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Joshua Hendrickson

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Everything posted by Joshua Hendrickson

  1. In any real universe that actually involved deities (which as an atheist I don't believe in, but so what?) good and evil would have to be two sides of the same coin, but the WOT isn't "real" enough for this kind of philosophical subtlety, IMO.
  2. Alright, I can see that I misread the prologue--it's clear that LTT died from an overdose of the One Power, not self-inflicted balefire. Thanks all for clearing that up.
  3. Lemons ... don't recall where those are mentioned. Kaf is a good one. Tabac would qualify as well. On the whole subject of modern English words becoming corrupted over time, it's obvious that Tarmon Gaidon is an evolved version of Armageddon. And isn't Shaitan an Arabic version of Satan? In Frank Herbert's DUNE series, the Fremen (who descend from Islamic and other roots) also refer to the devil as Shaitan. As for the notion that the city on the mountainside is Machu Pichu (sp?), I doubt it. Asmodean recognizes it as a city from the AOL, one that used to be a seaport at that. And the real Machu Pichu isn't really any bigger than a village.
  4. Perhaps the thing I love most about WOT is the way Jordan hints at elements of our own Age, which in the scheme of things is probably the age before the age before the Age of Legends. These are my favorites: "Lenn flying to the moon in the belly of an eagle made of fire" in TEOTW. Obviously a reference to John Glenn (rather than Neil Armstrong, a mistake explainable by the fading of myth over time) and the moon landing of 1969. "The giant Mosk with his lance of fire that could reach around the world" in TEOTW. Russia with its nuclear weapons. A reference (which I have difficulty locating) to "Mosk and Merk" as giants having a fight with those fiery lances. Russia and America engaged in a nuclear exchange. The Mercedes-Benz hood ornament in the museum in TSR. (my personal favorite) The names associated with legendary heroes that Rand overhears in TGH: Patrick instead of Paedrig, Oscar instead of Otarin, etc. The contrails in the sky in the portal stone world in TGH. Those are all I can think of right now, but there must be others--I think Asmodean makes a reference or two in TFOH, but I can't recall exactly. Can anyone think of others? Or perhaps give a different spin on the interpretations of those elements?
  5. I agree about the Seanchan, Sea Folk, and Mat--I thought I was the only one who finds him annoying rather than supercool. As for it being the best fantasy series you've read ... you need to get out more.
  6. lol actually ALL you have to say is "she folded her arms" or "she crossed her arms". we KNOW where it was in relation to her breasts! you don't say "he sat down on his buttocks" or "he folded his hands near his penis" do you? I guarantee you you don't! to me it just seemed like a poor way of forcing a contrived sensuality into the writing that didn't really belong Is everything to do with sexuality--or even "sexual" anatomy--then automatically a commercial consideration? I wish, for reasons of art and verisimilitude, that there was much more sex in WOT; it would reduce the sense of juvenalia. Man, I hate prudes.
  7. Ah, Gormenghast! I read Peake's magnificent trilogy when I was 19, at least 7 years before I ever touched WOT. A good reminder that for all of Jordan's qualities, he is far from being the greatest fantasy writer.
  8. uh, no offense but maybe your reading skill is not on a level with mine? I only say this because for me catching typos is EXTREMELY easy...in fact I can't NOT. it is my burden and my curse. for instance when you write things like or I can't help but read what you wrote as you wrote it. ordinarily I would NEVER point it out or care in the least or think less of anyone for it (especially not when its just casual internet posting)...I just don't think it belongs in a WoT book! yes I could easily catch and fix every typo in a week or less...ALL you have to do is read each word, remain focused while doing so and have good spelling. maybe thats beyond most people but proofreaders of a major series should have that. @ cindy I am in complete agreement with you and ares. the proofreaders should be well compensated for their effort (IMO its an important-ish job they do) and given MORE than one day to accomplish their task. if I was treated like crap then yes, I too would probably poison WoT with typo after typo as an act of rebellion. the ultimate fault (as usual) lies with management. "hey there's still all these typos...ok, what's going on with the proofreader(s)?" <- how hard is that the title of the thread is "what you dislike most about the series" well I cringe at all the typos, sorry! its a totally fixable thing for a competent company and you will never convince me otherwise Catching typos that others make is one thing; catching your own is another. I notice that you fail to correctly punctuate the contracted form of "it is" in your post. Failing to capitalize words may be your personal choice, but mistaking "its" for "it's" is simply incorrect usage. Sincerely, the Grammar Gestapo.
  9. It seems like everyone else has already covered it all, so I'll just pull a Jordan and repeat what's already been said ad nauseum: Feminine bullying. Repetition of descriptions, phrases, traits, and explanations. Little attempt to keep minor characters clear (by the latter half of the series I need notes to keep me abreast of just who the hell these stupid people are). Willful obscurity. Dragging out over thousands of pages what could be done in a few hundred. Inability to let characters just plain die (stupid Moridin). Filler filler filler. And more filler. Introduction of new major characters too late in the story (Moridin, again). Mistaking confusion (readers don't know what the hell's going on) for suspense (characters don't know what the hell's going on but the reader does and so can worry about what might happen to the characters). Prudishness. Whoever said that WOT isn't naughty enough for HBO is absolutely right. The prudery isn't universal to all WOT cultures and nations but it damn well is to the Two Rivers and that keeps the books from feeling adequately adult rather than juvenile. The irritable personalities of almost everyone. Being pissy isn't terribly attractive. The frequent clumsiness of Jordan's prose. The fact that I keep rereading it anyway ... but at least I don't delude myself that WOT is the greatest fantasy series of all time. It's just the longest and possibly the most complex. But it sure isn't the greatest.
  10. At the very beginning of WOT we have the final confrontation between Ishamael and Lews Therin Telamon. When LTT kills himself and thus creates Dragonmount, the description suggests that he used Balefire on himself--and a great whopping huge amount of it as well. Enough, it would seem, not just to eliminate his immediate past but his whole being. If so, why is he still in the Pattern? Was it not Balefire he used? If it was Balefire, but not enough to eradicate him from the Pattern, it should still have wiped out the death of Ilyena. Am I wrong? Did Jordan just not think this through, or am I off base?
  11. I haven't read TOM yet, but I doubt that stedding are outside the Pattern. After all, in TEOTW Perrin probably drew the Whitecloaks into the stedding by being Taveren.
  12. I've never thought of reversing the genders of the characters in WOT. To me, part of the interest of Jordan's world is how it shows the influence of powerful females upon society. That said, there are stereotypes constantly at play: most of the women, whether good or evil, are bullies, and consider men "woolheaded idiots", while the men just find the women baffling and intimidating. Other aspects of sexuality at play in the story irritate me: the prudishness of the Two Rivers folk is especially irksome, and very hard to believe in young men of the age of Rand and Mat and Perrin--don't any teenagers in Emond's Field fool around? This is only partly mitigated by the introduction of other, more sexually open cultures as contrast to the Two Rivers. Rand is too stiff to be wholly likable, but his situation is by far the most interesting thing about WOT; everything else still feels like filler to me, with the exception of some of the quests of the Supergirls. Perrin's indifference to all but his wife is understandable but not terribly interesting (especially when his quest to save Faile from the Shaido is stretched out over an intolerable number of pages), although his quest to save the Two Rivers from the Trollocs in TSR was quite involving. I still prefer both of them to Mat. I know, I know; I'm probably the only WOT fan who doesn't like Mat, and yes, sometimes I find him appealing, especially in battle, but frankly I've never been into characters who are rather devil-may-care and anti-intellectual. I find Nynaeve equally annoying--I hated Nynaeve from her first appearance and only began to like her after her near drowning. As for Egwene, I have nothing against her and have always liked her even when she gets that arrogant streak. Cadsuane was fascinating at first but has proven less so over time. I love Elayne and Min--how could anyone dislike Min? As I write this I'm just a few chapters away from the end of TGH, and therefore one seventh of the way through my fifth reading of WOT. Even though they're almost overfamiliar by this point, I still like these early novels best: the Blight of Bloat doesn't set in until Book 7 ... and I still dread rereading COT.
  13. The Age of Legends is best left largely legendary. However, I love the hints at our own Age that we find in "Lenn flew to the moon in the belly of an eagle made of fire" and "the giant Mosk with his lance of fire that could reach around the world." And especially the Mercedes-Benz hood ornament in that museum!
  14. Another fine rendering of Rand.
  15. "Ashaman, kill!" Great image--a highly memorable scene gets a worthy rendering.
  16. I like this artist's rendition of Rand. The youthful look and red hair are just right. Frankly, Darrell K. Sweet's original WOT covers, while often appealing, always missed the right look for Rand (especially on the artwork for FOH and LOC--Rand looked like that horrid male model Fabio in those.
  17. So, I've only read up through KOD and don't know how much about Taim has yet to be revealed, but it has seemed for years to me that Demandred is and always was Mazrim Taim--the character is mentioned for the first time after we know the Forsaken have been freed, and Taim appears in the narrative only just after we first meet Demandred in person (at the beginning of LOC if I remember correctly). Frankly, though, I'm probably wrong. I do and always did think that Jordan kept too many identities and other facts a secret for too long and for too little purpose. I mean, so what if Moridin is the reincarnation of Ishamael? When that fact was revealed, I remember thinking, Well, yes, of course he is, why did you keep that fact hidden from us for so long--it's not as if it was a mystery to the other Forsaken. (I also confess that I dislike Moridin as a character and concept--from a narrative point of view, introducing him when he did was not a good move on Jordan's part.) Keeping Aginor's reincarnated identity a secret made sense (even if Aginor/Jordan had a hard time keeping the Ashaman character (don't recall his name) from being obviously villainous). As I recall, Jordan didn't even bother trying to keep Lanfear's reincarnated self's original identity a secret. So what's the deal? It's all part of the love/hate relationship I have with WOT and Jordan: that level of complexity is amazing, but the willful obscurity is merely annoying, and over the course of thousands of pages becomes downright infuriating.
  18. Thanks for the replies, friends. What is this Artists Crafters and Writers Guild? Is it a part of Dragonmount, or is it something else entirely?
  19. Hello, WOT fans. I'm a fantasy novelist (first draft of one complete novel and early first draft chapters of another novel in progress are available for reading at my blog, www.bookofzo.blogspot.com; if anyone here feels so inclined, have a glance--but be aware, my work has NOTHING in common with Robert Jordan's stuff, or anyone else's for that matter) and a longtime reader of the Wheel of Time. Over the last fifteen years I've read the available books in the series maybe four times through, and today I'm commencing a new read-through, figuring that by the time I'm through the existant volumes the final book will be on the shelves. On my last read-through I got up to KNIFE OF DREAMS, but I don't remember that one very well--the only scene that sticks in my memory was the capture of Semirhage and the dismembering of Rand. Anyway, over time I expect to post my thoughts on the series here and engage in conversations with other fans. For now, I'll just say that my favorite books in the series are the first--such an engaging journey, a really splendid beginning--and the fourth--what a tantalizing glimpse into the Age of Legends! Unfortunately, most of the other books, while they have their moments, are less gripping to me, and some are downright dull (I dread having to reread CROSSROADS OF TWILIGHT). I like Jordan, and I'm sad he died before finishing the series, but as a fellow writer I really do think that he stretched it out unnecessarily and made a number of errors in so doing. I don't suppose I'm the only person here who thinks so ... am I? I'll find out soon enough. Now it's time to crack open THE EYE OF THE WORLD and witness the birth of Dragonmount....
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