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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Review of "The Dragon Reborn"


Mashiara Sedai
  • "The Dragon Reborn," Season 1, Episode 4 of the Amazon Prime Video Wheel of Time television show, has some amazing ups and downs as the characters scramble to find out where they fit in the Pattern.


Episode 4 of Amazon Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time television show is aptly named “The Dragon Reborn.”  When the episode titles were announced, I was convinced showrunner Rafe Judkins was racing through The Eye of the World with the first four episodes and wrapping up The Great Hunt with the last four. I am glad my hypothesis was so far from what Judkins delivered.

 

“The Dragon Reborn” begins with a flashback of Logain Ablar, the self-proclaimed Dragon Reborn, as he ravages the king’s palace in Ghealdan. I love the first view we get of Logain as he comes into focus—similar to Moiraine’s introduction in the first episode.  Logain’s calm and collected, very much in control of the situation.  When the king’s guards attack, we see him channel.  Unlike Moiraine’s wispy flows of the One Power, Logain’s are laced with black.  The show names this the “corruption” of the Dark One rather than the taint, but it is very clearly shown as something sinister and evil.  The sad thing is Logain can’t seem to understand that. The corruption in his weaves take forms and speak to him, tempting him to kill the king.  The madness doesn’t have him so far in its grasp, though, because Logain convinces the king to join his side.

 

While we know of Logain in book one of the series, it’s incredibly satisfying to see it unfold this early in the television show.  I was expecting Logain to be our main antagonist of Season 1, seeing the Aes Sedai fighting him, viewers wondering if he could be the Dragon.  I feel this could have made some interesting and conflicting emotions when we get to the inevitable gentling and Nynaeve’s accidental Healing.  This is a man we battled for eight episodes and suddenly he’s a threat again!  Once again, the show handled this in a way that was far superior.  Logain’s triumph at the beginning of the episode is contrasted beautifully to his fall at its ending.

 

His arc was engaging, beautiful, and tragic.  More on this in a bit.

 

The Perrin and Egwene side quest also differed from the source material.  Elyas Machera was completely cut at this time—though he may show up later—but I’m glad they still met up with the Tuatha’an.  Aram’s charm is quite the same, but the flirting between him and Egwene was removed.  This timeframe is happening much quicker than in the books, so the breakup with Rand is still fresh.  It makes sense for her to hold her feelings in reserve for now.

 

While Perrin is uncomfortable at first with the idea of the Way of the Leaf, Egwene seems to grasp the core of their beliefs.  Aram scoffs at the idea of a song that brings peace, but one of my favorite lines in this episode is when Egwene looks around the happy, smiling faces in the camp and retorts, “Are you sure you haven’t found it already?”  The music slows and Aram really looks at his companions’s faces.  It’s an amazing scene, so hopeful and uplifting.  I immensely enjoyed every second we shared with the Tinkers.

 

Rand, Mat, and Thom’s journey gets interesting as Thom casts our suspicions on Mat as a possible Dragon.  For those of us who’ve read the books, the corruption from Shaidar Logoth is apparent.  However, the “corruption” of the One Power is shown in a similar way.  I can see how the connection could be made between Logain’s channeling at the beginning of the episode, and the black bile that comes out of Mat towards the middle.  Rand mostly stays in the background, though it’s interesting that he’s able to defuse the situation with the Grinwells so easily.  Thom would have been my first candidate for reading the signs of Master Grinwell’s posture.  Perhaps this is Rand moving the Pattern more than just a regular ta’veren would?

 

The buildup of tension between Nynaeve and Lan made up the best pieces of this episode.  Their relationship has been laid out so satisfactorily up to this point.  Lan underestimated her twice—first thinking she couldn’t track him, then dismissing the knife she held to his throat and trying to call her bluff.  She’s surprising him and I like how organically the chemistry between them grows.  When she watches him offer to a prayer for Malkier and the Seven Towers, we see a moment of vulnerability.  She shows him a prayer she says but admits she doesn’t know the meaning.  She stopped saying it because the people of the Two Rivers “don’t go to a Wisdom for ignorance.”  When Lan can give her the translation of her prayer, the emotion is clear on her face.  She’s letting down her walls of hostility and fear.  She’s feeling safe with him.  I’m super upset we didn’t get to hear Lan’s complete thought of how she’s exactly as he expected.  I hope that will come later.

 

Moiraine is surprising in this episode because she thinks—however briefly—that Logain might be the Dragon.  I love the depth of her character here.  She is able to hear new information, process it, and take the steps needed to find out the truth.  Very reminiscent of a Brown Sister, or maybe a White.  The complexity of her emotions is so engaging and so well done.  I love when she confronts Logain and actually listens to his reasoning.  I really believe she would have followed him if he’d answered the questions correctly.  But alas, Logain is not the Dragon.  His downfall here was so sad.  He’s been shown to be so confident and capable, so seeing the power ripped from him, tears in his eyes, saying with overwhelming awe, “Like a raging sun,” broke my heart. 

 

This whole scene was my favorite of the series so far.  Nynaeve’s moment of vulnerability left her in a state of emotional upheaval.  When Logain’s attack sliced Lan’s throat, Nynaeve understandably snaps.  I’m wondering if she’ll have an anger block like in the books, because it wasn’t anger that made her channel, it was desperation.  Nynaeve has been raised by the old Wisdom to be the Wisdom, who we know can’t marry or have children.  She probably never went through typical adolescent infatuation, or if she did, it may have been one-sided.  Now, here is a man who sees her as she is—strong, fierce, brave, determined—and he flirts right back.  To think she’d lose that after just finding it is devastating. 

 

I’ve cried every time I’ve watched this scene.  There are so many levels of feelings.  The awe for Nynaeve, the sadness for Logain, the sense of loss for Kerene.  This is the most perfect scene and I'm hopeful it will soothe a lot of book-fans.  Yes, there are changes, but they can be equally as awesome.

 

I cannot wait to see the ramifications of this episode.  How will Mat and Rand get on without Thom?  How far will Egwene and Perrin go with the Tinkers?  What penance will the Aes Sedai pay for gentling Logain outside the Tower?  How will Nynaeve deal with this new Power inside her?

 

Episode 5, “Blood Calls Blood,” premieres next Friday.  I hope some of our questions are answered.

 

What was your favorite part of “The Dragon Reborn”?  Let me know in the comments below.




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My favorite part of this episode was Nynaeve's AOE heal explosion.

 

Close second was Logain's arc, especially the guttural feel of loss and despair as he is being gentled. Impactful and resonant. 

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When Nynaeve's dreadlocks go vertical and she screams a primal, desperate channeling of The One Power flowing through her, the ozone-sparking aura of bright light bursting "Like a raging sun", I had to re-run it thrice and teared-up again and again! Everyone in the cave looks at her, realizing she has just healed ALL of their mortal wounds SIMULTANEOUSLY...Something the best trained Aes Sedai healers couldn't do...And after poor Logain is stilled by linked-up Liandrin,  when Nynaeve turns towards you and catches your eyes, head tilted, her burning dark gaze wakes-up something inside far deeper and more powerful than obi wan kenobi or gandolf ever could (sorry SW & LOTR fans!). These are the emotions I was hoping the WoT TV Series were going to stir. And it does, Good-O!  Thanks to the cast, producers and all those responsible for bringing RJ's vision to life.

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My better half and I are octogenarians.  We both thought it was quite telling when Rand shouldered through his captor's iron door; and now, when Nynaeve witnessed the carnage committed by Logain.  She immediately goes to the aid of Lan and nukes the evil.  

 

The wf remarked that all women should have that kind of power when they say, NO!

Amen to that.

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i didn't like nynaeve's mass heal. it came too much out of the blue. healing a single person, it would have been fine. but that huge burst? when she wasn't even trained? too much.

anyway, i hope we get some denouement for that in the next episode. she should be surprised at her own channeling.

 

i get behind everything else, i loved logain's arc. seeing logain spare the king and declare his good intention, winning the king's loialty in the process... it was moving. as it was moving to see the dieing king in the end of the episode; he had become a true believer, by his kindness logain had truly conquered him. he would have been a fine dragon. it's a tragedy how it ended. it will be sweeter to see him restored later.

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True, mass-healing by Nynaeve (or any other channeler) was not mentioned in the books, but I choose to believe that she wove those healing-threads unwittingly due to her innate Wisdom abilities and somehow plugged-in to The Power conduit during her moment of grief, anger, desperation and shock seeing Lan pumping his life-blood from the neck wound. But remember, Nynaeve the Wilder did a lot of interesting things with The Power that really surprised other channelers.

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It's almost impossible to tell this tale exactly as in the books. And I wish people would stop comparing it to GOT or LOTR. The magic is unique, and although I wish there was some color in the weaves(we still might see this at a later date), it is well displayed. Not everyone has read the books, and the complexity or the WOT world cannot just be explained in a few episodes. I think they're doing a great job so far. 

The series grows on you, as do the characters. 

I'm a little disappointed in Egwene, Mat, and Perrin story arcs so far, but given time, I'm sure they'll get around to it. 

The Aes Sedai have been wonderfully portrayed an developing into something quite interesting, as have the waders. 

My biggest disappointment is in the season lengths. I feel that 10 to 12 episodes per season would do the show better justice. 

It would be nice if they had 2 or 3 episodes acting as fillers for individual story arcs, something like The Walking Dead did. 

The budget for this series will have to grow, and hopefully it gets the viewership to condone that. 

I can't wait for the White Tower to come into play. 

Once the non book readers get the idea of the story, and The Dragon is shown, this show should steamroll on. 

The costumes for the most part, have been beautifully done. 

If there is anything I'm not satisfied with, it's the music and theme in the beginning of every episode, however the music during the show is brilliant. 

This show can and will improve, so long as they can slow it down a bit, and work on character development, because there are so many yet to be introduced. 

Given time, I believe this show will come through, and I'm loving it so far! 

I hope the budget grows with the show. 

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i am gradually accepting the feasibility of mass heal in the show, though.

in the books, healing was touch range. you had to touch the person in order to heal, and this effectively prevented using it on multiple people. in the show, it's been shown several times to not require touch, so using it on many people, while difficult, is not impossible.

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I hoped I could have enjoyed the show as anybody else. I gave the show every chance, but it kept disappointing me. So I decided to stop tormenting myself. There is no logical decision behind changes, and it keeps getting worse. Wheel of time in this cheesy form has nothing to offer of the suspension, character building and arcs, plot subtlety, or rich lore. I prefer to keep the memories of the true turn of the wheel. The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when ... ?

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Great show if you’ve never read the books! 
I understand now how the Lord of the Rings book fans felt now . I thought Peter Jackson did an excellent job . Those movies were my all time favorite, but I had the luxury of never had read them. 
I will try and view this show as an alternate dimension to the books dimension. A place where Matrim appears as a 35 year old man.

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By far the worst episode of the bunch, in my opinion. All the attempts at making it feel epic and awe-inspiring just fell flat and felt cheesy, like stereotypical Hollywood writing without the budget to actually pull it off properly.

 

And don't even get me started on the channeling. It's supposed to be this mystical power of the mind, and instead they've turned it into cheap hand-waving. Gone is the complexity of actually creating different weaves for different purposes – now it's just matter of gathering energy for a while and then unleashing it with an exaggerated movement.

 

I actually liked the first three episodes, despite some changes I don't really agree with, but the fourth episode was definitely a let-down. Despite that, I look forward to the rest and really hope that they'll finish the series (with an increased budget).

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Hard disagree with this review since this episode is for me the worst aired so far (and the other ones were rather disappointing too).

Just some brief cringey moments:

 

Gheldean king running in battle

The battle itself bringing me Hercules/Xena vibes

Nyn showing some dragonball stuff

Warders being completely dumb 

 

All of this in a filler episode that is 90% stuff out of the books

 

Ah and it's a pity that best actor of the show is leaving because he is perfectly delivering show-Mat ( who is a totally different character than book Mat but his acting need to be recognized)

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5 hours ago, Cranglevoid said:

And don't even get me started on the channeling. It's supposed to be this mystical power of the mind, and instead they've turned it into cheap hand-waving. Gone is the complexity of actually creating different weaves for different purposes – now it's just matter of gathering energy for a while and then unleashing it with an exaggerated movement.

 

in the books, we didn't see this aspect until the later books. they already have enough stuff to introduce

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There is a phrase that I believe was coined during the LOTR saga ... "The book is the book, and the movie is the movie."  If you are wanting this show to be just a filmed version of the book with no deviations, you should stop watching now. If you can accept that it takes its lead from the books but is going to be its own thing, then you can enjoy it. I get being a purist, but I also think sometimes "I've read the books.. why do I need a scene for scene film version? What's so inherently wrong with changes?" 

 

All that being said, I think it's perfectly fine to address the changes and why you prefer one way over the other. That's an interesting and enjoyable debate. But the whole "this is different therefore it's not good" bit gets tiring.

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19 hours ago, Chris2307 said:

The budget for this series will have to grow, and hopefully it gets the viewership to condone that. 

I'm not sure whether "Amazon Prime" really cares about increased viewership justifying more episodes, more seasons, better budget, etc. But what other metric can be used? Dragonmount.com fan-ship claps, boos, screams and shouts?

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On 11/28/2021 at 1:51 PM, GSH said:

I'm not sure whether "Amazon Prime" really cares about increased viewership justifying more episodes, more seasons, better budget, etc. But what other metric can be used? Dragonmount.com fan-ship claps, boos, screams and shouts?

Pretty sure they want to increase viewership. They want WoT to be the next GoT!

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I hate to say it, as I have high hopes that the series will be allowed to tell it's story warts and all, but I think the whole who is the dragon red herring will be the shows undoing.   It set up a no win situation from the beginning- either Rand is not the DR and the books fans don't like the series or he is and all of those who have hoped for one of the others to be the DR for whatever reason are alienated by the reveal.  

I see a lot of talk that people who believe adapted stories should adhere as closely to the source material as possible are just book needs that should get over their hangups and just let the new work of art just do it's thing.  The problem is that this line of thinking ignores the fact that there is a good reason the books being adapted had a large following in the first place.  Namely that the writing was very good and that very rarely when something is adapted is it an improvement to alter the writing too much.  

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3 hours ago, Phaedrusnailfile said:

I hate to say it, as I have high hopes that the series will be allowed to tell it's story warts and all, but I think the whole who is the dragon red herring will be the shows undoing.   It set up a no win situation from the beginning- either Rand is not the DR and the books fans don't like the series or he is and all of those who have hoped for one of the others to be the DR for whatever reason are alienated by the reveal.  

[...]

 

Well. I can only say that I watch this with someone who has not read the books and he is quite happy trying to guess (even if he leans heavily to the most obvious choice). So I dont think it matters handling the red herrings: they are there for the characters who themselves do not know. And if that entertains non-readers who are clueless: Yay! And for us who already know, we can just expect and anticipate. What would be the fun in having all the characters already know their own fate?

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I think episode 4 has been the best episode so far. I think Logan was wonderfully presented in the show as a possible dragon. I also love how the corruption from the male side of the one power is shown in Logan in that the madness does creep up on you. You can see how he is hearing voices derived from the corruption of the one power. It perfectly expresses how the corruption affects males.  I also think Nynaeve's healing scene is well done, even though it does depart from the books. We know from the books that she is one of the most powerful wielders of the one power ever, and this scene shows just how powerful her ability is. You can see the surprise and the shock on the other Aes Sedai's faces, which is yet another clue as to how powerful she really is. Logain's gentling was both heart-wrenching and satisfactory at the same time, and his character arc, although I think too brief, was well done.  All in all, I think this episode was very well done.  I do believe that chemistry between the actors needs to improve.  Too much seems forced.  It needs to seem more natural.  Remember, these characters have known each other for years, even decades.  Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egwene, and Nynaeve know each other like the back of theirs hands.  I don't see that in the show so far.  I hope that aspect gets better.

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I started reading the series in 1992 recovering from back surgery…. Turned my wife, daughter and sons on to the story and it has snowballed to everyone we know!  That being said, I am deeply disappointed in the complete disregard of the storyline as it was written by Jordan.

     I understood HBO having to write their own completion of game of thrones but there is no justification for Amazon to disregard of the story timeline, characters and situations that Jordan then Sanderson painstakingly created. 
   I guess I fall into the disappointed and frustrated purist category. I anticipated and expected so much more than I am seeing…..

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(SOME minor ep5 spoilers here, read at own risk)

As far as 'deviations' go, there's some I've liked and some I don't -

For starters, while I applaud the diversity in the cast I think it's ultimately a long-term disservice for a short term gain. Over the course of the series you get to know different characters and cultures and while some have some distinct real-world analogues (shienar = japan, andor = england) as almost a matter of canon, there's some others (such as the sea folk) that don't directly.. BUT: if you see a black person in WoT they're almost always either Sea Folk or Seanchan (not all seanchan, but tuon for starters). Valda and Fain being black is odd to me (although the actor is bloody fantastic) because it disrupts the ability all randlanders seem to possess to identify country of origin based on physical characteristic (Bayle is the only 'main continent' character I can think of offhand who was described as black and even there I might be misremembering, whereas all the sea folk seemed to be). Similarly, all the reds almost having "uniforms" makes their cultural deviations less noticeable, whereas in the book although they're all wearing red, the cuts/etc of the clothes tell you a lot about the country the woman comes from. As the world in the series expands, that useful metric is going to go away. It also felt weird that there was so much diversity in a remote village, where typically over the course of the thousand years since Manetheren the interbreeding would have theoretically homogenized the village.

Worth noting that the only two significant characters who are very dark skinned (Valda and Fain) are both super f#$%ing evil... if we're going to put diversity in, we need to be careful about what diversity we put in and what messaging we're conveying...

Costuming is in a similar line - There's been a pretty diverse range of costumes for the andorans (including extras), which makes them less distinctly "andoran" (In the books they felt like they should be largely elizabethan in dress) which will cause a clash when you start seeing clothing from other cultures in the mix. Visually you couldn't tell any difference in Gheldan (for the logain sequences) versus other places... If I didn't know 'we're not in andor" I wouldn't have realized they were different places.

Similar thoughts on the tinkers - they stand out by their "garish" use of color in the books, and the tinkers in the show are a lot less eye-poppingly colored. 

Also disappointed that the Children are missing the sunburst on the tabards, which means the questioners don't have the crook - It took me until someone said his name to realize Valda was even a questioner (much less valda), I thought he was Bornhold at first.

A little disappointed that saidar is visible to everyone (literally 'blinding' a man) - It's a pretty major plot point later that men can only sense a woman nearby is channeling and a woman can't sense a man, which makes certain ter'angreals people have more impactful and is a necessary plot point in Far Madding.

VERY disappointed we had to add a wife to Perrin JUST to 'fridge' her. Seriously? That added nothing to the story and just filled another trope.

Other than that I'm mostly enjoying things. I'm a little concerned of the same kind of "rushing" that happened with GoT (particularly later seasons) because there's a LOT of tEotW left and only 3 episodes in the season to go. Skipping out on Caemlyn and Baerlon is OK (I was pleasantly surprised to see Loial in the most current episode, although he feels too old/wise to me.. he's essentially a teenager, not someone who should be doling out life lessons) although I feel like rand climbing the wall in caemlyn is integral to the story (which was to see Logain, although maybe they could do it with Taim instead?) and I don't see how they can fit it into season 2 (assuming that's the great hunt) without forcing it... it'd need to happen before Egwene and Nyn get to the Tower to become novices. Same with Min, although I suppose she could be at Fal Dara instead of Baerlon without it being a major problem. 


Slightly disappointed Kerene's warder didn't just lose his everloving mind and turn into a whirling death machine. When she died I was like "oh damn, he's gonna GO FOR IT" and it didn't happen.
 

Loved Moiraine/Lan being involved in Logain's story, a little meh on the AoE heal, but I did like how that arc showed tower divisions, rivalries between the ajahs, etc. They're building up the Nyn/Lan relationship in a smarter way than I feel like the books did ("hi I found you in the woods! We traveled together for a few days and now we're IN WUV!!!") and that's being built up very well.

 

As far as story deviations overall - love 'em or hate 'em, my internal headcanon is that this is the "next" third age from the ones we saw before. Everyone's been reborn, they've all got a part to play, but while the Pattern 'forces' a few things (ta'veren) details are going to be a bit different each time. Which honestly excuses much of what I've listed above but I think I'd personally have err'd on the side of "adding clarity to the viewers because they can't read characters' thoughts to get that info" whereas the show has added unnecessary ambiguity.

 

But while this sounded pretty negative - I'm really *enjoying* the series so far. Is it perfect? No. And I don't think any serious fans of the books would LET an adaptation be perfect in their eyes. But it's a good time and I'm hooked.

 

And the intro? Phenomenal. As someone who works with VFX teams, kudos. It's gorgeous. There's the inevitable comparison with GoT's intro (which, imho WAS better albeit made less sense, WHY CLOCKWORK?)... the "threads", visual representations (they really bring out some of the ajahs), etc are both well executed AND reinforce Theme. My only serious beef is - oddly - they're not long enough - blink and you miss the grey, white, brown and yellow, and they aren't "distinct" (even now as it's happening I can't tell which is which until the end when they become spokes on the wheel). I think another 10ish seconds would have let the other ajahs "breathe" a bit and it'd be even better. Although if your criticism about the opening credits is "I wish they were longer" that tells you the artists did a great job. I'd also be VERY happy if in later seasons (when other ajahs start being more visible in the story) the credits tweak to make those ajahs more prominent in the credits. Bonus if they do it like GoT - countries were only shown on the map if they were in the episode, you could do the same with ajah representation in the show.

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On 12/4/2021 at 3:03 AM, feliasgrimm said:

For starters, while I applaud the diversity in the cast I think it's ultimately a long-term disservice for a short term gain. ... BUT: if you see a black person in WoT they're almost always either Sea Folk or Seanchan (not all seanchan, but tuon for starters). Valda and Fain being black is odd to me (although the actor is bloody fantastic) because it disrupts the ability all randlanders seem to possess to identify country of origin based on physical characteristic... Similarly, all the reds almost having "uniforms" makes their cultural deviations less noticeable, whereas in the book although they're all wearing red, the cuts/etc of the clothes tell you a lot about the country the woman comes from... It also felt weird that there was so much diversity in a remote village, where typically over the course of the thousand years since Manetheren the interbreeding would have theoretically homogenized the village

I disagree with most of these points.

 

There are several cultures with dark-skinned inhabitants in the books. While book-Fain was certainly not dark-skinned, book-Valda definitely was. Many characters from Altara (including Tylin and Beslan), Arad Doman (Leane), Arafel (Alanna), Shienar (Ingtar), Ghaldan (Logain), and Tear (Juilin, Darlin) are described as being dark-skinned to various extremes.

 

The ability of Randlanders to identify where people come from is less based on the color of their skin and more based on how they dress and various facial characteristics (hair, cheekbones, nose). The reds (and most of the characters on the show) have dramatically different costumes based on where they are from. These might not be the specific styles described in the books, but they are very distinctive nonetheless. The culture-driven costumes are something this show has absolutely nailed.

 

I'm not sure there was much diversity in the Two Rivers (apart from Rand - for obvious reasons - and Mat, for some reason not quite fitting the general bill), but that part was fairly rushed, so I can't be certain. I also get the feeling that show-Two Rivers is not nearly as isolated as book-Two Rivers.

 

On 12/4/2021 at 3:03 AM, feliasgrimm said:

Costuming is in a similar line - There's been a pretty diverse range of costumes for the andorans (including extras), which makes them less distinctly "andoran" ... Visually you couldn't tell any difference in Gheldan (for the logain sequences) versus other places... If I didn't know 'we're not in andor" I wouldn't have realized they were different places.

Not sure what you mean. The only distinct places we saw in Andor were the Two Rivers and Breen's Spring, and there was not much variation in costumes across those. Ghealdanin costumes, on the other hand, were mostly armor, and quite different.

 

On 12/4/2021 at 3:03 AM, feliasgrimm said:

A little disappointed that saidar is visible to everyone (literally 'blinding' a man)

I am fairly certain she created a visible explosion of light along with the healing weaves, and he did not actually see her weaves. In fact, if you look closely, you can see some of the weaves within and distinct from the general explosion of light, which was just a side-effect of her use of saidar.

 

On 12/4/2021 at 3:03 AM, feliasgrimm said:

VERY disappointed we had to add a wife to Perrin JUST to 'fridge' her. Seriously? That added nothing to the story and just filled another trope.

This was absolutely the worst thing in the show so far.

 

On the other hand, the Nynaeve/Lan/Moiraine triangle is shaping up well, and the warders have been a key highlight of the show so far.

 

On 12/4/2021 at 3:03 AM, feliasgrimm said:

Skipping out on Caemlyn and Baerlon is OK ... I was pleasantly surprised to see Loial in the most current episode, although he feels too old/wise to me.. rand climbing the wall in caemlyn - I don't see how they can fit it into season 2 ... Same with Min

Small disagreements here. I thought Loial was absolutely perfect. Rand will probably "bump into" Elayne, Gawyn, Elaida, and Morgase some other way; that is the only crucial part of him scaling the wall. Min will probably show up in Tar Valon or somewhere; she is slated to appear this season, and it doesn't matter where she shows up so long as she does.

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I really want to like this series, but there is just so much already "wrong" with what they are doing...trying to throw some sort of possibility that Egwene or Nyneave could be the Dragon Reborn is foolish and goes against the whole premise of the fact that the Dragon has to be male...and then the taming of Logain at the end of the episode, without judgement from the White Tower....that goes against everything Moiraine believes in the books. To me those were a couple of big mis-steps that doesn't do the books or characters justice...hopefully they can recover, but every episode there are a couple things that make me cringe in terms of storyline.

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On 12/5/2021 at 8:17 PM, Morpheus said:

 

 

There are several cultures with dark-skinned inhabitants in the books. While book-Fain was certainly not dark-skinned, book-Valda definitely was. Many characters from Altara (including Tylin and Beslan), Arad Doman (Leane), Arafel (Alanna), Shienar (Ingtar), Ghaldan (Logain), and Tear (Juilin, Darlin) are described as being dark-skinned to various extremes.

 

I must be misremembering (it HAS been a while). Leane's skin (as with most domani) was often described as "coppery" which I guess I interpreted more as an "olive" skin tone (I always pictured her and pretty much anyone from the randland west coast looking more middle eastern in my head)... I just remember Bayle's skin tone being addressed often, same with some of the seanchan (tuon especially), I don't recall Siuan's skin tone (or any other teiran) ever mentioned once, nor Valda despite him being in a lot of scenes (point of order - "I don't remember" isn't meant to be argumentative - I believe you I just don't remember that). Leane is one of my main examples tho - if you hear "copper skinned" you automatically assume domani, and if it's a black person with tattoos it's almost always sea folk.

 

I do remember Juilin being referenced as darker skinned now that you mention it.

 

On a related note - Siuan and her father being black AND having a bunch of distinctive tattoos bothers me a bit because it's treading REALLY close to sea folk visualization, particularly since her first scenes are on a boat. Also disappointed at her not wearing the stole (nor the sitters wearing them). The actress playing her was ridiculously good tho. I thought she wasn't scheduled to appear this season so that was a pleasant surprise.

 

On 12/5/2021 at 8:17 PM, Morpheus said:

The ability of Randlanders to identify where people come from is less based on the color of their skin and more based on how they dress and various facial characteristics (hair, cheekbones, nose). The reds (and most of the characters on the show) have dramatically different costumes based on where they are from. These might not be the specific styles described in the books, but they are very distinctive nonetheless. The culture-driven costumes are something this show has absolutely nailed.

 

I didn't feel like the Red costumes had much deviation (there was some, but it was slight), although now that they're in the tower and I'm seeing more variation in the Green costumes and ESPECIALLY the blue costumes (I thought the blue sitter was White for a second) I'm feeling it more.

 

On 12/5/2021 at 8:17 PM, Morpheus said:

I'm not sure there was much diversity in the Two Rivers (apart from Rand - for obvious reasons - and Mat, for some reason not quite fitting the general bill), but that part was fairly rushed, so I can't be certain. I also get the feeling that show-Two Rivers is not nearly as isolated as book-Two Rivers.

 

Two Rivers seemed to blend a bit of white (mat's family, rand's dad), middle eastern, west asian and a smattering of black. It just felt like more blend than there maybe should have been. If they're running that the two rivers is less isolated I guess I have less problem with it, I'm just used to the book narration of "no one but peddlers has been through here in hundreds of years". Honestly it would have been super cool if the whole village was one racial demographic and rand was the only white guy - DEFINITELY would have called him out as an outsider ALTHOUGH would have made a lot of the mystery disappear ("one of you was born outside of this town... wonder who it was..." lol). 

 

On 12/5/2021 at 8:17 PM, Morpheus said:

I am fairly certain she created a visible explosion of light along with the healing weaves, and he did not actually see her weaves. In fact, if you look closely, you can see some of the weaves within and distinct from the general explosion of light, which was just a side-effect of her use of saidar.

 

Rand also saw moiraine pull the dagger's energy into herself ALTHOUGH as a caveat to my caveat:
Although the dagger has been visualized very similar to saidin, they're NOT the same so it's possible they could see one and not the other... and since Rand could theoretically see Saidin ANYWAY that's a plausible exception.

On a related note I wish they did something to differentiate the weaves a bit. Aes Sedai can see "air" differently than "earth" so it'd be cool if we could too, but I can live with that.

 

On 12/5/2021 at 8:17 PM, Morpheus said:

This was absolutely the worst thing in the show so far.

 

On the other hand, the Nynaeve/Lan/Moiraine triangle is shaping up well, and the warders have been a key highlight of the show so far.

 

Agree. LOVING the extra attention to the warders.

 

On 12/5/2021 at 8:17 PM, Morpheus said:

 

Small disagreements here. I thought Loial was absolutely perfect. Rand will probably "bump into" Elayne, Gawyn, Elaida, and Morgase some other way; that is the only crucial part of him scaling the wall. Min will probably show up in Tar Valon or somewhere; she is slated to appear this season, and it doesn't matter where she shows up so long as she does.

 

I think Min being in Baerlon is a trivial detail (agree, as long as she shows up "somewhere" and Fal Dara is a decent spot to put her so it wouldn't surprise me if she shows up there... Moiraine already has a connection to her, but she's well regarded in Fal Dara so that'd be just as good as Baerlon).

Agree they can do Rand meeting them differently but it also sets up some other details - Rand meeting Morgase and Elaida makes less sense outside Caemlyn, and his familiarity with the Palace and how to get into it comes up semi often (notably, battle with Rahvin in tFoH) later. It's also just one of my favorite scenes so I might be placing more importance than necessary.

 

(minor spoilers for ep 6)

 

Also a little annoyed with how the waygates were represented... I think having to find the leaf and place it is important (as opposed to it being channeled open) - myrdraal can't channel so how did they use the ways to attack two rivers, and how are they going to seal them later (most of the time they just took the leaves away)? It also would have made the cliffhanger impossible so maybe they have a plan and this is just to give them some ways to heighten the drama?

 

Enjoyed the interplay between Moiraine and Siuan, although didn't like the "gateway" (ter-angreal?) method they used (would have preferred something more mundane but clandestine) - I think it trivializes traveling's discovery later?

 

Also didn't like how the Oath Rod played into things. Given that an Aes Sedai can't lie AND in the books that includes their inability to swear oaths they won't hold to (which created some interesting loopholes for Siuan and Leane after... The Incident...) it feels unnecessary. I feel like a bit of exposition to one of the girls (very similar to how they addressed explaining how Moiraine couldn't lie to the whitecloaks but she could mislead and not correct) would have filled in that plot point. Also find it amusing that the Hall was fine that the decision to punish Moiraine for being too much a rogue outside Tar Valon was... send her out of Tar Valon. But she shouldn't be being punished at all.. if she "can not" reveal her reasons (and it was explicitly stated "can not" as opposed to "will not"), presumably there's an oath involved and she's not being "noncompliant", she's literally prevented from complying.

 

 

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