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 Post subject: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 01:18pm
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I've read every book in the Wheel of Time series, and the first three of Terry Goodkind's books, and I'd like to get other people's opinions on Terry Goodkind's writing. Rather than write my own rant here, I'm going to steal someone else's rant and copy it just like Terry Goodkind does. Here's the question for all of you: which author do you prefer and why? I find Jordan long-winded, sometimes boring, and agree with the criticism of him below, but at least he was able to come up with a semi-original story. Goodkind, on the other hand, has pulled a David Eddings and rewrites essentially the same story every time; plus, he seems to have copied every major idea from Jordan's books, which is kind of pathetic. Plus, in interviews he seems to have a bit of an Ayn Rand complex, which makes him an asshole as well as a crappy, uninspired, uncreative writer.


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Limyaael's Rants
Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind

Written on 2004-11-06; Read the original post on LiveJournal

Well, a lot of people seemed awfully enthusiastic for a rant about Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind.

Never let it be said that I would pass up a chance to explain, in detail, why I don’t like these authors wouldn't give people what they want.

Note: I gave up on Jordan in the eighth book of his series, and Terry Goodkind in the fourth. (Not coincidentally, it was about the same time that I discovered Kay, Martin, and Brust). Most of the information about later books is gleaned from gleefully negative Amazon.com reviews. If I make a mistake, it's probably becuase of that.

1) When the narrative tells you that some characters are good and some are evil, there is a problem. The lines of good and evil are so thickly drawn in Jordan’s and Goodkind’s worlds as to be ridiculous. Jordan doesn’t even bother concealing how generic he is. His villain is the Dark One, and he will take over the world Because. His name, which no one pronounces (gee, is that Tolkien’s conception of Sauron I see being violated over there?) is Shai’tan (not a coincidence that it sounds like Satan! Bye-bye, subtlety!) and his servants include the Forsaken (even they call themselves that) and the Black Ajah (by now, any subtlety has run so far away it is not visible on the horizon). There is no good in the Dark One. There is no good in the Forsaken. There is no chance of anyone who’s a “Darkfriend” being redeemed. Once you’re evil, you’re evil. There was one character in the books, Asmodean, who looked as if he might be changing into a good character, but of course he’s weak and sniveling and gets blasted by someone else almost immediately. So even when Jordan offers himself an opportunity to blur the lines, it’s not going to happen.

Goodkind is similarly determined that no one empathize with his villain. His villain’s name is Darken Rahl. Yes, really. The first time we see him, he’s torturing and disemboweling a child. Yes, really. One of Darken Rahl’s servants is a pedophile whose liking of little boys is described and lingered on. Yes, really. One of the book’s minor villains tries to ban people from using fire. Yes, really. There are also the Sisters of the Dark, in an organization so similar to Jordan’s Aes Sedai that many, many people have accused Goodkind of outright copying. And, of course, they also practice sadism and rough sex. How horrible. /monotone

The heroes are no better. We know that Perrin, one of the three male main characters, in Jordan’s world is good because other characters go around comparing him to the sun. The “hero,” Rand, has the love of three women, who are all okay with this, and attracts the attention and desire of many, many more, and of course smashes his enemies without any effort. Jordan has introduced the possibility that Rand might go insane, but since every enemy who rises up against him gets his ass kicked in the exact same way, after a period of smugness and gloating, the tension’s lessened considerably. And, of course, there’s the female wizard who jerks the heroes around all through the first book and tells them she doesn’t have time to explain anything. You know she must be good, because the other characters cower in front of her.

And Goodkind’s Richard Rahl… If the narrative didn’t stop describing him as ruggedly handsome and having every other character in sight tell him, “You’re a special person, Richard,” then the series might actually have ended by now.

2) Hello, misogyny. Goodkind and Jordan both display a variation of “feminism” which is actually more damaging than the normal pseudo-feminism in fantasy, the kind that says a princess wearing a gown is suffering as much as someone being beaten or raped. Supposedly, because their fantasy novels include female characters in prominent roles, they’re “feminist.”

Nuh-uh. And also: neener, neener, neener.

Goodkind’s main female character is Kahlan, Richard’s love interest. And I use that phrase quite advisedly. Kahlan seems to have her own separate position—as Mother Confessor, one of a number of women who can destroy other people’s minds and command them—and her own quest, on which Richard is a helper, at first. As the books pass, though, her concerns diminish, and she becomes almost obsessed with Richard. She can’t exist apart from him. Every book sees her convinced that he doesn’t love her and that, though she loves him, she has to send him away from her for his own good. Then they get back together again at the end of the book. Tell me, how is that feminist?

Goodkind’s other female characters often either fall in love with Richard, get tortured and raped and killed, or both. The series is notorious for its violence and gore, beyond what most fantasy series have. (This isn’t a good thing. See point 5). Hundreds and hundreds of women raped are nothing unusual for just one book, and the series now numbers eight. Goodkind also includes anti-abortion diatribes for free. If you want to know how not to write strong female characters in fantasy, then you can consider Goodkind’s works a crash course.

Or you could read Jordan, of course. His women become indistinguishable after a while. They all sniff, smooth their skirts, and cross their arms under their breasts. They all call men woolheads. They all abuse men—and I use that word advisedly; one of the three main male characters is subject to verbal abuse from his wife, the other to rape from a lover—so that their relationships are not equal. They also get into situations where they have to be half-naked all the time. No, ask Jordan. Not me.

The mere presence of women in a fantasy book is not enough to make those women strong characters. They have to, you know, do things and change and stuff for that to be true.

3) Ability-focused heroes ‘R Us. Jordan’s Rand (as well as several other characters) is a ta’veren. What is a ta’veren, you ask? Why, someone who can bend the world around them and make wonderful things happen in defiance of the laws of nature, of course! So a child can fall from a tower and not break her head, or people can get married who barely know each other, or, oh, I don’t know, the character could just happen to block an attack from an enemy he would never have seen if he hadn’t turned around at that instant in time.

This is a walking deus ex machina. Add to it that Rand is a channeler, drawing magic from the male half of the True Source and able to command all five elements; a master swordsman (no reason for that, either, as it’s just something he picks up in his spare time); somehow able to convince everybody that he’s their rightful ruler; and keeps finding bigger and bigger weapons to amplify his magic, and you have a demigod no one can touch. He was mildly interesting because he might have gone insane from a “stain” on his magic, but in the ninth book of the series, he cleanses the stain.

I gave up on Jordan in the eighth book. I could not stand the constant accumulation of abilities. Rand was an ass out of which Robert Jordan could pull anything he needed, not a character.

I hate to depress you, but Richard Rahl is worse. He picks up abilities like magic, including stone-carving; he creates a statue that converts people from socialism to capitalism, despite no previous experience carving stone. (Goodkind has a Thing about proving that Socialism Is Evil). He kills every enemy he comes across. He manages to survive torture in a way that no one ever has, without having developed the technique to do so; it’s “instinctive.” Every book ends with an immense confrontation that “no one can win!”—except that Richard can, of course. His heritage allows him to protect everyone who’s sworn loyalty to him from the evil socialist emperor, who can otherwise control them. He makes friends with dragons and escapes from the clutches of evil sadomasochistic women, who then cower at his feet. He’s the beloved son of his adoptive father, the beloved grandson of the second most powerful wizard in the world, the beloved of the most powerful woman in the world, etc. It. Just. Never. Ends.

There has to be an ending. Characters like this are the reason I get so aggravated when authors insist on designing their people around their abilities, or making the protagonist the protagonist mainly because he has cool or unusual magic. When the magic destroys all hindrances, you have no stories left. And just as a lot of women on-stage doesn’t make those women strong or interesting characters, having your hero be the only one in the world who can do something doesn’t guarantee that the book will be worth the effort to turn the pages.

4) Cultural development? What’s that? Before I was about 11, I read animal books. That’s really about it. Fairy tales, too, but mostly animal books. I was going to be a vet. I pretty much knew it. End of story.

Then Tolkien hit me on the head like a falling rock. When I woke up, slightly stunned, I started reading fantasy instead.

I’ve since read more fantasy books than I can remember, but one thing I carried away from Tolkien is a sensitivity to language. It drives me batshit when fantasy authors can’t be bothered to apply realistic linguistic drift to a world.

Cue Jordan not doing it. Cue another reason for me giving up on the series.

Jordan has an extraordinarily large continent for the main part of his world (I don’t know if it has a name; fans tend to call it “Randland.”) Part of it is a desert shut behind mountainous barriers, and the people who live there, the Aiel—who are basically transplanted Fremen—have little commerce with other people until Rand shows up. There’s also a foreign group, the Seanchan, who went beyond the sea two thousand years ago and have only recently returned.

Everyone speaks the same damn language. Everyone. The Seanchan only slur their vowels slightly in speaking modern Randlandese. And there is only one Old Tongue, which no one speaks without special training, and which has no intermediate form between it and modern Randlandese.

I am unhappy.

Goodkind has a world that was until recently subdivided into thirds by magical barriers: D’Hara, the Midlands, and Westland. (Imaginative at names Goodkind is not). There’s also the Old World, which is off to the southeast of D’Hara, kind of; it’s been a long time since I looked at the map in those books. It’s been a while since anyone traveled from the Old World to the Midlands, but only a single generation since the barriers went up between the three main lands.

Supposedly, everyone in Westland has never told their children anything about the Midlands or magic at all. Really. Honestly. All knowledge somehow lost in about twenty years.

Of course, this is also the country of the minor villain who wants to ban fire, so you might say, “What could you expect?” But no one remembers the Old World, either, despite the existence of a magical passage that some people from the Old World can use, and the existence of the evil socialist emperor who can invade people’s dreams. Goodkind just throws them in there haphazardly and as he needs them. New countries show up all the time. Millions of people show up all the time. Goodkind doesn’t develop cultures in conflict with each other, but as static entities to be destroyed or converted by the heroes.

This is a No-No. Your fantasy world needs reasonable demographics and geography. They may not be the same as Earth’s, they may run on different rules, they may not be as detailed as Tolkien’s, but they need to stay there, and if there’s every reason to suspect, as with Jordan, that the people have normal psychology and linguistic abilities, the language should fucking change like a normal language.

Got it?

5) There is no end. Jordan’s series is 10 books now, each of them close to 1000 pages in paperback, and a prequel just came out. There are going to be two more prequels and likely at least three more volumes in the main series. It was originally projected as a trilogy, then as a six-book series. It’s been going on for 15 years now. And he’s written the last four books at such a glacially slow pace that almost nothing has happened. The first book covered months, while the seventh covered two weeks, and most of the tenth book happened before the ninth.

Kill it. Burn it. Stab it to death. If it’s true, as Jordan says, that he’s had the ending scene in mind from the beginning, then let him write that ending scene in the next book and be done. Fantasy is the land of expansive storytelling, but there is no storytelling that can justify this kind of thing—especially because Jordan spends so much time on descriptive detail, not action or plot or character development. Supposedly, something is about to happen, about to happen, about to happen. It never does.

Goodkind’s books are a little shorter—usually closer to 800 pages than 1000—but there’s eight of them, and apparently three more to come before the series ends. And then he might start doing prequels, too. The story structure itself doesn’t seem to be aiming at some grand end, either, the way that Jordan’s series (if one is overly kind) can be seen as doing. Richard and Kahlan just confront the next grand menace that no one’s ever confronted before and which is sure to tear them apart, survive it, and move on to the next grand confrontation that they won’t survive, except that they will, because you know there’s another book coming out.

Goodkind’s filler material is also description, but not of the landscape and clothing the way that Jordan’s is. It’s sadism, rape, torture of every description (the minor villain in the first book who likes to rape little boys is made to cut off his own testicles and eat them), more rape, killing, more rape, plague, more rape, murder, and more rape. Apparently, in the later books, Goodkind also spends much time ranting in a barely disguised Ayn Rand fashion about the evils of socialism, and his characters have long philosophical conversations instead of doing interesting things.

This is one reason I dread long fantasy series. Too many authors take the market’s permissiveness to write long books as, “I need to write a long series to get the point across.” No, you don’t need to. It should be as long as it should be, and no more. If you find yourself stretching the story, if you add in description that doesn’t need it, if you find yourself adding prequels and sequels and side stories and wall calendars, you need to set an end, and you need to stick to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 01:25pm
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I may not be the best person to offer an opinion, but what I can say is that I managed to get about two-thirds of the way through a Jordan novel and managed about a tenth of the way through a Goodkind novel before losing interest. So there's that.



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I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 01:26pm
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I've never touched anything by Goodkind as far as I can remember. That said, I tried reading through Robert Jordan once. It was so incredibly slow-paced and lethargic I gave up after about 50 pages instead of slogging through any more of that verbal diarrhea.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 01:41pm
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General Zod wrote:
I've never touched anything by Goodkind as far as I can remember. That said, I tried reading through Robert Jordan once. It was so incredibly slow-paced and lethargic I gave up after about 50 pages instead of slogging through any more of that verbal diarrhea.


The first book was boring for me, the next four or five were good, and after that it was a matter of wanting to finish what I started than actually enjoying the books. Wizard's First Rule was okay, but the second and third Goodkind books were awful, and I never progressed beyond that.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 01:59pm
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In charitable terms, Robert Jordan was as successful a writer as someone without actual talent can be. His prose was turgid, his plotting sucked, and the characters he created were by and large atrocious and insulting stereotypes. However, I still have an impression that somewhere, deep below this, Jordan actually had fun writing what he did - sure, a weird kind of pleasure that was at once uninspired and totally crazy, but for all that, fairly innocent.

Whereas Goodkind... well. It's not that he's somehow a worse writer than Jordan that would bother me (he is, but it's beside the point). Goodkind, from reading his own words, appears to somehow consciously strive to be a more horrible person. It's like he read the part about the seven mortal sins and thought to himself, "fuckin' A, I'll have some of that."

He's arrogant to the point of narcissism (pride), deeming himself as far too good to be considered a mere Fantasy writer. His depiction of women is liberally strewn with rape fantasies of the most odious kind (lust). The protagonist's (his self-insert's, I should say) reaction toward anyone opposing his own spur-of-the-moment convictions is... astonishingly malicious (wrath, and then some). Goodkind's openly disdainful of any other author, deeming himself far better at the craft despite copying them wholesale and unrepentantly (sloth), and as a good Randroid he considers personal wealth synonymous with moral worth (greed).

I could probably squeeze both envy and gluttony in there somehow, but really, I don't know if Goodkind considers them "sins" so much as potential venues. True, Jordan was a crazy bastard with some distinctly stagnant views on gender and/or life. But I never actually saw him as the font of all evil... let alone as someone so thoroughly despicable as Terry Goodkind.

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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 02:29pm
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I never read either series, though my brother and cousin rave about both of them. I have, however, watched Legend of the Seeker which is a fairly faithful adaptation of the original (well, my brother said so, and he's read all the books so far). I wasn't particularly impressed, I must say. For one, what goddamn universe has a single language from whence the names "Darken Rahl" and "Richard" can both occur? Shit, I'm putting more work into making sure that there isn't too much linguistic overlap in a campaign setting for D&D that I just intend to keep between me and my friends; how can someone possibly think it's a great idea to give people names like "Richard," "Darken Rahl," and "Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander" all in the same book? Aside from a 5 year old, I mean.

But I'm also not too fond of the standard "Good vs. Blatanly Evil" plots. As I recall, Darken Rahl doesn't even have a damn reason for wanting to dominate the world, beyond FOR THE EVULZ. Plankton from SpongeBob Squarepants has better characterization, for fuck's sake!

I've also heard that both move at a glacial pace. I have enough shit going on in my life that I don't want to give up the time to read slow-ass books with horrible misogyny and awful morality plays.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 02:32pm
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With the rant itself...I only disagree with language changes. I'd rather not see the writer fuck up and make some halfwit shit but instead stick with just one language everyone knows. See Karen Travis in a long line of stupid languages.

As for the authors? Jordan is better in that for all his flaws, he never quite goes into the insanity that Goodkind does. The rant does detail it well of Goodkind making the evil guys who rape, eat, and kill you in any order and sometimes all three at the same time. But he wants you to not only know they are bad, but in great detail. Sometimes I wonder what crowd he writes for given the level he goes into.

On the opposite side his heroes are Mary Sues who aren't just special but Gods made FLESH! and simply will their needs into existence as well as being his mouthpiece at the moment. If he think some policy is good, his hero will proclaim it is not only just but all the people will believe it as the one true LAW.

Now for Jordan, I won't go into much because the rant covered a great deal of the problems and explained just as good. Though as a slight nitpick, Shai'tan is Satan, not just sounding like it. I've seen this particular bit used as some point that Jordan was alluding to something deeper but he's being as upfront as naming said Dark One's opposite, The Creator. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 02:48pm
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Akhlut wrote:
I've also heard that both move at a glacial pace. I have enough shit going on in my life that I don't want to give up the time to read slow-ass books with horrible misogyny and awful morality plays.

Well, just look at the Wikipedia summary of book 10 of WoT:
Quote:
Perrin Aybara continues trying to ...
Mat Cauthon continues trying to ...
Elayne Trakand continues trying to ...
Rand al'Thor ... rests after the ordeal of ...
Egwene leads the ... in maintaining the siege of ...

The latest two books move a lot faster, but yeah, I wouldn't advise anyone to pick them up because it is a must-read series.

I haven't read anything of Terry Goodkind (I think), but I don't plan on starting either ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 03:04pm
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Akhlut wrote:
I never read either series, though my brother and cousin rave about both of them. I have, however, watched Legend of the Seeker which is a fairly faithful adaptation of the original (well, my brother said so, and he's read all the books so far).


It is? Hot damn. I'd love to see the episode where Richard slaughters unarmed peace protestors, or the one in which the little girl gets her face caved in by Richard's boot. Did they really dare film that shit? I have to know! :D

Quote:
I wasn't particularly impressed, I must say. For one, what goddamn universe has a single language from whence the names "Darken Rahl" and "Richard" can both occur? Shit, I'm putting more work into making sure that there isn't too much linguistic overlap in a campaign setting for D&D that I just intend to keep between me and my friends; how can someone possibly think it's a great idea to give people names like "Richard," "Darken Rahl," and "Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander" all in the same book? Aside from a 5 year old, I mean.


It's linguistics, yes, but not as we know it. See, everybody knows that the suffix "-us" implies ancient and venerable. Hence "Zeddicus," because that's just how the world works, see? Similarly with "Richard" (strong, manly name, both Rich and Hard) and "Darken Rahl", respectively. And we mustn't forget "Kahlan", for whom an irate Goodkind has repeatedly clarified that it's "Cay-len", fulfilling her requirement (exotic and thus alluring, but in other ways basically the name of that hot college student who spurned Terry way back when).

Quote:
But I'm also not too fond of the standard "Good vs. Blatanly Evil" plots. As I recall, Darken Rahl doesn't even have a damn reason for wanting to dominate the world, beyond FOR THE EVULZ. Plankton from SpongeBob Squarepants has better characterization, for fuck's sake!


It's not just that, and arguably the black-and-white isn't the creepiest part. The creepiest part I find the passages where morality is dictated from on high by Richard himself; where he issues long, rambling proclamations ending in the conclusion that yes, it may look as if I'm evil fucking incarnate, but by various contortions of logic it turns out that when it's me doing exactly what the villains did in the last book, it exemplifies a different and more noble ethos altogether, and is, in fact, the only right, just, and moral thing to do.

It's thoroughly disturbing.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 03:24pm
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SancheztheWhaler wrote:

The first book was boring for me, the next four or five were good, and after that it was a matter of wanting to finish what I started than actually enjoying the books. Wizard's First Rule was okay, but the second and third Goodkind books were awful, and I never progressed beyond that.


This is exactly my experience; but I got to book eight before giving up un RJ. Twice.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 03:42pm
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All I remember from T.Goodkind was chortling over the Darkhan Rahl's name. I mean what chance at a normal life did this guy have? Darkhan Rahl the cobbler? The miller? Darkhan Rahl the Wise? Or the Good? Nope, it was insane evil necromancy from the get go.

As for Richard, a friend summed him up best with 'Sure looks like a Dick to me.'

Jordan and Goodkind remind me of D&D players I met at uni. Jordan's the fat guy with all the books who never gets a chance to be DM. Goodkind's the creepy skinny guy who can't take the hint that even nerds have standards.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 03:45pm
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I got about 200 pages into Wizard's First Rule before giving up, and what I read was a lot worse (in world-building, characterization, plot, and prose) than Eye of the World (Jordan's first WoT book). There's also Goodkind's preachiness and Designated Hero complex he's got going with Richard Rahl (along with the Chicken That Was Not A Chicken).

As for Jordan, I think it helps to read the series in terms of "character arcs" as opposed to books. Rand was mostly interesting throughout the series (and he's gotten much better in the Sanderson WoT books). Perrin was good for the first two, had some badass moments in the 4th book, and then got much, much worse (his characterization basically got swallowed by his interaction with his Designated Love Interest). Mat was pretty good for a while, but less so in recent books. Egwene . . . goes up and down inside single books, Elayne almost always sucks, Min and Aviendha are okay, and so forth.

Some nitpicks with Limyael:

Quote:
Jordan doesn’t even bother concealing how generic he is. His villain is the Dark One, and he will take over the world Because. His name, which no one pronounces (gee, is that Tolkien’s conception of Sauron I see being violated over there?) is Shai’tan (not a coincidence that it sounds like Satan! Bye-bye, subtlety!) and his servants include the Forsaken (even they call themselves that) and the Black Ajah (by now, any subtlety has run so far away it is not visible on the horizon). There is no good in the Dark One. There is no good in the Forsaken. There is no chance of anyone who’s a “Darkfriend” being redeemed.


The Dark One is definitely Evil, although it might be more appropriate to define him as "Chaos" in a kind of dualistic cosmology (Shai'tan isn't subtle for sure).

The Forsaken actually refer to themselves as the "Chosen", although the "light-dark" thing with the "darkfriends" and "black ajah" isn't subtle.

As for Darkfriends, it's not so much that they can't be redeemed, as it is that breaking with the order(s) of darkfriends is usually a ticket to death (and possibly worse - I think EoTW implies that their souls are sworn to the Dark One by the oaths they take, and he grabs them after death). You can't really openly break with them, either, since odds are you'll end up executed for choosing to join them in the first place.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 04:05pm
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dworkin wrote:
Jordan and Goodkind remind me of D&D players I met at uni. Jordan's the fat guy with all the books who never gets a chance to be DM. Goodkind's the creepy skinny guy who can't take the hint that even nerds have standards.


This. Oh God, this.

My hat's off, sir.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 04:14pm
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I have never read Jordan (I did play the WoT RPG a couple times at OrbCon) and I made it through Stone of Tears before giving up on Goodkind. Goodkind is not just the creepy skinny guy, he's the creepy skinny guy who's always trying to get the group to give FATAL (*shudder*) a shot.

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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 05:41pm
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CaiusWickersham wrote:
Goodkind is not just the creepy skinny guy, he's the creepy skinny guy who's always trying to get the group to give FATAL (*shudder*) a shot.


No smiley here adequately expresses how hard I laughed at this. Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 06:00pm
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Eleas wrote:
Akhlut wrote:
I never read either series, though my brother and cousin rave about both of them. I have, however, watched Legend of the Seeker which is a fairly faithful adaptation of the original (well, my brother said so, and he's read all the books so far).


It is? Hot damn. I'd love to see the episode where Richard slaughters unarmed peace protestors, or the one in which the little girl gets her face caved in by Richard's boot. Did they really dare film that shit? I have to know! :D


I, personally, want to know how they would represent his "thing rising up in him" before he mutilates an eight-year-old. I think that filming it accurately would get the entire cast and crew on the Sex Offender's list and possibly imprisoned. :)



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I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

- The Handle, from the TVTropes Forums

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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 07:03pm
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Remember, the limited audience means you can dump shit in fantasy that wouldn't fly elsewhere, because nobody reads it. Goodkind is crazy, but there are plenty of people out there who get hard reading each one.

I actually foung the article amusing, since what I read of the first WoT book seemed to be a straight ripoff of LotR, right down to the 'black riders'. :)



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 07:26pm
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I saw the first season of Legend of the Seeker. Well... there's none of that stuff Eleas says happened in the book in it, so I guess it wasn't totally faithful.

I actually liked the show as a kind of popcorn thing, and thought I'd buy the first book on which it was supposedly based. I still haven't touched it though. I'm not sure I'd want to.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 08:58pm
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Stofsk wrote:
I saw the first season of Legend of the Seeker. Well... there's none of that stuff Eleas says happened in the book in it, so I guess it wasn't totally faithful.

I actually liked the show as a kind of popcorn thing, and thought I'd buy the first book on which it was supposedly based. I still haven't touched it though. I'm not sure I'd want to.


The peace protesters don't show up until about five or six books in, after the hero's half-brother bans fire. Our hero being revealed as a snuff-fetishist pedophile is in the first book, but like I said, filming it as written would almost certainly be illegal in a number of countries. Does a character called "Princess Violet" show up, though? Because that's the name of the little girl who OUR HERO mutilates for talking shit about his girlfriend.

Stark wrote:
Remember, the limited audience means you can dump shit in fantasy that wouldn't fly elsewhere, because nobody reads it. Goodkind is crazy, but there are plenty of people out there who get hard reading each one.

I actually foung the article amusing, since what I read of the first WoT book seemed to be a straight ripoff of LotR, right down to the 'black riders'. :)


Yeah. I remember a funny review of the first one that determined that the book was only readable when ripping off LoTR, and when Jordan strikes out on his own, the whole thing falls apart.



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I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

- The Handle, from the TVTropes Forums

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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 09:21pm
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Bakustra wrote:
Stofsk wrote:
I saw the first season of Legend of the Seeker. Well... there's none of that stuff Eleas says happened in the book in it, so I guess it wasn't totally faithful.

I actually liked the show as a kind of popcorn thing, and thought I'd buy the first book on which it was supposedly based. I still haven't touched it though. I'm not sure I'd want to.


The peace protesters don't show up until about five or six books in, after the hero's half-brother bans fire. Our hero being revealed as a snuff-fetishist pedophile is in the first book, but like I said, filming it as written would almost certainly be illegal in a number of countries. Does a character called "Princess Violet" show up, though? Because that's the name of the little girl who OUR HERO mutilates for talking shit about his girlfriend.

I don't remember that occurring. :lol:

Admittedly it's been awhile since I saw it though. ;)



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 09:26pm
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I just found out Goodkind is 60. Dear, dear me, what a dirty old man. :lol:



Elfdart wrote:
my first manager and I spent the better part of an hour in his office asking an insanely hot female employee to go through the "B" authors in the Lit section. Why? Because that would make her climb up on the ladder right where the security camera was and gave us a perfect view of her perfect gazongas
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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 09:26pm
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Now, what's interesting is apparently Goodkind had significant input into making the series. So the question is how they managed to convince him to let that scene be cut (and if they can replicate it for the peace protestors, the chicken of evil, Richard converting someone with a statue...) and whether he therefore recognizes how bad it is, and yet put it in anyways. In short, I suspect that Goodkind may hate puppies along with hating small children.



Invited by the new age, the elegant Sailor Neptune!


I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

- The Handle, from the TVTropes Forums

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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-16 10:29pm
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I read the first Wheel of Time book, I kept on waiting for the book to start. Over half of it was them traveling and not doing much besides that. Every single time they go somewhere, not much happens. It was a rather boring book. If the latter ones get worse, I'm glad I stopped when I did.



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-17 12:09am
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I wonder how long Mr. Goodkind would last on SDN if he registered on these forums? Two hundred posts? It might be just the event to bring back Darth Wong.

I doubt he'd last very long on another forum that he doesn't own (say if he went on HPCA, his ego would probably treat us HPCAers to the spectacle of Tom Kratman 2.0, Fantasy edition).



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 Post subject: Re: Terry Goodkind Sucks (and steals from Robert Jordan) PostPosted: 2010-11-17 07:03am
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Oh my god. Richard kicked a sociopathic bitch in the face who freely engaged in torturing him with a magical device which makes American torture tactics enhanced terrogation tactics look like a picnic in the park, and was now threatening to have her soldiers capture and rape then kill the woman Richard likes. In kicking the bitch in the face (which ends up mutilating her) he at least has a chance at stopping her doing the same to someone else. But I suppose threatening to have her soldiers rape and kill someone is just "talking shit about your girlfriend." :lol:

I suppose if the secret service injures some crazies in a fight, who are threatening to have President Obama's wife undergo the same treatment it must mean Obama is evil for sicking the secret service on them for "talking shit about his wife." :wanker:

There are plenty of things wrong with Goodkind's writing (more to follow) but having his character retaliate against a villain who does such shit isn't one of them. But I guess because Goodkind's writing SUXS we can say anything we like even if its heavily edited to convey a vastly different picture than what is actually potrayed in the book. AM I RITE?

Things which Goodkind didn't do so well.

1. Magic systems - starting off nicely with rules for the additive and subtractive magic, females find it hard to teach males because their magic is different etc (shades of Robert Jordan's One Power in the latter bit). He then started making things up as needed which IMO appeared just to facilitate the plot. For example earlier mage archetypes were dividied into Wizard (male) and Sorceress (females) with the Witch Woman Shota being something different. Then came the sorcerer whose not exactly a male version of a sorceress, but they have the ability to better copy enchantments because the plot demands it. Oh, and btw, they are immune to a Wizard's magic and vice versa. So we can have the sorcerer blast Richard (who doesn't actually know much magic) and have no effect so Richard can kill him the usual way.

2. Richard learns then forgets magic.

Seriously, its like super hero comics where you power up one character then depower him because he becomes too powerful. The review talks about stupid shit like Richard being able to carve a statue of his magical talents. Who the fuck cares about that special ability. I will rather learn the ability to fire bolts of additive and subtractive magic when I want rather than when the plot dictates. The point is, Goodkind also suffers from powering down his character maybe more so than the irritating thing of powering them up and making them Mary Suish.

You see guys, if Richard knows proper magic, he won't be able to win over people with the strength of his Randian arguments. :roll: No seriously, if he had proper magic and can do things he won't end up captured / in a situation where the way to save his life is to lecture the people about the awesomeness of capitalism.

3. The anti- magic angle

The bad guys use magic, but want to get rid of magic. No, not just magic they don't control, but magic period. While it is quite plausible that we have someone who engages in self hate, like a certain religious deathcultTM it doesn't change the fact that the bad guys idealogy is really stupid and irritating. Not only that, the ancient wars of wizards were fought between one side which wanted to eradicate magic even though they used it / where magical in nature.. because. because.. ah fuck its never explained.

Its as stupid as a scientist using technology to destroy technology for the sake of destroying technology. But thats ok, because they are religious fanatics so the stupidity is explained away.

The anti magic theme also manifests in certain other ways. The numerous foreshadowing that magic is the old religion, and how he creates entire plots involving magical destroying entities, so to power down the characters.

Anti magic capabilities are just used as a plot device. When you want to create false drama have Zed captured by some primitives with their own brand of anti magic magic.

Oh, and the bad guys are immune to the anti magic schick, as we Jagang effortlessly shrugs off the attempts by Mord Sith to contain him. Also the magical destroying chimes entities take longer to work on Jagang's magic. So there.

4. The Aynn Rand preaching

He might have only taken parts of Rand's philosophy which isn't totally stupid, ie he supports capitalism but neglects of mention things like Rand thought donating to charity was immoral (although she thought it was impractical to stop it).

Seriously, this gets tiresome

5. He hates democrats

Book 5 had characters which are blatant pastiches of Bill and Hillary Clinton, down to the Bill character having extramarital affairs and who rapes girls. Bill Clinton may be many things, but I am pretty sure his affairs were consensual.

They are in turn aided by an advisor. In the end the Bill and Hillary characters get their karmic comeuppance by contracting an STD. Oh, and the Imperial order comes after to rape and pillage their country. Thats what you get from siding with evil. Meanwhile the advisor character gets his comeuppance by realising that the woman he pined for is just a stupid idiot, and his policies led to the death of the woman who actually did love him.

6. The pacifists

Ok, in real life peace protesters most likely aren't peace at any price pacifists. In Goodkind's fictional world a lot of them are. Now in Goodkind's world those people are moral cowards whose pacifism helped the bad guys. If peace protesters were really like that in real life, they would be dicks as well. Now that I got that out the way...

I will just say I can't help noticing the allegory these pacifists are to the anti war protesters of the 2000s, even though peace protesters in real life aren't like pacifists in Goodkind's story. Given Goodkind's paranoid claim that America will be conquered because "we have forgotten what freedom means", buttressed with various statements about having to fight for your beliefs, this makes me think his pacifists were a blatant strawman and allegory to peace protesters in real life.

Pacifists come in two sorts in the Goodkind world

a) The first sort appeared later in the series, and these are the ones who Richard can inspire to do the right thing, and take up arms against the invading army which does to women what Catholic priests do to little boys. These peole will do so even if a loud minority of their fellows keep on preaching peace at any price. Now if a peace protester refuses to fight against that occurring on their very doorstep* in real life, I would think they are fucking moral cowards. However I am going to hazard a guess in real life people have their limits, and won't take this shit. In short, this suspiciously seems like another strawman of peace protesters Goodkind constructed.

* when I say very doorstep I mean in your own country and not in Shitholeastan.

b) the second sort are the ones which while talking peace actually do the opposite. They physically obstruct a retreating army running away from the bad guys who torture, kill and rape people. These peace protesters in doing so actually cause harm, not by spreading their policy of appeasement, but by physically helping the enemy. BTW Stofsk, these are the peace protesters Richard cut down. Granted he did it because he was feeling angry, but tactically getting them out the way so his army can run away actually makes sense.

Again one is left with a sneaking suspicion that Goodkind was "living" his fantasy regarding his hatred towards peace protesters with this strawman for Richard to um, cut down.

Things which look like a blatant copy of Jordan's

Ok, I am sure there are numerous similarities, and some may simply be because they are using archetypes. However the Rada Han and the A'dam look very similar down to the description of them being a collar around the neck. For the uniniated these are devices which when you put these around the neck of a magic using person / one who can channel you control their powers.

Things which Goodkind does better than Jordan.

1. He writes faster and his books being less filled with descriptions are easier to follow.

2. The anti-religion angle. The evil emperor isn't just a socialist, he is a fucking religious nutjob which puts Fred Phelps to shame. But that wasn't the part that struck me, because sometimes bad guys are just evil. It was one of the Wizard's rules which state that your only sovereign is reason. Granted the characters may not necessarily follow that, but thematically, and that is the operative word, thematically it was nice.


And in regards to the article (just a few points only)

Quote:
This is a walking deus ex machina. Add to it that Rand is a channeler, drawing magic from the male half of the True Source and able to command all five elements; a master swordsman (no reason for that, either, as it’s just something he picks up in his spare time); somehow able to convince everybody that he’s their rightful ruler; and keeps finding bigger and bigger weapons to amplify his magic, and you have a demigod no one can touch. He was mildly interesting because he might have gone insane from a “stain” on his magic, but in the ninth book of the series, he cleanses the stain.


This guy must have read the book the same way military wankers and RDA apologist watched Avatar. I read those earlier books in the WoT when I was in high school and I can still tell you why he is a master swordsman. Granted this might be because Jordan's writing in those early books were actually good.

1. He picked up tips from Lan who is a master swordsman.

2. He manages to access Lews Therin's memories, the original Dragon being a master swordsman as stated by the Forsaken Be'lial ?sp in book 3 (shit I still remember this stuff, but this awesome reviewer can't)

3. He practices. I believe it was in book 7 he practices against numerous swordsmasters and pays whichever one manages to strike him.

Quote:
I’ve since read more fantasy books than I can remember, but one thing I carried away from Tolkien is a sensitivity to language. It drives me batshit when fantasy authors can’t be bothered to apply realistic linguistic drift to a world.


Maybe if he paid attention to the story instead of the nerdy need to have language fit nicely he might realise why Rand is a master swordsman. Seriously, is that a big thing for people who aren't linguists?



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