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Terez 12-12-2015 10:50 PM

RJ's notes (series)
 
Now that it has been revealed that Taimandred killed Asmodean, and the Encyclopedia is out, I no longer feel bound to keep any secrets from the notes. And there are a ton of interesting details. I want to share them all but the problem is that I'm bound by copyright laws for this stuff so I have to summarize a lot of stuff and only quote when RJ's exact wording is crucial.

I'll start with the file that everyone's already seen the first page of, and the beggar/hot iron viewings I mentioned last year when I was going through the notes. The file is called "Notes On Books Two Through Six" and it's found in Box 4 Folder 2 at Addlestone.

After the introduction seen on page one (plus a little more along the same lines), RJ goes through a list of numbered plot points which he calls a "List of Incidents". I will summarize these here, and I will use quotes when I copy the exact words RJ used. My comments inside quotes are in square brackets; when RJ uses them, I change them to parentheses.

RJ outlines the beginning of the story which is completely different from what he eventually used. He saved his "shipwrecked" idea for his next planned series, Infinity of Heaven.

1. Rand was going to be shipwrecked "on the coast of a Blight". Note the singular: at this point in his planning, there were several Blights scattered across the land. This Blight surrounded a land that was totally isolated from the outside world. He used this idea later for pre-Luthair Seanchan: the Aes Sedai were the rulers of the city-states in this land.

Rand falls in love with one of the rulers' daughters, who is "a general in her own right". He realizes at some point in this arc that he is the Dragon Reborn. While in that land, he ends up fighting the Dark One again, and he exposes himself as a channeler, so he has to flee all the Aes Sedai, though his girl follows him and her army helps him take the Stone of Stair. (Stair became Tear, in case it wasn't obvious.)

2. RJ is vague here: "Time with the Sea Folk." He then goes on to describe what the Sea Folk are like. It's clear that, at this point, he hadn't put much thought into them at all. It also seems that he intended them to play a more important role than they did.

3. Rand's first ally after he declares himself the Dragon is Morgase, with whom he has a brief affair. This causes Galad (her son) to go over to the Shadow. Rand has some difficulties with Morgase that are reminiscent of the Daes Dae'mar issues he has later on in Tear and Cairhien. Morgase is not Elayne's mother (see below).

4. Stone of Stair is described, and the as-yet-unnamed Callandor. At this point, the prophecy "says that the Dragon will bring women bearing swords to take the fortress, and that he will remove the sword. Some think this means the Maidens of the Spear, but only a handful any longer give credence to this for a Blight separates stair from the Barrens [Aiel Waste], and few humans will willingly enter a Blight."

5. Describes an early invasion of Trollocs from the northern Blight, and how Rand gets blamed for the aftermath. This seems reminiscent of the Shadowspawn invasion during Hawkwing's time.

6. Rand is going to "heal" the male half of the Power, about which many people will not be thrilled.

7. Full quote here: "After his disastrous attempt to destroy Sha'tan, Rand is taken prisoner by the Queen of the land where he was raised, Elyn's mother. The queen wants to kill him, but Elyn manages to get the sentence commuted. As a price for this, though, Elyn is forced to pronounce the alternate sentence. Rand is blinded by hot irons and turned loose to wander as a beggar. This is the lowest point for him, when he feels that everyone, even Elyn, has abandoned him. (NOTE: he will regain his sight later.)"

8. "A sojourn with the Aiel." RJ goes on to describe the Aiel in great detail, mostly details that are already known: appearance, hardiness and endurance, role of clans and warrior societies, Maidens, their identity as People of the Dragon (which is used pejoratively by outsiders), their 2nd Age history (serving "Jeran Telamon" rather than the Aes Sedai generally). All of this is thought out in recognizable detail, even the columns ter'angreal (which was described here as a "circle of stones"), but one significant bit is different: "They call themselves the Thirteen Clans, but only twelve clans are known to outsiders." Also, RJ originally thought that the clan chiefs would be somehow Compelled to stay silent about what they saw in the ter'angreal, but that Rand would somehow find a way to break that Compulsion. Finally, Tigraine was originally "Morgase's sister who, refusing an unwanted marriage to Maric, fled into the Barrens."

9. Returning from the Barrens (Waste) Rand finds that he has more supporters now, mostly common people, but some Aes Sedai too. He goes off to defeat the Dark One.

10. "At the very end Rand will engineer his own disappearance, accompanied by some of his friends. He will leave behind another legend: that the Dragon sleeps, awaiting mankind's hour of need to rise once more."

RJ closes the file with a few paragraphs on how he intends to weave Arthur, Thor, and many other myths into a story that could conceivably be the original of all those myths, and how many of the myths in the story would obviously be distorted stories of events in the real world. Closing paragraph:

"The main thrust of the story will not be how fact becomes legend, however. Rather it will explore the nature of good and evil, of free will and the duty owed by the individual to humanity as a whole, of why and how mankind makes the choice to oppose evil, and the harm that can be done in the name of good."

Kimon 12-12-2015 11:18 PM

Has there been a definitive explanation from Harriet or Maria on why they didn't decide to include some or all of this in the Companion? I certainly don't seem to be the only one who finds this far more interesting than what they did publish as the Companion.

Terez 12-12-2015 11:37 PM

The Encyclopedia was always meant to be canon, so this kind of thing wouldn't have been appropriate to include.

fionwe1987 12-13-2015 12:32 AM

I have to say once again that the idea of Rand fighting Shai'tan unsuccessfully is hugely alluring to me. I think the biggest sense of slowness in the middle books could have been countered, and the price of Rand's darkness far better explored, in such a story.

Terez... are there early notes on the Aes Sedai from this period? Was there differences in their organization if there were entire lands separated by "blights"?

Also, I vaguely remember someone saying Egwene and Nynaeve were one person, once. Any clues on that?

ETA: Thanks for doing this, Terez. I'm hugely excited for this, not as a way of getting new facts about the series, but to gain insight into how RJ's creative process worked.

Terez 12-13-2015 12:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fionwe1987 (Post 234731)
Terez... are there early notes on the Aes Sedai from this period? Was there differences in their organization if there were entire lands separated by "blights"?

Also, I vaguely remember someone saying Egwene and Nynaeve were one person, once. Any clues on that?

All in due time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fionwe1987 (Post 234731)
ETA: Thanks for doing this, Terez. I'm hugely excited for this, not as a way of getting new facts about the series, but to gain insight into how RJ's creative process worked.

There will be some of both. Right now I'm doing the early worldbuilding notes, but as it goes on I'll get into later stuff with canon significance. Most of that detail was covered in the Encyclopedia, but not all.

Terez 12-13-2015 03:48 AM

The first file was clearly written before RJ had actually begun writing TEOTW. Maybe he had written a few scenes, but if he had, no doubt he had to scrap them.

The next file is called "RAMBLINGS ON FORM OF STORY" and it's also from box 4 folder 2.

You're going to catch me reevaluating a lot of my perceptions of these notes as I go along because I have by no means studied them thoroughly yet. In fact this thread is a fun way to do Round 2. (It will take many more rounds, and ins and outs, to make a thorough study.)

I think this one was probably written not long after the previous file, though the beginnings of the story are much more recognizable. He had outlined the series, and he went back to outline book 1. He got into the details and the story began to change.

(The previous file was for books 2-6. There are other, earlier files for book 1. I apologize for not giving these files in chronological order as to when they were written, but they're not labeled and I'm going to have to sort it out. So I'm going by box.)

The typed heading has "THE EYE OF THE WORLD" in the top left corner and "NOTES" in the top right, and "1." in the middle (page number). Below "THE EYE OF THE WORLD" there is a handwritten note in red ink that says "Revision 1". I'm not 100% positive but I think this is RJ's handwriting. Then, centered: "RAMBLINGS ON FORM OF STORY". Below that, left-justified: "FILENAME: RAMBLINGS".

This one is more difficult to summarize because it's not a numbered list. The opening quote is a good example of why it's clear he hadn't written the early chapters yet, and also why it's clear he was very close to doing so.

RJ's brackets changed to parentheses; brackets mine.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
Houses in the village of Emond's Field are arranged around a village green. (One street or two?) The houses are of wood and stone, some plastered. Only the tavern is of two stories, for the tavern-keeper and his family live above it. [...]

Interesting points:

1. Owan al'Vere, Nyneve, Egwyn, Spring Festival. Tam and Rand and Lan are the only other people with names in this file, aside from Sha'tan.

2. Owan/Bran serves his homemade ale, "though he does have a little of brandy and such from the outside." He hires out big horses and oxen. He is the tavernkeeper and Mayor, but the Mayor bit isn't mentioned until later in the file, a weird break in the narrative like he was going to make a list or something, but then he goes back to the narrative:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
The peddler is dead(?). The gleeman is gone.

Egwyn al'Vere (her father is Owan al'Vere, the tavernkeeper and Mayor).

He is not an innkeeper in this outline; RJ specifically says that he has no rooms and the peddlers and gleemen and merchants have to make their own camp or hire a barn. But when Moiraine (no name) comes, he makes a room for her, and her Warder (this term is mentioned and detailed) sleeps in Owan's stable.

3. RJ goes into detail of how Emond's Field gets news from Outside. They get it from peddlers and grain-buyers. No mention of tabac as the main crop.

4. No mention of the "Two Rivers". Just Emond's Field. (The "Two Rivers" was inspired by the geography of Charleston, and tobacco is big in South Carolina too, if not as big as in North Carolina.)

5. RJ says they get peddlers with wagons and carts no more than twice a year, and pack-peddlers come every month or two.

6. This changed: "The grainbuyers know what is happening in the city they come from (the capital of the land)..." Clearly he had not sorted out Baerlon and Caemlyn yet.

7. More orientation quotes:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
The story will begin actually in the village of Emond's Field, or perhaps with Rand and Tam on the way to it. We meet some of the village people (the Wisdom, Nyneve, the tavernkeeper, the girl Rand loves, some of the village boys with whom he is friends.)

A few paragraphs later:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
On the way to the village Rand sees one of the strange riders, seemingly a man swathed in a hooded black cloak.

Then he gives all the recognizable detail of that scene. As you can see, this is something of a brainstorming file. The first quote is from p. 2, the second from pp. 3-4. The file is 10 pages.

8. The unnamed Aes Sedai is veiled.

9. RJ reminded himself to mention offhandedly at some point early in the story that Nyneve does not like Aes Sedai. And when the veiled woman and her armed companion appear, Nyneve is suspicious of them.

10. Nyneve is around 30 years old. She is a healer, and all Wisdoms are healers.

11. Blights is still plural. This comes up when the boys are trying to decide whether the armed man is a Warder.

12. The peddler tells them the False Dragon is somewhere to the north and west. (That could work for Taim, but it was Logain they heard about from Fain, and he was to the south and east.)

13. The unnamed gleeman teases the stories he will tell:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
'Anla the Wise Counselo.' [sic] 'How Len Flew to the Moon on the Back of a Fiery Eagle, and how Daughter Salia Walked among the Stars.' 'The giants, Rus and Us, who battled with huge spears of light.'

(Mosk and Merk was much better, and Merk wasn't even mentioned until TSR.)

14. Tam's sword is over the fireplace, so no premonition is required to get his sword down from the chest upstairs. Rand has never seen him actually use it.

15. Tam and unnamed wife had children of their own who had died "of sickness or accident".

16. RJ has cute ways of noting important details:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
Tam had found one of their women on the slopes of the mountain (He Does Not Name Mountain).

[...]

In thier [sic] talk it comes out that the veiled woman is an Aes Sedai. She weilded [sic] Power (They Don't Know Proper Terms) against the attackers...

The underlined iterations of "they" referring to the Aiel are the same kind of thing. That whole long passage about Tam's fever dreams uses underlined "they" words.

17. Tam and wife and baby return "south" to the land of Tam's birth.

18. Tam was originally going to mention that no one "down south" would recognize their gray eyes, so Rand figures out that he is one of them, whoever they are. (They don't sound like nice people.)

19. Rand even thinks that, because Tam mentioned coming south, that the mountains were in the north, and he knows the Great Blight is to the north, so he's worried that he's some kind of Shadowspawn (not that this name is used).

20. When they get to the village, most everything goes as in the book. Just after Lan is named, there's that little blip I mentioned earlier where RJ notes that Owan is Egwyn's father, and after that blip he starts going on about how no one really thinks of Nyneve like they think of other women (we all know how that is) because she is the Wisdom.

Finally, the file ends with a handwritten page where RJ is calculating words to a line and words to a page and words to a book, long division included. He calculates that 200,000 words will be 621.20 pages.

GonzoTheGreat 12-13-2015 05:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 234733)
6. This changed: "The grainbuyers know what is happening in the city they come from (the capital of the land)..." Clearly he had not sorted out Baerlon and Caemlyn yet.

Or maybe the grain buyers didn't bother to confuse the local yokels with such arcane details, being willing to be thought to come from the centre of power instead.

Terez 12-13-2015 06:04 AM

If that's what RJ was thinking he would have written it down.

GonzoTheGreat 12-13-2015 07:01 AM

It was intuitively obvious to the most casual reader (just like the Taigraendal thing), so RJ probably didn't think he needed to spell it out for himself.

Daekyras 12-13-2015 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 234728)
Now that it has been revealed that Taimandred killed Asmodean,."

I haven't had a chance to look at the Companion so forgive me if this is mentioned in it but...when did we learn this?

Our wee fella has been ill so haven't really Been focusing any thoughts on WoT. I know T mentioned that taimendred was a real thing. And I was very happy. Could anyone link me to the revelation above?

And Terez, I know I say this all the time, but thanks for helping to increase my enjoyment of WoT .

Terez 12-13-2015 08:49 AM

Just because I'm on a roll tonight doesn't mean I'll be keeping up any kind of steady pace, by the way.

Now for the third file, a step backward in time. (Under the title this time is handwritten, double-underlined "Original". Same handwriting, probably RJ's.) A short chronology (in the real world) of the files so far (references are box/folder):

1. "THE WHEEL OF TIME: OUTLINE/BOOK ONE" 4/2
2. "NOTES/BOOKS TWO – SIX" 4/2
3. "RAMBLINGS ON FORM OF STORY" 4/2 (re: EOTW 1-7)

The new one was definitely written first. Rand is Rhys. The village is celebrating a festival but RJ asks himself "(?which one?)". We have proto-Cenn and proto-Trollocs and "Rhys's 'father'". RJ can't decide if the horse is killed by the Trollocs or if they were too poor/simple for a horse. The village Wisdom is an old woman. The unnamed tribesmen of Tam's fever dreams are horse-mounted.

At that point RJ starts to insert notes in brackets which appear to have been written in retrospect, after he'd fleshed something out further. In some cases, I wonder whether these notes were written after he'd written the other two files. For example:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
[SEE REASON FOR INVASION, BELOW. REVEAL NOW, OR LATER? OR PART NOW?] He fought in the great battle before Dragonmount, where the invasion was supposedly turned back. [WAS IT IN TRUTH, OR DID THEY TURN BACK FOR SOME OTHER REASON, PERHAPS BECAUSE THEIR PURPOSE HAD BEEN CARRIED OUT?]

In "RAMBLINGS ON FORM OF STORY" RJ wrote that the Aiel were "turned back" without anything like "supposedly", but that is written kind of from Tam's POV.

This stuff kind of half-reads like a story narrative sometimes rather than non-fiction outline type stuff, kind of in the read-aloud style that is the basis for the first POV of the prologue of TGS. There is a lot of back and forth between notes style and story style, which is not surprising because RJ did storyteller mode at book signings. It came naturally to him.

Back to "OUTLINE/BOOK ONE". Tam aids in Rhys's obviously premature birth (not so in RAMBLINGS). Again, Tam's children had all died. When Rhys hears this story he has a bit of an identity crisis, and though the "gray eyes" aren't mentioned, the proto-Aiel are definitely part of Rhys's revelation.

Another NOTE TO SELF:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
Arriving at the village he discovers that much of it has been burned or ruined – by, it turns out, the same sort of beings who attacked his 'father' and him. Many farms have been attacked, it turns out. [EVENTUALLY IT IS DISCOVERED THAT EVERY VILLAGE IN THE AREA AND MOST OF THE FARMS HAVE BEEN ATTACKED, WITH GREAT LOSS OF LIFE AND MUCH DESTRUCTION. When does this come out? How?]

After the "old woman" refuses to help Rhys's 'father', 'Moraine" shows up with a dude who looks young but has white hair and lined eyes. Moraine herself has "ageless beauty" and sometimes even acts like an old woman. Another note to self: "(In fact, she is how old? PERHAPS CHANGE THE BIT ABOUT ACTING VERY OLD.]"

Rhys's father dies because it is too late for Moraine to help him.

Judging by the details that follow about Rhys's internal conflicts and conflicts with Moraine, I'm guessing RJ decided later that it was unbelievable that Rhys/Rand would trust her if she had not healed his father, but there are no notes to self on that point.

Moraine's pitch to carry off the boys of a certain age is discussed with the whole village, originally suggested as a means to find out why their village was attacked. They must seek help "from _________, the city built near Dragonmount". The 'old woman' joins the party, along with "several other men and women".

The warrior teaches the boys to fight. Rhys is the best with the sword. Moraine tells a campfire story of the Dragon Reborn who is supposed to fight Sa'khan, and the prophecies that he will save them. The villagers have heard scary stories about him, and out of ignorance they name him.

"It comes out that the warrior is a Warden..." and the boys are excited. Since Rhys's father died, he thinks being a Warden would be awesome, and the other boys agree. Moraine (after a momentary hesitation) agrees to bond all of them, but the older village people put a stop to it.

They reach the city of the Power Weilders [permasic] and the "ruling council" wants to talk to all the boys.

Rhys wanders around and stumbles into a library, but he can't read and can only admire the "illuminations and drawings" (which suggests RJ had pre-printing-press books in mind). Here he meets proto-Elayne, who is the daughter of the Queen of his country and training to be a Power Weilder.

They stay in the city for some time and the princess teaches him how to read, introduces him to proto-Gawyn, and tells him that the Council has been having extended sessions discussing what to do with him and the other boys. An older Power Weilder hears this and sends her packing. Rhys goes to Moraine and she continues to be vague about why they are there.

Rhys channels. Aaaand, it's time for a quote:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
A woman, perhaps one of the heroines, has been assaulted by one of the Forsaken. This has taken the form of a triple rape, not only of body, but of mind and of soul. Thus the three portions of her have been fragmented and seperated. [sic] Rhys must enter another plane of existence and reintegrate her mind and her soul with each other and with her body.

Next comes the quest for the "Green-God", who is not a god, but "a construct of the Power, manufactured by men in the previous age". He dies because he joins their battle; if he leaves the "Pool of _______" he will die, but it's not clear if this was because he was tied to the Pool in some way or if he simply foresaw his end (as he eventually did in the book) coming whenever he left the Pool.

RJ was not clear on the details of his role; he wrote "Perhaps Sa'khan has attempted to 'take' the Green-God, and failed, but has then been forced to destroy him." He is also not sure about the details of their "possibly Phyrric" victory:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RJ
Perhaps the destruction of one of the Forsaken, the turning back of an army. Perhaps this, thought to be an army at first, is later seen to be no more than a recon-in-force. Perhaps it involves the creation of a battle between parts of humankind.


Terez 12-13-2015 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daekyras (Post 234738)
I haven't had a chance to look at the Companion so forgive me if this is mentioned in it but...when did we learn this?

Here.

Daekyras 12-13-2015 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 234740)

Haha, I read that and it never even registered. I was just blown away at the taimendred revelation.

Terez 12-13-2015 11:02 AM

I even put it in all caps.

fionwe1987 12-13-2015 12:25 PM

Quote:

A woman, perhaps one of the heroines, has been assaulted by one of the Forsaken. This has taken the form of a triple rape, not only of body, but of mind and of soul. Thus the three portions of her have been fragmented and seperated. [sic] Rhys must enter another plane of existence and reintegrate her mind and her soul with each other and with her body.
Is this, perhaps the start of the idea that Rand will have three romantic partners?

So it appears Egwyn and Nyneve existed right from the beginning. As did Elyn. And you've also said Rand was to have an affair with Morghase (who is not Elyn's mom). I wonder if all that is a result of this piece from the older notes.

Also, seems to me the "other plane of existence" is Tel'aran'rhiod? Funny to see that the "reintegration" was supposed to be of a woman. Even though RJ never used it in the end, the idea that Rand would die and have to be stripped out of TAR was a very common theory, and one that I still think there's good evidence RJ had lined up as an alternative.

Terez 12-13-2015 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fionwe1987 (Post 234743)
Is this, perhaps the start of the idea that Rand will have three romantic partners?

I dunno, but I seem to recall that in another file the victim was revealed to be Nynaeve. We'll get there.

fionwe1987 12-13-2015 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 234744)
I dunno, but I seem to recall that in another file the victim was revealed to be Nynaeve. We'll get there.

Interesting. That kind of did survive, right, in a much watered down manner, with Balthamel attacking her?

Terez 12-13-2015 12:46 PM

And Aginor creeping on her in her Accepted test.

GonzoTheGreat 12-13-2015 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fionwe1987 (Post 234745)
Interesting. That kind of did survive, right, in a much watered down manner, with Balthamel attacking her?

And with Lan fishing her out of the water, after she'd broken down her block by drowning.

The Unreasoner 12-13-2015 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat (Post 234747)
And with Lan fishing her out of the water, after she'd broken down her block by drowning.

That could just be the Jonah parallels though. She never did well on ships.


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