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WoT Idol in Numbers

Honoring the talent of this fandom with some WoT Idol numbers...

The first part of this article contains spoilers for The Wheel of Time TV show on Amazon Prime. It then switches to Full Books spoilers after an appropriate bold warning.

The Randland map overlapped with vertical lines of 0 and 1. On the left, the "Data? WoT Data?" logo, a wheel with the slogan on its borders. On the right, the title, "WoT Idol in Numbers".

JordanCon is starting soon! By the time you will read these lines, I will already be in Atlanta, probably visiting the town to pass the time before the official start of the convention. This would have been a reasonable excuse to skip this week’s article, but we had a very significant event in our Wheel of Time community recently that I’d like to come back to: WoT Idol, the Wheel of Time parody song contest.

65 songs were in the competition this year, and the creativity and talent in those parodies were off any charts I could make. To honor all the amazing work done, here are a bunch of random facts and/or numbers about the competition.

16 Full Books spoilers, 11 TV Show only.

No matter how many books you have or haven’t read, you should have a decent selection of parodies to listen to. 2 songs had no spoilers at all, while 11 were spoiler-free for show-only viewers. An additional 3 parodies were on events or characters related to the Breaking of the World, which is developed in one of The Wheel of Time Origins animated shorts, called “The Breaking of the World”.

A graph with the number of parodies per spoiler level.

16 parodies had spoilers for all of the books, and the remaining 33 had varying levels of spoilers, depending on the events and characters they referred to. Here is an exhaustive list of the parodies and the spoiler level attributed to them.

For the rest of the article, all the parodies linked have spoilers at most up to the TV Show + the Breaking of the World, unless specified otherwise.

What is an American Pie?

I will admit that my French self had never listened to the song American Pie before this contest. My lack of culture has now been fixed, as there were three different parodies using this song, including the winner of the contest, Turning of the Wheel by Joel Henley. This great ode to the fandom brought many tears…

Joel Henley, with his cover of American Pie, “Turning of the Wheel”. The picture shows a man, Joel, playing guitar while singing, with the caption "In an age long ago" on the top right corner.
Joel Henley, with his cover of American Pie, “Turning of the Wheel”.

Several other songs got multiple renditions, sometimes for somewhat similar themes. I knew you were trouble by Taylor Swift was used twice, both in relation to men channelers and the Breaking of the World. Aaron Morris entertained us with his I Knew You Could Channel full of amazing wigs and VFX effects, while Avi had the Dark One talking to Lews Therin in I Knew You Were The Dragon, with a special guest you should recognize from Winter Dragon. Meanwhile, Malkier Talks and Woody (spoilers up to TPoD for those songs) both used Stacy’s Mom by Fountains of Wayne for a specific character pining for a Queen that we meet in TEotW. The brain 6G connection in this fandom is strong.

Two other songs were used twice. The Sound of Silence, by Simon and Garfunkel, was used by Jessica in Fill the World With Darkness, for another song about Lews Therin and the Breaking, and by Siansonea Orande in The Town of Violence, which describes a town one of our characters got to visit in TGS (spoilers for all the books). Finally, Surface Pressure, the Encanto track that made my whole TikTok simp about Luisa for weeks, was used by Margo Sedai in Service Pressure, a song about Rand as the Dragon with spoilers up to TGS, and by myself in Siuan’s Pressure, because being the Amyrlin Seat sounds like a stressful job.

Avi, with his cover of I Knew You Were Trouble, “I Knew You Were The Dragon”. A man, Avi, is sitting on a chair with a teacher stick, a whiteboard with a picture of the breaking of the world behind him. The background is a drawing of all the forsaken at Shayol Ghul.
Avi, with his cover of I Knew You Were Trouble, “I Knew You Were The Dragon”

Meanwhile, the most covered artist was Lin-Manuel Miranda: 5 contestants used one of his songs for their parody.

A diversity of Genres

With a large number of parodies came a diversity of music genres. Unsurprisingly, Rock and Pop and all of their variations took the lead, followed by the mix Folk/Folk-Rock (... whatever folk-rock is). 6 people also got inspired by Musicals, while 4 parodies were covering Disney songs, including the hilarious Woke of Time by Thirsty the Clown.

Thirsty the Clown, with his cover of Belle, “Woke of Time”. A man with a blond wig, a red nose, clown make up and a red jacket is at the front, with a drawing of Tar Valon in the background.
Thirsty the Clown, with his cover of Belle, “Woke of Time”

Some music genres were less expected, like the Christmas carol O Snowy Slope of Dragonmount by Brad Mayol, who sang about the rebirth of the Dragon in a cover of O Little Town of Bethlehem, or the patriotic song Battle Hymn of the Prophet by Koala Sedai (spoilers up to KoD), who focused on a Prophet of the Wheel of Time in a rendition of Battle Hymn of the Republic. Meanwhile, the Ajah Medley from Lloyd Baron deserved a category in its own, covering multiple songs from It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls to, well, Baby Shark. Spoilers up to TDR for this parody!

Lloyd Baron with his “Ajah Medley”. On the left, a man with a red sweatshirt. On the right, the caption "I'm gentling men (praise mother) I'm gentling men (every man)"
Lloyd Baron with his “Ajah Medley”

The following chart summarizes the music genre distribution of our WoT Idol parodies. Fair warning, it’s a simplified one, based on whatever genre Wikipedia had for the songs covered. Rock and pop had many different subcategories and I do not know what any of those mean. It is what it is.

A chart with the number of parodies per music genre

Focus on the Two Rivers

At least 22 parodies were centered on one or multiple of our five young from the Two Rivers, commonly named the EF5 by book-readers (for Emond’s Field, the name of their village in the books). This includes 8 songs directly about Rand, 4 about Nynaeve (... with 2 parodies on her braid), 4 about Mat, and 2 centered on Perrin. Sadly, Egwene did not have her hymn this year. Maybe for the next edition?

But other folks also got their time to shine! Our TV show villains inspired two parodies: Somebody Darkfriend by Talk'aran'rhiod (a cover of Somebody told me by The Killers) was focused on our favorite Darkfriend Dana, while All the broken people by Androl Bard of time (a cover of Eleanor Rigby by the Beattle) made some interesting parallels between Dana and the Whitecloak Valda.

Moiraine, one of my favorite characters in the Books and TV show, got three different songs centered on her. Ellie’s parody He Has Been Found (a cover of You Will Be Found from the musical Dear Evan Hansen) still brings my queer heart the feels, while My Part Will Go On By Wheel Talk (based on My Heart Will Go On from Titanic, with spoilers up to TFoH) offered a hilarious rant from our Blue Aes Sedai (yes Lan, please let her sing on a boat). Finally, Alexander Sayers went with a cover of A Voz do Morro by Zé Keti for his impressive parody The Voice of Moiraine, with vocals from MistressDovie and more than 70 different tracks.

Alexander Sayers with a cover of A Voz do Morro, “The Voice of Moiraine”. The picture contains 10 stills of Alex, playing different instruments, and 2 stills of dolls playing music in front of the cover of tEotW. A caption says "[MOIRAINE]: Who is the Dragon?"
Alexander Sayers with a cover of A Voz do Morro, “The Voice of Moiraine”

The rest of the article contains spoilers for all the books. First-time readers and show-only viewers, please be careful…

5 different songs were made about Lanfear, one of the Forsaken we meet in the early books. Surprising? Well, maybe not… It is common knowledge that Lanfear is the favorite character of Matt Hatch, the host and innkeeper of The Dusty Wheel, and also one of the organizers of WoT Idol. Correlation or causation? We will never know. In any case, they all were delightful to watch and listen to, so great job! From I Will Follow Him by One Power Ballads, to Daughter of the Night by Bain & Chiad, without forgetting Never, Lews Therin by Melindhra, Lanfear by Anaiya, and Stone of Tear by Jutmagt, they all nailed Lanfear’s obsession with Rand, to say the least…

Many secondary characters also got their own hymn. Loial (full books spoilers), Gaul (spoilers up to TSR), Bayle Domon (spoilers up to CoT), Masema (spoilers up to KoD), and Padan Fain (spoilers up to TSR) all got the spotlight in a parody. Even the Dark One got to rant in The Dark One’s Back, a parody by Rhett Zimmerman of “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton (full books spoilers). Meanwhile, we got to laugh with Bodi in S-WoT Number 5 (spoilers up to LoC) about the impressive list of S-named characters in the Wheel of Time.

Bodi with a cover of Mambo #5, “S-WoT Number 5”. The picture is Bodi with the caption "A little bit of S makes me your man", with two huge S on each side of the screen.
Bodi with a cover of Mambo #5, “S-WoT Number 5”

WoT and Plot

Many significant events of the Wheel of Time were also mentioned. Spear Right Through You, by Rhuarc, was all about the Aiel war, while Flicker by M Burns smartly covered the classic Thriller by Michael Jackson to describe all the Flicker lives Rand got to experience in TGH.

With spoilers up to TLoC, two parodies focused on events related to Dumai’s Wells, from different… perspectives. Little Box by Rahkoi focused on Rand and the progression of his madness in the events preceding this battle, while Welcome to Dumai’s Wells by Slylock described the epicness of Dumai’s Wells. Still related to TLoC but further away from this battle, A Letter from the Black Tower by Generic Films put us in the mindset of a young trainee at the Black Tower, as everyone surrounding him kinda… gets a little bit crazy.

While there is no slog in the Wheel of Time, this unknown phenomenon got two different tributes during this competition. Denni aka Songstress covered The Scientist by Coldplay for an Ode to the Slog (spoilers up to CoT). Meanwhile, Perrin got to sing about his wife and his family and his plotline of doom in Wait For It, a parody by Lezbi Nerdy of the Hamilton song of the same name (full books spoilers).

Lezbi Nerdi with “Wait For It”. The picture is a drawing of a mountain and a tree, with the avatar of Lezbi Nerdy looking to the reader. On the top right, a caption: "So you gotta wait for it"
Lezbi Nerdi with “Wait For It”

Later book events got their share of songs too. I Would Do Anything For Lan by JasburKills focused on Nynaeve raising the Golden Crane for Lan, refusing to let him ride to Tarwin’s Gap alone (spoilers up to KoD). Mat’s World by Winespring Inc and Corridor by Minari both came back on the events of TToM, as Mat went through the Tower of Ghenjei.

Finally, at least three songs had a heavy focus on the Last Battle, with spoilers for the full books. The Dragon Calling by Uno and Aginor switched POVs between many characters as they are about to fight (“It was about them all”). Facing Tarmon Gai'don with You by Heather Sedai focused on Nynaeve, ready to fight the Last Battle with Lan. The last one, The Voices, was centered on a Rand tormented by the voices of madness and trying to seal Shai’tan again.

Uno and Aginor with “The Dragon Calling”. The picture is a drawing of each of the EF5 folks, with the caption "It was about them all"
Uno and Aginor with “The Dragon Calling”

And that was just some non-exhaustive lists of all the amazing work this fandom got to enjoy during WoT Idol. A full playlist of the songs can be found here. No matter your spoiler level, your favorite characters, your favorite plotline, or the musical genres you enjoy, you should find a parody appropriate for your taste…

Camille, also known as RationalNerd on Twitter, is a regular contributor to Every few weeks, their “Data? WoT Data?” column sheds some light on various numbers of the Wheel.


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