Welcome to August's Forum Roundup. For those of you that are students or parents, the school year has started or you are almost there. I'm looking forward to fall, with the cooler temperatures, change of colors, and hopefully some rain. In my "search" for James Oliver Rigney Jr., I've discovered a few things since my last entry. He taught himself to read (with a little help from his brother) at age 4. He had a brother twelve years his senior who, Robert Jordan noted, exposed him to great fiction by reading to him the works of Jules Verne and Mark Twain. Thus, his brother ensured the "foreshadowing" of the development of a great writer. "You have to understand child, everyone wants someone in their life, someone who cares for them, someone they can care for, even a queen." ~Thom Merrilyn The Shadow Rising, Chapter 39, "A Cup of Wine" Now, to the goings on here at Dragonmount. If you haven't noticed already, we have a new Wheel of Time reread for the Theory Blog. New readers keep discovering The Wheel of Time and can also find more discussion here at "A First Time Reader's Impression of the Wheel of Time." The Dragon Reborn Role Play has recent entries. I keep intending to create my own character. Since I am already an Aes Sedai in the White Tower and Warders, I intend my character to be a Warder in training, getting the opportunity to explore both paths, so to speak. Have you ever considered role play? The Tower has welcomed some new members who have ended their journey to Tar Valon and are now poised to begin their paths to either Warder or Aes Sedai. In addition, M'lady La Fluer has shared with us a new collage of Elmindreda Farshaw. The Band of the Red Hand also has new members and activities, with promises of more to come. Come out and hang with the Band, have fun, and drink some spirits (virtually). Shayol Ghul is in the midst of their nominations for 2015 Ghoulies. If you are a member, don't forget to vote! The Black Tower is hosting a Mafia game, "League of Extraordinary Gentleman" and has a number of very active threads. As usual, please stay tuned to Dragonmount for updated information on the Wheel of Time and spend some time dwelling in Robert Jordan's world.
Barnes & Noble plans to release a new, leather-bound edition of The Eye of The World. This new edition will be available in stores on September 30th. You can also pre-order a copy online. The Eye of the World--the opening volume of The Wheel of Time saga--joins an impressive list of well-known novels in Barnes & Noble's Collectible Editions. The images provided on B&N's website show the spine and cover (shown here), as well as an interior photo and the back cover. The interior looks the same as the editions we're already familiar with from Tor. The back cover includes an error in that the "ancient Aes Sedai" symbol is improperly reversed the wrong way. Despite this error, I think we can agree that it's a fine-looking book, and one that's worthy of our shelves. There are no announced plans to make similar editions for other WoT books, and no plans to provide these overseas. B&N is publishing this with assistance from Tor Books, who owns the U.S and Canadian rights. There is already a nice leather-bound copy of The Eye of the World available from Orbit UK.
Hello, and welcome to part two of our reread of The Eye of the World! My name is Matthew, and I am a writer, artist, and game developer from Arizona. This post will cover The Eye of the World, Chapters 1-2. If you haven’t been following this since the beginning, you can catch up on the Introduction and Prologue in my first post, here. CHAPTER ONE :: “AN EMPTY ROAD” THE BASICS Rand al’Thor tries to convince his father Tam that there is a rider cloaked in black following them as they are traveling into town for the festival, but Tam doesn’t believe him. Eventually they meet up with old friends in Emond’s Field and forget about the rider temporarily. WHAT HAPPENS In the beginning of Chapter One: An Empty Road, we find one of the protagonists of the series, Rand al’Thor, on his way with his father Tam into nearby town Emond’s Field with a cart-full of apple brandy and cider barrels for the upcoming festival. Their horse Bela is pulling the cart. This road they are following, called the Quarry Road, cuts through the Westwood and takes them right from their farmhouse into the town of Emond’s Field. It is noted that winter has been especially harsh and still hangs on even when it should have been long gone. Also worthy to point out, Rand is unusually tall and fair with orange-brown hair and gray eyes. During their journey, the feeling of being watched continues to gnaw at Rand. Eventually he glances over his shoulder to see a black-cloaked figure on a black horse following not that far behind them. Oddly, the wind doesn’t move the rider’s cloak at all, even as it is is twirling Rand’s cloak furiously. He can’t see all but the faintest outline of a face under the cowl, and feels nothing but hatred from the shadowed gaze. Rand trips over a stone in the road, but when he looks back up at where the rider and horse were, he sees nothing. Trying to explain this to Tam, he is just figuratively patted on the head and met with skepticism, albeit told that Tam believes him. Tam uses this moment to remind Rand about the “flame and the void”, a concept he uses to win archery tournaments at festivals. It consists of focusing all of your thoughts on a single flame on a field of black, and then feeding the flame all emotion and passion until your mind becomes empty. On the way through Emond’s Field to the Winespring Inn, they cross paths with a number of characters. Most notably, Wit Congar stops them to complain about the new Wisdom of Emond’s Field being too young, until his wife comes out to rebuke him. They continue through the town of neat, thatched-roof houses and see everyone setting up for the yearly Bel Tine festival. At the Winespring Inn, Bran al’Vere, both the innkeeper of the Winespring Inn as well as the mayor of Emond’s Field, greets them. Bran is the father of Egwene, a village girl that Rand fancies and is, in some respect, all but betrothed to. Tam stops to talk to Bran, but they are interrupted by Cenn Buie, the village thatcher, who has nothing but bad things to say about the state of the Two Rivers, complaining about everything from the weather to the omens of wolves and ravens. Here we meet Mat Cauthon, who tugs on Rand’s sleeve and pulls him away from the discussion. Mat is a mischievous young adult who never grew up, always describing his last immature escapade with a twinkle in his eye. He goes into the last one about how he and some friends caught a badger and were considering letting it loose elsewhere in town to watch the girls run and scream. Rand is less interested in listening to Mat’s childish antics than anything else, and tries to get out of it by explaining how he needs to help his father unload the barrels. In Mat’s complaining about work, he mentions something that reminds Rand of the black-cloaked rider, and they find out that they’ve both seen it. They compare details, but Rand doesn’t approve of Mat’s theories that it might be the Dark One or one of the Forsaken, the dark followers of the Dark One. He recites a childhood saying claiming that the Dark One and the Forsaken alike are all bound in Shayol Ghul until the end of time. When Tam sees Mat, he recruits both of the boys to come help unload the cider. CHAPTER TWO :: “STRANGERS” THE BASICS Rand and Mat finish carrying the barrels into the Winespring Inn, have a run in with a strange raven, meet Lady Moraine and Lan, and discover that both a peddler and a gleeman are coming this year to Bel Tine. WHAT HAPPENS Rand and Mat carry the barrels from the car into the Winespring Inn, depositing them in the cellar while Tam finds a place in the common room in front of the fireplace and mantel. Some of the Village Council is in the inn right now, but Rand is just nervous about running into Egwene. He tries not to think about it. Mat pulls him away from staring at some of the Village Council members as Mistress al’Vere, wife of Bran al’Vere, rushes in with honeycakes for the council. Mat remarks about how he covered some dogs in flour and set them loose near someone’s house in town, and then proceeded to spread rumors of ghost dogs in Emond’s Field. He suspects that Master Luhhan, the blacksmith, knows that it was him. Finally done with the barrels, the boys run into Ewin Finngar, a friend of theirs who came to tell them about the “strangers” in Emond’s Field. One is a man named Lan with a cloak that changes colors and seems to fade into whatever is behind him, and wears his sword like it’s a part of him. The other is a woman named Lady Moiraine who they think is some kind of highborn lady. Mat says that he forgot to tell Rand about them. They arrived the night before and are staying at the Winespring Inn. Apparently, Moraine had a meeting with Nynaeve, the town Wisdom, and accidentally offended her by implying that she was a child. Mat announced that there will be a gleeman, raising excitement from Rand and Ewin. They follow Mat out of the cellar and through the common room, where all eight of the Village Council has gathered. Outside, Rand feels the eery feeling of being watched again, and notices a raven staring at them from a nearby roof. They throw rocks at it, but it just steps aside and lets the rocks sail past. The boys are greeted by Moiraine from behind them, at which point the raven takes flight. Moiraine is a beautiful woman with dark, deep eyes and whose age is nearly impossible to guess, with a regal grace and air of command. She is short, but lived up to any and all of their stories and gleeman’s tales. Moiraine gives all three of the boys each a coin, and tells them that she is a student of history. She implies that the Two Rivers had not always been called that, before telling them that she will talk to them later. Slipping away, a tall man follows her, and Ewin is quick to point out that it is Lan. Eventually, the sound of the peddler’s wagon coming over the bridge breaks up their banter and sends the three boys in that direction. COMMENTS As stated before, The Eye of the World draws a lot of inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Here we learn about boys in a small town who begin seeing things out of the ordinary and realizing that there is a lot more out there than they’ve seen in their lifetimes. With the arrival of strange newcomers, they get to catch a glimpse of what they’ve old heard of in stories. A lot of things in Emond’s Field parallels Hobbiton in many ways, as you’ll see in following chapters. THE BREAKDOWN :: Chapters One and Two The Two Rivers - The Two Rivers, Emond’s Field, The Westwood, The Sand Hills, The Mountains of Mist. The Two Rivers is a small, often forgotten section far in the western side of the country of Andor. Within it are several towns, including Taren Ferry, Watch Hill, Deven Ride, and the aforementioned Emond’s Field. To the east are the looming Mountains of Mist and the Sand Hills which lead into the Westwood. The Winespring Water, the river for which the Inn is named, runs from the mountains east through Emond’s Field and out into the Waterwood at the eastern edge of the Two Rivers. Emond’s Field - Bel Tine festival, mayor, Village Council, Wisdom, Women’s Circle, Winespring Inn. Emond’s Field is where the story begins, and is one of the four main towns in the Two Rivers. Bel Tine, the celebration of the end of winter and beginning of spring, is the reason Rand and Tam are making their way into town. In town, you are introduced the Village Council. There are eight men on the council, but only seven are named in the book. Including Tam al’Thor, Bran al’Vere, and Cenn Buie, the others are Rowan Hurn, Samel Crawe, Haral Luhhan, Jon Thane, and an eighth left unnamed. Bran al’Vere is also the mayor of Emond’s Field, as well as serving as the innkeeper of the Winespring Inn. His wife is Mistress al’Vere and his daughter is Egwene al’Vere. Conversely, the Women’s Circle is a council of women. Both the Women’s Circle and Village Council are often at odds with each other. The Women’s Circle is responsible for certain duties such as the timing of planting and harvesting crops, while the Village Council handles matters that affect the village as a whole or overlap with other towns. Nynaeve is briefly mentioned in Chapter Two: Strangers and confirmed as being the town Wisdom, which is a woman in a village who has a great knowledge of healing and is usually gifted at foretelling the weather. The Wisdom is chosen by a village’s Women’s Circle and serves her entire life, often at a level regarded as equal or above even the mayor. The Darkness - Shayol Ghul, the Great Blight, Ishamael, Aginor. As the saying goes, the Creator imprisoned and bound the Dark One and the Forsaken at the moment of Creation far north past the land called the Great Blight in Shayol Ghul. The Forsaken are the thirteen most powerful Aes Sedai that ever lived who went to the Shadow, and whose names are used to frighten children to this day. Two are mentioned in these chapters — Aginor and Ishamael. The Strangers - Lan, Lady Moiraine. Lan is described as being a tall man with long hair that is turning gray at the temples and held back with a leather cord around his head. He wears a cloak that shifts colors and blends in with whatever is behind him, and wears his sword like it is a part of him. The boys speculate that he is a Warder, a mystical warrior that does battle against the Shadow in the stories far north in the Great Blight and in Shayol Ghul. Other than that, not much is known about Lan, other than he seems to be in service to the Lady Moiraine. Until next week.... :: Lanestrider
INTRODUCTION A LITTLE ABOUT ME Greetings, fellow internet travelers! My name is Matthew, and I am a writer, artist, and game developer from Arizona. I am beyond thrilled and honored to be writing this at the moment, and it still has yet to sink in. Never will I forget picking up what would soon become my tattered copy of The Eye of the World, dust jacket abused and spine shot to hell, and finished it within the week. I was absolutely enchanted. J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Hobbit was the first actual book I had read (followed by The Lord of the Rings) and this book by Robert Jordan perfectly paid just the right level of homage to both. I was hooked by the believable characters and the amazing places and the incredible story that wove everything together. Now, close to twelve years later, I find myself on the site I’ve been reading for years, writing a reread for the series that defined who I was as a writer and is second only to Tolkien’s work in giving me this unhealthy love for fantasy. This is definitely incredible. WHAT TO EXPECT This is NOT one of those chapter summaries rife with spoilers. This is NOT a blow by blow synopsis detailing every aspect of symbolism and psycho-analysis into the characters as a whole in reflection to their growth over the rest of the series. This IS a spoiler-free reread of The Wheel of Time series. Every week we will cover a number of chapters and present them in a manner friendly to new readers as well as those rereading the series. If you have finished the series and are looking for in depth analysis and cross-referenced bookkeeping, this might not be the blog for you. If you are trying to catch up to a certain point or where you last left off in the series, are looking for a refresher, or are reading along as you read each chapter, this might just be the place for you, especially if you haven't finished the series and don't want spoilers sneaking in under the radar. Each post will start with THE BASICS, which is a quick and easy summary of the events in the chapter. After that, we will break down all of the important events in the chapter in WHAT HAPPENS. Following that section, THE BREAKDOWN will include a type of glossary and reference to all major terms, places, and characters in the chapter, presented in an informational but yet hopefully spoiler-free manner. Finally, I will close each post with a COMMENTS section, where I will talk about my thoughts of each chapter after I read it. I hope that you enjoy what I am doing here as much as I do writing it. Here goes nothing.... PROLOGUE :: "DRAGONMOUNT" THE BASICS Lews Therin Telamon, discovers that he killed his wife and everyone close to him when he is visited by an old adversary, Elan Morin Tedroni, before ending his life in a world-changing display of power. WHAT HAPPENS Things aren’t looking great. We find ourselves in Prologue: Dragonmount at a location known only as a palace. It assumedly belongs to Lews Therin Telamon, the man wandering the halls of the palace confused and completely out of it. Carnage has laid waste to the once-beautiful imagery around him, leaving furniture, wall tapestries, and people cut down to their final rest all the same. Lews has no idea that Ilyena, his wife, is laying lifeless on the ground nearby, even though he continues looking for her in his confusion. In all of the disarray, a new character blinks into existence. Elan Morin Tedronai steps out of thin air and begins to taunt Lews Therin, apparently there to kill him but is a little put off that Lews doesn’t remember who he is. Over the course of this conversation, Lews wanders seemly aimless while looking for his wife and making small talk with Elan Morin, hardly acknowledging anything the other man says. Elan Morin, however, goes into detail about Lews Therin’s past, insinuating that they are enemies. Elan Morin is known as the Betrayer of Hope, something that Lews Therin barely remembers and then pushes out of mind. Lews Therin is referred to as Lord of the Morning, and moreover, he is the Dragon. Elan Morin goes into a list of accomplishments under Lews Therin’s belt, including having stood among the Servants, worn the Ring of Tamyrlin, sat on the High Seat, summoned the Nine Rods of Dominion, humbled Elan Morin in the Hall of Servants and then defeated him at the Gates of Paaran Disen. Most of these don’t mean anything to us right now, and serve only to shed some light on how powerful Lews Therin was at his pinnacle. Elan Morin also says that after today Lews Therin will be known as Kinslayer, but gets no response from the other man. Angered that Lews Therin still has no idea what is going on, Elan Morin uses the True Power (not to be confused with the True Source) to Heal him and give back some of his sanity. It is then when Lews Therin realizes what has happened to his wife, his children, family, servants, friends, companions.... Elan Morin wastes no time pointing out that Great Lord of the Dark can bring Ilyena back, if only he bend the knee and serve his master. Lews Therin threatens Elan Morin in a fit of rage but is reminded that all of this was Lews Therin’s fault, something that silences him momentarily. After processing everything, Lews Therin uses the One Power to Travel, disappearing from the palace and appearing somewhere in another place where the land is flat and empty save for a river. All he can see in his tears is his wife and family. He screams to the sky, asking the Light for forgiveness. Lews Therin pulls on the One Power more deeply than he ever had, pulling enough to kill him a thousand times over, and brings destruction down on himself. In his place, the earth shakes and cracks and a single mountain rises, and the river is bent outward and left with an island in the middle of its flow. Elan Morin blinks into existence on that island, taking note of everything that had just happened. Angrily, he says aloud that the Dragon cannot escape so easily and that their conflict is not over and will not be until the end of time. He then disappears. We are left with the mountain and the island. THE BREAKDOWN The Basics - The Wheel of Time. The True Source, the One Power, The True Power. Saidin and saidar. Aes Sedai. The Wheel of Time is the namesake of the entire series and the definitive embodiment of time itself. The True Source, in turn, is the universe's driving force and what the Creator made to turn the Wheel of Time. It is divided into two parts; saidin, the male half, and saidar, the female half. These halves are utilized by those called Aes Sedai, who channel their respective half, called the One Power, to produce a desired effect. Saidin was tainted by the Dark One, causing all male users of the One Power to eventually go insane. In the prologue alone, different methods, or Talents, of using the One Power such as the Healing and Traveling are mentioned. However, there is another power, referred to as the True Power (not to be confused with the True Source), which is the Dark One's version of the True Source, and is available to any channelers who the Dark One allows to wield it. Unlike the True Source, the True Power is not divided into two gender-specific pieces, but instead is wholly accessible by any person who has permission. In layman's terms, the True Source and by extension the One Power are derived from the Creator, while the True Power is derived from the Dark One. More on this later in the series when it becomes more important. Light and Shadow - Light and Shadow. Creator and Dark One. Shai'tan, the Dark One, the Great Lord of the Dark. In generic realization, the Creator is the embodiment of good and is considered the Light, while the Shadow is reserved for his enemy, the Dark One. At the moment of creation, the Creator imprisoned the Dark One. He has since been able to touch the world again, and has taken on many names from Shai'tan, to the Dark One, to the Great Lord of the Dark. Adversaries - Lews Therin Telamon. Elan Morin Tedroni. Ilyeana Sunhair. The Hundred Companions. Lews Therin Telamon is the Dragon and husband of Ilyena Sunhair. His other names include Lord of the Morning, as well as Kinslayer. He is dazed because the taint on saidin is driving him mad, something that Elan Morin Tedroni Heals him of partially. Before the events in the prologue, Lews Therin was a great leader who led a group of followers called The Hundred Companions against the Dark One, leading to the eventual taint on saidin. The Mountain and the Island - Dragonmount. Tar Valon. What you will soon find out is that the mountain raised on the spot of Lews Therin's death is what has become known as Dragonmount. In its shadow on the island, amidst the River Erinin, is where Tar Valon was built, the modern capital and center of Aes Sedai power. COMMENTS Honestly, this is one of my favorite chapters in all of the series. It is iconic, the imagery is breathtaking, and the subject is almost haunting. Lews Therin Telamon, an incredibly successful leader of his era, comes to the realization that he has gone mad and that he has accidentally killed everyone important to him. While not necessarily emotion-evoking to every reader, I doubt that you can fully comprehend the gravity of this without at least acknowledging the genuine sorrow elicited through this revelation. While there is definitely more to every story, regardless of whether Lews Therin's actions were actually accidental or not, or even entirely his fault or not, the grave situation at hand is still bleak at best, and Elan Morin is still a horrible bastard. Until next week.... :: Lanestrider
Welcome back to “Fandom Flair,” Dragonmount’s blog that shows you how to incorporate fandom love into everyday life. Last time I promised to show you how to make an Amyrlin Stole with the scraps of the Ajah quilt. The two projects are actually very similar in execution. Materials Needed: 3 inch by 60 inch strip of fabric in every Ajah color 10 inch by 60 inch strip of backing fabric Sewing machine Thread Pins If you look for pictures of Amyrlin Stoles online, you’ll notice most of them are knit/crocheted. Knitting or crocheting is a pretty easy way to get the thin strips of colors side by side. With fabric, you can’t just buy 3 inch strips. Most places will only give you a minimum of 1/4 yard (9 inches), and most fabrics don’t come in 60 inch widths. That’s what makes this difficult, unless you bought the fabric for other projects (as I did with the Ajah quilt). So, if you don’t want to invest in so much fabric just for a Stole, knitting or crocheting is a great alternative. Personally, I don’t have the patience to knit or crochet, so this is the only option for me. Step 1: Cutting your fabric I was left with 22 inch by 60 inch cuts of all seven fabrics after the quilt was finished. The first thing I did was cut off a small 3 inch sliver from each color. I used a rotary cutter for this since it was easiest to slice the 60 inches. Step 2: Sewing Once again, I wanted the colors to be authentic to canon. The order on the Stole is blue, green, yellow, red, gray, white, brown. Just like the quilt, I put the blue face up, the green face down, and sewed up the right side. I used 1/2 inch seam allowance which, in theory, would give me an inch strip of each color for the finished product. (It actually wound up being about an inch and a half; an inch would have looked better.) Next, I put the yellow face down on the green and sewed. I sewed the red to the yellow, the gray to the red, the white to the gray, and the brown to the white. The whole process was very quick! Once they’re all sewn together, iron down the seams. I folded the seams away from the white since it was the most see through. Step 3: Backing Here’s a cool tip: use the backing as an opportunity to have a Keeper’s Stole! Pick a fabric in your Ajah color (mine is White) and use that as the backing fabric. That way, if you flip it around, you have a Keeper’s Stole, just in case. I had a large chunk of a white satiny fabric that I chose for my back. I decided to pin my stole down to the backing, right side to right side, and cut along the edges. This gave me an easy way to ensure my backing fit. As I said, I tried for 1/2 inch seam allowance, but I’m not always the best with getting my seams straight. Step 4: Make a pillow With the fabrics right side to right side, sew all along the length, along one of the sides, and up the other length. This creates something similar to a pillow. Next, flip it inside out, paying attention to get the corners as sharp as possible. Fold the raw edge under an inch or so and sew closed with clear quilters thread. And you’re done! Altogether, this project didn’t take more than a few hours. It’s much simpler than the quilt, and maybe a little bit more impressive. Next time, I want to hop on the Pokemon Go craze and show you how to make a pokeball plushie.
It's time for the July Forum Roundup. July and August are the hottest times of the year where I live and the Central and Eastern U.S. are getting blasted with a heat wave. Our friends Down Under are experiencing weather we Americans envy. Thinking about the Wheel of Time, I was pondering the fact that I didn't discover Robert Jordan or his books until after he left us. So, lately, I've been on a search for him, who he was, what he was like as a man, a writer, and how his stories came to be. My journey is one of starting and stopping, and yet, one that I will undertake fully. I was not a reader of fantasy or nonfiction for that matter. A friend urged me to pick up The Eye of the World and that's where I fell deep into the universe of Robert Jordan. His world is female-centric, with a complicated magic system, multiple nations, cultures (some I could recognize), and a central character who finally realized who and what he was, and his place in the world. Our Dragonmount was created upon the imagination and words of Robert Jordan. Although the books are finished, his universe continues. The White Tower lives on here, as do the Aiel, Mat's Band, Perrin's Wolves, the Black Tower, the Kin, the Ogier and their Groves, the Tuathan'an Camp, and there is even a place for the Dark One’s in Shayol Ghul. One can create a unique character who lives and breathes within the Wheel of Time. For those of you, who like me, never want to put down the books and walk away from The Wheel of Time, Dragonmount carries on Robert Jordan's world and allows us all to be a part of it. See you next month.
We are happy to announce new Wheel of Time merchandise from our friends at Ta'veren Tees!
This week's Fan Art Friday is being taken over by the ever useful and (on Dragonmount) chipper Yellow Ajah! This was also a very fun week to work on because of the varied mediums found over the course of my research. To begin, I would like to start with something I myself would love to have! It summarizes the Yellow Ajah quite well, I think. Yellow Ajah iPhone 5c Case (made from this source) ~ minniearts The next piece is quite lovely; I especially love the bright use of colors in this drawing. It makes me wonder if those flowers have a medicinal use! Yellow Ajah ~ Asrath And of course we couldn't be talking about the Yellow Ajah without a shout out to the most prominent member: Nynaeve! The look on her face in this drawing captures the perfect deadpan look that Nynaeve is so often striving for. She appears thoroughly not amused and done with all foolishness. Nynaeve al'Meara ~ fee-absinthe Of course one cannot be of the Yellow Ajah without the accompanying shawl! This exquisite piece looks quite cozy and warm! Yellow Ajah Shawl - Wheel of Time ~ Elarielle The final work is an outfit that a modern day Yellow Sister might find herself wearing on a day out at the beach! Yellow Ajah - Beach Bunny ~ inspiredbywot Keep an eye out next month for a late summer edition of Fan Art Friday!
It was with great pleasure today that Dragonmount learned The Wheel of Time Companion had been nominated for a prestigious World Fantasy Award. This award honors the very best in fantasy literature and art each year. They are awarded by the World Fantasy Convention, which will take place this year in Columbus, Ohio on October 27-30. The Companion is nominated in the category of Special Award, Professional. The World Fantasy Award, alongside the Hugo and the Nebula awards, is considered one of the highest honors in speculative fiction. The Wheel of Time Companion was edited by Harriet McDougal, Maria Simons and Alan Romanczuk. Harriet was the primary editor of the series, as well as the wife of author Robert Jordan. Alan and Maria both served as continuity editors for the series. The Companion is an encyclopedia style compendium of the characters, places and objects named in The Wheel of Time series. Some sections were taken directly from Jordan's vast notes. We do not yet know if any members of Team Jordan plan on attending the award ceremony. In 2014, when the series was nominated for a Hugo, both Harriet and Maria traveled to the London WorldCon and appeared on programming.
Welcome back to “Fandom Flair.” This week, I’ll show you how to make an Ajah inspired quilt. Of course, like most of the projects I’ve shown, this is completely customizable! More on that in a moment. First, here’s a list of materials: About 72 inch x 11 inch rectangle of fabric in all seven Ajah colors About 4 yards of a backing fabric White fabric (for the Flame of Tar Valon) 9 yards bias tape Quilt batting for a 72 inch x 72 inch quilt Clear quilter’s thread Sewing machine Scissor Pins Measuring tape Step 1: Select your fabrics I decided to attempt this project with my sister, Mavin. This quilt requires little bits of a lot of fabrics, so it made sense to divide the cost in half. We wound up purchasing two yards of each fabric (giving us our desired 72 inch length), then slicing it in half width wise to divvy it up between us. We both got 72” x 37” rectangles from all our seven fabrics. With my half, I was able to cut that 37” in half again, giving me my need 11” width and an extra 27” left over for other projects. We selected our fabrics with patterns. This added just a bit more character and individuality to the quilt instead of having just plain cotton colors. Because of this, we selected a pattern that fit each Ajah’s theme—even if only in our minds. The blue looks lacy and regal, like my idea of Moiraine. The green is leafy, like a Warder’s fancloth cloak. The brown has swirls inside, like the chapter icon for Tel’aranrhiod, and that reminds me of Verin, who gave the dream ter’angreal to Egwene so long ago. This is where you can customize to your specific wants. Make this quilt completely your own! For the back fabric, I wanted to have that secret Ajah incorporated, so I chose a black with white flowers. Mavin, wanting to go for comfort and personal Ajah identification, chose a yellow fleece. Once again, pick what’s special for you. It makes the finished product that much more meaningful. For the Flame of Tar Valon, I picked a white satin I had on hand. Mavin used a white fleece to match her backing. Step 2: Cut your fabrics As I said, we had the intention of slicing each cut of fabric in half, giving us each a 72” by 37” rectangle. I played with several ways to set up the quilt—one version using the whole 37” of each color—but decide it would look best as a square. Since our lengths were 72”, that meant our width needed to be equal to that. Simple math says you divide the total by seven to get about 10.5” per color (including seam allowance). It’s easiest to use a rotary cutter and a cutting mat to trim the rectangles to the proper length. Step 3: Sewing the face I am going to call the side with the seven Ajah colors “the face,” or the front, of the quilt. The Black Ajah is, of course, the back. For the Ajah colors, I wanted to have them appear in the order that they are on the Amyrlin Stole, so I had to look at an example in canon where they are shown. The order, from top to bottom, is: Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, Gray, White, and Brown. First take your blue and green fabrics and place them atop each other, right side to right side, with the green fabric on top. Straight stitch them together along the right edge. When you flip them open, the blue is on the left side; this will signify up, or the top. Next, lay the green flat and put the yellow on top, right side to right side. Again, stitch up the right side. When you open them, you have blue, then green, then yellow. Lay the yellow flat and place the red fabric on top, right side to right side. Stitch up the right side. Now you have blue, green, yellow, and red. Sew the gray onto the red. Sew the white onto the gray. Sew the brown onto the white. When you lay it flat, it should look like this: You’re done with the face! Step 4: Backing Since you can’t buy fabric that is 72”x72”—at least, as far as I know—you need to construct the back to be the proper size. I cut my 4 yards of backing fabric in half, giving me two 2 yard pieces. Since the length was already 72”, I didn’t need to change that. But the width on both was 52”. I sewed the two pieces together, right side to right side, along their 72” side. This gave me a 72” by 104” rectangle. This created a lot of waste since I wanted the seam to be right in the middle, but I saved the scraps for other projects. Step 5: The Flame of Tar Valon You could just as easily add the Flame to the face of the quilt. I think it would look great either way. I didn’t want to cover up any of my beautiful Ajah fabrics, so I decided to put it on the back. I cut my white satin into a circle, then drew out the sinuous line that separates both sides. If done correctly, this will give you two equally sized Flames. Since my satin was a bit thin, I layered both of these pieces to give me a more opaque finish. Measure to the center of your backing fabric, both length and width. Pin your Flame in place. Stitch around the edge with a white thread, or the clear quilter’s thread. If you’re using a fabric that frays—like my satin—I’d recommend using Frey Check on the outside edges to keep the seam clean. This can be applied before or after you sew it down. Step 6: Stacking the quilt With the face and the back done, we can start laying the quilt. Place the backing face down on the floor. Next, lay down the batting. Finally, lay the front of the quilt face up. Pin all three layers together and trim the batting and backing to the same size as the face. You may see a lot of excess fabric from the backing, but don’t panic. You can save it! Never underestimate fabric scraps! Step 7: Quilting If you’ve seen traditional quilts, you’ve probably noticed that the layers get sewn to each other in a sort of pattern. Typically, if the quilt is made up of squares, the quilting line goes diagonal through the squares' corners. Since we’re dealing with rectangles, and ones that are divided quite clearly already, I didn’t want the diagonal stitching to be a distraction. I decided to stitch in the ditch with the clear quilter’s thread between each color divide. This hid the seam on the face, and it’s barely noticeable on the back. One thing to note about the back. I didn’t want to ruin the beauty of the Flame, so I decided not to sew through it. I marked where the Flame was with a pin, and stopped my seam right at that line. This made the red layer and gray layer not completely sewn through, but the results are amazing! You don’t notice the seam isn’t all the way across on the face, and the Flame really stands out without seams going through it! Step 8: Bias tape Bias tape comes in many sizes, colors, and materials. They make a special satin bias tape for quilts—usually seen on blankets made for babies. The quilting bias tape is a lot thicker and softer than the other types. It’s a great choice for this project. However, you can also go with the double sided bias tape. This has its benefits too. For one, it’s smaller, so it makes the edges less obtrusive into the final product. On the other hand, that smaller size makes it more difficult to sew. Pick which ever one you feel most comfortable with. You can also customize the color. Mavin chose yellow to match her fleece backing. I decided to go with white because it looked the best with the Ajah colors and the black on the back. If using double sided bias tape, the ideal way to use it is to unfold it and sew down one side first. This gives you nice, clean seams and you’re sure the catch all layers of the fabric in one go. It’s also very time consuming. I chose to sew both sides at once. It’s more difficult, but cuts the time in half. First, I left about four inches of the tape un-sewn. Then, using the clear quilter’s thread, I stitched down the bias tape, making sure to pinch all three layers together as I went. I stopped every five or six inches to readjust and make sure all the layers were being caught in the thread. At the corner, sew to the edge and then back stitch a few inches. Fold the tape at a ninety degree angle and fold under the edge at a forty-five degree angle. Stitch to the edge of the angle, then with your needle in the down position, lift the foot and rotate the quilt ninety degrees to align with the next side. This is an easy way to get a nice looking corner! When you run out of your first bias tape here’s a trick for making it look continuous. (I used about two and a half packages, meaning I had to sew the tape twice.) First, stop with at least six inches un-sewn. Take the new bias tape and the edge of the old tape and unfold all the sides. Lay them flat together, right side to right side. Straight stitch them as close to the edge as you can get. Trim off and excess. Fold it back under. Now it looks like it’s all the same tape! Keep sewing the tape down in the same manner. Once you get to the end of the quilt, use that same trick to join the very beginning and the end. Stop about six inches from the end and cut your tape to the correct length needed. Stitch the bias tapes together, right side to right side, and then fold it all under. Stitch the seam all the way closed. And you’re done! Now you have a great Ajah quilt to snuggle up with, or just to throw over the couch as a way to make visitors ask questions. Next time, we’ll use the scraps from the quilt to construct an Amyrlin Stole! Thanks for reading!
<p><!-- isHtml:1 --><p>Welcome to the June Forum Roundup. May you find water and shade. This time of year we have students finishing up their exams and teachers packing up their classrooms. Both are looking to their summer vacations and some well-deserved time off. In <a data-ipb='nomediaparse' href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/forum/381-tar-valon/' class="bbc_url" title="">Tar Valon</a> one can find a Midsummer Festival. Members are partaking in such virtual activities as a trip to the beach, trivia, hangman, vacations, and traditions.<p class="bbc_center"><img src="http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/gallery/album_412/gallery_21251_412_4153.gif" alt="gallery_21251_412_4153.gif"></p>Also in the <a data-ipb='nomediaparse' href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/forum/33-the-white-tower-warders-social-group/' class="bbc_url" title="">White Tower Social Group</a>, M’Lady La Fleur is treating us to her artistic creations of collages and quotes with a <em>Wheel of Time</em> theme. You can find her <a data-ipb='nomediaparse' href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/97707-realistic-wheel-of-time-collages-%E2%80%93-a-picture-is-worth-a-thousands-words/' class="bbc_url" title="">lovely work</a> here.We hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day. The <em>Wheel of Time’s</em> <a data-ipb='nomediaparse' href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/98252-best-and-worst-dads-in-wot/' class="bbc_url" title="">best and worst fathers</a> are being analyzed in the general discussion area. It seems the consensus that Tam was a very good dad.<p class="bbc_center"><img src="http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/uploads/gallery/album_412/gallery_21251_412_47788.jpg" alt="gallery_21251_412_47788.jpg"></p><a data-ipb='nomediaparse' href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/forum/23-the-black-tower-social-group/' class="bbc_url" title="">The Black Tower</a> is hosting a “Multiball Mafia” for those that enjoy mafia indulgence.If one cares to engage in political discourse, <a data-ipb='nomediaparse' href='http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/forum/11-debates-and-discussions/' class="bbc_url" title="">Debates and Discussions</a> are currently hosting multiple threads of interest. The U.S. election is dominating topics at this time. All over the forums, one can find “Brownie Quests” hosted by Talmanes. Much adventure to be found there. Remember to keep checking <em>Dragonmount </em>for updates on the TV series and other <em>Wheel of Time</em> related news. See you next month!</p></p>
It is time for another installation of "Fan Art Friday," and this month's topic is an ambiguous one: Whitecloaks! Also called the Children of Light, I for one flip-flopped back and for a few times; are they good or bad? It almost seemed to depend on which individual you were thinking of. The first bit of artwork I found made me laugh. I am almost tempted to make little bookmarks out of it and pass them out at the next JordanCon. New Children of the Light PSA ~ minniearts This next piece shows my personal favorite Whitecloak: Galad Damodred. The style this artist used reminds me of a playing card; deal me in! The Knight ~ ToranekoStudios I also wanted to show off a work of art done by one of our own members of Dragonmount! I think this manga style lends a bit of cuteness to the often stern character that is Galad. Galad Damodred ~ Dawnflower8 Eamon Valda is one Child of the Light that you don't have to bother asking if he is bad or not. I think this piece really captures the scorn Valda is so well known for. Soldier of Light ~ ianxfalcon My last selection for this week is one that I think captures the real emotion I get from most Children of Light in the series: condescension. They tend to think that they are better than others, and have a real sense of disdain for anyone who is not one of them. This I think is captured by the quite literal way in which he is turning his nose up. Child of Light ~ AndreaRule That's all for this week; stay tuned for next month's "Fan Art Friday!"