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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

By Jason Denzel, in Books and eBooks,

Tor Books, the U.S. publisher of The Wheel of Time, is planning to release new editions of the entire series, beginning October of this year. The new editions will feature brand-new cover designs.    These new editions are wisely being timed to coincide with the forthcoming TV show from Amazon Studios. The cover art doesn't feature any new art featuring characters or scenes from the books but instead aims for mass appear with a stylized look. The covers are reminiscent of the UK mass market editions that were first released in 2014.    Only the covers for the first six books have been released so far. Below you'll find the release schedule, links to purchase them, and the full-sized covers.    The Eye of the World - October 29, 2019 The Great Hunt - October 29, 2019 The Dragon Reborn - October 29, 2019 The Shadow Rising - December 31, 2019 The Fires of Heaven - December 31, 2019 Lord of Chaos - December 31, 2019 A Crown of Swords - February 2020 The Path of Daggers - February 2020 Winter's Heart - February 2020 The Crossroads of Twilight - Spring 2020 Knife of Dreams - Spring 2020 The Gathering Storm - Spring 2020 Towers of Midnight - Summer 2020 A Memory of Light - Summer 2020 New Spring - Summer 2020                

By Jason Denzel, in TV Show,

After four years of relative quiet, excitement for the Wheel of Time is surging again thanks to the forthcoming TV show, scheduled for a 2020 or 2021 release on Amazon Prime. We know very little about the creative direction the show will take, but we know it left a positive impression on Brandon Sanderson, who recently shared his admiration for both the first two episode scripts, and for Rafe Judkins, the executive producer, writer, and showrunner. And, of course, there was a bit of excitement last week when Rafe and the studio announced that Rosamund Pike would be playing Moiraine. So what else can we expect from the forthcoming TV show? Here are my best guesses. First, some disclaimers: I have no involvement with the forthcoming TV show, although I've been in touch with some of the folks at Amazon. Before that, from around 2005-2011, I was a consultant to Red Eagle Entertainment, the group that originally acquired the rights to the series and remains executive producers on the show (though the scope of their creative involvement is unknown.) Back then I was heavily involved in the creation of outlines and story treatments for a potential theatrical film release. That project fizzled, but it helped familiarize me with the scale that the executives were going for at the time, and how the thinking has evolved over the years. While none of that makes me an expert in the TV effort, the ideas below come from a reasonably well-informed position. Without further ado, here are the Top 5 things I think we can expect to see in the Wheel of Time TV show. Adult Content We all know that Amazon's Wheel of Time show, along with a million other TV shows, are going for the, er, throne, that Game of Thrones until recently occupied. GoT succeeded for many reasons, and one of those reasons was that it didn't pull any punches. The WoT books are full of battles and romance, but in a strictly PG-13 manner. I expect to see the WoT TV show dive into the sex and battles more (especially the One Power battles). It'll help sell the show to a wider, more general audience that's hungry for adult fantasy. This idea is further confirmed by a casting call notice from last April that the show was seeking two female actresses to play characters named “Eliza” and “Nadie” (probably code names for Egwene and Nynaeve) that would require scenes of a sexual nature and partial nudity. It could be just a rumor, but the original source has a decent track record of accurate information, including correctly revealing Rosamund's role in the production before the official announcement. All this is to say, don't be surprised if we see the Two Rivers characters, and others, getting busy on screen.   8-10 episodes, focused on Eye of the World Amazon and Rafe haven't announced the official number of episodes, but we know each one will be an hour long. 8-10 episodes is consistent with other Amazon Originals in recent years. WoT could certainly receive more than 10, but I think it's a stretch that it'll happen that way for the first season, especially since the episode budgets could quickly balloon with visual effects. As for whether or not we'll see more than The Eye of the World portrayed on screen in season 1: Rafe has already said the show will pull from everywhere as needed, but I believe the main season arc will focus on the flights from the Two Rivers, leading ultimately to the Blight, where the season finale will focus on the Eye itself. A fan asked Rafe this question on Twitter and he gave a short, cryptic response:   The main argument for season1 focusing on book 1 comes down to the fact that if you pull too much from book 2 and beyond, it's just too much to develop and get a general audience to buy into. In 8-10 episodes they already need to introduce a complicated world and backstory, 7 major protagonists, 3-5 major antagonists (Fain, Ba'alzamon, Whitecloaks), trollocs, Aes Sedai, and so on. Once you add in the Horn of Valere and the Seanchan, it simply becomes too much, too soon. The whole “Hunt for the Horn” makes great season 2 material, and possibly getting into book 3 depending on how many episodes get greenlit. Yes, there are lots of ways to skin a cat, but it feels right to do season 1 = book 1, just like Game of Thrones did to great success. Expanding Secondary characters...and maybe a few big omissions Since the project was green-lit last October, there's been nonstop talk that Moiraine will be the focus of the series, or, at least of season 1. We don't know how that will play out, of course, but it's likely that all the attention on her in the press releases has been due to the fact that Rafe and company have planned to cast a big-name actress for that role from the very start. She (and Lan) are the most logical choices for bringing brand-name actors on board in order to reach a wider audience. I expect we'll get into their backstories sooner than the books do, and also deeper into the Aes Sedai / Warder connection. I don't think we'll be seeing lengthy, full-episode New Spring flashbacks, per se, but pulling from Moiraine's younger years wouldn't surprise me either. Rafe has also stated that he plans to expand Logain's character, which is a great idea. Seeing more Logain allows us to see male channelers before Rand really gets going. If you buy into the earlier idea that season 1 will focus on Eye of the World , then that means they have 8-10 hours to explore the first book, which is plenty of time to expand on a brooding false Dragon. I have a hunch he might steal the show early on with his charisma and power. Other expanded roles that we're likely to see: the Children of the Light (Geofram Bornhald would make a great bad guy), Elyas, Hopper and the other wolves, the Tinkers (Aram?), and Padan Fain. The jury's still out on what the production plans to do with Min, Thom, Elyane, Galad, Gawyn, and Loial. All of those except Thom and Loial only have cameo roles in the first book, so I suspect they will either get expanded roles in season 1, or possibly... sorry... get cut from the season. I know, I know. It's hard to imagine a WoT show without Elyane or Min. But everything's fair game, people! Maybe if Moiraine leads everyone to Tar Valon instead of Caemlyn, then the writers can easily introduce Elayne and her brothers being there for training. Logain can also be gentled there, which would give us introductions to Elaida and the Amyrlin Seat all in one nice location that's visually amazing to look at. Or maybe those secondary characters: Min, Elayne, etc, are introduced in the second season. Less Binary Evil The Eye of the World was written in the late 1980's and published in early 1990. Robert Jordan intentionally designed the opening to resemble Lord of the Rings, with its dark riders and quiet, idealistic rural countryside, and then flipped everyone's expectations after Shadar Logoth. At the time this approach was groundbreaking, and where he takes the sequels is still, to this day, original and remarkable. But many of the ideas in the first book have been copied and done many time since by a lot of writers, and the result is that the binary “good farmboys vs a pure evil Dark One” isn't going to cut it with a general audience anymore. Rafe touched on this subject during his Twitter Q&A:   The easy solution is to introduce more nuanced antagonists as early as possible. The Whitecloaks, Elaida, and even Padan Fain (who could hold onto a shred of his humanity, perhaps?) offer opportunities to craft bad guys who have somewhat relatable (or at least understandable) motivations beyond simply wanting the world destroyed. I doubt we'll see many of the Forsaken besides Ba'alzamon in the first season (unless by flashback), but if we do, I wouldn't be surprised if they became less pure-evil as well. Robert Jordan's Forsaken, while interesting and fun, were admittedly somewhat flat until Asmodean arrived on the scene. (Lanfear / Selene is a possible exception, but I would be stunned if she had a role in season 1. She could be a big-name actress they could bring in for season 2) More Diversity Finally, expect the Wheel of Time TV show to double down on its diverseity of characters and relationships. Rafe has been very public about this, stating outright that this is an important theme to him.   The most obvious place we're likely to see changes is in the romantic relationships. While I don't think we'll see Rand and Perrin kissing each other (imagine those ‘shipping debates! Can I coin the term “Rarrin”? “Perrand”?) it wouldn't shock me if Egwene, Moiraine, Elyas, Aram, Galad, or Logain became involved in same-sex relationships. (Besides, did any of you really, really, totally buy the Moiraine-Thom romance from the books?) Some of these might not blossom in season 1, but certainly could later. We're also more likely to see wider racial diversity in the cast. I know Robert Jordan is very specific with his descriptions of every character and culture, but when it comes to adaptations like this, nothing is guaranteed. Rafe and his team already cast a “tall Moiraine”, so who knows, right? Take a look at this script excerpt Rafe shared on Twitter last August, which points this out on the very first page:     The Eye of the World portrays all seven of the main characters (the five Two Rivers people + Moiraine and Lan) as light-skinned. Add in Elayne, her brothers, and Min, and we have a whole lot of similar-looking characters. This is in fact a trend throughout the books. Sure there's differences between the Cairhien and Andorans, but it isn't really until later books where we see the Seanchan (especially Tuon), the Sea Folk, Faile, and some of the western nations with more racial diversity. (An exception to this is the Shienarans, who appear at the end of the first book. ) Here's what Rafe had to say about this when questioned by a fan on Twitter:     I know we could all debate what certain characters look like for days and weeks, but that also sort of supports my point that there's plenty of room for interpretation, especially as we move away from the Two Rivers. My hunch is that the Emond's Fielders will look a lot like what we expect, but beyond that, there will be more racial diversity. Logain, Elyas, Siuan Sanche, and the Shienarans are all easy candidates for looking different than Robert Jordan perhaps portrayed them. The books are great... why change all this? Everyone knows that TV and movie adaptations bring changes, and passionate fans like you and I are likely to scratch our heads and wonder why they'd change something when it works well on the page. As discussed above, the first book in this series was written 30 years before its TV adaptation release, and audience expectations have changed since then. We also have the hindsight now to understand what works in the books, and what could stand to be better. (Do you really think they'll have Perrin spend three seasons trying to rescue Faile?) I'm looking at this TV show as a fresh turn of the Wheel. The Third Age that I read about in the books has passed, and been reborn now that the Wheel has turned all the way around. With every coming of an Age, it's the same story again, yet different. While this may not be the official explanation from the show's producers, I think it's a good way to look at it. We'll always have the books to return to: those aren't going anywhere. By allowing ourselves to accept changes from book to screen, even ones we don't fully like, we open ourselves to having a better experience. I, for one, and beyond excited to see what Rafe and his team do. So what do you think? Leave a comment below, or discuss it on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram channels. What do you think we should expect from the upcoming Wheel of Time show? Jason Denzel Jason@dragonmount.com  

By Jason Denzel, in TV Show,

Academy Award-nominated actress Rosamund Pike has been cast as Moiraine Damodred in the upcoming Wheel of Time TV show.  The announcement came today when the official Wheel of Time writer's room Twitter account shared an image of the actress reading The Eye of the World.    Rafe Judkins, the executive producer on the show, said this on Twitter shortly after the announcement:     Pike is a well-known actress with significant credits to her name that showcase her amazing range. Some of her notable roles include the lead in Gone Girl, and the James Bond film, Die Another Day. She has the right blend of strength and confidence to carry this essential role in the series. Amazon Studios, the studio that will be airing the show, said with their first official press release that the Wheel of TimeTV show would feature Moiraine's character prominently. Pike will also be credited as a producer on the show.    In the books, Moiraine has an important role as a mentor and guide. She's the Aes Sedai who finds a handful of young characters, one of whom may potentially turn out to be the prophesied and greatly-feared Dragon Reborn. Her prominently featured role in the show doesn't necessarily mean she'll be the main character for the series, but it's likely Pike will be one of the major headliners.    Be sure to check out our full summary of everything we know about the forthcoming TV show.

By Jason Denzel, in DM Website news,

Dragonmount is delighted to announce that we've (finally) launched our own Instagram account, @dragonmount_    Like our other social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, we hope to provide frequent, unique, and enjoyable Wheel of Time content.  We hope you'll join us on each of these accounts and become part of our growing community. 

By Jason Denzel, in TV Show,

There's been considerable hype this past week after Brandon Sanderson made numerous comments on reddit about his opinions of the early Wheel of Time TV show scripts. Brandon indicated that what he's seen so far has bee "really good" overall, but he also explained that changes might be coming.    In the first of multiple reddit threads, Brandon explained:      We don't know what these "unexpected decisions" are; Brandon could not say because he's under NDA. Naturally, that hasn't stopped WoT fans from generating theories. There's been speculation for a while that the show will focus more heavily on Moiraine, perhaps elevating her role to equal, or even exceed, that of the main characters in the books. This hasn't been confirmed, and the rumor is largely based on Amazon's original press release annoucing the show which includes:     Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene and Nynaeve are not mentioned by name in the show's official description, but that doesn't necessarily mean their roles or importance will be diminished. It's almost certain that they will be played by lesser-known actors, while it's more likely that the role of Moiraine will be given to a headline-grabbing actress. Her role may be elevated, but the extra attention given by the studio could always be part of the way they plan to market the show to audiences, not to mention to potential big-name actresses they want to cast.   Later in the comments of the original reddit thread, Brandon expanded his thoughts:     Brandon has made similar comments at book signing events in recent months. Expect more comments, and more speculation from fans as the show quickly ramps up. And we agree with his comments about Rafe: his interactions with the fans have been friendly, knowledgable, confident, and engaging.    According to this Instagram account, Rafe recently moved to Prague, presumably to focus on producing the show there. Casting for the main characters is currently underway, with announcements expected in the near future.    Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@dragonmount) for more newsstand commentary related to the forthcoming TV show. 

By Mashiara Sedai, in Community & Events,

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the ConQuesT science-fiction and fantasy convention.  As stated earlier, our own Jennifer Liang and Jimmy Liang will be the con's Fan Guests of Honor!  The con is this weekend (May 24th-26th, 2019) in Kansas City, Missouri.    The schedule for ConQuesT is now live!  If you're going to be attending, check out Jenn's and Jimmy's schedules!   For those who don't know about ConQuesT, here's what they say about themselves:     If you're in the area, it's a fantastic con to attend!

By Jason Denzel, in Merchandise,

Badali Jewelry, a long-time provider of officially-licensed Wheel of Time merchandise, is shutting down their WoT product line at the end of this month.  The final day to place new custom orders is April 28, 2019.    From the Badali Jewelry Facebook page:     Some of their bestselling items were the Aes Sedai Great Serpent ring, their Asha'man pins, and their foxhead medallion.    Dragonmount has been a long-time reseller of their products and we're sad to see them shuttering their line of quality goods.  The reason for the shutdown is related to their license expiring and now being held exclusively by Sony (and potentially Radar Pictures and Amazon Studios, although those details aren't clear at the moment). There's a possibility that a new license to produce these products will be granted in the future, but only time will tell if that happens, or if the same products will be re-released if it does.    Make your orders now at Badali Jewelry website, and look for their remaining inventory through October 2019. 

By Jason Denzel, in TV Show,

Casting for the forthcoming Wheel of Time TV show has begun according to the London-based KVH Casting agency. KVH is run by Kelly Valentine Henry, who has been tapped as the show's casting director.    The TV show is scheduled to film sometime this fall 2019 (likely September) in Prague in the Czech Republic.    No actors have been officially announced yet, but that's expected to change in the coming weeks or months.    The KVH website originally encouraged actors to send "submissions only" to submissions@wotcasting.com, but that notice was quickly taken offline, possibly in response to what is likely to be an overwhelming flood of fan interest.   

By Mashiara Sedai, in JordanCon,

JordanCon 11 kicks off this Friday afternoon!  I can’t wait to mingle with other Wheel of Time fans.  It’s like a family reunion getting to see familiar faces and meeting new additions.  If you’re able to be in attendance, don’t forget to check out the Anthology signing session on Sunday morning at 10:00!   Our last interview is with Sarah Sover, talking about her submission “A Faerie Tale.”   First, can you tell us about your writing?  Is this your first published work?   I write fantasy hybrids, but this is my only short story so far. My debut novel, a comedic fantasy about grog-chugging trolls pulling a perilous heist, releases in September. So this is my first published work of fiction by 5 months!   Where does your story fall on the speculative fiction scale?   Fantasy meets Horror.   What excited you the most with writing this story?   The most exciting part has been discovering that there are people who appreciate my deranged brain-children. My weird stories finding a place to exist in the world is something I never actually thought would happen, let alone twice in one year. As exciting as the actual writing is, that beats it all, hands-down. And working with Robyn Huss. She’s amazing.   Are there any themes you want readers to get a sense of?   I’m going to have to go with the dangers of messing with forces beyond comprehension and flat out nihilism. For my work as a whole, there’s a definite baby-eating theme.   Is there a specific inspirational source you used for this story?   An image popped into my head and remained there for an entire day, so I had to jot it down. The story grew from that black-and-white picture and sat on my desktop, untouched, until I saw the call for submissions two days before the deadline.   What else would you like to say to your readers?   I’m thrilled to have my story featured in this Anthology alongside the works of some fantastic authors. I hope you’ll check out Double-Crossing the Bridge in the fall, and, as always, #BewareTheGoats. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @SarahJSover.  

By Mashiara Sedai, in JordanCon,

JordanCon is quickly approaching, and our eagerness is beginning to show!   This week's interview is with Tim Lewis.  He tells us about "Switch," his addition to the JordanCon Anthology.   First, can you tell us about your writing?  Is this your first published work?   This will be my first published work! I’ve been writing for decades, but only for myself as one of many hobbies. Richard Fife’s idea to create short stories for the anthology inspired me to finally stop procrastinating. The publishing process is very daunting and this was a tremendous opportunity to break into the writing world. As to my writing, is “chaotic sugar induced child at a puppy farm” a style? I have piles of notes about writing best practices from the Writer’s Track at JordanCon, and I tried to incorporate each to some level as I work to find my niche. In the beginning it was random pieces as ideas came to mind, then slowly stitching them together, reluctantly killing a few “little darlings,” and then finally obsessing about each word and phrase until I had to walk away.   Where does your story fall on the speculative fiction scale?   After Googling “speculative fiction scale,” this is a soft science fiction story based on a near future to add some plot devices to move the story along, but it could be placed in any era. I started down a fantasy route but as the pieces begin to evolve then sci-fi seemed to be the best world for the story.   What excited you the most with writing this story?   My wife reads in bed and I can gauge how good a book is when she has an emotional outburst (and wakes me up). Whether it is a laugh, a cry, a gasp, or swearing like an East Indian sailor, I can see how much joy she gets from reading. When writing “Switch,” I tried to create each of those elements, and if I’m lucky, I may have succeeded with one.   Are there any themes you want readers to get a sense of?   I tried to paint a normal person that people could relate to that, of course, is put into extraordinary circumstances. I have always been a fan of the reluctant hero that rises to challenge rather than racing to it head on. I also added a few references to our current political and social climate that some may find entertaining, or even frustrating. Mostly I just wanted to be able to tell a story of a person that people could identify with as themselves, or someone they know, to create that emotional connection.   Is there a specific inspirational source you used for this story?   I drew inspiration initially from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep to create a future with minor changes in technology, but grounded in something relatable to the reader. That is why the story takes place in my home city of Huntsville, AL, so I had some specific ground to build on. I walked down the streets and by the buildings of the exact places that are talked about in the story to inspire the writing; at one point running like an idiot around the courthouse to see if my character could actually do what I described. For the science, a YouTube video about acoustic physics and the floating drop of water became the impetus for the technology. The story also evolved into a pseudo detective noir theme, not by intention, but just organically possibly from my obsession with watching movies. The biggest inspiration and the drive of the secondary narrative was a personal view of society and unconscious bias that I wanted to portray, but I will leave it there so as not to reveal spoilers. And a huge nod to the professional editors Robyn Huss and Chris Kennedy, who were critical in pulling me off the puppy farm to get everything together into a cogent story!   What else would you like to say to your readers?   Simply, thank you. I hope this gives you a moment to disconnect from the world and find some enjoyment; and if I was able to get you to wake your partner up while reading my story in bed, then my work was done! If you would like to see more, check out my site at www.LewisVenture.com.  

By Mashiara Sedai, in TV Show,

According to a Twitter poll from Amazon Prime Video, The Wheel of Time television adaptation is the most anticipated series.   (IMAGE TEXT: We have a lot of shows that started as books, but which UPCOMING book adaptation series are you most excited for? #WorldBookDay; 20% Good Omens, 26% The Expanse, 18% The Lord of the Rings, 36% The Wheel of Time)   While fans of the show rejoice, and agree, it's pretty amazing that Wheel of Time could top some of the other anticipated series.  Bleeding Cool states how they "were NOT expecting Wheel of Time to top that list."  Understandable, considering The Lord of the Rings has been hyped up.  As has Good Omens, which already has trailers, cast, and an official release date (May 31, 2019--for those who were wondering).     With Wheel of Time barely in production, this is a great indicator of how much we've wanted a show to represent our beloved series!   You can catch the latest updates from Rafe Judkins' Twitter feed, which he updates pretty regularly with interesting hints and tidbits.  Also, stay tuned to Dragonmount for more news.

By Mashiara Sedai, in JordanCon,

For our next entry in the first ever JordanCon Anthology—So You Want Stories?—I got to talk to Alexandra Hill about her submission "The Bakery: Prelude to a Fairy Tale."     First, can you tell us about your writing?  Is this your first published work?   I read really broadly, and I think that translates into what I write; I’ve either finished or am in the process of stories in a number of genres, including sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, memoir, and so-called “literary fiction.” Fantasy feels like home, though, especially in atemporal or modern settings. I love how the genre lets me ask “what if…?” not just of my characters, but of the world in which they live.   I’ve published academic writing under my real name – I’m a computational biologist by training, and have a few papers out under my real name – but “The Bakery” is my first work of published fiction.   Where does your story fall on the speculative fiction scale?   I think the title gives it away! “The Bakery: Prelude to a Fairy Tale” is fantasy, and sets up the world before “Once upon a time.”   What excited you the most with writing this story?   A million years ago, my Grade 12 English class was able to pick whatever topic they wanted for their final project. My subject: “Freudian Psychoanalysis and the Evolution of the Modern Day Villain.” I had a blast. I interpreted how Freud would have interpreted the backstories of villains in three 90s Batman Movies and three novels (Perfume, Harry Potter, and Hannibal Rising).   Writing this story felt as fun as that project. I loved creating my own spin on the backstory of a female villain. I think the world sees a lot of stories of men behaving badly, and having some kind of origin story for their evil and/or redemption arcs, but historically, women’s stories haven’t been explored that way. I don’t think that Elle’s life justifies any of her more “established” story, but I hope I’ve managed to create more depth to the character!   Are there any themes you want readers to get a sense of?   I’ve always been fascinated in peoples’ opinions of themselves. I think most people think that they’re fairly good people, but situations like Elle’s, where you’re stuck between impossible options through no fault of your own, mean that most people’s moral sense gets thrown out the window. I hope that readers ask themselves what they’d do in her place – and then really ask themselves what they’d do if they were her.   Is there a specific inspirational source you used for this story?   Yes.   …What, you think I’m going to give away the ending?   What else would you like to say to your readers?   I hope you enjoy this story! If you see me at JordanCon, be sure to stop and tell me who your favorite fictional villains are.      Thanks, Alexandra, for joining us at Dragonmount!    And don't forget today is the last day to preorder So You Want Stories? from JordanCon's website.  The convention will have a few copies on hand, but don't risk it!

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