Thus Spake The Creator

The Forsaken

Q: We have been speculating regarding Demandred's current doings and his possible location/appearance care to comment?
A: Well, no.

Q: Will Moiraine come back from the dead since Lanfear and Asmodean apparently have? 
A: Read and find out -- in fact, I _really_ suggest you read and find out. 

Q: Is Aran'gar really Lanfear? If she is, how did she come back? 
A: Read And Find Out. 

A: On the advice of my lawyer, I never admit anything. :) Not even to my wife!

Q: On the discussion boards in the SF/F area, one of the hottest topics of debate is the queston of who killed Asmodean. Can you shed any light on the subject? 
A: Yes... but I won't. ;) Read and find out! 

Q: There is a mystery man who helps Rand in the last chapter of ACoS, my Question: Is this a new character, or have we seen him elsewhere. 
A: Well, we've certainly seen him earlier in CROWN OF SWORDS. Otherwise, read and find out. :)

Q: Were Ba'alzamon's burning eyes and mouth caused by being zapped by Eldrene at the Fall of Manetheren? 
A: No. Sorry guys! But at least I didn't say, "Read and find out!" 

Q: Mr Jordan, please forgive if this is redundant, as I just recently joined the conference. Is Moiraine well and truly dead? or could her and Mierin/Lanfear reappear at some later venue? 
A: Read and find out! 

Q: I know you've said we have enough information to figure it out for ourselves, but, are you ever going to come right out and say who(or what)killed Asmodaen?
A: Read and find out! (sound of villainous laughter in the background--the Phantom of the Opera lives) 

Q: Is their any particular inspiration for the forsaken, and the other antagonists in your series, as their are for the women characters. Demandred and how he was always an inch behind Lews Therin (in the power, in swordsmanship etc...), for example, was their a particular inspiration for that? 
A: Well, there are--and i won't go into details because I want to keep the mythological and legendary roots hidden-- I don't want to have people spending more time discussing the legends than the stories! The thing is there are several legends and myths based on such jealousy, on the man who is just a half a step short of another man.. the woman who would have been the greatest of her age, but there was another who was just a bit better.. that sort of jealousy leads to the worst kind of hatred. When someone can easily defeat hyou, there's not that kind of jealousy but when he beats you in a photo finish every single time, that is when emotions begin to curdle and rancor sets in and you find yourself with this festering deep inside tthat can turn into murderous hatred. 

Q: When it says at the end of THE FIRES OF HEAVEN, "death took him," in Asmodean's last scene, do you mean that he died? There has been much speculation as to whether or not "death" refers to Moridin, whose name in the Old Tongue means "death." Many think that Moridin's second Mindtrap is for Asmodean, but "death" was not capitalized in the scene where Asmodean made his last appearance. Can you tell me whether or not he was taken by Moridin?
A: Asmodean went for the long jump in that scene.

Q: It has been alleged that you've said we already have enough information to determine who killed Asmodean. However, this is still a mystery to most of your readers. Will there be more clues, or perhaps an all-out revelation of the answer to this whodunit? 
A: Read and find out...more is coming. Read and find out.

Q: Please, please, please! End it here! Who killed Asmodean? C'mon! Just tell us, and then we will never bother you again! (If you say "read and find out" you will have full responsibility for my suicide and/or damaged psyche.) 
A: If I take responsibility, can I get photographs?

Q: Who offed Asmodean? 
A: Read and find out, guys.

Q: Was Ishamael ever REALLY sealed in Shayol Ghul with the DO and the rest of the Forsaken/Chosen? 
A: Would I lie to you? For details, RAFO.

Q: You once said that all the info needed for solving Asmo was there by the end of tFoH. Does this eliminate a Gholam from being a suspect? It's generally believed that a gholam was responsible for the murder of Lord Barthanes in TGH and the two black sisters in TSR, but I don't think it mentions a name. 
A: Read and find out. Read And Find Out.

Q: Who killed Asmodean? (Right. Like he'll tell us). Anyway ask if the clues to figure it out are all included <= TFOH 
A: RAFO. All clues are included up to TFOH. 

Q: Was Else always Lanfear? 
A: No. Else did exist as a separate human but was played by Lanfear after Else was expelled.

Q: Ask how it was that Moggy got to SG intstantly...was it the DO using his twisty powers or was it a function of being all a dream. 
A: It was a dream. Moggy, by the way, used to be an investments counciler until the FTC got on her case.

Q: What are those black threads on the male Forsaken? 

Q: "Have we seen Osan'gar anywhere else since his first appearance?" (No doubt a RAFO)  A: RAFO.

Q: Is Dashiva Osan'gar? 

Q: Could you please give finally "reveal all" about who killed asmodean at the end of the fifth book of your series? Much speculation has been bandied about, and you have said yourself you have given us enough clues, so could you put said speculation to rest? Thanks for your great series, it's been a really good read so far!
A: No. I will not put the speculation to rest! I'm rather entertained by the speculation, actually.

Q: Did you get inspiration for Be'lal's name from Paradise Lost? (ie, the fallen angel Belial)
A: Among other places, yes.

Q: What inspired the Forsaken?
A: A great many things -- but in large part, people who are willing to do anything at all for their personal aggrandizement.

Q: For any of the mysteries, i.e. Moridin's identity and Asmodean's death, would you tell us where to look for clues we probably missed? Or just mention some clues that we all probably didn't see?
A: (laughs) Well, Moridin's identity is pretty much an open secret -- and esp if you read WH, I think it's increasingly clear who he is, if there were any doubt. As for the other -- read and find out!

Q: What was Lews Therin's age at the time of the sealilng of the bore, and was his prowness with the sword (and sammael's) comparable to modern blademasters?
A: Read and find out!

Q: There's a suggestion in the books that Lanfear was believed to be as strong as any female channeler could ever become. What was the reason for that belief?
A: Read and find out!

Q: What events looked like they had Demandred's hand in them? I refer to the comment about proxies.
A: Read and find out!

Q: Why do you think everyone has a hard time figuring out who killed Asmodean? Graendal killed him.
A: I don't know why people have a hard time figuring that out. To me it seems intuitively obvious even to the most casual observer. The reason I won't tell people though is that I am enjoying watching them squirm entirely too much. It's probably bad for me.

Q: It has been reported that you have confirmed that Sammael died at the end of Crown of Swords. Could you confirm that you have said this and elaborate on whether Rand was correct?
Mashadar killed Sammael. Sammael is toast!

Q: When you started writing the series, were Osan'gar and Aran'gar in the original plotline, or were they added in as you went along?
A: They were in the original plot line.

Q: In 'The Shadow Rising,' Lanfear mentioned two sa'angreal stronger than Callandor that a male could use. Is the second one ever going to appear?
A: Read And Find Out. (Of course, but hey, there's no harm in trying anyway...)

Q: In the Great Hunt, was Lanfear present to inspire the Dark Prophecy about "Daughter of the Night, she walks again?"
A: Of course she was about...
Q: But was she present in Fal Dara?
A: [after a weighing look deciding not to answer:] Read And Find Out.

Q: An Asmodean question... [Yup, we really were that far gone. Who cared anyway, we could always get back in line for the next round. Although I now did regret I didn't print out every single question I received from you guys, but only went for one paper with those most important / least likely to get RAFOd questions. Especially because I couldn't remember what went before the 'pepsy monkey' question, so was incapable of making Jordan recall his line of thought there.]
A: Van Morrison... [laughter] No..? oh, okay. I thought that would be a good answer to the Asmodean question.
Jimi Hendrix? Or perhaps the... Actually: Mick Jagger for ... How else do you explain 'Sympathy for the Devil?' Aha. Ha!
Q: *finally managing to get the entire question asked* Just using the first five books, is the answer also intuitively obvious?
A: I think so. It seemed to me so. It seemed to me that there was no need to go into any more detail. I thought that if I went into any more detail, I was being blatandly obvious, and you know... what do I need to do? Caper around with a sign saying 'Here! Here! There he is, see?' I mean.., I assumed that the people who read my books are intelligent to a certain degree, have a reasonable level of intelligence, and are able to deduce things that you know... I mean, I don't have to tell them water is wet. They know that. I don't have to tell them that if they fall of the roof, it's gonna hurt when they hit, you know, they know that. So I... no, I... At this point, I must tell you: alhough I will continue to put clues into the books. Again. A bit here and there. If I see a spot where I can put a clue, for those who are slow of wits to catch up ... I will not tell you. For the simple reason I am enjoying watching you all try far too much to deprive myself of the pleasure of that.
more questions from our side...
A: Yes... I particularly like, actually, Mick Jagger as answer to that.

Q (by Emma): Did Slayer meet Asmodean before he was killed?
No.. am, no. Not in the books.
Q: Can you eliminate a few suspects of who killed Asmodean?
A: No. No, I refuse to... Well, I'll tell you this. It wasn't Rand. [Seems he isn't even aware of the idea that LTT taking over Rand killed Asmodean. Scratch one idea there. ]But I have my suspicions about Nynaeve. And I've always thought that Elayne might have been covering up something that was going on at the site.
One of us: It was Bela...
A: Oh, you're one of those people who believe Bela is a darkfriend, are you?
us: No, she's the Creator herself.
A: No no, there's a whole body of thought, a whole body of writing on the net, proving that Bela is indeed a darkfriend, and possibly an avatar of the Dark One himself.
Kura: We have the proof that Bela is the Creator.
A: You'll have to put it on the net then... (*blinks* Jordan isn't aware of Larry Homer's essay? What a pity indeed... Seems like he's still thinking as they did back when the "where was Bela during LoC?" contests were held in rasfwr-j...)
Kura: it is.
Emma: how about the idea that Moridin is the horse of Rand?
A: No, actually Moridin is hiding as Nynaeve. [And yes, choosing Nynaeve there was deliberate; poor Emma.]
Kura: Just one other question. Does Slayer know every Forsaken?
A: Yeah, he does.
Q: Have all the Forsaken of Slayer?
A: Yes, they've heard of him. Slayer is not old in the way they are. Slayer does not come the Age of Legends, Slayer is something much newer. Slayer is also known by all Forsaken...

Q: Is Sammael dead dead, or 'he will never return dead'?
A: Sammael? [pronounce something like Sammy-el] Sammael is dead. He's dead. He could be reborn. In another life. Eithout knowing anything of Sammael. He's not going to be reincarnated, he's not going to show up again.

Q: Question: we haven't seen much about Mesaana and Semirhage. I assume they're going to feature somewhere in the future books?
A: yes mesaana and semirhage will feature in future books. there are reasons they have been lying low.

Q: Question Everyone is uncertain about: Will we ever find out definitively who killed Asmodean? *snicker*
A: of course you can find out who killed asmo. You just have to be clever enough.

Q: We know who almost all the Forsaken are, except maybe Mesaana and Demandred. Should we be able to work out who they are?
A: Ummm.. Yea.

Reports from signings

Ishy/Moridin/SH - RAFO.

Asmodean: Rand thinks Asm has run away back to the DO, and will try to sneak back in through the Asha'man.

Someone asked Jordan about the 'gars, and mentioned that he'd seen theories that Lanfear was one of the 'gars. I was expecting a RAFO, but RJ gave the guy a disgusted look, and said that "No, Osan'gar and Aran'gar are Aginor and Balthamel." The guy said (I'm paraphrasing here), "You're confirming this, and not hinting about it?" RJ replied (more paraphrasing), "I'm confirming. After all, it's pretty obvious in the books that it's those two. After all, that's what Aginor thought was so funny; Balthamel, the lecher, was stuck in a female body." Jordan then went on to give the standard disclaimer that a lot of the clues are already in the books, and reasonably intelligent people should be able to figure a lot of this out. His job, he said, was to make sure you're still guessing about some stuff at the end of the story. It's fairly safe to say that this was Jordan's version of thwacking the guy with a clue stick...

The Forsaken, for example, weren't exactly a stellar bunch to begin with. Semirhage, for example, was a sadist. (I'll skip his description of what a sadist is.) She went into her profession (the equivalent of a surgeon) because it provided an outlet for her sadism. (He then cited some studies that showed that there were more people with sadist tendencies in the medical profession, and surgeons in particular, to support his point.) 

Aginor (whom he said after some prompting had several elements of the classic mad scientist type) was a biological scientist who never considered the consequences of his actions. Aginor would say, "I wonder what would happen if I took the ebola virus and altered it to be an airborne virus." He'd go ahead and do just that, all without realizing he'd be creating a potentially unstoppable plague. All Aginor would reply to that was, "Hmm. Interesting." (Jordan then mentioned Aginor's creation of the Trollocs, their defects, "It was strong, big, tough to kill, and......stupid," and that it was the birth of the first Myrddral that saved the Trollocs from being a complete failure.) 

(Jordan had also mentioned Asmodean, and the fact that Asmodean was a child prodigy who in adulthood could never equal or come to grips with what he did as a child. He always felt that if he could live just a little bit longer, he could surpass what musical feats he performed in the past.)

Halima is a man in a woman's body. I got Jordan to 'fess up to this one when he was talking about the new books-on-tape that will be coming out soon. He said that a male voice will read the parts that are from a man's point of view and a female voice will read the parts that are from a female character's point of view. "So, which one will read the passage from Halima's point of view?" I asked. Jordan sighed and said, "Halima's just weird." He went on to confirm that he/she is a male spirit inside a female body and suggested that he/she will change personality over time since the body affects the spirit (and vice-versa).

Next, I believe, was the aforementioned big mouth. In the interests of not getting banned, we will simply call him Cranially Undernourished Bozo. He was asking something about Ishy and about him being the only one to use the True Power therefore he is Mordin. RJ started explaining that he didn't necessarily have to be Mordin to which CUB declared that he was avoiding the question. RJ then gives a complicated explanation about the watcher watching the events unfurling (this is all from memory and unfortunately I can't remember everything) which ended in a question if that is what he meant. CUB with a confused look on his face was obviously in over his head, and started planning how he could become a bigger nuisance.

Anyways, after scaring the people around me for a little bit, I went up to the books and decided to ask Jordan about Asmodean.  In particular, I asked whether "death" was just a pun on "Moridin".  He said "oh, god no" quite disgustedly.  This made me feel much better and should hopefully put the issue to rest.  He also said that by the end of this book, (POD) it should be obvious who killed Asmodean and that it is definitely possible to figure it out the instant he dies.

I asked RJ, at the Palo Alto signing, if Moggy was raped by Shadar Haran in ACOS. His reply was, "Yes. Amongst other things."

Chris used his moment with the Creator to open himself up to a huge RAFO, but *his* question was answered.  Chris asked if Moghedien had been raped by Shaidar Haran.  The answer was "Yes, among other things."
Another interesting point that may just be my interpretation of things, is that someone asked if Lanfear had been raped as well, right on top of the Moghedien question, and he answered right away with a "No".  It could be any number of explanations, but it seemed to me that it was a given that Cyndane was Lanfear from the context of the conversation. Like I said, just my interpretation.

As Paul mentioned, RJ mumbled something about Sammael.  My interpretation is simply that he meant "right, he's dead, whatever you say", but I can see how one might take it more seriously.  I'll believe my favorite male character died when I see him come back in a new body sucking up to Moridin, at which point I'll go looking for a new favorite male character (Mat or Demandred, probably).

I was able to ask a few questions, and listen in to a few others.  We got three of the "it should be intuitively obvious to the intelligent reader" answers, and one other that told us a bit more...  but not much.  The Creator was pretty tight with his plot information this time around, according to him, because "certain readers have built up these huge logic trees," and "can figure out way too much if I say anything at all."
The first "intuitively obvious" question was from someone else: The old standby, "Who killed Asmodean?"  He added that there have been clues in (at least some, maybe all of) the books published since then.  I take this statement to mean that Graendal is the killer; she's the only one for whom the case could be called "intuitively obvious", as it is mostly built up through a process of elimination and a few supporting comments.
The second was mine: "Do you consider the identities of Moridin and Cyndane to be intuitively obvious?"  He said yes, they should be fairly obvious by now, in many more words.  To me, this means Ishy and Lanfear respectively.

I chimed in later on to ask if "there was a physical resemblance between Cyndane and a certain height-challenged Aes Sedai".  He said "We don't know yet."  I think that means yes, which is interesting.  If there hadn't been one, he could have said no, and he has written the descriptions of Cyndane ambiguously enough to prevent any proof either way.

My last question concerned the glossary -- the bit about "speculation is futile."  I asked, "Do you really expect that to stop us?"  He said of course not.

Who killed Asmo?
o It should be "intuitively obvious".
o There ARE clues in later books. They may not be necessary, but they are there. I am not sure if he said "later" or "latest", though.
o He does indeed mean "intuitively obvious" in the sense that his math teachers would use when describing a proof, as speculated on rasfwr-j. "I always hated that."

One of the regular contributors to the group--I don't recall whom--suggested asking whether Moridin came into existence before or after the 'gars.  That one earned a quick glance and an RAFO.

At one point, he looked at me and added (with no prompting or questioning) that no, Mat is not Cyndane.  He explained that at another Signing, he had a string of ten or so people in a row ask him about Mat, and he got frustrated and belted out, "What if Mat is Cyndane?"  He claimed he then recanted, but couldn't tell if the guy he told that to believed that he was joking.  I admitted that I had heard the story, but it was okay-- we got the joke.  He then added that while he likes Chalker's and Varley's works, he does not intend to emulate them.  "Not at all like Balthamel becoming Aran'gar?"  I quipped.  He retorted to the effect that was one character, not a whole host of characters.

Asmodean is, and I quote, road-kill.  And he still claims there are many indirect clues from tFoH on about who killed him.  He also claims that very, very few of the fan letters he gets are correct about it.

Ok, I got my book signed in Vroman's in Pasadena, CA, today. RJ was extremely friendly, and talked to everyone, laughing and even teasing a bit. One could say he was "jolly".
Anyway, when it was my turn, I asked him two questions. I'll put parts in quotes when they are exactly what was said (or close enough), and I wrote it down so I'd remember.
As he signed my first book, I asked,
"Is Cyndane's power roughly equal to, say... Moiraine?"
He had a surprised look on his face for a moment, then it became amused, and he gave me a RAFO. His face indicated to me that I was absolutely right, but obviously it's not evidence.

*FAQ: Who killed Asmodean?—Should be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. [yeah, uh huh…] Ok, we know that. But he also said that we should know based on where everyone was, what they were thinking, what they were doing. Duh, right? But he made a point of mentioning where. For people thinking it was a Traveller, would ‘where’ be important? Dunno…
His list of candidates included the Aes Sedai, Nynaeve, Aviendha, Bela, and God knows who else.
And you know why he won’t tell us? Because he likes to see us SQUIRM. He said it in a friendly voice, but you could tell he meant it.

Q13: [Someone was nitpicking about the EotW prologue, when Ishamael suddenly pops in. It was a ripple or a shimmer or something of the sort, not a ‘gateway’. So, this guys asks what was up with that? Creative license? Had not established the magic of the realm yet?]
A13: <semi-heard filler here> What do you think?
Fan Response: [The guy said TP Travel]
RJ: Yes. [Can’t give you specifics of response, but he did say that it (TP) was the reason for the difference in Travelling.]

Yes, Sammael is really dead [, and so is Asmodean. Asmodean's killer should be] intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. [He won't answer who it was, but he has] been trying to sprinkle around a few more clues, but I refuse to put up big neon signs saying 'here!' [sprinkling clues could point to Slayer, although the WH evidence (if that would be that) would be more like a neon sign, so I think this actually points to Graendal or another similar candidate. Have there been minor points pointing towards anyone in WH?]

KuraFire asked about... I don't precisely remember what Kura asked. Oh, but I do. Doing Nogling a favor, he talked about Ishamael's belief that Rand had fought him for time without end, and asked if it was perhaps not Rand's goal to take on the DO, but to only take on the DO's Nae'blis. Jordan gleefully answered "Read And Find Out."

While he was still signing my books, I decided to sneak in another question: "Do Sarene and Corele have ageless faces?
He didn't seen to recall the names, so I said "at the end of Winter's Heart, the Aes Sedai with Flinn who attack Demandred..."
Uh yeah, uh well, no no. Uh, some of them do, yes, some of them have ageless faces, but not all of them.
"But do the two who were in the circle with Flinn have ageless faces?"
Oh, let's see.. oh, the two who were in the circle with Min??
Flinn, ah... Just trying to remember which ones I had with which one...
"Sarena and Corele"
Sarene Nemdal does have an ageless face and ehh... I think Masuri .. no Masuri was not....
I'm sorry, I actually forgot who I ...
[And then the silly man who had done the interview interrupted us and talked about the time and that it was getting late. So I thanked Jordan and circled around the line to go stand close to the table where he was signing, see if I could pick up any more interesting tidbits. Well, at least we now know for sure that one of the Aes Sedai had an ageless face, so that Demandred should have seen this if he was as close to them as those opposing Taimandred claim.]

Q: When Damen Flinn and Sarene and Corele attacked Demandred, how far away were they? In yards, meters, ...?
A: Ah.. no, they were eh... [long silence while he's thinking] no, no, no.. Damen Flinn and Corele eh... no, no, that's meters.. just some meters. Err, they couldn't have come face-to-face. That's eh... Yeah, it's not a short, not a really... not like you and me.
Q: ...he didn't see the ageless faces...
A: ... [nothing really, he was done signing then, but no contradiction either]
The general idea I now have is that it was something like 10, maybe 20 meters between them. Not the 100+ meters I'd kinda expected.

Well, It was the second time this week I got to get my book signed and talk to the great RJ. The first time was in Leiden and I didn't prepare anything so I asked something lame about what he thought of the cover art. This time I forgot to think it over again so at the last minute I had to come up with something. It turned out quite funny:
Me: ''Did Slayer take Asmodean to Tel'aran'riod before, or after he killed him?''
He and some other people started laughing, he thought a little and answered with a smile:
''What makes you think Asmodean is dead?''
I laughed and he continued:
''Yeah, you screw with my head, I screw with yours...'' (that's actually what he said.)
So Incidentally I made Jordan laugh and swear, but not answer the question.
But hey, I din't get a RAFO.

Ah yes, KuraFire asked about the prologue of TEotW, where Ishamael traveled, but with a different description than that of usual Traveling.
Jordan said that that was because the Traveling was done by using the True Power. We'd seen the same since, when Moridin Travels somewhere... "The Pattern screamed."

Hrm, but that wasn't all. I distinctly remember someone asking 'Did Demandred recognize Flinn?', getting answered RAFO, followed by a question 'Would Taim recognize Flinn in a similar circumstance?', getting an evasive answer... Something about him knowing Flinn from the BT, but also something about the distance. But then I mentioned that the distance wasn't all that great, just a couple of meters, and he looked at me in a way that said 'you know all you need to know about this, I'm not going to make it any more obvious.'
Oh, btw, it is pronounced Taa-eem, not tame.

Raina's Hold / Thus Spake The Creator - Index