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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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Yes, they are. It is called releasing a Warder, and an Aes Sedai who is very old or injured so badly that she knows she is going to die will, if she has the strength, release him so he doesn't suffer from her death. This does require the two of them to be together, and a little more time that laying on the bond. If they are physically apart, or she doesn't have enough time or strength remaining, touch on him.
It has also been used to get rid of a Warder who proved to be unsuitable in some way, such as a man who is discovered to be a thief or who takes reckless chances, a fighter of duels who won't stop without the bond being used to force him. No sister is going to want a Warder who will risk getting himself killed, with all the attendant results to her, for no very good reason.
Although use of the bond in that way (controlling) was not unknown in the past, it came to be regarded as a form of Compulsion to use it so except in the slightest forms. Besides, using the bond to control a Warder all the time is a lot of work. An Aes Sedai wants somebody who can watch her back and keep it safe, not somebody she has to work on all the time. (Which is one of the reasons Aes Sedai stopped bonding men against their will. Not ethical concerns or ethical growth, I'm afraid; it was just not very practical really.) Better simply to release the fellow who can't measure up and find another who will.
By the by, releasing a Warder except for cause (the Aes Sedai's imminent death, his own unsuitability) or because he has asked for release is something that JUST IS NOT DONE! It would gain the sister considerable opprobrium from other sisters. A sister certainly would be looked at askance if she released a Warder who was dying, for example, just to avoid the effects on her of his death. When an Aes Sedai bonds a Warder, she is expected to buy in for the full ride. For that matter, releasing him for unsuitability is considered to reflect on the sister's judgment. She should have known better about him from the start.
[Anyone got a hint as to where those references are??]
[One of the other people at the signing mentioned the 'bonds' that Moiraine tied to Rand, Perrin, and Mat early in The Eye of the World. Those were directional, and I speculated that maybe they were related, in a very small way, to the Warder bond.]
[Evidently they stayed with the army, which stayed outside the city.]
[Side note: I think I know the reference Jordan was talking about, but I'm not sure I believe it. Remember when Logain was talking to those Altaran nobles, mentioning all the Reds that had secretly supported him, apparently under Elaida's direction. Mentioning this at Siuan's instigation, we all thought. What if Logain was actually telling the truth? Siuan Sanche will be the most surprised woman in the world. I sort of hope I'm wrong on this one. Can anyone else come up with another reference in LoC that might explain this? One mentioning Reds in Caemlyn around the time of Logain's capture?] [Note 2: If Jordan was planning this all the way back in The Eye of the World—I am in awe. Pure stricken awe at the plotting consistency.]
Got to ask two questions at signing part:
Who killed Alric?
One of the Aes Sedai's Warders did, not a sister.
No the Amyrlin did not change five times in seven years. I didn't catch the error before the book was published, though the correct sequence is there in my master chronology. The line in The Great Hunt should have read that "four of the last five" were from the Blue. The correct sequence is: Kirin Nelway (Brown) 922-950 NE; Noane Mosadim (Blue) 950-973 NE; Tamra Ospenya (Blue), 973-979 NE; Sierin Vayu (Gray), 979-984 NE; Marith Jaen (Blue), 984-988 NE; Siuan Sanche (blue), raised 998 NE. The correction is being made in the body of The Great Hunt and in the glossary.
That is the problem with doing books this large; sometimes even with all best efforts, something slips through when I think it has been made right. So there haven't been any lies [in answer to "does the Glossary lie?"]. Not even the "distance and location." You should have heard the howl I let out when that glossary entry was pointed out to me. "No! No, I changed that before the bloody book was published!" I have been working from the start that the Warder bond could be used as a sort of direction finder by both. Either can sense the direction of the other, though it gets more vague with distance, until with long distance the most you have is a general impression of, for example, "somewhere sort of to the west." Not distance, unless they are pretty close, except by using experience, figuring how far you've gone and how much stronger the feeling is. How do you think Moiraine and Lan never had any worries about hooking back up when they were separated? There have been hints at it and oblique references in several places.
If I can remember correctly, I asked, "When a Warder's bond is passed is the original bond still intact or is it broken?"
Not the best choice of words, I admit, but I was nervous. A problem that would repeat itself, unfortunately, the following day.
For Roland Arien, a lot of people have asked questions about Alric's death. I should have made matters plainer. As I envisioned it, Alric, having sensed Siuan's extreme shock, came running to her and arrived just in time to be stabbed just before Siuan was taken into the anteroom. She should have sensed the knife going in, but that was masked by her shock. When she sees him lying there, he is dying, though not yet dead. As I said, I should have made it plainer.
For Mark A, there are plenty of reasons for men and women to have a certain degree of distrust, though the fact that many Aes Sedai have Warders and good relationships with them shows that it isn't all mistrust. How much trust do most men and women have for the opposite gender here and now? I trust Harriet with my life, but look at how most people are. Look at most women's views of men, and most men's views of women. There is a lot of distrust right there. As for the Forsaken, they don't trust anybody. Gender doesn't enter into it.
From a mechanical standpoint, RJ explained that the bonds themselves are very different weaves, but that is more because of the differences in the situations. It is very unlikely that a Warder would ever try and kill their Aes Sedai, but that is not the case for an Asha'man and his bonded Aes Sedai. The Asha'man bond requires obedience of the Aes Sedai because the Asha'man would be in danger of her if she did not obey his every command. The Warder bond is different in that the Aes Sedai can bend her Warder to her will, but only with some effort on her part.
RJ quoted from his own book how Logain stated that the Asha'man bond could be easily modified so that the obedience requirement was removed, and here is the important part and I will quote from memory, "but that has not happened, thus far."
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.
For David, Warders don't slow. They age at a natural pace, but they do maintain vitality and vigor beyond the levels associated with most ordinary men. That said, I recently saw a photograph of a man in his seventies who had an absolutely ripped six-pack. In fact, from the neck down, if you were told you were looking at somebody in his 20s or 30s, you'd just think he was in incredible shape. And he wasn't bonded to anyone. Also, Aes Sedai can release a Warder from the bond. In fact, I have said that most Aes Sedai who have time to realize that they are dying will release any Warders they have in order to spare them the effects. I'm pretty certain I have said that publicly, by the way.
As an aside, I saw somewhere that I supposedly said that Sharina Melloy will not grow younger. If I did, then I misspoke. Sharina will not grow young, but she will grow younger in appearance, as will any other older women who begin to channel. For Sharina, by way of example, she will "regress" into apparent middle age, but no younger.
About Gawyn's duel with Sleete, and the usage of real swords, she said she would have to look into that, since I had believed that normally practice swords are used. She said that perhaps sometimes they have to use real swords to keep their edge, so to speak, but will look into that.
With novice swordsmen, the practice sword is very good because they can swing away with abandon and be swung at and at worse get a bruise. But there comes a time when a person must practice with a real sword, and not just shadow fencing. How does a sword feel when it hits another sword? How quickly can you come back from that? Practice with the weapon you are going to use in real combat is necessary. This is especially true if you are with an army in the field; you’re not playing at keeping in shape, you’re trying to make sure that you are at your absolute top form to keep from being killed when you come up against someone else with a pointy blade. These Warders are very, very good; they trust themselves to fight with real swords without damaging each other.
So, often they practiced with practice swords, but sometimes they practiced with real swords. There is a type of practice with real swords in the books. We see it in New Spring: the Novel, where Bukama “took the other two a little distance away with talk of some game called “sevens.” A strange game it seemed to be, and more than dangerous in the failing daylight. Lan and Ryne sat cross-legged facing one another, their swords sheathed, then without warning drew, each blade flashing toward the other man’s throat, stopping just short of flesh. The older man pointed to Ryne, they sheathed swords, and then did it again. For as long as she watched, that was how it went. Perhaps Ryne had not been so over-confident as he seemed.”
It’s not the same as when Gawyn faced Sleete and Marlesh, but it is experienced swordsmen practicing with real swords.
RAFO. ... That one’s mostly a MAFO. I’ll be honest. That’s a question I should have looked at.
Yeah, I figured it was; I was hoping actually to catch Maria on that one. That was from Wetlander from tor.com.
Oh, was it? Hi Wetlander! That’s one I should know. I’m pretty sure it’s in there somewhere. That’s one I should have looked up, but I’ve just never looked it up. So...
A quote from the notes: "For the men, it would have been at least partly a matter of blackmail. They are distrusting of Rand, and also of Taim to various degrees; none thinks it's safe to go back to the Black Tower; they are known in Cairhien as men who can channel, and also elsewhere, making them marked to an extent, at least on their own."
So it wasn't anything really hidden, it was just "let us bond you and we'll help you; otherwise you’re all on your own." And it was Hopwil, not Manfor, who was in the first group bonded.
I took the three names from Taim's list of "deserters" given to Rand by Logain in Crossroads of Twilight, Chapter 24; Cadsuane wasn't too specific: "Blackmail was a tool she disliked using, but she had already used it on the three Asha'man..." That was in Winter's Heart Chapter 13; she told Rand about the three bonded Asha'man in Chapter 25, and indeed Karldin Manfor was not among those three.
What you have to understand is Tomas was tired of this world. Without Verin, he didn’t really want to be around...
So Tomas is dead?
Yes. Tomas is dead. She could have released him, yes, but he didn’t want that.
Yeah. There's a line somewhere about, she was always incredibly calm except when her Warder was around, or something like that...
Some people thought that it referred to Graendal...(laughter) And I'm like, "No....that doesn't count."
You know, Compulsion, tempestuous love affair, same thing...