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Terez
11-13-2015, 02:44 AM
I went to the Naperville (Chicago) signing Thursday night at Anderson's Bookshop, the last stop on the Companion tour. I found Southpaw in the aisles and he walked with me while I bought a copy of the Companion for Marie and Jason's book, and then we meandered toward the back. They only had about a dozen chairs set up and most of them were full, so we stood in the back while they rearranged a bunch of shelves to make room for more chairs. Meanwhile Jason and Team Jordan showed up and there were hugs and chatting for a few minutes while the bookshop people finished setting up.

In the end there were probably less than 20 people there. A couple of them were from tarvalon.net, and one of them remembered me from JordanCon 2012. (She said I schooled her on HCFFitude in trivia.) Then when Jason introduced Maria, he said that she knew more about WoT than anyone else in the world, "except maybe Terez" (I had actually stopped paying attention to the introductions, until I heard my name). I get the feeling that he didn't say anything like that on other tour stops. :D It was kind of embarrassing because he caught me off guard and I didn't know what to say, but Maria was smiling and making "so-so" (i.e. "maybe kind of") motions with her hands; she knows she saved us on team trivia this past JordanCon, primarily by virtue of being more intimately familiar with the Brandon books than I am, since she had to work so hard on them. I just read them, and only once all the way through at that.

The Q&A session was fun, and I ended up wishing I'd recorded it, or asked Southpaw to do it. Before the signing I was telling Southpaw about RJ's early books, and how RJ basically tried to write historical novels in the steamy romance genre to help Harriet launch her own imprint, and by coincidence Harriet spent some time talking about exactly that, and I found myself chiming in more than I had planned. And then one of the fans asked about the notes, and specifically a page from the notes that I had posted online (and Jason reposted it on Dragonmount). So after a few minutes of backseat driving I made a concentrated effort to keep my mouth shut, which was mostly successful, partly thanks to the next line of questioning.

One of the fans asked about Taimandred, and Jason went on a long spiel about how he believed that Taimandred was originally true until the LOC tour happened and RJ realized how obvious it was. And even then it took him a few books and several years to deny it outright (COT tour). Maria chimed in and pointed out that RJ had always "categorically denied" that he had ever intended Taim to be Demandred, which of course we all know, and that she didn't have any evidence to refute that. The fan asked if she believed that, and Harriet chimed in with the exact same thing I have always told people: "I think we should take him at his word!"

Now, the reason I have always said that (which I have spelled out before) is not because I believed that RJ was some kind of morally superior person who would never lie about such a thing. There were two reasons I made that argument: 1) I figured since we would never know for sure, we might as well take him at his word and save ourselves some grief, and 2) I knew that RJ took a great deal of pleasure in using Aes Sedai speak at book signings. He enjoyed the challenge of not lying. But since Taimandred was the reason why I sought out Theoryland in the first place, I have always pretty much felt the same way as Jason. And RJ's obvious distaste for what was "too obvious" definitely influenced my theorizing style here.

I was last in line for the signing as usual, and I hung around after everyone else was gone. Team Jordan had 30 minutes left before their ride was due to arrive, but I only stayed about 5 more minutes for goodbye hugs and "see you at JordanCon" type things.

As I was about to walk out the door, Jason pulled me aside and whispered in my ear, among other things, "It's not like I was going to argue with them!" So I gave him my best evil grin and said, "Oh, the truth will come out!" And we laughed. A few months ago, he had posted his same spiel on Facebook about not believing RJ about Taimandred, so I PM'd him something along the lines of, "Don't you know?"

And indeed, the time has come to divulge the truth, thanks to Kimon getting antsy on me. (I told him half of the secret a while back, and he came close to blabbing it a couple of days ago.) I was originally planning on waiting until JordanCon, but sometimes things don't go as planned.

For those who might have the chance to go to Charleston some day to look at the notes, I'll reference everything, and use small quotes as allowed by Fair Use.

There is a file entitled "PEOPLE" in Box 55 of the RJ collection (http://blogs.cofc.edu/thetruesource/). This was clearly written in preparation for LOC, though it's also evident throughout the file that certain parts of LOC were already written at the time he wrote the notes. On page 15 of that file (emphases all RJ's):

b) Demandred: Hated/feared/despised Lews Therin. Like Lanfear, he plays for larger stakes than most of the others, who are trying to stake out wordly kingdoms. HE WILL SHOW UP CLAIMING TO BE MAZRIM TAIM. TAKING ADVANTAGE OF RAND'S AMNESTY.
Also in Box 55, there is a file dedicated to Rand. On page 34 of that file, this paragraph appears twice in the notes on Dumai's Wells (note the change to past tense):

Taim/Demandred showed up, not so much because his party wants Rand free -- though that might be a point in their plans; on the other hand, Rand in the hands of the White Tower, and thus within Mesaana's power, could still cause one hell of a lot of chaos -- but because of learning that the Shaido were moving in. They could not be sure the Aes Sedai could drive off the Shaido, nor that the Shaido would not kill Rand. And a rescued Rand, pissed at the Aes Sedai will really be a source of chaos and disunity.
So, clearly Taimandred was true at the time RJ wrote LOC. I imagine this will shock most people as much it did me, but I also imagine that few people will actually be surprised. I certainly was not.

But there is more. That is only one half of the big secret in the notes.

Also in Box 55, there is a Nynaeve file. This was clearly written in conjunction with LOC, as will become clear in this snippet of a list of things, found on p. 19, that Nynaeve did or did not know as of the end of LOC:

She does not know that Aginor (Osan'gar) and Balthamel (Aran'gar) were resurrected, the latter as a woman who is now masquerading as Halima, Delana's secretary/companion.

She knows that Moghedien was prisoner, of course. Until she is/was informed by Egwene, Siuan or Leane, she thinks Moghedien is still a prisoner.

She does not know that Asmodean was a prisoner of Rand, nor, of course, that he was killed by Demandred.
So not only was Taimandred true. TAIMANDRED KILLED ASMODEAN. (And now I feel very relieved because I no longer have any big secrets to keep about the notes.)

I actually discussed this with Maria last JordanCon, and she seemed surprised that there was anything in the notes at the library that said any such thing. I did make it clear to her that I was only going to be able to keep that secret for so long, but until that time (being now), she and Harriet clearly considered themselves bound by RJ's public statements. (At least now they will only get asked about it at JordanCon, with the hardest of the hardcore.) When I asked Peter if he knew, he told me that he did not, and then he kind of blew it off with something like, "Oh, writers change their minds all the time."

Of course that's true, but these two mysteries in particular are not the average mysteries in that respect because 1) to use Maria's words, RJ "categorically denied" that Taim was ever Demandred, and he even claimed (http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=197#26) (as reported by Isabel) to be surprised that fans ever thought that, and 2) he said it should be "intuitively obvious" by the end of TFOH who killed Asmodean.

It's not entirely clear when RJ changed his mind on either of these points. He had a habit of hanging on to certain files for 2-3 books before making a new, updated file, so it's hard to tell when any given line is written. But it's safe to say that, at the time LOC was published, Taimandred had killed Asmodean; that much is obvious in the direct context of the above quotes. And it's also worth noting that, as far as I could tell from his notes, RJ really did manage to avoid lying to us the vast majority of the time. Often we just didn't ask the right questions.

Duplicity aside, this particular double nugget is kind of exemplary of RJ's writing method. Everything was subject to change at any given time, and things often did change. I mentioned last year that, in RJ's TGH notes, Lanfear was the one who caused the time loop with the flies. Many years later, RJ was saying at book signings that it was Fain, and this change was actually reflected in his notes, and he probably changed his mind around LOC when he began to really explore Fain's new powers. (The Demandred and Asmodean changes were also reflected in his notes.)

And that particular aspect of RJ's notes should also give context to the process that Brandon and Team Jordan underwent in finishing this story. It explains why Harriet encouraged Brandon to change almost anything if he felt that the story required it, and it explains why Brandon did feel relatively free to do just that. Our impression from his and Harriet's Q&A events over the years is that they often had spirited debates about where to draw the line, and that they didn't always take the same side.

As the signing was winding down, I asked Harriet, "How does it feel to be done with your last WoT book tour ever? Doesn't it feel good? It's been a long time." She gave me some kind of affirmative answer, but she seemed disarmed by the question in such a way that makes me think she was just telling me what she thought I wanted to hear. I'm guessing she has really mixed feelings about it; she loved going on tour with RJ and meeting the fans. It was probably a bittersweet evening for her. I think she had a good time, though. Photo proof!

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlp1/v/t1.0-9/12243225_10153309063922252_6059417876276370260_n.j pg?oh=6e69713b190d14d586aec3556b8069a9&oe=56B4A39B

GonzoTheGreat
11-13-2015, 03:26 AM
Well, in regards to Taim/Demandred, we do have the following direct quote from the books:
For they were not two men, and never had been.That's pretty explicit, isn't it?

halo6819
11-13-2015, 06:19 AM
What's next? Olver actually was Gaidal Cain?

I'm glad for the change. Made a much better story, and the whole Bao thing was just... awesome. That massive gateway is one of the most vivid scenes in my imagination from aMoL.

David Selig
11-13-2015, 06:39 AM
So Jordan was quite the petty liar.

This initial plan makes the DO even dumber than I thought he was. "Let's send the guy who really, really loathes Lews Therin and is obsessed with killing him personally to serve under him for a time during the period when I want to keep Lews/Rand alive. What can possibly go wrong?"

Kimon
11-13-2015, 07:00 AM
She does not know that Asmodean was a prisoner of Rand, nor, of course, that he was killed by Demandred.



I always did wonder if RJ and I had different opinions on what "intuitively obvious" meant, as the only possible culprit under that criterion always seemed to be "Taim". And really, the opening and closing of LoC, Lews Therin's ranting about Demandred whenever Taim was around, not to mention the claim that Demandred was involved in the Wells, simply made no sense w/o Taimandred. The Cleansing, and Demandred's sudden inability to recognize Flinn was always the most discordant scene in the entire series to me. Still a great scene, but a source of massive surprise and confusion.

Isabel
11-13-2015, 07:46 AM
So Jordan was quite the petty liar.


I wouldn't call him a liar. We don't know exactly what happened and when things changed.

Although it is interesting to see how his writing proces worked.

sleepinghour
11-13-2015, 08:15 AM
I guess this means I can stop spreading disinformation about Taim's smallclothes in the Companion thread to distract from the Taimandred clues. :) (Not that it actually did.)

It would have been interesting for this to be included in the Companion, though I can see why Team Jordan didn't. As Kimon suggested in the other thread, it might explain why Taim's entry in the Companion didn't mention his strength—it would have been the same as Demandred's—or had much else to say about him.

GonzoTheGreat
11-13-2015, 08:20 AM
I always did wonder if RJ and I had different opinions on what "intuitively obvious" meant, as the only possible culprit under that criterion always seemed to be "Taim". And really, the opening and closing of LoC, Lews Therin's ranting about Demandred whenever Taim was around, not to mention the claim that Demandred was involved in the Wells, simply made no sense w/o Taimandred.Taim being trained by Demandred does explain much of this, though not quite all, perhaps. Still, just trying to copy what he would think a Chosen should be, together with the linking which Asmodean seems to think would help the teaching process (FoH, Chapter 3), explains how Taim could have picked up a lot of Demandred's mannerisms.

The Cleansing, and Demandred's sudden inability to recognize Flinn was always the most discordant scene in the entire series to me. Still a great scene, but a source of massive surprise and confusion.
In hindsight, it was smart of me not to start my Taimandred series until after I'd read LoC. Though, to be honest, the timing of it was sparked only by my irritation at the ongoing debates, not by understanding of what was needed to settle the issue one way or another.

zacz
11-13-2015, 08:23 AM
Terez,

Now that the companion has been released and you are releasing these secrets I have a question.

I remember reading a post of yours a year or so ago where you said there was a minor character who was still alive in the notes (you said you weren't sure whether RJ had changed his mind or if they had somehow survived).

If you are allowed to tell us, who were you referring to? (if you can remember).

fionwe1987
11-13-2015, 09:37 AM
Terez,

Now that the companion has been released and you are releasing these secrets I have a question.

I remember reading a post of yours a year or so ago where you said there was a minor character who was still alive in the notes (you said you weren't sure whether RJ had changed his mind or if they had somehow survived).

If you are allowed to tell us, who were you referring to? (if you can remember).

I suspect this was Bela.

Terez, thanks for sharing. Like you said, I'm surprised, not shocked. I'm more interested in the Taimandred killed Asmodean thing. I mean... it does make sense. It did, though I remember thinking Graendal made equal sense, once we got to know her more in LoC, and especially after we saw her in Sammael's lair even after Rand took it over.

RJ has the right to change his mind, of course. And he could hardly go around saying "Originally, yes, Taim was Demandred, but now I changed my mind".

That said... I wonder what Demandred was said to be doing in RJ's notes? Was the Shara thing something Brnadon/Harriet put in. Was this one of the things they changed? Because whatever he was doing, that had to have been cooked up by RJ post-LoC.

Southpaw2012
11-13-2015, 09:44 AM
Fantastic write up. A question I was going to ask and completely forgot to do so, was how long Maria knew that Demandred was in Shara. Judging by those notes, it would had to have been post-LoC. I believe that the most likely reason he changed his mind was because he saw how much people liked to theorize and was disappointed that people had guessed that so quickly. Then again, perhaps he wanted Shara to get involved, so he changed it because of that. We will never know, but that is all very interesting.. So then how was Asmodean's killer intuitively obvious??

Southpaw2012
11-13-2015, 09:47 AM
I suspect this was Bela.

Terez, thanks for sharing. Like you said, I'm surprised, not shocked. I'm more interested in the Taimandred killed Asmodean thing. I mean... it does make sense. It did, though I remember thinking Graendal made equal sense, once we got to know her more in LoC, and especially after we saw her in Sammael's lair even after Rand took it over.

RJ has the right to change his mind, of course. And he could hardly go around saying "Originally, yes, Taim was Demandred, but now I changed my mind".

That said... I wonder what Demandred was said to be doing in RJ's notes? Was the Shara thing something Brnadon/Harriet put in. Was this one of the things they changed? Because whatever he was doing, that had to have been cooked up by RJ post-LoC.


The thing is, I find it hard to believe that they would have to make the Demandred in Shara thing up, simply because you'd think they would have asked RJ all about that before he died. Could be wrong though.

fionwe1987
11-13-2015, 10:09 AM
The thing is, I find it hard to believe that they would have to make the Demandred in Shara thing up, simply because you'd think they would have asked RJ all about that before he died. Could be wrong though.

But what if he said: Demandred is Roedran, and they decided to change it, since RJ changed things all the time?

GonzoTheGreat
11-13-2015, 10:15 AM
But what if he said: Demandred is Roedran, and they decided to change it, since RJ changed things all the time?
Wouldn't it have been far more of a surprise if Roedran had shown up with hundreds of Murandian channelers in tow? :D

fionwe1987
11-13-2015, 10:17 AM
Wouldn't it have been far more of a surprise if Roedran had shown up with hundreds of Murandian channelers in tow? :D

If those channelers were all like the most dreaded Murandian channeler: Elaida, the world would be in trouble indeed.

Southpaw2012
11-13-2015, 10:17 AM
But what if he said: Demandred is Roedran, and they decided to change it, since RJ changed things all the time?

True, that's possible. Was the Roedran = Demandred theory popular outside of Theoryland? I don't know if they would change RJ's wishes if he expressly told them something. Possibly though.

rand
11-13-2015, 10:43 AM
Oh god, don't let Sodas see this...lol.

BobH
11-13-2015, 11:38 AM
Isabel

Was Taimandred a deliberate ruse to lead your readers astray, or were you surprised (by the all of the theories connecting Taim to Demandred)?

Robert Jordan

I was surprised but I wasn't going to disabuse you of it for a while, I like to watch you squirm.

This Q&A takes on new meaning with Terez' reveal, I think. Isabel presented RJ with two options, in her question. Well, RJ could not have chosen the first option as the truth, since Taimandred wasn't a deliberate ruse, it was actually his original intention. So he said he was surprised, but his surprise could be due to the many readers of LoC who thought Taimandred was a legit theory, thereby thwarting RJ's efforts at not making it too obvious.

So I think his answer to this Q can be chalked up to clever Aes Sedai-speak, not as an outright lie.

I can't find anywhere in the Quote database where RJ said anything like "I never intended for Taimandred to be true".

C Rutherford
11-13-2015, 12:22 PM
I was always bothered by a circular argument I had with myself over Taim/Demandred. Being that if Taim is Demandred, then he killed Asmodean. And hence Asmodean's immediate but futile recognition. But if Asmodean recognized him in an instance, why doesn't Lews Therin in Rand's head. It never made sense despite the obvious.

But some of the later reveals seemed so odd. The 'too younger' sitter mystery turned out to really not be one. I always wondered how much of Jordan was adaptable as he got more intrigued by the, for its day, huge online Scoobie Gang efforts to crack the case as it were. One of my earliest signings had an exchange about Leane being Black that I wish I could remember fully. I do remember Jordan being shocked at the logic the fan presented and actually gave the few non-RAFO I overheard. I just didn't over hear enough to figure it all out.

My question, probably more rhetorical than answerable, is when exactly did he make the changes. I always felt that post ACOS there were hints being dropped that weren't as obvious but still, well obvious, that Demandred was not Taim. And that Graendal was the killer of Asmodean. I do remember a back and forth on ole rawsfrj that tore it all down and made the whole thing look untenable on either side. This would have been TPOD time or maybe New Spring the Novel since it included latest signing answers.

And this is something that bugs me about the Companion. And partly because perhaps there are no answers. Some things were simply in his head. No shock there. But where then are the ideas of Demandred in Shara? There is nothing in the Companion that adds anything to what the BWB basically put forth. I find it hard to believe that sometime post TFOH he had Demandred not be Taim and putting him among the Sharans and not have some kind of note ready for when he needed to pull that up. But then the Companion also has absolutely nothing about Siuan and Moiraine in the period from New Spring to TEOTW essentially. Not even a bit on Siuan's progress and how Bryne met her during that.

I am glad that this was held back until the signing. I am also glad that it is not something that is swept under a rug of silence. One of the things keeping me a devoted fan has been the hope of looking and exploring the whole creative process. That includes all the stuff that got scratched out or set aside. Thank you.

It also answers my peeve about the missing Serafelle stuff but raises the question why the same wasn't applied to the other sisters with Covarla.

Crispin's Crispian
11-13-2015, 12:54 PM
Oh god, don't let Sodas see this...lol.

Just for good measure:

Sodas: Taim Killed Asmodean (http://theoryland.yuku.com/topic/3898/Taim-killed-Asmodean?page=1#.VkYw5berSUk)

If Taim was originally going to be Demandred, and Taim was originally going to be Asmodean's killer, why didn't Demandred know what happened to Asmodean in the LoC Prologue?

RJ couldn't have changed his mind because it was too obvious, since we hadn't even seen Taim, yet.

C Rutherford
11-13-2015, 01:11 PM
The argument for the LoC prologue I believe has always been that Demandred thinks the DO knows more about Asmodean than he, Demandred, does. Since most Taimandred killed Asmodean thinkers seem to have always fallen on the side of the kill be impulse and of the moment, Demandred's thoughts do not lie or contradict the notion the DO has more knowledge of Asmodean. Asmodean's death is all Demandred would know since he stumbled across him. The inference, mine included at the time, that Demandred is thinking specifically about Asmodean being dead is not 100 %. There is plenty of wiggle room. One that Jordan, from his own notes, clearly meant to utilize until he decided not to.

Did the LOC prologue go online ahead of the books? I wonder if Taim's introduction in that was what prompted the storm of debate or had it truly started during the TFOH? I never remember hearing it debated Mesaana did the deed. I do remember the meeting in TFOH placing Graendal and Sammael at the top of the list at one point.

Please note, I am not debating Demandred did it. I am merely recalling what I can of the chief points of how he could have in the debates that swirled between TFOH and the ACOS.

Plus, the debate is pretty over. At one point Demandred was Taim and killed Asmodean. Eventually he was not. When and how the change occurred is intriguing but I think any answers to that question are gone with the man who held them.

Terez
11-13-2015, 02:08 PM
Oh god, don't let Sodas see this...lol.
Back when I first looked at the notes last year, I mentioned that Sodas and RS (Rogue Savior, who now goes by The Great Serpent or something like that) were the "winners" in the notes. Sodas argued it was Taim, and RS argued it was Demandred. And C Rutherford summed up how it works with Demandred's POV in the LOC prologue; the Dark One's "twisted by his weakness" comment suggested that he knew more about Asmodean than Demandred did.

Terez
11-13-2015, 02:21 PM
Someone linked this thread somewhere and it's bringing in tons of viewers. I don't know where, though. No one retweeted me, and it hasn't been posted at Westeros that I can see.

sleepinghour
11-13-2015, 02:23 PM
Someone linked this thread somewhere and it's bringing in tons of viewers. I don't know where, though. No one retweeted me, and it hasn't been posted at Westeros that I can see.

I'm guessing they're from /r/WoT (http://www.reddit.com/r/WoT/comments/3snjii/spoilers_allsignings_and_secrets_terez_reveals/) and /r/Fantasy (http://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/3snk10/xpost_rwotspoilers_all_signings_and_secrets/) on Reddit.

Terez
11-13-2015, 02:39 PM
That makes sense.

Terez,

Now that the companion has been released and you are releasing these secrets I have a question.

I remember reading a post of yours a year or so ago where you said there was a minor character who was still alive in the notes (you said you weren't sure whether RJ had changed his mind or if they had somehow survived).

If you are allowed to tell us, who were you referring to? (if you can remember).
I honestly don't remember who this was. I don't think it was Bela? It might have been Siuan, but I don't have any specific memory of that.

fionwe1987
11-13-2015, 02:45 PM
I assumed it was Bela, when I read her entry in the companion.

I saw the r/WoT thread which directly links to this. I posted this on RAFO, though I doubt more than 2 people saw it there. Westeros, for some reason, is not working for me at all.

Still, in terms of revelations, this beats anything in the Companion. Which is really sad.

Someday, it would be interesting to see a compilation of things like this that give deeper insight into RJ's writing process.

Terez
11-13-2015, 02:47 PM
Still, in terms of revelations, this beats anything in the Companion. Which is really sad.
Oh come on, this is hard to beat. And they could hardly put it in the Companion canon.

Weiramon
11-13-2015, 02:51 PM
Oh god, don't let Sodas see this...lol.

Bah, any peasant can accuse their betters, claiming they are this Demandred fellow.

It would not be a surprise to hear that some riffraff accused a High Lord of the same.

Southpaw2012
11-13-2015, 02:53 PM
Well they did say that RJ changed his mind quite a bit, which might be why his notes contradict what actually went in the books. They were specifically talking about the contradictions between some of the Companion entries and what was said in the novels, but we could link the whole Taim/Demandred thing in there as well, that RJ simply changed his mind. I always found it hard to imagine Taim as Demandred because I could never imagine Demandred being around Rand so much without attempting to destroy him right then and there.

C Rutherford
11-13-2015, 03:09 PM
When I read the Duhara entry in the Companion I simply cannot imagine how they could have tackled this or any variances Jordan had in his notes. Like I said earlier, this made me rethink and realize that not including the note mention of Serafelle being at Dumai's Wells and Dorlan was a correction, Which makes the other mistakes about the Grays and Browns at Dumai's Wells and Dorlan that are in the Companion odd.

Westeros did a board conversion which wiped away a good six weeks of threads including the ones that had Companion traffic. I think just getting back to normal there in general is going to take precedence for most posters there than a niche still interested in WoT. The thread devoted to just general reads is barely going compared to the fact it is one of the most posted in threads on a daily occurrence.

Siuan surviving would make sense to me. There was set up for that. In fact I wonder how many he set up for death tentatively in his notes that he would have pulled the trigger on had he survived. I'm curious if there were any he had down for death that isn't in the books.

The Unreasoner
11-13-2015, 03:29 PM
Hmm. I put forward this idea and got shit on for it. I certainly hope you hadn't seen the notes at that time. Jana and suttree at least owe me an apology. But then, you were still arguing the (personally despised) Roedred theory, which I was shitting on, so if you did know then, perhaps your silence is understandable.

My only question is: if Demandred killed Asmodean, why was he so ignorant of Rahvin's fate? Presumably he would have been in Caemlyn for intel and stumbled upon Asmodean. He didn't hear 'Gaebril' was at least reportedly dead?

Kimon
11-13-2015, 03:49 PM
My only question is: if Demandred killed Asmodean, why was he so ignorant of Rahvin's fate? Presumably he would have been in Caemlyn for intel and stumbled upon Asmodean. He didn't hear 'Gaebril' was at least reportedly dead?

Demandred's first response to the DO's query of "HOW FARES THE WORLD?" was "Rahvin is dead, Great Lord. Yesterday." That doesn't seem much like ignorance to me. The Asmodean issue is more problematic. Demandred only offers up that Asmodean has vanished. I suppose this hinges on two issues - would Demandred be bold enough to hold back some knowledge from the DO, and just how significant is his later statement that the DO "seemed to know more of Asmodean than he". Those statements made certainty of his role as murderer impossible, but neither do they completely exonerate him. He, if he was Taim, which always (until the Cleansing) seemed mind-numbingly obvious, gave him both the opportunity and motive to off Asmodean, since he both wanted to take his place at Rand's side, and was proximate (as Taim), indeed being mentioned as such just before the assassination, and then was immediately on hand at the beginning of LoC to take Asmodean's place. Graendal always seemed far less obvious by comparison. Certainly not "intuitively" so.

Terez
11-13-2015, 03:54 PM
Hmm. I put forward this idea and got shit on for it. I certainly hope you hadn't seen the notes at that time. Jana and suttree at least owe me an apology. But then, you were still arguing the (personally despised) Roedred theory, which I was shitting on, so if you did know then, perhaps your silence is understandable.
If I was arguing Roedred, then AMOL hadn't come out yet, and the notes weren't available until after the series was done. I already explained in my post how I always dealt with the question before I knew the truth: I suggested people take RJ at his word, mostly because it seemed pointless to debate a question to which we would never know the answer.

As for Suttree, he is actually one of the people I clued in on the Taimandred secret, and I did so specifically because he was going off on someone about it here. It was probably you. I was like, "Dude, Taimandred really was true; can it." And he was like, "Dude, for real!" And after that he did can it.

No one owes you an apology because no one can be blamed for taking RJ at his word.

The Unreasoner
11-13-2015, 03:55 PM
@Kimon
Oh that's right.

I conflated the Moghedien connents with the Rahvin ones. That does make more sense.

@Terez
I wasn't really serious about the apology. Though it's interesting to know suttree was on the select list. It was before AMoL, in any case.

Southpaw2012
11-13-2015, 03:59 PM
Anyone here actually think Egwene's death was planned by RJ?

Weird Harold
11-13-2015, 04:08 PM
Well they did say that RJ changed his mind quite a bit, ...

Nah, RJ never changed his mind. He just shifted to another Mirror World where he had made a different decision. :eek:

Terez
11-13-2015, 04:30 PM
I wasn't really serious about the apology. Though it's interesting to know suttree was on the select list.
I only told him because he was being really aggressive in refuting it. And after I told him, he pretty much stopped debating WoT altogether, lol. He messaged me on Facebook last week about the Companion and mentioned he was totally out of the loop.

I told Kimon because he made a post about having always believed that RJ intended Taimandred. It was a good post, so I repped him and told him in the rep message that it was indeed in the notes.

Other than that, I mostly only told my close WoT friends. Aside from the people who had full access to the notes, I told sleepinghour and Gonzo, so it was funny to see them ganging up on Kimon for blabbing in the thread the other day. They were the only ones who knew what he almost revealed.

Terez
11-13-2015, 04:55 PM
I thought about mentioning earlier that Dom and I argued about when, exactly, RJ changed his mind. Dom believes he changed his mind even before LOC was published, and he's detailed his reasons at RAFO (http://www.readandfindout.com/wheeloftime/messageboard/289104/).

Crispin's Crispian
11-13-2015, 05:11 PM
I thought about mentioning earlier that Dom and I argued about when, exactly, RJ changed his mind. Dom believes he changed his mind even before LOC was published, and he's detailed his reasons at RAFO (http://www.readandfindout.com/wheeloftime/messageboard/289104/).

It's kind of funny, because Brandon actually posited that he thought RJ changed his mind as well. I'm sure this he said this in many places, but he's very clear about it on Reddit:

Mystery of Mazrim Taim (https://www.reddit.com/r/WoT/comments/2ae09y/mystery_of_mazrim_taim_spoilers_all/).

I don't know about the LoC Prologue. I seems pretty clear to me that Demandred didn't even know Asmodean was dead. Sure, you could twist it to suggest he just didn't know that the Dark One wouldn't transmigrate the man, but that's a pretty big stretch.

But, then again, he definitely knows about Rahvin...

Terez
11-13-2015, 05:19 PM
It's kind of funny, because Brandon actually posited that he thought RJ changed his mind as well. I'm sure this he said this in many places, but he's very clear about it on Reddit:

Mystery of Mazrim Taim (https://www.reddit.com/r/WoT/comments/2ae09y/mystery_of_mazrim_taim_spoilers_all/).
I don't think he's ever gone into detail like that on Taim, so no, I don't think he's said it in many places. I really do need to update the database with his stuff from Reddit, but that's a project for another day. I'm behind on Chopin.

I don't know about the LoC Prologue. I seems pretty clear to me that Demandred didn't even know Asmodean was dead. Sure, you could twist it to suggest he just didn't know that the Dark One wouldn't transmigrate the man, but that's a pretty big stretch.
I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that "twisted by his weakness" was unclear to Demandred, and therefore the Dark One knew more about Asmodean than he did. He's probably referring to Lanfear's shield, which Demandred wouldn't have been able to see, since it was made of saidar.

C Rutherford
11-13-2015, 05:25 PM
The problem with placing the when he changed his mind is that we have no idea, do we, if he saw the two items as being one. In other words, just because he changed Demandred to not being Taim, does not mean he changed the murderer's identity. Or vice versa.

I do think he changed it due to a reaction. Not because he figured out that everyone would figure out much earlier than he wanted. Adeleas' murderer was identified as Careane by posters on r.a.w.sf.rj when TPOD came out. Careane and the tea were huge clues. But Jordan says he never gave enough info for the mystery to be solved. When he did pretty much, not just in ACOS with Careane's strength level to the others but also when Elayne observes the linking between Adeleas and Vandene to question Ispan (ETA: in TPOD).

Also I will say that the epilogue to LoC and the comment about Demandred's placement in regards to events and where Semirhage and Mesaana have placed themselves more than the disingenuous wording that might have existed in the prologue. Clearly Demandred was somehow tied to the Black Tower. Jordan can't completely walk back from that which is why he writes him later on in WH and COT.

And something that cannot be walked back from and likely gives Tor, Team Jordan and Sanderson hives is the whole Shara issue. Demandred was with the Black Tower and Shara? Shara is always going to be a sticking point for me until I see what notes Jordan had on them. I know that he left room with his comments about the use of Shara for what happened. But it still lacks any real plotting depth. Something I find curious in an author who went to the lengths he did. But his adamant stand that Shara would not be a real plot locale makes me wonder if the change of Taimandred happened even later than between LOC and ACOS. Wasn't it the BWB online chat where he said Shara would never feature more than maybe a scene like Rand and Aviendha in Seanchan? Obviously he can change his mind...duh:D. But LoC's climax makes no sense if he sent the book off to Tor having already written in the mindset of Taim and Demandred no longer being the same character in my opinion.

Maybe for some it is too much to give the man feet of clay. It doesn't change my enjoyment of the books to find out he didn't like having some of his mysteries solved well before he was ready.

Terez
11-13-2015, 05:40 PM
Also I will say that the epilogue to LoC and the comment about Demandred's placement in regards to events and where Semirhage and Mesaana have placed themselves more than the disingenuous wording that might have existed in the prologue. Clearly Demandred was somehow tied to the Black Tower. Jordan can't completely walk back from that which is why he writes him later on in WH and COT.
Yes, exactly. I am going to respond directly to Dom at RAFO, and I might answer a few more of your questions there, but this point is central to my thinking.

fionwe1987
11-13-2015, 05:42 PM
Siuan surviving would make sense to me. There was set up for that. In fact I wonder how many he set up for death tentatively in his notes that he would have pulled the trigger on had he survived. I'm curious if there were any he had down for death that isn't in the books.
I dunno. Brandon said Harriet decided Siuan should die. That must have come post-tGS, because that bit of them saving each other there didn't seem like misdirection to me. And Brandon had her reflect on life and love and all that. It seemed like he was setting her up for a long life.

But on the other hand, the Year of the Four Amyrlins thing does seem like blindingly obvious foreshadowing. But maybe that could be fulfilled with one Amyrlin reduced to low ranking sister, another made damane, a third dead, and a fourth forced into the position.

Anyone here actually think Egwene's death was planned by RJ?
I dunno if he would have gone through with it. Her death is, in many ways, the most poignant since she had so many plans for the future. But her Rashima and Eldrene parallels (and LTT ones too) did make her an obvious candidate for death as well.

RJ put in clues that at least hinted that Egwene's young age would cause... issues. Nisao talks about the hundreds of years Egwene can be Amyrlin. Or would she step down? He had those Dreams, tied with Gawyn, which were all doom-and-gloomy. There was Rand saying he would protect her.

I suspect he was in two minds, but kept the door open to either option.

Frankly, the more interesting question for me is whether RJ intended it to be actually Egwene's soul at Shayol Ghul talking to Rand.

Thematically, that seems a hugely important thing to me. Rand and Egwene symbolically represent the male-female split in the series. If it wasn't Egwene at SG, and just Rand's imagination, the degree of detente they reach in aMoL seems... inadequate.

I like that we don't end with a unified Black and White Towers. That would have seemed forced. But I do wish some more of the last book dwelt on how relations between the two Towers would proceed.

C Rutherford
11-13-2015, 06:05 PM
I never saw The Year of Four Amyrlins having any kind of foreshadowing parallel. Merely an indication of the rich and convoluted history Jordan gave the White Tower and its hidden internal machinations. It was something I always thought he tied to his fascination with the political history of the papacy and the hypocrisy of an institution that portrayed itself as infallible. Both the Papacy and the White Tower. It happened and I always figured he was going to use it again like he did Shein Chunla, Sereille Bagand or the other historical tidbits.

Or he wouldn't and it would be a one and done. Just another teasing historical bit. But there was nothing to me that suggested it would have some kind of historical repeating.

Egwene surviving makes sense with Rand disappearing off into a sunset of peaceful anonymity. Egwene is really the only character for me, opinion only, that can bring the various channeling societies together. She is the only one to really be able to deal with the Seanchan. I always thought Jordan had a strong sense of balance so I guess killing Egwene off with Rand disappearing is one way to do this. But having Egwene take up the reins that Rand would leave behind also seemed the only thing that made sense to me in Rand's thoughts in CoT and KoD.

The flip side for me in regards to Siuan is that killing both Egwene and Siuan off seems so odd. Of course it lets Cadsuane take even more of the limelight. Jordan loved himself some Cadsuane that is for sure. Too much for my taste after TPOD but what can you do? But Siuan made sense because there seemed an arc of redemption for her. She found her strength in the OP was not her main or telling strength. Killing off Egwene and having Siuan survive essentially going forward and having been taught in many ways by her own pupil had some nice symmetry to it.

fionwe1987
11-13-2015, 06:23 PM
I agree Siuan dieing was odd. But it is also one death that Harriet directly had a hand in. RJ may have been debating it, and Harriet may have insisted on it.

You're right on the Cadsuane love. Reading her entry, seeing how much he bumped her strength... all this makes me see Cadsuane as RJ's Galadriel. For those who don't know, Tolkien kept rewriting Galadriel's back story, so she went from a somewhat minor Noldor in the Silmarillion who participated in the rebellion to a female counterpart of Feanor, who left for Middle Earth independently, and only accidentally fell under the Doom of Mandos.

I personally like Cadsuane a lot, so I'm perfectly happy to see that she survived and has a future. But I did hope for a Siuan-Cadsuane meeting. They always seemed like two women who would have ended up friends.

As for Egwene: I agree, she seemed best poised to deal with the Seanchan. Certainly the most qualified. And also to bring channelers together. I also feel they lost an opportunity by not having her link with Merise and Jahar, at least for the first fight with Taim. That Egwene never linked with a man seems like a thematic misstep.

As for the issue of balance: Latra Pose survived LTT for years, and led the fight against the Shadow. So Rand surviving Egwene (who may not have been LPD reborn, but served very much a similar position) seems to work.

But there's another option. What if Egwene burned out, but lived? That might have been interesting, I feel.

Kimon
11-13-2015, 06:23 PM
I never saw The Year of Four Amyrlins having any kind of foreshadowing parallel. Merely an indication of the rich and convoluted history Jordan gave the White Tower and its hidden internal machinations. It was something I always thought he tied to his fascination with the political history of the papacy and the hypocrisy of an institution that portrayed itself as infallible. Both the Papacy and the White Tower. It happened and I always figured he was going to use it again like he did Shein Chunla, Sereille Bagand or the other historical tidbits.



I'm not familiar with there ever being a year of four popes, but there was a year of the four emperors. Five actually if you include Nero (he's actually not usually included in the reference) - Nero (June of 68 AD), Galba, Otho, Vitellius, then finally Vespasian (July of 69). Always figured that this was likely the source for that year of his 4 Amyrlins.

Egwene surviving makes sense with Rand disappearing off into a sunset of peaceful anonymity. Egwene is really the only character for me, opinion only, that can bring the various channeling societies together. She is the only one to really be able to deal with the Seanchan. I always thought Jordan had a strong sense of balance so I guess killing Egwene off with Rand disappearing is one way to do this. But having Egwene take up the reins that Rand would leave behind also seemed the only thing that made sense to me in Rand's thoughts in CoT and KoD.

I think that this was supposed to be Logain. Min's viewing of him could not have been meant to have been fulfilled in anything remotely like the ludicrous way that Sanderson wrote it.

fionwe1987
11-13-2015, 06:29 PM
I think that this was supposed to be Logain. Min's viewing of him could not have been meant to have been fulfilled in anything remotely like the ludicrous way that Sanderson wrote it.
Logain takes over for male channelers. I don't see him uniting all channelers, though. In what we are left with, that obviously seems to be Cadsuane's task, now.

Kimon
11-13-2015, 06:41 PM
Logain takes over for male channelers. I don't see him uniting all channelers, though. In what we are left with, that obviously seems to be Cadsuane's task, now.

Him reuniting both Towers would have fit nicely thematically in the earlier patterns we saw with him - he began as the captive and victim of the Tower, but becomes the beginning of making them see men who can channel as both victims and allies rather than just enemies. He then is freed and begins the task of healing the cancer in the other Tower, a task which Sanderson mostly stole from him, but clearly should, by rights, have been his, not Androl's. Yet in that healing, he also furthered the repairing of the schism between the male and female Aes Sedai, by inverting the usual pattern of male and female channeler interaction, making them see that they could coexist and work together rather than merely in conflict when they "married" the sisters sent to kill them, rather than repaying them in kind. He seemed designed for the role of repairing and reuniting all the Aes Sedai, male and female.

Terez
11-13-2015, 06:50 PM
Egwene surviving makes sense with Rand disappearing off into a sunset of peaceful anonymity. Egwene is really the only character for me, opinion only, that can bring the various channeling societies together. She is the only one to really be able to deal with the Seanchan. I always thought Jordan had a strong sense of balance so I guess killing Egwene off with Rand disappearing is one way to do this. But having Egwene take up the reins that Rand would leave behind also seemed the only thing that made sense to me in Rand's thoughts in CoT and KoD.
RJ also laid a potential foreshadowing regarding Egwene and Galad possibly hooking up:

"As you say," Mat told him, and felt mischief bubble inside. "I think your suggestion is the right one, Captain. But don't stop with a few Accepted, though. Ask a dozen Aes Sedai to come, or two. Think what the Stone of Tear would be like with two dozen Aes Sedai in it."

Mallia shuddered. "I will send a man for my money chest," he said stiffly, and stalked out.

Mat frowned at the closed door. "I think I shouldn't have said that."

"I don't know why you might think that," Thom said dryly. "Next you could try telling the Lord Captain Commander of the Whitecloaks he should marry the Amyrlin Seat."
RJ planned for Gawyn to die very early on; that much is evident in his notes. Egwene, it's not so clear. Perhaps he was considering it; we saw nothing in the notes to indicate that (keeping in mind that we did not have access to endgame notes), and there was even a suggestion that she might be pregnant when Gawyn died. And Min was explicit, regarding her viewing of Berelain, that there was nothing to indicate Galad would return Berelain's feelings.

I suspect this choice was left entirely in Brandon's hands. We got our first hints of that on the AMOL tour when Brandon talked about his feelings regarding character sacrifice. He indicated that he would have had a hard time writing the story if all of the main characters emerged unscathed.

C Rutherford
11-13-2015, 07:02 PM
I'm not familiar with there ever being a year of four popes, but there was a year of the four emperors. Five actually if you include Nero (he's actually not usually included in the reference) - Nero (June of 68 AD), Galba, Otho, Vitellius, then finally Vespasian (July of 69). Always figured that this was likely the source for that year of his 4 Amyrlins.



Someone asked Jordan about parallels between the papacy and the White Tower. I believe it was at DragonCon. Is that Terez' purview? Or was Isabel there. Someone offered up some information either here back in the day or over on Dragonmount. The four Popes are during Martin V. There was an antipope, then a second antipope who stepped down and then I believe stepped back up and declared himself after one or the other popes died. Three popes but four declared papal reigns. And I always wondered how tightly he stuck to that parallel. Did a former Amyrlin make a come back after the others had fallen to the wayside? (There would have been a good ending, Egwene removes Elaida, gets killed and the series ends with a humbled Elaida taking back the seat -- oh how the fans would have howled, oh how Sanderon's myopic black and white world would have crumbled bitterly)

Yeah I always thought Min's viewing was Logain succeeding Rand. I never considered Rand could survive and somehow become a political entity that served to bring all channelers of both genders together. Simply because the endpiece prophecies pointed to that not happening in the Fourth Age.

And just to be clear, when I talk of a character surviving I'm just referring to certain themes I felt were employed. Certainly those themes were either not carried out in the Sanderson completion or never there. I always felt there were so many themes in who was a Forsaken's counterpart and many of those never even saw a face to face that mattered.

ETA: I posted before reading your response Terez, Great stuff, thank you.

Southpaw2012
11-13-2015, 07:03 PM
RJ also laid a potential foreshadowing regarding Egwene and Galad possibly hooking up:


RJ planned for Gawyn to die very early on; that much is evident in his notes. Egwene, it's not so clear. Perhaps he was considering it; we saw nothing in the notes to indicate that (keeping in mind that we did not have access to endgame notes), and there was even a suggestion that she might be pregnant when Gawyn died. And Min was explicit, regarding her viewing of Berelain, that there was nothing to indicate Galad would return Berelain's feelings.

I suspect this choice was left entirely in Brandon's hands. We got our first hints of that on the AMOL tour when Brandon talked about his feelings regarding character sacrifice. He indicated that he would have had a hard time writing the story if all of the main characters emerged unscathed.


I agree. I'm sure Egwene was a character whose fate RJ had not yet decided, and so Team Jordan set it up so the head of the White Tower took on the leader of the Black Tower. I'm sure they thought it'd be best to kill off at least one main character, so again, Egwene would be the one best suited for that.

Southpaw2012
11-13-2015, 07:04 PM
Do we know how Taim compared to Demandred strength wise? I don't remember Team Jordan ever being asked.

Terez
11-13-2015, 07:11 PM
ETA: I posted before reading your response Terez, Great stuff, thank you.
I also responded to Dom here (http://www.readandfindout.com/wheeloftime/messageboard/289106/), with some more info about the notes.

Do we know how Taim compared to Demandred strength wise? I don't remember Team Jordan ever being asked.
Both are described in the books as being a short step below Rand. So, ++2.

Kimon
11-13-2015, 07:26 PM
Do we know how Taim compared to Demandred strength wise? I don't remember Team Jordan ever being asked.

This was the issue that prompted my initial skirting of the lines of decorum in the Companion thread. zacz had posted a chart he made of all the power levels for channelers, with Demandred and Taim both listed at ++2, and fionwe started complaining about Taim be listed so high and urged that he should be downgraded, which lead to my hinting as to a possible explanation.

This is what fionwe had said...

As for Taim, he can be ++3 and still be Forsaken. No reason he has to be as strong as Logain. Hopefully, Terez, or someone who has read the notes, can confirm where he is.

C Rutherford
11-13-2015, 07:31 PM
I think part of my problem with Egwene's death is that in Sanderson's hands she became something I never saw any of them in Jordan's. She became this sort of faith inspired vaguely Judeo-Christian martyr that just made no sense when I looked at what Jordan wrote when he did Ingtar's scene of sacrifice and redemption. It was such an odd departure of the whole tone of the belief system of Randland. Really, really odd. Combine that with Rand's 'miracles' by Sanderson and I simply felt the whole series had fallen on its ear. So there was way too much about her death that simply felt wrong that I cannot really piece what is thematic and what is simply subjective and if there even is a difference.

Until the Outrigger novels announcement I always had Mat as the most likely to die at the end. Tuon and Mat die and the Seanchan left in such disarray that they are willing to come to the table with Egwene and Rand/Logain. I think jordan commented enough on the matter of slavery that he did not see the Seanchan coming out of the last battle as a necessary evil. The whole damane issue was something I always felt he did to over the top the matter of where they stood in the world. He loved shades of gray but in that area I think he was black and white and more 'enemy of my enemy'. I don't think he saw moving into a post-WoT secondary series with the Seanchan in Randland keeping women collared.

Okay the first of what I hope is a controlled series of actual questions Terez. Was Elaida being captured and collared in the notes? I suspect it might have been but on the other hand I always loathed how there was such an undertone of "she deserved it". Yes fictional character and all, but for me Jordan's strength was writing characters to do loathsome things that did so in the misguided sense they were doing what was right. Plus slavery in that manner is disgusting. If I were to use karmic fate as a metric, being burnt out or dying would be much more poetic and right. Though being bonded to a man while bordering chauvinistic also has a nasty but not too nasty note to it.

Terez
11-13-2015, 07:49 PM
Okay the first of what I hope is a controlled series of actual questions Terez. Was Elaida being captured and collared in the notes?
I don't recall seeing any mention of it, but that doesn't mean anything. I certainly never saw anything to contradict it.

RJ was not in the habit of writing about future events. He did every now and then, but for the most part his notes were about things that had already happened, written to help him stay organized while he was writing.

In the beginning, he did write notes on planned events but I get the impression that these notes were actually intended to be read by someone else, at least in a few cases. In other cases, it was so early on in the process that RJ might have needed to write down his ideas in a way that he didn't have to later on when the story was so much clearer in his mind.

Every now and then he would make reference to a future event, as you saw with the future-tense bit about Taim accepting Rand's amnesty. That kind of future-tense note is very, very rare. More often you'll get offhanded references to future events as RJ is brainstorming other, related events.

From Box 59, "Galad" p. 3:

Gawyn's death. Galad is present. Galad promises to protect Egwene (and child?). Gawyn either tells him that Rand is his half-brother or starts him on the way to knowing or confirms something learned earlier. This comes after Gawyn has married Egwene, and she is pregnant.
RJ would not have needed to remind himself about this future event if he wasn't still brainstorming it. He seems iffy on whether or not Egwene would have a child.

That note was probably written before RJ had written KOD. Earlier in the file, RJ was brainstorming Galad's fight with Valda (p. 2):

The comments don't unnerve, Galad; they make him cold. I think he kills Valda at the first pass. Or very quickly, anyway.
Clearly, it didn't happen that way.

C Rutherford
11-13-2015, 08:05 PM
The only reason I asked that future question was because the Seanchan attack had been set up in his last book. When I break down and ask the next one it will not be a "what happens next' one I promise. Elaida's fate just seemed, so, okay I'll say it, immature that it didn't seem done right even if that was what was planned. So I had to ask.

Gawyn never seemed doomed to me as Galad did. So Galad was the one I picked to survive simply because all the dreams and viewings seemed so heavy handed. I know there was a lot of debate on whether he was Berelain's man and whether he would reciprocate. There was something about the dream/viewing of Gawyn saving Egwene that had me thinking if he saves her, he can only do so by dying. I have no idea what that was but I did have them down in the back of my mind as not having the rosy happy ending. That or sometimes thinking they would be the only ones and everyone else would bite it!

I agree with what you wrote on ReadandFindOut. Perfectly summing up what I was trying to say plus of course more insight.

The funny thing is that there was definitely something about Demandred in Jordan's mind. Something about how he was going to reveal it eventually, it seems to me. Because I'm pretty sure that at the same time the rabid theorizing about Taimandred took place, both Semirhage and Mesaana had been guessed right as well. At least Semirhage, I can't remember when her reveal (Mesaana) happened as being in the Tower compared to when people online were placing her theoretically. But I do remember that even when all we had was the willful charge as a clue, even when many thought it was Tenobia, there were plenty of people who guessed Daughter of the Nine Moons or the Seanchan Empress or at least something to do with the Seanchan being Semirhage's location.

Maybe in some regards he was the only one he felt he could change. A woman would have to be in the Tower of course. And really would have to be with the Seanchan since it is female oriented in a lot of ways. Not sure when the female dominance on the throne took hold in his mind, but just the fact that it was a society that relied on its female channeling system the way it did. Still we knew it was an Empress and an heiress from book one essentially so of course did he.

Terez
11-13-2015, 08:35 PM
Brandon has replied now at reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/WoT/comments/3snjii/spoilers_allsignings_and_secrets_terez_reveals/).

I'm impressed by Terez in finding this. Those notes are NOT easy to parse. The big problem is that they involve a lot of repeated information, most of it well known by now, so finding the tidbits like this is exceptionally difficult.

I am, obviously, a Robert Jordan apologist. This is part because of the project I've had the great opportunity to be involved with. Another part, though, is my nature as an author. The more I've done this writing thing myself, the more I've come to understand why Robert Jordan did some of the things he did.
A book is a fluid thing before it's written down to us. I'm famously a planner and an outliner--and even I often spend a great deal of time working with a story as it's coming out. This presents problems when you're writing a story like the Wheel of Time, which is essentially a single story--except certain parts get released to the fans before you can conceivably be done with them, as you haven't yet explored certain characters, locations, or ideas.

I suggest looking at Taimandred this way. (And, to be perfectly honest, I always suspected this fact myself--but never found this tidbit in the notes.) Knowing the process of a writer, I would suggest that the case was probably not Robert Jordan realizing that the fans had "found him out," and therefore changing his plans out of spite. It was more him exploring a new idea, and finding that something about it bothered him--perhaps it was too obvious, perhaps the new character was too dynamic to just be a persona, perhaps he had a revelation about how Demandred would actually act.

This happens a lot with discovery writers. As elements of the story grew and flowered, like a garden, he let it evolve the way it felt right for it to go--and Taim and Demandred diverged.

[...]

I do think that Mr. Jordan sometimes got trapped by the "game" of playing Q&A with the fans. I've found myself in that place before, where you think you're being clever and talking around something, but what you actually end up saying reinforces the wrong thing. (Or what you say gets reported wrong. Or you say something, then have a moment of panic later on because you realize no, you changed that already.) Being on book tour is physically and emotionally exhausting.

Some days, I'll have gotten up after sleeping for two hours, take two airline flights, then do a presentation and sign for for five or six hours--then go to a SECOND store and do another presentation, then sign for six more. And it's during the middle of this that a fan will want me to canonize a detail of the cosmere for them without my notes. I do my best (because I really do appreciate the enthusiasm of those fans who are so excited) but honestly, I'm surprised anything Mr. Jordan said on tour ever made any sense. :)
I pointed out that it was actually Marie who found the first Taimandred bit, but I think I found the bit about Asmodean. Maybe she remembers.

sleepinghour
11-14-2015, 06:11 AM
From Box 59, "Galad" p. 3:

Gawyn's death. Galad is present. Galad promises to protect Egwene (and child?). Gawyn either tells him that Rand is his half-brother or starts him on the way to knowing or confirms something learned earlier. This comes after Gawyn has married Egwene, and she is pregnant.


I think it would have felt a bit repetitive with Elayne, Aviendha, and Egwene all left widowed and pregnant by the end of the series. Not sure what being pregnant with Gawyn's child would really add to Egwene's storyline either besides additional angst. So I'm not surprised that bit was scrapped, whether by RJ himself or Brandon.

The interesting bit is Galad's promise coupled with the foreshadowing from TDR. But it also seems a bit pointless for Berelain to fall in love with Galad if he never reciprocates her feelings. Egwene and Berelain sharing Galad is unlikely, but if Galad turned out to be a channeler, I could possibly see him ending up with Egwene after Berelain's death. It's an interesting Mirror World to think about, at any rate.

Nazbaque
11-14-2015, 06:33 AM
I think it would have felt a bit repetitive with Elayne, Aviendha, and Egwene all left widowed and pregnant by the end of the series. Not sure what being pregnant with Gawyn's child would really add to Egwene's storyline either besides additional angst. So I'm not surprised that bit was scrapped, whether by RJ himself or Brandon.

The interesting bit is Galad's promise coupled with the foreshadowing from TDR. But it also seems a bit pointless for Berelain to fall in love with Galad if he never reciprocates her feelings. Egwene and Berelain sharing Galad is unlikely, but if Galad turned out to be a channeler, I could possibly see him ending up with Egwene after Berelain's death. It's an interesting Mirror World to think about, at any rate.

Well it might have been a different kind of tragic love or simply a you reap what you sow kind of tale that RJ had in mind for her at that time.

Terez
11-14-2015, 06:36 AM
The interesting bit is Galad's promise coupled with the foreshadowing from TDR. But it also seems a bit pointless for Berelain to fall in love with Galad if he never reciprocates her feelings.
I have to disagree. I mean, you could say the same about her feelings for Perrin; it would just be moving from one pointless infatuation to another. And it serves as a sort of comeuppance for Berelain and her dealings with men. At the time Berelain came onto Rand, Egwene and Elayne were just getting ready to tell Rand that he was being passed off from one to the other. Egwene still had feelings of ownership concerning Rand so she took Berelain's indiscretions as personally as Elayne did.

"I would like to stuff her in a barrel," Egwene said, gripping her goblet as if it were the First's throat, "and ship her back to Mayene. In the bottom of the hold."

Random: I just came across this bit on p. 62 of Rand 55:

Mat stood naked and bound, snarling; an odd spear with a black shaft had been thrust across his back behind his elbows, and a silver medallion, a foxhead, hung on his chest. Per Perrin. CONSENSUS SEEMS TO BE THAT THIS HAS BEEN FULFILLED WITH THE RHUIDEAN TER'ANGREAL INCIDENT. MAY DROP THE ORIGINAL MEANING FOR SPACE/TIME.

sleepinghour
11-14-2015, 06:56 AM
And it serves as a sort of comeuppance for Berelain and her dealings with men. At the time Berelain came onto Rand, Egwene and Elayne were just getting ready to tell Rand that he was being passed off from one to the other. Egwene still had feelings of ownership concerning Rand so she took Berelain's indiscretions as personally as Elayne did.

"I would like to stuff her in a barrel," Egwene said, gripping her goblet as if it were the First's throat, "and ship her back to Mayene. In the bottom of the hold."


And there were many other comments like that, particularly in LoC, where Berelain is also said to dislike Egwene. So RJ certainly left an opening for later conflict between the two, possibly with the Wise Ones playing a mediating role since they were fond of both Egwene and Berelain.

Looking into Berelain’s dreams made Egwene uncomfortable. Usually they were no different from any other woman’s—any woman interested equally in power, politics and the latest fashion in dresses—but sometimes Berelain dreamed of men, even men Egwene knew, in a way that made Egwene blush to remember.
[...]
“And Egwene?” Rand said. “Is she any better?”
Berelain’s lips compressed slightly. She did not like Egwene. But then, Egwene did not like her. No reason for it, that he knew, but there it was.
[...]
Keeping her face smooth was an effort for Egwene. That the Wise Ones would take to Berelain had been the last thing she expected. They treated her as a woman of sense and respect, which made no sense at all to Egwene, and not because Rand had given her authority. They cared not a twig for any wetlander authority. It seemed ridiculous. The Mayener woman flaunted herself in scandalous clothes and flirted outrageously—when she did not do more than flirt, as Egwene darkly believed she did. Not at all the sort of woman for Amys to smile on like a favorite daughter. Or Sorilea.

fionwe1987
11-14-2015, 10:03 AM
Him reuniting both Towers would have fit nicely thematically in the earlier patterns we saw with him - he began as the captive and victim of the Tower, but becomes the beginning of making them see men who can channel as both victims and allies rather than just enemies. He then is freed and begins the task of healing the cancer in the other Tower, a task which Sanderson mostly stole from him, but clearly should, by rights, have been his, not Androl's. Yet in that healing, he also furthered the repairing of the schism between the male and female Aes Sedai, by inverting the usual pattern of male and female channeler interaction, making them see that they could coexist and work together rather than merely in conflict when they "married" the sisters sent to kill them, rather than repaying them in kind. He seemed designed for the role of repairing and reuniting all the Aes Sedai, male and female.
I have no doubt Logain would have to be involved in any eventual bond between the two Towers. But the themes and hints for Egwene were greater. She's the one who sees Logain and wishes the Tower didn't just still men. Then she frees him, when the Rebels can't decide what to do with him, hoping he would go join the Black Tower. That automatically gives her cachet with Logain. When Lelaine proposes altering the bond so it becomes little short of compulsion to control Warders, Egwene is the one who is outraged and wouldn't even consider it.

With the taint gone, there was enough development of her view of male channelers that I could totally have seen her trying to establish some sort of relationship with them. Had she survived, after defeating Taim, her ability to speak to Asha'man and be heard would only have been enhanced.

ionwe started complaining about Taim be listed so high and urged that he should be downgraded
I understand the need to justify your actions. But that is some very creative interpretation of what I said.

I think part of my problem with Egwene's death is that in Sanderson's hands she became something I never saw any of them in Jordan's. She became this sort of faith inspired vaguely Judeo-Christian martyr that just made no sense when I looked at what Jordan wrote when he did Ingtar's scene of sacrifice and redemption.
Not sure why Egwene's death had to be like Ingtars. Further, the parallels to Jesus were started by RJ in "Honey in the Tea".

I have several issues with how her death was handled, from the way the Flame of Tar Valon thing popped out of nowhere (and that name!), to how the fact that Egwene's sa'angreal had no buffer was never discussed, despite her using it so often alone that it defies reason that no one commented that it needs to be used with care. Both aspects could have been developed better.

What you said about Elaida troubles me too, though. I have no trouble believing RJ would have left her there, though. Look at Galina. Far too many of RJ's female villains get a comeuppance that is degrading, while being spared death. It is chauvinistic and chivalrous at the same time, and one of the aspects of the books that makes me most uncomfortable.

As for the Galad and Egwene thing... it could have been interesting. He would certainly have made a better match for her than Gawyn. It could have signified a repurposing of the Whitecloaks: not haters of Aes Sedai, but those who work with them to keep their powers from overawing and damaging too much the lives of normal people.

Reading those quotes is hilarious though. Its easy to forget because RJ did this with Nynaeve a lot more, especially concerning Rand and his three women, but Egwene was quite the prude. It was one moment from ToM that struck me as quite perfectly in character when Gawyn suggests they get married right away, and Egwene is scandalized.

Kimon
11-14-2015, 10:39 AM
I understand the need to justify your actions. But that is some very creative interpretation of what I said.


I quoted you. It's what you said. Your dishonesty makes it nearly impossible to hold a conversation with you.

fionwe1987
11-14-2015, 10:57 AM
I quoted you. It's what you said. Your dishonesty makes it nearly impossible to hold a conversation with you.
*Sigh*

Me:
It isn't an unrealistic placement, but why is Taim at ++2?

zacz:
I admit I added that myself as I felt that Logain and Taim were equal in the power (I don't have any quotes but I'm pretty sure it was indicated in the series). And Since he was a Forsaken at the end I wanted to include him.


Me
Yeah, but the series also says Aviendha equals Egwene and Elayne's potential, and all three are stronger than Cadsuane.

As for Taim, he can be ++3 and still be Forsaken. No reason he has to be as strong as Logain. Hopefully, Terez, or someone who has read the notes, can confirm where he is.

I rest my case.

Kimon
11-14-2015, 11:09 AM
I rest my case.

Or in other words - zacz posted a link to his chart, never mentioning Taim. You immediately reply complaining as to Taim's ranking. He clarifies, and then you suggested that he should be at ++3 instead of ++2 regardless of the fact that there was no basis in the text for doing so. This is exactly what you did, and exactly as I described, and, this unfortunately is a pattern in your behavior.

But by all means, feel free to respond with more nonsense.

fionwe1987
11-14-2015, 11:15 AM
Or in other words - zacz posted a link to his chart, never mentioning Taim. You immediately reply complaining as to Taim's ranking. He clarifies, and then you suggested that he should be at ++3 instead of ++2 regardless of the fact that there was no basis in the text for doing so. This is exactly what you did, and exactly as I described, and, this unfortunately is a pattern in your behavior.

But by all means, feel free to respond with more nonsense.
No. His chart mentioned Taim, whose strength wasn't in the Companion. I asked, because I wondered if he had any other source for that placement. He said, as I suspected, that he was going off the books. I pointed out the books had said other things the Companion was contradicting, and that he doesn't have to be ++2 to be Forsaken, since we have other Forsaken at the lower level of ++3.

Nowhere did I "complain". Nor did I say he "should" be ++3.

When you use words like "exactly", you should at least read what is written before sounding off. Misunderstandings happen, of course, but when pointed out, you double down on yours, which you have done again here.

This is not a contest, and no one is handing out points for beating the other into submission. Argue away, by all means, because that's what makes this place great. But do me the courtesy of not reinterpreting what I said to suit a narrative that is more convenient to you.

C Rutherford
11-14-2015, 11:21 AM
Not sure why Egwene's death had to be like Ingtars. Further, the parallels to Jesus were started by RJ in "Honey in the Tea".


Thematically? In a world and setting dealing with death the afterlife and redemption? I'd say a little consistency is not too much to ask. the deaths themselves do not HAVE to be the same. Of course not. but they should reflect what is the same overall view of the matter of pulling up one's britches and approaching what is self sacrifice bound by the ideology of how you see creation. Instead we got something from Sanderson that could have been written for the Duggars.

Rand has been a messianic figure from the start. So parallels to Christ are hardly a surprise. However I found his perfection to be completely against what Jordan was writing. Jordan was writing about a messianic character who didn't want it. Didn't know what to do with it. Was not perfect. And was not some sanctified booby. Rand was written deliberately as intensely flawed and was not going to turn into some saint. What was more Jordan seemed to love playing with the tropes of a messiah and turning them around and showing how flawed they could be. Masema/the Prophet of course comes immediately to mind.

After KoD I saw Rand transform into some sort of Christian-afied Buddha. Mileage of course varies. I still see more posts in the online vocal set that think Sanderson did a better job on WoT than Jordan did. So clearly many readers liked that aspect. For me the spiritual claptrap did not fit in any way. Not just in terms of writing styles but simply "getting" what Jordan in general was saying about saviors. How ironic it is that most of us might not want to be saved. Or by that particular savior. Or that the savior might want to pick and chose who he saves. Or feels churlish in the morning and farts in his sleep. All the imperfections. And instead we got this planing down and determination to make the character as unflawed, basically a removal of what makes him human and instead creates an idealized creature trying to be as saint like as possible. and for me it felt like it was very much a particular type of saint, one based in extended Judeo-Christian beliefs that was annoying and out of tune with the rest of the books.

GonzoTheGreat
11-14-2015, 11:26 AM
Actually, the best hope by far for uniting the Two Towers is Nynaeve. She might even be able to help Logain get rid of some of his remaining paranoia; at least the part that comes from the Taint. The bits that come from his knowledge of AS and from the attempt to Turn him would be harder for her to Heal, probably.

Kimon
11-14-2015, 11:28 AM
No. His chart mentioned Taim, whose strength wasn't in the Companion. I asked, because I wondered if he had any other source for that placement. He said, as I suspected, that he was going off the books. I pointed out the books had said other things the Companion was contradicting, and that he doesn't have to be ++2 to be Forsaken, since we have other Forsaken at the lower level of ++3.

Nowhere did I "complain". Nor did I say he "should" be ++3.


Sometimes it's difficult to tell if you're being obtuse or just irrational. Yes Taim was obviously on the chart, but he didn't mention Taim in his post. You opened the chart and immediately complained about his placement of Taim at ++2. You were the one that brought up Taim, and you did so to complain about his ranking. You then suggested that he be at ++3 instead. And this is literally what every conversation with you is like.

fionwe1987
11-14-2015, 11:30 AM
Thematically? In a world and setting dealing with death the afterlife and redemption? I'd say a little consistency is not too much to ask. the deaths themselves do not HAVE to be the same. Of course not. but they should reflect what is the same overall view of the matter of pulling up one's britches and approaching what is self sacrifice bound by the ideology of how you see creation. Instead we got something from Sanderson that could have been written for the Duggars.

Rand has been a messianic figure from the start. So parallels to Christ are hardly a surprise. However I found his perfection to be completely against what Jordan was writing. Jordan was writing about a messianic character who didn't want it. Didn't know what to do with it. Was not perfect. And was not some sanctified booby. Rand was written deliberately as intensely flawed and was not going to turn into some saint. What was more Jordan seemed to love playing with the tropes of a messiah and turning them around and showing how flawed they could be. Masema/the Prophet of course comes immediately to mind.

After KoD I saw Rand transform into some sort of Christian-afied Buddha. Mileage of course varies. I still see more posts in the online vocal set that think Sanderson did a better job on WoT than Jordan did. So clearly many readers liked that aspect. For me the spiritual claptrap did not fit in any way. Not just in terms of writing styles but simply "getting" what Jordan in general was saying about saviors. How ironic it is that most of us might not want to be saved. Or by that particular savior. Or that the savior might want to pick and chose who he saves. Or feels churlish in the morning and farts in his sleep. All the imperfections. And instead we got this planing down and determination to make the character as unflawed, basically a removal of what makes him human and instead creates an idealized creature trying to be as saint like as possible. and for me it felt like it was very much a particular type of saint, one based in extended Judeo-Christian beliefs that was annoying and out of tune with the rest of the books.

I wasn't talking about Rand, there. Believe me, my feelings on Saint Rand is quite close to yours.

And I'm not saying Egwene was supposed to be perfect either. But the Jesus/Buddha parallels began for her earlier and were solidified in her chapter in KoD (Honey in the Tea). Her death still has many symbolic parallels to Guinevere, and Eldrene, than Christ, though. I didn't see her death as "redeeming", though I suspect some others did. It certainly seems to have made her more palatable to a section of readers.

But in world, her death had less to do with themes of redemption, and more to do with exactly what you were saying: that there is no "One" savior. That as great a task as saving the world needs many many heroes. And that is, after all, the lesson Rand draws from her death. It is the final piece of the puzzle in his development as a messianic figure, and that felt thematically appropriate to me, especially against the contrasting, and often very annoying, tendency of RJ's male characters to assume women always must be protected.

fionwe1987
11-14-2015, 11:35 AM
Actually, the best hope by far for uniting the Two Towers is Nynaeve. She might even be able to help Logain get rid of some of his remaining paranoia; at least the part that comes from the Taint. The bits that come from his knowledge of AS and from the attempt to Turn him would be harder for her to Heal, probably.

That brings up an interesting question: can Turning be Healed? That scene where she discovered the Taint was like Compulsion always made me think that Turning was just a directed Taint that went to the core aspects of your personality and flipped them. A subtler form, perhaps, but I suspect Nynaeve can detect that.

Should she be able to reverse that and the Taint... you're right, the Asha'man should be very receptive to her. But I do wish her own thoughts on male channelers and their place in the world had been expanded upon more, in the final books. After all, she is famously the champion of the underdog. If the White Tower tries to go overboard with trying to control the BT, I can totally see her taking their side and helping them. :)

The Unreasoner
11-14-2015, 12:36 PM
I thought Demandred was supposed to be the weakest of all the male Forsaken, aside from Asmodean.

C Rutherford
11-14-2015, 03:59 PM
I wasn't talking about Rand, there. Believe me, my feelings on Saint Rand is quite close to yours.

And I'm not saying Egwene was supposed to be perfect either. But the Jesus/Buddha parallels began for her earlier and were solidified in her chapter in KoD (Honey in the Tea). Her death still has many symbolic parallels to Guinevere, and Eldrene, than Christ, though. I didn't see her death as "redeeming", though I suspect some others did. It certainly seems to have made her more palatable to a section of readers.

But in world, her death had less to do with themes of redemption, and more to do with exactly what you were saying: that there is no "One" savior. That as great a task as saving the world needs many many heroes. And that is, after all, the lesson Rand draws from her death. It is the final piece of the puzzle in his development as a messianic figure, and that felt thematically appropriate to me, especially against the contrasting, and often very annoying, tendency of RJ's male characters to assume women always must be protected.

Says who? You? Fine. For you. But once again you seem to think the subjective can be argued and I should get exactly the same you have decided that you have here. I am not trying to persuade you or anyone else. I can't and don't even want to a second. I am airing my opinion. Opinion. My thoughts and feelings. So this is rather pointless since I feel you are talking down to me and "explaining" what I should have gotten but wasn't smart enough, like you, to get. :rolleyes:

The Unreasoner
11-14-2015, 04:06 PM
C Rutherford, have you read Dune?

ETA:
Did you massively change your post?

fionwe1987
11-14-2015, 04:22 PM
Says who? You? Fine. For you. But once again you seem to think the subjective can be argued and I should get exactly the same you have decided that you have here. I am not trying to persuade you or anyone else. I can't and don't even want to a second. I am airing my opinion. Opinion. My thoughts and feelings. So this is rather pointless since I feel you are talking down to me and "explaining" what I should have gotten but wasn't smart enough, like you, to get. :rolleyes:

:confused:

Nazbaque
11-14-2015, 04:44 PM
:confused:

He means that you aren't allowed to air your opinion on his opinion.

fionwe1987
11-14-2015, 06:40 PM
He means that you aren't allowed to air your opinion on his opinion.

I guess. Its weird when that happens after someone does exactly what they're accusing you of.

Daekyras
11-14-2015, 09:38 PM
I only just got around to reading this thread.

Wow. As always T, you are a mine of information. Well done on being able to keep it to yourself.

Also, woo. I was gutted when taimendred was debunked. Now I feel it just makes so much sense with how the first six books go.

Terez
11-14-2015, 10:26 PM
I passed over this earlier but it's something I should probably address.

I think jordan commented enough on the matter of slavery that he did not see the Seanchan coming out of the last battle as a necessary evil. The whole damane issue was something I always felt he did to over the top the matter of where they stood in the world. He loved shades of gray but in that area I think he was black and white and more 'enemy of my enemy'. I don't think he saw moving into a post-WoT secondary series with the Seanchan in Randland keeping women collared.
I'm not so sure this is true. As I have observed at other times, I believe RJ's treatment of slavery in WoT had strains of Confederate apologetics. He made it clear enough that he believed slavery was abhorrent, but he did it from a position of privilege, from the perspective that it's easy to condemn slavery when you live in a society that is not built around slavery. The Randlanders who reacted so strongly to the idea of slavery were analogous to the Europeans and the Yankees who were able to rid themselves of slavery more easily than the Southerners.

Make no mistake about it: RJ and Harriet were born and raised in Charleston, the political epicenter of the Confederacy. All white Southerners are raised on fables of Confederate apologia—I certainly was; my maternal line has always been involved in the UDC—but in Charleston that shit is serious. And RJ proved that he had a more-than-passing interest in the history of Charleston when he wrote the Fallon books.

I too expected the damane issue to be resolved, but I wasn't exactly surprised that it wasn't, either. In RJ's view, it would more realistic for the abolition of slavery to happen over the course of several decades, even a century. It might happen more quickly with Prince Mat in the bargain, but I suspect this would have been a central plot focus in the outriggers, rather than something that had already happened before they began.

Daekyras
11-14-2015, 10:45 PM
I still see more posts in the online vocal set that think Sanderson did a better job on WoT than Jordan did.

Wait...what?

I don't really visit other wot forums but I did quite a bit contemporaneously with the sanders on books. I know he has defenders. I know he has fans who really love what he did.

But I can honestly say I never read anyone who thought he did a better job on WoT than RJ.

Terez
11-14-2015, 11:04 PM
It's not an uncommon opinion; we even have Theorylanders like Seeker who have argued that.

Daekyras
11-14-2015, 11:12 PM
It's not an uncommon opinion; we even have Theorylanders like Seeker who have argued that.

Really? I know seeker has been a big supporter of Brandon's but I didn't realise it went as far as that.

I must admit I find it a very hard to see that point of view.

Nazbaque
11-15-2015, 03:37 AM
Well I certainly read the last books with my mind open to the possibility that Brandon might turn out to be a better writer. He didn't. Now of course we don't know how RJ would have written it, but I don't see Brandon's version as something he couldn't beat. I don't see it as something leaps and bounds behind RJ's abilities either. I pretty much see both extremists as arguing something without basis. They wanted something different and insist that RJ would have done it that way which is bullshit or they are fixated on the more tedious parts of the story and insist RJ's work would have continued like that which is again bullshit.

Terez
11-15-2015, 03:44 AM
Better stop this discussion here, or it will be quarantined.

Southpaw2012
11-15-2015, 06:55 PM
Has Brandon gotten back to you about the Demandred in Shara info?

Terez
11-15-2015, 09:24 PM
I don't expect him to get back to me on that. Assuming that Harriet did give him permission to talk about the endgame notes, I suspect we'll have to ask him at JordanCon. I don't even expect that much, though. Likely Harriet was too annoyed at the Taimandred revelation to give him permission to speak more.

rand
11-15-2015, 11:11 PM
I can't really make myself care much sense it's all done and over now, but is anyone else disappointed that Brandon somehow didn't know this already? I mean, these are pretty major revelations. It just makes me wonder how much of the notes Brandon actually read before writing his WoT books, and what else he missed that might actually pertain to aMoL.

Terez
11-15-2015, 11:14 PM
There is some back-and-forth on this topic on the reddit page.

fionwe1987
11-15-2015, 11:17 PM
I can't really make myself care much sense it's all done and over now, but is anyone else disappointed that Brandon somehow didn't know this already? I mean, these are pretty major revelations. It just makes me wonder how much of the notes Brandon actually read before writing his WoT books, and what else he missed that might actually pertain to aMoL.

By "this" you mean Taimandred being real?

I dunno. It was an abandoned story, right? I'm sure there is a lot like that. On the one hand, it is from the past, and wouldn't be actually affecting future storylines. But I think I can see what you mean. If Brandon had had an even deeper look at the notes, maybe it would have informed his decision making. Like, knowing Taimandred was initially real may have made him decide to make the arrival of Taim and his Asha'man on the side of the Shadow a real gut punch moment. Or knowing RJ's thoughts on Egwene-Gawyn-Galad may have changed something else. And so on.

rand
11-15-2015, 11:24 PM
It's not so much Taimandred specifically, but if Brandon somehow missed something major like that in the notes, odds are he missed other things that might have affected the final three books.

I mean, I know BS has his own career, but if I was given the opportunity to finish WoT, I'd make sure I'd read RJ's notes 10 times over before even starting.

fionwe1987
11-15-2015, 11:32 PM
There is some back-and-forth on this topic on the reddit page.

Nice!

Original plan for Rand vs. the Dark One involved Rand using the choedan kal--both of them. Then the books destroyed one of them, and so obviously this idea was discarded.
Interesting. I always wondered why only the female one melted. And I wonder if this change of the ending was influenced by RJ wanting the unnoticed consequence of the Amayar mass suicide. He seemed hugely disappointed that didn't pay off.

Terez
11-15-2015, 11:36 PM
I thought Demandred was supposed to be the weakest of all the male Forsaken, aside from Asmodean.
I meant to respond to this earlier. There was only one indication of this: the ordering of the Forsaken in the BWB. Aginor is listed second after Ishamael, and his entry begins: "The second most powerful man..." , and Lanfear is listed first for the women. There isn't any other apparent reason for the order in which they were listed, so overall it gives the impression that they are ordered by strength, but there isn't actually any explicit confirmation of this. I suspect RJ hadn't made up his mind at the time how exactly they all ranked in terms of strength.

fionwe1987
11-15-2015, 11:40 PM
I meant to respond to this earlier. There was only one indication of this: the ordering of the Forsaken in the BWB. Aginor is listed second after Ishamael, and his entry begins: "The second most powerful man..." , and Lanfear is listed first for the women. There isn't any other apparent reason for the order in which they were listed, so overall it gives the impression that they are ordered by strength, but there isn't actually any explicit confirmation of this. I suspect RJ hadn't made up his mind at the time how exactly they all ranked in terms of strength.
Given the LoC quote on Demandred's life being all about being "almost", and Aginor cowering at Demandred's presence, I think he later did settle that.

Be'lal always did seem of the weaker class to me with him being called Envious, but I always assumed Asmodean was the weakest. Interesting to see he was stronger than Be'lal.

Daekyras
11-16-2015, 01:40 AM
Or knowing RJ's thoughts on Egwene-Gawyn-Galad may have changed something else. And so on.

Hey guys, hate to be a bother but does anyone want to sum up RJ ' S thoughts on E - G-G? Other then scrambled. Yup, that's a little bit of egg humour there. :)

But seriously, what were his thoughts?

Terez
11-16-2015, 02:17 AM
Hey guys, hate to be a bother but does anyone want to sum up RJ ' S thoughts on E - G-G? Other then scrambled. Yup, that's a little bit of egg humour there. :)

But seriously, what were his thoughts?
There's the foreshadowing I posted @ #49 (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=234121), and then I posted some bits from the notes in #56.

Daekyras
11-16-2015, 06:18 AM
There's the foreshadowing I posted @ #49 (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=234121), and then I posted some bits from the notes in #56.

Ha, how the hell did I skip that?? Anyway, thanks T.

Does anyone know where seeker hangs out these days? I wouldn't mind asking him some things.

Davian93
11-16-2015, 01:15 PM
Wait...what?

I don't really visit other wot forums but I did quite a bit contemporaneously with the sanders on books. I know he has defenders. I know he has fans who really love what he did.

But I can honestly say I never read anyone who thought he did a better job on WoT than RJ.

I've seen it expressed quite often by more casual fans of the series but the hardcore fans seem to have a pretty strong opinion that he ended up butchering the final 3 books by the end....

Davian93
11-16-2015, 01:18 PM
It's not so much Taimandred specifically, but if Brandon somehow missed something major like that in the notes, odds are he missed other things that might have affected the final three books.

I mean, I know BS has his own career, but if I was given the opportunity to finish WoT, I'd make sure I'd read RJ's notes 10 times over before even starting.

Maybe he was busy writing yet another one-dimensional female character for one of his books that sounds and acts exactly like all of his other female characters in every single book/series he has done?

Daekyras
11-16-2015, 01:27 PM
Maybe he was busy writing yet another one-dimensional female character for one of his books that sounds and acts exactly like all of his other female characters in every single book/series he has done?

Happy to see your views on Brandon's writing have mellowed over the last few years...:)

Southpaw2012
11-16-2015, 05:49 PM
It's not so much Taimandred specifically, but if Brandon somehow missed something major like that in the notes, odds are he missed other things that might have affected the final three books.

I mean, I know BS has his own career, but if I was given the opportunity to finish WoT, I'd make sure I'd read RJ's notes 10 times over before even starting.

I think in terms of something major, Team Jordan would have been there to stop him if he accidentally missed or went against what RJ explicitly said in the notes. If I remember correctly, didn't Team Jordan interview RJ before he died to figure out all the major stuff for the last book? That's why it's hard for me to see how Brandon would have had to make up the fate of Egwene when she's a main character. Then again, it was likely a situation where RJ had many different forks in the road for her and Brandon chose the one that seemed more realistic.

Davian93
11-16-2015, 06:10 PM
Happy to see your views on Brandon's writing have mellowed over the last few years...:)

I like his books well enough but he definitely has some weaknesses as a writer...and his style didn't end up blending well with RJs unfortunately. Not his fault really as he did the best he could under the circumstances.

Davian93
11-16-2015, 06:11 PM
I think in terms of something major, Team Jordan would have been there to stop him if he accidentally missed or went against what RJ explicitly said in the notes. If I remember correctly, didn't Team Jordan interview RJ before he died to figure out all the major stuff for the last book? That's why it's hard for me to see how Brandon would have had to make up the fate of Egwene when she's a main character. Then again, it was likely a situation where RJ had many different forks in the road for her and Brandon chose the one that seemed more realistic.

I believe RJ dictated the general outline to Harriet and a couple of other close family friends (cousins or siblings or something) very near the end of his life...basically gave the 2 hour verbal version of how A Memory of Life would go IIRC. So you'd think something like Egwene (a core character) would be in there.

fionwe1987
11-16-2015, 08:42 PM
I believe RJ dictated the general outline to Harriet and a couple of other close family friends (cousins or siblings or something) very near the end of his life...basically gave the 2 hour verbal version of how A Memory of Life would go IIRC. So you'd think something like Egwene (a core character) would be in there.

Yeah. But I do wish the scenes leading to her death weren't so full of holes.

Davian93
11-16-2015, 08:47 PM
Yeah. But I do wish the scenes leading to her death weren't so full of holes.

I would imagine (with zero inside knowledge mind you) that RJ's story was something like "Egwene leads the Tower during the Last Battle, she sacrifices herself to help win the battle with a sa'angreal"

That had to be stretched out to 50 pages of Egwene focused writing along with minimal notes.

fionwe1987
11-16-2015, 08:54 PM
I would imagine (with zero inside knowledge mind you) that RJ's story was something like "Egwene leads the Tower during the Last Battle, she sacrifices herself to help win the battle with a sa'angreal"

That had to be stretched out to 50 pages of Egwene focused writing along with minimal notes.
Oh I imagine much the same. But there were several people who would have pointed out that there is no way Taim should be able to resist a shield made by Egwene using her sa'angreal. Or that if her sa'angreal has no buffer, it makes no sense for it to not be mentioned before-hand, especially with Egwene channeling for long hours in Kandor. Wouldn't someone have mentioned how risky it is to use a sa'angreal without a buffer in those conditions?

And the very deus ex machina nature of her counterweave to Balefire. That was just so bad.

Davian93
11-16-2015, 09:03 PM
Oh I imagine much the same. But there were several people who would have pointed out that there is no way Taim should be able to resist a shield made by Egwene using her sa'angreal. Or that if her sa'angreal has no buffer, it makes no sense for it to not be mentioned before-hand, especially with Egwene channeling for long hours in Kandor. Wouldn't someone have mentioned how risky it is to use a sa'angreal without a buffer in those conditions?

And the very deus ex machina nature of her counterweave to Balefire. That was just so bad.

No arguments here...

fionwe1987
11-16-2015, 09:05 PM
As the only major character to die, you would think they'd have ironed out those kinks, so the confusing question of what the hell is going on isn't overshadowing whatever emotions the scene was meant to elicit.

rand
11-16-2015, 11:29 PM
Does anyone know where seeker hangs out these days? I wouldn't mind asking him some things.
Seeker thinks any author he doesn't like is a misogynist/pedophile/child molester. RJ included (for the misogyny part at least--I forget if he thinks RJ's a pedophile). So I wouldn't look for a reasoned explanation from him as to why Brandon's a better author.


I don't want to change the topic, but I think a lot of the "problems" with Brandon finishing WoT is that he's fairly similar to RJ. A lot of Harriet's decision in picking him probably had to do with his strengths in world building, magic systems, and plot--all of which are RJ's strengths as well. But unfortunately (for BS), the world building, magic, and plot were already done by RJ. Brandon had to connect the dots, but Brandon's weaknesses are things like dialogue and character voice. Basically what I'm saying is that Brandon's strengths as a writer weren't really needed to finish WoT, but his weaknesses were, so that's why they seem so evident. If he'd somehow been required to provide the plot and world building, with the characters and dialogue already there (hypothetically--obviously this would never happen), it would have probably looked much better for Brandon.

Terez
11-16-2015, 11:32 PM
Really guys, we do have rules about the Brandon vs RJ discussion. Talk about something else.

sleepinghour
11-17-2015, 09:00 AM
I've sometimes wondered whether RJ's illness affected the endings he chose for the characters. I don't really want to speculate too much about his personal life, as it doesn't seem appropriate to do so; however, there's always been a fair bit of discussion about how RJ's own wartime experiences were reflected in Rand's. And the "he came like the wind, like the wind touched everything, and like the wind was gone" quote about Rand is frequently said of RJ now. So Rand feels like the character who is most like RJ.

But if you're terminally ill, and leaving behind a spouse, I can see how it might be tempting as an author to give your characters a different ending than your own. Rand walked away with a new body and new chance at life. The major characters who died did so together with their loved ones (Deira and Davram Bashere, Siuan and Bryne, Egwene and Gawyn); nobody survived their spouse long. It always was a theme in the series, from Lan to Perrin saying they would rather die than survive the woman they loved. Yet RJ seemed to feel that women were better equipped at dealing with that, saying (http://theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=135#8) in response to a fan question,


RJ: As for Nynaeve, and Lan dying, women are always a lot tougher, emotionally, than men are. Nynaeve will cry for a very long time when Lan dies and she will go on living.

This was also reflected in the books, with Faile telling Perrin she expected him to remarry if she died, and Ebou Dari women even making arrangements for that to happen, deciding which woman would get the man. But perhaps that was still one contributing reason why Egwene ultimately didn't survive Gawyn.

fionwe1987
11-17-2015, 09:16 AM
But perhaps that was still one contributing reason why Egwene ultimately didn't survive Gawyn.
Hmm.. I wonder. Assume Gawyn didn't die... would Egwene have survived?

It seems to me Gawyn's death was more a temporary nuisance, and perhaps it made it easier for Egwene to sacrifice herself. But her death seemed a considered decision, and if Gawyn was alive, I don't really see that making Egwene choose differently. Her choice was burn out and let the Sharans destroy the Light's forces, and have another Bore open. Or sacrifice herself and prevent those two outcomes. Gawyn wouldn't survive either case anyway.

Joram
11-17-2015, 01:33 PM
I too expected the*damane*issue to be resolved, but I wasn't exactly surprised that it wasn't, either. In RJ's view, it would more realistic for the abolition of slavery to happen over the course of several decades, even a century. It might happen more quickly with Prince Mat in the bargain, but I suspect this would have been a central plot focus in the outriggers, rather than something that had already happened before they began.
~Terez

I noticed a couple references to outriggers in this thread. I thought I had heard Jordan say that after WoT was done, he was done with writing Randland stuff and that any future books would be unrelated stories. Did he change his mind about that at some point? I was very into everything about WoT once upon a time, but was less dedicated a fan as time went on.


As for the books, not to comment on the relative merits of RJ vs BS, but I did feel let down by AMoL. It just wasn't the big satisfying ending that I expected. I had heard long ago that RJ had written the ending scene before he'd even finished the first book. Perhaps, after waiting so many years, I just had unreasonable expectations, but I just didn't feel the catharsis and relief I had anticipated. I am doing a complete reread right now, so maybe I will pick up things I missed, or feel differently this time around.

The Unreasoner
11-17-2015, 02:23 PM
There were a few sequels/spinoffs talked about, to cover things like Mat and Tuon, Merillile and Talaan. But RJ left no outline, and few notes.

fionwe1987
11-17-2015, 02:25 PM
I noticed a couple references to outriggers in this thread. I thought I had heard Jordan say that after WoT was done, he was done with writing Randland stuff and that any future books would be unrelated stories. Did he change his mind about that at some point? I was very into everything about WoT once upon a time, but was less dedicated a fan as time went on.

RJ changed his mind on this. He talked about an outrigger trilogy set in Seanchan, focusing on Mat and Tuon as they worked to take it back. We know of the on sentence RJ wrote about this, which has Perrin looking down a ditch and finding Mat there.

Weiramon
11-17-2015, 02:40 PM
There were a few sequels/spinoffs talked about, to cover things like Mat and Tuon, Merillile and Talaan. But RJ left no outline, and few notes.

_______________________________________________

It is beneath the dignity of excellent men to waste their time in calculation when any peasant could do the work just as accurately with the aid of a machine.

-Leibniz

I'm not sure why this Leibniz fellow is so generous, allowing peasants to use fine machines.

And speaking of machines - as for that young puppet of an Amyrlin foiling balefire, it is not as though she had dreamt of another doing the same.

The Unreasoner
11-17-2015, 07:31 PM
When I saw you edited my signature I looked for a hidden reply. Couldn't find one. Is there one, or can I give up?

Terez
11-17-2015, 08:29 PM
RJ always said he wouldn't continue the story unless he had a really good idea for something to write past the Last Battle. Near the end of his life, he said he had finally gotten a good idea. I'm honestly not sure how much of that was internal pep talk for fighting amyloidosis, though.

padfoot89
11-24-2015, 08:59 AM
So if Taim was Demandred when he started out, did he know about Dashiva's identity? He seemed quite surprised when Rand picked him as part of his detail. He seemed to be shocked when Rand told him to add Dashiva to the list at the end of TPoD too.

What was the DO doing there? Keeping an eye on Dem?

GonzoTheGreat
11-24-2015, 10:36 AM
Maybe Dashiva wasn't a Forsaken, yet?
He may have gotten that status only when Demandred wandered off (probably bored) and left Taim to his own devices in CoT.

halo6819
12-11-2015, 06:16 AM
however, there's always been a fair bit of discussion about how RJ's own wartime experiences were reflected in Rand's. And the "he came like the wind, like the wind touched everything, and like the wind was gone" quote about Rand is frequently said of RJ now. So Rand feels like the character who is most like RJ.

But if you're terminally ill, and leaving behind a spouse, I can see how it might be tempting as an author to give your characters a different ending than your own. Rand walked away with a new body and new chance at life.

RJ already did this in his personal life:
The next day in the orderly room an officer with a literary bent announced my entrance with "Behold, the Iceman cometh." For those of you unfamiliar with Eugene O'Neil, the Iceman was Death. I hated that name, but I couldn't shake it. And, to tell you the truth, by that time maybe it fit. I have, or used to have, a photo of a young man sitting on a log eating C-rations with a pair of chopsticks. There are three dead NVA laid out in a line just beside him. He didn't kill them. He didn't choose to sit there because of the bodies. It was just the most convenient place to sit. The bodies don't bother him. He doesn't care. They're just part of the landscape. The young man is glancing at the camera, and you know in one look that you aren't going to take this guy home to meet your parents. Back in the world, you wouldn't want him in your neighborhood, because he is cold, cold, cold. I strangled that SOB, drove a stake through his heart, and buried him face down under a crossroad outside Saigon before coming home, because I knew that guy wasn't made to survive in a civilian environment. I think he's gone. All of him. I hope so. I much prefer being remembered as Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles.

Daekyras
12-11-2015, 09:32 AM
RJ already did this in his personal life:

Wow! Robert Jordan killed a fellow soldier? OMG.

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I know he didn't.