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The most disappointing aspect of the writing is the self-inflicted damage they did. THEY decided to make the DR identity a major plot of the season. Then they make everyone except Rand stand out in some awesome way, and finally pay off the DR reveal in some 10s montage that you hardly get to process. This was THE biggest story arc of your season and you pay it off in 10s? What the hell are you smoking?
Also a quick bit of shameless self-promotion: I'm almost done with a first "assembly" cut of season 1 into a movie - and these problems were very hard to edit around. I could remove many of the most egregious issues, but I'm sure I introduced some new pacing issues of my own. Will release a review candidate soon (today still if all goes well) and hope to find a proper movie in there somewhere.
> This was THE biggest story arc of your season and you pay it off in 10s?
It also doesn't make any sense with the plot changes they've made. Rand can channel, cool, so can Egwene, that makes him a candidate, but it doesn't make him the Dragon Reborn. Plus him being born on Dragonmount is not set up as a prophecy, so I'm still not clear why he and Moiraine believe he's the DR when they set off for the Eye. Min maybe told him? It's not clear.
It was Min. "That baby was something impossible."
They should have added another 12 seconds of screentime to that:
"That baby was something impossible. I knew when I saw it that the entire world would pivot based on the choices he made. No person I've seen since, including your friends, will have a greater impact on the Pattern than that baby."
> It was Min. "That baby was something impossible."
I have to assume it was, because nothing else makes sense. I do question the writing decision of building the whole show around the mystery of the Dragon, and not actually confirming it on screen during the big reveal episode. Also the mystery being solved by a random fortune teller who at this point is pretty much a plot device is not exactly satisfying.
Min's show viewings were pointless. If they introduced her sooner (like the books) and did a version of her book viewings, that would have created more intrigue.
Not to mention that dialogue at the Blight that Rand says to Moiraine: “I thought it was Egwene, you thought the same did’t you?”… I mean, why would Rand think that? All he saw was that Eg could channel a little… And Moiraine knew she was strong with the power, but enough to think she was the Dragon Reborn? It’s bad dialogue, irrelevant to the plot and just makes Rand look silly and bitter (he regrets being the DR, but I don’t think he ever wishes it was some of his friends either)
It's was done poorly enough that my partner still doesn't think that Rand is the Dragon, and that it's a Rand/Egwene dyad thing.
Im interested in your edited cut.
The assembly cut is done! I will share a new post shortly...watch this forum!
plus, one of the major elements that gives Rand potential candidacy for being the DR, his conversation with Tam about his birth, is introduced mere minutes before Rand fully accepts he is the DR.
If that was introduced at the start of episode 2, when Min talks about her vision of the baby we get to have the audience make the connection , rather than treating them like idiots who can’t remember anything past an episode ago. (Also, anyone else notice the very GOT way they did that shot? It pond almost identical to the shot with Jon Snow, showing the baby then cutting to the current day character).
After literally just finishing reading the episode 1 leaked script (written by Rafe) I can tell you Rafe is not a good writer and am legitimately unsure if he remembers the first book or even actually read the book at all. Hell on page 3 of the script Gitara Sedai tells Moiraine to kill the Dragon Reborn during her prophecy.
That leaked script was straight up painful to read. It’s one of many reasons why I’m skeptical of this notion that “the show would have been better if they gave Rafe more episodes/longer pilot. Episodes 1 and 8 were both him as primary writer, and as show runner he’s essentially the lead writer - that’s not good.
Also I seem to recall Brandon Sanderson mentioning that Rafe originally intended to exclude Lan from the Winternight fight scene, and straight up have Moiraine kill the ferryman with lightning in episode 2.
Killing the ferryman like that would straight up break the three oaths! There is no way of writing yourself out of such a mistake. As bad as certain parts of the show are, this sort of stuff hints at how much worse it would have been if Rafe didn’t have people moderating his adventurism.
I’m half through the script and it’s just bizarre… The only thing I’m sorry they cut was the myrddraal at the road scene which I think really would help build tension that was lacking in episode 1 (unless they did it and I just forgot). But the long initiation scene for Eg with the goat sacrifice, the “kill the dragon” bit and the sex scenes I’m so glad they cut…
Speaking of the sex scenes, I thought the Lan & Nyn had a creepy feeling in the show… I mean, if it was reversed and Lan had followed her to a family gathering, then entered her room after she said goodbye and asked if she wanted him to leave, would we have been okay with it? Because to me it would be creepy af… But I gave it a pass bc at least Lan’s character was given more background
Now reading the script, and the parts about Layla “holding Perry’s pinky”, I just hope they make Rafe cut any sex scene from the show, I don’t trust him with them
Nope you're correct the first scene we get with the Myrddraal is when it's horse is wandering though the town in that rain storm. The "kill him" scene is just so much proof Rafe doesn't know the series or just doesn't care. How people are still defending him I will never understand.
I agree on the L&N stuff too, but you are also forgetting the scene right before where we found out Lan could transport himself from sitting at a table inside to in front of someone out on the street instantly. Maybe Lan is actually the Dragon Reborn and just rediscovered Traveling. Oh wait that's stupid, traveling was never lost apparently as Moiraine and Siuan have their little love shack... Sigh.
But if we skip all the unnecessary sex scenes how will we know that " ... the female body should be seen as strong and
Having thought on the show for some time, I agree.
I along with most viewers, agree that we need to get some character development for the emonsfeild 5 earlier then we get in the books. This is clearly where we were going with some of the story arcs of Perrin, and the romance between Nynaeve and Lan revealing itself way earlier in the show etc. This establishes a relationship with this cast for non-readers early on.
I am hoping, that Rand will get his moments later on? Maybe that’s why he took the back seat this season.
Also, I wish that we would slow down on the girls channeling so hard. I am really afraid of the Star Wars sequel trilogy treatment of Rey. This is starting to head that direction. I love strong characters, but the audience needs to feel like the characters earn this power. Rey was a great character and Daisey Ridley is so charming. She was just misused. Let the girls go to the tower, and let the audience learn about channeling with them. In fact the tower is a perfect place for a info/lore dump.
Yes, I’m a little afraid that they made Eg and Nyn so strong from the get go that it will have long term effects in many arcs, even their own. How are we supposed to buy that Nyn’s healing skills are that special after after Eg saved her from the burn-out? Or be amazed at the Callanthor / Dumai Well’s battle scenes after some random non-AS bonded with Nyn and Eg just demolished a full army of trollocs? (at least if it was Rand they had established he had a S’Angreal and he is the dragon reborn)
Yeah I have a gripe with that too. They just took Rand's achievement (winning the battle at the gap) to the women. What is the point of the dragon reborn if everybody else gets to do what he did in the books.
And since for some reason the Eye is now the prison of the Dark one and when rand did the banishing of Ishamael it cracked, combined with Ishamaels smile i think they will blame Rand for the first crack of his prison ....
And how is rediscovery of travelling / telelanriod a big thing since suan / moraine use a terangreal that has that for getting some covert nookie ?
It felt like more often than not they wanted to have the "badass moment" whether or not it fits the actual narrative or not. For instance:
Nynaeve does a giant AoE heal. Looks totally badass. Totally doesn't jive with how the One Power works or any sort of healing we ever see. There's no Delving, she has no idea about the nature of everyone's wounds, hell she doesn't even look at them. Also that much healing are once should have probably knocked her the fuck out from mega fatigue. I don't recall reading about her ever healing anyone without getting her hands on the person. Maybe could once she came into her own, but... still. Superhero moment that is canonically nonsense.
Some might say that's nitpicking. I'd argue that you're making a giant epic that, if it's good enough for people to care about, they will dissect it piece by piece as they theorize over the how's and why's so maybe focusing on making sure the foundation is strong before you build these fuckers up too high.
So true, I look at moraine’s use of The Ways in the first book, IT WAS A HUGE MOMENT. The amount of bravery and knowledge it took to take that chance was insurmountable. They kind of diluted that with her telelanriod usage in the show.
Also how did we go two whole episodes and no one even mentioned why Loial was tagging along in The Ways. Haha. “ oh hey Loial I’m glad your here can you read this sign for us real quick?”
I was thinking about it the other day, and regardless of a person's thoughts about staying true to the books, I think we all can agree that the goal of the production crew was to *make a good TV show.*
For book fans, we would prefer it to follow the books exactly. But we (for the most part) realize that there will be changes. Yet, we still want *a good TV show*.
For show watchers, they didn't read the books and probably don't care if plot lines are changed or characters' motivations are different. Yet, they are here *for a good TV show.*
As many have commented on over the past few weeks, they failed at their #1 goal. Regardless of following the books or not, changes made to create exciting scenes, and characters added to develop a plot point, the show does not stand on its own. It requites explanations, clarifications, and backstory outside of the actual episodes that many watchers will not even bother to look at. Yet, even will all that outside material, and even with a book reader's background, there are major plot holes and inconsistencies. On top of that, as you say, the pacing, buildups to nothing, lack of payoffs, and production quality hurt it even more.
I hope that season 2 can elevate the story, because it's a shame that they had such a well loved IP to work with and this is what we got.
I'm a long term book reader (25+ years) and I didn't really mind changes, as long as it was good. But agree it did not turn out great. Passable maybe. First 5 episodes or so were pretty good, above average for fantasy TV IMO. I don't know if it's covid issues, poor writing or whatever, but the ending and these problems of lack of tension drag it down.
Think still possible to make it much better for S2, but not holding my breath. EOTW is a hard book to make into TV. Books 2-3 might make for easier/better show? Here's hoping..
I was okay with some of the changes, but it all fell apart when they went to Tar Valon instead of Caemlyn to meet up and just got worse plot wise from there. Everything else before that, though not the best, was still somewhat passable. And the last few episodes felt like they realized they were almost out of time. They expanded too much too soon. And the entire last episode was an absolute shit show of wtf.
I think it is a bit difficult to claim that they failed at making a good TV show when it was hugely successful and has generated mostly positive reviews.
Mixed reviews at best.
A lot of people watched it though, that is true. That’s why adaptations are constantly greenlit, because people will watch even when they are bad.
An average audience score of 66% and an average critic score of 82% on rotten tomatoes is certainly better than mixed. Metacritic has it at more mixed with 4.8 and 5.5 but that would still average out at about 65%
I'm not big on ratings sites, but here are some comparisons from RT.
Show | Critic | User
WoT | 82 | 66
Game of Thrones | 89 | 85
The Witcher | 81| 76
The Mandalorian | 93 | 91
Merlin (2008) | 85 | 88
Veronica Mars | 79 | 78
WoT is in the range of an okayish CW series. It's not as bad as 'bad' shows, but it's not getting good reviews. 'Better than mixed' is quite a stretch. Certainly not what you'd hope from a player like Amazon.
An 82% on Rotten Tomatoes means that 82% of professional critics rated the show above average. That could be 82% giving it a 6/10, or 82% giving it a 10/10, the aggregate doesn't show that.
That said, RT's "highest award" of certified fresh only requires a 75% critic score, with a high enough amount of "top critics" weighing in. So yes, an 82% is an extremely favorable amount of positive reviews, even if the reviews are lukewarm. And enough top critics weighed in here, that WoT is certified fresh.
Now, if you're going by the audience review, only 66% of viewers gave it a positive review. And that really does speak to not landing with it's target audience very well.
There's also a problem with TV reviews in particular, where critics tend to only review the first season of any given show. And even the, it'll usually only be the first season of a show that's expected to be a big deal, either because it's prime time network TV, or a big streaming show with a built in audience. Which makes it very rare to see any particularly low TV scores, such as the 60% NCIS Hawaii debuted to https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/ncis_hawaii , or the 47% of the live action Cowboy Bebop https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/cowboy_bebop_2021 . Mayor of Kingstown is an absolute flop with critics, but has a fairly high audience score https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/mayor_of_kingstown/s01 , as another point of comparison.
For whatever reason, the WoT series was appealing to the people paid to watch, and less so to the people paying to see it.
Both of those scores are objectively better than mixed. Comparing it to some other cherry picked shows doesn't change that. In fact, the critic score is on par with those other shows anyway.
While Covid and Barney leaving had an impact on the later episodes - the writing staff on the show is not great. A quick look at IMDb will show you the majority of the staff writers don’t have much experience, and the show runners background is mostly transient writing for B tier tv. This is Rafes first time as show runner, and it’s a pretty significant jump from what he’s used to working on (Chuck/Agents of SHIELD).
Episodes 4 and 7 are generally considered the strongest, and they were drawn up by guest writers (4 was Dave Hill, Game of Thrones alumni). Rafe wrote episodes 1 and 8; 1 got very mixed reception from fans and critics, and 8 was a turning point for a lot of people in the fandom and not for the better.
The shows writers room IMHO, is a bit weak. There’s a reason why the show has a reliance on tropes and a lack of long term thinking. Setup and payoff in the long game was one of Jordan’s strong suits, and it’s absent in the show - a lot of the episodes come off more as self contained short stories than 1/8 of a narrative.
Season 2 Episode 1 is written by Amanda Jane Shulman who also wrote Eps. 2 & 7 in Season 1. The title is A Taste of Solitude which comes from a chapter in book 6 Lord of Chaos. Her previous credits are Berlin Station, The Blacklist, The Following and Chuck, mostly for 1 season on each.
They started filming in July so I doubt there are many changes left to make since it was mostly done before Season 1 aired. The other writers haven't been listed yet for Season 2 but I can't find any changes from previous writing staff announced.
The actors are great. The directing and writing is terrible. Can I get a long scene in one shot? GoT in the battle at castle black there is this brilliant shot that follows Jon Snow through battle. We don't get anything close, we get Gossip Girl.
I will watch season two but I can't in good conscience tell people it's a must watch show.
Even in its worst season, the battle in Winterfell had that scene of Arya escaping the white walkers in the library. There is so much tension, we get to fear for the character’s life… compare that to the escape of Shaddar Loggoth and how the stakes never get that high at any point in the sequence. And I bet that was the cheapest shot in the battle of Winterfell (that was otherwise bad in its own way)
I'm surprised we haven't been crucified for having this conversation.
Are you really going to compare action scenes from the first season of a new show to a battle scene from the final season of the biggest TV show in the world? Obviously it's not going to be on that scale yet and it's ridiculous and unfair to expect it to be.
I mean, it's not like long shots are unusual. Lots of different shows do it. West Wing did long shots.
I’m not comparing the battle scenes, that wouldn’t be fair, GoT didn’t even try large battle scenes into much later in the show. But I think it is fair to compare a specific shot of an action scene with roughly the same narrative: there is a protagonist who needs to escape a location packed with supernatural evil bad guys.
Walking dead is not that stellar of a show and yet they make a living out of scenes like these. The show should be able to take its time to really show why we should be worried about the main characters, but everything ends so fast we barely understand what just happened - and this happens too often in WoT’s action scenes. Its much more a problem of execution than budget in my opinion
OOOH, I thought you meant a different scene my bad. I had just woken up and typed that on my phone lol. I do agree that Shadar Logoth could have been handled better. This season performed really really well, and it sounds like the amazon execs are very happy with it, so I'm hopeful that we'll get more episodes going forward so they can expand stuff like this to the point that it deserves. I think a lot of it is pressure from executives to keep things fast-paced so they don't lose viewer interest. I hope they allow the show to breathe a bit more as their faith in it builds up.
To be fair, budgets are similarly high and that was a shit season of GoT and they aren't referencing the good battle in S5 or 6. They said the LIBRARY scene with ARYA and WHITEWALKERS.
Season 1 of Wheel cost nearly as much to make as season 8 of Game of Thrones. ($80m for season 1 of Wheel, $90m for season 8 of Game of Thrones)
People keep parroting this, but it is irrelevant. GoT's final season cost $10m more for 2 fewer episodes. A *lot* of that money is just the same actors getting paid a lot more (Kit Harrington made $500k/episode for first six seasons and $1.2m/episode for season 8, for instance)
The flaws of Wheel are not due to budget constraints. Season 1 is one of the most expensive seasons of television ever produced. They weren't struggling to get by on a shoe-string budget. Amazon balled out of control for this show.
Edit: even season 6 of GoT only cost just north of $100m... Or $10m/episode. Which is, funny enough, pretty close to what Wheel cost. And I don't think anybody was expecting anything on the level of the Battle of the Bastards in season 1; or until Dumai's Wells in general, to be honest.
The escape from Shadar Loggoth seemed pretty high stakes to me. They all almost got swallowed up by the darkness.
The closest thing to this to be fair is Mat’s one shot during the trolloc battle in ep 1. Great scene & really ramped up the tension/makes you feel like you’re right there with him. I thought that could be a staple of the show moving forward.. & then I don’t think we see another again.
Yeah that was really good, and promising. I would think a cheap way to show a battle without Hollywood budget (or # extras) and still have tension, emotion etc. But then later not really.
They had the budget.
Budget for what? Firstly, it was already very expensive. I don't know their exact financials.
Second; I asked for them to do the "cheap" battle version, from e1, and early GoT. They didn't even do that..
Wheel cost $80m for season 1, or about $10m/episode. Season 6 of GoT (the one with Battle of the Bastards) was just north of $100m.... Or $10m/episode.
Amazon gave Rafe the budget. He just flunked it. Wheel is one of the most expensive seasons of television ever produced. None of the failures of the show are because it's season 1 or they didn't have enough money.
I don't think I disagree. More budget (bigger, badder etc) would not have made it better for me, that was not the problem. More TIME is what I was missing! And as OP said; tension. Both I think could have been done without necessarily blowing the budget
Writing talent is what was missing. Not time. Not money.
Nah...Gossip Girl actually had good writing for a while.
> Can I get a long scene in one shot?
There are a lot of things that people have blamed on covid that does not make much sense, such as the editing and animation, but that one kind of can be blamed there. That sort of thing involves a whole lot of people packed on a set together for a whole lot of time.
> The actors are great.
Perrin is terrible. Might not be his fault (bad script) but there's no way he was great.
I mean he's not Al Pacino.
Every 3rd person here points out that the show would be better with 10 episodes/more screen time/whatever. And yeah, for sure it would. But then.. Amazon is giving lots of funds for the show and its up to them how to spend that invesments. And yeah it fucking sucks, but its up to writers/highers ups to do things with the constraints they were given. You know... decide what is important and what not. Was entire Steppin Episode neccessary if you dont have time for anything? Was it necessary to add that atrocious Perrin-Rand-Egwene love triangle(btw that atrocity took probably more ep7 screen time than Rand reveal)? What about Lan buttocks bathtub scene? There is a lot of meh things that they decided to show despite their time constraints.
Also OPs biggest issue is no payoff with the Rand reveal/finale. I agree with it. And its not because budget/time constraints. Its simply because writers and higherups decisions that fucked it up. Making 7 episodes around WHO is The Dragon Reborn with some buildups like mentions about "the most powerfull channeler that ever lived" or famous "like a raging sun" from Moiraine. Only to get basically nothing interesting out of it. It feels like the writers kind of forgot about all that buildups and decided to move on. Just look at Nynyeave from episode 4. How cool it was. There were issues in the episode but its still most likeable episode by far. Rand got nothing... Nynyeave had like 3 or 4 more interesting scenes throughout the show than the entire season 1 Rand. Egwene aswell to lesser extend.
> It feels like the writers kind of forgot about all that buildups and decided to move on.
Are the writers used to shows where there is no overreaching story-line? It feels like a group of people that are used to making and tying up a plot in one episode trying to tell a longer story across a whole season and who don't understand how to do it.
That's pretty much the basis for Chuck, loose overall plot with most episodes being their own story. I haven't seen SHIELD, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same formula.
SHIELD started very monster-of-the-week, but the second half of season 1 onwards were VERY serialized. I think Rafe was on season 2 which wasn't the peak of that but it was still pretty story-driven throughout the season as I recall.
That’s actually exactly the background of most of the shows writers lol.
It’s very telling that the strongest episodes were written by guest writers - either way the show often comes off as more of a set of short stories rather than a cohesive season long narrative.
While I personally had a lot of issues with episode 8, I think like 70% of the people upset would have been appeased if they just let Rand have the damn money shot. All I wanted from that finale was Rand going full giga-chad and Michael Bay style wrecking the trollocs.
Giving it to a Z list character and Generic Villagers #1 and #2 was a bizarre decision.
Edit: hey downvotes are cool and all, but why am I wrong?
To me, the biggest problem was Egwene healing Nynaeve when it looked like Nynaeve was burned out or dead.
That was bad but even with that removed you still lack a powerful Dragon reveal. The emotional "fuck yeah".
What we supposedly saw was Rand x 100, which is maybe 50x what was shown in Tarwin's Gap. Or even if we just say 20x to account for the burnout that was not shown.
>That was bad but even with that removed you still lack a powerful Dragon reveal. The emotional "fuck yeah".
My biggest problem is that there was no in-world mystery in practise. I mean it was there, but no one was trying to solve it. Moiraine wasn't doing any detective work, no one was trying to use prophecies to figure it out. The audience only had meta-reasons for guessing (fun as it was).
They should've had some sort part of the prophecy, even if they made up something themselves, and had some scenes that hinted at the different people. Then more evidence pointing to Rand, culminating in it getting figured out in episode 7.
I agree and also the idea that one of them was the dragon reborn did not really affect them. When Machin Shin told them their deepest fears was it only Rand that feared and suspected that he was the dragon reborn?
Not one of the others had it as a huge fear that they are destined to destroy the world and possibly murder everyone they love? Perrin did not wonder that he was Lews Therin Telamon the Kinslayer after having killed his own wife and wolves acted weird with him? Egwene's feared being a fraud and not the dragon reborn? Really?
Having Perrin fear that he’s inherently violent or that killing his wife is something that he has in common with LTT would’ve been a lot better than fearing that he killed Laila because of his feelings for Egwene.
Well that part about no one trying to solve the mystery is just not true. Moraine is trying to figure that out and is doing "detective work" for most of this season. Pay attention to what she says and you'll see she spends most of her time trying to figure that out.
What type of detective work? The only things I can remember is her questioning Nynaeve about her age in episode 1, and wondering about Logain’s strength in 4. We were never given any prophecies except the date of birth. Nothing about lineage, or raised by the old blood, etc.
For instance, an in world clue could’ve been that prophecy line with Mat speaking phrases in the Old Tongue.
What are the clues that someone is the dragon reborn? Why does Rand think he is but not Perrin or Egwene?
Personally, I don't think Perrin believed he was the Dragon Reborn. He was too depressed to think about it. One of his outbursts was worrying if someone *else* (Mat) is the Reason Reborn.
I think Egwene wanted to be the Dragon Reborn, and therefore didn't fear it. It follows with her motivation of always wanting to be the next big thing.
The Clues? Moiraine is sussing out people's ages while she's in the two rivers to narrow it down, and asking about people's backgrounds. That entire conversation about cleaning the sacred pool was Moiraine doing detective work with Nyneave to figure out her age and background to see if it lines up with the prophecy she heard, without giving the purpose of her visit or her actual area of interest away. She does detective work like this throughout the series.
Rand thinks he is the dragon reborn because he's channeled twice in the show at that point, and he had the fever dream conversation with Tam from the books during the events of episode 1, but it was not shown until later. He was in denial for most of season 1, but the encounter with Machin Shin bring it all up again, and the impending doom of his friends forces him to drop his denial and accept his fate.
For Egwene and Perrin, they do think they could be the Dragon Reborn. Everyone in the show EF5 thinks it could be them at some point, except Nyneave maybe. I think Egwene and Moiraine both suspected Egwene was the Dragon Reborn right up until Nyneave channeled and showed she was stronger. Rand says basically as much in episode 8, and you can see how Egwene assumes the amyrlin must be talking about her when she mentions one of them being the strongest channeler in a thousand years.
Also, the biggest change they've made this season IMO that will have the biggest impact going forward is that the faith/trust in prophecies in this world is not as iron-clad as it is in the books. I suspect we'll get more into the actual prophecies of the Dragon Reborn in season 2, but these prophecies are thousands of years old and from a broken world besides, and they are not just taken at face value like they are in the books.
But why does Moiraine think that one of them must be the dragon reborn as early as she does?
Why would Rand think he is just because he can channel? It is not THAT uncommon and both Egwene and Nynaeve can channel as well. Same with him being born outside Two Rivers; why would that be a clue for Rand at all (or Moiraine for that matter)? And why would the dragon have to be the strongest channeler? What is Moiraine basing that on and why would she think that Rand is a stronger channeler than Nynaeve or Egwene?
No. It literally is THAT uncommon to be a male who can channel in the world at this point. Male channelers have been hunted down and either killed or gentled for 3000 years, so it is a big deal when one pops up, especially to the degree that the channeler has any actual strength. Thom's nephew could only throw a rock before the madness was clearly affecting him. There was also the matter of Rand's hair. Red hair is very very rare, and a trait associated with Aiel. That was a big clue, and it was brought up a few times. In the books, they know that the dragon reborn was born on Dragonmount, and they know the precise moment that it happened. We haven't been shown the Gitara prophecy scene even though they've talked about it a little bit, so I'll just assume something similar happened. That's why it's important that she knows if people were born in the village or not. She knows, or at least suspects, the Dragon Reborn is someone in the two rivers, but not born in the two rivers.
Moiraine knows the Dragon Reborn will be stronger than any other Aes Sedai because the Dragon Reborn is the reincarnated soul of the strongest channeler to ever live, Lews Therin Telamon. He's the one who began the breaking of the world 3000 years ago, and the guy we see at the beginning of episode 8.
In addition to his channeling and Rand’s fever dream, apparently Rand was looking at the *Karaethon Cycle* in episode 5, but there wasn’t any dialogue that indicated that. I think was a mistake. I’m guessing he read something in it.
Rand was apparently looking at the *Karaethon Cycle* in episode 5, but there wasn’t any dialogue that indicated that, which I think was a mistake.
Right, that would've been a good opportunity to throw a random prophecy quote at the audience as a clue.
Yeah that was…a thing that happened lol. The show is attempting to set some sort of record for fake out deaths.
Four in one episode, maybe 6-7 in the season. If you have book knowledge it might be 8 in the first season?
To me, it's the most truly puzzling thing. I definitely agree that Rand should've destroyed that army, but even *if* we're going for the girls doing it, why in the world would you 'kill' Nynaeve and have Egwene heal her? Nynaeve is the established healing prodigy.
Was it because they already had Nynaeve miraculously heal a bunch of people in Episode 4?
> Giving it to a Z list character and Generic Villagers #1 and #2 was a bizarre decision.
Because they are women. I hate to say it but God fucking forbid we show men being strong and powerful in modern media in a way that is positive or inspiring
RIP Agelmar - thousands of show only watchers will never know you weren’t actually a mansplaining douche who leads cavalry charges into a goddamn wall.
> I think like 70% of the people upset would have been appeased if they just let Rand have the damn money shot
With you on this. A lot of Dragon-fans kept holding out hope that "Ep 8 will fix everything; Ep 8 will fix everything!" Since we found out in Ep 7 who the Dragon is, the thought was that we wouldn't have to "hide" him anymore and we could find out why the Dragon Reborn is such a big deal.
And... we didn't. I at least was very disappointed.
LOL @ Generic Villagers #1 and #2.. hahaha
If only Egwene took a walking Nynaeve to back to the fort to get help.. and then healed her in desperation, would have been so much more cinematic. (no healing of what looks like death)
And Rand should have gone "full giga-chad".. haha.
> I think like 70% of the people upset would have been appeased if they just let Rand have the damn money shot.
This is why you are wrong. Giving Rand a "money shot" would have helped a little but it wouldn't save the show from 8 episodes of horrible writing and incompetent directing.
You’re right, I’m not saying that would have suddenly made it good television - the episode was more fucked up than a nun doing naked squats in a cucumber field. But myself and others were looking forward to “at least after ignoring him all season for that stupid who’s the dragon mystery, we’ll finally see him do something awesome. Surely episode 8 is where the budget went. Surely they won’t give all the cool stuff to Egwene and Nynaeve again…..”
I definitely don’t think the show would be better with more time and money. Look at the leaked script, there would just be even worse stuff lol
With 8 episodes they aint got time for shit like story or characters. Unless you're some random warder or a side character's dad.
Agreed. Along with tension and payoff, or maybe part of that territory, someone noted that the dramatic topography isn't well-tuned, e.g. something like Stepin's death is given a lot of time and intensity, to the point where it's almost even with things that *should* be the big moments. There isn't a clear sense (at least not in a show-don't-tell way) that the stuff with Rand is by far the most significant thing happening.
They seem to be writing on a episode-by-episode basis, without really tailoring the season so that it has a real peak. Instead, it's a continuous sawtooth ridge.
I was pretty well onboard with the strategic decision to make Moiraine the lead character, and treat the Dragon Reborn with some ambiguity in S1, but I think that in practice it resulted in a flattening of the material, to dramatic diminishing returns.
That is very true… in the previous episode, Rand and Mat don’t even comment about Tham’s sacrifice to save them from the Myrddraal so the audience is given no reason to think the character’s disappearance is important… Yet we get a long funeral for Stepin, with shots of Lan, Moiraine and Nyn suffering for the loss
The single biggest issue is having Rosamund Pike and Daniel Henney as the shows top billed actors. Scenes that weren’t in the books needed to be invented to give them more screen time and justify their top billing. Everything else is a symptom which stems from this.
Expect more of this in season 2. Rafes already said that Moirianes lack of page time in book 2 isn’t going to work for the show, so there will be more ‘show only’ scenes/storylines
I think it might have been because it was a little bit of book 1 and New Spring mixed together.
And yes, obviously that will happen. It's an ensemble show so everyone will get screen time.
Rosamund Pike is an unknown to you?
Not at all, perfectly aware of her star power. That’s the point - the story had to be tweaked so that it revolved around the star as much as possible.
Gotcha. I'd disagree in that it's good to have a draw that is not necessarily the main character, similar to Sean Bean in Game of Thrones.
The first book in GOT is about Ned they directly adapted from the book that into the show & Ned's death is what kicks off the story. Morraine is not the focus/POV of eye of the world meaning unless your talented enough to rework the story around her their always gonna be something missing.
If we count it like that then only Rand's casting matters, since that's the only character with real development in the first book.
Season 1 of GoT was nearly a scene for scene adaptation of the book. They didn't make Ned more important than he was in the books to suit the show.
Before this I have never seen her before. People pointed me to Gone Girl which I haven't seen and nothing else. Why are people acting like she's Tom Cruise level?
Well said. A lot of it really does come down to bad writing. I had a bad feeling from the start (rumors of four ta'veren... oof) and though there were moments that gave me hope those were quickly dashed by the show tripping over its own feet.
Now, just like many of the other issues, those can be fixed, but there has to be a willingness to improve. I fear that the showrunner's team is pretty much an echo chamber and no one on set or in the writer's room is willing to call it out.
Yeah it's very rushed and feels janky to me. It didn't have enough time to breathe and let things simmer.
I don't put that solely on the writers though. Some of it is writing - a combination of inexperience and being too trigger-happy with changes and additions, imo. But some of it is simply that this story is very difficult to adapt while holding to a reasonable time and dollar budget. There's a reason it wasn't tried sooner despite the success of the books and other fantasy adaptations.
Also I wonder how much of this is preference. Because it seems like some people really like a rapid pace. Maybe modern "premier"-style storytelling has passed me by.
I think saying "the show's kind of a mess, but it's not all the writers' fault: this is very hard material to adapt" is the equivalent of saying "the book's kind of a mess, but it's not all the writer's fault: he chose to write a story way beyond his ability to tell".
A creator is responsible for the premise they choose to tackle with their work, whether it be an original or derivative one. If they can't meet their goal, it's not really a good excuse to say "well, it was beyond their ability".
(I guess the distinction here is writers-for-hire who were brought in to write individual episodes once the show was already getting going, and the principal figures who have been involved from the start of the production.)
There's the writer's ability to adapt the material, and then there's suitability of the material to be adapted based on the medium it is being adapted to. Both are factors.
An original might also have an issue with the choice of medium, so I agree there that there's a similar criticism that can be made. But it's not "it was beyond their ability to tell this story", it's "it was a poor choice of medium for their vision."
The books series a whole are tricky to adapt yes. Then some later books yes.
The first book is just your basic 3 act structure story.
With a ignorant protagonist you explain evey thing to.
It's pretty basic story telling wise.
It's not a complicated book.
Our show runners decided to to make it a much more complicated thing by not doing a 2nd act in the middle 3 episodes.
so they left no time for the actual story they were trying to tell thus season.
The 2nd act is where you develop your characters you introduced in the first act. you find out strength and weaknesses you get character moments, along with setting up the final act.
Characters usally discover stuff about them selves fail or learn how to defeat threat at hand.
The show introduced new characters in the second act.
Then put most of the characters we just got introduced to in the first act on the back burner.
Then nothing in the second act was used to set up our character for the climax. To top it off they separate ever one again.... That makes it more difficult to film.
you now have to spread you screen time out over 4 different locations and groups.
We had 4 separate stories going on during the final episode.
Why make it more complicated.
Like if they can't even adapt the first book.
The story is going to get more complicated.
THIS!👆🏾 I'm busy editing the series into a movie, and damn the story is suffering without a proper 3 act structure.
Csnt wait to see this
Really good analysis, thanks for sharing. Hadn’t thought about the series through the lens of the three act structure yet and it clearly highlights some of the issues this season has.
I haven't seen it put this way before and I agree. The lack of a "middle act" hurt the story.
I sort of disagree that the first book is easy to adapt in this format (8 episodes of TV). It's very long and lore-dense, and the journey meanders in a very satisfying way on the page that wouldn't be as interesting on screen. When you try to condense it you end up with all sorts of structural problems that cascade into the next books. Not to say that it can't be done but my point is that it's difficult.
If you asked me years ago if these books would ever be adapted to the screen, I'd say "that would be awesome but no." There's a reason it took this long for them to try it.
I agree with you… and that’s also why I don’t mind so much that they cut some of the characters from book 1 (Elyas, Elayne / Elaida…) but then, this is one of the most straigthforward books in the series, it is worrying that they are already struggling with pace (and they also brought some problems themselves by adding new things)
If we are being honest, Perrin's early book arc is pretty much the only one from the books that it makes sense to stretch out more (relatively at least). I for one would rather have more of his story being the awesome stuff like EF and him having a single axe vs hammer debate vs redoing his conflict over and over and the Shaido *Shudders*. Of the characters, his is probably the one that can be most improved through synthesis.
Well they had 4 separate stories going on in the final episode for some Reason.
Like if the book did that I would expect the adaptation to put evey one in the same place, for time and budget.
but the show runners decided to make more it complicated and spread that 1 hour run time over 4 different stories.
Exactly! And also added the Horn subplot which I suspect most non-bookreaders didn’t really pick-up the importance of and could have been left to season 2. Another weird departure from the book, especially since the whole scene was likely written for Mat and probably had to be rewritten anyway.
That was with Perrin so the one of 4 stories I was thinking.
Eggy Nyneave and failed novice lady in the city.
Then Lord Algamar on the wall.
Which is the first story to end so we do get down to 3.
I really didn't get the Lord Agelmar thing. They made him super unlikable only to immediately kill him off? Why? Why even introduce him at all?
I assume they included Lord Agelmar because he was in *TEOTW.* Idk why they changed him.
Because they're bad at this.
> Well they had 4 separate stories going on in the final episode for some Reason.
The way it's coming across to me is that the writers want to make sure that all of the "Big 7" (EF 5 + Lan, Moiraine) get something in every episode. For whatever reason, this rule doesn't always apply to Perrin... D8
There's a post of the original uncut script from EP1 from before the producers got their hands on it up right now. I thought it...insightful into where the writer's heads were.
Yeah I saw it this morning and skimmed through. It really reinforced my idea that the writer's inexperience is a big factor in why the show disappointed. And it highlighted a frustrating lack of care for the lore.
So this is my fist ever comment on reddit and I feel strongly enough to say something. I hated almost every minute of the show. I spent the better part of a decade reading these books and they took something I loved and butchered it. Needless pointless changes made for no discernable reason other than to change things. They skipped 75% of the EoTW. Critical story elements twisted or completely left out. I am so disappointed. I will not be watching season 2.
I’m strongly divided myself… I may watch in hope that season 2 is better, but seriously considering watching alone this time and only recomending if its good. Girlfriend will probably never pick-up the books so I would hate if her final impression of the whole thing is bad. She was asking things in the end that I was just: “I don’t know anymore, none of this happened in the books”
Agreed. I couldn't even hate-watch it to the finish after the reveal >!that Perrin always had a crush on Egwene. !<
Ugh. I hated that. The way they handled Perrin in the last 2 episodes was godawful.
Wait, was that an actual thing? Or was he just talking shit to piss Rand off?
It is something that Nynaeve declared (!) and Rand perceived as maybe true under major stress after Perrin defended Egwene against Rand's accusations – and that Perrin simply denied. As long as it never comes up again this was all what was really told about it in episode 7.
Rafe confirmed that it will be in season two, but also that it's totally pointless, since they will get with their book partners.
In Rafe's statement I found it very unclear if they want to continue to milk this special relationship or if it meant that they will continue to milk simply any relationship as much as possible. Because we have no idea what show Perrin really thinks about it I think it is wait and see.
There was nothing in the series yet that contradicts the idea that in his mind he looks after Egwene like she is his little sister (so exactly how it is in the books) and many people in the series (and viewers) simply get the wrong idea. Thinking about it this would be especially confusing for a certain woman he will meet soon so it could continue even without Perrin really having any major crush. Perrin is often perceived wrong from others and misunderstood in the books. As he was alone with Egwene in the series I don't think we have seen any romantic feelings from him, or?
IMO, I don't mind Perrin and Egwene having more of a connection (platonic or otherwise). Perrin/Egwene having a more-fleshed out relationship establishes their contrasting stories. Egwene grows as a character the more she's out in the world, Perrin grows when he returns home. They have *very* different arcs, but they also have something huge in common, Tel'aran'rhiod. They're the characters who have the most story-relevant interactions with the dream world.
Having re-watched, there was definitely at least one lingering look from Perrin in episode 1 that leads me to believe it's real. Egwene is also the only one that he has confided the truth about his wife's death to.
Overall Perrin is the weakest character by far to me at this point. Can't decide if the acting is bad, or if he's just receiving terrible direction.
We could have another hint with Machin Shin that there are at least some conflicting feelings. But think that Perrin would have confided the truth to anyone in the situation he was in if they were so persistent as Egwene that he didn't do anything wrong.
Perrin is maybe the biggest problem of the show because we know of his true character in books because we get his POV. At least Faile has big problems to read him at all. I think the actor is really close to how others perceive Perrin especially one with additional PTSD. It didn't help his character at all that he seemed to be the stand-in for Mat in some scenes in the final two episodes and so had to sacrifice his own storyline.
You're not alone. Its as if they took everything that made the book good and took a dump on it. It's great that it's bringing in new readers, but I will never understand people who actually like this show as an adaptation. It's too far removed to be one, WoT in name only for me.
I rewatched LoTR over Christmas and afterwards i could finally point out what was missing for me. What i love about high fantasy is the sheer epicness and pathos if it; chosen ones, prophecies, saving the world, epic battles, all of it. LoTR completely embraced this unashamed and sometimes even doubled down on it combined with the soundtrack.
WoT the show tries to be fresh and young and modern, more trying to get on a personal level, which i can understand, the cast is young, everyone wants to make a piece of media with current relevance. But the books, far away from the stiff grandness of LoTR, are epic and full of pathos.
I want to see that: Gitara with white eyes making her badass prophecies, The Boys galopping after the heroes of the horn in slomo with dragon banner waving, Rand winning Tarwins Gap like a glowing angel, a killer ass soundtrack with a dragon theme, a seanchan theme, a white tower theme and many more each distinguishable and reckognizable. I think embracing the scope of epicness that high fantasy is often about, would do the show a very good service.
Amusingly, what I hate about fantasy is exactly what you love about it.
Yet, Wheel is great because it has both. In book form, anyway. The TV show has neither.
I hope season 2 will be better, as the rewrites needed cuz of Covid and Barney leaving royally fucked episodes 7-8, at the end of the day, I have hope they deliver for season 2, if not, I may not watch past it, I thought the first 4 episodes were actually pretty good, with some flaws, but after that it was steadily downhill
I was thinking about this today, also. If they wanted to spread the focus of the show to highlight the whole ensemble of Emond's Fielders, instead of making it Rand-centric from the start, then the climax of the season really needed to have triumphant moments for each member of the ensemble. Obviously Mat wasn't available, but Perrin was there and he was basically a nobody the whole episode.
I mostly agree with you. The only thing I disagree on, and people already pointed that out, is the decision to make the identity of the DR a big mystery. It only hurt the show as opposed to them focusing on other conflicts inside and outside of our characters.
Anyway, the writing was indeed pretty bad. It was decent in the beginning, but with all the little changes and with none of them actually making anything better, the show just collapsed on itself at the end of the season imo.
I would rate season one a 7/10.
My biggest gripes were:
* The mystery of who the dragon reborn is, as I think it lead to many of the other problems
* Changing the magic system fundamentally. From the small changes like swearing a 4th. oath, opening waygates etc. to the girls wielding too much power too soon, even overshadowing Rand.
* Editing and story. Too many things left out and/or not probably explained, while inventing new stuff that were not neccesary at all. Weird time jumps. Lacking character developpement.
Best episode: 7
Worst episode: 8
A lot of the flaws you point out could be solved if the show had more time, the first season everything was incredibly rushed. The shows pacing really struggled, they need to let the characters breath a little.
I'm worried, if they struggled with pacing out an 8 episode season that only adapted the first book how are they going to adapt the next 13? 90% of WoT is going to get cut.
I agree and disagree about time. Could more time have helped? Probably, but only for someone else as a runner. Look how they used the time they did have... I strongly imagine we would have gotten more fanfic than better story. Heck, LOTR did three books in 9 hours. Different format, so it's not a perfect comparison, but 8 hours is a lot of time.
If you haven't seen it and don't mind a ton of gore, The Boys is also 8 ep seasons on Amazon and is done infinitely better. I don't know the source material, but I was more invested in those characters than I was in the ones in the WoT show, despite having read the books numerous times. Watching those two shows concurrently really highlighted that the key isn't time, it's writing ability and knowing how to spread stuff around well (oh, and subtlety). Plus the actual production has some really impressive shots to help underscore the writing, which I felt was missing from WoT.
They did 3 filler episode as the middle act instead of focusing on the characters they just introduced here is a bunch of stuff that won't matter again thus season.
8 hours was enough time.
Lord of the rings was told in 9 hours on film.
I don’t mind 4 - more Logain was a good thing IMO. But the amount of time wasted on Steppin was mistake
If time was the issue, why add a 20 minute love triangle argue fest that didn't happen in the books? If time was the issue, there shouldn't have been anything significant added that wasn't in the books, imo.
I agree… And with that being such a challenge in a series that is that long, they spent almost three episodes on things that are not in the books (Logain, Steppin and Moiraine/Siuan plots). This were actually some of my favorite episodes, because the characters were given more time to breath, but they didn’t really contribute much to the overall plot and the important things in other episodes had to be rushed to accomodate
There is definitely a lot of room to economize. The episode six opener could have been Siuane and Moraine starting their relationship and then hearing the prophecy and it would have tightened things up so much better.
That would have been great… it would add more depth to Moiraine’s quest and the relationship between the two while also helping with worldbuilding by showing something about life in the tower and the formation of AS. The sequence of Siuan’s childhood did very little other than show that common people distrust magic (which is not really expanded upon later) and for the callback in Moiraine’s vow in the final scene (which has its own problems with nobody complaining about that not so subtle rephrasing of the vow)
I hate when people say that those of us who don’t like the show were just opposed to any changes. Six was my favorite episode but it still had some pretty big “they didn’t think this through” moments. At least that one had *some* good character development.
People just get that impression because virtually any change will have *someone* opposed to it, even if most of us are fine with plenty of changes.
I think they landed in some kind of strange uncanny valley between a different show and the books and that’s why the negative reaction is so strong. If it were totally different I could just walk away and view it as its own thing. But they’ll try to do stuff like the books and then it’s like seeing a beloved childhood friend get really really ill.
It's strange, but the points where the show slows down were some of the best, but as you say often parts not from the books! I still liked it. Better than when they try to cram in book sections just for the sake of
In certain ways, I think the suspenseful parts of *TEOTW* worked better than the show's "Who is the Dragon Reborn?" mystery. I think it led to better character development of the EF5 and better pacing. However, COVID, Barney Harris leaving the show, issues with the writing and having such a short season also hurt the show.
You know why LOTRs worked so well? Because it was a clear adaptation of the books. I wanted to see the story I read for the past 20 years. I want to see that story. And we aren't getting that. We are getting someones abridged fan fiction and it is frustrating because it is not nearly as good as the source material.
I don't think Rafe has done a bad job showrunning, and I see the things that he adjusted in the first season to fit with RJ's own later adjustments to things from EotW. I do think that more writers will be brought on to manage the complexity of future seasons, and with the numbers the show has done may be able to attract larger commitment from top-quality talent.
The point of this season is setup of overall narratives for each character, and to adjust for adaptation in a different medium (e.g. LTT will need a visual representation) in a later time period with different standards (e.g. We don't have to and shouldn't hide gay people). We all knew it was going to be the weakest season coming in because so much of what happened in the first book is either ignored or recontextualized later in the series.
Next season is going to have a lot of tension with the plot threads they set up, and I believe there will be a big time payoff to conclude season 2 based on what readers can extrapolate.
For example: Perrin doesn't really get an arc until book three. He gets powers but not a purpose until then. The series is setting up a man who doesn't believe he deserves love, wants to follow the way of the leaf and fears what he will become if he does violence. (Also Aram's line about the dogs is interesting). In the next season he is set up to get a love interest he actively avoids, struggle with his animal instincts while learning about his abilities, get his iconic piece of equipment, and overcome his issues to save a life.
I hope that you are right, and for what we heard the season was successful from a financial standpoint and this should give it more leeway for season 2… but I am worried that pace is already an issue and book 1 was maybe the most straightforward one to adapt (it is more of an adventure journey and has less parallel plots than others)
I understand those concerns for sure, but I actually think it's the least straightforward book to adapt.
TWoT changed so much over time, and the writers need to find places in that out-in-the-wilderness adventure narrative where they can setup key plotlines, conflicts, and concepts that RJ had not come up with yet, in order to form cohesive and tight multi-season stories.
You’re right about that. I think the books progressed from being about the protagonists and their adventures to being about the world and how everything is connected. I get why the show tried to bring this feeling from the later books to the beginning, but then the initial journey felt rushed…
Maybe in that sense, we didn’t really have to go to the Eye just now, if that was the goal. Bring the plots of Eg and Nyn as novices to Season 1, Rand could start training to become a Warden with Lan, we have Mat’s showdown with the quarterstaff and Perry… I don’t know, but its not like they did much with him either.
Then take us to the Eye in Season 2, the girls are not full AS but they are at least trained, we learn more about the meaning of the Dragon Reborn and the odds are higher. They would need some cliffhanger to tease Season 2… maybe the Reds find out about Rand, or a Forsaken appears, but something else that sets the Eye events in motion to bring us back to the show
I never read the books, but I think the show was pretty damn good. I think the character development has been done well so far, and the dragon mystery was definitely something that kept my wife and I interested.
I liked that my expectations of a huge battle between the dark one and the dragon were a bit subverted and we got a more cerebral showdown, while the channelers used their powers together to defeat the trolloc army. Seemed like every one had a part to play.
All this is to say, I think most of the issues that book fans have is the adaptations and changes made, which is totally fair. As a show, the writing and everything else is pretty top notch. It can be not the adaptation you wanted/disappointing and still be a well done show. Seems like a lot of people are trying to find and make up flaws when really, the show just wasn’t the adaptation they wanted, which is fine.
I don’t really dislike most changes to the story, even though it was not what I was expecting… but I felt most things were too rushed and the ending didn’t work for me, as mentioned in the post.
Having said that, I’m glad you liked and it did make me want to reread the books so that’s a win
One of my issues with the finale is that the battle doesn't make sense. Why have the channelers fight behind the wall but in front of the city? Just put them on the wall so everyone doesn't die first.
It's glaringly obvious and totally pulls me out of the story
Maybe I need to rewatch but weren’t the guys holding down the wall there to provide time for the channelers to have time to do their thing? Like if if was just them at the wall the trollocs probably would’ve overtaken them.
They're just standing on the plain doing nothing until everyone at the wall dies
> They teased and created this mistery about who is the dragon and I think that part actually worked (loved to see my girlfriend reaction when it was revealed).
For sure this is your most controversial take. I have literally not heard anyone else claim the Dragon Reborn reveal was effetive or satisfying.
Yes, I’ve seen a lot of critique not only on the reveal itself but how setting up this mistery got in the way of other important bits… But I feel the reveal did create some momentum for a final showdown in the last episode and then they did nothing with it
Reading your review kinda makes me think they should have cut MORE from the books and focus on perfecting fewer plot points total
Or maybe cut some of the original content? I liked the Siuan and grieving warden episodes but they were not really fundamental to the narrative of season 1… or the Horn part which was poorly explained and is Book 2
Mats actor left?