In A Memory of Light, two new factions are introduced:

The Red Aiel and the Sharans.

Are they from Robert Jordan's notes or are they both a Sanderson invention? IIRC, the second faction above are also mentioned in Towers of Midnight?

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    Shara is mentioned much earlier, though not in any detail. – Michael Borgwardt Apr 12 '13 at 7:09
  • I can't find a reference for a 100% answer, but both are certainly Checkov Guns that Robert Jordan had left on the table from earlier books. – NikolaiDante Apr 12 '13 at 7:51
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    Thanks for the spoilers, including in the question title... – jv42 Apr 12 '13 at 11:30

For your first group,

Shara is mentioned as far back as The Great Hunt, so they certainly weren't a Sanderson invention.

For your second group,

The Red Aiel weren't directly mentioned, however we knew that the Aiel sent their male channelers to Shayol Ghul. It doesn't take a huge leap to combine that with the knowledge of the 13x13 trick. In addition, Jordan spoke near his death saying "There's a [blank] in the Blight", it is presumable (although unconfirmed) that the blank referred to the town/society that we saw, which heavily revolved around the Red Aiel.

So no, neither of them were a Sanderson invention.

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    Brandon Sanderson said in interviews that these came from the Robert Jordans notes/recordings. I do not have a link to the exact interviews. – Bob Sep 24 '13 at 17:32
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    Per Sanderson he did create the new Ashaman at the beginning. The one who links both ways to the Aes Sedai. He said that he told Harriet Rigney he needed to add his own character and that Robert Jordan did not say 'who' had to solve these problems. – Bob Sep 24 '13 at 17:33
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    @Bob The question didn't mention anything about Ashamen, and your second comment could be taken as a minor spoiler about the event you talked about. On a more positive note, if you do come across links to interviews that they came from his notes directly, please do edit them in. – Megan Walker Sep 24 '13 at 18:36

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