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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Borderlander

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  1. I know you're asking someone else, but I thought I'd jump in. The more I think about it, the less options I see for the showrunners as to how to depict the One Power, and the more I think they probably chose the best option, after all. (Even though I have been fairly critical of the actual spidery white threads in other posts. I admit, though, I'm kinda comin' around.) Let's break it down! Start with Option A, which is keeping non-channelers blind to the One Power, as per the books. A) If they stay true to the books and only have channelers able to see the One Power, then you have two subsequent choices: a1) Have the TV audience unable to see the weaves, as well, and do it like the Force, entirely invisible except when we enter Channeler-Mode. But how would that work realistically, logistically, and visually? The camera swings behind the channeler's shoulder like a First-Person video game, and suddenly there are CGI weaves every which way? Could get pretty clunky, especially if you had to do it several times. And it puts the onus on the casual viewer to then keep track of which on-screen characters can see the weaves and which cannot. No doubt there are creative ways it could be approached to add some variety to the camera-trickery, but it would require 7 seasons worth of cinematographic gymnastics. It's certainly not a terrible option, but it requires a lot of planning and deft execution (make me think of all the mind-boggling work LOTR did to make the hobbits look small) and a lot of trust placed in the viewers to keep track of it all. a2) Allow the TV audience to see all the weaves, but maintain an in-show, true-to-the-book environment where non-channelers can't see them. In which case we (and that 'we' will include millions of woolheaded non-book-readers) will be watching CGI-weaves shooting all over the place, but having to constantly remind ourselves that some of the characters onscreen can see them and some can't, or that maybe some can but are just pretending they can't... That starts to get pretty unwieldy pretty quickly, and might get a bit gimmicky, like watching an actor pretend they can't see a ghost in a show that the audience can see. Or, there is Option B, which is to just let everyone see the One Power. How would that work? b1) Everyone can see the One Power. Rewrite some book scenes to make it work. Not my favorite, as a book purist, but it might be the least-bad option around. Yes, it is a huge change... <sigh> I think it's one I can get over, though, especially when I go back and think about the other two options. I'll leave it there.
  2. It is an Inescapable Law of the Universe, written in the very stars: Quality of Show = (How much new material the Writers decide to invent or inject into the story) / (The writing skill of the Writers involved.) In this case (and this is my biggest worry) they are rewriting or reinventing what seems like 20% to 40% of Book 1. And the Writer's Room, as #TheMoutain mentioned, is a ragtag team of mercenary paratroopers assembling Avengers-style to bang out Season 1 of the Wheel of Time... except they're not the Avengers. They're a half-dozen fairly young TV writers whom 99% of people have never heard of. That doesn't mean they're unskilled, unprepared, or not up to the task, it just means they have to Earn it. Obviously, when I say 20% to 40% is being retooled, that is a vague guess; could be more, could be less. I just hope they don't bite off more than they can chew. (Maybe I should send Rafe that formula?) To me, it's like stripping away 30% of the Sistine chapel, then hiring a half-dozen different artists to come in and fill in the gaps. I'm not saying they can't or won't do a good job—sometimes younger writers are hungrier for the opportunity to show their stuff—it just makes me a bit nervous. Good writing does not grow on trees—sometimes it takes years to get right. (cough-GOT season8-cough)
  3. Plans = ~Get surround sound before Nov. 19 ~Turn off phone. Disable doorbell. ~Watch without my wife so I don't have to pause and explain anything 🙂 ~Have a chunk of bread, a chunk of cheese, a chunk of meat, and a glass of beer, and get all medieval with it! ~Repeat
  4. I really hope Perrin doesn't kill his wife. Even by accident, that is just too heavy a note to start the show on. Realistically, that would drive any man insane/depressed for years and years. Either watching Perrin would become a huge bummer every time he is onscreen, or, if he 'gets over it' too quickly, it will make him seem inhuman. And if they just write it so that the tragedy 'fuels' his anger at the Dark One... seems like a cheap way out for a writing team. Would also make it feel kind of gross when he eventually hooks with Faile, since that can't be more than a season or two away. I'm not sure where this theory even started. My gut says it is extremely unlikely. Having the trollocs or the fade kill her, I can live with that. Do we even know for sure it is his wife? Could it be a sister? Or a portal stone wife?
  5. ~Julian Sandar makes a mid-life career change and becomes a thief-taker. (Actually, no, that's a little too crazy.) ~Birgitte meets Galad. He smiles. Her heart starts thumping. She looks backs at Gaidal Cain, frowns, and thinks to herself What on earth was I thinking...? Ugly men—?! ~Instead of an old, white-mustached bard playing the harp in a multi-colored cloak, Thom is a 50-something hunk of hot man-meat rocking a guitar in a dusty, gritty travelling cloak. (Sorry, couldn't resist!) ~When Rand, Mat, and Perrin learn about the 'dress-code' in the Aiel sweat tents, they never leave the desert. Ever. ~When the Creator says I WILL NOT INTERFERE, Rand asks, "Why not?" The Creator pauses, thinks it over, and says, "THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. MAYBE I COULD INTERFERE JUST THIS ONCE." And the series ends in one book, happily ever after, without tens of thousands of innocent people being killed.
  6. Honestly, how expensive could this really be to pull off?
  7. However they have Lews speaking internally to Rand (voice, visions, Old Tongue, whatever), it's just so great to think how first-time viewers will struggle to figure out who the real Dragon... (unless they just, ya know, google it in 4 seconds.) What with Rand hearing voices, Perrin's eyes turning yellow and talking to wolves, and Mat falling under the grip of the knife... so asymmetric, but so balanced in its own way... When you read the books, it is pretty obvious Rand is the DR from, what, like chapter 3? Which always made Perrin and Mat's newfound abilities feel to me like elaborate B-plots. Big, epic, plot-pivotal, kingdom-spanning arcs, but B-plots all the same. But if the show subtly signals to clever viewers that Logain may not actually be the Dragon (even if they—the show-makers and the Aes Sedai both—ostensibly hype him up as the main villain for all or part of Season 1) then first-time viewers are going to be puzzling out whether the real DR is schizophrenic Rand, yellow-eyed Perrin, or curse-infected Mat... Just a beautiful opportunity to play with viewers' minds and expectations.
  8. I think we will see some version of the Green Man for a few reasons: 1) The Tinkers are in the show, and I don't think they will just use them as 'stereotypical gypsies' who just drift around in colored wagons. Once they start talking about The Way of the Leaf, it is only about 10 additional seconds of dialogue to get to the Tinkers' search for the Song. Searching for the Song is the primary reason they roam around, after all! And you can't start talking about some mystical, long-lost Song in Season 1 unless you are going to pay it off in a satisfying way at the end of the series. 2) They could have cut Loial and said it was too expensive to have a big, CGI-heavy (?) travelling companion lumbering around with Rand & Co. No one (except the millions of book fans) would ever know anything was missing! They could have glossed over the Stedding and the Ogier altogether... Heck, in some ways, they did (the design of the Waygate, for example, doesn't exactly scream Unparalleled Ogier Craftsmanship.) But we are getting Ogier, and with Ogier come Steddings, and Steddings obviously tie into the endgame with the Tinker's Song. So we have Tinkers (and their Song) and Ogier (and their Steddings)... but does that automatically mean we are getting the Green Man? Yes! Yes, it does! Here's why... You can't have Tinkers without their Song. And you can't have Ogier without their Stedding. And you can't have a climactic, epic, AmazonBezosBillionDollarRocketMoney payoff in the end without tying the Song and the Ogier together, somehow... and that tying-together is going to be incredibly half-baked without a scene (AoL Flashback????) of the Nym and the Tuatha'an and the Ogier all holding hands singing Kumbaya. And THAT sort of scene (be it flashback or flash-forward at the end of the show) is going to be pretty confusing and underwhelming if we have never seen a Nym before. Which is why they will undoubtedly (yep, you heard it here first!) include a brief scene with Someshta in Season 1. Even if it takes a big bite out of the budget, they will never have to show him again. It will set up the ultimate payoff in the last season like few other early elements can, and if they ever want to show more Nym (again, in an AoL flashback?) they can wait several years until they are ready to spend that GoT-Dragon-style money.
  9. I think this is a great call for a couple reasons: 1) The teaser shows Healing, Stopping Arrows in Mid-Air, and Calling Down Lightning, and, on the male side, Busting Out Of A Cage (am I missing anything?) and they all use the same generic-looking CGI for the One Power. No real differentiation whatsoever between what 'elements' are being used. Seems a little suspect. Very possible this is just a simplistic visual representation for the TV viewer... though what the other non-channeling characters 'see' remains to be seen. (I mean, they're not supposed to see anything, right? Let alone a bunch of silky strands of white magic floating through the air.) Possible Counterpoint: The producers just decided all the in-depth stuff about 'weaving' is too much for normal viewers to make sense of, so they abandoned the five elements and the idea that separate 'thread's would be 'woven' together like a tapestry altogether. Some people have also suggested this might be the case so that casual viewers don't assume only the Red Ajah channels fire and the Blue Ajah channels water, etc. If that is the case.... 😒 2) At some point, Rafe said the design team did an awesome job on what channeling looks like. (I forget what interview this was, but I definitely remember him saying they worked at it, came up with a great style/concept, and he was excited to share it.) What we saw in this teaser—generic air-bending that looks like the home screen on my Playstation—hardly seems like an artistic accomplishment worthy of that sort of hype/praise. Possible Counterpoint: Rafe says everybody is doing an amazing job, because he's a nice guy. All that said... I sort of hate to admit it, but maybe this is what channeling looks like—and maybe it's supposed to! SinisterDeath posted a snippet from Robert Jordan in another forum that basically describes channeling almost exactly like what we saw in the teaser. No colors. No tapestry-like patterns. So... Maybe, just maybe, when Moiraine is teaching Egwene for the first time, or in other rare instances where the channeler is really focusing, the camera can 'zoom in' or go into 'channeler mode' and we can see them like almost at an atomic level 'weaving' fire and air and water and so forth into complex threads and patterns, but that would be CGI-heavy and probably not practical to do for more than a few shots. And then when they 'zoom out' again, it's just the nebulous silvery magic again.
  10. Total guess—1 episode a week; no extra episodes on the first week.
  11. I hope the writer's tackle it head on: Have Tylin use her authority to coerce Mat. Have her flash the knives and nod to the armed guards. And, have Mat complain about it... but also have him occasionally crack a dry joke and play along with the role even though he would prefer to escape, just like it was in the books. When I first read it, I was about Mat's age, and my honest line of thought was That doesn't seem so bad. He gets to stay in the palace, and he's getting some action, but something's not quite right... And it was a challenge to think through, and that challenge was valuable. Probably millions of young male readers over the years thought the exact same thing I did... so to write it off (for the TV show) as either 100% evil rape or sidestep the controversy altogether by rewriting it as a consensual seduction, for me that would be a missed opportunity to explore a really murky but worthwhile moral conundrum. If you play up the use of force and/or authority and make Mat a 100% completely and consistently unwilling victim, we can all watch that, call it what it is (100% evil rape) and move on, tidily affirmed of our own unswerving moral compass. That's the easy way out. Make Tylin seduce him, no threat of force involved, and it's just another steamy, sordid sex affair. We've all seen that a million times. You could basically get up and go refill your drink during those scenes. Which is why I hope they play it just like in the books, because life is full of complex, weird, horrifying, uncertain and unsettling ethical gray areas, and we learn a lot more about ourselves, those around us, and our own values when we have to wade through those sticky philosophical swamps without a nice, neat path to the other side and a group of like-minded sycophants to hold our hand the whole way. And then exercise some creative restraint and don't tell the audience what we ought to think about the whole messy affair. No trigger warnings before the episode. No after-show apologies for presenting something unpleasant. I mean, heck, if their really going to have nudity and bloody gore, then everyone watching ought to be an adult—we can handle some intellectual challenges and psychological turmoil. Stick to what Jordan wrote, in all its disconcerting complexity, and let the viewer suss out what we think. However, my guess would be, after the blowback from Ramsey Bolton raping Sansa, they'll take the easy way out. (Not sure where the same outrage mob was when Ramsey sliced off Theon's little Greyjoy, but that's another story I suppose.)
  12. I respectfully disagree. No one put a gun to D&D 's heads and forced them to make a GOT show; in fact, they went out of their way to pitch it to HBO and GRRM knowing full-well the written series was years away from being finished, and that GRRM has/had a history of years-long intervals between book releases. Possibly GRRM told them he would do his best to finish writing the series in a timely manner, but I have never heard reports of any such conversation. And assurances, even well-intentioned assurances, are not iron-clad guarantees; you would not start building a house with only a handshake agreement from your roofing supplier that he thought he could 'maybe, probably, hopefully' get the roofing materials to you before the rainy season started. If you agree to that, the fault is all your own when it starts to rain and your house isn't finished. Nor, in this example (or in the actual case of GRRM) would I hold the roofer at fault if he did not deliver on time: he may have tried to, he may have wanted to, he may have busted his butt to make good on his word, but was simply unable to meet your deadline (for any number of reasons that may be no fault of his own.) In such a case, the roofer would only be 'to blame' if there was a written contract he violated. (And yes, in many cases a verbal contract is binding, but a seasoned roofer will rarely if ever give a potentially binding verbal agreement in such a case, nor have we heard any report that GRRM gave a firm verbal commitment to D&D that the book series would definitely be done by the time they needed it.) (If I am wrong about that, please let me know.) Unless GRRM signed (or verbally agreed to) a contract explicitly promising to finish his novels by the time D&D needed them, GRRM is not to blame. However, you can still screw someone over even if there is not a contract in place: if I promise to pick you up from the airport and I don't show up on time, I have screwed you over. But again, there is no record (of which I am aware) that GRRM promised D&D a finished series by a certain deadline. I'll take it one step further: no one is to blame. Because no one got screwed over. D&D got a contract to make a show; they made it. GRRM agreed to the terms. HBO agreed to the terms. D&D agreed to the terms. They made the show. Done deal. The only 'problem' is that a bunch of fans (myself included, vehemently so) didn't like the last few seasons. Which is, obviously, just a matter of opinion. We are not owed the show we wished to have gotten; we pay HBO in exchange for access to content they create; they created content and gave us access to it. Few instances of modern culture have seemed so ridiculous to me as fans signing a petition demanding HBO remake Season 8 to suit their preferences. Certainly the fans had every right to create a petition, sign it, and deliver it; HBO, likewise, had every right (and in my opinion was right to) tell them where they could stuff that petition. True, they could have given in to the mob's demands (as so many do) in order to pacify public relations concerns and keep their paying subscribers happy, but they certainly were under no legal obligation to do so. If we, as fans, don't like their product, their attitude, or anything else, we can stop giving them our money. That said, if Rafe botches WOT, I would appreciate all your signatures on a petition to put me in charge of the reboot; I promise* I my version of the show will make everyone on both sides of every issue happy. 😉 (* Promises here given are not legally binding.)
  13. @Thrasymachus Well said! Thanks for taking the time to write all that; very thoughtfully, fairly, and respectfully expressed.
  14. Definitely looking forward to everything @Woldbrother31 mentioned. What I would add are some smaller moments/character flourishes, that might only be a second or two on screen but will probably give me shivers. (I haven't read EOTW in about 8 years, so I am going off pure memory here.) - Thom's cloak (I was hoping for the full-on rainbow-patchwork gleeman's cloak, but I'll take what I can get. The gleeman showing up in Emond's Field was what first lit my imagination on fire when I was 16 yrs. old reading EOTW for the first time.) - The first time we see a Myrddrral's face. And the first time we see that Myrddrral on its black horse on the road, its cloak hanging like a dead weight as the autumn wind whips around it, staring at Rand from a distance. SHIVERS! - Rand meeting Loial (maybe with a game of stones sitting on a side table.) - The first time Lan notices the heron-mark on Rand's sword. Whether Lan says anything or not, or just raises an eyebrow, we'll know what it means. - Egwene using the One Power for the first time (was it to start a campfire, or make Moiraine's blue stone glow? I can't remember; either way, it was so small of an act, but with such huge ramifications...) - Hearing Lan call Rand 'sheepherder' - Any inside jokes between Rand, Mat, and Perrin about (not) understanding women/girls. - Our first glimpse of Tar Valon. Whether we get extended scenes of the city or not in S1, I would be shocked if we did not, at the very least, get a long, lingering view of the White Tower, possibly from a distance. - Logain in a cage. (If he makes eye-contact with Rand from behind the bars of his cage, through a boisterous crowd, and they have a sort of I-see-you moment, I may have a stroke.) - The music. Whatever the theme song ends up being, I can almost guarantee it will become a song that plays on repeat in my head for the rest of my life, the same way I find myself humming the Harry Potter or GOT themes. It's like knowing you're about to make a new best friend, but you haven't met them yet and have no idea who they are going to be. - Narg. Well, the list could go on and on, but I'll end it there and leave some room for more people to add on. Hopefully, within the next two-ish weeks we'll have our trailer, and all will be right with the world!
  15. I don't want any merch. Years ago I got a single-sided Ter'angreal dream ring, like Egwene acquires, and ever since then my dreams have been absolutely bonkers. (Kidding!) But one small item from each show/series is enough for me. (My entire 'collection' includes an LOTR leaf-brooch like the ones Galadriel gave Frodo and the crew to fasten their cloaks, and a small painting that is in Indiana Jones's father's study of a knight walking across a chasm in pursuit of the Holy Grail.) As the show progresses, though, who knows what might become 'must-have'? A Horn of Valere on the wall might look pretty cool... What I do want is an extended-edition behind-the-scenes 'Making Of WOT.' Not sure if that would be on DVD or blue-ray at this point or what, but I gots to have it. I think Rafe confirmed they are filming a lot of extra footage that could be used for that sort of thing, but whether the end result will be anything like on par with the LOTR extended-editions remains to be seen and probably depends somewhat on the success of the show. In fact, even I end up not entirely smitten with the show itself for any reason, I would still pay for the behind-the-scenes stuff to get an inside look at the why and how of it all. Watching the stuff for LOTR about the props and costumes and set-builds and WETA was almost as fun for me as watching the movies. Very few shows/movies merit that kind of in-depth look; I think WOT could be one of them. (Edit: for sure I would buy an Asha'man lapel pin! I tried to find one online like ten years ago and couldn't find anything good, which is why I settled on the dream ring.)
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