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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Robert Jordans Planning of the series


NitroS
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I think we can stop comparing ASOIAF and Wheel of Time.

basically you're comparing something that's Rated R, to something that's rated PG13.

 

they can both be entertaining, they're just different.

Jordan's world is suited for a younger audience, and there isn't anything wrong with that.

Martin's world is for Adults.

 

 

I think the real discussion was about if Jordan got off track form his original idea or not.

 

It is true that Jordan was basically writing a Young Adult series, and Martin...not so much.

 

But even so, the major characters have a bit too much armor. Without the possibility of death, a certain amount of the suspense is drained from the series. And a PG-13 series, or even just a PG series, can have deaths of significant characters. Hell, even Harry Potter had more major deaths.

 

Killing off a character or two would have enhanced the books, IMO.

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I've always had a bit of trouble accepting that The Wheel of Time was PG rated, some of the battle scenes are bloody. Maybe my sensibilities are a bit lightweight but I remember being shocked when I first read Dumai's Wells with the description of Aiel being ripped apart by the power, and I was 27 when I first read it. I can't imagine how I'd feel if I'd read that as a young teenager.

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I always thought the beating of Rand was the hardest to swallow. I cried when he escaped that bloody chest.

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I am honestly shocked that anyone can possibly hold the opinion that Jordan and Martin's series are comparable. If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively, one series is far above the other in terms of story complexity, depth, description, continuity, detail, and character development. I don't think it's too hard to figure out which series that is. I like them both, but one is a masterwork that belongs on the All Time list and the other is just a great story.

Edited by Mark D
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I'm probably in a minority of one, but I read A Game of Thrones and thought it was so incredibly boring so never bothered reading the rest in the series. In my opinion it doesn't come close the The Wheel of Time, but maybe I shouldn't judge it on one book.

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I'm probably in a minority of one, but I read A Game of Thrones and thought it was so incredibly boring so never bothered reading the rest in the series. In my opinion it doesn't come close the The Wheel of Time, but maybe I shouldn't judge it on one book.

 

I wouldn't say "so incredibly boring", but it definitely lacked a spark and excitement. It didn't keep me up at night wondering what is going to happen next that's for sure.

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Guest PiotrekS

And the point about the lack of POVs also holds for me - when the author is good enough to create a character who is interesting and people care about them, killing of said character represents a certain wasted effort. The writer builds this character, gives him history, personality, special way of speaking and halfway through the books this is gone.

 

Imagine WOT if Mat and Aviendha were really kiled during the battle with Rahvin. Would it be better? All these books without them?

 

Ok, the killing of Asmodean provided fandom with an endless discussion topic, but I personally have always missed this talented, cynical bastard :tongue: And I want Verin back.

 

I guess the point is: I like these characters and I'd like them all to stay till the end. Sure it kills tension, but I've never cared about it anyway. My life is tense enough, thank you.

 

Difference between Martin and your scenario with Mat & Avi is that Martin does not kill off major characters for the simple sake of killing them off. He does it because the plot requires them to be removed from the story. Had Ned Stark not died, Robb could not have been made king of the north, and the north would never have joined the war. Had Khal drogo not died, Dany would still be lurking with the Dothraki horde, and not having her dragons. Had Robert not died, no war at all, no Joffrey claiming the throne, and everything that followed because of that, etc,

 

Meanwhile, in WOT, Mat and Avi are still crucial pieces, whose purpose can not be shifted to others in case they would die.

 

Another difference that is most noticable in the beginning of ASOIAF is that the first main players to get killed off are the older ones - Ned, Robert, Jon Arys...Characters whose deaths makes room for the younger ones to come into play. Wheras on WOT, almost all major players are the young ones.

 

Fair enough :smile:

 

But my point wasn't really that it is always better not to kill the characters. I only think that it isn't a flaw in a story like WOT, where you like new books in large part because you meet with these great characters you know so well. Remember all the discussions wheter Brandon got a voice of Mat right or Aviendha or some others?

 

In case of ASoIaF, as you have described ot, it wouldn't be the same story if the death toll wasn't so significant. So it depends on the story and the reader.

 

I simply don't believe that you necessarily always have to kill some of the characters to have a great series. Both options have their benefits and costs. And it's great we have these two great fantasy sagas, both so good and so different.

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I am honestly shocked that anyone can possibly hold the opinion that Jordan and Martin's series are comparable. If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively, one series is far above the other in terms of story complexity, depth, description, continuity, detail, and character development. I don't think it's too hard to figure out which series that is. I like them both, but one is a masterwork that belongs on the All Time list and the other is just a great story.

 

Christ, seriously? Read more books.

Edited by randsc
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I am honestly shocked that anyone can possibly hold the opinion that Jordan and Martin's series are comparable. If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively, one series is far above the other in terms of story complexity, depth, description, continuity, detail, and character development. I don't think it's too hard to figure out which series that is. I like them both, but one is a masterwork that belongs on the All Time list and the other is just a great story.

 

Christ, seriously? Read more books.

 

Ok, so if I read more books I will automatically agree with you right?

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I am honestly shocked that anyone can possibly hold the opinion that Jordan and Martin's series are comparable. If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively, one series is far above the other in terms of story complexity, depth, description, continuity, detail, and character development. I don't think it's too hard to figure out which series that is. I like them both, but one is a masterwork that belongs on the All Time list and the other is just a great story.

 

Christ, seriously? Read more books.

 

Ok, so if I read more books I will automatically agree with you right?

 

Not necessarily, but you may begin to understand how laughable calling the WoT a "masterwork that belongs on the All Time list" is...

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I am honestly shocked that anyone can possibly hold the opinion that Jordan and Martin's series are comparable. If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively, one series is far above the other in terms of story complexity, depth, description, continuity, detail, and character development. I don't think it's too hard to figure out which series that is. I like them both, but one is a masterwork that belongs on the All Time list and the other is just a great story.

 

Christ, seriously? Read more books.

 

Ok, so if I read more books I will automatically agree with you right?

 

Not necessarily, but you may begin to understand how laughable calling the WoT a "masterwork that belongs on the All Time list" is...

 

Assumptions really are great, aren't they? Feel free to make another thread and let's go over some of the best of the best of this genre. There are objective criteria to discuss rather than latching out blindly to assumptions that I haven't read or am not familiar with as many books as you.

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I am honestly shocked that anyone can possibly hold the opinion that Jordan and Martin's series are comparable. If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively, one series is far above the other in terms of story complexity, depth, description, continuity, detail, and character development. I don't think it's too hard to figure out which series that is. I like them both, but one is a masterwork that belongs on the All Time list and the other is just a great story.

 

Christ, seriously? Read more books.

 

Ok, so if I read more books I will automatically agree with you right?

 

Not necessarily, but you may begin to understand how laughable calling the WoT a "masterwork that belongs on the All Time list" is...

 

Assumptions really are great, aren't they? Feel free to make another thread and let's go over some of the best of the best of this genre. There are objective criteria to discuss rather than latching out blindly to assumptions that I haven't read or am not familiar with as many books as you.

 

Well adding "this genre" begins to lend your claim a bit more credence. It wasn't clear in the first post that you were referring only to fantasy when calling it a "masterwork".

 

The WoT will always have a special place in my mind because I grew up with it. Started reading the series when I was 15 and can honestly say it would not have made nearly the impression if I had come to it later in life. Randsc is correct in his YA statement, but part of that is due to the time frame when the story was released and norms within the genre at the time. If you want another series to check out try the Second Apocalypse by R. Scott Bakker. I would be interested to see if it changes your viewpoint at all.

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Oh, I thought it was understood that when comparing Martin and Jordan we were talking purely about this genre. As for the Prince of Nothing books...I started reading the first one and had to stop about half way through because I couldn't really devote enough time to thoroughly read through it. I was reading a chapter every couple nights, and that wasn't really cutting it. I'll probably get back into it sometime soon though. One thing for sure, that series is a bit too esoteric to be really be compared with the traditional series of this genre like Martin and Jordan's. It definitely has a different twist to it from what I've read so far.

Edited by Mark D
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I never understood why people got angray at the split of aMoL. Especially when Sanderson told us how long it would have been (over 2500 pages I do believe). We really WOULD have need a wheel barrow for that.

 

I'm up for 2500 pages.

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I would also take exception to the idea that the WOT is for young adults, and I do think it belongs on the alltime list of fantasy greats. I agree with the person that stated they got chills when reading the Dumais Wells scene, I did as well. And without pointing out specific scenes here or there, all you really need to do is consider some of the characters and storyline themselves. There's some pretty dark stuff, it's not just good guys vs. bad guys. Rand almost freakin kills his father! He was definitely dealing with insanity, a subject that is not for the faint hearted because so many families out there have had to deal with that issue with certain family members, or being victims of acts committed by someone insane. Almost any young adult would be able to read it without it warping their mind obviously, but I still dont think it was intended for that audience. I think the fact that it doesn't contain as much adult material as other books just lets it entertain a much wider scope of people.

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And the point about the lack of POVs also holds for me - when the author is good enough to create a character who is interesting and people care about them, killing of said character represents a certain wasted effort. The writer builds this character, gives him history, personality, special way of speaking and halfway through the books this is gone.

 

Imagine WOT if Mat and Aviendha were really kiled during the battle with Rahvin. Would it be better? All these books without them?

 

Ok, the killing of Asmodean provided fandom with an endless discussion topic, but I personally have always missed this talented, cynical bastard :tongue: And I want Verin back.

 

I guess the point is: I like these characters and I'd like them all to stay till the end. Sure it kills tension, but I've never cared about it anyway. My life is tense enough, thank you.

 

As Stephen King put it an author kills a character when there is nothing left to do with them. In the WoT Jordan planned for most of his characters to have some future plot devices and character developments. As far as character deaths translating to the quality of work I think it is a matter of taste, I am on neither side as I enjoy both types of stories depending on the tone of the work. If a story is going for dark and brooding then deaths are a necessity or it can feel off.

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I'll bring it up again, although I LOVE the WOT, my alltime favorite fantasy series is the Chronicles of Amber, and that has a great mix of both keeping some loved characters around forever, and offing other major characters to both move the plot along and to sustain tension. It even does the time honored trick of teasing you with resurrections of a character; that mainly has to do with the fact that the Amberites are so darn tough to kill. It's an old series but someone who has read it needs to concur with me so I can rest easy (until my author brings me back to life!)

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Not that many major character deaths you say? Hmmmm

 

Robert Baratheon

Ned Stark

Khal Drogo

Theon Greyjoy

Balon Greyjoy

Renly Baratheon

Lady

Jeor Mormont

Lommy Greenhands (ok he was very minor but he got stabbed in the throak!)

Viserys Targaryen

Robb Stark

Catelyn Stark

Joffrey Baratheon-Lannister-Spawn

Ygritte

The Giant King (sounds like a disney movie donnit!)

.......

and I'm still on the 3rd book!

OK, leaving aside those that weren't actually characters, and a character whose fate you admit is unknown, that still leaves us with a list containing a fair few minor characters (and one who is confirmed still alive). Robert, Ned, Robb, Cat and Joff are all pretty important, I'll give you those.

 

And you can definitely notice all the deaths in ASOIAF has had a major toll on just the readability of the books: when the series started there was a PLETHURA of POV's, which led to a bevy of intrigue and following a ton of plots and different players in the game. Now? As I flip the pages of Storm of Swords, here are the POV's: Tyrion, Arya, Tyrion, Jon, Arya, Jon, Tyrion, Daenerys, Jon, Bran, Tyrion, Arya..... see my point? Just not as entertaining anymore.
Given that, one-off prologue POVs aside, the only POVs from the first two books to be absent in SoS are Ned and Theon, and only one of them is out of the story for good, I must confess that I don't see your point. Arya, Sanasa, Tyrion, Jon, Dany and Cat were all POVs in GoT, CoK added Davos, and SoS itself adds Jaime and Samwell. AFFC adds even more. So, there's still plenty of plots, characters, intrigue (if anything, there's more now).

 

 

I am honestly shocked that anyone can possibly hold the opinion that Jordan and Martin's series are comparable. If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively, one series is far above the other in terms of story complexity, depth, description, continuity, detail, and character development. I don't think it's too hard to figure out which series that is. I like them both, but one is a masterwork that belongs on the All Time list and the other is just a great story.

Funny, this could have been written about either ASoIaF or WOT.

 

 

I would also take exception to the idea that the WOT is for young adults, and I do think it belongs on the alltime list of fantasy greats.

I'd just like to point out that certainly in terms of marketing this is an adult fantasy, rather than YA (after all, it's generally found in the Fantasy section, not YA). While it might, for the most part, be accessible to YA readers, it isn't targeted at them.
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I really don't get the whole worship of A Song of Ice and Fire series. It really seems fairly shallow and simplistic to me. It's got a unique style of writing and realism to it, but it doesn't do much to capture readers or bring the characters to life IMO. I've never seen characters that have been brought to life the way Jordan's have - they may be cliche and standard characters for this genre, but they are brought to life in a way that is unique.

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OK, leaving aside those that weren't actually characters, and a character whose fate you admit is unknown, that still leaves us with a list containing a fair few minor characters (and one who is confirmed still alive).

Robert, Ned, Robb, Cat and Joff

are all pretty important, I'll give you those.

Yeah that is what I meant when I mentioned comparitvely few major character deaths, the vast majority of character deaths belong to second and third-tier characters. And

Cat's state is more undead than dead anyway

, so there's four "major" character deaths really. They just have really big impacts on the story.

 

I am honestly shocked that anyone can possibly hold the opinion that Jordan and Martin's series are comparable. If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively, one series is far above the other in terms of story complexity, depth, description, continuity, detail, and character development. I don't think it's too hard to figure out which series that is. I like them both, but one is a masterwork that belongs on the All Time list and the other is just a great story.

Funny, this could have been written about either ASoIaF or WOT.

I actually thought he was referring to ASOIAF until I read his later posts :tongue:

 

I really don't get the whole worship of A Song of Ice and Fire series. It really seems fairly shallow and simplistic to me. It's got a unique style of writing and realism to it, but it doesn't do much to capture readers or bring the characters to life IMO. I've never seen characters that have been brought to life the way Jordan's have - they may be cliche and standard characters for this genre, but they are brought to life in a way that is unique.

I think it's largely a matter of taste. When I first read A Game Of Thrones, I was in a stage where I worshiped the Wheel Of Time and touted it as the best fantasy series ever, haha. I found some parts of AGOT interesting but it didn't do that much to captivate me honestly, and I forgot about it. A year later or some such, I'm enjoying re-reading Wheel Of Time less, and I give AGOT another shot...what do you know, I was hooked and devoured the next three books very quickly. So there might be an element of, I'm not quite sure how to put it...I mean to describe how you can become less enthusiastic about something you used to be hugely enthusiastic about, and "move on" to other things. Progressing might be the word, but really I just mean taste changing.

 

That being said, I do think the whole "young adult vs adult" maturity factor plays a large part too.

 

 

More on topic, I think it's a very interesting trend, how big-name fantasy author's idea of how long their series' will be grows so much. Jordan and Martin both share this, Jordan thinking WOT could be a trilogy (how hilarious that is now :biggrin:) and Martin doing the same. I can't imagine how either author ever thought they could fit so much story into three books.

 

Also I really screwed up the quote tags in this post :blink: Sorry Mr. Ares and Mark D

Edited by Samuel
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I am honestly shocked that anyone can possibly hold the opinion that Jordan and Martin's series are comparable. If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively...

That might be a good idea. Why don't you try it?

 

...one series is far above the other in terms of story complexity...

Martin's, by far.

 

...depth...

Martin again.

 

...description...

Jordan.

 

...continuity...

Both series have continuity issues. Most of Martin's were caused by a deliberate (and I think unfortunate) decision to split the series by chief character POV's rather than maintain continuity. Jordan's were caused by sloppy editing. So which is better? Martin, I guess, but no gold star for either of them.

 

...detail...

As distinct from description? Ummm, okay. I guess Jordan, then, but this strikes me as double dipping.

 

...and character development.

Can even the most passionate of Jordan fans seriously suggest he beat Martin in this regard? Really? If there is a character as complex as Tyrion Lannister, or even Jaime Lannister, in the World of Time, we haven't met him yet.

 

I don't think it's too hard to figure out which series that is.

Me, either.

 

I like them both, but one is a masterwork that belongs on the All Time list and the other is just a great story.

 

I like them both. Neither is a "masterwork."

Edited by randsc
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Well, I guess I don't need to bother with a rebuttal here since the master has spoken and his word seems to be law. At least, if it's not law I am thoroughly confused as to why he is attempting to respond without substantiating or reinforcing his argument with any kind of facts or data.

 

But hey, he said Martin's is better and neither is a master work so there ya go, folks! I am curious though, if neither is a masterwork in this genre then what is?! They are both consistently ranked in the top "all time" list of fantasy series.

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It's about perspective. I don't like ASoIaF. The only one I cared to read about was Sansa and I just dropped it. Looking at the UK top 100 books to read (there are a couple of lists), most include Wuthering Heights and Lord of the Flies, 2 books which I think are HORRIBLE. Does that mean that everyone else thinks they are horrible? No. It's about perspective. If we all agreed all the time, it would be a perfect world.

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Well, I guess I don't need to bother with a rebuttal here since the master has spoken and his word seems to be law. At least, if it's not law I am thoroughly confused as to why he is attempting to respond without substantiating or reinforcing his argument with any kind of facts or data.

 

But hey, he said Martin's is better and neither is a master work so there ya go, folks! I am curious though, if neither is a masterwork in this genre then what is?! They are both consistently ranked in the top "all time" list of fantasy series.

 

 

As opposed to what? This?

 

 

I am honestly shocked that anyone can possibly hold the opinion that Jordan and Martin's series are comparable. If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively, one series is far above the other in terms of story complexity, depth, description, continuity, detail, and character development. I don't think it's too hard to figure out which series that is. I like them both, but one is a masterwork that belongs on the All Time list and the other is just a great story.

 

You see a lot of "facts or data" there?

 

Robert Jordan was a very gifted storyteller, with a real knack for world-building and description. His characterization is middling, his plot is derivative even by the standards of genre fiction, and his writing is no better than average.

 

Now, what "facts or data" would you like to discuss? Understand that popularity is no mark of quality. I say we start with the characters, and I'll repeat my contention that if there is a character as fully-developed and nuanced as Tyrion Lannister in the Wheel of Time, we haven't met him yet.

Edited by randsc
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I have to agree with randsc on his breakdown of the two series.

However, I will say they are both masters of this genre; lower then Tolkien, but still masters.

 

I still say you all need to realize they're different.

Some people like the struggles of good vs evil, a clear cut right vs wrong - Jordan.

Some people like their world a little more gray, and political - Martin.

 

I think the backstory of Marin's world, and his inclusion of Religion, and foreign language makes his world much more believable, but this is fantasy we're talking about.

If you like prophecy, magic, and monsters, you'll prefer Jordan.

 

If you like Middle Earth - Jordan.

If you like Middle Earth mixed with the Sopranos - Martin.

 

They are just different. Get over it.

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