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Ishara
04-23-2012, 08:06 PM
As promised, my re-telling ( I can't legitimately call this a report) of some of the Q&As we got from our *awesome* meeting with Alan and Maria at JordanCon. All questions and answers are paraphrased to the best of my recollection.

Q (Ishara): We know that Shadowspawn cannot survive going through a gateway. Would the Gholam have died just by going though the gateway in ToM, or was it necessary for Mat to have kicked him off into the abyss?
A (Maria): No, he wouldn't have died just by going through the Gateway, but he's unique.

Q (Tamyrlin): So, would it be possible to get a concrete definition of what the difference is between Shadowspawn and a construct?
A (Alan and Maria): Well...a construct doesn't have to be Shadowspawn. Nomeshta (the Greenman, a Nym) was a construct, and he was not Shadowspawn. But, no, we haven't got a list of which belongs to which category.

Q (Ishara): There has been some discussion lately on the identity of the old man seen in Graedal's palace. Many of us believe that it was Jain Farstrider, the same man who wandered into the stedding all those years ago. But some have recently begun to think it could be Alsalam, as the descriptors are similar: older man, long hair etc. Can you confirm that the old man from the stedding and Graendal's palace are the same person: Jain Farstrider?
A (Maria and Alan): (They whispered to each other for a bit before they answered, we offered to put our fingers in our ears and hum...) It can't hurt to tell you all - yes. It was Jain Farstrider.

Sei'taer
04-23-2012, 08:47 PM
As promised, my re-telling ( I can't legitimately call this a report) of some of the Q&As we got from our *awesome* meeting with Alan and Maria at JordanCon. All questions and answers are paraphrased to the best of my recollection.

Q (Ishara): We know that Shadowspawn cannot survive going through a gateway. Would the Gholam have died just by going though the gateway in ToM, or was it necessary for Mat to have kicked him off into the abyss?
A (Maria): No, he wouldn't have died just by going through the Gateway, but he's unique.

Q (Tamyrlin): So, would it be possible to get a concrete definition of what the difference is between Shadowspawn and a construct?
A (Alan and Maria): Well...a construct doesn't have to be Shadowspawn. Nomeshta (the Greenman, a Nym) was a construct, and he was not Shadowspawn. But, no, we haven't got a list of which belongs to which category.

Q (Ishara): There has been some discussion lately on the identity of the old man seen in Graedal's palace. Many of us believe that it was Jain Farstrider, the same man who wandered into the stedding all those years ago. But some have recently begun to think it could be Alsalam, as the descriptors are similar: older man, long hair etc. Can you confirm that the old man from the stedding and Graendal's palace are the same person: Jain Farstrider?
A (Maria and Alan): (They whispered to each other for a bit before they answered, we offered to put our fingers in our ears and hum...) It can't hurt to tell you all - yes. It was Jain Farstrider.

We probably could have gotten more answers from them, but there was a dude in there who was so excited at being in the presence of Maria and Alan that he couldn't keep his yap shut. What we got made us happy though!

Khoram
04-23-2012, 08:48 PM
At least we have one absolute now. ;)

frenchie
04-23-2012, 09:02 PM
I think this strengthens the idea that the Gholam are altered humans, as opposed to Constructs.

Ishara
04-24-2012, 08:25 AM
I'd be interested in you expanding on that thought, Frenchie. One of the things that was behind the question is that we don't have a firm grasp on whether a construct can't be an altered human - why not?

After all, we have a little more information on the gholam than we do other Shadowspwan - we've been told he was created as a weapon against channelers (and in fact, that was the logic Maria used when explaining why simply travelling though a gateway wouldn't suffice to kill the gholam - after all, that would be fairly ineffective!), and that he was "perfected". What that really means is sort of still up in the air...

Sei'taer
04-24-2012, 08:54 AM
I'd be interested in you expanding on that thought, Frenchie. One of the things that was behind the question is that we don't have a firm grasp on whether a construct can't be an altered human - why not?

After all, we have a little more information on the gholam than we do other Shadowspwan - we've been told he was created as a weapon against channelers (and in fact, that was the logic Maria used when explaining why simply travelling though a gateway wouldn't suffice to kill the gholam - after all, that would be fairly ineffective!), and that he was "perfected". What that really means is sort of still up in the air...

Didn't they say Gray Men were able to pass thru gateways also, because they were simply humans who had lost their souls to the Dark One? I seem to remember something like that being discussed. To me, that seemed to say that there was some kind of similarity between gray men and the Gholam.

frenchie
04-24-2012, 09:07 AM
Ishara, think of it this way. A construct is a being that contains DNA from two or more sources, combined with the One Power(and True Power for Shadowspawn). An altered human has various abilities granted by the True Power( think of it as genetic mutations caused by the True Power). The Construct's thread never would have existed naturally, where as an altered humans thread already exists, it's just been played around with.

Ishara
04-24-2012, 11:50 AM
Ishara, think of it this way. A construct is a being that contains DNA from two or more sources, combined with the One Power(and True Power for Shadowspawn). An altered human has various abilities granted by the True Power( think of it as genetic mutations caused by the True Power). The Construct's thread never would have existed naturally, where as an altered humans thread already exists, it's just been played around with.

Oh, I understand what you're trying to get at, but we need to remember that that distinction is never actually made by the books or by anyone on Team Jordan, and that means we have to be careful when creating our own terms and definitions. For example, we know that the term "construct" exists, and we know of some examples - but not all, and no firm definition. Same with Shadowspawn. The concept of an altered human is certainly worth discussing, it's just not something addressed by the series (as of yet). So far, anything we could call an altered human seems to fall on the construct side of things (as opposed to the Shadowspawn side).

Shadowspawn seem to be very loosely defined as creatures (as opposed to humans), such as Trollocs, Myrdraal, Dark Hounds (both kinds), Draghkar etc. While some of these we know to be self-reproducing (Trollocs spawning both baby trollocs and myrdraal), and others we know to require augmentation (Dark Hounds don't have puppies), still others we know too little about (Draghkar). Ultimately, it seems that Dark Hounds may be both Shadow Spawn and Constructs - they require the soul of a dead wolf to be created - they do not occur "naturally." And there may be more examples...

Terez
04-24-2012, 07:03 PM
Ultimately, it seems that Dark Hounds may be both Shadow Spawn and Constructs - they require the soul of a dead wolf to be created - they do not occur "naturally." And there may be more examples...
We discussed this at the con, did we not? The BWB says that Darkhounds are not constructs, and neither are Gray Men, but both are considered Shadowspawn. Clearly non-constructs are Shadowspawn created by altering already-existing humans or wolves or what have you. The others are created from genetic material, but not from already-existing beings.

Ishara
04-24-2012, 07:22 PM
We definitely discussed it - a lot - but never landed don anything definitive that I recall, and my question to Maria may not have been as specific as it could have been in hindsight.

Regardless, it was an interesting discussion.

Flinn Sedai
04-24-2012, 10:25 PM
I always saw it as being in three categories:

Shadowspawn -- Species (defined as creatures and humans), who have had their genes manipulated with the True Power.
Defining characteristics include: Derived of an animal, able to procreate in some fashion, genetically modified.
Examples include: Trollocs, Myrddraal, Darkhounds

Constructs -- Artifically created lifeforms, that may or may not resemble animals. Can be created with either the One Power or the True Power.
Defining characteristics include: Created either of a Power, or of other materials, using a Power, does not need to behave as the animal it emulates.
Examples include: Gholam, Jumara, Nym, Zomara

Altered human -- Humans who have had themselves corrupted/altered, while still retaining the essense of their human selves.
Defining characteristics include: Born human, devoted themselves willingly to a cause, gained superhuman powers, typically loses soul in the exchange, soul modified by a Power.
Examples include: Bloodknives, Grey Men

That's, at least, how I see them. There are a few that we legitimately don't know enough about, to place: Draghkar, Grolm, (To')Raken, Torm. Some may just be animals (such as the s'redit), whereas others might fall into one of the 3 categories.

GonzoTheGreat
04-25-2012, 03:55 AM
The BWB places the Draghkar firmly in the Shadowspawn category. And the Gholam too, for that matter.
And in LoC (Chapter 23, To Understand a Message), Graendal counts the Gholam as one of Aginor's creations, just as much as Trollocs, though as a clearer sign of his madness.

Actually, the BWB defines Shadowspawn as "living constructs designed to serve the Shadow".

Terez
04-25-2012, 04:48 AM
The BWB places the Draghkar firmly in the Shadowspawn category. And the Gholam too, for that matter.
And in LoC (Chapter 23, To Understand a Message), Graendal counts the Gholam as one of Aginor's creations, just as much as Trollocs, though as a clearer sign of his madness.

Actually, the BWB defines Shadowspawn as "living constructs designed to serve the Shadow".
.
GRAY MEN

Not all Shadowspawn were constructs. There were some creatures, like those called Gray Men, who were in truth ordinary living Men and women.

Ishara
04-25-2012, 10:19 AM
Flinn, it's worth noting that Dark Hounds (either kind) cannot procreate. So where would that land them?

Also, and this is nitpicky, but Bloodknives are modified by means of a ter'angreal, as opposed to by the Power directly. I'd say this takes them out of the altered human category...

Khoram
04-25-2012, 11:53 AM
Flinn, it's worth noting that Dark Hounds (either kind) cannot procreate. So where would that land them?

Also, and this is nitpicky, but Bloodknives are modified by means of a ter'angreal, as opposed to by the Power directly. I'd say this takes them out of the altered human category...

They'd end up in the doghouse, duh. :rolleyes:



Could you then argue that Warders are altered by the OP?

Flinn Sedai
04-25-2012, 12:57 PM
Flinn, it's worth noting that Dark Hounds (either kind) cannot procreate. So where would that land them?

Sure they can. They don't procreate the way we do, but they kill a pack of wolves, and create a new pack of Darkhounds. Still makes new ones.

Also, and this is nitpicky, but Bloodknives are modified by means of a ter'angreal, as opposed to by the Power directly. I'd say this takes them out of the altered human category...

Yeah, I was thinking about that. Placing them there was kind of a spur of the moment thought. It's hard to know what exactly goes on with them, but they seem too much like Grey Men. It depends, really, on what those ter'angreal do. It's entirely possible that they don't belong anywhere on here.

Ishara
04-25-2012, 04:45 PM
Well, we know that Trollocs actually gestate and make baby trollocs and baby myrdraal (how cute!). Darkhounds don't have puppies. I may be drawing too fine a line on the word procreate though...I do wonder about Draghkar and their ability to self-replicate...

Khoram
04-25-2012, 04:52 PM
This all begs the questions: is there such a thing as a female Trolloc? And what do baby Myrdraal look like? Do they age like humans, or are they born the way we see them? Is it like the Uruk-hai in LotR?

Zombie Sammael
04-25-2012, 04:57 PM
This all begs the questions: is there such a thing as a female Trolloc? And what do baby Myrdraal look like? Do they age like humans, or are they born the way we see them? Is it like the Uruk-hai in LotR?

The BWB confirms that female Trollocs enjoy being pregnant and are most of the time. What I want to know is where are the female Myrddraal? For a while, I thought maybe that's what Shaidar Haran was, but he's obviously a bit different.

Flinn Sedai
04-25-2012, 05:01 PM
Well, we know that Trollocs actually gestate and make baby trollocs and baby myrdraal (how cute!). Darkhounds don't have puppies. I may be drawing too fine a line on the word procreate though...I do wonder about Draghkar and their ability to self-replicate...

Don't we all want a baby Trolloc to take home, and love? They're just so cuddly...

But yeah, procreate may have been the wrong word. Self-replicate would be better.

Khoram
04-25-2012, 05:38 PM
The BWB confirms that female Trollocs enjoy being pregnant and are most of the time. What I want to know is where are the female Myrddraal? For a while, I thought maybe that's what Shaidar Haran was, but he's obviously a bit different.

Maybe Myrddraal are asexual. :/

frenchie
04-25-2012, 05:45 PM
Here we go:

Interview: 1995
Letter to Pam Korda (Verbatim)
Pam Korda
And for the final one, the requisite "dirty question." Compare the length of this answer to the length of the previous two. I think he LIKES dirty questions. *sniff*

WARNING—NOT FAMILY NEWSFROUP MATERIAL. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.

QUESTION
Where do Trollocs come from? Are there male and female Trollocs that mate? Are there only male Trollocs that mate with animals and/or humans to reproduce? Are Trollocs neuter, grown in a big vat at Shayol Ghul? Inquiring minds want to know!

Robert Jordan
You know the original source, of course...a blending of human and animal genetic material in an effort to produce the "perfect" soldier, though as envisioned by somebody who had never seen combat. Yes, there are female Trollocs, though you don't want to know more than that...there was a clear statement of this actually—that Trollocs breed—when where Myrddraal come from was explained. Sometimes a Trolloc off-spring is a throwback, but not all the way back to human, and twisted. Thus, eyeless but with keen vision, very strong indeed though not in Trolloc-class, able to vanish into shadows & reappear in other shadows.

There are no female Myrddraal; not even the laddie who made the Trollocs in the first place knew why...Myrddraal must have their "pleasures" with captured human women...there is no possibility of cross-breeding—it was tested, during the War of the Power, in the crudest sort of way; the Myrddraal isn't sterile, but its sperm kills both human and Trolloc ova—and the sex practices and other attributes of Myrddraal are such that a very strong woman might retain her sanity for six months, but very few do.

Flinn Sedai
04-25-2012, 05:49 PM
Maybe Myrddraal are asexual. :/

Sterile, and they do enjoy raping

Southpaw2012
04-26-2012, 08:27 PM
Sterile, and they do enjoy raping


It still shocks me to this day that Moghedian could walk after her "punishment" by Shaidar Haran

Ishara
04-27-2012, 03:25 PM
Ew.