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Your search for the tag 'one power' yielded 158 results

  • 1

    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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  • 2

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1998

    Question

    The Bowl: Someone asked him whether, if men had helped the Aes Sedai and Windfinders and Kin channel through the Bowl, the One Power would still have been screwed up.

    Robert Jordan

    His implicit assumption was that the Bowl screwed things up. I expected this to be a sheer RAFO. I was surprised. He went into a relatively detailed explanation to the effect that the Bowl was stressed far, far beyond its original design parameters because of the advanced knowledge of the Windfinders. It was affecting a global pattern, when it was designed for only a small region. Men helping would not have changed anything, and the effects linger most strongly near Ebou Dar, but also along the "spokes" which radiated from that place. (I should have asked if a spoke went out over Tear.)

    Footnote

    The 'relatively detailed explanation' can be found in TPOD 2, Moridin's POV. Moridin noted that the Bowl was originally a ter'angreal designed to control the weather in small areas, and that the Sea Folk were likely capable of stretching its abilities far beyond its intended capacity (since they could do unaided what should have required the Bowl, by Age of Legends standards).

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  • 3

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    He has no particular real world inspiration for the One Power, at least not that he knows of. He admits that he's read a lot of stuff and at times forgets a source here and there.

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  • 4

    Interview: Jul, 2002

    Question

    How does your knowledge of physics influence your idea of channeling and the Talents involved in the books, such as Traveling, Skimming, etc? Do you have other hobbies or talents that influence your writing?

    Robert Jordan

    My knowledge of physics influenced channeling to the extent that I have attempted to treat channeling as if it were a form of science and engineering rather than magic. You might say that the Laws of Thermodynamics apply in altered form. I expect that my reading in history has influenced the books more than my knowledge of physics or engineering. I have not tried to copy any actual historical culture or period, but a knowledge of the way things actually were done at various times has helped shape my vision of the world of The Wheel, as has the study of cultures meeting that are strange to one another, and cultures undergoing change, willingly or, as is more often the case, unwillingly. I used to spend summers working on my grandfather’s farm, a very old-fashioned set-up even then, so I have some feel for country life, and I like to hunt and fish, and spent a good part of my growing up in the woods or on the water, so I have a fair feel for the outdoors and the forests, which also helps. And of course, I can use a little of my Vietnam experience. Not for setting out the actual battles, but because I know firsthand the confusion of battle and what it is like to try to maintain some semblance or order while all around you random events are pushing everything toward chaos.

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  • 5

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 9 Question

    When a person channels, where do the flows appear to originate from? Do they extrude themselves somehow from the person's body, or do they seem to appear out of thin air in the channeler's general vicinity? What do the flows look like to a person who can channel? Are they colored, clear or indeterminate, smooth or rough, wispy or solid?

    Robert Jordan

    To the channeler, the flows seem to originate in his or her very immediate vicinity, not to emanate from themselves, although to another channeler, those flows do seem to be emanating from the channeler. The latter is the actual case, as the One Power is passing through the channeler, one of the reasons for individual limits on how much of the Power a particular person can handle. (And you have seen characters react as if to a blow from having a flow snapped or cut.)

    A channeler sees the flows as colored very faintly, according to which of the Five Powers is involved (red = Fire, Blue = Water, green = Earth, yellow = Air, white = Spirit), although the "feel" of the flows are also different to a channeler, so that a channeler can tell one from another without actually seeing them. (That is how someone can tell that somebody else has channeled, say, Fire and Earth, in their vicinity without seeing the flows.) It isn't a physical feel; you might almost as well say that they have different flavors. They appear to be smooth and nearly transparent, tinged with color.

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  • 6

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 18 Question

    Who were the first channelers, and how did they learn? By trial and error? Are there any Ages where channeling does not exist?

    Robert Jordan

    The first people to discover the ability to channel learned through trial and error, with fairly high casualty rates until they learned enough not to kill themselves accidentally. Their appearance marked the beginning of the previous Age to that of the books, or at least the end of the Age before that one.

    Yes, as I have set things up, there are Ages when no one has any idea of how to channel or even that the One Power exists. Our own, for one. (The Wheel of Time turns.)

    Footnote

    RJ hints in the glossary of the split version of The Eye of the World that Tamyrlin was the name of the person who discovered the One Power at the dawn of the Age of Legends.

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  • 7

    Interview: Jan 25th, 2005

    Week 19 Question

    How far can a channeler Travel with the One Power? I know they can Travel anywhere on the globe, and enter Tel'aran'rhiod through a slightly different weave, but is it possible to Travel to other planets, or even planets in other galaxies?

    Robert Jordan

    Travel to other planets within the solar system would require a circle of fairly strong channelers, though not necessarily as many as thirteen, depending on exactly how far out they wanted to go. Travel to a planet in another solar system would require a rather large circle (of the maximum possible size) of very strong channelers, and there would a limit on how far they could go in one jump. They could planet-hop, of course. Travel to another galaxy would be beyond them even if they began on the planet in this galaxy nearest the target galaxy.

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  • 8

    Interview: Jul 19th, 2005

    Week 8 Question

    When a person that can channel is shielded, where is the shield placed? Is it placed around the whole body of the person or around the head of the channeler where they sense saidin/saidar? If you are shielded from the One Power, are you also shielded from the True Power? What happens if someone in a circle is shielded? Can a Warder feel that his Aes Sedai is shielded?

    Robert Jordan

    A shield exists both as a barrier around the entire person and as a single point along with everything in between. (In a way, this is like the Bore, which does not actually exist as Shayol Ghul. The Bore exists everywhere, but Shayol Ghul is the place where it can best be detected. Which is not to say that there is any connection between the Bore and a shield. Both simply exist in different states simultaneously.) Someone who is shielded and trying to get past the shield can "feel" their way along its inner "surface" hunting for weaknesses, such as the points that indicate where the shield is being maintained or has been tied off. Shielding against the One Power will indeed stop someone from reaching for the True Power. It isn't possible to shield one person out of a circle since, in effect, the circle has become a single person for the purpose of channeling. You would have to shield the entire circle, which would require either a circle of your own or a pretty hefty sa'angreal. A Warder cannot feel that his Aes Sedai has been shielded, though he would be aware of any agitation on her part. But this would tell him no more than that she was agitated.

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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 13 Question

    Can a weave be moved or otherwise affected by external non-Power related forces? For example, can a non-channeler take a sword of Air and use it for battle? Or can a shield of Air be moved by the wind? Or can a natural event disturb a weave without affecting the channeler?

    Robert Jordan

    The first example given has to be treated separately, I think. A sword woven of Air—or Fire or any other of the Five Powers—could be wielded by a non-channeler if the weave had been tied off or the channeler maintained it. But that is a difficult way to acquire a sword and not really worth the effort unless there is great need for a sword and no other sword available. But in that case, why wouldn't the channeler simply handle things another way? To paraphrase Siuan Sanche, "It's simpler and easier just to use a steel sword."

    As to weaves being affected by other non-Power, natural occurrences, no, not directly. Though an earthquake knocking an Aes Sedai off her feet and bouncing her around might put a crimp on her channeling for a bit. The wind will not move a shield woven of Air, nor will any other natural event affect a weave UNLESS it does so by affecting the channeler first and thus disrupting his or her ability for whatever period of time. If the channeler is being swept away down rapids, this presents problems. Not necessarily insurmountable problems, but being tumbled head over heels, bounced off boulders and half drowned makes the necessary concentration not easy.

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  • 11

    Interview: Nov, 1993

    Trinity College Q&A (Paraphrased)

    Robert Jordan

    Specific questions: Lews Therin Telamon's suicide was emphatically not balefire, but an overload of the Power. And when Verin was mentioned, he just said he hoped he kept surprising people.

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  • 12

    Interview: Nov, 1993

    Trinity College Q&A (Paraphrased)

    Robert Jordan

    He also spoke for quite some time on the splitting of the One Power into male and female halves, and on the disharmony produced when they don't work together...this came across as one of the core elements in the origin of WoT. (re: Yin/Yang—leaving out the little dots in the symbol is an intentional representation of the lack of harmony between male/female Power in Randland.)

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  • 13

    Interview: Dec, 1993

    Question

    Ask him if he knows about all the Jordan junkies on the network. Tell him we love his books and are frenzied to know when the next one is coming out. Get him to confirm that Verin is not Black. (Not that he will of course; then again, those of us who know, know that she isn't.) Please find out if Lews Therin balefired himself in the prologue in The Eye of the World, or if he just drew too much of the One Power. If it isn't critical to the continuing plot, I'm sure he'll say.

    Robert Jordan

    I know about the "Jordan junkies" (ahem! Blush!), now. Lews Therin did not use balefire on himself; he simply drew as much of the One Power as he could, then kept on pulling it in. As for Verin: read and find out. Surely you agree with Oscar Wilde about the suspense? I will try to keep you right a tiptoe as long as I can.

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  • 14

    Interview: Oct 11th, 2005

    Question

    Someone asked if someone who was stilled can use a Well.

    Robert Jordan

    No.

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  • 15

    Interview: Oct 11th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    Re: The Path of Daggers, Graendal would have to be using her angreal in order for another female to notice the difference in her strength. Just wearing it does not change how others would perceive her strength.

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  • 16

    Interview: Oct 11th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    Re: bulk "strength" in the Power, RJ reiterated that men were stronger than women by a couple of levels, including Lanfear [whom he reiterated was a woman after all]; but then he also reminded us that that did not take into account the dexterity factor.

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  • 17

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1994

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Sharon Perdue

    Why weren't Compulsion and Illusion mentioned in the previous books before Lord of Chaos and is there any specific character in the series that you have taken a liking to?

    Robert Jordan

    Compulsion and Illusion: They weren't mentioned primarily because it wasn't necessary. Actually Compulsion has been mentioned a number of times, and I think Illusion has been mentioned in passing at least once or twice. It just wasn't necessary to deal with them in depth. The answer to the rest of the question: All of them. (Sorry.) I like all of them. Whoever I'm writing—that's the one I like.

    Footnote

    Moiraine actually used Illusion a couple of times in The Eye of the World; it just wasn't named as such.

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  • 18

    Interview: Oct 20th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    He sees some correlation between Randland's "magic" (a term he frowns on) and quantum physics, but he says it is not deliberate. He disbelieves 95-99% of modern physics but says it will be 50 years before it is put in the same file as phlogiston.

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  • 19

    Interview: 2010

    Azral Hanan (29 July 2010)

    Are the taint and the True Power the same?

    Brandon Sanderson (29 July 2010)

    No, they are different.

    AZRAL HANAN

    Can Mashadar destroy True Power and True Power weaves like it destroyed the taint?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO.

    AZRAL HANAN

    If there was no Cleansing would the taint eventually run out as it's used by men who go insane & die ad infinitum?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I don't think it'd run out. But that's a "Brandon's mostly sure, but hasn't checked the notes."

    AZRAL HANAN (30 JULY)

    Did Mr. Jordan list out what the True Power can/not do relative to the One Power? Are there limits to both?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO. Maybe we'll put some of that in the encyclopedia. They are certainly different. Towers of Midnight has some hints.

    BENJAMIN MOLDOVAN

    Mashadar is gone, isn't it? Would it really hurt to say whether the True Power would be affected?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Have we ever confirmed that Mashadar is dead? :)

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  • 20

    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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  • 21

    Interview: Oct 11th, 2005

    Ted Herman

    Is the One Power infinite and what is it composed of (my question)?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

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  • 22

    Interview: Jun 16th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    He didn't give any conclusive answer to the Two Rivers channeling paradox, but he noted that many strange occurrences come from there, like inherent ability to speak the Old Tongue under stress.

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  • 23

    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.

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  • 24

    Interview: Jun 16th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    The Flame and the Void he said was mainly a concentration technique, but one very close to the techniques used for teaching men to contact the One Power.

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  • 25

    Interview: Jun 16th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    On Skimming and Traveling he said: "In Skimming, one need to know the target better than the starting place. In Traveling, one need to know the starting place better than the destination." [Not exact quote, but nearly so, and the effect is exact. Very interesting implications if taken literally.]

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  • 26

    Interview: Apr 5th, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    Mat's amulet blocks both saidin and saidar. Jordan answered this one straight-out when asked. He pointed out that the amulet only blocks actual weavings of the One Power, not the physical effects that could be caused by a weaving. For example, Elayne was able to use the One Power to hurl a rock at Mat. Rahvin was able to create a bolt of lightning which struck Mat. (Jordan noted that Mat's death by lightning and subsequent undoing of his death when Rand balefired Rahvin, fulfills a prophecy about living, dying, and then living again.)

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  • 27

    Interview: Apr 5th, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    How learning to use the One Power works: The older you are, the faster you reach your full potential. Men reach their full strength faster than women. Forced training makes you learn faster, but it is very dangerous—it can kill you, or burn you out. The Asha'man are being trained that way, and the casualties of the training show this. (X number dead, Y number burned out...) Egwene, and Elayne and Nynaeve have also experienced forced training.

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  • 28

    Interview: Jun 21st, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    The universe is driven by saidin and saidar working against each other. They will not end up as the Light Power.

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  • 29

    Interview: Jun 26th, 1996

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Martin Reznick

    Does your world have defined natural laws in terms of: the One Power, the True Power, the weather, etc., or do you make them up as you go along?

    Robert Jordan

    There are set laws—there have to be—if you write stories where anything can happen, they get flabby, you lose focus. I have certain set laws and limits on the One Power, the True Power, and all of this. And these limits and laws come out in pieces, they are not the focus of the stories so they only come out in bits and pieces.

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  • 30

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    Shosh001

    Mr. Jordan, you've outdone yourself with A Crown of Swords. My question concerns the True Power. How is it distinguishable from the One Power?

    Robert Jordan

    It's fairly self-evident from the book. What can be done with the True Power is very similar to what can be done with the One Power. Except that where the One Power is drawn from the True Source and is the force that drives the Wheel of Time and powers the universe, the so-called True Power is drawn from the Dark One. There are limits in the same ways there are limits to the One Power. It would be very long if I went into it too much, but some of those limits and costs of drawing on the Dark One are shown in A Crown of Swords.

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  • 31

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    JJVORSmith

    Can gateways be created at non-right angles to the ground? If not, why not? If yes, why haven't we seen them?

    Robert Jordan

    They can be, and you haven't seen it because there's been no need to do it. And also some of the people who can make gateways don't know how to do it.

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  • 32

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    Ellisande

    Cuendillar grows stronger when the One Power is directed into it, but can the One Power be drawn out of it, causing it to break?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out! :) That's something I may or may not use in a future book, but it's information that I don't want you to have yet. And that's the reason why I say "Read and find out" when I say it. :)

    Footnote

    Later hints suggest that it is the True Power causing the seals to break.

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  • 33

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    LewsTher1

    What was the process through which cuendillar was made?

    Robert Jordan

    Entirely too complex for me to go into here. If there's anyone out there who can channel on the level of a Forsaken I would be happy to enter into a correspondence with them on the making of cuendillar. :)

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  • 34

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Question

    New Dreadlords? Via True Power? What are limits of True Power? When did we see it used before?

    Robert Jordan

    Access to the True Power is a matter of wanting it and the Dark One letting you. NOT black cords. In the Prologue to The Eye of the World we saw True Power used to heal insanity. The One Power cannot be used to heal insanity. True Power used at Shayol Ghul will fry you instantly.

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  • 35

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Question

    What happens when two people balefire each other simultaneously?

    Robert Jordan

    [disgusted look] A lot of confusion.

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  • 36

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Question

    Can weaves be inverted in a way that prevents them being detected even while they are being woven, i.e. so you could draw and weave with saidin, and no one would detect it, or can the weaves only be hidden after they have been tied off?

    Robert Jordan

    No answer. [Stupid woman and "how do you get your ideas" question.]

    Footnote

    RJ addressed this in the text at the Cleansing, when Demandred 'reversed' his gateways so as to avoid being detected. (Cadsuane's ter'angreal, which can apparently detect reversed/inverted weaves, foiled his plan.)

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  • 37

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Question

    What are the requirements for being raised from Accepted to Aes Sedai?

    Robert Jordan

    Ability to channel under extreme stress.

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  • 38

    Interview: Oct 9th, 1996

    Robert Jordan (10 October 1996)

    RJ said specifically:

    • no channeling necessary to become Dreadlord

    • True Power independent of One Power

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  • 39

    Interview: Nov 11th, 1997

    Lana Trezise from Columbia, MO

    A recurring motif in the Wheel of Time series is the differences between men and women. Why did you decide to make this such an important feature in your writings, and why do you take such a bipolar view on gender?

    Robert Jordan

    I became fascinated with women at the age of three. It's a long story—too long to go into here. But I quickly realized that for everything that was the same about men and women, there seemed to be at least two or three things that were different. Once I had decided that I wanted to use the One Power in the way that I was using it—that is divided into a male half and a female half—it became obvious to me that the differences between men and women themselves should also play a part.

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  • 40

    Interview: Nov 11th, 1997

    Rhonda Peters from Toronto, Ontario

    Would you be willing to tell us a little more about the limits of Healing with the One Power, as they're understood in the present day and/or the Age of Legends? Could someone Heal a genetic condition like Huntington's or color blindness? A chromosomal defect like Down's Syndrome? A degenerative condition like arthritis?

    Robert Jordan

    Not with the form of Healing that in generally known. With the newly rediscovered forms of Healing, it would be quite possible, but with the newly rediscovered forms of Healing people would (need to) learn how to do it because everything is Healed differently with the new way.

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  • 41

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1998

    David Berkowitz from Chicago

    We know that people who can channel can mask the fact that they can channel. Is it possible for a person to make it appear as if she/he is less powerful than she/he really is?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out...

    Footnote

    RJ confirmed about a month later that it is indeed possible. This is how Mesaana was able to disguise herself as Danelle without having to Compel the entire White Tower.

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  • 42

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1998

    Josh from Preston, CT

    Hello, Mr. Jordan. I find the magic system in the series so complex and fascinating. Could you tell us if it is something you worked out before you started writing the series, or did you just add things in as you went along?

    Robert Jordan

    I had the basis of it before I began writing, and a good part of how it fit together. Other parts were added in when I realized that there was a question to be answered—something that I had to decide here and now, how this worked. But I have now quite a large file describing the One Power and how it works, and the things that can be done with it and the things that can't be done, and the exceptions to the rules and all that. It would probably be 300 pages if I printed it out, maybe a little more, but I never have. It's just a computer file at the moment.

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  • 43

    Interview: Oct 24th, 1998

    Justin Howell

    I asked why Elayne thought even a Forsaken couldn't break the shield Adeleas and Vandene were holding on Ispan, expecting the answer that Elayne is clue-impaired.

    Robert Jordan

    The correct answer is that holding a shield on someone depends not only on relative strength and fatigue, but also on whether the shield is held by channelers of the same sex as the victim. Thus two women (Adeleas and Vandene on Ispan, or Ispan and Falion on Nynaeve in A Crown of Swords) can hold another woman, but three women just get severed if they try to shield Rand. As a curiosity, it is also possible for multiple people to hold a shield without linking, but this is less strong and less precise, producing basically a layered shield.

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  • 44

    Interview: Nov 1st, 1998

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Linda

    We see a lot of characters making estimates about how strong such and such a channeler is or will be, but when we're talking about so far unfulfilled potential, how accurately can it be judged? Especially if the channeler making the judgement doesn't know how much training the channeler being judged previously has had?

    Robert Jordan

    Someone can judge a current strength. This differs between men and women. A woman that can channel can [make a] very accurate judgement of another woman's strength whether she is channeling or not if she is standing close enough. Among Aes Sedai at least, knowledge of potential strength, especially if it is thought to be a great strength, becomes very widespread. Among men the circumstances are different. A man who can channel cannot judge the strength of another unless the other is channeling the One Power or holding the One Power, and even then all he can judge is how much of the One Power the other man is holding. He can't say how much he can hold. There are great differences between men and women in the One Power.

    Footnote

    Rand noted in Lord of Chaos that it is possible to tell if a man is straining (that is, holding as much as he can), and Logain reiterated the point in Knife of Dreams.

    Tags

  • 45

    Interview: Nov 20th, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    RJ said that a channeler can hide strength as well as ability to channel, but added that 1) few people know how to do it, and 2) the Aes Sedai don't even know these tricks are possible.

    John Nowacki

    Those caveats are rather obvious, I know. But I mention this answer because I thought I heard it reported here that this question was met with "RAFO" in the past. I'm sure someone will clarify that for me.

    Tags

  • 46

    Interview: Nov 14th, 1998

    Matthew Hunter

    The third was someone else again, and I didn't hear the question clearly, but I think it was about the weird Power effects. Assuming I heard correctly, this should support the Bowl theory, due to the lack of effects in Andor despite the gateway detonation and the timing of the effect first showing up. Of course, he didn't say so explicitly, but that is what would seem to be the intuitively obvious explanation.

    Tags

  • 47

    Interview: Nov 1st, 1998

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Rothaar

    The general consensus seems to be that the Bowl of Winds caused the weirdness in the Power around Ebou Dar. Do we know enough at this time to determine the true cause or do we have to RAFO more info?

    Robert Jordan

    I think you know enough by this point. It is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. I always hated it when my math professors said that.

    Footnote

    RJ explained further here.

    Tags

  • 48

    Interview: Nov 10th, 2000

    Brandon Downey

    Then, I asked my question, which concerned the Warder bond and the stedding.

    QUESTION

    What happens to an Aes Sedai's Warder bond if she enters a stedding? Can she still detect it? What if I tie off a weave, and enter a stedding? If the weave vanishes, will it reappear when I leave? If it won't reappear, why can't shielded/tied channelers such as Asmodean or Liandrin simply enter a stedding to have their shield dissolved?

    Robert Jordan

    No, of course not. An Aes Sedai would still be able to detect her Warder in the stedding.

    Brandon Downey

    Then, I asked about going into the stedding with a weave of illusion tied on you:

    Robert Jordan

    The weave would go away, and would not come back when you left.

    Brandon Downey

    Then, of course, I asked: "Why couldn't Asmodean, or Lanfear, or someone else with a tied off shield go into a stedding and get themselves freed?"

    Robert Jordan

    No. That's different.

    Brandon Downey

    So, that's a confusing set of answers. Why is it that when shielded, the bond to your Warder can become faint enough that you don't notice it, whereas in the stedding it's just fine? Why is it that weaves that don't depend on you drawing the One Power don't work, but Wells do? And, why do shields (which are a species of a weave) that are tied off not subject to this constraint?

    Tags

  • 49

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2000

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Shawnyve

    How exactly do Wells work, if a person is in a place where they cannot sense saidar then how do they embrace to channel from the Well? And can you use a Well when you are shielded from the Source?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out!

    Tags

  • 50

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2000

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    phoenix1356

    Mr. Jordan, as a witch I would like to thank and compliment you on your explanation of the elemental powers.

    Robert Jordan

    I've been reading about elemental powers for years; glad you like it.

    Tags

  • 51

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2000

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    ArabianKn

    Mr. Jordan, Whenever a channeler draws on the One Power, does he/she become temporarily outside the Wheel's control? I ask this because Min's viewings of Aes Sedai get fuzzy whenever they draw on the Power and in Lord of Chaos Egwene avoids Rand's ta'veren effect by drawing on saidar.

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out!

    Tags

  • 52

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2000

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Monkeyman

    Nobody who can channel saidin or saidar can sense the True Power. And, since the Forsaken don't seem to notice Moridin channeling the True Power, is it detectable at all (besides by a gholam)? That is, can someone already holding the True Power sense another using it?

    Robert Jordan

    No. Not by any method we've seen yet.

    Tags

  • 53

    Interview: Jan, 2001

    SFBC

    Considering some of the cultures that you've come up with in your books, like the Seanchan, or the Aiel, even the building up of their history, are there any real world equivalents to them?

    Robert Jordan

    Not one-to-one. Not for any given cultures. Well, the Aiel for instance, there are bits of Berber and Bedouin cultures. Zulu. Some things from the Japanese historical cultures. From the Apache Indians. Also from the Cheyenne. I put these things together and added in some things that I also wanted to be true about the culture beyond these real cultures.

    Then I began to figure out if these things were true, what else had to be true and what things could not be true. That can be very simple. If you have a culture living in a land where water is scarce, well, obviously they value water. It's necessary for human survival. On the other hand, if they live in the middle of a waterless waste, dealing with crossing rivers or lakes is going to be difficult for them. They don't know how.

    SFBC

    It makes perfect sense.

    ROBERT JORDAN

    Those are two very simple and obvious points, but you put together a lot of things like that and you begin to get an image of what the culture is like.

    SFBC

    Even the way you have these characters talking about people who live with a lot of water, calling them "wetlanders" and so forth is very interesting. The concept of the "World of Dreams," Tel'aran'rhiod—when did you dream that up?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    I'm not sure of when that exactly came to me. I'm not certain if I could point to a source, because I cannot remember anything of that sort. It's quite possible that I read about something, some myth or legend somewhere that included this, but by the time I began writing, I had the concept of Tel'aran'rhiod quite solidified, you might say.

    SFBC

    And the concept of the Source and the True Source, the male half, the female half—when did you come up with that?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    Again, I can't point ... I thought about what I was going to write for quite a long time. The first thoughts that would turn into The Wheel of Time, I had perhaps ten years before I began writing. And after the ten years, I realized I had a story.

    Tags

  • 54

    Interview: Apr 8th, 2001

    Gonzo the Great

    A few more, possibly interesting, remarks and answers we got:

    Robert Jordan

    Being burned out is different from being stilled. The latter is not as severe as the former.

    GONZO THE GREAT

    This is just as I expected, or at least in no way in contrast with it. :)

    Tags

  • 55

    Interview: Apr 8th, 2001

    KuraFire

    Can burned out channelers still sense the Source? (This was because of that debate that pops up every now and then, where because of that one glossary entry people just won't believe that burning out and stilling really aren't synonyms. From now on this should be settled forever.)

    Robert Jordan

    Ah, burned out? No. The difference between being burned out and being stilled... We use the term as if it is interchangeable, but they aren't. Technically, "stilled" means something that is being done to you deliberately. "Burned out" is an injury that you received accidentally.

    Question

    Is it the difference between a clean cut and a cauterized wound? (From memory, the background noise here got too loud for my memo-recorder; a problem throughout this signing.)

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, and if you're burned out, you cannot sense the Source.

    Tags

  • 56

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2003

    Ted Herman

    Will a'dam work in a stedding?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out.

    Tags

  • 57

    Interview: Jan 15th, 2003

    Question

    Are there any correlations between the One Power and the philosophy of chi?

    Robert Jordan

    No. Sorry.

    Tags

  • 58

    Interview: Jan 21st, 2003

    SFRevu Interview (Verbatim)

    Ernest Lilley

    Speaking of world building, the world, and the magic of The Wheel of Time universe is quite involved, quite complex...yet you keep a high degree of consistency. How do you keep things straight?

    Robert Jordan

    Every time I think of something new I jot it down in my notes. And I've built a sort of logic tree...if this is so and that is so, then this other thing cannot be so. Sometimes you reach a point where if you follow one line a thing cannot be so, but if you follow another it must be so.

    Ernest Lilley

    So, you write fantasy "with the net up"?

    Robert Jordan

    I look at the magic as though it were technology in a way...as though it were science. The One Power and channeling follow rules...it's not simply free-wheeling and 'anything goes'; it follows specific rules. Those rules are pretty well worked out now.

    Tags

  • 59

    Interview: Jan 23rd, 2003

    John Nowacki

    Without the True Power to contrast it with, did people in the Age of Legends refer to the 'One Power' and 'True Source', or simply the 'Power' and the 'Source'?

    Robert Jordan

    The names would have been the same, he said, since "One Power" was meant to signify that saidin and saidar are two halves of the same thing and not different things entirely.

    Tags

  • 60

    Interview: Jan 23rd, 2003

    Sonia Ibarra

    So the Eye of the World is a Well, right?

    Robert Jordan

    [pauses] Yes and no. It's in the same class of objects as a Well, but on a different scale.

    SONIA IBARRA

    So could it be refilled by a male channeler?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    No. Remember, lots of Aes Sedai died to make it.

    SONIA IBARRA

    To keep it pure.

    ROBERT JORDAN

    That, among other things. Look, a normal Well is like this water glass. [he gestures] The Eye is like a liquid nitrogen canister.

    SONIA IBARRA

    So are Wells made with the opposite half of the Power that they were meant to contain, like Rand did at Shadar Logoth?

    ROBERT JORDAN

    [sly smile] No, they don't work like that.

    Tags

  • 61

    Interview: Jan 23rd, 2003

    Question

    Without the True Power to contrast it with, did people in the Age of Legends refer to the 'One Power' and 'True Source', or simply the 'Power' and the 'Source'?

    Robert Jordan

    (from John Nowacki's report): The names would have been the same, he said, since "One Power" was meant to signify that saidin and saidar are two halves of the same thing and not different things entirely.

    Zeynep Dilli

    What he said.

    Tags

  • 62

    Interview: Feb 26th, 2003

    tarvalon.net Q&A (Verbatim)

    Question

    Can someone channel from a Well while they are shielded?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, they could. If they had the Well.

    Tags

  • 63

    Interview: Mar 29th, 2004

    Sci Fi Weekly

    There is a lot of magic in your writing. Do you believe in any form of magic? How much of your spirituality is reflected in your writing?

    Robert Jordan

    No, I don't believe in magic, which is one of the reasons I structured the One Power very much as if it is a science. In fact, the technology of the preceding age was based on the use of the One Power.

    As for how much of my spirituality is in my books, I leave it to anybody else to say whether I have any spirituality. I think I'm pretty grounded.

    Tags

  • 64

    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

  • 65

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Budapest Q&A (Verbatim)

    Rhynn

    Are there any religions in the world of the Wheel of Time?

    Robert Jordan

    No. No religions, no churches: that will change in the next set of books, not in this, but where religion becomes in some ways preeminent, but...

    Mort

    [interrupts] Oh, is that a spoiler?? No, no!

    Robert Jordan

    No, that's not for the Wheel of Time at all, and may change somewhat, as these things do. But the reason is this: I've always believed that our religious rituals our attendance at temples, or churches, or whatever is, in part, a reaffirmation of our faith, and a reaffirmation of our belief, a strengthening of our belief in something that we cannot see. And we do these things in order to strengthen our belief in what we cannot see. God, Allah, whatever...but, in this world, it is a world that...as if we had...prophets walking around...performing miracles. The One Power can be channeled. Occasionally men show up channeling the One Power; the Aes Sedai have been there for 3000 years.

    Question

    But the Creator does not interfere!

    Robert Jordan

    The Creator does not interfere, but there is clear evidence of the theological doctrine.

    Question

    Of the unseen.

    Robert Jordan

    Of the unseen. As far as it is believed, of the existence of the Creator: Here is the One Power. Here is evidence of everything we believe. There is therefore no need for anyone to undergo rituals to reaffirm or strengthen their belief because it is manifest every day. If we really had prophets walking among us, performing miracles and healing people and raising the dead—and this was a matter of every day that somebody might walk down the street and say 'In the name of...' and lay their hand on you. 'In the name of God be healed,' and your wounds are healed. Or, 'In the name of God rise up and walk,' and your dead brother, just died of cholera or whatever rises up and walks—I believe that organized religion would vanish within a generation, or at least become a fringe within a generation, because there would no longer be a need for most people to reaffirm their belief in God, or to strengthen their belief in God, or Allah, or whatever else their religious belief is. It would be manifest in every day life.

    Wood Sun

    And how about the Whitecloaks? I mean they look like some sort of religious sect.

    Robert Jordan

    Which?

    Question

    (two girls in unison) The Whitecloaks!

    Robert Jordan

    The Whitecloaks? Well, they're meant to look as a religious sect. They began as, an ascetic organization dedicated to preaching against Darkfriends, trying to convince people by example that they should not become Darkfriends. And during the War of the Hundred Years they became a military organization. They are patterned on the Teutonic Knights, a touch of the German SS, and...

    Wood Sun

    [interrupts] And the Spanish Inquisition?

    Robert Jordan

    A touch of the Spanish Inquisition. (laughter) They are in short anyone who believes that they know the Truth—the Truth with a capital T. They know the Truth so well, and its so clear to them that if you don't believe that truth, then it becomes obvious that you are evil.

    Tags

  • 66

    Interview: Apr 27th, 2004

    Wotmania Interview (Verbatim)

    Wotmania

    Moving on to the plot specific, can you imitate voices with the One Power like you can imitate other peoples appearances with a Mask of Mirrors?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes.

    Tags

  • 67

    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

  • 68

    Interview: Apr 27th, 2004

    Wotmania Interview (Verbatim)

    Wotmania

    Does forkroot work with male channelers, too?

    Robert Jordan

    RAFO.

    Footnote

    Tylee notes in Knife of Dreams Chapter 4 that men also have been caught with forkroot, so it does work on men who can channel.

    Tags

  • 69

    Interview: Jul 22nd, 2004

    Question

    A question was asked about whether or not a non-channeler could go and become Enlightened through meditation and be able to sense the True Source, or even channel it.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ replied that there were indeed people in his world that sought Enlightenment in such ways, but no, that channeling was related to genetics. He went onto say that he estimates that the Age of Legends had about 2-3% of the population able to channel in one way or another, while in the modern world that number is down to about 1-2%.

    Jason Denzel

    Update: Robert Jordan sent me an email correcting this statement:

    Robert Jordan

    I went back to look at the article again and check something I thought I recalled. If I said the current population has about 1% to 2% who can learn to channel, then I misspoke, because I have set that figure at about 1%.

    Tags

  • 70

    Interview: Mar 8th, 2005

    CBR

    Gun powder is not the only fearsome weapon in Jordan's world. There is also a mysterious and deadly power.

    Robert Jordan

    "The biggest single political power in their world is the great city of Tar Valon, home to the White Tower, which is the headquarters of the Aes Sedai, women who can tap into the power that drives the universe and turns the Wheel of Time, the One Power."

    Men are not able to manipulate the power like women can, the dual nature of the power is often too much for them. "Men can't do that safely. A man who channels the One Power, which has a male half, saidin, and a female half, saidar, will eventually go mad and die," Jordan explained. "Only until he dies, he's a madman who can do horrific things with the Power. The fly in the buttermilk is this. Prophecy says that a boychild will be born who is humanity's only chance to win the Last Battle, when the Dark One breaks free of the prison where he was confined by the Creator at the moment of creation. And that boychild will be able to channel the One Power."

    Tags

  • 71

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    ComicCon Reports (Paraphrased)

    Question

    Thoughts on his magic system?

    Robert Jordan

    In physical strength men have the advantage so he wanted to design a system where women could have the advantage. This led to the concept of saidin and saidar and of the taint limiting men.

    Tags

  • 72

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    ComicCon Reports (Paraphrased)

    Question

    Why do you seize saidin but surrender to saidar?

    Robert Jordan

    Men's and women's brains are physically different so it makes sense that handling the One Power should be different for them. Seizing saidin is like surfing the mountain slopes amid in a firestorm. Opening oneself to saidar is much like judo.

    Tags

  • 73

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Isabel

    Nynaeve was born with the spark, right?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes.

    Isabel

    Because yesterday there was a question about Learners...somebody who is not born with the spark, but is born with the ability to learn, could they begin channeling unconsciously?

    Robert Jordan

    No, they could not, they would have to make a conscious effort. They could make a conscious effort without a teacher and maybe succeed, but without a teacher they've got a very small chance of actually doing it.

    Tags

  • 74

    Interview: Jul 14th, 2005

    Question

    When asked about how he came up with the magic system for WoT, RJ said it began in kind of a strange way.

    Robert Jordan

    He had read a book a long time ago, he didn't provide a title or author, where the women of that world were not allowed to use the magic. RJ said that started him thinking about a world where it was the men, not the women, that were forbidden magic. Then he needed a real reason for denying men the use of magic, and that the Source, its division into male and female halves, and the taint on the male half all grew from that original line of speculation. As he was designing the concept, he tried to devise it as a science and engineering concept with the use of the different elements in weaving and such.

    Tags

  • 75

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Question

    Previously you have made it known that an individual who is stilled will retain the ability to channel in his or her subsequent life, which connects the ability to channel with the soul. How does burning out affect one's ability to channel in the next life? Specifically, will an individual born with the spark but who burns out during his or her life, have the inborn spark in a subsequent life?

    Robert Jordan

    I don't think I have said if you are born with the spark you would have the have the spark again. I have said if you were born with the ability to channel, to learn or with the spark, you will, when your soul is born again, you will have the ability again, whether with the spark or without. And neither burning out or stilling affects that except in this lifetime, your current lifetime.

    Tags

  • 76

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Question

    Why did turning the Tar Valon harbor chains to cuendillar help? You would think a chain made of cuendillar would be flexible because it is in separate pieces.

    Robert Jordan

    No, as I showed you in one of the scenes where they are learning to make cuendillar. They had two items touch each other when they were turning it into cuendillar and they fused to one another, so what you have is a series of chains where each link is fused to the next, so in essence what you have is one solid piece of cuendillar.

    Tags

  • 77

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Question

    When you first starting thinking about the series and thinking about writing it: when you were naming things, and places and people, did you have any sort of process or did you say, hey that sounds cool?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, I don't know, it is a combination of things. I gave this recently, so it is probably already on the net. How did I come up with the division of the One Power, the male and female half? I had seen a novel, there are a lot now, but this was the first I had seen like this. Young woman wants to be whatever it was, a magician, whatever, but she can't because she is a woman, and women aren't allowed to do that so she is going to struggle through it.

    I thought it was interesting, one of the earlier novels of the feminist struggle, and all that. I put it back, because it didn't seem something I cared to read, but I thought about it because the thought that occurred to me is okay, that's real easy, women aren't allowed to do this, it is historically based or grounded at least, what if it was men who couldn't, now how would that be, as my wife points out to me, we have the upper body strength, and she is convinced all of the inequities in the world vis a vis gender, are subject to the fact that we have all the upper body strength, and I am sorry about that baby, I ain't giving it up. So, how could there be a situation where men were not allowed to do this, and it does not somehow get itself reversed over time, add into this I wanted a near gender equal world as I could, and how could I have a situation where women could maintain gender equality?

    Okay, now I split men and women, have different sources of power and the male source of power is tainted. Okay, you've gotta stop men and at the same time, out of this beginning came the division of the One Power, the White Tower existing as the political center of power for three thousand years, false dragon, the destruction of the world by men, false dragons arising periodically to remind humanity exactly why men can't be allowed to channel and why the White Tower must remain the center of political power. A lot of stuff came out of that one notion.

    Tags

  • 78

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Question

    I have a question regarding the RPG based on the Wheel of Time. And that is, can someone who can channel and create gateways control the orientation of it? For example if you are falling off a cliff, you open a gateway directly beneath you, and the orientation throws you up so you reduce all of your velocity. Do you die on impact?

    Robert Jordan

    I really don't want to get involved in the game. But I have to tell you something, if I had someone falling off a cliff that could channel, I think I would have him use any number of ways that are a lot simpler, such as grabbing hold of the cliff face with flows of air. The other way sounds like a good way to end up jello.

    Tags

  • 79

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Matt Hatch

    The Snakes and Foxes seem to have a lot of powers. Do they also have the Power?

    Robert Jordan

    No.

    Matt Hatch

    I have two questions: can they transmigrate souls? Two: can they hold the soul of an individual they have killed?

    Robert Jordan

    No to both.

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  • 80

    Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

    Ted Herman

    How old is Taim and has he slowed?

    Robert Jordan

    Taim has slowed, but one thing I am not going to reveal it in the books, so I'll tell you, men slow later than women do. And yes, he has slowed, and he is in his late twenties, yes his late twenties.

    Tags

  • 81

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    Regarding the One Power, in a universal sense, like your physics background, is it more of a force like gravity would be, weak electromagnetic and strong electromagnetic, or is it something more of on a quantum level? Is it on a quantum level in your universe or is it a macro power?

    Robert Jordan

    I think you are going to have to think of it as being on a quantum level.

    Tags

  • 82

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    Do males with the spark also become wilders with blocks then?

    Robert Jordan

    It depends, a woman born with the spark that doesn't get trained, she may become a wilder, she may or may not have a block, but quite often does. A man born with a spark is probably much more likely to go up and become a false Dragon, frankly, but uh, at least before the Black Tower opened up for business. But there are blocks among the men as well. We had one of the characters, one of the men who was one of the first Asha'man, one of the first to come to the Black Tower and is since deceased. He would not believe that what he channeled at, that he could affect anything he could not see. Thus he limited the range, he could not thus make a lightning bolt that hit on the other side of the hill because he could not see.

    Matt Hatch

    [Tape ended] Other side, Jordan discussed the Land of Madmen, that blocks in men were one of the reason the isle/continent still remains.

    Tags

  • 83

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    Can you make music using just the One Power?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, you could.

    Tags

  • 84

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Question

    Can a person who cannot channel the One Power, can they use the True Power of the Dark One?

    Robert Jordan

    No.

    Tags

  • 85

    Interview: Oct 2nd, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Infested Templar, two women linking have slightly less of saidar available to them than the two women would have individually. But it can be used much, much more precisely, and therefore more effectively, than they could manage working merely as partners. The reduction also occurs for men entering a circle. One man in a circle means that only the amount of saidin that he can handle, less the reduction for being in a circle, is available. Men can be much stronger than women in the pure quantity of the Power that they can channel, but on a practical level, women are much more deft in their weaving and that means the strongest possible woman can do just about anything that the strongest possible man could, and to the same degree.

    And finally, the Old Tongue is written in a script that has more letters than the English alphabet, some representing diphthongs. That script will be in the Encyclopedia that Harriet will do, along with 950 or so words of the Old Tongue derived from what is called Basic English, the 950 words necessary to carry on a understandable conversation. Some words I dropped as essentially unnecessary to the books—electricity, for example—while others—such as sword and names of birds and animals—I had to add. The total might come nearer 1000 words by now.

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  • 86

    Interview: Oct 2nd, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Papazen, while I have spoken of souls being born with the ability to channel in response to questions, I think of it as being genetic also. In the Age of Legends, between 2 and 3% of people had some ability, following a bell curve distribution in strength. For over 3000 years, though, Aes Sedai have been removing men who actually learned to channel from the gene pool. They have been very efficient at this. As a result, the "present day" sees about 1% of the population who can learn to channel, with a much, much smaller percentage of that being born with the spark.

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  • 87

    Interview: Oct 2nd, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Shiska, a mixed gender circle has X amount of saidin and Y amount of saidar available, set by the strengths of the men and women in it. Talents or special skills available to members of the circle other than whoever is melding the flows are not available to the person who is. If those Talents or skills are particularly needed, then control of the circle must be passed.

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  • 88

    Interview: Oct 4th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Krassos, yes, a channeler could still channel wearing Mat's amulet. Cadsuane has one much like it. And I think that I will complete "Trust" eventually. I think about doing so every now and then.

    Tags

  • 89

    Interview: Jan 20th, 2003

    Rick Kleffel

    Now, one thing that I find quite interesting about the Wheel of Time...to me it has an almost science-fictional feel. The prime driving force for the world is the ability that many characters possess to channel the One Power. Could you describe your hierarchy of psychic powers and talk about how you've developed it almost as a technology?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, I did think of it as a technology. One of the worst things that any writer who is writing about magic or some non-magic method of doing things—some non-scientific method of doing things, I should say—the worst mistake that those writers could make is to think that everything goes, anything goes. There are always rules; there are always limits; there are always prices to pay; there are always trade-offs. Asimov may have been right that, uh...no, actually it wasn't Asimov, it was Campbell? It was...

    Rick Kleffel

    Arthur C. Clarke.

    Robert Jordan

    Arthur C. Clarke; you're right! "Any sufficiently advanced science will seem to be magic."

    Rick Kleffel

    Exactly.

    Robert Jordan

    But it only seems to be magic to you and me; to the people whose science it is, it is actually going to be science, and they will be very well aware of the limits and the constraints and so forth. So I designed this as if it were a technology; I said that the world had been previously powered by this technology; the technology of the Age before the Breaking of the World was based on the use of the One Power. Their machinery used the One Power; their flying machines used the One Power; their toasters used the One Power. The One Power was how they operated their society, their civilization.

    Rick Kleffel

    And yet, of course as the technology in these books has spread to those beyond the select—the Aes Sedai—the old social hierarchies of this world start to crumble.

    Robert Jordan

    Well of course; that always happens. I'm writing about a world at a time of change. Change is uncomfortable, and there are two sorts of people: there are people who don't want change, and there are people who do want change. Both of these people are going to be disappointed. The people who don't want change are going to be disappointed because the change is going to come no matter what. The people who do want change are going to be disappointed because the change is almost never going to be anything like what they want. And what I am writing about is a world where the changes are coming to their society, to their world—changes have been coming now for some time—and the characters have to live through it, ride these changes, and make the best of it they can.

    Tags

  • 90

    Interview: Oct 6th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For Anonymous-George, long ago I saw one of the first, I believe, novels about a young woman who wasn't allowed to use magic or whatever because she was a woman, and the thought occurred to me as to how it might go if men were the ones who were denied the right to do magic. Or whatever. I hate using the word magic. From that long ago thought grew the One Power divided into saidin and saidar with the male half tainted and the reasons for and results of it being tainted. Now in most of these societies—Far Madding is the obvious exception—I did not and do not view them as matriarchal. I attempted to design societies that were as near gender balanced as to rights, responsibilities and power as I could manage. It doesn't all work perfectly. People have bellybuttons. If you want to see someone who always behaves logically, never tells small lies or conceals the truth in order to put the best face for themselves on events, and never, ever tries to take advantage of any situation whatsoever, then look for somebody without a bellybutton. The real surprise to me was that while I was designing these gender balanced societies, people were seeing matriarchies.

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  • 91

    Interview: Oct 11th, 2005

    Question

    The next question I only partially heard. It was something about the infiniteness of the One Power and something something.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ replied RAFO, and then said, "Come on son, I write fantasy, only fantasy."

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  • 92

    Interview: Oct 13th, 2005

    Basri

    During the signing, I got to ask whether there exists a type of balance or opposite to the True Power the way there is with saidar and saidin.

    Robert Jordan

    He said no, and described how they are different, mostly stuff that is already known. The two sides of the One Power being different and from the Creator and keeping the Wheel turning and all that. He did mention that when a channeler uses a weave (either saidar or saidin) and releases the weave, the Power flows back into the available pool of saidar or saidin. It is never used up, and so it is like an infinite reservoir of Power. The True Power is not like this at all. The True Power comes from the Dark One of course.

    Basri

    I thought this was interesting. Did this imply that the amount of True Power is finite? Does it drain the Dark One to use the True Power? I didn't get to ask. Maybe there's a way to destroy the Dark One here?

    Tags

  • 93

    Interview: Oct 13th, 2005

    Question

    Does the rate of slowing depend on your strength in the Power?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, basically; you age at 1/X your normal rate, with X being dependent up to a point on Power strength. The Power acts as a natural rejuvenator on you; even at the point of death you won't look or feel worse than a normal 65-year-old.

    Allen Bryan

    (RJ had to hem and haw a good bit to avoid revealing that slowing != the Ageless Look—there were several spoiler people in the audience, including one who was working on Book Six at the moment.)

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  • 94

    Interview: Oct 17th, 2005

    Mad Cao

    As far as I know, only one person other than myself asked a plot related question. That question was if it would be possible to complete the cuendillar chain on the south(?) harbor.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ answered that the joining chain link (which would not yet be cuendillar) would have to be closed around the existing chain and then turned to heartstone, but the new link could not be touching the old at the start of the change.

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  • 95

    Interview: Oct 20th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    Stedding: Neither the One Power NOR the True Power will work in a stedding.

    Robert Mee

    Did not get a chance to ask about whether Far Madding = stedding.

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  • 96

    Interview: Oct 24th, 2005

    Kevin Dean

    My second question, based on a pet theory of mine, was "In any Age, in any Turning, have the Ogier been able to channel?"

    Robert Jordan

    To this, he answered a flat "No."

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  • 97

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2005

    Frenzy

    But what I DID get to ask, was this: Can a person who hasn't actively channeled yet be severed or stilled?

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan's response (paraphrased) "No, you have to have something to take away something, so a person has to have an active connection to the Source to be able to have it cut."

    Frenzy

    Oh, the mayhem I can have with this little nugget.

    small: This explains why the Reds haven't summarily tried to gentle every boy at birth or every man by 30.

    big: If it takes an active link to the Source to slow, or to be stilled, then what about all those other attributes that sul'dam gain with use of the a'dam? Where do they come from? How did they get there?

    bigger: Is it possible that those attributes are NOT directly linked to the Source? Could it be merely the exposure to the One Power that gives sul'dam that ability? What about a Warder? Could a same-sex non-channeling warder develop those attributes over time?

    I need sleep now, I'll ponder this more later.

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  • 98

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2005

    Jason Wolfbrother

    Does it take a lot of concentration, strength and effort to weave inverted/reversed weaves?

    Robert Jordan

    Not easy but not difficult either. Just need to learn the trick.

    Jason Wolfbrother

    Can everyone, no matter how weak they are, use inverted weaves?

    Robert Jordan

    Anyone can do it once he/she learns the trick.

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  • 99

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2005

    Jason Wolfbrother

    Can you shield dreams for someone else?

    Robert Jordan

    No.

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  • 100

    Interview: Oct 28th, 2005

    Jason Wolfbrother

    Is the One Power finite or infinite?

    Robert Jordan

    He sat and thought for a minute, still signing the book, pondered, then answered.

    The One Power is finite but cannot be used up. When the weave is done, it returns to the Source. The way he put is was finite but infinitely reusable.

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  • 101

    Interview: Nov 22nd, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    Someone asked how difficult it is for a blind person to channel, but I didn't make a note of who. In any case, it is difficult but not impossible. The different flows have different feels, though saying they have different flavors might be as accurate. In the comic, we use colors, not because they actually have colors but because they also can be told apart by sight. Someone who was blind and who tried to learn to channel would be able to differentiate between flows of the Five Powers. The difficulty would be in learning to make the weaves.

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  • 102

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2005

    Emma

    How did Be'lal recognize that Moiraine is intending to use balefire against him before Moiraine released the balefire? And how did Moiraine sense the balefire Rand used?

    Robert Jordan

    RJ responded with the most emphatic "RAFO" of the evening. Jumped all over it, in fact. So I think that says several things, but that's another thread.

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  • 103

    Interview: Oct 31st, 2005

    Question

    Another man asked about Siuan's Talent of seeing ta'veren. Was she able to see them after she was stilled?

    Robert Jordan

    No.

    Question

    Could she see them after she was Healed?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes.

    Question

    So, if the ability to see them was based on the Power, what about the Ogier Elder who knew Rand was ta'veren?

    Robert Jordan

    For Siuan, yes, for the Ogier, no. The Ogier was able to see (or feel, I can't remember which RJ said) the Pattern shifting around Rand.

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  • 104

    Interview: Dec 19th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    For sheep the evicted, who has heard that I assigned various numerical strengths in the One Power to Rand, Ishamael and others based on a scale of 100 points, no I did not. I have said that in my notes I have such a scale that I use to keep track of everyone, but its main use is for the lesser characters, in particular Aes Sedai, so that I can check on who should defer to whom, who should only listen a little more attentively to whom, and so forth.

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  • 105

    Interview: Dec 19th, 2005

    Robert Jordan

    (for kcf) On the large scale, the gender relationships in the Wheel grew from the very beginnings of the books, really. I recall seeing a paperback book back in the 70s, a fantasy novel about a young woman who wasn't allowed to become a magician of whatever sort it was because she was a woman. The notion struck me as interesting, since it was the first fantasy novel with that theme that I had ever seen, but what really stuck with me was this. That novel was a simple reflection of the then-current mundane world, but what about if it were men who were not allowed to become whatever it was? Now that would be an interesting twist, and unexpected. Why would that be, and how could it be enforced? As Harriet has often pointed out, many of the world's gender inequalities stem from superior male upper body strength. (To which I usually say, "Oh, dear! Isn't that awful and unfair!" While pulling off my shirt and flexing my biceps, to be sure.) From that genesis grew the division of the One Power into a male and a female half with the male half tainted, giving a reason why men not only would not be allowed to become Aes Sedai, as they were not then called, but must not be allowed even to channel, again as it was not then called. From that, and from the history that I was even then beginning to put together for this world, though I didn't realize it then, came the result of 3000+ plus years when men who can wield the ultimate power, the One Power, are to be feared and hated above all things, when the only safety from such men comes from the one stable center of political, and other, power for those 3000+ years, a female center of power. The view I then had was a world with a sort of gender equality. Not the matriarchy that some envision—Far Madding is the only true matriarchy in the lot—but gender equality as it might work out given various things that seem to be hard-wired into male and female brains. The result is what you see.

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  • 106

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2005

    Karana Majin

    At one point, Lanfear reflects that she was about as powerful as it was possible to be. Is there an upper limit to human channeling ability, some sort of asymptote that channelers approach but never pass beyond?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, there is an upper limit. In terms of the channeling of raw amounts of the One Power, men can handle more than women. However, women are much more dextrous in their ability to use the One Power, so for all intents and purposes, they are equal in their abilities to do and create weaves and are mostly equal to each other.

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  • 107

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Theodor

    Brandon, with you being a writer specialized in cool and unique magic systems, how was it to use and write with the magic system in Wheel of Time? Hard or easy? Did you have to come up with new weaves, or did Jordan already have unmentioned weaves written down somewhere? And how did it work for you to write channeling battles?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, the Wheel of Time magic system was one of those that inspired me to make magic systems the way I do. I've long loved the magic in Mr. Jordan's books, and think he does a very good job of walking the line between having it feel scientific and still feel wondrous. He does tend to go a little bit further toward wonder—as opposed to science—but that has a great number of advantages for his story.

    In answer, I've come up with just a few new weaves, but mostly I wanted to use his weaves in new ways. I think there's a lot of room to explore the use of weaves and how people interact with the magic. Don't expect a LOT of this though. The focus is on the characters and the Last Battle at this point, but there were a few places where (mostly in throw-away, background moments) I was able to explore the magic a tad. I actually found it one of the easier things in the book, though I DID have to keep looking up how specific weaves were created. It gets confusing, particularly since men and women often do the weaves differently.

    As for channeling battles...well, I can't really tell you if there are any of those in the book without giving anything away, now can I? So we'll have to RAFO that. ;)

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  • 108

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    I asked, in essence, are One Power and True Power balefire the same?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He answered that the True Power is another source of power, that Aes Sedai were researching another source, like a different form of battery, to power their weaves and that for balefire, what it does is essentially the same between both power sources, but that it has different affects on the individual using the power source (this appeared to be a reference to what True Power does to its user).

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  • 109

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2009

    Question

    Would the True Source beat the True Power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay. My gut instinct is going to say, yes. My gut instinct says yes, but that is not coming from the notes. If I was actually going to have to write it out I would have to go to Charleston and I would have to look in the notes but from what I've read I’d say yes. But that is not canon because I'm not remembering specifically, does that make sense? I'll tell you if it's canon or it isn't, but that one is just my instinct.

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  • 110

    Interview: Nov 6th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon explained that the True Power can only be used by someone that the Dark One has allowed to use it. The True Power is perhaps more powerful than the One Power in the way a drugged up person is more powerful than someone not drugged up. In the moment the drugged up person may be, but in the long run maybe not.

    Further explaining the True Power, he said the Guardian in Far Madding cannot stop it.

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  • 111

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2009

    Question

    Does RJ work out things like conservation laws, since he was a physicist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    From what I've seen, he considered it, the power that is doing all these things is coming from somewhere. They discovered the Dark One by finding the power (True Power). (They are) not aware of the source of the One Power. The Law of Conservation of Energy works, it's coming from somewhere, we're not sure where. It's not something the characters were considering, so it wasn't appropriate to include in the books.

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  • 112

    Interview: Nov 17th, 2009

    Question

    I got the impression from somewhere that the Aiel were a result of tampering, to some degree, with the One Power. Am I insane, or is that based in reality?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not heard that before.

    Question

    I don’t know where I got that from.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. I certainly haven't heard anything to do with the One Power. There was tampering going on, but we're talking more like Aes Sedai, things like that. The pillars that were left behind were obviously intended to do something, and the charges that were given to them....but it's not necessarily like they were trying to make anything specific.

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  • 113

    Interview: Nov 17th, 2009

    Question

    If someone were to use balefire as a weapon, could they redirect it through a gateway, or would it destroy the weave and keep going?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, I happen to know that someone asked Robert Jordan this at a signing, and he gave a kind of glib answer that didn't answer anything. So, I'm going to RAFO that, and we'll see. There will be a lot of balefire in the future of these books. *much laughter*

    Footnote

    There was some conversation here about that answer, and someone who claimed to be at that signing, and that RJ pretty much told the person 'Go get laid.'

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  • 114

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    I’m going to ask you a lot of questions about the Dark One and the Creator...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are going to get a lot of RAFOs on this, because Robert Jordan often stayed away from, and in the notes I get the sense, the direction to stay away from questions that couldn’t be answered from someone in the world. Does that make sense? When he would like to answer the question, somebody knew that, even if they were dead, somebody in world knew the answer. When you would ask him questions nobody knows the answers to except the Dark One or the Creator themselves, he did not answer very often and that is why you don’t know very much.

    MATT HATCH

    Ok, that is absolutely fair, so you probably will RAFO, I would say, 90% of these...

    MATT HATCH

    Did the Creator or does the Creator use the One Power to create?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO.

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  • 115

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    Can it be said that the Pattern was created by and infused with the One Power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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  • 116

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    I know you’ll RAFO this one but I’ll ask it anyway. Does the Creator, for a lack of a better word, weave the One Power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Matt Hatch

    Ok. I’ll jump off the Creator for the moment...

    Brandon Sanderson

    How about this, I do know...Robert Jordan...there are answers to these things that you are wanting to know...

    Matt Hatch

    Do you believe they ever will be discussed, like Encyclopedia type of things or do you believe..

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...he did not want to leave explicit answers about a lot of these things. There will be hints. So, they are a double RAFO because they are the sort of things Robert Jordan did not like to answer and they could spoil things [...] Double RAFO.

    Matt Hatch

    [Hah—I got a DRAFO]

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  • 117

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    Ok. So, obviously a channeler uses the True Power. We’ve discussed this before they weave the True Power just as they weave the One Power...

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...they do and you don’t have to learn, and so that should tell you that the weaves are similar if not identical to the One Power. There are certain things the True Power can do that are different and it goes about things in different ways, but you don’t have to relearn everything.

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  • 118

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    Can the Dark One use the One Power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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  • 119

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    Are there any other sources of Powers either within the Pattern or outside of the Wheel? Are there any sources like…

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...sources much like the One Power and True Power?

    Matt Hatch

    Right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will have to RAFO that.

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  • 120

    Interview: Nov 21st, 2009

    Matt Hatch

    Ok, we’ll move on from there. Were male channelers across Randland able to feel Rand's use of the male Choedan Kal when he destroyed it atop Dragonmount?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would certainly think they would have been able to, consistent with what has happened before.

    Matt Hatch

    But did they know that it was destroyed? Is that what they felt, or was it just the use of?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do not believe the destruction of a sa’angreal would be the type of event that you would be able to notice. It is not consistent with what we have seen before.

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  • 121

    Interview: Nov 16th, 2009

    Question

    How does Nynaeve compare with Semirhage in One Power strength?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm pretty sure she's stronger, but they are very close. RJ has a list of all the channelers' strengths. On that list, only six people are stronger than Nynaeve. It's such a rare event that pretty much anytime we meet someone stronger than her, it's explicitly said. There are two One Power strength scales—an 'old' and a 'new'. Nynaeve was the top of the female list for the 'old' list. Six are stronger on the 'new' list.

    Brandon was pretty certain that Nynaeve is stronger than Mesaana, who isn't particularly strong in Forsaken terms.

    Brandon was very open and willing to talk about this issue—people who care about these things should ask at every opportunity.

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  • 122

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ability to channel/souls. I think this has all been reported, but he stated definitively that the ability to channel is tied to soul. He stated definitively that the spark was not tied to the soul but could be affected by a specific body (i.e., just because you had the spark in one life, you could be reborn and just have the ability to learn.) He stated with 85% probability that strength in the Power was not tied to soul, meaning that if you were an uber channeler in one body, you could be weak in the Power in your next body.

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  • 123

    Interview: Apr 23rd, 2010

    Seeker

    Can you name one thing that someone can do with the True Power that cannot be accomplished with the One Power?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    No.

    Alan Romanczuk

    You can get those cool spotted eyeballs.

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  • 124

    Interview: Apr 23rd, 2010

    Question

    When RJ first told you about the One Power, how did you feel about it?

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Well, it was on the page. So I felt pretty much the same as you guys did.... (more on audio)

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  • 125

    Interview: Apr 28th, 2010

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Another notable question that was RAFO'd by Harriet but not Alan was, "Is there anything that can be done with the True Power that cannot be done with the One Power?"

    Alan Romanczuk

    Alan's answer was: "You can get those cool spotted eyeballs".

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  • 126

    Interview: Jun 10th, 2010

    Luckers

    The above MAFO on Souls, Channeling and Talents [this can be found in the MAFO thread stuck at the top of The Gathering Storm Forum].

    Beyond the MAFO, I was going to ask for a clarification on this. Firstly I would point out a curiosity—in KoD:23, Call to a Sitting, Tiana notes that many of the women who are strong in Nynaeve's method of Healing used to be village Wise Women. She wonders why that should make any difference, and indeed it does seem to imply that their life experience in some way affected their degree of Talent. How would this work out under the understanding of Talent as a soul-ability? Does life experience change the strength of the Talent, whilst soul-ability decides if you have it? Or should we make a distinction between Talents which are Skills—like Healing, or that Shielding Talent Berowin of the Kin has—and Talents which are Abilities—like Foretelling, Wolfbrothering or Dreaming?

    Maria Simons

    Okay, let's look at this. Why did these women choose to be village Wise Women? Maybe they haven't sparked, but the Talent is there. They may not understand it, but they feel that they should be healing the sick. So, instead of life experience affecting the Talent, I think that it's more that the Talent affects the life experience.

    Also, Aes Sedai have been taught that Healing is done one way, and that way is the only proper way. It's sort of like the gesture limitation; if an Aes Sedai learns to make weaves using gestures, she'll have a really hard time making the weave without making the gesture. I think that the former Wise Women are more open to learning the new way, and that gives them another advantage at it.

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  • 127

    Interview: Jun 10th, 2010

    Luckers

    In Lord of Chaos Ch. 30, "To Heal Again", Siuan, after being healed, says to Nynaeve that 'if she could heal her to half of what she was' she would be better off. This has led to the perception that Siuan and Leane are less than half their original strength. Yet in Crossroads of Twilight Ch. 19, "Surprises", we find out that both women stand several steps above the Aes Sedai minimum strength. This seems problematic—the range of Aes Sedai strength does not appear to be so great as to allow for this. So the question is, did Siuan and Leane in fact lose such a large amount of strength as they appear to have?

    Maria Simons

    Yes, they did lose a large amount of strength. The range of strength is greater than you think, I believe. At the beginning, Siuan was near the top (and Leane close behind); if she were half the strength she used to be, she'd be in the middle. Instead, she's somewhere in the lower half, but not absolute rock bottom, nor nearly as low as Daigian Moseneillin.

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  • 128

    Interview: Jun 10th, 2010

    Luckers

    On the issue of cuendillar. It is stated that the One Power makes it stronger. Brandon said there is another way besides the True Power. Were the [people in the] Age of Legends aware of this, and is this why they could equate the relative strength of something indestructible?

    Maria Simons

    And an encyclopedia.

    Footnote

    (Maria's answer is a continuation of her theme in the previous two questions.)

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  • 129

    Interview: Jun 10th, 2010

    Luckers

    Min says she was never able to master the 'ignoring heat/cold' trick. And we've never seen any non-channeler master it. Is it something only a channeler can do?

    Maria Simons

    It shouldn't be. Of course, it's been kept secret from most non-channelers, so that's not really evidence. I think that part of it is that a channeler is used to controlling things more—they have to have more focus and self-discipline just to manage the One Power, so they are better at controlling their reactions in general, and the trick works better for them because of it.

    Luckers

    In the same note is that why Min couldn’t mask her bond?

    Maria Simons

    Yes.

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  • 130

    Interview: Jun 10th, 2010

    Luckers

    Is strength in the power evenly distributed? Would on a scale of one to one hundred the most channelers be on the 50 mark? (within a gender, of course).

    Maria Simons

    Jim described it as a bell curve, with most channelers in the middle.

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  • 131

    Interview: Jun 10th, 2010

    Luckers

    Of the really strong channelers we know the nature to, all but one have been sparkers. This has led to the belief that sparkers are on average stronger than learners. Is this belief justified?

    Maria Simons

    No. "Having been born with the inherent spark apparently is not an indicator of strength. There are as many with weak potential who will channel whether they are taught or not as there are of great potential" (from Jim's notes). The stronger ones just get more attention.

    Luckers

    Do stronger sparkers stand a better chance of surviving touching the Source unaided?

    Maria Simons

    It depends on what you mean by "stronger" sparkers. If you mean strength in the One Power, not really. If you mean strength of will or character, perhaps. Jim said of touching the One Power unaided: "if you have not learned some sort of rough control, conscious or not, you will die screaming and writhing in agony."

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  • 132

    Interview: Sep 21st, 2010

    Matt Hatch

    (for WSB): The next question is from a Theorylander. Did Ishamael’s healing of Lews Therin back in the prologue of The Eye of the World create the same doctor-patient bond as when Nynaeve healed Egwene?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, not that I know. I think that I would know, but no.

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  • 133

    Interview: Nov 2nd, 2010

    Matt Hatch

    Can the True Power be used to create a Mask of Mirrors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Matt Hatch

    Do True Power Mask of Mirrors have different attributes than One Power Mask of Mirrors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Everything done with the True Power will be slightly different.

    Matt Hatch

    Can you place a True Power Mask of Mirrors on another person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Matt Hatch

    Would a True Power Mask of Mirrors persist into that person's dreams, how they see themselves?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would see who they saw themselves as (it wouldn't persist).

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  • 134

    Interview: Nov 4th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    We learned that what Brandon liked about the magic system, and magic systems in general, is what the magic can't do. Think of the limitations on Traveling, and you'll understand.

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  • 135

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    There was a really strong channeler. Will she be back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's likely.

    Footnote

    This might refer to either Sharina or Talaan.

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  • 136

    Interview: Jan 10th, 2011

    tamyrlink ()

    Can Moiraine's loss of Power be Healed?

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    RAFO.

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  • 137

    Interview: May 30th, 2011

    jarno87

    During the walk to the restaurant I asked if someone channels in Tel'aran'rhiod, if he/she really channeled.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon confirmed this. He added that the real question would be if a non-channeler would be able to 'channel' in Tel'aran'rhiod. He believed that a non-channeler would not be able to channel, but would be able to create the same effects. So to most intents and purposes it would look as if they channeled.

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  • 138

    Interview: Sep, 2011

    Leigh Butler

    In one of the essays on your website, you discuss what you called Sanderson's First Law of Magics, which is "an author's ability to solve conflict with magic is directly proportional to how well the reader understands said magic." And from there you used that to define "soft" magic systems as opposed to "hard" systems, and the ways in which each kind uses its magic to resolve story conflict.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, though one thing I should mention is that I've since added the word "satisfactorily" to the law: The ability of the author to solve conflict satisfactorily with magic is directly proportional, etc. I think that's an important distinction to make.

    Leigh Butler

    So given that, can you discuss the magic system of the Wheel of Time in terms of your law? Robert Jordan's "channeling" seems like a pretty hard magic system to me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Robert Jordan's magic system is both hard and soft. It's similar to, for instance, the Harry Potter magic system, which I personally think is quite well done. Of course, I do think Jordan's system is overall more consistent and a much better magic system. This is partially because of the strength of its limitations; for instance, that male channelers go mad, and the chance of burning yourself out with channeling, make it for a much more interesting magic system narratively. The "going mad" thing is basically the best limitation that I've ever heard of in a book series.

    People like Tolkien, for instance, didn't explain a lot of the magic, and so what the magic could and couldn't do leaves you with a lot of that sense of wonder, so there's something to be gained on that side from not explaining. Jordan, I would say, is about on the seventy-five percent mark toward a more hard, rigid magic system, and it actually tends to work really well, but you'll notice that he liked to introduce new elements to the magic quite haphazardly—you know, suddenly someone is able to do this. It happens actually pretty frequently in the series as new things are being rediscovered.

    Balefire, for example, is manifested quite spontaneously by the characters to solve little problems, and then it becomes a tool to solve bigger problems later on. Just like in a lot of storytelling, in the first third of the story, you will often have a dynamic rescue by a character the reader or audience didn't know existed, and this is not a terribly satisfying resolution, but that's okay because in the first third of a story, you're not looking for satisfying resolutions, you're looking for satisfying introductions. That's kind of what the nature of storytelling is. So when the new character rides on screen and saves the heroes in the beginning of a story, and it's the old friend of the hero who they didn't know was in town, it becomes a very nice introduction for that character; we like that character, we're interested in him, and it can work very well.

    In the same way, a character manifesting a power in the beginning of the story that kind of comes out of nowhere to solve a minor problem, is a satisfying introduction, but not a satisfying resolution. And then later on when a major character gets brought back to life by balefire, because it's used in a way that the audience could anticipate, suddenly we have a very satisfying resolution of a conflict, using a magic that we're familiar with.

    It's the difference between Han Solo saving Luke by getting him off Tattooine by just kind of haphazardly being there in the right place at the right time, and then Solo coming back at the end of the movie to save him. In the first case, he just kind of drops into [Luke's and Obi Wan's] laps, but that's okay because we're introducing him. And then he comes back at the end to save them after great foreshadowing of all the changing he's done as a character, and we love it.

    Leigh Butler

    It's a Chekhov's gun kind of thing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. One of the big complaints about fantasy as a genre is that "oh, that's the genre where just anything can happen, and so there's no tension." People complain that it doesn't matter what the characters do because they can always be saved by some magical whatnot. And that's actually a very poor way of looking at it, because if you think about it, regardless of what kind of fiction you're writing, you can always save your characters with a handwave.

    Even if you're writing in "the real world," a character can win the lottery, and suddenly all their poverty problems are taken care of, or someone can suddenly dramatically change their mind and fall in love with the heroine when they weren't expecting to. Whatever it is, you can always just handwave to fix a problem. It's not a thing that can be relegated only to fantasy. The challenge in fiction is to make all of these things feel satisfying, even though in some ways they are a wave of the hand. And that's how I look at magic systems.

    Leigh Butler

    So it seems like it's less of a magic law and more of a plot law.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Exactly. And all of the laws I've come up with, which really aren't laws—they're quite arrogantly named, I realize—have more to do with just good storytelling than they have to do with magic, but I framed them in terms of magic because people always ask me how I invent these magic systems. Well, I do that by trying to make them good storytelling devices.

    Sanderson's Second Law is that limitations are more interesting than powers. And this extends more deeply than in just magic, but if you look at magic, what magic can't do is going to be more interesting to your readers, and more useful to you as a writer, than what the magic can do. This is why channeling [in the Wheel of Time] tends to be such a great magic system, because the limitations are very well-executed; it's the part of the magic that shines the most.

    But this is ultimately all a plot issue, because what a character can't achieve, whatever is holding them back, is generally more interesting than what they can achieve. This is just kind of a general storytelling principle across the board.

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  • 139

    Interview: Oct 15th, 2011

    Ted Herman

    Would an a'dam function in Far Madding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but the damane could not channel.

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  • 140

    Interview: Oct 15th, 2011

    Ted Herman

    Would a circle be broken by entering Far Madding or a stedding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    75% chance of no. It would be like using a Well and entering those locations (which would work).

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  • 141

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Aldoth

    The question that I have for you is, now that you know the ending of Wheel of Time, after the final book has been released will it be a world that you could set a game in? Or will it be like Tolkien where after the end of Lord of the Rings the world is pretty much over? I ask because it looks to be a great place to set an RPG and I want to know if I should be looking to a time before The Eye of the World or if I should run a new age?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to stick pretty close to things Mr. Jordan has said or implied regarding this. Things he has said have implied strongly that it is not going to be like Tolkien; though the Wheel will eventually turn to a point where the One Power is forgotten and the land becomes like our world, that is NOT the Fourth Age. I think it would still be a fantastic place to set an RPG game.

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  • 142

    Interview: 1997

    Laura Wilson

    Tell me a bit about the idea of the One Power.

    Robert Jordan

    In these books there is the One Power, which comes from the True Source. And the One Power is what turns the Wheel of Time, the power that drives the universe. And the conceit is, is the One Power actually consists of two quite separate halves that work with each other and against one another to produce the driving force of the universe. Men can tap into one side, women can tap into the other. A man can't teach a woman how to use the male half, or how to use the female half for that matter, and she can't teach him.

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  • 143

    Interview: 2001

    Thus Spake the Creator (Paraphrased)

    Signing Report (Theology)

    This one was asking about the lack of churches in Randland. They apparently have religious beliefs and such, so why aren't they there?

    Robert Jordan

    Churches and other places of worship are for people to connect with and reaffirm the presence of God (or whatever). The people of Randland see signs of their Creator every day through the One Power. If common people today could walk around performing miracles at will, we wouldn't have as much of a need for that confirmation either.

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  • 144

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1998

    Robert Jordan (22 November 1998)

    Someone actually asked Jordan whether a hermaphrodite would channel saidin or saidar. Jordan was...non-plussed. "A hermaphrodite?! I dunno. I'd have to sit down and figure that out." He shot the guy a funny look as he walked away, then remarked to the next group of people in line that he put that in the same category as the person who wrote to ask him what Donald Duck would channel.

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  • 145

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    For those that have spent much time wondering about hermaphroditic channelers, RJ doesn't know which part of the Power they use. The things people ask.

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  • 146

    Interview: 2012

    Memories of Light (Verbatim)

    Day 34

    What did you do when the One Power failed, the thing you relied upon to raise you above common folk? (p. 705)

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  • 147

    Interview: Jan 11th, 2013

    Question

    There was a new weave used by someone in book 14; did anyone else see it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    "Yes"—and that's all that was spoken about it, since it contained spoilers.

    Footnote

    Presumably this is in reference to the "Flame of Tar Valon" weave, which Egwene used in A Memory of Light 37.

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  • 148

    Interview: Jan 12th, 2013

    Question

    Will the encyclopedia include only facts, or also speculations?

    Maria Simons

    Everything will be things already known, or else more notes on the characters. And a few other goodies, like the Aes Sedai power scale.

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  • 149

    Interview: Feb 11th, 2013

    Aegon

    *vague spoiler warning*

    An audience member had, years ago, asked RJ what would happen if an Aes Sedai balefired herself through a gateway, and was told by RJ that she should find a man, a woman, or a dog to love and she should get a life. (heavily paraphrased). The same audience member was present at the signing and asked if the scenario played out in A Memory of Light was done in response to her question.

    Brandon Sanderson

    BS said that he has avoided gateways and balefire in his series because that type of magic belonged to The Wheel of Time, but he himself has had many thoughts on the use of balefire and gateways. So no, the scenes from A Memory of Light were not a response to her, but BS's own story. The audience member also added that she did find a guy to love, had a daughter, named her Aviendha, and the crowd clapped.

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  • 150

    Interview: Feb 12th, 2013

    Wetlander

    Since balefire strengthens cuendillar, what effect would Egwene's opposing "Flame of Tar Valon" weave have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question!

    Wetlander

    (But then we got interrupted and didn't come back to it, so if someone is curious, they could try again and get the rest of the answer. Related questions might be... Would Egwene's weave strengthen cuendillar simply because it is the One Power? If for every weave there is an opposite weave, could there be a weave that would turn the Tar Valon harbor chains back to iron?)

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  • 151

    Interview: Feb 12th, 2013

    Wetlander

    Some would like a definitive answer: Are channelers ever bound to the Horn? (Rand? Egwene?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    "They certainly could be." Brandon and Harriet agreed that, although the notes never specified any channelers who were so bound, there was nothing in the notes to indicate it couldn’t/didn't happen either, and they both believe it’s entirely possible.

    Wetlander

    (A follow-on question might be asked about whether Egwene might be a Hero, but they didn't give me the impression that they were hedging—which they probably would have, if that were in the notes.)

    Footnote

    RJ previously confirmed that Rand/Lews Therin was a Hero of the Horn.

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  • 152

    Interview: Feb 12th, 2013

    Wetlander

    Vora's sa'angreal—was it always in the notes that it didn't have the buffer against over-drawing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that was always its setup according to the notes, though Brandon gets credit for naming the thing.

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  • 153

    Interview: Feb 7th, 2013

    Question

    How did reading The Wheel of Time inspire his magic systems?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The first influence was Robert Jordan's focus on human characters over fantastical ones. He felt that Jordan's concept of weaving was complex and interesting, as opposed to magic systems of authors such as David Eddings. With the Wheel of Time, the rules and restrictions on magic made characters more clever and interesting. He didn't want to modify the WoT magic system but he did explore two aspects of it using ideas he had as a teenager: the World of Dreams and gateways. He avoided adding new weaves because the series was coming to a close.

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  • 154

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    And the decision to exchange the bodies at the end?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was his (Robert Jordan). And it began with the crossing of the balefire streams, way back when, and continued on through the series up to here. He actually wrote those scenes at the end himself.

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  • 155

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Thought

    And finally, to speak non-canonically, would burning copper mask someone channeling the one power, and would burning bronze allow one to detect when someone was channeling?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh... You should ask Kelsier. He probably tried it when he hung out with Moiraine.

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  • 156

    Interview: Nov 1st, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    Androl and Pevara

    In working on the Black Tower plot, one thing I realized early on was that I wanted a new viewpoint character to be involved. One reason was that we didn't have anyone to really show the lives of the everyday members of the Black Tower. It felt like a hole in the viewpoint mosaic for the series. In addition, each Wheel of Time book—almost without exception—has either introduced a new viewpoint character or added a great deal of depth to a character who had only seen minimal use before. As we were drawing near to the end of the series, I didn't want to expand this very far. However, I did want to add at least one character across the three books I was doing.

    I went to Team Jordan with the suggestion that I could fulfill both of these purposes by using one of the rank-and-file members of the Black Tower, preferably someone who wasn't a full Asha'man and was something of a blank slate. They suggested Androl. The notes were silent regarding him, and while he had been around, he so far hadn't had the spotlight on him. He seemed the perfect character to dig into.

    A few more things got spun into this sequence. One was my desire to expand the usage of gateways in the series. For years, as an aspiring writer, I imagined how I would use gateways if writing a book that included them. I went so far as to include in the Stormlight Archive a magic system built around a similar teleportation mechanic. Being able to work on the Wheel of Time was a thrill for many reasons, but one big one was that it let me play with one of my favorite magic systems and nudge it in a few new directions. I've said that I didn't want to make a large number of new weaves, but instead find ways to use established weaves in new ways. I also liked the idea of expanding on the system for people who have a specific talent in certain areas of the One Power.

    Androl became my gateway expert. Another vital key in building him came from Harriet, who mailed me a long article about a leatherworker she found in Mr. Jordan's notes. She said, "He was planning to use this somewhere, but we don't know where."

    One final piece for his storyline came during my rereads of the series, where I felt that at times the fandom had been too down on the Red Ajah. True, they had some serious problems with their leadership in the books, but their purpose was noble. I feel that many readers wanted to treat them as the Wheel of Time equivalent of Slytherin—the house of no-goods, with every member a various form of nasty. Robert Jordan himself worked to counteract this, adding a great deal of depth to the Ajah by introducing Pevara. She had long been one of my favorite side characters, and I wanted her to have a strong plot in the last books. Building a relationship between her and Androl felt very natural to me, as it not only allowed me to explore the bonding process, but also let me work a small romance into the last three books—another thing that was present in most Wheel of Time books. The ways I pushed the Androl/Pevara bond was also something of an exploration and experiment. Though this was suggested by the things Robert Jordan wrote, I did have some freedom in how to adapt it. I felt that paralleling the wolf bond made sense, with (of course) its own distinctions.

    Finding a place to put the Pevara/Androl sequence into the books, however, proved difficult. Towers of Midnight was the book where we suffered the biggest time crunch. That was the novel where I'd plotted to put most of the Black Tower sequence, but in the end it didn't fit—partially because we just didn't have time for me to write it. So, while I did finish some chapters to put there, the soul of the sequence got pushed off to A Memory of Light, if I managed to find time for it.

    I did find time—in part because of cutting the Perrin sequence. Losing those 17,000 words left an imbalance to the pacing of the final book. It needed a plot sequence with more specific tension to balance out the more sweeping sequences early in the book where characters plan, plot, and argue. I was able to expand Androl/Pevara to fit this hole, and to show a lot of things I really wanted to show in the books.

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  • 157

    Interview: Aug 13th, 2014

    Question

    In the Wheel of Time books, did the Creator have a power, similar to the True Power that the Dark One had?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm afraid I don't have the answer for this, not for certain. I think that readers of the text could argue both ways. For example, a certain event in the epilogue of AMOL could be interpreted this way—though everyone in Team Jordan seems to have a different opinion on what is going on, and RJ didn't leave an explanation.

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