Wheel of Time lands with Sony

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#61
It's cringy as fuck.

There's a reason why New Spring isn't the opening novel and it feels like they're taking a New Spring approach to the first book. I don't know whether it's the identity politics crap that guides them or if they're just plain stupid, but there's a reason why the LOTR movies started from The Shire from Bilbo's and Frodo's POV and it wasn't because their story was more perilous than Gandalf's.

Discovery, wonder, adventure, mystery be damned. We'll enjoy Moraine giving away 110% of the first book's premise in the first 10 seconds of the series.

I thought that placeholder pilot from Red Eagle was a disgrace, but at least they've had the decency to follow the freaking story.

No one cares about art and good stories anymore, it's all money, politics and patting themselves on the shoulders for being woke. If they make Egwene the Mary Sue strong female character lead( basically what she was in the books, but having a more central role from the get go) I'm officially done with this train-wreck.

Amazon have also chosen not to film the new LOTR TV-series in New Zealand after The Hobbit law controversies. So they've already proven that they'll put their mouths where their money are, regardless of the crazy budget the new LOTR series has in its disposal. It's a disgrace after disgrace from those Amazon folks - butchering WoT's tone and story structure, getting out of New Zealand to avoid paying the NZ actors their due... Why are they buying fantasy properties in the first place if they'll just go and re-model them into a completely different thing afterwards is beyond me.

If they're fast enough, they might be able to settle in Belfast now that GoT's shootings have finished, they won't even need to cut the grass on the sets, their chairs would be pre-warmed by D&D, it all fits. :D
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#62
I think you guys are really jumping the gun on this. We haven't seen an episode yet. I think the Showrunner Rafe is a big WOT fan and let's see what happens before we start crucifying him.

Also, this is a 14 book series. Do even 1% of TV shows last that long? Unless they are a massive success I highly doubt they can plan long term for a 14 year series. They are going to have to strip some things down and condense some things. That means some plots will get accelerated. It will probably make some people mad. And tweaking some characters may do that as well. But I'm curious and open minded about where this is going. Just happy the project is getting off the ground.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#63
I don't quite understand the argument against Egwene being a Mary Sue. All of the characters are Mary Sues from the town. I know Rand, Perrin and Matt are t'averen but aren't all of them basically that way? The entire series is that the "Wheel Wills It". It allows for the characters to become heroes. It's old school.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#64
I don't quite understand the argument against Egwene being a Mary Sue. All of the characters are Mary Sues from the town. I know Rand, Perrin and Matt are t'averen but aren't all of them basically that way? The entire series is that the "Wheel Wills It". It allows for the characters to become heroes. It's old school.
I don't know about that... for me at least there's a noticeable difference between the story lines of say Rand, Mat, Perrin , Nynaeve vs the story arcs of Egwene and Elayne. The latter two are always like "I'm prepared, it's fine, I am in control, everything's going to be fine, folks, Egwene/Elayne is here, the world cannot end on my watch, like never ever". While for the rest of the characters it's always been like "We're in deep sh*t, but let's see what we can do about it and hopefully I'd be able to pull off a miracle or three right about now". I.e. its their expectations towards the world + the way they lead, which is by delegating responsibilities and taking risks, which they are open about at least in their inner dialogue, while for Egwene/Elayne it's always a mtter of the world finally stopping being so silly and bending to their superior logic about things.

As for the show - I really cannot remember the last time when we've had major news and I didn't say to myself "The woke-ness is strong with these ones.

My point is simple, actually. There's a reason why WoT was for a very long time the best selling fantasy series out there. The same reason GoT and The Name of the Wind are up there in the top 3 with WoT. They all three are very strong stories, starting, continuing and developing in just the right way to keep reading interested. For every WoT/GoT/TNotW there are several hundred series that either don't hit the right combination of tropes from the get-go, or fail to maintain quality long-term, or fail to impress the fans in a significant enough way. I.e. well-written stuff, but not epicly written stuff. When you are handed an epicly written book or series or work( especially one that's top 3 in its genre for the last 20 years) you don't change the story. No excuses, no reasons, no nothing. The story is bigger than you, you tell the story or get the fuck out.

D&D had such a major success with GoT because they knew from the get go that the story was vastly bigger than them, vastly bigger than their talent, ideas, desires, politics, kinks, quirks, fetishes and so forth. They've put the story before their egos and they've managed to reap the fruits of said dedication. Why? Because of the magic word "split-testing". I make my bread and butter with split-testing different marketing ideas. I don't assume that I know best, I let my potential customers to tell me what they like from the things I've made, and I run with what has provenly worked with said crowd. I don't change it, I don't love it, I don't hate it. My job is to test things out and to trust my data.

The data says: WoT, GoT and TNotW are the top 3 stories, they're already told in a certain way, with a certain tone, they've been tested both by time and fire, and have proven to capture people's imagination time and time again.

Any deviation from the story for the sake of politics, someone's ego or desire to do "better" is at the same time wrong, stupid and deserving of nothing more than contempt.

Until I'm proven wrong I'd just assume that they'll mess the thing big time. I've seen incompetent people ruin a good work by thinking that they know better than the person who've made up the strategy( i.e. my marketing clients when they start changing things out without asking me). You can ignore the data, you can ignore the truth it tells, but you'll always pay for it.

The golden rule in life is: Don't change what works.

Someone has already done the hard part, is it so difficult for people not to mess it up?

EDIT: I'm not saying that WoT is perfect or that cosmetic changes or prooning of the sotry aren't a good idea, but when you have a winning blueprint you don't deviate from it. GoT was mostly solid for as long as the books on which it was based on were solid. Once D&D ran out of good and well-paced already written material( everything past book 2.5), the show started to go downhill. Once they've completely ran out of written material( everything past book 5) the show has turned into a cheesy video game type of story full with stunts and empty epic gestures. A TV show based on a book is only as good as the people who make it are in distilling the written story into a watchable one.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#65

The titles of the first 5 episodes are already known.

Episode 1: Leavetakings
Episode 2: Shadows Waiting.
Episode 3: A Place of Safety
Episode 4: The Dragon Reborn

Episode 5 or 6: The Flame of Tar Valon

My guess is that if the last title is for episode 5, then episode 3 would probably be the whole group going to Caemlyn together and the 4th one would be them fighting at the Blight.

I don't know. I'd have done first episode leavetakings, 2nd one Baerlon, 3rd Shadows Waiting, 4th one A Place of Safety where everyone has their own mini adventure, 5th one would be Caemlyn + Whitecloaks, 6th one the ways, 7th one The Dragon Reborn..Unless they're cutting a 3rd of the 1st book, it doesn't make that big of a sense.
 
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Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#67
When you are handed an epicly written book or series or work( especially one that's top 3 in its genre for the last 20 years) you don't change the story. No excuses, no reasons, no nothing. The story is bigger than you, you tell the story or get the fuck out.
Except they did change the story in a few ways for GoT, and for Harry Potter too, and the LotR movies, and those were gigantic successes.

Books and TV/Movies are different mediums. The scale of story you can successfully tell in the latter is smaller than the former and one of the things that all good adaptions overcome is trimming the right amount of story off. And for all its sales success, WoT's greatest acknowledged weakness is pushing the scale of story further than it could really bear, which means it's going to have an unusually high amount of story to be trimmed off.

Doubt the end results if you will, but the idea that it's a mistake to make changes as part of adaption is at cross-purposes with how its done. Its just about making the right ones.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#68
Except they did change the story in a few ways for GoT, and for Harry Potter too, and the LotR movies, and those were gigantic successes.
Let's differentiate between changing and trimming. What you're referring to is mostly trimming, for pacing or clarity or character-arc purposes( i.e. Aragorn having a conflict with being a king in the movies was a change, but one that enhanced his story without taking away from the story of other characters to do so).

What they're doing with WoT, according to rumors, is not trimming(which would be okay), nor doing small changes to enhance character arcs( which again - would be understandable when it's appropriately done), but butchering the whole structure/idea/tone of the story to suit their politics. I cannot get behind that. I actually loathe the thought of it.

A Fellowship of the Rings with a main character Gandalf would have failed the same way a WoT show with Moraine as main character would do. Epicly and thoroughly.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#69
Moraine is a main character though. In the prequel she is the focus and switching a focus around isn’t that bad. This will still be an ensemble cast but if it’s not super Rand focused at the beginning that is OK. The book can take the time to frame the trouble Rand is in but for TV maybe it will work better this way. I don’t know. Moraine does show up in Little Rivers and the prequel fills in a lot of things. They may be starting with some info from that. I don’t know.

Personally I’ve always been annoyed at movies I’ve seen when I have read the book first. Some series like LOTR are given kudos. I liked the first three season of GOT on TV more than the books (I read after TV). I am cautiously optimistic they will do a good job with this but if they don’t I won’t be shocked either. I think this is a tough series to do as it requires a lot of special effects and costumes. I do expect some heavy edits to cut down on some side characters. They can’t do the full 14 books.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#70
As long as they're minimalistic and practical with their cuts( i.e. cutting down on CGI and not shwing armies when they can avoid it in clever ways) that's fine in my book. But messing with character dynamics is rarely anything positive in such situations. I'd rather if they are to respect the books more than they respect themselves( as GOT did in the first 3-4 seasons). Those people are largely anonymous because they're incompetent story builders, it's their job to adapt to being decent story re-tellers or fail miserably at trying to reinvent the wheel( pun intended).

I'm not saying I'm right to be skeptical. But history kind of does.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#71

Q&As comments:
Polyamory... as if polygamy wasn't stupid enough.

LGBTQ... ha ha huh

Channeling - makes sense if shown sparingly. I'd rather them allocating more budget towards everything else whenever possible.

No braid-tugging and smoothing of skirts... as a person who studies body-language rigulously, that's problematic. Those things are actually realistic to an extent, especially the skirts smoothing. People don't realize how often someone shows their inner thoughts or moods via things like touching your hair often, how your body reacts to information - it's 95% of the whole information we share between one another position, movements, smells, voice, words are barely 5%.

Latter of the middle books being condensed - yeah, books 7 to 10 could be made into a season, or a season and a half with book 11. As long as they keep books 1 to 6 and 12-14 to regular pacing, it's fine for me.

Egwene, Graendal and Moghedien... no, a thousand times no! Especially Egwene - I can swallow Moaraine being the lead, but if they make Mary Sue... ahm Egwene, even more central to the plot that's it for me.

More Logain - hell yeah! It would be nice if they were to give more Black Tower stuff to us, gradually evolving instead of nothing nothing and then suddenly 10% of book 13 is Black Tower. I'd like to see Logain as one of the Ashaman's with Rand at least as a link between him and the tower.

Again - leftist politics. I would've been okay with them if they were prominent part of the books. They weren't. They're prominent part of other books that could be filmed in separate productions where it would make more sense. How hard is that as a concept?

1 hours episodes - GoT influence, makes sense.

Not light vs dark, but balance vs imbalance... yeah, another stupid idea, I'm pretty sure the author could've made the distinction clear with the 5mil+ words he've had on his disposal if he wanted too. The whole concept of WoT is as the dark side being a second, more streamlined path to power. How is imbalance going to substitute that!?

Adult show... I am pretty sure they'll regret that decision in the long term, GoT wasn't great for its boobs.

The Forsaken being condensed - I'd rather them being given more power over the plot instead of being the whipping boys and girls in the series. They'll probably cut their number in half, which kind of makes sense, but that would only lead to the Forsaken getting some shiny plot armor for the whole series and that would get tiresome really fast.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#72
I just read your spoilers on that and I have no real objections to anything.

I would have preferred the Show be PG13 as the books are largely that way and it would have been nice if my kids could watch it. They are intended for adults in terms of his writing style although teenagers were fine for 95% of the stuff. Jordan wrote a ton of nudity into his books although he didn't have any foul language and had no graphic sex scenes (just fade to black stuff). But the amount of time the Aeil were naked along with other rituals the rating doesn't surprise me at all/ I hope they keep the intentions of Jordan intact as this wasn't a rated M or R series by any stretch. Any blatant sex scenes will be to draw ratings.

I liked Egwene. Nynaeve's braid tugging should be in there but just minimized. I think Jordan went overboard in books 3-4 with that. It's hard to convey personal thoughts in a book to the TV medium so we shall see what they do here.

I think the Forsaken, members of the Aes Sedai all need to be reduced for the TV show. Even the sea faring folk could be dropped for all I care.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#73
I am usually picky with this type of stuff but we will just give it the old wait and see. The biggest thing for me is staying true to the authors original intent on overall theme and tone. The finer details aren't necessarily important so long as you keep the bigger picture where it should be. These books were successful as is and making major changes has never made sense to me when something is already successful.

So yeah, don't go changing the tone and what not to suit some sort of movement or political agenda not expressed in the books. Not saying they will do that but I have seen it happen before.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#74
I'm actually quite excited by this and I certainly wouldn't mind the changes the guy in the vlog mentioned.

As opposed to ASOIAF, in my view the WoT has always very much been about the exploration of sexuality, gender identity etc. It's a bit old-fashioned maybe, but the concepts the books explored could very well be refreshed and made to fit the current day and age.

I don't really see the "leftist politics" thing angle to be honest (and which country's leftist agenda?). Will the tv-series promote universal health care? Higher taxes for the rich? I doubt it.

In any case, I'm really looking forward to this one. I hope they will get a substantial budget so that all the eye candy is properly displayed and they can hire some amazing actors.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#75
I don't really see the "leftist politics" thing angle to be honest (and which country's leftist agenda?). Will the tv-series promote universal health care? Higher taxes for the rich? I doubt it.
Safe to assume American politics.

From what I have seen these conversations probably have more to do with feminist and LGBTQ movements. One example I can think of is Renly Baratheon from GoT. There were always the pointers in the book that he was gay but it was never really just outright expressed I suppose. In the show it was very much "in your face" if you will, and even to someone like me who considers themselves apolitical it felt a bit like a statement from hollywood.

There are 2 reasons why these conversations even come up to begin with.

1. Because hollywood is so outspoken in the political arena and about 99% of them are on the left side you are always going to have people watching for things like this and taking notice. A sort of "of course these liberals would do something like this" type of thing.

2. Because there does tend to be no other explanation for such changes to already established characters. So it becomes a case of using their platform for politics instead of being more true to the source material. Take Sense 8 over on Netflix as an example of comparison. Lots of LGBTQ stuff in the show but it was also original content so much harder for anyone to view it as a political statement because the easy response is "that is just how the author wrote it" or whatever.

Now whether you are fine with things like that obviously varies from person to person, but from what I see that is the reasons these conversations come up and you tend to get some pushback from people. All politics aside I am someone who is very much about staying as true as possible to the source material so I can see why it would be even worse for someone looking at it through a political lense.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#76
To be honest I consider myself an apolitical person too. I cannot care less for a person's gender, age, sexuality, race, culture, political views or whatever as long as they are an decent/kind person with at least averagely interesting personality. I am 28 right now and I haven't voted for anything in the past 8 years - I don't watch the news on TV, I don't read about them on websites, I simply don't care about lies and hate and misfortune, which excludes like 80-90% of the news and who've won the World Mathematics Championship in China this year, which excludes the rest. I fill my time with quality work on my business, my hobby( writing), reading books, listening to music, watching courses on subjects that make me a more aware human being( as in how the world and people work - body language, psychology, social dynamics, flora, fauna, etc.) So I don't have any bacon in the race. I even voted for our leftist party when I did bother voting, although I'm a more center-oriented person, mostly because both sides have good points and none of them executes on their promises( in our country).

So as a person who thinks that an extra hour of quality or learning new skills per day could change one's life much more than some self-serving politician could in the long-run, I cannot care less about people's politics, as long as they don't interfere with my day-to-day life by breaching the invisible barrier I've erected between myself and all politics. And this strategy used to work and still works, as long as I keep reading pre-2017 books or watch pre-2015 shows. Or read down-to-Earth writers like Sanderson and Abercrombie, who are still keeping it real.

And why am I against politics in entertainment? Because it's meant to entertain. My three favorite movies are The Lord of the Rings, Troy and Gladiator. I cringe with the thought what those movies would've been like with Hollywood's new-found tendencies for making the audience's thinking for them, both in plot complexity( simplicity!) and politics. Fantasy books and shows are meant to be fun, not instructional. They could be instructional, but towards themes, not politics. They could also have representation, as long as the work calls for it. Everything else is just a bunch of arrogant people trying to earn virtual back-pats, Or weak women trying to compensate for not being attractive/competent enough. Because here in my country - we don't have feminists. Women laugh at the notion, actually, because they know that they can chew and spit men for breakfast, lunch and dinner and have some place for dessert too. And we have some of the most attractive women + 80-90% of them take care of themselves and aren't obese, so they have the confidence, looks, experience and often enough skills to deal with life and men as they come along. Every time you visit a Harry Potter FB group it's local women and teenage girls meme-ing on Rowling for her hilarious politics - same with GoT and LOTR groups - mature men and women from all ages having fun on such notions, because we have bigger existential problems here.

And that's my final point - not every place on Earth has the same problems. Politics can't translate well cross-country or from continent to continent. And that's the main reason why you shouldn't have them in your works - at least that how I think of it. People tend to ignore that extraordinary stories existed and will continue to exist long before/after this leftist politics inclusion non-sense. I cannot think of a single instance where a book/movie was more interesting because of blatant inclusion of such, but I can think of many instances where it was annoying or down-right harmful to the quality of the final work. WoT is what it is, not what people would pretend it to have been when the producers shove their politics into it. And it's exactly because of this while it will continue to live through the ages, exactly because it didn't change itself to satisfy 1-5% of the potential readers in 1990 by doing what was modern with them in the political climate then.
 
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Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#77
One example I can think of is Renly Baratheon from GoT. There were always the pointers in the book that he was gay but it was never really just outright expressed I suppose. In the show it was very much "in your face" if you will, and even to someone like me who considers themselves apolitical it felt a bit like a statement from hollywood.
Let's be honest, any kind of sexuality was very much "in your face" in the GOT show...

I can see how many (male) fans would be looking forward to seeing the many arcane rituals in WOT thought up by Jordan involving nekkid young women, including the inclusion of LGBTQ+ endorsed "pillow friends". I personally would prefer a version I could watch together with my kids...
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#78
We'll see how it pans out. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt until actually see the result.

And I do agree that blatantly shoving a political agenda down a viewer's throat is always detrimental to the story btw. But on the other hand, we shouldn't scream "leftist agenda!" whenever we see a LGBTQ character in a show. It's all about how it's done (remember: Abercrombie has several LGBTQ characters in his books for example).
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#79
Let's be honest, any kind of sexuality was very much "in your face" in the GOT show...
Sure but it was also that way in the book. One example that jumps out at me is Jaimie and Cersei having sex during their dads vigil or whenever it was. The book never skipped on those details. However, there was no sex scene with Renly blowing a guy or shaving him.

And to be clear while gay sex scenes aren't exactly my cup of tea I have no problem with it in original content or anything like that. I was merely making the point that I can understand why people would view that type of scene as a leftist move by hollywood because it wasn't actually in the book.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#80
We'll see how it pans out. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt until actually see the result.

And I do agree that blatantly shoving a political agenda down a viewer's throat is always detrimental to the story btw. But on the other hand, we shouldn't scream "leftist agenda!" whenever we see a LGBTQ character in a show. It's all about how it's done (remember: Abercrombie has several LGBTQ characters in his books for example).
No one is saying that adding those types of characters is wrong, it's mostly that the reasoning behind it is however, and therefore the results are usually a story that's less smooth and naturally flowing that it could've been - and that's equally true with any type of politics/preaching left or right or center.

Making an awesome show would definitely go a long way towards erasing many of their potential movie-making sins though, so there's hope, albeit dim.

Another thing that could drown the series is if they give it the 'condescension' treatment. I.e. where they just assume that they don't have to ground the show's tone or effects to be as realistic and world-like as possible just because it's fantasy. If I have to point a single notable thing that made LOTR, GoT, Harry Potter the things they are it's their "That land could be right around the corner and I want an in!" feel, unlike The Hobbit/Seeker of Truth/Shannara where it's clearly a secondary world with shitty effects that scream "It's fantasy, it's not our fault it's unrealistic and cheesy, here's a dragon fighting a troll now, enjoy!".

EDIT: I've been re-reading the Nynaeve & Aldragoran part today... imagine it on the screen, it will be more epic that GoT S7 and S8 combined. Or Noal's "Tell them Jain Farstrider died well". Goosebumps. It's the little moments that make the big things big. :)
 
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