Zloth

Community Contributor
TV series and books. Get very familiar with the spoiler tag, folks, because we're going to need them!

I've always thought of these books as being the least adaptable to other media. Not because of all the internal dialog, not because the subject matter would be inappropriate, but because it's so HUGE! Fourteen books, each of which is about twice the size of a Tolkien novel, plus the New Spring prequel novella. How do you do a story that huge before the actors start aging out of their roles?? Maybe as an animated series on a production schedule much like soap operas used to (still?) use, where new episodes are done in a day and released that night? It's that or cut a lot - and I mean a lot, like maybe 80% of each book.

The books themselves are a pretty good read. They start out quite purposefully reflecting the Lord of the Rings: a few country bumpkins are pulled out of their village by a wizard because the world class baddy is coming to slaughter them. It's done from a 90's perspective, though, so the women have a much stronger role. Once the books get launched, the Tolkien'ish things are extended and many, many other ideas are introduced. The books also double as a sort of atlas, where the characters travel from one land to another, discovering a very fleshed out culture in each one.

One problem I have with the books is the number of parallel stories going on. Books normally have two or three independent stories going on. Maybe one pair of characters gets captured and another pair searches for them, with the book jumping between the captured and searching characters. The Wheel of Time does more than two or three. I think at one point it actually had seven going on at the same time!! That's a ton to keep in your head at once, especially if you put the series down for a year or two. Plus, at the end of a book, none of the plot lines have advanced all that far. I've long wished that somebody would rearrange the books so we could follow just two or three plot lines, then jump back in time and follow two or three more.

For the TV show, they went live action with quality effects and sets. You aren't going to put those out every weekday for years on end, so we're stuck with cutting. Lots of cutting. A long string of villages turns into one village. Things that are supposed to happen in two different cities happen in just one city. They're adding some things, too. Some seem to be to make it more modern (so from a 20's perspective), some are likely there to cover for multiple events that there won't be time for. It's definitely jarring. However, it hasn't changed things to the point that I don't know what characters are doing and why.

For example, yesterday's Episode 6 (episode 6 spoilers and book spoilers up to... jeez, when did we learn this? Well, if you're half way through New Spring, you know for sure)...
Moraine gets berated by the Seat. But I knew from the books that Siuan knew exactly what Moraine was doing out there. Later in the episode, they confirmed that. The way they met was not in the books (I don't think, it's been a long time). However, seeing how it was done, I'm confident in how it was being done and even know some of the dangers of that mode of communication. I can do that because, despite hacking out well over half the content, the show is still staying true to Jordan's world.

P.S. Yes, there was a Wheel of Time game on PC once! Did anyone play it?
 
I guess you guys would like to talk about it from a perspective of the differences between the books and the adaption, just go ahead and dont worry about spoilers.

Some background for my take,
From the opposite side here, I've never read the books. I have read my share of fantasy otherwise but I wouldn't call myself a huge authority on the subject. Robin Hobb, George Martin, Terry Pratchett, some of Ursula Le Guin, Gene Wolfe (New sun), Patrick Rothfuss (Name of the Wind) Mark lawrence (Broken Empire) Brandon Sanderson(Mistborn) NK Jemisin (Broken earth) is the extent of my fantasy reading barring Tolkien CS Lewis, and childrens fantasy like Brian Jacques, Nimh etc. Fantasy and Scifi is at its best for me when the setting and characters are used to explore real human feelings, issues and qualities.

I've been scared off by Wheel of Times length. I always felt (rightly or wrongly) that anyone who needs that long to write a story either needed a much better editor, or didnt want to finish off their meal ticket. Either way it cant all be good stuff. I'll also often zone out during long visual descriptions some authors use to pad (or set the scene, whatever :p). I've sometimes wondered if I have a mild form of aphantasia as I dont have detailed mental images of characters or places in my head as I read. Just the events, story and interactions between characters. I'll literally read half a page of description and not remember any of it until something important happens. I do appreciate poetic language and writing, but more for the way the words are shaped rather than what they describe. Anyway...

GOT is going to be the benchmark for fantasy series adaption for a long time despite how that ended up. I dont think the production of Wheel of Time is on that level, how much of that is down to source material I dont know. I have read Song of Ice and Fire, 1.5 times and all of the smartest dialogue and story beats came directly from the books (just look what happened when they went past that!). I haven't seen anything in Wheel of Time that has felt on that level, yet.

It may partly be a consequence of editing. If the scope of Wheel of Time is that massive, the characters are not going to have as much screen time to fill out as they've had in the books. It takes away from the emotional weight of events.

The production, costumes, effects etc are good but not incredible. Its many steps up from what TV tried for fantasybefore GOT but it still feels a bit shiny and not a lived in world. The acting is generally decent, although I'm not sure on a couple of the castings yet. They've apparently changed out Mat Cauthon for series 2 which is filming now, and he was one of them.

The world seems interesting and huge! I'm looking forwards to them exploring how the magic works, what happened during the Shattering, how the Dark One was defeated and captured and why he couldnt be destroyed. Also why the Aes Sedai's power is weakening in the world and the prophecies behind why Moraine thinks these kids from the village are potentially the Dragon reborn. Also how the 'chosen' fews powers and skills develop and show over time, as they all seem to be different somehow.

Logain is also an interesting character and I hope not a bit part. I'd like to know more of how he had the strength to refuse the dark entities that were whispering in his ear to try and do what he obviously thought was the right thing. Its that kind of 3 dimensional character that interests me the most.

So yea, I've enjoyed it although its not perfect. I'd be bingeing it given the chance but I'll have to wait week on week for the next one. Maybe I'll get the audiobooks and try and go through the books as I travel and walk. I have little time to read these days that I dont want to spend gaming.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
I didn't see much of Game of Thrones, but it seems far more focused on politics. Wheel of Time certainly has some of that, but it doesn't seem so central.

I've seen a few people remark on how it isn't gritty. I don't get that, really? A lot of it has been out in the woods and, when they get inside, it looks fairly normal to me. The White Tower is quite clean, but it should be. They've got a lot of free labor to help on that front - which we'll be seeing in the next year or so.

Yeah, Mat's actor just flat out left. It seems they had to show him staying behind in the most recent episode because of that, and they had to do it quickly. No clue what happened there. It's going to hurt the show, but I expect it's hurting the actor far more.

Yep, powers tend to be a bit different. They'll get more different, too, as people learn about how it all works. Why the women are losing power is learned. Details on the shattering are scarce and scattered throughout the books, but the TV series may treat that differently.

People seem to like the audio books a lot (and they're a lot better at pronouncing the names than the readers). I was actually pretty "meh" after reading the first book - it's the second book that pulled me in. Seanchan made things so much more interesting!
 
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I didn't see much of Game of Thrones, but it seems far more focused on politics. Wheel of Time certainly has some of that, but it doesn't seem so central.

I've seen a few people remark on how it isn't gritty. I don't get that, really? A lot of it has been out in the woods and, when they get inside, it looks fairly normal to me. The White Tower is quite clean, but it should be. They've got a lot of free labor to help on that front - which we'll be seeing in the next year or so.

Yeah, Mat's actor just flat out left. It seems they had to show him staying behind in the most recent episode because of that, and they had to do it quickly. No clue what happened there. It's going to hurt the show, but I expect it's hurting the actor far more.

Yep, powers tend to be a bit different. They'll get more different, too, as people learn about how it all works. Why the women are losing power is learned. Details on the shattering are scarce and scattered throughout the books, but the TV series may treat that differently.

People seem to like the audio books a lot (and they're a lot better at pronouncing the names than the readers). I was actually pretty "meh" after reading the first book - it's the second book that pulled me in. Seanchan made things so much more interesting!

I mean are these Way of the White guys living in the woods hunting Aes Sedai stocked up with Tide Pods and bleach for use in the local stream? :p I'm out in the woods a fair amount of my life and I can tell you after a short walk in the rain those uniforms and tents would be brown and green all over!

Enough's been said about GOT before now, but its surprising you haven't seen it. Up until around season 6 (when they got beyond the books) I'd say it was one of the best TV shows ever made on all fronts, let alone the best fantasy show. I want to go on but I wont here.

I found New Spring available on my app, listened to about an hour so far. Is it a good place to start? It just happens to be the only one on Scribd available with the subscription, but if its better to start with book one I'll pick it up separately.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
I mean are these Way of the White guys living in the woods hunting Aes Sedai stocked up with Tide Pods and bleach for use in the local stream?
Those guys are nutty enough that, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised! Though it's more likely they've got carts full of robes that they switch out. (Then demand that villages clean them.)

Enough's been said about GOT before now, but its surprising you haven't seen it. Up until around season 6 (when they got beyond the books) I'd say it was one of the best TV shows ever made on all fronts, let alone the best fantasy show. I want to go on but I wont here.
I was avoiding spoilers, thinking I might watch it all later. Lately, it hasn't sounded so great.

I found New Spring available on my app, listened to about an hour so far. Is it a good place to start? It just happens to be the only one on Scribd available with the subscription, but if its better to start with book one I'll pick it up separately.
Hmmm, it's hard to remember... oh, wait, I'm spoiler-proof! I can touch Google without getting tainted!

General consensus is that starting with New Spring isn't a good plan. It makes sense in the timeline, but it's meant to be a side story for people reading the main series, so there's no introduction to what's going on in there. Reading it first wouldn't be as bad as trying to start watching Babylon 5 by watching In the Beginning, but you would be getting some secrets dropped on you without the narrative flare you should be getting.

Come to think of it - something that might work really well is to read/listen up through book 10 (Crossroads of Twilight) or Knife of Dreams (last book Jordan wrote), then take a break from the books for a year or two. When your about ready to start up again, use New Spring as an appetizer to see if you're ready for more.
 
Just signed up to Audible to get the first book, the app for Scribd also crashes intermittently anyway and was annoying. Bezos gets to take more of my money to space I guess. Thanks for the advice!

There's also probably a good reason that got cut out as to why the super powerful Aes Sedai are vulnerable to some random guys, and also why they are letting them wander around just outside their home murdering their sisters, I hope.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
I don't think they're letting the Whitecloaks just wander around! The Aes Sadai can't just start blasting away with the Power because of the oaths they've sworn, but they wouldn't have any problem sending 50 warders out! There's a real good reason why the Whitecloaks would want to be there but getting so close was foolhardy. It's not like they can just vanish into the forest with those outfits.

I hope you enjoy the books! Say "hi" to Min for me - I miss her.
 
I don't think they're letting the Whitecloaks just wander around! The Aes Sadai can't just start blasting away with the Power because of the oaths they've sworn, but they wouldn't have any problem sending 50 warders out! There's a real good reason why the Whitecloaks would want to be there but getting so close was foolhardy. It's not like they can just vanish into the forest with those outfits.

I hope you enjoy the books! Say "hi" to Min for me - I miss her.

Except in the last desperate attempt to save their own life, or something like that. Seems that if a group of religious lunatics had me cornered the place would be a crater. Ive obviously missed something or the show didnt explain it well.

I'll let you know how the books went, in 2025 or so :D
 
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@Zloth - thanks so much for making this post, and @Kaamos_Llama for all your input; both of you have given me insight into what I already feared; that the film version of Wheel of Time just can't complete with the original 14 book series (discounting the New Spring prequel) in the complexity of characters and interweaving story arcs.

I'm not going to do a bunch of quotes from you guys, but I'll touch on some of the things you mentioned.

Characters- You know how when you read a fiction novel how the characters appear in your mind? The novel creates the personality, but your mind creates the image. Characters are the central point to me, and what really drives the story itself forward. You specifically mentioned Mat Cauthon (who was my favorite character) and from what you've said he may not be close to what he was in the books. I probably didn't explain that very well, but if he's not who he was in the books, it's a big deterrent for me.

I felt the same way when watching season 1 of GOT; that the characters didn't appear the same as I envisioned them, but my mind adapted somewhat, and I ended up really loving (for the most part, not the ending) the whole GOT series. The books were an epic journey, and the movies were able to match that (even when they went beyond the story in the published books). But I have serious doubts that Amazon's WOT will be able to match that intensity.

Okay. I said I wasn't going to do a bunch of quotes, but I have to.
so we're stuck with cutting. Lots of cutting. A long string of villages turns into one village. Things that are supposed to happen in two different cities happen in just one city. They're adding some things, too. Some seem to be to make it more modern (so from a 20's perspective), some are likely there to cover for multiple events that there won't be time for. It's definitely jarring. However, it hasn't changed things to the point that I don't know what characters are doing and why.
Another reason I don't think I'll be able to watch: cutting out parts of the story. I realize WOT is a huge story over a huge world, but condensing that isn't a solution just to make a movie out of a book series. Combining Edmond's Field with Taren Ferry or any other small villages in that area is just wrong. And other locations like Caemlyn, Cairhien, Tear, Illian, Tanchio, and others should all retain their individual characteristics.

I gotta stop here, I feel as though I'm just rambling a bit without much focus. But I appreciate the post & the thoughts on the movie series, though I'm not encouraged by what I've read that it will be equal to the book series. I'll chime in from here on out on any specific posts you guys make.

Is it worth reading the book first or would reading the book just compliment the show?
Read the book series is my advice. 14 books, some rather lengthy, but they tell the true story of The Wheel of Time. (You can pick them up pretty cheaply on Amazon).

P.S. Yes, there was a Wheel of Time game on PC once! Did anyone play it?
WOT was made as a PC game back in 1999, though I never played it, and truthfully, from what I've read at least, it was really more of a shooter type game than an RPG.
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Zloth

Community Contributor
Movies? It's a TV series, 8 shows per season.

I've been watching the Expanse series, while I'm up to the 6th book reading. That seemed fairly close at first, but it's definitely taking some liberties as of the third book/season. I got a bit confused at the start of the second season because the first book's big finisher hadn't happened yet. I thought I had somehow skipped some episodes!

WoT is doing more slicing and dicing. It seems to be trying to do the one-book-per-season thing, too, but it has more to cover. Min and her town didn't show up at all. Neither did Elayne. I was a little worried the two characters might be dropped completely, but there's actors already announced to play them both.
 
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Movies? It's a TV series, 8 shows per season.

I've been watching the Expanse series, while I'm up to the 6th book reading. That seemed fairly close at first, but it's definitely taking some liberties as of the third book/season. I got a bit confused at the start of the second season because the first book's big finisher hadn't happened yet. I thought I had somehow skipped some episodes!

WoT is doing more slicing and dicing. It seems to be trying to do the one-book-per-season thing, too, but it has more to cover. Min and her town didn't show up at all. Neither did Elayne. I was a little worried the two characters might be dropped completely, but there's actors already announced to play them both.
I realize that these aren't "movies" as such, like in the way The Lord of the Rings books were movies, but I struggled with what term to use, as "TV series" itself has a connotation of a lot of advertising to me. I was thinking more in terms of how The Game of Thrones was presented, which to me were movies as opposed to television.

I knew there was going to be "slicing and dicing" involved in the production, but that hopefully they would at least try to stick to a book per season. From what you @Zloth and @Kaamos_Llama have written, I feel that I will have to avoid watching this; I'm just too invested in the book characters and story to see it ripped apart.

I mean, no Min and the town of Baerlon in Season One? That was a huge event in the book, when Rand first met Min. And then the flight to Shadar Logoth where the party becomes separated? Too many events to mention, and if they tried to condense events/places I just won't be able to watch this.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Min just showed up! She's still a bartender, just in a different town. We didn't get to see nearly as many symbols flying around, unfortunately. Trying to track those was one of my favorite bits from the books. (And puzzling out what the symbols at the start of each chapter meant.)

They got separated in Shadar Logoth just as before, they simply went straight there after the ferry incident. They met some Children of Light along the way, though that encounter went down very differently.
 
Good episode I thought, I really liked the scene where they were fighting, clever plotting to have all characters have legitimate reasons to dislike each other in the same moment and run off separately.

Min is interesting, wondering how her power and how Perrins wolfishness are related to the one power if at all. The Aes Sedais power has been represented as looking fairly similar between people, even if some are stronger than others so far in the series. Plenty of time for that too change of course.

I started the first book too, but I'm not even out of Two Rivers yet :)
 
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Min just showed up! She's still a bartender, just in a different town. We didn't get to see nearly as many symbols flying around, unfortunately. Trying to track those was one of my favorite bits from the books. (And puzzling out what the symbols at the start of each chapter meant.)

They got separated in Shadar Logoth just as before, they simply went straight there after the ferry incident. They met some Children of Light along the way, though that encounter went down very differently.
Seems like a lot of condensing of events & places happening, I don't want to say too much because @Kaamos_Llama just started reading the first book and I don't want to spoil anything. But I have to ask, isThom Merrilin there? He was such a great character throughout the books. I also liked to try to interpret Min's visions. How about Elyas Machera and the wolves, like Hopper?

I started the first book too, but I'm not even out of Two Rivers yet :)
That's great! One of the best things about this book series (if you stick with it for 14 books), is how all the characters change over time and the events they go through. There's a lot of character building in the Two Rivers, but events will rapidly unfold once you leave.
 
Seems like a lot of condensing of events & places happening, I don't want to say too much because @Kaamos_Llama just started reading the first book and I don't want to spoil anything. But I have to ask, isThom Merrilin there? He was such a great character throughout the books. I also liked to try to interpret Min's visions. How about Elyas Machera and the wolves, like Hopper?


That's great! One of the best things about this book series (if you stick with it for 14 books), is how all the characters change over time and the events they go through. There's a lot of character building in the Two Rivers, but events will rapidly unfold once you leave.
Yea dont mind me, if you guys who know the series want to chat about it. Go ahead and use spoiler tags as Brian suggests, great idea!
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Elyas hasn't been in the show at all. Perrin is coming to grips with his wolf thing much slower in the TV show. His senses are getting better, but his eyes only turn gold rarely. There's plenty of time to meet Elyas - or not. Most of the impact Elyas has is on Perrin's thoughts. The show isn't letting us know everyone's thoughts, so they might want to skip him.

Thom is in, but his part is smaller. He shows up in one episode and is gone at the end of the next. We last see him fighting an eyeless, just as in the books, but it's a different location. His cloak is TOTALLY not colorful enough, but I guess I can suffer through. ;)

I remember the crew travelling on a river boat, but I'm not sure if it was in the first book or the third. If I remember right, Moraine showed one of the Seals while on the boat. That hasn't been part of the show, so I'm hoping it's in book 3.

A wolf comes up and licks Perrin's wounded shin. It could have been Hopper, but we don't know yet.
 
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#1 show of 2021, it seems! The final episode got a bunch of folks riled up. It will be interesting to see who tunes in for season 2.
I haven't allowed myself to watch it yet, as the Wheel of Time series is near & dear to me and I just don't want those images my mind created while reading to change. Maybe next year or further down the road I'll give it a try. I felt the same way when HBO produced the Game of Thrones, but I caved in on that and really loved it for the most part.

Out of curiosity, where did they end season 1, and why were some folks riled up about it? Spoiler tags obviously, but to get a handle on how much is being cut. I can't image Amazon doing 14 seasons, one for each book, so I'm assuming there must be massive edits of content.

Just started book 14, Memory of Light.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
(Getting lazy with my spelling this time)

Oh yeah, there are big hunks of content cut out. Andor didn't show up at all, for instance - with the more crucial scenes moved to... uhhh... the city of the White Tower - the name escapes me right now. The first season ended at the end of the first book, with a quick (and fairly awesome) scene of Seanchan boats attacking.

There were a BUNCH of differences at the end! No Green Man or aging Forsaken, thank goodness. No worms either, which was sad. Only Rand and Moraine went to the Eye and were confronted by Ishmael, who wasn't nearly as crazy as in the books. Moraine tries to fight him and gets herself shielded and Ishmael ties the shield off. Rand fights him off, then goes off in a huff because: young Rand "oh I'm being manipulated" or some such, which leaves Moraine in a bad spot. No clue who's even going to be able to see that knot except Rand.

Nyneve managed to burn herself out, then Egwene healed her, which I was a bit miffed by. She ain't THAT strong, especially at healing! Though maybe Nyneve wasn't completely burned out and was helping heal?

Oh, and Padan Fain seemed to kill Loial! Tweets quickly confirmed that he didn't, but people were NOT happy!

I liked this ending quite a bit more than the book's ending. The book's ending was done so would work even if the publisher wouldn't fund any more books, but it rushed a LOT of odd stuff in to make it work. Foresaken? Sure, here's a couple: oh, they're defeated already, guess they aren't the stuff of nightmares. And now the Dark One himself is fighting Rand - a little slice & dice, Rand wins. Sheesh, if Lan were the Dragon Reborn, that fight against the biggest baddie in the land would have lasted about 4 seconds. BLAH!

The next season might not even show up until early next year. Waiting for a few seasons to drop (or even all of them) before starting to watch seems sensible to me.

Memory of Light! You might want to block off a day for reading before you start chapter 37.
 
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Yeah, this is my 3rd run through the series with the Brandon Sanderson books so I remember that chapter as being massive. The whole book is so intense with all the characters and nations coming together, yet some old prejudices still survive.

Also a bit of ranting:
Nyneve is one of the strongest Aes Sedai in centuries, and she's the healer having found the new way of healing using all of the weaves, not to mention having discovered how to heal stilling and cure lingering madness in at least one Ashaman. She never burned herself out. Egwene was weak in healing weaves, her strongest being Earth weaves. And Padan Fain, or Mordeth, didn't like anyone. I could go on, but enough of my rants. I just don't see myself watching this.
 
Eh? I never said anything about Fain liking anyone?

Centuries? At least! Once she figured out what she was doing, she was as strong as any Foresaken.
My bad. I read your spoiler last night and I could have sworn you said "like" instead of "kill" when talking about Fain and Loial. Old eyes I guess.
 
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