These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Author's Saving Throw: Of a sort. The last three books seem to be a deliberate effort on Goodkind's part to recapture the first few books' feel, while toning down the heavy handed Author Tracts.
Anvilicious: Goodkind does not believe in ambiguity. The heroes are (written as) Right, almost every villain is a pure evil, and, in later books, the series' Objectivist themes become far more prominent.
Badass Decay: Jennsen becomes much less formidable after joining up with Richard, almost to the point of being The Load.
Canon Sue: Richard is basically a perfect human being: strong, incredibly handsome, good at everything, chosen wielder of the Sword of Truth AND the first War Wizard born in the last 3000 years. He repeatedly wins over enemies with his unconditional love, including someone who tortured him for months. Taken to an even more ridiculous extreme in the last few books, when Richard, armed with only a regular sword (not his usual Infinity+1 Sword), kills almost a hundred armed soldiers by himself. Following that, he is conscripted into a Ja'La team, where despite being more or less new to the game (he played it with children in previous books), he takes the most important position on the team and becomes, to paraphrase a character, "the best point man we've seen in the last hundred years". Keep in mind, this sport is run almost exactly like current day sports, so the equivalent would be someone who's played a few Pop Warner games stepping onto an NFL field and becoming the greatest quarterback in the history of the sport in the space of a few months. He even wins the equivalent of the Super Bowl, defeating the emperor's team, with points to spare.
Even less Genre Savvy readers cannot ignore the absurd amount of times people say: "You are a very rare person, Richard."
Richard is not just good, but perceived, at least by Goodkind, as damn near perfect. Richard, and often by extension Kahlan or Zedd, as they always seem to agree with him, is always shown as being above reproach, no matter what he does, or how it is perceived by those around him. Richard can kick a child in the face, nearly killing her, and doom an entire nation to death because they disagreed with his moral standpoint (more than once) and numerous other clearly villainous acts, but it doesn't matter because it was all somehow warranted. On the other hand, characters who are not on Richard's side cannot be forgiven the slightest of offenses and most if not all of them are revealed as rapists, even child molesters. If a formerly "good" character starts disagreeing with Richard, this is the beginning of that character's Face-Heel Turn (even some of them may turn to rape). That is because Richard is a picture of all that is holy and good in the world, and can never be allowed to be wrong. If he kills someone, that person deserved to die. If a country refuses to join Richard's D'Haran Empire, that country is evil, even if they were only "evil" by virtue of opposing Richard. By the same token, a formerly evil character's Heel-Face Turn will begin with them realizing Richard is right.
Cliché Storm: Everything from a common man of mysterious lineage, to a wise old wizard with robes and white hair, to a character that was turned into a small, fanatical creature when deprived of the artifact that was precious to him.
Colonel Kilgore: Several of Kahlan's sayings about warfare ("The purpose of war is singular: to kill," "If war is brought to you, then it is incumbent upon you to show no mercy...let there be war like your enemy has never imagined in his most frightening nightmares,") and ordering her soldiers to kill innocents passing through the area on the off chance that they might be spies, can certainty give this impression. Given that most of these ideas come from what her father taught her, it probably applies to him as well.
Complete Monster: Darken Rahl is an Evil Overlord and Evil Sorcerer who has made a bargain for power with the demonic being The Keeper of the Underworld. Darken keeps the people enslaved, banning fire and launching brutal extermination campaigns on those who have resisted him. Rahl also continues the order of Mord-Sith: girls raised to be vicious torturers who have their mothers murdered in front of them and are forced to torture their fathers to death. He also sexually abuses the Mord-Sith and especially enjoys tormenting a lesbian couple among them. A Serial Rapist as well, Rahl forces himself upon many women, and if ones with him consensually are repulsed at the scars under his clothing, he tortures them to death. Viewing children without the gift of magic as worthless, he has any ungifted offspring disposed of, while also sacrificing other children to the Keeper for power. Rahl's ultimate goal is to plunge the world into The Keeper's domain, where all that lives will suffer eternally.
Crazy Awesome: Nathan Rahl. Because he is a thousand-year-old wizard who had been imprisoned for most of his life in the Palace of the Prophets, he comes across as a wise and knowledgeable Badass Bookworm crossed with a reckless hormone-crazed teenager, colored with just the tiniest hint of insanity for flavor. Whenever he is on scene, something incredibly awesome and/or entertaining is about to happen.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: In the later novels, the aesops start to draw strongly on Objectivist themes. The anti-Communist themes are pulled straight from Ayn Rand. People who try to give charity to others and "spread the wealth" ultimately turn poor people into lazy, greedy assholes and destroy the economy.
Similarly, the villain in The Law of Nines is said to have garnered support by offering what was essentially medieval welfare to the "lazy." (As did a minor villain in "Stone of Tears".)
"Soul of the Fire" describes a minority group that keeps itself in power by controlling the schools and teaching everyone in their society that they were the victim of a horrible injustice in the past and are therefore owed a great debt by the "evil" majority. (And the horrible injustice may not have actually happened in the first place.) Parallels to real-world groups are left as an exercise to the reader.
The Wheel of Time as well. Many WOT fans will outright accuse Goodkind of plagiarism, which Goodkind once casually deflected by suggesting that if you notice any similarities between the two, you probably aren't old enough to read his books.
Narm: Richard comparing a Mord Sith's lesbianism to steamed peas: "I might not like what you like, but that doesn't mean I don't like you anymore for liking it."
Never Live It Down: The chicken thing is pretty much all people remember about the Chimes of Death. A lot of people overlook them killing women and children via drowning, burning, and falling off cliffs.
Michael's usually remembered for his speech against fire.
Listening to some critics you'd get the impression that killing peace protesters is all Richard does in the later books.
The Chimes, demonic entities that exist to choke the world of magic, eventually almost causing the end of the world, are first introduced to the main characters... in the form of a chicken.
When Naked Empire's Big Bad is introduced, all attempts by Goodkind to make him seem terrifying are undermined by his name: Nicholas the Slide. Just try not to imagine him as a brightly-coloured, anthropomorphic piece of playground equipment.
Quality by Popular Vote: In any online discussion of these books, its supporters will cling to this trope like it's the last lifeline on the Titanic. It's true that the books sell well, and thus, in the eyes of its most diehard fans, that alone means that critics of its flaws are automatically wrong, failed to understand it or are just jealous.
Replacement Scrappy: Jennsen and the other major characters of The Pillars of Creation got a rather poor reception from many fans due to effectively reducing Richard and Kahlan to a cameo appearance in their own series.
Rooting for the Empire: Terry Goodkind tries to avert this by making villains as repulsively evil as possible so that the Designated Heroes' tendency to Pay Evil unto Evil doesn't make the audience turn on him. On the one hand, it means that the villains have all the odious habits that the heroes do, including the self-righteousness, and with extra rape (the only crime the heroes are not at some point guilty of) piled on top, but on the other hand, the heroes are the ones whose Kick the Dog moments we always get to see up close, while the villains' are usually just reported from afar.
Seasonal Rot: The books see a general decrease in quality as the series goes on, although there remain a few good books later in the series.
Snark Bait: This series is a particularly big magnet. There are many websites and forums that mock passages from the books.