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Wow, just WOW! (RJ's Notes viewed by Terez)


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Shamelessly stealing stuff from the 'dead' theoryland. (The site will be dead at the end of the year anyway.)
 
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BlNahMUCAAA-CTg.jpg
 
Another evidence that (the ending of) Amol was not written from Jordan's notes (if there was any).
 
 
Plus a few tidbits.

Terez posted it on Facebook a few days ago. I believe her and Marie are currently at the library which a lot of this stuff was donated to.
 
This is correct. She has posted many little tidbits of what RJ had planned while thinking up twot and ended up changing. One interesting tidbit is the fact that Galad was supposed to be the son of Lan and Morgase and would have started channeling late in series.

Rand was originally supposed to hook up with Morgase, who was a mix of Morgase, Elaida, and Berelain, and who gave birth to Galad via Lan. Galad was not only supposed to channel but also turn to the Shadow because of Rand's affair with Morgase. (Out of that came Gawyn.)

From the few EOTW bits posted by Terez a few days ago, Mat and Perrin didn't even exist yet other than collectively of an unspecified number of "boys" tagging along, and playing no individual role (as we know, drafts of TEOTW eventually had four of them, before Harriet had RJ cut the one who seemed to have no purpose). The ta'veren concept didn't exist yet either. Egwene who wanted to be AS and Nynaeve who loathed them seemed more the characters we know already, but Mat & Perrin had yet to emerge.

 

Moiraine was originally supposed to become Amyrlin at some point. Her character seems to have been split to create Siuan.

 

Originally, proto-Tuon had to be convinced to let Rand leave to escape Aes Sedai, but she was to follow him later & take the Stone for him.

 

At the time the plotline was conceived, though, Morgase and the Queen of this court were two separate characters. Elayne was of the latter.

 

For those who wondered about Min's viewing of a white-hot iron for Rand...that was an early-conceived plotline that RJ actually abandoned.

 

RJ appears to have written most of his Aes Sedai notes around TPOD-COT. I'm sure that contributed to his slowing down quite a bit.

 

RJ had developed the Aiel as a concept before almost anything else, including the main characters, including Mat and Perrin.

 

The Aiel were already named and developed at that point, and a female Aiel warrior-society-type was already on his list of intended lovers.

 

Moiraine=Michelle Pfeiffer

 

Rand was at some point supposed to find himself shipwrecked on the shore of a nation of female warriors (separate from the Aiel).

 

RJ pictured Faile as a young Cher. Fain as Alan Rickman.

 

RJ planned a character named Kadsuane when Shai'tan was still named Sa'Khan (way before TEOTW was published).

 

Quote from RJ's notes: "HOW MANY TRADITIONAL FANTASY ELEMENTS DO WE HAVE?...GIANTS? ELVES?...[No fucking unicorns, that's for damned sure!]"

 

Quote from RJ's notes: "THIS HAS NOT YET BEEN MENTIONED IN THE BOOKS, AS OF PATH! It will be in KoD." Titles planned that far in advance?

 

 
 

 

Edited by udbabor520
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A really interesting post from Terez (readandfindout):

 

Sorilea and comments on the general structure of the notes

 

Terez - 02/05/2014 09:20:26 

 

RJ debated with himself a bit on Sorilea's strength, assigning low-range, mid-range, and high-range strengths for her. He eventually ended up going with low-range, but still not really approaching the depths of Moiraine's post-Ghenjei strength.

 

The Wise Ones have more detail on strength than any other non–Aes Sedai group except maybe the Kin. These groups interacted often with the Aes Sedai, sometimes in power (not Power) struggles, and while strength wasn't a factor with the Kin and the Aiel, it was a factor for the Aes Sedai in how they perceived those women.

 

The debate on Sorilea is a good example of how RJ's notes go. Very, very little is set in stone until the moment when he writes it. He has tons of notes that are marked UNUSED - CAN CHANGE or some variation thereof. It was often UNUSED AS OF CROWN or whatever book; he was very haphazard about reminder protocol, but since the notes themselves are updated haphazardly, book markers were probably necessary to help keep things straight.

 

RJ made cut-off points for certain files when they reached a certain level of obsoletion. His notes versions also appear to have evolved haphazardly. Thus you have some notes that appear to have been written pre–Winter's Heart, perhaps pre-TPOD, but he quotes a scene from WH somewhere in the notes. Maybe he wrote most of the notes post-TPOD, and the scene in question was one of the first scenes written for WH. That happens a lot. His outline for TGH makes references to assorted, non-chronological scenes from TGH that were already written, and doesn't describe those scenes in the same detail as the unwritten ones. But maybe he wrote the bulk of the notes at one time and kept updating that file (haphazardly) for a couple more books until he made new files.

 

Random detail from those TGH notes: he described the scene with Lanfear putting on Rand's shirt in great detail. It's amusing how much thought he puts into the sex-related stuff. He loved his lesbians very much.

 

 

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What I wouldn't give for a chance to poke through those notes!  They remind me of my own, haphazard, cut off and restarted with pieces dropped and new ideas cropping up that I'd never even imagined until my fingers typed it out on the monitor.

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Shamelessly stealing stuff from the 'dead' theoryland. (The site will be dead at the end of the year anyway.)

 

Says who?  :myrddraal:

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Shamelessly stealing stuff from the 'dead' theoryland. (The site will be dead at the end of the year anyway.)

 

Says who?  :myrddraal:

 

 

Look, I just popped in the site last (and rafo) week to see that anything is happened over there, and... Rafo is completely dead. That is a fact. And while I can see some activity in Theoryland - of course I don't know anything about PMs, there could be hundreds any day - what I can see is this: the site is collapsing, it is a slowly process, and it is a VERY SAD process (many of the best minds were over there), but if one extrapolates the number of the posts int last months = the site is almost dead already.

 

Oh, a question! Two questions.

 

You were in the library. Is is true that the notes are longer than the series? Is there any self-criticism written by Jordan regarding WoT?

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What I wouldn't give for a chance to poke through those notes!  They remind me of my own, haphazard, cut off and restarted with pieces dropped and new ideas cropping up that I'd never even imagined until my fingers typed it out on the monitor.

 

Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes it's a bad thing. See Tolkien's letters. If you actually read them through, you will see a very sad picture about Tolkien. He just repeats, repeats, repeats the same 12-15 things all the time. His notes are just too many, and these notes are very uninteresting. I posted about Hemingway's endings a few days back, and I think that's the perfect way to handle these situations. The editor chooses the most import element (the ending) and gives us alternatives.

 

Of course, I (and many members of our bookclub) would like to buy his notes in print WITHOUT any commentaries. I don't need any interpretation from Harriet, Team Jordan, Sanderson, no thank you very much. Well, I would really like to read some comments from a certain Terez, Mr Ares etc :)

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Look, I just popped in the site last (and rafo) week to see that anything is happened over there, and... Rafo is completely dead. That is a fact.

RAFO has been dead for a long time. That is a product of many things.

 

And while I can see some activity in Theoryland - of course I don't know anything about PMs, there could be hundreds any day - what I can see is this: the site is collapsing, it is a slowly process, and it is a VERY SAD process (many of the best minds were over there), but if one extrapolates the number of the posts int last months = the site is almost dead already.

It's not PMs so much these days; it's Facebook and JordanCon and the like. The people are still there, but happily, most of the assholes aren't paying any attention to it any more. There are still enough people around for an interesting discussion if we decide there is something worth discussing.

 

Theoryland is not dying any more than Dragonmount is. It's always had less traffic than DM, though; we like it that way.

 

You were in the library. Is is true that the notes are longer than the series?

Not all the notes are at the library, but I don't doubt it's true, and what is at the library might come close. But it's like this: there are hundreds of files. You might have a Rand file here and a Cadsuane file there, both of which contain quite a bit of the same copy-pasted material. Like, a list of the Aes Sedai with Cadsuane and their bios. That is pertinent to both Rand and Cadsuane so it's in both files. Those Aes Sedai bios are copy-pasted from a master Aes Sedai encyclopedia-type file. Others are copy-pasted into other files (like Perrin's Aes Sedai, and Mat's). The Sea Folk file has bits that are copy-pasted into Elayne's file, and bits that are copy-pasted into Rand's file. But there are, like, 3 or 4 Rand files because obsoletion eventually leads to file turnover. Also, RJ would email Maria and Alan sometimes and ask them for a quote from the books, and they would send it to him, and he'd copy-paste the passage into the relevant file(s). Sometimes these passages are long. Sometimes there are multiple long passages.

 

Based on what they said about the notes I had always expected this kind of thing. That said, there is a lot more information in the notes than I really expected, because I have always figured RJ kept most things in his head and wouldn't have had any need to, for example, explain what happened with Elayne's veil in Tanchico because he knew what happened and didn't need to remind himself. It's still true that he kept most things in his head, but in the early days he was making outlines for Harriet and Tom Doherty and whoever, and when Maria started working with his notes (around TPOD if I recall; before she was just doing fanmail) he might have started explaining more things to enhance her ability to assist with continuity. But he still only explained things he thought these people needed to know. He didn't like spoiling Maria, and it took some convincing on her part to get him to let her help with continuity.

 

Is there any self-criticism written by Jordan regarding WoT?

Not sure what exactly you're looking for. There is an immense amount of self-criticism in the story- and world-building notes, constant reminders to explain unexplained things (?how?) (?why?) and THIS NEEDS TO BE BETTER type notes. I gave an example of one of them on Twitter.
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I don't think that further discussion of what may or may not happen to WoT fansites is needed. Things inevitably have slowed down with the release of the final volume in the series, I think that is all that needs to be said on the matter.

 

So lets continue the discussion on the notes only.  

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Can anyone link me in to all the notes from Terez, or are they only on twitter?

 

Not available. At some point post encyclopedia they will be going up on Theoryland I believe. Terez has just been posting tidbits here and there on her Twitter account.

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I am not sure the scans will ever be available online. The collection was donated with academics in mind rather than fans (which is kind of funny, but there it is). You can find tidbits in a few places:

 

1. My Twitter feed (back to April 12)

2. A thread on RAFO

3. A thread on Westeros

4. A thread on Theoryland

 

I will be mostly staying away from Encyclopedia stuff until after it is published.

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Look, I just popped in the site last (and rafo) week to see that anything is happened over there, and... Rafo is completely dead. That is a fact.

RAFO has been dead for a long time. That is a product of many things.

 

And while I can see some activity in Theoryland - of course I don't know anything about PMs, there could be hundreds any day - what I can see is this: the site is collapsing, it is a slowly process, and it is a VERY SAD process (many of the best minds were over there), but if one extrapolates the number of the posts int last months = the site is almost dead already.

It's not PMs so much these days; it's Facebook and JordanCon and the like. The people are still there, but happily, most of the assholes aren't paying any attention to it any more. There are still enough people around for an interesting discussion if we decide there is something worth discussing.

 

Theoryland is not dying any more than Dragonmount is. It's always had less traffic than DM, though; we like it that way.

 

You were in the library. Is is true that the notes are longer than the series?

Not all the notes are at the library, but I don't doubt it's true, and what is at the library might come close. But it's like this: there are hundreds of files. You might have a Rand file here and a Cadsuane file there, both of which contain quite a bit of the same copy-pasted material. Like, a list of the Aes Sedai with Cadsuane and their bios. That is pertinent to both Rand and Cadsuane so it's in both files. Those Aes Sedai bios are copy-pasted from a master Aes Sedai encyclopedia-type file. Others are copy-pasted into other files (like Perrin's Aes Sedai, and Mat's). The Sea Folk file has bits that are copy-pasted into Elayne's file, and bits that are copy-pasted into Rand's file. But there are, like, 3 or 4 Rand files because obsoletion eventually leads to file turnover. Also, RJ would email Maria and Alan sometimes and ask them for a quote from the books, and they would send it to him, and he'd copy-paste the passage into the relevant file(s). Sometimes these passages are long. Sometimes there are multiple long passages.

 

Based on what they said about the notes I had always expected this kind of thing. That said, there is a lot more information in the notes than I really expected, because I have always figured RJ kept most things in his head and wouldn't have had any need to, for example, explain what happened with Elayne's veil in Tanchico because he knew what happened and didn't need to remind himself. It's still true that he kept most things in his head, but in the early days he was making outlines for Harriet and Tom Doherty and whoever, and when Maria started working with his notes (around TPOD if I recall; before she was just doing fanmail) he might have started explaining more things to enhance her ability to assist with continuity. But he still only explained things he thought these people needed to know. He didn't like spoiling Maria, and it took some convincing on her part to get him to let her help with continuity.

 

Thank you very much for this response. This is really fascinating.

 

Not sure what exactly you're looking for. There is an immense amount of self-criticism in the story- and world-building notes, constant reminders to explain unexplained things (?how?) (?why?) and THIS NEEDS TO BE BETTER type notes.

 

To quote a certain George's opinion from a PRINTED book: "This one was a bitch."

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Well......hello Terez!!!! Interesting twits ( that term really needs to change ).

They are called tweets. :wink:
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Well......hello Terez!!!! Interesting twits ( that term really needs to change ).

They are called tweets. :wink:

 

Yeah, Twits are the people who use it!!! :P

 

Awesome stuff here - just how mant days did you get to spend with the collection, Terez?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Another evidence that (the ending of) Amol was not written from Jordan's notes (if there was any).

 

 

Would you care to expand on this a bit? I'm not really sure what you are getting at.  This page of notes does seem to convey the same basic idea contained in the ending to AMOL, that evil cannot be destroyed, that people cannot be forced to oppose evil (ie be good) but that the only way to keep evil in check is for people to freely choose to oppose it.  If you are referring to Rand and the DO using the threads of the pattern to create alternate realities Sanderson freely admitted that that was his own interpretation of Jordan's notes on the ending.

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It amazes me how much time and thought RJ put into his world.  Sounds like RJ could of spent 3 lifetimes writing different books with all the information he amassed.

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This post went a little bit astray with too much quotes but I think it is necessary.

 

 

Would you care to expand on this a bit? I'm not really sure what you are getting at.

 

What I meant to say (I'm just guessing of course) that while the original plan was radically different from what we know as Wheel of Time, many aspects of the books are very loyal to the roots. So I get this feeling that Jordan had a totally unlike ending in his mind. And I don't want to adduce again that Sanderson admitted that there was little to none material to finish the book. (Plus these materials are not clear at all.)

 

Many readers stated that (they feel) the final chapter was written in twenty years ago, and does not fit to the end of the series, because it 'belongs to' the 'original' (I mean when the series was planned as 3-4-5 books) series. This Rand is not our 'evolved' Rand, this is almost the original Rand (I want to see the world!) It does not matter that it was written by Jordan in 1992 or Sanderson in 2012 (don't mention that it was original/pure Jordan at first, then Sanderson put a little sentence to it, then put a whole paragraph in it, then added another POV etc, etc; tinkering all the way), the opinion of our book club (except one person) is like this: we love the first 6 books (plus a few chapters from book 7 - book 11) but we don't really care the last three books.* 

 

Sanderson is a very religious man, Jordan was open-minded person. Many of us feel that Sanderson forces his views on the readers.

 

Even if you do it unconsciously, you have to refer to religion if you're writing fantasy. You're stepping into the realm of the supernatural and so you're stepping into the realm of religion.

A few years ago I found myself thrown into the company of theoretical physicists on panels. I thought, 'I'm not going to be able to talk with these men because my knowledge of this field is 25 years out of date.' But I found that I could hold my own not by talking physics but by talking theology.

 

Moderator: <Star^`> to <Moderator>: What religions have influenced your creation of the Creator and the Dark One?

RobertJordan: Christianity

RobertJordan: Islam

RobertJordan: Judaism

RobertJordan: And bits of heretical writing within those faiths

RobertJordan: I hasten to add I'm not endorsing anything

RobertJordan: I'm just a writer

RobertJordan: I tell stories

 

Robert Jordan: There are a number of influences from the Bible, but from other sources as well. My work is not overtly religious in any way.

 

 

 

*

So how much of AMOL was real - i.e. RJ's intention, as opposed to Branfiction? Shannow - 01/02/2013 01:48:16 PM This is a question of great significance to me.

After reaching the end of the series on which years of theories have been based, many people have been waiting eagerly to get their theories either confirmed or proven wrong.

So at the end of it all, what bugs me is how much of what Brandon wrote in AMOL was "real" canon - i.e. RJ's thoughts on any particular matter - and how much did he make up?

For example:

Did Brandon change Demandred's identity from Roedran to some random Sharan savior after seeing the internet speculation on the matter?

Did RJ state that Lan would kill Demandred or did he merely outline that Demandred would die after a long battle involving the bulk of the Light's forces?

Did RJ prescribe that Demandred would engage in three swordfighting duels with lightside blademasters - despite all indications up to now being that Demandred was more of a statesman than a sportsman like Sammael - or did Brandon do that solely to get a reason for Lan to be the one that got to kill Demandred in the end?

Personally, I was surprised that Demandred even owned a sword, after the disdain he displayed toward the primitive customs of this time, and the fact that nothing in his write up thus far referred to any hint of sword skills.

Brandon even inserted a random line to seemingly cover this discrepancy, when Gawyn or Galad mentioned that he hadn't heard before that Demandred was a renowned swordsman and was therefore surprised at Demandred's skill.

This is a very stupid line, given that we are told earlier in the series that even the White Tower's knowledge of the Forsaken was based on scraps of information, and that Moiraine's limited knowledge in the early series was pretty much the extent of what even the Tower libraries knew about the Forsaken.

Therefore no one like Gawyn or Galad would even expect to know which of the Forsaken were renowned swordsmen or anything else for that matter. Gawyn should not have thought Demandred's skill to be something unexpected, as he should have been totally unaware of anything related to Demandred whatsoever in the first place. Gawyn should not know as much about Demandred as we do, who have had access to the deepest levels of information available, unlike Gawyn.

This would make it seem as if Brandon completely invented Demandred's whole swordfighting plot arc in AMOL, and threw in that random line just to try and soften the impact a bit.

The questions are endless, but what I am trying to determine is how much of AMOL answers longstanding questions on for example the comparative strength of channelers based on RJ's own views, and how much of it is simply interpretation and adaption from Brandons' imagination?

Can a normal Aes Sedai really split her flows three ways and simultaneously shield two full Ashaman?

In Brandon's view she can, but this is not at all the impression that RJ has conveyed up to now.

Was Egwene's death clearly described by RJ, or did Brandon make up the manner of her death, being told simply that she dies heroically in the Last Battle?

I guess the question is, can we take ANYTHING in AMOL as canon according to RJ, or is everything suspect due to Brandon's faulty understanding of RJ's views?

This message last edited by Shannow on 01/02/2013 at 01:57:20 PM
 
Sidious:

I totally agree with Shannow that a lot of the series is probably not canon. I merely think that his attitude to the swordsmanship is incorrect - I wasn't surprised that Demandred was outstanding with the sword. In fact, I always predicted that he would fight Mat to the death - a sword vs ashanderei.

I'm unfortunately going through a bit of a transition where the more I think about the Last Battle, the angrier I get. What a waste! I realize how easily I have been pleased with anything that involves channeling and war, but if you think about how much better it all could have been, it really starts to cause a deep sense of resent.
darius:
I don't think being a Blade Master is out of character for Demandred (although I was amused that Asmodean was supposed to be one), but I do think the duels were distracting and the mentality he suddenly displayed was very different from the glimpses RJ dribbled our way throughout the series. During the Cleansing he flat out stated that the front lines was no place for a General and resented the fact that he had to get his hands dirty.

I, god help me, actually agree with Shannow on his main question here though ... How much of the last 3 books are actually cannon? Sanderson did not have a strong grasp of the mechanics of the OP and regularly gave us strange information that didn't really fit I to the rest of the series. He had a poor handle on many main characters (Mat, Graendal, Aviendha and many more) which led to some strange character interactions and left us with a lot of half ass resolution to plot lines .... Seriously a couple of paragraphs and Tuon pulls a full 180 and joins up with Rand, signs his treaty and abandons her own versions of the Prophesy after her people spent a millennia of belief in it??? Focussing nearly the entire last book on a battle,made it action filled, but ultimately robbed us of satisfying plot resolutions. I would have rather have seen no resolution to characters like Moghedien and Alviarin rather than the weak one sentence wrap ups. Or just tell us what happened off screen instead. Nynaeve spotting Moghedien in an a'dam or Cadsuane getting a report that the BA leadership had been captured and were being held in a Stedding awaiting prosecution would have been a less clumsy way to wrap these things up IMO. I'm sure there were many places with sketchy or no notes for guidance, but the whole book felt crammed because he spent 600 pages explaining a battle.

 

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Certainly, I will always wonder how much of the final three books of WOT was truly Jordan's intention and how much had to be completely created by Sanderson.  It is inevitable that certain answers will be forever lost due to Jordan's death.  However, one thing that has always given me hope that the story did progress generally the way the Jordan intended is his infamous Fireside Chat. If you are unfamiliar with the Fireside Chat, this reveres to a party that the Rigney's has with their closest friends and family a few weeks before Jordan's death wherein RJ sat by the fire and told them the rest of the story.  Now my understanding is that this telling was not very detailed and covered only the story arcs of the main characters, however, I do think that Jordan would have included his most current ideas for Rand's final confrontation with The Dark One.  Thus, while many of Jordan's ideas for the story changed over the years his concept for the ending seems to have remained very much the same.  Moreover, I would imagine that he would have mentioned the manner of Egwene's death given that she is one of the main characters. Also I think he would have revealed Demandred's identity.  Frankly I never bought into the Roedran = Demandred theory.  I mean the DO and Moridin often praised Demendred's efforts and taking control of Murandy just does not seem to warrant such high praise.  Moreover, without the Sharan intervention in the last battle there was really no reason for Shara to even exist.  So I remain confident that Egwene's death and Demandred's identity were as RJ intended.

 

As to Demandred being a Blade Master I never for a moment doubted that he was one.  Its is true that Demandred did show contempt for the primitive customs of the Third Age, however, we also know that there were Blade Masters in the AOL and, therefore, Demendred probably would not consider such a title be a primitive custom as it was prevalent in his own time.  Moreover, Demandred was constantly out to one up LTT so if LTT had any skill with a sword them Demandred was sure to hone his swordsmanship as well.  

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Certainly, I will always wonder how much of the final three books of WOT was truly Jordan's intention and how much had to be completely created by Sanderson.  I

 

 

We have a pretty good idea at this point. It's become clear we initially had been oversold concerning how complete they were. Brandon had to make up over 50% of the material in these last three books with the zero guidance from the notes. In addition even in places the notes exist, they could look like this:

 

Brandon

The thing about the notes is that a lot of the notes were to him, and so he would say things like “I’m going to do this or this” and they’re polar opposites. And so there are sequences like that, where I decide what we’re going to do, and stuff like that. And this all is what became the trilogy that you’re now reading.

 

We do know RJ detailed the ending, it's just that the road to getting there likely bears only a passing resemblance to what we would have gotten had RJ lived.

 

Edit: As for Egwene's death, TJ has remained oddly silent one that one. They have refused to commit either way.

Edited by Suttree
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