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Your search for the tag 'arthurian legend' yielded 41 results

  • 1

    Interview: Oct 17th, 1994

    Viren R. Shah

    I'm sure someone's gonna post the whole interview on here, but I caught about 8-10 minutes of it, and I'll try and write down the points I remember [I was kinda occupied at the moment, so my recollection might not be too good].

    Robert Jordan

    RJ feels that the Arthurian legend is very obvious in WoT, so he tried his level best to hide it.

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  • 2

    Interview: Oct 17th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    He said that he used legends from several sources including Arthurian, Celtic, Indian, North American Indian, Oriental, [and some others which I've forgotten].

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  • 3

    Interview: Oct 18th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    Mat will lose his eye and Rand a hand: yes. (Did not ask right out. Instead, "Did you deliberately make Rand like Tew/Chew, the god of war who loses his hand?" (yes) "And Mat is like Odin who loses his eye..." (yup...but the Arthur parallels are spread around many characters. Merlin is Thom Merrilin, the Amyrlin Seat, Lan, etc...)

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  • 4

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1994

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Ben & Chris

    There is a big influence (already mentioned) from wide ranging source materials. This is a great deal of fun, tracking down all of the various sources whilst reading. Is there a reason that the Arthur and other Avalon legends are referred to so much. Gawyn, Morgase, et al.?

    Robert Jordan

    They really aren't referred to any more than many other legends and myths, but they're simply more recognizable to most Americans.

    Footnote

    RJ was probably hinting that the Americans are generally the least 'cultured' and the least likely to recognize the foreign legends he drew from, Norse and Slavic mythology (very prominent), etc. The Arthur legends are probably better-known elsewhere (i.e. Britain, France).

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  • 5

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1994

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Ami

    Hi Mr. Jordan and everyone. I was wondering about Artur Hawkwing. I notice parallels to the King Arthur legends in particular... But what other stories inspired this?

    Robert Jordan

    Too many to go into—truly too many.

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  • 6

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (21 June 2010 (Facebook))

    A fanmail tonight includes a request for Gawyn to die, and Egwene to hook up with Galad. At least it's not another begging for Rand + Egwene.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wow. I did not mean to start an epic Gawyn/Galad/Egwene/Rand thread on my Facebook, but I appear to have done so.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some interesting reading if you're thinking/talking about Gawyn as a character can be found here: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight—Wikipedia

    (from the comments)

    One other way to think of it is thus: The Wheel will keep on turning, and the Age that we live in (or like unto it) will someday arrive. Legends from what is happening in these books will have survived, and become the Arthur legends during our day. Or, in other cases, stories of other characters have survived in other mythologies. (Look up the Slavic god Perun sometime.)

    Perrin is not a god, nor is Gawyn the knight of that story I linked. But perhaps someone who lived long ago, in another Age, gave birth to rumors about a young nobleman who made a mistake, and bore the weight of that sin for the rest of his days. And that gave birth to stories, which in turn inspired a poet to write a tale.

    Footnote

    The writer of the fanmail in question posted and elaborated at 13th Depository.

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  • 7

    Interview: 2010

    Azral Hanan (2 August 2010)

    Why is the Dragon 'one with the Land'? Is it just due to him being ta'veren or is there more to it?

    Brandon Sanderson (2 August 2010)

    More to it. More about being the Dragon than being ta'veren. Who he is.

    AZRAL HANAN

    So it's more than a title or being ta'veren and Hero of the Horn? The Dragon plays its own unique role in the Pattern?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Note that Prophecy says that the Dragon specifically is reborn time after time.

    Azral Hanan

    RJ said the soul is immortal. But Hopper says dying in the Wolf Dream is likely permanent. Is Hopper wrong?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, for now. Ask again after the last book is out.

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  • 8

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (11 January 2011)

    I'm now onto the last part of The Eye of the World. I've mentioned before that I, personally, find this the roughest part of the entire series.

    FELIX PAX

    Worse than books between Lord of Chaos and Winter's Heart? Really?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, honestly. I've mentioned before I don't have the problem with those that others do.

    DOVI JOEL

    Do you mean roughest as in not well written? I love that part, I find it so epic (especially when the Creator talks to him). [Note: this is Dovi Joel's assumption.]

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    None of it is poorly written. In fact, some of the scenes—such as the Ways—are wonderful.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's just that it seems like we have a different book, with different goals, starting on us here.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The climax for The Eye of the World doesn't completely click for me. I like the Ways, I like the Blight, but the entire package feels too sudden.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    We spend the entire book with Tar Valon as our goal and Ba'alzamon as villain. Now, the Eye is the goal and two Forsaken are villains.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Personally, I think this is due to RJ planning books 1-3 as one novel, then discovering it was too much and creating a break-point.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To be fair, I feel I had some of the same problems at the end of Mistborn. Powers manifest that I could have foreshadowed better.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    One of the great challenges as a writer, particularly in fantasy, is to learn that balance of foreshadowing vs. pacing.

    BONZI

    And I would think, foreshadowing effectively vs. giving away too much.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, exactly.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (11 JANUARY)

    For those curious, I'm reasonably sure books 1-3 were one novel at first. Tom Doherty, CEO of Tor, told me in detail of RJ's WoT pitch.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He pitched a trilogy, but the first book ended with Rand taking the sword (that wasn't a sword) from the Stone (that wasn't a stone.)

    MICHAEL REYNOLDS

    The sword in the stone!!! How on Earth did I miss that? :shame:

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. I missed it the first time too. And things like Caemlyn, Egwene, Gawyn, Galad, Merrilin. I at least got Artur Hawkwing...

    MICHAEL REYNOLDS

    Ever feel like RJ removed any possibility of borrowing from any mythology ever again? He seemingly hit 'em all buffet-style.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Actually, I've felt that very thing.

    JAMES POWELL

    I'd heard that one reason that WOT is so long is that Tor asked RJ for "more books", and he thought they meant "more WOT".

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's not actually true, from what I know. Tor never pushed RJ for more books. He was allowed to what he wanted, as he wanted.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    People are noting George R.R. Martin expanded A Song of Ice and Fire also. RJ and GRRM are similar types of writers: http://bit.ly/e59ox0 Search for 'gardener.'

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm am more of an architect than a gardener. I do more 'gardening' on character, but I plan world and plot very extensively.

    FELIX PAX

    Did RJ have a cluster of concepts, themes or concepts written down in his notes? Mindmaps? To create his story's "garden"?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, many.

    FELIX PAX (17 JANUARY)

    What do you think of the literary method of foreshadowing by saying something is impossible to do or will not occur?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think it can work very well. RJ certainly did it quite a bit. You need to be somewhat subtle with it, though.

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  • 9

    Interview: Oct, 1994

    Dave Slusher

    Now, a lot of fantasy, and yours is no exception, deals with the idea of nobility. It's a very old tradition in fantasy going back a thousand years, to have the idea of someone of common upbringing that rises up to the leadership position.

    Robert Jordan

    Oh, further than that.

    Dave Slusher

    And your structure is quite similar to the King Arthur structure.

    Robert Jordan

    It's not only an ancient structure like that. It's in places like, oh, say a country that has a tradition of the common man born in the log cabin and rising to the White House. You know, anybody can be President. And in recent years, anybody has been.

    It's an old tradition, and it's not just American. I've seen it in Japanese and Chinese mythology and African mythology. In Asia and Africa, more often the fellow who's the commoner who aspires to greatness gets punished for it by the gods. It is more—I should say, not exclusively—but more of a European and Middle-eastern tradition that the common man can challenge the gods, the entrenched powers, and conquer, or at least work out some sort of rapprochement.

    And yeah, I work with that. I've tried to mine myths from every country and every continent. And reverse engineer them, of course. The Arthur myths, the Arthur legends, are easily recognizable in the books. I tried to hide them to some extent, but frankly Arthur is, I believe, the most recognizable legend in the United States. More people know about King Arthur than know about Paul Bunyan or Davey Crockett or anything that we have out of our own culture. But the others—myths from Africa and the Middle East, Norse mythology, Chinese mythologies—those things I could bury more deeply, more easily, because they're not very much recognized here.

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  • 10

    Interview: Jun 21st, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    He intentionally started the series out kind of Tolkienesque, so that readers would feel like they already knew the land somewhat. Then he deliberately deviated from Tolkien so the readers would not know what to expect. He tried to avoid too much Arthurian and Celtic mythological references early on because they are so well known.

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  • 11

    Interview: Jun 26th, 1996

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Brendan T. Lavin

    Mr. Jordan. I love your series, it is intricate and interesting. My favorite character (other than Rand) is Mat. People have speculated that Odin was the outline for this character. I see Chukullen (misspelled). Could you elaborate?

    Robert Jordan

    There are a number of characters reflected, mythological characters, reflected in each of the books. Because of the basic theme, if you will, of the books, that information becomes distorted over distance or time, you cannot know the truth of an event the further you get from it. These people are supposed to be the source of a great many of our legends or myths, but what they actually did bears little resemblance to the myth. That is the conceit, that time has shifted these actions to other people, perhaps compressing two people into one or dividing one into three as far as their actions go.

    So Rand has bits of Arthur and bits of Thor and bits of other characters. And so does Mat and so does Nynaeve, and so do others. And yes Mat does have some bits of Odin, but not exclusively. He has bits of Loki and bits of Coyote and of the Monkey King.

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  • 12

    Interview: Oct 18th, 1996

    AOL Chat (Verbatim)

    Question

    Did you get any inspiration from Arthurian legend?

    Robert Jordan

    Quite a bit, along with other Celtic myths and Norse myths and African and Middle-Eastern, and Hindu and Chinese and Japanese and Native American and even Australian Aboriginal. Plus some others here and there to tell you the truth.

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  • 13

    Interview: Jun 28th, 1997

    Ishamael

    How much of Jesus Christ is there in Rand? We have the wounded palms, side wound, crown of swords... How representational of Jesus Christ is Rand?

    Robert Jordan

    Rand has some elements of Jesus Christ, yes. But he is intended more to be a general "messiah figure." An archetype such as Arthur, rather than a manifestation of Jesus Christ in any way.

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  • 14

    Interview: Nov 1st, 1998

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Moderator (Call)

    What's his favorite sci-fi movie?

    Robert Jordan

    Actually...I think I have to go all the way back to Forbidden Planet. My favorite fantasy movie would have to be Excalibur. There are a lot of good science fiction movies out there, from Bladerunner to The Day The Earth Stood Still to The Terminator, but nothing can touch Excalibur.

    Footnote

    RJ referenced Terminator 2: Judgment Day rather blatantly with the 'new breed' of Darkhounds first encountered by Rand in Rhuidean, to the point that the fans often refer to them as T2 Darkhounds. There are two Excalibur parallels in WoT: Callandor and Justice.

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  • 15

    Interview: Aug 30th, 1999

    Question

    Where do you come up with all the names for the cities? Do you just pick them out of your head?

    Robert Jordan

    Ahh, yeah. And I admit to making lists. I read fairly widely and...Newspapers, foreign newspapers, foreign to me, to the States. The Economist and other magazines that have stories about other countries' news stories. And I'll see a name that it isn't the name that I want but I realize if I twist it and turn it inside out and tie it into a knot, it's a name that sounds very nice. It's the name I want. The same way names out of myth and legend that in some cases are twisted or turned or changed and others aren't. I figure that most of you are far enough along that you read, that you know Rand al'Thor, al'Thor, yes he is an Arthur analog. He is also a Thor analog. Some of you might not have picked that one up yet. And Artur Hawkwing is also an Arthur analog. Because what I've tried to do is not give you any sort of retelling of myths or legends but to reverse engineer every one of them so that I can give you some version of what might have happened and then have been changed by telling and retelling and retelling and retelling into the myths and legends we have today.

    Question

    On that point, the cultures from the books, would you say you've used cultures from today's society as a base for the cultures from the books?

    Robert Jordan

    Not a great deal from today's society, no. Not really. The Whitecloaks are based on any number of groups who knew the truth, who know the truth and they want you to believe the truth. They want you to know the truth too. And if you don't know the truth, if you don't believe the truth they'll kill ya. There's been a lot of them, all over the world. They're the basis for the Whitecloaks. The Aiel, for instance, bits of the Bedouin, bits of the Yaqui Indians, the Apaches, bits of Zulu, bits of the Northern Cheyenne, a lot of bits of my own. Some pieces out of Japan, some bits out of China. And then structure it together how these things have all...If all these things were true, all of these bits I wanted to have, and that culture lived in the middle of the desert, a very inhospitable desert, what else has to be true about these people. And thus I get the Aiel culture.

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  • 16

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2000

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Fetch

    Did you draw on folklore and mythologies for your books? Specifically, Mat as a parallel to Odin, with his spear that has Thought and Memory on it (Odin's ravens) and the distinct possibility that he's gonna lose an eye sometime soon?

    Robert Jordan

    I've tried to reverse engineer myths and legends. As if this was a game of whispers. By the time the whisper travels around the room it changes. The legends of the world today are what the last child said. I'm trying to remember what was on the original paper. Yes, Odin, yes Rand has Arthur in him. But the stories have changed so... So the legends are ultimately not at all alike.

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  • 17

    Interview: Apr 4th, 2001

    Aan'allein

    (And then the first half of my tape was gone, and I decided to save most of the rest for the audience questions.)

    Jordan mentioned all the different cultures and myths he used in WoT. That he'd mined everything from Europe and Asia and Africa etc...

    Robert Jordan

    [first sentence paraphrased...only started taping again halfway through this] I don't know how it is in other places, but the best known legend for the American audience, that I had in mind ... when I wrote this for ... that legend is King Arthur. I would imagine that more people know the complete story of King Arthur and Guenever and the round table and the whole nine yards than know any other myth or legend, or perhaps more than know all the other myths put together. Now there are Arthurian elements in these books, but I had to try to bury them, for that reason, make them not so readily apparent. And while I had a particular part of the Arthurian legend mentioned from the first book, it was not until the third book that people began to realize what it was. In fact my editor, who is my wife, and who is a very very sharp woman, uhm, had edited the book and was writing the first version of the flap copy for the book, when she suddenly shouted down the stairs to me (if you're young, forgive me):

    [loud] You son of a bitch, you've done it it to me again! [laughter]

    Because she had suddenly spotted, not until reaching this... not until reaching the cover flap, she suddenly spotted by a... chance connection of words, this one particular Arthurian thing. [Jordan never mentioned what this was, but the logical option is of course Callandor.] And that you see, to me it's very obvious that the Arthur legend and all of the others are in there. If you spend time on the net, you find sites where they discuss these legends. [People sitting around me knowingly chuckle] I have to tell you that if you visit any of these FAQs... I haven't seen one in a couple of years, but the last time I was sent copies, I've read the printout of the FAQ, and when I was through it. And about a third of the answers in there were correct.

    Aan'allein

    [Turned the memo off here, this is well known. I did like the way he phrased the other two points here though. Something about "the second part was going in the right direction, but somewhere along the way they spotted something pretty which they followed and never arrived at drawing the conclusions they should have. As to the third part, I think it was written by people who didn't read my books at all."]

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  • 18

    Interview: Apr 4th, 2001

    Question

    A question about how Jordan came up with his names.

    Robert Jordan

    Nynaeve is the name of the nymph who in some versions of the Arthur Legend, imprisoned Merlin. Amyrlin is of course a play on Merlin, as is Thom Merrilin, a play on Merlin, and Rand al'Thor is a play on Arthur, as well as on Thor, but then so is Arthur Hawkwing a play on Arthur, because as I said before it's not a retelling of the myths... As things are done by in the myth, in the legend, if things were done by one man, were actually in both done by several perhaps and had become inflated in time.

    But the names come from everywhere. I read the ... in the New York Times, or the London Times, or something mis-seen on the street, I see, I catch a sign from the corner of my eye, and I misread a word on the sign because I only see it out of the corner of my eyes. And I jot it down, because it sounded like a good name.

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  • 19

    Interview: Jan 11th, 2003

    Robert Jordan

    One audience participant queried if he wrote down ideas that interested him for possible inclusion in future books, and where did he find all of his character names. He responded that he used to keep a journal of ideas for future projects, but stopped a number of years ago because to cover all of his current ideas along, he would have to live to be age 350. He bases his character names often on myth, giving the examples of "Al'Thor" and "Artur Hawkwing" being based on King Arthur of Arthurian legend. Other times he sees a name in The New York Times or Wall Street Journal that sounds intriguing when pronounced, and he merely changes the spelling slightly to incorporate that sound.

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  • 20

    Interview: Jan 15th, 2003

    Question

    Is Rand al'Thor meant to be a Jesus figure?

    Robert Jordan

    Um, if you consider King Arthur to be a Jesus figure—the king who must die. [more, indistinct]

    Bradley Staples

    [I'm not positive on the exact wording of that question. It's indistinct.]

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  • 21

    Interview: Jan 18th, 2003

    Question

    How do you create the names for the characters?

    Robert Jordan

    (He said a really long answer, and I will summarize it. He basically takes names from legends and twists them, mainly King Arthur. The two characters that are based after King Arthur are Artur Hawkwing, obviously, and Rand. For example, the "sword in the stone." He says that the Wheel of Time could kind of be known as the basis of where all of the legends and myths come from. He said he tried to bury King Arthur very deeply, because if people thought that The Eye of the World was just another King Arthur book, nobody would buy it.)

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  • 22

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2004

    San Diego, CA

    I've noticed that many names, items, etc. are similar, if not the same, as what could be found in material relating to the Holy Grail and other subject matter relating to Catholicism, the Crusades, etc. Is this coincidence or intentional?

    Robert Jordan

    It's intentional. I have intended from the beginning that these books should be a sort of source for all of our legends and myths. That is the conceit that I'm playing with here.

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  • 23

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    ComicCon Reports (Paraphrased)

    Robert Jordan

    Character names—they come from all sorts of places. Some come from historical and mythological references, e.g., Rand al'Thor comes partly from Arthur and Thor. Artur Hawkwing is also from Arthur. Nynaeve is also a direct mythological name if you know the right version of the right myth. Other names are tweaks of foreign names he's seen that piqued his interest.

    Cool moment from the book signing. An artist brought in a drawing of a Maiden of the Spear and asked RJ to name her! He thought for a few moments, then wrote "Ahrmin" on the print.

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  • 24

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Matt Hatch

    Skipped [transcription of] question to Harriet about how Jordan may have tricked her in the past, as he has done to his readers about where he was going with something or another.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    She focused on two incidents when he tricked her with the books. She made a point about the 'Sword in the Stone' coming to her after having read the entire book. She didn't make the connection to Arthurian legend until she was writing the flap cover [of The Dragon Reborn].

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  • 25

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    Going back to mythology and the way that you reference everything from the western European triple goddess through Arthur to the oriental warrior ethos and everything in between. I was wondering if you could speak to what drew you to any of those particular aspects that you synthesized into this universe, and was this kind of synthesis something you deliberately set out to do?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, I found them all interesting, is what directed me to them. There are many books which are based upon one myth, or perhaps I should say one country's myths. There are many Arthurian novels, there are many novels based on one continent or another, one nation or another. A few, I don't know too many based on Chinese or Japanese mythologies, but there are some. It seemed to me within the borders of the United States, I could find representatives of almost every culture of the world, not just one or two, I could find perhaps communities, and given that, it seemed to me a truly American fantasy would be based on the myths of every possible culture that could be included, so I went gathering. As I say, I was fascinated by many of these myths beforehand, but, myths and legends, and I went hunting for what I could use.

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  • 26

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 2 (Verbatim)

    Question

    Are your Arthurian legend parallels intended or were they written in and only realized afterwards?

    Robert Jordan

    They were intended.

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  • 27

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 2 (Verbatim)

    Question

    Did you intend to have an extreme tone of Arthurian/Biblical references?

    Robert Jordan

    Do I have an extreme tone of same? I thought it was a mild tone of same.

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  • 28

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 2 (Verbatim)

    Question

    Am I seeing things that aren't there, or are there several references to the Arthurian Legends in the Wheel of Time?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, there are. Among many others. The Arthurian legend is the most recognizable in the United States. The others are much less so and you don't pick them out as easily.

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  • 29

    Interview: Nov 15th, 2009

    Question

    What myths influenced Robert Jordan the most?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Native American and Norse mythology are featured prominently, but there are obvious influences from the Fisher King and Grail legends. Brandon also mentioned that Odin and Loki were thought to have originally been one person in the early myths, but was split into two. He noted that Odin had a spear and that Loki was pictured with ravens. Also, Brandon would sometimes ask Harriet about a particular passage and ask where Jordan got his inspiration. Harriet would pull out a book of myth, turn to a page and point it out.

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  • 30

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2009

    Question

    What medieval Arthurian texts were in RJ's library?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Harriet didn't remember anything specifically Arthurian, but there were a lot of books on mythology, religion, Asimov's guide to the bible, Norse, Greek, Cheyenne Indian. RJ wrote about the Cheyenne under the name Jackson O'Reilly. The Aiel are based on the Cheyenne.

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  • 31

    Interview: Apr, 2001

    Robert Jordan

    I asked how he comes up with names for all of his characters, and he gave a nice explanation, with some examples as well—like Nynaeve is directly from the Arthur myths, Rand Al'Thor is from Arthur (and from Thor), as is Artur Hawkwing, Merlin became Thom Merrilin and Amyrlin... He keeps a list of names he sees everywhere, in myths, street signs, newspapers, or things he misreads that might be nice for a name.

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  • 32

    Interview: May 19th, 2004

    Robert Jordan

    I asked him where the phonetic choice in the naming of characters, names, places came from, given that they are so "unheard of"; he replied that for some of them he got his inspiration from American "mythology" (...), as with Nynaeve which is the name of a really existed historical figure, while for other ones he created them out of nowhere, trying to keep consistent.

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  • 33

    Interview: May 24th, 2004

    Chiara Codecà

    A curios reader cant’t help but notice that the Forsaken are named after fallen angels and demons from the Judeo-Christian tradition. All the Wheel of Time series is full of themes and motifs from religions and myths from different parts of the world…

    Robert Jordan

    Oh, yes. I used Arthurian legends, Chinese and Japanese mythology, Indian mythology, traditions from Latin America and Africa. Some myths from Europe, but not much of Celtic because it’s been done so much.

    Chiara Codecà

    This means you’ve read about all of these subjects?

    Robert Jordan

    I read about everything. My knowledge is this wide and much less deep. I truly like to read about a lot of things.

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  • 34

    Interview: 1993

    Hailing Frequency

    In many places in "The Wheel of time," a careful reader will spot echoes of other myth cycles—the sword in the stone, for example. Do these things happen fortuitously or are they laid on in advance, intentionally as it were?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, they were laid on in advance. There are elements from Norse, Chinese, Japanese, and American Indian mythologies, to name just a few. I think it adds resonance to the story, although I've taken great care not to follow the older material in any slavish way. Occasionally, I will add in details here or there, and then discover that I have done something that is absolutely authentic to the myth I was working from. This is not automatic writing or channeling or being guided by something from the Great Beyond, it's simply that I have done a great deal of reading on these subjects and things bubble up in the back of my head all the time.

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  • 35

    Interview: Apr 21st, 2012

    Melissa Craib

    Melissa Craib, this year's JordanCon master of ceremonies, asked the Team Jordan members which parts of the story they had been surprised about.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Harriet told about an incident she has described before from when she was writing the blurb for the dust jacket of The Dragon Reborn and finally realized that RJ intended Callandor to be an analog of the sword in the stone. She yelled down to RJ, "You son of a ****, you've done it to me again!"

    Maria Simons

    Maria said that she was surprised... well, actually I've forgotten what Maria was surprised about. Maybe somebody else remembers...was it from Knife of Dreams when Semirhage blows Rand's hand off? That's what comes to mind, but I don't remember any details about why that surprised her, really, so maybe that's not it. :s

    Alan Romanczuk

    Alan at first said that he wasn't surprised by anything; he had figured it all out, of course. Then he owned up to being a little surprised about the scene in Crossroads of Twilight in which Perrin chops off the hand of one of the captured Shaido, because it showed the depths to which a person could go when pushed to the brink.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Peter said he was surprised when it was revealed that Demandred was... (yeah, he was messing with us).

    Footnote

    Nalesean at Theoryland pointed out that Maria said that she was surprised by the death of Rolan during the battle of Malden.

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  • 36

    Interview: Aug, 1996

    Hailing Frequency

    The last time Hailing Frequency had the privilege of interviewing Robert Jordan, he had just released the fourth volume of his vast fantasy tale, "The Wheel of Time." At the time, we asked him to give a brief summary of the story thus far. He laughed—it had already grown so complex that no easy summary was possible. Now with the release of A Crown of Swords, "The Wheel of Time" has grown to seven volumes. Since each new volume has leaped to the top of the Waldenbooks bestseller lists almost on the day of its release, it would appear that a remarkable number of readers are already familiar with the story to date. So rather than ask the impossible once again, we decided to ask Jordan about the project as a whole—its origins and its overall shape, as the author sees it from somewhere in mid-course.

    Robert Jordan

    "The Wheel of Time" is in effect a recreation of the source of legends. I gathered together a lot of legends, fairy tales, and folk tales from around the world and stripped away the cultural references, so that just the bare story was left. The I reverse-engineered them.

    You might recall a game: I've heard it called "Whispers," I've heard it called "Telephone"—a child's game. If you remember, the last child in the row stood up and said aloud, and what actually happened is what's on the piece of paper. So I've reverse-engineered to try and get back to something like what the piece of paper says. King Arthur is there, but most people don't recognize him right off. And there are a lot of other myths and legends too, although King Arthur is the most easily recognizable. As a matter of fact, I was shocked that some people didn't realize that Arthur was in the books until they read the third volume.

    The story begins with The Eye of the World. That's the first book. And it begins in a very pastoral setting, with people who are very...well, innocent is the word. They are rural, they are themselves pastoral. And I tried to make the beginning almost Tolkienesque, as a homage, and as a way of saying, "This is the foundation that we're all jumping off from." But it begins to change, because I'm not trying to do a Tolkien pastiche in any way. And as we leave that pastoral setting, things begin to change. You begin to move away from the style of Tolkien. The characters begin to learn more about the world. They become more sophisticated, in the sense of having more knowledge, and thus they see the world in a more sophisticated way. They're not as innocent, as time goes on, as the books go on, as they were in the beginning. And so the tone of the books changes slightly with their worldview.

    As to where the books are going—I know that exactly. I've known it from the beginning. I've known from the beginning what the last scene of the last book was going to be. I know how I intend to tie up the major threads. I know who's going to be alive, who's going to be dead, who's going to be married to whom, all these things. I know the details. I could have sat down six or seven years ago, and written the final scene of the books. And there wouldn't be a great deal of difference in what I'd write when I actually do reach that point.

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    Interview: Mar 15th, 2003

    M. L. Van Valkenburgh

    Unlike Tolkien, it is difficult if not impossible to pin down particular mythic traditions in Jordan's work. Tolkien made no secret of his interest in ancient British and Norse mythology—indeed, Frodo is named for a Norse hero. But although there are some typical hero features to Rand al'Thor, Jordan's main character, who, interestingly, makes only brief appearances in this latest book, the other leading characters don't have perceivable mythological analogs.

    Robert Jordan

    When this is brought to his attention, Jordan chuckles. "Then I've done it correctly. I was terrified various bits of mythology would be too obvious. I wanted it to be bits and pieces. I certainly didn't want to do any simply lifting of myths or legends. There are hundreds of books on King Arthur. There doesn't need to be another one."

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  • 38

    Interview: Jan 12th, 2013

    Question

    Seems like RJ was a King Arthur fan? Names seem so familiar.

    Harriet McDougal

    It was consciously done.

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  • 39

    Interview: Feb 15th, 2013

    GardenGnome

    (Concerning the crystals collapsing into the hill after the battle) Have you heard of a myth about Merlin in a crystal cave and the Holy Grail? We all know what its other name is.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes but there are many layers there. The sa'angreal was shaped like a cup (-which I did notice earlier-). And Bao the Wyld, think about the name, it sounds like Beowulf (-looks like I should read that for more theorizing-).

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    Interview: Feb 20th, 2013

    Question

    The [offscreen] conversation between Tuon and Hawkwing, can you tell us anything about that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can tell you that it did take place, and that Hawkwing is more inclined to agree with what's going on in Seanchan than I think what fans expect him to be. Now, remember that Hawking was not fond of Aes Sedai. Part of that was not his fault, but he was not fond of them. He is not just King Arthur, he is Alexander the Great. King Arthur ruled through justice. Artur Hawkwing ruled through justice and ruthlessness. It will certainly be a conversation filled with emotion and passion, but I don't think everyone expecting Hawkwing to take their side is understanding who Artur Hawkwing is.

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