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What would you want to tell Rafe Judkins about making the show?

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I cribbed this topic from a video done by Nae'blis today (follow that link for his video, you'll see this post as a comment on that video as well).

 

 

Dear Rafe,

 

The first thing I want to see isn't something to see, but something to hear: I want to be able to close my eyes and without having watched any previous episodes of the show (and at any point in the hopefully long run of the show), be able to immediately identify where a character is from by their accent alone. This means I expect the characters to have the accents appropriate to their home region as delineated by Robert Jordan himself; Illianers should sound Dutch, Seanchan should sound Texan, etc.

 

Inversely, I want to be able to turn the volume off and, just by looking at the screen, be able to tell where a character is from (or where they are trying to fit in at) by the clothes they are wearing. This means your costume designer has hopefully read the books and paid careful attention to Jordan's meticulous descriptions of clothing (especially the women's). And yes, I fully expect toplessness and nudity where appropriate, too; don't hide the bare flesh! And there should be subtle but noticeable differences in the cadin'sor of Aiel from various clans and septs; the cadin'sor design should not, must not, be monolithic.

 

Over time, I hope that observant viewers will learn to identify weaves as they are being channeled (when the camera shot is from the POV of a channeler and thus showing the weave being formed). This will require the visual effects team to design an "alphabet" or "vocabulary" of weaves that builds upon simpler (and similar) weaves. After enough times viewing the series, those observant viewers should become as adept at identifying weaves as an Aes Sedai.

 

Finally, and this one may be controversial to some, I want to hear some real world profanity on the show. I'm not proposing getting rid of the style of swearing that Jordan wrote into the text, I wholeheartedly believe in keeping "Light!" and "Bloody ashes!" and the like. But when the text stops putting the cursing within quote marks and just says something along the lines of "and Elayne continued in language that would make Uno blush" I fully expect to hear the actor playing Elayne to be using some real world, modern day, curse words. Same goes for any similar scene where Robert Jordan leaves off actually delineating what the actual words said are.

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1; Let Logain fight Taim,  Giving it to Egwene ruined 3 books worth of buildup into a final battle between Logain and the Black Tower, and Taim and his Dreadlords.  There are many other ways Egwene can get herself killed....

 

2; Drop the "Flame of Tar Valon" weaves all together.  The entire point of Balefire is that is literally burns away the pattern.  Having a weave that can just "unburn" the pattern completely destroys the point.  Balefire is supposed to be so dangerous that even the Forsaken, other than Ishamael, are hesitant to use it.  

 

3; Don't focus too much on Moiraine.  WOT isn't the type of story that has a "main character".  It's supposed to be more like GOT, and have multiple, branching story arcs going at the same time.  

 

4; You have to make sure the include the best characters in the series..... Narg, Paitr, and Unnamed Darkfriends Numbers 2-5.  

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Make it horrifying.  Trollocs need to come across like Demons from hell, The utter dispair one would feel facing an 8 foot tall, yoked, armed and armored, half human, who’s only goal is to make you suffer before eating you, needs to be palpable.  They need to make that as realistic as possible.  I want children to have nightmares when they see a Tolloc.  Hell I want Adults to have nightmares when they see a Trolloc!

Edited by Denver Steve

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Dear Rafe,

 

1. Do NOT skimp on the Channelling SFX...They need to be Amazing NOT Cheezy!

 

2. Swordplay needs to be Realistically Epic.  Since these are mainly Katana's the swordplay needs to be quick & nasty.  Funk Nasty not STINKY Nasty

 

3. Can the Two Rivers Long Bow, be a Composite Great Bow?  aka Recurved Greatbow that is a cross btw an English Longbow & a Recurved Bow?  That way it is nearly impossible to wield w/o training?

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2 hours ago, Lancer said:

Dear Rafe,

 

1. Do NOT skimp on the Channelling SFX...They need to be Amazing NOT Cheezy!

 

 

Yes, please. And make the ogier, trollocs and myrdraal look good.

 

Other than that, do it the way you think is best. :D 

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Hello Rafe,

Thank you for taking the courage to take on such a momentous endeavor. I deeply respect your confidence and leadership here! If this were me, my first thing would be to tell someone to bring me my brown pants...  (Just saying..)

 

My main ask. Please don't be afraid of the white noise/white space/weeds in these books. As Brandon Sanderson said, “these characters were some my best friends.” 

 

I can’t agree more, but, for me, they didn't become my best friends through killing a trolic or a fade, or by battling Ishmael in the skies of Falma.  Undoubtably, there will be epic battles and intense visual effects in bringing this to the screen. However, with any story, many times it is the weeds that pulls us in. That quite, white space moment where we recognize something in ourselves and can relate. Where we care about these people. What makes these characters my best friends is reading about Mat, looking a cute tavern girl, sitting with Talmanes, drinking, dicing, and trying to get the man to laugh. It's reading about Renald, being called to the blight by a Gathering Storm. Taking his best scythes and cutting them down to make polearms, so to help those who can/will fight even though he is too old to fight himself. About Perrin, a blacksmith in his heart, who even gets joy from making hinges. Almen Bunt, a farmer, facing starvation with his family, who is saved because Rand finally becomes the man he was destined to be. 

 

All great stories have white space. This space can be lost when a focus on the action is all that is translated. PBS does this incredibly well in many critically acclaimed shows, where they don’t have the budget for the high end special effects. They focus on the creation of the story and the characters because they don’t have the budget to do otherwise. You have the budget, please don’t turn this into another Hobbit. I would cry.

 

Second ask, don’t add to the story plot or characters that are not in the books. These books are deep enough. I don’t want scenes or characters that never happened in the book unless you need to have these to explain something that is required. Jordan’s world is so well defined and explained, there is no need for additions. My two cents here.. 

 

I look forward to hearing, seeing and losing myself in your work.

Brad

 

 

 

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I've read the initial description and followups how this is a story about Moraine and her companions adventures.  Well, not really.  Moraine is a central character but the Wheel of Time series is not a story about Moraine.  If anything, it's a story about Rand.  What I haven't read is any push back on this initial description.  I for one will be disappointed if the story presented to us truly tries to turn WOT TV into a story about Moraine. 

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1 hour ago, OMG said:

I've read the initial description and followups how this is a story about Moraine and her companions adventures.  Well, not really.  Moraine is a central character but the Wheel of Time series is not a story about Moraine.  If anything, it's a story about Rand.  What I haven't read is any push back on this initial description.  I for one will be disappointed if the story presented to us truly tries to turn WOT TV into a story about Moraine. 

I think IMHO, they marketed the 1st season as Moiraine's season to 1 sell it to the actor (Rosamund), 2 Amazon (As a Female led girl-power thing), 3 make it different than other fantasy stuff that was out there (GoT).  If you center it on Rand, it would give away the premise of the show, and may not hook new viewers.  This way you can do a "Rope-a-Dope" and bring em in on the Aes Sedai & reel them in w/ the "Super Boys" and open up the world.

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5 hours ago, OMG said:

I've read the initial description and followups how this is a story about Moraine and her companions adventures.  Well, not really.  Moraine is a central character but the Wheel of Time series is not a story about Moraine.  If anything, it's a story about Rand.  What I haven't read is any push back on this initial description.  I for one will be disappointed if the story presented to us truly tries to turn WOT TV into a story about Moraine. 

I don't see you how can have WOT without it centered on Rand, ultimately. I suspect it will initially be around Moraine (which makes sense for most of the first book). It should evolve naturally into the super girls and ta'averen...

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3 hours ago, Ryan al'Thor said:

I don't see you how can have WOT without it centered on Rand, ultimately. I suspect it will initially be around Moraine (which makes sense for most of the first book). It should evolve naturally into the super girls and ta'averen...

HA! Of coarse Rand al'Thor would say such a thing. You have Toh Rand al'Thor.

 

Rand is a critical ingredient, but like all ingredients, if something is missing, there is no whole. My two cents, the story is about the battle between light and dark. The wheel turns. Each battle, a new dragon, new characters. If WOT was truly centered on Rand, then there would not be so many books with so many other amazing characters. and I wouldn't like it anywhere close to as much as I do. Without the all other characters fighting with Rand, he would have failed. He still almost did.... (shit... spoiler alert)

 

It is my hope that the TV show doesn't infact center on any one character, but the weave of all without one taking true president. 

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9 hours ago, bmarluke said:

It is my hope that the TV show doesn't infact center on any one character, but the weave of all without one taking true president. 

 

Agreed ... hence the disappointment (concern)  that someone in authority (ahmm, Rafe)  hasn't pushed back on the description being promoted.  However, IMO, I think there should be a SLIGHT lean towards Rand "taking true president."  I have a soft spot for Min too ;-).

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2 hours ago, OMG said:

I have a soft spot for Min too ;-).

Min is an awesome character. Remember, she has large parts of the series where she is not with Rand. In Salidar, the tower, with Cadsuane Melaidhrin, studying the prophecies of the dragon with that old dude that is escaping memory before coffee...  She is a well defined stand alone character that needs no man... If all we see of her is with Rand... Well, shit is going down...

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You want to draws eyes to the name on your cast which is what Rosamund is there for. You have to focus the eyes before you widen the view.

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1 hour ago, bmarluke said:

Min is an awesome character. Remember, she has large parts of the series where she is not with Rand. In Salidar, the tower, with Cadsuane Melaidhrin, studying the prophecies of the dragon with that old dude that is escaping memory before coffee...  She is a well defined stand alone character that needs no man... If all we see of her is with Rand... Well, shit is going down...

She's one of my favorite characters, top 3. I can't wait to see who they cast for her.

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17 hours ago, bmarluke said:

HA! Of coarse Rand al'Thor would say such a thing. You have Toh Rand al'Thor.

 

Rand is a critical ingredient, but like all ingredients, if something is missing, there is no whole. My two cents, the story is about the battle between light and dark. The wheel turns. Each battle, a new dragon, new characters. If WOT was truly centered on Rand, then there would not be so many books with so many other amazing characters. and I wouldn't like it anywhere close to as much as I do. Without the all other characters fighting with Rand, he would have failed. He still almost did.... (shit... spoiler alert)

 

It is my hope that the TV show doesn't infact center on any one character, but the weave of all without one taking true president. 

LOL nice one with the toh...I agree that the other characters are extremely important and play vital roles. But he is the most critical ingredient, the strongest ta'averen. I'm not saying he should be in the spotlight the whole time, but if the plan is to reduce his role for Moraine, well that might be a mistake.

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Moraine mostly until Tear I would think. And even after then she plays a significant role. But this epic series is fortunate enough to have a wide selection of unique characters to use, and they do what they must. Even the Lord Dragon cannot do it all. Cheers

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On 1/14/2020 at 12:24 PM, bmarluke said:

Hello Rafe,

Thank you for taking the courage to take on such a momentous endeavor. I deeply respect your confidence and leadership here! If this were me, my first thing would be to tell someone to bring me my brown pants...  (Just saying..)

 

My main ask. Please don't be afraid of the white noise/white space/weeds in these books. As Brandon Sanderson said, “these characters were some my best friends.” 

 

I can’t agree more, but, for me, they didn't become my best friends through killing a trolic or a fade, or by battling Ishmael in the skies of Falma.  Undoubtably, there will be epic battles and intense visual effects in bringing this to the screen. However, with any story, many times it is the weeds that pulls us in. That quite, white space moment where we recognize something in ourselves and can relate. Where we care about these people. What makes these characters my best friends is reading about Mat, looking a cute tavern girl, sitting with Talmanes, drinking, dicing, and trying to get the man to laugh. It's reading about Renald, being called to the blight by a Gathering Storm. Taking his best scythes and cutting them down to make polearms, so to help those who can/will fight even though he is too old to fight himself. About Perrin, a blacksmith in his heart, who even gets joy from making hinges. Almen Bunt, a farmer, facing starvation with his family, who is saved because Rand finally becomes the man he was destined to be. 

 

All great stories have white space. This space can be lost when a focus on the action is all that is translated. PBS does this incredibly well in many critically acclaimed shows, where they don’t have the budget for the high end special effects. They focus on the creation of the story and the characters because they don’t have the budget to do otherwise. You have the budget, please don’t turn this into another Hobbit. I would cry.

 

Second ask, don’t add to the story plot or characters that are not in the books. These books are deep enough. I don’t want scenes or characters that never happened in the book unless you need to have these to explain something that is required. Jordan’s world is so well defined and explained, there is no need for additions. My two cents here.. 

 

I look forward to hearing, seeing and losing myself in your work.

Brad

 

 

 

 

I really enjoyed this one!

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Naughty words and responses to the naughty words deleted. Also, I’m so very, very bored with people complaining about the casting. I doubt I’m the only one. 

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1 - battles need to be epic.

2 - don’t go cheap on the arms and armour.

3 - try and stick to the spirit of the original script.  GOT was painful to watch after season one...

Edited by Filip

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I would ask him not to leave out the little things. I think someone expressed this very well already, but the brilliance of these characters is in the small moments - Rand and Mat grinning at each other just before Rand gives his speech at the Stone, Rand pretending to be mad to scare away flirtatious court ladies at Cairhien, the incomprehensible jokes exchanged by the Maidens and young Aiel men... RJ includes so many little moments, some of them only a sentence long, easy to miss if you're not reading carefully, but they flesh out the characters so much, and I hope Rafe keeps those moments. 

 

And, secondly, to pay full attention to costuming. I've said this many times before, but the costumes and the way they reveal things about the different cultures have the potential to be brilliant, given the specificity of RJ's descriptions - and, listen, if I had to read about every variation of Nynaeve's neckline and dress color in Tel'aran'rhiod, the TV show viewers have to see it, too. 

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