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Old 11-13-2015, 02:44 AM
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Terez Terez is offline
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Default Signings and Secrets

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. 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. 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):

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ
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):

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ
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:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ
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 (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!

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Old 11-13-2015, 03:26 AM
GonzoTheGreat GonzoTheGreat is offline
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Well, in regards to Taim/Demandred, we do have the following direct quote from the books:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGS, Chapter 50, Veins of Gold
For they were not two men, and never had been.
That's pretty explicit, isn't it?
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:19 AM
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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.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:39 AM
David Selig David Selig is offline
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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?"
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post

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.
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by David Selig View Post
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.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:15 AM
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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.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimon View Post
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.

Quote:
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.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:23 AM
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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).
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:37 AM
fionwe1987 fionwe1987 is offline
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Originally Posted by zacz View Post
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.
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:44 AM
Southpaw2012 Southpaw2012 is offline
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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??
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:47 AM
Southpaw2012 Southpaw2012 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fionwe1987 View Post
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.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Southpaw2012 View Post
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?
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:15 AM
GonzoTheGreat GonzoTheGreat is offline
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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?
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:17 AM
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Wouldn't it have been far more of a surprise if Roedran had shown up with hundreds of Murandian channelers in tow?
If those channelers were all like the most dreaded Murandian channeler: Elaida, the world would be in trouble indeed.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:17 AM
Southpaw2012 Southpaw2012 is offline
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Originally Posted by fionwe1987 View Post
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.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:43 AM
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Oh god, don't let Sodas see this...lol.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
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".

Last edited by BobH; 11-13-2015 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:22 PM
C Rutherford C Rutherford is offline
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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.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rand View Post
Oh god, don't let Sodas see this...lol.
Just for good measure:

Sodas: Taim Killed Asmodean

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.
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