MAFO Answers, March 13, 2010Edit
posted by Luckers on Dragonmount
A MAFO is a 'Maria and Find Out'. Essentially when Brandon was uncertain of an answer, he'd refer them to Maria Simons, a continuity editor for Team Jordan. I gathered those from the tGS signing tour and emailed Maria, who was kind enough to answer.
Note: Maria referes to Robert Jordan as Jim (his real name is James Rigney)
MAFO #1 - At the darkfriend social, Carridin is given orders by Ishamael that he can’t remember. Later on in Ebou Dar, he sees Mat out the window and he sort of goes into a trance, sees more imagery, and when he snaps out of it, time is stopped and Sammael is in the room. How did this happen? Was Sammael paged somehow when Carridin’s orders were triggered?
Maria's Answer #1 - No, Sammael was not paged. Sammael had sent Carridin to Ebou Dar to find the cache of Power goodies. The notes say that Sammael became aware that there were other parties engaged in the same search, and decided that he had to light a fire under Carridin. Also note Sammael’s reaction to the news that Mat is in Ebou Dar --“‘Here?” Oddly, for a moment, Sammael seemed taken aback”. It seems to accentuate that Sammael is surprised; if he had been paged, it seems that his answer would have been different.
MAFO #2 - Does Elayne know that Alanna bonded Rand?
Maria's Answer #2 - From Winter’s Heart, chapter 12, Rand speaking to Elayne, Aviendha, and Min: “Anyway, Alanna Mosvani got there ahead of you, and she didn’t bother asking . . . I’ve been bonded to her for months now.”
MAFO #3 - Did Graendal use compulsion on Ituralde when they met previously in LOC? Is it still there?
Maria's Answer #3 - RAFO.
MAFO #4 - Was Ishamael partially, or was he responsible for the initiation of the three oaths? Was he a part of what brought them about?
Maria's Answer #4 - No. What is now the second oath (To make no weapon with which one man may kill another) was the first one that the Aes Sedai adopted. “It grew from an impulse within the Aes Sedai themselves coming from tales passed down regarding the War of the Shadow. The other two oaths certainly grew out of the suspicion of ordinary people towards these Aes Sedai.” (That’s a quote from the notes, btw). Sometimes things happen without an agent of the Dark One’s involvement, and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
MAFO #5 - About Gawyn's duel with Sleete, and the usage of real swords, [Maria] said she would have to look into that, since I had believed that normally practice swords are used. She said that perhaps sometimes they have to use real swords to keep their edge, so to speak, but will look into that.
Maria's Answer #5 - With novice swordsmen, the practice sword is very good because they can swing away with abandon and be swung at and at worse get a bruise. But there comes a time when a person must practice with a real sword, and not just shadow fencing. How does a sword feel when it hits another sword? How quickly can you come back from that? Practice with the weapon you are going to use in real combat is necessary. This is especially true if you are with an army in the field; you’re not playing at keeping in shape, you’re trying to make sure that you are at your absolute top form to keep from being killed when you come up against someone else with a pointy blade. These Warders are very, very good; they trust themselves to fight with real swords without damaging each other.
So, often they practiced with practice swords, but sometimes they practiced with real swords. There is a type of practice with real swords in the books. We see it in New Spring: the Novel, where Bukama “took the other two a little distance away with talk of some game called “sevens.” A strange game it seemed to be, and more than dangerous in the failing daylight. Lan and Ryne sat cross-legged facing one another, their swords sheathed, then without warning drew, each blade flashing toward the other man’s throat, stopping just short of flesh. The older man pointed to Ryne, they sheathed swords, and then did it again. For as long as she watched, that was how it went. Perhaps Ryne had not been so over-confident as he seemed.”
It’s not the same as when Gawyn faced Sleete and Marlesh, but it is experienced swordsmen practicing with real swords.
MAFO #6 - Did Robert Jordan leave a power to time comparison, as to how much time is burned back on a thread using balefire? Is there a calculation that says x amount of power will burn back x amount of time on a thread?
Maria's Answer #6 - RAFO. Sorry, but we are doing an encyclopedia, and I have to reserve some things in case we want to put them in there.
MAFO #7 - If you were burned out and then transmigrated, would you still be burned out? [[Brandon] answered that [he] was pretty sure that it was a yes, but that we should feel free to MAFO].
Maria's Answer # 7 - Yes, you would. Jim said that “neither burning out or stilling affects that except in this lifetime, your current lifetime.” (DragonCon), but transmigration is not really a different lifetime; more than just the soul moves. The new person (I’m at a loss for words here) also has the memories of the previous person, and its personality, and such. So Brandon is correct.
MAFO #8 - [Luckers: This one is somewhat more complex. It's from Matt from Theoryland's back and forth with Brandon, and I'll include the full transcripts, but I think the questions are a) Is the Wheel responsible for assigning Talents and Abilities, or are they linked to the Soul like channeling? b) Would a person have the same Talents when they are reborn? c) Does the Wheel assign Talents to people it needs to?]
- Matt: Ok…which brings up the following questions about the Wheel and its relationship to souls, talents, abilities and channeling. Is the Wheel responsible for giving or weaving in Talents and Abilities to a particular life, or are they like channeling, attached to the soul?
- Brandon: That’s an excellent question. I’m going to have to RAFO that…it’s actually more of a MAFO. What’s your asking is would someone who is reborn into the Pattern will have the same talents again?
- Matt: Right. Or does…the Wheel, we obviously know it is very capable of affecting the Pattern, so the question is does it give and take when it comes to abilities and talents it needs?
- Brandon: Yeah, right, I will have to MAFO that.
- Matt: Ok, so can the Wheel give an individual life the ability to channel, if the soul does not come to that life with an inborn ability to learn or a spark? Can the Wheel give them that?
- Brandon: Again, I will have to MAFO this whole thing. I will have to go and look. I don’t know if someone is necessarily always born with the ability to channel, if they are in every Age...
- Matt: ...there is a quote I brought that we asked at DragonCon, Jordan said: “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….” So, in essence he said it’s inherent you have the ability. Whether or not you Spark or you can learn it that depends on the life.
- Brandon: My instinct knowing how Jim wrote and knowing the parallels in the notes would be that he would parallel the other talents along the same lines. A wolf brother then would always have the ability to become a wolf brother and other things along those lines. I’m going off of instinct so that is an asterisked answer. I can MAFO that and look it up and we can see what we can find, but he did like to parallel a lot of these things...
Maria's Answer #8 - Jim says of Talents: “A Talent is a special ability with the One Power. While the name is used for other things, a Talent is, in truth, something which is inborn in the person and not something that can be learned.” And there is mention of the Wheel throwing out what it needs on occasion, and there’s the phrase, “The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.” The Wheel can give and take as it needs.
I believe that the potential for a Talent is there, but it doesn't necessarily manifest each time a soul is born. If the Wheel needs the Talent, the Talent is there. But if the Wheel doesn't need it, it lies dormant.
Link to URL for MAFOs: http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/51899-the-mafos/