I just finished book #10 of Robert Jordan's stupid series.

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And once again I'm left with an irksome nothing-has-been-resolved vibe, much like the last 5+ books.

Yet I'll read the next one, and the one after that, and...

nickalicious (nickalicious), Monday, 27 January 2003 21:07 (11 years ago) Permalink

I have the ultimate strategy. I've still only read the first half of the first book. I'm just going to wait for the series to finally end whenever it does and then ridiculously indulge.

I remember people discussing the plot of the first book -- when I was in college and Jesus Jones were on top of the charts.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 27 January 2003 21:11 (11 years ago) Permalink

Isn't it lovely? Main fucking character barely fucking manages to show up at the end.

(and yes, I'll be waiting for the next one.)

teeny (teeny), Monday, 27 January 2003 21:58 (11 years ago) Permalink

urrrgh. want.

di smith (lucylurex), Monday, 27 January 2003 23:22 (11 years ago) Permalink

I started to read the first one. But gave up half-way through. It was sorta...blah.

Your talking about those Wheels Of Winter books, right? Somewhat like LOTR?

Juan (Juan), Monday, 27 January 2003 23:24 (11 years ago) Permalink

The question is whether he'll actually finish these things before he dies, or carry on in perpetuity like L. Ron Hubbard.

Dave Beckhouse (Dave Beckhouse), Tuesday, 28 January 2003 00:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

I liked the first one a bit. The second one was ok. I only got halfway through the dreadfully boring third one before realizing that I probably wasn't going to like anything from then on.

Vinnie (vprabhu), Tuesday, 28 January 2003 03:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

I gather he is going to keep writing until they nail the coffin shut.

Do these books have any redeeming features? no one who reads them seems to have a good word for them.

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 28 January 2003 13:10 (11 years ago) Permalink

I love them. In fact, I want to reread the first nine so that I don't spend the first half of the tenth one trying to figure out which characters are new and which ones are recurring.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 28 January 2003 14:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

Oh, they're the best, infuriatingly good. The reason everyone speaks of them with hatred in their voice is that you get so wrapped up in them that you can't make yourself walk away and you get excited when there's a new one and then when you finish it you realize that not much actually happened. Actually not much happened in, like, books 7-9 only. Some big stuff happens at the end of this one (please keep thread free of spoilers!) I mean, if you like them, you'll persevere, if you didn't get hooked by the third, Vinnie, there's no hope.

The weird thing for me personally is that I will tolerate Jordan's meandering and excruciating detail but I had no patience for Tollkien's meandering. Mebbe I should try Tollkien again.

I actually am rereading the series at the moment and I'm on #7. It's a nice comfort read...just chip away a couple of chapters before bed every night.

Oh, and to answer Juan's question, it's the Wheel of Time series. First book is called The Eye Of The World, if you'd like to get hooked. They're all about 700+ pages and there'll be at least a dozen.

teeny (teeny), Tuesday, 28 January 2003 16:22 (11 years ago) Permalink

I think he's planning on finishing the series in the next few books...he has an obvious obsession with the number 13, and the weird start-stop check-in-on-what-everyone's-doing flow of Crossroads of Twilight seems to be setting the story up for a finale.

I think the reason people refer to these books with frustration or angst is that there is a growing unresolvedness in the series, which seems to be building us up for one massive climactic final book.

And I had the same plan as Ned when my friends first got into the series, but I gave in when book 4 came out, 'cause my foolish self thought it was close to the end of the series. HA!

nickalicious (nickalicious), Tuesday, 28 January 2003 18:26 (11 years ago) Permalink

Excruciating detail is exactly the phrase I was looking for, teeny. I hated the details he just poured on and on - the first book was interesting enough for me to make it through, but it wasn't worth the effort after that.

I felt the same way about Tolkien when I first read Fellowship several years ago. But I picked that series up again just before the movies came out and I liked them a lot more, so perhaps I'll try the Wheel of Time books again in a few years.

Vinnie (vprabhu), Tuesday, 28 January 2003 20:37 (11 years ago) Permalink

2 years pass...
I'm re-reading them now. Just began book seven. It ought to be noted that I never finished Book 8 the first time I read through them, but I think I'll get to the end this time.

Ian John50n (orion), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:43 (8 years ago) Permalink

I actually bet he's written them all and is just doling them out one by one to pay his tax bills.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:44 (8 years ago) Permalink

Dude could really use an editor.
By book four or five, I'd say, you can tell he'd gotten more clout with Tor and was able to get away with absurdly unnecessary scenes.

Ian John50n (orion), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:46 (8 years ago) Permalink

this is why a friend of mine swore never again to read a series that wasn't completed

mookieproof (mookieproof), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

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MAGIC IS BAD FOR YOU UNLESS YOU HAVE TITS!!!MAGIC IS BAD FOR YOU UNLESS YOU HAVE TITS!!!
MAGIC IS BAD FOR YOU UNLESS YOU HAVE TITS!!!

MAGIC IS BAD FOR YOU UNLESS YOU HAVE TITS!!!

TOMBOT, Monday, 2 May 2005 20:51 (8 years ago) Permalink

OMG

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:52 (8 years ago) Permalink

Can we pitch that as a t-shirt design to Robert Jordan?

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:52 (8 years ago) Permalink

Tombot should film the adaptation. There should be nothing but blood and robots.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

what are these books about? are they sci-fi or fantasy?

s1ocki (slutsky), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

Yes.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

(brain implodes)

s1ocki (slutsky), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:54 (8 years ago) Permalink

Right now I am totally hearing a booming gabba beat with explosions and a robot chanting "MAGIC IS BAD FOR YOU UNLESS YOU HAVE TITS!!!" and a sample of Chuck D shouting "Breakdown!" at specific intervals.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

AHAHAHAA

Make the dream REAL, Dan.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 2 May 2005 20:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

so someone sell me on these! i'll totally read them.

s1ocki (slutsky), Monday, 2 May 2005 21:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

Read the first 5 to 7 of them, and then when the deceleration of the plot bugs you enough try your hardest to forget that the series exists. There's NO WAY I'm going to wade through the last 4 or so books I haven't read just to get to that awesome apocalyptic climax we were promised for-fucking-ever ago.

Dan I., Monday, 2 May 2005 21:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

I think whichever is the first book where none of the main bad guys (I forget what their titles are) is captured or killed was the one where I stopped. All that happened in that book was, like, a march from one state to another and a couple of strategic alliances.

Dan I., Monday, 2 May 2005 21:28 (8 years ago) Permalink

I heard the forc-..er.. Source was cleansed though! That's a pretty big deal.

Dan I., Monday, 2 May 2005 21:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

Yeah! Rand is still crazy, though. Mat's going crazy, too.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 2 May 2005 21:30 (8 years ago) Permalink

Fuck! The first 4 or so are SOOOOOO good. But the rest are awful. SAD

A homunculus of Darby Crash, .... created for the purposes of *EVIL* (ex machina, Monday, 2 May 2005 22:18 (8 years ago) Permalink

DOOOOOOOOOORKS.

haha sorry.

g e o f f (gcannon), Monday, 2 May 2005 22:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

a friend of mine in HS once explained the whole cosmology to me (the uh 'wheel of time' deal) and then was like "uh actually i kind of believe it."

g e o f f (gcannon), Monday, 2 May 2005 22:23 (8 years ago) Permalink

The description of magic use are pretty cool as well.

A homunculus of Darby Crash, .... created for the purposes of *EVIL* (ex machina, Monday, 2 May 2005 22:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

I've said this before possibly, but the main point of the last few books seems to be about listening to the inside thoughts of random characters as they totally misinterpret the actions of all the other characters (like, that second most recent book actually ended with something important, so the most recent book seemed to be about three quarters everyone going: "gee, I wonder what that big explosion was").

But the thing is, this is both annoying and also kind of impressively audacious. I don't think that Jordan is intentionally stalling so much as just suffering from a bad case of being fascinated with the cataloguing of all of his characters' inner worlds to an obsessive-compulsive degree.

It's like, the series started off as Lost and somewhere along the way became The O.C.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 2 May 2005 22:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

Now I'm imagining Rand dancing to Death Cub for Cutie and meeting George Lucas.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 2 May 2005 22:57 (8 years ago) Permalink

The Wheel of Time #11: The Torrents of Emo

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 01:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

*resists BitTorrents joke, just*

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 01:58 (8 years ago) Permalink

Tim I actually really liked that aspect of it in the ones I read. That Domani (or whatever) Captain with the bad accent would mention some trinket in passing, and then in a whole different book some Aes Sedai (is that how you spell em?) would talk about the legend of this one ancient artifact and then in a whole different book rand would find it and do awesome shit with it. It's, like, Jordan sets these little foreshadowing plot barbs in and then cashes in the chips later on (omg I crossed the streams there).

Dan I. (Dan I.), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 02:26 (8 years ago) Permalink

That's what really sucks about all this too is that there're so many loose ends that I'm madly curious about, like what ever happened between Mat and the Daughter of the Nine Moons, and was there ever any more about the people on the other side of the desert all the way off the map to the east that ritualistically kill their kings all the time or something like that. And what about the lizard people through that one doorway, huh? Ooh! and what about that bad guy that only appeared in one scene in one book who could apparently channel the True Source and had a blue line crossing his eyeballs and scared the shit out of the other bad guys!?
But I'll be damned if I'm going to read the books to find out.
I don't know if I'm still super-nerdy for even wanting to know about this stuff, or if I'm redeemed by refusing to knuckle under and read 5 more books about bickering Aes Sedais.

Dan I. (Dan I.), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 02:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

Dan I, I kiss you!! I guess I will have to reread these at some point.

But I mean.... fuck! I started reading them when I was still going to little kids' summer camp and here I am entering the adult world.

A homunculus of Darby Crash, .... created for the purposes of *EVIL* (ex machina, Tuesday, 3 May 2005 02:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

the worse people try and make these sound the more i want to read them

tom west (thomp), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 03:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

Dan two of the loose ends you referred to have been picked up on, one is almost certainly to be resumed er any book now and one I think is a passing curio.

I love the recurring plot trinkets as well, the plot intricacy is the best thing about the series I reckon. What I'm referring to are situations like seventy pages of Perrin worrying about nothing in particular or Aviendha and Elayne envying eachother's hairsytles.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 03:14 (8 years ago) Permalink

i never got through the 4th book. it just got all samey. has the goddamned guy saved the world yet or what?

lemin (lemin), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 04:06 (8 years ago) Permalink

what's it about?!

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 04:23 (8 years ago) Permalink

kind of a messiah plot where the messiah has a possibly crippling defect

ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 04:38 (8 years ago) Permalink

and this is milked for dramatic tension for THOUSANDS of pages.

ryan (ryan), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 04:41 (8 years ago) Permalink

The best bits in the books I read (up to nr 6, I think. Blame ILX. I was all snarky, but some people (Di, Dan) here said they were good) were the bits where you got these piecemeal references to the technologically advanced earlier age that nothing survived from, except fragments.

Did the sorceress woman who vanished through the magic doorway ever come back?

Gene Wolfe's forst set of books abt Severian the Torturer pwn these books in just about everyway, mind.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 10:39 (8 years ago) Permalink

Am I the only person waiting for Min, Elayne and Aviendha to kiss?

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 10:45 (8 years ago) Permalink

(don't answer that)

The Ghost of Internet Slash To Thread (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 3 May 2005 10:46 (8 years ago) Permalink

i don't think i can.
i'm scared.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Monday, 21 January 2013 00:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

i guess we don't have to worry about spoilers anymore

Number None, Monday, 21 January 2013 00:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

srsly ian read them if time allows- the last three in particular you'd fly through

tho idk maybe you'd need to start all over again to remember everything

tho again that said most of em are kinda just forgotten about rly, come the last battle

lemmy's rabbles (darraghmac), Monday, 21 January 2013 00:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

i think if i started with path of daggers or crown of swords or whatever i would be okay.
but i don't own 'em anymore. or i do, but they're in a box in my dad's attic.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Monday, 21 January 2013 00:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

ebookssssss

lemmy's rabbles (darraghmac), Monday, 21 January 2013 00:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

this was sold out everywhere when I tried to buy it on coming back from thailand, so had to wait a week.

I enjoyed it heaps even though every criticism so far is OTM.

Making Egwene such an unimpeachable hero was a great bitchslap to all her internet haters (though presumably rj had planned that plot point a long time) - I heartily approve.

Tim F, Monday, 28 January 2013 06:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

p sure the last one of these I read was book 9, should I read this new thingy and just see how it all ends

(panda) (gun) (wrapped gift) (silby), Monday, 28 January 2013 07:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

does it end with Rand taking a bath with his three girlfriends

(panda) (gun) (wrapped gift) (silby), Monday, 28 January 2013 07:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

basically

Bel-Air the Fresh Prince, sitting in a chair (DJP), Monday, 28 January 2013 12:24 (1 year ago) Permalink

Just shows what jesus could have gotten up to if he hadnt lived with his mum

bully4u.co.uk (darraghmac), Monday, 28 January 2013 13:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

I skipped and picked through bits again from the last few chapters. Not great stuff. Last battle essentially turned into an ashaman i couldnt gaf about playing benny hill with gateways and cannon. The last chapters are really garbled. Nothing ever feels like it is in the balance. Nothing has since rand came down from dragonmount, maybe. Lamp v otm.

the right to beef at (darraghmac), Monday, 11 February 2013 02:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

Don't want to reread any of it lest I form the same opinion.

Most disappointingly lightweight plot line was the treatment of the Aiel storyline, which was fine in substance - generally speaking the idea was a nice meld of the prior prophecies, their general narrative arc esp. in books 4 - 6, and the out-of-nowhere stuff from Aviendha's visions - but so glossed over and pat-seeming in execution that it may as well not have been there; it felt like a false resolution.

Tim F, Monday, 11 February 2013 03:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

There's so much of that, tho. Logain's ten minute faux-struggle, cut. Perrin loses er outdoors again for ten mins, cut. Elayne definitely gonna be killed this time lol not really, cut. Cmon folks we're meant to be trimming this shit down.

actually, rand goes and talks to a dark one in a cave, decides not to surrender, cut.

the right to beef at (darraghmac), Monday, 11 February 2013 12:20 (1 year ago) Permalink

some dude with a sword attacks Demandred. Repeat.

Number None, Monday, 11 February 2013 14:45 (1 year ago) Permalink

RIPeat

the right to beef at (darraghmac), Monday, 11 February 2013 14:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

For real tho i'm srsly pissed we didnt get a demandred book he was awes

the right to beef at (darraghmac), Monday, 11 February 2013 15:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

There definitely was a lot of obvious signposting going on in this but with all of the buildup with near misses and getting Healed from the brink of death, I totally did not see Gawyn's death coming; after he died though I figured it was a matter of time before Egwene bit it as well.

I'd love to read a postlude about how Pevara changes the outlook and purpose of the Red Ajah in the aftermath of this book, actually

Ima R.A.E.D. (DJP), Monday, 11 February 2013 15:11 (1 year ago) Permalink

Yeah, the unwritten ps's here would have been much more interesting (and fitting) than the 75% pointless samey battle we got.

the right to beef at (darraghmac), Monday, 11 February 2013 15:15 (1 year ago) Permalink

Aiel, white/black towers, seanchan, all of it v deliberately left hanging

the right to beef at (darraghmac), Monday, 11 February 2013 15:17 (1 year ago) Permalink

lol I've already forgotten who was railroaded into becoming Amyrlin at the end

Ima R.A.E.D. (DJP), Monday, 11 February 2013 15:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

> For real tho i'm srsly pissed we didnt get a demandred book he was awes

well there is a demandred in shara short story coming in, i think, april

more thots on book later, just, well, not re-read but skimmed it thru it again today while stuck in various waiting rooms

H in Addis, Monday, 11 February 2013 15:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

Yeah i picked out the ten or twelve passages that werent ppl easily killing fades and trollocs and just flipped through them again

habemus paparazzi (darraghmac), Monday, 11 February 2013 18:06 (1 year ago) Permalink

Kinda fitting that while on some objective level too much attention was devoted Pevara/Androl in this book I actually thought this was some of the strongest stuff... excepting the fact that they mindread in SMS.

Tim F, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah, i quite liked their scenes. Maybe Saunderson felt he could cut loose a bit more with minor characters

Number None, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:23 (1 year ago) Permalink

not sure why i'm apparently unable to type Sanderson

Number None, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:23 (1 year ago) Permalink

I think the first thing that needed to happen to make this truly work would have been to turn it into two books, the first book ending with:

(a) everyone realising the four commanders are trying to destroy the armies; and
(b) Rand touching the black bubble and falling unconscious.

Tim F, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:51 (1 year ago) Permalink

Pevara androl were sanderson characters and didnt need to be all over the book. Regardless of how strong or not the stuff was (and tbh i was meh-ish) they did not earn 10% attention in a finale that was already struggling for space

habemus paparazzi (darraghmac), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

No that's right, my point was that b/c he devoted too much attention to them I actually felt their scenes read better than the more compressed-feeling big plot developments.

Tim F, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

Agreed on that, yeah

habemus paparazzi (darraghmac), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 01:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

I think the first thing that needed to happen to make this truly work would have been to turn it into two books

signed, Tim Foherty

kill yuppies (Lamp), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 01:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

Pevara was introduced in the seventh book and Androl in the ninth; how does that make them Sanderson characters?

Ima R.A.E.D. (DJP), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 02:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

(Unless you just mean Sanderson wrote more of their material than Jordan did, which is kind if a necessary side-effect of dude dying)

Ima R.A.E.D. (DJP), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 02:05 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah - their forced-seeming courtship and the general dynamics of their relationship were total jordan too tbh. i think the stuff at the black tower was some of the best and most intense stuff of the entire last book and was some of the only material that seemed almost underplayed but androl was a shitty character outside of those first few chapters i couldnt help but resent having to spend so much time w/him

kill yuppies (Lamp), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 02:12 (1 year ago) Permalink

Idk as i read their stuff its got a sanderson feel, this may be wholly imagined. Also cant help but doubt jordan meant for so many major and interesting characters to fade out without trace while such major focus lands on (for all that dan is correct in their debuts) two johnny-come-lately characters (and there wasnt any meat to them until sanderson took over.

again, this is obv just what i'm attributing while reading, it's subjective as can be, but it does feel slightly crowbarred in, a kind of power grab that doesnt fit with what (imo) the conclusion needed.

habemus paparazzi (darraghmac), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

It's just a very weird thing to say regarding Pevara, since she was introduced eons ago and always put into a situation where you would expect her to become a very important force for transformation within the Red Ajah; in fact, I'd say she was introduced by Jordan specifically to signpost to the readers how the Red Ajah could pull itself out of the tailspin the Black Ajah had cooked up for it.

Androl didn't become important until after Jordan died but he was also clearly (to me, anyway) someone introduced late in the game by Jordan as an example of how the channellers were going to have to get past the idea of raw power determining leadership in order to be successful.

I have no opinion on their relationship stuff, that probably felt Sandersony because there was very little sniffing, braid-pulling, or walking in on each other in various states of undress.

Ima R.A.E.D. (DJP), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 14:15 (1 year ago) Permalink

Lol oh shit was pevara one of the reds involved in investigating the black ajah? Ah well i mean fair enough, id say my bad but rly its tough enough to keep track of the top twenty characters let alone the ones that go from hardnosed white tower detectives to smoochy leather fetishists overnight tbrr

habemus paparazzi (darraghmac), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 15:23 (1 year ago) Permalink

lol Pevara was the ringleader of the Reds investigating the Black Ajah!

Ima R.A.E.D. (DJP), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 16:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

Fuck off, i'm NOT reading it again

...to work on his autobiography, "kiddyfiddling as rome burns" (darraghmac), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 16:11 (1 year ago) Permalink

The funniest thing about that whole plot was how Seaine or whatever the fuck her name was started things off and then Jordan sidelined her when he realised Pevara was more interesting/useful.

It's easy to assume that Jordan had this compulsion to follow plot lines and characters regardless of whether there was an ultimate point, but there's heaps of examples of this e.g. Sorilea effectively replacing Bair (only for Sanderson to bring the latter back in the final book).

Which reminds me, the lack of a Sorilea is a darkfriend big reveal was half missed opportunity and half relief bc I like her a lot.

Tim F, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 21:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

I'm trying to think of who the top 20 characters in this actually are

I mean obv: Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, Min, Aviendha, but who comes next? Spouses (Tuon, Faile)? White/Black Tower folk (Siuan, Logain, etc)? Forsaken (Llanfer, Demandred, Moridin, Moghedien, Graendel, etc)? The great generals? Aiel (Rhuarc, Amys, etc)? Does Min actually rank in the top 20 or does she get extra weight due to being one of Rand's Furies? etc etc etc

Ima R.A.E.D. (DJP), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 21:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

Min totally ranks. She's been having pretty crucial POVs since book 4.

Tim F, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 21:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

I mean, I think she ranks, but I wasn't sure if that was just me rooting for the plucky precog

Ima R.A.E.D. (DJP), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 21:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

here, what was all that Perrin Lanfear business about?

Number None, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 22:17 (1 year ago) Permalink

Top good guy characters:

Rand
Mat
Perrin
Egwene
Nynaeve
Elayne
Min
Aviendha
Moiraine
Lan
Thom
Siuan
Verin
Gawyn
Galad
Faile
Cadsuane
Sorilea
Tuon

What's interesting about the above list is that, with the exception of the final three, all of them had made an appearance by the third book. That in itself is not surprising of course - you'd expect the basic contours of the story (and hence its main characters) to be set up in the early books - but what is surprising is that Cadsuane and Sorilea are the only two "good" characters who feel like they were crucial to later plot devlopments but were not necessary (i.e. RJ post book 3 could have never introduced them) whereas even Tuon had been foreshadowed pretty heavily. Then, of course, Cadsuane and Sorilea were basically mirroring characters with mirroring roles (and a direct working relationship with one another).

Tim F, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 22:20 (1 year ago) Permalink

here, what was all that Perrin Lanfear business about?

― Number None, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 10:17 PM (2 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

That segment of the fanbase that is invested in tracing the mythological reference points in the story have long claimed that from a mythic perspective Lanfear was tied more closely to Perrin than to Rand.

Shoving it all into the final book made it seem both shoehorned and opportunist, in several senses: opportunist for Lanfear in finding someone to play with while Rand was otherwise occupied and seemingly indifferent; opportunist for the authors for effectively the same reasons and also as a way of giving Perrin a role to play in the final "real" last battle plus score a Forsaken kill.

See also Matt dealing with Padan Fain.

As with most of the big plot developments in the final book, in the abstract there's a great symmetry to this, I think, being that while Rand (who lives with LTT's memories) has to deal with the question of whether a world of imperfection, injustice, evil, pain, etc. is worth saving, Perrin (the archetypal humble leader) deals with the character who represents the evil of untrammelled ambition, while Mat (the military genius who retains the capacity to laugh) deals with the evil born of a desire for revenge shorn of ethics. Basically Lanfear and Fain are the two main embodiments of forms of "evil" that are not simply a derivation of the big bad.

So the idea becomes Rand needs them at the last battle not just because he needs their help in a prosaic sense to avoid getting killed, but because "evil" as such takes multiple forms and hence needs to be resisted in multiple ways.

Plus similarly Perrin/Lanfear have Tel'aran'rhiod skillz and Mat has the knife connection to Mashadar (but the whole immunisation metaphor was so tritely executed it was laughable).

So I expect that all of the above had been planned from the very beginning. But the execution was so clumsy because it was done so hurriedly and was so pat.

If the Lanfear/Perrin plot had been set up in Towers of Midnight - i.e. Lanfear had been stalking Perrin while he trained with Hopper - it wouldn't have seemed nearly so arbitrary. I'm guessing Brandon decided that to do that would interfere with the "is Lanfear really evil" fake-cliffhanger in that book.

Tim F, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 22:35 (1 year ago) Permalink

i think one of the more interesting things about the wot is how willing jordan was to sideline important characters if he thought it helped further the story or made things more interesting. like removing almost all the rand pov chapters from 'the dragon reborn' ends up making the book more effective - keeping rand's goals and mental state opaque even to the reader makes the book more exciting, 'raises the stakes' &c.

but what is surprising is that Cadsuane and Sorilea are the only two "good" characters who feel like they were crucial to later plot devlopments but were not necessary

haha i think part of the development of the plot/placement of characters w/in the narrative was structured to show how necessity was the driving force - you were where the pattern/rand needed you to be &c &c

idk i think theres really just rand - everyone else. elan morin has a claim to be the next most 'important' character if only because of jordans love of mirroring/balancing but i think its hard to make a defined hierarchy, philosophically events dictated to characters rather than the opposite? i also loved how jordan would repeatedly bring back incredibly minor characters both as grace notes but also to show the sort of chain of cause and effect that undergirded the idea of the pattern

kill yuppies (Lamp), Tuesday, 12 February 2013 22:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

i think one of the more interesting things about the wot is how willing jordan was to sideline important characters if he thought it helped further the story or made things more interesting. like removing almost all the rand pov chapters from 'the dragon reborn' ends up making the book more effective - keeping rand's goals and mental state opaque even to the reader makes the book more exciting, 'raises the stakes' &c.

Absolutely.

Similar in the treatment (though more specific in purpose), what made Verin and Sorilea such interesting characters the whole way through was how carefully calibrated their POVs were such that you never really knew what their ultimate intentions were.

This was realised brilliantly with Verin of course. With Sorilea I think BS just ran out of time to do anything with it.

I'm not sure what would have been more satisfying: her being a darkfriend (perhaps she could have been crucial to Graendal having a bigger impact at Shayol Ghul than she actually did), or her turning out to have a much more complex/involved endgame in mind (presumably centered around the future of the Aiel) than we ever guessed.

Tim F, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 23:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

You ppl are memory wizards

...to work on his autobiography, "kiddyfiddling as rome burns" (darraghmac), Wednesday, 13 February 2013 00:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

For real tho i'm srsly pissed we didnt get a demandred book he was awes

so i guess they ended up making this

im a bogbrew bitch (Lamp), Saturday, 7 September 2013 05:05 (7 months ago) Permalink


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