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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Visual challenges from page to screen


templar7
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I think the biggest challenge of production here is this. How to approach a story so rooted in inner monologue and virtual description? Two prime examples that CANNOT be dropped being; Machin Shin ( the black wind in the Ways) and Rand in the box ( Lews Theron in his head and Rand's feeling across the shield knots ).  Both of these are major parts of the story, The latter arguably The Wheel of Time's "Red Wedding". Yet both are hugely internal and unseen.  I'd love to here what you all think about this page to screen challenge. What have you got? 

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One of the biggest challenges when adapting the Wheel of Time to a tv-show is indeed the inner thoughts and monologue in the books I have thought. It was one reason why, when Game of Thrones came, I thought the Wheel of Time would never be adapted for the screen.

 

Case 1: Machin Shin. I would think that with proper cgi/effects they can make this look as fearsome as in the books but without making it look cheap/over the top. Or at least I hope so.

 

Case 2: Lews Therin. Now this is the part I am uncertain about, how to do this without it looking cheesy. I presume they would consider a 'Gollum vs Smeagol' solution with the viewers seeing Lews Therin as a seemingly second person / part of Rand, though it is all a part of Rand's mind, but if Lews Therin is to 'pop up' fairly often as the seasons go along it could easily look a bit.. off I would think.. and become overkill. 

 

Having Rand speak to himself often (with no other 'persona' in view) could on the other hand easily make him look like a raving lunatic and if there is one thing we (and the producers) don't want it is to see the main hero of the story look silly or crazy (though he may be 'touched' due to Saidin in the story). This has to be done delicately in other words as I see it, also perhaps with some uncertainty for the viewers whether Rand has an incarnated spirit living inside him (as I personally always preferred to think it) or whether he has simply lost his mind (as Semirhage claimed in the books).

 

The producers could, of course, avoid the whole issue by removing Lews Therin in Rand's mind from the story but I cannot believe they would make such a major change.

 

As for other 'visual challenges', I am interested to see how they treat the whole One Power (Saidin/Saidar) issue in the tv-show. It plays a big role in the books, not the least for our White Tower heroines, and it could end up looking great (if done right) but also cheap (if done poorly). I hope some serious money will be spent on the 'magic' (One Power) in the Wheel of Time tv-show so it looks great since I see this as one of the central things in Robert Jordan's majestic story.

Edited by Elessar
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I think overall just the scale of it can be difficult.  It's a sweeping epic and in general that hasn't been done very well in the past aside from a couple times.  I think the power can be done effectively like Dr. Strange and that'll be fine.  The inner dialogue I think can be fine with a good script and good facial actors.  I don't know I'm just rooting for the best.

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8 hours ago, mactwist2 said:

I think overall just the scale of it can be difficult.  It's a sweeping epic and in general that hasn't been done very well in the past aside from a couple times.  I think the power can be done effectively like Dr. Strange and that'll be fine.  The inner dialogue I think can be fine with a good script and good facial actors.  I don't know I'm just rooting for the best.

I hear ya. The Dr. Strange approach is unavoidable. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I rather liked the Dr. Strange approach to "magic".  Just flesh it out more by including the weaving aspect.  Saidin and Saidar should be visually different from one another.  Saidin needs to be more chaotic in appearance, in order to show the struggle it is to control it.  Saidar should look very strong, but peaceful in appearance.  Also, I hope they show the differences in handling the male half versus the female half.  Embracing versus Seizing.  

 

The One Power is such a huge part of WoT.  Please please please get it right!  

Edited by JJLXL
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On 9/23/2019 at 11:23 PM, JJLXL said:

I rather liked the Dr. Strange approach to "magic".  Just flesh it out more by including the weaving aspect.  Saidin and Saidar should be visually different from one another.  Saidin needs to be more chaotic in appearance, in order to show the struggle it is to control it.  Saidar should look very strong, but peaceful in appearance.  Also, I hope they show the differences in handling the male half versus the female half.  Embracing versus Seizing.  

 

The One Power is such a huge part of WoT.  Please please please get it right!  

Again, I couldn't agree more. They'll have to scrap the idea that channeling is invisible to normal people and likewise between men and women channellers, but I can live with that. 

Moiraine_saliba2.jpg

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1; The "Black Wind" is literally just a wind.  They will likely have distorted voices blended with the wind so that it sounds like the wind is speaking.  

 

2; LTT's voice will just be a voice over.  One that Rand hears and no one else.  It's gonna work out on screen no different than any other schitzophrenic character.  Movies and tv shows have mentally ill characters who hear voices all the time.  It will work no different than that.  

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Let me add a few thoughts to what I said above. I still believe it fits Robert Jordan's story best that Rand is the Dragon Reborn in body but also in soul. And thereby Lews Therin's voice in Rand's mind is a reincarnated part of the original Dragon's spirit which was insane/touched at the end as we know and thereby influencing Rand .

 

I never saw Rand as a schizophrenic per se in the books despite Semirhage's 'diagnosis' (with her past as a 'healer' she would always look for a 'reason of the mind' for Rand's behaviour). For me this is a more special and spiritual case (ref. the above) and it will imo demean Rand as a character and grand hero of the story (who has to go through major life-changes in all ways on his incredible predestined journey as our saviour) if he ends up some sort of 'mental case' (to be pitied) or 'raving lunatic' (to be laughed at or be horrified by) in the tv-show. Let him be affected by Saidin/Lews Therin as Robert Jordan intended, but let it be done delicately I say. I hope the producers behind the tv-show will do this right.

 

As for the One Power and effects, I agree that they will have to go for visible weaves on a visual medium (but do it right, yes), but as I think someone mentioned I too want them to differentiate Saidin from Saidar and how it feels different wielding the One Power for men and women . How well they focus on such an intricate but important part of the One Power will imo show how serious and dedicated they are as to fulfilling Robert Jordan's true vision.

Edited by Elessar
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Lews Therin died sane, thanks to Ishamael.  Or at least, he wasn't mentally ill or suffering from either the effects of the Taint or anything else like that, beyond extreme grief.  Rand is the one suffering from Taint-induced madness, which caused him to both remember things from Lews Therin's life, and animate those memories with a dissociated identity.  His revelation on Dragonmount is that he and Lews Therin were the same, and always had been.  They weren't ever really separate.  Lews Therin, the historical incarnation of the soul that is the Dragon, only ever appeared in the prologue of the Eye of the World.  Lews Therin, the voice in Rand's head, is a delusion of the soul that is the Dragon built out of memories and emotions that bled through thanks to the Taint.  The distinction between Lews Therin and Rand is one Rand created, out of his fear of who he was and his destiny and a healthy dose of Taint-induced paranoia and delusion.

 

Anyway, the effects of Lews Therin's voice and the depiction of Rand's insanity are a long way off, production-wise.  A more immediate concern is the depiction of the World of Dreams, particularly with how we're introduced to dreams as important settings for the world as early as the first book.  All those nightmares Rand and Perrin have take place in dreamshards, if not Tel'aran'Rhiod itself.  This is gonna be a trick, because it has to be something that is capable of both making it immediately obvious that we're in the dream world, but at the same time be really subtle such that in certain scenarios such as these dreamshard attacks, it would be hard to tell it's a dream.

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Quick question, do you have Saidar only "visible" when from the POV of another channeler, or do you drop that.  And what about sensing the ability.  Go Highlander route?

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Channeling should ONLY be visible to other channelers.  You have to be able to sense the source to use or see it.  It wouldn't make any logical sense if non-channelers could see weaves.  The effects of a weave(fire, earth etc...), yes, but not the weaving.  

 

If they have to, go ahead and let men see women channeling and vice versa.  I'm also against that, but at least it would be logical.  

 

EDIT:  Channeling should also be visible from the 3rd person(story telling) perspective.  

Edited by JJLXL
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On 9/23/2019 at 11:23 PM, JJLXL said:

I rather liked the Dr. Strange approach to "magic".  Just flesh it out more by including the weaving aspect.  Saidin and Saidar should be visually different from one another.  Saidin needs to be more chaotic in appearance, in order to show the struggle it is to control it.  Saidar should look very strong, but peaceful in appearance.  Also, I hope they show the differences in handling the male half versus the female half.  Embracing versus Seizing.  

 

The One Power is such a huge part of WoT.  Please please please get it right!  

 

15 hours ago, JJLXL said:

Channeling should ONLY be visible to other channelers.  You have to be able to sense the source to use or see it.  It wouldn't make any logical sense if non-channelers could see weaves.  The effects of a weave(fire, earth etc...), yes, but not the weaving.  

 

If they have to, go ahead and let men see women channeling and vice versa.  I'm also against that, but at least it would be logical.  

 

EDIT:  Channeling should also be visible from the 3rd person(story telling) perspective.  

Regarding "The Power" and it's visual presentation, I like allot of the comments so far; How it is sensed (Highlander route [Nice one agreddon]).  Seen or unseen ( Totally with you that Saidin and Saidar should appear as opposing forces). 

 There are just so many more overlapping aspects of "Channeling" I just can't see it coming out without needing alteration. I agree with you in wanting what most reflects the narrative, I would prefer all channeling portrayed as written and described. I just think, with so many variants, it will become a storyboarding quagmire.  World, history, Aes Sedai, false dragons, Main Characters, Fades and Trollocs... With so much to introduce in just a few episodes, it would seem necessary to simplify the Power visually. Trying to portray All the nuances of weaves, elements, sensation and who can see what, may become confusing to non Book readers. 

I do believe a happy medium can be found. Light help them, I hope they get it right!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/12/2019 at 5:20 PM, Elessar said:

 

As for other 'visual challenges', I am interested to see how they treat the whole One Power (Saidin/Saidar) issue in the tv-show. It plays a big role in the books, not the least for our White Tower heroines, and it could end up looking great (if done right) but also cheap (if done poorly). I hope some serious money will be spent on the 'magic' (One Power) in the Wheel of Time tv-show so it looks great since I see this as one of the central things in Robert Jordan's majestic story.

Totally agree, I think that the way they will handle the One Power visualization could rise or fail the series. 

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