Wander89

Wheel of Time - TV Show

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Rafe Judkins is bringing The Wheel of Time, a series of high fantasy novels written by American author Robert Jordan, to television. The Wheel of Time spanned fourteen volumes, in addition to a prequel novel and two companion books. Jordan began writing the first volume, The Eye of the World, in 1984, and it was published in January 1990. Brandon Sanderson completed the series upon Jordan's death in 2007.

Casting:

Moiraine Damodred - Rosamund Pike
Rand Al'Thor - Josha Stradowski
Mat Cauthon - Barney Harris
Perrin Aybara - Marcus Rutherford 
Nynaeve - 
Zoë Robins
Egwene Al'Vere - Madeleine Madden

Edited by Wander89
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I have a good feeling about Rosamund as Moiraine. She got that Aes Sedai Serenity down!

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18 hours ago, Wyndlerunner said:

I have a good feeling about Rosamund as Moiraine. She got that Aes Sedai Serenity down!

I think she will be good. It's a great casting choice for both popularity and acting. Hopefully we get more news soon, remembering that Moiraine is the main focus for season 1, I can understand why she has been announced first.

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When will the show actually begins?

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4 hours ago, chongjasmine said:

When will the show actually begins?

We don't have a specific date yet, but it's planned to debut sometime this year. 

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Sooo, anyone else concerned by the fact that Mat has apparently been recast for S2?

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4 hours ago, Wyndlerunner said:

Sooo, anyone else concerned by the fact that Mat has apparently been recast for S2?

Slightly, but I'm more worried about how well they can pull if off rather than what happened. Some shows have pulled off the cast replacement better than others, and it's not Rosumund Pike, so it could be far worse. Also, of the Emond's Fielders, Mat is probably the easiest to replace in the earlier seasons...depending on how they follow the book. 

Now, if Mat's first actor gives us a phenomenal, crowd-winning-over performance, then things are a bit trickier...

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On 6/30/2021 at 10:10 AM, Eluvianii said:

Aaand guess it's official now. 

you meant Raaaaaannd right?

 

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On 10/30/2021 at 4:31 PM, Thaidakar the Ghostblood said:

you meant Raaaaaannd right?

 

cry-drums.gif

 

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Anybody watched it yet? Is it any good? (Cheer up people. It can't possibly be worse than The Watch.)

Edited by Robin Hatter
optimism
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10 hours ago, Robin Hatter said:

Anybody watched it yet? Is it any good?

I watched the 3 they put up. It's pretty good.

The cast is good. Pike is great as Moraine. Zoe Robins as Nynaeve is the other standout, she has a strong presence.

The costumes, sets and FX are a mixed bag. Some gorgeous vistas and the Trollocs look good for the most part. Some of the CGI looks bad. Aes Sedai, Nynaeve and Whitecloak costumes look great, everyone else's are bland. I get that they are peasants, they shouldn't have nice things like Aes Sedai, but they aren't distinctive and don't look lived in either. At the end of the third episode after being chased for days and sleeping outdoors Rand's coat looks fresh off the rack. 

The pacing feels rushed at times which isn't surprising given the massive amount of source material they are trying to adapt. 

Adaptation quibbles with significant spoilers:

Spoiler

Shadar Logoth was disappointing. They do a good job building up how ominous it is. Then they swap out Mashadar as a glowing mist for a black ooze that doesn't look very good and they don't meet Mordeth. Mat just finds the dagger. I always like the concept that there is this long abandoned city whose population just disappeared. Then they meet a friendly-seeming guy in the this abandoned city. It's creepy and fun. Instead they just hung out for 10 minutes and the black ooze chased them out. I wanted the mist that eats people :(

They aged everyone up to 20 and gave Perrin a wife who of course dies immediately because she's not in the book. The book plot necessitates that they rush off and do other things, but this guy's wife died and they have very little time to focus on how he's dealing with it. It contributes to the rushed pacing feeling. 

Ishmael in his Ba'alzamon mask with fire eyes looks like hot CGI garbage from an early 2000's Syfy channel show. They chose to do a jump scare zoom in on his face and it highlights how bad it looks. This was an expensive show they could have done better. 

 

Edited by Child of Hodor
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It’s so bad.  I couldn’t keep watching.  At least watching the wot sub melt down when people say it’s bad is funny.

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What's the wot sub?

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The wheel of time subreddit

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I won't be able to watch all three episodes in a row, I thought. That was a silly thought.

The show is a bit darker than I expected, in more than one way. Tone wise because this may just be the tint I read the books with, but I kind of remember more happy moments.

Spoiler

They're also upping the tragedy a couple notches. Guess we have a market for grimdark these days. 

And picture wise because the thing does look really dark. A bit more color during daytime would be nice.

I'm happy to see Moiraine is not taking the role of the protagonist. I was worried about that, considering how the show was advertised over the past couple years, but the spotlight is always on the Emond Fielders.

Channeling at times does look like weaving threads, so that's really nice. 

The changes don't bother me nearly as much as I thought they would. My biggest complaint on that department would be

Spoiler

Moiraine's speech about Manetheren happening on the road instead of the Two Rivers. 

The omissions are where it suffers the most I think. 

Spoiler

Mainly I missed Rand carrying Tam through the woods at night. 

Cgi is weird, sometimes it looks amazing and sometimes it looks cheap. But overall it works.

The characters are good, I'm really happy by how subtly they're handling Mat.

Spoiler

Shadar Logoth was underwhelming I agree. The city is gorgeous (though victim of one of the weird cgi moments) but the stay was short. We knew things like this would happen. It's either this or 14 seasons risking cancellation halfway through. It's still sad to see it. 

It's a good start, I'm excited to see how things go over the next month. 

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I've only watched the first episode, but even with my expectations set incredibly low by the trailers, I was still surprised at how disappointing the first episode was.

As I feared the tension is cranked up to eleven, and there are just some completely bizarre alterations to the story that add nothing except unnecessary canned drama. 

The detailed breakdown review is spoilered below. 

Spoiler

The Good:

Some of the casting is really good. Moraine is great, Lan has the right feel though the battle sequences were really hard to track and I don't think Daishan would ever end up underneath a Trolloc. Rand is great, but it does feel a bit like he's a walking William Sonoma catalog. Padan Fain is an interesting casting choice, he looks like he could be a great Fain. 

The Bad:

The overdub exposition is just terrible. It gives away too much of the mystery of the story and at the same time it falls completely flat because it's just a bare bones summary. It's like a cliff notes synopsis delivered in common chant. Also the opening bit about the world nearly being destroyed because men in their pride thought they could seal up the dark one is a strange distortion by omission. The overdub exposition at once says too much and yet not enough. 

The fight scenes are terrible. Again the instinct for canned intensity lead to the decision to do the heavily edited, frame dropped action sequences where it is almost impossible to follow the through line of the action. 

The channeling. I didn't know before watching this first episode that channeling was a form of interpretive dancing, but I guess you have to preen like a swan to dismantle the winespring inn. Why did Moraine use the one power to turn the winespring inn into projectiles? She can call down lightning, form balls of fire from the one power, use flows of air, etc. Why expend extra energy to destroy the largest building in town to just hurl rocks at trollocs? Why not just hurl villagers at them while you're at it? Also, visually, channeling just looks like garbage. If Moraine was channeling in the southern hemisphere of Randland would the toilet bowl whirlpool of power rotate around her counterclockwise instead? 

Having the episode end with the bit about the wind is symptomatic of the problem, the people creating this show don't really understand the series. Why not have this at the beginning of the episode? Voice over about a wind blowing down from the mountains of mist, and maybe have this wind stir the leaves of a tree but not the cloak of the Myrdraal. And how come none of Two Rivers lads were shadowed by the Mydraal. Again, why not use some of the most successful bits from the book? 

The WTF:

4 Ta'veren?? What? And the Dragon reborn could be a boy or a girl. Again, what? 

Matt is a penniless, gambling addicted son of a drunk mother and a womanizing father... What? Where is the light hearted, good natured, prank pulling, work shirking, loveable rogue? Once again this change is for the canned drama and probably to distance Matt's character from his later womanizing ways. I feel bad for Matt's Da, Abel Cauthon is a great character in the books and the show has turned him into a cautionary tale. Too bad, too bad. 

Perrin the wife killing widower? What? Why is he married? What was with his strange relationship with his wife who skipped out on the push Egwene into the winespring river Women's Circle fun time jamboree? Was his wife pregnant too? Does he start out on his adventure as a double murderer? 

What happened to Beltine? The eve of Beltine in the show is just the time for all the good Two Rivers folk to get hammered in the prancing pony, err I mean the Winespring Inn. Also the drama and tension from the story about the attack before Beltine was lost because there was no sense of place really established. It's not obvious that the Al'thor farm is far away from town, and Rand and Tam only face one Trolloc, then it's a quick stroll to town with Tam slung over Bella's back to get Tam healed without any tension about getting help from an Aes Sedai. 

The spicy scenes. Lan and Moraine taking a bath together was just bizarre. And Marin Al'vere telling Rand and Egwene to finish up the dishes, is that a Women's Circle euphemism to go make babies? Just bizarre. 

All that said, I'm looking forward to watching the next two episodes. I feel at this point that I can't be anymore disappointed than I already am, so I really have nothing to lose except a couple hours. 

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Perrin is married? WHY JUDKINS WHY

Edit: After reading what others had to say, it makes a little more sense. Sorry for being loud, it was a knee-jerk reaction to them changing a big part of one of my favorite books.

Edited by Robin Hatter
not being a loud idiot when I haven't so much as watched the show (I did watch some trailers though, and liked them.)
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I watched all three. I've only read the books once, and while I try to keep up to date with things, I'm also not the biggest fan. 

That being said, I liked the first three episodes. They were FAR from perfect, but they adapted the parts of the first book they've covered so far very well. The acting is amazing (Nynaeve and Moiraine being the standouts (as they always are), but they all do very well), the costumes and design are there, and the music grows on you. I think the writing is solid too, and while I don't agree with every choice, most of the changes so far have helped the books become a show IMO. The worldbuilding, for the amount they had to pull off in such a short time, was also phenomenally well-done. In-world songs covering lore in this modern-yet-aged way, characters remembering their past and foreshadowing of later moments, it's all really well done. Sure, some of the exposition is a little heavier than other parts* but the rest is good. 

That being said, it's not a perfect show. The complaints about the world feeling a tad empty and the clothes a little too nice (barring Mat) feel valid at times, and the Trollocs are hit-or-miss depending on the scene they're in. Also action...could be a lot better, to say the least.

I think another large problem is the fact that the audience is comparing this to Game of Thrones, as is the media surrounding the show. This isn't Game of Thrones. It's dealing with vastly different issues in a vastly different way with a vastly story. Game of Thrones didn't worry about it's Chosen One plotline until the final few seasons, and had an atrocious set up for it, to the point I was worried about how they'd bring it in; in Wheel of Time, the Chosen One plot is the crux of the story. Game of Thrones was light on the CGI outside of Dany's dragons until the end of the show; Wheel of Time is CGI-heavy from the start, since Trollocs are more monstrous than Orcs and appear far sooner. Lastly, Game of Thrones really started out in main places (Winterfell, King's Landing, and the East where Dany was), and expanded from there; the Wheel of Time visits so many places within its first book alone that it would be nearly impossible to give those places that same feel. 

Instead, I encourage watchers to not compare WoT to GoT, but instead reminisce about Lord of the Rings and the Star Wars trilogies, particularly the Original Trilogy and the Sequel Trilogy (although the Prequel Trilogy's focus on the Chosen One is also important to note). These stories follow similar paths at their beginning, with their heroes not being able to return home again, as the Dark Forces they're fighting conspire against them. They take multiple characters who more or less start in the same space, and cast them onto different paths, until the day they meet again. Star Wars and WoT get particular shout-outs, as they both mix Eastern and Western aesthetics and philosophies, and both draw greatly from Arthurian lore. 

 

Overall, the Wheel of Time is a show that has a good head-start, but may be ruined by people's expectations. It's following it's own path, but taking advice from other shows. Still, it's the first season, and we shouldn't be expecting late season-quality Game of Thrones from this just yet. To put in other words, when you go to college and get a degree, you're learning from experts. You may have even had an internship. But once you get a job, it's going to be a LOT different from what you thought you knew, as the requirements for knowing what to do and doing it are different. Give the show a season or two to find its footing, and I'm sure it'll blossom beautifully. (That doesn't mean you have to watch it all the way for it to blossom, but just know that it does.)

 

Other Spoilery points:

Spoiler

The fridging of Perrin's wife was brilliantly acted and shocking, but not as well executed. We didn't really know her, and killing a woman to motivate a man is something that's not really look on well to many people. 

Egwene being a Taveren was a great change, as it's a pretty well-known (even if it's shot down) theory. 

Nynaeve being a potential Dragon Reborn is awesome. I still hope it's Rand, but I wouldn't mind the Two Rivers Wisdom filling that role. So long as the don't turn Rand into some sort of Taim character. That being said, I think if Dannil was going to be used (which he really doesn't need to be - WoT has enough major and minor characters as it stands), then him being something of a counterpoint to Rand and becoming Taim would have been a pretty fun-if-predictable-and-generic way to go. 

The exposition of Shadar Logoth is something that really could have been better. I feel like it was more of a fireside chat scene than a "let's talk right now" scene. Although Mat's reaction to how much Lan talked was pretty funny. 

 

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Not loving it due to how hard it breaks with the source material. I’ll probably just watch it and treat it like it’s not TWOT, because it’s not bad television, it’s just not following the books.

one thing that really tweaked me was the channeling.

Spoiler

What’s with all the arm waving. And unless I’m mistaken, the Whitecloaks cut off the Aes Sedais hands and that somehow stops her from channeling. 

Overall pretty unhappy, but I’ll just accept it as a random fantasy series and wait 20 years for someone else to actually do TWOT.

Also, what’s with all the nerd rage over the races of the characters? Who knew the fantasy genre had so many racist fans?

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@Use the Falchion I think I agree with you. I have read the series once and finished it 3-4 years ago. I liked it, but am not sure I plan on reading it all again. So I think the changes made so far don’t bother me too much. Yes, not a perfect show, but good enough for me so far. I expected the graphic imagery, but I have found myself sensitive to some stuff like that so if anything puts me off the show it will likely be that. 
 

Spoiler

I don’t mind the addition of Perrin being married even if I knew she was a dead woman walking. From what I remember in the books he became adverse to fighting and weapons after killing a white cloak after they killed some wolves. I personally think his accidental killing of his wife develops this aspect of his character earlier in the season and in a more understandable way. Though I feel like there was more to his wife and definitely felt like they were dangling something with her and now we probably won’t find out. 
 

I also agree that the “dance” channeling felt weird. And like it would be super inconvenient and impractical. 

I totally understand more diehard fans disliking the show more. It’s okay to be upset that it didn’t meet expectations or get created the way you wanted. I think the show was always going to have a hard time given how massive the source material is and how people were already going to have preconceived expectations. Like my husband pointed out last night kind of as a joke, but they already covered like 10 hours of audiobook in the show. Which they have to do. 

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Just now, SwordNimiForPresident said:

I’ll probably just watch it and treat it like it’s not TWOT, because it’s not bad television, it’s just not following the books.

Brandon and others who work on the show have said to treat it like another turning of the Wheel. This isn't the same as the books, nor was it ever going to follow the books in a 1-1 ratio. Very few things do, and those that do seem to not be remembered as fondly. (I.e. the first two Harry Potter movies. While I love them, they're generally seen as the worst movies of the bunch because they follow the books too closely.) IMO, the goal of any adaptation should be to create a good show/movie/etc first, keep the spirit of the thing adapted second, and then be faithful third if at all possible. I think looking at it from that perspective - from the perspective of a new interpretation/alternate universe ala superhero reboots and whatnot - can help alleviate some of the pain. 

 

Just now, SwordNimiForPresident said:

Also, what’s with all the nerd rage over the races of the characters? Who knew the fantasy genre had so many racist fans?

...please tell me this is sarcasm. Because if it's not, boy do I have some news for you: Diehard fans - particularly when it comes to nerd/geek culture stuff - have a tendency to have the racist undertones boil over when casting choices are made. The Witcher went through this a couple of years ago, The Dusty Wheel and Daniel Greene addressed this specific aspect a year or so ago, I think around the time the casting came out, and don't get me started on Star Wars and Marvel/DC stuff. Sometimes race doesn't even have to be involved - people were upset when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman, people were upset when Christian Bale was cast as Batman, and people were upset when Robert Pattinson was cast as Batman (and more upset when Zoe Kravitz was cast as Catwoman).

My recommendation is to just ignore it and enjoy the performance. A new performance, a new iteration of characters brings with it a new subtext and themes and life. 

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I've read the books a few times and I'm LOVING it.

Others have mentioned how Brandon said you should view the show as "another turning of the wheel". My personal mindset is... how can anybody not see EVERY adaptation through that lens? What are people expecting? I mean even if you think that a show COULD and SHOULD be adapted as closely to the books as possible (both of those points being debatable in my opinion)... How could you possibly believe, practically speaking, that it won't be changed? It's foolish to open up any adaptation, in my opinion, prior to checking your expectations.

For example, I'll pick on some of @Hoiditthroughthegrapevine's WTF points. (this is vague book spoilers and show episode 1 spoilers)

Spoiler

Mat's family being dirt poor was a fantastic change. In the books Mat is selfish and immature for the first half of EotW... then the ruby dagger screws with him until book 3, right? EVERYBODY hates mat after the first two books. I've met very few people that find anything charming about him at that point. And then it turns out he's a really cool guy! It turns out he has a really deep heart and always does the right thing. And this changed allowed them to show it from the START, so that viewers actually have something to care about. Mat going back out in the battle to save his sisters was such a perfect Mat thing to do. And I think the critique of him being a gambling addict and a womanizer are missing the point of what he was doing. Obviously he enjoys gambling and he enjoys women, but the things we saw in the opening here were ENTIRELY about getting lanterns for his sisters. He's dirt poor and tried to make some money to buy lanterns through gambling. When that failed, he started flirting with the girl and stole her bracelet... So that he could sell it to Fain to get lanterns. Great character setup that's 100% inline with the books. I prefer it to the temporarily immature, trickster Mat who doesn't get interesting until he grows up just a bit.

Perrin killing his wife was a FANTASTIC decision. (lots of "fridging" complaints to be made, and I DO wish that they took Brandon's advice and just had him kill Luhhan instead... but something like this was a brilliant move.) The issue is that Perrin's ENTIRE character arc ties ALL the way back to where he kills the Whitecloak in Eye of the World. It's this single instrumental moment in his life that sets him on the path of fearing his capacity for violence. Of fearing his Wolfbrother nature. Of fearing the axe. But here's the thing... It only WORKS in the book because you're reading a book and can see directly inside his head. Imagine Show Perrin killing a Whitecloak halfway through season 1. Honestly... I can't imagine many people sympathizing with him at all. Those guys are monsters. A bit of guilt over killing a human? Sure. A guilt so large that it's the foundation of his entire character arc? No way. People wouldn't understand it at all, in a show format. Having Perrin kill someone he cares about from his hometown? BRILLIANT solution to this problem.

Most of the complaints I see are just baffling to me. I've seen long arguments over things like... the design of Tam's sword not being book-perfect, and I just don't get it. I'm a HUUUUUGE fan of these books, but things like this just don't bother me. It comes across as hyperfixation to me, I guess.

I feel like the show is doing nearly as good a job as I ever could have expected.

I certainly have gripes that I'm happy to talk about (as I do with the books themselves). But those gripes are a reason to give it 4/5 stars... not 2/5 stars.

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