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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
TreeJoe

Lifetime reader of Jordan - Just started A song of ice and fire series

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Have read all the way up to A Dance With Dragons. It is an excellent series when taken on its' own. However, when compared with Jordans work, it just doesn't stand up. Jordan apparently spent years doing research into different mythologies and legends before writing the WoT. Martin very obviosuly doesn't plan too far ahead. In a one sense that's a good thing because the books do give a feeling of anything could happen at any moment, but it does remain quite confusing throughout the series. I would suggest watching the TV show Game of Thrones. Its one of the best adaptations I have ever seen.

 

I am a lifelong Tolkien fan, and he will always be the father of fantasy in my opinion, but nothing written in the last 20-30 comes anywhere near matching The Wheel of Time.

 

Martin doesn't plan too far ahead? What?

 

Martin may know how the series ends but that doesnt mean he knows how hes going to get there. It just feels like he makes it up as he goes along

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Have read all the way up to A Dance With Dragons. It is an excellent series when taken on its' own. However, when compared with Jordans work, it just doesn't stand up. Jordan apparently spent years doing research into different mythologies and legends before writing the WoT. Martin very obviosuly doesn't plan too far ahead. In a one sense that's a good thing because the books do give a feeling of anything could happen at any moment, but it does remain quite confusing throughout the series. I would suggest watching the TV show Game of Thrones. Its one of the best adaptations I have ever seen.

 

I am a lifelong Tolkien fan, and he will always be the father of fantasy in my opinion, but nothing written in the last 20-30 comes anywhere near matching The Wheel of Time.

 

Martin doesn't plan too far ahead? What?

 

 

 

Martin may know how the series ends but that doesnt mean he knows how hes going to get there. It just feels like he makes it up as he goes along

 

 

Werthead summed up my thoughts quite nicely. If people feel that AFfC and ADwD were slightly inconsistent, there's a reason for that. In his original plan, Martin planned a five year time jump after ASoS. He wrote a huge chunk of Dance (for this novel was going to be called ADwD as well) when he realized that he was relying far too heavily on flashbacks and it didn't work for him. So he scrapped that and started over, knowing that the characters needed to continue to develop to get to where they needed to be. And that's what AFfC and ADwD is, additional plot and character development, a detour from his original outline.

Edited by Agitel

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Have read all the way up to A Dance With Dragons. It is an excellent series when taken on its' own. However, when compared with Jordans work, it just doesn't stand up. Jordan apparently spent years doing research into different mythologies and legends before writing the WoT. Martin very obviosuly doesn't plan too far ahead. In a one sense that's a good thing because the books do give a feeling of anything could happen at any moment, but it does remain quite confusing throughout the series. I would suggest watching the TV show Game of Thrones. Its one of the best adaptations I have ever seen.

 

I am a lifelong Tolkien fan, and he will always be the father of fantasy in my opinion, but nothing written in the last 20-30 comes anywhere near matching The Wheel of Time.

 

Martin doesn't plan too far ahead? What?

 

 

 

Martin may know how the series ends but that doesnt mean he knows how hes going to get there. It just feels like he makes it up as he goes along

 

 

Werthead summed up my thoughts quite nicely. If people feel that AFfC and ADwD were slightly inconsistent, there's a reason for that. In his original plan, Martin planned a five year time jump after ASoS. He wrote a huge chunk of Dance (for this novel was going to be called ADwD as well) when he realized that he was relying far too heavily on flashbacks and it didn't work for him. So he scrapped that and started over, knowing that the characters needed to continue to develop to get to where they needed to be. And that's what AFfC and ADwD is, additional plot and character development, a detour from his original outline.

 

Well I guess you do learn something new everyday. I didn't know all that. I hold my hand up, I was wrong. Thanks for enlightening me; I wouldn't want to do a writer I actually quite admire a disservice.

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Martin may know how the series ends but that doesnt mean he knows how hes going to get there. It just feels like he makes it up as he goes along

 

I don't think the two approaches are mutually exclusive. In fact, I think most genre authors have a roadmap of some sorts, it just varies in detail, from the loose structure in the heads of GRRM and Jordan to the carefully-mapped-out outlines of say Brandon Sanderson or Peter F. Hamilton. The only difference is the degree to which they can accomodate improvisation: Martin and Jordan's approaches allow for them to make stuff up as they go along to a much greater extent than more vigorous outliners.

 

For example (ADWD spoiler):

 

 

It appears that GRRM knew back when he wrote AGoT in 1991-95 that the three-eyed crow of Bran's dreams was going to be an important figure from the history of Westeros, but not exactly who. He didn't settle on the person until after 2002, when he created a cool character for the second Dunk 'n' Egg short story (set in the same world but 90 years earlier) and realised he'd be a good fit.

 

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Hi all,

 

I have been a fan of fantasy my entire life, but I won't go into a lengthy book list to establish my reading base. I have read all WOT books from NS to TOM twice, and am currently reading them again cause I absolutely love them. After reading them the second time, I decided to start Martin's AGOT (without any prior knowledge of the books whatsoever). The prologue definitely had me very interested with the Others, and the first chapter also kept me interested with the beheading and the wolves. After that, I don't know where it went wrong for me. I think it may have been all the politics involved. I got as far as finishing chapter 7 with the secret letter from Catelyn's sister; the whole time trying to soak in every character while attempting to recall the details about them. I found this awkward for some reason. It was at this point that I put the book down and took up reading the WOT series again. Maybe I will make a second attempt at AGOT after I am done.

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In my humble opinion, GRRM is a better writer and his books are more thoughtful. Characters develop in a better way - Jamie is a great example of a man who changes - and importantly, it doesn't feel forced.

 

BUT Jordans books are more fun. Since reading GRRM up to book five, I haven't once felt the urge to reread either entire books or certain scenes. I am always picking up one of the WoT books and rereading scenes that I like - often the last bit of LoC, and interestingly, lots of parts from the last two books.

 

I don't think either is better or worse than the other, thats just subjective. But I do think GRRM is perhaps a more refined taste, and so less easily accessible.

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i have to agree about GRRM being more of a refined taste. seems like GoT's is one of those series wher you either like it or you dont; where as WoT has somethign in it for everyone to like even if they don't like te series as a whole or even any of the main characters.

 

 

probably why WoT translates so well into an online social community.

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i have to agree about GRRM being more of a refined taste. seems like GoT's is one of those series wher you either like it or you dont; where as WoT has somethign in it for everyone to like even if they don't like te series as a whole or even any of the main characters.

 

probably why WoT translates so well into an online social community.

 

This seems an odd statement on several levels.

 

First of all, at some point in the next couple of months (if indeed it hasn't happened already), A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE will eclipse WHEEL OF TIME in number of readers. Not overall numbers of books sold, of course (counting NS, WoT has almost three times as many novels in its series as ASoIaF), but in numbers of readers of the series. That's a fairly significant and surprising achievement, given that even three years ago ASoIaF's readership was dwarfed by WoT's, and of course is mainly down to the HBO series driving sales. Still, the novels have certainly struck a chord and achieved a profile that WoT has not, or at least has not recently (if the film adaptation of WoT happens and is a success, I'd expect to see WoT regain sales supremacy fairly quickly as well). ASoIaF being a more refined taste than WoT is not really possible if it is already more popular (or at least has achieved parity).

 

It is also true that WHEEL OF TIME has several strong forums for it that have been hugely popular for a number of years. But the main ASoIaF forum - Westeros.org - is significantly larger and more popular than Dragonmount (and actually has been since some time before the HBO series surfaced). So the social aspect doesn't really seem to track either.

 

WoT is definitely easier to read and easier to get into, but the flipside of that is the criticism - not one I think is entirely fair - that WoT does so by appealing more to the lower common denominator than ASoIaF and being more simplistic in terms of characterisation and motivations. That's probably overly harsh to WoT (which, as acknowledged by GRRM, did pave the way for ASoIaF and other series) but that's certainly a popular perception of the situation.

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WoT is definitely easier to read and easier to get into, but the flipside of that is the criticism - not one I think is entirely fair - that WoT does so by appealing more to the lower common denominator than ASoIaF and being more simplistic in terms of characterisation and motivations. That's probably overly harsh to WoT (which, as acknowledged by GRRM, did pave the way for ASoIaF and other series) but that's certainly a popular perception of the situation.

 

In a sense, I would agree with this. Only, I don't think 'simplistic' is the correct word. A key difference is that WOT still has that feelgood-factor. You have clearly defined good guys and bad guys, so you know from the beginning who to root for. And you know that for the most part, nothing really bad will happen to the good guys. Sure, the good guys gets a bit more banged up than in most other fantasy (FitzChivalry says 'Huh?'), but you know hat in the end, they will either be ok, or have gone out in a blaze of glory.

 

Whereas in ASOIAF, all bets are off. Who to root for constantly changes, and you actually fear getting attached to any character, as martin might have them brutally murdered in the next chapter. It makes the story a lot more exciting, but you don't get that feelgood-factor.

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To paraphrase a teacher I once had, I'll say that all literature is good for those who enjoy it.

 

I don't really see the merit in comparing WoT and ASoIaF if the goal is to decide which is "better" since they are quite different. However, I think that WoT may be remembered as the first of a new kind of huge epic fantasy whereas ASoIaF might be remembered for its literary merit. WoT is great but I think it has too many blatant flaws to stand the test of time.

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i have to agree about GRRM being more of a refined taste. seems like GoT's is one of those series wher you either like it or you dont; where as WoT has somethign in it for everyone to like even if they don't like te series as a whole or even any of the main characters.

 

probably why WoT translates so well into an online social community.

 

This seems an odd statement on several levels.

 

First of all, at some point in the next couple of months (if indeed it hasn't happened already), A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE will eclipse WHEEL OF TIME in number of readers. Not overall numbers of books sold, of course (counting NS, WoT has almost three times as many novels in its series as ASoIaF), but in numbers of readers of the series. That's a fairly significant and surprising achievement, given that even three years ago ASoIaF's readership was dwarfed by WoT's, and of course is mainly down to the HBO series driving sales. Still, the novels have certainly struck a chord and achieved a profile that WoT has not, or at least has not recently (if the film adaptation of WoT happens and is a success, I'd expect to see WoT regain sales supremacy fairly quickly as well). ASoIaF being a more refined taste than WoT is not really possible if it is already more popular (or at least has achieved parity).

 

It is also true that WHEEL OF TIME has several strong forums for it that have been hugely popular for a number of years. But the main ASoIaF forum - Westeros.org - is significantly larger and more popular than Dragonmount (and actually has been since some time before the HBO series surfaced). So the social aspect doesn't really seem to track either.

 

WoT is definitely easier to read and easier to get into, but the flipside of that is the criticism - not one I think is entirely fair - that WoT does so by appealing more to the lower common denominator than ASoIaF and being more simplistic in terms of characterisation and motivations. That's probably overly harsh to WoT (which, as acknowledged by GRRM, did pave the way for ASoIaF and other series) but that's certainly a popular perception of the situation.

 

I don't doubt that GRRMs books are reaching equal heights as WoT. That doesn't stop his books being more refined, and being refined isn't a criticism. I think taste is something that shapes and changes within society over time. So, the movies of Lord Of The Rings bought people who were interested into the fantasy genre, which in turn bought new people into reading the books, and then reading other fantasy books. As more people get into it, there is a greater understanding of the tropes and themes within fantasy. This allows books that were previously too refined for mainstream to become more popular, and other books which were perfect for the genre earlier, like WoT, to start to seem more simplistic.

Another way to put it - I read LotR when I was 11 or 12. I loved it, so I read the Belgariad, and then Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series. I think if I had read Thomas Covenant first, I would never have got into fantasy, and probably wouldn't have finished reading that book at all. The other two paved the way for a more sophisticated palette. Likewise with the LotR movies, WoT and Song of Ice & Fire. Each builds on the other. This doesn't make LotR bad, or WoT childish, or any one of the books mentioned better than any other. Its just an inevitable progression in the zeitgeist.

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Wert you misunderstand what i'm getting at. i'm not talking about readership, but purely the story itself and how it effects the reader. infact, to compare readers for both series, you'd have to go pre-HBO for ASoF&I to be fair; because if WoT had the HBO platform you'd see WoT's readership increase as much or more. (look what the movies did for LotRs and HP in terms of readership)

 

 

but more to my point

 

WoT, because of its "classic" type storyline (basic hero vs bad guy end of world scenario) it appeals to everyone. whereas ASoF&I will have a "take it or leave it" stigma attached to it because of how nitty and gritty the world is. the storyline itself in ASoF&I seems to be an either or, either you like it or you don't. theres no middle ground. whereas with WoT there is a middle ground, that even if you don't like the main storyline, alot of the side lines will attract you and get you to want to read the series.

 

 

then there are the characters themselves (which is my main pont honestly) aside from what Maj said, there is also the fact that there isn't a clearly defined bad guy to root against and good guy to root for. there is no Rand and the DO or HP and Voldy which makes it harder for the reader on some levels (especailly the younger readers). then there is character/reader relation you have to consider as well. in WoT there are multiple characters i can see myself as, there are multiple characters i can relate too. in essence there is a charater for everyone in this series. where as with ASoF&I you have likable characters but none that one can really relate to or see myself as. the only one that comes close if Arya and thats only cause she's a tomboy, but her being a tomboy is the only thing i can relate to.

 

 

speaking of younger readers, this is another thing that WoT has that ASoF&I doesnt. a 13 yeard old can jump into WoT, relate to characters, understand the storyline and enjoy the book, however, this doesn't happen with ASoF&I. the situations dealt with in ASoF&I on a whole are purely adult situations, as are alot of the arcs and plots which drive the storyline.

 

 

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Guest PiotrekS

I wonder why people automatically assume that when the story has shades of gray instead of clear good-evil devide and when the heroes might die every two seconds, this story becomes more "refined", "sophisticated" or has "higher literary value". Ever heard about e.g. Odyssey?

 

This two kinds of stories can be equally good or bad from literary point of view, it is a simple author's decision whether the heroes can die or not etc. Other factors are much more important in terms of literary quality.

 

I think a lot of people simply project their own opinions and tastes as allegedly objective criteria of literary worthiness. That's true that in many children's tales the good heroes win (but by all means not in all in them!) and in "adult" stories you have more ambigous moral perspective and some crap happening even to good guys, but it is just a statistical rule and there is no clear link to objective literary value whatsoever.

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I've spent so much time reading and reading about WoT it's not even funny, done more rereads than I care to remember and enjoyed more well written theories than I can count, I've even managed to convince one or two to read it. But there are so many flaws within the thousands of pages that is WoT that I doubt that it will be remembered for more than its size.

 

WoT is pretty awesome, but it's pretty much the book equivalent of an ongoing comic book. The first couple of story arcs you read are awesome but eventually you realise the the good guys will never lose, the will always be the plot armor to bail them out, sure, when the series is cancelled, the hero might die, but until then there really is no sense of suspense.

 

I'm still a big fan, in a sense, but I doubt future generations will read it, consider, for instance, how much of its popularity (among the "hardcore" following) stems from the theory crafting, something that will cease to exist once the series is concluded.

 

And sure, there's no rule as to what is good literature etc, to each his own, but I can't see WoT being considered a classic in fifty years time or end up on any nifty book of the century list.

Edited by mikael

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And sure, there's no rule as to what is good literature etc, to each his own, but I can't see WoT being considered a classic in fifty years time or end up on any nifty book of the century list.

 

Don't think anyone is comparing to literature outside the fantasy genre. That would just be silly.

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And sure, there's no rule as to what is good literature etc, to each his own, but I can't see WoT being considered a classic in fifty years time or end up on any nifty book of the century list.

 

Don't think anyone is comparing to literature outside the fantasy genre. That would just be silly.

 

Why? Seems to me they will be heading that way and can probably already earn their respect as literature, not "merely" fantasy.

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Guest PiotrekS

WoT is pretty awesome, but it's pretty much the book equivalent of an ongoing comic book. The first couple of story arcs you read are awesome but eventually you realise the the good guys will never lose, the will always be the plot armor to bail them out, sure, when the series is cancelled, the hero might die, but until then there really is no sense of suspense.

 

And sure, there's no rule as to what is good literature etc, to each his own, but I can't see WoT being considered a classic in fifty years time or end up on any nifty book of the century list.

 

You are right that there is little suspense in the series. I just pointed out there is no objective rule that says: suspense=good literature, lack of it=ongoing comic book, definitely bad literature. It is your opinion, which is probably shared by very many people, but I personally disagree with it.

 

E.g. I don't really care too much about suspense. Much more important to me (and, I believe, much more relevant to good storytelling) is forming in readers emotional attachment to the characters, creating protagonists and antagonists you care and want to read about, even if they do nothing spectacular. If you kill off too many of the characters I liked, I might become disinterested in the rest of the book.Frankly, the question of whether the author will decide to kill off a character or not is not interesting enough to make me reach for a book in the first place.

 

I agree that WOT will probably never be considered a literary classic. We should be humble about our predictions though, because some masterpieces we now place on the pedestal were once considered cheap entertainment for the masses.

 

As to the mainstream literature/fantasy division, it makes no sense to me and seems pretty hypocritical. I've read an article somewhere which gave plenty of examples of the fact that when the fantasy book is good, achieves success among the fans and critics, then it is considered "mainstream". For example look at "The Master and Margarita" - probably one of greates novels of all time and it is in fact fantasy!

Edited by PiotrekS

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And sure, there's no rule as to what is good literature etc, to each his own, but I can't see WoT being considered a classic in fifty years time or end up on any nifty book of the century list.

 

Don't think anyone is comparing to literature outside the fantasy genre. That would just be silly.

 

Why? Seems to me they will be heading that way and can probably already earn their respect as literature, not "merely" fantasy.

 

I'm not saying that fantasy can't be good literature and I def see Piotreks point. In fact my favorite series at the moment, R. Scott Bakkers "Prince of Nothing" aspires to be such.

 

Was just speaking of comparing any book in the WoT(which is a step above most in the genre) to lets say a novel like Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridien". It's just two different playing fields and generally speaking needs to be viewed as such.

Edited by Suttree

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At first when I started reading ASOIAF I liked how no character was safe and that anyone could die. What's been bugging me lately however, is that GRRM seems to kill off too many of the important characters. It's almost as if he does it just for the hell of it. It gets a bit old, and at the end of ADWD I was like "yeah, figures".

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At first when I started reading ASOIAF I liked how no character was safe and that anyone could die. What's been bugging me lately however, is that GRRM seems to kill off too many of the important characters. It's almost as if he does it just for the hell of it. It gets a bit old, and at the end of ADWD I was like "yeah, figures".

 

The only character that I've felt it was a pity that it was killed off was the Red Viper. Concerning the end of ADWD, I really doubt we have seen the last of that guy.

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At first when I started reading ASOIAF I liked how no character was safe and that anyone could die. What's been bugging me lately however, is that GRRM seems to kill off too many of the important characters. It's almost as if he does it just for the hell of it. It gets a bit old, and at the end of ADWD I was like "yeah, figures".

 

The only character that I've felt it was a pity that it was killed off was the Red Viper. Concerning the end of ADWD, I really doubt we have seen the last of that guy.

 

 

You doubt we have seen the last of Oberyn Martell? Clegane killed him on screen...

 

Edited by Red2111

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At first when I started reading ASOIAF I liked how no character was safe and that anyone could die. What's been bugging me lately however, is that GRRM seems to kill off too many of the important characters. It's almost as if he does it just for the hell of it. It gets a bit old, and at the end of ADWD I was like "yeah, figures".

 

The only character that I've felt it was a pity that it was killed off was the Red Viper. Concerning the end of ADWD, I really doubt we have seen the last of that guy.

 

 

You doubt we have seen the last of Oberyn Martell? Clegane killed him on screen...

 

 

Concerning the end of ADWD

= Jon Snow.

 

Edited by Red2111

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At first when I started reading ASOIAF I liked how no character was safe and that anyone could die. What's been bugging me lately however, is that GRRM seems to kill off too many of the important characters. It's almost as if he does it just for the hell of it. It gets a bit old, and at the end of ADWD I was like "yeah, figures".

 

The only character that I've felt it was a pity that it was killed off was the Red Viper. Concerning the end of ADWD, I really doubt we have seen the last of that guy.

 

 

You doubt we have seen the last of Oberyn Martell? Clegane killed him on screen...

 

 

Concerning the end of ADWD

= Jon Snow.

 

 

 

Aww sorry mate, read the sentence wrong...and I agree totally.

Edited by Red2111

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At first when I started reading ASOIAF I liked how no character was safe and that anyone could die. What's been bugging me lately however, is that GRRM seems to kill off too many of the important characters. It's almost as if he does it just for the hell of it. It gets a bit old, and at the end of ADWD I was like "yeah, figures".

 

The only character that I've felt it was a pity that it was killed off was the Red Viper. Concerning the end of ADWD, I really doubt we have seen the last of that guy.

 

[spoler]You doubt we have seen the last of Oberyn Martell? Clegane killed him on screen...

 

 

Concerning the end of ADWD

= Jon Snow.

 

 

 

Aww sorry mate, read the sentence wrong...and I agree totally.

 

No worries, and about Snow, it will be good to see the series change direction from mostly politics to the fight for mankind's survival. I've enjoyed all the politics and betrayal and insane Cerceis (except for Dany, and especially during ADWD), but now I hope it's time for the Wights to breach the wall down by the water and give westeros a taste of what's to come :D

Edited by Red2111

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For those who've read ADwD ONLY:

 

 

Never give up on a character until they're confirmed dead. Jon was stabbed in smoke from a fire, salty tears from the men who stabbed him, and under a bloody man whose sigil is a star. We've got the makings of a prophecy here, and what do you know a red priest is standing right nearby waiting to give Jon a breathy and revitalizing kiss. Or maybe it's another red herring, Martin likes those.

 

Some people are predicting that there will be three Azor Ahai's, by the way. The Dragon needs three heads, after all, right? I guess we'll have to see where this goes.

 

 

Don't click that unless you've read A Dance with Dragons!

Edited by Agitel

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