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Your search for the tag 'how will it end?' yielded 136 results

  • 1

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    J Cool ET

    You seem to have a great grasp of history; what is your background? Do you know how the Wheel will finally turn, yet?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, I've been reading history as a hobby since I was five or six, and yes, I do know how it will turn, and how it will end.

    Tags

  • 2

    Interview: Oct, 1992

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan was quite interesting and personable. He said he used to be an engineer of some kind. He LOOKED and sounded somewhat like a computer-type (a little nerdy—I can say that, since I'm one too :-)). It took FOREVER to get through the few people who were there for the signing (it wasn't advertised, at least not very well), because he took a break between each book he signed to tell a little bit more about himself (which was definitely interesting). Several people asked, of course, how the series was going to end, and, of course, he wouldn't say, except to suggest finding out by buying the book when it's published. He mentioned that there was a special limited edition set of the four books in the series so far being published in leather bound, gold-inset (?) volumes, selling for around $200 (or was it $200 per book?). I think he said only 200 copies would be published (200 seemed to come up a lot in his dialogue :-)).

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  • 3

    Interview: Nov, 1993

    Trinity College Q&A (Paraphrased)

    Emmet O'Brien

    Robert Jordan arrived at 6:00 this evening in Trinity College for his talk...this being Ireland, the talk didn't start for a further ten minutes, but in the meantime he signed books for those of us who actually turned up on time. The turn out was pretty disappointing considering The Fires of Heaven is number two on the best-seller lists here: only about thirty people were there including SF society mafia. He didn't have any prepared speech but took questions from the floor.

    Robert Jordan

    He still isn't sure how long WoT will go on for, saying probably seven books but adding that when The Eye of the World first came out he saw the series as four books. He does however know what the ending will be and how all the major story lines will resolve. He expressed vague dissatisfaction with the covers but didn't seem too upset about them.

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  • 4

    Interview: Oct 17th, 1994

    Daniel Rouk

    I asked how far along he is [with A Crown of Swords].

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan said he didn't really know, as he is constantly writing and cutting parts. He writes from the beginning of the story to the end, and then cuts and edits large chunks, pulling together threads. He doesn't even think about a working title, but lets the story determine it.

    He says there will be at least three more books, maybe four.

    Jordan knows the very last part of the final book, but doesn't know how long it will be till he'll put it in.

    One humorous story mentions the quote saying he will continue writing until the day the nails are put into his coffin. One elderly lady apparently told him that she was a lot closer to that than he was so he had better hurry up.

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  • 5

    Interview: Oct 20th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan said he didn't give Randland a name because he always found it unrealistic for a fantasy world to have a name. After all, we don't have a real name for our world. He also said he always left something unresolved at the end of each book. He says we never have everything wrapped up in our lives, so why should his characters? He considered leaving a hook at the end of the last book and never resolving it. : - < > (screaming in anguish)

    Footnote

    This is the first of several mentions of the 'hook'; some believe this has to do with Aviendha's visions of the future in Towers of Midnight.

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  • 6

    Interview: 2010

    Austin Moore (9 August 2010)

    Have you seen any theories online about the ending of WoT that were right?

    Brandon Sanderson (9 August 2010)

    Yes, I have.

    Footnote

    Of course, 'the ending' is a rather broad category that could include anything at all about the Last Battle, Rand's death/resurrection, Shayol Ghul, the sealing of the Bore, etc.

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  • 7

    Interview: 2010

    Jeff Edde (16 August 2010)

    What does the end look like? Does Shaidar Haran make an appearance? Moiraine alive? Any time travel to the Age of Legends?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 August 2010)

    You totally know I'm going to RAFO those. :)

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  • 8

    Interview: 2010

    Paige Madison (8 November 2010)

    What was your first reaction after you find out how the story ended?

    Brandon Sanderson (8 November 2010)

    Satisfaction. It ends well. It didn't knock me off my seat, like some things in outline, but it was wonderful.

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  • 9

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Thomas Grossnickle (10 January 2011)

    Aviendha's vision in Towers of Midnight made me wonder, how much will we get to see of what happens to the world after the Last Battle?

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    RAFO. :)

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  • 10

    Interview: Nov 1st, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    I know the last scene of the last book, I've known it from the beginning, I just have to get there.

    Fast Forward

    Well, let's talk about getting there. Let's talk about the process. Let's take a look at Lord of Chaos from the moment you start it.

    Robert Jordan

    All right.

    Fast Forward

    Because you are walking toward a final scene, and because you aren't sure how long it's going to take to get there, in terms of the events that are going to happen, the people that we are going to meet—let's talk about how you wrote Lord of Chaos, and the discipline you placed upon yourself to generate this 700 page book. How did you go about putting this last novel together?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, first off, along with knowing what the last scene is, there are certain events that I know I want to happen. Certain things that I want to happen, both in relationships between people, and in the world, if you will. I picked out some of those events to see if I could fit them in from the position everyone was in, the position the world was in at the end of the last book. I then began to roughly sketch out how I would get from one of those to the next. And then I sat down and began writing, in the beginning eight hours a day, five or six days a week. And—I do my rewriting while I am doing the writing. When I hit the end, I only allow myself to give a final polish. I keep going back while I am writing and rewriting the previous stuff. By the end of the book I was doing twelve to fourteen hours a day, seven days a week. I did that for the last five months of Lord of Chaos, except that I did take one week off to go fly fishing with some brothers and cousins and nephews up in the Big Horn and Yellowstone. It was terrific. It kept my brain from melting.

    Fast Forward

    The more intense schedule—was this a more difficult book to write and get to the end of, in terms of the amount of time you had to spend than some of the others in the series?

    Robert Jordan

    No, not really. They're ALL like that. The only difficulty this time was that I perhaps went to the seven day a week and fourteen hour day a little sooner that I would normally. Partly that's because each of these books takes MORE than a year to write. The publisher likes to publish them once a year, though. With the result that with each book I've slipped a little bit more beyond the deadline, and I DON'T LIKE being beyond the deadline. So the further beyond the deadline I get, the more I want to put the pedal to the floor and get done.

    Fast Forward

    Does having to put that much time in per day affect your focus, your ability to work? I mean, do you ever get the feeling when you turn something in that if you had another month to do it you could have put more of a "shine" on it, or are you satisfied with the product when it is turned in?

    Robert Jordan

    I'm satisfied and I'm not satisfied. It doesn't have anything to do with the time. The effect of the time is that I have to work to disengage my mind so that I can go to sleep. I have to read somebody else who will engage my thoughts. Charles Dickens is always great for that. If I don't do that, I will lie there all night thinking about what I'm writing, sure that I will go to sleep in just a few minutes now, and then it gets light outside, and I haven't been to sleep yet. What happens is that I get this DESIRE to keep writing. Once upon a time, before I was married, I used to write for thirty hours at a stretch.

    Fast Forward

    Good Lord.

    Robert Jordan

    And then I would sleep for nine or ten. I didn't do this all year round, it was just when I was working on a book. When I get going, I want to keep going. And about the other thing, I ALWAYS think I can make the book better. I'd probably spend five, six, ten years on a book if I was left to myself, trying to polish each phrase. So it's just as well I do have deadlines to bring me into the real world.

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  • 11

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    JD (9 July 2011)

    Without asking for spoilers, have people hit the mark on how the WoT will end? Or are the common theories way off?

    Brandon Sanderson (9 July 2011)

    Some have hit near it, others are way off. There are some major things I haven't seen guessed.

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  • 12

    Interview: Jun 17th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    With the final scene in the final book (which he eloquently said did not have to be identical with Tarmon Gai'don), all major plot lines will be resolved, and most minor ones. Some minor plot lines would still be unresolved, as a way to let the world continue to live and breathe. The surviving characters would still have lives to go on with, even if more "boring" ones. Robert Jordan though stated clearly that if he was going to write another book(s) in the WoT universe (something he thought was not going to happen), it would be placed at least 1,000 years apart from the events in the current books. There would not be any spin-off stories, or stories written by other authors set in the WoT universe, either.

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  • 13

    Interview: Oct, 1994

    Dave Slusher

    Okay, and in our last few minutes . . . well, it almost defies actually talking in specifics about the books. But, at this point, do we know when the series is going to wrap up?

    Robert Jordan

    No, not really. What I know is that we're heading for a final scene that I have known from the beginning. I could have written it before I wrote the first book. And it would be very little different from what I would write today. I know what has to happen—those major events, those mountains I talked about—I know what has to happen between now and that final scene.

    I really don't know whether it's going to be another two books, or another three, or maybe even another four. I don't know. I'm not going to make any promises to anybody, or any suggestions to anybody, about how many books. I've done that in the past and seen it taken as promise: "Jordan said. Jordan said, it's going to be this many books." Well, no I didn't, I said it might be. But by the time it gets out into print, and on the street, it's Jordan promised. Well, Jordan didn't promise, and Jordan isn't promising, so there.

    Dave Slusher

    And by the time the final conflict happens and the books are wrapped up, will that pretty much tie up most of the loose ends?

    Robert Jordan

    The loose ends for the major plotlines, yes. I deliberately intend to keep a number of the minor plotlines open. There is no point in anyone's life when everything's all neatly wrapped up. There are always loose ends. But the major plotlines will be resolved, certainly.

    Dave Slusher

    All right. Well, thank you very much for speaking with us. And again, we've been talking with Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series. And the newest book is Lord of Chaos. And thanks again for being with us.

    Robert Jordan

    Thank you for having me.

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  • 14

    Interview: Apr 5th, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    The length of the series: He's given up guessing how long it will be. He knows the final scene, and he knows how all the plot elements will work out: who will be married, who will be dead, what plot elements will be left unresolved. (Subtext: somebody will get married, somebody will get killed.)

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  • 15

    Interview: Jun 21st, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    There will be a few more books, some, not a lot, hopefully fewer than seven more.

    He knows the final scene of the last book, all the major events he wants to have happen and who will live and who will die. When he starts a book, he decides which of these events he wants to try to do and then writes it so they happen.

    He will tie up all the major plot lines, but will leave a lot of the minor ones unresolved. He finds it too unrealistic for a series to end with all of life's problems solved. Expect the series to end with the major problems solved, but a lot of people will still have tumultuous lives ahead of them.

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  • 16

    Interview: Jun 26th, 1996

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Lyndon Goodacre

    First, I'd like to thank you for such a great series. The Wheel of Time is probably the best I've read... My Question: Do you know roughly what will happen between now (Book 7) and the last scene of the last book, or are you making it up as you go along?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes and no. I know the last scene of the last book. I know the major events I want to happen between now and then. I know who will be alive and who will be dead at the end of the series. I know the situation of the world. I know all of those things, but I leave how to get from one point to the next free...so that I can achieve some fluidity. I don't want it too rigid, which is what I think will happen if I plan in too great a detail.

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  • 17

    Interview: Aug 4th, 1996

    Question

    Are you going to conclude each plot? Little and big? (He really doesn't like when authors do this!)

    Robert Jordan

    No. I plan to leave some things left unanswered (Asmodean??? Arrgh!) I do not like it when other authors clean every little thread up. It is too clean. It isn't very realistic of problems, especially problems of this magnitude. They just don't always get solved. Also, I plan to leave the very last scene with a big hook leaving you with a great big question. (After he said this his wife looked at him and said, "Really?")

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  • 18

    Interview: Oct 18th, 1996

    AOL Chat (Verbatim)

    Question

    Is Book 8 the end? If not, is there a plan for when the end will be?

    Robert Jordan

    Book 8 is not the end. There will be at least three more books and I am sorry for that. I have known what the last scene of the last book would be for quite a long time, 10 or 12 years at least. I just want to get to it without speeding up my pace.

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  • 19

    Interview: Jun 28th, 1997

    Gurney

    How much of the series do you plot out beforehand, and how much is written as you go?

    Robert Jordan

    Before I began writing the first book, I knew the beginning, I knew the last scene of the last book, I knew ALL of the major events that I wanted to happen, I knew how all of the major relationship would go, I knew how people would be affected by those relationships, I knew who was going to live, I knew who was going to die. You can see, I knew a good bit, including that last scene of the last book and how all of the relationships were going to end up. I have left myself the freedom to change the way that I go from one point to another, depending on what seems best at the moment. You might say it's like sketching in the larger out line of the story and leaving the details to be variable.

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  • 20

    Interview: Nov 11th, 1997

    Joel from Arizona

    When you first started writing the Wheel of Time did you have a set plan for the whole series or were there some things you just thought up as you stumbled upon them in your writing?

    Robert Jordan

    I knew the beginning, that is the opening scenes, I knew the final scene of the final book, I knew the very general line that I wanted the story to take from the beginning to the end. And I knew a number of major occurrences that I wanted to take place in a number of relationships that I wanted to develop. I left open how I would get from one major occurrence to the next to allow for fluidity in writing. I did not want to set anything in stone. Sorry for the pun, but that does lead to rigidity.

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  • 21

    Interview: Oct, 1998

    Waldenbooks

    The Path of Daggers is book 8 in the Wheel of Time series. Do you know how many more books there will be? Has that number changed in since you started writing Wheel of Time? Do you have plans for a new or different type of series?

    Robert Jordan

    I believe—believe!—there will be three more books. I am trying to finish up as soon as possible, but I cannot see how to do it in fewer than three books. That isn't a guarantee, mind! In the beginning, I thought that there would be three or perhaps four books total, but it might go to five, or even six, though I really didn't believe it would take that long. It wasn't a matter of the story growing or expanding, but rather that I miscalculated—brother, did I!—how long it would take to get from the beginning to the end. I've known the last scene of the last book literally from the beginning. That was the first scene that occurred to me. Had I written it out 10 years ago, and then did so again today, the wording might be different, but not what happens. It has just taken me longer to get there than I thought.

    I do have another series perking around in the back of my head already. Books generally have a long gestation period with me, so this is not at all too early. There isn't a word on paper, yet, of course. It will be different cultures, different rules, a different cosmology. Nobody likes to redo what he's already done.

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  • 22

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1998

    John Meyer from Plano, TX

    Mr. Jordan, I first wanted to say thank you for such a great series. My question is how long has this story and or series been running around in your head, and do you feel you have the ending picked out?

    Robert Jordan

    I started thinking about what would turn into the Wheel of Time more than 15 years ago, and the first thing that I thought of that was really solid was the last scene of the last book. I could have written that 15 years ago, and if I had, it would differ from what I would write today only in the words. What happens would be exactly the same. So, I've known where I'm going from the start.

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  • 23

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1998

    The Man from Ganymede from WoTism

    How far in advance did you plan the later novels like Lord of Chaos and A Crown of Swords? Did you know the series would be this long when you started?

    Robert Jordan

    I did not know the series would be this long in the beginning. When I first went to my publisher, I told him, I know the beginning, and I know the ending, and I know what I want to happen in-between, but I'm not sure I know how long it will take me to get from the beginning to the end. Now, don't laugh, but I said to him, "It's going to be at least three or four books, and it might be as many as five or six."

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  • 24

    Interview: Oct, 1998

    Sense of Wonder

    The Path of Daggers is Book Eight in the Wheel of Time series. Can you tell us how much is still to come, and if you know yet how the series will end?

    Robert Jordan

    I've known the last scene of the last book from the beginning. That was the first scene that came to me. Had I written it ten years ago, and then again today, the wording might be different, but not what happens. It has just taken me longer to get there than I thought. At the onset, I thought that there would be three or perhaps four books all together, but it might go five, or even six, though I really didn't believe that it would take that long. It wasn't a matter of the story growing or expanding, but rather that I miscalculated—Brother, did I!—how long it would take to get from the beginning to the end. I am trying to finish up as soon as possible, but I cannot see how to do it in fewer than three more books. That isn't a guarantee, mind!

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  • 25

    Interview: Nov 11th, 1998

    jude74

    Do you have a set amount of books planned for the series and if so, how many?

    Robert Jordan

    No, I dont have a set amount of books planned. I believe it will take at least three more books to reach the ending that I have known for more than 15 years. I knew what I wanted to do in these books, what I wanted to say, and how it was all going to come out, before I ever started writing them.

    jude74

    Wow! 15 years!

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  • 26

    Interview: Nov 15th, 1998

    Michael Martin

    He went on to repeat what he has said before—knowing the end, knowing all the major events, yadda yadda. However, what he did said that was new (at least for me) was that the order of events was not set, and that he allowed some fluidity for them. He made a remark about a cousin of his (who is an engineer) who came over and saw all the notes and work and asked why RJ hadn't created something called "critical flow charts" or some such. RJ replied that the nature of the story was too complex for such linear breakdown.

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  • 27

    Interview: Oct, 2000

    Orbit Interview (Verbatim)

    Orbit Books

    Do you know how the Wheel of Time will end?

    Robert Jordan

    Oh, yes. I have known the last scene of the last book since before I began.

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  • 28

    Interview: Nov 11th, 2000

    Holly from Clearwater

    Do you already know the fates of all the primary characters or are they still changeable?

    Robert Jordan

    I know the fates of all of the primary characters.

    Tags

  • 29

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2000

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    LadyJ

    Mr. Jordan, How much of the story is already planned out in your mind, and how much is supplied as you go along in the writing process?

    Robert Jordan

    I know the major outline of the story. Various characters' lives. Who lives and dies. The fates of nations. And I know the final scene. Minor details, or smaller details, I leave until I'm writing. It flows organically that way. I thought it would take five books, by the way. :) I was optimistic!

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  • 30

    Interview: Dec, 2000

    Orbit Interview (Verbatim)

    Orbit

    With so many plot strands now running through The Wheel of Time, will all of them be resolved at the very end or will there be some surprising conclusions earlier on?

    Robert Jordan

    Some plot lines will be resolved before the end, but all of the major plot lines will be resolved by the end. On the other hand, some minor plot lines will not be resolved. In fact, in the last scene of the last book, I intend to set a small hook for what some may see as future books. But I will walk away and not look back. One thing that has irritated me with some books is that, come the end, all of the characters' problems are solved, all of the world's problems are solved, and you might well sit the whole place on a shelf and put a bell-jar over it to keep the dust off. When I finish the Wheel of Time, I hope to leave the reader feeling that this world is still chugging along out there somewhere, still alive and kicking.

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  • 31

    Interview: Jan, 2001

    SFBC

    One last question because I see our time's almost up. How does it all end?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out.

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  • 32

    Interview: Apr 5th, 2001

    Robert Jordan

    The next book (#10) will be ready and in the stores...when I finish writing it.

    There will be no more than five, but also no less than another three books to be expected to appear in The Wheel of Time series.

    I know where I'm heading, but I need time to tie lots of loose ends together.

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  • 33

    Interview: Dec 9th, 2002

    Question

    BEFORE you say "RAFO", and BEFORE you choose not to answer this next question, please consider the following and hear us out: You claim you've already written the ending of the series. You probably enjoy us squirming as we endlessly try to predict the outcome of the Last Battle. We've been patiently waiting for over a decade. Now that we're nearing the end somewhat, could you please, please answer this question: What is the last word of the last chapter of the last book? JK Rowling told the world that Harry Potter ends with the word "scar". Come on....we know you can give us something like that to chew on.

    Robert Jordan

    First off, a small correction. I have NEVER said that I had already written the last scene of the last book. I HAVE said that I COULD HAVE written the last scene of the last book in 1984, and that if I had done so and now chose to write it again, some of the wording might have changed, but what happens in that scene would be the same, now as then. Given that, as envisioned in 1984, the last scene would have ended with the word "world". Today, it might end with word "turns." Now what does that tell you? Not much, I think. I mean, you can extrapolate at least part of the final sentence of Harry Potter, at least part of what it will say, from JK Rowling's "last word." For me, it only means that I have to be careful how I end the next book, or some of you might think it's the last.

    And, oh yes. I do like seeing you squirm.

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  • 34

    Interview: Apr 6th, 2001

    Munda

    What got you started on writing the Wheel of Time? Did you have a beginning and an end in mind and did the story grew while you wrote it...or what?

    Robert Jordan

    When I started writing TWOT I knew how it was going to begin and end, plus the major things I wanted to happen in the middle. I had a rough outline of the whole story.

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  • 35

    Interview: Nov 6th, 1998

    Therese Littleton

    You've said before that you know where this series is going to end.

    Robert Jordan

    I've known the last scene of the last book for 15 years. I could have written it easily 15 years ago, and it would be only changes in the wording, not in what happens, from that to now.

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  • 36

    Interview: Nov 6th, 1998

    Therese Littleton

    So will the male-female duality be resolved? Or is this a "read and find-out" question?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out. What I consider the major story lines will be resolved. There will be a number of minor story lines that will not be resolved, for the simple reason that there is no point to any real world where everything is resolved. That's always something that has irritated me about some novels—that you reach a point at the end of the book, and everyone's problems have now been solved, and all of the world's problems have been solved. I get the feeling I could put these characters and this world on a shelf and put a bell jar over them and go away. There's nothing left there alive.

    That's the way it's going to be. I even intend to set a small hook in the last scene.

    Therese Littleton

    Wow... you're going to drive people crazy!

    Robert Jordan

    I know, I know. I've been thinking about getting some of those Groucho glasses with the mustache.

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  • 37

    Interview: Apr 7th, 2001

    Question

    Someone asked the regular question about the amount of books to come and why it's taking so long.

    Robert Jordan

    There are a number of storylines that I want to tell, a number of stories that I want to tell. Basically I think of this as a story of people surviving the upheaval of their culture. ... You know, when I began I knew the beginning, I knew the end and I knew certain major events that I wanted to happen in between, so that I would arrive at the proper conclusion, the conclusion of the story that I wanted to arrive at. And it simply wasn't possible to get everything in there as quickly as I thought. The people must all undergo changes. The cultures must undergo changes.

    Question

    Could it be possible that it will never end?

    Robert Jordan

    Uhm, no, there is no possibility that it will never end. I will wrap up all of the major storylines, I will wrap up some of the minor storylines. Other minor storylines will be left hanging, and I'm going to do worse than that. I am going to set a hook in the last scene of the last book, that will make some people who don't believe what I say, think that I am setting up a sequel. What I am doing, what I will be doing, is trying to leave you with a view of a world that is still alive. One hope that some fantasies have is that when you reach the end of the book, or you reach the end of the trilogy, all the characters' problems are solved. All of the things that they have been doing are neatly tied of in a bow, all of their world's problems have been solved. And there's no juice left, there's no life left. you think 'I ought to set this world on a shelf and put a bell-jar on top of it, to keep the dust off.

    When I finish the Wheel of Time, I want to do it in such a way that you will think it's still out there somewhere, people still doing things. This story has been concluded, this set of stories has been concluded, but they're still alive.

    Question

    mumble-mumble on the tape, but the answer should give you a general idea of the question.

    Robert Jordan

    No, I will not continue writing it, I will be going on to something else, and nobody else will continue writing it, because I have an automatic contract set up that if anyone tries to sharecrop in my world, their kneecaps will be brought to me. [laughter]

    Question

    What will you write next?

    Robert Jordan

    Another fantasy novel, or a set of novels. More compact, I hope. That's...I've been working on it, you might say, in the back of my head for five or six years. A different world, a different set of circumstances; different cultures, different rules, no connection really, at all, to the world ... I'm writing about now. [Heh, seems even Jordan might want to have given Randland a name in the beginning so that we could refer to it as something other than Randland.] I want to make things different. [strong] I don't like doing the same thing again. It's a trap that writers find it very easy to fall in to. Fans say, 'tell me the story again, tell me more of the story', and the writer wants to do a different story. But the fan who loves this story says, 'tell me this story again.' [loud] 'I want the story again, daddy!' [laughter] So you tell the story again. And it is very much like telling the story to your child, because if you always tell the same story when the child screams, 'tell me the story again, daddy', you find out you can never ever tell a different story, that that is the only story that will be accepted. And I won't do that. I hope you come along with me, when I go on to different stories. But if you don't, I'm still gonna write the different stories. [laughter]

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  • 38

    Interview: Apr 8th, 2001

    Robert Jordan

    He was talking about the ending again, and that nobody knows it except for him. But this time he once again said that not even Harriet knows it.

    Aan'allein

    If it wasn't for the fact that others also had heard him say last Wednesday that Harriet did know the ending I'd really be doubting myself now.

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  • 39

    Interview: Dec 9th, 2002

    Dragonmount

    Do you know what will happen in later books or do you have to "Read and Find out?"

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    I know a bit, but for the most part I have to RAFO, too.

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  • 40

    Interview: Jan 22nd, 2003

    Brandon

    Straight to the point. All of the plot lines will NOT be wrapped up at the end of the series. I attended the book signing at Chester County Book and Music Company today and someone a few people ahead of me asked a question that I couldn't hear, but RJ's answer went something like this:

    Robert Jordan

    No. The one thing I don't like about most fantasy is that everything gets tied up in the end. The people, the cities, everything finishes and it dries up. The book gets put on the shelf and collects dust. I want the world to be vibrant and still going. Some minor plots will go on and things in the world will stay alive.

    Brandon

    This is in NO WAY a direct quote. I have never been to a book signing and was somewhat struck and nervous about meeting him, plus I had no writing or recording equipment. The overall vibe I got was that he really does care about the world he has created and won't leave out anything major.

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  • 41

    Interview: Jan 21st, 2003

    SFRevu Interview (Verbatim)

    Ernest Lilley

    You've said a number of times that you had envisioned the final scene in The Wheel of Time saga even before you started.

    Robert Jordan

    The scene was part of what made me realize the book. I had thought of how to open it, and then how to end the story. So from there it was a matter of figuring out how the people in the first scene become the people in the last scene, because they are quite different.

    Ernest Lilley

    It seems like a tremendous job to keep herding the characters towards that scene. Some people's characters have a mind of their own.

    Robert Jordan

    My characters do what I want. When it comes to my writing I'm an Old Testament God with my fist in the middle of my characters' lives. They do what I want them to do. The difficulty has been that the story turned out to be larger than I thought it was, quite simply. I thought I could put x amount of the story in the first book and I couldn't. Then when I started The Eye of the World I thought I'd be able to put more of the story in it...and I couldn't. It simple was a matter of size. These are fairly large books, seven hundred pages in hardback. It would simply make the books too large for anyone to carry without a shoulder strap.

    Ernest Lilley

    So it's not that the plot weaves in other directions than you expected, but that it's richer than you realized.

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, exactly.

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  • 42

    Interview: Jan 27th, 2003

    Réal Heppelle

    I just came back from the Toronto signing. All the details from the other book signings are the same except that there was no Q & A from the crowd. We were told he would take questions but he arrived 15 minutes late.

    Robert Jordan

    He added that there would be a "hook" at the end of the series (which he had planned since 1984). This hook would lead readers to believe that there would be a sequel after WOT. However, he was quite clear that that would not happen. He stated that he hated getting to the end of a good book only to discover that everything comes to an end. He wanted to leave the end open so that there would be more "juice" left in his characters. He said that all major and minor plot lines would come to an end, but his characters' lives will continue.

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  • 43

    Interview: Mar 29th, 2004

    Sci Fi Weekly

    How has the Wheel of Time series evolved from the first book, The Eye of the World, through subsequent novels?

    Robert Jordan

    It's a continuous story. I've known the last scene in the last book for about 20 years. I know exactly where I'm heading. I try to make each book better than the preceding books. I don't think you can say that it has evolved so much as grown in the direction I wanted it to grow.

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  • 44

    Interview: Mar 29th, 2004

    Sci Fi Weekly

    The Wheel of Time series includes 11 books now, 10 novels and one prequel. How many more novels do you plan to write for the series? Are they going to be sequels or prequels?

    Robert Jordan

    The plan is to do a main sequence book—which I'm working on now, and then a prequel, then another main sequence book and another prequel.

    I hope—please God, are you listening?—that there will be only two more books in the main sequence. When I started out, I thought it was only going to be five books. I thought I could fit the entire story into five books—maybe it might take six. When I finished The Eye of the World, I realized it was highly unlikely I'd be able to finish in six books.

    The problem is, although I know what I want to happen, every time I begin a book, I realize I can't fit into that book everything I wanted to get into it. Some things had to be left over, to be taken up in another book.

    I'm now at a point where I think I can see the end. For which I'm very grateful. It's been about 20 years of my life I've given to these books.

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  • 45

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2004

    Norfolk, MA

    I know you've said you think you can finish in two more books, but there seems to be so much that needs to happen before the Last Battle. It seems like we're still in the middle of it all. Is that a fair assessment?

    Robert Jordan

    No, we're not in the middle. I hope I can finish in two more books. But you ought to realize that I will not be giving you an absolute completion. That is, the major storylines will be completed, but some of the minor storylines are not going to be completed, so that when you finish the last book, you will still have a sense that this world is alive and kicking and things are going on out there. It's always disturbed me to read a book where at the end all problems have been solved. And I get the feeling that this whole world needs to be kept under a bell jar somewhere to keep the dust off.

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  • 46

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2004

    Skokie, IL

    Without telling us all the details, do you expect all the main characters in Wheel of Time to ultimately survive? Is it likely any of them will die before the end?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out.

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  • 47

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2004

    Germantown, MD

    I know you have always said that you have known what the ending will be since you started writing the series. Does that mean you know what will happen in the end, or do you actually have it written out now?

    Robert Jordan

    I do not have it written, but the final scene of the final book has been in my head for almost 20 years.

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  • 48

    Interview: 2005

    The ending of the Wheel of Time

    Robert Jordan

    I don't think I feel any additional pressure because I will soon be starting the final book of the Wheel of Time. It's possible that I do, but I look at it in this way: I thought I was signing up for a 15K run, and somewhere along the line I found I was in a marathon. Now, I think I've made a pretty good showing so far. You know, if you're running a marathon, it doesn't matter if you've run a good time for the first 20 miles. The only thing that counts is when you cross the finish line. When I finish the twelfth book, I will have crossed the finish line. And, as I said, maybe there's the possibility I will enter another 15K in the Wheel of Time universe, we'll see if we make it a 10K. And then again, maybe I won't, we'll have to see. But I would finally cross the finish line, and to me that means a lot.

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  • 49

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    ComicCon Reports (Paraphrased)

    Question

    Will everything eventually be resolved?

    Robert Jordan

    All major threads will be resolved. Many of the secondary and tertiary threads will be resolved. He will leave holes because he wants to leave a world alive and kicking, not stored dust free under a bell jar. As late as the final scene he will leave a medium-sized "hook" that will have us thinking, "he's going to do a sequel!" but it's not going to happen.

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  • 50

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Question

    Someone else asked a question about the development of characters. Something about that Mat is his favorite character and that he has forgiven RJ for leaving out Mat for a whole book. (laughter of all the people) And then about how characters grow in RJ's perception/imagination as the series progressed.

    Robert Jordan

    Not so much growing in my perception. I had a thought about how I wanted those people to grow. The first vision that came to me was the ending of the last book. The next things that came to me was Emond's Field. And I realized the book was going to take these people to turn them into those people you see in the last scene in the last book. So I knew how I was going to change them. Not all the mechanism of the changes but I knew how I was going to change them.

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  • 51

    Interview: Oct 21st, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    Since I snagged a seat fairly close to the desk he was signing at, I got to listen in on the snippets that seemed story-related rather than personal or involving his writing process, and gleaned in addition that there's a 50/50 chance that the next book will be based off the working title A Memory of Light, and that book twelve (which he declared in his opening spiel will absolutely positively be the last book if it ends up 3000 pages long and they have to sell it with a bookstand and luggage carrier—not an exact quote but close) will definitely "cover Tarmon Gai'don and a little beyond."

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  • 52

    Interview: Oct 22nd, 2005

    Allentrace

    My own question was whether or not RJ had in mind the numbers of chapters it would take to play out the Last Battle.

    Robert Jordan

    He said he did not but that it would be more than one chapter.

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  • 53

    Interview: May 12th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I posted that other email I got that was somewhat negative, but the overwhelming majority are very encouraging and thoughtful. I got one piece recently from a reader named Matt which got me thinking. It relates to A Memory of Light, and so I figured I'd answer it here.

    Brandon—My name is Matt, and I have been following your blog posts and website since you were announced as the writer for A Memory of Light. A question to ask occurred to me today that I don't think I ever saw in any of your interviews/posts about being selected to write the book. As a fan, is a part of you disappointed to read the ending of the story the way you did, that is through RJ's notes and not after reading an entire book?

    Excellent question! My answer follows:

    It was indeed a different experience to read through the outline and materials, with the holes and occasional vague sections, rather than reading a complete novel. A little bit of me is regretful. Of all the readers and fans out there, I'm one of the few who won't be able to experience this book for the first time in its complete form. Mr. Jordan's assistants and wife have probably been in that boat for years!

    And yet, I am a writer, and I don't look at an outline the same way that a regular reader might. The closest approximation I can make is to origami masters. If you go and look at their websites, they will often release 'patterns' that go with a new piece of origami they've developed. The pattern is just a sheet of paper with lines on it. I look at that, and all I see are lines. But to another origami master, that pattern reveals the exact method used to create the piece. They can look at the pattern and see the finished product.

    This outline was kind of like that for me, particularly since the ending was the most complete section. I could look at it, and my mind filled in the gaps, adding the foreshadowings and character climaxes that had come before, taking the hints and the outline chunks that Mr. Jordan wrote and putting them all together. It didn't feel like reading a complete book, but I felt like I could SEE that complete book as he would have written it, and that has become my guide in writing it myself.

    (I might also note at the end here that one thing I forgot to include in my email to him is that while I didn't get to read the final book like you all will, I DID get to find out what happened at the end of the series a good two years ahead of anyone else!)

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  • 54

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2008

    Question

    What was your initial reaction when you read the outline Harriet put together for A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a good one to answer now, since I HAVE read the outline (obviously.) Actually, there's a good story here. When I first went to visit Harriet, I recall walking in the door and—even before eating—asking if I could have two things. The ending Jim wrote (he finished the last part of the book himself) and the answer to who killed Asmodean.

    I wish it were possible for me to express just how much I enjoyed reading those final written words that Mr. Jordan left behind. I was satisfied. I think that's the perfect word for it. Satisfied. It ends the way it should. Not, perhaps, the way I would have guessed—or even the way you have guessed. But it's the RIGHT ending. I was very pleased.

    And it made me sleep a lot more easily once I got to see that the ending was there, and that I wouldn't have to do that part myself. I'm a 'goal driven' writer. I develop an outline for myself that generally focuses on my ending, and then my writing pushes me toward that goal. Already having the ending makes this book possible.

    I guess the only other thing I'd like to note that I was feeling was this: Reverence. This is the last work of the master. It's like holding a play penned by Shakespeare himself—one that nobody else has read, and that you get to perform for the first time.

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  • 55

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2008

    Question

    Robert Jordan has talked many times about how he knew the last chapter of the last book very well. Are you able to tell us whether or not he wrote that chapter before he died, or will that be something you'll be putting to paper? If so, does that chapter in particular hold any particular challenge or significance for you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I talked about this above. He did write down the last part of the book. I have it. It will appear in the final novel.

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  • 56

    Interview: Jun 12th, 2009

    Don

    I wanted to comment on the general impression that nothing BIG changes with each turning of the Wheel, i.e., history repeats itself. It's mentioned in the books and has been confirmed by RJ in interviews. I take issue with this, however. The Dark One can influence the world AND he is outside the Pattern and the turning of the Wheel. History doesn't repeat for the Dark One. In his quest to break the Wheel, why would he repeat the same steps over and over again, knowing they don't work? He remembers and learns with each turning of the Wheel. Because of this, I feel that the possibility exists that something "different" could happen, and that perhaps this something "different" might happen at the end of this series. No one really agrees with me, though. : (

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted to answer this one, since there has been a lot of talk about Warbreaker on the blog lately, and I wanted to do something for the Wheel of Time readers. Don, you're actually quite right. The Dark One CAN stop the Wheel from turning. Indeed, this is his goal. So far, history has repeated for the Dark One—but only because he has failed at his attempts to unravel the Pattern. Now, the theory websites can go into all of this in much more depth (and specificity) than I can. I'm no replacement for Robert Jordan when it comes to continuity and cannon within the Wheel of Time world. (Except where it comes to the last volume.) Many questions and thoughts like this are better sent toward Bob at the Encyclopedia WoT or on the forums at Theoryland or Dragonmount (or on any of the other excellent websites.) However, this particular topic was one I decided I needed to delve into during my research for the final books. If I didn't understand the Dark One's motivations and goals, I didn't think I could do the Last Battle justice. And so, I can state with reasonable authority that the Dark One is indeed capable of doing what you say. Though, it should be noted that in many cases, the Dark One's actions will repeat themselves—he will try the same ploys, though I can't speak for certain on how much he has varied those over the years. But I can promise that just because he has failed in the past doesn't mean he will fail again. This series could end with the Dark One breaking the Wheel and destroying the Pattern. That is what is at stake.

    Footnote

    The reader mail was referring to this RJ quote, in which RJ states that there is "nothing different" about this turning of the Wheel (see context). It's a hot topic of debate on the forums as to exactly how far the implications of the quote can be taken. Brandon is (unknowingly) contradicting RJ here (RJ himself was always rather open about the fact that fiction generally requires a suspension of disbelief because you know the good guys are going to win). So theoretically the Dark One COULD win this turning, but we know he's not going to.

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  • 57

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Nadine

    Brandon, you are noted for your fairly concise epic novels. But I am curious about how the final volume of The Wheel of Time, which was envisioned by Robert Jordan as a final and single book, got to be so long? Not just a little longer but incredibly longer (possibly over 900,000 words).

    1. Did Robert Jordan totally miscalculate the size his final book? Or didn't he get too far writing it and had no idea of how long it would be?
    2. Is it including every note Jordan had on the subject because no one is sure what he really wanted to use?
    3. Is it being turned into a self-contained trilogy because a lot of people (like me) haven't read the entire 11 book series (or by now have forgotten the story), and it has to include some back-story?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've wondered this myself, actually, in some form. As a long time reader of the series, when he began saying it would be one book, I was very curious how he'd pull it off. And then I saw the notes, and I was left scratching my head a little bit.

    It's not option three—I was doing a little bit more of this, but Harriet requested that I scale it back. Her opinion (and it was Robert Jordan's opinion) is that the series is much too long to spend time recapping in every book. She was right, and I trimmed a lot of it.

    #2 might have some influence here. Robert Jordan could have chosen to cut out characters and leave out scenes he had in the notes; it doesn't feel right for me to do that.

    But I think, overall, it's something that you didn't mention at all. Robert Jordan knew this was going to be a BIG book. He began promising it would be the last, but also that it would be so big that readers would need a cart to get it out of the store. I think he was planning a single, massive book at 800k words or so.

    But he DID want it to be one book—partially, I suspect, because he knew his time was short. He wanted to get it done. If he hadn't been sick, however, I don't think he would have started calling this the last book.

    Harriet has told me on several occasions that she didn't think he would have done it in one book, if he'd been given the freedom to approach the writing how he wanted. In the end, there is SO much to do that it was going to end up like this no matter what. Unless I crammed it all in and forgot about a lot of the characters.

    Would Robert Jordan have been able to do it in one book? Really? I don't know. I think that, if he'd lived, he might have worked some magic and gotten it done in one 400 or 500k volume. But I feel the need to be very careful and not ruin this series by strangulation. It's not going to go on forever, but it does need a little room to breathe.

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  • 58

    Interview: Nov 7th, 2009

    Question

    Are you ticked you know the ending? (The fans, Brandon, and all of us Storm Leaders laughed!)

    Brandon Sanderson

    "I'm excited." Brandon, in having Robert Jordan's notes on the whole series, has even seen the "handwritten note of who killed Asmodean" [I didn't know Robert Jordan knew my name!] A moment with a somewhat quizzical look on his face, Brandon went on to say that he does feel a "sense of loss that I didn't get to read a new Wheel of Time book last week."

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  • 59

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    "There are a surprising amount of deaths in the notes, so I get to play headsman."

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  • 60

    Interview: Nov 9th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon reiterated how satisfied he was with RJ's ending to the series but danced around the question of what he imagined the ending to be before he read it. RJ's ending "satisfied the promise of the books".

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  • 61

    Interview: Nov 2nd, 2009

    GeekDad

    Are you just lending flesh to a largely complete skeleton, or do you also have to close plot points that were still unresolved in Jordan's notes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's actually not as simple as either of those options. The notes range in how detailed they are. In some places, he finished complete scenes, which is great. He finished several complete scenes, which will be scattered through the three books, including the ending itself.

    In a number of places he gave dictations. Over his last few months, he spent a lot of time dictating to the family things that should happen. These are very interesting scenes in that they read kind of like a screenplay, because they transcribe the dictations. It's a lot of the dialogue, but it's him saying what should happen instead of actually writing it out. "And then, Egwene says this, and then he says this, and then this happens." And so the description isn't there, but the dialogue and the blocking all are. As I said, like a screenplay.

    In other places, there are fragments of scenes, where he wrote a couple of paragraphs, and then another couple of paragraphs. And just like a shattered plate, there are pieces missing. In other places, there are sentences he's written, "and then this happens"—where "this" is a sequence of four chapters' worth of events. In other places, he left a paragraph or two, and in some places there’s just a big hole. There're characters here and there, and then there are a lot of really detailed notes for the ending, saying where everyone ends up, who lives and who dies—it's very detailed, and is where I think the bulk of the material is. But sometimes, we'll know where someone is at the end of Knife of Dreams, and then at the ending he says that person is doing something else, but the intervening space is a big hole.

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  • 62

    Interview: Nov 2nd, 2009

    GeekDad

    So, actually, in The Gathering Storm you've had to do a fair amount of legwork to make sure that everything is prepared for the finale.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes! That's one of the reasons why we felt we needed to split the books. It was partially because the outline detailed so many things for us to do, and Robert Jordan had been saying for some time that it was going to be an enormous book. And part of the reason also was that I needed some legwork—time to set up all of these things that were going to happen. If you look at the end of Knife of Dreams, you've got characters scattered to the far reaches of the world, and we know—we've all known as fans for a while—that they're going to have to gather back together for the Last Battle. It's got to come, but they're still scattered all over the place. He started to draw them back together at the end of Knife of Dreams, but we really needed a staging book to bring some of these things back together, and to accomplish some of the goals he had set forth. That's really what The Gathering Storm is: it's focusing on several of the main characters who need to be in a certain place, both spiritually and physically. As characters they need to be in a certain place mentally, in who they are, and physically they need to arrive in certain destinations, and so I focus a lot on that.

    In many ways, it's a more personal book, in that it's more focused on several of the big main characters.

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  • 63

    Interview: Nov 9th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon thought the ending of the series was right and satisfying to the promise of all the books.

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  • 64

    Interview: Nov 13th, 2009

    Question

    I am struck by how alike this is to Tolkien. Have you ever talked to Chris Tolkien (since he took over for his father using his notes)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, but I'd like to.

    We're in a little better shape. Jim actually finished scenes. We have a lot more to work with. He wrote the end himself! He left landmarks to follow from here to the end. Not specific details, just "strong stuff" to get us to the end.

    "There are no characters that we don't know how they end up."

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  • 65

    Interview: Nov 15th, 2009

    Question

    Did the ending of the Wheel of Time shock you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it "satisfied me." There were "shocking thing in the notes, such as 'Egwene's unexpected visitor' but on the whole the ending was satisfying."

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  • 66

    Interview: Nov 16th, 2009

    Question

    Please tell me all you can about the potential novella that fills in holes? What holes? Who? Where will it be published if written? Is this material that you really wanted to include in Towers of Midnight or The Gathering Storm but just couldn't fit in? How does this match up with your feeling about not writing other stuff in the WOT world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are about 50,000 words of secondary plots that Sanderson wants to include in Towers of Midnight. He's just not sure all of it will get into the book. If something gets cut, he'd like to get to his fans on his website.

    This lead to quite a bit of discussion about Towers of Midnight. It will be a very different book from The Gathering Storm. The Gathering Storm was very intentionally focused. Brandon felt strongly that a 'hit' wasn't good enough, that The Gathering Storm needed to be a home run. (At the table, we all thought it was a home run.) Towers of Midnight will need to catch up many plot threads and will be much less focused. This will have its problems and it will be a big struggle to find the right balance—they aren't there yet in the writing process. Brandon mentioned a few plots as examples which strongly suggests they will be in Towers of Midnight—Loial, Lan, Fain, Taim, Logain, Elayne, if Mat does what fans think he will, etc.

    kcf

    My impression is that the novella, will actually be a series of prologue-like scenes that just don’t make it into the final book.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This also lead to lots of discussion on the Encyclopedia. It will include lots of spoilery stuff that doesn't make it into the books. But, there are several examples in the notes where RJ specifically says that certain plots will not be revealed. Someone asked about Merilille—the Aes Sedai in Caemlyn who ran away with a Sea Folk apprentice. It was implied that this may be a thread that goes unresolved.

    Footnote

    The novella was to be about Pevara and the events at the Black Tower. Brandon later decided that the novella probably wasn't going to work. He got two chapters into Towers of Midnight and the rest into A Memory of Light.

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  • 67

    Interview: Nov 16th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    RJ left detailed descriptions of people after the Last Battle (make of that what you will).

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  • 68

    Interview: Mar 19th, 2010

    Luckers

    Brandon said that as much as he was terribly excited to be involved in finishing the Wheel, there was an element of sadness as a fan to not be coming to the final product fresh. Is that true for you also?

    Maria Simons

    Yes, it is. I would have loved to see how Jim put it all together. The sadness is ameliorated somewhat by the fact that I got so much from Jim himself in his last days, and that Brandon did such an amazing job with The Gathering Storm, and is a joy to work with.

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  • 69

    Interview: Apr 22nd, 2009

    Richard Fife

    After this wonderful panel, we had an amazing treat. As many of us know, before Robert Jordan died, he spent one evening and the better part of the next day telling his close family/friends exactly how A Memory of Light goes, and they captured it on tape. Alan, being the computer whiz he is, cleaned up the first 17 minutes of audio, and we got to listen to it. Aside from Robert Jordan's preamble that he would be talking mostly out of order as things came to him, he said "but I will start with the prologue." We then were treated to the Great Bard himself telling us the first scene of The Gathering Storm.

    Now, I know exactly what people are hoping for here, and I am going to say: no. Aside from the fact that no recording devices were allowed in the room for legal reasons, I know that I myself could not do justice to what I heard. It would be a cruel parody and fall short. I trust Brandon will have translated the scene description we heard into wonderful prose, but what we heard was exactly that, a description of action and scene, not the text we will all see soon enough, and that should only ever be in Robert Jordan's voice. So, sorry guys and gals, you had to be there.

    But, I will tell you this: our reaction. When it was finished, the room gave a standing ovation. This, of course, was expected and not spectacular from us. What was, though, was that when the clapping stopped, we all sat down, and dead silence filled the room, even though we knew the reading/panel was done, and even still after Harriet and Alan said "that's it." We did not know what to do with ourselves, our brains were churning and wheeling and grinding over what we heard, and many people left with tears in their eyes. I still get goose-bumps just thinking and writing about it.

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  • 70

    Interview: Apr 22nd, 2009

    Richard Fife

    After that, I went, like a proper hobbit, and had second breakfast with—ready for it?—Tom, Harriet, and Wilson, amongst a smattering of others, including a few Tor.com readers/posters. That was great conversation as well, but hey, when is it not? After that was done, I sat in on another Brandon Sanderson panel, and now, finally, for "How is A Memory of Light being organized?".

    Brandon Sanderson

    OK, I’ll start by saying Brandon did not tell us any names/characters who are going to be where, so I will have to be as vague as him. Although, I think I saw a chart somewhere that will give us an idea, if someone wants to be investigative.

    So, the story as stands at the end of Knife of Dreams has four "plot arcs" that are more or less related through "geography, fate, thought, etc." At the end of each of those arcs was a giant chunk of joined material that was "Tarmon Gai'don" and made up roughly 1/3 of the story. Brandon started writing these plot arcs like four separate novels with the intent to intersperse them. He had finished the third arc and hit 400k words when they decided they had to split it.

    So, what they are doing: the first two plot arcs he wrote are going to be MOSTLY included in The Gathering Storm, as well some set-up/teaser of the other two. Then, in the second book (Working title The Shifting Winds, by the by, but we were promised it is going to be changed) is going to continue from that set-up/teaser of the third and fourth plot arcs, and including the final setup of the first two so that everyone hits at the same point and is ready for Tarmon Gai'don. Book three (working title is Tarmon Gai'don, but it might be A Memory of Light), will be, yes, Tarmon Gai'don. So, there ya go.

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  • 71

    Interview: Apr 22nd, 2009

    Leigh Butler

    Immediately after this was what was billed in the program as "A Reading from A Memory of Light", and the panelists listed were Harriet—and Robert Jordan. I may have been the last person to clue into what this meant. I had assumed that Harriet was going to read something from the book that Jordan had written.

    What I got was quite different.

    Wilson was there, too, and got up and told us how, a few weeks before Mr. Rigney died, Wilson was sitting with him when Mr. Rigney suddenly began to talk. He was describing a scene, and as soon as Wilson realized what he was hearing he jumped up and ran into the next room and got Harriet and Maria, so they could take notes, and dashed to Wal-Mart to buy audio recording equipment. Because Robert Jordan was telling them the end of the story.

    I don't mind telling you, when I realized they were going to play some of the audio recording for us, I got chills.

    Wilson told us that what we were about to hear was recorded twenty days before Mr. Rigney passed, and is a description of a scene in the Prologue of A Memory of Light. I'm not sure, but it may be the very first scene in the book. You could have heard a pin drop in the room when he sat down next to Harriet and started the recording.

    I can't claim that I specifically remember what Mr. Rigney's voice sounded like when I met him five years ago, but I would have remembered if it had sounded any different from what a big, self-assured man generally sounds like, so hearing what he had sounded like near the end was something of a shock. The voice on the tape was hoarse and cracked and exhausted and determined, and altogether... I hesitate to use the word "eerie", for fear it seems disrespectful, but, well, I can't think of another way to describe it. Combined with the scene he was actually describing, which was entirely for the purpose of creating a sense of ominous foreboding, the effect was... I don't know what it was.

    The scene was simple, with largely nameless characters who are unlikely to appear in the larger narrative, starting with a farmer sitting on his porch, watching a cloud bank in the distance, one which is behaving in a manner unlike any clouds the farmer had ever seen before. I won't go into more detail (though it may be that others will), because we were asked beforehand not to employ recording devices, and though a written summary is certainly not breaking that rule, I feel that I should adhere to the spirit of the request. And besides, a written summary wouldn't do it justice.

    The thing I remember most was the repeated phrase: "The storm is coming. The storm is coming." He said that over and over again.

    I had choked up the moment the recording started, and by the time it was over, I was unabashedly in tears. This may seem like a rather strong reaction, but perhaps it is a little explained when I tell you that by entirely random coincidence, Mr. Rigney had died barely a month before my own father did; my father was only a year older than Mr. Rigney, too.

    Meaningless coincidence this may be, but grief doesn't truck much with logic, and... and I don't have much more to say on that topic. Let's just say it struck a raw place, and leave it at that.

    All other considerations aside, whatever else I felt at that moment, I also feel privileged to have been there for it.

    Fortunately for this con-goer, there was a ball later that evening. With a bar.

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  • 72

    Interview: May 25th, 2010

    Patrick

    Speaking of Towers of Midnight, without giving anything away, what can fans expect from the novel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As I said before, if there is a character who fans didn't see in The Gathering Storm, chances are they are in Towers of Midnight. What else can we expect to see? Things are getting worse and worse. The Last Battle is approaching, and it's coming quickly.

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  • 73

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2010

    Richard Fife

    This question has to do with a conversation I had with Wilson.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh okay, is this going to be? Okay, I think I know what this is going to be.

    Richard Fife

    At last JordanCon I was talking with Wilson, and he was telling me about the night that Robert Jordan told him the end of the book.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh huh.

    Richard Fife

    And he says that it started off with the word... they were talking about whatever, and it started off with Robert Jordan getting really quiet and then leaning in and saying, "There is a ______ in the Blight." To which that completely blindsides Wilson. He says, "There's a what?!?" And Robert Jordan then says, "There's a ______ in the Blight and not even Harriet knows about it." And then went on for two hours describing about how this was important and pivotal and yet takes place...be really important for the end of the book. Any further hints?

    Brandon Sanderson

    And see, Wilson can get away with stuff that I can't. And that is a story I've been told by three different people now. In fact, the first day I was there in Charleston, Harriet told it to me. Then Maria told it to me. And then I met Wilson later and he told it to me. Because that was the day when they suddenly said, "We need a tape recorder. Someone get a tape recorder." And I think Maria, like, went to the store to get one and came back with... But then, that was the session where he started for the first time dictating what was to happen and things like this. I do know that story. It's great for you to share it with everyone. I would not have shared that story because I have to be extra careful not to cross any lines. And so...you will get hints about whatever that was in the next book.

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  • 74

    Interview: Sep 13th, 2010

    Patrick

    As the overall story arc is nearing its conclusion and a panoply of plotlines are approaching their culmination in Towers of Midnight, is there added pressure for you as A Memory of Light draws nearer and you need to close the show with a bang?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You phrased that very well. I don't know if I can add anything more to that; you've got it. Now, the nice thing to keep in mind is that I don't have to write the ending. The BANG has already been written by Robert Jordan, and as a reader I found it extremely satisfying when I reached it. And so I feel very confident that the ending of the next book is going to be what everyone has been hoping for and wanting—without being exactly what they expect. I think the ending that Robert Jordan is just wonderful. So at least I don't have to worry about that. But I do have to make this the best book that I can possibly write, and it's going to be a challenge. It's part of why I've decided that I have to slow down, as I said earlier, and just take my time on this one.

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  • 75

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2008

    Question

    Did the ending of WOT bum you out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it didn't, but it helped since that is how Brandon generally writes, which is to write the ending and use an outline. However, Brandon doesn't get to read A Memory of Light like a regular fan, which was a little disappointing since he is writing it (counter-balanced by the fact that he knows the ending before anyone else).

    He did say that when he first went to Charleston that before eating dinner, he insisted on finding out who killed Asmodean, and how WOT ended!

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  • 76

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    Does Rand sheathe the sword in the Last Battle?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know I'm going to R.A.F.O. that!

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  • 77

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    Who makes it all the way to the end?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Bela.

    Footnote

    Explanation here.

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  • 78

    Interview: Apr 16th, 2011

    Richard Fife

    We've actually heard Brandon's impressions of what he thought of the ending when he first saw it and read it and heard it. But I can't say I've ever really heard anything beyond 'wow' from either of you. So when Robert Jordan was giving you the ending in those last months, what were you thinking about just how he had brought it together, and how the twists were, and general feelings?

    Maria Simons

    Wow.

    Alan Romanczuk

    I was speechless. But I don't have many feelings.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    And I've known the ending for many years, and at the time I first heard it, I said, "Okay, so how're you going to get from here to there?" But that's because I'm an editor, and that's kind of a Darkfriend.

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  • 79

    Interview: Apr 16th, 2011

    Question

    There's a lot of plot lines. Well, the pace of the books have changed a lot, immensely, from The Eye of the World all the way to what's going to come out in A Memory of Light. What are we going to expect in A Memory of Light? I know there's a lot of loose ends to tie up before it all finishes up. Are we going to expect it to be something very hectic? Is it going to be action packed the entire time, or is it going to be something less paced (?)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm gonna RAFO that. Because that's talking too much about the core soul of what the book is. And honestly, you're going to have to decide that. I'm going to have to see what people think of it after I write it, if that makes sense. I don't think I can armchair decide if people are going to feel that this is . . . how people are going to feel this is. It's going to be a good book, and it will feel slightly different from Gathering Storm and slightly different from Towers of Midnight, just like each book in the series has felt slightly different than those before them.

    There are a lot of loose ends to tie up, though Robert Jordan has in his notes specifically several to not tie up. He says, 'this does not get resolved'. And so those will not be resolved. He wanted the world to keep on living and breathing even after the series was done. We are tying up pretty much everything that he did not tell us not to tie up, if my double negative worked there. And so the pace is going to be fairly quick-paced is basically what I can say, but I don't want to say anything more than that.

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  • 80

    Interview: Apr 16th, 2011

    Leigh Butler

    What do think you're going to feel like once it is actually done and out and over? Is it just going to relief? Do you think you're going to be kind of sad? Collapse in a puddle on the floor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All of the above. It's going to be a major relief; there will be a sadness to it. There will be definitely a sadness, though having read the ending already, that sadness began for me in 2007, because the series is already finished for me. The work isn't done, but the series is finished. And so that melancholy, it won't come to a crux until that book is finally out. But I think the others might, you know they've been working on this much longer than I have, so they may have something different to say.

    Alan Romanczuk

    Yeah, it's been a long ride. It's going to be wonderful to have it finished; it's going to be sad that it will be finished. It won't be totally finished for Harriet, Maria, and myself because we'll be producing the encyclopedia, which will come out approximately a year after this book hits the bookshelves. This is the longest I've ever held a job. And you know, it hasn't felt like a job. I always say that my life is primarily fantasy, if you include very vivid dreams, the food I eat, what I do after dinner, there's very little reality left in my world. So I'm curious to see how that's going to change when this is all over. But yeah, it's been a great ride.

    Maria Simons

    It's been a very good ride. And it'll be good to have it finished in some ways, and it will be sad. I've been doing this fifteen years now, and it's going to be different. But, I am looking forward to being able to actually really talk about the Wheel of Time without having to think really hard about every word I say.

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  • 81

    Interview: May 30th, 2011

    Question

    Someone asked about the plotlines that will not be resolved in A Memory of Light, if Brandon could say something about how many that would be.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon explained that RJ left lots of information about the ending and exactly where everyone will end up. This included some direction about things not to resolved, which would annoy some fans (he mentioned Theoryland here). His estimate was that this is something like 5 to 10% of the plot lines, and all minor ones (we will find out what happens to Rand). However, he said that if you remembered what the outriggers would be about you should be able to fill in most of the blanks and unresolved plot lines.

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  • 82

    Interview: May 30th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon noted that people will die in Tarmon Gai'don. We should not blame him.

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  • 83

    Interview: Jun 4th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sanderson admitted he was one of four people who knew the ending that Jordan had written for the Wheel of Time. And I think I can put money on who the other three are...

    Footnote

    One would assume that this would include Harriet, Maria, and Alan, but we have been told that RJ's cousin Wilson also knows the ending.

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  • 84

    Interview: Aug 1st, 2011

    SciFi Bulgaria

    At the end of the The Wheel of Time series we expect an epic battle. We know that many will die and some will survive. Have you made the decision on who lives and who dies or has Mr. Jordan already made that choice for you. Was it hard to let go of characters that you have read about for the last two decades?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The ending itself was already written by Robert Jordan, and it is a fantastic ending. The notes that Robert Jordan left include a quite extensive list of what happens to each major character, and I'm writing their fates according to his wishes.

    It will definitely be hard to know that when the final book comes out, we won't be seeing any more of these characters who we have come to love since the first book came out. But it would have been much harder if we never got to see the end that Robert Jordan had planned. I'm honored to have had the chance to get inside the characters' heads for a couple of years, though it's still a bit sad for me that I don't get to read a new Wheel of Time book at the same time everyone else does.

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  • 85

    Interview: Aug 31st, 2011

    Reddit AMA 2011 (Verbatim)

    keebler980 ()

    I read somewhere that RJ said the final story wasn't set in stone, and was fluid depending of circumstances, feelings, etc. Are the notes that he left older notes from the beginning (original thoughts), or newer notes from right before he passed (changed from his feeling in the beginning of the series)?

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    RJ never actually said that; see the tags for 'the last scene' and 'how will it end?' to see what RJ did say about it (mostly that the outcome was entirely set in stone, but some of the details on how to get there were not).

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have both. There is a lot of flexibility, because often he implied things like: "I'll do this, or maybe this. The tone I'm looking for is this. Make it feel that way."

    Some are hardfast. He wrote the last scene of the series, for example.

    defiantburrito

    Did RJ leave notes intending that somebody else would finish the series? Or are they notes to himself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of the notes were to himself. A large chunk are things he dictated on his death bed in the last weeks, after changing his mind and asking Harriet to find someone. (Originally, he had not wanted anyone to finish it for him.) Some of those dictations are directed more at me.

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  • 86

    Interview: Aug 31st, 2011

    Reddit AMA 2011 (Verbatim)

    sparhawk1985 ()

    How did finding out the ending(s) to The Wheel of Time affect you personally? I feel like I have known these characters for so many years, and to not have something else to look forward to is going to be so weird for me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I felt, reading it, that Robert Jordan's ending was deeply satisfying. I liked it a lot. It is also weird to know that, to one extent, it's all over.

    rahvin37

    I realize this is an older thread, but I just wanted to say how pleased I am to see this comment. Before I found WoT I never thought I'd enjoy reading. I grew up with this series, and I'm so happy to hear the ending is a good one.

    I am a huge fan of your work; especially Mistborn and The Way of Kings. Thanks for doing the AMA :D.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    My pleasure. Thank you for reading.

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  • 87

    Interview: Aug 4th, 2011

    Question

    The first question is cut off. Mi'chelle believes the question is: How epic is the Last Battle?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I guess it depends on your definition of 'epic'. I mean, it feels pretty epic to me. There's a lot of stuff going on in this book. I hope people don't get lost, is what I'm worried about. I mean, everything is kind of coming to a head. I can't say much, but it's pretty epic.

    Question

    For the Last Battle how many points of view are you doing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm using a lot of them. There's going to be all the mainstays. Rand will get viewpoints again. Perrin, Mat, Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elayne. And there will be some Tuon, and then there will be some little shots from all over the place. The Great Captains will all be involved, so you'll be seeing from them. You'll be seeing from pretty much everybody. I'm trying to give at least one little scene from them if we've had a major perspective [from them], we'll try to do some from them. But, you know, the core is going to be the main characters. So: the Two Rivers guys and the Wonder Girls, basically, if you follow the parlance from the websites.

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  • 88

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Aldoth

    The question that I have for you is, now that you know the ending of Wheel of Time, after the final book has been released will it be a world that you could set a game in? Or will it be like Tolkien where after the end of Lord of the Rings the world is pretty much over? I ask because it looks to be a great place to set an RPG and I want to know if I should be looking to a time before The Eye of the World or if I should run a new age?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to stick pretty close to things Mr. Jordan has said or implied regarding this. Things he has said have implied strongly that it is not going to be like Tolkien; though the Wheel will eventually turn to a point where the One Power is forgotten and the land becomes like our world, that is NOT the Fourth Age. I think it would still be a fantastic place to set an RPG game.

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  • 89

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Patrick Lynch (14 November 2011)

    Did the ending of A Memory of Light surprise you? As a reader and lover of the series and world, was it fully satisfying?

    Brandon Sanderson (14 November 2011)

    I will say I found it more satisfying than surprising. There are shocking elements, but I'd read so many theories... (more)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That it was hard to be completely surprised by anything. (Even if some elements, like Verin, did surprise me.)

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  • 90

    Interview: Apr, 2001

    Robert Jordan

    I got to meet mr. Jordan three times. His first interview session in bookstore De Kler in Leiden was well-organised; there were about 80 to 90 people there, and RJ seemed more interested and open with his answers than on the later occasions I attended. The bookstore interviewer asked him all the usual questions, but it was nice to hear the familiar answers from the master himself. Oh, and I too heard him say that Harriet knows the ending ("she's my wife, she has ways to get things out of me").

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  • 91

    Interview: 2001

    Rochelle O'Gorman

    How long did it take you to formulate the Wheel of Time series before you started the first book? Had you had this ruminating in your mind?

    Robert Jordan

    Extending back to the first clear thought I had that I can say led into the Wheel of Time was maybe 10 years before I began writing. I'm not saying I knew 10 years before I began writing what it was going to be, or that I was actually on to something that would become the Wheel of Time.

    I thought I had a story set in my head, a set of stories, fixed. And when I began writing the Wheel of Time—The Eye of the World in particular—I realized I didn't have as much of it as clear as I thought I did. There were things that I needed to work on. So The Eye of the World took me four years to write. I guess you could say, in a way, it was about 14 years of development to get the thing set.

    Rochelle O'Gorman

    Did you ever think it was going to turn into this epic series?

    Robert Jordan

    No. The story is the same story that I set out to tell. I knew before I began writing what the story was. There were details of how it worked that I didn't have fixed that I thought I knew and suddenly realized I didn't. But, I knew the beginning and the end and the things that I wanted to happen in the middle. I literally could have written the last scene of the last book before I began writing The Eye of the World. The problem has been over-optimism.

    Rochelle O'Gorman

    In what way?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, when I went to the publisher with this at Tor Books and I said, "Look, this isn't a trilogy that I'm talking about. It's going to be four or maybe five books." I said. "It could be six. I don't think so, but it could be." And I really believed that. But the over-optimism has been, "How much of the story can I get into one book?"

    With every book I start out thinking I can get more of the story into this book than I actually turn out to be able to. I suddenly realize that I have to stop here or I'm going to have to write another thousand pages to really make it fit together. Or I realize that I'm going to have to take some things and do them later or I'm going to write a 2,000-page hardback, which they really would have to sell to people with a shoulder strap.

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  • 92

    Interview: Jan 21st, 2003

    Robert Jordan

    About the end of the book, as we all know, Jordan explained that he has always had the series’ ending planned. However, he was also careful to mention that he didn’t want all of the minor sub-plots to be neatly tied up at the end of the series. I think he may have been implying that such sub-plots might also make for great (long) short stories and mini-epics.

    Regardless of whether or not this is true, it is clear that much will still go unanswered and leave us much to debate about, even after the series is through. In reality, every situation does not get neatly tied up and patched at the end, and after so much conflict in Jordan’s fantasy world, he doesn’t want something that unrealistic to happen there, either.

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  • 93

    Interview: Jun, 2011

    Marie Curie

    And....here's the second snippet, posted a few days ago (12 December 2011). I hope that Brandon eventually agreed to have some of Harriet's bean soup...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I got to read the ending–what?–four years ago now. I don't know if you've heard that story, but I went to visit Charleston for the first time in December of 2007, so almost exactly four years ago now. I met Harriet at the airport, she picked me up. And it had been a long flight, I'd been without food for a while. And she drove me back to her house, this wonderful home in Charleston–it was built in the 1700s–just gorgeous town home. And she said, "Do you want dinner?" as we pulled up. And she said, "I have some bean soup that I made, it's quite good." I said, "Actually, I want the ending." And she laughed and she went and fetched that for me, and I got to read. Sit down and find out who killed Asmodean, find out the fates of all the characters. And read all of this, in mostly note form. So I did get that. But I don't get to read the ending.

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  • 94

    Interview: Jun, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    It feels very comforting at least that fans have liked these last ones as much as they had, and that the reception has been good. I can only hope that you all will enjoy the ending as much as you've enjoyed the last books. I will tell you this: I found the ending incredibly satisfying. When I got there, and I sat and I read that alone quietly, and actually in Robert Jordan's chair, in his room, just a few feet from the computer he'd written a lot of the books on. I felt immensely and deeply satisfied with this conclusion that he wrote himself. It feels right to me. And so, I hope that you will have a similar experience.

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  • 95

    Interview: Dec 15th, 2011

    Zas (Terez)

    Robert Jordan often said that he intended to plant a 'hook' in the last scene, a teaser for an unresolved issue. Was this 'hook' something he planned to explore in the outriggers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, and he actually wrote that part. You'll see it when the book comes out, and it's one of the lines that will go in unchanged. Sorry!

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  • 96

    Interview: Jul 22nd, 2011

    Shawn Speakman

    With Robert Jordan basically having turned in that ending, how do you as a fan, how do you feel about how everything wraps up?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was really satisfied with it. It was the first thing I read out of all his notes; when I got to Harriet's house for the first time, I read that ending, and I was very satisfied. I really... I think it ties up well.

    Shawn Speakman

    Great.

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  • 97

    Interview: Dec 7th, 2000

    CNN Interview (Verbatim)

    Michele Dula Baum

    Jordan does have his detractors. Disgruntled fans—and not a few critics—question his verbosity, and many have wondered whether he could be losing control of the story.

    Robert Jordan

    "No, I never feel that it's getting away from me," Jordan said. "I certainly am telling it in more detail, in which case, I think it's good that I'm telling it in more books than five. Trying to compress it into five would have made it not as readable or enjoyable."

    He insists that he has known what will happen in the last scene of the last book before ever setting down a word. And while he will not speculate on how long it will take to get there, Jordan does have definite plans for life after the "Wheel of Time" has finished turning.

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  • 98

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2000

    Robert Jordan

    The next question was about the tying up of all threads, to which he said it was not going to happen. He then told how he didn't like it when in most books all the sub plots are tied up and that you could put the world in a bell jar and put it on a shelf. He wants his reads to imagine his world still living after the series is finished. He said that he was going to set a hook at the end of the last book and walk away.

    He again stated that he only worked on one book at a time.

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  • 99

    Interview: Sep, 2000

    Tahir Velimeev

    Of course, one of the most frequently asked questions—how will the saga end? And by the way, does the author himself know what the finale of this incredible fantasy saga will be?

    Robert Jordan

    How it will all end, I have known this for fifteen years—from the moment I started writing the first book, The Eye of the World. But I will not reveal any intrigue and tell you everything in advance. Why would I? Read and find out for yourself!

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  • 100

    Interview: Mar, 2012

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn

    Something which just occurred to me was that, other than editors, advance reviewers, etc. the first people who will get their hands on the conclusion to The Wheel of Time will be the audiobook narrators—including Kramer, who has been a constant voice in the series. You've written that the final words in the series are Robert Jordan's—can you give away whether the final voice on the audiobook might be Kramer's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha! I can't give you something like that. I'm sorry. Nice try, though.

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  • 101

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    Eleanor

    If Rand dies, or seems to die, or almost dies, will there be a secondary reason other than cool factor or him being loved for bringing him back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    ELEANOR

    I thought I'd manage to dodge a RAFO with this setup, but of course to answer it he would have to confirm Rand's death or otherwise.

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  • 102

    Interview: Apr 21st, 2012

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    The last battle strategy and body count were in RJ's notes, the specifics not. So he did specify who'd die but not how. Help was gotten from Bernard Cornwell. (woohoo!)

    RJ set up the whole layout of the battle, who would be where and who would not make it out but he kept insisting that he'd write the Last Battle on the fly, so to speak. Apparently Bernard Cornwell lives kind of close to their place so one day Harriet asked him over for coffee and he had a few good pointers for the battle (which I personally think is great because his battle-style has a very similar immediacy in scale as RJ displayed in Dumai's Wells and while I also think that BS writes good battles, he's better at the one-on-one type things and not so good with the massive event that the Last Battle would be).

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  • 103

    Interview: Aug 8th, 2009

    WorldCon 2009 - Dom (Paraphrased)

    Dom

    Brandon Sanderson

    Another question was if there were shocking/very surprising twists coming (Brandon was asked to answer this one as a fan when he read the outline). Sanderson said himself was surprised by a few things (most of which will happen in book 13) and he initially had a few WTF! moments when Harriet or Maria explained to him what Jordan intended to happen during some of the outline's gaps, but after looking around the WOT sites more he realised these things seemed pretty much common place expectations among the real maniacs of the series. He also said if someone picked all the right bits from all the theories and threads and put them together and in the right order, that's pretty much the books. So, no, in his opinion, there aren't many big plot twists or shocking moments in store, not for the hardcore fans—he said Jordan rather found out interesting ways to tie up all the foreshadowing and it made for a very satisfying finale, especially the third part, the Last Battle, which he enjoyed the most. He then indirectly confirmed the Seanchan attack is the climax of Egwene's story line, using her as his example to explain there is no huge surprise or plot twist there, that she's long Dreamed about what is going to happen at the Tower at the end of her pre-Tarmon Gai'don story line.

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  • 104

    Interview: Nov 9th, 2009

    Question

    What did you think would happen at the end before you read the ‘real ending’?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon talked a long time about how the first place he ever went on the web was rec.arts.rj. He talked about how RJ stood on the shoulders of giants, mentioning JRR Tolkien by name and he also said that he was surprised that RJ’s genius hadn’t crushed the giants beneath him. When he finally read the ending that RJ wrote he felt the ending was right, perfect and satisfied the promise of the books. He went on to say that aspects of the ending surprised him but that they made perfect sense.

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  • 105

    Interview: Jan 12th, 2011

    PrncRny

    How far past Shayol Ghul and the Last Battle will we see written in A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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  • 106

    Interview: 2012

    TellAllThePeople (June 2012)

    Wow I am amazed that you actively Reddit, how in the name of the dark one didn't I know this? If you have the time I just have one question! Is WoT really going to end this next book? there seem to be SO many loose end that, if the series is tried too be ended in one book, will be rushed or left unacknowledged/uncompleted! Anyway thanks for yor amazing work I loved the latest books!

    Brandon Sanderson (June 2012)

    Well, I guess "active" is a relative phrase, as I only now saw this.

    Yes, this is the ending. No, not every loose thread will be tied up. Robert Jordan left instructions for some to be left open.

    It doesn't feel rushed to me, but we'll have to see what the fans think.

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  • 107

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    JordanCon 2012 - Terez (Paraphrased)

    Austin Moore ()

    So I've been wondering, and I think many others have as well, will we know for 100% sure what Rand's fate is at the end of A Memory of Light?

    Wilson Grooms

    Oh yes. There will be NO doubt in anyone's mind what Rands fate will be at the end. It will sure to surprise and amaze people. When Jim (RJ) told me how the series ended I just shook my head and said, "Bubba, that is just beautiful. Just beautiful." So yes, you will all know.

    Austin Moore

    Ok, I was afraid that might get a read and find out type answer so thanks for assuring us that Rand's fate will not be open-ended for interpretation.

    Wilson Grooms

    Yep, there will be a definite confirmation by the end of what happens to him.

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  • 108

    Interview: Jul 20th, 2012

    Casey Phillips

    What was your reaction to reading Jordan's notes for the series' conclusion?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was very satisfied. I was very satisfied with the ending.

    Casey Phillips

    How would you characterize the ending?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really don't want to give any spoilers, and I'm worried that anything I say here the Wheel of Time fans will read to much into. I would characterize it as the right ending for the series, and that's basically all I can say.

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  • 109

    Interview: Jul 21st, 2012

    Jeffrey Daniel

    So what do you think the most challenging part of writing A Memory of Light was? Was it those logistics, or was it writing battle scenes, or...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the battle scenes were the toughest part of A Memory of Light, definitely. At least the toughest for me, because it's not necessarily something I naturally excel at. I think I'm okay at it. I've read a lot of books...but I've read a lot of books. I haven't done it. Fortunately, Alan Romanczuk has done it. He was a soldier and Jim was a soldier, so I'm really relying a lot on him for getting it to feel right. You know, my book learning only gets me so far in the way that tactics are done and the way a battlefield plays out. So, that's been one of the big slow-downs for this. The other big slow-down for this has been just making sure we get everything in there. There are a lot of things that need to go in the book and there are some things that aren't going to make it. Jim said that certain things don't get resolved, and there are certain things we just didn't have time for and we said, "Okay, this just doesn't get resolved." And I'm sorry about that. He warned you, I will warn you: there are some non-resolutions.

    Joe O'Hara

    I don't know how other people would feel about that, but I kind of enjoy that. To me, that's where a fandom would go. We can continue to speculate and wonder and think about.

    Jennifer Liang

    Yeah, it gives us something to talk about. We can ride that or like ten years at least. (laughter)

    Jeffrey Daniel

    JordanCon will be good for a while. We'll have a lot of talking panels on that one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will try to keep them quiet. There are two deleted scenes from the book that actually covered very interesting things. And after the books are out I will give you guys some hints and then you can spend the next ten years deciding what was in them.

    Jennifer Liang

    Yeah, we'll ask you some really weird questions over the next ten years. We used to do that to Robert Jordan. We'd ask him very oblique questions, hinting at the thing we really wanted to know, because we were like doing process of elimination, and logic trees and...yeah, he caught on.

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  • 110

    Interview: Jan 25th, 1995

    Andrea Lynn Leistra

    For the fairly sizable contingent of Stanford rasfwrj-ites here, there's an RJ interview in the bookstore newsletter; I probably shouldn't post it here, but I found his last quote interesting enough to risk posting...

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan quickly points out, however, that the Wheel of Time is not literature in which everything always works out to fairytale perfection with good always triumphing over evil. "But," he adds, "I always try to leave hope at the end."

    Andrea Lynn Leistra

    That's an interesting little morsel; the rest is fairly unremarkable, singing the praises of WOT, an attempt at a two-sentence plot summary, a brief RJ biography, and the standard "I-don't-know-how-long-it-will-be" bit.

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  • 111

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2012

    Chris Lough

    Brandon spoke further on the ending of the book and the series. For example, was the fanboy inside of him satisfied with the ending?

    Brandon Sanderson

    "I really like the ending. When you get to what Robert Jordan wrote at the end of the book there's a serenity that arrives. Everything clicks into place."

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  • 112

    Interview: Nov 3rd, 2012

    Question

    Somebody asked if he killed any characters against RJ's wishes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He said that there was one character who he was going to let live but Harriet insisted should die. And there was another character whose fate was not spelled out in the notes (I didn't quite hear what he said there) and that he killed that character himself. Other than that everybody who dies, dies by RJ's hand. I think he talked about this in other interviews so this is probably not new.

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  • 113

    Interview: Mar 15th, 2003

    M. L. Van Valkenburgh

    As for an ending to his series, Jordan's had it in his head for nearly two decades.

    Robert Jordan

    "I've known the last scene of the last book since 1984. I just can't put as much in to one book as I want. And various events have to happen before it can end," he says.

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  • 114

    Interview: Apr 14th, 2012

    Question

    With regards to the end of the Wheel of Time, when you started to receive all of the notes and information around what actually happened, did you look at that information and see where the story and say, "Yes! Absolutely this is the best possible ending for the Wheel of Time"? Or, as a fan, did you see possible alternate endings or ways you would have liked things to proceed differently, and if so, did that influence how you've written?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question. I read the ending—Robert Jordan wrote it himself, the last chapter, and I have put that into the last book unchanged—I read it and I was deeply satisfied with it. That is the word I always use: satisfying. It was a satisfying ending. And I didn't read that and ever think, "No, we're going to change this." I don't think it ever needed it. What I did is I said, "That's my goal. That's my target. I have to get us there in a satisfying way to match this ending." And my goal all along is to live up to that ending. The nice thing is, being a creative person, there were certain holes. There were things that he, you know....I know where that last chapter is, but there are big gaps along the way, some places where I got to say...I get to do some things I've been looking forward to doing, looking forward to having happen in the Wheel of Time, and that was really a treat to be able to sit down with that outline and say, wow, there's a place here for the thing I've been waiting as a long time as a fan, he doesn't say either way. I can make it happen.

    And so I got to do a lot of those sequences, and then there are a lot of ones he left instructions on as well, and so my goal has been to...always my default is, if Robert Jordan said it, don't change it. However, that said, you can't do a book like this without being willing to be flexible in your outline. I never wanted...never changed that ending and I never have, but there are things along the way, particularly when he would say, I'm thinking of doing this, or maybe this other thing that's opposite, and sometimes I'll choose between one of those two, and sometimes it's neither one and it has to be a third thing. In a creative process, you really have to be willing to do that; you always have to be willing to toss aside what you were planning to do when something better works for what you're building, so and that has been that process. And after the books are out, I hope to be able to be much more forthcoming about what those things were and show some of the notes, if Harriet will let me, and show how they were adapted. I'm not sure if she will let me. It's really her call. Her argument has been that she doesn't want people's last memory of Robert Jordan to be his unfinished things, which is a really solid argument, and so hopefully she'll let us see some of it, but I can talk more freely about this after the last book's out.

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  • 115

    Interview: 2012

    kornork (August 2012)

    As far as you know, have you finished all the plot threads with the last book? How did you keep track? Were there certain threads that RJ forgot about in his final telling to his family that you had to figure out on your own?

    Brandon Sanderson (August 2012)

    I have not finished all of them. There are a few that got cut from the book during the revision process, for example. (I'll reveal what these were after the book is out.) In other cases, RJ asked for certain threads to not be tied up.

    My goal has been to tie up as many as I can, respecting Mr. Jordan and leaving alone the ones he said not to. He left many unexplained in his final telling—his last months were spent on the major plot cycles, and many smaller things were left to me.

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  • 116

    Interview: 2012

    kurin (August 2012)

    At the end of A Memory of Light, I assume you're going to leave some questions unanswered intentionally. Will any of these have canonical answers that simply aren't shared, or will you try to resolve all the open questions?

    Brandon Sanderson (August 2012)

    There are canonical answers that are not in the book. (Mr. Jordan sometimes said in the notes "Here is the answer to this, but it isn't resolved in the last book.") He didn't want everything answered because he wanted the world to live on in people's minds. All major plot elements are dealt with, but some smaller ones are left open.

    kurin

    So there's going to be a new acronym after RAFO? Like YNFO?

    Question

    (Probably left this too late to expect a response but...)

    Will you (or anyone) ever provide those answers? Whether it be by blog/new "world of RJ's WoT" or Q&A?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will try to answer some questions once the book is out. I'd like to do some blog posts talking in-depth about the process, and about the notes. But it will depend on a lot of factors.

    Kooreth

    Even Maria's large reference book won't contain those secrets?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The reference book will contain some of the things not resolved in the book, and I've given clues about some others. Other things...well, he wanted them to go unanswered. So they will be. (And some we don't even know the answers to.)

    Kooreth

    Thanks Brandon! I am excitedly and sadly awaiting the final book. After so many years, it's going to be rough finishing it, and closing a chapter of my own life.

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  • 117

    Interview: 2012

    AreYouReadyToReddit (August 2012)

    A question I had, if you're still answering. I believe you said on your blog that the "very last scene" is Robert Jordan's, and touched very little by you.

    Could you please specify what you mean in this? (Last scene of the main story arc, last section of the epilogue, last section of the last chapter, etc)

    Thanks for all the work you have put into the series!

    Brandon Sanderson (August 2012)

    It's the last scene of the book. RJ had a large influence on the ending as a whole, but when I say "Last Scene" I'm referencing the final 1000 word section with the words "The End" following it.

    AreYouReadyToReddit

    Cool, thanks! : )

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  • 118

    Interview: 2012

    adribbleofink (December 2012)

    Brandon Sanderson (December 2012)

    Just opened the document, as I figured I could give some hard statistics on this. The chapter is just shy of 79,000 words. It contains (by my quick count) 72 scenes—but only 31 distinct viewpoints, as numerous ones repeat. (There are eight Rand scenes, for example, and six each for Mat and Egwene. Three or four each for another eight characters.)

    It is not the last chapter of the book, but is a very important one, as you might have guessed. From the get-go, I lobbied Harriet to let me do this sequence as a single, massive chapter as I felt it fit with what was going on in the book as well as fitting with the series as a whole. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

    Sarkos

    This may be a silly question, but what exactly is it that defines a chapter? Why the reluctance to break it up?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a tough question to answer because what defines a chapter is dependent upon context. I have done chapters a paragraph or two long, and I've done some (well one) at this length. In addition, if I were to go into depth about what makes this chapter a single chapter to me, I feel it would give too many spoilers. It has to do with the pacing, the sensation I wish to convey, and the attempt—through prose and the form of the storytelling—to evoke the same emotions in the reader that the characters are feeling.

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  • 119

    Interview: Jan 3rd, 2013

    Goodreads

    The publication of the final Wheel of Time book is a big event for fantasy readers, many of whom have been anticipating the end of the series since the first book in 1990. As a longtime fan yourself, how do you feel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's really a weird experience. I discovered fantasy when I was 14, and the Wheel of Time books were the first series that started when I started. I have been following it all through, and it's also one of the few series that continued with me: I enjoyed it both as a youth and as an adult. Wheel of Time has always been there through my whole career, so I understand completely how [fans are] feeling about it.

    But it is also a weird experience for me as a fan. I read Robert Jordan's ending in December 2007, so part of me has had the Wheel of Time done for five years now, and the rest of the world is finally getting to catch up with me. I think that people are going to feel a lot of what I felt when I read that last scene; I was very satisfied. I loved the scene, but there was also this deep sort of sense of, "Wow, it's actually over." The series has been going for 23 years, and we have joked in Wheel of Time fandom for 22 about when the ending would come. It's a reverent feeling, it's an excited feeling, and it's also a sad feeling.

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  • 120

    Interview: Jan 3rd, 2013

    Goodreads

    How much liberty did you have in deciding which characters would play the biggest roles in the last battle?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In a lot of ways the "why" or the "how" was not said, and in other places in the outline there were just empty holes where a character is in one place and 800 pages later, then another place.

    [In the final book] we've got a lot of questions that still need to be answered. Robert Jordan did leave me instructions on which ones, in some cases, not to answer. There are things he wants to leave unresolved, and there are other things he said do answer this, and there are some things that he said either way. He left a lot of instructions about who lives and who dies, but there are also plenty of cases where I got to make the judgment call. It's a big, cool, awesome, scary thing, and all of the gloves are off. Anything can happen in this book, because I don't need to worry about setting up any future books.

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  • 121

    Interview: Jan 4th, 2013

    Dave Golder

    So what can we expect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    "I can tell you a few things as Robert Jordan was once asked what the series was about and he said that 'It's about what it's like if you're a normal person who is told that the world is going to end unless you try and save it.' This end book is what everyone has been expecting. They call it the Last Battle, so it's the last showdown as there's this massive war going on. You can also expect the last chapter written by Robert Jordan himself. He always promised fans that he knew what the end of the series would be, so he sat down and wrote it before he passed away. It's gone into the book virtually unchanged by me. It's the goal I've been working towards all this time.”

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  • 122

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Ed Huyck

    How extensive were the notes that you had to work with? Were all of the plot lines tied off, or did you have to find conclusions on your own for some of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Since Robert Jordan wrote the last scene, that actually made this whole project mountains easier. I had a target to shoot at. While I didn't have a ton of written material from Robert Jordan that I could actually put in—there were about 200 pages worth of scenes and notes that needed to become somewhere around 2,500 pages—a lot of those 200 pages were summaries of scenes he wanted. Robert Jordan wrote by instinct.

    He was what we call a discovery writer, so what was handed to me was a big pile of half-finished scenes or paragraphs where he wrote, 'Well, I am either going to do this, this, or this. I was thinking of this, but it could be this.' Yes, cracking an ending is hard, and Wheel of Time had a lot of loose threads. My job was to take all those threads and weave them into an ending, which was a real challenge.

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  • 123

    Interview: Jan 9th, 2013

    Geek's Guide to the Galaxy

    Fantasy and science fiction fans have every reason to be skeptical about the endings of long-running sagas, many of which never materialize or prove resoundingly disappointing, but Sanderson hopes A Memory of Light will be the exception. Certainly fans have high expectations, with some lining up at Sanderson’s first signing as much as two weeks in advance.

    Brandon Sanderson

    "It's not particularly pleasant outside in Utah in December and January," says Sanderson. "These are real troopers."

    Geek's Guide to the Galaxy

    Listen to our complete interview with Brandon Sanderson in Episode 77 of Geek's Guide to the Galaxy, in which he reflects on his 50,000 unread e-mails, explains why so many Mormons write science fiction, and talks about whether this is really the end of The Wheel of Time. Then stick around after the interview as guest geek Douglas Cohen joins hosts John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley to discuss movies based on the works of Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian.

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  • 124

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2012

    Rebecca Lovatt

    And with A Memory of Light being finished, is it odd not having it to work on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is... It's very strange experience since it's been such a part of my life for so long, to not have it to work on... But I do intend to be a part of the fandom for the rest of my life. So, there is that.

    Rebecca Lovatt

    I know a lot of people are looking for it, and there will always be more theories. I do remember last year when I spoke with you, you did say there will be loose ends, so people will be theorizing on those for a while.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, there will be loose ends, and I can talk to that when the book comes out.

    Rebecca Lovatt

    Alrighty then! You'll just have to come back to Toronto then.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, well that's a deal then.

    Rebecca Lovatt

    Alright, I think that’s it... Thank you!

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  • 125

    Interview: Jan 4th, 2013

    Petra Mayer

    And I understand that he—the last scene, which I think you're referring to—he wrote that completely himself?

    Harriet McDougal

    Yes, yes.

    Petra Mayer

    Did he have that in mind the whole time? Because I have to tell you, when I got the book in the mail last week, I turned to the end and read the last scene. I'm that kind of person.

    Harriet McDougal

    (laughs) Yeah, I think he had it in mind the whole time—from before he started The Eye of the World. He thought very far ahead. I remember once we went out to lunch just after he'd finished The Eye of the World, and over lunch he wanted to talk about what would happen to a Maiden of the Spear who had a child. And that doesn't turn up until where? Book four?

    Petra Mayer

    I don't think so, yeah.

    Harriet McDougal

    But he worked far ahead. And he did have the overall arc of the story in mind all the time—think of the prophecies.

    Petra Mayer

    That's true, yeah.

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  • 126

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Petra Mayer

    I know you can't give too much away, but what can we expect from A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, A Memory of Light is awesome. When I first got this, I had to say yes sight-unseen to the notes. I knew there was an ending, and so I flew out to Charleston where his wife lives, and I flew out there just weeks after this whole thing had come down; I was doing this, I had signed the contracts. It's a long flight from where I live in Utah, and I walk in the door to Charleston, and Harriet, bless her heart, says "Would you like some food? I know it's been a long trip." And I said, "No, I'd like the ending please." And I sat down, and that night I read Robert Jordan's ending to the series, and I was immensely satisfied. It was the right ending. It's what I've been writing toward all along. Having that means that I can get everything pointed toward it, and I think that it's a beautiful, perfect ending to this two-decade-long journey, and so, I hope you all enjoy as well. I really think you're going to be pleased.

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  • 127

    Interview: Feb 8th, 2013

    Brandon and Harriet (paraphrased)

    When asked about the ending he said he thought Robert Jordan left it open so the reader could fill in what happened for themselves. Then he said that he thought Rand probably did go talk to Tam before he left but maybe not Lan.

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  • 128

    Interview: Feb 18th, 2013

    Indy Week

    Harriet's going to be at the signing with you—I imagine that there's going to be a real overall tribute to The Wheel of Time at this event.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. What we usually do is the Q-and-A with fans, which is probably the last time they’ll get a chance at a signing like this to ask whatever they want, so we want to give them that—what it was like working with Robert Jordan, how the series came to be. A lot of times, fans are very excited to see Harriet and give her standing ovations. She was the driving force behind this—she discovered Robert Jordan as a writer and was behind The Wheel of Time getting published in the first place.

    There’s a lot of tributes to her and Robert at these events, and they get pretty emotional, because for fans, these books were part of our lives. I started reading these when I was 15. I’m 37 now! The Wheel of Time has been with me longer than anything else. It’s been with me since before I wanted to be a writer, longer than I’ve known any friends that I’ve had.

    Indy Week

    That's got to be a hell of an emotional experience for you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. The end it all is really weird . . . just to be at the end. And it's bittersweet, in more than one way, that I got to see it through to its ending, that I got to be part of it, but . . . this is it! There are no more Wheel of Time books to wait for. And that's a surreal feeling, to realize that it's all done now.

    Indy Week

    And it's got to be doubly overwhelming for you, as a fan and a writer.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Granted, I had more time to steel myself for it. I got to read the ending Robert Jordan wrote, the epilogue . . . wow, back in 2007. I was one of the few who got to read that, to see that ending, and know how it ended.

    There was still a lot of work to do, but I knew, "This is the ending, and I've got to prepare myself for it, because I know what it is."

    For the fans, what they're feeling now, I started feeling it in 2007.

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  • 129

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2013

    JaimieKrycho

    Brandon then came up and spoke. Here are some of the highlights:

    Brandon Sanderson

    "I read the WoT books all through my career, and all through college. I loved them, and at times hated them. Anyone else remember when Book 6 came out and it wasn't the end? I was not happy. I went through everything WoT fans seem to go through—the appreciation, and the transition from waiting for the ending to just letting Robert Jordan do what he wants to do.

    In 2007, when he passed away, I was as surprised as anyone was. For me, I became a fantasy author in part because of my love for his books. I learned to write novels by reading his books, and I chose my publisher because it was the one that published the WoT books. So it was the end of an era. We talk about the end of the Third and the start of the Fourth—well the end of that age for me was when Robert Jordan passed away. I didn't think for a minute I would be here, five years later. It has been an amazing journey, and the last five years have been unparalleled.

    I can't tell you how awesome it was to look through [Jordan's] notes and see things in the middle of their progress. As a writer, I haven't grown as much since writing my first book. It was amazing and wonderful, but over it all there was this cloud, that I couldn't have done this if my favorite author hadn't passed away. People ask me how I feel; it's a weird mix of emotions. It's probably similar to the emotions you will have reading the last page [of A Memory of Light]. It's wonderful and awesome you got to be part of this, but now it's done, and there's sadness. It's like Christmas: you've opened all your presents, and now what?"

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  • 130

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    Brandon Sanderson

    You were the person with the Moiraine question. RJ wrote in his notes that main purpose of Moiraine is to prevent a war between Rand and Egwene. And then she was to go with him into the Pit of Doom, but in the Pit of Doom there was nothing for her to do. And I felt bad about that, but that's what he instructed. It was hard to come up with stuff for everyone to have a part and a role. But I did what he instructed. It was a good question, people wondered. She did have an important role to play.

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  • 131

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    Egwene, was that your idea or Robert Jordan's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't been telling people about that one specifically. Almost all the deaths in the book were RJ's instructions, but I did choose a few of them. So, it could been either one of us.

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  • 132

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    And the decision to exchange the bodies at the end?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was his (Robert Jordan). And it began with the crossing of the balefire streams, way back when, and continued on through the series up to here. He actually wrote those scenes at the end himself.

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  • 133

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    Was Robert Jordan's original draft of that as bloody as the way it came out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of the deaths, he didn't write any of the actual death scenes, he just indicated who lived and died. I just upped the ante somewhat. I wasn't going to have the Last Battle come without substantial losses, and so, where he didn't instruct me, this person lives, I had some measure of, yeah. And so, I did up the body count. I know he was planning to kill off a number of characters, but he also, killing people, and letting them stay dead was not one of Jim's strong suits. He was very fond of his characters, and I know there were lots that he was planning to kill. I don't think that he would have killed as many as I, maybe. I don't know. It's what we felt the story needed, in talking to Harriet and Team Jordan. Maybe he would have. I did what I thought made the best story.

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  • 134

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    What about Cadsuane being summoned to become Amyrlin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Cadsuane was going to give up the three Oaths, and go live forever. Cadsuane's fate was not my idea.

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  • 135

    Interview: Mar, 2006

    Robert Jordan

    After Knife of Dreams, there's going to be one more main-sequence Wheel of Time novel, working title A Memory of Light. It may be a 2,000-page hardcover that you'll need a luggage cart and a back brace to get out of the store. (I think I could get Tor to issue them with a shoulder strap embossed with the Tor logo, since I've already forced them to expand the edges of paperback technology to nearly a thousand pages!) Well, it probably won't be that long, but if I'm going to make it a coherent novel it's all got to be in one volume. The major storylines will all be tied up, along with some of the secondary, and even some of the tertiary, but others will be left hanging. I'm doing that deliberately, because I believe it will give the feel of a world that's still out there alive and kicking, with things still going on. I've always hated reaching the end of a trilogy and finding all of the characters', all the country's, all the world's, problems are solved. It's this neat resolution of everything, and that never happens in real life.

    I originally thought I was signing up for a 10 or 15K run, and somewhere along the line I found out it was a marathon. So yes, I would like to cross the finish line on this thing and get on to what's next. I'm not that old, and I've got a lot of writing left. There are two more short prequel novels to be done at some point, but aside from that, I have said I would never write again in this universe unless I get a really great idea—which would have to be an idea that would support two or three of what I call "outrigger" novels, not part of the main storyline. Well, I may have had one! But I'll have to set it aside for a year or two because I've already signed contracts for an unrelated trilogy called Infinity of Heaven, which I'm very excited about. I've been poking that idea around in my head for 10 or 12 years.

    I've also thought about doing a book set during the Vietnam War, but Jim Rigney will probably never write the Vietnam book. If I did, it would be history now, and I decided a long time ago that Rigney was going to be or contemporary fiction, and my name for historical novels is Reagan O'Neill. Maybe Jim Rigney will never become a writer!

    There have been some computer games and comics, and a movie based on The Eye of the World is still in the works (with contracts that allow me a lot of involvement), but nobody else is ever going to write Wheel of Time books. For after I die, I've purchased an insurance policy with a couple of guys who have a kneecap concession in the southeastern United States, and they have rights to expand this concession should it be desired. For a very small fee, they have guaranteed that they will crack the kneecaps of anybody who writes in my universe, and nail them to the floor!

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