Netherlands Dromen and Demonen Chat - 6 April 2001
Redactie: Welcome mister Robert Jordan, in our Dutch chatroom. We're very pleased you're here to answer the questions of your fans. I'd say, let's start with some questions.
Sander: The Prophecies of the Dragon are a fairly sized book. Do the prophecies of the Sea Folk, the 'Jendai Prophecy', have a similar size, or is it much smaller? And who or what is or was 'Jendai'?
RJ: The Jendai prophecies are smaller in length but similar in scope to the Dragon prophecies but limited to the Sea Folk.
Q: How many books will there be, and when's the next one published? Are you related to Michael Jordan?
RJ: There will be at least 3 more books. The next book will be in bookstores very shortly after I finised writing it, and Michael Jordan is my kid brother whom I tought to play basketball.
Sarah-Kayan: Does the ashandarei come from the Age of Legends?
RJ: Yes, the ashandarei comes from the AoL.
Moridin: When/if Rand manages to remove the taint placed on saidin, are the people infected with it cured? Or does their condition remain the way it is?
RJ: When/if the taint is removed from saidin, further ill effects are stopped but what has already occured remains.
Sarah-Kayan: If Mat only has memories from around the Trolloc Wars, how does he know how to use it?
RJ: Mat does not have memories only from the Trolloc Wars. Mat's memories extend all the way into the time of Artur Hawkwing 1000 years later.
Vanin: Was WH originally intended to be longer?
RJ: Winter's Heart was originally intended to be longer yes, but every book was intended to be longer when I started. I have always been overly optimistic about how much of the story I can put into any one book. Remember in the beginning I thought it was only going to be 4-5 books, maybe 6 at the most. As for emperor who thinks I am not Robert Jordan, I don't remember meeting but I do remember someone from the Dragonmount site which I think is very good.
Lupis: Is the Shara world going to be changed a lot now that their male channelers won't go mad? Will they even find out because they kill them so early anyhow?
RJ: SPOILER IF YOU HAVENT READ WINTER'S HEART to Lupis: Shara will not be changed by the fact that male channelers won't go mad because they kill men who might possibly be able to channel at a very young age. Those guys are nothing but breeding stock, kept utterly innocent and utterly ignorant until they are killed.
Sanne-Liandra: You said time after time that Lan will die if Nynaeve dies. What about her? She's Aes Sedai, so she will live very long. And he's much older than her anyway. Would she be able to live without him?
RJ: Lan is undergoing the severing effect of his bond to Moiraine, which means that he has lost the desire and will to live, which is being restored to him by Nyneave, on top of which he loves her. If she dies he really really has no reason to stick around. As for nynaeve, and Lan dying, women are always a lot tougher, emotionally, then men are. Nynaeve will cry for a very long time when Lan dies and she will go on living.
Pytr: Why do Rand, Mat and Perrin see colors when they think of each other?
RJ: The acronym is RAFO - read and find out.
Zakath: RJ, what is you favourite book?
RJ: if you mean in TWOT series: my favorite book is always the one I'm writing right now and when I'm finished with that i go to another favorite book.
Munda: What got you started on writing the Wheel of Time? Did you have a beginning and an end in mind and did the story grew while you wrote it...or what?
RJ: When i started writing TWOT I knew how it was going to begin and end plus the major things I wanted to happen in the middle. I had a rough outline of the whole story.
Genoveva: Mr. Jordan, do you have a favorite character from the Wheel of Time?
RJ: My favorite character in TWOT is always the character from whose POV I'm writing at the moment, whether that is Rand or Nynaeve or Semirhage.
Punisher: Mr. Jordan, my question is not directly related to your books. I wrote one myself, and I am working through an online company to make it available until I can get it published properly. Through this company, I'm hoping to get a copy in your hands. Will you read it if they get you one? And perhaps review it?
RJ: Sorry, I really just don't have time to read manuscripts.
Vanin: What did Aginor meen in tEotW when pointing towards Mat and saying something about old history, old friend, old enemy?
RJ: RAFO you horsethief!
rafelrag: When you are writing, do you have music at the background?
RJ: when I am writing, I almost always have music playing - usually classical music, some jazz and some ethnic music primarily Japanese and African.
RV_NL: What exactly are Mat's memories, are they from his ancestors, as they all seem to be connected to Manetheren?
RJ: Mat's memories are NOT from his ancestors. He said I want to have the holes in his head filled but he did not specify exactly what he wanted them filled with and so he received scraps and bits and pieces of memories stolen from other men.
spellweaveruk: Do the 'lesser' characters in the books have any real significance in driving the story forward or are they just there for packing? I like them myself, but many on the sites seem not to. Are they there just to add a touch of relief from the main players?
RJ: The lesser characters usually have real significance in driving the story forward. I am not talking about someone who appears for 4 pages and then vanishes but secondary and tertiary characters have real purposes.
VickiLee: R-JORDAN....Since I have not read any of your books, what book would you recommend me reading first and why?
RJ: You must start with The Eye of the World. MUST. Start anywhere else and you will only get confused and discouraged.
Rand: At what age did you start to think that you were going to write books and where did you get your inspiration?
RJ: I knew from the age of 5 that I was going to write books one day and the inspirations were actually Jules Verne and Mark Twain.
Emma-Isabel: Mr. Jordan I would like to know if you would still remember me (Emma) and Sander over a year (grin)
RJ: Emma my dear I will remember you in a year. I think I will remember Sander in a year. But you Emma, I think I will be dreaming about in a year. Please don't hyperventilate!
Medin-Sedai: Mister Jordan: stupid question maybe: but did you like our pipe?
RJ: Yes I like the clay pipe. Thank you very much!
lowlander: Question concerning Winter's Heart: What happened to the female ter'angreal Choedan Kal, what didn't happen to the male ter'angreal Choedan Kal?
aec: Where do you get your inspiration from?
RJ: I get my inspiration from almost fifty years of reading everything I can get my hands on and thinking of everything I read.
Lupis: Question: We haven't seen much about Mesaana and Semirhage. I assume they're going to feature somewhere in the future books?
RJ: Yes, Mesaana and Semirhage will feature in future books. There are reasons they have been lying low.
Rand: Who was the first character you came up with when you were going to write the Wheel of Time - was it Rand?
RJ: I can' t really say who the first character was that I came up with. I was thinking of a number of types of people and how they would work together. And they coalesced into certain characters.
Munda: And all the rest of the story developed while you wrote it? Wow. Amazing, and what an imagination! Hmm, I think I'm jealous.
RJ: It was really only the details that have developed as I write the story. The major part of it was there in my head before I began writing TEOTW.
Lupis: Question Everyone is uncertain about: Will we ever find out definitively who killed Asmodean? *snicker*
RJ: Of course you can find out who killed Asmodean. You just have to be clever enough.
Genoveva: Mr. Jordan, why did you choose a heron as a mark for the Dragon Reborn (and swordmaster)?
RJ: I chose the heron because that is a quick, supple, and to its prey, very deadly bird. The perfect avian simile for a swordsman.
Indy: Mr. Jordan, have you done anything else like the short story for Silverbergs' Legends? I loved it.
RJ: I've only ever done one short piece of fiction for a convention's program book. I seldom take time to do short fiction.
Sanne-Liandra: Is Edeyn still alive?
Medin-Sedai: Maybe this is a stupid question, too: but you told us that when you had your first thoughts about Wheel of Time, Tam and Rand al'Thor were the same person. Now I have a question about Nynaeve. When you first thought about her, was she the same person as she is now? (Did you already thought about her tugging het braid???) PS: You won't answer this one I think: but was it Demandred who killed Asmodean?
RJ: Nynaeve in the beginning was actually going to be the love interest for Rand/Tam, but she was the same kind of woman - quickly temperamental and not suffering fools gladly.
Malivar: Do Myrddraal blades flash blue lightning regardless of the blades they strike? Or does it require a power wrought blade? If so, why do the two Fades fighting in the Stone make the flashes?
RJ: Myrdraal blades produce the blue lightning only when the strike their own kind of blade or a blade wrought with the One Power, not simple steel.
Arikus: What is "RAFO"?
RJ: RAFO equals read and find out.
Miryenne: RJ: Do you remember Phoenix's fiance's sign at the booksigning?
RJ: No, I'm sorry I don't.
Pytr: Do you keep many notes while you are writing? To me it seems that keeping track of all the characters and events is a lot of bookkeeping.
RJ: I keep a lot of notes on characters, cultures, and nations, but the events, the story, that is all in my head.
lowlander: How come that Foretelling is only for those who can channel?
RJ: How come breathing under water is only for fish? Some things follow natural laws, and in this universe Fortelling is only for people who can channel.
rafelrag: Do you like to be in the Netherlands, and what are your feelings about our country? Did you have any time left to do some sightseeing?
RJ: I like being in the Netherlands very much. I enjoy Amsterdam and I have a number of days left for sightseeing which I intend to use.
Malivar: If a Fade's blade will not produce lighting except against other Thakandar wrought blades, and power-wrought blades, why do Thom's daggers produce it when he attacks the Fade at Whitebridge?
RJ: Thom's daggers did not produce the effect. It was produced before Thom reached the fade.
Punisher: Have you ever thought about reinstituting some of the old ideas from earlier books? For example, in The Dragon Reborn you had a situation with thirteen dark sisters and thirteen Myrddraal to forceably convert someone to the darker side of things. It seems you have abandoned that. Do you think you might have something like that pop up again at some unexpected moment? It doesn't seem realistic for the Black Ajah to abandon the idea.
RJ: I have not abandoned this notion about a circle of 13 AS and 13 Myrddraal can convert someone to the Shadow. It is not an easy situation to set up, in fact it's a very difficult situation to set up. It has to be worth the effort, you don't go to all of this effort to just convert anyone. In fact it might be better for your plans to manipulate someone against their will than as a willing ally.
wooga: How come the first character you came up with isn't a 30 yr old Rand any more? When did this change?
RJ: The 1st character I came up was not a 30 yr old Rand, it was that the 1st version of Rand was a 30 yr old man. I changed that because I wanted the character of Rand to find everything beyond his village to be strange and new.
Genoveva: Mr. Jordan, do you weave (existing) mythology or archetypes in your books?
RJ: Yes, i weave existing mythology into my books but I reverse engineer it rather than simply retell.
Rand: Mister Jordan, what do you think about the short movie that they're going to make about Lews Therin breaking the world (I read it on the Dragonmount site). Do you approve that idea?
RJ: I don't know anything about someone making a short movie about LTT breaking the world, but if someone intends that they better talk to me first. I know lawyers who eat shotgun shells for breakfast.
lowlander: Are there any dragons (like real dragons (=animals)) in Rand's world? If not where did they get the idea of dragons?
RJ: There are no animal dragons of any kind in this world. The people speak of a man called the Dragon. They know that the banner that has a certain creature on it was the banner of this man and they have taken to calling this creature the dragon. To them it is a simple association with the name of this man.
TheKro: Question: Who are the 2 people Slayer kills in Winter's Heart?
RJ: The two people Slayer kills are simply a couple who had the misfortune to rent a room that somebody thought was still occupied by Rand and Min.
Indy: I'll try this question again: I really hope you have a long and happy life, but have you taken any precautions for the finishing of WOT in case something happens to you?
RJ: I have not only not taken precoutions to make sure that TWOT is finished by someone else than me, I have made that as difficult as possible. So if you want to see the end of TWOT, you wish that I live a long and healthy life guys!
Munda: What are your interests and what do you like to read?
RJ: My interest are varied from chess and pool to hunting and fishing, and I like to read anything that is well written and interesting.
Sarah-Kayan: Is the material of a true heron blade altered the same way as a ter'angreal?
RJ: The material of a true heron mark blade is altered. It is not simple steel anymore.
RJ: Guys, it seems like my time is up. It's been good talking to you.
Sorry I could not answer more questions. Good night!