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Five things to expect from the Wheel of Time TV show


Jason Denzel
  • The Wheel of Time TV show is ramping up fast, so naturally, we explore what to expect when it finally airs. 


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:

 

Quote

[Fan]: Hello Rafe, Do you anticipate Season 1 taking up Eye of the World and season 2 being The Great Hunt?
[Rafe]: Yes and no


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:
 

Quote

"I think most people would say [the central/key/core conflict of the series is] light vs. dark, but I'd actually say [that it's] balance vs. imbalance."


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.
 

Quote

“I think that gender is such a key theme of the books, and discussing gender without a full representation of LGBTQ+ people would be a disservice to that discussion. Rest assured, their will be pillow friends out the wazoo.”

“I'm a feminist and it's very important to me that the show is feminist in today's context.”


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:

 

 

Quote

[A QUICK NOTE: race in the world of Wheel of Time is much less defined than in our world.

As much as possible, our cast should look like America will in a few hundred years -- a beautiful mix of white, brown, black and everything in between]


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:

 

 

Quote

“I really want to stay true to the books in creating a world that feels way more diverse than what we're used to seeing in our fantasy tv shows”


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

 

Edited by Jason Denzel



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I think Fain's role will be expanded significantly. I think it will have a good amount of nudity and sexual situations but not be crude. I think they won't shy away from Graendal when they get there. 

 

Elaida's role should also be enhanced.  Siuan will be of color.

 

I have this weird feeling that unlike the article above they may skip the wolves and wolf brother thing altogether, or relegate it just to Elyas. Not sure why but when I read Brandon Sanderson's comments I got the feeling Perrin could be cut entirely.

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A comment on the 'Moiraine-Thom' thing:  I can see that for some that plot did not work. Personally though I thought it was great for several reasons. First and foremost because it was wonderful that Moiraine could find love and happiness having in some ways 'sacrificed' her entire life to Blue Ajah-causes (primarily to finding the Dragon Reborn). She saw Lan's (her Warder-companion of many many years) love for Nynaeve and perhaps in her heart of hearts wished for the same. Also because it was a total surprise for me, never saw that coming at all since Moiraine had seemed above such 'mundane' things as love. With everything Thom had gone through and all I was pleased for him as well. Robert Jordan liked, as we know, to throw in some surprises in his wonderful story (Verin a very good example) and I think this was another one of his surprises albeit a smaller one perhaps.

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They are starting from the idea that it must be diversified. That is offensive. Diversity is a good thing, however the idea of diversification is just as evil as racism. You are literally saying. " This group is not good enough, because they have to many white people or to many black people or to many males or to many females or to many straights it to many Christians. Alas I am wasting my words, because in today's society it is ok to Hate the white male because in the past white males hated others. Thus it proves my point. The road has a ditch on both sides. We have simply moved from ditch to another.

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Look, there's a reason why this series is so popular.  People love it as it is.  If you go changing that, then you have changed what made it great, and why people love it.  And why it is good enough to adapt for television.  I'm not talking about adapting for a different medium, I'm talking about change for the sake of what they believe will be 'more relevant television'.  That's absolutely ridiculous.

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This whole conversation saddens me.  When I first heard that this long-term fantasy of the WOT becoming a TV series I was thrilled!  My next evolution in thought was that I hoped it would not be turned into something like GOT because of all the gratuitous and sleazy sex.  I haven't watched a single minute of GOT for this very reason!  I didn't read the series for this very reason.  I got half way through the first GOT book and had to stop because of graphic adult consensual incest and toddlers being shoved out of windows.

 

Now not only is there more than hints that sex and nudity, virtually all of which could be implied as it was in the actual books (no real description of nudity nor sex took place in the books.  It was just stated that it happened and this can certainly, very easily remain implicit and not explicit in the TV show) will be taking place a la GOT but we have to create LGBTQ themes where none exists because where it did exist in the books (again very implicit and not explicit) is just not enough to be "woke".  It's very sad.  

 

I'm hoping to be able to watch this series with my two teenage children and had planned on subscribing to Amazon Prime so as to be able to gain access to the show.  If they do indeed go in this direction none of that will be happening in my house.

 

Are we seriously thinking that those who love fantasy and who love this series will not watch it if there is not enough sex or gay characters???

 

Are we thinking that if someone is gay or just really loves sex scenes that they won't watch if this doesn't have enough gayness or sex??? 

 

I'd venture to guess that the numbers of folks who tune out if it's there will at least equal if not exceed the numbers who tune in if LGBTQ stuff is crammed down their throats and gratuitous sex and nudity is highlighted.

 

I could be wrong on the predicted numbers but this is one household, and I know many, many others, that will not be watching if this happens.  I'll just stick to the books.

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Any adaptation is going to require significant changes. Wheel of Time was a very good, if fairly flawed, fantasy series. It was written over the course of several decades, where tastes in literature and cinematic styles changed quite a bit.

 

To me, the key questions in front of the creative team are:
1) How do we cut the story down to it's core, so that it can be told over 50-90 hour-long episodes? Assuming it runs for 7 seasons of 8-13 episodes, that gives you essentially a maximum of 91 episodes. Given the budget considerations, Game of Thrones 71 episode count seems likely to be the upper bound of what we should/can expect. Personally, I never thought adapting WoT was a good idea for this reason - cutting the story down to around 50 to 70 hours of screen time is... IMO impossible.

Further, you'll want the first season to feel relatively "capped" by the end, in case the show flops. Season 2 onwards, you'll have a better feel for renewal chances while breaking the story. This leans heavily in the direction of the season 1 finale being the Eye of the World finale sequence, as that works great. With a few tweaks, that could work well as an early termination point for a "whole" story.

2) How do we cut the cast list down to manageable proportions? Wheel of Time's biggest flaw, IMO, is the character count. There are dozens of "main" characters and hundreds of secondary characters. And you have to actually remember who they are. I've read the series from start to finish at least 3 times, and occasionally re-read individual books out of order and there are always dozens of characters I can't remember.

In some of the comments regarding diversity, commenters pointed out LGBTQ characters. Most of those characters are characters I don't even remember! I can tell you, as a gay man who read the books while he was a teenager, the LGBT representation is fairly subtle in the books and by the time Memory of Light was published, was deeply unsatisfying. This is problematic for me, as a reader, because of the sheer scope of the series - a series that purports to cover such a racial diversity with so many characters can certainly find room for meaningful LGBTQ characters. And the way some of the characters (Aran'gar and Osan'gar) need to be updated quite a bit. A series with a narrower scope can get away with not representing certain human conditions (i.e. one more geographically or culturally situated), but that ain't this series.

Game of Thrones did make quite a bit of progress demonstrating that television audiences can handle some cast sprawl - but if I were the creative team, I'd be thinking very hard about how I could collapse a lot of characters into each other. 

 

As a general note - anyone who wants the television story to "faithfully" adapt the series is going to be disappointed. Either it "faithfully" adapts the books - and effectively neuters it because any faithful adaptation of 4.4 million words into 50-90 hours is going to be condensed beyond the point where it's entertaining.

Or it shifts the storytelling perspective. Television/movies don't do what books do well. They have different strengths in storytelling. 

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9 minutes ago, Marc said:

This whole conversation saddens me.  When I first heard that this long-term fantasy of the WOT becoming a TV series I was thrilled!  My next evolution in thought was that I hoped it would not be turned into something like GOT because of all the gratuitous and sleazy sex.  I haven't watched a single minute of GOT for this very reason!  I didn't read the series for this very reason.  I got half way through the first GOT book and had to stop because of graphic adult consensual incest and toddlers being shoved out of windows.

 

Now not only is there more than hints that sex and nudity, virtually all of which could be implied as it was in the actual books (no real description of nudity nor sex took place in the books.  It was just stated that it happened and this can certainly, very easily remain implicit and not explicit in the TV show) will be taking place a la GOT but we have to create LGBTQ themes where none exists because where it did exist in the books (again very implicit and not explicit) is just not enough to be "woke".  It's very sad.  

 

I'm hoping to be able to watch this series with my two teenage children and had planned on subscribing to Amazon Prime so as to be able to gain access to the show.  If they do indeed go in this direction none of that will be happening in my house.

 

Are we seriously thinking that those who love fantasy and who love this series will not watch it if there is not enough sex or gay characters???

 

Are we thinking that if someone is gay or just really loves sex scenes that they won't watch if this doesn't have enough gayness or sex??? 

 

I'd venture to guess that the numbers of folks who tune out if it's there will at least equal if not exceed the numbers who tune in if LGBTQ stuff is crammed down their throats and gratuitous sex and nudity is highlighted.

 

I could be wrong on the predicted numbers but this is one household, and I know many, many others, that will not be watching if this happens.  I'll just stick to the books.

 

Marc - speaking personally, as a gay person...

 

I can tell you that I would continue watching the show if it didn't change or update the LGBT representation. But I'd also be sad.

I tend to agree that television and movies are often overly sexualized for purely profit motivation. And I *don't* think that Wheel of Time needs to be more sexualized. It worked great at the PG-13 level.

 

But that's very different from LGBTQ representation. I read those books so much hoping to see some part of myself reflected in it. When you feel a part of something - especially something as big and expansive as Wheel of Time is - and then you feel like representations of you are barely present, aren't accurate, or are disrespectful, it's hurtful.

 

That said, it's easier to excuse that in novels because novels are the work of one individual creator - the author. No one author can faithfully represent all of humanity, and I think Jordan and Sanderson did about as well as they could in representing a wide array of people within their humanly limited perspectives.

 

But when you expand to a much, much, much larger creative teams of directors, actors, a dozen writers, designers, and more... there is a heightened expectation that that team will be able to better put forward a larger set of perspectives, so that everyone can feel welcome.

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I'm not trying to be contrarian here with this next comment/question and am wondering if you felt hurt by the relative lack of 

17 minutes ago, Ri S said:

 

Marc - speaking personally, as a gay person...

 

I can tell you that I would continue watching the show if it didn't change or update the LGBT representation. But I'd also be sad.

I tend to agree that television and movies are often overly sexualized for purely profit motivation. And I *don't* think that Wheel of Time needs to be more sexualized. It worked great at the PG-13 level.

 

But that's very different from LGBTQ representation. I read those books so much hoping to see some part of myself reflected in it. When you feel a part of something - especially something as big and expansive as Wheel of Time is - and then you feel like representations of you are barely present, aren't accurate, or are disrespectful, it's hurtful.

 

That said, it's easier to excuse that in novels because novels are the work of one individual creator - the author. No one author can faithfully represent all of humanity, and I think Jordan and Sanderson did about as well as they could in representing a wide array of people within their humanly limited perspectives.

 

But when you expand to a much, much, much larger creative teams of directors, actors, a dozen writers, designers, and more... there is a heightened expectation that that team will be able to better put forward a larger set of perspectives, so that everyone can feel welcome.

I'm not trying to be contrarian with my next comment/question and am genuinely interested in your response.  Did you feel hurt and marginalized with the relative lack of explicit LGBTQ content when reading the book series?  If so, why did you continue to read the books?  Can the books not be said to stand well on their own as written and to provide a wonderful reading experience even without the explicit LGBTQ content?  If not, why read the books.  You can certainly choose to do different than what I chose to do when I encountered content in GOT that led me to feeling quite uncomfortable and put off.  I stopped reading the series and chose not to watch the show when it was available to me.

 

If reading the books was pleasurable to you, as they stand, is it necessary to change the show or could it still provide a pleasurable viewing experience without having to fundamentally change its context and characters in order to fit the political tenets of society in general?  We may disagree but if these types of changes are put into place for change or pandering sake, it would ruin the story and ruin the viewing experience and I would not watch it.  

 

If there was a book where LGBTQ was the majority lifestyle and heterosexual lifestyles and tendencies are attacked or marginalized I would simply choose not to read it nor would I expect than to change the content if they made a show out if it just in order to more accurately reflect the realities of the society in which I live.  It would change the story.  No, I would simply not choose to watch it and not demand it be changed to fit my feelings more comfortably.

 

But, to each their own. If this story is changed in the manner we have been talking about, I will not be watching.

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Why do we have to shoehorn our belief system into WOT? I watch movies and tv shows to escape the real world not to get indoctrinated with current political correctness.

 

I want to see a series with its own diversity not a copy of ours tossed on top of the WOT theme.

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I was so excited about this show until I read this article.  Sounds like there is a good chance it's going to be ruined by over sexualization just to try to be more like game of thrones.  I also agree with what others have said on here, make it a diversity on the nationality scale instead of every group of people looking like a modern college promotional poster.  

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17 hours ago, Ri S said:

 

Marc - speaking personally, as a gay person...

 

I can tell you that I would continue watching the show if it didn't change or update the LGBT representation. But I'd also be sad.

I tend to agree that television and movies are often overly sexualized for purely profit motivation. And I *don't* think that Wheel of Time needs to be more sexualized. It worked great at the PG-13 level.

 

But that's very different from LGBTQ representation. I read those books so much hoping to see some part of myself reflected in it. When you feel a part of something - especially something as big and expansive as Wheel of Time is - and then you feel like representations of you are barely present, aren't accurate, or are disrespectful, it's hurtful.

 

That said, it's easier to excuse that in novels because novels are the work of one individual creator - the author. No one author can faithfully represent all of humanity, and I think Jordan and Sanderson did about as well as they could in representing a wide array of people within their humanly limited perspectives.

 

But when you expand to a much, much, much larger creative teams of directors, actors, a dozen writers, designers, and more... there is a heightened expectation that that team will be able to better put forward a larger set of perspectives, so that everyone can feel welcome.

Ris,

I would encourage you to check out the following link. These books specifically contain themes that target homosexuals like yourself.

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/lgbt-fiction

 

WOT was written over 23 years and has captured the hearts and minds of thousands. I provided you a link with books where you can be "reflected in it". WOT does contain lgbt themes. Let that speak for itself. Also don't impress your lifestyle on works of art. Let nature run its course. The "woke" of society will influence each subsequent generation through the public school system and out of that generation will come your flag waving authors. You just may need to wait a bit. I really don't understand why they want to make wheel of time woke. They are going to marginalize the majority of their readers while catering to a minority.  They cannot honestly expect to turn a profit on this. Instead, they will destroy the one chance the series had at a accurate representation of Robert Jordan's life work.

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Terribly disappointed to read this. What is a terrific series of books will become soft porn television  trying to outdo Game of Thrones. And that is in no way a compliment.

 

Hard pass.

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On 6/24/2019 at 10:04 AM, Ariake Shikima said:

I wholeheartedly agree. The book series had those things, but it wasn't in your face. There was gratuitous nudity at times, but I can't recall gratuitous sex. There was blood and death and battles, but I don't recall gratuitous gore. The gender thing was done tactfully and not in your face. If they are that integrated, and those relationships are that normal, would "pride" still be a thing? I don't think so. Personally, I don't care for them to "update" the series. I like the series as it is. But, I understand moving it forward for current audiences. However, they should realize that all these ultra woke shows and movies are getting trashed at the box office and in views. If you want to make an ultra woke show, that is fine. But that is not WOT, and I won't be watching

You say if they were fully integrated there wouldn’t be a “Pride”.... why are we still celebrating 4th of July or Easter or any other celebration of liberation?!!!!

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The genius who first started labeling explicit content as “adult” and “mature” has really done us all a disservice. Just about the least original thing they could do with this show is to try to turn it into Game of Thrones.

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Really hoping this show doesn't get rated TV-MA and go all in on the adult content. That would be a total shame, and lose my otherwise anticipated viewership.

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I'll watch the show whatever they make of it, and I won't expect and don't want it to be "true" to the books. What would be the point of a show if it just played the pictures in our heads?

 

from what I see of the toxic fandom response to every hinted at change, I think I may just recede further from the fandom. It's depressing to learn that many of those with whom I share a love of this series ... see life, the universe, and everything so differently from me. It's not just toxicity in the WoT fandom, either. It seems to be a feature of fan culture in much of sci fi/fantasy, and I can't understand that at all.

 

anyway, show is shaping up better than I'd expected and I hope it actually gets made and aired for a while.

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image.thumb.png.09f3af549c870f2326f0fc9b9ac082e2.png

 

The first thought that crossed my mind when making some of the characters be able to be identified with the LGBTQ+ Community.  I've reread the series more than a dozen times (used to reread it every summer until the last book in the series was published).  I could see writers doing it, but it would change a number of his interactions, and a great deal of the series.  It would make the series less interesting to me, but might make it more interesting to those who aren't currently fans of WOT

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Beidomon

Posted (edited)

Some of what I’m hearing is good news. The showrunners def need to take a page from GOT and make the characters less one-dimensional. One of the biggest failings of WOT. We need to see more of the Forsaken and actually develop those characters! That’s worth cutting about 100 dumb Aes Sedai. Also would like to kill off some big characters earlier, and perhaps chop

down that rather silly Rand-Min-Elayne-Avi thing.

 

I really don’t care if they change a few ethnicities or even sexualities of the characters. My bigger concern is the *feminism* bit. WOT has plenty of strong female characters, but the SuperGirls get more than a little annoying at times. Not to mention the interminable Aes Sedai nonsense that made Books 7-10 such a horrible slog. I am VERY worried this series is going to play up Moraine and the SuperGirls and downplay Rand. Rand is THE CENTRAL CHARACTER!!!!

 

If they stray too far into the woke weeds, that’s going to ruin it for me. 

Edited by Beidomon

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Vambram

Posted (edited)

For me, it really do not matter too much whether or not the actors and actresses selected look a lot like they are described by Robert Jordan in my all time favorite series of fictional novels.  I believe that Rand's actor should be at least 3 to 5 inches taller than the majority of the other actors portraying characters that are west of the Spine of the World. Naturally, that means that I would like to see that the majority of the actors and actresses for the Aiel themselves be at least 2 to 3 inches taller than the "wetlanders."   I want for Perrin's actor to actually look like he could be a blacksmith.  I want Mat's character to have that lanky and handsome appearance as described in the books. I would also like for Egwene, Elayne, Nynaeve, Aviendha, Min, and also Lan Mandragoran to be portrayed by actresses and actors whom visually look very very similar to how my favorite writer of fantasy fiction described them in his books.  BUT, is all of that necessary for me to enjoy the WOT tv series on Amazon? No. Of course not. 

 

However, what I honestly prefer to NOT be changed are the core personalities and mannerisms of the primary, secondary, and most of the tertiary protagonists & antagonists. If Rafe and the writers for the TV series decide to have some of the characters that we in WOT fandom know and love be written as gay or lesbian characters, then that won't bother me too much just as long as they don't change their personalities and mannerisms a lot.  During my multiple re-reads of the WOT over the last 26 years, the primary reason that I always enjoyed those re-reads was that I loved the various character interactions, both positive and negative, that my favorite protagonists & antagonists had with one another. In my eyes, the various stories and plot lines in the WOT series are very much character driven because of each characters' personality and cultural traits, including both negative and positive traits. Robert Jordan found a delightfully wonderful balance in writing about the daily interactions between males and females in real world cultures and societies when he wrote each novel in his WOT series. Hopefully, Rafe, the screenwriters, the directors, and all of the actors & actresses will be able to successfully and consistently depict those favorite aspects of mine in the Wheel of Time series.  

Edited by Vambram
spelling and grammatical errors

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I'm not sure how I feel about this, but that's only because I love this series so much, I'm very apprehensive. WOT is about the most diverse saga I've ever read, I don't see why it would need punching up, I know if the core characters don't appear like they do in the books then a lot of folk will be upset. I also wish it wouldn't follow in the Game of Throne footsteps of having gratuitous sex scenes, you can imply without having to be smutty. Something closer to Stranger Things, scary and tense without outright soft porn on display. 

I am excited for this to come to TV but I'm also worried that it could be The Last Jedi all over again, I don't need this to divide another fandom.

Still, benifit of the doubt is very much in play and I can't wait to see what they come up with, just don't mess it up 🙂

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The Last Jedi is an apt analogy for what we want to avoid. Half the movie felt more like a feminist screed than a Star Wars movie. There are plenty of strong female characters in WOT if you just focus on the story.

 

But it's also not terribly concerning that a major actress has been cast as Moraine. Moraine is a very important character in the first few books. If anything, Pike's casting indicates that she'll be largely out of the picture after the first couple of seasons, just like the books, similar to Sean Bean's casting in GOT.

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Yeah, I want escapism not a lecture. Just stick to the books, don't go off piste and leave out the woke preaching.

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I too have a very strong alliance with the books and the thought of throwing in changes makes me wary.  On the other hand... if they totally change it up I'll just look at it as one of the portal stones many worlds scenarios and enjoy it as that. 

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SheerGaul

Posted (edited)

Yeah, no nudity! I want these characters to be played by like 11 year olds with Smallville production values and vibe. I think they should focus on scenes featuring holding hands and braid tugging. And arguments over why you’re not braiding your hair anymore! 

 

Anyway, unless this show has a huge budget and some heavy hitting creative talent, I fear it’s going to get butchered. I hope they minimize use of the “one power” which to me is the least interesting or impressive thing. 

 

Don’t worry too much about the LBGQT statement. That’s just them making the right statements so a bunch of SJWs with nothing better to do come out and start criticizing a show before it’s even on. I’m a liberal and even I’m sickened by how the media seems to try have to cram some gender agenda down our throats.  Male genitalia are the root of all evil. We get it! Got an agendera? lol...I might just trademark that. 

 

BTW, anyone else picture Lan looking Sergio Leone era Clint Eastwood or Roland Deschain? Also picturing David Straitham as Thom M. I kind of don’t want to watch and have my mental images ruined to be honest. 

Edited by SheerGaul

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An absolutely stellar piece, thank you!

I am in agreement with the whole Thom/Moiraine romance being axed, it never made sense. For me, the cutting room floor is going to be a lot of books 5 to about 9. There was so much fluff about Perrin and White Tower intrigue that it needs to be severely cut down. There might be one season of TV show in books 6-8. I still enjoyed them as reads but as the meme goes, wasn't the highlight of one book Elayne taking a bath.

Speaking of Elayne in the bath, I hope that is one of the moments that turn this into a TV-MA title. It isn't a gruesome and sex-filled series of books, but I always thought Jordan wanted us to understand the details of battle. In terms of using the One Power, I think he time and time again tried to use that as a parallel to today's version of war. 

Thank you again for the article, this could have been printed in the mass media like Variety and it would hold up.

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