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The Wheel of Time TV Show 4: The Budget Rising [BOOK SPOILERS]


Werthead
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9 hours ago, IFR said:

I don't understand what you mean by this. GoT brought a lot of new things to tv. It is one of the very few shows that killed off its main character in the first season, and I think the only fantasy show that did that. It was a show that had cross-over appeal, something that had never been accomplished by a high fantasy show before. It was the first fantasy show with real production values. And the plot was a rollercoaster ride of unexpected twists and turns. What in WoT remotely compares to the Red Wedding or the Purple Wedding, or the Viper vs The Mountain? 

I have no idea why you thinking killing off a major character is unique to GoT in TV. In fantasy, sure, but if that's the highlight of a show, I'd have been unimpressed. 

As for unexpected twists and turns, WoT has plenty. They just don't involve deaths. But the main character descending into madness as a function of his gaining power to save the world isn't exactly every story. And there are plenty of other betrayals and conflicts, several of which the show folks can amp up to whatever levels of gore they need.

Personally, I sincerely hope they don't try to overdo that nonsense like GoT did. I don't need to see a pregnant woman stabbed to feel horror. But the Tower coup, Rand's kidnapping, Egwene's captivity, Semirhage's escape, Moiraine's "death"... These are all moments that can be mined for a lot of twist value.

But the good thing about WoT is it doesn't rely on twists to be a good story. While it definitely lost its way for a few books, that's something the show isn't going to suffer from. And the bones of the story are good, and as long as they do a decent job translating that to screen, they'll have something good. 

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And what characters in WoT compare to Tywin Lannister, or Tyrion and Jaime (in the first few seasons)?

In what aspect? I'm not even sure why these three are being highlighted in GoT. They may be your personal favorites, but I'm not sure WoT needs to match those to be a successful show.

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GoT also avoided the good vs evil thing that is so popular in fantasy, and allowed moral grayness in its characters, which is less unusual now, but pretty unusual for fantasy when GoT was airing. Wheel of Time has some grayness, but it's pretty clear who is good and who is bad in a story where there's literally the self-applied titles of Evil Wizards (Black Ajah) and evil people (Darkfriends).

And yet, it's downfall was in it's attempts to be "clever" about the good vs evil thing and in it's attempt to portray greyness. I think you over estimate the distaste the regular non-fantasy reading population has for good vs evil. They're just fine with it as long as that doesn't mean every good person is perfect. And that's very very true of WoT. 

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Seriously, what is something new that WoT is bringing to TV, from what we know of the books and what we've seen of trailer? 

An actually different social structure and world? Not another tired world filled with rape and macho men swinging swords at each other? A world where the "magic" makes just enough sense that viewers can (and they will, if WoTs internet fandom is any indication) invest themselves in the world and try imagine how things will go?

You may personally care for none of these, but plenty of the TV viewing public does, I think. Now, whether the show has the quality and the writing to keep those aspects of WoT or even enhance them... That's the question.

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Again, I'm fine with WoT just being mildly diverting entertainment. It is what it is. But by its very nature one has to limit expectations here, I think.

No one is claiming it's a dead sure hit. But that's not because of its nature. It can be a truly epic drama, if done right. Nothing in the trailer has convinced me one way or another on that, but they've hired some excellent actors, they have a batch of unknowns waiting to grow into the major roles, and if the writing and directing is good, they have a world and story that has thematic cohesiveness and depth enough to stand out. 

Whether they succeed or not is to be determined. But they're not destined to fail because the story sucks or anything. 

ETA: a good way to think about WoT's potential, I think, is as a more cohesive, distinctive and thematically consistent MCU like story. It isn't individual chapters that tie together, but it's all about very very powerful people learning about their limits and growing to be the people who can save the world from the Big Bad. I think there's plenty of space for something like that to catch on. 

Edited by fionwe1987
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1 hour ago, Poobah said:

Wheel of Time has plenty of big moments, duels, battles, reveals, betrayals, and so on. Sure it has far less of these "shocking" moments where a character (or a bunch of characters) ends up dying but frankly that's kinda passé now, there'd be nothing new or original about them having

some grimdark medieval massacre because Game of Thrones already did it and besides nihilism isn't exactly the pinnacle of fantasy.

It's not original now because GoT (for a while) was so good at what it did it changed how other shows approached storytelling. The sign of a good, successful show is when you get copycats. 

1 hour ago, Poobah said:

you didn't enjoy Wheel of Time because you were hoping that half the cast would end up dead or mutilated then perhaps you'd be better off reading Joe Abercrombie, but that isn't what high fantasy is all about.

Joe Abercrombie is a fantastic author and I can'twait to read his upcoming book.

High fantasy is just fantasy that embraces the magical aspect fully. Tone is not a component, as far as I see it.

1 hour ago, Poobah said:

What Wheel of Time has to offer is a titanic struggle between good and evil, magic, mystery, prophecy, chosen ones and destiny - and these things actually matter unlike in Game of Thrones - it's a proper fantasy about fantastical things

Right, that's not new though. That's about as conventional as you can get. Which I reiterate is fine, but I was asking what is something new that WoT is bringing?

1 hour ago, Poobah said:

one thing I absolutely know Wheel of Time has to offer over Game of Thrones if it is successful and makes it to 7 or 8 seasons is not bringing the unexpected. It'll give the audience what they want and expect and so not

We don't know this. They are clearly making major changes to the story. How much these changes will have a ripple effect and alter the future material is unclear.

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59 minutes ago, IFR said:

It's not original now because GoT (for a while) was so good at what it did it changed how other shows approached storytelling

Did it really? GoT didn't do anything new in terms of storytelling on TV. Shocking twists and "gray morality" have been common features of premium cable shows long before it.

Edited by David Selig
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1 hour ago, fionwe1987 said:

I have no idea why you thinking killing off a major character is unique to GoT in TV. In fantasy, sure, but if that's the highlight of a show, I'd have been unimpressed. 

Really? What other show killed off their main character before GoT? Particularly fantasy? If there's a show, I'm sure Werthead would know. I'm genuinely curious.

1 hour ago, fionwe1987 said:

As for unexpected twists and turns, WoT has plenty. They just don't involve deaths. But the main character descending into madness as a function of his gaining power to save the world isn't exactly every story. And there are plenty of other betrayals and conflicts, several of which the show folks can amp up to whatever levels of gore they need

I guess our reading experiences were different. I recall often thinking "And here's another Forsaken effortlessly taken down by the heroes, with little actual personal stakes or consequence."

But I guess we'll see how that goes on TV with all the changes they are making.

1 hour ago, fionwe1987 said:

But the good thing about WoT is it doesn't rely on twists to be a good story. While it definitely lost its way for a few books, that's something the show isn't going to suffer from. And the bones of the story are good, and as long as they do a decent job translating that to screen, they'll have something good. 

No, it doesn't rely on twists.

In fact, there have been lots of people commenting about how excited they are that changes are being made because there were huge weaknesses in the books. Even its ardent defenders want changes, not just for the sake of time efficiency, bit because there were a lot of problems with the story itself.

1 hour ago, fionwe1987 said:

An actually different social structure and world? Not another tired world filled with rape and macho men swinging swords at each other? A world where the "magic" makes just enough sense that viewers can (and they will, if WoTs internet fandom is any indication) invest themselves in the world and try imagine how things will go?

The grim tone of GoT was unique at the time. Fantasy as a whole then (and for the most part now) has been one of a much lighter tone that you advocate for.

As for whether the magic will make sense - this was surely a highlight of the books. We'll see if it is translated well on screen. I honestly don't know how they will effectively bring a sort of hard magic system on television. I suspect they will be very quick to abandon the rules in the books.

At any rate, none of this is new. Shadow and Bones is building a world and is not grim at all. And that's a very recent example.

Anyway, regardless of my personal reservations, I am of course wishing the best for this show. I hope I enjoy it. I hope all of those on this thread do. And I hope it finds success.

We'll see in November.

 

Edited by IFR
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16 minutes ago, IFR said:

Really? What other show killed off their main character before GoT? Particularly fantasy? If there's a show, I'm sure Werthead would know. I'm genuinely curious.

The Wire comes to mind. You've truly watched very little TV if you think main characters do not die.

16 minutes ago, IFR said:

I guess our reading experiences were different. I recall often thinking "And here's another Forsaken effortlessly taken down by the heroes, with little actual personal stakes or consequence."

Notice that the sole event I referenced where a Forsaken was front and center was Moiraine's death. In everything else, they're behind the scenes at best. And that's absolutely fine. WoTs finest twists involve the humans fucking up with a little bit of help from the Dark One's minions. 

The ultimate twist, of course, is Verin's triple agent role and the fallout, and if the TV show doesn't make her a more prominent character and mine the whole Black Ajah hunt for all it is worth, they're complete bozos.

16 minutes ago, IFR said:

In fact, there have been lots of people commenting about how excited they are that changes are being made because there were huge weaknesses in the books. Even its ardent defenders want changes, not just for the sake of time efficiency, bit because there were a lot of problems with the story itself.

Can we define "lots"? 

I can guarantee you there are a lot more people on the internet right now who are actually not excited about the changes. This thread included, where the lack of embroidery in the Aes Sedai's clothing has gotten more discussion than the supposed failings of the plot.

16 minutes ago, IFR said:

The grim tone of GoT was unique at the time. Fantasy as a whole then (and for the most part now) has been one of a much lighter tone that you advocate for.

But WoT doesn't have a light tone. It just isn't cynical. Or, it is, but it recognizes cynicism for what it is, and works for grow it's characters out of it. I think you'll find plenty of people want that kind of story, and I'm not really sure a lot of TV, especially in the fantasy space, has dealt with that, much. 

16 minutes ago, IFR said:

As for whether the magic will make sense - this was surely a highlight of the books. We'll see if it is translated well on screen. I honestly don't know how they will effectively bring a sort of hard magic system on television. I suspect they will be very quick to abandon the rules in the books.

If they do, they're fools. They have a chance to bring in sci-fi viewers into a fantasy story by keeping to the broad rules RJ set. Certainly, make changes for the screen that make sense, but if they don't bother to slowly explain the mechanics as the main characters get adept at the Power, they're idiotic writers who deserve the failed show they'll get. 

16 minutes ago, IFR said:

At any rate, none of this is new. Shadow and Bones is building a world and is not grim at all. And that's a very recent example.

Yes, and what exactly is the comparison? Shadow and Bone has a more adventure focussed story to it. WoT really does not, after the first few books, and the first season of the show already looks to be expanding and foregrounding the scope of the political aspects of the novels. Shadow and Bone was fine, but the story was very simple, the world had very little sense of history to it. 

16 minutes ago, IFR said:

Anyway, regardless of my personal reservations, I am of course wishing the best for this show. I hope I enjoy it. I hope all of those on this thread do. And I hope it finds success.

We'll see in November.

 

Yep, we will.

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16 hours ago, Spockydog said:

Speaking as someone who knows absolutely nothing about the books, other than they had a bunch of shitty covers, this looks really good.

Looking forward to it.

I'm exactly the same in that I've never read it, but I thought the complete opposite. I thought the trailer was dire. I'll still watch it and give it a chance though. 

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Haven't watched the trailer:

I'll check out the story on-screen. It might be okay. This story got me into fantasy in a way that Lord of the Rings hinted at but, since I didn't have the adjacent materials, middle-school panda felt short-changed by.

Adult panda realized long ago: this story lacked any depth. That's not inherently bad, it's just the way it is. Perhaps the show can lend more meaning the seeming idiocy of some of the low points of the books and properly recreate the epic nature of the highlights. Fingers crossed and best of luck because I honestly think some of it would be incredible on-screen.

Marvel fare usually lacks depth or nuance but can still be enjoyable. I treat this the same way: I'll shut off my brain and watch a bit. I don't need to watch a trailer. I'll check it out because I like the source material enough to think it's worth trialing. I hope to be pleasantly surprised. A decent-looking ogier or trolloc could easily draw me in :)

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I don't think the trailer looks like anything special, but it would be very hard for a trailer to express the things that WoT does well. 

If this show is going to be great, they are going to need to make some substantial changes from the books.  I hope they can do that and do it well.  There are definitely some great aspects of WoT, and if they can correctly evaluate which parts of WoT to hold on to and which parts to discard, they could end up with something that puts GoT to shame.  Because honestly, Game of Thrones went from good to flawed to embarrassing over the course of the series. 

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The trailer was on Amazon main homepage, so, you know, I HAD to watch it again.

Noticed something new (to me): When the arrows are raining down on the party of Aes Sedai, it looks like Lan and Nynaeve are in the foreground. So, when the trio is trying to catch up to Perrin/Egwene and Rand/Mat after getting separated, they run into the party transporting Logain? If so, I assume this is where Moirane is getting Healed. 

Also, who are the brightly clothed guys charging through the woods? Tinkers gone bad? Ok, no. 

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Trailer looks good.  I don't know.  I like trailers, but I never form any opinions based on them.  Looks fine to me.  I thought the Egwene-into-water clip was alluding to learning to swim?  Wasn't that something they talked about as they reminisced about Emond's Field and their previous lives and roles?  Am I imagining this?  The channeling actually looks better than I was thinking it might. 

I saw this trailer on the same day as my sweet engraved Randland map arrived in the mail along with four other packages containing three books and a watch.  Quite a haul.

I love WoT.

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I'm cautiously optimistic, this looks a lot better than I thought it would. 

Can't say I'm thrilled about the implied changes to the nature of Rand and Egwane's relationship, if they pull the social relationships away from the source material into some bland 2021 American version then I'm out, I've had my fill of that.

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28 minutes ago, Bankmannen said:

I'm cautiously optimistic, this looks a lot better than I thought it would. 

Can't say I'm thrilled about the implied changes to the nature of Rand and Egwane's relationship, if they pull the social relationships away from the source material into some bland 2021 American version then I'm out, I've had my fill of that.

Umm… nothing in the books says they weren’t intimate. I think what’s at issue is that you think anyone who is intimate with someone will talk about it and think about it often, which is what is very American.

We know for a fact Perrin had kissed a girl he liked in the Two Rivers several times. When Elayne mocks Rand about not knowing to kiss, and jokes about whether kissing meant bethrotal in the TR, its pretty clear that is, in fact, not true. Rand kissing Elayne in Shadow Rising is not the first time he’s kissed someone.

When Egwene kisses Gawyn, in that scene also we clearly don’t see anything to indicate this is her first time being intimate with someone. 

And most importantly, after Rand has sex with Aviendha and proposes marriage, we get this:

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She looked at him suspiciously for a moment, but Aiel customs were so intricate that she believed him. In the Two Rivers, you walked out for a year, and if you suited, then you became betrothed and finally married; that was as far as custom went. She went on as she dressed. “I meant about a girl asking her mother’s permission during the year, and the Wisdom’s. I cannot say I understand that.” The white blouse going over her head muffled her words for a moment. “If she wants him, and she is old enough to marry, why should she need permission? But you see? By my customs,” her tone of voice said they were the only ones that mattered, “it is my place to choose whether to ask you, and I will not. By your customs,” fastening her belt, she shook her head dismissively, “I did not have my mother’s permission. And you would need your father’s, I suppose. Or your father-brother’s, since your father is dead? We did not have them, so we cannot marry.” She began folding the scarf to wrap around her forehead.

“I see,” he said weakly. Any boy in the Two Rivers who asked his father for that kind of permission was asking to have his ears soundly boxed. When he thought of the lads who had sweated themselves silly worrying that someone, anyone, would find out what they were doing with the girl they meant to marry . . . For that matter, he remembered when Nynaeve caught Kimry Lewin and Bar Dowtry in Bar’s father’s hayloft. Kimry had had her hair braided for five years, but when Nynaeve was through with her, Mistress Lewin had taken over. The Women’s Circle had nearly skinned poor Bar alive, and that was nothing to what they had done to Kimry over the month they thought was the shortest decent time to wait for a wedding. The joke told quietly, where it would not get to the Women’s Circle, had been that neither Bar nor Kimry had been able to sit down the whole first week they were married. Rand supposed Kimry had failed to ask permission.

You’re making the mistake of thinking prudish has to mean sexually inexperienced. Having actually lived as a teenager in a culture where what’s being described here sounds tame, I can tell you very much that all these rules do is make you discreet. Whatever you do, you don’t talk about it. You may tell a very close friend, but even that had to be carefully guarded. Rand, for instance, wouldn’t tell Mat, because Mat would almost certainly blab. Egwene would, at best, tell Bode, with strict demands that not even a hint be dropped to Mat, and she wouldn’t dream of mentioning any intimacy to Nynaeve, who’s the equivalent of Chief of Sexual Policing. 

The rule is, you get any intimacy cleared with your mom and the Wisdom. If you truly think teenage women, or twenty year olds in the Two Rivers would do this, you’re daft. But nor does that mean they aren’t having sex and keeping quiet about it. Absolutely the opposite, as we see.

Now, all these things in the book imply that Egwene and Rand didn’t go all the way and have sex, but that’s only implication. They certainly meant to marry, and would have been able to use that to justify all sorts of things with each other, but the sense in the books is they didn’t go all the way.

But that doesn’t mean a scene of them being potentially post-coital once they leave the Two Rivers and live through some dangers is out of character, or culturally inappropriate. It would be a change from the books, potentially, but not a big one, and not inappropriate given the reality of horny teenagers being no different in any society. 

Edited by fionwe1987
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Book-to-screen Tar Valon analysis.

19 hours ago, Myrddin said:

The trailer was on Amazon main homepage, so, you know, I HAD to watch it again.

Noticed something new (to me): When the arrows are raining down on the party of Aes Sedai, it looks like Lan and Nynaeve are in the foreground. So, when the trio is trying to catch up to Perrin/Egwene and Rand/Mat after getting separated, they run into the party transporting Logain? If so, I assume this is where Moirane is getting Healed. 

Also, who are the brightly clothed guys charging through the woods? Tinkers gone bad? Ok, no. 

The former yes, the latter no, as said those are Logain's followers. There is some form for followers of a false Dragon chasing after Aes Sedai after they've captured him and trying to free him :)

Edited by Werthead
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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Book-to-screen Tar Valon analysis.

The former yes, the latter no, as said those are Logain's followers. There is some form for followers of a false Dragon chasing after Aes Sedai after they've captured him and trying to free him :)

Just checked out your Tar Valon comparison. A smaller island is fine, I think. It probably presages a slightly smaller world, with countries blended together. No reason for Logain to be in Ghealdan. He can be Andoran, for instance, and you just axe Ghealdan, which was never likely to be in the show anyway. 

I also saw your breakdown of the images in EW. I saw you say that Rand and Egwene weren't romantically involved. This doesn't seem true. They are questioning their involvement and where it goes, but the language makes it clear they're infatuated and everyone knows it. It has some important thematic aspects, so I'm confused why you think they aren't a couple:

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Spoiler

Rand's first act of channeling isn't at his father's injury, but out of fear for Egwene. That makes zero sense if he isn't deeply in love with her, nor does his subsequent fear and obvious jealousy when Egwene learns she can channel, and he's spying on her conversations with Moiraine, pissed off when she unbraids her hair, and so on. 

They're a couple. They fight like a couple. They're just a couple that's in a rocky phase, and we know what comes of that. blockquote widget

Edited by fionwe1987
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18 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

I also saw your breakdown of the images in EW. I saw you say that Rand and Egwene weren't romantically involved. This doesn't seem true. They are questioning their involvement and where it goes, but the language makes it clear they're infatuated and everyone knows it. It has some important thematic aspects, so I'm confused why you think they aren't a couple:

  Reveal hidden contents

Rand's first act of channeling isn't at his father's injury, but out of fear for Egwene. That makes zero sense if he isn't deeply in love with her, nor does his subsequent fear and obvious jealousy when Egwene learns she can channel, and he's spying on her conversations with Moiraine, pissed off when she unbraids her hair, and so on. 

They're a couple. They fight like a couple. They're just a couple that's in a rocky phase, and we know what comes of that. blockquote widget

Egwene and Rand certainly aren't a couple in EotW. They've been sort-of promised to one another and there is an assumption that they will be married based on their parents' relationship with one another, but there's no indication they have ever kissed, or been together in a romantic sense. If they had, it would have come up, and it seems to be implied that Rand's first-ever sexual encounter is with Aviendha in TFoH (followed by later encounters with Min and Elayne). Pretty much the second they meet other people they're actually attracted to, they dismiss their relationship with one another as a mild teenage infatuation and move on rather quickly.

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7 minutes ago, Werthead said:

it seems to be implied that Rand's first-ever sexual encounter is with Aviendha in TFoH (followed by later encounters with Min and Elayne)

Agreed. Rand's immediate rush to try to marry Aviendha makes it pretty obvious that it absolutely was the first time he had sex.

If the Rand and Egwene of this TV series are in fact having sex in the first season, It's absolutely a change, and it absolutely is a big change. 

 

Edited by Ran
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12 minutes ago, Ran said:

Agreed. Rand's immediate rush to try to marry Aviendha makes it pretty obvious that it absolutely was the first time he had sex.

If the Rand and Egwene of this TV series are in fact having sex in the first season, It's absolutely a change, and it absolutely is a big change. 

I think there is a keenness to make Rand, Mat and Perrin have more individual characteristics and be less three country bumpkins who don't know their arseholes from their elbows, which I think is reasonable, and helps reduce the Two Rivers from being the "Aldi Own Brand Shire" knockoff it could appear to be.

Spoiler

It does make me think the rumour that Perrin is now married, possibly the blacksmith in his own right and his wife is killed in the Trolloc attack more likely.

It does shoot down the entire "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" comedy-of-errors thing the three lads have going on, but given how a lot of people find that unbearably tedious, that might be for the best.

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