A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    This isn't entirely accurate, from what I remember. Isn't the point of the Last Battle that all bets are off? This is the one where the Dark One COULD finally win permanently, because while fate will arrange for the Last Dragon to get TO the battle, it doesn't guarantee victory?


    And, of course, Rand only survives to the Last Battle if he is, in fact, the prophesied Dragon. There's a few points in the series where it's possible he could have been yet another impostor besides the obvious meta knowledge that we know he's the main character (and therefore...he's gonna win anyway).
    I could be misremembering, but I believe that it is very heavily implied that the DO's only possible win condition is driving Rand so insane that he destroys the pattern itself. Also, considering it's a cycle and he's 0/infinity on wins, even on cycles where the Dragon defects to his side...yeah. Not really high stakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheStranger View Post
    I get your point that bad luck can screw up the best plans, and I agree that Rand’s plot armor makes it harder to say whether Sammael‘s plan is otherwise good. But Rand is known in-universe to have plot armor, so any plan that doesn’t take that into account is suspect, IMO. Sammael is fixated on defeating Rand in battle/combat as his path to victory. It makes perfect sense given what we know of him as a character, but I don’t think it’s half as smart as the Forsaken that try to control him instead.

    Even setting aside plot armor, Forsaken fighting Rand were 0-for-4 at that point counting only the ones Sammael knew about, including Be’Lal and Rahvin on their own turf. So Sammael’s brilliant plan is to engineer another one-on-one fight? Also, and this is an important planning consideration, he dies if things go bad. There’s a time to go all-in on a coin toss, but it shouldn’t be Plan A. There’s a reason Graendal was happy to see Sammael trying it.

    Contrast Mesaana’s Rand-in-a-box gambit (I can’t recall if it was ever stated to be her plan, but I don’t think much was happening in the Tower without her approval at that point). Obviously it didn’t work out, but I don’t recall that it had the disadvantage of requiring prophecy to be wrong in order to succeed. And even though it failed, Mesaana lost basically nothing from the attempt other than a few Black sisters. Plus, even the failure has some good outcomes in the impact on Rand’s mental state. To me, that looks a lot smarter than Sammael putting all his eggs in the basket of being able to beat Rand in a fight.
    To be fair to Sammael, he tried to broker a truce, and when that didn't work he tried a sneak attack at Cairhien. He didn't opt for a straightforward fight until Rand made it clear he had no choice. He's not the type of person who can just manipulate from the shadows. Sure he has compulsion, but his strengths are army building and strategy, not manipulation.

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    That's one of the things I actually don't like about the setting. Ultimately, Moridin is right. They ARE stuck in an endless loop without real free will. Sure, they can (maybe) make small decisions for themselves, but ultimately the pattern is going to loop them back around to the same major events no matter what they do.

    Even the protagonist's victory is basically pre-ordained when you consider that they've won the conflict what is basically an infinite number of times in a row before. It really lowers the stakes of the story once you figure out that the protagonists can't actually lose.
    My understanding is that the protagonists have lost in the past, just never so badly that the Wheel got broken. Past Dragons have died or gotten Turned, but the good guys managed to eke out a stalemate in those instances, kicking the can down the road to another age or even another turning of the Wheel entirely.

    My take on Moridin's/Shai'tan's philosophy:

    Spoiler: What it all means
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    "We are reborn," Rand thought, "so we can do better the next time. So do better."

    Yes, if you remove man's capacity do evil entirely, you've created a world without free will and that's just as bad as the Dark One winning.

    But I also think there's a difference between evil and Evil. The Dark One's variety of Evil is flat impossible to win against without a Dragon and destiny itself batting cleanup. When you have bad guys that can forcibly convert your magical artillery to his side, keep bringing back your worst enemies unless they're killed a very specific way, transform your civilians into shock troops with special powers and even taint your only means of effectively fighting back, that's a level of force that just can't be beaten without a prophesied Chosen One.

    Comparatively more mundane "evils" like the Seanchan and the Children, even the Finns - and new ones yet to come - can still exist without the former. Mankind will have to deal with those themselves, but that's the point of free will. And without Shai'tan's absolute corruption in the Pattern, we'll have a fighting chance to do so.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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  3. - Top - End - #183
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    There's quite a lot of leeway between 'complete destruction of the universe is unlikely' and 'no stakes'.

    Sammael is attacked. He doesn't pick a fight at all. The Forsaken's plan was actually for him to be attacked, and then Rahvin and Graendal would back him up. He was unhappy about that, for obvious reasons.

    Rand's not invincible, Fain got in a good stab that put him down hard.

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    My understanding is that the protagonists have lost in the past, just never so badly that the Wheel got broken. Past Dragons have died or gotten Turned, but the good guys managed to eke out a stalemate in those instances, kicking the can down the road to another age or even another turning of the Wheel entirely.
    I dont know. I do think it sounded like, that killing the Dragon, or turning him, was at best a stalemate for the DO.
    Because it had taken place before the Dragon "Awakening" to his role.

    At that point it became impossible to stop him from getting to the last battle.
    But in turn, turning the Dragon there was the DO's one true victory condition.
    Since nothing else would allow the DO to break free.
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  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    I dont know. I do think it sounded like, that killing the Dragon, or turning him, was at best a stalemate for the DO.
    Because it had taken place before the Dragon "Awakening" to his role.

    At that point it became impossible to stop him from getting to the last battle.
    But in turn, turning the Dragon there was the DO's one true victory condition.
    Since nothing else would allow the DO to break free.
    Spoiler: A Memory of Light
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    Considering the DO's true endgame is the annihilation of the universe, one would hope that the chance of it actually happening is actually really small. Rand dying/turning is plenty of stakes for the purpose of a story and the characters involved. The fact that the universe is on the line explains why the Dark One keeps doing this, and how hard it is to toe the line to make that happen explains why it hasn't happened yet despite countless past attempts, without completely neutering the Dark One as a force to fear
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  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    There's quite a lot of leeway between 'complete destruction of the universe is unlikely' and 'no stakes'.

    Sammael is attacked. He doesn't pick a fight at all. The Forsaken's plan was actually for him to be attacked, and then Rahvin and Graendal would back him up. He was unhappy about that, for obvious reasons.

    Rand's not invincible, Fain got in a good stab that put him down hard.
    He also, you know, got one of his hands blown off.

    I wonder how the Amazon series is going to handle that if they get to it, or if they're going to chicken out like The Walking Dead tv series did?

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    He also, you know, got one of his hands blown off.

    I wonder how the Amazon series is going to handle that if they get to it, or if they're going to chicken out like The Walking Dead tv series did?
    Probably like Game of Thrones did. Or have Nynaeve figure out regeneration.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Something else to keep in mind about free will and its implications when prophecy is involved. As ive said before, just because the outcome is predetermined, it doesnt mean the choices made along the way are, so free will is still a thing, but that aside, the other 99.999% of the universe not being guided around by an immutable destiny does not even have that little of a limit on what their free will can accomplish. David Eddings actually had something very similar in his belgariad/mallorean series. We learn, deep into the series iirc, that
    Spoiler: just in case someone wants to read the books themselves
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    the accident that caused the whole child of light and dark thing to happen in the first place, has also frozen the universe so events are constantly cycling through the same general path over and over again as each side racks up points that will lead to the final EVENT where the choice will be made and a final victor will be determined. This has been going on since before their world existed. And its only at the end it has become obvious because the cycle is accelerating as it approaches the end. Its only after belgarath has been working for a few thousand years on this, and the same child of light is in place to experience the events all over again, albeit with different particulars. The series has its prophecies, and its set in stone, such that even the gods trying to avert certain events fail in the attempt and suffer for it. But even then its not what the outcome will be, just that at a certain time and with certain people, an event will occur.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Traab is yelling everything that I'm thinking already.
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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Probably like Game of Thrones did. Or have Nynaeve figure out regeneration.
    Depends on what difficulty you're concerned about. Gore avoidance for losing a hand is actually easier with a Fantasy show than it is with something like Walking Dead - you just have a flashy fire effect, then cauterized stump Empire Strikes Back style.

    The bit where it gets hard is if it sticks around for a while. You have to figure out the best way to show the character missing a hand for a long period of time. GoT did it with the mechanical hand, which lets the actor wear a glove. Wheel of Time doesn't have that elegant solution, but it is a much higher magic setting so they could easily justify him getting it healed after being without for a few episodes.

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Depends on what difficulty you're concerned about. Gore avoidance for losing a hand is actually easier with a Fantasy show than it is with something like Walking Dead - you just have a flashy fire effect, then cauterized stump Empire Strikes Back style.

    The bit where it gets hard is if it sticks around for a while. You have to figure out the best way to show the character missing a hand for a long period of time. GoT did it with the mechanical hand, which lets the actor wear a glove. Wheel of Time doesn't have that elegant solution, but it is a much higher magic setting so they could easily justify him getting it healed after being without for a few episodes.
    Or he could just get a golden hand of his own like Jaime did, diverging from the books slightly. DarkRand is certainly vain enough, and it wouldn't change the narrative really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    Something else to keep in mind about free will and its implications when prophecy is involved. As ive said before, just because the outcome is predetermined, it doesnt mean the choices made along the way are, so free will is still a thing, but that aside, the other 99.999% of the universe not being guided around by an immutable destiny does not even have that little of a limit on what their free will can accomplish. David Eddings actually had something very similar in his belgariad/mallorean series. We learn, deep into the series iirc, that
    Spoiler: just in case someone wants to read the books themselves
    Show
    the accident that caused the whole child of light and dark thing to happen in the first place, has also frozen the universe so events are constantly cycling through the same general path over and over again as each side racks up points that will lead to the final EVENT where the choice will be made and a final victor will be determined. This has been going on since before their world existed. And its only at the end it has become obvious because the cycle is accelerating as it approaches the end. Its only after belgarath has been working for a few thousand years on this, and the same child of light is in place to experience the events all over again, albeit with different particulars. The series has its prophecies, and its set in stone, such that even the gods trying to avert certain events fail in the attempt and suffer for it. But even then its not what the outcome will be, just that at a certain time and with certain people, an event will occur.
    I personally think the immutable (or mostly immutable?) prophecy stuff only applies to TG:
    Spoiler: AMoL
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    Once the Dark One is out of the picture, all bets are off. Much like how Aviendha's vision of the Aiel's future was only a possible one.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2021-09-20 at 03:38 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    Well, apparently Mat Cauthon has been recast. Season 1's Mat Cauthon is played by Barney Harris, while Season 2's Mat will be played by Donal Flinn (apparently he was a minor character in The Witcher).

    That's going to be a little awkward to explain in the Season 2 premiere.

    Rand: "Wow, Mat, you look . . . uh . . . different . . . with the dagger gone."
    Mat: "Yeah, that Aes Sedai healing made a new man out of me."
    Last edited by Saph; 2021-09-21 at 02:42 AM.
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  12. - Top - End - #192
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    He looks a little more like how I pictured Mat. I wonder what prompted the recast though.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    He looks a little more like how I pictured Mat. I wonder what prompted the recast though.
    You'd expect a company like Amazon to lock in its actors pretty strictly, so it's probably a case of Amazon firing him, rather than the actor deciding to quit. There's a good chance we won't know the real reason for years, though.
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  14. - Top - End - #194
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    I would have said the opposite. Amazon is really invested in this cast's success and would have made double sure to get it right the first time, so it's more likely that Barney Harris dropped out for personal or (heavens forbid) health reasons.

    Like you said though, it's unlikely we'll know what happened, for the actor's privacy, so all we can do is look forward to the new guy.

    It's unfortunate that this news leaked before the season dropped, since it means Harris' performance will be colored by the knowledge that he won't be what we'll seeing for future seasons, but it is what it is.

    I hope Harris' performance is great, and that he's in good health, and I hope Finn's performance is great too.

    I've watched some of the clips circulating around on Twitter of Time and he's, like, mega cute and already has big Mat Caution energy all by himself so at least he has that going for him
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    Twitter of Time is all over the place with this news, but one of the funnier reactions I saw today:

    "It's actually easy. Barney goes into an inn, eats three chickens, Donal comes out. Three chickens can change a man"
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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  16. - Top - End - #196
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    Twitter of Time is going through the six stages of recasting grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, horny, acceptance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok
    She’s graduated from child soldier to unstable teen sorceress, way to go.

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Leaving the show before the first season has even aired. Thats not a good look.

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    Leaving the show before the first season has even aired. Thats not a good look.
    Partly that's a Covid thing. The first season's been mostly finished for over a year now, and the second season is currently filming. Makes it rather difficult to hide this news.

    Quality of performance is pretty much the only reason for this recasting that would actually be a problem for the show, and I don't think it anywhere near the most likely. Health, some kind of personal trouble, or a personality conflict within the cast all seem more likely (extended location shoots in foreign countries are hard on actors, doubly so young ones, triply so under Covid protocols). It's not uncommon for shows with large ensemble casts to have actors who personally despise each other in the mix - GoT famously had to keep Bronn and Cersei separate for this reason - and a role as big as Mat's is sufficiently important to force Amazon to make a choice in an 'it's either him/her or me' kind of scenario.
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  19. - Top - End - #199
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    New clip out today:

    Last edited by Ashen Lilies; 2021-10-08 at 02:19 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok
    She’s graduated from child soldier to unstable teen sorceress, way to go.

  20. - Top - End - #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashen Lilies View Post
    New clip out today:
    Interesting. Obviously it's hard to judge from such a short clip, but I'm not sure I like the amount of tension they put in that scene. Also Moiraine was immediately recognized as Aes Sedai, which is probably an irrelevant change but perhaps not - the only real difference would be in the scene where she gives Rand and Mat the tracker coins, which for all we know might have been cut entirely.
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    It's not much of a change actually - Marin al'Vere identified what she was in the books too, it just happened offscreen during the Women's Circle meeting after Fain arrived.

    Looks like this scene takes place some time after Egwene's river-shove initiation by Nynaeve. (Way to walk in in a black cloak Lan, that's not suspicious at all!)

    Looks like Moiraine snubbing Nynaeve there is going to be the basis of some of their animosity in this book

    (Good grief, Rand's actor has a hella deep voice.)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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  22. - Top - End - #202
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    I wonder if Moiraine and Lan rehearsed that dramatic entrance through ahead of time.

    "Lan you're going to walk in and just stand there menacingly without taking your hood down or saying anything. I'm going to wait out here in the rain for 20 seconds until someone finally asks you who the bloody ashes you are. You're going to look so dramatic and badass, it's going to be great."

    Josha's accent breaks through very slightly when he says "yeah yeah yeah" to Perrin and I found it kind of adorable.

    Moiraine being pegged as an Aes Sedai instantly I see as kind of an efficiency of storytelling thing. It's an 8-hour season, you don't really have time to mess around. From that scene we immediately get an idea of just what Moiraine is and how everyone sees her - fear and suspicion mostly, respect and obedience from Marin mixed with fear, hostility from Nynaeve. I noticed that we get two shots of Egwene that immediately mark her as the odd one out. She seems more intrigued and curious than scared.

    I ended up watching the panel at NYCC, and it was mostly fluff, but there were some interesting bits. The cast all seemed to connect with their characters very well. Josha (Rand) is the furthest along in reading the books, currently on book 11(!). Madeleine (Egwene) and Zoe (Nynaeve) are right behind him. We got an Elayne casting confirmation for S2 (Ceara Coveney) and two more casting announcements (Natasha O'Keeffe, Meera Syal) for undisclosed but "very important" roles. No idea who the first might be, but the second definitely looks like a Verin to me.
    Last edited by Ashen Lilies; 2021-10-08 at 06:35 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok
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    I don't know, I'm getting major generic vibes off it. Taking an iconic series and trying to make it look as 'fantasy' as possible.

    And walking in with a hood up like that is a rookie mistake - it impedes situational awareness. And all to be a bit I'd a poser. That ain't Lan.

    And the sword over the shoulder...*sigh*. That is one trope in fantasy that really needs to die.

    And they have really changed up the opening of the book. Does make you wonder how much more will be changed.
    Last edited by Corvus; 2021-10-08 at 06:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    I don't know, I'm getting major generic vibes off it. Taking an iconic series and trying to make it look as 'fantasy' as possible.
    I don't think that's really a problem. This scene is set in the Two Rivers, which is supposed to be a fairly generic-fantasy-esque place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    I don't think that's really a problem. This scene is set in the Two Rivers, which is supposed to be a fairly generic-fantasy-esque place.
    But in this case you get a tavern scene so generic that it could be the start of every d&d campaign.

    There was no tavern scene in the books and two rivers was a bit more sombre than that because winter was not ending.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    walking in with a hood up like that is a rookie mistake - it impedes situational awareness. And all to be a bit I'd a poser. That ain't Lan.
    Yeah, gotta watch out for those sheepherders and thatchers man. That Cenn Buie, he gets right in your blind spot and bam!
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Yeah, gotta watch out for those sheepherders and thatchers man. That Cenn Buie, he gets right in your blind spot and bam!
    So he is magically aware of exactly who everyone is before he enters?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    That Cenn Buie, he gets right in your blind spot and bam!
    It's no joke! You let him get up close and pow, suddenly you've wasted half the day trying to excuse yourself while he complains about kids these days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    So he is magically aware of exactly who everyone is before he enters?
    No, but he's been to small remote villages before. Once or twice. You don't need "magic" to roll a knowledge check.

    (I mean come on, freaking Elaida knew what Two Rivers people are like, yet you think Lan doesn't?)

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    It's no joke! You let him get up close and pow, suddenly you've wasted half the day trying to excuse yourself while he complains about kids these days.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Ext. Sig (Handbooks/Creations)

  30. - Top - End - #210
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ashen Lilies's Avatar

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    Jun 2008
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    Default Re: Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime

    Shoulda just sent Cenn Buie to Shayol Ghul. A couple hours with him and Shai'tan woulda sealed himself away just for some peace and quiet.
    Last edited by Ashen Lilies; 2021-10-08 at 08:51 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok
    She’s graduated from child soldier to unstable teen sorceress, way to go.

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