Wheel of Time is an epic fantasy series of novels that Robert Jordan started in 1990 and Brandon Sanderson finished in 2013. Now we are getting an Amazon TV adaptation and people cannot stop screaming about the casting choices.
The 14 WoT novels are very divisive. For some people, Robert Jordan wrote the greatest fantasy series in literary history. But I don’t want to talk about those people today. Let us look at the other side instead; those readers for whom Robert Jordan is only second to Terry Goodkind. And in case you are not in the know, fantasy readers HATE Terry Goodkind.
I want to talk about all the hate Wheel of Time gets. These are just some of the explanations I was able to glean from passionate detractors of the series. First of all, the Wheel of Time has such drastic shifts in quality.
The first five books in the series are actually quite strong, so much so that most readers would not have batted an eye if Book Six or even Seven had failed to reach the bar raised by their predecessors.
But what happened was even worse; not only were books six and seven dull as paint, books eight, nine and 10 were so bad they killed the series for many fans. We can all forgive an author that fumbles a book or two. But five books?
Keep in mind that each of those books is over 1,000 pages long. And that is just one foible. You also have the fact that Jordan was constantly opening new plot threads and abandoning them; important characters would disappear for several books at a time.
That is not even accounting for the clichés. Rand is what we call a Gary Sue. He’s just too damn powerful. Mat and Perrin, the best friends that should have grounded him, basically stumble their way through one lucky break after another, notching victories and reputations they do not necessarily work for.
The plot relies so heavily on the ‘Chosen One’ factor. The names get harder and harder to pronounce with each new character Jordan introduces, and the women are simply atrocious.
In fact, Jordan’s female characters are probably his biggest shame. First of all, most of them are thoroughly unlikable. Secondly, their lives are seemingly ruled by their lustful obsession with Rand and his friends.
Thirdly, they are so catty towards one another, mostly because of jealousy and envy; mostly because they all want Rand’s body; mostly because he’s the chosen one.
Suffice it to say, there are people who would not touch Wheel of Time for all the money in the world. And I can’t help but wonder whether the TV show starring Rosamund Pike among others,will remain faithful to the books, or if the showrunners will make alterations to appease the fans that fell off. I know quite a few people who hated Game of Thrones the book series but love Game of Thrones the TV show. Excluding the final season, obviously.