Does The Wheel of Time Compare To Game of Thrones?
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.
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.