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The Wheel of Time TV Show 3: Fan expectations are heavier than a mountain, success is lighter than a feather [BOOK SPOILERS]

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1 hour ago, fionwe1987 said:

I can't help but roll my eyes at this kind of analysis. You're trying to argue that GRRM's world holds closer to realistic probability of survival, whereas, of course, all that happens is that he's a little more willing to let PoV characters die, except the ones he wants preserved for a pivotal role in the finale.

All you'd need to get similar results in WoT is to add a few more bodies with some PoV chapters, then kill em off at the moments you mention.

The whole analysis is particularly rich because we have a kid surviving a major fall very early in the series, characters surviving being repeatedly stabbed, one character is reborn multiple times, and some author favorites survive all sorts of odds to keep on living to play their plot purpose. And the idea that only the clever survive while the rich die off is confusing, since absolute morons like Jon and Cersei keep surviving. And what are we to make of the many close shaves of one Arya Stark, who dances into the Lions den, and should be dead multiple times in any realistic story?

I'd thought most people had moved past the idea of major character death as some kind of literary masterstroke, or particularly realistic aspect of writing. Authors pick PoVs of characters important to their story. Some die, some don't, and there's nothing particularly more real about more deaths among PoV characters. PoV characters are by definition not a representative sample of the population. 

I already ackowledged that there are moments when GRRM's plot isn't as free of holes as could be, though the ones you sight are rather small. However, it requires significantly less suspension of disbelief that the WOT plot does. As I said. And if we are mixing the worlds, then one or the other must adapt to fit the setting and the author.

I mean, are you seriously going to try to claim that Mat and Egwene making it out of that dungeon isn't at least ten times as unrealistic as anything that happens in ASOIAF, or that you think GRRM would have wrote that scene? I know you're a fan of Egwene, but Jesus dude, take off the blinkers ...

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8 hours ago, Shaun Snow said:

I mean, are you seriously going to try to claim that Mat and Egwene making it out of that dungeon isn't at least ten times as unrealistic as anything that happens in ASOIAF

Why not? Arya's plotline alone contains several much more unlikely events. Bran survived a fall from what, 30 meters? Tyrion the dwarf with zero combat training kicked ass in the Blackwater battle.

IIRC Fain didn't hate Mat at this point and had no reason to kill him, so him surviving that encounter in the dungeons isn't unlikely at all.

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5 minutes ago, David Selig said:

zero combat training

FWIW, that's not correct. The degree of his training we do not know, but he has at least some.

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This is probably a better question for the Lit forum, but we have a regular gathering of WoT experts here, so I'll throw it out:

I started rereading EotW for the first time in probably 15-20 years. I came to the time scramble chapters 31-34 where Rand is dealing with the aftermath/flu from using the power. Rand observes that time felt off in Chapter 34. Was this time scramble reason ever explained? Just One Power distortions/ thread bending?

This post documents the jumbled event order vs book order, but not the why.

/returns to television centric thread

Edited by Myrddin

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14 hours ago, Shaun Snow said:

I already ackowledged that there are moments when GRRM's plot isn't as free of holes as could be, though the ones you sight are rather small. However, it requires significantly less suspension of disbelief that the WOT plot does. As I said. And if we are mixing the worlds, then one or the other must adapt to fit the setting and the author.

I mean, are you seriously going to try to claim that Mat and Egwene making it out of that dungeon isn't at least ten times as unrealistic as anything that happens in ASOIAF, or that you think GRRM would have wrote that scene? I know you're a fan of Egwene, but Jesus dude, take off the blinkers ...

I don't know what my linking Egwene has to do with anything.

As for the dungeon scene, they were all scrambling to get out before soldiers or, worse, Aes Sedai came by. Fain took the one thing to which he's almost physically attracted to and needs to feel complete with his powers. And his hatred is mostly focussed on Rand, though yes, he hates Perrin and Mat too.

Nicking Mat with the blade wouldn't have done anything specifically bad, beyond the physical injury. Moiraine had already insulated him from it's taint. 

Either way, it's certainly believable that Fain prioritized take the dagger over everything else, and that in the mad scramble to escape, didn't get a chance to kill Mat and Egwene. It's hardly a "plot hole". If they'd been face to face in a controlled situation, and he spared Mat for some reason, sure. But that isn't what happened. 

And even if that happened, the mechanics of the world actually explain it. Mat's ta'veren nature is more than sufficient explanation. And if you're going to reject that, then you have to equally criticize that Dany didn't die when she went into Drogo's pyre, or that Beric is reanimated, or Jon. 

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Well opinions will vary. I'd say not taking a second to kill them is a nonsensical plot development, especially when he later takes the time to write Rand a love note in blood while the other two are lying unmolested a few feet away. What a "mad scramble" writing that must have been!

Of similar unlikelihood is Lan being knocked out by the Forsaken twice (Aginor/Balthamel and then Lanfear, who killed the nameless Aiel who charged her on Cairhien's docks but not the named character), instead of simply being incinerated by them. Incidents such as this strain credulity far beyond any specific incident I can recall from ASOIAF, though if you'd like to point one out feel free. So far all I've seen are generalities, bar Bran's fall, which I would merely liken to Lan and Rand surviving the fall from that roof in Far Madding. A minor incident, the kind of thing that is quite dangerous but that people have been known to survive even in real life.

When deciding on the most likely fates of the WOT cast I specifically avoided any situation that I deemed plausible but dangerous, such as Perrin drowning when crossing the river, the Trollocs not being able to kill a bunch of villagers, an Acme brand anvil not dropping on anyone's head, that sort of stuff. I also avoided the deliberately mystical, such as Dany's pyre scene and Rand's battle in the sky, or anything else involving magic and the One Power. It's only the incidents where you really have to lean heavily on ta'veren (deus ex machina, in the Old Tongue) to try and explain how the plot makes sense, or the decisions made are remotely in character, that make me scoff and think, "GRRM wouldn't allow that in his series".

Random aside: Beric being alive has been mentioned twice now, but he actually died for good in one of the more recent books. He's also a very minor character.

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46 minutes ago, Shaun Snow said:

Well opinions will vary. I'd say not taking a second to kill them is a nonsensical plot development, especially when he later takes the time to write Rand a love note in blood while the other two are lying unmolested a few feet away. What a "mad scramble" writing that must have been!

Of similar unlikelihood is Lan being knocked out by the Forsaken twice (Aginor/Balthamel and then Lanfear, who killed the nameless Aiel who charged her on Cairhien's docks but not the named character), instead of simply being incinerated by them. Incidents such as this strain credulity far beyond any specific incident I can recall from ASOIAF, though if you'd like to point one out feel free. So far all I've seen are generalities, bar Bran's fall, which I would merely liken to Lan and Rand surviving the fall from that roof in Far Madding. A minor incident, the kind of thing that is quite dangerous but that people have been known to survive even in real life.

When deciding on the most likely fates of the WOT cast I specifically avoided any situation that I deemed plausible but dangerous, such as Perrin drowning when crossing the river, the Trollocs not being able to kill a bunch of villagers, an Acme brand anvil not dropping on anyone's head, that sort of stuff. I also avoided the deliberately mystical, such as Dany's pyre scene and Rand's battle in the sky, or anything else involving magic and the One Power. It's only the incidents where you really have to lean heavily on ta'veren (deus ex machina, in the Old Tongue) to try and explain how the plot makes sense, or the decisions made are remotely in character, that make me scoff and think, "GRRM wouldn't allow that in his series".

Random aside: Beric being alive has been mentioned twice now, but he actually died for good in one of the more recent books. He's also a very minor character.

Yes, he wrote in blood to Rand. Because that is his higher priority. He is obsessed with him, and hates him beyond reason.

For Lan being knocked out, in both instances, he was not their target, and they were busy fighting other channelers. Aginor was focussed on Moiraine. Lanfear had Rand as her priority. She had no time to focus on Moiraine or Lan, and got them out of the way the quickest she could. The masses of the Aiel are another matter. There, it's easier to kill that toss that many bodies about. If Lan had been among them, you'd have a point if he survived. Lanfear and Aginor are not alone in using Air to sway away people close to them. It happens repeatedly in the series.

And Bran falling is a minor incident, now? Bravo on being objective. 

And yes, Beric is a minor character. But that's my point. You're taking an issue of the type of characters the authors focus on, and trying to make a broader point about the world. The truth is, people die in both worlds in large numbers. GRRM chooses to use more of them as PoV characters. But that says nothing about the general survival rate in either. 

And if you're going to dismiss Ta'veren as Deus ex machina, so is Danny's fireproofing, all the resurrections, direwolves preventing you from getting gutted, etc.

Conceptually, Ta'veren are introduced very early in the series and it's a core part of it's mythology. If you need to dismiss it to make your point, it shows you don't have one 

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57 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

Yes, he wrote in blood to Rand. Because that is his higher priority. He is obsessed with him, and hates him beyond reason.

For Lan being knocked out, in both instances, he was not their target, and they were busy fighting other channelers. Aginor was focussed on Moiraine. Lanfear had Rand as her priority. She had no time to focus on Moiraine or Lan, and got them out of the way the quickest she could. The masses of the Aiel are another matter. There, it's easier to kill that toss that many bodies about. If Lan had been among them, you'd have a point if he survived. Lanfear and Aginor are not alone in using Air to sway away people close to them. It happens repeatedly in the series.

And Bran falling is a minor incident, now? Bravo on being objective. 

And yes, Beric is a minor character. But that's my point. You're taking an issue of the type of characters the authors focus on, and trying to make a broader point about the world. The truth is, people die in both worlds in large numbers. GRRM chooses to use more of them as PoV characters. But that says nothing about the general survival rate in either. 

And if you're going to dismiss Ta'veren as Deus ex machina, so is Danny's fireproofing, all the resurrections, direwolves preventing you from getting gutted, etc.

Conceptually, Ta'veren are introduced very early in the series and it's a core part of it's mythology. If you need to dismiss it to make your point, it shows you don't have one 

So it wasn't a mad scramble after all, then? Bravo on being objective. Note how I dismissed the same thing happening to Rand and Lan in Winter's Heart as did Bran in A Game of Thrones? I'd say that was rather objective of me. But YMMV.

I still can't think of a comparable incident to the ones I initially cited in WOT as having happened in ASOIAF though. My memory may be failing me, it's been a while since my last re-read ...

You are right about it being easier and smarter to kill Lan than disable him though, in both cases it would have far more sense if he'd died. Dat plot armour, doh.

I don't know why you keep mentioning POV characters. I've never cited that status as being particularly telling. After all, almost everyone in WOT gets a POV at one point or another, save for some few notables such as the aforementioned (repeatedly, I might add) Lan, who doesn't get a POV in an RJ penned book in the Wheel of Time sequence, yet was one of the first characters I argued wouldn't have survived a GRRM novel. POV is not something I’m focused on. I count it as one of Martin’s strengths that he can make a character that appears only briefly and through another’s eyes feel alive enough and sympathetic enough that their deaths, when they happen, as they often do, feel so tragic. Jordan does it sometimes as well. Ingtar for example. There weren’t that many other examples, sadly.

Which is why I have to disagree again about WOTs bodycount. For a tale about an apocalypse that was prophesised in flowery language for nigh on three millennia, it was astonishingly bloodless, IMO. Tarmon Gai'don resulted in the deaths of one major character, a few secondary ones, the burning of Caemlyn and an off-screen bit of destruction in the Borderlands, most of which we never visit in the main text. It was also over so quickly that people in nations farther afield than Andor probably never even got time to hear the rumours spread that it had begun. Even the War of the Five Kings was more apocalyptic than that! I don’t know how much of it can be blamed on Sanderson, mind. RJ’s two page description of the Trolloc Wars back in TEOTW, a war which merited no flowery prophecies of horrific destruction, certainly sounded far more apocalyptic than the apocalyptic battle we ended up getting.

Ta'veren though. Tut tut. “It's not deus ex machina if you already say it is? The plot doesn't have to be logical if I admit beforehand that I’m not going to have it be so?” Nonsense. But also nonsense that I applied to the ASOIAF characters when I hypothesised a world in which they lived alongside the WOT ones under RJ’s guidance. Hence the survival of the likes of Ned and the prophesised saviour types like Dany. The other incidents I conjecture would be taking place in GRRM’s world, and so I endeavour to fairly apply the same standards of writing I feel that he strives towards with his characters to the WOT immigrants. See above, re Bran and Rand/Lan.

So. Ta’veren doesn’t work there, but magic, whether the use of the One Power or Valyrian sorcery, does. If we were to imagine yet a third world, one in which such supernatural abilities don’t exist at all, then Dany would definitely have died in that pyre rather than ... (never mind, there might be people out there who managed to avoid hearing about Game of Thrones altogether, lucky sods) and Rand and the rest would have no special powers and so wouldn’t have a chance of getting anywhere near the Iron Throne. But that wasn’t what we were discussing.

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I do think this topic has gone far afield from discussing the TV show. WoT vs. GoT should be ... well, somewhere else.

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On 9/6/2019 at 5:44 AM, fionwe1987 said:

Congrats Wert. Nice write-up. Are we gonna see stuff for the other actors too?

As.for the Iron Throne pic... It's a fun crossover, isn't it. Which WoT character would sit on the Iron Throne? I think Egwene, without a doubt. What does everyone else think? 

As shown above, I didn't begin the discussion, I just put in my two cents on it, which was responded to rather negatively alas. But I'll leave it at that if you feel we risk derailing the thread.

Edited by Shaun Snow

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

If my guess that they'll emphasize the Moiraine-Siuan relationship and have it continue into the main series holds, then Thom may well be a casualty of that. Maybe not to the extent that he's cut, but take away his eventual role in rescuing Moiraine because he's into her, and you're not left with a whole lot for which he's crucial. 

I certainly hope he isn't axed, though. I expect we'll see some mid tier characters cast next month. They've either already picked an actor and are waiting for the first Wednesday of next month. Or he's minor enough that they can wait to get to the scenes with him till later.

 

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