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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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It seems that most are in agreement that there will need to be some major changes made to the Forsaken for purposes of the tv show. I'll take a shot at predicting what they'll do with each.

 

Aginor: I believe Aginor will be at the confrontation at the Eye. He is a good character to use to explain the creation of the shadowspawn and since he is in the text, it makes sense to keep him. I would write him as being clearly in service to Ba'alzamon - furthering the idea that Ba'alzamon = the Dark One.

 

Asmodean: I would keep Asmodean's arc basically the same, though he will die in the confrontation with Rahvin. No balefire resurrection.

 

Balthamel: He's out. Including his incarnation as Aran'gar.

 

Be'lal: Also out. I'm going to give his role to Rahvin. Moiraine will injure, not kill him in the Stone - forcing him to retreat. 

 

Demandred: He's Taim. 

 

Graendal: I'm going to combine her with Moghedien. Yes, they have wildly different personalities. But for purposes of the tv show, you can combine the two story arcs. She can still capture and torture Nynaeve. She can still be captured and still escape. She can then be subjected to the mind trap. She can then start messing around in Arad Doman. She will die at Natrin's Barrow, but can be resurrected, named Hessalam, and given to Slayer for the last battle. 

 

Ishamael: His arc remains basically untouched. (Although, I remove him from the Eye altogether. Rand can believe he's killed the Dark One when he kills Aginor)

 

Lanfear: She stays. She never becomes Cyndane though. She's just rescued by the Dark One and remains Lanfear. Her arc - including her final fate - are otherwise unchanged.

 

Mesaana: I'm combining her with Alviarin. Egwene reveals her as a darkfriend after Verin dies, not realizing that she's actually Mesaana. Alviarin escapes (leaving the other black sisters to their fates) then dies in the confrontation with Egwene in T'a'R. 

 

Moghedien: See Graendal.

 

Rahvin: He stays in the same role. I might eliminate the time bending via balefire at the end of their confrontation. (I dislike too many resurrections, they lower the stakes)

 

Sammael: His plot stays in. But he's no longer one of the Forsaken. He's just a friend of the dark with a ton of political and military power.

 

Semirhage: She stays, but amplified. Since she is so good with the Mask of Mirrors, she can become a shapeshifting villain. It might be fun to combine her with the gholam. As fun as Mat's final encounter with the gholam is, it isn't strictly necessary. 

 

Anyway, that's just a few thoughts. Interested to hear what the rest of y'all think.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Agree 13 Forsaken is just to many for 70 odd TV episodes
Aginor yes that could work

 

Asmodean i think his Arc is fine, personally i would leave his death as is or maybe captured by one of the others and taken back to SG but i would definitely resurrect him in a Female body, the concept of a woman who could channel Saidin i thought was brilliant and would be a fitting way for the DO to punish him.

 

Balthamel who? Seems there to make up the numbers to 13, combine him with Aginor or maybe even Asmodean but is not killed at the Eye.

 

Be’lal/Rahvin i could get with that, have him injured in Tear and then go to Caemlyn

 

Taimandred i have never been able to make up my mind about Taimandred, definitely happy about the way the books done it but the Combo may be better for the show

 

Graendal/Moghedien yes that would work, but definitely retain the name as Moghedien. 

 

Ishamael/Morridin have him keep his original name but in a new body, you would not even have to change the actor.

 

Lanfear totally agree have the DO rescue her alive from the Finn but have her controlled far more closely as punishment for her failures.

 

Mesaana i would leave pretty much as is, i would keep her appearance right out of the show until very late, but have her mentioned a few times, mind you combining her with Alviarin could work to.

 

Sammael no i would leave him as is, changes the whole Illian plot line to much, Morraine discovering a Dark Friend rules in Illian just doesn’t work and the plans for the attack on Illian wouldn’t make as much sense for just a Dark Friend.


Semirhage yes leave her storyline as is but no I wouldn’t combine her with the Gholam, she is killable the Gholam is not and i loved the solution Mat come up with.

 

One of the great things about the Forsaken in the books is the way they are punished and i want to see the show continue those themes. At the start the Forsaken are seen as virtual Demigods by the populace in general and i would definitely play that up a bit early on and then as the series goes on they are shown not to be but that they are Humans  just with superior knowledge of Channeling.

 

 

 

Edited by Harldin

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4 minutes ago, Harldin said:

Sammael no i would leave him as is, changes the whole Illian plot line to much, Morraine discovering a Dark Friend rules in Illian just doesn’t work and the plans for the attack on Illian wouldn’t make as much sense for just a Dark Friend.

 

What if it's a pump fake? Moiraine is led to believe he is one of the Forsaken to divert attention from actual Forsaken. It could be used as a vehicle for increasing the conflict between Rand and Moiraine.

 

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I do hope they keep the 13 Forsaken as in the books and canon and in accordance with Robert Jordan's vision.  It will also make for interesting and dark intrigue on screen. There will be more than enough (too many some of us believe) changes elsewhere in the tv-adaptation, and if they start merging Forsaken characters or dropping several of them, individual storylines will be affected which will affect the story as a whole. 13 is also a special number in The Wheel of Time as we all (incl. Rafe) know, and should not be tampered with.

 

If it's not possible practically to 'act out' 13 different characters in the tv-series, I hope they will at least let them all 'exist' in that universe (just that we don't see some of them on screen, but we know from dialogue that they are about and plotting).

 

It's about time we get some Forsaken casting also for the tv-series (imo the first ought to be Ishamael as Ba'alzamon ref. Rand's dreams), hope we will see some in the coming months.

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18 hours ago, Elessar said:

I do hope they keep the 13 Forsaken as in the books and canon and in accordance with Robert Jordan's vision.  It will also make for interesting and dark intrigue on screen. There will be more than enough (too many some of us believe) changes elsewhere in the tv-adaptation, and if they start merging Forsaken characters or dropping several of them, individual storylines will be affected which will affect the story as a whole. 13 is also a special number in The Wheel of Time as we all (incl. Rafe) know, and should not be tampered with.

 

If it's not possible practically to 'act out' 13 different characters in the tv-series, I hope they will at least let them all 'exist' in that universe (just that we don't see some of them on screen, but we know from dialogue that they are about and plotting).

 

This.

 

Changing the number of Forsaken is like changing the number of Nazgul in LOTR.

 

Combining the Forsaken into fewer roles is like:

- combining Athena and Aphrodite, or Apollo and Hermes in Clash of the Titans (either version)

- combining Morgoth and Sauron into one villain to 'make it easier on the audience (lol)'

- combining Mandos and Tulkas as one Ainur in The Silmarillion just ... because.

 

As in, please don't do it.

 

You don't do things like that to what is trying to bill itself as 'historical'. WoT (the books) tries and largely succeeds in feeling like the history of a real world, and you just don't do this sort of thing if it were. The reason why Forward and Back, and all the other historical depth works is precisely because it positions itself as a true history of somewhere (whether 'somewhere' ends up being our literal Earth's past or future or not).

 

You don't have to develop every one of them in the story line of the TV series.

 

Even though the LOTR books didn't name all 9 Nazgul, they still showed all 9 in the movies ... and WoT most certainly makes it clear that all 13 Forsaken have names, personalities, tics and grudges and such well beyond the relative ambiguity that LOTR imparted to most of the Nazgul.

 

Does every Greek god or Ainur get fleshed out as to who and what they are like? Of course not, but they 'exist' and their names are important to preserve for what they imply to all of us who know and love the book stories, even when some of them are never shown or are merely in the background without explanation in a few well-chosen scenes. Likewise, in the WoT universe canon, they are all famous names in WoT myth and it turns out, WoT reality.

 

LOTR could have shown fewer Nazgul than 9 of course, but they didn't. Something like that is just central to the actual story told by the books. It is needless to change that number.

 

However, the TV series can and probably will change how much you see or know about those 13. Some may never even be on-screen, left out to keep a bit of the mythos aspect intact (and sure, also for budgetary/slimming the script reasons). But there are still 13 with those famous names, and that special number 13 also winds its way into many other aspects as readers know. As much as those names and that number are wound into the overall story line, it is a fairly constant slap and reminder of 'Why did they change THAT' throughout the series.

 

They should all keep their normal names, and to whatever degree they are present in the TV story line, their behavioral profile aspects established. For example, if Graendal shows up on TV, she better be like ... Graendal. When writers combine prolific characters esp mythos villains, what you definitely do not want is for all of the story fans to be left shaking their collective heads more than paying attention to the scene on screen.

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Thing is, unlike the Nazgul, who had purposes some of the Forsaken are just there to die accomplish nothing

Balthamel is there to get killed by Someshta and accomplish nothing more the second time

Belal is there to get balefired by Moraine and fuel fan theories until AMOL

Demandred needs to be Taim because he was apparently supposed to

Point is you can't include everything everyone wants which means cutting easy stuff. I could see an argument for keeping Be'lal as it shows Moraine being badass but Balth serves no purpose, in either incarnation.

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Posted (edited)
On 10/3/2020 at 11:12 AM, Elessar said:

I do hope they keep the 13 Forsaken as in the books and canon and in accordance with Robert Jordan's vision.  It will also make for interesting and dark intrigue on screen. There will be more than enough (too many some of us believe) changes elsewhere in the tv-adaptation, and if they start merging Forsaken characters or dropping several of them, individual storylines will be affected which will affect the story as a whole. 13 is also a special number in The Wheel of Time as we all (incl. Rafe) know, and should not be tampered with.

 

If it's not possible practically to 'act out' 13 different characters in the tv-series, I hope they will at least let them all 'exist' in that universe (just that we don't see some of them on screen, but we know from dialogue that they are about and plotting).

 

It's about time we get some Forsaken casting also for the tv-series (imo the first ought to be Ishamael as Ba'alzamon ref. Rand's dreams), hope we will see some in the coming months.

Actually instead of talking about cutting the number of Forsaken we should talk about cutting the number of major named Antagonist, there is several dozen of them, keep your 13 Forsaken but combine several of the Black Ajah into the Forsaken. 

 

Edited by Harldin

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Imagine settling in for that first episode, immersing yourself in the vision Rafe et al. have crafted and then hearing tell of the seven Forsaken ... or whatever other number ... screeching halt for book fans' willing suspension of disbelief.

 

As has been mentioned already, the viewers (bookies and newbies) won't need a full dissertation on each, just a cogent outline that adheres to the fundamental persona.  Bel'al and Agelmar need no more development than Moiraine and Loial provide along the journey.  Sammael also need not appear on screen until the final confrontation.  More individuality than Nazgul #3, but no "PoV" development required.  The threat and fear for the audience can be fully anchored in the protagonists' scenes.

 

Reincarnation is a different question entirely for me but maybe that's a conversation for a different thread.

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On 10/4/2020 at 4:40 AM, Fano'Lan Redux said:

Imagine settling in for that first episode, immersing yourself in the vision Rafe et al. have crafted and then hearing tell of the seven Forsaken ... or whatever other number ... screeching halt for book fans' willing suspension of disbelief.

 

As has been mentioned already, the viewers (bookies and newbies) won't need a full dissertation on each, just a cogent outline that adheres to the fundamental persona.  Bel'al and Agelmar need no more development than Moiraine and Loial provide along the journey.  Sammael also need not appear on screen until the final confrontation.  More individuality than Nazgul #3, but no "PoV" development required.  The threat and fear for the audience can be fully anchored in the protagonists' scenes.

 

Reincarnation is a different question entirely for me but maybe that's a conversation for a different thread.

 

I get your point. But what if you simply never mention the number at all? You don't need to change the lore entirely to simply write around it. 

 

This is a good example of the mammoth task of adapting this series. Jordan's biggest strength, by far, was his worldbuilding. But you simply can't transmit all of the lore from the books. The same goes for the wonderful, complex political and religious themes. 

 

I get the importance of 13 Forsaken to the overall story, the themes he was commenting on, all of it. But there are just too many of them and they are too all over the place (with reincarnations, behind the scenes maneuvering, secret meetings) to put on the screen. They're going to have to do some tinkering, otherwise I think the show will end up being a mess.

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Definitely would limit the DO reincarnation shenanigans, maybe thrice but not more.  If that requires an alternate method of elimination for some of the Forsaken, or making it a more precious reward and thus infrequently granted - either route works.

 

Ishy, I would.  Ar and Os -gar, maybe I would for the gender bender aspect.  Do we even need the DO do-overs at all to craft a great TV series?

 

///

 

Sure, they could include some of the Forsaken meetings and even allow Rahvin's exploits some individual development vis a vis Morgase, but every Forsaken can be portrayed in main character scenes almost exclusively.  3-4 primary antagonists for every 2 seasons with the biggies running through multiple seasons - Ishy, Lanfear (yes, she is the hottest, it's not a question), Dem and Sem.

 

There are efficient methods for creating the canonical villainy and then dispatching them with a bit more extreme prejudice along the way.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, mistborn82 said:

To show that he's special, I think need Ishamael reincarnated as Moridin but he's the only one.

 

Yes. I should have made that explicit. Moridin is a special case.

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On 10/9/2020 at 11:34 AM, Elder_Haman said:

 

Yes. I should have made that explicit. Moridin is a special case.

 

Yes indeed and also a perfect vehicle to carry the red shirt Forsaken.

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On 10/3/2020 at 12:55 PM, redgiant said:

 

This.

 

Changing the number of Forsaken is like changing the number of Nazgul in LOTR.

 

Combining the Forsaken into fewer roles is like:

- combining Athena and Aphrodite, or Apollo and Hermes in Clash of the Titans (either version)

- combining Morgoth and Sauron into one villain to 'make it easier on the audience (lol)'

- combining Mandos and Tulkas as one Ainur in The Silmarillion just ... because.

 

As in, please don't do it.

 

You don't do things like that to what is trying to bill itself as 'historical'. WoT (the books) tries and largely succeeds in feeling like the history of a real world, and you just don't do this sort of thing if it were. The reason why Forward and Back, and all the other historical depth works is precisely because it positions itself as a true history of somewhere (whether 'somewhere' ends up being our literal Earth's past or future or not).

 

You don't have to develop every one of them in the story line of the TV series.

 

Even though the LOTR books didn't name all 9 Nazgul, they still showed all 9 in the movies ... and WoT most certainly makes it clear that all 13 Forsaken have names, personalities, tics and grudges and such well beyond the relative ambiguity that LOTR imparted to most of the Nazgul.

 

Does every Greek god or Ainur get fleshed out as to who and what they are like? Of course not, but they 'exist' and their names are important to preserve for what they imply to all of us who know and love the book stories, even when some of them are never shown or are merely in the background without explanation in a few well-chosen scenes. Likewise, in the WoT universe canon, they are all famous names in WoT myth and it turns out, WoT reality.

 

LOTR could have shown fewer Nazgul than 9 of course, but they didn't. Something like that is just central to the actual story told by the books. It is needless to change that number.

 

However, the TV series can and probably will change how much you see or know about those 13. Some may never even be on-screen, left out to keep a bit of the mythos aspect intact (and sure, also for budgetary/slimming the script reasons). But there are still 13 with those famous names, and that special number 13 also winds its way into many other aspects as readers know. As much as those names and that number are wound into the overall story line, it is a fairly constant slap and reminder of 'Why did they change THAT' throughout the series.

 

They should all keep their normal names, and to whatever degree they are present in the TV story line, their behavioral profile aspects established. For example, if Graendal shows up on TV, she better be like ... Graendal. When writers combine prolific characters esp mythos villains, what you definitely do not want is for all of the story fans to be left shaking their collective heads more than paying attention to the scene on screen.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Specifically the last part about Graendal. She and Moghedian have such distinctive personalities, and the surrounding hype further establishes their differences in tactics, style, and ambitions. I greatly fear that combining them would most certainly not result in the best of both, but more likely a confusing jumble of traits and a very mediocre watered-down villain. To omit screen time of characters due to understandable budget constraints is forgivable. To rewrite iconic villains of the series into half-baked frankensteins of their former glory is NOT. 

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On 10/9/2020 at 10:21 AM, mistborn82 said:

To show that he's special, I think need Ishamael reincarnated as Moridin but he's the only one.

 

I wonder about this... On the one hand, if the Dark One is just bringing back every other Forsaken who gets 'killed', is there a legitimate narrative pitfall that this will numb the horror/awe/potency of each resurrection for viewers? And yet, if the Dark One only brings back Ishamael/Moridin, then how much are we really going to fear the Dark One? Isn't he the Lord of the Grave, after all? Why would his power to resurrect be limited to just one of his minions? (I suppose the writers could argue that, since the Dark One is *partially* sealed, he can only bring one person back to life... but still, why? And which character would know this and explain this to the viewers? Is the 'hole' in the seal only one man-width wide? I mean, really, how do you clarify this in a metaphysical sense without resorting to vague hand-wavium? Have Harad Fel telling Rand, "Ah, yes, in my studies I have determined that the Lord of the Grave can only bring back one dude at a time, because, you see, ahem, well... reasons.")

 

When I read these books the first time as a teenager, I remember counting off every Forsaken that Rand killed, keeping score... (Cool, he killed another one, and another one... now there are only 9 left... now there are only 8 left... etc...) And it felt like Rand was slowly making progress in the overall battle of Good vs. Evil. And I felt comfortable with my little, mental list, and all was right with the world.

 

Then, when it started to become clear midway through the series (with Moridin, Osan'gar, Aran'gar, Cyndane... am I forgetting anyone?) that every Forsaken that got killed was just brought back to life, I gave up keeping count, because it seemed like Rand was overmatched. A hopelessness set in. How can you possibly win the battle, let alone the war, if your enemies can never really be killed? Looking back, I find this to be a highly effective way to create narrative tension. I mean, we all know (and when we first read the series, we knew) that Rand would *probably* win in the end... but when the Dark One starts bringing everybody back to life, your brain scrambles to guess/imagine *how* Rand can possibly outwit/outmuscle/outfight the Dark One.

 

I do not think this lowers the stakes at all. Bringing good guys back to life would lower the stakes; but, bringing bad guys back only creates more obstacles for our heroes, which I think heightens the tension, and keeps readers/viewers guessing how our protagonists can possibly defeat Death itself.

 

Moreover, if the Dark One can only bring back 1 person, then Rand's continual slaying of successive Forsaken really does become a 1-by-1 checklist to victory. Simply slay enough of the Forsaken, one at a time, and then the Last Battle will be a cake-walk. Whereas having them constantly resurrected makes it feel more like Rand is trying to bale water out of a sinking boat... and that growing desperation is such a powerful motivating factor for the self-sacrificial mindset he carries with him going into the Last Battle, finally realizing that even the seemingly-almighty Forsaken are just little pawns on the board, and he needs to go straight for the Dark One himself.

 

Do not tie one of the Dark One's hands behind his back. Make him every bit as powerful/terrifying as he is in the books; make his reach as wide and as far, to the very grave itself and back again, and you will set up Rand & Co. for a truly memorable heroic journey.

 

(As far as figuring allotments of screen time for 13 Forsaken plus their reincarnated selves, that is another story... but I do think it can be done. Just don't put the spotlight on them all. Allow some to work largely in the shadows--they might end up being even scarier that way.)

 

 

 

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There is deep symbolism, or at least parallels to historical symbolism, that Jordan took great pains to include in these books, though he was often very subtle about it.  The numbers (and characteristics) of Forsaken, the number (and characteristics) of Rand's loves, the number of ta'veren operating through the stories, the number of Trolloc bands, the number of Darkhounds packs, the number of ages of the wheel, and many more, all have connections to the legends and numerology of our own histories.  The 13 Forsaken specifically have ties to the 13 vices that Jesus warns of in Mark, chapter 7, verses 21-22.  

 

The Forsaken that have little page-time, or who contribute nothing to the story itself but to die, don't need to be cut or combined, as that would destroy the underlying symbolism Jordan wanted to include, and worked hard to do so.  Rather, that symbolism needs to be more pronounced or explicit in the TV show.  

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11 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

There is deep symbolism, or at least parallels to historical symbolism, that Jordan took great pains to include in these books, though he was often very subtle about it.  The numbers (and characteristics) of Forsaken, the number (and characteristics) of Rand's loves, the number of ta'veren operating through the stories, the number of Trolloc bands, the number of Darkhounds packs, the number of ages of the wheel, and many more, all have connections to the legends and numerology of our own histories.  The 13 Forsaken specifically have ties to the 13 vices that Jesus warns of in Mark, chapter 7, verses 21-22.  

 

No doubt. 

Jordan's world-building and his ability to weave in religious and socio-political themes that transcend his world and remain relevant in ours is second to none save Tolkien. Wheel of Time truly is a masterpiece.

 

But you can't do all of it on tv. It's impossible and the project will collapse under the weight of that burden. A successful tv series makes the world feel real by sprinkling lore in, not by drumming the audience over the head with it.

 

More importantly, a successful tv adaptation is going to have to emphasize the personal over fidelity to the books. Audiences must bond with the characters - love them, hate them, fear for them, triumph with them. Broad audiences won't bond with the plot or the symbolism or the themes.

 

The problem with adapting the Forsaken is that - in the books - Jordan doesn't spend much time with them. They rarely act directly on the main characters, choosing instead to direct events from afar. Their methods and motivations make sense on the page, but will require tons of very boring exposition to bring to the screen.

 

Keeping all thirteen also lowers the stakes. If the main characters are constantly besting the most powerful allies of the Dark One, they cease to have any weight. TV and movie audiences don't like poorly developed, impersonal bad guys. No one wants a situation where the only people who can tell you the name of the big bad guy that just got defeated are the dedicated fans of the books. (An example: the Sand Snakes from GoT - what were their names? Did their depictions in the HBO series do justice to the source material?)

 

If you really want to do a powerful adaptation, the Forsaken we see on screen must all be fully developed, easily identifiable characters with clear motivations. They need to be frightening antagonists and characters that strike genuine fear in the viewers. You simply can't do that with the source material as written.

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I agree with Elder_Haman's belief that the more personal our connection to/understanding of each Forsaken is, the better the show will be. Few stories benefit from having villains that are unknowable shadows lurking in the darkness. But Redgiant also makes a great point, in that you do not have to (nor should they) fully flesh out each of the 13.

 

I know some of this has already been said, but here is how I look at it. My goal is to try to figure how to make it work with all 13, because I do believe that when you start making little changes here and there (regardless of lost-symbolism, etc.) you end up having to make bigger and bigger changes down the road (like telling lies that keep growing and growing.) So, starting with the Forsaken you absolutely have to keep:

 

Ishamel/Moridin - a no-brainer. But for the first few seasons, his screen-time can be limited to Rand's dream-sequences and some dark, shadowy lurking, positioning him to really step up as Big Baddie #1 in the later seasons. Screen time needed: very little in early seasons.

 

Lanfear - Regardless of what they do with 'Cyndane,' Lanfear stays. (It seems a little silly to me to do the Cyndane thing, since TV audiences will obviously recognize the same actress, whereas book-readers kinda-sorta knew it was Lanfear all along, but you never *really* knew at first.) Anyway, she has limited screen-time until Season 2 at the earliest, and then spends a good amount of time with or around the main characters. Screen time needed: a lot, and well worth it.

 

Asmodean - Agree with Elder_Haman; keep this arc the same. Having Rand capture and learn from one of the Forsaken is too juicy to pass up. Screentime needed: a good amount, but not until Season 2 or 3.

 

To me, those are the three most important story-wise. Moving on, but jumping to those who can stay on the outskirts of the story, soaking up very little (if any) screen time for the first several seasons:

 

Demandred - Keep. I think making this be Taim would be better for TV, even if it is 'telegraphed' a bit much. A dread name, a running mystery... and no additional screen-time needed beyond what Taim already gets. Screen time needed: only what Taim is already allotted.

 

Semirhage - Also keep, largely unseen for most of the series. A scary name, a whispered fear. Possibly see her a few times here and there as a face in certain Seanchan scenes, but keep the reveal of her true identity a complete secret/surprise until Season 5 or 6. Screen time needed: very little.

 

Jumping now to some of the Forsaken who get eliminated early:

 

Aginor & Balthamel - Keep both. They appear at the Eye, two visually-distinct characters, it is a shock to Rand and the TV viewers ("Oh my gosh, we have heard about the Forsaken, but here are TWO of them at once, whatever will Rand do?") and Rand destroys them. My thinking is, if Rand is going to kill one of them, why not just make it two? It is more true to the story, it makes Rand even more of a badass, and it gets us closer to the goal of keeping all 13 Forsaken in tact. The surprise encounter with not one, but two big bad guys at the Eye is simply too juicy to pass up. Screen time needed: very little.

 

Be'lal - Whether we see Moiraine sneak away and kill him or not, keep this the same. Allow Moiraine to keep her secret, midnight mission, which shows us how powerful of an alley she truly is; introduce us to balefire. Requires no character development or screen time for Be'lal other than the showdown itself. Screen time needed: very little.

 

So, we are through 8 of the Forsaken, have kept the story largely intact, and have used up very little screen time overall. Let's keep going!

 

Sammael - Totally keep. Makes conquering the Stone so much more of an accomplishment. Also, paired with Rahvin, shows how insidious the Forsaken are at infiltrating the halls of power. If you cut out or diminish the roles of either Sammael, Rahvin, and/or Semirhage, you change this whole nationwide power dynamic which makes the reader/viewer/Rand feel like everywhere you look, the Forsaken are already there, two steps ahead of you. Plus, Sammael will be killed by the end of Season 2, or mid-season 3 at the latest, I assume, not only adding another notch to Rand's belt, but freeing up valuable screen time for other characters after he is gone. Screen time needed: a decent amount in seasons 2-3, then he is eliminated.

 

Rahvin - I would basically make the same case as I did for Sammael. And if they are even going to pretend to do anything with the Morgase plotline, you need Rahvin. Screen time needed: moderate, depending on how much of the Caemlyn/Morgase makes the cut.

 

That's 10 Forsaken accounted for—we are almost there. And at this point, I think it makes far more sense to go for broke than to combine/condense the 13 down to 11 or 12. These are also the 3 that, for whatever reason, do not stand out as vividly in my memory in terms of arc and how they ultimately met their demise. Also, so far I have 2 women in my list, so we definitely need to even up the balance. Actually, though, I think the remaining three provide a great opportunity to give more screen time to the Forsaken, since everyone above is basically limited to very little screen time or concentrated doses right before they die. If I recall correctly, Graendal and Moghedian stick around for quite a while, scheming and plotting, and do perhaps the best job of illustrating just how different in personality the Forsaken can be. And Mesaana, as a dark force who actually infiltrates the White Tower and runs the Black Ajah, indispensable.

 

Graendal - Keep. Especially in later season, when 6 Forsaken are already dead and 2 more are almost never on screen (Demandred and Semirhage) you need more Forsaken remaining or it will seem like they were never really that great a threat to begin with. Screen time needed: a moderate amount, building in later seasons.

 

Moghedian - Keep, for reasons listed above. Also a wonderful visual  contrast to certain other Forsaken. Screen time needed: a moderate amount, balanced with a certain tendency to stick to the shadows.

 

Mesaana Indispensable. Possibly you could combine her with Alviarin, as Elder_Haman suggested, as long as we still occasionally get to see her in her weird, spectral form with the silver eyes. Arguably, she is on the most important to keep, as the puppetmaster of the Black Ajah. Screen time needed: little, at first, possibly disguised as Alviarin (or another sister.)

 

There we have it! We get to keep all 13, sacrifice almost nothing in terms of story, keep all the mystical symbolism of the 13, and give Rand & Co. a long list of terrifying bad guys to stay up at night worrying about, while still allowing for several big showdowns and deaths to be peppered throughout the seasons. Most importantly, I think there is not nearly as big a burden upon the Great Pie Chart of Screen Time Allotment as might be initially supposed. 

 

Whether dead Forsaken are continually brought back to life is another question... which I argued in favor of on another thread.

 

Finally, if other antagonists (or even ambivalent side-characters) need to be cut or curtailed to make room for the Forsaken (such as the Seanchan, to an extent; the Sea Folk; the gholam; Slayer; Masema,) I would, of course, like to keep them all, but if I had to choose, I would largely favor keeping all 13 Forsaken and making cuts elsewhere, but will have to save those thoughts for another post.

 

Now, I'll just print this up and send it along to Rafe...

 

 

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@BorderlanderI like the list and your reasons, except you forgot about Moghedien basically being Nyneave's nemesis, ripping Birgitte out and getting captured. Though I don't know if they keep the whole Birgitte thing or not.

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