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Your search for the tag 'wot cultures' yielded 12 results

  • 1

    Interview: Jun 17th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    The reason Robert Jordan chose to write fantasy was its opportunities to build cultures and experiment with them, in a way and with a freedom to comment that is unachievable with a "realistic", domestically based world.

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  • 2

    Interview: Oct, 1994

    Dave Slusher

    Tell us a little about the origins. Basically in any type of fantastical literature, you don't have the crutch of being able to pillage our own history so much. You have to make everything from the mythology and the basis of the culture up. I would imagine this was a pretty tall task for this series.

    Robert Jordan

    It's complicated. My degrees are mathematics and physics, but one of my hobbies has always been history. And also what now is called, I suppose, social anthropology. Those were hobbies of mine from the time I was a boy. It became relatively easy for me to create a "fake" culture simply because I had studied a good bit about how cultures came about. And I was always willing to ask the question of result. If you begin by saying: I want this, this, this, and this to be true in the culture I'm creating. But, you then say, if A is true, what else has to be true? And if B is true, what else has to be true? And more than that, if both A and B are true, what has to be true about that culture? Then you add in C and D, and you've started off with four things that you wanted to be true in this culture, and you have constructed the sort of culture in which those four things can be true—not the only culture in which they could be true necessarily, but one that holds together.

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  • 3

    Interview: Apr 5th, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    Background: I asked him how much of the setting, etc. was worked out before hand, and how much he does as he goes along. He said that he has a 10pp or so history of all the countries/regions, and societies. When the plot goes into a region, he fleshes out the outline.

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  • 4

    Interview: Oct 18th, 1996

    AOL Chat (Verbatim)

    Question

    Just curious, but what culture(s) were the Seanchan based on?

    Robert Jordan

    A good deal of Japan, of the Shogunites, Imperial China, and in general a good many rigid hierarchical stratified societies. Too many to list really, I suppose.

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  • 5

    Interview: Oct 18th, 1996

    AOL Chat (Verbatim)

    Question

    Are you saying all the characters are based on various cultures around the world?

    Robert Jordan

    Bits and pieces sometimes. Not the characters, but the nations are sometimes based on bits and pieces of actual cultures and quite often it has nothing to do with any culture that I am aware of consciously.

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  • 6

    Interview: Nov 11th, 1997

    Jonathon from Nebraska

    Mr. Jordan...I play a one of the best telnet games based on your books (cshadow.net port 4000). It runs as close to you books as we can get. My question is this...I play a Seanchan character and have for some time. What was your basis when creating the Seanchan race and the structure of their society? I enjoy the race completely and love the structure of its hierarchy and was just curious as to what they are created from in your mind...? Thank you!!

    Robert Jordan

    Imperial China. Japan during the Shogunites, with strong dollups from the Persian Empire and from the Ottoman.

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  • 7

    Interview: Aug 30th, 1999

    Question

    Where do you come up with all the names for the cities? Do you just pick them out of your head?

    Robert Jordan

    Ahh, yeah. And I admit to making lists. I read fairly widely and...Newspapers, foreign newspapers, foreign to me, to the States. The Economist and other magazines that have stories about other countries' news stories. And I'll see a name that it isn't the name that I want but I realize if I twist it and turn it inside out and tie it into a knot, it's a name that sounds very nice. It's the name I want. The same way names out of myth and legend that in some cases are twisted or turned or changed and others aren't. I figure that most of you are far enough along that you read, that you know Rand al'Thor, al'Thor, yes he is an Arthur analog. He is also a Thor analog. Some of you might not have picked that one up yet. And Artur Hawkwing is also an Arthur analog. Because what I've tried to do is not give you any sort of retelling of myths or legends but to reverse engineer every one of them so that I can give you some version of what might have happened and then have been changed by telling and retelling and retelling and retelling into the myths and legends we have today.

    Question

    On that point, the cultures from the books, would you say you've used cultures from today's society as a base for the cultures from the books?

    Robert Jordan

    Not a great deal from today's society, no. Not really. The Whitecloaks are based on any number of groups who knew the truth, who know the truth and they want you to believe the truth. They want you to know the truth too. And if you don't know the truth, if you don't believe the truth they'll kill ya. There's been a lot of them, all over the world. They're the basis for the Whitecloaks. The Aiel, for instance, bits of the Bedouin, bits of the Yaqui Indians, the Apaches, bits of Zulu, bits of the Northern Cheyenne, a lot of bits of my own. Some pieces out of Japan, some bits out of China. And then structure it together how these things have all...If all these things were true, all of these bits I wanted to have, and that culture lived in the middle of the desert, a very inhospitable desert, what else has to be true about these people. And thus I get the Aiel culture.

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  • 8

    Interview: Jan, 2001

    SFBC

    Considering some of the cultures that you've come up with in your books, like the Seanchan, or the Aiel, even the building up of their history, are there any real world equivalents to them?

    Robert Jordan

    Not one-to-one. Not for any given cultures. Well, the Aiel for instance, there are bits of Berber and Bedouin cultures. Zulu. Some things from the Japanese historical cultures. From the Apache Indians. Also from the Cheyenne. I put these things together and added in some things that I also wanted to be true about the culture beyond these real cultures.

    Then I began to figure out if these things were true, what else had to be true and what things could not be true. That can be very simple. If you have a culture living in a land where water is scarce, well, obviously they value water. It's necessary for human survival. On the other hand, if they live in the middle of a waterless waste, dealing with crossing rivers or lakes is going to be difficult for them. They don't know how.

    SFBC

    It makes perfect sense.

    ROBERT JORDAN

    Those are two very simple and obvious points, but you put together a lot of things like that and you begin to get an image of what the culture is like.

    SFBC

    Even the way you have these characters talking about people who live with a lot of water, calling them "wetlanders" and so forth is very interesting. The concept of the "World of Dreams," Tel'aran'rhiod—when did you dream that up?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    I'm not sure of when that exactly came to me. I'm not certain if I could point to a source, because I cannot remember anything of that sort. It's quite possible that I read about something, some myth or legend somewhere that included this, but by the time I began writing, I had the concept of Tel'aran'rhiod quite solidified, you might say.

    SFBC

    And the concept of the Source and the True Source, the male half, the female half—when did you come up with that?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    Again, I can't point ... I thought about what I was going to write for quite a long time. The first thoughts that would turn into The Wheel of Time, I had perhaps ten years before I began writing. And after the ten years, I realized I had a story.

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  • 9

    Interview: Nov 6th, 1998

    Therese Littleton

    Are there particular historical eras that influence your stories?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, to give you an example of the way these things work... the Aiel. They have some bits of Japanese in them. Also some bits of the Zulu, the Berbers, the Bedouin, the Northern Cheyenne, the Apache, and some things that I added in myself. They are in no way a copy of any of these cultures, because what I do is say, "If A is true, what else has to be true about this culture? If B is true, what else has to be true?" And so forth.

    In this way I begin to construct a logic tree, and I begin to get out of this first set of maybe 10, maybe 30 things that I want to be true about this culture. I begin to get around an image of this culture, out of just this set of things, because these other things have to be true. Then you reach the interesting part, because this thing right here has to be true, because of these things up here. But, this thing right here has to be false, because of those things up there. Now, which way does it go, and why? You've just gotten one of the interesting things about the culture, one of the really interesting little quirks.

    To me, that in itself is a fascinating thing—the design of a culture. So that's how the Aiel came about. There are no cultures that are a simple lift of Renaissance Italy or 9th-century Persia or anything else. All of them are constructs.

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  • 10

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    ComicCon Reports (Paraphrased)

    Robert Jordan

    Countries—all are bits and pieces of others. None is a direct translation of a specific country.

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  • 11

    Interview: 1993

    Hailing Frequency

    There's an enormous geographical and historical sweep in this book. How much of this was defined when you began? What kinds of things are you finding in those obscure places on the map that the characters are getting to for the first time?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, the cultures, the people they meet in different countries, were only very sketchy in the beginning. They're really no more divergent than the United States, France, and Germany were before you had television and movies. So there are well-defined national distinctions of dress and behavior and on top of that, national reputations in other countries. You know Americans are so and so, Germans are like this, [fill in the blank]. As far as the rest of it goes, there is perhaps more of a difference in the cultures than is explained by the size of the continent. In an earlier book, one of the characters talks about humanity falling back and shrinking, that nations were not there any more. National borders don't always run straight up to one another, and there are sometimes very large unclaimed spaces between countries. That sort of thing makes for more isolation, and of course, isolation makes for cultures being more different.

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  • 12

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2000

    Br00se

    The next question dealt with him designing cultures.

    Robert Jordan

    He gave a familiar answer about how he started by saying if one thing is true about the people, he would ask what three other things must be true. He then repeats this until he is satisfied that he has enough to work with. He used the Aiel as an example, starting with them living in a dry wasteland, what else must be true.

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