The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Jedman67, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just finished episode 4. I don't think the Wisdom is the Dragon. Seems way too soon to reveal that. It's also supposed to be a man.
    The fake Dragon gave me Venom vibes with the way he was presented.
     
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  2. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Even with only four episodes, I'm leaning very heavily towards declaring this show to be the best Fantasy adaptation since The Hobbit Trilogy, and just as much an improvement over its source material as the Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

    As an aside, I didn't quite know which of our main characters was my favorite, but Episode 4 solidified it: her name is Nynaeve, and she's a freaking goddess. Moraine might be perceived as the Gandalf archetype, but I think this episode shows that said archetypal character is really Nynaeve, regardless of whether or not Rafe and his team intend to change the actual identity of the Dragon.
     
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  3. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It actually occurred to me this episode that her staff was missing, so yeah, I agree with the Gandalf comparison. Jordan departed from that the next book and I think this was a good choice for the show keeping it consistent.

    Nynaeve has a... significant future in the series. I'll say no more, but the books do depart from LoR archetypes with her.

    Goddess, yes. At last you and I are in agreement. :) My only complaint is she never tugs her braid.

    Oh, and on second viewing, I really like the name of the little doll the girl gave to Matt.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
  4. Tirius

    Tirius Captain Captain

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    Episode 4 review... I didn't get the time to do one for 3, but there we are. Non-spoilery comments first.

    Oh boy. Is this going to be a devisive one among the fans. Judging the series by itself, I can roll with introducing the character of Logain at this point. He is certainly the focal point, if not entirely the focus of the episode. Seeing the conflict between the Aes Sedai and a male channeller actively seeking to use his power further ups the scales for our heroes, as people who have not read the books may now assume there's a 3/4 chance that the Dragon among our group will go mad. The story lines up decently with the Mat, Rand and Thom sequence that discusses the same topic. And then there is the mirror, less obivously so, between the peaceful ways of the Tuatha'an and the fight sequence at the end. There is a lot to like in the way this was structured and I must say the actresses playing Liandrin and Alanna are rocking those roles. The casting continues to be very good. It was also nice to focus a bit more on Nynaeve and Lan and show the audience more of what the bond between Aes Sedai and warder is like through the other bonded pairs/trios they encounter. We also get a few more details on the other Ajahs and see Aes Sedai link for the first time. I do have some issue with the pacing of the episode and the scene transitions (again). This is quite evident through the relatively slow-moving and quiet Perrin/Egwene story and the fast-moving other two. And honestly, did we need a closeup of dead children? I know evil is bad, but I don't think WoT needs to be that gritty. On the whole this leaves me with judging this a mixed bag filled with decent entertainment.

    Current book progress: chapters 1- 32(ish?). Rating: 3 out of 5 stars, from Ghealdan, with love.

    Oh boy. Is this going to be a devisive one among the fans. I'm repeating that on purpose. On the one hand, it was decent television. On the other, a LOT of time was spent on inventing a storyline that doesn't take place in the books. Response from the hardcore fans is not going to be pleasant. We know Logain's escort travelled partly the same route as our heroes did, coming up from Ghealdan through Caemlyn, but we also know Moraine actively avoided the caravan while they were close, prefering to stay at master Gill's inn rather than seek our the (Red-only) escort in the palace. The storyline did a lot to futher showcase important themes relating to the overall theme of the series, but I am not sold on the idea that this was the way to go about it. It feels a bit like the series is leaning too much into the Aes Sedai's doings and not focussing more on the Emond's Fielders, even if this plot had a lot of important progress for Nynaeve. And it certainly was entertaining, and I really liked seeing the Aes Sedai and warder interactions in this setting. Just maybe not at this point in the series? I don't know. I am conflicted. I will give props to the episode for showing us Ghealdan though. I assume that castle at the start is meant to be in Jehannah, a city the books never visited. As someone who really wants to just see the WoT world brought to life, that sort of thing scores brownie points with me.

    The Perrin and Egwene plot is probably the one that is (again) closest to the book. We see some of Egwene's easy interaction with Aram and some indication that he isn't entirely sold on his people's way of life as well, while Perrin stays in the background. The idea of tieing the Way of the Leaf into the overall mythos of the Wheel of Time is a new concept, and one I can easily accept. That said, there is a difference in pursuing peace for its own sake and doing it for your loved ones. Ila comes across as a bit more accepting than I remember. Even after the slaughter of her people before the Battle of Emond's Field we never get the feeling that she has some sympathy for those who act with violence, at least not until her final appearance. It is an important discussion for Perrin and one that I think works well in the context of the show, but it makes me wonder about the further Tuatha'an storyline. Between the death of Ila's daughter already having happened and the 'women with pitchforks' scene in episode 1, I am starting to consider that the whole Battle of Emond's Field story arc is on the chopping block for the series. If that is the case, I'm glad I'm not one of the writers...

    Finally there is the Mat, Rand and Thom story. With Thom in the mix this time, the whole dynamic of this arc changes from 2 country boys struggling along the road to something quite different. I also noticed the presence of horses here, which suggests our heroes stole some along the way. Not exactly a minor crime, though we can argue Thom already committed murder in the previous episode. Still, Mat and Rand have a long way to go according to the map, so I suppose horses cut down on their travel time - knowing that the show is skipping Caemlyn altogether and they'd spend months heading to Tar Valon on foot. Using Mat's corruption by the Shadar Logoth dagger as Thom's justification to both help Rand and Mat ánd tell the tale of his nephew is a clever solution to cover his late entry and continued presence though. It's also a rather obvious second attempt in the episode to try and confuse non-book readers as to the identity of the Dragon. But still, even as the writers fix this problem, they revert to the status quo from the books, inserting Thom's sacrifice from Whitebridge into the Grinwell farm setting instead. It feels as if we lose him just after we got to know him. Too quickly to my taste, so I'm marking this down as another "we'll see where it goes before I judge this". Casting news tells us we're getting at least some of the Cairhien plot in season 2, so we'll likely meet him again there.

    I think this marks the first episode without a 'oh, they cut X, that's a shame' moment on my part, despite knowing runtime is a factor. We'll see how long that holds.
     
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  5. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Independently of the books, Moraine is set up in Leavetaking as the clear Gandalf archetype character (super-powerful mentor figure), but now that's been switched to Naenyve (whom Leavetaking and A Place of Safety also set up as somewhat of a mentor figure) after that huge display of power.

    We'll see where things go next, but for now that's how I see the character at this exact moment in the show.

    @Tirius As far as I can tell from my own perusal of hardcore WoT fan communities, Logain getting a meatier role much sooner didn't actually generate much backlash.
     
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  6. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They obviously won't get 13 seasons to do a book a season, which even then would require massive cuts. I think what they did here was give us a close look at the Aes Sedai factions, clear differences, politicking, and power struggling that took several books to see happening. The introduction of the Tinkers and Logain on top of that gave non-reading viewers a coherent grasp that the conflict wasn't just about about Trollocs and Shades. A lot things can now progress quickly with a wider view of the world forming a background.

    I don't think it was the viewers who had to see a dead child, I think it was Mat that had to.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
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  7. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Not really all that savage Moderator

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    Just finished it. Loved it. Lots of changes again, but didn’t mind them at all. It was great to finally see a hint of what Nynaeve will become. Zoe Robins has absolutely nailed her character.
     
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  8. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Commodore Commodore

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    I haven't watch it yet. Is it good ?
     
  9. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, the old Dragon WAS a man. They specifically said that the Dragon Reborn could reincarnate as either man or woman, and that both men and women throughout history since The Breaking have claimed to have been such a one. Logain is just the latest in a long line of false Dragons.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
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  10. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I actually loved Fellowship of the Ring, and shortly after my last post they hit Barelorn and things are definitely picking up now. I think part of my problem was that I hadn't been reading as much as I like in the days before my last post, so that probably made things feel like they were stretching out a lot longer than they actually were.
     
  11. Thestral

    Thestral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Out of curiosity, is there an appearance by
    Min
    ?
     
  12. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, played by Kae Alexander.
    [​IMG]

     
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  13. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ The character in that spoiler has indeed been cast, but their casting was done, to quote Kosh Naranek, "for the future".
     
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  14. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Someone told me that in the books the new one is also supposed to be a man. I apologise if that isn’t true.
    I think it would be more affective if it was a guy. Someone who doesn’t go cuckoo from the magic
     
  15. LaxScrutiny

    LaxScrutiny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    IMDB is currently just listing cast for this season. The character is credited as being in 2 episodes. I'm presuming that will be the last two this season, and they will be a regular going forward. However IMDB has been wrong before. Occasionally, so am I. ;)

    Robert Jordan was asked about this in several interviews (you can Google) and as he described it, souls are either male or female in his universe. Birgitte is always a female and Gaidral Cain always male, as one of his examples. The Dragon, likewise, is always a male. In this turning of the Wheel the Hero is the Dragon. In the next it could be another Hero, male or female (here he mentions Amaresu. You don't know these characters yet, and due to time limitations that could be cut.) That said, it's only implied in the books, hence Jordan being asked the question.

    As far as the books go, Moraine knew from the prophecy it would be a male, and it would be the Dragon. (This is explained more clearly in New Spring rather than the series proper.) In the books she says to Rand, Perin and Matt that it could be any of you three, or all of you the Dark One is after. In the show she says "any of you four" including Egwene. This is kind of Aes Sedai "lieing without lieing", as we see later. The Dark One could be after all four; they each have an important role to play (at this point not really a spoiler.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
  16. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was under the impression that the spoiler character in question is a Season 2 addition given that the series is already deep into filming said season, but it is very possible that I'm mistaken in that regard.

    The show has changed the metaphysics of the WoT world so that the Dragon Reborn really can be either male or female; whether the end result of this change is an actual change in the identity of the Dragon or just a widening of the suspect pool for the sake of dramatic tension is a question yet to be answered.

    We know that this metaphysical change was made, BTW, because of Rafe Judkins saying so in an interview, and because of two pieces of evidence within the show itself:
    1) Moraine straight-up telling Rand, Egwene, Mat, and Perrin that she believes one of them to be the Dragon Reborn
    2) Dana the Darkfriend admitting that she'd been seeing Rand, Mat, Egwene, and Perrin, as well as a fifth person (probably Nynaeve, given the fact that a Trolloc tried to abduct her), in dreams and that the Dark One believes that one of said five is the Dragon Reborn
     
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  17. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that wouldn't pass muster today. Total trans and enby erasure.
     
  18. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've been immersing myself in a few hardcore WoT fan communities, and the general consensus is that Episode 4 is the best episode thus far even though it's the one whose storyline is the most book-divergent, so Rafe and his team delivered something that most people, both readers and non-readers alike, loved.
     
  19. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mainly the latter.
    Partially to increase representation, as was his motive for casting Daniel Henney (Korean-american I think?) as a lead character.
    On the whole, i'm absolutely digging the representation - having POC in lead roles, and be NORMAL in those lead roles instead of the sidekick or comic relief or whatever. It just makes the world a bigger place in my mind.

    For book purists, there is absolutely no way to easily translate a 14 book megaseries into a TV or movie adaptation without massive, massive, massive changes.
    Rafe Judkins carefully plotted out the entire series, and chose what to highlight, what to take out, to incluude and to change. Sure, I'm disappointed that certain moments have been changed or left out; but I have faith that the characters so far have really nailed their book counterparts.
    That is the story, however you dice it. The characters choices and growth on the fight between good and evil.
    and
    Ba'alzamon is soooo freaky and creepy I'm legit scared of him!
    I really hope he talks to the EF in the next dream sequence!
     
  20. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ We won't know whether or not Rafe has chosen to make the identity of the Dragon Reborn different from the novels until the show chooses to definitively reveal the Dragon's identity to us, but the fact that he and his team did in fact change the way that the reincarnation of the Dragon works on a metaphysical level makes it entirely possible that he did in fact change the Dragon's identity with this Turning of the Wheel and that the possibility of the Dragon Reborn being female isn't merely a misdirection done for dramatic tension.