Fri
Apr 26 2013 11:00am

JordanCon 2013: The Actual Report

JordanCon 2013: The Actual ReportSalaam and good evening to you, worthy Tor.commers! I am now (mostly) recovered from my venture into the delightful crazy that is JordanCon, and now I am bound to tell you all about it. Whoo!

This year I was privileged to be the Toastmaster of JordanCon V, otherwise known as Tar Vacon, and it was pretty much one of the coolest experiences I have ever had in this fandom. And I’ve had some pretty damn cool experiences in this fandom before this, so give that statement the weight it deserves, people.

And of course, no Wheel of Time convention would be complete without me yammering on at length about it, so if you’re just DYING to find out how cool my weekend was (and your Internet connection can handle stupid amounts of pictures) please do click the link for more!

No one believes me when I tell them this, but I was actually incredibly nervous about being this year’s Toastmaster for JordanCon. Not so much for perhaps the normal reasons, i.e. getting up in front of several hundred people and talking (I was totally fine with that), but because I was so concerned about everything going the way I wanted it to. This probably makes me a control freak, but, well, we all probably knew that anyway.

BUT, fortunately for my neurotic self, everything (from my end, at least) went off without a hitch. This is due pretty much entirely to the awesomeness that is Jennifer Liang, Chair of JordanCon and general all-around amazing human being, and the team of equally amazing people she has gathered around her to run this thing, because they did lots of stuff for this con, but most importantly, they got me a desk.

I’m kidding, that is totally the least important thing anyone did for this con. Though I do have to point out that Jennifer did actually get me one, thus saving me from having to rewrite the entire gag I used for the Opening Ceremonies, so from my point of view that was buckets of awesome, but it is just a drop in the industrial vat of awesome that the JordanCon staff managed to accomplish this past weekend.

Seriously, my experience of fandom conventions in general is rather limited, but I have been assured by multiple folks, many of whom have been to pretty much every fandom convention ever, that JordanCon in particular is something special. We are small, but that just means that our awesome is concentrated.

And not so small as we used to be, either. I am told that JordanCon’s attendance jumped from 291 attendees in 2012 to 589 attendees in 2013.

Which, in case you can’t math as good as me, is, like, a lot more. More than double last year’s numbers! That? That is pretty fucking awesome, you guys.

But screw the numbers, Leigh, you may be saying, get back to important matters. Like why you so desperately needed a desk. Eh? Eh?

Ah, well. I was hoping to be able to share that with y’all, but unfortunately the video from the Opening Ceremonies is not yet ready (turns out it takes a while to clean up and format four days’ worth of video, who knew), and it appears that hardly anyone actually took pictures during the hour. I’m going to go ahead and assume that it was because my performance was so mesmerizing that people just plain forgot they had cameras!

What?

Oh, fine. But, I can say that while it may or may not have been mesmerizing, the whole Opening Ceremonies thing went off without a hitch, and I was quite pleased with it. But rather than try to describe it to you, as soon as I do have a video link for you I will absolutely post it on Tor.com and it will be much more enjoyable that way, I hope. So, something to look forward to, yes?

ETA: The video for the Opening Ceremonies is now up! Yay!

But hey, in the meantime, here’s a teaser!

JordanCon 2013

(I do have to take a second to thank my sister Elizabeth, who is a professional photo and paper restoration artist, and without whose awesome Photoshop-fu my slide show would never have worked in a million years. I also have to thank Chris Lough, of our own Tor.com fame, for coming through with an awesome WOT graphic (that one probably got the biggest laugh of the whole thing, Chris, you rock), and also Re-reader Jay Dauro and Spencer Powell of The 4th Age Podcast, without whose A/V-fu the slide show would not have been visible no matter how awesome my sister made it. I often have cause to be thankful that I know so many people who are so much more skilled at technical things than I am, but never more so than in the past couple of weeks. Y’all all saved my ass, for real.)

So, it turns out that the really bizarre thing about being the Toastmaster for a fandom convention is that when you’re busy being (functionally) the emcee of the con, you don’t have time to actually attend the con—other than the panels you’re actually moderating, of course. So in this particular report I am unfortunately unable to tell you much of anything about the vast majority of the panels held this year at JordanCon, because I just didn’t have the opportunity to experience them. Which is a shame, because there were quite a few I would have loved to attend, particularly in the Writer’s Track. Hopefully there are some attendees who would care to share their experiences of the panels I didn’t get to see in the comments?

However, I did get to not only attend but to moderate all of the “big” events of JordanCon this year, and those I can tell you about. The first one of these, immediately after the Opening Ceremonies, being An Hour With the Author Guest of Honor for JordanCon, who this year was Seanan McGuire.

Seanan and Re-reader Leslie Annis, aka Lannis.

(Leslie, by the way, may be in a disproportionate number of the pictures on this post, because I managed to take precisely ZERO pictures at the con, owing to the fact that (a) I suck and (b) my phone camera sucks even more, so I am cheerfully stealing Leslie’s pictures instead, as well as a number of other folks’ pictures which I nabbed more or less at random from the JordanCon FaceBook group. If anyone wants credit for those I don’t attribute because I can’t figure out where the hell I got them from, let me know in the comments.)

Seanan would have been a great guest just solely based on her impressive resume, which now includes being nominated for a record-breaking five Hugo awards this year, but it also happens that she is awesome in and of herself. When I initially met her at the pre-con dinner Thursday night, I walked up to her and said, “Hi, you’re Seanan McGuire, right? I’m Leigh Butler,” and without missing a beat she replied, “And together we are—Wyld Stallyns!”

We got along just fine.

She was described to me later as being “a twisted Disney princess,” and that’s about dead accurate, as anyone who has listened to her squee excitedly about poisonous deadly reptiles can attest. If you ever meet her yourself, make sure to get her to tell you the story of the king cobra named Claude; I won’t spoil it, but rest assured it’s awesome. And also, while you’re at it, read her books. I have already devoured her zombie apocalypse/medical thriller Newsflesh trilogy (under the pseudonym Mira Grant), and they were pretty darn amazing. And I say that as someone who’s not even that into zombies as a general thing. Seanan is good people, and I’m glad I got to meet her.

Sadly, I was not slated to moderate any of the panels involving our other Guest of Honor, who was no less than Michael Whelan himself, but I got to introduce him at the Opening Ceremonies, and thank him sincerely for giving the Wheel of Time a truly beautiful final book cover. The original painting for that cover was on display (though not, of course, on sale) at JordanCon’s art show, along with several other original paintings of Mr. Whelan’s phenomenal body of work, and I do not exaggerate when I say it was stunning. The print book covers are lovely, of course, but there is something about seeing the real thing that just can’t compare. He is a delightful person and a wonderfully talented artist, and we were truly privileged to have him there.

(I also got to chat with Mr. Whelan at a couple of points during the con, and among other things he told me that he was deeply impressed with JordanCon, and in particular with the sheer friendliness and efficiency of its staff. And this is a man who’s been to a few conventions in his day, so y’all should definitely take that for the amazing compliment it is. Wow.)

Friday night, as I have already told, I got to go to dinner with my amazing Re-readers, so if you haven’t seen that report yet go take a look, because they are awesome, full stop. After that I once again managed to miss getting into the Seanchan Hold ‘Em poker tournament, which is becoming an ongoing gag at this point, because I have managed to miss it every single frickin’ year I’ve come to this thing, and it is just ridiculous. Next year I SWEAR I am going to make it in, y’all. Watch this space.

But, all was not lost, because we were simultaneously having karaoke in the ballroom, and I can always get behind an excuse to sing me some Dusty Springfield. So that’s all right.

Saturday I had managed to arrange things so that even though my first panel wasn’t until 4 pm, I still had to get up at 8 am in order to get ready for and attend the only panel I was on not in my capacity as Toastmaster, but rather as the proprietor of the Re-read on Tor.com. This, of course, was the “Innkeepers” podcast panel, conducted and recorded by the lovely folks at The 4th Age Podcast, and included (besides myself) Jason Denzel, Jennifer Liang, Matt Hatch, Linda Taglieri, and Melissa Craib.

It was so named because everyone on the panel had been beta readers for Team Jordan during the writing for both Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light, and each as a result had had cameos in one of those books as, you guessed it, an innkeeper.

Well, everyone except me, of course. So really, it should have been called “The Innkeepers and a random Maiden of the Spear.”

Ha, I’m always the odd one out at these things. Never quite fit in! But that’s really totally fine with me (good to be unique, yo!), and it was super fun to be on the panel and hear some of the great stories the others had about what it was like to read the rough drafts of ToM and AMOL. If you have not heard Matt Hatch’s story about the scene with Thom and Moiraine in ToM, well, you are missing out. (I ain’t gonna tell it, but when The 4th Age folks put up their broadcast of the panel you can listen for yourself. I’ll put a link up here as soon as I have one.)

Next up for me was, of course, The Big Panel, otherwise known as the A Memory of Light panel, with the ever-awesome Team Jordan: Harriet McDougal, Brandon Sanderson, Maria Simons, Alan Romanczuk, and Peter Ahlstrom, along with a room stuffed to the rafters, and moi.

And even though I was moderating it, I actually ended up having very little to do on this panel other than wrangle the microphone; staff member (and half of Team Moiraine) Kristy Lussier took care of making the audience cry with her lovely tribute to the final novel and its fans, and the audience took care of coming up with pithy and intelligent questions to grill ask Team Jordan with. So I enjoyed that quite a lot, really.

I will not even remotely attempt to recap what questions were asked, mostly because it’s not necessary; there will be video posted of the panel soon, and if you can’t wait till then, you can always listen to the audio recording our Jay Dauro has graciously posted for the Intarweb’s edification.

The panel concluded with the traditional gift to Harriet, undertaken this year by Theoryland’s Matt Hatch, who presented her with what I think is a frankly wonderful gift: a leatherbound book titled Read and Find Out, filled with the collected archives of everything Robert Jordan ever said online concerning the Wheel of Time. Chats, interviews, blog entries, etc., all gathered in one place and organized by date.

It was really beautiful, you guys. Matt and his cohorts truly outdid themselves, and Harriet obviously loved it. Well done.

Immediately following the AMOL panel was the award ceremony for Deep South Con, which is (as I myself said when introducing the ceremony) the south’s premier regional Science Fiction Convention, held every year in a different southern city. Each year the DSC gives out awards to those fans and professionals who they feel have contributed outstandingly to southern fandom. It was a lovely ceremony, and fittingly concluded by awarding this year’s Phoenix award posthumously to South Carolina native Robert Jordan himself.

Harriet, of course, accepted on his behalf, and you may be interested to know (I certainly was) that this essay is why there is a mention somewhere in AMOL (which I will find, never you fear) of one or more dead mules. So as to qualify it as “southern literature,” of course. Heh.

Then, of course of course, we had THE COSTUME CONTEST. Which was epic on many levels, but mostly because of the just stunning level of craft and talent the contestants showed in making and wearing their costumes. Here, have a slew of pictures!

Our own Re-reader Deana Whitney, aka Braid_Tug, as a Brown Aes Sedai.

The Littlest Aes Sedai and Warder. Awwwwwwww.

The Ta’veren from a Mirror World, with Kiley Kellermeyer Daniel, Marisa Grooms and Sophie Decaudin. This one was my FAVORITE. So awesome.

Olver and Bela!

(oh, and:

so there.)

Patrick Minze as a Tairen High Lord.

John Harp and Murasaki Emerson al’Aevon as very sassy (and badass) Tinkers.

Shaidar Haran! Run away!

And then my OTHER favorite:

Leslie Annis as Elmindreda. LOOK at that dress, y’all. Wow.

My favorite part is how when she was on stage, she pulled out no less than five knives from her dress, and then pulled out a wooden spoon, which she informed me she had stolen from Mistress Laras “in case I needed a spanking spoon.” Ha!

(Yes, that’s a spoon I’m holding, as I crack up laughing.)

Speaking of cracking up laughing, he may not have won (or been eligible, technically), but for my money Wilson Grooms had the funniest costume at the con:

We LOL’d.

Our winners, in a probably-hard-to-see group picture, sorry:

Including our 1st place winner, a lovely and frightening lady whose name I somehow cannot find, as an Eelfinn:

Also:

Eeek!

Other random costume pictures!

Our wonderful Con Vice Chair James Liang as an Asha’man.

Our also wonderful Board Member Aubree Pham as an Aes Sedai.

Leslie with our just as wonderful as the other two Art Show Director April Moore, as Cadsuane.

Min, Mat, and Graendal.

Multiple Re-readers in costume! (Deana Whitney aka Braid_Tug, Sharon Jones Eiben aka Sulin, Holly Finnen-Stewart aka Branwhin, Leslie Annis aka Lannis, Tina Bablok Pierce aka scissorrunner, and Ron Garrison aka Man-O-Manetheran)

And, of course, no JordanCon would be complete without me getting to “stumpbump” Mr. Rand al’Thor, aka our other Art Show Director Paul Bielaczyc:

Because we are classy.

So, so classy.

We proved this later that evening, when we respectively DJ’d and Emcee’d the DANCE HALL OF THE TOWER. Which deserves all caps because wooooow. Let’s just say, it’s probably a very good thing for all our collective dignities that there aren’t that many pictures of it around. There are a couple, of course, but this is probably the only one I care to acknowledge:

Which is me and the lovely Sarah Nakamura, of course.

Though I did actually dance at the dance, I spent most of it sitting at the DJ table, hijacking Paul’s iTunes and rearranging his playlist (hey, if he wanted to hear those songs in that order he shouldn’t have left me alone with his laptop), in between yelling into the mike with perhaps more enthusiasm than discretion. I was… kind of a lot, y’all. I may, at one point, have actually exhorted people to “wave your arms in the air like you just don’t care.”

I know, I am a terrible person. In my defense, though, everyone in the room did it!

They also listened to my imperious demands that they participate in the silent auction, which this year was raising funds for the recovery of Ben Wolverton, son of sf author David Farland. David was supposed to appear at JordanCon this year, but he had to cancel his appearance when his son Ben suffered a very serious accident which left him in a coma and his parents with astronomical (and growing) medical bills. JordanCon’s board of directors then promptly decided to donate all proceeds from the silent auction to the Wolvertons, because they are awesome like that.

All told, the auction raised $4318 for Ben (thanks to Finance Director Chris Cybert for the figure), which is amazing. But even so, that will barely make a dent in the Wolvertons’ medical bills, so if you can, please go here and donate. (You can also contribute, of course, by buying David’s books, which benefits you as well as Mr. Farland!)

The auction ended at elevenish or so, but the party went on till 2:30 in the morning, and the only reason it ended then is that they told me I had to kick everyone out. Those people would totally have partied till dawn, y’all, because our dance was, as the kids say, totally bitchin’. I’m not kidding; we were throwing down so hard that not one but TWO different wedding parties from elsewhere in the hotel abandoned their own receptions to crash ours. Awesome. For once WE were the cool kids, eh?

All things considered, it’s probably a very good thing that my Toastmaster responsibilities essentially ended at that point, because Sunday, to the shock of precisely no one, found me feeling a tad delicate. Also virtually speechless, because it turns out that five-plus hours of bellowing into a microphone makes your vocal cords a little, shall we say, angry with you the next day. Who’d have thunk it.

So Sunday was mostly spent wrapping things up and breaking things down and eating greasy food and hanging out with all the people who I’d really not had time to socialize with before that point—including Harriet herself, of course, and Maria and Alan and even Brandon for a few minutes before he got sucked back into the unending Magic: the Gathering game which I think had been going more or less continuously for the entire length of the con.

And that’s… pretty much that. So here, before I wrap up, have more random pictures!

Two fifths of the Team, I give you: Alan Romanczuk and Maria Simons. Mwah, dahlings.

Harriet McDougal and that Leslie chick, again.

Brandon Sanderson and some other random chick!

A signing!

Theorylanders unite!

Team Moiraine, aka Sarah Nakamura and Kristy Lussier.

Me and Re-reader Nadine Lippuner, aka travyl. (She gave me chocolate!)

Heh.

Gaming!

The infamous Looney Theories panel, who apparently feel no need to let the ending of the series bar them from making up crazy shit. As is Right and Proper.

Me and Richard Fife, who gives good shoulder.

The indomitable Jay Dauro, Linda Taglieri, and Tricia Grant Irish.

The delectable Grooms clan, avec archer.

Me, Leslie, and THE PADDLE. You’ll understand when you watch the video.

Your Toastmaster, just before the Opening Ceremonies began.

Aaaand there are about a zillion more photos I could share with you, but I think you get the idea. In sum, it was a wonderful crazy sometimes frantic but always fun weekend, in which we celebrated what may be the ending of a series but is only the beginning of everything else.

I am honored to have been this year’s Toastmaster for JordanCon. It was a lot of responsibility, but I had a metric ton of fun doing it, and would totally do it again if I am ever offered the opportunity. I feel pretty safe in saying that most everyone else there had fun as well, and if I had even the slightest amount to do with contributing to that fun then I will consider it a job well done.

If you were there this year, I love you all, you’re like butter. And if you weren’t there this year, why dontcha come on down next April and sit a spell? You’ll be glad you did.

See you next year!


Leigh Butler is a writer, blogger, and apparently giant microphone hog, who runs The Wheel of Time Re-read and The Read of Ice and Fire on Tor.com. She lives in New Orleans, and is now wondering if her relative lack of dead mule possession means she’s breaking a rule somewhere. Oh well.

52 comments
Roger Powell
1. forkroot
Leigh - you were an awesome Toastmaster! I can only admire how comfortable you are as a public speaker/moderator. Oh, maybe it's because you can sing too (as verified at the Karaoke). I'm jealous because I can't (also verified at the Karaoke.)
Ross Newberry
2. rossnewberry
I have only two regrets from the Con.

First was never quite tracking Mr. Whelan down to get my Way of Kings and Memory of Light signed. He always looked too busy.

Second was missing the Friday dinner, which, given your duties over the weekend, was pretty much my only chance to actually meet you. I did get you to sign my re-read shirt during the Dance, but you probably don't remember that for REASONS (hic!).

Anyway, see you next year!
William Carter
3. wcarter
Funnest time I've ever had at a JordanCon. And I've never had a bad time at any of the three I've attended.
You did awesome as Toast Mater Leigh. Thanks for the hard work!
Kurt Lorey
4. Shimrod
Sigh. An awesome report. Can't wait for the videos.
AllHailTheDragonQueen
5. AllHailTheDragonQueen
I follow the ASOIAF read so I wasn't sure why I was clicking this link, but I'm glad I did because...

NEWSFLESH Triology for the WORLD!!! And OCTOBER DAYE.

Seriously, just the other week I was thinking about what a Newsflesh re-read would be like, and here you are chatting up the author.

Anyway, glad you had fun Leigh and know your ASOIAF fans are chomping at the bit for next weeks post!
Ted Herman
6. WinespringBrother
Funnest Jordan Con ever!

Theoryland did turn out in good #'s as usual to represent, though I must say I was impressed with the # of re-readers there as well!

And in the interest of saving you time (and head-desking from looking in the wrong place :D), the mules reference was in Towers of Midnight, prologue, POV: Galad.
Ed Dravecky
7. dravecky
It was a great weekend but at least some of that sudden attendance surge was due to DeepSouthCon 51, not just the amazing job Jennifer and her team do every year. Along with the Phoenix Award presentation, the Rebel Award was presented to fans Mike Rogers and Regina Kirby for everything they've done for Southern fandom.
Deana Whitney
8. Braid_Tug
Sorry you lost your voice on Sunday!
Can't wait to see the videos and hear the podcast.

This was my first JordanCon and was the best Con experience I had ever had.
The Re-Readers are an amazing group of people!

The DeepSouth Con guys were fun. I got to have a cider with them in their party room on Saturday.

And even thought it was revealed that it was Harriet who wrote the sentence that killed Bela, there's a picture of her wearing a "Bela Lives" button on my profile.

And we were told once and for all that:
Yes, all 4 of Avi’s children were conceived the night before the Last Battle of Rand’s body.
So hair color don’t matter!!!!
Holly Finnen-Stewart
9. Branwhin
(sigh) An awesome, AWESOME weekend. Even with all the universe's shenanigans at the beginning, and having to go digging about in my costume trunk for anything even *remotely* WoT-appropriate.

I have met so many wonderful people through this re-read, Leigh, you not least! Hopefully we'll manage a bit more time to chat next year. I'm already making plans. (mwahaha).

Let the Dragon ride ALWAYS on the winds of time!

Branwhin
Lannis .
10. Lannis
Aw, Leigh! You did a fabulous job--I'm so glad I could help. And I miss you already--next year, Spear Sister, next year! :D

Big props to Tektonica for organizing that Rereader dinner--she even brought a bunker banner! Yay!

I am seriously giddy that Michael Whelan was so pleased with our little Art Show--April (and Paul, natch) do a fabulous job of organizing us, and deserve a ton of credit!

And, um, I'll second the motion of "glad there are few photos of the Dance Hall of the Tower floating around"... Bahaha!
Thomas Keith
11. insectoid
Leigh used 2 of my pictures, yay! (The wooden spoon bit with you and Lannis, and Fife's shoulder. I still say you blinked...)

Seriously though... Great report, Leigh. Hee hee, JordanCon Reread.

I did forget I had a camera! I didn't want to miss a second of the ceremonies, seated as I was in about the 30th row. (It's just as well I didn't take pictures then, because they would have come out ghastly with my compact camera.)

Somehow I didn't manage to meet or get a picture of James Liang, though I saw him several times. I did get a picture of Aubree post-stole, except she blinked. (D'oh!)
Though I did actually dance at the dance, I spent most of it sitting at the DJ table, hijacking Paul’s iTunes and rearranging his playlist...
LOL!!

(If anyone missed my recap or link to pictures, they're back on the Interim Report.)

Bzzz™.
AllHailTheDragonQueen
12. Betsy Averette
Woohoo! I made it into the photos~! Yippee!

Jordancon V was such a blast! It was my first year and I absolutely loved every second of it! Can't wait til next year. You did a beautiful job all weekend lady~
Paige Vest
13. paigevest
Great write up, Leigh... though you're usually pretty good at the write up thing. *nod*

This was my first JordanCon and I lovedlovedLOVED it! I got to see some great friends that I usually only see on the 'net, I was able to hang out a bit with Wilson, bash the LOTR movies (and possible Dark Tower movies) with Michael Whelan, attend a kaffeeklatsch with Brandon who remembered me (faint), and chat with Peter about playing Words With Friends. I also acquired The Rithmatist swag!! So yeah, it was pretty fantastic all around, I must say.

I do regret missing the silent auction, though I do plan to participate next year. Also missed movie night, which had to have been a good time.

Good Con. Sleep well and wake. I will most likely see you all at Asha'Con!
James Kendall
14. JKsilver
Glad you all had an awesome time, and kudos for a job well done to Leigh!
AllHailTheDragonQueen
15. Dashtropie
Leigh, when do you start writing your own novels? The way you report and summarize and give voice to whatever you experience really makes me want to be there as well. I can only hope to at least once be able to attend jordancan. There's no one near me who I can geek out with about wheel of time and I would so love to be able to do that.. It's a shame the Netherlands are so far away and my purse is empty as a desert:(. Thanks for an equally wonderful recap of jordancan:).
Alice Arneson
16. Wetlandernw
Thanks for the recap, Leigh! Sounds like everyone had a wonderful time. Some year, maybe I'll get to join y'all.
April Moore
17. aprildmoore
A blast as always, and you, Leigh, were magnificent as Toastmistress! Too many emotions to say more, but wow ~ we did indeed WEAR IT OUT! And I'm so glad so many familar Rereader names were there to enjoy it with us.

Next year, folks! Not sure how we'll manage to top it - but we will. I think having Larry Elmore and Pat Rothfuss as our Guests of Honor is probably a great place to start. :-)

Oh, and also a heads up - next year there will be an Asha'man Catch and Release. And also Queen Tylin will be roaming around looking to dress up Mat Cauthon. So stay tuned!
Lannis .
18. Lannis
Re: April @ 17... ::steeples fingers:: Tee hee... shenanigans...
Sam Mickel
19. Samadai
April, that sounds like fun. I regret not introducing myself, though I stood close to you several times, mostly in the artshow on Thursday setup
Glen V
20. Ways
I'm still geeking out. Looking forward to next year, and wondering what Asha'man Catch and Release could possibly be.
Alice Arneson
21. Wetlandernw
Let's not forget to mention that the cool "Bela Lives" buttons were created by Man-o-Manetheran.
April Moore
22. aprildmoore
@19 Samadai: Ah, you totally should have! Though I'm a bit scatter brained (more than usual) during set up.

@18 Lannis: Ah, my sweetling, yes, shenanigans!! :-)
T C
23. Freelancer
Control Freak? (Insert obligatory PB exclamation here)

Always love the reports, Leigh.

If, by some miracle, a future JordanCon finds me in attendance, I'll see your Dusty Springfield and raise you some Righteous Brothers.

Err, please, PLEASE, don't show us a Mat in pink ribbons. ::shudders::
Ron Garrison
24. Man-0-Manetheran
Leigh, you set the tone as you do on the re-read, and it is impossible for fun not to ensue. Thanks for everything!

BELA LIVES: As I told Harriet, the idea came from the FRODO LIVES buttons of nearly 40 years ago (yes. geezer.) when LotR had a huge surge in popularity. She related how Brandon had poor Bela in a situation no horse would likely survive, but he couldn't kill her. "I did it. I wrote the last sentence — and it's a good sentence."
She wore one of the half dozen pins I made and brought with me. I should have made more. If you want one, I've uploaded a file that can be printed on an inkjet printer. The empty plastic buttons are available at Jo-Ann fabrics and Michaels arts & crafts. Please help yourselves! Enjoy. "Bela indeed lives! Best, Harriet"

DOWNLOAD: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6gts0347zloocjg/Bela%20Lives-print.pdf

Oh, and I recommend the Seanan McGuire "October Daye" novels. They are inventive and fun and have characters that grow on you. (Not literally, silly.)
Jeff Schweer
25. JeffS.
At least you didn't lose your voice until Sunday morning. I lost mine on Friday evening. So no kareoke for Jeff S.

Meeting all of the rereaders and and everyone else made my first Jordancon an unbelievable experience.

Great story from the con. As many of you rereaders know, my daughter Julia came with me so we could visit SCAD on Saturday. After we checked in on Friday and got our badges, meeting my first three rereaders in Meatspace as it were, I saw Harriet in the lobby. We went up to say hello and I introduced my daughter. We mentioned SCAD and she stated "Maria's son goes to SCAD, you must talk to her right away, come on." and proceeded to drag us down the hallway and around the corner, found Maria, introduced us, made sure the conversation was well underway. Then she said "see you later", and left. We had a great chat with Maria about the college.

Is Harriet the BEST or what! I mean how gracious can a person be with someone she had only met once before at a signing.

For all of the re-readers: I have not yet finished the homework that Ways and Moondiva sent home with me. I will report on it when it is completed. NO SPOILERS!

I was looking at the pictures that Leigh put into the post and realized that I'm in the one with her and Travyl at dinner. Happily signing one of the multitude of AMOL's and TOM's that made the rounds.

Missed the Saturday panels but the trip to SCAD with my daughter was fantastic and it looks very likely that she will finish her Bachelors there and probably her post grad also. Means I'll just have to keep coming to JordanCons. To visit my daughter of course, why do you ask?

I also didn't take any pictures or get any books signed etc, etc. I was just being in the moment and soaking in the experience rather than getting things. All of the conversations in the bunker Saturday night and in the panels. Man, that was so cool.

I came to a real fantastic conclusion in one of the panels. Everyone at Jordancon knows something no one else remembers. Time and time again, some one would ask a question, most would say, "Huh" and some one would pop up with. "No, wait, we saw that in book 4, remember when such and such happened?" And the rest of us would go "oh yeah, I remember that now.

Coolest thing ever...

Got invited to play darkfriend, decided just to watch. My daughter spent all day Sunday in the game room playing WOT D&D with new friends while I went to the last panels including Dish Dish, which was my favorite panel besides the time with Leigh and Seanan McGuire.
I described her to Ways as "Delightfully weird" He agreed and said, "fits right in with us" Yep, she does indeed. She also just Owned Independance Day by Martina Mcbride at kareoke night. She will be in the pick up and read pile very soon.

I could go on for another 1000 words or so but will stop to catch my breath for now.

Team JordanCon, well done, well done indeed. I told a member of the team (can't remember who, darn senile decay!) that they exceeded my expectations by Friday night and I meant every word.
Thanks everyone, you are the bestest evah.
Dixon Davis
26. KadesSwordElanor
Freelancer

Mat in pink ribbons would be sexy. Do you have a problem with that? :)

Man-o-Manetheran

“Bela Lives” buttons were awesome.

insectoid

With all of your awesome pics, were are some pics of your buttons.
Janet Hopkins
27. JanDSedai
As a log-time attendee of Southern cons, I thought I was too blase' to get excited by another one. But for the first time in years, I was apprehensive about meeting "new" people. I even made costumes, for the first time in many years! And I was welcomed with open arms, and no recriminations about how seldom I've posted. Indeed, the entire Con Com welcomed me! This was indeed a rare convention; a "perfect storm" of awesome!
AllHailTheDragonQueen
28. JimF
Well, bless you all. Sounds like a great time was had by all. Thanks, Leigh for the excellent report. Some of those get ups exactly met my imagination. Maybe next time the Wheel turns...
AllHailTheDragonQueen
29. Weezer
It looks like everyone had a wonderful time. My only question was answered, "Where is R. Fife?" Obviously, still around.
AllHailTheDragonQueen
30. GaryK
My only question is why are there no pictures of my escapedes on the dance floor? (Blame Joe O'hara for there being escapedes in the first place)
Thomas Keith
31. insectoid
April @22:
April, you're scaring me. D:

Man-0 @24:
I cut and pressed the printout you gave me with our Badge-a-Minit parts; the trickiest part was cutting it to 2.75" and having it centered! (It came out great.)

JeffS @25:
Harriet IS the best. :)
I haven't finished my homework, either. Never fear, it shall be done.

KSE @26:
Mm, well there are some in my profile photos here. It occured to me (more than once) since I made the buttons that I should offer, to those that got buttons and may in the future want to make extras, the original images in PDF or SVG or something. If anyone's interested, let me know.

Weezer @29:
He was around... but I never saw any sign of that yellow shawl of his. Claimed he only wore it *at night*...

Bzzz™.
AllHailTheDragonQueen
32. Noor
I feel so sad right now...it's not fair that I live in the middle east and we don't have fun convention like this. T_T
Glad everyone had fun though, I look forward to the videos so I can tell myself it's as if I was there
Tricia Irish
33. Tektonica
It was indeed a "spanking good time!" (Although I did not witness any "actual" spanking.)

Leigh seemed so relaxed, and she is great with the spontaneous response. The general atmosphere was pretty lively and open. I do remember my first Con, three years ago, kind of wandering around, not knowing how to get involved or break the ice and talk to someone. This year, I tried to make everyone welcome, only to realize that I missed all sorts of Rereaders....some now posting here, that I had no idea were even at the Con. Follow the Bunker Banner, folks! We don't bite. We're friendly! Muwhahahahah.....

April and Paul run the BEST art room, full of great work and shenanigans ;-) Jennifer is organizer par excellence! With a great team to support her. Things appeared to be very smooth. There were some great panels, and the KaffeKlatches should not be missed!! They are six to eight people in a room casually chatting with Team Jordan, or an author, or artist. Very intimate!

I seem to have spent most of my time in the art room, both volunteering, helping Michael Whelan hang up his work, and ushering him to various KaffeKlatchs.....Squeeeeee!!! He was very articulate and forthcoming about his work, and he and his lovely wife, Audrey were very very nice.

The highlight of course was meeting the Reread Family. I regret I seem to have missed a few, and did not get to spend enough time with some I did meet. Not enough time to do it all!! I'm so glad to hear everyone had such a great time!

btw...a great way to meet lots of people is to Volunteer at the Con. You don't have to do tons of time, and can work around the panels and signings you want to attend. It's a good ice breaker if you're shy.

51 weeks left 'til next JordanCon! I hope even more show next year!
Ron Garrison
34. Man-0-Manetheran
I keep finding notes to myself and remembering some great things:

The only really definitive answer I got from Team Jordan was that Avienda's kids were all conceived that one night on the Fields of Merrilor. Alan was unequivocal, and Maria concurred. That's about as close to gospel as one can get.

Other questions failed to get anything close to a definitive answer. The one question I carried with me to JCon was this:
"In the prologue, Moridin is wandering the streets of the little Town. Is he just out for an evening stroll, or is he there to meet someone?"
I asked as an "or" question in hopes of getting something definitive. Heh.

First up was Brandon in the signing line. Brandon replied that at that point Moridin was pretty much of the mind that he had done all the preperation possible for meeting Rand in SG and that "things were looking bad for him."
"So, he thought he'd sweeten his odds by getting Isam to guard his back in T'A'R," I replied.
"Oh, you're one of those who thinks he was the mystery woman?"
"Definitely"
"How did Isam not see her on the street?"
"She came from the opposite direction — from the direction where Moridin had gone."
A cat-and-canary smile lit up his face. "Well, I can't give you an answer to that. RJ wrote most of that." *grin, grin*

That was the most I was going to get. Later I had the opportunity to ask Harriet and Maria, but I just got a blank "I don't know."

My deduction: Either RJ put him in the scene for no other purpose than to be a red herring, or he was also the mystery woman in red and black. I'm going for mystery woman, but it will probably remain a mystery.

Oh, and it has been said before, but it's worth saying again. Brandon, Maria, Harriet and all of Team Jordan are so generous with their time and are the nicest people you will ever meet.
Tina Pierce
36. scissorrunner
An amazing weekend!
Leigh - you led us all in a merry good time (LOVED that big sparkly YAY) and our rereader's dinner was a great time.

This was my third JordanCon, and the first that I was a volunteer.
(I realize that no-one there will believe this, but I am normally a very shy person). I helped set up the art show and spent a lot of time at the registration desk. What an amazing way to meet EVERYONE! (not to mention free swag)
There is a lot to do to keep everything running smoothly, but it is so well organized (just remember to eat something Kristy!!) I had a blast, and always had enough time to get to the panels I wanted to.

btw-thanks so much to you Uno for contacting us with your badges/transfers/donations via FB. That worked out so easily! Next year I expect to see your top-knotted head there!

Still, the very best part about JCon is the feeling of coming together with friends old & new. Forgive my bad paraphrasing, but we came together for the WoT books, and we keep coming back for the friends we meet.
Janet Hopkins
37. JanDSedai
One example of the superior operations organization:
When the line for the Sat. afternoon book signing started to block the restaurant buffet, a solution was found almost immediately! The first dozen people were allowed to gather in front of the Board Room, and everybody else was lined up in the lobby. We played "follow the leader" with Aubree and AshaBob, and they got us lined up in short order! (I was the leader of Row 2!)

There were no angry words between the ConCom and the restaurant, and I know for a fact that this would not be the case at many conventions. No time was wasted on wondering "What are we *supposed* to do," but a solution was found and emplemented at once. This is just one example of awesome for JordanCon!
Thomas Canty
38. Thomas Canty
"Leigh, when do you start writing your own novels?"

x2 . . . just finished reading your review/report and REALY enjoyed it, kinda didn't want it to end so soon !
Drew Holton
39. Dholton
Leigh, so glad I got the chance to meet you briefly after the Seanan McGuire panel, and sorry I wasn't able to make the Reread dinner to meet everyone else.
As for the Hold 'em tournament, they actually had an impromptu 2nd tournament Saturday night, into which I was summarily drafted. Unfortunately for you, this was while you were DJing at the dance....but to my shock I actually took 2nd place and won a cool Michael Whelan sketch. Yay!
Leigh Butler
40. leighdb
Hey everyone, I edited the post to say, but I'll also put it here: the video for the Opening Ceremonies is now up!

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuZi5BVfra4GWBoDQdm8rajVhuV4YD9uq
Chris Chaplain
41. chaplainchris1
All right. I seem to be recovered from JordanCon V, at least enough to write and think semi-coherently. So it’s time to begin sharing some of the things I learned at JCon.

I mean, apart from gushing, which is what I’ve been doing for the past week+ over on the Facebook pages for JCon and the WoT Reread. I really just feel so lucky to have been a part of this experience!

But apart from the gushing I picked up some tidbits of information. I feel a little guilty for not posting more promptly, but y’all…JordanCon was bags of awesome fun, but I was ex-HAUST-ed!

However, during JCon itself I tried to post frequent updates and pictures (on the Facebook group - haven’t you joined yet?) at the request of some of those who couldn’t be there. One of those was rather cryptic and provocative, so I’ll start there.

NAKOMI.

Wall of Text to follow in the next post. And I mean heinous, heinous, Great Wall of China Wall of Text. You Have Been Warned.
Chris Chaplain
42. chaplainchris1
Wall of Text. NAKOMI.

So, I didn’t get much information, but I did get one piece of concrete info that was new (to me – I hadn’t seen it anywhere else, which means probably you all knew it). And I have some informed speculation about what it may mean.

Here’s how it went down.

During the Saturday afternoon AMoL panel (with ALL of Team Jordan!) Brandon was showing off his Aes Sedai skills, as you can experience if you listen to the audio recording Jay Dauro posted:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/24634810/A%20Memory%20of%20Light%20Panel.mp3

Y’all, that evil man was BRAGGING about how good he’s become at dodging our questions! :)

So I quickly changed my strategy. Rather than directly challenge Brandon’s Question-Fu, I discarded my long, involved, carefully complex question designed to force him to divulge exactly the information I wanted, for fear that he’d swat it down with a one-word answer. And, as you can tell if you listen (it’s around the 22:00 minute mark, I think), I reduced my question to one word which I hoped would produce a reaction: NAKOMI.

So Brandon’s response was brief but interesting. He says, basically, that Nakomi was suggested by something in the notes, so he added her in. Two things were interesting to me. First, the personal pronoun – Brandon felt the notes suggested something so “I”, he, added Nakomi to the story. (This impression was later confirmed during the 4thAge Podcast interview with Team Jordan – ‘just’ Harriet, Maria, and Alan at that one. I asked a more involved question re: Nakomi – more on that later – and Harriet, with Maria and Alan nodding, said that we’d really have to have Brandon to answer questions about Nakomi.)

So, Nakomi is Brandon’s thing. This was new information, to me, as apart from Androl, Brandon’s been reluctant to identify what things are him and what are RJ. Nakomi as we see her is Brandon’s.

The second interesting thing was Brandon’s indication that Nakomi was suggested to him by the notes – that there were things indicated as going on in the notes which we hadn’t seen, and he felt we should, so he introduced Nakomi.

This caught my attention because Maria had said something similar the day before, during the Prophecy panel. We were discussing the Creator, and Maria indicated that the Creator was not disengaged from his (her, its?) creation. (Contrary to Lews Therin’s philosophizing in KoD – another theme that came up at multiple panels was misinformation, and that the characters often express ideas about the cosmology of the Wheel of Time that are right, partially right, mostly wrong, etc.) At various points during the weekend, Maria, Alan, and Harriet all indicated that the Creator was still involved with creation. (And I’ll have more to say about that in another post.) Alan, for example, indicated that while the Wheel had been wound up by the Creator, and the Dragon was the Creator’s self-correcting mechanism for when the Wheel/Pattern was too strongly threatened by the Dark One, this didn’t preclude the Creator intervening directly.

At any rate, during the Prophecy panel Maria said that the Creator did intervene directly at times. She said that there were things in the notes to confirm that, although we hadn’t seen it. (Of course we've all seen the Creator ALL CAPS VOICE. This sounded like things we *hadn't* seen. But, as the ALL CAPS VOICE suggests, the Creator *was* around and paying attention.)

So: Nakomi was created by Brandon. She was created in response to things suggested by the notes, things we hadn’t seen directly, but Brandon thought we should get a hint of.

And the notes suggest the Creator intervened directly at times in the story, in ways we hadn’t seen.

Interesting, no? Considering that one of the two leading theories (afaict) about Nakomi is that she is the Creator…

On the strength of those things, I posted to the FB group during JCon that I was now pretty convinced Nakomi was the Creator. I’ve since calmed down and backed off that position. I think it possible, but it doesn’t negate Brandon’s cryptic comments at other times about the Jenn (the other leading theory about Nakomi, afaict, is that she’s Jenn), and that they are still around during the time of our story.

So I’ve since synthesized theories. Rather than those theories competing, let’s put ‘em together! This was inspired by a question asked by someone at another panel, who suggested that the Aiel, People of the Dragon, were similar to our age’s Jewish people. I.e. “chosen people” with some special connection to the Creator. This put me in mind of the Jenn, the “only true Aiel”, as a sort of “righteous remnant” of Aiel. If you’re not familiar with it, the “righteous remnant” is a common motif in both Old and New Testaments, with the majority of the chosen people falling away from obedience to God/following justice/etc., but a “righteous remnant” remaining.

Maria, in the 4thAge podcast, indicated that Age of Legends Aiel were more than simply servants of the Aes Sedai – they were special, wonderful, admired people, dedicated to the Way of the Leaf, but more importantly dedicated to doing good. They inspired everyone.

A sort of light for the nations, one might say. At any rate, my current looney theory is that Nakomi is…well, one of our re-readers likened her (during a conversation in the hallway at JCon) to a sort of bodhisattva or Buddha, an “enlightened one.” That’s possible. But I think she’s a prophet. I think she’s a Jenn Aiel and has some special connection with the Creator, and is sent by the Creator to directly intervene and help things get on a better track. She’s a Jeremiah or Isaiah or etc. Not *the* Creator but an agent of same.

Alan, by the way, in the 4thAge podcast, follows up on a point from the Mythological/Theological panel. In that panel, the point was made (in part by yours truly) that Rand, and the world’s, salvation was not just about being saved *from* the Dark One (or Hell, or death, or whatever), but about being saved *to* a life filled with hope and love.

Alan followed that up by saying that Nakomi and Cadsuane were spiritually akin, in the sense that Cadsuane’s goal was to teach Rand hope and love (‘laughter and tears’), and in a similar way (said Alan) Nakomi was to teach those things to Aviendha, helping Avi and the Aiel to find a better path.

And that should wrap up this insane wall of text, I think….

Ok, seriously, I feel a little guilty for this. Should I in future trim some of this kind of rambling info? Apparently I'm still in JCon gush mode...but there is still more I want to share with y'all, about the Creator, the relationship between the Creator and Dark One and why this is NOT a dualistic universe (you'll like some of that, Wetlander, as it addresses some of our key dislike of Rand and the DO's confrontation), about the importance of Moiraine, and probably a couple other topics.
Deana Whitney
43. Braid_Tug
@ Chris: I love how we develop theories. And your One word question was Great!

What I got out of Brandon’s answer, your posts (didn’t know about the Pod-cast), and Brandon’s past works, was this:

In Brandon’s other works – he often has the “God” figure have an avatar. This avatar has a corporeal body that can die.
So I see Nakomi as the avatar of Randland’s Creator which Brandon used to directly interact with the people who needed the extra push.

Must wonder would Avi have done the second walk in the “Way Forward” machine without her conversation with Nakomi?
Yes, her justification was trying to figure them out, but really she was thinking about her talk with Nakomi.
Chris Chaplain
44. chaplainchris1
Hi Braid_Tug! Hope your car woes are better.

Re: Nakomi as Avatar, that's more or less where I was in my initial JCon report. And if this were a Cosmere book, I'd definitely land there. I don't really like it for WoT, though. Partly b/c of personal prejudice and my own theological/cosmological preferences, partly b/c the WoT already has a Creator stand-in - the Dragon.

I suppose partially it depends on whether this is drawing more from Eastern philosophy or Western (well - by way of middle-eastern Jewish though), at this one. (Though Brandon's own Mormon roots are, I think, also a potential Western influence.) Generally speaking, Creator stand-ins in Western thought evoke Messiahnic ideas, and Rand is definitely our Messiahnic figure. Eastern systems like Hinduism, on the other hand, have no difficulty with multiple avatars for the divine or divinities. But Randland's Creator talk is more monotheistic than that. (And yes, Linda Taglieri, I do think - especially on the basis of Alan's talk at JordanCon - that it is is monotheistic and not dualist!)

Anyway, I think both ideas are plausible interpretations of the text. Even in Brandon's cosmere works, though, his avatar figures have histories and ethnicities and the like, and in part that's my suggestion - that Nakomi is in some way a representative of the Creator while also being Jenn.

Re: Avi - after the Prophecy panel, Mythological/Theological Panel, and 4th Age Podcast interview with Team Jordan, it seems strongly implicit to me that Nakomi's goal was to get Avi to see the horrors in store via the WayForward machine, and thus nudge the future to a better path - for the Pattern and for the Aiel.
Tricia Irish
45. Tektonica
ChaplainChris and Braid_Tug: Thanks for those thoughts and the panel references! Well thought out!
Karen Fox
46. thepupxpert
@42 chaplainchris1 - Really enjoyed this, no editing necessary at least from my POV...
Alice Arneson
47. Wetlandernw
I am now the proud owner of my very own Red Hand button, and a Bela Lives! protobutton. Thanks, Man-o-Manetheran! :)
Glen V
48. Ways
@42, etc., chaplainchris
Please continue gushing!
I concur that the evidence points to Randland being a monotheistic society universe realm. What I'm not groking, though, why there can't be a Messiah and another avatar in a monotheistic realm. If Nakomi is "only" an elightened prophet with a special connection to the creator, isn't she still an avatar? Well, it's late and my brain cells aren't clicking at 100%, so it's probably just me. Silly, uncooperative neurons, grumble, grumble.
April Moore
50. aprildmoore
Great discussion, @chaplainchris1. Thanks so much for adding your Wall o' Text - I miss so much of JordanCon myself, even while I'm there! lol I need Hermione's Time Turner so I can be everywhere at once.

Also I *greatly* appreciated Alan's comment on Cadsuane. I'll be quizzing him about this in more detail in July, when I'll have a chance to chat with him again.

So proud so many Rereaders were there this year. It made JordanCon that much more special.
Chris Chaplain
51. chaplainchris1
Tek, pup, Ways, april - thanks and you're welcome!

@43 Braid_Tug - I admit to being a little pleased with myself that my one-word question got a laugh from the room. :)

@48 Ways -
What I'm not groking, though, why there can't be a Messiah and another avatar in a monotheistic realm. If Nakomi is "only" an elightened prophet with a special connection to the creator, isn't she still an avatar?"
Hm. Good question. After some thought, I think “avatar” is really not theologically accurate language for either Rand or (this theory of) Nakomi.

The following will be vastly over-generalized - but I've already vastly over-generalized 'eastern' and 'western' thought, so....sorry?

Theologically, off the top of my head, avatars properly refer to a (or the) deity manifesting on Earth, probably (but maybe not necessarily?) in human form. In WOT terms, an avatar would be the Creator entering the world/pattern/cosmos personally, rather than observing it from without.

One of the theories about Nakomi is that she ‘is’ the Creator – presumably, either an avatar or Incarnation (two theologically distinct terms – see below). The major alternate theory is that Nakomi is Jenn. I'm suggesting that Nakomi is *not* the Creator – not a manifestation of the Creator entering the Pattern – but a Jenn who has some special connection to and may be acting on the direct prompting of the Creator.

The avatar concept comes from Hinduism (although I think Sikhism has a form of it - maybe not limited to deities, but extended to include any soul?) and is not really seen elsewhere afaik. Certainly there are similarities to ideas in some of the monotheistic faiths - one might argue that the Hebrew Bible (OT)'s repeated references to "the Angel of the Lord" or the shekinah glory of God appearing might be avatar-ish, in the sense of a temporary descent of some part of the deity to Earth, representing said deity. And lots of mythologies anthropomorphize deities and have them coming to Earth, but those entities are seen as coming themselves, not manifesting an avatar of themselves.

By the way, the main quick-and-dirty distinction I’d draw between avatar and Incarnation is that the avatar is a temporary manifestation of deity in a limited and partial form. The orthodox Christian doctrine of the Incarnation is that Christ is not a temporary manifestation (exists before and persists after the birth, life, death, and resurrection) and that in Christ ‘the fullness of God’ is found.

Frankly, though, I don’t expect RJ to have observed those fine-tuned theological differences, even if he was aware of them. (RJ certainly had more mythological knowledge than I do; but I don’t know about theological training. For instance, theologically, his oft-repeated comment that Randland has no religion is just...well...wrong. There, I said it! Randland doesn’t have houses of worship, or practices of worship, but it has organized belief systems that relate humanity to the divine and guide moral practice, so...)

Anyway...just as I don’t think Nakomi is an avatar, I don't think Rand/the Dragon fits a good theological definition of 'avatar' either. Alan specifically said at JordanCon that the Dragon was the self-correcting mechanism that the Creator built into the Creation. Note that the Dragon is *part* of creation and meant to operate independently under normal conditions (implying, if Nakomi's in touch with the Creator, that these are not normal conditions?)– it is a *self-correcting* mechanism. An avatar comes in from outside.

Rand is def. the messiahnic figure in WoT – but he is not an avatar or incarnation. Masema preaches that he is one – the Light made flesh, etc. But Masema is cray-cray. Generally the books don’t seem to indicate that Rand is an avatar of the Creator. (His ability to weave the Pattern, at the end of AMoL, shook me a bit as I thought it indicated otherwise...but Harriet referred to it several times at JCon in the context of a new age beginning, with new magic, that likely would not stay unique to Rand!) Alan’s comments about the Dragon being a mechanism put in place by the Creator seem to me to back up the idea that Creator and Dragon are distinct.
Glen V
52. Ways
chaplainchris @51
Gotcha! You are centered on a (strict) theological interpretation of the word (and yes, you are correct about difference between avatars in Hinduism and Sikhism).

I was taking avatar in a more general sense. A really broad brush-stroke definition is calling our Tor-handle icons avatars. That's true enough, but you see where I am going with this line of thought. I was thinking of a less constrained meaning of the word, such as: an embodiment of a concept or philosophy in a person. Nakomi seems to fit that definition imho. At least she did when I asked the question about your comment. I'm OK with not calling her an avatar in the strict sense. I don't believe she is the Creator manifested in human form, that wouldn't be consistent with the way in which the Creator was presented at other times in series (although...I wouldn't put it past Brandon to throw in a change-up based on RJ's notes--just to keep us loyal readers thinking about and debating the issue--something RJ was famous for doing). I don't buy in 100% to her being a Jenn either. Nakomi is, and probably will remain, an enigma.

Of course Randland has religion, as you point out so well. And I loved Alan's and Harriet's comments on Rand at JordanCon. They bring a measure of closure.

Keep up the good work!
Alice Arneson
53. Wetlandernw
Chris @51 - Nice! I don't even have anything to add. :) For what little it's worth, I pretty much agree with your position on Nakomi, but I think Ways is right: she is, and will probably remain, an enigma. At least, in so far as the details of her identity and the mechanism by which she appeared are concerned, I don't think we'll really know. We might get to know a little about where she originated.

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