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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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


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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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1. Min

2. Perrin

3. Faile

4. Mat

5. Nyneave

6. Aviendha

7. Egwene 

8. Rand

9. Thom

10. Lan

11. Moiraine

12. Verin

13. Elayne

Bolded pairs are basically equal.

 

Edited by SinisterDeath
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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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11 minutes ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

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. 

Verin is critical to the series. My dream casting for her is Margo Martindale.

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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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