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Wouter

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  1. (military) Losses seem to be high on both sides. Quite some pics/videos of destroyed/abandoned military hardware floating around, including even a Russian SA-15 "TOR" short range air defence system. The para-assault must have cost the Russians quite some casualties, as well as the downing of some helis, at least one jet (Ukraine claims 7) and a transport plan that was flying in Russia (the latter possibly shot down by a long-range SAM).
  2. Yes, and one of the aims of the Russian operations was probably to quickly capture/kill Zelensky and/or other Ukrainan civil or military officials. But it seems a very risky operation, Russians certainly lost some helicopters and their paras probably aren't having a good time either.
  3. Some context: I've read elsewhere that the Ukrainan minister of defence has stated that there is still fighting going on, but the Russian troops are pinned down and their large planes can't come in to bring heavier equipment and more troops. The Russians at the airport are paratroopers/"spetsnaz" who came in by helicopter, they are way ahead of the Russian ground forces that are invading from Belarus. It's very important for Ukraine to stop the Russians from clearing the airport enough to allow the large planes to land and bring direct reinforcements. It does seem that the Ukraine forces have artillery and tanks against the paras, so at first sight it does look a bit Market Garden like ('an airport too far')? Sweden and Finland should join NATO, like right now. While the Russians are still busy killing their "brothers".
  4. Asmodean is likely in the show, he was clearly shown among the 8 Forsaken pictured in Steppin's scene (the one with the guitar). And the interaction with both Asmodean and Lanfear was good in the books, with lots of potential for the show. Asmodean is one of the most distinctive forsaken. For the time being, I still believe Judkins when he talks about storylines from book 2 and 3. Though Rand probably will spend time in the waste, probably early in the season.
  5. Couladin never had Lanfear's backing, wasn't that a plot of Asmodean at first (to give him the Rhuidean markings to name him Car'a'carn) and of Sammael later? Lanfear was only interested in backing Rand/Lews Therin at that point. As for Rand leading the Aiel to Tear: I admit it would make sense, but in that case Judkin's statements about book 2 and 3 storylines being used for S2 would seem very misleading. If he is not lying, I think Rand is more likely to turn up at Barthanes' place than at Rhuidean.
  6. Mostly because Judkins stated some people would be mostly following their book 2 storylines, and others their book 3 stories. Integrating Rhuidean would mean a significant part of book 4 would be included, and little of book 3 (only some of Mat's storyline, really). And Rand would be alone there, as Perrin, Egwene, Moiraine etc are otherwise engaged and getting Mat to Rhuidean seems unlikely as well. Why would he enter the waste and how would he reach Rhuidean? Yet Rand and Mat meet, probably in one of the first 6 episodes (going by what Josha Stradowski said about working with the new Mat actor). I don't think Rand will stay separate from the rest of the TR crew for so long. Tear and the Stone have been namedropped and even shown in S1, probably in preparation for S2. It may be that Rand meets a group of Aiel early in the season, as a sign for the Aiel that a suspected Car'a'carn is around. Almost certainly Selene will seek him out as well, and it seems more likely to me that she will manipulate him back towards the wetlands and towards open recognition of being the dragon, rather than to Rhuidean and to obscure Aiel prophecies that aren't widely known.
  7. I wonder what the major storybeats in season 2 will be. What we know is that storylines from book 2 and book 3 (and possibly minor elements leftover from book 1, like the introduction of Elayne, or brought forward from book 4 such as possibly some Aiel stuff) will be included in the season. Mat is said to be entering his book 3 storyline (escape from Tar Valon, probably with Thom, off to save someone). Moiraine and Lan will get their own storyline, which resolves about coping with her channeling problem and possibly doing research relating to the prophecies and the seals of the DO's prison. Rand is ostensibly off on his own and believed dead by some characters. Combining (elements of) book 2 and book 3 raises a big question though: what with the 2 finals, Falme and Tear respectively? Will both be in the show (in changed form maybe)? if so, will they happen concurrently or would Falme be a mid-season highpoint? Tear does not really require any character but Rand if the rest has their climax at Falme, but some characters (notably Egwene, Mat and Moiraine) need to be in a position to join Rand as he enters Rhuidean (probably in early S3). With the Seanchan explicitely being shown at the Western Coast, and with costumes etc apparently being prepares for the Falme/Toman Head area, it looks like Falme will happen in some form (even if it may be limited to Egwene being captured there - Egwene being captured is something that Rafe has stated will be included in the show). Tear almost certainly also has to happen in some form, with Rand taking the sword and probably with the Aiel showing up. Both could be sorta combined, if (in the style of the weird Rand-Ba'alzamon battles from the book) Rand is physically in Tear but he travels through TAR to Falme or if his Tear activities are visible in the sky of Falme (maybe in connection to the Horn being blown). There's also the question of who goes where. Matt will start in Tar Valon (I guess meeting Thom to help him escape, like in book 3), Rand is off on his own and may enter the Aiel waste (though not go to Rhuidean yet; he may meet Aviendha), and no doubt Selene will find some way to meet him and push/pull him towards "greatness". Things we know is that a lord Barthanes has been cast, Josha Stradowski and the new Mat actor shot together at least one day (may be more in the final block of filming of S2) and that Ingtar and Masema have also been cast. The Shienaran characters will no doubt go after Fain and the horn, presumably with Perrin. The question is, who runs into who? Rand and Mat may meet up in Cairhien, maybe even with Perrin and the others in order to join the hunt. Or Rand (with or without Mat) could go to Tear. If Mat links up with Perrin and co, he can sound the horn. If not, Perrin may take that honor/burden. The girls probably go to the Tower I guess, and they may meet Elayne there (alternatively, Elayne has yet to go to the Tower and she instead happens to be near whatever location Lord Barthanes is in Cairhien when Rand and/or Mat show up there). Egwene probably is tricked by black ajah into being taken by the Seanchan. And like in the books, Egwene may be used to pressure Rand into going to Falme (or alternatively, to Tear) by Fain and/or Ishamael and/or Selene. The girls probably solve the problem themselves, like in the books, though if Mat is there (or even a still not channeling Moiraine) he may help. What do you think, will both Falme and Tear happen, concurrently or in sequence? Who will go where?
  8. As far as looks go - and book readers will agree this is important for Selene - this is a good choice. Apparently, a stunt double for the Selene actress will have a scene with fake blood on her. This may be part of whatever Selene's routine will be to get Rand to notice her.
  9. They could also bring her back quickly, and maybe take part of Cadsuane's role.
  10. Here, it is stated “Hopefully, the finale will prepare people emotionally for the deaths that will come,” Judkins noted. “Because one thing The Wheel of Time books do so beautifully is they maintain a massive cast of characters for 14 books. And we can’t do that in a television show. So, there will be shocking deaths to come, but I can confirm that this is not the end of Loial.”" In addition, in this CBR interview Judkins noted "No. I can't wait to kill surprising people that are going to really pain book fans in their deepest heart of hearts, but Loial is not dead in the finale of Season 1." It's quite possible that Moiraine will not come back after the portal, but is also possible she returns much sooner than in the books. Rosamund Pike is a co-producer on the show, which might change the equation as she is more closely involved. Logain and Thom are probably also both at risk, though Thom has the advantage that his actor is relatively unknown and thus probably not quite as expensive. If Liandrin is a black ajah who gets involved with Falme like she does in the books (rather than an Elaida-replacement), she seems an obvious candidate to be killed off.
  11. Slayer/Luc is probably an easy cut, the threat to the Two Rivers can be generic shadowspawn (with the Whitecloaks). I also hope TAR will be simplified and limited, in any case TAR at it is in the books would be hard to film (with constantly changing environments and clothes). The thing I liked about the Horn, was it function as a McGuffin that led to it being chased by Rand, Perrin, Matt and the Shienarans. Even the end of the books is not merely about the use of the Horn, but it is about Ingtar's confession and sacrifice, Rand's victory over Turak, and the desperate situation that led to Matt using the horn prematurely. Now, we seem to have the horn, but maybe just with Perrin and a few Shienaran, while Rand may be doing something else entirely. A choice I regret, for the moment at least. Agreed on Lan. I generally like the way Daniel Henney is portraying the character, but we do miss some moments where he shows how capable he is as a warder/warrior (and also his instructions for Rand). Even though I do not mislike most of the Steppin/Lan scenes, I could have done without the mourning scene. I'm not a fan of such prescribed exagerrated mourning rituals in real life, either. Rafe Judkins has stated that some fan favourites will die early in the show, that this is needed because of budgetary reasons (impossible to keep a large number of actors/actresses for years). He noted this while confirming that Loial will survive his stab wounds from the S1 finale. Given the context of his comment, Siuan Sanche (played by a noted actress) seems a prime suspect for being among those, as she could die in the coup (or be murdered by the Black Ajah).
  12. He was pressured into accepting it, because he was told only the DR could survive the confrontation and he didn't want his friends to die when he suspected he was the one. And the trip to the Eye only seems to have confirmed it. I was rather disappointed in the final episode. As others have written is the opening scene a curious choice, presenting Lews Therin as someone who is 100% wrong and Latra Posae as the wise councillor who is 100% right and accurately predicts what will happen. With nary a hint that there is a war going on. A very unfortunate choice. During the episode, Agelmar was also given rather poor treatment, in favour of the Aes Sedai who did not support him in the books, whereas here they made it explicit (having implied in the penultimate episode) that he did not want help. Admittedly, this was probably necessary to save Siuan as a character and to keep at least the facade of the White Tower being a competent organisation (which is important for the coming seasons), and Agelmar is a relatively small character. With the unfortunate absence of Matt, Perrin seemingly being paralysed with inaction, Nynaeve rather implausibly telling Lan how to do his job and Rand so far failing to "shine as bright as the sun", it was the women who got to do everything of note this time (with exception of Rand's confrontation with Ishy). While Perrin and Matt no doubt will improve next season, I wonder when Rand will have the opportunity to show something that even begins to compare with what Nynaeve has done so far. Depending on what they do with Rand, this may have to wait until Tear, with Callandor. The many fake-out deaths were annoying in this episode, Nynaeve's apparent (by visuals and Egwene's reaction) death being the most egregious example. However, not only will Loial survive, it may be Uno will survive his wound from the fade as the actor is apparently supposed to be in season 2. At this rate, I wonder if even Agelmar can definitely be counted as being dead. A small point, but I also disliked Rand's story about running off with Egwene. Out of character for both IMO, considering both had a good rapport with their parents (and this was not changed for the show) and Tam obviously was supportive of his involvement with Egwene. On the flip side, the idea to save the day by using Nynaeve's and Egwene's mega channeling power without them doing the actual channeling was good. Ishamael was excellent; the actor was very convincing in the role and the entire confrontation between Rand and Ishy was well done and IMO true to the books in spirit. It looks like Ishy manipulated Siuan (and by extension, Moiraine) into bringing the DR to the Eye (which may be a hall of the servants equivalent of the Age of Legends in the show, I suppose, given that there was a direct confrontation between Ishy and Lews Therin there), and once he was there Ishy was going to win no matter what. He didn't turn Rand, but his smile after Rand turned on him - and the broken seal afterwards - was telling. It looks like Ishy is a competent villain. I also liked Padan Fain. Like all the Darkfriends so far, he seems to have a quasi-philosophical reason to be a Dark Friend, allthough his "balance" explanation doesn't make much sense as his boss wants to extinguish the light anyway. He's a terrifying villain anyway, and I wonder if he will be his own thing independent of the DO in S2 and later, as he is in the books. I don't much like some of the implications of the way the season ended. Moiraine being stilled (?) implies that S2 will spend time on her coping with that (and it getting healed, probably) during S2, whereas they could also, have chosen to just add (channeling) Moiraine on one of the running storylines (with Perrin, most likely). Now, time spent on Moiraine will not be spent on the EF5. Rand faking his death and seemingly entering his book 3 storyline means, unless it's another fakeout and he will be back with the group by the end of S2E01, that he will not get a journey with Ingtar and the Shienaran soldiers (of which few will be left in or near Fal Dara anyway). A pity, as turning Ingtar was a major point for him in the books. The "flicker" scene is likely also shelved (as we saw a small aspect of it in Rand's temptation by Ishy in the final episode). And I wonder when and how Rand will finally meet Elayne in the show; unless Elayne isn't in the Tower yet and he meets her in Cairhien (Barthanes was cast, and this set of book scenes probably is difficult to transfer from Rand to either Matt or Perrin) on his way to Tear, it may be that they only meet once Rand is already openly the DR. It's also the question if they plan to do both Falme - with the wondergirls and maybe Perrin and/or Matt, but without physical presence of Rand - and Tear (with Rand and Moiraine?) in S2. The way they ended the season does leave the door open for Selene to start influencing Rand right from the start of S2. Possibly with the use of Portal Stones or the Ways. The horn exists in the show. Of all the things they changed, I would have preferred the horn to be scrapped as it seems a rather cheesy element. Speaking of cheesy, the Seanchan at the end also were pretty cheesy. Especially the appareance and gestures of the sul'dam and the nuking on an almost empty beach. Not the sort of visually spectacular but seemingly braindead scenes I would like to see on the show.
  13. Quoting myself here for a different idea: Siuan's dream about the Eye may have been manipulated by Ishy. And Min saying that may have made Moiraine consider that she is walking into a trap.
  14. I wouldn't call it a straight trope. That the Dragon Reborn is stated to go mad and to probably break the world (again), figuratively but also quite literally, does make it different from straight chosen one tropes. It's not Eddings.
  15. In ep.1 Nynaeve was aware of Perrin's (probably harmless) little crush on Egwene. Laila didn't go to the Tavern, and Nyneave seemed to know that was because of Perrin's supposed feelings. Nynaeve noted that it's hard to work iron alone (she probably got that from talking to Laila herself, as she was annoyed that Perrin went there to see Egwene after her ceremony), after which Perrin got the hint. I don't think Perrin has anything to blame himself for (other than his berseker accident, of course), and for me he is indeed telling the truth. Rand did not know any more in the show than he did in the books; he came from outside the Two Rivers, but in the show at least, so did Nynaeve.
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