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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
The Fisher King

Does It Bother Anyone Else As Hugely The Absurd Brevity Of The Series Time Line?

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I hear ya Fischer King...

 

Two years doesn't ring right in my head. Even with some of the reasoning, the story it self FEELS like 5 years old, definately not 2 and 1/2.

 

 

Even if you consider each book 3 months, thats still 4 years to the series.

 

 

 

 

 

On a positive note, If anyone has read Raymond Feists magician series, he is know for letting decades lapse and introducing NEW MAIN CHARACTERS in that void.

 

Infuriating.

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I wish to reply to Arkelias' questions basically asking how our favorite characters all became such bad mofo's so quickly.

 

As for Rand/Mat/Perrin, this is explained rather simply by the fact that they are Ta'varen (sp?).  The Pattern requires them to have basassery, so they find the means to it.  Rand has his channeling and Lews Therin helping with the bladework.  Mat has the memories of the fallen generals intersecting with his own.  (He was mainly just a trouble maker and hanger-on until that happened). Perrin has his wolf-nature which gives him skills on a much more instinctual level than the other two have.

 

As for Egwene/Nyneave/Elayne... Siuan says at some point very pointedly that they were forced to excel.  Their training regimen was by far not a normal one, and thereby normal results are not to be expected.  A large part of it helps because they were naturally so powerful.  If it wasn't for that, they'd have been expected to burn themselves out on that pace they were set and were almost expected to do so anyways.

 

And with Gawyn, I know I've read on more than one occasion (though I cannot specifically point out where) that Gawyn as well as Galad was trained in swordplay as boys by Gareth Bryne.  While I'd agree the time spent at the White Tower alone should not be enough to raise someone to the level of blademaster, that training coming on the heels of years of teaching from a consumate blademaster and one of the Great Generals probably explains it.  Beyond that, there is a certain conversation Gawyn has at one point in TGS that might alleviate some of your concerns.  (I hope that's not too much spoiler-age for anyone. I will edit if it's too much.)

 

Long story short, I agree that going from stop to fully awesomeness like this would be completely unrealistic for normal people. However, our main peoples in WoT are far from normal, and have distinct advantages starting out, one way or the other.  That's why they're our main characters.  In a world as large, diverse, and exciting as WoT you don't focus on the normal people for very long.

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How did Gawyn become such a master swordsman in such a short span of time?
He became a blademaster by killing a blademaster. These things happen in battle. Sometimes people are able to beat people who are better than them. Lan beat Ryne and Galad beat Valda despite Lan and Galad being the worse swordsmen in their respective battles. So all he needed to do was be the guy who got lucky on the day.

 

Egwene, Elayne and Nyneave become some of the most powerful women in the white tower, even though its supposed to take years to pass Accepted and gain the shawl, then another 50-100 years as an Aes Sedai before you're considered experienced.
Well, the reason it takes so long is the AS enforce learning at a crawl. The girls were forced to learn quickly, had a Chosen as a teacher, and still have gaps in their knowledge that an AS would know. Also, they took a shortcut to AS-hood, with Egwene being made Amyrlin (her lack of political experience was desirable, as they wanted a puppet), and raising the other two. They were not acknowledged by their peers as being equals - indded, they still struggle in that respect. Their strength also works in their favour given the AS hierarchy - if others accept them as AS, they must defer to them as they are the strongest. But they are not accepted as AS by all. They had to fight for it in Ebou Dar, for example, and Cadsuane and Duhara are not overly inclined to respect the claims of Nynaeve and Elayne to being sisters. As of the end of KoD, the only one of three with any standing in the WT beyond that of "runaway Accepted" is Egwene, tthanks to her work in the Tower. And officially, she's just an uppity Novice, a long way from the most powerful woman in the Tower.

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When Gawyn arrived at the White Tower he'd had training, but was far from a blademaster.  They even make a point of saying how far above him Galad is, so you get the opinion that Galad is destined to be a sword master while Gawyn will be good at best.

 

Then, a few months later Gawyn is besting master swordsmen.  He's far better than warders who've been training (and fighting) all their lives.  Warders are the cream of the crop and enhanced by the warder bond, and many of them are supposed to be the best of the best culled from the entire world.

 

My point is that such improvement is unrealistic in that period of time.  It makes sense for Galad to best warders, because we've been told he's a prodigy.  Gawyn is the slower sibling with a fraction of the skill, or he was supposed to be anyway.

 

When learning an activity like a sword much of your development comes quickly.  What I mean is when you first start learning a lot of your potential is unlocked, and then you begin the slow process of mastering the blade much like a martial artist in modern day.

 

Gawyn being trained by Gareth explains why he came to the WT at least decently trained.  But remember the scenes with him in the practice yard, both what he has to say about Galad and him getting whupped by Mat.  I just feel that his meteoric rise in skill is too quick.  It needed to be there for the story, but feels a bit contrived because of the short span of time.

 

That's not to say that he couldn't have killed Hammar.  Hammar could have slipped in a patch of blood and Gawyn could have exploited that.  So, that's not the issue.  It's just his general level of skill.  I can't say more than that or I risk spoilers =X

 

Our Ta'veren and budding Aes Sedai are easier to swallow as they all have gimmicks that can explain their rise to power, though having it happen to each and every one of them is a bit much.

 

I guess it feels as if none of the prexisting people in the WoT world mattered at all.  The best swordsmen, Aes Sedai and generals were all chumps and losers, easily eclipsed by a bunch of untrained teenagers.  None can stand before the might of the villagers who spend their entire lives shearing sheep and planting tabac =p

 

But, in the end its fiction and such flaws are very easy to forgive.  It's an excellent series, and if I wanted to read reality I'd pick up a newspaper.  I just wanted to weight in on the issue, since the OP wasn't getting a lot of love from the community here.

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2 and a half years? it was a year and a half in tGH when rand met with suain when she was in Fal Dara. You sure it's only 2 and a half years?

 

No it wasn't, it was a few months at most, we know this because at the beginning of the series it was late winter - early spring, when Rand and co return from the EotW, it was late spring early summer, they stayed at Fal Dara for a few weeks before Suin arrived. We know it can't be longer than a year becuase it isn't deep winter at any stage between the said events.

When Rand meets with suain, Lan had told him to say he was as old as the time he had used a sword. He started using a sword at the begining of tEotW, when asked how old he is Rand says a year and a half.

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The time rate of the books I find reasonable.

The same events within the time the books tell, that might be able to be reproduced in real life.

 

There is at least one other series that had a short time scale and took a long time to write. (Lord of the Rings)

The time rate of that series I find reasonable.

 

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If you're talking fiction, massive tomes like Finnegan's Wake and Ullysses have shorter timelines by far. So does War and Peace.

If you're talking history, Alexander and Chengiz much wrapped up territories much larger than Randland in similar timespans, without the benefit of travelling.

So did the Russians Czars in the 19th century.

Not unbelievable at all.

Skills at scrapping and use of OP: All the major characters had an edge, apart from natural talent.

The wondergirls were forced in OP usage - they also had good and unusual teachers apart from Moraine.

Egwene had the Seanchan and Aiel WO, Nyn and Elayne had Mogheidien and Nyn was a wilder who'd already taught herself a lot of stuff.

Mat had his memories, plus his considerable learnt skills with staff, bow and knives - his dad is one of the best archers and staff fighters in the world, Thom is good with knives.

Rand had his memories and Tam who's probably the best longbow archer in the world to teach the bow and the void.

Plus, Lan who's kind of good with weapons and the Aiel as well.

Perrin had his wolf reflexes and senses added to his massive strength.

Gawyn and Galad had first Byrne, and then the warders teaching them.

Unusual but not impossible.

 

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Doesn't the glossary at the back have a description which says the year is 364-365 days?

As in number of months @10 days a week tallies with some festival yuletide thing balancing off the odd days?

 

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Doesn't the glossary at the back have a description which says the year is 364-365 days?

The glossaries do not say the exact number of days (nor the guide), yet they tell the number of months (13) and the number of days per month (28).  13 times 28 equals 364

They also tell of a number of days that are not part of a month:

-Sunday (every year)

-Feast of Thanksgiving (every 4 years at spring equinox)

-Feast of All Souls Salvation (every 10 years at autumn equinox)

Factoring in Sunday, every year is 365 days.

With the other two holidays, the number of days for those years are 366.  If both can occur in the same year, then every 20 years would have 367 days (because 20 is the lowest common multiple of 4 and 10).

 

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I kinda skipped page three...

so sorry if i am re posting w/e somebody else wrote....

 

But, when you are faced with hard times, you stand up and overcome them, or die and wither away....

Explains almost everything....so ha!!!!

 

lol...

 

Everyone needs to badass up....

Nyn, Egw, and Elayne are three of the most powerful Channelers in a lonnngggg ass time....of course they would become powerful soon....events happened that propelled their rise...that's all...

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Then, a few months later Gawyn is besting master swordsmen.  He's far better than warders who've been training (and fighting) all their lives.  Warders are the cream of the crop and enhanced by the warder bond, and many of them are supposed to be the best of the best culled from the entire world.

 

My point is that such improvement is unrealistic in that period of time.  It makes sense for Galad to best warders, because we've been told he's a prodigy.  Gawyn is the slower sibling with a fraction of the skill, or he was supposed to be anyway.

As of the end of KoD, Gawyn hadn't done anything truly exceptional. He was good, but not implausibly so. We could accept it. If he did something ridiculously over the top in TGS (speaking purely hypothetically, of course), then I might well agree that it was a bit much.

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In short, no.

 

In long, the WoT plotline has to be very short as they couldn't just sit around while the Dark One breaks free. However, RJ still wanted to fully develop the characters and events, which took him an understandably long time as you have more than 5 main characters. Think about plotlines in gaming and other novels: they have to be long to make the game/novel worth something but they also have to have a sense of urgency.

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My point is that such improvement is unrealistic in that period of time.  It makes sense for Galad to best warders, because we've been told he's a prodigy.  Gawyn is the slower sibling with a fraction of the skill, or he was supposed to be anyway.

 

Didn't Galad fall first to Mat when they sparred? Also, we have seen Gawyn practice his craft more often than Galad and against more difficult opponents than the few times we have seen Galad.

 

As of the end of KoD, Gawyn hadn't done anything truly exceptional. He was good, but not implausibly so. We could accept it. If he did something ridiculously over the top in TGS (speaking purely hypothetically, of course), then I might well agree that it was a bit much.

 

That is understandable but I wouldn't have a problem with such a scene as that as I think it's within the realm of belief.

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First off the time line is weird just because of switching to ten day weeks. The seasons themselves could be different though in length. On everyone being so skilled they were all pushed and have natural talent. Also the Wheel needed them to excel, so they did. Also it isn't like it is just random people who are advancing, it is the main characters. They are more important, more skilled, and have different things that make them special.

 

Also just to mess with the Rand saying his sword for a year and a half at Fal Dara thing, didn't he say that he was "less than a year old" at that party in Cairhien? Just saying

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We have seen Empires rise and fall
,

 

What empire has risen or fallen?  The only Empire in this series is the Seanchan and while they are having a bit of trouble in Seandar at the moment the Empire has hardly fallen.   As for the Seachan annexations in Randland we have seen through recent history that a small nation can fall rather quickly to larger one with vastly superior weaponry.  In this case the Seanchan damane would qualify as vastly superior weaponry.  So this explains the quick fall or Tarabon, Ebu Dar and Amadicia.

 

As to the nations Rand has acquired this could hardly be called an empire as his rule in these nations is hardly secure.  He has already had to deal with rebellions in Carhein and Tear and there are still powers in these nations who plot against him.  He has completely lost Andor.   The initial fall of Andor, Tear and Illian was not fast but came about due to plotting by Forsaken that had been going on for years.  Rand just happened to be in the right place at the right time to scoop these nations up when their previous leader fell.  Rand's hold on these nations is tenious at best which is often the case when a nation experiences a swift takeover.

 

Religions rise and fall

 

The Dragonsworn are far from an organized religion and are more like a fanatical movement.  These can rise rather quickly and very few of them are motivated by such a clear cut sign as two men fighting in the clouds.  Such an obvious sign would surely speed up the process.  Most organized religions probably did start out as fanatical movements so at best the Dragonsworn are a religion in its infancy.   The religion has not "risen" but is in the very early stages of rising and it probably would take years for the Dragonsworn movement to become a full fledged religion.   Mesema's group which was itself a sect of the Dragonsworn fell because the majority of its members were suddenly exterminated.  Its happens, Heaven's Gate, Branch Dividians anyone?

 

Book 1 they are this mythical awe-inspiring group who lived in seclusion...and I mean they ALL lived in exclusion

 

Not True. This is only the perception of those who have lived in backwater villages such as Emonds Feild all their lives.   People in the larger cities are quite familiar with Aes Sedai and are aware that they are active in the world and that they influence events and manipulate governments.

 

The Aes Sedai are the closest thing that Randland has to an organized religion.   We have found, however,  that their perceived stability is an illusion as they have dealt with internal strife and even fracturing of the Tower in the past.  The current events may be extreme examples but such occurances are hardly new to the tower.  They have just been successful in keeping these things covered up.   I think one of the major themes of The White Tower in the story is that it is in many ways a huge farce.   Its not so much a matter of the Tower suddenly crumbling as it is a matter of the farce being exposed.   A relative few AS have been humbled and this has come about from dealing with forces they have never encountered before such as the Seanchan and their a'dam and an army of trained Male Channelers.

 

 

characters fall in and out of love
,

 

I've known many a woman who met a man and had a ring on her finger in well under two years.  It happens more quickly for some than others.   Who other than Rand and Egwene has fallen out of love?  Rand and Egwene is explainable as each has suddenly been exposed to a much wider world and has gone though some major live changing experiences.   Neither is the same person he/she was when they left the Two Rivers.

 

Wars fought

 

Some wars are short, it all depends on the balance of power, # of troups, type of weaponry.  

 

hundreds of leagues travelled on horseback
.

 

Do we know exactly how large Randland is?  

 

..characters delve into insanity and back...All in approximately 24 Months

 

Who besides Rand?

 

 

Ever been on a college campus at final exam time?  I've seen some kids go pretty wacky for a short time only to recover in a week or two when exams are over.  I think what Rand has been experiencing is more like extreme stress than actual insanity.  

 

*edited to remove TGS Spoilers*

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Randland seems to be nearly 3,500 miles across and 2,200 miles from the coast of Tear to the Mts. of Dhoom. At least, that's from memory of when I've measured this out before. An inch on the map in the hardcover books is about 400 miles.

 

As for Rand coming back from madness a bit, Min really seemed to have helped keep him somewhat sane. There's a noticeable difference since she's taken to him. Though perhaps one could say his progression's gotten worse in other ways. He seems less mad, but he's feeling emotions less and less, forcing himself to be almost inhuman.

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