"I of course have zero evidence for this, but since when has that stopped any of us?" -- David Wren-Hardin
"Surprising what you can dig out of books if you read long enough, isn't it?" -- Rand Al'Thor
This version of the WOTFAQ was initially published in October, 2010.
Introduction to the WOTFAQ-- a Word from the FAQueen
This is the Wheel of Time Wondrous Masterpiece of Assembled Knowledge, Theories, and Discussion (a.k.a. The Frequently Asked Questions compendium). Up until the publication of the 11th book in the series, Knife of Dreams, the WOTFAQ was edited and maintained by me, Leigh Butler; since then it has been passed into the admirable keeping of Jennifer Liang and the folks at Dragonmount. All Hail the FAQing Amyrlin Seat!
The FAQ was originally based on discussion of The Wheel of Time series on the Usenet group rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan, as well as some personal correspondence, and a few other sources on the Web; it now includes contributions from many different people and sources in the online Wheel of Time fandom community.
This version of the WOTFAQ (v8.0) contains lots of SPOILERS for all books of the Wheel of Time, up to and including Book 12, The Gathering Storm. If you haven't read, don't read.
Standard Reference Format: [Book Abbreviation: Chapter Number, Chapter Name, Tor HC page number]
A Note from the New Regime
This is a different WOTFAQ than what you've seen previously. The changes aren't just cosmetic. The home community has shifted and there's a new editor in town. I know some of the changes made will ruffle feathers. Too bad. I have done my best to honor the work of previous FAQueens while also keeping the mandate that this is a living document that has to grow and update.
Also of note, because I know it will be asked, this WOTFAQ is based entirely on questions that were asked frequently and the most commonly proposed theories. This means there is a high chance that your pet theory is not represented. Even though I have been a beta reader for both The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight, there are no spoilers or secret, hidden knowledge contained wherein. If I thought there might be even be a slight chance of personal bias or insider knowledge creeping into an article, I asked someone else to write it. I used only the most commonly available sources for reference material. At no point did I attempt to contact anyone from Team Jordan or Team Sanderson for plot related information. There are no "cheats" in this version of the FAQ.
The Wheel of Time FAQ (WOTFAQ) contains writing by many authors. The individual authors hold copyright to their respective contributions, as cited in the text. The Wheel of Time books, and all quotations therefrom, are Copyright 1990-2010 by the Bandersnatch Group. The Wheel of Time chapter icons are by Matthew C. Nielsen, and are Copyright 1990-2000 by Tor Books, used with their gracious permission. Unattributed material in the WOTFAQ is Copyright 2010 by Jennifer Liang, Leigh Butler, Pamela Korda and Erica Sadun. This version of the WOTFAQ is Copyright 2010 by Dragonmount.com, Leigh Butler, Pamela Korda and Erica Sadun.
What does all that mean? You may not distribute the WOTFAQ in any form, in whole or in part, without written permission from Dragonmount.com. You certainly may not claim any part of the WOTFAQ as your own work, unless, of course, you wrote that part. You may print out a copy of the WOTFAQ for your own personal use. You may keep a copy of the WOTFAQ on your own computer for your personal use, provided that you don't distribute it. For example, you may not make the WOTFAQ available on your web page without permission. You may link to the WOTFAQ from your web page.
You may quote short portions of it as reference material, provided that you provide proper citation and credit.
For more information about copyright law, see:
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FAQing Amyrlin Seat: Jennifer Liang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
FAQueen & Former Keeper of the Chronicles (previous FAQ Maintainer): Leigh Butler
FAQueen Emeritus: Pam Korda
Master of the Blades (Original Site Design): Matthew Hunter.
Mother of the FAQ (Originator of the WOTFAQ): Erica Sadun.
Advertisement-free Web space courtesy of: Dragonmount.com / Argonaut Media. Site redirects for legacy links courtesy of: Rick Möen (original site); Alistair Young (UK mirrors); Maggie Brazeau and David Scotton (US mirror); and Kate Nepveu (2nd US mirror).
Leigh’s List of FAQing Awesome People: The following people were instrumental in getting (and keeping) the FAQ up and running during the years I maintained it: Kevin Bartlett, Richard Boyé, Maggie Brazeau, Steven Cooper, Jeff Dougan, Bill Garrett, Hawk, Evan “Skwid” Langlinais, Duncan Macdonald, Rick Möen, Kate Nepveu, Karl-Johan Norén, John S. Novak III, Pat O’Connell, Daniel Posey, David Scotton, Kjell Stahl, Jennifer Winters, Alistair Young, and of course my predecessor, Pam Korda. Without their help the FAQ would not have been possible. Thanks also go, naturally, to Jennifer Liang and Jason Denzel, whose efforts are ensuring that this rather remarkable document lives on in fandom. Y’all all rock.
Jennifer's List of FAQing Terrific People: (AKA "These People Exist Solely to Keep me from Looking Dumb"): Working on the WOTFAQ has been a wonderful experience. It would have been considerably less wonderful without help from the incredible folks who helped out along the way. Particular thanks go to James "Luckers" Luckman, whose fingerprints are all over this nearly as much as mine; Matt Hatch, Looney Theorist-in-Chief; and Linda Taglieri's keen eye for detail. Smaller (but in no way lesser) contributions were made by Dominic, Majsju and Sela. A deep debt of gratitude goes to Bob Klutz for maintaining Encyclopedia WoT, which kept me from endless flipping through my paperbacks for references. Special thanks go to Ben "Valorian" Gundersen who offered technical advice on using and abusing Drupal for this project and to Laura Negin who assisted with the copyediting. As always, thanks to Jason Denzel, without whom none of this would be possible. I'd be remiss if I didn't also thank my husband, Jimmy. He did absolutely no work on the WOTFAQ whatsoever, but gamely puts up with late dinners and unfolded laundry whenever I'm facedown in fandom. You can buy him a drink at JordanCon.
All Contributors Great and Small
Jose Abrigo * Megan Aguiar * Nevin Aiken * Dylan Flynn "Easing the Badger" Alexander * Zareh Amirian * Chris Anderson * Joe Armao * Michael Arnett * Hugh Arai * Sandy Armstrong * Keith Aschinger * R. Nathanial Azinger * Will Baird * Maia Bakroeva * Glen Justin Balmer * Charles J. Barbec * Chris Barrera * Kevin Bartlett * Tony Bartling * Daniel Bartlett * Scott Bateman * Rob Bauer * Brian Bax * Lara Beaton * Guillaume Bergeron * Aaron Bergman * Alice Bergmann * Jonathan Berlinghoff * Alex Bertran * Tim Biddulph * John Walter Biles * Young Blandford * Aaron Bourque * Jamie Bowden * Philip Bowles * Richard Boyé * Chris Bradley * Maggie Brazeau * Mark Brimicombe * Bill E. Brooks * Jean-Luc Brouillet * Michael Brown * Timothy S. "Timmy" Bruening * J.P. Bryan * Charles Buckley * Jason Burrone * Stewart S. Bushman * Elizabeth Butler * Leigh Butler * Arthur Bernard Byrne * Shawn Cady * Adam Canning * William Carew * Paul W. Cashman * Keith Casner * Christopher Lee Cavender * Kenneth Cavness * Randy Cerveny * David Chapman * Javier Chiossi * Alistair Chiu * Dennis Hohn-Chong Cho * Dustin Clayton * Sarah Coit * Damien Cole * Douglas Cole * Rachel Collier * Ciaran Conliffe * Mary Conner * Steve Cook * Steven Cooper * Elizabeth Cornwell * Aaron Cote * Patrick Cotrona * Dave Crisp * Jennifer Cross * Simon Cullen * Brian Cuocci * Josip Cvetkovic * Mike Dady * Robert Dahm * Ruchira Datta * Amish Dave * Kyle Davis * Yancy Davis * Steve Deffeyes * Dave "Walls of Books" DeLaney * Tobias Denig * Jason Denzel * C. Matt Detzel * Chris Dewey * Trevor Dewey * Jeremey Dobbins * Jeff Dougan * Matthew Doyle * Jean Dufresne * Scott Dwiggins * Roderick Easton * Eric Ebinger * Bryan Ecker * Mike "Kutulu" Edenfield * Richard Edwards * Oren Eini * Ben Elgin * Alan Ellingson * Maccabeus Epimanes * Mark Erikson * Tony Evans * Jain Farstrider * J. R. Feehan * Colin Fishy * Chris Flora * Courtenay Footman * David Forbes * Jim "Robin Jim" Ford * Michel Forget * Matthew Forrester * Susan Frager * Will Frank * Dennis M. Freeman * M.C. Friddle * Jeff Fullmer * Eric Fulton * Carolyn Fusinato * A. M. Gabutero * Christian M. Gadeken * Konrad Gaertner * Devin L. Ganger * Bruce Garner * Bill Garrett * Stefan Gelow * Helmut Geyer * Judy "Very Small Animal" Ghirardelli * Bob Gibson * Drew Gillmore * Joel Gilmore * Steve Ginter * Alfred Glass * Jocelyn "who is not Kathleen" Goldfein * Michael Gonzalez * Ben Goodman * Stephen Graham * Aaron Gray * Amy Gray * Gary Greenbaum * Michael Guenther * Johan Gustafsson * Matthew Hackell * Michelle Haines * Basil Halhed * John "JSH" Hamby * Chris Hammock * Jeff Han * Michael Hanneman * John C. Hansen * Kay-Arne Hansen * Stephen J. Hardy * Don Harlow * Hawk * John Hawkinson * Mark Hazen * Walter Hedges * Nathan Hendrix * Clint Hepner * Matthew Heslin * Keith Higginson * Josh Hildreth * Steven Hillage * Captain Commander Sean Hillyard * John Hills * Tony Ho * Bob Hofmann * Dave Holman * Drew Holton * Melissa Horn * Thomas Howard * Justin Howell * Mike Hoye * Ho-Sheng Hsiao * James Huckaby * Eugene Hung * Matthew Hunter * Shawn Hurley * Adrienne Huston * John Ireland * Timothy Itnyre * Jasper Janssen * James Jen * John Johnson * Robert Jordan (duh.) * Christopher Kane * Robert Kelley * Mike Kelly * Daniel John Kelly-Harrity * David "Wee Dave" Kennedy * Iain Kerr * Jacob Kesinger * Paul Khangure * Marina Kishkovich * Bob Kluttz * Koby Kobia * Tanya Koenig * Pamela Korda * Jason Kraftcheck * Paul Krasicky * Lars Kremers * Bill Kte'pi * Tyler Langenkamp * Evan "Skwid" Langlinais * Michael Lauzon * Mike Lawson * Hank Lee * Andrea Leistra * Mike Lemons * Eric Lesch * Craig Martin Levin * Shen Kiat Lim * Bo Lindbergh * Paul Lints * Edward Liu * Mark Looi * Mark "Robe Thrown Recklessly Open" Loy * Mike "Sir MPS" Macchione * Duncan Macdonald * Shayne Macfarlane * Benjamin Magno * Ted Maire * Cameron Majidi * Luke Mankin * Jim Mann * Jim Mansfield * Guyang "Alex" Mao * Michael Martin * Alisa Marshall* Stephanie Mason * Kyle Matthews * Fairfax McCandlish * Bill McCarthy * Michael McCarthy * Tom McCormick * Sean T. McCulloch * Sam McGee * Jamie McKinney * Edward Measure * Robert Mee * Roxanne Meida * Karan Mehra * Kelley Miles * Shane Miller * Tim Mixdorf * Scott Mocklin * Craig Moe * Kurt Montadon * Kevin P. Mooney * Don Morgan * Joe Morris * James Morrison * David Mortman * Rajiv Mote * Michael Mueller * Jennifer Myak * Roy Navarre * Kate Nepveu * Christian Neubauer * Michael Nielsen * Patrick Nielsen Hayden * Sean C. Nolan * Karl-Johan Norén * John S. Novak III, The Humblest Man on the Net * Emmet O'Brien * Pat O'Connell * Sean O'Hara * Michael J. O'Malley * Chad "Oilcan" Orzel * Daniel "Zippy" O'Toole * Erin O'Toole * Alex Outhred * Oleg Ozerov * Anthony Padilla * Alex Paradi * Marcel Parent * Laura M. Parkinson * Rimesh Patel * Simon Patterson * Emma Pease * Mark Perry * Rhonda Peters * Thomas Petersen * Teri Pettit * George D. Phillies * Jim Phillips * John Pickett * Sonja Pieper * Piglet * Eric C. Piquette * Richard Pistole * Greg Pobst * Owen Pope * Johan Poppe * Daniel Posey * Heikki Poso * Kathy Putnam * Jamie Quinn * Jeffrey Scott Raglin * Bret C. Rediker * Sebastian Redl * Peter Reid * Brian Ritchie * Janet Rolsma * Daniel Rose * Joseph Rosenfeld * Dave Rothgery * John Rowat * Chris Russo * Burr Rutledge * Johannes Rydh * Erica Sadun * Kevin Samborn * Jared Samet * Marc Sanders * Eric Saunders * Ulrich Schade * Feisal Schlee * Michael Schmidt * Jeff Schneiter * Morgan Donald Scott * Nathan Scott * John Seehafer * Rafael R. Sevilla * Viren Shah * Jim Shaw * Joe "Uno" Shaw * Vivienne Shen * Zach Simpson * Jimmy Sjöberg * Joseph Slonimsky * Peter Smalley * Will Smit * Jeff Smith * Sheryl Smith * William Smith * Daniel "Ford" Sohl * Scott Spiegelberg * Kjell Stahl * Vic Stallion * Doug Stanley * S. Stark * Michael "Darkelf" Steeves * William Stewart * Brian Sullivan * John Stopford * Charles L. Stuart * Jeff Taylor * Martin Terman * Julius T. Thiele * Aline Thompson * Elayne Thompson * Ilya Tillekens * J. Tinney * Drew Tipson * Billy Todd * Leo Tokarski * Preston Toliver * Carl Traber * David Ulaeto * Fred Van Keuls * Jonathan Vaught * Sven Venema * Jonathan Vessey * Ville Virrankoski * Binh Vo * David Vogt * Goetz Von Berlichingen * Paul Ward * Ken Warkentyne * Bryon Wasserman * Warren Way * Olaf Weber * Luke Weigel * Michael Werle * Dash Wendrzyk * Amnon Wenger * Myranya Werlemann * Katrina Werpetinski * Kelly West * Greg Wheatley * Jon Wheeler * William Whitesman * Jay Wiggins * Therese Wikström * Brian Williams * G. Williams * Windsor Williams * Chris Wilson * Jennifer Winters * Aaron Wong * Edmund Wong * Bill Woolsey * David Wren-Hardin * Gabriel Wright * Jonathan "Nelno the Amoeba" Wright * Donal Wyckoff * Tony Yoder * Tim Yoon * Tom York * Jeremy Yoskowitz * Alistair Young * Matthew Young * Jeffrey Yu * Sydo Zandstra * Marc Zappala * Tony Zbaraschuk * Matthew Zimmer