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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Brandon Sanderson discusses changes to the WoT TV show


Jason Denzel
  • Brandon Sanderson shared some of his thoughts on the necessary changes to the Wheel of Time TV show.


Brandon Sanderson responded to some fans' concerns on reddit about the adaptation to the Wheel of Time TV show. Although the majority of fan reactions over the past week to the big casting announcement have been positive, some people have had concerns with the actors not looking like how they would expect. Brandon addressed these concerns by saying:

 

 

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That's a legit gripe. I don't blame anyone if they don't like this decision for book/film continuity reasons--just as I would have trouble blaming anyone for disliking a casting like Jackman as Wolverine, because he's so different from the source material. Most of us loved him, but it's okay for someone to dislike the choice.

 

The WoT casting looks good to me. It's more than it doesn't bother me; it's more that I actively like how these people look as the characters. Granted, I have information others don't have. I've read Rafe's scripts, I've read his treatments, and I get what he's doing with the series--and in almost every case, I like the choices he's made.

 

Deciding to do the Two Rivers with a variety of skin tones but a unified cultural identity is cool to me because I think it expresses some of the broad themes of the Wheel of Time. Themes that might be difficult to get across otherwise without the text, the internal monologues, etc.

 

To me, this is like putting the Harry Potter kids in street clothes in the third of those films, or making Frodo push Sam away in the LotR films--both are pretty big deviations from the letter of the story, but both (I think) achieve something in setting the tone the right way for a film.

 

That said, I can see this being something you dislike. For what it's worth--from my experience, this isn't Rafe pandering. It might well be Rafe expressing his own ideologies in the story. It's okay to dislike those choices, but I do think that it would be a mistake to not want a showrunner who tries to make their own version of the story. (Like Jackson did with the LotR films.)

 

This is one of the things I've had to become comfortable with in watching my own book-to-film adaptations progress. You won't get something great without letting a new vision change the story. Even Marvel, in charge of its own properties, heavily adapted characters, looks, and stories to fit the new medium of film.

 

If the chosen actors had looked completely wrong...well, I'd still probably have waited to see them act in the roles. (That will be the big deciding factor.) But the fact that they look so right feels like confirmation to me that so far, Rafe is steering the ship well.

 

He continued with:

 

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Everything I've seen from Rafe in my interactions with him (including the sessions where I gave feedback on the scripts) made me confident he had nothing but respect for the source material.

That said, this IS looking more of an adaptation than a straight filming of the source material. This will be different from the books. It reminds me more of the Lord of the Rings adaptations than, say, the early Harry Potter adaptations.

 

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Again, there is a legitimate gripe here- [...] Writing is art, and it's legitimate to simply not like artistic decisions. It's doubly legitimate to dislike where an adaptation is taking the work. But I have two responses here.

First is this: You're never going to get a good director who doesn't put their own spin on the source material. It's because they know you simply cannot adapt most written media into film without changing things dramatically. When people try to adapt line by line, but not try to capture the soul of the piece (as seen through their on eyes, and their own experience) you end up with something sterile at best, a disaster at worst.

What is the single greatest (by general agreement of audiences and critics) Stephen King Adaptation? It's the one that deviates the furthest. Even the new IT takes huge liberties.

The early Harry Potter adaptations are attempts to line-by-line try to adapt the books. They are mediocre films in the eyes of most critics and audiences. There is a reason why the third film, which deviates greatly, is the one that FEELS more Harry Potter to a lot of people. (Granted, not all of them.) It's because the project had someone who adapted the material and added their artistic vision to that of the book. (Which was, admittedly, the strongest of the books also.)

You have Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. He wrote it in the medium he wanted, and it will never change. You are never, in film, going to get anything but the director's Wheel of Time. This is something I've had to realize the more I've become involved in Hollywood.

A great case study is the Princess Bride. One of the rare examples where the same person wrote the book and the screenplay--someone who was good at both. And the film deviates in huge ways from the book, along the lines that the screenwriter wanted. Because he knew that film is a different medium, with different needs and different audience expectations.

If you don't want Rafe's Wheel of Time, that's completely legitimate. But you're not going to get a director who could explore Robert Jordan's themes in his way. Ever. You're going to get a director who explores Robert Jordan's themes in the director's way.

My argument about your paragraph about people coming to the Two Rivers...well, I just disagree. (That's okay--it's art, and it's good to disagree sometimes.) I think that people with new ways of thinking, new dress, new ways of doing things is WAY more thematically alien in a story like this than people who look different.

When the Two Rivers folk are traveling with the Aiel, how often do they note how different everyone looks? (Rarely.) How often do they note differences in culture? (Basically every other page.)

This fits the Wheel of Time just fine to me.

 

Filming of the WoT TV show will begin in September. Although we don't know the exact start date or production schedule, we know that the announced actors are either currently in Prague or on their way there to begin. No release date for the show has been announced, but the production schedule is expected to be unusually long because of the complicated material, diverse locations, and large number of visual effects. 

Edited by Jason Denzel



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I'm honestly not seeing the problem here. The actors seem to embody the essence of the characters. I've always pictured Egwene as dusky. And to those who think this is inappropriate for mountain people, I'd like to say that Manetheren doesn't have an indigenous population seeing how it was submerged in water. After the Breaking, when it rose, it was said to be rich in iron ore and of course, there was proximity to a water source. The people who came there were settlers. Cultural diversity is more than likely. 

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I always read the Andor folk as basically British.  the Cairhien are French, the Tairens are Spanish, the Seanchan are Japanese.   Illian always came across as scottish or irish style folk

 

the part that I don't care for, is Jordan spends a LOT of time talking about what folks look like, mostly tho just to highlight certain plot points. 

 

Rand looks the same as the rest of the two rivers folks, except he's much taller, red-headed and blue eyed, where they're dark.

 

Jordan also talks a lot about the Andor royals, and how they're fair skinned, but red headed, blue eyes (hinting at Rand's parentage.....)

 

 

I don't care that main characters are non-white, its just that in this particular case, there was kinda a reason....

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3 hours ago, Princess Morpheus said:

Cultural diversity is more than likely. 

And that would be fine if this series was set in the time of the ten nations.  It's not.  2000 years has passed since that era and the Two Rivers area is repeatedly described as one of the most backwater areas in world.  So isolated that they don't even know that they're technically Andoran.  Isolation, and a small population, is going to make for a VERY homogeneous population in just a few generations. 

 

Racial diversity most certainly will have a place in this show.  MUST have a place in this show.  The Two Rivers is the absolute wrong place for it.  Caemlyn, yes.  Tar Valon, absolutely.  Emond's Field, not a chance. 

 

All they'd need to do to fix it is recast Mat as someone with darker eyes and complexion, and done.  Homogeneous Two Rivers folk.

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The internets constantly reminds me why I've abandoned fandom: it's become toxic. Do these characters look like I imagined them? No. Do I care? No. Their skin color, eye color, hair color, nail color, is completely non relevant to the character. COMPLETELY. NON. RELEVANT.

But it's literally all anyone blabs about. For fucks sake. I don't care. 

 

You know what I care about? Hoping the women don't constantly pull their braids and smooth their skirts.

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2 hours ago, illmunkeys said:

The internets constantly reminds me why I've abandoned fandom: it's become toxic. Do these characters look like I imagined them? No. Do I care? No. Their skin color, eye color, hair color, nail color, is completely non relevant to the character. COMPLETELY. NON. RELEVANT.

But it's literally all anyone blabs about. For fucks sake. I don't care. 

 

You know what I care about? Hoping the women don't constantly pull their braids and smooth their skirts.

You don't care and that's fine. Unless I am wrong, this is a comment section and people are free to have views that differ from yours. 

I happen to be a black man. But like many black people, I hate pandering. There is no way one can honestly read about all the TR folks blushing (Nynaeve like two suns) and argure that they are anything darker than what we call racially ambiguous.

It's OK not to care about faithfulness to the source material, but some of us are nerdy enough to want faithfulness. Have your view and allow us ours. We can coexist.

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When there is talk of inclusion, it is always talked about other skin tones. But somehow we neglect to see that complete Eastern Europe is almost always portrayed in negative light, if it is even included in Western media. 

Now Robert Jordan, bless his soul, was one of the rare people that had one of the core 3 characters modeled after the eastern, Slavic myths (I am talking about Perrin). Was it too much to expect that this would somehow be reflected in the new medium? What about our right to be portrayed. We can make our own good movies and tv as much as people of color, and as much as the whole world, we too are sentenced to the Western media. 

 

A franchise that was beloved in its source material is now breaking off leaving some of the reasons behind.

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I understand how people arrive at some of the animosity they have relating to the Actor choices , specifically ethnicity. Word choices can, on the surface, imply ethnicity hits people formulating their own mental image of a person as well as their ethnic background without realizing they're doing it.

 

When I think Of Lan and his people I think of Mongolians. Specifically because of the honor system, tribal system, and description of the characters in the books.

 

I think of one of the cities where everyone wore knives and the women were overly sexually aggressive as being romany

 

You have to understand he drew on mental imagery based on what he knew about life that's what every writer does you can only fantasize to a Point before your modern experiences insert themselves into your writing.

 

All of that said, for people to be upset over other people being upset because they perceived character a as being Caucasian character be being Caucasian character C being Caucasian so on and so forth to where it's a white world.  It's not because it was written in any other manner and someone assumes ethnicity based on their racial preference, it's because that's what a person's personal experiences,when reading, apply and formulate a mental image of a character

 

 At no point was someone described as being black but if a person associates a specific type of action to a specific ethnic group then that person could perceive group a or person a to be black whereas another person would perceive them to be white, Asian, Hindu

 

I suppose my point is both sides of the coin have merit and when the 2 groups start bickering and arguing without using any common sense or thought then you spiral into this trash cess pit of the societie we have right now that exist on the Internet.

 

I saw perron when I read as a large barrel chested man with Brown hair, basically a country boy from Southern Georgia or Southern Alabama. I perceived rand as being basically Irish with dirry blonde hair with red mixed in, again caucasian.  That does not mean I'm gonna have a cow if rand is a 4' tall Actor from Barcelona or Asia.

 

What this does mean that instead of bickering over ethnicity people should watch the show and then formulate their opinions based on the acting merit or lack thereof, of each Actor.

 

A good example for me is Stephen King's Roland being black, played by Actor Idris Elba. I did not even indulge that as a valid character choice because I had always perceived him is a Clint Eastwood type character. However Idris Elba nailed it and changed my entire mental perspective of the character Roland.

 

 I thinks something's on the main stream, should be pure. Some actors based on their ethnic group should not play certain ,specifically Superman :) That said no white man or black man should ever play the role of Ghengis Khan or the Mandarin... I'm told that 2nd one will be resolved in the next movie.

 

It is perfectly OK to have a preconceived notion, when considering characters from a book fictional characters, as relating to ethnic background as long as the book doesn't go to great lengths to emphasize a specific ethnicity. I also think it's perfectly OK when the Actor goes against your concept of ethnicity as long as that Actor can do the job.

 

So stop making this an issue of race and make it an issue of story telling and acting. Kind of like how people did when the movie Dune came out,in I believe 1984 ,whereas the remaking is focusing towards a more Brown skin acting cast, as in my opinion the book intended.

 

 Again in closing its about acting and story writing and storytelling it's not about the color someone's skin as it relates to characters of fantasy who the writer never specifically applied any ethnic skin tone to where the majority of the characters are concerned

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3 hours ago, Gibberish said:

That does not mean I'm gonna have a cow if rand is a 4' tall Actor from Barcelona or Asia.

 

 

but you should, since his physical characteristics play such a HUGE role in the story

 

it's like casting Brad Pitt to play the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

 

of course you should care

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I have no comment on the fact of the characters skin tones. I have not read the books and attributed no images to characters so it doesn't make me upset. I am commenting on Sanderson's mention that one MUST change source material to make a proper adaptation. I disagree. (he said it was good to disagree 1f61b.png?_nc_eui2=AeH5sFRgSFcBEakh0aRVF:P) I will trust Sanderson on the skin tone thing until I have a reason not to. (I mean he did help write the story after-all LOL)

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I don't think that one necessarily HAS to deviate from source material to make a story compelling. Whereas I completely agree that a filmmaker must put his/her own stamp on a film, I have seen several examples how deviating for a story can HARM a film. Look to Game of Thrones season 8. Season 1 of Game of Thrones was a dang near perfect adaptation, only cutting extremely minor characters and subplots, but it still had D&D's heavy-handed style. Most fans (that I have talked to) agree that its after the show started to deviate from the books when the show started to get more contradictory, and less exciting. (and therefore harder to escape into and suspend disbelief!)

I agree that the 3rd Harry Potter film is the best one, not because it deviates, but simply because it told the best; it has the best filmmaking; it does the best at persuading the viewer to fall into the whimsy of the Magical World.

Also, Cuaron put so much of his style into places where it fit perfectly(especially using the dementors to showcase his signature dark-heavy contrast.) So, its not that the first two films were badly adapted so-to-speak, (I know a lot of people who cherish them) but several audiences admittedly found them to be stale due to the stagnant direction. But that is comparing Chris Columbus to Alfonso Cuaron, hardly a competition. I guarantee that if the third film had followed the book more closely while retaining its sharp aesthetic and pacing (maybe with a bigger budget and a studio willing to put out a longer film or miniseries even) it would be better.

I mean look at the 7th Harry Potter book adaptation, which many people love. It was almost a page to film adaptation and it worked because of its dark and menacing tone. Many people say the worst HP film is the 6th one (because it left out too much and much of the movie seemed pointless; hilarious, but pointless).

Taking a look at King Arthur's often troubled films, one can see that most of them become forgettable after a couple of years. The most stand-out of these is arguably John Boorman's Excalibur (or Disney's bastardization xD). Boorman's Excalibur, while taking liberties, is definitely the most close to Le Morte de Artur (well at least a lot closer than Fuqua's, which went for Historical accuracy over adapting a fictional story, and definitely Ritchie's, which was pitched as a direct adaptation with one movie per Knight of the Round Table but the producers got cold feet so it became a mediocre film.) I would argue that most people who try to adapt King Arthur would do a lot better if they just followed the already compelling and thrilling storyline present by Mallory!

Yes it is true that often when Hollywood turns a book into a film with the same author as screenwriter, major changes were made. (You mentioned A Princess Bride; Last Unicorn, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) I think a lot of this has to due with the production of the film, not the artistic integrity of the people involved. Now I might be wrong, but if budget were not an issue, I bet most adaptations from this time probably would have adapted some of the more pricey, effect heavy sequences from their own books.

I don't see why people cannot make adaptations of Books into films and try to replicate the book while giving its their own visual style, and still not change a thing. A great example is the Fellowship of the Ring. Yes there were HUGE cuts made to streamline the narrative into a serviceable film length (3 hours 1f61b.png?_nc_eui2=AeH5sFRgSFcBEakh0aRVF:P) but if your look at both of its adaptations, the directors (Jackson and Bakshi) gave so much of their own personal styles into the films without really changing much. (generally people say that Fellowship is the most direct of Jackson's adaptations. Especially considering the Hobbit films)

A lot of people who have read the in's-and-out's of the a might welcome a few deviations to keep it fresh and exciting. Others, who have never read the books might not even notice and therefore do not care. I am in a third category when it comes to Wheel of Time. I have always wanted to read the books but haven't had the time. I also LOVE films and filmmaking in general. I want this to be adapted correctly so that it uplifts the source material instead of changes it. I don't see why my two loves (filmmaking and fantasy) must fight every time they meet!

I think that several critics have the notion that to showcase a director's style or to make a good film adapted from a book that it must be different from the book and I disagree. I think it all comes down to the way the story is told.

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I read some where that human beings obsession with race is something that is an obsession of such little importance that if alien anthropologists came to earth and only had skeletal remains to look at and define the human race that the variance in skin color is so small that it wouldn't even be something of significance to be noted. They wouldn't even see it as mattering. Ever actor I saw the picture for I felt in my gut was the right person. I have read the books more times then I care to share, I met Mr. Jordan once at a signing and he signed all the books that were out at the time. I think he was a man of wonderous vision but a practicality rooted much like he was of solid Two rivers stock himself and I think he shake his head at people arguing over things like this, instead of glorifying in the fact THE ARE MAKING W.O.T. INTO A TELEVISION SERIES PEOPLE.

Don't let toxicity do what it has to comic fandom or fantasy fandom or trek fandom, Wars fandom hell every fandom out there... don't be the people making actors sad they took a role and were respectful of the material beyond anything seen but sad little trolls harass and attacked them into leaving their online presence to erased. Even the Forsaken would not be so cruel or so selfish to think they were the Creator. We know RJ was and I trust in his choices to steer W.O.T. into being more then something passed by and left forgotten and irrelevant. It deserves to be more because it is more and nothing as silly as Andorian Lineage matters more then real people... after all who's to say the Andors aren't all people of color.... if they can change The Dragon Reborn well changing the rest to follow suite should not be declared a breaking of the world but a reuniting of both halves men and woman saidin and saidar, white and black

Everyone forgets we are one... not two....

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I staunchly disagree.  Physical attributes are half the book. The differences between Andorans, Tierians, Shinerians, the Sea Folk, Saldeans etc. was vividly painted. As much as the differences in the cities, personalities, mannerisms, you take away from the story when you take the individualism from the distinct cultures represented.  Each cultural people was given depth, pains were taken to describe appearances,  heights,  mannerisms,  politics,  hairstyles, clothing choices, how the homes looked. (IE tiles on roofs and bricks were not introduced to  Two Rivers until refugees brought their new fangled different methods with them.)

 

The actors and actresses chosen are gorgeous and talented people - but the guy playing Perrin has no shoulders to speak of. How would anyone believe he had been years apprenticed to a blacksmith with his current build?

 

Of course people have preconceived notions of what characters are "supposed" to look like, a vivid picture was painted over and over. Thom, is supposed to be white haired and with long white mustache... if he was played by someone with brown hair and clean shaven it would be just as jarring and disappointing.  If Tar Valon doesn't have fanciful Orgier nature inspired buildings and Cahrien doesn't have topless towers it will be disappointing.  There wasn't much left to the imagination in the fancifully vivid description of Robert Jordan's world and characters because he spelled it out in painstaking detail down to embroidery and materials of clothing. If Faile doesn't have a hawkish nose and tilted eyes she doesn't match the description ground into the pages every time we read about her. If tinkers wagons and garb are color glaring and so bright and mismatched as to be painful to behold it will be disappointing. 

 

What else are they going to change? Will Emonds field still be as isolated and prim or will the "stout two rivers wollens" turn into slinky low cut and clinging garments to show off the figures of the actresses... will they forget that the women's circle keeps things (prude) 'proper' and pre marital relations are uncommon, scandalous and typically sex means "now we have to get married " to two rivers folks? Because that wholesomeness is a theme over and over and plays part of the plot and the personalities of the Emonds fielders.  A backwoods set of towns where the farthest most folks get is Tarien Ferry, would not have a cultural mix. Tam al'thor coming home with an outland wife was something major for the town to talk about. Nothing ever happens there and news is months old by the time it reaches The two rivers. A Gleeman or a single wagon merchant or A Lady was big news to set the simple small isolated town gossiping and excited for a month and more alone.   It was a bland little hamlet of stubborn farmers who were cut off from the outside world.  Any basic genetic drift would pretty much ensure that the locals would be pretty homogeneous rather than diverse.  

 

I'm still excited that a series I've read the covers off of from so many rereadings is finally going to be made for the screen, I'm still going to watch it, I still fervently hope to enjoy it,  but I sincerely hope that they utilize the source material more faithfully. Is it really asking too much to honor the author's arduous and painstaking details? GOT went south once they started deviating and taking liberties after the TV Series surpassed the books. 

 

Personally it detracts from the diverse cultures represented in the story by ignoring the characteristics presented as regional and unique. It mattered enough for the story that pages upon pages were dedicated to describing attributes of peoples and places. So why throw all that out the window during casting? 

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16 hours ago, Gibberish said:

At no point was someone described as being black

Except Tuon, and Duelin...

 

Rand will have red hair, Thom will have a beard and Nynaeve will pull on her braid. As long as the characters retain these kind of traits all will be well.

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@I-Take-This-Too-Seriously

 

While I completely agree with you the showrunners disagree.

Rafe is doing his own thing and we should not expect a faithful adaption. Rafe wants the Two Rivers inhabitants to look 'like America will in a few hundred years.' The way Rafe know that e.g. a small village in the middle of nowhere Montana or Maine wouldn't be very close to 100% like now is him thinking more New York/California than the rest of the US and shows a lacking in understanding the US overall demographics and a downgrading of the importance of how the Emond's Field is portrayed in the books.

 

How a reader of WoT could get to that interpretation of the books is baffling or directly unnecessary changes for the sake of changes/marketing/showrunner politics. And if this is any indication of the rest of the show we will not get RJ's WoT but rather Rafe's version, which is something completely different.

 

On the other hand the actors are supposed to be great, really dedicated, and epitome the characters and that is more important. However, Rafe's screen dump (link below) shows that he already - before casting - had decided on the looks and how then do we know that these were the best for the roles?

 

The fear, of course, is that we get another Legend or Shannara Chronicles. The soul of the story can still be shown with this casting, of course, but the fear is increasing as the expectations are lowered.

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Expectations are definitely lowered. And while I agree with much of what Brandon is saying; that we would never get a Robert Jordan adaptation, I think it was entirely possible to get one that was close enough. Funny that he mention the first two Harry Potter movies. Those were the absolute best in my opinion. Course they were difficulties and adapting the other books to movies due to their scope, but some of the liberties they took with dumbledore's character in particular or just completely out of place. And really, honestly pissed off a lot of fans. Richard Harris was the epitome of Dumbledore. These actors chosen for Perrin and Nynave maybe terrific actors, but they are poor adaptations. It's okay to take liberties with some things. But not with main characters. This is my opinion.I completely understand wanting to have a rich diverse world. But here's the thing, Jordan already wrote a rich diverse world. Tuon was black, the sea folk were black, I saw many other areas for them to include diversity without messing with the main characters. These are beloved characters to people. I have followed these books for over 20 years. Reading them multiple multiple times. Imagine if someone would have chosen to make say Frodo or Bilbo of mixed race. How would that sit? The Shore was his isolated as the two rivers.  It has nothing to do with racism, or these actors actual ability. I have no doubt they are fantastic actors. And they could have had great places in the story as well. This is a Rocky start to a series that's already had a rocky start. I will watch it for my love of the books, just like I will watch the new dune movie. It deserves a chance. But I'm not going to faithfully say I agree with those choices.

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On 8/22/2019 at 1:22 PM, Tikker said:

 

 

but you should, since his physical characteristics play such a HUGE role in the story

 

it's like casting Brad Pitt to play the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

 

of course you should care

Now you're letting your literary image class with your lack on Hollywood magic, or maybe you're just not thinking straight due to a purist mentality.

Hollywood can make a 4ft tall man 6 foot easily and make it appear natural

 

Stop nuancing and use the grey stuff.

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Hollywood and CGI can do a lot of things and we all want as good a show as we can get but we work with limited resources and making Moiraine or Nyneave shorter, Perrin bigger or Rand taller will increase production cost. There's no reason to spend money on something that could easily have been avoided.

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One thing of note, there is not a mandatory link between skin color and culture. Not in our world and definitely not in the Wheel of Time. Jordan often mixed a cultural history/inspiration from our world with different physical characteristics than are commonly associated with that culture. I believe he did that on purpose. So that the dwellers in the Waste had red hair but their cultural inspiration was influences by many of the various tribal cultures throughout the world (especially the Native Americans), so that the Descendants of King Arthur had Asian inspiration and some of which had dark skin.

 

Based on how Jordan wrote the series and how the Wheel works, there is no reason that you cannot have mild pigmentation increases in the Two Rivers and still have everyone have the same culture. They came from far away in a time of globalism and free travel. Then they settled down into an isolated area and kept to themselves. Just because there is a (honestly very small) amount of pigment variation does not mean that they cannot be realistically a single culture. We haven't seen a combination of Irish paleness with a deep rich Congo tone, we have seen people within a couple shades of each other.

 

The reason we pick up on the pigmentation differences is because our culture and history developed differently than theirs. So we need to stop looking at it through the lens of our personal American experience and consider how it might have worked in a different set of circumstances.

 

As mentioned, we can disagree about the casting choices, we can be surprised because it doesn't match our mental image of the characters, but I say we give this a shot and I hope that we will all be pleasantly surprised.

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Jagen Sedai

Posted

On 8/21/2019 at 2:44 PM, Arath Faringal said:

And that would be fine if this series was set in the time of the ten nations.  It's not.  2000 years has passed since that era and the Two Rivers area is repeatedly described as one of the most backwater areas in world.  So isolated that they don't even know that they're technically Andoran.  Isolation, and a small population, is going to make for a VERY homogeneous population in just a few generations. 

 

Racial diversity most certainly will have a place in this show.  MUST have a place in this show.  The Two Rivers is the absolute wrong place for it.  Caemlyn, yes.  Tar Valon, absolutely.  Emond's Field, not a chance. 

 

All they'd need to do to fix it is recast Mat as someone with darker eyes and complexion, and done.  Homogeneous Two Rivers folk.

 

I agree with this, but man, when I look at who they cast for Mat, there's no way they could have picked better. Maybe the actor should get a good tan (er, a fake spray tan so he doesn't get cancer). I don't know. I guess it's not a big deal. I'm just happy that Rand is a redhead with blue eyes as he should be. I also can't picture anyone else for Egwene; she definitely looks like she has Egwene's personality.

 

I only disagree with Sanderson on the Harry Potter thing--the movies should NOT have put any wizards in Muggle clothing. The wizarding world is supposed to look just like that, so different from the Muggle world. More than once Rowling made examples of wizards not knowing even how to wear/match muggle clothing together. It's my #1 gripe about the films. I'm a huge HP nerd >_>

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There is a major difference in casting a guy who isn't the right height, and casting someone who looks completely different than a character in the source material.  Jackman's height was really the only issue, and that could have been fixed with camera angles.  

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"this IS looking more of an adaptation than a straight filming of the source material. This will be different from the books."  Well, this statement worries me even more than the casting choices!  If this turns out to be another Legend there are going to be many disappointed WOT fans joining the SOT fans.

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GrimLogan

Posted (edited)

Even fantasy should have some grounding in realism, and realistically an isolated backwoods community is going to be homogenous.  I know, because I live in the same little backwoods community where my ancestors were among the first white settlers almost two centuries ago.  Today we have automobiles and means of communication with the outside world, but in my grandparents' day, the only people available for marriage were cousins.  Traveling thirty miles was a major undertaking, and most people lived their entire lives without straying that far from home.  No matter the diversity of the people who originally settle in a place, it only takes a few generations of such isolation before everyone shares the same skin tone and basic features.  I thought Jordan did a pretty good job of setting the tone for Emond's Field in the very beginning of the series.  It was very poignant that strangers were such a rarity, that Rand was clearly different from his neighbors, and that Tam was a man of mystery for having traveled in the outside world.  Rafe is making an asinine attempt to apply metropolitan standards to a rural community.  He is clearly pandering to someone, just not to fans of the source material.  Such a fundamentally illogical choice in casting does not inspire confidence in the rest of his (re)vision. 

 

Admittedly, many of Jordan's characters possessed interesting mixes of traits, enough to make casting a bit of a nightmare.  For example I always imagined Lan as a blue eyed Mongolian (admittedly the cover art influenced this view).  And good luck finding thousands of deeply tanned redheads to play the Aiel.  The Seanchan had racial diversity because their empire covered an entire continent.  So I have no problem with racial diversity where it is appropriate, but the Two Rivers was not the proper place for it, and injecting something so illogical and unnecessary into the opening scenes sets a terrible tone for the rest of the series.

 

I'll simply have to content myself with the books, as I am not interested in having an agenda foisted on me at the expense of my love for the series.  I'm sure there will be plenty who will enjoy the bastardization of Jordan/Rigney's creation, and more power to them, but it is immediately evident the showrunner has no interest in creating a remotely faithful adaptation.  These books have such a huge fan base that could have been directly transferred to the tv series, but I can see from other comments that I'm not the only who has been alienated before the first episode aired.

Edited by GrimLogan

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Too many haters!!! I agree with Rafe... diversity is important for a wider audience. After all, we need this to last for many seasons. It would be much more frustrating if the series was cancelled too soon, right???

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GrimLogan

Posted (edited)

I truly do not care if it is cancelled after a single season, due to its lack of fidelity to the books.  It is no more appealing to me than the rest of the low quality, agenda driven tripe coming out of Hollywood these days.  The injected diversity I'm seeing brings to mind the horrendous Ghostbusters remake which received much deserved hate.  Too many classic titles are having their brands tarnished.  There's a good reason I've almost completely stopped watching movies and television fiction.  Content quality in the industry is suffering for the sake of pervasive and often illogical Hollywood ideologies.  

 

Anyone who has completed grammar school should have enough basic understanding of genetics to question how a small and isolated community could display such a wide variety of genetic traits.  The fact that this marketing stunt is expected to bring in more viewers tells me a lot about the thought capacity of the masses it is supposed to appeal to.

Edited by GrimLogan

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I do understand certain peoples notion of how the main characters should appear. For myself I was a bit taken aback by the choices. Having had time to reflect on those choices, I believe it will be a success or failure - not according to the appearance of these characters - but by their ability to portray these characters; and most importantly by the Director's ability to give context and meaning to the scenes that are chosen to carry the story. 

I would point out that the written media is (IMO) the most beautiful mode in which to pass on ideas/themes/stories. The beauty resides in your own imagination. Despite Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson - bless his soul for finishing my most loved Fantasy series) having written the books, I and quite obviously other claim these books and characters as our own. But remember, this is your own imagining. Don't impinge upon the imaginings of others - nothing can best the picture in your own mind. 

I also, 15 years ago, read George R R Martin's series - such as it was at that time. It follows relatively closely the text, yet still takes a great deal of license in certain parts. Damn the man for not finishing those books!

In any case, what was delivered was simply brilliant - amazing!

I am full of eager anticipation to see what this will be. 

My advice is - wait and see. Don't taint your view with sour grumblings that  stem from the picture in your own head. That picture no doubt is different to mine - and his - and hers - and the next person

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