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"Dear Robert Jordan", A response to A Memory of Light

Posted by Jason on Sep 24 2012 10:00 AM under in A Memory of Light

Dear Robert Jordan,

Today I read your final book. The end of The Wheel of Time came to my hands nearly twenty years after I first picked up its beginning. It was a story well told, a story whose ending lived up to the promises made so very long ago. I’m writing in order to tell you a little about it.

What I’ve loved most about your grand story throughout the years is how true it is. Those who cherish the fantasy genre understand this. Within a story about fictitious people, in fictitious worlds, with conflicts that never actually happened, we have the opportunity to explore what makes us real. The Wheel of Time has, for me, and I suspect for thousands of others, done that better than any of its peers. One of its most fundamental lessons is that time is a wheel, and that endings are simply new beginnings if you have the courage to turn and look the other way.

When you died, I had the privilege to visit your home--your Charleston, your Two Rivers. I sat in your chair and looked at your beloved books. I breathed the air you breathed, and I understood a part of you. I met your friends and family, and saw how they defined yet another part. And so today, as I read the ending of your magnum opus, I yet again found a piece of you. In those final, beautiful moments, with tears in my eyes, I understood. I saw why you wanted to write the story. I see the point you were trying to make. And I laughed. It may not have been what people expected, but, to quote Stephen King, it was the right ending.

And a glorious one.

The Wheel of Time books have ended for me. I cannot deny the bittersweet emotions that brings. But a strong ending gives more meaning to the journey that came before it. Sure, I can pick apart small nuances of this final book that weren’t perfect. Some little parts may not have rung as true as they could have. But by and large, it delivered in a big way.

If only you could have seen the specific way in which it turned out. I loved each character’s ending, even if it made me cry. I celebrated victories and gasped at the raw, visceral failures. Rand and Egwene shined the brightest, as I could have only hoped and expected. And there’s that one chapter. Holy smokes, RJ. 50,000 words? Really? Wow.

You never met Brandon Sanderson; most likely never heard his name in your lifetime. But I can tell you, RJ, he did an amazing job. He was your steward, and carried your banner proudly into the maw of Shayol Ghul in order to ensure oblivion did not consume the series’ ending. You would’ve be so proud of him. I sure am. A lot of fans are. If you ever meet him, in an unknown place, time, or life, give him a hearty handshake of thanks, and buy him a beer some Magic cards.

You should also know that Maria and Alan, your assistants, remained faithful every step of the way. For five years they’ve painstakingly studied, analyzed, corrected, and loved this final book. As I read it, I could clearly see their influence, and I’m so thankful we had them. It wouldn’t have been this good without them. If it would have even been at all.

The fans, too, did their part. A small few helped with continuity, and a larger group honors your work every day through their service to the community and franchise. And yet another group, the largest, which spans the whole world, are fans who live and breathe your work. They share it with their friends. They strive to live up to the positive ideals you wrote about. They toast to your memory, and read your books to their children. They prove that a work of fantasy literature can inspire people of any nationality, religion, or political leaning to agree upon something they hold dear to their hearts.

Your various publishers have honored your memory by printing your books, and continually putting fresh paint (literally, in the case of the covers) on this series. They’ve sometimes faced criticism, but in the end did you proud. Tom Doherty and his team have led that charge. I spoke to Tom recently and he reminded me that he does it because he’s a fan and a friend of yours.

Finally, and most significantly of all, I want you to know that Harriet has been nothing short of amazing. You already know this in a way that I don’t need to describe, but her love for you is inspiring. She’s worked tirelessly since your passing to finish this book. She’s been your captain, and sailed the ship home. Next time I see her, I’ll give her a hug for you. I think a lot of other fans will, too.

The most extraordinary thing about all these people, from Harriet to the worldwide fans, is that collectively they underscore the very heart of this book. They prove that life truly imitates art, and vice versa. The Wheel of Time began with you. Its pages began with a single man walking down a ruined hallway. But in the end, the series proved bigger than you, and bigger than that man and his successor.

Yours is a story for the Ages. Some may criticize or belittle it, but its sheer scope and influence can’t be argued. The final pages may have been written, but it will live on in memory, community, and (let’s face it) franchise tie-ins. There are neither beginnings nor endings, right?

So, RJ, as I finish this letter that you’ll never read, I’m left only with final thanks. Thank you for sharing your vision with me. With all of us. For all the worldwide success and attention this book will bring, it still spoke to me on an intimate, personal level. Thank you for expressing the beauty of your life in these pages. Thank you for giving us what is quite simply the most epic ending to the grandest saga of our time.

Thank you for taking us upon a ride on the winds of time.

With sincerity, I remain,
Your Friend,
Jason Denzel


About A Memory of Light

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    Posted by Jason on Sep 24 2012 10:00 AM under in A Memory of Light


    Wow... Epic doesn't even begin to describe the feelings I have reading this; that someone has read the last book, someone not part of Team Jordan or named Brandon Sanderson. Excited and sad at the same time. I thought I would be salivating at ANY new news on the AMoL front, but now, I'm feeling introspective as to what the series has meant to me and how it's seen me through some of the best and worst times in my life. I cant wait to revel in the shared experience the final book will bring with all my friends here and across the world.

    Damn... It's almost here.
    And here I thought I couldn't be MORE jacked up to read it!!! I can't wait.
    Just Great!
    We are stronger together than we are apart, and by working together, we accomplish great things.

    I've always felt that's one of the central themes to this series, and it echoes here on this site, and in Team Jordan. This is RJ's vision, but bless everyone who helped to bring his idea to fruition. I'm sad to see the story finally end, but I'm also happy to see RJ's vision fulfilled.

    Thanks to Harriet, Maria, Alan, Jason, Team Jordan, Team Dragonmount, and most especially, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, for completing this turn of the wheel.

    Light shine upon you all!
    Writing to him was a very thoughtful idea. Can't think of a better way to show that respect than to talk to him on such a personal level.
    And yes, I admit, I teared up at the thought of RJ meeting Sanderson in another time. Maybe it because it's a sentiment that echoes his story, or maybe because it's a poignant enough thought anyway. But either way, your pride in remembering him is something we can all relate to. Great job, sir.
    Thank you, Jason. That was a beautifully written tribute to RJ.

    While I can't wait to see how it all ends, I can't believe that in just a couple months it will all be over. The series has been a part of me for more than half my life. Not that there won't be many rereads in my future. :) But it certainly will be great to see RJ's vision fulfilled.
    OMG!! JASON!!! You simply MUST tell us this one thing:

    Was the final word of the series "time" as previously hinted?
    Well said Jason. Well said.
    So say we all...or we would if we could read it now.
    Well spoken Jason. Thank you as well.
    Thank you Jason, this was quite profound and very touching..
    Absolutely beautiful Jason!

    (does this mean that it will come out sooner than January?)
    Tai'shar Dragonmount.
    Thanks Jason! And thank you Robert Jordan and everyone involved with bringing this story to a close.

    Tai'shar Dragonmount!
    Having met and shared a meal with Maria, Alan, and Harriet at Harriet and Jim's table, I can say that your bit on their dedication and heart for the series rings so true. They poured a lot of themselves into making this ending a reality, and I couldn't be more thankful for their hardwork.

    RJ left a true legacy that will live on. Rest in peace, good Sir.
    Thanks for posting Jason. That was a fantastic tribute to RJ, very thoughtful and inspiring. I imagine many of us will be penning similar letters to RJ once we have finished reading AMOL ;) As you said, the scope of the Wheel of Time crosses over so much of our lives. It has been a part of my life for 20 years so far, and look forward to the Wheel living on in other formats. Thanks again!
    I sit here after reading this with trepidation, a fear that soon an integral part of my library and life will soon come to an end. I've been counting down the days till January waiting for the time when I get my hands on THE book, but also the nervous tension that I will feel when I start to read it.

    Like all books I will skim read it first, just so that I can get through the story, then straight away I will start again, read it thoroughly, take my time to immerse myself completely into what I regard as the book of an age!!!!

    Over the last few years I've had one wrench after another, first there was Gemmell, then there was YOU and finally there was Eddings, three of my top three authors had passed away in the space of 3 years, but I always had the safety net that I could continue reading your books. now that time is coming to an end and I wait with baited breath till the day I read that LAST word.
    A letter that I think that almost any wheel of time fan would wish to be able to deliver to the members of Team Jordan or even the man himself.

    Thank you Jason for putting together such an eloquent piece of writing that expresses yours and so many others respect and admiration of this series, the author himself, and the tireless work he and so many others have put in and gave up to bring to us one of the best (and I do not say this because this is dragonmount, but my favorite series of books bar none) stories ever told.
    OMG!!! Can't wait.
    Bravo Jason. I felt much the same as I closed the last page. Well done to the fans, Alan, Maria, Marcia, Brandon, and especially to the Sister I gained via Jim's good taste and salesmanship, Harriet. Love and miss you Bubba! Wilson, Brother/Cousin, 4th of 3
    Thank you.

    Who the heck is Jason? Why does he get to read aMoL before the rest of us? Obviously the book is done, release it already, why wait another 4 months? digital copies dont need printing. Scan the pages, make a pdf file and send it on the internet.
    That's a beautiful letter, and it sums up my feelings, although I haven't read the last book yet. Thanks for being the voice of so many fans. I truly wish we could still talk to Robert Jordan.
    That was such an amazing piece to read. Thank you and to all who made these final books possible (Harriet, Maria, Alan, Wilson, Brandon, etc)

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