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View Full Version : A _______ in the Blight?? DragonCon Q&A


Terez
09-06-2010, 06:57 PM
Marie recorded this, and I'll transcribe it later when she sends it to me, even though there was nothing earthshaking in it. One of the people at the Q&A told a story that he had heard from Wilson. Actually, I've only met Wilson once, and he told this story then (at the time I had no idea what he was talking about, and I was hesitant to question him, and then I forgot about it since I have issues with things I can't figure out).

Anyway, the story goes like this: RJ was on his deathbed, and he was very, very anxious about making sure that the WoT was finished properly. He was delirious, and he all of a sudden shouted, 'There's a _______ in the Blight, and not even Harriet knows about it!' That was when they decided to start recording everything he said.

So....what's the blank? Wilson of course isn't going to tell us. :D MarrowRahien from tarvalon.net theorizes that it's a Nym cabbage patch, lol. He worded it slightly differently, but I can't remember it exactly. Cute idea. :)

jana
09-06-2010, 07:36 PM
"There's a _______ in the Blight"


Stedding?

Dance academy?

Terez
09-06-2010, 07:50 PM
Well, we know that there are some stedding that were overtaken by the Blight. I was thinking it might have been Moridin's fortress, but if that was the case, there's no reason why Wilson couldn't have told us that at JordanCon.

iokepa
09-06-2010, 07:53 PM
Instead of it being something physical - could it have been as simple as "There's a crack in the blight." or "There's a weakness in the blight."

Something that could lead to being a pass way through that could allow RandLand forces to take the Blight down after/during the Last Battle...?

FelixPax
09-06-2010, 08:46 PM
Anyway, the story goes like this: RJ was on his deathbed, and he was very, very anxious about making sure that the WoT was finished properly. He was delirious, and he all of a sudden shouted, 'There's a _______ in the Blight, and not even Harriet knows about it!' That was when they decided to start recording everything he said.

So....what's the blank? Wilson of course isn't going to tell us. :D MarrowRahien from tarvalon.net theorizes that it's a Nym cabbage patch, lol. He worded it slightly differently, but I can't remember it exactly. Cute idea. :)


What might that blank be?


#1.- Giants?

Perhaps a city of Giants, in the Blight and in the northern polar cap (tied to Croatian Mythology, see 'Strahe')? Or perhaps a single Giant or multiple Giants, in the Blight (tied to Bulgurian mythology, see 'Ispolin', in Bulgurian written as 'исполин' or in the plural as 'Ispolini', исполини)?

Some tales have Perun destroying an ice city of Giants with Lightning.



#2.- Black Mountain?

Perhaps Ishamael/Moridin has himself a mountain tied to his soul's life in the Blight or Blasted Lands? Or perhaps that Black Mountain tied to the Dark One only?

A 'Black Mountain' referred to in 'The Eye of the World', Chapters 9 & 51; 'The Dragon Reborn', Chapter 25 .

It was not the valley itself that sapped his strength and filled the empty spaces left with helplessness. From the center of the furious vapors a mountain thrust upward, a mountain taller than any he had ever seen in the Mountains of Mist, a mountain as black as the loss of all hope. That bleak stone spire, a dagger stabbing at the heavens, was the source of his desolation. He had never seen it before, but he knew it. The memory of it flashed away like quicksilver when he tried to touch it, but the memory was there. He knew it was there.


The Eye of the World, Chapter 9 'Tellings of the Wheel' - Rand point of view

A few paragraphs later Rand fled away from this scene of the Black Mountain and Ishamael's control of his dreams. What did Rand next see? A rolling plain and Dragonmount.

He had to get away. Far away. He fell, flailing at the air, wanting to scream, finding no breath for screaming, no breath at all.


Abruptly he was no longer in the barren land, no longer falling. Winter-brown grass flattened under his boots; it seemed like flowers. He almost laughed to see scattered trees and bushes, leafless as they were, dotting the gently rolling plain that now surrounded him. In the distance reared a single mountain, its peak broken and split, but this mountain brought no fear or despair. It was just a mountain, though oddly out of place there, with no other in sight.


A broad river flowed by the mountain, and on an island in the middle of that river was a city such as might live in a gleeman’s tale, a city surrounded by high walls gleaming white and silver beneath the warm sun. With mingled relief and joy he started for the walls, for the safety and serenity he somehow knew he would find behind them.


The Eye of the World, Chapter 9 'Tellings of the Wheel' - Rand point of view



Not Waygates

Originally I thought it might be a Waygate... but that information is too obvious from the text, as Loial mentioned it to Verin, Perrin, Faile et la. Harriet should already know about Waygates controlled by the Shadow in the Blight.

alleluia_cone
09-06-2010, 10:57 PM
Since we are just guessing...sa'angreal?

ShadowbaneX
09-06-2010, 11:02 PM
Rolling it around, KISS suggests that it might well be another waygate/stedding, but that's kinda boring.

It's likely something of relevance to ToM or aMoL. So what could that be? A Tower of Ghenji/Red Stone Doorway/Access to Finnland? Something to do with Slayer and whatever merged the two together? Something that Perrin might discover in TAR?

A second Eye? That would be somewhat pointless since saidin's been cleaned, unless there are some artifacts like the Horn and the Banner hidden there.

Ter'angreal stash? If so what really of relevance could be there? Rand's more or less made it clear that if there was a chodan kal key there that he wouldn't use them.

A bit more esoteric? Type of Shadowspawn? Perhaps another gholam. That might mean another stasis box.

Uno
09-06-2010, 11:03 PM
Starbucks, I suppose, but that's a bit cliche at this point, and RJ was better than most at avoiding that.

Neilbert
09-07-2010, 03:48 AM
Portal Stone?
They were really important early. Maybe they will be again.

One Armed Gimp
09-07-2010, 02:07 PM
Disturbance? Hold on, wrong epic fantasy.

Portal Stone sounds legit, but not necessarily something that needed to be kept from Harriet. I have thought for a while about the need for Rand to arrive nearly undetected at SG. I really do not see Rand and Co. fighting their way there. So a Portal Stone could be how they get there.

Maybe a city/town of some type.

iokepa
09-07-2010, 02:25 PM
Maybe a city/town of some type.

Oooh. Yeah. I like that, just thinking of a secret village in the blight brings about all sorts of interesting ideas.

They could be "the others"... :D

Neilbert
09-07-2010, 02:54 PM
Portal Stone sounds legit, but not necessarily something that needed to be kept from Harriet.

Coming up with a scenario in which something needed to be kept from Harriet, and yet didn't make it into RJ's notes makes my head spin. I'm going to go with it not being intentionally kept from Harriet, but rather something RJ just never got around to mentioning. Could be interesting to run with it and see what you come up with though.

A village, maybe in an abandoned Stedding, could be cool. Maybe even an Ogier village. Oooh Darkfriend Ogier in a corrupted Stedding.

Marie Curie 7
09-07-2010, 11:35 PM
So here's the transcript of the Q&A at Dragon*Con about the ____ in the Blight. In it, "A" refers to the audience member who was asking about it (don't know his name).

Brandon Sanderson Q&A at Dragon*Con, September 4, 2010

A: This question has to do with a conversation I had with Wilson.

BS: Oh okay, is this going to be? Okay, I think I know what this is going to be.

A: At last JordanCon I was talking with Wilson, and he was telling me about the night that Robert Jordan told him the end of the book.

BS: Uh huh.

A: And he says that it started off with the word…they were talking about whatever, and it started off with Robert Jordan getting really quiet and then leaning in and saying, "There is a _____ in the Blight." To which that completely blindsides Wilson. He says, "There’s a what?!?" And Robert Jordan then says, "There's a _____ in the Blight and not even Harriet knows about it." And then went on for two hours describing about how this was important and pivotal and yet takes place….be really important for the end of the book. Any further hints?

BS: And see, Wilson can get away with stuff that I can't. And that is a story I've been told by three different people now. In fact, the first day I was there in Charleston, Harriet told it to me. Then Maria told it to me. And then I met Wilson later and he told it to me. Because that was the day when they suddenly said, "We need a tape recorder. Someone get a tape recorder." And I think Maria, like, went to the store to get one and came back with... But then, that was the session where he started for the first time dictating what was to happen and things like this. I do know that story. It's great for you to share it with everyone. I would not have shared that story because I have to be extra careful not to cross any lines. And so…you will get hints about whatever that was in the next book.

I'm not sure that really helps much beyond what Terez already mentioned, but at least the complete Q&A about it is posted now...

Terez
09-08-2010, 05:36 AM
haha, he said it quietly, and I thought I remembered them saying he shouted it. And that we get hints in the next book! Little details...

Thanks Marie!

fdsaf3
09-09-2010, 12:03 AM
Here's my attempt to think this through from RJ's perspective:

He's close to dying, and all he cares about is making sure that this story of his which has consumed his life is finished and complete according to his descriptions. This big reveal would come as a surprise to Harriet, who is his editor and wife, and would therefore be expected to know the story as well as anyone besides RJ himself. What could such a reveal be? Well, based on the grammar of the story, we know that it is a singular object which begins with a consonant (there's a ____ in the blight vs. there's AN _____ in the blight - we can assume RJ's grammar was still good). Granted, I realize this isn't much help in determining the nature of what he revealed. I am deducing that the blank is one word, possibly two, but not a phrase. This is more of a gut feeling than anything else based on the phrase. Compare: 'there's a duck in the Blight!' vs. 'there's a bunch of ducks migrating ducks in the Blight!".

But let's try to think about this a bit more. I would guess that this reveal would be something which had the capacity to completely change if not the outcome of the story itself, at the least the manner in which that outcome is achieved. I'd bet that this reveal is a game-changer for the story. Is there anything which meets all of these criteria?

* single noun which starts with a consonant
* one or two words
* game changer in terms of the story

I can't think of any good contenders for suggestion. My first reaction was sa'angreal, but I couldn't figure out why that mattered unless it was something akin to the Chodean Kal.

ShadowbaneX
09-09-2010, 01:03 AM
does it really need to be a noun? What if it were something else, like say, a battle? "There's a battle in the blight!" something that RJ intended to happen, but forgot about.

GonzoTheGreat
09-09-2010, 05:10 AM
Swimming pool?

skychief
09-13-2010, 04:48 PM
The Green Man's Place hints that this is possible, but this was my first thought when I read the post. If there's an oasis in the Blight and there isn't some sort of variability to it like we saw before, then that would be an interesting thing. If such a thing existed and folks could figure out *why* it existed then it could allow for blight to at least be contained if not rolled back. For that matter such a place, if it existed, could easily provide clues that could result in the rediscovery of The Song and / or how Nyms were made.

In a sense the speculation about a city or a village fits here as well, of course, but I don't think it would necessarily have to be a place teaming with people to be interesting.

Khel
09-13-2010, 11:07 PM
This might be a little cheesy, but what if it's a dragon? In Randland, the only thing they (the people of the age) know that is considered the Dragon are Rand, and Lews Therin. Yet, actual dragons appear on Rand's arms, and those are also referred to as Dragons. The reason for that, as far as I know, isn't explained. They just are.

So, the Dragon, the classical fantasy Dragon, is at least present in concept.

And of all creatures outside the Shadow that might be able to survive unfettered in the Blight, I think that a real, live, fully grown Dragon would do best.

Of course, this throws all kinds of wrenches into any prophecies that mentions dragons. It's also kind of a Deus Ex Machina.

But the fact that Jordan said "it"... I don't know. Something mythical, solitary (there's only one) and capable of living (if it is a noun, and not a battle or whatever) in the Blight suggests dragon to me.

Terez
09-13-2010, 11:21 PM
We've theorized before that there might be an actual dragon in the Blight, since there are all sorts of mysterious beasts there. I was thinking RJ might have ruled it out in interview, but it's kind of a hard thing to search for, lol.

Khel
09-13-2010, 11:28 PM
Of course. The files on WoT are understandably huge. Poor Tamyrlin.

The simplicity of the statement is what gets me. "There's a ______ in the blight!" There's nothing that expressly says it's the only one of whatever it is in the world but it sure feels that way. Suggesting it's not to be found outside the blight and therefore would be a surprise to our heroes, and even Harriet, means it would be easy for it never to appear at all. If it's a creature, it must be unique. The only reason I think it's a dragon are the ones on Rand's arms. The characters still KNOW those are dragons, but why?

Theorizing based on gut isn't much good though. RAFO for us all =).

fdsaf3
09-13-2010, 11:40 PM
Of course. The files on WoT are understandably huge. Poor Tamyrlin.

The simplicity of the statement is what gets me. "There's a ______ in the blight!" There's nothing that expressly says it's the only one of whatever it is in the world but it sure feels that way. Suggesting it's not to be found outside the blight and therefore would be a surprise to our heroes, and even Harriet, means it would be easy for it never to appear at all. If it's a creature, it must be unique. The only reason I think it's a dragon are the ones on Rand's arms. The characters still KNOW those are dragons, but why?

Theorizing based on gut isn't much good though. RAFO for us all =).

RJ has used legends as the basis for this story with the idea that stories, names, places, etc. which are older than old remain. It's possible that the ancient symbol of the Dragon is remembered by Third Agers as being from LTT whose contemporaries remembered it from another ancient reincarnation of the Dragon. And so on, and so on.

GonzoTheGreat
09-14-2010, 05:32 AM
We've theorized before that there might be an actual dragon in the Blight, since there are all sorts of mysterious beasts there. I was thinking RJ might have ruled it out in interview, but it's kind of a hard thing to search for, lol.Someone named Terez has a neat link to (amongst other things) an interview database. A very short search in there turned this up:
Lowlander: Are there any dragons (like real dragons (=animals)) in Rand's world? If not where did they get the idea of dragons?
RJ: There are no animal dragons of any kind in this world. the people speak of a man called the Dragon. They know that the banner that has a certain creature on it was the banner of this man and they have taken to calling this creature the dragon. To them it is a simple association with the name of this man.All I had to do was go to the Rand/LTT/DS item, search for "real", decide that didn't work well, search for "dragons", and I found this. In hindsight, I could probably even have left out the search for "real".

Terez
09-14-2010, 10:34 AM
Someone named Terez has a neat link to (amongst other things) an interview database.
Yes dear...but it's still hard to search for unless you know where to look or a keyword. I didn't recall 'real', so all I had to work with was 'dragon'. Not very helpful.

GonzoTheGreat
09-14-2010, 11:19 AM
Yes dear...but it's still hard to search for unless you know where to look or a keyword. I didn't recall 'real', so all I had to work with was 'dragon'. Not very helpful.Which is why I tried the more useful "dragons" instead.

Of course, it is possible that one single dragon has sallied forth from Angband, but the quote I gave suggests otherwise.