Friday, March 11, 2011

Verin Q&A with Maria Simmons



By Linda



Back in September 2010, three Theorylanders (Tamyrlin, Terez and Marie Curie) and I devised a series of questions on Verin which we emailed to Maria Simons. She has now kindly answered them and they are posted below and also at Theoryland.


The Verin List

How old was Verin when she died? If you cannot give us an exact number, is it correct to say that Verin’s age at death was somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 years? If not, will you provide an estimate of her age at death?

Maria: Verin was born in 849NE, making her 151ish at death.

Merana said that every sister knew when each sister of the Tower arrived and how long she trained (LoC, The Crown of Roses) because the Tower keeps records on this. She thought Verin had been Aes Sedai about 40 years longer than she and Merana appears to have been Aes Sedai 70 years (their training time was the same and the novice acceptance age range is only 3 years). Is Merana mistaken in when Verin became Aes Sedai? Or in Verin’s age when she came to the Tower?

Maria: Here's the change we asked for (it hasn't been made in the mmp I'm holding; I don't know if it was elsewhere):

At present reads: Alanna had been six years a novice, Merana only five, but more importantly, Merana had been Aes Sedai ten years the day the midwife laid Alanna at her mother’s breast.

Should read: Alanna had been six years a novice, Merana only five, but more importantly, Merana had been Aes Sedai above thirty years the day the midwife laid Alanna at her mother’s breast.

Verin herself hints that she lied about her age when she joined up. How old was Verin when she joined the Tower?

Maria: 15. Where does she hint that she lied?

Did Verin come to the Tower at a far greater age than is usual? If so, why?

Maria: No.

Even though she lived in Far Madding, did Verin channel prior to going to the Tower to become Aes Sedai? If so, had she begun to Slow before going to the Tower?

Maria: No.


The questions on Verin's age were designed to throw some light on Merana's comments in Lord of Chaos about the relative ages of Alanna, Verin and herself. Since Verin has a touch of grey in her hair (and she is above average in strength in saidar) it was obvious that she was older than Merana indicated, perhaps a lot older. I thought that perhaps Verin lied about her age when she went to the Tower, because there is her statement that if she hadn't been curious she wouldn't have gone to the Tower but remained in Far Madding and married Eadwin. It turns out that what Merana said was an error, which will be changed in the latest round of corrections, plus Verin greyed a little prematurely, instead of at around 200. I will be updating the Character Ages article with the new info later this weekend and posting it Monday. Not that there is much to change for Verin, only Alanna; Verin's age is within the age range I postulate and I also raise the possibility that she greyed prematurely. But all this is now confirmed.


Was there suspicion regarding Verin’s allegiance to the Shadow, as she joined the Black Ajah at such an advanced age? If so, can you name one member of the Black Ajah that was suspicious of her allegiance to the Shadow?

Maria: RAFO.

How common is it for Aes Sedai over the age of 150 to be recruited by the Black Ajah?

Maria: RAFO.

Was Verin’s recruitment into the Black Ajah something she actively encouraged?

Maria: No.

If she did not encourage her recruitment, did Verin accidentally encourage her recruitment? (For instance, did Verin see or hear something, such as the BA signal, that required her to either join or be killed?)

Maria: RAFO.

Will you explain the circumstances that contributed to Verin’s recruitment into the Black Ajah?

Maria: RAFO.

Which Aes Sedai recruited Verin to the Black Ajah?

Maria: RAFO.

As far as Verin’s recruitment and this statement, “I found myself in a position where I could either take the oaths to the Dark One, or I could reveal that I had actually never wanted—or intended—to do so, whereupon I would have been executed,” how long after Verin was in contact with the Black Ajah for the first time, did this moment she describes occur?

Maria: RAFO.

Does swearing oaths constitute becoming a member of the Black Ajah?

Maria: RAFO.

How many Black Ajah are present when a sister swears her new oaths?

Maria: RAFO.

Where is the swearing of oaths to become Black Ajah performed?

Maria: RAFO.

What were the reasons Verin gave the Black Ajah as to why she wanted to join them?

Maria: RAFO.

Prior to her recruitment could Verin have been considered a darkfriend?

Maria: No.

Prior to her recruitment was she someone that sympathized with the Shadow?

Maria: No.

Does the Black Ajah recruit for darkfriends among rejected Novices and Accepted?

Maria: RAFO.

After becoming Black Ajah, was Verin ever caught by a non Black Ajah Aes Sedai unmistakably breaking her original Oaths sworn when becoming Aes Sedai?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin ever take the life of another Aes Sedai? If so, is that Aes Sedai mentioned in the books?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin ever take the life of a Black Ajah, excluding her own life? If so, is that member of the Black Ajah mentioned in the books?

Maria: RAFO.

Other than the man Verin mentions killing in the prologue of TPoD, did Verin ever take the life of someone that was not an Aes Sedai nor a darkfriend? If so, can you give us a summary of one such event?

Maria: RAFO.

Verin makes many statements throughout the books that are suspect now that we know she was not bound by the Oaths. In regards to the Ter’angreal dream ring, Verin tells Egwene, "I tried it myself, once, some years ago. Anaiya's Healing did not work as well as it should have. Remember that."
During the time Verin gave Egwene the ring she mentioned going to Anaiya to be healed. She didn’t go to a yellow for healing – does Verin hold something over Anaiya? Were they pillow-friends? Or was this simply a case of asking a friend to do a minor healing because she knew she would keep it quiet?


Maria: RAFO.

Was Anaiya Black Ajah?

Maria: RAFO.

How long before giving Egwene the Ter’angreal ring did Verin have it in her possession?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin visit Tel’aran’rhiod more than once? If so, generally speaking, how many times did Verin visit Tel’aran’rhiod prior to her discussion of it with Egwene?

Maria: RAFO.

Compared to Egwene and the Wise Ones, how experienced in Tel’aran’rhiod was Verin?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin ever meet with one or more Black Ajah in Tel’aran’rhiod?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin ever meet with one or more Forsaken in Tel’aran’rhiod?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin have other ways/means, other than through the Ter’angreal dream ring, to get into Tel’aran’rhiod? If so, how did Verin enter Tel’aran’rhiod?

Maria: RAFO.

Was Verin ever in Tel’aran’rhiod after giving Egwene the ring?

Maria: RAFO.

Verin tells Egwene she wasn’t supposed to give Egwene the Ter’angreal ring. Was Verin speaking about Tower law in regards to an Accepted possessing Ter’angreal?
If not, was Verin speaking about the Black Ajah not wanting Verin to give Egwene the ring? If not, what did Verin mean?


Maria: RAFO.

Did the Black Ajah know of the existence of the Ter’angreal ring that Verin gave to Egwene?

Maria: RAFO.

Did the Black Ajah know Verin gave Egwene the ring? If so, when did they find that out?

Maria: RAFO.

Did any of the Forsaken know that Verin gave Egwene the Ter’angreal ring? If so, how long after giving Egwene the ring, did one or more of the Forsaken know Verin gave it to her?

Maria: RAFO.

It is clear that Lanfear is aware of the search for the Black Ajah, as she shows up in the guise of Else and points the girls towards a previously unknown cache of items supposedly belonging to the Black sisters that went missing. Were those items placed there by Lanfear? If not, who placed those Black Ajah possessions there for the girls to discover?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Lanfear become aware of the girl’s search for the Black Ajah through information provided to her by the Black Ajah (excluding Verin)?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin report every request made of her by the Amyrlin concerning the girls’ search to the Black Ajah?

Maria: RAFO.

We see Alviarin have meetings with Mesaana. Was Verin ever visited by one of the Forsaken?

Maria: RAFO.

Which of the Forsaken has Verin met, including any she met but was unaware the individual was a Forsaken?

Maria: RAFO.

Has Verin ever been to Shayol Ghul?

Maria: RAFO.

Are the Black Ajah aware of other “black” channelers among other populations of the world?

Maria: RAFO.

Are there other organizations of dreadlords similar to the Black Ajah in other populations of the world? If so, will you name one of those organizations and where they are located?

Maria: RAFO.
Speaking about activities outside of the White Tower, Verin was quite the traveler.
She plays an integral role throughout the series, particularly in the Great Hunt where she displays some of her deceptive personality.
Was Verin sent to Shienar by the Black Ajah?


Maria: RAFO.

Was Verin sent to Shienar by one of the Forsaken?

Maria: RAFO.

Was Verin’s visit to Shienar something she was doing on behalf of the Amyrlin?

Maria: RAFO.

Verin’s behavior throughout some of the earliest books often caused suspicion for many reasons. Specifically, we see Verin speaking privately to two darkfriends.
These meetings now seem more consequential.


Maria: RAFO.

Was Ingtar aware Verin was of the Black Ajah?

Maria: RAFO.

Was Barthanes aware Verin was of the Black Ajah?

Maria: RAFO.

Was Verin responsible in any way for Barthanes death?

Maria: RAFO.

How about Ingtar and his change of heart, did Verin have a hand in his conversion back to the Light?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Ingtar tell Verin about the wolves?

Maria: RAFO.

A couple of other curious events involving Verin occur in The Great Hunt, such as her discussion of Portal Stones with Rand.
Was Verin lying to Rand when she said his use of a Portal Stone was more recent than hers as she had never traveled by one?


Maria: RAFO.

If Verin wasn’t lying to Rand, was Verin ever transported by another channeler previous to this moment with Rand? If she was, who transported Verin?

Maria: RAFO.

If Verin was lying to Rand, from where to where has Verin traveled by Portal Stone? If you cannot give us each trip, what is one trip she made and when did she make it?

Maria: RAFO.

How did Verin come to her knowledge of the symbol for the Toman Head Portal Stone?

Maria: RAFO.

Specific to the different forms of traveling by Portal Stones, has Verin ever been to a Mirror World?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin know more about the Chaos theory and the numbers of chaos and Perpendicular worlds than she explained to Egwene? If so, what is something Verin learned about these other dimensions and worlds that you can share with us, which has not been previously divulged either in books or by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson?

Maria: RAFO.

During the trip by Portal Stone to Toman Head, everyone experiences living multiple variations of their lives, an experience similar to some the testing
Ter’angreal. Verin makes the comment after the trip through her alternate lives,
“Though I never thought I…”? Please finish that statement for us…pretty please?


Maria: No.

Verin ends up in the Two Rivers. Who sent Verin to the Two Rivers?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin’s trip to the Two Rivers have anything to do with Verin’s plans to betray the Dark One?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin ask Alanna to accompany her to the Two Rivers? If not, why did Alanna accompany her?

Maria: RAFO.

Has Alanna been keeping an eye on Verin? After all, twice she went to the kitchens after Verin did, plus she went to the Two Rivers with her, and both went to Fal Dara.

Maria: RAFO.

If it was Verin’s choice to bring Alanna, was Alanna’s emotional state a factor in that choice?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin ever use compulsion on Alanna?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin ever suspect Alanna of being Black Ajah?

Maria: RAFO.

Was Alanna’s bonding of Rand something she was encouraged to do by Verin?

Maria: RAFO.

Was Alanna’s bonding of Rand something the Black Ajah, Forsaken or Dark One told her to do?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin have any idea the Shadow was going to attack the Two Rivers?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin know who Luc was?

Maria: RAFO.

Did Verin know of Slayer’s unique nature?

Maria: RAFO.

Have Verin and Slayer ever met, even unknowingly?

Maria: RAFO.

Finally, regarding the infamous scene where Verin and Cadsuane come to a mutual understanding regarding Rand, was Verin considering killing Cadsuane with the “medicine” she had in her possession? If not, was Verin hoping to weave compulsion on her while Cadsuane was doped?

Maria: RAFO.

13 comments:

Lauren Roundy said...

Cool. But, very un-helpful. I wish she had been willing to at least tease a bit more. I'm quite disappointed that most of her answers are RAFO. At least a bit of creativity for each would've been appreciated.

Neth said...

wow - good questions.

dissapoinying answers

Anonymous said...

Heh.

After the first dozen or so RAFO, I decided to just skimp over the entire thing. Glad I didn't waste my time reading a hundred or so RAFO.

Maria certainly don't have Rj's flair.
I suspect that not even a third of these questions would be answered in the last book.

For example, I seriously doubt Slayer would go "Gee, I wonder how Verin is doing. She sure was a cougar in bed" in the middle of the Last Battle.

Don't even see the point of this interview. Only the most basic questions were actually answered..

Anonymous said...

thats a load full of RAFOs.

Me thinks, after she got her wish in one of those TGS interviews, to say RAFO, she simply fell in love with it, and likes to stick it up for every other question. For example, are all of those really specific questions going to be answered or even hinted at in the one final edition of WoT ?

Look at Malazan, it is nice and beautiful... but it just opens up soo many more questions than it really does answer. I hope team jordan don't go RAFOing after aMoL ( well before you ask read what to find it out...read the whole damn series all over again maybe? )or some other postponing tatic ...

me sa wants all my answers. I can wait ( only until aMoL though...!!!)

Lo'oris said...

What's the point of posting an article where only 3 or 4 questions among more or less 50 (!!) have a proper answer?

This is one of the most stupid articles I've ever witnessed.

Anonymous said...

It has to be pointed out that at least 2 of these questions we can RAFO as

We see Alviarin have meetings with Mesaana. Was Verin ever visited by one of the Forsaken?

In Chapter 39 of TGS Verin tells Egwene she was visited by Mesanna


Have Verin and Slayer ever met, even unknowingly?

Verin did meet Slayer in TSR Chapter 33.

There are also a few others that we can probably make an educated guess about.

So while I do agree it is a bit too RAFO heavy the question list should be double checked for questions that we can already RAFO for ourselves even if the answer may not be as definitive as we might like

Zayne said...

I would not have thought about half those questions if I hadn't read this article so that was interesting.

I would be surprised if more than 3-4 of those are addressed in aMoL. RAFO is great if it's actually going to be in the books. Otherwise, just say "I don't know, we never thought about it" Obviously a fandom the size of WoT's lends itself to people picking up on slight things that the author wouldn't normally think of. I would be more satisfied with that kind of honesty then a general RAFO. Unless there is a 3 page Verin article in the glossary of aMoL, we won't be FOing anything.

Hookedonweaves said...

All these RAFOs on only one (Dead?) character... How in the Name of the Dark One is the series going to be wrapped up in only one more Book?

Chris Wolfe said...

It amuses me some of the people commenting here. Obviously they're under the false assumption that things will be "wrapped up" in the last book. Sure, some things will, but I seem to recall years ago RJ saying outright not everything would be wrapped up and he wanted the world to continue, not essentially cease to exist with the end of aMoL. We won't have everything answered, and its how it should be. Further, there are some quite rude people here. "This is the most stupid article". For real, dude? Why don't you keep that garbage to yourself.

Linda said...

Maria wielded RAFO like a hammer here. I could have cut all the unanswered questions out, but that would lead to remarks also, since Theoryland published them all.

I agree Chris that many of these questions will remain unanswered.

Drew said...

Unfortunately we didn't get much new information and at this rate, we might as well consider the possibility of any of these being addressed in one more book is pretty remote. Great questions, anyhow, and my only surprise was that RAFO was used like a ten ton anvil in this - Verin is easily one of the best characters in the series or at least the most mysterious, and a clear cut answer to many of these would not have ruined any plot holes I can think of - we'll have to see if all of these RAFOs were worth it when we read AMOL.

Linda said...

Drew: I agree with you that many of these questions will never be answered and that they could be answered without spoiling any plot. It is of course possible that for some of these question RJ did not leave notes that could answer them.

Anonymous said...

Very unhelpful, simply because well over half of what this girl told us to find out as we read was not printed. Does read and find out mean there will be more books published that actually answer them, or is that her general way of saying she isn't senior enough to know these things?