Tuesday, August 31, 2010

WOT digital scavenger hunt!

By Linda

Starting August 31st, Brandon and Tor.com are running a digital WOT scavenger hunt.

There is an encrypted Wheel of Time secret on Brandon Sanderson’s site that will require the combined efforts of many fans in many cities to find all the codes to unlock the entire page. Each code unlocks a different piece of the page. The codes are on the back of the WoT bumper stickers pictured right which Brandon will secrete in copies of his books or Wheel of Time books in the different stores he’ll visit on his The Way of Kings book tour.

Each city will have at least one hidden code. However, WOT secrets will not appear in Sam Weller's books or in the release party books because things were not organised in time.

This is Brandon’s Tour Schedule for The Way of Kings:

Monday, August 30th (Midnight)
BYU Bookstore: Provo, UT

Tuesday, August 31st (7:00 PM)
West Jordan Barnes & Noble: West Jordan, UT

Wednesday, September 1st (7:00 PM)
St. Louis Barnes & Noble: Chesterfield, MO

Thursday, September 2nd (7:00 PM)
Orlando Barnes & Noble: Orlando, FL

Fri 9/3 – Sun 9/6 (*Eagle Eye Bookstore*)
Dragon*Con and Decatur Book Festival

Tuesday, September 7 (7:30 PM)
Quail Ridge Books: Raleigh, NC

Wednesday, September 8th (7:30 PM)
Washington D.C. Borders: Baileys Crossroads, VA

Thursday, September 9th (7:00 PM)
Chicago Borders: Oak Brook, IL

Friday, September 10th (7:00 PM)
Mysterious Galaxy Books: San Diego, CA

Saturday, September 11th (3:00 PM)
Borderlands Books: San Francisco, CA

Monday, September 13th (7:00 PM)
Powell’s Books: Portland, OR

Tuesday, September 14 (7:00 PM)
University Books: Seattle, WA

Let the Great Hunt begin!

Monday, August 30, 2010

World SFF Convention

By Linda

In a few days time, the World SFF Convention for 2010, AussieCon4, commences in Melbourne. It runs from Sept 2nd to 6th. Many authors will be there, including Kim Stanley Robinson, George R. R. Martin, China Mieville, Shaun Tan, Cory Doctorow, and John Scalzi.

I'm taking a few books to get signed (I hope). I'd really like to get Cory Doctorow's new book For the Win so he can sign it, but the bookshops I've rung say it hasn't been released here yet. A nuisance for me, but potentially more than that for the authour.

The preliminary convention program is here:

Among the many panels there will be a Wheel of Time panel, held on Monday 6th September at 12 pm. I am among the panellists, as is James Luckman from Dragonmount.

We will be discussing:

Robert Jordan and the Wheel of Time

Robert Jordan’s multi-volume epic The Wheel of Time has become one of the most successful series in fantasy literature, continuing beyond Jordan’s untimely death in three new novels by Brandon Sanderson that will finally conclude the saga. What is the reason behind the saga’s popularity, and what makes it stand out from the fantasy crowd? How is [sic] Sanderson’s concluding volumes comparing to Jordan’s own novels – are we seeing a fitting conclusion?

and Jason Denzel's Towers of Midnight trailer will be shown. It's great! The trailer will also be shown at DragonCon the same weekend. DragonCon has a terrific WOT track. If only I could be in two places at once!

I'm hoping to meet some Wheel of Time fans at AussieCon and will be reporting on Con panels and events on the blog.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Part 9 of Costume in the Wheel of Time

By Linda

The costume of Arafel was added to the WOT Costume article today. The most noted features of Arafellin costume and hairstyles for both sexes are ornamental bells. Arafellin men usually wear their hair in two braids, one over each ear like Sioux warriors, with bells on them.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Looming Towers #10: Who is Where? In the North

By Linda

This is the second of a two part listing of the location of the characters as at the end of The Gathering Storm. Note that parts of Towers of Midnight will be concurrent with The Gathering Storm.


Queen Elayne
Andoran nobles and forces
Some Kin
Darkfriend captives


Mat’s band – both halves? (Talmanes’ and Estean’s)
Domon, Egeanin, Juilin, Thera, Thom,
Noal, Setalle Anan, Olver
Joline, Teslyn and Edesina
Bethamin and Seta

Soldiers and Dedicated
Taim’s faction Asha'man
perhaps some of Logain's faction Asha'man and neutral Asha'man
6 Red Aes Sedai – Pevara, Tarna, Javindhra, Desala, Melare, Jezrail
10 former rebels – Myrelle, Faolain, Nisao, Theodrin and 6 Sitters (including Salita, Lyrelle and Naorisa)

Arad Doman

Sea Folk ships

Iralin, dockmaster
5 members of the Merchant Council (probably now bolted)





Ituralde and his Arad Doman force
100 Asha’man Rand promised Ituralde


16 Aes Sedai led by Sashalle
Cairhienin nobles
Possibly High Lady Fionnda
some Aiel forces



Tar Valon

Reunited Aes Sedai (except Cadsuane’s faction)
Accepted and Novices
White Tower personnel
Mattin Stepaneos
Bryne and the former rebel army
4 Bloodknives




About 80 Black Ajah escapees
Unrevealed Black Ajah in Cadsuane’s faction


dispersed Shaido (making their way to Waste)

Luca’s menagerie

Elder Haman



Graendal (might be dead)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Looming Towers #9: Who is Where? In the South

By Linda

This is the first of a two part list of where characters were located at the end of The Gathering Storm, with the other part to be posted on Wednesday. Note that parts of Towers of Midnight will be concurrent with The Gathering Storm.

Aiel Waste

Non-combatants of clans

The Shaido are headed here

Almoth Plain

Seanchan forces
Anti-Seanchan Taraboner forces


Empress Fortuona
Tylee and other Seanchan officers
King Beslan
nearly 40 White Tower damane including Suffa
Shaido da'covale and damane

Asunawa + Questioners
some Lords Captain and their legions

Fleeing Shaido in Malden area


Seanchan forces

Far Madding

Borderlander rulers and their forces and advisors
13 Aes Sedai

Ghealdan/Altara border

Faile and Cha Faile
Berelain and her Mayene forces
Alliandre and her forces
Two Rivers bowmen
Aiel – Gaul, Bain, Chiad, Maidens including Sulin, 6 Wise Ones
Grady and Neald
Morgase and her entourage, Balwer, Elyas
Annoura, Seonid, Masuri
Thousands of refugees

Galad – 7000 Whitecloaks and their Lords Captain

Fleeing Shaido Malden area


Gregorin den Lushenos and the rest of the Nine
Illianer forces


King Roedran and his forces

Stedding Shangtai

Ogier meeting at the Great Stump
Presumably Loial, Erith and Covril


Some anti-Seanchan Taraboner forces


King Darlin
Tairen High Lords and Ladies (except perhaps Fionnda)
Min, Alivia
Aes Sedai including Nynaeve, Cadsuane, Alanna, Corele, Erian, Merise, Nesune, Sarene, probably not Beldeine
Aiel – large force, with some Clan Chiefs, Wise Ones including Amys, Sorilea, Bair and Melaine
Asha’man including Flinn, Narishma, Naeff,
Cairhienin including Dobraine, Caraline
Bashere and Saldaeans
Tam al’Thor (at end of The Gathering Storm, likely to be with Perrin at beginning of Towers of Midnight)
Large multinational force

Sea Folk

Friday, August 20, 2010

Part 8 of Costume in the Wheel of Time

By Linda

The costume of Arad Doman was added to the WOT Costume article today. Domani men wear traditional Spanish costume with beauty patches from the 16th-18th centuries, while the women's dresses have an Arabian and perhaps Indian influence. Both sexes wear Chinese style robes as sleepwear or bedroomwear.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Article Released: Angreal and Sa'angreal

By Linda

An article on all the known Angreal and Sa'angreal has been added to the Reference Library. It is surprising how many angreal and sa'angreal have been 'lost' along the way for one reason or another: misplaced, destroyed or just forgotten about.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Article Released: Character Names Parallels - U to Z

By Linda

The series of articles on character names concludes with the posting of possible sources for character names starting with U to Z in the Reference Library. Names featured include Urien, Weiramon, Zarine Bashere, and some historical characters such as the false dragon Yurian Stonebow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Part 7 of Costume in the Wheel of Time

By Linda

The Andoran costume section was added to the WOT Costume article today. Andoran women dress in Renaissance style while the men's dress is in the style of the late 17th to late 18th centuries. A feature of this section is a small portrait gallery of the monarchs.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wheel of Time Embroidery Collection #4: Rand's Cloak - Here Be a Dragon

By Linda

In The Great Hunt, Moiraine had a dark blue cloak made for Rand with an embroidered dragon sigil:

One cloak was plain, stout wool and dark green, the other deep blue with a stiff standing collar embroidered in gold with herons . . . and high on the left breast, where a lord would wear his sign . . . .
His hand drifted to the cloak of its own accord. As if uncertain what they would feel, his fingers brushed the stitching of a serpent curled almost into a circle, but a serpent with four legs and a lion's golden mane, scaled in crimson and gold, its feet each tipped with five golden claws.

- The Great Hunt, The Welcome

The curled dragon is a feature of Chinese dragon robes, which are the traditional court dress in Imperial China. On a dragon robe this symbol would be 25-26 cm (10-11”) in size and centred on the chest, both front and back. Since the embroidery is the sigil on a cloak of a tall man, I sewed it at half-scale (12-13 cm, 5”), which wasn’t easy since I attempted to keep all the detail (see photo below, click to enlarge). The colouring I chose is typical of the dragon motif on Chinese dragon robes. The dragons’ scales were usually all one thread type; either all gold, the most common, or all silk, not both.

In Chinese thought the dragon was

the symbol of heaven, the king of the elements and of nature. It also signified the god of water, the fertilising bestower of rain.

- Josiane Bertin-Guest, Chinese Embroidery: Traditional Techniques

It eventually symbolised the emperor himself as the Son of Heaven, and personified the great forces of nature.

The fact that the dragon has five claws is significant:

The five-clawed dragon (lung) was reserved to be worn by the emperor and his immediate family – his sons and princes of the first and second ranks. Princes of the third and fourth ranks wore the four-clawed dragon (mang).

- Josiane Bertin-Guest, Chinese Embroidery: Traditional Techniques

As nine was designated as an imperial number, the dragon was a composite of nine animal forms:

It had the head of a camel, horns of a deer, eyes of a rabbit, ears of a cow, neck of a snake, belly of a frog, scales of a carp, claws of a hawk and palms of a tiger. The scales along its back were 81 (9 x 9) in number. Those on its throat lay towards the head and those on the head were meant to look like the ridges of a mountain chain. It also had nine distinct offshoots, including whiskers at each side of the mouth and the beard under its chin.

- Josiane Bertin-Guest, Chinese Embroidery: Traditional Techniques

Likewise, the Dragon is an imperial figure: Rand is a king of kings and Lews Therin had absolute power and could summon the Nine Rods of Dominion:

They were actual people, and they were, but you might call them regional governors of the earth, regional governors of the planet. So if I say, summon them, then we’ve got a guy who has been given in effect ultimate power.

- Robert Jordan, Dragoncon, September 2005

Some sources suggest that the dragon has the eyes of a demon rather than a rabbit, which is interesting in the light of Rand’s link to Moridin and his channelling of the True Power. I gave this dragon blue eyes, like Rand’s, and red eyebrows, since Rand has red hair.

The Chinese dragon robes had nine dragons on them. Nine is the most yang number and is closely associated with the dragon, the most yang animal. The strong links of the number nine with the dragon are consistent with Nicola’s foretelling that the Dragon Reborn will do nine impossible things (see Foretellings article and Nine Labours of Rand revisitedtheory).

The pearl the dragon is curled around protectively is the pearl of wisdom, a symbol of the emperor’s search for virtue on behalf of the empire (Josiane Bertin-Guest, Chinese Embroidery: Traditional Techniques). It was also a Buddhist symbol of enlightenment, some of which Rand gained in The Gathering Storm.

Instead of the pearl of wisdom I have sewn a symbol even more potent in The Wheel of Time series: the ancient symbol of Aes Sedai, a reference to the necessity of balance. It also looks like one of the Seals on the Dark One’s prison.

In Chinese embroidery stylised flames usually indicate creatures of a mystical or mythical nature (Young Y. Chung, The Art of Oriental Embroidery: History, Aesthetics and Techniques ), doubly appropriate here since Rand channels fire and lightning.

Clouds also surround the Dragon since he is the Son of Heaven and is associated with rain and storms.

The embroidery is all in silk and synthetic metal thread on dark blue silk fabric. The stitches used are typical of Chinese embroidery: satin, couching and chain. The synthetic gold thread is sewn on surface of fabric (couched) with very thin gold-coloured silk thread. The usual stitch for the dragon’s body would be tight spirals of couched gold thread to represent scales but, at half-size, the sigil is too small for that. So I used chain stitch instead, which can be done with synthetic gold thread. If attempted in real gold thread (which consists of thin strips of gold wrapped around a silk core) the fabric would be damaged or the gold stripped from the thread.

This dragon is well-travelled; in its early stages it accompanied me to JordanCon in April of this year.

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Article Released: Character Names Parallels - T

By Linda

Today I posted an article on possible sources for character names starting with T in the Reference Library. The main entries are Tam al'Thor, Tenobia, Thom, Tuon and Tylee.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Article Released: Mainland Rulers

By Linda

As part of the revision for Towers of Midnight an article on The Mainland Rulers originally written for Wotmania by Amirebram and myself and now updated and indexed, and illustrated with a map by Dominic, has been added to the Reference Library.

It complements the Military Forces of the Westlands article.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Part 6 of Costume in the Wheel of Time

By Linda

The section on Amadician modes of dress was added to the WOT Costume article today. The distinctive feature of Amadician dress is the disparity between the colourful dress of the city folk and the very plain and severe dress of the countryside. They are typical of the mid to late 17th century and late 18th to early 19th century fashions that originated in Western Europe.

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Article Released: Character Names Parallels - S

By Linda

Today I posted an article on possible sources for character names starting with S in the Reference Library. Names featured include Siuan, Selucia, Setalle Anan and some historical characters such as Shivan the Hunter.