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I know this is a Wheel of Time website, but my question is: where would you rank WoT on the greatest Fantasy series of all time list? 

My top 5 would be: 

1) The Lord of the Rings

2) Harry Potter

3) The Wheel of Time

4) The Dresden Files

5) The KingKiller Chronicles

 

It's hard to put WoT at the top when there were whole books (Crossroads of Twilight I'm looking at you) that were not good & when the show/movie is still a question mark. 

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That's a tough call. What are the criteria on which you judge such a thing? I know that my tastes tend to shift and that as I get older and my life experiences broaden, things about a series that I didn't understand or connect with the first time around suddenly have a bigger impact.

 

Also, it's hard for me to put an unfinished series like Kingkiller Chronicles or Game of Thrones on the list because a bad ending can end up ruining an entire series for me. (GoT is a good example - I watched the entire series multiple times prior to the final season. Tried to watch again and couldn't get invested again because of how terrible the ending was).

 

My favorite five (as of right now) and in no particular order are:

 

Lord of the Rings - it's the OG fantasy series. I've read it more times than I can count.

Wheel of Time - the most epic

Lightbringer - resonates with me on a deeply philosophical level

Mistborn - Sanderson is the master of secrets

Harry Potter - made fantasy mainstream

 

Off the list, but likely to join:

Stormlight Archive

Game of Thrones

Kingkiller Chronicles

 

Need to read Dresden files. I've heard too much good and my curiosity is piqued.

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That's difficult, and very much depends on the criteria, but based on the assumption that constant re-reading of a book indicates recognition of its qualities, that would have to be:

 

Lord of the Rings

Wheel of Time

Wizard of Earth-Sea

The Eternal Champion, mostly the Elric and Corum books

and it's a toss-up for fifth place between Kristine Katherine Rusch's Fey and Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

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7 hours ago, Kalessin said:

That's difficult, and very much depends on the criteria, but based on the assumption that constant re-reading of a book indicates recognition of its qualities, that would have to be:

 

Lord of the Rings

Wheel of Time

Wizard of Earth-Sea

The Eternal Champion, mostly the Elric and Corum books

and it's a toss-up for fifth place between Kristine Katherine Rusch's Fey and Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

I need to check out Memory, Sorrow and Thorn again. I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time. But it's been a couple of decades.

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On 1/11/2021 at 10:52 AM, Wolfbrother31 said:

I know this is a Wheel of Time website, but my question is: where would you rank WoT on the greatest Fantasy series of all time list? 

My top 5 would be: 

1) The Lord of the Rings

2) Harry Potter

3) The Wheel of Time

4) The Dresden Files

5) The KingKiller Chronicles

 

It's hard to put WoT at the top when there were whole books (Crossroads of Twilight I'm looking at you) that were not good & when the show/movie is still a question mark. 

My top 5 is

WOT

LOTR

Stormlight Archive

Riftwar Cycle

Deverry Cycle

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This is very helpful. There's a couple series in there that I've never read, so I'll have to pick them up if they are on WoT fans GOAT lists. Who are the authors of the Riftwar Cycle & Deverry Cycle?

 @Harldin

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5 hours ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

This is very helpful. There's a couple series in there that I've never read, so I'll have to pick them up if they are on WoT fans GOAT lists. Who are the authors of the Riftwar Cycle & Deverry Cycle?

 @Harldin

Robert E Fiest and Katherine Kerr, both are probably older Fantasy in style, both series have Elves and Dwarves in them, for instance. Fiest seems to be fairly well known on here but few seem to have heard of Kerr. 
Both are heavy on magic with a lot of World building but the characters tend to be more Inclined to be either Good or Evil with few Gray characters. 

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5 hours ago, Harldin said:

Robert E Fiest and Katherine Kerr, both are probably older Fantasy in style, both series have Elves and Dwarves in them, for instance. Fiest seems to be fairly well known on here but few seem to have heard of Kerr. 
Both are heavy on magic with a lot of World building but the characters tend to be more Inclined to be either Good or Evil with few Gray characters. 

Old school fantasy. 

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On 1/11/2021 at 8:08 AM, Elder_Haman said:

Off the list, but likely to join:

Stormlight Archive

Hey, not sure if you know but book 4 came out not too long ago. It's called Rhythm of War, and I have to say it's pretty badass.

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And to everyone who chose Harry Potter, do you consider it a fantasy series? It seems kind of difficult to consider it to-the-bone fantasy when it has modern settings such as Great Britain. 

(I should probably prepare to get schooled, I'm not very knowledgeable concerning the world of Harry Potter. Having only read the books once)

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On 1/11/2021 at 8:08 AM, Elder_Haman said:

Harry Potter - made fantasy mainstream

Wow, it'd be good to have a friendly (mostly) debate on who really made fantasy a mainstream genre. What the hell happened to J.R.R Tolkien?

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16 minutes ago, Rissanen said:

Hey, not sure if you know but book 4 came out not too long ago. It's called Rhythm of War, and I have to say it's pretty badass.

It's up next in my Audible cue! I'm excited.

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11 minutes ago, Rissanen said:

And to everyone who chose Harry Potter, do you consider it a fantasy series? It seems kind of difficult to consider it to-the-bone fantasy when it has modern settings such as Great Britain. 

(I should probably prepare to get schooled, I'm not very knowledgeable concerning the world of Harry Potter. Having only read the books once)

I consider anything with magic to be fantasy.

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Just now, Elder_Haman said:

It's up next in my Audible cue! I'm excited.

Hell yeah! I got the signed edition! It's taking a special place in my shelf.

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Just now, Elder_Haman said:

I consider anything with magic to be fantasy.

I guess, but it just doesn't have that OG fantasy feeling...

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7 minutes ago, Rissanen said:

Wow, it'd be good to have a friendly (mostly) debate on who really made fantasy a mainstream genre. What the hell happened to J.R.R Tolkien?

Tolkien is the OG. He's really the pioneer of the genre, which before that was classified mostly as fairy tales geared toward children. But there's no real question that Harry Potter's popularity eclipsed any of Tolkien's works - the movie adaptations included. 

 

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1 minute ago, Rissanen said:

Hell yeah! I got the signed edition! It's taking a special place in my shelf.

I bought a signed first edition for my son for Christmas!

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2 minutes ago, Elder_Haman said:

Tolkien is the OG. He's really the pioneer of the genre, which before that was classified mostly as fairy tales geared toward children. But there's no real question that Harry Potter's popularity eclipsed any of Tolkien's works - the movie adaptations included. 

 

Sigh, I guess so. My stubborn ass can't seem to wrap it's head around the fact that Harry Potter really did bring a lot of people into the fantasy genre.

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On 1/20/2021 at 12:43 PM, Elder_Haman said:

Tolkien is the OG. He's really the pioneer of the genre, which before that was classified mostly as fairy tales geared toward children. But there's no real question that Harry Potter's popularity eclipsed any of Tolkien's works - the movie adaptations included. 

 

There were some significant authors before Tolkien. Arthur Machen wrote a lot of fantastic literature - mostly short stories or novellas - that would fit into the "dark fantasy" pigeonhole nowadays. Read The Inmost Light or The Great God Pan if you want dark fantasy without 21stC trappings - his trappings are 20thC.. ER Eddison wrote The Worm Ouroboros, the Zimiamvian trilogy comprising Mistress of Mistresses, A Fish Dinner in Memison, and The Mezentian Gate, left unfinished at the time of his death. And then there was William Morris, wallpaper designer, socialist, and fantastic fiction writer - read The Wood Behind the World, and The Well at the World's End if you get a chance to - he's very good. And then you have Lord Dunsany, who wrote a lot of short fiction, and some of it very funny, though some very grim as well: The King of Elfland's Daughter is well worth the reading, and likewise The Hoard of the Gibbelins. And of course, there is the one and only James Branch Cabell, a Virginian of all things, and the writer of Jurgen, Figures of Earth, and a number of other works set in the land of Poictesme. Cabell is most definitely not a children's writer - he's a satirist and very funny. And that's only touched the surface.

Edited by Kalessin
correcting mild confusion over "modern"
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Of those, I’m familiar only with Morris. My point wasn’t that prior works of fantasy were, in fact, fairy tales and children’s stories. 
 

Rather, Tolkien was the first author to bring fantasy work into the mainstream consciousness as something more than that. He expanded the reach of the genre. 

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