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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

What you dislike most about the series?


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agree with all those who said repetitive descriptions, characters' lack of communication, the series being stretched out to sell more units (especially between #8-10)

 

and I would add the all-too-contrived elements of nudity / sexuality that seemed to appear after the first 3 books (most likely at the behest of tor, again in order to sell more units). sex and violence sells and unfortunately making money is always the bottom line, and I mean RJ originally struck me as a fairly modest author otherwise, who would have stayed away from those topics for classiness' sake if left to his own devices, and to me it just seemed like the suits / corporate stepped in and said "here's what we want" which jordan replied "(sigh) ok I'll try. 'nynaeve folded her arms beneath her breasts.....'"

 

(I mean its not that I don't love hearing about breasts but is it REALLY necessary to put it that way? several times per book?)

 

also agree with 'lack of editor' I mean...did anyone else feel like there were up to a dozen or more typos per book, at some point? even in the gathering storm I'm pretty sure I found at least four, including at one point bryne's name being spelled "byrne" and a few others, many missing words etc. 'though' instead of 'through' also happens multiple times. I mean I know its not a big deal and its easy to figure out what was meant...it just seems to me like if someone (or ones) are being PAID to catch those, and they're failing and I'm sitting in my house doing a better job of it? thats not right, right? so where does one apply to be an editor for tor? my resume will be a complete list of every typo

 

another example of male-female friendship: how bout lan and moiraine?

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another example of male-female friendship: how bout lan and moiraine?

 

Yeah that is definitely one. Though when I first raised this issue I was intending to say 'no male-female friendships where they aren't sexually involved or in a warder bond type situation' but I forgot to add the last part.

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Elayne and Nynaeve's trip from Tanchico to Salidar bores me every time.

 

+1 - that and Faile's captivity are my two most hated arcs. On re-reads I skim part most of them because otherwise they are just too boring. And the Salidar circus sideshow just felt ridiculous Elyane tight-rope walking, Birgitte shooting arrows etc. It almost felt like RJ was taking the piss or something.

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I really dislike the Sea Folk based on what i've read so far. I'am currently reading WoH, and the Sea Folk simply are simply to full of disrespect and arrogance for my liking. The way they boss everyone around all the time totally annoys me.

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I have to go with Egwene's great idea of rallying everyone together to tell Rand NOT to break the dark one's seals. Just what was she thinking? Thanks for letting Camelyn fall buddy. Now why don't you just go play in the corner while the grown ups handle the Last Battle.

 

WOW...I have seen Eggy blamed for just about everything on this site but putting the Shadow's attack against Caemlyn on her is a definite first. By that rationale the attack on Maradon is Rand's fault because he is the reason the Borderlander's left their post. Both are fairly ridiculous of course.

 

As for being against breaking the seals. Let's see a man that as far as you know has taint induced madness, waltzes into the WT, says he is going to break the seals and set the DO free and then refuses to discuss the situation with you. WHAT was she thinking!!! You can disagree with how she is going about it as the book progresses, but a frist reaction of trying to stop it and questioning if he has a plan(which he refused to discuss and at this point the plan is let's hope Min figures something out from those old books) is a very valid reaction. Not to mention Rand, for whatever reason purposely antagonized her and AS maneuvered her into doing exactly what he wanted her to do.

 

The attack itself was not her fault but with all of this madness going on around the world at this moment would you leave the capitol of the biggest nation basically undefended? and is it not Rand's duty to fight the dark one? It's like she is still hoping that the Last Battle is a far off thing which it is not. It's right around the corner and if Rand believes he is ready then by god I think everyone should support him. Rand has shown a stubborn streak in the past, Egwene especially should have been aware of that, did she really believe they could talk him out of something in which he has dug his heels in on?

So because Rand is stubborn, no-one should ever try to change his mind? I hope these words don't come back to haunt you if you ever get into an argument with me. Rand gives every impression of his half-baked plan being utter foolishness - Egwene has damn good reason to oppose. Just because Rand has a duty to fight Shai'tan doesn't mean he should go unquestioned - he is capable of making mistakes and doing the wrong thing. And why is it such a mistake to take troops away from the capital? Aside from the fact we see the Band outside Camelyn in the epilogue anyway (it is Olver and Talmanes who see that Caemlyn is on fire) so the capital is not undefended, why should it be considered a major problem? After all, there is more to Andor than Caemlyn - to get to the capital, an enemy army would have to go through the Waygate (thought secure) or go overland - past the border that had its defences increased following rumours of an invasion. And if sufficient Channelers have been left behind, it should be possible to send a message to the FoM, and therefore bring the army to bear. Calling this Egwene's mistake is senseless. Only the Shadow can be blamed for Caemlyn - those on the side of the Light did all they reasonably could to prevent it.

 

 

agree with all those who said repetitive descriptions, characters' lack of communication, the series being stretched out to sell more units (especially between #8-10)

I'm far from convinced by arguments that the series was stretched out to sell more - the series being successful means Tor has precious little reason to reign it in, but I hardly think we need accuse them of deliberately stretching it out. Repetitive descriptions were always a feature of the series, and lack of communication was a central theme. A verbose author looking at the consequences of people not talking to one another - hardly sounds like a recipe for succinctness.

 

and I would add the all-too-contrived elements of nudity / sexuality that seemed to appear after the first 3 books (most likely at the behest of tor, again in order to sell more units). sex and violence sells and unfortunately making money is always the bottom line, and I mean RJ originally struck me as a fairly modest author otherwise, who would have stayed away from those topics for classiness' sake if left to his own devices, and to me it just seemed like the suits / corporate stepped in and said "here's what we want" which jordan replied "(sigh) ok I'll try. 'nynaeve folded her arms beneath her breasts.....'"
I've not read RJ's other books outside WoT, but it is my understanding that some of the sexual elements are present elsewhere as well - therefore I would suggest that most likely the elements of sexuality and nudity were included by RJ, or at the very least he had no serious objections to them. Further, the series was successful from the beginning, growing more so as time went by - that would likely decrease the chances of meddling, as Tor wouldn't want to interfere with what was obviously a winning formula. I'm also not convinced that sex and violence sells - I'm sure there are many examples of works with heavy sexual and violent content that are commercial failures.

 

also agree with 'lack of editor' I mean...did anyone else feel like there were up to a dozen or more typos per book, at some point? even in the gathering storm I'm pretty sure I found at least four, including at one point bryne's name being spelled "byrne" and a few others, many missing words etc. 'though' instead of 'through' also happens multiple times. I mean I know its not a big deal and its easy to figure out what was meant...it just seems to me like if someone (or ones) are being PAID to catch those, and they're failing and I'm sitting in my house doing a better job of it? thats not right, right? so where does one apply to be an editor for tor? my resume will be a complete list of every typo
There is a lot more to being an editor than catching typos. And in all fairness, they had to do those other things (like making sure the characters were in character), while up against strict deadlines, and not simply able to sit there with a pen, correct a word and say "job done" - Harriet or Sanderson could spot an error, but then the correction never gets made. Most of that gets corrected in later editions anyway.
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agree with all those who said repetitive descriptions, characters' lack of communication, the series being stretched out to sell more units (especially between #8-10)

 

and I would add the all-too-contrived elements of nudity / sexuality that seemed to appear after the first 3 books (most likely at the behest of tor, again in order to sell more units). sex and violence sells and unfortunately making money is always the bottom line, and I mean RJ originally struck me as a fairly modest author otherwise, who would have stayed away from those topics for classiness' sake if left to his own devices, and to me it just seemed like the suits / corporate stepped in and said "here's what we want" which jordan replied "(sigh) ok I'll try. 'nynaeve folded her arms beneath her breasts.....'"

 

Jordan wrote Conan the Barbarian novels before WoT, which had a lot more sex and violence and spanking beautiful women than the early WoT volumes. I've heard his other series Fallon Blood has plenty of sex scenes and innuendo too, though I haven't read it.

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hum ok, I stand corrected (at least about the contrived sexual elements, tho I swear they appeared late?) but there's still no excuse for so many typos making it to final versions. and if you can't see that the series was milked and elongated unnaturally in order to make more money then I say to you, your naivety is endearing :P

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hum ok, I stand corrected (at least about the contrived sexual elements, tho I swear they appeared late?) but there's still no excuse for so many typos making it to final versions. and if you can't see that the series was milked and elongated unnaturally in order to make more money then I say to you, your naivety is endearing :P

 

And if you can't see that Robert Jordan was a writer with a natural gift with stretching out his words and his phrases without external pressure, then I say to you that your estimation of other people's abilities falls far short of what people can sometimes actually be capable of. Your cynicism is beyond excessive.

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I don't know if it was padded to sell more copies or not. But when you can skip 3/4 of a book (CoT) and not miss anything significant, that's an obvious problem. I would think that the story took RJ over rather than him control the story. You had four books after LoC, where the story practically didn't move hardly at all. Some big events did happen,

but take Faile for instance. It took what, 3 books to resolve that? Why?

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Faile's storyline easily could have been solved in one book. Have her kidnapped in the beginning of the book, and then toward the end of the book, Perrin saves her. Nothing of importance happened to make that story arc span more than one book.

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What really irritated me about that storyline is that there was this whole bit about the Shaido zig-zagging, so every time Perrin's group made a wrong turn, they lost days. After she got kidnapped, they only had about an hour's lead before Perrin started chasing them.

 

The only purpose of that entire storyline, imho, was to get Perrin to capture the 100k wetlander gai'shan, who turned out to be mostly soldiers he could bring to Rand.

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OR maybe Jordan got tired of Perrin's character and didn't know what else to do with him (as he had better plans for Mat/Rand), so he just got lazy for three books when it came to Perrin.

 

Yeah that seems highly likely. Mat disappeared for 1-2 books after the wall fell on him. One of the big reasons Perrin's storyline had no room was because Mat was hogging all of it.

 

In one of the BS interviews, BS claimed RJ was a master at juggling different timelines. To me, the biggest criticism about the books is that RJ couldn't.

Edited by Toy'varen
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It's odd. I actually agree with most of the complaints here, and it's increasingly apparent that beneath the surface the Wheel of Time is full of flaws and, depending on your opinion, outright bad writing. I've lost count of the number of times I had to put a book down for a second because one of the characters did something stupid, and the number of times I skipped entire chapters because they were redundant and nothing happened in them except for drawn out descriptions of women's dresses.

 

And yet I still enjoy the WoT series. The only books I enjoy more are Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy. Despite all the flaws in his writing, Robert Jordan really did create a truly engrossing world. The act of world-building was his greatest talent, I think.

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Gormenghast trilogy is reallllly different. I read part of the first book; I oughta try it again maybe my tastes have changed a bit. It wasn't bad it was.. well it's kinda hard to describe heh.

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Yeah, if you think Robert Jordan overdid the description it's nothing compared to Gormenghast. But the way Peake used language and description was much more effective, and it never felt like padding, at least to me. The incredibly gothic world demanded that level of detail and since the first two books take place almost exclusively within the same castle it really works well.

 

But I could gush for hours on why I think Gormenghast is the greatest thing ever and I have no desire to derail the topic so I'll just say that it's worth a try if you enjoyed WoT.

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In the early days of my WoT obsession I hated the descriptions, describing everything in detail. Now.. I actually like it, it brings (you are gonna kill me lol) a slower pace to the books that I kinda like. I have work that requires of me to always pay attention, think and analyze and so on and it involves kids so the slower pacing and boggy descriptions is almost kinda meditative for me as they really make me focus on the story.

I dislike some of the characterization and how it´s written and how some men/women are portrayed.

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The act of world-building was his greatest talent, I think.

 

I dunno if renaming everything on Earth and mixing up different cultural behaviors as though pulling them out of a hat counts as "world building." :D

 

Nowadays, I feel like he had a big stack of cards and when he needed an idea for a new culture he just pulled a few cards out at random and voila.

 

He stuck belly dancing into one of Mat's memories. :(

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The act of world-building was his greatest talent, I think.

 

I dunno if taking Earth and renaming everything counts as "world building." :D

 

It's hardly a Malazan: Book of the Fallen style constructed world, but I still think it works.

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hum ok, I stand corrected (at least about the contrived sexual elements, tho I swear they appeared late?) but there's still no excuse for so many typos making it to final versions. and if you can't see that the series was milked and elongated unnaturally in order to make more money then I say to you, your naivety is endearing :P

Where's the evidence? What I see is that a writer already inclined towards verbosity was allowed free reign. Bear in mind that RJ actually slowed down the prodiction of his books - so he decided to milk it for the money by writing slower and thus producing fewer books? As opposed to Michael Moorcock style mass production? Seems to me that a big problem was the growing size of the project, coupled with uncertainty over how to get to the ending. In the case of CoT, he has explained that he had aparticular structure in mind for the book, but by the time he realised it wasn't working he was a significant way into the book. That leaves you with either a sub-standard book, or a long delay as he goes back to the beginning to rewrite the entire book from scratch. I've waited nearly six years for A Dance With Dragons, and in that time I've heard a hell of a lot of complaints about how long it's taking. Rewriting from scratch would have added years to the wait, and people would have complained. Or he finishes the book off as well as he can, and people still complain. It's lose/lose. I can see a case for cuts, but I don't believe the RJ of the early books would have trimmed more than a book or two from the total number, all told. If he had trimmed 72,000 words from PoD and WH he would have a work as long as TSR. That's turning two books into one. Likewise, CoT and KoD could potentially be turned into one book. That's a massive saving of two books. You were "milked" for two books. That's not so very many that I think it has to be the case RJ and Tor deliberately set out to bleed fans dry. You'd have to cut out 192 thousand words to make CoT/KoD equal TSR. That's quite a lot - OK, maybe CoT was so bad it really could have lost that much, but I'm very much unconvinced by the "milking it" line - not because I consider Tor too virtuous to do something like that (I think they would be quite happy to profit from the series as long as possible), but because a) I think RJ had some standards as a writer and was not a hack willing to do anything for money, and b) a naturally verbose writer uncertain about how much more story he had left might well put out a book that was wordier than needed, and we end up with a couple of books more than we might have had if he had a better grasp of how much more he had to produce.

 

As for typos, deadlines. Several of the later books were rushed through editing, and the Sanderson ones had to meet strict deadlines. A few days late could potentially lead to months of delay (and missing Chirstmas). Ideally, it shouldn't happen, but I think it's a bit much that a company should potentially have to miss out on an awful lot of money just because you feel there are too many typos. If you think there are too many, delay and get a later edition. Vote with your wallet. If you choose to buy first edition, you get what you pay for. Caveat emptor.

 

 

OR maybe Jordan got tired of Perrin's character and didn't know what else to do with him (as he had better plans for Mat/Rand), so he just got lazy for three books when it came to Perrin.

Yeah that seems highly likely. Mat disappeared for 1-2 books after the wall fell on him. One of the big reasons Perrin's storyline had no room was because Mat was hogging all of it.

 

In one of the BS interviews, BS claimed RJ was a master at juggling different timelines. To me, the biggest criticism about the books is that RJ couldn't.

That doesn't strike me as difficulty with timelines - RJ's timelines were actually pretty solid. Mat sat out a book because he wasn't doing anything, as did Perrin (this was a problem with Mat, as he had been left on a cliffhanger). Perrin and Mat's storylines both had ample room (if anything, both had too much). RJ was very good at keeping track of when storylines were happening in relation to one another - the problem was that he sometimes moved these storylines forward much slower than he should. A scene was spread over a chapter, for example. If he had done all of Perrin's storyline in one book, Perrin would be well ahead and so would have done nothing until everyone else caught up. He might have been better advancing it by a couple of chapters, or maybe just checking in, and then doing the storyline in one book. Still, hindsight is always 20:20.
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But that was one of my complaints.. why take 3 books to finish any of their storylines? I mean really like you said he could combined most of the books later in the series; CoT coulda been a short story like NS if you cut out the overly done baths, dress descriptions etc. All the story lines were moving along pretty well until ACoS after that moved along like it was stuck in frozen molasses. I'm reading TSR and he's still giving descriptions of characters that he did from the first book..why? No one is going to start the series on book 4, are they?

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commercial success equals = more sequels, for better OR worse. two words (and a number): butterfly effect 2. if you're going to buy something just because of it's name, then someones going to sell it to you, done deal. and worry about making it (good) later.

 

lol @ defense of typos! sorry but there is no excuse for shoddy work. I don't care how stressed the editor(s) are. omg he has a lot of responsibilities? five kids and a night job on the side? then he has my sympathies however a job is still a job and it should still be done right. and if he can't then give that percentage of his salary to me and I will, and it will take less than a week and I will get them all, thats all I'm sayin. it's not that hard. lol @ 'don't buy it' that's your solution?

 

"when the sun turns green." ~rand al'thor

 

 

anyway whatever the cause I felt there was a breakdown of integrity in the series after book 3 with the addition of nudity / sexual elements that weren't there before (I'm not talking about rand scoring with aviendha, that was fine I'm talking about the hall of the tower stripping to the waste just to prove they're all women, and etc. btw I cringed so hard when that was reprised in TGS) ...as well as a decline in overall quality after book 7. yes I think we were milked for about 2 extra books, agree. that was nicely said

 

btw if I'm remembering wrong and there WAS cheesy nudity like that in the first 3 books by all means, let me know it's been a while since I've read them. I just seem to remember the series initially being a sight more modest, and then losing that rather awkwardly

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The Accepted tests in both TDR and TGH.

Then theres also the constant mentioning of the shared baths in Shienar in the start of the TGH, never described though.

 

Oh, and the rather strong suggestions the Cairhien gives Rand at Barthanes Damodreds party in TGH. While it's not nudity, they sure do seems to want to do other things then just talk with Rand.

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