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WinespringBrother
04-21-2011, 09:05 AM
A few tidbits picked up at JordanCon: (ETA: updated with the Answerer)

Q: Do individuals with Talents not directly related to Channeling such as Sniffing, Wolfsiblings or Dreaming need trainers to help them discover that they have these Talents?

A(Alan): No, the people will still be able to use their Talents eventually, but not at as refined a level as if they had been trained.

Q: How about Padan Fain and his Talents?
A(Alan): He acquired his Talents when he merged with Mordeth, who [paraphrased a bit] got his from research and sucked the souls from his victims.

Q: Was Padan Fain behind the killer fog in the Rahad?
A(Alan): What do you think? LOL

Q: Did the Eelfinn know Mat would be returning, when they gave him the Ashendarei and told him "Wise to take leavetaking, etc..."?
A(Brandon): They don't have perfect knowledge of the future (think dreamers) but they knew it was a possibility. Also, they gave him the Ashendarei in fulfillment of his request for leavetaking, but were hoping he would not realize that, and be trapped in their domain.

Q: [paraphrased] Were there any consequences from Rand asking questions of the Aelfinn that touched on the Shadow (about cleansing taint and winning Tarmon Gai'din)?
A(Alan): Moiraine and Cadsuane thought there would be consequences, but that doesn't necessarily make it so.

However, the glossary entry in TofM for the Aelfinn states that there are consequences in such circumstances, so either that is wrong or there is a possible contradiction.

Towers of Midnight CHAPTER: GLOSSARY
Aelfinn: A race of beings, largely human in appearance but with snakelike characteristics, who will give true answers to three questions. Whatever the question, their answers are always correct, if frequently given in forms that are not clear, but questions concerning the Shadow can be extremely dangerous. Their true location is unknown, but they can be visited by passing through a ter'angreal, once a possession of Mayene but in recent years held in the Stone of Tear. They can also be reached by entering the Tower of Ghenjei. They speak the Old Tongue, mention treaties and agreements, and ask if those entering carry iron, instruments of music, or devices that can make fire. See also Eelfinn, Snakes and Foxes.

sleepinghour
04-21-2011, 10:33 AM
Thanks for the report!

Crispin's Crispian
04-21-2011, 03:03 PM
However, the glossary entry in TofM for the Aelfinn states that there are consequences in such circumstances, so either that is wrong or there is a possible contradiction.

It's not strong enough to say his comments are either wrong or a contradiction. The entry says such questions can be dangerous, not that they always have consequences. Maybe when Rand asks it's all good.

Terez
04-22-2011, 01:40 AM
Edit: my transcript of the Sunday signing questions, including WSB's:

WSB: When the Eelfinn told Mat, 'Wise to ask for leavetaking, when you set no price' etc., did they know he would be back?
Brandon: The 'Finns do not have a perfect vision of the future, but are capable of reading some things about it, and so I would say it's likely they knew. They didn't know everything, though.
WSB: So, it's...to the best of their knowledge, they couldn't...
Brandon: Yes. They sincerely tried to kill him, but they knew there was a strong possibility he'd be back.
WSB: Did they know that his ashandarei was the answer to the leavetaking thing?
Brandon: They knew what they were giving him. They were hoping he wouldn't.
WSB: Excellent. Thank you.

Scott: In TOM, when Rand confronts Lord Weiramon and Lady Anaiyella, and they basically can't look at him...I was wondering, does he have like an aura of Lightness that's preventing them from looking at him, or was it possibly that Verin clued him in to the fact that they were Darkfriends in her letter?
Brandon: More will be revealed...
Scott: We'll get some more info on that?
Brandon: You'll get some more info on things that were happening in TOM once you see from Rand's perspective in the next book.
Scott: Great! That's great to hear...I can't wait for it. Thank you.

blindillusion: Did Aginor have anything to do with creating the Nym?
Brandon: Not that I know of. I can MAFO that, but I'm like 95% sure on that.
Harriet: The Green Man? No...he was good!
Terez: You know, that's what I said to him last night, and then he was like, 'Well, you know, before the Bore was drilled, you know...that might have been what he was doing.' Because, you know, he had to get his experience in bioengineering somewhere.
Brandon: Yeah...
blindillusion: Yeah, where did he get his start?
Brandon: It is a good question, but I don't think so. I really don't. But, if you really want me to go to the notes and search it out, I will.
blindillusion: That works for me. Thank you very much.
Maria: A quick search turned up nothing, I'm afraid. I'll try to remember to keep my eyes open for it.

Marie Curie: Even a stone in a wall has a thread in the Pattern, right? You said so...
Brandon: As I understand it, Robert Jordan specifically said that even inanimate objects have a thread.
Marie: So, that explains why when, say, a stone pillar is balefired, only the portion that balefire hits disintegrates...
Brandon: Right...
Marie: ...because all of those little bits would have their own threads...
Brandon: Theoretically. And I was wrong on that for a while - I had to go back and look at interviews before I...[to Terez] Were you the one that sent me that?
Terez: Yeah, I tweeted that to you...
Brandon: Yeah...the boat that Nynaeve was on that got balefired...
Marie: She pointed out that inanimate objects...their threads are burned back. But that also explains why a person who has one thread tied to their soul would be completely eliminated by balefire.
Brandon: Mmmhmm.
Marie: So why did their clothes go away?
Terez: (laughs)
Brandon: Balefire does spread a bit, from what I've read.
Marie: Then why doesn't it for the column?
Brandon: It does, but it's like, you know...just a little bit.
Marie: Right, but if you use a pencil-thin bit of balefire, right, and I shot your shirt, why would the whole shirt disappear?
Brandon: Um, if it goes through and hits you, then you disintegrate, and it will spread out from you.
Marie: Then, that doesn't explain Nynaeve's boat.
Brandon: No, it doesn't. ... I will be perfectly honest with you. I've worked through and tried to figure out the rules of balefiring inanimate objects quite a bit...because we've got the whole thing with Nynaeve and...
Marie: The rowers.
Brandon: Yeah. Well no, not even that...earlier than that with the balefire rod that's like cutting swaths through the palace in Tanchico, and it's just cutting lines through the palace, just slicing big holes...
Marie: Right. That's the stone pillars...the multiple threads...
Terez: It did the same thing in Caemlyn with Rand and Rahvin.
Brandon: Yeah. And that's searing little lines, but then you hit something living, and it all *poofs*. It actually becomes motes...like it hits and it spreads to the full, living thing, and then *poof* that all goes away. And so...the clothes are something I hadn't even thought of, but balefire does seem to spread a little bit...
Marie: You would think that, you know...where the balefire hit, obviously there would be a hole, the person would *poof*, and their clothes would drop.
Brandon: Yeah. But it's got to spread a little bit because of that. But then, you know, with the boat...yeah.
Marie: You can't imagine how many debates we've had on Theoryland about the boat...
Terez: Oh god...
Brandon: The boat is an outlier. You could argue a couple of things on it - distance and power level could both be involved.
Marie: And there are other outliers, like in TGS...um...
Terez: The palace?
Marie: Yeah, the palace...
Brandon: That, I did intentionally. Looking through everything that is happening, and saying, 'He is continuing to pump balefire into this thing, to expand it through into the entire thing...
Terez: So, it's a deliberate, directive thing...
Brandon: That's got to be possible, because in the Age of Legends...
Terez: Right, whole cities...
Brandon: Right, whole cities. And so there's got to be a force-to-spread multiplier. Does that make sense?
Marie: Sure.
Brandon: So, I'm using a force-to-spread multiplier. And so you could maybe make that argument with the boat.

[Brandon is signing my copy of TOM and drawing a lovely picture of Goodkind.]
Terez: You even put the yeard in! That's awesome.
Brandon: No, I didn't put the yeard in...
Terez: Yeah you did!
Brandon: Oh, I put the yeard in, but I didn't call him 'yeard', though...I called him 'Zod', which is my nickname for him, because he reminds me of General Zod in all his publicity photos, so there you are.
[He moves on to signing my copy of Hero of Ages, and a dude behind me joins the conversation.]
Brandon: You voted for Quick Ben, didn't you?
Terez: In the last round.
Brandon: Yeah, uh-huh.
Terez: Up until the semi-finals, I supported Vin, but in the finals I supported Quick Ben.
Dude: I never even heard of that series until the, uh...
Terez: Well that's what cage match is for!
Brandon: Yeah. And it's actually a shame; he should be better known than he is. He's a really great writer.
Terez: It's the learning curve.
Brandon: It's the learning curve mixed with some really bad publication luck. What was going on with him is, he published first in the UK, and got a really good big following, and then he did a big launch in America with TOR, but by then, all the Americans had heard about him from the UK and were buying the UK editions, and TOR was behind, and so every time they would publish a UK edition, all his fans went and bought the UK edition, and then TOR would release several months later, and it wouldn't sell...
Terez: Because we wanted our books to match!
Brandon: ...and so he had real trouble getting shelf presence in America for that reason.
Dude: Yeah, that makes sense.
Brandon: And it is a shame; he's a really good author. But I think he's catching up finally. TOR is simultaneously releasing now, which will really help.
Dude: I definitely want to start picking up new series once the Wheel of Time is done. I've invested in too many large series that are ongoing...
Terez: And this one is finished!
Brandon: This one is finished. He's going to do more in the world, but the series is done, so you can read it full sequence. It's very nice.
Dude: Thank you.

WinespringBrother
04-22-2011, 08:01 AM
Only one was answered by Brandon, the rest were by Alan. I updated my post to reflect that.

Davian93
04-22-2011, 09:14 AM
It's not strong enough to say his comments are either wrong or a contradiction. The entry says such questions can be dangerous, not that they always have consequences. Maybe when Rand asks it's all good.

~in a bad Dick Nixon impression~

"When the Dragon does it, its NOT illegal!"

Jonai
04-23-2011, 01:32 AM
Maybe the questions are dangerous if you don't cheat. He was at least using phallic instruments of fiery destruction in there when he whipped out his saidin sword of cremation +2.

Terez
04-25-2011, 09:54 AM
I've updated my first post in this thread to include the Sunday signing answers.

Crispin's Crispian
04-25-2011, 02:20 PM
Maybe the questions are dangerous if you don't cheat. He was at least using phallic instruments of fiery destruction in there when he whipped out his saidin sword of cremation +2.

You mean like Massive Steel Rods of Justice?

But yeah, interesting point. Maybe Rand really did "get away" with asking such questions because he cheated with his flaming sword and massive world-shaking ta'veren-ness.

GonzoTheGreat
04-25-2011, 04:15 PM
You mean like Massive Steel Rods of Justice?Do try this at home. Do not try this in *Finnland. If you want to go there, the (more expensive, admittedly) Massive Iron Rods of Justice are the tool for you.