Thus Spake The Creator

Other Lands

Q: Just curious, but what culture(s) were the Seanchan based on? 
A: A good deal of Japan, of the Shogunites, Imperial China, and in general a good many rigid hierarchal stratified societies. Too many to list really, I suppose. 

Q: Mr. Jordan, I play a one of the best telnet games based on your books (cshadow.net port 4000). It runs as close to your books as we can get. My question is this: I play a Seanchan character and have for some time. What was your basis when creating the Seanchan race and the structure of their society? I enjoy the race completely and love the structure of its hierarchy and was just curious as to what they are created from in your mind. Thank you!
A: Imperial China. Japan during the shogunates, with strong dollops of the Persian Empire and the Ottoman.

Q: In a previous statement, I believe you had basically said that the action of the series would take place in the lands known to Rand and his friends, i.e. not Shara or Seanchan, and yet the new book has a lot of stuff about those lands. Have you changed your mind? Is action in either of these two lands a possibility now?
A: No. Except for the possible occasional divergence -- except for Rand's excursions to Seanchan when he chased after Aviendha. I was willing to put as much as I did into the guide because I will not be using those things in the books in the same way that I used Kandor or Saldaea.

Q: Do you have any plans for introducing the land of madness into the World of Time series besides its mention in the guide, and if so, can you elaborate a little?
A: Read and find out.

Q: In tFoH, in the chapters "The Far Snows" and "A Short Spear," was the timing of events deliberately precalculated by him, or not? If the first is true, I'm not asking for an explanation -- presumably we'll get that in a later book. I'm just asking for a yes or a no. (If he wants to know why the question was put, please just say the two words "time zones.")
A: Yes, the timing was calculated. I know how far to the west Seanchan lies.

Q: When will the LAND OF MADMEN (as shown in the Guide) come into play, and are you considering ever making a second edition of the Guide?
A: As for when or if it will come into play, read and find out. As for another edition of the guide, I would like to do a concordance or encyclopedia when the cycle is finished, but I have no plans before that.

Q: If you were going to be stranded on the Island of Madmen and could only take one book with you, what book would it be?
A: I think a book on camouflage. Hiding there would be a good idea, I think.

Q: How does Mat's medallion damage the Gholam? Also, what significance to the Seanchan does his spear have?
A: Laughing... Read and Find out. If I tell you you get bored with the new books!

Q: What a kind of numbers militarily do the Seanchan have on this side of the aryth?
A:
I don't want to answer this as it could be a spoiler for those who have not read far enough.

Q: The Isle of Maddness is mentioned in the coffee table book. Do you have any plans on incorporating it into one of the next books?
A: Read and find out! There are some things I might do that might take place there, but those things could also just as well be done in other places.

Q: Which cultures in the Seanchan? (based on things in the Guide)
The Seanchan also are the melting of things that have come from many different human cultures to make their culture. There have been many rigid stratified, rigidly hierarchal cultures. It's a very human thing. The concept of being able to climb above your station is a relatively new one in human culture. You were born where you were born for a reason, and that is the place you will stay, that has been the norm for human culture, for most of history.

Q: is the Shara world going to be changed a lot now that their male channelers won't go mad? Will they even find out because they kill them so early anyhow?
A: shara will not be changed by the fact that male channelers wont go mad because they kill man who might possibly be able to channel at a very young age those guys are nothing but breeding stock kept utterly innocent and utterly ignorant until they are killed

Q: Are ther any channelers on the Seanchan continent that suffer from an emotional block like Nyneave had
A: Read and find out
( I asked this question to support my theory that the sul'dam have an emotional block, but I forgot that there are probably some damane who suffer from it as well which increased the chance to get a RAFO )

Reports from signings

There are no plans to visit Seanchan in any greater extent than it already has been visited, and there are not going to be any visits to Shara either.

Wouldn't say anything about Shara, of course...

oh and he said he would bring the other parts of the world into the books if he needed to. So Seachen and Shara have a shot.

Evidently, China was a real behemoth in the middle ages, right on the track to world domination, until they decided they didn't really want to rule the world.  The following is a summary from hastily scribbled notes on a subject about which I am relatively ignorant; if I fuck up, it means I can't read my notes.
1484: In the time before Columbus...
China has a huge fleet of ships (3000 of them, half-million crew), printing presses, generally huge technological advantage over everywhere else.  The fleet is commanded by a name that translates as "Three-Jeweled Eunuch" 
(although he was evidently not a eunuch??).  The fleet had superior logistics (well, something about logistics right about here) and had reached Madasgascar.  They were planning to round the Cape of Good Hope and see what they found.
1490: The year they would have reached Europe... and overwhelmed it. Unfortunately, bad things happened. The current Emperor died and was succeeded by his son, who was young and had self-confidence problems. The palace eunuchs (evidently a powerful political force) grew concerned over the changes caused by outside influences, believing them to be corrupting Chinese culture. They convinced the Emperor to shut China off from the rest of the world by burning seafaring boats (including that huge fleet!), restricting foreigners to certain cities and killing them if they were caught outside, and killing Chinese who left to see the world and then returned. It seems the Japanese also did this -- twice, in fact.
This was a very long spiel coming from the nonfiction military history books he recommended.  There was a lot more detail than I managed to capture, but one thing that stood out in my mind was that he had just told us the origins of Shara and the Seanchan.  Or some of them, at least.

Someone standing behind me commented about the Seanchan being a bunch of sociopaths, and Jordan returned that the Seanchan system is a reasonable response to the conditions they found.  I opined that we could have a 
serious debate in ethics over that point.  I expect that in other circumstances we could have rolled up our debating sleeves and gone at it, but there were more books to sign and I didn't want to get in anyone's way.

Q15: Were the Seanchan animals created before or after the Shadowspawn?
A15: They are the ‘exotics’. They were brought to Randland from parallel dimensions (like in the portal stones). When Rand saw grolm in the PS world, he was seeing them in the native ‘land’.

 

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