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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

a NEW Casting Thread (let's keep it nice)


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10 hours ago, Harldin said:

Amazing voice? Not quite sure what you mean by that one. He has a deep distinctive voice and has done some Video game voiceover but as far as i know he is not well known for his voice.

 

... maybe it's a woman thing? That man could recite the dictionary to me and I'd be enslaved 😛

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4 hours ago, mistborn82 said:

Could they have genderswapped Narg and that's Leyla.

 

... did you not know that Narg is female? That's why she was sent to talk to Rand. All the boy Trollocs were just grunting "me smash!".

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In all seriousness, I do fall on the side of Laila being Perrin's wife in this turning of the Wheel. The only Laila in the books is a girl that Perrin had a crush on, so maybe they will introduce a dead wife for him in episode 1 to motivate him to leave. I'm cautious about such a change, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad change if they go down that route.

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My hope is that she's simply Perrin's sister that they've renamed.  Make her his wife, and kill her in the opening acts, and Perrin's motivation is no longer about protecting his family and village, but seeking vengeance, and his arc of personal growth would no longer be about reconciling his desire for a normal life with his extraordinary, if initially untrusted abilities and the duties of friendship and decency, but instead would have to deal with his overcoming his grief and anger first.

 

It also significantly sets Perrin apart to already be married.  Perrin would no longer be a boy with Rand and Mat, but a married man.  That puts him in a completely different thematic, narrative and social position to Rand and Mat early on, and it's thematically and narratively important for them to all begin in the same thematic, narrative and social space.  This is a coming-of-age story for the boys and Egwene, and to a degree, Nynaeve as well.  It's a story about how they take that last step into adulthood, finally becoming their own persons and earning the self-respect and respect of others that goes with that.  That's a theme that's significantly undermined by having one of them already an adult with a family, even a new family, of his own.

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3 hours ago, The Purple Ajah said:

In all seriousness, I do fall on the side of Laila being Perrin's wife in this turning of the Wheel. The only Laila in the books is a girl that Perrin had a crush on, so maybe they will introduce a dead wife for him in episode 1 to motivate him to leave. I'm cautious about such a change, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad change if they go down that route.

I still have this feeling that "Laila" is a huge pump fake. She's either an Aes Sedai (an Aybarra relative in the Tower could give Perrin a different motivation for leaving) or she's really someone else. I can't imagine starting the show with fridging Perrin's wife/sister. It's unnecessary.

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I agree that fridging would suck. We have enough of that with Lews Therin (although it's not really fridging as it doesn't motivate him to begin a hero story, it leads to his own suicide) and Rand worrying about it happening to Min. 

 

But I can't see why else they would call her Laila and be an Aybara, instead of her being Adora Aybara. Unless it is a code name. With Sarah Nakamura, Harriet, Maria, and Sanderson advising, hopefully they wouldn't make such a big change.

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On 4/19/2021 at 7:14 PM, Thrasymachus said:

My hope is that she's simply Perrin's sister that they've renamed.  Make her his wife, and kill her in the opening acts, and Perrin's motivation is no longer about protecting his family and village, but seeking vengeance, and his arc of personal growth would no longer be about reconciling his desire for a normal life with his extraordinary, if initially untrusted abilities and the duties of friendship and decency, but instead would have to deal with his overcoming his grief and anger first.

 

It also significantly sets Perrin apart to already be married.  Perrin would no longer be a boy with Rand and Mat, but a married man.  That puts him in a completely different thematic, narrative and social position to Rand and Mat early on, and it's thematically and narratively important for them to all begin in the same thematic, narrative and social space.  This is a coming-of-age story for the boys and Egwene, and to a degree, Nynaeve as well.  It's a story about how they take that last step into adulthood, finally becoming their own persons and earning the self-respect and respect of others that goes with that.  That's a theme that's significantly undermined by having one of them already an adult with a family, even a new family, of his own.

I agree with every single word. Very well put!

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On 4/19/2021 at 1:14 PM, Thrasymachus said:

It also significantly sets Perrin apart to already be married.  Perrin would no longer be a boy with Rand and Mat, but a married man.  That puts him in a completely different thematic, narrative and social position to Rand and Mat early on, and it's thematically and narratively important for them to all begin in the same thematic, narrative and social space.  This is a coming-of-age story for the boys and Egwene, and to a degree, Nynaeve as well.  It's a story about how they take that last step into adulthood, finally becoming their own persons and earning the self-respect and respect of others that goes with that.  That's a theme that's significantly undermined by having one of them already an adult with a family, even a new family, of his own.

 

I don't expect any of them will be "boys" at the start of the show. It would be jarring for Marcus, Barney and Josha to act as immature as RJ had their characters appear in the first book. Furthermore, from the leaked audition tapes Mat seems to be a gambler from the start, spending his free time drinking at a tavern instead of a boy pulling pranks like he's still 12. Rand and Egwene's relationship also appears more mature, like early adults and not grade schoolers. Perrin being a young newlywed wouldn't make him so different in that case. 

 

I have no attachment to RJ's attempt at a coming to age story, since it was the weakest part of his writing. He essentially fast-tracked all the characters to where they needed to be emotionally, sexually, and regarding their physical abilities. Starting the characters off as a little older actually smoothens the transition from books 1-3 to the 4 and on. 

 

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That makes sense especially with the, I assume, expanded timeline because you can fake ages much better with a little older characters.

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10 hours ago, Carebear Sedai said:

 

I don't expect any of them will be "boys" at the start of the show. It would be jarring for Marcus, Barney and Josha to act as immature as RJ had their characters appear in the first book.

 

Completely agree.

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A few added thoughts in view of the last few comments.

 

First we have Canon from Robert Jordan. This is his story to be respected which we are all so lucky to be enjoying. Apart from that vital point, I disagree with those who do not see this as a coming-of-age story. That is how Robert Jordan wrote it and that is what makes it so fascinating and fulfilling as I see it. The fact that the three boys are boys at the start makes their journey all the more satisfying as they mature and grow as persons, with life-experience and responsibility, becoming who they had the potential to be as adults and more. Take that away, make them less innocent and playful from the start in the tv-show, more mature and ‘ready for the outside world’, exemplified by say a 'married Perrin', and you lose that aspect which in my opinion would be harmful to the story.

 

This is particularly important in the case of Rand as his incredible journey - from the innocent young boy at the start to the boy who suddenly gets the impossible burden of having to save the world and not only that but who will go mad doing so to the man who panics and runs but who gradually accepts his fate and gains confidence and learns to rule to the man who becomes affected by the taint and becomes hard as stone to the man who redeems himself in the light and does his duty at the end with his sacrifice - is the nexus of the whole saga and what holds it all together. From innocence to facing the darkness of the world and the darkness within him, from light into darkness and back to light again. That is Rand’s journey.

 

Personally I would also miss the charm and fun of the three boys, young innocents, lamenting that they are not as good with girls as the others, those comments in the books always put a smile on my face and I wish for them to be included in the tv-show.

 

As for it being ‘jarring’ for the actors to play younger/more immature than they are, if that is the roles Rafe wants them to play I can’t see why that should be a problem. These are young but professional actors. Whether they are supposed to be 16, 17 or 18 f.ex. in the tv-show that will not matter, it is the way they act their age which is important as I see it. We know from real life that some 18-year old men are very immature while some 16-year old men might be quite mature, it often depends on a person, personality etc. How Rafe and the showrunners will play this out remains to be seen. Personally I hope they keep these things in mind, in the spirit of Robert Jordan's vision.

 

I see from the discussion here that others disagree with these viewpoints, that is natural since different WoT-fans will have different expectations and outlooks on this tv-adaptation. These are some of my reflections though, added in the spirit of Thrasymachus’s post of before.

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Don't worry about it too much, Elessar.  There's a certain contingent for whom Rafe can do no wrong, who appear to be of the opinion that we should thank our lucky stars that there's any kind of TV adaptation at all.  Any change at all is forgivable, no matter how far from the text or any prior interpretation of the significance of the text it is.  Or at least, it can't be judged yet, particularly not negatively, even if it's something as simple as judging the way a prop looks.

 

And Carebear Sedai, I have to disagree with you about one thing.  Writing the coming-of-age stories of the main characters was not the weakest part of Jordan's writing.  The Andoran and Aes Sedai politicking, followed by the romances, were the weakest part.  The coming-of-age part, at least for some of those characters, is among the strongest. Particularly among that cohort, like myself, who were coming-of-age along with the publication of the story.

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9 hours ago, Elessar said:

A few added thoughts in view of the last few comments.

 

First we have Canon from Robert Jordan. This is his story to be respected which we are all so lucky to be enjoying. Apart from that vital point, I disagree with those who do not see this as a coming-of-age story. That is how Robert Jordan wrote it and that is what makes it so fascinating and fulfilling as I see it. The fact that the three boys are boys at the start makes their journey all the more satisfying as they mature and grow as persons, with life-experience and responsibility, becoming who they had the potential to be as adults and more. Take that away, make them less innocent and playful from the start in the tv-show, more mature and ‘ready for the outside world’, exemplified by say a 'married Perrin', and you lose that aspect which in my opinion would be harmful to the story.


That’s your interpretation. Coming-of-age involves a gradual growth from childhood into adulthood and that’s simply not what we got in the series. Take Mat for example, he goes from pulling childish pranks and getting excited about treasure like a 12 year-old to gambling, drinking and seducing tavern maids. Did we see this change happen over the span of the series? No. It happened off-page. RJ fast-tracked his maturity akin to giving him a personality transplant from book 1-2 to the rest of the series. Take Perrin next, he goes from being grossed out by Faile’s cooties in book 3 to the start of book 4 where he has matured into a 20 year-old bloke with a girlfriend and a beard. Did we see this transition on page? Not really. Rand’s personality transplant happens between book 2-4, though mostly because he’s missing from the entirety of book 3 (his sanity got a massive retcon there). Now I think Rand’s journey between books 1-2 is great, and 4-on is also great. But again he loses his father’s sword and in the next book he’s missing, and the next time we see him he has massively fast-tracked into the Dragon Reborn. I can’t give RJ props for progression that’s left off the page. 

 

What we do see is the way these young men—not boys—become great mythical leaders. Sure there are fantastic progression regarding responsibility and sacrifice here. But the childhood part was largely an inconsistency RJ himself leapt over when the tone of the series changed in TSR. Logically, Rand, Mat, and Perrin are 19 at the start of the series, in a culture where they should’ve been considered as adults by 14. Their immaturity in book 1 felt like a mistake if anything. I don’t understand wanting the show to stay loyal to aspects of the series that seem largely inconsistencies. 

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Posted (edited)

The original three books were different from the others since there weren't originally supposed to be anymore. In this turning of the wheel, they're a little older, Perrin is taller than Rand, Moraine is 5'8 and not 5'4 and other changes. There will always be the books, this show is not being made for us fans and I wouldn't even like a word for word screen adaption.

Edited by mistborn82
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Elessar, thank you for saying what I'm sure many are thinking.  This is Robert Jordan's story, not any individual fan's. Everybody has found something different they like in the books that speaks to them. If you let one fan rewrite the story in accordance with their likes/dislikes, you lose a lot of that and end up with fan fiction instead of the original epic. I think massive changes to the plot, as have been so casually discussed, should be approached with great caution, with a preference for preserving the source material as the default.

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Harriet, Brandon and Maria are consulting, Rafe is a fan and Sarah is the book consultant, they'll try but this show is primarily not for fans, same with GOT. Now I won't get into a big long explanation because I realize most of this is about race but finding all sorts of other reasons to dislike it so as not to bring down the wrath of the mods. When the show premieres Dragonmount and other sites will probably gets lots of new members but they may not stay here because a vocal minority can't get over the fact that fictional characters can be other than white. I like being here and discussing news and stuff but it's getting tiring ignoring the complaints from the same people that boil down to I can't stand that X,Y,Z are black, asian etc. However, I have to invent other reasons.

Why ruin it for everyone else here? Those 'fans' will never accept diversity so why do you stay?

 

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With regard to "coming of age" in these stories, I'm sure everyone here has their own experience with that, or at least they have an idea of what that means. No one is unequivocally right or wrong about that, especially when it's our opinions about a fantasy story that none of us wrote.

 

Personally I never thought of the story primarily as a "coming of age", although it has some of that. I also don't think that the rapid growth of the main cast is weird at all. It wasn't just their ages that made them boys and girls, it was their isolated and limited world. Being thrown into the wider world forced them to grow or fail, and of course they grew because they're the main characters of an epic. It's about the scope of their world increasing, not their age. There's a nice metaphor there, but it's not the same thing.

 

The basic idea of an "adaptation" is to tell the same story in a new way. I think everyone who enjoyed the books would want to see as few changes as necessary, and that almost certainly includes the people making this show. But they definitely need to make changes, it's just not feasible to recreate the story scene for scene.

 

But man, in the end I'm actually kinda nervous about it... like, I really want it to be good, and I'm definitely not going to be pedantic as a critic or demand a one-for-one adaptation. I can see my bias as far as that goes, I want it to be good. I'm still nervous though. It's the sort of thing that's easy to screw up and almost impossible to be perfect with. Being nervous is good though, because I get to watch this thing and my stance is that it's a treat, even if it flops.

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8 hours ago, mistborn82 said:

because a vocal minority can't get over the fact that fictional characters can be other than white. I like being here and discussing news and stuff but it's getting tiring ignoring the complaints from the same people that boil down to I can't stand that X,Y,Z are black, asian etc. However, I have to invent other reasons.

 

I have kept quiet up till now, because I realise that racism is a very real and bad thing, that this is a sensitive matter, where thoughts can easily be misconstrued, and I come from a country where an accusation of racism can get me thrown into jail.

But really, this is too much.

Mistborn82, I find that comment to be willfully ignorant, arrogant, offensive and possibly slanderous.

Yes, of course there are those types as you mentioned, but there is a kind of bullying being established here that I find just as offensive as racism.

It's come to a point that one can't give anything other than a "yes man" comment for fear of being accused of racism!

Do I disagree with some of the choices in characters thus far, because they diverge from descriptions in the books? Yes I do.

Why? Because I don't agree with the justifications for them.

But here's the thing. Will I disagree if they start casting "paler" people in what the books describe as "darker"? Yes I will!

I will be VERY upset if they suddenly cast Tuon as a different "race" (read Whitewashing) to what she is in the books. I think it's a very profound moment for many people when they realise that the Heir to the mightiest empire in the world is a black woman. I think it does a massive amount to redress the balance a bit when compared to most of the contemporary fantasy fiction out there.

Same goes for Banner-General Tylee Khirgan.

This is one of the reasons I wasn't very happy with the casting of Moiraine. Though I absolutely adore Rosamund Pike, I think it skirts a bit close to the above. Did they really have to cast a tall, blue eyed blonde to play the role? 

I'm not going to drag this out by mentioning every single character but I am going to ask you to think about what you post before you just throw accusations around. Make sure your accusations are true, before you brand someone.

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Posted (edited)

I just think in adaptation, the role of the character is more important than their colour or heritage - unless it's completely impossible because their colour and heritage is fundamental to who they are at their core, but that isn't the case here. Here, we just need actors good enough to become who these characters are through their personality and development in the story.

Edited by Sean
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Posted (edited)
On 5/12/2021 at 5:08 PM, Thrasymachus said:

There's a certain contingent for whom Rafe can do no wrong, who appear to be of the opinion that we should thank our lucky stars that there's any kind of TV adaptation at all.  Any change at all is forgivable, no matter how far from the text or any prior interpretation of the significance of the text it is.

There's a certain contingent who will gripe about any change from the text, no matter how minor or inconsequential to the plot. No change from the text can be countenanced because it "ruins" some ephemeral (and entirely subjective) portion of Jordan's story. This contingent knows better than anyone else exactly how an adaptation must be brought to the screen in order to be properly reverent of the source material and therefore the fact that Jordan's widow, his estate, Brandon Sanderson and at least one devoted fan have signed off on these changes is entirely irrelevant and should be discounted out of hand.

Edited by Elder_Haman
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10 hours ago, Elgee said:

 Did they really have to cast a tall, blue eyed blonde to play the role? 

 

there was a light effect playing tricks with her hair, so i may be in error there, but in those two seconds of teaser, wasn't she dyed black?

a lot of actors are going to look different with the make-up from the scenes. personally i think "mat" is too white to be a believable farmer; farmers worked under the sun most of the time, and they would have tan skin, regardless of ethnicity, unless their normal color is already darker than that; i hope they do something to make it look like he got more sunlight. only a minor detail, though.

 

and of course i fully agree that preemptive accusations don't help anyone

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Brandon Sanderson has said himself that he is in more of a "consultant" role. This is typical for writers, people like Sarah, Harriet, etc. Once the rights are handed over, they don't really "sign off" on anything. They are there to advise and "have a say." Some studios take this more to heart than others. Take the example of the creators of the Last Airbender. Netflix made a big show of their involvement, and they ultimately made the decision to leave the project because of "creative differences." Many more stay on in the hope (among other more financial reasons) that they can continue to have *some* say.

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46 minutes ago, TheMountain said:

Brandon Sanderson has said himself that he is in more of a "consultant" role. This is typical for writers, people like Sarah, Harriet, etc. Once the rights are handed over, they don't really "sign off" on anything. They are there to advise and "have a say.”

Semantics aside, the point remains. 

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Posted (edited)

"The plot" is less important than the core of the story, and that the adaptation be distinctly and recognizably "Wheel of Time."  "The plot" will have to be significantly changed from the books to the small screen, with locations and characters and whole subplots cut, merged or completely replaced with brand new ones.  But the complaint that Rosamund Pike is too tall to play Moiraine is a valid one, because having a tall Moiraine completely changes the feel of that part of the Wheel of Time.  It also might not matter much because changing the apparent height of a character versus their real-life actor is one of the oldest camera-tricks in the book.  So maybe it won't change the feel of that part of the story, because they'll make sure to do their camera work with Rosamund in such a way as to preserve that feel.  But it's not inappropriate to feel trepidation about it.

 

See, this is the thing that the sycophantic defenders can't seem to grasp.  They think the complaint is about any kind of change at all.  When really, the complaints are about Rafe failing to respect that distinctly Wheel of Time aesthetic and core spirit that has had literal decades to grow and reinforce itself among the fans of the number one-selling American fantasy series.  Indeed, even those racist complaints about casting have that as their core motive, though their complaints and their white-washing of the Wheel of Time aesthetic and core spirit deserved to be challenged, exposed and thrown out.  

 

But the general defense of this show has gone far beyond merely running out the racists.  It insists that there is no such thing as a "distinctly Wheel of Time aesthetic."  As if Jordan didn't spend literal pages and pages describing the way characters and geography and clothes and food and every little thing looked and seemed.  We can ignore all that because "this is a different Turning" and because if we admit that there's a way things are "supposed to be," we might open the door for those racists to complain about things for racist reasons while covertly hiding their racism behind a real aesthetic disagreement. Nevermind that those racists were and are literally wrong in their whitewashing, not just morally wrong.  

 

We can trust that things are on track because Brandon and Maria and Harriet are "consultants" on the show, even though Brandon has already disavowed any influence he might have had or his involvement in the production, and early on warned the fans that they won't like some things being done.  And because Rafe has talked about Maria helping, though not in anything like specific terms, while Maria herself has said nothing, and Harriet likewise has been uncharacteristically quiet, though perhaps not unsurprisingly considering the fallout from the Winter Dragon debacle.  After all, we do have some specifics about how Sarah has helped keep things true to the series, though if those stories are true, it demonstrates a horrifying lack of familiarity with the source material by the writers and the showrunner, and if they're just jokes, it demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the fans who are worried about the show, and what they're worried about.

 

And at the end of the day, we don't need to worry because Rafe's not making the show for the fans of the series.  This show's for the people who don't read, they just tune into the latest fad streaming series.  It's for the ~8 million viewers of the Boys or Carnival Row, not the more than 80 million readers of the series, who have already made @WoTonPrime, now @WheelofTime, one of Amazon Prime's most popular TV series twitter accounts in spite of not having aired a single episode yet.  After all, it's not like the MCU, who had to make radical changes to the plots and characters of Marvel's Infinity War Saga to bring that story to the silver screen, were successful because they ignored their existing fans.  No, they made sure to incorporate as much as possible from the comics in the characterization of their characters, and giving great big winks and nods to the stuff they couldn't.  For all the changes they made, nobody was arguing that Hawkeye wasn't authentic because he didn't have a big purple spiky mask, or because Wanda started out with dirty blonde hair instead of red.

And the most remarkable thing about all this, to me, is that the engagement with their community has been so sloppy, so unconcerned, and so lazy, and that these things have only gotten worse, and yet still there are those who defend them.  We have no reason to believe that Rafe even understands, let alone respects the core of the Wheel of Time or the characters or their individual journeys.  Virtually every release from December on has done nothing to demonstrate that they do understand or respect that core.  They had the benefit of the doubt from me, for a long time.  And then they proceeded fritter away and waste that benefit at nearly every opportunity. 

 

Now, I no longer believe they will deliver anything recognizable as the Wheel of Time, and I doubt that their show will be much of a success.  The latter is still possible.  Not likely, considering the damage they've done with the former, but possible.  But they've burnt enough bridges on the former that it's basically a foregone conclusion that it's not gonna look like anything like what the fans from the last three decades, what the culture that has grown up around the fandom for these stories, would expect or hope for.  Because if you can't respect the little details, where the showrunners have basically free-reign to respect the canon without the constraints or limits of the differing media or the need to respect the changes they do have to make, there's no reason to expect that there's going to be any respect for the core of the story or the characters therein.  Just because you have a TV show with some women magic users you call Aes Sedai and some major characters named Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene and Nynaeve and locations named Emond's Field and Fal Dara doesn't mean you're telling the Wheel of Time.

Edited by Thrasymachus
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