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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Personal rant


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Maybe it's my own personal experiences from over the past 6 years. Maybe it's my distrust of the establishment, the government or large groups of people. But I am not looking forward to this TV adaption. I think it's a cash grab trying to bank off the success of Game of Thrones and the creators don't care at all about this series which is really wonderful and deserves to be done properly. The production looks "nice". And by nice I mean expensive, but no one invests into a project without expecting a high payback and that expectation is largely based on the success of other book to TV adaptions (many of which are failures). Even with Game of Thrones I stopped watching after they screwed up Tyrion's arc at the end of season 4. 

 

I hope I'm wrong, but just based on the casting for Moiraine I was extremely disheartened. The actress seems better suited for a different role than Moiraine. It's like they looked to the first big name that would accept the role and that's all they cared about. You know who does really well with casting? Bad Robot's casting crew. Lost? Perfect casting. Most of which were no name actors and actresses with a lot of talent. The Star Trek Reboots? Amazing casting. This has been bugging me for a little bit and I just had to get it off my chest. I guess I'm really scared they are going to screw up some of my favorite scenes like when Rand first comes across the Chodan Khal, zones out and starts mumbling the Aiel mantra. I fear they will screw it up because they don't really enjoy the story. They just want to duplicate it's structure and feed off the love of the fan base to milk it for as much as they can before the project turns into an utter failure and is canceled prematurely. 

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1 hour ago, Dedicated said:

I think it's a cash grab trying to bank off the success of Game of Thrones

It’s no secret that Bezos wants “the next Game of Thrones and to make money. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad. 

 

1 hour ago, Dedicated said:

the creators don't care at all about this series

What makes you say that? All evidence is honestly to the contrary. 

 

1 hour ago, Dedicated said:

just based on the casting for Moiraine I was extremely disheartened. The actress seems better suited for a different role than Moiraine.

Explain, please. What’s wrong with Rosamund as Moiraine? 

 

1 hour ago, Dedicated said:

they don't really enjoy the story.

Again, what’s the basis for this claim?

 

I get being nervous- I am too. But I don’t understand why you believe that the people making the show don’t care about the series. It just seems contrary to everything we know. 

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Let's at least wait for season 1 to conclude before we make any conclusions.  

 

They started a whole new studio and named it Jordan Studios just to make this show.  Rosamund Pike is talented and has a wide range of acting roles to her credit.  Rafe is a lifelong fan of the books.  

The previews are purposely holding back much of the show.  Brandon Sanderson is also consulting on this show.  No one throws 300 million at a show just as a cash grab.  they are really trying to create something epic and that can't be adequately shown yet in the brief trailers they have

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2 hours ago, Dedicated said:

Maybe it's my own personal experiences from over the past 6 years. Maybe it's my distrust of the establishment, the government or large groups of people. But I am not looking forward to this TV adaption. I think it's a cash grab trying to bank off the success of Game of Thrones and the creators don't care at all about this series which is really wonderful and deserves to be done properly. The production looks "nice". And by nice I mean expensive, but no one invests into a project without expecting a high payback and that expectation is largely based on the success of other book to TV adaptions (many of which are failures). Even with Game of Thrones I stopped watching after they screwed up Tyrion's arc at the end of season 4. 

 

I hope I'm wrong, but just based on the casting for Moiraine I was extremely disheartened. The actress seems better suited for a different role than Moiraine. It's like they looked to the first big name that would accept the role and that's all they cared about. You know who does really well with casting? Bad Robot's casting crew. Lost? Perfect casting. Most of which were no name actors and actresses with a lot of talent. The Star Trek Reboots? Amazing casting. This has been bugging me for a little bit and I just had to get it off my chest. I guess I'm really scared they are going to screw up some of my favorite scenes like when Rand first comes across the Chodan Khal, zones out and starts mumbling the Aiel mantra. I fear they will screw it up because they don't really enjoy the story. They just want to duplicate it's structure and feed off the love of the fan base to milk it for as much as they can before the project turns into an utter failure and is canceled prematurely. 

I thought casting for GoT was excellent - even though I only watched a season and a half.

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As was said, it's well known Bezos essentially told his company he wants the next Game Of Thrones, and Amazon stepped up with both WOT and the LOTR series. However, the showrunner Rafe Judkins is also clearly a huge fan of the books. Whether of not I agree with Rafe's interpretation and adaptation of the books, I do think it's a work of love on his part. He did not step into the role as just a corporate stooge to do what the network says.

 

And let's not forget GOT also had some big name actors, who kind of handed off the show to the newer ones.

Edited by Agitel
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21 minutes ago, Elder_Haman said:

1. What makes you say that? All evidence is honestly to the contrary. 

 

2. Explain, please. What’s wrong with Rosamund as Moiraine? 

 

3. Again, what’s the basis for this claim?

 

I get being nervous- I am too. But I don’t understand why you believe that the people making the show don’t care about the series. It just seems contrary to everything we know. 

 

1. My life has sucked for the last 6 years and i've lost all trust in humanity at large. If you're really curious reach out to FBI detective Jeff Johnson. I tried to get help from him in 2016 in St. Louis MI. I live in GA by the way. And yes... I tried to go to the FBI office near me... I had to go somewhere far away that and random so they couldn't get ahead of me. 

 

2. She's too tall and doesn't have the qualities of a "pretty porcelain doll". Part of Moiraine's character is her dealing with being so short and having an innocent pretty quality about her that people aren't intimidated by. I mean it sounds like Moiraine is barely 5 feet tall. Rosamund Pike is 5'9". I feel like this is a pretty important character detail that they undercut for the sake of having a big star's name attached to the series to draw in unsuspecting viewers. If they are willing to make this kind of sacrifice they will be willing to make others for the sake of gaining viewers instead of making a genuine adaptation of the story. I mean the show could be good. It's just not going to be the Wheel of Time. 

 

3. See point number 1. 

 

Again, this was mostly a rant. 

 

9 minutes ago, DojoToad said:

I thought casting for GoT was excellent - even though I only watched a season and a half.

 

Oh I loved the casting for GoT too. But they screwed up Tyrions arc!!! There were a lot of details that were different between the books and the show up to season 4 that I understood and didn't have too much of an issue with. But when they screwed up the scene between Jaime and Tyrion and someone on reddit just rearranged some screenshots to demonostrate how easily it could have been included it was the last straw for me.

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No I get it. I absolutely love these books and adore these characters. To the point where when I found out I was pregnant with my two children I made sure to read the series in it’s entirety while pregnant. That seems super dumb and weird but… I don’t know it was a special time and I wanted to be reading my favorite book series. When a grande work like this means so much to you you want to see it done well.

 

 

 

I go between being terrified and a little hopeful. What’s made me hopeful lately? I was terrified that the Dune movie will be would be terrible. I read an article where the Director talked about being very aware of the “white savior stereotype” and I just thought that it was going to be ruined. For those of you who haven’t seen it… Let me just say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I’m on pins and needles for part two. Maybe there is hope for this.

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1 hour ago, Katherine said:

No I get it. I absolutely love these books and adore these characters. To the point where when I found out I was pregnant with my two children I made sure to read the series in it’s entirety while pregnant. That seems super dumb and weird but… I don’t know it was a special time and I wanted to be reading my favorite book series. When a grande work like this means so much to you you want to see it done well.

 

 

 

I go between being terrified and a little hopeful. What’s made me hopeful lately? I was terrified that the Dune movie will be would be terrible. I read an article where the Director talked about being very aware of the “white savior stereotype” and I just thought that it was going to be ruined. For those of you who haven’t seen it… Let me just say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I’m on pins and needles for part two. Maybe there is hope for this.

 

I don't think reading this series while you were pregnant was silly at all. If you're doing something you love and are experiencing positive vibes I think those vibes will be felt by the babies as well. In a way you were simply sharing something you loved with them.

 

I kind of made this post to just get some frustration out. I usually workout, but today is my rest day and I was a little restless and needed to blow off some steam. Honestly it could be great. I'm just projecting and using this as an emotional punching bag I guess. But geewhiz I just feel like the casting for Moiraine was more motivated by garnering attention than Rosamund Pike being right for the part. But it's not like the characters HAVE to look exactly they way they are described in the books. I mean Arya is described to be lanky and "horsefaced" like Ned and Ned's sister, but she turned out alright. 

 

This post wasn't mean to be taken to seriously. I just kind of wonder if maybe an avid fanbase is enabling a greedy enterprise thinking it's one that actually cares about faithfully adapting the heart of the story. I mean when GRRM met with the show runners for GoT he only agreed to let them make it into a show if they could answer the question of who Jon's mother was. I think this was his way of making sure that they were really trying to make a faithful adaption as opposed to just trying to find a new idea that would make money. GRRM and RJ have experience with TV production. I wonder what RJ's feelings would be on the subject. May the last embrace of the mother welcome him home. 

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Doubtless Amazon wants to make a lot of money off the show (albeit indirectly through increased subscriptions), but that will only happen if the show is successful, which in turn means that it has to secure and maintain a large fanbase. With blockbuster films it was, and occasionally still is, possible to make a lot of money off an obviously poor product, because by the time you form a personal view of the film's quality you've already paid to see it. With a multi-series TV show that is a lot harder because if the show isn't any good most viewers won't hang around past a few episodes (although as GOT demonstrates you might have a show that starts strong and only goes off the rails later on, by which time audiences may be too invested to switch off).

That doesn't mean the show will remain faithful to the books, but I think it does tend to mean that decisions about the show will generally be made in good faith with a view to making (from the decision-makers' points of view) the best TV show possible. That's the most rational way to garner a large and loyal fan-base. In this regard, the studio's greed is broadly aligned with our desire that the show turn out well. There may well be differences of opinion, even fundamental ones, regarding what makes for a "good" TV version of WOT, but it seems to me highly unlikely to be a situation where the studio is essentially trying to swindle WOT fans and/or cynically exploit the franchise.

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2 hours ago, Dedicated said:

 

I just kind of wonder if maybe an avid fanbase is enabling a greedy enterprise thinking it's one that actually cares about faithfully adapting the heart of the story. I mean when GRRM met with the show runners for GoT he only agreed to let them make it into a show if they could answer the question of who Jon's mother was. I think this was his way of making sure that they were really trying to make a faithful adaption as opposed to just trying to find a new idea that would make money.

Impossible.

This was the case in the past, when fantasy was niche. The few adaptation were low budget, the idea was "if only the fans will watch it, we still have some million viewers. If they don't like it and will never buy anything else related, we still made a profit".

It won't work when you're spending hundreds of millions. Many people, myself included, have worked out the math and discussed it at lenght; the short answer is, there aren't enough book fans to make a profit out of them. not with something so expensive as this show. if they want to make money, they must hook up many viewers, and the only way to do it is with a quality product.

Money is not evil, not by itself. You make a good product, give the people what they want, ask for a reasonable price, and they will gladly pay. Build up reputation, see them coming back to you to buy your other stuff too. In the long run, it works much better than trying to swindle the customers with crappy products and misleading advertising. Any major firm that tried to use its good reputation to swindle the customers collapsed.

 

which makes me pretty confident that we'll get a good show. maybe it won't be particularly faithful to the books, and maybe i will disagree on some of those choices, but it's almost impossible it won't be a good story. As long as it is approached with an open mind and not a "they MUST get that TINY detail right!".

Incidentally, if you count "Moiraine being much taller than in the book" as a MAJOR change, then indeed, you may not like it; they are going to change much more than that.

Frankly, while Jordan was a genius and he wrote amazing books, his writings also had enough weaknesses that if they make the right changes they could turn the show better than the original books.

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The fact that Amazon has already green-lit season 2 is pretty promising in this regard: it suggests a certain level of confidence at Amazon that the show will find a sustainable (both in the sense of size and longevity) audience, regardless of the precise proportionate composition of book fans and others. 

Amazon is a big company and there would be a lot of people with input into the above decision, so the confidence suggests a fairly broad consensus across a lot of different people that season 1 has come together well.

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7 hours ago, Tim said:

The fact that Amazon has already green-lit season 2 is pretty promising in this regard: it suggests a certain level of confidence at Amazon that the show will find a sustainable (both in the sense of size and longevity) audience, regardless of the precise proportionate composition of book fans and others. 

Amazon is a big company and there would be a lot of people with input into the above decision, so the confidence suggests a fairly broad consensus across a lot of different people that season 1 has come together well.

Many people can make a mistake.

 

10 of millions voted for Clinton and 10 of millions voted for Trump - which made a mistake?

 

10 of millions voted for Trump and 10 of millions voted for Biden - which made a mistake?

 

It will be up to viewers/fans to decide if season 1 came together well.  Not Rafe, not Amazon.

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8 hours ago, Tim said:

The fact that Amazon has already green-lit season 2 is pretty promising in this regard

Season 2 was green-lit out of necessity. A few months ago the choice became either start filming or they wouldn't be able to get a full season 2 ready for next year.

 

This is becoming more common as streaming services are starting to realize that their big budget Fantasy and Sci-Fi shows need a long time not just to film but also for post production, they can't just wait and see how the show does.

 

The real sign of success will be if season 3 and 4 are green-lit after the first few episodes become available. If they are then we're probably going to at least get up to Dumai's Wells. If they aren't then it's a sign the numbers they're seeing are disappointing and they'll likely wait to see how LOTR does before deciding whether it's worth it to continue with WOT.

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26 minutes ago, AusLeviathan said:

Season 2 was green-lit out of necessity. A few months ago the choice became either start filming or they wouldn't be able to get a full season 2 ready for next year.


I see that, but if there were serious doubts about the show on Amazon's side then the balance of factors probably would have dictated risking having the second season start in 2023 in order to test the market first (with a resulting risk of lost fanbase momentum). 

 

Though I accept that Amazon are perhaps less concerned about wasting money than, say, Netflix would be.

And of course none of that means the show will be good, or that Amazon have gotten it right, but the whole thing is way too expensive a proposition to be intentionally driven by a bait and switch strategy.

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26 minutes ago, Tim said:

I see that, but if there were serious doubts about the show on Amazon's side then the balance of factors probably would have dictated risking having the second season start in 2023 in order to test the market first (with a resulting risk of lost fanbase momentum). 

They've invested too much to pull back after a single season though and even if they wanted to there's no way they could get a big project ready in time to fill WOT's 2022 slot which is likely intended to start a few weeks after LOTR finishes. Plus they've got to use the studio they built for something to get a return out of it.

 

I just don't think the second season being green-lit is anything more than a business decision made to ensure they have enough big productions for 2022.

 

35 minutes ago, Tim said:

And of course none of that means the show will be good, or that Amazon have gotten it right, but the whole thing is way too expensive a proposition to be intentionally driven by a bait and switch strategy.

You ever seen The Last Jedi, a $200+ million budget movie that did nothing but bait and switch regardless of whether it made sense or not.

 

GOT season 8, where the showrunners decided to use their $100+ million budget to have characters ignore seven years of character development so that they could subvert expectations and surprise people.

 

What about the 2015 Fantastic Four, a $150 million budget adaption of a series adapted by a director who very clearly wanted the movie to have as little to do with the source material as possible, to the point he tanked his own promising career over it.

 

I think they're going to make WOT fairly faithful but keep in mind that we have plenty of examples of expensive projects built on the idea of bait and switch, so it wouldn't exactly be shocking if they did make some unpopular changes.

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Creators and financiers aren't the same thing. Amazon Prime Studios is looking for a big hit in the fantasy genre, hedging their bets a bit by making both this and the LOTR prequel. That doesn't mean the showrunners only care about having a hit, though. Amazon has historically been very good about being hands off and letting showrunners do their thing without interference, and they kept high-quality shows going for many seasons even if they weren't all that popular. Bezos wants the prestige more than the money. Amazon makes it money from other ventures, enough to fund Prime Video even if Prime Video isn't self-sustaining. I'd be way more worried if this was on Netflix, which very quickly cancels anything that isn't driving new subscriptions.

 

I'm not sure what to say about the casting. Rosamund Pike doesn't match my head canon at all, but she's a great actress I really like. I wouldn't say no to her if I was a casting director. Being short didn't seem critical to her character to me, not like, say, casting a Tyrion who wasn't actually a dwarf. At least one big name to draw attention seems to be standard for most productions. I don't see how Lost was any different. Matthew Fox came on after being the lead of an extremely popular prime time drama. Maybe I just used to watch too many critical darlings back in the day, but I was certainly familiar with Naveen Andrews and Michelle Rodriguez from their past work, too. Much moreso than anyone on Wheel of Time, who are overwhelmingly no names to me (though I don't watch nearly as much of anything these days, so it's hard to compare).

 

Game of Thrones, of course, did the same thing, too. Sean Bean was much older than the canon Ned Stark, but that fit with how they aged up all the children anyway so they could legally work full hours and film sex scenes. Mark Addy was absolutely nowhere near what I imagined Robert Baratheon as. He has never been strapping, intimidating, or attractive at any point in his life, and he's way too small.

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46 minutes ago, AdamA said:

Amazon makes it money from other ventures, enough to fund Prime Video even if Prime Video isn't self-sustaining. I'd be way more worried if this was on Netflix, which very quickly cancels anything that isn't driving new subscriptions.

Amazon has actually shown themselves to be quick to drop shows.

 

As far as I can tell about 40% of their original TV series are cancelled within two seasons and four seasons seems to be where even their most successful shows have maxed out so far. They've only really got a few ongoing scripted original drama's and certainly don't appear to have had an easy job trying to make hits.

 

They're mostly unproven in terms of adapting a long ongoing narrative but I suppose they have to really give it a go sooner or later.

 

1 hour ago, AdamA said:

Amazon has historically been very good about being hands off and letting showrunners do their thing without interference

Based on what Rafe said Amazon seemed to be very hands on with WOT and he spent a lot of time having to answer questions and deal with a lot of their suggestions.

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5 hours ago, AusLeviathan said:

Amazon has actually shown themselves to be quick to drop shows.

 

As far as I can tell about 40% of their original TV series are cancelled within two seasons and four seasons seems to be where even their most successful shows have maxed out so far. They've only really got a few ongoing scripted original drama's and certainly don't appear to have had an easy job trying to make hits.

 

 

on the other hand, they want "their own GOT". which implies a long runner. you don't start something like wot if you don't think it has a chance to become one

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11 hours ago, AusLeviathan said:

You ever seen The Last Jedi, a $200+ million budget movie that did nothing but bait and switch regardless of whether it made sense or not.

 

GOT season 8, where the showrunners decided to use their $100+ million budget to have characters ignore seven years of character development so that they could subvert expectations and surprise people.


I can't speak to Fantastic Four which I haven't seen, but I found nothing about The Last Jedi jarring or capricious when I saw it, and was surprised when I learned of the fan backlash. I still think it's the best of the three recent films.

 

I can see how you might say it adopts a "bait and switch" strategy (it obviously goes in some very different directions to its predecessor), but in that case we're probably talking about slightly different things - I suspect what I have in mind is more what you say happened with the last Fantastic Four. Whatever you think about whether The Last Jedi worked, it seems pretty clear to me that the approach taken was attempting to engage with the key questions of the SW universe in good faith, rather than just disregard them.

 

The fact that a lot of fans would have preferred a film that didn't come to such novel conclusions regarding the answers to those questions doesn't suggest to me that the filmmakers weren't trying to make the best film they could (the original premise of this thread is the question whether the WOT show will be just an exercise in cynical exploitation of the franchise, not whether we will agree/disagree with every decision taken).

 

That distinction seems to be at the heart of why The Last Jedi was more successful with critics than either The Force Awakens or The Rise of Skywalker, but so divisive amongst fans - when it comes to franchises, almost inevitably, critics are more likely to engage with any particular instance of it as a standalone phenomenon (and ask whether it succeeds on that basis) rather than focus on whether it adheres to some particular broader official or unofficial canonical vision.

 

The final season of GOT just struck me as a failure of execution more than anything else. The same character developments spread out over 2 seasons (probably just introduced earlier) would have been fine, I think.


 

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1 hour ago, Tim said:

Whatever you think about whether The Last Jedi worked, it seems pretty clear to me that the approach taken was attempting to engage with the key questions of the SW universe in good faith, rather than just disregard them.

It was attempting to surprise people and nothing else. Entire plot points that had been built up in the previous movie were thrown out without any real resolution just to subvert expectations. The big bad was quickly killed in the second movie of a trilogy with no plan in place for how to deal with that just to surprise everyone. Most notably the movie left the series with real narrative issues as by throwing out everything that had been set up and subverting all expectations there was nothing to really build on for the last movie.

 

Now I don't expect WOT to go to those extreme's but some of the stuff we've heard about the series so far hints at notable changes which could alter the characters quite a bit. I mean if they're willing to do something like

Spoiler

Perrin having a girlfriend/wife who dies in the Trolloc attack

in the first episode then I think it's hard to know exactly how far they might go to surprise people.

Edited by AusLeviathan
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