Eerily enough, only a few days ago I was discussing Jordan, and his plans to finish the Wheel of Time series, with the inestimable David Isaak. The reason "A Memory of Light" was intended to be the last book (even, according to the author, if it hit 2000 pages) of the series was because Jordan had fallen ill with amyloidosis. In an interview before his death, Jordan stated
"I'm getting out notes, so if the worst actually happens, someone could finish A Memory of Light and have it end the way I want it to end. But I hope to be around to actually finish it myself."It says something about authors that they make plans like this. I mean, it's just a book, and they'll be dead. Why care? They won't be around to see it. But somehow, if I were in the middle of a millions-of-fans-style popular book series, and I found out I was terminally ill, I think I'd do the same thing.
It may sound cold for people to be worrying about the end of a book series, when a real human being has just died. But wouldn't many - if not most - authors take that as the ultimate compliment?
R.I.P. Robert Jordan, 1948-2007.