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Interviews: 4th Age Podcast Interview with Team Jordan

Summary:

Entries

26

Date

Dec 2nd, 2010

Type

Verbatim

Reporter

Terez

Links

Theoryland

Dragonmount

  • 1

    Andrew Gelos

    Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of the 4th Age. I of course am Andrew Gelos, and with me this episode is Virginia.

    VIRGINIA

    Hi, Andrew. It's great to be here as always, and also with us we have—back from the wild—Mark.

    MARK

    Hey Virginia. Thank you, and glad to be back. And with us we have Spencer.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Hi everyone. We have a great show tonight. We have several special guests with us tonight. Joining us tonight is the Amyrlin Seat of Dragonmount, responsible for JordanCon and the Wheel of Time track at DragonCon, Jennifer Liang.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I'm actually retired Amyrlin at Dragonmount; I don't do that anymore. But thank you.

    ANDREW GELOS

    And in addition to Jennifer being on the podcast, we are also very, very happy to have with us Team Jordan. First and foremost, Alan Romanczuk.

    Alan Romanczuk

    Hello everyone, from sunny Charleston. It's good to be with you.

    VIRGINIA

    Well it's great to have you here Alan, and also we have with us Robert Jordan's right arm and—I don't know how you would say...maybe the Amyrlin Seat of Team Jordan? I don't know—but anyway, Maria Simons, we're so happy to have you here with us.

    MARIA SIMONS

    I am so happy to be here! And I think Harriet would have to be the Amyrlin Seat of Team Jordan.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yes, totally.

    MARK

    Well, I guess that would make you the Keeper.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, Keeper of the Chronicles; there you go.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yes. I am the Keeper, yes.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I could see Maria being a Keeper.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yes, it's really great to have you both here. Quickly, though, before we jump into our questions, we need to give our customary spoiler warning.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Alright, this is Brandon Sanderson, giving you a warning that this podcast includes spoilers. Spoiler alert! Don't listen unless you've read all the books. Otherwise, we will hunt you down and beat you up. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    Gotta love Brandon.

    MARK

    God, how funny that is.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh, that's great.

    ANDREW GELOS

    Yeah, honestly I think we've set it up pretty well. We'll be discussing almost anything that we can possibly think of to ask. We're on a limited time basis obviously, so without any further introduction, I think we'll just launch in, and try to keep it simple, and get as much as we possibly can, because I know I could probably fill up a couple of hours by myself in just random questions as they come to my mind.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, absolutely.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Okay.

  • 2

    Andrew Gelos

    One of the questions—and this is a really weird one, at least for me—I was wondering—and obviously we know that if it's pertaining too much to things that are going to be coming out in the books that haven't been released yet, we know that they can't be discussed, and that's completely and totally understandable—but I was really wondering: I've recently started yet another re-read of the series with my wife, and I got to thinking about the Horn of Valere (rhymes with full-AIR)...or Valere (full-EAR)—and once again, I sometimes flip back and forth between the way I originally heard it and the way it probably should be pronounced—but how does the Horn function? Is it actually an old ter'angreal, or is it completely unrelated to the One Power?

    Alan Romanczuk

    Hmm.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Okay...we don't really know. No one really knows. It's an ancient artifact, probably not a ter'angreal.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Excuse me, Maria, I have to interrupt for just a moment. I actually found some notes on this, in the bottom of Jim's desk.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh, really?

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    I don't know if anyone's interested.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh yes.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Just a little?

    MARK

    Please, please?

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    The Horn of Valere, as Maria said, it was created by mortals—we know that; Jim has said as much publicly—and the Horn was created in the Age before the Age of Legends, or at least one Age before; it was not known how far back. But I've discovered that the Horn actually was the original Horn played by Dizzy Gillespie. [laughter] It was manufactured by King—it was the silver flare model. And something happened after this Age...there was so much Bebop imbued in this instrument that it took on its own magical qualities, and when it was found during the Age of Legends, the bent bell was refashioned into a curve, and they put in the Old Tongue inscription inside the bell. [laughter]

    ANDREW GELOS

    That is awesome.

    VIRGINIA

    Wow. I never would have guessed that.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Well, it's really obscure. The power of Bebop is unlimited, and it just transformed through the last couple of Ages, to get into Rand's world, with its current...now, originally, when he blew it, musicians would appear.

    VIRGINIA

    AH. Backup band.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    But because of the needs of the time, you know, it suddenly became, Heroes would emerge when it was played. So, that's all we can really say about it. Do you have anything else to add, Maria?

    MARIA SIMONS

    No.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I can't wait until the Theorylanders get ahold of that.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh yeah. So now we know that the Wheel even weaves inanimate objects into the Pattern, and makes use of them as it wishes.

    MARK

    Now, that story I expect to see in the next Great White Book, version two. [laughter]

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  • 3

    Mark

    Which brings me actually to...well, that was one of the questions I was going to ask later on; I thought I'd pick a different tangent rather than ter'angreal and the Horn of uh…call it vuh-LEAR.

    VIRGINIA

    Please correct our pronunciations, too, you guys, whenever you run across them; that's one of the big things we want to pin down is, how we should pronounce some of these things so if you hear us say something and you don't think it's what RJ would have wanted, then please just break in and say 'no'.

    Maria Simons

    [in her sweet little girl voice] Okay.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Valere (rhyming with vuh-LEAR) was the way he pronounced it.

    MARK

    Yay, I got it right!

    VIRGINIA

    Who's keeping score?

    MARK

    Well, I'm almost never right, so it's good to be able to say I was right for once.

    MARIA SIMONS

    I used to be wrong about a lot of pronunciations when I first started working for him, because that was about the time of A Crown of Swords, and I would say something, and say it wrong, and he would give me this look, like 'What are you saying?' and correct me, so I got most of them down over time.

    VIRGINIA

    I can see that look perfectly, because I actually have a very short video clip from one of the book signings where somebody tried to pronounce 'the Shaido', and he just gave them 'the look', and said, 'It's not Shy-doh. It's not Shadow. It's Shah-EE-doh. Everybody kind of went, [in a small, apologetic voice] 'O-kie.' [laughter] He could quell an entire room with one look. It was amazing.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    The first time I met Jordan at a signing, the first thing he said to me was correcting my pronunciation of something. I was like, 'Awww, I ruined it! He'll never talk to me again now!'

    MARIA SIMONS

    He wouldn't hold it against you. I—

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Oh, yeah. Well clearly he didn't because he did eventually come to DragonCon, so...

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  • 4

    Mark

    Okay. So, I got a question that actually goes all the way back to the very beginning of the series.

    Maria Simons

    Mkay.

    MARK

    Will we ever find out whose voice it was at the end of The Eye of the World?

    MARIA SIMONS

    [pause] [in a sing-song voice] RAFO! (ray-foe)

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah, that's a RAFO. (raffo)

    MARIA SIMONS

    Score!

    MARK

    I figured, but I had to ask.

    MARIA SIMONS

    I wondered how long it would take.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Maria and I have spent some time trying to figure out different ways to say 'read and find out', so we're going to be trying out some of them today, and we'll see how it goes.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, great.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Oh, this will be fun. Let me see if I can get you another trial run here. Um...Asmodean? [laughter]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Who's he?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah. Who's that guy?

    VIRGINIA

    He's toast, that's who he is.

    SPENCER POWELL

    No, Sammael's toast.

    ANDREW GELOS

    Yeah, I was going to say.

    VIRGINIA

    Well, I think he is too.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Um, if anybody sees the back of my car, they will see that I killed Asmodean. That's all I'm gonna say. [laughter]

    MARK

    I thought it was Bela!

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I do like the 'Bela killed him' theory. That one is just insane enough to be true.

    MARIA SIMONS

    I like that Bela is the Neigh'blis. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Terrible puns are always a good thing.

    VIRGINIA

    I love it.

    MARIA SIMONS

    And the master of the terrible pun is on this call.

    VIRGINIA

    Ahh.

    MARIA SIMONS

    In Jim's office.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Ahhhh.

    VIRGINIA

    Well feel free. [laugher]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    I am, I am.

    VIRGINIA

    Pun away. Well, we've got two...you pronounce it 'raffo', right? Not 'rayfo'?

    MARIA SIMONS

    I say 'rayfo'. I don't know that there's a real pronunciation for that one.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    She says 'raffo', I say 'rayfo', so let's call the whole thing off.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, well we got two right off the bat. I don't know what else we're going to....well, probably everything.

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  • 5

    Virginia

    Okay, so...my pet peeve is the famous library ter'angreal that was uncovered in Ebou Dar. Why is it that….is all that non-fictional knowledge ever going to come into play, and what's wrong with Elayne that she's not using it to find out some things that they probably desperately need to know? Or I guess she's using it as a doorstop.

    Maria Simons

    Well, 1) we haven't seen Elayne in a whole book; we don't really know what she's doing, and 2) she has problems channeling because of this pregnancy deal, and 3) everything's going to be in the Old Tongue and she's a little busy to sit down and translate documents.

    VIRGINIA

    That's true.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    But you don't understand the significance of that ter'angreal: Jim foreshadowed the creation of the Kindle. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, no!

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Mmhmm, he did. And actually, Elayne—right now as we speak—is in her bed reading fiction on that.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I bet they're dirty romance novels.

    SPENCER POWELL

    I was going to peg her for an urban fantasy fan.

    MARK

    No, no, no, no, no. She loves the Harlequins. Case closed.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, the Harlequins. Yeah.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yes, totally.

    MARK

    Either her or Aviendha, but one of those two is definitely into the Harlequin super-romance.

    VIRGINIA

    How can she get all excited about the cover art of Fabio when she's got Rand? [laughter]

    ANDREW GELOS

    Have you seen the cover of Lord of Chaos?

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, I'm telling you! No comparison.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah, that one was nicknamed at our house 'Passion of the Aes Sedai'. I actually had to take the dust jacket off of that one when I would take it to school, when I was in high school, because I was like, "I do not want people to think I'm reading some kind of filthy romance novel in class."

    VIRGINIA

    Well, I'm thinking more of, what was it? A Crown of Swords? Where he's got the, uh…all he needs is some baby oil and a little less clothes and he looks like he's posing…

    JENNIFER LIANG

    We love fist-pumping, body-building Rand.

    MARK

    Don't make me get out the water bottle to squirt you ladies. Jeez… [laughter]

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I have a big cardboard cut-out of fist-pumping, baby-oil Rand in my garage right now. I use it as a [decoration] at conventions. [Amusingly, it was stolen at JordanCon 2011, a few months after this interview.]

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, cool.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Is that cool, or is that creepy?

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Well, it's a little insane I think.

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  • 6

    Mark

    While we're talking about non-existent or 'gone' people here, why don't I ask a question that's been irking me for about five or six books now. Where did Gaidal Cain go?

    Maria Simons

    Birgitte thinks he's been reborn into the world.

    SPENCER POWELL

    That's a nice answer.

    MARK

    No kidding.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Birgitte thinks he's been reborn?

    VIRGINIA

    She's mooning over all the ugly boy-children she can get her hands on, thinking "Ohh, maybe this is him!"

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    But keep in mind the only way she thinks that is because she hadn't seen him for a while in Tel'aran'rhiod before she was yanked out by Moghedien. So we don't even know if that's true, do we? (I just threw that out for what it's worth.)

    VIRGINIA

    But she did always say that he was usually born before her, but we don't know how long in real world time, so he could be more than a child, hopefully. Or he could still be lurking in Tel'aran'rhiod.

    SPENCER POWELL

    But there's no way he could be more than a child. Correct me if I'm wrong, Alan, but the entirety of the books we have isn't more than a couple of years, is it?

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah, it's been about twenty-four months for the main characters. Alan would know for sure.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Yes, I'm not saying this is true. Well, of course I know, but I can give you various possibilities: he could be born as a child right now; he could still be lurking in Tel'aran'rhiod; he could have been ripped out the same way Birgitte had been, in which case he would be an adult, right?

    SPENCER POWELL

    Unless he was dead. Because wouldn't it require someone to bond him after he gets ripped out? Wasn't that kind of the deal with Birgitte?

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Mmhmm.

    VIRGINIA

    Well, maybe he's stronger than she was…maybe he's…

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    There are a lot of possibilities.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Unless somebody has a really ugly Warder they're not talking about… [laughter]

    MARK

    Not all Warders are beautiful. I mean…

    VIRGINIA

    Go check Myrelle's quarters. I know Myrelle has a real penchant for hiding extra Warders around… [laughter]

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah, but she likes hers pretty.

    SPENCER POWELL

    She got Lan.

    VIRGINIA

    Lan's impressive, but I don't know if anybody would call him pretty any more. [laughter]

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  • 7

    Spencer Powell

    Speaking of which, what is the latest update on Lan, and are we going to hear anything in [Towers of Midnight]?

    Maria Simons

    Um…Peruse and Find Out. [laughter]

    JENNIFER LIANG

    If you look on the forums at Dragonmount, you can find a thread about the reading that Brandon did at DragonCon a couple weeks ago, and Brandon read us a portion of the prologue that was a Lan point of view.

    VIRGINIA

    Huh. I missed that.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    There's a real possibility he has saddle sores about now. [laughter]

    SPENCER POWELL

    Probably.

    MARK

    I would think so. I mean, he's been riding since World's End at Saldaea, so…I hope I said that right.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    He got as far as Kandor in the passage that Brandon read us.

    MARK

    Okay.

    MARIA SIMONS

    A pretty good distance.

    ANDREW GELOS

    It's actually kind of a circular tie-in with Lan having gone to Kandor in New Spring.

    VIRGINIA

    Mmhmm. He's come full circle since New Spring.

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  • 8

    Andrew Gelos

    I have a kind of a question which…so much doesn't connect directly to the Wheel of Time world except that it also connects Wheel of Time to the broader scope of our world, and I've just been itching to ask this: I've recently been in a course in Restoration Literature, and in the historical studies there, I noted that there seem to be connections between Cairhien and London around the time of the mid-to-early 1600s: the fact that the city is part built against a river, the city burns when the Aiel attack, and there are various cultural features that seem to reflect London around that time period, and I was wondering, am I just completely imagining this? I know occasionally Mr. Jordan would take things from various different places and kind of merge them together to create a unique, individual space, and I just was sort of wondering if there is actually any of historical London in Cairhien, and if there is, is there any more anywhere else in the major cities?

    Alan Romanczuk

    Yes, yes. One thing you have to remember about Jim is he never did a single reference in any of his descriptions, whether it's a military uniform, a city, a character—everything seemed to draw from multiple sources. So yes, Cairhien was most likely in part based on London, but you look at the map of it, and you can see it's very different as well. It's laid out in a very rigid grid fashion. You could say in that case, well, maybe it's based on New York City in part as well, and it has a palace up on the highest hill within the bounds of the city. That's not true of London, but it's true of other places. And London wasn't the only city burned by attack; there were many others. But yeah, I mean Jim had a huge number of books in his reference library, and he traveled a lot as well, so he saw many of these places, and in typical Jim fashion...you know, I wouldn't be surprised if he had eight or ten or twelve influences in the creation of Cairhien.

    ANDREW GELOS

    That's great, because what actually caught my notice—because, even the Great Fire of 1666 probably would have passed me by in connection to the Wheel of Time world, except for the fact that, then I looked at the semi-Puritanical dress that the nobles in the city were taken to wearing, and then we were…I actually on the day I thought of this question was sitting there looking at a screen with the picture of Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector, and I was just like, "You know, that's like, almost what I kind of envisioned the Cairhienin nobility to kind of look like."

    VIRGINIA

    Well, one thing we've never seen in any of the Wheel of Time history that I can recall—and London, just talking about it brought it to mind—is, we've never seen a large-scale plague in history, like with the Great Plague of the year…I've forgotten now.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Mmhmm.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Well, of course, so many of the rats have been eliminated, but they're back now.

    VIRGINIA

    They're back! Maybe your plague is coming, like they need more trouble. [laughter]

    MARIA SIMONS

    The Last… (cross-talk)

    VIRGINIA

    No, go ahead…

    MARIA SIMONS

    The Last Battle is…

    JENNIFER LIANG

    It's funny that you brought up London as an influence, because most people when they're talking about influences on Cairhien, they really pick up on the court of the Sun King and Marie Antoinette because the style is very, you know, 1700s, late-1700s and Marie Antoinette, and there's also a lot of Japanese influence, and that tends to be what people pick up on. So this is the first time I've had somebody say, "You know, I think there's a London in Cairhien," so that's kind of interesting.

    VIRGINIA

    I guess everybody brings something different to the books, and interprets them in their own way.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Oh yeah, definitely.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Yeah, another interesting point: anyone remember what the name Cairhien means in the Old Tongue?

    ANDREW GELOS

    Hill of the Golden Dawn.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Hill of the Golden Dawn. The Order of the Golden Dawn was an occult society in London back before the beginning of the 20th Century.

    FOOTNOTE

    This particular society was Kabbalistic, and their hierarchy is based on the Tree of Life. Many other parallels can be drawn.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, that's right. I'd forgotten that.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Which I just bring out as, you know, yet another thing that Jim latched on to and threw into the mix.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Most people think 'the hill of the golden dawn' is like, 'Oh, the land of the rising sun!' which would be Japan, because there's a heavy Japanese influence in just the style of the buildings and things like that seem very Japanese.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Sure. And the Sun King of France.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah. It's kind of like he just pulled everything that was related to the sun and just kind of melded it together to make Cairhien.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Yeah.

    MARIA SIMONS

    He liked mixing things up.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    And it works really well. That's the surprising thing to me is that he was able to pull from so many different sources and make things seem very coherent and logical for the cultures.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, I like the fact that everything that you read as you're going along, all these things sort of tug at the back of your mind and you're thinking, 'Oh, this reminds me of this, and this reminds me of that', and it makes you really think that it adds a depth to the thing that you can come back later and explore it again.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Okay, I've got a game for you. Go to Wikipedia. Put in something like 'golden dawn', let's say…or just anything. Pull anything from the Wheel of Time books that's distinctive. Put it into Wikipedia until you find a hit. I almost guarantee, within that article, you're going to find yet another reference from the Wheel of Time. Track that. See how many hits you can go before you run out.

    VIRGINIA

    I'll have to try that.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    I did that the other day, and I wound up spending an hour and a half of just going from one thing to another. It was really amazing.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah, I can see myself losing an afternoon doing that.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh yeah, easily.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Very easily.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I've lost too many hours to Wiki-walking already.

    VIRGINIA

    I guess that's why it bothers me so much about that library ter'angreal…if I had that, I'd never be able to put it down, and I guess I just don't understand how somebody could…if they can't deal with it, then delegate, but this is me. It's the equivalent of having a computer hooked up to the internet; I could not walk away from it. It would be a Mindtrap for me. [laughter]

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  • 9

    Virginia

    Another question that I've always wondered about—well, for a very long time anyways—is the idea of a channeler being able to be turned to the Dark One by the combination of thirteen Dreadlords—or presumably Black Ajah—channeling through thirteen Myrddraal, and I've speculated like everybody has who it might be, but can you tell us without a RAFO, have we yet met someone who has been turned against their will, and is there a way to detect it?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Not that we know of.

    VIRGINIA

    We don't know that we've met anyone yet?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Right.

    VIRGINIA

    Okay. Think they'll discover a way to be able to detect someone who has been turned?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Anything is possible. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    More Aes Sedai answers. But I guess I expected that!

    MARK

    Well, what do you expect? You are of the Brown Ajah there...

    VIRGINIA

    Green. I'm Green. If I were Aes Sedai I'd be Green.

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  • 10

    Andrew Gelos

    I guess part of the thing that is interesting to me, and I guess being a student of Literature, I am horribly fascinated with fictional languages. How extensive is the vocabulary of the Old Tongue as it exists right now? I'm assuming that there is more of it than we have seen in the novels. And do you know if there were rules set down to explain the creation of the vocabulary? And kind of alongside that, is there—obviously I kind of take the answer about London to be a similar question, or a similar answer towards whether or not there's an actual philological basis for the Old Tongue—part of what I'm wondering is…I've been using the Shienaran phrase "Suravye ninto manshima taishite" as sort of our closing for the podcast. I'm tentatively wondering how badly I'm butchering that.

    Alan Romanczuk

    Oh, you're spot on. Spot on.

    VIRGINIA

    Yay Andrew!

    ANDREW GELOS

    Sweet!

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Jim actually spoke pretty extensively in public about the Old Tongue, and I even pulled up a letter that he had written about it in which he says, "The Old Tongue is based on, for example, the languages: Gaelic, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and some additions of my own—bridging material if you will. Grammar and syntax are a blending of English, German, and Chinese with some influence from a set of African languages read about long ago, and all but the oddities of structure long since forgotten." He has converted constructions…the thing about the Old Tongue, the way that it's constructed…it is a very loose language, like Latin I guess; it can be presented in almost any order and be intelligible to someone who knows it, and there are several conventions involved in it which could be explained for a longer podcast, but those are the basics. He really did pull them from a lot of different areas, and he started by constructing the language—as I recall there is a list of 850 or 880 common words that you need to know to be able to speak in English, and I don't know who created these, but he had that. We have file, and he modified that, kicking out some words like 'electricity' and so forth that wouldn't be useful in this, and adding some others, and putting definitions to them in Old Tongue. I never added it up, but he said we had a file of about a thousand words, and this dictionary will be published at a later time.

    VIRGINIA

    Great.

    ANDREW GELOS

    That is awesome.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    And that will be part of the encyclopedia, actually.

    ANDREW GELOS

    That'll be great.

    VIRGINIA

    I can't wait. That sort of leads me into my next question which is something that, two years ago when Brandon was out on the Mistborn tour—the last Mistborn book tour—during an interview, I asked him if he could please come up with some way for us to say phrases having to do with the Light, such as 'Walk in the Light,' or 'May the Light illumine you' in the Old Tongue, and he said he would do his best, and I think he just forgot. But we do have the audio; he kind of sort of promised us. We're hoping that maybe you can bail him out on this one. [laughter]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Well, I think all will be revealed in the encyclopedia.

    VIRGINIA

    Aww, I can't wait that long!

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Except what isn't revealed.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    How far is the encyclopedia coming? People ask me about it occasionally, and I'm like, 'I dunno; they're working on it.'

    MARIA SIMONS

    Well, it's been back-burner recently because we're doing Towers of Midnight, but that's my next project to get back into, doing basically the skeleton for it, and after A Memory of Light we will go full bore on it.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Oh, excellent. I remember Harriet saying that it was due one year after the final book, whenever the final book is out.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Right.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    And we're working on it in between when we get time, when we're not doing podcasts and so forth. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, now you're making us feel guilty. [laughter] But not very.

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  • 11

    Andrew Gelos

    One of the earliest questions I came up with for this interview…just idle curiosity: What are some of the most commonly mispronounced words from the series other than Lan, Aiel, Seanchan, and Shaido?

    Maria Simons

    Egwene (egg-WAYNE), Taim (tah-EEM), Faile (fah-EEL), Egeanin (egg-ee-AH-nin), [???—Ethenielle? (eth-IN-ee-əl]…that's all I can think of off the top of my head. Well, Nynaeve (nigh-NEEVE) seems to be mispronounced a lot too.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I could not even read her name when I first saw it. I was just like, "I'm going to skip her; she seems like a minor character." And then I was like, "Aw, crap; she's actually in this story; I'm gonna have to figure out how to actually read her name."

    VIRGINIA

    I can't believe it; I've actually been saying them all pretty well. It's always a worry, especially when you're doing a podcast, because you know, when people are going to be listening, you don't want to start a trend if it's not going to be the right thing.

    ANDREW GELOS

    The worst is when we get the feedback that says, "You're not saying that right! Get your pronunciations correct; you're supposed to be experts. Then it's like, "No, we're not." We actually say a lot that we're nowhere near experts in the series.

    VIRGINIA

    We're just fans like the rest of you guys.

    MARIA SIMONS

    I still say some things wrong, but I've been saying them that way for a long time, so…people can get over it.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    At the reading that we did at DragonCon, Brandon had to read the word "Aesdaishar" for the first time out loud, and he had to stop and be like, "I've never said this word before; make sure I get it right." That was funny.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Oh, and Elayne's brother is Galad (gə-LAHD), and Gawyn (GAH-win).

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yes! We've been getting those right too!

    MARIA SIMONS

    And see, I usually say GAL-id (like the word 'gal'). I know it's wrong, but that's what comes out of my mouth. But I have on my little piece of paper here it's gə-LAHD.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    We'll just chalk it up to you being southern. Gallid is the southern way of saying it.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I am from Mississippi, and I say gə-LAHD. Just saying.

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  • 12

    Spencer Powell

    Well, because it is obviously expected, as we're doing an interview with a member of Team Jordan…Who was the last person to see Asmodean alive? [laughter]

    Alan Romanczuk

    His murderer. [laughter] [ba-dum-tish]

    MARK

    Everybody knew that was coming.

    VIRGINIA

    And who did you say that was, Maria? [mumbling]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Who indeed?

    VIRGINIA

    Well, we knew that wasn't going to be answered so…

    MARIA SIMONS

    No.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yup.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    It was a good one, though. Good try.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Well, thanks. Probably not as good as some of the Theorylanders would come up with, but I'm not at that level yet.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Theorylanders are scary good at thinking up those tricky questions.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh yeah.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yes. Very much so, yes.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah. Any time I think I know a lot about what's going on in this series, I go read their boards, and I'm like, 'Nevermind! There's no way I know all this stuff!'

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yeah.

    VIRGINIA

    I know. It's kind of humbling.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    [???] 'Are they even reading the same books I am?' [laughter]

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah.

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    Mark

    I actually have a question that leads more onto the line of channeling and weaves—and I think this might have been yours, Virginia, but it's also been tickling the back of my mind for a while. Why is that no other channelers have rediscovered any lost weaves—like they did with Traveling, Skimming, cuendillar, real Healing, and all that fun stuff—before the Wondergirls?

    Maria Simons

    Well, we don't really know no one did. If they did, they didn't share it, sure. You know, not all channelers are Aes Sedai, and even Aes Sedai don't always share things.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah, they keep a lot back.

    MARIA SIMONS

    The Blue Ajah, you know, has all its little secret weaves, and I'm sure all the other Ajahs do as well. And two, there's always the whole thing that, 'the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills', and sometimes the Wheel weaves out what it needs, and with the Last Battle coming, it needs all the help it can get…so the really talented people, the really ta'veren people, they come out again. That's for most of them. For Healing, maybe there's a different answer. Aes Sedai…they know how to Heal people, and that's the way they do it, and they don't need to know anything better! I mean, it's just Aes Sedai being Aes Sedai. They think they know what they're doing, so they don't look for a better way to do it.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    And if they have discovered a better way to do it, they're probably not sharing it with other people, because every Aes Sedai is looking for an advantage over the others.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Right.

    MARK

    Oh, okay. So then that sort of partially answers the next half of my question, which is: How did some of these weaves get lost in the first place?

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, my favorite rant. All the Aes Sedai woke up one morning with amnesia. How did I Travel? I can't remember.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Well, part of it…I mean, I was reading, of all things, the Big White Book, and you know, the Breaking lasted a really long time, and things were really breaking. I mean, you might know how to Travel, but you didn't know if where you were trying to go was still there. You know, it might be in the middle of the ocean now, or on top of a mountain, so people probably weren't Traveling as much...and Aes Sedai were being killed right and left. There were all these crazy men, channelers wiping out entire cities, and the Aes Sedai women were trying to stop them, and sometimes they succeeded, and sometimes not…so, things really went to hell in a handbasket. Fast. And, you know, if a woman knew how to channel and she couldn't find anyone else who had the strength to channel, she couldn't really teach anybody to channel.

    VIRGINIA

    That's true.

    MARIA SIMONS

    To Travel, is what I meant to say.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Yeah, there was a time of course when the White Tower wasn't there. You know, the White Tower was a recent innovation in the grand scheme of things, and so the Aes Sedai after the Breaking were everywhere, so there wasn't that institutional memory in all things at that point, and things were lost.

    VIRGINIA

    So the Hall of the Servants, then, basically was a much looser organization than the somewhat hierarchical White Tower…

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Mmhmm.

    VIRGINIA

    …than we have now.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Mmhmm.

    VIRGINIA

    So we have a sort of central storing place for knowledge, or anything like that.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Right.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah, think of what would happen to us if there was a horrible disaster that wiped out the internet. We would lose all of our knowledge except for, you know, the stuff that we still have in books. But you know, a good portion of our knowledge and communication that is electronic now would be gone.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    But this podcast would remain in people's hearts. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    Well, you got me on that one, Maria, because if my computer was suddenly taken away and there were no others to replace it, I think I would probably have the equivalent of amnesia. It's my plastic brain, and I really need it. [laughter]

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I've always thought that the lost talents were related to strength, because the modern Aes Sedai are weaker than the Age of Legends Aes Sedai, and a lot of these rediscovered weaves require a certain level of strength that just doesn't exist in those Aes Sedai.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Right, and also talent, because to do this Healing, you have to have a certain Talent for Healing. To make cuendillar...Janya couldn't make cuendillar worth a darn, and…she didn't have that Talent, so if somebody knew it, but there was nobody they could teach it to, it's gone!

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah.

    MARK

    Well, the thing is though…leading up to that comment: remember in—I believe it was Crossroads, but it might have been Knife of Dreams—when Sorilea (soar-ih-LAY-uh)—I have no idea if this is how it's pronounced...

    MARIA SIMONS

    (soar-ih-LEE-uh)

    MARK

    She taught Cadsuane how to Travel, even though she couldn't make the weave work herself. So just because you don't have the strength to make the weave finish doesn't mean you can't form the weave anyway.

    MARIA SIMONS

    That's true, but...okay. We've got our nameless Aes Sedai after the Breaking, and she's found a little crew of people, and none of them are strong enough to Travel. Well, she's going to show them how to do it anyway and hopefully one day they'll find somebody strong enough but, you know, they never do. So we've got the same thing, and you know, sooner or later it's going to…if you can't actually use it for anything, you're going to put it aside and not pay any attention to it, and it will get lost.

    VIRGINIA

    Or, by the time that bunch of people finds someone who is [strong enough], it might have gone through several iterations and they might have the weave just a little bit wrong, so that it doesn't work either.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    And—correct me if I'm wrong on this—but I don't think it's possible to write down how to do a weave. I think it's something that you have to learn through demonstration. You can't just write it down, and be like, 'Well, I'll put this on the shelf, and some day a hundred years from now someone will come along and pick it up and figure out how to weave...whatever from this. I feel like you have to be shown how to do a weave.

    MARIA SIMONS

    That is...I mean, that's how they do it. You know, the novices don't run around with heavy books; they run around being taught by actual people. It's my belief that writing might could give clues or something, but you have to be able to show it or work it out on your own.

    VIRGINIA

    Of course, I was going to say they could just check on YouTube and find out how, but then, would the One Power weaves even show up on video? [laughter] If they even had that...

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh, that's a good question!

    VIRGINIA

    I actually was just wondering about that; I wonder if any these things—I'm sure that the effects would—but I presume that if most non-channelers can't see weaves that probably there's nothing there for a video to pick up, either...but it's an interesting question.

    MARIA SIMONS

    That is.

    VIRGINIA

    How to detect channeling: Whip out your camcorder! [laughter]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    With a wi-fi finder.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, okay. I'm going to be good now. That would be too funny. It's a shame Jessi couldn't be with us. She really wanted to be, but she had to work, and couldn't get off. One of her favorite premises is, you know, how drastically the Wheel of Time story would all be changed if they had access to cell phones and texting and the internet and everything.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh yeah. There would be no story.

    SPENCER POWELL

    They do though! Elayne has the communication ter'angreal. They have cell phones...ish. They just don't use them! [laughter]

    MARIA SIMONS

    Give 'em time.

    VIRGINIA

    I sort of [?] a couple of the guys before one time when we were podcasting and I had to get up in the office; I was working and I had to turn a phone off, and I came back and I said "I just had to disable that callbox ter'angreal." And they said, "Oh, you are such a geek." [laughter]

    SPENCER POWELL

    It's true.

    VIRGINIA

    A 'dork' is what actually they said.

    MARK

    No, you are a geek, because dorks have no social status whereas geeks are more knowledgeable in one or two given fields, and since we are all major WoT nerds—we qualify as nerds, not dorks.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, we got some cred there anyway.

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  • 14

    Virginia

    So I guess the next question I want to ask is "Okay, how about those quadruplets?"

    Maria Simons

    How 'bout those Yankees? [laughter]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Alright, well there are...I believe there are four. Is that right, Maria?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah, four. Uh-huh.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Four. Alright, so what else do you want to know?

    VIRGINIA

    Wow. When are we going to find out about the quadruplets? I mean, we presume that they're working on the generation of them at some point here, but they're running out of time before the Last Battle. I mean, are these going to be born post-Tarmon Gai'don, or pre-Tarmon Gai'don, or are we just going to have to read and find out?

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Interesting question.

    VIRGINIA

    They are running out of time.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah.

    SPENCER POWELL

    And Aviendha's somewhere in the Waste, or on her way to the Waste.

    VIRGINIA

    Well now she is, but she was with Rand for quite a while, so...

    MARIA SIMONS

    [something about Min]

    ANDREW GELOS

    Yeah, but she didn't have her honor, remember?

    VIRGINIA

    I know, but that doesn't mean that she couldn't have hooked up, uh...you know, I don't know.

    MARIA SIMONS

    No, Aviendha [something]

    VIRGINIA

    [interrupts] That's what I'm wondering; that's what I'm wondering. Have they even started yet? If they're not started yet, I don't see how they could be born before Tarmon Gai'don, unless that's the odd thing, that she does a Star Trek sort of plot and has, you know, fully-grown...

    JENNIFER LIANG

    [something about MTV?]

    MARIA SIMONS

    I'm just gonna say, read and find out.

    VIRGINIA

    *sigh* Well you know we will.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Well, then.

    VIRGINIA

    When you tell somebody that, does anyone ever just go, "Well that's it; I'm done. I've had it! Never reading the Wheel of Time again!" No, no…they all come back and read.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yup, yup.

    MARK

    I tried that once. I put the book down for a sum total of about two days, and I'm like, "To hell with it; I gotta keep going!"

    JENNIFER LIANG

    It is a very oddly addicting series.

    MARK

    Yeah.

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  • 15

    Mark

    So, here's one that—I think this actually might have been yours, Spencer, cause it sounds like almost your mental acumen that would have asked this one—with the exception of Rand, who is Lews Therin Telamon reborn, are there any of the other characters that are reincarnations of prominent historical figures?

    Maria Simons

    There's Birgitte.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, but apart from Birgitte, yeah. I've always had this sort of fantasy in my mind that Nynaeve might be the reincarnation of Eldrene, the last queen of Manetheren, or something like that. And Mat, you know…gosh, he seems like...before he even left the Two Rivers, the Old Blood was coming out really strongly in him; it makes me wonder if he's not the actual rebirth of some extraordinary battle hero from Mathetheren. [silence]

    MARIA SIMONS

    Um...

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Interesting speculation. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    Which is going to go nowhere!

    MARK

    We're not putting answers into their mouths! We're supposed to be getting answers from them, not giving them answers to give back to us! [laughter]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Oh, was that a question?

    VIRGINIA

    Well, sort of!

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    No, you're doing well; keep going. [laughter]

    MARK

    He's going to do what he always does; he's going to sit back and listen to all the answers until he finds one that he likes, and he says, "You know what? That was it!" [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    Well, I guess this is something that we're just gonna have to hopefully read and find out...

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah...

    VIRGINIA

    …or I hope some of these questions are not going to be Brandon has said that Robert Jordan just said that 'this does not get resolved', you know...

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    That would be a shame. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    I'm not sure where that will leave us. Endlessly speculating till the Wheel stops turning…

    MARIA SIMONS

    There's no beginning or ending to the Wheel of Time.

    MARK

    Virginia will be reborn again once she passes and she will still be even more into WoT than she was now. [laughter] I can see it.

    VIRGINIA

    Impossible.

    MARK

    I can see it.

    VIRGINIA

    Physically impossible.

    MARK

    You'll learn your letters so you can read Robert Jordan in the cradle. [laughter]

    SPENCER POWELL

    I think you'll have a huge advantage, cause all the books will be out by then and you'll just be able to read 'em one after the other.

    VIRGINIA

    That's right, although I was going to say that I think I have the advantage, I was probably reading Robert Jordan when a couple of you guys were in the cradle.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yeah, probably.

    ANDREW GELOS

    Yeah, probably.

    MARK

    Well, not in the cradle, but I was itty bitty when the first book came out.

    SPENCER POWELL

    I think I was still in the cradle.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Wow. I feel old.

    MARK

    Yeah, that's cause he…that's cause you're just…

    SPENCER POWELL

    I am twenty. I'm not even twenty yet, so...

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh my gosh!

    MARK

    You weren't even born when the first book came out, buddy.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Oh, wow.

    VIRGINIA

    There you go.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Whoa.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh, wow.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, but they still put up with me, and I think I'm older than Cad-swayne. Is that right? Cad-swayne? Cad-swanee?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Cad-swayne!

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, yay! Whew. So far I'm...

    SPENCER POWELL

    Except that we know that Cadsuane is a couple hundred years old, which, you know, is older than the country.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah.

    VIRGINIA

    Okay, so I'm not quite older than Cadsuane...

    MARK

    You come close.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, I feel like it. Anyway, enough of that...

    MARK

    You're as old as Re-anne. Or is it Re-annie?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Re-AH-nah.

    VIRGINIA

    Re-AH-nah, okay.

    MARK

    Ah.

    SPENCER POWELL

    That's on that list.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah, I've been saying that one wrong the whole time.

    VIRGINIA

    In general, are ending Es pronounced in the Wheel of Time names, like Reanne?

    MARIA SIMONS

    It varies. He wasn't really…I mean, sometimes yes, and sometimes…I mean, I was thinking about this, because if Cadsuane's final e was pronounced, she would be Cad-soo-ae-nah, like Macarena, and you could do a whole dance. But… [laughter] There doesn't really seem to be a rule. It's just how he felt that day I think, or how it sounded to him.

    VIRGINIA

    Some are, and some aren't, you know. It is kind of confusing, but we don't know for sure, if we're even right when we guess that, so you be the arbiter on this one. Unless, as Brandon said in our interview to him, unless Robert Jordan comes down to us in a beam of white light and sets us straight, some of these things may not ever be known for sure, so you have to tell us as best you can. Speaking of names that end in E , two that almost kind of strike me are, um…I started out saying muh-RELL, and then I kind of went to muh-RELL-uh, because of the presumption that the final Es were pronounced, so I don't know for sure which one is right on that; I go back and forth between that.

    MARIA SIMONS

    That's interesting. I say my-RELL. I'm not absolutely sure that's the way Jim said it.

    VIRGINIA

    Okay, what about lee-AHN, or is it lee-AHN-uh?

    MARIA SIMONS

    lee-AHN-uh is correct. That one is Leanne. And Reanne.

    VIRGINIA

    Yay!

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    I believe that Myrelle…it's my-RELL.

    VIRGINIA

    my-RELL?

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    my-RELL.

    VIRGINIA

    You pronounce the Y?

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Mm-hmm. Like 'my'.

    VIRGINIA

    Okay, good.

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  • 16

    Spencer Powell

    How close was Verin's approximation on her accuracy in detecting the members of the Black that she had written in the amazing book that she gave to Egwene?

    Maria Simons

    It was pretty close. She did a good job.

    VIRGINIA

    That is interesting, because I'm still speculating that there may be other Black Ajah working around that haven't been discovered, and actually I have a whole load of questions I'd love to ask, but I just know they're all gonna be…you know, "Read and Find Out" answers. It always amazes me that Egwene spent so much time under Halima's thumb, in a way, that I can't believe that the only weaves that she laid on her were producing migraines. It makes you wonder if there isn't some hidden Compulsion weave going on there, that we'll find out later that maybe some of the Black Ajah in the White Tower could take advantage of. You know, there are so many things like that that I just know…

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah, I don't wanna go there.

    SPENCER POWELL

    I don't think that there's any Black Ajah left in the White Tower currently.

    VIRGINIA

    I wouldn't wanna bet my life on that. I don't think there are many.

    MARK

    Other than Mesaana who's hiding somewhere because she can defeat the Oath Rod, or so thinks Egwene herself in the end of The Gathering Storm.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Well, you still have the Black Ajah that escaped, too.

    VIRGINIA

    Mm-hmm.

    MARK

    Yeah, there was a lot of those that got out.

    SPENCER POWELL

    And we have Maria and Alan just sitting there going, "Yep, yep; you do." [laughter]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    No, I was just thinking that she was minimizing headaches. What a horrible thing for migraine-sufferers.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, listen…I get migraines. I have complete and total sympathy for anybody that gets migraines, but it seems to me like that probably wasn't the most…probably wasn't the only thing that she was doing to poor Egwene.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Well, the consensus that we…that was in the WoTFAQ when I was editing that article this summer was that Halima doing something to suppress Egwene's Dreaming talent so that she was not getting messages about the future any more, from whatever causes this to happen, and so the headache is the side-effect of that. I don't know if this is true or not; this is just the fan speculation from the WoTFAQ, but it is very telling that as soon as she gets away from Halima and is in the White Tower, her Dreaming ability comes back, because she had been having nightmares that she couldn't remember before about being chased by something, or something like that, and then when she gets into the White Tower, she stops having those nightmares, and she starts having the prophetic dreams again.

    SPENCER POWELL

    And she stops having headaches as well.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah, and the headaches go away. And she does not make the connection in Knife of Dreams when she first sees this happen. I don't remember if she makes the connection in The Gathering Storm when she finds out about Halima's infiltration of the Salidar Aes Sedai. I have to go back and reread The Gathering Storm in the next couple of weeks, because I'm a little fuzzy on the details there.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Mm-hmm. Well, it certainly seems plausible. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    I'm not surprised that you guys have got this down to an art.

    MARK

    You guys give the perfect Aes Sedai answers.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I love it when I ask Maria and Alan things that relate to FAQ, and they'll just kind of smile and nod at me and go, 'That's a good guess!'

    VIRGINIA

    I was going to say another Aes Sedai answer, but then...I wonder if we’re going to get the Asha’man known for convoluted answers, but then they don’t have the oath rod to get around. They can say whatever they want to at all times.

    SPENCER POWELL

    They'll just blow you up and have done with it.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah. They are refreshingly direct about their methods.

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  • 17

    Virginia

    But we have about twenty-some minutes left to go. I think before we get into our list of pronunciations even deeper, is there anything that you—Maria and Alan—would like to tell us, or things that you think we might have overlooked in the conversation. I mean, what could you let us know that isn't going to be [inaudible]…anything?

    Maria Simons

    Hmm. There's a book coming out on November 2nd? [laughter]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    We're surprised you haven't asked about that, and we were fully prepared to, but I'm sorry, we've run out of time. [laughter]

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  • 18

    Virginia

    Okay. Well…I guess we'll just go into the pronunciations.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Well, our next little bit needs a little bit of a lead-in for our listeners who don't have access to our huge list of questions like we do. As part of our interview questions, we have a list of words, and we asked, "How do you pronounce each of these words?" And there are about 43 of them. There are probably some on here that don't need to be on here, and I know that there aren't some on here that should be, but these are the 43 that we came up with.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, Spencer got mad at me because I went and annotated the list, like…I gotta be exact, and he's like "No…"

    SPENCER POWELL

    I didn't get mad at you! I just took 'em off; I'm like, "Oh yeah, you're right; take that one off." Anyway. And so Maria, Alan…would you please go through the list and tell us how to pronounce these names and places?

    Maria Simons

    Okay, here we go. And I may, you know, be wrong on some. But others, I'm pretty sure of.

    VIRGINIA

    And feel free to add some in if something occurs to you as you're going.

    MARIA SIMONS

    O-kay. We have add-uh-LAY-us. (Adeleas) el-FINN. (Aelfinn) eyes-DEYE-shar. (Aesdaishar) (RJ used EYE to rhyme with the word 'eye') ahm-uh-DEE-see-uh. (Amadicia) [glossary: ah-mah-DEE-see-ah] (ah=ahhh sound, uh=schwa) ERR-id doe-MAHN. (Arad Doman) [glossary: AH-rad do-MAHN] arr-uh-FELL. (Arafel) [glossary: AH-rah-fehl] brr-GEE-tuh. (Birgitte) (hard G) [glossary: ber-GEET-teh] Brenn. (Bryne) [glossary: BRIHN, GAH-rehth] KEYE-ree-enn. (Cairhien) [glossary: KEYE-ree-EHN] CHA fah-EEL. (Cha Faile) (mid ch) drag-car. (Draghkar) [glossary: DRAGH-kahr] EEL-finn. (Eelfinn) guh-LAHD. (Galad) [glossary: gah-LAHD] GAH-win. (Gawyn) [glossary: GAH-wihn] GALE-donn. (Ghealdan) [glossary: GHEL-dahn] I'm not sure if it's huh-REEN or huh-REEN-uh. (Harine) din toe-GAHR-uh Two Winds. ILL-ee-in. (Illian) [glossary: IHL-lee-ahn] ill-ee-AY-nuh. (? - AY is long A) CAN-door. (Kandor) (door like the word) lee-AH-nuh. (Leane) [glossary: lee-AHN-eh shah-REEF] mall-KEER. (Malkier) [glossary: mahl-KEER] my-EEN. (Mayene) [glossary: may-EHN] myur-an-DEE. (Murandy) [glossary: MEW-ran-dee] MEER-drahl. (Myrddraal) [glossary: MUHRD-draal] NEIGH-bliss. Sorry. NAY-bliss. [laughter] (Nae'blis) NEFF. (Naeff?) nee-AHM Passes (Niamh Passes) nigh-NEEV. (Nynaeve) [glossary: NIGH-neev al-MEER-ah] Plains of mah-REE-doh. (Plains of Maredo) ree-AH-nuh. (Reanne) seye-DAR. (saidar). [glossary: sah-ih-DAHR] seye-DEEN. (saidin) [glossary: sah-ih-DEEN] sall-DAY-uh. (Saldaea) [glossary: sahl-DAY-ee-ya] see-AEN. (Seaine?) Alan…

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    SHE-nar.

    MARIA SIMONS

    SHE-nar. (Shienar) [glossary: shy-NAHR] Swan. (Siuan) [glossary: SWAHN SAHN-chay] sor-uh-LEE-uh. (Sorilea) [glossary: soh-rih-LEE-ah] terra-BONN. (Tarabon) [glossary: TAH-rah-BON] TAR-win's Gap. (Tarwin's Gap) tell-uh-RON-ree-odd. (Tel'aran'rhiod) [glossary: tel-AYE-rahn-rhee-ODD] Tower of genn-JEYE. (Ghenjei) (hard G) truh-MALL-king. (Tremalking) [glossary: treh-MAL-king] too-AH-thuh-AHN. (Tuatha'an) [glossary: too-AH-thah-AHN]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Do you want to go over the saidar/saidin thing we talked about?

    MARIA SIMONS

    In the glossaries of the books, Jim has it sah-ih-DEEN and sah-ih-DAHR, but I swear, I don't think he pronounced it that way; I mean you kind of give a little hint of the i but not much: sah-ee-DEEN, sah-ee-DAHR.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Yeah, he always seemed to be saying seye-DEEN and seye-DAHR.

    SPENCER POWELL

    I'm surprised at how many of those I thought I knew, but I didn't.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah. That's like, "Waait a second, that's not…but oh, I guess it is."

    MARK

    How do you pronounce the Traveling people again?

    MARIA SIMONS

    too-AH-thah-AHN.

    VIRGINIA

    There's something else with the double A there…

    MARIA SIMONS

    ah-tha-AHN mee-AIR. (Atha'an Miere)

    VIRGINIA

    Okay, great. Any others you can think of that are commonly mangled, that would have driven Jim crazy?

    MARIA SIMONS

    I think I've mentioned tah-EEM before, and egg-ee-AH-nin…

    VIRGINIA

    dee-MAN-dred? dee-MAHN-dred? DEE-man-dred?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Ehh...dee-MAHN-dred, I think…but I wouldn't swear dee-MAHN-dred. [glossary: DEE-man-drehd]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Pretty straightforward.

    VIRGINIA

    How about all of the Forsaken? A lot of them often get mangled, or a few. GRIN-doll?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Grindle, is how I say it. [glossary: GREHN-dahl] And it's interesting, just looking at a thing, and I pronounce CADD-in-soar (cadin'sor) wrong. [glossary: KAH-dihn-sohr]

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Oh really?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah, because it's supposed to be cah-DIN-soar. [It's not, according to the glossary.]

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Okay, because I say it the way you say it.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, I think… [inaudible] so that makes sense.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Oh! ish-AH-may-el, and SAM-may-el. [glossary: ih-SHAH-may-EHL, SAHM-may-EHL] [When RJ said it, the 'may' part was more like the German 'Mai'.]

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yes. Those are really common mistakes; I hear that a lot.

    VIRGINIA

    Ben [?] was right; we had that famous tagline from the original podcast, and we had this thing…I think, "Sammael was pretty buff!" [laughter] We used that a lot, and it sort of went away when he did, I guess.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Another one that I have lots of problems with—and I can't believe I didn't get it on the list—but is the GOLL-um (gholam), or the…I can't even pronounce it right now.

    MARK

    GO-lem?

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yeah, the GO-lem, that's chasing Mat.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Yeah.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Gollum.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Gollum?

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, it's Gollum! [crosstalk]

    MARIA SIMONS

    I am not absolutely sure, but that's how I say it, so…

    VIRGINIA

    What about some of the other Seanchan beasts that made me think of, the grolm, then there were two of the others that…

    MARIA SIMONS

    ROCK-in (raken), and TOE-rock-in. (to'raken)

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, and then there was another one, the um…

    MARIA SIMONS

    Torm…the book is right in front of me…

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, maybe it was the name of that…oh, Suroth's pet!

    MARK

    S'redit?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh yes, that thing. I can't remember… [crosstalk]

    VIRGINIA

    Mandra…Mandragal?…Almandragal.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    The LOW-par (lopar)?

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, the lopar. Almandaragal was his name, or something like that?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Something like that. I would have to look it up.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    It was a LOW-par (lopar), wasn't it?

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, lopar. I think there was another one that I couldn't…maybe I'm just hallucinating. [laughs]

    MARIA SIMONS

    Let's see…

    VIRGINIA

    I'm sure there's a zillion others I'll think of after you're off the air here with us…

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Oh, s'RED-dit (s'redit) is another one. Remember the elephant-like creature?

    MARIA SIMONS

    Corlm, C-O-R-L-M (I like that word). Torm…that's all I can find.

    VIRGINIA

    What about Tuon's new name as Empress?

    MARIA SIMONS

    for-too-OH-nah?

    VIRGINIA

    Fortuona, okay. I'm not sure how else you could pronounce that, but I've been wrong before, so...

    MARIA SIMONS

    That, I'm assuming is right; I'm pretty sure I heard Jim pronounce it that way, because that was his choice of name.

    VIRGINIA

    There must be something else; there seems like a million things, and that I didn't add enough to the list.

    MARIA SIMONS

    OH-geer…

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    moe-TIE? (???)

    VIRGINIA

    Oh! What about—speaking of historical figures—LAH-tra…poe-SAI? Or poe-SAY? deh-KYU-meh? (Latra Posae Decume)

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Oh yeah, LA-tra (LA rhymes with laugh)…

    VIRGINIA

    I got the Latra, but I'm not sure about the second and third names.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Boy.

    VIRGINIA

    It's P-O-S-A-E, and then D-E-C-U-M-E.

    MARIA SIMONS

    po-SAY-uh deh-COO-may.

    VIRGINIA

    deh-COO-may, okay. [crosstalk]

    MARIA SIMONS

    That's totally off the top of my head. I see it (?) and think it, anyway. po-SAY-uh deh-COO-may, yeah.

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  • 19

    Virginia

    I want to just throw something in at the last minute, because it just popped into my mind because of that, and I'm sure this is going to be another Read And Find Out. Can you tell us anything about the lack of Lews Therin's voice now that Rand has had his so-called 'epiphany' on Dragonmount…is that an actual 'merging' of the characters? Are we done with the voice of Lews Therin?

    Maria Simons

    I need to learn Old Tongue for 'Read And Find Out'. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    I'm still waiting for 'May the Light illumine you'! [laughs] I was hoping somebody'd pop up with that for the podcast, and that's how I try to close each episode, so that's why I asked Brandon for it. I'm just gonna have to hound him.

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  • 20

    Andrew Gelos

    I had one last pronunciation—and unfortunately I had my thing muted at the moment—but is it ah-SHAHN-dah-RYE? (ashandarei)

    Maria Simons

    ah-SHAHN-dah-RYE.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh! I didn't think of that one. [crosstalk]

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  • 21

    Spencer Powell

    Alright, just a couple more questions. First off, who killed Asmodean? [laughter]

    Maria Simons

    I did! [laughter]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Maria did.

    VIRGINIA

    Robert Jordan killed him, actually.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yup.

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  • 22

    Spencer Powell

    And secondly, I had forgotten about this until I checked my Twitter earlier this morning, but today actually is the anniversary of the passing of Robert Jordan…

    Maria Simons

    The third, yes.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh! I had forgotten that myself. That's scary.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yeah. So, first off I think we should probably take a real quick moment of silence, and then after that, Maria and Alan, if you two would like to say something, anything to commemorate it for the podcast, we will get this out shortly so it won't be outdated. So, just a couple of seconds, and then if you two would like to say something.

    MARIA SIMONS

    "He came like the wind, like the wind touched everything, and like the wind was gone." And I miss him still.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Very much.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I think we all do.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Very much missed.

    MARK

    As do we all.

    VIRGINIA

    Well, there will never be another like him. That's all I can say.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    And I should say, that's the first time I've ever heard anyone purposely have silence on the radio.

    VIRGINIA

    Well, it'll be a first, I suppose. I think I've heard it done before, but...

    MARK

    We've done it before.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Really?

    VIRGINIA

    Ah, yeah.

    MARK

    Like when we first found out about his passing, we had a quick—like very, very fast…

    SPENCER POWELL

    We had a quick recorded moment of silence.

    MARK

    …and we had a quick moment of silence, exactly.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Hmm. Sweet.

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    Mark

    What has been the most enjoyable part of working on the Wheel of Time?

    Maria Simons

    Damn near all of it? Um…[laughter]…seriously.

    VIRGINIA

    You can tell us 'read and find out' on that one. [laughs]

    MARIA SIMONS

    You know, I came in and I started this job—it's been almost fifteen years now—and I came in and I was not helping with the books at all; I was doing fan mail and filing, and about that time they decided to do the audiobooks, and they were doing them, you know, male and female, and Jim looked at me one day and said, "They're doing male and female; I need somebody to read the books and mark when it changes from male to female point of view. Can you do that?" And I'm like, "Uh-huh, uh-huh! Get paid to read the Wheel of Time?" I mean, I was a big fan before I started the job, you gotta understand…so it's like, this is, you know, a dream come true. I'm getting paid to read the Wheel of Time. It's just so great. And Jim…he was just so much fun. He would come in in the morning, singing, and forget I was here and set the alarm so I would step out of my office and set it off, and the police would come. [laughter] He knew everything. I mean, he just knew so much, talking with him was, was…wonderful. And Harriet is just an amazing lady, and Brandon is way cool. I mean, this job is a dream. I love it. And I get to talk to great people like you guys, and go to cons.

    ANDREW GELOS

    Can I tell you how extremely jealous I am of you right now?

    VIRGINIA

    Oh yeah.

    MARIA SIMONS

    I'm sorry!

    VIRGINIA

    Jealous enough to turn to the Dark One! [laughter]

    SPENCER POWELL

    Perfect servant! Perfect servant.

    MARK

    What about you, Alan?

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Well, I've been here, I guess, a little over nine years at this point, and just to back up what Maria said, you know, just being able to hang out with Jim and work with him on a daily basis was such a great kick. We're here surrounded by a physical representation of Jim's mind, in a way; there are 15,000 volumes in our offices, many of which are reference books, and it's just so wonderful to be able to, you know, tap that side of your mind. And Jim would ask the most obscure questions to be dug out in various places, and that's just such a great amount of fun for me, just digging out useless information of any possible sort. He would…you know, there are things that go into the books that are important to know about, and as you know, Jim was very, very fastidious and rigorous in his background of what he was writing about. If he wrote about blacksmithing it was going to be absolutely correct in all ways, as best as he could make it, and so Maria and I both became part of that process, just digging up a lot of things for him. So it's, you know…what we've got here is essentially a job where she and I come in 8, 9 hours a day, live in a total fantasy world. 8 hours, 7 or 8 hours are spent asleep. Much of that is very vivid dreams, so it's another fantasy world. That only leaves about 8 hours of reality that we have to deal with. And you know, we've found ways of making that kind of disappear also. So, it's great. I mean, I figure I'm living about 85% total fantasy at this point [laughter] so that's…it's a wonderful place to be. I'd recommend it to everyone out there.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah.

    VIRGINIA

    Unfortunately, there's something of a limit to the number of Robert Jordans that there are in the world, although that leads me right into my next question...

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  • 24

    Virginia

    Now that…obviously no one can fill the hole that Jim Rigney did. I mean, no one can take his place. But we have Brandon now, and you're working with Brandon, but now it's a long-distance relationship. How is that working out? And he's such a maniac for work; I cannot imagine how any human being gets the amount of writing that he does done, and all the other things that he does.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I'm convinced he's a robot. [crosstalk]

    VIRGINIA

    He's an android, yeah; he's an android; I'm sure of it. He's a big cuddly android, but I think, you know…really suspect!

    Maria Simons

    He's pretty amazing, I mean…but the work ethic he has is just incredible. I mean…The Way of Kings and Towers of Midnight, the same year. It's amazing.

    VIRGINIA

    I know! And Alcatraz too, I think…and a tour! Two tours!

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh yeah! Two tours, and a couple of cons—or more, actually, than a couple. But the long-distance thing…you know, living in the future makes it easy, and we actually, here, all of us, um…older farts in Charleston made the jump to digital editing for Towers of Midnight which made it a lot easier than The Gathering Storm when we were still doing everything on paper.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Oh, wow! I didn't realize you guys did that all on paper!

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh yeah…oh yeah.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I can't even imagine how complicated it would be to do it on paper.

    MARIA SIMONS

    It was pretty, uh…it worked. We got it done, but we made [?], and it was still kinda complicated because I had no idea how to do some things, and I have to email, and Peter—Brandon's assistant—would tell me how to do it. Peter's great; Peter is fabulous, and…

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I know; I heart Peter.

    MARIA SIMONS

    I wish I could have been at DragonCon, just so I could have met him.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, me too.

    MARIA SIMONS

    But, um…you know, it's…it works. You know, we've got email, we email back and forth; occasionally we do the phone call; occasionally we actually get together, and it's...

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Yeah, probably the most difficult thing is the time difference, and…not only is he, what, three hours behind us, but Brandon does so much of his work, ah, in the evening, and in the early hours, and consequently doesn't get up at five in the morning…

    MARIA SIMONS

    That's usually when he goes to bed.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    …and so, if he has to ask us something quickly in the middle of work, or if we have to ask him something quickly, you know, we might have to wait for one or the other to wake up and get to the office.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    He might as well be in New Zealand, as far as the time overlap.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Exactly.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah. But, you know, we made it work.

    VIRGINIA

    Cool. Well, I think Peter's probably got Dream Job #2.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, I dunno, how do you keep up with somebody who's like that? He's just…I mean, just talking to him in person—and I'm sure that probably Robert Jordan was the same way—I think it's a little overwhelming. There's so much creativity going on, and you can see that the mind is working so fast, it's almost like two or three different things going on at one time. And you know it's not, but it just almost seems that way, and you can almost get a little overwhelmed just trying to keep up with the flow of ideas, you know.

    MARIA SIMONS

    And that's very true, with Jim, and especially Jim and Harriet talking together sometimes. [Alan laughs] You know, it would be like, "Wow. What…what? Wow." Because they're just so incredibly bright, and it was just…very cool.

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  • 25

    Andrew Gelos

    Once again, I just want to thank Jennifer, Alan, and Maria for being able to join us today. It's phenomenal talking to all three of you; it is just amazing to be able to get to interact so closely with people who are so closely ingrained with the series. It's been a very true pleasure.

    VIRGINIA

    We sure do appreciate you coming out, and it's…

    Maria Simons

    It's been a blast; this has been fun.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    It's been an honor, and thank you so much for having us, and we hope to see you at one of the cons.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yes.

    VIRGINIA

    I hope so too. And we want to issue an open invitation, if you ever have, you know, any time at all, and you want to, we'll make it work if you want to talk with us again. Maybe after the next release or something…any time. Just…we'll make it work.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Okay.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Okay! And if you have a spare couch where you live…[laughter]

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I have a spare bedroom.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Yeah, if you wanna come to know where I know (?)…

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    It's a date.

    VIRGINIA

    I actually live in Nowhere, California (?) We're one of the last really rural areas in California; I joke that it's like the Two Rivers, only without the amenities. [laughter]

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Without the water.

    VIRGINIA

    We don't even have an inn! We have no inn. [laughter]

    MARIA SIMONS

    Wow.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Alright! Well, thanks so much.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Thank you.

    ANDREW GELOS

    Thank you.

    VIRGINIA

    We wanna thank everybody who showed up for this; we really appreciate it.

    ANDREW GELOS

    And thank you Jennifer.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Oh, thank you! Gave me something to do this afternoon besides beat my head against that paper I'm trying to write. [laughter]

    SPENCER POWELL

    Then maybe we shouldn't have…no.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I'm actually ahead of schedule on this paper, so it's okay.

    SPENCER POWELL

    Alright.

    VIRGINIA

    Well, anyway. Thank you Alan, thank you Maria, Jennifer, Mark, Spencer, and Andrew for showing up, and I think that'll pretty much wrap up this episode, so this is Virginia, saying "May the Light illumine you", until we meet again, or until Brandon gives me my catch-phrase in the Old Tongue.

    MARK

    Alright, well thanks again for coming out. For Maria and Alan; you guys have been great, and thanks again for having me on the podcast; it's always great to be here.

    SPENCER POWELL

    And until next time, may you find water and shade.

    ANDREW GELOS

    And for myself, Andrew Gelos, and everyone here at The 4th Age: Suravye ninto manshima taishite.

  • 26

    Announcer

    The 4th Age podcast is brought to you by Dragonmount.com. To contact us, visit our website: bit.ly/4thAge.

    AND NOW, FOR YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN...

    Maria Simons

    Want me to tell you about my dreams? I keep dreaming it's the Last Battle, and it's not just, you know, in the book; I'm at the Last Battle, and this is a recurring dream kind of thing, and like, one night was the Last Battle, and Napoleon showed up with his dirigibles to fight the side of the line (?), and we were trying to find out if they were hydrogen or helium, because it, you know, made a big difference.

    VIRGINIA

    Makes a difference, yeah.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    (?) talking to you…

    MARIA SIMONS

    Another night, Darth Vader—the original one, not Whiny Boy [laughter]—showed up to fight for the Dark One…you know, it just keeps going on and on, and it's fun. Sort of. Sometimes it's scary. There was one where we were fighting the Last Battle in a gated community, and Tam al'Thor showed up, and then we realized it wasn't really Tam al'Thor; it was the Dark One, and so we had to escape. And so we did, and then after that, here comes Wilson Grooms! And, you know, I love Wilson! Wilson is one of my favorite people on earth! And then we realized it wasn't really Wilson, and we had to fight him! And I had a sword, and I had to hit Wilson with—what looked like Wilson—with a sword, and it was just really scary! And unpleasant. And I was glad to wake up for that one...but usually they're fun. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    You must be a Dreamer!

    MARIA SIMONS

    Uhh…yeah, yeah; I dream. I had a dream once that...

    MARK

    I want whatever you're on. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah, I was just thinking that. Send it here immediately!

    SPENCER POWELL

    I think it's called Wheel of Time.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah.

    VIRGINIA

    Yeah.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Yeah.

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