did Robert Jordan "go political" to compete with that George R. Martin guy?

I think that there’s a definitely dividing line - occurring right around “The Fires of Heaven”/“Lord of Chaos” - in Robert Jordan’s catalogue, where he makes a major switch from swashbuckling adventure to political manuevering in his The Wheel of Time series. I think it marks the point where the series “went boring,” but I don’t read fantasy novels for stories of machiavellian scheming and political plotting.

But then I started reading the summaries of George R. Martin’s novels. Martin seems to be the big competitor to Jordan, with many ex-Jordan fans making the jump to Martin’s series. But, based on the descriptions of his books, Martin’s series is almost entirely about the politics and scheming in this fantasy world, with very little focus on adventure or action.

Was Jordan’s big switch in the WOT a series an intentional attempt to appeal to that segment of his readership and to compete with Martin?

Unlikely. I remember buying Lord of Chaos in early 1996 when I was still an UVa student in Charlottesville. And I remember buying A Game of Thrones in late 1996 when I started working in New Jersey. The political maneuvering in The Wheel of Time seemed to be a natural outgrowth of Rand becoming leader of a large army of fierce warriors.