Goodreads Fantasy Book Club Q&A with Brandon, 17 March 2011Edit
Robert wrote: "What's up with the people at the black tower becoming shadows of themselves? Some people speculate that this was caused by 13 myrrdrall / 13 aes sedai forcing them to the dark side. Is that true?"
"Also, when Perrin sees Hopper after Hopper's death in the wolf dream, Hopper also appears to be a dark shadow of his former self, something sinister. Is this related to the change that is coming over the people at the black tower? "
Brandon: You're speaking of when Perrin tries to "resurrect" Hopper, so to speak. That is not related to what's happening at the Black Tower. That's something else entirely. And that's not even really Hopper. That is a projection of Perrin trying to bring Hopper back.
Dawn wrote: "I thought of one more question I had. The revelation of who Mesaana was impersonating inside of the White Tower - was that something that RJ had dictated in his notes/outlines, or was that of your own creation?"
Brandon: That was directly from the notes. It was the person who most people had guessed it was, because of the foreshadowing that Robert Jordan put in.
Brianna wrote: "Here's my question who is throwing the dice that Mat hears in his head?"
Lordjuss wrote: "1. Aviendha’s scene in the columns at Rhuidean was wonderful. Will the columns always do that now, or has Aviendha broken them for good?"'
"2. Was Byar a darkfriend or was he compelled by Graendal? If so, when?"
Brandon: RAFO. I may answer that someday, but I need to decide how I should answer it.
"3. How long before Rand’s epiphany did Mat arrive in Caemlyn? How long after the 30 days were up did he wait before going to the Tower of Ghenjei?"
Brandon: Mat set aside the letter and didn't open it for the required number of days. The next day he left for the Tower of Ghenjei. As for the rest, I will send you to the fan-curated chronologies. I have a chronology on my computer, but let's let the fans work it out.
"4. Rand goes to Bandar Eban shortly after coming back from Tar Valon. Nearly a month later, he rescues Ituralde just before going to the Borderlanders (the day before the Field of Merrilor). What was he doing in the intervening 20 days?"
"5. The night before going to the Tower of Ghenjei, Mat sees Rand in a tent talking to some people. This is the day before Rand visits the Borderlanders so what event was he seeing?"
Brandon: I haven't seen the fan-curated timelines and compared them to the actual timeline. I'm not sure if a lot of these timeline questions are accurate.
"6. Harine (the Sea Folk ambassador) appeared early in The Gathering Storm but hasn’t been seen since. Where was she during Towers of Midnight?"
Brandon: Harine has basically been stewing about the fact that she's been blown off.
"7. Did Naeff bond Nelavaere or was it the other way around? Where did she come from – was she one of Cadsuane’s companions or one of the Toviene’s assault force?"
Brandon: The other way around, and neither. Nelavaire is one of the 23 Aes Sedai who were captured at Dumai's Wells and later swore fealty to Rand.
"Finally, a little request… The Land of the Madmen is mentioned in the Guide but never in the series itself. It would be lovely if it could at least be mentioned in one of the books."
Brandon: Your request is under consideration.
Stublore wrote: "As regards the True Source, how come Rand was able to use it, when earlier we are told only those the Dark One allows can use it?"
Brandon: Semirhage believed that the Dark One had specifically granted Rand the ability. I won't say whether that's true or not. There are other theories out there that I don't want to squelch. But one possibility—and she certainly believed it—was that Dark One, in his desire to corrupt Rand, gave him that ability.
"On a slightly related note, the Chosen had protection from the Taint, was this something unique to the chosen(it occurs to me actually, that said protection could only have been given AFTER they were freed from the bore, as such a precaution would have not been need before Lewis Therin sealed the bore), or would all darkfriends have such protection?
To answer my own question, I'd guess it was unique, else male darkfriend channellers would have been at a huge advantage after the Breaking."
Brandon: All darkfriends do not have such protection. "Which makes me wonder, if such protection could not be conferred after the breaking was it because the Dark One was imprisoned and so could have less effect on the world, or was it something that needed to be done at Shayol Ghul?"
Jet wrote: "Did you ever get bothered with how late Perrin's POV was and how chronologically disorienting his parts were at times (good job on the tam being picked up and rand in dragonmount portions though)?
Did you like having to "jump back in time" or was it just something that had to be done as Perrin's was so late in the the WOT timeline?"'
Brandon: This was an effect of the books spending so much time with so many people off target from one another. Eventually they were going to have to come together, and this was the best way that I was capable of doing it. Robert Jordan may have been able to do it better, but after the books were split, this was the best way I could do it.
Machavelli wrote: "Hi Brandon i was really looking forward to reading about Rand after the end of the Gathering storm, where he changes. I want to know how much he has changed since he and Lews Therin became one. He is the main character but he is barely in this book. Why is that? and will we get to read from his point of view in Memory of light?"
Brandon: You will get to read from his point of view in the last book. This was done intentionally, and it's something the Wheel of Time books have done all across the history of the series. Sometimes certain characters have to take a back seat while others' stories are being told. In this case, that happened to Rand. It was very important to me for narrative reasons that you see him externally before you see him internally.