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Your search for the tag 'illuminators' yielded 9 results

  • 1

    Interview: Jul 19th, 2005

    Week 18 Question

    How did the people of the current Age go three thousand years without discovering the military applications of explosives? Were the Illuminators just that ruthless?

    Robert Jordan

    The Illuminators were completely ruthless in protecting their secret. And they put about tales such as that exposure to air could sometimes makes the substances inside fireworks explode without fire, and even more violently than fire did, in order to discourage close examination. Then there is the fact that there hasn't been a single three thousand year climb from barbarism and disaster, but three roughly one thousand climbs, from the Breaking of the World, from the near total destruction of the Trolloc Wars, which either destroyed or doomed every nation then existing, and from the devastation of the War of the Hundred Years. As an historical note, fireworks were used in China for roughly a thousand years before someone decided to use gunpowder as a weapon. As a matter of desperation, they dropped large firecrackers on the heads of soldiers climbing siege ladders. And by the evidence I've seen, gunpowder wasn't used as a weapon again for several hundred more years after that. I can see the view. All right, they held off the assault, but firecrackers? Firecrackers?

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  • 2

    Interview: Apr 8th, 2001

    Question

    Ah yes, somebody asked about him comparing Randland with 17th century earth as it would have been without gunpowder, but said that there was gunpowder in Randland.

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan explained that the development of something like gunpowder is not as natural as it might seem to us. They had fireworks for a thousand years in China before thinking of using it as a weapon (and then they only threw fireworks over the walls because they'd run out of rocks). Steel was invented time and again with never becoming widely known. Things like that. There's no reason for Randlanders to connect 'wanting to do things Aes Sedai do, but without using the Power' with fireworks. There are currently only a handful of people thinking about possible uses of fireworks as a weapon, and that only because they were around to learn about the damage of a Chapterhouse blowing up or something similar. Besides this, Randlanders aren't thinking about making weapons when dealing with fireworks, they're thinking about making money with it, because it's a luxury good. It's just as if caviar could be used as a weapon.

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  • 3

    Interview: Mar 8th, 2005

    CBR

    Jordan began by bringing those new to his work up to speed and pointed out that since New Spring is the prequel to "The Wheel of Time" series, the book is naturally new reader friendly.

    Robert Jordan

    "New readers don't really need to know anything beyond what they will get in the comic," Jordan told CBR News Monday afternoon. "I will point out that this is not another pseudo-medieval world. I like to think of it as being the late Seventeenth Century with gunpowder as the guild secret of the people who make fireworks."

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  • 4

    Interview: Jan 20th, 2003

    Rick Kleffel

    Now, you have a neat solution to one of the old problems of fantasy, for me at least, which is the 'Why don't they have guns?' question. Could you talk about the society of Illuminators, and how that technology has played into your narrative thus far, and maybe give us an idea of how it will play out as the series progresses?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, I'm not going to give you any idea of how it plays out. If you spend any time on the net—at least, on any of the several hundred if not several thousand websites that discuss my books—you will have run into the acronym 'RAFO'. R-A-F-O. 'RAFO' means 'Read And Find Out'. Now, I postulated a world where gunpowder is the secret of a guild: the Guild of Illuminators, people who make fireworks. Nobody else knows how to make fireworks—knows how to make gunpowder—except this guild, and they have managed to preserve their secret for quite a long time. And I think part of the reason why I thought that this could happen were two things that I came across in separate places.

    One was evidence of discovery of steel, the first manufacturer of steel, which was discovered—we found countless places where the first smith discovered how to make steel, or at least a smith discovered how to make steel, and by all the evidence, no one else in that area had known how to make steel before him—but of course when he could make steel, his weapons were much better than anybody else's. He had provided steel swords to use against bronze, or iron, and...wow, he had sort of a magic sword here, didn't he? And he sure as hell didn't teach anybody else how to do it, so from the time that men began discovering steel, and the secret began dying with them, to the time when steel began to be manufactured semi-widely, was about a thousand years.

    The first time that gunpowder—that we can find evidence of gunpowder being used as a weapon—was in China, when the inhabitants of a besieged city made huge fireworks and dropped them over the wall onto soldiers trying to climb ladders, siege ladders up over the walls of the Chinese city. It's not a very efficient way to use gunpowder, but what's interesting is that it was something over a thousand years after gunpowder, by the evidence, had been discovered in China, and for all of that time, it had been used for nothing more than making fireworks, firecrackers, just...that was it. That was the whole use. So, we have a world where there are no guns because nobody knows how to make gunpowder, except for this guild, and they're not going to put the secret around.

    Rick Kleffel

    That's very clever.

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  • 5

    Interview: Sep, 2005

    Glas Durboraw

    When you first came up with the Wheel of Time series, how would you describe it? Almost like a post-apocalyptic, but long time past type thing.

    Robert Jordan

    Well, it's post-apocalyptic in that the world was essentially destroyed—a much more advanced civilization was essentially destroyed three thousand years ago—and there have been, in the intervening three thousand years, there have been two major wars, or actually series of wars that came so close together that they are linked in the way that the Hundred Years War is considered one...or they call it one war historically, but actually it lasted a hundred and thirteen years. It was a whole bunch of different wars in different countries, and some many keep dropping out and joining in...those two series of wars in themselves were civilization-destroying, so what you have now at three thousand years after the destruction, the higher civilization is a civilization that is about 1690 or 1700 in technological sophistication, with one difference: gunpowder is a secret held by the Illuminator's Guild, the people who make fireworks. Nobody else knows how to make fireworks—knows how to make gunpowder—and nobody has any idea of using it as a weapon.

    Glas Durboraw

    Which changes everything pretty much drastically. I remember the [?] in the first book, and I was like, "Oh cool!" as I read my way through it, because it had very ...different than some of the other books of that ilk that I've read in the past, but I liked it very much.

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  • 6

    Interview: Nov 9th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    We will most probably not be seeing any actual dragons in the series—the naming of Aludra's cannons is not because of the shared fire breathing, but simply a general association with power.

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  • 7

    Interview: Nov 9th, 2009

    Question

    Will we see dragons in the books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon mentions Aludra's cannons.

    Ted Herman

    My speculation is that they are the basis of the legends.

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  • 8

    Interview: Apr, 2001

    Robert Jordan

    The question why there wasn't gunpowder in 'Randland' got the simple "Because nobody's thought of the use of fireworks as a weapon, and there are only a handful of people who know of the power of gunpowder—only if you've ever witnessed a chapterhouse explosion you might start to think in that direction."

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