“It is not enough to merely say that an author 'writes' a book. Rather, an author fells their pen upon paper, and just like wine splashing out of its tipped glass, the essence of their soul's inner-most machinations comes flowing out, and as these thoughts achieve unison with parchment for the first time, they consummate their creator's raw passion and imagination into a new physical manifestation.”
The Wheel of Time is an exhaustively descriptive series of fantasy books written mostly by American author James Oliver Rigney Jr., under the pen name Robert Jordan. Though Jordan began to write the book series in 1984, it seems that the 23 years that he had to write before his eventual death wasn't nearly enough time to complete the series. After all, Jordan made it a point in his writing to thoroughly describe every blade of fine Cairhienin grass and each lock of long hazel-colored hair on Egwene Al'Vere's head. After Jordan kicked the bucket in 2007, the series was quickly concluded by long-time fan and turbo-nerd Brandon Sanderson, much to the satisfaction of millions of extremely patient WoT fans. However, this was done not a page too soon. By the time that the Wheel of Time was finished, the series spanned a whopping 14 books.
So just what was it that made Jordan's writing so appealing? Why would millions of people suffer through countless pages of mind-numbing description and hundreds of chapters, some of which were longer than entire books in themselves? Is it that Jordan's fans were a bunch of masochistic gluttons for punishment? Did Jordan and Sanderson brainwash people into reading this stuff? Or perhaps was there actually something of genuine substance hidden away in these mammoth tomes? Well you could read the books to find out for yourself. Or, much like your average High School plagiarist, you can just use other people's work and read this article to find out instead!
Unless you live underneath of a rock in Africa, you're probably familiar with popular fantasy villains such as Sauron or Voldemort. Well, the prime villain in the Wheel of Time series is known as the Dark One, and he makes these two wusses look like they are high school freshmen on the JV football team. Rather than trying to kill a dozen English teenagers or even trying to conquer a few run-down cities, the Dark One intends to destroy the entire universe and bring about an end to time itself. Of course, it is never explained why the Dark One is being such a dick. However, you can imagine that when you are an all-powerful and immortal being like him, you've go to entertain yourself somehow.
Of course, there is one person in the whole universe who can stop the forces of impending doom. And who would that be? Why an unsuspecting, yet dashing, teenage boy who is marketable to young adults! Now you may be thinking that it is quite a stretch for a common teenager to try to go up against a being that is basically Satan incarnate. But then again, 14 books was probably more than enough time for him to even out the odds out a little bit.
This is the main character known as Rand Al'Thor. For his entire life, Rand and his two friends, Mat and Perrin, have lived a simple life in a remote village called Emmonds Field where people grow wool and farm marijuana. Most of the people in this village are entirely unaware of the strange outside world wherein most women are obsessed with not understanding men and "smoothing their skirts" and most men are obsessed with taking baths. One day, Rand starts seeing a creepy-looking horseman watching him afar. When he tells his father, the old man sees nothing and laughs away the boy's concern, telling him that he is just paranoid after smoking too much weed. The next day an Aes Sedai named Moiraine and her guardian shows up to the village, secretly aware that servants of the Dark One are seeking a boy in the area who is the Dragon Reborn. Not soon afterward, a whole bunch of Trollocs show up and start farming the villagers for experience. After blowing away all of the Trollocs with her OP spells, still not sure which of the three boys is the Dragon Reborn, Moiraine whisks all three of the teenagers away with her to far off lands where they repeatedly run away from Trollocs and take copious amounts of baths.
Eventually, during their travels, Rand begins to develop the ability to use the one power. Conveniently, his powers kick into full gear when one of the "Forsaken" attacks them. After Rand uses his powers to plow the villain a new arsehole. It is then that most of the characters realize that Rand is the Dragon Reborn. After it becomes clear to everyone that Rand is the Dragon Reborn who is destined to save their sorry behinds from the Dark One, the surrounding kingdoms become very reluctant to rally behind him. In fact, it takes Rand all of 13 out of the 14 books for all of the humans to stop killing each other and start focusing on threats that actually matter.
Types of Characters
The Wheel of Time is filled with a mind boggling variety of characters, most of whom are annoying. Some turbo-nerd on the Wheel of Time wiki actually took the time to list them out and found out that there are over 2200 different characters! Ironically, most readers will have the darnest time remembering any of them by the end of the series. Just like distant relatives, there are so damn many of them, that you don't even bother to try remembering who they are or where they're from. This leads to similarly awkward moments when you wind up meeting them again later in the series.
Mostly farmers and villagers who live in peace and have no idea about what is going on in the world around them, much like Americans. In the first few chapters of the book, these simpletons lead you to think that stuff like trollocs and the Dark One are just stories out of children's tales. You realize how wrong they are when a mob of trollocs come into their town and start raping their houses and burning their women. After that happens, Shit Hits The Fan. The weather starts going haywire, bandits start popping up like daisies, and kingdoms start declaring war like its going out of style.
Consistent with every other fantasy series, all the rich nobles in the Wheel of Time have an obsession with politics that is only surpassed by their obsession with themselves. When Rand realizes how annoying they are, he starts having bushels of them hanged at a time until they all learn to stop being so annoying.
Aes Sedai are the magic users of the series, wielding a force known as the "One Power". This group of radical feminists is a bunch of vain know-it-alls who enjoy attempting to manipulate others and spreading man-hate. Like the Patriarchy-supporting sexist man that he is, Rand constantly makes it a point to do what they tell him not to do. Later in the series, males who also know how to use the One Power start to appear. This causes the feminist Aes Sedai to freak out when these sexist bigoted men start showing signs of equality. Fortunately, the Aes Sedia are not completely annoying. When needed, this group of thunder babes can also call down lighting or cause the ground to explode with their minds. In fact, they can smite those pesky trollocs like its no man's business. Because it isn't.
A bunch of fashion-confused pacifists, in the Wheel of Time they are called "Tinkers."
With copy-pasted personas that are identical in virtually every town in the series, Innkeepers are always chubby people with an affinity for cooking. Though they enjoy barking orders at their cooks and serving girls, innkeepers are among the friendliest people in the series.
Basically, darkfriends are people who worship
Satan the Dark One. Like vampires or politicians, they blend into the normal population and do the Dark One's bidding in secret. They could be anybody. That creepy guy across the street might be a darkfriend. Or the town's mayor. Your Girlfriend could even be one. Try explaining that to your parents.
The Forsaken are hardcore darkfriends who were sealed in with the Dark One by the Dragon. This happened like a billion years ago. After being cramped up with him for so long, their feathers are pretty ruffled, so they take out their frustration on everyone and everything else that deserves it the least.
Was it necessary for Robert Jordan to drag out this story for a whole 14 books? Probably not, but with nothing better to do with your time, why the hell not? However, for those of you who are too lazy and illiterate to actually read the books for yourselves, the following summaries have been written to help you gain a basic understanding of what these giant bricks of paper are even about.
The Eye of the World
Rand al'Thor: Tam is my father. (Nothing happens. Then, nothing happens. Then, unexpectedly, nothing happens. Everything is FRAUGHT with PORTENT.)
Moiraine: Everybody come with me.
Everybody: No. Well, ok. (They travel a LOT. Something happens that isn't explained. Something happens that doesn't make sense. Something else happens.)
Rand al'Thor: Tam is my father.
THE (predictable, cliched,) END
The Great Hunt
Rand al'Thor: I want to do something. But doing this something is probably what the Aes Sedai want me to do, so I will do something else. But doing that something else may be what they want me to do, because they think I think they want me to do the first thing, so I'll decide to do this other thing instead. So I'll just do the first thing, since I want to do it anyway. Screw them. (Repeat seven hundred times.)
The Dragon Reborn
Rand al'Thor: Being the Dragon Reborn stinks. I'm out of here. (Moiraine and the gang CHASE him. But even though they are on HORSES, and he is WALKING, they never CATCH UP. This is supposed to be MYSTERIOUS but is really just a plot CONVENIENCE for Robert JORDAN.)
Perrin: I hate wolves. (Mat and others show up out of NOWHERE. This is supposed to be MYSTERIOUS but is really just a plot CONVENIENCE for Robert JORDAN.)
Rand al'Thor: I am the Dragon Reborn. (kills the EVIL SUPREME BAD GUY)
Robert Jordan: Fooled you! That wasn't really the EVIL SUPREME BAD GUY! Now I can write forty more books!
The Shadow Rising
(Everybody HATES Rand, so he BEATS them until they OBEY.)
Rand: I have conquered all sorts of stuff, because I rule. (Gibbers to self. Five hundred pages pass.)
The Fires of Heaven
Rand: I found an artifact which gives me limitless power. I think I shall brick it up behind a wall. (A female character SNIFFS and thinks about her NECKLINE.)
Lord of Chaos
Rand: I have a secret plan, but I won't tell you about it.
A Crown of Swords
Rand: Now my secret plan shall be unleashed! Here it is. Are you ready? Are you sure you're ready? I'm going to make it look like I'm attacking this guy. But THEN I will attack some OTHER guy. (He DOES, and it ALMOST WORKS.)
The Path of Daggers
Mazrim Taim: I am evil, yaargh! Fear me!
Spooky Voice of Lews Therin: Rand, kill Taim.
Rand: Being powerful sucks. I will brood.
Perrin: I was going to rescue my wife, but that will have to wait for the next book.
Mat: I was going to escape with my friends, but that will have to wait for the next book.
Egwene: I was going to attack Tar Valon, but that will have to wait for the next book.
Crossroads of Twilight
(Rand BROODS and DREAMS about his THREE WOMEN.)
Minor Characters: There is a large use of the One Power over there. (repeat indefinitely)
Perrin: I was going to save my wife, but that will have to wait for the next book.
Egwene: I was going to attack Tar Valon, but I won't finish it until the next book.
Mat: I might flirt with Tuon in the next book.
Knife of Dreams
Faile: I'm so glad Perrin rescued me! It only took two whole books!
Egwene: Oh no! Now I've been kidnapped!
Robert Jordan: I'm starting to feel kinda weird. I sure hope its not cancer!
The Gathering Storm
Robert Jordan: Oh no! Cancer! (Dies)
Brandon Sanderson: Here I come to the rescue!
Fans: This book sure does seem different. Oh wait, ROBERT JORDAN IS DEAD? (Surprise intensifies)
The Towers of Midnight
Rand: Hey everybody! The Tarmon Gai'don is about to happen and you're all about to die.
Everybody: Oh shit!
A Memory of Light
We regret to inform you that the author of this article is a chronic procrastinator. At this moment, we are unable to deliver you the conclusion of the Wheel of Time series. If you would like to find out how the series ends, then you are warmly invited to read the damn series for yourself.
Brandon Sanderson: That pretty much sums up the series. Now stop bugging me or I'll tear your eyes out with a pointed stick.
The Main Main Main Character
“ You're Balefired!”
At the beginning of the series, Rand seems like an underwhelming main character, as he is a completely worthless noobcake. He whines quite often, he constantly makes stupid decisions, he is terrible with girls, and he is a weakling without any cool powers. However, as the series progresses, he gradually wises up, girls line up for a chance to do the big nasty with him, and he becomes the most powerful force-user that the world has ever seen. This one-time underdog in no short terms transforms into the Chosen One of the Wheel of Time series. He is a constant reminder to us all that there is a potential for greatness in everyone, even if you happen to be well...you.
The Main Main Characters
Where to start... I'll just be lazy and use this link: Mat Cauthon
Perrin is probably the most normal person in the entire series. He's not mad, he can't do any magicky stuff, he doesn't drink, gamble, randomly kill people for no reason, or even shout at the world from the top of a mountain. He does smoke a lot of mary jane though, and when he hits it hard, he starts to hear the voices of wolves in his head. He's also married to someone called Faile. Says it all really. Basically, Perrin's role in the entire series is really just to provide breaks in between the interesting parts and to balance out the excitement added by other characters. Without Perrin to bring you down from your WoT high, you might die of an overdose.
While over-emotional teenage girls are usually terrifying in their own right, Egwene is about five times as dangerous because she also has the ability to wield the One Power. Much like M. Night Shyamalan, she somehow managed to trip her way into a position of incredible power and influence, eventually becoming the supreme leader of the Aes Sedai. The reasons for her sudden rise to fame are far-fetched at best, and were probably written by Jordan on a night when he was getting black out drunk. Egwene is also a Dreamwalker, which means that she is able to see into people's dreams. This becomes incredibly awkward for her when she realizes that other dreamwalkers now know about her rape fantasies about Elayne's younger brother, Gawyn.
Nynaeve is an emotional firebrand who yanks her hair every time she gets angry, which is during every single chapter of the series. Nynaeve becomes an incredibly strong Aes Sedai and one of the best healers in the series. If anything, the stresses of being chased by trollocs and the forsaken causes her to become even more aggressive. Over time, her hair-pulling antics severely weaken her neck, causing it to eventually break during the final battle. Will anybody miss her? Probably somebody will.
A girl who has short hair and enjoys wearing men's clothes, Min is basically a cross-dresser. As off-putting as that may seem, she seems to be the kind of girl that what Rand is (sometimes literally) into. Min also has the ability to read people's futures, except for the futures of anybody who actually has any significance to the story whatsoever. In reality, her ability is about as useful as a Dialup internet connection.
Like a non-cross-dressing version of Min, Elayne is another one of Rand's many love interests. Rand finds her attractive because she has lots of
money, power, curves, and "personality."
Just like how every non-racist sitcom needs a token black man, Thom is the token wise old man that completes every generic fantasy series. He basically looks like Santa Claus, but he also knows how to throw knives, gamble, spy, and play the flute like a boss. Thom has also had a complicated relationship with many different commoners, nobles, and even queens. It seems that every woman in the world can't get enough of this mega-mustached mystery-man. Its possible that he is the father of half of the characters in the story.