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Wheel of Time - No Spoilers

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Perhaps your retention is about how interested you are in the subject. I retain fantasy books and games better than I do boring real world subjects as well. Real world subjects I have an interest in, though, those I retain just fine.
That's probably accurate: hence my majoring in English literature.
 

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wicked cool

Adventurer
im wondering if i overrated the books. i never finished the series as there was a book or 2 that nothing really happened. I think these came out in the early 80's-later and the competition for fantasy wasnt that extensive (Thomas Covenant was another long series). Is it unfair to put into the GOT book category.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
im wondering if i overrated the books. i never finished the series as there was a book or 2 that nothing really happened. I think these came out in the early 80's-later and the competition for fantasy wasnt that extensive (Thomas Covenant was another long series). Is it unfair to put into the GOT book category.
The books were published from 1990 to 2013. Game of Thrones is a frequent comparison, but being long is about the main point of commonality. Robert Jordan giving Game of Thrones an enthusiastic blurb is generally seen to have helped GoT get off the ground, and the authors were on friendly terms.
 

MarkB

Legend
So with Moiraine’s Magic turning the tide in the attack on Emonds Field in episode one, I’m struggling to think of other examples of Magic being used like that.

From memory she hurls some fire bolts, calls down lightning from the sky, slices someone in half with the power, telekinetically flings an axe in a trollocs face, blasts a few with concussive blasts then flings half the Winespring Inn at the remaining warband. It was Magic deployed for combat in a really physical and spectacular way. You can see her in a defensive posture scanning the battlefield for her next target. One of the stand out parts of the episodes so far for me. Reminiscent of Gandalf and Sauruman’s duel in Fellowship of the Ring but more varied and substantial.

Im struggling to think of any other live action media which uses magic like this… essentially in the same way we see it in a typical D&D combat? I had thought that Wheel of Time might end up more D&D than the D&D movies for this reason… the cost and difficulty of quality special effects.

What are people’s thoughts?

View attachment 147137
Not in live action offhand, but reminiscent of some of the battles in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
 


Rune

Once A Fool
My retention rate is inversely proportional to the real world applicability of the information: I retain every bit of minutua about D&D or Lord of the Rings, but less about say, physics or biology.
If you are implying that D&D and Lord of the Rings lack real world applicability, you must certainly have a far different definition of “real world applicability” than I!
 


Rune

Once A Fool
I mean, ain't nobody ever paid me for the real estate THAC0 is taking up in my brain, and I only ever played two sessions of 2E!
As much as I’d like to let my joke lie, the half of me that wasn’t really joking insists on elaboration:

My experience as a DM made me a far better supervisor (and vise versa). And without alignments, how would I ever be able to describe which version of evil my bosses were?

As for Lord of the Rings, applicability was the author’s intent! If fiction is metaphor for Truth (I would argue there is always at least an element of that, though some works aim more directly at that than others do), Lord of the Rings tells its Truths in an especially effective and layered way that reveals ever more through repeated exposure.

The impressive depth of context Tolkien provided was important to the work, but the applicability lies in the recurring themes shaped by that context. Of all works of literature, I personally find it the most applicable to the real world.

But, then again, I am a cynical Gen-Xer who needs to be reminded from time to time that cynicism does not equal wisdom.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
As much as I’d like to let my joke lie, the half of me that wasn’t really joking insists on elaboration:

My experience as a DM made me a far better supervisor (and vise versa). And without alignments, how would I ever be able to describe which version of evil my bosses were?

As for Lord of the Rings, applicability was the author’s intent! If fiction is metaphor for Truth (I would argue there is always at least an element of that, though some works aim more directly at that than others do), Lord of the Rings tells its Truths in an especially effective and layered way that reveals ever more through repeated exposure.

The impressive depth of context Tolkien provided was important to the work, but the applicability lies in the recurring themes shaped by that context. Of all works of literature, I personally find it the most applicable to the real world.

But, then again, I am a cynical Gen-Xer who needs to be reminded from time to time that cynicism does not equal wisdom.
Alright, I will grant applicability in the Real world of Ideal Forms, but that doesn't pay my bills in the here and now. ;)

Though to be fair, my actual job largely consists of reading aot of material quickly and writing accurate and helpful responses, so the skill set of an Englodh major has served me.
 


Dave Goff

Explorer
I enjoyed the episodes I've seen. I see it as something like an alternative universe version of the books I read and it's all works better.
Although, I did think the introduction of Thom Merrilin was kind of terrible, but it's okay. It's fun either way.

I agree with Rand's look not fitting with any of the rest of the cast. I get that they wanted to set him apart for "reasons" but it's a bit much.

And... I seem to be very much in the minority in my view of Witcher. I'm not familiar at all and I watched the first 2 episodes and wasn't really impressed. Is there something I'm missing?
 

Mercurius

Legend
As for Lord of the Rings, applicability was the author’s intent! If fiction is metaphor for Truth (I would argue there is always at least an element of that, though some works aim more directly at that than others do), Lord of the Rings tells its Truths in an especially effective and layered way that reveals ever more through repeated exposure.

The impressive depth of context Tolkien provided was important to the work, but the applicability lies in the recurring themes shaped by that context. Of all works of literature, I personally find it the most applicable to the real world.

But, then again, I am a cynical Gen-Xer who needs to be reminded from time to time that cynicism does not equal wisdom.

Just a little nit-pick. I agree with the gist of what you're saying here (and like your bit about the cynicism of Gen-X), but I don't think even applicability was Tolkien's intent, he just somewhat famously disliked allegory and was resistant to allegorical interpretations of his work.

I think his stance was more, "If you want to apply it to some kind of meaning, great, but I'm just trying to write a good story." Or rather, he was deeply immersed in bringing Middle-earth to life, and his books were a way of both exploring Middle-earth and sharing what he "discovered." Obviously his life--and perhaps especially his experiences of the two world wars, and the overall impact of industrialization in England--were deeply impactful. But he didn't like the crudeness of saying, "the One Ring is nuclear power" or "Sauron = Hitler" or "Mordor = the industrialized Midlands."

One of the great struggles of his life was his inability to publish what would later become the Silmarillion. When his publishers asked for a sequel to the Hobbit, he showed them bits of the Silmarillion and they said, "Uh, very interesting, but can you give us a story about hobbits and not a bible on the elves?" Thus LotR. Even up to the point of its publication in 1954-55, he tried to fold the Silmarillion in as a package deal, but Allen & Unwin were hesitant, and he even talked with a different publisher, but they wanted to heavily edit LotR, so he went back to Allen & Unwin.

But my point is that what he cared about, more than anything, was the Silmarillion - and the entire creation of Middle-earth. I imagine that if he were a more prolific writer, and/or he lived a lot longer, we would have seen novels written about about earlier periods in Middle-earth's history, fleshing out segments of the Silmarillion. To him it was a living, breathing secondary world - an imaginary world that was true in its own way. So whether we're talking about allegory or even deeper meanings that can be read in the text and applied to stuff in the real world, Tolkien's focus was on the world itself.

That said, he did discuss some of the meanings he saw in his creation, but it was more in an "after the fact" sort of way. Meaning, he wasn't trying to make a point in the guise of a fiction story, even in an open-ended way (applicability). He was approaching Middle-earth as a living reality, and expressing what he discovered in his writings. In a way, any deeper meanings he saw in the text were seen after the fact - he would write and create, and then reflect upon what he came up with.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Just a little nit-pick. I agree with the gist of what you're saying here (and like your bit about the cynicism of Gen-X), but I don't think even applicability was Tolkien's intent, he just somewhat famously disliked allegory and was resistant to allegorical interpretations of his work.

I think his stance was more, "If you want to apply it to some kind of meaning, great, but I'm just trying to write a good story." Or rather, he was deeply immersed in bringing Middle-earth to life, and his books were a way of both exploring Middle-earth and sharing what he "discovered." Obviously his life--and perhaps especially his experiences of the two world wars, and the overall impact of industrialization in England--were deeply impactful. But he didn't like the crudeness of saying, "the One Ring is nuclear power" or "Sauron = Hitler" or "Mordor = the industrialized Midlands."

One of the great struggles of his life was his inability to publish what would later become the Silmarillion. When his publishers asked for a sequel to the Hobbit, he showed them bits of the Silmarillion and they said, "Uh, very interesting, but can you give us a story about hobbits and not a bible on the elves?" Thus LotR. Even up to the point of its publication in 1954-55, he tried to fold the Silmarillion in as a package deal, but Allen & Unwin were hesitant, and he even talked with a different publisher, but they wanted to heavily edit LotR, so he went back to Allen & Unwin.

But my point is that what he cared about, more than anything, was the Silmarillion - and the entire creation of Middle-earth. I imagine that if he were a more prolific writer, and/or he lived a lot longer, we would have seen novels written about about earlier periods in Middle-earth's history, fleshing out segments of the Silmarillion. To him it was a living, breathing secondary world - an imaginary world that was true in its own way. So whether we're talking about allegory or even deeper meanings that can be read in the text and applied to stuff in the real world, Tolkien's focus was on the world itself.

That said, he did discuss some of the meanings he saw in his creation, but it was more in an "after the fact" sort of way. Meaning, he wasn't trying to make a point in the guise of a fiction story, even in an open-ended way (applicability). He was approaching Middle-earth as a living reality, and expressing what he discovered in his writings. In a way, any deeper meanings he saw in the text were seen after the fact - he would write and create, and then reflect upon what he came up with.
Tolkien's writing was meant to be a sub-creation tying into something Real, on a higher plane. Basically, he wanted to make his readers Platonists, and may have succeeded beyond his imagining.
 


Mercurius

Legend
Tolkien's writing was meant to be a sub-creation tying into something Real, on a higher plane. Basically, he wanted to make his readers Platonists, and may have succeeded beyond his imagining.
Well again, I don't see the same degree of intent ("meant to be") as you, at least if we take his words at face value.

Sure, he was in the general Platonist stream. His writing is deeply Romantic (big R), and he generally wasn't impressed with the modern world, especially industrialization. But I don't think he as trying to convert people. There's no heavy-handed proselytizing, like CS Lewis or many contemporary writers and film-makers who foist this or that agenda upon us. There's more of a sharing of his own experience of the numinous.

I think this is exemplified in the whole dynamic of light: the pure, archetypal light of the Two Trees that were poisoned by Ungoliant, the last flowers of which became the Sun and Moon, and the light captured in the Silmarils through the high craftsmanship of Feanor. And contrasted with the false light of the One Ring, and the infernal glow of the fires of Mordor.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Well again, I don't see the same degree of intent ("meant to be") as you, at least if we take his words at face value.

Sure, he was in the general Platonist stream. His writing is deeply Romantic (big R), and he generally wasn't impressed with the modern world, especially industrialization. But I don't think he as trying to convert people. There's no heavy-handed proselytizing, like CS Lewis or many contemporary writers and film-makers who foist this or that agenda upon us. There's more of a sharing of his own experience of the numinous.

I think this is exemplified in the whole dynamic of light: the pure, archetypal light of the Two Trees that were poisoned by Ungoliant, the last flowers of which became the Sun and Moon, and the light captured in the Silmarils through the high craftsmanship of Feanor. And contrasted with the false light of the One Ring, and the infernal glow of the fires of Mordor.
There is armor difference between offering to share an experience and prostylyzing an ideology, definitely. I think the Lord of theNrings ended up being the single most successful attempt in the 20th century of a person trying to share their interior life experience with others through art.
 

Mordhau

Adventurer
I mean, to be specific here - it isn't our world, isn't our turn of the Wheel.

The Medieval period lasted a thousand years, and Europe is an entire continent - fashion varied across the lands and across time. Why should this place that isn't any of the places we know, in a time that isn't our history, have fashions that match some specific place and time in our world?
Costume in Wheel of Time.

Jordan was famously a writer who was meticulously, famously, often tediously very detailed about what everyone was wearing.

Although I'm not hugely bothered by faithfulness to the books - my main impression is that a lot of the clothing in the show, by it's design, doesn't take into account a lack of sewing machines - and is thus, as I said, 'too modern'.

That, and the fact that clothing that too closely resembles current fashions, doesn't really help the work of worlbuilding which the show seems otherwise interested in (and which is the only way it's going to work).
 

Mercurius

Legend
There is armor difference between offering to share an experience and prostylyzing an ideology, definitely. I think the Lord of theNrings ended up being the single most successful attempt in the 20th century of a person trying to share their interior life experience with others through art.
That's an interesting way to put it, and you may be right. We do know that Tolkien was interested in creating a cohesive mythology for Britain, that embodies its archetypal spirit. While he wasn't trying to offer it as actual history, I do find it intriguing when he relates it to our world - he has said that we are either at the end of the Sixth Age or the beginning of the Seventh (if he were alive today, I would think he'd consider us definitely in the Seventh Age).
 

Mercurius

Legend
Costume in Wheel of Time.

Jordan was famously a writer who was meticulously, famously, often tediously very detailed about what everyone was wearing.

Although I'm not hugely bothered by faithfulness to the books - my main impression is that a lot of the clothing in the show, by it's design, doesn't take into account a lack of sewing machines - and is thus, as I said, 'too modern'.

That, and the fact that clothing that too closely resembles current fashions, doesn't really help the work of worlbuilding which the show seems otherwise interested in (and which is the only way it's going to work).
I kind of share this, although it isn't to a point that my enjoyment of the series is lessened. I also felt that the clothing was all too new and clean looking. And for some reason, I found Rand's fuzzy sweater distracting, even if that was actually realistic.
 

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