Jan 6 2010 3:00pm

The Shadow Rising ebook cover by Sam Weber

The Shadow Rising, cover by Sam Weber

The Shadow Rising, volume four of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, will be available in ebook form January 19th. In celebration of Jordan’s work we have commissioned fourteen artists, each tackling one of the Wheel of Time books in their own style. (Previous editions can be seen here. The first three ebooks can be purchased here.)

Sam Weber, The Shadow RisingWhen this repacking program first came up, I was dying to tell Sam Weber. For one thing, he’s one of my favorite artists: his paintings have a cold psychology about them—like they have secrets to tell but aren’t about to let those secrets out lightly. Secondly, I knew that Sam is a huge Robert Jordan fan. Huge fan. I knew he would approach the assignment with unparalleled dedication and understanding. And that would also give fellow Tor.commie, Megan Messinger, and me an excuse to visit him at his studio for an interview. So, without further ado, you can hear Sam talk about the Wheel of Time, read his thoughts, and see process photos of his cover below.

Sam Weber:

I can still vividly recall reading The Shadow Rising, sprawled out on a bunk bed in Pasadena Newfoundland where my father, a research scientist, had dragged us unwillingly for two weeks of exile one hot summer many years ago. In that unairconditioned cabin I devoured The Shadow Rising and The Fires of Heaven (to this day I still can’t separate the two in my mind) and firmly sealed the deal on an obsession with Robert Jordan that I would unknowingly carry well into my adult life over a decade later.

It’s difficult to make a picture about something so close to one’s heart. Sometimes the creative process works best when it’s automatic, almost unconscious, with one small idea sketched on paper leading to another, until some sort of satisfactory solution is reached. Although content is essential, as an illustrator I’ve often benefited from a little distance between myself and the subject matter. Enough space to inject something personal into the process. Those little leaps and instinctual choices are much more difficult to make with half a lifetime of experiences and memories pulling you in different directions. Much harder when that something is so tightly bound to the subject at hand. With that said, I’d like to think that knowing The Wheel of Time allowed me to attack this picture in a meaningful and specific way.

The tension between Rand and Aviendha, our first glimpse of the Aiel Waste, Perrin in The Two Rivers, Asmodean, there’s so much in The Shadow Rising that easily contends with the likes of Dumai’s Well, the death of Rhavin, or Saidin’s cleansing (to name but a few). It’s Mat’s arc and transformation however that I have always found the most compelling, the most memorable. Perhaps because of its far-reaching consequences, perhaps because of the mystery and circumstances surrounding it. From playing cards with Tairen nobles to jumping through the Terangreal in Tear and Rhuidean, Mat comes alive in this book, emerges changed but intact, with his feet firmly planted on a path that will lead him through some of my favorite moments in the series. It’s easy to forget what a dark character Mat was at the onset, sometimes selfish or greedy, and irrevocably scarred at Shadar Logoth, it’s not until book four that he begins to truly emerge as the reluctant hero I’ve come to see him as. Mat is not just the glib and irreverent scoundrel he would like us to believe him to be. Destined to lead an army of dead heros at the last battle with the memories of history’s greatest generals entwined with his own, Jordan’s homage to Odin, complete with Ravens and spear, is deadly and capable, as much a warrior as he is rogue. I wanted to portray this Mat, freshly cut from the tree of life, with his Ashandarei balanced over one shoulder, formidable despite his wounds.

I was lucky to be able to take a trip to Connecticut to hunt for reference. Along with a friend of mine (Dan Dos Santos) we combed through racks of costumes and weapons, a small fraction of Illustrator Ed Vibel’s collection. It felt like sifting through Mat’s memories, walking amongst generations of military uniforms, a piece of armor, a belt or sword leaning against the wall, desperate objects crafted years apart on opposite sides of the world. Is this what it’s like in Mat’s head, a small memory here, a glimpse of something important there?

In many ways Jordan’s world is an artist’s dream. He writes with enough description to get the imagination working, but never with so much that one feels confined or beholden to a specific interpretation. As a reader I imagine that is what has drawn me to his work as well. I ended up basing Mat’s coat on a civil war officer’s jacket. I agree with Leigh Butler completely, Mat has always felt the most American of Jordan’s protagonists, and I wanted to reference that and give his outfit a military flavor. The pattern on his belt is from a piece of Nepali metal work, his cuffs are based loosely on a decorative french pattern. The visual and material culture of Jordan’s world feels unique, unburdened by overt adherence to any single real world analogue. Costumes and surfaces exist as organic expressions of geography, custom, trade, a convincing amalgamation that feels strangely familiar. The Wheel of Time exists in a world with depth that seems to work and function beyond the point of view offered to us at any given moment.

Although some may disagree, I’d like to think my choices they were made with good reason and in a spirit of admiration for one of my favorite characters in literature. The Ravens were an after thought, although in the end I am glad they are there, I think graphically they serve their purpose nicely. Something to let the astute know that this isn’t so much a scene as it is a character portrait, a metaphorical knowing wink from one fan to another.

For me, The Wheel of Time is what Tolkien’s work was to another generation, transformative, the lens through which all subsequent fantasy novels have been perceived and analyzed. It seems an injustice to have to boil a book down into one picture, a bitter sweet feeling I’m sure anyone involved with book jackets has experienced. Doubly so for me in this instance I think, since in many ways I’ve been waiting to make this picture for fifteen years.

Sam Weber, The Shadow Rising ebook cover

The initial thumbnail sketches:

Sam Weber, The Shadow Rising ebook skecthes

Irene: All of these would make great paintings but we agreed on the first sketch fairly quickly.  The second one across is my second favorite, and would make for one awesome painting, but I thought the tone was a bit more languid and sensuous for the book. The third has an innocence to it that I like but the more brooding pose of the first sketch seem to present Mat better. The fourth incorporated many of the same themes as the first but lacked the emotional power that the other has.

After a sketch was chosen, Sam gathered costumes and props for a reference photo shoot. He used himself as the model, getting help for the shoot from fellow artist, Dan Dos Santos and super-cute Uno.

Sam Weber, reference shot for The Shadow Rising

The final drawing.

Sam Weber, The Shadow Rising ebook skecthes

Sam explaining his process to Megan Messinger,’s audio-video producer, blogger, and tons more.

Sam Weber and Megan Messinger

Reference: The original sketch, final drawing, photos of himself in costume, reference books for weapons and, not seen, images of trees and crows.

Sam Weber, Shadow Rising reference

Painting. Sam uses acrylics and watercolors in very thin applications, slowly building up the painting in fine layers.

Sam Weber, painting The Shadow Rising

To keep up with all of our Wheel of Time posts, including information on the ebook releases, check out our Wheel of Time Index.

More photos of our visit to Sam’s studio here.

See more of Sam Weber’s work on his website and gallery.

Jason Denzel
1. JasonDenzel
Hi everyone,

There's a higher-res copy of this image, with close-up detail on

April Vrugtman
2. dwndrgn
I really like this image. Though the actual figure itself does not even closely resemble what Mat looks like in my head ;-)

I like the coat and the ashandarei and the fact that all the pieces are separate but fit together, like Mat himself. The only thing missing is the reference point for the place in the story. While the tree and ravens are evocative they are not definitive and perhaps the hanging rope would have been the defining point to place the image in WoT time.
April Vrugtman
3. dwndrgn
I'm sorry, I realize that I forgot to say that the painting as art in and of itself is stunning. Something I would joyously hang on my wall.
5. Balefired_jock
It's awesome. But I just have to say one thing.
You forgot the HAT !!!! That would have made the art complete. But it's still very good.
James Jones
6. jamesedjones
Awesome! Friggin' AWESOME!!!

Love the imagery. The darkness is always something that was missing from the DKS cover. This is exactly the kind of bleakness that comes to mind from the book's title. And it's not exactly how I pictured Mat, either. But it is a lot closer than I've ever seen brought to life.
Fade Manley
7. fadeaccompli
That is one amazing cover. I wish all the previous ones in the series had been done in a style like that; it's a lot more evocative than the early covers. (That it portrays my favorite character certainly doesn't hurt.)
Megan Messinger
8. thumbelinablues
I love how the painting is all stark and misty -- but then there's the "happy family" version with Dan and Uno! Mat in another, simpler life....

Also, in the photo, I think I'd just asked Sam why his big sketch was all taped together and was it his favorite parts of a bunch of versions; he's explaining that no, it was just the 8.5x11" restraints of printing. Duh, Megan! :-P
9. echobaseAlpha
I'm 3/4s of the way through reading 'Knife of Dreams' for the first time (LOVE the series), and generally try to stay away from Wheel of Time sites,as they always spoil important future events without warning, but I've been checking out the e-book covers regardless, and this one, like the others, is really fantastic. Great work and nice to see some behind the scenes commentary, as always!
10. pskye
I'll happily forgive the lack of Mat's hat but I would love to hear/read about whether it was ever considered as another element for the painting. Part of me thinks that the final image would be weaker with the addition of the hat but the other part of me thinks it would have perfected the awesomeness.
One thing I'm certain on is that in the absence of the hat, the two ravens are absolutely the key to naming this character as Mat. I think their inclusion in the final image is perfectly appropriate.

Bravo. Very well done.
11. C. Buzelli
Great in-depth post! Congrats Irene and Sam! The gorgeous cover makes me want to read the series.
13. cytherea
Oh, man, this is gorgeous. I agree, re: the hat being missing, but after looking at the art for another few minutes, I don't really care. This is amazing.

Any chance of getting some desktop backgrounds of this one?? I would purely love that!
Irene Gallo
14. Irene
#11 C. Buzelli: Sam spoiled us! He was so knowledgeable about the books and open to was a real treat to put this together.

#8 Thumbelina: I find myself jealous of Uno's PJs. I want dino PJs!
Sean Arthur
15. wsean
Wow, this is the best one yet. I miss the hat too, but something about this really captures Mat.
16. qazwsxedc
Love these new covers, and this is the best yet.

As for the omission of the hat: Sam basically says in the video that this is Mat after Rhuidean, the turning point for the character, and he didn't have his hat then.

Still, it might have been a sweeter 'Mat the General' cover if he had his hat, but I can understand why Sam left it out.
17. kristin Barr
Your work is inspiring.
Marcus W
18. toryx
It does feel weird without the hat but as @16 said, the hat itself doesn't show up until later. The tree behind him has to Avendesora which means that he wouldn't have the hat or the scarf around his neck yet.

This is actually my favorite cover of the e-books so far. I definitely would have chosen Mat for the central figure in The Shadow Rising cover as well, and I think it came across pretty well. Beautiful as always too.

I do kind of think that the coat is too long and there shouldn't be ravens but hell, there's no making me completely happy when it comes to the WoT covers.
Per Beltoft Madsen
19. Herr_Flick
Have you guys considered an art book with various artists?

Not just the various covers, but other artists as well?
Pritesh Patil
21. MatHornsounder
It would be great if someone makes artwork of all the characters in TWOT!!
23. sysprv
That is AWESOME!!! Kudos to Sam Weber. Great idea, modeling for Mat Cauthon ;)
24. wolraht
The art is beautiful but I don't understand why almost every depiction of Matt's medallion is wrong. The book distinctly states that there is only a single pupil, shaped like the Aes Sedai symbol on the medallion, implying that it is more of a profile of a foxhead, and yet everyone that draws up a picture of it makes it a frontal view.

That's my only complaint though. Great work. Too bad these couldn't have been the covers of the original books.
26. Freelancer
The conceptulatization of the scene is flawlessly WoT, and the execution is remarkable. I sympathize with the artist's expression that being so close to and familiar with the subject can impact the work. In this case, my mental image of Mat always has a more rounded, boyish face. However, I love the simultaneous mixture of the intent expression and nonchalant posture. That is purely Mat Cauthon.
Ron Garrison
27. Man-0-Manetheran
Great job! Although not how I have pictured Mat, I can certainly accept it. By far the best image of Mat that has been created so far.

I own all the books in hardcover. What I think would be a real treat for WoT fans is to be able to download and print the new art formatted as replacement book jackets. These are all SO much better!
Angel Banchev
28. Tiranas
Awesome Art as with the rest of the new digi-covers so far. This depiction is pretty close to what i have in mind for Mat looking like, and i just want to point that we don`t meet the Hat for some time yet. After all this is supposed to be Mat leaving Rhuidean. There wouldn`t be any hats to be had in Rhuidean. Also seconded the idea about an art book with the covers and other WoT related art by those artists that have done covers so far and those that will do. Especially Keiko Kotaki. You can never have enough Keiko Kotaki images.

Again thanks for the great post and the great art.
Bobby Stubbs
29. Valan
Wow. That. Is. Awesome.

It does help that Mat is my favorite character, of any series, not just WoT.
Ron Garrison
30. Man-0-Manetheran
Tiranas @ 28
Good point! No doubt if Sam had included the hat, everyone would have jumped all over him. (We're like that. Yes we are.)

Tips Hat™
Angel Banchev
32. Tiranas
@30 Yes, i know. :) I`ve been following the re-read from the start, but stopped because i am waiting for a translation of The Gathering Storm in my language so i can continue compliting my set of hardcovers, and i don`t want to get spoiled by accident from Ms. Butler`s re-reads. But believe me i know how wonderfully whacked (in a good sense) we fans of The Wheel can get sometimes. On a second note, looking at the cover for a half an hour now my only quible with it is about Mat`s Pendant. It looks good, but not how i imagined it. The Ashandarei blade looks trully awesome when depicted straight though, but i`ve always imagined that it was curved. But then again the original art in some places could have been better. And oh, The Hat. Well, in the course of the books it does become a part of Mat`s persona if you will, but Sam does state both in the clip and in the text that he is depicting Mat very early after his turning point or even just a little bit before that. Again, awesome cover.
Irene Gallo
33. Irene
All right folks, Jason and I have asked before, but it doesn't hurt to ask again....

What are your favorite scenes from Crown of Swords through Gathering Storm?

We have a few of these books pined down already, and some rough ideas on the rest, but the input so far has been a great help - either directly or just in terms of helping set mood and tone that the series takes.
Ron Garrison
34. Man-0-Manetheran
I hope you get the translation soon, Tiranas. TGS is a spectacular book that will have you cheering, weeping, throwing your hands up and dancing around the room - and even wanting to throw it across the room sometimes! We are continuing the re-reads again, but there are spoilers, so I thought I better warn you.

Irene - Thanks for the invitation. I'll give it serious thought.
Bobby Stubbs
35. Valan
@ Irene (great post, by the by ;)

Favorite scenes:

A Crown of Swords: Lan saving Nynaeve in Ebou Dar

A Path of Daggers: Moridin playing Sha'rah (the Fisher King game)

Winter's Heart: The Cleansing

Crossroads of Twilight: The Perrin scene where he throws his axe away after torturing the Aiel.

Knife of Dreams: (this one's hard) hmmm. The scene where Mat kills something like 8 guys in the town and Tuon takes care of the last one. (help with the name of the town, anyone?) Or perhaps, the Battle of Malden.

The Gathering Storm (spoiler alert):
Egwene on top of the Tower killing the raken or Rand on Dragonmount.

I sincerely hope Dumai's Wells is the clincher for Lord of Chaos, since you didn't ask for that one...
Tess Laird
36. thewindrose
WoW!! That is stunning. I do hope there is a coffee table book at the end of this.
S Diller
37. CuenDiller
Wow. That is awesome, so detailed.

If you guys want more character drawings check out this guys website. His name is Seamas Gallagher, he has done work on the Wheel of Time comics as well as most of the characters. Scroll about 3/4 of the way down the page. I found them over at dragonmount and fell in love.
John Massey
38. subwoofer
Holy Schnike! Infinitely better than any other WoT cover out there! Perhaps redoing the whole series to reflect this artwork and reissuing the books. Could be a cash cow for TOR. Heck, I'd buy them, even in HC. Or maybe just stopping the insanity and any future books having similar covers instead of the er... questionable cover art to date.

39. Freelancer

The Chapter is "A Hell in Maderin".

Hmm, favorite scenes. Ones fitting for depiction on a book cover...

ACoS - Swovan Night - Mat finding Birgitte in his room at The Wandering Woman, holding her bow, and suddenly recognizing her from Falme.

Path of Daggers - A Time for Iron - Rand losing control of Saidin while wielding Callandor against the Seanchan outside of Ebou Dar. Perhaps the moment when Bashere is bowling Rand to the ground to keep him from killing more of his own men.

Winter's Heart - Blue Carp Street - I know everyone will say With the Choedan Kal, but to me the scene on the roof when Lan slips and Rand is holding him, hanging over the side, is far more dramatic, far more emblematic than Rand and Nynaeve sitting on the ground on a hill. When Lan tells Rand to let go, and he refuses...Tai'Shar Manetheren!

Crossroads of Twilight - A Time to be Gone - Mat leaving Ebou Dar with Egeanin, Bayle, Selucia, Teslyn and Joline as Damane, Renna, Seta, and Tuon wrapped in a bundle across his saddle. The scene can include lightning, fire and smoke from the released Windfinders rioting in the city, ships in the harbor exploding, and the Seanchan gate guards shooing Mat's entourage along out of the city.

Knife of Dreams - A Plain Wooden Box - Rand with one hand pulling Min behind him, the other raised toward Semirhage with her fireball about to strike him. Cadsuane, Nynaeve, Alivia, Bashere, some Maidens, and some Asha'man belong in the scene, as well as the Seanchan Sul'dam and Damane who are appalled and surprised at the sudden change in appearance of the Daughter of the Nine Moons.

The Gathering Storm - I cannot decide. I'd love to honor Verin with a book cover, but it isn't dramatic enough, given the many truly dramatic scenes in this volume:

~ Rand blowing the Domination Band off his neck while his hand is still around Min's throat.
~ Rand balefiring Graendal's hideout while Nynaeve, Min and Ramshalan look on in horror.
~ Egwene with her novice crew and the sa'angreal, blowing raken and to'raken out of the sky through a hole in the Tower.
~ Rand on the summit of Dragonmount, ready to burn the entire world down, with the access key at his feet and the smoking maw down the slope below.

And that's all I got. For now.
Bobby Stubbs
40. Valan
@ Free

Yes, A Hell in Maderin, awesome scene. Thanks man.

I definitely agree that Swovan Night for aCoS and Blue Carp Street for WH are both excellent cover scenes. If they did the Domination Band scene in tGS, they would have to really capture the horror of it, which doesn't seem like the strong points of the artists we've seen so far. But here's to hope.
John Massey
41. subwoofer
Every time I see "A Hell in a Maderin" with Tuon looking for fun, I think about dis.

Ron Garrison
42. Man-0-Manetheran
Covers! What Freelancer said! Except TGS: totally Egwene's cover. TOTALLY!

Tai'Shar Manetheren
Tricia Irish
43. Tektonica
Sam's artwork is wonderful. His Mat is pretty close to my mental Mat. I know why the hat wasn't included, but it has become pretty synonymous with Mat....
I guess I do miss it, but not much.

One all the pictures I've seen of the ashandari, it is very long. Isn't it too long to use as a quarterstaff? It just seems like you would have to hold it too high in order to clear the ground to wield it effectively. ( I am not picking on Sam's artwork, just a technical question.)

I wish the covers on the books were as beautiful as this, and I vote for a beautiful art book to accompany this monumental series as well!

It seems Mr. Weber is as good a writer as he is an artist. His description of Mat in the third paragraph is beautiful! I reread it several times. (Under the video.)
Tricia Irish
44. Tektonica
It’s easy to forget what a dark character Mat was at the onset, sometimes selfish or greedy, and irrevocably scarred at Shadar Logoth, it’s not until book four that he begins to truly emerge as the reluctant hero I’ve come to see him as. Mat is not just the glib and irreverent scoundrel he would like us to believe him to be. Destined to lead an army of dead heros at the last battle with the memories of history’s greatest generals entwined with his own, Jordan’s homage to Odin, complete with Ravens and spear, is deadly and capable, as much a warrior as he is rogue. I wanted to portray this Mat, freshly cut from the tree of life, with his Ashandarei balanced over one shoulder, formidable despite his wounds.

-Sam Weber
John Massey
45. subwoofer
Well, gotta give EotW to Winternight, when everything goes sideways for Rand and his home is attacked. Tam with the sword battling the beasties.

TGH- The Grave is No Bar to My Call- Mat blowin' the Horn and things hitting the fan.

TDR is tough IMHO, Rand is the Dragon, but he spends much of the book "off-screen". Maybe the OG cover, just somebody to draw it without romance novels in mind.

TFoH-The Lesser Sadness- c'mon, classic scene- Mat in the rain, with his hat, and all the Aiel in the world waiting to come down on him and his men.

Load of Choss- I dunno, Perrin on Dobraine's stirrup, riding to Rand's rescue with Gunga Din happening all around.

ACoS- Mashiara- Lan coming to Ny's aid or a ship in half with balefire smoking it. Powerful image. Heck, Six Stories with Lan launching against the BA and thugs all around would do too. And avoids the nautical theme.

TPoD- The Breaking Storm- ladies weaving through the Bowl and a big column of Saidar coming up to the heavens.

Winter's Heart- have to back Free on this one. Says it all.

CoT- Perrin hurling his axe into a tree and talking with Elyas.

KoD- Whoosh! Is there any question? The Golden Crane- Lan stepping out of a Gateway on Mandarb and Ny in the background.

TGS-Well, for me it would be Rand sitting on top of the world contemplating his navel. Changed my whole perspective of the guy. That or him being chained by Semi.

John Massey
46. subwoofer
Option B- dedicate each cover to the mains.

Book 1-Moiraine

2- Perrin
7-Elayne- gotta give her something

Bobby Stubbs
47. Valan
After checking out Sam's site, I retract my statement about horror not being a strong point of his. Wow, man.The Crow Procedure. Fantastic.

Sub: What, wait, we're still doing books 1-6? Oh yeah, that's right, it's your birthday and you can do what you want to ;)
Alice Arneson
48. Wetlandernw
Tektonica @43 - As I understand it, a quarterstaff is typically 6 to 9 feet long, so this looks about right.

This is an awesome painting. I, too, would love to have print versions of these covers; they are all gorgeous artworks. thewindrose has a great idea in the coffee table book. I'd buy it in a heartbeat even if the other 10 were awful - but the work so far speaks well for the upcoming covers. Looking forward to seeing them all.

Will have to think on recommended scenes... I love the way this one combines the depiction of a scene, or rather a moment in the book, with a character portrayal reflecting who he is becoming as well.
Ron Garrison
49. Man-0-Manetheran
"a quarterstaff is typically 6 to 9 feet long"

Oh, Ohh. I feel a longbow discussion coming on...
Leigh Butler
50. leighdb
Sam Weber is a an extremely talented artist with excellent taste in blogs. Heh.

(The Re-read post with the discussion about Mat as an "American" hero, by the way, is here iff'n you want to read it.)

Shameless self-promotion aside, I agree with many other commenters that this Mat isn't much like my mental image of him (he seems way too young to me, for one thing, which possibly is just a sign that I'm getting Old), but the artwork and the costuming and the background and the ravens are just brilliant. I love the coat, and THANK YOU for finally getting the ashanderei right. The extra shading on one eye was also a nice foreshadowy touch.

Definitely my favorite e-book cover so far. Now get off my lawn!
Rob Munnelly
51. RobMRobM
So we have:

EOTW - Rand on the boat.
TGH - Mat blowing the horn
TDR - Rand at rest with a sword
TSR - Mat with the ash and ravens....

Time to bring in the girls. I'm now thinking for TFOH either to have Birgitte shooting at Nyneave at Valan Luca's circus or Moiraine diving at Lanfear in front of the tergreal, leaning towards the former as Nyneave is too central to the plot not to have a cover. (Of course, the Moiraine/Lanfear scene would be cool and you could save Birgitte for the Swovan Night scene with Mat in Crown of Swords - or her fighting the bad guys back to back with Mat with her Festival of Birds outfit in the same book.)

Re Load of Choss, time to bring Perrin to the fore - running towards Dumai's Wells with Axe in hand and foot in Dobraine's stirrup (Woof's idea above as well); or crushing the silver punch glass in talking to his father in law to be; or riding under the Wolf Head banner towards Dumai's Wells.

Crown of Swords - Mashiara could work if you didn't use Nyn in TFOH; or Swovan Night/Festival of Birds (as noted above).

Path of Daggers - Egwene on the frozen lake - the child Amrylin taking control; or the Bowl of Winds scene.

Winter's Heart - Tuon on her Seanchan ship in Under the Veil; Blue Carp street is a good idea; cleansing with Rand and Nyn would work.

I'll skip the rest for now.

Rob Munnelly
52. RobMRobM
Here were my suggestions for Irene last time, following up on someone else's suggestions. R

Good choices but a lot depends in which characters got covers to this point - diversity is probably a good thing. Most of major characters should get at least one cover. Perhaps also consider:
- Mat battling the gholam with medallion in hand in CoS;
- Egwene on the frozen lake in PoD;
- Tuon coming on her ship with guards and damane under a veil in WH;
- something with Perrin in Crossroads of Twilight (or, if he is left out to this point, marching down at Malden with Aram at his side in KoD);
- Nyn raising the Golden Crane (after dropping Lan off)in KoD.
Theodor Engström
53. Theodor
My suggestions:

ACoS- Mat fighting the Golam with Elayne lying blodied in the background.

TPoD- Rand's brutal and gritty campaign against the Seanchan.

Winter's Heart- Nynaeve and Rand at the cleansing.

CoT- Perrin sitting in the woods, with his axe thrown into the tree.

KoD- Elayne facing the Black Sisters in their hidout in Caemlyn.

TGS- Egwene fighting the Seanchan in the White Tower.
Irene Gallo
54. Irene
This is great, guys. We want to keep the images as a surprise so I can't say much now...but some of scenes mentioned are in the works, other are under consideration and seeing them listed here makes me feel stronger about those choices...and a lot are new to me so I better start doing some more research.
John Massey
55. subwoofer
@Leigh, I wasn't gonna say it, but since you did, you old foggy, it's all good;) The older a person gets the younger 18 gets ( when you go to a bar/pub/whatever and they are serving liquor to people who look too young shave... anything). For Mat's WoT age, he looks just fine.

@Valan, well, thanks, but birthday aside, I can't abide with Rand of the tight pants or Rand of the Frilly lace. Heck Mat, Perrin, and anybody else look like tools too. I would not mind that they have reprints with a do-over on the covers. All the covers.

@Rob- like the idea of the Black Wind. Seems a winner:)

Given some time I will flesh out my idea of the person per cover plan.

Jay Dauro
56. J.Dauro
Leigh, I have to agree with Subwoofer. The older I get, the younger they look. Mat does look young here, but it is a good 21 or so. (999-978) Not quite what was in my mind, but damn close.

I do love this cover. The detail is great, the coat, etc play well to Mat's taste for clothing, the ashanderei is beautiful, and he already looks as if it is part of him. ( I would hate to have to face him using it.)

Looking closely, it appears there is a hint of the scars on his neck.

Irene, we want you to promise we can buy prints or a book. Yes, we have to wait until aMoL, but if there's no promise, we will come looking before then ;^).
Irene Gallo
57. Irene
J. Dauro: Man, I'd love to! A whole lot needs to happen over the next year...but you never know.

At the very least, we should be able to _something_ fun and on a much smaller scale in the meantime...I have no idea what but I'll see if we can come up with something.
Bobby Stubbs
58. Valan
Sub: you have seen the other new e-book covers haven't you (surely you have)? Not a fan? I personally like them all, granted they don't have to be that great to beat out DKS, (though to be fair, I like his FoH and PoD covers just fine, why does he keep painting the same characters, yet they look completely different each time?) This is my favorite WoT art I've seen to date, though there is a great painting of the sky of Falme I saw on Dragonmount, as well as the Aiel Waste, and some pretty damn good fan art (agree with CuenDillar that Seamas is good, as well as his buddy (forgot his name, the other guy that does stuff for the comics)

Irene: Just want to add my voice to those who are requesting prints/books, this stuff is really good, I'd personally love to have this painting (or at least a copy) on my wall.
59. Anders_Sweden
These new covers are awesome. I wish they remade the hardcover ones as well (sell separetely :) )

Say, when all these new covers are done, how about a Wheel of Time Calendar for 2011 with each new cover having it's own month? It'll even work well with the seasons (for us in the northern hemisphere anyway!). It should amount to 12 neat months, with a bonus front page from TGS.
John Massey
60. subwoofer
@Valan, don't call me Shirley;) And no, I haven't seen the covers. I live in a tree. Not much comes my way unless a wayward bird brings it.

Think TOR has the index... will sniff it out.

John Massey
61. subwoofer
Not feeling the first or the third cover. TGH is a gooder, the other's not so much. Fabio sailing a boat and Rand sitting in a garden. Not very dramatic. Get where the images came from in the story. Meh. Back to my plans.

Rob Munnelly
62. RobMRobM
Irene - how are you going to draw the ageless face that the older Aes Sedai have? I've never had a clear sense of what that should look like. That will no doubt come into play in later pics. R
Brady Allen
63. akabrady
Great post. Cool art. I'll have to put Sam Weber on my list of artists to watch.

And I think I'm going to have to start over on this series. I only ever read to book 4 or 5, since it was so long to wait between books that I felt like I had to start over from the beginning every time just to remember what everyone was doing.

Irene- Thank you, thank you, thank you for having the link to larger versions of the images!
64. NotMat
Am I the only one who does not like this image of Mat? It seems more like the artist made a vanity injection of himself into Mat rather than Mat himself.

The nose is too big. This Mat has a potbelly. I can't see this Mat having anywhere near a boyish smile. And most importantly, this Mat does not exude charm.

All wrong. Sorry.
Irene Gallo
65. Irene
RobM: Well, as a purely technical matter: of course it's much easier to say "ageless" than to show it. Typically, I find that we should shoot for the cusp of late twenties/early thirties. Basically, an age where most people would love to stop their own physical clocks. ;-) but then try to get something "wise" in the eyes. It's a tall order, though, to be sure.

NotMat: Of course I am sorry to hear you feel we missed the mark on this one. Hopefully some of the other characters we portray will be more fitting.

That said, it occurs to me: WoT fans _must_ have played the "casting game", right? Anyone care to shout out some actors, past or present, that they feel fits the various Wheel of Timers?
John Massey
66. subwoofer
@Irene, ya gotta check out past blogs... IIRC it was TFOH that we played the who's gonna be who game. Then we found out that everyone watched Firefly and wants Nathan Fillion cast no matter what. Lemme see:

Berelain- Jessica Beile
Lanfear- Megan Fox
Nynaeve- Hillary Swank
Moiraine- Cate Blanchett
Min- Natalie Portman or Ellen Page
Eggy- Scarlett Johannson
Elayne- Kristen Stewart
Tuon- Mila Kunis or Jessica Alba
Perrin- Taylor Lautner
Mat-Chris Pine
Rand- Josh Duhamel
Lan- Russell Crowe
Thom-Sam Elliot
Bela- Bela

That's all I got for now.

John Massey
67. subwoofer
Geeze, shared the casting call on the Spoiler thread and ran that train off the rails. Come to think of it, the same thing happened the last time. This is why we try to not get too real with WoT. Especially talking about films. Slippery slope.

68. Jason_M_W
These new covers are awesome, me and my friends say we would buy a whole new set of hardcovers just to have these. I like that different people are doing the covers so there is something for everyone
Irene Gallo
69. Irene
subwoofer: Thanks. I was trying to find the info in the TFOH thread but there was a ton of posts to go through. So that helps a lot. ;-)
Rob Munnelly
70. RobMRobM
Irene - Shadow Rising post 21 has lots (and lots) of bandying about on casting ideas.

I'm not a big supporter of some of Woof's choices. Egwene is supposed to be very pretty but is short and has dark hair so I'm not feeling a Scarlett vibe. We also see her as the A+ student in the first row who says "ooh ooh pick me" in response to every teacher's quesiton - again, not what I think of re Scarlett. Perrin is supposed to be huge - former blacksmith - so Lautner seems too puny (if appropriately lupine). Note that Tuon is either black or very dark skinned so query whether Woof's recommendations will work. Perhaps a very short, very cute, very bossy young black actress would work better.
71. joe heron
Great, the pose and everything is spot on.

though, next time Sam could have refrained from painting his face strait on the characters face. should have used Jared Leto or Rob Downy Jr face as reference IMO.
72. Jim Paillot
Sam, this piece is beautiful. Well done. The sense of drama and color scheme makes me think of the work of Pyle and NC Wyeth. Terrific.
73. Rhodry
These new WOT cover arts would be awesome if printed on the hard copies of the book
74. Deweyrussell
I absolutely love this image! One day, when TOR comes out with a new edition, I can only hope against home that the cover art will capture the story and characters as well as this. It would be a welcome reprieve from DKS' cartoonish and oddly disproportionate characatures.
75. Rapierhomme
I personally love all of these covers. Sam Weber's rendition of Mat is perfect! Finally someone got the ashandarei right!

Like everyone else here, I would like to see them utilized more, either in a WoT art book with many different artists painting the different characters and scenes, or with reprints of the books.

On that note, why can't artists get the Aiel right? The books plainly describe their cadin'sor as shades of brown and gray that can blend into almost anything. Clearly this would look like some sort of camoflauge. And the veil was the only part of the shoufa that was described as being black, yet every artist I've seen, except for DKS on The Dragon Reborn, shows the shoufa as being black too. In addition, I have always picture the Aiel as being anywhere between 6' 3" and 6' 7". Yet all pictures I have seen have shown them as the same height as everybody else.

Irene - When I first started reading the WoT series 12 years ago, I had ideas as to who would be best for certain parts. Unfortunately, many of them have aged and would no longer be a good fit. But here are a few actors I think would be perfect for certain roles:

Thom - Donald Sutherland or Ian McKellen (Donald Sutherland has the looks, but Ian McKellen has the voice!)

Lan - Clive Owen (Did anybody see him in King Arthur? Clancy Brown was my first choice, but he's now in his sixties.)

Elayne - Molly Quinn (She plays Alexis Castle on the ABC crime drama Castle. If anyone has red-gold hair, she does!)

Alas, I think they would have to use a lot of unknowns for most of the roles.
76. Duncan Long
It's really a treat to see the progression of drawings that went into the creation of the final cover as well as getting a look at the reference pictures (and a hint of the research into weapons and costumes that is often needed, too). Thanks for sharing all these.

A. P.
77. chewynewyork
This is a very admirable rendition of the fourth book I love so much. I agree about Mat's story arc being very pronounced in this volume, and the pic definately captures that mood and theme. There are so many moments in the series that can be translated into art, it must be hell to actually choose one to represent all, but I totally like the choices made. Though I do like Sweet's covers, I think yours are considerably better.
Tomas Gerst
78. IamnotSpam
After looking at this everyday for a couple of months now I think that Matt should be played by Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris). He coould play him very well and he looks the part.
79. Hiedi N.R
Very well done! I see his face different but I definitely like this fora cover. This is the second one that I think actually portrays a character in the book accurate enough to go on a oover.
80. Rob MacKay
Awesome image.

Those asking about the hat etc, If he is standing under the tree he has not got the hat or scarf yet has he? Or did he get the hat from the peddler before? I think it was after lol
81. timothie goodshaw
Isnt the medalion a fox head imprinted on a disc? I say this because from reading the last book Elayne made copys of the medalion with the rose of andor imprinted insted of the fox head? The lack of a scar in the main drawing seems wrong aswell
The Ashandarei is not supposed to be as long as a full quarter staff. As RJ had a love of Japanese weapons it is of no surprise the shapes of Heron marked blades have taken obvious inspiration from Japanese Katana and Mat's Ashandarei taking inspiration from the Naginata. So while it's interesting that Mat's main character influences are Norse, his weapon of choice is Japanese in origin, even if the Norse Odin referenced weapon is a Spear. While a Naginata is spear like, it is not technically a pole arm as a Spear is. Given its blade length of two to three feet it was more a bladed weapon until it evolved with its handle growing in length until it became pole arm length. What I originally imagined it likened to was the Arthurian spear- Ron, but later I thought of it more as a Naginata. No matter, seeing it here it is especially awesome and I like the lines chosen for it. The length of it is of medium Naginata length, so about a foot or so short of an average length quarter staff, a good length and consistent with its in book description.

My only beef with this work is the lack of a visible medallion. I too feel odd seeing Mat without his hat, but given the explained time line its taken from, it's most acceptable. But why not the medallion and why not the described visage of, drawn in the sketch art?

But that bit is being overly picky. It is a badass work! Nuff said.


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