|Jordan: Thanks for coming tonight,
guys. And thanks for reading me!
|Jacob from California: First off, major compliments for sharing
your beautiful creation with us. Second off, how do you come up with your
character's/cities' names? Most of the names do not sound like traditional
fantasy names, did you do this consciously in order to create a work that
was not like the 'norm'?
|Jordan: Yes. I didn't want to simply copy what's gone before. There
are some things that are reminiscent, certainly, and I can't say that
every name is unlike what might be called "traditional fantasy names,"
but I definitely wanted names that were different.
|Dave from Wautoma, WI: Thanks for such a terrific series! I
can't begin to tell you how many hours of entertainment it's provided.
I was just wondering . . . provided that you get the time once in awhile,
do you tend to read books inside the fantasy genre or outside or it?
|Jordan: I read more outside of the fantasy genre than inside, but I
certainly do read fantasy.
|Juris Koren from Sigil: When you started writing WoT--or even
after the first couple of books were published--did you ever expect the
public reaction that WoT has received? All the popularity and fanfare
and such? Or were you just sort-of writing for you and if it was well-received,
fine; if not, fine?
|Jordan: I was writing for myself. I never expected any of this.
|David from Austin: When will the LAND OF MADMEN (as shown in
the Guide) come into play, and are you considering ever making a second
edition of the Guide?
|Jordan: As for when or if it will come into play, read and find out.
As for another edition of the guide, I would like to do a concordance
or encyclopedia when the cycle is finished, but I have no plans before
|Laure from Montreal,QC: You said earlier that Mat would get
'stuck' with someone and you mentioned Pink Ribbons. Eighteen century
condoms were attached with such ribbons...is it linked?
|John Miller from Virginia: First off thanks for joining us on
the chat. To settle a dispute on our mailing list I would like to know
if the gholam works the same way as Mat's medallion? Can it be killed
by lightning or any such thing?
|Jordan: Read and find out. The principle is the same, but it doesn't
work in the same way as Mat's medallion.
|Meg Young from Florida: In a previous question you stated that
it took you so long to write The Eye of the World because you realized
a number of things you hadn't yet researched. What sort of things were
these, and how did you survive the more tedious aspects of world-building
(ie, lists of government official names, lists of cities and their major
imports and exports, etc)?
|Jordan: Well, the tedious bits were quite easy, and it wasn't so much
a matter of research I hadn't done as things that needed to be worked
out -- which I thought could wait until later because they were not going
to come into the books until later. But I realized once I began writing
that I had to realize how those things worked and fit together NOW, because
that would affect how things happened in that first book.
|Bela the Horse from Tel'aran'rhiod: What was the "extra
bit" in Path of Daggers? Was it the kiss or the bonding? Please help
settle this long-standing dispute.
|Jordan: The kiss is necessary, because that's how they learned to do
it, because that's how the fellow that developed it did it. The extra
bit is something in the bonding, and you'll find out what in Winter's
Heart. You should have gotten a clue, I think, in the scene where the
bonding took place.
|Clayton from Hutchinson: First, I thoroughly enjoy the wheel
of time series. Is there an actual form of martial arts that inspired
the "sword forms" and are the forms you mention in the books
part of this art or are they you own creation.
|Jordan: The sword forms described in the book are my own creation,
but they are based in part on the Japanese art of the sword, and also
on fencing as it developed, when it was well on its way to becoming a
martial art as we define them today (when it was developing in the Renaissance).
|J. KING from HAZARD KY: I thought I had heard about a story
dealing with Moraine and Siuan Sanche when they were first raised to full
sister and the beginning of their search for the Dragon Reborn. Is it
|Jordan: It's called New Spring, and it's in a collection called LEGENDS
put together by Robert Silverburg.
|Kevin from Dallas, Tx: Just want to say I really love the books.
I am currently rereading them before I read WH. I hope I don't break down
and read WH before I have reread the whole series. It always keeps the
sub plots in mind. Now the question. Do you have anybody that reads the
book that you are currently working on to make sure that the main plots
and subplots are intact and that things have not been left out or added
|Jordan: That's me!
|Jennifer from Barnes & Noble.com: On behalf of a promotion
that Barnes & Noble.com is conducting, I'd like to ask: what are your
favorite books, and why?
|Jordan: I can't give favorite books, but I can give my favorite authors:
John D. McDonal, Jane Austen, Robert Heinlein, Louis L'Amour, Charles
Dickens, and Mark Twain.
|Eric from Cleveland: Mr. Jordan, Do you have to reread your
books often in order to remind yourself of everything you have done and
still need to do, or do you just look back at notes as a basic reminder.
|Jordan: Sometimes I have to look back at the books themselves, but
primarily that is to make sure that I remember for example, exactly what
someone said to someone else, I don't need to remind myself of the story
or what has happened. I sometimes do have to check on small details.
|Natalie Fylith from Dragonmount: Did you get inspiration for
Be'lal's name from Paradise Lost? (ie, the fallen angel Belial)
|Jordan: Among other places, yes.
|Eric from Nashville: Was the story line for "New Spring"
one that was created at the same time as the rest of the WoT plot, or
did you come up with it specifically for the Legends anthology?
|Jordan: The basis was notes that I had made for myself on backstory,
things that I had never intended to put into the books themselves, but
that I needed to know to write the books: such as where did Moiraine and
Lan meet, and where did they come from.
|Doug Carlson from Urbana, IL: Is there any way to escape a mindtrap
other than death?
|Jordan: To be released, you can be released from it.
|Holly from Clearwater: Do you already know the fates of all
the primary characters or are they still changeable?
|Jordan: I know the fates of all of the primary characters.
|Rob Hill from Cardiff, Wales, U.K.: Who would win in a sword
fight between Lan and Galad? My moneys on Lan.
|Jordan: (laughs) Unless you can find someone else to bet with, use
your money to buy yourself some beer.
|David Burke from Northeastern University: Thank you so much
Mr. Jordan for writing this series. It has entertained me for a very long
time. My question is; If you were to be a member of a group or society
represented in your books, which would it be? I think that I would like
to be an Ogier because of their simple and peaceful way of life.
|Jordan: I don't know that I would particularly like to be a part of
any of the societies or organizations or groups that I have described.
I suppose if I had to choose, it would be a tossup between being an Asha'man
and being a Warder.
|Baroc from Dragonmount: Do you have any special fan activities
planned for DragonCon next year? Thank you.
|Jordan: No, to the best of my knowledge, I have not agreed to be at
DragonCon next year! I have to point out that in the last few years, there
seems to be a rash of people convincing world fantasy convention, world
science fiction convention, that they are ME, and they have arranged panels
that I knew nothing about until I received a schedule from the convention
saying that these were the panels I was on.
|Emily from San Jose: If you could choose any one element from
your series to bring into the 'real world' what would it be? Use of the
One Power? Tel'aran'rhiod? Something else?
|Jordan: I don't think that I would bring anything from my world into
the real world. They're all very wonderful things, I believe, but taken
all in all, they make the world much too interesting for comfort. And
the world we live in is awfully darned interesting, and sometimes awfully
uncomfortable, as it is.
|Missy from Oregon: Do the portrayals of the people on the covers,
match what you think they look like?
|Jordan: Yes and no. It's very hard to get an artist to portray someone
just as you see them. If I were an artist, perhaps the covers would show
the people EXACTLY as I see them. But since I'm not, we have to make do
with me giving descriptions to the artist.
|Jiri Kristek from The Czech Rep.: Mr. Jordan How many hours
per day do you approximately spend writing, and do you listen to music
meanwhile or do you prefer the silence?
|Jordan: I usually write to classical music of various kinds, and occasionally
Chinese or Japanese music. I like to listen to rock and to jazz, but I
can't write to them. As for the number of hours, I try to do at least
8 hours a day, six or seven days a week. When the schedule gets very hectic,
that can grow to twelve hours a day 7 days a week, and no time off.
|Moderator: Thanks for all the great questions for Robert Jordan!
By the way, a Barnes & Noble.com editor is typing for Mr. Jordan this
evening. Mr. Jordan is dictating his responses to your questions over
the phone. Enjoy the rest of the chat.
|Peter Stogios from Toronto, Canada: Mr. Jordan, I loved your
flashbacks to the Age of Legends in Book Four. I'm fascinated by how so
many characters regard this Age as an incredible time when Aes Sedai could
accomplish anything. Will we learn anything else about the Age of Legends
in your upcoming books?
|Jordan: As far as what you'll find out about them, read and find out.
I myself see the Age of Legends as a time that was very technological,
with a technology based on the one power. And thus, a place where things
happened every day that would be considered miraculous to the people of
the present time of the books. If you took someone from 500 years ago
into the average house in the United States, they would think that what
they were seeing had to be the product of magic, and they would believe
that our world was an incredible time of wonder. They probably wouldn't
see any of the warts that we see. And in the books this has happened in
reverse, because the grand time is in the past.
|Travis (Mangneth) from North Texas: Will Sharina play a more
prominent role in WH? How big of a role will she play in books to come?
Will we learn more about her, like her past, thoughts, feelings. etc?
|Jordan: We'll certainly see her again -- for the rest, read and find
out. If I tell you everything that's coming, and everything that isn't
coming, you're going to lose interest, aren't you?
|Yanmin from Singapore: What inspired the Forsaken?
|Jordan: A great many things -- but in large part, people who are willing
to do anything at all for their personal aggrandizement.
|William Barbarow from California: Hi, Mr, Jordan, I have been
an avid reader of your books since I first read The Eye of the World about
a year ago. I was wondering how did you choose the colors for the Ajahs,
ie. why are some colors such as orange left out and gray is in. Thanks
for answering my question.
|Jordan: I stuck with what you might call basic colors, and orange is
not a basic color.
|Rick from Medford, NY: Mr. Jordan, does it ever frighten you
that people ask you the most detailed questions about your series, kind
of like Star Trek fanatics do with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy?
|Jordan: Last: Hiding there would be a good idea, I think. This: No,
that doesn't worry me or frighten me. The only times I get worried are
when people seem to believe that I am some sort of guru, and I'm not --
I'm a storyteller. I write books, that's it. I tell stories.
|Ryan Foley from Lawrence, Mass.: If you were going to be stranded
on the Island of Madmen and could only take one book with you, what book
would it be?
|Jordan: I think a book on camouflage.
|Ethan Hayes from Colorado Springs, CO: First off, I would like
to compliment you on having such a wonderful series. I have one question
for you, however, about being a writer. How is it that you made yourself
transition from planning the series and what was going to happen in the
series and building the history, etc; into the actual creation of the
first novel? How did you know when to stop planning and to start writing?
|Jordan: Well, in this particular instance, I simply reached a point
where I thought I was ready to start, and in some ways I turned out to
be wrong! That's why it took 4 years to write TEOTW, I realized that there
were a number of things I had to work out very far in advance from what
|Melissa from Oregon: You've thought out your characters so clearly
and their personalities are so complex. How hard was it to do this? Did
it take a lot of planning ahead or did it just come naturally as you progressed
into the writing?
|Jordan: There was a lot of planning ahead involved with the characters,
and a lot of work -- with the women characters in particular, to try to
make them seem like women instead of women written by a man.
|Dustin from Manhattan, Kansas: Of all the books you have written
for the WoT series, which is your favorite and why? Thank You
|Jordan: My favorite book is always the book I am working on at present.
|Pablo from Illian, NY: Mr. Jordan, of all your characters, which
would you most like to see die?
|Jordan: (laughs) I can't say that I'd like to see any of them die!
|Joseph Etcheto from Southbury, CT: Hello again Mr. Jordan. Not
that I'm looking forward to the end, in the sense of it being over, but
what are your plans, if any, after you have finished this series? Will
you continue telling stories about this world, or will you move on to
|Jordan: I intend to move on to new things. I have been thinking about
another fantasy series, another world, another set of cultures, for about,
oh, it must be 6 years now it's been percolating around in the back of
|Moonhair from Wotmania: Have you ever actually visited a fan-based
WoT website? Do you agree with many of the theories you find there?
|Jordan: I have occasionally dropped in on some websites. Some of the
theories are very good, and some of them are very much wild blue yonder.
And no, I won't tell you which ones are which!
|Kelly van der Laan from The Netherlands: Man, I'm so lucky I
couldn't sleep! (Its 1 am here)RJ, I loved Winter's Heart and the especially
the last chapter! Could you please put some more of the Forsaken POV's
in the next book, most of all Cyndane and Graendal? I love those two!
|Jordan: Well, it's possible -- but how have you read Winter's Heart
already? It doesn't go on sale until tomorrow! If it's been sold anywhere,
it's a shock to me!
|Jeremy from Long Island NY: For any of the mysteries, i.e. Moridin's
identity and Asmodean's death, would you tell us where to look for clues
we probably missed? Or just mention some clues that we all probably didn't
|Jordan: (laughs) Well, Moridin's identity is pretty much an open secret
-- and especially if you read WH, I think it's increasingly clear who
he is, if there were any doubt. As for the other -- read and find out!
|Brandon Fincher from Abilene, TX: Mr. Jordan- What rough percentage
is devoted to Mat and Perrin in this book? I must admit I was disappointed
Mat wasn't in the Path of Daggers more.
|Jordan: In the Path of Daggers, you have to remember that Mat had a
building fall on top of him. I personally don't think that Mat lying around
in a bed with bandages and splints is very entertaining, and it certainly
wouldn't have done anything to advance the story. Mat does have an encounter
with pink ribbons that some of you might find amusing in this book.
|Ryan from New Orleans: What is the average term of office for
the average Amyrlin, assuming she isn't deposed.
|Jordan: If you check the list of Amyrlin in the illustrated guide,
which covers about 1000 years prior to the story, you'll find that there's
quite a wide variation -- up to 50 or 60 years for some, and for others,
perhaps 20. In large part, it depends how old she was when she was chosen
Amyrlin. That is, given that she wasn't deposed.
|Henrik from Tampere, Finland: Mr. Jordan, what is your stance
on uncommissioned fan illustrations, depicting the world you've created?
|Jordan: Last: It's a good question, and an important theme -- but read
and find out. This: I really don't have a stance. I know a lot of people
do fan art of one sort or another. As long as no one is trying to make
money on my creations, it's all right with me!
|Doug Carlson from Urbana, IL: What would happen if the Dark
One was victorious? And why can the Dark One act on the world but it seems
the Creator cannot?
|Jordan: Read and find out.
|J. Hurt from Chicago: First off, I absolutely love the WOT series!
What I wanted to know was when your originally started writing this series
what type of research, if any, did you do to create the world and story
line you have created?
|Jordan: I started writing the Eye of the World in about 1985, I guess
it was. 85 or 86. It took me four years, and I had been thinking about
the things that would lead into the world of the wheel of Time about ten
years before I started writing ANYTHING.
|Davidexx from Philadelphia: First, thanks for such a wonderful
series. Your unsurpassed character development, such an important part
of fiction writing, makes this series stand head and shoulders above similar-themed
works. My question is about balance. Obviously your world is driven by
pattern and balance (male and female, light and dark, etc). Why is it
that as many of your major and minor characters find their complement
(i.e. significant other), Rand has 3, ehh, girlfriends. Is this simply
because he's the "big cheese", or does this obvious imbalance
represent the Wheel weaving what is necessary for the final resolution
of the story?
|Jordan: Read and find out. Sorry about that!
|Pam Korda from Chicago: What exactly is the "hot"
ter'angreal played with so enthusiastically by Elayne and when will we
see it actually put into use?
|Jordan: Read and find out, Pam. You're experienced enough at this to
know that I wouldn't give that answer, I think!
|Dayn S from California: What is going on with the NBC Eye of
the World mini-series?
|Jordan: To the best of my knowledge, nothing whatsoever. I have been
told that the people who were key in making the deal in the first place
have all left NBC now. So I'm afraid that nothing is going to happen there.
|Greg Basore from Oklahoma: If you had to put two books into
a time capsule, one by you and one by some one else what would they be?
|Jordan: Well, I think that I would put The Eye of the World at this
point, and someone else -- I think the essays of Montaigne.
|E.S. from Denver: How did Kierkegard and Sartre influence your
portrayal of Bela and can you discuss how the equus/superequus dichotomy
played out in the whole Asmodean murder scene?
|Jordan: (laughs) No, no, neither Sartre or Kierkegard influenced me
in the slightest, nor did they influence the development of Bela. My wife
thinks that they did influence the development of Bela, but I don't and
I'm the one who did it, so there.
|Liandra from The Netherlands: I understand there would be a
person in The Eye of the World, but that he was cut out or something.
Who was he?
|Jordan: One of the characters who I have brought in later was a fellow
named Daniell in TEOTW, and I brought him out because I realized he didn't
have anything to do there. I reintroduced him later. At that point, he
was simply taking up space.
|Jan from Colorado: Mr. Jordan, In The Great Hunt it was mentioned
that a Aes Sedai with gray hair was very old indeed. How old does a Aes
Sedai typically have to be for her hair to start turning gray?
|Jordan: It varies. But usually they would expect to have grey hair
by oh, 200 years of age. Some grey hair at least. Just like anyone else,
some have grey hair at 150, or even 100, but that would be considered
prematurely grey for an Aes Sedai.
|promethius from melbourne, australia: Mr. Jordan, I love your
books. If a person begins to channel at an old age, eg. Sharina, will
she begin to physically look younger when she slows, or will she remain
the same and pick up from there?
|Jordan: She remains the same. It's not the same as having been stilled
or burnt out. She's going to have a very long life, still, just not as
a youthful person.
|Mike Y. from Santa Barbara, CA: Were the 9 Rods of Dominion
mentioned in the Eye of The World prologue sa'angreal? Do they or will
they play any role in the series? Was the sa'angreal used to heal Mat
one of these Rods?
|Jordan: Read and find out.
|Richard from Kentucky: In fantasy, the epic battle between good
and evil is a physical battle. How do you personally cope with experiencing
the world of WOT, and having to face the real world? Also, are you like
C.S. Lewis in that you can't believe in the world you created, seeing
as you made it. Thank You.
|Jordan: Well, I suppose I believe in the world I made as much as any
writer believes in the world he or she creates -- I can see it, feel it,
smell it. But I certainly have no difficulties stepping outside the world
in my head into the REAL world.
|MD Young from Plano, TX: In the chat before PoD, you said that
you felt 3 more books were needed to complete the series. Are we down
to 2 more books now, or has the series been pushed back to another book?
|Jordan: It still sits at 3 more books to finish, but I've always said
from the time I began using the 3 books that it would be AT LEAST 3 books
-- that I'd try to finish in at least 3 books, but I couldn't promise.
I know that I couldn't possibly finish in fewer than 3. If I can finish
in 3, I will. But that's what I'm hoping for, what I'm trying for. NOT
|Candice from Greenville, North Carolina: Do you ever feel under
a lot of pressure to finish the books due to their popularity?
|Jordan: Well, sometimes. But I know where I'm going, I know how I want
to finish it, I do not intend to speed up the pace to get there faster.
In truth, the greatest pressure to finish it, I think, comes from ME.
I won't really have done it until I finish it.
|Rune from Dragonmount: Do you have a Languages education? Where
did you get the idea for the Old Tongue?
|Jordan: Well, I got the idea for the old Tongue simply because the
core beginnings of this story lie 3000 years in the past -- and I've never
heard of a language remaining unchanged over that length of time. We could
not understand the English spoken by an Englishman from 1000 years ago,
and we'd have difficulty understanding him from 500 years ago, and the
same holds true for a Frenchman with his language or a German with his.
|Lars-Remi (Kagato) from Norway: Is there any chance whatsoever
that you could explain to us the full set of rules for the game 'Snakes
and Foxes'? I would really like to try playing it.
|Jordan: (laughs) Not tonight! There's a fair description in one of
the books, though -- perhaps someday I'll put it down in print somewhere.
Really, it is a child's game.
|Andrew Wilson from Toronto, Canada: Out of all the 'evil' characters
you've created in the 8, now 9 books of the Wheel of Time series, which
character is the most dangerous to Rand?
|Jordan: Hmmm. Actually, I think the most dangerous character to Rand
is Rand -- but among the others, each of them has their own particular
danger toward Rand.
|Cathy from Bigfork, Montana: From the Message to the Reader
at the beginning of "Snow", you seemed to have mixed feelings
about the e-book format. Being from a rural area, with few bookstores,
I love it. How do you feel about this new format as an author and part
of the publishing industry?
|Jordan: I feel that it's a very new format, and that we have at present
no idea whatsoever in what direction it is going to develop, or how widely
it will be accepted. At the moment, relatively few people buy ebooks,
unless they are by Stephen King, say, or if they are self-help or business.
Even then, the numbers are not very big as compared to actual books on
|Jeff Zervos from Long Island, NY: Mr. Jordan, The Wheel Of Time
series is an incredible piece of work. It is truthfully beyond anything
I have ever read, including the works of Tolkien. Is there any advise
you could give to an aspiring writer who is having a terrible time getting
started with his story? I'm also an amateur actor and I look forward to
auditioning for the part of Padan Fain one day.
|Jordan: The only advice I can give is to keep writing! But if you want
to audition for the part of Padan Fain, maybe you ought to seek psychiatric
|Dave from Mankato, Minnesota: What sort of things caused the
Wheel of Time series to be so much longer than you originally anticipated?
Culture description, character development, new plot developments, etc.?
Or something else?
|Jordan: Not new plot, certainly. But I have been over-optimistic from
the beginning about how much of the story I could get into each book.
And in each case, I've found that I had to leave out things that I wanted
to put into this book -- or in any given book -- and do them later.
|Erik Hovda from Monterey, CA: I have heard of some authors writing
themselves as a character in their books. Have you intentionally done
that or perhaps see yourself in one of your characters? For example, Loial
is taking notes so that he may write a book about Rand and the events
surrounding him. Is he perhaps the "closest fit" to someone
who embodies you for the series?
|Jordan: According to my wife, he is -- but I don't think so.
|Ken Wimer from Vallejo, CA: Mr. Jordan, it is a such a pleasure
to converse with you like this. (Unfortunately, I am at work, so I must
submit this without knowing if it will actually get answered, being 10
AM PST!) My question: It is apparent that the majority of the "World"
is and has been greatly influenced, if not outright controlled by females.
As we all know, females and males must work together (as in a circle)
so as to defeat the Dark One. Will we be seeing more of a "work together
attitude" between men and women in your future novels, or more of
the "women should control all while looking down their nose at men"
|Jordan: Both. I'm not certain that I have a women-looking-down-their-nose
at men theme; I simply have women that consider themselves competent in
and of themselves.
|James Koziol from Melbourne, Australia: Dear Mr. Jordan: Could
you please give finally "reveal all" about who killed Asmodean
at the end of the fifth book of your series? Much speculation has been
bandied about, and you have said yourself you have given us enough clues,
so could you put said speculation to rest? Thanks for your great series,
it's been a really good read so far!
|Jordan: No. I will not put the speculation to rest! I'm rather entertained
by the speculation, actually.
|Beth Silver from Austin, TX: Aside from the Heroes of the Horn
waiting around in the World of Dreams, is there any kind of afterlife
in WOT? Do the Heroes get a choice when they are linked to the Horn; can
they retire, or take 'ordinary life' sabbaticals?
|Jordan: In answer to the first question, yes, there is an ordinary
afterlife. In answer to the second, no. You cannot decide NOT to be a
hero linked to the Wheel.