Celebrating the release of Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings and WoT 13: Towers of Midnight
When will we find out about the #TWoK surprise?
Soon. It's probably going to be Wheel of Time related.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Internet Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind broke somewhere in the general direction of Brandon Sanderson's Twitter feed. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
The prize was a free preview of Chapter 8 of Towers of Midnight, a month and a half before the book's release, and about five days before the e-book release of the prologue, 'Distinctions', but the hunt itself was a smashing success that brought the WoT fandom together in unprecedented ways.
This hunt is Brandon's brainchild, though he told me (Terez) in Decatur that his brother (@monkeysloth on Twitter) helped him out quite a bit (and that they worked very hard on it), and he told Bob Gibson in Raleigh that he had to convince Tor to do it, but the response has really exceeded everyone's expectations.
The hunt goes like this: he's going to be dropping bumper stickers in random locations on his tour for The Way of Kings. The bumper stickers look like the above image (stolen from Tor), and they have codes written on the back of them. We figured out pretty quickly that the codes are chapter names from Towers of Midnight! Usually Tor releases a list of them right before the release of the book; this is a fun way to dribble them out, and when we're done, we'll have another secret to read! There are 57 chapters plus an prologue and an epilogue, but Peter Ahlstrom (Brandon's assistant) said that the prologue was not included because its title had already been revealed, and Brandon said this: 'There are fewer than 50 codes; what they reveal isn't tied to the code itself but to how many have been entered. So if code 5 were entered after code 3, the fourth level of reveals would be made. When 4 is entered, it would reveal the next level in line.' On September 11 Brandon said: 'End of the hunt draws near. Sometime next week, probably. Ending codes reveal far more than early. Last code unlocks a great deal.' On September 15, he added that all clues are now photo-locked (we had guessed 18, but they wouldn't unlock it), and that there were 40 codes to begin with, and only 30 were required to unlock the preview.
This page is designed to keep everyone up-to-date on the open clues and revealed codes along with details on how they were obtained and what the chapter names might mean. Happily, Brandon seems to approve, and Peter also linked this page in a blog update on Brandon's site. Yay! It is a living document (ha!) and will inevitably change chaotically as the Hunt progresses. Please email me if you have been involved in finding/guessing a code and you do not see your name here, or if you have anything else pertinent to say.
The codes are entered also on Brandon's website. They are NOT case-sensitive, it is NOT against the rules to guess chapter names, and no purchase is necessary. There ARE duplicates of all the codes, so it's no sweat if someone clueless finds a clue. Each code unlocks a character; at the moment, it looks like a Mat POV. Also, check out a detailed analysis of the cipher reveals by webbles at Theoryland. SnhoJ on Twitter also sent me a list to help me keep track of the revealed letters here.
Tamyrlin (bossman of Theoryland) and Camel (also of Theoryland) have made a very awesome search engine that contains all of the failed codes so that we can check our guesses before entering them to see if they've already been tried. To help us out, please report your guesses - whether failed or successful! - on Twitter #wotgh, on this spreadsheet made by Ruchita, on Theoryland, or on Dragonmount. You can also email TamyrlinATtheoryland.com to report. To aid in your guessing, use this list of all the WoT chapter titles by book/chapter to get a feel for Harriet's style (special thanks to Rob Trotter aka Shadar for making the spreadsheet). Or you can use an alphabetical list by cloglord if you prefer.
PROLOGUE - Distinctions
CHAPTER: 8 - The Seven-Striped lass
UNKNOWN NUMBER (ordered by clue number):
1. Questions of Leadership
2. The Pattern Groans
3. Questioning Intentions
4. Lighter Than A Feather
5. Blood In The Air
6. After the Taint
7. An Unexpected Letter
8. An Empty Ink Bottle
9. For What Has Been Wrought
10. Use a Pebble
12. Partings, and A Meeting
13. The Strength of This Place
14. Talk of Dragons
16. The End of a Legend
17. To Make A Stand
18. A Call To Stand
19. A Terrible Feeling
20. Men Dream Here
21. Into the Void
22. A Storm of Light
23. A Good Soup
24. The Right Thing
25. An Invitation
27. In the Three-Fold Land
28. An Unexpected Ally
32. A Reunion
33. Working Leather
39. A Rabbit For Supper
Just in - the last code!
We are pretty sure it is at the Santa Lucia train station in Venice, Italy, and in or around a photo booth. Skip straight to Brandon's Twitter clues or the 20 questions (with annotations), or the chat tidbits from Peter.
I should probably begin talking about the last code, which is still a few codes away. It has been hidden. It is not in the USA.
We are down to the last few codes. I will give Dragonmount & Theoryland each 5 yes/no questions to narrow down location of the non-USA code.
Start a thread come to a decision on your five. Have someone official email them to me. I will email back.
Jason from Dragonmount is starting a thread. Matt from Theoryland is as well. The gauntlet is down. Who will find the last code?
@dragonmount - Question is, do you want this to be a challenge between us, or a collaborative race for the final code?
@Theoryland I say collaborate. That way we get 10 questions instead of five. =) --Jenn L
Theoryland & Dragonmount may collaborate on final code. Fine by me. I did think Dragonmount might want payback for Jordancon this year...
You can't goad us, Brandon! We know we're united against you! --Jenn L
I'm sure Jason doesn't hold being collared and arrested by Theoryland against us. All in good fun.
Dragonmount (Jason Denzel, unless Jennifer signs it)
The questions have been sent to @BrandonSandrson!!!!!
But there's a twist....
Frenzy (in case you don't know, Frenzy is the closest thing Theoryland has ever had to an official #2)
Jenn and I sent all 10 questions (including Theoryland's!) to Brandon, but are CLAIMING THEM. Sorry, Theoryland. You've been p0wned -JD
When he started this contest, Brandon wanted it to be a competition. Well he got one. We claim your questions. We win.
You don't get to be the biggest WoT site on the internet without breaking some eggs. No hard feelings, Theoryland? --Jenn L
You know...telling everyone you cheated kinda defeats the purpose. ;)
For those saying "Well you just blew it by announcing it..." Wrong. The Great Lord (Brandon) rewards the devious.
We will get Brandon's answers and figure out the code while Theoryland is left stranded.
@Theoryland That's what you get for those crazy Verin articles you wrote for the WoTFAQ!--Jenn L
I gave you the worst five questions I could come up with; I expected something like this after Jenn was nice to me today.
Lironah (hunter from Twitter)
@Dragonmount You gonna post them up somewhere so we can all go to sleep now?
Maybe. But I won't post Brandon's answers. Cause then Theoryland will have them.
Frenzy (she still graces us with her presence from time to time, though the kiddies keep her busy)
@dragonmount you're still peeved we arrested you at Jordan*Con, aren't you Jason :p
Oh @BrandonSandrson "we are working together" yeah right - reminder we beat you handily at JordanCon over and over. @Dragonmount
I'm sure Brandon won't let Dragonmount prosper - must suck knowing you have already lost every competitive track of Jordan*Con '11.
@Dragonmount Even if you get this one clue, we have still kicked your a** when you tally up all clues, hands down. ;)
@Terez27 @Dragonmount was just copying off the smart kid's paper. again. :p
Jenn and I simply decided that the Forsaken have their merits as well. So we're embracing that fact. The True Power is fun.
So you are idolizing the Chosen huh? That is so 10 years ago.
I'm pretty sure Jenn embraced the True Power long ago; don't know why I trusted the two of you...now for the real list I was cooking up.
uh huuuuuuuh. Suuuuure.
Well, that degenerated quickly.
That's what happens when you mix geeks, HCFFs, and sleep deprivation. :p
You know what's more fun than a double cross? A triple cross.
I'm off to bed. I expect to wake up with the 10 answers from Brandon in my inbox. Good luck catching up, Theoryland!
Wait. Did Dragonmount really just pretend to work with Theoryland on joint questions, then STEAL their questions and laugh manically? Wow.
Luckers (bout damn time he showed up)
@Theoryland hush. Brandon gave you all sorts of nifty #wotgh presents. If we have to steal some BrandonLove, we will. :p
Heh @Dragonmount - if only you had been smart enough to ask for a few things we tacked on to our list...good luck tomorrow. (today)
Theoryland was clever enough to use "Will you give us a picture of where this is located?" as one question. I will take pity. Picture coming.
Success! Theoryland and us have TRIPLE-CROSSED Brandon Sanderson!! http://tinyurl.com/wottriplecross
We never back-stabbed Theoryland after all. Instead, we used it as a ploy to get even MORE questions (20!) from Brandon.
~Bows to Dragonmount and Brandon Sanderson~ We are all Cairhienin today! Now let's get hunting! http://bit.ly/cJPJEg
And, by the way, if you didn't see--Theoryland and Dragonmount were secretly working together all along to get extra questions out of me.
However, suspicious of this possibility, the picture clue we sent has been...altered to say the least. Good luck with it. [See jemron's photoshop alterations - it's much clearer now!]
First clue for the final code: "Demoux." (Note, all of these are going to be only obscurely related. Much like third/leather.) [Demoux is a character in Mistborn named after Brandon's friend Micah Demoux, a former roommate who did the official book jacket photos of Brandon. He said it is not related to the book that Micah's father wrote that happens to mention Venice. Then Claireducky from Dragonmount discovered that the Ryan from the 20 Questions is Ryan Dreher, a friend of Brandon's (mentioned in the Elantris credits next to Micah Demoux) that is in Venice on vacation.]
Clue # 2 to location of the final code: "My aged grandmother!" (Note that all of these are clues to the location, not the code phrase.) [Josh Hlibichuk pointed out that Bayle Domon is from Illian, which is very similar to Venice with its canals. ]
Clue #3: "Mervin's" (Note that there are only 2 codes left to enter to unlock everything. This one, and one other I will give out today.) [Here is a theory suggesting it might be at a train station - see chat below for hints from Peter.]
So far as I know, the "Demoux" clue has not been figured out. Anything relating to the fly fishing book is the wrong path. [We now have figured out it's in a photo booth - Micah Demoux did Brandon's jacket photos.]
I gave 3 hints about the last code. One about a city [Domon]. One about a structure [Mervin's]. One was a hint to a location inside the structure [Demoux].
From the chat with Peter Ahlstrom, Brandon's assistant (September 15 - channel wotgh):
<PeterAhlstrom> OK, now someone ask if me if you're on the right track
<Nyn> Are we on the right track Peter?
<PeterAhlstrom> No comment. [har har]
<jemron> Are we on the right track with Mervin the steamengine guy?
<PeterAhlstrom> mwa ha ha ha ha
<jemron> "no comment" is as good as a "yes" for me
<ThatGuy__> but i reckon Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia Station or marco polo airport are our best bets<PeterAhlstrom> The airport isn't even in Venice
<jemron> @ Peter, besides the photoshop filter, were the words on the image scrambled?<PeterAhlstrom> All I did was crop the image and apply the filter
<jemron> yeah, I wonder if it's a cropped word or ending of a longer word or phrase
<PeterAhlstrom> single continuous image
<ThatGuy__> Peter did you have to specifically request that photo be taken?
<PeterAhlstrom> No we did not have to specifically request the photo
<PeterAhlstrom> Brandon may ask me to post a different version of the photo later
<ThatGuy__> do you know if the photo you used is anywhere on the internet, peter?
<PeterAhlstrom> I looked online for other photos of the same thing and did not find any
<TraeCooper> it looks more like a mosaic filter from photoshop ... pretty difficult to undo because you lose data in the conversion
<PeterAhlstrom> TraeCooper it's the crystallize filter
<ThatGuy__> i like saint lucia train station for 2 reasons: when i thought of demoux the first thing i thought of was "church" not that hes a captain or general
<ThatGuy__> and second its something peter might have stuffed for Q9
<ThatGuy__> yeah well when you combine it with Mervin
<PeterAhlstrom> Oh right
<PeterAhlstrom> question 9 is a tricky one in this instance
<ThatGuy__> Peter, can you tell us what the main consideration was for picking the hiding place for this clue? was it just wherever you had someone willing to hide it?
<PeterAhlstrom> The code was hidden in a place where it's unlikely someone will pick it up accidentally.
<PeterAhlstrom> I checked the population on Wikipedia
<sleepinghour> http://freeforumzone.leonardo.it/forum.aspx?c=42103&f=42103 <--Italian WoT/Brandon forum
<sleepinghour> I like how they call Brandon "Il Nae'Blis"
<PeterAhlstrom> Brandon Sanderson - Il Nae'Blis LOL
<PeterAhlstrom> I just found a picture on Google showing some of the same architecture as the un-cropped photo
<PeterAhlstrom> I can't find a picture online of the sign/text
<PeterAhlstrom> Actually some of the architecture is visible in the cropped photo
<PeterAhlstrom_> I found two interesting pictures online
<Nainn> LOOK! W!zz Airline now going to Venice and right colors and if you flip upsidedown and mirror it! http://bit.ly/aT8vGs this cant be it can it?
<Nainn> interesting the train signs are blue http://www.petermbach.com/?p=724
<PeterAhlstrom_> One of those photos Nainn linked to is interesting
<PeterAhlstrom_> If the photographer had been standing about 50 feet closer and facing a slightly different direction...
<jemron> He basically confirmed in my mind that it is the Santa Lucia train station just from his comment about "50 feet closer" or some such
*Comdar from Italy joins the chat*
<Comdar> Unfortunately I'm not from Venice however :(
<TraeCooper> Any insight, Comdar?
<Comdar> I have seen it, but I have no clue about it...
<Comdar> It might also be S. Lucia... the common way to shorten Santa Lucia
<Comdar> But train station signs don't usually have that color
<Comdar> Train stations signs are generally white on blue
<Comdar> The more I stare at that picture and the more I think it says S.Lucia
<Comdar> It's not a color scheme that I recognize however
<claireducky> and then look at this pic from the blog
<claireducky> they are the same square
<claireducky> the one for the shop is facing in a different direction is all
<Comdar> I do have a coworker from Venice, but I can ask him about that only tomorrow morning
<Comdar> Good night all... Tomorrow I'll try showing the picture to my coworker from Venice and see if he can make any sense of it...
Based on these questions, we have narrowed it down to Venice and Verona (probably Venice, based on the Twitter clues above, and probably the Santa Lucia train station based on the chat tidbits). Here's a post by theistic showing why.
1) Is the code in the northern hemisphere?
2) Is the code in the western hemisphere?
3) Is the code in a country that was one of the original NATO signatories?
4) Is the code located in a country with a population greater than 36 million?
5) Is the code in a city with a population of more than 250,000?
6) Is the code currently in the possession of a WoT fan (someone who has read at least one of the WoT books)?
7) Is the code in a bookstore?
8) Is the code in a capitol city?
9) Assuming each English letter corresponds to a progressive numerical value where a=1 and z=26, does the last word of the most commonly accepted English name for the name of the facility/business the code is located in begin a letter with a value EVENLY divisable by 2?
NO, though Peter adds that 'technically, depending on what you count as the facility/business/name, the answer could be yes or no.'
10) Is the code in one of the following cities:
Aalborg Aarhus Abidjan Adelaide Alexandrian Algiers Birmingham Bradford
Brisbane Bristol Cairo Calgary Cape Town Casablanca Copenhagen Coventry
Edmonton Esbjerg Frederiksberg Johannesburg Kano Khartoum Kinshasa Lagos
Leeds Leicester Liverpool London Lyon Manchester Marseille Melbourne
Montreal Nantes Nice Paris Toulouse Augsburg Berlin Cologne Dusseldorf
Frankfurt Hamburg Kaiserslautern Mannheim Munich Stuttgart Dublin
Belfast Limerick Cork Galway Newry Lisburn Waterford Armagh Kilkenny
Rome Milan Naples Turin Palermo Genoa Bologna Florence Bari Catania Oslo
Bergen Stavanger Trondheim Fredrikstad-sarpsborg Drammen Madrid
Barcelona Valencia Sevilla Zaragoze Malaga Les Palmas de Gran Canaria
Bilbao Murcia Valladolid Bern Zurich Geneva Nottingham Odense Perth
Sheffield Sydney Toronto Vancouver
NO. And that one was pushing it.
11) Is the code in a city north of the Equator?
12) Is the code in a city with a population of more than 500,000 people?
13) Assuming each English letter corresponds to a progressive numerical value where a=1 and z=26, does the last word of the most commonly accepted English name for the City where the code is hidden begin with a letter with a value evenly divisible by 2?
14) Assuming each English letter corresponds to a progressive numerical value where a=1 and z=26, is the second letter of the last word of the most commonly accepted English name, for the City where the code is hidden, a letter with a value evenly divisible by 2?
15) Assuming each English letter corresponds to a progressive numerical value where a=1 and z=26, is the third letter of the last word of the most commonly accepted English name, for the City where the code is hidden, a letter with a value evenly divisible by 2?
16) Is the code in a fixed location (e.g.: not in someone's possession)?
17) Is the code in a member state of the European Union?
18) Have you ever personally visited or lived in the country where the code is located?
19) When responding to these questions, will you provide us a picture of where the code is located?
YES. Here it is: (and jemron posted some photoshop attempts - good job)
20) When responding to these questions, will you provide us with the first name of the individual that possesses or oversees this code?
YES. His name is Ryan. [Ruchita figured out this is Ryan Dreher, a friend of Brandon's who is in Venice on vacation.]
Idaho Falls is dead, guys.
Brandon has confirmed that this code is lost. He originally dropped the clue thus: 'There's another missing number. That clue is hidden in the land of my greatfathers.' At first, we thought it was in Lincoln, NE where Brandon was born, and @janasedai drove to Lincoln to search, with no luck. Then Marie Curie determined that Brandon's greatfathers were most likely in Idaho Falls. At first Brandon said it was not in a copy of The Way of Kings, but then he confirmed that it was (apparently it had been moved there). Mark Neeley reported that he went to 'Barnes & Noble, Hastings, and two Deseret Books in Idaho Falls, and could not find a clue.' Someone reported on Dragonmount that it had been found already (from DM7, which is now offline), but Terri Jensen seemed to contradict that story, so for a long time we were unsure if it had been found or not. But apparently someone clueless bought the book.
Ruchita and Bart - These guys tracked down the code at the San Francisco airport for us, but THEN they were on the hunt for yet another clue when their car got towed, which cost them over $400. And it was Ruchita's birthday! All of us on the #wotgh feed asked her to please set up a PayPal where we could donate to cover her expenses. Here it is. Help a sister out! Again, we asked her to set this up; she did not request it. She even posted pictures of her tickets so we'll know she's not trying to scam us, lol. I should also mention that Ruchita got us a clue at the SF signing. She rocks.
Some people have found codes. Some have simply guessed the chapter names (Brandon told me in Decatur that he didn't expect us to guess so many). Below is a list of folks who have done either, along with the codes they found/guessed. The clues are numbered in the order that Brandon intended to reveal them, but they are not necessarily in order as they are in the book. Relevant links are in the text.
Beware of further spoilerish details in the footnotes; they contain speculation on the meaning of the chapter titles.
1. Questions of Leadership - (1 September 2010) Christy Kasper hunted down this code by calling the store, but she didn't have the right wording. We dissected it at Theoryland, and I happened to be the one to get it right. (Brandon's congrats) This one was planted in Salt Lake City. The reason I used that wording was because it seemed to me to be a chapter name. Harriet has always done those, and she still does, of course. Brandon told us soon after that I was on the right track. Peter confirmed the suspicion later on. This of course started people guessing the chapter names, and Peter was amused. This code unlocked the semicolon (later changed to the number 1, then back to a semicolon after code 32, the seventh code, was found). It also unlocked one regular colon which remained the entire time so far as I am aware.
2. The Pattern Groans - (1 September) Christy Kasper again, and Derek Stanart helped lead her in the right direction (see comments). Brandon asked us to please not call any more stores or any similar tactics unless (as per Peter, and only for the 'similar tactics') it's been about 5 days since the clue was planted, or perhaps 3. The idea is to let it flow naturally, give local fans a chance to hunt them down. This one was introduced with a photo clue, and after readers identified the store type, a zoomed-out photo was added. This code unlocked D/d.
3. Questioning Intentions - (1 September) This code was offered to any team that could beat Brandon at Magic. Patrick, Chris, Evan, Kurt, Todd, Beth, Paul, Abby, & Brad came through (2 September), and Kurt entered the code. He also dealt the killing blow. Team photo. This code seems to have changed some lower case 't's to capitals (T/t had already been revealed when WSB guessed code 4).
4. Lighter Than A Feather - (1 September) This one was guessed outright by WinespringBrother at Theoryland before the third code had been revealed. It was the first one to be guessed with no clue given. Brandon said (along with his congrats) this was the one that he figured we could guess. This code unlocked T/t.
5. Blood In the Air - (2 September) This code was planted in Orlando and found by Roy aka Defster on the same day that Brandon announced it. Here is Roy with his bumper sticker. The code revealed the letter 'e', but apparently not all of them.
6. After the Taint - (7 September) Won by Curtis and Ryan who are employees of Barnes & Noble in Gainesville, FL. They roadtripped down to Orlando and won the right to carry a code back to their store in Gainesville, and it was picked up by DottieGirl from Dragonmount (8 September), who tells the story. This code was connected to Gainesville when it was dropped. At first I assumed it was Gainesville, FL because that is the best-known Gainesville in the US by virtue of hosting the University of Florida (and I did have Brandon's trip to Orlando in mind, though it's pretty far from Gainesville), but many questioned that, and then I realized that Gainesville, GA was a suburb of Atlanta, which made it a likely choice because Brandon was just about to leave DragonCon in Atlanta. But it turned out it was FL after all. Brandon said we would have to look at a specific time to find it. First window was Wednesday September 8 from 4:45-9:00, USA Eastern time. Brandon also said 'it's not in a book, but is being carried. You will have to go to the right place during the right time and ask for it.' Boyd Meier theorized that a bookstore employee had it, and we had to ask during his shift, which of course turned out to be correct. Brandon also added that we were looking for someone named Curtis. This code unlocked A/a, but not all of them.
7. An Unexpected Letter - (3 September) This code was won by James Davion who helped beat Brandon at Magic at DragonCon. There was some confusion because James said he posted the clue on Twitter, but it was nowhere to be found. I tracked him down through Richard Fife (who tweeted about it in the first place), and we eventually discovered that it didn't show up because his tweets are protected. Adolla from tarvalon.net was kind enough to tweet it from her phone once we sorted out the mess (no internet at the con). This code unlocked 'to'; the letter o was only added after existing 't's.
8. An Empty Ink Bottle - (6 September) This code was won by Trae Cooper, who helped beat Brandon at Magic. Good work! The code revealed 'Thom' and 'Tuon', cementing our suspicions that it was a Mat POV.
9. For What Has Been Wrought- Code found by @mochistudios on Twitter - good job! The Clue: 'Borders downtown San Fran a block from my hotel has a code. TWoK is in 3 places in the store. Make sure to check all piles.'
10. Use A Pebble - (6 September) Found by webbles in Orem, Utah. The first clue for this code was vague: 'Code 10 can be found, if it hasn't been already. It was placed by a hand that is not mine, but in some ways is half mine.' (4 September) Some guessed that Peter had planted it, but he denied it, and said he had no idea what Brandon was talking about. Another DragonCon attendee said he knew what Brandon was talking about, but was unforthcoming. Brandon said later it was far from him (while he was at DragonCon in Atlanta, GA - 6 September). Then, David Pio suggested that the clue was placed by Brandon's son, and Peter retweeted it, so that clued us in further. Brandon confirmed in my presence at DragonCon that it was in a bookstore somewhere, and could still be found if it hadn't been already. Webbles rose to the occasion and hunted it down for us. Good work! This code unlocked the right-quote character, and spacing was adjusted.
11. Shanna'har- This one was found by Brenda. Brandon said he left one in the airport Portland airport, in Powell's bookstore outside security. Brenda emailed me her story after announcing the code in chat: 'I drove up to Portland this morning (an hour and a half each way) to get the code. The clerk at Powell’s had never heard of the hunt, but he was kind enough to help me track down both copies of TWoK, although I’m not sure he actually believed me until he saw the bumper sticker.' Thanks Brenda!
12. Partings, and A Meeting - (7 September) This code was found by Mandy Pietruszewski (see comments). Brandon dropped the code at Buckhead Books inside ATL security (that's Atlanta international airport), and Mandy reported it 28 minutes later. Turns out her dad was a pilot based out of ATL, and he happened to be there at the moment Brandon tweeted. Brandon was amused. Good work Mandy! This code revealed some 'f's.
13. The Strength Of This Place - (7 September) Code found by Howie Han. Conrgats! Brandon dropped this code with restrictions inside security at the Raleigh airport (along with some other goodies): this time he required that the hunter post a picture of himself with the bumper sticker (he is so adorably enthusiastic, I just want to hug him). A bookstore employee named Cai reports that Howie came for the code not long after Brandon's initial tweet. (She was rather overwhelmed by Brandon's august presence in her store. Cute.) Howie was actually willing to buy a ticket to get in, but fortunately someone offered to go in and buy the book for him instead. At first, Peter said he hadn't heard anything from the guy, and we were concerned, but then Brandon reported that he had come to the signing in Raleigh and that he was emailing the picture to the website. Supposedly, the code wouldn't work until the picture was posted (which would have prompted Brandon or Peter to verify the code and Brandon's brother to unlock it), so when 13 was mysteriously entered, we all wondered where it came from. But it's all sorted now. This code revealed several new characters: 5 'o's, 5 'x's, 3 'a's, 2 'e's, and one of each of the following: d, h, l, m, n, s. Notably, Talmanes was revealed.
14. Talk of Dragons- This one was found by Rob Moreau and Greg S. in San Diego. Brandon dropped a photo clue, and Rob diligently tracked it down in less than an hour. He was quick to meet Brandon's qualifications, and Peter was quick to verify. This was the second code to require a photo to unlock.
15. An Open Gate- Brandon dropped this one thus: 'San Francisco airport. Inside security. Compass Books near United flights. (Gates in 70s). Must take a picture of yourself w/code to unlock.' Ruchita and Bart found this one within an hour, and they waited for Brandon's brother to unlock it before revealing the code. Brandon says nice work!
16. The End Of A Legend - (8 September) Brandon revealed that 'Reagan Airport Borders has lots of signed books. And a code. It is outside security and easy to reach. Good luck!' It was found by Jim Burnell, founder of the Wheel of Time fan page on Facebook (@WheelOfTimeFans on Twitter). Here is a picture of him with his bumper sticker. Says Jim (in the comments): 'I work in Crystal City, VA, just one metro stop from DCA. Told my boss I had to go run an errand...and 15 minutes later I had the clue. Posted it on the fan page to let a random fan type it in. Also got Brandon to sign the clue later that night at a different Borders in Bailey's Crossroads, where he took my picture.' Good work Jim! This code unlocked the word 'queen' and some hyphens (though the hyphens might have been revealed by code 6 - we're not sure).
17. To Make A Stand- (15 September) This code was found by Alice aka wetlandernw (from Leigh Butler's re-read) in Seattle. Brandon hid a bumper sticker in her book when she wasn't looking, and she didn't even notice it till in the morning (and then only because a friend on Facebook saw Brandon's tweet about it, or one of the retweets, and then posted on Alice's wall). Turns out he gave it to her because it was her birthday (14 September). Happy birthday Alice!
18. A Call To Stand- Congrats to Marie Curie of Theoryland for guessing this one based on the 17-18 clue, and to Brenda (Wilder at Theoryland) for also guessing it 23 minutes later. Marie is the one who got the clue in the first place at a signing in Chicago. Brandon said, "In the codes you are missing between 17-20 inclusive there are two codes that share three words." After code 20 (a 3-word code) was entered, Finberg asked Brandon about the clue at a San Francisco signing, essentially verifying that it was narrowed down to 17-19 and that one of those three words was a variation of a Very Important Word in TGS, and that the word was neither 'gathering' nor 'storm'. That clue didn't help us since we didn't get it before the three shared words were revealed when code 17 was entered. After code 19 was entered, Peter verified in our wotgh chat that it was narrowed down to 17 and 18, and Code 17 led Marie to guessing 18 about three hours later, and then Brenda as well.
19. A Terrible Feeling- This code was obtained by Cory Outlaw. Here's his story: 'I was able to get Code 19 out of Brandon through a combination of bribery and stalking. I waited for him at the Powell's where he was doing a signing, and when he came in a few hours early I asked him if he would hand one out for my tenacity. He told me that if he gave one out that night, I'd have dibs. Later, when I approached the signing table I gave him a gift (bribe) of 10 booster packs, and he gave me code 19.' Good job Cory!
21. Into the Void - (2 September) This one was guessed outright when only the first four codes had been entered, by Michael Carey on Twitter, also a new user at Theoryland (Homeschool). He said he didn't have any particular scene in mind when he guessed it; the idea just popped into his head. This code revealed some question marks.
22. A Storm Of Light- (9 September) Brandon dropped this one in Chicago O'hare, and Adrienne Hotard (whose name is in Towers of Midnight!) picked it up a few minutes later and reported it on Theoryland. Good work!
23. A Good Soup - I missed all the signings at DragonCon, but Brandon did one at Eagle Eye books in Decatur while he was there, so Marie Curie and I made it to that signing. I gave Brandon a choice for how to personalize my copy of The Way of Kings, and one of the choices was 'a code or a clue for a code'. (5 September) He went with the clue, which was 'Would you like some soup?' There was some confusion when 25 and 10 were revealed, because either might have fit (in fact, this clue led to anotherfingolfin guessing code 25), but Bob Gibson (@HonorGod) reported on Twitter that he'd asked Brandon about it at the signing in Raleigh, and that the clue actually contained the word 'soup'. Wolundr at Theoryland persevered and eventually guessed the correct code. (7 September) Good work! This code revealed 'i' and 'c'.
24. The Right Thing - (4 September) This one was guessed outright by a guy who goes by the name Sylence. At the time, only codes 1-5, 7, 21, and 32 had been entered. He tracked me down via IM to let me know what the code was, which was awesome. And of course, he had Galad in mind. Brandon was just about to post that he had given the DragonCon attendees a clue in the prologue reading (also 4 September) when he saw that someone had already guessed it. 'Nice work!' This code revealed 'inn'.
25. An Invitation - (6 September) This one was guessed outright by anotherfingolfin at Dragonmount, though he said that my 'Would you like some soup?' clue is what led him to guess it. At the time, only 1-5, 7, 21, 24, and 32 had been entered already, and there were clues for three more at large (including 10). This code revealed M/m.
27. In the Three-Fold Land- Marie Curie guessed this one on the same day that she guessed the 17-20 clue (18), just after Tamyrlin picked it up from Brandon at the SLC airport (nice stalk-op). This one started when Peter told us that one of our guesses was only off by one word. Then he added that it was in one list, but not in another, and that a word needed to be added or dropped rather than changed. Boyd Meier made a list from those two clues. Peter then added that the missing word was neither 'a' nor 'the', and that it was not a two-word code. Dan Lang then cut the one-word guesses from the list. Finally, after Tamyrlin picked up the clue at the airport, Peter announced that we only had a couple of hours left to guess it, since we were waiting on @monkeysloth to unlock the code, and he said that the code contained the word 'the', and that it needed a word added. Marie managed to guess it before Tam had a chance to get it...but good job to both!
28. An Unlikely Ally- This was the last code, and supposedly guessed by membir, who had joined Theoryland just that morning. Some of us suspect that the code was snatched by someone, though, as it wasn't there any longer when our hunters went to get it. It is a rather strange coincidence.
32. A Reunion - (3 September) This code was guessed by Mattias, 'by pure luck'. Brandon says congrats. At the time this one was guessed, only codes 1-5 and 21 had been revealed/guessed. This code revealed 'y' and also changed the '1's back to semicolons, and the spacing adjusted.
33. Working Leather - This one was guessed by Jennifer Skelly on Twitter, but she couldn't have done it without Samuel Walker aka Lambada figuring out the 'word' we've been looking for all this time. He set all of us guessing, and Jennifer got the other word. Congrats to both! There were also others who provided valuable help in cracking this code. Brandon's evil clues went like so: 1) Third. 'Note, this clue is filed under "No hint is too obscure for theoryland." The hint is: "Third" (More hints on this code will come.)' 2) Chapter 53. 'Okay, another hint about the code I hinted at last night. This hint is connected to last night's. "Chapter 53"' Rob Moreau got Brandon to clarify that we should combine those two clues to get one word of a two-word title. 3) The one I choose. 'Time for another hint about the code related to "third" and "chapter 53." It is: "The one I choose." All are clues to one word.' Ruchita got Brandon to clarify that the 'I' in 'the one I choose' referred to Brandon himself. 4) Brandon said that the word we were looking could coincidentally be found in chapter 1 of TEOTW, and after we got on the wrong track, he added that it could also be found in chapter 2 of TEOTW. Rob Trotter then kindly made a spreadsheet containing all words that appeared in both chapters. 5) 7-7-9. Thanks to Sean Parker for figuring out it was a date, at least (which Brandon confirmed). 6) 7-7-6. This clue made us realize we were on the wrong track with the blog post. Ruchita, Jessica Vitak, and Ron Rogers let us know that this was the day Brandon got married, which made 7-7-9 his third wedding annivesary. Lambada figured out 'leather', which Brandon essentially confirmed, and then Tamyrlin set up a chat room to discuss titles containing that word, and Peter Ahlstrom joined to taunt us. Eventually, Jennifer figured out 'working', and so ends the story of Brandon's most evil clue of all (he seemed relieved when we finally got it). If you want to see a crazy Theoryland discussion on the subject (which evolved wildly as the clues progressed), well...here it is. Now if only I had stuck with my first idea on the subject...
Prologue: Distinctions - From Tor's promotional blurb about the prologue: 'Lan Mandragoran rides on toward death; Perrin Aybara, Lord Goldeneyes, has a disturbing dream; Galad leads the Whitecloaks into harm’s way; one who has left humanity behind creeps through the Blight; and the Blightborder faces invasion.' There was a reading of the Lan and Galad POVs at DragonCon, but for now, there is a rather boring (and very spoilerish) summary of it here by yours truly (sorry I didn't take the time to tease it out properly - was too excited). More info on the Lan POV further down the thread, and you can read about half the Lan POV here. Current best guesses for the one creeping through the Blight are Fain and the _______. (Slayer might fit the lack of humanity, but he has no reason to 'creep' in the Blight; he is legitimate, unlike Fain.) Brandon said there were 6 POVs in the prologue, so apparently, one of them is too spoilerish to even mention. Best theories are Moiraine and Graendal. Renald Fanwar (TGS prologue farmer) is a good possibility for the Blightborder POV.
?? The Seven-Striped Lass - This appears to be the title of the Mat excerpt we're getting. We don't know which chapter it is yet, but it is likely chapter two or thereabouts, since we usually only get chapters 1 and 2 as previews, and this one lacks a wind scene. The title might be the name of an inn in Caemlyn (Marie Curie reports that Brandon seemed to take that assumption for granted in Chicago, though he wouldn't confirm it); the Palace is probably still crowded with the Kin. If so, the name is probably some remembrance of an Accepted, since few would refer to an Amyrlin as a 'lass'. Another possible seven-striped lass would be Egwene, but it seems unlikely a Mat chapter in Caemlyn would refer to Egwene in this manner. Mat probably tries going to The Queen's Blessing when he finds out there's nowhere to stay in the palace, but of course, Basel Gill and Lamgwin are gone. Dom suggested that Coline (the cook) had to sell the inn, and that it was purchased and renamed to The Seven-Striped Lass as a commentary on the girl Amyrlin, because he doesn't believe an inn with a name like that could have been in Caemlyn for long.
Questions of Leadership - This probably refers to Perrin; the jacket notes say this: 'Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership.'
The Pattern Groans - Some have speculated that this will be the promised resolution of Graendal. Did she die, or did she escape? Sorilea said they felt the Pattern warping when Rand destroyed Natrin's Barrow with balefire, and Brandon promised that there will be a POV in Towers of Midnight that will settle the question of Graendal; it might even be in her POV. Some also speculate Aran'gar will be involved. Beyond that, it might simply be a reference to the weakening Pattern.
Lighter Than A Feather - WSB was probably thinking about chapter 50, which Brandon previously said was a particularly heart-wrenching one. The phrase of course only has special significance for Lan and Rand, and it is highly likely that one of the two will die in this book, or both. They were our best guesses before we even knew this chapter name, or anything about the prologue.
After the Taint - This title strongly supports Deadsy's theory on the meaning of code 10.
An Unexpected Letter - This might refer to one of Verin's other letters that she presumably delivered between dropping Mat off in Caemlyn and meeting Egwene at the Tower.
An Empty Ink Bottle - This could refer to Loial, but it's vague enough that it could refer to anyone.
For What Has Been Wrought - This one is crystal clear. 'At the end of time/when the many become one/the last storm shall gather its angry winds/to destroy a land already dying./And at its center, the blind man shall stand/upon his own grave./There he shall see again/and weep for what has been wrought.' - Essanik Cycle
Use A Pebble - Deadsy/jana pointed out that Verin compared the Cleansing to a pebble being thrown in a pond in The Gathering Storm when she was talking to Mat; it will take a while for the ripples to reach the shore. (12.36) Code 6 strongly supports this theory.
Partings, and A Meeting - This could be anything.
The Strength Of This Place - The Stone of Tear? Caemlyn? Far Madding? Rhuidean? Tel'aran'rhiod? Ebou Dar? WSB pointed out that it might have something to do with Herid Fel's note, specifically 'belief and order give strength'. Since the Seanchan are supposed to represent order, Ebou Dar was added to the list of likely places. I believe that the title is probably one of those that is a direct quote from the chapter, i.e. 'The strength of this place was that it...' etc.
Talk of Dragons - This almost certainly refers to Aludra's dragons. Now that they are in Caemlyn, Aludra should be getting to work on actually making them.
An Open Gate - A Waygate seems likely, but it could be something else.
The End Of A Legend - Best guesses for this one so far are the deaths of either Cadsuane or Jain Farstrider (though some think that is too obvious). They seem to be the only legendary characters in danger of dying in this book, besides Rand and Lan (both of whom would be better covered by code 4, but I suppose this one could be the other). Birgitte and Moiraine are highly unlikely to die. Cadsuane might go out in her foreshadowed confrontation with Sorilea - this might have something to do with what she will teach Rand and all of the Asha'man; Brandon has said that she has only fulfilled part of that viewing - and Farstrider has a target painted on his forehead for Ghenjei. Rachel Zmak suggested that it could be the destruction of 'Finnland, and while I doubt Mat could destroy their entire world, it's very likely he could blow up the Tower of Ghenjei and destroy the connection between 'Finnland and Randland, thus ending the legend in their world (though there is still the doorway in Tear to contend with).
To Make A Stand - Could be anything. Could be a last stand of some sort, but doesn't have to be.
A Call To Stand - Robert Mee theorizes that this refers to a vote in the Hall. Maybe to support the Dragon Reborn?
A Terrible Feeling - In a way, this could be anything, but I'm hoping it's a reference to something like the feeling that Aviendha had when Elayne wanted to Travel to Rand when she felt the power of the Cleansing.
Men Dream Here - hmm...will look around for others' speculation and let you know what I find. I have a few ideas, but nothing solid.
Into the Void - This most likely will have something to do with sword-fighting; it might involve Lan, Rand, Gawyn, Galad, Gareth Bryne, Rodel Ituralde, or Tam al'Thor. All are blademasters now.
A Storm Of Light - This sounds like a Power battle, though of course it could be something else. Top bets are probably Caemlyn and the Black Tower (those might be connected).
A Good Soup - This might actually refer to soup, or it might be a metaphor for a situation with a few different ingredients tossed in and brought to a proverbial boil. It could be both, or neither, or one or both plus something else.
The Right Thing - This one will certainly deal with Galad, since Brandon connected it to the prologue reading at DragonCon.
An Invitation - Could be anything!
No clues on code 26 yet.
No clues on code 27 yet.
No clues on code 28 yet.
No clues on code 29 yet.
No clues on code 30 yet.
No clues on code 31 yet.
A Reunion - There are several anticipated reunions in this book. Galad and Morgase will surely meet up, and Moiraine will be reunited with Thom at least (and Mat, though it fits less there since they have no special feelings for each other), and Brandon has also indicated that all the main plotlines will meet up at the end of the book in 'some location', most likely Caemlyn.
Working Leather - No clue yet.
No clues on code 34 yet.
No clues on code 35 yet.
No clues on code 36 yet.
No clues on code 37 yet.
No clues on code 38 yet.
A Rabbit For Supper - Most likely, this will have something to do with someone who is living out of a tent, like Perrin or Elyas (could be many people). WSB says it's Gollum's favorite; perhaps it will have to do with Fain.