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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RJ said the soul is immortal. But Hopper says dying in the Wolf Dream is likely permanent. Is Hopper wrong?
RAFO, for now. Ask again after the last book is out.
I introduced myself as an internet user. I told him that some on the net seemed to think that every other person was a Darkfriend. He replied, "I've heard". I told him that my feeling was that the number of Darkfriends in Randland were probably between 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 100,000.
For kcf, again, we have never met anyone who has the Talent of emulating the effects of a ta'veren over a small area.
I give my input on the design of the chapter icons whenever a new one seems needed, but Harriet actually decides where to place them, and I am happy to leave the job to her.
Yes, Ingtar was seen at the Darkfriend Social.
The Wheel creates ta'veren at need, making someone who is already alive one. You aren't born ta'veren. Can you imagine being around a ta'veren who is teething?
It would be possible for a Darkfriend or Forsaken to be made ta'veren, but it seems unlikely. Ta'veren are part of the Wheel's self-correcting mechanism. When the Pattern seems to be drifting too quickly, and especially if it is in the wrong direction, one or more ta'veren are created. I can't really see how making a Darkfriend or Forsaken ta'veren would help with correcting the drift of the Pattern.
Ta'veren can oppose one another, when their conflict is what the Wheel "sees" as the necessary corrective. And, no, ta'veren is not Old Tongue for Deus ex machina. It came out of musings on luck, charismatic leaders, and the theory of the indispensable man.
Katerine escaped with the help of Darkfriends. Galina, who is much more closely watched by Wise Ones than Katerine was, would have little opportunity to use their help for an escape even if she wanted to, and she doesn't, not until she can get her hands on that rod. She'll put up with anything to get that.
Anyone who can channel, however weakly, can see the glow of saidar and feel someone channel. For sul'dam who have been sul'dam for a time, some begin to be able to see what might be called a ghostly image of the flows. Others convince themselves that this is, of course, only imagination and manage to give themselves a block.
Wow, you have a lot of questions. One more, and then I'm off to the next person.
Someone who sees ta'veren sees them as glowing. The more strongly ta'veren, the brighter the glow. This is a Talent, and is something that only someone who can channel can do. While she was stilled, Siuan could not see ta'veren, nor could she have if she had been burned out.
Brandon said there are two things going on—ta'veren and the Fisher King prophecy which says the Dragon is tied directly to the land. He says it seems to Rand that more bad stuff was happening in The Gathering Storm but that this could be either just Rand's perception or what is really going on. We should remember that ta'veren is supposed to be 50/50—an extra equal amount of good and bad going on. He would not tell us at this point whether there was really more bad stuff happening in The Gathering Storm or whether its Rand's perception as there was purposefully very few viewpoints from Rand himself in Towers of Midnight. Like the third book The Dragon Reborn, Towers of Midnight is meant to step away from Rand and view him from the viewpoints of others.
Someone also asked if Rand's ta'veren nature would affect people on the other side of an open gateway. Brandon said that the Pattern considers that Rand is where he is and not on the other side of the gateway, so he would not affect a place just by having a gateway open there and not actually being there.
Okay! Alright! So Wetlander and people.
Yes...Are the impressive displays of power that Rand makes in Towers of Midnight (i.e., stopping the Trolloc army and having no concern over being able to leave the White Tower) a result of his integrated knowledge or his ta'veren nature?
Umm...Both, though, one thing you have to keep in mind, is...Rand, as a result of power level...Robert Jordan was specifically not using him very often because his power had grown so powerful even by the end of Knife of Dreams. I mean, you look at Knife of Dreams—if you go reread the fight in Knife of Dreams he is laying waste to nearly as many Trollocs as he has when he does the battle at the temple—which is not actually called that in the books—that's the one with the Trollocs and things [referencing Rand's big single-handed fight in Towers of Midnight]. And so...yes, some of these things have changed, but he's really powerful now.
Now, the thing about in the White Tower is something different. [Brandon smiles]
He, um, believes that he can.
Still, even after the The Gathering Storm reintegration?
He has a more zen view on it now, but he still believes that he can have some influence.
The Dragon is one with the land...so the answer is yes.
He went on to say that it says the Dragon, not the Dragon Reborn, making the point that it most definitely applied to Lews Therin. (I riffed off a second related question from Luckers which was: Did he have the same extra abilities?) Instead I asked:
Considering what you mentioned regarding Lews Therin's ability to sense the lack of inhabitants within miles of the spot he was at in the Prologue, is this ability something that comes from being the Dragon, being ta'veren, or a Talent?
(paraphrased) It's not a Talent, but I won't say whether it is a factor of being the Dragon or something about being ta'veren.
Luckers, I asked this question because the way Brandon answered the first it seemed apparent to me that the Dragon is Lews Therin is Rand, as far as 'one with the land' and abilities. My interest then became that specific ability he noted in Lews Therin during the re-read.)
Everything that I've read in the notes indicates that they are from his ta'veren nature, and that they are a manifestation of being ta'veren [?] related to his [?]
One of Perrin's manifestations, visions in the Wolf Dream...
Partially. Perrin's manifestation is also...he draws to him things that he needs; what he needs comes to Perrin. That's actually his primary manifestation of being ta'veren.
So what's the difference between what Perrin does and what Egwene does?
Oh boy. Can I get into this? They are similar, but not the same. What Egwene does is partially a Talent of the Power, and it's related to the Power. And Perrin is not.
Is it [?] him being a Wolfbrother?
[?] if he chose to.
It is related to him being a Wolfbrother.
Why can the wolves not see it?
I honestly don't remember the answer to that.
I don't know. (Brandon looks at Maria)
I don't know. It might be in the notes.
That is an excellent question...that I'm not allowed to answer. (Sorry.) I feel bad. I'm giving you lots of RAFOs.
Is Rand still ta'veren? If not, how did he warp reality and light his pipe at the end?
These are questions that I'm not answering, I'm afraid. RJ wanted some things about the ending to remain ambiguous.
How can you still be RAFO'ing stuff? What is left to read?
To RJ, RAFO sometimes meant "Read, think about it, and decide." It didn't always mean "I'll give an answer."
Is 'RAFO' basically to mean we're never going to find some things out?
There's a "Talk it over, see if you can figure it out" aspect to it as well.
Ta'veren Telepathy in Technicolor (TM): what was the point?
Not totally sure; RJ's notes just said "This keeps happening up to the very end." Narratively, to keep attention focused on the Superboys, and to connect timelines.
Um, was there any connection between Mat's luck and the dagger?
Um, not that I know of. Good question, but we can MAFO that one, but you can give the, "not that I know of". I'm still kind of...you know, the Mat's luck being beyond him being ta'veren, is one that's very interesting to me, because everything that I know says that his luck does extend beyond his ta'verenness, but...
Well, it's like his whole plotline seems kinda designed as like this revenge story for Manetheren against Aridhol, you know?
Yeah, uh-huh. Yep.
And, you know, he starts speaking the Old Tongue right before they go into Shadar Logoth; that's the first time he speaks it...
...you know, and then as soon as he wakes up from the Healing, he's got memories, he's got this luck, you know?
Perrin felt his ta'veren-ness melting away. If Mat lost it too, does he lose his luck?
I don't believe that he does. Being a ta'veren has a distinct effect on him, but I think there is an innate luckiness to Mat, partially drawn from the fact that the Heroes [of the Horn] call him Gambler. And so in other lives where he would not have been ta'veren he was still a gambler and still lucky. However, I do think being a ta'veren meant that the luck was greatly magnified, and I think it grew stronger and stronger through the series. That's my read on it from the notes, and I'm pretty sure on that one. I have to give the caveat that there could be something out there that contradicts me.
Hey Brandon! I'm the redheaded dude who was helping at the last two Midnight Release parties, and I am actually at BYU right now. I have two questions:
I know you've said you can't answer these directly, so, rather than give the "official" answer, I was wondering if you could give us your "fan theory" on the answer, as if you weren't the writer.
What do you think about Mat, Rand, and Perrin keeping certain "abilities"? I know you've said that they may or may not still be ta'veren, and Perrin thinks they aren't, but can Perrin still talk to wolves? Is Mat still lucky? Does Mat still have his memories?
In your opinion, who do you think Nakomi was? Do you like the "Nakomi is the avatar of the Creator theory"? Do you think of her as the third member of the Christian godhead?
Finally, Harriet was quoted as saying that she thinks Rand's special ability at the end was a "new magic"? Do you agree? Or do you think it is something else?
Thanks for being awesome!
1. Perrin can still talk to wolves. That is certain. Also, Mat keeps his memories. These two are official, not theories on my part. What I can't give official on is the ta'veren-ness of the guys. I don't think RJ ever even says in the notes. Me? I think they aren't.
2. I'm too close to this one. I can't say, unfortunately. I can answer as a fan for things I don't know because it's not in the notes, or for things I could theorize about before I came onto the project. For things I learned about while working, I don't have a "fan" perspective, only a writer perspective. Sorry.
3. Harriet is more likely to be right than I am, but I don't believe it is a new magic. I think it is a result of Rand touching the Pattern directly.
Awesome! So, I'm still unsure about Mat's luck. Would you say that's part of his "ta'veren-ness?"
Thanks for the great answers. I'm more at peace now with some of the previous answers you've given.
My gut tells me Mat still has his luck, but not to the extent he once had. But I have no foundation for this in the notes.