Sep 4 2010 4:00pm

The Gathering Storm ebook cover by Todd Lockwood

The GAthering Storm ebook cover by Todd LockwoodThe Gathering Storm, volume twelve in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, will be available in ebook form on Spetember 28th. In celebration of Jordan’s work, we have commissioned fourteen artists to interpret one of the Wheel of Time books in their own style. (Previous editions can be seen here. The first eleven ebooks can be purchased at the Sony eReader Store.)

Todd Lockwood had to be in this series. No doubt. He is the master of flying creatures and great with action. When Leigh Butler threatened bodily harm suggested this sequence, I knew it would be a cover that would come together smoothly, and it did. 

To the newbie, the cover promises a book full of action and magic. For Wheel of Time fans, however, this book was a long and tragic wait. Being the first book in the series to be partially written by Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan’s successor, a cover depicting a moment of triumph seemed fitting. As Leigh says,

Egwene’s coming into her own—as Amyrlin and as a force for the Light to be reckoned with, but also simply as an adult, fully-developed character—has been a long and sometimes tortuous progression that has spanned the entirety of the series, and, in my opinion, ultimately ranks second only to Rand’s himself in its centrality to the series. Her triumph, at the moment depicted, is awesome not only because of how much ass she is kicking right then, but because it represents a fundamental turning point for her character—and, therefore, for Tarmon Gai’don itself.

The White Tower, the supposed ultimate bastion of the Light against the Shadow, has teetered on the brink of succumbing to corruption and collapse for so long now that we hardly remember it doing anything besides sucking. And then here comes Egwene, proving herself a true leader and fearsome warrior, and being everything that the Tower is supposed to be, and isn’t, and the Aes Sedai know it. Her courage is what turns it all around. She’s saving the Tower right here, in every way possible, and by extension, saving the forces of Light themselves.

And that, my friends, is how you do a Crowning Moment of Awesome.

Todd Lockwood switched from oil painting to digital before many other artists did. Perhaps his early conversion is why he has retained a very pure painting method. He starts with a sketch and builds his way up through the painting without the use of Photoshop layers or textures, utilizing digital painting’s flexibility by nudging items around more than paint would allow. Here you can see his progression from start to finish.

Todd Lockwood, The Gathering Storm ebook cover

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

To see this cover larger, please visit the Dragonmount feature.

To see more of Todd Lockwood’s illustrations please visit his website and gallery.

Jason willis
2. Baron_Golden_eyes
this is awesome, we get an ebook cover and the ToM trailer toady man this is a good day
Samuel Walker
3. lambada
The image at the top only shows Robert Jordan's name on the cover, whereas the one in the 'making of' YouTube video also shows Brandon Sanderson's name on it.

So which is it?
4. JunkfoodJunkie
The best cover yet!!! I didn't think there was a way to top the ebook cover from Knife of Dreams but you have. Great Job again!!!
Kurt Lorey
5. Shimrod
Nobody has been resting on their laurels with this whole series of e-book covers.

Another hit, Irene. Great stuff, Todd.
Maggie M
6. Eswana
Wow. Another item added to my list of "Why Leigh Butler Will Always Be Cooler Than Me or You." This is amazing. Beautiful work, totally caputures my favorite scene from tGS. Now the question is.... who gets an ARC of TofM to do the next ebook cover???? And will Tor let said cover be released before November, given that it might contain spoilery art or artist commentary???
Tricia Irish
7. Tektonica
Beautiful. Well done and indeed Egwene's MOA.

I love the "making of" film! Really fun to watch it all evolve.

Thank you Todd and Irene.
Tina A
8. Tinaa
Wow. What an amazing piece of artwork. Yet again, WoT rules.

Thank you Todd, Irene, and Leigh for making this cover such a MOA. I can't wait for the final covers, and the calendar (crosses fingers!).
9. Freelancer
Thank you once again, Irene. And you too, Leigh. Though I suspect there was little doubt which scene would grace TGS's eBook cover, your "insurance" was wise. I know some would have lobbied for "Veins of Gold" with Rand on the mountain, and while a critical point of the story, no way for artwork to depict the moment of triumph as dramatically as this does.

Todd, the artwork, and the digital stuff done to accomplish it, are phenomenal. Thank you very much for your work, and for showing us part of the process.

I admit that I do have one teensy quibble, and one wish. First, Egwene's novice dress would have been a bit more plain than as represented here (extremely teensy quibble). Second, I could have wished to see a hint of the other novices, positioned behind Egwene, that she had gathered for her counterattack, since she was unable at that time to channel at significant strength without them. It's an important bit of the victory represented by this scene that the novices had begun thinking of her as Mother, and were willing to follow her to battle.
10. Dankness
Why are the e-book covers so consistently superior to the originals? Can't they just get it right the first time?
Abdel Masdoua
12. TheDarkOne
This is the most important and triumphant scene of TGS (except for Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount). Therefore, I'm not really surprised that it was chosen for the e-book cover. Actually I'm thrilled, cause let's face it, it rocks!
Julian Augustus
14. Alisonwonderland
I don't paticularly like it. Too much of the picture is taken up by the To'Raken which seems as if it is within touching distance of Egwene. I would have preferred a shot that shows more of a long-range view of the battle , with Egwene standing on a ledge looking out at at the flying squad diving in, and blasting one out of the sky with the power. This very limited extreme closeup is a disappointment to me.
James Jones
15. jamesedjones
Meh. Nice cover. Beautiful art. But it's just too dramatic with the raken. Not one of my favorites from the series.
Thomas Keith
16. insectoid
Oooh... Pretty! Great work, Todd & Irene!! And nice thinking Leigh! :)

17. AndrewB
Overall, I liked this cover. That said, I do echo Alisonwnderland's belief that the cover's central focus was the racken. Someone looking at the cover without knowledge of the series would think that the racken itself was the main threat to the White Tower. In actuality, the threat was the attack itself. A cover that depicted Egwene using the One Power against multiple rackens would have been a truer representation.

One facet of the cover that I did like (and which I believe nobody commented upon) was the rider on the racken's back.

I also would love to have seen the scene where Eliada turns around believing that Egwene would be crying on her knees. Rather, Egwene is standing strong while blood is dripping from various injuries.

Thanks for reading my musings.
Sydo Zandstra
18. Fiddler
I have a Kindle, but I never bothered to get WoT on it. Maybe I am missing something, but should I be excited on the whole E-cover thing?
Ron Garrison
20. Man-0-Manetheran
Beautiful! And I have to echo Freelancer's thought that I would have liked to have seen the novices in the background. For me, the most moving aspect of this scene was the fact that it was Egwene and the Novices who saved the Tower, not the sisters.
Tomas Andersson
22. Tirpen
This is so awesome. I really hope these are used for the next printing of the real, physical books as well because they blow the current ones out of the water.
Luke M
23. lmelior
My goosebumps, they won't go away.

I need to read this again right now.
Sam Mickel
24. Samadai
Another excellent scene displayed with great talent. Congratulations Irene for finding another great artist.
Michael Johnson
25. twosheddz
One word - WOW!

Fiddler @18
the covers aren't as awesome in B/W on the Kindle. The books read very well though. I like being able to carry the entire series in a couple of ounces. Would be very useful for someone like Leigh. I do have Kindle for iPhone and the covers are spectacular there. Just wish they released New Spring earlier, i always start my readings there.
Sydo Zandstra
26. Fiddler

Thanks. I was wondering about the colouring too.

I'll probably get them at some point, but I'm not in a hurry...
27. Necros Xiaoban
I was really, really hoping for a scene from Veins of Gold. I shed tears of joy for Rand when I read it, and the memory of that moment will be with me forever.

I do agree with Freelancer, though. It would have been extremely hard to capture Rand's sudden rapture from madness, and the world with him.
Jay Dauro
28. J.Dauro
A minor quibble. We are told in KOD (IIRC) that the rakem eat fruits and vegetables. But the teeth on the cover are not from a herbivore.
Tess Laird
29. thewindrose
Thank you again for another wonderful piece of art work. Egwene rocks here, and deserves some recogintion for it. Can't wait for the coffee-table book!!!

Matthew Smith
30. blocksmith
Just an extraordinary job...and the film showing the evolution and the minor changes was amazing.

Thank you!!!!
31. Ghenjei
Definitely not the best of the lot though certainly better than what DKS let his 4-year old child do with watercolors and a can of sniffing glue for TGS.

In terms of the new covers, I put this 3rd from the bottom, above only Kid Rand Finds a Sword (TDR) and Drowning in Romance-Novel Sea (ACOS).

It's basically on-par with TFOH, which was actually good except for the mind-numbingly stupid gypsy coin belt on Moraine.
alicia mcdonald
32. aliaessedai
Am I the only person who has seen MAT on the cover of this ebook?

No SERIOUSLY...... he is there!!!

I have noticed a possibly unintentional optical illusion when looking at a very small picture of the ebook cover. It does look like the face of a man wearing a hat very similar to Mat. Go look!!!! I promise you will see it.
April Moore
33. aprildmoore
Todd Lockwood is a fantastic artist, and I was very happy to see this artwork unveiled at DragonCon. I spent my art budget for the con this year getting #1 of 100 of a limited run of large scale prints of this one, signed by Todd. It's even more beautiful in the larger size.

Chip (my husband and warder) also won the print for Winter's Heart which Irene was kind enough to bring as one of the giveaways. It was a random drawing, but luckily his ta'veren luck was in. We had already bid on and won the prints for ebook covers 1 & 2 at JordanCon - so now I'm thinking we'll have to get the whole set! :-) I should have just enough space in the upstairs hall to display them all as a group.

Any minor quibbles aside, the ebook covers are light years above and beyond the original covers. Kudos to Tor, the artists, and all of Team Jordan for these choices - also a big thank you to Jason D. and Leigh for helping to keep the artists on track. Fantastic work all around.
35. cdb03b
While the art for the latest banner is good I am very disappointed in the description. For one thing it was the Seanchan who blasted the whole in the wall. For another that is a raken or to'raken that she is firing at. There has not been a single living dragon in the entire 13+book series. That is a major failure on your part

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