SPOILER LIVES! Now, clearly I’m not going to mention any names until after a spoiler warning. However a new secret from The Wheel of Time shocks fans. Brandon Sanderson, the author who finished The Wheel of Time after the death of creator Robert Jordan, has revealed his final secret. This weekend saw the 10th anniversary of the release of the final book in The Wheel of Time saga, A Memory of Light. Sanderson took part in a live-stream at The Dusty Wheel this weekend and fans had already been teased with a secret. As a fan of the series, I watched the stream live and I was suitably surprised like the rest of the fans base. It goes without saying that this article will discuss SPOILERS from the very last book in The Wheel of Time. Therefore if you are reading the series now, or hoping the TV series eventually gets to this point, better come back and read this one later.
A Memory of Light SPOILER WARNING! SPOILER LIVES!
You can catch the recording of the stream above if you prefer. If you are interested in the whole how and why of this, I do suggest you watch the stream for the full details plus some other interesting questions posed to Sanderson. However if you just want the headline notes, here it is.
Now, if like me this makes almost no sense on it’s own, don’t worry too much. The fate of Lanfear as far as 99% of the fans were concerned, was that she was killed by Perrin in the dreamworld. However as the story goes, Sanderson was having a meal with The Dusty Wheel host Matt Hatch just before A Memory of Light was released. Matt was a beta reader for the series and as such had already read the book and been allowed to pass back notes. Sanderson over a meal told Matt he would answer any question he wanted to know about The Wheel of Time. Matt asked Sanderson if Lanfear was really alive, to which Sanderson said, yes. Matt, a huge Lanfear fan, had given notes during the beta process that he didn’t buy Lanfear’s end. Sanderson confirmed he was correct and explained his reasons. Essentially Sanderson tried to imagine what would be the best possible outcome for Lanfear and he engineered that into the plot. i.e. for Lanfear, the best solution is for the Light to win the final battle, but for everyone to believe she is dead. This would be her only possible ‘win state’. So Lanfear manipulates Perrin into believing he cannot be compelled inside the dreamworld. In doing so she makes Perrin believe he has killed her. A perfect witness to her death.
However, as said above, this was not easy to spot. It seems Matt Hatch himself was one of the very few fans who actually picked up on the tells. Hatch has sat on this secret now for over 10 years, even when discussing theories with fellow fans. Sanderson also explained how the plot was fully approved by Team Jordan, who represented the late author during the writing of the finale. Sanderson also sent e mails to Jordan’s wife Harriet confirming this plot. Brandon anticipated fans would not believe this was planned all along. That was a wise move. Once the news broke, many fans who had not watched the stream immediately claimed this was a ret-con that was never planned. Now that’s not to say all the fans are happy even wen they know the full story. Some fans love this reveal and can’t wait to red again and work it all out. Others hate it and think the fact that no readers could work it out means it wasn’t planned out fully. I’ll admit I’d need to re-read those last three books written by Sanderson to form a final opinion. However I do think it’s cool either way and in no way spoils the story for me as a fan.
Sequels That Will Never Be
Sadly we will likely never get sequels to The Wheel of Time. However there was a series planned by Jordan prior to his death. The planned ‘Outrigger’ stories would have focused on Matt and his experiences in Seanchan with his wife, Empress Tuon. However Perrin would have also been involved. In Sanderson’s mind he see’s Lanfear potentially playing a part in these sequels. However Sanderson says this as a fan, rather than a creator. The offer to write those sequel was rejected by Sanderson. According to him, there just wasn’t enough of Robert Jordan’s own notes. It would therefore be fan fiction of what Sanderson wanted to see happen rather than the way Jordan intended it. There’s always the chance someone else takes up the offer Sanderson rejected in the future. Especially if the TV show does well and concludes the story as a hit series. However that all remains to be seen and I find it highly unlikely for a long time. Perhaps Robert Jordan would have concluded Lanfear’s arc another way? However her fate was not one of the details Jordan was able to share before his death. The one thing we can be sure of though is that the story ended the main conflict in the way Jordan had laid out. He even wrote the final pages himself long before his death. That means Jordan took the secret of how Rand lights the pipe at the end to his grave. Though, it’s good to still have some mysteries. It is fascinating to watch Sanderson discuss all this on the stream, do yourself a favor and watch it. So, Lanfear lives! What do you think of this new secret from The Wheel of Time book series? Feel free to leave any thoughts below.
Have you checked out LRM Online’s official podcast feed yet The Genreverse Podcast Network? This includes our premiere podcast The Daily CoG, Breaking Geek Radio: The Podcast, GeekScholars Movie News, Nerd Flix & Chill, Marvel Multiverse Mondays, Anime-Versal Review Podcast, and our Star Wars dedicated podcast The Cantina. Check it out by listening below. It's also available on all your favorite podcast apps! Subscribe on:Apple Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud | Stitcher | Google Play