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Harriet McDougal

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The Wheel of Time: English to Old Tongue Dictionary

This Christmas, the Robert Jordan estate is offering a special holiday treat for fans of the author’s epic Wheel of Time fantasy series: The English-to-Old-Tongue Dictionary!

The Old Tongue is a fantasy language within Jordan’s Wheel of Time that is typically used in the story to signify important aspects of the universe, the knowledge of which proves key in the series’ ongoing battle against the Shadow. While it is reminiscent of Tolkien’s ground-up creation of Elvish languages for The Lord of the Rings, The Old Tongue differs in that Jordan took a top-down approach, creating a dictionary of terms from which some basic suffixes, roots, and usage rules emerged.

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The Wheel of Time Companion: Every Known Amyrlin Seat

Did you know that Elaida and Egwene have one thing in common? Both can claim that they had the shortest tenure as Amyrlin in the history of the White Tower.

Leading up to the release of The Wheel of Time Companion on November 3, Tor.com and Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons are excerpting portions and entries from its massive store of notes, illustrations, and encyclopedia entries. Unfamiliar with the Companion? Long-time series editor and Robert Jordan’s wife Harriet explains its compilation here and offers a thank you to fans of the series.

Below, we’ve compiled the Companion entries for ALL of the Amyrlin Seats known in the history of the Wheel of Time world! Topping out at over 7000 words, this compilation includes some extraneous entries for added context, as well as large portions of the entries for Elaida and Suian.

The Amyrlins are listed in chronological order. Enjoy!

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The Wheel of Time Companion: “Old Tongue” Dictionary (Excerpt)

Did you know “Mat” actually means “control” in the language of The Wheel of Time’s Old Tongue?

Leading up to the release of The Wheel of Time Companion on November 3, Tor.com and Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons are excerpting portions and entries from its massive store of notes, illustrations, and encyclopedia entries. Unfamiliar with the Companion? Long-time series editor and Robert Jordan’s wife Harriet explains its compilation here and offers a thank you to fans of the series.

Today, we’re offering a glimpse at the Old Tongue dictionary tucked inside the Companion’s pages: the listings for M, N, and O. The full dictionary itself includes additional sections on popular phrases, pluralization, construction of verbs, how apostrophes work, and more.

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The Wheel of Time Companion: Foreword

When I began editing The Eye of the World, I started a list of proper nouns, keeping them in a file known as “Raw Glossary.” It is a thing copy editors do—and I had been one, many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea called Manhattan—with the idea that it is useful to have a canonical list of the spellings in a series. This “Raw Glossary” expanded through—oh I don’t know—about the first seven books; I then turned its care and maintenance over to Maria Simons, and the stalwart Alan Romanczuk.

This is not an extension, or an update, to the earlier reference called The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. Instead, this is an alphabetized adjunct that will allow the reader to check on characters, locations, herbs, kinship structures and many other things that appear in the series.

[More, and a thank you to the fans]