Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

What you dislike most about the series?


Recommended Posts

What do I dislike most? Well, if I only get one choice, it would have to be the 2000 or so pages spent on the Faile's Shaido captivity. Jordan might have finished the series himself if he hadn't gone down that road. You can argue about whether this plotline was "pointless," but it sure could have been dealt with a LOT faster. A close second and third would be the whole Bowl of Winds and Valan Luca's Circus plotlines.

 

Aside from the plotlines mentioned above, the only other thing that really annoys me is the whole gender issue. As a guy, I find it incredibly annoying and tedious that virtually every woman seems to have absolutely zero respect for men, which in turn leads to some absolutely ridiculous failures to cooperate, share information, etc. I'm not sure if that's what other posters are referring to as "sexism" or not.

Agree with everything said here.

 

What also irritates me is the lack of male-female friendship. We see no real examples of this which I find both frustrating and irritating.

 

A smaller peeve is the repetitiveness of descriptions/actions 'sniffed', 'smoothed skirts' etc. Also related to this is the need in later books to describe what has happened in earlier books. As I understood it the later books were never meant to be read as stand-alone books yet we still get the fill-in of what has happened as if there were meant to.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 292
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

What also irritates me is the lack of male-female friendship. We see no real examples of this which I find both frustrating and irritating.

 

I would think that Mat/Birgitte certainly counts, though i'm having a hard time coming up with another example

Link to post
Share on other sites

What also irritates me is the lack of male-female friendship. We see no real examples of this which I find both frustrating and irritating.

 

I would think that Mat/Birgitte certainly counts, though i'm having a hard time coming up with another example

Yeah I was going to mention Mat/Birgitte but the fact that they are the only ones who readily spring to mind is a pretty scathing indictment considering the size of the series. Lately Rand/Nynaeve I think could also qualify as friends but imo this has only come about after Sanderson took over.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe RJ was asked about male/female relations before he passed and his explaination was to the effect that in Randland, men are sterotyped as "those who broke the world". Yeah, we the readers, know it was just male channelers thousands of years ago who did, but in the book world, one of the themes is how history becomes legend which becomes myth. So the crimes of the crazy male Aes Sedai were extended to cover all men in the world by association. Add to the fact that any man could spark and being to channel at any time, who then was destined to go mad and kill their family or hometown. In a world where the percetnage of the population who spark is at 1% - 3%, a city of 10,000 people would have the potential of 100 - 300 men spark in a generation. That would be enough men going crazy to keep a negative bias going. Then added to that fact, women were credited with saving the world and holding Civilization together during and after the Breaking,.....

 

Is it any wonder why gender relations are what they are in Randland?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe RJ was asked about male/female relations before he passed and his explaination was to the effect that in Randland, men are sterotyped as "those who broke the world". Yeah, we the readers, know it was just male channelers thousands of years ago who did, but in the book world, one of the themes is how history becomes legend which becomes myth. So the crimes of the crazy male Aes Sedai were extended to cover all men in the world by association. Add to the fact that any man could spark and being to channel at any time, who then was destined to go mad and kill their family or hometown. In a world where the percetnage of the population who spark is at 1% - 3%, a city of 10,000 people would have the potential of 100 - 300 men spark in a generation. That would be enough men going crazy to keep a negative bias going. Then added to that fact, women were credited with saving the world and holding Civilization together during and after the Breaking,.....

 

Is it any wonder why gender relations are what they are in Randland?

 

 

that seems to be analagous to the concept that since eve supposedly caused the breaking of the world/exile from eden by tempting adam with the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, women, whose temptations might lead to further mayhem and downfall, must be dominated and controlled by men, and their temptations kept in check. which is basically what LP seems to have been getting at up-thread. it's an evil-spock anti-mirroring of our present day world.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The lack of a strong editor. This thing really should have been finished in 8 books.

Agree partly - though I would say more like 10 books with maybe 3 arcs cut right out and superfluous descriptions excised.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The lack of a strong editor. This thing really should have been finished in 8 books.

Agree partly - though I would say more like 10 books with maybe 3 arcs cut right out and superfluous descriptions excised.

 

I could go with that, though we'd likely disagree on which arcs. Personally, I find the books more enjoyable to read when I employ a self-editor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The lack of a strong editor. This thing really should have been finished in 8 books.

Agree partly - though I would say more like 10 books with maybe 3 arcs cut right out and superfluous descriptions excised.

 

I could go with that, though we'd likely disagree on which arcs. Personally, I find the books more enjoyable to read when I employ a self-editor.

Yeah I definitely do that on re-reads. As to the arcs I was thinking of Faile's captivity massively reduced, Elayne's gaining of the throne massively reduced and same with the Wonder Girl's Salidar circus sideshow. And reducing unnecessary descriptions throughout all books (although this only really became a problem in later books).

Link to post
Share on other sites

The lack of a strong editor. This thing really should have been finished in 8 books.

Agree partly - though I would say more like 10 books with maybe 3 arcs cut right out and superfluous descriptions excised.

 

I could go with that, though we'd likely disagree on which arcs. Personally, I find the books more enjoyable to read when I employ a self-editor.

Yeah I definitely do that on re-reads. As to the arcs I was thinking of Faile's captivity massively reduced, Elayne's gaining of the throne massively reduced and same with the Wonder Girl's Salidar circus sideshow. And reducing unnecessary descriptions throughout all books (although this only really became a problem in later books).

 

The Shaido captivity could have been shorter (don't really want the POV of the captives) and should have been resolved a book or two earlier. For me, the Supergirls should be contracted into 1 lead as a group, instead of 3 seperate lead characters. I'd also cut out the Seanchan altogether. Of course, I'd add a good bit about the Boderlands. I feel cheated that I got to read so little about them. Hell, I wouldn't know that Agelmar was one of the great captains if I didn't look it up online.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The lack of a strong editor. This thing really should have been finished in 8 books.

Agree partly - though I would say more like 10 books with maybe 3 arcs cut right out and superfluous descriptions excised.

 

I could go with that, though we'd likely disagree on which arcs. Personally, I find the books more enjoyable to read when I employ a self-editor.

Yeah I definitely do that on re-reads. As to the arcs I was thinking of Faile's captivity massively reduced, Elayne's gaining of the throne massively reduced and same with the Wonder Girl's Salidar circus sideshow. And reducing unnecessary descriptions throughout all books (although this only really became a problem in later books).

 

The Shaido captivity could have been shorter (don't really want the POV of the captives) and should have been resolved a book or two earlier. For me, the Supergirls should be contracted into 1 lead as a group, instead of 3 seperate lead characters. I'd also cut out the Seanchan altogether. Of course, I'd add a good bit about the Boderlands. I feel cheated that I got to read so little about them. Hell, I wouldn't know that Agelmar was one of the great captains if I didn't look it up online.

Agree with you about the Borderlanders and I also would've liked a lot more on the Black Tower too. The Seanchan add a lot to the series but had they been cut out of it - it would have definitely allowed the series to be much shorter though. Could have basically APoD and greatly reduced book 9-11.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My biggest problem is the Forsaken, who are utterly incompetent.

 

Then there's the lack of communication, which is also very ridiculous.

 

Egwene's progress is too fast, I mean, she outwits hundreds of years her seniors who have lived their whole lives plotting against each other, with nothing but few months of training, but I don't hate her for it. There are other similar things in the series, with other characters, and they annoy me to a degree.

 

And of course, last but not least, the lack of casualties on the good side. There are only so many "OH MAI GAWD I ALMOST DIED BUT LUCKILY I JUST BOWED MY HEAD TO PICK UP A QUARTER SO THE ARROW AIMED FOR MY HEAD FLEW PAST ME" one can deal with before it gets stupid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The lack of a strong editor. This thing really should have been finished in 8 books.

Agree partly - though I would say more like 10 books with maybe 3 arcs cut right out and superfluous descriptions excised.

 

I could go with that, though we'd likely disagree on which arcs. Personally, I find the books more enjoyable to read when I employ a self-editor.

Yeah I definitely do that on re-reads. As to the arcs I was thinking of Faile's captivity massively reduced, Elayne's gaining of the throne massively reduced and same with the Wonder Girl's Salidar circus sideshow. And reducing unnecessary descriptions throughout all books (although this only really became a problem in later books).

 

The Shaido captivity could have been shorter (don't really want the POV of the captives) and should have been resolved a book or two earlier. For me, the Supergirls should be contracted into 1 lead as a group, instead of 3 seperate lead characters. I'd also cut out the Seanchan altogether. Of course, I'd add a good bit about the Boderlands. I feel cheated that I got to read so little about them. Hell, I wouldn't know that Agelmar was one of the great captains if I didn't look it up online.

Agree with you about the Borderlanders and I also would've liked a lot more on the Black Tower too. The Seanchan add a lot to the series but had they been cut out of it - it would have definitely allowed the series to be much shorter though. Could have basically APoD and greatly reduced book 9-11.

 

Personally, I'd much rather have had the BT and the Borderlands (my favorite group of Randlanders), as well as possibly the DreadLords, get the screen time given to the Seanchan.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate the re-re-re descriptions ala Perrin is slow in thought, Loial talks like a bumblebee, each one of our Ta'vern

threesome thinks the other is better with women etc. Skirt smoothing... has anyone ever seen a woman do this is RL?

Sheesh.. oddly Nynaeve doesn't bother me as much this time around; Faile.. well.. I'm not gonna bash her, but I wouldn't miss her if he had written her out heh.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Emu on the Loose

The sexism in the series is definitely what I dislike the most, not only the denigration of characters that it causes but also the missed opportunities and stunted relationships. WoT is definitely not "subversive" in any usual sense of the word. RJ enjoyed being contrary, turning things up on their heads and whatnot, but he also held some parochial views about males and females and there's no getting around that. Given how many people in this thread are making the same complaint, I think it's pretty fair to say that, both critically and popularly, RJ's view of gender roles has been the series' main weak spot by far.

 

There are some other things I dislike about the series, though. First and foremost is that RJ's buildups rarely lived up to their climaxes. Action sequences and key confrontations always seemed to go by in a haze, yet every time the road to get there had been ever so long and meticulous. He liked not giving us the things we most wanted to know--all these character POVs, and we still have so many huge questions about people's motives and ideas that really should be answered right now and actively figuring into our expectations and hopes for the Last Battle. This is particularly noticeable with the Forsaken, who, even when we get POVs from them, remain shrouded in a pretentious mystique. And speaking of the Forsaken, they and most of the other antagonists were almost entirely unbelievable as characters. A bunch of one-dimensional cardboard cutouts. They did not provide the series with the credible and realistic antagonism it deserved. Lastly, the books are just too verbose; there's no getting around it.

 

Perhaps a more subtle complaint I have is that Jordan missed a lot of plot opportunities by getting tied up with character-driven narratives. I know I've said it before, but what if Lanfear had succeeded in taking Rand away with her that day at the docks? What if Moiraine had seen that future but failed to prevent it? That would have been one hell of a plot twist, and I would have loved to read that Wheel of Time.

 

Anyhow, those are my thoughts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't think they're all making the same complaint. i get the feeling that when some, maybe most, people on these threads post about their feelings on "sexism" in the WOT, they're talking about their perception of misandry.

 

i suspect that's not what you're talking about.

 

i also don't think you can make too much of what a small number of a pre-filtered group of fans who have stuck with the series for this long have to say. it's not a statistically valid sampling of anything.

 

but, eh, opinions are what they are.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What also irritates me is the lack of male-female friendship. We see no real examples of this which I find both frustrating and irritating.

 

There are precious few friendships in the series, regardless of gender. It's curious, because I think Jordan excels at character development and consistency, but he does a generally poor job with relations between those characters. People fall in love simply because they need to for plot purposes, they treat their so-called friends like garbage (Egwene is the worst offender here), and there are very few instances of people showing genuine concern for each other. It's a rare and startling moment when a character does as little as hug another, as Nynaeve did for Rand in ToM.

 

 

That would be my primary issue, but my second is that Jordan let the cast of characters get too big. I anticipate some people will take exception to that, and I agree that some very nice characterizations and moments would have been lost if the cast were cut down, but I think the benefits outweigh it. The major problems with making your cast so large are that you A.) Waste time on unnecessary character interactions and thus bog down the narrative and B.) Lose some of the distinction of your more minor characters.

 

Case in point is Thom. In the first three books, he was terrific, one of my favorite characters. He was deep, he had great back-and-forths with Mat, he was an active character who made or at least influenced decisions, and got a lot of screen time. Contrast that to the last few books. Instead of being paired up with Mat or Mat/Rand, he's clumped in with Mat, Tuon, Selucia, Edesina, Joline, Teslyn, Setalle, Domon, Egeanin, Juilin, Thera, Olver, Noal, Luca, and an entire traveling circus. Goodbye amusing, entertaining Thom who plays an active role in events. Hello boring adjunct Thom who kicks around worthlessly in the background until ToG.

 

Example #2 is Noal. Maybe I'm a cold-hearted SOB and am the only one who feels this way, but I felt nothing when he died in ToG. No sobs, no sniffles, the room didn't even get a little dusty. Why not? Because he was one little member of a giant menagerie who did nothing more than play stones with Olver. Contrast that with Ingtar, who died in a similar manner with a similar purpose, and struck a major chord because, while there were a bunch of soldiers along with them, the relevant group of hunters was really the big 3, Loial, Ingtar, and Hurin. He had face time, decision-making power, and felt like a distinct character. If it had been Mat, Thom, and Noal churning across Altara for two to three books, I'm confident I would have made a connection with Noal that would have given his death some pathos. But because RJ had to hold onto these ostensibly useless and minor characters, the Noal interactions were sparse, limited, and ultimately meaningless.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What also irritates me is the lack of male-female friendship. We see no real examples of this which I find both frustrating and irritating.

 

There are precious few friendships in the series, regardless of gender. It's curious, because I think Jordan excels at character development and consistency, but he does a generally poor job with relations between those characters. People fall in love simply because they need to for plot purposes, they treat their so-called friends like garbage (Egwene is the worst offender here), and there are very few instances of people showing genuine concern for each other. It's a rare and startling moment when a character does as little as hug another, as Nynaeve did for Rand in ToM.

Very true. And this hug probably only happened because Jordan didn't write TOM.

 

That would be my primary issue, but my second is that Jordan let the cast of characters get too big. I anticipate some people will take exception to that, and I agree that some very nice characterizations and moments would have been lost if the cast were cut down, but I think the benefits outweigh it. The major problems with making your cast so large are that you A.) Waste time on unnecessary character interactions and thus bog down the narrative and B.) Lose some of the distinction of your more minor characters.

Totally agree with this also. Also related to this we often unnecessarily get minor characters motivations spelled out to us which often isn't necessary.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What also irritates me is the lack of male-female friendship. We see no real examples of this which I find both frustrating and irritating.

 

There are precious few friendships in the series, regardless of gender. It's curious, because I think Jordan excels at character development and consistency, but he does a generally poor job with relations between those characters. People fall in love simply because they need to for plot purposes, they treat their so-called friends like garbage (Egwene is the worst offender here), and there are very few instances of people showing genuine concern for each other. It's a rare and startling moment when a character does as little as hug another, as Nynaeve did for Rand in ToM.

 

 

That would be my primary issue, but my second is that Jordan let the cast of characters get too big. I anticipate some people will take exception to that, and I agree that some very nice characterizations and moments would have been lost if the cast were cut down, but I think the benefits outweigh it. The major problems with making your cast so large are that you A.) Waste time on unnecessary character interactions and thus bog down the narrative and B.) Lose some of the distinction of your more minor characters.

 

Case in point is Thom. In the first three books, he was terrific, one of my favorite characters. He was deep, he had great back-and-forths with Mat, he was an active character who made or at least influenced decisions, and got a lot of screen time. Contrast that to the last few books. Instead of being paired up with Mat or Mat/Rand, he's clumped in with Mat, Tuon, Selucia, Edesina, Joline, Teslyn, Setalle, Domon, Egeanin, Juilin, Thera, Olver, Noal, Luca, and an entire traveling circus. Goodbye amusing, entertaining Thom who plays an active role in events. Hello boring adjunct Thom who kicks around worthlessly in the background until ToG.

 

Example #2 is Noal. Maybe I'm a cold-hearted SOB and am the only one who feels this way, but I felt nothing when he died in ToG. No sobs, no sniffles, the room didn't even get a little dusty. Why not? Because he was one little member of a giant menagerie who did nothing more than play stones with Olver. Contrast that with Ingtar, who died in a similar manner with a similar purpose, and struck a major chord because, while there were a bunch of soldiers along with them, the relevant group of hunters was really the big 3, Loial, Ingtar, and Hurin. He had face time, decision-making power, and felt like a distinct character. If it had been Mat, Thom, and Noal churning across Altara for two to three books, I'm confident I would have made a connection with Noal that would have given his death some pathos. But because RJ had to hold onto these ostensibly useless and minor characters, the Noal interactions were sparse, limited, and ultimately meaningless.

 

Wonderfully said.

Bloody wonderfully said.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And of course, last but not least, the lack of casualties on the good side. There are only so many "OH MAI GAWD I ALMOST DIED BUT LUCKILY I JUST BOWED MY HEAD TO PICK UP A QUARTER SO THE ARROW AIMED FOR MY HEAD FLEW PAST ME" one can deal with before it gets stupid.

So much win. :cool:

 

My main problems are Jordan's tendency to sacrifice character consistency for plot convenience. Too often people behave totally out of character to serve the plot. Like Perrin not even considering going to Rand for an army to help him free Faile instead of to the Seanchan. He's not the sharpest tool in the drawer by any means, but he's not that stupid.

 

Jordan's extreme "Men are from Mars, women from Venus" views are also really grating. Not only I disagree with it on principle, but the whole "Men never understand women" (and vice versa) is repeated way too often throughout the series.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And of course, last but not least, the lack of casualties on the good side. There are only so many "OH MAI GAWD I ALMOST DIED BUT LUCKILY I JUST BOWED MY HEAD TO PICK UP A QUARTER SO THE ARROW AIMED FOR MY HEAD FLEW PAST ME" one can deal with before it gets stupid.

So much win. :cool:

 

My main problems are Jordan's tendency to sacrifice character consistency for plot convenience. Too often people behave totally out of character to serve the plot. Like Perrin not even considering going to Rand for an army to help him free Faile instead of to the Seanchan. He's not the sharpest tool in the drawer by any means, but he's not that stupid.

 

Jordan's extreme "Men are from Mars, women from Venus" views are also really grating. Not only I disagree with it on principle, but the whole "Men never understand women" (and vice versa) is repeated way too often throughout the series.

 

RJ was fond of his cut-and-paste anvils.

Link to post
Share on other sites

While I do enjoy many of the characters and like some varying points of view, I agree with AuldGoldBear. There get too be so many storylines and characters in each of them that it gets bogged down. Your example with Thom is a bloody excellent point. In the first three books, I adored Thom immensely. He was "fatherly" and yet also "friend-like", his sacrifice at Whitebridge being noble, his reunion with Rand in Cairhien being incredible, and his ventures in TDR being rather solid. After that, he just gets cast in as "there" with the other characters in Mat's party. I'm glad Moiraine's letter has finally be revealed, for now I foresee him doing something great in the future (Towers of Midnight, I assume).

 

There are also some unnecessary point-of-views. The ones from the Sea Folk are perhaps the greatest examples, but then we also get unnecessary POVs like from the captain of the Deathwatch Guards toward the end of "KoD" when his small band comes to find Tuon and Mat. That easily could have been told from Mat's POV instead, and it was briefly, but it started out from the other guy's POV just to clarify that Mat seemed like a rascal and not the future Prince of Ravens. We already knew that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

6. The self-plagiarism. If I see any more skirt-smoothing or braid tugging, somebody do be getting cuts.

 

5. Intentionally withholding information (e.g. who killed Asmodean).

 

4. The two-dimensional characterization, in particular of the Aes Sedai, but recently also extended to the Kin, the Aiel, the Sea Folk, etc. etc. etc. Also, gimme a break with the Domani hair, Shienarian topknots, and the Saldean noses already. Just say they're from Saldea/Arad Doman/Shinear already.

 

3. The bullying. Particularly, I find it grating to see the bullying and intimidation by anyone who can channel. Eamon Valda was just about the only bully who couldn't use the power.

 

2. The bloat. Seriously, we do not need to read about stuff a good editor should have cut out but couldn't simply because the book was a best-seller. Also, if the DO can bring back Forsaken any time he wants, this series will never, ever end.

 

1. The horrible pacing. It took Perrin 3 books to rescue Faile.

 

In addition to 1 and 2, because the story is so bloated and badly paced, the RS books seem overly fast-paced to make up for it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Example #2 is Noal. Maybe I'm a cold-hearted SOB and am the only one who feels this way, but I felt nothing when he died in ToG.

 

On the other hand, I felt horrible for Yoeli, who got maybe a page total of "face time."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...