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Quality Discussion Thread

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who would have possibly thought TGS would have been far and away the best of his work on the Wheel?

 

Anyone who has ever read the phrase 'storm you' :p

 

Man, way to hit the nail on the head.  TGS left some hope, but trying to read TWOK was when I knew something was seriously wrong.  Never made it past the first third.

 

 

Hey bat, interesting question you pose here. Sanderson's work at times does read very much like fan fic. That said there wasn't nearly enough material/direction in the notes to have a ghost writer finish the series. TJ needed and actual writer to create large parts of the story. It was often jarring with modern language and unpolished prose but it would have been worse to my mind had he actually attempted to copy RJ's voice.

 

Here is where I have gone back and forth. Part of me does not think RJ would have been happy with how the story was finished, quite the opposite in fact. Perhaps we would have been better off getting the encyclopedia with the ending and notes included? The thing is for all that these books were uneven and the quality at times low Brandon did give us some moments of brilliance. Dark Rand, Egwene against the Seanchan, the Ogier charging and turning the song into pure fury. Do moments like that make it worth reading? I think so and I would have her read all the way through. So where I struggle is in thinking how this has affected the long time legacy of the WoT and Brandon's skills as an author. I often wonder if we hadn't been so unrealistically effusive in our praise after TGS if it would have helped Brandon grow as an author instead of stalling. I mean who would have possibly thought TGS would have been far and away the best of his work on the Wheel?

 

Yeah, that's a good point.  Some flaws were definitely to be expected, but after TGS it seemed safe to hope that with continuing improvement the series would be able to limp to the finish line, not as Jordan would've written it perhaps, but acceptably enough.  Back then I'd totally have been against the encyclopedia approach and all for finishing, but now....I think the former would've been the better option, probably.  At least then the material that was out would all cohere.  What might've even been best would be to have done the encyclopedia after TGS, which was Sanderson's best and also had the most of Jordan.  Of course, that's completely implausible, but I'm just daydreaming here.  Every author has their own way of doing things, but I'm rather suspicious of Sanderson's immense output during his WoT period.  I just don't see how one can turn out quality work at that pace.

 

On TGS - I'd previously been under the impression that Jordan wrote the Seanchan attack on the WT scene.  Is this incorrect?  Dark Rand was definitely the Sanderson high point for me, but if he wrote that too I have to give him more credit.  It was a fantastic WoT scene.

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@Talather

 

When talking about the notes there are two types. There are a bunch general wordbuilding notes which Brandon gave up studying after 2 months and instead relied on Maria and Alan for that type of thing(and yes it shows.)The second type was 200 pages(keep in mind AMoL turned out to be around 2,500 pages) of somewhat finished scenes, snippets, Q&A's with his assistants etc. Here are a few quotes on it:

 

Brandon

So it was also daunting in that, yes there are two hundred pages written, which actually nice, because as I've said before, if the book had been 80% of the way done, they wouldn't have needed to hire me, they wouldn't have needed to bring me in. When a book is 80% of the way done, that's when you get a ghostwriter, or Harriet just does it herself. She really could have done it in-house herself and finished that and said "Look, here we're going to do a few patches and stuff, but the book is mostly done."

 

And so, getting there and saying "Hey, I actually get to do something with this, I have an opportunity to add the scenes that I've been wanting as a fan for years and years, so I get a chance to actually write these characters, rather than coming in and just patching some holes," was very thrilling for me at the same time. You know, I worried that I would get there and it would just be patching holes—"Write these five scenes," or something like that—and that would have meant I wouldn't have really had a part in it.

Brandon

I do think I've been able to do some fun things with the series, as a fan, that I've been wanting to do, from reading it since I was a kid, but that's actually a weird things because, as a fan coming on, I had to be careful. You don't always want to do what the inner fan wants you to do; otherwise it just becomes like a sequence of cameos and inside jokes. So I had to be very careful, but there are some things that I've been wanting to have happen, and the notes left a lot of room for me to explore. I did get to have a lot of creative involvement in it; it wasn't just an outline, which has been awesome. You know, if it had been mostly done, they would have been able to hire like a ghostwriter to clean it up, and they didn't have that. They needed an actual writer, and so there are lots of plots I got to construct, and as a fan, that's awesome.

 

But he did write the last chapter. He wrote it before he passed away. He was very dedicated to his fans—there's great stories—he was on his deathbed dictating, and I have those dictations where his cousin Wilson is sitting there with a tape recorder just listening to him, and I got all these things passed on to me. It was really an interesting process. I was actually handed about two hundred pages, what would become 2500. Yeah, 2500. It's multiple volumes; it got split into three books. But, got handed two hundred pages, and in these are scenes he wrote, dictations that he did, fragments of scenes he worked on, little comments he made, Q&As with his assistants...

@batcaver

Yup the books were insanely rushed and his output was crazy. Keep in mind he wrote TWoK and other things during that same period. You are correct that Egwene was mostly RJ in TGS. That was one of the more complete things he had written I believe so I may be wrong on that. We do know Brandon added some things like a second dinner scene with Elaida. I'll try and check on the actual battle.

Edited by Suttree

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To be honest, I think we've been waiting for this so long and it's built up so much that a lot of people wouldn't be satisfied even if Jordan himself would have finished the series.  Not saying that there aren't some very real problems with the last 3 books...especially AMoL...but I think it's a bit overblown.

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Thanks Sut.  BTW, The Warrior-Prophet arrived today!

 

@Aleator77

 

I thought the same thing initially, myself.  However, as time has gone on and I've reflected on the book, it's seemed more and more vexing.  Especially watching my wife get excited about scenes for the first time, and reliving my own excitement through her, I'm seeing the book more in the context of the entire series.  Her experience will be so different from mine, since she'll never have to wait years between books.  She'll never have to endure agonizing cliffhangers or face the teeth grinding irritation of waiting for COT, only to be maddeningly disappointed.  On the other hand, she'll miss out on all of the theories and guessing and studying minor occurrences for clues that was such a huge and awesome part of my WoT experience.  More to the point, I think AMoL is a tolerable book in itself, but when read in conjunction with the rest of the series, as the culmination of the entire series, it is very disappointing.  It's only a book, really, but many people have quite a bit of personal history invested in this.  I know a lot of us were very excited to see the series finished after years and years, but for me, that same intense excitement has now been inverted by the lack of satisfaction I found in AMoL.  A lot of dead horses have been beaten since it came out, but this is really the extent of the expression of that disappointment that we're going to be allowed, unfortunately.   While Sanderson goes on tour and has a blast, makes loads of cash, and then moves on with his enormously enhanced career, we're pretty much forced to try to just sweep all of our excitement and anticipation under the rug or just have the same conversation over and over on the fan board.   Not a very appealing choice, to be sure, but I suppose I'll take what little catharsis I can scrounge.

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Has it occurred to people that maybe most feel TGS is the best of the BS novels because it had the most content from RJ himself?  I mean, since that was the book RJ was working on next he probably had much more extensive notes and details plotted out. That the further away from the ending KOD the less BS had to work with from RJ and more stuff he had to come up on his own.

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Has it occurred to people that maybe most feel TGS is the best of the BS novels because it had the most content from RJ himself?  I mean, since that was the book RJ was working on next he probably had much more extensive notes and details plotted out. That the further away from the ending KOD the less BS had to work with from RJ and more stuff he had to come up on his own.

 

 

 

I largely agree, though Rand was more Brandon and Egwene more Jordan in GATHERING. I do think they both had much stronger and more straightforward arcs. Even if Jordan's notes on Egwene had been less, I still think Brandon could have pulled it off. tGS was much more focused and true to Brandon's typical way of writing, in my opinion. I think there were problems with TOWERS that came from the split and how Brandon et al. chose to go forward with that. Not only did we have Mat and Perrin, but we had Elayne and the Black Tower and a little bit of Rand and Egwene . . . the novel really lost its focus, and the way of organizing it didn't help. I almost wish that TOWERS had been a shorter book that just played catch up and end with Rand coming down Dragonmount. (I'm sure fans would have howled and screamed.) GATHERING actually covered many months, right? We could have dealt with Perrin's arc entirely. I'm not sure you could move up Mat's ToG sequence before VoG, though. What I'm saying would completely redo the timeline, of course...

 

Geez, I didn't mean to go this far. Anyway, back to my original point. Looking back, I think GATHERING was an easier book to write. I obviously think TOWERS and MEMORY could have been better, but I do think they were more difficult books.

Edited by Agitel

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I discussed this with a friend yesterday, and I can't believe so many people wish that BS never finished the story.

Backstory: I've actually given up on the series twice, only to have returned because my curiosity got better of me. The second time, after reading Crossroads of Twilight, which was basically the same event repeated through several different characters eyes, was the worst. While the first few books in the series were great, I found that Robert Jordan had a few flaws that only got worse as the series progressed:

1. He focussed too much on detail. It was great to read about the rich world he created, but he could have left out the colours of individual leaves on a tree while describing the backdrop (I'm emphasising here for effect of course).

2. He had a bit of a thing for younger women. The drawn out scenes between the Aes Sedai getting naked with each other and Elaynes crowning comes to mind. I don't have a problem with nakedness, but several scenes seem to have been put there for no purpose at all.

3. Noone died. Once a character had been "on screen" for a chapter, they were practically immortal. This left you with no excitement at all when characters went into battle.

4. The story stopped progressing. An entire book of almost 1000 pages could take place in a month of time. This is what nearly killed it for me.

 

When Robert Jordan died, I was sad for his familys sake, and sad that the story would go unfinished, but honestly, I doubted that RJ could have even finished the series because the last books were dragging on so long and showed no sing of speeding up. This was a problem many writers face when they have a problem editing out unneccesary parts of their books.

When Brandon Sanderson took over, I was intrigued. Both because the story now had a chance to finish, but also because I had hopes that BS would remedy what I saw as faults in Robert Jordans writing. And I am happy to say that he did.

When I discussed this with my friend yesterday, both she and I concluded that the series was better off having been finished by Brandon Sanderson. If Robert Jordan hade still been alive, I seriously doubt the series would have been finished before 2020, if at all.

With that, I have to thank Brandon Sanderson for doing such a great job and of course Robert Jordan for imagining the universe. Without him, this would never be.

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@Tesseract: Agreed. I think BS did a great job, I thoroughly enjoyed the last 3 books, exept the Epilogue in aMoL which felt off (Rand traipsing off in the night, leaving his best friends and father to mourn at his pyre after a 12k page ordeal).  But then I found out that the last chapter had already been written by Jordan, so I understood it a little better. Not because it was badly written but because I have a feeling that chapter might have seen some revision/expanding by Rj himself, if he had still been alive. I loved RJ's writing too, moreso then BS's, he just  lost his pace imo. 

 

I also want to say that WoT for me is hands down THE most interesting Fantasy Setting ever created (moreso even then Tolkiens...) and I have read a lot of series ( I like the early Feist trilogies too). 

 

Also the first Chapter of the series (after the prologue) in Emonds Field for me is the pinnacle of what Fantasy (or an RPG) entails for me: the "from rags to riches" theme, but even better. 3 boys in rural Emond's Fields getting exited over the coming local festivities, Bel Tine. Such a homely scene, it immediately grabbed me, endeared the whole setting to me instantly, including the characters. And then those subtle signs of things to come...... awesome. Even better then Hobbits celebrating in the Shire! :D

 

I need my fantasy rooted in such mundane beginnings, this is probably why I can't get into Eriksons Malazan series. You get thrown right into an epic war there. :(

Edited by Treesong

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I

When I discussed this with my friend yesterday, both she and I concluded that the series was better off having been finished by Brandon Sanderson. If Robert Jordan hade still been alive, I seriously doubt the series would have been finished before 2020, if at all.

Sorry but before I jump in here just want to clarify. Are you saying the series is better off as in, even if RJ had lived Brandon was the better author to finish it?

 

As for how long it would have taken not sure if you are using hyperbole but that is pretty absurd. After KoD things were pointed in the right direction and set up for the finish. RJ said it would have been one more book, Brandon argued against the split into three and after these last three books it has become painfully obvious why. There wasn't enough material to stretch things out that much. There was an appalling amount of bloat and filler. One more book split into two volumes is all that was needed. It's totally off base to claim what you do above in terms of how long it would have taken.

 

Now all the things you list as "faults" really come down to personnel preference. RJ's prose was descriptive and polished. That is what leads to the feeling of depth and immersion in his work. People look for different things in their fantasy but even in his slowest book(CoT) the quality of writing never dropped. With these last three book sfor the first time in the world of the wheel one had to "read down" and it was so jarring/uneven. I can see why those who don't care for all the little details and side characters might not be bothered by many of the flaws in Brandon's work(or even notice them for that matter). Again I get people look for different things in their fantasy but to say Brandon did a better job than RJ could have is pretty out there. I'm curious as to how you think it was better off?

Edited by Suttree

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I was very disappointed with the finish.  While I appreciated the method of the sealing, I felt a tremendous distance from the characters I had followed since Eye of the World.  There was no sense of familiarity with these characters.  AMOL had the feel of a battle memoir.  Some of them were caricatures of themselves (Demandred), and I simply could not understand the logic of Egwene dying after all the work put in on her character to reunify the White Tower.  The epilogue was cheap, and there was no sense of connection with those characters.

 

While I certainly appreciate BS stepping in to help finish the series (and I do like his other work as well), AMOL was a rush job compared to TGS and TOM (which is crazy, considering that AMOL took the longest of the final 3 books for Brandon to write).  I do agree that TGS was the best of the final 3 books.

 

The worst part of AMOL being so mediocre? Whereas I always re-read the series prior to a new book coming out, I do not feel the desire to re-read the WOT.  I've re-read plenty of other completed series, and I always felt leading up to AMOL that I would re-read the series in its entirety at some point (I've re-read TGS and TOM a couple of times). 

 

I'm hoping that any media adaptation will do a far better job of connecting with the characters at the end of the story than AMOL did.

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@ Suttree: thanks for the BS Snippets

Even he seems to say that he had to be vary of writing it simply as fan-fiction. Looks like self-fulfilling Prophecy to me

 

@ Tesseract: if BS simply wrote a fast progressing story, with good plot twists and an ok ending (he may have done that), what distinguishes this from fan-fiction?

 

I always believed the strength of WOT was the attention to detail and polished/immersive prose. Even if RJ wrote about Faile washing silk. I was ok with this (I've always hated Faile, seeing her getting worked roughly feels right).

This may be the difference. While in the prior books i've "seen" Faile, now i'm only reading about her.

 

We got AMOL, which gives the the strong feeling of an "unfinished" product. Give AMOL about one year of rewrite and edit and it might become tolerable. Half a year for TGS and TOM each might suffice. Accepting unfinished products and being happy about it feels off. Just because there is AN ending, doesn't mean it's a well written one (in the last 20 years i've imagined thousands of different endings for WOT. None of them were written down cause i'm not getting paid for it)

 

I've read other BS books, and liked them well. If he expected to write someone else story with the same amount of work he puts into his own, he was mistaken (or we were).

 

On a side note: I believe Pevara and Androl were characters which BS took over. Their story was not very WOT like but it felt believable and complete to me. Their parts were the easiest to read and i believe BS really "worked" on them.

Edited by Talathar

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Guest AndyT

I finished AMOL well over a month ago soon after it came out.  I enjoyed it and felt that it was a perfectly fine finish to the WOT.  I certainly teared up at many moments, especially the ending. 

 

As far as the ending,  I think that part of people's frustration that I have seen in the comments is that they wanted more of an epilogue; however, this was never going to happen.  The evidence and statements from principal's concerned indicate that we got the ending that RJ intended when he began the story almost thirty years ago(if that isn't mind-bogglin enough and jeesh that makes me feel old).  Part of BS problem, I feel was that he had to write to this ending.  He knew that there was not going to be any info imparted on people beyond the LB which is probably why he threw in the material Cadsuane becoming Amyrlin to give some closure to the WT which would have been left leaderless at the end of the AMOL.  Jordan apparently, again from the evidence known, never intended to include an epilogue that went into a Tolkienesque overview of the years after the LB and the fates of the characters.  His last image was to be of Rand riding away, reborn, and free from the burdens that he carried for the entire story, and of course the words that this was an ending, but not the end.  This meant that Rand had to imprison the Dark One not kill him, as some have wanted.  This was not a BS decision but a RJ one. 

 

Also, I think that this is where the talk of outriggers sprang  by RJ.  He never intended to have a years in the future epilogue, and so there would by the outriggers which would take up the tale and explain some of the characters fates such as Mat and Tuon, Perrin and Faile, etc.  Others probably would have been brought up and explained even if not brought onto the stage in those tales.  This would have provided the closure that some are seeking.  Sadly, this will not happen.  Those seeking closure must except that RJ never intended to have that in AMOL and since his untimely passing means no outriggers we can only speculate on the fates of the characters lives beyond this turn of the wheel.

 

Finally, I am glad that we got these books by BS; it would have been sad not have the ending to the story.  And the publication of just the written scenes, and the notes would not have been satisfying.  Also, they certainly would not have brought closure to people who wanted it, since that was never intended in the first place, or I should say the kind of closure that some are seeking.  As I said I am satisfied that this turn of the wheel has closed, but the wheel still turns to the next age and this story will happen again as the Dragon faces the DO to decide the fate of mankind in a future LB.

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I had a comment deleted earlier for being off-topic, so I'd just like to say here that my local paper's professional review was very positive towards aMoL.  Maybe there are some inconsistencies, but overall it was a strong finish to the series.

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I had a comment deleted earlier for being off-topic, so I'd just like to say here that my local paper's professional review was very positive towards aMoL.  Maybe there are some inconsistencies, but overall it was a strong finish to the series.

1. Link to the review?  Was mentioned earlier but in the industry there are a number of well known reviewers who reacted negatively. Take this example from Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.

 

http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/search?q=memory+of+light+review

 

2. If you think it was a strong finish could you please break down why? Really hoping to see analysis of not just individual nice moments but why this was a strong finish as a book from a literary perspective as the timeline mistakes, unpolished writing, blunt plot work and continuity errors have been discussed in detail. It would be nice to see positive opinions backed up by support for why they feel that way.

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I had a comment deleted earlier for being off-topic, so I'd just like to say here that my local paper's professional review was very positive towards aMoL.  Maybe there are some inconsistencies, but overall it was a strong finish to the series.

1. Link to the review?  Was mentioned earlier but in the industry there are a number of well known reviewers who reacted negatively. Take this example from Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.

 

http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/search?q=memory+of+light+review

 

2. If you think it was a strong finish could you please break down why? Really hoping to see analysis of not just individual nice moments but why this was a strong finish as a book from a literary perspective as the timeline mistakes, unpolished writing, blunt plot work and continuity errors have been discussed in detail. It would be nice to see positive opinions backed up by support for why they feel that way.

Here are some links to positive reviews:

  1. http://io9.com/5975831/the-wheel-of-time-rolls-to-a-stop-io9s-review-of-a-memory-of-light
  2. http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/a-memory-of-light-by-robert-jordan.html
  3. http://nethspace.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/review-memory-of-light-by-robert-jordan.html
  4. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7743175-a-memory-of-light  (this has popular ratings that avg to 4.6 from a total of 8,524 ratings)
  5. http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/01/the-wheel-of-time-a-memory-of-light-spoiler-review

 

I can't find the review from "The Age" online, but it was in the Age's review section last Saturday.  You can get many more positive reviews than negatives from googling "memory of light review".  So, although many people here seem to disagree, the general sentiment on this final book is very positive.

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I had a comment deleted earlier for being off-topic, so I'd just like to say here that my local paper's professional review was very positive towards aMoL.  Maybe there are some inconsistencies, but overall it was a strong finish to the series.

1. Link to the review?  Was mentioned earlier but in the industry there are a number of well known reviewers who reacted negatively. Take this example from Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.

 

http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/search?q=memory+of+light+review

 

2. If you think it was a strong finish could you please break down why? Really hoping to see analysis of not just individual nice moments but why this was a strong finish as a book from a literary perspective as the timeline mistakes, unpolished writing, blunt plot work and continuity errors have been discussed in detail. It would be nice to see positive opinions backed up by support for why they feel that way.

Here are some links to positive reviews:

  1. http://io9.com/5975831/the-wheel-of-time-rolls-to-a-stop-io9s-review-of-a-memory-of-light
  2. http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/a-memory-of-light-by-robert-jordan.html
  3. http://nethspace.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/review-memory-of-light-by-robert-jordan.html
  4. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7743175-a-memory-of-light  (this has popular ratings that avg to 4.6 from a total of 8,524 ratings)
  5. http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/01/the-wheel-of-time-a-memory-of-light-spoiler-review

 

I can't find the review from "The Age" online, but it was in the Age's review section last Saturday.  You can get many more positive reviews than negatives from googling "memory of light review".  So, although many people here seem to disagree, the general sentiment on this final book is very positive.

 

I feel like Leigh Butler should be disqualified because whatever partially incoherent babble she posted that day wasn't a review. Anyway, this is ground that's been covered before - its not really a discussion of popularity is it? Otherwise, let's discuss the merits of Twilight?

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I had a comment deleted earlier for being off-topic, so I'd just like to say here that my local paper's professional review was very positive towards aMoL. Maybe there are some inconsistencies, but overall it was a strong finish to the series.

1. Link to the review? Was mentioned earlier but in the industry there are a number of well known reviewers who reacted negatively. Take this example from Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.

 

http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/search?q=memory+of+light+review

 

2. If you think it was a strong finish could you please break down why? Really hoping to see analysis of not just individual nice moments but why this was a strong finish as a book from a literary perspective as the timeline mistakes, unpolished writing, blunt plot work and continuity errors have been discussed in detail. It would be nice to see positive opinions backed up by support for why they feel that way.

Here are some links to positive reviews:I can't find the review from "The Age" online, but it was in the Age's review section last Saturday. You can get many more positive reviews than negatives from googling "memory of light review". So, although many people here seem to disagree, the general sentiment on this final book is very positive.
That really wasn't where I was going. I was interested to read the one you were referring to specifically but more so it quite clearly offers no backing for an argument around quality to take pop reviews(especially for things like Tor and Goodreads) and try use them as support. Anyone can find reviews both positive or negative which is what I tried to show above. Using "general sentiment"/popularity as an argument for quality is a logical fallacy.

 

What helps in a thread discussing quality is #2 from above. Interested to hear your thoughts.

Edited by Suttree

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I finished AMOL well over a month ago soon after it came out.  I enjoyed it and felt that it was a perfectly fine finish to the WOT.  I certainly teared up at many moments, especially the ending. 

 

As far as the ending,  I think that part of people's frustration that I have seen in the comments is that they wanted more of an epilogue; however, this was never going to happen.  The evidence and statements from principal's concerned indicate that we got the ending that RJ intended when he began the story almost thirty years ago

 

His last image was to be of Rand riding away, reborn, and free from the burdens that he carried for the entire story, and of course the words that this was an ending, but not the end.

Thanks for your well thought-out take on the Epilogue. I bolded some parts of your post that I wanted to discuss. 

 

As I understand it, RJ had already figured out how Rand would survive and how he would ride away as a normal man, unburdened , being able to live a normal life. I am all for that. I am doubtful however if this last chapter was already completely fleshed out by RJ, ready to just tack on to whatever came before that.   As it is now, it feels more like a draft that has not been written out completely.

 

It would have been easy to have some resolve, reunions, some winding down and licking of wounds, some glimpses of the future and of rebuilding, and after all that still have Rand take off in the sunset to get some well-earned peace. It just felt completely weird that Rand leaves so many dear friends and his own father (who played a big role in aMoL) grieving over his pyre, just so that he can sneak off and not be bugged by paparazzi or some?  It makes no sense at all why he could not have reunited with his father and friends for a while and then take off (if he must). With a mirror spell maybe or using his newly found Patternweaving Powers to go undetected. 

 

The epilogue feels very unfinished and I just do not think RJ would have left it at this odd campscene (which at one point reminded me of the ET-scene, where Elliot is suddenly getting better while ET's life is slipping). 

Edited by Treesong

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I simply could not understand the logic of Egwene dying after all the work put in on her character to reunify the White Tower.

I feel Terazed makes a good point in the Egwene thread. Her death was necessary, to allow Rand to let go, achieve full enlightenment. No one else's death would have allowed him to do so.

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I finished AMOL well over a month ago soon after it came out.  I enjoyed it and felt that it was a perfectly fine finish to the WOT.  I certainly teared up at many moments, especially the ending. 

 

As far as the ending,  I think that part of people's frustration that I have seen in the comments is that they wanted more of an epilogue; however, this was never going to happen.  The evidence and statements from principal's concerned indicate that we got the ending that RJ intended when he began the story almost thirty years ago(if that isn't mind-bogglin enough and jeesh that makes me feel old).  Part of BS problem, I feel was that he had to write to this ending.  He knew that there was not going to be any info imparted on people beyond the LB which is probably why he threw in the material Cadsuane becoming Amyrlin to give some closure to the WT which would have been left leaderless at the end of the AMOL.  Jordan apparently, again from the evidence known, never intended to include an epilogue that went into a Tolkienesque overview of the years after the LB and the fates of the characters.  His last image was to be of Rand riding away, reborn, and free from the burdens that he carried for the entire story, and of course the words that this was an ending, but not the end.  This meant that Rand had to imprison the Dark One not kill him, as some have wanted.  This was not a BS decision but a RJ one. 

 

Also, I think that this is where the talk of outriggers sprang  by RJ.  He never intended to have a years in the future epilogue, and so there would by the outriggers which would take up the tale and explain some of the characters fates such as Mat and Tuon, Perrin and Faile, etc.  Others probably would have been brought up and explained even if not brought onto the stage in those tales.  This would have provided the closure that some are seeking.  Sadly, this will not happen.  Those seeking closure must except that RJ never intended to have that in AMOL and since his untimely passing means no outriggers we can only speculate on the fates of the characters lives beyond this turn of the wheel.

 

Finally, I am glad that we got these books by BS; it would have been sad not have the ending to the story.  And the publication of just the written scenes, and the notes would not have been satisfying.  Also, they certainly would not have brought closure to people who wanted it, since that was never intended in the first place, or I should say the kind of closure that some are seeking.  As I said I am satisfied that this turn of the wheel has closed, but the wheel still turns to the next age and this story will happen again as the Dragon faces the DO to decide the fate of mankind in a future LB.

 

There's really no reason to view the ending as a one or the other situation between a tedious LotR ending that goes to far and the short shrift, slap dash epilogue from AMoL.  Between these two extremes there are about a million possible directions for a creative writer to go with.  Personally, I'm not really irritated at all that we didn't get to find out all about what happened with Mat and Tuon or if Cadsuane became Amyrlin, or any potential future event.  The story had to end somewhere, and those are the kinds of things an outrigger should deal with, as you say.  However, that has nothing to do with getting some resolution from the characters in regards to what has just happened, namely the single biggest event of the series.  Personally, I'd have liked to see a little reflection on their journey throughout the series.  I'm irritated about things like the fact that after years and thousands of pages of build up, Moiraine was barely in the book.  Nynaeve was barely in the book.  Even characters that were featured with sufficient page space on the face of it just stopped on a dime, with barely enough time to wipe the sweat off their brow.  It was a big job to try and stuff the massive world of WoT back into one book after Jordan spent the whole series expanding it, so I give Sanderson a little slack but whatever the case, that ending just didn't work for me.  Again, it would have been alright for another series to end in that way, perhaps one that never went so deep into developing it's characters.  WoT set it's own bar in book after book of extra fine detail and intricate focus on the character's emotions and motivations.  Go read books 6 -12 again and tell me that the characters are receiving the nuanced consideration in AMoL that we've been led to expect from WoT.

 

As to the bolded - we may know what Jordan said, and what he wrote years ago about the ending, but we really have no way of knowing exactly how that would've played out if he'd lived.  We don't know how ambiguous he'd have left certain subplots, and which would've been wrapped up.  We don't know if he'd have amended that epilogue or left it verbatim.  I'll stand by my opinion that if he had, the series would've been seriously contradicted, but there's really no way to know.

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Whoops.  The above was me.

 

*also should have said to reread books 6-11.  I get them mixed up in numerical order sometimes, but I can't edit my post since I wasn't logged in.

Edited by batcaver

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Guest AndyT

Thank you to Treesong and Batcaver for your replies. 

 

I think that both of you are hitting on a frustration that some have with the ending.  Of course, we do not entirely know if RJ would have rewritten the ending, if he had lived.  I think that one of the things that boxed BS in was that he had to write to this prescribed ending.  He has stated that this was the first thing that he had read and that he and TJ wanted the very last words of the series to be RJ's on the page.  There was no way around this fact for BS or TJ.  Thus, I can not see a way to have much more in the epilogue.    There really isn't anytime for reflection.  Literally Rand re-imprisons the DO at Noon, body switch and death by about early evening and Funeral pyre at dark.  This is all in less than a day.  Maybe, RJ would have revisited this ending and added more when he wrote a Memory of Light or this might have been it.  Considering that this is one of the pieces that he actually wrote(and by this I mean that the only evidence that we have is that BS added the Cadsuane with the Aes Sedai segment), among the two hundred pages of "finished scenes" according to BS, I do not think that would be the case but it could have been.  Also, had RJ lived and planned to do the outriggers then I think that would have even more strongly reinforced his inclination to go with this ending.  In the interviews, RJ seemed particularly insistent to tell people that not everything would be wrapped up.   I think that he was clearly trying to prepare people for this ending anticipating their objections. Just my opinion of course.

 

Batcaver-I do not entirely see how the ending contradicted the series, if by that you mean Rand putting the DO back in its cage and not killing it.  There is clear evidence from throughout the series and from RJ's interviews that this was going to be the end.  This "task" has been done before and it will be done again that is the wheel.  RJ in interviews stated that there was nothing "special" about this particular turn and this confrontation.  Since there was nothing "special" about this turn, then Rand accomplished what other Dragons had done before which was to restore balance to the wheel and put the DO back in its cage.  If some thought that Rand would kill the DO, then he did a good job of maintaing suspense for those; while, he has letting it be know throught these interviews that really this had happened before and would again.   I realized many books ago that that would not happen.  In fact, I think that it was this knowledge that drove Elan Tedronai mad even more than overuse of the TP.  He clearly saw that they were just repeating a cycle.  Remember this is the Wheel of Time, it was an ending not the end, because there are never endings or beginnings to the Wheel.  Not killing the DO was perfectly consistent with the cosmology of the series; in fact, killing the DO would have been inconsistent with the cosmology of the wheel universe. 

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I had a comment deleted earlier for being off-topic, so I'd just like to say here that my local paper's professional review was very positive towards aMoL. Maybe there are some inconsistencies, but overall it was a strong finish to the series.

1. Link to the review? Was mentioned earlier but in the industry there are a number of well known reviewers who reacted negatively. Take this example from Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.

 

http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/search?q=memory+of+light+review

 

2. If you think it was a strong finish could you please break down why? Really hoping to see analysis of not just individual nice moments but why this was a strong finish as a book from a literary perspective as the timeline mistakes, unpolished writing, blunt plot work and continuity errors have been discussed in detail. It would be nice to see positive opinions backed up by support for why they feel that way.

Here are some links to positive reviews:I can't find the review from "The Age" online, but it was in the Age's review section last Saturday. You can get many more positive reviews than negatives from googling "memory of light review". So, although many people here seem to disagree, the general sentiment on this final book is very positive.
That really wasn't where I was going. I was interested to read the one you were referring to specifically but more so it quite clearly offers no backing for an argument around quality to take pop reviews(especially for things like Tor and Goodreads) and try use them as support. Anyone can find reviews both positive or negative which is what I tried to show above. Using "general sentiment"/popularity as an argument for quality is a logical fallacy.

 

What helps in a thread discussing quality is #2 from above. Interested to hear your thoughts.

I am not interested in getting into a flame war.  I liked the book, you clearly didn't.  Not all the reviews I posted are pop reviews; the Melbourne Age newspaper is a credible paper, and the review was posted in its review section on Sat 2 March.

 

Here's the google page for "Memory of Light review".  It seems that at least 90% of the reviews are positive, and many of them would be from reputable people.

 

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=memory+of+light+review&rlz=1C1BLWB_enAU511AU511&aq=f&oq=memory+of+light+review&aqs=chrome.0.57j60l2j0l3.5210&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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