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."
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Jordan knows about the internet groups, and even mentioned the recent split of the rawsfr-j from its parent group and said that is happening on a lot of other computer boards.
Jordan quoted the FAQ! Erica said the relevant part was from Novak, about Bela being a Darkfriend and attending the social. "The cloaked figure of indeterminate sex."
He is aware of us, and the Bela discussion. We had a rather long convoluted discussion about Bela and the Darkfriend social, which seemed to leave everyone else clueless, when I identified myself as a net.jordanite...
We complain about the Sweet covers. He complains about the German covers. (Well, not much. But one in particular had a naked woman wearing pearls holding back an army with a wave of her hand (The Great Hunt) and "I had no idea where they got that one.")
You don't want to hear about his British agent.
Some of the "Read-and-find-out-answers" are partly due to that there are things that might happen, not decided yet, in future books. He also saw it as a way to diminish the reader's reading experience due to narrowing his view of the future works. And he was vastly amused by our looney theories, especially the Bela Darkfriend one. Unfortunately, I missed telling him of the Demandred being Olver theory.
When told about the Bela in Lord of Chaos plot contest he said that he knew what Bela had been doing in Lord of Chaos. WARNING! Non-family newsfroup material! Quote made without consent from the Great Lord of the Dark! "I wouldn't quite call it lesbian bestiality. Rather a very close mutual friendship with a certain female in Salidar." [I wonder who? :-)]
—"I like the idea of Bela as a Darkfriend."
—"There is an alphanumeric code in the copyright page." He expects us to decode it shortly. Let's get cracking!
—"How do you know Mat isn't back as Cyndane?"
—"Any crazy rumors I can start on the Web are good."
Well there ya have it! Lots of good information here, the death of a faction war being among one of them. Also, I have official proof that Bela killed Asmodean.
For the personalization of my signing I put:
For Mason Matoyak __________ killed Asmodean.
Here's the pic of what he wrote: [Brandon filled in the blank with 'Bela'.]
Nobody showed up for the alleged Social afterwards. Perhaps some folk have forgoten their new Vows...
That's all I have. Pretty boring signing, really. Oh, I talked briefly about the Net with him, told him that we get more traffic than the main group.
He asked if I thought Bela was a Darkfriend, I said no, but ta'veren for sure. He explained all these references to the Tower lady sitting with him, but his wife didn't seem to be about.
Keith E. Casner, Officially Designated Nae'blis, So There
Back at work on A Memory of Light. May be the day to reveal a side-character's long-hidden motivations .
Do we get a clue as to whom this character is?
If I told you that, you'd be expecting it. I'm afraid it is a RAFO. This character HAS been a little suspicious.
Mr. @BrandSanderson please stop teasing A Memory of Light.
Sorry. Some people really want to watch the progress, and so I try to keep the posts as spoiler-free as possible.
This afternoon's "Brandon opens Magic cards as he writes" comes sponsored by Sarah Bartram, who sent the cards off my wishlist. Thanks!
The rare was this card (which is sweet, since I like zombie cards): http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=230786
Just wrote a scene with Bela in it.
This scene is one that RJ left instruction for in his notes; it gave me shivers when reading.
Okay, that scene's done, and it is beyond awesome. Over 3k done; opening another pack sent by Sarah B. ...Mythic rare! http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=247236
Will we ever find out whose voice it was at the end of The Eye of the World?
[pause] [in a sing-song voice] RAFO! (ray-foe)
Yeah, that's a RAFO. (raffo)
I figured, but I had to ask.
I wondered how long it would take.
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.
Oh, this will be fun. Let me see if I can get you another trial run here. Um...Asmodean? [laughter]
Yeah. Who's that guy?
He's toast, that's who he is.
No, Sammael's toast.
Yeah, I was going to say.
Well, I think he is too.
Um, if anybody sees the back of my car, they will see that I killed Asmodean. That's all I'm gonna say. [laughter]
I thought it was Bela!
I do like the 'Bela killed him' theory. That one is just insane enough to be true.
I like that Bela is the Neigh'blis. [laughter]
Terrible puns are always a good thing.
I love it.
And the master of the terrible pun is on this call.
In Jim's office.
Well feel free. [laugher]
I am, I am.
Pun away. Well, we've got two...you pronounce it 'raffo', right? Not 'rayfo'?
I say 'rayfo'. I don't know that there's a real pronunciation for that one.
She says 'raffo', I say 'rayfo', so let's call the whole thing off.
Yeah, well we got two right off the bat. I don't know what else we're going to....well, probably everything.
I usually save questions like this. Wait until the book is out, wait till it's been out for a little while, and then I can talk specifically about what was me and what was Jim. I don't want to predispose people so that they're thinking "Is this Jim's scene? Is this Brandon's scene? Well he said something about this, and whatnot." So the only thing I'm telling people, regarding his writing, is that I do have a thing from the prologue, each of the three have one of the scenes that he wrote for the prologue put in it, and of course the ending. And other than this, I'm not saying a ton about what is his and what is mine. Just wait until people have read the book, and then I'll start answering a few more of those questions.
Like I've down with Towers of Midnight and The Gathering Storm. I've been a little more free in recent times about what was me and what was him, and I'm still not very specific for you, I don't want that focus, but I will start answering more of those questions.
His last comment to me was, "I am going to leave you guys up in the air in regards to Bela." Since I hadn't brought up the subject of the B-one, I found this very suspicious.
PS This is from memory, not from tape.
Okay, okay. You've got a right to know. I'll tell just you.
It was Bela.
Ok, if you won't tell us, will you tell us in A Memory of Light?
I certainly intend to! I hope he left notes on it.
@Terez27 Do we know which character is dead by Harriet's choice?
Yeah. Harriet felt that we had painted that character into a corner, and the story demanded that conclusion.
Is that the GRRM moment? Or the character that was gonna recover from their injuries?
Character was going to recover.
She was right to make that call, but it does turn me into a liar. That's what I get for speaking too soon...
That does seem slightly ludicrous. I think the fanbase turned Bela into a bit of a meme.
True, but I will note that Harriet personally has a special fondness for her.
She has said that she would joke with RJ that Bela was the character based on Harriet in the books.
Harriet even has "Bela" in her email address. She took her fate quite seriously.
The average reader wouldn't even remember who she was. Weird this much effort was spent on her.
You think? Back when I was an average reader and hadn't talked about the books online, I loved Bela.
Egwene. After that, Bela. I'd promised she would live, but Harriet decided that I was cheating to keep her alive.
How long did it take you to write Egwene's death? What were your emotions then? How much had RJ written of it?
It was a hard one, to be sure. Hardest in the books. Had a long conversation with Team Jordan about how to manage it.
RJ had not written much of that sequence.
Why did Egwene have to die? Very sad.
I agree. But if you look at the arc of her character, you might begin to see why it was important.
Without spoilers, were there any characters you want to kill/save that you couldn't do to Jordan's wishes?
There was one. But it was Harriet's call, not RJ's, that ended them.
Who did you find hardest to kill?
Egwene by a mile. Followed by Bela.
Why did you kill Bela?
I tried to keep her alive! Harriet told me I'd put her in too bad a situation, and she needed to die.
She was right, of course, but it still hurts.
Bela's death was the runaway winner for most brought up subject, to which Brandon usually arched his arm across the head of Memory Keeper Aviendha, pointed at Harriet and said, "Blame her." At one point he said he wrote a scene where she fought back to life, but Harriet cut it. She overheard this, said it wasn't true and Brandon responded that he'd wanted to. He then said that he likes to think that when the Horn is called next one of the Heroes will be riding a shaggy, gray mare.
Two of the major character deaths in the final book were not in Jim's notes. One (Bela's) was mandated by Harriet. Brandon did not (and has not, to my knowledge) divulged which one was his choice.
Harriet named about 75% of the chapters in the series.
Harriet vocally re-enacted Bela's death-whinny from AMoL.
The panel spent an intense five minutes arguing about Bela's death. When I tried to suggest that we talk about the human characters who died, no-one was really interested. It was all about the horse.