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Letter to Thomas Howard - 14 January 1997Edit
From: [email removed] (Thomas Howard)
Subject: My letter from RJ
Sent: Sat, 08 Mar 1997 01:00:17 GMT
A couple weeks after ACOS was released, I decided to write to Robert Jordan to clarify some of the issues that had come up in the newsgroup and some questions of my own. Well, today, I finally got a response. Apparently his publisher has been somewhat slow in getting his mail to him.
Now, before I get to the questions I asked and the answers he gave, I'd like to mention that in the letter, Mr. Jordan stated that he is due to turn the manuscript in this coming fall, and that the book is not yet titled. Of course, the letter from him is dated Jan 14th, 1997, so it may have a title by this time.
OK, on to good stuff. Below are the questions I asked (paraphrased), and his answers, if given. Any direct quotes from Mr. Jordan are placed inside quotation marks, sensibly enough.
1. What was the deal with that sentence concerning TP detectability?
His answer was that the True Power is only detectable by the "single person" wielding it, and it cannot be seen by others, as the OP can.
2. What does Maisia mean?
In case you don't remember, Sammael called Graendal this when they were messing with the Shaido. Mr Jordan stated that it was a name for pets in the AoL, "like Fido or Fluffy".
3. Why couldn't Moghedien escape the leash with the TP?
I'm just going to quote the whole response to this:
"the a'dam would perceive *any*[emphasis mine] power use and treat it accordingly"
I don't know about you, but this seems to support the idea that one must be able to channel the OP in order to use the TP.
4. What do Rand's wards on Callandor ward against exactly?
5. Are the black cords on male FS the means to access to the TP?
6. If so, why don't the female FS have them?
Read and find out on all three counts. Damn. I still don't think the cords have anything to do with TP usage though.
7. What the hell is up with balefire (in regards to Nyn and the boat)?
The main issue with this was whether or not balefire burned inanimate objects back through time in addition to living creatures. According to Mr. Jordan, yes it does.
8. Why did Mat think that someone was "holding" the True Source when his medallion grew cold? (That is I thought it only did this when he came in contact with an actual flow. This occurred on page 595 of ACOS, for reference.)
I'm going to quote the whole response again.
"Mat's medallion gets icy cold if someone directs the One Power at him, but it would be cool if the Power was being used near him, and almost cold if it were being used very near him."
9. Why was Cadsuane dropped in out of the blue?
Basically, the problem people were having was that she was supposedly a legend among her sisters, so we should have heard of her before ACOS. Mr. Jordan's response was that most Aes Sedai hadn't seen hide nor hair of her in twenty years. To quote: "The assumption on the part of nearly everyone was that she *had*[emphasis his] to be dead by this time." Essentially, I take this to mean they didn't bother talking or thinking about her because of this assumption. He also stated that "only a few sisters had seen her" during the capturing of Logain and that her involvement with the incident was minimal.
10. Was what you said about us having all the necessary evidence to unmask Asmodean's killer true (as of tFoH)?
He still maintains that we should be able to "puzzle out" the killer.
11. Would you please state for the record that Rand's helper at the end was *not* LTT?
To quote (and God do I like to hear this): "Lews Therin Telamon is dead, not walking around Shadar Logoth."
I'm quite sure it's a safe assumption that he isn't walking around anywhere else either.
Thomas S. Howard
Note: This letter was originally posted on rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan. However, the original post with the complete letter is no longer available, but some excerpts survived in a response. A member of Theoryland found a copy of the original rasfwr-j post on his computer and copied it to Theoryland.