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Braid Tugging - Amazon’s Wheel Of Time (occasional book spoilers)


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I may have missed it, but didn't really understand what was going on with the

 

Spoiler

landlady.  It gave back story on her want to leave town and listening to all the conversations etc. I didn't really get how she was a swordswoman or how she got in touch with the faceless thingy.  Her motivation came out just before she was stabbed, so it all felt quite disjointed.

 

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3 hours ago, monkeydog said:

I may have missed it, but didn't really understand what was going on with the

 

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landlady.  It gave back story on her want to leave town and listening to all the conversations etc. I didn't really get how she was a swordswoman or how she got in touch with the faceless thingy.  Her motivation came out just before she was stabbed, so it all felt quite disjointed.

 


all it is telling you, and rand/Matt, is anyone can 

Spoiler

Be a darkfriend


They don’t really have a clear signal.

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Watched the first ep last night. Never read the books.

 

 

Jesus, where to start. I think all the bad points have been pointed out so far so I'll pick on something positive: at least Robert Jordan is dead he so won't see it.

 

I was really hopeful for the Middle Earth series, now I'm shitting myself.

 

 

 

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Read the books 10+ years ago but wasn't getting my hopes up for this one. Probably would be better suited to some sort of animation for an adaption. Anything with a load of hard magic etc. is going to look a bit crap without top level CGI.

 

I don't know much about production budgets etc. but understand that that this seems to have had a good bit of cashed pumped in as far as TV shows go. Hard to see where this has been spent, is it all the Trollocs and magic?

 

The pacing in the first few episodes was pretty wild. I feel that there is a lot of lore chucked at viewers in a very short space of time, some of which is not well explained and there are unnecessary departures from the books. E.g. I imagine the opening scene with Logain and Liandrin is probably confusing to unfamiliar viewers. I would replace this  with the prologue from the book, showing

Spoiler

Lews Therin on Dragonmount and establishing the concept of the Dragon. 

 

I understand that there is a lot of ground to cover but I think it could benefit from some focus on character development. It doesn't look like this will be able to stand on the strength of its worldbuilding or special effects so far. Investment in the characters is key in order to pull off the big pay offs down the line.

 

I realise I have been quite negative so far so want to state that I am generally enjoying it for what it is and happy to watch more. I have a very low bar when it comes to fantasy adaptations and am far from a purist when it comes to departures from the source material if there is good reason. Hoping this is popular enough to get enough seasons to see the story through.

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20 hours ago, Captain Novaforce said:

It gets better.

 

Yeah, stuck with it and it is improving in some respects. Still feels very amateurish overall, though. I do like how TK Maxx is sponsoring the show through providing the wardrobe.

One feeling I have each time I watch an episode though..... you know that episode of Brooklyn 99 where Terry meets the author of the Skyfire Cycle?  Yeah...

 

d4f30fc3-f165-4aa4-bbdb-5b81ead67c50_tex

 

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On 19/11/2021 at 20:31, JoeK said:

Um. Well. I'm buggered if I can see this going the distance. 

 

I don't mind the books (up to where I've been able to get to in them...they become more of a struggle with each tome), but I've always thought that despite the fact that woman are the main 'powers' in the thing (despite the obvious Dragon...), Jordan always wrote as if he fucking hated each and every one of them. They're all so terribly unlikeable, and nothing in the tv show has done much to dispel this for me. 

 

I dunno. They missed a huge trick by not putting in the original prologue of the first book - that was great and properly gave you an entry point into things. I don't like much of the acting, and whilst the show looks fine, I don't think it looks like it cost the $$$ that have been mentioned.

 

I've got to feel some sort of empathy for someone  in the thing, and I don't at all.

 

Ah well. 

 

I wait for Dragonlance to come out - where things are nice and simple, characters are basic and fun shit happens.... 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you seen the animated version of "Dragons of Autumn Twilight" with Jack Bauer doing Raistlin's voice? If not, don't bother as it was utter trash.

 

On 21/11/2021 at 04:21, Timmo said:

 

Who do you rate as a fantasy writer? I was on the subreddit earlier and they all seem to think that Sanderson is the best writer to walk the earth.

 

I enjoyed the first Stormlight Archive book but I can't deal with them anymore, they're just so slow.

 

Seconding Abercrombie for the modern grimdark type fantasy.

 

China Mieville for New Weird, which was basically a wild mash-up of genres. He can actually write, came up with a lot of really fascinating stuff and his series of books set on Bas-Lag were incredible. I highly recommend reading Perdido Street Station - it is bloody long but a standalone novel. The later Bas-Lag books overlap in places, but can be read separately.


K J Parker (aka Tom Holt). His books are secondary world fantasies but with no magic or any fantasy races, just terrible human beings doing terrible things to one another. He's written a mix of trilogies and standalone novels, and of the latter I recommend reading The Folding Knife and Sharps.

 

David Gemmell is a personal favourite for heroic fantasy stuff (and lots and lots of sieges. Practically one in every book I seem to recall). Not the greatest writer by any stretch of the imagination, but his books were short and the plots engaging and well paced. The older stuff has aged somewhat but are still worth a read. Try Legend or Waylander and see how you get on.

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I haven't read the WoT books (S&B is on my wishlist), but what strikes me about the people who have read them is no one actually seems to like the books. Ity's like they stuck through to the end because the'd invested so much time they didn't want to see wasted. 

 

Another adpatation that really caught the feel of the source material is Tales from the Loop. With TftL there was no need to make it. It's a very niche corner of SF, very few people have heard of Simon Stalenhag, but the creators *wanted* to make it and to do Stalenhag's work justice. WoT on the other hand feels forced.

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@TimmoForgot one. Daniel Abraham (he's also one of the two writers of The Expanse space opera books) wrote a series called The Long Price Quartet which was brilliant (he's written another series called Dagger & Coin but I've not read that yet).

 

I can't really do the series justice, so here's the inestimable Jo Walton doing it instead:

https://www.tor.com/2011/04/19/fantasy-for-grown-ups-daniel-abrahams-long-price-quartet/

 

This is now making me want to re-read the whole thing, as it was quite possibly one of the best series I've ever read.

 

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The problem with WoT - and why so many fans have a love/hate relationship with it - is that, at the time, books two through five (possibly six) were great for that style of fantasy at that time. A true twisty soap opera. And then it dropped off a cliff.

 

It was the first giant theorycrafting community, coming of age as usenet and the internet spread. No one was theory crafting Terry Brooks or David Eddings, although that might be because Eddings wrote the same five book sequence twice.

 

I’d second Abraham - Dagger and the Coin is brilliant. Long Price is as well.


Parker can be amazing in short bursts, but don’t read too much of his work back to back - there are recurring themes, that pretty much descend into recurring plotlines in the earlier stuff. I struggle to distinguish some of them.

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My other half loves this but I’m finding it tedious drivel, I’d happily give up on it now.

 

The bloke with the big foam hands that couldn't bend the fingers was a low budget highlight this week, along with the odd looking Italian restaurant with the red awnings in the middle of the big white city market.

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On 04/12/2021 at 12:48, JohnC said:

I was a little surprised at the name "tinker" for the gypsy/traveller types making it through.


They’re an entirely positive element in the books, with the exception that people do run away with them - attracted by the pacifism. Whether the word has the same connotations in America, I’m not sure.

 

The Ogier was appallingly low rent for someone who’s such an important recurring character.

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On 04/12/2021 at 12:25, Thor said:

Yeah, the ogre was very low rent. Thought the episode was good though, apart from the final scene which didn't feel quite earned.

 

Ogier. Come on, even gets corrected in the episode! :P

 

Considering he's meant to be about ten feet tall in the books, I was somewhat disappointed.

 

I also noticed that (spoilered for those that haven't read the books)

Spoiler

the traveling stones appear to be represented, though no obvious observations by the characters. Same goes with the heron blade in the first episode. Though considering Rand's dad is meant to be a blademaster, he didn't give that great an accounting of himself....

 

I'm really curious to see what storylines are being cut - no mention of the innkeeper, and Caemlyn is skipped entirely (which is where Logain was originally taken, and Rand meets Elaine). Though I suppose their budget would probably double due to actors' fees if they had everyone in there...

 

I'm also calling it now (though someone's probably already mentioned it): Perrin's wife was a darkfriend. The way she's standing over him before he lands the killing blow looks pretty sus. And wasn't she being eaten in the wolf dream?

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This got renewed for a 2nd season, although the actor who plays Mat is being recast. Must be something going on as I thought he was pretty good in the role.

 

I hope they up the budget for the 2nd season, it’s excellent but really looks cheap compared to similar shows like The Witcher.

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$10m per episode I think, which doesn't seem so much when you think of all the initial set costs. Presumably that would go further in future seasons when they can reuse things. The showrunner stated that COVID effected their special effects too, they didn't have as long to work on it as they'd have liked. 

 

Mat was recast but they haven't publicly said why. They've spoken highly of the actor in interviews so there doesn't seem to be any bad blood. They filmed the first six episodes then literally the day they finished the 6th they had to stop for COVID, and when they picked it back up six months later for the 7th and 8th episode the actor was unable to return. 

 

I'm enjoying this but I'm still struggling to get used to how much they've changed. It seems baffling to me that the side characters are continuously being given the most screen time. When the "revelation" comes about who the Dragon is I think everyone's going to shrug because they've done nothing to develop the character yet. 

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  • footle changed the title to Braid Tugging - Amazon’s Wheel Of Time (occasional book spoilers)

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