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Hypothetical Bakker Adaptation Thread

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The Second Apocalypse is not about to be adapted any time soon. Bakker has supposedly said there was a serious possibility of it being optioned years ago, but then that fell through - and nothing since.



But for speculative purposes, if it was to be adopted, what kind of changes do you think would need to be made to it? I'm inclined to think they'd have to drastically cut back on the sexual violence elements, and probably change the backgrounds of at least Esmenet. No need to be 100% serious.



I started the thread because we joked about it over in the "Wheel of Time Pilot" thread, and I didn't want it to become too much of a tangent over there.




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I hesitated to just say that outright, but yes, that's what happens. Bran getting shoved out of a window on impulse by Jaime is not the same as a child being stalked and raped in the prologue of The Darkness That Comes Before (although said child gets revenge).

It’s not like they’d have to show the act itself, even in the book it’s mostly implied. Seriously, a child getting abused off-camera is Law & Order stuff.

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It’s not like they’d have to show the act itself, even in the book it’s mostly implied. Seriously, a child getting abused off-camera is Law & Order stuff.

It's not good as part of your opening episode. I've spoken with people who put down the book because that happened.

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I think Bakker's work would be better with a gritty animation feel (something like Ninja Scroll) rather than live action. The battles and the magic in Bakker are well beyond anything in GoT, just filming the Battle of Kiyuth (and having it look decent) would be really hard without a significant budget. As a fan, I'd love to see something like 6 one hour episodes for each book, because I don't think that you would need to engage all of the subplots, and the series is generally less "talky" than GoT.


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It's not good as part of your opening episode. I've spoken with people who put down the book because that happened.

I agree with that, but I wonder if for a TV show that part of the prologue is even necessary. They could just start with Kellhus leaving Ishuäl and leave the audience to piece things together until Cnaiür reveals the truth of Kellhus to Achamian.

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I think Bakker's work would be better with a gritty animation feel (something like Ninja Scroll) rather than live action. The battles and the magic in Bakker are well beyond anything in GoT, just filming the Battle of Kiyuth (and having it look decent) would be really hard without a significant budget. As a fan, I'd love to see something like 6 one hour episodes for each book, because I don't think that you would need to engage all of the subplots, and the series is generally less "talky" than GoT.

Yes. Having the battles look even acceptable would be insanely expensive. I love the idea of an animated series.

It’s not like they’d have to show the act itself, even in the book it’s mostly implied. Seriously, a child getting abused off-camera is Law & Order stuff.

It'd be easy to take the Ishual segment of prologue and tack it onto the beginning of say, the second episode or something. Or to just have the Anasurimbor child kill the priest before he manages to do anything, and the priest's dying words could be the "there are no crimes" thing. Then the Dunyain cavalry arrive and EAMD that shit.

***

Honestly, as much as I'd love to see this series on screen, I'm not sure if I'd like what it would end up being. It's a gigantic series even if it's page count isn't near ASOIAF levels. I'd love to see the Great Ordeal and mowing down sranc and listen to Cleric pontificate and see Cnauir's troops fight Conphas in Joktha. I'd love to see the circumfixion. I just think the series probably wouldn't translate well to the screen.

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Yeah, I’m actually surprised that Bakker wanted it to be adapted (ignoring the money factor for a second.) I mean, if this gets made, even with a GoT budget, chances are it’s going to be embarrassing - laughable, even. Like an entire series of that WoT pilot. It won’t be renewed of course, and Bakker will become laughing stock... (I know I’m being a bit overdramatic.)


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I think Bakker's work would be better with a gritty animation feel (something like Ninja Scroll) rather than live action. The battles and the magic in Bakker are well beyond anything in GoT, just filming the Battle of Kiyuth (and having it look decent) would be really hard without a significant budget. As a fan, I'd love to see something like 6 one hour episodes for each book, because I don't think that you would need to engage all of the subplots, and the series is generally less "talky" than GoT.

Agreed. It would also let you do stuff that would probably look ridiculous in live-action, like using alternate colors and sound cues to signal that Kellhus is "reading" someone.

And lord knows I've seen some animated stuff that's as disturbing as Bakker.

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I think it could be done, if you do it like game of thrones and rearrange plots so you reuse the same locations and sets.

That means the first big change is that carythusal is out, aka starts in momemn.

That would reposition scarlet spires to momemn and reposition the island of atyersus to a strategically important vantage at the mouth of momemns bay.

Why? Because then you can keep all the drama, still get akka to atyersus for his powwow and allows you to put on screen the opaque politics of faction x y and z who never interact in person in bakkers version. Bakkers style is reminiscent of Orson Scott card, he makes most external conflict play out offscreen, informing the reader of conflict from with in the mental recriminations and reflections of the viewpoint. That won't fly, you have to put it on screen.

Kiyuth the battle would not be in the pilot, but you could feature both sides of the conflict from within battlefield tents, and set up the coming battle. Naturally you move xerius to the battlefield, nominally overseeing his general and nephew conphus.

Bakker inexplicably made akka an ineffective spy for half a dozen chapters and then changed his profession to teacher for the rest of the series. So we do the same thing he did, just earlier. akka is not a spy, esmenet is.

Akka was probably only ever a spy in the first place because of some supposedly kewl dungeons and dragons reason when Bakker built the character in the eighties, we can dispense with all that baggage. ;)

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So how would that break down?

I imagine it would break down like this:

Sc. 1 - Burial of the king & the Dunyain arrive and take the castle - 3 min

Main Title Sequence - 1 min

subtitle: 2000 years later

Sc. 2 - Pragmas send Kellhus to kill Moenghus - 1 min

Sc. 3 - Kellhus leaves castle - 1 min

Sc. 4 - Geshrunni reveals scarlet spires/inrithi pact to Achamian at Esmenet's brothel - 3 min

Sc. 5 - Geshrunni is killed - 1 min

Sc. 6 - Inrau welcomes Proyas to Momemn and introduces him to the new Shriah. - 4 min

Sc. 7 - Conphas and Xerius debate the coming battle - 3 min

Sc. 8 - Cnaiur predicts the strategy we have just heard, but is humiliated at the parallel meeting amongst Scylvendi leaders - 4 min

Sc. 9 - Kellhus wanders in the wilderness, collapses in the snow at Leweth's sled. - 1 min

Sc. 10 - Kellhus and Leweth in his tent. - 3 min

Sc. 11 - Esmenet tells Akka he has to tell the Mandate of the Spires/Inrithi treaty - 2 min

Sc. 12 - Akka tells the Mandate, they already know and have had their neutrality purchased. Akka is ordered to attend the coronation and tell the Shriah the Mandate accepts their terms and will remain neutral - 3 min

Sc. 13 - Conphas exits tent on morning of battle, tells his general no one is to move until his signal. - 1 min

SC. 14 - Cnaiur gives his speech to his men, then turns and charges the opposing line. - 2 min

Sc. 15 - The Coronation, The Shriah announces a Holy War. Proyas/Akka/Inrau interactions/reactions - 3 min

Sc. 16 - Leweth is killed by a Sranc while he and Kellhus are hunting, Kellhus kills it, then flees from the offscreen sounds of others coming. - 2 min

Sc. 17 - Kellhus makes a stand at the ruins of a castle, tries to interrogate a Sranc he catches following him, Mekeritrig stops him. - 1 min

Sc. 18 - Mekeritrig and Kellhus fight, Kellhus flees. - 3 min

End of pilot.

42 minutes, which would be cable length. If it's a premium channel you can allow an extra minute per scene and still hit 56-60 min.

Someone once posted on the forum that in the beginning, Bakker's editor wanted Conphas to be a female character. I think that's brilliant and the show should do it. you don't even need to change the name since it is made up. It also means you can cut Istriya by combining her character into Xerius. Which is good.

It's ambitious, but it's mostly interiors, just a few days of location shooting, which is great. The coronation can be held inside to save money rather than shooting a location, and you're limiting the VFX shots to Mekeritrig's single spell, digital matte paintings and some lines of soldiers in the far distance. Cnaiur can shoot his speech in front of twenty extras and with the right angles it can look like a horde.

So it's doable, if you think about the scale of season one of Game of Thrones and use the same methods they did that season.

I don't think the story can sustain one season per book though. the first season dramatically ought to end with Kellhus coming off the Circumfix. If you got a twelve episode order, that's totally reasonable, a ten episode order and it is really tight, but most of what you are losing if you compress two books to ten episodes would be battles in the sequence of marching down the coast before the Desert. Episode nine would be killer though, Akka escapes the Sareotic Library while Kellhus is nailed to the Circumfix.

But that begs the question of what you're doing in the second season, presumably TTT and TJE, it would work but it would be weird and would necessitate (probably) abandoning the twenty year gap. Which would maybe mean abandoning Kellhus' children. You could probably have them be Maithanet's siblings instead, and Kelmomas is Esmenet's child. But things get out of hand with the sheer volume of changes cascading when thinking about this.

Serwe would be introduced in episode 2. I'd probably make her Cnaiur's virginal younger sister. Half sister by way of Moenghus, she accompanies him and Kellhus.

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Yeah, I’m actually surprised that Bakker wanted it to be adapted (ignoring the money factor for a second.) I mean, if this gets made, even with a GoT budget, chances are it’s going to be embarrassing - laughable, even. Like an entire series of that WoT pilot. It won’t be renewed of course, and Bakker will become laughing stock... (I know I’m being a bit overdramatic.)

Exactly. I can't even imagine the wrong sort of showrunner getting their hands on Kellhus' bullshit in TWP. A good way to piss off everyone. From the TV proles (:P) who think it's pretentious shit to the book fans who dislike the changes...and also think it's pretentious shit.

Serwe would be introduced in episode 2. I'd probably make her Cnaiur's virginal younger sister. Half sister by way of Moenghus, she accompanies him and Kellhus.

The purist in me hates this but it seems like an elegant change motivated by the sort of sentiment that got us the book-Shae to TV-Shae transition. Except it would be far less cringeworthy.

That said...can't really happen with what we think of either Cnaiur or his culture. Or will we have the "stowaway until it's too late" plot?

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It's not good as part of your opening episode. I've spoken with people who put down the book because that happened.

Treat it as a 'you must be this high to ride' test.

Seriously, rides have that so people don't fly out of the ride and get hurt.

Books or even TV shows about hard subjects can have a test just as much for similar reasons (in regard to emotions, anyway)

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Treat it as a 'you must be this high to ride' test.

Seriously, rides have that so people don't fly out of the ride and get hurt.

Books or even TV shows about hard subjects can have a test just as much for similar reasons (in regard to emotions, anyway)

Except, if you're thinking realistically, TV shows that aim to be anything other than black holes for money (especially fantasies) have to be able to appeal to a wide audience. This is why you see these minor changes to GoT that often seem a bit pointless.

You get gratuitous tits and murder. Child abuse...is probably past the line.

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That said...can't really happen with what we think of either Cnaiur or his culture. Or will we have the "stowaway until it's too late" plot?

Not sure why. You could change it so that the Scylvendi women are highly independent and capable of defending themselves, because they frequently have to deal with shit like Sranc coming along while Scylvendi warriors are off on the warpath.

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If only Max Pirkis of Rome season 1 was a little bit older. He'd make a killer Kellhus - he's good at nailing down that kind of calculating affect.



Jason Momoa would be the too obvious choice for Cnaiur, although he might be wary of type-casting. Then again, Cnaiur is very much not a silent, one-note badass.



Not sure on Achamian or the others. Conphas would be someone smart and insufferably arrogant - the poor man's male or female equivalent to James Purfoy.

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Serwe would be introduced in episode 2. I'd probably make her Cnaiur's virginal younger sister. Half sister by way of Moenghus, she accompanies him and Kellhus.

Hmm. Maybe the two could have an incestuous romantic relationship?

Change Esmi from a whore into Achamian’s wife, and introduce Mimara as their daughter right away, and make her Proyas’ lover.

Granted, if we continue down this path the show will have no resemblance to the actual but story, but hey, it would appeal to a larger audience.

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I had never thought mimara would have a role in season one, but that is interesting.

I'd change esmi into a business woman she runs a large brothel, but her real business is leveraging the brothel as a neutral arena of information exchange ie she's a spy-broker sort of like littlefinger. Akka is sort of her employee/bouncer/permanent resident, like doc holliday, he hangs around whores and loves them.

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like using alternate colors and sound cues to signal that Kellhus is "reading" someone.

Do you really need to do that? I mean, really, Kellhus is always reading everyone.

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