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Thrasymachus

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  1. I didn't even see a tweet acknowledging the date. You'd think there'd have been at least a tweet. My guess is they weren't expecting the fans to so resoundingly support the accelerated read-through of the first book. They were originally gonna do two chapters a week, and then bumped it up to four. They'd still be in the last third of the book if they'd kept their original pace. Still, I dunno why they'd make the offer of accelerating the read-through if they weren't prepared to fill the dead-air after they were done.
  2. Hope in one hand... We might get something similar to that short video from last week, but I wouldn't bet money on a teaser or trailer or anything just yet.
  3. No, I don't think the Sad Bracelets need to be cut, but they could be, because they take a hell of a long time to pay off. Something encountered in Season 3 at the latest, that won't show up again until just before Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount? That's a long time for Checkov to wait to fire his gun. And of course, the Sad Bracelets can be replaced in their entirety by Callandor. It has literally the same effect, allowing two linked female channelers to completely control any man channelling through it. So yeah, you can cut the Sad Bracelets. And that means you can cut the wonderful adventures of Nynaeve and Elayne from two tedious outings to just one. Accelerate the Tower Split somewhat so that news of it reaches Tear prior to the Rhuidean arc, and Nynaeve and Elayne can just go straight to Salidar. And their misadventures can be about trying to find the place. And you can even keep all the hijinks with Luca and Galad and Uno and Masema on the way. I don't think the flight from Ebu Dar needs to be cut, but Egeanin doesn't need to be part of it. The role she plays counseling Mat can be taken by Mistress Anan and Selucia instead. The role she plays in letting them escape the city can be taken over by Mat himself, with some help from Thom and Juilin. And obviously we don't cut the fact that sul'dam can learn to channel. But we don't learn that from Egeanin anyway. We learn that from Nynaeve, who uses the a'dam to hold Seta and Renna, and claims that she suspected as much. I'm not arguing that Egeanin doesn't do important things for the plot of the books as written. I'm arguing that you can replace the stuff she does with already established characters doing that stuff instead, and the one mcguffin she's responsible for unleashing with another mcguffin that does the same exact thing that's already close at hand.
  4. So...completely re-write her character and turn her into someone who will completely abandon her given mission, indeed act in contravention of it in deciding to help Elayne and Nynaeve, seeing as her new mission is to scout new damane? Part of what makes Egeanin's fall from grace with the Seanchan so compelling is that it's portrayed as a slippery-slope. She releases Bethamin as much to protect the Seanchan from knowledge that sul'dam are basically the same as damane as for any humanitarian reason. It was her shock at a sul'dam being able to be held by an a'dam that kept her from just turning Bethamin over to the Seeker, and the worry that the Seeker might just kill them both to keep the knowledge from getting out. It was her curiosity about how the a'dam was able to hold a sul'dam that allowed her to approach and make friends with Elayne and Nynaeve. It was Bethamin's promise to go back to the Seanchan (which she does) that allowed Egeanin to release Bethamin in reasonably good conscience. It was the threat of that Seeker discovering what she knew that pushed her into conspiring with Mat in his escape plans. At no point did she really realize that she'd betrayed her people until Tuon stripped her of her name. That's her tragedy. At no point does she ever do anything except what is right or prudent, according to the standards of her community and conscience. And she is progressively stripped of first her peace-of-mind, then her name, Seanchan honor and citizenship, and finally her own personal honor and self-worth, only to then give her life to those who don't want it, who regard her with suspicion and use her without thanks, and is ultimately discarded, dismissed and not even mentioned again. She's basically Gawyn of the Seanchan without being quite as insufferable. But at any rate, we can extol the virtues or vices of her as a character till the cows come home. None of that addresses the fundamental argument for why she should be cut. Cuts have to be made. She can be cut with arguably the least disruption to main story arcs or other side story arcs. Given the choice between cuts which are more disruptive to the main story, or which are disruptive to other side stories, and cuts which are less disruptive, the less disruptive cuts should be preferred. Therefore, Egeanin's side story arc should be cut.
  5. Deleting her PoV scenes removes the whole argument for why she should be included in the first place. It's her shock at discovering that sul'dam can learn to channel that begins that process of humanization. Without that, there's no reason for her to be in Tanchico, and her desire to learn about the marath'damane of Randland, and thereby help Elayne and Nynaeve, makes no sense. And it's her fear of the Seekers, established in her PoV scenes, that motivates her helping Mat kidnap Tuon. Without that, you've got a Captain of the Green committing high treason for no good reason. Expository dialog is thin cover for that. And I disagree that you need to begin humanizing the Seanchan as soon as they're introduced in order to prevent them from becoming Saturday-morning cartoon villains. For one thing, after Falme, the Seanchan as a threat have retreated to be almost wholly absent, until after Rand takes Illian. The next big scene we see of them is when they take Amadicia, well after they'd established themselves in Tarabon. The Seanchan are most effective as a surprise twist threat in the midseason of Season 2, who then disappear long enough to be almost wholly forgotten about until they show back up to (unintentionally) free Morgase, so the audience gets a *gasp* moment with the Seanchan being back. The real humanization of the Seanchan, and the comfort that these are a people who can be dealt with more-or-less amicably, begins with Tuon, as it should. And just so that people don't forget about them too much, Cerandin is a much better vehicle both for reminding the audience that Seanchan exists, and demonstrating what kind of Empire they are and how much they should be feared. She's a minor enough character that we don't have to worry about exploding story lines, but sympathetic and bad-ass enough to get away with punching Nynaeve and man-handling Elayne.
  6. Don't get me wrong, I like Egeanin as a character and for the role she plays in the books. My argument regarding whether she should be cut is summed up by what you say here: The show is already going to have a lot of characters' stories to tell. And Egeanin's story never has much of a payoff. We don't even know if she survives the Last Battle, and she's never mentioned again after Egwene releases her bond and goes off to die. That bridge between the Seanchan and the White Tower dies with Egwene, and Egeanin was never any more to it than some discarded lumber. So here's a big reason why she should be cut: she humanizes the Seanchan too soon. After Falme, the Seanchan are this big, looming threat. A powerful empire using slavery, both a kind of bonded slavery (where freedom could be bought or gifted, or imposed as punishment) and dehumanizing chattel slavery for channellers. A strictly hierarchical, militarily focused and ideological organization, with whom the ability to negotiate for peace is uncertain, at best. There's a substantial worry, especially early on after they return, that the Seanchan could be a bigger problem for Team Light than the Forsaken. And this threat is reinforced by having not one, but two darkfriends at the highest ranks of leadership, until Tuon shows up. But Egeanin gives us a Seanchan point of view. She becomes a sympathetic, and then trusted character, long before the threat of the Seanchan is dealt with, either in the battle where Rand goes Callandor-crazy, or Mat kidnaps Tuon. This deflates that Seanchan threat. Through her, the Seanchan become ordinary people, though people with a strange point of view and oppressive customs. And ordinary people can be dealt with. They can be negotiated with, or intimidated or charmed, or just beaten. Now, at some point, the Seanchan do need to be humanized. But I reckon that humanization has a much better vehicle in Tuon, via Mat's interactions with her, and mediated through Mistress Anan and Selucia. For one thing, as ruler of the Seanchan, humanizing her through her character development humanizes the Seanchan both literally and figuratively. We learn what kind of people the Seanchan are through Mat's interactions and discussions with her, and at the same time, her growth and change bear directly on the potential for the Seanchan culture to grow and change. Egeanin's personal growth results in her explusion from the Seanchan culture, her window into the nature of the Seanchan is denied by that culture. And since we're unlikely to get a season per book, the fact remains that major side stories and characters will have to be cut. Egeanin is a character and story that can be cut or written around that has the least impact on the stories of any of the other main character or other side characters, except for Domon, who can likewise be cut with little impact, or reduced to minor role. If someone were to give you all 14 books of this series and say to you, "edit this down to seven books, of roughly the length of the last Harry Potter novel, for easy public consumption," she would be first on the chopping block. Adapting for a TV series that might last seven seasons, if we're lucky, is a similar exercise.
  7. I really need to do another re-read soon, but I don't think Rand's mom shows up until Rand's final confrontation with Ba'alzamon. And I think that final confrontation is the one exception to the general rule, that the audience shouldn't be made explicitly aware they're in a dream before the characters catch on. That sequence, I think, should be pretty obviously a dream to the audience, especially given the prior dreams Rand's had involving the place that confrontation happens. In fact, I'd change the appearance of Rand's escape from Tarwin's Gap, instead of mounting endless stairs, I'd make an obvious gateway for him to pass through, just to mark a clearer transition from "real world" Tarwin's Gap to "dreamworld" Ba'alzamon's stronghold (and tighten continuity). That way, Rand can confront and "kill" Ba'alzamon, while still leaving him alive to keep pestering him in the next season, up until Tear. Audiences will be smart enough to catch on that killing someone in the Dream might not be enough to ensure that they're dead, and a bit of lore regarding The Horn and TaR can be added to explain that Rand's fight with Ishamael in the skies above Falme actually took place in TaR, which is why both Rand and Ishamael survived.
  8. I think that will be more conveyed by the sudden change of location prompting viewers to be all, "what's going on here? How did Rand get to this place all of a sudden?" combined with darker (but still realistic) lighting, severe (but still real-looking) stonework and woodwork, the music score, and Josha's acting. The key is that the audience should be uncertain as to what's going on. If they catch on to it being a dream before the characters do, that will deflate the tension in those scenes. And that's also why it will be important for those earlier nightmares, that things like all the rats in the inn having their backs broken following Ba'alzamon's threat with the rat, or Rand's waking up with splinters and thorn pricks he earned while dreaming, be kept in. Keep the uncertainty alive after the audience is aware that dream sequences are a thing to watch out for, that even if these are dreams, they're not ordinary dreams.
  9. I reckon the key, especially for those early dream sequences where there should be some uncertainty about what's going on or whether it's a dream or something else, is that you don't want to give it away too soon. The stone hallways in Rand's very first nightmare, for example, the doors and the table and fireplace, should look real whenever they're in-focus or in the shot. Changes in doors should be subtle, going from opened just a crack, where a quick glance might miss that it's not fully closed, to being fully closed, if they do that trick at all in those scenes. (I wouldn't, it's too big for an early sequence) No misty fuzziness or black-and-white or washed-out ambiance or weird light seeming to come from everywhere/nowhere. I'd keep the changes very subtle, a coat pocket that's buttoned up in one cut that's undone in the next, and then buttoned back up in the following. A subtly different weave pattern in the fabric of that coat, but the cut, color and way it's worn remaining exactly the same. The fireplace stones that look like skulls, but only when the shot is tightly focused on Rand and he's looking at something else. That latter to be played up just a bit as Ba'alzamon appears and it's revelation as a dream is moments away anyway. In those early scenes, the changes should be easy to miss, especially if you don't know to look for them, and even if you do, not knowing which ones to look for. And that makes sense for a Dreamshard anyway, as its features are more tightly controlled than Tel'aran'Rhiod is naturally. If they keep the only defining feature of a Dream being the impermanence of background features or details, then later appearances of the Dream can be realistic, or ethereal or whatever else they need to be, to capture their own flavor for the use the characters put them to. Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne's misadventures in TaR can have that much more ethereal and dream-like quality when they're exploring Tanchico or Tar Valon or meeting at Tear, while Perrin's experiences can be much more realistic and "grounded," except for all the shapeshifting and leaping about of course, appearing to be normal fields and woodlands under a normal, sunny sky. At least until the Dark One's touch begins messing stuff up.
  10. I reckon they can include those sorts of subtle changes to costume, hairstyle and background props even in the first season's Dreamshard nightmares. They just have to be really subtle about it. Once Tel'aran'Rhiod is well established, they can be blatant about it, having stuff changing directly on-camera as well as changing background stuff between cuts, and once that signature is explained to the characters/audience, eagle-eyed viewers can then go back to re-watch those early scenes and catch those much more subtle tells, or those of us book-readers might keep an eye out for that kind of stuff the first time through and be rewarded with catching it.
  11. It's possible that the Ways dimension pre-exsited the Gateways and the bridges and islands. But it seems likely to me that they are more akin to vacuoles, which we know Aes Sedai from the Age of Legends were relatively proficient at creating. Merely accessing an already existing parallel world seems excessively risky when they can already create artificial parallel world's, considering one doesn't know what else might be in those pre-existing worlds. So I can accept the possibility that the Taint on saidin could extend to the corruption of even weaves of saidar. I just don't consider it very likely, for a few reasons. First is that we have no evidence whatsoever of channelling saidar within the Ways being dangerous until after the Ways began darkening. If channelling was always dangerous and liable to be corrupted, then Moiraine should have known about that, as knowledge of that danger would have long pre-exsited the darkening of the Ways. In the Unfettered excerpt, Perrin has to stress the danger of channelling within them to Seonid as well, indicating that such danger is not well-known. Next is how that corruption occurs. If it's tainted saidin that's being used to sustain the modified vacuole that is the Ways, and saidar becomes corrupted by having to pass through that taint in order to be embraced by a channeler and then woven, then saidar users themselves should become tainted, merely from embracing and holding that Power. But it seems as though it's merely the weaves that are corrupted, not saidar itself within the Ways, nor the users of it. Finally, the coincidence of the darkening of the Ways noticably beginning just after Waygates fell to the Blight is simply too great to discount. And then there's the way the Ways are corrupted, not merely crumbling, but pock-marked, as if the stone of the bridges and islands were diseased, or blighted.
  12. There's a cut chapter eventually published in an Unfettered anthology involving Perrin going into the Ways to try to limit or remove the Shadow's use of them, particularly regarding Caemlyn. We know that the Ways were still in use post-Cleansing by the Shadow, that's how they invaded Caemlyn, after all. And at least in the short excerpt of that cut chapter that I've seen (I have unfortunately not had the pleasure of reading the whole thing yet), the Ways seems unaffected by the Cleansing. Personally, I'm not entirely convinced that it was the Taint on saidin that was responsible for the darkening of the Ways and the creation of Machin Shin. The first of the Ways were grown during the Breaking, but the darkening wasn't even noticed until almost 2000 years later, after Hawkwing's death. Indeed, the preceding events leading to its decay seems to be the fall of Steddings established along the Blight, as the Blight overtook them and their Waygates. And the corruption in the Ways extends even to weaves of saidar, which is more extensive than a taint on saidin should produce. I can accept that tainted saidin could be responsible for the decaying bridges and pervasive darkness, but to be able to intervene in the metaphysical connection with the True Source of saidar users is, well, a bridge too far. And if it were the Taint that was responsible, one would think that saidar users would still have noticed that corrupting influence on their weaves long before the Ways darkened at all. Instead, I think that what's happening is that the Ways have become Blighted, after those Steddings and their Waygates fell to the Blight. Tainted saidin may have left them particularly vulnerable to being Blighted, and may have contributed to the particular way the Ways reacted to being Blighted, but to persist for 2000 years in the light with growing grass and trees suggests that those ancient male Aes Sedai who created them knew how to shield their creation from the effects of the Taint. Or at the very least, greatly mitigate it. And the coincidence of the Steddings and their Waygates falling to the Blight almost immediately preceding the noticable darkening of the Ways, which then became fully dark and effectively unusable within a single lifetime, is too great to be a mere coincidence. What would be interesting would be to see the effects of Shai'tan being fully resealed back in his prison, post MoL. As the Blight begins failing and starts blooming again, the Ways should begin to be similarly cleansed, if it was indeed the Blight that was responsible for their condition. If it was tainted saidin that was responsible, I don't expect any recovery at all, as the corruption would be involved in their very creation. If you build a house out of rotting wood, you may be able to stop further rot from happening, but you'll still have to deal with all the wood that's already rotten. There may be no way to save or cleanse the Ways, any more than you can Heal back the hand that's been rotted off by the Taint.
  13. After Lan, the next for-sure Borderlander characters to appear would be Ingtar and Agelmar. And their casting hasn't been announced yet, afaik. I still think we are likely to see less race-based casting than some "fans" obviously prefer. Jordan's racial characteristics are a hodge-podge that don't often occur in our current world. Sticking to a strict, Borderlander = Asians theme is gonna make casting Bashere, for instance, with his thick mustaches, rather difficult. I think we're bound to see a lot of mixed-race actors, as well as some which defy certain expectations. And I think in general, we're gonna see a lot of make-up work and maybe even minor prosthetics to create a more racially homogenous appearance for actors with more diverse racial backgrounds, where necessary.
  14. On the assumption that Min is introduced in Fal Dara, instead of Baerlon, of course.
  15. Not necessarily. In fact, the Seals were made of cuendillar, nothing but the corrupting power of the Dark One should have ever been able to break or weaken them. Trying to use untainted One Power on them should just make them stronger. There's no good reason for the Forsaken to seek purified saidin in-universe, and if the idea is to preserve the books story beats as much as possible, Moiraine needs a better, more immediate reason to change destinations from Tar Valon to the Eye, and Suian needs a better reason to show up in Fal Dara in the following couple of weeks.
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