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Brother Glacius

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I just watched the first episode today and really disliked it. They did some major changes for some of the characters that feel really ham-fisted, and don't seem to make them any more interesting (quite the opposite, IMO). I do think the cast is pretty good, and the action scenes weren't bad (CGI is cheesy, but about what you would expect from an Amazon show), but it was a huge miss for me, I won't be watching any more. 

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For whatever reason, the show writers decided to throw out all of the "coming of age" story arcs. That one decision to make them all older has pretty much wiped out most of the first book...heck, probably the first three books. So many of their decisions and the way they act are based on their age and ignorance/innocence. How are they going to portray Mat's slip into darkness due to the dagger when he's already of questionable character? Are they going to leave out all of the awkward romantic stumbles that commonly occur to the group? Not happy with that choice. 

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never read the books (never on my radar - or my particular genre)... but so far it feels like a CW show (poor plots/writing / shallow characters and weak acting).. I don't care for several of the actors / actresses ... feels very formulaic (as most fantasy seems these days). I don't know - my wife seems to enjoy it - we will probably watch it as filler while we wait for other stuff to stream. 

-d

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It was formulaic when it was originally written as well but at least back then it was written passably well for YA fantasy.  The problem is that it was originally plotted and written as a 6-book series apparently (I would have guessed 5 personally) and when they approached the end they decided to "just keep writing" which kinda ruins any plotting you had.  For the first 4.5 books the universe was consistent and it was a typical "coming of age" YA fantasy with character faux pas and growth and everything.  Apparently that was thrown out for more adult characters...  The problem is that it also means that half to two-thirds of the material that was actually plotted was also thrown out if that was the case (and that would not surprise me).

 

I had considered giving this one a try as I basically feel that GRR Martin can't write to save his life but that the actors who actually had to find some character motivation managed to save it when they brought it to screen (at least improve it depending on how you felt about the red wedding and other such events).  I figured I might at least enjoy some of it the way I did with GoT but it sounds like even that was failed based on editorial choices.

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Remember...  When the first 5 books were publish they were shelved with Eddings and Brooks.  It was marketed as a YA fantasy coming of age story for Rand (and to some extent the whole ensemble).  Even today Amazon marks The Eye of the World as aimed at 12-17 year-olds, the classic definition of YA.

I don't know what they did with the series after Jordan called Kings-X in the middle of The Fires of Heaven and scrapped his entire setting and planned character development.  I also cannot speak for the TV series since you argue that they threw out the coming of age stuff for more adult topics (again, not that this surprises me).

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I also don't recall ever seeing these in YA section when I bought the books...but I also don't recall YA sections in Powell's back then 🙂  Pretty sure I always just went to the SciFi/Fantasy section and there they were.

That being said, it has been so long since I read the books, I recall very little.  And, I'm really enjoying the TV show so far, even knowing some of the differences in story already happening.  Jordan built a really cool fantasy world, that yes, publisher's and greed ruined by extending it way too far.  But I look forward to finishing the season and evidently season 2 is already greenlit.

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So far, I'm not hating it. Not overjoyed either. But you have to imagine how much detail Jordan put into the books, explaining leaves, wind, and all sorts of things that made the books drag on (his style). That said, anyone who hasn't watched the show might be lost. They didn't do a good job introducing the source of magic, histories, and other things the books lead up to.

However, I appreciate they're trying to stay close. The 4th episode I enjoyed a lot. But again, without reference of the books, I feel a watcher could get lost.

 

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Stay close? Other than the four kids being in the two rivers, nothing else has matched. Literally. The show really should say, "Inspired by Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time" because it is not his story at all. At this pace, they won't ever go to Caemlyn. This story is actually taking them to Tar Valon. I'm watching out of pure curiosity now. They have gone so far afield of the books that I really don't know what to expect.

And I don't really consider that a good thing. It has become train wreck tv for me. That can certainly be entertaining...but it is also a bit painful to see this aberration play out.

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3 hours ago, Brother Glacius said:

Stay close? Other than the four kids being in the two rivers, nothing else has matched. Literally. The show really should say, "Inspired by Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time" because it is not his story at all. At this pace, they won't ever go to Caemlyn. This story is actually taking them to Tar Valon. I'm watching out of pure curiosity now. They have gone so far afield of the books that I really don't know what to expect.

And I don't really consider that a good thing. It has become train wreck tv for me. That can certainly be entertaining...but it is also a bit painful to see this aberration play out.

How interesting can you make a 'walk' to the white tower with long term character development? Really, there's not much there, hell I'll bet the middle books are brought into ONE season, because there just wasn't much content more than talking about wind, trees, and the environment. Another, look at the cursed city and the dagger went for many chapters and detail, honestly, it would be 'wasted' once you put it to TV. Same with the ferry town, etc. There's just not much interest there, or long term character development. However, they DID miss a long term development aspect in the two rivers (way too brief).

The same is for many shows. So yes, it's close. The dagger Mat gets, sure there's more to it. But you don't need to tip the scales yet, reading does, but a TV series doesn't portray the message the same. When you have visual queues, you don't need to speak everything. 

That said, I said 'close', I didn't mean 90% or hit it accurately. But it's not a miss by any means.

I get the feeling it comes down to eliminate the fat and try to stick to the main points. This is the 'problem' and the miss. However, it's probably budget too. Who wants to pay millions for some fluff pieces that hold no long term value.

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I just see it as entertainment - basic high fantasy tropes ... I didn't read the books - I don't care for over explaining by an author/creator in any medium actually.

The book is different from a video series - it has to be. I would not consider them incompatible - but it is hard to mesh ideas from one medium to another. I don't connect the book series and this TV series - because I didn't read the books. But so far it is pretty typical high fantasy stuff - it isn't hard to follow. And unless your constantly comparing it to a book series written decades ago... it is just as good as any other fantasy show produced by a media conglomerate looking to get eyes on their media and advertising dollars. Amazon wanted a fantasy show to compete with its rivals - and snapped up the rights to Wheel of Time - probably purely for name recognition. Probably not as a fan of WoT serving measure - but rather the obvious eyes on screens reasons.

It is what it is... enjoy it for the geek serving fantasy tv that it is...( "here we are now... entertain us...")  just stop worrying about why it isn't enjoyable. - it isn't the books - ok I get it.

Is it YA or NOT? does it matter? The show feels slightly CW (weak acting / shaky if not typical fantasy plot - pretty faces - a bit of off the shelf CGI) - I am waiting to be amazed by the show... (not holding my breath) - but I will enjoy it for what it is and not what it isn't.

 

- I rambled... sorry

 

-d

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1 hour ago, Torg said:

I don't care for over explaining by an author/creator in any medium actually....

 

Is it YA or NOT? does it matter? The show feels slightly CW (weak acting / shaky if not typical fantasy plot - pretty faces - a bit of off the shelf CGI) - I am waiting to be amazed by the show... (not holding my breath) - but I will enjoy it for what it is and not what it isn't...

I think you hit on 2 points I hadn't thought about.

  1. First, Jordan is dead. And thus cannot guide book to screen like game of thrones had. They had the author literally helping while producing (even slowed the release of his final books). This has to be part of it.
  2. And I TOTALLY agree. I get the feeling of the old Xena or Hercules TV series' rather than game of thrones. You can tell they're trying, but it just comes across disjointed.

 

 

Oh, and for good measure 🤣

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