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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

What makes WoT a success


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Ditto on the world building and history of the series, the vast scope. I started on the series as a kid and was completely mesmerized by the idea of the Dragon destroying the world and being reborn, AS history, Aemon, the HotH...And the many aspects of Seanchan, WT/AS, WCs, various nobles, Aiel, and all the other factions were interesting in the way they contrasted made Randland conflicts more interesting than more homogenous power politics.     

 

Add to that Rand's obliviousness to his insanity, Nynaeve being well, Nynaeve, and Mat's "gift" were interesting character arcs and RJ delivered.

 

And what could have made it better.

Superior villains. I always thought everyone attached to the shadow being made so utterly heinous was unnecessarily, especially the forsaken who were inherently interesting for being from another society which would give them completely different view points and ideas about morality. Considering so many of them came from academic/philosophical backgrounds they could've ranged from general human attitude of tolerating own's associates' evil doing to Machiavellian to Semirhage psycho, but they were all like Voldemorts and Bellatrixs. While a few completely crazies are fun, when every single shadow associate is that way it starts to feel like disney version of fairytales.  
 
I understand that perhaps RJ wanted to distinct the shadow crowd from other morally questionable people (Seanchan, greedy nobles, WCs...) but it cheapened the struggle with the shadow. Some of the latter's failures could've been forgiven if there was more moral ambiguity to spice things up. 
 
The exception was Ingtar. His confession will forever be one of my absolute favorite moments in the series. And Dems. At least he was allowed the ability to love/be loved which Lanfear was apparently too evil for.

Edited by driedraspberry
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The complex world and characters is definitely WoT biggest strength. There's so much depth, descriptions, and attention to detail it almost feels like non-fiction.

 

The flaw I think is that by the middle of the series there was so many characters and subplots it bogged the series down. Books 1-5 you might get a Darkfriend or an Aes Sedai POV to flesh things out and then back to the main plot. By book 8+, many readers actually cared what happened to Gawyn, Siun, Berelain, Elayne etc to the point that it killed the pacing where every time Perrin got a POV you also had to include Faile, the Aiel Wise women with him, Berelain, Berelains' army, etc. Oh Mat and Elayne split up after the bowl of winds? Time for individual arcs for the next 3 books. In this, RJs' detailed writing style worked against him because  in trying to give those characters their pages it bogged down the narrative in frivolous descriptions.

 

That style worked superbly well when it was just Perrin, Rand, Mat. But the strength turned to a weakness when the series introduced another 4-5 main on top of those 3 POVs especially with all the other locale and faction details RJ is best known for. In the first couple books a Rand/Mat POV would be coupled together, and if it switched to Elayne or whoever well Rand/Mat would still be doing stuff offpage and the reader would catch up later. By book 8+ every POV switch was almost accompanied by a "PAUSE" mode so the reader would get 4-5 POVs of the same time period.

 

Also I think RJ never fully finished the bulk of his notes before his death, so it sort of left Sanderson spinning his wheels with filler for 1-2 books as he just came up with stuff to plug the gaps. If RJ had left detailed information I think Sanderson would have really been able to finish it all in 1 like was intended.

 

Still the second best fantasy series of all time though.

Edited by bustycops1987
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The richness of TWOT world and lore is beyond compare. For all the other flaws in the book this one thing is all conquering and what makes the series a success.

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The best part of WoT is the psychology behind the characters, while you have the typical archetypes the thought processes behind them and the consistent behavior because of that where the best. The most obvious example would be Rand as he learned he is doomed to go mad, he frantically searched for signs of madness, and then when he was half mad he started thinking "a madman would tell himself he isn't mad" and starts chuckling to himself without realizing that is crazy.

 

The only thing that could have been done to improve the series was for RJ to live long enough to finish. As much as I appreciate BS work to finish it, no matter what he did it would not have been the same as if RJ himself did it.

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That style worked superbly well when it was just Perrin, Rand, Mat. But the strength turned to a weakness when the series introduced another 4-5 main on top of those 3 POVs especially with all the other locale and faction details RJ is best known for. In the first couple books a Rand/Mat POV would be coupled together, and if it switched to Elayne or whoever well Rand/Mat would still be doing stuff offpage and the reader would catch up later. By book 8+ every POV switch was almost accompanied by a "PAUSE" mode so the reader would get 4-5 POVs of the same time period.

I actually quite liked having more than just Rand, Mat, and Perrin POVs.  Certainly I think it would have lost out without the main female characters (Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve), and I even liked having POVs from the next tier down of characters (e.g. Faile, Tuon, Gawyn, Thom, etc).  I enjoyed seeing our heroes for other people's perspectives.  I agree that I think it did get a bit out of hand.  By ACoS there were a lot of POVs from characters that I didn't know or care about, and who didn't even seem to be related particularly closely to the main plots, and I was just impatient to get back to the main characters, particularly during some of the prologues.

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Hi people Just one very short comment. When I first picked up the series it was in paper back and carried the Fred Saberhagen comment on the title page,"Solid than a steel blade and glowing with true magic".I think that says it all. Weaknesses? I don't know, yes! Middle books were bit slow, but he always intended to use them as a building block to the big end. Which, unfortunately he couldn't.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I love the complaints about RJ's Wheel of Time series. If there was another ten books jammed in between tEotW and aMoL, then I for one would have been happy to know the Dragon managed to fight off Tarmon Gaidon for a while longer; admittedly it took aMoL to realize this. If a white-out pen can make your WoT experience more palitable, then have at. Lol! Imo, the WoT series is as long as it needed to be. I admit RJ got me good though, and from what i've read of some negative posts, RJ is still getting you good. Laughter and Tears indeed mr Jordan.

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