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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

How WoT and RJ stacks up against the competition


Wheel of Time vs Song of Ice and Fire  

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  1. 1. If you were creating an all-time top fantasy series list, which would you rank higher?

    • Wheel of Time
    • Song of Ice and Fire


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Mark, you're not getting it.

 

There are no "facts and statistics" that you can compile to demonstrate the superiority of WoT. No "objective criteria" that when considered without "bias" will lead inevitably to the conclusion that Jordan was a better writer than Martin. There is no regression analysis that yields a value representing literary merit, no model for a "masterwork", no OLAP cube that can be queried for the answer to, "who's the best-est?"

 

So, way back at the beginning of this mess, when you claimed that if people would just examine the two series "objectively" and without "bias" they would agree with your position, what you were in effect saying was, "I'm right and you're wrong, nanner-nanner-boo-boo."

 

What DO exist are certain scales and metrics for measuring things like sentence complexity and vocabulary level. Looking at those, I guarantee Martin will score out higher. But I'm not going to claim that means Martin was a better writer. I am sure Jordan could have written extremely complex sentences using obscure vocabulary; he chose not to. The WoT is not a lesser work, and Jordan wasn't a lesser writer, because he chose to employ simple and accessible language. And WoT is not a greater work, and Jordan a greater writer, because he used 2,783,467 words to describe the physical world while Martin used a mere 783,243 words.

 

Hard data and objective facts are available to back up most any conclusion out there. Whether or not you accept or buy into those conclusions is irrelevant to the objectivity of the data using to prove the point.

 

I can come up with a slew of facts to make my case that WoT is better, but your response will be "that doesn't prove anything from where I'm standing". And indeed, from where you're standing, it may not. The whole point is to come up with some explanations and backing for your argument instead of just announcing your opinions. A hard fact and objective data may be as simple as stating what happened in a plotline in one of the books, and then using that fact to backup your argument.

 

I didn't think this was difficult stuff here. You're dodging the whole discussion by trying to cling to the one thing that you feel you can argue effectively, and it really has nothing to do with this thread. So move on or partake - I noticed you ignored the majority of my response and chose to target your original criticism instead.

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Mark, you're not getting it.

 

There are no "facts and statistics" that you can compile to demonstrate the superiority of WoT. No "objective criteria" that when considered without "bias" will lead inevitably to the conclusion that Jordan was a better writer than Martin. There is no regression analysis that yields a value representing literary merit, no model for a "masterwork", no OLAP cube that can be queried for the answer to, "who's the best-est?"

 

So, way back at the beginning of this mess, when you claimed that if people would just examine the two series "objectively" and without "bias" they would agree with your position, what you were in effect saying was, "I'm right and you're wrong, nanner-nanner-boo-boo."

 

What DO exist are certain scales and metrics for measuring things like sentence complexity and vocabulary level. Looking at those, I guarantee Martin will score out higher. But I'm not going to claim that means Martin was a better writer. I am sure Jordan could have written extremely complex sentences using obscure vocabulary; he chose not to. The WoT is not a lesser work, and Jordan wasn't a lesser writer, because he chose to employ simple and accessible language. And WoT is not a greater work, and Jordan a greater writer, because he used 2,783,467 words to describe the physical world while Martin used a mere 783,243 words.

 

Hard data and objective facts are available to back up most any conclusion out there. Whether or not you accept or buy into those conclusions is irrelevant to the objectivity of the data using to prove the point.

 

I can come up with a slew of facts to make my case that WoT is better, but your response will be "that doesn't prove anything from where I'm standing". And indeed, from where you're standing, it may not. The whole point is to come up with some explanations and backing for your argument instead of just announcing your opinions. A hard fact and objective data may be as simple as stating what happened in a plotline in one of the books, and then using that fact to backup your argument.

 

I didn't think this was difficult stuff here. You're dodging the whole discussion by trying to cling to the one thing that you feel you can argue effectively, and it really has nothing to do with this thread. So move on or partake - I noticed you ignored the majority of my response and chose to target your original criticism instead.

 

Seriously Dude, read some books.

 

What you can come up with are facts to support your OPINION that WoT is better. That is not an "objective criteria." There is a difference between objectively true data, and an objective measure. Learn it.

 

If "from where I'm standing" the facts and statistics you have marshalled don't prove anything, then that is not an objective measure. Indeed, it is the very definition of a SUBJECTIVE measure!

 

Now, you want some facts from the books to support certain of my opinions? Fine. But the fact that I can come up with those does not mean you will be forced to accept that one series is better than the other. Which is what you implied ...no, that's not true...which is what you stated outright in your initial post on the subject.

 

Now, for myself, I find a psychologically complex character, with conflicting allegiances, complex emotions and tortured history, a dwarf rejected by his father for that fact and because his mother died in birthing him, unloved except by the brother he knows to be a rather bad cat...well, I find that character to be more completely realized than your farmboy who by means of two plot devices that fall just barely short of DeM (the madness and the integration of LTT) manages to lurch from one extreme to the other. You may disagree, but what I just wrote is not subject to objective disproof. It just isn't, whether you like it or not.

Edited by randsc
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Do you not understand how objective facts can be used to construct an argument and the argument itself may still be rejected? That is the entire purpose of the court system in the US and most other countries. Both sides gather hard data and evidence in an attempt to prove their argument. In the end, the judge or jury rejects one argument in favor of the other based on their opinion of the facts supporting each side. Do you see how this principle can be applied to almost any debate? It's not rocket science...it's called debating. Most people in this thread seem to have no problem giving their reasoning for their opinions, and...GASP...their opinions are based on facts. Are they numerical facts or statistical evidence? No. They are facts about the book in question.

 

An opinion: "Tyrion Lannister is a more complex character than anyone in the WoT."

 

A fact: "Rand al'Thor fought and slowly succumbed to madness over 10,000 pages."

 

A conclusion based on a fact: "Rand al'Thor's character is far more developed than Tyrion Lannister due to his fight with madness."

 

Do you understand the difference? Do you see how despite the fact you are free to disagree with the conclusion?

 

Now...for the last time...please stop trying to derail the thread with your inane accusations. This thread is about comparing WoT vs other major fantasy series. It's not about you trying to ignore everything I say while yelling "I WAS RIGHT WHERE ARE YOUR FACTS!!!1" like a little kid.

Edited by Mark D
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Mark, get a grip. I understand, you don't like being challenged. Well, welcome to the grown-up world.

 

Now, recall what you originally said:

 

"If you can ignore your personal bias and look at the two works objectively"

 

Clearly, in that post you were defining "objectively" differently that you are now. Why? Because you got called on it.

 

Now, if you can continue the discussion without sarcasm, which is frankly making you look about 12, by all means do so.

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An opinion: "Tyrion Lannister is a more complex character than anyone in the WoT."

 

A fact: "Rand al'Thor fought and slowly succumbed to madness over 10,000 pages."

 

A conclusion based on a fact: "Rand al'Thor's character is far more developed than Tyrion Lannister due to his fight with madness."

It's based on fact, but it's still subjective and it doesn't prove anything (as was your initial claim that you can prove WoT is a better series). Just because a character fought with madness for a zillion pages doesn't necessary make him better developed than another who didn't. Your fact is almost useless in determining how well developed a character is.

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Some more facts for you.

 

Continuity. One of the areas where you claimed WoT was objectively superior to ASoIaF. I disagree. There are entire websites devoted into trying to figure out the timeline in WoT. The lack of continuity is in fact a major failing of the series. Does Martin handle it well? Not really. But his approach of parallel novels, both set in the same chronological time period, was explained in advance and clear in the text(s).

 

Story complexity. Another area where you claimed WoT was objectively superior. Well, I've known where WoT was headed since about 100 pages into the first book. I don't think anyone can say the same of ASoIaF. Why? Because Jordan is following a path well-trodden. He is telling a generic quest story, a seven samurai story, an ugly duckling story, a story of the fall and redemption, a story of death and re-birth. These are standard tropes, well-understood, and yes, fairly simple. Martin, on the other hand, is telling a story that is as much a psychological thriller as a fantasy novel, and none of us know where it will go next.

Edited by randsc
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An opinion: "Tyrion Lannister is a more complex character than anyone in the WoT."

 

A fact: "Rand al'Thor fought and slowly succumbed to madness over 10,000 pages."

 

A conclusion based on a fact: "Rand al'Thor's character is far more developed than Tyrion Lannister due to his fight with madness."

 

That is an opinion based conclusion using factual information to give credence to your conclusion. Reading Tyrion's backstory as the books went on developed the character in a quasi-flashback sort of way. I could argue that due to Tyrion recruiting the mountain clan, becoming the emporers hand, outwitting Cersei multiple times, defeating Stannis's invastion, and seeing how we evolved due to his Father flashback narratives and etc (with other examples you could give), he is as developed as Rand al'Thor. I gave facts in the book and gave an opinion based conclusion based on facts, as you did.

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An opinion: "Tyrion Lannister is a more complex character than anyone in the WoT."

 

A fact: "Rand al'Thor fought and slowly succumbed to madness over 10,000 pages."

 

A conclusion based on a fact: "Rand al'Thor's character is far more developed than Tyrion Lannister due to his fight with madness."

 

Uhmmm no, it doesn't really work like that at all. Extremely subjective as almost everyone posting has pointed out and doesn't measure character development in the slightest.

Edited by Suttree
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I have to say that ASOIAF is better than WoT.

 

This is mainly because the Forsaken are utterly retarded. They are absolutely inconsistent in everything (except failing, they fail very consistently.) That bunch of legendary villains is shown to have been a bunch of bickering children, who get owned by some newbies who hardly know how to channel.

 

It should not be possible for some few-months-into-channeling-kid to even with the craziest of luck to beat a Forsaken. THEY ARE HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD WITH SICK AMOUNT OF PRACTISE AND KNOW STUFF THAT CANT EVEN BE IMAGINED IN THEIR CURRENT AGE!!!!! That's like me getting into hockey rink with 2 of my best friends and owning the shit out of Vancouver Canucks. That just doesn't happen.

 

So, the biggest failure of WoT is the impregnable plotshield that the main characters carry around them (I can, grudgingly, accept the plotshield on Rand, Mat and Perrin, since that's quite literally what Ta'veren is.)

 

Also ASOIAF is way more complex and you have no idea what's going to happen next. The main character may well get offed on the next page, so you're truly afraid to turn the next page cause it's so exciting. While in WoT, you know what will happen. Good guy X succeeds, Forsaken Y fails, rinse and repeat.

 

The End.

Edited by Ananta
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It should not be possible for some few-months-into-channeling-kid to even with the craziest of luck to beat a Forsaken. THEY ARE HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD WITH SICK AMOUNT OF PRACTISE AND KNOW STUFF THAT CANT EVEN BE IMAGINED IN THEIR CURRENT AGE!!!!! That's like me getting into hockey rink with 2 of my best friends and owning the shit out of Vancouver Canucks. That just doesn't happen.

 

Maybe if it was the Washington Capitals...

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It should not be possible for some few-months-into-channeling-kid to even with the craziest of luck to beat a Forsaken. THEY ARE HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD WITH SICK AMOUNT OF PRACTISE AND KNOW STUFF THAT CANT EVEN BE IMAGINED IN THEIR CURRENT AGE!!!!! That's like me getting into hockey rink with 2 of my best friends and owning the shit out of Vancouver Canucks. That just doesn't happen.

 

Maybe if it was the Washington Capitals...

 

I can see us winning the Capitals... Yes...

 

But on a serious note, the intrique in Martin's books is far more sophisticated and interesting than in WoT. Especially because it is so realistic and believable (most of the time.) While Robert's foreshadowing skills are beyond comparison. They both have their pros and cons. But Martin's books are simply better.

 

 

These all are, of course, just my personal opinions, so no one should get heated over them. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.

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Not sure if it's competition. However I prefer the first Dune novels, since they were actually an allegory to the modern world and the problems we as human society face. The first novel about the chronic addiction of an entire civilization to a single resource. The second book about theocracy and the dangers surrounding religious fanaticism. etc..

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Oh, I like Nynaeve. "Two-dimensional" isn't an insult, merely a description. It refers to a character who undergoes relatively little change or growth in the course of the book(s).

 

Now, that can be argued, of course.

 

Consider it argued :biggrin: I wanted to make sure my personal definition of a 3-d character was one at least partially shared by some people. After seeing many different interpretations, I found a table here that illustrates my thoughts as close as possible on a 3-d character.

 

Yeah, I'm not fully on-board with that table. It certainly isn't true, for example, that the reader doesn't really know two-dimensional characters. I think you would find that the description I gave was more widely accepted. A two-dimensional character is one who does not change or develop much through the course of the story.

 

Even using that article's definitions, you could argue Nynaeve is a two-dimensional character. Consider what we know of her history, for example. That didn't take long, did it? Consider all of the times when her actions or attitudes were unpredictable. That didn't take long either, did it?

 

I don't think that table is particularly good either, but I think you are confusing three dimensionality with character growth. Three dimensionality is meant to describe complexity and realism in a character. Complex individuals often grow and change as they encounter new events, but they don't have to. Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, is one of the most complex characters in fantasy, and he changes and grows over the series. Indeed, the fantasy elements might not even be real, they could just be coping mechanisms for his change. However, you can come up with examples of three-dimensional characters that remain somewhat static. Sometimes that is even the point of their (complex) character. Take Logen Ninefingers, from the First Law trilogy. He is a really complex and interesting character, and a cool deconstruction of the raging barbarian archetype, but he ends up exactly where he starts, which is the whole point of his character. I don't want to say more because I don't want to spoil that excellent series for those who have not read it. And read it you should, randsc, given that you like Martin. Hurray postmodern deconstructions of LOTR that are well written and funny!

 

One thing Martin and Jordan had in common is that their books are very meandering haha. It is less clear where Martin is going, however, which I think is why some people think his books are frustrating and pointless. I personally really did not like the fourth one, even though I think Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings were brilliant, and Storm of Swords was serviceable. The problem with focusing on a character driven story that constantly changes characters is that we end up leaving behind interesting and important ones to follow mannish woman knights around forever sometimes. The broad plot of the books is almost certainly going to be John Snow (Ice) and Daenerys (fire) battling the Others down the road, someday, but we spend all our time with Cersi and other people and their infighting. Martin, like Jordan, lacks focus. It's like when we would leave the fantastic goings on of Rand and Mat to watch Luca flirt with Nyneave while Elayne sighs. Except for a whole book. And people are burned alive and tortured. Boring AND depressing! Perhaps I will give the series another go if aDwD gets good reviews, though that would require a re-read, because the series just doesn't stick with me well.

 

Tyrion is the greatest though. You are right there.

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But on a serious note, the intrique in Martin's books is far more sophisticated and interesting than in WoT. Especially because it is so realistic and believable (most of the time.) While Robert's foreshadowing skills are beyond comparison. They both have their pros and cons. But Martin's books are simply better.

 

 

These all are, of course, just my personal opinions, so no one should get heated over them. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.

No, Jordans books are teh bestest! To think that Martin's writing is better is pathetic. Just take your cookie for example. If your cookie crumbles, it's way overdone. The best cookies just fall apart, eaten 5 minutes out of the oven, golden brown. Because your cookie crumbles means that your opinion doesn't matter :rolleyes: ...:biggrin:

 

/sarcasm off

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Not sure if it's competition. However I prefer the first Dune novels, since they were actually an allegory to the modern world and the problems we as human society face. The first novel about the chronic addiction of an entire civilization to a single resource. The second book about theocracy and the dangers surrounding religious fanaticism. etc..

 

Dune is interesting. It's a deconstruction of the savior trope in fantasy and sci-fi. "Let's overthrow the unjust old order...OH GOD TRILLIONS ARE DEAD!" Even more interesting is how the later books subvert this, by actually requiring a literal God King savior and the Golden Path.

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I have to say that ASOIAF is better than WoT.

 

This is mainly because the Forsaken are utterly retarded. They are absolutely inconsistent in everything (except failing, they fail very consistently.) That bunch of legendary villains is shown to have been a bunch of bickering children, who get owned by some newbies who hardly know how to channel.

 

It should not be possible for some few-months-into-channeling-kid to even with the craziest of luck to beat a Forsaken. THEY ARE HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD WITH SICK AMOUNT OF PRACTISE AND KNOW STUFF THAT CANT EVEN BE IMAGINED IN THEIR CURRENT AGE!!!!! That's like me getting into hockey rink with 2 of my best friends and owning the shit out of Vancouver Canucks. That just doesn't happen.

 

So, the biggest failure of WoT is the impregnable plotshield that the main characters carry around them (I can, grudgingly, accept the plotshield on Rand, Mat and Perrin, since that's quite literally what Ta'veren is.)

 

Also ASOIAF is way more complex and you have no idea what's going to happen next. The main character may well get offed on the next page, so you're truly afraid to turn the next page cause it's so exciting. While in WoT, you know what will happen. Good guy X succeeds, Forsaken Y fails, rinse and repeat.

 

The End.

 

 

The problem was RJ could not write believable villains. If everything we were told about the age of legends was true, then the trio of tavaren and the super girls would have been smoked by the forsaken long time ago.

 

Instead what we have are clowns pretending to be superbaddies from an age of badass chanellers.

 

To this day, i cannot ever get over the deaths of rahvin and sammael. I mean it was so unbelievable seeing ishy the equal of LTT falling 3 times to a shepherder but the deaths of womaniser and general forsaken just left a bad taste in the mouth.

 

 

for that reason, and many others WOT will never reach the ranking of ASOIAF

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Not sure if it's competition. However I prefer the first Dune novels, since they were actually an allegory to the modern world and the problems we as human society face. The first novel about the chronic addiction of an entire civilization to a single resource. The second book about theocracy and the dangers surrounding religious fanaticism. etc..

 

Dune is interesting. It's a deconstruction of the savior trope in fantasy and sci-fi. "Let's overthrow the unjust old order...OH GOD TRILLIONS ARE DEAD!" Even more interesting is how the later books subvert this, by actually requiring a literal God King savior and the Golden Path.

 

 

I find it unique because in the books the protagonists are pragmatically seen more evil than the antagonists.

 

As questionable the Padishah Emperor or the Harkonnens are, neither unleashed a fanatic holy war unto the Universe that eradicated the populations of entire planets and lead to the deaths of such a sum of human beings as to be almost unfathomable. Instead we have an Atreides who is prescient and full knows the path his actions will lead to, with nice quotes such as "there are no innocents left," when his horrified mother tries to call him to reason after seeing but a glimpse of the future he showed her.

 

Then of course in the second book this is further cemented with the protagonist Paul conversing with Stilgar about the death count of his Jihad. Then listing other human figures from time forgotten such as Genghis Khan and Hitler, then telling Stilgar that he is much worse than either of those men were.

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No offence to RJ or GRRM fanboys/girls, but there are other fantasy writers than those two.

 

I have two books/series that sould be mentioned.

 

First is Guy Gavriel Kays Tigana. I liked it because the main character was second (probably fourth) in command , in other words not the king who comes and makes everything good just by showing up. More points to the fact that wizards have to perform self mutilation.

 

Second there is my favorite fantasy series. Death gate cycle by Weis & Hickman. It would have been perfect if they had cut out that annoying crazy wizard character. This far in my life Haplo is the only character in fantasy i can totally relate to (that tells a lot about me). To those unfamiliar with deathgate novels in WoT terms it would be like the Dragon Reborn was Elyas doing the work of James Bond.

 

Unlike Wot or ASOIAF ,DGC is a "true" fantasyworld in a way that there is no known culture which works in ways as any of cultures in that series. And magic system atleast tries to be logical to what was known about quantum-physics in the time it was written.

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No, Jordans books are teh bestest! To think that Martin's writing is better is pathetic. Just take your cookie for example. If your cookie crumbles, it's way overdone. The best cookies just fall apart, eaten 5 minutes out of the oven, golden brown. Because your cookie crumbles means that your opinion doesn't matter :rolleyes: ...:biggrin:

 

/sarcasm off

 

:madmyrddraal: that was a needless attack on LOLcats, and silly old women who LOLspeak. it makes a kitty sad :sad: .

 

but you are close to correct on the cookies.

 

the best cookies are chewy, gooey, crispy, tender, flaky, or any combination of these factors.

 

so they neither crumble nor fall apart, but remain intact in order to deliver the perfect cookie bite to the devouring consumer.

 

on topic - while cookies may be objectively judged, sci fi fantasy, not so much.

 

sarcasm never off.

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A few people have attacked WOT for what they perceive as inept forsaken when it comes to clashing with the Light side characters.

 

One thing readers should keep in mind is that the forsaken (with the possible exception of Ishy/Moridin) came to power and lived the majority of their lives in a peaceful and technologically advanced society where violent conflict appears to have been quite rare. While some of the forsaken (Sammael and Demandred mostly) have been noted as being close behind the Dragon in military ability, that's not really saying much as when the DO broke free and the War of Power began they were all essentially learning their military skills on the fly.

 

Compare that to Randland as it currently stands, where violent conflict is a daily occurence and it is virtually a technology free medieval society and the citizens are much more versed in violence and the military commanders in largescale warfare with the medieval weaponry (i.e. sword, bows and arrows etc. as opposed to shock lances and sho-wings, which I took to be guns and planes and it also appears that they had radio communications as well).

 

Now the way I see it is that, the forsaken being released into the current age in Randland is like taking today's top scientists and dropping them back in the 1500s and expecting them to continue their research at the same rate as they were in today's society with all their technology (e.g microscopes, computers etc.). It's not going to happen, the scientists may be able to adapt but it's going to take a fair bit of time.

 

The second way to look at it is from a military perspective, is like taking a crew from one of the navy's destroyer's and dropping them on a 3 masted warship like you see on Pirates of the Carribean and expecting them to annihalate any other ship that goes up against them, again it's not going to happen as the sailors back in the medieval times have a hell of a lot more experience with that type of equipment and warfare strategy. Alternatively looking from an individual soldier perspective (i.e. sword fighters) those from the AoL would likely be like your fencers in our society, there are a number (i.e. olympians) who would likely do well in medieval times with certain types of blades, but on the whole most would not last very long due to lack of experience when compared to swordsmen in that age.

 

Finally and most tellingly, directly in relation to the Forsaken their reputation as being ultra powerful and evil masterminds has had 3,000 years to grow. I mean legends have a tendency to grow and outstrip the facts of what actually happened over time (i.e. they are embellished and corrupted and the true facts are lost eventually) well at least that is the impression that I have in relation to the legends of the Forsaken in Randland. Rand and Moiraine are really the only 2 who have taken out any of the Forsaken properly and mostly by surprise/luck.

 

From what I can see most people's criticism of the forsaken stems from their apparent ineptness with a lot of their plans and not causing as much chaos as the legends would indicate they should have. IMO they are fairly dangerous in direct confrontations (at least what I would expect given where they originally came from), however when it comes to their other plans and the failing of same I think it comes down to lack of experience and understanding of the current society in Randland, I also interpreted from some of the Forsaken POV's in the books that they aren't really actively trying to adapt to their current situation and simply give orders to their subordinates and expect them to succeed. That's just my opinion anyway. In short I think the readers that have been most disappointed by the Forsaken are those that believe the Forsaken should be living up to the reputation and awe that the general Randland populace holds them, rather than viewing the Forsaken as coming from a society much like ours, but without the wars and fighting, and being worshipped as demigods despite being out of their depth and comfort zones.

 

Of course this is based on my personal opinion and my interpretation of a number of comments I have seen on the forums.

 

Back on topic, as has been mentioned before there are a couple of series that aren't mentioned which I really enjoyed (Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow & Thorn series and Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series). There is one other series that probably isn't very well known that I think was quite good and that was the Battle Axe trilogy by Sara Douglass and the subsequent Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader trilogy. Again that's just personal opinion, I am a big fantasy genre fan and like the Belgariad, Mallorean, Elenium and Tamuli series by David Eddings and also the Midkemian based series by Raymond Feist. But in relation to world building skills RJ and Tolkien are in a league of their own and RJ is the king of foreshadowing.

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A few people have attacked WOT for what they perceive as inept forsaken when it comes to clashing with the Light side characters.

 

One thing readers should keep in mind is that the forsaken (with the possible exception of Ishy/Moridin) came to power and lived the majority of their lives in a peaceful and technologically advanced society where violent conflict appears to have been quite rare. While some of the forsaken (Sammael and Demandred mostly) have been noted as being close behind the Dragon in military ability, that's not really saying much as when the DO broke free and the War of Power began they were all essentially learning their military skills on the fly.

 

Compare that to Randland as it currently stands, where violent conflict is a daily occurence and it is virtually a technology free medieval society and the citizens are much more versed in violence and the military commanders in largescale warfare with the medieval weaponry (i.e. sword, bows and arrows etc. as opposed to shock lances and sho-wings, which I took to be guns and planes and it also appears that they had radio communications as well).

 

Now the way I see it is that, the forsaken being released into the current age in Randland is like taking today's top scientists and dropping them back in the 1500s and expecting them to continue their research at the same rate as they were in today's society with all their technology (e.g microscopes, computers etc.). It's not going to happen, the scientists may be able to adapt but it's going to take a fair bit of time.

 

The second way to look at it is from a military perspective, is like taking a crew from one of the navy's destroyer's and dropping them on a 3 masted warship like you see on Pirates of the Carribean and expecting them to annihalate any other ship that goes up against them, again it's not going to happen as the sailors back in the medieval times have a hell of a lot more experience with that type of equipment and warfare strategy. Alternatively looking from an individual soldier perspective (i.e. sword fighters) those from the AoL would likely be like your fencers in our society, there are a number (i.e. olympians) who would likely do well in medieval times with certain types of blades, but on the whole most would not last very long due to lack of experience when compared to swordsmen in that age.

 

Finally and most tellingly, directly in relation to the Forsaken their reputation as being ultra powerful and evil masterminds has had 3,000 years to grow. I mean legends have a tendency to grow and outstrip the facts of what actually happened over time (i.e. they are embellished and corrupted and the true facts are lost eventually) well at least that is the impression that I have in relation to the legends of the Forsaken in Randland. Rand and Moiraine are really the only 2 who have taken out any of the Forsaken properly and mostly by surprise/luck.

 

From what I can see most people's criticism of the forsaken stems from their apparent ineptness with a lot of their plans and not causing as much chaos as the legends would indicate they should have. IMO they are fairly dangerous in direct confrontations (at least what I would expect given where they originally came from), however when it comes to their other plans and the failing of same I think it comes down to lack of experience and understanding of the current society in Randland, I also interpreted from some of the Forsaken POV's in the books that they aren't really actively trying to adapt to their current situation and simply give orders to their subordinates and expect them to succeed. That's just my opinion anyway. In short I think the readers that have been most disappointed by the Forsaken are those that believe the Forsaken should be living up to the reputation and awe that the general Randland populace holds them, rather than viewing the Forsaken as coming from a society much like ours, but without the wars and fighting, and being worshipped as demigods despite being out of their depth and comfort zones.

 

Of course this is based on my personal opinion and my interpretation of a number of comments I have seen on the forums.

 

Back on topic, as has been mentioned before there are a couple of series that aren't mentioned which I really enjoyed (Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow & Thorn series and Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series). There is one other series that probably isn't very well known that I think was quite good and that was the Battle Axe trilogy by Sara Douglass and the subsequent Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader trilogy. Again that's just personal opinion, I am a big fantasy genre fan and like the Belgariad, Mallorean, Elenium and Tamuli series by David Eddings and also the Midkemian based series by Raymond Feist. But in relation to world building skills RJ and Tolkien are in a league of their own and RJ is the king of foreshadowing.

 

 

 

So far, this is probably the very best post in this entire thread. flamingsword.gif

Well done, Dragons_Eggman.

 

 

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The analogies don't quite work, Dragons_Eggman. They've got the destroyer and infinite ammo/fuel against a 16th century navy; they lack some infrastructure but...nah, doesn't work.

 

The Forsaken are checked from going for a straight military conquest or nuke from orbit. If the abilities they've displayed are used intelligently, even one of them could level every city in the world in about a day. The point of the story is why they didn't do that, and how interesting that is (if we ever find out). Granted if they did that there's no story :)

 

And that's absent thus far from Song except for hints (there's some kind of evil that hasn't been really introduced, it may involve the Wights or may not--see Mance talking about the Horn of Winter and the Red Priestess's story). And I'm not going to dig into this further...

Edited by Cybertrolloc
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This thread is really pointless now. Again, it has turned into a stupid bickering match.

 

There is no way to say which is better. Different people like different things.

 

Some people say WoT is worse because there are no main characters dying.

 

So? Many people dont wish to see that. Some people dont like Martin because there are those deaths.

 

The general point of the thread was fair enough. See what people think, see what they like better. Or, perhaps take a different approach and compare book sales (of course, in ratio to number of books).

 

But arguing over it? Really? Surely people are not that dense?

 

I suppose I shall answer the question.

 

Personally, I enjoy the WoT more (although I do love both series)

 

Some others worthy of mention.

 

LotR (obviously)

 

War of Light and Shadow - Janny Wurtz

 

Erikson - Malazan Book of the Fallen

 

Eddings - Belgariad/Mallorean/Sparhawk stuff

 

David Gemmel

 

Terry Pratchett

 

Ian Irvine

 

Jennifer Fallon

 

many others I am sure

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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The analogies don't quite work, Dragons_Eggman. They've got the destroyer and infinite ammo/fuel against a 16th century navy; they lack some infrastructure but...nah, doesn't work.

 

The Forsaken are checked from going for a straight military conquest or nuke from orbit. If the abilities they've displayed are used intelligently, even one of them could level every city in the world in about a day. The point of the story is why they didn't do that, and how interesting that is (if we ever find out). Granted if they did that there's no story :)

 

And that's absent thus far from Song except for hints (there's some kind of evil that hasn't been really introduced, it may involve the Wights or may not--see Mance talking about the Horn of Winter and the Red Priestess's story). And I'm not going to dig into this further...

 

I actually meant dropping the destroyer crew onto a 16th century ship and expecting them to be competitive with a 16th century crew. Of course if you drop a destroyer along with crew back into the 16th century they would annihalate any other ship that came against them. I have actually read a book with a similar premise except it was a warship from present being sent back to WW2 due to some scientific experiment being performed on a nearby cargo ship. Interesting book, it focused more on the clash of different societal values (e.g. equal opportunities for women vs the general view that women had no place on a battle ship in that era). It was titled World War 2.0 IIRC.

 

Back on topic Barid makes a good point in that this topic will not have any real meaningful outcome. Coparing the 2 series is essentially like comparing apples to oranges. Every fantasy series/author has strengths and weaknesses and what some people see as a strength others view as a weakness and vice versa, each to their own. One thing this thread does provide is to allow people to gain an alternative view on certain issues and discuss same in depth, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

 

I also really enjoyed the War of Light and Shadow by Janny Wurts although I have not yet gotten around to finishing the series yet.

Edited by Dragons_Eggman
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