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The Wheel of Time Will Be Adapted as a TV Series

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(Netflix) “The Crown” is a 10-episode series about the British royal family and its parliament in the second half of the 20th century. At $13 million per episode, on average, “The Crown” is right up there with the most expensive TV show ever, which, according to Statista data, was “ER,” which also cost $13 million an episode.

 

As part of the push, Netflix released “The Get Down” from director Baz Luhrmann in August. The show, detailing the birth of rap and hip hop in a burning late-’70s South Bronx, cost $120 million, or $10 million per episode, to produce. That ties the 12-episode series with “Friends” for the third most expensive TV show measured by episode.

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/netflix-is-pouring-money-into-some-of-tvs-most-expensive-shows-2016-09-28

 

 

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(Netflix) “The Crown” is a 10-episode series about the British royal family and its parliament in the second half of the 20th century. At $13 million per episode, on average, “The Crown” is right up there with the most expensive TV show ever, which, according to Statista data, was “ER,” which also cost $13 million an episode.

 

As part of the push, Netflix released “The Get Down” from director Baz Luhrmann in August. The show, detailing the birth of rap and hip hop in a burning late-’70s South Bronx, cost $120 million, or $10 million per episode, to produce. That ties the 12-episode series with “Friends” for the third most expensive TV show measured by episode.

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/netflix-is-pouring-money-into-some-of-tvs-most-expensive-shows-2016-09-28

 

 

 

 

What are you trying to say here?

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Netflix is desperate enough for content to finance higher and higher budgets. Just two years ago, Marco Polo had an unbelievable budget: $90 million. Now, we are talking about $120-130 million budgets. I think that we (WoT) should use this situation to get what we want.

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SPOILER ALERT TO ALL NOT FINISHED WITH THE FIRST 2 BOOKS!! I started reading the series when there were only the first 2 books out. This doesn't have to take a major commitment to the entire series. If you recall, at the end of book 1 Rand appears to have defeated the Dark One. If they fully commit to doing just book 1 in all its glory, with the Seanchen animals & with scenery to rival GOT, they'll be able to get a good feel for the interest to justify the cost of continuing the story. Once it takes off, which it will if done right, they can then commit to book 2, still seeming to complete the story with the final defeat of the Dark One. After the 1st 2 books, there will either be a solid, excited fanbase to justify continuance of the series, or not. But it has to be done right to capture what's great about the series, no machete taken to the story & no excessive nudity & foul language so it can have a broad appeal. I think it was very smart of Jordan to come up with his own "foul language" that wouldn't really offend even the most uptight.

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I'm pretty sure the Seanchan don't show up until book 2.  As much as I think showing the Prologue would be a waste of time as either the whole of or part of the first episode, I think spending the whole first season on just the first book would also be a bit of a waste.  I could see them getting all the way through book two provided they had hour-long episodes and around 15 episodes in the first season.  If they stretched it to 20 or 22, they could conceivably cover the first three books in the first season, and that would be a much more natural terminus for the season, while still leaving enough open to carry on, and then they could slow down a bit and stretch the books out over more of the season.

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They can't do a season per book, or if they try it will be a good sign they are not committed to taking the project seriously. There is no way this will last 14 seasons.

 

I agree a strong budget is required. $10 million+ per episode is a bit ambitious for a new show off the bat, but certainly GoT's starting budget ($6 million per ep) should not be out of the question. It can go up later on if the first season is successful. It's worth bearing in mind that the average budget-per-episode on US TV is still $2 million, with even the CW's superhero shows with lots of effects getting less than $3 million per episode.

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They can't do a season per book, or if they try it will be a good sign they are not committed to taking the project seriously. There is no way this will last 14 seasons.

 

I agree a strong budget is required. $10 million+ per episode is a bit ambitious for a new show off the bat, but certainly GoT's starting budget ($6 million per ep) should not be out of the question. It can go up later on if the first season is successful. It's worth bearing in mind that the average budget-per-episode on US TV is still $2 million, with even the CW's superhero shows with lots of effects getting less than $3 million per episode.

To be fair, they could probably make the first 5 books last 1 season each.

Later books, like 6,7,8/ 9,10,11/ 12,13,14 could all be one season each.

 

 

One thing everyone has to consider, and is often not really understood, is that the length of the books don't have a set ratio of pages to minutes.

Many chapters are going to translate to mere minutes on screen time, while others will translate to hours.

 

Any chapter in which RJ introduces a location, cast of characters, what outfits they are wearing, what they did that morning before they go on about there day, may take 15+ pages to describe. But on video, that can all be accomplished in under 30 seconds.

 

Dialogue and action scenes are going to take the longest screen time, but conversely, take the fewest pages in the books.

Edited by SinisterDeath

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To be fair, they could probably make the first 5 books last 1 season each.

Later books, like 6,7,8/ 9,10,11/ 12,13,14 could all be one season each.

 

No way.

 

I could only repeat myself (iirc, but my opinion is still the same): a (very) good writer is able to condense Book 1-2 into 10-12 episodes, Book 3-4 into 14-16 episodes, and Book 5-6 into 16-18 episodes. End it with LOC, and call it a day...

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That's a good dichotomy, don't know if its manageable on the wide stage, but it is there...

 

 

I think you can establish that in the first episode you would just need to tweak the prologue a little, and really it would probably be the best entry point for those unfamiliar with the story.

 

Put Lews Therin and the Aes Sedai in our world several hundred years in the future. So the first 1/2-3/4 of the show is almost a space opera. The White Tower is in New York, London or somewhere familiar. Establish the people working on the bore to be from around the world. The break through it, and the male Aes Sedai go mad, where by they show world wide devastation. Lead back to Lews Therins encounter with the Forsaken. Then show Lews incinerating himself, creating Dragonsmount. Have the camera pull back until we are looking at the entire Earth all the while witnessing the devastation Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Volcanoes of fire and ash blotting out the sun, so all we see from our vantage point is a world of black smoke. Then show the Earth clearing up over the centuries, and ages. This is when they could have the intro of "The wheel of time turns and..." When the Earth is clear again have the camera show that the Earths continents are completely different and begin to zoom in on Two Rivers where we first see Mat, Rand, and Perin. Hopefully, when they make the show they try and disguise who the Dragon Reborn actually is. Doing it this way would be a good way of  letting the audience understand why the Irish are desert dwellers.

 

Of course the first episode done this way would be almost entirely the prologue, but I think it is that important because a lot of things are established in that one chapter that pays dividends later on. For instance when Rand begins to go mad without the prologue Rand is just crazy, but with the prologue we are not really sure what's going on. 

 

LOVE this idea, putting energy into this being the opening episode!!!!

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I honestly think it would be a bad idea, both to show any part of the prologue in the first season, or to make it visually obvious that the world is post-apocalyptic or that this is our world's distant future.  Dialog and exposition are sufficient to establish the post-apocalyptic nature of the world and the slow decline of humanity, because after all this takes place over the course of 3000 years.  The main characters of the story are about as aware of the nature of this apocalypse as we are of Alexander the Great, and as the details of the origins of this apocalypse and its aftermath become important and relevant to the main characters, so should those details be revealed to the audience.  It helps the audience identify with the main characters, and it maintains the sense of mystery and discovery that will keep people engaged.  

 

It's also important to note that nowhere in the books is it directly or clearly acknowledged that Randland is our world in a vastly distant future.  That little tidbit comes only from "word of god" answer to a question that has no relevance or importance to the story whatsoever.  We don't even know how far into the future the Age of Legends is from now, whether there was any apocalyptic event that separates their Age from ours, whether there was an Age between our Age and the AOL, or whether their geography was identical to or even similar to ours.  That the giants Mosk and Merc refer to Russia and the USA, that the Wise Councilor Anla refers to Ann Landers or that Materese the Mother of the Ind refers to Mother Teresa, and all the rest, is sort of neat, but ultimately irrelevant, and if stressed too much, threatens to be a distraction from the actually relevant world-building and story of the Last Battle and birth of a second Age of Legends.  Those hints at this connection need to remain hints.  They should be what they are in the story, mere innuendo and suggestion, and should not be expressly confirmed by any visual or expository revelation.

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OFF

 

our age (7th) -> nuclear war -> mutants -> channeling (1st) -> Portal Stones -> AOL (2nd) -> Rand (3rd) -> everybody knows about Rand (4th) -> a gigantic Breaking -> stone-bronze-iron Age (5th) -> classical antiquity + Middle Ages (6th) -> our age (7th)

 

ON

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What is in the story.

 

Everything has had its hadgings in an earlier Age. Or most. The weak talents might not have, or some of them. It's the charge of the people who make this work to really forget about anything else but this world.

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OFF

 

our age (7th) -> nuclear war -> mutants -> channeling (1st) -> Portal Stones -> AOL (2nd) -> Rand (3rd) -> everybody knows about Rand (4th) -> a gigantic Breaking -> stone-bronze-iron Age6h (5th) -> classical antiquity + Middle Ages (6th) -> our age (7th)

 

ON

All that's just head-canon though.  Within the story itself, there is no strong or obvious implication that Randland even is our own world set in a distant future Age.  And even if it's granted that it is, after all, we have the "word of god" on it, for all we know, our Age is the 1st Age, not the seventh, and it was the discovery, possibly even the invention of channeling that marks the boundary between the First Age and the Age of Legends.  Or it could be that our Age is the 5th or 6th Age.  And we don't know how long the Ages are either, or even whether they each take roughly the same amount of time.  The First Age might take 14.5 billion years, the Age of Legends might have lasted for 10,000 years, we know the 3rd Age lasted for roughly 3000 years, the 4th Age might only last a thousand, the 5th, 6th and 7th Ages might be marked in centuries and decades.  Or they might also last tens of thousands, millions or even billions of years.  None of that's relevant or important though.  It contributes nothing to the story and is just a distraction that wastes valuable screen time and set designing resources to even really hint at.

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ON

 

You are right in some things, but Ages cannot last more than 2500-3000 years, because people have to remember things from the previous Ages.

 

BTW, according to RJ the universe of Randland is a constant universe, so their (our) sun will not collapse. EVER. So...  But I really like the theory above. 

 

OFF

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ON

 

You are right in some things, but Ages cannot last more than 2500-3000 years, because people have to remember things from the previous Ages.

 

BTW, according to RJ the universe of Randland is a constant universe, so their (our) sun will not collapse. EVER. So...  But I really like the theory above. 

 

OFF

No, they don't have to remember things from previous Ages, actually.  The whole "ages fade to myth, and even myth is long forgotten..." quote actually says very little survives from Age to Age, certainly little with any accuracy.  In any event, the whole thing is irrelevant.  Philosophical speculations on the nature of the wheel are fun and all, but have nothing whatsoever to do with plotting a TV series based on the books.  They're not important to the story or for motivating viewer appreciation of the world.  Spending any amount of time on them at all in the series would be a dreadful waste of time and money when there's already plenty of more important things that will likely have to be cut out entirely, like all of Padan Fain's arc.

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It's also important to note that nowhere in the books is it directly or clearly acknowledged that Randland is our world in a vastly distant future.  That little tidbit comes only from "word of god" answer to a question that has no relevance or importance to the story whatsoever.  We don't even know how far into the future the Age of Legends is from now, whether there was any apocalyptic event that separates their Age from ours, whether there was an Age between our Age and the AOL, or whether their geography was identical to or even similar to ours.

 

Ameratsu, Shiva and Kali showing up are kind of a big hint. So is the Mercedes Benz hood ornament, and the giraffe freize, and the aircraft contrails. I agree, the mythological backstory should remain hinted at, but it shouldn't be removed altogether.

 

I suspect RJ would have included a few more hints if he had lived (he seemed to be going somewhere with the Ogier and the Book of Translation in KoD, but Sanderson never picked up on it), but ultimately it's irrelevant to the main storyline.

 

To be fair, they could probably make the first 5 books last 1 season each.

Later books, like 6,7,8/ 9,10,11/ 12,13,14 could all be one season each.

 

 

That's still 12 seasons, which will not happen.

 

One thing everyone has to consider, and is often not really understood, is that the length of the books don't have a set ratio of pages to minutes.

Many chapters are going to translate to mere minutes on screen time, while others will translate to hours.

 

Any chapter in which RJ introduces a location, cast of characters, what outfits they are wearing, what they did that morning before they go on about there day, may take 15+ pages to describe. But on video, that can all be accomplished in under 30 seconds.

 

Dialogue and action scenes are going to take the longest screen time, but conversely, take the fewest pages in the books.

 

 

Yes and no. There is actually a Hollywood rule of thumb that one page in a traditonal paperback equals 1 minute of screen time. It's why movies of even reasonably-sized books are quite truncated: the average book is around 300 pages long but that's still five hours of screen time. The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy - which is otherwise reasonably faithful - is 11 hours long in its extended version and still leaves a lot of stuff out. A faithful adaptation of the novel would require it to be more like 16-17 hours. The rule works because what you gain in being able to show in a few seconds which might take pages (description, mostly) you lose in dialogue and action scenes. A big problem is that the visual medium cannot effectively show interior character monologues, so an adaptation has to find a way of externalising that character development which also takes up time you might have gained elsewhere.

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I think they should steer clear of the "our world in the distant future"-thing. Screen time will be extremely limited as it is and it has no bearing on the story whatsoever. The world is so well-made and powerful that there is no need to go all Shannara with it. I think it would just be a distraction and confuse people who haven't read the books.

 

Focusing on the first season (since it will be by far the most important for the long-term survival of the series) I don't think there is any real alternative to fitting both of the first two books in there. Even if the series becomes wildly successful we can only really hope for 7-8 seasons. While there isn't as much obvious fat to cut in the first books as in the latter I went through the books quickly and it was quite easy to divide them into 8 hour-long episodes each (for a 16 episode season, which to be fair is pushing it). There would also then be a natural mid-season finale (fighting the Forsaken at the Eye of the World/Battle at Tarwin's Gap) and season finale (Battle of Falme). It would also allow for a high pace and action scenes in every episode (in contrast to entire episodes of walking and singing in taverns) which is probably necessary to keep the non-bookreaders interested. The big challenge will be to get all/most of the exposition and internal dialogue/dream sequences in there or something that does the same for character and world development.

 

Unhealthily excited about this and also scared it might never actually happen. It will require tremendous risk-taking from everyone involved to be able to do it well. Hopefully Team Jordan will make sure it is reasonably faithful to the books.

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ON

 

You are right in some things, but Ages cannot last more than 2500-3000 years, because people have to remember things from the previous Ages.

 

BTW, according to RJ the universe of Randland is a constant universe, so their (our) sun will not collapse. EVER. So...  But I really like the theory above. 

 

OFF

 In any event, the whole thing is irrelevant.  Philosophical speculations on the nature of the wheel are fun and all, but have nothing whatsoever to do with plotting a TV series based on the books.  They're not important to the story or for motivating viewer appreciation of the world.

 

Wow, you must have avoided my ONs and OFFs.

 

Ameratsu, Shiva and Kali showing up are kind of a big hint. So is the Mercedes Benz hood ornament, and the giraffe freize, and the aircraft contrails. I agree, the mythological backstory should remain hinted at, but it shouldn't be removed altogether.

 

 

He's just trolling. :smile:

 

 

While there isn't as much obvious fat to cut in the first books as in the latter
 
Oh, there are many thing which should be cut.

 

Unhealthily excited about this and also scared it might never actually happen. It will require tremendous risk-taking from everyone involved to be able to do it well. Hopefully Team Jordan will make sure it is reasonably faithful to the books.

 

Honestly, I don't think that they got/will get more than 20-25 million for the first season. And they will screw it up, royally.
 
Having said that, daydreaming is a good thing.

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Ameratsu, Shiva and Kali showing up are kind of a big hint. So is the Mercedes Benz hood ornament, and the giraffe freize, and the aircraft contrails. I agree, the mythological backstory should remain hinted at, but it shouldn't be removed altogether.

 

I suspect RJ would have included a few more hints if he had lived (he seemed to be going somewhere with the Ogier and the Book of Translation in KoD, but Sanderson never picked up on it), but ultimately it's irrelevant to the main storyline.

 

That's exactly what I would prefer and am advocating for.  I just think that a Prologue scene set in what is supposed to be clearly a futuristic version of our world, followed by a CGI depiction of our world's geography morphing and changing catastrophically into Randland to depict the Breaking, is not just unnecessary, but actively distracting and confusing.  I really don't think the Prologue has any place in a TV series in the first place, except as flashbacks Rand has to both depict his madness and to fill in that backstory when it becomes relevant to the story and the weight of guilt and responsibility Rand forces himself to carry.

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Ameratsu, Shiva and Kali showing up are kind of a big hint. So is the Mercedes Benz hood ornament, and the giraffe freize, and the aircraft contrails. I agree, the mythological backstory should remain hinted at, but it shouldn't be removed altogether.

 

I suspect RJ would have included a few more hints if he had lived (he seemed to be going somewhere with the Ogier and the Book of Translation in KoD, but Sanderson never picked up on it), but ultimately it's irrelevant to the main storyline.

 

That's exactly what I would prefer and am advocating for.  I just think that a Prologue scene set in what is supposed to be clearly a futuristic version of our world, followed by a CGI depiction of our world's geography morphing and changing catastrophically into Randland to depict the Breaking, is not just unnecessary, but actively distracting and confusing.  I really don't think the Prologue has any place in a TV series in the first place, except as flashbacks Rand has to both depict his madness and to fill in that backstory when it becomes relevant to the story and the weight of guilt and responsibility Rand forces himself to carry.

 

 

 

I am ambivalent about the Prologue (which takes place entirely indoors and doesn't hint at any form of relationship with our reality, I would like to remind everyone). I think it is a great scene and really draws you in to the story/world as well as giving a lot of necessary exposition even though you may not realise it immediately. It will also provide an opportunity for some early magic/special effects which is scarce in the beginning and might help to keep people tuned in (but would also be expensive). However, it will take about 5 min from an already overfull first episode where you basically have to cross the Taren to not be hopelessly behind, and there's a lot of story before that which is hard to skip since it sets up the motivation for them all leaving. I would probably end up keeping it if it was my call but I can definitely see a professional screenwriter cutting it (or condense it into a 30 sec flashback/dream sequence).

 

 

 

While there isn't as much obvious fat to cut in the first books as in the latter
 
Oh, there are many thing which should be cut. 

 

 

 

 

By obvious fat I mean entire story arcs or characters that can be removed without much consequence (see books 7-10 especially). Of course everything would have to be made shorter and many scenes removed but you really have to hit all major story points in the first book or you will send chock waves throughout the entire series. Basically you have:

                                                                 

                                                                  -> Wolfbrother and Travelling People (Egwene and Perrin)

Two Rivers -> Baerlon -> Shadar Logoth -> Nynaeve learns she can channel (Moiraine, Lan and Nynaeve, could be short) -> Caemlyn -> the Ways -> Fal Dara -> The Blight

                                                                  -> Rand and Mat's journey  (could be cut down a lot but some would have to be there, ex. Four Kings)

 

All you these are really necessary if you don't want to completely rewrite the story.

Edited by Rednalloc

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Honestly, I don't think that they got/will get more than 20-25 million for the first season. And they will screw it up, royally.

 

 

 

That would be ridiculous, though. The Shannara Chronicles had a budget of 40 million for its first season (and it still looked terrible). The first season of Game of Thrones got a 60 million dollar budget and that was before anyone knew if a show like that was even viable. After Game of Thrones companies should be willing to invest a good deal more than that since the risk has to be considered significantly lower. If they aren't they shouldn't even bother, frankly, since there is virtually no chance of it succeeding.

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That would be ridiculous, though. The Shannara Chronicles had a budget of 40 million for its first season (and it still looked terrible). The first season of Game of Thrones got a 60 million dollar budget and that was before anyone knew if a show like that was even viable. After Game of Thrones companies should be willing to invest a good deal more than that since the risk has to be considered significantly lower. If they aren't they shouldn't even bother, frankly, since there is virtually no chance of it succeeding.

 

$25 million is really not possible. That'd put the show below the budget of most American police procedurals and three-set sitcoms.

 

Shannara being reasonably successful is useful, because it and Game of Thrones combined show there's legs in a fantasy show. Even more borderline fantasy stuff like The Magicians, historical shows like Outlander, Vikings and The Last Kingdom and even The 100 and Westworld - which may be both SF but with a gritty, period aesthetic - all helps because it shows there's an appetite for more genre stuff in that vein.

 

Plus Wheel of Time's book sales are absolutely titanic, far higher and with far more readers than ASoIaF had before GoT started. That provides a built-in audience.

 

On that basis I think it's quite reasonable to expect Wheel of Time to get made (and I'm assured that a deal has been done or just about been done and they're waiting until they've made more progress in securing more talent before making an announcement) and for a major party to be involved. I'm holding out hope it's Netflix or Amazon, as they have both the money and the flexible filming schedules and air times to make it happen the way it needs.

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I am ambivalent about the Prologue (which takes place entirely indoors and doesn't hint at any form of relationship with our reality, I would like to remind everyone). I think it is a great scene and really draws you in to the story/world as well as giving a lot of necessary exposition even though you may not realise it immediately. It will also provide an opportunity for some early magic/special effects which is scarce in the beginning and might help to keep people tuned in (but would also be expensive). However, it will take about 5 min from an already overfull first episode where you basically have to cross the Taren to not be hopelessly behind, and there's a lot of story before that which is hard to skip since it sets up the motivation for them all leaving. I would probably end up keeping it if it was my call but I can definitely see a professional screenwriter cutting it (or condense it into a 30 sec flashback/dream sequence).

 

It'll take more than 5 minutes, as it's a very dialog-heavy scene.  Werthead's observation here is quite apt.  If it takes you 5 minutes to read a bunch of dialog, it'll take at least twice as long to act it out.

 

And let's not forget that there would be some special effects in the very first episode even in the absence of the prologue, and that leaving the prologue in is no guarantee of special effects, as evidenced by that atrocious info-mercial pilot.  Those special effects I mentioned would be the fade and trollocs that are hunting the boys in the Two Rivers.  And it's conceivable that there's even room for showing the One Power in the first episode.  When Rand's informed that Moiraine's an Aes Sedai after hauling Tam back into town, one way to portray that would be with some 2-second long chaotic flashes of Moiraine fire-balling trollocs and Lan hacking off limbs.  There's also the less-dramatic fog that Moiraine calls up to hide their flight, and even Moiraine's first lesson with Egwene in their little hidden shelter on the other side of the Taren.  

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.

 

To be fair, they could probably make the first 5 books last 1 season each.

Later books, like 6,7,8/ 9,10,11/ 12,13,14 could all be one season each.

 

 

That's still 12 seasons, which will not happen.

Bad at Math?

That's 8 Seasons.

6-8 = 1 season

9-11 = 1 Season

12-14 = 1 Season

3 Seasons

+ first 5

= 8 Seasons, not 12.

 

Even if you make 1 season for books 12, 13 and 14, (3)

You could make the first 3 books 1 season each, and make (2) seasons stretching books 4-11.

 

It might even be possible to stretch Season 1 from books 1-2, Season 2 as 3-5, Season 3 as 6-10, Season 4 as 11-12, Season 5 as Book 13, and Season 6 as Book 14.

 

People get this idea stuck in their heads that some books have to be multiple seasons, or require 1 season per book.

All the battle descriptions. All the dress, and hair pulling can all be described on screen in seconds over hours. 

 

We aren't even getting into the idea, that they could craft the seasons to not follow the books on a 1:1 basis, but actually follow the timeline which gets shifted a bit in the later books...

 

 

 

 

Ameratsu, Shiva and Kali showing up are kind of a big hint. So is the Mercedes Benz hood ornament, and the giraffe freize, and the aircraft contrails. I agree, the mythological backstory should remain hinted at, but it shouldn't be removed altogether.

 

I suspect RJ would have included a few more hints if he had lived (he seemed to be going somewhere with the Ogier and the Book of Translation in KoD, but Sanderson never picked up on it), but ultimately it's irrelevant to the main storyline.

 

That's exactly what I would prefer and am advocating for.  I just think that a Prologue scene set in what is supposed to be clearly a futuristic version of our world, followed by a CGI depiction of our world's geography morphing and changing catastrophically into Randland to depict the Breaking, is not just unnecessary, but actively distracting and confusing.  I really don't think the Prologue has any place in a TV series in the first place, except as flashbacks Rand has to both depict his madness and to fill in that backstory when it becomes relevant to the story and the weight of guilt and responsibility Rand forces himself to carry.

 

AOL isn't clearly a futuristic version of our world, That would be a misnomer of RJ's universe.

The Prologue doesn't even need to show much of the AOL's technology. As much as we all hate the the winds of winter, the book doesn't go into detail on flying cars and floating buildings during that scene. 

It really wouldn't take all that much to show a closed-set scene similar, the creation of Dragon Mount, And Rand walking down the road with his Pa.

 

 

It'll take more than 5 minutes, as it's a very dialog-heavy scene.  Werthead's observation here is quite apt.  If it takes you 5 minutes to read a bunch of dialog, it'll take at least twice as long to act it out.

 

And let's not forget that there would be some special effects in the very first episode even in the absence of the prologue, and that leaving the prologue in is no guarantee of special effects, as evidenced by that atrocious info-mercial pilot.  Those special effects I mentioned would be the fade and trollocs that are hunting the boys in the Two Rivers.  And it's conceivable that there's even room for showing the One Power in the first episode.  When Rand's informed that Moiraine's an Aes Sedai after hauling Tam back into town, one way to portray that would be with some 2-second long chaotic flashes of Moiraine fire-balling trollocs and Lan hacking off limbs.  There's also the less-dramatic fog that Moiraine calls up to hide their flight, and even Moiraine's first lesson with Egwene in their little hidden shelter on the other side of the Taren.  

And if it takes you 30 minutes to read dress descriptions, and the color and texture of tree bark, it only takes 3 seconds to pan a camera to see that.

 

Pacing of the episodes is entirely dependent on how long a season is. 

6 Episodes?

12 Episodes?

24 Episodes?

If we have a 6-9 episode season, we might need a 2 hour premier to fill in the Prologue, and Rand's encounter with the trollocs/flight to town, and ending it with all of them leaving town.

12 episodes, could get away with a 90 minute premier, and fit up to Rand's flight from the trollocs before everyone leaves town.

24 episodes, they could do the prologue, and Rand taking a bath when the Trollocs attack.

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