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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 is also from one of Brandon's hash outs with Matt from Theoryland. In it Brandon speaks of the nature of Parallel Worlds.
Brandon: Extrapolations of this question get us to: is there one Dragon for all different Parallels or are they all different Dragons? Traveling through the Portal Stone seems to indicate that there are many different lives Rand could have led. The same thing happens with several of the ter'angreal that people go through. The question then is, are those all separate universes? Do we have a multi-verse sort of concept? Or are they possibilities and do these worlds all exist or could exist, what is the difference. In some of those Rand failed. So, is Rand the Dragon in all of them or is Rand not the Dragon in some of them? What happens in the ones where Rand failed? Are they real worlds? Are those different worlds where there is a different Dark One who then takes over and destroys that world or maybe not, maybe he makes it has he wishes. Or are those just possibilities, reflections of this world that don't really exist except when we touch them? Those are all very good questions. Robert Jordan said that Tel'aran'rhiod is a reflection of all different worlds, which implies other worlds continue to exist. The World of the Finns is something different...
Matt: ...he called it a Parallel World...
Brandon: Yes, the Parallel World, that one and also the one Rand and Lanfear visited are persistent regardless of someone from this world visiting. Yet, many of those seem almost shadowy and reflections of the real world, some of them seem as real just strange when visiting them. What happens in these different world, that sort of thing, those were never questions that Robert Jordan answered...
Ok, my request for clarification is mainly concerned with that last paragraph—specifically it left me confused about whether Brandon is speaking about Parallel Worlds or Mirror Worlds. Brandon seems to lump both in together, describing some as shadowy, some as solid. Brandon describes the Finn world as THE Parallel World (we also know the Ogier world is a Parallel World), but in the same paragraph Brandon seems to define it as a persistent Mirror World of some form, and grants that same allocation to the world Rand and Lanfear visited in The Great Hunt.
Q53: Are Parallel Worlds and Mirror Worlds the same thing?
RJ: No, they are different.
Q54: Do Parallel Worlds have their own reflections?
Q55: Do Portal Stones lead to Parallel Worlds, Mirror Worlds, or both?
RJ: They lead to Mirror Worlds, the Portal Stones can take you to Mirror Worlds, not to Parallels, which are separate.
My thought was always that Mirror Worlds are reflections no matter how solid, whilst Parallel Worlds were completely distinct universes. As real and vital as our own. That was how Rand could lose in the Mirror Worlds and it not result in the Dark One winning. But that's all my thoughts, I was mainly just wondering at the distinctions between the two, and whether the world Rand visited was special, or if that's just my own stupidity in play.
A couple of other curious events involving Verin occur in The Great Hunt, such as her discussion of Portal Stones with Rand.
Was Verin lying to Rand when she said his use of a Portal Stone was more recent than hers as she had never traveled by one?
No. Nice try! That's eliminating one theory, I'll give you that one.
Was Aviendha in Tel'aran'rhiod or in a mirror/portal world when she met Nakomi?
Is Nakomi Jenn Aiel?
[laughs and grins] I should RAFO that shouldn't I?
I'd appreciate it if you didn't.
[laughs] I want Nakomi....We're gonna RAFO that for now. Nakomi needs...there's gotta be a few things I don't answer. I'm so bad, I answer everything Robert Jordan put an answer [for, to?] [bunch of people laugh]. Track me down another time, after A Memory of Light is out.