View Full Version : Reddit tidbits

03-26-2013, 11:49 AM
For those who follow Reddit, Brandon has another /r/Fantasy Q&A (http://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy) coming up on April 15th. It looks like AMoL spoiler questions will be allowed, so it might be a good time to ask Brandon any lingering questions.

Brandon also answered a few questions (http://www.reddit.com/r/WoT/comments/1alj0w/sanderson_ama/) on /r/WoT recently and shared some interesting post-AMoL tidbits:

Q: Why is it that Lan ended up surviving? Was this your decision, or RJ/Harriet's? Lan has pretty clearly been building towards dying to the Shadow the entire series. Was it just too obvious of a move? That being said, it was one of my happiest moments when he stood back up. Kinda nice to see Lan stay an unstoppable juggernaut

Brandon: Lan's survival was mandated by RJ. It was something we could have changed, in that he didn't say directly "don't kill him" but some of his notes talk of what happens after the Last Battle, and those involve Lan. It is clear to me that he wanted Lan to live. I took comments like this as mandates unless there were very good reasons to do otherwise.

Note that I have not weighed in on whether Lan died or not. The position some fans have theorized (that he died, and Rand changed the Pattern) is defensible. Some asked me about it on tour. I haven't said whether it is the case or not.

And, because I have more leeway with such things now, here are some nice quotes from you directly from RJ's notes regarding what happens to Lan and the Borderlands following the Last Battle.

"Malkier might have a lot of uniting to do with the western end of the Borderlands under Lan, who will find himself made king out there..."

"The Blight recedes to some extent, I'm not sure how far, it recedes a good bit, though. And they can reclaim some, I'm not sure they can reclaim all of Malkier at this point, but the Blight has visibly retreated so they can go down there and check the towers on the Blight Border. And they are miles inside the Borderland now, instead of being right on the Border, towers sitting right on the edge of the Blight. They're not on the Blight anymore."

So, talk that the Blight is completely gone isn't true, though it does retreat. (And there are other pockets of land in the north where it is not present.)


Q: What do you think about Mat, Rand, and Perrin keeping certain "abilities." I know you've said that they may or may not still be ta'veren, and Perrin thinks they aren't, but can Perrin still talk to Wolves? Is Mat still lucky? Does Mat still have his memories?

In your opinion, who do you think Nakomi was? Do you like the "Nakomi is the avatar of the Creator theory?" Do you think of her as the third member of the Christian Godhead?

Finally, Harriet was quoted as saying that she thinks Rand's special ability at the end was a "new magic." Do you agree? Or do you think it is something else?

Brandon: [1] Perrin can still talk to wolves. That is certain. Also, Mat keeps his memories. These two are official, not theories on my part. What I can't give official on is the ta'veren-ness of the guys. I don't think RJ ever even says in the notes. Me? I think they aren't.

[2] I'm too close to this one. I can't say, unfortunately. I can answer as a fan for things I don't know because it's not in the notes, or for things I could theorize about before I came onto the project. For things I learned about while working, I don't have a "fan" perspective, only a writer perspective. Sorry.

[3] Harriet is more likely to be right than I am, but I don't believe it is a new magic. I think it is a result of Rand touching the Pattern directly.

Q: So, I'm still unsure about Mat's luck. Would you say that's part of his "ta'veren-ness?"

Brandon: My gut tells me Mat still has his luck, but not to the extent he once had. But I have no foundation for this in the notes.


Q: Was the inclusion of Dannil always planned in your mind or did your re-read of WoT and seeing Jordan's notes on the potential main fourth character revive him? I have to say, seeing him -- after knowing his importance from your discussion during the re-read -- was one of the dozen moments that made me tear up.

Brandon: My upping (by just a slight amount) of this character's place in the last few books came exactly because of the reasons you mentioned. It was not planned until I had conversations with Harriet about the character, and I came to have a specific affection for him because of them.


Q: Why did RJ have you spend SO much time to build up Egwene as a character (Amyrlin, Dreamwalker, inventer of weaves, super awesome character, etc) just to kill her off in the end? Was this RJ's decision or someone elses? She's the only character I am so angry about dying, It's been a few months and I'm still distraught over her death. Please tell me why?!

Brandon: It is never my intention to just "kill off" a character for shock value, and I can assume that RJ felt the same way, from what I've read and studied. That said, the answer to your question comes down to believing that almost every character sees themselves as the hero of their own story. Even if you know they are eventually going to die, you usually don't want to write it that way. (The exception is for tragic characters, where the foreshadowing of their impending demise is a natural consequence of their bad choices.)

In the case of a protagonist being lost, the proper course (in my eyes) is to build them up in exactly the same way that you would build up everyone else. Maybe even more. You must make them LIVE before they can die.

Getting back to what I said at the start, I never "kill off" characters. I allow characters to take the risks they demand, and even sacrifice themselves if they demand, for the good of the goals they want to achieve. Again, I can only assume RJ had a similar philosophy from what I've read.

I haven't answered yet who decided that the particularly character you mention should die--because, in the end, it was the character's choice, and not ours. My job is not to coddle them, but to make certain their death is a good one. (And if I failed in that regard, I apologize.)


Q: 1. We had some discussion about whether or not the scene in AMoL in which Rand thinks Roedran is Demandred was intended as a bit of a dig at all the fan theories assuming that to be true. Was it that? Or was Rand really just supposed to be convinced of that same theory? (And how did Shara never occur to anyone in the books?)

2. Balefire question: If balefire isn't tearing someone's soul out of the pattern, why is it so destructive? Why, in AMoL is it literally tearing the world apart when darkfriends are using it?

Brandon: 1 The item you discuss was not intended as a dig against fans. You could read it, potentially, as an acknowledgement of fans--though really, all it comes from is the fact that you have a fan writing these books. I'm aware of many of the theories, and even spent years thinking about them and talking of them. In constructing this scene, it was my impression that if we'd spent all of this time working on these theories, how much more effort would those in world have expended?

And so, my impression was that this would be genuinely what the character thought. I thought it would be very strange if he HADN'T considered it. Therefore, I put a note of it in the text--to indicate that the characters had been working through these same issues, and come to some of the same conclusions. It wasn't meant to break the fourth wall, though I can see how it stands out to some readers.

2 I was under the impression that to be killed by balefire meant dying forever. However, Maria and the notes showed me I was wrong about this fact. Balefire does weaken the pattern, but it can't destroy souls, which are (you might say) the substance of the pattern. Just like you can take a hammer to a cup and shatter it, but the pieces of glass will still be there. The Pattern can (theoretically) be unraveled, the world end, but the souls still exist.

It should be note that Moridin believed strongly that the soul CAN be ended by other means, and the implication of wolves (at least) being killed with no rebirth means it can happen.

So, in final answer to your question, it is so destructive because it leaves the Pattern in a mess, strained, and more easily subjected to the Dark One's will. His goal is to shatter the cup, so to speak, and then rebuilt it into a cup more to his liking.

Q: This was a bit jarring for me, because most of the reasons for the Demandred=Roedran theory came from hints given by Robert Jordan, that Rand wouldn't have access to.

Brandon: Ah, but Rand would have a whole LOT of information in-world that we don't have. Spy reports, rumors, his knowledge of how the Forsaken like to work. If you remove the places where one of the Forsaken had already set up shop, remove the monarchs that Rand has already met and interacted with, and look for a place that has been suspiciously quiet, you end up with very few options.

03-26-2013, 02:32 PM
Thanks! Very interesting stuff. Especially the direct quotes from RJ's notes.

03-26-2013, 03:09 PM
Interesting. I'm beginning to wonder if Egwene dying was one of the things RJ was unsure of, and left up in the air. Say she had come back with the Horn and somehow stayed on... The parallels to Rand is the obvious reason to suspect this. Maybe Brandon just decided against it, and instead had Egwene just go talk to Rand, then not stay on.

04-15-2013, 01:35 PM
Brandon's AMA has started now (http://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/1ced7z/iamstilla_novelist_named_brandon_sanderson_ama/), and we've already gotten some WoT tidbits (Morgase survives and was not the dead Elayne lookalike), but it would be great if more Theorylanders would join in and ask him WoT questions. It's very easy to register on Reddit.

04-16-2013, 10:05 AM
Seriously? First two questions, two things Brandon had wrong.

04-17-2013, 07:09 AM
Is there a place where we can see just the WoT questions? I'm viewing this in my phone and it's too confusing...

04-17-2013, 11:57 AM
Is there a place where we can see just the WoT questions? I'm viewing this in my phone and it's too confusing...

Terez has collected most of the answered questions here (http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=979). The WoT-related bits didn't really offer any new information besides Morgase's survival and that RJ apparently didn't leave any notes on Siuan after her rescue of Egwene in TGS. So it was Harriet who decided Siuan's fate.

04-17-2013, 12:42 PM
Gosh I love that database :)

04-17-2013, 12:50 PM
Brandon did mention that he cut a scene from AMOL where Perrin traveled the Ways. Would love to have known what that one was about!

I was surprised by all of the non WOT questions

04-17-2013, 01:12 PM
Brandon did mention that he cut a scene from AMOL where Perrin traveled the Ways. Would love to have known what that one was about!

He's mentioned that one before (http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/02/a-memory-of-light-tour-report-open-thread#324453).

Brandon: One thing that did get cut that you may find interesting is that we had about 20,000 words of Perrin going into the Ways, to close the Waygate from behind thatís in Caemlyn. He goes in there with a whole force, and the Black Wind arrives - and the Ogier arrive singing and drive it off.

04-17-2013, 03:20 PM
Terez has collected most of the answered questions here (http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=979).
I think I'm not even half-done. I am going to make myself finish before JordanCon, though (which means I need to finish by tomorrow).

04-18-2013, 06:52 AM
Brandon: One thing that did get cut that you may find interesting is that we had about 20,000 words of Perrin going into the Ways, to close the Waygate from behind thatís in Caemlyn. He goes in there with a whole force, and the Black Wind arrives - and the Ogier arrive singing and drive it off.

Hmm...maybe he should have left a scene with one of the MAJOR CHARACTERS rather than put 80K words in for his stupid Pevara and Androl duet.

~goes off to break things~

04-18-2013, 09:22 AM
Felix was off after all. It's clear after reading Brandon's books and seeing things like the above that Perrin was the one true DR. Why else skew the books so heavily in that direction?