The OF Blog: What if other writers had conceived/written the Wheel of Time series

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What if other writers had conceived/written the Wheel of Time series

Now that the final Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson Frankenbook, A Memory of Light (or as some might think, a memory of lighter books that didn't feel as though their fatness were about to cause a literary coronary) has passed, now comes the time on Sprockets where we danc...err, we'll skip that and move to the fun, imaginative exercise of imagining what disparate writers could have done with the basic premise if they had to write the story from scratch:

David Mitchell:

Mitchell would have taken not just the Age of Legends and Third Age eras, but all seven eras of the Wheel of Time, and he would have told within a single volume a complex, interwoven set of seven tales in which the Dragon, Moridin, the Dark One, Egwene, Perrin, Mat, the Creator, Bela, and that old man from Scene 24 who was last seen scratching himself vigorously outside a dilapidated inn in Lugard explore the issue of reincarnation and how choices made in their previous lives will come to affect them in the Ages to come.  There would be an emphasis on the language of fate and our pressing against it, minus several thousand repetitions of one's accoutrements.

Samuel Beckett:

WoT here would be recast as a play in which Ishamael and the Dark One would be sitting at Shayol Ghul with the other Forsaken, waiting for the Dragon Reborn.  Several scenes would be devoted to their attempts to come to an understanding of their predicaments and the hopes that they have for power and dominance once the effin' Dragon is Reborn.  It would encapsulate in barely 100 pages all of the Forsaken's motivations and would permit them to be complex, dynamic characters rather than the cookie-cutter bad guys of the Jordan/Sanderson series.

Brian Evenson:

Through a combination of short stories and slender novels, the inexplicable natures of the Dark One and the Creator would be explored through apocalyptic scenes in which the Dragon Reborn and his cohorts discover that the violence that they are perpetuating from Age to Age is but part of a larger struggle whereby the violence itself, like Ouroboros, is wrapped about itself, attempting to swallow itself whole.  There can be no beginning or end, as violence itself permeates all existence.

Samuel Delany:

The action would unfold through a fractured narrative in which the metanarrative aspects, namely the polarizing elements of love and violence would manifest itself in a misty environment in which the Dragon Reborn, Moridin, the Dark One, and Bela would attempt to find ways to define themselves while discovering themselves within each other...and each other's body cavities.  The language would be precise and gripping, but perhaps strike a bit too close to home at times for the more prudish readers.

Angela Carter:

WoT here would be retold as a series of fairy tales in which gender relations would receive a total makeover.  Instead of the quasi-bourgeois attitudes toward sex that both the male and female characters voiced (with the unmarried couples dying while the properly married survived), the women here would have not just the power that came from the men destroying civilization 3000 years before, but also would display a more modern and egalitarian sexual/social dynamic in which more than the "exotics" would have women soldiers and that there wouldn't have to be a constant mention of men and their amorous proclivities whenever two women or more are gathered together.

China Miéville:

MONSTERS.  Need I say more?  Oh, and the squirrel from Kraken would make a reappearance here to set up all sorts of plot devices.

Helen Oyeyemi:

All of the female characters who had been fridged by Rand and crew would burst out from Jordan/Sanderson's manuscript and proceed to explain to them why the story shouldn't reduce women to bourgeois stereotypes of feminine approaches to life (if such a thing as "feminine approaches" could ever be argued seriously).

Jeff VanderMeer:

There would be more fungi in the series and the Green Man would have a more important role.  The series would be reduced by 90%, as the Dragon Reborn would become a detective working grudgingly for the Forsaken, trying to figure out the world's past pre-Dark One conquest, before discovering his past self locked in a fungal embrace, which would provide a vital clue in how to defeat these mysterious, alien creatures.  All the while, the prose would be much less dependent upon repetitive descriptions and much more reliant upon weird imagery to forward the story toward a more memorable and worthwhile conclusion.

Terry Goodkind:

He would add an'greal that were analogues for vibrators and he would rename it The Sword of Truthiness, of course.

Ayn Rand:

"Who is Moridin?" would open the series and the greed and selfishness of the Forsaken would eventually triumph over the do-gooders and their attempts to inflict socialist attitudes on the WoT nations.  Oh, and Moridin would give a 567 page speech on the glories of laissez-faire capitalism while also denouncing altruism.  And Bela would be balefired to make this point clear.

 David Foster Wallace:

WoT would be a brilliant, but sometimes baffling work in which each individual volume would expand by 50% to include a complex, time-warping series of authorial intrusions in which early on Lews Therin and Elan's competitive tennis careers would come to play a major role in understanding the events of The Eye of the World.

William S. Burroughs:

WoT would be retold as a series of drug-induced dream sequences, in which the hash that the Two Rivers people grew for global consumption would spark a metaphorical rivulet of hallucinatory pseudo-memories in which the trials and travails of the Dragon Reborn to move from relationship to relationship while battling to protect his stash from the Dark One's minions would comprise the core of this fractured narrative.

Junot Díaz:

Shit would get real, muthafucker.   Oh, and the characterizations would be much better with copious usage of the Old Tongue as a means to show the biculturalism of several of the characters in a way that does not stereotype the Illianers, the Cairhieners, and the Sharans.

Stephanie Meyer:

It'd be just like Twilight, except Rand and Moridin would form "teams" to fight for Bela's affections, as the Last Battle would come to involve lots of CGI werewolves, sparkly channelers, and a seductive apple scene.

Doubtless there are more, worthier authors that could be imagined here, so feel free to add them, with descriptions of how they too would have rewritten WoT.


J.R.R. Tolkien

Oh wait, he already (ghost)wrote The Eye of the World.


Madeline B said...

"Oh, and Moridin would give a 567 page speech on the glories of laissez-faire capitalism while also denouncing altruism."

567 pages? Pfft, that could have fit into the books as they stand just fine. ;)

Larry Nolen said...

Well, that's the average per book, I'll admit with some chagrin.

John said...

hehehe.. the Terry Goodkind one... LOL

Careful Larry,the Westeros neckbeards will be out with pitchforks now!

Larry Nolen said...

Well, someone would have to link it there for them to be after me...not up for that, even if I think many would laugh rather than be upset with the authors chosen for the "rewrites"!

Anonymous said...

Harold Pinter. It would be a joy.

Nearly Headless Ned.

Larry Nolen said...

Need to read Pinter first to do an impression, but from what I've gathered about his personality, it would likely be amusing, no?

James said...

Michael Cisco would prove an interesting alternative.

Larry Nolen said...

Good lord, Cisco WoT is too mind-blowing to contemplate at the moment :D

Anonymous said...

Larry- There would be a few pauses just to stretch things out. Pinter really was a unique writer so he's worth checking out.

Nearly Headless Ned.

srs said...

Tarantino's screenplay re-imagines WOT as the story of the ninja-sorceress Nynaeve who slices and dices her opponents with her Deadly Braid of Death. Plus the soundtrack is kickin'.

Larry Nolen said...

Hrmm...I'm imagining Pinter having Shatner play the lead.

As for Tarantino WoT, wouldn't it have to have some reference to Knoxville and use the n-word a bit too much? :P

srs said...

Dunno about Knoxville, but most of the profanity would come from Mat Cauthon being told that he has to go by the name "Mr. Pink"

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