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SilverStormm

Anticipation for The Wheel of Time

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On 10/15/2019 at 8:38 AM, DoctorAtomic said:

Yeah and then they ended with, 'oh, looks like the Aiel will just be out and out slaughtered. Thanks for all the fish!' 

Why bother at that point? No one thought to go in the other way ever this whole time? 

I think it ended a bit more ambiguously than that - especially since Aviendah and the Wise Ones knew that they had the ability to try to change the future from what she saw in the Rhuidean rings. 

Unless you're referring to the battle at Shayul Ghul in which tons of Aiel got murdered by Dark Hounds and Myrdraal. 

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No, I meant that. There wasn't any indication throughout the series to me that the Aiel were dying out or whatever, so it felt like Jordan had this idea and scratched out some sort of outline for a later story, so they just threw it in because it was the last book.

I just find it hard to believe that no one ever thought to walk through the stones backwards. It would have been cool if we knew this from book 5, so all the Wise Ones et al., knew they had to fight back the dark one and help Rand to prevent the end of the world, but also knew that it would be a hollow victory if they didn't get their shit together for after.

That's kind of the thing that bothers me. It's not as interesting that the good guys win the big end of the world battle; it's about what's going to happen after. That's why I found the final battle to fall really flat. It wasn't really a breaking of the world like the last time and it left a huge mess.

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On ‎10‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 7:25 PM, DoctorAtomic said:

No, I meant that. There wasn't any indication throughout the series to me that the Aiel were dying out or whatever, so it felt like Jordan had this idea and scratched out some sort of outline for a later story, so they just threw it in because it was the last book.

I just find it hard to believe that no one ever thought to walk through the stones backwards. It would have been cool if we knew this from book 5, so all the Wise Ones et al., knew they had to fight back the dark one and help Rand to prevent the end of the world, but also knew that it would be a hollow victory if they didn't get their shit together for after.

That's kind of the thing that bothers me. It's not as interesting that the good guys win the big end of the world battle; it's about what's going to happen after. That's why I found the final battle to fall really flat. It wasn't really a breaking of the world like the last time and it left a huge mess.

The Aiel weren't dying out, but the Wise Ones and Clans Chiefs knew that the prophecy of the Car'a'carn was that "He shall spill out the blood of those who call themselves Aiel as water on sand, and he shall break them as dried twigs, yet a remnant of a remnant shall he save, and they shall live."

They already knew that it was a rather fatalistic prophecy, and that his arrival heralded the end of their culture. Not to the extent that Aviendha saw in the ter'angreal, of course. But that future she sees is after the Last Battle, and after the Bleakness that already saw thousands of Aiel abandoning their way of life. 

Jordan never spelled out explicitly what exactly he meant by 'spilling their blood as water on sand' but to me it always seemed clear that he meant most of the Aiel would die in the Last Battle. Now, did Sanderson do that justice? I would certainly be open to the argument that he didn't.

I think the huge mess left by the Last Battle was the only winning scenario available to Rand. He thought he could actually kill the Dark One, but the nature of this world meant that was impossible - there has to be a dark to balance the light, so the only thing he could do to actually win was to bind that darkness, and there has to be a cycle that can be repeated. Actually killing the Dark One would result in one of two things - the end of existence or the rise of a new Dark One to replace him (there's a theory that Padan Fain was being positioned for this by the Pattern, should Rand actually kill Shai'tan. And that's why Fain is killed so abruptly when he's no longer 'needed').

As for the epilogue, I was also incredibly disappointed that it was so short. I was so much more invested in the characters than I was in huge, action set pieces. I don't think Jordan would have abbreviated it to the extent Sanderson did. But Sanderson is a writer who does action far better than he does characters.

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I don't have a problem with the vision that most of the Aiel would die off due to Rand and the last battle. Ending the book with just everything kind of up in the air, is ok, but then only the Aiel have some future plot. It was just tacked on to me. Plus, it's incredulous that no one ever thought to walk backwards through them until right then.

Leaving it up in the air as to how they would assimilate after the battle is fine. There wasn't much about what they were going to do with the Seanchan afterwards either.

I'm not sure Rand seriously entertained kill the Dark One. There were plenty of conversations with Min and the librarian guy about the wheel. One of them, if not Rand himself flat out said, 'so there had to have been a time when there wasn't a bore at all.

Rand putting one over on Ish with Moiraine and Ny to undo the bore with Callandor was the only thing I actually liked about the end.

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I've not read The Wheel of Time series, but I've been asked by a friend who's a huge fan of the books to watch and tell her how it is. She loves the books so much, she is nervous about watching this series and having it disappoint her. 

So I am completely new to this story and world. 

Any thoughts on what I can expect?

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Since you don't have a point of comparison, I don't know what you're friend gets out of it. tbh, the series sports a massive amount of filler. Cutting out the tea stirring alone. I mean, one book covered six days and we had to wait a year for it. Even then, half of it was Dashiva going nuts. And I actually liked him. 

I really hope the tv show streamlines the overall plot, or at least seriously edits the side plots down. 

The good thing is, they have the complete series to work off. So for plotting, they already know if something seemingly minor actually will pay off big later. I think that will help. 

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8 hours ago, Gillian Rosh said:

I've not read The Wheel of Time series, but I've been asked by a friend who's a huge fan of the books to watch and tell her how it is. She loves the books so much, she is nervous about watching this series and having it disappoint her. 

So I am completely new to this story and world. 

Any thoughts on what I can expect?

Oh boy. Where to start? 

It's a big, expansive world, packed full of characters but it does have a more narrow narrative than Game of Thrones - you follow a principle group of characters and don't deviate too much from them, although characters are added and removed as the series progresses. And the structure is a more traditional epic fantasy of good vs evil, although there are plenty of characters who fit into a grey area between the two.

Magic is a major feature of the world, and that's where a lot of my fears lie - how to depict Channelling in a way that is convincing but not corny. Jordan went into a lot of detail about how it worked, where the power came from and the training required to wield it, and that will be difficult to put on the screen.

Another major feature of the world is the fact that women control magic. Men cannot use it without going mad and dying, and so are forbidden from doing so. This has created a female power base that exerts a similar influence on the world that the Catholic Church did in Medieval Europe - the leader of this magical sect of women has the power of the Pope when it comes to bossing monarchs and lords around, and so is hated and distrusted by a lot of people.

I also fear that too many compromises will have to be made to storylines and character development, to adapt the books to the screen. The casting has been mostly really good, in my opinion, but a lot of the usual suspects have cried foul at the diverse casting choices, so expect to hear plenty of complaining about that, and how some actors are "just wrong" for no specific reason.

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On 4/5/2021 at 7:42 AM, Gillian Rosh said:

I've not read The Wheel of Time series, but I've been asked by a friend who's a huge fan of the books to watch and tell her how it is. She loves the books so much, she is nervous about watching this series and having it disappoint her. 

You're a good friend! I'm not sure that she will get what she's looking for from a non-reader; I suspect non-readers will be perfectly fine with the TV show and the arguments will be between readers who dislike how the books were adapted and readers who are okay with it. (In other words, GoT all over again.)

You might try asking your friend what are the things that are most important to her. Are there specific scenes she really wants to see, or is she more concerned that the casting be solid? Is she strict about adapting a book faithfully, or is she able to make allowances for the different medium? Some allowances, or a lot of allowances? This is not going to be a hyper-faithful adaptation, in many respects. The books have too many characters and subplots for them all to make it to the show; the middle books were full of filler that will certainly be dumped; I don't expect the exploration of the magical system to be anywhere near as deep or detailed as the books; the first season is apparently going to make a mystery out of something that we know the answer to early on in the first book; and of course one can expect some updating of stuff that was cringeworthy even in the 90s. Personally I'm really excited about the TV show exactly because I know it will not be an extremely faithful adaptation of an interesting but deeply flawed book series. All that filler...so much filler...

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8 minutes ago, Black Knight said:

Personally I'm really excited about the TV show exactly because I know it will not be an extremely faithful adaptation of an interesting but deeply flawed book series. All that filler...so much filler...

I've found this to be the prevailing opinion for a while. I don't think it will be any where near GoT levels of griping simply because the entire series is completed. 

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Thanks for all the helpful comments! 

 

One follow-up question: do we know if the first season will cover the first book, or will it go beyond that?

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4 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

I've found this to be the prevailing opinion for a while. I don't think it will be any where near GoT levels of griping simply because the entire series is completed. 

And while the Sanderson-written finish to the series was... not quite what I'd hoped it would be, at least it was a proper ending based heavily on the notes that Jordan had left, and that long-completed last paragraph.

I think the difference between that and ASIOAF is that Wheel of Time fans were just so grateful to be getting that conclusion at all, while ASOIAF fans are growing ever more resentful that GRRM seems to feel no pressure to finish the series at all. The ending of the show was so lazily executed that I can't see how anyone was happy with it.

47 minutes ago, Gillian Rosh said:

One follow-up question: do we know if the first season will cover the first book, or will it go beyond that?

I haven't been keeping up the the announcements or speculation, but it seems like the first season might cover book one and a bit of book two. I don't see how they can possible cover the first two books in one season without cutting too much content.

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4 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

And while the Sanderson-written finish to the series was... not quite what I'd hoped it would be, at least it was a proper ending based heavily on the notes that Jordan had left, and that long-completed last paragraph.

Yeah I meant you have a 'show Bible proper' here. You can put together a more coherent television narrative and know what to cut out. Especially given the loose ends that were left. 

Or maybe something like emphasizing Demandred plotting more so he doesn't just pop up at the end out of nowhere. I wouldn't even mind if they put in Demandred = you know who because it was initially to be that way. 

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Rafe Judkins did a Q&A today on Instagram, which is transcribed here:

https://www.wotseries.com/2021/05/20/breaking-season-1-wrapped-season-2-greenlit-rafe-qa/

A couple of the most interesting points for me -

1. The character he's most excited to introduce in season two "starts with EL." I'm pretty excited about seeing her as well.

2.  They plan on keeping the menagerie aspect of the Trollocs, rather than making them conveniently similar looking, and the results are apparently impressing people.

And they've apparently done a rough plan for how the entire series would break down into seasons. I'd love to see that plan, just to see where they think the best places to put season breaks are. Because while all the books have big endings, there are also big, dynamic altering moments in the middle of books as well.

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11 hours ago, Black Knight said:

The first question to my mind is, how many seasons does their plan have?

Well, Rafe Judkins said he didn't want Josha and Madeline to be 45 before the show is done so... less than twenty?

Realistically I'd think they could plan for about eight seasons. This is just off the top of my head, so it probably won't stand up to scrutiny - 

Season one ending with them leaving Fal Dara

Season two ending with Rand taking Callandor (though I'll be very disappointed if the Battle at Falme isn't the climactic event of a season)

Season three ending with the sneak attack on Caemlyn

Season four ending with the the girls escaping Ebou Dar

Season five ending with the Cleansing of the Taint

Season six ending with Egwene becoming Amyrlin

Season seven ending with Rand on top of Dragonmount

Season eight is all the Last Battle

They'll still have to cut loads of stuff (the entire Prophet storyline could go, as well as most of the Sea Folk stuff and the Shaido after Dumai's Wells). And I do think they might follow the Game of Thrones example of making the 'big' episode the penultimate one of each season, then have a quieter, summing up episode to end on.

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