After a particularly boring episode of Come Dine with Me, I started giving the whole idea of dinner parties some thought and came to a conclusion that I thought might interest all of you out there. I decided any Wheel of Time fan would be a spectacular host. Just look at it this way: How often do you encounter an Oriental or Exotic theme? I personally have never heard of anyone having a Wheel of Time or Lord of the Rings inspired meal. It would be quite the experience to geek out in all parts of your life. To enable such an experience, I spent some time trying to find places on the Internet that seemed to have respectable Wheel of Time inspired recipes. For some general recipes written by the members of the site, I suggest you check out TarValon.net's Library. If you would prefer to cook something up on the dark side of life, have a look at tWoTcast's old-fashioned Trolloc recipe and their recipe for Muradin's eyes. And for those of you needing a laugh today, here's a recipe to brew up your very own Forsaken. Sadly, there weren't many places I could find recipes, but a great idea would be to simply let yourself be inspired by the Wheel of Time as others have been. Find something in the books that you think sounds superb and just create your very own version of it. I, for one, am definitely going to try my hand at making some honey rolls. If you manage to make your special Wheel of Time treat, let us know about your story of success.
Pardon my language in the title, but once you've set your eyes on this shirt, you'll be prone to fits of cursing too! Let's see what the owners of Ta'veren Tees have to say about their new shirt: Well, what are you flaming goose-brains waiting for? Go buy a shirt!
Dia dhóibh, my deft disciples of Dragonmount! Welcome to another week of "It Works in Theory," Dragonmount's fun little theory blog in which I get to mess around. In case you hadn't noticed, we've changed things up a bit and you'll now be able to find me on Tuesday instead of Monday. I hope the alteration doesn't throw any of you off too much; personally, I'm kind of excited to get to change things up a bit. Hopefully, I'll be able to use this new-found energy to stand and deliver another entertaining entry for you today. And now, for this week's disclaimer: 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! All information contained in this blog is correct at time of publishing. Immediately following that moment, however, all bets are off. In fact, by the time you actually read anything here, it is most assuredly incorrect and completely false. There might be a brief window where the information can suddenly become correct again after being processed inside your cranium; unfortunately, this window usually passes without you realizing or even getting the chance to acknowledge it. Alright, so the topic I thought we should cover this week is actually coming in from a personal request, and it's a topic I was happy to cover anyway, so we should be able to have some fun with it. We are going to be discussing the nature of the flaw that Cadsuane revealed to us in The Path of Daggers, when she told Rand that to wield Callandor safely, he would need to link with two women and relinquish control of the flows. So, the big question is, which two women? The thing is, so much can happen between now and then in the last book, that this is actually a tough issue to narrow down to two candidates alone. You know what that means: we get to do another list this week! I know, I know, that seems to be my thing lately, but honestly, even though I think I have a fairly good idea about who it may end up being, I don't want to miss the opportunity to write about some of the other candidates. To make things a little easier this time, I'll try to group the candidates together according to their likelihood that they'll end up being in the circle with Callandor. Some of the main attributes I'm looking at with these candidates are strength with the One Power, impact on the storyline so far, relevance to prophecy/foreshadowing, level of trust earned with Rand, and possible dexterity in being able to manipulate saidin through Callandor. On the point of strength in the One Power, there is an extremely comprehensive and well-deduced ranking of female channelers within the series on The Thirteenth Depository, and you will probably see me reference this list when comparing strength in saidar. You can find a link to that article here: Saidar Strength Ranking. Group A: The Really Dark Horse Candidates Sharina Melloy Just to refresh your memory, Sharina is the imposing old member of the Kin who joins the Salidar Aes Sedai in The Path of Daggers and quickly becomes an important member of the group when it comes to organizing novices and generally keeping the camp in order. The main reason I'm bringing her up is that the main front-runner candidates are often brought up because of their strength in the One Power, and yet Sharina is one of the strongest female channelers in the entire series. She at least has more potential than Nynaeve, who herself is already on par with the weaker female Forsaken. However, it doesn't seem likely that she'll take part in this circle, mainly because as powerful as she is, she'll more than likely be both organizing and Healing during the Last Battle, as this is where her true strengths lie. Incidentally, there are only three female channelers that we know of who are stronger than or as strong as Nynaeve besides any of the Forsaken. Sharina is one, and I'll cover another later in this blog, but the third, Talaan din Gelyn, could possibly have a major role to play in the last book. She is a Windfinder for the Sea Folk and is said to come "very close" to Nyneave's strength, but based on the last we saw of her in Crossroads of Twilight, it appears she was kidnapped. It could be possible that she already was a Darkfriend, or she perhaps has been turned to the Shadow since then. Egwene al'Vere Egwene is certainly strong enough in the Power, and she's definitely had a major impact on the series so far. However, I don't find it likely that she'll be in the circle with Callandor. She'll probably be busy with a lot of other things in the last book, considering she IS the Amyrlin Seat after all. I wouldn't completely dismiss her, though, because she showed how capable she can be leading a circle when she defended the White Tower against the Seanchan attack, so she could bring something else to the table with her iron will and dexterity. That was with saidar, not saidin, but still. Cadsuane Melaidhrin This ancient battle-axe of an Aes Sedai wouldn't hesitate to get her hands dirty helping Rand whoop up on some Forsaken butt, and she definitely has a lot of advantages that others on this list lack. She has considerable strength in the One Power, being only one level below Egwene, but has FAR more experience with actual weaves and how to apply them than pretty much any other non-Forsaken channeler in the series. More importantly, she seems to have intimate knowledge of Callandor, since she was the one who uncovered the flaw in the first place. I actually feel somewhat hesitant putting her in this group, but I just don't see her as an obvious choice for the linking. Rand trusts her now, but there's still a weird vibe between the two of them, and she did mess up pretty badly letting the male a'dam slip into enemy hands. She seems to enjoy more of the advisor role now anyway, and I find it more likely that she'll be helping watch Rand's back during the encounter. Group B: The Middle of the Pack Aviendha/Elayne Trakand From the quote above, we see that Rand has decided that Nynaeve will definitely be one of the women in the circle (more on that later), but he also throws out Aviendha and Elayne as possible candidates for the second women in the circle. They both definitely have a ton of things that help make them good choices as potential candidates. They're both very powerful at channeling, basically equal to Egwene's strength. They both have unique talents regarding angreal that could possibly help in the situation. Elayne is able to create ter'angreal, and could probably craft an angreal as well if she tried hard enough. She seems to be particularly adept at studying the inner workings of ter'angreal, which allows her to replicate them; this could come in handy if she was allowed to study Callandor before the event. Aviendha has a Talent for being able to surmise the true purpose of a ter'angreal, so she too might be able to have slightly more understanding of the sa'angreal were she to be chosen. Obviously, Rand trusts them both completely. They could even be connected to the circle because of their relationship to the prophecies, which vaguely could be referring to a linking with Rand that turns out catastrophically. And yet, they don't really seem to be front-runners. First of all, both of them could be busy with their own plotlines. Elayne is Queen to her people and might choose their safety over linking with Rand, and Aviendha could be seeing to the future of the entire nation of the Aiel. Second, Elayne is pregnant, and Aviendha could be pregnant by then as well. The last thing Rand would want during the fateful encounter against the Dark One is for Elayne or Aviendha to not be able to properly channel because of the difficulties that come with being pregnant and trying to hold onto the Source. Not just that, but because of their love for Rand, they might compromise the situation at an important moment, and Rand will probably realize this. Still, either one of them could very well be one of the women who link with Rand; it wouldn't surprise me too much since he already suggested it himself. Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag Some of you might be thinking, "Huh?" Others might be sputtering in outrage, yelling, "You stole that from Terez!" Don't worry, calm down everyone, and I will explain. Terez did give me permission (as if that was necessary haHA!); in fact, I have proof: Terez acknowledges one of my posts. That's from a thread on our forums where other Dragonmount members are also discussing who the women who help to wield Callandor could be. Please feel free to join in on that discussion as well. Okay, now there's probably still a group of you who are confused, being that Tuon herself has never directly channeled in the series. It's already been revealed to the readers that any sul'dam also has the potential to learn how to channel, a secret that will eventually send great reverberations throughout the Seanchan Empire once it becomes more well-known. Tuon is described as a particularly skilled sul'dam who has worked her entire life refining her ability to control damane. In fact, she is the only sul'dam we've seen who is able to direct the weaves herself through the damane instead of commanding them to do it themselves. We know this because of the scene in Knife of Dreams in which Tuon controls Joline and Teslyn Sedai through a'dam that are placed on them before they can react, then attempts to send flows towards Mat. All of the channeling that is performed during this scene was done without any verbal commands. So, we know that Tuon has the potential to channel, and possibly might even have a dormant spark in her. She more than likely wouldn't have a lot of strength once she did begin channeling, but strength might not be as big an issue as many think. After all, there would be PLENTY of raw strength in the One Power coming from Rand and Callandor itself. Tuon also has an interesting connection to the prophecies as well; it could be said that having her link with him could be a form of Rand "binding the Nine Moons to serve him" since Tuon is the Daughter of the Nine Moons. She also believes herself to have an extremely important role to play in the Last Battle, according to her interpretation of the Seanchan prophecies. She also might have a particular skill in leading a circle because of her skill as a sul'dam. All that being said, I decided to put her in this group instead of the front-runners because it does seem to me that Tuon has some big marks against her. She still has to be forced to confront the fact that she can channel, and then would probably have to train somewhat to be able to get comfortable with channeling directly. Then there's the fact that after her impending second attack on the White Tower, it will be hard to believe that Rand will find it easy to trust her as much as he would need to in order to link with her. Also, she might be busy leading Seanchan troops into battle. She would be a nice surprise as one of the Callandor wielders, though. Group C: The Front-Runners Nynaeve al'Meara We know from that quote I referenced that Rand has already asked Nynaeve to be one of the women in the circle with him; in fact, he's certain that he wants her to be one of them. We know he trusts her completely as well, and has already used her help before in similar circumstances during the cleansing of saidin. So, if her position is essentially guaranteed, why are we even questioning whether or not she'll be in the link? Well, as I said already, a lot can happen before that epic confrontation for which Rand will need Callandor. First of all, she could die, and should Lan end up dying himself, Nynaeve very well may want to die. She might just end up being preoccupied; perhaps she goes off to save Lan when Rand needs her, so he has to blow his whistle and sub in one of his replacements off the bench. Either way, there is enough reasonable doubt to speculate about others who might end up filling her place. Alivia Alivia is immensely powerful in the One Power; in fact, she is only second to Cyndane/Lanfear and might even be Cyndane's equal. Rand trusts her and she's been part of his inner circle for quite some time. The main reason that so many have her in mind as being one of the Callandor wielders is the vision Min had about her that told her Alivia would "help Rand die." If Alivia were to be in the link with Rand, there's a good many potential situations in which she could end up helping Rand die, be it to end his link with Moridin, or to stop Dark Rand 2.0 from terrorizing the countryside (it's not an official Despothera blog without a reference to Dark Rand 2.0). I also particularly like her in this role because of her ability to detach her emotions from the situation. She was a damane for 400 years and yet was still able to keep her individuality and free will intact, which is an incredible feat considering how sul'dam usually handle their charges. This ability to remain detached from the situation and still do what needs to be done could be what ends up saving the day at the right moment. Lanfear(aka Cyndane, Mierin) This is another addition to the list that might have some of you scratching your heads. After all, if you buy the epilogue scene at the end of Towers of Midnight completely at face value, I've got a section of bridge I'd like to sell you. In that scene, Mierin had somehow broken through to Rand's dreams and was pleading for his help, and seemed to be in immediate danger. Rand Therin Telamon feels somewhat compelled to rescue her, but you can't help but be skeptical. Ever since Lanfear was resurrected as Cyndane, she has voiced nothing but complete hatred for Rand and his cadre of women. They always say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and whoever first said that probably never read Lanfear's point of views in the Wheel of Time (the famous line is paraphrased from William Congreve's The Mourning Bride). I covered the likelihood of Lanfear redeeming her soul and returning to the Light in a past blog, "No man can stand in the Shadow so long he cannot find the Light again". While it's definitely a possibility, I highly doubt that Rand will trust her enough for this task, or that Lanfear would be okay with linking with Rand and another woman. However, she does have some very strong things working in her favor. First of all, she is more than likely still the strongest female channeler in the world, and also has far more experience than pretty much anyone else when it comes to difficult weaves. More importantly, she is the ONLY one on this list who more than likely has actual experience guiding flows of saidin because during the Age of Legends, men and women were linked quite regularly. The biggest piece of evidence in my eyes, though, is the fact that right after hearing about Callandor's flaw from Cadsuane, the first woman he thinks of is Lanfear: That last part of the quote is referring to the comment Lanfear made to Rand about using the Choedan Kal's immense power to challenge the Creator himself (or herself) in The Shadow Rising. Moiraine Damodred In case Lanfear does end up being one of the women who link with Rand, it would truly be kismet if the other woman ended up being Moiraine. Both women have had a strong hand in influencing Rand throughout the series, one trying to guide Rand towards the Light, the other towards the Shadow. Plus, after their last confrontation which resulted in both of them being imprisoned in the Tower of Ghenji for a time, there could be some chances for truly epic moments of terse hostility between the two. Perhaps Moiraine could be some kind of balancing force against Lanfear, and she definitely has Rand's trust, so it could possibly work. It would work on a grand artistic level for sure, and likely satisfy many fans. There is also an absolutely brilliant caveat to the possibility of Moiraine linking with Callandor as well, and I shall preclude it with a memorable quote from the first book: Should the body swap occur, and Dark Rand 2.0 spawn anew to become the Dark One's champion, I would put ALL of my money on a new linking of Callandor constituted of Moiraine, Alivia, and Narishma going out to take him down. Alivia would be an obvious pick to help Rand die, and Narishma would be the young dark man with a glowing object in his hand that Egwene sees in a dream in A Crown of Swords. Before writing this blog, I was fairly certain that the two women who linked with Rand would be Nyneave and Alivia. Now, I'm not so sure. I really get this strong feeling we're going to see some sort of body swap, and it just makes way too much sense for Moiraine to be the one who leads the circle that takes Rand down. So, perhaps she's part of the original circle as well, and is the first one to pick up the pieces after the disastrous encounter comes to fruition. Either way, now I really can't wait for the last book!
Some of you may be wondering why you are seeing a roundup on a Monday instead of a theory blog. Not to worry, for the two features have simply swapped days. You will now see the roundups on Mondays and the theory blogs on Tuesdays. Here's a topic from our General Wheel of Time Discussion forum that seems to have exploded in popularity over the last couple of days. Which Wheel of Time characters are still virgins, and what implications would that have for them? Have you been playing along in Brandon Sanderson's Great Hunt this year? If so, stop by our A Memory of Light Non Spoiler Discussion forum and put your heads together to figure out the clues. The Aiel Social Group is discussing ancient Egyptians this month. If you are fascinated by ancient Egyptian tombs, mythology, hieroglyphics, and more, be sure to stop by and participate. Join the Wolfkin Social Group for their November Game: Cookpot! It's basically like playing Twenty Questions, and it's Wheel of Time themed. Give it a try! What are an Aes Sedai and a mysterious man doing in the Blight? Find out in the role play Time to Put the Pieces Together. Our very own Jason Denzel and Jennifer Liang joined other prominent Wheel of Time fans for Tor.com's first Wheel of Time Roundtable. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts for news like this. We also just got a Google+ account.
November is already proving to be an exciting month. NaNoWriMo has begun, and Brandon Sanderson just released The Alloy of Law. Let's see how the denizens of our forums are celebrating the start of the month. Speaking of Brandon Sanderson, do you enjoy over-analyzing everything he has to say in order to find hidden clues to Wheel of Time storylines? If you do, stop by our A Memory of Light Non Spoiler Discussion forum and join in the obsessing. If you are a Dungeons & Dragons fan, you may want to join in our thread about the online version of the game in our Games & Tech Discussion forum. You've probably noticed by now that our Artists, Crafters, and Writers Guild does a Challenge for every month. The theme for this month's Challenge is Redemption. It sounds like we may be treated to some personal and profound art with this theme. The Black Tower Social Group's Light vs. Shadow Week has begun! This showdown promises games, discussions, quizzes, and even epic battles. Keep an eye on this thread for everything you need to know about the event. The Kin Social Group has embraced Thanksgiving and is already talking about things they are thankful for. What things are you thankful for? Oh, even just the title of this new role play sounds juicy! Let's see what the gossiping Aes Sedai are up to in Dinner Stories--Because Even Aes Sedai Gossip. If you've enjoyed the podcasts we feature here on Dragonmount, you'll also enjoy the tWoTcast. I had the pleasure of listening to them record live at the last Dragon*Con, and those guys have quite an amusing sense of humor! That's it for now! Be sure to check the other announcements that have been posted on our front page recently. It's a great time to be part of the fandom.
Brandon Sanderson has launched a surprise online "hunt" which will reveal new content related to A Memory of Light, the final Wheel of Time novel. As part of his book tour for The Alloy of Law, Brandon is giving away clues that reveal the location of 35 hidden WoT bumper stickers (shown here). These bumper stickers will be hidden throughout the bookstore where Brandon is scheduled to appear. Each has a written code on the back which will unlock exclusive content related to AMOL. We don't know yet if the content is a chapter from the upcoming book, or something else. You can see the exclusive content on Brandon's website. Follow the Great Hunt on Twitter at hashtag #wotgh, or check back to Dragonmount for updates as we learn them. Happy Hunting!
What started as a book to clear his mind has become a greatly anticipated novel. As the continuation of Brandon Sanderson's widely popular Mistborn trilogy, his The Alloy of Law will hopefully prove to be just as good a read. For those of you who have awaited the 8th of November as the release date for The Alloy of Law, this is the moment when you can let out a squeal of joy and excitement, because the day has finally arrived. Before you start reading, you may want to check out this awesome trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbG-EJdxZW4 Those of you who might be skeptical about the book or don't know much about it have come to the right place to get information. The first place you should look for information is Tor.com. Watch this space on Tor in the next week or two for a forthcoming review of the book and for buzz from fans. You can also read sample chapters of the book on Tor. Another reputable review of the book can be found here, and we will be adding more review links throughout the next couple of weeks as they are posted elsewhere. If you have the book and would love to get it signed by the author himself, you can go check out Brandon Sanderson's book signing tour schedule. And if you're a fan looking for fellow enthusiasts, I suggest you have a look at 17th Shard and Stormblessed. They are both jam-packed with great people and fun happenings. Last, but definitely not least, Dragonmount has worked out a deal with Macmillan Audio, and we are going to provide three copies of this audiobook for give-away prizes. What do you need to do to win one of these, you may ask? Well, just post a comment to this article between November 8th and November 22nd, and you will have been entered into the random drawing! Sadly, it's US addresses only. Happy Reading!
What's going on, my gifted guests of Dragonmount? Welcome to another weekly installment of "It Works in Theory," Dragonmount's theory blog, which I am proud to be able to espouse. It almost feels a little strange, getting back to a more regular schedule in terms of my blog. I feel like I should be taking another week off or something! I'm happy to say that I am greatly enjoying married life. Even though it doesn't feel altogether that different, I occasionally still become filled with an odd sort of exhilaration that I was lucky enough to find my better half. Okay, okay, I'll quit gushing and move on to this week's disclaimer: 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" features theories and hypotheses from the The Wheel of Time and is intended for anyone who has enough free time on their hands to read it. Dragonmount does not condone the speculation performed and discourages anyone from either agreeing or disagreeing with the notions featured. Harrumphing and murmuring is allowed, however. Enjoy. (This was partially inspired from the Tosh.0 disclaimer.) Last week, we covered the topic of marriage, specifically the one between Perrin and Faile. It seemed fitting to segway from such a romantic topic to.....babies! Not Perrin and Faile's offspring, however--no hairy, flying, falcon-wolf puppies or anything like that. Instead, we shall be discussing Aviendha's babies and their unusual traits and abilities. We were first introduced to the possibility of Aviendha's quadruplets in Winter's Heart: There was a lot of speculation about this vision from Min. Many theorized that she wouldn't actually be having four babies, but that Min's vision was being thrown off by the Warder bond. We now know this to be false from Aviendha's trip through the glass pillars in Rhuidean in Towers of Midnight. Let's go ahead and examine that vision, but remember the part about something being odd in Min's vision. It seems fairly evident that the oddness in Min's vision has to do with the fact that all four siblings maintain contact with the One Power at all times. After all, her visions become blurry and hard to read when she's viewing someone holding onto saidar or saidin. The other part of the oddness might have something to do with their appearance; not only are they all described as dissimilar, but some of their features seem a little strange for children of Rand and Aviendha. This definitely doesn't seem to be a negligible detail; it is obviously something to which we should attach special notice. Normally, I might reference a couple of other theories before establishing my own wacky ideas, but the good news is there are so many wacky and interesting ideas and proposals concerning this topic that I thought it might be a good idea to simply summarize all that I've read or heard about this, in no particular order: * The Pattern Wills It * Essentially, this theory states that Aviendha's babies are the way they are because baby, they were born this way. This theory states that the Pattern causes the abnormalities because there is a need for strong Aiel leaders and individuals after the Last Battle. I don't like this theory that much for a few reasons. First, it seems way too convenient, too much of a deus ex machina. Second, it doesn't seem to accomplish much because even with the wonder Dragon kids, the Aiel still suffer immensely in Aviendha's vision. Lastly, this doesn't seem to account for the dissimilarity in their appearances. I suppose it could be because having some of the siblings exhibit more wetlander type of features might help them serve as ambassadors for their people, but once again, if this is the case, it doesn't seem to work out well. * Rand and Aviendha are Superparents * I'm going to use this to cover any of the ideas that the unusual abilities simply come from the unique combination of Rand and Aviendha. They're both strong channelers, Rand is ta'veren, Aviendha has a unique Talent, etc. Even though this seems too simplistic, we can't discount it too easily because we really don't know much about what happens when two channelers have children. After all, male channelers have been hunted down and gentled for thousands of years, and Aes Sedai rarely marry anyway. The few glimpses we get of the Age of Legends don't shed any light on this issue. Some have also speculated that Rand might have developed a kind of permanent link with the True Source, and that he is now in constant contact with the One Power, and this link passes down to the kids he has with Aviendha (he impregnated Elayne before "Veins of Gold"). This is derived from the confidence that Rand displays in both Far Madding when he should be cut off from the Source and in the White Tower when multiple Aes Sedai are holding his shield. I don't personally think this is valid; I think the remarks he makes in Far Madding have to do with his ability to also wield the True Power if needed (the obelisk ter'angreal there does not hamper anyone's ability to touch the True Power), and his confidence seems like a facet of his new post-"Veins of Gold" personality. It mainly seems like there's so much ambiguity with Rand's new Light-based powers that it encourages some to reach more than ever in an attempt to draw a conclusion. There are some problems with this whole theory, however. It's never really hinted that there's anything particularly unusual about Elayne's babies. This isn't a deal breaker, however, because we know that Min doesn't see everything. In addition, genetics and how traits are passed down are obviously not an exact science. It could just be that Aviendha's kids got lucky in receiving a rare genetic trait. Once again, though, this theory doesn't address their dissimilarities. * Something Happened to Aviendha During Her Trip Inside the Glass Pillars * It's kind of self-explanatory. There's a possibility that Aviendha still has the twisted ter'angreal ring that Elayne gave her, and perhaps it interacted with the glass pillar ter'angreal inside Rhuidean. This happened once before when Egwene was first given the ring and subsequently went through the Acceptatrontm ter'angreal in The Dragon Reborn. A resonance occurred between the two ter'angreal, and this had some strange effects on her Acceptance test. While this is kind of an interesting idea, it's very vague in its application of how it would affect Aviendha specifically; not only that, but it smells too much of self-fulfilling prophecy. * The Body Swap * I just love when I get to bring the body swap theory back up again. I brought up the body swap idea way back in the second week of my blog, titled "Hand of Onyx". To sum up: Rand and Moridin swap bodies due to both their link and the possible interactions between Callandor and a supposed "Dark Callandor." In this scenario, Rand would continue living on in Moridin's body and then impregnates Aviendha. This is interesting in that it partially explains some of the irregularities in Aviendha's kids' appearances, but it doesn't really explain the peculiarities involving their ability to constantly hold onto the Source. * Rand "Comforts" Aviendha from Tel'aran'rhiod* This one is particularly wacky, but I still want to bring it up because I think it's actually getting closer to what might really be the best explanation. In this scenario, Rand dies during the Last Battle, but Aviendha takes a trip to Tel'aran'rhiod, where she sees Rand as he is a Hero of the Horn. Once she sees him they have one last rendezvous to help console Aviendha, and she leaves the dreamworld, but not without taking a "souvenir" from Rand. It's already suggested that although you may not affect the physical world from Tel'aran'rhiod, it is possible to carry over other things from the world, such as minor injuries. If it's possible to get scratched and take that with you when you wake up, who's to say you can't leave with a bun in the oven as well? As I said, I am somewhat fond of this theory, but mostly because of its capacity for humor. I, for one, would LOVE to see this happen, but only if we get to see a scene in which Tel'aran'rhiod Rand helps Aviendha sculpt a vase while "Unchained Melody" plays in the background (rest in peace, Mr. Swayze). * Rand Gets Pulled from Tel'aran'rhiod, and This Has Unintended Consequences * One of the ideas for how Rand can die and live again is that he dies at some point in the last book, most likely before any ultimate confrontation, and is then pulled out of Tel'aran'rhiod a la Birgitte in The Fires of Heaven. After being pulled out of the dreamworld, however, his body's physiology is no longer the same. In many instances this isn't relevant, but when it comes to procreating...I'll just say that I originally wanted to call this theory "Rand's Super Secret Love Juice Theory." As insane as this seems, it's obvious that being pulled from Tel'aran'rhiod is not natural, and it doesn't take a great leap to say that the body might act slightly differently when it hasn't been born. I mean, have we ever even seen Birgitte's belly button? The nice thing about this theory is it can partially explain both peculiarities involving Aviendha's babies. Being that Rand would have a Tel'aran'rhiod-crafted semi-corporeal body, who knows how it might affect how his gametes would interact with Aviendha's? And you can pretty much throw out any Punnett squares in this example as well, since Tel'aran'rhiod Rand wouldn't have the same genetic line in my view. My favorite thing about this idea is something that someone who's been helping me with my blog lately said: The not so nice thing about this theory is that it is almost completely ridiculous. * The Warder Bond * I'll finish off the list with what I think is the most likely explanation. It springs off the last couple of theories presented here, basically having to do with Rand being pulled out from Tel'aran'rhiod. To save him, his three lovers would have to bond him just like Elayne bonded Birgitte. A complication arises when Aviendha participates in the ceremony, perhaps not realizing that she is already pregnant. We know that having unborn babies nearby during a bonding ceremony is supposed to be a no no from what the Wise Ones tell Elayne and Aviendha during their bonding as first sisters: Terez wrote a good write-up covering the topic of Aviendha's babies, and she describes this notion very well in this link. Assuming Rand and Aviendha's babies would be strong enough to survive the bonding ritual, it's very easy to see how they would end up having such an intimate connection with the One Power. This theory also possibly explains the differences in the siblings' appearances later in life; since Min and Elayne would also be involved in the bonding ritual, their essence would be transmuted across to the embryos inside Aviendha's belly. After all, Janduin seems to have features that could be related to Elayne with the blond hair, and Alarch and Marinna seem to share traits that could come from Min. With that, I'll end this week's blog. Thank you again for coming to enjoy it, and please leave comments to let me know what you think. Special thanks to Ithillian for all of her help with my blog the last few weeks!
So, I started out thinking that I would hate November. It might be attractive to others, but I had decided that Movember (Moustache November--meaning that a great part of the male population has decided that November would be a great month for them to grow a moustache) definitely wasn't going to do it for me. I had forgotten about one great thing that does happen in November, though: NaNoWriMo. NaNo-what-oh? This month has been selected as the National Novel Writing Month. As the name implies, the initiative is about writing your very own novel in a month. For more information and many other fun things like pep talks and the chance to swap plot-lines with other writers, you can check out the NaNoWriMo website. It might sound quite ludicrous to write a whole novel in a month, but fear not, the word count that is to be achieved stands at 50,000. If you divide that by 30 days, then you get an average of 1,666.67 words per day. Of course, if you only decide to start now, you have quite a bit to catch up on. For those of you who are thinking things along the lines of, "I don't have time for this!" or, "Me? Write? Hah! Might as well ask a 6-year-old," I challenge you to give it a try. Don't give up before you've even started. Besides, if you don't achieve the goal this year, you can try again next year since NaNoWriMo is an annual event. So, all of you out there, be you young or old, busy or not, are you prepared for the challenge? Are you willing to set yourself a goal and push to achieve that? Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? I am.
<p>The 4th Age Podcast presents a short news update on the upcoming JordanCon4, with special guest and Dragonmount administrator Jennifer Liang. The dates are April 20-22, 2012 in Atlanta, GA--discount tickets and rooms rates are still available. All the details may be found at <a href="http://jordancon.org/">Jordancon.org</a>.</p><p>Also, please 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>Host: Virginia Special Guest: Jennifer Liang</p><p>Editor: Spencer</p><h6><strong> </strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-WYSK-004.mp3">Download'>http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-WYSK-004.mp3">Download this Episode now</a> </strong></h6><p>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!</p><div><strong><a href="http://www.dragonmount.com/Podcast/Media/dm-WYSK-004.mp3">Download this Episode now</a></strong></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/4thAge/~4/WJeEcFup8PM" height="1" width="1"/>
I’m going to admit, I’m not much of a comic book person. I haven’t opened a single issue comic in longer than I can actually remember. But graphic novels, now there is something I can get behind. I guess the difference to me is that the graphic novel at least gets somewhere in the story, where the single issue feels like a short chapter to me. So, no, I hadn’t read any of the Wheel of Time comics except for New Spring (which I did only in graphic novel form and then reviewed on Tor.com). Thus, when I was at Dragon*Con and heard Tor Books was releasing the first volume of The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, I might have pulled a string or two and gotten a copy sent to me. And now, my friends of Dragonmount, I shall share my thoughts on it with you. Art: There is one major thing I have to say, and that is I am so relieved to have a single artist for the entire volume. New Spring, because of its production issues, had three different artists, and the style difference, in fact the character design differences, were jarring. Additionally, artist Chase Conley did a remarkably good job of capturing the characters. As a fan of the series, I was able to identify the characters without having to be introduced to them. There was only one exception, and that was Tam al’Thor. Yes, it was obvious who Tam was, but I actually had always envisioned him a bit stockier than the Tam the comic gives us. This is probably more due to sloppy reading and a strange initial impression on my part, though, than a failure of the art direction. Because, you know, it isn’t like Maria Simons and Alan Romanczuk from Team Jordan and Bob Kluttz from Encyclopaedia-WoT weren’t checking on the art direction or anything. In addition to the in story art, the graphic novel has a collection of all the cover art that was done for the single issues and a collection of concept art and sketches. My only complaint is that the only concept art of Min was on a page-crease, so I couldn’t really see it. It was very interesting seeing how some of the characters developed, though. Okay, I lied. I have two other gripes. Padan Fain didn’t look quite weasel-like enough for me. It was probably the rictus-like smile he wore the entire time. I kind of always envisioned him as a snarl-type person. And, while the heron-marks are mentioned, they are not drawn in any of the shots of Tam’s sword. All in all, very minor nitpicky things. Story: We are again blessed to have Chuck Dixon as the script writer for this adaptation. Robert Jordan was pleased with his work, I know, and Chuck has been very true to the feel of Jordan’s narrative without having to copy and paste it word for word. The dialogue is crisp, and I can almost hear Mat whispering to Rand about the badger he caught. And, just so you know, this particular volume covers both the “Raven” and “Dragonmount” prologues, and the main narrative up to Rand spotting the Draghkar in the sky as they are leaving Emond’s Field. Of course, a review isn’t fair if I don’t talk about what I didn’t like, and it is pretty heavily on the actual adaptation side of the house. First and foremost, I am not tickled pink about “Raven” being the very first thing I read. Well, scratch that, a very good introduction from Robert Jordan was the first thing I read, in which he gives a basic outline of the world. But that was exclusively text. The first panel of art with words was “Raven,” which is then followed by “Dragonmount.” Why does this bother me? Well, I have a bit of a documented love of the “Dragonmount” prologue. It sets the tone for the whole series and really deserves to be the top billing, in my opinion. It does everything a prologue is supposed to do that many fantasy authors fail at, which is it introduces us to the world, sets up the conflict without even having to introduce us to the hero, and makes me want to read more. “Raven,” on the other hand, just doesn’t do it for me. Yes, we get a bit of the world in Tam’s story, but the framing of it around Egwene carrying the water only served to distance me from the emotional impact, despite the gorgeous two-page spread depicting the War of the Shadow. I feel they should have held “Raven” off somehow, perhaps as a mid The Eye of the World interlude. Yes, I know that in the Young Adult version, From the Two Rivers, it was done the same way as in the comic, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. The other complaint I have is that I was really looking forward to using this as a tool to get new people into the Wheel of Time because, let’s face it, the first half of the first book can be a little onerous if you aren’t already a hardcore epic fantasy fan. And, honestly, this still can be used for that purpose. Getting out of Emond’s Field is a ridiculously long affair word-count wise while it actually wasn’t all that much of the book story wise. So, what is the hang up? Character names. As I said, a fan can recognize who is who, but if someone new was reading this, they’d be kind of confused about who is talking and why people are cowering at this wisp of a girl that is storming by. Yes, that’s right, Nynaeve is not formally called by name on panel, or even directly off panel, until the scene where she says she can’t heal Tam. A few others of the people blend together here and there that, again, as a fan I was able to keep straight, but I have the overall sense that a new reader might be a bit lost. Of course, I don’t think this is entirely the writer’s fault. Nor is it the artist’s, really. It comes down to: there are only so many ways you can make a village of people look unique enough in a comic book format to be kept track of. In the book, it is easy because everyone is always referred to by name in the narrative. Not so much here, eh? And it isn’t like they can all have different and massively unique clothes, at least not in Jordan’s world. And my final complaint? On the first page of the main narrative, when we are getting those words that are so sacred to all Wheel of Time fans, the ones that start “The Wheel of Time turns,” they aren’t there. The first words are “In one age, called the Third Age by some, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist.” That is the opening paragraph. Now, I know that not everything can be included, but seriously, the opening paragraph? The one that is the same in every single book? I’m surprised those were left out. Surprised, and a little disappointed. I might be adding a sticky-note to my version, just saying. Overall: Overall, though, I loved it. I really loved it. This is not just a beautiful visual aid to the story, but a means of being able to enjoy the story in a new way. I eagerly look forward to the next volume. ____________________________________________________ Richard Fife is a writer, blogger, and a little perturbed by the face Moiraine made when the boys knew her name. If you want to know what he means, go read the graphic novel. He is currently writing a weekly, serialized, illustrated steampunk novel called Meister of the Secret, part two of his Tijervyn Chronicles. Both parts are free to read on his website in web, epub, and mobi format. You can also Internet stalk him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
As we previously reported, JordanCon is conducting a fundraiser drive to offset their operating costs. In exchange for contributing, participants are entered into a drawing for the chance to have their names used for a Wheel of Time character in the final novel, A Memory of Light. In addition to the drawing, JordanCon is also conducting an auction with the winner guaranteed a spot in the book. Please note: We had to relist our auction last Thursday, November 3rd, to comply with eBay's rules for fundraisers. Any bids made previously need to be resubmitted. This auction will run from November 1 to November 10 with the highest bidder winning a Wheel of Time character. In addition to supporting JordanCon, a non-profit fantasy literature convention, ten percent of the auction proceeds will go towards the Mayo Clinic's amyloidosis research fund and be donated in Robert Jordan's memory. WHAT IS JORDANCON? www.JordanCon.org JordanCon is a fantasy literature convention founded in honor of the late author, Robert Jordan. Jordan was the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time series. JordanCon features four tracks of simultaneous programming, a Dealers Hall, and charity events benefiting the Mayo Clinic. Past guests have included Harriet McDougal, Brandon Sanderson, David Wong, Jana G. Oliver, David B. Coe, and Eugie Foster. New to JordanCon this year will be the Art Show featuring art from a variety of fantasy and sci fi artists. Guests this year will include author Mary Robinette Kowal, artist Sam Weber, and Toastmaster Melissa Craib Dombrowski. Please note that JordanCon, Inc. has applied for tax-exempt status as a 501©3 corporation. While they are awaiting the final verdict from the IRS, they are allowed to begin soliciting donations. Their tax-exempt status will be retroactively applied to the day of the filing. WHAT IS THE MAYO CLINIC? www.MayoClinic.com For more than 100 years, Mayo Clinic has inspired hope and contributed to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education, and research. Today, your generosity is at the heart of sustaining Mayo's mission. As a not-for-profit organization, Mayo Clinic reinvests all earnings into improving patient care. Yet philanthropy provides essential support as we develop better methods to understand, predict, prevent, diagnose, and treat disease, and train the next generation of physicians and scientists. Mayo Clinic has more than 3,300 physicians, scientists, and researchers from every medical specialty. They work together with 46,000 allied health employees to care for more than half a million patients each year, from every U.S. state and many countries. In 2006, Robert Jordan was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, which is a rare blood disease where abnormal proteins form in the bone marrow and become deposited in the patient's heart. During his illness, Robert Jordan received treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and encouraged his fans to donate in support of the clinic. JordanCon is proud to continue to honor that request each year through various charitable fundraisers at the convention. Q & A If I donate, what happens to the money? All funds received will go directly to JordanCon with 10% of the proceeds going to the Mayo Clinic. May I participate in both? Yes, you may participate in both the General Auction and the Drawing. Please note you cannot win more than one character named for you. Please follow these instructions! In the notes section, include your full name and email address. What are the rules for naming characters? You may use your name or an appropriate name of your choice, but the author reserves the right to approve it or change it to fit the type of character created. A physical description of yourself may be used. How long is the Fundraiser and when will winners be announced? The drawing will run from October 1 to December 1, 2011, and winners will be announced at www.jordancon.org. The auction will begin on November 1 and end on November 10. We will announce the winner of the auction and the first name drawn by Brandon Sanderson. All future names drawn will be announced via Brandon’s website. Can I be entered multiple times in the General Drawing by giving several donations? Yes! For every $10 you donate, you name will be entered into the drawing. If you donate $100, your name will be entered 10 times. However, your name can only appear once in the story. I am trying to donate to the General Auction or enter the Drawing, but have difficulties. Who do I contact? You must contact eBay for issues regarding payments. They are our vendor handling all the transactions. If you are having an issue with the drawing, please contact email@example.com. May I pay by check or cash? At this time we are only able to accept credit card, debit, or PayPal as methods of donation. Who is eligible to win? All fans are eligible to win with the exception of members of JordanCon, Incorporated’s board of directors and their immediate families. I have questions about my privacy. All donors give consent to have their names published publicly. This is done to ensure fairness and so you may see that your name did go through before we randomly draw the winners for the Drawing. All winners, including the General Auction winner, further agree to allow us to use their names to announce them as the donors selected to be used in A Memory of Light, including use of their names in any publicity associated with The Wheel of Time in this regard. Private information such as contact emails and phone numbers will be given to Brandon Sanderson in case he chooses to use additional names at a later time. All other copies will be destroyed. What if I have more questions? Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject heading indicating your question.