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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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This lead to quite a bit of discussion. Basically, Graendal pretty much uses compulsion on everyone she interacts with. He also asked if it had been revealed that King Alsalam's letters were revealed to be fake. I went into our discussion here and Dom's interpretation in particular. Brandon seemed to like it.
Number one, let's talk about the blademaster issue. I'm not at liberty right now to say what's in the notes and what isn't, but I can tell you I'm drawing from the notes when I'm writing. I don't know why certain things weren't mentioned before in the series.
Maintaining the Wheel of Time continuity is an enormous task. There are so many questions like "What was Bryne's rank during the Aiel war?" where I ask Maria and Alan and just trust their instincts. There are other ones where they're not even sure.
Much of the time, when we run into issues like this, it's just me making a mistake. I do apologize for that. I promise you, I have read these books a number of times, but I don't have the type of mind that memorizes facts and repeats them back offhandedly. I have to do a lot of reading each time I write a chapter, and I often make mistakes. A lot of the time, these mistakes come because I HAVE been reading the series for so long. I've got these long-seated impressions of characters and events in my head that go back all the way to my teenage days. And they're not always right. (I didn't learn to pronounce some character names until I was well into my 20s.) Sometimes, I just assume I know something when I've been wrong about it all along. Those are the dangerous ones, since I don't think to look up items like that.
Anyway, with every printing of the books, Maria goes back in and fixes continuity. It happened when Robert Jordan was writing the books (though not nearly as often as it will when I'm writing them, I suspect). So what can I say about that? Well, Harriet is putting together a comprehensive encyclopedia that will become the definitive answer to these sorts of questions. Until then, I'm letting Team Jordan handle it.
MAFO. Brandon replied that it may be due to all the problems caused by Ituralde's raids, and possibly the issue with Galad's desertion as well.
Their plan was to push east quickly through Illian and eventually sweep north into Andor and beyond. Ghealdan was not a military threat to them for the time being, and it would fall easily to them once they had consolidated control of the southeast. There are only so many fronts on which an army wishes, or should wish, to fight simultaneously, even an army of great strength. History is littered with the corpses of generals who made that mistake.
The idea of Compelling the Great Captains was one he and Harriet worked up. The notes apparently just stated that several of the Great Captains died and then everything was given to Mat. Since it was so vague, they had to come up with a reason for WHY the world would trust Mat like that.