Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.
2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
Logged In (0):
Newest Members:johnroserking, petermorris, johnadanbvv, AndrewHB, jofwu, Salemcat1, Dhakatimesnews, amazingz, Sasooner, Hasib123,
I had one last pronunciation—and unfortunately I had my thing muted at the moment—but is it ah-SHAHN-dah-RYE? (ashandarei)
Oh! I didn't think of that one. [crosstalk]
So, I didn't get to ask many questions. I spent lunch with Brandon, but pestering him with questions seemed inappropriate at the time and the Q&A was after his reading/book signing which I had to leave early.
But two things he did say.
One, recently he read an email a fan sent; this particular fan picked the right small detail. Two—I asked him regarding the big impact of the small detail and he said we have been discussing this big event, which I felt he implied that we (fandom) have been discussing this big event for a long time.
As to other questions, I plan to attend DragonCon, so I recommend we get a list of questions together for that event (still have three months).
Warning: Potential spoilers for the entire Mistborn Series, if you do not want to know, do not read ahead!
I was one of the Chicago Storm Leaders, and was able to ask some questions of Brandon before the signing itself, most everything was repeated at the signing at one point or another, except for one detail; Brandon mentioned a tidbit about Towers of Midnight.
There is a very small detail in books 4-6, not sure which one that will end up playing a huge role in Towers of Midnight (might end up being in A Memory of Light, but pretty sure he said Towers of Midnight). This is on a scale of Vin's earring in Mistborn, with how that was such a minor detail touched on in book one, and ended up being the key detail that saved the day in the end. That kind of small detail.
So, go nuts with your speculation folks.
"...including one thing is secretly hidden in the books for books and books and books, and I haven't been able to find a hint that any of the fan communities have even gotten a whiff it, which is awesome, because they get a whiff of almost everything. And it is really going to be a shocker when it happens, but it is going to be one of those shockers that people are going to slap their foreheads, why haven't we been talking about this for twelve years..."
So—while I find it hard to believe that none of us have found it, or discussed it even in our geekiest "out in left field" craziness, like Mat being the Dark One's Pawn, it sounds like something fun to be on the lookout for over the next year.
Seems to me almost insulting...if we don't or haven't found it.
Let me answer that in reverse. The whole fan name thing, where it came from is, I wrote the first book, The Gathering Storm, and I got several notes from Maria that said, "You know, a lot of your names don't feel right. They don't feel like Wheel of Time names." And it was one of the areas that, fans noticed it too when the book came out. I named people like I name people, and so for Towers of Midnight, I felt, "I need to radically change the way I name. I need to use Robert Jordan's methods." So while talking to Maria and Harriet, Harriet told me this wonderful story where...you think he named someone after...(to Harriet)...a washing machine, was it? You remember you said, like there's a little name on one of the washing machines...was it you?
The stove is a Jenn Air, and every time I looked at it, I would think of the Jenn Aiel. [laughter]
And at one point I was taking allergy medicine, and whoever considered Corianin's surname—Seldane?
And there's an Ogier St. in Charleston. And beyond that, Robert Jordan was naming a lot of characters in the books off of mythological figures, with some twists. And so I felt—I actually said, "I'm going to grab a phone book, and I'm just going to go looking for names and try and tweak those names to start naming in the Wheel of Time." And when I did that, I stopped and thought, "Wait a minute. I had a list of names; it's in the list of the names of the fans who were part of this one charity drive we did." So I just started grabbing their names; that's as random as the phone book for me, and that's where the naming [characters] after fans thing came from. It was me forcing myself to try and do something different in the way that I'd been naming.
Now, back to the original question, did I name anything after myself: Actually, there's a cameo by Robert Jordan in the books, of Robert Jordan. Do you guys know what it is? If you know, raise your hands. If you don't know...most of you do know? No, most of you don't know. There is a statue of Robert Jordan in the books. It is discovered among the ter'angreal that were originally in Rhuidean, right? Rhuidean? No, Ebou Dar; that's right, it's the Ebou Dar cache. See, that's why I looked at Maria, and I'm like, "Where did they come from?" And there's a man that has the contents of many stories contained, and that was described to look like Robert Jordan.
I gave myself a similar cameo to that, in that, one of the times when I was visiting Charleston, Wilson—who was Robert Jordan's cousin, and they were very dear friends, like siblings—was taking Robert Jordan's weapons collection, and figuring out what to do with, and he had so many weapons. [laughter] It was really awesome to go walking through his workshop, so to speak—where he'd work—and see all these weapons, and see all of the different versions of the ashandarei that he had, and you can just imagine him swinging them about and deciding how he was going to do this, and describing certain weapons. He had everything, and so he'd use it. And Wilson was doing this, and he said to me, "Brandon, go out there and pick one, anything you want. Go grab one." And so, I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that, stunned though I was, and I went out there and I found at the very back a katana with a scabbard that had a red-and-gold dragon on it, twisting around the scabbard. And I don't know if the idea for Rand's dragons came first, and then he bought the scabbard and the sword because it looked like that, or if that was part of the inspiration. I suspect it was the former, that he saw that and thought, "Wow, that's just like the..."
But either way, I picked that one, and then I wrote that sword into the books, which you will find if you look around; that sword is mentioned. So that's my cameo, is I put my sword in. It now hangs on my wall, inside a case—my wife had it, got a case and a little plaque that says "Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time," underneath. And it hangs on my wall with Robert Jordan's birthdate underneath it.
It was based on a lot of different languages. He had shelves and shelves of language books—every language, practically, known to man—but it was a lot of creativity on his part to put it all together.
Another fun story here. At one point, when I was visiting Charleston, I was talking about the mythological significance of certain things, and I'm like, "I can't figure out the mythological significance of the ashandarei." I knew pieces of Mat's mythological significance—not based on language, but the mythology—and Harriet said, "Oh, I know where it came from." She ran out to his library, selected a specific volume, came back with it and gave it to me and said, "It's this chapter right here." And showed me a chapter in that book that I could read that talked about the mythological significance of that specific piece of the Wheel of Time world. And so, there are all sorts of things like that that he used.