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Rank your favorite characters in the books! (and I'm curious to see if this changes post-show).

Guest Wolfbrother31

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Guest Wolfbrother31

So before I give my list, just a little background: I started reading this book series about 20 years ago as a 6th grader, and I just started re-reading the series & listening on Audible in anticipation of the TV show.

That background is important because as a kid my list would have been:


#1) Mat: Funny, Lucky, Relatable --- just trying to keep his head down, but plays an Epic part (and a person could continue to write about what happens with Mat (and Tuon).

#2) Lan: Mysterious, Bad-Ass Warder, Borderland-Warrior, King --- he would have been #1 except that almost nothing was written from his point of view (until Sanderson).  

#3) Rand: Central character & most character development, stuff he does with the One-power, and his journey from farm-kid to world-changer is the heart of series of course.

#4) Perrin: He is probably the most heroic of the heroes. Loved his connection with the wolves. But some of the stuff from his point of view (particularly in Crossroads of Twilight) was not that interesting. 

#5) Thom: Thom is the Gandalf of WoT --- grandfatherly, protective, knows the world --- wish we would have gotten more from his point view. But the love-story arc with Moiraine wasn't very believable at all. 

#6) Logain: He would be towards the top if we had more from his point of view, and I hope the TV show expands on Logain the most because he is important and could have multiple dimensions that, again, were not really explored until Sanderson. 

#7) Moiraine: She was my favorite female character as a kid because she is so central to the destiny of all of Two Rivers characters.

#8) Nynaeve: Her temper, stubbornness, and power made me like her, and her love-story arc with Lan was the really the only love-plot I liked as a kid. 

#9) Aviendha: The Aiel were bad ass and I liked the idea of Maidens of the Spear.

#10) Elayne: Got to have a Princess in an Epic Fantasy series. 


But as an adult: Mat is actually a pretty obnoxious character in the first couple books (he is whinny and makes all the stupid mistakes) & it isn't written from his point of view (and I didn't remember that at all). It isn't until The Dragon Reborn, The Shadow Rising, and the Fires of Heaven that Mat becomes an awesome character (and also that the books became really good). Not only that, but as a kid I really didn't like any of the women characters that much --- I didn't relate and didn't find it that interesting --- the romantic relationships can be improved upon by better writing and good acting for the TV show. Even as an adult, some of Jordan's female characters have lengthy parts that aren't all that interesting or essential to the story -- hope the TV show cuts out about 1000 pages of White Tower training, politics, and Black-Ajah hunting that just took up space in the books. But here's how I would re-rank as an adult.


1) Rand: I actually will rank Rand as tied with Lan for #1 -- he's the central character, but Lan can play a bigger role early on and throughout. 

2) Lan: since I doubt the show is going to narrate, Lan can play an even bigger role than he does in the books. 

3) Mat: I still think Mat is one of the best characters, but he wasn't a good character at all until later on and I can't overlook that as an adult. 

4) Nynaeve: As an adult, Nynaeve is the most dynamic and believable female character that is essential throughout the series. 

5) Moiraine: I think it makes sense to cast her as the main character of the first couple books/T.V seasons, along with Lan, but then they're going to have to transition to Egwene & Nynaeve being the main female lead characters --- if they actually follow the books and she disappears for multiple seasons --- it would be great/GoT-like. But if they screw it up and because of contracts or whatever, alter the story, that'll be enough for me to stop watching. 

6) Perrin: still like him, but some female characters rise in my list as an adult

7) Egwene: the T.V show can actually really improve Egwene; she is, arguably, the most important female character, but she is also the character that, I think, could be most developed -- the show could explore or suggest romantic tensions with Rand & (Nynaeve, Elayne, Gawyn, and others) -- they could develop her from shy, unsure, eager for adventure village girl to explorer, Tar Valon novice, Aes Sedai, Dreamer, Amyrlin Seat, ect...

8. Min: as a kid I had overlooked how important her foreshadowing is & that her story-arc with Rand is actually pretty good

9) Thom: still like him, but some female characters rise in my list as an adult

10) Galad: he is the most believable medieval knight character of the series and his journey of "always doing what he thinks is right" is believable and relatable as an adult --and as a kid I didn't pay that much attention to him being a half-brother to Rand -- the T.V series can do a lot with this character if they want. 


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This is hard, because I'm not quite sure what I am ranking. I think there's a difference between a well-written character (where I appreciate the writing even though I don't particularly like the character) and a character that I relate to or like (even though they may not be as well-written or developed as thoroughly).


So I'll go with the ones I connected with emotionally. I'll use @SinisterDeath's list.


13. Thom

12. Faile

11. Moiraine

I didn't really connect with any of these three on a purely emotional level. For me they were likable, interesting people who drove certain plot elements. Couldn't do the series without them, but ultimately I cared about them because I was emotionally connected to someone else.


10. Elayne - she's a princess and she annoyed me in the same way she constantly annoyed Birgitte.


9. Lan - nearly the perfect archetype of the stoic warrior. It's just hard to connect with stoic warriors on an emotional level.


8. Perrin - Perrin is very well written. His single-mindedness when it comes to Faile is what drives him lower on this list. It just wears thin for me.


7. Min - On my first read (as a teen), she was among my favorites. She fell a little only because as an adult, I've gained new appreciation for some of the other characters struggles.


6. Nynaeve - I love her for her fierce loyalty and stubborn determination. I hate her for her out of control temper.


5. Egwene - I love Egwene's keen political mind. Her ascent to Amyrlin is one of my favorite plot lines in the story.


4. Aviendha - I've always wanted more Aviendha POVs. To me, the journey she takes from Maiden to Wise One is extremely powerful. 


3. Rand - He has, in my opinion, one of the best character arcs in fantasy fiction.


2. Verin - the scholar in me loves the scholar in her. Her last meeting with Egwene never fails to make me weep.


1. Mat - what can I say? Everybody loves a rogue. He starts slow, but Mat's constant war between doing what he wants and doing what he must is what connects me to him. He is every bit the reluctant hero.

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Guest Wolfbrother31

I like Verin too & hope they cast a really good actress for her. 


Of the Aes Sedai I think you have to keep her even if they cut a bunch of the others. 

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I have less ranks than tranches.


Mat, Nynaeve and Rand are roughly tied for me, I would probably put Nynaeve on top most of the time, but I could no more choose between them than I could choose my favorite child.


Perrin, Egwene and Elayne are tied for the next tranch.  Each have strong stories and complex motivations, but either their development suffers at points, or they're flawed as people in some way that makes them less appealing.


Faile, Moiraine, Lan, Aviendha and Min all fall into the lowest tranch for me, of the "main" characters.  Mainly because they're all fairly one-dimensional. To the extent they have any real character development or study devoted to them at all, it's fairly shallow and largely entirely expected.  I would put Faile and Lan highest in this tranch, followed by Moiraine and Aviendha, with Min being the least interesting or entertaining character for me.

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I read the books for the first time when I was 16, although only 8 or 9 of them were out by then. Read each new one as it came out, then reread the whole series right before A Memory of Light. So, my favorite characters are heavily weighted by nostalgia, and then that nostalgia is retrospectively balanced by being 20 years older and all the changes in perspective that brings.


10. Birgitte Silverbow - I thought her adoration of ugly men was just incredibly bizarre as a young guy, but as I grew older, I came to read her with such a sly smile on my face, she has to be in my top ten. Legendary warrior archer, cool name, creative character arc in terms of being torn out of her place in the Pattern. Man, Jordan was such a master of taking things like that—a hero intertwined in the Pattern—and shaking it up. Like, remember the first time an Asha'man bonded an Aes Sedai? Mind. Blown. (I'm not even sure I am remembering that correctly, but it seems like that sort of thing happened 20 times at least.)


9. Asmodean - I always loved the idea of Rand trapping one of the Forsaken and forcing him to be his mentor. I know he was not around very long; he makes my top ten more for the idea of the whole thing, though the details have sort of faded in my memory.


8. Padan Fain - I could easily talk myself into putting Fain as high as my 2 or 3 spot. When I think back on Wheel of Time, Fain is one of the first names that comes to mind. I found his descent into darkness utterly fascinating as a young reader; I had never before encountered such a 'wild card' of a villain. The only reason I ranked him so low is that he simply was never on the page as much as I would have liked—there seemed to be whole books where he disappeared—and I thought the 'gimmick' behind his ultimate demise was a little undercooked. 


7. Aviendha - Always had a crush on Aviendha. At one point, long before I got married, I thought I might name my daughter Aviendha. Nostalgia-points are strong with this one ?


6. Galad - Ends up just being straight-up heroic and noble, even though I thought he was a prig when I was 16. Doesn't hurt that he was one of the best swordsman in the kingdom. 


5. Ishamael - Rand's foil. Was always, always interested when he was on the page, whether in Rand's dreams or lurking behind the scenes with the Saa rolling over his eyes, ruminating about the Fisher King... This stuff lit my mind on fire as a young adult.


4. Thom - Honestly, this one goes more toward tone and texture in my mind. A Gleeman. A multi-colored cloak. Chanting in the High Tongue. (Am I remembering that right?) Knives up his sleeve, a spring in hsi step, a twinkle in his eye. If nothing else, Thom was COLOR, almost cartoonishly-so, in a world that might otherwise have been a little too monochromatic.


3. Mat - Hardly needs an explanation. Maybe if I went back, I would find, as others have noted, that his early character development was lacking, but in my head, Mat is Mat is Mat, almost a Platonic ideal of himself, regardless how well Jordan wrote him. It's the same reason we love Indiana Jones, Robin Hood, and Jack Sparrow. Maybe after the show is a huge hit, Mat Cauthon will earn his rightful spot at the table of All-Time Rogues and Rascals.


2. Lan - I did not care much for Lan in the early days; maybe I was too young. I remember not even liking name the first time I read Eye of the World. But as I grew up, and when I reread the series in my early 30's, and gosh darn it by the time he takes on Demandred in the end... whew, that is some all-time stuff, there. Frickin' love Lan.


1. Rand - As a 16 year old, this story, to me, was Rand's story. Every other character was side-dressing, in the end. When I reread it, even if I am an old, old man, I will still feel like Rand is the one I am truly revisiting.


(Honorable Mentions: too many to list. I am slightly mortified that my main man Perrin, as well as Moirane, Egwene, and Verin all got bumped. And I strongly suspect on my next read-thru, I will like and relate to Nynaeve A LOT more than I did as a 16 year old ? )

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  • 2 months later...

@Thrasymachus I really liked you until you put eggy dearest above Moiraine. I mean even the three eyed thing that Rand kills in mirror world had better character development than her. 


For me 






That old Aes Sedai who really irked Rand yes Cadusane




and a whole long list and after that the Rand's dead horse Red and even if you insist only as a last resort the eggy as my least favorite character in  the book

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  • 1 month later...

1. Lews Therin  : come to think of it hes got the funniest one-liners and still makes me almost pee myself laughing. 


2. Lan-Nynaeve for the sheer innovation and powerful female lead she becomes, I like her more now as 30+ then I did on my first read at 16 yrs. And Lan my goodness ?  hes in my 2nd spot too I love his dry humor. And he's really the mack-daddy of father figures in this series, he shows all those little boys how to be a man, and survive but also has surprising insights and wisdom. Their Romantic level xxxx too hot for RJ to even describe in detail. 


3. Mat & all his past lives: he's really one fantastic character(s) and got pretty sexy at the end there... that lace and pink ribbons   ? whew!


4. Elayne..... just kidding. Learn to skip her chapters after read 2. Lolz spoiled boring predictable ? 


4. Min, I love her and you all know why she's a bad-ass. 


5. LOIAL you wonderful soul! Epic magical creature. I felt while reading his parts that he was the one RJ had chosen to be if RJ could be any character he was somehow making a character to reflect his self-portrait. Love this character so much. Singing to trees ? ? 


6. Rand

6.5 Bela

7. Cadsuane

8. Thom

9. The spider,  mohgiedean? 

10. Siuan as "healed suian"




Edited by LzAkiko
Can't forget... Bela
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I will repost here my list from older version of this thread: https://dragonmount.com/forums/topic/55044-your-favourite-characters-top-ten/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-3949630

1.      Rand al'Thor"What kind of need would be great enough that we'd want the Dragon to save us from it? As well ask for help from the Dark One."

Great character arc, honest and loyal in heart, sometime behave like moron, however, I understand me in most of such situation.

2.      el'Nynaeve ti al'Meara “Come over here a moment. There`s something I think you should see“ It appeared to be a bucket of extra water by the washstand. „Here. We`ll both kneel down so you can look.“ Elayne did, but there was nothing in bucket but her own reflection in the water, ….

Compassion, loyalty. She remained herself, evolve only in wisdom. She was also the biggest women “badass”.

3.      Elmindreda Farshaw - "Oh, no, sheepherder. Not good enough." She wriggled round on his lap in a way that made him clear his throat, and pinned a finger against his chest. "I want tears in your eyes when you say it. I want drool on your chin and a stammer in your voice. You needn't think I won't make you pay."

Intelligent, independent, honest and caring. She was “ordinary” women, as well as special one. She save word more than in one way with her intelligence and caring, without army or one power. Some time I wish, Rand could avoid Elayne and Aviendha, when go for Nynaeve to Caemlyn.

4.      al'Lan Mandragoran - “I am just a man,” Lan whispered. “That is all I have ever been.”

He is Rock. I like how he disarm every bully when he just stand and look. As Min support and complement Rand, He support and complement Nynaeve.

5.      Moiraine Damodred - "The wheel weaves as the wheel wills."

Mystic, knowledgeable, She was intelligent, powerful and knowledgeable and fact, that she was able find limit of her power and knowledge do her the most intelligent character of WoT, do you agree Socrates?


Space and weaving


6.      Matrim Cauthon – I disliked him at beginning, but when Talmanes, Tylin and Tuon (3T) take him in “care”, I found his POV amusing and I can know him better.

7.      Siuan Sanche – She keep fight until end found her “prince” before death.

8.      Davram t'Ghaline Bashere – when The Wheel need some general for mad Dragon, It have to be somebody unique.


Talmanes because his humour, Tam because his steadiness, Rodel Ituralde because small wolf cunning, Dobraine Taborwin because loyalty was so rare in land of Carhien.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

After reading the Wheel of Time several times through over the last 25 years, this is my first visit to the site and also the first time I've read others' opinions on the books. All of my opinions have been formed in isolation, and I can already tell there is some large, shall we say, divergence, from what I think and what the consensus seems to be. Well, here's my list:


1) Moiraine - Solid, stoic, she's the epitome of what Rand had to become: strength under control. Willing to do what is right and pay whatever cost that might entail. Short, but with a demeanor, purpose, and accomplishments that makes kings seem tiny by comparison. Her appearance in book 14 is just delightful.


2) Mat - His internal dialogue is gold. Frustration, grumpiness, sarcasm, humor, and a permanent indignant surprise with every path his road takes. I always enjoy his chapters.


3) Lan - For much the same reason as Moiraine. He and Moiraine undergo very little development, and their characters don't change a great deal over the books. But I'm not ranking "whose arc is the biggest" or "most believable character development." These are favorites, and I never tire of Lan and Moiraine on the pages.


4) Rand - Shoved down life's torrential rapids with a tree limb to sit on a broken paddle to steer, trying not to get smashed to bits by forces beyond his imagination. One of my great frustrations is how Robert Jordan turned Rand from the central character in a narrative to a guy who makes cameos in other people's (significantly less interesting) stories.


5) Tam Al Thor - This guy deserves his own book. Rising from a farmer in from a backwater nowhere to a blademaster then having the humility, kindness, and wisdom to return to a being a farmer and live a life of quiet virtue. Tai' shar Manetherin.


6) Egwene - Her rise from a timid apprentice Wisdom to the peak she finally ascends I found fascinating. I found her story in the final three books to be one of the most compelling. I have a great fondness for this young woman who saw the confines of her little village and decided she just wanted something more and wouldn't stop until she had lived out her purpose.


7) Thom - Always ready to tell whoever needs hearing it that they're being a bloody fools. It's always fun to see him let loose in a new location and finding him worming his way into the inns and aristocracy and raising havoc among them before anyone else has found a bed to sleep in.


8  ) Loial - It's always nice when your slow, careful, aptly named companions have a berserker mode. One of the characters I'd most want to sit with and have a nice long chat, or play a game of stones.


9) Elayne - I tend not to like the beautiful, spoiled princess trope, but she was given enough personality, common decency, determination, and adventurous spirit that she eventually won me over. She became a fully rounded character whom I liked more than most, despite her flaws.


10) Androl Genhald - so your Black tower is a disaster and the last battle is looming, who you gonna call? The Pageboy! About time someone actually got creative with how they might use their channeling abilities. His role in book 14 is so satisfying. Instead of magic being about who can throw the most fireballs, club people with the strongest weaves of air, call down lighting, or blast the biggest beams of balefire, Sanderson thought about how the power could be used cleverly, to great effect.


Finally, ranking somewhere in the 3,000's (probably below some random Book 3 Trolloc): Nynaeve. The biggest shock I've found perusing these boards the last few days is to find that Nynaeve is not universally reviled. Take an ordinary character, turn their self-righteousness up to 100, their self-awareness down to zero, their charisma and interpersonal skills somehere in the single-digits, crank the "bossy" and "belligerent" dials up to 100, and the result is one of the most unlikable characters I've had the displeasure of encountering in Fantasy. Each chapter of hers is a chore. Every read-through I find myself imploring Lan to run as far and as fast away from this harridan as possible. But he never does. Sigh. Well, maybe next time.


That's my top 10, but to each his own.

Edited by Logicalfallacy
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1/Mat : for all the grief he gives Nynaeve,Egwene and Elayne

2/Loail : probably the only truly universally loved character

3/Rand : for his overall story Arc

4/Nynaeve : best character development in WOT

5/Aviendha : for being Aviendha

6/Siuan : will feed me to the Fish if i leave her off

7/Egwene : for the way she stood up to Elaida and her Cronies 

8/Birgitte : for being Birgitte

9/Padan Fain : easily the best written baddy 

10/Cenn Biue : couldn’t stand the complaining if i left him off

special mentions Bela, Verin, Lan....

and the other 2769 named characters

There is not a single character in WOT i dislike, it takes all sorts to create a story this big even the Trakands.

Edited by Harldin
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