I Didn’t Read Wheel of Time, But I Did Stay In A Holiday Inn Express Last Night

Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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  1. Cort Richards
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    Ha. GRRM knew how to write for TV, and even though his SoIAF is “The thing I could never get on TV” — his writing is still fundamentally a television writers. His grasp of dialogue (and soap opera “on the edge of your seat” writing) is what you read him for.

    The physicist got read for his worldbuilding — WoT is always a fine place to visit, a travel-log of oddball places. It’s not a good fit for a television show. A roleplaying game would have been a far better fit.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
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      Huh. That guy says that the first book was good but they got worse… the folks I know IRL tell me that the first book was a slog (but it was 1990!) but the books got good.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
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        The thing I’ve realized (and said before) about long series is that if you’re jumping in, you should start with the second book. That’s the one where the author has figured out who the characters are and what their story is going to be, figured out what parts of the world to keep and what parts to drop, figured out the tone they’re going to take. The subsequent books will be much more like the second than they will be like the first.Report

      • Fish in reply to Jaybird
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        I was one of those “the first book is to be endured” people, but I have to say that, having just reread it, it was much better than I remembered. And “The Great Hunt” is so, so much better.Report

    • Shadow World in reply to DensityDuck
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      You should read Sanderson’s critiques. RJ’s wife finally said, “Put up or shut up” and gave him the contract to finish the books.Report

  2. Kristin Devine
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    Actually, weirdly, I myself just finished the show last night and as someone who has read the books, twice, though have never been able to force myself to read the Brandon Sanderson ending, I did not love it. It was ok. The aesthetics were fabulous, better than GoT, but much of the rest was meh. I will write about it, but this show could have done with a lot less of the CW vibe than it had.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Kristin Devine
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      I had the benefit of having someone next to me explain stuff.

      The reds don’t have warders. They are good at their jobs because they don’t like men.
      The blues and greens have warders. The blues are besties with their warders and the greens sleep with their warders.

      And then I had questions that my own local font of knowledge didn’t have the answer to.

      “Was Darth Valda always eating something in the books? I like how he’s always eating some kind of gourmet food.”
      “I don’t remember.”

      I suppose I have a handful of questions about some of the mechanics in the books. Like, in the show, dudes who channel “go mad” but this manifests as them hearing voices and seeing people who aren’t there. My question is whether the voices they hear are representative of something or if the dudes are just, like, legit insane. The false dragon? Like, he was hearing real entities. Right? Those entities were real, right?

      And what the hell was Darth Valda doing a mile or two away from the tower? I can understand resenting the heck out of the Aes Sedai out there in the real world but he was within eyeshot of the tower itself! Anybody can take on one Aes Sedai but, like, nobody can take on *ALL* of them.

      And those last two episodes? Like, aren’t you guys even going to *TALK* before you go off to save the world? What the hell!Report

      • North in reply to Jaybird
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        In the books the Dark One’s taint on Saidin (the male half of the power) is like an oil slick that overlays the power. You can still touch the power but you have to reach through the slick to do it and, thus, necessarily get the oil slick on you. The taint manifests in extremely varied ways for each user that is dependant on their affinity for the power, mental health and- above all- the amount of channeling they do. It has only a small number of consistent “rules”:
        -it manifests as mental degradation initially but eventually also presents in physical degradation as well;
        -the madness always eventually develops to nihilistically violent behavior against the world, male channelers don’t go catatonic or just blow their brains out- they do vast damage to the world around them in wild spasms of violence when they get to that stage. That is why the Red Ajah is always in such a hurry to find and still them.

        The madness doesn’t have many rules beyond that. It very often involves memories and hallucinations based on the male channelers own past but doesn’t have to. Delusions of grandeur are common but not required. False dragon delusions are much less common but not unheard of.

        The massive destruction male channelers can wreak is the basic explanation for the Red Ajah. Reading the books or watching the show you can go “Why does anyone anywhere like these red garbed hags? They’re horrible people!” But those horrible people are the primary reason why mountains don’t tip over sideways periodically and the seas don’t boil. That buys them a lot of social respect. Crazy male channelers are just that awful.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to North
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          The show did a lot more telling than showing. So guys who channel go nuts. Big deal.

          I assumed that Darth Valda was doing his thing because if you run around the country “gentling” dudes, you’re eventually going to get pushback.

          As it turns out, that’s *NOT* what he’s doing. But I had to have Maribou explain that to me because the show sure as hell didn’t.Report

          • North in reply to Jaybird
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            Oh yes, they left a lot of it very vague. They could have used more episodes. They assuredly could have used some more exposition or better yet more flash backs than they used. SHOW us what happened when all those experienced male channelers went violently insane all at once.

            To give credit where it is due, though, they did a pretty damned good job showing how this is a post apocalyptic world. I was quite pleased with that element.Report

            • Fish in reply to North
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              The impression that I got from the “Breaking” in the books (when the male channelers tried to seal the Dark One’s prison and fished it up) was that when they all went mad it was an event similar to the KT impact or a nuclear exchange: Oceans boiled, mountain ranges fell and new ones sprang up, concert tours were canceled. Lots of bad stuff. I don’t know that the show did a good job communicating how catastrophic it was.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Fish
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                We get a three-minute scene with the previous Dragon Reborn in episode 8 and we look out the window and see the world that he lives in for 2-3 seconds.

                The context from the previous 7 episodes was that “okay, we’re in high fantasy… there’s forests and bows and arrows and farms and so this is like 1400 and we’re in England, more or less.”

                So the glimpse of (air quotes) “Atlantis” in its prime was a cute moment.Report

              • North in reply to Fish
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                Yeah I got the same vibe. Only in the omnipresence magic-technical style ruins everywhere did they communicate what was lost and there only obliquely. I think it could have done with more explicit descriptions. I suspect *spoilers* they may be saving it for once Rand starts hearing his past life talking in his head.Report

              • JS in reply to Fish
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                IIRC the tree guys sheltered some male channelers during the Breaking in their steadings (which blocked access to magic), who took refuge there hoping the taint would fade.

                But apparently going without magic once you’ve used it isn’t really possible, so one by one they all left, went mad, and self-destructed.

                I believe some of the Aes Sedai felt this made it worse, others felt spreading out the damage made it more survivable.

                Either way, it was real bad for a real long time. Defintely post-nuclear war level bad.Report

              • North in reply to JS
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                At the very least yes. They raised mountains, drained oceans, sank continents. It was a real clusterfish.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
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        Was Darth Valda always eating something in the books?

        Is he played by Brad Pitt?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling
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          From what I understand, he’s one of the biggest bad guys in the books. Like, there’s the OVERARCHING bad guy who is, like, Satan Himself but the human-level bad guys have a number of bad guys who aren’t aligned with Satan Himself but are their own version of bad.

          Anyway, to answer your question, no. He’s played by Abdul Salis. (Who is, let me make clear, absolutely the bomb diggity. Charisma oozes out of the guy.)

          I do think that there are some criticisms that some of the JEDI enthusiasts out there could make. Like, “you decided to diversify the cast but you make the biggest human level bad guy from the books of Ghanian descent?” but he’s such an amazing actor in the role that I’m sure that they’ll pass him up and ask “Why did they make Satan Himself a Lebanese guy?”Report

          • ozzzy! in reply to Jaybird
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            Valda is a middling-importance level bad guy…that you don’t even meet until book 3 or 4 I think. In the shows he is an amalgamated character of several whitecloaks.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to ozzzy!
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              Did the whitecloaks show up in the first book?Report

              • Fish in reply to Jaybird
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                Yes, and they capture Egwene and Perrin and the wolves are involved in their rescue. That’s about the end of similarities between the books and the show for that scene.

                The villain for that scene in the books is…so much more understated and sinister than the one the show got.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Fish
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                Dang, more sinister than Valda? That’s impressive.

                Because they did one hell of a job in the show. (Like… I’d want to say that he’s the best part.)Report

              • Fish in reply to Jaybird
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                The thing that gives the book character more sinister is that he’s constrained by the chain of command, and you’re left knowing how much worse the outcome would be for Egwene and Perrin had he not been constrained.Report

            • JS in reply to ozzzy!
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              Book fans hate it when shows amalgamate several minor characters, but at least 80% of the time it’s the right move.

              “Well, we can introduce a series of minor characters with one or two appearances designed to further the plot — OR — we can have just one and give them a reason to show up every once in awhile to move the plot. And then viewers can go “Oh, it’s so and so — stuff’s about to happen if he’s there with new information from his spy network” or whateverReport

              • ozzzy! in reply to JS
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                Oh I was not passing judgement on the amalgamation of bornheld sr and byar and valda for the show – it makes a ton of sense especially in the show’s adjusted plot lines.Report

    • North in reply to Kristin Devine
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      I read the full series. Well done, though, you put your finger right on what was nagging me about the show- It does have a distinctly CW feel! Vampire diaries with channeling.Report

  3. North
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    Interestingly GRRM was a contemporary and friend of Jordan which makes the parallels in the paths of their respective popular Opus’ (Opusii?) especially poignant for fans.Report

  4. LeeEsq
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    According to TvTropes, Eddings refused to allow adaptations of the Belgariad in his lifetime. He wanted people to read it, not watch it and was afraid that media would dim it down. Eddings was the type to put a no adaptation clause in his will, so the Belgariad might not be licensable to major studios.

    Even if they could license the Belgariad for adaptation, there are going to be lots of problems with dealing with the primary antagonists of Torak and the Angaraks. The entire thing reads like a yellow peril narrative with a big heaping of Islamophobia to modern audiences. Either significant changes are going to be made to make the Angaraks seem less like “hordes from the East” or the show will not be a hit.Report

    • North in reply to LeeEsq
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      The Belgariad was pretty amazing but between Eddings own hesitations and the naked regionalism of the fantasy nations I’d say it’s just not worth taking a run at. Like you said, the racial overtones are just utterly unavoidable. Even as a teenager I was like “dude, the Rivans are obviously British, the Angaraks are Arabs and the Malleoreans are Chinese.”

      The Belgariad was great and fun but there’s not enough new-new in there to be worth taking on the framework. Just like we ain’t ever gonna see Thomas Covenant adapted to TV.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to North
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        Eddings officially said that the Sendars were English. The Rivans always struck me as Icelanders, small island with a harsh climate mainly suited for sheep and small Nordic population. Also fits witll with the Alorns are Nordics theme. The Melceens as Chinese and yes, the Angaraks are mish mash of Western nightmare versions of the Arabs, Mongolians, etc including the Angarak Malloreans.

        Another issue is that somebody actually did research on Eddings backstory as he presented it and turns out it was rather false. Eddings said he stopped being a college professor because of pay. The real story, and you can find newspaper articles from the time to confirm this online, was that David and Leigh Eddings were convicted of child abuse, and were actually caught red-handed by the police, and left town once they got out of prison.

        They had light sentences because they were convicted in the early 1970s but if this crime happened now they would get lock them up and throw away the key type sentences. The state took the rare step of taking their parental rights away. That is how bad it was.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq
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      I don’t see that making the show not a hit as much as making the show “controversial”.

      We’d see essays explaining “I watched season three’s episode 4 again and I can’t believe how problematic and racist it is. If episode 5 goes the way that it’s hinting, I’m never going to rewatch this season after it ends!”Report

    • Brent F in reply to LeeEsq
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      I’m kinda astonished that a guy who got into fanasty because he thought it would be a well paying writing gig was such a prima donna about the purity of his vision, but he also seems to have been something of a literary snob as well.

      If we are going to make a positive argument for the racial dynamics in the Belgariad, it seems the subtext of the overall story is that the racial stereotyping was something of the original sin of the gods when they created the world and each wanted a kind of mankind that reflected their personality. This was a bad thing and that the good Gods did and humanity benefits from all attempts to evolve away from it, while the bad guys are the ones obsessed with maintaining the racial status quo with themselves at the top of the hierarchy. I.e. the mutt-ish Sendars have the healthiest society, the pure-blood Murgos are the biggest racial nightmare, and progression comes from the Gods leaving and letting humanity sort itself out rather than being in thrall to their vision of the good.

      That kind of nuance is not built for our current instant reaction hot take system.Report

  5. Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    God forbid they ever try to adapt (again*) the Dresden series.

    *The SciFi show just got so many things wrong…Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      “Instead of a skull, we’re going to make Bob a guy.”
      “But it’s important that he be a skull instead of a guy. Book 14 will really get into this.”
      “Thanks for selling us the rights but please hush. We’re adapting. Quite honestly, you’re lucky we let you eat here.”Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
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        A guy who lives in a skull, kinda, but he won’t be in the skull most of the time.

        And we are gonna completely blow by the whole steamy romance novels thing.

        Oh, and we couldn’t find any short, blonde women working in Hollywood, so we are going with a taller Hispanic woman for Murphy.

        And apparently no one could find a beat up blue VW Beetle, but we have an old Army jeep from the MASH set, so…Report

        • JS in reply to Oscar Gordon
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          “And apparently no one could find a beat up blue VW Beetle, but we have an old Army jeep from the MASH set, so…”

          Actually, that one I know the reason for. It turns out while it’s funny on occasion to mention Dresden folding himself into a tiny car, the author can just…not mention it when Dresden tools around, to avoid overusing it.

          They’ve have to basically never show him entering or leaving his car, driving his car, etc on the show. So they went with another fairly simple to maintain rugged old car that a 6 ft+ guy might reasonably choose.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to JS
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            That’s actually a reasonable change. Thanks for the story!

            Turning Bob into a guy and mis-casting Murphy, however…

            Although, I thought Paul Blackthorne was actually a good choice for Harry.Report

            • JS in reply to Oscar Gordon
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              I keep tabs on a few folks in the industry who blog, share stories, or otherwise just talk about the minutia of making TV or movies.

              Mostly because it’s interesting the sorts of problems they deal with.

              Why characters are combined, why certain decisions are made (or just left to whomever is tasked with props), etc.

              Where jokes came from, who had an idea for what, what was off-the-cuff and kept, references and homages hidden in props or camera angles.

              You get to see the real people behind the illusion and it’s fascinating.

              Like that the writers for House kept using the phrase “coronary artery” because it was difficult for Hugh Laurie to say in an American accent.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon
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              I’m wondering if changing Bob into a guy was about both the budget of the show and getting audiences to sympathize and like Bob. A talking skull might make for an amusing character in a book but maybe not in a live action TV series you come back to every week.

              Mis-casting Murphy is just something that happens a lot of with adaptations. TV and movie adaptations do not go with literal descriptions of the characters.Report

              • JS in reply to LeeEsq
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                And why should they go with the literal description? Murphy’s height while talked much about in the books was really plot irrelevant, and her hair color was absolutely plot irrelevant — and if it wasn’t, well wigs exist.

                Better to find actors with chemistry and talent to sell the role.

                As for Bob — replacing him with a ghost-like actor was fine, though I’d have preferred him to stay a spirt of intellect rather than some bound ghost. But I can see why they changed it anyways — Bob existed mostly to dump information, provide comedy relief by being a perv, and to occasionally take action as a non-corporeal being.

                Ghost Bob could do that just as well, and make facial expressions too.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to JS
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                I disagree, part of the whole thing with Murphy was that she was 200 lbs of badass in a 90 lbs sack that looked like a cherub. In a way, she breaks the manic pixie dream girl trope (she has the look, but not the demeanor). Valerie Cruz, while a perfectly good actress, does not do the manic pixie look. (PS I do remember there was a reason they changed her first name to Connie, but I can’t recall what it was; some kind of conflict…).

                Funny thing is, they cast a short, blonde woman as Susan Rodriguez, and a Hispanic woman as Murphy.

                I can see why Bob was cast as a person, rather than a prop skull with glowing eyes (easier for an actor to work against another actor, rather than a disembodied voice), but making him a ghost? You could just as easily had a spirit choosing a human form for the Lolz.

                I know it’s nitpicking, but LOTR was just a few years before, and they’d done such a faithful job…Report

              • JS in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                When doing adaptations you basically ask “What will work visually” and “How do we work things when you have little to no access to an internal monologue or omniscient points of view”?

                Like you can get away with the internal monologue a little — I think the show had Dresden doing some voice-over information dumps, which works. But you can’t really do that for everyone.

                So Murphy — what’s her story? Tiny female cop in a man’s world, a foil for the tall, male, chilvarious-old-school-so-a-bit-sexist-noir Dresden.

                Short isn’t necessary, and it VERY short runs into framing problems with shots among other things — your leads being 18 inches apart in height is just a headache.

                Better to get chemistry — because “woman in a man’s world, fighting uphill” you sell with “female cop in charge/female cop the only one who knows the truth” just by having her there.

                Bob the Ghost? Audiences grasp “ghost” better than they grok “Spirit of Intellect that has not, was never, and will never be human but also is totally into porn”. You’ve shown he’s not quite in touch with the world/has a different POV by making him an older ghost.

                You lose the pervy sidekick, but you get a mentor figure that can’t bail Dresden out often but he can turn to for advice and information. Dresden’s only mentor is McCoy, really, and he doesn’t show up for several books — and only sparingly. It makes Bob less one dimensional, more familiar, and he can fill in roles in the script without inventing more characters.

                “I’m gonna hit the books, make some calls, question some blah-blah, and have study montage” is a lot more work visually, and can be shorted back into movement and advancement by having a conversation with Bob.

                Would I have preferred they stuck to the books more? Absolutely. But it’s a different medium, with a different budget, and was telling different stories.

                Even Lord of the Rings tossed some things (Tom Bombadil comes to mind) and added a few others to make the pacing flow, and that was with Big Time Real money and a three piece arc and not an open-ended TV show that could never follow the books too faithfully and work on screen.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to JS
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                The whole thing with Dresden Files is that no one except possibly Jim Butcher knows what kind of demi-god Dresden is going to turn out to be. And I’m not sure Butcher has made up his mind. When people started doing Lord of the Rings they knew how the author intended the story to wind up.

                For movies, I think Harry Dresden is much better suited to be a James-Bond-with-magic sort of character. Single movie story arcs, or perhaps a pair, but don’t try to do the huge long story arc.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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                Even the demi-god thing might be okay… the books do a good job of showing him go from level 2 to 3, 3 to 4, and so on to where now he’s level 15 which gives him level 8 spells (and next level gives him an ability score improvement).

                The problem is that somewhere around level 12, it is vitally important that a handful of items in his apartment be a certain way… let’s not get into spoilers so we’ll use the car. Like, at level 12, he uses the VW Bug to transport back to 1968 Germany in order to plant a seed or something which will allow fruit to be plucked from the tree fifty years hence… AND THAT DOESN’T WORK WITH A 1955 JEEP.

                Okay, fine. We’ll plant the seed in Korea. Happy? Better be South Korea.

                Easy enough to do with a car, I guess. But it was fairly important that Bob be a certain way. Ah, heck. They can retcon it. “I was using the word ‘ghost’ as a metaphor. I figured if I said ‘construct’, you wouldn’t understand!”Report

              • JS in reply to Michael Cain
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                From vague memories of the show, I think they just…didn’t sell the PI with magic well. The scripts just weren’t clear on whether he was a PI with a lots of skills who sometimes had to use his gun, or a magic cop in a rough area of town, or a hunter like in Supernatural, or just a wizard who kept running into problems. They couldn’t decide if they wanted more “monster of the week”, more “CSI with magic”, or more “police procedural” — or heck, if they wanted drama and character development.

                I think they’d have honestly done a better job if they’d jettisoned the books and set it pre-Storm Front entirely.

                They should have held back on a lot of stuff they did reveal — like Morgan and the White Council. Didn’t bother with flashbacks of his dad or his past, and bring in the world more slowly. Bob and the occasional interaction with the magic world could show that yes, there was magic and wizards and no, most people didn’t notice and didn’t WANT to notice — and just focus on “when weird stuff happened, he was generally the one someone went to for help”

                I think they threw a ton of stuff at the audience that didn’t matter, instead of focusing on “Private Detective who knows about the supernatural, and can use magic” and start real, real small. Build up the lore monster of the week style, bit by bit.

                The Constantine show had similar issues, I think. It might just be the genre is hard to transfer to TV — or possibly that there’s so much information to dump that it loses audiences. Or possibly that the scriptwriters are such huge fans they want to share, instead of hinting and parceling it out.

                Supernatural dumped setting and lore only as appropriate. Half of many episodes were them being detectives and hunting down information — but it mixed action and drama well enough, so the lore grew on it’s own.

                Constantine and Dresden both felt the need to just dump reams of it at the viewer, trying to catch them up to the setting instead of letting some of it be mysterious and unraveling over time. Probably so as to not bore the book or comic fans.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to JS
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                I think starting it more when he was with the Angel Agency would have been a good idea, have that be the whole first season. There are a few short stories (the little girl and the bridge troll is one of my favorites) set in that time period to use as a foundation, but not enough that you don’t have room to play around. Then, once you have an audience, and everyone has settled into the idea that this isn’t hewing to the books (maybe it’s all the cases between the books (see also some of the Dresden Graphic Novels), so the events of the books color the narrative, like Dresden is at the Field Museum and he gives Sue an affection pat), then he can be on his own.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to JS
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                Adaptations are also looking to expand beyond the book or franchise’s audience because even best sellers don’t have a big enough fan base to provide an audience for a TV show or movie. So they need to make some general changes that.would be appealing for a biggest audience.Report

              • JS in reply to LeeEsq
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                Absolutely.

                The adaptation was a bit of a mess, but it was clear what they were trying to lean into — which was basically “supernatural procedural”.

                Kind of a cross between Buffy and CSI (except in CSI they pretend it’s not magic).

                Problem was they struggled to give it an identity. They sort of made it noir, but not really. They sort of had a monster of the week, but not really. They mixed the paints and came out with a very bland grey that really caught no eyeballs.

                The effects weren’t good enough, the chemistry wasn’t good enough, the scripts/mysteries weren’t good enough — it was just…meh. Which doesn’t get you a season 2.Report

              • Howie Tanner in reply to JS
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                Did you think the West Wing worked visually? If not, would you drop the black cast member, that was the reason for the lighting changes?

                (Yes, this is a little different situation, in that you’re adapting an Actual Building, not a fictional place).Report

              • JS in reply to Howie Tanner
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                Please elaborate on your point.

                I’m deeply curious to watch you conflate skin color versus an 18 inch difference in height in terms of shot composition, and also explain how height differences and racial differences are the same thing.

                Once you’re done with that, we’ll get into the fact that one is an adaptation of another medium and one isn’t.

                So please continue. This promises to be delightful.Report

      • Brent F in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        I”m going to say this an expose myself to criticism.

        Hrobert is a much, much better character than Bob the Skull. The show’s arcs for him were better than Bob’s book arcs, and the story benefits a lot by having the skull wizard be there as the exposition and example of what an old-school wizard is for Harry to react to.

        For TV, it makes a lot of sense for Bob to take on a lot of the roles that the Blackstaff also served, because he’s going to be your second lead and you want that character to have a lot to do and have a really meaningful relationship to your principle character.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Brent F
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          I suppose that there’s be a place for “Henry Dresdorn: Private Eye” but if you alienate your existing fan base, you’d better do a good job appealing to people who haven’t heard of you yet.Report

  6. Mike Schilling
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    I’ve been aware of WoT since the early 90s, when the Usenet group rec.arts.sf.written was so clogged with posts about it that rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan was created to give its fans (and some confused Hemingway enthusiasts) their own playground. Never read any of it, though.Report

  7. Fish
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    says:

    I’ve read the books twice and I’m currently rereading them again now (because of this series). I highly anticipated the Amazon series and the first episode was…disappointing. I was fine with the artistic changes the show made to port this story to the screen, but ep 1 was underwhelming. It got better as further episodes were released (for my part, instead of pointing at the screen and going “OOOH! OOOH!” I found myself pointing out what was different while allowing that changes were inevitable and remaining willing to see where the writers went with it.

    Episode 8 was a damn train wreck on top of an entire season that felt rushed and slapped together. You mentioned The Shannara Chronicles above…that show started with much promise and slowly deteriorated to the point where I was only watching just to see how much worse it could get, and I’m afraid WoT strayed into that territory by the last episode.

    I will say one thing about the books: When we all first read them we agonized over every plot line and story arc. “Did he close any story lines?” “No, and in fact, he introduced a handful of new characters and three new story lines.” “AAAARGH!” But it hits differently now that we’ve got the whole thing, and I can read those middle books and enjoy the vast world building and deep character development because I know that everything gets a bow eventually.

    And I’m not entirely sure I agree with your characterization of Sanderson’s books (and I wa. Jordan had everything plotted out from beginning to end and he and his wife picked Sanderson to finish the books. When Sanderson saw the material, he said there was no way to do this in one book, so one book became three. To me, Sanderson’s books felt less like a wailing guitar solo from “Ride the Lightning” and more like the end of Godfather Part II, an action-packed, fast-moving ending to a long-building drama.

    HOWEWVER! This reread is the first time I’ve had all the books at my disposal. My second reread was timed to catch the Sanderson books as they came out, but I read too fast and outpaced him. I’ll have to let you know how they feel once I’m done (and it’ll be a while since, as you pointed out, they’re all pretty hefty).Report

  8. SLT
    Ignored
    says:

    If you want the characters having meetings talking about what they might do (and often having a meeting to talk about having another meeting) read the books–especially some of the later ones when the narrative is stalling the Perrin plotline. Uf.Report

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