I heard a few days ago that Wheel of Time was being made into a TV series, and came to the Dragonmount site for more info. A TV series would be a good approach. I approached the website hopefully. I’m disgusted but not particularly surprised by the handful of comments I read there. Thank you to those of you who understand and appreciate this incredible story and who have also expressed concern.
To the filmmaker, do I have this straight? You want to take the name of Wheel of Time and apply it to a completely different story to fit a formula and make it more like G of T. Hello??? Have you read the books? What’s the point of that? You could do something innovative and creative with this incredible story rather than to force-fit it to some formula.
It sounds like you’re pandering to the commercial peddling of sex and violence, People bring up comparisons with G of T. Having read G of T, the sex and violence is written into that story so the TV series is apparently true to its story. How warped are you if you want to ignore the W of T story and rewrite it to pander to sex and emphasize violence? Sensuality is far more alluring than sex or nudity and has a reasonable presence in W of T, although it seems to have fallen out of favor in modern filmmaking. W of T has it’s own share of violence as part of the story but it’s not there for the sake of ratings. The TV version of the Shannara series, which didn’t last long, had a ton of sex and gratuitous violence added, such that it no longer reflected its original story. If you want to do a TV show with lots of sex, then choose a book where that’s part of the story. Maybe you should be dealing with Laura Hamilton’s books instead of Robert Jordan’s. Too bad shows like Star Trek, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter didn’t have much sex in them—of course you’ve probably never heard of any of those…while undoubtedly you’ve all seen the Shannara shows and have the memorabilia.
There’s commentary that W of T lacks diversity in terms of ethnicity and sexual orientation. Hello??? Again, have you read the books? Have you listened to Robert Jordan’s commentary?
Robert Jordan pulled from diverse cultures and ethnicities. Recall that Rand’s ethnicity set him apart in Two Rivers. Light eyes and red hair were rare, at least at the beginning. People who traveled more widely took him for an Aiel. As the story progresses, the Two Rivers community opens its arms to refuges of assorted ethnicities and cultures, who become part of that community and bring change. Look at the descriptions of the various peoples of the various countries—there’s incredible ethnic diversity within the continent and even more outside of it. One could easily fit various ethnicities to the various W of T countries and peoples, rather than claiming the people in the story aren’t diverse enough. You see that diversity more and more as the little group from Two Rivers travels farther from home. You don’t have to rewrite the story to be inclusive if you just apply some creativity and/or patience.
Diverse sexuality didn’t seem to be a big deal in the books so why, per some of the postings, force the issue? Isn’t a world with acceptance a better place? Same-sex partners or preferences are mentioned by Aes Sedai, Aiel, and Ashaman as well as smattering of others, including the Seafolk, Tear and other places. Robert Jordan doesn’t hammer you over the head with sex or orientation yet diverse sexuality seems to be accepted and respected. So why rewrite the story to beat people over the head with something that’s not a highlight or an issue in the story? In contrast, the relations between men and women and various couples is certainly an important, ongoing and very fun theme, based on attitudes and misunderstandings, not on sexual titillation for the viewer. Will that be given the focus it’s due? What’s wrong or unrealistic with a story being PG? Adding a bunch of diverse sexuality certainly didn’t work for the ‘Shannara’. Please recall also that diverse gender roles exist in W of T, with the most unusual example being Far Madding.
As for increasing the amount of nudity per some posts, Hello??? There’s the baths of the Shienaren, the sweat tents of the Aiel and the ships of the Seafolk, to name a few. There’s the debauchery of festivals in a couple of countries. Oh, and don’t forget the streith garments of the female Forsaken and the sheer clothing of the damane. So why change the story to add more nudity?
Regarding violence, someone actually commented that not enough of the main characters died. Hello??? Did you read the book that contained the Last Battle? Whole lists of familiar characters die. The story contains violence and death enough. How sickening that there are people out there who actually think more needs to be added. It’d sad that the lenses for today’s movies can’t see that the violence is sickening enough without portraying it as graphically and messily as possible, which seemed to be the case for the graphic extra violence added to the Shannara.
Robert Jordan, aided in the end by Brandon Sanderson, has told an incredibly rich story to us. It sounds like some want to take the popularity the story inspired and use that to make money, rather than to tell the story. With G of T, sex and violence worked well because THAT’S WHAT THE BOOKS CONTAINED. Not so with Shannara, not so with Wheel of Time. Why destroy the story line and the core of the main characters when staying more true to the story might actually be the innovative, bold and artistically amazing choice? How about relying on plot rather than titillation? Why not use the story that’s there, rather than trying to make it into G of T, which thankfully, it is not? What’s the point of making a TV series of W of T if you’re actually telling a radically different story? I’m not surprised that someone might do that, but I’m surprised that anyone who is invested enough in these stories to take the time to read the books and understand the characters, much less visit the website, would find that appealing. If you substantially change the basic story of W of T, what’s the point? It’s one thing to adjust the story so it works in a visual telling but that’s not what I perceive from the posts I read. It sounds like they want to make it into something like G of T.
Just wanted to share these concerns. I hope that my impression about the direction the TV show is taking is wrong. Thank you for this opportunity to speak. Happy to be educated if some of these concerns have already been addressed--there are hundreds of postings and I admittedly have only read a handful.