If you haven’t yet, check out Part One of my Wheel of Time character rankings. This part covers the lower three tiers and also contains heavy spoilers. Reader beware.
This might be the more interesting of the two parts, because who doesn’t want a little bit of drama in their lives? This post will cover the characters I like the least and some of them might be a bit controversial.
Be sure to tell me what you agreed with or disagreed with in the comments below.
Nynaeve – Starting off strong with what might be one of my more controversial opinions. I never liked Nynaeve and I’m already annoyed at having to write that name because it’s so hard to spell. And, honestly, I cannot explain what it is about Nynaeve that I dislike.
From the start of the story, she frustrated me. Some of her decisions and opinions made no sense. Her random bouts of angst and anger annoyed me. Her grudge against Moiraine for…saving the boys lives? Like what? How are you going to be mad about that for YEARS?
But I don’t have her ranked too low because there were scenes that I absolutely loved Nynaeve. I enjoyed her relationship with Lan. I enjoyed watching her grow and develop into a character who could, however reluctantly, submit to good authority when Egwene became the Amyrlin Seat. All of that showed a great arc that was fun to read.
But there’s still something about her. Of all the main characters, I like her the least. I debated ranking her lower, but she was so important to the story, I couldn’t bring myself to do that.
Cadsuane – This is an interesting character that I actually spent a lot of time considering where I was going to rank her. I don’t necessarily dislike Cadsuane…I just don’t see her point.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand how important she is to Rand and his development. I get her importance to the overall story. But her role is the role that Moiraine was already doing before her untimely series exit. Cadsuane felt a bit like Jordan thought “Crap, I still need that mentor role for him. Guess I gotta invent this crazy powerful Aes Sedai who…has been in hiding for years or something?” She felt like a character developed to resolve a plot hole.
While I appreciate what she did, because of that feeling, her character fell flat for me. I don’t think she ever really got legs. I never rooted for her, I never cared very much about her. Giving her the Seat at the end didn’t make me happy. I don’t know, I was never on board the Cadsuane train. I think it would have been much more interesting to let Egwene or even Nynaeve attempt to step into that mentor role. Not someone we’ve never met and have no interest in.
Morgase Trakand – I don’t think this will be a controversial pick. No one seems to be passionate Morgase defenders. I have her in the “Eh” tier because that is what I think whenever I think of her character. I get it; she makes sense. The series needed her. Elayne needed her. But…eh.
However, I did enjoy the arc of her trying to live with not being Queen anymore. But when you step back and realize that arc was a small part of a couple of books and then look at Morgase in the rest of the series, there isn’t much there. She doesn’t do a lot.
Also, I really hated her forced love story. It isn’t that I thought she didn’t belong with Tallanvor, I just didn’t care. This series was packed full of relationship subplots and I really didn’t need a Morgase one to try and care about at the end. Especially with a character we don’t see much of and don’t have too high of an attachment to.
Egwene – This one might be more controversial than Nynaeve. Also, I’m realizing how many female characters I have ranked low. Maybe the criticism that Jordan can’t write women is correct after all?
Egwene is a good character. Some of her story lines, notable when she is encamped around the White Tower and taking on Elaida. That was fun and one of the most entertaining plotlines in the whole series for me. But it was, in the grand scheme of things, such a small portion of Egwene’s story and role in this book. For most of the time, I didn’t really care about her. I would have rather followed another character.
In the beginning, we got too much Egwene. In the end, we got too little. It was never a Goldilocks situation. However, I am super glad Jordan didn’t force her to be with Rand. They clearly weren’t right for each other and I’m glad it didn’t go that route.
Also, she had the coolest death in the whole thing. What a way to go out, right? Her death hurt the most because I wanted to see what she could do as Amyrlin. Also, her death wasn’t her fault. Regardless, because of how I felt towards her in the opening books, I had to rank her low.
Siuan Sanche – I loved Siuan as Amyrlin; I didn’t care much about her after she lost power. Though the story of the overthrow was one of the more surprising developments in the series. I did not expect that to happen at all and this series was full of developments that were a tad predictable.
As Amyrlin, she was fierce, dangerous, cunning, wise. I loved it. I loved watching her run the Aes Sedai. But after that part of her story was done, I stopped caring as much. Sure it was kind of cool to see her learn to take a more backseat role. I liked her in the mentor role. But beyond that, she was another “eh” character for me. I don’t think she had much to offer.
This tier, for me, is a tier of people I don’t like, I don’t dislike, they are just fine. I get it, but they are “meh.” Siuan fits that perfectly.
Logain – I really like Logain’s story and I think he is one of the most potentially interesting characters in the whole story. However, what makes his story so fascinating is his relationship to the Dragon Reborn persona. What does he make of Rand taking the crown? How does this bitterness make him feel about the world? All of that can make for some fascinating arcs.
But…we’ve already seen that arc with Taim. And with Taim, it is done well, is more interesting than how it is done with Logain, and is all around a better experience. So Logain’s story line feels entirely unnecessary. It feels like a storyline we already have better elsewhere.
So, again, Logain is another “eh” character for me. Without Taim, Logain would be higher in my tier list.
Gareth Bryne – I do like Bryne. I like him in the sense that I like strong fighters who are wise and mature. In a story with a lot of young people having immense power, we need characters like Bryne. He is a solid presence and somewhat of an epic figure. He’s one of the great generals, he’s a master swordsman. All of that makes him cool.
But he doesn’t develop much. He’s basically the same character at the end as he was in the beginning. There isn’t a lot of arc and there isn’t, honestly, much depth to his character. He’s a stoic, morally good, honest person. Beyond that, he isn’t much.
Plus, I don’t like his relationship with Siune. We saw it develop more than others, which was appreciated, but it didn’t feel needed. It was a distraction against everything else going on.
Characters in the C tier are not “eh” characters, they are characters that don’t feel needed, that don’t develop, that aren’t deep. And that’s exactly what Bryne is. I like him and I root for him, but he could be removed from the story without losing much.
Galad – To be honest, I did this tier list a while ago and looking back at it, I might bump Galad up a bit. I think the idea of a character how has a black and white view of the world starting to understand that there is plenty of grey is a super interesting concept. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of that.
Galad really didn’t start to get into his arc until the last book or two. Before that, he was just obnoxious and made me roll my eyes. Also, I didn’t care about him. Having him join the Children was a great plot move and that really gave me an attachment to his character. But before that, I couldn’t care less about him.
Sure, he provided a little bit of tension for Elayne, but his character wasn’t examined or developed for most of this series. When that development finally started to happen, it might have been a case of too little too late. I loved his relationship with Perrin at the end, I thought that was fun to see.
But, ultimately, I didn’t see enough from Galad. Had he started his development earlier, maybe he’d be up a couple of levels.
Moridin – AKA Ishamael. As Ishamael in the earlier books, I loved this character. He was a crazy good bad guy. But when he is re-birthed as Ishamael, while he is kind of a mysterious, interesting villain, he just isn’t scary. By the time Moridin comes around, we know he isn’t the main antangonist. We know where Rand is headed and Moridin feels like an annoying speed bump along the way.
Of course Moridin is never going to defeat Rand. Rand has a larger date with an even greater villain. We know that. So we just want the Moridin storyline out of the way so we can get there. We have to sit back and watch as Moridin threatens characters, but we know that no heavy blows will fall.
I think he should have stayed dead. I loved Ishmael. I did not care about Moridin.
Tuon – Oh my, Tuon. Easily my most hated character. Could not stand this woman at any point in the series. My other disliked characters had periods of time where I enjoyed them and rooted for them. From start to finish, from introduction to the end of the series, I hated Tuon.
I mean, what is to like about this character? The arrogance? The slavery? The cruelty? The hypocrisy? The complete lack of any change or growth?
Even though she spends a good deal of time with Mat, she learns nothing. She is, pretty much, the same character at the end that she is in the beginning. She’s gone through so much and learned nothing.
She is responsible for some horrible atrocities and should be treated like a villain. But because of her relationship with Mat and her affiliation in the last battle, she isn’t. She is a part of the protagonist team. And because of that, I hate her. If she were positioned the entire time as a villain, she might be pretty high. Because I want to root against her. But I love Mat and I want him to have a happy life with his wife. So I have to root for Tuon. I hate rooting for Tuon.
Do I even need to talk about the slavery? Do I really need to go there?
Gawyn Trakand – I don’t think, at least from what I’ve seen, this is a controversial opinion. People seem to dislike Gawyn. While I think he has an unfair reputation, I also don’t like him.
Is he an idiot? Sure. Does he make some really big and stupid mistakes? Sure. Are those mistakes at least understandable to make? Not at all. He’s an idiot and he’s not really even a likable idiot.
I thought about moving Gawyn up a tier. After all, is he really that bad? If it wasn’t for that one big mistake at the end – the one that led to the most tragic death of the sereies – he would be up a tier. But I can’t forgive that. He doesn’t have enough redeemable to save him. So he deserves his spot amongst the disliked.
Faile – This one might be controversial, I don’t really know. I haven’t seen too many talk about Faile. But I do not like her one bit. She is arrogant, stubborn, mean, and not a good wife for Perrin. Maybe it is because I like Perrin a lot that I dislike her so much.
But also, beyond all the abuse and unhealthy relationship dynamics, I didn’t enjoy reading her character all that much. She was a little boring. Even at the height of her action, when she was being rescued, she wasn’t fun. I can’t really describe it, but from her very first introduction I did not like her.
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