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Brandon Sanderson’s Public Comments on Adapting the Books


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  • TheMountain changed the title to Brandon Sanderson and Dan Wells Talk About Adapting the Books
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I just finished listening to it. Some random thoughts. 
 

Brandon is allowed to say whether or not he likes the adaptation. And he does! 
Brandon considers this to be more of a “inspired by” than a direct adaptation and goes into detail about his “another turning of the Wheel” headcanon. 
There’s a good bit of discussion about the challenges of adapting something this big and intricate to another medium and some of that is specific to this story. 

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I knew it had been posted somewhere but I couldn't find the thread, thank you. I really loved the chat, Brandon comes across as a very honest, humble guy. 

 

I found his comments about splitting the WoT series into 4 sections very interesting. It's around the 39 minute mark. Essentially he says that the first three books being the classic fantasy quest format, and 4-6 being more political intrigue and worldbuilding. And he says how they are bringing forward a lot of the core of the later books to this first season. 

 

I understand why that choice has been made to really lay foundations to make those later events even better, but I do worry that something will be lost of the character building in the early books if they focus too much on that. But it's interesting to think about.

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28 minutes ago, notpropaganda73 said:

Also Brandon Sanderson not even naming Cadsuane in this video but saying "You're not my Mom!" had me roaring laughing hahaha 


Same! I think we all had a similar reaction to Cadsuane. 
 

Also, Brandon and Dan chatted a bit about how LoTR fans responded to the changes Peter Jackson made. I wasn’t connected to that fandom twenty years ago, so I don’t personally recall the arguments. But I have encountered them at DragonCon and….whooo they can be intense. 

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Very interesting conversation. 

 

My favourite line paraphrased:

 

"Enjoy it for what it is, don't hate it for what it isn't."

 

That's how I've been approaching it and I'm having a great time.

 

Also, based on what he said about Liandrin, I definitely think she's actually Elaida in this telling. Which makes me wonder who's going to be our first black sister. 

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9 hours ago, JenniferL said:

I just finished listening to it. Some random thoughts. 
 

Brandon is allowed to say whether or not he likes the adaptation. And he does! 
Brandon considers this to be more of a “inspired by” than a direct adaptation and goes into detail about his “another turning of the Wheel” headcanon. 
There’s a good bit of discussion about the challenges of adapting something this big and intricate to another medium and some of that is specific to this story. 

I think the 'inspired by' tag allows unlimited latitude to be as close or as far from the material as they choose to be.  Which I think is accurate for the show.

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22 minutes ago, Kudzu said:

Very interesting conversation. 

 

My favourite line paraphrased:

 

"Enjoy it for what it is, don't hate it for what it isn't."

 

That's how I've been approaching it and I'm having a great time.

 

Also, based on what he said about Liandrin, I definitely think she's actually Elaida in this telling. Which makes me wonder who's going to be our first black sister. 


He might have just confused them to be honest. There were a few inaccuracies here and there.

 

It would be kinda weird to call her Liandrin instead of Elaida if they’re merging the two, although maybe they think Elaida is too close to Elayne.

 

Still Elaida is motivated by her foretelling of the Andorran royal family (which she of course misinterprets), so she should be close to them. They might just do away with it of course.

Edited by MasterAblar
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1 hour ago, notpropaganda73 said:

Well I'm a book fan, and I'm encouraged. We just have different perspectives I guess 

And how much of the books do they they have to cut to the point you realize you're not encouraged?

Or does that matter anymore, and you'll just "like it for what it is," (A show that entertains you) and "not hate it for what it isn't" (the books).

 

They should have said that from the beginning, instead of crowed how much Rafe was a fan of the books...

Edited by Gothic Flame
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31 minutes ago, Gothic Flame said:

And how much of the books do they they have to cut to the point you realize you're not encouraged?

Or does that matter anymore, and you'll just "like it for what it is," (A show that entertains you) and "not hate it for what it isn't" (the books).

 

They should have said that from the beginning, instead of crowed how much Rafe was a fan of the books...

 

Well for background, all I ever wanted was a good representation of WoT on screen. I just didn't want it to be awful, cringey, terrible, cancelled after one season because of bad dialogue, bad everything. It's not a 5 star show, but it's not a dumpster fire either imo. And I'm encouraged because of chats like this with Brandon where I feel as though those creating the show truly do want to get to the core of the books and give a fair representation on screen. 

 

I know that there are some that simply don't believe people when they say something like that, but honestly my expectations were so low, like through the floor for this series. I never believed WoT would make it to the screen. It was too big, too complex, too reliant on good CGI, too much core character developments happened internally rather than through action necessarily. The final trailer got me quite excited but I tempered them once I actually started looking in to reactions online and everything (I sort of left the online WoT community after the final book and only rejoined Dragonmount a couple weeks before the show aired). 

 

But, I am being honest here, cuts and changes and new storylines don't actually bother me as long as the core characters are true to the books and we are getting the same core story. I think, so far, that's happening, and even where core characters are underdeveloped or sidelined or not really popping at the moment, I am giving the show the benefit of the doubt precisely because of what the likes of Brandon says in this video (therefore, I am encouraged).

 

I also think you can be a fan of the books but when adapting it for an 8 season run, you have to be ruthless. I *also* think that Rafe is his own person, with his own ideas. He's not a screen writing robot just pushing 1s and 0s to get Robert Jordan's WoT on to the screen. He might be looking at something that happens in book 6 that *he* thinks is core to the entire story, and as a TV writer, how does he lay the groundwork or sell that earlier than it might happen in the books, so that it hits perfectly on screen? I get all that, and I'm pretty relaxed about it all. I guess I just find it easier and more fun to look for what I'm enjoying about the adaptation, and it is fun to dissect it and be critical too, so long as we're fair about it. I just really hate the implication in a lot of the criticism that I have seen that Rafe hates the books, or has never read them, or he actively hated Robert Jordan's narrative and wants to impose his own worldview on to the Wheel of Time, and screw the fans. You can absolutely be a massive fan of the books and come out with what the show has so far. You can also be a massive fan of the books and despise everything about the show. Both things are true. Anyone who says otherwise is an arrogant gatekeeper, quite frankly (and I genuinely mean that for those who might be on "my side" of things too - stop dictating to those that hate the show that they should shut up and like what they've gotten). 

 

Again, I know there are some who just sort of roll their eyes at the above and think "god you show lovers will constantly alter your opinions to justify everything in the show!" but it's the truth for me *shrug*

 

Sorry that was way longer than I intended xD

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3 hours ago, Gothic Flame said:

Much there that isn't encouraging to fans of the books. 

At this point I almost don't care anymore how close or how far they stray from the books. I just want the show to be entertaining. Out of 5 episodes I think only episode 4 didn't feel like a slog to watch. There's that military saying "Hurry up and wait" and I feel that is how things are so far. Skip a who bunch of stuff then wait through a bunch of boring stuff.

 

Episode 4 is a completely new story that wasn't in the books and I think it's why it worked so well. They had more control over it.

With the rest they are jumping to each key point in the book and ticking it off a list.

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3 hours ago, notpropaganda73 said:

 

Well for background, all I ever wanted was a good representation of WoT on screen. I just didn't want it to be awful, cringey, terrible, cancelled after one season because of bad dialogue, bad everything. It's not a 5 star show, but it's not a dumpster fire either imo. And I'm encouraged because of chats like this with Brandon where I feel as though those creating the show truly do want to get to the core of the books and give a fair representation on screen. 

 

I know that there are some that simply don't believe people when they say something like that, but honestly my expectations were so low, like through the floor for this series. I never believed WoT would make it to the screen. It was too big, too complex, too reliant on good CGI, too much core character developments happened internally rather than through action necessarily. The final trailer got me quite excited but I tempered them once I actually started looking in to reactions online and everything (I sort of left the online WoT community after the final book and only rejoined Dragonmount a couple weeks before the show aired). 

 

But, I am being honest here, cuts and changes and new storylines don't actually bother me as long as the core characters are true to the books and we are getting the same core story. I think, so far, that's happening, and even where core characters are underdeveloped or sidelined or not really popping at the moment, I am giving the show the benefit of the doubt precisely because of what the likes of Brandon says in this video (therefore, I am encouraged).

 

I also think you can be a fan of the books but when adapting it for an 8 season run, you have to be ruthless. I *also* think that Rafe is his own person, with his own ideas. He's not a screen writing robot just pushing 1s and 0s to get Robert Jordan's WoT on to the screen. He might be looking at something that happens in book 6 that *he* thinks is core to the entire story, and as a TV writer, how does he lay the groundwork or sell that earlier than it might happen in the books, so that it hits perfectly on screen? I get all that, and I'm pretty relaxed about it all. I guess I just find it easier and more fun to look for what I'm enjoying about the adaptation, and it is fun to dissect it and be critical too, so long as we're fair about it. I just really hate the implication in a lot of the criticism that I have seen that Rafe hates the books, or has never read them, or he actively hated Robert Jordan's narrative and wants to impose his own worldview on to the Wheel of Time, and screw the fans. You can absolutely be a massive fan of the books and come out with what the show has so far. You can also be a massive fan of the books and despise everything about the show. Both things are true. Anyone who says otherwise is an arrogant gatekeeper, quite frankly (and I genuinely mean that for those who might be on "my side" of things too - stop dictating to those that hate the show that they should shut up and like what they've gotten). 

 

Again, I know there are some who just sort of roll their eyes at the above and think "god you show lovers will constantly alter your opinions to justify everything in the show!" but it's the truth for me *shrug*

 

Sorry that was way longer than I intended xD

Well said

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11 hours ago, ArrylT said:

It sounds like he said that he considers this adaptation of WOT to be pretty similar to the LOTR adaptation, in terms of how close it is on the scale of staying faithful to the source material.  

mmmm actually that not what he said, he said basically that in an hypothetical scale between adaptation and re-imagining the best example are LOTR  (adaptation) and Shining (re-imagining) , this show sits at the center of it leaning a bit toward LOTR. This of course doesn't mean it is bad or good, absolutely not

 

EDIT: Actually the best example of adaptation was Harry Potter followed by LOTR

Edited by NetNightmare
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16 hours ago, TheMountain said:

I'm pretty sure this deserves it's own thread!

 

Well, off the back of this (17/18 minutes in) I've bought Ghost Station by Dan Wells on audible.  I don't mind a cold war thriller and it will do for next week's commute.  I don't know if Dan gets any extra money from my purchase though, or if it all goes straight to Bezos.

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It was a good discussion.

i think it’s pretty fair to say it’s another turning of the wheel, not what Robert Jordan wrote.

If you accept that then I am sure it’s easier to enjoy the series.

For those that don’t it’s harder not to hate it… especially as it’s Rafes interpretation…. of all the turnings in all of time he had to walk into this turning.🤔

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21 hours ago, NetNightmare said:

mmmm actually that not what he said, he said basically that in an hypothetical scale between adaptation and re-imagining the best example are LOTR  (adaptation) and Shining (re-imagining) , this show sits at the center of it leaning a bit toward LOTR. This of course doesn't mean it is bad or good, absolutely not

 

EDIT: Actually the best example of adaptation was Harry Potter followed by LOTR

nope.

brandon says that there are two extremes of adaptation, the faitful adaptation and the adaptation in spirit, the first harry potter was an example of faithful, the shining was an example of spirit, and lotr is in the middle of those two extremes, and wot too, leaning a bit more towards in-spirit.

 

On 12/9/2021 at 11:22 AM, Gothic Flame said:

Much there that isn't encouraging to fans of the books. 

only if you were adamant on getting a faithful adaptation.

i am a fan of the books, and i've always been perfectly fine with an adaptation in spirit. rafe changed scenes, but he kept the core of the main characters, and I agree with brandon, that's a great way to do it.

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