By Matt Hatch,
Recently, I’ve had many opportunities to discuss Theoryland in interviews and at conventions. And in the process I’ve discovered that I am a terrible spokesperson. I’m less than flattering in my explanations, and I’m the guy running the show! To me, we are Freaks. You either get us or you don’t. So, when Tor asked me to write a newsletter piece about Theoryland’s role in the WoT fan community, I realized it would be better to let others describe it for me.
“You know I love you, Theorylanders. (Even if I sometimes feel like I’m surrounded by a pack of wolves when talking to you.)”
A pack of wolves is a wonderful way to describe us when we get together in large numbers. In fact, I think we earned that description at DragonCon 2005, when a pack of us descended upon Atlanta. When Emma persisted, at the end of a Q&A with Jordan, in asking four or five “final” questions it was clear that the wolves had arrived.
Alan Romanczuk, assistant to Robert Jordan and member of “Team Jordan”
“I guess it’s safe to say that you guys put a lot of thought into what you read, and it’s enjoyable to see where that leads you. Even if it’s often a dead end! But that’s life.”
A simple and enjoyable truth about Theorylanders—we enjoy the headlong rush down dark pathways that often lead to dead ends. It’s not that we don’t understand the obvious, but most days the obvious is a bit too mundane. For Theorylanders it’s almost just as enjoyable to be wrong, as long as it was a “well-supported” loony idea in the first place.
Maria Simons, assistant to Robert Jordan and member of “Team Jordan”
“Oh, y’all [Theorylanders] are awesome with awesome sauce, but you ask a lot of tricky questions. I had to watch myself with you guys.”
It was the last day of JordanCon 2010 and the last panel. Maria walked in and the entire back row of the room exploded in applause and cheers. She was wearing a Theoryland t-shirt and all of us Freaks were so proud; Maria is a Hard Core Fan Freak. A few weeks later she tweeted about a dream she had in which she was chased by “adorably enthusiastic fans”—a very apt description indeed.
“I have always thought that the small whimper of a theory as it dies is a beautiful sound.”
I’ll never forget this moment. I remember him looking up at me, responding to my statement that he’d been killing my theories “left and right since I got here.” He couldn’t have picked a better thing to say to Theoryland’s Chief Freak. He wasn’t kidding either. I never saw him again, but I like to imagine that RJ is enjoying this from Tel’aran’rhiod, smoking his pipe, while he awaits the final call of the Horn.
We miss you Jim.
Matt Hatch is the Creator of , generally acknowledged as the home of WoT fandom’s most outlandish and unpredictable theories regarding The Wheel of Time. His non-spoilery early review of Towers of Midnight (ISBN: 0-7653-2594-2; November 2nd, 2010) can be found on .
“Sometimes I sit around…watching chat…and thinking…shit…I created this madness.”
From the Tor/Forge Wheel of Time edition newsletter. Sign up to receive .
More from the Wheel of Time edition newsletter:
- by Jason Denzel,
- by Linda Taglieri,
- by Justin Golenbock, aka Tor’s “Wheel of Time guy”
- by Laura Sedai, Sitter of the Ochre Ajah