The following is a compilation of interview questions that were recorded at DragonCon '05. These questions and answers were for the most part reported by the folks at Theoryland. The sources and more on DragonCon '05 can be found here.
The questions have been sorted into categories by BobH.
Rand / LTT
Q1: Ishamael mentions that in prior turnings of the Wheel the soul of Lews Therin was raised up as the Shadow’s champion, and if that is the case, who was the champion of the Creator? Was it …
RJ: You believe Ishamael??? Sorry, man, but c’mon!
Q2 – Part 1: In TDR, Lanfear visits Mat as he is recuperating from his one power surgery over the dagger. At one point she stretches out her hand towards him and he feels a tingle going over him, somebody interrupts them, and she turns her head and sobs, at about the same time a member of Black Ajah stole angreal and ter’angreal out of the tower cache, one of which was a ter’angreal that was known to have some effect on chance. So it was about this time that Mat’s really really really weird luck and the dice rolling in his head began. Is this a connection or coincidence?
RJ: That is a coincidence. When they say that Mat has the Dark One’s own luck, he can get as mad as he wants to, but in a way it is true. It wasn’t a gift from Lanfear, though.
Q3 – Part 2: In that case, what was Lanfear doing?
RJ: She was checking his health. She doesn’t care very much, except that he is important to Rand, to Lews Therin, him and Perrin both, so she is interested in, the one she wants mainly is Lews Therin, or wanted anyway, and uh, so she is interested in these other two ta’veren, who seemed to be tied in with him, because they might be important to him.
Q4: Does Mat’s amulet work against the male side of the power, and if so will Elayne’s research of it develop into something that can be used in the conflict between Aes Sedai?
Q5: Does Mat’s amulet protect him from the True Power?
Q6: We have seen the organizing capability of Mat and Perrin’s father-in-law. And one of the most difficult things that your characters have to overcome is not knowing about what is going on. May we expect to see Mat organize an intelligence service any time soon?
Q7: Are Min's visions about the past or the future?
RJ: They are about the future.
Q8: The auras that Min sees, would they ever show the person’s past or other elements that are simply unique to that person?
RJ: No, it is the future.
Q9: Will we ever find out what happened when Elayne went through the arches?
RJ: Probably not, maybe, but probably not.
Q10: Yesterday, you said something about Nynaeve that made it sound as if she doesn’t have the spark. Does she have the spark?
RJ: Yes, she has the spark. The question seemed to me to be about the difference between the people born with the spark and those that aren’t. Even people who are born with the spark are going to start channelling whether they want to or not. But Nynaeve did it through a conscious effort, really. It wasn’t just happenstance that she began channelling at that point, she had a need to channel. The same thing happened later to Rand, by the way. Often the thing, that as I believe has been pointed out, often the thing that pulls someone that has the spark into their first channelling is a perceived need, when they channel without knowing they channel, not realizing what they had done, quite often. The people who are not born with the spark, can they channel unconsciously, can they, that is someone who can learn but doesn’t have the spark, can they channel unconsciously? No. For them, they must have a teacher to guide them, or make a conscious effort, which is unlikely to succeed, but might.
Q11 – Part 1: Nynaeve was born with the spark, right?
Q12 – Part 2: Because yesterday there was a question about Learners…
RJ: [The question was, can] somebody who is not born with the spark, but is born with the ability to learn, could they begin channelling unconsciously? And no, they could not, they would have to make a conscious effort. They could make a conscious effort without a teacher and maybe succeed, but without a teacher they’ve got a very small chance of actually doing it.
Q13: Will Nynaeve be able to make Cuendillar?
RJ: I doubt it. It is as much talent as it is strength. And I don’t think she has that talent.
Q14: Did Moiraine get the opportunity to make a wish [from the Eelfinn, after going through the doorway with Lanfear]?
Q15: Before it became public knowledge that Rand was the Dragon Reborn, did Tam Al’Thor know or suspect that Rand was the Dragon Reborn or could channel?
RJ: No, Tam had no inkling of this.
Q16: Did Taim have the spark, or could he learn how to channel?
RJ: He was born with the spark.
Q17: How old is Taim, and has he slowed?
RJ: Taim has slowed, but one thing I am not going to reveal it in the books, so I’ll tell you, men slow later than women do. And yes, he has slowed, and he is in his late twenties, yes his late twenties.
Q18: Is there anything you can tell us about Taim’s choice to head to Andor after his escape?
RJ: Well, he really didn’t have much other choice. He’s a man who can channel. At that time as far as he knows any Aes Sedai that gets there hands on him will try to gentle him again. But the word is getting around, there are men gathering near Caemlyn, men just like him, and maybe there are enough of them that if they stick together the Aes Sedai will not be able to take them down. So he has no other choice. He can either spend a life on the run or he can enlist. He decided to enlist.
Q19: Did Taim have motives for coming to Andor after he escaped the Aes Sedai?
RJ: Sure, he is a man who can channel. The Aes Sedai see him as a men who can channel. They will hunt him down and gentle him if they can. He has one safe haven in the world – a place where there are more men like him. Just maybe, if there are enough men like him, the Aes Sedai won’t be able to come after him.
Q20: How did Bashere and his army manage to track Taim hundreds of miles?
RJ: Because a man like Mazrim Taim leaves a trail, even when he is trying to travel quietly, travelling quietly is not in his character.
Padan Fain / Mordeth / Shadar Logoth
Q21 – Part 1: How did Aginor manage to sense the Shadar Logoth dagger in the EotW?
RJ: That has to do with the end of Winters Heart. It’s an effect of resonance. The dagger is the same evil as the evil of Shadar Logoth. You can say it’s diametrically opposite to the taint, that’s the evil on saidin. Rand, in one point in Shadar Logoth, feels it repulsing with each other. And especially in the wounds on his side. There is a resonance created. A positive and negative pulse of evil, you might say.
Q22 – Part 2: So it doesn’t require actual channelling?
RJ: No, but you have to be close to it. It’s not something you can sense from a close distance and use to track Padan Fain down.
Q23- Part 1: Why did Padan Fain go to Falme and why did he leave before Rand arrived?
RJ: He was trying to gain a power base. His early attempts to do things, were by siding … he is trying to get close to someone in power, to influence him. Remember Padan Fain is also Mordeth, and Mordeth was a counsellor, Mordeth was a guy who whispered poison in the ear of the king, and had a great deal of power because of it. So Padan Fain has this part of him that wants to influence power and that is what he was doing there. There are these invaders and what rumour says about them is correct.
Q24 - Part 2: Why did [Padan Fain] leave before Rand arrived, because he must have sensed Rand was near?
RJ: Once he could get his hand on the dagger, he wanted out. He didn’t know Rand was coming. Once he realized he wouldn’t be able to have any influence at least, get his hands on the dagger and go, because the dagger is key, the dagger pulls at him.
Q25: When Mat had the dagger, and Verin and Moiraine thought he would contaminate other people with the evil of Shadar Logoth, and they would contaminate other people. Fain does seem to be influencing without contaminating people. Is it as dangerous as it seems, could also normal people become evil and would they also contaminate other people?
RJ: No. Fain can contaminate people because he has the dagger, it is the dagger. What Verin and Moiraine thought was incorrect. They were extending it too far. It is the one of things you may have noted in the books. Aes Sedai often believe they know more than they know. In fact, a lot of people believe they know more than they actually know. It is one of the themes I have running through the books, whatever you think you know, some of it is almost certainly wrong. It may even be the most crucial bit that is wrong, but even when you are aware that some of your information may be wrong you still have to go ahead and make a decision. You cannot stop, you cannot afford the luxury of saying, well I don’t know everything and something I know may be wrong, so I am not going to do anything, I am going to sit here and wait and see if I can find out some more, because that only leads to sitting still forever.
Q26: I was wondering, how did Rand stop the taint by channelling at Shadar Logoth, because you said the taint and the evil at Shadar Logoth are different. Also, because Shadar Logoth came well after the taint, was there any way to stop it?
RJ: No, there was no way to stop it [the SL evil] or make it weaker. But when Rand made the conduit, they were attracted to each other due to opposite polarities, and they were attracted to each other and destroyed each other because of those differences, and it created a huge explosion.
Slayer / Isam / Luc
Q27: Why was the infant Isam spared death at the hand of the Trollocs?
RJ: Possible political use later. You’ve got somebody who is related to the royal family of Malkier and you can raise him exactly the way you want, you can instil whatever belief system you want. He’s a blank slate and he might be a very powerful tool.
Q28: Was Isam raised by the Shadow directly, by his mother, or by someone else?
RJ: By someone else. RAFO.
Q29: How can Slayer know that Rand is his nephew?
RJ: The Shadow knows a lot about Rand, they know a lot about Perrin and Mat too. Once they began to identify possibilities, they went hyper trying to get information because anything might be part of the key to controlling him.
Q30: Are Ogier able to dreamwalk?
RJ: No, Ogier cannot dreamwalk.
Q31: Do Seanchan Ogier have the Longing?
RJ: The longing is an effect of being separated from the stedding for a long time during the Breaking. At the parts that later became the Seanchan empire, there were many more stedding. So they were not separated from the stedding for so long.
Q32: Will there ever be a confrontation between the Seanchan Ogier and the other Ogier?
RJ: They will meet.
Q33: About NS, I had a question about Lan - about the battle with the Aiel. How do they recognize him? I guess I am more curious about the background how they recognize him and what they know of him and his back story.
RJ: They know quite a bit about his back story. They think he is a man who has much ji. He has a one man war against something he cannot beat. And they recognized him by the crescents on his helmet.
Seanchan / Damane / Sul'dam
Q34: We know the Tower of Ravens located in the Seanchan capital city is used as an imperial prison, especially for members of the blood. But there is also a reference to the first marath damane shaking the Towers of Midnight. Are the Towers of Midnight also a prison? Can you tell us more about them?
RJ: There are thirteen Towers of Midnight. The Towers of Midnight are a fortress complex, and were, at the time this happened Shandar wasn’t the capital, and the Towers of Midnight were the centre of military might, or the forces that were beginning the consolidation before the conquest of Seanchan.
Q35: Can a damane who has been burned out or stilled continue to be controlled by the a’dam?
Q36: Can the a’dam hold sul’dam?
RJ: The a’dam can only hold sul’dam who have been sul’dam for a long time, and so wearing the bracelet for a long time. Four months, for example, isn’t enough. [RJ also said the circle helped them get to the point that’s described in the book, as being on the brink of being able to channel, one foot stepped over …].
Q37: Since sul’dam have abilities normally associated with channellers only, do they also slow?
RJ: No, not unless they actually begin to channel. Slowing is a function of actually channelling. If you have the ability to learn, and you never learn to channel, you are not going to slow, you will age at a normal fashion. Sul’dam are women who can learn and as they develop the affinity, as they have been doing this for a little while, they begin to slide toward the ability to channel, but they never step over. I believe I have someone say that one of these women felt almost as if she should be able to channel, but not quite. They are getting closer and closer to the brink but they will never step over without conscious effort.
Atha'an Miere / Amayar
Q38: How do the Atha’an Miere and the Amayar deal with male channellers?
RJ: They kill them. Actually the Sea Folk kill their male channellers. The Amayar don’t channel themselves – they see it as a violation of their water way and they commit suicide.
Aelfinn & Eelfinn
Q39: Can [the Finns] transmigrate souls? Can they hold the soul of an individual they have killed?
RJ: No… No to both.
Q40: Can you describe the relationship between the Aelfinn and Eelfinn?
Q41: Could you tell us why it was the Aelfinn and Eelfinn didn’t consider Mat’s silver dagger to be a weapon?
RJ: No, I am going to have to RAFO that one, it is going to give away too much.
Q42: The Finns reside in a Parallel world, is that correct?
Q43: Do the Finns inhabit a perpendicular world?
RJ: No, it is a parallel world.
Q44: Does the physical location of the world of Finns have anything to do with the bells ringing when the ta’veren were in together?
Q45: Have the Finns existed as long as the Wheel?
Q46: Do [the Finns] have souls?
Q47: Are the Finns from human stock?
Q48: Did [the Finns] originate in their current location?
Q49: Are [the Finns] related to TAR, or do they control TAR?
Q50: Who built the Tower of Ghenjei?
Q51: How was Nynaeve able to channel fire when she slept?
RJ: In TAR you can channel fire. You can channel spirit only from your sleeping body, but being in TAR is different and you can channel anything.
Q52: Can you shield someone who is in TAR by shielding their sleeping body?
RJ: If you are injured in TAR it will be transferred to your body, but not vice versa. Shielding someone in TAR will shield the body, but shielding the body is not transferred to TAR. They can channel in TAR, but of course when they come out, they are shielded.
Parallel Worlds / Mirror Worlds / Portal Stones
Q53: Are Parallel worlds and Mirror worlds the same thing?
RJ: No, they are different.
Q54: Do Parallel Worlds have their own reflections?
Q55: Do Portal Stones lead to Parallel Worlds, Mirror Worlds, or both?
RJ: They lead to Mirror Worlds, the Portal Stones can take you to Mirror Worlds, not to Parallels, which are separate.
Dark One / True Power / Shadar Haran / The Taint / Machin Shin,
Q56: I know the male side of the source is clean but those who were driven mad before, will they be cured?
RJ: No. Whatever the degree of taint channellers have won’t change.
Q57: Is one of the effects of the taint to lower the boundaries between past lives, or is Rand a special case?
Q58 – Part 1: Since [Machin Shin] seems to absorb the creatures that pass through [the Ways], could you regard it as a servant of the Dark one or perhaps almost as a Forsaken?
RJ: It’s not a servant of the Dark One. It will kill Trollocs or anything else. You can say its a parasite that grew in the Ways because of the Taint and the one power that was used to initially create the Ways. The Talisman of Growing that was used to extend the Ways. So it’s not a servant of the Dark One, but it’s definitely on the evil side.
Q59 – Part 2: Would it [Machin Shin / the Ways] be cleaned with the Cleansing of Saidin?
RJ: No. It’s like a bacteria breed. Just by cleaning up the chemicals that caused the bacteria to come into existence, unless it’s feeding on that, those chemicals, you are not going to destroy the bacteria. You simply cut off what helped to create it.
Q60: In TGH, when Rand, Mat and Perrin are trying to enter the Ways, Machin Shin is waiting there for them. It seems like Padan Fain has been waiting there for them. Is Machin Shin in any way related to the evil of Shadar Logoth?
RJ: In some ways. Machin Shin is linked, or you might say drawn, to that. It’s not a matter of linked, but more attracted by. In much the same ways as I spoke about the evils being attracted to one another due to opposite polarities. In the same way there is an attraction because Machin Shin was created in effect by the Taint. It grew out. You can see it as a fungus that was constructed with the wrong type of materials. If you think about it as that way you get a more idea about its true nature.
Q61: I’m trying to verify Rand’s impression he has at the end of book four, regarding the connection [the Black Cords] he cuts [from] Asmodean. Rand seemed to believe [the Black Cords] was the connection directly from that individual to the Dark One. So what I am wondering is, is that connection key to transmigration?
RJ: No, because what you are thinking of wasn’t a connection, Rand thought it was.
Q62: Can a person who cannot channel the One Power, can they use the True Power of the Dark One?
Q63 – Part 1: Are the oath and covenants Forsaken make with the DO necessary for the DO to transmigrate a soul?
RJ: They are not necessary, but he is not likely to do it for anyone who hasn’t done, who hasn’t sworn to him.
Q64 – Part 2: [The DO] doesn’t have access to all souls to be able to grab any soul?
RJ: No, no, no. Because of the Bore and the fact that the Bore is best perceived … the Bore doesn’t really exist in Shayol Ghul, the Bore exists everywhere, its simply in Shayol Ghul where it can be perceived most easily. By the same token he has greater access to people at Shayol Ghul than he does elsewhere, or did. And uh, that’s, when you know, Rahvin died, Rahvin is balefired out of time, slain out of time, cannot be reached, gone. Be’lal, (names someone else) …
Q65 – Part 3: Well, then is there something unique about the Forsaken other than the fact that they are his favourites that he would transmigrate them, or be able to?
RJ: Well, he would have been a lot less likely to in an earlier time when they were a lot of powerful … knowledgeable channellers who were in his service. Essentially half the people in the world who could channel were on his side, during the War of the Shadow. Now he has very few, he’s got the Black Ajah, and a few wilders, and some stuff I ain’t going in to, but uh he doesn’t have a lot, but he can’t afford to waste assets.
Q66 – Part 1: Is Shaidar Haran an avatar to the world beyond the Bore?
RJ: I am not certain you can really call him an avatar because I generally think of an avatar as having exactly the same powers as, and it is not, Shaidar Haran does not have nearly as much power as the Dark One. It’s as though the Dark One is able to project a shadowy form of himself into this creature…it is the Dark One in shadowy form.
Q67 – Part 2: Is it twenty-four/seven, or just part-time.
Q68: Would you please name one character who did not kill Asmodean? Will you please name one of the following: Lanfear, Graendal, Moridin, Shaidar Haran, Padan Fain, Semirhage, Demandred, Mazrim Taim, Slayer. I thank you for your mercy and if you can please explain why they didn’t do it that would be a nice touch.
RJ: Padan Fain didn’t because he wasn’t in the right place at the right time. He would have if he had been in the right place at the right time, but he wasn’t.
Q69: Was Taimandred a deliberate ruse to lead your readers astray, or were you surprised [by the all of the theories connecting Taim to Demandred]?
RJ: I was surprised…but I wasn’t going to disabuse you of it for a while, I like to watch you squirm.
Q70 – Part 1: A question about the Forsaken. It is said they have varying levels of strength in the One Power. Do you know where they rank?
Q71 – Part 2: I get the impression that Asmodean is weaker than Lanfear even before he was shielded. How much weaker, etc.?
RJ: RAFO. I don’t go into that kind of thing. I know where they are. I also know they are highly unreliable. None of them is going to admit that anyone is that much stronger than they are, even when you are inside their heads. Don’t take everything they say as the absolute truth or unbiased observation.
Q72 - Part 1: When out of the three thousand year sleep, were the Forsaken still wearing the clothes from the time they were imprisoned?
RJ: Yes, they were.
Q73 - Part 2: How does the process of waking up work, and were they conscious of it happening to them and or the other Forsaken?
RJ: They were conscious of waking up, but remember that Lanfear said they were in a sleep so deep, they were trapped so deep, that they were denied even dreams. Most of them were in fact in suspended animation. Balthamel and Aginor, very close to the surface, were not, which is why they were so wasted when they are seen, and why they have a certain degree of madness as well. The others came out unaged, looking exactly as they did, but Aginor and Balthamel, although wearing the clothes they wore, and the mask was an original he [Balthamel] was wearing it when he went in, they were further wasted, you might say, preserved by being sealed in the Bore, but close enough to the surface that they were aware of things going on outside.
Q74 - Part 1: Do the Forsaken get reports from rats and ravens?
RJ: Eventually. Not from every rat or every raven, but eventually.
Q75 - Part 2: Is there any way to distinguish one that is the eyes and ears of the Dark One?
Q76: Why is it that the Chosen and Lews Therin speak a language that Rand and everyone else can understand?
RJ: Because it is a very simple language to learn. When the Chosen are among themselves they are not speaking the language of the current time, they are speaking the Old Tongue, which I happily translate for you, so you don’t have to struggle through it. But it is very much the same as Graendal thinking how easy it is to forge things in this time. The Lettering script is simplified. But things managed to hang on for a certain extent. Printing presses, for example, were one of the things that managed never quite to be wiped out completely. Printing started up again, even a few times during the Breaking people managed to get printing presses going, and once the Breaking was over, printing was one of the first trades to get going….you might call it the first higher trade to get going.
Q77: Did Lanfear get the opportunity to ask the [Eelfinn], to make a wish, after going through the doorway with Moiraine?
Other Aes Sedai / White Tower / Cuendillar
Q78: Can you explain the reasoning behind Verin’s decision to break tower law and give a ter’angreal to a Novice, especially considering the fact that she did so with little or no guidance?
Q79: Did Lanfear and Verin have any contact, and if not did Verin give Egwene the ter’angreal of her own free will?
RJ: Yeah she gave it with her own free will and choice. And no contact between Lanfear and Verin.
Q80: Elaida slipped through the cracks uncaught by the Red Ajah scheme twenty years ago that had a name called the Vileness. How did Elaida, and Galina for that matter, manage to slip through when three Sitters did not?
RJ: Elaida slipped through largely because she was minimally involved. Galina slipped through because there were enough Red sisters involved, at various levels that taking them all down would have decimated the Red Ajah. The decision was made to punish the Ajah by exiling the Sitters, take off the top. And it was supposed to be a life exile, you are out of here forever. The only reason they were not stilled was that the Tower was trying to hide what happened, it was a major atrocity carried out in the name of the Tower, and it didn’t matter whether the Tower as a whole really wanted it or not, it was still a major atrocity and the tower was at the heart of it.
Q81: Who was the third Blue Ajah Sitter who didn’t make it to Salidar, what became of her?
RJ: Well, she died. She was one of the ones who was killed after Siuan was deposed and everything went to hell in a hand basket inside the tower.
Q82: What is the title used for the members of the Brown Ajah council?
RJ: Technically, they have no titles. It is the council and the head of the council. Informally, and this is strange, and it gives you an idea of the disorganization or the disinterest in organization of the Brown Ajah. First Chair is the informal title for the head of the Ajah, but this is as far as the Ajah is concerned. It is simply the council and the head of the council. As far as they are concerned there are more important things than this organization stuff.
Q83: Since we are unlikely to ever read of a raising of an Aes Sedai to the Red Ajah, can you tell us anything about the Ajah secrets and/or rituals?
Q84: During the raising tests for Accepted and Aes Sedai, are the ladies taking the tests actually inside of the World of Dreams?
RJ: No…the…well, I am not going to say where they are for the tests for Accepted, that might be a RAFO, probably not, but it might be. For the test for Aes Sedai, they are in effect inside what you might call an uber-virtual reality device where what happens is entirely controlled in this case by the sisters controlling the device, but it is a virtual reality that is so terrific that it is reality for you. You die, you are dead. No game over, start again. You are dead.
Q85 – Part 1: Quoting from Tamra in new spring, “You will tell no one about this, not for any reason, if necessary lie, even to a sister, Gitara died without speaking, do you understand me.” How is it that Tamra can tell Moiraine and Siuan that Gitara died without speaking, when she knows full well that she did speak?
RJ: It’s simple. It is part of her instructions. There are a lot, thousands, of loop holes about that "thou will speak no word that is not true". This is part of her instructions, she is telling them what they are to say. She is not saying something she believes, and thus she was able to say it.
Q86 – Part 2: Based on the oaths, if a sister asked them [Moiraine and Siuan], if they were instructed, as to what they have to say, would they be able to say it after taking the oaths?
RJ: After taking the oaths they would find it hard to say, even with instructions, they might not be able to say it at all, because they know it is a lie. That is the key you can't knowingly tell a lie.
Q87: Why did turning the Tar Valon harbuor chains to cuendillar help? You would think a chain made of cuendillar would be flexible because it is in separate pieces.
RJ: No, as I showed you in one of the scenes where they are learning to make cuendillar. They had two items touch each other when they were turning it into cuendillar and they fused to one another. So what you have is a series of chains where each link is fused to the next. So in essence what you have is one solid piece of cuendillar.
Q88: Are the Aes Sedai ever going to try to use cuendillar to make it into armour, since they can’t make weapons, does that restriction extend to making armour.
Q89: Can men make cuendillar?
RJ: Yes. But they won’t use the same weaves the women use, so they will have to figure out how to do it themselves unless they can get it from one of the male Forsaken, if he happens to know it. It is an oddity that Moghedien even knew how to do this, its just her fascination with things that are valuable.
One Power / Channelling
Q90: Previously you have made it known that an individual who is stilled will retain the ability to channel in his or her subsequent life, which connects the ability to channel with the soul. How does burning out affect ones ability to channel in the next life? Specifically, will an individual born with the spark but who burns out during his or her life, have the inborn spark in a subsequent life?
RJ: I don’t think I have said if you are born with the spark you would have the have the spark again. I have said if you were born with the ability to channel, to learn or with the spark, you will, when your soul is born again, you will have the ability again, whether with the spark or without. And neither burning out or stilling affects that except in this lifetime, your current lifetime.
Q91: Regarding the One Power, in a universal sense, like your physics background, is it more of a force like gravity would be, weak electromagnetic and stronger electromagnetic or is it something more of on a quantum level? Is it on a quantum level in your universe or is it a macro power?
RJ: I think you are going to have to think of it as being on a quantum level.
Q92: This is a question about TGH. When Mat and Perrin found out Rand could channel, Mat related a story to him he heard from a merchant guard in the Two Rivers about a male channeller who woke up and found his entire village smashed right around him except for the bed he was sleeping in. So, with regards to multiple personalities that a channeller can get like in Rand’s case, is it possible for one of them to take over when the channeller falls asleep?
RJ: Well, you’re…I can answer that question, but I realize in answering that question I am going to have to RAFO you, because I can’t answer your question without telling you some stuff I don’t want to tell you yet, sorry.
Q93: Do males [born] with the spark [to channel] also become wilders with blocks?
RJ: It depends. A woman born with the spark, that doesn’t get trained, she may become a wilder, she may or may not have a block, but quite often does. A man born with a spark, is probably much more likely to go up and become a False Dragon, frankly, but uh, at least before the Black Tower opened up for business. But there are blocks among the men as well. We had one of the characters, one of the men who was one of the first Asha’man, one of the first to come to the Black Tower and is since deceased. He would not believe that what he channelled at, that he could affect anything he could not see. Thus he limited the range, he could not thus make a lightning bolt that hit on the other side of the hill because he could not see. [Jordan also discussed the Isle of Madmen, that blocks in men were one of the reason the isle/continent still remains.]
Q94: Can you make music using just the One Power?
RJ: Yes, you could.
Q95: With regards to healing stilling vs. being burned out. There are a lot of theories online that you can heal stilling but you cannot heal being burnt out. Is that true?
Q96: Do certain races have better ability at channelling than others? For example, the Sea Folk are very good at weather, the Aiel have a high proportion of Dreamers, and the Seanchan can make ter’angreals.
RJ: The Seanchan can only make one kind of ter’angreal. They haven’t thought about making another. Certain groups are better at some abilities but it’s a matter of need. The Atha’an Miere are dependent on the sea, the wind and water and it would be natural for them to develop high skills to deal with control of weather and winds. For the Aiel, Dreaming is one of the ways to find new water, using need is how they find water. When the population in a hold is too great, and they have to find a new hold, the Dreamwalker uses need to find it. So yes, there are more Dreamwalkers there.
The Wheel / Pattern / Souls
Q97: A couple of related questions on souls. Can they be split? Is it true you can meet yourself in the worlds of If? Is that a copy of the soul, a reflection, or the same soul living in different worlds?
RJ: I think I will have to give you a RAFO on this, except for the part, souls cannot be split. But the other, I think I will have to give you a RAFO because I may be doing something with that.
Q98: At the end of TGH, when Rand and Ishamael were fighting in the air above Falme, they appeared in the sky over many places. And my question is whether this is something done by the One Power or something done by the Creator? How did they appear in the sky?
RJ: An effect of the Wheel, really. It wasn’t the Creator. The Wheel is more than a simple mechanism. Remember the Wheel can spit out ta’veren, can spit out Heroes as a self correcting device because the Pattern is drifting from what it is supposed to be. We are not talking about something as simple as a spinning wheel at all, we are talking something more along the lines of the most complex computer you could possibly imagine. There were at that time, two, there were False Dragons that had a chance to create a lot of disruption. By the appearance in the sky at that battle, not just in Falme but in other places, those False Dragons were taken off the board because there was only room now for one, for one Dragon.
Q99 - Part 1: In the Wheel of Time there is focus on events occurring again and again throughout history. Is it just history which is circular, or is it time itself which is in a loop?
RJ: If you think of history being in a loop, then time must be in a loop. The Greeks were the first, as far as we know, to think of time being linear which allows for change. Almost every other culture prior to them had believed in circular time, if time is a wheel there is no possibility of change. Whatever I change now, whatever injustices I correct, the wheel will inevitably return, the inequities will return, there is no possibility for change, therefore there is not impetus to change. So time and history are in a loop in this world, a large enough loop..ah…it is really quite immense.
Q100 - Part 2: So, the sun will never go nova, will never die?
RJ: In this universe, no.
Q101 – Part 1: Are Calian and Shiva born at the end of every Age?
Q102 – Part 2: Are they already born?
Age of Legends
Q103- Part 1: Ishamael says that Lews Therin summoned the Nine Rods of Dominion. Are the oath rods not the Nine Rods of Dominion?
RJ: They were not the oath rods.
Q104 - Part 2: Well are [the Nine Rods of Dominion] positions of power, were they people, or were they actual rods?
RJ: They were actual people, and they were, but you might call them regional governors of the earth, regional governors of the planet. So if I say "summon them" then we’ve got a guy who has been given in effect ultimate power.
Q105: In the Age of Legends, the soldiers used shocklances. Were they projectile, energy ..?
RJ: Think of it as an … energy weapon. Remember, by the time we get to the Breaking, shocklances are actually in fairly short supply and other devices of that sort. Long before we get to the Breaking the industrial base has been enough destroyed that soldiers are once again using bows and spears and swords because there simply aren’t enough shocklances to go around, nor jocars…and there is no industrial base to provide replacement for them
Q106: What does it mean when dresses are slashed with a colour?
RJ: There are two possibilities meanings to this. The most usual one is that there is an underskirt of the colour that says it is slashed with. The outer skirt has a slit in it, a slash, which is sown in such a way that it is always open thus revealing its underneath colour. The other way of doing this is there is this sort of pocket sown on the inside of that slash of the second colour, so you are looking through the outer skirt into a depth, so it looks like it is a little pocket that other colour in the skirt. This is not my invention, they did this during the renaissance, and I believe earlier as well.