The Wheel of Time/YMMV

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  • Base Breaker: Egwene is probably the most divisive character in the fandom. The fact that she is considered by many to be a Mary Sue, coupled with a lack of introspection means you either love her or hate her.
  • Broken Base: Mat in the two books (so far) co-written by Brandon Sanderson is either hilarious or acting totally out of character, depending on who you ask. Big points of contention: The "character sheets" in The Gathering Storm and the letter to Elayne in Towers of Midnight.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: Fans believed Robert Jordan's promise that Book 12 would be the final book of the series. The list of people who believed it would succeed in wrapping up the series was... rather smaller.
  • Complete Monster: Most of the Forsaken and Darkfriends. It's quite a testament to the Forsaken's evil that Asmodean, supposedly the least evil of the lot, personally severed his own mother from the Source and had his Myrddraal drag her off.
    • Don't forget Padan Fain, either. Out of all the villains, he is still one of the most frightening.
    • Even among the Forsaken, Semirhage may very well be the worst of the worst.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Elayne, Egwene and Nynaeve are popular choices. Especially Elayne and Nynaeve, because they spend a lot of time getting into trouble and are positively bitchy to the people who pull them out, particularly Mat. Having said that, other characters eventually call them out on it, so one could argue that their irritating behavior was intentional.
    • The key reason why Egwene is such a Base Breaker depends on how much the reader might notice how much this applies to her. Because Elayne and Nyneave spend so much time together, while Egwene seperated from them early in Book 4, it's often forgotten that she was just as much trapped as they were before Mat rescued them in Book 3, and that she treated Mat just as badly as they did if not moreso (early in Book 4, there's scene between Mat and Egwene told through her POV showing us just how much she despises him). Unlike Elayne and Nyneave, Egwene has never apologized for it nor been made to see that she needs to.
      • Also, in Book 2, Nyneave took charge of rescuing Egwene from being a damane. While Egwene was grateful at the time, she quickly forgot or never realized how important Nyneave was to that rescue and spent the next several books rebelling against Nyneave's authority, often for no good reason. In Book 5, she used Tel'aran'rhiod to pull a nasty, mean-spirited trick on Nyneave (which greatly contributed the Break the Haughty storyline Nyneave went through in Book 5) solely to cover up Egwene's own misdeeds. Like the Mat example above, Egwene has never apologized to Nyneave for this, nor been made to see that she needs to.
    • Faile even more so.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Most of the series' villains are vile and/or inhuman enough to avoid getting this, but the "Big Three" Forsaken- Ishamael/Moridin, Lanfear, and Demandred- do get a certain amount of it (being just about the only Forsaken to make it through the series with theri badass-cred intact helps, as does all three being fairly nuanced in their motivations), as do the Seanchan as a whole.
  • Drinking Game: Take a shot every time the phrase 'cloaked in serenity', 'serenity incarnate' or just plain old 'serenity' is used to describe an Aes Sedai. Or don't, because you'll die of liver failure. Mr. Jordan apparently has a fetish for the word.
    • Alternatively, take a shot every time a women sniffs or crosses her arms under her breasts. You probably shouldn't play both games at the same time, though.
  • Ending Fatigue: Book 10. 'Nuff said.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Bela. Really is a horse, but fascinates the fandom anyway.
  • Epileptic Trees: In the fandom these are known as "Loony Theories." This is not a derogative term, however -- some of them have turned out to be dead accurate.
  • Fan Nickname: "Randland" for the main continent in the series (which Word of God never named before his passing but is referred to by The Guide as "The Westlands"), and "Taimandred" for the popular theory that Taim is Demandred (eventually Jossed).
    • Crossroads of Twilight is often called "Characters Show Up", since that's pretty much all that happens all book.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: An out-of-universe example, in Jordan's dust jacket biographies, it always said he intended to keep writing "until they nail shut his coffin".
    • Robert Jordan continued to say this after he found out that he was terminally ill.
  • Funny Moments: Book 12, with an increasingly paranoid Mat. The entire chapter was borderline Pratchett.

"I'm tired of walking into traps unprepared. I plan to take command of my own destiny, stop running from problem to problem. It's time to be in charge."
"And you do that with..." Julin said.
"Elaborate aliases with backstories," Mat said, handing Thom and Noal their sheets. "Bloody right I do."

  • God Mode Sue: Deconstructed/subverted/inverted with Rand for most of the series, especially books 6-12. He's powerful as all hell, but deeply flawed in some of his methods and reasoning. At the end of book 12, he got better and spends most of book 13 playing this more or less straight, though a large part of it is him admitting his sins. At the very end of book 13, he may be slipping back into a subversion/aversion when he sees Lanfear being tortured.
  • Idiot Plot: And lots of it!
    • Amazing how many Idiot Balls get dropped in The Gathering Storm, and how much happens after that...
  • I Knew It!: THIS fanfic. It was written in the early 2000s, and got Asmodean's murderer right, down to the little details. Brandon Sanderson mentioned that it was in the notes on the end of the series, with one phrase handwritten on it: THIS IS RIGHT. It's the one RJ kept referring to when he said that someone on the internet has it right.
  • It Was His Sled: Seriously, did anyone not figure out that Rand was the Dragon by the end of the first book?
  • Les Yay: Loads of it between Elayne and Aviendha.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Mesaana engineered the tower schism, setting up two Black Ajah Keepers and playing the two sides of the single greatest Light-side organization against each other for mouths. The single most successful indirect ploy by the Shadow in the entire series.
    • Rahvin's plot in Andor wasn't that bad either.
  • The Masochism Tango: Faile picks fights with Perrin because that's how all Saldaean relationships are expected to work, and she's insulted if he acts like a doormat.
    • Also, just about every other relationship. Mr. Jordan had some... interesting views on the female psyche. There is a word: "woolhead." Get used to it.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Rand comes dangerously close to this after spending the last two to three books walking nearer the edge, almost going off the edge when he almost kills Tam, his father, after learning that Cadsuane had brought him to Rand.
    • And, of course, all of Forsaken crossed it.
    • In-universe, Slayer permanently killing Hopper in the wolf dream was this in Perrin's eyes.
  • Padding: It would be easier to list the stuff in this series that isn't padding.
    • Later in the plot, Elayne has to spend some time jockeying for the Lion Throne. This was generally felt to take way too long.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Mat spends most of the first two books either whining or dying from the cursed dagger he stole, being an idiot at the time. However, after being cured of the taint and recovering, he Takes a Level in Badass, gains reality-warping super-luck, and has a Crowning Moment of Awesome on the first walk he takes after getting out of a sickbed.
    • If anyone still dislikes Egwene after The Gathering Storm...
    • Gawyn defeating three elite assassins on his own despite the fact that he could barely see them in Towers of Midnight helped him, too, not to mention his turn against Elaida.
    • Or even Faile after Towers of Midnight. She might not be anyone's favorite character, but nine books and the events of Malden have left their mark.
        • It helps that at the beginning of Towers of Midnight she admits to not liking who she was in the first couple of books and takes it down a notch. She still maintains a fiery attitude, but seems to handle it better than simply hitting the thing that annoys her i.e. Perrin.
  • The Scrappy: Several female characters, primarily the manipulative, anger-equals-love Faile. Mat was one of these too, until he Took a Level in Badass around book 3.
    • Also, Crossroads of Twilight can be considered the Scrappy book of the series.
  • Seasonal Rot - Crossroads Of Twilight, the tenth book of the series, is the worst part of the series if you believe the reviews at Amazon. The action consists of the same two days from the point of view of almost every every tenth character we've ever met... that is to say, Loads and Loads of Characters.
    • Things seem to be getting better in the next book (Knife of Dreams), and the 12th and 13th, though, due to streamlining the plot as much as possible on Brandon Sanderson's part.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Loial's match with Erith. Sweet, but not particularly developed. Like most of the romances in the series, really. Some of the characters are even Genre Savvy enough to realise this is happening to them.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Faile capture by the Shaido. Elayne's political plot in the later books, while arguably important to the plot as a whole, drags on far longer then it should.
  • Uncanny Valley: Myrdraal are just human looking enough to make they're inhuman features (particularly the lack of eyes, but also the way they move) exceptionally disturbing.
  • Unfortunate Implications: These books are not exactly a feminist screed. See also Author Appeal. And... not in the books themselves, but the Contemptible Cover of "The Great Hunt" portrays Trollocs are dark-skinned humans.
    • Arad Doman is one big country of Unfortunate Implications. The people are described as dark-skinned, with every single woman being a cunning seductress and every man having an explosive temper. And it's one of the few nations that has been reduced to utter chaos due to constant infighting and wars with its neighbors. Not that the nations inhabited by white people are any better though.
  • The Untwist: Several. The biggest is that everyone figured out that Moiraine was going to come back at some point.
  • What an Idiot!: Rand destroying the Choedan Kal out of Wangst. Tarmon Gai'don isn't going to be fun...
    • On the other hand, he didn't blow it to bits until after he had his epiphany moment. So perhaps he just realized that enough power to destroy reality was a little bit too much and got rid of it to eliminate temptation to do something stupid again? Especially since the female one was already gone and therefore balanced One Power use with them was impossible.
    • Also, it is strongly implied that Rand needs to use Callandor at least one more time, probably at Tarmon Gai'don.
    • The prophecies talk a lot about Callandor, but there isn't a single mention of the Choedan Kal. Rand recognizes this, assumes that the CK are some sort of trap, and destroys the remaining one out of self-preservation.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: All that stuff upthread in the What the Hell, Hero? entry and elsewhere about all the horrible things Rand has done? Over the course of the series he has received two wounds from Artifacts of Doom, lacerations that have not healed in years and as far as we know never will. He has some degree of memory of his previous life, a figure reviled worldwide for murdering his own family and causing Apocalypse How. Plus dozens of implanted memories from ancestors given as a sort of magical history lesson, and himself in alternate realities, all of which had rough lives in war-torn worlds. Rand developed severe claustrophobia from being locked in a box for weeks, and after that he was imprisoned in another jail cell which happened to be pretty damn small. Later, his hand was blown off by a fireball, and he might be going blind. All this happened to a guy with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He's killed thousands himself (mostly in battles, but not entirely), and endangered the lives of the entire world, is not only prophesied to cause much more damage than he already has, but also to die in the rapidly approaching final battle... and considering what he's been through, can you blame him?