Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time

Google+ Interview (link to google+ article)

BG: What else would you take with you?

Jono-  Maybe a phone? How long am I on this island? I'm a ginger. So maybe sunscreen, too.

Tom-  You can’t ask this question without setting limits.  Because the first item I’d take based off this broad question is a boat.

Joe-  You dickheads. Assume you can’t take that s%#$ with you. Obviously. A home distillery for the local vegetation. Booze and tWoT is all I need.

Jono-  I still need sunscreen… but I want booze. How many items do I get?


BG: Which character in WoT do you most identify with, and why?

Jono-  Rand. I have no idea who my father is, and I'm dubious about my mother.

Joe- Nyneave, because I am a stubborn, wool-headed bitch. Bitch, in the bad ass way of course.

Tom- Lanfear.  I mean, have you seen my %#$& [Ed: bosom]?


BG: What do you think about when you’re alone in the bathroom?

Joe- My thoughts always wander to who that incredibly handsome man is staring back at me from the mirror.

Jono-  Why is Joe staring at me in the bathroom window?

Tom-  Why is the wifi so much worse in here?  Download faster.


BG: What is the most endearing quality of your co-hosts?

Joe- Jono is perpetually in a good mood. Tom is perpetually in a shitty mood. its a good mixture.

Jono- For being a partial absentee, whenever Tom, provided he's in a good mood, is actually present, the three of us can't stop making jokes to one up the other. Probably annoying for our listeners, but there it is. I have nothing good to say about Joe. Except we play footsie.

Tom-  Putting up with each other.  For over six years at this point.  How exhausting.


BG: What most annoys you about them?

Tom-  They consistently want to read things and record these podcasts.

Joe-  Jono’s love of the worst possible music and Tom loves not showing up for the podcast.

Jono-  Joe drinks cider sometimes. Tom lives in a different state. These are major transgressions.


BG: What team would win in a barroom brawl if the One Power could not be used: Mat, Graendal, and Padin Fain; or Perrin, Faile, and Brandon Sanderson? Support your argument.

Joe-  I suspect if Sanderson threw a punch his bones would shatter like glass. Still Graendal with no One Power to compulse someody’s ass is useless also. Perrin is ferocious and Faile is badass and fighting together I think they would defeat a Mat/Fain team up due to their inability to function as partners.

Jono-  Mat, Graendal, and Fain. First off, nothing says Fain doesn't have his dagger since it's unrelated to the Power. Second, I'm sure he wants revenge for how badly Sanderson screwed his section of book fourteen, so he's going to have a chip on his shoulder big enough to take on that whole team. I love Sanderson and think he did great work for tWoT, but man... I didn't love how that went down.

Tom-  The lack of the One Power only disables one of these people. A barroom brawl is basically a basketball game if you think about it real hard, and Perrin is obviously Teen Wolf.  And werewolves don’t lose at basketball games. I’m relatively certain Michael Jordan was a werewolf.  So Perrin.

Joe-  You mean Michael Jordan Fox.


BG: Min Farshaw walks into Easing the Badger carrying a dead badger. Finish the story.

[Ed: Totally censored.]


BG: That marriage between Mat and Tuon-- is it going to last?

Joe-  Of course, Mat is nothing if not loyal. For all his complaints hes a stand up guy, he stayed with his friend even when he thought he was basically the devil. Then again, his wife may have him assassinated on a whim.

Jono-  Probably not. Mat likes a nice, curvy girl; something to hold on to at night and twice during the day. Tuon is decidedly not that. He'll give it a go for a couple years, and unless her pregnancy weight amplifies that bosom, he's out at a tavern copping a feel.

Tom-  Despite Mat’s best efforts, most likely.


BG: If you could wave a magic wand, how would you have ended the series?

Jono-  Kill more characters. Flesh out more emotional scenes like Moiraine meeting anyone... Maybe really explain a lot of the unexplained issues, like the Pipe.

Joe- Waaaaaaaay more death of the main characters. Too many of them lived, we’re all grown ups, we could’ve handled it. Specifically Elayne. That bint.

Tom-  I wouldn’t have.  Bring on Book 48.

[Ed: Thank you for not riffing on the term "magic wand."]


BG: And lastly, who is Nakomi?

Jono-  Why don't you tell me, Mr. Continuity Editor! Maybe Verin from another world? Maybe some reborn hero who's only heroic deed is asking annoying questions? I don't know...

Joe-  Rand’s ghost mommy!

Tom- Pretty sure she’s that old lady from Brother Bear that turns people into bears.


- Alan Romanczuk (Bandersnatch Group)

Interview with the gentlemen of tWoTcast


tWoTcast is a Wheel of Time podcast created several years ago by brothers Joe and Tom O’Hara, and Jono Coulborn, during a long drinking session. The rambling podcasts, skillfully edited by Joe’s wife, Lauren, initially focused on the works of Robert Jordan. His Wheel of Time series was reread and discussed in the first 100 episodes, and New Spring was covered in subsequent episodes.


After they completed the Wheel of Time, the tWoTcast crew began to cover other book series, such as those by Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, and have continued to conduct live shows with well-known guests at fantasy conventions, including JordanCon, held every April in Atlanta. This year’s tWoTcast guests to be hosted on two separate podcasts are Jason Denzel of Dragonmount and Maria Simons of Team Jordan. A Barmasters’ Tournament will also be featured, pitting the bartending skills of Alan Romanczuk of Team Jordan against Chip Moore, which should go over smashingly on an audio podcast.


Listeners may subscribe to the podcast at or through iTunes. Since we have no access to usage data, nor have any comments about the podcasts been posted, we can’t be certain anyone has ever listened to them. However, we feel it important to expose the WoT community to another unique WoT resource.


For those interested in learning more about the “brains” behind tWoTcast, we offer this interview for your consideration. Parents, we recommend you not allow your children to read this interview, as it could be injurious to developing minds and morals.


Bandersnatch Group: Let’s begin with an easy question. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened during one of your podcasts?

Tom-  Probably the last third of literally every episode.  By then I have usually…. over-served myself.  In general, embarrassment isn’t a feeling we’re very familiar with.

Joe-  We drunkenly decided to call Patrick Rothfuss, recently. Jono still had his phone number from coordinating with him during JordanCon Six and he actually answered, it did not go well.

Jono-  Yeah... That was pretty awkward. To cap it off, it was a night or two before he announced his licensing rights were bought. So the poor guy probably thought the random number was actually a very important phone call. He was wrong.


BG: What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?

Jono- I Just got engaged to a blowup doll after five years of dating.

Tom- I jumped onto a Navy vessel from the street in Savannah on St. Patricks Day once.  Luckily I was just promptly escorted off of the boat and not tossed into the brig.

Joe- I stand by everything I’ve ever done!


BG: If you were stranded on a tropical island, which WoT book would you take with you, and why?

Tom-  The first one?  Perrin being lost in the woods with Egwene.  My memory is hazy, but maybe there are some basic survival skill hints in there.

Joe-  WINTER’S HEART probably, I love the “no One Power” fights in Far Madding and the end fight throw down while cleansing the male half of the source is f%#$ing awe inspiring. Can I say f%#$ing?

Jono-  You cannot say f%#$ing. Nor can you do that on a deserted island if you're alone. So, I would say book nine is a solid choice: great book, a lot of cold weather to fool yourself on the tropical island, and Rand has coitus with Elayne.

Joe-  Are you stealing my answer?!

Jono-  Yes. Why do you think I waited to be last. I can’t think for myself!

tWoTcast: JordanCon 6 Toastmaster Interview

So, how did the tWotcast cast originally meet each other?

Joe- Well, Tom and I are brothers so, unfortunately, I’ve known him since I was born. Jono and I met during my time at sea. I Captained a small vessel and he was part of the crew. We bonded over our fantastic senses of humor and our mutual love of the Wheel of Time, naturally he quickly became my First Mate.

Jono- I worked as Joe's First Mate on the good ship Alessio; sadly, the ship sank. There were dozens of casualties. I met Tom at some party, thinking it was Joe. I went to hit on him as a joke, and it worked far better than it should have…

Tom- Yes, I'm Joe's brother. I've known him his whole life. He hasn't known me my whole life, though, which is kind of rude if you think about it. Having known Joe his whole life, I know he makes a lot of bad decisions. One out of the many was befriending Jono. That's how I know Jono.


What prompted you to start the podcast?

Jono- We were sitting around drinking and talking about the books, and someone said we should start a podcast. I still can't believe we followed through with an idea.

Tom- It was my idea. I have a lot of stupid ideas while drinking. Then I never follow through. I was forced to follow through with this one by Joe and Jono. Seems like this is another one of Joe's bad life decisions.

Joe- Having Tom on the show was definitely a bad life decision.


After 100 episodes focused on the Wheel of Time, how did you decide to move on to the Kingkiller Chronicle series?

Jono- I'll take credit for this. Because it was my idea. I believe Rothfuss owes us royalties for the amount of sales we've driven.

Tom- Whoa. Wait. We moved on to The Cape, the greatest television show of all time. Cut down in it's prime by short sighted sons of bitches that were obviously reading the ratings incorrectly. Once we finished that we moved on to the Kingkiller Chronicle because synergy.

Joe- We got a one star review a while ago on iTunes, which happens much less frequently than it should, and they asked us to stay on point...We all looked at each other like, “What point?! We’re done with the books! And the prequel. What do you want from us?” but maybe they just wanted us to do a book series again.


What are you most looking forward to as Toastmasters?

Jono- Well, there's the groupies... and sleeping in a hotel room with Joe and Tom and only one king sized bed. Oh, and everyone is awesome and we talk about tWoT!!! But mainly the first two.

Joe- I think actually toasting an alcoholic beverage with Jono at the opening ceremonies, which for some reason hasn’t been done yet.

Tom- My entire life has been building to the moment where I can finally put toast in it's place. Toast is always walking around town flashing attitude like its Sharon Stone or something. Any time you try to get it to do something it just acts like you don't even exist, like toast is just above everything and everyone else. Well let's face it, toast is no Sharon Stone. It's just warm bread. It's time someone did something about this, and now that we have the title of Toast Masters, we can.


- Shannon Lieb

tWoTcast: Interview

First off, can you introduce yourselves and tell the readers a little bit about yourselves as individuals outside of the podcast?

Hello. I'm Tom- I like drinking, smoking, and watching Megan Rapinoe stick it to Columbians. I hate everyone who didn't like the final episode of Lost. I'm not sure what's wrong with people who don't read Saga. I'll probably end up in prison after I go insane when they cancel Community. My girlfriend’s last name is Bacon, so I'm conflicted about what to do when we get married.

um Hi everyone. I'm Joe- I also like drinking and smoking, but only together. I like all my vices wrapped up in one nice package. Tom and I are brothers (just throwing that out there) so a lot of our likes and dislikes are similar excepting the fact that we don't like each other. One of my favorite things to do after recording and drinking is to watch Ocean's 11/12/13 over and over again and I still play Goldeneye64 on a regular basis.

I'm Jono-  I don't actually exist outside of this recording studio.  I'm actually an offshoot of Joe's usually rational brain that only comes to fruition after a couple drinks of very cheap vodka.  Tom thinks Joe is insane because of me.

In my made up existence, I play soccer as often as I can (frequently trying to injure my knee).  I also have a strange but comfortable government job that allows me to do all my reading at work.  Really, I do nothing of value in my life.  It's pretty sweet.  Oh, I also drink and lie to women in a creepy but sometimes erotic manner.


For those who haven't listened to you guys yet, or those that aren't very far into the podcast yet how did you guys get started on the idea of a podcast for the Wheel of Time?

Tom- It was all my idea. And we were drunk. But Jono and Joe actually pushed to make it happen, and have been dragging me along kicking and screaming the whole time.

Joe- It goes back years before we even started but it was Tom's idea to do a podcast. I don't know when or how we settled on a tWoT podcast, but it was definitely while all three of us were drinking together one night and Just like the three ta'veren in the books, there was originally going to be a fourth member of tWoTcast, but who needs Dav and his badger anyway.

Jono- Well, we got drunk.  And talked about books.  And then Tom started rambling on about making a podcast and it just somehow snowballed (if you know what I mean) into an actual thing.  Joe and I forced him into it at first and then all the sudden he just gave in to my erotic whisperings and went with it.  I have to be honest; the name was my idea.  Which means it was a bad idea.  And somehow it happened.

Joe- I was against the name. I remember Tom and I had gone out to breakfast and he sat there and spent the entire time convincing me it would be ok


When did you start reading The Wheel of Time?

Tom- 1992. Damn.

 Joe- It was Tom's fault. I hadn't read anything more complicated than Dragonlance at the time so in 1994 he said "read this." (classic Tom) but it wasn’t until 1995 that I finally got past the first prologue.

Jono- I think 1995.  I saw the artwork for Eye of the World and just thought it was awesome.  So, Darrel K. Sweet, you win.  Nowadays I frequently trash the artwork at the beginning of talking about each book, so that's something.


How many times have you each read all of the books up to Towers of Midnight?

Tom- Probably around ten or so for the first eight books. Somewhere between two and five for the others. These are guesses. Who counts things? Bad Sesame Street joke. Bad Tootsie Pop joke. Hilarious owl sound effect. Owl oral sex joke. Laughter. How many licks- never mind.

Joe- I count things. It takes two thousand three hundred and seventeen licks with moderate saliva to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop. Also...

about the same as Tom. Around nine or ten for the first six books, book seven and eight drop a bit for me but book nine comes in around nine times too. I love Winter's Heart. Then books ten through thirteen are three, two, one and one. We're currently on our Gathering Storm reread and it’s really fun only having read it once unlike everything else so far.

Jono-  It should be noted that Joe and I massively disagree on how many licks it really takes, but I have always been able to produce more saliva.  It’s work related.

I'm not completely sure of the totals, so I'll guess.  I think I've read books 1-7 at least 10 times.  I remember I finished book 6 right when book 7 came out, so it's my first hard back.  Or was... it's destroyed.  For the rest you pretty much countdown one reading per book, so: Path of Daggers 8; Winter’s Heart 7; Crossroads of Twilight 6; Knife of Dreams 5; Gathering Storm 3; ToM once about to be twice.  And A Memory of Light twice.  Don't ask, but it’s good.  Like really good.


Which book was your favorite, and why?

Tom- Shadow Rising. Love the Perrin story, love the Aiel. Fires of Heaven is a close second.

Joe- Winter's Heart. Rand just becomes this true hard ass here and slightly before he starts really going off the deep end. Rand and Lan batmaning across the rooftops of Far Madding is just perfect. Anyway, I could make a horrible Jono-esque joke here about taints and cleansing and I won’t but the climax is awesome. Showdown at Shadar Logoth. Particularly Alivia glassing over that hilltop with Dashiva on it.

Jono- Book one.  It's amazing.  It's radically different from the rest of the series to a large degree, but the beginning is all there.  The prophecies from Min, the seeds of what each ta'veren will be.  Plus, Emonds Field feels amazing.  There's something about Rand entering with Tam that feels so damn awesome.  I don't know...  Second is Winter's Heart: It’s not my fault about taint cleansing being so funny.  And integral to the book, Joe… Rand killing Kisman like a hardass.  Mat's escape from Ebou Dar.  Really, it’s an awesome book.  I recommend you read it.

Joe- Why did you both list two books? He clearly asked us for one favorite.

Jono- Because I’m an overachiever, Joe.  Get off my case…  And also because I’m dumb…


Which book was your least favorite, and why?

Tom- Ten. Ugh. You know why.

Joe- the Path of Daggers. amazing installment but a tWoT book without Matrim Cauthon might as well not exist.

Jono-  This is fairly obvious, unless you’re Joe and deliberately don’t answer the question... Crossroads of Twilight.  Did anything happen in that book?  It's not a bad book at all obviously, but... nothing happens.  In a reread it's quite interesting, but when that book came out and then you go back in time with a bunch of characters?  That was obnoxious...

Joe- No, seriously, I liked Crossroads. But I also loved Zelda Majora's Mask so...

What is the best part of doing a podcast in your opinion? The worst?

Tom- Best- it's a built in excuse to drink with friends and talk about something I love. The same reason people watch sports. Interacting with listeners is a ton of fun, too. Worst- consistent delivery is key. So if you're sick or busy or not in the mood you still have to read and record. That's a minor complaint though. At the end of the day I'm just drinking beer and talking. Joe does all the hard work.

Joe- Best- my favorite part is definitely the stuff that only we get to see, the looks on each other’s faces when someone (Jono) says something waaay over the line or just a really funny comment. Tom makes me laugh a lot but I’ve known him for quite a while and understand his odd sense of humor. Worst- We do try really hard to get a show out every week. The only time we really had a gap over the last year and half or so was last holiday season, I think we took two weeks off. I don't think listeners realize how hard that can get to be that consistent with delivery of the show. But yeah that's the worst when every once in a million years it becomes a job to get together or to cut the podcast on time.

Jono- We're really good friends getting drunk and talking about books.  This literally is what we did before the show started.  I mean... it's pretty awesome.  And somehow a few people like us despite us being generally douche bags.  Especially Tom.  Also, it should be noted that I actually got laid partially because of this podcast.  Some chick I knew heard about it and thought it was cool that I was interested enough in some subject to do a show on it.  She's in book 2 now.  And we're kind of dating.  And she'll be at DragonCon.  So come to DragonCon and make fun of her.

The worst is that we live in separate areas and have work the next day.  So if we start drinking, then recording and all, it's like 11 before I hit the road.  I'm not sure how I haven't gotten pulled over, honestly, so if the show doesn't come out for a bit or I'm not on it, look there.  Plus, I feel bad for Joe.  We do our best to cover expenses for him, but I have the feeling that unlike me, Joe has things to do besides edit the show.

Can you tell me about the steps you guys take in actually recording/posting the show?

Tom- No. I can't. Joe does it. I show up and drink. A lot.

Joe- Sure. Tom usually chops the books into equal parts for each episode, Jono brings over alcohol and pizza and then we proceed to get drunk while discussing tWoT. The recording is done on my Mac and edited there too. We use a pretty common host site called Libsyn. A lot of the bigger name podcasts use it as well; it helps us keep track of download numbers and all kinds of other demographics as well as being relatively easy to use. After its posted iTunes scans our site and pulls the newest show and adds it to their library at whatever pace they deem necessary.

Jono- Yeah, Tom divides the book into parts.  Then we read.  Joe and I make notes, Tom looks at us confusedly.  We get together, have a couple drinks, then go into the hi-tech studio.  From there we just riff off us each other and BS along til it's over.  Over the course of the show Joe and Tom smoke while I keep drinking.  It’s all very professional.  We do commercials and the very popular Ask the Dark One afterwards while really drunk.  It shows.  Like Joe said and everyone complains about: it takes between 2 hours and a week for iTunes to put the show up.  I have no idea why, but it’s ridiculously annoying.


What's it like meeting people that listen to the show and are fans of the show?

Tom- Awesome and surreal. We're baffled that anyone listens anyway. But I try to stay humble about our immense fame and popularity, so that's all I'll say about how great everyone thinks we are. Knows we are. I mean, we've always known we were amazing, but it's nice to get validation. Not that we need it.

Joe- We definitely started out with the mindset of "let's do this for ourselves" so it's always a little mind blowing when someone asks "are you from tWoTcast?". Lauren and I recently went to LibertyCon and we showed up a little late Friday and when JordanCon goers realized we were there amongst the room parties, a lot of drunken cheers of "There’s a tWoT in the hallway!" happened. That made me proud.

Jono- It is completely confusing.  In fact, I'm answering an interview right now and am kind of confused as to why.  Like we've said: this was something thought up just because it would be funny.  We assumed we'd get like 20 listeners and it would fade away in a few months.  Maybe it will still?  I think the first “whoa… we have fans?!” moment was when iTunes didn’t upload our podcast and we got tweets and emails asking about the delay.  It was like we had done something wrong.  I think we’ve actually posted the podcast late like maybe half a dozen times in nearly 18 months (which is all Joe’s fault!), but this was one of many times that iTunes screwed us over.  It was strange…  Meeting fans at JordanCon or DragonCon is ridiculous.  I’m literally just some tool with a microphone and no internal filter.  This is beyond bizarre, really.  And it’s awesome.  tWoT community in general is awesome.  No one's really a dick or anything (except us), so there's no one saying your show sucks or whatever.  Because, you know, it doesn't.  But still, every piece of email we get or iTunes reviews or twitter interaction is just really cool.  We love it!


What was the most memorable scene for each of you in the books? Why?

Tom- Anything that actually gets me in a raw emotional way. Perrin meeting his cousin in TSR. Nynaeve getting the Malkieri to follow Lan. Semirhage forcing Rand to attack Min. Those are big. Unlike Jono's dick. He has an eenie weenie itsy bitsy tiny penie. I think he puts a bikini on it.

Joe- We're all really big fans of Min, so Rand's hand on her throat almost made me have a Neverending Story book throwing tantrum. Instead I read faster than I ever had to make sure she lived. I do love pretty much any scene of Mat actually leading a battle, there’s a few in Knife of Dreams towards the end. Just awesome.

Jono-  It’s a decent size, Tom.  And I feel a bikini is appropriate as it allows me to tan the maximum area of my body.  Oh… relevant? Rand cutting the Black Cords in Eye of the World.  The entire chapter of the The Grave is No Bar to my Call in the Great Hunt; literal shivers up my spine.  Mat sneaking into the Stone in the Dragon Reborn.  Perrin in the Two Rivers or Rand wrestling Asmodean for the Choden Kal (cue Tom laughing) in Book Four.  Couladin's head on a stick or that huge balefire Rand throws at Rahvin while Nyneave is burning him always sticks out from Fires of Heaven.  Rand escaping the wagons and everything blowing up at the end of the Lord of Chaos?  Maybe the best single scene in the series.  Min and Rand naked; that's why my old hard back was worn down for Crown of Swords.  Wait...  Rand nearly killing himself with Callandor or Elayne and Nyneave and Aviendah using the Bowl of Winds takes the cake in Path of Daggers.  Mat leaving Ebou Dar and the huge ball of taint over Shadar Logoth is amazing in Winter’s Heart.  Crossroads of Twilight ...?  Reading the last scene from Winter's Heart from other characters POV...  Knife of Dreams has Mat.  Prince of Ravens.  Oh, and Rand handless.  GS: Rand's hands on Min or when he's on Dragonmount.  Or Egwene kicking ass at the Tower.  For Towers of Midnight it has to be Mat and Company in the Tower of Genjei.  A Memory of Light has some awesome scenes, but I can’t go into it.  There’s a bunch of nudity though.


Is there anything you'd like to share with the people of Dragonmount?

Tom- um. No?

Joe- Shameless plug time? Just listen to the show and that we love the feedback we get. We're pretty responsive on twitter but listeners can always email us too. Oh! and if you're coming to DragonCon definitely come to the LIVE show recording and say hi. Those are always fun.

Jono- I would love to share my life story with them as I am a fascinating character whose experiences are rivaled by no one.  Also, I used to love reading Robert Jordan's blog there before he died.  Also, I have real issues with Dragonmount's upper management as Jennifer Liang and Jason Denzel are shady characters.


 - Gary Kellum

 talk to tWoTcast.

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