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Source:East of the Sun Talks, 17 June 1995

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Non-plot/world-specific questions Edit

There is nothing he would have done basically different with hindsight in the writing of TWoT. Originally TEotW was half as large as it was printed, but the later books have been written so "tight" from the start that it has been impossible to shorten them.

His writing technique with the WoT books he described as "simply stretch out and run".

His impression of Sweden was: "Very nice, but a little cold for the season" (the temperature in Stockholm sunk 10°C during the weekend compared with the previous week).

The biggest fish he have ever caught was a 12", 980 lbs tigershark, even though he had some help. He claimed he had on one occasion caught a tigershark bigger than the boat, but let it go. The audience saw with suspicion at this statement.

The major theme he tried to put forward in the WoT books he saw as the nature of information: "Information changes, over time, distance and perception. Only way to see the truth is to oneself experience the event, but even then every person perceives it differently". Knowledge and information has an inherent mutability. The example he brought up was Birgitte's living of the history, apart from reading it, and the very different views it brought.

Authors he recommended was Guy Gavriel Kay, CS Friedman and Ray Feist in the fantasy genre. Non-fantasy he recommended his major inspirator: Mark Twain. He wouldn't give any non-recommended authors.

He said he reads about 300-400 books per year, which is a drop-off from what he normally read due to the high workload from the WoT books.

Some of the "Read-and-find-out-answers" are partly due to that there are things that might happen, not decided yet, in future books. He also saw it as a way to diminish the reader's reading experience due to narrowing his view of the future works. And he was vastly amused by our looney theories, especially the Bela Darkfriend one. Unfortunately, I missed telling him of the Demandred being Olver theory.

The Nine Rings Inn in TGH he readily confessed was a homage to our favourite professor - JRR Tolkien.

The lack of organized religion he explained with the fact that "Religion has been proven". Shai'tan, the Forsaken, the OP are known and proven to exist, so there is no need for the big persuasion machines of "real" religion.

The concept of the unified language he basically explained as there had been a single language in use (the Old Tongue), and the writing and printing of books continued throughout the Breaking, albeit in a very limited extent. The written word introduced a very large conserving factor in the language-change mechanism.

His influence from Mark Twain, mainly Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, he said was in the dialogue. Every person was given a rather natural, personal way of speaking, separate from the "chanting" found in other fantasy or pre-20th-century novels.

The amount of notes he held on persons, countries, cultures, cities, events etc he approximated to be as large as the amount of text in the currently published books. Some of this information, albeit a very small part, will be included in the WoT Guide.

When told about the Bela in LoC plot contest he said that he knew what Bela had been doing in LoC. WARNING! Non-family newsfroup material! Quote made without consent from the Great Lord of the Dark! "I wouldn't quite call it lesbian bestiality. Rather a very close mutual friendship with a certain female in Salidar." [ I wonder who? :-) ]

Plot/world-related questions Edit

First, the question of Hake's inn in TEotW is answered: it is not a whore-house, at least not more than any other inn. :-) Due to the increase in women's power, the very concept of prostitution is unknown; but women have much greater freedom in choosing their partners, both casual and permanent. He specifically mentioned Mat's little escapades with various maids and serving-girls.

There are no plans to visit Seanchan in any greater extent than it already has been visited, and there are not going to be any visits to Shara either.

The check made by Verin on the Ogier that had his soul consumed by Machin Shin in TGH he commented with "Read and Find Out".

The question about if any Amyrlin has been non-dramatically deposed he answered with "Read and Find Out". He though said that there were information deep inside the White Tower archives only accessible to the Amyrlin, the Keeper and the sitters, apart from the librarians tending them. The mere notion of knowing the existence that such information existed would be considered a crime for other Aes Sedai.

On Moiraine's death-or-not-death he answered "Read and Find out".

On the choosing a deposing of the Keeper he said that the Amyrlin chooses the Keeper herself, as shown in LoC, but that the deposal of the Keeper requires an unanimous decision from the Hall. The glossary entry on the Keeper in TSR he said was incorrect in this regard.

On channeler strength he said that he knew the rough strength of every channeler in the books, imposed on a 21-graded scale. Nynaeve he said had Forsaken strength, ie as strong as most female Forsaken. Egwene, Elayne and Aviendha was a step lower, and an additional step lower Elaida, Siuan and Moiraine was found. They were the strongest Aes Sedai known before "the new ones". Several Aes Sedai, including Leane and Kiruna [ I'm uncertain on Kiruna, I might have misheard ], was next in strength. By the old standards they were deemed very strong and capable.

The Flame and the Void he said was mainly a concentration technique, but one very close to the techniques used for teaching men contact the OP.

When Moghedien ripped out Birgitte from T'A'R she "short-circuited" the Pattern, by bringing in an adult "in the flesh" instead of letting Birgitte join Gaidal Cain the "normal" way. He said also that Gaidal Cain may not have any role to play in Tarman Gai'don. [ "may" - consider that - my note ]

On Skimming and Traveling he said: "In Skimming, one need to know the target better than the starting place. In Traveling, one need to know the starting place better than the destination." [ Not exact quote, but nearly so, and the effect is exact. Very interesting implications if taken literally. ]

On the Asha'man finding Rand in LoC, he said that they knew where Rand was. How they did know he began with the following words: "Mazrim Taim is a paranoid S.O.B." [ exact quote! ]. When finding out of the disappearance of Rand, and a large bunch of Aiel from Cairhien, he followed the route from Cairhien towards Tar Valon by Traveling, until he encountered Elaida's Aes Sedai. From there, he brought in the Asha'man.

On why Aviendha's toh required her to kill Rand, he said basically "Read and Find Out", but he noted that Aviendha is under the strain of several tohs. He also pointed out that her interpretation from Elayne's reaction from her confession to Elayne gives her a way out, but that Elayne does not share that interpretation. [ The show will certainly go on :-) ]

On Dreamers, Dreamwalkers and prophetic dreams he said that the ability to interpret one's dreams, enter T'A'R and meddle with other people's dreams were different Talents.

On the amount of ter'angreal enabling entry into T'A'R in the White Tower and if entry into T'A'R could be learnt he answered "Read and Find Out".

On the question if it is possible to find out who is "the one who is no longer" RJ answered: "Possibly".

He didn't give any conclusive answer to the Two Rivers channeling paradox, but he noted that many strange occurences come from there, like inherent ability to speak the Old Tongue under stress.

On linking he stated that 6 men is the maximum number of men present in a link, and 66 is the limit for women. He also said that the "one more women than men rule" in the LoC glossary was invalid. Complete rules for linking would be found in the WoT Guide.

Regarding if the Warder bonding had similarities with the linking between a man and a woman he answered that there were bits and pieces that were similar, but that they in whole were very dissimilar.

On the Ogier origin he answered "Read and Find Out".

The invasion of iron-clad men into the Aiel Waste as reflected on in the ancestor-memory ter'angreal he said did not refer to Artur Hawkwing, but to a much earlier event.

On if Aes Sedai damane can use the OP in battle he said that [ OBS! secondary source, I didn't hear him say this myself ] it is theoretically possible, basically by forcing the Aes Sedai to think that she does not use the OP as damane. It is though very hard to achieve. In the book next after CoS, this might become a factor.

On the subject if the Oath Rod shortens lifespan or causes infertility he answered, not surprisingly, "Read and Find Out".

Report by Karl-Johan Norén, [1]

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