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What was RJ's plan for Graendal?


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I read somewhere recently that the concept of the Dreamspike and how it works is something that BS had to come up with; and also a suggestion that he wanted to feature Perrin prominently in ToM. Which suggests to me that the whole Perrin-Slayer-Graendal arc in ToM might have been something that BS came up with to fill a large gap. Perrin was behind in the timeline and needed to be caught up, and if BS wanted to bulk it up, then adding in a Forsaken-driven plot, that also involved Perrin's old nemesis Slayer, was a reasonable choice. (Although we can assume that RJ had always planned on Perrin's plotline converging with the Whitecloaks, as the wheels for those two groups to meet were set in motion in KoD, not to mention an old history between Perrin and the Whitecloaks, and a need for Galad to meet Berelain at some point.)

 

The idea of a Graendal vs Perrin confrontation always seemed a bit out of leftfield for me, with zero foreshadowing, which adds to the notion that this was BS's own input. And I gather that nearly all of the Town scene in the Prologue was written by RJ, with the suggestion that Slayer referencing his wound from Perrin was something that BS added in to match the timeline. If the Town scene was originally going to part of the prologue when tGS, ToM and aMoL were all going to be one book, then Slayer wouldn't have had the chance to go haring off after Perrin - he'd have been immediately focused on Rand. And I doubt that Slayer's arc will go any further than that little confrontation.

 

So - let's say that Graendal's part of that whole arc was something BS added to fill a gap. We know that he had a lot of gaps to fill, so fair enough. However, what would have happened to Graendal if RJ was still writing the story?

 

She could have just died at Natrin's Barrow, which is the simplest solution. But it seems unlikely, from a narrative perspective, that both she AND Aran'gar would have died at the same time, in some kind of kill-one-get-one-free deal. It's possible that RJ's plan was for Graendal to die and Aran'gar to go free - but Aran'gar's plotline was largely ended anyway, and RJ himself set up the notion of an Aran'gar-Graendal alliance, sowing the seeds for Aran'gar to be in the wrong place at the wrong time later on.

 

So Graendal escapes Natrin's Barrow. Then what? She feels too high-profile for me, and has been built up as a cunning genius for too long, for her to have no meaningful resolution to her plotline other than to get randomly bumped off during Tarmon Gaidon. Especially as unlike, say, Moghedien, or Cyndane, she has no particular antagonist on the Light side, no-one where we're all thinking, 'I can't wait to see X finally take on Graendal!'

 

Was she always intended to fall from grace in some way (possibly being Haeffalumped, or not, as a result)? There would be a certain symmetry in Moridin ending up with three cour'souvra from all three female Forsaken, but there's no sign of Graendal having been mindtrapped. And if it was intended - how? It might just have been as punishment for Aran'gar's death, so that could all have been in the plan.

 

That still begs the question - did RJ have some final scheme in mind to conclude Graendal's plotline, for her to move from a background player to a full-on confrontation with the Light? Something to justify the hype? Does this add to the likelihood that her role is to be the one Forsaken who changes sides / survives? (And being presumed dead makes the latter a lot easier.)

 

Hmm... Any suggestions?

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Could you find where you've read that BS came up with the notion of a dreamspike? I've never heard of this and frankly I find this hard to believe. It's a really major plot device.

 

As for Graendal not having a well defined Light adversary, that's a good point. I was thinking about it too. The only idea I have is that Elayne could be the one to do her in as she hasn't killed anybody yet and the other Forsaken are taken.

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Could you find where you've read that BS came up with the notion of a dreamspike? I've never heard of this and frankly I find this hard to believe. It's a really major plot device.

 

Same. RJ also spoke about ways to stop traveling in an interview:

 

Week 14 Question

 

Military strategy in the War of Power must have been odd, indeed. How do the concepts of capturing and holding territory even make sense in a world where forces can Travel?

 

RJ:...Although no one has shown it so far in the books, there are ways to interfere with the making of a gateway—and ways to defend against interference—so the battle would take place on many levels...

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Dreamspike sounds like a Brandon-word, though. I suspect Jordan would have given it an Old Tongue name. The origins of the idea for a dreamspike certainly seem to have roots in Jordan's plan, though, and even if the use with Perrin was Brandon's doing, it seems to be a perfect fit for how its being used at the Black Tower. Anyway, I don't feel that Graendal's fall from grace was Brandon's creation. The how of it may be, or at least the more specific aspects of it. A Slayer/Perrin confrontation did seem appropriate, however.

 

Jordan may not have worked out all the details of her plot line. Brandon has said that a number of RJ's notes where "And this person ends up here" without Jordan explaining why, or with a few notes on different possible ways he could execute the plan.

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Could you find where you've read that BS came up with the notion of a dreamspike? I've never heard of this and frankly I find this hard to believe. It's a really major plot device.

 

Same. RJ also spoke about ways to stop traveling in an interview:

 

Week 14 Question

 

Military strategy in the War of Power must have been odd, indeed. How do the concepts of capturing and holding territory even make sense in a world where forces can Travel?

 

RJ:...Although no one has shown it so far in the books, there are ways to interfere with the making of a gateway—and ways to defend against interference—so the battle would take place on many levels...

that's an interesting quote. I find particularly interesting the implication that there are may be ways to defeat the dreamspike. I always had a strong feeling that Androl will do just that somehow. On the other hand Rand doesn't seem to know how to do it and LTT presumably should know if this came up during the WAR of Power. The Forsaken don't seem to know about such possibility either based on the conversation between Moridin and Graendal.

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How is it impossible that the only thing RJ could have been referring to was a Dreamspike?

I'm not sure I understand but if you are saying that RJ may have meant some other way to disrupt gateways that's a possibility.

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I believe that tel'aran'rhiod will be very important to the solution to sealing the DO and repairing the Bore. Verin told Egwene that if the DO were to break free in any one world, all of them would be doomed. She also stated that T'A'R touched all worlds. If that's the case, it seems fitting that we see objects that exist in T'A'R but have effects on the real world.

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Well, we know the notes only covered about half of what's occurred in the three books, so there are bound to be vast tracts of the book that have no basis in the notes. From there Brandon has directly stated that Perrin in TofM was him, and that what he wanted to do was give a big Perrin book--and given Graendal was the tool by which that plotline was delivered I'd say she was more or less entirely Brandon.

 

As for the dreamspike--Jordan had stated that there were ways to block travelling, but the specifics of the dreamspike from name to function I suspect are Brandon-wrought. Partially because they sound like him, but mostly because they seem too conveniently prepared to allow a confrontation between Perrin and Slayer that gave the climax to Brandon's 'big-awesome-Perrin-arc', a confrontation we can deduce was not originally in the notes due to the RJ-written scene in the aMoL prologue that was chronologically intended to occur before tGS began, and what it suggests of RJ's intentions for Slayer during the aMoL arc.

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Yeah. My understanding all along has been that the concept of an item that does what the Dreamspike does was RJ's but RJ never fleshed it out enough to name it and when we got to the point in the story for it to come into play Brandon came up with the name Dreamspike.

 

I could be very wrong though. I'm just guessing on this one.

 

 

Fish

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Well, we know the notes only covered about half of what's occurred in the three books, so there are bound to be vast tracts of the book that have no basis in the notes. From there Brandon has directly stated that Perrin in TofM was him, and that what he wanted to do was give a big Perrin book--and given Graendal was the tool by which that plotline was delivered I'd say she was more or less entirely Brandon.

 

As for the dreamspike--Jordan had stated that there were ways to block travelling, but the specifics of the dreamspike from name to function I suspect are Brandon-wrought. Partially because they sound like him, but mostly because they seem too conveniently prepared to allow a confrontation between Perrin and Slayer that gave the climax to Brandon's 'big-awesome-Perrin-arc', a confrontation we can deduce was not originally in the notes due to the RJ-written scene in the aMoL prologue that was chronologically intended to occur before tGS began, and what it suggests of RJ's intentions for Slayer during the aMoL arc.

That's a good point about the Slayer scene from the aMoL prologue. You are probably right then but I would still prefer to have a direct confirmation if it was ever given.

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The whole dreamspike plotline coincides with another inconsistency. The whole battle of the White Tower in T'a'r seemed to take a lot of leaps from where Nyneave was back in TSR. She could barely channel at all there with the ring ter'angreal (even when angry), and now all sorts of sisters are using copies of them to channel all over the place. It was cool action and all, but they were actually channeling and not fighting the way you're supposed to there. They weren't there in the flesh, like Rand and Rahvin, either.

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The whole dreamspike plotline coincides with another inconsistency. The whole battle of the White Tower in T'a'r seemed to take a lot of leaps from where Nyneave was back in TSR. She could barely channel at all there with the ring ter'angreal (even when angry), and now all sorts of sisters are using copies of them to channel all over the place. It was cool action and all, but they were actually channeling and not fighting the way you're supposed to there. They weren't there in the flesh, like Rand and Rahvin, either.

 

I was actually the one to pick this up first, and I reported it to Maria. Since then they've 'fixed' it with references to Elayne creating perfect copies and inferences to suggest Mesaana corrected the other ones. It was the best they could manage short of a massive re-write.

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The whole dreamspike plotline coincides with another inconsistency. The whole battle of the White Tower in T'a'r seemed to take a lot of leaps from where Nyneave was back in TSR. She could barely channel at all there with the ring ter'angreal (even when angry), and now all sorts of sisters are using copies of them to channel all over the place. It was cool action and all, but they were actually channeling and not fighting the way you're supposed to there. They weren't there in the flesh, like Rand and Rahvin, either.

 

I was actually the one to pick this up first, and I reported it to Maria. Since then they've 'fixed' it with references to Elayne creating perfect copies and inferences to suggest Mesaana corrected the other ones. It was the best they could manage short of a massive re-write.

 

Oh wow, i never saw those quotes. And i must have an old copy of ToM because ive never seen anything where Elayne made 'perfect copies'. This totally debunks my 'need both sides of the power to make ter'angreal's belief'

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Maybe RJ's plan for Graendal (in the notes, at least) was simply for her to fail to such a degree that she wound up mindtrapped. Moridin holding the three mindtraps of Lanfear, Moggy and Graendal parallel's nicely with Rand's trio of lovers. Too much to be coincedence I think. Given the quote above about the last three books being only half note driven, I see it as Graendal's written conlcusion in the notes was simply for her to end up mindtrapped.

 

(Also, I figure we have to see at least one mindtrap be broken, to see the effects on screen. Any of the three are candidates, but if it ends up being Graendal, I imagine that was part of RJ's plan for her as well.)

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I was actually the one to pick this up first, and I reported it to Maria. Since then they've 'fixed' it with references to Elayne creating perfect copies and inferences to suggest Mesaana corrected the other ones. It was the best they could manage short of a massive re-write.

So Mesaana can now make or alter ter'angreal? Good to know...

 

As for the rest, it seems clear to me that Graendal was meant to become Hessalam immediately after her failure with Rand in Arad Doman. The reason being she killed yet another Foresaken. I think that would have been fitting. The whole Mesaana thing makes no sense anyway. Its okay to directly kill two Foresaken, but accidentally being involved in the death of another is what tips the scales?

 

Still, the DO seems to have lingering... fondness?... for Graendal. She was his second follower, after all, and her open avowal to his cause kick started the War. Her not being mindtrapped could be understood in light of that.

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I was actually the one to pick this up first, and I reported it to Maria. Since then they've 'fixed' it with references to Elayne creating perfect copies and inferences to suggest Mesaana corrected the other ones. It was the best they could manage short of a massive re-write.

So Mesaana can now make or alter ter'angreal? Good to know...

Well, not anymore :rolleyes:

As for the rest, it seems clear to me that Graendal was meant to become Hessalam immediately after her failure with Rand in Arad Doman. The reason being she killed yet another Foresaken. I think that would have been fitting. The whole Mesaana thing makes no sense anyway. Its okay to directly kill two Foresaken, but accidentally being involved in the death of another is what tips the scales?

 

Still, the DO seems to have lingering... fondness?... for Graendal. She was his second follower, after all, and her open avowal to his cause kick started the War. Her not being mindtrapped could be understood in light of that.

I'm tending to agree with her punishment stemming directly from killing two other Forsaken, and losing her influence over Arad Doman.

 

As for the 'fixed' comments from Luckers, I'm not sure if it would even matter if Elayne made 'perfect copies' of the original ring, since the original ring didn't really seem to allow much in the way of channeling in T'A'R in the first place. Nyneave hurling fire at Moghedien that would barely singe her dress, for instance. Moggy was able to channel there as an actual dreamwalker, but not nearly as powerfully as normally, as is evidenced by her comments on interfering with Rand and Rahvin when they fought there in the flesh.

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INTERVIEW: 2012

Twitter 2012 (WoT) (Verbatim)

 

TEREZ (24 SEPTEMBER 2012)

Did Hessalam come from RJ's notes? We're asking for a very specific reason. :) (But it's not a gotcha question, promise.)

 

BRANDON SANDERSON (24 SEPTEMBER 2012)

It was not me.

 

Harriet [Edit: I've just been informed that this was a miscommunication--mind you I am not confirming that Harriet was not responsible, I am just stating that the communication in which I had thought I recieved confirmation on this was not saying specifically what I had thought it to be saying, but rather offering a guess. The misread is entirely my fault.]. She was responsible for the Asmodean thing in the glossary, and, from what I have been told, Mat's letter to Elayne remaining in TofM in the form it's in.

 

*sighs* Once upon a time I thought Harriet involving herself more directly would be a good thing, counter-balancing some of Brandon's over-sights. It seems to have just led to two hands on the wheel (pun intended, as is the Siuan/Nynaeve tFoH reference).

 

 

As for the 'fixed' comments from Luckers, I'm not sure if it would even matter if Elayne made 'perfect copies' of the original ring, since the original ring didn't really seem to allow much in the way of channeling in T'A'R in the first place. Nyneave hurling fire at Moghedien that would barely singe her dress, for instance. Moggy was able to channel there as an actual dreamwalker, but not nearly as powerfully as normally, as is evidenced by her comments on interfering with Rand and Rahvin when they fought there in the flesh.

 

The original ring did in fact allow normal channeling. Only the copies did not. That being said there is the inference there that I was citing Elayne as making direct copies--she wasn't, the original ring is with Aviendha (and not lost ot Mesaana, despite what was said by Egwene in tGS).

 

Nynaeve was using a duplicate when she fought Moghedien in tFoH.

 

Edit--lets drop some specificity. Here is Maria's list of changes as she sent them to me.

 

Anyhoo, here's what will be in future editions of ToM:

 

Chapter 36, page 562, 8th para, lines 3-4

 

At present reads: Egwene hadn’t given them the ter’angreal that let one enter without needing to channel, of course.

 

Should read: Egwene hadn’t given them the ter’angreal Elayne had finally perfected that let one enter without needing to channel, of course.

 

Chapter 37, page 578, last para, entire

 

At present reads: “It’s black as a tomb up there,” Nynaeve whispered. “I think they made it that way. Siuan and Leane are all right; I saw them a little bit ago, sticking together. Just before that, I managed to hit Notori with a blast of fire. She’s dead.”

 

Should read: “It’s black as a tomb up there,” Nynaeve whispered. “I think they made it that way. They shouldn't be able to channel this well with those imperfect copies. Siuan and Leane are all right; I saw them a little bit ago, sticking together. Just before that, I managed to hit Notori with a blast of fire. She’s dead.”

 

Chapter 37, page 579, 1st para,

 

At present reads: Good. The Black Ajah stole nineteen ter’angreal. That might give us an estimate of how many Black Ajah we have to contend with.” She, Siuan, Nynaeve, Leane and the three Wise Ones were outnumbered— but the Black Ajah didn’t seem to have much experience with Tel’aran’rhiod.

 

Should read: “Good. The Black Ajah stole nineteen ter’angreal. That might give us an estimate of how many Black Ajah we have to contend with. Or since they're able to channel so strongly, perhaps not.” She, Siuan, Nynaeve, Leane and the three Wise Ones were outnumbered— but the Black Ajah didn’t seem to have much experience with Tel’aran’rhiod.

 

And, in doing this, I realise that "Egwene hadn’t given them the ter’angreal Elayne had finally perfected that let one enter without needing to channel, of course." did not say what I thought it did, nor solves anything. The idea is there, of course, but there have been many copies that allow entrance to TAR without channeling--but do not then permit normal channeling as did the original twisted ring.

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NB: Mesaana's PoV suggests that any channeler can be taught to enter TAR via sleep. She thinks of the ter'angreals as teaching aids. It would have been an easier McGuffin to have just said that Messi had forced the BA to learn to enter TAR "normally" - she was a good (or bad depending on PoV) teacher after all.

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And, in doing this, I realise that "Egwene hadn’t given them the ter’angreal Elayne had finally perfected that let one enter without needing to channel, of course." did not say what I thought it did, nor solves anything. The idea is there, of course, but there have been many copies that allow entrance to TAR without channeling--but do not then permit normal channeling as did the original twisted ring.

Sure, but since it's mentioned that Elayne had perfected the making of copies, I take it to mean that those copies must now allow normal channelling, just like the original twisted ring does.

 

Of course, this creates another problem - that Elayne somehow perfected this process offscreen and while the original ring is with Aviendha, which seems very implausible given how busy she has been and the channelling problems due to the pregnancy.

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And, in doing this, I realise that "Egwene hadn’t given them the ter’angreal Elayne had finally perfected that let one enter without needing to channel, of course." did not say what I thought it did, nor solves anything. The idea is there, of course, but there have been many copies that allow entrance to TAR without channeling--but do not then permit normal channeling as did the original twisted ring.

Sure, but since it's mentioned that Elayne had perfected the making of copies, I take it to mean that those copies must now allow normal channelling, just like the original twisted ring does.

 

Of course, this creates another problem - that Elayne somehow perfected this process offscreen and while the original ring is with Aviendha, which seems very implausible given how busy she has been and the channelling problems due to the pregnancy.

 

As to your first point, yeah, as I said, the idea is there. As to the second, yes, but again it was the best they could manage short of a massive re-write, which--though desirable--is thoroughly impractical.

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