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Unfettered Demandred PoV Discussion


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#1 Barid Bel Medar

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 08:39 PM

For the time being, please keep the discussion of the content in this thread. 


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#2 DottieGirl

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:10 PM

Well, for what it's worth, I enjoyed it.  It gave an interesting bit of backstory to Demandred's character, provided more insight into Sakarnen and its place in the hierarchy of sa'angreal, and offered a glimpse of the form a jumara would take (to follow up on Sammael's comment in a conversation with Graendal so long ago). 

 

I have no idea if any of these things were in Jordan's notes or would have been approved by him, or if Mr. Sanderson was simply doing "fanboy service" as some have accused in the past, but it tied a few open matters back into the main story sequence, even if it may be officially non-canon.



#3 Suttree

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:56 PM

I have no idea if any of these things were in Jordan's notes or would have been approved by him, or if Mr. Sanderson was simply doing "fanboy service" as some have accused in the past, but it tied a few open matters back into the main story sequence, even if it may be officially non-canon.

 

It was 100% Brandon. None of it came from the notes.


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#4 Sentinel78

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:39 AM

It was a nice little read.  I think it could have been interwoven into the Prologue of aMoL to provide a lot more context to what was happening.  The Bao-Wyld (i.e., Beowolf) parallel to Demandred makes a lot more sense when this scene is added which maps to Beowolf confrontation with Grendel and Grendel's mother.  That being said, didn't the Wyld prophecy require Bao to die in the pits and be reborn?  It seemed like he just went down and came back up, unless they are implying that "Demandred" died in there once he decided to take up the "Bao the Wyld" role for real and not as a scam.  

 

One point I was confused about is why Demandred had to masquerade as a slave and work his way up from there.  It seems more logical that he would leverage whatever available Darkfriends he had access to in Shara to start out in more of a position of power.  

 

Another contradiction is that Bao obtains Sakarnen so he would finally have the power to beat Lews Therin, but he tells Taim in aMoL (when he gives Sakarnen to Taim) that he wants to beat Lews Therin without the sa'angreal to prove he is better.

 

Also, what was the "City of Dreams", and why did Mintel risk his soul to come to see Bao?  



#5 DottieGirl

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:52 AM

 

 

It was 100% Brandon. None of it came from the notes.

 

 

 

Hmm, that's interesting.  I have read various things about canonicity.  Mr. Sanderson himself writes that we can "consider the general outline of events within to be canon," though not necessarily the elements of the worldbuilding.

 

If I take his comments at face value, then I wonder if certain things, such as Demandred seeking for a putative second-most powerful male sa'angreal and acquiring it, were indeed in Mr. Jordan's notes.  I'm most interested to know if Sakarnen, as this second-most powerful male sa'angreal, was specifically created by Mr. Jordan to be unveiled in the last book, or if Mr. Sanderson added it at a later time based on Lanfear's offhand remark to Rand. 

 

One of the things I miss the most about Mr. Jordan's writing is the way that such seemingly negligible comments actually acted as elements of foreshadowing in some cases.  That's why I care a bit about the inception of Sakarnen.  Three pathways that I can see happening with respect to Sakarnen:

 

1.  All elements of this story are directly from Mr. Sanderson, including the idea of this second-most powerful male sa'angreal even existing, fitting your above suggestion.  Mr. Sanderson may have extrapolated its existence from Lanfear's comment and decided it to be another "Chekhov's gun" that he wanted to add to the story.

 

2.  The general outline of this story came from guidelines laid out in Mr. Jordan's notes, possibly including Demandred entering into quest to find this sa'angreal and possibly tying it to a relic in Shara that would identify him as some kind of messianic figure (their Dragonslayer).  Sakarnen itself, name and description, are left to Mr. Sanderson, as well as the journey to retrieve it.  This path is the way I would read Mr. Sanderson's meaning in his introduction to the story.

 

3.  Sakarnen existed entirely in Mr. Jordan's notes, possibly fully described (though probably not named, since a possible origin of Sakarnen's etymology has been traced by Linda at 13th Depository back to a card in the Magic game series, which would strongly indicate Mr. Sanderson).  If Sakarnen was in Mr. Jordan's notes, then taking Mr. Sanderson's comments at face value, I would believe the trials Demandred faced to win the sa'angreal were the things left to Mr. Sanderson's imagination.

 

All considered, I personally believe #2 is the most likely scenario, barring further statements or evidence to the contrary.  I hope that someone asks future questions about Sakarnen to establish if the existence of it was Mr. Jordan's or Mr. Sanderson's idea.  I have no doubt these questions will be explored.

 

It was a nice little read.  I think it could have been interwoven into the Prologue of aMoL to provide a lot more context to what was happening.  The Bao-Wyld (i.e., Beowolf) parallel to Demandred makes a lot more sense when this scene is added which maps to Beowolf confrontation with Grendel and Grendel's mother.  That being said, didn't the Wyld prophecy require Bao to die in the pits and be reborn?  It seemed like he just went down and came back up, unless they are implying that "Demandred" died in there once he decided to take up the "Bao the Wyld" role for real and not as a scam.  

 

One point I was confused about is why Demandred had to masquerade as a slave and work his way up from there.  It seems more logical that he would leverage whatever available Darkfriends he had access to in Shara to start out in more of a position of power.  

 

Another contradiction is that Bao obtains Sakarnen so he would finally have the power to beat Lews Therin, but he tells Taim in aMoL (when he gives Sakarnen to Taim) that he wants to beat Lews Therin without the sa'angreal to prove he is better.

 

 

Agreed with the possible inconsistencies/contradictions.  I also agree with Mr. Denzel, questioning why Demandred did not simply balefire the transformed jumara, despite Demandred's assessment that use of the OP makes the jumara stronger.  But unless it has a balefire immunity, like a gholam, I do not understand how it could recover from an attack that would burn it out of existence. 

 

Masquerading as a slave seems more like a path Moghedien would have followed, not Demandred, so a fuller explanation (or an expurgation of that sentence about his disguise) would have been nice.  I can also see how Demandred's seemingly different views on using Sakarnen to defeat Rand are distracting.  Two possibilities come to my mind that could dispense with the possible contradiction:

 

1.  Demandred intended to use Sakarnen's power simply to draw Rand out into direct combat, then would have discarded it for a "fair" fight (unless perhaps Rand was using Callandor).

 

2.  Demandred simply changed his mind by the time he lent Sakarnen to Taim.  Mr. Sanderson seems to indicate that living in Shara was changing Demandred's worldview to some extent.  Perhaps he had evolved to a point where he would not have considered killing Rand with such an aid as "honorable."

 

Those two possibilities stated, I do not particularly like either of them.



#6 Barid Bel Medar

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:17 AM

Here is what Brandon has said on multiple occasions on the topic: 

 

INTERVIEW: Feb 6th, 2013
 
QUESTION
Can you talk a little bit about the "River of Souls" sequence?
 
BRANDON SANDERSON

Yeah, I can totally talk about this. So, "River of Souls" is about a specific character, and in the drafting process this is not something I actually pitched to Harriet early on, but in the later meetings I got together with them and pitched something which was a deviation from things Robert Jordan had said. Harriet told me from the get-go, Look you've got the notes, you've got the outline, you've got to be a writer, not a transcriber. Robert Jordan would not have kept this the way it is, that's not how we work, and in a lot of places he said I'm thinking of doing this, OR this, and you'll have to decide which of those to do, or to do a third.

 

And so I pitched one of these kind of audacious sequences to her; sometimes these work, sometimes they don't. It's the sort of thing you need to do to create fiction, that I feel is daring, and you need to take these chances. But a lot of times you don't know if it's going to work until the book is done, and you can look at it together. And this was taking place in a region of the Wheel of Time world that Robert Jordan said I really don't think we're ever going to visit. Which is the part that was deviated, by doing this sequence. And it's not that long, only about 7,000 words, so it's like a novelette. I sent it to Harriet, and she said "I really like this, but we're going to cut it". The reason being, that it broke up the flow of the novel, and it was introducing too many new elements at the beginning of the volume that was supposed to be wrapping up elements. And those who do storytelling know that can be a really dangerous thing to do.

 

 

 

 

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

Yeah, and Harriet hasn't either. There is one other little tidbit—there's an anthology coming out called Unfettered. It's a charity anthology for a member of our community, in the science fiction and fantasy community, who had huge medical bills. And in order to help pay those off, we donated a deleted sequence from A Memory of Light. It's something that was written, but we decided for pacing reasons did not fit in the book. And so we donated that to Unfettered and so you can read that to see something behind the scenes. I will admit it's much more me than Robert Jordan, but it is something that we cut from A Memory of Light, just it didn't fit, pacing-wise, in the book.

 

 

 

 

BRANDON SANDERSON (PARAPHRASED)

Brandon specified that although it is Wheel of Time material, it cannot be considered 100% canon, because it was cut early enough that it did not get subjected to Maria's detailed continuity validation.

 

 

 

 

 

TEREZ

Because all this stuff is in the notes, right?

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

What's that? Oh, some of it is, not all of it.

 

TEREZ

Oh, well yeah, because I know you said you had to kind of....you know, extrapolate a little bit...

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

I had to extrapolate a lot of the Sharan culture and things, which is where "River of Souls" came from. At the end of the day, because I was extrapolating these things, that's what made them distracting from the main plotline, if that makes sense.

 

TEREZ

Mmm, yeah.

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

And so, a lot of what I was doing was like, it you know...all of Demandred's flunkies. Jim didn't name those; they're not in the notes...but I put them in because, you know, we have to evoke this entire two years of awesomeness....

 

TEREZ

Yeah, it can't just come out of nowhere, and be nothing.

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

Yeah, so there's that. But yeah, it was too much me, also.

 

TEREZ

Yeah...gotcha.

 

I'd say the general plot: Demandred in Shara gathering allies would be in the notes, beyond that, the specifics and extras are pretty much Brandon. 

 

Perhaps there was a note about the second most powerful sa'angreal, I couldn't say. If there was, it probably wouldn't extend much further than "Demandred acquires sa'angreal." 

 

You have to be careful when reading about what was and wasn't in the notes. There is a lot of confusion and misleading comments that have been made about the subject. Originally it seemed like the notes were pretty well documented and Brandon was only writing it. It has been revealed throughout the process that there is far less notes than it seemed. Not to say that Brandon was lying, or even intentionally misleading, just that there are inconsistencies and some comments are not entirely accurate. 


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#7 Suttree

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 06:18 AM

It's also important to make a distinction between world building notes and plot related notes(these were limited and sometimes contradictory). As Barid mentions the company line on what the plot notes were has changed a good deal throughout the course of the project.

Edit: I stand corrected on the name.


Edited by Suttree, 26 June 2013 - 08:58 AM.

Waves are the ultimate illusion. They come out of nowhere, instantaneously materialize, and just as quickly they break and vanish. Chasing after such fleeting mirages is a complete wast of time. That is what I choose to do with my life." - Miki Dora

 


 


#8 MauricXe

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 06:57 AM


 

Also, what was the "City of Dreams", and why did Mintel risk his soul to come to see Bao?  

 

Tel'aran'rhiod. He entered in the flesh...which is known to be dangerous.



#9 Peter Ahlstrom

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:40 AM

The name Sakarnen comes from Alan and it means "causer or instrument of greatest punishment" in the OT


Edited by Peter Ahlstrom, 26 June 2013 - 08:41 AM.


#10 Suttree

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:57 AM

The name Sakarnen comes from Alan and it means "causer or instrument of greatest punishment" in the OT

 

Thanks for that Peter.


Waves are the ultimate illusion. They come out of nowhere, instantaneously materialize, and just as quickly they break and vanish. Chasing after such fleeting mirages is a complete wast of time. That is what I choose to do with my life." - Miki Dora

 


 


#11 DottieGirl

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:58 AM

The name Sakarnen comes from Alan and it means "causer or instrument of greatest punishment" in the OT

Mr. Ahlstrom:

 

Thanks so much for the information!  Can you comment on whether Sakarnen (as an object of the One Power) was created by Mr. Sanderson or was perhaps out of Mr. Jordan's notes (say that Mr. Jordan's plan was to have Demandred come into possession of this second-most powerful sa'angreal)?

 

I appreciate the effort you and Mr. Sanderson have put into finishing the Wheel of Time series.



#12 Peter Ahlstrom

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:12 AM

I don't have any further comment on this.  :bela:



#13 Pandemonium

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 08:39 AM

I will never buy this non-canon fan-fiction, but how exactly did Demandred kill the Jumara and how did he kill the Nym?

 

This whole Shara back-story Brandon has written just seems pretty goofy.  I would really love to know why a whole country would be so afraid of the Dragon that would embrace the shadow.  I would also love to know how the prophecies became so mis-interpreted and/or corrupted. 



#14 Suttree

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 09:17 AM

  I would really love to know why a whole country would be so afraid of the Dragon that would embrace the shadow.  I would also love to know how the prophecies became so mis-interpreted and/or corrupted. 

 

Haven't read it but based on interviews he didn't unite the whole country. He had quite a few factions under his control, but not the whole country by a longshot. Also the prophecies seem to be a different set entirely(not just a corrupted version of the KC).


Waves are the ultimate illusion. They come out of nowhere, instantaneously materialize, and just as quickly they break and vanish. Chasing after such fleeting mirages is a complete wast of time. That is what I choose to do with my life." - Miki Dora

 


 


#15 Rhienne

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 11:44 AM

 

 

This whole Shara back-story Brandon has written just seems pretty goofy.  I would really love to know why a whole country would be so afraid of the Dragon that would embrace the shadow.  I would also love to know how the prophecies became so mis-interpreted and/or corrupted. 

Also haven't read it, but my impression was that the Sharan's who did follow Demandred did so because they thought he was fulfilling their prophecies of the Dragon.



#16 Aulduron

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:49 PM

Will this be available to print readers?


Whether the bear beats the wolf or the wolf beats the bear, the rabbit always loses. -Nynaeve al'Meara

#17 TinaHel

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:13 PM

I enjoyed reading it, even though I had hoped to learn more about Shara and Demandred´s time there. I think it could have fit into the story, maybe in the end of ToM or in the AMoL prologue. 


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#18 Peter Ahlstrom

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:49 AM

Will this be available to print readers?

It is available in hardcover, but right now can only be ordered via the Grim Oak Press website. And it may never go to bookstores.



#19 Aulduron

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:54 AM

Oh well. I was hoping to read it. Maybe I'll find it someday in a used book store.


Whether the bear beats the wolf or the wolf beats the bear, the rabbit always loses. -Nynaeve al'Meara

#20 Entreri

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:49 PM

Get the Kindle edition, far superior than any paper. And all the books are in Cloud, thus you never lose your stuff.