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Corvinus85

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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3 minutes ago, Rhom said:

I'm cool with letting the world think he's dead.  I even accept that he will have the three lovers.  But the fact that he leaves without saying goodbye and has no plans to travel to see them at all and wonders which will chase him while completely ignoring that Elayne is pregnant just doesn't seem like Rand.

(Its a little ick that they love him in the new body... but I get it.)

I viewed it as a reward. His burdens are done and he's free from all this noise that he never wanted any part of, including the harem. You save not just the Earth, but the universe... I'm inclined to let you off the hook for being a deadbeat dad. Not like those whelps are going to want.

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Just now, Jace, Basilissa said:

I viewed it as a reward. His burdens are done and he's free from all this noise that he never wanted any part of, including the harem. You save not just the Earth, but the universe... I'm inclined to let you off the hook for being a deadbeat dad. Not like those whelps are going to want.

Tam al'Thor would not approve.  :lol: 

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14 minutes ago, Rhom said:

I've always said I'd love to see a "red letter edition" of the last three books just to see what exactly was an RJ passage.  I think it would do two things, 1) highlight just how little he really did have prepared towards completion and 2) clarify what he is to "blame" for.

Although, the fact that Rand wanders off into the sunset in another man's body wondering which of his harem will come looking for him first despite the fact he has at least two kids on the way is one of the worst endings to a book I can ever imagine and knowing that it is 100% RJ doesn't help in the least.

ETA:  Hell... Jorg Ancrath in Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire series is one of the most despicable protagonists you will ever meet... 

Sanderson's been trying to get that done for the last ten years (Christopher Tolkien style), but apparently the RJ Estate is highly resistant to it. I'm not exactly sure why, as it this juncture it would provide another book and another source of income.

Based on what I know, the "RJ Notes" situation is that the notes for the conclusion were fairly extensive, but not exhaustive. Every major character's fate was spelled out, but only some secondary characters and not many tertiary or lower characters. In some cases the Estate decided to change some characters' fates (I believe the big one was Egwene, who survived originally but the editorial team decided that at least one of the big hitters had to die in the Last Battle). They also shifted the Last Battle from Caemlyn to Merrilor because of story logistics (apparently more down to how RJ left things hangining in KoD, which meant getting the Last Battle to happen at Caemlyn was fairly impractical). A lot of the fine details of the Last Battle were left to Brandon tough (whose imprints can be seen in sequences like the Dragons and the Travelling portals as mobile gun platforms, which is a logical use of the One Power but feels tonally incongruous with RJ's writing).

The situation sounds similar to GRRM's notes for the end of GoT: the general shape of the story is there, the character fates are there, but the secondary and lower tier characters weren't all mapped out and in some cases there needed to be a lot of inventing of "B" where A and C were locked in place but the interim material was not. Although my belief is that whilst Benioff and Weiss undertook some major changes to GRRM's outline in some areas (and adapted others pretty much 100% based on the outline), the Estate didn't change RJ's outline too much apart from the widely-reported areas.

Apparently Brandon is going to reveal several key points from the outline on the 10th anniversary of AMoL's publication (so in January 2023) and is going to keep pushing for the unexpurgated notes to be released.

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16 minutes ago, Werthead said:

(I believe the big one was Egwene, who survived originally but the editorial team decided that at least one of the big hitters had to die in the Last Battle).

Seriously? 

I wonder how they justified that to themselves. That RJ would have come around to doing it if Harriet and others he trusted said it was needed? 

 

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The estate REALLY doesn't want anything let out and I've always felt it is kind of weird. Didn't they get some book by one of the people involved completely canceled?

Then there was all the hype leading up to the companion book that ended up being a glorified wiki page in print form.

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10 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

The estate REALLY doesn't want anything let out and I've always felt it is kind of weird. Didn't they get some book by one of the people involved completely canceled?

I don't think so.

There isn't really much controversy about the ending, but what there is seems to be some people who think there are no notes whatsoever for the ending and Brandon and Harriet made the whole thing up out of thin air whilst claiming they had these notes (the Anderson/Herbert situation, and in this particular case complete bullshit) and there are other people who think there are detailed notes for the entire thing and every last word of the last three books comes from RJ's notes (which is also untrue, and Brandon and the team were very, very clear about that). The truth is somewhere between, with some character and story arcs mapped out in lots of detail and other elements where there was no information at all, and a lot of "well, here's where this character ends the story, but how she gets there from the ending of Knife of Dreams is up to you."

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Then there was all the hype leading up to the companion book that ended up being a glorified wiki page in print form.

I think there was mismanagement of expectations there. Fans seemed to be hoping for a revised and expanded Big White Book (with better art) and that's not what the book was ever going to be. They perhaps could have made it a bit clearer that it was basically only going to be a supersized version of the glossary at the end of every book. If RJ had survived it likely would have had a lot more canon, new material in it, but since he didn't, they could only go with the stuff that was in his notes (which, in a lot of cases, had already been published in the previous glossaries or in the books themselves).

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Ran said:

Seriously? 

I wonder how they justified that to themselves. That RJ would have come around to doing it if Harriet and others he trusted said it was needed? 

I double-checked this and no, it was Siuan's death that Team Jordan decided to implement; RJ's notes for Siuan and Gareth Bryne ended with them pulling Egwene out of the White Tower during the Seanchan assault in The Gathering Storm, so Team Jordan decided that them both biting it during the Last Battle would raise the stakes.

Egwene's fate hasn't been discussed by anyone on the editorial team, oddly. It was heavily theorised that she was the character Brandon wanted to keep alive but Harriet insisted died, but that later turned out to be Bela (!). Subsequent discussions seem to have focused on her being possibly one of several characters whose fates RJ hadn't fully decided on, along with Elayne (which is 100% confirmed, she was to definitely live but RJ hadn't decided on her getting the throne of Cairhien as wel as Andor).

What is interesting is how that discussion dovetails into Cadsuane's; Cadsuane ending up as Amyrlin against her will is far too perfect an ending for it to have come from anyone other than RJ, and that suggests that Egwene either has to die, voluntarily steps down as Amyrlin or is burned out in the Last Battle. So that's one area that's still unclear.

Edited by Werthead

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I swear I remember someone at Dragonmount getting his behind the scenes book shut down by The Lawyers, but my brain is not working correct this week.

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Brook and I have thought that the way the couples either live together or die together, none are split by death, was probably heavily influenced by RJ and Harriet's feelings about his approaching mortality and knowing this would happen to her. Which is entirely reasonable, again that isn't a criticism.

The things missing from the ending which most stand out to me are the resolutions to secondary and tertiary plot threads/characters. What did RJ really have in mind for Narishma "following after Rand"? What was Logain's "glory" meant to be? Because I don't buy what we saw matched Min's vision.

Do we know if the enslavement of all the male Aiel channelers who had gone off to fight the shadow over the years was from RJ or Brandon? That one was an emotional punch that really landed for me, whichever of them gets credit.

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8 hours ago, Rhom said:

I'm cool with letting the world think he's dead.  I even accept that he will have the three lovers.  But the fact that he leaves without saying goodbye and has no plans to travel to see them at all and wonders which will chase him while completely ignoring that Elayne is pregnant just doesn't seem like Rand.

(Its a little ick that they love him in the new body... but I get it.)

Ummm this completely ignores the fact that Elayne can home in on Rand whenever she wants, and Rand knows this. And that Elayne can Travel, which is also something Rand knows.

Rand will know the moment Elayne goes into labor (which is still a fair ways off), so his decision to wander for a while isn't in any way relevant to how he'd be absent from his kids.

When he's wondering who will follow him first, he's thinking about in the next few days not years.

As for the Aiel, we know that was RJ. I believe there is mention of RJ blowing his cousin's mind when he mentioned the BLANK in the Blight (this was the village where the Aiel channelers are turned), when he was narrating his ideas for the final book in the days before he died.

While it was effective, I feel its emotional impact was blunted massively because of how the last book was written

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4 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

As for the Aiel, we know that was RJ. I believe there is mention of RJ blowing his cousin's mind when he mentioned the BLANK in the Blight (this was the village where the Aiel channelers are turned), when he was narrating his ideas for the final book in the days before he died.

While it was effective, I feel its emotional impact was blunted massively because of how the last book was written

Thanks for the confirmation. And yeah that's probably true, I only read it the once now and the enormously long battle has faded to the point that its mostly just the big emotional beats that stand out - it probably works better for me now than it did then.

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11 hours ago, karaddin said:

The things missing from the ending which most stand out to me are the resolutions to secondary and tertiary plot threads/characters. What did RJ really have in mind for Narishma "following after Rand"? What was Logain's "glory" meant to be? Because I don't buy what we saw matched Min's vision.

There were several storylines that RJ planned but orphaned himself long before Brandon took over, such as the Min's viewing of the white-hot iron. I think Logain's glory was one of these. Narishma's significance I think was just that he would get Callandor and that would be confirmation that he would be Rand's loyal follower, Rand using the Prophecies as a sort of loyalty test (as proved to be the case, as opposed to Dashiva).

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Do we know if the enslavement of all the male Aiel channelers who had gone off to fight the shadow over the years was from RJ or Brandon? That one was an emotional punch that really landed for me, whichever of them gets credit.

Bizarrely, this idea was not only in the AMoL outline, it was in the very first outline for the entire series in 1984, back when the Dark One was an alien warlord from another dimension who would invade a much more obviously post-apocalyptic Earth via portals and the Forsaken were half-human, half-demon monsters. 

Originally the "dark Aiel" were called "Sightblinders" and their job was to blind and destroy the "Seven Eyes of the World" to help bring about the Dark One's invasion. They lived in a village near the enemy's primary stronghold. Given that everything else changed, sometimes several times over, it's a bit odd that this remained intact and secret all the way to AMoL.

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I think it's clear why it remained. It has all the elements to be a real gut punch that changes the calculus of the Last Battle, while being so obvious that no one could blame RJ for springing this out of nowhere.

I remember thinking the Aiel's way of handling male channelers was the best. That rather than gentle them and cause them to die early, they encourage these men to go destroy as much of the Shadow as they can. It seemed honorable and practical and another way the Aiel distinguish themselves.

Having Ishamael exploit that and create an army of male channelers dedicated to the Shadow... It's devilishly clever (pun intended), and of course, something the Aiel would be hell bent on correcting.

The moment we figured this out, I thought there would be some major fight where the Wise Ones make it their goal to kill these men and take them away from the Dark One. Or.. something. Instead we have Aviendha discovering their presence, the Wise Ones thinking they owe a great debt, then it's all forgotten, pretty much, in the midst of yet another random battle with some random band of Trollocs.

For all his faults as a writer, RJ didn't let his battles rage on and on. He did a great job switching between the birds eye view and zooming in when needed, but didn't spend too much time on each thrust and counterthrust. AMoLs great failing is in learning nothing from that. 

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15 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

For all his faults as a writer, RJ didn't let his battles rage on and on. He did a great job switching between the birds eye view and zooming in when needed, but didn't spend too much time on each thrust and counterthrust. AMoLs great failing is in learning nothing from that. 

I think it didn't help that Brandon isn't a huge military fantasy fan, so relied very heavily on Team Jordan (particularly Alan, who was heavily into that stuff) for mapping out the battle, whilst RJ would have definitely handled it differently, although not necessarily more concisely: at one point he said in an interview that the Last Battle would fill two full books. Sanderson at least wasn't quite that bad, although it's interesting how often I see fantasy fans getting upset if there isn't some kind of massive battle to end a story and actually see the "200 page chapter" as a selling point for the series. I think the LotR template still casts a long shadow there (and perhaps people missing the fact that the battles were distractions and didn't actually cause Sauron's defeat, although WoT does have a parallel there with Rand's mental struggle against the Dark One).

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1 minute ago, Werthead said:

I think it didn't help that Brandon isn't a huge military fantasy fan, so relied very heavily on Team Jordan (particularly Alan, who was heavily into that stuff) for mapping out the battle, whilst RJ would have definitely handled it differently, although not necessarily more concisely: at one point he said in an interview that the Last Battle would fill two full books. Sanderson at least wasn't quite that bad, although it's interesting how often I see fantasy fans getting upset if there isn't some kind of massive battle to end a story and actually see the "200 page chapter" as a selling point for the series. I think the LotR template still casts a long shadow there (and perhaps people missing the fact that the battles were distractions and didn't actually cause Sauron's defeat, although WoT does have a parallel there with Rand's mental struggle against the Dark One).

Sanderson has over-descriptive battles and action scenes in his own books. 

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

I think it didn't help that Brandon isn't a huge military fantasy fan, so relied very heavily on Team Jordan (particularly Alan, who was heavily into that stuff) for mapping out the battle, whilst RJ would have definitely handled it differently, although not necessarily more concisely: at one point he said in an interview that the Last Battle would fill two full books. Sanderson at least wasn't quite that bad, although it's interesting how often I see fantasy fans getting upset if there isn't some kind of massive battle to end a story and actually see the "200 page chapter" as a selling point for the series. I think the LotR template still casts a long shadow there (and perhaps people missing the fact that the battles were distractions and didn't actually cause Sauron's defeat, although WoT does have a parallel there with Rand's mental struggle against the Dark One).

I don't remember that quote. But did he mean the actual battle scenes would be two books long, or that the "Last Battle" would. Because that can just mean the end game, right?

I'm just going off what RJ actually wrote. Neither the battle of Cairhein, nor the northern Altara campaigns if Rand or Mat take incredible amounts of page space. They certainly don't sacrifice character beats for overdetailed descriptions of too many engagements. 

But yeah, I've seen the 200 page battle be used as a selling point too. It's mystifying. 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Krishtotter said:

OK, lol at that last casting. Who the hell is Steve? I almost want to believe that is just a code name for a surprise character, like Lews Therin, but since no other code names have been used, I guess we get Steve. :laugh:

Interesting that they are going to go so far back in Moiraine's life when she is basically a kid.

Edited by Corvinus85

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Also these six from earlier in the week:

 

I had a little chuckle to myself that Cenn Buie, who is described in the books as very dark, was cast as a white man. Where are all the hand-wringers over that?

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