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Jordan vs. heroes in stories...


Ahlyis
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Has anyone else noticed Jordan's penchant for having his heroes comment about heroes in stories?

 

I'm re-reading the series right now and am up to Path of Daggers. I won't swear it showed in the first couple of books, but I've been noticing at least once per book Jordan having one of the characters complain about something and compare it to what happens to "heroes in stories".

 

For example, the following passage can be found on page 153 of the hardcover Path of Daggers:


"Awkwardly they turned, hobbling and stumbling and groaning. It seemed quite ludicrous; heroes in stories never got hurt so they could barely stand. ... Gingerly the three of them sat down to wait. That was another thing heroes in stories never did, Elayne thought with a sigh. She hoped she could be a queen to make her mother proud, but it was clear that she would never make a hero."

 

For anyone that HAS noticed this penchant, can you tell me if it continues in Sanderson's contributions? I've only read through book 11 previously and was waiting for AMoL before re-reading the entire series, including Sanderson's books. It doesn't matter either way. I'll still read the whole series. I just find the whole thing ridiculous that Jordan does this in EVERY book and was wondering if Sanderson continues the trend.

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http://idealseek.no-ip.com/IdealSeek.cgi?q=hero

 

I have noticed this, and also thought it odd. Especially when Matt complains about heroes in Knife of Dreams (I think it was). Matt has been trying the hardest to not be a hero, so why would he compare himself to one? I don't remember noticing this in the BS books, though. I am at the tail end of a re-read and am on Towers of Midnight now. If there was a scene like this, I wonder if it would be one that RJ wrote.

Edited by Whizbang
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More from Path of Daggers, page 318:

 

"Somehow, such a pivotal moment should have been accompanied by fanfares of trumpets, or at the least, thunder in the sky. It was always that way in stories."

 

I can't figure out what Jordan thought he was accomplishing with all of these types of comments. Did he think we're going to become confused and think this is fact, not fiction? Did he think it somehow makes his story more "real", more believable?

 

I just don't get it.

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All I'm thinking is that these stories that all the characters in Randland go on about must be the most boring hero stories ever.

 

The heroes never seem to have any flaws. They always seem to win easily. The villains are pathetic and nothing ever seems to go wrong for the good guys. Would YOU wanna hear a story like that? I sure wouldn't.

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I wouldn't, but their's a large audience for series like Superman, and books/movies like the original James Bond.  Sure the idea is changing, James Bond now has flaws and failures, but their was a large market for the perfect James Bond for a long time.

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But even back then James Bond ended up in trouble. His bad guys were capable of taking him by surprise and putting him in death traps.

 

The stories Randland people go on about make it sound like a bad guy does something, the heroes rock onto the scene, and then they solve everything with a click of their fingers.

Edited by EmperorAllspice
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  • 11 months later...

All I'm thinking is that these stories that all the characters in Randland go on about must be the most boring hero stories ever.

 

The heroes never seem to have any flaws. They always seem to win easily. The villains are pathetic and nothing ever seems to go wrong for the good guys. Would YOU wanna hear a story like that? I sure wouldn't.

 

Jonathan Quayle Higgins III heavily disagrees.

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All I'm thinking is that these stories that all the characters in Randland go on about must be the most boring hero stories ever.

 

The heroes never seem to have any flaws. They always seem to win easily. The villains are pathetic and nothing ever seems to go wrong for the good guys. Would YOU wanna hear a story like that? I sure wouldn't.

 

 

The point is that real life is harder and far less glamorous than story-life. The stories the characters have in tWoT are just like the stories we have in the real world: they leave out all kinds of grit. When was the last time you read a book that described every character's every bowel movement, for instance? What about the horrors of getting giardia? Those things are a natural part of life and travel, but generally don't make for good storytelling.

 

The point of making those remarks in the books is to reinforce the sense we have of the characters undergoing a proper journey, one replete with all kinds of discomfort and hardship. It's supposed to help enhance the realism a bit, by presenting a contrast. The extent to which those goals are achieved is going to vary from reader to reader, but I take it that's the point. It's got nothing at all to do with the WoT-universe-stories being simplistic and two-dimensional; it's got to do with the conventions that govern all storytelling, including the stories we ourselves (real world people) read.

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Not all comparisons/contrasts with stories seemed to be complaints.

 

characters talking/thinking about stories occurs in at least 1 other fiction series::  Lord of the Rings. 

Though that was just one scene:: Frodo and Sam on Cirith Ungol just before entering Shelob's Lair.

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