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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Review of "The Eye of the World"


Reading the Pattern
  • Rebecca takes a look at The Wheel of Time season 1 finale.


Rebecca is a social media contributor at Dragonmount. Subscribe to her channel, Reading the Pattern on YouTube. 

 

The weight of expectations from long-time fans of The Wheel of Time book series going into this season 1 finale episode can’t be overstated. I wouldn’t be surprised to find this episode the most polarizing of the season, depending on how much your metaphorical loins were girded for changes heading into it. Speaking for myself, I was a huge fan of the setup we got in episode 7, “The Dark Along The Ways,” the ending of which had Moiraine heading into the Blight with Rand alone, her Bond to Lan masked. This prepared me for not having the whole group journey to the Eye. Knowing that the unexpected departure of Barney Harris as Mat would necessitate rewrites also prepared me for differences. To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of specific expectations for how the plot of the season-ender would play out. I always felt certain aspects of the ending of The Eye of the World were confusingly written and wouldn’t play well on screen and this was an opportunity to streamline. As it turned out, I was a huge fan of the way one major change in particular played out, and confused by one or two others. But ultimately, the episode needed to provide a satisfying conflict between Light and Shadow, hit some key character moments, and leave us questioning and wanting more. On all of those points it delivered.

 

The cold open had us jumping back 3,000 years to the Age of Legends and the final confrontation between Lews Therin Telamon and Latra Posae Decume, notably portrayed by Alexander Karim and Katie Brayben in the Old Tongue. This is a scene that hinted at but does not explain the full context of this argument. Lews Therin has a plan to cage the Dark One that Latra Posae believes is too risky and arrogant and will not support. Lews Therin is undeterred by her refusal and as he tells his infant child, he means to do what he believes is right to protect them anyway. Following this scene, we know that Lews Therin led his strike with only 99 male Companions, because Latra Posae convinced all the female Aes Sedai to side with her. The Dark One’s counterstroke caused the corruption on the male half of the One Power, which led to the Breaking and why men can no longer channel without eventually succumbing to madness.

 

I believe most of the above can be gleaned from the scene itself and by other information we are given throughout the season, but I am curious to see what the reaction to this scene will be from non-readers. At this point in book history the devastating War of Power had been fought for at least the past 10 years and there was no evidence of that in this scene. Perhaps they are changing this history in order to better show the height of the Age of Legends. That was one aspect of the scene that I did really enjoy seeing, the costume and set choices and the vista outside the window which all perfectly convey a futuristic and timeless quality, and better establish the primary timeline as post-apocalyptic. But perhaps there was a missed opportunity to better convey the stakes and the tension in this conversation between Lews Therin and Latra Posae if they had retained the wartime element.

 

The biggest focus of the episode, rightly so, was Rand and Moiraine in the Blight and at the Eye of the World. Rafe Judkins spoke in an interview with Nerdist about the decision to put Nynaeve and Egwene at Tarwin’s Gap and Perrin and Loial recovering the Horn of Valere, instead of journeying with Rand. Ultimately I liked the decision to have core characters to focus on in each location and to allow for deeper development of Rand and Moiraine particularly with the tighter focus on them. The claustrophobic set choice for the Blight worked well for scenes between two, but if they had journeyed as a group, it likely would not have allowed for scenes such as the one between Lan and Nynaeve before she sends him off into the Blight hoping he will bring Rand back. That scene was everything book fans will have been hoping for, right down to some exact quotes from Lan many of us might have memorized. It’s the culmination of something the show has given us that the book could not, watching the development of Lan and Nynaeve falling in love. But as all season finales should do, it also leaves us wanting more.

 

As for Rand and Moiraine, we got to see some wonderfully subtle character moments from them, such as Rand finding the strength to tell Moiraine to stay behind when they reach the Eye and her disregarding his attempt to protect her. And the reversal of Rand asking for answers Moiraine will not give at the start, to her final question of him, “Where will you go?” And his reply, “Goodbye, Moiraine.” But the heart of it comes in each of their interactions with The Man at the Eye (Fares Fares). One of my favorite decisions in this adaptation thus far is to change Rand’s confrontation at the Eye to one of a psychological and moral struggle, not a battle with the One Power. It ties in perfectly with major themes from the books and ultimately Rand’s decision to leave the vision of the perfect life he dreams of because he recognizes that Egwene would choose differently is a beautiful one.

For Moiraine’s part, she is immediately left with few choices as she is cut off from channeling. The Man taunts her with her lack of knowledge of whether Rand will choose the Light or the Dark, and while she makes clear she is prepared to kill Rand if he does choose the Shadow, the uncertainty she faces brings the tension to a razor’s edge. As the episode goes on the scenes cutting back and forth from one subplot to another get shorter and shorter as the tension increases. Finally, Rand stands between The Man and Moiraine and while it may seem Rand has defeated The Man too easily, we can see a subtle hint of a smile on The Man’s face as the cuendillar seal beneath their feet cracks. Perhaps this has been his plan all along.

 

While I loved the Moiraine and Rand threads in this episode from start to finish, the other threads were more mixed for me. Perrin had a lovely moment with Egwene at the beginning of the episode, offering her unconditional friendship, which I felt was a perfect cap to the threads left hanging off the blowup up between the Two Rivers characters in episode 7. But he did languish a bit in the middle of the episode. Loial got a chance to say the right thing at the right time to Perrin, telling him if he wants to help but doesn’t know how, simply to ask. This leads them to help Uno and his small group of Shienarans recover the Horn of Valere. Unfortunately, Perrin’s hesitation to pick up an axe may have cost some of those men their lives when Padan Fain and two Fades attack and steal the Horn. Fortunately, Rafe Judkins confirmed to Comic Book Resources that we did not see the end of Loial son of Arent son of Halan. I wouldn’t want to see the fan riot if they had killed our beloved Ogier in this way.

Fain’s monologue to Perrin, before he escapes with the Horn (and the Shadar Logoth dagger!) was a fantastic way to finish the main action of the episode. He confirms his own status as a Darkfriend and that the Shadowspawn were not sent to kill the five of them, but to bring them to the Dark One. He believes at least one of them will turn to the Dark, which is said ominously over the only sight of Mat in the episode, a shot of him walking through Tar Valon, looking rougher again and hinting at where things may pick up for him in season 2. It is these words from Fain which finally convince Perrin to pick up that axe and that is a momentous moment for him given the journey he has been on this season.

 

The battle at Tarwin’s Gap had some cool moments, though the combat scenes seem to have suffered slightly due to the reality of Covid-19 restrictions, preventing the use of stunt performers as Trollocs. Instead, CGI was used for the Shadowspawn in these scenes and as a result there was less ability to do shots of close combat, such as we saw in episode 1. The loss of Agelmar was effectively set up by the scene earlier in the episode between him and Lady Amalisa. But it was Amalisa’s role in the battle that packed the most punch. Seeing her ready the women of the city in her father’s armor, and then the beautifully shot scenes of her leading a circle of women and channeling an immense amount of power to destroy the wave of Shadowspawn that broke through the fortress was awesome. We get to really see how dangerous and seductive than much of the Power can be, as she burns out not only herself but two of the other women linked to her.

 

That brings me to the one aspect of this episode I really can’t get behind. Nynaeve and Egwene as part of this circle can feel themselves starting to burn out as well. Nynaeve says a touching goodbye to Egwene as she takes the Power running through Egwene into herself and then it appears Nynaeve is burned out and/or killed as well. Egwene certainly seems to think so, but yet she channels and her weaves Heal Nynaeve. In hindsight it is absolutely clear that Nynaeve never was burned out or dead, only injured, and this much Egwene has managed to Heal. However, the scene was certainly presented in a way to make the audience think Nynaeve was dead or at least burned out and these things Egwene should not be able to Heal. I simply don’t think the fakeout was necessary and it may have cheapened the moment as well, particularly in an episode where we have some other apparent deaths (Loial and Uno) which will turn out not to be fatal.

 

In contrast, I can appreciate the decision made to leave what exactly has happened to Moiraine uncertain. As she tells Lan when he finds her, she can no longer channel. From what we saw The Man do to her and from what we have seen previously of both shielding and severing with Logain, it looks most likely to me that Moiraine has been shielded and the weave was tied off so that its effects continue even though The Man is no longer there to maintain the shield. It is also possible, however, that she has actually been stilled. Either way, there is real heartbreak in the moment when she tells Lan she cannot unmask the Bond and they can no longer feel what the other one feels, on top of Moiraine’s own terrifying loss. I can understand why the show may want to leave this vague for the moment as a hook for next season. Whatever has happened to her will almost certainly inform her plot going forward, and it will be fascinating to see what Moiraine will do when she does not have access to this ability.

 

Finally, we get the ominous epilogue which introduces us to the Seanchan fleet and a somehow even more horrifying than expected glimpse of the damane and sul’dam as they approach the Western shore. Another effective hook for next season. “The Eye of the World” was an episode that made some bold choices in the writing by Rafe Judkins, most of which paid off or we can expect to pay off in next season. The production faced some real challenges in this episode, from the pandemic restrictions to the sudden loss of a core cast member (Barney Harris) necessitating rewrites. Those challenges for director Ciaran Donnelly showed more in this episode than it did the previous one, which I found nearly perfect, but the scope of what he was trying to accomplish in this one was also greater.

 

As hard as it is to finish a season and be left with burning questions that will not be answered for many months, I am glad to be in that position, wondering. Where will Rand go now that he has set off alone, wanting the others to believe him dead? I expect Perrin will be on the hunt for the Horn of Valere but who will join him? How will Mat be woven back into the story? What will Nynaeve and Egwene face in the White Tower? How will Moiraine fare without being able to channel? How will the loss of the Bond and Lan’s feelings for Nynaeve affect his relationship with Moiraine? The beauty of this adaptation so far is that even book readers don’t know exactly. Mystery and speculation have always been and will continue to be major draws that keep fans hooked on the series. I can’t wait to see what this team can do as they get deeper into the book material. Bring on season 2!




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To be perfectly honest, I had mixed feelings about the season finale. True, maybe covid played a part, but I was unimpressed by the Perrin arc. I liked the LT part, it left wanting for more. 

I have mixed feelings on the Nynaeve Egwene final scene, it made it appear that Egwene brought Nynaeve back from the dead. I wished the Green Man appeared, didn't like the fact that they made Ishmael appear to be the Dark One, even though the credits clearly state who it was, and yet no clear mention of the Forsaken. The battle with Rand, I feel was weak. I expected more fireworks. 

Not really sure about the Seanchan just yet. I liked the costumes, didn't mind the collar change, but we'll see next season. 

I hope next season gives us better depictions of the Children of the Light, rather than a group of 20 or so soldiers. 

I'm glad Loial will be back. 

They really need to work on Perrin's character, he hardly looks as foreboding as in the novels, and Mat needs some work. 

Personally, I feel like this series would benefit from a 10 to 12 episodes per season format. 

I wouldn't mind if they threw in some filler episodes for 5 or 6 characters, it wouldn't necessarily be that expensive to do. Like they did with TWD series. A Perrin, Mat, Nynaeve, Egwene episode just devoted to the character. 

For the most part the acting has been great ; however, I'm looking forward to the recast of Mat, and I'm not sure if the Perrin actor is the right man for the job. 

For the most part, however, I'm enjoying the show. 

Music and costumes gets a 10 for me. 

The acting gets a 9, and Rosamund Pike gets a 10 from me. 

The cold opens have been great, the cinematography also, and I love the cities. 

Mixed feelings on the episodes. Some were stellar, others were weak. 

Aes Sedai and the OP wonderfully illustrated. 

Season 1 was good, I hope season 2 has more episodes, and sees and improves on the strengths and weaknesses of the show. 

I feel that season 2 will make or break the show. 

 

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Did not really enjoy season one as the rewrites of the Wheel of Time lack Robert Jordan's skill at characterization. Maybe because the first chapter was squeezed into 8 episodes or the writers lack experience in fantasy writing? 

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Honestly the entire season feels like less talented writers trying to "improve" an already amazing story. Character's were stagnant and shallow, and the coolest moments from the novel were either changed for the worse, ignored or the point of events happening a certain way were just plain missed. It seems to be another example of screenwriters adapting a story and not respecting the original creators work.

 

I mean, let's face it, if they were as talented as Robert Jordan they would have created their own epic fantasy series, but they aren't, and their choices for storytelling show that.

 

Budget is barely an excuse as well... they spent massive amounts of money on this show.

 

Casting changes as an excuse? They don't explain away the messing with beloved characters right from episode one. If I was the actor playing Matrim I would have bailed so fast.

 

Effects being difficult as an excuse? Animating the last Nym would not be groundbreaking CG, The Eye of The World pool of purified power is literally only a glowing silver pool, Loial have animatronic ears would take an FX Artist or CG Artist less time than building one of the houses they burned down in the first episode.

 

In summary: It plays out like poorly written, low budget fan fiction, and misses the point of the story.

Edited by d3L3373d

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I agree 100%. Some episodes were well written, others were weak. Some characters well developed, others weak. 

Too much straying from the original story. 

Some fantastic scenes, some feel like just fodder, they are so poorly written. 

Mat and Perrin have really weak story lines. 

Big deal, Perrin's eyes glow. But he doesn't look menacing, by any means. 

The best thing so far for me are the cold starts, the costumes, the music, and the depiction of the OP, except for the case of Rand, which really didn't display the power of the Dragon Reborn. 

CGI not very good. 

Tar Valon was beautiful, but the Two Rivers, and Fal Dara were so so, as was the mining town. 

Overall, the season was decent, but I hope it gets better.

A group of no more than 20 Whitecloaks? How menacing, lol. 

The show has potential, and shows hints of greatness, followed by lackluster writing, special effects, and acting. 

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Just started watching season 2 of The Witcher yesterday, and boy does it put Amazon's (loosely based on) The Wheel of Time series to shame. The difference in quality is just staggering in terms of special effects, the sets (i.e. everything doesn't look like painted styrofoam), and overall production quality.

 

The stories in The Witcher have also been changed and adapted to fit the TV series format, but instead of taking the "let's bring our fan fiction writing kids to work day" route, they actually used competent writers with knowledge and respect for the source material – it's a gutsy move, but it might just pay off. That way, you don't get stuck with insanely apparent and embarassing mistakes, such as calling Lews Therin Telamon "the Dragon Reborn". Whoops...

 

It also allows you to avoid insanely stupid decisions, such as having completely untrained characters perform immensely powerful and difficult magic by accident. It's like you saving your best friend by accidentally performing open heart surgery just because you really, really love her and held her hard enough in your arms while emitting a gut-wrenching "Noooooooo!" – it just doesn't happen.

 

Based on episode 7 it actually looked like they were at least gonna end the season half-decent, but the last episode really burried any chance of that six feet deep. Jebus Christ, what on earth are they doing...

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Moraine is no longer bond to the vows she once made.

so she can tell the others Rhand is a live.

she can tell lies as many as she likes 🙂

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I think a lot of people love the book series so much that they are not willing to cut the show some slack with everything they were hit with, reduction in number of episodes and time lengths, actors leaving, and a global pandemic. 

 

Hopefully Season 2 will have a smoother production and we can see what their vision is moving forward. 

 

As someone who has seen a lot of adaptations, from comics, games, and books, this is one of the better ones. But then again, maybe us nerds are spoiled with entertainment and now have a high bar for expectations.

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It's hard for me to watch the politicizing of an epic story that had become; and still is, a big part of my late teens and early adulthood. (was,where)

 

Episode 1 and (3,4) IMHO where stimulating for me as the show got off nicely due to good site selection, CGI, Ms Pike, and a much better representation of the OP and Trollocs then I expected.  Episode (3,4) for the introduction of Thom, of course, and the dramatic depiction of the Farm House Fade scene where Thom then vacates for the remainder of the season.

 

I've read numerous scorching reviews from book fans and no need to be redundant. There are plenty of blatant guffaws to point out, in conjunction with nubile writing/directing and just plain, good old fashion bad acting. What can I add? First off, let me just thank the light it was Brandon Sanderson who finished the books because I can now see how bad a different selection could have gone.  In rewatching season one I noticed the only high points for me where in comparison to the low points, or when the narrative was closest to the source material.  Anyone else feel the need to duck from all the would-be, poorly camouflaged, red herrings thrown out?  Cartoon-ish dramatization.  Rosamund Pike was rightly hailed as the bright spot with the kid portraying Rand (sorry I never bothered to retain his IRL name) second. The first five minutes of 102, with the introduction of the White Cloaks was one thing I forgot I enjoyed because it was overshadowed by the direction filming took their Arc and the Perrin, Eg, barking dogs VS halloween ghost, escape scene.

 

Comparing the adaptation to the source material is entirely unfair, as is comparing a professor to his pupils. Felt very much like poor fan fiction.  That's me being generous.  Expect an early exit for the series if season two doesn't produce a miracle.  Nothing in season one was an improvement for this reader/watcher over book/season one "Eye of the World," and unless Egwene can now heal death and raises RJ from the dead, or maybe Min can channel up a gateway for Brandon, then the fan base this group of wannabes inherited; and who ballooned the ratings for this premier season, will vacate and look eerily similar to the final scene of the final episode.  And I think we all know who that Tsunami is going to hit.

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BTW I'm just curious, with Moraine and Suanne being lovers and all, why wouldn't Suanne have taught Moraine how to open a Gateway? (that was how she traveled to her room, right?) (Lan didn't look supprised?) What need for the Ways?  What need even for horses at this point in the story? 🤦 Terrible.  Guess that was also due to the Pandemic?

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I just don't easily accept that budget constraints were why the show made the choices it made. The first episode is an excellent example. If they wanted to save money, they could have...done what the book did! Rather than seeing Emond's Field burn and Moiraine channeling everywhere, they could have focused on Rand dragging Tam to the village. Rather than the spectacle of capturing Logain, they could have...followed the story the book told! And on and on. As special effects go, the critical path in the Eye of the World needs very little of them. You need: Narg and a Fade, then not much else until Shadar Logoth, and then not much else until Loial, and then not much else again until they leave Fal Dara for the Eye.   

 

The simple truth here is they wanted to take a different perspective than the author and had pressure to be the new Game of Thrones, and that forced them to make decisions that had cascading effects on the story. Other choices just aren't that defensible, like decisions to kill off characters who aren't dead, invent characters just to fridge them, or turn Mat's parents into terrible people. I understand cuts; I do. But adding stuff that isn't in the books is how you get silly things like Faramir dragging Frodo to Osgiliath. In the book, he refuses the ring immediately, full stop, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. In the movie, we had to waste 20 minutes of screen time on his invented anguish. Likewise in WoT, there are a solid two episodes of content in this season that were not in the book which could have easily covered events that were in the book but left out.

The Great Hunt also has a pretty light critical path (except now they have to do things they didn't do earlier): They have to get the right people to Tar Valon and Falme, and then certain things have to happen in Falme.

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11 hours ago, UnCrowned King said:

've read numerous scorching reviews from book fans and no need to be redundant. There are plenty of blatant guffaws to point out, in conjunction with nubile writing/directing and just plain, good old fashion bad acting. What can I add? First...

Well, King, I’ve added this before so I feel it’s warranted having watched the last episode to say it again...That I 

tend to agree that the cut-corners and mostly cheap story rewrites have taken their toll on me watching S1 WoT TV series.  It seems like Rafe somehow talked Harriet and Brandon into a swampy mess and I’m just not sure this sulfurous stench is ever gonna wash off any of us who followed them in. Wish they had Peter Jackson to clean it up now before it all turns to putrescine & cadaverine. Sorry to be so negative but the show desperately needs help.

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17 hours ago, UnCrowned King said:

BTW I'm just curious, with Moraine and Suanne being lovers and all, why wouldn't Suanne have taught Moraine how to open a Gateway? (that was how she traveled to her room, right?) (Lan didn't look supprised?) What need for the Ways?  What need even for horses at this point in the story? 🤦 Terrible.  Guess that was also due to the Pandemic?

They met in Tel'Aran'Rhiod and used Ter'angreals to get there.

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Overall, there were some enjoyable elements of this first season. I don't know if I was as bothered as some by deviations from the book; once you decide that the characters are going to be older, some things are just going to have to change. Also with Pike being your lead actress, the focal point is going to have to shift. She was great. I'm also ok with Lan being a little bit more human and relatable. It is a character change, and you lose something about the eventual impact of his relationship with Nynaeve, but I think it's probably worth the tradeoff. 

 

I am a little bit concerned that the red herring, who is the dragon game, took away from opportunities to develop Rand, Matt, and Perrin's characters more thoroughly. If I hadn't read the books, I'm just not sure that I would care about any of them. I don't know if that is the acting or the writing, but it is a problem that will need to be addressed going forward. 

 

One thing that I felt like this first season didn't do a good job with was making the audience understand the stakes. Maybe it was the weather impacts, or the dream sequences, or the darkfriend/ shadowspawn encounters, but the books provide a good sense of menace and make the reader understand the stakes for the characters of the dark one breaking free.  I don't know if I got that in the series other than, maybe the initial Two Rivers attack. To some extent, I think that was my complaint with this final episode. To the extent that there was the rising action, and climax, the denouement felt unsatisfying. If I'm being honest, I'm ok with them changing the first book ending. I would have liked to have seen Aginor and Balthamel, but I can understand why they didn't want to introduce new characters at this point.  Even Jordan recognized that there were some issues with the first book's ending, and if they had tried to strictly follow it, it would have been pretty weird (The Voice saying that they will take no part; the scene where the dark one is supposedly whipping his mother's soul; the omni-present battle in the gap etc...). That said, the resolution of the season is supposed to be this confrontation. I don't necessarily mind that it was more of a mental fight, but I think that we needed some sort of hint to Rand's power. The statue of the sa'angreal glowing isn't enough. 

 

I'm hoping that the next season can address some of these issues, and I'm looking forward to getting to see Elayne and some of the other characters. I hope that Matt's reintroduction can bring in a little bit more of his humor which was something that the first season was missing, IMO. The Seanchan should provide a good opportunity for developing the conflict. I think that the Forsaken should also present some interesting possibilities. 

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Excellent review, Rebecca! Thank you! As a lover of the WOT books and TV series, I'm looking forward to where the show goes from here. Lots of mysteries to ponder while we wait for season 2!

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Batsu

Posted (edited)

Absolute trash. I kept hanging on through the season, hoping the show would redeem itself, but all O can say now is it is absolute rubbish. Maybe someone who hasn't read the books and enjoys watching CW shows like Riverdale may like it, but the changes they made throughout the season, and especially in the finale, have convinced me that I won't be tuning in for Season 2.

Edited by Batsu

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I have indeed given a lot of slack to the creators of this series. But there are two things that just bother me and I hoped it would get worked out by the end of the season, but it hasn't.

 

1) The Power is Male/Female. And they aren't going to touch that, are they. I mean, it's a MASSIVE plot point, and they are trying to kind of limp by it without really addressing it. If you aren't familiar with the books, then you will be wondering "why are men unable to channel like women" and the TV series will NOT explain this for you. And we all know why.. and it's ridiculous. If these writers cannot bring themselves to put their foot down and say "in THIS fantasy world, it's male/female.. get over it" .. then they really should find another IP to adapt.

 

2) Female characters cannot have challenges or growth because in todays post-feminist world, all female characters must always be awesome always at all times without effort. And. This. Is. So. Boring! I ask female fans, do you like this? Do you like that Egwene and Nynaeve can just do amazing things with zero training? Do you like that they can even die and just pop back to life or pop OTHERS back to life at any moment? 

 

Egwene in the book went from prairie girl to Amyrlin Seat and it was a long journey and you saw her growth all the way - and her final test from being imprisoned in the tower to overcoming even her captors through mental tenacity was one of the greatest character arcs in the series ..but we won't get that here.. because girls are awesome always at all times with ZERO setbacks because that's cool right!?

 

There was so much to like about this series, but I couldn't get over these two aspects in the end. I should have known better. Today's entertainment is just.. boring, sorry. No one gets to suffer setbacks and grow. No show takes its time to build up to big moments anymore. God forbid we go eight episodes without a major battle! Can't trust the audience to come back for season two..gotta blow their minds NOW NOW NOW! 

 

oh well

Edited by Ploodie

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On 12/27/2021 at 4:06 AM, Artagel said:

They met in Tel'Aran'Rhiod and used Ter'angreals to get there.

And that's suppose to make it better?  How would that explain lack of communication between Moraine and Suanne over the past two years of Moraine being away from the tower, if they could just hookup any given nap time?  Point being, either way it highlights poor research or lack of interest in source material or the "science" of what made WoT special to many readers, and that's the magic made sense and the consistent "rules" to the OP, T-A-R, relics (angreal etc...) made sense! Their introduction into the storyline made sense and was consistent.  Why in sand hill put that scene in at that point? Introducing TAR in that way and at that time and by those two characters?  I'm a vet and didn't understand the scene. Mother's milk in a cup!

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Thanks for the review.   Being a massive WoT fan since the EoTW came out in 1990, it's hard for me to say anything positive about this series.  It's not that it's complete garbage, but it's the fact that they took such a phenomenal fantasy series and then strayed so far from the source material that it barely resembles - it actually doesn't - the same world.  You simply cannot deny that they purposefully - and for no good reason - made changes that they simply did not need to do.  They had a magical blueprint in Game of Thrones for how to adapt a book series to a TV series successfully and ignored it.  It's a simple blueprint, really:

 

1.  Cast the TV show characters to look very close to their book descriptions.  You can make some minor exceptions, but otherwise, stick to the book.  By doing this, you keep your fan base in the story.  The WoT series tried so hard for woke diversity that the casting makes no sense in the world that Robert Jordan built.  You watch the series and are constantly taken out of the story because the characters look nothing like they are described in the book.

2.  Follow the incredibly successful script that already existed in the books.  Once again, you can make some minor changes to adapt to TV, but otherwise, why stray very far?  The books were obviously a success on a geometric scale.  The fans loved them.  They waited 30+ years to see the story, the scenes, the interactions om the screen.  Please those fans and do just that.  FOLLOW THE BOOKS.  Game of Thrones did this until they ran out of books.  And guess what happened after that?  We all know what we thought of the last couple of seasons of Game of Thrones.

3. Per #2, maintain the same relationships that were in the books.  They worked.  Moiraine and Siuane are now lesbians?  What about her and Thom's eventual relationship?  I guess it could still happen.. but it lessens the likelihood and significance of it.  It also takes away from Moiraine's singular focus on finding the Dragon Reborn and stopping the Dark One.  It's just goofy and obviously done for Woke Points.  It deviates from the established story for no good reason, as does most of the changes.  

4.  The ending.  So.. so.. so.. bad.  That is all I will say here.  Anyone who is a fan of the books will just hate it.  Because it should be hated.  It was that bad.

 

I won't go into anymore detail other than to say that I have to add this.  I was always a huge fan of Min in the books.  And when I saw her character and story in the TV series, I was blown away at how bad they missed the mark.  It epitomizes what is wrong with the show in dozens of other places. Besides wiping the whole Baerlon storyline from the show - which had some of the coolest parts of EotW in it - they also miscast her (as they did 90% of the cast) as she looks nothing like her book description.  She's also almost 10 years older than the guy playing Rand in the show.  In the books, she is 5-6 years older.  10 years is a huge age difference and you can see it on the screen.  They also could have shown her visions from her perspective in a really cool way with some decent CGI.  They didn't.  And, of course, they changed most of her visions in the show.

 

In the end, it's just bizarre what they did.  And the biggest fail is that now that they have made this turd of a show, us fans will probably never get a real screen adaptation of this epic story that does it justice.  It's all such a shame.

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In my mind, Loial is essentially Robert Jordan. That is, he is the chronicler of this epic tale, sometimes by being present during some of the events, and at others by interviewing the other characters, and piecing together rumors and relevant documents.

 

After I wrote the paragraph above (on another site), I got to thinking... Could Loial being stabbed by Padan Fain be seen as a metaphor for what the TV series has done to Robert Jordan's books? And on a side note (and one I won't really fight for), could his coming back in season 2 represent Brandon Sanderson?

 

Another thing about Loial, in the books, he is often easily mistaken for a Trolloc, but here, while his appearance may be somewhat off-putting, it is scarcely terrifying. I can not fault the actor, he does the best he can, with what he is given, and while his voice (even if it is somehow enhanced?) is acceptable, his appearance, not so much.

Edited by Marquestor
Minor grammar correction

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Quote

Latra Posae convinced all the female Aes Sedai to side with her.

 

Does anyone else find this plot point highly unlikely? Like, yeah, all women automatically chose the same side. For a production that seems to get off on subverting the gender binary, the show seems to be all about gender essentialism. 'My gender shouldn't matter. But oh wait--it should actually determine my every action.' 'The ~One True Power~ isn't *problematic* like saidar/saidin because it doesn't enforce a gender binary. But oh wait--it is still repulsed by men (becomes tainted when they touch it).'*

 

So what is it, Rafe? Is gender an outdated social construct to destroy? Or is it your writing team's favorite tool for motivating characters? There's been a lot said about how this show is rife with misandry (and I agree). Not as much said, though, about how this show does a disservice to its female characters and viewers. By framing women like Egwene and Nyneave as end-game all-powerful, the show has robbed those characters of their deeply humanizing development. And as a woman, I am insulted by the show's infantilizing approach to women. I'm given the impression that the writers think that my gender is the primary motivation for my actions.** And worse, that women need to be granted super status in order to be successful or interesting. Egwene and Nynaeve didn't need your coddling.***

 

* Don't get me started on the show's ~clever (cowardly/manipulative) move~ to enfold saidar/saidin lore into the extra content and not the show.

 

** Am I saying that, as a woman, my gender doesn't influence the way I am in the world? No way. No matter what I do, I will do it as a woman who has lived a handful of decades in a world that enforces certain gender-based actions and beliefs. But I am also a thousand other things--a writing professor, a TV addict, a bullet journaller, a middle child, a Texan, a Millennial... And all of those facets of me influence my actions. Not just my gender, Rafe.

 

Edit to add: I realize that I'm oversimplifying the writers' approach to gender. Of course, not every character's every action is motivated by gender. Just replace "every" with "disproportionate."

 

Edit to add (2): @Ploodie said all of this better than I did.

Edited by nicki_minajah
Added a point (at very end); commend another commenter.

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