraphrase Siuan Sanche, "It's simpler and easier just to use a steel sword."

    As to weaves being affected by other non-Power, natural occurrences, no, not directly. Though an earthquake knocking an Aes Sedai off her feet and bouncing her around might put a crimp on her channeling for a bit. The wind will not move a shield woven of Air, nor will any other natural event affect a weave UNLESS it does so by affecting the channeler first and thus disrupting his or her ability for whatever period of time. If the channeler is being swept away down rapids, this presents problems. Not necessarily insurmountable problems, but being tumbled head over heels, bounced off boulders and half drowned makes the necessary concentration not easy.

    Tags

  • 7

    Interview: Oct 11th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    Re: bulk "strength" in the Power, RJ reiterated that men were stronger than women by a couple of levels, including Lanfear [whom he reiterated was a woman after all]; but then he also reminded us that that did not take into account the dexterity factor.

    Tags

  • 8

    Interview: 2010

    Simone Coombes (20 July 2010)

    Is it significant that Nynaeve (in The Great Hunt) channels during the test for Accepted and does not burn out?

    Brandon Sanderson (21 July 2010)

    Yes.

    Tags

  • 9

    Interview: 2010

    Luckers (12 August 2010)

    Is it possible to force someone (a learner) to start channeling?

    Brandon Sanderson (13 August 2010)

    Almost anything is possible, under the right circumstances.

    Tags

  • 10

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1994

    Edward Liu

    Channeling saidin and the taint:

    As some of you know, there was a pretty big debate over this topic, especially whether Thom could or couldn't channel, which I participated in. Well, I'm happy to say that I was mostly correct in my theories.

    Robert Jordan

    What RJ said was that once a man channeled he will inevitably die (if nothing else kills him first) as a result of the taint, whether from going mad and getting himself killed or from the wasting sickness. When I asked him if continued channeling only sped up the tainting, he said yes.

    Edward Liu

    So the theory that tainting only occurs upon channeling is incorrect as well as the conclusion that a man will only go mad or waste away after years of frequent channeling. The important thing is that once you've channeled, you're doomed. I'm not sure whether it's the first time you grasp saidin or the first time you channel that counts.

    Robert Jordan

    He said yes when I asked him something to the effect of, "When a man channels early in his life and never channels again, will he go mad or die from the wasting sickness?" I'd guess it's the latter, but I'm not sure. He pointed out that once a man channels he basically cannot stop himself. He (the man) becomes addicted to it; RJ made an analogy to a junkie: he might want to stop but can't. I know some of you might think, "Well he eventually dies because he can't stop himself from channeling, thus it doesn't mean tainting is a process unaffected by the amount you channel."

    Edward Liu

    Realizing this I asked, "Theoretically if he channeled once and never channeled again, would he still die?"

    Robert Jordan

    The response was still a yes.

    Tags

  • 11

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1994

    Edward Liu

    Now, regarding Thom, those who argued that Thom could channel are correct.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ said a man will not go mad or sick away if he never channeled. Thus, he agreed that a male channeler who could be taught to channel (as opposed to having the inborn ability) and has never channeled would not die from the taint. BUT, when I asked him if he ever intended to make people think that Thom could channel, he said no. I brought up the hereditary point (i.e., Owyn) but he said just because your parents have a particular gene doesn't mean you'll receive that particular gene. Also he made a point that Owyn was his nephew so therefore not necessarily very similar gene-wise. When I pressed him again on it, he said (I'm quoting) "There is no way in hell Thom can channel." All he offered for explanations is that Thom is a "mysterious man." Enough said.

    Footnote

    Emphasis added for clarity. Edward's assertion is apparently in reference to arguments that, since Thom is so old, he couldn't possibly have the ability to learn.

    Tags

  • 12

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1994

    Question

    Can Thom Merrilin channel?

    Robert Jordan

    Absolutely not. I never intended anyone to think he could.

    TONY ZBARASCHUK

    Jordan also strongly implied that Thom was not Elayne's father. Oh, well, so much for all our beautiful net.theories based on those two facts.

    Tags

  • 13

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    This now reads interestingly: "With all his heart & desperation, he silently shouted at Bela to run...tried to will strength into her...

    ZEERAK WASEEM

    The Bela thing?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Rand heals Bela of her fatigue before Moiraine can.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Since people are asking, Rand's first use of the Power is healing Bela of her fatigue. He feels the effects later in Baerlon, I think.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Are there any Theorylanders/Dragonmounters who can confirm this for me? Maybe give some specifics or a thread for people?

    ADAM PETTY

    Didn't Moiraine bring that to his attention at the end of The Eye of the World or The Dragon Reborn?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think she did, but either way, I missed it first read-through.

    JO KENEBEL

    Actually doesn't Moiraine confirm it later, she says something like "I had suspicions from the first...then there was Bela..."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I was asking for confirmation on his sickness, not whether he channeled. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    On the subject of Rand's channeling, a lot of people are bringing up the event on the ship outside of Shadar Logoth.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll talk about this when we get there. I've read a lot of theories on this one arguing for both sides. I've never made up my mind.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wotfaq on Rand channeling: http://bit.ly/fBBrCz I've read enough questions from theory-types on the second one to make me question.

    TEREZ

    Like what? Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And...Linda to the rescue. Once again, 13th Depository has an exhaustive look at all this: http://bit.ly/gYgU7Z (Thanks @einarjh.)

    TEREZ

    She doesn't question it either. :D I have not seen a case against it. Also, Vin using up her 'luck' reminded me of that. :)

    MATT HATCH

    Brandon, come on over. We'd love to "entertain" your theory against Bela. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    My theory against Bela?

    MATT HATCH

    Thought "theories on this one arguing for both sides. I've never made up my mind" meant you were undecided on Bela...

    MATT HATCH

    ...as the first instance of channeling. But now I see you were speaking of the sickness.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The ship is what I was talking about. I remember reading, in the early days, some people trying to refute that one.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The reason everyone misses the first times Rand channels is because the sickness after the lightning is so much more memorable.

    HBFFERREIRA

    The mast swinging and killing a Trolloc, right? I remember thinking ta'veren during my re-read.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's what I thought for a long time too. Might still think it. I want to watch it this read.

    LUCKERS

    Re: Rand's first channelings—do you know of the theory that Rand channeled to bring them to the Eye...

    LUCKERS

    Compare the last few moments before they reach the Eye with when Rand heals Bela of her tiredness.

    LUCKERS

    If that is one of the first channelings, it's not on any list. Always intrigued me. RJ was so subtle sometimes.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll watch for that, Luckers. Thanks for the heads up.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 JANUARY)

    Okay, we come to Rand using the One Power to swing the boom on the ship and hit the Trolloc. The argument against this one...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...is that the Power doesn't actually seem to move the boom. The boat shakes for some reason, which swings it down.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    In the other two cases, Rand does something actively. In this, it seems more accidental. It's enough of an argument to make me wonder.

    TEREZ

    Who says Rand didn't shake the boat with the Power? Besides, the aftereffects are what make us sure.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    I agree. He jolted the boat which dislodged many Trollocs and the boom swept the one attacking him away.

    JOHN IN PUEBLO

    Are you saying him being ta'veren caused it to move?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm saying I've been made to wonder. The biggest point against it is the sickness he feels after.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (10 JANUARY)

    So, Rand on the rigging really must be an after-effect of channeling. But it doesn't HAVE to mean he did it on the night with the boat.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It could have happened in the days between, and... and I'm sounding like @theoryland, aren't I? You guys are a bad influence on me.

    TEREZ

    If you actually hung out @theoryland you would never put such an unsupported theory forward for fear of our scorn. ;)

    TEREZ

    Sometimes, Occam's Razor is your friend. Alas.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. You want me to think your theories are all well-supported? You think I haven't heard @theoryland's Avi theory?

    TEREZ

    Hey, that was MY theory. And it was way more supported than yours! hmph... (though I didn't believe it really)

    MATT HATCH

    Ouch. I should get Jenn to do an Asmodean panel at JordanCon. I need an outlet for my glossary disdain.

    TEREZ

    While all of us in the apathy camp think the glossary reveal was JUST PERFECT TAKE THAT YOU CHUMPS.

    MATT HATCH

    Of course you were happy, because it was the apathetic way to reveal it...I really need that panel, Jenn!

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Tell Shannan. I think we have room for another theory panel.

    TEREZ

    Also, Moiraine clearly says that early unconscious channeling always comes in response to a desperate need.

    TEREZ

    We know it was smooth sailing after they left Shadar Logoth, so no opportunity to make Rand channel.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Where did you get the idea that this was my theory? Just something I was curious about. :P

    TEREZ

    Just from the fact that you were, you know, defending it. :p I know you said you had read it back in the day though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Unfortunately, I don't really GET to have theories any more, since I can just look up the answers or ask Maria. :(

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And the theories I do have I don't really get to post about, since they will influence the series end. Maybe once A Memory of Light is done,

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll pick a few things the notes are silent on, explain that they're silent, then jump in with some good, old-fashioned theories.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That won't stop me from making random comments as I read, though, so maybe those count as my theories.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I am keeping a list, though, to get answers on as I go. Already got a few, actually....

    TEREZ

    That would be awesome. In the meantime, feel free to defend silly theories. It gives us something to do. ;)

    Tags

  • 14

    Interview: Jun 16th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    He didn't give any conclusive answer to the Two Rivers channeling paradox, but he noted that many strange occurrences come from there, like inherent ability to speak the Old Tongue under stress.

    Tags

  • 15

    Interview: Jun 16th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    On channeler strength he said that he knew the rough strength of every channeler in the books, imposed on a 21-graded scale. Nynaeve he said had Forsaken strength, i.e. as strong as most female Forsaken. Egwene, Elayne and Aviendha was a step lower, and an additional step lower Elaida, Siuan and Moiraine was found. They were the strongest Aes Sedai known before "the new ones". Several Aes Sedai, including Leane and Kiruna [I'm uncertain on Kiruna, I might have misheard], was next in strength. By the old standards they were deemed very strong and capable.

    Tags

  • 16

    Interview: Apr 5th, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    How learning to use the One Power works: The older you are, the faster you reach your full potential. Men reach their full strength faster than women. Forced training makes you learn faster, but it is very dangerous—it can kill you, or burn you out. The Asha'man are being trained that way, and the casualties of the training show this. (X number dead, Y number burned out...) Egwene, and Elayne and Nynaeve have also experienced forced training.

    Tags

  • 17

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Greebs

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

    Robert Jordan

    Some people have shielding talents.

    QUESTION (LATER)

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

    ROBERT JORDAN

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

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Tags

  • 18

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Question

    Is channeling ability strictly, or partly genetically based?

    Robert Jordan

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

    Footnote

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

    Tags

  • 19

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Question

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

    Robert Jordan

    Ability to channel under extreme stress.

    Tags

  • 20

    Interview: Jan 14th, 1997

    Thomas Howard

    What was the deal with that sentence concerning True Power detectability?

    Robert Jordan

    His answer was that the True Power is only detectable by the "single person" wielding it, and it cannot be seen by others, as the One Power can.

    Tags

  • 21

    Interview: Jan 14th, 1997

    Thomas Howard

    Why did Mat think that someone was "holding" the True Source when his medallion grew cold? (That is I thought it only did this when he came in contact with an actual flow. This occurred on page 595 of A Crown of Swords, for reference.)

    I'm going to quote the whole response again.

    Robert Jordan

    "Mat's medallion gets icy cold if someone directs the One Power at him, but it would be cool if the Power was being used near him, and almost cold if it were being used very near him."

    Tags

  • 22

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1998

    David Berkowitz from Chicago

    We know that people who can channel can mask the fact that they can channel. Is it possible for a person to make it appear as if she/he is less powerful than she/he really is?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out...

    Footnote

    RJ confirmed about a month later that it is indeed possible. This is how Mesaana was able to disguise herself as Danelle without having to Compel the entire White Tower.

    Tags

  • 23

    Interview: Oct 20th, 1998

    Ryan R.

    I asked Jordan when a man with the spark would slow. He hesitated and rubbed his chin, obviously trying to make up the answer on the spot, and doing it to be consistent with the books.

    Robert Jordan

    The answer is: Women usually slow at twenty, sometimes a little earlier, but usually around there. Men wouldn't slow until twenty-five, usually closer to thirty. He claims that they could go past thirty, but that probably depends on how early they start and how much they channel.

    Ryan R.

    So, if Taim started at twenty or so, like Rand (actually, that's later than Rand), and channeled a reasonable amount, he would probably slow at twenty-seven or thereabouts. After all, Nynaeve started probably at sixteen or seventeen, and only channeled on the uncommon occasion that someone was dying in her presence of some disease, and slowed at twenty-three (that's the age Setalle Anan thought she was, but she's twenty-six). That's seven years or so.

    Well, Taim looks thirty-five, according to Rand. He shouldn't. Even if he didn't slow until he was thirty-two, Rand still wouldn't have estimated him as being as much as fifteen years older than he was. So, my conclusion—Taim is Demandred. Only a Forsaken could look that old, given the slowing. Yes, I know it's not solid, irrefutable evidence, but it's still good evidence. That's my two cents.

    Ryan R. "He Who Just Missed Coming With the Dawn"

    Tags

  • 24

    Interview: Nov 1st, 1998

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Linda

    We see a lot of characters making estimates about how strong such and such a channeler is or will be, but when we're talking about so far unfulfilled potential, how accurately can it be judged? Especially if the channeler making the judgement doesn't know how much training the channeler being judged previously has had?

    Robert Jordan

    Someone can judge a current strength. This differs between men and women. A woman that can channel can [make a] very accurate judgement of another woman's strength whether she is channeling or not if she is standing close enough. Among Aes Sedai at least, knowledge of potential strength, especially if it is thought to be a great strength, becomes very widespread. Among men the circumstances are different. A man who can channel cannot judge the strength of another unless the other is channeling the One Power or holding the One Power, and even then all he can judge is how much of the One Power the other man is holding. He can't say how much he can hold. There are great differences between men and women in the One Power.

    Footnote

    Rand noted in Lord of Chaos that it is possible to tell if a man is straining (that is, holding as much as he can), and Logain reiterated the point in Knife of Dreams.

    Tags

  • 25

    Interview: Nov 20th, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    RJ said that a channeler can hide strength as well as ability to channel, but added that 1) few people know how to do it, and 2) the Aes Sedai don't even know these tricks are possible.

    John Nowacki

    Those caveats are rather obvious, I know. But I mention this answer because I thought I heard it reported here that this question was met with "RAFO" in the past. I'm sure someone will clarify that for me.

    Tags

  • 26

    Interview: Nov 1st, 1998

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Moderator

    Here's a longish question from Linda that somehow fell in between the cracks... Part One from Linda: Since the ability to channel seems to be primarily linked to the soul, if a channeler is gentled/stilled, will this affect his/hers soul in a follow life as well, as in, will the ability to channel still be lost? Did THAT come through??

    Robert Jordan

    No.

    Moderator

    Hmmmmm.. Linda, I TRIED.

    Robert Jordan

    (that was the answer...the answer is no)

    Moderator

    Oh!! Duh!

    Neptune

    I think Linda is asking if the soul is immortal in Jordan's world.

    Moderator

    So...is it??

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, the soul is immortal.

    Tags

  • 27

    Interview: Aug 30th, 1999

    Question

    Back on Mat again. Could you comment on whether or not he may be able to channel?

    Robert Jordan

    Nope. Not a chance. Can't do it. He can get anyone in the world to dance with him just about but he can't channel worth a darn note.

    Question

    He's still young enough for it not to show up, right?

    Robert Jordan

    No he's not going to be... He can't channel. But if you approach him the right way he will come to your birthday party on a Harley.

    Tags

  • 28

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2000

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Shawnyve

    How exactly do Wells work, if a person is in a place where they cannot sense saidar then how do they embrace to channel from the Well? And can you use a Well when you are shielded from the Source?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out!

    Tags

  • 29

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2000

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Monkeyman

    Nobody who can channel saidin or saidar can sense the True Power. And, since the Forsaken don't seem to notice Moridin channeling the True Power, is it detectable at all (besides by a gholam)? That is, can someone already holding the True Power sense another using it?

    Robert Jordan

    No. Not by any method we've seen yet.

    Tags

  • 30

    Interview: Apr 6th, 2001

    Lupis

    Is the Shara world going to be changed a lot now that their male channelers won't go mad? Will they even find out because they kill them so early anyhow?

    Robert Jordan

    Shara will not be changed by the fact that male channelers won't go mad because they kill men who might possibly be able to channel at a very young age. Those guys are nothing but breeding stock, kept utterly innocent and utterly ignorant until they are killed.

    Tags

  • 31

    Interview: Apr 6th, 2001

    lowlander

    How come Foretelling is only for those who can channel?

    Robert Jordan

    How come breathing under water is only for fish? Some things follow natural laws, and in this universe Fortelling is only for people who can channel.

    Tags

  • 32

    Interview: Apr 8th, 2001

    KuraFire

    Can burned out channelers still sense the Source? (This was because of that debate that pops up every now and then, where because of that one glossary entry people just won't believe that burning out and stilling really aren't synonyms. From now on this should be settled forever.)

    Robert Jordan

    Ah, burned out? No. The difference between being burned out and being stilled... We use the term as if it is interchangeable, but they aren't. Technically, "stilled" means something that is being done to you deliberately. "Burned out" is an injury that you received accidentally.

    Question

    Is it the difference between a clean cut and a cauterized wound? (From memory, the background noise here got too loud for my memo-recorder; a problem throughout this signing.)

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, and if you're burned out, you cannot sense the Source.

    Tags

  • 33

    Interview: Jan 23rd, 2003

    Sonia Ibarra

    So the Eye of the World is a Well, right?

    Robert Jordan

    [pauses] Yes and no. It's in the same class of objects as a Well, but on a different scale.

    SONIA IBARRA

    So could it be refilled by a male channeler?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    No. Remember, lots of Aes Sedai died to make it.

    SONIA IBARRA

    To keep it pure.

    ROBERT JORDAN

    That, among other things. Look, a normal Well is like this water glass. [he gestures] The Eye is like a liquid nitrogen canister.

    SONIA IBARRA

    So are Wells made with the opposite half of the Power that they were meant to contain, like Rand did at Shadar Logoth?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    [sly smile] No, they don't work like that.

    Tags

  • 34

    Interview: Feb 26th, 2003

    tarvalon.net Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    Can someone channel from a Well while they are shielded?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, they could. If they had the Well.

    Tags

  • 35

    Interview: Apr 27th, 2004

    Wotmania Interview (Verbatim)

    Wotmania

    Does forkroot work with male channelers, too?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

    Footnote

    Tylee notes in Knife of Dreams Chapter 4 that men also have been caught with forkroot, so it does work on men who can channel.

    Tags

  • 36

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    Is the ability to channel a property of the soul or the body?

    Robert Jordan

    That's a RAFO, sorry. I don't know whether I want to put that in the books or not, but I wish to leave myself the opportunity to put it in without having it already known.

    Footnote

    RJ answered in 2005 (2.5 years later) that it was both.

    Tags

  • 37

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    About channeling, you begin as having channeling [mumble mumble] so when Rand cleanses saidin, he thought about it, how he [mumble mumble] Do you do this intentionally, or do you just not want to tell us?

    Robert Jordan

    In the beginning when Rand channels, it’s something very new and unusual to him, and as time has gone along, channeling has become a more common thing. When a child learns to walk, walking is an adventure, and maybe for that first whole year, walking and running is just this wonderful thing, and all excited about it, and a year after that well, you know, you walk, and it’s no big deal. Rand, first learning to channel, first growing in strength, it’s something that is to him a very big deal. Even if he’s trying to be cool about it, it’s still a very big deal. But he’s been doing this long enough now that channeling, per se, is no longer a big deal, and that’s what I’m trying to show in this. He doesn’t think about it in the depth. He’s aware of the effect of saidin, of what saidin is like, but he doesn’t think about it in the same depth that he did when he was first learning how to walk, and doing this wonderful thing about moving around on his hind legs.

    Tags

  • 38

    Interview: Jul 22nd, 2004

    Question

    A question was asked about whether or not a non-channeler could go and become Enlightened through meditation and be able to sense the True Source, or even channel it.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ replied that there were indeed people in his world that sought Enlightenment in such ways, but no, that channeling was related to genetics. He went onto say that he estimates that the Age of Legends had about 2-3% of the population able to channel in one way or another, while in the modern world that number is down to about 1-2%.

    Jason Denzel

    Update: Robert Jordan sent me an email correcting this statement:

    Robert Jordan

    I went back to look at the article again and check something I thought I recalled. If I said the current population has about 1% to 2% who can learn to channel, then I misspoke, because I have set that figure at about 1%.

    Tags

  • 39

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Isabel

    Nynaeve was born with the spark, right?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes.

    Isabel

    Because yesterday there was a question about Learners...somebody who is not born with the spark, but is born with the ability to learn, could they begin channeling unconsciously?

    Robert Jordan

    No, they could not, they would have to make a conscious effort. They could make a conscious effort without a teacher and maybe succeed, but without a teacher they've got a very small chance of actually doing it.

    Tags

  • 40

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Question

    Since sul'dam have abilities normally associated with channelers only, do they also slow?

    Robert Jordan

    No, not unless they actually begin to channel. Slowing is a function of actually channeling. If you have the ability to learn, and you never learn to channel, you are not going to slow, you will age at a normal fashion. Sul'dam are women who can learn and as they develop the affinity, as they have been doing this for a little while, they begin to slide toward the ability to channel, but they never step over. I believe I have someone say that one of these women felt almost as if she should be able to channel, but not quite. They are getting closer and closer to the brink but they will never step over without conscious effort.

    Tags

  • 41

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Question

    Previously you have made it known that an individual who is stilled will retain the ability to channel in his or her subsequent life, which connects the ability to channel with the soul. How does burning out affect one's ability to channel in the next life? Specifically, will an individual born with the spark but who burns out during his or her life, have the inborn spark in a subsequent life?

    Robert Jordan

    I don't think I have said if you are born with the spark you would have the have the spark again. I have said if you were born with the ability to channel, to learn or with the spark, you will, when your soul is born again, you will have the ability again, whether with the spark or without. And neither burning out or stilling affects that except in this lifetime, your current lifetime.

    Tags

  • 42

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Question

    I have a question regarding the RPG based on the Wheel of Time. And that is, can someone who can channel and create gateways control the orientation of it? For example if you are falling off a cliff, you open a gateway directly beneath you, and the orientation throws you up so you reduce all of your velocity. Do you die on impact?

    Robert Jordan

    I really don't want to get involved in the game. But I have to tell you something, if I had someone falling off a cliff that could channel, I think I would have him use any number of ways that are a lot simpler, such as grabbing hold of the cliff face with flows of air. The other way sounds like a good way to end up jello.

    Tags

  • 43

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Isabel

    Then I couldn't hear any other questions and I went back in line. I could only ask him one question. It's a discussion we had on Theoryland a while ago. Can the a'dam hold every sul'dam?

    (He managed to get my question after a few times repeating it. I'll leave that out). Frenzy, you were right. (I hope I remember your stand on this issue correctly.)

    Robert Jordan

    The a'dam can only hold sul'dam who have been sul'dam for a long time and so wearing the bracelet for a long time. Four months for example isn't enough. He said the circle helped them get to the point that's described in the book, as being on the brink of being able to channel, one foot stepped over or something. (Quotemasters, please find that quote for me.)

    Tags

  • 44

    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.

    Tags

  • 45

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Question

    How do the Atha'an Miere and the Amayar deal with male channelers?

    Robert Jordan

    They kill them...actually the Sea Folk kill their male channelers. The Amayar don't channel themselves they see it as a violation of their Water Way and they commit suicide.

    Question

    Are we going to see more of Tremalking in the next book or of their prophecies?

    Robert Jordan

    In a way.

    Tags

  • 46

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Ted Herman

    How was Nynaeve able to channel Fire when she slept? (in the Rahvin scene, The Fires of Heaven Chapter 55)

    Robert Jordan

    In Tel'aran'rhiod you can channel Fire. You can channel Spirit only from your sleeping body, but being in Tel'aran'rhiod is different and you can channel anything.

    Tags

  • 47

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Question

    Can you shield someone who is in Tel'aran'rhiod by shielding their sleeping body?

    Robert Jordan

    If you are injured in Tel'aran'rhiod it will be transferred to your body, but not vice versa. Shielding someone in Tel'aran'rhiod will shield the body, but shielding the body is not transferred to Tel'aran'rhiod. They can channel in Tel'aran'rhiod, but of course when they come out, they are shielded.

    Tags

  • 48

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Ted Herman

    Was Taim a sparker or a learner?

    Robert Jordan

    I am sorry?

    Ted Herman

    Did Taim have the spark or could he learn how to channel?

    Robert Jordan

    He was born with the spark.

    Tags

  • 49

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    Yesterday, you said something about Nynaeve that made it sound as if she doesn't have the spark. Does she have the spark?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, she has the spark. The question seemed to me to be about the difference between the people born with the spark and those that aren't. Even people who are born with the spark are going to start channeling whether they want to or not. But Nynaeve did it through a conscious effort, really. It wasn't just happenstance that she began channeling at that point, she had a need to channel. Uhm, the same thing that would happen later to Rand, by the way.

    Often the thing, that as I believe has been pointed out, often the thing that pulls someone that has the spark into their first channeling is a perceived need, when they channel without knowing they channel, not realizing what they have done, quite often.

    The...the people who are not born with the spark, can they channel unconsciously, can they, that is someone who can learn but doesn't have the spark, can they channel unconsciously? No. For them, they must have a teacher to guide them, or make a conscious effort, which is unlikely to succeed, but might.

    Tags

  • 50

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    This is a question about The Great Hunt. When Mat and Perrin found out Rand could channel, Mat related a story to him he heard from a merchant guard in the Two Rivers about a male channeler who woke up and found his entire village smashed right around him except for the bed he was sleeping in. So, with regards to multiple personalities that a channeler can get like in Rand's case, is it possible for one of them to take over when the channeler falls asleep?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, you're...I can answer that question, but I realize in answering that question I am going to have to RAFO you, because I can't answer your question without telling you some stuff I don't want to tell you yet, sorry.

    Tags

  • 51

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    Do males with the spark also become wilders with blocks then?

    Robert Jordan

    It depends, a woman born with the spark that doesn't get trained, she may become a wilder, she may or may not have a block, but quite often does. A man born with a spark is probably much more likely to go up and become a false Dragon, frankly, but uh, at least before the Black Tower opened up for business. But there are blocks among the men as well. We had one of the characters, one of the men who was one of the first Asha'man, one of the first to come to the Black Tower and is since deceased. He would not believe that what he channeled at, that he could affect anything he could not see. Thus he limited the range, he could not thus make a lightning bolt that hit on the other side of the hill because he could not see.

    Matt Hatch

    [Tape ended] Other side, Jordan discussed the Land of Madmen, that blocks in men were one of the reason the isle/continent still remains.

    Tags

  • 52

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    Can you make music using just the One Power?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, you could.

    Tags

  • 53

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    Can a person who cannot channel the One Power, can they use the True Power of the Dark One?

    Robert Jordan

    No.

    Tags

  • 54

    Interview: Oct 2nd, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Papazen, while I have spoken of souls being born with the ability to channel in response to questions, I think of it as being genetic also. In the Age of Legends, between 2 and 3% of people had some ability, following a bell curve distribution in strength. For over 3000 years, though, Aes Sedai have been removing men who actually learned to channel from the gene pool. They have been very efficient at this. As a result, the "present day" sees about 1% of the population who can learn to channel, with a much, much smaller percentage of that being born with the spark.

    Tags

  • 55

    Interview: Oct 4th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Phil Reborn, Lanfear climbed onto the wagon to get the angreal. Rand was occupying her to the extent that she couldn't afford to just use flows of Air to bring it to her. And Lanfear being Lanfear, there was a touch of the dramatic in it. She was always a drama queen.

    Tags

  • 56

    Interview: Oct 13th, 2005

    Question

    Does the rate of slowing depend on your strength in the Power?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, basically; you age at 1/X your normal rate, with X being dependent up to a point on Power strength. The Power acts as a natural rejuvenator on you; even at the point of death you won't look or feel worse than a normal 65-year-old.

    Allen Bryan

    (RJ had to hem and haw a good bit to avoid revealing that slowing != the Ageless Look—there were several spoiler people in the audience, including one who was working on Book Six at the moment.)

    Tags

  • 57

    Interview: Oct 24th, 2005

    Kevin Dean

    My second question, based on a pet theory of mine, was "In any Age, in any Turning, have the Ogier been able to channel?"

    Robert Jordan

    To this, he answered a flat "No."

    Tags

  • 58

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2005

    Chris

    There were a few questions about his series, one that I asked was: if channeling was genetic, did the Forsaken need bodies that were genetically compatible for them to be able to use the Power?

    Robert Jordan

    His answer was that channeling is not just a recessive or dominant gene, rather both genetic and in the soul.

    Tags

  • 59

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2005

    Jason Wolfbrother

    Does it take a lot of concentration, strength and effort to weave inverted/reversed weaves?

    Robert Jordan

    Not easy but not difficult either. Just need to learn the trick.

    Jason Wolfbrother

    Can everyone, no matter how weak they are, use inverted weaves?

    Robert Jordan

    Anyone can do it once he/she learns the trick.

    Tags

  • 60

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2005

    Jason Wolfbrother

    Can you shield dreams for someone else?

    Robert Jordan

    No.

    Tags

  • 61

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2005

    Jason Wolfbrother

    Can a channeler fly without any ter'angreal or equipment (like sho-wings) if he or she knows the right weave?

    Robert Jordan

    No. Flat out, no hesitation, no thinking. Simply put, NO.

    Jason Wolfbrother

    Is it possible to for two channelers to lift each other simultaneously so that they can hover, and "fly" that way? Because he answered the previous question as he did I did not ask this one as it is obviously, to me at least a 'No' also.

    Tags

  • 62

    Interview: Nov 22nd, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    Someone asked how difficult it is for a blind person to channel, but I didn't make a note of who. In any case, it is difficult but not impossible. The different flows have different feels, though saying they have different flavors might be as accurate. In the comic, we use colors, not because they actually have colors but because they also can be told apart by sight. Someone who was blind and who tried to learn to channel would be able to differentiate between flows of the Five Powers. The difficulty would be in learning to make the weaves.

    Tags

  • 63

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2005

    Emma

    How did Be'lal recognize that Moiraine is intending to use balefire against him before Moiraine released the balefire? And how did Moiraine sense the balefire Rand used?

    Robert Jordan

    RJ responded with the most emphatic "RAFO" of the evening. Jumped all over it, in fact. So I think that says several things, but that's another thread.

    Tags

  • 64

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2005

    Karana Majin

    At one point, Lanfear reflects that she was about as powerful as it was possible to be. Is there an upper limit to human channeling ability, some sort of asymptote that channelers approach but never pass beyond?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, there is an upper limit. In terms of the channeling of raw amounts of the One Power, men can handle more than women. However, women are much more dextrous in their ability to use the One Power, so for all intents and purposes, they are equal in their abilities to do and create weaves and are mostly equal to each other.

    Tags

  • 65

    Interview: Nov 17th, 2009

    Question

    Was the Warder bond originally created to control male channelers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 66

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ability to channel/souls. I think this has all been reported, but he stated definitively that the ability to channel is tied to soul. He stated definitively that the spark was not tied to the soul but could be affected by a specific body (i.e., just because you had the spark in one life, you could be reborn and just have the ability to learn.) He stated with 85% probability that strength in the Power was not tied to soul, meaning that if you were an uber channeler in one body, you could be weak in the Power in your next body.

    Tags

  • 67

    Interview: Jun 10th, 2010

    Luckers

    The above MAFO on Souls, Channeling and Talents [this can be found in the MAFO thread stuck at the top of The Gathering Storm Forum].

    Beyond the MAFO, I was going to ask for a clarification on this. Firstly I would point out a curiosity—in KoD:23, Call to a Sitting, Tiana notes that many of the women who are strong in Nynaeve's method of Healing used to be village Wise Women. She wonders why that should make any difference, and indeed it does seem to imply that their life experience in some way affected their degree of Talent. How would this work out under the understanding of Talent as a soul-ability? Does life experience change the strength of the Talent, whilst soul-ability decides if you have it? Or should we make a distinction between Talents which are Skills—like Healing, or that Shielding Talent Berowin of the Kin has—and Talents which are Abilities—like Foretelling, Wolfbrothering or Dreaming?

    Maria Simons

    Okay, let's look at this. Why did these women choose to be village Wise Women? Maybe they haven't sparked, but the Talent is there. They may not understand it, but they feel that they should be healing the sick. So, instead of life experience affecting the Talent, I think that it's more that the Talent affects the life experience.

    Also, Aes Sedai have been taught that Healing is done one way, and that way is the only proper way. It's sort of like the gesture limitation; if an Aes Sedai learns to make weaves using gestures, she'll have a really hard time making the weave without making the gesture. I think that the former Wise Women are more open to learning the new way, and that gives them another advantage at it.

    Tags

  • 68

    Interview: Jun 10th, 2010

    Luckers

    Min says she was never able to master the 'ignoring heat/cold' trick. And we've never seen any non-channeler master it. Is it something only a channeler can do?

    Maria Simons

    It shouldn't be. Of course, it's been kept secret from most non-channelers, so that's not really evidence. I think that part of it is that a channeler is used to controlling things more—they have to have more focus and self-discipline just to manage the One Power, so they are better at controlling their reactions in general, and the trick works better for them because of it.

    Luckers

    In the same note is that why Min couldn’t mask her bond?

    Maria Simons

    Yes.

    Tags

  • 69

    Interview: Jun 10th, 2010

    Luckers

    Is strength in the power evenly distributed? Would on a scale of one to one hundred the most channelers be on the 50 mark? (within a gender, of course).

    Maria Simons

    Jim described it as a bell curve, with most channelers in the middle.

    Tags

  • 70

    Interview: Jun 10th, 2010

    Luckers

    Of the really strong channelers we know the nature to, all but one have been sparkers. This has led to the belief that sparkers are on average stronger than learners. Is this belief justified?

    Maria Simons

    No. "Having been born with the inherent spark apparently is not an indicator of strength. There are as many with weak potential who will channel whether they are taught or not as there are of great potential" (from Jim's notes). The stronger ones just get more attention.

    Luckers

    Do stronger sparkers stand a better chance of surviving touching the Source unaided?

    Maria Simons

    It depends on what you mean by "stronger" sparkers. If you mean strength in the One Power, not really. If you mean strength of will or character, perhaps. Jim said of touching the One Power unaided: "if you have not learned some sort of rough control, conscious or not, you will die screaming and writhing in agony."

    Tags

  • 71

    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

  • 72

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    There was a really strong channeler. Will she be back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's likely.

    Footnote

    This might refer to either Sharina or Talaan.

    Tags

  • 73

    Interview: May 30th, 2011

    jarno87

    During the walk to the restaurant I asked if someone channels in Tel'aran'rhiod, if he/she really channeled.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon confirmed this. He added that the real question would be if a non-channeler would be able to 'channel' in Tel'aran'rhiod. He believed that a non-channeler would not be able to channel, but would be able to create the same effects. So to most intents and purposes it would look as if they channeled.

    Tags

  • 74

    Interview: Apr 17th, 2011

    Terez (sleepinghour)

    If a dead Hero who can channel is called by the Horn, can they channel at the battle?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, they can.

    Tags

  • 75

    Interview: Sep, 2011

    Leigh Butler

    In one of the essays on your website, you discuss what you called Sanderson's First Law of Magics, which is "an author's ability to solve conflict with magic is directly proportional to how well the reader understands said magic." And from there you used that to define "soft" magic systems as opposed to "hard" systems, and the ways in which each kind uses its magic to resolve story conflict.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, though one thing I should mention is that I've since added the word "satisfactorily" to the law: The ability of the author to solve conflict satisfactorily with magic is directly proportional, etc. I think that's an important distinction to make.

    Leigh Butler

    So given that, can you discuss the magic system of the Wheel of Time in terms of your law? Robert Jordan's "channeling" seems like a pretty hard magic system to me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Robert Jordan's magic system is both hard and soft. It's similar to, for instance, the Harry Potter magic system, which I personally think is quite well done. Of course, I do think Jordan's system is overall more consistent and a much better magic system. This is partially because of the strength of its limitations; for instance, that male channelers go mad, and the chance of burning yourself out with channeling, make it for a much more interesting magic system narratively. The "going mad" thing is basically the best limitation that I've ever heard of in a book series.

    People like Tolkien, for instance, didn't explain a lot of the magic, and so what the magic could and couldn't do leaves you with a lot of that sense of wonder, so there's something to be gained on that side from not explaining. Jordan, I would say, is about on the seventy-five percent mark toward a more hard, rigid magic system, and it actually tends to work really well, but you'll notice that he liked to introduce new elements to the magic quite haphazardly—you know, suddenly someone is able to do this. It happens actually pretty frequently in the series as new things are being rediscovered.

    Balefire, for example, is manifested quite spontaneously by the characters to solve little problems, and then it becomes a tool to solve bigger problems later on. Just like in a lot of storytelling, in the first third of the story, you will often have a dynamic rescue by a character the reader or audience didn't know existed, and this is not a terribly satisfying resolution, but that's okay because in the first third of a story, you're not looking for satisfying resolutions, you're looking for satisfying introductions. That's kind of what the nature of storytelling is. So when the new character rides on screen and saves the heroes in the beginning of a story, and it's the old friend of the hero who they didn't know was in town, it becomes a very nice introduction for that character; we like that character, we're interested in him, and it can work very well.

    In the same way, a character manifesting a power in the beginning of the story that kind of comes out of nowhere to solve a minor problem, is a satisfying introduction, but not a satisfying resolution. And then later on when a major character gets brought back to life by balefire, because it's used in a way that the audience could anticipate, suddenly we have a very satisfying resolution of a conflict, using a magic that we're familiar with.

    It's the difference between Han Solo saving Luke by getting him off Tattooine by just kind of haphazardly being there in the right place at the right time, and then Solo coming back at the end of the movie to save him. In the first case, he just kind of drops into [Luke's and Obi Wan's] laps, but that's okay because we're introducing him. And then he comes back at the end to save them after great foreshadowing of all the changing he's done as a character, and we love it.

    Leigh Butler

    It's a Chekhov's gun kind of thing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. One of the big complaints about fantasy as a genre is that "oh, that's the genre where just anything can happen, and so there's no tension." People complain that it doesn't matter what the characters do because they can always be saved by some magical whatnot. And that's actually a very poor way of looking at it, because if you think about it, regardless of what kind of fiction you're writing, you can always save your characters with a handwave.

    Even if you're writing in "the real world," a character can win the lottery, and suddenly all their poverty problems are taken care of, or someone can suddenly dramatically change their mind and fall in love with the heroine when they weren't expecting to. Whatever it is, you can always just handwave to fix a problem. It's not a thing that can be relegated only to fantasy. The challenge in fiction is to make all of these things feel satisfying, even though in some ways they are a wave of the hand. And that's how I look at magic systems.

    Leigh Butler

    So it seems like it's less of a magic law and more of a plot law.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Exactly. And all of the laws I've come up with, which really aren't laws—they're quite arrogantly named, I realize—have more to do with just good storytelling than they have to do with magic, but I framed them in terms of magic because people always ask me how I invent these magic systems. Well, I do that by trying to make them good storytelling devices.

    Sanderson's Second Law is that limitations are more interesting than powers. And this extends more deeply than in just magic, but if you look at magic, what magic can't do is going to be more interesting to your readers, and more useful to you as a writer, than what the magic can do. This is why channeling [in the Wheel of Time] tends to be such a great magic system, because the limitations are very well-executed; it's the part of the magic that shines the most.

    But this is ultimately all a plot issue, because what a character can't achieve, whatever is holding them back, is generally more interesting than what they can achieve. This is just kind of a general storytelling principle across the board.

    Tags

  • 76

    Interview: Oct 15th, 2011

    Ted Herman

    Would an a'dam function in Far Madding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but the damane could not channel.

    Tags

  • 77

    Interview: Oct 15th, 2011

    Ted Herman

    Would a circle be broken by entering Far Madding or a stedding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    75% chance of no. It would be like using a Well and entering those locations (which would work).

    Tags

  • 78

    Interview: Oct 15th, 2011

    Ted Herman

    What makes a body suitable for a transmigrated Forsaken besides channeling ability?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Dark One looks for certain things that are not available in just any body, and we will see an illustrated example of this in A Memory of Light.

    Tags

  • 79

    Interview: Jul 11th, 2010

    Dylan

    Are there any male characters who don't know they can channel, but will learn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wonderfully specific question that is EXACTLY the type of thing RJ would RAFO. I will say this. We are not going to be introducing new plot lines in the upcoming books. Robert Jordan was specific. These books are culminations, not thread-starters. So basically, they will be focused on plots you already know about. Mostly. (Not much help there, am I? Sorry.)

    Tags

  • 80

    Interview: 2001

    Thus Spake the Creator (Paraphrased)

    Question (The One Power, the True Power, and channeling)

    Are there any channelers on the Seanchan continent that suffer from an emotional block like Nynaeve had?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out.

    Questioner

    (I asked this question to support my theory that the sul'dam have an emotional block, but I forgot that there are probably some damane who suffer from it as well which increased the chance to get a RAFO.)

    Tags

  • 81

    Interview: 2001

    Thus Spake the Creator (Paraphrased)

    Signing Report (The One Power, the True Power, and channeling)

    The question I asked was "Does anyone within the books have the ability to use the Flame and the Void?"

    Robert Jordan

    The answer was "The Flame and the Void is a concentration aid and you do not have to be able to channel to do it."

    Tags

  • 82

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1998

    Robert Jordan (22 November 1998)

    Someone actually asked Jordan whether a hermaphrodite would channel saidin or saidar. Jordan was...non-plussed. "A hermaphrodite?! I dunno. I'd have to sit down and figure that out." He shot the guy a funny look as he walked away, then remarked to the next group of people in line that he put that in the same category as the person who wrote to ask him what Donald Duck would channel.

    Tags

  • 83

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    For those that have spent much time wondering about hermaphroditic channelers, RJ doesn't know which part of the Power they use. The things people ask.

    Tags

  • 84

    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

  • 85

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    Luckers

    Are the major characters all at their full strength now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    LUCKERS

    I just ask because, like Nynaeve has been channeling longer, and Egwene was forced. And Rand likely was too, and as a man gains strength more swiftly...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yeah, Elayne might not... I think she is, but she may not quite be there.

    Tags

  • 86

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    Zombie Sammael

    We know access to the True Power is a matter of wanting it and the Dark One letting you. Are there any other conditions?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.)

    ELEANOR

    I think we need to clarify what sort of conditions so he can say yes or no to them. Maybe MAFO?

    Tags

  • 87

    Interview: Aug 8th, 2009

    WorldCon 2009 - Dom (Paraphrased)

    Dom

    Brandon Sanderson

    He also got into his own approach to magic systems, which lead to questions about how much of a challenge he found the One Power and how he prepared himself to handle it (and yeah, he admits being a One Power fan). Brandon explained researching and analyzing the One Power was one of his main focuses during his pre-writing re-read of the series (the other was analyzing the characters' "voices". He also said RJ left a massive amount of notes about the One Power, some of it he's read (he couldn't read everything, he rather relied on Maria to find him the exact information he needed when he needed it). I think he's said that before—or RJ did—but RJ's notes for WOT are longer than the series itself and he always kept adding to them, from back story and history elements to world building tidbits to creating hundreds of characters he could use to sketches for possible scenes. It was Maria's job to index all of this so if he was writing a scene he wanted to use backstory elements or a new weave in, he could have her look first if this already existed in the notes and what of it had appeared in the series already—or if he didn't already have it and needed to create something from scratch.

    Sanderson said he resisted creating new weaves (beside introducing those Jordan planned to introduce) for the most part. His contribution will rather be to have the characters figure out they can use weaves they know in new ways—turn them into weapon etc., and for this he looked for details in the previous books. He mentioned one specific example: after Knife of Dreams, he thought characters figured out gateways and deathgates can also be used to slice non-Shadowspawn up in battle.

    We also discussed a bit the 21 levels list, which Brandon used a lot. Jordan did start it just the way he described it long ago, that is as a way to keep track of who defers to whom among minor players etc. However, as of now, this document's scope goes beyond this (and it's quite big). The document assigns a rank number to each Aes Sedai referring to the twenty-one levels system, and it lists their personal weaves if they have any, and who knows and have the skills to use which weave and to what extent, their strength in flows if details in the series have blocked this up etc. Brandon confirmed Jordan developed a similar ranking system for the Asha'man as well, but couldn't recall out of hand how many levels there were for them.

    Tags

  • 88

    Interview: Nov 27th, 2000

    Fairfax McCandlish

    This was my first RJ signing, at a Tower Books. While I was getting The Path of Daggers and Winter's Heart signed, I asked RJ how Narishma could have channeled inside Far Madding to set off their alarms (or was he outside but within the range of the detection ter'angreal)?

    Robert Jordan

    He corrected me that it was Flinn who channeled (I haven't reread that part of the book yet, and was taking the Seafolk channeler's word on it, as I recalled it), and that he did indeed do so outside the range of the blocking field, but inside the detection range.

    Footnote

    It was Narishma who channeled outside the city. Flinn pretended to channel in the scene where Cadsuane used her Well and Nynaeve's to get Rand out of prison.

    Tags

  • 89

    Interview: Nov 24th, 2012

    PrncRny

    Do we ever find out how strong in the power Tuon would be if she ever snapped and started channeling? Did RJ leave any notes about that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes he did. The problem is that that's not the sort of thing I can work into the books very easily. The issue is that her strength would be tied to, well, people's strength go up they practice and things. Yes he has the notes, but there's no way the characters can know for sure. That would be something for the outriggers, which maybe we can get into the encyclopedia. He left a big list for everyone and a number for their power level, their strength in the One Power, just for comparison's sake, which was cool because it would also say 'Here's the threshold for creating a gateway and here's the threshold for this' and its a really cool list and I hope they put it into the encyclopaedia but I don't know if they will.

    PrncRny

    Ok, so she's not going to snap in the next one and start channeling?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well. Even if she did, how powerful she would get would not be immediately evident. Does that make sense?

    Tags

  • 90

    Interview: Feb 12th, 2013

    Wetlander

    Some would like a definitive answer: Are channelers ever bound to the Horn? (Rand? Egwene?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    "They certainly could be." Brandon and Harriet agreed that, although the notes never specified any channelers who were so bound, there was nothing in the notes to indicate it couldn’t/didn't happen either, and they both believe it’s entirely possible.

    Wetlander

    (A follow-on question might be asked about whether Egwene might be a Hero, but they didn't give me the impression that they were hedging—which they probably would have, if that were in the notes.)

    Footnote

    RJ previously confirmed that Rand/Lews Therin was a Hero of the Horn.

    Tags

  • 91

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    J. Dauro

    Gary Singer asks, Do the Myrddraal channel the True Power to move between shadows?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't believe so.

    Tags

  • 92

    Interview: Apr 20th, 2013

    Terez

    How did Moiraine identify Sammael and Be'lal? How did she know their names?

    Maria Simons

    I'm assuming research; I don't know.

    Terez

    My theory was always eavesdropping.

    Maria Simons

    Oh yeah, that's another good possibility.

    Terez

    And that would be a reason why she tipped Sammael off to her presence.

    Maria Simons

    Yeah.

    Terez

    How did she rediscover balefire? Assuming research again?

    Maria Simons

    Assuming.

    Marie Curie

    That question always comes up, about whether you can learn a weave by reading about it.

    Maria Simons

    Yeah, I think it can help, and then you have to experiment and hope for the best.

    Footnote

    Maria answered the question about Sammael again later.

    Tags

  • 93

    Interview: Apr 20th, 2013

    Terez

    So, sul'dam usually have to tell the damane what to do, but Tuon doesn't have to do that when we see her in Knife of Dreams...is that a matter of Talent, skill...something else? So it's like, you know, after they work with the Power for a while, they can see the weaves, right? Is it kind of along the same lines? After a while you don't actually have to tell the damane what to do; you can do it yourself through the damane?

    Maria Simons

    That would be my assumption. I don't know it positively.

    Tags

  • 94

    Interview: 2013

    Xx255q (March 2013)

    If full Dragon had the same amount of power as pre-Dragon with the access key, how much power was full Dragon holding with his power multiplied? Or orders of magnitude larger? Such as, how many people who can hold the power equal him, or what could he do with all of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the realizations that Rand came to in the books was that brute, raw power was of far lesser importance than he'd once imagined. Comparing his power post and pre access key is a moot point, as it wasn't power he was seeking. It was a method to accomplish what he needed to accomplish. But, to give you something more of an answer to the question you're actually asking, Rand post-epiphany is not more powerful than Rand with the access key. However, he was far more efficient, as he gained hundreds of years of experience with the use of weaves.

    Xx255q

    Impressive using the sword with the power and skill like that.... He could do anything.

    Tags