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Does The Wheel of Time Compare To Game of Thrones?

Updated on August 14, 2013
My Benchmark For Fantasy Novels
My Benchmark For Fantasy Novels

A Quick Spiral Out of Control

Come all ye fantasy nerds, flock to my Hubpages account and gather round it like a warm hearth on a frigid fortnight. I have come to you to shamelessly ask for my first comment from any Hubpages audience member out there. Alas, my newborn account is a comment virgin (A situation many a nerd who would be reading this may know something about.). I don't ask this to gain more earnings or generate more traffic. For I have real needs here people, I have questions that need answering.

Let us start at the start, about a year ago a show premiered that garnered my attention from the get go. HBO's epic fantasy drama Game of Thrones ensnared me from the opening episode. How could it not? You can't throw a child from a castle and not expect viewers to turn in the next week. Jamie Lannister, you evil lion!

I must openly out myself as a non-fantasy guru. The ideas of magic and dragons never made an impression or peaked my curiosity. I understood there was a large population out there into the fantastical but I however, was not one.

Then, along came this show! Rather than cheering on sports teams and chasing babes I was designing my own house sigil, which is officially a bicep holding a red beer on a field of white, and honestly considering changing religions to the Drowned God of the sea. What is dead may never die!

Halfway through the season I bought the first book. As I laid the novel down on the counter the cashier looked up at me and said, "Want to join our clan in WoW?" Anger, rage and confusion filled my soul. Why in the name of God would he think I would want to play World of Warcraft? But then it dawned on me. I'm one of them...

Alcoholics tell me admitting the problem is the first step and I find this true. Not that I'm in anyway an alcoholic, although I have already mentioned beer and we have only just begun? I was officially what the masses call a "fantasy nerd". Once I admitted it, I could have cared less. So what if I like dragons and wish I could see prophecies in fire, if I could you'd be jealous. Admit it.

I powered through all five books, the fifth conveniently coming out the exact day I finished the fourth, and am currently biding my time awaiting The Winds of Winter. I bi-weekly check George R. R. Martin's website to make sure he hasn't died and left the story unfinished. Let's be honest, I'm all for an artist taking his time to perfect his masterpiece but if I am seriously in my early thirties by the time the next book comes out I may have to hire a Faceless Man to go postal on Martin.

So, herein lies my problem and the basis that I am asking you, the readers, to comment on. As I sit and wait, what can I use to fill the long days that surely lie ahead?

My thoughts are this, I have heard countless times that if I like the A Song of Ice and Fire series then I will absolutely love The Wheel of Time. Follow me my band of nerds, my thoughts ahead.

Does This Series Even Come Close to Comparing With ASOIAF?
Does This Series Even Come Close to Comparing With ASOIAF?

Worries of a Skeptic

My decline into my present nerdy state was lightening quick. This has been documented. My worries are that The Wheel of Time series won't come close to comparing to ASOIAF and thus put a blemish on the fantasy series as a whole for me.

Here is what I know to be true. Robert Jordan, the author, died before he could finish the series. Strike one, I have been led to believe someone is finishing the series for him but how do I know this is the ending the author envisioned?

The series is like fourteen books or some ridiculous number and they all total close to 1,000 pages. Now, this could be a blessing or a curse. Is each book equally great? Do they build momentum over the course or is there a stretch of three books that are terrible and will make me stop before the end? I would rather not get halfway into an epic story just to decide it is not worth the time. This could or could not be strike two.

I read a back cover of book one and the character names sound utterly annoying, Rand al Tor? If I'm wrong about that name please don't give my computer a virus or use google maps to find me and beat me down with your lightsabers. Granted, names like Theon, Kraznaz mo Kraznaz or Illyrio aren't common and easy to pronounce but they have come to grow on me which I hope these new Wheel of Time characters ultimately do as well. I literally buy the beer Bell's Oberon whenever I'm at the liquor store strictly because it reminds me of Oberyn Martell. Sand Snakes unite, Oberyn is my hero. Not another beer reference! My drinking habits will seriously be looked at over the next few weeks, perhaps I will write a Hub on my conclusions.

Lastly, will I end up caring about the characters in The Wheel of Time series like I do my Thrones characters. The cast is gigantic but characters like complicated and trouble Theon Greyjoy, who can never decide the right move, or witty Tyrion are etched into my mind. The aforementioned Sand Snakes, xylem-becoming Bran, love-to-hate Ramsay, stoic but awesome Stannis, Davos, Damphair, Victarion (You may be able to tell that I am a fan of House Greyjoy. What is dead may never die, reference number two.) and everyones favorite preteen assassin, Arya, are characters I truly care about and stay up nights wondering what may happen to them in the following books. Are there characters that will engross me as the previous have? Are the stories and situations just as good and able to get the reader riveted? Basically, is the world created in The Wheel of Time something I should take a chance on?

Come all ye fantasy nerds, flock to my page and put down the thoughts that fill those heads of yours. This is only the third Hub in a long line that will surely follow but I am ready to give my comment "V" card, I wish you fellow nerds the same luck in your personal lives.


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      Jacob Dukes 2 years ago

      They are both so awesome and different. I love to read fantasy and sci-fi. Do you like to read? Do you like fantasy/sci-fi? If you answered yes then pick up book one of either series and get going. I know that I got so mad at book four of GOT that I almost stopped reading but just power through. Wheel of time can get a little slow at times but its just like life, not always weddings, parades, battles and funerals. Really good character development in both series. But yes Wheel of Time will change your life for the better. We're all part of the pattern brother.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      It was my son in New Zealand who told me about the Game of Thrones. Months later a neighbor mentioned the series and he shared his set with my. WOW! At first I found it very very violent but because so many writers here seem to feel it was worth writing a article on this Epic series, I persevered. My son knew the ideas of magic and dragons had made an impression or peaked my curiosity in the past, so I must admit, I'm now reading the first book and am following the third series.

      Thanks for sharing that the author had died but that some other script writer will complete the saga.

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      Jared 3 years ago

      Nice blog topic. I've read both series, many times. I have to say that I've re-read WOT more often, even though it's more volumous. That it's likely the reason, along with the sheer number of plot lines and characters, that it doesn't get old. I've probably read the series 6 times and each time I seem to invest my attention to different characters or plots. GOT simply doesn't have that quality or depth. Favorite character is Mat.. Rand is the most badass. Like others have said Perrin is cool but broods too much over BS. The only women that isn't annoying is Tuon and Moraine.. I don't know if Jordan intentionally wrote the women's story lines about hating men, clothes, and self contemplation, to target feminist audiences but it sure comes off that way.. it actually made me kina sexist, in terms of the books. Lol.

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      TheFlood 3 years ago

      FYI, Crossroads of Twilight is the worst book in the WOT series (really, the only real bad book) so hopefully you muscled your way through it. I think you will see, and agree, that the last 4 books are incredible and hard to put down. I feel like the conclusion that takes place really over the last 3 books is the most satisfying ending to any series i have ever read. Brandon Sanderson not only did an admirable job of finishing the series, personally, I think that he made it better. With that said, where are you at? Have you finished? If so, what were your thoughts.

      I found this blog while doing a little research on behalf of my girlfriend, who like you was not into fantasy at all until the GOT HBO series. Like you, she is a full on GOT geek and I have been trying to get her to read the WOT. I am really interested to hear your take once you finish. I do agree that ultimately, it isn't an apples to apples comparison, the 2 series are really quite different.

      Anyway, nice blog. I am excited to hear your progress and reaction

    • deealvar profile image

      deealvar 3 years ago from Indianapolis

      Haha we've got some passion here finally! What's wrong with liking both? Truthfully besides each being grouped into the fantasy genre I do not see a whole lot of similarities between the two and can enjoy each series for what they are, but maybe that's just me. Good post though

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      Jesse 3 years ago

      Game of thrones is a shallow joke aimed at utilizing the ideas and motivations poised in wheel of time to make money off a demogrpahic incapable of reading or as easily biased by an annoying character name. Essentially game of thrones is made to make money off the good ideas in fantasy by ripping them off and passing them onto you in a more digestible form, meaning tv instead of print. Basically Game of thrones is to wheel of time what hunger games is the long walk. Thanks for being part of the demogrpahic that ensured the stand gets 3 hours, hunger games gets 3 movies, and enable a world were ben affleck is batman.

    • deealvar profile image

      deealvar 3 years ago from Indianapolis

      Have not finished yet, currently on Crossroads of Twilight, this truly is an intense undertaking reading 14 800+ page books. I've been reading two at a time and then taking a few months off and reading a few novels from different genres in between so as not to burn myself out. So far I am realizing you can't even compare the two series together as they are soooo different. I find game of thrones a lot darker probably because all of the rapes and detailed killing where wheel of time seems more mystical because of the source and magic but they can definitely be compared in quality which is want I wanted when I started. I flew through the first five books and as I heard books six, seven and eight seemed to lag. They were still very good because I am invested in the characters but after finishing them I realized the story didn't progress very far for reading 3000 pages. I do feel both excited and sad as there are only a few books left so I am trying to take my time with them. The Wheel of Times world just seems so much bigger for some reason because events don't only center around a dozen characters or locations there are literally a hundred factions that I have to keep in my head and am intrigued by. So far my favorite characters are Rand and Mat, Perrin has fallen off for me after the first few books he just seems to brood and internally question himself with Faile. Egwene, Nynaeve and Elaine are okay but I am not pumped when I get their chapters, I really like Rand, Mat, The Forsaken, certain Aiel, but for some reason Mat's story around Ebou Dar and Rand just being an all out cold killer is what pushes me through these massive amounts of pages. I would say if I had a new ASOIAF book or a WoT book I would choose the ASOIAF but they are close. I do hope at some point someone is given the reins to try a portrayal of WoT which is probably blasphemous to some purists out there because they think it'll be butchered but I feel the same people probably had the same feelings about Game of Thrones. What does everyone else think about both series and who are your favorite characters? Also, I am trying to gauge interest in writing a series of articles on some of the main Wheel of Time characters summarizing their journeys through the series much as I have with the Game of Thrones characters, hoping there's the same amount of interest in WoT if I do!!!

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      danny 3 years ago

      So did you finish them?

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      Ayekenspelgud 3 years ago

      I've read both series. For those of you who have only read 3-5 WOT books, you're not quite into the real meaty flesh of the story yet. Although books 7 and 8 are incredibly slow and boring--with some fun highlights--the complete WOT story is a phenomenal masterpiece of literature and my personal favorite story ever! I love GOT, but nothing can compare to WOT, despite it's flaws.

      As novelists/storytellers go, none have kept me enthralled like Jordan, excepting Alexandre Dumas.

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      Frank 3 years ago

      Joe Abercrombie's is better than Game of Thrones and Wheel of Time

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      Joe 3 years ago

      I have read all the books of both series. Still waiting on Ice and Fires next one an I'm a little behind with the series on HBO. Both are awesome reads and will keep you reading. To me the big difference is that there is more magic in wheel of time and it is written for a younger audience although there are plenty of adult themes throughout. Ice and fire is more gritty than wheel but wheel is extremely epic and just generally an awesome read. Also, Sanderson, the guy who took over wheel for Jordan, did a really good job finishing it up.

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      Matt Dragovits 3 years ago

      I powered through the "Game of Thrones" and felt it was the best fantasy series I had ever read. Now that I am reading "Wheel of Time" I have to say that I'm not sure which is better. I'm on book four of "Wheel of Time" and I can tell you that in my opinion George RR Martin may have gotten some of the influence for his books from this amazing series. I'm loving it and can't get through each book fast enough.

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      Jessigirlrae 3 years ago

      I read ASOIAF first and am now on book five of WOT. I LOVE WoT! I find it a thousand times more interesting than ASOIAF was. I was super bored with the last two books and waiting for the next one is going to exhaust me. I too decided to read WoT while I was waiting and am LOVING it! I have to admit though... I'm listening to it on Audio while at work instead of physically reading it. The Audio version is amazing! Gives great life to the characters. I also listened to the Audio versions of ASOIAF and they were not nearly as good. I don't believe the story lines were as interesting at all and I felt like the books were rushed. It took me forever to finish a Dance with Dragons simply cause I was sooo bored.

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      4 years ago

      Wheel of Time although more unrealistic has a more captivating story and has interesting characters that the reader can actually read about without them dying. The world is more expansive and contains more lore. ASOIAF kills the most interesting character in the first book and goes downhill from there. All the characters except for Jon Snow are annoying and reading the book is a hassle.

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      4 years ago

      I have been reading and re-reading the entire WoT series for years man. Not exclusively them, but they are good enough literary bodies in the sense of the poetic prose and descriptive narrative that minus all the fantasy stuff it's still a fucking good read!

      I am absolutely obsessed with ASOIAF now too.

      They're both so good, different, and not mutually exclusive.

      You'll like Mat and Rand when they bloom ;)

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      4 years ago

      I love The Wheel of Time, maybe even a little but more than A Song of Ice and Fire, even though I'm only on Knife of Dreams. (Trial Under the Light in the opening is incredible!).

      The only book I'm not too keen on is Crossroads of Twilight, but it wasn't too bad, you just need to not rush your reading to try to get to the end; though it is difficult as you want to know what happens.

      The characters are so good, Rand, Mat and Perrin are all so relatable, not to mention badass! The girls can get annoying, but you grow to love them.

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      tom 4 years ago

      am 30+, have read GoT and really enjoyed it (feels like a matured story). Have now started WoT and already am about to stop readying it (that's why i googled it now :-)) .. compared to GoT, the wheel feels like a unmatured story, without depth and vision.

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      alan 4 years ago

      lol wast of time. anyway I began reading the wot series at about 7 or 8 and have grown up with these characters (I am 17) so that may skew my view of the series but I found it to be the best I ever read. each book tied for the number two spot on my best book ever list.

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      Ralf 4 years ago

      Weel of Time compares to Song of Ice and Fire like a bottle of cheap sparkling wine to a bottle of Champagne.

      Well, not everybody likes Champagne, some prefer sparkling wine.

      For me, Wheel of Time was a Wast of Time.

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      Deealvar 4 years ago

      Oh great, I am officially one hundred pages away from finishing the fifth book and this is what I have to look forward too?! Perrin is one of my favorite characters and Mat and Rand obviously, the girls are pretty lame even though I enjoy the stories and characters around them buying agree entire Nynaeve and Elayne chapters rip my heart out and exhaust me when I get to them. All and all though, definitely still a great series

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      EddyLu 4 years ago

      I agree. Books 6 - 10 are notoriously annoying with braid tugging, dress descriptions and all the action happening near the end of the book in a rush. Audiobooks is the only way I got through those. I just half listened to most of those books until the focus switched to more interesting characters and plot lines. Elayne and Perrin also spend way too much time brooding and contemplating! Book 11 brings it back and Jordan dying may actually have been a blessing as 12-14 definitely pick the pace back up. If he had died after book 5 this could've easily been a 10 book series...

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      Hagen 4 years ago

      I read the Wheel of Time until the 7th or 8th book and got tired of 1000 page hardback books where nothing happens until the last 20 pages and entire chapters spent talking about Elayne getting dressed. WoT is good for a few books and then just gets dull.

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      hmmm 4 years ago


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      Monique 5 years ago

      Although my favorite WoT character is Mat, who is by far the coolest character, I understand how he doesn't make that big an impression early on. I can relate to finding Rand annoying, some of his actions had me pulling out my hair in frustration. I loved WoT before I liked GoT, it was the first fantasy I read with such strong females! If you can overlook a lot of Jordan's seeming prudishness, it was important for teenage me to find fictional strong women to look up to. I found Game of Thrones also had very strong female characters, but they were stifled by the patriarchal society Martin had placed them. There are many similarities between GoT and WoT, Martin seemed to borrow concepts from Jordan who previously borrowed from Tolkien, but I think they are telling different stories really. Jordan's story world was violent and concerned with duty, honor, good and evil. Martin's story killed his most honorable character early and the people who survive are the most cunning, his story is equally violent and concerned with the politics of the world, but it is crueler, stark (ha!) and cold.

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      bread 5 years ago

      It starts feeling less like Lord of The Rings as the series goes. Not sure I can relate to you not liking Rand or Mat, they are clearly the best characters. The writing in The Wheel of Time is much better than in Game of Thrones,

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      David2 5 years ago

      @deealvar - Interesting the characters you mention; I just finished the last book an hour ago and some of them make it to the Last Battle and play such an interest role ;).

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      David 5 years ago

      I was a big fan of David Eddings books before i started reading WoT but i quickly got a new favourite. Only took me until the second book before i conceded. I have also read all the Game of throne books but for me at least Wheel of Time is hands down the greatest fantasy books i have ever read. Out of all the books i can honestly say that there isn't one that feels like a filler, the way the fourth book in a song of ice and fire feels.

    • deealvar profile image

      deealvar 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      Ok nerds, I'm officially hooked. I'm near the end of The Eye of the World and have already bought the rest of the series. It looks to be a long haul but that's alright. Wheel of Time definitely reminds me more of Lord of the Rings than ASOIAF because of the creatures an magic but still very good in its own right. Definitely loving more characters than others, Perrin is for sure the best but I also like Loial, Elyas Machera, Lan, Logain, the Morgases' and moiraine. The Emonds field girls are annoying and right now I don't care much about rand or mat, I keep just wanting perrin's wolves to come back! Very good first book, hope it continues on.

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      Jasmine 5 years ago

      I haven't read those books but I may check them out. They must be great when you got hooked up even if you don't like fantasy novels.

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      Michael J Rapp 5 years ago from United States

      Like you, I was never into fantasy novels either, and ASOIAF is the first true fantasy series I've ever read. After my wife talked me into reading the Hunger Games triology (after ASOIAF I really don't think of that as fantasty), I found myself at the bookstore needing to cleanse my mental palette in a very bad way. A Game of Thrones was an interesting book with an angry-looking man with a sword on the cover, and I figured it ought to get that goofy Hunger thing out of my head well enough. I didn't realize there were four more books, and I didn't know there was an HBO series. I got hooked like you, and read all five books pretty quickly, then watched the series. Reading up on Martin's writing habits, it looks like it might be a long, long time until the next book comes out. It's excruciating, but now I'm thinking I'll check out these Wheel of Time books in the meantime. You know, to kill the next three years or so. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • deealvar profile image

      deealvar 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      Update time, officially bought The Eye of the World and started it tonight. Grabbed my attention pretty quickly. This dark cloaked rider seems pretty menacing and coupled with the town councils whispered fireside ominous talks creates a sense of impending doom. Also this Moiraine lady seems interesting. Thank you all for the feedback on this, I'm looking forward to getting deep into this book in the next few weeks!

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      diplorging 5 years ago from Serbia

      Lucky you, you have been thinking about Martin's health for so short time. There are so many of us who are concerned for years:)

      I started reading both series at the same time, about ten years ago, and I have to tell you - if you haven't read The Wheel of Time, you are not one of us:) I told to all my friends that liked ASOIAF that they should read Robert Jordan's books, so I will give the same advice to you.

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      Lauryallan 5 years ago

      Hi deealvar and welcome to hubpages.

      I am a huge fantasy genre fan and started reading The Wheel of Time books when I was in my teens. It's been over a decade since I first started the books and had a long wait for each book after about the 4th book in the series. I have to admit that Robert Jordan's series is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read and I feel it is even better than Game of Thrones. If they made it into a tv show I would be ecstatic!! Each subsequent book was well worth the wait.

      You shouldn't worry about whether the series was finished as Robert Jordan had intended as it was done as closely to his instructions as was humanly possible. Jordan knew for a long time that he was sick with cancer and was unlikely to finish the series. Him and his wife chose a fantasy author they really liked called Brandon Sanderson to finish the series for him. He gave him detailed notes about each plot line and characters development. Sanderson is a great author in his own right and did a marvelous job of finishing off the epic series. You won't be disappointed!

      Yes in the beginning some of the character names seem strange or weird but you quickly get to know and love each character. The characters are so varied and diverse. There's someone for everyone. I think you'll probably like Matt or Perrin the best, if you give the series a chance. If you like darker characters or evil characters then you'll love some of the Dark Lord's supporters. Or you might be a fan of the Wardens, I thnk you'll

      I would suggest you give this a shot. Yes the books are long, but if you enjoy it they go quickly and you'll be at the end b4 you know it. If you're not sure and think it's too long a series then try the Mistborn Trilogy series. If you like that then you'll definitely like The Wheel of Time.

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada


      Allow me to pop your comment cherry (I shall be gentle).

      I have not read/watched Game of Thrones and therefore cannot speak to that side of the argument. I have read The Wheel of Time series; however, and I can say it is very good. Three dead books all in a row? No, at least not to my thinking. There are most certainly characters whose stories and presence in the book I enjoy more though. I would not wish to comment on other aspects as I do not wish to be a spoiler.

      Robert Jordan DID die and that was annoying. The new guy (I forget his name) is working off detailed notes left by Jordan and the flavor and direction of the story seem to mesh well with what went before. The shear volume of material is not for the feint of heart.

      Welcome to Hubpages!