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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Some thoughts on rewriting Season 1 of The Wheel of Time


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I honestly can't really think of much of anything I wouldn't have changed.

Not that I don't understand why they did the things they did, but I would have done them differently.

 

As one example among many - I don't have a problem with Moiraine and Siuan having kept up the relationship they had as Novices and Accepted.  But I wouldn't have played it the way the show did.  They introduced something completely foreign to the books with the Love Shack and the way they accessed it, then again with the Oath Rod.

 

One of the few things I mostly agreed with was the Blood Snow scene.  But the lack of context made it confusing for non-readers who didn't yet know anything about the Aiel War.

Edited by Andra
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  • 4 weeks later...

I would have to agree with some of these points.  I expected the TV series to have changes made to accommodate fitting this huge book series into a TV series without it taking 20 seasons to complete (though I'd love to see that).  Unfortunately, they did what I was afraid of and made a lot of lore changes that do nothing to help the story and instead make it far worse for fans of the books.  I have heard that the writers only looked at cliff notes for the books when writing the screenplay and although I don't know if that is true, it certainly seems that way with all the errors in the shows.  Perhaps these errors are intentional, but I can't see any reason why they'd be intentional as they offer no value and take away a lot from the books, especially when you start looking at how these changes will affect major story arcs later in the series.

 

I started out with the first 3 episodes with a feeling that it might work out in the end.  I was willing to ignore quite a lot of changes that were there in those first episodes in hopes of a great series over time.  After all, I've been waiting for this TV adaptation for 20+ years.  Unfortunately, they continued making unnecessary and bad changes as the season progressed and by the end of the season, I was really tired of it all.  I'm actually amazed that they got the green light for season 3.  I expected it would all end after season 2 just based on how poorly season 1 was received.  All I can hope for is that they will do better in season 2 and season 3 and later seasons, if they appear.  I'm just not sure that this will be possible as there doesn't seem to be any indication that they care about the audience's feelings on the matter.  If they've given such an indication that I've missed, please feel free to let me know as I'd really like to see it.

 

As we are discussing "rewriting" season 1 here, I'll go ahead and add in some of the more glaring things that really annoyed me in the shows.  Keeping in mind that I am open to changes being made that have meaning or are necessary to the adaptation.  I am not open to changes just for the sake of change.

 

Please note that the following contains spoilers both from the TV series and from the books.  Don't continue reading if you haven't watched and read everything yet and plan to do so.

 

This is long, but I've attempted to break it up into sections to make it easier to digest and to read only parts you're interested in.  It is hard to limit what to comment on when the story is so important to me.

 

Ages

  • I'll comment on this just because the OP video did.  The main characters were aged up in the TV series.  I understand that, to a point.  It can give you some more freedom in the story if you want it.  Unfortunately, the books made great use of the fact that these characters were growing up and developing into young adults as the story progressed.  When you lose this aspect of the story, you lose out on a lot of what made the books great.  These books took the "coming of age" dynamic that you see done ad nauseum and made it into an "epic" version of that dynamic.  It showed the dynamic in a way that made it feel real and powerful and important.  And in the TV series, it's all gone.  You lose out on such a powerful dynamic with nothing worthwhile to show for the change.  Honestly, I'd be fine with the actors being older, but still having them portray the characters at the ages they were in the books.  It wouldn't be the first time that has been done and it can work well when done well.  I just don't think they characters themselves should have been aged up.  You just lose too much powerful dynamics that can really lead to growth in younger viewers today.

Perrin

  • As everyone has apparently commented on, Perrin should not have been married.  It serves no purpose other than to give a poorly written and unnecessary background to a character who is already a very interesting character in the books.  I doubt anyone can show that this is a valuable change.
  • Although anyone not familiar with the books would not know or care about this, Perrin should not have a beard at the start of the story.  In the books, the fact that he adopts a beard when he gets with Faile is an important change to him and if you give him a beard at the start, you negate that entire story arc between them.  Sure, it's minor compared to other story arcs, but can you show me why having a beard in the beginning of the series is a valuable change or needed in any way?  If not, it should not have been changed.
  • When Perrin started to gain his ability to interact with the wolves, the books provided a very important character, Elyas, who helped Perrin to understand what was happening.  The TV series completed eliminated Elyas and left Perrin without any idea of what was going on.  Perhaps this was to save time?  But his interactions with the wolves is such an important part of the story that removing Elyas is really not very smart.  Can they show Perrin learning about this without Elyas?  Sure.  But why?

Mat and Abell

  • Mat is trouble, sure.  But he's loyal to his friends and isn't a bad guy.  In fact, he's more just someone who goofs around and gets into some trouble than a true scoundrel.  Yet the TV series paints him as untrustworthy (sure, part of that is how the dagger affects him, which is accurate, but the TV series doesn't do anything to truly show that this isn't his true nature) and uncaring toward his friends.  The interactions between the three ta'veren (Mat, Rand, Perrin) is crucial and to treat Mat like this is a very bad decision.  He even chose not to go with them through the waygate, which is ridiculous.
  • Mat's father, Abell, is also changed from a well-respected horse trader into the worst of the worst for no good reason.  Not only do you mess up the backgrounds for Mat and Abell, but you greatly weaken the Women's Circle.  In the books, if you had someone who acted like the TV series portrays Abell, the Women's Circle would have taken care of that long ago (so would the Village Council, for that matter - a group that is missing entirely from the TV series).  This change makes the Women's Circle seem like they have no power and no control over what goes on within the village.  You've made the Women's Circle go from a power to be reckoned with in the books to little more than a cult of women with no power in the TV series.  They deserved better.

Nynaeve

  • Overall, Nynaeve is fine.  The issue with her in the TV series is she's too powerful too early and with too much control.  Nynaeve is one of the most powerful channelers since the Breaking, but until she finally accepts that she can channel and that she wants to become Aes Sedai and she breaks free from her fear and breaks through her Wall (needing anger to channel), she's basically hit-and-miss.  She occasionally does something powerful, but she can't reproduce it and she really can't do it at-will.  Yes, she's powerful.  That part is fine.  What isn't fine is that she has far too much control and ability to channel whenever she wants.  In the beginning, she doesn't even want to admit that she can channel, let alone have any ability to control it.  This is a long story arc that is very important as she eventually accepts who she is and breaks through her Wall and gains control over her powers, but the TV series is making her so powerful and with so much control so early that it's going to completely break that story arc.

Rand and Tam

  • The books started out with a great background story told as Tam and Rand are heading back into town after the Trollocs attack their home.  This is removed entirely except as a very limited "flashback" that wasn't shown in the first place.  You really shouldn't be removing important information like this from the TV series.  Sure, those of us who have read the books already know this information and can get by without it, but anyone new will have no clue what's really going on.

Rand and Egwene

  • As commented on in the OP video, this interaction between them is just very poorly handled.  In the books, they were meant to marry leading up to the start of the books.  When Egwene came of age and was looking to become a wisdom, she decided she didn't want to be with Rand (this also happened just prior to the start of the books).  As they were leaving Two Rivers (I can't remember exactly where and I apologize for not taking the time to look it up), Rand also came to the decision that he also wasn't interested in being with Egwene anymore.  In the end, they both basically told each other they weren't interested and both felt like the other was just trying to be strong and didn't really mean it.  The TV series decided to change it so that they continued to be interested in each other throughout the entire season with some ups and downs along the way.  I get the idea that having a love and loss story arc can be interesting to people, but is it really needed?  Does the actual story not provide enough interest without adding in what feels like a cheap gimmick that you see in what seems like every young adult show out there?
  • Also, as commented on in the video, the intimate interactions between them will greatly reduce the huge impact of the igloo scene from the books.  That was such a powerful scene and all that power behind the scene will be lost, if they even include the scene or get far enough into the story to reach that scene.  And for what?  Are they trying to imitate GoT's first season's use of sex to try and sell the story?  You'd think so with this change and a few other changes that introduce a sexual context, but at the same time, it is so minimal that it's nothing like GoT.  Not that I'm suggesting they should go the route of GoT's first season.  I just think that either they go that route or they stick to the story.  Trying to do some middle ground just weakens the story.

Missing locations, Missing People, and Changed paths

  • What happened to Baerlon?  What happened to Min?  We finally see Min in Fal Dara, near the end of Season 1.  She was introduced in the books in Baerlon shortly after leaving Two Rivers.  In the end, it isn't that important how early she is introduced, but the TV series treats her as unimportant and inconsequential to the story - just a minor character with the ability to see auras.  Yet she is a critical part of the story, one of the three who Rand will love.  Making her seem like she's not very important and shoving her toward the end of Season 1 as if they had forgotten all about her is a poor choice.
  • What happened to Caemlyn?  What happened to Elayne, Gawyn, and Galededrid?  Caemlyn is a very important part of the Wheel of Time story and it is eliminated entirely.  Not only that, but Elayne, another of Rand's three loves, is eliminated entirely.  We can assume she'll be introduced later, but this is a huge change of one of the most important characters in the story for no apparent reason.  We also lose out on Elayne's brother and half brother, Gawyn and Galadedrid.  Sure, they aren't the main characters in the story, but they are still significant characters, with Gawyn being Egwene's future love and warder and both of them being instrumental in the fall of the White Tower.  I have to assume that the delayed introductions of Min and Elayne were done in order to allow for Rand and Egwene to continue the TV series' view of a fitful love for far longer than it should have been.  Again, why?  If they want a love story and intrigue, drop Egwene right away when the books did and let the combined interests of Elayne and Min create that interest as was intended.  It's far more interesting and potent and feels far less like a cheap teen romance movie.
  • Rand at the White Tower in Season 1?  What?!  In the books, he doesn't go to the White Tower until very late in the series.  In fact, none of them go to the White Tower until after Book 1.  Why change this?  In the books, the Amyrlin Seat (Siuan Sanche) meets the party in Fal Dara.  In the TV series, she meets them in the White Tower.  Is there a good reason for this change?  The location of this meeting isn't that important when all is said and done, except that pretty much the entire book series shows Rand avoiding ever going to the White Tower until very late in the books and to just toss him there right away takes all of that away for no reason that I can see.
  • Only Rand and Moiraine at the Eye of the World?  Why?  Supposedly because anyone besides the Dragon Reborn going there would die?  What?  Why add some random change there?  The original story had all of them working together to win the battle.  Now, Rand's basically on his own?  In the books, there is a very long story arc where Rand and his friends start out working together and then Rand distances himself to protect them (and other reasons), not to mention the different paths each took, and then they all come back together in the end (not necessarily all in the same location, but all working together to accomplish the same goal).  Now we lose the companionship right away, which greatly weakens that very important story arc.
  • Whitebridge is gone and Thom's fight with the Fade is moved to some random mining town instead.  I suppose you don't want to add in a town that is barely mentioned and that's okay.  But it also means you don't get introduced to Captain Domon, who plays some important roles later in the series.  Sure, you can introduce him later, but this is also when you see the first seal of the Dark One and hear about cuendillar.  Important information to the story that's just erased.  Speaking of Thom, he should have been in Two Rivers at the beginning as a balance against Moiraine rather than appearing so much later.

The "Final Battle"

  • Okay, so anyone who read the books knows that this isn't the final battle at all and is little more than the first crossing of swords between light and dark.  But that doesn't mean this wasn't an epic battle, both at the Eye of the World and at the Tarwin's Gap.  Yet instead of these two simultaneous epic battles, with the culmination of Rand's power defeating the enemies at Tarwin's Gap, we get a lukewarm "confrontation" between Rand and Ishamael where Rand just denies forcing Egwene to be his love instead of going her own way and automatically wins the battle at the Eye of the World (he no longer has any part in the battle at Tarwin's Gap).  And the Tarwin's Gap battle ends abruptly and with no loss of life other than those who were actually in the Gap and the failed "Aes Sedai" who should not have died based on the lore.  These few channelers, who were unable to become actual Aes Sedai (or in the case of Nynaeve and Egwene, hadn't even had any real training yet), defeated the entire army on their own, at the cost of (most of) their lives.  And, as I just mentioned, they shouldn't have been killed in that way based on lore and certainly shouldn't have been able to defeat that entire army all on their own, even with angreal or sa'angreal.  If it was on of the sa'angreal linked to the twin statues and they were powerful enough to use that, then sure.  But otherwise, no.  If it was that easy, the Aes Sedai would have little trouble with any armies from the Dark One other than Forsaken simply by using sa'angreal.  Yes, they are rare, but not so rare they couldn't make use of them and defeat anything that comes at them beyond Forsaken themselves with very little effort.  After all, if 5 untrained or too-weak-to-be-Aes-Sedai can defeat such an army, surely a couple fully trained Aes Sedai could do so?  This change makes it so that making the rest of the story believable will be difficult.  If you give so much power to non-Aes Sedai, then Aes Sedai suddenly become so powerful they can't really be stopped and your story falls apart.
  • Moiraine is stilled?!!  WHAT?!  First of all, it isn't until Nynaeve figures out how to heal stilling and severing very far into the series that anyone ever recovers from being stilled or severed.  It's believed that this cannot be Healed.  So you decide to still one of the main characters right away with no way to bring her back?  What do you expect to do going forward?  Do you completely break the lore and say that stilling can be Healed without any problem right away and take away Nynaeve's miraculous learning of how to heal it later on?  Or do you say, "Oh, I thought I was stilled, but I was only Shielded."?  That could work, except that also breaks lore.  For one, an Aes Sedai knows the difference between being Shielded and Stilled.  Second, as soon as Ishamael was defeated, any Shield would also be removed and she said she was stilled after he was defeated.  There is no way to resolve this without breaking lore even more or replacing Moiraine entirely, which is just as bad.

Whitecloaks and the Hand of the Light (aka Questioners)

  • Maybe this is nitpicky, but the books were very clear that members of the Hand of the Light hated being called Questioners.  "Questioners" is a derogatory reference for the members of the Hand of the Light.  Yet the Questioner in the TV series refers to himself and those like him as Questioners.  No Questioner would do so.  This change seems more a lack of understanding or reading of the books than anything else.  It seems they saw that they were called Questioners and so used it without understanding that it was a derogatory term.  There'd be no other reason to have this error/mistake/change in there.  And it just shows how little the writers for the TV series truly understand the books and that lack of understanding is what is really messing up the show.

Waygates

  • In the books, it's very clear that the waygates can be opened by anyone who knows how.  You use a leaf "key" to open the waygate.  In the TV series, you have to use the One Power to open the waygate.  This is a problem in that the Ogier, who used to use the Ways until they darkened with Machin Shin.  The Ogier don't use the One Power, so would be unable to use the Ways without a channeler to open the waygates for them.  The reason the waygates were outside of the Stedding (areas where the One Power doesn't work) is because they were "grown" through the use of the One Power, not that you needed the One Power to open them.  Not to mention that the Trollocs were brought through the Ways by the Fade, who cannot use the One Power either.  Even though you could say that the Forsaken opened the waygates for them, it just makes little sense and offers nothing to the TV series to make this change.  Perhaps this was just another time when failure to really know the books caused the writers to fail to put two and two together and get four.

Trollocs

  • This is very minor, but trollocs are described not just as goatmen (as the TV series seems intent on portraying them), but as a cross between animal and human.  And the animal part can be various kinds, such as wolves, bears, and eagles.  This variation in looks could have allowed for a much more interesting mix than what we saw in the TV series, where they all looks pretty much the same.  It's just a missed opportunity more than anything else.

Ogier

  • We only see one Ogier at this point, which is Loial.  I can live with how Loial looks, but it certainly isn't anything like the books describe him, or Ogier in general.  He's much shorter/smaller than he should be, though admittedly that's just easier to portray without CGI than to make him the size he's meant to be.  He also doesn't have the large ears that are described.  This is unfortunate as his ears were often remarked on as they would quiver when he wasn't comfortable and that would have been a nice effect in the TV series if they had portrayed that.  Overall, this is minor as character looks aren't entirely critical, but it's still unfortunate.

The One Power - Two in One

  • This is basic lore... the One Power is two halves that make a whole.  There is Saidar that only women can use and there is Saiden that only men can use.  Both are part of the One Power and have essentially the same powers, though women and men tend to be weaker in certain aspects of those power (women are weaker with Fire and Earth, while men are weaker with Air and Water, with Spirit evenly split among them).  The fact that Egwene can channel Earth so strongly helps to show how powerful she actually is.  Women cannot see men's weaves and men cannot see (though they can feel, if they know what to look for) women's weaves.  In the books, a famous quote from Moiraine is that "A bird cannot teach a fish to fly, nor a fish teach a bird to swim."  Essentially, an Aes Sedai cannot teach Rand to use Saiden.  Yet, in the TV series, Moiraine just dismisses teaching Rand by saying essentially that he'll use it automatically when it's time.  Nothing about the fact that she can't teach him.

Ta'veren

  • So, apparently the writers of the TV series can't figure out how many ta'veren there are.  The show said there were 4 and also that there were 5.  In reality, based on the books, there are only 3 - Mat, Perrin, and Rand.  If the writers are trying to give more "power" to Egwene and Nynaeve by suggesting they are ta'veren, there isn't any need to make such changes to the story.  Egwene and Nynaeve are both very powerful women in the books.  Adding the title of ta'veren to them is unnecessary.  Leave that for the real ta'veren and let Egwene and Nynaeve have their own story.  If anything, grouping them together with the others just weakens their own "power" as instead of being their own women, they are now just lumped among the three boys.

The Dragon Reborn

  • This one really bothers me as it takes one of the main pillars of the lore and destroys it.  The Dragon Reborn can only be male.  The reason the Dragon Reborn is feared is because the Dragon Reborn will be male and therefore tainted by the dark side of the One Power - Saiden.  If the Dragon Reborn were female, there'd be no reason to fear as Saidar is not tainted and therefore the Dragon Reborn would be "safe."  Sure, you could toss in some other reason to fear a woman Dragon Reborn, but that's still entirely against the lore and there's no value to such a change.  Not only that, but those who are reborn into the Wheel will come back as the same gender that they were previously.  The only times when a person became a different gender was when the Dark One brought back a couple of Forsaken, and in so doing, they continued to use their original side of the One Power, but were the opposite gender, which allowed them to pretend to not be channelers/Forsaken.  I know that there are many differing opinions regarding gender today, but we don't need to break core lore to try and keep people happy.  These books are some of the most inclusive out there already - race, gender, sexuality, etc.  There's no need to change the story in order to be inclusive.  And, as with my comment on Ta'veren, lumping Nynaeve and Egwene among the boys just diminishes their own power and individuality and makes them just "one of the boys" in the end, which is unfortunate as they were both portrayed in the books as very powerful and amazing women.

 

Okay, so I'll leave it at that.  It's certainly a lot already.  These are some of the main changes in the TV series that either weaken the story, break plotlines, or destroy lore (with a couple of simply cosmetic changes tossed in just because they stand out like sore thumbs).  I accept that there are going to be changes made.  But those changes need to make sense.  They need to either add value or allow something to work within the confines of a TV series or have some other important reason behind them - not just to the writers and producers, but also clearly understood by the audience.

 

Making changes for the sake of change is hardly ever a good thing, especially when you're talking about one of the most powerful fantasy series ever written.  If you are making changes because you don't like the original books, then you should be writing your own story instead of adapting this one.  You can even write it within the WoT "universe" if you want.  But I hate seeing people who don't like a book or book series decide to rewrite it to fit their view of how it should have been written when adapting it into a movie or TV series or whatever else.  If you don't like it, leave it be and make your own story.  I am certain that if they had had some of the book fans as part of the writing process and production team, this would have turned out much better.  It's sad to see that Jordan's wife as well as Brandon Sanderson have signed off on this mess.  I'm certain that Robert Jordan would never have allowed this to air in this state.

 

want to like this because I've wanted this for so long.  And there are definitely good things here.  But it really looks like the writers don't know the story very well (perhaps they did just read the cliff notes?) and that they don't much care about the original material even when they do know the story.  A writer can put their own spin on things when making an adaptation, but completely breaking lore is not going to go over well.  It's like an author coming in and taking something like the Lord of the Rings and making hobbits the size of humans because you don't like that they are short or making dwarves tall and thin and elves short and stout just because you prefer them that way.  You don't make Bilbo or Frodo act like a Took just because you don't like their characters similar to what happened with Mat and Abell.  You can't just break lore.  You can bend it.  You can twist it.  You can't break it or else you have failed.

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Riamus:  You have done what I hoped someone would do and make a list of all the changes that you have problems with and don't know a reason for, so I love that! Thank you!  This gives me an opportunity to go through and explain why each change was done.  You may not agree with the change, and that's fine, but there are explanations for all of them.  I will go through them with my next post (which may be a while.)

 

Before I tackle that beast, though, I do want to address a couple of things from your intro.

 

Each individual reader of a series carries away from it different elements that they latch on to the most. Any person creating an adaptation is going to adapt it to the elements that they connected to in the story.  Those elements will not be your elements, ever.  Your individual takeaway is not the only, nor the correct, one. There is no correct one.


There are many kinds of adaptations.. The quality of an adaptation (whether it is good or bad) cannot be judged on its fidelity to the source material: many horrible adaptations (like, say, Winter Dragon) are perfectly faithful to their source material, while many great adaptations are extremely different from their source material.  The quality of an adaptation is determined by how successfully it brings its themes and elements to a new medium.

The problem, I suspect, some have with the show is that their expectations about what would be included in the show from the book and how it was translated were not met.  The problem is with the expectation.

 

A much more thorough breakdown of this aspect of adaptations can be found here:

 

Secondly, you also may not be aware of how Writers Rooms work in film and television.  One person does not 'write' an episode of a show. A team of writers work together in a writers room to write a show.  Some of those in the writers room, like the Showrunner, have read the series many, many times. Some have read it a couple of times. Some specialize in dialog, some in action, some in drama. And one or two have not read the series.  The reason to have writers in the writers room who have not read the series is so that they can look at the script as it is being developed from the perspective of those who have not read the series, forcing the other writers to make sure they include the necessary exposition to explain how they got there. They /need/ those writers.  But those writers do not, alone, write the script. Only one or two writers get credit on a particular episode, but that is because  that's how writers share the credit and advance their careers, but that doesn't mean they wrote it alone.

Finally, Season 1 was extremely well received.  It had very high viewership, a long 'tail' (which means viewers who watched it after the initial run finished), a good International Market presence especially in India, was Amazon's #1 premier at the time, competed well and beat Marvel flagship series, and far exceeded Amazon's expectations. Professional reviewers ratings were very solid for the series for the most part.  Amazon is aware that it got review bombed, as have many big media tentpoles in the year since, especially any ones that seem to be feminist and inclusive.   Media, like the rest of us, are victim of the culture wars.  But other than that,  the early approval for S3 well ahead of the release of S2 indicates ongoing confidence in the property.  (If you want the actual Neilson's for the show I can dig them up, but they're available out there).

I'll breakdown the explanations for your big list of differences later. ❤️

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18 hours ago, Riamus said:

I would have to agree with some of these points.  I expected the TV series to have changes made to accommodate fitting this huge book series into a TV series without it taking 20 seasons to complete (though I'd love to see that).  Unfortunately, they did what I was afraid of and made a lot of lore changes that do nothing to help the story and instead make it far worse for fans of the books.  I have heard that the writers only looked at cliff notes for the books when writing the screenplay and although I don't know if that is true, it certainly seems that way with all the errors in the shows.  Perhaps these errors are intentional, but I can't see any reason why they'd be intentional as they offer no value and take away a lot from the books, especially when you start looking at how these changes will affect major story arcs later in the series.

 

I started out with the first 3 episodes with a feeling that it might work out in the end.  I was willing to ignore quite a lot of changes that were there in those first episodes in hopes of a great series over time.  After all, I've been waiting for this TV adaptation for 20+ years.  Unfortunately, they continued making unnecessary and bad changes as the season progressed and by the end of the season, I was really tired of it all.  I'm actually amazed that they got the green light for season 3.  I expected it would all end after season 2 just based on how poorly season 1 was received.  All I can hope for is that they will do better in season 2 and season 3 and later seasons, if they appear.  I'm just not sure that this will be possible as there doesn't seem to be any indication that they care about the audience's feelings on the matter.  If they've given such an indication that I've missed, please feel free to let me know as I'd really like to see it.

 

As we are discussing "rewriting" season 1 here, I'll go ahead and add in some of the more glaring things that really annoyed me in the shows.  Keeping in mind that I am open to changes being made that have meaning or are necessary to the adaptation.  I am not open to changes just for the sake of change.

 

Please note that the following contains spoilers both from the TV series and from the books.  Don't continue reading if you haven't watched and read everything yet and plan to do so.

 

This is long, but I've attempted to break it up into sections to make it easier to digest and to read only parts you're interested in.  It is hard to limit what to comment on when the story is so important to me.

 

Ages

  • I'll comment on this just because the OP video did.  The main characters were aged up in the TV series.  I understand that, to a point.  It can give you some more freedom in the story if you want it.  Unfortunately, the books made great use of the fact that these characters were growing up and developing into young adults as the story progressed.  When you lose this aspect of the story, you lose out on a lot of what made the books great.  These books took the "coming of age" dynamic that you see done ad nauseum and made it into an "epic" version of that dynamic.  It showed the dynamic in a way that made it feel real and powerful and important.  And in the TV series, it's all gone.  You lose out on such a powerful dynamic with nothing worthwhile to show for the change.  Honestly, I'd be fine with the actors being older, but still having them portray the characters at the ages they were in the books.  It wouldn't be the first time that has been done and it can work well when done well.  I just don't think they characters themselves should have been aged up.  You just lose too much powerful dynamics that can really lead to growth in younger viewers today.

Perrin

  • As everyone has apparently commented on, Perrin should not have been married.  It serves no purpose other than to give a poorly written and unnecessary background to a character who is already a very interesting character in the books.  I doubt anyone can show that this is a valuable change.
  • Although anyone not familiar with the books would not know or care about this, Perrin should not have a beard at the start of the story.  In the books, the fact that he adopts a beard when he gets with Faile is an important change to him and if you give him a beard at the start, you negate that entire story arc between them.  Sure, it's minor compared to other story arcs, but can you show me why having a beard in the beginning of the series is a valuable change or needed in any way?  If not, it should not have been changed.
  • When Perrin started to gain his ability to interact with the wolves, the books provided a very important character, Elyas, who helped Perrin to understand what was happening.  The TV series completed eliminated Elyas and left Perrin without any idea of what was going on.  Perhaps this was to save time?  But his interactions with the wolves is such an important part of the story that removing Elyas is really not very smart.  Can they show Perrin learning about this without Elyas?  Sure.  But why?

Mat and Abell

  • Mat is trouble, sure.  But he's loyal to his friends and isn't a bad guy.  In fact, he's more just someone who goofs around and gets into some trouble than a true scoundrel.  Yet the TV series paints him as untrustworthy (sure, part of that is how the dagger affects him, which is accurate, but the TV series doesn't do anything to truly show that this isn't his true nature) and uncaring toward his friends.  The interactions between the three ta'veren (Mat, Rand, Perrin) is crucial and to treat Mat like this is a very bad decision.  He even chose not to go with them through the waygate, which is ridiculous.
  • Mat's father, Abell, is also changed from a well-respected horse trader into the worst of the worst for no good reason.  Not only do you mess up the backgrounds for Mat and Abell, but you greatly weaken the Women's Circle.  In the books, if you had someone who acted like the TV series portrays Abell, the Women's Circle would have taken care of that long ago (so would the Village Council, for that matter - a group that is missing entirely from the TV series).  This change makes the Women's Circle seem like they have no power and no control over what goes on within the village.  You've made the Women's Circle go from a power to be reckoned with in the books to little more than a cult of women with no power in the TV series.  They deserved better.

Nynaeve

  • Overall, Nynaeve is fine.  The issue with her in the TV series is she's too powerful too early and with too much control.  Nynaeve is one of the most powerful channelers since the Breaking, but until she finally accepts that she can channel and that she wants to become Aes Sedai and she breaks free from her fear and breaks through her Wall (needing anger to channel), she's basically hit-and-miss.  She occasionally does something powerful, but she can't reproduce it and she really can't do it at-will.  Yes, she's powerful.  That part is fine.  What isn't fine is that she has far too much control and ability to channel whenever she wants.  In the beginning, she doesn't even want to admit that she can channel, let alone have any ability to control it.  This is a long story arc that is very important as she eventually accepts who she is and breaks through her Wall and gains control over her powers, but the TV series is making her so powerful and with so much control so early that it's going to completely break that story arc.

Rand and Tam

  • The books started out with a great background story told as Tam and Rand are heading back into town after the Trollocs attack their home.  This is removed entirely except as a very limited "flashback" that wasn't shown in the first place.  You really shouldn't be removing important information like this from the TV series.  Sure, those of us who have read the books already know this information and can get by without it, but anyone new will have no clue what's really going on.

Rand and Egwene

  • As commented on in the OP video, this interaction between them is just very poorly handled.  In the books, they were meant to marry leading up to the start of the books.  When Egwene came of age and was looking to become a wisdom, she decided she didn't want to be with Rand (this also happened just prior to the start of the books).  As they were leaving Two Rivers (I can't remember exactly where and I apologize for not taking the time to look it up), Rand also came to the decision that he also wasn't interested in being with Egwene anymore.  In the end, they both basically told each other they weren't interested and both felt like the other was just trying to be strong and didn't really mean it.  The TV series decided to change it so that they continued to be interested in each other throughout the entire season with some ups and downs along the way.  I get the idea that having a love and loss story arc can be interesting to people, but is it really needed?  Does the actual story not provide enough interest without adding in what feels like a cheap gimmick that you see in what seems like every young adult show out there?
  • Also, as commented on in the video, the intimate interactions between them will greatly reduce the huge impact of the igloo scene from the books.  That was such a powerful scene and all that power behind the scene will be lost, if they even include the scene or get far enough into the story to reach that scene.  And for what?  Are they trying to imitate GoT's first season's use of sex to try and sell the story?  You'd think so with this change and a few other changes that introduce a sexual context, but at the same time, it is so minimal that it's nothing like GoT.  Not that I'm suggesting they should go the route of GoT's first season.  I just think that either they go that route or they stick to the story.  Trying to do some middle ground just weakens the story.

Missing locations, Missing People, and Changed paths

  • What happened to Baerlon?  What happened to Min?  We finally see Min in Fal Dara, near the end of Season 1.  She was introduced in the books in Baerlon shortly after leaving Two Rivers.  In the end, it isn't that important how early she is introduced, but the TV series treats her as unimportant and inconsequential to the story - just a minor character with the ability to see auras.  Yet she is a critical part of the story, one of the three who Rand will love.  Making her seem like she's not very important and shoving her toward the end of Season 1 as if they had forgotten all about her is a poor choice.
  • What happened to Caemlyn?  What happened to Elayne, Gawyn, and Galededrid?  Caemlyn is a very important part of the Wheel of Time story and it is eliminated entirely.  Not only that, but Elayne, another of Rand's three loves, is eliminated entirely.  We can assume she'll be introduced later, but this is a huge change of one of the most important characters in the story for no apparent reason.  We also lose out on Elayne's brother and half brother, Gawyn and Galadedrid.  Sure, they aren't the main characters in the story, but they are still significant characters, with Gawyn being Egwene's future love and warder and both of them being instrumental in the fall of the White Tower.  I have to assume that the delayed introductions of Min and Elayne were done in order to allow for Rand and Egwene to continue the TV series' view of a fitful love for far longer than it should have been.  Again, why?  If they want a love story and intrigue, drop Egwene right away when the books did and let the combined interests of Elayne and Min create that interest as was intended.  It's far more interesting and potent and feels far less like a cheap teen romance movie.
  • Rand at the White Tower in Season 1?  What?!  In the books, he doesn't go to the White Tower until very late in the series.  In fact, none of them go to the White Tower until after Book 1.  Why change this?  In the books, the Amyrlin Seat (Siuan Sanche) meets the party in Fal Dara.  In the TV series, she meets them in the White Tower.  Is there a good reason for this change?  The location of this meeting isn't that important when all is said and done, except that pretty much the entire book series shows Rand avoiding ever going to the White Tower until very late in the books and to just toss him there right away takes all of that away for no reason that I can see.
  • Only Rand and Moiraine at the Eye of the World?  Why?  Supposedly because anyone besides the Dragon Reborn going there would die?  What?  Why add some random change there?  The original story had all of them working together to win the battle.  Now, Rand's basically on his own?  In the books, there is a very long story arc where Rand and his friends start out working together and then Rand distances himself to protect them (and other reasons), not to mention the different paths each took, and then they all come back together in the end (not necessarily all in the same location, but all working together to accomplish the same goal).  Now we lose the companionship right away, which greatly weakens that very important story arc.
  • Whitebridge is gone and Thom's fight with the Fade is moved to some random mining town instead.  I suppose you don't want to add in a town that is barely mentioned and that's okay.  But it also means you don't get introduced to Captain Domon, who plays some important roles later in the series.  Sure, you can introduce him later, but this is also when you see the first seal of the Dark One and hear about cuendillar.  Important information to the story that's just erased.  Speaking of Thom, he should have been in Two Rivers at the beginning as a balance against Moiraine rather than appearing so much later.

The "Final Battle"

  • Okay, so anyone who read the books knows that this isn't the final battle at all and is little more than the first crossing of swords between light and dark.  But that doesn't mean this wasn't an epic battle, both at the Eye of the World and at the Tarwin's Gap.  Yet instead of these two simultaneous epic battles, with the culmination of Rand's power defeating the enemies at Tarwin's Gap, we get a lukewarm "confrontation" between Rand and Ishamael where Rand just denies forcing Egwene to be his love instead of going her own way and automatically wins the battle at the Eye of the World (he no longer has any part in the battle at Tarwin's Gap).  And the Tarwin's Gap battle ends abruptly and with no loss of life other than those who were actually in the Gap and the failed "Aes Sedai" who should not have died based on the lore.  These few channelers, who were unable to become actual Aes Sedai (or in the case of Nynaeve and Egwene, hadn't even had any real training yet), defeated the entire army on their own, at the cost of (most of) their lives.  And, as I just mentioned, they shouldn't have been killed in that way based on lore and certainly shouldn't have been able to defeat that entire army all on their own, even with angreal or sa'angreal.  If it was on of the sa'angreal linked to the twin statues and they were powerful enough to use that, then sure.  But otherwise, no.  If it was that easy, the Aes Sedai would have little trouble with any armies from the Dark One other than Forsaken simply by using sa'angreal.  Yes, they are rare, but not so rare they couldn't make use of them and defeat anything that comes at them beyond Forsaken themselves with very little effort.  After all, if 5 untrained or too-weak-to-be-Aes-Sedai can defeat such an army, surely a couple fully trained Aes Sedai could do so?  This change makes it so that making the rest of the story believable will be difficult.  If you give so much power to non-Aes Sedai, then Aes Sedai suddenly become so powerful they can't really be stopped and your story falls apart.
  • Moiraine is stilled?!!  WHAT?!  First of all, it isn't until Nynaeve figures out how to heal stilling and severing very far into the series that anyone ever recovers from being stilled or severed.  It's believed that this cannot be Healed.  So you decide to still one of the main characters right away with no way to bring her back?  What do you expect to do going forward?  Do you completely break the lore and say that stilling can be Healed without any problem right away and take away Nynaeve's miraculous learning of how to heal it later on?  Or do you say, "Oh, I thought I was stilled, but I was only Shielded."?  That could work, except that also breaks lore.  For one, an Aes Sedai knows the difference between being Shielded and Stilled.  Second, as soon as Ishamael was defeated, any Shield would also be removed and she said she was stilled after he was defeated.  There is no way to resolve this without breaking lore even more or replacing Moiraine entirely, which is just as bad.

Whitecloaks and the Hand of the Light (aka Questioners)

  • Maybe this is nitpicky, but the books were very clear that members of the Hand of the Light hated being called Questioners.  "Questioners" is a derogatory reference for the members of the Hand of the Light.  Yet the Questioner in the TV series refers to himself and those like him as Questioners.  No Questioner would do so.  This change seems more a lack of understanding or reading of the books than anything else.  It seems they saw that they were called Questioners and so used it without understanding that it was a derogatory term.  There'd be no other reason to have this error/mistake/change in there.  And it just shows how little the writers for the TV series truly understand the books and that lack of understanding is what is really messing up the show.

Waygates

  • In the books, it's very clear that the waygates can be opened by anyone who knows how.  You use a leaf "key" to open the waygate.  In the TV series, you have to use the One Power to open the waygate.  This is a problem in that the Ogier, who used to use the Ways until they darkened with Machin Shin.  The Ogier don't use the One Power, so would be unable to use the Ways without a channeler to open the waygates for them.  The reason the waygates were outside of the Stedding (areas where the One Power doesn't work) is because they were "grown" through the use of the One Power, not that you needed the One Power to open them.  Not to mention that the Trollocs were brought through the Ways by the Fade, who cannot use the One Power either.  Even though you could say that the Forsaken opened the waygates for them, it just makes little sense and offers nothing to the TV series to make this change.  Perhaps this was just another time when failure to really know the books caused the writers to fail to put two and two together and get four.

Trollocs

  • This is very minor, but trollocs are described not just as goatmen (as the TV series seems intent on portraying them), but as a cross between animal and human.  And the animal part can be various kinds, such as wolves, bears, and eagles.  This variation in looks could have allowed for a much more interesting mix than what we saw in the TV series, where they all looks pretty much the same.  It's just a missed opportunity more than anything else.

Ogier

  • We only see one Ogier at this point, which is Loial.  I can live with how Loial looks, but it certainly isn't anything like the books describe him, or Ogier in general.  He's much shorter/smaller than he should be, though admittedly that's just easier to portray without CGI than to make him the size he's meant to be.  He also doesn't have the large ears that are described.  This is unfortunate as his ears were often remarked on as they would quiver when he wasn't comfortable and that would have been a nice effect in the TV series if they had portrayed that.  Overall, this is minor as character looks aren't entirely critical, but it's still unfortunate.

The One Power - Two in One

  • This is basic lore... the One Power is two halves that make a whole.  There is Saidar that only women can use and there is Saiden that only men can use.  Both are part of the One Power and have essentially the same powers, though women and men tend to be weaker in certain aspects of those power (women are weaker with Fire and Earth, while men are weaker with Air and Water, with Spirit evenly split among them).  The fact that Egwene can channel Earth so strongly helps to show how powerful she actually is.  Women cannot see men's weaves and men cannot see (though they can feel, if they know what to look for) women's weaves.  In the books, a famous quote from Moiraine is that "A bird cannot teach a fish to fly, nor a fish teach a bird to swim."  Essentially, an Aes Sedai cannot teach Rand to use Saiden.  Yet, in the TV series, Moiraine just dismisses teaching Rand by saying essentially that he'll use it automatically when it's time.  Nothing about the fact that she can't teach him.

Ta'veren

  • So, apparently the writers of the TV series can't figure out how many ta'veren there are.  The show said there were 4 and also that there were 5.  In reality, based on the books, there are only 3 - Mat, Perrin, and Rand.  If the writers are trying to give more "power" to Egwene and Nynaeve by suggesting they are ta'veren, there isn't any need to make such changes to the story.  Egwene and Nynaeve are both very powerful women in the books.  Adding the title of ta'veren to them is unnecessary.  Leave that for the real ta'veren and let Egwene and Nynaeve have their own story.  If anything, grouping them together with the others just weakens their own "power" as instead of being their own women, they are now just lumped among the three boys.

The Dragon Reborn

  • This one really bothers me as it takes one of the main pillars of the lore and destroys it.  The Dragon Reborn can only be male.  The reason the Dragon Reborn is feared is because the Dragon Reborn will be male and therefore tainted by the dark side of the One Power - Saiden.  If the Dragon Reborn were female, there'd be no reason to fear as Saidar is not tainted and therefore the Dragon Reborn would be "safe."  Sure, you could toss in some other reason to fear a woman Dragon Reborn, but that's still entirely against the lore and there's no value to such a change.  Not only that, but those who are reborn into the Wheel will come back as the same gender that they were previously.  The only times when a person became a different gender was when the Dark One brought back a couple of Forsaken, and in so doing, they continued to use their original side of the One Power, but were the opposite gender, which allowed them to pretend to not be channelers/Forsaken.  I know that there are many differing opinions regarding gender today, but we don't need to break core lore to try and keep people happy.  These books are some of the most inclusive out there already - race, gender, sexuality, etc.  There's no need to change the story in order to be inclusive.  And, as with my comment on Ta'veren, lumping Nynaeve and Egwene among the boys just diminishes their own power and individuality and makes them just "one of the boys" in the end, which is unfortunate as they were both portrayed in the books as very powerful and amazing women.

 

Okay, so I'll leave it at that.  It's certainly a lot already.  These are some of the main changes in the TV series that either weaken the story, break plotlines, or destroy lore (with a couple of simply cosmetic changes tossed in just because they stand out like sore thumbs).  I accept that there are going to be changes made.  But those changes need to make sense.  They need to either add value or allow something to work within the confines of a TV series or have some other important reason behind them - not just to the writers and producers, but also clearly understood by the audience.

 

Making changes for the sake of change is hardly ever a good thing, especially when you're talking about one of the most powerful fantasy series ever written.  If you are making changes because you don't like the original books, then you should be writing your own story instead of adapting this one.  You can even write it within the WoT "universe" if you want.  But I hate seeing people who don't like a book or book series decide to rewrite it to fit their view of how it should have been written when adapting it into a movie or TV series or whatever else.  If you don't like it, leave it be and make your own story.  I am certain that if they had had some of the book fans as part of the writing process and production team, this would have turned out much better.  It's sad to see that Jordan's wife as well as Brandon Sanderson have signed off on this mess.  I'm certain that Robert Jordan would never have allowed this to air in this state.

 

want to like this because I've wanted this for so long.  And there are definitely good things here.  But it really looks like the writers don't know the story very well (perhaps they did just read the cliff notes?) and that they don't much care about the original material even when they do know the story.  A writer can put their own spin on things when making an adaptation, but completely breaking lore is not going to go over well.  It's like an author coming in and taking something like the Lord of the Rings and making hobbits the size of humans because you don't like that they are short or making dwarves tall and thin and elves short and stout just because you prefer them that way.  You don't make Bilbo or Frodo act like a Took just because you don't like their characters similar to what happened with Mat and Abell.  You can't just break lore.  You can bend it.  You can twist it.  You can't break it or else you have failed.

Missing locations -   cost is the answer to that

 

And extra 2/3 sets which will never turn up again, paying 8 actors a retainer to keep them on board as regulars for  5 mins work because if they are not regulars they have every right to take on other work as a regulars on other shows

 

Min mat them in Fal Dara and did her bit in another place (exactly the same way) . We get Domon next year as he would also have to be paid a years money for 5 mins . Elyas and Hurin are combined into 1 guy and he would also have to be paid for a year

 

Final Battle -   Covid it is that simple

 

Actors being kept 6 feet apart , not being allowed to touch other people , Covid protocols limiting how many extras /stunties were on set and them being 6 ft apart,having the final scene filmed on a sound stage rather than the Canary Islands

 

 

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So more money ,Paying 10 extra actors for a season with a set we dont see again for another 4 books, adding in a made up story totaly going against what RJ wrote (Red Ajah/Whitlcloak alliance? Mat is suddenly healed? really so no curse or one that passes and then comes back) ,

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On 6/29/2022 at 10:53 AM, ElliotWC said:

If you had a seat in the writers room for Season 1 of The Wheel of Time, what would you have changed?

 

 

Do you know how contracts work ?

 

Retainers ,recurring cast vs regulars and the rules on hiring them

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So, I loved your points @Riamus thought I'd add some of my own.

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

These books took the "coming of age" dynamic that you see done ad nauseum and made it into an "epic" version of that dynamic.  It showed the dynamic in a way that made it feel real and powerful and important.  And in the TV series, it's all gone.

I don't think its as much about the age of the characters as it is about their worldliness. By undercutting the naivete of the EFF, it dampens their growth: a sexual relationship between Egwene and Rand, for example, undercuts the unease Rand feels around "Lady Selene". They could have done this with older actors, but didn't. I agree that it was both unnecessary and potentially damaging.

 

I suspect the thought behind it was that "running away with the wizard" is tropey and sort of counterintuitive. The parents wouldn't permit an Aes Sedai to just run off with the kids, the kids would want to stay and help after the attack, etc. But the changes didn't solve the problem, the departure was still really rushed and didn't feel organic. And it does alter the characters of all 5 of the main characters in subtle but important ways.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

When Perrin started to gain his ability to interact with the wolves, the books provided a very important character, Elyas, who helped Perrin to understand what was happening.  The TV series completed eliminated Elyas and left Perrin without any idea of what was going on.  Perhaps this was to save time?  But his interactions with the wolves is such an important part of the story that removing Elyas is really not very smart.  Can they show Perrin learning about this without Elyas?  Sure.  But why?

While I agree with your first point: Perrin's marriage was unnecessary. I disagree with the other two. The beard can still be important to his relationship with Faile - the beard just takes on a bit different symbolism. And Elyas can still be involved (in fact, I'm pretty sure he's been cast in S2). 

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

Mat and Abell

I didn't like the perception that Mat stole the bracelet. I would prefer that he had charmed it off the girl (which would be in character), but otherwise I didn't feel like Mat came across as overly dark. The changes to his parents were jarring and, again, just unnecessary.

 

I think they want Mat to be a gambler because Mat's family is poor. But that's not why Mat's a gambler. It would have been so much better if Mat had charmed the bracelet off of Danya, then sold it to Fain for money so that he could go gamble instead of the other way around. And making Mat poor potentially messes up the whole, "I'm no bloody Lord" aspect of his character.   

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

Overall, Nynaeve is fine.  The issue with her in the TV series is she's too powerful too early and with too much control.

I don't see her as having much control. The only thing she's really done is the mass healing, which struck me as entirely instinctual. So far, she's the best and most accurately portrayed of the mains.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

The books started out with a great background story told as Tam and Rand are heading back into town after the Trollocs attack their home.

Removing this doesn't bother me. It can be woven in later. But they didn't quite get the relationship between Tam and Rand right. I didn't like the "picking berries" conversation - the Rand/Egwene relationship is a sideline. That scene should have focused more on Tam and Kari (and also should absolutely have included Rand seeing the Fade).

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

Rand and Egwene

I wasn't bothered by making them more of a thing. I wasn't even bothered by them having sexy time. What bothered me was how casual it was. They should be sneaking off, not wanting their parents to know. If you're going to make them intimate, their relationship should still have some innocence and should reflect the culture of their community.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

What happened to Baerlon?  What happened to Min?  We finally see Min in Fal Dara, near the end of Season 1.  She was introduced in the books in Baerlon shortly after leaving Two Rivers.  In the end, it isn't that important how early she is introduced, but the TV series treats her as unimportant and inconsequential to the story - just a minor character with the ability to see auras.  Yet she is a critical part of the story, one of the three who Rand will love.  Making her seem like she's not very important and shoving her toward the end of Season 1 as if they had forgotten all about her is a poor choice.

Nah. This one totally makes sense to me. Just from a practical perspective.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

What happened to Caemlyn?

Again, from a practical perspective, it needed to be moved back. This wasn't a bad choice.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

Rand at the White Tower in Season 1?

Got to agree. I didn't love this. Symbolically, the Dragon Reborn should not be in Tar Valon. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it wasn't strictly necessary either.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

Only Rand and Moiraine at the Eye of the World?  Why?  Supposedly because anyone besides the Dragon Reborn going there would die?  What?  Why add some random change there?  The original story had all of them working together to win the battle.  Now, Rand's basically on his own?  In the books, there is a very long story arc where Rand and his friends start out working together and then Rand distances himself to protect them (and other reasons), not to mention the different paths each took, and then they all come back together in the end (not necessarily all in the same location, but all working together to accomplish the same goal).  Now we lose the companionship right away, which greatly weakens that very important story arc.

Eh. I didn't mind this change either, though I have some issues with the execution. The confrontation at the Eye was a mess in the books, and there was no way they were giving us the Green Man, etc.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

Whitebridge is gone

Meh. This one isn't a big deal either. Domon is coming in Season 2.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

The "Final Battle"

Gets a mulligan from me. Clearly COVID restrictions played an enormous role in the way it went down. 

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

That could work, except that also breaks lore.  For one, an Aes Sedai knows the difference between being Shielded and Stilled.  Second, as soon as Ishamael was defeated, any Shield would also be removed and she said she was stilled after he was defeated.

I don't believe Moiraine said that she had been stilled. And shielding doesn't break lore. The Forsaken are able to tie off shields. This isn't a big deal and will be explained early in S2.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

Whitecloaks and the Hand of the Light (aka Questioners)

  • Maybe this is nitpicky

It is... 🙂

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

In the TV series, you have to use the One Power to open the waygate.

We don't know this. We know that the One Power was used to open this Waygate. That doesn't mean it's the only way, or the right way. I suspect there's more to learn here.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

Trollocs

I don't know where you got the idea that they all looked the same. They didn't at all. There was a ton of variety.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

Adding the title of ta'veren to them is unnecessary.

Agreed. This was silly.

 

On 7/25/2022 at 9:47 PM, Riamus said:

The Dragon Reborn can only be male.

This is true. And I do think they have unnecessarily muddled this aspect of things. But I don't think they have in fact degendered the One Power. 

 

Anyway, good analysis! Hope you'll stick with it as I still think the show has potential despite its uneven first season.

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On 7/26/2022 at 12:47 AM, Riamus said:

I'll go ahead and add in some of the more glaring things that really annoyed me in the shows.  Keeping in mind that I am open to changes being made that have meaning or are necessary to the adaptation.  I am not open to changes just for the sake of change.


My goal here is to provide the explanations for why these changes were probably put in. You may have whatever opinion you have about the overall effect...I'm not going to change your mind. But you say you are not open to changes just for the sake of change, so I'm offering the explanations. If you are a Television writer and creator doing your own adaptation, you might choose differently, but there are legitimate reasons this showrunner made the choices he did.  I hope that if you have counters to specific points, they can be spun out separately. 

Change 1

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The main characters were aged up in the TV series. 


In the books, the characters are 20 years old (Egwene a couple of years younger), but act about 15 compared to most viewers sensibilities.  This is fine in a book...we accept that naturally.  But in Real Life, and so also on television, if we meet a 20 year old man acting like a 15 year old, it is neither appealing or cute. This is the college sophomore hanging out with and behaving like high school freshmen. It comes across as creepy to the viewers, an instantly makes that person unlikeable to many. There are even movies built around this premise. Instead of thinking about this person coming of age, the audience is left wondering what is wrong with that person.
The showrunner therefore had to make a choice:  Make them 20 and acting like a 20 year old, or make them 15 and acting like a 15 year old.  A cast of 15 year olds would have problems with the later arc stories, and would mature too quickly physically to do a multi-year show.  At 20, physical maturity slows enough their appearance wouldn't change much.  That said, the Showrunner still included the sheltered nature of the Two Rivers, having Moiraine commenting on it, showing Mat and Rand's gape-jawed awe at seeing Tar Valon, and other aspects of their innocence to retain some of the coming of Age story. 

 

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As everyone has apparently commented on, Perrin should not have been married. 


A major theme of the books is Perrin's internal issues with Violence.  He feels great anxiety and stress about killing Whitecloaks early in the series and this haunts them throughout the books. In modern fantasy television and film, most heroes depicted would not have any problem killing or injuring such obviously bad people.  So we need to understand Perrin's thinking as to why this bothers Perrin so much, why he has trouble with fighting 'the bad guys', and his relationship with violence. But in TV, we are not privy to Perrin's thoughts. Perrin is also largely a silent character: he keeps his feelings to himself.  Without an inciting incident, that whole aspect of Perrin would just be him looking sad at times and never telling us why.
Having Perrin commit a great act of violence and killing a loved one by mistake means that the directors can just show or mention an axe and have that carry huge emotional significance that lets us know this whole aspect of what is going on in Perrin's head without requiring any further setup at all.
He could have done this by having Perrin kill another character; Master Luhan, for example. But time in each episode is at a premium. To have the same impact with Master Luhan, you'd have to spend valuable time setting up that relationship, explaining who they are to each other and how they feel, and so on. All of which is unnecessary just by just making it his wife. It is also age appropriate for the Two Rivers.  Time is at a premium so shortcuts have to be used.
 

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Perrin should not have a beard at the start of the story

Some stories must be cut for time. There are way too many subplots to keep all of them in an 8 season series. The subplot of Perrin's beard isn't vital and can afford to go on time to make room for other more important plots. Him having a beard also keeps him visually distinct from the other EF5 and other characters, and visual identity makes it easier for the audience to recognize each character quickly as they watch.

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The TV series completed eliminated Elyas

Elyas has been cast and has likely been combined with the character of Hurin. There are a maximum number of characters that can be introduced per season and per episode (7 for a  pilot) or it waters down the characters we do get.  The Showrunner made a choice to introduce this character later when they would have more than a few minutes with each other to interact before they meet the Tinkers.

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The TV series paints him (Mat) as untrustworthy

The Showrunner is building additional tension in the audience with a 'will he/won't he' dynamic, giving Mat a distinct identity separate from Rand. This tension helps make Mat more unique and memorable to a viewing audience in very few scene segments.  To counter the untrustworthiness, the Showrunner /also/ added that Mat was the one who acted as the glue for their entire friend group, noticing Perrin's pain and going to him after the trolloc attack, giving Perrin his knife and talking about Laila, talking Rand down when he was yelling at Moiraine, repeatedly acting to lighten the mood and lift up his friends. Many non-book readers observed this repeated pattern and had Mat be their favorite character because of it.  The untrustworthy+greatest heart makes a compelling character and helps counteract the dagger-sickness persona.

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Mat's father, Abell, is also changed from a well-respected horse trader into the worst of the worst for no good reason. 

Changing the character of Abell and his family gave Mat an element of dynamic tension to begin with, just like the other characters gain in the first episode.  (Rand+Egwene, Nynaeve vs. Moiraine, Perrin+Laila). It gives the audience of the show an immediate point of empathy to connect with the character of Mat quickly and make him 'a good guy'.  Also, in the books, a major theme for Mat is how he does not believe that he is a hero 'I'm no bloody hero', while still doing heroic things.  We know this from his thoughts, but can't tell it from his actions.  In the show, all they need to do is use the word 'prick' and we will hear Natti's statement and know Mat is thinking about his Father.  Another thing in the books with Mat is how much he cares for children like Olver.  Having this family situation will make that emotionally resound more clearly when Mat encounters a child, like it did when that child bumped into him on the way to Tar Valon.  Without knowing how much he cares for his sisters, the snapping when he gets bumped into wouldn't mean anything, but with it, in just one quick shot, we can see how much the dagger has changed him. Later in the series, I will expect other impacts of this: Changing Abell means that Perrin has something and someone we /feel/ changed when he transforms Two Rivers into something that can fight back against the  Whitecloaks and Trollocs.  Otherwise, we're left wondering why they didn't rally themselves. 
As to why the Woman's circle didn't 'take care of it', this happens all the time in the real world, and no one 'takes care of it'.  If you want a full explanation on how this could occur, though, you can find a version here.

 

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(Nynaeve)'s too powerful too early and with too much control

 

In the show, she has no control at all over what she does.  And she has not reproduced any effect that she has created in the show. Nothing indicates she can channel whenever she wants.  She has had two bursts of power under extreme emotional circumstances.  You just do not remember the show correctly here at all. 

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The books started out with a great background story told as Tam and Rand are heading back into town after the Trollocs attack their home. 

 

This was shown late to preserve a mystery as to who the Dragon is. In the books, Moiraine does not know who the Dragon is, so this gives that mystery to the viewer. This helps the viewer empathize with Moiraine and not think she's stupid.  It also provides a matter of discussion and speculation...buzz...for the audience to help make the show gain viewership, and for this purpose it worked well. A show that gets no buzz or prompts discussion does not get made for 8 seasons, which is a good reason to include it.

 

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The TV series decided to change it so that they continued to be interested in each other throughout the entire season with some ups and downs along the way. 


Yes, love and loss are interesting to people, and yes, such arcs are needed to build audience. A story without relationships are interesting to some, but the goal for the show is to build a broader audience beyond hard core book nerds.  Also, the complexity of choosing love or career is experienced by many viewers, and echoed very much in Egwene's late plotlines with Gawyn. Rand also suffers many conflicts of 'can I love and also be the Dragon'?  This smaller version keeps dynamic tension, draws different audiences, and gives hints at greater examples of these conflicts later. Nothing cheap about it...they were very well done and appeal to many.

 

 

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The intimate interactions between them will greatly reduce the huge impact of the igloo scene from the books

Sex has a huge impact and can be very powerful and important to the lives of the participants even if the participants are not virgins.  In fact, if they are virgins, sex is often very awkward and rather uncomfortable as both parties are trying to figure things out. The igloo scene, if they do it, was never about and did not include how awkward Rand and Aviendha were about not knowing where everything goes or what they were doing. It was a moment of desperation and passion.  Making Rand and Egwene have limited experience takes the emphasis off the 'virgin' and puts it on 'passion'.  It also is age appropriate. 

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What happened to Baerlon?

Every single set and location costs a large amount of money to build, extras to hire, costumes to create, shots to establish and so on. Any adaptation will want to try to minimize the number of built sets, especially large town sets for money reasons. 

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What happened to Min?

Min has a larger role in the show than she has on Eye of the World. In the first book, she sees some things about the boys, and that's it...then they leave.  It would be 1 episode, if that  In the show, she is the one who helps Rand verify for sure he is the Dragon, and she is in two episodes. She will have a greater role in future books, and the show even showed us that she is going to continue to be important by taking the time to show us how she is departing Fal Dara.

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What happened to Caemlyn?  What happened to Elayne, Gawyn, and Galededrid? 

Camelyn is another huge and expensive set used for a very tiny portion of the books.  Elayne, Gawyn, and Galad  are three characters we are supposed to get to know and really care about, so they deserve a strong introduction and time spent with them.  However, a TV series can't introduce too many ongoing characters, because the viewers get overwhelmed and forget who is who. The show is moving those 3 characters to S2 where we can spend more time with them and make them more important than they would have been in just a quick 'drive through' meeting.

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Rand at the White Tower in Season 1?

Aes Sedai politics is a major theme of the books and sets them apart from Lord of the Rings.  They aren't a faceless order of Wizards, which is how the audience would 'read' them in the show early on.  They have complex politics.  They also appeal to a different segment of the audience, one more interested in politics, intrigue, etc, than just 'plain trope LOTR fantasy.  In order to broaden the appeal of the show to that audience, the Showrunner had to show that that existed in the first place in order to be able to film into Book 2 and 3 where it is shown more in the text. By taking Rand to Tar Valon, he shows that. Also the Tar Valon set will be reused again and again throughout the series, in every season, so it is a fine investment to build early as opposed to Camelyn which is rarely needed. 
 

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Only Rand and Moiraine at the Eye of the World? 

The climax of the books says 'It was about all of them'.  The story being about all 5 of the EF's is the core of the series.  The Showrunner wanted to show that, as much as he could.  So he is intentionally splitting the 'victories' of some of the early seasons from Just Rand to Rand + the rest of them. In EOTW, they do not work together...everyone except Rand gets knocked out, and then Rand does a half-dozen different things.  Everyone else is useless.  There is no companionship. With the way they split it up, it means that Rand can do a heroic thing, and Egwene and Nynaeve also can do a heroic thing. Perrin and Mat lost out  this season (In part due to COVID and Barney Harris leaving) but I bet they make up for it at Falme.

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Whitebridge is gone and Thom's fight with the Fade is moved to some random mining town instead

 

See above: More sets, bigger sets = more money. Boats are even /more/ money, and hard to film on.  Domon has been cast and shows up later. Cuendillar is introduced in Episode 8, where we also see the first seal of the Dark One's tomb. The show introduced these elements in a stronger and more memorable way than Bayle Domon talking about his knickknacks.

 

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Yet instead of these two simultaneous epic battles, with the culmination of Rand's power defeating the enemies at Tarwin's Gap, we get a lukewarm "confrontation" between Rand and Ishamael where Rand just denies forcing Egwene to be his love instead of going her own way and automatically wins the battle at the Eye of the World


The finale was significantly impacted by COVID, but is still strong. The end of EOTW is a confused set of teleporting and blasting and does not tie to the major themes in the books. Jordan himself said he had problems with it.  In the Show, the finale is a direct foreshadowing of the showdown with the Dark One found on Memory of Light, with Rand and the Dark One choosing between fates of the world and the role of consent and free will. It is also done in a way so the audience can see and understand what is going on, and recognize these themes when they come up later.

I already wrote about 'splitting up the victories', though I see no difference between Rand blasting an army of Trollocs and 5 women, including 2 of the strongest Channelers in 1000 years, being forced to channel to the point of death to blast an army of trollocs to the point where they retreat. Doing this this way splits up the victories, adds 'stakes' to creating circles to directly explain why Aes Sedai don't just link to do whatever they want, and gives the battle at Fal Dara in the books with Fal Dara winning anyway. They just have /more/ people die in the Show than in the Books, raising the stakes and tension.

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Moiraine is stilled?!! 

Moiraine is not stilled. She is shielded with a tied off weave.  Tying off a weave is not a broadly known magic tech in the show universe, most likely.  This was done to give Pike and Henney a storyline in S2, which focuses on the Great Hunt.  They are expanding out what is there, but these two big name actors are a major draw for a show, especially for a significant market segment, and the Showrunner doesn't want to lose it by having the characters never appear all season (and risk losing the actors).

 

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Yet the Questioner in the TV series refers to himself and those like him as Questioners.

Questioner makes it clear the audience what they are and what they do. Having multiple names for the same thing is confusing for the audience, and the goal is to make things as simple and memorable for the audience as possible.

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In the TV series, you have to use the One Power to open the waygate. 

We will see more of this next season, but the Waygates can also be opened with a terangreal that looks like a leaf key...In a cut clip (probably for time) we see a shot of Padan Fain holding one. So the Ogier used them when they used the ways, though they likely have been lost or stolen over the years and the Trollocs have ahold of them.  This can be shown in later seasons.

But I think they are using the One Power to open the Waygates primarily so that they combine the magical transportation system 'Waygates' with the magical transportation system 'Portal Stones'. Wheel of Time has at least 5 different magical transportation systems. (Waygates, Portal Stones through a parallel plane, Portal Stones teleporting directly, Skimming, Gateways, and Tel'eranriad).  This is a /lot/ for a short series to incorporate and expect viewers to understand.  By having magic open Waygates, then Rand could, potentially, try to open one in a pinch and do it wrong, creating/rediscovering the Portal Stone use and 'flicker flicker' even.  They may not go that way, but it helps cut down on the magic systems.

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He's much shorter/smaller than he should be, though admittedly that's just easier to portray without CGI than to make him the size he's meant to be.  He also doesn't have the large ears that are described.

The Showrunner had a choice:  Show Loial and other characters closer to the books, but have their time on screen very much restricted so that CGI can be done (and complained about whenever it wasn't realistic enough), or use prosthetics to be able to show him as much as possible and have it be as realistic as possible to the viewer.  He chose the later because he likes Loial and wanted more of him.

 

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Yet, in the TV series, Moiraine just dismisses teaching Rand by saying essentially that he'll use it automatically when it's time.  Nothing about the fact that she can't teach him.

 

Saidar and Saidin are separate, and Moiraine says she can't see men's weaves earlier in the show.  There is a whole extra feature about their separation. Moiraine hardly ever admits to weakness or not knowing something. If Rand lived and she lived, Moiraine would want to be Rand's mentor and his advisor. Telling him she can't teach him doesn't start her how in a good position to be his advisor...he can just tell her she can't teach him anything.   And she may not even be able to tell him she can't teach him anything...maybe she can teach him some things, technically.  But she doesn't have time to find out what the limits are and she hasn't thought about it yet.

 

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So, apparently the writers of the TV series can't figure out how many ta'veren there are.  The show said there were 4 and also that there were 5.  In reality

 

The ones who know how many ta'veren there are are the Darkfriends...the Dark One has been telling them in their dreams. The Blue spy network most likely got the information out of a darkfriend at some point, which is why Moiraine knows.  Moiraine knows the age. So '4 t'averan, all the right age' does not imply that there can't be '5 ta'veran, 4 the right age and 1 the wrong age'.  In any event: The Showrunner changed it to 5 because having someone like Egwene being a Ta'veran gives a storytellter shortcut for some leaps of logic that are otherwise harder to accept. Why does Egwene become Amerlyn?  Seasons of complex plotting that all need to be shown on screen to even make sense, or little bit of complex plotting + Ta'veren.  That's easier. Why is Nynaeve the strongest in 1000 years just by happenstance?  Weird coincidence...or Ta'veren. Jordan uses Ta'veran to cover all sorts of weird circumstances for the boys. Expanding it to the girls lets the Showrunner use it for them too.  It does not weaken their power at all...no one says they're stronger than the boys because the boys are Ta'veran.  The only thing it does is say that, in this universe, the Pattern can choose and work through women too.  The showrunner answers questions ahead of time just by including it.

 

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The reason the Dragon Reborn is feared is because the Dragon Reborn will be male and therefore tainted by the dark side of the One Power - Saiden. 

 

The Dragon Reborn is feared AND desired because the Dragon Reborn could destroy the world or save it.  Or both.  It didn't need any more than that.  But more than that, a theme in the stories is that knowledge is incomplete. The Aes Sedai are not omniscient. Prophecies can be wrong.  The Seanchen prophecies and the Dark Prophecies and the Karethon cycle are all being interpreted by people in different ways (think 'bowing to the Crystal Throne'). This incomplete knowledge of what will be is a theme throughout the books, so the Showrunner is including it here in the first season so we know the Aes Sedai don't know everything.  Suian's dream about the Dark One at the Eye was false...a trick to make Rand break the first Seal. She was wrong.  Moiraine frets she doesn't know who the Dragon is, because she's intelligent enough to know that their understanding of the prophecies is incomplete.   She can't rule out Egwene or Rand, because she just doesn't know, though she hopes for Egwene.  It's not changing the story to be inclusive (though inclusivity is a GREAT GOAL. The Showrunner WANTS a broader audience to get more people to want to watch the show so it is renewed and women are over 50% of the population.)  Its bringing those themes of the untrustworthiness of what Moiraine knows or doesn't know forward so that we in the audience can continue to wonder what the Aes Sedai really do know or don't know and question it as it goes on in further seasons.

 

"Weaken the story" is an opinion exclusive to an individual viewer.  For others, many of these things strengthen the story.  "Break Plotlines" depends on which plotlines from the many in the books the Showrunner moves forward on, and which he chooses to cut, for there will be many cuts.  It also depends on how he adapts the remaining plotlines to those changes in the future.  Every Adaptation has many changes, as shared above. The Showrunner's clear goals (not in any order) are 1) Adapting the story as well as possible, especially by focusing on the broad themes of the whole series rather than all the individual subplots or minor elements.  2) Broadening audience appeal to more audiences than would just watch niche fantasy 3) Saving money by building fewer sets 4) Using practical effects over CGI. 5) Making sure that the audience can keep track of what is going on and who the characters are by combining or narrowing where possible 6) making the characters themselves more emotionally appealing and memorable so the audiences identify with them even more.

Edited by WhiteVeils
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1 hour ago, WhiteVeils said:


 

Some stories must be cut for time. There are way too many subplots to keep all of them in an 8 season series. The subplot of Perrin's beard isn't vital and can afford to go on time to make room for other more important plots. Him having a beard also keeps him visually distinct from the other EF5 and other characters, and visual identity makes it easier for the audience to recognize each character quickly as they watch.

Elyas has been cast and has likely been combined with the character of Hurin. There are a maximum number of characters that can be introduced per season and per episode (7 for a  pilot) or it waters down the characters we do get.  The Showrunner made a choice to introduce this character later when they would have more than a few minutes with each other to interact before they meet the Tinkers.

 

Very well said WhiteViels.  I really enjoyed your take on these topics.

 

I highlighted the Perrins beard issue as I want to share my theory on it.  This theory is no way conclusive and I haven't gone back to do a visual examination of all the Two River actors to be sure but I think they gave Perrin and Mat beards for a reason.  The Women's circle allows the young women to braid their hair as a signal that they have grown and reached marriage age.  What if the same could be said of the men and beards?  Then why doesn't Rand have a beard then?  Because it is another thing that makes separates him from the rest of the Two Rivers people, maybe Aiel in the show cannot grow proper facial hair?

 

Just a silly theory but something I would want to as R2J2 if I actually had a twitter account.

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13 hours ago, WhiteVeils said:


My goal here is to provide the explanations for why these changes were probably put in. You may have whatever opinion you have about the overall effect...I'm not going to change your mind. But you say you are not open to changes just for the sake of change, so I'm offering the explanations. If you are a Television writer and creator doing your own adaptation, you might choose differently, but there are legitimate reasons this showrunner made the choices he did.  I hope that if you have counters to specific points, they can be spun out separately. 

Change 1


In the books, the characters are 20 years old (Egwene a couple of years younger), but act about 15 compared to most viewers sensibilities.  This is fine in a book...we accept that naturally.  But in Real Life, and so also on television, if we meet a 20 year old man acting like a 15 year old, it is neither appealing or cute. This is the college sophomore hanging out with and behaving like high school freshmen. It comes across as creepy to the viewers, an instantly makes that person unlikeable to many. There are even movies built around this premise. Instead of thinking about this person coming of age, the audience is left wondering what is wrong with that person.
The showrunner therefore had to make a choice:  Make them 20 and acting like a 20 year old, or make them 15 and acting like a 15 year old.  A cast of 15 year olds would have problems with the later arc stories, and would mature too quickly physically to do a multi-year show.  At 20, physical maturity slows enough their appearance wouldn't change much.  That said, the Showrunner still included the sheltered nature of the Two Rivers, having Moiraine commenting on it, showing Mat and Rand's gape-jawed awe at seeing Tar Valon, and other aspects of their innocence to retain some of the coming of Age story. 

 


A major theme of the books is Perrin's internal issues with Violence.  He feels great anxiety and stress about killing Whitecloaks early in the series and this haunts them throughout the books. In modern fantasy television and film, most heroes depicted would not have any problem killing or injuring such obviously bad people.  So we need to understand Perrin's thinking as to why this bothers Perrin so much, why he has trouble with fighting 'the bad guys', and his relationship with violence. But in TV, we are not privy to Perrin's thoughts. Perrin is also largely a silent character: he keeps his feelings to himself.  Without an inciting incident, that whole aspect of Perrin would just be him looking sad at times and never telling us why.
Having Perrin commit a great act of violence and killing a loved one by mistake means that the directors can just show or mention an axe and have that carry huge emotional significance that lets us know this whole aspect of what is going on in Perrin's head without requiring any further setup at all.
He could have done this by having Perrin kill another character; Master Luhan, for example. But time in each episode is at a premium. To have the same impact with Master Luhan, you'd have to spend valuable time setting up that relationship, explaining who they are to each other and how they feel, and so on. All of which is unnecessary just by just making it his wife. It is also age appropriate for the Two Rivers.  Time is at a premium so shortcuts have to be used.
 

Some stories must be cut for time. There are way too many subplots to keep all of them in an 8 season series. The subplot of Perrin's beard isn't vital and can afford to go on time to make room for other more important plots. Him having a beard also keeps him visually distinct from the other EF5 and other characters, and visual identity makes it easier for the audience to recognize each character quickly as they watch.

Elyas has been cast and has likely been combined with the character of Hurin. There are a maximum number of characters that can be introduced per season and per episode (7 for a  pilot) or it waters down the characters we do get.  The Showrunner made a choice to introduce this character later when they would have more than a few minutes with each other to interact before they meet the Tinkers.

The Showrunner is building additional tension in the audience with a 'will he/won't he' dynamic, giving Mat a distinct identity separate from Rand. This tension helps make Mat more unique and memorable to a viewing audience in very few scene segments.  To counter the untrustworthiness, the Showrunner /also/ added that Mat was the one who acted as the glue for their entire friend group, noticing Perrin's pain and going to him after the trolloc attack, giving Perrin his knife and talking about Laila, talking Rand down when he was yelling at Moiraine, repeatedly acting to lighten the mood and lift up his friends. Many non-book readers observed this repeated pattern and had Mat be their favorite character because of it.  The untrustworthy+greatest heart makes a compelling character and helps counteract the dagger-sickness persona.

Changing the character of Abell and his family gave Mat an element of dynamic tension to begin with, just like the other characters gain in the first episode.  (Rand+Egwene, Nynaeve vs. Moiraine, Perrin+Laila). It gives the audience of the show an immediate point of empathy to connect with the character of Mat quickly and make him 'a good guy'.  Also, in the books, a major theme for Mat is how he does not believe that he is a hero 'I'm no bloody hero', while still doing heroic things.  We know this from his thoughts, but can't tell it from his actions.  In the show, all they need to do is use the word 'prick' and we will hear Natti's statement and know Mat is thinking about his Father.  Another thing in the books with Mat is how much he cares for children like Olver.  Having this family situation will make that emotionally resound more clearly when Mat encounters a child, like it did when that child bumped into him on the way to Tar Valon.  Without knowing how much he cares for his sisters, the snapping when he gets bumped into wouldn't mean anything, but with it, in just one quick shot, we can see how much the dagger has changed him. Later in the series, I will expect other impacts of this: Changing Abell means that Perrin has something and someone we /feel/ changed when he transforms Two Rivers into something that can fight back against the  Whitecloaks and Trollocs.  Otherwise, we're left wondering why they didn't rally themselves. 
As to why the Woman's circle didn't 'take care of it', this happens all the time in the real world, and no one 'takes care of it'.  If you want a full explanation on how this could occur, though, you can find a version here.

 

 

In the show, she has no control at all over what she does.  And she has not reproduced any effect that she has created in the show. Nothing indicates she can channel whenever she wants.  She has had two bursts of power under extreme emotional circumstances.  You just do not remember the show correctly here at all. 

 

This was shown late to preserve a mystery as to who the Dragon is. In the books, Moiraine does not know who the Dragon is, so this gives that mystery to the viewer. This helps the viewer empathize with Moiraine and not think she's stupid.  It also provides a matter of discussion and speculation...buzz...for the audience to help make the show gain viewership, and for this purpose it worked well. A show that gets no buzz or prompts discussion does not get made for 8 seasons, which is a good reason to include it.

 


Yes, love and loss are interesting to people, and yes, such arcs are needed to build audience. A story without relationships are interesting to some, but the goal for the show is to build a broader audience beyond hard core book nerds.  Also, the complexity of choosing love or career is experienced by many viewers, and echoed very much in Egwene's late plotlines with Gawyn. Rand also suffers many conflicts of 'can I love and also be the Dragon'?  This smaller version keeps dynamic tension, draws different audiences, and gives hints at greater examples of these conflicts later. Nothing cheap about it...they were very well done and appeal to many.

 

 

Sex has a huge impact and can be very powerful and important to the lives of the participants even if the participants are not virgins.  In fact, if they are virgins, sex is often very awkward and rather uncomfortable as both parties are trying to figure things out. The igloo scene, if they do it, was never about and did not include how awkward Rand and Aviendha were about not knowing where everything goes or what they were doing. It was a moment of desperation and passion.  Making Rand and Egwene have limited experience takes the emphasis off the 'virgin' and puts it on 'passion'.  It also is age appropriate. 

Every single set and location costs a large amount of money to build, extras to hire, costumes to create, shots to establish and so on. Any adaptation will want to try to minimize the number of built sets, especially large town sets for money reasons. 

Min has a larger role in the show than she has on Eye of the World. In the first book, she sees some things about the boys, and that's it...then they leave.  It would be 1 episode, if that  In the show, she is the one who helps Rand verify for sure he is the Dragon, and she is in two episodes. She will have a greater role in future books, and the show even showed us that she is going to continue to be important by taking the time to show us how she is departing Fal Dara.

Camelyn is another huge and expensive set used for a very tiny portion of the books.  Elayne, Gawyn, and Galad  are three characters we are supposed to get to know and really care about, so they deserve a strong introduction and time spent with them.  However, a TV series can't introduce too many ongoing characters, because the viewers get overwhelmed and forget who is who. The show is moving those 3 characters to S2 where we can spend more time with them and make them more important than they would have been in just a quick 'drive through' meeting.

Aes Sedai politics is a major theme of the books and sets them apart from Lord of the Rings.  They aren't a faceless order of Wizards, which is how the audience would 'read' them in the show early on.  They have complex politics.  They also appeal to a different segment of the audience, one more interested in politics, intrigue, etc, than just 'plain trope LOTR fantasy.  In order to broaden the appeal of the show to that audience, the Showrunner had to show that that existed in the first place in order to be able to film into Book 2 and 3 where it is shown more in the text. By taking Rand to Tar Valon, he shows that. Also the Tar Valon set will be reused again and again throughout the series, in every season, so it is a fine investment to build early as opposed to Camelyn which is rarely needed. 
 

The climax of the books says 'It was about all of them'.  The story being about all 5 of the EF's is the core of the series.  The Showrunner wanted to show that, as much as he could.  So he is intentionally splitting the 'victories' of some of the early seasons from Just Rand to Rand + the rest of them. In EOTW, they do not work together...everyone except Rand gets knocked out, and then Rand does a half-dozen different things.  Everyone else is useless.  There is no companionship. With the way they split it up, it means that Rand can do a heroic thing, and Egwene and Nynaeve also can do a heroic thing. Perrin and Mat lost out  this season (In part due to COVID and Barney Harris leaving) but I bet they make up for it at Falme.

 

See above: More sets, bigger sets = more money. Boats are even /more/ money, and hard to film on.  Domon has been cast and shows up later. Cuendillar is introduced in Episode 8, where we also see the first seal of the Dark One's tomb. The show introduced these elements in a stronger and more memorable way than Bayle Domon talking about his knickknacks.

 


The finale was significantly impacted by COVID, but is still strong. The end of EOTW is a confused set of teleporting and blasting and does not tie to the major themes in the books. Jordan himself said he had problems with it.  In the Show, the finale is a direct foreshadowing of the showdown with the Dark One found on Memory of Light, with Rand and the Dark One choosing between fates of the world and the role of consent and free will. It is also done in a way so the audience can see and understand what is going on, and recognize these themes when they come up later.

I already wrote about 'splitting up the victories', though I see no difference between Rand blasting an army of Trollocs and 5 women, including 2 of the strongest Channelers in 1000 years, being forced to channel to the point of death to blast an army of trollocs to the point where they retreat. Doing this this way splits up the victories, adds 'stakes' to creating circles to directly explain why Aes Sedai don't just link to do whatever they want, and gives the battle at Fal Dara in the books with Fal Dara winning anyway. They just have /more/ people die in the Show than in the Books, raising the stakes and tension.

Moiraine is not stilled. She is shielded with a tied off weave.  Tying off a weave is not a broadly known magic tech in the show universe, most likely.  This was done to give Pike and Henney a storyline in S2, which focuses on the Great Hunt.  They are expanding out what is there, but these two big name actors are a major draw for a show, especially for a significant market segment, and the Showrunner doesn't want to lose it by having the characters never appear all season (and risk losing the actors).

 

Questioner makes it clear the audience what they are and what they do. Having multiple names for the same thing is confusing for the audience, and the goal is to make things as simple and memorable for the audience as possible.

We will see more of this next season, but the Waygates can also be opened with a terangreal that looks like a leaf key...In a cut clip (probably for time) we see a shot of Padan Fain holding one. So the Ogier used them when they used the ways, though they likely have been lost or stolen over the years and the Trollocs have ahold of them.  This can be shown in later seasons.

But I think they are using the One Power to open the Waygates primarily so that they combine the magical transportation system 'Waygates' with the magical transportation system 'Portal Stones'. Wheel of Time has at least 5 different magical transportation systems. (Waygates, Portal Stones through a parallel plane, Portal Stones teleporting directly, Skimming, Gateways, and Tel'eranriad).  This is a /lot/ for a short series to incorporate and expect viewers to understand.  By having magic open Waygates, then Rand could, potentially, try to open one in a pinch and do it wrong, creating/rediscovering the Portal Stone use and 'flicker flicker' even.  They may not go that way, but it helps cut down on the magic systems.

The Showrunner had a choice:  Show Loial and other characters closer to the books, but have their time on screen very much restricted so that CGI can be done (and complained about whenever it wasn't realistic enough), or use prosthetics to be able to show him as much as possible and have it be as realistic as possible to the viewer.  He chose the later because he likes Loial and wanted more of him.

 

 

Saidar and Saidin are separate, and Moiraine says she can't see men's weaves earlier in the show.  There is a whole extra feature about their separation. Moiraine hardly ever admits to weakness or not knowing something. If Rand lived and she lived, Moiraine would want to be Rand's mentor and his advisor. Telling him she can't teach him doesn't start her how in a good position to be his advisor...he can just tell her she can't teach him anything.   And she may not even be able to tell him she can't teach him anything...maybe she can teach him some things, technically.  But she doesn't have time to find out what the limits are and she hasn't thought about it yet.

 

 

The ones who know how many ta'veren there are are the Darkfriends...the Dark One has been telling them in their dreams. The Blue spy network most likely got the information out of a darkfriend at some point, which is why Moiraine knows.  Moiraine knows the age. So '4 t'averan, all the right age' does not imply that there can't be '5 ta'veran, 4 the right age and 1 the wrong age'.  In any event: The Showrunner changed it to 5 because having someone like Egwene being a Ta'veran gives a storytellter shortcut for some leaps of logic that are otherwise harder to accept. Why does Egwene become Amerlyn?  Seasons of complex plotting that all need to be shown on screen to even make sense, or little bit of complex plotting + Ta'veren.  That's easier. Why is Nynaeve the strongest in 1000 years just by happenstance?  Weird coincidence...or Ta'veren. Jordan uses Ta'veran to cover all sorts of weird circumstances for the boys. Expanding it to the girls lets the Showrunner use it for them too.  It does not weaken their power at all...no one says they're stronger than the boys because the boys are Ta'veran.  The only thing it does is say that, in this universe, the Pattern can choose and work through women too.  The showrunner answers questions ahead of time just by including it.

 

 

The Dragon Reborn is feared AND desired because the Dragon Reborn could destroy the world or save it.  Or both.  It didn't need any more than that.  But more than that, a theme in the stories is that knowledge is incomplete. The Aes Sedai are not omniscient. Prophecies can be wrong.  The Seanchen prophecies and the Dark Prophecies and the Karethon cycle are all being interpreted by people in different ways (think 'bowing to the Crystal Throne'). This incomplete knowledge of what will be is a theme throughout the books, so the Showrunner is including it here in the first season so we know the Aes Sedai don't know everything.  Suian's dream about the Dark One at the Eye was false...a trick to make Rand break the first Seal. She was wrong.  Moiraine frets she doesn't know who the Dragon is, because she's intelligent enough to know that their understanding of the prophecies is incomplete.   She can't rule out Egwene or Rand, because she just doesn't know, though she hopes for Egwene.  It's not changing the story to be inclusive (though inclusivity is a GREAT GOAL. The Showrunner WANTS a broader audience to get more people to want to watch the show so it is renewed and women are over 50% of the population.)  Its bringing those themes of the untrustworthiness of what Moiraine knows or doesn't know forward so that we in the audience can continue to wonder what the Aes Sedai really do know or don't know and question it as it goes on in further seasons.

 

"Weaken the story" is an opinion exclusive to an individual viewer.  For others, many of these things strengthen the story.  "Break Plotlines" depends on which plotlines from the many in the books the Showrunner moves forward on, and which he chooses to cut, for there will be many cuts.  It also depends on how he adapts the remaining plotlines to those changes in the future.  Every Adaptation has many changes, as shared above. The Showrunner's clear goals (not in any order) are 1) Adapting the story as well as possible, especially by focusing on the broad themes of the whole series rather than all the individual subplots or minor elements.  2) Broadening audience appeal to more audiences than would just watch niche fantasy 3) Saving money by building fewer sets 4) Using practical effects over CGI. 5) Making sure that the audience can keep track of what is going on and who the characters are by combining or narrowing where possible 6) making the characters themselves more emotionally appealing and memorable so the audiences identify with them even more.

Once again on casting they would have to pay retainers on 8-15 characters in Season 1 and book them as regulars to keep ahold of them . Once again is you are only a reccuring they could take any part on onother show is you are offered a Regular role

 

 Main role(reg) and are then tide in , reccuring both the actors/showrunners can change their mind -  or like BJ Britt which is a great example of how this works ,on AoS as a recurring and Being Mary Jane with a contract that said if we are picked up for S2 we will want you as a main which was what happened - Britt was killed of half way through season 2 of AoS because Mary Jane was renewed and he became a main and he had to leave

 

The actors who played Thom was in 2 other shows that year doing ScandiNoir so they could sign him as a reg for S2 onwards ,Logain was in Money Heist which was just finishing filming  so he will be a reg S2 and onwards

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1 hour ago, Humbugged2 said:

Once again on casting they would have to pay retainers on 8-15 characters in Season 1 and book them as regulars to keep ahold of them . Once again is you are only a reccuring they could take any part on onother show is you are offered a Regular role

 

 Main role(reg) and are then tide in , reccuring both the actors/showrunners can change their mind -  or like BJ Britt which is a great example of how this works ,on AoS as a recurring and Being Mary Jane with a contract that said if we are picked up for S2 we will want you as a main which was what happened - Britt was killed of half way through season 2 of AoS because Mary Jane was renewed and he became a main and he had to leave

 

The actors who played Thom was in 2 other shows that year doing ScandiNoir so they could sign him as a reg for S2 onwards ,Logain was in Money Heist which was just finishing filming  so he will be a reg S2 and onwards

Didn't the actress who plays Siuan leave another show she was in around the time they were filming season 2 of WoT? I think I've heard something about that. Maybe that indicates she'll have a bigger role than in the books.

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I would have made Egwene's father less of a pathetic hand wringer. In the books, he's the town mayor and respected a great deal. In the Tv show, he's the opposite. Maybe it was just the actor but I wasn't happy.

But then what's done is done..

 

Maybe when Perrin? goes back to kick some Trolloc butt, Master Al'Vere will be a stronger person. 

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10 minutes ago, nsmallw said:

I would have made Egwene's father less of a pathetic hand wringer. In the books, he's the town mayor and respected a great deal. In the Tv show, he's the opposite. Maybe it was just the actor but I wasn't happy.

But then what's done is done..

He barely had a single line in the show.

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31 minutes ago, Nik said:

Didn't the actress who plays Siuan leave another show she was in around the time they were filming season 2 of WoT? I think I've heard something about that. Maybe that indicates she'll have a bigger role than in the books.

Nope .

 

She had lots of 1 episode parts and a part in Flack which Amazon bought from CBS after PoP folded - filmed in 2019/20 and released last year . And voice work on Dark Materials as Xaphania

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1 minute ago, nsmallw said:

 

so why make him such a whiner? that's my question.

How was he in any way a whiner?

Egwene enters the Inn to Applause.
She hugs her dad, he said "My girl, I was worried that..." and they hug. He then says "Come on then, we're losing a coin for every empty hand here."

Then another lady comes up and says "No, you drink with us tonight." and he has a look of half laughter and half confusion on his face.

That's it. No whining. Just a father who still sees his daughter as a girl that does what daddy says, even though she is literally a woman that night.
 

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16 hours ago, WhiteVeils said:

the characters are 20 years old (Egwene a couple of years younger), but act about 15 compared to most viewers sensibilities.  This is fine in a book...we accept that naturally.  But in Real Life, and so also on television, if we meet a 20 year old man acting like a 15 year old, it is neither appealing or cute.

IMO, 20 year olds (college kids) often act like they're 15, some well past their mid 20s even into their 60s.

But yeah, you nail the reason(s) for "aging up" characters. The only character who matures a lot slower then the rest is um.. *cough* mat *cough*.

 

  

16 hours ago, WhiteVeils said:

Some stories must be cut for time. There are way too many subplots to keep all of them in an 8 season series. The subplot of Perrin's beard isn't vital and can afford to go on time to make room for other more important plots. Him having a beard also keeps him visually distinct from the other EF5 and other characters, and visual identity makes it easier for the audience to recognize each character quickly as they watch.

Some cultures also use beards to signify that the male is married.
I suspect that could have been another reason, and we'll get a "shaved" Perrin in the near future.

 

  

16 hours ago, WhiteVeils said:

This was shown late to preserve a mystery as to who the Dragon is. In the books, Moiraine does not know who the Dragon is, so this gives that mystery to the viewer. This helps the viewer empathize with Moiraine and not think she's stupid.  It also provides a matter of discussion and speculation...buzz...for the audience to help make the show gain viewership, and for this purpose it worked well. A show that gets no buzz or prompts discussion does not get made for 8 seasons, which is a good reason to include it.

IMO, they could have created better buzz/speculation surrounding the dragon by showing that scene in the first episode, combined with Moiraine throwing in prophetic lines that point fingers at each of the EF5.

Episode 3, it points at Perrin over the wolf dreams.
Episode 3&4, it points at Mat over his corruption
Episode 4, it points at Nynaeve over her ability to heal.
Episode 6, it points at Egwene when we learn how powerful both the girls are.
It's not until the end of Episode 7? That we get Rand's flash back that convinces him he is the DR, which had to confuse the audience as to why that 100% made him the dragon. 

Moiraine never really told the audience anything specific about the prophecies, or why the dragon had to be an orphan. The only thing the viewer got from his flash back is that Rand he was an orphan and could also use the one power. Us as book fans know exactly why that makes him the DR, but non-book readers? 

Aside from Episode 8 starting with Rand & Moiraine abandoning the group to go to the eye, why should they think Rand was the dragon except that the director literally told them via cutting to the blight?

My one wish if we could go back in time... Box the ears of the Execs that wouldn't let the episodes go past an hour and a half.

 

 

16 hours ago, WhiteVeils said:

Every Adaptation has many changes, as shared above.

100% this.
I've been rewatching S1 of the Expanse after reading the book for the first time.

Comparatively, a majority of the episodes in both shows had scenes (or entire episodes) that never happened in their respective books.
Yet, The Expanse is considered a faithful adaptation and WoT is not.

Both had plotlines that never happened in the first book.
Both added tension, and infighting that never happened in the book.
Both changed how a core mechanics
Both moved stories around.
Both Merged characters.
Both removed characters.

Hopefully for both of them, the first season is the weakest, and the future seasons just keep getting better.
 

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