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Discuss the Inclusion of a Gay Character

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I'm fine that he put it in too, but I just don't understand why he felt the need to. If it wasn't in RJ's notes, why did he include it? What other things has BWS taken liberties on? I really hope that he stays true to the notes as much as possible. I understand that every little detail isn't in the notes, and I'm sure Harriet approves things like this, but I still don't understand why he felt the need.

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I'm pretty sure your grammar/spelling is better than quite a few native English speakers :biggrin: .

 

Thanks! :happy:

 

I'm fine that he put it too, but I just don't understand why he felt the need to. If it wasn't in RJ's notes, why did he include it? What other things has BWS taken liberties on? I really hope that he stays true to the notes as much as possible. I understand that every little detail isn't in the notes, and I'm sure Harriet approves things like this, but I still don't understand why he felt the need.

 

It wasn't in the notes that the character in question is gay, no. Bit it wasn't in the notes that he was straight either. Which prety much means that BS can choose whether he wants this peron's sexuality to remain unknown or not. If he doesn't, than that sexuality is also up to him, as long as it doesn't contradict anything alse in the notes. So he is staying true to the notes. He hasn't changed anyone or anything.

 

As to why he wanted to do so, I don't know. Why did he want another character not to be gay? Why did RJ want Elayne to have golden hair?

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My point (and i believe the snowball that started the avalanche in the other thread)was why have a gay character for the sake of having one? To appease the masses? And by masses I mean the relatively small gay population that exists. Whomever it turns out to be does his sexuality matter? Is it going to add anything to the story at all at this point? For those who argue that it will add depth to a character all i can say is: huh? None of the lesbians had any more depth to them because they were gay, it's nothing more that a trait. Now if BS or better yet RJ had made a gay character books ago and used said characters gayness for something then I'd be all for it.

 

If it is to appease the peeps (or for Brandon himself...which i think is even worse) then there are many other groups (some with larger populations) in today's world that need inclusion:

 

-people with physical deformities

-the mentally retarded

-bisexuals

-Almost any religious group outside of Christianity being that rand=Jesus on many levels.

-Divorcees (as pointed out by the man with the funniest book cover I've ever seen)

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I think he threw it in there just to be PC. I find that a little annoying.

The RJ quote makes sense to me if it's not relevant why bother.

If in fact it is a character from a previous book. Then I would be rather

bothered with the decision. Just my opinion.

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I'm pretty sure your grammar/spelling is better than quite a few native English speakers :biggrin: .

 

Thanks! :happy:

 

I'm fine that he put it too, but I just don't understand why he felt the need to. If it wasn't in RJ's notes, why did he include it? What other things has BWS taken liberties on? I really hope that he stays true to the notes as much as possible. I understand that every little detail isn't in the notes, and I'm sure Harriet approves things like this, but I still don't understand why he felt the need.

 

It wasn't in the notes that the character in question is gay, no. Bit it wasn't in the notes that he was straight either. Which prety much means that BS can choose whether he wants this peron's sexuality to remain unknown or not. If he doesn't, than that sexuality is also up to him, as long as it doesn't contradict anything alse in the notes. So he is staying true to the notes. He hasn't changed anyone or anything.

 

As to why he wanted to do so, I don't know. Why did he want another character not to be gay? Why did RJ want Elayne to have golden hair?

 

Problem is, that's not an apples to apples comparison. We wouldn't be having these kind of threads if Elayne had been a brunette & it turned out that there weren't enough blonds represented - I was going to use redheads but remembered the Aiel. ;-)

 

This thread was started as Sanderson was discussing his desire to include a gay male character due to their under representation compared to the gay females in the WOT series. The character was scheduled to be in ToM but he revised some things & the character will be in aMoL instead.

 

As I have said before, no big deal. I trust Sanderson to do as good job of making this character fit seamlessly into the story as Jordan has with his 'pillow friends.' ;-)

 

HGT

 

PS - Hold on to the Night, your post was just fine. Thanks for sharing.

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It's not an issue of tokenism. Brandon isn't misusing his post to advance his beliefs. His job definition is to be the writer of the last books. What RJ left him isn't a rough draft, it's a collection of notes that doesn't even amount to a full outline. It's Brandon's job to be creative and fill in the story. Naturally, he has to choose a different path to each character's heart and mind so we could learn to know them. With Androl it was his perfectionism. With another character it may be his sexual tendencies. The method isn't really what's important, rather the goal itself - to help us understand this world and the characters in it better. As long as it is done well (and so far I think it has been, though of course Brandon isn't RJ), why should anyone complain?

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Well, apparently Sanderson was one of the people commenting on the lack, so it's not giving into peer pressure if it's simply his adding something that he himself felt the story was missing. He thought it was a bit weird that there were lesbian references every couple of books but not a single gay male, so he added a couple of lines that make up for that like which are likely as irrelevant as all the lesbian references were.

 

Correct and finally someone has gotten to the point. It has nothing to do with being pc or peer pressure. This is something that fans have commented on as being unrealistic for a very long time. BS being one of those people is finally addressing the issue.

 

I did say "if" that was the case. At the end of the day, it'll depend on how it's handled in AMoL (if it's even mentioned). Hopefully it'll just fit in naturally, but if it seems forced then I'll just see it as being rather condescending.

 

And yeah I don't get the realistic argument. For starters, fantasy isn't reality. Secondly at the end of the day, the majority of people are straight. So if we're only seeing an incredibly small proportion of Randland's population then its just as realistic for them to all be straight, as it is to have a few homosexuals.

 

Look we know from RJ's quote that there are gay male characters in his story

 

I have gay and lesbian characters in my books, but the only time it has really come into the open is with the Aes Sedai because I haven’t been inside the heads of any other characters who are either gay or bi. For the most part, in this world such things are taken as a matter of course.

 

- The Official Robert Jordan Blog, October 6, 2005

 

What struck some as unrealistic is the female only portrayal of these relationships. Anything in my mind that fleshes out the story, adds more detail, adds more realism is a good thing. The "fantasy ins't reality" line is complete crap. Look at modern fantasy and the "gritty realism" that is being hyped as best in genre with Martin, Bakker, Erikson, and Abercrombie.

 

Btw @Randsc I agree with your Far Madding take and anyone who argues as to why you're worried about realism in a story with magic is just too lazy or intellectually unable to come up with a counter argumant.

 

It's nothing to do with being lazy. I like fantasy because the author can create a world exactly as he/she wants, never mind the restrictions of "reality" or the current social ideals we have. That's what fantasy is all about to me. After all, fantasy is usually set in a completely different world to ours, so why should our ideas of what's realistic apply? It's a matter of preference, not being "intellectually unable to come up with a counter argumant".

 

It has nothing to do with our current social ideals. RJ had very specific rules for his magic system and created a fully fleshed out "real" world. The other authors I mentioned in the first post have done a similarly good job at this. There is a place for the other type of non-realistic fantasy, the type where magic just "happens"...it's called Dungeons and Dragons. If that's your preference than by all means there are a number of books out there for you.

 

Ill end with RJ's thoughts on his story

 

RJ: I wanted to write a fantasy that reflected the real world. With characters who reflected real people -- not specific people -- but characters who were real people. And there are things about the real world that I wanted such as people who end up heroes very rarely set out to be heroes and heroic journeys consist mainly of sleeping rough and going hungry, wondering how you are going to pay for the next meal and wonder exactly what it is you are supposed to do and how are you going to get out of it alive.

 

and on a magic system

 

Martin Reznick asks: Does your world have defined natural laws in terms of: the One Power, the True Power, the weather, etc. or do you make them up as you go along?

RJ: There are set laws -- there have to be -- if you write stories where anything can happen, they get flabby, you lose focus.. I have certain set laws and limits on the One Power, the True Power, and all of this... and these limits and laws come out in pieces...they are not the focus of the stories so they only come out in bits and pieces.

 

So yes I think it is pretty obvious that making a realistic world with restrictions on his magic system were pretty important to him.

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So... Brandon... you better get divorcin'

 

You can start with Perrin and Faile.

Faile seems needed for Perrin's Broken Crown Viewing.

I seem to recall some of the first 11 books implying divorce. Do not remember exact scenes.

Though from searching Ideal Seek, found one speculation of divorce.

Knife of Dreams

Chapter 22

 

Zaida would divorce Amel and marry a ballast stone before she sent Harine din Togara as her ambassador

Edited by mb

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All the comments about needing gays in the story because the lack of them is unrealistic are just utter bullsh*t comments. If it's about realism, then (as I said) half of the marraiges in this book need to end in divorce. I've yet to see a single divorce.

 

OK, I thought this was sarcasm at first but I guess you are being serious? As other posters have pointed out realism has nothing to do with our present day social norms. Remember this world is set at 18th century technological and cultural levels. Having divorce play a major role in that setting would be very unrealistic.

 

I really wish people would read the original twitter thread and understand why BS actually thought to do this.

Edited by Suttree

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That doesn't come off as considering divorce at all.
Edited my comment.

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ok, im confused. who was the gay char in ToM? or do you mean there will be one in aMoL? i missed it if it was in ToM.

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Probably doesn't matter overall but BS just lost one reader.

 

 

 

 

 

Haha, you can't be serious? Oh wait, I forgot about homophobes.

Edited by UGAShadow

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ok, im confused. who was the gay char in ToM? or do you mean there will be one in aMoL? i missed it if it was in ToM.

 

Brandon planned this for TOM, but decided to move the scene to AMOL.

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ok, im confused. who was the gay char in ToM? or do you mean there will be one in aMoL? i missed it if it was in ToM.

 

Brandon planned this for TOM, but decided to move the scene to AMOL.

 

 

ah ok thanks, i didnt think my reading comprehension was that bad lol

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I just can't get why people are getting upset over this. If there was the sense that BS was somehow changing the spirit of the series from what RJ wanted, then I could see an argument - but if WoT was homophobic to begin with, I doubt many of us would be reading it.

 

I can see a very good reason for Brandon, as a writer, to do this. It adds to the world, fleshes it out. RJ said that homosexuality was treated as a "matter of course" in WoT societies; some cultures probably have stigmas attached to it, some don't, and for the most part people have found ways to live their lives peacefully and do so, just like in the real world. RJ got a lot of mileage looking at gender and power relationships, he had more material to play with here looking at homosexuality, but no male character has admitted to being gay, and all the homosexual relationships are offscreen and temporary (although they are reported to be just as romantic and sentimental as straight relationships.) Why the discrepancy? It's not like WoT doesn't have gay characters, they're just "invisible". RJ may not have felt comfortable writing gay men, or he may have been worried that showing someone as gay would have turned readers off (I hope this wasn't the reason,) or he might just not have found the right moment. Whatever, he wrote the series as he wrote the series, perfectly within his right. The last book hasn't been written yet, and if it makes it a better book, then go for it Brandon.

 

As a lot of people have said, it's 2011. It's not like finally admitting that a named character is gay is some kind of PC coup, some radical departure from the social norm (in other words, nothing that should piss off closed-minded folks anymore.) Normally, it should be a matter of course that there are male gay characters. RJ has also said the same. It wasn't making any sense not to have seen one by now, so better late than never.

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I'm a Catholic, I completely toe-the-line on Church teaching so you can imagine my views on homosexuality. That doesn't change the fact that homosexuals exist though. We live in a world in which right and wrong are black and white with humans being grey in how they react to this. So I don't have an issue with a character being included who homosexual.

 

My problem with the new gay character is that it just rings to false to include something like this at the end of the game. Whether it's mentioned that "so-and-so is well known for not fancying the attention of the opposite sex" or is a paragraph describing so-and-so's live life.. it just shouldn't be there. I cannot but feel it's pandering.

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My problem with the new gay character is that it just rings to false to include something like this at the end of the game. Whether it's mentioned that "so-and-so is well known for not fancying the attention of the opposite sex" or is a paragraph describing so-and-so's live life.. it just shouldn't be there. I cannot but feel it's pandering.

Again, it's only 'pandering' to the extent that RJ was pandering to fans when he supplied the requested Malkieri Aes Sedai in KOD. Fans thought it odd that none had been mentioned, so RJ conceded and put one in the books. Aside from that, Swithin's last paragraph is worth considering again.

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Probably doesn't matter overall but BS just lost one reader.

 

 

 

 

 

Haha, you can't be serious? Oh wait, I forgot about homophobes.

Nothing like adding to the civil discussion.

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Probably doesn't matter overall but BS just lost one reader.

Haha, you can't be serious? Oh wait, I forgot about homophobes.

Nothing like adding to the civil discussion.

To be fair, he only said what most of us were probably thinking.

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Probably doesn't matter overall but BS just lost one reader.

 

 

 

 

 

Haha, you can't be serious? Oh wait, I forgot about homophobes.

Nothing like adding to the civil discussion.

 

 

 

What should be said to a person that stops reading a 14 book series before the 14th book because a gay character is included?

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Question: How do you include only ONE gay male character?

 

Seriously. Unless he is the loneliest man on earth, don't you need at least two???

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Well, in all fairness, the gay is highly contagious. You have to be careful. One day you're reading a book where a passing reference indicates that a character might be sexually attracted to other men. Next thing you know, you're a snappy dresser and use product in your hair. Before too long you're speaking with a lisp, buying tickets to Cher concerts and making sweet, sweet love to other men. The gay is like cancer, except it spreads via smoldering looks and falsetto whispers, and the only cure for the gay is Jesus.

 

 

On a more serious note, one thing to consider is that while it's 2011 now, it was still the 1980s when the writing of the series started. It's one thing to have no issue with gays today, to have no issue with gay characters today. I saw a stat the other day saying that 53% of Americans are now in favor of gay marriage. Here in Canada, it's been legal for the better part of a decade. The stigma of being gay or associating with gays still exists, but (from my straight perspective) it seems enormously diminished over the past twenty years.

 

Having a gay character in the early Wheel of Time books would have been a much larger risk than it is now, without significantly adding anything to the book. Future generations might look back and be disappointed, but Jordan presumably wasn't writing so that people a hundred years from now could debate his books - he was presumably writing to be able to tell a given story and make money doing so. If adding a gay character to The Shadow Rising would have put people off, I personally don't fault him for doing so.

 

Lesbians have been all right for longer, because they're totally hot. Or more to the point, it's hard for men who are remotely honest with themselves to masturbate to girl-on-girl action and then come out too harshly against it. Obviously, not all men are remotely honest with themselves, nor do all men find girl-on-girl to be hot, but you get the idea. As an aside, I harbor a theory that pornography has done more for improving the way that America looks at gays than all the Pride parades, celebrity speeches and impassioned editorials combined.

 

As it stands, I have a fair amount of respect for Jordan for adding a highly sexual trans-gendered character, even if s/he was one of the bad guys. Jordan has had lesbian characters, bisexual characters, and a transgendered character. Given what's come before, completing the LGBT sweep doesn't strike me as something that will be an issue for most readers or out of place in the series.

Edited by Hopefire

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