Thus Spake The Creator

The Wheel and the Pattern

Q: I was curious if you could clear something up for me, The Dragon Lews Therin ended the Age of Legends, but Rand Al'Thor is the next dragon, and he's not coming out of the Age of Legends? 
A: ...could you clarify? I'm not sure I understand the question.
Q: Well, you write that Lews T. ends the Age of Legends, that time repeats itself, and I would think that Rand would in turn be ending the repeated Age of Legends, but it doesn't appear to BE a repeated Age of Legends.
A: It doesn't follow that simply because the Age that Lews Therin ended is now called the Age of Legends, that this age which Rand lives in in any way is a repeat of that particular age. What is/was the Age of Legends _will_ repeat eventually, but not until the Wheel turns considerably further. 

Q: I was wondering if you could comment on some of the clues that Randland (as we call it) seems to be written as a future earth. 
A: Time is a wheel. If you look in one direction, you are looking at the past. If you just turn around and look in the other direction, you are looking at the future. The books are set in our future _and_ in our past, depending on which way you look. 

Q: Is Rand's world an atheistic world, based on only human "powers" - there seems to be a "devil" but nothing on the flip side .
A: What would you say the Creator is? The Light?

Q: Because the wheel of time contains the Dark ones prison, and the ages repeat with each revolution, then isnt humanity itself also imprisioned....unable to truly evole? 
A: No. :)

Q: Is our earth a future or past turn of the wheel? 
A: Both. The characters in the books are the source of many of our myths and legends and we are the source of many of theirs. You can look two ways along a wheel.

Q: How was the Dark One created, i.e. is he a fallen angel, an inherent part of the universe, etc.? 
A: I envision the Dark One as being the dark counterpart, the dark balance if you will, to the creator carrying on the theme, the ying yang, light dark, necessity of balance theme that has run through the books... it's somewhat manichian i know, but I think it works. 

Q: Mr. Jordan, it's fairly common knowledge that the Dark One was bound by the creator outside of the pattern at the moment of creation. Would it then be safe to assume, after concepts brought to light in the new release, that the world before the opening of the prison never knew true evil? If so, then was each age before the opening of the Age of Legends different facets of some utopia? As well, without major conflict between good and evil, what caused ages to pass? Thanks.
A: Given that time is cyclic, you must assume that there is a time when the prison that holds the Dark One is whole and unbroken. There is a time when a hole is drilled into that prison and it is thus open to that degree. And there is a time when the opening has been patched in a makeshift manner. But following this line, the cyclic nature of time means that we have at some time in the future inevitably a whole and unbroken prison again. Unless, of course, the Dark One breaks free, in which case all bets are off -- kick over the table and run for the window.

Q: When Rand takes Verin and the others through a portal stone in <The Great Hunt>, at the end of each life he heres "I have won again Lews Therin". I thought that if the DO won even once the wheel would be broken and therfor the Dragon would not be reborn again. How could the DO have won before to be able to say "again"? 
A: There are degrees of victory. The Dark One can acheive victory by breaking free, but can also acheive lesser victories. Such as by stopping the Dragon Reborn from doing other things he was born to do. It isn't as simple as him being born to fight The Dark One. It's never simple.

Q: Since the ability to channel seems to be primarily linked to the soul, if a Channeler is gentled/stilled, will this affect his/hers soul in a follow life as well, as in, will the ability to Channel still be lost? 
A: No.

Q: What would happen if the Dark One was victorious? And why can the Dark One act on the world but it seems the Creator cannot?
A: Read and find out. It's a good question, and an important theme -- but read and find out.

Q: Mr. Jordan, When ever a channeler draws on the OP, does he\she become temporarily outside the Wheel's control? I ask this because min's viewings of aes sedai get fuzzy whenever they draw on the Power and in LOC egwene avoids rand's taveren effect by drawing on saidar.
A: Read and find out!

Q: Mr. Jordan, is it possible that in another age, another turning of the wheel, that Saidar could be tainted instead of Saidin? This relates to the Female Dragon Theory.
A: That is not something I intend to explore.

Q: What happens to the soul of someone when he becomes a Gray Man. Is his thread removed from the Pattern, or are threads and souls different things alltogether?
A: Err, they are... Oh, uhm, no, it is gone. It is gone. And it ceases to exist in any form that you could of as real.
Q: So threads and souls are the same thing
Err, not the same thing, but they must coexist. The thread can be removed; you die in this world. You die and the soul remains to come again and begin another thread. The soul disappears from this Gray Man, it's gone. Think of the Dark One as having eaten it. It's a fiction, but a convenient fiction for the moment.
The thread of the Gray Man remains until the Gray Man dies, physically.
Q: And the rest of the Shadowspawn?
What? Do they have souls you mean?
Q: Yeah, and how do their threads work.
The threads work in the way, in the same way that the thread of any living thing works. It is part of the Pattern. They are not outside of the Pattern. Neither are the Forsaken. But the Pattern in a thing that is open, that's change. It is not a matter of the lives being forced necessarily. It's wide, you have the Pattern, the Heroes that are bound to the Wheel, they're not always heroes in the way of someone who rides in galloping with a sword, or carries out daring rescues. The people, the Heroes who are bound to the Wheel, are the corrective mechanisms. Human behaviour is throwing the Pattern out. It's throwing the balance off. And the Wheel spins out the proper correctives. Put everything back in the balace. So not even the Forsaken are apart from that, they're not outside. The only things that are outside are the Creator and the Dark One. Neither affected by the Pattern.

Q: At one point in the story we see Ishamael talking to Rand, and telling him that they have fought countless times in the past, but this is the final time. Is there anything about his Age that makes it special?
A: No... Every Age is repeated, there is nothing that makes this Age any different from any other turnings of the Wheel. The Wheel is endless. And with any luck, that should quiet all of you 'Straight Line of Time' pests! - Raina

Reports from signings

On the question on the "alignment" of the characters, he said that there are no completely good character in the books, as he thought such a character would be completely boring (right - Galad is boring! - my comment), and would probably be killed rather quickly, like other fully good persons in the world. He took Jesus as example of this. Instead, every person struggles with the good and bad sides of his/her personality. Another point he pressed was that "noone's going to rescue you", there are not going to happen any miracles. The Creator shaped the world and set the rules, but does not interfer. Humankind messed things up, and have to fix it too, as well as finding the truth themselves.

When Moghedien ripped out Birgitten from T'A'R she "short-circuited" the Pattern, by bringing in an adult "in the flesh" instead of letting Birgitte join Gaidal Cain the "normal" way. He said also that Gaidal Cain may not have any role to play in Tarman Gai'don. [ "may" - consider that - my note ]

Female dragon..NO when a female hero is needed she is one of the ones bound to the wheel. Jordan did mention a name but i didnt hear it. But he did say the Dragon is never female.

Let's try and clear some of this up... I can't remember the exact question, but from what I read in this thread, it doesn't matter (I haven't read the Female Dragon thread). RJ said that, no, it is not possible to have a female dragon. If the wheel needs a female dragon, then it would weave in *insert female dragon name here*. Probably because of the blank faces he was getting he then added, you can find her in the scene where Mat blows the horn...
He also said that a soul ready to be reborn cannot change gender, therefor the dragon is ALWAYS male.

Gender/soul rebirth he said is best illustrated by Mat and Birgitte. But he then said that there was more to it than that. Not sure what he meant exactly. Probably the point.

Balefire: I'm right.  (This was my question) What this means is, if someone is Balefire, the Dark One can't reincarnate them.  But they CAN be spun back out into the wheel as normal.  Balefire is NOT the eternal death of the soul.  He also made a comment to the effect that even in the absence of balefire, there may be circumstances where the Dark One cannot bring someone back.  There was a long line, so I didn't press.

Each age is NOT precisely the same with each new turning of the wheel. I actually asked RJ to explain this before Eye even came out, because he was trying to explain the cosmology to me and I wasn't getting it. The analogy he used (for the differences between an Age in one turning and in another) was to say that it would be like standing in front of what looked to be two copies of the same painting; but as you looked closely, you'd start to find tiny, subtle differences, more and more differences the more closely you looked, until you eventually realized that the paintings were almost completely different.

My questions: (before this point, I couldn’t get a good listening spot without getting out of the line… well, big mass of people. But I don’t think many, if any questions were asked, as it took 2 minutes to get to me-#28)
H: When a soul is reborn, at what point does it enter the body?
RJ: Hmm… *think, think* I’d have to say as a fetus. When the body becomes capable of sustaining life.
H: *stupid grin* Ok. In tEotW, Thom said that the dead can take over a living body. If this happened, what would happen to the original soul?
RJ: *gave me a “haha, nice try you stupid monkey” grin* “Read and find out”
H: YAAAAAAAAAAAARG! DAMN YOU! (ok, not really)

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."

Raina's Hold / Thus Spake The Creator - Index