A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1471
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I never said he doesn't "deserve criticsm." Everything deserves criticsm. I said that "he wrote the two lowest episodes of the season, ooh interesting!" is a disingenuous take.
    I didn't say it was interesting, I said it was telling. Generally I assume the showrunner is eithr A.) the most talented writer on the staff or B.) Has a proven track record of making good showrunning decisions.

    Neither appears to be the case.


    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    @Rynjin - there's a ton of Monday Morning Quarterback (as well as some really naive statements like "could have been restructured quite easily") in that writeup
    I wrote a much longer, detailed description of how the show could have been restructured over on the WoTShow sub weeks ago, but the cliff notes because it really all is basic narrative mistakes/lack of coordination.

    Ep. 1: Allow for the entirety of episode 1 to establish characters in Emond's Field. Trolloc attack commences at the end; that scene of the Trolloc impaling Egwene's dance partner is an excellent image to leave off on for a week. Notably, introduce Thom like he should have beeen.

    Ep. 2: Attack on TR and all relevant scenes that come with it, gives us an idea of how all the characters function under pressure. Include them fleeing partway through the episode, crossing the ferry, etc.

    Ep. 3: Shadar Logoth

    Ep. 4: A more ensemble-centric version of what happened in episode 3. Dana the Darkfriend was interesting. She did not carry an entire episode on her own.

    Ep. 5: Continuation of the above. Include Moiraine and co. traveling with the other Aes Sedai on their way to Tar Valon, Logain, etc. Cut the big dumb battle scene because it looked terrible. Thom "dies". Audiences care now because he doesn't just appear from nowhere and then "die" an episode later.

    Ep. 6: Much of the current content could remain, with Moiraine and Liandrin's "trial" and everyone else sort of trickling in over the course of the episode. Cut Siuan/Moiraine scenes in the riverside shack. Move to season 2 as a flashback. It's good content but wastes a lot of time and actually takes much of the impact out of the Oath scene. Having Moiraine be exiled and then LATER revealing it was by choice allows for a double whammy of emotion rather than the one shot we get.

    Ep. 7: Can stay largely intact. Cut Perrin/Rand bickering. Take the time to explain the Flame and the Void if you hadn't already, as even with the extra time it could have been difficult to fit into episode 1. Fix the Machin Shin just being some dork who whispers mean things in your ears.

    Ep. 8: I got nothin'. I wrote the original schpiel when ep. 7 came out and there's no way I could have anticipated how much of an ill-thought mess it could be. Ep. 8 isn't borne of structuring problems, but writing ones, which are harder to fix.

    All of this is assuming the content of the season stays largely the same. No trying to cram in Caemlyn, etc. The 8 episodes we have to work with and much of the same content.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    but perhaps the biggest parts I disagree with are that the Dragon Mystery was a mistake (everything I've seen from non-book-readers showed how engaging that mystery was to them)
    Right up until the reveal happened and almost universal disappointment was expressed. Very clearly, the mystery was not a success in the long run. As early as episode 5 I saw a lot of show-only people saying "Well the Dragon must be Rand, he's the only character who hasn't done anything yet".

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    saying we should have dropped Fain for the rest of the season due to Matt's departure
    You can very safely and easily drop Fain from the one episode in the entire season he had a single proper scene, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    and a slew of nitpicks that just don't matter to the big picture. Ooh you can burn out in a link now, you mean there might actually be drama and danger in a linking scene, how terrible.
    Already covered below. You know exactly why this is narratively problematic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Egwene doesn't utterly suck at healing in this version, character ruined for all time.
    Yes, turning Egwene into mini-Nynaeve instead of her own character, with her own goals, own skillsets, and own personality is a ****ing problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Amalisa learned how to link before leaving the Tower - being able to link doesn't mean you have what it takes to be an Aes Sedai, as we clearly saw with the Kin who all know how to link as well. Just a bunch of bookcloak gripes that amount to nothing.
    Amalisa being able to initiate a link isn't a huge stretch, but it's a stretch that...didn't need to be made at all, so it doesn't really matter how big of one it was.

    And if you call me a "bookcloak" again I'll report you for flaming. I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume you're unaware of the full implications of the term as people are throwing around (that you are associated with the Whitecloaks subreddit, and by extension are a misogynist, homophobe, and quite possibly a racist).

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    As for "arrogant men broke the world" - Aes Sedai wrote the history books, and by and large that is what they believe, true or not. The show having them say that is not a change.
    Having Moiraine say that is an enormous change, and so is having the show back that up in the AoL scene. When, if taken out of context, I can't tell if a line is said by Moiraine or Liandrin, it's a poorly written line.

    RE: Thread name: I'm partial to "Wheel of Prime 2: The Recastening".
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2022-01-07 at 06:53 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #1472
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    So, I've been continuing my reading of Lord of Chaos. And I think I've finally settled on why I find this book unsatisfying compared to the others.

    This is the point where the series changes from traditional fantasy into a more Game of Thrones style. Yes, I'm aware WoT predates GoT. But that's the best way I can describe the change in style.
    What you're describing is a change in story structure. Specifically from an adventure-based structure to an epic-based structure.

    Stories with an adventure structure are about "participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises" (from the dictionary.com definition of adventure). Stories in the epic mode are about "a series of great achievements or events" (again from dictionary.com). Epic structure stories (often called 'sagas') focus on societal movers and shakers - traditionally kings, nobles, powerful mystics, etc. - and the wide-reaching consequences of even small decisions they make.

    This transition is a common one in long-running stories, especially in ones where characters undergo dramatic increases in power that massively elevate their status, taking them from essentially nobodies to individuals with broad societal influence. This makes is particularly common in fantasy, because such increases in power are especially common, but it's hardly unknown elsewhere. For example Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels begin as spy thrillers but transition into epics as Ryan gets promoted to the upper echelons of power.

    This transition is also difficult and it has a tendency to absolutely destroy stories that don't handle it properly, most often because the world-building doesn't work to handle the drastically increased scale demanded by epics. Harry Potter, for example, is a very noteworthy case of a story that breaks, hard, at this transition, because all the material designed to produce a (very good) coming-of-age tale about a boy going to boarding school crashes hard when the story turns into a secret war between good and evil. Wheel of Time actually handles this transition better than most. For one, Jordan deftly brings various characters and their attendant plotlines across the boundary at different points, Rand arguably crosses the boundary at the end of book 3, but Mat doesn't fully embrace his destiny until book 11 (and manages to have a significant adventure afterward), and the other major characters are all in-between.

    The bigger issue is that epic tales involve big and complex events with lots of people, lots of moving parts, and lots of logistics. This makes them extremely ill-suited to writing that is verbose, detail-oriented, and uses lots of flowery language. Many of the great 'classics' among epics, such as Three Kingdoms, are written in highly sparing styles such that events unfold fast, which keeps the narrative moving and avoids getting bogged down. A good example of this, from the same author, is LotR versus the Silmarillion. LotR has epic elements but is mostly written as an adventure, to the point of cutting away to the hobbits to avoid getting bound up in political debate (ex. at Isengard). The Silmarillion, which is absolutely a straight up epic saga, is written very differently and moves through events at a comparative rampage.

    It's still good at this point, but I don't think Jordan does this style as well as GRRM and I'm not looking forward to when it does bog down in the following books.
    Jordan wasn't as good as GRRM at writing unsympathetic characters. Many of his characters who are wrong but not evil, such as Elaidia, just sort of collapse into incoherency over time. As an epic necessarily has lots of unsympathetic people who are still, by virtue of position or personal power, extremely important, this is a comparative weakness. Otherwise though, ASOIAF mostly just has a head start on WoT, since it's an epic from the very beginning and features Ned Stark, a mighty lord, as the initial protagonist who meets with the king right away as the series begins. ASOIAF absolutely got bogged down massively by books 4 and 5, and parts of Dance are just as miserable to slog through as any portions of books 8-10 of WoT. And, of course, Jordan managed, with difficulty, to extricate his story from the mud, while Martin's is still stuck.
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  3. - Top - End - #1473
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Right up until the reveal happened and almost universal disappointment was expressed. Very clearly, the mystery was not a success in the long run. As early as episode 5 I saw a lot of show-only people saying "Well the Dragon must be Rand, he's the only character who hasn't done anything yet".
    It's really hard to overstate just how much goodwill the show lost with how it handled the finale. The show's rating on IMDB stayed steady at 7.5 throughout the first seven episodes. Then Episode 8 came out and the show's overall rating dropped to 7.3 within a fortnight.

    I think a lot of viewers were watching the show thinking "huh, they're really emphasising the mystery of who the Dragon is, but they're downplaying Rand super hard, that must mean they've got something really special planned." So they kept on watching and waiting in anticipation of a big payoff that never came.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and the final book in the series, Risen, is out as of December 2021. For updates, check my blog!

  4. - Top - End - #1474
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    For next thread title: "The arguing continues" may be fitting, but I doubt it'll be conductive considering the discussion's already tense at times. And it might be a bit of a red flag for people who'd otherwise join in on the discussion.

    "The re-castening" and "another crank of the wheel" both sound good to me.

  5. - Top - End - #1475
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    In that case I'll vote for the arguing continues. Nothing wrong with people knowing what they're in for when they choose to join a thread.

  6. - Top - End - #1476
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    WoT 2: The fanfic strikes back

  7. - Top - End - #1477
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    Originally Posted by Mechalich
    LotR has epic elements but is mostly written as an adventure, to the point of cutting away to the hobbits to avoid getting bound up in political debate (ex. at Isengard). The Silmarillion, which is absolutely a straight up epic saga, is written very differently and moves through events at a comparative rampage.
    This isnít a fair comparison, though. Tolkien was able to see LotR through to completion as the sole author, whereas the Silmarillion was pulled together from story notes he left behind.

    As a result, the Silmarillion varies widely in its scope and perspective from section to section. Some portions are very detailed and immediate, but others are more of an eagleís-eye overview and much less fleshed out.

    LotR is a single coherent narrative, but the Silmarillion is a pastiche of myths, narratives and summaries. They donít make a good pair for illustrating the point youíre trying to make.

  8. - Top - End - #1478
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    Was discussing this with my friend, also a WoT fan, last week now we both had caught up on the ep 8.

    Someone earlier mentioned their wife asking all kinds of questions all the time. And then we have this discussion about how unnecessary details are. Jordan's writing was sometimes dragged out, but a lot of it was necessary. These issues are related.


    I've been pondering Loial and the Ways. And none of it makes any sense.
    Why does Loial exist at all? He has no purpose in the tv series. He is needed to read the the street-signs in the Ways. Yay! But why? No Ogier can access the Ways because you need the power to do so. Apparently. What does Ogier and Ways have to do with each other? There is no internal logic here. The shadow can use the Ways. This was a big deal because it had IMPLICATIONS for the free world. In the series it just meh is a thing. Because we lack huge amounts of story that might explain these issues. No one ever explains the Ways, why they were built, why Ogier are involved, why and how they actually matter. And then they even stray from the books in how it works so am completely lost. The really hilarious part is the whole "brick up the waygate! ASAP! OR STUFF HAPPENS!" but why should it, what does bricking it up actually do? You need Aes Sedai to even operate it. Does that actually stop anyone with the power doing anything? In the books this all had explanations, in the series it's just "brick up the gate!" because reasons. And yet the line stays in there. For no reason what so ever.
    Padan Fain can apparently use them, somehow. Why did he though, the series gives him no motivation, and no mention. I read the books I know he should show up, but the series doesn't deign to explain anything at any point. Everything just is until it isn't. We are literally missing 2-3 seasons worths of episodes of vital world building so even the little we've been shown could make some danged sense, even in it's own scaled back internal little world. And it's driving me nuts.
    Everything here except for one point is explained in the show.

    The show explicitly says that Fain used the Ways to bring the Trollocs to attack the Two Rivers. The same scene where they demand the gate be secured includes a explanation that the Trollocs are getting past Fal Dara by using the Ways.

    The one point not covered was edited out. There exists a brief segment showing Fain exiting a way hate holding an object that is clearly acting as a key. This appears to have been cut for time, but demonstrates you can access them without the Power.

  9. - Top - End - #1479
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    The fact that a key establishing scene, which could have been under 10 seconds long, needed to be "cut for time" when they had time for multiple full episodes of non-canon material is...fascinating to think about.

  10. - Top - End - #1480
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    What you're describing is a change in story structure. Specifically from an adventure-based structure to an epic-based structure.

    snip
    Well summarized. I guess what I'm finding out is that I much prefer the adventure-based structure. My favorite parts of the later books are in adventure-based portions of the story too, like Ebou Dar. Outside of that there's only individual scenes that stuck with me.

    Jordan wasn't as good as GRRM at writing unsympathetic characters. Many of his characters who are wrong but not evil, such as Elaidia, just sort of collapse into incoherency over time. As an epic necessarily has lots of unsympathetic people who are still, by virtue of position or personal power, extremely important, this is a comparative weakness. Otherwise though, ASOIAF mostly just has a head start on WoT, since it's an epic from the very beginning and features Ned Stark, a mighty lord, as the initial protagonist who meets with the king right away as the series begins. ASOIAF absolutely got bogged down massively by books 4 and 5, and parts of Dance are just as miserable to slog through as any portions of books 8-10 of WoT. And, of course, Jordan managed, with difficulty, to extricate his story from the mud, while Martin's is still stuck.
    Agreed here too. Outside of Perrin and the Shaido, I don't recall any portion of WoT that engendered the "Oh my God I Do Not CARE" at the same level as parts of Feast and Dance.

    At this point I don't know if I'd read...Winds of Winter was it? He's left it so long that I'd need to re-read my least favorite bits of the books just to get caught back up, and there's no way its good after he's sat on it for over a decade. Jordan knew he was ill and hurriedly tried to do right by his fans by taking a chainsaw to the Plot Kudzu, which made for a gratifying novel getting him out of the corner he'd written himself into. Martin has no excuse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    The fact that a key establishing scene, which could have been under 10 seconds long, needed to be "cut for time" when they had time for multiple full episodes of non-canon material is...fascinating to think about.
    It sounds like it was cut for consistency instead. Can't have Fain using the Ways without channeling if you just saw Moiraine channeling them open. Of course, you then have to explain how Fain got them open in the first place...

    As I didn't see episode 7 or 8 (and good thing too it sounds like), did Moiraine have to channel open and closed the one at the other end? If she didn't, they could still be saying that you need to channel open the first Waygate but can exit without a channeler. That opens a mystery of "who let Fain into the Ways?" for future seasons.

    It's still dumb, mind you. Especially if nobody in the party questioned how the heck Fain got there. But it would at least be an explanation.

  11. - Top - End - #1481
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    Yep, she needed to channel open the gate to get out at Fal Dara as well. This is why Nynaeve needed to channel to hold off Machin Shin while Moiraine opened it.

    There are...so many things wrong with the Ways in the show. Everything about the above sentence hurts me.

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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    "You can channel the Waygates open, or use a ter'angreal" isn't even remotely inconsistent. And it isn't like Fain isn't explicitly using the ways anyway. Not only could you hear his whistle, that's explicitly how he's moving Trollocs around.

  13. - Top - End - #1483
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    It's just another example of a meaningless change that creates more problems than it solves. It's a lot simpler to understand "Ogier can open them, or anyone can with a special key" than "Aes Sedai can channel them open; other people can use them via unspecified means only revealed via cut content".

    The former is also vastly more interesting and helps explains why Loial is even along for the trip at all.

  14. - Top - End - #1484
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    Originally Posted by Rodin
    Martin has no excuse.
    Iím no fan of Martin, but this is extremely unfair.

    People who arenít writers often fail to recognize that writing is genuinely difficult. Even the most productive writers sometimes go for long stretches without much to show for it. Everyone has crises in their lives that no one else has a right to comment on.

    So Iím not going to judge Martin, or anyone else, for taking a long while between books. Life happens, interests change, what once flowed like fire now lies cold and grey. If heís having a hard time, kicking him while heís down wonít help anyone.

  15. - Top - End - #1485
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Iím no fan of Martin, but this is extremely unfair.

    People who arenít writers often fail to recognize that writing is genuinely difficult. Even the most productive writers sometimes go for long stretches without much to show for it. Everyone has crises in their lives that no one else has a right to comment on.

    So Iím not going to judge Martin, or anyone else, for taking a long while between books. Life happens, interests change, what once flowed like fire now lies cold and grey. If heís having a hard time, kicking him while heís down wonít help anyone.
    I'm sorry, but no. If his life circumstances have changed and he doesn't think he can finish it, or if he doesn't have the interest and wants to drop it, or whatever reason you like...all he has to do is say so.

    Instead, we got 8 years of "It's my top priority! It's only months away! I'm canceling convention appearances to finish it!" Note the date on that article - three and a half years ago. Robert Jordan published FOUR NOVELS in that window alone. He published 8 in the full window of time since Martin's initial prediction of when it would be done. Heck, Martin himself released 4 ASoIaF books in the 9 year time frame since he announced he had begun writing it.

    Martin dug his own grave with the fandom on this one. I realize that authors don't owe a completed series to the fans of their work, and that they can't be working on one project constantly. They're owed patience from their fans to allow them to put out a quality product.

    But that relationship goes both ways, and the very least fans can expet is a minimum of honesty. Even if it's just a "due to personal issues I'm not willing to discuss, I may not finish this". Dangling a book on a string the way Martin has done is shocking behaviour that I can't recall seeing from any other author, ever.

    Even if he publishes tomorrow I can't see any but the most hardcore fans coming back for it. It's been too long and his antics have pissed off too much of the fanbase.

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    Second thread is now up.
    Last edited by Palanan; 2022-01-08 at 10:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    I realize that authors don't owe a completed series to the fans of their work
    I actually think they kind of do. If you advertise your book as being Part 1 of a 3-part series, there's an implicit promise there that you're intending to write a Part 2 and a Part 3. It's one thing if circumstances mean that you genuinely can't finish it, but it's another thing if you decide you just don't want to.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and the final book in the series, Risen, is out as of December 2021. For updates, check my blog!

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