Jump to content




  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About redgiant

  • Birthday 10/01/1961

redgiant's Achievements


Explorer (4/16)

  • First Post
  • Collaborator
  • Conversation Starter
  • Week One Done
  • One Month Later

Recent Badges

  1. The last two seasons were chock full of good-looking visuals and cool ideas, with crappy dialogue and plot surrounding them. It was literally jarring to see how pretty everything was but with 3rd-rate script and plot elements all around them, like the dragon and the lake, but with the lead-up excuse as to why they are even there and how they got there it ruined it quite a bit for me. I felt sorry for the actors b/c you know they realized this while making it I am sure. It's painfully obvious.
  2. Well although I agree with your idea of nits vs material things, I have to say that these being omitted *is not* very close to the books for me, but it could all work out if what is there is exceptionally done in the spirit of Jordan's book vision - its just to me, some of these scenes that are being dropped *are* the best way to express certain aspects of his vision and world-building early on; it remains to be seen if worthy substitutes or alterations work: Baerlon (b/c of Min, Morraine vs Children of the Light) Four Kings (b/c of Matt's condition and Rand taking care of him against Hake, and what Rand does but doesn't realize he did yet, and in the TV show I presume it would be the same for the audience not to know for a while in how they depict it occurring) - I think 4K is in from what I've seen Whitebridge (b/c of Thom and what happens, and the awe of the bridge itself and a reminder to the audience of the at-this-point mysterious and largely unexplained AoL, and its world building) Camelyn (this is a MAJOR omission and change for quite a few reasons which everyone knows, like omitting Bree in LOTR) (are any of the above known to be included yet?) I get the rationales given for all of these changes, but they each have their valid reasons for being included, and if I had one choice I could include it would be Camelyn, there's just too many cool and important things happening there. If they drop Camelyn, they better at least hit the nail on the head at the Eye itself conveying when Rand's hair on his neck stands up, he backs away from the pool but doesn't really know why, and its a very subtly-handled moment on film I hope - I need to see Rand plastered up against that wall but not even realizing he did it, so Josha please sell this scene! (Four Kings alone doesn't convey this b/c we are not supposed to connect what happened there yet on its own). And as to changing the Eye, Malkier, Tarwin's Gap, Green Man etc ... If they don't include Someshta then how would they have for example the utterly epic linkage much later in Forward and Back when we see how all this started in the AoL? A large part of the mystique and world-building of WoT is this linkage system he built up over the course of all these books: foreshadowing, back refs and so on. God don't lose that, Rafe.
  3. Oh I knew that, my main point in the book numbers is relative, sicne all book series suffer that math to some degree, as well as suffer your correct assessment of appeal broadness. When I say "for the fans", take into account my level of what I call "adherence". I do not consider smart changes to be bad, or augmenting a story with logical additional content to flesh out the timeframe or to replace for instance in-head thinking in a book with actual scenes in a TV show or movie version. So I didn't care at all that Tom Bombadil wasn't in LOTR (in fact, I think adding him and Goldberry would have been really stupid given the spine of the plot in the movies). And Liv Tyler like everyone LOTR was a great actor and didn't bother me other than noticing the story change - and the fact that she was clearly holding a dummy of Frodo at the Ford :). Or that the Scouring of the Shire was omitted, and paid homage to only in a brief flash-forward in Galadriel's mirror. What I did care about was that every single main character from the books was portrayed according to ... the books, physically and behaviorally. I consider it a super small quibble about Faramir being allowed to be tempted by the Ring, since the goal was to get him to the very same place anyhow (just via character growth and realization, not static blind belief as in the books). If those are the sorts of things we need to "brace ourselves for" with WoT, then I'm super happy. I just don't know enough yet to make that claim. I will say, the best single image I have seen so far, which sticks with me as conveying close to what I felt reading about it, was the shot of (what we assume is) Shadar Logoth, with that foggy rendering of huge abandoned city buildings looming so high overhead and that hint at being only part of a much larger dead and eerie landscape. That got my attention.
  4. I have my opinions which are driven by my own experiences with human nature and analogies to other similar aspects of life that tend to support them. I want this show to be well-regarded and a worthy TV adaptation of the famous books, but I still need to see more to shore up the areas of doubt that have nagged me from what little I have seen thrown to us. So here are some (to me) interesting observations ... 1. TWoT books have sold 80 million copies and is #8 all-time. I find it super hard to imagine how crafting the TV adaptation "for the fans" is anything but a good idea. What do you think made the story famous enough to become a project in the first place? Craft it to appeal to the fans that validated the whole story (literally, in spirit, whatever is needed), and the bulk of humanity with a brain will also come along as new fans just like when we first picked up the books and the story started to unfold. If you go too "least common denominator", you will lose the faithful while barely getting the attention of the unwashed masses' fickle and fleeting minds. Even if all you care about is sheer numbers of viewers, that number will shrink and not stick around if the fickle masses are what drives it. 2. A music analogy - classic rock bands and cover bands comes to mind for some reason. If you have ever gone to a concert purporting to be about music of a band you have loved, you expect to hear the most famous songs performed more or less the way the original band did them. Even for a band known for altering their live performances of their own songs a lot from night to night, there is still a core style and sound you expect to hear. That is why whenever a musician or singer replaces the original one, he/she has to sound like the original instrument or voice in terms of timber, range and the odd lilts they throw in. Otherwise it "isn't their songs" you hear. Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Steve Perry, Lou Graham, Tom Scholz, etc etc ... whenever you replace a familiar face or musician or whatever, it needs to remind you of the original reason why you are a fan of theirs. Same idea with books adapted to film or TV. They are like a cover band, but they at least TRY to imitate the original on purpose. If a singer for example ON PURPOSE and keeps throwing in stupid flourishes or vibrato in their singing of a famous well-known song, it just annoys the crap out of the fans who know "he/she doesn't have to do that, why are they doing that?". OTOH, cutting some fat in the song to make its performance length fit a shorter time length is done all the time esp on TV performances, but cutting vs actively changing the famous contents that made the songs famous in the first place, well at some point it isn't even that song any more. 3. I hope ... REALLY hope ... that the deviations from George R. R. Martin's words and style that D & D pulled in GoT taught Rafe and Company a valuable lesson. The more D & D "did their own thing" in the last couple of seasons (whether due to the books lagging although GRRM gave them direct notes and events on what would happen, or just they aren't good enough to reproduce the level of grit and smart dialogue and characters as GRRM would), the more damage they did to the point that the unthinkable a few years prior (that GoT could have anything tarnish its quality and believable fantasy world-building epic) actually happened. The utter stupidity of the final season utterly ruined the full-on reputation of the entire series, it was so bone-headed. It even affects one's desire to rewatch the series, knowing how damn awful the ending is. 4. The one thing the WoT series has to get right is that "All beats lead to the epic moments". There are certain passages, dialogue and events that just have to be done more or less according to the books verbatim, even if all the story woven in and surrounding those spots must be bent and molded "to fit" a little. Just do not mess up the big moments (Intro to The Shire, "You shall not pass", "To the king", "Forth Eorlingas", Mt. Doom, etc), or change them in unrecognizable ways in terms of which characters are involved, what they say and how they behave. One example in the LOTR movies where a change added some "ugh", was the whole Arwen enhancement - "Give up the halfling she-elf/Come and claim him" at the Ford of Isen ... were it not for the perfectly-done horses-in-the-waves effects, I would have been rolling my eyes in shame for longer but thankfully that mitigated it somewhat. The moral: Please don't invent story-lines that are embarassing in their naked deviation and need mitigation.
  5. I agree, but that is my point about leaving us to conjecture alone given the absolute dearth of info and content and leaks and spy reports for a property and project of this magnitude and literary fantasy fame. The info available (in any means) and the activity interactions with fans and fan sites is grossly out of whack with what normally should be happening by now. And it boggles me that we have to even say something like this. It's embarassing for Amazon (you'd think).
  6. A normal adaptation that is faithful tries to slightly bend the book narrative to accommodate certain extra-story goals they have, such as LOTR did like "include a deeper role for women (or in WOT, diversity) than Tolkien did" like Arwen "surgically axe superfluous characters out of necessity" like Tom Bombadil or Glorfindel "give the character a journey the books don't seem to give them but end up in the same place with them" like making Faramir at first different than he eventually becomes to give him on-screen growth rather than be just statically the same all through the movies "make it fit the budget" like - well LOTR didn't really skimp on anything for that reason - hell ,they even went on location for months filming an Edoras look-alike in the mountains for realism. The problem I see is that certain changes thus far seem to only fit the last category of budget constraints, since removing Camelyn is like removing Bree or Lothlorien or Edoras, changing the number of Forsaken is like having less than 9 Nazgul, amongst other things. Even the Nazgul in LOTR were the right number, and most of them other than the witch king himself had nothing to do at all in the story except be seen together a few times. So if you wanted to justify cutting some of them, that would be the story to justify it - but they didn't. Contrast that with Forsaken where every single one has a well-known name, behavior and such ... and supposedly we still might have some of them cut or combined. And by not having remotely the spy output, teasers officially sanctioned and released to fans, or the sheer volume of knowledge about what is being filmed and the tone, etc that LOTR had - we are only left to guess and the critical experiences we have seen before in other properties tends to bubble up. If Amazon wanted to, they could and would and should release more info to (in)directly counter all these theories and fears. But they don't and haven't. That in itself speaks volumes since generally if a property could avoid negative press they would. I know I would. So instead of merely bending the story road, they seem to be going about wholesale detours and building entirely new highways. Until they put out more meaty info, we just won't know (I mean c'mon, just look back to 1999-2000 at all the advanced buzz and info surrounding LOTR we all knew and saw happening. This WOT project is thus far about as mouse-quiet as I have ever seen for the kind of budget they are supposed to have on it.). Basically, there are 20-30 people posting on a handful of sites ... still. And it is being released ... this year?? There should be literally thousands of people viewing and posting eagerly, pouring over the most minute details released or spied on, given the book base and popularity of WOT in fantasy circles. Sorry, this is nothing like LOTR was, in any way.
  7. I wonder if they portray Rand as having consternation and introspection that we can't quite place the reasons for early in Season 1, and sometime later we have a flashback tidbit that shows Rand indeed did already meet Elaida and having her uttered that line to him, as a nod to fans and to show why Rand has (presumably) been acting like the weight of the world is on his shoulders ... because it is and he already knew or at least suspected something major was up about him. It likely wouldn't matter to do this after, say, Falme or even the EotW in whatever form they include it. At those points the goings on is self-explanatory enough. Plus the issue thst there has been no chance for him to have visited Camelyn at all to flashback to, so I assume not.
  8. I would be fine with that. They need to show progressions within the show medium, even if they have to change the time line of things. The show will place emphasis on visualizations in lieu of how the book uses in-head thoughts. Jordan is the king of in-head thought detail.
  9. Daniel has a great jawline and look to portray stone-faced and implacable quite a bit more than that shot. Esp. if it was a goal of theirs to specifically show that aspect. Another poor choice (thus far) for me is that he is clean-shaven which makes the stony-faced bad-ares look harder to pull off. If they let him grow his whiskers for the rough-and-rumble rugged appearance a bit, and let his hair down then we'll talk.
  10. I still think they avoid Camelyn in S1 which also conveniently avoids having to include Elaida whispering to Rand. It's all about Rand after that line, and they don't want the TV series to go there so quickly imo. So even Logain's actual role and importance can by more of a mystery for longer. They may even let us think he is THE dragon for a while. (well, let's face it, anyone remotely paying attention to book chapter 1 would already know Rand is the center of the story, but for TV marketing and all the Morraine advertising, I can see how they woudl want to carry on the misddirection for a while longer in the seasonal arc.)
  11. WoT is as complex a story as any fantasy series ever. Even LOTR doesn't come close to the number of named characters (that actually play parts in the story and not just as historical/legendary reference material). There is so much going on, and so much written descriptive detail, smoothing of dresses, braid tugging, and in-head exposition about what people are thinking not so much doing, that inevitably leads to the on-screen adaptation having to choose which scenes to keep/cut/change. My comparison, thinking back to the LOTR when it was being made, and the rumor mill that "OMG! Tom Bombadil might be cut!" or "OMG! The hobbits may be getting their swords handed to them by Aragorn instead of via the barrow wights!" or "OMG! Faramir didn't waver like that!" ... to think those were all considered major departures. That was chicken feed compared to what WoT has to deal with. The general consensus is that WoT will have to take drastic steps compared to those examples, like major characters entirely cut or combined, whole cities omitted or moved to very different points in the storyline. The introduction of entire families delayed for continuity or perhaps actor contract realisms. Entire relationships abandoned that will cascade into other plot devices needing adjustments. Point being: there is just no way S1 == Book1, S2 == Book2, S3 == Book3, ... I really, really wish this were possible. But as Elder and others have said, even the Green Man and the EotW ending is likely to be very different than written. We may not even see A and B Forsaken in that sequence. A and B may not even exist *as* Forsaken in the adaptation at all. We may not even have 13 Forsaken (I still say that is about as weird as not having 9 Nazgul, whether they have much to do in the story or not)! It is hard to find a comparable level of necessary cutting and changing in other complex series as in this one.
  12. I won't bother quoting all the good stuff above, suffice it to say that Thrasymachus sums up my thinking well. Right now, I get the vibe that Lan is being played more as a monk along the lines of the monk-like character that Donnie Yen played in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, than as the style of hard-nosed, stalwart (and yes elegant blade dancer when needed) of the books I am familiar with. And yes, it is only "so far", but there it is. 1. Asian descent for Lan (and Bordelanders/Malkieri) is fine. I only pay attention to casting for race/cultural portrayal of homogeneity/diversity when it is an integral part of the story being told - like an isolated town should not look very diverse unless there is an in-story explanation for why they do (Hobbiton was all hobbits, right?). Or arguably more importantly (for a TV series adaptation), that later plot points are not then nullified or made nonsensical because they chose not to establish this early on. So if it never comes up, it won't matter much as long as there is internal cohesion to their adaptation. 2. Daniel's height, athletic build/size and acting abilities are not in question at all. Same for any of the other cast I've seen. But I need to see him behaving like the Lan I read about to see the fit, and they haven't done that ... yet. 3. Witcher references were just to illustrate the "I am a rock, try to move me from where I stand Trolloc/Myrhdraal" effect I was hoping to see when they showed Lan. I particularly worry about how big Trollocs are shown as, or strong/unnaturally unmovable Myrhdraal are show as, unless Lan as a character can stand his ground against them and push them back, not gyrate around to simply avoid them. They didn't do that (quite the opposite - he is 'gyrating' a bit too much for me, but it remains to be seen if they simply did their usual too-short intro, were actually trying to disguise this in some way, or just didn't think it a big enough deal atm to show it). Like in the movie "300", the best warriors are a combination of both stalwartness and graceful combat dancing; just because you are strong enough to literally shield-bash a huge creature or knock them backwards doesn't mean you always do it, but you should certainly make it clear that you could do it when needed. I have not seen that "could" part yet. 4. In my experience, when the promotional marketing dept knows a-priori about certain fan concerns (i.e. "Is Daniel Lan-like enough?"), forum digs and perception of changes from beloved characterizations coming from their fan base (as they must know about the whole Daniel/Lan thing), the FIRST thing they do is allay those suspicions and at least nail some part of the affirmation needed to stop it in it tracks esp when they introduce the actor playing in-character. They did not do that, which again in my experience usually means they won't do it because he is indeed going to be played the way it hinted at. I would never initially introduce Daniel as Lan without applying the the "stony face, all angles"-style portrayal in some manner, even in a few seconds clip. That coming through loud and clear is the single easiest way to shut comments like mine down. Or make the clip long enough to show it, not say "oh it was only 2 seconds" - yeahs THEY made it 2 seconds, they didn't have to. Low-hanging fruit not grabbed almost always means they purposely didn't grab it, not that they didn't notice it hanging there. The marketing dept has their reasons for why they chose to show what they did, and atm none of the possible explanations spinning in my head are good ones.
  13. from WoT Fandom: Lan is often described as having a face of stone and chilling blue eyes. He is very tall with shoulder-length hair graying at the temples, held back by a leather headband called a hadori. He wears the color-shifting Warder cloak, and uses a sword as a weapon. His skill with a sword is such that he is capable of besting two Myrddraal at once. from encyclopedia-wot.org: He is very tall with shoulder length hair held by a leather headband or hadori (NS,Ch1). He is tall with long hair, gray at the temples, held back from his face by a narrow leather band. His face is made from stony planes and angles, weathered but unlined despite the gray in his hair. (TEotW,Ch2) He has blue eyes and is very tall. His long hair is grayer than it used to be. (ACoS,Ch12) from Google search of book-Lan illustrations made for official book cover s and fan depictions: Even Mads or the guy from Vikings are reasonably evocative of all we are told by Jordan himself about Lan's appearance and demeanor and presence. And then there is this, which for me sticks out like a sore thumb: It's like swapping in Faramir for Boromir. Or thinking Stuart Townsend was a better Aragorn than Vigo (they needed a rougher, more mature, more physically present Aragorn and the rest is movie history). Are they going to also retcon leather/svelte build/stealthy fighting for plate wearing/brute presence/stronger than 2 Myhrdraal from the books? I am not suggesting Daniel isn't an awesome actor, just that I'm not sold on him being LAN. Maybe he'll surprise me, but at this point it will be a surprise. They could start by releasing a clip of Lan in action in any capacity, that doesn't seem designed specifically to hide what he looks and flows and leads to posts ... like mine.
  14. Daniel's acting abilities I am confident are fine, and being asian and athletic can tie into the Borderlanders region he hails from. All that I can buy, even though that may not have been my choice when I read the series. What I don't buy, at least not from what I've seen and heard, and esp. after this "teaser" is that he can actually carry Lan as the type of physical force character he is. Picture a body build more like Henry Cavaziel (put long DARK hair on The Witcher character, for example). That is how big and present Lan is supposed to be. Where is the long hair tied back with the Hadori? He can have a top-knot to hold his hair up and back at times, but it still should be long hair. My first impression: they made it 2 seconds long to hide that the above is missing. His body style reminds me more of a slender Samurai in a loose kimono-style robe than a husky, beefy, effortlessly armored, gravely-voiced al'Lan Mandragoran.
  15. I never really liked the somewhat ambiguous explanations like "well he was sort of trapped but not quite at the surface". I prefer to rationalize Ishmael's situation as: He escaped being trapped in body, but his connection to the DO's power source are severely constricted via the sealing if not shut down almost entirely. Hence he has to figure out how to "unknot" or otherwise work around them over the 3000 years he is restricted. much like being severed. That also explains (to me) why he needs Rand to take the Eye himself first, since he will then attempt to steal it from him as it is not restricted in the same way. And maybe with that boost he thinks he can finally unrestrict his normal DO powerset.
  • Create New...