Wow, the people at Ta'veren Tees are unveiling lots of exciting things this month! Here's the information for their newest bit of fun: I don't know about you, but I'm going to go vote as soon as I've finished typing this!
Hello, all! With pleasure, I welcome you back to my blog this Thursday. I've had the luck of getting to interview a very impressive woman. Some of you may know her personally, yet others may not. Nevertheless, you surely have heard of her. So, without further ado, I present to you--Jennifer Liang! Q: Where are you from? What do you do? A: I'm originally from Salt Lake City. When I was fifteen, my dad accepted a job transfer to Atlanta, Georgia, where I've been ever since. Currently, I teach language arts at a private school for teenagers with autism spectrum disorders. Q: Are you married with a little horde of Trollocs to call your own? A: I'm married to James Liang (Segurant on the forums) and we don't have any children yet. Q: What do you like doing in your time off from your duties at Dragonmount? A: Teaching takes up most of my time. I'm also working on my Master's in Special Education via distance learning at Western Governors University. I also chair JordanCon, run the Robert Jordan track at Dragon*Con, and I'm the host of Tor.com's official Wheel of Time Facebook and Twitter portals. I also have a food blog where I post about what I'm cooking and places I like to eat: Northside Food. Q: How were you introduced to The Wheel of Time? What about it has made you such a fan? A: My mom bought me the first three (that's all there was) when I was in the sixth grade. What's grabbed me the most over the years was the characters. They feel like real people to me, warts and all. I spent a lot of time in high school worrying about Rand and Egwene instead of paying attention in class. I like the role of fate and prophecy and the puzzles that Jordan created for his readers. I'm not nearly the theorist that others are, but I still enjoy noodling around with ideas and reading others' thoughts. Q: How far back do you and Dragonmount go? How did you find it and why did you join it? A: I joined in 1998 about three weeks after Jason put the forums online. I found it because some guy kept spamming the Wheel of Time forums that existed back then with links to his super cool new Wheel of Time discussion site. A bunch of posters I knew from wheeloftime.com joined it and I followed them over. Q: What is the best thing about Dragonmount, in your opinion? A: Being able to interact with other fans. I'm old enough to remember the pre-Internet days when you usually knew absolutely no one else who shared your geeky interests. Being able to share my love for something with fans all over the world is not something I take for granted. Q: Have you always enjoyed reading books, even as a young child, or were you a late bloomer? A: Oh, I've always been a bookworm. My fifth grade teacher told my parents at a conference once, "In twenty years of teaching, I've never had to say this. Take the books away from your daughter and make her go outside!" Q: Are you proud to be a geeky person? A: Absolutely. It's a lot of fun. Q: Have you ever dressed up as a character from the Wheel of Time or do you have any Wheel of Time inspired tattoos? A: Yes, I dress up as the Amyrlin Seat every year for the Dragon*Con parade. No tattoos, alas. Every time I start thinking about one, my husband talks me out of it. Q: Spear or Dagger? A: Spear. Less chance of cooties. Q: What Ajah would you be in if you had to choose one and why? A: Brown. I love history and I love books. Q: Who are your favorite and least favorite characters of the series? A: My favorite is Egwene. My least favorite is Gawyn. She could do so much better. Q: What profession did you want to have when you were a kid? A: I've always wanted to be a teacher. Q: Randland or our world? A: As fun as it would be to channel, I'm awfully attached to indoor plumbing. Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? A: Too many places! I still haven't been to Europe. Perhaps in a few years. Q: What exactly is the position you hold on Dragonmount and how did you come by it? A: My official title is "Project Manager". Originally at Dragonmount, I was an Org Leader, which is what we called Social Group Leaders back in the day. I eventually worked my way up to being Community Admin on top of that, which meant that I was ultimately responsible for everything on the forums except the RP. I did both these jobs for a number of years, until I founded JordanCon. The time demand of running a small business and chairing a convention didn't leave me with very much time to be active on the forums every day. So Jason and I agreed it was time to phase me out. We both still wanted me to be involved in Dragonmount somehow and Jason had gotten used to having an Admin who knew Team Jordan, knew the publishers, knew all the other Big Name Fans, etc. So we sort of created this idea that my job was now to work on all the weird odds and ends that kept cropping up, but didn't fit neatly into someone else's job description. The first project I undertook was updating the Wheel of Time FAQ. That ended up taking more time than we initially expected, but we did finally get it out and updated in time for the release of Towers of Midnight. I also did much of the organizing of the Storm Leader and Tower Guard volunteer programs. I help with other odds and ends around the site too, like keeping our Twitter and Facebook accounts updated. Q: Wow, you do a mighty amount of work for the Wheel of Time fandom! How is it that you were involved in the WOTFAQ, and what exactly does your work for Tor.com entail? A: When I took over the WOTFAQ, Leigh Butler had not been able to update it since Crossroads of Twilight was released. This meant that it hadn't been updated for either Knife of Dreams or New Spring. So my job was to go through the entire FAQ, find the articles that were now out of date, and revise them. I also had to identify which topics were now currently under discussion and what the most commonly accepted answers were. It sounds simple, but the FAQ has something like 80 unique articles, ranging from just a few sentences in length to the 30-page monstrosity that is the Asmodean murder mystery. You have the added challenge of the FAQ changing home communities as well. It went from being based primarily from the old rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan newsgroup to being based off discussion from the Dragonmount forums. So I wanted to update, but keep as much of the original document in place as I could. It was a balancing act. I had lots of help from Linda Taglieri, Matt Hatch, and of course Luckers, among others. I think we got it right, overall. We intended to release the updated FAQ in time for The Gathering Storm, but by the time I could start working on the FAQ, I'd already read the book and was worried that I'd inadvertently spoil something. It also took Jason and me longer than we expected to get the WOTFAQ's database set up. So we ended up shelving it until the Towers of Midnight release. It gave us more work to do for that update, but it was the right decision. I would not have been comfortable releasing the pre-TGS FAQ. As for Tor.com, Jason let me know back in February that Irene Gallo had approached him about starting up a Tor.com branded Facebook and Twitter portal. They'd been starting up other portals like Tor.com Art Department, Tor.com Fantasy, Tor.com Steampunk, etc. and they wanted one for JUST Wheel of Time links. Jason didn't have time to take on another project, but he knew I was unemployed and I do the lion's share of keeping the Dragonmount Facebook and Twitter accounts updated anyways. So he recommended me for it. Irene called me that week and we talked for a bit about the time commitment and how I'd be compensated. And that was it. My job is to spend about ten hours a week looking for interesting Wheel of Time related links around the Internet to post on Twitter or Facebook. It's a fun job and the extra money was quite helpful when I was unemployed. Q: Was the beta version of the book very different from the final print that all other fans read? Were you excited about being able to read it before everyone else? A: Oh, of course I was excited. I got a binder with the manuscript copy of The Gathering Storm at the first JordanCon. I was really glad I'd taken the day off from work after the con, because I spent all day reading it. I didn't need to take time off from work to read Towers of Midnight, because I was unemployed at the time, but I still spent all day reading it. The other beta readers who received it that day and I kept each other posted on what chapter we were on via email. The Gathering Storm was much more polished. Brandon had been working on it for awhile at that point and had spent time revising already. There were some minor revisions, like "that's not a Wheel of Time word", but otherwise, I don't think there were any substantial changes. Towers of Midnight was much rougher when we got it and Brandon made several changes at our suggestion, including adding a new scene that wasn't in the draft we saw. There were other changes we suggested, but Brandon said, basically "That's word for word what Robert Jordan wrote. I'm not touching it." Q: What are Dragon*Con and JordanCon, and what is the difference between them (i.e. How would you describe them in a nutshell for people that have never attended either; Do you find the same amount of people going or is one more prominent than the other, etc.)? Also, how is it that Robert Jordan has his very own conference? A: Dragon*Con is a very, very massive multi-fandom event. It has 30+ tracks of programming, around 400 guests, and tens of thousands of fans. Wheel of Time is just one of many things celebrated at Dragon*Con. Dragon*Con is also a much more media-centered event. There's lots of actors on the Walk of Fame and lots of folks standing in line for autographs. JordanCon is obviously a much smaller event. We're focused mostly on the Wheel of Time series, but we do feature other authors. We do not have media guests, which means that all autographs are free. All of Team Jordan attends, along with members of Robert Jordan's extended family. In some ways, it feels like a family reunion. Everyone sort of knows each other, and we all have similar interests. There's been commentary in other places saying that the small, literature-focused con is dying off, crushed beneath the weight of behemoths like Dragon*Con or Comic-Con. Those people haven't been to a JordanCon. We're a very lively bunch and the convention gets bigger every year. I think it really boils down to what you are looking for. Dragon*Con has far more choices for entertainment, but JordanCon is more intimate. Q: Is there anything else you would like to tell the visitors of Dragonmount? A: Click on the ads and buy things in our store. The money goes to pay for necessary software and equipment upgrades. We have more traffic than any other WoT fansite (only Theoryland comes close to us in traffic, I think) and that's as much as a small commercial site. And we do it without anything even close to the resources that a commercial site might have. So supporting us like that means we can afford upgrades like the big one we did just before Towers of Midnight came out last year.
<p><em><strong>Mat</strong></em>, our favorite “I am not a bloody Hero,” is our topic for the 103rd Episode of The 4th Age Podcast. Your hosts for this episode are Andrew, Virginia, Spencer, Carrie, and Daniel.</p><p>(This episode, like most of our talks, is chock full of spoilers if you haven’t read Towers of Midnight yet!) <span style="color: #800000;">Warning: SPOILER ALERT!</span></p><p>Be sure to check out <a href="http://www.dragonmount.com">Dragonmount.com</a> for forums, comments, and all the latest news in the Wheel of Time world.</p><p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>ATTENTION! THERE ARE TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT SPOILERS in this podcast!</strong> </span><em>Also, spoilers on ALL the other books are VERY likely!</em> If you haven’t read all the way through the Wheel of Time, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS of all previous books! There also may be spoilers of other book series, tv series, and movies as well, too, or anything ELSE we can think of in the known and unknown universe…. We will try to give warning. We can give no guarantees, however.</p><p>Hosts: Andrew, Virginia, Spencer</p><h6>Editor for this episode: Richard F. Editor-in-Chief: Spencer</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-102.mp3">Download this Episode now</a> </strong></h6><h5>A HUGE thanks to all our editors, past and present, from all of us here! We couldn’t make this happen without your help and technical expertise. We are usually in need of editing help – please, contact Spencer at <a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank">firstname.lastname@example.org</a> if you are interested in volunteering.</h5><h5>Music by: Josh Needleman. His website is at <a href="http://www.joshneedleman.net/">www.joshneedleman.net</a> and he has the music available to hear on his MySpace page at <a href="http://www.myspace.com/joshneedleman">www.myspace.com/joshneedleman</a>. Its title is <em>Floodgate</em>. Thanks, Josh! Edited August 21: We are aware that the wrong link was posted. Please go here to download episode #103.
Welcome back, everyone! You may have noticed that we now have front page content scheduled for your pleasure on Monday-Friday of each week. When you've finished checking out the fascinating new blogs on the front page, take a look at our message boards. If you enjoyed the topic of yesterday's theory blog and want something to tide you over until next week's installment, head over to the General Wheel of Time Discussion board. Share your own speculations about what could be in the Blight here. The people in our Movies Discussion forum are discussing the best movies of 2011. Do you agree with their picks? Do you enjoy puzzles and riddles? The Ogier Social Group has an ongoing thread where you can test your cerebral fortitude. The Shayol Ghul Social Group wants you to hurry and vote for your favorite members in the Ghoulie Awards. You only have a couple of days left to get in your votes, so do it now! Whether you call it shapeshifting, transmogrification, or metamorphosis, you probably have fantasized at some point in your life about changing your form. The Wolfkin Social Group recently posed an interesting question: If you could change forms, would you rather change into a wolf or into a better-looking version of your human self? Let us know what you think. Our role players are getting closer to finishing their "Eyes and Ears Saga." If you have been following this story and are biting your nails off waiting for the killer to be found, you won't have to wait much longer. It looks like the Children of the Light Role Playing Group is up to something. Let's keep an eye on them and make sure they don't cause too much trouble on their excursion. Our Twitter and Facebook accounts have been buzzing about NPR's picks for the top 100 science fiction and fantasy books. The Wheel of Time made it to #12 on the list. I think we should have scored higher, but I may be a bit biased. What do you think about the results? Stay tuned for more exciting news next week!
Hello there, fellow denizens of Dragonmount! Welcome to another weekly installment of "It Works in Theory...", Dragonmount's brand new theory blog headed by yours truly! Before I begin, let me say that I was thrilled to read all the comments and responses to last week's premiere entry, and I hope to continue to find little tidbits and ideas for you to bounce around in your head a little bit. Also, let me put in this disclaimer for legal purposes: WARNING!!! Spoiler Alert!!! WARNING!!! This blog is based on theories that will include facts and material from the latest books in the series, so if you have not read through Towers of Midnight, continue reading at your own risk! "It Works in Theory..." is a free-flowing narrative that occasionally touches on immature subjects, and if you don't like that, then your mama wears combat boots. There's one more thing I want to address before I move to the focus of this week's issue. Obviously, any theory I put out here is just one opinion or take on a subject. There's a good chance I'll be way off base with various predictions, but I occasionally will get lucky and hit the nail right on the head, and there's a chance I might spoil some big reveal for you. I know you're probably aware of this already, but I only stress this because I get the feeling I might have tripped onto the bombshell theory I was looking for last week. So, what is the subject of today's article? It has to do with the "hand of onyx" that Min sees in a vision involving Callandor around Rand in Towers of Midnight. I was extremely excited to cover this topic because in earlier theories and discussions regarding the hand of onyx, Tel'aran'rhiod is usually brought up as a way of helping Rand replace the hand that Semirhage blew away. For a long time I believed something like this might happen, and I found it to be an amazing allusion to another favorite fantasy series of mine: The Chronicles of Amber, written by Roger Zelazny. In The Chronicles of Amber, there exists a world/plane of existence known as Tir-na Nog'th, and there are huge similarities between it and Tel'aran'rhiod, the world of dreams in The Wheel of Time. Of course the names even look similar, but the overall feel of the two worlds, their relation to dreams/visions, and their use by the authors to reveal certain hints and foreshadowing all draw big parallels as well. There is also a main character in The Chronicles of Amber called Benedict, who is an amazing swordsman who loses a hand but later gains an artificial hand from Tir-na Nog'th that he uses to replace his lost appendage. Unfortunately, even though it's still possible that Robert Jordan was alluding to Zelazny's epic fantasy series, I have come to a different conclusion regarding the hand of onyx. Before I go further, let's examine the full quote regarding the dark hand, found in Towers of Midnight, the last book to come out in the series: There's also another viewing Min has, earlier in the same book, that seems very closely related to this matter: In my quest to wrap my head around this issue and figure out what I thought it might be referring to, I started to look at different theories and discussion relating to Callandor. I still couldn't quite get a grasp on what I was looking for, so I started to venture to other subjects and focused on one in particular: The BLANK in the Blight. At first I thought this was unrelated to what I had been researching, but suddenly I had a "Veins of Gold" type of revelation: There's a Callandor in the Blight. At least, there's a twin to Callandor in the Blight, a male sa'angreal most likely equal in power, which perhaps might even draw in the True Power instead of the One Power. This series has often examined the nature of duality (Light vs. Shadow, Saidin vs. Saidar, etc.) and the stage is set for the ultimate confrontation between the champion for the forces of Light (Rand) to face the champion of Shadow (Moridin). Both champions will have their sa'angreal swords, and both will have their two female companions to help them wield the swords (Rand has Nynaeve and Alivia; Moridin has Cyndane and Moghedien). The only things we know about the _____ in the Blight are that it's something that would be very hard to unearth, that even Harriet didn't know about it, that it would be an instant shocker that must have huge implications, and that it would be hinted about in Towers of Midnight. I'd say the two Towers of Midnight quotes I provided would qualify for that, but there's even more hints: The flaw Min speaks of, the blade binding by twain, has to do with the fact that there is at least an equally powerful sa'angreal which is the perfect antithesis to Callandor, and that wielding Callandor in the presence of that other sa'angreal will lead to the Dragon's fall. Needing two women in a circle is a red herring here; we have often seen that we will miss something big because we overlook a part of prophecy or foreshadowing in the novels, thinking it already has been fulfilled or explained. There is another reference to this sa'angreal in the fourth book of the series, The Shadow Rising: One of the sa'angreal that Lanfear mentions is the male Choedan Kal, which is now kaput. As for the other, the one that supposedly is stronger than Callandor: And here's another one four years later: So, how does all of this apply to the black hand holding Callandor? Well, we all know that there is a link between Rand and Moridin (for more information see Rand/Moridin Link). If you take this one step further, and introduce the body-swap theory (here's the link for that one Body Swap theory) which essentially states that Rand and Moridin will switch bodies due to their link and the amount of Power they will be channeling in the vicinity of Shayol Ghul, you begin to see how a black hand might hold Callandor. When Rand and Moridin swap bodies, Moridin will find himself in Rand's body, and he will be held in a circle by Nyneave and Alivia, but he will be wielding Callandor. The black hand in Min's vision means the same thing meant by a "blade of black, held by a faceless darkness", that it will be someone from the Shadow. There are other possibilities with this theory, as well as big implications in how this will effect the outcome of the series. Seeing as I've already covered a large chunk of material and rambled on for too long already, I will have to continue the rest of this theory next week, when I cover what is meant by "the day that dawns twice". Thanks for stopping by again, and please feel free to comment, whether you agree or disagree. Until next week!
Hello, and welcome to the new rotating feature blog on Dragonmount. Allow me to give you an overview of how this blog will work. Every week on a Thursday, I will post a new column. As it is a rotating feature, there will always be something new, every week of the month. I will include such content as book reviews, interviews with the big guys around Dragonmount, or other interesting snippets about the Wheel of Time fandom in general. Seeing as this is my first blog, I will answer one of those questions that I'm fairly sure everyone has asked themselves before: "Where can I get myself one of those?" The term "those" often refers to Great Serpent rings, but it doesn't stop there. There is so much Wheel of Time jewelry out there, be it Dedicated Sword Pins, Ajah pendants, Lan's Signet Ring, or even your very own Dream ter'angreal as a necklace. It's an easy way for you to bring a piece of your favorite fantasy series right into your home, or even as the perfect gift idea for a fellow fantasy fan. So, by this stage, I'm assuming that you want me to get to the point and tell you where to find whatever Wheel of Time jewelry your heart desires. A site with a great variety of items and prices that are not too unreasonable, especially since whatever it is that you're getting is most often in sterling silver or quality gold, is Badali Jewelry Specialties, Inc. You can find their Wheel of Time product list here. For those people like myself who live in outlying countries, you should check the international shipping charges and availability. They are not limited to Wheel of Time jewelry and have most things that a fantasy geek can ask for! Another easy option, especially for people on Dragonmount, is the Dragonmount store itself, although we sell jewelry that is also crafted by the Badali Jewelry Specialists. For those of you who often buy items on the Internet, you'll know all about Amazon. Amazon, being the large online retailer that it is, will naturally have a selection. You can have a look at their products here. Now, all that is left to do is to save up that little bit of money, decide on your gift, and spoil yourself! Until next time, folks, when I bring another piece of fandom closer to you!
<p><em><strong>Listener Emails</strong></em> form the basis for discussion for the 102nd Episode of The 4th Age Podcast. Your hosts for this episode are Andrew, Virginia, and Spencer.</p><p>(This episode, like most of our talks, is chock full of spoilers if you haven’t read Towers of Midnight yet!) <span style="color: #800000;">Warning: SPOILER ALERT!</span></p><p>Be sure to check out <a href="http://www.dragonmount.com">Dragonmount.com</a> for forums, comments, and all the latest news in the Wheel of Time world.</p><p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>ATTENTION! THERE ARE TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT SPOILERS in this podcast!</strong> </span><em>Also, spoilers on ALL the other books are VERY likely!</em> If you haven’t read all the way through the Wheel of Time, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS of all previous books! There may be spoilers of other book series, tv series, and movies as well, too, or anything ELSE we can think of in the known and unknown universe…. We will try to give warning. We can give no guarantees, however.</p><p>Hosts: Andrew, Virginia, Spencer</p><h6>Editor for this episode: Richard F. Editor-in-Chief: Spencer</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-102.mp3">Download'>http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-102.mp3">Download this Episode now</a> </strong></h6><h5>A HUGE thanks to all our editors, past and present, from all of us here! We couldn’t make this happen without your help and technical expertise. We are usually in need of editing help – please, contact Spencer at <a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank">firstname.lastname@example.org</a> if you are interested in volunteering.</h5><h5>Music by: Josh Needleman. His website is at <a href="http://www.joshneedleman.net/">www.joshneedleman.net</a> and he has the music available to hear on his MySpace page at <a href="http://www.myspace.com/joshneedleman">www.myspace.com/joshneedleman</a>. Its title is <em>Floodgate</em>. Thanks, Josh!</h5><div><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-102.mp3">Download this Episode now</a></strong></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/4thAge/~4/1-GWl0HK8GY" height="1" width="1"/>
I hope you all enjoyed the return of our podcasts and our brand new Wheel of Time theory blog. We have even more surprises up our sleeves, so keep your eyes here on the front page! In the meantime, let's take a look at what has been happening on the forums this week. If you could have your way, whose point of view would you feature in the prologue of A Memory of Light? Visit our A Memory of Light Non-Spoiler Discussion forum to discuss this and speculate about whether Brandon Sanderson would use one of your ideas. Which fighter from the fantasy genre has the greatest swordsmanship skills of all? Visit the General Discussion forum and share your picks. What do you think might happen to male channelers after the Taint has been cleansed? The Black Tower Social Group has taken a vested interest in this topic. Come share your ideas with them here. Calling all book fans! Since that likely encompasses everyone reading this blog, I hope to see many of you participating in the Kin Social Group's book swap. The Wolfkin Social Group has been posting some amusing pictures of wolves lately. Come check them out here. Remember the Sleepless in the Dreamworld role play I featured a few weeks ago? It looks like there have been some exciting new developments there since I last spoke about it. The White Tower Role Play Division is writing a new role play about the Black Ajah Head. Witness some evil politicking in this thread. Our very own Jennifer Liang chatted with The Unique Geek about The Wheel of Time in a recent podcast. Jennifer has done some amazing things for this fandom, and we are happy to have her with us. For more awesome news like this, you can follow us on Twitter or on Facebook.
Greetings, perusers of Dragonmount! I am happy to welcome you to "It Works in Theory..." (tentative title), Dragonmount's new theory blog headed by yours truly. This is my first blog on this site, so I suppose a short introduction wouldn't be a bad idea. I'm 25, an avid reader, an emerging writer, and a bassist in a band that shares my Dragonmount name. I'm getting married this fall, and generally enjoying life as it unfolds. Here's a fun fact about me: my band recently recorded its first EP, and one of the tracks we recorded was an instrumental I wrote called "Tarmon Gai'don." I hope to share a link with y'all soon. Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's move on to the point of this blog. I was hoping the first idea I opined would be groundbreaking and shatter all preconceived notions anyone had about what was really going on in the Wheel of Time. Unfortunately, I soon found out that tens of thousands of fans who have been into this series far longer than me have put down just about any idea that I could hope to produce. That being said, I am still determined to put something out there that seems somewhat fresh. The subject we will cover today has to do with the fate of the Aiel as a people, and of Aviendha specifically. Much deliberation has gone on in the forums about what might happen to the Aiel after Aviendha's visions in Rhuidean. The Aiel have been venerated by Wheel of Time fans since they were originally introduced, and the notion that what Aviendha saw may actually come to pass seems to have greatly affected many of us. Obviously, if we want to find a way that the Aiel's fate may be avoided, the first place to look would be the Aiel Prophecies. There happen to be a couple of them on which I would like to focus: I'll go ahead and cut to the chase at this time: I believe the Aiel nation and Aviendha in particular will assume the roles of martyrs in the last book of the series, and that they will essentially be destroyed, except for that last remnant. Their sacrifice will be essential to the Light winning, and the manner in which they do it will be truly heroic. One thing to remember is that what saddened Aviendha most during her visions wasn't that her people would die, but that they would lose every last shred of honor. She will do everything in her power to prevent either from happening, but if given the choice, she would greatly prefer that the Aiel maintain their honor. Aviendha has always seemed to be a perfect martyr in the series; her internal conflict and lack of arrogance has defined her. One of her first lines in the series is loaded with foreshadowing: Of course, the rest of the Aiel have the same sense about them--the same fearless stance toward both death and fighting the Shadow--but Aviendha's character has many moments throughout the series when she considers the notion of sacrificing herself to help another to be expected. Then there's the fact that her relationship to Rand differs from Min's and Elayne's in important ways. Elayne already has his seed in her, so she has a lifelong connection no matter what. The intimacy shared by Min and Rand is considerably greater than what is shared by the other two. Aviendha and Rand's relationship seems much more complex. Part of this has to do with Rand's difficulty with seeing the Aiel as his people, but there has been somewhat of a distance between the two in all phases of their relationship. This distance can be observed as recently as Aviendha's conversation with Nakomi, when she is reluctant to reveal how well she knows Rand (even though she already trusts Nakomi at this point). Most significant, though, is her belief that the blame for her people losing all honor lies in her bloodline. It is apparent that she wouldn't have any problem assuming the martyr role to save her people; in fact, it might be necessary. So, how will this occur? Rand will need help at Shayol Ghul when he breaks the seals. He already has hinted that he doesn't think he will be able to contain the Dark One, and after the Dark One has been imprisoned for another three thousand years following his short vacation of being released on the world, I highly doubt that he will be handled like a kitten that has escaped its litter. The Aiel will be the ones who will provide that aid, led by Aviendha. The unique way in which Aviendha will assist with containing the Dark One has to do with somewhat of a controversial subject: the Talent of Singing. I know the idea of a particular "Song" has been put to rest, but I still believe that Singing will be the one thing which is able to keep the Dark One from completely escaping his prison once the seals are broken. We see hints of the powers of song and music throughout the series: in Loial and other Ogier's ability to Tree Sing, when Rand initially staves off the Forsaken from entering his mind by playing his flute, and when we hear about the lost ability of Aiel Singing used to promote crop growth. The Dark Ones represents chaos or disorder. The Light, on the other hand, represents order and harmony. In fact, there is a humorous theory that examines this idea more in depth on Theoryland: Wheel of Time: The Musical. I'm not sure how the Talent will be rediscovered, but I would speculate that it might end up having to do with Tel'aran'rhiod, unless Aviendha gets another visit from Nakomi. Few Aiel probably have the Voice for Singing either; in fact, Aviendha might not even have it. Much like the Da'shain Aiel defense of Tzora, when 10,000 Aiel hooked arms and sang until the last one died, Aviendha will make sure the Aiel gather in mass to save Rand not through violence, but by finally restoring the Way of the Leaf in her people. The combination of even more Aiel than at Tzora and hundreds of Wise One channelers, including Aviendha, will create a force of harmony that will keep the Dark One from unleashing his fury on Randland, at least for a time. Assuming Rand's ruse works and the forces of the Shadow are all distracted while he does his business in Shayol Ghul, Moridin will show up to give Rand the fight of his and everyone else's life while Aviendha and her Aiel chorus will buy Rand more time. Unfortunately, the other Forsaken will show up with other creatures of the Shadow, and the Aiel will start to get massacred. The Forsaken are, after all, true Aes Sedai, and the Aiel failing to fall into place in their schemes will earn their own destruction. As Aviendha is slain, Rand will feel the loss through his bond to her. He will then proceed to blow open the floodgates, defeat Moridin and whichever Forsaken are left, and wrap it all up by resealing the Bore along with both male and female channelers. Another way for that part of Prophecy to be fulfilled is if a Seanchan attack on the White Tower forces Egwene to ask for help from the Aiel. The Aiel won't be able to accommodate that request because they will have readopted the Way of the Leaf. This would lead to Egwene refusing to send Aes Sedai to help Aviendha and the Aiel contain the Dark One. In this scenario, a likely assumption would be that Egwene changes her mind in the end so she is able to lend female channelers to help seal the Bore. I believe the remnant of a remnant that Rand saves will be the Tuatha'an, for they are a remnant of the current Aiel society, which is itself a remnant of ancient Aiel society: Some may say that the Tuatha'an are not similar enough to the Aiel anymore, that their genetic pool has been "diluted" by non-Aiel blood. I say all you need for a remnant is for something to be descended from something else, and the Tuatha'an most certainly trace their origin and bloodline back to the Aiel. It is possible, though, that the remnant Rand saves will be some of the Aiel who are left at Shayol Ghul, and I really like the idea someone else proposed that their place ends up in Rhuidean helping that city to flourish. Another issue I wanted to address was Aviendha's death, which many might say can't happen yet because of Min's vision of Aviendha's babies. I am of the opinion that Min's visions are no longer foolproof because the Dark One's influence has grown and cast a shadow over the Pattern, which makes it difficult to read. That being said, it is possible that Rand comes in at the zero hour to save Aviendha when he feels her mortally injured through the bond. Either way, she and many of the Aiel would approach their death with no fear and gladly assume a martyr role in an attempt to alter their future. Their actions would make it possible for any surviving Aiel not to be persecuted in the Wetlands because it would become widely known that Aiel were partially responsible for defeating the Dark One. Their actions would also completely resolve any toh leftover from when they broke the Covenant, and would give them a much more fitting end than the one seen by Aviendha in the columns. Thus ends my premiere blog. I hope it ends up being much more fun for you to read it than it was for me to write it.
It's been one of those weeks, you know? So if it's cool with everyone, instead of doing a theme, I'll just be posting random things I like. Here we go! Check this out. It's Dragonmount and the city of Tar Valon in what looks like salt dough. I'd like to see more detail, but considering how little Wheel of Time 3D art there is, I'm not going to be picky. This is by Ruggiero93. I really like this poster by p-lukeThe layout is really nice and he picked nice art to go with it. I could see something like this hanging up in my house. This is "United Against the Shadow" by Zephyrus in Dragonmount's gallery. These are fantastic portraits of the main characters. I love seeing this one every time it pops up in my art searches. And that's it. I'm going back to bed. See you next week!
<p><em><strong>Listener Voicemails</strong></em> is the topic for the 101st Episode of The 4th Age Podcast. Your hosts for this episode are Virginia, Spencer, and Carrie.</p><p>(This episode, like most of our talks, is chock full of spoilers if you haven’t read Towers of Midnight yet!) <span style="color: #800000;">Warning: SPOILER ALERT!</span></p><p>Be sure to check out <a href="http://www.dragonmount.com">Dragonmount.com</a> for forums, comments and all the latest news in the Wheel of Time world.</p><p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>ATTENTION! THERE ARE TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT SPOILERS in this podcast!</strong> </span><em>Also, spoilers on ALL the other books are VERY likely!</em> If you haven’t read all the way through the Wheel of Time, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS of all previous books! Maybe of other book series, tv series, and movies as well, too, or anything ELSE we can think of in the known and unknown universe…. We will try to give warning. No guarantees, however.</p><p>Hosts: Virginia, Spencer, Carrie</p><h6>Editor for this episode: Ken S. Editor-in-Chief: Spencer</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-101.mp3">Download'>http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-101.mp3">Download this Episode now</a> </strong></h6><h5>A HUGE thanks to all our editors, past and present, from all of us here! We couldn’t make this happen without your help and technical expertise. We are usually in need of editing help – please, contact Spencer at <a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank">firstname.lastname@example.org</a> if you are interested in volunteering.</h5><h5>Music by: Josh Needleman. His website is at <a href="http://www.joshneedleman.net/">www.joshneedleman.net</a> and he has the music available to hear on his MySpace page at <a href="http://www.myspace.com/joshneedleman">www.myspace.com/joshneedleman</a>. Its title is <em>Floodgate</em>. Thanks, Josh!</h5><div><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-4thAge-101.mp3">Download this Episode now</a></strong></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/4thAge/~4/rWhxcre8hNk" height="1" width="1"/>
Can you believe it is already August? If the summer heat is too much for you, stay indoors and take a leisurely stroll through our message boards. Let's talk about Taim! The General Wheel of Time Discussion forum invites you to share your craziest theories about this enigmatic character. The people in our Sports Discussion forum are trying to form a Fantasy Football league. If you think you might be interested, check this thread. The theme of the August Challenge in the Artists, Crafters, and Writers Guild is Dream. Come share your thoughts and art about this topic. This month, the Aiel Social Group is discussing what might happen to the Aiel in A Memory of Light. You can make your own predictions in this thread. The Shayol Ghul Social Group is accepting nominations for their annual Ghoulie Awards. You have until August 5th to nominate your favorite members of this Social Group. It looks like Quibby has made several updates to his solo role play, Through the Fire and the Flame, since I last reported about it. Come check it out! What makes a Green? Why would an Aes Sedai choose the Green Ajah? The White Tower Role Playing Group takes a personal look at these questions in Kathleen's Midnight Vigil. Brandon Sanderson just moved his progress bar for A Memory of Light up to 36%! For more information like this, follow us on Twitter or on Facebook. Have a good week, everyone!