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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Robert Jordans Planning of the series


NitroS
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Sigh...

+1 to DocBean.

 

You are arguing about preferences or taste. No one can win. Kiss and hug and maybe you can just agree to disagree.

 

I´ve read both Martin and Jordan and they are both very good books. Different but good. No one is a master. It´s all subjective. And tbh... Tolkien in my book was.. meh. I enjoyed the Silmarillion more then LotR. =O

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Sigh...

+1 to DocBean.

 

You are arguing about preferences or taste. No one can win. Kiss and hug and maybe you can just agree to disagree.

 

I´ve read both Martin and Jordan and they are both very good books. Different but good. No one is a master. It´s all subjective. And tbh... Tolkien in my book was.. meh. I enjoyed the Silmarillion more then LotR. =O

 

Tolkein basically wrote the instruction books on Dwarves and Elves and Orcs and "High-Fantasy," that alone puts him on top of the mountain.

Personally I don't care much for his books now, but historically they were needed, for authors these days to do what they do.

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The mountain needs to be smashed to dust and little pieces =O

In my book he isn´t on the top but let´s not get into another discussion of which author is better. And him writing the instruction book on how elves and dwarves; that was good in the beginning, cause it gave authors a stepping stone. But because he was one of the first, doesn´t mean he was the best. He wrote a good story but his passion was language, myth and to give England a mythological mother story of it´s own. Gah.. I need to gag myself now lol.

 

Short words; it´s all subjective...

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Could we also discuss the merits of Stephenie Meyer and where she stands when compared to these other writers? Because in my opinion she's right up there.

 

Wow, there is a sarcasm font.

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this thread was going places until tolkein was mentioned. As far as i am concerned lord of the rings was just pure unadulterated BS. So boring it's almost arse paralysing. Don't even mention tolkien in these boards. I am still suffering from that traumatic experience from reading his books

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Guest Emu on the Loose

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!)

 

I concur. The Chronicles of Amber is a great series and ranks high today in my list of epic fantasy favorites. This was actually the "gateway" fantasy for me. I was a teenager; all of my recreational reading had been young adult. My dad said to read The Chronicles of Amber and gave me his copies. I ate that stuff up. I probably would have gotten into fantasy one way or another, but as it stands it was that story which came before all others.

 

On a separate note, to address that whole "younger audience" point of contention about WoT, RJ clearly wasn't gunning for a younger audience, nor are his fans overwhelmingly young, but the caliber of the story itself is more in line with, let's say, a middle school reading comprehension and analysis level. You don't have to be a genius to figure out this series and enjoy it. It's accessible to everybody. The downside is that the lack of sophisticated intellectual depth, emotional drama, and dramatic conflict detracts from the story's enjoyability for some people.

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Guest PiotrekS

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!)

 

I concur. The Chronicles of Amber is a great series and ranks high today in my list of epic fantasy favorites. This was actually the "gateway" fantasy for me. I was a teenager; all of my recreational reading had been young adult. My dad said to read The Chronicles of Amber and gave me his copies. I ate that stuff up. I probably would have gotten into fantasy one way or another, but as it stands it was that story which came before all others.

 

On a separate note, to address that whole "younger audience" point of contention about WoT, RJ clearly wasn't gunning for a younger audience, nor are his fans overwhelmingly young, but the caliber of the story itself is more in line with, let's say, a middle school reading comprehension and analysis level. You don't have to be a genius to figure out this series and enjoy it. It's accessible to everybody. The downside is that the lack of sophisticated intellectual depth, emotional drama, and dramatic conflict detracts from the story's enjoyability for some people.

 

If you have to be a genius to to figure out and enjoy a book, then it's very, very badly written.

 

Think about "Le Petit Prince" (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This is mastery which almost every book with "sophisticated intellectual depth, emotional drama and conflicts" will never reach.

Edited by PiotrekS
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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!)

 

I concur. The Chronicles of Amber is a great series and ranks high today in my list of epic fantasy favorites. This was actually the "gateway" fantasy for me. I was a teenager; all of my recreational reading had been young adult. My dad said to read The Chronicles of Amber and gave me his copies. I ate that stuff up. I probably would have gotten into fantasy one way or another, but as it stands it was that story which came before all others.

 

On a separate note, to address that whole "younger audience" point of contention about WoT, RJ clearly wasn't gunning for a younger audience, nor are his fans overwhelmingly young, but the caliber of the story itself is more in line with, let's say, a middle school reading comprehension and analysis level. You don't have to be a genius to figure out this series and enjoy it. It's accessible to everybody. The downside is that the lack of sophisticated intellectual depth, emotional drama, and dramatic conflict detracts from the story's enjoyability for some people.

 

Yay! Someone else finally acknowledged my mention of those books! Also to follow on with what Docbean was saying, the two series obviously go for a different feel, one for the epic, one for the political, but I have read SO many more books that did a better job of creating that field of political tension (Amber, to mention one) and they did it without having to use literary crutches like killing off characters every few chapters. And Zelazney didn't even use a ton of different POV's either, he just had a knack for that kind of thing I guess.

 

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

 

comparitively few major character deaths? Compared to what , the Bible? Seriously it offs a lot more of its characters than what is usual for a fantasy series, and is generally known around the i-net as being a series where noone is safe. GRRM has even said that himself in talking about it that that's what he likes about it. On a side note btw: one thing that I believe has made me a little biased against ASOIAF, especially considering some of the adult content in it, was just seeing what GRRM physically looks like. I'm sorry, but when I read about Daenerys getting ready to see some foreign dignitary, and her handmaidens start dabbing their perfumed fingers all over her body, I can't help but imagine GRRM licking his lips while he was writing passages like those. Go ahead and crucify for me pointing that out, but it gives me an ewie moment every time.

 

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'll admit, you do have me there, but even though some of the POV's have been replaced with others, it just doesn't feel the same as when I first started reading it. Maybe the number of different POV's is still comparable, but the number of major players and families is WAY down. The Starks are pretty much out of things, the Tullys are on their way out, the Greyjoys are pretty much gone to the wayside, the Baratheons are hanging by a thread, and now even the wildling horde is being dismantled. Too many major players have been taken care of, whether its by major character deaths, a slew of minor character deaths, or the occassional army being routed.

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Despothera: I remember reading Zelazny like over 10 years ago. I didn´t think they were that amazing at all... maybe I should do a reread and see what I think of it today.

 

As to how GRRM looks like. What has that to do with what he is writing? So a nice young stud with shiney teeth and abs that could crack nuts is more entitled to writing about rape, incest, nudity or w/e because he looks good? A person who is fat can´t cause he just seems like a yucki, weird ...person? I hope you are not implying that... cause it seems you are, lol.

He is the author, he can do as he pleases. If he wants Dany having sex in every chapter it´s his choice. Although it would be more or a Harlequin then =P

 

And besides.. the relationship with Visy and Dany I always saw in an ancient egyptian light. The whole marrying your sibling so the blood should stay pure and that whole scene with dapping perfume here and there on naked flesh before a dignitary coming to visit... I imagine the egyptians doing something like that.

 

Maybe he is planning on wiping everyone out and letting the queen of dragons rule.

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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

comparitively few major character deaths? Compared to what , the Bible? Seriously it offs a lot more of its characters than what is usual for a fantasy series, and is generally known around the i-net as being a series where noone is safe. GRRM has even said that himself in talking about it that that's what he likes about it.

Did your read the rest of my sentence? the vast majority of character deaths belong to second and third-tier characters Renly was not a "major" character. Viserys was not a "major" character. They were very important, but certainly not first-tier. They were not POVs. When Ned died, that was a true major character's death. I agree, there are a huge amount of character deaths in ASOIAF, of course there are, but most of them belong to second and third tier character as I said. They belong to characters who may be important, but aren't hugely important to the story, as POV characters are.

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Smittyphi, really, Wuthering Heights horrible?

 

Emphatic YES. Of course, it's all about perspective.

 

I think a lot of the "classics" are terrible. Jane Austen, for example, is blow your brains out boring.

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Speaking of planning....

 

I think, I might be wrong, that tGS and ToM were roughly the same length. A Memory of Light, the last book, I read somewhere that Brandon said it was gonna be the same length as the other two books. Is it even possible it´s gonna be that short =/ How will everything... fit?

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Smittyphi, really, Wuthering Heights horrible?

 

Emphatic YES. Of course, it's all about perspective.

 

I think a lot of the "classics" are terrible. Jane Austen, for example, is blow your brains out boring.

 

 

you mean she bores you?

 

because i love austen (and am easily bored in general). i'm pretty sure i've read that RJ did, too. you can tell from his prose that he's read, and been infulenced, by her (and dickens, and many other "classics").

 

wuthering heights was possibly my favorite assigned reading until college. my HS english teacher, who knew i never did assigned reading, told me i should read that one because i'd love it. he was so right, i read all the other assignments after that, because he knew what he was talking about.

 

so, definitely a matter of personal taste?

 

Very much my personal taste. I just found the 2 or 3 Jane Austen novels I read really, really, really boring. Nothing about the characters, writing, dialogue, plot, or anything else hooked me. I've found that to be the case with other "classics" as well. The Great Gatsby being one the I can think of. Others that I've read (Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, the two Homer Greek poems, Shakespear (sp?) to name a few) were quite enjoyable. I've just noticed that many things that are considered literary classics I personally find to be stuffy, pretentious, and not fun (which is what reading a book should be).

 

Note: Pretty much all of the works mentioned above were read as educational assignments. My leisure reading is pretty much strictly limited to the fantasy genre and comic books. So maybe I'm just a little too low-brow in my tastes to appreciate the "classics".

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Veering slightly back toward the original topic - I've sometimes wondered if any whole storylines got added in after RJ had started writing the series, in an attempt to give all his main characters enough to keep their stories broadly synch'd. Most of the milestones in Rand's storyline - his time with the Aiel, fights with Rahvin / Sammael / Semirhage, his kidnapping by the WT and resulting antagonism, the cleansing, Seanchan dealings, VoG - all feel pretty fundamental and were presumably planned out from the get-go. Funnily enough, I'd say much the same for Egwene - her journey from novice to Amyrlin, including the take-down of the BA and Mesaana, must have been mapped out in advance, although individual items such as meeting the Andor nobles was probably general fleshing out of her story that RJ might have quite naturally come up with as he went along.

 

But a couple of major storylines strike me as ones that you could rip out of WoT without damaging the real fundamentals of the story:

- Bowl of the Winds. Once the Bowl was found and used, it pretty much fell out of the story. Yes, the Bowl led to the Kin, but then, the Kin are also far from a fundamental plotline. Other than an excuse to get Mat to Ebou Dar so he could meet Tuon, you could rip out huge chunks of this story, maybe all of it, and without too much trimming of some loose ends, the rest of WoT would carry on reasonably happily. Elayne learns of her mother's death and just heads straight for Caemlyn from Salidar; Matt was down near-ish to Illian around that stage of the books anyway, fairly easy to find a way for him to end up in Seanchan clutches.

 

- The Plotline of Doom i.e. Faile's rescue. After the Shaido got beaten at Cairhien, and then AGAIN at Dumai's Wells, it always felt slightly forced to me that they still persisted in the story, with a slightly random Forsaken intervention that dropped them halfway across Randland and into the same part of the world as Masema. If the Shaido storyline had, quite naturally, ended at Dumai's Wells, then you just need to wrap up Masema's storyline - and given how quickly the whole Borderlanders saga got wrapped up, and how abruptly Masema's individual arc did actually end - that would have been easily done. Now, the Whitecloaks/Perrin plotline has been there from book 1 so the resolution seen in ToM, complete with Galad/Berelain, I'm sure was all an original storyline. But Faile's whole kidnapping could be done away with minimal impact.

 

I'm not commenting on the right or wrong of including these storylines - I liked the Bowl storyline, and I like having a big, complex story. I just wonder if RJ planned out Rand's arc in detail, then realised he'd planned loads of stuff for Rand and needed to find ways to keep characters like Perrin, Mat and Nynaeve busy for an extended period of time. With a slight irony that Rand actually ended up fading into the background as the other stories took over.

 

Lastly, Cadsuane - planned from the start? Really? Without even the slightest hint of her existence beforehand? Maybe RJ realised that because Rand's storyline was going to take a lot longer to cover, Moiraine's absence was going to be more protracted than he'd anticipated, so created Cadsuane to fill the gap. I don't mind, I like the character - just speculating, really...

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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.

 

comparitively few major character deaths? Compared to what , the Bible? Seriously it offs a lot more of its characters than what is usual for a fantasy series, and is generally known around the i-net as being a series where noone is safe. GRRM has even said that himself in talking about it that that's what he likes about it.

The internet is known for being full of people who spout rubbish. A lot of the time, ASoIaF's reputation comes across as ludicrously exaggerated - I wonder how many people have picked up the series expecting a bloodbath of epic proportions, but have had their expectations for body count set too high, so end up thinking "was that it?"? Sure there's a few major deaths, no-one is denying that. However, most series don't have so many major characters to begin with, and authors might save up important deaths for the climax. As for no-one safe, anyone could die at any time, I'm not sure how successful Martin has been with that. Jon and Dany, for example, can easily be seen as carrying around plot shields. Erikson, Turtledove, Kearney and Feist all spring to mind as guys willing to kill of major characters as well, and sometimes in far less dramatic and important ways than Martin's huge game-changing moments.

 

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'll admit, you do have me there, but even though some of the POV's have been replaced with others, it just doesn't feel the same as when I first started reading it. Maybe the number of different POV's is still comparable, but the number of major players and families is WAY down. The Starks are pretty much out of things, the Tullys are on their way out, the Greyjoys are pretty much gone to the wayside, the Baratheons are hanging by a thread, and now even the wildling horde is being dismantled. Too many major players have been taken care of, whether its by major character deaths, a slew of minor character deaths, or the occassional army being routed.

What throws me a bit is you saying this of ASoS - as of the end of that book, much of the previous conflcit is indeed gone, factions have been broken, and the War of the Five Kings is virtually over. Thus AFFC does fit your description somewhat better.

 

 

But a couple of major storylines strike me as ones that you could rip out of WoT without damaging the real fundamentals of the story:

- Bowl of the Winds. Once the Bowl was found and used, it pretty much fell out of the story. Yes, the Bowl led to the Kin, but then, the Kin are also far from a fundamental plotline. Other than an excuse to get Mat to Ebou Dar so he could meet Tuon, you could rip out huge chunks of this story, maybe all of it, and without too much trimming of some loose ends, the rest of WoT would carry on reasonably happily. Elayne learns of her mother's death and just heads straight for Caemlyn from Salidar; Matt was down near-ish to Illian around that stage of the books anyway, fairly easy to find a way for him to end up in Seanchan clutches.

 

- The Plotline of Doom i.e. Faile's rescue. After the Shaido got beaten at Cairhien, and then AGAIN at Dumai's Wells, it always felt slightly forced to me that they still persisted in the story, with a slightly random Forsaken intervention that dropped them halfway across Randland and into the same part of the world as Masema. If the Shaido storyline had, quite naturally, ended at Dumai's Wells, then you just need to wrap up Masema's storyline - and given how quickly the whole Borderlanders saga got wrapped up, and how abruptly Masema's individual arc did actually end - that would have been easily done. Now, the Whitecloaks/Perrin plotline has been there from book 1 so the resolution seen in ToM, complete with Galad/Berelain, I'm sure was all an original storyline. But Faile's whole kidnapping could be done away with minimal impact.

 

I'm not commenting on the right or wrong of including these storylines - I liked the Bowl storyline, and I like having a big, complex story. I just wonder if RJ planned out Rand's arc in detail, then realised he'd planned loads of stuff for Rand and needed to find ways to keep characters like Perrin, Mat and Nynaeve busy for an extended period of time. With a slight irony that Rand actually ended up fading into the background as the other stories took over.

 

Lastly, Cadsuane - planned from the start? Really? Without even the slightest hint of her existence beforehand? Maybe RJ realised that because Rand's storyline was going to take a lot longer to cover, Moiraine's absence was going to be more protracted than he'd anticipated, so created Cadsuane to fill the gap. I don't mind, I like the character - just speculating, really...

In terms of "keeping characters busy", RJ had shown a willingness (in both FoH and PoD) to keep major characters out of the entire book, so he could easily have carried that on - have them show up occasionally for brief updates on their plotlines. As for Cadsuane, maybe he just couldn't come up with a good reason to mention her beforehand? Couldn't come up with a name drop that didn't feel forced?
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He could have dropped a subtle hint in TGH when Verin was talking about people that were strong enough to use the female Choedan Kal. Her 'perhaps one or two others' seem to be referring to Romanda and Lelaine. Of course it seems that just about everyone thought she was dead by then though.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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

comparitively few major character deaths? Compared to what , the Bible? Seriously it offs a lot more of its characters than what is usual for a fantasy series, and is generally known around the i-net as being a series where noone is safe. GRRM has even said that himself in talking about it that that's what he likes about it.

Did your read the rest of my sentence? the vast majority of character deaths belong to second and third-tier characters Renly was not a "major" character. Viserys was not a "major" character. They were very important, but certainly not first-tier. They were not POVs. When Ned died, that was a true major character's death. I agree, there are a huge amount of character deaths in ASOIAF, of course there are, but most of them belong to second and third tier character as I said. They belong to characters who may be important, but aren't hugely important to the story, as POV characters are.

 

Were most likely quibbling over linguistics, but I'll respond anyways. I think our main difference of opinion stems from what we both consider as major characters. When I think of a major character, I think of someone that is mentioned throughout a somewhat lengthy timeline who has an impact on several different aspect of the story. They aren't the main characters, the ones who the story completely revolves around, but they are still very important to the development of plot and effect. A minor character is someone who is mentioned in passing in a traveling chapter (Bombadil is a good fit for that one), someone put in mainly just for effect (Mormont's crow maybe, or Moon Boy), or someone used for 1 plot point before they go off screen (the queen of Far Madding in WOT). Renly or Viserys don't fit any of those scenarios. I don't look at either of them as being minor. Viserys is less important, I'll give you that, but he was still an obvious influence on Dany, and is still referenced even towards the end of aFFC.

 

Renly isn't close to minor. He's one of the kings that vies for power, he's a major player of the politics and intrigue at first, he's a major influence on many characters still being focused on (Stannis and Brienne), he fit the bill as the popularity winner king (everyone around him loved him), and the style of his death was definitely a HUGE complement to the overall feel of the series (as was Viserys'). A character doesn't need a POV for it to be a major character, in fact only somewhat recently has it become popular for authors to use as many POVs as we've seen lately.

Sure there's a few major deaths, no-one is denying that. However, most series don't have so many major characters to begin with, and authors might save up important deaths for the climax. As for no-one safe, anyone could die at any time, I'm not sure how successful Martin has been with that. Jon and Dany, for example, can easily be seen as carrying around plot shields. Erikson, Turtledove, Kearney and Feist all spring to mind as guys willing to kill of major characters as well, and sometimes in far less dramatic and important ways than Martin's huge game-changing moments.

 

It's true that most authors do save big deaths for the climax, so I do appreciate the difference in how GRRM approaches a story as opposed to many other authors out there, and it can't be denied that he is a very talented writer. But I do take exception to the idea that if a main character lives through a series of dire circumstances, then they have a "plot shield" around them. We as readers tend to identify with events easier as we read them if we can connect them to how certain characters react to said events. If you lose your litmus test characters, you start not being able to relate quite as well to certain events, the scope and magnitude of them especially. In a way youre right, they do have plot shields around them, but no more so than main characters of much and more fantasy series. Generally speaking, its too easy to compare events we read about in fantasy novels to things that have actually happened, so the part that makes the story come to life IS the characters. GRRM does a great job creating such intriguing characters, I just dont see the need to kill so many of them off so relatively quickly.

 

What throws me a bit is you saying this of ASoS - as of the end of that book, much of the previous conflcit is indeed gone, factions have been broken, and the War of the Five Kings is virtually over. Thus AFFC does fit your description somewhat better.

 

Eh, you could see it coming in aSoS. aFFC just finishes the job. I did like the authors sidenote at the end though, where he says he's hoping to have the next book out in a year, and you see the note was dated in 2005 lol.

 

As to how GRRM looks like. What has that to do with what he is writing? So a nice young stud with shiney teeth and abs that could crack nuts is more entitled to writing about rape, incest, nudity or w/e because he looks good? A person who is fat can´t cause he just seems like a yucki, weird ...person? I hope you are not implying that... cause it seems you are, lol.

He is the author, he can do as he pleases. If he wants Dany having sex in every chapter it´s his choice. Although it would be more or a Harlequin then =P

 

And besides.. the relationship with Visy and Dany I always saw in an ancient egyptian light. The whole marrying your sibling so the blood should stay pure and that whole scene with dapping perfume here and there on naked flesh before a dignitary coming to visit... I imagine the egyptians doing something like that.

 

 

GRRM's physical appearance has absolutely nothing to do with his writing; I said it creeped me out to think of him licking his lips as he does the torried scenes because I know other people have thought the same thing. It's wrong of me to think that of course, just as it's wrong for anyone in society to judge someone based upon what they look like, but we still do it :sad:

 

Doesnt mean you can't laugh at it though!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, this thread really got off topic. just wanted to throw in my two cents:

 

I agree with others that Jordon as a writer was allowed to expand his series to epic proportions due to the incredible success of the first two to three books. IMO he is a much more wordy writer than Sanderson, GRRM and others. Although it seems that in action scenes his prose becomes less wordy and descriptive of insignificant things. This annoyed me at first, but upon my first read through I actually really, really like his writing.

 

I have read most of Sanderson's books as well (Mistborn Trilogy, Elantris, the WofK, Warbreaker) and I find that his strengths are concise character development, dry humour, and dialogue. IMO his style is almost the opposite of Jordan's: concise everywhere EXCEPT in action scenes! They are very, very different writers, and I cannot even imagine how difficult this has been for Brandon.

 

Anyways, I think that Sanderson's traits as a writer are excellent for tying up all of the action (Seanchan, Black Tower, TG, Rand vs Egwene, etc.) that needs to occur in the final book. It seems to me that the pace will really need to pick up for these to all be dealt with in a book the size of TGS.

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