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Wheel of Time Discussion - Spoilers(with book spoilers)

Parmandur

Book-Friend
So, looks like the start is strong in terms of viewership:

“'We can firmly say that Wheel of Time was the most watched series premiere of the year and one of the Top 5 series launches of all time for Prime Video,' Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke told Deadline about the debut, acknowledging that the company — like most streamers — 'try to figure out how transparent we are going to be in the future' with ratings."

"Prime Video is among the SVOD platforms that do not disclose viewership data but Salke revealed that “there were tens and tens of millions of streams” for The Wheel Of Time in the first three days of its release, with the US, India, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany as the top countries."


 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
None of them are even similar to any of the others, and frankly I'm not sure any are similar to Polgara.

You might want to read up on James Oliver Rigney's other credits under other names and his other work under the pseudonym Robert Jordan, such as his many Conan works which are widely considered some of the best works by secondary authors, before calling either of those authors more "pro" than him.

I like Sanderson, but he is absolutely in Jordan's shadow in nearly every respect, and Martin is...fine, but overrated, and his impact is nowhere near that of Jordan's, nor is his body of work.

The small details are not a weakness, they're just a style of writing that you don't necessarily prefer.

On the contrary, I very much prefer Jordan's style in terms of personal taste: by "pro" I mean thst Sanderson and Martin were formed as professional writers, as their primary skill set. They are writers who learned the tricks of the trade in writers rooms and literature classrooms. Robert Jordan was not, and was a literate man who took up writing as a secondary or tertiary career after some long life experience. He does things that a Hollywood type like Martin or a M.F.A. like Sanderson wouldn't do, so it is not "professional." Not "professional" doesn't mean not good, and out if style isn't wrong (see also, J. R. R. Tolkien).

Beyond WoT, I've read the Conan Books, Warrior of the Altaii, and Cheyenne Raiders myself.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Every single real life human I have ever met puts lie to this claim.
When I get mad sometimes I clench my fists. Other times I clench my jaw. Rarely I punch a pillow or something soft. Sometimes yell. Sometimes I speak very softly. Sometimes I say nothing at all and just stare. Sometimes I pace. I don't do any of those anywhere near all the time.
 

Mordhau

Adventurer
When I get mad sometimes I clench my fists. Other times I clench my jaw. Rarely I punch a pillow or something soft. Sometimes yell. Sometimes I speak very softly. Sometimes I say nothing at all and just stare. Sometimes I pace. I don't do any of those anywhere near all the time.
It's not the fact of the mannerism that draws attention, it's the repetitive elaboration of descriptive detail.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
When I get mad sometimes I clench my fists. Other times I clench my jaw. Rarely I punch a pillow or something soft. Sometimes yell. Sometimes I speak very softly. Sometimes I say nothing at all and just stare. Sometimes I pace. I don't do any of those anywhere near all the time.
I guarantee, without the least thread of doubt, that someone that has known you for years could describe a behavior, tick, etc, that you perform reliably under a given type circumstance.

I am skeptical that an exception exists or has ever existed in all of human history.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
On the contrary, I very much prefer Jordan's style in terms of personal taste: by "pro" I mean thst Sanderson and Martin were formed as professional writers, as their primary skill set. They are writers who learned the tricks of the trade in writers rooms and literature classrooms. Robert Jordan was not, and was a literate man who took up writing as a secondary or tertiary career after some long life experience. He does things that a Hollywood type like Martin or a M.F.A. like Sanderson wouldn't do, so it is not "professional." Not "professional" doesn't mean not good, and out if style isn't wrong (see also, J. R. R. Tolkien).

Beyond WoT, I've read the Conan Books, Warrior of the Altaii, and Cheyenne Raiders myself.
Ah, I see. I disagree with the choice of terminology, but I won’t nitpick, knowing the intended meaning.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Ah, I see. I disagree with the choice of terminology, but I won’t nitpick, knowing the intended meaning.
I'd be open to a different way of saying it, but it seems the most efficient thst I can think of: "consensus mainstream style recommendations among late 20th century Anglo-American writers" might be more precise.
 

Mercurius

Legend
None of them are even similar to any of the others, and frankly I'm not sure any are similar to Polgara.
Well, that wasn't my impression 25 years ago, but again, it has been awhile. I remember thinking that--at the least--his female characters were more similar to each other than his males. It was a common view, iirc.

I like Sanderson, but he is absolutely in Jordan's shadow in nearly every respect, and Martin is...fine, but overrated, and his impact is nowhere near that of Jordan's, nor is his body of work.
What do you mean by "impact?" Impact on what? Fantasy literature? Culture? World events? Cosmic history?

The small details are not a weakness, they're just a style of writing that you don't necessarily prefer.
True. He is more Dickensian than Hemingwaysian (awkward). I think part of his appeal for many was how granular his descriptions were. But it is a stylistic preference, or a spectrum that he's on one end of and someone like Michael Moorcock is on the other (at least his earlier stuff, pre-Gloriana).
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
Well, that wasn't my impression 25 years ago, but again, it has been awhile. I remember thinking that--at the least--his female characters were more similar to each other than his males. It was a common view, iirc.
It is a frequently stated view, but it never made sense to me: Jordan has quite distinctive female characters. Which becomes even more evident when the POV characters start coming from cultures beyond the Two Rivers (Aviendha on a boat might be one of the finest pieces of third person limited narration I've ever read, in a literary sense).
What do you mean by "impact?" Impact on what? Fantasy literature? Culture? World events? Cosmic history?
I can't speak for @doctorbadwolf , but for myself: all of the above. Martin has some talent as a wordsmith and has had an hour of popularity, but his books are ultimately meaningless (very literally, the point is to negate the concept of meaning thematically).

Just in cultural terms, Wheel of Time is necessarily more influential, as part of it's influence is Martin writing his books.
 

Mercurius

Legend
It is a frequently stated view, but it never made sense to me: Jordan has quite distinctive female characters. Which becomes even more evident when the POV characters start coming from cultures beyond the Two Rivers (Aviendha on a boat might be one of the finest pieces of third person limited narration I've ever read, in a literary sense).

I can't speak for @doctorbadwolf , but for myself: all of the above. Martin has some talent as a wordsmith and has had an hour of popularity, but his books are ultimately meaningless (very literally, the point is to negate the concept of meaning thematically).

Just in cultural terms, Wheel of Time is necessarily more influential, as part of it's influence is Martin writing his books.
I think that is debatable. Mind you, I say this as someone who preferred Wheel of Time to Game of Thrones, for a variety of reasons. But I think in terms of cultural impact, at least as of right now, GoT--via the tv series--inhabited a space in the public mind that WoT has not (yet) touched.

Now within fantasy literature is a different matter, although I still think isn't a clear-cut case.

As for your last sentence, I think that is a bit dubious, because then we can say that Tolkien trumps all, or even, Shakespeare or Homer or Gilgamesh trumps all. I think it is more meaningful to consider every book or story or author as a starting point of a "sphere of influence," and then specify a context.

So I think within the context of fantasy literature, it is debatable. Within the context of Western culture, GoT has been more impactful (so far).

In terms of cosmic history, neither is more or less impactful unless, of course, WoT inspires some mad scientist to create balefire, and then we're in trouble.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think that is debatable. Mind you, I say this as someone who preferred Wheel of Time to Game of Thrones, for a variety of reasons. But I think in terms of cultural impact, at least as of right now, GoT--via the tv series--inhabited a space in the public mind that WoT has not (yet) touched.

Now within fantasy literature is a different matter, although I still think isn't a clear-cut case.

As for your last sentence, I think that is a bit dubious, because then we can say that Tolkien trumps all, or even, Shakespeare or Homer or Gilgamesh trumps all. I think it is more meaningful to consider every book or story or author as a starting point of a "sphere of influence," and then specify a context.

So I think within the context of fantasy literature, it is debatable. Within the context of Western culture, GoT has been more impactful (so far).

In terms of cosmic history, neither is more or less impactful unless, of course, WoT inspires some mad scientist to create balefire, and then we're in trouble.
More than Tolkien even, the success of the Wheel of Time in the early 90's(and Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn but that's another story altogether) is what led to Game of Thrones being a going publishing concern: Martin saw what was being done in that space, and left his Hollywood gig to throw his hat in yhst ring.

And even aside from GoT, a lot of pop culture from the past 30 years has a clear trace of Wheel of Time DNA present (Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra being prime examples).
 




doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
More than Tolkien even, the success of the Wheel of Time in the early 90's(and Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn but that's another story altogether) is what led to Game of Thrones being a going publishing concern: Martin saw what was being done in that space, and left his Hollywood gig to throw his hat in yhst ring.

And even aside from GoT, a lot of pop culture from the past 30 years has a clear trace of Wheel of Time DNA present (Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra being prime examples).
Also, the impact of GoT seems to have been quite brief and shallow. Other than people obnoxiously parroting the phrasing of “bend the knee”, and some actors having thier careers launched, I can’t think of any impact the show has had that lasted beyond the immediate period after the airing of the finale.

I guess the books probably influenced a few writers, but I can’t recall anyone I’ve read citing Martin as an important influence.

To be fair, I only read the first book, and couldn’t bring myself to bother with the rest of the series.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Also, the impact of GoT seems to have been quite brief and shallow. Other than people obnoxiously parroting the phrasing of “bend the knee”, and some actors having thier careers launched, I can’t think of any impact the show has had that lasted beyond the immediate period after the airing of the finale.

I guess the books probably influenced a few writers, but I can’t recall anyone I’ve read citing Martin as an important influence.

To be fair, I only read the first book, and couldn’t bring myself to bother with the rest of the series.
I read the first four, largely because of the Robert Jordan blurb on the first book: waiting for the fourth was excruciating, five years between books. That's bigger than any WoT publishing gap, and that was painful at the time, too. Then he didn't publish the next for six years, in which time I got over the style and moved on, while at the same time the show made the stories hip for 15 minutes (my only "I was into it before it was cool" moment in my entire life). My wife, when she tried them years later, hated the first book so much ("what the hell is this sick misogynistic and racist crap??") that she insisted that we sell them. We never sell books. She liked Martin's prose stylings, but hated the content and that he used his powers for evil rather than good.

The show really didn't seem to stick the landing, which from what I've read (because I am not spoiler averse) is in the DNA of the stories from the beginning, people just didn't pick up what Martin was laying down.

Wheel of Time, the books, stuck the landing with a flourish. We'll see about the show: at least they have the advantage of being able to map the entire story in detail from the word Go, unlike the GoT shennanigans.
 

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