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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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Also, let's make a deal is such a part of Mat, to a certain extent, that it could've come from anywhere. I mean he's more of a gambler, let's make a deal, than a professional lets make a deal.

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Well, we have our new content from WOTonPrime! The Ruby hilted dagger is released. This is clearly footage lifted directly from the show. My impression is that this is a clip from a bonafide trai

42 minutes ago, mistborn82 said:

Also, let's make a deal is such a part of Mat, to a certain extent, that it could've come from anywhere. I mean he's more of a gambler, let's make a deal, than a professional lets make a deal.

Yes! 

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3 hours ago, Thrasymachus said:

I think that what's really bugging me about this deep down is the dagger itself, combined with Tam's sword's lack of crossguards, or Thom's lack of a flute.  That dagger does not look like what's described in the books.  The ruby is supposed to cap the end of the pommel.  The handle is supposed to be wrapped with gold wire, not be a cast, or what looks like to me as gold leaf applied over cheap pewter.  The quillions should curve forward and resemble snake heads.  The blade should be broader and strongly curved; it's a slashing and cutting weapon, not a stabbing or thrusting one.  It's a goddamn chapter icon for goodness sake.  I've seen better ruby-hilted daggers at flea markets.

 

And yeah, it's a minor change.  But it's a minor change that doesn't need to happen.  Nothing hinges on whether the ruby is in the crossguards or capping the hilt.  So why not make it look the way it should?  The same thing with Tam's sword.  Thom's harp changing to a guitar is tolerable because there's a halfway good reason behind it: the actor can play the guitar.  Changing Thom himself to be younger and have a more masculine energy opposite Moiraine is likewise tolerable because there's a purpose behind it.  But robbing Thom of his flute?  What's the point of that?  What's the point of making Tam's sword a generic samurai sword with heron embellishment?  What's the point of making the Shadar Logoth dagger into a cheap dollar-store stilleto?

 

I don't understand the notion that changes "don't need to happen" when it comes to visual details. I'd strongly disagree because on film/TV visual language is more important than it is in books. RJ could describe whatever however he liked it. Much of it would go over fans' heads in the text. Much of it could look jarring and ugly and could negate the visual narration. On film, so much of the story is told through subconscious/conscious visual cues. If you follow any blogs that delve into costumes or props, the way each department works to enhance the narrative is nothing short of incredible. Book details are only ever gonna be followed in broad strokes when it's not absolutely plot relevant.

 

As for the dagger, it doesn't look cheap or ugly to me at all. It's absolutely gorgeous. I love the Persian/Ottoman design which is also reflected in the Jali screen over the window. I get excited by adaptations when they use the visual language of film/TV to take the story farther. Shadar Logoth with eastern aesthetics is something I never imagined, but find rather exciting. It opens up the potential for eastern lore to tie into Mordeth's evil, something the books never really delve deep into. 

 

As for the flute, they just look dorky. I played the flute for years, and I stand by this. More importantly though, making actors play instruments they're not comfortable and natural with sets them up for failure. It never looks right. Instead, letting him focus on the guitar and play the hell out of it will show Thom's brilliance as a performer rather than something the show has to beat down on the audience. 

 

I really don't understand how fans can expect the show to follow RJ's play-by-play outline for props. That's not how adaptations work. When you move into the visual realm, artists and designers will use their knowledge regarding what looks good on TV screens to shape the aesthetics of the show. When it comes to costumes, props, sets, accents and performances, at the end of the day, everything has to adhere to is the visual language that works for the show. The one audience in 2021 will respond to. While RJ enjoyed his details, his tastes and preferences of clothes/props/etc. aren't gonna be fit for the screen in most cases. Certainly not fit for screens of audiences from 2-3 decades after the books. 

 

TLDR every choice the artists behind the scenes make is there to serve the show. There was no way this show was gonna follow RJ's exact instructions ever. That's not what adaptations do. 

Edited by Carebear Sedai
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If the look and feel of that scene is the standard of what we can expect for this series. Then OMG its going to be awesome. 
looks absolutely perfect for Shadar Logoth.

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On 2/19/2021 at 8:38 PM, Thrasymachus said:

I expect that it is.  But the way that it's cut together also gives a certain implication.

 

I think that what's really bugging me about this deep down is the dagger itself, combined with Tam's sword's lack of crossguards, or Thom's lack of a flute.  That dagger does not look like what's described in the books.  The ruby is supposed to cap the end of the pommel.  The handle is supposed to be wrapped with gold wire, not be a cast, or what looks like to me as gold leaf applied over cheap pewter.  The quillions should curve forward and resemble snake heads.  The blade should be broader and strongly curved; it's a slashing and cutting weapon, not a stabbing or thrusting one.  It's a goddamn chapter icon for goodness sake.  I've seen better ruby-hilted daggers at flea markets.

 

And yeah, it's a minor change.  But it's a minor change that doesn't need to happen.  Nothing hinges on whether the ruby is in the crossguards or capping the hilt.  So why not make it look the way it should?  The same thing with Tam's sword.  Thom's harp changing to a guitar is tolerable because there's a halfway good reason behind it: the actor can play the guitar.  Changing Thom himself to be younger and have a more masculine energy opposite Moiraine is likewise tolerable because there's a purpose behind it.  But robbing Thom of his flute?  What's the point of that?  What's the point of making Tam's sword a generic samurai sword with heron embellishment?  What's the point of making the Shadar Logoth dagger into a cheap dollar-store stilleto?

 

Rafe has assured us that they are trying to be aware of when they make things different from the books, and that when they do, they are doing it intentionally and knowingly.  So what's the intention here, with all these minor, pointless changes?  Change for change's sake is rarely good.  And if they can't stay true to the little things that don't really matter, (though I think Thom's flute does matter) it's a lot harder to maintain confidence that they'll stay true to the big things that do.

 

I agree with almost everything in this post (and what you said before in this thread). Changing Mat's story with the dagger (esp how he gets it) changes how we perceive him as a character. It has consequences. I too am concerned that the showrunners will make changes for change's sake and as you say, if they can't stay true to the small detail it's a lot harder to maintain confidence that they'll stay true to the big things that matter. We all know that some changes (not major ones) are necessary in a visual adaptation, but since signs (unfortunately) are that major changes from the books will be made for the tv-show, they ought to at least have reflected canon in props like Tam's sword and Mat's dagger where there is no need for change.

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To each their own, I suppose. But I genuinely do not understand the argument that changing the look of a weapon or other item from the way it is described in the book is some sort of ominous sign. 

 

The heart of these books has nothing to do with the way Jordan describes things. It has to do with the characters: their journeys alongside Rand and the parts they all play leading up to Tarmon Gaidon. Putting the ruby on the hilt of the dagger instead of capping the pommel doesn't make a whit of difference. Slightly changing the way Mat acquires the dagger, likewise makes little difference to his character or the way he pushes the plot forward.

 

I don't know whether the show will be good. I don't know whether it will do justice to the source material. But I do know that if it is bad or fails to live up to its potential, it won't be because Tam's sword doesn't have a heron on the grip. 

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I fully expect there to be big changes for the adaptation.  But the point is to remain true to the spirit of these works.  All these little changes which don't make one whit of difference to the plot indicate a desire to imprint a distinctive style, distinct not just from other entries in the fantasy tv drama genre, but distinct from the already distinctive style of the source material.  This speaks to either a lack of faith in the source, or great deal of hubris in the showrunner.

 

When Peter Jackson adapted the Lord of the Rings, he wasn't trying to give us Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, he was trying to, and succeeded in, giving us Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, adapted for the big screen.  The more of these little teasers that come out, with completely unnecessary differences from the source material, the more it looks like we're not getting Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, adapted for tv viewing.  Instead, we're getting Rafe Judkins' Wheel of Time.  Whether the show still ends up being good or not, as a fan of the books, that's not what I wanted in a TV adaptation.  They've claimed they were being very intentional in their deviations from the books.  So what's the intention behind these pointless, minor aesthetic changes, if not to make it different from the source merely for the sake of being different from the source?

 

Look, I'm not opposed to changes that have to be made to adapt the story into something watchable on TV.  I'm not opposed to changing Thom's harp into a guitar.  Nor adding elements of New Spring, putting more focus on Moiraine or ginning up Logain's story to bring Aes Sedai politicking into viewer's awareness earlier than it becomes a problem in the books.  I fully accept that subplots will have to be dropped, events and characters will have to be consolidated, their development accelerated, or even that brand new events and characters will have to be added in to be able to convey ideas that were conveyed via internal monologue in the books.  But it's the "pointless" little changes that bug me.  Because they don't have to happen.  And because it signals that they aren't being true to the core of the books.  They're taking their interpretation, and putting their own "artistic" stamp on it, rather than trying to be the careful curators of Jordan's legacy that they claim they are being.

Edited by Thrasymachus
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5 hours ago, Elder_Haman said:

To each their own, I suppose. But I genuinely do not understand the argument that changing the look of a weapon or other item from the way it is described in the book is some sort of ominous sign. 

 

The heart of these books has nothing to do with the way Jordan describes things. It has to do with the characters: their journeys alongside Rand and the parts they all play leading up to Tarmon Gaidon. Putting the ruby on the hilt of the dagger instead of capping the pommel doesn't make a whit of difference. Slightly changing the way Mat acquires the dagger, likewise makes little difference to his character or the way he pushes the plot forward.

 

I don't know whether the show will be good. I don't know whether it will do justice to the source material. But I do know that if it is bad or fails to live up to its potential, it won't be because Tam's sword doesn't have a heron on the grip. 

I like and agree with this post. It seems people are getting worked up about pretty small things (which is their right), but I’ll be happy if they get the characters right (or mostly right) and get the feel of the books right and just make the whole world seem very REAL. 

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2 hours ago, Thrasymachus said:

I fully expect there to be big changes for the adaptation.  But the point is to remain true to the spirit of these works.  All these little changes which don't make one whit of difference to the plot indicate a desire to imprint a distinctive style, distinct not just from other entries in the fantasy tv drama genre, but distinct from the already distinctive style of the source material.  This speaks to either a lack of faith in the source, or great deal of hubris in the showrunner.

 

When Peter Jackson adapted the Lord of the Rings, he wasn't trying to give us Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, he was trying to, and succeeded in, giving us Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, adapted for the big screen.  The more of these little teasers that come out, with completely unnecessary differences from the source material, the more it looks like we're not getting Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, adapted for tv viewing.  Instead, we're getting Rafe Judkins' Wheel of Time.  Whether the show still ends up being good or not, as a fan of the books, that's not what I wanted in a TV adaptation.  They've claimed they were being very intentional in their deviations from the books.  So what's the intention behind these pointless, minor aesthetic changes, if not to make it different from the source merely for the sake of being different from the source?

 

Look, I'm not opposed to changes that have to be made to adapt the story into something watchable on TV.  I'm not opposed to changing Thom's harp into a guitar.  Nor adding elements of New Spring, putting more focus on Moiraine or ginning up Logain's story to bring Aes Sedai politicking into viewer's awareness earlier than it becomes a problem in the books.  I fully accept that subplots will have to be dropped, events and characters will have to be consolidated, their development accelerated, or even that brand new events and characters will have to be added in to be able to convey ideas that were conveyed via internal monologue in the books.  But it's the "pointless" little changes that bug me.  Because they don't have to happen.  And because it signals that they aren't being true to the core of the books.  They're taking their interpretation, and putting their own "artistic" stamp on it, rather than trying to be the careful curators of Jordan's legacy that they claim they are being.

Let’s not forget that Harriet McDougal and Superfan Sarah Nakamura are consulting on the show, as is Brandon Sanderson.  Rafe seems to be a superfan as well. Will it please everyone? No. Are they trying to be true to the soul of the story? Yes. Am I thrilled with Rafes previous works? They don’t really fit the tone I’m hoping for from an epic, but they’ve been different genres so we’ll see. 
 

I see where you’re coming from, but I just do not care where the ruby is on the hilt. It does seem almost certain they change how Mat gets the dagger, so that will be interesting to see if that change is effective and worthwhile...

 

now can we get a release date already!? (I know, we likely won’t get a date until summer or fall). 

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2 hours ago, Thrasymachus said:

 But it's the "pointless" little changes that bug me.  Because they don't have to happen.  And because it signals that they aren't being true to the core of the books.  They're taking their interpretation, and putting their own "artistic" stamp on it, rather than trying to be the careful curators of Jordan's legacy that they claim they are being.

They may seem pointless to you and I as readers. It’s understandable to think, “RJ described this thing, why change it?” But that ignores the thousands of hours the design team puts into crafting the way the show looks and feels. 
 

Giant piles of glittering treasure sounds good on paper. But it likely doesn’t fit the artistic design of Shadar Logoth. 
 

A dagger that looks like the chapter art may be extremely impractical as a prop or not look right with the rest of the aesthetics. 
 

When we watch, the world needs to feel like a real place. To do that, all the individual pieces need to look as if they belong in that world. Redesigning  props and costumes is part and parcel of that. 

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Aren't the hilt and pommel basically the same thing which I think is the point. The show is targeted at readers and non-readers alike and of the reader pool, only a tiny fraction, me not included, are aware enough to know the ins and outs of hand weapons.

As for Mat acquiring the dagger, previews are designed to generate excitement, not necessarily bear true and faithful allegiance to the script. Given that one of the characters said lets make a deal over a scene of a decorative weapon, they succeded.

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16 hours ago, Thrasymachus said:

The more of these little teasers that come out, with completely unnecessary differences from the source material, the more it looks like we're not getting Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, adapted for tv viewing.  Instead, we're getting Rafe Judkins' Wheel of Time. 

 

If you thought otherwise than you have some misconceptions regarding what adaptations are supposed to be. TV adaptations are very much supposed to be the vision of the showrunner. Movie adaptations are the vision of the director/scriptwriter. This show will definitely be Rafe Judkin's Wheel of Time, that's the job.

 

It's funny to see Peter Jackson get praised 20 years later. Meanwhile LotR fans were scandalized by choices he made. Some of them even indicating he didn't understand Tolkien's work at all... But at the end of the day, those movies are Peter Jackson's vision. And lucky thing, he (like Rafe) is a huge fan boy and massively creative (also hopefully like Rafe). The funny thing is, those awful Hobbit movies would have a chance to be brilliant if given over to Del Toro and let him stamp his visual take onto them instead of Peter's bored one. 

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The difference between LOTR books and movies are quite a few, some large but now I see why those changes were made. I'll always hold Bombadil against him even though I understand. Same with WOT where they'll be plenty of changes which hopefully make it better.

If Marvel fans are happy with Nick Fury's portrayal in the MCU, I think WOT fans can get used rubies being in the wrong place.

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1 hour ago, Carebear Sedai said:

It's funny to see Peter Jackson get praised 20 years later. Meanwhile LotR fans were scandalized by choices he made. Some of them even indicating he didn't understand Tolkien's work at all... But at the end of the day, those movies are Peter Jackson's vision. And lucky thing, he (like Rafe) is a huge fan boy and massively creative (also hopefully like Rafe). The funny thing is, those awful Hobbit movies would have a chance to be brilliant if given over to Del Toro and let him stamp his visual take onto them instead of Peter's bored one. 

I'll note that the Peter Jackson version of Glamdring is not visually identical to the one described by Tolkien. 

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drawing conclusions from a few different looks and a dialogue line that may or may not be in contect is reading too much into it. there are certainly a hundred different possibilities to explain things satisfactorily.

then again, we don't have much hard facts right now, so rampant speculations, taking small details and reading too much into it, is all we have.

 

and that said, i admit i am mildly worried about those visual changes. not because they are important, or because they necessarily mean anything - they probably don't.

but why didn't they use the exhisting concept art? especially if the aforementioned art was already approved by Robert Jordan himself? I really can't figure it out. they spent a sizeable chunk of money to get people to design the sword and the dagger, when there were perfectly good replicas available, and I can't figure out any reason for it.

thinking about it, i'm more puzzled that worried. even if they actually wanted to pull the show in a completely different direction, there would still be no reason i can see to not use preexhisting official replicas

 

the question then is, they are spending a fair chink of money into designing those items. what is the advantage over using the exhisting ones? and "fits better the imagery" seems a weak one, i can't see how the slight differences on the sword would even be noticed, much less would make an actual impact on show sales

Edited by king of nowhere
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9 minutes ago, king of nowhere said:

the question then is, they are spending a fair chink of money into designing those items. what is the advantage over using the exhisting ones? and "fits better the imagery" seems a weak one, i can't see how the slight differences on the sword would even be noticed, much less would make an actual impact on show sales

They're hiring people they think are great at their jobs. And then they're letting them do their jobs. You don't hire a top shelf art director and then tell him that he has to use someone else's designs. That's not going to get you the kind of people you want to do the very important job of art design.

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6 hours ago, Elder_Haman said:

They're hiring people they think are great at their jobs. And then they're letting them do their jobs. You don't hire a top shelf art director and then tell him that he has to use someone else's designs. That's not going to get you the kind of people you want to do the very important job of art design.

huh. it makes sense.

 

and by that i mean, i am a STEM guy and to me the idea of remaking from scratch something that someone else already got right is absolutely bonkers, but it's the kind of weird stuff i've come to expect from art guys. i'm sure it must make sense to them 🤔

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How absolutely epic and iconic a work WOT is to stir up this kind of debate?!  I get it man, these kinds of changes gets me anxious because the story and characters are important to me and I so want it done right and pay the proper respect to the source material.  Right now, the only way I see it can be done right is exactly how the books describes it because it is the only way I have seen it done and can not imagine it any other way.  Which is why I don't work in TV.  Along with having 0 talent for it 😂.

 

We all knew they were not going to be able to do an exact reproduction and these little, 'unnecessary' changes puts me in fear of what big 'necessary' changes they will make.  Like, if they wanted to tell a different story then just do so, and call it a new age, with new characters right?  Are these little 'teasers' showing these differences setting us up for the big change reveals?  I know I have been burned before (*cough* Shannara *cough*).

 

Obviously they have a vision of how to tell the story we all love in a new way using a new medium.  Also obvious to me is that it is being done by a group of very talented people doing what they do best.  So. . . I will give it a chance, knowing I'll always have the books to go back to.

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I would like for at least one of these prop, set or character teaser reveals to actually look like what fans of the #1 American fantasy series expect.  At this point, I'm half expecting them to give Loial a giant underbite and oversized lower canines that jut out over his upper lip like some kind of WoW orc.  Thus far, I've seen a lot of words written about how they're "staying true to the core" and "making sure they know when they're deviating from the books," but very little that demonstrates that they're actually doing so.  I'm not one to squee over any little tidbit that gets dropped, nor am I going to elevate the judgement of some no-name prop designer with an "artistic" hair up her butt over Jordan's when it comes to Jordan's story.  The little things matter, especially when they "don't matter." Staying true to the little things when they "don't matter" is how one shows respect.

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47 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

I would like for at least one of these prop, set or character teaser reveals to actually look like what fans of the #1 American fantasy series expect.  At this point, I'm half expecting them to give Loial a giant underbite and oversized lower canines that jut out over his upper lip like some kind of WoW orc.  Thus far, I've seen a lot of words written about how they're "staying true to the core" and "making sure they know when they're deviating from the books," but very little that demonstrates that they're actually doing so.  I'm not one to squee over any little tidbit that gets dropped, nor am I going to elevate the judgement of some no-name prop designer with an "artistic" hair up her butt over Jordan's when it comes to Jordan's story.  The little things matter, especially when they "don't matter." Staying true to the little things when they "don't matter" is how one shows respect.

Did the changes to LotR bother you to the same degree?

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I was never as much a fan of the Lord of the Rings to begin with, I find Tolkien to be among the master world-builders, but his prose is hard to read, his plotting is ponderous and often lacks any sense of urgency or crisis and his characters are too often unrelatable and lack any development in the story itself.  But I do sympathize with those who are, who take issue with unnecessary cosmetic changes made to the film.  However, I find very little changes unnecessary in the films.  Almost all of them are done to improve Tolkien's terrible storytelling and make things fit within the timeframe of a movie.

 

And I feel like there's a great deal of obstinate missing the point, in order to deny any credibility to those who do not possess unshakeable faith in those responsible for this adaptation.  Rafe Judkins is not some master auteur of TV storytelling.  His prior work is not inspiring, it's adequate at best.  There's a lot of self-proclaimed fans of WoT in the entertainment industry.  One of them gave us Winter Dragon.  And that guy had actually won awards for his work.

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If you'd care to read through my post history here, and elsewhere, you'd know how far off-base your suspicions are.

 

Though I suppose to be fair to you, you may not be able to.  Much of my comments on the topic have been on threads that have been removed.

 

Suffice to say that I think casting is one of those things that I think they're doing right.

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34 minutes ago, mistborn82 said:

@ThrasymachusYou have some issues there and I have a feeling they have very little to with some props that don't look a certain way and more with characters not looking the 'right' way.

 

That is a low blow, shame on you. Thrasymachus has consistently defended the casting on these forums, going back months. You're basically trying to call somebody a racist because you don't like their opinion on an unrelated topic. Get your facts straight before you throw stones.

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