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Your search for the tag 'chinese whispers' yielded 25 results

  • 1

    Interview: Jan, 1991

    Starlog Interview (Verbatim)

    William B. Thompson

    He doesn't see the world he elaborates as unreal. Far from it.

    Robert Jordan

    "It exists in our past and our future. These were our legends, but because time is a wheel—according to Hindu legend—we are the seeds of their myths. Because it is a real world in my books, they have certain degrees of technology. The time in which the characters live is our future and our past. Part of what I'm exploring here is what the nature and source of our myths might be."

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  • 2

    Interview: Nov, 1993

    Trinity College Q&A (Paraphrased)

    Robert Jordan

    He talked for a while about 'reverse engineering' various mythos, removing the culture-specific elements and combining the stories, giving the example of the Wolfbrother idea, which was derived partly from the Native American Coyote trickster/savior figure, of whom both Mat and Perrin reflect aspects.

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  • 3

    Interview: Oct 17th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    As regards Randland being the future/part of our world, he made a reference to the game 'Chinese Whispers'. He said that, like in the game, the happenings of our time/age will be changed/twisted [my words] into Randland's myths, and similarly the occurrences in Randland will/have become our myths.

    He also mentioned the fact that he tried to 'reverse-engineer' [his word] the current myths that we have into WoT's happenings/history, and our history into WoT's myths.

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  • 4

    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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  • 5

    Interview: Jun 16th, 1995

    Karl-Johan Norén

    The major theme he tried to put forward in the WoT books he saw as the nature of information:

    Robert Jordan

    "Information changes, over time, distance and perception. Only way to see the truth is to oneself experience the event, but even then every person perceives it differently". Knowledge and information has an inherent mutability. The example he brought up was Birgitte's living of the history, apart from reading it, and the very different views it brought.

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  • 6

    Interview: Nov 14th, 1998

    Matthew Hunter

    Where did ideas come from?

    Robert Jordan

    What if you were tapped on the shoulder and told you had to save the world?

    What are the sources of myths? "Reverse-engineered" legends.

    The game of "telephone". (He calls it "whisper").

    Proud of the little things that slip up on you, like Callandor being "the Sword in the Stone."

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  • 7

    Interview: Mar, 2000

    Question

    Where did the idea of the Wheel of Time come from?

    If you mean simply the concept of time as a wheel, that comes from the Hindu religion, though many cultures have or had a cyclical view of the nature of time. If you mean the books, then the idea came from many things. From wondering what it really would be like to be tapped on the shoulder and told, "You were born to save mankind. And, by the way, you’re supposed to die in the end, it seems." I wondered what a world might be like where the feminist movement was never necessary simply because no one is surprised to see a woman as a judge or ruler, a wagon driver or a dock hand. There’s still some surprise at a woman as a soldier—a matter of upper body strength, and weapons that need upper body strength—but by and large, the question of a woman not being able to do a job just doesn’t arise. I wondered what it wold be like if the "wise outsider" arrived in a village and said, "You must follow me on a great quest," and the people there reacted the way people really react when a stranger shows up and offers to sell them beachfront property at incredibly low prices. I wondered about the source of legends, about how events are distorted by distance—either spatial or temporal—about how any real events that might have led to legends would probably be completely unrecognizable to us. This is getting entirely too involved, so let’s just say that the books grew out of forty-odd years of reading everything I could get my hands on in any and every subject that caught my interest.

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  • 8

    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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  • 9

    Interview: Dec, 2000

    Orbit Interview (Verbatim)

    Orbit

    What started you down the road that led to writing The Eye of the World?

    Robert Jordan

    A number of idle speculations that percolated around in the back of my head. I thought about what it really would be like—really—to be tapped on the shoulder and told that you had been born to save humanity. Even if the danger was real and imminent and everyone knew that someone was...scheduled, you might say...to show up and take care of matters, how would they react when that someone stood up and said here I am? I was thinking about the distortion of information over distance, whether distance in space or in time, and how that applied to both history and legends. The further you are from an event, the less likely you are to know what really happened. I was thinking about what the world would be like if there had never been any need for a struggle for women's rights, or if that struggle had taken place so long ago that it just wasn't relevant any longer. No one thinks it's odd to see women as high ranking politicians, or working on the docks. No one ever thinks that something is or isn't a suitable job for a woman. There were fifty or more lines of thought, and suddenly I saw, in rough form, what turned out to be the final scene of the last book of the Wheel. When I realized that that was what it was, a conclusion, all I had to do was figure out where to start from and how to get from A to Z.

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  • 10

    Interview: Dec 12th, 2000

    CNN Chat (Verbatim)

    E_Tej

    I see that many of the story lines are derived (from) mythology around the world. Which culture do you draw from more?

    Robert Jordan

    I'm not certain that I draw from any one culture more than others. Many myths and legends of many different cultures are really the same story when you get to the heart of it. They are often cultural cautionary tales about how we should behave and how we should live.

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  • 11

    Interview: Dec 12th, 2000

    CNN Chat (Verbatim)

    Sil7ver

    Is it true that many of your characters are based on Norse mythos?

    Robert Jordan

    Not many. Some. And no character is purely based on one myth or one legend.

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  • 12

    Interview: Jan, 2001

    SFBC

    I've read your Conan books. I've read The Wheel of Time series, all of it to date. I'm almost finished with your last one, Winter's Heart. How do you do it? How did you come up with such a huge project?

    Robert Jordan

    I had a lot of different ideas perking in the back of my head about the distortion of information. Whether you are distant from an event in time or in space, it doesn't matter. The further you are from the event, the less likely you are to know it actually happened.

    At the same time, I was thinking about the source of legends, that some of them must be connected to actual events, actual people, but of course, would be distorted in that way by being passed orally for generations perhaps, before they were written down. Perhaps for hundreds of years.

    I was thinking about what it would really be like to be tapped on the shoulder and told you were born to be the salvation of mankind, and oh, by the way, you'll probably have to die in the end...There's no rule book, kid, and you can't get out of the game. You've been drafted so get in there and win one for the Gipper.

    And there were a lot of things perking around. The only odd point is, I guess, is that really at the same time, I thought of what had come to be the last scene of the last book and it seemed to me that it was very interesting, and I wanted to figure out how I could get to that last scene. After a number of years of poking this around in my head, I had a rough outline of The Wheel of Time.

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  • 13

    Interview: May, 2001

    Question

    At one point in the story we see Ishamael talking to Rand, and telling him that they have fought countless times in the past, but this is the final time. Is there anything about his Age that makes it special?

    Robert Jordan

    "No...every Age is repeated, there is nothing that makes this age any different from any other turnings of the Wheel. The Wheel is endless."

    SORILEA

    This leads me to believe that this will not be the LAST BATTLE ever. It probably just comes about every turning of the Wheel, and since it has been such a long time ago, no one ever remembers it.

    ROBERT JORDAN

    RJ explained that that is what a lot of the WOT is about, the source of Legends, and how some legends are based in such a small bit of real history, that no one really knows where they came from. If they are real, or just made up.

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  • 14

    Interview: Apr 6th, 2001

    Genoveva

    Mr. Jordan, do you weave (existing) mythology or archetypes in your books?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, I weave existing mythology into my books but I reverse engineer it rather than simply retell.

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  • 15

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    And there is the Ring of Tamyrlin. It's just a signet ring, or . . . ?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out. Again, this is something I don't know whether I'm going to put it in or not.

    Question

    Okay.

    Robert Jordan

    But you see there are things that I might want to put in, I might want to use, and giving you the answer lets it out and means I might as well not use it because . . .

    Question

    It's more interesting.

    Question

    Does Telamon mean "dragon" or does it mean "Kinslayer" or is it something else?

    Robert Jordan

    What? In Lews Therin Telamon? No, no. It means something else. That's his name. Lews Therin is the name he was born with. Telamon, a name he was given later.

    Question

    It does not mean dragon?

    Robert Jordan

    It does not mean dragon, no.

    Question

    And are dragons definitely not the same as raken and to'raken?

    Robert Jordan

    Definitely not. Definitely not.

    Harriet McDougal

    Oh that's an interesting question.

    Question

    But, I mean the name [sounds?] the same. . .

    Robert Jordan

    But no, they're definitely not. They're definitely not.

    Harriet McDougal

    They're flying creatures.

    Question

    They're like a dragon image.

    Robert Jordan

    Yeah, I know they are somewhat of a dragon image. But no, they're definitely not.

    Harriet McDougal

    Oh, cool. That's a wonderful thing to have noticed. That's great.

    Robert Jordan

    Although who can say what may be said in the next Age? Remember, things get repeated, things get distorted. And what the next Age believes is true history of a previous Age may not be in any way close to what actually happened. So who knows?

    Question

    So was . . .  In the Age of Legends, a dragon was a completely symbolic thing? It did not refer to an actual creature?

    Robert Jordan

    Not to an actual creature. But beyond that, read and find out.

    Question

    Did they have dragons like . . . ?

    Robert Jordan

    No, it was symbolic at that time. There were no dragons flying around in the Age of Legends, no.

    Question

    And did they have [inaudible...]

    Robert Jordan

    They named this man the dragon as a symbol. And his banner was a dragon as a symbol.

    Question

    [inaudible]

    Robert Jordan

    No, that . . . I think you better read and find out.  Again, I don't know if I'm going to use it, but I don't want to put out too much.

    Question

    So if you don't use it, after you finish the series, we come back to this question.

    Robert Jordan

    Okay, okay.

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  • 16

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    There is a widespread debate on the internet: you mentioned some tales of times like Mosk and Merk...does it have any connection with America and Moscow?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes. I thought that one was very obvious.

    Question

    (various mumblings about Anla)

    Harriet McDougal

    Anla, the Wise Counselor, she was the most popular advice columnist in the United States. Do you know Abby and Ann[?]? You write to the paper with a problem, you know, "What shall I do?", and she tells you. But her name was Ann Landers.

    Robert Jordan

    And she was the most widely distributed advice columnist for what? 40 years? In the United States, and syndicated in newspapers all over the country. Anla the Wise Counselor was Ann Landers.

    Question

    We would never have guessed it.

    Robert Jordan

    No, but I try not to throw in everything that that people are going to guess immediately.

    Harriet McDougal

    And Salya?

    Robert Jordan

    No, let's not talk about Salya. [Q confused.] Salya, who walked among the stars? Lenn, who went to the moon in the belly of a fire eagle? Yes? And his daughter Salya who walked among the stars? [much mumbling] No, she didn't—she wasn't on the Challenger. Sally Ride was the first female American astronaut. So, that's Salya, who in this thing has become the daughter of Lenn, who was John Glenn, who did not go to the moon in an eagle, but flies to the moon in the belly of a "fire eagle"...

    Harriet McDougal

    [interrupts] And his relationship to Salya. That's how it works.

    Robert Jordan

    But that's the whole thing, in these books: it's giving you hints, really, and it was the way it was giving you hints, clearly, as to the way things are working in the books, that these are the source of legends, but it's not in any way a straightforward retelling. What two or three men have done will be compressed to make one story, or what one man has done may be split up into two different men—this part's given to somebody else, and that part's given to that one—and he himself is completely forgotten. I put these things there in a way as a clue, a hint to you: this is the way things are working in these books, this is what has come of things that are somewhat recognizable from our time. What myths have risen out of them? So, you see how the distortion has happened. What myths are going to arise out of the events of these books? It's not going to be just another telling of what happens in these books—it's all going to be twisted and woven together in ways that nobody who was there at the events would ever recognize.

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  • 17

    Interview: Mar, 2006

    Robert Jordan

    Before I start a book I always sit down and try to think how much of the story I can put into it. The outline is in my head until I sit down and start doing what I call a ramble, which is figuring how to put in the bits and pieces. In the beginning, I thought The Wheel of Time was six books and I'd be finished in six years. I actually write quite fast. The first Conan novel I did took 24 days. (I wrote seven Conan books—for my sins—but they paid the bills for a number of years.) For my Western, I was under severe time constraints in the contract so it was 98,000 words in 21 days—a killer of a schedule, especially since I was not working on a computer then, just using an IBM Correcting Selectric!

    I started The Wheel of Time knowing how it began and how it all ended. I could have written the last scene of the last book 20 years ago—the wording would be different, but what happened would be the same. When I was asked to describe the series in six words, I said, 'Cultures clash, worlds change—cope. I know it's only five, but I hate to be wordy.' What I intended to do was a reverse-engineered mythology to change the characters in the first set of scenes into the characters in the last set of scenes, a bunch of innocent country folk changed into people who are not innocent at all. I wanted these boys to be Candides as much as possible, to be full of 'Golly, gee whiz!' at everything they saw once they got out of their home village. Later they could never go back as the same person to the same place they'd known.

    But I'd sit down and figure I could get so much into a story, then begin writing and realize halfway in that I wasn't even halfway through the ramble. I'd have to see how I could rework things and put off some of the story until later. It took me four years to write The Eye of the World, and I still couldn't get as much of the story into it as I wanted; same with The Great Hunt. I finally reached a point where I won't have to do that. For Knife of Dreams I thought, "I've got to get all of that into one book: it's the penultimate volume!" And I did. Well, with one exception, but that's OK. That one exception would probably have added 300 pages to the book but I see how to put it in the last volume in fewer.

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  • 18

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2009

    Question

    Robert Jordan uses a great deal of mythology and lore in his books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    My answer is, I’m doing my darndest. One thing I love and always have loved about the Wheel of Time is Robert Jordan’s use of mythology. He doesn’t use mythology in kind of almost, how should I say, the bubble gum pop version of it that you see in some other fantasy works. There is a depth and a reality to his mythology that has always amazed me. One of the greatest concepts is what he says in that first paragraph: an Age long past, an Age yet to come. I didn’t get these things the first read through, I was a fifteen-year-old kid I didn’t know what’s going on. I didn’t notice the first time I was reading it that Buzz Aldren and the Cold War are referenced as mythological events in The Eye of the World. [...] I love how he’s used mythology as his history and just how Mat in particular but a lot of them are founding myths that become our mythology. I don’t know if you guys have read up on Odin and Locke. Go read up on the mythology of Odin and Locke. They were actually thought to be one person in all of the original myths. See the things attributed to them, including things like ravens and the spear of Odin and things like this. And then see what Mat is doing. The idea is that Mat is actually founding these myths and by the time our Age comes we remember Mat but we have all of this other mythology associated with him and we’ve forgotten that he was even known as Mat. That’s just genius So, I’m doing my best to continue that. It would be very easy to over do it in fan sort of a way. I have to be very careful to not put a reference to something like that in every chapter just because it’s fun. But if you search through The Gathering Storm you should be able to find a few things that are happening. Particularly, I don’t want to give any hints, but the things happening in Hinderstap were intended as things that through a lot of mythology later on become myths in our time. There are references to writers from our world being referenced in The Gathering Storm among books people are studying.

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  • 19

    Interview: 1997

    Laura Wilson

    Hi, This is Laura Wilson of Audio Renaissance, and I'm speaking with Robert Jordan. How did you decide to start writing the Wheel of Time series?

    Robert Jordan

    I began writing the Wheel of Time because a great many notions had been bouncing around inside my head and they started to coalesce. I wondered what it was really like to be tapped on the shoulder and told you were born to be the savior of mankind. I didn't think it would be very much the way it is in so many books where someone pops up and says, "Hi, I was born to be the savior of mankind, and here's the prophecy," and everybody says, "Oh well, let's go then." I thought self interest would play a big part.

    And, I was also wondering about the source of legends and myths. They can't all be anthropomorphizations of natural events. Some of them have to be distortions of things that actually happened, distortions by being passed down over generations. And that led into the distortion of information over distance, whether that's temporal distance or spatial distance. The further you are in time or space from the actual event, the less likely you are to know what really happened.

    And then finally there was the thought about something that happens in Tolkien and a lot of other places. The wise old wizard shows up in a country village and says, "You must follow me to save the world." And the villagers say, "Right then, guv, off we go!" Well, I did a lot of growing up in the country, and I've always thought that what those country folk would say is, "Oh, is that so? Look here, have another beer. Have two, on me. I'll be right back. I will, really." And then slip out the back door.

    There were a lot of things that came together, and even once I started, of course, a lot of things built in, and added in, and changed.

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  • 20

    Interview: 2001

    Thus Spake the Creator (Paraphrased)

    Question (How did the series originate?)

    To the books then. The Wheel of Time is a fantasy series epic in size and scale. How did it all begin—and what was your inspiration for it?

    Robert Jordan

    It's really hard to say. There's all sorts of things that come about before you start writing a series. You don't have "an idea" that becomes a short story, or a book. A short story is maybe hundreds of ideas that have come together, a novel is thousands of ideas that have come together. But The Wheel of Time—I was thinking at one point about what it'd really be like to be tapped on the shoulder and told "You were born to be the savior of mankind. And oh yes—you're probably going to die in the end and no, you can't resign—it's your job, you're stuck with it".

    Then I had been thinking about the source of myths, the source of legends. About whether some of them might not have been personifications of natural events, the way we say some of them are supposed to be. What if some of them were things that people had done, and had simply been told and told until it became a myth and legend?

    At the same time, I was thinking about the degradation of information over distance. The further you are from an event in either space or time, the less reliable your knowledge of the event. Information inevitably degrades over distance, whether it's spatial or temporal.

    I was thinking about lots of other things too, and it began to coalesce. It was the beginnings of what would become the Wheel of Time. I let it mull over for four or five years, then I thought I was ready to sit down and write. But it took four years to write The Eye of the World because I discovered there were a lot of other things I had to think and sort out.

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  • 21

    Interview: Apr, 1997

    SFX

    There's one major problem with huge fantasy series—picking up on them halfway through. Robert Jordan has one word of advice for anyone who's considering joining his epic "Wheel Of Time" saga with volume seven, A Crown Of Swords (SFX16; B), now out in paperback at £5.99.

    Robert Jordan

    Don't! Start on the paperback of the first book The Eye Of The World. The characters are innocent at the beginning and you see the world in a certain way through their eyes. One of themes of the books is the mutability of knowledge—you cannot possibly know the truth of an event unless you were there to see it, and then you know only what you observed yourself. So the characters suspect that some of what they know is wrong, but they never know which parts are wrong. Each book changes the books before.

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  • 22

    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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  • 23

    Interview: Mar 15th, 2003

    M. L. Van Valkenburgh

    Jordan has written 22 books altogether under a couple of pseudonyms (Robert Jordan is a pseudonym as well).

    Robert Jordan

    "The Wheel of Time had been banging around in my head before I began writing. I was thinking about the source of legends. Where do they come from? They're twisted by time. We don't know what actually happened. It made me think of the children's game 'Whispers.' You know the one—the first kid thinks of something and whispers it to the next kid, and it goes around in the circle, and the last kid has to say out loud what has been told to him, and it's never what it started out to be. Myths and legends are what the last kid stood up and told."

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  • 24

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2013

    Question

    When Perrin asked the wolves to relay a message, was that the greatest game of Telephone ever played?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It probably was the case! They would call it something different, because they didn't have telephones.

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