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Top 10 Moments from JordanCon 2022

Highlights and Heartwarming Memories from This Year's Much-Anticipated Wheel of Time Convention

This article is spoiler-free.

A group of panelists posing in front of a TV screen displaying the name of their panel, which is "A New Turning of the Wheel: Episodes 101 & 102 Review & Discussion." The panelists from left to right are Matt Reyes, Kritter XD, Barbara, Brian from Barside Chats, and Rob from Malkier Talks.

JordanCon 2022 is over a week behind us now, and no one is really over it. The mood can best be described as sad fans, wishing they were back in an environment where, at any given time, they could turn to the person next to them and talk about The Wheel of Time. Photo dumps and video montages continue to pop up on social media, as new friends and old friends reminisce about their favorite moments.

Many have admitted to feeling addicted to the dopamine rush that comes with the continuous barrage of notifications. Some, in true #ThirstOfTime form, are coping with their grief by admitting to having multiple post-Con crushes and discussing clever ways to flirt at next year’s Con. Others who can't wait for next year plan to reunite just two months from now in Columbus, OH at the inaugural WotCon.

Four panelists wearing masks and posing together. From left to right: Alyssa, Master of the Deck, Vance, and Sara from Wot Series.

Panelists from "The Music of the Wheel of Time"

Still others, well, we feel the urge to make lists. Based my own observations and interviews with JordanCon attendees (because I can't be everywhere all at once), I've assembled a list of the 10 best moments from this year’s convention.

The moments are listed in roughly chronological order to better convey a complete story of the weekend (definitely not to shamelessly avoid any decision-making on my part). And, fair warning, it gets a little emotional.

So take a deep breath, hug your copy of The Eye of the World tight, and read on if you dare. Here are the top 10 moments from JordanCon 2022:

1. LobbyCon

You’ve probably heard of “CouchCon,” referring to anything happening in the hotel lobby (or on the patio) that isn’t an official program at JordanCon. This year, I noticed a variation of CouchCon which I can only attribute to the emotionally charged atmosphere of finally meeting with old friends and online friends after a long 2 years of isolation—a phenomenon I have dubbed "LobbyCon.”

LobbyCon consists of people flinging themselves at one another in giant, welcoming hugs as they meet for the first time at JordanCon. LobbyCon hugs are different from other hugs in that they are usually accompanied by screaming, crying, laughing, and smiling until your face hurts. Sometimes, even your body hurts. I am not exaggerating when I say that some of these hugs were so hard you could hear them.

Sharnise and Brian hugging and smiling

Less aggressive but no less endearing were the delayed hugs, preceded by gasps of recognition when folks revealed their usernames from social media. One JordanCon attendee, Megan of the Spear, said her favorite moment was “Spiderman-pointing” with people as they simultaneously recognized each other from online interactions. (Word of advice: if you need to take it slow, introduce yourself with your real name first, and wait to reveal your handle.)

Two women wearing red hugging and smiling

As LobbyCon greetings continued throughout the weekend, a perplexing question came to mind: is it better to be a hug-receiver or a hug-observer? When you’re in the hug itself, you don’t get to see the huge smiles and tears of joy. Observing the hug allows you to take on the important task of photographing it for posterity, but you miss out on the cuddling. Only one thing remains clear: nothing brings on the warm fuzzies quite like LobbyCon.

2. WoTonPrime Ask Me Anything

Knowing it was pre-recorded, it was tempting to skip the "Ask the Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime Anything" panel on Friday afternoon. Wouldn’t it be better to just hang out with friends in the lobby and catch the video later?

But as Friday afternoon rolled around, so did the FOMO, and the main programming room filled up quickly with an eager crowd. It only took a few minutes of staring at the blank projector screen, anticipation rising, to realize that attending the panel live was the right choice.

Rafe Judkins sitting on set in Morocco, announcing the Aviendha casting.

After some technical difficulties, Rafe Judkins finally appeared on the screen to announce the casting of Ayoola Smart as Aviendha—but not before the news had already been broken by Dragonmount. Still, the exhilarating effect of hearing such long-anticipated casting news in a room full of fans was not dampened one bit, as cheers and applause thundered over the sound of Rafe's voice.

Surprisingly, the casting announcement didn't overshadow the rest of the 34-minute video, which turned out to be a lot of fun. A sporty-looking Daniel Henney (Lan) charmed the audience by earnestly answering almost every question and remaining deadpan as he described some hilarious behind the scenes moments. Hammed Animashaun (Loial), with perfect comedic timing, responded that Loial’s theme song would be “The Golden Girls theme song.”

Kate Fleetwood smiling on video as she answers questions from fans.

But the biggest crowd-pleaser was Kate Fleetwood (Liandrin). With her signature playful smirk and sparkling blue eyes, Kate took us to “Aes Sedai High,” teased us about Liandrin’s “dark side,” and, gifted us with a hilarious image of Liandrin taking out her braids, making herself a martini, and listening to “soft yacht rock”—specifically, “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen.

3. Cosplay

Who doesn't go to JordanCon hoping to see some talented cosplay? This year's cosplayers turned heads each day with new and cleverly-detailed costumes, some now inspired by the Wheel of Time TV show.

Two cosplayers, one dressed as Tigraine from the Wheel of Time TV show and the other as Uno Nomesta.

Source: @Kitsenugari1

Favorite cosplays were Kritter XD’s back-to-back blonde bombshells (show Liandrin on Friday and Birgitte on Saturday), Kitsenugari as Uno Nomesta, KnoTaiShar as a knee-padded Siuaraine, and Ruth Camejo’s Egwene costume (spoiler warning for A Memory of Light). Also, two Aludras!

Two female cosplayers dressed as Aludra, one with a stick of dynamite and the other with a round bomb.

Source: @TReese381

Although it did not place in the costume contest, a stand-out cosplay with staying power was this live-action Lord of Chaos book cover, submitted by Paul Bielaczyc and his fiancé, Cassi.

A man and woman dressed as Rand and an Aes Sedai exactly as they appear on the cover of Lord of Chaos, standing in front of a backdrop of the book cover's background, while an assistant holds up a flying draghkar on a pole.

Not only was it a perfect portrayal of the classic bodice-ripper-esque cover by Darrel K. Sweet, it fostered community participation: the backdrop and draghkar prop were left in the registration area for attendees to pose with on Saturday night.

You can find a complete list of the official costume contest winners here.

4. Social Events

This year’s JordanCon saw the return of official evening social events. The most popular events, Friday night karaoke and Saturday night dancing, were a welcome way to unwind after a long day of panels.

Karaoke night had fans singing and dancing in the aisles until 3 a.m. One of my personal favorites was a live rick roll of “Never Gonna Give You Up,” performed by Daniel from the Black Tower Podcast.

For the official “All Stars” competition, the winners were Dane Pehrman (1st place), Jen Isgro (2nd place), and Dan Ferreira (3rd place). I personally was partial to Jen as Queen Morgase in sunglasses, singing Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."

The 3 winners mentioned above wearing their cosplay outfits and smiling for the camera.

Karaoke also provided the opportunity for live performances of Wheel of Time parodies only previously seen online. Alyssa from One Power Ballads warmed up the crowd with “I Love Wheel of Time”, and Rob from Malkier Talks performed his entry from the 2021 Wot Parody Challenge, “Lews Yourself.” And while it was not his first live performance, Innkeeper Hatch surprised everyone with a new and touching refrain to his signature parody, “Freak.”

Innkeeper Hatch sings "Freak" on stage while Delusions of Graendal dances in front of him.

The dance party was frequently mentioned as a highlight of the weekend. While formal attire is not required, Saturday night is traditionally the night when people going to the dance dress to impress. This year's 1920's theme inspired some to wear shimmering flapper dresses and accessories. Others chose their own theme, like the sexy Darkfriends of Randland TV Podcast.

Tigraine, Collin, and Jay dressed in formal black attire with black accessories. Collin wears a black mask on half his face.