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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

How do you deal with all the characters?


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According to encylopedia-WoT, there are 1880 characters mentioned in the wheel of time books. Assuming that even 1000 of those are one or two times mentioned, and not necessary to the story line, that still leaves 880 characters. I find that I sometimes have trouble remembering who a secondary character is, especially after a weekend or so without reading. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with it?

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OH yes I defiantly feel you on this one. I find that if i am not constantly re reading the books i forget who the minor 2ndary charaters are or i mix them up essepca;ly the ones with similar names and when it come to the Aes sedai and the Kin. I wish i had the secret as well.

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I agree as well, though it doesn't happen very often for me. It usually happens when i take a week or more break during the middle of one of the books. At that point, I almost always miss one of the minor characters and have to look it up.

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Keep in mind that the primary and secondary characters make up about thirty or so all together. Maybe closer to fifty depending on your criteria. The rest of that is tertiary and even less, people who have little function other than to add a sense of population.

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Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve are the primary characters. Moiraine, Thom, Lan, Elayne et al, they're all secondary. The Forsaken are secondary. Actually, most of the "characters" are below the level of tertiary. Characters like the Black Ajah hunters are tertiary. The only difference here is that secondary and even tertiary characters get the spotlight for a while.

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Rand, Mat, and Perrin are clearly main characters... and actually I'd list Egwene as the highest of the secondary characters, with Nynaeve below her.

 

I'd say roughly 3 main characters, 6 high-secondary characters, 15 base secondary, 50 tertiary, and a whole arseload of the unwashed masses.

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I have a good memory for names... ;)

 

But, to help I also have a notebook in which I have all Aes Sedai grouped by Ajah, together with their nationality and Warders (and their nationalities) and whether they are Tower, Salidar or independant; all Asha'man and their Aes Sedai; Aiel Clan Chiefs, their clans and their current locations (as Rand keeps moving them around); all Black Ajah, their nationality and their fate; and Tairen / Cairhien nobility and their locations / loyalties. It helps to be able to quickly look someone up if I'm not sure of something about them.

 

And as for the others, I generally just remember them because of 12 or 13 re-readings.

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I often get minor characters mixed up, especially when they have similar names. RJ doesn't really ever just refer to people by their profession eg. "the maid sat on Mat's knee". He always gives them names, even when they only feature very briefly and have no impact on the story. It makes it more life-like in a way, but it can get confusing lol. It doesn't help that some characters have more than one name, like most of the Forsaken.

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I can understand many people saying so-n-so is secondary, but when RJ gives us all these prologues and little sneak peaks into their actions it is very hard to keep things straight - especially with all the Darkfriends sneaking about. I didn't realise a certain Darkfriend Whitecloak was... well, who he was, until the 2nd reading. I find it maddening! I am re-reading and up to book 6, when all the Aes Sedai try to... well, you what they do to Rand... :-X and I can't keep them all straight - I don't know who is in who's camp! Maddening I say! Maddening! I even have trouble with all the acronyms! I can't remember what KOD was or COS... don't even EaTEotW me! I will just lose it! (hee!  :-*)

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I can handle all of the names except the secondary Aes'sedai. All of the others are pretty easy to remember. Every character that i find uninteresting or only there for a few chapters i forget instantly.

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I would still say Rand is the main character of the series; though really, I guess, only the first book. I think anyone who left Edmond's Field is primary, anyone they met up with in the second and third books are secondary [with a few exceptions], and the rest are just to meat out the story--they are meaningless and often I try to ignore them as unimportant. Rand is always the main character to me [though, honestly, one of my least favorites], and the rest of the Edmond's Fielders.

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My main problem is the women channelers in the Sea Folk, the Tower Aes Sedai, the rebel Aes Sedai, the Kin, and the Wise Ones. So many with similar names, and not a big role, but in some cases it turns out that one of their lives is crucial to the storyline and I go crazy, cause I don't know who they are.

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My main problem is the women channelers in the Sea Folk, the Tower Aes Sedai, the rebel Aes Sedai, the Kin, and the Wise Ones. So many with similar names, and not a big role, but in some cases it turns out that one of their lives is crucial to the storyline and I go crazy, cause I don't know who they are.

 

I can only suggesting writing them down somewhere like I do, then you've got them to hand to refer to if you need it.

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Dealing with the characters is a nightmare, especially the sea folk

 

If their names weren't hard enough remeber what rank means what is the biggest pain ever. I personally just focus on the main characters and anyone near by. Anyone else its just a matter of making a mental note that they exist and thats about it

 

how though has elayne slipped from the main character list everyone uses though? I mean sure 90% of the world hates her but you can deny that she has developed her own individual plot line that has taken up easily a 3rd of the last 3 books? and lets not forget she's had an equal share of Nyneave's adventures from book 4 onward.

 

Infact of the main gang I'd say Nyneave is the weakest link, since she is the only one who hasn't had her own individual plot line, always shared with someone else be it egwene, rand elayne etc.

 

On that point what of Siuan and Min? They pretty much ate a large chunk out of book 5 or so on their little trip and their is hardly a shortage of their perspective after that, min especially.

 

Personally I find its easiet I deal with characters on a book by book basis if I can

 

eg Rand/Perrin main char Eotw

  Rand/Egwene/Nyneave TGH

  Perrin/Egwene/Nyneave TDR

 

and so on until we've got things like

 

  Elayne/Perrin/Mat come KoD

 

Just focus on the main chars and anyone near by, quite often you'll find someone happens or is said around them that jogs your memory

 

It would be nice however if something simular to what the Malzan Book Of the Fallen series includes which is a full character listing with a short description of who they are a tht efront of each book, of course only the characters appearing in that said book are listed. The description is kept to brief to be a spoiler however.

 

 

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Actually I have a much harder time with GRRM's stuff,  if he'd stop killing everyone off before I could learn their names.... ;D

 

How is that possible? There aren't nearly as many characters, and none of them have similar names.

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There aren't nearly as many characters

 

Well ... if they all lived there might be.  ;D

 

No, but seriously, some of the myriad Aes Sedai can get confusing, especially the ones with similar names.  Seaine, Saerin, Sierin, Samalin, Sashalle, Sheraine, Shevan, Sheriam, Shemari, Shemerin, Shemaen, Shanelle, Sarene, Sareitha, Saroiya .... you get the picture.

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This is the reason i re-read every time a new book is published. I got book 11, started reading it, came across what i THINK was Lelaine, and was stumped. I knew I knew her name, but i couldnt remember her significance, or what was happening.

 

The more you read the books, the easier it gets. For example i can remember the first time i read, i had to go back and figure out who the hell this Padan Fain was, then the next time i read them, I couldnt for the life of me remember Basil Gil. It gets easier  ;D

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How do I deal with them all? I drink... a lot... just kidding, mostly. After enough rereads I don't usually have a problem remembering most of the characters while I'm reading (unless they are unimportant)and when I'm not reading I usually just need to know them for posting stuff online, and then I can look them up online if I'm unsure.

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I dont have many problems really.. I cant remember the names just out of my head, but I recognize the names when I read them. I try not to get cought up in names tho, and try to just see what they do.

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I'd try the audiobooks because you may have better listening retention for names than you do visual retention.

 

I wouldn't suggest only audio. I read up until CoT several years ago and now I am currently listening to the whole series from the beggining. Without having read at least a book to start I think I would be lost by now.

 

One thing that does help is encyclopaedia-wot.org (Google it because I'm sure I misspelled it). I listen to wot during work so when my mind wanders and I miss some things I refer to the website for names and chapter summaries. Though if you are into the series for the first time be aware that you may come across spoilers.

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The worst for me is when I come here and see theories involving people I don't rember ever reading about. Honestly, who thought "Setalle Anan, humm... who is she? Well......let's see. This, this, and this are true, so she must be this random AS who was only mentioned in one chapter in one book." Who put those two together!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?(not that I'm disagreeing with the verdict)

 

But to keep them all in order, I fing encyclopeadia-wot very helpful.

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