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2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."

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Your search for the tag 'the wheel' yielded 28 results

  • 1

    Interview: Jul, 2002

    Question

    Does taíveren-ness ebb and flow as needed? If Rand, Mat, and Perrin were all taíveren growing up, it seems that the Two Rivers would have had a lot of odd events occurring, but no mention is made of it.

    Robert Jordan

    You might say that taíveren-ness ebbs and flows. For one thing, remember that even for someone like Rand, the effects are really occasional, not continuous. Even when he is causing dozens of coincidences in a particular place, many more events pass off quite normally. For another thing, no one is born taíveren. Rand, Mat, and Perrin only became taíveren just before Moiraine appeared. You become taíveren according to the needs of the Wheel. Like the Heroes linked to the Wheel, who are spun out as needed to try to keep the weaving of the Pattern straight, a man or woman becomes taíveren because the Wheel has ďdecidedĒ to use them as an influence on the Pattern. And, no, the Wheel isnít sentient. Think more of a fuzzy logic device that uses feedback to correct what it is doing in order to do it in the most efficient way.

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  • 2

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 18 Question

    Who were the first channelers, and how did they learn? By trial and error? Are there any Ages where channeling does not exist?

    Robert Jordan

    The first people to discover the ability to channel learned through trial and error, with fairly high casualty rates until they learned enough not to kill themselves accidentally. Their appearance marked the beginning of the previous Age to that of the books, or at least the end of the Age before that one.

    Yes, as I have set things up, there are Ages when no one has any idea of how to channel or even that the One Power exists. Our own, for one. (The Wheel of Time turns.)

    Footnote

    RJ hints in the glossary of the split version of The Eye of the World that Tamyrlin was the name of the person who discovered the One Power at the dawn of the Age of Legends.

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  • 3

    Interview: Jan, 1991

    Starlog Interview (Verbatim)

    William B. Thompson

    He doesn't see the world he elaborates as unreal. Far from it.

    Robert Jordan

    "It exists in our past and our future. These were our legends, but because time is a wheelóaccording to Hindu legendówe are the seeds of their myths. Because it is a real world in my books, they have certain degrees of technology. The time in which the characters live is our future and our past. Part of what I'm exploring here is what the nature and source of our myths might be."

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  • 4

    Interview: Jun 21st, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    The universe is driven by saidin and saidar working against each other. They will not end up as the Light Power.

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  • 5

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    Rog in CT

    Because the Wheel of Time contains the Dark One's prison, and the Ages repeat with each revolution, then isn't humanity itself also imprisoned....unable to truly evolve?

    Robert Jordan

    No. :)

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  • 6

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    Scotty1489

    Is our earth a future or past turn of the wheel?

    Robert Jordan

    Both. The characters in the books are the source of many of our myths and legends and we are the source of many of theirs. You can look two ways along a wheel.

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  • 7

    Interview: Nov 11th, 1997

    Brandon from Mission Viejo

    Mr. Jordan, It's fairly common knowledge that the Dark One was bound by the Creator outside of the Pattern at the moment of creation. Would it then be safe to assume, after concepts brought to light in the new release, that the world before the opening of the prison never knew true evil? If so, then was each age before the opening of the Age of Legends different facets of some utopia? As well, without major conflict between good and evil, what caused ages to pass? Thanks.

    Robert Jordan

    Given that time is cyclic, you must assume that there is a time when the prison that holds the Dark One is whole and unbroken. There is a time when a hole is drilled into that prison and it is thus open to that degree. And there is a time when the opening has been patched in a make-shift manner. But following this line the cyclic nature of time means that we have at some time in the future inevitably a whole and unbroken prison again. Unless of course, the Dark One breaks free in which case all bets are off, kick over the table and run for the window.

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  • 8

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2000

    Robert Jordan

    Someone asked if a hero of the Wheel that had already been spun out could still be seen in Tel'aran'rhiod. He said point blank "No". I'm hoping the person who posed that question will also post about it, in case I got something wrong.

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  • 9

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    At the end of The Great Hunt when Rand and Ishamael were fighting in the air above Falme, they appeared in the sky over many places and my question is whether this is something done by the One Power or something done by the Creator? How did they appear in the sky?

    Robert Jordan

    An effect of the Wheel, really. It wasn't the Creator. The Wheel is more than a simple mechanism. Remember the Wheel can spit out ta'veren, can spit out Heroes as a self-correcting device because the Pattern is drifting from what it is supposed to be. We are not talking about something as simple as a spinning wheel at all, we are talking something more along the lines of the most complex computer you could possibly imagine. There were at that time, two, there were false Dragons that had a chance to create a lot of disruption. By the appearance in the sky at that battle, not just in Falme but in other places, those false Dragons were taken off the board because there was only room now for one, for one Dragon.

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  • 10

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    In the Wheel of Time there is focus on events occurring again and again throughout history. Is it just history which is circular, or is it time itself which is in a loop?

    Robert Jordan

    If you think of history being in a loop, then time must be in a loop. The Greeks were the first, as far as we know, to think of time being linear which allows for change. Almost every other culture prior to them had believed in circular time, if time is a wheel there is no possibility of change. Whatever I change now, whatever injustices I correct, the wheel will inevitably return, the inequities will return, there is no possibility for change, therefore there is not impetus to change. So time and history are in a loop in this world, a large enough loop...ah...it is really quite immense.

    Question

    So, the sun will never go nova, will never die?

    Robert Jordan

    In this universe, no.

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  • 11

    Interview: Oct 5th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    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.

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  • 12

    Interview: Oct 24th, 2005

    Kevin Dean

    I then asked, "Other than the Third Age, obviously, what events signal the end or the beginning of other Ages?"

    Robert Jordan

    He explained that SOME call the "current" Age the Third Age. He made it very clear that not everyone does, or has. He then said that Age ending events don't fit a certain set of criteria, but "you'll know it when you see it."

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  • 13

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    Is the True Power used by any other creatures or beings within Parallel or Perpendicular worlds or other dimensions?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok, see answering that actually gets us begging the question because letís step back, the question that people should be asking is does the Dark One exist in all of these Parallels...

    Matt Hatch

    ...ok, so yeah this is the question Iíll ask, you make a good point. Are there worlds and dimensions that exist outside of the Pattern?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok, see thatís the question you should be asking. I mean, you should be asking it, but it doesnít mean Iím going to answer it. [laughter] But thatís at the core of the question. Iím going to discuss it without giving you the answer. I like to do this because I think it frames the question without giving you too much information that I have that I donít think is appropriate to share right now. 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 teríangreal 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 donít 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 Hatch

    ...he called it a Parallel World...

    Brandon Sanderson

    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...

    Matt Hatch

    ...the answers exist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The answers exist, but are there many parallel Patterns or is there one Pattern?

    Matt Hatch

    Yeah, thatís...are there many Wheels or just one Wheel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís not a question, Iím afraid, that I can answer because I donít think itís within the scope of the books and I donít think that the characters...that there are people that could know. You will find Browns arguing all of these different things among themselves, and itís not my place to step in and end the discussion.

    Footnote

    Luckers got Maria to clarify on the Mirror World / Parallel World distinction here.

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  • 14

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    Are there any other sources of Powers either within the Pattern or outside of the Wheel? Are there any sources likeÖ

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...sources much like the One Power and True Power?

    Matt Hatch

    Right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will have to RAFO that.

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  • 15

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    Ok...which brings up the following questions about the Wheel and its relationship to souls, Talents, abilities and channeling. Is the Wheel responsible for giving or weaving in Talents and abilities to a particular life, or are they like channeling, attached to the soul?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís an excellent question. Iím going to have to RAFO that...itís actually more of a MAFO. What you're asking is would someone who is reborn into the Pattern have the same Talents again?

    Matt Hatch

    Right. Or does...the Wheel, we obviously know it is very capable of affecting the Pattern, so the question is does it give and take when it comes to abilities and talents it needs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, right, I will have to MAFO that.

    Matt Hatch

    Ok, so can the Wheel give an individual life the ability to channel, if the soul does not come to that life with an inborn ability to learn or a spark? Can the Wheel give them that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Again, I will have to MAFO this whole thing. I will have to go and look. I donít know if someone is necessarily always born with the ability to channel, if they are in every Age...

    Matt Hatch

    ...there is a quote I brought that we asked at DragonCon, Jordan said: ďI don't think I have said if you are born with the spark you would have the have the spark again. I have said if you were born with the ability to channel, to learn or with the spark, you will, when your soul is born again, you will have the ability again, whether with the spark or without...Ē So, in essence he said itís inherent you have the ability. Whether or not you spark or you can learn it that depends on the life.

    Brandon Sanderson

    My instinct knowing how Jim wrote and knowing the parallels in the notes would be that he would parallel the other Talents along the same lines. A Wolfbrother then would always have the ability to become a Wolfbrother and other things along those lines. Iím going off of instinct so that is an asterisked answer. I can MAFO that and look it up and we can see what we can find, but he did like to parallel a lot of these things...

    Matt Hatch

    ...ok, so at the end of that answer he said this...we were asking a specific question about stilling and burning out...he said, ďAnd neither burning out or stilling affects that except in this lifetime, your current lifetimeĒ. In other words...

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...that is consistent...

    Matt Hatch

    ...it doesnít affect your souls ability, your soulís connection. So stilling and burning out do not affect the ability to channel, which seems to be integral to the soul as it pertains to a new life. That being said, Aran'gar and Osan'gar, they were transmigrated and we see that they can channel in their new bodies, which makes sense because the ability comes with the soul...

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...and because of that if you were male before and reborn (in a female body)...you are channeling the wrong power...

    Matt Hatch

    ...exactly...he was transmigrated into a different body, but still channeling the same power the soul inherits. So considering Jordan's statement about stilling and burning out not affecting the channeling ability of the new life of a soul, is the same for the new life of a soul transmigrated?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iím going to say that transmigrated...if you were burned out and transmigrated you would still be burned out, is my guess.

    Matt Hatch

    Is that a MAFO question? Or...

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...that is my guess and you can MAFO it if you want to send it to me, but that is a ďIím pretty sureĒ answer.

    MARIA SIMONS (VIA LUCKERS)

    Yes, you would. Jim said that ďneither burning out or stilling affects that except in this lifetime, your current lifetime.Ē (DragonCon), but transmigration is not really a different lifetime; more than just the soul moves. The new person (Iím at a loss for words here) also has the memories of the previous person, and its personality, and such. So Brandon is correct.

    Jim says of Talents: ďA Talent is a special ability with the One Power. While the name is used for other things, a Talent is, in truth, something which is inborn in the person and not something that can be learned.Ē And there is mention of the Wheel throwing out what it needs on occasion, and thereís the phrase, ďThe Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.Ē The Wheel can give and take as it needs.

    I believe that the potential for a Talent is there, but it doesn't necessarily manifest each time a soul is born. If the Wheel needs the Talent, the Talent is there. But if the Wheel doesn't need it, it lies dormant.

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  • 16

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    Jordan talked about Pattern Level Events, or in other words "Effects of the Wheel". This question was asked of him at DragonCon '05. We wanted to know how Rand showed up in the sky above Falme with Ishamael. Theories... [the recording cut off here so Brandonís answer to my question was lost. I will paraphrase it generally. I asked him if Randís access to the infinite lives while on Dragonmount at the end of The Gathering Storm, was the Wheel getting involved directly.]

    Brandon Sanderson

    He replied as follows according to my memory that there was a Pattern Level Event there, but it wasnít specifically the Wheel giving Rand access to memories [of] his previous lives. Brandon asked for some clarification about how Jordan explained his answer at DragonCon. We were rushed and I could not give him that direct quote, so I was unable to ask more specifically if Rand was seeing the soulís history of lives lived, or if more generically the Wheel displayed to his mind a series of previous generic lives, like it displayed Rand and Ishamael in the sky above Falme. He did speak briefly about the Wheel not physically ďtouchingĒ Rand and/or Ishamael, which seemed to be suggestive of his initial response that it didnít ďtouchĒ Randís mind to give him access to his own memories. Once again, a more detailed discussion of this subject is worthwhile, especially one recorded.

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  • 17

    Interview: May 12th, 2010

    Richard Fife

    That is a very impressive feat. So, it has been twenty years since The Eye of the World. Looking back, has there been anything that surprised you that the fans clued in on, similar to Asmodean's murder? Or perhaps anything they missed that you thought they should have been all over?

    Alan Romanczuk

    One thing that strikes me is people's perception of the Wheel of Time. The Wheel of Time is just a structural device: it has seven spokes which represent the seven Ages. The Wheel turns; people forget about the previous Age and a new Age is entered. It goes around seven times and it starts again from square one. Very similar patterns of events occur in each Age, but they are changed, just as two people can have very similar personalities but still be very different people in many other respects. The same way with the different Ages.

    So the Wheel does not have a specific purpose. It does not have a motivation. It is not a conscious being. The Wheel is just there, operating as an organizing principle of the world. Jim played down the religious aspects of all this. There is a creator, but there is not even a notion that the creator is God. The creator, of course, is God, but it is the creator. And the creator is not given much of a personality in these books. The creator is a stand-back kind of entity, less so than the Dark One, which opposes the creator and everything the creator has created, which is mankind.

    And so, that's all I'm saying: don't read too much into the Wheel of Time. I think the Wheel of Time is also drawn in part from the Buddhist concept of the Wheel of Life. The Wheel of Life is something that we are on. In creation, we are created in who knows what form, evolve through many, many lifetimes, until we no longer have to be on the wheel. We have reached our goal, which in Eastern Thought is being one with God, part of the infinite ocean. In Jim's world, it is not so cut and dried. As far as we know, individuals stay on the Wheel of Time forever.

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  • 18

    Interview: 1997

    Laura Wilson

    What about this notion of time as a wheel? Is that your idea?

    Robert Jordan

    No. It's not mine. It is from Hindu mythology that time is a wheel. But actually, most eastern cultures believed that time was circular. The Greeks gave us the great gift of believing that time was linear. And that's a great gift because if time is circular, if everything repeats in cycles, then change is impossible. No matter what you do, it's always going to come back to what is here. But if time is linear, then change is possible. But I wanted the circularity because I wanted, again, to go into the changes by distance. So, the myths and legends and a few of the stories that these people tell, well, some of them are based on our own current events, on the present. What they are doing is based on our myths and legends. So they are the source of our myths and legends, and we are the source of theirs.

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  • 19

    Interview: 1997

    Laura Wilson

    Tell me a bit about the idea of the One Power.

    Robert Jordan

    In these books there is the One Power, which comes from the True Source. And the One Power is what turns the Wheel of Time, the power that drives the universe. And the conceit is, is the One Power actually consists of two quite separate halves that work with each other and against one another to produce the driving force of the universe. Men can tap into one side, women can tap into the other. A man can't teach a woman how to use the male half, or how to use the female half for that matter, and she can't teach him.

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  • 20

    Interview: Nov 30th, 2000

    Matt Peck

    I asked that as the Wheel turned, each time an Age rolls around, is the Pattern exactly the same each time, or does it change?

    Robert Jordan

    He seemed to like this question. He likened it to a tapestry. When seen from a distance, each Third Age (to make it easy to track) has exactly the same pattern as the previous Third Age. However, when seen up close, there are differences. Threads are different, different nations exist, geography is different, different personalities rise to prominence. These changes, while minute in the grand scale of the Pattern, affect the Pattern enough so that while two iterations of an Age are almost the same, the first "Third Age" may be wildy different from the hundredth "Third Age".

    MATT PECK

    (My interpretation) Thus while some point out that since the Wheel keeps turning, there can't be anything new under the sun, in fact the "Age Lace", as it's referred to, is going somewhere. It may be that this really will be a "Final Battle", if the Age Lace is at this crux point and the Dark One wins. The Dark One says He'll break the Wheel and finally rule all time or whatever. This may be possible, however, it probably requires very specific victory conditions, as has been mentioned elsewhere. Other conditions may require more turning. But if the Light wins, it probably keeps turning.

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  • 21

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2000

    Question

    Would a hero tied to the Wheel be seen in Tel'aran'rhiod after he'd been born?

    Robert Jordan

    No.

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  • 22

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2011

    Loialson

    Is the glow in Rand's head that Nynaeve sees upon delving Rand linked to the nature of him being ta'veren, or because of the nature of him being the Dragon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (laughs) I'm gonna RAFO that one.

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  • 23

    Interview: May 15th, 2003

    Dario Olivero

    In the book just published in Italy [Crossroads of Twilight], the protagonist, a young man named Rand al'Thor, predestined to do something great, is scared and tries to flee, to escape his fate. Is it possible to escape fate?

    Robert Jordan

    All have many opportunities to change their lives. In this sense there is no fixed and immutable destiny. Fate materializes in the moment in which you make a decision: it is in that moment that your life takes a necessary direction.

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  • 24

    Interview: 2013

    Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Mike Scinto (23 January 2013)

    So, is it implied that once the Wheel turns again, this whole Dark One vs The World will go down again as well?

    Brandon Sanderson (23 January 2013)

    Everything in the WoT world repeats. Not always exactly the same, though.

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  • 25

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    ShakaUVM ()

    Could you explain what the deal is with the Great Serpent? I was half-expecting it to appear in the middle of the big showdown at the end of A Memory of Light. Is it just a different metaphor for the Wheel?

    Did we ever meet the Creator in the series? If so, who?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll preface this with a warning. Even though the series is done, and I can speak more freely, some things are intended to be vague by RJ's own intention. This allows dreaming and thinking about the world to continue. For example, I can't answer question 2 for these reasons. For question one, I think RJ himself was vague. (Maybe a Theorylander can speak here.) This isn't one I'm capable of answering, because I don't want to make an answer canon one way or another, as I don't think RJ wanted that.

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  • 26

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    ShakaUVM ()

    If people can be removed from the Wheel by dying in the Wolf Dream or the Dream World when they're there in person, how is it that there are any people left, if there's been an infinite number of turns of the Wheel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They actually can't. That only works on wolves, regardless of what some people think in-world. I thought like you do, but Maria was quite firm that RJ said it couldn't happen, even in the World of Dreams. (Or even with balefireówhich I thought would also remove people. Maria explained that I was wrong, and RJ was firm on this one too.)

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  • 27

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    smb89 ()

    So all the Forsaken pretty much ended up helping the Light win by accident. Is that the Pattern's design?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, this question is loaded with some issues. First off, there's the concept of the Pattern. Does it have a will? The Wheel does the weaving. The Pattern more IS...but some quotes in the books do ascribe small motives to it. This doesn't even get into the idea of whether what the characters believe is true or if it is simply their way of understanding.

    Let's put it at this...Moiraine would say that the Wheel has woven what it Willed, and men beating against it only served to more surely enmesh them into their places.

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