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Official AMOL Cover Art (Spoilers)


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So what does everyone think?

 

And what does the scene say about the story?

 

It is Rand, obviously, and I think it is the Pit of Doom he is entering here, with Callandor and Justice.

 

Also looks like there is an eclipse of the sun in the background.

 

 

Edit: Full Cover including Moiraine and Nynaeve in the background.

 

A-Memory-of-Light-cover.jpg

 

 

Here is TOR's description of the scene:

 

Here, Rand stands with Callandor on the rocks of Shayol Ghul, heading down into its depths to confront the Dark One even as the sun itself vanishes from the world. Two Aes Sedai follow the Dragon Reborn into the mouth of darkness, two women who have been with Rand since the very beginning.

 

 

Here we have an update on the Cover from someone working with Michael Whelan.

 

Interesting post from Marie Curie over at Theoryland on the cover. Thought you all would enjoy it...

 

Marie Curie

There have been some additional details posted in the comments section of the article about the Whelan cover at tor.com. The comments appear to be legitimate, from someone (MRJackson) who knows and works with Whelan in some capacity.

 

A couple of highlights, which cover some of the criticisms regarding the accuracy of the depiction of characters (especially Nynaeve):

 

1. The length of Nynaeve's hair is correct, so something must have happened since we last saw her for it to be even shorter than it was from her test for the shawl. (He is not entirely sure about the hair color and why it is lighter than we would expect, but he speculated about the lighting.)

 

2. Nynaeve took off most or all of her jewelry before this scene.

 

3. Whelan was aware that Nynaeve favored green and blue dresses, so the choice of yellow was apparently deliberate.

 

4. Callandor is lighting Rand's way into the Pit, which seems fairly obvious, but it apparently shines brighter the further in Rand goes.

 

The first comment from MRJackson:

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MRJackson

Not sure why there's still confusion. It's Nynaeve and Moiraine on the back cover. The yellow and blue dresses should make that apparent. Nynaeve's hair is obviously shorter than it used to be.

 

I spoke to Michael about the cover as he was finishing it. Since he didn't have the opportunity to read all 14 books for the assignment, I was one of the people he leaned on to fact check his work.

 

Michael mentioned there are details the readers (like me) wouldn't be privvy to yet. For example, Nynaeve takes the bulk of her jewelry off before this scene.

 

Callandor is a sword that isn't a sword, right? He's not holding it for defense. It's a source of power as well as his source of light (there's a clue about that in the lighting on his face). He's shielding his eyes as he stares in to the pit. Apparently, the deeper he goes into Shayol Ghul, the brighter it shines.

 

A little background that some might not know... Michael ha's studied martial arts, including Filipino Kali and Arnis. The forearm slash position actually has some utility in fights with bladed weapons.

 

Compositionally, the line of the sword is another element that draws you into the intensity of Rand's stare. Further, the opening of the cave is the shape of an eye; the eclipse suggests an iris. It's as if the gaze of the Dark One is falling on Rand. We see his strength and determination in response. How many illustrators can convey that kind of depth in a scene?

 

Say what you will, but I think Michael brought a lot to the plate on what was a very difficult cover assignment. He put his stamp on Rand while producing a cover that fits well with the first 13 that DKS painted.

 

The second comment from MRJackson:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MRJackson

I was just one of the people helping with the details. Obviously Michael had Irene Gallo's art direction and was in contact with editors including Harriet.

 

Michael's wife Audrey usually serves as his sounding board, but she hadn't read the books. (For the record, I'm not affiliated with TOR. I've worked with Michael since the mid 90s, primarily on his website.) I'm a WoT fan and that's the kind of feedback Michael was looking for... someone he knew who had read the previous 13 books.

 

Michael and I did discuss Nynaeve's dress color. I mentioned that she catered to Lan's color preference of green and blue. The yellow of her ajah usually came in slashes of color, accents if I recall correctly.

 

Like I said, I haven't read the manuscript for AMoL and Michael couldn't talk about it. But I distinctly recall Nynaeve taking pride in being a true Aes Sedai finally. Going into the Last Battle, I don't think it's a stretch that she would choose yellow. I suppose we'll have to RAFO on that.

 

In the background information I provided, I described Nynaeve's hair color as darker brown and referenced previous covers (among them the Melanie Delon's cover for A Crown of Swords that drew criticism for being too red).

 

I'd have to ask him why he chose lighter highlights. Just my speculation here, but Callandor is a light source. There's also illumination from the eclipse filtering in from the mouth of the cave to consider.

 

Michael got the length of Nyn's hair right, and this isn't simply opinion. Hopefully Brandon or Harriet will confirm at some point that her shoulder length hair was too short to braid.

 

Interestingly, Michael and I spoke about the challenge of pulling character descriptions from the text. If you're familiar with his illustration, he's known as a stickler for details. But it isn't always easy to translate text literally, especially when Jordan and Sanderson contradict in their description.

 

In correspondence, Michael wrote, "Major characters are described as diminutive in size, yet 'commanding' in presence. Faces are youthful, yet ageless. Or young but having eyes full of wisdom of the ages. Rand is tall and manly, yet has an almost "feminine" beauty in his eyes or mouth. It's a bit confusing how one is supposed to render such conflicting elements."

 

Honestly, I don't mind the nitpicking. Criticism comes with the territory. My point in responding is to state that Michael was mindful of details here. There's evidence of it in the painting. I can tell you that he had Moiraine's kesiera and Nynaeve's ki'sain accounted for before I even spoke to him.

 

On a personal note, I had the priviledge of meeting Robert Jordan before a signing on the Knife of Dreams tour. One of the things we talked about was the cover art for the series. I think Mr. Jordan would be pleased with this one. Obviously Harriet was when she said, "that is the Rand I have waited to see for twenty years."

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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Ha... I was right: circle of Moirrane and Nyn to use Callandor :D poetic if I ever saw it :D

 

Yeah! I thought this too, although, technically, we cannot be too sure yet. There may be more to the scene than it appears.

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Why the hell did they mkae Nynaeve a blond?

 

But yes, fairly spoilerish. I note that Rand is still wearing a sword other than Calandor, presumably still Justice.

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Why the hell did they mkae Nynaeve a blond?

 

But yes, fairly spoilerish. I note that Rand is still wearing a sword other than Calandor, presumably still Justice.

 

Yeah, I assumed Justice as well.

 

I thought the blonde looking Nynaeve was from the fires of the Pit reflecting off her hair making it seem blonde.

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There is something else on Rand's waist besides Justice. Is that the Dreamspike from the Black Tower? Could make sense if he wanted to keep the Forsaken / Dreadlords / Darkfriends from showing up when he faced the DO.

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There is something else on Rand's waist besides Justice. Is that the Dreamspike from the Black Tower? Could make sense if he wanted to keep the Forsaken / Dreadlords / Darkfriends from showing up when he faced the DO.

 

Ahh, nice one, I didn't notice. I have no idea. It doesn't look like a Dreamspike.I thought it had a kind of spiky mace head type thing and was a bit bigger than that. Looks like his Seanchan spearhead, but that is destroyed. I can only think it is some other kind of ter'angreal that is special in some way.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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Big grin slides off, should have read all the posts.

Face palm and slink off to corner.

 

Worry not, I think we posted more or less simultaneously!

 

Have the :biggrin: back!

 

Rer Moiraine being present: Drat. That's one of my ideas out of the window (the one where she and Rand don't meet..)

Edited by FarShainMael
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Big grin slides off, should have read all the posts.

Face palm and slink off to corner.

 

Worry not, I think we posted more or less simultaneously!

 

Have the :biggrin: back!

 

FSM, you may want to have a look at my original post. :tongue:

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Big grin slides off, should have read all the posts.

Face palm and slink off to corner.

 

Worry not, I think we posted more or less simultaneously!

 

Have the :biggrin: back!

 

FSM, you may want to have a look at my original post. :tongue:

 

I did.. but after I posted :blush: :blush: That pic grabs the attention!

Edited by FarShainMael
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We can all have some :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

 

Back on topic, the two cover arts, this and DKS' unfinished work make me have some serious doubts about Rand dying before the Pit of Doom. Nothing seems out of the ordinary about him, he doesn't appear to be in TAR, or one of the Heroes or something. Plus the prophecies about the "twice the day dawns" relating to possible two deaths is pretty cleared up with that eclipse.

 

And the Rand on the bier in DKS' version looks to be after this scene, as SG is in the background with blood on it.

 

I don't see the point in him dying twice now, if he is only going to come back seemingly "whole". Other than dramatic effect, there is no reason for him to die, come back, only to die again.

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I love it...

 

Dreamspike sounds like a very good idea...it's about the size and shape I imagined. And its usefullness would be unquestionable.

However, we've only seen it work from TAR. So it either functions outside to, or this IS TAR(y'know, SG, the place without TAR reflection... Than again, Moridin is bound to know its key to...

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If you scroll in to max size, you can actually see Nyn's ki'sain. I can't tell if there's a kesiera on (presumably) Moiraine, though it does look to me like she might be going a bit grey. Reflection, like Nyn's hair color?

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