<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!
We have another exciting contest to share with you. This one is from our friends at Ta'veren Tees. Here is what they have to say about their contest: That sounds easy enough. I know a lot of you love those shirts, so head over to Facebook and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
Calling all poets! I have just received word that AllPoetry.com is hosting a Wheel of Time poetry contest. This looks like an exciting way to gain recognition for your creative abilities as well as show appreciation for the talents of other fans. According to the site, the sky is the limit on what your poem can be about: Go here for the complete description of rules and procedures for the contest. Good luck to all contestants!
It's that time of the week again! Before we begin, I would like to give special thanks to Toraneko from the Artists, Crafters, and Writers Guild for making a logo for this feature. It looks fantastic! Now that the Mat lovers have had a few seconds to wipe the drool off their keyboards, let's check out the forums. Whether you love her, hate her, or fall somewhere in between, it's hard not to have an opinion about Egwene. Come to the General Wheel of Time Discussion forum and share that opinion with us. Imagine that you went to a high school where an entire English class was devoted to fantasy literature. How would you like that class to be taught, and what books would be featured in it? Stop by the General Discussion forum and let us know. Ah, romance. What book series would be complete without some form of lust, love, or limerence? The Aiel Social Group is discussing the best and worst couples in the Wheel of Time series. Do you agree with their assessments? If you are looking for some new music or are simply curious about what other members are listening to, the Band of the Red Hand Social Group has the thread for you. If you were a member of the Black Tower, what would you have done when the Red Ajah came calling? Stop by the Black Tower Social Group and show off your problem solving skills. The Band of the Red Hand Role Playing Group has decided that irritating the Seanchan makes for a great story. Come watch this new tale unfold in this thread. Here's something we don't see often on the forums: a solo role play. Stop by and let the amazing Quibby entertain you. Raise your hand if you attended Comic-Con last weekend! Brandon Sanderson did, and he was kind enough to do this interview between panels and book signings. For more up-to-date fandom news, you can always check us out on Facebook or on Twitter. That's all for now! With August just around the corner, we should have some fun things in store for you next week.
Secret confession time: If I ever got a tattoo, it would be the Flame of Tar Valon. I've seen lots of great Wheel of Time body art over the years. It's surprisingly popular. We had a henna artist at JordanCon this year and she spent all weekend painting chapter icons on anyone that would hold still long enough. Hopefully we'll have her back next year and even more people will get to sport some awesome body art. Most of these are from the "Wheel of Time Tattoo" thread on our forums. Lord Zupka posted this awesome colored version of the Snake and Wheel logo that a friend did. I love the detail and the shading on this one. The artist did a great job. NicholasFallon has the Dragon on his calf. He says he decided to get a Wheel of Time themed tattoo after hearing about Robert Jordan's death in 2007. If you go to the thread, you can see pictures of his other one. Our very own Wheel of Time Admin, Luckers has these on his wrists. He uses them to get free drinks from fanboys. Norienne really, really likes the Aiel. In other news, it was announced earlier this week that Micheal Whelan will be doing the "cover" art for the eBook edition of A Memory of Light. Longtime series artist Darryl K. Sweet will still do the cover for the US hardback and paperback editions.
Our friends at Ta'veren Tees have added a new Wheel of Time shirt to their catalog today. Here is their press release:
Welcome back, dear fans! I hope your trip through the message boards last week was enjoyable. We have more treats in store for you this week! Are you obsessed with Lanfear? If so, drop by the General Wheel of Time Discussion forum and declare your love in the Lanfear Appreciation Thread. What books have you been reading to pass the time untilA Memory of Light is published? Our General Discussion forum has the perfect place for you to share your book recommendations and get ideas for your own reading list. The Aiel Social Group is discussing books that were turned into movies. Have Hollywood directors brought honor or shame upon themselves in the attempt to bring some of the world's most beloved books to the big screen? Let us know what you think here. Do you like making up captions to go with funny pictures? Do you like voting in polls? Come on down to the Shayol Ghul Social Group and participate in their July Caption Faction. The Kin Social Group is celebrating the art of writing short stories this month. Watch this forum for lessons on how to create your own story. Our role players are getting their hands dirty in Tel'aran'rhiod with Sleepless in the Dreamworld. Let's hope they wake when they are through with their adventure. Two creative Wheel of Time fans made a hilarious parody song called For more fan shenanigans, follow us on Facebook or on Twitter. That's all for now! Have a wonderful week, everyone!