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How did the show hold up for non-fans watching with you?

king of nowhere

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By now we know the show got mixed reviews. There is a poll thread who already got like 60 votes, and it seems about 60% were positive, and 25% negative. So, generally good, but still one fourth of the fandom here disliked the show.


On the other hand, there is some argument that perhaps we posting here are strong fans, and so we are both 1) more likely to be put off by the differences with the books, and 2) more likely to be disappointed because we've been hyped for years and we were hoping for something impossibly successful.

mixed reviews also from critics, but regarding them 1) criticize is their job, and 2) most of the negative reviews come from people who are hostile to fantasy in general.

I've read a lot of comments, and one thing seem constant: every time a fan watched the show with significant others who were not fans, the significant other liked the show.

which is perhaps the most important thing, to capture new audience. we all debated to death and know diehard fans won't have the number to determine the show's success.


So, how was the reception among your significant others?


Me, I watched the show with my brother (bbok fan) and his girlfriend (not read the book), and the girlfriend was the most appreciative

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My guy has read the first book at least, but he claims he did not. So ... I know he just got confused by the prologue being as it is, and I guess the style did not grab him. He does read fantasy and science fiction and loves Dune for instance and we are both Star Trek fans.


He thought it was a fine show but he wants me to shut up and stop asking him questions as they apparently are spoilery... I guess I ask questions in a leading way? I thought I was being neutral.


(I have been known to spoil Galaxy Quest by blurting out that there were real aliens at the convention...)


He has been happy to watch it with me and he likes the show, except for the wobbly camera during the Trolloc fight. He makes some assumptions as the show seems to be leading new viewers there and I am trying to let him be surprised. Oh, he really enjoyed the diversity of the Trollocs. Yay for diversity!


He is trying to guess which character I wanted to pick for a nickname back in the day, when it was not available on the platform I was at. Fun fact: I then went with Daenerys as ASOIAF was my other fave book series and that name was available. But there is a character I identify with more than others and I am letting him discover that.


It's been fun watching this with him. I never thought he'd let me watch two episodes in two days. ? We are so anti-binging.

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I watched the first three episodes with my partner and daughter.

Neither has read any of the books, where as I have read the whole series several times.

Both are interested in fantasy and sci fi as well.

To be honest, neither of them was impressed.

The main issues were the dialogue and writing/story having no real flow. To them it seemed too edited and the characters conversations "choppy" and incomplete. The friendship between Rand/Perrin/Mat/Egwene seems disingenuous for supposedly close knit group. 

They said there were some great scenes that set the story and the scenery was well done but it appears to be a poor mans GoT.

They more than likely won't commit to watching it, but will likely sneak a glance or two as I do and ask a lot of questions.

Best thing about this series so far, is that it makes me want to dig the books out again.


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My wife seemed uninterested to me while watching it, fiddling with her phone and getting up constantly to make food, but then she wanted to rewatch, so we did, and she said she's excited about it and can't wait for more episodes, so I guess she liked it more than was apparent.


It's arguably being upstaged for both of us, though, by the fact it's airing during the same season as Succession and Yellowjackets, which are both so good right now that they're really what we're waiting for, plus The Expanse final season coming in two weeks. It's not exactly appointment television yet, but good enough to keep watching.

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My wife is a book disliker. She'd read up to at least 5 or 6 I think but gave up before we met. She tried again a year or so ago but only got through book 2 before moving onto other things. It's specifically RJs writing style she dislikes, not so much the story.


She's watched Ep1 and 2 so far and thinks it's a good show. Didn't share my concerns with the Ep1 pacing. 

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My partner really likes it though is confused about some elements that they haven't done a good job of explaining, namely the scope of the One Power and the Aes Sedai in general. I played her the animated shorts which I think helped give her a bit of context in that regard but it's hard to argue that the show has done a good job of giving non-book readers the right impression when it comes to the Aes Sedai so far. Hopefully that will change in Episode 4, I think it will be AS heavy with Logain. 


She really loves all the EFers which I'm happy about and I think I mentioned somewhere else but she is convinced that Perrin is the Dragon Reborn. She was bowled over by the Darkfriend reveal in ep3, it really opened up the threat of the Dark One for her, we talked about it for about an hour after the show as she ran through the implications (the one I enjoyed the most being - can an Aes Sedai be a baddy?!) Overall she's excited to watch it on Friday and has already told me she doesn't me to watch it before her haha (which I did for the first 3 episodes).

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My non-book reader wife hasn't watched the show yet.  She's letting me enjoy the show as it comes out and she'll binge watch the show with me when schedules calm down a little.


I'm firmly of the opinion at this point that the show is working better as a tv show for the non-book reading public overall than it may be for book readers.  Some of the more fan controversial changes really do seem to be setting the hooks in.   Something as simple as the "Weep" song seems to have worked as a hook too.


Basically, from what I've seen.  Episode 1 is big on the "Wow" factor and sets the hook.  Episode 2 and 3 gives them a good bit of meat.   And, I'm expecting episode 4 to add more "Wow" factor.


Overall, the show may not have broken through at this point but the possibility that it might seems far more probable than it did a few weeks ago.


Edited by TheDreadReader
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Two close friends of mine and their wives are watching the show, as is my wife. My wife has read through FoH, as has one of my friends. My other friend read the whole series once many years ago. My friends' wives have not read the books.


All of them have enjoyed the show enough to be excited for E4. The book readers have noted changes. My wife does not like the Perrin change very much, but is resigned to it. Some of the book readers feel like Mat's backstory was too dark. The wives who have not read the books both think Perrin is the DR, so that's a win for Rafe I think.


Most people thought the battle in E1 went on too long. Everyone loved Dana and the whole Darkfriend reveal. Episode 3 was the unanimous choice as best episode. 

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Watched it with my wife who did not read any of the series, however she has read the Mistborn series and is a capable reader (unfortunately mostly romance/detective). So far she is interested in the series and not put off by my explanations, but not blown away by the story.  She likes to figure out the story and I've let her know that this story is both simple and complex.  It's the Last Battle (simple) and who/how we get there (complex).


Overall, her estimate is interested but not hooked...yet.  I think the story will draw in more non-readers once the full picture of Darkfriends everywhere from Tar Valon to Amadicia is revealed.  Political intrigue mixed with sheer terror will play well on screen.

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My wife has read all the books (we started reading right before 11 came out, and she re-read the series with each one that came out).  My son is through book 7, and I read like my wife and then re-read 1-3 recently.  They keep asking me "was that in the book, or a change?" because I have the most recent book-memory.  All are enjoying it. 

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17 hours ago, NightWolf said:

I watched all the initial episodes with three of my friends (which that in itself is surprising... that I have friends) - one had never read the books (really enjoyed the show), one hasn't read but knows the general gist of the plot (was meh about the show), one had read most of the books through once (really loved the show) and then there was I who really loves the books but heavily disliked the show.


We discussed comparisons after the viewing and I was unanimously labeled a "debbie downer" and needed to go seek professional care.


Needless to say they were correct in their labeling... except my name isn't debbie.

Shirley your friends didn't mean to call you debbie.

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