Stefan Hayden

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Sword of Truth Miniseries

Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series will be turned in a miniseries. Each book will be it’s own miniseries which if closely follows the books will never end.

The 10 book series (the last books has yet to come out) has been a large focus on my reading over the past couple of years. What started out as a strong series quickly degraded in to repetitive generic fantasy with way too much political commentary about freewill instead of plot.

If I wasn’t already 9 books in I would not bother with the last book. I think around 6 or 7 is when I started to feel disappointed and looking back to book 4 you can see the problems start. The main story arch is the only things that keeps me coming back. If you removed all the cruff you could cram all 10 books in to about 6.

Hopefully if the miniseries is done well it will trim down the books in to what was originally so great about them.

29 Comments
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If you learned more about the books, or rather learned more from the books. you might not be so ignorant.

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I’ve read all the books and these are just my opinions. Please let me know what I’m missing!

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It not so much political commentary as it is philosophical. What did you find appealing about Richard character, about any of the “good guys” for that matter? The underlying philosophy that drives their existence, the definition of the characters themselves, Freewill. The belief that a mans life is his own and can do anything whatsoever he wishes with it, make anything out of within his ability. It an aspiring ideal, one that this series has helped many realize.

This isnt a series for people who are just looking for a hack em up slash em up story arc. There are pleny of Authors out there who write fluff stories for kids. These books inspire you to think for yourself, rather than following and accepting what your spoon fed as “good” literature

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I think part of the problem is that it definitely started as basic fantasy novel with a cool story and it wasn’t until later until the philosophy pop up. Also as much as I did know it was philosophy when I’m reading it it just sounds like Capitalism VS Communism.

I’m not even opposed to what he is saying but the repetitive extended monologues are not written in a way that makes me want to read them. SciFi is known for more for philosophical monologues then fantasy and it just seems out of place.

In the end I don’t really think I’m learning anything from his philosophy and so, to me, it just seems to get in the way of the story.

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While I agree that there are times that Goodkind seems to go off on a tangent from what most consider as the “main” story, the underlying theme holds true throughout.

Look at book 1, Wizard’s First Rule. The D’haran people are considered an evil race of people due to their harsh ideals. They absolutely crush any opposition to the way of life that first Panis Rahl and then Darken Rahl set as the standard of living that they hold to be right. The people in D’hara are no better or worse than the people of the midlands or of westland. The D’haran people have been subjected to a leader that is cruel and a way of life that has been in place for longer than any of them can remember.

Book 2, The Stone of Tears takes us to the Palace of the Prophets. Many wizards in the new world would kill a sister on sight if he knew that a fledgling wizard was being taken to the palace to learn to control his gift. But ultimately, the sisters were doing what they had always done and were lead by an overbearing prelate. While the set of beliefs that the sisters hold is not as extreme as rule under Darken Rahl or the Imperial Order, the same principal applies.

In book 3, The Blood of the Fold, we are introduced to the first hint of what the imperial order will represent in later books. Again, people being spoon-fed ideals and beliefs from an early age who follow their leaders blindly.

In most of the following books the “evil” race of people come from the old world in the form of the Imperial Order. However, there are smaller versions of the same theme throughout. Take book 5, The Soul of the Fire. A group of people are lead, not so much by a tyrannical leader (although there are many), but by a fabricated lie used to control through guilt.

I am not going to argue the question of whether or not the underlying theme of communism, oppression, or organized religion because in the end, they invoke thought long after the rest of the story fades. The only point I want to make is this: the underlying theme that you so abhor, is not a new idea, but a continuation of the original point. Possibly the reason you only see it in the most recent books is that the mystery and suspense of the first few books has worn off and you are starting to see the books in a new light.

My 2 cents.

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awesome points Jason. I don’t hate the underlying theme. I just think he repeats the theme to the point where it is not fun and entertaining. I just think Terry Goodkind could use a little more subtlety and have the same impact.

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Hi,
Overall I just love his books. And yes, the books could seem to be about 100 pages too long but I have NO complaints. I think that Goodkind has a character depth and a way of writing that many fantasy authors can not duplicate. I think about the 9th book (the current one)and I hate what Goodkind has done with Kahlans character….BUT it is only with baited breath that I await the final book in the series to hopefully see Kahlan and the others regain their magic and memories.
I have to admit my favorite is the Faith of the Fallen…it just has something that touches me that the others come close to but never quiet reach…of all the books that is the one I would spend my time rereading.
So maybe Goodkind could have written other ideas instead of the books we read but I guess until they pay us to do the writing that will most likely never happen!LOL!!!
I think Goodkind is phenominal!!!
Jessica

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Also…I forgot…from the information on terrygoodkind.com I gathered that their would be just one big miniseries about all the books not each individual book. Let me know if I am wrong.
Jessica

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I have to agree, and it’s something I have not given him enough credit for in my post, he does write characters with depth. Faith of the Fallen was definitely one of the better books and it was because the characters had depth. Thanks for reminding me of that, Jessica! I don’t want to dislike the storyline and I only complain because I used to enjoy it so much more then I do.

You are also correct that I mis-spoke about the mini series. Looking back at the article I link to it does say 1 mini series for all the books.But it does sound like each book will get it’s own episode (or set of episodes) and I wish they would try to cut out parts. Like most of The Pillars of Creation. Though I think he created compelling characters in The Pillars of Creation the whole plot line seemed pointless and the ending was ridiculous.

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I agree Stefan about the Pillars of Creation…and I think however instead of making one miniseries their should be several….just NOT one for every book. It would be years and years before we even saw all of them! I think that the “famous” director will make good of the books but like I said before 10 mini series would be way too many!
I guess I should not have been as harsh as I was before about your lack of character praising…I am a die hard fan of Goodkinds and although some of his books I find lacking I overall DO enjoy his writing but also find it reasonable that others may not like his writing as much as I do. So I did not mean to personally attack you or anything, I am just a huge fan!
I have read on other blogs and it amazes me how few people actually know of Goodkinds books even though I started reading them in high school and have continued reading them throughout college.
Just My Thoughts,
Jessica

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Stefan, I agree very much with your criticism of the series, I don’t think you are missing any points. Your points are entirely valid, and it takes a true fanboy to not realize that Goodkind is treading dangerously close to narcicistic, self-indulgent gratification.

Goodkind has a point about free will, sure, but it’s not a very complicated point, and it’s expressed to the reader with all the subtlety of a brick in the face.
His ideology is basically drawn from Ayn Rand, and as you correctly said, sets up a communistic (or rather, an american view of communism, which is quite different from what Marx envisioned) ideology againts a western, capitalistic ideology.
It’s not particularly complex or nuanced, which wouldn’t really matter much if it wasn’t that he’d let let his characters go on in endless monologues to yet again reiterate the point to the reader.

It seems especially absurd, when the characters are in danger, under time-pressure or otherwise vulnerable, and Richard will get up on a soapbox and perform a 20 minute eloquent speech about something, and the world just seems to pause while he gets it off his chest.

To me, it is bordering on an insult to my intelligence that Goodkind really thinks that we haven’t already picked up on his basic premise of free will and the value of the individual.
Mostly, I suspect he just really likes constructing these elaborate monologues between the characters, like when you have a discussion in your head with a contrasting viewpoint.

The reason why this truly bothers me is that I actually LIKE his series, though less now than I did initially. If only his characters had been unsympathetic, his world boring and his plot-line uninteresting, but it isn’t.
I’ve read the first 3 books several times, and the rest at least twice.

Terry Goodkind needs what Robert Jordan recently got (or rather, got again): An editor that is brutal with the knife.
I have recently re-read Phantoms, and skipping the larger part of many of the monologues actually made the book a lot more interesting and gave it a much better pacing.

Paring the last 6 books down to 3 or 4 would immensely improve them.

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Wow, I agree with a lot of what you guys said here. I am a big fan of Terry Goodkind and many of the books of the series hold spots in my all time favourites. I have read each book at least three times over, and my favourites of the series many more. Yet despite the fact that I think they are amazing and even life changing books that have inspired me, I too, have been a bit disappointed by a few of the latter books in the series.

Books one through five were incredible, and Goodkind managed to subtly slip his moral views into the books with a grace that did not take away from their quality or appeal. I feel that book six was kind of the turning point in the series (in this respect) , where Goodkind began to express his views with less grace and more preaching. Even though this might be so, I thought the book was very good and one of the best of the series. After book six, not only did Goodkind lose his ability to express his ideals with subtly and grace, but he also began to neglect important aspects of the story that make it so entertaining, fun, and interesting.

I liked book seven, but it was nowhere near as good as the others, and marked a decline in the quality of the series. Book eight was my least favourite book. It lacked not only the clever twists which made the other books so fun and interesting, but also any emotional depth or interesting character conflicts. The ending of book eight was so dull and unimaginative (compared to the other ones) that I couldn’t believe it was written by the same author. My expectations for books nine and ten were really low, but I was pleasantly surprised by them. Books nine and ten still lacked any subtle grace in expressing his somewhat repetitive ideals, but began to pick up again plot-wise. I’m looking forward to the final instalment of the series, and am relieved that Goodkind picked up the ball he dropped when he wrote book eight.

I hate to criticize Terry Goodkind’s series with that much negativity, but despite all that, I love the books to death, and have great respect for Terry Goodkind. To put things in perspective, the negative comments I just made about some of the books are nothing compared to the positive things I have to say about the series. I would also like to point out that even though I think some of his books were preachy, I am in no way against the expression of his ideals. I was simply disappointed with the way he went about doing it in some of the books. In fact, I believe that the ideals which Goodkind expresses are the lifeblood of the books, and what makes them truly great. Not only do these books provide entertainment and amusement, but inspiration guidance, and much more. Because of the high moral substance which Terry Goodkind’s books possess, you come to respect and take pride in what you are reading. Because you can respect what Goodkind put into the books, you can value what you get out of the books. This is the vital characteristic of the series which sets it aside from other books which may fall into the fantasy genre. Words cannot describe how much pleasure and insight I have gained from reading these books. I would go as far as to say that they were one the most influential sources in shaping me into the person I am, and more importantly, into a person I am proud to be. I have read a lot of books, and to hold the spot as my favourite is quite an accomplishment. Terry Goodkind does something even more impressive and amazing though, by not only writing the book I hold above all others, but by writing several of them.

Can’t wait for the miniseries!

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Hello Stefan,
I also feel in love with the sword of truth series and then feel out of love around Naked Empire. No longer was the story moving and impossible to put down. Now it feels like filler to fulfill a contract. I hope that the miniseries is done well. It’s become about the $ and that is reflected in how Terry runs his book signings and in each book he releases. Thank you for letting me give you my 2 cents :) Anne

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I’m a big terry goodkind fan, enjoyed every single book in the series. Huge fan of the underlying themes. David i wonder if you would have got so much out of the series (shaping you into the person you are today) without all the ungraceful preaching. Sounded like you just contradicted urself (which breaks one of the wizards rules i believe? :P).
I reckon anyone who has faith in a supernatural god (a god of physical being/consequence) would have to reject a lot of the things Goodkind put to paper, hence not enjoying books >5 as much as the flying on dragons…

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Hey everyone,

I’ve always been a huge Terry fan, and a few comments on here have brought some things into light that I had not really thought about before, such as the bad timing of the monologues. I have never really been bothered by them because the story and the depth of the characters has been so captivating. They may seem redundant after all this time in regards to character development, but that never bothered me, for the human story is so incredible. Add in the wonder and expansiveness of the SOT Universe, and I’d say it more than ballances out. Bucket of creative universe and captivation vs a thimble of monolog.. Just my cup of tea.

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The problem with the monologues is the repetitiveness; its a good thing I’m a fast reader otherwise I’d easily get bogged down in the unnecessary details that I read from the previous books. I just finished Phantom and it seems repetitiveness is becoming a problem for Goodkind in other ways as well. How many times do I need to be told Richard misses Kahlan? Its not like I forgot from the previous paragraph that mentioned it. Its one thing to suggest to the reader how much Richard misses her through repetition, but there is a limit. Don’t get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed the series so far and am eagerly awaiting the final book, but Goodkind needs to work on the stylistic features of his work a lot more.

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I just wanted to say that I totally agree with you about the books. the story is amazing, but after the 4th book or so it starts to feel more like a soapbox lecture beating you over the head with ideals that you have already accepted. I still read and enjoy them, but I spend much of my time skimming the lectures. I can see how some such discussion is necessary, and occasionally some new point or revelation comes up. However, since I already understand most of his philosophical points, having about a quarter of any single book dedicated to describing them or convincing some character or another of the value of life just makes it feel like the repetition is bogging down the forward momentum of the stories and making them less enjoyable. I am also hoping that the series will trim some of the excess talk and still keep the worthy ideals and story intact.

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i am a huge fan of Sword of Truth. granted there is some that needs to be weeded out… but a good director can do well with that.

i am very nervous about this “miniseries”… as well as the director. personally, i think that spiderman could have been soooo much better. raimi didn’t even stay true to the comic book’s character! or even the story line. he totally scratched off what happened, and wrote his own… which is a BIG NO NO WHEN MAKING A BOOK TO MOVIE!!!! FANS DON’T LIKE THAT!!!! any good director knows that. you can weed out and even add in some small new things, but NEVER NEVER CHANGE SO BLUNTLY AS HE DID. i’m afraid to see what he does with this GREAT series.

and… a miniseries? come on!!! a good director can make it into feature films… just look at what peter jackson did with LOTR!

I can understand Terry Goodkind’s hesitance in the past decade, but not in the past few years! these are the times for books, and science fantasy to make it big on the big screen. now more than ever, that’s what the people are looking for up there!

as far as funding and special effects, and well paid goood actors go… i’ve yet to see a miniseries come off “well made”… let alone as efficient and whole hearted as LOTR.

all i’ve got to say… is that its a real shame. i hope that this raimi dweeb does at least 50times better than he did with spiderman. but we’ll see if its even decent.

~MotherConfessor

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ps maybe if he has any brains at all… he’ll at least find a way to use WetaWorks. but again, if you don’t have the funding, even Weta can slightly disappoint… (Narnia) or was that the director? …i hope Halo has well enough funding!
~MotherConfessor

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listen, i am not going to try to convince all of you who think that Goodkind’s writing is monotonous otherwise, if you think that now, i am not going to try to change your mind. however, you all are giving up on the novels and putting your hopes into the miniseries…grow up, i mean, i am a fan of tv too, but reading may well be the last true magic…if you get bogged down by the dialogue, then look elsewhere for your bibliophilic needs, like in the children’s section…not to hate on everyone that is looking forward to the miniseries, because i am too, but nowadays it seems like all people do is watch tv…exercise your brain and read a little more…all in all, it hurts my feelings that this web page exists…if you have grown disenchanted by Goodkind’s writing, then move on, don’t hate on him and don’t put those dirty little thoughts in other people’s heads either, cuz the fact of the matter is, i am sure it won’t hurt his feelings if he loses your patronage, although i can’t speak for him…that is all

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Ok, my apologies if someone already specified anything i’m about to say, but I could only read about half of these comments before feeling the extreme desire to post something myself.

First of all, I want to start out by saying that a lot of the comments here put too much emphasis on the ‘Fantasy’ aspect of these books. Goodkind himself has stated that he doesn’t think of himself as a fantasy author, he merely uses the fantasy aspects of the story and the world to accent points, and basically add color to an elaborate painting.
As far as political standpoints go, though, I don’t necessarily think that it’s the repeatativeness that anyone should focus on, I think that’s the problem that’s distracting people from the true magnitude of the world Goodkind has created.
Having read a lot of the opinions posted on this forum, I feel that Goodkind has a good point when he says that a lot of the time people read through the books too fast and don’t take in all the details. That’s really what makes Goodkind’s books so immense, is the details.
From Wizards first Rule to Phantom there are little things that can be backtracked into each book. So far i’ve only found one possible flaw in the books which has to deal with Drefan, but im not sure it’s a flaw. I would have to ask Goodkind in person to find out.
My point, however, is that Goodkind rarely becomes sidetracked from the original point. A lot of the story sometimes gets lost because people don’t want to read about anyone but the main characters, but personally I like the fact that Goodkind is always introducing someone new.
I think everyone puts everything that Goodkind has written in his books into a black-and-white outline, and tries to analyze everything in that sense, when that’s exactly the opposite of what Goodkind himself is trying to illustrate. That things are not always black and white.
Of course, these are my opinions based upon having read the series five times through already, and having read through most of these comments.
(I can’t wait for Confessor!! ^____^)

-Kolo

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@Kolo:
I have to say that when I heard Goodkind say that he does not think of himself as a “fantasy author” I got really angry.

If you don’t want to write genera fiction then don’t. Don’t insult the genera you are writing in.

I love fantasy and started reading sword of truth because it was a fantasy book. I’ll be 99% of people started reading it because it was a fantasey book.

I had not heard that Goodkind thinks people read his books to fast. I love how much of an ass he make himself sound like.

While I’m happy to agree with Goodkind on his preferred way to read the books I feel like the majority of the people just read it for swords, magic and an exciting plot.

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All sot lovers can talk about the series becomming bland and lets face it, pillars of creation put us to sleep. If he brings back that damn goat ill scream. But if you have ever read the Dark tower series aka The Gunslinger then you know what the worst possible out come for a book is. I have full faith in goodkinds writing although i fear the ending will be dissapointing, but it will still be revelutionary. Just dont make the final battle be between santa claus and a bunch of harry potters sneeches. lol wtf

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hey i am looking forward to this miniseries but if only they would tell us a time when we can expect the mini-series to air anyways…Terry Goodkind RULES!!!
-dreamwalker-

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Hey ya’ll, gotta comment on the whole christianity jig. I am a christian to the bone and I can think of few instances where Terry’s philosophy would encroach on those beliefs. In the light of a fantasy world, it was a stroke of pure genius to remove God as we know him and avoid that controversial matter altogether. That way he can uplift people to be their best for the sake of being their best without hitting the instant mental and emotional block so often surrounding religion. Is that not the purpose of Christianity? I know undoubtedly that God does not want to hold us back from being better people. That’s why it’s our choice in the first place. This is Terry’s message, the final phrase of his entire series, “your life is yours and yours alone. rise up and live it.” The rule unwritten remains unwritten, but here clearly implied, by me in this post, and marvelously so by Terry in his books.

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concerning:

>>listen, i am not going to try to convince
>>all of you who think that Goodkind’s
>>writing is monotonous otherwise, if you
>>think that now, i am…
&
>>First of all, I want to start out by
>>saying that a lot of the comments here
>>put too much emphasis on the ‘Fantasy’
>>aspect of these books. Goodkind

the problem with goodkind isn’t the philosophy, it’s the monotony/repetition. i think that the biggest problem with goodkind is that he seems to be trying to write every book in a lengthy series like this to be self contained and thus practically recaps the whole series in every book. When we get further in, it leads to more or less the same speech being given in everyy singgle booook.

that kind of writing is terribly unfair to consistent/dedicated readers.

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Ok, everyone on here has some interesting comments. By why is there soooo much complainging over the same thing, the monologues and the repetition of the theme? For one, you would not be on this site if you were not as swept up into these books as I am. I do agree that the series seemed like it started to get “old”. I am sure Terry was getting a little burnt out. And as for the theme…I think it is repeated so much to dig it in to your brain. It isn’t exactly fun but most people will not remember things like that if they aren’t drilled in. How many of you have things about your lives that you are unhappy with? Ultimitely, you are in charge of that happiness. You can even decide how you will allow other people’s desicions and actions effect you. Maybe the theme is made so strong to remind you that you have control over your own life and your own happiness. There are plenty of things in our lives and especially this society that can be overwhelming and make you feel powerless. Perhaps, it is a reminder that we are more in control of what goes on in our homes, towns, country, and even the world than we think. Maybe it is to motivate us to actually stand up and try to change some things. There are plenty of things about our society that remind me of the imperial order. Besides, if the theme and the monologues really bothered you that badly I think you wouldn’t have stopped reading the series a long time ago.

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I’m just so excited about the mini- series. I think some of you should stop jumping to conclusions about the books not being represented properly. Let’s just all kick back and enjoy the screen!! Afterall, we’ve all read the books and know our Richard Rahl well. Lets just enjoy the fact that it was even considered to become a mini series considering the amount of other good material out there.
Long live Rahl!!

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Any good author can write a great story. But a great author, like any creative genius will infuse part of their soul into their work. Whether or not you agree or disagree with goodkind’s philosophy, whether or not you think he should have put these aspects in the story does not matter. Terry goodkind’ a story is a masterpiece that is an undisputed fact. If you disagree send me a copy of your book that you believe is better. After all we know what the saying about opinions is. All hail terry!
Ray Clary

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