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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Hopebringer

"If you think Wheel of Time is good, then I dare you to re-read it. Believe me, it’s really bad."

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If you think Wheel of Time is good, then I dare you to re-read it. Believe me, it’s really bad. You can pretty much open any book on any page, read ten pages and then summarize them as “nothing of importance happened”. I’ve read most of them.

 

On a recent discussion on RockPaperShotgun about Sex in video games, the focus switched to A Game of Thrones and then to the Wheel of Time. This came up. What to respond?

 

http://www.rockpaper...comment-1019578

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Are they expecting the Wheel of Time to be a Forgotten Realms Hack and Slash book series?

 

I mean importance has a lot of meanings, the insane amount of foreshadowing in just the first 3 books alone basically tell us how the whole series will unfold, but its the getting there and how it happens that makes the WoT so awesome. If they just want hack and slash sure you can put the entire series in a single book

 

"The wheel turns...blah blah Channeling happens... blah blah rand becomes the dragon and battles happen... blah blah more channeling... blah blah lots of minor wars... blah blah rand fixes hole. the end"

 

Luckily this didn't happen and we have a very rich world with tons of characters and plots all interwoven to make a great epic tale.

 

Saying all of this, you cant really expect to respond to something like that as it's an opinion and everyone has one, and it is rare indeed to actually get people to change those on the internet. So basically i would just ignore them :)

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I actually think re-reading the series showcases just how good it is. WOT is commonly re-read. I am doing it now and I am amazed at how Jordan for shadowed activity that would not be written for a decade latter. Frankly both Game of Thrones and WOT are the Epic Fantasies of our generation. Nothing else compares (though WOT is better :) )

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The Wheel of Time is a deeply flawed pleasure in that it contains massive amounts of useless clutter, overly detailed descriptions of the clothes every fifth-order character wears and irrelevant towns/locations the characters will never return to. The main characters are all made from the same cardboard cut-out, with muscular handsome young men and beautiful big-breasted women, each more selflessly devoted to their nation/organization/friends than the other, each more eager to stuff everyone else into a closet "for safety" and take all the blows for themselves. What really makes me mad though, is that Robert Jordan seemed to have quite a raging fetish for dominating aggressive (full-bosomed) women, secret lesbian romance, female-to-female bondage, and powerful competent women driven to servitude and seclusion - boy is it jarring when you're just casually trying to immerse into a fictional land filled with magic and epic battles. At times reading the books felt like accidentally stumbling onto a middle-aged man's secret diary of sexual fantasies.

 

Many of these problems were removed after Sanderson took over, blessedly the characters stopped talking like unbearable old farts and story pacing became adequate, which makes me wonder what the final volume would look like if it were written by Robert Jordan himself.

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I have heard the "read ten pages" concept before. It is the difference between a novel and a story. Granted when a "popular" book is only 300 pages long, you do get more action in ten pages when compared to thirteen 700+ page novels.

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You could also make the same observation about someone's life: Pick any day within the last year and I'll bet your workday is pretty much the same. Expand it to the last 5 years, 10; for most people this will never change.

 

Looked at life that you can make exactly the same observation, but like life, the WoT books are not like that. Your personality will shift slightly - you may become a parent get married and the reasons for you for sticking in the dead end job change from beer money to saving up for the family holiday. All these undercurrents you can almost plot their course the sudden changes in direction or events which occured can often be foreshadowed months sometimes years previously.

 

Take 10min out of my working day 5 years ago and I can assure you it was almost identical to my working day today - even down to browsing the web in work-time replying to forum posts on subjects which interest me. But at the same time my goals, ambitions and subtext behind my day have changed imensely. The only way to understand it is to have lived it... or shared it with me.

 

This is exactly how the WoT books work or any large novel/series worth its salt. Its not about what is said or what happens it is about understanding the undercurrents of why. When a large event happens in RL or in the book (the action scenes) they mean more to you as you understand the characters/person instead of just seeing "Sir Bob" hit a dragon with a magical sword he picked up 5 pages ago.

 

This is why the books are imencely re-readable; yes the action is exciting - but what interests most is watching the subtle changes of characters in how they deal with their problems.

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Well i can certainly say that i didnt think it sucked reading it a second time.

Or third, or 7th.

It certainly isnt an R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weiss or yes Brandon Sanderson (I enjoy reading them all as well), those authors are far more fast paced and less descriptive by far than RJ.

And while i too think RJ went a bit too far on the descriptions of alot of things i love his writting.

 

I dont know what to say about the comparison to Martin and SoFaI, I read the first book in that series and i really enjoyed it. I bought the second book and never got out of chapter 1.

I have read every book in the WOT multiple times (Most getting on 10 times) so it obvioulsy grabbed me harder than Martin's work did.

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The Wheel of Time is a deeply flawed pleasure in that it contains massive amounts of useless clutter, overly detailed descriptions of the clothes every fifth-order character wears and irrelevant towns/locations the characters will never return to. The main characters are all made from the same cardboard cut-out, with muscular handsome young men and beautiful big-breasted women, each more selflessly devoted to their nation/organization/friends than the other, each more eager to stuff everyone else into a closet "for safety" and take all the blows for themselves. What really makes me mad though, is that Robert Jordan seemed to have quite a raging fetish for dominating aggressive (full-bosomed) women, secret lesbian romance, female-to-female bondage, and powerful competent women driven to servitude and seclusion - boy is it jarring when you're just casually trying to immerse into a fictional land filled with magic and epic battles. At times reading the books felt like accidentally stumbling onto a middle-aged man's secret diary of sexual fantasies.

 

Many of these problems were removed after Sanderson took over, blessedly the characters stopped talking like unbearable old farts and story pacing became adequate, which makes me wonder what the final volume would look like if it were written by Robert Jordan himself.

 

It would have been wonderful.

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RJ was self-indulgent at times, and I feel that The Eye of the World had some structural problems. It's ending and final confrontation didn't seem well established at all, and most of the characters were too reactionary throughout. On my reread of tWoT, however, I felt that RJ gets shafted by some when it comes to characterization. There's a lot going on beneath the surface, and people who can infer and read between the lines will find his characterization to be strong, if at times subtle.

 

It's hard for me to take anything like "What really makes me mad though, is that Robert Jordan seemed to have quite a raging fetish for dominating aggressive (full-bosomed) women, secret lesbian romance, female-to-female bondage, and powerful competent women driven to servitude and seclusion - boy is it jarring when you're just casually trying to immerse into a fictional land filled with magic and epic battles. At times reading the books felt like accidentally stumbling onto a middle-aged man's secret diary of sexual fantasies." seriously. I can't help but read something like that and assume the writer's making a satirical criticism; it's just so over-the-top.

 

I don't know how I'd respond to that original post, Hopebringer. Some people have their own opinions and get caught up in their own fandom's superiority complex. I'm a big fan of Martin as well. Hell, I even greatly appreciate and love AFfC and ADwD, which many people don't seem to. Then again, I love tWoT as well and don't get frustrated by those middle books. Perhaps that's all connected. I enjoy the prose. I enjoy the characters. I enjoy reading their voice. I like knowing what makes them tick and I easily emphasize with them. Some people can't read things that aren't event or plot driven from start to finish.

Edited by Agitel

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Wheel of Time is awesome. Gameof Thrones is a close second. The only thing for me that sucks is the WAITING!! I have no patience and the main lesson I've taken from both series is that I will NEVER start another series until it's finished!

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Actually, I thought it was "not that special" and a little boring the first time I read it. (read: I was addicted to it)

The second time I read it... I just really loved it and couldn't stop talking about anything else. It was so much better (for me, it was), so yeah,

you dared me to reread it, and in my honest opinion, it was awesome.

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RJ and GRRM are probably my two favorite authors, I'd have to say. I've re-read both of their works many times, and never get bored with either. The thing that I love most about long series is how different people use foreshadowing. The fact that these authors have so much of their story fleshed out by the first books simply astounds me, and gives me new insight and new perspective on scenes every single time I re-read the series. Both are descendants of the Gilgamesh/founding-hero mythos, and so you already know what the basic plot-line is going to be. It's those ten pages of "fluff", as you call it, that allows the story to differentiate itself from a simple description of events. I don't pick up a novel to read a history book, where you only read the "good parts" of a story. I read a novel to immerse myself in whatever world it is in, to know the characters as well as I know any of my closest friends.

 

Are there flaws with the series? Of course, as every book has its flaws, because, well, its made by a person. The problem with long series like WoT is that you have such a larger sample size to deal with, his errors are magnified compared to others.

 

And as far as RJ's weird "fetishes", please try and read some other pieces of literature in the fantasy genre. GRRM has kiddy rape all throughout, and many other series have other distrubing perversions. This may or may not be a window in an authors own tendencies, I suppose, but more often, it is a literary device to use a taboo like this to get a guaranteed emotional response to a certain character, or group of characters. If the Seanchan DIDN'T enslave female channelers, it'd be pretty hard to argue that they were an "Evil Empire". As violent and over-bearing as they are, they bring peace and stability to those they conquer, and leave many cultures intact, something many other empires don't allow. What if the Seanchan instead made "binders" instead of a'dam, and made all female channelers swear oaths of fealty to the Crystal Throne? They'd have the same combat effectiveness, but the reason to HATE them would be gone.

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I can't read aSoIaF anymore. I am still waiting for the meta story to actually start. You know, the one where the Others invade the Seven Kingdoms and try to take over the world that was promised in the prologue of A Game of Thrones. 5 years between books, 6 books and the real story hasn't started yet, it is never going to end so I have given up.

 

Atleast in WoT even when the plot was slow it was still progressing.

Edited by BenevolentCow

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Wheel of Time is awesome. Gameof Thrones is a close second. The only thing for me that sucks is the WAITING!! I have no patience and the main lesson I've taken from both series is that I will NEVER start another series until it's finished!

 

 

I can't read aSoIaF anymore. I am still waiting for the meta story to actually start. You know, the one where the Others invade the Seven Kingdoms and try to take over the world that was promised in the prologue of A Game of Thrones. 5 years between books, 6 books and the real story hasn't started yet, it is never going to end so I have given up.

 

Atleast in WoT even when the plot was slow it was still progressing.

 

You two hit the nail on the head for me. Oh the waiting.

 

I started WoT in 2002, quickly caught up and then suffered for years as the release of books slowed and the expected length grew and grew. I eventually gave up and shelved WoT until it was finished. Now that it's over, I have started to reread it. I honestly feel like I didn't read it the first time, this is exciting.

 

I swore I'd never let that happen again, then I picked up GoT last year. I learn slowly I suppose...

 

The more I reread WoT, however, the less I like GoT. The rules for magic are so much better defined and - yes, it's fantasy, I know - much more believable. In WoT, when a character does something new with the One Power I'm impressed and BELIEVE that this is an accomplishment. Wow, how did they think of that? Etc. Yet, everything in GoT feels like deus ex machina. The abilities and limitations of magic in GoT is so ill-defined that I have a hard time buying it.

 

Second, the death. OMG, the death. I love the grittiness of GoT. The smells, dirt, crudeness, and harsh realities of power struggles are really brought home in GoT; however, the swiftness in which a key character can die is shocking. At first I enjoyed this aspect. Wow, ANYONE can die at any moment, awesome. I can handle tragedy, I'm a big kid, I can accept some character I loved getting snuffed. But, once you've read thousands of pages you've invested in these characters and is just feels like time wasted if/when they die. All that being said, I'm not done reading WoT, so I may be in for some rude surprises.

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When I first started reading GOT, it was very exciting and seemed like it would be one of those that I read 100 times, but... I actually just tried to re-read it not long ago and kept getting bored. All my favorite people are either dead or don't seem to show up anymore, and I agree with BenevolentCow about the story not getting to the point soon enough. It has slowed down soooooo bad.

 

I mean, yeah, RJ had some slow books in there, but damnit, he made it further before he hit that snag or whatever. The first seven, at least, were awesome, and then the slower ones were not as agonizingly slow as the GOT slow stuff.

 

Also, WOT feels like a real world to me whenever i am reading, because so much of it is fleshed out. That's why it's fun to read again and again.

 

Westeros is interesting, and it was very captivating at first, but it seems like a society that was constructed to allow the least amount of happiness possible or something.

 

Which is weird, because when I first started WOT, I was like, "What's wrong with this guy! Every... single... detail..." But when you've got a 14-book series (or really, by the time it gets to book five or six), when it's finished, not only do you know the story, you know the world. It's just that much more rich. GOT is driven almost entirely by the plot and its suspense, so it loses a lot of its luster the next time around.

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When I first started reading GOT, it was very exciting and seemed like it would be one of those that I read 100 times, but... I actually just tried to re-read it not long ago and kept getting bored. All my favorite people are either dead or don't seem to show up anymore, and I agree with BenevolentCow about the story not getting to the point soon enough. It has slowed down soooooo bad.

 

I mean, yeah, RJ had some slow books in there, but damnit, he made it further before he hit that snag or whatever. The first seven, at least, were awesome, and then the slower ones were not as agonizingly slow as the GOT slow stuff.

None of the ASOIF books is even close to being as slow as CoT. Or even PoD or WH. Doesn't make one better than the other, of course, but it has to eb said.that's just the way it is.

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He is right - there is a lot of useless clutter in Wheel of Time. But it's still awesome, and you're not required to read all the clothing descriptions or useless pages. In fact, you can cut out a lot of the useless pages by reading only the Mat and Rand chapters of Crossroads of Twilight ;)

 

About the kinky undertones Robert Jordan wove into the text, I felt the subtle Fetish Fuel was more amusing than it was "disgusting".

 

 

Suffer, mortals! Suffer in TVtropes hell!

 

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When I first started reading GOT, it was very exciting and seemed like it would be one of those that I read 100 times, but... I actually just tried to re-read it not long ago and kept getting bored. All my favorite people are either dead or don't seem to show up anymore, and I agree with BenevolentCow about the story not getting to the point soon enough. It has slowed down soooooo bad.

 

I mean, yeah, RJ had some slow books in there, but damnit, he made it further before he hit that snag or whatever. The first seven, at least, were awesome, and then the slower ones were not as agonizingly slow as the GOT slow stuff.

None of the ASOIF books is even close to being as slow as CoT. Or even PoD or WH. Doesn't make one better than the other, of course, but it has to eb said.that's just the way it is.

 

 

Oh yeah, those books aren't actually as slow as CoT, at least not on the first read, but on my second/third read (because I gave up once and decided to try again), I found them to be much slower. Without surprises waiting around every corner, AFFC and ADWD just get really slow (and even parts of ASOS). On the first read, of course, with most of ASOIAF I was on the edge of my seat, having a blast. So I thought a re-read would be great, but it kind of isn't.

 

CoT was kind of like, "What the hell, why is this even in here?" on my first read, but I mostly am able to read it now if I am doing a re-read, without doing too much skimming.

 

Also, GRRM is still alive... and I can't help thinking, "I'm never going to see the end of this!!! He's going to kick the bucket like RJ, only it's going to be worse, right in the middle of nothing happening, so that we can't even make good theories about it."

 

I'm sure I'll finish this re-read sooner or later...

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I've reread the books several times. I find them even better on rereads; I love picking up foreshawoding and details I didn't pick up the first time.

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The Wheel of Time is a deeply flawed pleasure in that it contains massive amounts of useless clutter, overly detailed descriptions of the clothes every fifth-order character wears and irrelevant towns/locations the characters will never return to. The main characters are all made from the same cardboard cut-out, with muscular handsome young men and beautiful big-breasted women, each more selflessly devoted to their nation/organization/friends than the other, each more eager to stuff everyone else into a closet "for safety" and take all the blows for themselves. What really makes me mad though, is that Robert Jordan seemed to have quite a raging fetish for dominating aggressive (full-bosomed) women, secret lesbian romance, female-to-female bondage, and powerful competent women driven to servitude and seclusion - boy is it jarring when you're just casually trying to immerse into a fictional land filled with magic and epic battles. At times reading the books felt like accidentally stumbling onto a middle-aged man's secret diary of sexual fantasies.

 

Many of these problems were removed after Sanderson took over, blessedly the characters stopped talking like unbearable old farts and story pacing became adequate, which makes me wonder what the final volume would look like if it were written by Robert Jordan himself.

I think part of the charm of the series is that the world is so richly detailed. It has never seemed t oo much to for the description. One of the reasons I play the Elder Scrolls games to no end is a similar fixation on expanding the world so a reader/player can totally immerse themselves if they want. The Sharans are barely mentioned compared to most other people but you can still have a good, general idea of their culture.

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The Wheel of Time is a deeply flawed pleasure in that it contains massive amounts of useless clutter, overly detailed descriptions of the clothes every fifth-order character wears and irrelevant towns/locations the characters will never return to. The main characters are all made from the same cardboard cut-out, with muscular handsome young men and beautiful big-breasted women, each more selflessly devoted to their nation/organization/friends than the other, each more eager to stuff everyone else into a closet "for safety" and take all the blows for themselves. What really makes me mad though, is that Robert Jordan seemed to have quite a raging fetish for dominating aggressive (full-bosomed) women, secret lesbian romance, female-to-female bondage, and powerful competent women driven to servitude and seclusion - boy is it jarring when you're just casually trying to immerse into a fictional land filled with magic and epic battles. At times reading the books felt like accidentally stumbling onto a middle-aged man's secret diary of sexual fantasies.

 

Many of these problems were removed after Sanderson took over, blessedly the characters stopped talking like unbearable old farts and story pacing became adequate, which makes me wonder what the final volume would look like if it were written by Robert Jordan himself.

I think part of the charm of the series is that the world is so richly detailed. It has never seemed t oo much to for the description. One of the reasons I play the Elder Scrolls games to no end is a similar fixation on expanding the world so a reader/player can totally immerse themselves if they want. The Sharans are barely mentioned compared to most other people but you can still have a good, general idea of their culture.

 

Carnacarn, regarding your comments on the charm of the series, getting lost in the world, and Elder Scrolls I agree a thousand times over. Some of the detail can get a bit tedious, but I feel like I'm IN the WoT. When characters react in a certain way I feel as if that is the only way that character could have responded. "Oh, that is sooooo Mat." My wife used to get on me about the number of hours I've spent on Skyrim, and then we looked at her total hours.

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WOT has the most deeply annoying female characters put to fiction but it has it's odd charm now and then. It has to have something if I've made it this far despite the TERRIBLE repetitive females

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If you think Wheel of Time is good, then I dare you to re-read it. Believe me, it’s really bad. You can pretty much open any book on any page, read ten pages and then summarize them as “nothing of importance happened”. I’ve read most of them.
On a recent discussion on RockPaperShotgun about Sex in video games, the focus switched to A Game of Thrones and then to the Wheel of Time. This came up. What to respond?

 

http://www.rockpaper...comment-1019578

 

 

 

Come on, this is her/his opinion. But, name me one sff author (just one sff author) who has five consecutive novels which can beat WoT books 2-6!

 

There is no such a writer. (I know, the truth hurts.)

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Hi - I'm new here, but read the first 8 books of The Wheel of Time from the early 90s to around 2000 or so.  After that, life got in the way for a long time, but once I heard the series was finished, I went back and read it from the beginning.  (Just started A Memory of Light).

 

I still think it's highly enjoyable, and I like some of the characters more this time through - I thought Egwene's storyline was boring the first time, but really enjoyed it the second time I read it.  Yes, it has some flaws - the pacing in some of the books is not what it should be and I do agree that the female characters can be annoying at times.

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