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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

bustycops1987

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  1. 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.
  2. Please see what the mod posted in his Op of this thread. As for the Black Tower, I believe that I would have preferred for the events inside the Black Tower to have been included in either TGS, or TOM. Another small gripe which I have about the Black Tower is that even when RJ was still writing the books, we did not get many scenes actually inside the Black Tower causing me to care very much, one way or the other, about the asha'man who were living and training there. The vast majority of scenes involving asha'man were outside of the Black Tower and were with those whom were helping either Perrin or Rand. In AMOL, I did like the scenes in the Black Tower, and it was great that I finally got to see how a 13 x 13 turning of a channeller was done. I thought it was very cool that Logain was strong enough to never be turned, despite everything that was done to him. The fight scenes inside the Black Tower was interesting, and I loved the unique use of gateways which caused Taim's people to kill each other with the One Power. I was uncertain about what the future of the Black Tower. But then, I was glad that Logain managed to resist temptation and work with his men to save the children. When Logain told the parents, "The Black Tower protects," and the people there responded favorably without fear towards the group of Asha'man, then I knew that RJ intended for the Black Tower to become and remain a popular force for the Light in the future on into the Fourth Age. I'm actually curious to know how much of the Black Tower arc was actually Robert Jordan. Since before he died there was only going to be the one last book, not three, and the Black Tower arc only being brought up and resolved by the third book of the split... it just doesn't seem like the pagecount would have allowed for a proper conclusion to that. I have the sneaking suspicion that RJ in fact left only a smattering of notes about the Black Tower, which is why Sanderson didn't touch it right away and why when he ultimately did he more or less used brand new characters and plotlines to resolve it. Overall I liked the way it was handled but I definitely feel like TGS would have been the proper place to really jump into the Androl-scheming and rescue stuff, since lumping it all into the last book made it feel a bit rushed. But like I said before I have a feeling RJ just hadn't fleshed it out which is why even when he was writing the series, towards the end we had basically no Black Tower povs.
  3. Don't forget that time distorts in Shayol Ghul, the entire last battle happened over days and weeks, but to Rand it had been barely and hour. Mixed with the fact that Rand had the ter'angreal dagger that hid him from the shadow until the last moment (and thus disrupting even Lanfears' ability to find ta'veren) you sort of end up with a paradoxical situation where Rand was already fighting the DO days possibly weeks before Demandred even had lead his army to attack Randland. Add in Demandreds' irrational hatred and obsession with Rand and his suspicion that Rand was secretly hiding/leading the forces of light, it stopped him from outright winning the battle. Since he was afraid Rand was simply waiting for Demandred to commit all of his power and to strike at him while he was weakened/exhausted. They were though. In one of the exchanges between Rand and the Dark Lord, Rand points out the fact that it's not about life or death to the DO, he only kills or doesn't kill depending on which causes more pain and chaos. Which is actually alluded to throughout the previous three or four books with the DO/Morridans' orders that Rand isn't to be killed. Since at that point Rand was ready, and indeed willing, to die... so in that regard keeping him alive causes more anguish and suffering. Well that's part of the while time paradox thing going on, where Rand has only been fighting the DO an hour maybe two, but for everyone else its' been days and weeks. Its' confusing but at that point the only real answer becomes to never break the seals, since as long as they hold the DO will still be on the verge of escaping and Rand can't properly seal the DO away if they're not broken. Also Taim is as petty and power hungry as the rest of the Forsaken at that point and so cares more about besting Demandred in power than he does properly helping the DO. In fact at that point almost every one of the Forsaken is acting on their own plans independent of the DO.
  4. It just struck me when I reread Winters Heart that the entire book lowballed the hell out of A'dam in order to let the Sea Folk escape. In the end of The Great Hunt, for example, Nynaeve comments about how Eqwene didn't try to escape, Eqwene explains how even after she figured out how to unclasp it yet touching the clasp with the intention of opening it forced her hand to knot up. Fast forward to chapter 31 of Winter's Heart and that apparently doesn't exist anymore. The Seanchan always felt way too perfect and indomitable in the first books anyways, but books 8-11 really do seem to undersell how insanely powerful A'dam were and tend to backtrack or ignore the properties they carried in The Great Hunt.
  5. Without Gawyn that whole big Forsaken tower plot falls on it's face. Now you can of course get into the explanations about how coincidences and tiny unrelated actions are a driving force behind the narrative for any part of the series. The fact Gawyn helped kidnap Rand, kept Siuan from being rescued, and acts like a spoiled child makes him incredibly unpopular to the reader already, but then Egwene ignores all of that on top of falling in love with him sort of necessitates at least a little bit of an 'Whaa- why how?' reaction.
  6. I picture Trollocs as just generic Tolkien orcs, I know they have the insane super-height and bulk plus varied animal parts but just in all the battle scenes with thousands of them running about that description fails me and I just picture generic humany orc bad guys. I screwed up a lot of my Seanchan/Aiel images too. Since the Aiel not having dark hair/complexion is just so at odds with how I would picture any nomadic type arid people, and some of the first descriptions of Seanchans I really remember were off that Mor guy and stuff who had blonde hair so I just immediately tagged that entire continent as having really fair-skinned people. Also since I picture Tairens/Aiel as really dark already, it didn't seem as odd that the Seanchan were somewhat the opposite.
  7. It stands to reason that if Semirhage was able to wipe out the Seanchan court in Seandar, that basically any random Asha'man could be doing with the same thing with more success. Even if they weren't as strong as Semirhage I'm not even entirely sure any Damane could ward against Asha'man gateways or block their channeling so that any random towns, garrisons, etc weren't immediately being leveled by fireballs and lightning bolts. Although besides Semirhage no one else in the series has really shown that kind of ingenuity into realizing how incredibly deadly a weapon traveling is, and no one besides Rand of the Forsaken ever seemed to ward areas to any large degree. But yeah unless there's some major abuse with the fact that Rand or Aes Sedai know way more about the power, I don't really see a way for the Seanchan machine to be stopped unless the fact their Sul'dam can channel shatters the Return and causes major rifts or something in the last book.
  8. By the time Perrin was even in a position to deal with Masema properly there were so many other armies in the field even if Perrin or Rand hadn't been busy with other things it wouldn't much have mattered. Even if you ignore Forsaken/Dark One plots and issues dealing with the power, Masemas' ragtag band of 10-20,000 was still less dangerous and influnetial than basically every other army on the field (i.e. Shaido, Seanchan, Tear Rebellion, etc) Now a lot could be said for gateways since Perrin and company could have conceivably solved both the Faile and Masema issues with a few quick gateways, but then you just get stuck up on arguing semantics and how the power could be used more effectively than the characters in the books do it.
  9. I think in general it sort of just depends on how you picture the stuff. In general though I think quivers were more then mentioned often enough for it not to be oversight when they weren't. I always pictured them with bow and quiver, even if every Two Rivers / Aiel mention didn't have a laundry list description of all their specific gear. It still happened often enough with quivers being mentioned that you know it wasn't some huge oversight if all that stuff wasn't listed every single time.
  10. I can actually respect the Mat-Tuon matchup since rather come out of the blue, the whole daughter of the nine moons thing was shadowed well in advance and was a major part of Mats character development. Tallanvor and Gawyn might get my vote since their characters are so one-dimensional but I think their Romances were more just fan service than anything else (The chivalrous knight always get their women, a predominantly young male readerbase almost guarantees it is so). Perrin and Faile for sure though. That whole relationship would have been way better without Failes' jealousy, and if the Hawk + Falcon situation had been done better. I could appreciate Mat-Tuon after a fashion since the pairing itself was so at odds with Mats' character yet still important to his characters' arc. With the Seanchan culture being more than fleshed out. Saldea on the other hand was a complete mystery and when 10~ books in we're finally given the explanation for Failes behavior, it comes well short of expectation and seemed oversimplified. Add in Perrin smelling emotions then understanding 0 of them 0 of the time, and the fact that the Hawk + Falcon thing has nothing to do with wolves or Perrins' character development and... yeah it's just a bunk pair that I skip over in my rereads.
  11. The White Tower as an institution has always sort of reminded me of the Imperial France from the mid 1800s. It's entire reputation merely pulled from predecessors. Their military, for example, was supposedly unrivaled in terms of innovation with their military leaders having a reputation as brilliant tacticians with a tendency for daring tactics. The reality was it was outdated with stuffy unremarkable nobles who took risk avoidance to a fault. But in the same way the second empires' reputation wasn't trashed until they got whipped in the Franco-Prussian war, the White Tower is seen as all-knowing and indomitable until people start meeting the current Aes Sedai.
  12. Well Rand is steadfastly against harming women, more than he has to anyways, which more than accounts for why he wouldn't just go crazy with violence after Alanna's bonding. Also bonding didn't exist in the Age of Legends so even Lews Therin was shocked and surprised by it, which is sort of important since the Lews Therin voice in Rands head was while crazy pretty much a driving force for all of Rands channeling violence. There are plenty of times Rand ignores his inane requests for violence/murder, but I don't remember Rand ever being angry or upset unless the Lews Therin voice was too.
  13. I just write the romance issue off as being a consequence of the absurdly large cast of characters, and stick to filling in the blanks with my own imagination. Which is actually not a bad solution since for stuff like Gawyn/Eqwene it is implied throughout the series that they knew each other from off-page events. In some of the earlier books it's implied Gawyn was around his sister and Eqwene quite often during their training in the White Tower. Also RJ was sort of really bad at writing female characters. Better than most fantasy writers by far but still pretty shallow and unrealistic if we're talking in the grand scheme of literature. Which makes it rather difficult to scrounge together believable romantic subplots on an already budgeted amount of pages.
  14. I've recently reread the entire series, and one thing really jumped out me this time is that at times the characters or series itself doesn't factor in the ramifications of how long people are living. Like if Elayne goes through Eqwenes process of receding her oaths and 'retires' as Aes Sedai she'll live to be well over 500-800+ years long with her strength in the power., yet half her POVs as queen have her making quips about what would be good for the succession when by all accounts with her strength in the power that won't matter for centuries (since even if her kids can channel her own 20~ year the headstart is nothing, and if they can't they'll be dead centuries before she would even need to worry about an heir). Aviendha has that whole Rhuidean future laid out where she views her descendants, but again unless her entire line can channel, she would literally be seeing those futures from her own eyes. Especially in ToM where unless those visions are just showing her a different POV even though herself and her daughter would basically be alive through those entire sequence of visions. Obviously any of the strong channelers can still die well before their time due to war or whatever, but the characters or even the books don't seem to take into account what it really means to have everyone living for near millennia. I guess it just annoys most with the Aviendha thing because literally she is worried about the wayward path her Aiel descendants take, rather than wondering "Wait what the hell killed me and all my friends centuries early, we should still be alive". Especially since the only plausible theory I can think of is that the Last Battle wipes out most everyone, except when did they all find the time to have their kids? If I just ignore all the factoids about random strong channelers, or un-oathed kin women living for 700+ years the continuity of the series seems to make more sense then, since a few decades longer than normal doesn't muddle things up quite as much.
  15. I have, much of the 'theory' seems to be based on distorting things Bashere has said or thought. As far back as page 3 it boiled down to back and forth about Bashere being a darkfriend because of the fierceness of Rands' gaze. The fact many of Rands' companions are at times frightened or concerned by his looks or use of the power isn't in the same vein as the way darkfriends are seemingly flushed out and harmed. Besides with regards to most of the viewings and dreams throughout the series it's been painstakingly obvious of their meanings. At least to the point that the reader knows the answer most earlier than the characters. I would put more money on Sanderson botching up his own word choice then I would on jumping on a far-fetched interpretation of certain phrases to implicate Bashere as a darkfriend based on viewings or his observations which required to ignore things Rand has specifically said. If we're going that far-out, you may as well claim Mat Cauthon as the betrayer at Rand's side because of his apparent betrayals during alternate timelines that he saw when they traveled through the Portal stones (which vaguely implies that he at least has the mindset to betray Rand without being a DF), potentially because of the fact that he still might be tainted by the Shadar Logoth dagger enough to be affected by it if in close proximity. There's at least evidence of that being plausible without too much word mincing like the Bashere theory requires and yet it still requires way too much reader creativity.
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