Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.
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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You have stated in your blog that Mistborn had three magic systems (Allomancy, Feruchemy and Hemurology) and also that The Way of Kings will have upwards of 20. For comparison, how many magic systems would you say the Wheel of Time series has? Two (One Power and the True Power)? How do you classify other abilities (not necessarily related to the One Power or True Power) such as Dreamwalking, viewing the Pattern, Wolfbrother-hoodness, and changing 'luck' or chance? Would you classify these abilities as a magic system in and of themselves? Has your chance to see the background material Robert Jordan left changed how you view these abilities?
This kind of gets sticky, as it's all up to semantics. Really, you could say that Mistborn had a different magic system for each type of Misting. But at the same time, you could argue that something like X-Men—with huge numbers of powers—all falls under the same blanked 'magic system.' And take Hemalurgy in Mistborn 3—is it a new magic system, or just a reinterpretation of Allomancy and Feruchemy?
So what do I mean by twenty or thirty magic systems in Kings? Hard to say, as I don't want to give spoilers. I have groupings of abilities that have to deal with a certain theme. Transformation, Travel, Pressure and Gravity, that sort of thing. By one way of counting, there are thirty of these—though by another way of grouping them together, there are closer to ten.
Anyway, I'd say that the Wheel of Time has a fair number of Magic systems. The biggest one would be the One Power/True Power, which is more of a blanket "Large" magic system kind of like Allomancy being a blanket for sixteen powers—only the WoT magic system is far larger. I'd count what Perrin/Egwene do in Tel'aran'rhiod as a different magic system. What Mat does as something else, the Talents one can have with the Power something else. Though I'd group all of the Foretelling/Viewing powers into one.
Sounds like a topic for a paper, actually. Any of you academics out there feel like writing one?
Let's just say that The Wheel of Time has a smaller number of larger magic systems, and I tend to use a larger number of smaller magic systems. Confusing enough? ;)
What can you tell us about the Knights Radiant?
Um…what can I tell you that's not in the books?
A little more about them.
There were 10 orders of Knights Radiant. Each order was based on a combination of two of the "smaller" magic systems in this world, so to speak. You combine two of them together and they each had something kind of "their own". So if you look at the map in the front of the magic system and you mark circles that include one large circle and two of the smaller circles in between, you can find the 10 orders right on there. The mini circles are the powers and the big circles represent the orders and the essences and things like that. So one big circle, two little circles equals an order of Knights Radiant.
Are the symbols going to be further explained throughout the series?
Yeah, you want me to- let me open this up *opens WoK* what she’s talking about are the symbols right here, this does relate to the magic and to the Knights Radiant. I will eventually explain what it is but for right now it’s just there to be interesting and to look at. It should be telling that one of them ended up on the front of the book, this is actually the same symbol as one of these, just done in a slightly different style. This is what we call in the books the glyphs, the writing system, they actually can be read phonetically, but they are also partially art.
The inspiration for these that I gave to the artist was the Arabic writing, where people actually, often take words and will do them as designs and these beautiful works of art, changing the words, and that’s what happened with the-you probably can’t see that very well- the embossing on this but that’s what happens with the writing system on this world and so the glyphs will usually will write them in the shape of something and that’s one of the glyphs written in the shape of a sword. So that will be explained eventually, it is something for the entire series, every book will have the same end pages like this so slowly over time you will understand that and I haven’t said anything at all about the one in the back, and I don’t intend to for quite a while.