In late 2000, a high school senior from a little town in middle-of-nowhere USA decided she wanted to be Aes Sedai. But not just any Aes Sedai. She would be the top dog, the big enchilada, the leader of the known world...the Amyrlin Seat. A small obsession with a handful of books had blossomed into fantastic visions of the entire world at her beck and call, and legions of the faithful following her every whim.
That was then. After an Age, two university degrees, a move halfway around the real world, deep infiltration into numerous Wheel of Time communities, chicken pool fights with other sitting Amyrlins, and even breaking bread with The Creator himself, the multitudes remain elusive. And that's perfectly fine. The experiences of a lifetime and great friendships forged have been more than enough reward for the journey. Thus, the Great Hall matured along with our founder, Eniara Kisharad, from a fledgling email roleplaying ring to a forum-based community to the resource you're browsing now.
As the Wheel has turned GH has seen several incarnations come and go. Some years we've been abuzz with activity. Other years the forums collected dust like a ter'angreal stashed in a forgotten storeroom. To celebrate our 15th anniversary in 2015, we've pulled out the dusters, swept clean the floors, and embraced yet another season. Gone is the roleplay and forums of yesteryear. Our focus now is two-fold (does that make us the Two-fold Land?):
Focus 1: Annals of the Ages
After many years of plotting and planning, at long last the Great Hall is launching the Annals of the Ages project. This is a massive undertaking to research and document the history of The Wheel of Time online. Multitudes of fan websites, email rings, and other gathering places have come and gone since the mid-1990s. Some lasted less than a year; others, such as Dragonmount, have been around for nearly two decades. In The Wheel of Time series a new Age was ushered in at the end of the final book. In a similar way, the publication of A Memory of Light in 2012, and The Wheel of Time Companion in 2015, have ushered in a new Age for the fandom. Many fans who were once movers and shakers in the online community have parted ways with us as life called them down other roads. More will inevitably follow in the years to come even as new friends enter the fold. GH wants to capture the memories and history of this tremendous fandom before our legends fade to myth and are forgotten in the Age now gone.
We whole-heartedly welcome any and all research assistance in this endeavour. If you were part of a community or group (whether still existing or long gone) and can help us document it, please contact us! If you know someone else who remembers a group, please have them contact us (or send us their contact information if you have it). All little bits and pieces will be crucial to filling in the bigger picture. Annals of the Ages won't succeed without the input of as many fans as possible. Nothing is too small or inconsequential or insignificant! If it relates to The Wheel of Time online, we want to hear about it.
Focus 2: Greater Community Aggregation
Here at GH we aim to keep track of and provide links to as many current Wheel of Time communities, role-play groups, gaming sites, licensed art and collectibles dealers, and events as possible. We also tap into and share as many WoT RSS feeds as we can find, so that GH may be visited as a one-stop spot to catch up on the latest fandom news.
The Great Hall stands in tribute to and remembrance of Robert Jordan. His books challenged us to be Servants of All in a community that has brought us countless friends and family and inspired philanthropy that otherwise would never have existed. He may have left us to awake from the dream, but as he reminded us so many times, "there are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time." His legacy will live on...in us.
"May you shelter in the palm of the Creator's hand, and may the last embrace of the mother welcome you home."