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Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
#1 Copy

Annie Lown

In the Wheel of Time books, did the Creator have a power, similar to the True Power that the Dark One had?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm afraid I don't have the answer for this, not for certain. I think that readers of the text could argue both ways. For example, a certain event in the epilogue of [A Memory of Light] could be interpreted this way--though everyone in Team Jordan seems to have a different opinion on what is going on, and [Robert Jordan] didn't leave an explanation.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

What was your hardest character to kill?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh. That's spoileriffic. I would say it's a character who dies at the end of The Wheel of Time, which is a series that I finished for another author. Because it was someone someone else created. And then, having to write some of those scenes.

Questioner

That would be really hard, because you're killing somebody else's character.

Brandon Sanderson

Right? And somebody I grew up with, right? So, I would say those are the hardest guys.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

What are your favorite books?

Brandon Sanderson

Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly--it got me into reading. Les Misérables--my favorite classic. And then book four of The Wheel of Time. *inaudible*

Questioner

Really? Book four?

Brandon Sanderson

Yep, book four. Rand going to the pillar in Rhuidean? It's my favorite. Have you read those?

Questioner

No.

Brandon Sanderson

No, okay. It was one of the experiences I loved growing up. And I still love it, despite the fact that I *inaudible*.

Questioner

Yeah, that's got to be pretty awesome you got to finish it. 

Brandon Sanderson

Oh man, it was awesome. I didn't know them. They just called-- his wife called me on the phone and asked if I could do it. Just out of the blue. No application or anything. "I like your books. Will you to finish this."

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#4 Copy

Chubby_Monkey

As The Gathering Storm draws near release, there are many WOT fans that have a large worry that you will not do RJ justice and ruin his series (especially after 4 years of waiting). How big of a worry is this for you, having to fill his shoes, and what are you doing to prepare yourself?

Brandon Sanderson

They are right to worry, and I don't blame them at all. They have no assurance whatsoever that I won't ruin their book—the past has proven, I think, that series get ruined more than they get saved when a new author steps in.

I hope, very sincerely, to be in the second category, the one who saves a series rather than kills it. But only November will offer any proof other than my word, and I fully expect people to worry right up until they've read the novel.

The only preparation a person could really have for something like this was to be a lifelong fan. I think this book is good. I think it is VERY good. I'm not worried any more myself, though I was quite worried when I began.

What can I offer fans right now? Only the promise that the book has had Harriet and Mr. Jordan's assistants working from the beginning to make certain I didn't screw it up. Beyond that, I've made it my first priority to stay true to his wishes and notes, and not deviate unless there is a very, very good reason.

(The only times I've 'deviated' was in to offer more explanation or depth to a scene. I haven't cut anything he wanted to be in the book, save for a few places where he contradicted himself. I.E. There were some scenes where he said "I'm thinking of doing this or this" or "I'm thinking of doing this, but I don't know." In those places, I've made the final call.)

All I can ask is this. Give me a chance. Read the book. After that, we'll talk.

(The most stressful part is probably the realization that no matter what I do, I won't be able to please everyone. Robert Jordan couldn't do that himself. So I will fail some of you. But I hope to please the vast majority of you.)

DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
#5 Copy

DrogaKrolow

Will there be some other books concerned with the Wheel of Time maybe?

Brandon Sanderson

Chances are not good. I feel that Robert Jordan didn't want there to be more-- And I'm not the final decision maker on that, Harriet is, but I've mentioned to her that I don't feel it would be right to continue doing [Wheel of Time] books. So I don't think it's likely. If she decides that she wants more that's certainly not my place to say that she can't, or things. But I don't think I would write anymore just because I feel like he wanted it to be an ending. If he were still around, he would've written more. But I don't think he would want me to.

YouTube Livestream 16 ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

How would Adolin fare against the greats like Lan, Rand, Galad, and how would Kaladin and his spear fare against Mat?

Brandon Sanderson

It’s really hard to say this, because what are different characters’ skill levels and things? For instance, I generally count Lan as the strongest and the best. My [Wheel of Time] books that I wrote show that. I think Lan would beat Adolin. You just can’t replace the twenty years of intense practice that Lan has, and the wisdom, no matter how talented of a rookie you are -- even though Adolin is not a rookie. I think Lan could go toe-to-toe with anyone non-immortal in the cosmere, because a lot of the cosmere people have an advantage, right? Taln has spent 4,000 years practicing with weapons. Granted, he spent a bunch of that time being tortured as well, but you know. He has many lifetimes behind him, and has been able to be killed making mistakes and never make those mistakes again. That is a leg up on someone like Lan or like Adolin that is just of a supernatural level. And so, while I think Lan would beat any swordsman in a fair fight from the Cosmere, I would count anyone who has a greatly expanded lifespan as an unfair fight. Like, I don’t think Lan would be able to stand against the better duelists among the Heralds or even against Vasher. Vasher’s got multiple lifetimes of practicing with the sword.

How would Kaladin do against Mat? It depends, Mat’s luck is a very big wildcard, and how is the luck on Mat’s side and how is karma working in Mat’s favor or against him in that given moment? That’s part of what makes Mat fun. So Kaladin is a soldier, again, not a duelist. Kaladin is really good with a spear, but his training is in war, his training is to be a battlefield captain. What even is Mat? Mat has been trained by fate itself with weapons, which is just really hard to play. Let’s call that a tie, edge probably to Kaladin.

Lan beats Adolin or basically any duelist but you put him up against the Heralds and he has a much harder time.

Firefight release party ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

So when are you going to tell us who Gaidal Cain is reincarnated as?

Brandon Sanderson

*laughs* One of the prevailing theories online is true.

Questioner

One of 18?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Most of the-- It's not Olver for instance. People thought that for years but Robert Jordan said it wasn't. I think there are two or three leading theories and it is one of those.

Skyward Atlanta signing ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

When you started writing for Wheel of Time, did you find that any of your opinions changed when you wrote the characters, versus--

Brandon Sanderson

So, Mat was way harder than I expected him to be to write. I thought Mat would just zip out and be super easy, and I was taken by surprise by how difficult Mat was to write.

Cadsuane had always been my least favorite character, and I was surprised by how much I understood her when I had to stand in her shoes.

General Reddit 2018 ()
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il_vekkio

I'm currently reading New Spring after finishing, and going BACK to Jordan after /u/mistborn absolutely killed The Last Battle...it's interesting. Sanderson really did breathe new life into the series. I'm particularly impressed by how he took the rules of one of the most intricate magic systems I've ever seen and turned them in their head and got insanely creative with them. Particularly Talmanes and Aludra using traveling while operating the dragons. Fantastic out of the box thinking.

Also, Talmanes is hands down the best side character who is so overshadowed by the main five heroes that it's easy to forget about him. But damn it he my favorite example of peak human bravery. Not ta'veren, not one of the great generals, not the world's most skilled swordsman. But time and time again he overcomes every obstacle, accomplishing the impossible. If it wasn't a recoming of the Age of Legends with heroes abound, he'd be the main hero.

Brandon Sanderson

Talmanes is one of those characters that I was very excited to write--though I anticipated my take on him being more controversial than it ended up being. I've always read him a certain way, and felt that I wanted to push him that direction in the last books--all the while knowing that some members of fandom didn't view him as I did. One of the dangers of bringing a fan like myself to write the books is that is had specific and distinct interpretations of some of the characters, particularly some of the side characters who were going to get expanded roles.

il_vekkio

The way I read Talmanes was as a sort of "You've got to be kidding me" John McClane. A capable man who doesn't want to be there, but he's there and there's only one way out.

I'd be very interested to hear how your vision for him differed from the final character!

Brandon Sanderson

That is how I read him too--but also with a hint of self-awareness. Like when he'd say things to Mat, he wasn't always 100% serious, but sometimes kind of pushing Mat's buttons. That's the part I figured would be controversial, since I knew some other fans read him as straight serious.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#12 Copy

Questioner

So what are your thoughts on the Wheel of Time pilot?

Brandon Sanderson

The Wheel of Time pilot? I... think... See this is kind of on the record because of the recording. I think the actors and the director are to be praised for doing so much with so little time. I don't think it should have been made and I don't think it is a good direction for The Wheel of Time to be going. But that is in part because I know Harriet was not pleased with it.

Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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MagisterSieran

How would you compare writing this novella to the Wheel of Time books you wrote? Both have treasure troves of existing lore and characters and both are fantasy media that you're a fan of.

Brandon Sanderson

It was a similar experience in some ways--I had a lot of creative freedom in both cases, for example, and I had a lot of lore to draw upon.

For the WoT, though, I was very, very steeped in the lore--and made sure I did another deep dive before writing the stories. Here, I have familiarity with a lot of MTG lore, but there's a lot I don't know. I haven't read most of the fiction, particularly the older fiction, for example.

So for WoT I felt confident taking main storylines and resolving them, while for this, I tried to create my own sort of sectioned-off part of the plane to play in. Then I created my own lore for that area that I could control more specifically--traditions and lore that were related to the well-known places on Innistrad, but not exactly the same. That way, I could play with them, and undermine them, and do what I wished with them.

Oathbringer release party ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

So, I'm about to read the last four books of Wheel of Time, and I know in your interview with Deseret News is that no one has asked you about something big, world-shattering. What should I be thinking of while I read these books?

Brandon Sanderson

I can't give you even a clue, because I've been sworn to secrecy by team Jordan. I made it up, but they said "We can't tell people this." So, this is something I added to the books, it's not something that was in the notes. So there, you learned something about it.

Warsaw signing ()
#16 Copy

Questioner

How was it to do The Wheel of Time, how was it to finish the words of a giant?

Brandon Sanderson

It was scary. For those who don’t know the story, I did not apply to finish The Wheel of Time. I got a phone call out of the blue one day from Robert Jordan's widow, and what she said was exactly, I got her on the phone and she said, "I was wondering if you'd be willing to finish my husband's series." I was not expecting this at all, so I replied, "Arrrgggahhhhh." Seriously, I could barely speak. That night, I wrote her an email that said, "Dear Harriet, I promise I'm not an idiot." I was just so surprised, but I was also extremely honored. She asked me because she knew I had read all the books since I was young man, and I had this moment where I realized, if I screw this up, it is a big deal! But if I turn it down, and someone else screws it up, it’s a bigger deal. So, I said yes, because I figured, if he couldn’t do it, I at last wanted it in the hands of someone I knew cared.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#18 Copy

Questioner

Alright, who would win in a fight: Rand al'Thor or Vin?

Brandon Sanderson

Who would win in a fight, Rand al'Thor or Vin. I'm going to go with the person who's a pseudo-diety and held the powers of creation. Which is gonna be-- Yeah. I'm gunna say Rand on that one, pretty safely. With the caveat of "You have to pick when". If Vin where able to get to Rand while he's still on a farm, I think she'll do a better job than the Trollocs did. If you replace Narg with Vin, Rand is in trouble. If at the ends of their respective series, I still think Rand would win, even when Vin is at her most powerful., because he is able to bend reality. But I don't know, Jason?

Jason Denzel

Oh I definitely agree, but I'm a little bit biased here. But yeah it really does depend on the time. Like if you take Vin at the last few pages of Mistborn, I don't know because she's--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, certain spoiler-rific things happen there. So she could give him a fight at that point, but I'm going to side with Rand on this. I'm going to side with Rand versus any character in most pieces of fiction.

Daily Dragon interview ()
#20 Copy

Daily Dragon

Your new epic fantasy series, The Stormlight Archive, has been in the works forquite some time. In an interview earlier this year with Fantasy-Faction.com, you said that you set the project aside in 2003 because you needed to "get better as a writer." During the interim, as you worked on other projects such as the Mistborn trilogy, Warbreaker, and your middle-grade Alcatraz series, which skills did you improve the most?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say that I learned to juggle multiple characters a lot better. That's one of the places where I needed to grow, and it's one of the aspects where the original Way of Kings that I wrote in 2002 flopped. I wasn't good at juggling all these viewpoints. Working on The Wheel of Time really forced me to learn that, and I think I've gotten much better at it. I've also learned to be more subtle with my writing; Robert Jordan was incredibly subtle in his foreshadowing. Going through his notes and rereading the books and seeing how he set up things for many books later, it impressed me quite a bit that he was able to do that. I think I've been able to learn from that.

FAQFriday 2017 ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

Do you ever have crazy ideas that are too crazy?

Brandon Sanderson

This happens all the time.

Greatness is often born of brashness. Of a reckless, bull-headed intent to do something everyone tells you is stupid. Sometimes, the best ideas are the ones you can't articulate in brief, because distillation ruins the very performance. Reduce a symphony to three notes, and it will seem pedestrian. Some ideas take to summary with ease. For others, explaining them is like trying to help someone climb Mount Everest after they say, "I'd like to take the quick route, please."

As a writer, you grow accustomed to saying, "It will work when I write it." You get use to saying, "I can do this, even if everyone tells me I can't." Becoming a writer in the first place is often done in defiance of rational good sense.

And sometimes, you're wrong. You try to prove that the idea works, you OWN it…and it's just not working. You're convinced it's your skill, and not the idea. If you could just figure it out…

This happened several times on The Wheel of Time. River of Souls, the famous deleted sequence from Demandred's viewpoint, is one of these. Perrin's excursion into the Ways in book 14 (also cut) is another. Early on, I pitched Perrin deciding to follow the Way of the Leaf to the team–but I wasn't actually serious on that one. More, I was in a brainstorming session with Team Jordan, and throwing out things that could possibly fulfill Perrin's arc in an unexpected way.

The 10th anniversary of Elantris has some deleted scenes, and the annotations talk about how in that book, I originally decided to have Hrathen turn out to be of a different nationality (secretly) as a twist at the end. The man who was doing all these terrible things was from Arelon all along!

That was stupid. It undermined much of his arc. It was a twist to just have another twist–in a book that already had plenty. Early reactions from Alpha readers helped me see this.

Lately, I've been trying to do some things with backstory and "cosmology" for the Stephen Leeds (aka Legion) stories, and Peter's not sold. We'll see if this turns into a "it will work when I write it" or a "That's a twist you don't need, Brandon."

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
#22 Copy

Kirsty Cabot

Were there any characters you found difficult to connect with when writing the remaining books of The Wheel of Time series?

Brandon Sanderson

I've never really been able to get into Cadsuane as a character, and so she was the most difficult for me to do. I love Aviendha and Tuon, but both of them think so differently from the rest of the characters that they gave me a challenge.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

Matrim Cauthon, Kelsier, and Vasher all decide they need to get together and run a heist on Hoid. How do they do it? Why? And what are they looking for? Assuming they know where his "hideout" is...

Brandon Sanderson

Mat has to be persuaded. He doesn't think this is worth it. Once he knows about Fortune, he'd be interested.

Kelsier wants to beat him to a pulp.

Vasher is very utilitarian about it, and agrees that having access to him would be smart, but dangerous.

YouTube Livestream 9 ()
#24 Copy

Questioner

Who bullies whom: Jasnah or Cadsuane?

Brandon Sanderson

I would like to think that Jasnah and Cadsuane would very quickly determine that they should have mutual respect for one another and keep to their own spheres. They would meet, they would turn around, and they would walk the other way from each other and go on bullying other people.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#25 Copy

Questioner

You know how usually you read a good book and it will change your perspective on some aspect of life, do you ever finish writing a book yourself and-- From your own writings do you ever "Ah I've never..."

Brandon Sanderson

It's usually the research I do. Like when I'm like "I need to get in the mindset of this type of person" and I go read about it. I see the world in a different way after I become immersed in that.

Questioner

So what character have you written that was the hardest to imagine or get into?

Brandon Sanderson

Jasnah was very hard originally, and that took a lot of research into the mindset of people who think differently from myself. In The Wheel of Time books Aviendha and Tuon are both very different cultures so getting into those.

Questioner

How was it writing Mat? Was it pretty easy or--

Brandon Sanderson

No, Mat blindsided me. Mat I thought would be easy because Perrin and Rand were and I grew up with Mat, Perrin, and Rand, right? But the thing is Mat is a really hard character to write, meaning actual-- you look at him, he says one thing, he does a second thing, but he thinks a third thing. And so there is a lot of contrast to him and I just started writing him naturally and I wasn't getting all of that contrast because I was like "Oh I know who Mat is. Mat's my--" But he was saying the things that he never said, if that makes sense? I got his actions right but I flipped what he said and what he thought. It was actually really hard to get him down.

Questioner

You mean how he would say that he was going to avoid trouble and then run straight into it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it's like "I'm going to avoid trouble", he runs into trouble, and he's thinking all the way about something completely separate, and then something else leaves his mouth.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#27 Copy

Questioner

What was the hardest part of finishing The Wheel of Time?

Brandon Sanderson

The hardest part, I would say, was the battle logistics.

Questioner

So A Memory of Light took a while?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, A Memory of Light is all battle logistics, it was really hard. And the second half was really tough to get that all right. And just to work with the assistants and things like that.

DragonCon 2016 ()
#28 Copy

Questioner

As an Asha'man Warder, I have to ask, would you consider going back to The Wheel of Time and writing a book about the Trolloc Wars?

Brandon Sanderson

So, remember that part about a piece of art being done? Sometimes that is painful. In fact it-- it hurts that there are certain characters I've said "Their story's done. I don't think I should touch this again." We put on top of that, I don't believe Robert Jordan would want me to do more. Now I have to say that very timidly because it's entirely possible that Harriet or one of her heirs and descendants will decide that there should be more Wheel of Time books. And I'm not going to be one who gets up and "No you shouldn't be doing that!" Right? That's not my choice. And I want more Wheel of Time like anyone else wants more Wheel of Time but my personal decision has been that I think Robert Jordan was uncomfortable with the idea of my writing in his world, even though he asked it do be done. And if I--particularly with the prominence I have--spent more time in The Wheel of Time I risk The Wheel of Time becoming more associated with me than Robert Jordan. And I think that would be a very bad thing. And so the current answer is "No, I--" Well, yes I would consider it. I'd consider it a lot, and the answer is no. I don't think it would be appropriate for me to do more Wheel of Time for a multitude of reasons.

Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
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Duiker8

Is the fact that The Way of Kings and rest of the books in the series are going to focus each one on a different character connected in any way to the fact that both The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight focused each one on a pair of characters?

Brandon Sanderson

No, not really. Most of my plans for The Stormlight Archive go back years and years to before I was working on The Wheel of Time. I would say that the The Gathering Storm/Towers of Midnight character split happened because of the book split, less than any real planning on my part. I had the character arcs and decided which ones would fit well together if I was only going to be releasing one batch of them at a time.

So the answer is no, but with the caveat that with the way my mind works, it may have been working in the same way in both cases.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#33 Copy

Questioner

So I know that you read The Wheel of Time.

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm.

Questioner

How was it-- the process of this when you found out that you were going to be part of the series?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, so I would-- did not apply. It just-- they called me on the phone one day. Harriet did...

So, yeah, they just called me on the phone and said, "We know you're a fan. Would you be willing to do this?" And I was just dumbfounded. I hadn't planned on it. I hadn't applied for it. So what I did is, I went and reread the whole series again, because I had read it before. But I had his notes in hand when I did it, and I built an outline out of notes he'd left and scenes that he'd finished, and built a massive outline. I presented that to Harriet and her assistants, and they said go for it. And I just started writing.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#34 Copy

Wetlander

Human, spren, Splinter, Sliver, Shard, Adonalsium - which of these is most similar ontologically to Nakomi?

Brandon Sanderson

*laughter* I can't say anything about Nakomi! Robert Jordan did not want anything said about Nakomi! I can't say anything at all about Nakomi! Dig into the notes when they are released, and then you can find out things said about Nakomi. The little tiny hints we have, I told you he wrote that thing at the end, and I'm like well, okay. So.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#35 Copy

Questioner

Was Androl, from Wheel of Time, your own creation?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. When I went into the trilogy I actually asked them "Is there a character I can have to just do whatever I want with?" and they looked through for one Robert Jordan had left no notes on and they gave me Androl. I went crazy.

Questioner

I love his use of Gateways.

Brandon Sanderson

He was a little bit of a pressure valve, for me, being able to do the things I like to do in a novel, in The Wheel of Time, so I didn't then take over other characters too much. A bunch of me creeped into Perrin too but...

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#37 Copy

Questioner

The scene where Verin Mathwin dies. Did you write that?

Brandon Sanderson

I didn't. Robert Jordan wrote that. It is one of the very few scenes that he actually had written in the notes, and I was able to reach out, grab that one and drop it in. I was very satis-- In fact that was one of the big surprises when I was reading the notes.

Questioner

Everybody-- I mean, it's probably my favorite scene that's ever been written.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, and he did that one. I feel very happy to be able to tell people that because there aren't a lot of scenes that I could just drop in that he wrote, and that is one of them.

Daily Dragon interview ()
#38 Copy

Daily Dragon

How did you find the time and energy to work on The Way of Kings while you were immersed in Jordan’s Wheel of Time? Are you a hidden Allomancer, a slider like Wayne in The Alloy of Law, with the ability to set up a mind-boggling speed bubble?

Brandon Sanderson

I wish I could magically create bubbles of time to give myself more space to do these things. After working on The Gathering Storm, I felt more and more that I needed to do The Way of Kings—I had done it and failed once, and I began to see all of the places where it went wrong and how I could fix it. When you get excited about a book that way, you kind of have to write it—strike while the iron is hot. It's something I never want to do again—working on that and Towers of Midnight at the same time just about killed my entire family. The hours were very long, and I'm still kind of recovering from that. How did I find the time? I didn't do much else during that year when I was getting those both ready. I think it was really good for me to do, and I don't think I'll ever do something like that again.

Skyward release party ()
#40 Copy

Questioner

Are Mat and Perrin bound to the Wheel?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say yes, but I'm not the ultimate authority on that, so it's possible what Robert Jordan would say would be different. I would say yes because we have Odin myths and things like that that are obviously Mat myths.

Firefight Houston signing ()
#41 Copy

Questioner

How much of your input was put into the Wheel of Time books that you did, or was it strictly of the notes that Robert Jordan had?

Brandon Sanderson

How much of the Wheel of Time books was through me, and how much was from the notes? ...When I went to pick up the Wheel of Time materials, I was handed two things. One was a stack of 200 pages. That 200 pages contained about 100 pages of written material that Robert Jordan had written for the last books. And about 100 pages of that was interviews with his assistants, Q&As about what was going to happen. The other thing I was handed was a disk with all of his worldbuilding notes. This did not contain much at all about the last book. This was just the worldbuilding through the whole series, talking about the different cultures and things like that. And I used that to write the books. So the actual writing, I would say, it's very hard to say. I was given full creative control, I will say that. Harriet said "Take this. I'm an editor, not a writer. Do what you feel you need." In all of that, there was one sentence on what to do with Perrin. So, you can guess, if it was Perrin, it was me. There was a whole lot done with Egwene. In fact, almost, I would say, half of her scenes were written, in fact half of that stack was Egwene stuff; of the hundred pages, fifty pages just written about Egwene and a big stack of notes on what to do with her. If it's in the books and it relates to Egwene, you can almost guarantee that that is something Robert Jordan wrote or instructed me to write. With Rand and Mat, it was about half and half. Gathering Storm Mat and A Memory of Light Mat was more me, Towers of Midnight Mat was more him. A lot of his Mat stuff related to the Tower of Ghenjei. Rand was sprinkled all the way through, about half and half, I would say, on that. Most of the words you're reading are mine. Almost everything he wrote was either Egwene or ended up in the three prologues.

So, yeah, it was a big project. There was not a lot finished on it. But at the same time, those interviews, with him with almost all the characters he kind of talked about who they were, where they were going, what the arcs he envisioned for them being, and things like that, which gave me a lot to do. And even the one thing on Perrin was near the end, so I knew what to shoot for, if that makes sense? And one of the things he did write is what ended up as the epilogue. I had a target, if that makes sense. Although, a lot of the actual writing was on me to do, which is why they had me do it, by the way, rather than getting a ghostwriter. If it had been 90% of the way done, they could have just gotten someone to quietly come in and finish those last few scenes, and it would have been the right thing to do, because it was mostly done by him. The fact that it wasn't, meant they needed a writer to actually put the whole thing together. There wasn't an outline. Robert Jordan was a discovery writer. He knew what he wanted to have happen, but he had no order or form or anything like that.

Arched Doorway Interview ()
#43 Copy

Rebecca Lovatt

I've been trying to avoid Wheel of Time questions, but I've got one. We need to settle the score... who understood women better: Mat, Perrin, or Rand?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh wow, who understood women better? So I'll say this: Perrin understood his woman better than Mat or Rand understood the women that they were interacting with. Does that make sense?

Rebecca Lovatt

It does.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to go with Perrin. Although by the end of the book Rand has recalled his past...no, Lews Therin was terrible with women, so I don't know. I'm still going to vote Perrin.

Rebecca Lovatt

That's not just because he's your favorite?

Brandon Sanderson

No, I'm going to say it's because he understands human nature the best, despite having this whole wolf side. Or maybe it's because of this whole wolf side that he's able to look from an exterior perspective at the way humans are doing the things they are doing, and relating it.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#44 Copy

Questioner

Do you know the part in Wheel of Time when Mat is-- seems to be trapped in his *inaudible* ways before he meets Verin?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

In the town? I always think, when I read-- Every time I feel like-- Is it a <tone> war?

Brandon Sanderson

It is, yeah.

Questioner

Writing the characters?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

And is there any correlation between that and Legion and you?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah, most definitely. Legion is... You know, I'm-- I don't actually hear voices or see things. But there is this sort of part of you that becomes a different person all the time. I can see if I were more unhinged I'd be like that or like Shallan.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#45 Copy

Questioner

...I still haven't finished the last [Wheel of Time]. Because I'm like, I don't know what I'm going to do without them in my life.

Brandon Sanderson

I know that feeling. When I sat down and read the ending that Robert Jordan himself had written, it was a weird, surreal moment, that it was done.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#46 Copy

Questioner

Where did the idea of spren come from?

Brandon Sanderson

Comes from two primary inspirations. One is my perhaps too-much fondness for things classical philosophy. Specifically some of the ideas that Plato talked about with certain Ideals, and the ideal picture of something, the theory of the Forms, and all this stuff. Mixed with the idea of, in the Eastern religions and mythology, you have the idea of the kami, or things like thsi, in which everything has a soul. A rock that you pass has a soul to it. And these two ideas kind of mashing together is where the spren were birthed out of.

I can also point a little bit at The Wheel of Time. One of the things I always liked about The Wheel of Time is, there's a character named Perrin who can smell people's emotions. And as a writer, when I was working on The Wheel of Time, I'm like, "This is so convenient!" Super convenient as a writer. Because it gets really cliched to use the same sort of phrases to indicate emotion. If you're always having somebody smirk as they talk, it starts to really stand out. But since, when I get to Perrin scenes, he can describe emotion in a completely different way, because he was using different senses, almost a synesthesia sort of thing where he would catch scents and know someone's emotion, it was a really cool writing tool. And I think the spren popped a little bit out of that, the ability to show emotion in a different way in my narrative, and that would change society in some (I thought) very interesting ways, made for a really interesting narrative tool for me as a writer.

Skyward release party ()
#47 Copy

Questioner

I read something that said you wish there'd been more between Mat and Padan Fain, in the end.

Brandon Sanderson

I wish I had done more. I feel like that's one of the things that I, a little bit, dropped the ball on. It was a little too brief. That's one of those things that, if I had a little more time and got more reader response in beta reads, I might have picked up on.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#48 Copy

Questioner

The Lord Ruler, sixteen-- all sixteen metals, full metalminds, and can compound versus Rand at the end of A Memory of Light *laughter/cheering*

Brandon Sanderson

...At that point probably Rand. Sorry. *cheering*

Questioner

But the Lord Ruler has luck, he can Compound luck.

Brandon Sanderson

He can do a whole lot of stuff. Now if it's the Lord Ruler during the moment of Ascension, it's the Lord Ruler, but post-Ascension? No.

Kraków signing ()
#49 Copy

Questioner

Any chance of any new Wheel of Time materials?

Brandon Sanderson

Not likely... not definitive, it's up to Harriet. I'm worried that he wouldn't want us to do anymore.

Questioner

<Yeah, that's the thing>

Brandon Sanderson

And so, I have told her that I don't think I would want to do anymore, but if Harriet came out and said "I really feel we should do the prequels", then they could happen, I think it's very unlikely, but...

Questioner

The prequels were <written> by Jordan?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, he did, he has a little bit about them, not very much but a little bit. He did want them to come out sometime, so it’s possible.