New member here. I was aware of TarValon.net for at least ten years now, but I never really had the courage to try it out until now, my not being the most social person to begin with, lol. A bit about myself and such using the intro questions: Who is your favorite character in The Wheel of Time and why? That's tough because I have not read the books in quite some time. I'd have to say maybe Rand, by dint of him getting the most relevant and developed character arc (in my opinion!). Moridin/Ishmael is also interesting, but he was kind of a letdown — I wanted some sort of big philosophical exposition between him and Rand which never came. Mat might have made the cut instead, if not for him pretty much never developing. That's not in and of itself a bad thing, but it is when the state he doesn't change from is the mischievous village rogue. It's charming in a rakish way in the village setting — out in the big world, though, he regularly made a fool out of himself or was usually being led around by the nose by others, the "dead men" in his head, and fate itself. I guess the lack of initiative/unwilling hero thing got old for me after awhile. How did you find TarValon.Net? I don't remember now! Probably was just looking for fan sites of the WoT one day. A friend of mine recently joined, so I felt comfortable joining too, now that someone I knew was here. What do you do? (student? job? hobbies?) I am currently a PhD student in ecology/entomology — which basically also counts as a full time job, even if you get horribly underpaid, lol. My hobbies are writing (mostly philosophical essays now, but I once tried my hand at fiction a while ago), reading, exercising (mostly weights at the gym), and various infrequent odds and ends. I'll watch films now and then, listen to classical music, paint, play video games, and sew or quilt, to name some of the irregular things I might do. I also like long drives, but currently, I rarely have the time (or money for fuel, lol). Where are you from? What languages to you speak? I am originally from the west of Ireland, but I have been living abroad for school/work. Most people don't take me for Irish at first glance, as I am half-Roma. I know English, Irish Gaelic, and a Romani dialect. I used to know quite a bit of German once upon a time, but not much anymore, and I also used to know written Latin — but again, based on use-it-or-lose-it, I am not good with it anymore. What is your favorite book or author other than Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time? I am not sure I could choose just one book! If I had to choose a favourite author, I would say it would be Tolkien, for his clever and well-read use of old mythological elements and the beautiful prose and songs. Anne Rice is another favourite — beautiful prose as well, though for gothic horror. Anyways, nice to meet all of you, and I hope to get to know some of you better as I poke around the boards. I know I wrote a mini-essay there — I can be a bit wordy, lol.