Dragon*Con - Second Q&A September 3, 2005 - report by IsabelEdit

posted on Theoryland message boards

Second day at Dragon Con by Isabel

The night on Friday till Saturday I only got 4 hours sleep, because of transcribing the whole report and thinking about what to ask RJ. This morning I got help from a fellow Theorylander called WSB. That's why you have the whole picture. Now Tamyrlin is typing out all the question and answers of today. RJ answered a lot!!!!!!!

So here is the transcript. It's ten pages long and you have to thank Tamyrlin for typing it all out. (but my taperecorder)

Great Lord of the Dark: Your bio for Dragon*Con shows you enjoy the sport of poker. Do you get the chance to play often, would you consider playing against fans, and how much would someone have to match you and raise the stakes by to get an answer to who killed Asmodean?

Jordan: As to playing with fans, no, I don't want to take money from fans, and I don't want you to take mine. And as for the raise of the bet of who killed Asmodean, you do not have enough money collectively.

Aubrey: Since we are unlikely to ever read of a raising of an Aes Sedai to the Red Ajah, can you tell us anything about the Ajah secrets and/or rituals?

Jordan: I meant to strike that out because there might be something about that in the next book. Some of the reasons why I drop questions is there is a possibility I am going to use that so I like these things to come as a surprise, so read and find out.

Question: Have any of the members of your fandom affected your writing? For example have any of the latter minor characters been reflections or poked fun of anything you have read?
Jordan: No, no, I dont believe in poking fun at my fans. (Tells a short story about using a name or two of individuals he has met. He mentions a couple of Aes Sedai names, missing Aes Sedai, from names of some fans who sent a letter to him without a return address.)

Frenzy: How can Slayer know that Rand is his nephew?

Jordan: The Shadow knows a lot about Rand, they know a lot about Perrin and Mat too, once they began to identify possibilities, they went hyper trying to get information because anything might be part of the key to controlling him.

Question: Would you please name one character who did not kill Asmodean? Will you please name one of the following: Lanfear, Graendal, Moridin, Shaidar Haran, Padan Fain, Semirhage, Demandred, Mazrim Taim, Slayer. I thank you for your mercy and if you can please explain why they didn't do it that would be a nice touch.

Jordan: Padan Fain didn't because he wasn't in the right place at the right time. He would have if he had been in the right place at the right time, but he wasn't.

  • this is a question from Theoryland, at least that's what I remember *
    *ouch and there I was thinking yesterday we had finally a case for Fain. He should stop with ruling out every character. I am still not going for Graendal. Sorry, don't see it. And I use almost the same quotes other people use to prove Graendal did it, to prove she didn't do it* (comment by Isabel)

Emma: In the next book, Knife of Dreams, in comparison to the other books?

Jordan: I would say it is the same length as Winter's Heart, perhaps a little longer. Hello Emma. I still don't see that note from your mother allowing you to be here. Emma is only twelve, don't believe what she says, she is only twelve.

  • hehe, so funny, but sorry for this question. I posted this question before we got the information from Dragonmount about the length of the book *

(Question about potential Movies I didn't care to transcribe)

(Question on Comics, I didn't care to transcribe)

Michelle: What does it mean when dresses are slashed with a color?

Jordan: There are two possible meanings to this. The most usual one is that there is an underskirt of the color that says it is slashed with. The outer skirt has a slit in it, a slash, which is sown in such a way that it is always open thus revealing its underneath color. The other way of doing this is there is this sort of pocket sown on the inside of that slash of the second color, so you are looking through the outer skirt into a depth, so it looks like it is a little pocket that other color in the skirt. This is not my invention, they did they during the Renaissance, and I believe earlier as well.

Question: We know the Tower of Ravens located in the Seanchan capital city is used as an imperial prison especially for members of the Blood, but there is also a reference to the first marath'damane shaking the Towers of Midnight. Are the Towers of Midnight also a prison? Can you tell us more about them? (Some of this question paraphrased)

Jordan: There are thirteen Towers of Midnight. The Towers of Midnight are a fortress complex, and were, at the time this happened, Seandar wasnt the capital, and the Towers of Midnight were the center of military might, or the forces that were beginning the consolidation before the conquest of Seanchan.

Sodas: Is there anything you can tell us about Taim's choice to head to Andor after his escape?

Jordan: Well, he really didn't have much other choice. He's a man who can channel. At that time as far as he knows any Aes Sedai that gets their hands on him will try to gentle him again. But the word is getting around, there are men gathering near Caemlyn, men just like him, and maybe there are enough of them that if they stick together the Aes Sedai will not be able to take them down. So he has no other choice. He can either spend a life on the run or he can enlist. He decided to enlist.

Frenzy: Elaida slipped through the cracks uncaught by the Red Ajah scheme twenty years ago that had a name called the Vileness. (Couldn't understand the first part of this question, so I am sure Frenzy can give the correct version of this question submitted to Age of Legends.) How did Elaida and Galina for that matter manage to slip through when three Sitters did not?

Jordan: Elaida slipped through largely because she was minimally involved. Galina slipped through because there were enough Red sisters involved, at various levels that taking them all down would have decimated the Red Ajah. The decision was made to punish the Ajah by exiling the Sitters, take off the top. And it was supposed to be a life exile, you are out of here forever. The only reason they were not stilled was that the Tower was trying to hide what happened, it was a major atrocity carried out in the name of the Tower, and it didn't matter whether the Tower as a whole really wanted it or not, it was still a major atrocity and the tower was at the heart of it.

Question: Why was the infant Isam spared death at the hand of the Trollocs?

Jordan: Possible political use later. You've got somebody who is related to the royal family of Malkier and you can raise him exactly the way you want, you can instill whatever belief system you want. He's a blank slate and he might be a very powerful tool.

Question: Was Isam raised by the Shadow directly, by his mother, or by someone else?

Jordan: By someone else. Read and find out.

(Question about playing RPGs, which I have not transcribed)

Aubrey: During the raising tests for Accepted and Aes Sedai, are the ladies taking the tests actually inside of the World of Dreams?

Jordan: No the...well, I am not going to say where they are for the tests for Accepted, that might be a RAFO, probably not, but it might be. For the test for Aes Sedai, they are in effect inside what you might call an uber-virtual reality device where what happens is entirely controlled in this case by the sisters controlling the device, but it is a virtual reality that is so terrific that it is reality for you. You die, you are dead. No game over, start again. You are dead.

Question: What is the title used for the members of the Brown Ajah council?

Jordan: Technically, they have no titles. It is the council and the head of the council. Informally, and this is strange, and it gives you an idea of the disorganization or the disinterest in organization of the Brown Ajah. First Chair is the informal title for the head of the Ajah, but this is as far as the Ajah is concerned. It is simply the council and the head of the council. As far as they are concerned there are more importants things than this organization stuff.

Sara Part 1: When out of the three thousand year sleep, were the Forsaken still wearing the clothes from the time they were imprisoned?

Jordan: Yes, they were.

Sara Part 2: How does the process of waking up work, and were they conscious of it happening to them and or the other forsaken?

Jordan: They were conscious of waking up, but remember that Lanfear said they were in a sleep so deep they were trapped so deep, that they were denied even dreams. Most of them were in fact in suspended animation. Balthamel and Aginor very close to the surface were not which is why they were so wasted when they are seen, and why they have a certain degree of madness as well. The others came out unaged, looking exactly as they did, but Aginor and Balthamel although wearing the clothes they wore, and the mask was an original he was wearing it when he went in, they were further wasted, you might say, preserved by being sealed in the bore, but close enough to the surface that they were aware of things going on outside.

Question: Will we ever find out what happened when Elayne went through the arches?

Jordan: Probably not, maybe, but probably not.

(Skipped: A question about how Nynaeve knew about the Kinsain custom, to which Jordan then goes on to discourse on male and female relationship, which was funny, about women seeing men like peeling and onion, and men being goldfish that need to keep flopping, so women don't walk away, by preserving secrets, not forever, but enough that may be upsetting that just when she thinks she knows you, such a secret is revealed, and she then realizes there anyway, you had to be there)

  • Isa here, I will make a transcript about this. It's a question from the Official Nynaeve Fanclub and I want the full words here. *

Question: Can a damane who has been burned out or stilled continue to be controlled by the a'dam?

Jordan: No.

Question: Who was the third Blue Ajah Sitter who didnt make it to Salidar, what became of her?

Jordan: Well, she died. She was one of the ones who was killed after Siuan was deposed and everything went to hell in a hand basket inside the Tower.

Question: Since sul'dam have abilities normally associated with channelers only, do they also slow?
Jordan: No, not unless they actually begin to channel. Slowing is a function of actually channeling. If you have the ability to learn, and you never learn to channel, you are not going to slow, you will age at a normal fashion. Sul'dam are women who can learn and as they develop the affinity, as they have been doing this for a little while, they begin to slide toward the ability to channel, but they never step over. I believe I have someone say that one of these women felt almost as if she should be able to channel, but not quite. They are getting closer and closer to the brink but they will never step over without conscious effort.

Question: The auras that Min sees, would they ever show the person's past or other elements that are simply unique to that person? Jordan: No, it is the future.

(Question about Internet following that I am not transcribing) * perhaps I will transcribe it later)

  • There is one question we left out. It will be posted later with some more information about how he meant this question *

Question: Previously you have made it known that an individual who is stilled will retain the ability to channel in his or her subsequent life, which connects the ability to channel with the soul. How does burning out affect one's ability to channel in the next life? Specifically, will an individual born with the spark but who burns out during his or her life, have the inborn spark in a subsequent life?

Jordan: I don't think I have said if you are born with the spark you would have the have the spark again. I have said if you were born with the ability to channel, to learn or with the spark, you will, when your soul is born again, you will have the ability again, whether with the spark or without. And neither burning out or stilling affects that except in this lifetime, your current lifetime.

Question: Quoting from Tamra in New Spring, 'You will tell no one about this, not for any reason, if necessary lie, even to a sister, Gitara died without speaking, do you understand me?' How is it that Tamra can tell Moiraine and Siuan that Gitara died without speaking, when she knows full well that she did speak?

Jordan: It's simple. It is part of her instructions. There are a lot, thousands of loop holes, about that thou will speak no word that is not true. This is part of her instructions, she is telling them what they are to say. She is not saying something she believes, and thus she was able to say it.

Question: I have a follow up to a question you just answered. Based on the Oaths, if a sister asked them, if they were instructed, as to what they have to say, would they be able to say it after taking the Oaths?

Jordan: After taking the Oaths they would find it hard to say, even with instructions, they might not be able to say it at all, because they know it is a lie. That is the key you can't knowingly tell a lie.

(I did not transcribe questions about a physics degree, the word for spear, the storyboard for the books, and whether or not Book 11 is actually going to be released on the date it is scheduled to release on in Oct, and one about Agelessness.)

Question: In a previous interview I saw with you online, and you sort of waffled back and forth on whether it will be 12 or 13 books, and...

Jordan: I am committed it is going to be 12 books, even if it is fifteen hundred pages long and it requires you to bring a luggage cart to get it out of the store. Bring your knapsack, you may need it, because no matter what the case that is going to be it.

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

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

Winespringbrother Part 1: Why did Padan Fain go to Falme and why did he leave before Rand arrived?

Jordan: He was trying to gain a power base. His early attempts to do things, were by siding he is trying to get close to someone in power, to influence him. Remember Padan Fain is also Mordeth, and Mordeth was a counselor, Mordeth was a guy who whispered poison in the ear of the king, and had a great deal of power because of it. So Padan Fain has this part of him that wants to influence power and that is what he was doing there. There are these invaders and what rumors says about them is correct.

Winespringbrother Part 2: Why did he leave before Rand arrived, because he must have sensed Rand was near?

Jordan: Once he could get his hand on the dagger, he wanted out. He didn't know Rand was coming. Once he realized he wouldn't be able to have any influence at least, get his hands on the dagger and go, because the dagger is key, the dagger pulls at him.

Question: Why did turning the Tar Valon harbor chains to cuendillar help? You would think a chain made of cuendillar would be flexible because it is in separate pieces.

Jordan: No, as I showed you in one of the scenes where they are learning to make cuendillar. They had two items touch each other when they were turning it into cuendillar and they fused to one another, so what you have is a series of chains where each link is fused to the next, so in essence what you have is one solid piece of cuendillar.

Question: Why is it that the Chosen and Lews Therin speak a language that Rand and everyone else can understand?

Jordan: Because it is a very simple language to learn. When they Chosen are among themselves they are not speaking the language of the current time, they are speaking the Old Tongue, which I happily translate for you, so you don't have to struggle through it. But it is very much the same as Graendal thinking how easy it is to forge things in this time. The Lettering script is simplified. But things managed to hang on for a certain extent. Printing presses for example were one of the things that managed never quite to be wiped out completely. Printing started up again, even a few times during the Breaking people managed to get printing presses going, and once the Breaking was over, printing was one of the first trades to get going, you might call it the first higher trade to get going.

Question: Ishamael mentions in prior turnings of the wheel that the soul of Lews Therin was raised up as the Shadow's champion, and if that is the case, who was the champion of the creater, was it ?

Jordan: You believe Ishamael??? Sorry, man, but cmon!

Aan allein: A couple of related questions on souls. Can they be split? Is it true you can meet yourself in the worlds of If, is that a copy of the soul, a reflection, or the same soul living in different worlds?

Jordan: I think I will have to give you a RAFO on this, except for the part, souls cannot be split, but the other, I think I will have to give you a RAFO because I may be doing something with that.

(Token religion question I am omitting look, I am tired, give me a break)

Tamyrlin: Can you explain the reasoning behind Verin's decision to break Tower law and give a ter'angreal to a novice, especially considering the fact that she did so with little or no guidance?

Jordan: RAFO, sorry.

Question: In The Dragon Reborn, Lanfear visits Mat as he is recuperating from his one power surgery over the dagger. At one point she stretches out her hand towards him and he feels a tingle going over him, somebody interrupts them, and she turns her head and sobs, at about the same time a member of Black Ajah stole angreal and ter'angreal out of the Tower cache, one of which was a ter'angreal that was known to have some effect on chance. So it was about this time that Mat's really really really weird luck and the dice rolling in his head began, is this a connection or coincidence?

Jordan: That is a coincidence. When they say that Mat has the Dark One's own luck, he can get as mad as he wants to, but in a way it is true. It wasn't a gift from Lanfear, though.

  • hehe, another theory busted, and a very interesting answer. I am going for Shadar Logoth now*

Question Part 2: In that case, what was Lanfear doing?

Jordan: She was checking his health. She doesn't care very much, except that he is important to Rand, to Lews Therin, him and Perrin both, so she is interested in, the one she wants mainly is Lews Therin, or wanted anyway, and uh, so she is interested in these other two ta'veren, who seemed to be tied in with him, because they might be important to him.

Question: When you first starting thinking about the series and thinking about writing it when you were naming things, and places and people, did you have any sort of process or did you say, hey that sounds cool?

Jordan: Well, I don't know, it is a combination of things. I gave this recently, so it is probably already on the net. How did I come up with the division of the One Power, the male and female half? I had seen a novel, there are a lot now, but this was the first I had seen like this. Young woman wants to be whatever it was, a magician, whatever, but she can't because she is a woman, and women aren't allowed to do that so she is going to struggle through it. I thought it was interesting, one of the earlier novels of the feminist struggle, and all that. I put it back, because it didn't seem something I cared to read, but I thought about it because the thought that occurred to me is okay, that's real easy, women aren't allowed to do this, it is historically based or grounded at least, what if it was men who couldn't, now how would that be, as my wife points out to me, we have the upper body strength, and she is convinced all of the inequities in the world vis a vis gender, are subject to the fact that we have all the upper body strength, and I am sorry about that baby, I ain't giving it up. So, how could there be a situation where men were not allowed to do this, and it does not somehow get itself reversed over time, add into this I wanted a near gender equal world as I could, and how could I have a situation where women could maintain gender equality? Okay, now I split men and women, have different sources of power and the male source of power is tainted. Okay, you've gotta stop men and at the same time, out of this beginning came the division of the One Power, the White Tower existing as the political center of power for three thousand years, false dragon, the destruction of the world by men, false dragons arising periodically to remind humanity exactly why men cant be allowed to channel and why the White Tower must remain the center of political power. A lot of stuff came out of that one notion.

Question: Have you seen or noticed anything unusual this weekend at Dragon Con?

Jordan: I have noticed a dearth in edible vamparella (sp?) costumes.

Question: I have a question regarding the RPG based on the Wheel of Time. And that is, can someone who can channel and creates gateways, control the orientation of it for example if you are falling off a cliff, you open a gateway directly beneath you, and the orientation throws you up so you reduce all of your velocity do you don't die on impact?

Jordan: I really dont' want to get involved in the game. But I have to tell you something, if I had someone falling off a cliff that could channel, I think I would have him use any number of ways that are a lot simpler such as grabbing hold of the cliff face with flows of air. The other way sounds like a good way to end up jello.

Question Part 1: Are the Aes Sedai ever going to try to use cuendillar to make it into armor, since they can't make weapons, does that restriction extend to making armor?

Jordan: Read and Find Out.

Question Part 2: Does Mat's amulet work against the male side of the power, and if so will Elayne's research of it develop into something that can be used in the conflict between Aes Sedai?

Jordan: Read and Find Out

Question Part 1: I have a question about the Nine Rods of Dominion. We have a couple of references to this, and Ishamael says that Lews Therin summoned the Nine Rods of Dominion. And theories have been floating around, are the oath rods not the Nine Rods of Dominion?

Jordan: They were not the oath rods.

Question Part 2: Well are they positions of power, were they people, or were they actual rods?

Jordan: They were actual people, and they were, but you might call them regional governors of the earth, regional governors of the planet. So if I say, summon them, then we've got a guy who has been given in effect ultimate power.

  • There goes another theory*

Question: Does Mat's amulet protect him from the True Power?

Jordan: Read and find out.

Question: In the Age of Legends, the soldiers used shocklances, were they projectile, energy?

Jordan: Think of it as an energy weapon. Remember, by the time we get to the Breaking, shocklances are actually in fairly short supply and other devices of that sort. Long before we get to the breaking the industrial base has been enough destroyed that soldiers are once again using bows and spears and swords because there simply aren't enough shocklances to go around, nor jo-cars and there is no industrial base to provide replacement for them.

Tamyrlin: I'm trying to verify Rand's impression he has at the end of book four, regarding the connection he cuts of Asmodean to the Dark One. He seemed to believe it was the connection directly from that individual to the Dark One. So what I am wondering is, is that connection key to transmigration?

Jordan: No, because what you are thinking of wasn't a connection, Rand thought it was.

  • poor Tam *

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