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sleepinghour 10-11-2015 05:20 PM

Companion spoiler thread
 
Since a fair portion of the Companion is now available at Amazon through the "look inside the book" feature, and the other preview thread was getting long, here's a new thread to discuss the encyclopedia's contents.

Please note that spoilers will run rampant here, so this is not the place for those who wish to remain unspoiled until the entire book is out.

sleepinghour 10-11-2015 06:19 PM

Possible errors and inconsistencies:
  • Adeleas' entry says she and Vandene retired in 970 NE to Tifan's Well in Arafel. However, TPoD chapter 38 implies it was 70 years ago (around 930 NE). (p19)
  • Aviendha's strength is said to be 11(2), with no mentions of having a greater potential, though the books claim her potential was equal to Elayne and Egwene's, 8(+5). The + sign is also missing; it should be +2. (p90)
  • Cadsuane's strength is said to be 5(+8) in her own and Tamela's entry, but 9(+4) in Nicola's. (p532, 721)
  • Losaine's strength is said to be 22(15). Level 22 on the new list corresponds to 10 on the old one. (p430)
  • Metarra's strength is said to be 9(4), "roughly equal to Egwene and Elayne" who are in fact one level above her. This may not be an error depending on whether it refers to their current strength, or "roughly" includes the strength level above. The + sign is also missing; it should be +4. (p486)
  • Sorilea's strength is said to be 57(35). Level 57 on the new list corresponds to 45 on the old one.

If anyone notices other inconsistencies, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.

Davian93 10-11-2015 07:09 PM

I kinda wish they'd lock it down...they're giving away way too much of the book with the preview.

fionwe1987 10-11-2015 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepinghour (Post 233428)
Possible errors and inconsistencies:
  • Aviendha's strength is said to be 11(+2), with no mentions of having a greater potential, though the books claim her potential was equal to Elayne and Egwene's, 8(+5). (p90)
  • Cadsuane's strength is said to be 5(+8) in her own and Tamela's entry, but 9(+4) in Nicola's. (p125, 532, 721)

If anyone notices other inconsistencies, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.

Interesting that Cadsuane's strength shows so much variation in the book itself. I can't believe they'd miss something so obvious.

sleepinghour 10-11-2015 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Davian93 (Post 233429)
I kinda wish they'd lock it down...they're giving away way too much of the book with the preview.

Yeah, I was surprised by how much was available, and several weeks before release date. I'm guessing this is very much an unintentional side effect of Amazon's preview and search feature. When it comes to regular books, there isn't much to gain from getting bits and pieces. But in the case of an encyclopedia, you can extract quite a lot of information from those pieces. However, I don't think it's a coincidence that most of the important entries (Rand, Moiraine, most Forsaken, Perrin, Lan, Egwene) are excluded from the previews. So they probably took some precautions to keep all the juicy tidbits from being spoiled early.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fionwe1987 (Post 233430)
Interesting that Cadsuane's strength shows so much variation in the book itself. I can't believe they'd miss something so obvious.

To be fair, it sounds like RJ had different strengths for Cadsuane, so they settled on one, but forgot to adjust Nicola's entry where it's mentioned her potential was equal to Cadsuane. But I think it would have made more sense to go with the lower strength, as this is more consistent with what's been said in the books.

Another, very minor issue which is mainly noticeable when you make an Excel spreadsheet with the different lists is that a few strengths don't match up. For example, Sorilea's strength is said to be 57/35, but 57 should be 45 in the old list. So, I'm guessing they might have had Sorilea listed as a 57 somewhere and miscalculated the other number. There are a few cases like this.

(Not trying to make bloopers/complaints the focus of this thread, as that would ruin all the fun, but it's difficult to make sense of the OP strength list without taking the tiny inconsistencies into account.)

Southpaw2012 10-11-2015 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Davian93 (Post 233429)
I kinda wish they'd lock it down...they're giving away way too much of the book with the preview.

I'm amazed at how much they actually show. I would understand previewing entries for "A" or something like that, but to go through the whole thing with a little bit of everything is kinda shocking.

fionwe1987 10-11-2015 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepinghour (Post 233432)
Another, very minor issue which is mainly noticeable when you make an Excel spreadsheet with the different lists is that a few strengths don't match up. For example, Sorilea's strength is said to be 57/35, but 57 should be 45 in the old list. So, I'm guessing they might have had Sorilea listed as a 57 somewhere and miscalculated the other number. There are a few cases like this.

Yeah, that's why I've been exclusively looking at the first number, which is from the new list. The old list is a curiosity, it doesn't much help if we have to rank all the characters.

Terez 10-11-2015 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Davian93 (Post 233429)
I kinda wish they'd lock it down...they're giving away way too much of the book with the preview.

I thought they had learned their lesson with the AMOL prologue which we pretty much pieced together from preview searches. They actually served us a copyright notice for that because it was a team effort and had to be done on a Google Doc.

Maybe they thought we wouldn't make the effort for the Companion. Maybe they don't care as much this time. It's hard to believe they forgot, though.

Davian93 10-12-2015 12:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 233436)
I thought they had learned their lesson with the AMOL prologue which we pretty much pieced together from preview searches. They actually served us a copyright notice for that because it was a team effort and had to be done on a Google Doc.

Maybe they thought we wouldn't make the effort for the Companion. Maybe they don't care as much this time. It's hard to believe they forgot, though.

It feels like we could probably piece together 75% of it if we wanted to.

I don't see the point really as it'll be available in a few weeks anyway but whatever.

Just seems like it'd hurt book sales.

sleepinghour 10-12-2015 07:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fionwe1987 (Post 233435)
Yeah, that's why I've been exclusively looking at the first number, which is from the new list. The old list is a curiosity, it doesn't much help if we have to rank all the characters.

Thing is, we don't know which of those two numbers is correct. If it says 57(35), is Sorilea's actual strength supposed to be 57(45) or 47(35)? Since it's Sorilea, I'm guessing the lowest level is the right one, but we don't know for sure. There are a few other cases like this where either number could be right.

fionwe1987 10-12-2015 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepinghour (Post 233439)
Thing is, we don't know which of those two numbers is correct. If it says 57(35), is Sorilea's actual strength supposed to be 57(45) or 47(35)? Since it's Sorilea, I'm guessing the lowest level is the right one, but we don't know for sure. There are a few other cases like this where either number could be right.

It is definitely the lowest one. If she were level 47, she wouldn't be "so weak as to make Daigian look moderately strong", since Daigian is level 45.

C Rutherford 10-12-2015 10:03 AM

Whichever level it is, I still find it odd that there are plenty of levels below Sorilea. I can see maybe five between her and Morgase but fifteen? Or more? Too bad we can't find out why Jordan saw so many variations at that end of the spectrum and yet had such a tight race at the top as it were. Even if you take into account the addition with the superpowered women, it seems rather narrow in some ways.

Terez 10-12-2015 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by C Rutherford (Post 233441)
Whichever level it is, I still find it odd that there are plenty of levels below Sorilea. I can see maybe five between her and Morgase but fifteen? Or more?

In the notes, RJ was considering a range of strengths for Sorilea, between 51(39) and 60(48), but he noted that she was probably "toward the bottom" of that range. We did not see a strength level noted for Morgase, but in his COT/KOD notes he said that 57(45) is the level where the ability to lift anything with the Power drops to a feather, so we figured that was about the strength he had in mind for Morgase, maybe a little lower.

C Rutherford 10-12-2015 12:02 PM

Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate the insight you have and hopefully will keep providing. I actually like hearing about the discrepancies like this as it provides a view towards the thought processes of RJ and adds to the fact that since he never really finished the series as it should have been unfortunately and wasn't really given the chance to even tackle a project like this, it provides the type of legacy I think he and the series then deserve if that makes sense. So much of my late childhood and early adulthood was given over to exploring all the what ifs and red herrings and clues and all the underpinings to what I still consider my favorite fantasy world. So if I cannot have the definitive Robert Jordan guide/encycopledia, I would rather enjoy what we get and spiced with such tidbits as you feel proper to divulge.

I hope to explore the notes myself but even more I am hoping that the creation process is a legacy that should not be destroyed or kept to a few even if that few someday includes myself. I'd really like to see someone tackle the variances in a more essay approach to matters and characters and segments of the whole series that either transitioned into being foundational elements or were discarded or transformed from the original in such a way they are unrecognizable when they became part of the series.

Again thank you very much.

Just speaking for myself, but I also think Jordan likely made up his mind as he wrote and maybe just did not go back and take the time to update the notes. Things like these strength issues, I will still rely on the series as the 'canon'. For me, Cadsuane is just below Elayne because the series places the majority of evidence in that regard. Sorilea when coupled with the Kin members who fall below the Tower's admission criteria makes me place her towards the bottom of the scale than what the guide now seems to say. Meilyn's age I find problematic. Vandene and Adeleas' retirement I find problematic.

But I think I am okay with that. I think that discrepancies like this show that maybe they are not cleaned up too much and that Jordan's creative processes are allowed to peek through on occasion.

sleepinghour 10-12-2015 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by C Rutherford (Post 233445)
Vandene and Adeleas' retirement I find problematic.

Just wondering, what was the issue with Vandene and Adeleas' retirement?

sleepinghour 10-12-2015 02:36 PM

Disappointingly, Valan Luca's entry remains cloaked in mystery. Only by searching for "well-turned calves" was I able to uncover a few, tantalizing sentences from it. (FYI, the only other entry that particular search term brought forth was Toram Riatin's, which doesn't bode well for Galad's entry, I regret to say.) Aside from his well-turned calves, we also learn that Valan Luca was six feet tall and had broad shoulders.

I had also expected more mentions of pillow friendships, but Bera and Kiruna has been the only surprise, so far. Seonid was confirmed to be a lesbian, which settles that debate.

Terez 10-12-2015 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepinghour (Post 233447)
I had also expected more mentions of pillow friendships, but Bera and Kiruna has been the only surprise, so far.

I don't know if "surprise" is really the right word. Though I did get the impression that there was a gulf between them in terms of attractiveness. I wonder if channelers are just instinctively attracted (in all ways) to people whose strength equals their own.

I considered writing an alternative timeline fanfic set at the end of the 2nd Age and shipping Lanfear and Semirhage. I think they would be good for each other.

Terez 10-12-2015 02:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by C Rutherford (Post 233445)
Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate the insight you have and hopefully will keep providing. I actually like hearing about the discrepancies like this as it provides a view towards the thought processes of RJ and adds to the fact that since he never really finished the series as it should have been unfortunately and wasn't really given the chance to even tackle a project like this, it provides the type of legacy I think he and the series then deserve if that makes sense. So much of my late childhood and early adulthood was given over to exploring all the what ifs and red herrings and clues and all the underpinings to what I still consider my favorite fantasy world. So if I cannot have the definitive Robert Jordan guide/encycopledia, I would rather enjoy what we get and spiced with such tidbits as you feel proper to divulge.

As a fellow HCFF I am of course happy to divulge everything I saw because none of it is really off limits. I am only constrained by two things: 1) the publication of the Companion (i.e. I have to wait for things to be revealed there) and 2) Fair Use restraints (i.e. I can't put the files online or quote too extensively). I am not interested in info-dumping right after the Companion comes out but I will clarify where appropriate and perhaps reveal other things as time goes on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by C Rutherford (Post 233445)
I hope to explore the notes myself but even more I am hoping that the creation process is a legacy that should not be destroyed or kept to a few even if that few someday includes myself. I'd really like to see someone tackle the variances in a more essay approach to matters and characters and segments of the whole series that either transitioned into being foundational elements or were discarded or transformed from the original in such a way they are unrecognizable when they became part of the series.

I am looking forward to doing something like this but I am taking advantage of the meantime to go HCFF on another topic. Linda will no doubt be writing something as well, but I have no idea what restraints she has placed on herself regarding the material she was given.

sleepinghour 10-12-2015 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 233448)
I don't know if "surprise" is really the right word. Though I did get the impression that there was a gulf between them in terms of attractiveness.

Yeah, they seemed a bit of an odd couple in that Kiruna was the beautiful, queenly type (and was in fact the sister of a King) while Bera was always described as looking like a farmwife. Apparently they were pillow friends when they were younger and went on to men exclusively, but remained close friends. So they remind a bit of Moiraine and Siuan.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 233448)
I wonder if channelers are just instinctively attracted (in all ways) to people whose strength equals their own.

I considered writing an alternative timeline fanfic set at the end of the 2nd Age and shipping Lanfear and Semirhage. I think they would be good for each other.

Well, Lanfear would enjoy being part of a "power couple," and Semirhage would be just too terrifying for most everyone else. :) Interestingly, Mesaana's entry mentioned a "close and rather peculiar" relationship with Demandred and Semirhage, which probably shouldn't be interpreted as a wacky threesome romance, but was an interesting tidbit nonetheless.

C Rutherford 10-12-2015 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepinghour (Post 233446)
Just wondering, what was the issue with Vandene and Adeleas' retirement?

In the Adeleas entry it says she and Vandene went into retirement in 970 NE. Yet in the books it says they retired 70 years prior (about 930 NE). Lots of sisters are alive to remember 30 years ago. Heck Romanda didn't stun anyone when she came out of her retirement which was only a couple years off and she is older. The description about them being a secret resource of Moiraine's makes more sense if they retired 70 years ago in big part because so many older sisters who would have known them and been contemporaries were apparently killed off by the Black Ajah. That nature didn't take care of that is.

I do think it is interesting that Cetalia was killed by the Black Ajah. Also it looks like 981 saw three sitters needed which might also point to at least part of the Black Ajah's spree.


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