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The One Power & Arrow Scene


king of nowhere
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4 hours ago, Borderlander said:

That said, this one is a pretty minor nitpick for me. I just hope they don't have too many forehead-smackers  (i.e. flying ax-man; frozen arrows.)

 

 

what's wrong with the frozen arrows?

the flying ax-man, I'm all for it, i already expressed criticism about it. but frozing the arrows mid-air? it's a perfectly established use of the power, and i saw nothing wrong with it. what am i missing?

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1 hour ago, king of nowhere said:

what's wrong with the frozen arrows?

the flying ax-man, I'm all for it, i already expressed criticism about it. but frozing the arrows mid-air? it's a perfectly established use of the power, and i saw nothing wrong with it. what am i missing?

 

Totally fair question. Whereas ax-man and Lan's entrance have been dissected thoroughly, I haven't seen anyone try to explain what exactly strikes them so wrongly about the arrow-freezing, but apparently its a somewhat common reaction. It's hard to put into words, and it's 100% completely subjective, but I'll try:

 

First off, though, yeah, freezing arrows with the One Power is totally understandable. I don't recall where it happens in the books, but it's been years since I reread them. Still, I have no problem with channelers stopping arrows mid-flight. The tough part is making it look good on screen... which begs the question, what would good look like? Should it look 'realistic,' even if 'realistic' doesn't look 'cinematic' ? Should it look 'cool', like bullet-time in the Matrix? Should the arrows become utterly motionless, or shiver and jitter in their magical confines? Every choice contributes to the final outcome, and the smallest detail might make or break the illusion. Not saying I have a better solution, but the final result in the trailer just looks kind of hokey to me, for a few reasons:

 

1) I think the first thing that strikes me is that being in Flying Arrow POV is so obviously unnatural that the human eye is immediately put on guard, and our (or my) Suspension of Disbelief enters Warning Mode.  There are a lot of camera tricks out there—like following a POV shot through a keyhole into a locked room—which are also obvious fakery, but they don't set off my cheese-alarm like the Arrow POV does. Part of it may be the speed we are zooming along at, only to come to an abrupt stop.

 

2) The fact that all the arrows are clustered so tightly together is... maybe not impossible, but kind of implausible. Half a dozen arrows, fired from a distance by half-a-dozen archers, arcing up high, and they all are more or less parallel with one another AND basically equidistant from their target (meaning the arrowheads are all lined up?) Like, not even one arrow is a foot or two behind the pack? Not even one had a slightly different trajectory? And all the arrows look to be converging on a single target, since they are all within a few feet of one another? Which means, what? All the archers were shooting at a single Aes Sedai? When there are multiple Aes Sedai and warders all clustered together? Again, it's possible, I suppose... I get that these are all experienced warriors, and lifelong archers perhaps, but that uniformity strikes my eye as bordering on the unbelievable. 

 

3) And the last thing that just tips the balance into cheesiness for me is the Power itself, floating around the arrows like traces of gossamer-smoke. Which is also how the healing weaves look. And the lightning-weaves. They all just look the same. To me, the Power-CGI looks incredibly generic, especially when there are so many possible braids and patters and types of stitching that could have been drawn on to illustrate 'weaving.' The books are so full of characters discovering new weaves as the series goes on; I recall scenes where women watched Nynaeve healing and could barely understand what they were looking at because her weaves were so complex. But all we have seen (so far) is floating gossamer-smoke. I guess it stops arrows AND heals AND calls down lightning. Maybe that's why they call it the ONE Power? ? 

 

Don't get me wrong—it's still a minor nitpick, and if you like the way it looks, more power to you. 

 

A few silly arrows aside, I remain optimistic and excited!

 

Edit: I would just point out, that like so many things, this scene might play out differently or have a different feel when we see it in the proper context. The same way the trailer had that circle-circle-circle cut with the dancing-graves-white tower sequence, a well-coordinated sequence of shots *might* make Arrow POV look downright cool. Will have to wait and see.

 

Edited by Borderlander
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9 minutes ago, Borderlander said:

I haven't seen anyone try to explain what exactly strikes them so wrongly about the arrow-freezing,

In another thread, I mentioned that stopping arrows like that would take infinitely more complex weave, and One Power than simply creating a "shield" of air, and letting them bounce off.

In D&D terms, they're running under "Rule of Cool" over "realism".

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12 minutes ago, SinisterDeath said:

In another thread, I mentioned that stopping arrows like that would take infinitely more complex weave, and One Power than simply creating a "shield" of air, and letting them bounce off.

In D&D terms, they're running under "Rule of Cool" over "realism".

That's a good point

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I suppose it depends on how you define the complexity.  One of the problems of making the transition from books to screen is that we all have preconceived ideas in our heads about what is possible and the show may not operate with the same rules.

 

I am not really sure that the idea of solidifying air to create a shield is all that more complex than modifying other properties like friction, density, etc to make arrows stop in midair.

 

But, I also never spent a lot of time thinking about how individual weaves might be constructed so mileages vary.

 

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4 minutes ago, TheDreadReader said:

I suppose it depends on how you define the complexity.  One of the problems of making the transition from books to screen is that we all have preconceived ideas in our heads about what is possible and the show may not operate with the same rules.

 

I am not really sure that the idea of solidifying air to create a shield is all that more complex than modifying other properties like friction, density, etc to make arrows stop in midair.

 

But, I also never spent a lot of time thinking about how individual weaves might be constructed so mileages vary.

 

Which is quicker and more efficient: creating a single thrust of air to push the arrows sideways/away or create a weave for each arrow that stops them midair for no apparent reason. I doubt that Alanna will spin them around and throw them at the enemy.

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1 minute ago, DaddyFinn said:

Which is quicker and more efficient: creating a single thrust of air to push the arrows sideways/away or create a weave for each arrow that stops them midair for no apparent reason. I doubt that Alanna will spin them around and throw them at the enemy.

 

Who says they are being individually plucked? She might just have increased the air density in that area such that it acts like jelly. If anything that would take less effort than making the air dense enough to form a solid wall.

 

I think the textures and models of the arrows could use some work, though.

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15 minutes ago, TheDreadReader said:

I suppose it depends on how you define the complexity.  One of the problems of making the transition from books to screen is that we all have preconceived ideas in our heads about what is possible and the show may not operate with the same rules.

 

I am not really sure that the idea of solidifying air to create a shield is all that more complex than modifying other properties like friction, density, etc to make arrows stop in midair.

 

But, I also never spent a lot of time thinking about how individual weaves might be constructed so mileages vary.

 

Presumably it's a weave of air.
To "slow" down an arrow like that you would either have to 
A) Identify each individual arrow and "Grab" it with a flow of air like a 3rd hand, and stop it.
B) You can't spot each individual arrow, so you create a "wall" of air between you and the arrows. That wall would have the consistency of "Jell-O" (Ballistics Gel), to slow them and stop them in mid air. It has to have to be thick enough to prevent arrows from going through.. It cannot be dense enough that the arrows ricochet off due to surface tension. But thin enough that the arrows travel a few feet before slowing down.


Or just Create a solid wall of air that could be a micron thick, but hard as a rock that cause arrows that come in contact with them to ricochet off.

I don't know if Aes Sedai understand the concepts of Friction, and Density. If they could affect an object that passes through a field to affects it's friction, density, gravity, ect I think we'd have some really interesting applications of that in the books... that I'm not aware of. ?

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2 minutes ago, Elder_Haman said:

I suppose you could just alter the density of the air around the arrows, slowing them as if they were in water. It wouldn't have to be so thick that they couldn't get through. Just thick enough that they would lose their momentum and stopping power.

You definitely could, but this begs the question, do they have to identify each individual arrow to do that? 
If so, that would require tracking multiple objects travelling at 120-300 feet per second, snapping a weave around each of them that alters the air density causing their velocity to hit 0 and float in air.

If they aren't targeting individual arrows, but doing a big "shield" of air in the general direction that the arrows were coming from. They could certainly change the density of air in a 60 foot by 60 foot by 5 foot area that would accomplish the same thing.

Either of these would 100% work in the show.

From the books though, I'm pretty sure they'd just make a 120 foot by 120foot by 1/16th solid wall of air, or as others have suggested, a strong gust of wind to push them away. 

 

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1 hour ago, Borderlander said:

2) The fact that all the arrows are clustered so tightly together is... maybe not impossible, but kind of implausible. Half a dozen arrows, fired from a distance by half-a-dozen archers, arcing up high, and they all are more or less parallel with one another AND basically equidistant from their target (meaning the arrowheads are all lined up?) Like, not even one arrow is a foot or two behind the pack? Not even one had a slightly different trajectory? And all the arrows look to be converging on a single target, since they are all within a few feet of one another? Which means, what? All the archers were shooting at a single Aes Sedai? When there are multiple Aes Sedai and warders all clustered together? Again, it's possible, I suppose... I get that these are all experienced warriors, and lifelong archers perhaps, but that uniformity strikes my eye as bordering on the unbelievable. 

I had the same thought about the arrows flying in formation, but I accept it as the kind of stuff movies do. an acceptable break from reality, if you will. having the arrows fly more separately, and still all hitting the air shield and stopping or bouncing when they got there, would have worked equally well. but it's the kind of stuff fiction does to try and appear more spectacular.

if i let that bother me, i would stop looking at fiction entirely

 

 

1 hour ago, Borderlander said:

3) And the last thing that just tips the balance into cheesiness for me is the Power itself, floating around the arrows like traces of gossamer-smoke. Which is also how the healing weaves look. And the lightning-weaves. They all just look the same. To me, the Power-CGI looks incredibly generic, especially when there are so many possible braids and patters and types of stitching that could have been drawn on to illustrate 'weaving.' The books are so full of characters discovering new weaves as the series goes on; I recall scenes where women watched Nynaeve healing and could barely understand what they were looking at because her weaves were so complex. But all we have seen (so far) is floating gossamer-smoke. I guess it stops arrows AND heals AND calls down lightning. Maybe that's why they call it the ONE Power? ?

I have also a similar beef with how we saw the power used in the teaser trailer; but it's a problem of how the power is represented, it doesn't have anything to do with the arrow scene.

 

but there are posters where we see what look like threads, and they have different colors. this give me hope that we will get to see the power in its full glory from the eyes of channelers, in a few scenes at least.

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56 minutes ago, king of nowhere said:

but there are posters where we see what look like threads, and they have different colors. this give me hope that we will get to see the power in its full glory from the eyes of channelers, in a few scenes at least.

 

I'm hopeful we'll get something that looks a little more like 'weaving' at some point. As in, threads criss-crossing to form a coherent and emergent pattern. But maybe they want to start simple so they have something cool to build toward. If I recall, most of the Forsaken look down on modern-day Aes Sedai because their use of the Power is blunt and unsophisticated compared to the AoL. I gotta say, after watching the trailer, I can relate! ? 

 

Starting simple gives the show something satisfying and unique to build toward, and has the added bonus of being one less thing for the design team to tackle in Season 1, where EVERYTHING ELSE has to be created from scratch. I think there were changes made to the design of the White Walkers in GoT somewhere after Season 1, and there was not a mass outcry about changes to the visual continuity. I am willing to bite my tongue for a season and see how the rest of the production comes together; if 'weaving' still looks like my PS4 Homescreen after Seasons 2 or 3, I will be disappointed.

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2 hours ago, SinisterDeath said:

In D&D terms, they're running under "Rule of Cool" over "realism".

 

I'm fine with the Rule of Cool if used judiciously. And in ways that don't call into doubt other choices made in different but similar situations. The first time I saw a Jedi throw his light saber around with the Force, have it take out every bad guy in the room, and then boomerang back to his hand, it was def cool... but you have to wonder why they don't all do that in every single situation. ?

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Honestly if I were doing rule of cool. To prevent the human eye oddness issue I would have pulled it in tighter on a single arrow. Maybe just behind the arrowhead. Had the power "tendril" wrap it and then pan back to show all of the arrows stopped. 

 

I think its the formation thats screwing alot of us up and by keeping the formation out till the last second would help the brain process it.

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Honestly what *I* would have done from a coolness standpoint would be to use a weave to destroy the shafts. Just detonate the darn things. #firebeatsair #burnbabyburn

 

If you were going to use air - i mean assuming one had the level of control to literally stop several arrows individually...just swat them out of the air with a nice crosswind. 

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Well speaking as someone who criticized the arrow scene, for me it really didn’t have anything to do with the arrows themselves or the CGI. Everything about that scene just looked too clean and too posed. It looks cheap, fake, contrived. It looks YA, CW, etc. The White Tower scenes looked equally posed but maybe those chicks are just extremely uptight and proper when they’re in the Hall. So I’ll let that slide.

 

But if they thought to put this stuff in the trailer, then how much more of the show is gonna look like that?

 

Well, the next teaser they dropped included Lan’s cheese bucket entrance. I don’t want to see a pattern here, but there might be a pattern here. That’s all I’m sayin. 

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Exactly. No one can define what they mean by YA other than to say the shots look "posed". But the shots also lack context to tell exactly how "posed" they are.

 

At least with proof that we're getting decaptitations, we can put the "YA means it won't be bloody enough" concerns to bed.

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39 minutes ago, Maximillion said:

Don't get the YA stuff at all.  Seems like a generic criticism that has just taken hold without any meaning or substance.

 

 

I'm someone who has been positive about the show, but I do understand what they mean by it. It's an aesthethic, but hard for me to put into words even. I'm remaining optimistic, though, and getting more excited as the date draws closer. 

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2 hours ago, Beidomon said:

The White Tower scenes looked equally posed but maybe those chicks are just extremely uptight and proper when they’re in the Hall.

 

yes, they are. that's how meetings in the hall went.

well, normal meeting. there are the odd ones where something very unsettling is proposed and some aes sedai start vomiting...

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1 hour ago, Agitel said:

 

I'm someone who has been positive about the show, but I do understand what they mean by it. It's an aesthethic, but hard for me to put into words even. I'm remaining optimistic, though, and getting more excited as the date draws closer. 

You know it when you see it, I agree, but it's the look of, say, Shadow and Bone, Stargirl, Twilight, possibly A Wrinkle in Time though that starts veering into children's entertainment. I really don't see that in the Wheel of Time trailer. I can understand a lot of what people don't like about it, but I don't see where it looks like a young adult show. Heck, another of the widespread criticisms is the very fact that the first season is de-emphasizing the young adults in favor of putting the focus on Moiraine and the Aes Sedai. It's not exactly a hallmark of young adult film and television to center the 40 year-olds in the cast.

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On 10/13/2021 at 5:00 PM, Borderlander said:

 

I'm fine with the Rule of Cool if used judiciously. And in ways that don't call into doubt other choices made in different but similar situations. The first time I saw a Jedi throw his light saber around with the Force, have it take out every bad guy in the room, and then boomerang back to his hand, it was def cool... but you have to wonder why they don't all do that in every single situation. ?

This is honestly just a hard problem all stories with superheros and magic face. There's somewhat of an arms race to constantly introduce new and better characters with more power, but you hit a storytelling stone wall when you overpower them. It's the Captain Marvel problem. If she can just bring down an entire city-sized intergalactic space ship by flying into it and carry dead vessels across the solar system without needing to eat or breathe, what enemy can ever possibly be a credible threat to her?

 

Game of Thrones had this exact problem with the ending, too. If Daenerys can bring down a navy, two armies, and destroy a castle that had never been breached, all by herself with one dragon, what was she ever waiting for and why did we spend 8 seasons pretending we didn't know who was going to win? Of course, they "subvert" that by having her lover kill her and putting someone else on the throne at the final yard, but nobody found that convincing. In a realistic show, she really does conquer the entire known world.

 

At least in Wheel of Time, the good guys might be unstoppable by a normal army with only arrows, but the bad guys have equally powerful aces on their side, too. And the overpowered savior figure will be questionable and dangerous from the start rather than pulling the rug out from the audience and totally changing his entire character in the 72nd episode.

 

For whatever it's worth, I thought the arrow scene was fine. That's clearly from a very early episode, possibly the first episode, and they're trying to establish for anyone new to this story how powerful these women are and why everyone is so afraid of them. Everyone is analogizing to the Matrix when Neo stops bullets at the end, but I think it's more like the very first scene when Trinity kills an entire squad of police with her bare hands, but then can't stop an Agent. They're gonna show us the same thing with the Aes Sedai plowing through a normal army like it's nothing, but then being stopped and probably a few of them even killed when they reach Logain, and barely overpowering him at great loss. The idea being to show very early who everyone is, what they can do, and what the stakes are. It's meaningless for those of us who read this years ago and already know, but important to bring new viewers up to speed.

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