So over on /r/books Wheel of Time made it to the top post the other day. I was reading through the comments when the inevitable hit. Some ass hat pulls out the tired statement of all the women being the same. Which is just bullshit. I’m sorry, but if you think that every woman character in the Wheel of Time series is the same then the problem is with you.
Ask five fans who their favorite character in the Wheel of Time series is and you’ll get five different answers. This says something about the writing. The characters are all distinct individuals, both the men and the women. Yes, Robert Jordan had some issues with making a lot of the women sniff in distaste/annoyance/whatever and as much as I love Nynaeve she does tug on her braid a lot. But those are two really superficial things.
I mean hell, Nynaeve is the only one that tugs on her braid so fuck you. Also Robert Jordan was a boob man, that much is very clear.
Let’s make a (short) list of the main woman characters.
Nynaeve, Egwene, Min, Elayne, Aviendha, Moiraine, Faile, and Tuon. (I said short and yes I’m missing so many people that could be considered main characters, but I can’t list them all or we’d do nothing else today.) Someone, please, tell me how any two of these awesome women are “the same”.
Let’s take the two who are arguably the most similar, Faile and Min. They both support their love interest more than they drive their own storyline, they both love knives, they both are ready and willing to get down and fight, and I love Min and hate Faile (I’m making an effort to re-evaluate her on this read through).
Min is straightforward in her approach to life, supports and protects Rand with a gentle teasing manner, and will fucking cut an Aes Sedai trying to cause him harm. Min has a love of dense as fuck philosophy books, accidentally starts a fashion trend, and can see the future. And she sure as shit can’t embroider worth a damn.
Faile pushes Perrin to take the leadership role that he is actually really fucking good at, accepts his wolfbrotherness without hesitation, and has a jealous streak a mile wide. Faile is a great spymaster, can run an army camp like no one’s business, and knows how to use gossip to her advantage. She sure as shit can embroider, not that she’ll ever admit to that fact.
You could do the same comparison with Nynaeve and Egwene and Elayne and Tuon. Arguably characters with similar set up, but widely different executions. They share traits, both small village girls thrust into a scary big world or both next in line for their respective kingdoms thrones. But you have to admit they are widely different characters.
I’m just tired after all these years of stupid fuckers ignoring all of the amazingly different women characters Wheel of Time has.