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Robert Jordan planned it all wrong


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I don't think the series should have started from the AOL, but it sure would have been a nice treat for us fans to be able to read more about that time.

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Well, my opinion is that the way RJ started the series is flawless. You got just that little taste of LTT's era and what it meant. Then you come to current times. We'll see what he has planned for the final epilogue - I'm sure if he didn't write that already, it was detailed extensively in his notes. Wouldn't shock me to have another LTT chapter. ;) Anyone who writes always knows the beginning and the end of their story; the challenging part is filling in the middle.

 

Additionally, it would not be shocking to learn, somewhere down the line, that RJ had designs on writing an Age of Legends book or two.

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I don't think the series should have started from the AOL, but it sure would have been a nice treat for us fans to be able to read more about that time.

I do agree with this, but in a better-than-the-guide sort of way. I'm really looking forward to the encyclopedia that Harriet and Team Jordan have been putting together that will supposedly be published a year or two after aMoL. That will be fascinating, without having to read more story.

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Hello, All. First time poster, I have been lurking on this board for a long time but this is the first thread that actually moved me to register and post.

 

Jordan got it wrong? Ummm, in what universe? The whole point of Jordan's literary style, and the thing that makes it brilliant, is the fact that almost the entire series is written from the point of view of individuals who have no more knowledge or information on hand than the readers themselves. In so many fantasy and science fiction series or books, especially those of epic scope, the reader is far too informed. This goes from Tolkien, the grand master, all the way to the present - we as readers are given far too much insight into the knowledge of the thoughts and plans of everyone and everything involved. We are provided with detailed histories, obvious clues, road map prophecies, deus ex machina interventions from knowledgable Gods or near god mortals, and first person witnesses to the terrible plans of the horrible enemy. In short, we are spoon fed, and fantasy and fiction become more reliant on character than on plot and exposition.

 

Hey, if that is what you want, then OK - maybe Jordan should have written a few prequels so we could all get to know some more hundreds of characters and everything they knew so it would help us figure out what Rand and Co. need to know in the present. To me, that would spoil the fun. I am not sure where Jordan developed his literary style. Perhaps it is his background as a soldier, where the individual infantryman never learns more than his own assignment, a line officer can grasp tactics but probably not strategy, and even the overall commander only knows as much as his intelligence can get him, much of which is often incorrect or confused. And no one, ever, even on the bad side, has enough good information to know exactly what to do. In short, Jordan wants US, as readers, to learn as our protaganists (and even the antagonists) learn.

 

Personally, as you can probably tell, I find this approach refreshing and different. If there are those who don't, for gosh' sakes, why have you hung in this long? Lets let the story finish as it was intended, and then let others decide if further explanatory material will be developed. Whatever you do, let's not act out our own personal "Misery" on the author, and fantasize about how he should have done it.

 

It takes a lot of hubris, in my opinion, to tell a successful author how they should have done something. If it really bothers people, I suppose they could always call the publisher and complain (lots of luck there). Or, better yet, if there are those who really do not like it, do what a young man named Christopher Paolini did - try it yourself! Develop your own story, and do it the way YOU think it should be done. It worked out for him!

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Well, I don't think Jordan planned it wrong. One thing you have to keep in mind is that if he had shown up at Tor in 1995 with a planned series of a dozen books, they would have laughed at him. If he has persisted, they would have called security.

 

Jordan had to retain flexibility over how the story would progress, until it became popular to the point that the publisher let him do whatever he wished.

 

One thing I would love to see, when this is over, is a re-issue of the series after it has been subjected to some rigorous editing. I don't mean just redactions, although those would hurt, but even reordering. Fixing some of the timeline inconsistencies. Etc.

 

I'm not saying it was badly edited, just that having the luxury of seeing the entire thing would give an editor the ability to create a much tighter series.

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robert jordan pklanned it perfect, or you still wouldnt be reading after so long. you muddled through 7,8,9, and 10 but if you actually go back and re read them... there is more in there than most people think.

 

Yes, there's a lot more - boredom. I'm doing a re-read of the series and I'm now a couple of hundred pages into Fires of Heaven. This means Rand, Matt, and Perrin are all now off camera, and instead I'm being treated to Elayne, Nynaeve, Suane, and Leanne traveling to Salidar. Ooh, the intrigue! Page after meticulously crafted page of bitching, and moaning, and speculating, and sniffing, and plotting, and bitching some more! And look - here comes the circus! Uggg... let the skimming begin, and it's only going to get worse in the next 5 or 6 books.

 

You know, people fault Tolkien for not having enough female characters, but maybe he had the right idea. Jordan's biggest mistake was giving so much screen time to so many whiny coniving women.

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robert jordan pklanned it perfect, or you still wouldnt be reading after so long. you muddled through 7,8,9, and 10 but if you actually go back and re read them... there is more in there than most people think.

 

Yes, there's a lot more - boredom. I'm doing a re-read of the series and I'm now a couple of hundred pages into Fires of Heaven. This means Rand, Matt, and Perrin are all now off camera, and instead I'm being treated to Elayne, Nynaeve, Suane, and Leanne traveling to Salidar. Ooh, the intrigue! Page after meticulously crafted page of bitching, and moaning, and speculating, and sniffing, and plotting, and bitching some more! And look - here comes the circus! Uggg... let the skimming begin, and it's only going to get worse in the next 5 or 6 books.

 

You know, people fault Tolkien for not having enough female characters, but maybe he had the right idea. Jordan's biggest mistake was giving so much screen time to so many whiny coniving women.

 

Perhaps the problem is that they are whiny and conniving and not that they are women. I don't think annoying character traits have to be limited to the fairer sex.

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Hello, All. First time poster, I have been lurking on this board for a long time but this is the first thread that actually moved me to register and post.

 

Jordan got it wrong? Ummm, in what universe? The whole point of Jordan's literary style, and the thing that makes it brilliant, is the fact that almost the entire series is written from the point of view of individuals who have no more knowledge or information on hand than the readers themselves. In so many fantasy and science fiction series or books, especially those of epic scope, the reader is far too informed. This goes from Tolkien, the grand master, all the way to the present - we as readers are given far too much insight into the knowledge of the thoughts and plans of everyone and everything involved. We are provided with detailed histories, obvious clues, road map prophecies, deus ex machina interventions from knowledgable Gods or near god mortals, and first person witnesses to the terrible plans of the horrible enemy. In short, we are spoon fed, and fantasy and fiction become more reliant on character than on plot and exposition.

 

Hey, if that is what you want, then OK - maybe Jordan should have written a few prequels so we could all get to know some more hundreds of characters and everything they knew so it would help us figure out what Rand and Co. need to know in the present. To me, that would spoil the fun. I am not sure where Jordan developed his literary style. Perhaps it is his background as a soldier, where the individual infantryman never learns more than his own assignment, a line officer can grasp tactics but probably not strategy, and even the overall commander only knows as much as his intelligence can get him, much of which is often incorrect or confused. And no one, ever, even on the bad side, has enough good information to know exactly what to do. In short, Jordan wants US, as readers, to learn as our protaganists (and even the antagonists) learn.

 

Personally, as you can probably tell, I find this approach refreshing and different. If there are those who don't, for gosh' sakes, why have you hung in this long? Lets let the story finish as it was intended, and then let others decide if further explanatory material will be developed. Whatever you do, let's not act out our own personal "Misery" on the author, and fantasize about how he should have done it.

 

It takes a lot of hubris, in my opinion, to tell a successful author how they should have done something. If it really bothers people, I suppose they could always call the publisher and complain (lots of luck there). Or, better yet, if there are those who really do not like it, do what a young man named Christopher Paolini did - try it yourself! Develop your own story, and do it the way YOU think it should be done. It worked out for him!

 

 

 

As for Jordan's literary style...Pretty sure what you're trying to expound upon is the difference between what's called Third-Person Omnicient & Third-Person Limited points of view as it pertains to the reader. Anyway, it's not actually some grandiose result of life experiences on any authors part, or new to the literary world at all. Is pretty much a technique used when you don't want the reader to know everything that's going on or that has gone on. Also useful for adding an air of mystery and/or suspense, and in other situations too...

 

It's a nice change up to encounter as a reader though, if you'd never read something in that style before eh?

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Though having said that, you also get the 3pO thrown in because we see things played out using scenes of 3pL from the perspective of so many different characters instead of one specific characters point of view all the time throughout.

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Hi, Mat's Hat. Expounding? Yeah, that's fair.

 

I am well aware of the difference between the third person omniscient and third person subjective narrative modes. Re-stated, I, personally, enjoy the third person subjective as utilized by Jordan. I have encountered this technique often, but not necesarily in epic fantasy. The common mode in such works is third person omniscient, which lends itself well to broad, sweeping works of fiction but does tend to lessen the thrill of discovery. In that sense, you are right, I do find it refreshing. I readily admit to not reading as much fantasy as I did when younger; it is possible that more successful writers employ this mode than was previously common. As to where the decision to employ this mode came from, I do not know; I theorized it came from Jordan's background. The sum of an author's artistic style is heavily influenced by the environment in which their technique evolves, so I don't think my guess is a bad one, though. Just possibly wrong!

 

Overall, though, my point is: if you don't like the style, why read it? Why would you go to an art gallery of a famous painter from the school of realism, even though you know you do not like their work or realistic art in general, and then complain that their work is poorly planned and that they should have painted in the impressionistic manner? It is the constitutional right of anyone to do this, of course, but then that person can not expect not to get funny looks from the other patrons, right?

 

I do find it interesting to see Sanderson imposing his own form of third person subjective narrative to the story. He turns the POV on its axis by letting us see focal characters through the narrative thoughts of secondary characters a little more than Jordan did. You are right, of course, in noting that the use of alternating points of view through the limited lens tends to distort to a slightly higher knowledge base than is achievable by the use of one limited view. This does lead to an occasional omniscient view of knowing the near future, but not so much that it interferes with the author's intent, I think. Anyway, thanks for the input.

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Perhaps the problem is that they are whiny and conniving and not that they are women. I don't think annoying character traits have to be limited to the fairer sex.

 

Right, I'm not a sexist, and I'm not claimnig all women are whiny and coniving - but Jordan's women sure are.

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Perhaps the problem is that they are whiny and conniving and not that they are women. I don't think annoying character traits have to be limited to the fairer sex.

 

Right, I'm not a sexist, and I'm not claimnig all women are whiny and coniving - but Jordan's women sure are.

 

Oh, I completely agree. I'm just saying that that is just how Jordan choose to portray those particular characters and not because they are women or that the books should have less women in them. I would like those personalties traits just as little had RJ chosen to give them to males.

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Well, my opinion is that the way RJ started the series is flawless. You got just that little taste of LTT's era and what it meant. Then you come to current times. We'll see what he has planned for the final epilogue - I'm sure if he didn't write that already, it was detailed extensively in his notes. Wouldn't shock me to have another LTT chapter. ;) Anyone who writes always knows the beginning and the end of their story; the challenging part is filling in the middle.

 

Additionally, it would not be shocking to learn, somewhere down the line, that RJ had designs on writing an Age of Legends book or two.

 

 

you know i have always wondered on how Ishy able to proclaim for the Dark one in the hall of servants itself and get away with it. Surely the Aes sedai present would have tried to arrest him?

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Overall, though, my point is: if you don't like the style, why read it? Why would you go to an art gallery of a famous painter from the school of realism, even though you know you do not like their work or realistic art in general, and then complain that their work is poorly planned and that they should have painted in the impressionistic manner? It is the constitutional right of anyone to do this, of course, but then that person can not expect not to get funny looks from the other patrons, right?

 

I do find it interesting to see Sanderson imposing his own form of third person subjective narrative to the story. He turns the POV on its axis by letting us see focal characters through the narrative thoughts of secondary characters a little more than Jordan did. You are right, of course, in noting that the use of alternating points of view through the limited lens tends to distort to a slightly higher knowledge base than is achievable by the use of one limited view. This does lead to an occasional omniscient view of knowing the near future, but not so much that it interferes with the author's intent, I think. Anyway, thanks for the input.

 

Who knows really? Maybe it's a casualty of changing times. People might be so used to having access to information so easily, and being able to find out exactly what happened, without having to really think about what happened or may have happened, that they get peeved or don't find it so comfortable when things are left so open to speculation - and perhaps thereby that leads to the opinion that an author planned poorly, or didn't do it right, so to speak.

 

I mean say something happens in the news in today's world. It's plastered all over the place, the who/what/when/where/why/how much/how often/with who/how come. Meanwhile you've got a story about the AoL in Wheel of Time, and it's just kind of out there beyond the snippets given. Which, to me, makes sense as it goes along with what the characters in the present age are going through - they know just about as much as, if not less, than we do as readers.

 

Other people just might not enjoy the prospect of not knowing exactly what happened, to whoever, in whatever Age, at every given conceived moment.

 

It is one thing though to say you don't enjoy the style in which something is written, versus critiquing an author for 'doing it wrong' because it wasn't portrayed in the way you'd find most satisfying.

 

For instance, awhile back I read most of the Anne Rice vampire novels for the purpose of stepping into something that hadn't ever really appealed to me. That lady has a way with words for sure, and some of the times all I could do was scratch my head at her acid-based language use...But I guarantee she knew exactly what she was doing & is a hell of a lot more accomplished an author than most, for me to ever declare that she planed things out all wrong.

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I also agree with Jemron; part of the beauty of Jordan's series is that it is an evolved world, and that world has legends and stories that are integral parts of the culture, and accepted as such by their characters. To have started with how they came to be would have ruined the cadence of the story.

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It can still easily be made into movies. Movies = books. The movies can skip through sooo much filler and non-filler, and be done in even 3 movies, each 3 hours long, certainly in 6 movies.

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Showing the AOL too early would have ruined the story. My favourite bit of the whole series (so far) is Rand in Rhuidean going through the glass spheres. The glimpse of the AOL after seeing during and right after the Breaking gave the human faces to the fall of civilisation from the AOL to when the WOT starts with Rand and Tam. It's only after we're all acquainted with and supporting the current characters and by extension their world, can it's fall be truly appreciated in the way intended.

 

Whilst, if he had lived, I would have very much liked a book or books from before the Bore being opened through to the Bore being Sealed and the start of the Breaking, it would have made a key part of the WOT look even more contrived. That being the Forsaken and their uselessness. Any story from the AOL has them winning against the Light, with only a desperate raid lucky enough to capture them all. Knowing about their past successes is one thing, but if we had book(s) of how they outwitted, out fought and just out did the Light, their complete and utter uselessness in the WOT (Demandred pulling off something useful in AMOL the only chance to avoid that in total left) seem even more contrived then these ultra strong, extremely knowledgeable channelers, all at least a couple of hundred years old, getting consistently beaten by kids or young adults does already.

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  • 5 months later...

 

RJ knew what he was doing. It shouldn't bug me, but it does when people say he did it wrong. It's his story, not ours. Let him tell it the way he intended.

 

 

well he certainly knew what he was doing by giving us COT, WH and PODs. The series took a dive after LOC. Such wasted potential.

 

In my opinion the series could have been the greatest series of all. One of the biggest issues with WOT is the plot armoured characters and the lack of casualties. the lack of despair. the lack of trully terrifying villains who are extremely ruthless.

 

All that could have been solved if the first chapter of the first book was about the story of LTT.

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RJ knew what he was doing. It shouldn't bug me, but it does when people say he did it wrong. It's his story, not ours. Let him tell it the way he intended.

 

 

well he certainly knew what he was doing by giving us COT, WH and PODs. The series took a dive after LOC. Such wasted potential.

 

In my opinion the series could have been the greatest series of all. One of the biggest issues with WOT is the plot armoured characters and the lack of casualties. the lack of despair. the lack of trully terrifying villains who are extremely ruthless.

 

All that could have been solved if the first chapter of the first book was about the story of LTT.

 

In my opinion, the Wheel of Time series IS THE GREATEST fantasy series of ALL time. In my opinion, there has not been a fantasy series that even comes close to the greatness of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. You and others have your opinion and your point of view. But, I completely, totally, and absolutely disagree with you.

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RJ knew what he was doing. It shouldn't bug me, but it does when people say he did it wrong. It's his story, not ours. Let him tell it the way he intended.

well he certainly knew what he was doing by giving us COT, WH and PODs. The series took a dive after LOC. Such wasted potential.

 

In my opinion the series could have been the greatest series of all. One of the biggest issues with WOT is the plot armoured characters and the lack of casualties. the lack of despair. the lack of trully terrifying villains who are extremely ruthless.

 

All that could have been solved if the first chapter of the first book was about the story of LTT.

How does making the first chapter of the book about LTT solve any of those points? Hell, the first chapter of the first book was about LTT, and we still got plot armoured characters, villains who weren't truly terrifying or extremely ruthless and a lack of casualties. I don't see how it is a good idea, on any level, to spend too much time on something only important as backstory. Yes, we get some interesting glimpses of the AoL. When we have to read a whole book, only for it to end and we fast forward a few thousand years, don't you think that looks a little odd? WoT is a great fantasy series, despite its flaws - this does nothing to address those flaws. It's simply an exercise in wasting time.
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I detest series that are like this, because, other than some immortals, everyone you know has died by the time you return to the world. That means there's no character continuity; this is why I've never read Terry Brooks very much.

 

I do agree that the books between Lord of Chaos and Winter's Heart could have been truncated.

Imagine how we'd feel when watching Lanfear try to hit on Rand, while knowing how those two used to be, and reading how Rand is completely clueless about it. It'd bring a whole new dimension of awesome to Rand/Lanfear relationship.

 

Other things like that could have happened, too.

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RJ knew what he was doing. It shouldn't bug me, but it does when people say he did it wrong. It's his story, not ours. Let him tell it the way he intended.

well he certainly knew what he was doing by giving us COT, WH and PODs. The series took a dive after LOC. Such wasted potential.

 

In my opinion the series could have been the greatest series of all. One of the biggest issues with WOT is the plot armoured characters and the lack of casualties. the lack of despair. the lack of trully terrifying villains who are extremely ruthless.

 

All that could have been solved if the first chapter of the first book was about the story of LTT.

How does making the first chapter of the book about LTT solve any of those points? Hell, the first chapter of the first book was about LTT, and we still got plot armoured characters, villains who weren't truly terrifying or extremely ruthless and a lack of casualties. I don't see how it is a good idea, on any level, to spend too much time on something only important as backstory. Yes, we get some interesting glimpses of the AoL. When we have to read a whole book, only for it to end and we fast forward a few thousand years, don't you think that looks a little odd? WoT is a great fantasy series, despite its flaws - this does nothing to address those flaws. It's simply an exercise in wasting time.

 

 

the last strike at shayol ghul was only what a prologue chapter in a normal book? even less? and yet it contained more despair, more desperation, more setbacks for the forces of light than the entire 13 books of WOT series.

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If the series had been kept tight, it could have ended in 9-10 books. If RJ, did what is suggested, it could be a 30 book series and would take at least 40 years to complete.

 

Movie possibilities:

 

Even with 14 books, a movie series can be done, but ignoring the gossip and filler material and some of the redundant stuff (e.g. Bowl of Winds, him fighting Forsaken x,y,z and so forth).

 

Otherwise, it would have to be a 200 episode+ series (which of course will be cancelled well before) or a 20+ movies (which will never happen).

 

Possible WoT movie trilogy:

 

The first movie can be about the DR taking Callandor from the Stone of Tear.

 

The second movie could combine several plots and lead to the Cleansing of Saidin.

 

The final movie will the TG.

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If the series had been kept tight, it could have ended in 9-10 books. If RJ, did what is suggested, it could be a 30 book series and would take at least 40 years to complete.

 

Movie possibilities:

 

Even with 14 books, a movie series can be done, but ignoring the gossip and filler material and some of the redundant stuff (e.g. Bowl of Winds, him fighting Forsaken x,y,z and so forth).

 

Otherwise, it would have to be a 200 episode+ series (which of course will be cancelled well before) or a 20+ movies (which will never happen).

 

Possible WoT movie trilogy:

 

The first movie can be about the DR taking Callandor from the Stone of Tear.

 

The second movie could combine several plots and lead to the Cleansing of Saidin.

 

The final movie will the TG.

 

 

If HBO can make Game of Thrones in 9 or 10 episodes, it can do the same with WOT. But this isn't the thread for that particular discussion. I have to agree that ACoS,PoD,WH and CoT could have been condensed into one book, considering nothing, and I mean nothing happens that warranted 3 separate books. Faile's story line had, I believe someone said it was like 3000 pages? That's more than the Sil, Hobbit and LoTR combined. (If I'm wrong about the page count, still it could have been resolved in one book and not three).

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