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Nothing annoys me more about WoT than readers criticizing it for issues that are actually covered Cannoli Send a noteboard - 22/08/2019 08:01:21 PM

Leigh Butler over on Tor.com recently offered her opinion of the Wheel of Time casting, which is the usual opinion stuff, but then of course, she had to finish by applauding the racial issue, because representation etc., but also, probably because her extremist fanaticism got her blogs slammed even by the Tor.com community, the Watsonian defense of the setting's history.

According to someone who claims to be such an expert that she compiled or edited a FAQ somewhere, it doesn't make sense that we'd have this Europe-type rural world emerging from the breakup of the cosmopolitan, urbanized Age of Legends. First of all, like so many other fans, she is clearly superimposing her own ideals on the AoL, once she saw it being called a utopia. But it IS a utopia, and therefore not subject to the same sociological patterns that form real world societies. Urbanization happens because of economic imperatives. But if all economic needs were met in the Age of Legends, and society was all perfectly organized, then cities were almost certainly planned, and not places where people concentrated for access to jobs, commodities or customers. You also would not have the waves of economically marginalized populations moving in and middle-class types moving out, which makes cities less white in the American experience. Also, there is no reason to assume any sort of melting pot going on in the AoL. All we know about ethnicity in that time is that the Aiel were a distinct & homogenous group. So why not others? For one thing, we know the appearance of the Cairhienin has more or less remained the same since the Aiel crossed the Dragonwall.

But even if we stipulate Butler's view of the AoL as some uniracial population that scattered around the world in the Breaking, it was 3000 years ago. That sort of stuff changes over time. On the one hand, in at least two cases we have people who are a completely different race from their ancestors of a millenium previously. Elayne, who is blonde & blue eyed, is descended from Ishara, who is described as very dark-skinned, while Tuon, probably the darkest PoV character, is descended from Artur Hawkwing. If he had been as dark as Tuon, it probably would have been mentioned in the description when he comes to answer the Horn. That Rand did not feel the need to mention his skin tone suggests he is as white as the rest of the cast. But, more to the point, the people of the Two Rivers have been there for 2000 years, since Manetheren fell, and it is confirmed in the text that they're an isolated breeding population, via the old blood phenomenon. If the Cairhien in general have not changed, it does make sense that the descendants of transplanted monarchs, who have presumably been breeding with the local population would. But that's not what's happening in the Two Rivers. They're cut off and relatively isolated from the outside, to the point that their cultural norms

The problem with the racial casting is not that Nynaeve and Perrin are black, it's that Mat is white. What's probably worse, from the SJW PoV, implications-wise, is that of the four ethnic Two Rivers people, even if you want to claim all four are varying shades of biracial, Mat & Egwene are clearly the most white, and Mat considerably more than Egwene. Whiteness in the Two Rivers would seem to correlate most closely with the "pure" old blood of Manetheren.

I now have an image of the Red Eagle flying at the head of an army of white officers and black troops, like Mamluks or something. My cynical heart is warmed by this revelation concering the nearly-utopian Ten Nations, founded by an Aes Sedai ta'veren.

Cannoli
“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” GK Chesteron
Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye!
Deus Vult!
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Nothing annoys me more about WoT than readers criticizing it for issues that are actually covered - 22/08/2019 08:01:21 PM 364 Views
Yes - 23/08/2019 03:48:10 AM 86 Views
Re: Yes - 26/08/2019 01:31:05 AM 52 Views
Like Scarlett Johansson said and then got crucified for it... - 26/08/2019 04:28:23 AM 49 Views
Actually, I think Leigh Butler annoys you more than that *NM* - 26/08/2019 06:34:15 AM 14 Views
Of course. Egwene is her favorite character. *NM* - 27/08/2019 06:18:03 PM 12 Views

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