TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (eBook)One Wheel of Time fan recently had the chance of a lifetime. Known as “Luckers” on the Dragonmount forums, this fan sat down with Brandon Sanderson and railed off a series of questions regarding some of The Wheel of Time‘s mysteries, both big and small. Most of the questions were answered with “RAFO” (Read and Find Out), or some variation thereof, but others were met with refreshing honesty (or devilish smiles, which tell almost as much). It’s a great read for fans of The Wheel of Time who’re just itching to get their hands on the final volume in the series, A Memory of Light, which releases early in 2013.

There are, of course, spoilers out the wazoo, up-to-and-including Towers of Midnight, and, some might consider, beyond. So, you’ve been warned.

Luckers: What does ‘amahn’rukane’ mean?

Brandon: *stares at me blankly for a long moment* What… um… what has been said on it before?

Luckers: Just that it’s a sword sticking out of the earth. Cadsuane names it…

Brandon: Oh right, umm. I don’t know. *he laughs* You can probably tell something about it from that.

Luckers: That it’s not important.

Brandon: *laughs again*.

Luckers: In tGH Ishamael has no knowledge that Mat sounded the Horn, and thinks Rand did. Later on though, a Fade refers to Mat as the Hornsounder. How did he know?

Brandon: RAFO.

*we talked about this for a while, and I didn’t take any notes on that part of the conversation (so it was nothing big) we dropped back into interesting stuff a bit later and I resumed note taking*

Brandon: I will say that, in the course of writing a Memory of Light, I learnt some very interesting things that went against some strong preconceptions I had about the Horn. Some of the ideas I had, about how it worked, turned out to be incorrect.

Luckers: Okay, so, there have been three incidences where characters have ignored the Choedan Kal in favour of Callandor—or well, not even that. Just ignored the Choedan Kal. Shaidar Haren in tGS when Elza took the Domination Band, Solinda during Rand’s flashbacks was the one who gave the ter’angreal to the Aiel, but made no efforts to secure the CK like Callandor, and the Aes Sedai who was looking to fight Ishamael during the breaking who took sa’angreal from the Aiel, but left the CK. So I guess the question is…

Brandon: Why are they choosing Callandor over the Choedan Kal?

Luckers: Well, not even that, really, because two of those have nothing to do with the Callandor. I guess it’s more, was there something dodgy… did they know something about the Choedan Kal… why did they leave it?

Brandon: There is a reason. It has to do with Callandor being key to the ending, and the Choedan Kal not.

And one truly puzzling response:

Luckers: How much time does aMoL cover?

Brandon: It depends on which part of the world you are in. You will understand that when you read A Memory of Light.

And also some general information about one of the series’ greater mysteries, the death of Asmodean:

When we were in the Green Room Brandon broached a subject of his own, in Asmodean, stating he wanted to explain how that happened. Basically, Jim left a note saying ‘fit it in’, and when they were initially discussing how to do it Brandon threw out as more of a joke than anything else ‘just put it in the glossary’. Harriet apparently loved that idea, and when it came time for Brandon to write, he did lay it out in a Graendal POV [note: I can’t remember if he said it was in an outline for a POV, or whether he actually wrote it] Harriet wrote back in her notes ‘no, no, we’re going to put that in the glossary.’ Brandon himself definitely seemed to have wanted the information laid out in scene, and said there were actually a couple of scenes he thought he could have done it in.

Most interesting is how many of the points brought up by Luckers are still moving targets. Sanderson has finished the first draft of A Memory of Light, and still he can’t say with certainty whether some of the mysteries (like what is being hunted by the superpack in Crossroads of Twilight) will even be answered. Just goes to show how massive an undertaking Sanderson shouldered when he took on the project after Jordan’s passing.

Also fun are the instances when it becomes clear that Luckers (and WOT fandom in general) places a lot more relevance on some “mysteries” than Jordan and Sanderson, giving a solution to many of the mysteries by not answering (or not having an answer for) them. Jordan put a lot of hooks and little one-off curiosities into the novels, so it’s no surprise that some of them just aren’t all that relevant to the end of the story, despite the hopes and clamouring of fans.

You can read the entirety of the interview with Brandon Sanderson on Dragonmount.