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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Have we (the readers) had an affect on the books?


Lisa Campbell
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Delete this or point me in the right direction because I didn't find anything when searching...

 

There's not much going on here at the moment so I thought I'd ask a question that has been lurking in my mind. Did you ever think that RJ/BS changed anything in the story because we were on to something?

 

Taimendred and Olver Cain being the most prominent in my mind.

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Delete this or point me in the right direction because I didn't find anything when searching...

 

There's not much going on here at the moment so I thought I'd ask a question that has been lurking in my mind. Did you ever think that RJ/BS changed anything in the story because we were on to something?

 

Taimendred and Olver Cain being the most prominent in my mind.

 

RJ stated flat out that he never meant for Taim to be Demandred and was surprised with the fans reaction.

 

As for Olver being Gaidal the timeframe was always off. Olver was too old already when Cain disappeared from Tar.

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RJ said once in his blog that he considered changing things when one person would guess what was going to happen correctly, but then those people were often shot down by other people saying how that couldn't be the case, so he decided that he'd stay with his plan and just give that person a tip of the hat because they were on the ball

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In terms of actual plot details, I'm not aware of any instance of RJ changing things. Also, his careful planning would make it harder for him to make significant changes without it being noticed. There might be instances of him giving more clues when people seem to be on the wrong track about things, and fewer clues when they seem to be too good at catching on, but that's it.

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Under RJ, I don't think so. The closest I'd expect was Taimendred, and I prefer to believe RJ was honest in his statements about that.

 

Under Brandon... well obviously the answer is yes. Things were changed as per the beta's review. I do also know that a comment was added to TofM based on a comment I made to Brandon once. Beyond that there are things which were clearly written for the fans.

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The only real change that affected Robert Jordan, was the fan's impatience. He was feeling guilty for the delays in several of the books, so he released a collaborative effort resulting in the BWB.

 

There was also a point where a fan asked why the characters never went to the bathroom or such, so he added a Tuon scene of her needing to go to the "necessary".

Edited by spoke
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We as fans influence the writing. RJ had a good idea of the beginning and the end and how to get there, but as he stated there were things necessary to depict, things he thought were needed, and then things he wanted to add in and develop but importance was in that order. Much like Thom's Knives Tor and editing kind of had to go back and change later editions of the books. Another big thing was the "Who killed Asmo" bit. By his having no notes other than a witty scene, and in later books having to add hints even he didn't know the whodunit as he had to use a fan-based Sherlock-Holmes letter on how the "who" wasn't even relevant while at the same time leading fans on about the "How and Where" he died both being the reasons the DO can't bring Asmo back. RJ was overly amused with the fan reaction to this and Brandon had to work it into the glossary and a vague mention by Shadar Haran. Yet having left no notes only a "This is it!" scribbled on a fan letter it seems fans really influenced that part.

 

One shouldn't also have to mention that a writer unfortunately suffers pressures by publishers to target newer and broader audiences for appeal and sales to make the books worth the publisher's time. However RJ worked for TOR, which is one of if not the best publishing houses out there for Fantasy. He also had a heck of a tale to tell, proof as to how many hundreds of thousands of us are still waiting for the conclusion. So through fandom and editing and beta readers, you bet there is influence. Different amounts and types depending on the writer. Some of the fans made it into the books with names and descriptions from Brandon. Our own "Master Denezel" made it in as an Innkeeper!

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I was just thinking about this a few days back and it would be hilarious if a fan made a theory that RJ liked better than something he had planned out and decided to use that theory instead of his original idea. However, I do not really believe that he would change anything no matter what the fans thought or said excluding small details that don't really matter.

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RJ was sometimes a bit snarky about this, too. For instance fans complained about no one ever going to the toilet, and so he wrote the scene in the Hell where Mat (playing the fans) demands to know where Tuon was going, and she (playing RJ) [she put on a long-suffering face. Even that was beautiful. "If you must know, I am going to the necessary, Toy."]

 

I always loved that... the long-suffering face, the dry implication that its obvious that people do the 'necessary'.

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RJ was sometimes a bit snarky about this, too. For instance fans complained about no one ever going to the toilet, and so he wrote the scene in the Hell where Mat (playing the fans) demands to know where Tuon was going, and she (playing RJ) [she put on a long-suffering face. Even that was beautiful. "If you must know, I am going to the necessary, Toy."]

 

I always loved that... the long-suffering face, the dry implication that its obvious that people do the 'necessary'.

 

Haha, yeah I like that. The interview database is also full of this type of thing, where he basically says "what kind of silly question is that?"

 

Yeah, RJ was not the kind of writer to bow under fan pressure. It was his tale, and his alone, he wasn't going to change anything important because a few people. Apart from a few instances like the toilet bit, where he is kind of paying out the fans for being crazy, it has pretty much been his own ideas. Or things that have developed with feedback and reactions, I can see some of the filler around the general outline having been influenced by what people would like to see etc..

 

But yeah, important plot points? No. Taimandred was, as mentioned, probably the closest, but really I don't think it was changed. It has a whole heap of holes in it, and he hasn't changed anything that has been so obvious before. Just looking at the first 3 books Foreshadowing, almost everything has been planned.

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RJ was sometimes a bit snarky about this, too. For instance fans complained about no one ever going to the toilet, and so he wrote the scene in the Hell where Mat (playing the fans) demands to know where Tuon was going, and she (playing RJ) [she put on a long-suffering face. Even that was beautiful. "If you must know, I am going to the necessary, Toy."]

 

I always loved that... the long-suffering face, the dry implication that its obvious that people do the 'necessary'.

 

Haha, yeah I like that. The interview database is also full of this type of thing, where he basically says "what kind of silly question is that?"

 

Yeah, RJ was not the kind of writer to bow under fan pressure. It was his tale, and his alone, he wasn't going to change anything important because a few people. Apart from a few instances like the toilet bit, where he is kind of paying out the fans for being crazy, it has pretty much been his own ideas. Or things that have developed with feedback and reactions, I can see some of the filler around the general outline having been influenced by what people would like to see etc..

 

But yeah, important plot points? No. Taimandred was, as mentioned, probably the closest, but really I don't think it was changed. It has a whole heap of holes in it, and he hasn't changed anything that has been so obvious before. Just looking at the first 3 books Foreshadowing, almost everything has been planned.

Then again, Thom's knives in Whitebridge and his best/second best outside Shadar Logoth was a big change around in later editions. I know a few other later changes for continuity were done but can't recall what they were of the top of my head. Still, a very valid point you make. Each time I start a reread from TEoTW, I see foreshadowing that links beautifully to later on. I'm still certain that we have hints of the ending in the beginning. There are just so many people, places, items, events, and prophecies that as seen with the Big Unnoticed thing, the hinted-at Chekhov's Gun could be any number of things. Brandon as a fan has assured us we will be satisfied with the ending, and that it is pretty awesome. I just can't wait.

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These things are mistakes, not things that fans have affected.Of course RJ made mistake. If anyone remembered every single piece of information needed for each page, I would be amazed.

 

Forgive me if I am wrong, but I thought we were talking about things that we the Fans have actually influenced, like something put in the books because fans have either already guessed it, or think it would be better if ..... happened.

 

As has been mentioned, it has happened a fair bit under Brandon, there are heaps of little shout outs to the fan. My favourite is in ToM, the reference to Narg, when Ituralde or one of his men mention smart wolf head Trollocs who could talk.

 

Also, RJ has added fan names before, Gyubon for one was won in a competition or something.

 

Not sure of other known instances, but I suppose little things have been put in, although I can't notice.

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