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Answers to a Few MAFO Questions


Posted by Mashiara Sedai on Oct 12 2013 06:30 PM under in A Memory of Light

There are quite a few questions that were asked over the past year or so, since the release of A Memory of Light, that have been given a "MAFO" (Maria and Find Out) instead of the usual "RAFO" (Read and Find Out).  Basically, whoever answered--be it Brandon Sanderson or even Harriet McDougal--said there might be more details in Robert Jordan's notes, and one of his assistants could be able to supply more information.  There are twenty-three questions that Maria was asked, and she elaborates on many of them.  Enjoy!

[Note: Maria's answers are in red.]


Question One
Luckers: Who was behind the attack on Demira Sedai?

Brandon: MAFO

That was Padan Fain and his corrupted Whitecloaks. (I gave this answer to James earlier, but I don’t know if he disseminated it.)

Question Two

Luckers: Can someone who is leashed by an a’dam touch Tel’aran’rhiod?

Brandon: *blinks at me* Umm. That’s a really good question.

Luckers: I ask, because it’s odd that Moghedien never tried to use the dream to escape, or to capture someone in Salidar and compel her to free Moghedien in the waking world, or anything like that.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s a good question. I’d guess no, but you can MAFO that.


I believe that you cannot touch Tel’aran’rhiod while leashed, but I can’t find anything in the notes that states so outright.

Question Three

Luckers: Okay, so the warding on the Great Holding in Tear… it’s just, Moiraine, Mat, Rand, the Wonder Girls, all come and go with ease, yet Mesaana speaks of there being a nasty warding that stopped her getting in, and there is no sign that Be’lal… I mean, why wouldn’t Be’lal have taken the fat man angreal?

Brandon: *nodding before I finished* MAFO. That was something I was going to look into myself, because it stumped me during my last re-read.


It is my understanding that Rand put that warding on when he was getting ready to leave Tear. As for Be’lal . . . well, he was one of the Chosen; what need had he of an angreal to go up against an untrained sheepherder? That’s my best guess, anyway.

Question Four

Luckers: Sammael claims to have a truce with Rand, even though we see Rand turn him down. Was Sammael lying, or did…

Brandon: I’m fairly sure he was lying. As in, I’ve seen something in the notes at one point, and I’m pretty sure it was… but my memory being what it is, I will say you can MAFO that. But I’m pretty sure he was lying.


Sammael was lying in an attempt to manipulate Graendal. (the other one that I gave to Luckers before)

Question Five

Luckers: What was the stylized raven that Min viewed around Carlinya?

Brandon: I thought that had already been answered. Did Jim not answer this?

Luckers: No. Everyone thought it referred to Carlinya being da’covale to the Empress. But no, it hasn’t been answered.

Brandon: Oh. Oh, okay. Well, I will RAFO/MAFO it. You can email Maria and me about it, but I may have to RAFO it.

--Note: This is the question I asked in relation to my critique email.

--Also, I fixed up the horrid formatting of my previous email, with apologies.  

The raven is a symbol of the Dark One as well as the Seanchan; Carlinya was killed fighting the Black Ajah.

Question Six (this question was misquoted the first time it was answered)

Original Line of Question
Roga: Does Elayne know that Alanna bonded Rand?

Brandon:  Ah...well...I'll have to check that. MAFO. Good question.

Maria: From Winter’s Heart, chapter 12, Rand speaking to Elayne, Aviendha, and Min: “Anyway, Alanna Mosvani got there ahead of you, and she didn’t bother asking . . . I’ve been bonded to her for months now.”

Actual Question
Roga: If this question came from the Dallas signing, then it was from me. I asked about Egwene. The reason behind the question was, I wanted to know: if Alanna's name had been on Verin's list in The Gathering Storm, would Egwene have passed over it? However, Brandon pointed out that Verin knew about the bond, so unless she had some reason to keep quiet, I'd think she should've made some kind of special warning note if Alanna had been in her list.

Egwene did not know.

Question Seven

Terez:  There is one case in which I suspect that RJ gave an Aes Sedai answer and the reporter may not have gotten it exactly. Question: Was Else always Lanfear? RJ Answer: No. Else did exist as a separate human but was played by Lanfear after Else was expelled. Terez Question: Strange, because of the personality 'Else' showed, and the Tear trap being Mesaana's trap, not Lanfear's. Any comment?

Brandon: MAFO

I cannot find anything to clarify the question.

Question  Eight

Terez: I thought of a Lan question. Did Elyas really teach Lan anything about the Blight? Or was that a TEOTWism? I have a feeling you are going to MAFO that. Does @MariaLSimons play Magic? Surely we can bribe her with something.

Brandon: I've never questioned that one, so I haven't thought to ask about it or look it up. Is there a reason I should wonder?

Terez: Only that Lan was practically raised in the Blight by the Malkieri. Wouldn't think Elyas could teach him much about it.

Brandon: That is a good point. I'll go ahead and do as you said and MAFO that one. You might be right; might be an EoTWism.

I can’t find anything to clarify this, either. I will just offer up anecdote: I have been reading WoT for 22 years, and went to work for its creator over 17 years ago. I could be said to live and breathe The Wheel of Time. But Terez has taught me much about WoT. It could be a TEOTWism, or Lan could have been thinking of some very specific things that Elyas shared that he found helpful.

Question Nine

Could thirteen Aes Sedai linked shield Rand while he was channeling using Callandor? What about with Choedan Kal at full power?

I really don’t think so, for either, but I cannot find it specifically stated.

Question Ten

How many rounds are there in the Age of Legends game sha'rah?

I don’t know.

Question Eleven

Question: Can you clear up the timeline issues? How do Mat, Perrin, Rand, and Egwene all match up in the timeline?

Brandon: The Gathering Storm begins sometime in April. It ends around the end of June/beginning of July. However, Perrin advanced very little—only about two weeks. Mat advanced a bit more, but was still about a month behind Rand and Egwene (this gets an asterisk as a MAFO), but Mat traveled to Caemlyn about 30 days before the end of the book—he emphasized 30 days and asked if I understood the significance of that—I said that I do. (Interpretation: Mat will open Verin’s letter very early in Towers of Midnight). Tuon's timeline jumps around the most. In Knife of Dreams, she ended about a month ahead of everyone else. There were probably (MAFO) about two weeks between her meeting with Rand and the launch of the attack on the White Tower.

 That sounds about right to me.

Question Twelve

Question: When I was in line, I asked Brandon and Harriet (mostly Harriet, since she was signing my books) if the Andoran royal line is descended from Rand's Aiel line (see this post).

 Harriet: I got a lovely smile from Harriet that told me she was pleased that someone had finally figured that out, and she said that she believes I am exactly right about that. She was a little sketchy on the details, though, and so was Brandon, so Brandon said it was essentially a MAFO. So I talked to Maria after that session, and she was taking a break so I didn't want to ask her about it just then, so I asked her if I could message her about it, and the other MAFO we got today, and she said yes, so I will hopefully be hearing more about that soon. Brandon asked me not to put that one in the interview database until I hear from Maria about it.

Oops. I really have been terribly slow with these. I can’t find anything that says yea or nay on this one.

Question Thirteen

Who thought up the mindtrap? Any circumstances you can divulge...?

I know nothing.

Question Fourteen

Can a Dreamer access Tel'aran'rhiod if trapped by the 'Finns?

I don’t know. I don’t think so, but I can’t back that up.

Question Fifteen

What did Cadsuane use to blackmail Flinn, Narishma, and Manfor?

A quote from the notes: “For the men, it would have been at least partly a matter of blackmail. They are distrusting of Rand, and also of Taim to various degrees; none thinks it’s safe to go back to the Black Tower; they are known in Cairhien as men who can channel, and also elsewhere, making them marked to an extent, at least on their own.”

So it wasn’t anything really hidden, it was just “let us bond you and we’ll help you; otherwise you’re all on your own.” And it was Hopwil, not Manfor, who was in the first group bonded.

Question  Sixteen

Are there any rogue Heroes of the Horn? [as in] if a Hero was acting intentionally or not to either advance the goals of the Shadow or to interfere with the actions of other Heroes.

Brandon: I do not know of any. We can MAFO it, but I'm pretty sure that there are none doing that. They don't all get along, mind you. But I don't believe any of them are Darkfriends.

There are no rogue Heroes of the Horn.

Question  Seventeen

Why did Fain say he had to go to Caemlyn first before the White Tower, though he actually went to the White Tower then Caemlyn (as least as far as we see in the books)?

The next time we see him he is in Tar Valon, it is true, but that doesn't mean he didn't stop by Caemlyn on the way.  He could have gone to Caemlyn before Tar Valon, although the timing would be rather tight, I think. There are other possibilities: he intended to go to Caemlyn, somehow learned Rahvin was there, and decided to skip that for the time being. Or he intended to go to Caemlyn, but his baser instincts prevailed and he decided to get his dagger first. I can't find a solid answer.

Question Eighteen

Did Nynaeve realize that Suroth was a Darkfriend from their meeting in Falme, and if so, why didn't she warn Rand after he got the invitation from her?

I think that with the Seanchan being as they were, Nynaeve might not assume that one who does something such as this would have to be a Darkfriend; the Seanchan are different--they collar women who can channel and own other people, two things that most Randlanders find evil. So I can see Nynaeve not making the connection. Egwene and Min were a little distracted at the time, being collared and almost killed, so I can see it not making the impact on them that it does on readers.

Question Nineteen

Why didn't the Seanchan invade Ghealdan?

From Alan: Their plan was to push east quickly through Illian and eventually sweep north into Andor and beyond.  Ghealdan was not a military threat to them for the time being, and it would fall easily to them once they had consolidated control of the southeast.  There are only so many fronts on which an army wishes, or should wish, to fight simultaneously, even an army of great strength.  History is littered with the corpses of generals who made that mistake.

Question Twenty

How many of the Heroes of the Horn are currently "in the flesh"?

Oh, the passage of time. If I had answered these back when I should have, I would have RAFOed. But now that AMoL is out, at least I will say that there are fewer than there were. I don’t have hard numbers on all the heroes.

Question Twenty-One

How did the Eye of the World's location move about?

I don’t know.

Question Twenty-Two

 How Moiraine is able to able to learn which Forsaken is in power in Tear and Illian in The Dragon Reborn?

I’ve always assumed research, research, research. I have no better answer.

Question Twenty-Three

When Lan tracked down Myrelle in Lord of Chaos, she used the bond to Compel him to come to her, in such a way that he wouldn't detect it. Did she have to use the bond to seduce Lan, or did he just go along because he didn't have anything better to do?

The question poses a false dichotomous argument: was Lan "seduced" by the bond or did he have nothing better to do?  Suffice to say that Lan was psychologically devastated at this point--not in his right mind, his will to live shattered.  Myrelle took control of him to save his life; he really had no choice in the matter.   And here’s a quote from the notes for you: “She had to use the bond to compel [notice lower case here] him, sometimes, which she found both odd and somewhat insulting.”  But one has to put this in the context of her other Warders, who eagerly complied with her desires, carnal or otherwise.

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Posted by Mashiara Sedai on Oct 12 2013 06:30 PM under in A Memory of Light

2 Comments

Here is some detail on how these answers were added to the database.  Thanks for the report!

That was interesting



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