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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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On a related note, I was thinking about the dagger last night while my wife was talking about something, and I wondered if maybe they put the ruby above the handle-grip so that Mat can hold the dagger normally and gaze into the ruby as he slowly loses his mind. That might make for good visual storytelling. Yes, I realize he could just hold the dagger upside-down, but then you wouldn't see the blade as well. Just a thought.

 

I do think Rafe needs to be very, very careful with these 'little changes,' because making changes from the canon is like telling a little white lie. And we all know what happens when you tell a lie that you can't go back on—it grows and grows and begets more lies and ultimately the whole charade collapses in on itself. Example: Thom's guitar. Okay, so he plays a dingy little guitar at a tavern in Emond's field (possibly) and it looks fine, it fits, it matches the atmosphere, okay, no big deal. (Although I would argue it takes a little of the 'magic' out of the gleeman coming to town, but whatever.) But in later seasons,  when it is revealed Thom has been playing in Royal Courts for decades and used to be a famous bard, playing for kings and queens, are they going to have him playing a guitar for lords and ladies in palace courts? That seems like less of a fit. (Then again, I don't remember him actually doing so in the context of the story, but my point remains.) They would either have to conjure him a harp and use some TV-magic to make it look like the actor really knows how to play it, or avoid such a scene altogether with another 'lie.' (That may not be the greatest example, but I think it demonstrates the point—you start unraveling the threads of a tapestry built by a master weaver, and before you know it, you're tying yourself in knots.)

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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

1 hour ago, Thrasymachus said:

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.

I think the feelings about people obstinately missing the point sort of run both ways. The changes we've seen so far are very minor. Sometimes minor changes make no difference to the success of the film franchise (LotR, Harry Potter). Sometimes they presage disaster (Shanarra). Sometimes they lead to an okay, not great series (Magicians, Winx) sometimes they end up being ground breaking (GoT). 

 

This isn't just Rafe Judkins. It's Harriet. It's Brandon Sanderson. There are plenty of people who have a vested interest in preserving Jordan's legacy who are putting weight behind the show. That makes me feel like we should collectively relax a little bit until we see the finished product.  

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The last thing I saw out of Brandon is that he had only read up to the sixth episode's script.  Harriet has been completely silent.  And given the debacle that followed Winter Dragon, I expect her lawyers have advised her that when it comes to rights holders doing what they're technically allowed to do, it's better to say nothing if one can't say anything nice.  I have no reason to believe either is all that involved, nor that their feedback is listened to very much.  I'm not going to speculate about who has whatever motives or what's going on behind the scenes.  But these "teasers" they are giving us are not inspiring confidence in me.  I'm beginning to expect that this will end up the same way every other adaptation of the WoT into other media has.  Spurned by most fans for being a poor adaptation, and not good enough on its own to draw and keep its own audience.

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I agree with Thrasy on the idea that having Sanderson and Harriet 'involved' really doesn't add up to a hill o' beans (my words, not his.) Sanderson read 6 scripts 6 months ago; maybe he gave some feedback; maybe the writers took it to heart, maybe they didn't. Big whoop. I really don't think his input can possibly be significant, compared to the thousands of man-hours adding up from every other writer, actor, director, designer, producer, and, at the top of the pyramid, Rafe himself, stitching it all together. Even if Sanderson wanted to, was invited to, or had the time to assert more influence over the project, I don't know if he could. This is the Rafe show, at this point.

And Harriet—we haven't heard a peep, as far as I know. I doubt (although it is only my hunch, no evidence) that she is out on location giving advice to actors, or in the mixing room giving tips to the editors, or in the writers' room helping break future episodes/seasons. I'm sure they take her calls, maybe even consult with her here and there, but my gut-feeling is that saying 'Harriet is involved' is more of a feel-good PR headline for Amazon to appease hardcore fans than anything else. (Admittedly, I do not know much about Harriet, or whether her silence can be construed as positive, negative, or neutral.)

At the end of the day, this show will be Rafe's vision—he will get the praise if it succeeds or take the blame if it fails. And just because someone says they are going to 'stick to the spirit' of the books, as Rafe says, does not mean they really get what that spirit is in the first place, or that their understanding of it matches yours, or mine, or anyone else's, or even that they are a talented enough showrunner to produce a final product that even matches their own vision, regardless how much money Amazon throws at it.

And let's not forget that infamous 'gird your loins' comment. That still does not sit well with me.

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Very surprised by all the negativity. Nothing I’ve seen so far worries me in the slightest. And given that both Harriet and Brandon have producer credit, I have to think that they have some degree of influence. 
 

 

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I have been, up to this point, willing to give them the benefit of a doubt.  I haven't been displeased by very much up until this latest round of teasers.  I noticed Tam's sword hilt being different, but it was the first "significant" difference we've seen regarding aesthetic choices, I let it go.  Thom's lack of flute bothers me more.  And this dagger is simply not the Shadar Logoth dagger.  This camel's back isn't broken yet, but the straws are piling up.  Rafe Judkins isn't some powerhouse of TV production such that I'm willing to give him absolute trust.  And the Wheel of Time has a long history of having it's various adaptations, whether in rpgs, video games, comic books, or the TV pilot, just be absolute crap.

 

Believe me, I want this show to be good.  If it can't be a faithful adaptation then I would like for it to be good in its own right.  But none of these most recent releases are inspiring me to think that it will be either a faithful adaptation, or more than the CW-style teen-tv pablum Judkins has a history of making.

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44 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

Believe me, I want this show to be good.  If it can't be a faithful adaptation then I would like for it to be good in its own right.  But none of these most recent releases are inspiring me to think that it will be either a faithful adaptation, or more than the CW-style teen-tv pablum Judkins has a history of making.

I can totally understand the concern that Rafe will make WoT into some sort of fantasy “Arrowverse”. Those concerns make sense to me based on Rafe’s prior work and some of his comments, like the “gird your loins” one @Borderlandermentioned. 
 

I guess the disconnect is how the redesign of a prop speaks to that in any way. I just fail to see any connection between those two things.
 

There’s just no evidence supporting the proposition that small design changes invariably lead to an inferior product. 

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7 hours ago, Elder_Haman said:

Very surprised by all the negativity. Nothing I’ve seen so far worries me in the slightest. And given that both Harriet and Brandon have producer credit, I have to think that they have some degree of influence. 
 

 

 

Cheers to that EH. For me, the released material has only escalated my enjoyment of this extended WoT on Prime foreplay and encouraged my belief in the series.  For lack of a better phrase, "the tone" of this latest clip works both independently and as a visual manifestation of the books.

 

Some of the complaints levied against what we've seen from the Amazon team require a great deal of speculative interpretation based on very small bits of data.  For example, I've seen folks bemoan the lack of piles of treasure in the Shadar Logoth material even though we've only seen seconds worth of a stairwell shot. Literally.  The close up of the hands could be anywhere and perhaps not even Matt (Insert shrug emoji here).

 

The dagger, as presented, impresses me. It's beautiful and dangerous and exudes seduction. How could the scoundrel Matt possibly resist?

 

Whether or not the dagger works for the small screen depiction of his growing attachment to the weapon (as mentioned earlier in this thread) is far more significant a consideration than adherence to the physical description in the text as I see it.

 

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Be honest.  If you came across this dagger in any other context, if you didn't know anything about the TV show at all and found this thing in, say, a pawn shop or a costume shop or something, would "that's a good Shadar Logoth dagger," really be the first thing that popped into your head?  If you were looking to do a Mat or Fain cosplay, say, last Halloween, and you found a dagger that looked like that, would that really be your first choice, or would you keep looking, and only take that thing if it were the only thing you could find?

 

I'm not arguing that it's not "pretty" or "seductive" or "dangerous" or whatever other subjective quality people want to claim it has.  But it's not the Shadar Logoth dagger.

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I'll grant that point.

I'll also tell you that the moment the show airs, that dagger will become the Shadar Logoth dagger in people's collective imagination. It will become canon.

 

The same way we recognize this:

longclaw_game-of-thrones_silo.png

 

as Longclaw despite the fact that the blade isn't "dark with ripples" like Martin describes it in the books.

 

 

Edited by Elder_Haman
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That doesn't make it better.  Indeed, it undermines the solace of those book fans who aren't going to like the TV adaptation, that at least they'll still have the books.  Book fans looking for official replicas for their own cosplays are going to be pretty darn disappointed when the only thing they can find anymore is that glorified letter-opener.  Indeed, the fact that that thing is going to become the "official" Shadar Logoth dagger is pushing me towards hoping this adaptation does turn out to be utter trash and ends up cancelled before the second season just so that dollar-store costume reject doesn't end up the "official" anything.  And I don't want to hope that.

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14 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

That doesn't make it better.  Indeed, it undermines the solace of those book fans who aren't going to like the TV adaptation, that at least they'll still have the books.  Book fans looking for official replicas for their own cosplays are going to be pretty darn disappointed when the only thing they can find anymore is that glorified letter-opener.  Indeed, the fact that that thing is going to become the "official" Shadar Logoth dagger is pushing me towards hoping this adaptation does turn out to be utter trash and ends up cancelled before the second season just so that dollar-store costume reject doesn't end up the "official" anything.  And I don't want to hope that.

I suspect that if the show is a massive hit, you'll be happy to display that dagger.

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On 2/26/2021 at 10:53 AM, Thrasymachus said:

Be honest.  If you came across this dagger in any other context, if you didn't know anything about the TV show at all and found this thing in, say, a pawn shop or a costume shop or something, would "that's a good Shadar Logoth dagger," really be the first thing that popped into your head?  If you were looking to do a Mat or Fain cosplay, say, last Halloween, and you found a dagger that looked like that, would that really be your first choice, or would you keep looking, and only take that thing if it were the only thing you could find?

 

I'm not arguing that it's not "pretty" or "seductive" or "dangerous" or whatever other subjective quality people want to claim it has.  But it's not the Shadar Logoth dagger.

 

 

Honestly, those scenarios are not something to arise in my journey on this spinning rock and consideration thereof does not impact my impression of the work done by the prop team.  To me, what we have seen works for the small screen depiction.

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I saw the ruby dagger yesterday and found out that the Wheel of Time is getting a big budget tv show... I was blown away. This is so incredibly awesome! It's hard to express how amazing that feels, but I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. I remembered that I had an account here from years and years ago (which apparently has some formatting issues now lol), and I just had to revive it to come show some love ❤️

 

An adaption is never gonna satisfy every fan. I can only imagine how much pressure the artists are under, but it's gonna be amazing to see what they come up with. This dagger and the other small teasers I've seen are oozing love and attentiveness. I hope people give them a chance even if it doesn't line up with their personal vision. There's more than one way to skin a cat :3

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I'm a little late to the conversation but I have to say I'm a little concerned after seeing the trailer today as well. I understand the need for changes but sometimes things need to stay the same as well and we haven't seen much of this.

 

I'll be honest I don't care about the appearance of the dagger at all - its not important. What I am more concerned about is the video of it being found in a case rather than being picked up in a room full of treasure. Coming down a staircase from gloomy Shadar Logoth into a room brimming with gold and treasure is a great image which would come across well on screen.

 

I'm just hoping that the line from Mat is just taken out of context because otherwise it really does change his basic characterization, motive and personality.

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9 hours ago, zacz1987 said:

What I am more concerned about is the video of it being found in a case rather than being picked up in a room full of treasure. Coming down a staircase from gloomy Shadar Logoth into a room brimming with gold and treasure is a great image which would come across well on screen.

 

You want a goofy Aladdin treasure scene in what's supposed to be a prestige streaming drama? The Harry Potter movies had similar a treasure scene too. It looks cartoonish in live action, so I'm personally glad they cut it. The show is bound to be full of changes like this, because RJ wrote a lot of goofy things into the series. 

 

Dusty Wheel did a video where they deciphered the blurred the script in the teaser. The gist of it is that Mat sees a wealthy looking house in Shadar Logoth and enters it, which is when he finds the box with the dagger inside. Then there's an inhuman scream before the scene cuts to outside, by the horses. It's clear their intent is to enhance the focus on the dagger itself and Mat's attraction to it as well as to amplify the horror element. If you step back and consider what's important to convey to non-book readers in this plot point--Mat's motivation for stealing the dagger, the audience's awareness that it's tainted and evil--those will be done much more efficiently the way the script lays it out. They also seem to use horror cinematography to convey the "evil" atmosphere of Shadar Logoth. 

Edited by Carebear Sedai
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On 3/6/2021 at 12:50 PM, Carebear Sedai said:

 

You want a goofy Aladdin treasure scene in what's supposed to be a prestige streaming drama? The Harry Potter movies had similar a treasure scene too. It looks cartoonish in live action, so I'm personally glad they cut it. The show is bound to be full of changes like this, because RJ wrote a lot of goofy things into the series. 

 

Dusty Wheel did a video where they deciphered the blurred the script in the teaser. The gist of it is that Mat sees a wealthy looking house in Shadar Logoth and enters it, which is when he finds the box with the dagger inside. Then there's an inhuman scream before the scene cuts to outside, by the horses. It's clear their intent is to enhance the focus on the dagger itself and Mat's attraction to it as well as to amplify the horror element. If you step back and consider what's important to convey to non-book readers in this plot point--Mat's motivation for stealing the dagger, the audience's awareness that it's tainted and evil--those will be done much more efficiently the way the script lays it out. They also seem to use horror cinematography to convey the "evil" atmosphere of Shadar Logoth. 

 

Here is the video link, if you're interested.

 

On my most recent read of EotW, I pegged the interaction with Mordeth as a scene that would need to be changed for the adaptation. A creepy stranger in an evil ruin luring the kids to a big treasure room then doing his best blowfish imitation is just too cheesy for the show they want to make.

 

But Mat exploring and then happening across (and deciding to grab) a valuable item is very much in character. I wouldn't be surprised if Mordeth is portrayed as another 'treasure hunter' who poo-poos Moiraine's advice and plays on Mat's already low opinion of Aes Sedai. It would make Mordeth seem a little more clever and the kids a little less stupid. Both of which are good things.

 

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It strikes me as a scene that would need to be changed as well. Horror is hard to pull off visually, and it's really easy to miss "scary" and instead just look silly. See any cheesy B horror movie as an example. Specifically for Mordeth's inflation scene, I think they'll need to do that differently or at least use a really light touch. I wouldn't be surprised if they took a very different approach to the whole Shadar Logoth segment compared to the books.

 

WoT has a ton of challenging element to adapt, and the horror is just one of those challenges. I hope they lean on that stuff as much as they can though. RJ's brand of scary was always a treat to read.

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14 hours ago, lt;(^-^)gt; said:

Specifically for Mordeth's inflation scene, I think they'll need to do that differently or at least use a really light touch. I wouldn't be surprised if they took a very different approach to the whole Shadar Logoth segment compared to the books.

 

Having Mordeth change from person to mist could be really effective if done properly.

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On screen horror is conveyed best in atmosphere and what you don't see and are inspired to imagine through subtle cues. I actually hope we never see Mordeth physically. That feeling of being watched from the shadows can be shown through masterful camera work and shadows that don't seem quite right... Horror usually sets the tone by putting the audience at unease through subconscious cues. 

 

My biggest issue is trying to imagine Mashadar looking anything other than a B-movie horror mist with tentacles. 

 

As for Machine Shin, I think that one would be far more terrifying as a sound effect, whispering the chanting with nothing more than a subtle lens effect for the visual aspect. 

 

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I'm 100% with you on that, Carebear. Atmosphere and suspense are what makes horror. If you pull that part off, you can also get away with the occasional jump scare and gruesome shot, and really make the audience feel it. It's a careful balance, especially for a production that has so many other elements. I think it's reasonable to predict that the horror won't be the primary focus in the show, but there will definitely be scenes that they want to make genuinely scary.

 

If I was gonna do a Mashadar scene I would come at it from 2 angles. First I'd hammer home the idea that it's like a predator stalking the alleys and shadows. Something you don't see directly but you know it's doing AWFUL things to the trollocs who get caught. Then once that was established I think you could show tendrils blocking the path or slowly moving out from alleyways and kinda gently reaching towards the characters. Just keep it really slow-paced. Effectively scary fog tentacles shouldn't be TOO hard to pull off with a blend of practical effects and subtle cgi, as long as they're not ham-fisted about it.

 

For Mordeth, I think a mist transformation could be really cool. And it could play right into their rendition of Mashadar. But that's also not a super easy effect. I think that might be one of the hardest scenes in the early story, to be honest. A good actor for Mordeth will probably be able to nail it, but it's the kinda thing that has a lot of ways to go wrong.

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On 3/9/2021 at 8:47 PM, mistborn82 said:

That could work for Machin Shin but I think you need a physical manifestation, especially after it interacts with Fain and tries to escape.

I could see that scene be shot like in Bird Box, where we "see" Machin Shin through the rustling, lens effects and the whispers. It doesn't have to be a Lost style smoke monster to be present in the scene I would think. 

 

On 3/9/2021 at 10:39 PM, lt;(^-^)gt; said:

f I was gonna do a Mashadar scene I would come at it from 2 angles. First I'd hammer home the idea that it's like a predator stalking the alleys and shadows. Something you don't see directly but you know it's doing AWFUL things to the trollocs who get caught. Then once that was established I think you could show tendrils blocking the path or slowly moving out from alleyways and kinda gently reaching towards the characters. Just keep it really slow-paced. Effectively scary fog tentacles shouldn't be TOO hard to pull off with a blend of practical effects and subtle cgi, as long as they're not ham-fisted about it.

I like this. As long as we don't have a cheesy tentacle flailing a trolloc around. If we just see the fog appear and then hear the trollocs screaming offscreen it'd be pretty chilling. 

 

On 3/9/2021 at 10:39 PM, lt;(^-^)gt; said:

For Mordeth, I think a mist transformation could be really cool. And it could play right into their rendition of Mashadar. But that's also not a super easy effect. I think that might be one of the hardest scenes in the early story, to be honest. A good actor for Mordeth will probably be able to nail it, but it's the kinda thing that has a lot of ways to go wrong.

 

 

It might be hard casting a superb actor for such a small role. They might get lucky though. I'm just not sure Mordeth is needed if Mat is gonna be finding the dagger on his own. 

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Do we know what approach they're taking with Fain? Are taking a him, just him, is slowly going crazy or are they taking a smeagol/Gollum approach,  only having Mordeth and Fain speaking?

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