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Wheel of Time: An Amazon TV Series
#1
So Robert Jordan's (and Brandon Sanderson's) gargantuan series of "brick" fantasy books looks like it might finally be translated to the screen:

https://www.tor.com/2018/10/02/wheel-of-...-moiraine/

The article is full of links, which I'd encourage interested readers on following. Also very much worth reading: the showrunner's Twitter feed. He explicitly discusses the series' problematic gender issues and, at least right now, he looks like he'll be doing some loving course correction.

He looks to be actively in the scripting phase, and the series has been picked up....but that doesn't mean a whole lot, yet. We could easily be years away from this series beginning. (As a for instance: GAME OF THRONES took about three years from acceptance to airing the pilot episode.) 

The showrunner also came out and said he's going to be condensing the sprawl of the latter half of the series. I mean, he'll have to just for time and budget, but I think even he recognizes they're out of control and would make for horrible literal adaptations.

I'll admit to being mildly excited about this. Given some revision for progress in how we see and understand gender, there's a lot of great storytelling here.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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#2
At first glance I was confused, because I thought they'd already done this. Turns out that was the Shannara books a couple years ago. Everybody wants to be the next Game of Thrones, just like 10-15 years ago every movie studio wanted to produce the next Harry Potter. Best of luck to ya, Wheel of Time.
Originally posted by Schwartz on Cool as Ice ("When a girl has a heart of stone, there's only one way to melt it. Just add Ice."):
"It's not just a mixed metaphor, or that the stone is one that is melting...but the ice is actually making it melt. (kisses fingers) Magnifique."
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#3
There might be some superficial similarities, since the many of the main characters in WoT are either teenagers or barely 20 when the story starts. I think two things bode better for this, though:

1. Source material. Neither series represents the height of literary artistry, but WoT is (IMNSHO) far superior to Shanarra in just about every aspect.

2. Studio. Shanarra was done by MTV; WoT is being done by Amazon. The latter is going to have the budget needed for a large, world-spanning fantasy story.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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#4
Source material aside, Amazon produced The Man in the High Castle, which, while not operating on the Game of Thrones level, looks good as far as its production values. So this doesn't have to look cheap if Amazon puts the same kind of effort into it.
Originally posted by Schwartz on Cool as Ice ("When a girl has a heart of stone, there's only one way to melt it. Just add Ice."):
"It's not just a mixed metaphor, or that the stone is one that is melting...but the ice is actually making it melt. (kisses fingers) Magnifique."
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#5
Amazon's JACK RYAN also looked damn good. Not in the least bit cheap, and they presumably used locations on different continents.

I don't think money will be the issue with this. It's going to be script and direction (casting, too, of course). Plotwise, WoT doesn't offer too many surprises or big moments; it's very traditional epic/high fantasy. That's not a bad thing, but for an audience raised on LOST, GAME OF THRONES, and WESTWORLD, among others, its conventionality might be offputting.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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#6
Imagine a world where everyone has magic superpowers, there are hundreds of surprisingly well delineated characters, hints of a previous lost technological age, the main good/evil conflict gets disrupted by a massive world war, and in order to save the universe the hero has to link himself to a Neapolitan flavoured trio of ladies using sex magic.

Now imagine an author using all of his skills and powers and tens of thousands of pages to make that stuff sound boring. Then he dies and another author makes it his life’s work to make sure the boring vision is realized.
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#7
IMNSHO, it didn't get boring until around Book 7. That's precisely where Jordan started getting lost up his own ass and the story's momentum takes a nosedive and never recovers.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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#8
(10-07-2018, 10:37 AM)MichaelM Wrote: IMNSHO, it didn't get boring until around Book 7. That's precisely where Jordan started getting lost up his own ass and the story's momentum takes a nosedive and never recovers.

Jesus fuck, just look at this statement.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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#9
Sorry, Mister Short Attention Span Millenial! Some of us LIKE long books!

ETA: More seriously: really, up until the end of Book 4, he's still actively world building and the complexity of that world almost justifies it. Jordan's writing rarely rises above workmanlike but he still managed to evoke wonder and awe and did an amazing job layering invented history into the story in a way that kept astute readers really engaged.

But all that came crashing down because he literally just can't stop building rather than moving on with the goddamned story.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#10
Nah, even the first book has paragraphs upon paragraphs about characters’ clothes. The series is a stew of delicious ideas that, once an hour, the chef pours a cup of corn starch into until it still looks like food but it’s concrete.
“I feel a connection with you. A man connection. A mannection.”
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#11
(10-07-2018, 10:42 AM)MichaelM Wrote: Sorry, Mister Short Attention Span Millenial! Some of us LIKE long books!

ETA: More seriously: really, up until the end of Book 4, he's still actively world building and the complexity of that world almost justifies it. Jordan's writing rarely rises above workmanlike but he still managed to evoke wonder and awe and did an amazing job layering invented history into the story in a way that kept astute readers really engaged.

But all that came crashing down because he literally just can't stop building rather than moving on with the goddamned story.

Jesus fuck, just look at this statement.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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#12
I've read these books a lot. A LOT. I've read the first three at least 7+ times. It's really not that egregious.

They're long, yes, and the pacing and detail aren't in line with today's sensibilities. But I still contend the first 4-6 books move pretty quickly - a LOT gets done in them. It's not until the latter half of the series that the pace becomes glacial and we get characters literally spending half a 700+ page book in the goddamn bathtub.

GRRM is a far worse offender when it comes to giving every single fucking detail about clothing, food, etc.

ETA: And GRRM hits the "glacial pace" wall earlier in his series; Books 1-3 move, and a LOT happens in each of these books. All of that changes with Book 4, and Book 5 is even worse.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#13
ah fucking hell
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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#14
Tell me again how much time of your life has been spent reading comic books, Jefe. Tongue
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#15
oy with the
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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#16
I actually owe Wheel of Time a debt of gratitude for teaching me it’s OK to give up on something. Without that wrenching battle with Sunk Cost Fallacy somewhere around Book 9, I would still be watching OITNB or have a subscription for the Season Eleven Buffy comic.
“I feel a connection with you. A man connection. A mannection.”
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#17
Heh. Yeah. I've read Wiki summaries for the final three books, but the chances of my ever reading them rapidly approaches zero.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#18
It's times like these that make me miss The Dork Cynic.
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#19
That is a funny-ass takedown review. And MM admitting he’s not bothering with the finale has given me a warm feeling upon which to base our new friendship.
“I feel a connection with you. A man connection. A mannection.”
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#20
Right on, Slim. Now let's spend the next forty-seven posts speculating about who will compose the score for this.
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#21
Commodore over here acting like he's actually ever read anything.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
Reply
#22
I've read The Lord of the Rings, so by that account I've basically read The Eye of the World.
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#23
I’m actually happy that there’s a dedicated Scores thread now, so I can stay out of its way.
“I feel a connection with you. A man connection. A mannection.”
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#24
(10-07-2018, 11:38 AM)commodorejohn Wrote: I've read The Lord of the Rings, so by that account I've basically read The Eye of the World.

This is actually not true at all, once you get past the first half of the first book. While just about all modern epic fantasies owe a debt to LOTR, WOT becomes unlike it pretty quickly.

That said, let me be clear the LOTR is of course far superior.

(10-07-2018, 11:23 AM)commodorejohn Wrote: It's times like these that make me miss The Dork Cynic.

Oh man. I don't think he's necessarily wrong but at times he gets a bit "cinema sins" on it. (His bit on people never saying things they don't want others to hear is kind of dumb. There are certain forms or elements that are expected in this genre. I don't read epic fantasy for page upon page of terse, 21st century-realistic dialogue.)

However.

It's spot on for how, over the length of the series, how many problems would be solved if anyone bothered to have some direct, clear conversations once in a while. Jordan was open about using "partial or compromised information" as a motif but it gets annoying pretty quickly. That basically EVERY CHARACTER constantly holds back information and makes stupid decisions based on other people holding back information does get old.

ETA: While the series earns criticisms on a number of fronts, after a while, it becomes obvious that the main villains - basically evil wizards who've made a pact with the devil - are complete morons. Given how powerful they are, there's absolutely no reason for them to have ever lost fights to the good guys. Ever.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#25
But the characters are basically forced to hold back information from one another, because there are about sixty different factions in play by mid series, and at least 70% of the named characters are double agents amongst them.

You may think GoT is worse for run on descriptions, but WoT’s factionitis makes Dune look like a geopolitical breeze.

I do agree with MM that the villains have terrible Cobra Commander Syndrome. Did your evil plan almost work and was only foiled by a combination of circumstances and bad luck? Guess you’d better never try it again!
“I feel a connection with you. A man connection. A mannection.”
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#26
(10-07-2018, 03:37 PM)lightning slim Wrote: at least 70% of the named characters are double agents amongst them.

....many times because of a lack of full disclosure some time previous.

Sure, human beings are flawed and oft-times don't say what they should (because of fear, uncertainty, sympathy, etc.). But, like  many things in the series, it just gets tiresome that it happens over and over again.

(10-07-2018, 03:37 PM)lightning slim Wrote: I do agree with MM that the villains have terrible Cobra Commander Syndrome. Did your evil plan almost work and was only foiled by a combination of circumstances and bad luck? Guess you’d better never try it again!

It's one of the problems with the progressive build up of magical power by the good guys and the successive reveals of the bad guys and monsters. Once you're five books in, if you reread the first couple of books you can't help but view the Forsaken as incredibly stupid.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#27
Besides the good vs evil stuff which is done in broad strokes I'd say the Wheel of Time is really about Rand's relationship troubles. He really is a fucking idiot in the romance department.
Originally Posted by ImmortanNick 

Saw Batman v Superman.
Now I know what it's like to see Nickelback in concert.

That's my review.
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#28
If only he could talk to girls like Perrin does.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#29
Damnit! Where's my bloody Elric series?!
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#30
(10-07-2018, 06:28 PM)MichaelM Wrote: If only he could talk to girls like Perrin does.

No kidding. Jordan was an amazing worldbuilder but he couldn't write women or realistic relationships to save his life.
Originally Posted by ImmortanNick 

Saw Batman v Superman.
Now I know what it's like to see Nickelback in concert.

That's my review.
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#31
Production starts this fall:

https://www.tor.com/2019/01/23/the-wheel...ci3VoynT3o

Shooting is set for near Prague in the Czech Republic.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#32
Ha! I forgot this thing exited.
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

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#33
(02-01-2019, 03:17 PM)Neil Spurn Wrote: Ha! I forgot this thing exited.

Predicting a short run, are we?
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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#34
Yes indeed! Also, it was a typo.

WHAT'RE YOU, MY FRIKKIN EDITOR?!?!
If you're happy, you're not paying attention.

Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny: 
Glad that you guys worked that out amongst yourselves.

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#35
I fuck up all the time here. I just found that one a funny typo!

I really wonder about the casting. Four of the five Emond's Fielders are 20 or younger when the story starts, and from what I recall, the entirety of the story only encompasses a few years at most. As with Game of Thrones, there could be aging issues. Egwene, for instance, is only 16 when the story starts. Maybe a year older? Mat, Perrin, and Rand are all 20, I think, and Nynaeve is 26.

The good news is that digital FX can give all Aes Sedai that ageless look!
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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