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Brandon's Wheel of Time Reread on Twitter - 18-21 January 2011Edit

Brandon on Twitter - 18 January 2011 Oh, Rand. You're such a...a...well, teenage boy in some of these chapters. Also, a wool-headed fool.

Brandon Hide in fear, paranoid that the Aes Sedai want you...then the moment you think Egwene might be in danger, out you go, sword in hand!


Brandon I often equate writers and stage magicians, using misdirection, foreshadowing, and false leads to keep a plot interesting.

Brandon If you want a great example of this, watch how RJ hides a certain traitor in TGH in plain sight, yet keeps you misdirected.


Brandon Much has been made of Moiraine thinking of Mat: "He is not necessary with the Horn gone." (This is long before he's blown it.)

Brandon I think it's a lot of fuss over nothing. Her plan was to have Mat, eager for adventure, draw Rand into carrying the Horn south.


Brandon Foreshadowing some probably missed in TGH Ch7. Prophecy of the Shadow found in the prison: "Which hand shelters? Which hand slays?"

Brandon (For further reading on that foreshadowing I mentioned, look for a chapter titled "The One He Lost" in TGS.)

Terez Ah yeah, I remember reading it now. Seemed to me to be more of a poetic connection than a real one, though.

Terez I phrased that badly, but I don't know if I would have put it in the 'foreshadowing' category. Maybe 'retroshadowing'.

Brandon The connection there is poetic. The foreshadowing isn't of that moment, but more the concept.


Brandon Yes, there is other foreshadowing in the books that I'm not telling you about because it references AMOL.

Terez I will hopefully catch some of those, though I'm bound to catch a few red herrings as well. :)

Brandon I just passed a big one in TGH.

Terez haha, and you know I will be scouring the pages of your vicinity looking for it. :D

Terez My first guess: Mat is immune to Fain's dagger. (ch. 7) Second guess: foreshadowing of Cyndane's importance in AMOL.

Terez 3rd: Slayer's role in AMOL. 4th: Perrin puts on a crown and speaks in High Chant. (the crown at least seems likely)

Brandon Nope and nope. It's a very innocent line, and I won't tell you more than that. You'll spot it once you read AMOL.

Matt Hatch Readers, let's go HCFF on an "innocent" comment by @BrandonSandrson re: an AMoL foreshadowing in TGH, discuss! http://bit.ly/gMZvLI

Brandon I've seen someone post on the innocent comment before, FYI. In fact, it was recent.

Brandon And Terez has sniffed at it before, I know.

Terez Do you mean sniff as in turn my nose up at it? Or as in I got in the ballpark? Important distinction.

Terez Also, I do not sniff.

Brandon "Sniff" as in I've seen you poke at the line before, and ponder if it has meaning.


Brandon Unless I'm missing one, our first Egwene viewpoint in the series is 1/4 the way into TGH. She is our fifth viewpoint character.

Brandon Point to @RajivMote: I DID miss an Egwene viewpoint. In "Ravens," the new first chapter of EotW in the YA repackage of the WoT books.

Erin Kelly Sixth, if you count Bors and the five seconds of Moraine at the end of EotW.

Brandon I already counted Moraine. Not Bors, though. I'm talking Viewpoint characters, which means characters who commonly have VPs.

Brandon Fortune prick me, a Domon viewpoint. Don't know if I'll count him as the 6th VP character, though. We don't return to him frequently.

Hadnan Kadere But you counted Moiraine who only shows up once in EotW, once in TSR, and twice in TFoH.

Brandon She's got a ton of VP time here at the beginning of TGH.

Kadere She has exactly 5 VPs in TGH. She has exactly 9 in the whole series (not counting NS). That's only 3 more than Fain.

Brandon I've been asked who was behind the plot to see Domon dead in TGH. It was Hamlet, obviously.


Brandon on Twitter - 19 January 2011 One reason the WoT's world works so well is that there's a logic to the magic and the magical (yet non Power-related) abilities...

Brandon However, RJ didn't try to tie it all up too neatly. For a very big world, with lots of history, this helps keep it from being stale.

Zeldaar on Twitter - 20 January 2011 Speaking of magical non-Power related abilities - whatever happened to sniffers?

Brandon Still around. Hurin was in TGS.


Brandon I'll count Fain as our 6th viewpoint character (or, maybe he's 5th and Egwene is 6th.) I love the scene where they find the dead Fade.

Terez Your Inquisitors in Mistborn always made me think of that Fade. Sorry if I've said that before; I can't remember, lol.

Brandon Yes I think there's got to be some kind of unconscious thing going on there on my part. (Re: Fades and Inquisitors.)


Brandon Some very telling moments in the conversation between Ishamael and Rand in the Portal world of TGH.


Terez Do you have first editions of the early books?

Brandon A lot of them. Not hardcovers. Jason gave me a trade paperback of EotW signed by RJ. I think my first hardcover is TDR.


Brandon on Twitter - 20 January 2011 Grolm make me think of the plush grolm Baby Meatloaf has. (It was a hand-made gift. There's a pic on my twitter feed somewhere.)

Brandon Ah, nice. @Terez27 dug up that picture I posted of Baby Meatloaf w/his stuffed grolm. Aubree was the one who gave it to him, I think.

Brandon Here he is: http://twitpic.com/1hvhsi Man, he had curly hair back then.


Brandon No, Rand. Lady Selene isn't suspicious AT ALL.

Mike Rentas Did RJ ever explain her trick? I know she enhances her appearance, but is there an element of light Compulsion to it?

Brandon As far as I know, she didn't use Compulsion.

Josh Roberts Memory's vague on this but why doesn't LTT recognize Selene? Mirror of mists? LTT not aware yet?

Brandon So far as I know, LTT wasn't 'aware' yet. At least, not enough for something like that.


Brandon on Twitter - 21 January 2011 Lots of responses Re: Rand and Lady Selene. Let me say this. Yes, Rand is being a wool-headed fool. But I remember being that young.

Brandon I remember when I realized the prettiest girl I knew was also a huge jerk. It was a stunning revelation. Yet it took 2 years to make.

Brandon Rand is not the first teenage boy to have trouble seeing the obvious in a situation like this. In fact, it would be odd otherwise.

Brandon Egwene to Elayne on their first meeting in the White Tower, right before meeting Min: "Rand seems to meet a lot of girls." Yup.

Brandon First Min viewpoint is at the halfway mark to TGH. I'm always amazed by how many viewpoints we get before Mat gets one.

Brandon I have to look back a long time, back almost 20 years, to remember that originally, I saw Mat as a side character--and this is why.

Brandon I've always felt that Thom should be more surprised, excited, or...something to see Rand again here in TGH when they meet.


Non sequituri

Justin Lee on Twitter - 18 January 2011 Any thoughts on my "Mat is Gaidal Cain" theory? His time with the snakes/foxes makes me wonder.

Brandon Do you REALLY want me to weigh in on this?

Justin Absolutely! Though I'm likely to get a RAFO ;)

Brandon Well, as I remember, RJ said that Olver was too old to be Gaidal Cain. If Olver's to old, then Mat...

Justin He's certainly going to be late to the Big Show if he was naturally born after Olver.

Brandon Gaidal has been reborn, and I do know who he is, and he is younger than Olver. (Sorry.)

Brian Cayen Not sure if this was asked but have we seen Gaidal Cain reincarnated "on screen"?

Brandon RAFO on Cain, I'm afraid.


Randy Word on Twitter - 18 January 2011 Stupid question: What sword was Rand wearing in The Gathering Storm? It was implied that he knew its story.

Terez It was Justice, Hawkwing's sword. The real one - not the one ghost-Artur was wearing at Falme. ;)

Terez And it's not a stupid question because there was some debate over it before the word was leaked @dragonmount

Terez Many thought it was Guaire Amalasan's sword, and it may be that they were right, that Hawkwing kept it as a trophy.

Terez That might explain the scabbard, which we know is the original scabbard. And another Excalibur parallel in addition to Callandor.

Brandon I haven't answered that, I don't think, but fans have a couple of really solid theories.

Terez I like this answer. It fits with the assumption that Hawkwing kept Amalasan's sword as a trophy.


(Note...this conversation was recorded because Brandon comments on it eventually. But most of it is just two fans talking about Cadsuane.)

Luckers on Twitter - 19 January 2011 Re-reading tGS--I know I'm a silly Cadsuane lover, but I really don't like the tGS Cadsuane and Tam scene.

Luckers Not because Tam gives Cadsuane the verbal slap down, but because Cadsuane's stupidity in this scene cheapens Tam's victory.

Luckers What should have been Tam's greatest moment is merely cathartic for those who hate Cadsuane.

Luckers I know that she was off balance with worry about Rand--but even so, Tam defeating Cadsuane in her prime is a brilliant moment lost.

Astrida Fitri N You mean you wished she had clever retorts?

Luckers No, actually. I think in the face of Tam's accusations Cadsuane would have openly agreed and accepted his reprimands.

Luckers Cadsuane has never been afraid of facing the truth.

Astrida In short, her response to Tam's verbal attack was OOC? Hmm, I would have to reread the scene myself.

Luckers It was out of character, yes. Cadsuane's been mostly out of character since the beginning of tGS.

Luckers In my opinion, of course. :D Still, i feel tGS and ToM between them were to be the books were Rand came to equal Cadsuane.

Luckers Instead Cadsuane was made less, and it makes Rand's achievements and shut downs of Cadsuane seem small and petty.

Luckers He did not even have a mission like Cadsuane did. As I said--carthartic to those who hate Cadsuane, but not good scenes.

Astrida Re: Cadsuane's oddity in #TGS. Maybe you could point this out to @BrandonSandrson, and see what explanation he could offer you.

Astrida Maybe Cadsuane's strength of character was sacrificed for plot's sake, or for that scene's sake. Just maybe.

Luckers I actually did ask @BrandonSandrson about Cadsuane. And Harriet. Got a fairly similar response from both.

Luckers My question was ": I think one of Jim’s strongest talents was the writing of strong women, and arguably the strongest is Cadsuane...

Luckers ...She is the character that fans seem to either love or hate. I’m curious as to your thoughts about her, and her role in the story."

Luckers Harriet's answer was "Cadsuane has an important role, for sure."

Luckers @BrandonSandrson's was "The fact that people are so passionate about her means that Robert Jordan wrote her the right way."

Luckers If Cadsuane's strength of character was sacrificed for plot its bad writting, and I don't think Brandon would do that.

Luckers I think this might be a downside of @BrandonSandrson having been a fan beforehand. The exultation of likeable characters over...

Luckers .....unlikeable characters. Egwene in the Tower is endemic of this. (though, I loved that anyway @BrandonSandrson. I'm a hypocrite).

Luckers I seem to have been on a negative line of thought tonight. Be aware I love your work on WoT and my quibbles are just that.

Astrida I like her, though Verin intrigues me more. God forbid that I should call that scene "bad writing", but I feel that for Tam to dominate the scene, Cadsuane was made to respond that way.

Luckers I disagree. Something along the lines of this would have worked. ... (follow link to see a bit of fanficciness from Luckers) http://tl.gd/88d5tl

Astrida If @BrandonSandrson wasn't a fan, though, he wouldn't handle the books with deepest care like he does. Professionally, still, but not affectionately. :)

Luckers I agree absolutely that @BrandonSandrson's fanhood serves him well--I would not have seen the series written by...

Luckers ...someone who wasn't a fan, and the depth of his devotion to this series is VERY clear.

Luckers This is but one point where is was disadvantageous (in my opinion) against a sea of advantages.

Astrida Agreed. And a non fan would treat the greatest fantasy story of the decade as a mere job (whatever the results of @tordotcom's sff poll, I don't care. I'm muley that way).

Luckers I'm curious what you think about my portrayal of that scene?

Astrida Ok, having compared the original with yours, I must say...yes, the original scene portrayed Cadsuane as being much colder than she necessarily is. Then again in defense of Brandon (why would he need it of me? I'm too full of myself), I think Cadsuane in that scene was someone who felt that she wasn't being respected and valued despite all her efforts for Rand. But yes, the verdict is: that's ooc.

Brandon Ha. I'm afraid that I didn't have a chance to follow all of that. I'm not going to object to Luckers having...

Brandon ...strong opinions here, though. I don't see him saying anything that I can disagree with, except that we see things...

Brandon ...differently. Poor Cads was at her wits end in some of those scenes. She was pretty sure she'd doomed the world.

Brandon Note that the fan/non fan as writer argument is a good one, and one I've mentioned myself. This is what you get.

Brandon I try hard to not let those things influence me unduly--but if they do, I (by definition) won't be able to notice.

Luckers Lol. I would have been surprised if you had got through all that. We went a bit crazy.

Terez Curse you Luckers, now I have to document all that because Brandon commented on it! lol...

Luckers Hahaha. I'm so gonna look like a douche by the time you're done Terez. *sigh*.

Luckers My problem with the 'doomed the world' concept is that I reckon Cadsuane would still be there with a stern...

Luckers ... frown as the world burns. Indeed we see her willfully risk the world at the cleansing. There is...

Luckers ...the matter of degrees obviously. I dunno. My love for the old woman may be leading me astray. *sigh*

Luckers And I am very much aware that most the fandom disagrees with my opinions on Cadsuane. She's just my girl. :D

Terez Among the older members of the fandom, many agree, actually. But @BrandonSandrson 's explanation re: her growing exasperation...

Terez ...was the explanation I came up with for myself at the time (though I still lean toward OOC a bit).

Terez That's the price for me documenting all that: my opinion. :p e.g. wetlandernw and freelancer from tor.com agree.


Mike on Twitter - 19 January 2011 What would have happened if someone were to balefire Verin's cup of poison to remove it's existence when it was consumed?

Brandon So far, I believe we've only see Balefire used to remove living things from the Pattern that way. Am I wrong? @Terez27

Terez There has been some serious debate over Nynaeve and her boat. Some think the rowers caused...

Terez ...the temporal anomaly, while some think it had to be the boat itself. I forget the arguments...

Terez I remember the argument now. The boat was filled w/water at the moment of balefire, which rowers don't explain.

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