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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

"The Wheel of Time Companion" to be published November 2015


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At Worldcon I had the pleasure of moderating a panel featuring Harriet, Maria and fantasy authors Wesley Chu and Peter Brett, who spoke about the influence of Wheel of Time on their works. However, there was a fair amount of discussion by Harriet about the new companion volume to the series. This can be summed up as follows:

  • The Wheel of Time Encyclopedia is dead! Long live The Wheel of Time Companion as it will now officially be called.
  • The book will be 350,000 words long (comparable to several of the novels in the series; the longest, The Shadow Rising, is 389,000 words).
  • The book will feature a lot of new artwork, arranged by Irene Gallo at Tor.
  • Publication date likely to be November 2015.
  • The book will feature all of the already-published maps and also some new ones, including one of Thakan'dar.
  • The book will have a large vocabulary of the Old Tongue, with a minimum of 1,000 words.
  • The book will feature character profiles and sketches for almost every character in the series. Even Bela has her own entry.
  • The book will be written from a post-AMoL POV. It will have spoilers for the entire series.

In addition to info on the world book, Harriet revealed some more details generally about the series:

  • The series is finished and done. Tor offered a lot of money and tried to persuade Harriet into doing more, but Harriet put her foot down and said no. The Wheel of Time ends with AMoL and the companion volume.
  • There were several unfulfilled contracts when Robert Jordan passed away, including for the Seanchan trilogy and (I think) several books of Infinity of Heaven. Apparently the money involved was massive, worth many times the value of Harriet's house. Tor worked with the estate to re-write the contracts to substitute the companion book instead.
  • Robert Jordan wrote one line about the planned Seanchan trilogy: Mat Cauthon playing dice in a grubby alleyway in Ebou Dar (not verbatim). That was it.
  • Harriet thinks she named about 75% of the chapters in the series.
  • Harriet vocally re-enacted Bela's death-whinney from AMoL.
  • The panel spent an intense five minutes arguing about Bela's death. When I tried to suggest that we talk about the human characters who died, no-one was really interested. It was all about Bela.
  • Jordan tried to protect Maria from spoilers in the work he had her do for him. She eventually persuaded him she could handle them. Almost the first thing he then gave her was Verin's full backstory. This was somewhere around the time Path of Daggers came out.
  • The oddest research request was Jordan asking how babies feel when they are born. This was eventually used in the bonding scene in Winter's Heart.
  • The movie/TV rights situation is beginning to become clearer. Red Eagle sold the film rights on to Universal and it now looks like the rights could return to the Jordan Estate at some point. There is apparently interest from other companies in the rights given the success of other fantasy projects on TV and in film at the moment.

All in all, a good panel and some interesting stuff came out of it :)

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Excellent report! Thank you! I'm very sad that I couldn't make LonCon. It seemed like a great con. 

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I really am looking forward to this coming out.  My only fear is it will be filled with fluff and leave a lot of questions unanswered.  I like the spoliers as it might answer a lot of questions people had about things that weren't answered in the books.  But for me things like the old tongue section is a waste.  I hope Verin's backstory will be in it.

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I really am looking forward to this coming out.  My only fear is it will be filled with fluff and leave a lot of questions unanswered.  I like the spoliers as it might answer a lot of questions people had about things that weren't answered in the books.  But for me things like the old tongue section is a waste.  I hope Verin's backstory will be in it.

 

Some of the stuff in there will be fairly important. Moiraine's entry, for example, expands in full on what happened to her after she passed through the doorway with Lanfear in FoH and during her captivity with the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. Tam's entry will contain the information that RJ was putting together for the planned prequel novel about him, and so on.

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Hi Wert,

 

Thanks for the awesome report. I will also write down my experiences if i think of it:)

I think it was an awesome panel and i have been to a few wot panels.

 

regards, Isabel

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  • 1 month later...

the things revealed about the encyclopedia, will those be part of this companion?

 

The encyclopedia is the companion. They're the same thing :) Apparently they felt the 'companion' title sounded better and was more approachable.

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  • 2 months later...

700 pages is more than the current Guide; highest page number for  the Guide is 304.  First chapter of the Guide begins on page 13 and the last chapter of the Guide ends on page 295; that is 283 pages of content.

If the pages and font are same size as the Guide, the Companion would be between 2 and 3 times as long as the Guide.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some more news on Tor today about the companion:

 

Now The Wheel of Time Companion sheds light on some of the most intriguing aspects of the world, including biographies and motivations of many characters that never made it into the books, but helped bring Jordan’s world to life.

 

Included in the volume in an A-to-Z format are:

  • An entry for each named character
  • An inclusive dictionary of the Old Tongue
  • New maps of the Last Battle
  • New portraits of many characters
  • Histories and customs of the nations of the world
  • The strength level of many channelers
  • Descriptions of the flora and fauna unique to the world
  • And much more!

Looking at a Nov 2015 release.

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I can't wait for this!!! However, I really wanted the prequels. Hopefully, we'll get the story in a mini series.

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I was told in another thread that only a few sentences were written in prequels & outriggers.  Prequel & Outrigger info might be included in this Companion.

Best chance for the actual stories might be in books that have stories from multiple authors.

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I was told in another thread that only a few sentences were written in prequels & outriggers.

That is correct.

 

Best chance for the actual stories might be in books that have stories from multiple authors.

There will be no new stories, that has been decided. Not to mention having even more authors play in RJ's sandbox runs entirely counter to his wishes(aside from being a terrible idea).

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The Big White Book was only about 170,000 words, IIRC, so the Companion will be roughly twice the size in word-count alone. With more art, that should make it easily 400-500 pages or so. It did have a pretty big font size and I assume the Companion will have a more normal one, so it won't be twice the length on the page.

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some of the name meanings were told in the series.

-Ishamael="Betrayer of Hope"

-Lanfear="Daughter of the Night"

-Sammael="Destroyer of Hope"

-moghedien; a type of spider during the Age of Legends.

 

-Moridin; "The Grave", "Death"

-Cyndane="Last Chance"

-Hessalam="Without Forgiveness"

-osangar & arangar; types of daggers. left-handed & right-handed.

 

-M'hael="Leader"

Edited by mb
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Isn't Lanfear something like daughter of the night, or what that just another name she was called?

.

Reincarnated by the Dark One, she became Cyndane, which in the Old Tongue means "last chance."

 

 

'The Path of Daggers' chapter 12   

 

Graendal's POV-

 

“This is Cyndane, Graendal,” Moghedien said. “We are . . . working together.” She did not smile when she named the haughty young woman, but Graendal did. A pretty name for a more than pretty girl, but what twist of fate had led some mother of this time to give her daughter a name that meant “Last Chance”? Cyndane’s face remained cold and smooth, but her eyes flared. A beautiful doll carved from ice, with hidden fires. It seemed she knew the meaning and did not like it.

 

 

    rofl.gif

 

.

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