First up, I want to thank the JordanCon team for letting me be a panelist. It was an honour.
All the sessions I attended, including the ones at which I was a panelist, had strong audience participation with thoughtful observations and questions.
The JordanCon schedule offered much to choose from, resulting in some unfortunate clashes at times. For instance, Brandon Sanderson’s book signing coincided with the Future of the Franchise session. Which to attend??
At the opening ceremony Theoryland took over by arresting Jason of Dragonmount for crimes against WOT fandom (falsely claiming to have thrown his Magic the Gathering card game against Brandon). Having staged his coup, Matt Hatch got to the business of welcoming us all, and introducing the guests.
On my first panel, which was about Real World Influences with Alan and Maria of Team Jordan and Aubree and Rachel of JordanCon team, I picked up a couple of new sources of names. Much interesting stuff was discussed about the non-European sources used and also about WOT costume. Alan and Maria noted how things RJ had seen would turn up later in the books: for instance, the olive groves of Altara were originally seen on a Mediterranean holiday.
The Loony Theories were impressively loony, believe me. The top 3 contenders were: “Cadsuane is Moiraine”, ”Min is being manipulated by Moridin” and “The Finns are aliens and the Tower of Ghenjei is a spaceship”. The Cadsuane theory was voted looniest despite spirited attempts to tamper with the voting by devotees of the evil Min theory.
All participants at the Minor Characters session were agreed that RJ’s minor characters were not mere backdrops or props but had independent lives of their own and underwent character development. Someone asked for a definition of a minor character and Maria said it was one that was absent for more than one consecutive book. Many minor characters were discussed - from Uno to Teslyn - but of course they were only the tip of the iceberg.
Future Books: The main series and the Encyclopedia will be completed and then Harriet will decide if she wants the prequel novels written - one about Tam’s experiences as a soldier and finding Rand, and one about Moiraine’s hunt for the Dragon Reborn and how she arrived in the nick of time in the Two Rivers - with Tam's adventures just before finding Rand and one with Moraine and Lan just before they arrive in the Two Rivers in the nick of time – or the later novel about Mat and Tuon in Seanchan. If the novels are written, Brandon will be the writer to keep the voice consistent.
The book signing: Brandon signed books he had written, and Harriet books she had edited. Due to having to travel light I didn’t bring any books with me, so I got the complimentary WOT map and JordanCon program signed by both Brandon and Harriet. Terez waited until the end and got her entire collection of the books signed.
Websites: Jason Denzel and Jennifer Liang of Dragonmount, Matt Hatch of Theoryland, Melissa Craib of Tarvalon, Bob Kluttz of EncyWot and myself were panellists. It was astonishing how many long-lasting WOT websites were born in 1998-9. Dragonmount and Theoryland were first, but the others all followed thick and fast. Wotmania too was created in that year, and though it closed last year, this blog was a rebirthing of its FAQ and Wotboard re-through posts. We had our first birthday last month on the Ides of March.
Mat and Perrin: I really enjoyed this session on the two essential supporters of Rand, and was honoured to be on the panel with Maria and Jakob. Rand is number one, but then so was Lews Therin, and look what happened to him. Like a tripod, the three ta'veren will support the world and the battle against the Shadow:
He shall hold a blade of light in his hand and the three shall be as one.All aspects of Mat and Perrin were discussed – strengths, weaknesses and contributions to the plot. Alas, I had to leave this excellent discussion early to catch a plane.
- The Gathering Storm, Reading the Commentary.
Towers of Midnight: The JordanCon program included a preliminary Towers of Midnight cover by Daryl Sweet of two men watching a third scratch a triangle on a white wall with a brown blade...partially obscured by a black bar containing the words “Cover not final”. The Tower of Ghenjei mission! There were errors on the cover: Mat had a red headband, as though he was a siswai’aman, instead of his trademark hat, there was only one white haired man, instead of two (;)) and the inscribed triangle was pointing in the wrong direction.
I was surprised they chose a spoilerish cover when the identity of third person to rescue Moiraine is not confirmed in any previous book. But it will certainly make fans eager.
Regarding the Towers of Midnight schedule, Brandon Sanderson twittered today:
I am revising a chapter of TofM while I wait for my assistant to bring me papers to grade. Deadline to get the book in has been set: Aug 17.
There is a post on the blog Forums here listing all Q&As that I heard or have discovered.
Costuming: The excellent costuming track ensured there were many costume enthusiasts at the Con. Or maybe it was the other way :). I had a great time exchanging information and discussing costume history and construction with fellow crafty folk. I brought my WOT embroideries with me too and they contain some embroidery materials rarely seen in the US. So I will be emailing a couple of embroiderers with links to sources of materials when I return home. The Society of Creative Anachronism recognised a kindred spirit in me and suggested I join. I’m sure it would be fun, but I do so many activities already!
The costuming culminated in the Homecoming Dance, where there were many terrific outfits, some very original and detailed, notably the Nym, Trolloc and Myrddraal.
I'm so glad I came; I had a blast. Everyone made me feel so welcome. If you are thinking of going to JordanCon next year, I can thoroughly recommend it.