Thu
Apr 26 2012 11:59am

A Memory of Light: Prologue (Excerpt)

Read a passage from the prologue of A Memory of Light

This year’s JordanCon brought a great deal of information on A Memory of Light to the eyes of the public. Tor Books and Harriet McDougal revealed Darrell K. Sweet’s final cover sketch for the book, and Harriet herself read a passage from the prologue of A Memory of Light, the final book in the Wheel of Time series.

Now, we present that passage in full. Join Bayrd, an Andoran soldier on the wrong side of history, as his tiny corner of the world prepares for the end of all things.

 

Bayrd pressed the coin between his thumb and forefinger. It was thoroughly unnerving to feel the metal squish.

He removed his thumb. The hard copper now clearly bore its print, reflecting the uncertain torchlight. He felt chilled, as if he’d spent an entire night in a cold cellar.

His stomach growled. Again.

The north wind picked up, making torches sputter. Bayrd sat with his back to a large rock near the center of the warcamp. Hungry men muttered as they warmed their hands around fire pits; the rations had spoiled long ago. Other soldiers nearby began laying out all of their metal—swords, armor clasps, mail—on the ground, like linen to be dried. Perhaps they hoped that when the sun rose, it would change the material back to normal.

Bayrd rolled the once-coin into a ball between his fingers. Light preserve us, he thought. Light... He dropped the ball to the grass, then reached over and picked up the stones he’d been working with.

“I want to know what happened here, Karam,” Lord Jarid snapped at his advisor. Jarid stood nearby, in front of a table draped with maps. “I want to know where they are and how they drew so close, and I want that bloody, Darkfriend Aes Sedai queen’s head!” Jarid slammed his fist down on the table. Once, his eyes hadn’t displayed such a crazed fervor. The pressure of it all—the lost rations, the strange things in the nights—was changing him.

Behind Jarid, the command tent lay in a heap. Jarid’s dark hair—grown long during their exile—blew free, face bathed in ragged torchlight. Bits of dead grass still clung to his coat from when he’d crawled out of the tent.

Baffled servants picked at the iron tent spikes, which—like all metal in the camp—had become soft to the touch. The mounting rings on the tent had stretched and snapped like warm wax.

The night smelled wrong. Of staleness, of rooms that hadn’t been entered in years. The air of a forest clearing should not smell like ancient dust. Bayrd’s stomach growled again. Light, but he’d have liked to take the edge off of that with something. Instead, he set his attention on his work, slapping one of his stones down against another.

He held the stones as his old pappil had taught him as a boy, though it had been years since he’d done this. The feeling of stone striking stone helped push away the hunger and coldness. At least something was still solid in this world.

Lord Jarid glanced at him, scowling. Bayrd was one of ten men Jarid had insisted guard him this night. “I will have Elayne’s head, Karam,” Jarid said, turning back to his captains. “This unnatural night is the work of her witches.”

“Her head?” Eri’s skeptical voice came from the side. “And how, precisely, is someone going to bring you her head?”

Lord Jarid turned, as did the others around the torchlit table. Eri stared at the sky; on his shoulder, he wore the mark of the golden boar charging before a red spear. It was the mark of Lord Jarid’s personal guard, but Eri’s voice bore little respect. “What’s he going to use to cut that head free, Jarid? His teeth?”

The camp stilled at the horribly insubordinate line. Bayrd stopped his stones, hesitating. Yes, there had been talk about how unhinged Lord Jarid had become. But this?

Jarid’s face grew red with rage. “You dare use such a tone with me? One of my own guards?”

Eri continued inspecting the sky.

“You’re docked two months’ pay,” Jarid snapped, but his voice trembled. “Stripped of rank and put on latrine duty until further notice. If you speak back to me again, I’ll cut out your tongue.”

Bayrd shivered in the cold wind. Eri was the best they had in what was left of their rebel army. The other guards shuffled, looking down.

Eri looked over toward the lord and didn’t say a word, but somehow, he didn’t have to. He just smiled. Cut out his tongue? Every scrap of metal in the camp had gone soft as lard. Jarid’s own knife lay on the table, twisted and warped—it had stretched thin as he pulled it from its sheath. Jarid’s coat flapped, open; it had had silver buttons.

“Jarid...” Karam said. A young lord of a minor house loyal to Sarand, he had a lean face and large lips. “Do you really think... Really think this was the work of Aes Sedai? All of the metal in the camp?”

“Of course,” Jarid barked. “What else would it be? Don’t tell me you believe those campfire tales. The Last Battle? Phaw.” He looked back at the table. Unrolled there, with pebbles weighting the corners, was a map of Andor.

Bayrd turned back to his stones. Snap, snap, snap. Slate and granite. It had taken work to find suitable sections of each, but Pappil had taught Bayrd to recognize all kinds of stone. The old man had felt betrayed when Bayrd’s father had gone off and become a butcher in the city, instead of keeping to the family trade.

Soft, smooth slate. Granite, with bumps and ridges. Yes, some things in the world were still solid. Some few things. These days, you couldn’t rely on much. Once immovable lords were now soft as...well, soft as metal. The sky churned with blackness, and brave men—men Bayrd had long looked up to—trembled and whimpered in the night, whispering of things they’d seen.

“I’m worried, Jarid,” Davies said. An older man, Lord Davies was as close as anyone was to being Jarid’s confidant. “We haven’t seen anyone in days. Not farmer, not queen’s soldier. Something is happening. Something wrong.”

“She cleared the people out,” Jarid snarled. “She’s preparing to pounce.”

“I think she’s ignoring us, Jarid,” Karam said, looking at the sky. Clouds still churned there. It seemed like months since Bayrd had seen a clear sky. “Why would she bother? Our men are starving. The food continues to spoil. The signs—”

“She’s trying to squeeze us,” Jarid said, peering at his map, eyes wide with fervor. “This is the work of the Aes Sedai.”

Stillness came suddenly to the camp. Silence, save for Bayrd’s stones. He’d never felt right as a butcher, but he’d found a home in his lord’s guard. Cutting up cows or cutting up men, the two were strikingly similar. It bothered him how easily he’d shifted from one to the other.

Snap, snap, snap.

Eri turned. Jarid eyed the guard suspiciously. He seemed ready to pounce, ready to scream out harsher punishment.

He wasn’t always this bad, was he? Bayrd thought. He wanted the throne for his wife, but what lord wouldn’t want that, given the chance? It was hard to look past the name. Bayrd’s family had followed the Sarand family with reverence for generations.

Eri strode away from the command post. Out into the dark, toward the winds from the north.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Jarid snarled.

Eri reached to his shoulder and ripped free the badge of the Sarand house guard. He tossed it aside and left the torchlight, heading into the night.

Most men in the camp hadn’t gone to sleep. They sat around fire pits, wanting to be near warmth and light. A few tried boiling cuts of grass, leaves, or even strips of leather as something, anything, to eat.

They stood up to watch Eri go.

“Deserter,” Jarid spat. “After all we’ve been through, now he leaves. Just because things are difficult.”

“The men are starving, Jarid,” Davies repeated.

“I’m aware. Thank you so much for telling me about the problems with every bloody breath you have.” Jarid wiped his brow with his trembling palm, then slammed it on his map, staring down. “We’ll have to strike one of the cities; there’s no running from her, not now that she knows where we are. Whitebridge. We’ll take it and resupply. Her Aes Sedai must be weakened after the stunt they pulled tonight, otherwise she’d have attacked.”

Bayrd squinted into the darkness. Other men were standing, lifting quarterstaffs or cudgels. Some went without weapons. They gathered sleeping rolls, hoisted packages to shoulders—the very last of the rations.

They began to trail out of the camp, their passage silent, like the movement of ghosts. No rattling of chainmail or buckles on armor. The metal was all quiet as if the soul had been stripped from it.

“Elayne doesn’t dare move against us in strength,” Jarid said, perhaps convincing himself. “There must be strife in Caemlyn. All of those mercenaries you reported, Shiv. Riots, maybe. Elenia will be working against Elayne, of course, preparing the others to accept her as queen instead. Whitebridge. Yes, Whitebridge will be perfect.

“We hold it, you see, and cut the kingdom in half. We recruit there, press the men in western Andor to our banner. Go to...what’s the place called? The Two Rivers. We should find some able hands there, quick to obey when a firm voice commands.” Jarid sniffed. “I hear they haven’t seen a lord for decades. Give me four months, and I’ll have an army to be reckoned with. Enough that she won’t dare strike at us with her witches...”

Bayrd held his stone up to the torchlight. The trick to creating a good spearhead was to start outward and work your way in. He’d drawn the proper shape with a bit of chalk on the slate, then had worked toward the center to finish the shape. From there, you turned from hitting to tapping, shaving off smaller bits.

He’d finished one side earlier; this second half was almost done. He could almost hear his pappil whispering to him as he worked. We’re of the stone, Bayrd. No matter what your father says. Deep down, we’re of the stone.

More soldiers left the camp. Strange, how few of them spoke. Jarid finally noticed, standing up straight and grabbing one of the torches, holding it high. “What are they doing?” he asked. “Hunting? We’ve seen no game in weeks. Setting snares, perhaps?”

Nobody replied.

“Maybe they’ve seen something,” Jarid muttered. “Or maybe they think they have. I’ll stand no more talk of spirits or other foolery; the witches are creating apparitions to unnerve us. That’s...that’s what it has to be.”

Rustling came from nearby. Karam was digging in his fallen tent. He came up with a small bundle.

“Karam?” Jarid said.

Karam glanced at Lord Jarid, then lowered his eyes and began to tie a coin pouch at his waist. Halfway through, he stopped and laughed, then emptied it. The gold coins inside had melted into a single lump, like pig’s ears in a jar. Karam pocketed this, probably in case it transformed back eventually, though no man would take it as it was. He fished in the pouch and brought out a ring. The blood-red gemstone at the center was still good. “Probably won’t be enough to buy an apple, these days,” he muttered.

“I demand to know what you are doing. Is this your doing?” Jarid waved toward the departing soldiers. “You’re staging a mutiny, is that it?”

“This isn’t my doing,” Karam said, looking ashamed. “And it’s not really yours, either. I’m...I’m sorry.”

Karam walked away from the torchlight. Bayrd found himself surprised. Lord Karam and Lord Jarid had been friends from childhood.

Lord Davies went next, running after Karam. Was he going to try to hold the younger man back? Instead he fell into step beside him. They vanished into the darkness.

“I’ll have you hunted down for this!” Jarid yelled after them, voice shrill. Frantic. “I will be consort to the queen, you realize! No man will give you, or any member of your houses, shelter or succor for ten generations!”

Bayrd looked back at the stone in his hand. Only one step left, the smoothing. A good spearhead needed some smoothing to be dangerous. He brought out another piece of granite he’d picked up for the purpose and carefully began scraping it along the side of the slate.

Seems I remember this better than I’d expected, he thought to himself as Lord Jarid continued to rant.

There was something powerful about crafting the spearhead. The simple act seemed to push back the gloom. There had been a shadow on Bayrd, and the rest of the camp, lately. As if...as if he couldn’t stand in the light no matter how he tried. The darkness was always there, weighing him down. He woke each morning feeling as if someone he’d loved had died the day before.

It could crush you, that despair. Why would making a spearhead change that? You’re being a fool, Bayrd. It just seemed to him that the mere act of creating something—anything—fought back. That was one way to challenge...him. The one none of them spoke of. The one that they all knew was behind it, no matter what Lord Jarid said.

Bayrd stood up. He’d want to do more smoothing later, but the spearhead actually looked pretty good. He raised his wooden spear haft—the metal blade had fallen free when evil had struck the camp—and lashed the new spearhead in place, just as his pappil had taught him all those years ago.

The other guards were looking at him. “We’ll need more of those,” Morear said. “If you’re willing.”

Bayrd nodded. “On our way out, we can stop by the hillside where I found the slate.”

Jarid finally stopped yelling, his eyes wide in the torchlight. “No. You are my personal guard. You will not defy me!”

Jarid jumped for Bayrd, murder in his eyes, but Morear and Rosse caught the lord from behind. Rosse looked aghast at his own mutinous act, panic on his wide face. He didn’t let go, though.

Bayrd fished a few things out from beside his bedroll. After that, he nodded to the others, and they joined him—eight men of Lord Jarid’s personal guard, dragging the sputtering lord himself through the remnants of camp. They passed smoldering fires and fallen tents, abandoned by men who were trailing out into the darkness in greater numbers now, heading north. Into the wind.

At the edge of camp, Bayrd selected a nice, stout tree. He waved to the others, and they took the rope he’d fetched and tied Lord Jarid to the tree. The man sputtered until Morear gagged him with a handkerchief.

Bayrd stepped in close. He tucked a waterskin into the crook of Jarid’s arm. “Don’t struggle too much or you’ll drop that, my lord. You should be able to push the gag off—it doesn’t look too tight—and angle the waterskin up to drink. Here, I’ll take off the cap.”

Jarid stared thunder at Bayrd.

“It’s not about you, my Lord,” Bayrd said. “You always treated my family well. But, here, we can’t have you following along and making life difficult. There’s just something that we need to do, and you’re stopping everyone from doing it. That isn’t right; I guess this isn’t either. Maybe someone should have said something earlier. Well, that’s done. Sometimes, you let the meat hang too long, and the entire haunch has to go. It’s just the way of things.”

He nodded to the others, who ran off to gather things. He pointed Rosse toward the slate outcropping, which was nearby, and told him what to look for in good spearhead stone.

He turned back to the struggling Lord Jarid. “This isn’t witches, my Lord. This isn’t Elayne...I suppose I should call her the queen. Funny, thinking of a pretty young thing like that as queen. I’d rather have bounced her on my knee at an inn than bow to her, but Andor will need a ruler to follow to the Last Battle, and it isn’t your wife. We can’t fight anymore. I’m sorry.”

Jarid sagged in his bonds, the anger seeming to bleed from him. He was weeping now. Odd thing to see, that.

“I’ll tell people we pass—if we pass any—where you are,” Bayrd promised, “and that you probably have some jewels on you. They might come for you. They might.” He hesitated. “You shouldn’t have stood in the way. Everyone seems to know what is coming but you. The Dragon is reborn, old bonds are broken, old oaths done away with...and I’ll be hanged before I let Andor march to the Last Battle without me.”

Bayrd left, walking into the night, raising his new spear onto his shoulder. I have an oath older than the one to your family, anyway. An oath the Dragon himself couldn’t undo. It was an oath to the land. The stones were in his blood, and his blood in the stones of this Andor.

Bayrd gathered the others and they left for the north. Behind them in the night, their lord whimpered, alone, as the ghosts began to move through camp.

 

A Memory of Light copyright © 2012 by The Bandersnatch Group, Inc.

This story is part of A Memory of Light: ‹ previous | index | next ›
193 comments
AlfredTungstan
2. AlfredTungstan
Such a tease. January seems sooooo far away. Thank you for the post.
John Jolly
3. jjolly
Ahh, more drought to feed my addiction. Curse you with prosperity, Brandon Sanderson!
AlfredTungstan
4. Genlted Ben
Thank you, Tor and Mr. Sanderson! That was fine tease, indeed. :)
Francesco Paonessa
5. ErrantKnave
Mother of God...

Or rather, mother's milk in a cup! Flaming goats, why would you release this so bloody early?

(I love it. Please post more, and thank you very much.)
Noneo Yourbusiness
6. Longtimefan
Thank you Tor and Harriet and Brandon and all the people who work so hard behind the scenes to help bring this tidbit to the eagerly awaiting fans. It is very considerate and wonderful.

Thanks for being such a great group of people.
AlfredTungstan
7. erinzard
must....not....completely.....FLIP....OUT!!!!!!
AlfredTungstan
8. Scotch
Love it! Shivers down my spine! Can't wait for the book to come out.
AlfredTungstan
9. Eric Peters
*Shrudder* Soo good, I can't wait to read the rest!
AlfredTungstan
10. Kadere
"The Dragon is reborn, old bonds are broken, old oaths done away with...and I’ll be hanged before I let Andor march to the Last Battle without me."

Oh yeah! Can NOT wait till January!
AlfredTungstan
11. MzVioletTwilight
So beautiful... *tears*
AlfredTungstan
12. Hawkido
Woot!
Stone spears...
other than the symbolism, you think there is anything more significant about the stone spears?

The act of creation is a re-buff against the dark one, interesting.

I guess that is why Perrin's food never spoiled. He's a black smith and creates. He is also followed by a large percentage of craftsmen/women.
Lynn McDonald
13. meal6225
Thank You TOR! Knowing Harriet read this at JordanCon I pictured her reading it to me. Very Fun!
Have been reading a little too much GRRM, I thought Bayrd was going to
stick the new spear in Jarid. Like this version better!
AlfredTungstan
14. Kiefer McBride
So close I can taste it...and still just over the horizon.
Damon Garner
15. IrishOmalley
A massive charge do I predict from team light!
Donna Harvey
16. snaggletoothedwoman
Wow, thank you for the snippet. Now the wait for the rest of the book is going to be really long.
AlfredTungstan
17. starseeker
This is going to be soooo awesome! :O
AlfredTungstan
18. Sorcha Al'Verdan
As usual, these teasers leave me clamoring for more :)

Its a shame that this is the last book in this series.
AlfredTungstan
19. Sandy R
Reading that passage was akin to eating a sandwich only for it to remind you that you're hungry. Just enough to leave you wanting more. Such a tease!
Can't wait for January.
Thanks to everyone involved for letting us have this little bit.
AlfredTungstan
20. H_a_eriksson
It's only logical. If the Great Lord can break Cuendillar - then he can soften metall Awesome piece. :)
Sam Mickel
21. Samadai
Wow, totally amazing. Thank you Tor and team Jordan for letting us read this . I can't wait for more.
Chin Bawambi
23. bawambi
Wash the spears - while the sun climbs high. Wash the spears - while the sun falls low. Wash the spears - Who fears to die? Wash the spears - No one I know!

BawambioftheboredatworkAiel
Sanctume Spiritstone
24. Sanctume
Thursday SQUEEE for me!

Add / Edit.

Where is this camp? If it's near White Bridge, and they are heading north, then they won't be passing by Caemlyn.

I am just wondering if these men will be able to help Caemlyn when the Trollocs started coming via Way Gate.

Also, I am wondering wasn't Perrin's Army where he met Mat is in White Bridge? Was this around the time the Trollocs are hitting Caemlyn, or did Perrin's army already went to the Field of ____ ?
AlfredTungstan
25. TheBeerPatriot
Thanks so much for posting this. Quite a foreboding tone in this section, I love how Jarid's descent into madness is opposed by the clarity of Bayrd's action to create a spearhead. One of the best singular POV's in the WOT series. Thanks again, and look forward to 1/8/13!
AlfredTungstan
26. jemron
Excellent! I love that creating something, anything, actually seems to hold off the DO's touch. Creator vs. DO. Maybe the "Creator" is mankind... Also, adds extra perspective to the scene when Perrin creates his special hammer. Good stuff!
Deana Whitney
27. Braid_Tug
Chills running down my arms. So looking forward to the whole book.

Point of Contention however: “Pappil”?! Really? How fake southern can you get? Nowhere else is there a silly name for a grandparent.

Still cool to see someone work stone. And of course the act of creating is keeping the Dark One at bay. Great touch.

Hope that melted metal affect is not wide spread. Can’t have much of a war that way. All of Mat’s cannons would be ruined!
Sharon E.
28. Sulin
WOW- what a treat! Thanks so much for posting this, Tor and Team Jordan! I can now do a happy dance in the office. :D

sulinofthealsoboredatworkaiel
AlfredTungstan
29. Morodrim
Must...hold back...the wot fever....CAN IT BE JANUARY ALREADY OMG.
Kimani Rogers
30. KiManiak
Ha, what a nice little tease; thanks for that Tor.com! I eagerly await the next little bit.
AlfredTungstan
31. tommythecat
Excerpt was awesome. Just want to point out in the intro to the post you have Andorian when it should be Andoran. Sorry...just bugged me. Thank you for the post...talk about whetting appetites!!!
john mullen
32. johntheirishmongol
I'm going to love that it's finished. And I will hate that there isn't any more.
AlfredTungstan
33. Ender
Shivers down my spine, indeed!

The very first sentence brought me crashing back into the world of WOT. Yes, the world is unravelling. And then there is that bit about hunger...oh yeah, food is spoiling everywhere. And so it goes...

I agree absolutely with TheBeerPatriot@25. This is one of the best one-time POV in WOT. Great clarity of thoughts, and so much said without saying so. An act of creation holding back the effect of the DO...absolutely makes sense and absolutely well described!

Indeed, just left me longing for more...January is soo far away...
Tina Aydon
34. Taydon
SQUEEE!
Thank you Team Jordan, for this wonderful little teaser.

Bring on January...
AlfredTungstan
35. trench
I got all tingly, damn I love the Wheel of Time. Thanks for posting this.
Anthony Pero
36. anthonypero
I'm avoiding this. Entirely. Curse you for posting it ;P
AlfredTungstan
37. MrCCG
Amazing glimpse into what will be a masterpiece! Great work Brandon Sanderson! Thank you Harriet, thank you TOR!

I am sure like many others here that I will read this about 6 dozen times before January... :)
Paige Vest
38. paigevest
So excited yet melancholy about this final installment of the WoT. But I thoroughly enjoyed this little shiver-inducing tidbit... thanks for sharing it with us!

'AP'ofthealwaysboredatworkAiel
AlfredTungstan
39. rwalker
Its hard to believe after 25 years that the last battle will happen in THIS BOOK.
AlfredTungstan
40. the_messer
Ridicuously excited!
AlfredTungstan
41. Planeswalker
Been a while. Hello everyone! This is a great Prologue.
Finally, the ending of the Third Age is coming. ;(
AlfredTungstan
42. RandAlThor
In case someone is confused,this scene is during the summit of all dragon nations(hence all the soldiers and farmers dissapearing).I can't believe she couldn't locate Sarand,there must have been word of supply purchases.I thought he had left the country or hid on a farm.I was kinda hoping that Rand had usurped his allegiance somehow like with Ituralde.At least we know now that Sarand isn't Demandred(for those who suspected him).
John Massey
43. subwoofer
Good times!

I always figured that men- plain men with a sense of duty- would be the ones to stand up and save the world, never mind the factions, standing under different banners or if the Dragon is crazy or not. Everyone knows the Last Battle is coming and knows that it is their time to stand up and be counted.

The metal going sideways.... hmmmm... maybe this was the reason for Aes Sedai forged weapons in the first place.

Woof™.
AlfredTungstan
44. Halibulu
HAHAHAHAH he thought he could just march on White Bridge where Perrin is resting with on massive army?! Hahahahha and that the Two Rivers folk could be FORCED to join his army? Ohhhh how misguided these "Lords" can be
AlfredTungstan
45. moondivatx
Thank you Tor!!! Thank you Brandon and Harriet for giving us the ending of this wonderful story!!
This is so bittersweet for me, but even after reading each book many times...each reread uncoveres another facet of the story!! Simply the best..RJ!
Deb
AlfredTungstan
46. DJMarc
I could just hear this in Michael Kramer's voice... Thanks so very much for the posting. It's almost time to re-listen to the series prior to the final release!
AlfredTungstan
47. Wraith
Tell me again why we have to wait till January????? Blood and Bloody Ashes!
T C
48. Freelancer
Outstanding. I'm minded of the dog on the old RCA logo. Listening to the Master's voice.

Thank you.
AlfredTungstan
49. Tialin
Thanks for posting that. It's good to read a bit, but since now they've put the release off til next year, it's almost cruel. Stage 4 lymphoma - I won't be making it to the Last Battle - and after all these years... It's hard not to be bitter.
R B
50. MasterAlThor
Oh you have got to be kidding. That was a tease. You do realize that you are now going to have to release more little snippets now right? Right?

Enjoyed it very much.

Dragon
Rich Bennett
51. Neuralnet
thanks... what a great surprise to see this. Looks like an excellent prologue, cant wait to read the whole thing.
Thomas Keith
52. insectoid
Thanks Tor and Team Jordan!
Shiver-inducing! Can't wait for January.

BzzzoftheshivermetimbersAiel™.
AlfredTungstan
53. WILDCAT
warm fuzzies.. all over my body.. cant..stop..SMILING!! I am going to build a time machine so that I can travel to January and quench my thirst for more! Let the building of the WHEEL OF TIME MACHINE commence!
Charles Gaston
54. parrothead
Must...resist...urge to SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!! Ah bloody damned hell.

Anybody else thinking this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRh0QiXyZSk
Probably the stoneworking.
AlfredTungstan
56. First Time Poster
Someone get Tialin an advance reader copy and a non-disclosure agreement!!!
Chin Bawambi
57. bawambi
I second that first time poster. I am sure that Tialin could get a team Jordan special copy even it if isn't fully proofed yet.
Virginia O'Connor
58. Tialin
Thanks, guys! You are too sweet. But if they did that for me they'd have to do it for everyone, and surely I'm not the only one with issues like this! Hopefully tne creator will have a well-stocked Library, or maybe I'll even run into RJ! LOl!

Sorry, this caught me in a weak moment, feeling sorry for myself! Silly, the Aiel have the right of it.
Virginia O'Connor
59. Tialin
Wildcat, can I get one of those time machines when you finish it?!? That would be so handy.... There's not a one of us who wouldn't do most anything to lay hands on the Last Book right now!
AlfredTungstan
60. wotmaniac
me too. A pre-edit draft would be possible I think. I don't think Tialin would mind the spelling errors.
AlfredTungstan
61. DJMarc
I think that Brandon should sell a copy of the "Pre-Cut" document after the release of the final version. An electronic download that includes all the material that TOR forced him to remove for the final printing.
AlfredTungstan
62. The Blacksmith
As always...thank you very much Ms Jordan for continuing to favor us with this tale, and for sharing your love of Robert Jordan with us as you have for sometime. Team Jordan & Mr Sanderson thanks and great work.

If that guy is really sick I will pay $200.00 for him to receive a copy in time...the site has my email 5619358850
AlfredTungstan
63. MOIRAINES KNICKERS
MOVIE! MOVIE! MOVIE!
Daniel Posey
65. dposey
As is the new usual, the first 4 paragraphs have me groaning about word choice and phrasing. The next dozen nag at me. Somewhere near the middle the story grabs me. By the end, I just want MOAR!
AlfredTungstan
66. Carteeg Struve
A wonderful passage. I really do want to see this series through. Here's to hoping Brandon not only does eventually write the outrigger novels, but I would even trust him to write his own original stories in this world. He has the talent for it, and he deserves it. Not even death could stop this story from being told. Thank you, Brandon; and thank you, Harriet.
AlfredTungstan
67. Ceanabhan
Can't wait to read the rest.
AlfredTungstan
68. Taryntula
Use the force Bayrd...USE THE FORCE!
AlfredTungstan
69. marshandthx
Thank you for this tidbit. The waiting always seems soooo long.
Alice Arneson
70. Wetlandernw
Tor & Team Jordan – Like everyone else, I thank you very much for this!

Sanctume @24 – We really don’t know where this camp is, other than somewhere that makes him think Whitebridge would be a good target. Last we were told, Jarid Sarand’s whereabouts were “unknown.” (ToM Ch. 11) With Whitebridge as a logical target, though, (assuming he’s got any logic left) the men leaving camp to go north would most likely head for the vicinity of Caemlyn in order to take the best roads to the north. Maybe they will help Caemlyn! Perrin, though, is already at the Fields of Merrilor at the end of ToM. (Ch. 53, 56)

Jemron @26 – Well, I’d personally be disappointed if the Creator turns out to be mankind, but at least it would make sense of “Imprisoned by the Creator at the moment of Creation in a prison at Shayol Ghul” – at least if you take “creation” to be “creating the seal on the Bore”. And it wouldn’t require a perfect seal that cannot be achieved by humans to make the Wheel work out.

Wouldbe @27 – How many other grandparents have we seen mentioned at all? And why do we care what they’re called?
micheal julia
71. high fantasy
Thank you TOR, and Team Jordan. just thank you. I tried for more but couldn't get words to resemble articulate thought, so just thank you.
sigh....
Terry McNamee
72. macster
Wow...just, wow.

I can't even begin to describe the feelings this gives me. Not just the typical "the series is finally almost done", excitement crossed with nostalgia...but what the passage itself says. It's so powerful and resonant...it ties up the loose end of Sarand, underscores the theme of oaths being broken and reforged, emphasizes the Last Battle over anything else, shows the true quality of the common men, is rife with irony as we've come to expect (Sarand thinking he can take Whitebridge, or convince the Two Rivers to follow him--hah!), and even shows an inkling of how the Dark One can be defeated or at least resisted. "Belief and order give strength", indeed...maybe that theory about all the Randlanders coming t0gether and restoring the Blight with their belief isn't so loony after all.

Easily the best minor character POV to date in the series, poignant and painful even as it is insightful and brave, and despite his complete lack of sense I still managed to feel a little sorry for Sarand in the end. So much to look forward to, I didn't think I could be any more stoked for AMoL but I am!
AlfredTungstan
73. Asgard Thorin
Oh, man I am really going to be P.O.'d if the Mayan Thing happens in December..........Really good excerpt. Still hope they kick it up to November, but we should be glad the series was finished.....and if this is any indication, it will be Jim-cracking dandy.
Alice Arneson
74. Wetlandernw
@several - I think I heard from those who attended JordanCon that the metal-melt was a bubble of evil, and restricted to the local area. (Can someone confirm?) So once they get far enough away, metal will behave normally again. Bit of a bummer if the stone spears become unnecessary, but the point that "creating something reduces the DO's influence" is well made, and may be of greater importance than the stone weapons.
AlfredTungstan
75. puloy
GOOSEBUMPS LIEK WOAH!! Definitely one of the best one-time POVs indeed. And it once again struck me how the series somehow always point that victory against the Dark is not as simple as a direct confrontation of physical and magical force, quite unlike most other fantasy works. Somehow I really get the impression that the internal battle against the Despair and Ruin is much more meaningful. Rand's hoping for life and laughter was a great battle as opined by the wolves. The Borderlanders tenacity and Bayrd's personal resolution to move onward embodied by his creative action maybe the pockets of light in the darkening world..

THANK YOU!!
AlfredTungstan
76. djkut
Awsome begining to the end. Re reading the series now and will probably have to read the last 3 twice before the finally. But this was excellent.
AlfredTungstan
77. Asha'man671
Food for thought:
Wouldn't it just suck if the real world "ends" just before the release of AMoL?
Jeff Schweer
78. JeffS.
As macster said above, the best minor character POV to date.
Chills, goosebumps, minor uncontrollable quivers of the small muscles around the eyes. The feel of this passage reminded me of the prologue of TGS and how Renald Fanwar, his wife, and his neighbors just knew what "The Storm Means"

The call has gone out, the horn will sound and the heroes of the past along with the heroes of the fields, villages and smithies will come to do battle at the end of the age. All can hear the call, all who have any feel for the land will come, willing to die if need be, for the light.

JeffS.
I am only an egg
Jeff Schweer
79. JeffS.
And for all that are concerned about the Mayan calender

"Tia mi aven Moridin isainde vadin," the grave is no bar to my call


JeffS.
I am only an egg
Alice Arneson
80. Wetlandernw
@77 - If that were to happen, I don't think any of us would care about AMoL any more.
Roger Powell
81. forkroot
@66
Here's to hoping Brandon not only does eventually write the outrigger novels, but I would even trust him to write his own original stories in this world.
From what I understand, there's virtually no chance the outriggers will be done. If Brandon does anything else at all (unlikely) it would be one or both of the other planned prequels.

Understand this - Brandon has his own very promising career and a whole bunch of things he wants to write. He agreed to finish WOT because of his own deep attachment to the series and a little bit of (totally justified) ego that said he was the best person to finish it.

I don't think he realized the enormity of the task ahead of him when he took this whole thing on. In addition to tying up all the loose ends, and following RJ's laid out notes, he's had to deal with his own personal commitment to keeping this "Robert Jordan's Story" - which makes the writing that much more difficult (thank heavens he did not try to ape RJ's style.)

I would guess that our best chance to see the prequels would be to back off and let Brandon recover from the last four years. In a couple of year's time, assuming Harriet is willing, revisiting Randland and doing one or both of the prequels might pique his interest.
AlfredTungstan
82. Johnalthor
I would like to see a prequal about Rands parents and the events leading up to and through how she ended up in the Aiel Waste. Maybe even throw in bits of the Aeil War and her going to Tar Valon, ending with Tam finding Rand. Just sayin
AlfredTungstan
83. LK
That should be Andoran, not Andorian.

Hey, send me an advance copy and I'll proofread for free!
AlfredTungstan
84. Deborah Sedai
I CAN'T stand it... I had to catch my breath when Jarid called my dear friend Elayne by that horrible name.. Oh why can't it be January 8th already.. my birthday (1/9) will be spent locked in my room..please hurry!!!!
AlfredTungstan
85. Kartikeya GS
Gosh! This was certainly an unexpected treat. Simply cannot wait for AMOL. All those loose ends being tied up...finally! Wonder how long the book is going to be though. I remember reading that it will be of the same length as ToM or less. That wold kinda suck. I am still rather enamoured of RJ's promise of a 3000 page AMOL if the need arose.

And please, TOR etc. - help Tialin out here, please! My heart goes out to her.
Steven Pattingale
86. Pattingale
Yay! That was a wonderful appetizer. I am ready for the main course now please. :)
Jay Dauro
88. J.Dauro
When asked at JordanCon about the possibility of other novels being written, Harriet's response was no. AMOL and the Encyclopedia will be completed, and that is it. That has also been what Brandon has basically said, he will do them if Harriet asks, but he does not think they should be written. Neither wants to do anything to affect the reputation of the series.
AlfredTungstan
89. trench
@85 techincally we sill still get the 3000 page behemoth RJ promised. Its just that two thirds of it have already been published and by word count amol is still longer then ToM, we will just have to see how much the editing process trims that number down.
Tess Laird
90. thewindrose
Thanks Team Jordam and TOR! Great snippet. Was laughing at the Two Rivers recruitment idea;)

tempest™
Deana Whitney
91. Braid_Tug
@70, Wetlandernw - I guess that's part of the problem. When Brandon uses words that are so out of touch with Jordan's, they stick out. Like when he opened GS with a man in a rocking chair on a porch. Suddenly I'm in the 19th century, rather than the (arguably) 17th century of the rest of the world.
The whole segment – chills & I love it.
“Pappil” – nails on chalkboard to me.
neilorenzo
92. Al Aldazar
It's times like these I wish someone had invented a Time Machine....so I can skip the waiting period for new releases!

I wonder though...his family...what's so special about them? An oath to the land? Stone in his blood? An oath that the Dragon himself could not make him break...Another mysterious yet suspiciously pivotal character...

Oh, I can't wait!
Ron Garrison
93. Man-0-Manetheran
Excellent! The ball starts to roll. Good catch, Hawkido, re. "act of creation is a re-buff against the dark one." Stone – earth – positive action of creation – walking away from old, negative rhetoric. This is all very symbolic and significant. Chaos and dispair – tools of the Dark One. Creation and resolve – "Belief and order give strength" – tools of the Light. A superb metaphor for the political reality we live in. Negative political ads, negative rhetoric is very powerful, but ultimately it degrades the entire society with apathy and demonization. Creation and resolve to make things better may be difficult and with seemingly overwhelming odds, but with Belief and Order we can all triumph.

The Wheel of Time - destined to be one of the greatest books in English literature. Thank you, Robert Jordan, Brian Sanderson, Harriet, Team Light.
AlfredTungstan
94. mutantalbinocrocodile
Fantastic! (Is anyone else darkly amused that, after all the griping about the political aspects, the first teaser is technically part of the Andoran succession plotline but everyone loves it anyway?) ;)
Nadine L.
95. travyl
I agree with all above, a great POV.
Tor had me scared here for a moment though:
after reading ... "soldier on the wrong side of history" I already imagined that Jarid's army would really fight against Team Light.
Roger Powell
96. forkroot
WouldbeBrownAjah@91
I guess that's part of the problem. When Brandon uses words that are so out of touch with Jordan's, they stick out. Like when he opened GS with a man in a rocking chair on a porch. Suddenly I'm in the 19th century, rather than the (arguably) 17th century of the rest of the world.
LOL! The problem here is the section you quoted is one of the few parts we know were 100% written by Jordan. So it you have a problem with the rocking chair, don't blame Brandon.
Scientist, Father
97. Silvertip
Very nice. Just what a prologue should do. Suddenly I'm relieved that daughter number 3 will be arriving this summer, I'll be too busy to just watch the time go by until the book comes out!

@Several: I also love the idea of creating something being a way to hold off the DO. I come from a family of people who built houses for their living--there's a satisfaction in that that can be hard to find any other way.

@27 WBBA: Oh, come on. This guy's from West Horsesass, Andor, in a world that hasn't been homogenized by instant communication and mass media. A local, vaguely rural-sounding name for a grandfather is not only realistic but helps to set the place and (apparently traditional) family he comes from, just like "greatfather" helped establish the formal streak of the Aiel and subtly hinted at their roots in the Age of Legends.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
98. Lisamarie
Oooh, I have chills. Love the symbolism of creation and stone...love that, in the end, many of the heroes are just ordinary men doing their duty.

Can't wait until January!!!!!! I feel a little teary!
AlfredTungstan
99. darkhero7007
Anyone ever heard about a person reading a book and then getting an epiphany? I can say that this series has done that for me.
Mr. Jordan, may he R.I.P., and Mr. Sanderson thank you for giving me an amazing opportunity to get a glimpse into this world.
Karen Fox
100. thepupxpert
This was so great to read, thank you! And I've got the hunny!
Deana Whitney
101. Braid_Tug
@ 96, forkroot - oops... my mistake. I'll be honest, I'm new to "fandom." So while I've love the books for years, I'm really just learning about breaking it all down. But can laugh at myself for this mistake, and will stop blaming Brandon. Thanks!
AlfredTungstan
102. Lahti
Damn, I got chills all over my body after reading this. Can't wait til January!
John Massey
103. subwoofer
Now let's not get carried away about the "best minor character" thing. There are many awesome minor characters that crop up throughout the whole story... which is why I love this series, because tier 2 people rock as well.

Let's not forget Bulin. We only see a glimpse of him but his character gives us the depth of feeling for the rise of the Golden Crane.

How about Weilin? We see him first when Nynaeve starts her campaign to make sure her husband does not ride to the Gap alone.

So far for chills I still recall the chapter "Distinctions" where Malenarin Rai gives his son the family sword as a rite of passage, shortly before Heath Tower is under seige.

Almen Bunt had a strong appearance also.

There was another really old novice that I liked as well, my point is just that this is the newest character, not necessarily the best written one. Perhaps this would be a good idea for a poll question- favorite minor character?

Woof™.
Jerry Blair
104. Linekat62
Jarid will be surprized when he finds the Two Rivers residents already follow Lord Perrin. The prologues always confuse me (easy to do), usually takes time to relate them to the rest of the story
Karen Fox
105. thepupxpert
I love Renald Fanwar, the farmer in the prologue of TGS, who is looking out at the black clouds and then suddenly they're right over his head, and he and his wife pack everything up and leave. That scene was one of the most powerful scenes IMO.
AlfredTungstan
106. Gus Mackenzie
I NEVER post comments on the internet. But this passage was gorgeous. Moved me. Cannot wait to read the rest.
AlfredTungstan
107. fishgirl
Awesome writing! Very much looking forward to the book. Saunders, we're lucky you took over the series!
Jeff Schweer
109. JeffS.
Sub @103
You're right, there have been many strong second or third tier characters during this run.
I can't answer for others but I have to admit that part of my vote has to be related to the fact that... I HAVEN"T READ THIS BEFORE OMG SQEEEE
Ahem, Anyway, the thoughts running through Bayrd's mind resonate and makes it the latest vignette in an awesome series that totally rocks.
Roger Powell
110. forkroot
WBA@101
Good to laugh at yourself - shows that you're well-adjusted. In my case, "well-adjusted" means that ... well ... I've "adjusted" to the fact that I make (a lot) of mistakes. All I have to do to stay humble is look over my old posts on this very re-read and see how many times I was out in left field!!

There is one take away though, and full credit to Freelancer who has made this point the most (and the most eloquently): Be careful what you assume was written (or changed) by BWS.

Brandon himself is quite open about his writing process ... see his notes on his web site. I suspect that if it were solely up to him, we would be able (at some point in the future) to see the breakdown of what he wrote and what RJ wrote.

I don't think it's up to him though - I think it's up to Harriet, and I suspect she may not want to open the kimono that much. In this case, I would respect her instincts ... there's always been a bit of mystique about the WoT, RJ, and Team Jordan and perhaps it should remain that way.
AlfredTungstan
111. BJA1234
Beautifully written...Jordan's & Sanderson's styles mixing closer & closer together...I've been reading these books for two decades & now that the end is in sight...I don't want the journey to be over already!
AlfredTungstan
112. Doorman
Thanks Gang! Loved the Tease!

Never thought of Silly Putty in the WOT! lol.
Hope its just the bubble; Want to see those Cannon work.

Come On Jan,
Armand Fils
113. ArmandFils
I can't read this excerpt yet, not now... But I'm thrilled by the sense of excitement it exudes.

I was thinking of who wrote this piece here. Jordan or Sanderson, or both?... I'm still on Book 6 in the WoT series, and yet to read "The Gathering Storm" & "Towers Of Midnight" co-written by Sanderson, and right now, I can't tell the difference in the writing style of the two authors shown in the WoT.

I know that "Towers Of Midnight" was entirely written by Sanderson guided by the storyline ideas of Jordan (correct me if I'm wrong), & I'm just wondering if this is one of the pieces Jordan originally wrote himself. I think it'd be great if the final book will contain original materials written by Jordan himself, instead of Sanderson editing what Jordan left.

Light, I'm So Thrilled... Is it January 8, 2013 yet?!
Jay Dauro
114. J.Dauro
ArmandFils

Not Quite.

When RJ left us, he had written many scenes from the last book he planned, A Memory of Light. Some were complete, others were started. There were notes as to what was to happen, with outlines of others. He also dictated notes and scenes after he could no longer write. He planned a single book to conclude the series.

When Brandon started, the first thing he read was a scene completed long ago, the ending (which he has said is fantastic.) Then he went through the notes and scenes, built an outline for the final book, and started writing.

After around 250,000 words, he told Harriet, Tor and Team Jordan, it was going to take around 800,000 words to tell the story. They decided to split the book into three volumes. This is due to the actual business of publishing: what can be bound, what bookstores will shelf, and other factors. For more on the decision see Brandon's website, www.brandonsanderson.com/article/56/Splitting-AMOL.

Brandon determined how to split the story so that we got three full stories, with major events in the right places. To do this required shifting the timelines some, so that at the end of TGS, some plotlines are advanced past others. At the end of TOM we are pretty much all back in alignment, and the climax of the roller coaster is starting.

So when it comes to a particular scene in any of the 3 books, it may have been written by RJ, or by BWS or by both. There are some scenes we know are RJ's because either BWS has said so, or they were part of the Prologue that was read at JordanCon 1. This is why we know Renald Fanwar was RJ's. (And I believe BWS has said that the original prologue was split also, with some scenes in each prologue from RJ, but I am not sure of this.)

If you are at Lord of Chaos, you've got great things to come. You may have to wait for the Final Book, depending on your speed, but probably not long. Have a great time. And in the last three books, don't worry about who wrote what, remember the story is RJ's, and we are almost done.
Jeff Schweer
115. JeffS.
"remember the story is RJ's"
Yes, that.
It has always been his and from the things Brandon and others have said, that's the way it should be considered. Don't get me wrong, Brandon and the WOT team have done a fantastic, beyond expectation job throughout the last few years and I am in awe of the accomplishment. But...

It is his story, the man I'll never meet but seem to know through his words.
Thanks everyone. Once again I'm happy that events have allowed us to get to this point and a bit melancholy that it's almost here. Maybe that's why the prologue affected me so much. I've been rereading and following the discussions and being amazed at the depth of discussion. I doubt that I'll ever be as involved in a piece of fiction as I have been this one again in my life. That may be it in a nutshell, I became involved.
AlfredTungstan
116. AJKSMITH
You know I am a junkie right? Now I know I won't get my fix until January...now I'm sketching.
Armand Fils
117. ArmandFils
J.Dauro

Thanks for the insight there... I only started reading the series last year and I'm new at Robert Jordan's WORLD of the WoT. There are so many things I need and would want to know behind these novels. It's not just the storyline that is captivating, the books' history and writing are interesting just the same.

Someone told me yesterday this is something TOR/TeamJordan will never disclose, but you are right; worrying about who wrote what does not matter. The story is RJ's, and I'll remember that always...
Armand Fils
118. ArmandFils
To all who commented about the WoT PREQUEL, I only remembered now asking y'all this:
How true is it that once the series and the Encyclopedia is completed, there will be no more future books in the WoT?... That is appalling!

And all this time I thought it will not be over yet once the final book is released... One of my favorite entries in the WoT is New Spring, however disapponting the reception for the book is. I thought they're planning to continue the prequel storyline from New Spring. Don't everyone think that it's incomplete? The idea behind the planned succeeding prequel novels focusing on Tam serving in the Illianer army and finding Rand, and Moiraine and Lan's journey in finding the Dragon Reborn before the events in The Eye Of The World is just brilliant.

If there is something I'm more excited about since starting reading the series, that is the project finish the prequel novels. After all, postponing the project until after the main series is completed was Jordan's plan.

LIGHT!

I hope TOR/McDougal will have a change of Heart soon...
AlfredTungstan
119. deltagirl
TOR, pls get Tialin an advanced copy...doesnt seem right for her not to know the end.
AlfredTungstan
120. Cesc_Entreri
Light! That was wonderful, can't wait for the book! Made me even laugh with that line about Elayne!
Alice Arneson
121. Wetlandernw
ArmandFils @118 - We would all love to read the prequels and the outriggers, but the chances are vanishingly small. Harriet owns the rights to all of this, and she knows exactly what is - and isn't - in the notes RJ left. What you listed in your comment may be pretty close to the sum total of what he said about the prequels.

What I recall Brandon saying is along this line: RJ left plenty of notes, outlines, fully- or partially-written scenes, and verbal instruction on what was necessary to finish out the main story. There were still creative decisions to be made, and a lot of fleshing-out to do, but the bones and a lot of the muscle was already there. The prequels and outriggers, OTOH, were primarily in RJ's head, and he didn't leave much written information about what was to be in them. Because of that, it would require a lot more invention on the part of the author to come up with the stories. Harriet doesn't really want to do that, and frankly, neither does Brandon. (He does have a career of his own.) If she decided she wanted them written after all, he'd do it, but... Neither Harriet nor RJ had any high opinion of fan fiction, and she doesn't want to finish off RJ’s legacy with a series of what would, essentially, be fanfic.

Speaking only for myself, I agree with her. While I’d love to have the stories, I’d want to read what RJ had intended. If Brandon is going to have to invent the majority of the story, I’d far rather read what he invents in his own worlds, where no one is going to be arguing about things that don’t fit their ideas of WoT. I think we can be reasonably confident that any relevant information RJ left about the events that would have made up the prequels will be included in the Encyclopedia and I, for one, am fine with getting them in that form. Meanwhile, except for what collaboration he provides for the Encyclopedia, Brandon can get on with writing the Stormlight Archive and some more Wax and Wayne books.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
122. tnh
Bear in mind that you can spoil a work of art by putting a bad end on a great beginning. Just look at the Star Wars franchise.
AlfredTungstan
123. hariviswanath
its awesome and i think i have no choice but to wait till january!!
AlfredTungstan
124. Chricton
Thank you for the tidbit. I'm wondering what knowledge I'm missing here. "...tried boiling cuts of grass...". How? Having established metal is no longer useful, what is containing the boiling water? (not to mention the loss of steel fire starters.)
AlfredTungstan
125. Dan Topless warrior9
Unbelievable mate.

Wish there was more to this but would keep asking until the whole book is released lol



Chricton, it is possible that they used wood bark as when bark has water
in it it wont burn so long as the flames do not go over the water mark.
Hope it help.

Once again! amazing piece.
Jay Dauro
126. J.Dauro
Years ago, while in the Boy Scouts, we made hard boiled eggs in paper cups over a campfire. As Dan says, as long as there is water in the cup, it will work.

And a firebow does not require any metal. Metal does make things easier, but there are ways around it. Stone spears anyone?
Virginia O'Connor
127. Tialin
Thanks, everyone. Your kind thoughts mean a great deal to me. Tai'shar Manetheran, or wherever you may hail from! Love ya!
AlfredTungstan
128. Melly
Reveling in reading this the way a cat revels in catnip.
AlfredTungstan
129. foureyes10
I guess it's time to start reading the whole series again, I should be caught up ready for January by January?
AlfredTungstan
130. Drsarav
Can't wait can't wait can't wait!

(Agree w dposey and wannabebrownajah: brandon has a habit of anachronistic language use that irks me. In this excerpt, "stunt" is the word that I tripped over. I've seen that in his own stories too Another example I recall is in book two of the Mistborn series: one guy comments to another that his wife "bakes a mean apple pie". Now in a medieval world, "mean" should imply a small scant stingy thing, The OPPOSITE of its modern conversational use implying awesome or great)
AlfredTungstan
131. Lychordia
I will be sitting next to my man and surfing on the net when a blasphemous word explodes from my mouth. My man turns to me and says, “What is going on with WoT now?” He knows me so well. Too bad he didn’t see me reading this prologue. He would have seen the small tear of anticipation appear in the corner of my eye. Great POV as mentioned before. And truly a teaser that makes me long for January. OMG, just a funny, twisted, weird thought… What if Bella is the only thing that survives after the final battle?
Alice Arneson
132. Wetlandernw
Drsarav @130 - In OUR medieval times, "mean" indicated small and stingy. In Mistborn's medieval setting, it obviously didn't. It's Brandon's invention, start to finish, so he can use whatever lingo he chooses.
AlfredTungstan
133. Dylon Kayne Lodrik Crone
Dng... Mr. Sanderson, clearly there was no one suited to finish Mr. Jordan's work quite like you are. You've done amazing so far and got me reading a lot of your books. Keep it up!
AlfredTungstan
134. C.A.
Do you really think we've seen the last of Lord Jarid?

If metal is that soft, do you think the ropes tying him to a tree are any stronger?

Something tells me the 'evil' Jarid will "break free" of his bonds that good men have placed upon him... Just like a certain other character in the series.
Alice Arneson
135. Wetlandernw
C.A. - Whether or not we've seen the last of him, I'm not sure what the ropes have to do with metal being soft. Everything else seems to be normal; it's just the metal that lost it's character. FWIW, I'm not really sure Jarid is "evil" so much as he is losing his sanity. (Makes you wonder if he's a closet channeler.)

That said, there's a good chance he'll be freed, whether for good or ill. We may or may not see him again, but I doubt he's all that important a character in the last book.
AlfredTungstan
136. DermidAjala
Never posted before as well. Tease & cover art not quite right, as usual. No dissing, I bet it'll change. Just a few q's that I have not seen addressed that I hope may be cleared up. Have read series in anticip-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-("SAY IT!!!")a-tion for Apr-May release, then last two for Nov.

I've not seen any theories on posts regarding these. Or maybe I haven't seen all posts, or I'm too stupid to catch what everyone else
has. These are such:
What happened to fat man angreal @ Dumai's Wells?
What happened to Moiraine's stash after battle w/ Lanfear?
Did Demandred get fat man angreal?
I think Demandred is w/ BlightBorder army. Taim is his lackey.
Can Ba'althamael,Aginor,Asmodean,Sammael be @ last battle?
Three men on a boat? W/ travelling, why & how?
Gawyn, Galad, Perrin, Mat, Alivia, Miere, Loial etc. nearby
Any comebacks? Wanting replies.
yrag robat
137. DermidAjala
DermidAjala hope I didn't offend anyone, had to answer door. All will be
heading north, all major chars. Ogier & Gardeners reconcile, have cleansing as Tower had. Mat brings Fortuona to see the Light(Rand). Fortuona decides to learn. Mat tries to dissuade Fortuona from learning.
Alivia kills someone else(Lews Therin?) as well as helping Rand to die.
PADAN FAIN is Dark One personified. Maybe Alivia helps kill Fain. Perhaps Fain is allegorical dark side of Rand/Lews/Shai'tan? Apprecia
ting comment in future. Will be looking. Couldn't help holding back after so long. DermidAjala blacksmith Tear
Roger Powell
138. forkroot
tnh@122
Bear in mind that you can spoil a work of art by putting a bad end on a great beginning. Just look at the Star Wars franchise.
I believe that technically speaking, the example you cite is a case of prepending a bad beginning onto a great ending. Or were you referring to all the mediocre Star Wars novels that came out?
Alice Arneson
139. Wetlandernw
DermidAjala @136 - Try this:
1) unknown
2) it's stored in Cairhien, last we knew
3) unknown
4) unknown - there are several theories.
5) The Forsaken destroyed by balefire cannot be at the last battle unless they are in the process of being reborn and their pregnant mothers are there. Of the four you name, it's possible Aginor may have been re-bodied again when he was killed as Dashiva; the other three are goners.
6) Not sure where the three men on a boat comes from.
7) Gawyn, Galad, Perrin and (most likely) Alivia are at the Fields of Merrilor as of the end of ToM. Mat is with Thom & Moiraine, waiting for their Gateway. Who is Miere? Last we knew, Loial was at Stedding Shangtai preparing to address the Stump.

Re: 137 - Most of your theories are possible, although if the Dark One is personified at this stage, it's by Shadar Haran. Padan Fain is Mordeth and all the evil of Shadar Logoth personified, and he hates the Dark One with about the same passion as he hates Rand.

Sorry not to discuss more fully tonight, but it's late here. Hope that helps.
AlfredTungstan
140. DermidAjala
Stupid me as to Ba'althamael. Sammael w/(Mordeth aka Padan Fain) as new amalgamation? Still think Fain is DO in flesh. Asmodean not killed by balefire - I think gholam for treachery - which suddenly brings up another point - just thought of - If Verin has to be in last hr of life to defy DO, how did Asmodean switch? Choedan Kal enough to break DO bonds? Random thoughts late at night.

Real point of post: I do PRAY that ther will be an after epilogue akin to LOTR w/ Sam, Merry, Pip loving life, Frodo being melancholy & secretly reveling @ a greater fate(eg reward)
Thanx TTFN DermidAjala blacksmith Tear
AlfredTungstan
141. StephStephCat
Just seven more months. 16 years of waiting, just seven more months. Forgive my vulgarness, but total hell.
AlfredTungstan
142. DermidAjala
Sorry welandernw, Atha'an Miere. not Mierin(Lanfear). Cooramor Prophesy in there. I believe Shara will somehow show up. Somehow all
Seanchan will figure out they've been had by darkfriends for lK Yrs. Who brought Mordeth? Ishamael @ 40 yr interstice? What was other M name
that infiltrates Aridhol? Forgot.Is that the Infection in the Ways? Sammael, Mordeth(Fain), M????, Machin Shin all the same now?
Thanx TTFN DermidAjala blacksmith Tear
AlfredTungstan
143. DermidAjala
"Three men on a boat." Nicola Trehill LoC or CoS. Going w/ CoS(VII).
DermidAjala
AlfredTungstan
144. jahmes
goosebumps while i read
Roger Powell
145. forkroot
@140
Both Choedan Kal have been destroyed - they can play no further part in the story.

Verin was constrained by the Oath Rod not to betray the BA "until the hour of her death" - the Black Ajah took three oaths that replaced the three oaths they had had as normal Aes Sedai. Asmodean was not bound in any way by the Oath Rod -- he "switched sides" purely out of .necessity as Rand had cut him off from the DO's taint protection and he knew that if the DO won he was in deep trouble anyway.
Jay Dauro
146. J.Dauro
DermidAjala

LOC-14
"The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond. Three on the boat, and he who is dead yet lives. The great battle done, but the world not done with battle. The land divided by the return, and the guardians balance the servants. The future teeters on the edge of a blade."
But most think that the three on the boat are "The lion sword, the dedicated spear, she who sees beyond." In other words, Elayne, Aviendha, and Min.
AlfredTungstan
147. DermidAjala
Thanx By seeing cover, much better. Mine was Gawyn, Gaul, Moiraine @ that point in series. Mat, Perrin must be closer. "She who sees beyond" I think Egwene . Happy to be wrong. What about broken female Choedan Kal statue in Tanchico museum, access once a year from tSR when Nynaeve sees it in display case, when she finds hidden seal - male a'dam - fights Spider - captures Spider - loses Spider - can't that be hidden for future use? Enough for now, but - how does Lanfear escape saidin tSR Moghedian saidar? Wondering.
DermidAjala blacksmith Tear

With time constraints, how can Elayne do much @ 4-6 months? Only mothers can truly answer. Or is she 2-4? 3-5? Have not thought to keep track.
Alice Arneson
148. Wetlandernw
Both Choedan Kal are destroyed. Not just the access keys, but the sa'angreal themselves. There's nothing left. The remaining keys, if there are any more, are nothing but pretty statues without the great sa'angreal.

The lion sword = Elayne
The dedicated spear = Aviendha
She who sees beyond = Min

There is, of course, no absolute proof that these are the "three" in the next sentence, but it does seem somewhat logical.
AlfredTungstan
149. DermidAjala
Now how can Elayne be there? She's pregnant and is almost like Nynaeve
was until end of CoS. She can't normal travel, and has trouble to "Travel"
'the babes' can't be that much protection. Or is 'his blood spilled' Elayne giving birth? Yes, bad joke. Got to have one somewhere. Blacksmith Tear
Alice Arneson
150. Wetlandernw
Since we don't exactly know where "there" is, it's a little hard to say. Is the boat literal? What water is it on? Is it in Tel'Aran'Rhiod? Is it merely figurative? If it's a literal boat, she can Travel pretty much anywhere with the help of the Kin. (She's been from Caemlyn to Cairhien to the Fields of Merrilor, lately.) If it's in TAR, she could get there with one of those ter'angreal that don't require channeling (assuming anyone can find one and give it to her). Egwene could pull her in, for that matter. But maybe it's a line like "we're all in the same boat here, since none of us know what's going on"?

RJ did his prophecies and Foretellings very well; they can be interpreted six ways from Sunday, and even then the fulfillment might be something none of us guessed.

The "blood on the rocks" prophecy is one of those that's been variously interpreted as Rand's bleeding side wounds, his death, the babies, or Galad (and probably a few I can't remember right now). My own theory is that it's probably the most straightforward prophecy in the series; it will be Rand's own blood, and probably from a serious wound - as in, a drop or two from a paper cut won't do it. However, since Rand has always assumed it meant his death, I'm betting it will be blood from the existing wounds. No, you're not the first to think that perhaps Elayne giving birth to the babies might be Rand's prophesied blood. I don't, but we'll all have to RAFO.
AlfredTungstan
151. DermidAjala
Wetlandernw, LOL. New spin. Couldn't help laughing. Not being sarcastic, needing one today. By the way, anyone else having ISP problems w/ satellite connection? Damn sunspot EM finally got here after
latest eruption. My connect going on/off all day.
T C
152. Freelancer
DermidAjala

However Asmodean met his end, it was Graendal who killed him. Noted specifically in the Glossary of ToM, and inferred in-text by Shadar Haran holding Graendal responsible for the deaths of three of the forsaken, mentioning Mesaana by name, and the obvious inclusion of Aran'gar whom Graendal bound and abandoned to Rand's balefire at Natrin's Barrow. The deaths of the other forsaken who have been lost can all be accounted for as not involving Graendal, with the exception of Asmodean, so by elimination he is the third of Graendal's chosen victims.

The infection of Shadar Logoth (Aridhol) is Mashadar. The infection of the Ways is Machin Shin. Fain, via his possession by Mordeth has a tie to Mashadar. In the Ways, Machin Shin caught him yet left him alone, because it sensed in him something it both feared and found kindred. It isn't more clearly pronounced than that. He may be able to call upon or otherwise use Mashadar, but there is nothing to suggest that he gained such a strong connection with Machin Shin.

Elayne can be brought to where she needs to be by any other channeler, it doesn't have to be herself. As Queen of Andor, she represents the Lion Sword. As Far Dareis Mai, Aviendha is the Dedicated (Aiel) Spear. And with her oracular ability, Min is She Who Sees Beyond.

Going back to your earlier questions, the little fat man angreal was taken from Rand while he was in the box, and he couldn't find it after the fight at Dumai's Wells. Demandred didn't get close enough to the center of the battle zone to have taken it. Common speculation centers around Taim. Balthamel was killed by Someshta at the Eye of the World, and was returned to life as Aran'gar, who was balefired at Natrin's Barrow, and therefore unrecoverable. Aginor also died at the Eye, and came back as Osan'gar. He masqueraded as Corlan Dashiva and died again outside Shadar Logoth during the Cleansing, ironically killed by Black sister Elza using Callandor. His disposition is unknown, but it is suggested that the dark one considers him too much a failure to restore him yet again. Asmodean may or may not have been balefired by Graendal, but it is said that he cannot be restored due to both how and where he was killed. Sammael, is toast.
AlfredTungstan
153. RandAlThor
@DermidAjala I'm pretty sure Asmodean was severed from the Dark One in his battle with Rand,hence why the Forsaken thought him a traitor when he really was forced into his position as unwilling teacher.

In regards to being reborn by Shaitan,I think it's been stated that it eats up alot of his power to do so.
Craig Jarvis
154. hawkido
if your first name was "Al" and your last name was "Alal" and you were king of sheinar...

Al Al'Alal?
T C
155. Freelancer
Actually, the royal Al' is prefixed to the first name, as in Al'Lan Mandragoran. So it would be Al'Al Alal.
AlfredTungstan
157. KatieMaeSue
I was hoping for this book for Christmas or my birthday in April. It's SOOO hard to wait for this last book to come out. Most of the books I'm reading in the interim seem like just that: something to read to pass the time until I can read the one I want.
AlfredTungstan
159. burningbrass
@ Wetlandernw regarding 121: Word.

At Harriet & Tor: Thank you!
AlfredTungstan
161. highwayman
Good, but one mistake that RJ wouldn`t have made. No one familiar with paleo artifacts could miss the use of slate for a spear. It would be flint, obsidian, or another material, since slate is far too soft to make a weapon. Slate was used for pipes, idols, etc. Not to be nitpicking, just stood out to me, loved the storyline.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
162. tnh
True. You can use flint, chert, agate, jasper, obsidian, chalcedony, and a few other stones for that, but not slate.
AlfredTungstan
163. Antzxz
OMG.
THIS IS BEAUTIFUL

I have tears in my eyes from reading this!

I am so excited and cannot wait for this book!
Finally!!
AlfredTungstan
166. david floyd
A Memory of Light is not the final book for the Wheel of Time. Only another 6 months, approximate, for the last book to be released. I am looking forward to the release.
AlfredTungstan
167. cdgfla
So torn over this. I remember being 15 and begging my mom for a ragged paperback copy of TEotW I saw in the grocery store, the image of Lan and Morianne intrigued me and I had no idea who RJ was. Now I'm 36 years old and the end of a world that was a quintessential part of my formative years is staring me in the face. Sad that this part of my life will be over so soon, but like all good things, they must end sometime I suppose. Here's to hoping that Matt's parts in the last book take a center stage. He was and will always be the most intriguing character in the series.
AlfredTungstan
168. chrisitian playford
OMG I have waited for over...2 decaides now to see the end of this series! I guess I can wait a little longer lol. I also just wanted to say to Brandon, you are doing a great job on the books! Hope you have tied everything up with this last one???? There is sooooo much to cover.
AlfredTungstan
169. Dancingthespears
@166, but A Memory of Light IS the final book. It is to be released 1/8/2013. Maybe there is something I missed, but I dought it. I follow this series quite closely.
It seems there are a lot of us. I read the first book in 1996 at age 14. Which means I have been reading and waiting over half my life! This may sound odd, but I wouldn't want it any other way. At times it feels like I've know these characters for so long that they might just be actual friends of mine :) Is that crazy?
I can tell you one thing thought and that is I do not want it to end.

Thank you Mr. Robert Jordan
Thank you Harriet,
and Thank you Brandon Sanderson. I enjoy your other stories as well. GO Kaladin!
Roger Powell
170. forkroot
@169
@166, but A Memory of Light IS the final book. It is to be released 1/8/2013. Maybe there is something I missed, but I dought it. I follow this series quite closely.
Apparently not closely enough.

A Memory of Light will be the final book in the story, but it is not the final Wheel of Time book. Harriet has contracted with Tor to do an Encyclopedia. The current forecast is 6 months after AMoL, although these things often slip. I believe that is what @166 was referring to.
AlfredTungstan
171. m-dog
!!!! just decided to re-read the best series of all time!! can not wait for what is to be the most epic book of all time!! R.I.P r. jordan one of the all greatest writers! wish u could be here 2 see the success of your novels!
AlfredTungstan
172. ghek35
I hope we all keep in mind that Rand must die in order for the world to live. More worryment till the final pages. Don't you dare peek.
AlfredTungstan
173. Anaximenes
I had a thought the other day, and this may be spitting in the wind but... what if it's not Rand's "blood" that's required on the rocks of Shayol Ghul. What if its Galad? They are of the same blood, after all.
AlfredTungstan
174. JaimieKrycho
Blood and bloody ashes! I don't think I can wait for January. I've had to read almost all of Sanderson's stuff and start a WoT reread in order to get my awesomeness fix.

Thanks for the teaser, Brandon and Tor!
AlfredTungstan
175. Phelan Patrick
As I was reading this I was looking at the scroll bar and happily thought 'boy they sure relased a very long teaser for this.' Turns out 80 percent of this whole page is made out of comments. Was I disappointed. Can't wait for January.
AlfredTungstan
176. MarioInOttawa
I'm going to see if they can put me into a coma and wake me on Jan 7, 2012. that would be crazy cool, "one" night's sleep, and it's time...
AlfredTungstan
177. Mattias345
Phelan Patrick, I thought so too... So disappointing! Very well, patience is a virtue. Sad to say, I'm not a very patient man.
AlfredTungstan
178. Crazyman!!!
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave birth to it comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the (insert location here). The wind was not the beginning . there are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.


Can't believe it is going to be the last time I am going to read that *sniff sniff*

ThunderWalkeroftheboredathomeAiel
AlfredTungstan
179. Ambi
One odd thing was the part where "a few tried boiling cuts of grass". Boiling in what, a pot, made of metal? Other wise really great read, looking forward to the book. But hey guys, have you thought about what we are going to do when the last book is out? There will be nothing of rand to read anymore. Boo hoo hoo!
Sean Salmi
180. genjokoan
I've found this prologue very enlightening. Thanks Tor. And same goes for Brandon Sanderson.
AlfredTungstan
181. mRogers
I read the first book in 1990 and 22 years later I still can't get enough but January seems so far away! Thank you for this post and aaarrrrrg!!!
AlfredTungstan
182. oc0544
@178 your comment actually squeezed a tear out.
T C
183. Freelancer
Ambi @179

There's always crockery. Clay pots and such work fine for soups and stews.
Jay Dauro
184. J.Dauro
Ambi,

I have boiled eggs in a paper cup. (Not that I am suggesting they used paper.) As long as there is water inside the paper cup it will not burn (212
AlfredTungstan
185. JustAnotherWoTFan
Ive never anticipated a book before, but Jan 8 2013 seems really far away. Thanks to the Jordan Estate and current staff.
Some quick fanfic to show my appreciation. Is Matrim Cauthon gonna die? So many questions!

Nyneave Al'Mera stared wide eyed at her companion, frozen in shock. She barely managed to blurt out "You can't be..." before Mat roared "GO!", pointing behind her.
Nyneave paused and looked at him. The stubborn boy from her youth was there, chin defiant, eyes unwavering and lip curled. Unable- unwilling-, to see it any other way. Burn him! He was right.
With tears in her eyes she spun away. Words seemed useless, as though none of them could express her thoughts, yet she managed to whisper "Goodbye" before taking off at a dead run. Mat turned back, to the direction he held Ashandarei. The silver Foxhead Medallion was tied snugly to it. He pointed the tip menacingly.
His eyes were filled with tears. He gritted his teeth and his nose started to run, as thoughts of his past filled him with regret.So many good memories, coming to an end right away. Right where he stood. As he brought up a sleeve to wipe his eyes, the irony of the situation couldnt help but make him smile. A very sad smile. He had to sniff his nose before he could say "Imagine that. Matrim Cauthon a bloody flipping hero!"
Roger Powell
186. forkroot
JustAnother@185
We have "out of band" information (so to speak) that ensures that Mat (and Fortuona) will survive the events of A Memory of Light.

Before his death, Robert Jordan had loose plans for the so-called "Outrigger" novels that featured Mat and Fortuona's adventures repacifying the Seanchan continent.
AlfredTungstan
187. Sabby92
This last books reminds me of the end of E0tW. When rand ends up at Tarwins Gap and hears the voice speaking to him inside his head. I always wondered if that was the Creator..or the Dark One. The style is the same as when the Forsaken speak to him, but i dont recall any definirives regarding it. But questions will happen and not every one will get answered. Especially now with Jordan gone...
AlfredTungstan
188. joelderek
Nyneave is my favorite fictional character of all time...I have read and re-read the showdown between her and Mog..at the end of the shadow rising too many times to count. Awesome writing.....
AlfredTungstan
189. Billy Joe Bob
Nynaeve is your favorite character? lol.... what's wrong with you?

Most annoying character in the series until TGS, when she finally becomes somewhat likeable.
AlfredTungstan
191. laclongquan
It's a bloody great excerpt but it's just a crumb. It's so cruel, this trickling of tiny stuffs.

Anyway, with metal useless they will have to use stone weapons, slings, bows, quarterstaff. Cooking? They better know how to handle a leather cauldron well. Boiled and stews, I am afraid. Baked dishes, too. No fry.

Considering the way Thakandar weapons forged in the Shayol Gul, and Powerforged weapons elsewhere, I say metal weapons are kaput during the last battle.
AlfredTungstan
192. troph
SOOOOO DECEIVING! The comments thread shouldn't be allowed to be so long. I thought there was going to be a lot more! AHHH. Can't wait for January.
AlfredTungstan
193. Jesse Champlin
Hmm. I think I am going to hibernate earlier this year so I can be rested for January. So until then let's listen to the Lions and watch the Hills engulf the sky.
AlfredTungstan
194. Paubert
Light! Shelter us from the Mayan Calendar...only hope January 8th is not too late! To miss the epic conclusion of the WoT by 18 days would be of the Dark One!
AlfredTungstan
195. Sule Sadiq
HAAAAAAAA. Have to start WOT again to keep away this fever. About to really flip out
AlfredTungstan
196. Errilin
I can't wait; and yet it's sad that it's ending. I'm 50 now and have been devouring the books as soon as they have come out. I've started rereading the series again for the 3rd or 4th time.
AlfredTungstan
197. Fleet Strike
I have been avoiding dropping by to read the excerpt like every sane person avoids Machin Shin ... but, then felt the pull of ta'veren and had to come here ....

The excerpt was painful and wonderful as it made me shiver in anticipation of how will it all end.

Now I realized there are a few weeks until I get the book, go up the mountains and start reading in blissful silence by the warm hearth ...

TOR thanks for the excerpt, it did hurt but it also felt wonderful to read.

To you and all other girls and guys here, Merry Christmas and may the Wheel weave you the best of health, happiness and fortune in 2013!
AlfredTungstan
198. bowynn
I too have been following this series for over half my life and see all the characters as close friends. I will miss them dearly, but am happy to see the culmination of one of the greatest epics ever told. Having only just broken down to read the teasers, I was happily surprised to find the volume of commentary on this page. I am not much of a social person (which may be why Perrin is my favorite character), but I feel a kinship too all of you through this story and these commentaries.

I just have one burning question though. Was tialin able to know the end? I know there are surely many people out there who were not able to see it before they passed, but having read this page, tialin's story touched me. Even though I'm aware that it is likely much too late for her, I have still offered a prayer for her. And may you all be blessed in the coming year with all that you need in this life, and peace in the next when it comes.

All honors to RJ, Harriet, Brandon, and the WOT teams involved in finally bringing this epic to it's culmination. Thank You!
AlfredTungstan
199. wvhermit
Boil in stone or crock.

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