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Does anyone else want Shara or Land of the Madmen to play larger role in WoT?


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I just recently bought the The World of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Encyclopedia and read more in depth about them. Through out the WoT series only Shara was mentioned and it seemed like a mix of Africa and Japan's early closing down its ports to outsiders. While we met Jain Farstrider in ToM I can't shake the feeling like these lands could've played a role in WoT series. Especially the Land of the Madman with channelers running lose and killing everyone.

 

Grant it theres only one more book in the series but I hope we get some more information about them.

 

On a side note, does anyone else think that when Graendal travels to a "safehouse" in ToM that it could be the Land of the Madmen? Maybe its just wishful thinking

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I just recently bought the The World of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Encyclopedia and read more in depth about them. Through out the WoT series only Shara was mentioned and it seemed like a mix of Africa and Japan's early closing down its ports to outsiders. While we met Jain Farstrider in ToM I can't shake the feeling like these lands could've played a role in WoT series. Especially the Land of the Madman with channelers running lose and killing everyone.

 

Grant it theres only one more book in the series but I hope we get some more information about them.

 

On a side note, does anyone else think that when Graendal travels to a "safehouse" in ToM that it could be the Land of the Madmen? Maybe its just wishful thinking

 

Yes, but RJ and Brandon have both said that they won't play a significant role. We might see them in passing (I'd be surprised if they didn't - seeing channelers in all of those lands reacting to the channeling of the Power/Dark One breaking free when the Last Battle truly begins), but all of the major remaining action is in Randland, I believe.

 

I thought it was probably one of the uninhabited islands off the coast of the Land of Madmen. But there's really no way (that I can see) to tell.

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Personally I don't. I must admit though, I don't remember this Land of the Madmen but I am doing my final read through and am near the end of Eye. For me, I just want to see the story end and have the plots rapped up that need to be wrapped up. As I said in another thread, I also hope that the last battle takes up like half the book and includes tons of battles and lots of good 'ol family value fun killin.

 

I would be disapointed if BS decided to start bringing in other stuff now. Had RJ done outrigger novels I would have read them but if BS should decide to some time later on I think I will have moved on to another series and probably wouldn't even get around to reading them. This is just my thoughts though and I am sure there would definately be many others who would love it.

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I agree on this, we hear about it every now and again, this place even further out than the Waste, I always wanted more from that. The last book would be a bit late, though. It's not a major complaint of mine but it would've been cool to go there for a little while at some point earlier in the series. Maybe it'll be included sort of the way Coruscant and Bespin got included in the special edition of Return of the Jedi.

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I guess I should have said wished it had as in past tense. I would've loved to see Rand go into Shara and smack some people around and get them ready for the last battle.

 

Yeah I think it would've been cool. There was room. I can't remember now as its been awhile but I think I found books what, 7-9 (or 8-10) or something to be long dragged out and not doing much for the story. I love the WoT just like the next fan who has come here to Dragonmount but at some point I got kinda tired of reading such a slow paced, nothing really happening part of the series. RJ could have used those books to flesh out some more of the story pertaining to other parts of the world like Shara.

 

Then there is the flipside to my thoughts. RJ was a great writer and knew what he was doing. When I read the series, especially the first time I too wanted more from Shara. But maybe that was the point. Maybe RJ was making the story better and more interesting by having a few places like those mentioned and could also include others like Tremalking (sp?) wich we only got glimpses of. Perhaps that was his plan. He made the entire series better by adding a few bits to get us thinking, dreaming and wanting more.

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I guess I should have said wished it had as in past tense. I would've loved to see Rand go into Shara and smack some people around and get them ready for the last battle.

 

Then there is the flipside to my thoughts. RJ was a great writer and knew what he was doing. When I read the series, especially the first time I too wanted more from Shara. But maybe that was the point. Maybe RJ was making the story better and more interesting by having a few places like those mentioned and could also include others like Tremalking (sp?) wich we only got glimpses of. Perhaps that was his plan. He made the entire series better by adding a few bits to get us thinking, dreaming and wanting more.

 

Not to nitpick, but I don't think that RJ was a great writer. What he was good at was creating characters, nations, mythologies, and stories. He was good at making them believable. He was good at telling those stories and making the world real. But he didn't do so with technically proficient writing.

 

I see a distinction between great writers (like Proust or Dickens) and great storytellers (like RJ). Some people are both. RJ wrote about tugging braids and smoothing skirts for me to consider him one of them. :laugh:

 

He did a lot of things the way he did because he'd get sidetracked telling stories. We are looking forward to book 14 (instead of 6) as the final book because he got sidetracked talking about secondary characters. It makes the story better, but the writing gets worse.

 

And despite the lack of technical skill, it's still (by far) my favorite work of fiction.

Edited by Seth Baker
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It's fine if lands like Shara, or even the Seanchan continent don't play a major role in the plot threads we follow.

That said, there HAVE to be references to significant action taking place in these areas. Things that hint at well developed stories playing out there- not cop outs like- They are all to busy with a chaotic civil war/ They were all tricked into fighting for the bad guys.

The Dragon Reborn is supposed to be for all people, regardless of culture. The Last Battle is supposed to effect everybody, not just the west of Randland. Rand has already interacted and influenced the Wetlanders, Aiel and Sea Folk. The resolution of his influence with the Seanchen is a major point to come. It makes sense that Shara should also follow suit!

It will greatly devalue the all-encompassing epicness of the story and the climax it's building up to, if more isn't done in this regard.

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China was another nation that was mostly closed off to trade, thus why Hong Kong and Macau rose to such prominence.

 

Also geographically, if the Westlands are medieval Europe, and the Waste is the Russian Steppes (sort of...), then Shara could be like China. But again, Jordan liked to mix and match places to not have direct analogies to Earth.

 

I must admit, though, when I saw the Encyclopedia, I was blown away by how small the Westlands and the Waste really were compared to Seanchan and Shara. Especially the Waste, since again, I'd always pictured it as desert Russia.

 

In any event, the advantage to glossing over the areas outside the Westlands was to keep them mysterious and leave them open for the pen and paper game which sadly never took off.

 

Still, I too would hve liked to see some Land of Madmen action. :smile:

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I live in australia. So what is the equiv for that in randland haha.

 

Maybe it is this distant land that is set in the future where they use 'computers' and have 'electric car's'. They also have this thing called the internet where they can instantly communicate. On the other side of the world is pre industrial.

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Not to nitpick, but I don't think that RJ was a great writer. What he was good at was creating characters, nations, mythologies, and stories. He was good at making them believable. He was good at telling those stories and making the world real. But he didn't do so with technically proficient writing.

 

I see a distinction between great writers (like Proust or Dickens) and great storytellers (like RJ). Some people are both. RJ wrote about tugging braids and smoothing skirts for me to consider him one of them. :laugh:

 

He did a lot of things the way he did because he'd get sidetracked telling stories. We are looking forward to book 14 (instead of 6) as the final book because he got sidetracked talking about secondary characters. It makes the story better, but the writing gets worse.

 

And despite the lack of technical skill, it's still (by far) my favorite work of fiction.

 

Well I disagree. I got to say, I haven't heard many people argue that RJ wasn't a great writer before. His many books shows his devotion to the series and story, not any lack of writing skills. As far as being sidetracked on secondary characters and massive detail use, that is called style. He wrote in his own unique style and I doubt when writing the series he was focusing on writing in a Dickens or Proust kind of way. He was creating an epic fantasy series, doing so in a way that was entirely unique and creating an entirely new world while doing it.

 

I wouldn't argue that RJ ranks up there with the all-time great writers, but he was very talented. I would also take issue with the "lack of technical skill." I think RJ had plenty of technical skill. I think he was also a critic of plays or books (don't remember) before writing Conan or something and I think that helped. He knew what he was doing, could set up scenes extremely well and I suspect as I said, tried a different style with the series. Take Tolkien for example, I would agree he lacked technical skill but RJ had plenty.

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Not to nitpick, but I don't think that RJ was a great writer. What he was good at was creating characters, nations, mythologies, and stories. He was good at making them believable. He was good at telling those stories and making the world real. But he didn't do so with technically proficient writing.

 

I see a distinction between great writers (like Proust or Dickens) and great storytellers (like RJ). Some people are both. RJ wrote about tugging braids and smoothing skirts for me to consider him one of them. :laugh:

 

He did a lot of things the way he did because he'd get sidetracked telling stories. We are looking forward to book 14 (instead of 6) as the final book because he got sidetracked talking about secondary characters. It makes the story better, but the writing gets worse.

 

And despite the lack of technical skill, it's still (by far) my favorite work of fiction.

 

Well I disagree. I got to say, I haven't heard many people argue that RJ wasn't a great writer before. His many books shows his devotion to the series and story, not any lack of writing skills. As far as being sidetracked on secondary characters and massive detail use, that is called style. He wrote in his own unique style and I doubt when writing the series he was focusing on writing in a Dickens or Proust kind of way. He was creating an epic fantasy series, doing so in a way that was entirely unique and creating an entirely new world while doing it.

 

I wouldn't argue that RJ ranks up there with the all-time great writers, but he was very talented. I would also take issue with the "lack of technical skill." I think RJ had plenty of technical skill. I think he was also a critic of plays or books (don't remember) before writing Conan or something and I think that helped. He knew what he was doing, could set up scenes extremely well and I suspect as I said, tried a different style with the series. Take Tolkien for example, I would agree he lacked technical skill but RJ had plenty.

 

Tolkien, in my opinion, was a better writer than RJ, a similarly skilled worldbuilder, but a worse storyteller.

 

I mean no slight against RJ. I prefer good storytellers to good writers.

 

You concede that he wasn't "focusing on the writing" itself, which is my point itself. His focus was not on expert writing, but on expert storytelling. And he was a decent writer. But that wasn't his strength, and I won't pretend otherwise. It was making the world, and the people, real. You can do that without great skill, so long as you have a great talent for storytelling and a very good concept of what you're doing. It's a separate issue from technical writing.

 

And no amount of experience can be cited that makes someone a great writer. It's what you do, not what you have done, you know what I mean?

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I've always been really disappointed about not seeing Shara or the Land of Madmen, but I'd have also liked to see Seanchan properly. The different cultures in the WoT have always fascinated me, so the more we see/hear of them the better for me!

 

 

Tolkien, in my opinion, was a better writer than RJ, a similarly skilled worldbuilder, but a worse storyteller.

 

 

Really? I always thought Tolkien's writing sounded quite immature in places. RJ's did too occasionally in the first 2 or 3 books, but seemed to improve. Also I think it's unfair to compare him to writers who were around ealier than him, because you can't really judge their talent when the styles are so different.

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Really? I always thought Tolkien's writing sounded quite immature in places. RJ's did too occasionally in the first 2 or 3 books, but seemed to improve. Also I think it's unfair to compare him to writers who were around ealier than him, because you can't really judge their talent when the styles are so different.

 

RJ was a way better writer, and Tolkien didn't even come close to RJ's technical skills. As far as RJ's occasional "immature" parts in the first few books...I wonder if you are reading the characters, who were written to be less mature as a writing fault? When you read the characters in the first few books you can see RJ made a distinction in all the characters. Rand, Mat and Perrin go from boys to men and you can read it in RJ's writings through the books. Read Rand in book one, and then skip 4 books and read a rand chapter then skip 4 more and read a Rand chapter...RJ penned those characters to evolve through each book. Part of how great of a writer RJ was, is that he made it very believable that the characters went from Two Rivers all the way to where they are now. We can follow them as they grow up through those books. Every time I read book one, I am amazed at how RJ wrote the characters to be so young and inexperienced.

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It would have been awesome to learn more about this strange place, but there just wasn't time with RJ explaining to me how the source and the power work 10 times.

 

 

That drove me crazy. I read the books and started on book 1, is this not how everybody does it? You don't have to explain every single thing over and over again in every single book. That, my friends, is why I think that RJ was not a great writer.

 

I have been told that his publishers made him write that way, but that doesn't make it less annoying to me. I can see why they would want to take 8 books worth of information and spread it across 14 books though...

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Really? I always thought Tolkien's writing sounded quite immature in places. RJ's did too occasionally in the first 2 or 3 books, but seemed to improve. Also I think it's unfair to compare him to writers who were around ealier than him, because you can't really judge their talent when the styles are so different.

 

RJ was a way better writer, and Tolkien didn't even come close to RJ's technical skills. As far as RJ's occasional "immature" parts in the first few books...I wonder if you are reading the characters, who were written to be less mature as a writing fault? When you read the characters in the first few books you can see RJ made a distinction in all the characters. Rand, Mat and Perrin go from boys to men and you can read it in RJ's writings through the books. Read Rand in book one, and then skip 4 books and read a rand chapter then skip 4 more and read a Rand chapter...RJ penned those characters to evolve through each book. Part of how great of a writer RJ was, is that he made it very believable that the characters went from Two Rivers all the way to where they are now. We can follow them as they grow up through those books. Every time I read book one, I am amazed at how RJ wrote the characters to be so young and inexperienced.

 

Well, it may have been his intention to use it that way, but to me it came across as the writing. However, I know from my own experience (writing's an off/on hobby of mine) that when writing about younger people it can be difficult to keep the writing style from reflecting the character's immaturity. Tbh though I can't remember the particulars of what struck me as immature, so I can't comment for certain. Anyway, I do completely agree with you that RJ is better, and that he is a superior writer in general.

 

It would have been awesome to learn more about this strange place, but there just wasn't time with RJ explaining to me how the source and the power work 10 times.

 

 

That drove me crazy. I read the books and started on book 1, is this not how everybody does it? You don't have to explain every single thing over and over again in every single book. That, my friends, is why I think that RJ was not a great writer.

 

I have been told that his publishers made him write that way, but that doesn't make it less annoying to me. I can see why they would want to take 8 books worth of information and spread it across 14 books though...

 

Well that happens a lot in the book series world. The WoT actually does it quite subtly compared to some. The problem is that there will be people who will walk into a library where they only have one book that's in the middle of the series, so they need some help knowing what the heck's going on.

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I just recently bought the The World of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Encyclopedia and read more in depth about them. Through out the WoT series only Shara was mentioned and it seemed like a mix of Africa and Japan's early closing down its ports to outsiders. While we met Jain Farstrider in ToM I can't shake the feeling like these lands could've played a role in WoT series. Especially the Land of the Madman with channelers running lose and killing everyone.

 

Grant it theres only one more book in the series but I hope we get some more information about them.

 

On a side note, does anyone else think that when Graendal travels to a "safehouse" in ToM that it could be the Land of the Madmen? Maybe its just wishful thinking

 

In my opinion it is much better to keep the veil of mystery around these places. The series needs focus. It is not focused on places but on character development. We haven't seen much of Arafel this far, have we? Who cares? In some books the focus was almost lost and we don't need more expansions. Would the Lord of the Rings be better if the fellowship somehow went to Rhun or Harad? I don't think so. Yet, WoTland is so addicting... there's always something more which provokes our curiosity. Yet, Sharans and/or Madmen in the wetlands would be cool!!!

 

Most of the previous posts swayed quite a lot from the topic. And I am really shocked that there are people who think that Jordan's technical skills could be compared to Tolkien's. You dare to compare the skills of a former critic to those of one of the most renowned professors of linguistics ever!?

Just think about it: Tolkien lived in times when it was almost impossible to publish such an "enormous" book as LoTR. He struggled years and years to see his deed completed. Jordan didn't have such problems with WoT; he was given a "wild card" after the third book. That's why we have 14 books now. (at least one of these could have been saved). Jordan's work is maybe a little more entertaining. But in terms of writing skills he is a long shot distance behind Tolkien. *It is not Jordan's problem only, it is a part of what almost all of the American authors lack... The exceptions from this rule I could count on my fingers*

 

P.S. As for Graendal, I've always thought that her ultimate hiding place would be somewhere in a mirror world.

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I just recently bought the The World of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Encyclopedia and read more in depth about them. Through out the WoT series only Shara was mentioned and it seemed like a mix of Africa and Japan's early closing down its ports to outsiders. While we met Jain Farstrider in ToM I can't shake the feeling like these lands could've played a role in WoT series. Especially the Land of the Madman with channelers running lose and killing everyone.

 

Grant it theres only one more book in the series but I hope we get some more information about them.

 

On a side note, does anyone else think that when Graendal travels to a "safehouse" in ToM that it could be the Land of the Madmen? Maybe its just wishful thinking

 

I have to re-read TOM to give you my opinion about Graendal's safehouse location, so I won't go there right now!

 

I personally would have liked to see more of Shara and the Land of the Madmen throughout the series. I don't know what role it would have played, or what it would have added to a story that has LOADS of races and places already in it, but I think it would have been nice. I am not sure why Shara, at least, hasn't been involved more fully, to be honest. I seem to remember an AS (maybe Verin or Moraine) saying that if the DO 'wins' it won't be just randland's world that is effected. He will be freed in all the other worlds to work his destruction as well, so if his release would damage other WORLDS so drastically, what impact would he have on Shara, which is in the same world? I always thought that Shara really would have a vested interest in getting involved and fighting the good fight...

 

With one book to go, and so many plot lines being tidied, that isn't going to happen, of course...!

 

:-)

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I would have liked to have at least read a tenth hand comment about the reaction to the cleansing over there in Australia ;) The land of madmen is called this as it's where male channelers are not gentler or killed and it's where the sea folks drop off male channellers is it not? I would also like to see Nyn go heal those mad folk and Rand to learn their wilder weaves. But what ho it's not to be.

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