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Your search for the tag 'forsaken' yielded 116 results

  • 1

    Interview: Apr 20th, 2004

    Week 3 Question (Matt Hatch)

    There are many theories that attempt to create a connection of time duration to the transmigration of the dead Forsaken. Are there time and/or power constraints on the Dark One's ability to transmigrate souls?

    Robert Jordan

    There are definitely time constraints on the Dark One's power to transmigrate a soul. The soul doesn't have to be secured immediately—that is, the Dark One doesn't have to be ready to snatch the soul at the instant of death—but the longer that passes after the death, the less chance that the Dark One will be able to secure the soul. Someone who has been killed with balefire in actuality died before the apparent time of his or her death, and thus the window of opportunity for the Dark One to secure that soul for transmigration is gone before the Dark One can know that the soul must be secured unless the amount of balefire used is very small. Remember that the more balefire is used, the further back the target's thread is burned out of the Pattern.

    After the soul is secured, then a suitable body must be acquired and stripped of the (former) owner's memory and soul to make way for the favored one. By the way, what constitutes a suitable body from the Dark One's perspective is not that of the recipient. Certainly Aginor would never have chosen to be reincarnated in his, shall we say, less than imposing body, nor would the womanizing Balthamel have chosen to be reincarnated as a beautiful woman. It was only chance that Moridin ended up in a body that is young, fairly good looking and physically imposing. Those things simply don't matter to the Dark One. But the body has to be basically healthy and sound, and neither too young nor too old. After all, the Dark One wants his servants to be effective, and a body that meets those basic requirements is more desirable than one that doesn't. Since there is no stockpile of such bodies, the only way for someone to die and immediately be reincarnated would be a matter of pure chance. That is, the death occurred when a suitable body was on hand for some other reason.

    There are a few other limits and constraints, but I won't go into them here, since I may want to use them in the books, and I would rather they come as a surprise if I do.

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  • 2

    Interview: Apr 20th, 2004

    Week 15 Question

    What does the Dark One view as the worst punishment he can inflict on his minions: Killing them as painfully as possible? Balefire? Mindtrap? Being continually resurrected to suffer at his hand for eternity? Something we haven't seen yet?

    Robert Jordan

    The Dark One doesn't care about his minions sufficiently to invest much time in their punishment except as it serves to correct their behavior or as object lesson to others, nor is there much in the way of gradation. Simple failure and outright betrayal might be punished equally, or one might result in death and the other in becoming an object lesson or in something else. (The mindtrap, by the way, could be called an object lesson only to the one so trapped; remember, none of the Forsaken know who is mindtrapped except Moridin and those who are trapped.) The decision, death or object lesson or something else, normally would be simply a matter of whether or not he believed there was any point to an object lesson and/or whether or not he felt there was really any further use in the individual. Or, for that matter, made for reasons unknowable to a human mind. Remember, the Dark One is NOT human and thinking of him in human terms just doesn't work.

    But he also operates under a constraint that did not exist in the Age of Legends. At that time, about 3% of the population could learn to channel to some extent, though not all chose to—the training program took time, and being able to channel carried with it certain obligations that not everyone wanted to undertake—but that still meant there were, at a minimum, hundreds of thousands of people in the world who could channel, and more likely millions. A large pool of possible recruits. Break a tool or decide it isn't working right and throw it out, because there is an endless supply of similar tools waiting on the shelf. That might be said to have been his attitude. In the here-and-now of the books, that figure is about 1%, and of that 1%, very, very few have any idea that they could learn to channel, much less have any training at all. Here-and-now, the pool of possible recruits is tiny.

    Also, while the Forsaken themselves have realized that these primitives have discovered how to do things with the Power that they themselves cannot, or perhaps can once they learn how but never dreamed of doing until they found that the weaves existed here-and-now, they still think of people in the here-and-now as primitives, and their attitudes filter through to the Dark One, who believes that his people from the age of Legends are in all practical ways better—for which read better trained, more capable, and thus better able to serve him efficiently and effectively—than the people of the present time. And he is right. In a way. They are certainly better trained, with a much wider knowledge, at least in some areas. Some of their skills are absolutely useless in the society they are forced to live in. Aginor was a genius in biology and genetics, but in this world, he had no way to make the tools to make the tools to make the tools.... Well, you get the idea. Pity the poor chip designer dropped into the seventeenth century.

    In any event, the Dark One tries to conserve his resources, using and reusing those he might have killed himself, or ordered killed, in a time where there were thousands to equal them.

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  • 3

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 1 Question

    The Dark One has promised his followers immortality and power above all others on the Day of Return. In previous interviews you have said that this is within his power. My question is, will he? I mean, he doesn't seem very loyal or trustworthy to me. If (Light forbid) he breaks free, will he remember the "little people" or just destroy all the puny humans when he remakes the world in his own image?

    Robert Jordan

    That's the big question for the Forsaken, isn't it. Can they trust the Dark One? You're right; he isn't very trustworthy or loyal. Greed leads people to believe strange things, to excuse the most abhorrent behavior on their parts—just check out the nightly news for confirmation—and at the root, that is what motivates the Forsaken and, in truth, most Darkfriends. Greed for power, greed for immortality. That makes them believe, because they want to believe. So will he grant these things? Maybe. After all, he gains more willing followers, more eager followers, if he is seen to give rewards. But will he care whether he has any followers at all in a world where he is all-powerful? Flip a coin and check which way the wind is blowing. Maybe you can find the answer there.

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  • 4

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 6 Question

    How were the Gholams made? Were they created or bred like the Trollocs? How exactly are they controlled if they are immune to the One Power?

    Robert Jordan

    The gholam—singular and plural are the same—were created, not bred. Supposedly their creation involved making them so that they would be obedient to the Chosen, whoever they might be at any given time. This was an attempt at copying something that had turned up in Myrddraal, which seem incapable of disobeying one of the Chosen, possibly because of the use of the True Power in creation of the Trollocs, the parent stock of the Myrddraal. Even Aginor, who created the Trollocs, and thus indirectly the Myrddraal, was uncertain about the actual cause. (Becoming one of the Forsaken involves receiving a mark from the Dark One in return for your oaths; this mark is invisible and cannot be sensed by another human being, even another of the Forsaken, but it can be by certain non-human creatures, including Myrddraal and Draghkar among others. This may play a part in the Myrddraal's obedience but doesn't explain it completely.) This element in gholam has some flaws, however, as we have seen in a small measure. In any case, if I were you, I wouldn't try giving orders to a gholam unless I were one of the Forsaken.

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  • 5

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 12 Question

    In Winters Heart, you mention that back in the Age of Legends, there were several other Forsaken that the Dark One had killed because he suspected they would betray him. What's their story? Were those people ever as high ranking as the 13 survivors, or where they more like high-ranking Dreadlords then actual Forsaken?

    Robert Jordan

    First off, Dreadlords was the name given to men and women who could channel and sided with the Shadow in the Trolloc Wars. Yes, the women were called Dreadlords, too. They might have liked to call themselves "the Chosen," like the Forsaken, but feared to. The real Forsaken might not have appreciated it when they returned, as prophecies of the Shadow foretold would happen. Some of the Dreadlords had authority and responsibility equivalent to that of the Forsaken in the War of the Shadow, however. They ran the Shadow's side of the Trolloc Wars, though without the inherent ability to command the Myrddraal that the Forsaken possess, meaning they had to negotiate with them. Overall command at the beginning was in another's hands.

    Forsaken was the name given to Aes Sedai who went over to the Shadow in the War of the Shadow at the end of the Age of Legends, though of course, they called themselves the Chosen, and despite the tales of the "current" Age, there were many more than a few of them. Since they occupied all sorts of levels, you might say that many were equivalent to some of the lesser Dreadlords, but it would be incorrect to call them so. At the time, they were all Forsaken—or Chosen—from the greatest to the least.

    Some of those Forsaken the Dark One killed were every bit as high-ranking as the thirteen who were remembered, and who you might say constituted a large part of the Dark One's General Staff at the time of the sealing. With the Forsaken, where treachery and backstabbing were an acceptable way of getting ahead, the turnover in the upper ranks was fairly high, though Ishamael, Demandred, Lanfear, Graendal, Semirhage, and later Sammael, were always at the top end of the pyramid. They were very skilled at personal survival, politically and physically.

    In large part the thirteen were remembered because they were trapped at Shayol Ghul, and so their names became part of that story, though it turned out that details of them, stories of them, survived wide-spread knowledge of the tale of the actual sealing itself. Just that they had been sealed away. Other Forsaken were left behind, so to speak, free but in a world that was rapidly sliding down the tube. The men eventually went mad and died from the same taint that killed off the other male Aes Sedai. They had no access to the Dark One's protective filters. The women died, too, though from age or in battle or from natural disasters created by insane male Aes Sedai or from diseases that could no longer be controlled because civilization itself had been destroyed and access to those who were skilled in Healing was all but gone. And soon after their deaths, their names were forgotten, except for what might possibly be discovered in some ancient manuscript fragment that survived the Breaking. A bleak story of people who deserved no better, and not worth telling in any detail.

    Footnote

    The 'another' mentioned at the end of the first paragraph probably refers to Ishamael; there are hints in the BWB that he began the Trolloc Wars during one of the periods where he was free from the Bore.

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  • 6

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 14 Question

    If the Forsaken were sealed away in Shayol Ghul since the Age of Legends, with no contact with the outside world, wouldn't they be speaking the Old Tongue when they woke back up? How did they learn the Common Tongue?

    Robert Jordan

    They still do speak the Old Tongue among themselves, but the first two who were freed, Aginor and Balthamel, had been held very near to the edge of the sealing, the reason they were so visibly affected and twisted while the rest came out whole and healthy, and they were very much aware of what had gone on in the world outside. You might say they had floated in limbo while watching three thousand plus years roll by, with the ability to zoom in. That is probably the only reason they didn't emerge entirely mad. In truth, those two have a much better understanding of the current world than any of the others because they watched it forming. They don't have a complete knowledge, because they couldn't see and hear everything at once, but they have an overview that is unavailable to any of the others, excepting Ishamael to a lesser extent. But then, he's a special case.

    For the rest (aside from Ishamael), who spend those thousands of years in a dreamless sleep, the language spoken "here and now" was derived from the Old Tongue. I've heard the analogy used of a well-educated, highly intelligent citizen of ancient Rome needing to learn modern Italian. It would hardly be a slam-dunk, but he or she would have the roots of the language already. In the case of the Forsaken, the task is actually easier than that of the ancient Roman, since modern Italian is a more complex language than Latin, while the Old Tongue, as I have said time and again, is more complex and nuanced than the language of "today."

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  • 7

    Interview: Jul 19th, 2005

    Week 2 Question

    Is the mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran the same as that the Forsaken received from the Dark One? If so, is she now a Forsaken, or some sort of lesser Chosen?

    Robert Jordan

    The mark that Alviarin received from Shaidar Haran was not the same as that given to the Forsaken, though it shares one function: Shadowspawn will recognize her as belonging to the Dark One. They will not obey her as they will the Forsaken, however, but she doesn't have to worry about one trying to kill her, either. She is not any sort of lesser Chosen. You might think of it more like the tattoo some people get put inside the ear of their dog, an identification so others will know who the dog belongs to as soon as they see it.

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  • 8

    Interview: Jul 19th, 2005

    Week 5 Question

    Did the Dark One or Ishamael, either one, have a say in the placement of any or all of the other Chosen once they were released, or did they all just carve out power bases of their own choosing?

    Robert Jordan

    They carved out power bases of their own choosing based on various criteria, one of which I will reveal. (Others are definitely RAFO!) For the most part, Ishamael excepted, they set out to create worldly power for themselves using the methods they favored in the Age of Legends. That is, Moghedien worked from the shadows using subversion, Sammael, Be'lal and Rahvin attempted to seize control of national governments and so on. The theory behind this was that once the Dark One broke free, those with the largest worldly power bases would be rewarded most.

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  • 9

    Interview: Jul 19th, 2005

    Week 9 Question

    We've read in the Forsaken's POVs that channeling in the Pit of Doom would have some...unpleasant...effects. Is this related to the nature of the opposition of the One Power to the True Power or is it the Dark One consciously acting against the channeler? If so, why should the Dark One care?

    Robert Jordan

    It is a matter of the Dark One consciously acting, though interactions between the One Power and him, the source of the True Power, can be unpredictable. The Dark One is not pleasant. He is also highly distrustful. He...dislikes...things that happen outside his control or not at his order. Call him the ur-control freak. Combine these two facts, and anyone channeling in the Pit of Doom without permission can expect swift punishment on the assumption that failure to ask permission means you intend to do something he won't like. It isn't that he believes anyone can harm him, just that he is in charge, and your failure to ask permission, your presumed intention to do something he wouldn't like, means that your faithfulness quotient has just suffered a severe downturn. Myself, I'd sell you short in a skinny minute.

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  • 10

    Interview: Jul 19th, 2005

    Week 21 Question

    One thing that's always confused me is just why Dashiva/Osan'gar chose to attack Rand (with the turncoat Asha'man) when he did. The last time we saw Rand with Dashiva before that was when they went together (with Flinn, Hopwil and Morr) to confront Cadsuane, and there didn't seem to be any one particular incident that would "set him off."

    Robert Jordan

    Partly this was guilty conscience working. Even people who don't have a conscience can have a guilty conscience, the sudden conviction—as when Rand came on Dashiva and the others—that somebody knows what they are up to. Add to this that Dashiva was plain getting tired of trailing around after Rand, taking orders. He's one of the Chosen, and the Dark One reclaimed him from death, which is really good, but he's been stuck in a decidedly second-rate body and stuck spying on Rand, fetching and carrying like a servant as he sees it, with hardly even an opportunity to put a spoke in Rand's wheels except in very minor ways. How much better if Rand simply died.

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  • 11

    Interview: Feb 1st, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    Now about how evil the Forsaken are. I'm not really sure you define evil. Part of what I am writing about is just how ordinary evil is. In many ways, without the One Power, the Forsaken would be no more than Darkfriends, though perhaps a bit more than ordinary. True, their callousness toward the pain, suffering, even death of ordinary people, and the way they submerge everything and everyone in their own quest for power—and true immortality—their willingness to deliver the world to the Dark One in that quest, are shared by many who do not have their powers. The point is that they are human; they haven't gotten rid of human emotions, or human weaknesses except for a few physical ones. They are not gods, nor even demi-gods, though they seek to be and think they already are. But believe me, there is nothing they will not do to achieve their goals, no price too high to pay—especially if it is paid by someone else, or millions of someone elses. And Lanfear holding back and doing good for Rand's sake? Ha! She was psychically fixed on possessing a man who never loved her. Even with that, her desire for Rand was as much a desire for power as for him. To be the one to deliver the Dragon Reborn to the service of the Shadow; that would set her above the other Forsaken. And learning that the access ter'angreal for the two huge sa'angreal were still in existence....Sure, she wanted his love—not least because it had been denied her; Lanfear was a woman who claimed a right to anything she wanted—wanted his devotion, but even more than his body, Lanfear wanted power, the power possibly to replace the Dark One, even to replace the Creator. For Rand's sake? Not a chance.

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  • 12

    Interview: Mar 1st, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    Does evil need to be effective to be evil? And how do you define effectiveness? Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge managed to murder about 25-30% of Cambodia's population, destroy the country's agricultural and industrial base, fairly well wipe out the educated class inside the country (defined as anyone with an education beyond the ability to read; a good many of those went too, of course), and in general became so rabid that only China was willing to maintain any sort of contact with them, and that at arm's length. Their rabidity was the prime reason that they ended up losing the country. (though they are still around and still causing trouble.) In other words, they were extremely ineffective in attaining their goal, which was to seize Cambodia, remake it in the way Pol Pot wished (and still wishes), and export their brand of revolution abroad. Looking at the death toll, the cities emptied out (hospital patients were told they had one hour to leave or die; post-op patients, those still in the operating room, everybody), the murders of entire families down to infants because one member of the family was suspected of "counter-revolutionary" crimes, the mass executions (one method was for hundreds of people to be bound hand and foot, then bulldozed into graves alive; the bulldozers drove back and forth over these mass graves until attempts to dig out stopped)—given all of that, can you say that Khmer Rough's ineffectiveness made them less evil? Irrationality is more fearful than rationality (if we can use that term in this regard) because if you have brown hair and know that the serial killer out there is only killing blondes, you are safe, but if he is one of those following no easily discernible pattern, if every murder seems truly random, then it could be you who will be next. But "rationality" can have its terrors. What if that killer is only after brunettes named Carolyn? Stalin had the very rational goal (according to Communist dogma) of forcibly collectivizing all farmland in the Soviet Union. He was effective—all the land was collectivized—and to do it he murdered some thirty million small farmers who did not want to go along.

    But are the Forsaken ineffective or irrational? Are they any more divided than any other group plotting to take over a country, a world, IBM? True, they plot to secure power for themselves. But I give you Stalin v. Trotsky and the entire history of the Soviet Union. I give you Thomas Jefferson v. Alexander Hamilton v. John Adams, and we will ignore such things as Jefferson's hounding of Aaron Burr (he tore up the Constitution to do it; double jeopardy, habeas corpus, the whole nine yards), or Horatio Gates' attempted military coup against Washington, with the support of a fair amount of the Continental Congress. We can also ignore Secretary of War Stanton's attempts to undermine Lincoln throughout the Civil War, the New England states' attempt to make a separate peace with England during the Revolution and their continued trading with the enemy (the British again) during the War of 1812, and... The list could go on forever, frankly, and take in every country. Human nature is to seize personal advantage, and when the situation is the one the Forsaken face (namely that one of them will be given the rule of the entire earth while the others are forever subordinate), they are going to maneuver and backstab like crazy. You yourself say "If ever there was the possibility that some alien force was going to invade this planet, half the countries would refuse to admit the problem, the other half would be fighting each other to figure out who will lead the countries into battle, etc." Even events like Rahvin or Sammael or Be'lal seizing a nation have a basis. What better way to hand over large chunks of land and people to the Dark One than to be ruler of those lands and people? The thing is that they are human. But aside from that, are you sure that you know what they are up to? All of them? Are you sure you know what the Dark One's own plans are? Now let's see about Rand and his dangers and his allies. Have you been skimming, my dear? What makes you think the Tairens, Cairhienin and Andorans are solidly behind him? They're plotting and scheming as hard as the Forsaken. Rand is the Dragon Reborn, but this is my country, and we don't need anybody, and so on. And then there are those who don't think he is the Dragon Reborn at all, just a puppet of Tar Valon. Most of the Aiel may be behind him, but the Shaido are still around, and the bleakness is still taking its toll, since not all Aiel can face up to what Rand has told them about themselves. What makes you think the Seanchan will fall in behind Rand? Have you seen any Seanchan volunteers showing up? Carolyn, half of these people are denying there is a problem, and half are trying to be big honcho themselves. Read again, Carolyn. The world Rand lives in is getting more frenzied and turbulent. Damned few are saying, "Lead, because you know best." A good many who are following are saying "Lead, because I'd rather follow you than have you call down lightning and burn me to a crisp!"

    As for lack of challenge, I refer you again to the question about whether you really think you know what all the Forsaken are planning. Or what Padan Fain is up to. There is a flaw inherent in fiction, one that is overcome by suspension of disbelief. We do always know, somewhere in the back of our heads, that the hero is going to make it through as far as he needs to. After all, if Frodo buys the farm, the story is over, kids. The excitement comes in trying to figure out how he can possibly wiggle out, how he can possibly triumph.

    In Rand's case, let's see what he still has stacked against him. The Cairhienin and Tairens are for the most part reluctant allies, and in many cases not even that. At the end of Fires, he has Caemlyn, but I don't see any Andoran nobles crowding around to hail him. Illian still belongs to Sammael. Pedron Niall is working to convince people Rand is a false Dragon, and the Prophet is alienating ten people for every one he convinces. Tarabon and Arad Doman are unholy messes; even if Rand manages to get in touch with all of the Dragonsworn—who are not organized beyond individual bands—he has two humongous civil wars to deal with. True, he can use the Aiel to suppress those, but he has to avoid men killing men too much; there are Trollocs waiting to spill out of the Blight eventually. We must always remember the Trollocs, Myrddraal etc; the last time they came out in force, it took over 300 years to beat them back, and the Last Battle doesn't give Rand anywhere near that. Altara and Murandy are so divided in any case that simply getting the king or queen on his side isn't going to work; remember that most people in those two countries give loyalty to a city or a local lord and only toss in their country as an afterthought. Davram Bashere thinks Tenobia will bring Saldaea to Rand, and that is possible since the Borderlands would be one place where everyone is aware of the Last Battle and the Prophecies, but even Bashere isn't willing to make any promises, not even for Saldaea much less the other Borderlands, and I haven't seen any Borderland rulers showing up to hand Rand the keys to the kingdom. Padan Fain is out there, able to feel Rand, and hating him because of what was done to him, Fain, to make him able to find Rand. The surviving Forsaken are out there and except for Sammael, nobody knows what they are up to or where they can be found. For that matter, who knows everything that Sammael is up to? Elaida, in the White Tower, thinks Rand has to be tightly controlled. The Salidar Aes Sedai are not simply ready to fall in and kiss his boots, either. Aes Sedai have been manipulating the world for more than three thousand years, guiding it, making sure it remembers the Dark One and Tarmon Gai'don as real threats, doing their best, as they see it, to prepare the world for the Dark One breaking free. Are they likely to simply step aside and hand over control to a farmboy, even if he is the Dragon Reborn? Even after Moiraine decided he had to be given his head, Siuan was reluctant, and Siuan was in Moiraine's little conspiracy from the beginning. And the Seanchan...The last we saw of their forces, they were commanded by a Darkfriend. As for the Sea Folk, do you know what their prophecy says about the Coramoor? Do you think working with them it will be any simpler than dealing with the Aiel, say?

    Now, what and who does Rand have solidly in his camp? Perrin knows what is needed, but he's hardly happy about it. What he really wants is to settle down with Faile and be a blacksmith; everything else is a reluctant duty. Mat blew the Horn of Valere, but it's hidden in the Tower, and frankly, if he could figure some way to go away and spend the rest of his life carousing and chasing women, he would. He'll do what he has to do, but Light he doesn't want to. The Aiel are for Rand (less the Shaido, still a formidable force), but the Dragon Reborn and the Last Battle are no part of the Prophecy of Rhuidean. That is all wetlander stuff. Besides which, they are still suffering losses from bleakness, people throwing down their spears and leaving, people defecting to the Shaido or drifting back to the Waste because what Rand told them of their origins can't possibly be true and if it isn't then he can't be the Car'a'carn. Rand has declared an amnesty for men who can channel and is trying to gather them in; they, at least, should give their loyalty to him. But how many can he find? How much can he teach them in the time he has? How many will go mad before the Last Battle? There is still the taint on saidin, remember. For that matter, can Rand hang onto his own sanity? What effect will having a madman inside his head have? Can he stop Lews Therin from taking him over?

    I know that was supposed to be a listing of what Rand has in his favor, but the fact is that he is walking the razor's edge, barely hanging onto his sanity and growing more paranoid all the time, barely hanging onto putative allies, most of whom would just as soon see him go away in the hope that then everything would be the way it was before he showed up, confronted by enemies on every side. In short he has challenges enough for ten men. I've had people write to say they can't see how Rand is going to untangle all of this and get humanity ready to face the Last Battle. What I say is, what you believe to be true is not always true. What you think is going to happen is not always going to happen. That has been demonstrated time and again in The Wheel of Time. You could call those two statements one of the themes of the books.

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  • 13

    Interview: Oct 11th, 2005

    Question

    Did Be'lal's name mean "Netweaver" or "Envious"?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

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  • 14

    Interview: Oct 11th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    He noted that all of the Forsaken's Old Tongue adopted names would be translated in the Encyclopedia if not before.

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  • 15

    Interview: 2010

    Austin Moore (30 July 2010)

    Who would you say is your favorite Forsaken? And that's coming from you as a fan more than you as the writer.

    Brandon Sanderson (30 July 2010)

    Hmm... Ishamael/Moridin.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    Who's second strongest Forsaken after Moridin? Some say Demandred some say Aginor. Did RJ say in his notes?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 AUGUST)

    It IS in the notes, very explicitly. As for your answer...I'll see if we can get that in the Encyclopedia.

    Footnote

    The BWB says that Aginor was second-strongest of the male Forsaken. It also implies that Demandred is somewhat lower on the list than some fans expect, but since the Forsaken are all very close, it probably doesn't make as big a difference as some imagine.

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  • 16

    Interview: 2010

    Azral Hanan (11 August 2010)

    Are the Chosen aware of Taim's existence? They never address him even in their thoughts.

    Brandon Sanderson (11 August 2010)

    RAFO. (You totally knew I was going to do that.)

    Footnote

    In Kisman's POV (WH 22) we learn that Demandred ordered the renegades to kill Rand, but not to tell anyone of the order, including Taim. And of course, we know that Aginor/Osan'gar/Dashiva was aware of Taim.

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  • 17

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1994

    Question

    Can the Power really be used to make you different? [This arose as part of a discussion of Illusion ("Mirror of Mists" is an old name for the same thing).]

    Robert Jordan

    Illusion is illusion. Doesn't fool the sense of touch, so you have to be really subtle (such as Moghedien's disguise) to avoid detection.

    Question

    So Sammael couldn't make himself taller?

    Robert Jordan

    He could make himself look taller, but he's not interested in looking taller. He wants to be taller. Besides, any sufficiently experienced man would be able to tell that it was illusion.

    Question

    So the Power really isn't capable of genetic reconstruction? (Like, for example, making you taller.)

    Robert Jordan

    Maybe, in the Age of Legends, someone might have been able to pull it off, if they were really skilled. Might have.

    Question

    Like Aginor? He seemed to be the expert among the Forsaken on that.

    Robert Jordan

    Aginor was d**n good, but he wasn't that good.

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  • 18

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Austin Moore (6 January 2011)

    Who was the Lord of Chaos that Demandred and Taim both mention? There has been tons of debate.

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Really? I thought that one was obvious. What's the debate about?

    Terez

    It's Rand. Look in the BWB re: Feast of Fools.

    Austin Moore

    Why was Demandred and Taim saying, "Let the Lord of Chaos rule" if it was Rand? Sorry just read through series once so far :(

    Terez

    Here's a quote for you:

    The Feast of Fools
    Celebrated in Tammaz (in Arad Doman and the Borderlands) or Saven (everywhere else), the exact day varying according to locality. A day in which all order is deliberately inverted; the high perform lowly tasks (running errands, serving at table, etc.) while the low do no work and give orders to their usual superiors. In many villages and towns the most foolish person is given a title such as the Lord/Lady of Unreason/Misrule/Chaos or the King/Queen of Fools. Not an honor sought, but for that one day everyone has to obey whatever orders, however foolish, are given by the chosen one. (Called the Festival of Unreason in Saldaea; the Festival of Fools in Kandor; Foolday in Baerlon and the Two Rivers.)

    Matt Hatch

    I've always enjoyed this theory about the Lord of Chaos. It's fun.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a good theory for people to be reading.

    Terez

    YAY. OMG, that theory has been on the rocks for years because of contradicting tour reports.

    Terez

    Also, your tour quotes were vague enough to allow it but most people didn't see it that way.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't say the theory was true, just that you should study it. :) But I would like to see those tour reports.

    Terez

    Yes, yes. :) Also, your vague(ish) wording. And the contradicting RJ reports.

    Footnote

    Adding to Brandon's implications here is Sorilea's comment in reference to the balefiring of Natrin's Barrow, in The Gathering Storm Chapter 27: "We felt the world warping from here, but did not know what had caused it. We assumed it to be the Dark One's work." (Similar to the ripples Perrin and Faile experienced in Knife of Dreams.) This opens up the possibility that people have no idea really what they're talking about when they assume that the warping of reality is due to the Dark One's touch, just as Alviarin had no idea what she was talking about when she assumed that the rotting food was the Dark One's touch (Knife of Dreams, Prologue).

    Tags

  • 19

    Interview: 2010

    HBFFerreira (15 August 2010)

    Masema: was he being manipulated by a Forsaken from the start? His dealings with Suroth, and him not wanting to go to Rand?

    Brandon Sanderson (16 August 2010)

    Masema was not manipulated from the start, but once he was noticed as a potentially useful tool.

    HBFFERREIRA

    Both his dealings with Suroth and his mistrust of Perrin in The Path of Daggers were Forsaken-induced, right?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (17 AUGUST)

    Influenced at the least. Depends on how you view induced.

    Footnote

    This question was explored further here.

    Tags

  • 20

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    5. Re: the Forsaken working together. Do some reading on Hitler's henchmen. Also Stalin's, and Mao's. There are plenty of other examples, but these are probably the easiest to find. In each case you find that the fellows were out for what they could get and just as likely to try pulling down one of their so-called compatriots, or at least undercut him, as to help if that was the route to greater power. Check out Goebbels-Goring-Himmler and Beria-Molotov-Kruschev, for examples, these are much easier to document than that Chinese tangle.

    The question of what is evil is always difficult on the one hand and easy on the other. Is the sexual abuse of a child evil? I think that it is; I can see no excuse; I would offer no mercy. An octogenarian friend and I used to discuss the nature of evil, until he died. He would protest when I brought up something such as the Holocaust, say (though he was Jewish), because he wanted to keep it all on a level of purely Platonic ideals. It was always an effort for me to do that. To me, evil is real and palpable. The problem is, and always has been defining it. Harming someone without cause? Hitler had cause, a reason, [a carat and line leading to "however moral it was" in parentheses in blue ink] for murdering millions of people; so did Stalin and Mao. At the other end, how much harm? If you tell a lie that causes two people to argue, you have done harm, but was the act evil, or merely wrong? There are infinite shadings of degree, intent and effect to take into account.

    Footnote

    See RJ's next letter to Carolyn for more discussion on this point.

    Tags

  • 21

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (8 April 2011)

    This might be old news, but people keep asking me about it. Yes there ARE Dreamers among the Forsaken. Male and female.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    One male AND one female Forsaken are Dreamers?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There are multiple Dreamers. At least one male and at least one female.

    Footnote

    This might have been in response to the previous conversation about Moghedien. She and Lanfear are the top candidates for the female Dreamers, and Moridin is the obvious choice for the men, since skill in Tel'aran'rhiod and skill in invading others' dreams seem to be concurrent with the Talent of prophetic dreams. See here for more details.

    Tags

  • 22

    Interview: Jun 16th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    On channeler strength he said that he knew the rough strength of every channeler in the books, imposed on a 21-graded scale. Nynaeve he said had Forsaken strength, i.e. as strong as most female Forsaken. Egwene, Elayne and Aviendha was a step lower, and an additional step lower Elaida, Siuan and Moiraine was found. They were the strongest Aes Sedai known before "the new ones". Several Aes Sedai, including Leane and Kiruna [I'm uncertain on Kiruna, I might have misheard], was next in strength. By the old standards they were deemed very strong and capable.

    Tags

  • 23

    Interview: Apr 5th, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    Halima is a man in a woman's body. I got Jordan to 'fess up to this one when he was talking about the new books-on-tape that will be coming out soon. He said that a male voice will read the parts that are from a man's point of view and a female voice will read the parts that are from a female character's point of view. "So, which one will read the passage from Halima's point of view?" I asked. Jordan sighed and said, "Halima's just weird." He went on to confirm that he/she is a male spirit inside a female body and suggested that he/she will change personality over time since the body affects the spirit (and vice-versa).

    Tags

  • 24

    Interview: Jun 26th, 1996

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Bill Powers

    One of the Forsaken once said of the current Aes Sedai, "They bind themselves like criminals." Was the Forsaken referring to the Oath Rod?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out! (He twirls his moustache maniacally.)

    Tags

  • 25

    Interview: Jun 26th, 1996

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Karl Schwede

    Is there any particular inspiration for the Forsaken, and the other antagonists in your series, as there are for the women characters? Demandred and how he was always an inch behind Lews Therin (in the Power, in swordsmanship etc...), for example—was there a particular inspiration for that?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, there are—and I won't go into details because I want to keep the mythological and legendary roots hidden—I don't want to have people spending more time discussing the legends than the stories! The thing is there are several legends and myths based on such jealousy, on the man who is just a half a step short of another man. The woman who would have been the greatest of her age, but there was another who was just a bit better. That sort of jealousy leads to the worst kind of hatred. When someone can easily defeat you, there's not that kind of jealousy. But when he beats you in a photo finish every single time, that is when emotions begin to curdle and rancor sets in, and you find yourself with this festering deep inside that can turn into murderous hatred.

    Tags

  • 26

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    StuuuuBush

    Was Mat right about the "snakelike" guy being a gholam, and if so, are we to assume that the bad guys are going to have as much trouble stopping one as the good guys?

    Robert Jordan

    I guess he was right. Because after all, his source for the information was Birgitte, who has some memories of the War of the Power. And yes, if a gholam decided to turn against one of the Forsaken, the Forsaken would certainly have as much difficulty in stopping the attack as any other person would. They were, after all, created for the sole purpose of assassinating Aes Sedai.

    Tags

  • 27

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 2 (Verbatim)

    Ealgail

    ADMIT IT!!!!!! DASHIVA IS OSAN'GAR111111

    Robert Jordan

    On the advice of my lawyer, I never admit anything. :) Not even to my wife!

    Tags

  • 28

    Interview: Oct 12th, 1996

    Mike Lawson

    Also, there's another (non-FAQ-related) note concerning the pre-Bore Age of Legends...

    Robert Jordan

    RJ had mentioned (in response to another question) that what the characters believe does not make it so (Moiraine's statements were used as an example), so I asked whether the pre-Bore Age of Legends was the Utopia that the characters believed it to be. His reply is paraphrased below:

    Compared to their current world, it certainly would be a utopia. However, that doesn't mean that it wasn't perfect. Of course, outbreaks of diseases were kept to a minimum, but it and other disasters of that ilk still occurred. Evil still existed, as well.

    The Forsaken, for example, weren't exactly a stellar bunch to begin with. Semirhage, for example, was a sadist. (I'll skip his description of what a sadist is.) She went into her profession (the equivalent of a surgeon) because it provided an outlet for her sadism. (He then cited some studies that showed that there were more people with sadist tendencies in the medical profession, and surgeons in particular, to support his point.) Aginor (whom he said after some prompting had several elements of the classic mad scientist type) was a biological scientist who never considered the consequences of his actions. Aginor would say, "I wonder what would happen if I took the ebola virus and altered it to be an airborne virus." He'd go ahead and do just that, all without realizing he'd be creating a potentially unstoppable plague. All Aginor would reply to that was, "Hmm. Interesting." (Jordan then mentioned Aginor's creation of the Trollocs, their defects, "It was strong, big, tough to kill, and...... stupid," and that it was the birth of the first Myrddraal that saved the Trollocs from being a complete failure.)

    Even back in the Age of Legends, regular, ordinary folks could do some pretty nasty things. He then cited a study about a small town of ordinary Germans in WWII who did some pretty horrific things (I believe he was referring to the book "Hitler's Willing Executioners").

    Tags

  • 29

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Question

    Have we seen Osan'gar anywhere else since his first appearance? (No doubt a RAFO)

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 30

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Question

    What are those black threads on the male Forsaken?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 31

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Question

    What is Fain?

    Robert Jordan

    Mordeth + person. Mordeth is a human-made evil. The Black Wind gets along with Mordeth because of professional courtesy. Fain is anti-Forsaken as well as anti-Rand. He has a lot of skills and abilities outside of channeling. He can not channel.

    QUESTION

    Is this the "Another Power"?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    [laugh] I don't know.

    Tags

  • 32

    Interview: Jan 14th, 1997

    Thomas Howard

    1. What do Rand's wards on Callandor ward against exactly?

    2. Are the black cords on male Forsaken the means to access to the True Power?

    3. If so, why don't the female Forsaken have them?

    Robert Jordan

    "Read and find out" on all three counts.

    THOMAS HOWARD

    Damn. I still don't think the cords have anything to do with True Power usage though.

    Tags

  • 33

    Interview: Jun 28th, 1997

    Rahvin

    Was Ishamael ever REALLY sealed in Shayol Ghul with the Dark One and the rest of the Forsaken/Chosen?

    Robert Jordan

    Would I lie to you? For details, RAFO.

    Tags

  • 34

    Interview: Aug 27th, 1999

    Robert Jordan

    I asked him about Aginor getting younger at the end of The Eye of the World, and he said 'no, he doesn't get younger, he dies'. So I actually looked up the reference and read it to him. He said 'oh, that,' and then went on to explain that it is actually the True Power, not the saidin from the Eye, that rejuvenates him. He did describe the saidin in the Eye as a 'mother-lode', however, I didn't think to ask him what he meant by that until I was in the car going home. I instead asked him whether the True Power was the source of the Forsaken's immortality. He said: yes.

    (LATER)


    MARK ERIKSON

    Initially I asked 'In the end of Eye of the World, when Rand is fighting Aginor, why did Aginor get younger?'

    ROBERT JORDAN

    RJ replied 'He didn't, he died there. Do you mean the resurrection? He and Balthamel got resurrected in Lord of Chaos.'

    MARK ERIKSON

    I said 'I know that, but....' and couldn't think of anything else. I thought I must have read that part wrong, so while other people were having their books signed, I went through the book and found the line, and read it to him.

    ROBERT JORDAN

    RJ said 'Oh that. That's actually the power of the Dark One rejuvenating him,' and went on to basically explain what the True Power is, like I was an idiot.

    MARK ERIKSON

    So then I said 'So is the True Power the source of their immortality?'

    ROBERT JORDAN

    And he said 'Effectively, yes.'

    Footnote

    Some fans picked this line of questioning up in Budapest in 2003, and RJ said that the Forsaken are not actually immortal; they have merely been promised immortality after the Day of Return. RJ probably meant that the True Power is what kept them alive all the years they were sealed in the Bore.

    Tags

  • 35

    Interview: Aug 27th, 1999

    Robert Jordan

    I'm fairly sure he's done this before, but he said Aginor and Balthamel are Aran'gar and Osan'gar, and he also said that Terry Goodkind actually uses WOT as inspiration, instead of going to a historical source. He sounded serious.

    Finally, he also recommended several authors, but said that the guy who wrote Cryptonomicon was really good.

    Tags

  • 36

    Interview: Aug 30th, 1999

    Question

    Balefire is one of the most confusing things in the book, for me. I find the fine aspects of it, the whole threading together of the things that work in it... Could you be a little more elaborate on that?

    Robert Jordan

    All right. The cosmography we're looking at here, is not the cosmography of here and now. The Wheel of Time is in its way a spinning wheel. The fabric of reality is woven by the threads. Those threads are the lines that are formed by people passing through time. Each person has a thread. The thread has its sole dimension in time, its life is in time. Those are the threads that are used to weave the fabric of reality. When balefire strikes a person, a thread here, it doesn't simply stop the thread there. The thread burns backwards a little bit, like you just took a thread and put a match to it and it burns up a little bit before it goes out. It depends on how hot the flame is how far it's going to burn back and what the material is opposed to. It burns up a little bit, it doesn't just catch fire on the end and go out. So that person that was hit here is burned out of the pattern back to here. What that person did between here and here was no longer done. Other people remember seeing it. They may remember the supposed effects of it but what that person did wasn't done. It didn't happen, it's not real. Now that's a little bit of a shiver on the fabric of reality as it is. The reason that there was an unofficial agreement in the War of the Shadow to not use balefire any more, to stop using it, was simply that several cities were destroyed in that way. Hundreds of thousands of threads were burnt out from the Pattern in one go and the fabric of reality began to unravel. And even the guys going for the Dark One knew that there's not a whole lot of point to winning if winning means there's nothing there to rule, nothing there to win. If you burnt out the stakes, forget it. Have I made it a little clearer I hope?

    Question

    I was really referring to the scene where the wall falls on them and Rand uses balefire and they all come back to life. There's a prophecy about Mat how he was going to die and I'm not sure whether that incident is where he dies or not.

    Robert Jordan

    Well you're not supposed to be, are you! Once, Mat was hanging by his neck and Rand wasn't sure whether he caught a heartbeat or not. You see, the thing is Mat doesn't know. Mat thinks he's got a little ace in the hole but maybe he hasn't. Maybe he doesn't have that ace in the hole that he has a death to give yet, and still live, the way he thinks. Maybe. There's an acronym they use on the net, RAFO. Read and find out.

    Footnote

    RJ confirmed at Balticon XXX that the prophecy was fulfilled in Caemlyn rather than Rhuidean.

    Tags

  • 37

    Interview: Aug 30th, 1999

    Question

    Are you going to resurrect any more of the Forsaken because isn't that kind of cheating?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out. Cheating? It isn't cheating. Remember that the Dark One is called the Lord of the Grave and the part of this whole thing is that the natural order of things is believed to be cyclic. You are born, you die, you are born again. To most of the people in this world the notion of living on forever is at least queasy making and to some considered to be an abomination. They don't want to. It would be doing something unnatural. After all, the next time you might be somebody better, somebody you like better than who you are now. You might be somebody richer or more famous or more skilled, or whatever. If you live forever under this set of beliefs, if you live forever as who you are, that's who you're stuck with. And you will never manage to top it.

    Question

    Or a different gender?

    Robert Jordan

    Well it's possible, yeah.

    Question

    You've obviously resurrected two of the forsaken as a different gender—

    Robert Jordan

    Have I? They send me FAQs. Frequently asked questions—FAQ. Various people will do a print out and send it to me. And I have read a couple of them, not one for several years. I'll tell you, in those FAQs, the last one I saw three or four years ago about a third of what they worked out was right and about a third of what they worked out was not right but not quite wrong, if they work on it some more... They think they've reached the end but they've not, it's like they stopped halfway. And the other third, I don't know what books they were reading.

    Footnote

    There might have been some confusion here between transmigration and rebirth, because RJ has said elsewhere that gender is a soul trait. The Dark One can put someone into a body of the wrong gender, but a soul will always be reborn as the same gender, and the Dark One cannot change the gender of the soul (hence Balthamel still channeling saidin as Aran'gar).

    Tags

  • 38

    Interview: Sep 21st, 1999

    Joel Gilmore

    I also got him to pronounce the names of the Forsaken (well, some of them) onto tape for me. He only got a few, but get this. I said "Could you recite the names of some of the Forsaken?"

    Robert Jordan

    He said "Sure, Ishamael, Rahvin, Semirhage, who else? Moridin..."

    JOEL GILMORE

    Now, it could just be he was listing evil people, or it could be that he was giving me a subtle clue. We can't prove it either way, but it's more food for thought :)

    Tags

  • 39

    Interview: Sep 21st, 1999

    Robert Jordan

    Oh, and one more thing: The Forsaken are reborn pretty much straight away when they die. "Not right on the heels, but close." That should make things interesting :)

    Joel.

    Footnote

    Apparently Joel was talking about transmigration rather than rebirth (not that the official terminology is so clear), but even that assumption has to be called into question because of the delay with Aginor and Balthamel. Clearly they were just 'waking up' at the beginning of Lord of Chaos, and at that point they had been dead for some time. We do know from the TOR Questions of the Week that the Dark One has to grab the soul at the time of death, or shortly thereafter, but it may be that he can hold onto the soul for a while until a 'suitable body' is found.

    Tags

  • 40

    Interview: Sep 20th, 1999

    Robert Jordan

    I asked about what happens to, and where the souls of the Forsaken go between being killed and resurrected by the Dark One, and RJ was evasive, saying that he wasn't going to go that deeply into the theology of the WoT with us (at the signing, or the whole series?). All he would say is that the transition from death to resurrection is almost instantaneous.

    Footnote

    See the note on Joel Gilmore's account of the same question.

    Tags

  • 41

    Interview: Nov 11th, 2000

    Yanmin from Singapore

    What inspired the Forsaken?

    Robert Jordan

    A great many things—but in large part, people who are willing to do anything at all for their personal aggrandizement.

    Tags

  • 42

    Interview: Nov 27th, 2000

    Robert Jordan

    He explained the Far Madding channeling detector (I think that's already been discussed here), and gave a RAFO when asked whether the Dark One reincarnated people in the War of Power.

    Tags

  • 43

    Interview: Apr 6th, 2001

    Lupis

    Question: We haven't seen much about Mesaana and Semirhage. I assume they're going to feature somewhere in the future books?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, Mesaana and Semirhage will feature in future books. There are reasons they have been lying low.

    Tags

  • 44

    Interview: Apr 8th, 2001

    KuraFire

    Just one other question. Does Slayer know every Forsaken?

    Robert Jordan

    Yeah, he does.

    Question

    Have all the Forsaken heard of Slayer?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, they've heard of him. Slayer is not old in the way they are. Slayer does not come the Age of Legends, Slayer is something much newer. Slayer is also known by all Forsaken.

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  • 45

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Mort

    [something about the Forsaken]

    Robert Jordan

    Essentially learned the local language.

    Mort

    They just got free and learned the local language in a few weeks or so.

    Robert Jordan

    A little more than a few weeks.

    Mort

    Wow...That's impressive! What about the first and second that were let loose?

    Robert Jordan

    They were very near the surface. It's one of the reasons for the effects on them. They were for three thousand years aware—not in a sleep like the others; aware—and more aware of what has happened in the world. And because of the way the Bore works... See, the Bore is not located at Shayol Ghul. Shayol Ghul is simply the place where the Bore is most easily sensed. The Bore is everywhere, because of the nature of the universe. And those two guys, in effect, spent the last three thousand years in a state of feeling that they had no body—they certainly had no ability to move—that they were simply trapped minds, but aware and drifting over the face of the earth, able to hear people, able to see what was happening in one area or another. They could speak the language when they came out.

    Mort

    You are talking about Aginor and Balthamel now.

    Robert Jordan

    Yeah.

    Mort

    And Ishamael as well?

    Robert Jordan

    Ishamael is a different case. Read and find out.

    Tags

  • 46

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Mort

    What about the thread of the life in case of the Forsaken? Are they part of the Pattern or they are outside? Is it broken in the case of the Forsaken?

    Robert Jordan

    No. They're part of the Wheel, except for the fellows who've been balefired, who are now gone: no rebirth [resurrection]; they’re out. The Dark One is outside of the Pattern, as the Creator is outside of the Pattern, but everything human is inside of the Pattern. One of the things that the Forsaken hope to gain is immortality. And immortality would put them outside of the Pattern.

    Footnote

    RJ has said elsewhere that balefire is not the eternal death of the soul, and Brandon has confirmed it (and so RJ was merely saying that the balefired Forsaken could not be transmigrated into new bodies).

    Rhynn

    You’ve wrote somewhere that Moridin used the True Power and he stepped out of the Pattern or something like that.

    Robert Jordan

    No, he's made a hole in the Pattern as a way of Traveling which uses the True Power, which is a different thing. If you notice as far back as the Prologue of The Eye of the World, when Ishamael Traveled in to meet Lews Therin, who was mad, the description does not match the Traveling that we see later. It’s because at that point, Ishamael is using the True Power, which produces a different sort of effect for Traveling. It is a different method of Traveling than either men or women use with saidin and saidar.

    Mort

    The descriptions are quite similar when he arrived by Travel with saidin. You also say 'bore a hole through the Pattern', and for the True Power, I think in one instance, 'ripping a hole in the Pattern'. And in one other instance you wrote that he stepped back inside the Pattern.

    Robert Jordan

    It's similar. Similar, but it's not the same thing. It's why it produces that fading in and fading out effect.

    Sequoia

    But if a woman used the True Power she would use it the same way?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes. It's not separate. The True Power is not like saidin or saidar. The reason there are differences for men and women using the One Power is that one is using saidin, for men, and women are using saidar, which are not identical. But using the True Power, which flows from the Dark One, men and women are using exactly the same force, exactly the same source of Power.

    Tags

  • 47

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    Are the Forsaken defined by being allowed to tap the True True Power?

    Robert Jordan

    No, not necessarily. They are, but it takes more than that, and they may be denied it. You see there were many more than thirteen Chosen at the time of the Breaking of the World. At the time of the sealing, there were more, and they died. The reason these thirteen lived was that they were trapped and, except for Balthamel and Aginor, sealed away in large extent from the effects of time, as if they were put in suspended animation. The others who were not there at this conference died.

    Question

    May I ask you what makes a Forsaken Forsaken, or Chosen?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, many people had sworn their souls to the Dark One. To be one of the Chosen, is to be someone who is recognized by the Dark One as having enough potential to be brought to Shayol Ghul to swear this oath personally, as close to being in the presence of the Dark One as is possible, with the prison partially sealed up.

    Question

    Is it just a coincidence that all those thirteen who survived can channel?

    Robert Jordan

    Oh, no that’s no coincidence, because if you weren’t able to channel, you weren’t going to get into this game at all.

    Question

    Ah. [mumble] cannot channel?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, but somebody has to be cannon fodder.

    Question

    Yeah...poor Mat and poor Perrin.

    Robert Jordan

    Hmm, well, if they wanted to be Forsaken, yes.

    Question

    Yeah...I hope they’re not gonna be Forsaken.

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out.

    Tags

  • 48

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Wood Sun

    What about the saa? You wrote in a chapter, that there is a black hole before Moridin's eyes.

    Robert Jordan

    No, no, in the eyes. It is not before. In the eyes, inside the eyes.

    Wood Sun

    And can see through? (-?- unsure about this sentence. -?-)

    Robert Jordan

    It depends. When you are using the True Power. At first, when you begin using the True Power, there's nothing there. Nothing in the eyes. After you've used it for a while, you begin to have a black speck floating across your eyes, when you're using it.

    Wood Sun

    And then you see, other observers can see it.

    Robert Jordan

    No, you don't see it. You don't actually see it.

    Wood Sun

    I think it was the chapter when Moridin was observing with a cloak of fancloth. His vision was blurred by a rain of black spots.

    Harriet

    But it didn't affect his vision.

    Robert Jordan

    It didn't affect his vision. You're aware of it, but it's not like there is blackness between you, because it gets thicker and thicker and thicker and you get to a point where if you've used it long enough you get a steady stream even if you're not connected. And you are then on the road, at that point, inevitably, to becoming what Ishamael was. Because these are stigmata, if you will. These saa are stigmata caused by a linkage to the Dark One. And eventually the effect is to become all fire eyes. You no longer have eyes visible to other people. If they're looking into your eyes, they seem to be looking into caverns of flame that stretch to infinity. And when you open your mouth they see another cavern of flame that stretches to infinity. Because you've reached at that point the ultimate level of this usage and quite possibly, if you've at this point not been granted immortality, you're on your way to death. Not madness, but you're on your way to death. So it's sort of a race. The Dark One has given you this boon, but if you use it very much, then you'd better hope he is willing to give you another boon, because if he doesn't give you the second boon then you're dead. Some of the Forsaken have expressed discomfort with the fact that Ishamael and Moridin are so free with using the One Power.

    Wood Sun

    And is it addictive?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes.

    Wood Sun

    Entirely.

    Robert Jordan

    So is the One Power. That's one of the things that I intended from the beginning. The One Power has at least the potential for good, and it is something used by those on the side of good. And it is addictive, physically and psychologically addictive and also potentially very dangerous, even deadly to those who are using it.

    Wood Sun

    And so the other Forsaken seem to be afraid of using the True Power?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, they are, because they know this; they will use it when they have to, but they limit it, because they know that if you use it enough to let the saa begin to appear, then you are on a spiral and once they begin appearing, they begin appearing more often. And eventually, unless you are given immortality by the Dark One, you are dead. Now, the thing is, they don't wanna die. This is really great, it is a really great honor to be given the ability to tap into the True Power. Which is not inherently stronger than the One Power. It's not that it is stronger in any way. It is just something that does not have some of the limitations of the One Power. Other people can't feel you embracing it, or using it, like the One Power.

    Question

    -?-

    Robert Jordan

    Yeah, you could.

    Question

    -?-

    Robert Jordan

    Yeah, you could burn out with the True Power.

    Wood Sun

    Only True Power, or One Power too?

    Robert Jordan

    With the True Power as well as the One Power you can burn out.

    Tags

  • 49

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    To go back to what you were saying a few minutes ago, were you implying that you could channel the True Power without being granted immortality?

    Robert Jordan

    Oh yes.

    Question

    Aren't the Forsaken already ...

    Robert Jordan

    No. They're not immortal.

    Question

    Do they know that?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, they know that.

    Question

    But they believe they are immortal.

    Robert Jordan

    No, they do not believe they are immortal, but they believe they will be. All they need to do is get the Dark One free. And they have been promised this. This is their reward for getting him free. If they manage to get him out of that prison, he will grant them immortality. And they believe this because they have seen him in the past, as he has done now, bring the dead back to life. Give the dead new bodies. Transfer souls from a dying body into a young and healthy body. They've seen him do this. So they know that can be done. So it's not as though they are believing something, somebody just walked up to you and said "I can make you immortal if you go out and do this, kill and do awful deeds". They've seen him, they have seen these incredible things done. So they have reason to believe.

    Tags

  • 50

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    I have an exciting question, maybe, we heard of making the Forsaken reborn, so has the original body any reflection to the mind of the Forsaken?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, if a Forsaken dies and is reborn naturally, through the turning of the Wheel, no.

    Question

    If then the Dark One puts him in a new body?

    Robert Jordan

    Oh, if the Dark One puts him in a new body, it is for all intents and purposes the same person, with a new body. It is a shift of an entire person. The concept here, with the exception of the Gray Men: You've seen an Ogier who lost his soul. And in effect there's nobody home anymore. It is a body that lives and breathes, and will move if it is helped along. But it does not, there's nobody home in there. The Gray Men are slightly different. But they also have given up their souls. They've given up their souls in a way. Already, their souls are gone. But it's happened in a way that protects them against this emptiness, as if they're severed from the physical and spiritual side. And the spiritual side is gone, but the physical side remains so there is an intellect in that body, but no soul. And that's why they are Gray Men. Your eyes slip past them, the perfect assassins. You can look right at one and look on, never having realized you saw somebody there. So there's, when a soul ... (break in audio file)

    Robert Jordan

    Sorry, just checking the time...we have to do some things in the morning.

    Footnote

    The ordering of these questions is unknown.

    Tags

  • 51

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    Was there any time when there was no Blight?

    Robert Jordan

    Oh, yes. The Blight is an artifact of the War of the Shadow and the Breaking. There was no Blight before the Bore was created, and the drilling of the Bore did not immediately create the Blight, but the Blight came into being after that.

    Question

    Was the Blight [mumble] from the Dark One, or one of the Forsaken?

    Robert Jordan

    From the Dark One. It is land that has been corrupted by the Dark One.

    Tags

  • 52

    Interview: Jul 22nd, 2004

    Jason Denzel

    We talked about the Forsaken and how they know how to speak the current language.

    Robert Jordan

    He said that if you can speak the Old Tongue, learning to understand and speak the new "Vulgar" tongue is not that difficult. When the Forsaken are together having their meetings, they speak in the Old Tongue. (RJ: "But I translate it for you guys.")

    Another very interesting note: Modern-day Sharans speak a form of the Old Tongue in their everyday speech. The exact analogy he used was a Roman landing in modern day Italy and having to figure out Italian from Latin. For someone extremely bright and well-educated like the Forsaken it wouldn't be that hard. This is also consistent with information in the books. The Old Tongue is more complex, so learning the Vulgar from Old Tongue is much easier than vice versa. It also gibes with Graendal's thought while she is writing a letter that the modern script was so easy to learn and duplicate.

    He also went on at length about his thoughts on language drift and the impact of the printing press on continuity.

    Tags

  • 53

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    ComicCon Reports (Paraphrased)

    Question

    There is some confusion in the books about the relative strengths of the Forsaken. Can you rank order them?

    Robert Jordan

    No. The confusion is intentional. The only information on their strengths is rumor and story held over from the Age of Legends and personal opinions of the Forsaken themselves, hardly an unbiased source! The hierarchy of the Forsaken is complex and fluid, not reflecting any direct measure of strength. Also, remember that different channelers have different Talents.

    Tags

  • 54

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    Diomedes

    First, I tried to ask shannow's question about how the Forsaken compared to each other in their strength of the Power. Being nervous, of course, I managed to flub that as well by saying, "There's a lot of contradictory information in the books about how the Forsaken are ranked in their strength in the Power. Could you rank the Forsaken more explicitly?" (Or something to that effect.)

    Robert Jordan

    RJ then explained that the Forsaken don't rank themselves in terms of strength in the Power as Aes Sedai do.

    Diomedes

    (Duh! Looks like I used the wrong turn of phrase, or RJ deliberately misinterpreted what I was getting at.)

    Robert Jordan

    He went on to say that the Forsaken do not like to think of themselves as weaker than anyone else, and, due to their arrogance and ambition, will tend to understate others' abilities and overstate their own. He concluded by saying that, given these weaknesses in character that the Forsaken possess, any information that the Forsaken provide should be considered highly suspect.

    Diomedes

    I'm not sure how much this helps, shannow, and I wish that I had phrased the question somewhat differently in light of this response, but I do believe it indicates Rahvin is mistaken when he thinks that he or Sammael are strong enough to take on Lanfear. It's also led me to believe that RJ likes the confusion he's created about how the Forsaken relate to each other in regards to the Power, and he won't easily yield the explicit information that you're looking for.

    Tags

  • 55

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Sara

    When out of the three thousand year sleep, were the Forsaken still wearing the clothes from the time they were imprisoned?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, they were.

    Sara

    How does the process of waking up work, and were they conscious of it happening to them and or the other Forsaken?

    Robert Jordan

    They were conscious of waking up, but remember that Lanfear said they were in a sleep so deep they were trapped so deep, that they were denied even dreams. Most of them were in fact in suspended animation. Balthamel and Aginor, very close to the surface, were not, which is why they were so wasted when they are seen, and why they have a certain degree of madness as well. The others came out unaged, looking exactly as they did, but Aginor and Balthamel although wearing the clothes they wore, and the mask was an original he was wearing it when he went in, they were further wasted, you might say, preserved by being sealed in the Bore, but close enough to the surface that they were aware of things going on outside.

    Tags

  • 56

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Question

    Why is it that the Chosen and Lews Therin speak a language that Rand and everyone else can understand?

    Robert Jordan

    Because it is a very simple language to learn. When they Chosen are among themselves they are not speaking the language of the current time, they are speaking the Old Tongue, which I happily translate for you, so you don't have to struggle through it. But it is very much the same as Graendal thinking how easy it is to forge things in this time. The lettering script is simplified. But things managed to hang on for a certain extent. Printing presses for example were one of the things that managed never quite to be wiped out completely. Printing started up again, even a few times during the Breaking people managed to get printing presses going, and once the Breaking was over, printing was one of the first trades to get going, you might call it the first higher trade to get going.

    Tags

  • 57

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Question

    A question about the Forsaken. It is said they have varying levels of strength in the One Power. Do you know where they rank?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes.

    Question

    I get the impression that Asmodean is weaker than Lanfear even before he was shielded. How much weaker, etc.?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO. I don't go into that kind of thing. I know where they are. I also know they are highly unreliable. None of them is going to admit that anyone is that much stronger than they are. Even when you are inside their heads. Don't take everything they say as the absolute truth or unbiased observation.

    Tags

  • 58

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Matt Hatch

    You have been killing my theories left and right since I got here.

    Robert Jordan

    I have always thought that the small whimper of a theory as it dies is a beautiful sound.

    (General laughter all around.)

    Matt Hatch

    Ouch. Okay, now that you have killed my black cord theory, are the oaths and covenants Forsaken make with the Dark One necessary for the Dark One to transmigrate a soul?

    Robert Jordan

    They are not necessary, but he is not likely to do it for anyone who hasn't done, who hasn't sworn to him.

    Matt Hatch

    He doesn't have access to all souls to be able to grab any soul?

    Robert Jordan

    No, no, no. Because of the Bore and the fact that the bore is best perceived, the Bore doesn't really exist in Shayol Ghul, the Bore exists everywhere, it's simply in Shayol Ghul where it can be perceived most easily. By the same token he has greater access to people at Shayol Ghul than he does elsewhere, or did, and uh, that's, when you know, Rahvin died, Rahvin is balefired out of time, slain out of time, cannot be reached, gone. Be'lal, (names someone else).

    Matt Hatch

    Well, then is there something unique about the Forsaken other than the fact that they are his favorites that he would transmigrate them, or be able to?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, he would have been a lot less likely to in an earlier time when they were a lot of powerful knowledgeable channelers who were in his service. Essentially half the people in the world who could channel were on his side, during the War of the Shadow. Now he has very few, he's got the Black Ajah, and a few wilders, and some stuff I ain't going in to, but uh he doesn't have a lot, but he can't afford to waste assets.

    Matt Hatch

    Okay.

    Tags

  • 59

    Interview: Sep 25th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    The Forsaken are a group of power hungry people who don't like one another and vie with one another for power as much as they vie with the forces of the Light. Much like the internal politicking in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. But look at the situation in the world as it actually stands, from the White Tower divided to crop failures caused by a too-long winter and a too-long summer and people fleeing their farms because the Dragon Reborn has broken all bonds, meaning still less food, and that spoiling at a fearsome rate, from chaos in Arad Doman to a large part of the Borderland armies out of position, from the arrival of the Seanchan focusing too many eyes on them instead of the Shadow to the strongest single nation, Andor, riven by civil war in all but name and Tear split by open warfare, from.... Well, take your pick. There are lots more to chose from. Take a step back and look at what the forces of the Shadow have wrought. The world and the forces of the Light are in bad shape. At this point, boys and girls, the Shadow is winning. There are glimmers of hope, but only glimmers, and they MUST pay off for the Light to win. All the Shadow needs for victory is for matters to keep on as they have been going thus far and one or two of those glimmers to fade or be extinguished. The forces of the Light are on the ropes, and they don't even know everything the Dark One has up his sleeve.

    Think of it this way. The bell is about to ring for the fifteenth round, and the Light is so far behind on points the only way to win is a knockout. Our boy is game, but he's wobbly on his legs and bleeding from cuts over his eyes. Now he has three minutes to pull out his best stuff and deliver the punch of his life. The Dark One has taken a few shots, but nothing that has really damaged him. He's still dancing on his toes and talking trash. His head shots can fracture a skull, and his body punches can break ribs. And now he's ready to unveil his surprises. You didn't think all it would take is for Rand to show up at the Last Battle, did you? According to the Prophecies, the Light has no chance without him, but his presence doesn't ensure victory, just that the Light has a chance. Gotta stiffen your legs and blink the blood out of your eyes. Gotta suck it up and find that punch. Three minutes to go, and you gotta find that knockout. That's your only chance.

    Tags

  • 60

    Interview: Oct 5th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Dracos, the Forsaken could not talk to one another, not even Balthamel and Aginor, who were trapped near the surface and at least intermittently conscious and aware what was happening in the world. You might say that being trapped where they were, in a Bore that existed everywhere at once, allowed them to see the whole world. But for the others, it was a deep and dreamless sleep. Even for Ishamael, except when he was spun out periodically. When thinking about the Forsaken, you might factor in the effects of dream deprivation.

    Tags

  • 61

    Interview: Oct 5th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Mark A, there are plenty of reasons for men and women to have a certain degree of distrust, though the fact that many Aes Sedai have Warders and good relationships with them shows that it isn't all mistrust. How much trust do most men and women have for the opposite gender here and now? I trust Harriet with my life, but look at how most people are. Look at most women's views of men, and most men's views of women. There is a lot of distrust right there. As for the Forsaken, they don't trust anybody. Gender doesn't enter into it.

    Tags

  • 62

    Interview: Oct 6th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Desiree, part of yours, about continuing the blog, is answered above. The criteria for rising among the Forsaken boils down to a combination of effectiveness and ruthlessness. Asmodean may have held few field commands, but he was quite effective as a governor and administrator. Even the Shadow needs those.

    Tags

  • 63

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2005

    Chris

    There were a few questions about his series, one that I asked was: if channeling was genetic, did the Forsaken need bodies that were genetically compatible for them to be able to use the Power?

    Robert Jordan

    His answer was that channeling is not just a recessive or dominant gene, rather both genetic and in the soul.

    Tags

  • 64

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2005

    Jason Wolfbrother

    Was the "Don't Kill Rand" order ever lifted between Lord of Chaos and Knife of Dreams, or was it always in effect?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, for a short while.

    Tags

  • 65

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    The theory that Demandred is using balefire at the direction of the Dark One to loosen the weave of the Pattern is squashed by RJ. (confirmed)

    Footnote

    This person is not clear whether the theory was 'squashed' or 'confirmed', but in any case, we discussed it with Brandon here, and it seems as though RJ confirmed it.

    Tags

  • 66

    Interview: Dec 19th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For someone—Marigan, I think, but my notes are a little wonky right about here—the Crystal Throne is not the High seat of the Tamyrlin, none of the Forsaken were among the Nine Rods of Dominion, and the "Rods" were symbols of office.

    Mil Tesen was really just a peddler who happened to be in the right place to pass on news of Morgase's supposed death to Gawyn. Not everyone is somebody other than who they seem, you know.

    And finally, Da'concion means "the Chosen Ones" in the Old Tongue, which is used with more frequency among the Seanchan than among inhabitants of the eastern side of the Aryth Ocean.

    Tags

  • 67

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2006

    Robert Jordan

    By the way, I've seen posts various places suggesting that I've had Trollocs using gateways in previous books. I think this stems from the attack on the Stone of Tear where I speak of Trollocs and Myrddraal "leaping out of thin air." This was not meant to convey gateways—no openings in the air were mentioned—but rather the suddenness of their appearance. A cliche, I know. Later, in The Shadow Rising I think, I explained that they had been smuggled into the Stone using barges and wagons.

    Tags

  • 68

    Interview: 2010

    Terez

    Here is an alphabetical list of names chosen, with details if given. They will be linked to EWOT pages when those are updated after the A Memory of Light comes out. The main auction for the speaking part was won by Sandip Mehta.

    Eric Allen (In the Tower Guard; gets sworn at by someone who swears a lot. Perhaps Uno?)
    Jesamyn Angelica
    Charlie Bachelder (Aiel fighting in Last Battle)
    Johnnie Lee Barrington, Jr. (Deathwatch Guard)
    Paul Benish (Malkieri)
    Melissa Bergevin
    Jonathan Brockelman (Whitecloak)
    Joff Brown (a city)
    Brandon Bryant (Band of the Red Hand)
    Jonathan Burt (Whitecloak)
    Helen Cousins
    Jay Dauro (Deathwatch Guard)
    Shaun Davis
    Gavin Doyle
    Natalie Doyle
    Daniel Egonsson
    Kevin Fanshier
    Jacob Figler (Band of the Red Hand)
    Craig Foster (Borderlander; does not live long.)
    Filis [Emery?] (Green Ajah)
    Shani Gamble
    [?] Gilbert, son of Chris
    Courtney Gliszczynski (First name used.)
    Cindy Goodman
    Michael Gonzalez
    Mione Haak
    Laura Hayden
    Laura Hepburn
    Hugh Hill
    Andrew Holcombe
    Steven Karam
    Rion Kinosaki
    Einar Laastad Kjosavik (Asha'man who is balefired by a Forsaken.)
    Sean Little
    Nils Loodin (Aiel scout)
    Glen MacDonald (Deathwatch Guard)
    Sandip Mehta
    Mikayla Micomonaco (damane)
    Robert Moreau
    Bach Payson (Borderlander; does not live long.)
    Eric Peters
    Eleanor Pettener (Wise One, or perhaps an apprentice.)
    Alex Prescott
    Bryan Ragon (Borderlander; does not live long; dies well.)
    Sally Rankin
    Kimberly Readdy (Wise One, or perhaps an apprentice.)
    Kris Ring (Seanchan Blood)
    Anna Roberts
    Nikhil Rode (Aiel scout)
    Robert Rose
    Angela Ryddingwood
    Maureen Sampson (Aes Sedai)
    San D'ma Shadar (Group referenced by Mat which fought in a historic battle; translates to "Slayers of the Shadow".)
    Michael Sarcone (Darkfriend, on request.)
    Nathan Sawyer
    Eric Silva
    Shane Spears (Aiel, of course.)
    Leisha Springer
    Margaret St. John (Maiden name [not tweeted] will be a Seanchan general.)
    Caitlin Sullivan (White Ajah)
    Roger Trask (Aiel fighting in Last Battle)
    Lindsey Turnbow (wolf)
    Neil Tweed (Some woods, named after the original owners.)
    Pia Maria Vaajakallio (Aes Sedai)
    Kurt Wagoner (Two Rivers man)
    Eyal Weinstock
    Jordan White (wolf)
    Shiv Whorra
    Harm Wieringa
    Savannah Rose Young (Seanchan general)
    Jason Zigmont

    Brandon Sanderson (5 October 2011)

    Do you want your name to appear in A Memory of Light? Click here.

    SHAWN J

    Not sure if you wish to defend yourself: http://www.reddit.com...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thanks for the heads up.

    PETER AZP

    "The auction will be through eBay and 10% of the proceeds will go to the Mayo Clinic" Wait, 10%? What about to the other 90?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To Jordancon, a non-profit. (It's all there in the blog post.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    On the A Memory of Light name drive: this is PRIMARILY a fund raiser for Jordancon, which Harriet and I believe deserves support.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For a while, I've been wanting to do this to help Jordancon make ends meet, as I think it is a great way to honor RJ's name and legacy.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Please note that Jordancon HAS applied to be tax-exempt as a 501(c)3. This means you will probably be able to deduct your donations.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (10 OCTOBER)

    Cindy Goodman, just drew your name to be in A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Jason Zigmont, I just used (a variation of) your name in A Memory of Light. Details, for those confused, here.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Glen MacDonald, welcome to the Deathwatch Guard. (Explanation)

    BRANDON SANDERSON (13 OCTOBER)

    Running on too little sleep; I'm having trouble getting A Memory of Light written on the plane. Instead, I'm going to start filling in name placeholders.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Shane Spears, you are first. Yes, you will be Aiel. There's really no way I could pass that up. Steven Karam, you are in A Memory of Light too.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    So everyone who donates gets their name in? Or are you just selecting a few?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Selecting semi-randomly, I'm afraid. Everyone is in 'spiritually' but I won't have enough names for all.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Eric Peters, you're in. Kimberly Readdy, you are wise, are you not?

    ALCHEMIST

    Can you say approximately how many names you will be needing? just so i know just how small my chance is... :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maybe a hundred.

    NATHAN SMITH

    What do you have in as placeholders?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I use "***" to placehold in books, sometimes with one letter at the end to keep different placeheld people straight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Eleanor Pettener, you are soon to be wise. Laura Hayden, you're in. Shani Gamble, are you a boy or a girl? Name websites can't decide.

    JAMES STARKE

    Have you started drawing names for the JordanCon auction? Also, there's no clear date as to when the drawing really "ends" ...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, this is for the JordanCon deal. I'm pretty sure that the first cutoff is right. Anyone before then has a chance.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    How do you decide which names you're going to pick? is it based on sound or?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Sometimes, I draw. Others, I just scroll, then stop at a name and work on it a moment. See if it works.

    FANTASY AUTHOR

    (waving hand wildly) How about dropping in a fellow author? Granted, an indie author, but an epic fantasy indie author.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nothing wrong with being indie. But, in this case, I'm only using people who donated.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For all still wondering what's up with these names, and how to join in the fun, here is that link again.

    CHAD ROSENTHAL

    Is there a spot where you post the names? Just in case we miss the tweets?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will try to post them all at the end.

    ZACAJ

    What are the chances of a name getting used if you donate?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hard to say. It will depend on number of donators and number of names needed. Between 1% and 10% maybe?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (18 OCTOBER)

    Eric Allen, you're in the Tower Guard. Someone just swore at you, but he swears at lots of people. (How to get in)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Einar Laastad Kjosavik, the good news is you're an Asha'man. The bad news is that one of the Forsaken just balefired you.

    SELENE O'ROURKE

    So if half my name is a Forsaken's alias, and the other half is an Aiel chief, should I even think about going on the list?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. Well, I do change most of the names, so anything can theoretically be used.

    JALIL JAMES

    Hey man, so If we donate to the good cause we are guaranteed a spot in the book or names get pulled off the list at random?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mostly random, I'm afraid. There is one 'sure shot' auction coming up, but last time that went for A LOT of money.

    COEN ZUIDERVAART (20 OCTOBER)

    How many names do you still need in the book? And how many new names are there actually? Was just curious to those numbers.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll use around a hundred in the book, I think. Still need to choose most of those.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mikayla Micomonaco, congrats! You're in A Memory of Light. I hope you don't mind being a damane. Details.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Margaret St. John, you are a Seanchan general. (Using your maiden name; thanks for providing that. It worked great.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Joff Brown, I drew your name next. I made you into a city, actually.

    JEFF WEISSBERG

    A "city" in the Blight?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A Memory of Light will reveal it for sure.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (21 OCTOBER)

    People are asking how many more names I'll use, as the book is 80% done. I left placeholders in dozens of names earlier that will be filled.

    DAMIEN BAUMGART

    Are you just dropping names in as is or will they be "Wheel of Time-ified"?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    WoT-ified.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (24 OCTOBER)

    Alex Prescott, you are in A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Jonathan Burt and Jonathan Brockelman, you two are a pair of Whitecloaks.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (25 OCTOBER)

    Need a name for a sister from the Green Ajah. And...the name chosen was David Emery, who entered the name of his late sister, Filis.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 NOVEMBER)

    The A Memory of Light name auction has begun. One winner. Or enter the drawing, multiple winners.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (3 NOVEMBER)

    I am still picking names to go in the book, as per this blog post. Should be more of those tonight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (4 NOVEMBER)

    The "Get your name in A Memory of Light" charity auction had to be restarted due to ebay issues. Here's the new link.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Enough people have asked, so it bears repeating. The name auction and the name drawing are different. Explanation here.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (29 NOVEMBER)

    Thursday is the final day to enter the drawing to get your name in A Memory of Light. Details here.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 DECEMBER)

    Today's the final day to enter the drawing (& support JordanCon) to get your name in A Memory of Light. Last chance.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The drawing to get your name in A Memory of Light closes to entries in 4 hours. I still have a lot of names to draw.

    DAN GOLDMAN

    How many more names are left to draw?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (2 DECEMBER)

    Still a good fifty, I'd say.

    REBECCA LOVATT

    Have you been using people's names for characters? Haven't seen any posts/updates with that in a long time.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've been putting in placeholders, and will be drawing out names over the next few months to replace them.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (28 DECEMBER)

    Shaun Davis, I just used your name in A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Shiv Whorra, I needed another name, and you're in too.

    KELLY

    Is there a running list somewhere of the reader names you've used? And I hope you're feeling completely well soon. : )

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    We'll post them all once I'm done.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For those asking about names: this was done as a fund-raiser for JordanCon, so I'm no longer taking names. (Sorry.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Explanation follows. (I do this sort of thing for all of my books, though, so there will be chances for other books.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Robert Moreau and Robert Rose, you two are next. Welcome to A Memory of Light.

    SIMON ST. ERIC

    It is so exciting to see you pulling the names out of the hat... how many do you think you'll end up using? :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Still many more.

    BRANDON BALLENGER

    Since you're not taking names anymore and have a full rough draft, could you make a guess at our odds of being drawn?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Really hard to guess. I have about 1,000 placeholders in the book, as told to me by Word, but...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Most of those are not "replace a name here" notes, but instead "Look this up" or "describe this better" or "continuity check."

    BRANDON SANDERSON (29 DECEMBER)

    Brandon Bryant, welcome to the Band of the Red Hand. (Unfortunately, we're not accepting new names. Details)

    CHRISTOPHER SKINNER

    I know no new names—for those of us who put ours in the hat before, how many spots approximately are left? What are our chances?!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I have no idea, I'm afraid. There are about 2k people in the drawing. Maybe a hundred names? Rough guesses.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (3 JANUARY 2012)

    Daniel Egonsson, I drew your name for A Memory of Light. (Unfortunately, we're not accepting new names. Details: http://www.mistborn.com/blog/1021/)

    HUNTER SESTREN

    But for those of us in the drawing we still have a shot right?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Gavin Doyle, you're in too. (Yes, I will eventually post a list of all of these.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Jacob Figler, you're next. (Sorry, ladies. I'll draw some female names soon.)

    JACOB FIGLER

    Hey that's me!!! Are you saying my name is going to be in A Memory of Light???

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yup. You're in the Band of the Red Hand.

    JACOB FIGLER

    YES!!! Check out the shirt I got yesterday hahaha! Perfect! And THANKS!!! http://yfrog.com/ob7i2zpj

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Useful picture. Now I can describe you. :)

    JACOB FIGLER

    haha, well if you need any details let me know!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, here's a woman: Jesamyn Angelica, you're in A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (4 JANUARY)

    Kevin Fanshier, I only needed one name for A Memory of Light today, but yours is it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (12 JANUARY)

    Kurt Wagoner, you're in A Memory of Light as a Two Rivers man.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Laura Hepburn, I have chosen your name for A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Leisha Springer, your name came up next.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nathan Sawyer, you were drawn next.

    ROBERT ROTH

    Do you or your assistant keep a list of drawn names? Can you post them?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I do keep a list, and will post them eventually.

    SEAN RYAN

    When you write a book do you fill the less important names in later?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Often I do just that. It can break the flow of writing to develop the right name, particularly when I might cut that scene.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (13 JANUARY)

    Angela Ryddingwood, I have drawn your name.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Bach Payson, I put you in A Memory of Light, but immediately killed you. Sorry 'bout that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, and Bryan Ragon, same goes for you. You died well, though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Craig Foster, you round out the trio of dead Borderlanders I needed for this scene.

    GREG LINDSEY

    Just curious Brandon, are the names coming out of the proverbial hat, or do you look for names that can be easily WOTified?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Most things are pretty easy to wot-ify. And, since I can use either first or last, I haven't yet found any that don't work.

    SEAN CORSON

    Are you changing the names of people you put in A Memory of Light to make them more "Randland" appropriate?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    They are changed.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (16 JANUARY)

    Michael Gonzalez, your name came up next. (Yes, I am wot-izing all of these.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON (20 JANUARY)

    Mione Haak, I drew your name for A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Neil Tweed, you too.

    NEIL TWEED

    Who am I? Dark or light? Do I die well?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I try not to use fan names for the shadow very often. I actually named some woods after you.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You would have been one of the original owners of the land where the woods were, I should think.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nikhil Rode and Nils Loodin, I needed two Aiel scouts.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (23 JANUARY)

    Kris Ring, you're a member of the Seanchan Blood.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (24 JANUARY)

    Johnnie Lee Barrington, Jr. and Jay Dauro, you are members of the Deathwatch Guard.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Paul Benish, hope you look good in the hadori.

    DANIEL NELSON

    I'm confused. You are still using names but won't take anymore? So my name may still come up assuming you aren't done us ...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It very well might. If you are on the list, there is a chance.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (25 JANUARY)

    Pia Maria Vaajakallio, you are Aes Sedai.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maureen Sampson, you're in the White Tower too.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Natalie Doyle, your name came up for A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Melissa Bergevin, your name came up next.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (26 JANUARY)

    Harm Wieringa, your name came up next.

    SHAUN DUQUETTE

    Taking a long time to add the names hehe

    BRANDON SANDERSON (27 JANUARY)

    I'm doing the first revision, and running across places where I left placeholders instead of names.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Jordan White, you're a wolf.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lindsey Turnbow, you too.

    M. KLOMPENHOUWER

    Is anyone keeping track of the names that are being drawn for A Memory of Light?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, they are. We'll post them eventually.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (30 JANUARY)

    Savannah Rose Young, you're a Seanchan general.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Sally Rankin, your name came up too.

    ZACHARY NORTH

    They all get changed. Some as little as Thom or Mat (if appropriate.) Some to things very different.

    ADAM GOUCHER

    How many names got submitted?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Three thousand, I think.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (6 FEBRUARY)

    Anna Roberts and Andrew Holcombe, I drew your names most recently for A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Caitlin Sullivan, you're in the White Ajah.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Courtney Gliszczynski, your name came up next. I think I'll adapt your first name, not your last, if that's all right...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Michael Sarcone, you asked to be a Darkfriend for some reason, and I obliged.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 FEBRUARY)

    Chris Gilbert, you entered your son's name into A Memory of Light and it has been used.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (8 FEBRUARY)

    Drew a bunch of names I didn't report. Eric Silva, Hugh Hill, Sean Little, Rion Kinosaki, Helen Cousins, Eyal Weinstock.

    SEAN LITTLE

    This is Sean Little, the guy that emailed you previously regarding putting in a group name. Did that entry have...

    SEAN LITTLE

    ...San D'ma Shadar as the name?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes.

    SEAN LITTLE

    Thank you very much.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Trying to figure out the San in that phrase, though. Is the "San" a name, or a word in the Old Tongue I'm missing?

    SEAN LITTLE

    The translation used on the site (made by our Old Tongue experts) is Slayers of the Shadow. I could ask for the exact translation.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That works for me. I actually put the name in a place where it could refer to a group, so I'll tweak it to do so.

    ANTHONY AZIZ

    Your favorite Two Rivers man, Azi al'Thone, back to bug you again :D I had put in an entry for SDS as well... and since...

    ANTHONY AZIZ

    ...I'm a member of SDS of TV.Net, I'm wondering what (if any) possibility there is of making Azi part of it?

    ANTHONY AZIZ

    Of course, I understand if that's complicated or doesn't fit with the story—had to ask anyways.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The group is referenced by Mat as being part of a historical battle.

    ANTHONY AZIZ

    Oh okay! Yes, that would be really hard to make work then :P Thanks for the response, Great Lord :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON (14 FEBRUARY)

    Working on one of the big, climactic sections at the end of A Memory of Light right now. Not many names left to draw, I'm afraid. A handful, maybe.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Remember, there is a special group of Dragonsworn in the Last Battle representing all who donated, so even if you aren't named, you're there.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (15 FEBRUARY)

    Roger Trask and Charlie Bachelder, turns out I needed two more Aiel to fight in the Last Battle.

    Tags

  • 69

    Interview: Nov 17th, 2009

    Question

    Do the Forsaken consider themselves Darkfriends?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oooh, you are tricky! I know what you're doing. I would say that, in general, yes they do consider themselves Darkfriends, though there are ways somebody would be able to get around that. I would say, yes, that that is not the sort of mental gymnastics that...it is very easy to convince yourself that you are not a Darkfriend.

    Tags

  • 70

    Interview: Nov 17th, 2009

    Question

    Can someone besides Rand be taught to see the black cords that are seen on other Forsaken?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Robert Jordan is kind of dodgy on the black cords. A lot of people tried to pin him down on those. I think that yes, others could be trained to see the black cords.

    Tags

  • 71

    Interview: Nov 17th, 2009

    Question

    If the Forsaken were in a bubble all by themselves, who would win?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ishamael. He's got the True Power.

    Tags

  • 72

    Interview: Nov 19th, 2009

    TheWindRose

    Are there any Forsaken around Elayne?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon paused for a moment, then said: So many people are trying to figure out where Demandred is, I am not sure I can answer that.

    Samadai

    Forkroot and I both said no, not Demandred. We were talking Cyndane or Moghedien. Then we said, for example, some postulate that Sylvase is Cyndane.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He said, "No, Sylvase is not a Forsaken and was never intended to be."

    Tags

  • 73

    Interview: Nov 19th, 2009

    Question

    Did Shaidar Haran know Moridin had forbidden the Forsaken from rescuing Semirhage?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes he did, no further comment.

    Tags

  • 74

    Interview: Nov 16th, 2009

    Question

    Are there any circumstances of death that could prevent the Dark One from resurrecting someone (other than balefire)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but I'm not going to tell you what.

    This led to a fair amount of discussion about balefire and such. At one point, Brandon said 'all Forsaken other than Sammael who haven't come back were balefired'.

    I immediately jumped on this and asked if that included Asmodean—Brandon said that he wasn't talking about Asmodean (we all didn't even want to go there), but this is further evidence of Brandon slipping hints that Asmodean was balefired.

    This led to a small debate about Osan'gar—I didn't think he was balefired, everyone else at the table thought he was.

    Tags

  • 75

    Interview: Nov 16th, 2009

    Question

    You mentioned that Shaidar Haran has quite a few limitations on his power. Can you give us a few concrete examples of these limitations?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shaidar Haran needs a minion to most of his work for him. Elza was essential to Shaidar Haran in getting things done.

    This led to lots of discussion about swearing to the Shadow—basically, it's a very bad idea and you forfeit some very basic protections when you do. Shaidar Haran has special power over those that swear to the Dark One, and the Forsaken in particular.

    I asked about Alvairin's special mark, and he said Shaidar Haran has similar power over her. The implication is that there are lots of ramifications for swearing to the Dark One. Brandon mentioned that this makes Verin all the more remarkable.

    Tags

  • 76

    Interview: Apr 23rd, 2010

    Ishara

    Did Mierin drill the Bore out of curiosity, or out of some malevolent desire?

    Maria Simons

    Mierin was kind of greedy. I don't think it was a malevolent intent, but it wasn't all pure and nice.

    Ishara

    Did her drilling of the Bore remove her choice [about becoming a Darkfriend] in any way?

    Maria Simons

    I don't know.

    Tags

  • 77

    Interview: Apr 23rd, 2010

    Amanda

    Are we going to see anything about how the Darkfriends or Forsaken take their Oaths?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 78

    Interview: Apr 23rd, 2010

    Question

    Is there any real difference between Forsaken, Dreadlords, Black Ajah, etc.?

    Maria Simons

    I don't think they're all precisely the same thing.

    Tags

  • 79

    Interview: Sep 21st, 2010

    Matt Hatch

    (General summarization of the attack on Rand) Moridin is speaking to the Chosen. He’s kind of pissed. He’s saying look somebody, it was either Sammael or someone pretending to be Sammael, but it was definitely one of the Chosen. Is Moridin’s assumption/belief correct, that the only way for that to have occurred was for one of the Chosen to be involved?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Someone very high up would have to have been involved.

    Matt Hatch

    (Laughter) I should have phrased the question differently…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Someone very high up would have to have been involved. It didn’t just happen.

    Matt Hatch

    When you say high up, do you mean marked or someone with great power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Someone with great influence and power among the, the um…the, among those who follow the Shadow would have to have been involved.

    Matt Hatch

    (Laughter) So, are you suggesting that it may not have been just one person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I said what I said (smiles).

    Matt Hatch

    (Sorry Terez—made up these questions on the fly, so they weren’t very good, but it’s something to chew on. Next.)

    Tags

  • 80

    Interview: Sep 21st, 2010

    Matt Hatch

    This has to do with the Luckers’ Shiny Dragon theory. Masema mentions having a vision, someone tells him to kill Perrin. So, my question, was the individual telling him to kill Perrin a male or female?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He saw a male.

    Matt Hatch

    He did, but was the individual a male or a female?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (Laughs appreciatively and pauses)

    Yes, yes he was a male or a female.

    Matt Hatch

    (Laughs) Was the individual a male?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (Thoughtful, deep intake of breath, pause)

    Matt Hatch

    …as classically defined by his physical…(laughter)

    Brandon Sanderson

    (Says, yes I get what you are asking)…

    Matt Hatch

    ...I’ll say it this way, does this individual have the soul of a man or a woman?

    Brandon Sanderson

    mmmhmm. (pauses looking up for a good twenty or thirty seconds)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Female.

    Matt Hatch

    Excellent.

    Tags

  • 81

    Interview: Oct 19th, 2010

    John Ottinger

    Can readers expect more of the Forsaken to be destroyed in Towers of Midnight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Read and find out.

    Tags

  • 82

    Interview: Oct 19th, 2010

    John Ottinger

    The title's allusion in The Gathering Storm was fairly self-evident. To what does the title of Towers of Midnight refer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Like many of Robert Jordan's titles, there is a metaphorical element and a concrete element. The title refers to both metaphorical events and an actual place. You'll have to read the book to find out.

    Tags

  • 83

    Interview: Nov 2nd, 2010

    Matt Hatch

    How did the Forsaken in charge of the gholam learn of Herid Fel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. (Smile)

    Tags

  • 84

    Interview: Dec, 2010

    Amelia

    Why is this book named Towers of Midnight when the only time those are mentioned are during the first chapter when the wind blows past them and also a mention in the glossary? I'm assuming they're going to be important in the next book. I think most people think these towers were the Towers of Ghenjei, so why the little twist in the title?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of Robert Jordan's titles had twists. There are some that were very straightforward—The Dragon Reborn; The Great Hunt. There are others that are simply things like Knife of Dreams, which comes from a line in a quote at the beginning of the book. The titles usually refer to something specific as well as something metaphorical. Towers of Midnight is the title I chose. There of course are the Towers of Midnight in Seanchan, and if you knew what those were for, and why they were there, it would illuminate the question a little bit more. But the title also refers to the towers that Egwene saw.

    My working title for this book was The Three Towers, as a pun on the title of the second book of the Lord of the Rings. I was writing the second book of a trilogy of sorts here, and was dealing with the Tower of Ghenjei, the White Tower, and the Black Tower. There was going to be a lot more Black Tower stuff in this book which has been moved to the next book, but when I was working on it, we had a lot of focus on those three towers. So the name just struck me. It felt like the right thing to do.

    Carrie (Care)

    I thought that maybe it had to do with Egwene's dream. She dreamt that there were thirteen black towers raising up from the ground, one fell and then raised up again taller than the others. I thought this referred to the Forsaken. Maybe Brandon can clarify.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. But I did mention that it is related to that vision.

    Tags

  • 85

    Interview: Dec, 2010

    Stublore

    On a slightly related note, the Chosen had protection from the taint, was this something unique to the Chosen (it occurs to me actually, that said protection could only have been given AFTER they were freed from the Bore, as such a precaution would have not been needed before Lewis Therin sealed the Bore), or would all Darkfriends have such protection?

    To answer my own question, I'd guess it was unique, else male Darkfriend channelers would have been at a huge advantage after the Breaking.

    Brandon Sanderson

    All Darkfriends do not have such protection.

    Stublore

    Which makes me wonder, if such protection could not be conferred after the Breaking was it because the Dark One was imprisoned and so could have less effect on the world, or was it something that needed to be done at Shayol Ghul?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 86

    Interview: Mar 11th, 2011

    Question

    How long before giving Egwene the ter'angreal ring did Verin have it in her possession?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Did Verin visit Tel'aran'rhiod more than once? If so, generally speaking, how many times did Verin visit Tel'aran'rhiod prior to her discussion of it with Egwene?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Compared to Egwene and the Wise Ones, how experienced in Tel'aran'rhiod was Verin?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Did Verin ever meet with one or more Black Ajah in Tel'aran'rhiod?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Did Verin ever meet with one or more Forsaken in Tel'aran'rhiod?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Did Verin have other ways/means, other than through the ter'angreal dream ring, to get into Tel'aran'rhiod? If so, how did Verin enter Tel'aran'rhiod?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Was Verin ever in Tel'aran'rhiod after giving Egwene the ring?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 87

    Interview: Mar 11th, 2011

    Question

    Verin tells Egwene she wasn't supposed to give Egwene the ter'angreal ring. Was Verin speaking about Tower Law in regards to an Accepted possessing ter'angreal? If not, was Verin speaking about the Black Ajah not wanting Verin to give Egwene the ring? If not, what did Verin mean?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Did the Black Ajah know of the existence of the ter'angreal ring that Verin gave to Egwene?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Did the Black Ajah know Verin gave Egwene the ring? If so, when did they find that out?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Did any of the Forsaken know that Verin gave Egwene the ter'angreal ring? If so, how long after giving Egwene the ring did one or more of the Forsaken know Verin gave it to her?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 88

    Interview: Mar 11th, 2011

    Question

    We see Alviarin have meetings with Mesaana. Was Verin ever visited by one of the Forsaken?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Which of the Forsaken has Verin met, including any she met but was unaware the individual was a Forsaken?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Has Verin ever been to Shayol Ghul?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 89

    Interview: Mar 11th, 2011

    Question

    Speaking about activities outside of the White Tower, Verin was quite the traveler. She plays an integral role throughout the series, particularly in The Great Hunt, where she displays some of her deceptive personality.

    Was Verin sent to Shienar by the Black Ajah?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Was Verin sent to Shienar by one of the Forsaken?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Question

    Was Verin's visit to Shienar something she was doing on behalf of the Amyrlin?

    Maria Simons

    RAFO.

    Tags

  • 90

    Interview: Apr 17th, 2011

    Terez (herid)

    When you said some Forsaken are Dreamers, you meant they have prophetic dreams, right? Or are they just Dreamwalkers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did mean Dreamers. People have been trying to pin me down on that one.

    Terez

    Yeah, everybody has been like convinced that you were just confused...

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...that I was just confused. No. I meant Dreamers. I DID INDEED MEAN DREAMERS.

    Terez

    I know you did, but...just verifying.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. And I’m like 95% on that one. We’ll put an asterisk on it. I actually sent Maria deeper into the notes, but I know at least one is, and I’m pretty sure one of each gender is.

    Footnote

    The most likely candidates seem to be Moridin, Cyndane, and Moghedien, who are undeniably the most skilled at getting into people's dreams and using Tel'aran'rhiod. These talents seem to go together, and all three of them are still alive as of Towers of Midnight (out of five remaining Forsaken).

    Tags

  • 91

    Interview: Apr 17th, 2011

    Terez

    How does Demandred compare in strength to Moridin and Aginor? Sammael?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um...I have to have the list in front of me for that one.

    Terez

    Ahh.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sorry, Terez.

    Terez

    That's okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really want to just post that for people, because so many people ask about it...

    Terez

    Right, they're like really obsessed with it at rafo.com....

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they're very obsessed with it, and the thing is, a lot of them are really close, and so it's a matter of a few points on Jim's scale...

    Terez

    Yeah, I figured, like what you were saying earlier about how they were Chosen because their talents...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Terez

    ...obviously they're all within...

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...yeah. They're all awesome. And so, you know, you couldn't be a Forsaken simply for being awesome in the Power. It's like you had to be awesome at the Power, and be awesome at other stuff.

    Terez

    Well, I mean...that's what they said about Balthamel, that that was the only reason he was one of them, was that he was so strong...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah....

    Terez

    But, you know, obviously there was something else going on there...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. [I think he was already looking at the next (last) question at this point because we were nearing the airport terminal.]

    Tags

  • 92

    Interview: Nov 16th, 2010

    Question

    Someone asked if the Seanchan taking over the entire world would be a victory for the Light or the Dark.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon said it would be a victory for the Light because the Dark One would not have won. He said that the Forsaken have different visions of what a victory for the Dark would mean. Ishamael thinks it will mean the destruction of everything and the end of time whereas Graendal thinks that he will remake the world.

    Tags

  • 93

    Interview: Aug 31st, 2011

    Reddit AMA 2011 (Verbatim)

    Ted Herman ()

    Did the Dark One try to resist when Rand cleansed saidin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    His resistance was primarily through the people he sent.

    Tags

  • 94

    Interview: Oct 15th, 2011

    Ted Herman

    What makes a body suitable for a transmigrated Forsaken besides channeling ability?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Dark One looks for certain things that are not available in just any body, and we will see an illustrated example of this in A Memory of Light.

    Tags

  • 95

    Interview: Nov 19th, 2011

    Question

    How many Forsaken are left?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He thought a bit and said that there are no surprises there. He grinned in recognition of being a trick question.

    Tags

  • 96

    Interview: 2012

    Brandon Sanderson (2 December 2011)

    Moved A Memory of Light from 90% done to 92% done on my website progress bar. Getting very close now.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Writing a conversation between two of the Forsaken right now.

    DEL REY SPECTRA

    I read this too quickly and thought you said "writing a conversation between two of the Foreskin right now".

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That would be a VERY different book, eh?

    Tags

  • 97

    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.

    Tags

  • 98

    Interview: 2012

    Brandon Sanderson (19 December 2011)

    Many thanks, all, for the birthday (and Koloss Head-munching Day) wishes! You are all awesome. To celebrate, I'm writing A Memory of Light. ;)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To get ready for today's writing, I have put on my "Blood and Bloody ashes" shirt from Ta'veren Tees. (https://taverentees.com/threads/)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Note that my wife stole my Koloss Head-Munching Day shirt for the day, which is why I'm not wearing it. (http://store.inkwing.com/happy-koloss-head-munching-day-t-shirt)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, for A Memory of Light, I did finish the early-book material I'd left for later, and am back at the ending. My shirt is very appropriate today.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hm... I haven't given any good A Memory of Light teases today, have I? Well, right now, one of the Forsaken is wearing the image of another Forsaken.

    POOKA

    And I was hoping you would say one of the Forsaken was wearing another's pants.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, that too, of course.

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  • 99

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2011

    Loialson

    Did Nynaeve inform Egwene that according to Rand, the Dark One can resurrect the soul of a Forsaken killed by any means other than balefire?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I honestly don't know if she's told her yet.

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  • 100

    Interview: Oct 29th, 2005

    Congo Red Jr.

    Well I asked Mr. Jordan about this theory, in brief, at a booksigning in Santa Cruz. I did this while getting my books autographed.

    Robert Jordan

    He said the Forsaken are using balefire to help unravel the Pattern. That was all he'd say on it, told me the books provide enough evidence for it.

    CONGO RED JR.

    At any rate I'm not sure whether or not this helps anyone's arguments as I haven't read all of them; y'all write too much.

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  • 101

    Interview: Oct 29th, 2005

    sporkster (comment 70)

    So—one Jordan booksigning against the theory, and one for. Sounds like we can't put this theory in the "Debunked" pile yet...

    CONGO RED JR. (COMMENT 71)

    I suppose it's possible that Mr. Jordan may not have fully understood my question and therefore his answer isn't exactly for or against this theory. LOL The question I asked was this: Have the Forsaken, Demandred specifically, used balefire to destabilize the Pattern at all?

    Robert Jordan

    He said that they've used balefire and the consequences were destabilizing the Pattern and that in the books you could see evidence of that.

    CONGO RED JR.

    I should've been more specific in my question to him and my post here; that was first time I've ever commented on a message board, etc. I'm usually just a reader/browser to forums and such. I personally think the other fella's question was more specific therefore the answer probably more accurate as pertaining to the topic at hand. The answer he gave me upon further reflection could mean any number of things. It's hard to say. Guess we'll all find out when A Memory of Light is published.

    Footnote

    Actually, it appears that both answers might have been accurate in their original form, and that the Forsaken have indeed been using balefire, but that Demandred is not one of them. In any case, Brandon's comments on this theory make it almost certain that balefire is the main cause of the disintegration of the Pattern.

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  • 102

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    Luckers

    Was the Shiny Dragon... was she manipulating Masema before Perrin met him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Umm, when did Perrin meet Masema? Was it in the scene where Alliandre is kneeling and giving her jewelery to him?

    LUCKERS

    No, that was...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nynaeve, yeah. Right.

    LUCKERS

    Perrin met him at the same time Faile was getting kidnapped.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Right. Then in that case, yes, the Shiny Dragon was manipulating him before.

    Footnote

    Technically Perrin met Masema in Fal Dara, and spent a fair amount of time with him on the way to Falme, and afterward.

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  • 103

    Interview: Apr, 2012

    Luckers

    Do the Forsaken know the weaves Elza used to break the warding Cadsuane placed on the Domination Band?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    LUCKERS

    So, why didn’t they use it on wardings Rand placed on Callandor, and the other things they’ve wanted that were warded earlier in the series?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    *stares at me for a long moment, thoughtfully* They may not have know them then. The thing is... we don’t see a lot of the Shadow innovating with the Power, unlike with the Light, but they have been. As much as the Light. But they know, now. The notes definitely say this.

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  • 104

    Interview: Jan 12th, 2011

    Matt Hatch

    Is Lanfear a Dreamer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I lend a lot of credence to the theory that at least one of the Forsaken is or was a Dreamer.

    Matt Hatch

    I did my best to just get him to tell us straight up that one IS, actually that more than one is a Dreamer. But he persisted in using the above language.

    Footnote

    He did confirm that later.

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  • 105

    Interview: Sep 22nd, 2012

    Question

    Why is Dashiva never resurrected? He was killed with a ball of fire by Elza, not balefire....

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I know.

    Loialson

    Why is he dead?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Robert Jordan once said that res...transmigrating a soul had not just to do with the way that they were killed but the time and...not necessarily just a weave, but why and how. [Technically, where and how.] I am not going to delve too much into transmigration. Robert Jordan did speak on these sorts of things. And so, the Dark One also might not think that the person was an asset worth bringing back.

    Loialson

    Dashiva kinda sucks.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not gonna say, but those are all factors in this.

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  • 106

    Interview: Nov 3rd, 2012

    Brandon Sanderson

    When asked if any of the Forsaken ever had any children he said MAFO.

    herid

    This pretty much means "no" IMO. So I'm afraid that does it for the nice theory that Taim is a son of Moridin and Narg. :)

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  • 107

    Interview: Feb 7th, 2013

    Robert Moreau

    The person before me asked why Demandred did not use the True Power during the Last Battle.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sanderson said he was wary of the True Power and everything that came with it. "He may have been the smartest of all the Forsaken for not wanting to use the True Power."

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  • 108

    Interview: Feb 6th, 2013

    Freelancer

    Also about Lanfear. When she pops up next to Perrin several times in Tel'aran'rhiod at the Black Tower, she would speak to him briefly, then glance at the sky and vanish. Was that part of her act, trying to convince Perrin that she was no longer serving the Shadow, or was she genuinely afraid of being caught by "him"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Here's the thing about Lanfear. Just about everything she does has an element, a veneer of truth to it, and that greatly exaggerated, but no more than that. And as you said, she's playing a different game than everyone else, and I mean everyone else. They're all playing chess, and she's playing backgammon. You cannot take her actions at face value.

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  • 109

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2013

    Question

    Getting back to Callandor, we know that you have to channel the appropriate power though a seed—saidin or saidar. So I was wondering how Callandor got True Power capability. Is it because of the flaw, or did someone channel the True Power through the seed at the time it was created?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's an excellent question to which I do not have the answer. It's not one I had considered.

    Question

    Somebody had said when I posted in the Facebook re-readers group that there is a theory that the capability might be due to the Taint, but I wasn't sure that was the case.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I believe it was made intentionally to do what it did for a specific use. Not what it ended up being used for. I don't think it was used for that. I think it was built—you're going to have to clear it with Maria—I think it was built to be a trap for one of the male Forsaken.

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  • 110

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    From Freelancer, Can you speak to how and when a True Power sa'angreal was created?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I believe that such a thing, you'll have to check with Maria to make sure that I'm not saying anything wrong, but I believe that this thing was created as a trap for one of the Forsaken.

    Question

    I think what he is more after, is once we have had the talk about the seed for a sa'angreal...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, huh. How did that happen? That I am not talking too much about.

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  • 111

    Interview: Apr, 2013

    Question

    What are the three oaths which bind Darkfriends?

    Maria Simons

    1) I shall obey all commands given by those placed above me in service to the Great Lord. 2) I shall prepare for the day of the Great Lord's return. 3) I swear not to betray the Great Lord, to keep my secrets until the hour of my death. It should be noted that these were taken straight from Robert Jordan's notes, where he had added "May vary the wording a little."

    Footnote

    Verin says "You can double-cross other Darkfriends, you can turn against the Chosen if you can justify it." To justify turning against the Chosen, you could argue that a specific Chosen was not placed above you by the Great Lord himself.

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  • 112

    Interview: Apr 20th, 2013

    Terez

    Which Forsaken was manipulating Masema? Brandon told us it was a woman. Well, he told us it a woman who was actually making the Illusion; it might have been somebody taking orders from someone else; we don't know.

    Maria Simons

    I think I know, but I'm not sure.

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  • 113

    Interview: Apr 20th, 2013

    Terez

    Which Forsaken was it that visited Isam at the beginning of A Memory of Light?

    Maria Simons

    I'm not going to answer that one.

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  • 114

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    smb89 ()

    So all the Forsaken pretty much ended up helping the Light win by accident. Is that the Pattern's design?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, this question is loaded with some issues. First off, there's the concept of the Pattern. Does it have a will? The Wheel does the weaving. The Pattern more IS...but some quotes in the books do ascribe small motives to it. This doesn't even get into the idea of whether what the characters believe is true or if it is simply their way of understanding.

    Let's put it at this...Moiraine would say that the Wheel has woven what it Willed, and men beating against it only served to more surely enmesh them into their places.

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  • 115

    Interview: Nov 1st, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    Robert Jordan didn't leave me a ton of direction regarding the Black Tower. There were a few gems that we knew, but in a lot of places I was left to follow my instincts regarding the plotting points he had built across the last few books. He did leave a lot of clear instructions regarding Taim, fortunately, including his backstory and instructions for a scene where Taim was named as one of the Forsaken.

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