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Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Who are the showrunners? How much involvement does Jordan's widow have? What are the production values going to be? Are we getting visuals inspired by Bad Book of Art or the bad fan art or the bad covers or...why does this series have so much bad art? Wasn't there a proposed MMO or card game or something where the halfway decent stuff like this (https://i.pinimg.com/originals/35/15/3e/35153e1268f2b5402cb381ab63faa05a.jpg) came from?

Anyway. I think the casting is pretty interesting, I'm glad they're using the excuse of the Two Rivers being a mishmash of families that immigrated there over time to shoehorn in more diversity. Rosamund Pike is a huge get and a much better choice for Moiraine than I would've expected. There's so much that could go left though. For better or worse the general level of complexity, dialogue, and characterization in Wheel of Time is much weaker than Game of Thrones, or even the Magicians, so I'm hoping that they take a note from the Boys and just excise huge amounts of stuff in favor of crafting something more cohesive, more entertaining, and less racist, sexist, etc.

I guess I should get around to finishing the last two books. I gave up after reading the first Sanderson one, it felt too much like just jumping from plot point to plot point but invested too much time and energy to not eventually see it through to the end.

Edit: Apparently the showrunner is a guy who worked on Agents of SHIELD? Dunno if that's good or bad.

Mat Cauthon fucked around with this message at 01:05 on Sep 8, 2019

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Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Obviously I had/have a lot of affinity for the series and if there had been an adaptation in the works a decade ago I probably would've jumped for joy. Combination of expanding my literary horizons and the change in perception that comes with getting older just means it's easier to acknowledge that something that was my FAVORITE FANTASY SERIES OF ALL TIME!!1!1 up until like a decade ago was never really that great, despite my enjoyment of it. Amazon has generally done pretty well with their adaptations so I guess there's reason to be cautiously optimistic but in all honesty I'm probably looking forward to the adaptation of the Black Company series than this one.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Torrannor posted:

You can browse this site (http://wotccg.mahasamatman.com/Lists.HTML) to see all the various WoT trading cards.

Yeah I've seen these, terrible as they are. That's not where the picture I linked came from. It's from the same place as these:

- Padan Fain (https://i.pinimg.com/474x/6c/54/d6/6c54d6d2cd76ac891df2d06afeadab4a--book-art-robert-jordan.jpg)
- Loial (https://comicvine1.cbsistatic.com/uploads/scale_small/5/50734/2618940-loial.jpg)

But for the life of me I can't remember if it was one of the artbooks or something else. I remember it being some of the better "official" art though.

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

I'll defend WoT against these cruel aspersions!

There's admittedly a hell of a lot of chaff in WoT but there's a lot of wheat too, especially if you look at it in the context of late-1980's American fantasy, which is what it was (if you go by when he conceived and started writing it). There are a lot of elements in WoT that were pretty revolutionary for the time period it first came out in.

point being, yeah, it's clearly not the GREATEST OF ALL TIME, but it's not horrible either. I don't think time spent reading it is wasted, even at 14 volumes. (Ok, skip book 10. But still).

I don't disagree with any of this; there's a lot of good that is unfortunately diluted by the bad or superfluous (honestly books 8,9, and 10 should've cut down to their core parts and condensed into one thing). You're 100% right that Wheel of Time got leapfrogged as a series by a lot of other concurrent fantasy works that used the quality stuff as a blueprint and discarded with the outdated components or injected some unique framing to set themselves apart. By the time Jordan realized that he was already mostly locked in to his conclusion and world, and his strengths as a writer didn't seem to be suited to what audiences were lauding in other series (snappy dialogue, morally ambiguous characterization, actual consequences for the main protagonists that affected the story, etc).

As a series it (mostly) deserves it's place in the canon but depending on what direction the adaptation takes could make a big difference in how it and Jordan's legacy are perceived. Like I said, I'm cautiously optimistic.

mossyfisk posted:

It's certainly easy to just end the black company before it gets to the bad ones.

Honestly if they're smart they'll just pretend anything that comes after the Silver Spike chronologically doesn't exist and take things in a completely new direction.

Mat Cauthon fucked around with this message at 17:18 on Sep 8, 2019

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


ONE YEAR LATER posted:

I have won again, Lews Therin.

The darkness of the prologue and the Portal Stone visions in The Great Hunt(?) were one of those things that blew my mind in early reads of the series and still a highlight when I do a re-read. The first three books, whatever their faults, are much tighter narratively and the epilogue of the Dragon Reborn is a genuinely "oh poo poo" ending without being a cheap cliffhanger.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Stormangel posted:

That has lesbian/Yuri subtext

Subtext?

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Atlas Hugged posted:

9 has the loving Cleansing.

Anyway, book 1 is real interesting on a reread. Rand is channeling all the time and it's awesome how Jordan had the language for it down even that early in the series.

I think 9 is actually good overall. Most of the book is the Seanchan stuff in Ebou Dar, the political scheming chapters are actually interesting, the Far Madding thing is suspenseful and then BAM, Cleansing with like 8 different POVs and channelers absolutely demolishing each other.

It's unfortunate that book 10 immediately goes back into a slog and he wastes a bunch of time in each chapter with that character's retrospective of the Cleansing.

Data Graham posted:

You can skip a lot of Book 1 once you realize he keeps copy-pasting the wagon drivers who give them scarves saying "They belong to my boys. You donít know me, understand? Itís hard timesĒ

LOL.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


It was always a nice touch that, even from the beginning of the series, the way Rand's madness is expressed or how we're made aware of it's progress is always there in subtle ways. In Book 4 he uses Callandor during the Darkspawn attack on the Stone of Tear and then tries to resurrect someone in the wake of the battle - horrible and insane, but morally consistent with how both Rand and LTT think. It's just that Callandor is exacerbating the taint's effect. At the end of Book 4 he acquires the "Buddha" statue angreal and channels through it almost exclusively no matter how large or small the task, which seems to shield him somewhat from the taint. His fervor in attempting (and failing) to find it after Dumai's Wells shows that on some level he was aware of that as well (maybe knowledge from LTT?).

Of course he's still extremely hosed up just from what's happening to him and what's expected of him as a person, but the way RJ weaved those elements into the story without them being too overt or out of place was extremely well done.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


High Warlord Zog posted:

I'd be more interested to see how it compares to his Conan books (why did those go out of circulation btw?).

No idea, but I hope they get a reprint at some point. From what I recall they were pretty good, all things considered, and I lost my copies in a house move a few years back.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


ulmont posted:

These ones? Amazon seems to have Kindle and paperback editions available itself and there are third party sellers for hardback.
https://www.amazon.com/Conan-Chronicles-Robert-Jordan-ebook/dp/B005T5O30E/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Yeah, those are the ones. I went looking for them on Amazon a while back and couldn't find any sellers, but maybe that was just a random spot of bad timing.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Data Graham posted:

I only have one burning question about the TV show: how many mustaches will they attach to Thom's face

Just cast Sam Elliott and call it a day.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


He's getting up there but he seems to be in good health, still handsome enough to pull your girlfriend, and the guy can still grow a hell of a mustache.

I mean, just look at these and tell me that doesn't look like Thom:


Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


EvilTaytoMan posted:

They should've made it an anime instead.

Most things would work better as a cartoon or cgi thing but I guess the margins are better on live action productions? Honestly I would love to learn more about the determinations that go into making these sort of decisions, seems to me like it would be much cheaper to adapt via animation but I suppose there's still a stigma about that (in the West at least) and fewer opportunities for crosspromotion/branding/spinoffs/etc.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Invalid Validation posted:

Has any Amazon show become a huge hit?

The Boys, Marvelous Ms Maisel, a couple of others. Isn't the Expanse an Amazon show now too?

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Apparatchik Magnet posted:

Iíve never heard of The Boys, Iím not sure Maiselís quality and Emmy buzz translates to viewers, and the Expanse is such a big hit that it was cancelled and picked up as Bezosí vanity project. None are big hits in a GoT sense, certainly.

I'm surprised you haven't heard of the Boys, it received lots of great press recently. Maisel seems very meh to me, but it's pretty critically acclaimed and it seems to be the water cooler show for people need to fill a Mad Men shaped hole in their viewing schedule.

It's nigh impossible to know what the actual viewership numbers are for any streaming service show, none of them are going to willingly spill the beans so we have to go off pop culture penetration and press.

Atlas Hugged posted:

Also two books per season seems totally absurd.

Eye of the World could be an entire season on it's own, and every book after that could probably be split into two seasons each (except for maybe 9), so unless these are 22-24 episode long seasons I don't know how that could possibly work.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Invalid Validation posted:

Weíll see, every ancillary project associated with the books has failed. Remember the couple games that were supposed to come out based on the books? Yea nobody does. The show has been in production hell forever too hasnít it? I vaguely remember hearing rumors about it a long time ago.

There have been various attempts to get a show made but none with the backing and clout of someone like Amazon. They most assuredly did their homework before picking this IP and it makes sense for them to really go all the way in supporting it because "GOT but with more female representation/agency, minority representation/diversity, and overt magical elements" is basically a wish list of what a lot of people want to see from a fantasy series. If the show really flops we probably still 2-3 seasons and if it does well I would expect 7-8, which is more than enough to get the entire story done minus the chaff elements that go nowhere.

The Lord Bude posted:

I think you guys are vastly underestimating the size of the WoT fan base. It isnít some obscure old fantasy series. Books 8-14 were all NYT #1 best sellers. Itís probably fourth after LotR, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. GoT probably only beats it due to added exposure from the show.

Yeah people forget that the GoT books, while they did well, were not super popular even among fantasy readers until the show came out. There was a lot of similar handwringing about the viability of the material for adaptation in the run up to the show premiere, and season 1 of GoT had a notoriously low budget because HBO didn't want another Rome on their hands. If nothing else the success and failures of GoT have made it easier for producers and showrunners to figure out what it takes behind the scenes to get these shows done right and make them accessible enough to be hits.

M. Night Skymall posted:

The special effects for The Boys were also pretty good, I don't think WoT does much that'll be any harder to do than that, especially in the beginning it's mostly costumes and fireballs that happen off screen even in the books. Just one big set piece in Eye of the World, but just budget for it and maybe cut down on all the weird plants and poo poo in the blight on the way. I guess it does get crazier later on, but you can probably just zoom in on fights and play a lot of the magic off as booms and flying dirt happening just off screen. I'd rather get the whole story than have them bog down in how are we going to show all these fights with the Seanchan or whatever. Most of the regular use of magic is just portals/healing and holding people in place with the air. I guess some light air magic spanking because Jordan. Even fights between Aes Sedai is just about cutting off your opponent off from the source and slicing everything they try to cast, if you even get a spell off it's probably game over, just show those from the perspective of someone who can't channel and it looks like they're just staring at each other .

We will probably get some kind of visual effect to make it more apparent when channelers are doing their thing (maybe a visible aura or something akin to Moiraine's glowing jewel) and more overt physical cues to go with whatever magic thing is happening, because yeah no one wants to watch people just stare at each other when there's supposed to be *~magic~* happening. Most of Rand's duels with Forsaken are basically "stuff happening or blowing up nearby while trying to cut each other off from the Source" so they definitely have to find ways to make it more engaging and emphasize the contest of wills part.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Deathgates .

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


It will probably make it in there somewhere, it's too strong to just cut. My guess would be that it'll be the open for whatever episode it is where they reach the Eye, to parallel the connection to the War of the Shadow stuff.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Basileus777 posted:

He was married to his editor.

She was his primary beta reader, not his editor. I'm sure he had an actual editor (if not more than one) at his publisher but no editor is going to tell a NYT best selling author "hey cut out all this superfluous poo poo". They did the best they could.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE posted:

I'm pretty sure Aviendha should be included in this lineup.

She's the one in the cadin'sor.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Brolander posted:

True, but did he start it when he was like, 4 years old?

Kids that got shipped off for medieval-type apprenticeships weren't much older than that, yeah.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Khizan posted:

Rereading the series, I'm sort of surprised by some of the stuff I missed that was really predictable.

You learn in the first book that the Aiel send male channelers into the Blight to "kill Sightblinder". You learn in the second book that channelers can be forcibly turned to the Shadow. And in book 7 or so you learn that channelers who are not bound by an Oath Rod can live to be several hundred years old. But somehow I never put all these facts together to reach the logical conclusion that there's probably 500+ years worth of Shadow-turned male channelers living in the Blight somewhere.


And their descendants. It's not really a twist but it a nice culmination of lots of overlapping things that shake up the stakes in the Last Battle. It seems like humanity is coming together and might be able to present a united front and BOOM there's like 6 different unexpected threats dropped in from seemingly nowhere to completely gently caress poo poo up. More of that sort of complex plotting coming to a head in the earlier books would've been nice.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Mahoning posted:

The only other real complaint that continued to bother me in Eye of the World (and now into my second chapter of The Great Hunt) is everyoneís extreme mistrust of Moiraine specifically and Aes Sedai in general. I feel like he hints at the fact that maybe theyíve heard stories/legends about the Aes Sedai but we never hear any of them (so far), so it makes everyoneís distrust of Moiraine feel really forced. If a bunch of basically kids are away from home for the first time, you would think the one person guiding them and keeping them safe (with HER MAGIC) from every awful/evil obstacle they face would develop not only trust but dependence.

Itís just one of those ďthe gang doesnít trust Aes Sedai because gently caress you I said so thatís why, they donít need a reasonĒ things that doesnít flow naturally from the writing.

Think about how much people IRL (rightfully) distrust politicians and then imagine if politicians could use magic, had been not so secretly running the world for a couple thousand years, and oh those same people were responsible for the world-shattering cataclysm that basically set history as you know it in motion. That's all most people know about Aes Sedai, and for country bumpkins especially Aes Sedai are as much of a boogeyman as Trollocs.

It's not absurd. They can appreciate Moiraine looking out for them while also suspecting that she has ulterior motives.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Basileus777 posted:

Considering like 1/4 of Aes Sedai turned out to be darkfriends and the black ajah were basically running the white tower for centuries, everyone should have distrusted Aes Sedai even more.

I honestly wonder why the Black Ajah didn't just turn every single power user to the Shadow as soon as they stepped foot into the Tower, given how completely they seemed to have things in hand and the absolute lack of resistance up until the period the books cover. Who could've stopped them?

Also Elaida is a great character because she's not dumb or incompetent, she's just outmatched on like every level and refuses to acknowledge it or change her strategy.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Spek posted:

I'm not familiar with the actor your talking about but if you want someone who hangs around forever and could chew the hell out of the scenery look no further than Padan Fain.

Mark Strong as Fain would work, but I think Fain is a bit creepier than the type of villain he usually plays. Fain needs someone who can do sniveling and distrustful early on but then insidious, malevolent, and oozing...wrongness for the rest of the series. Leland Orser would probably kill it.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


ChubbyChecker posted:

No big name actor will show in this.

Willem Dafoe will do like, anything.

It's not going to be an ensemble cast but if it does well I wouldn't be surprised to see some bigger names get pulled in as the story opens up in season 2-3.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Interesting casting there. Tam doesn't have a huge role, so I guess that frees him up to do other stuff and avoids having a pretty prominent GoT cast member front and center throughout the show.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


I think the examples we get, between the Shadow War and modern events, is pretty descriptive? If nothing else LTT murdering his entire family set the stage fairly well. Beyond that:

- The guy who goes insane during the Breaking and incinerates an entire city's worth of Aiel, who are all linked arm in arm and singing to him in an attempt to jog his memory/slow him down so other people can escape. He listens to the last one for an hour and then blows up the city anyway. I think we get a few other reports/dispatches about the threat of Breaking-era male Aes Sedai but they're really scattered about.
- an unnamed Asha'man simply began screaming that spiders were crawling under his skin, another who sees Fades in the shadows, etc
- various paranoias and mental disturbances

It could have been elaborated on for sure but what's told and hinted at is illustrative enough to evoke the horror of the phenomena.

Edit: On that note one series that does sell magical power-related psychosis very well is the Broken Earth trilogy, where every magic user has basically suffered immense abuse of some sort, usually at the hands of a person they care about, and that manifests in ways that are natural but also horrifying. There's a scene in book 2 in particular where I had to just put it down and walk away, it was just brutal.

Mat Cauthon fucked around with this message at 05:25 on Nov 14, 2019

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Yeah a lot of the more grimdark fantasy of the recent era was influenced in tone if not in substance by that prologue. It's up there as far as essential readings in SFF, I've seen it used in more than a few writing workshops.

I find myself wondering who they are going to cast as Bashere, especially if S2 has already been greenlit. I think Navid Negahban would be great - he can be jovial, he can be serious, dude can grow a killer stache, and isn't Saldaea one of the places in the books with the vaguely Middle Eastern aesthetic/culture?

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


I didn't say that he invented it, only that the EotW prologue (and the themes of the series generally) influenced subsequent generations of dark/tragic fantasy and I've seen it used as a reference in writing workshops. Better?

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Pretty interesting article about an obscure fantasy author who was apparently pretty close with RJ and had some influence on the early books. Might be worth checking out his stuff once it hits print again.

https://slate.com/culture/2019/11/john-ford-science-fiction-fantasy-books.html

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Yeah I never minded Rand being overpowered super good at everything guy because it obviously counts for very little past the first four(?) books Like half his victories are ta'averened into and the point is clearly that having all the advantages in the world means very little if you fall prey to pride and madness and self-doubt while distancing yourself from everything and everyone that you're supposed to be caring about in the first place.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Yeah the Tower battle thing I think is justified because Egwene has at that point trained with Aiel, Seanchan, wilders, etc and if nothing else knows that the usual Aes Sedai thing of "sleight of hand" magic isn't going to cut it, she needs to take people out before they can do more damage. What Aes Sedai can honestly say at that point they have more battle experience than her?

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


This besmirching of a man's good character will not stand.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


https://twitter.com/KWholesaler/status/1199384237352329216?s=19

There's even a good Sanderson burn further down, the thread has it all.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


That Fadan Pain casting is perfect. All the others are great too, especially Logain.

Curious to see what they do with Loial, wonder if they'll do heavy on the makeup or utilize a lot of CGI.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Henrik Zetterberg posted:

Welp, after 3 years and 3 months, I finally finished the series today. Read the first 3-4, and listened to the rest on audiobook during my work commute. It feels super weird to be done with it.

Random thoughts:


- The foresaken kind of mostly blended together to me throughout the books. I could never remember who did what since they weren't focused on too much. Like, I remember Asmodean (where the hell did he go? He didn't die, right?) for being with Rand for a while, Moghedien for being captive for a while then showing up at the end, Graendal for her battle with Aviendha, and Semirhage for zapping Rand's hand off. It'll be funny if I didn't match all of those names up correctly. Other than that, they were all just a big blend and could have been replaced with $FORESAKEN_OF_THE_DAY. Maybe if there were less, and each one got more pages? I dunno, I just had a hard time keeping them straight, with a few exceptions. Looking at the list of the foresaken on the WoT wiki, I couldn't tell you a single thing about Sammael, Aginor, Balthamel, or Be'lal. I either just straight up don't remember the names at all, or just can't remember who did what.




Regarding Asmodean - it's implied but never 100% confirmed (I think) that Graendal kills him after the Camelyn showdown with Raevin, in order to punish him for his shifting loyalties, deny Rand a competent teacher and knowledge source from the AoL, and to facilitate Rand's growing paranoia over betrayal/enemies hiding in the shadows, etc.

Also I need to get around to reading the last two books, for the big showdown if nothing else. I'm very glad to hear that Demandred's plotline was impactful overall, I always kinda thought it would either end in a wet fart offscreen or go in the direction that everyone suspected (Taim). He really was the wildcard that no one saw coming.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE posted:

Or it was just a matter of him bumping into her while she was looking through whatever Rahvin may have stashed away. Random opportunity.

I mean, I think it could be both - crime of opportunity that aligned with the Dark One's goals anyway.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


It was the most pragmatic choice that just ended up having really bad consequences. As Rand became more unstable it became more dangerous for him to even be around another male channeler. Had he gone to the school and had some kind of freak out he might've killed all of them.

Having Logain around to try and mitigate was basically ta'avern giving him some breathing room but yeah there were never really any good options there short of him executing Taim right after Dumai's Wells.

Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


IIRC when all the Taimandred theorycrafting was hot and heavy the assumption was that Demandred is the one who kills the Aes Sedai holding Taim as well as Taim and then assumes his identity.

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Mat Cauthon
Jan 2, 2006

The more tragic things get,
the more I feel like laughing.


Vavrek posted:

This page has a per-chapter breakdown of PoV characters. Rand, in book 1, clocks in at 74.5763%. Mat doesn't get a single PoV until he wakes up in the White Tower after being healed.

I think this actually works out super well - you get a sense of this disturbing gradual shift in Mat's personality from the perspective of his closest friends but never his own feelings about it until he's half conscious cursing out aes sedai in the old tongue. After that he's back to normal but what does normal mean if you've most half your memories and every aes sedai looks at you like an interesting puzzle to be taken apart.

I might be biased though.

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