A Memory of Light

Brandon Sanderson’s Wheel of Time Answers From #TorChat

Every month, Tor Books hosts a #TorChat on Twitter, connecting authors with their fans. This month, Brandon Sanderson sat down with excited fans to discuss the events of A Memory of Light, the conclusion to The Wheel of Time.

Was everything revealed? Not quite, but a few dangling questions were addressed, and Brandon did reveal which Wheel of Time character we will find out more about this coming April! Take a look at the summary below.

Oh, and full spoilers for A Memory of Light, of course.

First, the big questions!

“River of Souls,” the forthcoming Wheel of Time short story featured in Unfettered is a collection of scenes that illustrate Demandred/Bao the Wyld’s story leading up to A Memory of Light.

There are three questions Brandon is not allowed to answer about the Wheel of Time:

  1. Who Nakomi was.
  2. How Rand lit the pipe at the end of the series.
  3. How Rand and Moridin swapped bodies.

Not even Brandon knows what’s going with Rand’s pipe-lighting at the end of A Memory of Light. “I put it in as RJ instructed, and I know nothing more about it than fandom does, I’m afraid.”

The very final scene, where Rand lights his pipe and heads off into the world was the ending scene that Robert Jordan wrote when it became clear that he would not finish the series on his own. The entire epilogue is Jordan’s, barring a few small Loial inserts and Perrin’s scenes, and was written and not dictated.

There are far more reasons to believe that Rand’s body-switch at the end is real and not an illusion.

Rand’s bond with Min, Elayne, and Nynaeve transferred with Rand when he took possession of Moridin’s body, although Brandon didn’t know how or why.

Regarding Nakomi: “With all of the homages to global myths/legends in WoT is it fair to consider Nakomi as a Wandering Jew/Jenn?” Brandon’s response: “That’s a very clever question that nobody has yet asked me. I’m not going to say more, however.”

Rand’s body is definitely burning in the pyre at the end.

Cadsuane does end up being the next Amyrlin.

Rand doesn’t know the Song and the Tinkers wouldn’t accept anything he taught them anyhow.

Robert Jordan specifically noted that the Tinkers would not find their Song by the end of the series and that the Ogier song of growing is not the Tinkers’ Song. The Song is “a much more deep and philosophical concept, perhaps unattainable.”

 

Other tidbits:

The Oath Rod is still used by the Aes Sedai as their organization heads into the Fourth Age. The male channelers do not use it and should not be considered Aes Sedai, as per Jordan’s notes, but a gender-united Aes Sedai will come again someday.

The Last Battle took “weeks stretching to months” for the world, but only took hours for Rand.

In Shayol Ghul, Rand deliberately ommitted Elan/Moridin’s honorary Age of Legends-era third name. This was specified in Jordan’s notes, although it’s up to interpretation as to whether Rand meant to insult Moridin was whether he was merely being familiar.

On knowing who killed Asmodean: “Fun, but also annoying, since I couldn’t tell anyone.”

There were no substantial notes left about doing a new series focused in Seanchan, and Brandon further feels that to do such a series would be exploiting RJ’s legacy.

Brandon could have gone three more books writing about everything that happened in the final book. A piece of him also wishes there been more time with Fain in the final book.

The deaths that hit Brandon the hardest? “Egwene. After that, Bela. I’d promised she would live, but Harriet decided that I was cheating to keep her alive.”

Some things, like the characters that Demandred kills, were supposed to be abrupt to convey the emotion of sudden loss and because often that’s the way things are in war.

In response to “What would’ve happened had Elayne not bonded Birgitte, given how Birgitte’s death went in aMoL?” Brandon: “I believe she’d still have come when the Horn was blown.”

Dobraine made it out of The Last Battle alive and was present at the Fields of Merrilor when Rand and Egwene met. Jordan had no further notes on Dobraine.

As far as Brandon knows, the in-the-works Encyclopedia will have information that didn’t make it into A Memory of Light.

Moiraine and Nynaeve knew some of Rand’s plan concerning Callandor before they arrived at Shayol Ghul.

The Wheel of Time is NOT a part of Brandon’s larger interconnected universe of books, although you are free to imagine “that most possibilities of worlds are mirror worlds to the WoT…”

Perrin was the easiest character to write and Mat was the hardest, followed by Aviendha and Tuon.

Jordan was uncertain if he wanted Elayne to have rule over Cairhien before the conference at the Fields of Merrilor and the Last Battle.

Not everything that Min foresaw was supposed to be significant in the series, according to Jordan’s notes.

Jordan deliberately played up elements, foreseeings, and prophecies in the series that he knew were going to be minor.

Verin’s Black Ajah identity was the most shocking revelation that Brandon learned while going through Jordan’s notes on the series.

On whether Elayne’s kids could be Heroes of the Horn. “It could happen.”

Brandon wanted to have a scene with Rand, Perrin, and Mat reunited, but just couldn’t fit it in logistically.

Jordan did not intend for the readers to see the discussion between Rand and Alivia regarding how she would “help him die.”

To Jordan, RAFO didn’t always mean he was going to give the readers an answer. Rather, that he wanted readers to consider it on their own.

On the offscreen conversation between Tuon and Hawkwing: “It was interesting, I’ll tell you that much.”

Everything in the Shadow Prophecy did indeed happen.

Demandred took control of multiple factions of Sharans, but not all of them by a longshot.

Jordan left some notes on how Callandor was initially created.

Lan’s sequence near the end of A Memory of Light is the scene from that book that moves Brandon the most. For Towers of Midnight, it’s Perrin’s forging of his hammer.

All of the cracks from balefire use are still present in the world, but will eventually heal themselves. In addition, Egwene’s anti-balefire weave was witnessed.

Setalle Anan survived The Last Battle.

Taim was recruited by the Forsaken, so his becoming a Darkfriend happened after the Forsaken were freed from the Bore.

Almost all of the major deaths in A Memory of Light were planned by Jordan, although a few were left open to be decided on.

The Broken Wolf was Perrin’s spirit guide.

Rand’s third question to the Aelfinn involved Rand asking how to kill the Dark One. More detail on these will most likely be put in the Encyclopedia.

Moiraine’s prophecied purpose during the Last Battle was to stop Egwene and Rand from going to The Last Battle separately instead of together.

There is a deeper meaning to the “remnant of a remnant” Aiel prophecy, but it’s meaning is philosophical more than anything else and references, in part, their changing purpose.

What does Brandon see if he imagines Rand five years from now? “I see him happy.”

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