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: 7652

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 'elantris inspirations' yielded 3 results

  • 1

    Interview: Oct 18th, 2004

    Brandon Sanderson (Chapter 16)

    Raoden's memory of Ien at the beginning of this chapter pretty much sums up what the Seons are. A lot of readers have asked me for more on them, and I'll give it eventually. However, in this book, you simply need to know that they are what they appear. Servants bound out of love, rather than duty, force, or pay.

    The original inspiration for Seons came, actually, when I was in high school. Visually, I was inspired by the Passage series—a collection of paintings by Michael Whelan. Every painting in the series contained little floating bubbles with what appeared to be a candle flames at their center. At the same time, I was getting the idea for a story. When I wrote it, I included a group of sentient balls of light.

    Well, that story didn't go anywhere. Six years later, however, I started ELANTRIS. I wanted a sidekick for Sarene, and I knew I needed someone wise and cautious to off-set her sometimes reckless personality. I had already decided to use the Aon characters, and I considered transforming my old idea of balls of light into glowing Aons. As Ashe's character began to develop, I realized I had something quite strong, and I began to build the mythology and magic behind the Seons.

    The latest addition to the story regarding Seons is the idea of 'Passing.' I only speak of it a few times, but in earlier drafts, I didn't have any definite indications that a person and their Seon were bound. The only hint was what happened to Seons whose masters were taken by the Shaod. When Moshe asked about this, I decide I'd include a little more information, and added a couple references to 'Passing' Seons in the book.

    Tags

  • 2

    Interview: Oct 18th, 2004

    Brandon Sanderson (Chapter 17)

    Of all the books I've written, I think this one hearkens most closely to our own world. Usually, when I develop cultures and languages, I try to stay away form basing them too closely on any one Earth society or race. I'm not certain what made me do things differently in ELANTRIS. It's not just fencing—JinDo, with its obvious links to Asian cultures, is a good example too. And Fjorden's language has some obvious references to Scandinavia. (Dilaf's name comes from Beowulf, actually. I named him after Beowulf's heir, Wilaf.)

    Anyway, in this chapter we find two very obvious 'borrows' from our world. I've always been fascinated by fencing, though I've never participated myself. The idea of turning swordfighting into a sport intrigues me. In addition, I found the light, formalized dueling appropriate to the tone of this book, so I took the opportunity to write it in. (I do realize, by the way, that Hollywood has done some interesting things to fencing. Most real fencing bouts are much shorter, and far less showy, than what we see depicted. This is pretty much true for any kind of fighting, however. Think what you will, but combat is usually brutal, quick, and really not that exciting to watch.

    This kind of fighting is very appropriate in some books. However, I allowed myself the indulgence of doing my fencing scenes a bit more flourish than one would find in real life. It felt right in the context to have the participants spar, parry, and jump about for far longer a time than is realistic. If you need justification, you can assume that in Teod, the rules for fencing are very strict—and so it's very hard to actually score a point on your opponent, forcing the battles to be prolonged.)

    The other item of interest in that scene is, of course, Shuden's ChayShan dance. As mentioned above, his culture is pretty obviously borrowed from Asia. In fact, the link is so strong that some readers have trouble imagining his features as anything but Asian. (Note, once again, that this is not the case. The JinDo have dark brown skin. Though, I guess you'll imagine Shuden however you wish.) The ChayShan is a martial art I devised to feel just a bit like Tai Chi—though ChayShan focuses on speeding up the motions and gaining power from them. I've always kind of thought that Tai Chi would look more interesting if it slowly sped up.

    Tags

  • 3

    Interview: Oct 18th, 2004

    Brandon Sanderson

    You should notice the comments about unity popping up in religious scenes throughout the book. Omin spoke of it before, and Hrathen often thinks—or mentions—the concept. When designing the religions of this book, I really wanted them to feel authentic. If you look at our own world, one thing is obvious (I think) about the way major religions work. They always fragmented—different sects of the same teachings often rise up and squabble with each other. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity share obvious links. In a similar way, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other eastern religions share some common roots.

    So, in designing the Korathi and Derethi churches, I decided to give them a common ancestor—Shu-Keseg. All three religions came from the teachings of a single Jindoeese man. (You might note that the word 'Shu,' as used in connection with Shu-Korath and Shu-Dereth, doesn't seem to fit the linguistic styles of Aonic or Fjordell. This is an intentional reference to the Jindoeese commonality of their origin.)

    The central tenet of Keseg's teachings was unity, and his followers began to squabble about what he meant by 'Unity.' Hence we have the loving, inclusive Korathi; the aggressive, expansionist Derethi; and the contemplative, didactic Jindoeese.

    Of course, Jesker and the Mysteries are a completely different religious line. We'll get more into them later. . . .

    Tags