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What are your unpopular Wheel of Time opinions?


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In my case, I like Faile and the whole storyline with her and Perrin. I've rarely encountered anyone else who does. And I love Egwene.

 

Anyone else care to admit to their unpopular WoT opinion(s)?

 

(I'm sure this post has been done a hundred times since the site went live all those years ago, but I figured I'd give it another go)

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I like Egwene as a character, but I feel that her ending story arc as a cop out.  So, not only does she get to be the one who takes out Taim (something that should have been done by Logain, seeing as he and the Asha'man were the ones who were fightijng time for the last three books), but she also, but suddely she knows how to reverse balefire?  

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I don't like the Perrin and Faile story.

I'm not that fond of Tuon.

I would've liked to have seen Moiraine return to the story earlier.

Nynaeve has always been my favourite character.

 

I agree on the reversed balefire, that seemed to come out of nothing.

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Here are a couple of mine which have met with opposition or outright scorn over the yrs:

 

The Whitecloaks have 100% of my sympathy, in light of the Breaking.  The fact that something like 25% of the "present day"  Tar Valon witches are Black Ajah, and the rest play slippery word games with their Oaths, justifies essentially everything the 'Cloaks have been saying.  The Questioners, however, cross the line into forcing confessions too often.

 

The Aiel are racist oathbreakers.  Their hatred of all of Cairhien based on the actions of one arrogant fool (Laman) is unjustified, especially in light of the years of water-sharing.  Couladin's and Sevanna's actions (massacres and slavery of "wetlanders") are typical of this savage race.  They broke their oath to the ancient Aes Sedai and also broke their Oath to follow the Way of the Leaf.  More recently, many of them (Shaido and Brotherless) broke their obligations to Rand as People of the Dragon.  They ceaselessly prate of honor but are honorless dogs in practice.  Yet they have the nerve to call all Cairhienin oathbreakers.

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1. Hopper is now a different species.  Yes he died in reality and the Wolf Dream.  Now his soul is inhabiting another creature.  Maybe a particularly noble bunny.

 

2. Rand actually planned that stuff to happen to the Black Tower as a red herring.

 

3. The TV series actors do NOT need to be the same height as their book counterparts. (Yeah.  I said it.  Tired of seeing that complaint.)

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1. I don't like Faile. Lovestory with Perrin was still okaish, however the whole "Rescue from the Shaido" story got just toooo much pages, especially as it's meaning for the overall story was quite insignificant.

 

2. Gawyn was a complete waste of a character.

 

3. If the whole Sea Folk Story arc would have been choped down by 80%, WOT still would be as good (even better). 

 

4. I absolutely adore Elayne and I hope that she will be the one who finally ends up with Rand. Yes.

 

5. Lan should have died during / after his combat with Demandred.

 

Main point:

All in all I quite like the Aiel and I understand reasons for their cultural harshness, however, I do not buy into this whole Da'covale thing. For me, this is just torturing defenseless people. There is no justification for this behaviour especially as trials in any kind do not seem to exist and in my opinion treating their prisoners as described does not distinguish these people from any of the darkfriends.

 

 

 

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On 7/16/2019 at 5:53 PM, Witless Looby said:

Here are a couple of mine which have met with opposition or outright scorn over the yrs:

 

The Whitecloaks have 100% of my sympathy, in light of the Breaking.  The fact that something like 25% of the "present day"  Tar Valon witches are Black Ajah, and the rest play slippery word games with their Oaths, justifies essentially everything the 'Cloaks have been saying.  The Questioners, however, cross the line into forcing confessions too often.

 

The Aiel are racist oathbreakers.  Their hatred of all of Cairhien based on the actions of one arrogant fool (Laman) is unjustified, especially in light of the years of water-sharing.  Couladin's and Sevanna's actions (massacres and slavery of "wetlanders") are typical of this savage race.  They broke their oath to the ancient Aes Sedai and also broke their Oath to follow the Way of the Leaf.  More recently, many of them (Shaido and Brotherless) broke their obligations to Rand as People of the Dragon.  They ceaselessly prate of honor but are honorless dogs in practice.  Yet they have the nerve to call all Cairhienin oathbreakers.

 

I can kinda see your point on the Whitecloaks. Kinda. Totally agree on the Questioners though.

 

As to the Aiel, yeah, they are bigots and hypocrits, that I won't deny. In fact, I've argued that with my friends in the past. I have many issues with the Aiel, and that is just one of them. 

 

5 hours ago, Maedelin said:

3. The TV series actors do NOT need to be the same height as their book counterparts. (Yeah.  I said it.  Tired of seeing that complaint.)

 

This I will totally agree with, for the most part. I do think the Aiel should almost all tend towards being taller than most of the other characters, the Cairhienin should tend towards being shorter. And Rand should definitely be on the tall side (the actor should be 6', 5'10" or 5'11" at the least, but expecting 6'5" is ridiculous IMO). Mat and Perrin should be tall-ish, and Sammael and Demandred should be shorter than Rand. And Verin and Tuon should be short.

 

Other than that, I have no set height requirements in my mind for the actors (although I do think I stumbled upon the perfect Verin Mathwin, who actually happens to be the 5-foot-even as described in the book: Imelda Staunton who played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies; and she could definitely play "grandmotherly"). 

 

Another Unpopular Opinion that just occurred to me: I don't think it is totally necessary for the show to portray the "ageless look" of the Aes Sedai. If they do, whether through make-up and/or CG, great. But I don't think it is required for the show to represent the story of the books well.

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@imlad I agree; the Aiel should probably be a bit tall.  It was a defining factor for the entire nation of people.  I think the way you said it made a lot of sense and can agree. :)

 

I am awfully tired of people saying this person can't play X character for physical characteristics though! :)

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I enjoy Faile as a character, and I don't hate her entire story Arc with Perrin in the later books.

I believe her story arc with Perrin is meant to be about two people who fell in love despite their different cultural backgrounds, completely different personalities, and failure at communicating properly.

When it comes down to it, Perrin & Faile basically have the most realistic relationship in the book, and I think this is why people hate Her, and their relationship.

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On 7/18/2019 at 12:28 PM, Maedelin said:

@imlad I agree; the Aiel should probably be a bit tall.  It was a defining factor for the entire nation of people.  I think the way you said it made a lot of sense and can agree. ?

 

Well, thank you ?

 

And now I know we "@" people. Coolness. DM has all kinds of new functionality I didn't know it had!

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On 7/19/2019 at 10:24 AM, SinisterDeath said:

I enjoy Faile as a character, and I don't hate her entire story Arc with Perrin in the later books.

I believe her story arc with Perrin is meant to be about two people who fell in love despite their different cultural backgrounds, completely different personalities, and failure at communicating properly.

When it comes down to it, Perrin & Faile basically have the most realistic relationship in the book, and I think this is why people hate Her, and their relationship.

 

Yeah, I don't get the hate people have for that relationship. Last time I did a re-read of the series (in the couple months leading up to the release of aMoL) I counted all the chapters in that certain Perrin/Faile storyline that everyone complains about in the middle/late middle books, part of that "slog" as some refer to it, and the whole thing didn't really last that long. I could be wrong, since it has been years and lots of self inflicted memory problems, but that whole thing only lasted like a dozen chapters or so IIRC. Someone could/should probably check their copies and correct me (I don't know where mine currently are, moved a few times and numerous boxes of books are still in storage).

 

Sure, those chapters were spread out over a number of books, and thus something like ten years of real time while the books were still being written, which made it seem like forever as we were reading it while the books were coming out, but when you read it all at once, it doesn't really take that long, IMO. But to be honest, I can't really be sure of the number of chapters, I just remember that it wasn't that many, relative to the number of chapters we get in any given WoT book.

 

And in my opinion, this romance was far more believable than any other romance in the series, and far more developed. The two romances that first blossomed in The Eye of the World felt unearned to me, the four-person romance quadrangle was just plain silly IMO, the one between a young idealistic Aes Sedai and her eventual Warder was groan worthy (reminded me of Anakin and Padme on Naboo in Attack of the Clones in fact). The prophesied romance, well, that one was odd and often fun to read. I don't really have complaints about that one. The one that is hinted at, involving a certain funny-hat wearing man and a formerly high-ranking woman brought very low, that's kind of adorable. (Did I keep those vague enough to avoid spoilers???) But it's Faile and Perrin that get's me every time I read the series.

Edited by imlad
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Yeah I don't think it was necessarily a simple matter of number of pages or chapters that earned the Faile Capture & Rescue the "plotline of doom" moniker. 

 

I think it was more to do with simply how boring and repetitive it was.  Also, the opportunity cost:  Perrin and his armies could actually have done something interesting over the course of those 3 or 4 books.

 

After a certain point, I think many of us were like "we get it, Perrin!  Faile means everything.  Nothing else matters!"  Because he just kept on thinking/saying stuff like that like an endless loop.  Meanwhile, all the stuff going on in the Shaido camp made for boredom too.  For me, at least.

 

The prophesied romance = Mat and Fortuona?

 

Funny hat man and woman who fell down in status = Juilin and Amathera?  Tallanvor and Morgase?

 

For me, the Andoran succession plotline was even more of a tiresome slog than Faile's capture & rescue.    One of the reasons Crossroads remains a difficult re-read for me. It managed to make Elayne and Birgitte boring and they were not boring in the first 6 or 7 books.  How many baths can one young woman take?  How many mirrored standlamps can one woman walk past?  How many reports can Master Norry dryly relate?  How much goat's milk until one young woman's stomach or bladder bursts?  RAFO, friends, RAFO.

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Might be a bit controversial, I'm not sure, but I think Nynaeve and Lan have the best romance in the books.

 

Each falling in love with the other makes sense. Nynaeve realises consciously, or subconsciously, that she needs a man with a cuendillar will (to give it a WOT reference) to stand up to her, otherwise she will make both their lives a misery. Whereas Lan has no taste for the deception common among Aes Sedai and noblewoman and likes her directness and fierceness.

 

The relationship also has time to grow, from the journey to the Eye of the world, to Tear.

 

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19 hours ago, Jaglover said:

Might be a bit controversial, I'm not sure, but I think Nynaeve and Lan have the best romance in the books.

 

Each falling in love with the other makes sense. Nynaeve realises consciously, or subconsciously, that she needs a man with a cuendillar will (to give it a WOT reference) to stand up to her, otherwise she will make both their lives a misery. Whereas Lan has no taste for the deception common among Aes Sedai and noblewoman and likes her directness and fierceness.

 

The relationship also has time to grow, from the journey to the Eye of the world, to Tear.

 

 

I can understand liking that relationship, but I always had issue with the way it just happened out of nowhwere. We never actually saw it start, it was just there, full-fledged suddenly in The Eye of the World, with no preamble or development. That just felt false an unearned to me. After that though, it all worked fairly well for me. I just didn't like how it came into being fully developed off-screen.

 

But once it was there, in all of the following books, yes, it did work, and it was rather well done, though it wasn't one of my favorites.

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16 hours ago, imlad said:
On 7/26/2019 at 1:38 AM, Jaglover said:

Might be a bit controversial, I'm not sure, but I think Nynaeve and Lan have the best romance in the books.

 

Each falling in love with the other makes sense. Nynaeve realises consciously, or subconsciously, that she needs a man with a cuendillar will (to give it a WOT reference) to stand up to her, otherwise she will make both their lives a misery. Whereas Lan has no taste for the deception common among Aes Sedai and noblewoman and likes her directness and fierceness.

 

The relationship also has time to grow, from the journey to the Eye of the world, to Tear.

 

 

I can understand liking that relationship, but I always had issue with the way it just happened out of nowhwere. We never actually saw it start, it was just there, full-fledged suddenly in The Eye of the World, with no preamble or development. That just felt false an unearned to me. After that though, it all worked fairly well for me. I just didn't like how it came into being fully developed off-screen.

 

But once it was there, in all of the following books, yes, it did work, and it was rather well done, though it wasn't one of my favorites.


I don't see it that way anymore imlad.

The way it was presented in the beginning it is understandable that readers think that. In the beginning, we didn't really know any backstory on neither Lan nor Nyneave.  However, later in the series we learn that Lan never had any relationships that went beyond the physical.  Nyneave had never really considered any man worthy. 

When Nyneave was able to track the party after Lan had taken steps to hide their trail, that was a huge attraction to him.  Nyneave liked that Lan was able to respectfully admire her talent also was an attraction for her towards him.

Basically, this was supposed to be two people that never met anyone that met their standards for potential mates until they met each other.  Quite similar to Galad and Berelain, actually... but who didn't see that as very believable?  

  

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I know this isn't a particularly unpopular opinion, but my own list of things that I thought dragged on and would have like to have been abridged to about 1/2 or even 1/3 of the length that each turned out to be:

1.  Faile's rescue subplot
2. Bowl of Winds subplot
3. Salidar politics subplot
4. Elayne's succession

I do realize how each was important to each character's development both physically and psychologically.  I even see the necessity of each to the overall plot, but wow, just too long.  Even on my first read through, I couldn't wait to get beyond each of these plotlines, inwardly groaning when I came to a chapter dealing with them.

I still love the series, and I even rank it above LOTR; it is my favorite fantasy series.

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54 minutes ago, 2RiversFan said:


I don't see it that way anymore imlad.

The way it was presented in the beginning it is understandable that readers think that. In the beginning, we didn't really know any backstory on neither Lan nor Nyneave.  However, later in the series we learn that Lan never had any relationships that went beyond the physical.  Nyneave had never really considered any man worthy. 

When Nyneave was able to track the party after Lan had taken steps to hide their trail, that was a huge attraction to him.  Nyneave liked that Lan was able to respectfully admire her talent also was an attraction for her towards him.

Basically, this was supposed to be two people that never met anyone that met their standards for potential mates until they met each other.  Quite similar to Galad and Berelain, actually... but who didn't see that as very believable?  

  

 

I see your point, but for me that just doesn't feel like enough to establish the relationship "off-screen." But, to each their own.?

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On 7/16/2019 at 4:53 PM, Witless Looby said:

Here are a couple of mine which have met with opposition or outright scorn over the yrs:

 

The Whitecloaks have 100% of my sympathy, in light of the Breaking.  The fact that something like 25% of the "present day"  Tar Valon witches are Black Ajah, and the rest play slippery word games with their Oaths, justifies essentially everything the 'Cloaks have been saying.  The Questioners, however, cross the line into forcing confessions too often.

 

The Aiel are racist oathbreakers.  Their hatred of all of Cairhien based on the actions of one arrogant fool (Laman) is unjustified, especially in light of the years of water-sharing.  Couladin's and Sevanna's actions (massacres and slavery of "wetlanders") are typical of this savage race.  They broke their oath to the ancient Aes Sedai and also broke their Oath to follow the Way of the Leaf.  More recently, many of them (Shaido and Brotherless) broke their obligations to Rand as People of the Dragon.  They ceaselessly prate of honor but are honorless dogs in practice.  Yet they have the nerve to call all Cairhienin oathbreakers.

Problem is RJ said he based the white cloaks off people like the Nazis. A group that claims only they know what is right and good.  But if you don't think or act exactly the way they believe you should then you're evil.  They justify all their actions as being for the light when the regularly do stuff the Shadow would.  

Edited by Sabio
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10 hours ago, 2RiversFan said:


I don't see it that way anymore imlad.

The way it was presented in the beginning it is understandable that readers think that. In the beginning, we didn't really know any backstory on neither Lan nor Nyneave.  However, later in the series we learn that Lan never had any relationships that went beyond the physical.  Nyneave had never really considered any man worthy. 

When Nyneave was able to track the party after Lan had taken steps to hide their trail, that was a huge attraction to him.  Nyneave liked that Lan was able to respectfully admire her talent also was an attraction for her towards him.

Basically, this was supposed to be two people that never met anyone that met their standards for potential mates until they met each other.  Quite similar to Galad and Berelain, actually... but who didn't see that as very believable?  

  

Also on rereads you appreciate there were a number of little moments between Nyneave and Lan throughout EOTW, there isn't just a sudden declaration of love at the end.

 

You understand the characters better from further books that is very true.  

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Sabio, yeah I hear ya, and this is part of what makes it an unpopular opinion (as were requested by the OP).

 

Agree that the Children, especially the Questioners, regularly do things that the Shadow would, in the name of the Light (so does Rand, the great hero of the Light, down to channeling the true power!).  But having seen Niall and Geofram Bornhald's thoughts in the books, I cannot say that they are wholly corrupt or Nazi-like.  Perhaps too inflexible, and certainly too accepting of creepy zealots like Byar and Asunawa and rapey morons like Valda.  But they served Randland admirably in the Aiel War and made life hell for Darkfriends in the years since.

 

Also, recall that their main claims actually turn out to be eerily accurate:  that the Tar Valon witches are Darkfriends and attempting to Break the World again.  Thanks to Verin we know that a staggering one fourth of all AS are actively Black Ajah, and many wind up alongside Demandred and M'Hael at the Last Battle, wielding balefire etc.  Combine this with the fact that the Seanchan show up with their own "Aes Sedai" using the one power as a weapon against the masses, and the Children seem downright prescient. 

 

Also, they are one of the only groups that seems to at least consider the thoughts/fears/concerns of regular people (normies/"muggles").  This resonates with me because I lack magical powers.  ?

Edited by Witless Looby
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1: Might have been interesting had Logain become general of the armies of the light after Rand's death. As for Rand he either ought have been the first person to be healed from death or have come back to save the day after being summoned by the Horn of Valere.

 

2: Fain and Shadar Haran were lazily dropped plot threads, so lazily it was almost insulting to have to pay whatever it was the book cost to see such laziness, and both should have been better explored or at least not have been so played up as though they were gonna be things.

 

3:Androl and the other fella. They were only included cause the fans were clamoring and Sandy thought he'd throw them a bone to shut them up. And they weren't at all what they were said to be, not really. All there was was a throwaway line about preffering men. A line so cheap that if not for it Androl's story with the red sister could be read as a romance. Kinda makes me wonder just how late in the writing Sandy decided to toss that in.

 

Ought have made a real effort to include a real character or not have bothered at all.

 

And yes I am aware people are not defined by their sexuality, but under the circumstances it really does come across as "see, I said he prefers men, happy now? Good, shut up and quit bothering me"

 

4: Just what was that thing Rand saw in the sky of the portal world, and where do Ogier come from? Yes yes that whole Karethean Cycle thing was kinda interestin7g to read about as it unfolded, but what I really wanted was an in depth exploration of how things work in the WoT 

 

Like, how much does Mashadar have to eat? What will happen to the Ways now that Saidin is clean? What was Fain becoming? Could Far Madding substitute for a Stedding? If, as RJ said, interstellar travel was possible in the AoL are there any off world colonies surviving in space?

 

The story was nice enough, but these are the sort of things I really want to read about.

 

5: Egwene's end fight with Taim is so reminiscent of Sailor Moon's season 1 end fight with Beryl I will never believe any claim that it was not Sandy's inspiration.

 

Wouldn't be surprised if that was playing on the telly as backgroud noise while he wrote the scene.

Edited by Zorlon
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23 hours ago, Zorlon said:

 

Like, how much does Mashadar have to eat? What will happen to the Ways now that Saidin is clean? What was Fain becoming? Could Far Madding substitute for a Stedding? If, as RJ said, interstellar travel was possible in the AoL are there any off world colonies surviving in space?

 

 

I never thought of any of those questions... damn... what have I been doing with my brain all these years? I especially like that off-world colony one.?

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I can say Far Maddening does not substitute as a steading, Not being able to channel in Far Madding is because of devices not natural.  

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12 hours ago, Sabio said:

I can say Far Maddening does not substitute as a steading, Not being able to channel in Far Madding is because of devices not natural.  

Yes, and no. 

 

Yes it is due to an artifacts effect rather than natural, but that does not mean it cant substitute in some ways. Certainly it substitutes for no channeling.

 

But yes, clearly I meant can it give an Ogier rest. And I think you are too quick to say no.

 

IIRC Ogier come from another world, and Stedding are bits of it present in Randland which is why  they cannot be entered from TAR, they are not natural parts of the world. Too the OP cannot be reached from them. This implies Ogier hail from a world where the OP is unreachable, or at least not reachable in the ways of Randland.

 

So the question about the Longing is then raised, is it due to the lack of exposure to something found in the Stedding, or to the disruptive presence of something not found in the Stedding? 

 

Now that I write this out I wonder, seeing as The Longing only developed post War of Power, might it be a consequence of the taint?

 

It is possible, there are lots of little bits about the WoT world Jordan imagined reasons for yet never explained. Take Myrddral for example, it's never once explained in the books but enough hints are given, and enough was said in interviews, that a bunch of frightfully clever and obsessed folk figured out Fade birth rate matched that of human channelers and they were essentially what became of Trolloc fetai which were open to magic power.

 

Could be a similar never explicitly explained matter with Ogier, Taint, and Longing.

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18 hours ago, Zorlon said:

Yes, and no. 

 

Yes it is due to an artifacts effect rather than natural, but that does not mean it cant substitute in some ways. Certainly it substitutes for no channeling.

 

But yes, clearly I meant can it give an Ogier rest. And I think you are too quick to say no.

 

IIRC Ogier come from another world, and Stedding are bits of it present in Randland which is why  they cannot be entered from TAR, they are not natural parts of the world. Too the OP cannot be reached from them. This implies Ogier hail from a world where the OP is unreachable, or at least not reachable in the ways of Randland.

 

So the question about the Longing is then raised, is it due to the lack of exposure to something found in the Stedding, or to the disruptive presence of something not found in the Stedding? 

 

Now that I write this out I wonder, seeing as The Longing only developed post War of Power, might it be a consequence of the taint?

 

It is possible, there are lots of little bits about the WoT world Jordan imagined reasons for yet never explained. Take Myrddral for example, it's never once explained in the books but enough hints are given, and enough was said in interviews, that a bunch of frightfully clever and obsessed folk figured out Fade birth rate matched that of human channelers and they were essentially what became of Trolloc fetai which were open to magic power.

 

Could be a similar never explicitly explained matter with Ogier, Taint, and Longing.

 

All this brings me to wonder why only the Ogier on the Eastern side of the Aryth Ocean suffered the Longing. IIRC, those in Seanchan never did. So what led to this difference? Were the stedding easier to find on the Western side of the Aryth Ocean? Or was there some other factor at play? Does anyone know if RJ ever gave any sort of answer on this?

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