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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The Subtleties of the Trailer Show that Rafe is Doing it Right.


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I think the solitary thing this teaser is meant to accomplish - it's only purpose - is to make people who are not aware of (much less invested in) the Wheel of Time think to themselves, "that looks interesting, I might check that out." The purpose of the next offering will be to change that opinion from "I might check that out" to "I'm definitely going to watch that." 

 

Even so, this trailer does a fantastic job of giving people a general idea of what the story is about, the concept of the One Power, and the epic nature of the story. I think they also did a superlative job of weaving in some major foreshadowing elements. Putting aside issues about the colors, or the details that we all love to nitpick this was a home run from a marketing perspective.

 

The voiceover manages to explain the nature of the One Power in a way that's immediately understandable. There's a Power - women use it to protect the world. We learn that the power can be used to fight and to heal. We learn that there's some sort of organization of women who use the Power.  And we learn that it's a battle of good vs. evil. There's a Dark One. There's a Last Battle and its imminent. There are some scary looking monsters. And they're after the good guys. That + visuals should be enough to pique the interest of people who are interested in this kind of thing. 

 

But I think it does a good deal more than that for those of us who are familiar with the source material and gives us many reasons to feel good about the care of the adaptation. These things show that Rafe understands the heart of the novels and is looking toward the future, planning for a long run. Here are some of the little subtleties.

 

I love the way they cut Rosamund's voiceover, "the Wheel of time turns and ages come and pass" with images of Egwene entering, Rand smiling up at her, and Nynaeve's sad, knowing smile. Rosamund's voice even breaks just a touch on the word "pass", then it cuts to the wide imagery. It's so powerfully evocative of how Rand and Egwene's relationship is doomed to end as they leave their sheltered village into the huge world before them. It captures their bittersweet dynamic perfectly.

 

The symbolism of Egwene rising from the multicolored pool just as Rosamund says "become Legends" is blatant to those of us who know the story, but it's powerful regardless. It also gives us a taste of the manner in which they are establishing expectations. The focus here is on Egwene - she appears 3 times in the first 20 seconds. A picture of her floating down the river (cut just after Rosamund saying "the Power inside you") is the establishing shot for the beginning of the explanation of the one power. This is a clear nod to the Aes Sedai training about surrendering to saidar and a clever way of evoking Jordan without pedantically recreating his scenes.

 

In contrast Rand hardly appears at all, and one of the times he does it is with Egwene. This misdirection suggests a choice to lean away from Rand as the obvious Chosen One and harder into the modern trend of young female protagonists. It's a smart choice because it later allows for the subversion of expectations that made Game of Thrones so popular (provided the writing is clever enough) without having to revert to cheap devices like premature deaths. And it gives them the flexibility to play Rand's reveal at Tarwin's Gap in any number of different ways.

 

The shot of Mat turning away from a man in a cage gives us a clever foretelling of Mat's encounter with the Finn while also nodding to Min's vision of an Aiel in a cage, then cuts to Hopper (presumably) and Perrin. The importance of that shot is obvious. But even here, there is more at work. Perrin's reaction - to back away cautiously but not in terror - is pitch perfect for his character. And they show smart restraint by not making Perrin's connection to the wolves obvious or showing us yellow eyes.

 

The amazing cut from dancing, to a circle of bodies, to the top-down shot of the Hall once anchors the theme of life vs. death and the centrality of the Tower and gives us the "Wheel" imagery to go with Tam's gentle speech.

 

We get Lan saying "the Dark One is coming for your friends" and then a Fade followed within a few seconds by a quick shot of Logain looking malevolent as he blasts out of captivity. It's another clever misdirection - and I think a hint that Logain will be portrayed as the primary adversary of Season One. (More evidence of this are the shots showing Lan protecting Nynaeve as Alanna stops arrows mid-flight and the shot of Nynaeve with her back to a tree mid battle.) I suspect they will put Nynaeve and Logain together earlier than in the books to establish a foundation for that relationship and may also decide to have the Reds gentle Logain upon his recapture.

 

I guess the bottom line is that this works for me in every way possible. I'm really struggling to find much wrong that isn't simply nitpicking.

 

 

 

 

 

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I agree. I find myself really liking the way they are realizing the story. So much is internal in people's heads and outright exposition that if they filmed the book it would be baffling. Expanding Logains story and showing that will really work I think in explaining the danger of male channelers and false Dragons. Directing the focus away from Rand is also smart. The world as shown so far seems very real and believable. I think it will definitely draw people on who I think are ready for a "historical" feeling show centered around magic 

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love the way they cut Rosamund's voiceover, "the Wheel of time turns and ages come and pass" with images of Egwene entering, Rand smiling up at her, and Nynaeve's sad, knowing smile.

 

That smile doesn’t look sad at all to me. It looks like the smile of a Wisdom comfortable in her role. And I guarantee you she’s smiling at Rand and Eg thinking about how they’ll be betrothed soon. 

 

2 hours ago, Elder_Haman said:

In contrast Rand hardly appears at all, and one of the times he does it is with Egwene. This misdirection suggests a choice to lean away from Rand as the obvious Chosen One and harder into the modern trend of young female protagonists. It's a smart choice because it later allows for the subversion of expectations that made Game of Thrones so popular (provided the writing is clever enough) without having to revert to cheap devices like premature deaths. And it gives them the flexibility to play Rand's reveal at Tarwin's Gap in any number of different ways.

 

Hoo-boy I hope you’re right that this is just “misdirection.” My fear, and this could be a totally irrational fear, is that S1 receives such rave reviews for being so gyn-centric (and trust me, the “critics” will slobber at least over that aspect) that they will over-emphasize that element of the story going forward. In the books, the ladies have very important parts, but this is ultimately the story of the Dragon Reborn. There’s no guarantee that “this turning” will follow that. Am I wrong to be concerned?

 

 

2 hours ago, Elder_Haman said:

We get Lan saying "the Dark One is coming for your friends" and then a Fade followed within a few seconds by a quick shot of Logain looking malevolent as he blasts out of captivity. It's another clever misdirection - and I think a hint that Logain will be portrayed as the primary adversary of Season One. (More evidence of this are the shots showing Lan protecting Nynaeve as Alanna stops arrows mid-flight and the shot of Nynaeve with her back to a tree mid battle.) I suspect they will put Nynaeve and Logain together earlier than in the books to establish a foundation for that relationship and may also decide to have the Reds gentle Logain upon his recapture.


This is a very smart prediction. But the trailer also kinda suggests that the Fade is the DO. Which is fine I guess for people who know nothing about the show. 
 

Great write up. 

Edited by Beidomon
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15 minutes ago, Beidomon said:

Great write up. 

Thank you.

 

16 minutes ago, Beidomon said:

hey will over-emphasize that element of the story going forward. In the books, the ladies have very important parts, but this is ultimately the story of the Dragon Reborn. There’s no guarantee that “this turning” will follow that. Am I wrong to be concerned?

I think so. The story is still the story. I don't think they will dramatically alter any of the major beats. But not too long before we see it happen! I'm so freaking pumped....

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I agree that the trailer is very well done. I hope the world feels real and lived in, but no real reason to think otherwise from the trailer. I did nitpick the colors, but it might be great and a welcome change, who knows?  We’ll need to see more to get the full feel. In the end it’s just opinion and taste. I’m very excited. 

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18 hours ago, johnnysd said:

Expanding Logains story and showing that will really work I think in explaining the danger of male channelers and false Dragons. Directing the focus away from Rand is also smart.

Every time I think about it, the more I believe that we need to be made to fear Rand/the Dragon/LTT. If it was me, I would be working so that this story begins leading viewers to the conclusion that Rand is going to be the villain and that it will be up to the rest of the group to save the world from him. 

 

There are so many times in the books where Jordan talks about the fear of male channelers. But the impact of that is sort of muted by the fact that you've been rooting for Rand from the beginning of chapter One. People who aren't invested in the books don't have to have that same experience and I think it's smart to make those people fear male channelers just like the people of Randland do. The same goes for the Dragon.

 

We learn early on that it's Rand and so, once again we know we are rooting for the Dragon. But the people of Randland don't know that. They're terrified of the Dragon. He literally destroyed the world and unleashed the terror of insane male channelers on the world. What's he going to do for an encore?

 

And I think starting S1 with a fierce and at least slightly unhinged Logain is perfect in service of this. You get to see the savagery of saidin and how seemingly all-powerful sorceresses can be annihilated by it. It gives you the opportunity to put the moral question of what to do with people who are so dangerous front and center and immediately raises stakes. 

 

So later, when you start pulling on those same strings in Rand's arc, the stakes are raised naturally because now it's happening to someone you've come to care about. And with the fantasy-epic consuming public having Danerys's ending full in their minds, they will primed to believe that is where Rand is headed (whether they want him to or not).

 

So instead of seeing Rand through his own eyes, we see him through the eyes of someone who is emotionally invested in him. If you want Veins of Gold to have the same emotional payoff for viewers that it did for readers, I think that's how it must be played. 

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17 minutes ago, Elder_Haman said:

Every time I think about it, the more I believe that we need to be made to fear Rand/the Dragon/LTT. If it was me, I would be working so that this story begins leading viewers to the conclusion that Rand is going to be the villain and that it will be up to the rest of the group to save the world from him. 

 

There are so many times in the books where Jordan talks about the fear of male channelers. But the impact of that is sort of muted by the fact that you've been rooting for Rand from the beginning of chapter One. People who aren't invested in the books don't have to have that same experience and I think it's smart to make those people fear male channelers just like the people of Randland do. The same goes for the Dragon.

 

We learn early on that it's Rand and so, once again we know we are rooting for the Dragon. But the people of Randland don't know that. They're terrified of the Dragon. He literally destroyed the world and unleashed the terror of insane male channelers on the world. What's he going to do for an encore?

 

And I think starting S1 with a fierce and at least slightly unhinged Logain is perfect in service of this. You get to see the savagery of saidin and how seemingly all-powerful sorceresses can be annihilated by it. It gives you the opportunity to put the moral question of what to do with people who are so dangerous front and center and immediately raises stakes. 

 

So later, when you start pulling on those same strings in Rand's arc, the stakes are raised naturally because now it's happening to someone you've come to care about. And with the fantasy-epic consuming public having Danerys's ending full in their minds, they will primed to believe that is where Rand is headed (whether they want him to or not).

 

So instead of seeing Rand through his own eyes, we see him through the eyes of someone who is emotionally invested in him. If you want Veins of Gold to have the same emotional payoff for viewers that it did for readers, I think that's how it must be played. 

 

This is exactly what I was getting from the trailer! I think the one thing RJ failed to convey very well was the "fear factor", and it seems they're rectifying that error. Excellent exposition, Elder Haman - thank you!

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Yes, I suppose it works really well for someone who is not familiar with the source material. It works worse for someone who is already a fan, because you see a lot of changes. The trailer starts immediately with egwene being thrown off a cliff, and it has a few more sequences of that, something that's not in the books. And it follows with a lot of scenes of logain, which again are not from the books.

It's even worse for a fan who did not follow productiion and was not ready for the changes. My brother was quite unimpressed with the trailer, he complained a lot.

Probably that's what rafe was meaning by "gird your loins"

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1 hour ago, king of nowhere said:

Yes, I suppose it works really well for someone who is not familiar with the source material. It works worse for someone who is already a fan, because you see a lot of changes. The trailer starts immediately with egwene being thrown off a cliff, and it has a few more sequences of that, something that's not in the books. And it follows with a lot of scenes of logain, which again are not from the books.

It's even worse for a fan who did not follow productiion and was not ready for the changes. My brother was quite unimpressed with the trailer, he complained a lot.

Probably that's what rafe was meaning by "gird your loins"

The show was always going to be different than the books - the varied mediums demand it.  The question is will the changes destroy or accentuate it for those familiar with the source material.  Other than the toad-like White Tower, I didn't see a single change that didn't improve (or at least hold the line) on the books.  And I still love the books as is.  There will be things about the show I don't like just as there are things in the books that could have been improved.  Neither will be perfect nor should we expect it.

 

Watch season 1 and either enjoy it or don't, just as you read EotW and decided if you enjoyed it or not.

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3 hours ago, Elder_Haman said:

Every time I think about it, the more I believe that we need to be made to fear Rand/the Dragon/LTT. If it was me, I would be working so that this story begins leading viewers to the conclusion that Rand is going to be the villain and that it will be up to the rest of the group to save the world from him. 

 

There are so many times in the books where Jordan talks about the fear of male channelers. But the impact of that is sort of muted by the fact that you've been rooting for Rand from the beginning of chapter One. People who aren't invested in the books don't have to have that same experience and I think it's smart to make those people fear male channelers just like the people of Randland do. The same goes for the Dragon.

 

We learn early on that it's Rand and so, once again we know we are rooting for the Dragon. But the people of Randland don't know that. They're terrified of the Dragon. He literally destroyed the world and unleashed the terror of insane male channelers on the world. What's he going to do for an encore?

 

And I think starting S1 with a fierce and at least slightly unhinged Logain is perfect in service of this. You get to see the savagery of saidin and how seemingly all-powerful sorceresses can be annihilated by it. It gives you the opportunity to put the moral question of what to do with people who are so dangerous front and center and immediately raises stakes. 

 

So later, when you start pulling on those same strings in Rand's arc, the stakes are raised naturally because now it's happening to someone you've come to care about. And with the fantasy-epic consuming public having Danerys's ending full in their minds, they will primed to believe that is where Rand is headed (whether they want him to or not).

 

So instead of seeing Rand through his own eyes, we see him through the eyes of someone who is emotionally invested in him. If you want Veins of Gold to have the same emotional payoff for viewers that it did for readers, I think that's how it must be played. 

 

Agree 100%. Rand IS scary if you really think about it and he starts so innocent. It is a great way for the series to go.

 

I am actually not sure I will watch the second trailer. I have seen enough to know it will be very good (maybe outside of Siuan/Leane, ugh) and since things are rearranged in a weird way it will just be spoilers at this point. I know things so well I would be able to piece together almost everything that happens.

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3 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

Yes, I suppose it works really well for someone who is not familiar with the source material. It works worse for someone who is already a fan, because you see a lot of changes. The trailer starts immediately with egwene being thrown off a cliff, and it has a few more sequences of that, something that's not in the books. And it follows with a lot of scenes of logain, which again are not from the books.

It's even worse for a fan who did not follow productiion and was not ready for the changes. My brother was quite unimpressed with the trailer, he complained a lot.

Probably that's what rafe was meaning by "gird your loins"

 

Much of the Logain stuff IS in the books though. We just do not see it. There are a LOT of concepts we learn through exposition, internal dialogue and even theory boards, but you have to show those things in a show. I am completely OK with what I have seen so far with just a few small things not connecting. And remember a longer trailer is coming and there is so much we haven't seen and we really haven't even seen actual dialogue yet just images really. Like EH seen you need viewers to be afraid of false (and real) Dragons. That never really happens in the books.  Even though he ultimately saves the world Rand is at best a dark gray character.

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I think Rand and Mat running down the street is 4 Kings straight after Rand used the power to bust them out. If it is, it will be interesting to see how they do that, will they show Rand Channelling or just a shot of the wall exploding out all over the Darkfriends leaving the viewers wondering and confused about what just happened. I could see them have a shot of Rand and Mat looking frightened as the Darkfriends are banging on the Door then cut to a shot of the Darkfriends, then suddenly the wall exploding out and then the shot of the Boys running down the street. 

 

Also did everyone catch the glimpse of Loail?

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So well put!!!!  I agree completely. I also LOVED the three quick images of overhead shots of circles. The dancing circle cuts to the circle of apparent dead Sisters which cuts to an overhead shot of the circular room in the Tower.  I just loved ALL OF IT SO MUCH!!!!!!  OMG I cannot WAIT!!!!

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On 9/4/2021 at 6:40 PM, Harldin said:

I think Rand and Mat running down the street is 4 Kings straight after Rand used the power to bust them out. If it is, it will be interesting to see how they do that, will they show Rand Channelling or just a shot of the wall exploding out all over the Darkfriends leaving the viewers wondering and confused about what just happened. I could see them have a shot of Rand and Mat looking frightened as the Darkfriends are banging on the Door then cut to a shot of the Darkfriends, then suddenly the wall exploding out and then the shot of the Boys running down the street. 

 

Also did everyone catch the glimpse of Loail?

Yes saw Loial at the waygate :).  If they keep Mat screaming in old tongue during chase it would be good tension building to just show explosions and leave doubt it could have been Mat.  

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 In the books, I always found it very interesting to see Rand through other's eyes. When you are reading the Rand chapters through his POV it is easy to forget just how scary he is to everyone else. That is one of the reasons I like that Morainne is going to be a main character. One, it makes "who is the dragon" more of a question and possibly a bigger reveal than the books, but also I want to see Rand transform through different eyes. If you saw the close up of Logain's face when he is channeling, crisscrossed with tendrils, or however to describe it, it looks pretty menacing. Book 2, when Rand is on his own, channeling, killing farm dogs and slicing the heads off women, that can be pretty damned epic in a tv show.

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3 hours ago, flinn said:

 In the books, I always found it very interesting to see Rand through other's eyes. When you are reading the Rand chapters through his POV it is easy to forget just how scary he is to everyone else. That is one of the reasons I like that Morainne is going to be a main character. One, it makes "who is the dragon" more of a question and possibly a bigger reveal than the books, but also I want to see Rand transform through different eyes. If you saw the close up of Logain's face when he is channeling, crisscrossed with tendrils, or however to describe it, it looks pretty menacing. Book 2, when Rand is on his own, channeling, killing farm dogs and slicing the heads off women, that can be pretty damned epic in a tv show.

Rand on his own killing Farm Dogs and slicing Heads of Women in Book 2? got no idea of what you are talking about there.

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25 minutes ago, Harldin said:

Rand on his own killing Farm Dogs and slicing Heads of Women in Book 2? got no idea of what you are talking about there.

Pretty sure this is Rand in 3 on way to Tear being harassed and losing it.

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On 9/3/2021 at 8:44 PM, Beidomon said:

That smile doesn’t look sad at all to me. It looks like the smile of a Wisdom comfortable in her role. And I guarantee you she’s smiling at Rand and Eg thinking about how they’ll be betrothed soon. 

That's exactly what I think. She is looking on with approval.

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On 9/3/2021 at 6:37 PM, Elder_Haman said:

In contrast Rand hardly appears at all, and one of the times he does it is with Egwene.

This is actually not true. I counted how many times they each appear during the trailer and their appearances are equal. The difference is there are 3 scenes of Egwene only and only 2 of Rand, and the one of Egwene coming up out of the water is clearly of great significance. That's not to say I Otdon't agree that they are clearly trying to play up the strong female vibes, and I totally expected that.

 

Otherwise, this was a great, very thoughtful commentary. One of the very best I've seen. Definitely something I'd expect from an elder Ogier.

 

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On 9/4/2021 at 7:15 PM, king of nowhere said:

just saying that at times it was confusing. and for a fan not used to it, it would be even more confusing

The whole Witcher series was confusing on first watch, and it was a great success! I'm sure the second trailer will give us a better overall understanding of the story. This one was meant to be exciting.

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