What RJ said to us at BalticonEdit

Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan

From: P. T. Korda

Date: 1996/04/08

Here is a summary of What RJ said at the Baltimore Con this weekend. I haven't got time to write a long summary of everything that went on; I
will leave the discussion of the social aspects (and anything that happened Friday) to Bill and Robyn... I'll leave the discussion on vegetarianism to Bill and Robyn, too.

We went to RJ's GOH speech on Saturday, he talked about the importance of literacy, nothing about the Wheel of Time. Bill, Hawk and I assaulted him afterwards and asked a few questions, or, rather, listened to him talk to other folks. He says that unabridged books-on-tape production of TEOTW and ACOS are forthcoming. When, I dunno; I got the impression it was still a rather nebulous plan, but Tor (or whoever) _has_ agreed to do them. The two mentioned above will be the first released, and the intermediary books will come out on tape in due course. The idea is to get a woman to read the parts which are in a woman's POV and a man to read the parts in a man's POV. Marina Sirtis of Star Trek fame, and Ben Kingly were mentioned as possible readers.

Hawk found a way to get RJ's attention. Brandish a whip. You see, RJ IS a dirty old man.

That was it for Saturday. On Sunday was the reading. He read a piece from COS. (I'll put it in a separate post, to avoid spoiling anybody even a bit. It wasn't a very plot-intensive bit, though. Fewer spoilers than the Prologue has!) It was a Mat bit. AFter the reading, he talked about Mat as a character a bit.

Anyway, Mat has indeed had far and away more MPS experience than our other young heroes, and intends to get much much more. I believe the quote was something like "The world is full of beautiful women, and Mat wants to romp barefoot though them all. (or was that with them all. same thing.) He's slept with lots of women; he's slept with women old enough to be his mother..."

Also, Mat makes the Aes Sedai nervous.

Sigh, and if RJ had shown all of this "on-screen," y'all wouldn't be complaining about the lack of explicit sex in TWOT!!! (And the books would read like _The Fallon Blood_.)


Some dude asked if perrin's Hawk had appeared yet. The answer: "I thought that was fairly obvious. What is the symbol of Mayene? What is
the CROWN of Mayene?" i.e. Berelain, for all of you who actually doubted that. RJ also said Berelain is attracted to Perrin partly bc he's the first man she wanted and couldn't get which is interesting, partly because he's buff, and partly bc she thinks it'd be kinky to make it with a blacksmith. (On the anvil???)

In Ebou Dar, if a woman kills a man, it is justified unless proven otherwise.

Red Ajah: Not all of them are rabid man-haters. There are some moderates. However, as a Red, whose primary mission is to stop channelling by males, one must view all men as potential enemies. This makes it hard to have any kind of normal relationship with men, "especially after 20, 30, 50, 100 years of such a mentality." (note the "100 years")

Mat's Foxy Medallion: As we surmised, it works by blocking direct channelling of both Saidin and Saidar, and its weakness is that it doesn't protect against indirect effects, like _lightening_.

When did Mat Die and Live again? He said something that implied that the Die and Live again prophecy-fulfillment was the lightening incident in TFOH, and not the hanging incident in TSR. I was always sure it was the other way around. To paraphrase the Humblest Man on the Net: Who's this guy to tell me such things? He just wrote the books.

Elaida and her Foretelling: Most Foretellers' Foretellings are very vague and poetic-sounding, making it difficult to tell what, actually, WAS foretold before it actually happens. Elaida, OTOH, has very clear, definite foretellings. She says stuff like "John will die"--not much vagueness about that. (Of course, Elaida often misinterprets it.)

The oaths: They are quite subjective, if an AS believes she is not lying, then the Oath doesn't stop her. So, that is what was going on in the torturing part of LOC. It depends on the psychology of the individual. It's like spanking a naughty child. Some people regard that as child abuse; some people regard it as reasonable punishment.

Background: I asked him how much of the setting, etc was worked out before hand, and how much he does as he goes along. He said that he has a 10pp or so history of all the countries/regions, and societies. When the plot goes into a region, he fleshed out the outline.

_The Guide to the Wheel of Time_: Out sometime this year, I think. Art by Todd Hamilton--anybody know if this guy has done anything we'd recognise? At least it isn't DKS! Stuff that will be in there: History of Artur Hawkwing, History of the Post-Breaking Aes Sedai, the Seanchen, the Aiel War and the final battle outside Tar Valon.

The length of the series: He's given up guessing how long it will be. He knows the final scene, and he knows how all the plot elements will work out: who will be married, who will be dead, what plot elements will be left unresolved. (Subtext: somebody will get married, somebody will get killed.)

Tam: He has basicly put together all the stuff he's heard, and knows that Rand is the Dragon Reborn, although he hasn't admitted it to himself yet.

Erith the Ogier was described as Loial's "fiancee." I guess Erith and Loial's mom came to an agreement...

The Fallon Blood: It was originally longer, but it was cut in editing. Apparently, they cut out all the plot, and left in the raunchy bits.

Asmodean: Rand thinks Asm has run away back to the DO, and will try to sneak back in through the Asha'man.

How learning to use the OP works: The older you are, the faster you reach your full potential. Men reach their full strenght faster than women. Forced training makes you learn faster, but it is very dangerous--it can kill you, or burn you out. The Asha'man are being trained that way, and the casualties of the training show this. (X number dead, Y number burned out...) Egwene, and El and Ny have also experienced forced training.

Fel was killed because somebody thought he might reveal too much.

Verin: Considerably older than anyone expects. (I presume he was talking about the characters, not the fans, considering that our guesses range up to 3000 years old.) He also said that AOL lifespans are not known in modern Randland. (Thus, I presume that Verin is NOT 300 years old.) He said something about "the effects of the Oath Rod," I don't know whether this was wrt aging, or effects on something totally unrelated.

Well, that's that.


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