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Wheel of Time (Amazon)



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 ✭✭✭Daroxtar

    Well without giving too much away and to quote (or misquote) the show The last dragon boiled the seas and flattened mountains and burned the earth, so there's a fair bit of leveling up to go yet

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,111 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    No more than any other working environment, actors are workers/trades-people; people whose respective quality of output can come down to the efforts or interaction with others in the production.

    Maybe they're just on autopilot 'cos it's a stinker of a script. Maybe it's autopilot 'cos they don't care, and happy to take a pay-cheque (step forward Bruce Willis)

    Perhaps the performance is terrible 'cos that specific actor works best in a collaborative environment; maybe they respond to directors who give intricate notes per scene of what a character should be feeling. Or the opposite: perhaps the director has lost control, and is letting the actor píss about, chewing the scenery (which loops back to shít scripts; sometimes if everyone knows the film is bad, gold is threaded from everyone vibing with "so bad it's good" energy)

    I have been listening to a podcast about John Carpenter's filmography and one thing the presenters found when reading interviews with Carpenter's various leading actors: he'd only ever give a thin sketch of a character's motivation, "trusting" the professionalism of the actor to wing it. Sometimes it worked, sometimes actors found that too hands-off. He had "go-to" actors who knew how to interpret Carpenter's intent like a 6th sense, without requiring the hand holding.

    So it doesn't start and end with the script necessarily (and even THEN, many parts, albeit smaller ones, will only come with pages of the part the actor will play, leaving them in the dark 'til they arrive on set. And even THEN EVEN THEN, scripts get rewritten from agent to location; many an actor found themselves working a completely different production to the one promised)

    Uh, Game of Time. Sorry. Wheel of Thrones.

    I've only watched the first two episodes so far - and TBH I have found Rosamund Pike's performance perfectly fine - for what the character appears to be. Her role seems written and constructed as this aloof, otherworldly or detached person; emotionally cold - and with the best will in the world that's a tough gig to get right. All the acting goes into what you're NOT doing, rather than what you are and not all actors can do that. And IMO I've got that sometimes, a sense of repression; especially when she ran into the Smiling Religious Zealots.

    Leonard Nimoy is possibly the most famous example of that; playing the emotionless Mr. Spock but maintaining that subtle hint of snark and repressed emotion around the eyes. Other actors in the Trek franchise playing Vucans have often failed to capture that, coming off with leaden performances.

    TL:DR? Acting is weird, and without candidness who can say what makes a "bad performance?"

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,108 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy

    I really think the focus on making the first season all about teasing the audience as to who the Dragon Reborn is before the big reveal in presumably the second last episode was a poor creative decision and it's already causing problems for some of the story-telling e.g.

    Nynaeve showing her power as a red-herring has my wife convinced she's the dragon.

    The gender roles in The Wheel of Time were one thing that really didn't need tweaking in the adaptation: men and women are already brilliantly balanced, if not always brilliantly written, in this world. I mean, it's kind of the whole point of saidin /saidar...

    @Cork_exile I fear you're bang on the money as to how that's going to play out on Twitter.

    I'm enjoying the show a lot, my wife is getting into it as a non-reader of the series (she took one look at the stack of books and noped out) but she's already a fantasy fan. I worry this is going to struggle with those who are only giving it a chance expecting the next Game of Thrones...

  • Registered Users Posts: 44,760 ✭✭✭✭Mitch Connor

    If anything she is showing too much emotion.... Which isn't a criticism I thought I'd have of pike.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,926 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Quite a few characters in the books are pretty stoic, people of few words. Which wouldn't make good TV.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,111 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Well that's it. The written word by design allows for an interiority TV can't achieve. So externally "stoic" characters are complex and interesting cos we get insights within their mind. Best you can do is voiceover but it's rare that works - and still amounts to characters saying how they feel and often clumsy. When people talk about "unfilmable" books, it's often cos so much is inside the characters' heads.

  • Registered Users Posts: 525 ✭✭✭BillyHasMates

    Just finished the 4th episode. The series so far has been a bit of a mixed bag for me. I think my expectations are probably too high given the quality of the likes of GoT that have gone before and me hoping it would have a similar impact. I feel almost desperate for it to be good as I am a big fan of the books and the world they are set in.

    What I have like so far: cast wise I have been happy enough with Moiraine and Thom Merrilen. Nynaeve, Egwene, Lan and Mat are starting to grow on me. I imagined Lan to be a bit grittier and Mat to be a bit more of a joker until he possesses the dagger. I have been impressed with the cgi and effects. The trollocs and fade have looked good as has the use of the one power. Moiraine's use of it in the first or second episode I enjoyed, in the 4th episode it was a bit ropey.

    Negatives: I fear the casting of Rand has been a big mistake. Not sure what acting experience he has but comes across as extremely wooden. Perrin to a lesser extent also. I felt they really should have started the first episode with the first chapter in the book, the breaking of the world by the last dragon. It was an epic way to start the book and it should have happened in the series. GoT started with an impressive opening scene. Also feel the dialogue has been a little bland and uninspiring, though improved in the 4th episode. Also feels like too many scenes are rushed, with not enough dialogue, and these scenes are lacking any impact for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,501 ✭✭✭✭Slydice

    Yeah so to be fair, it's early days in the series and for an episode 4, they've sold it pretty well so far.

    Never feels like a great idea for a show to give away it's ace-card too quickly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,566 ✭✭✭Need a Username

    No different to any actor - Robert de Niro does an awful lot of shite that has to be just about the money. However in the few I have seen he doesn’t appear to be man burdened by any of it.

    where in the Wheel of Time does Pike display any struggle (or whatever) with the diagoue? Where does she show she thinks the script is awful?

    for that matter where is the offending “exposition”? Granted the opening scene in the first episode explained too much after the episode didn’t stop to explain anything - that only women are allowed use magic, the meaning of Bel Tine and the lanterns, opinions about the Aes Sedai, etc were all explained to the viewer in quickly in normal conversation between characters. There was a lot that was not explained like the young woman getting pushed in the river

    The only exposition Pike had to give was at the end that one the four was a reincarnation of such and such, come with me to save the village, etc. And if anything that was too brief to be convincing that they would just go with her

    the only bad dialogue was the use of mum, dad and kids.

  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    I’m enjoying it so far, while I thought it did get off to a rocky start, the first 2 episodes could have been better but the magic was done well IMHO. I suspect a lot was left on the cutting room floor. Episode 3 was such an improvement, and I was able to properly enjoy episode 4. I’m considering rewatching the first 3 episodes as I may have missed some foreshadowing that I didn’t pick up first time round, what I did catch was brilliantly done. Hoping episode 5 delivers on some expectations of a certain character and her hair quirks, it's just unnatural to be halfway through the season and no sign yet! I am pleasantly surprised to find that one or two of the characters that were mildly annoying to me in book 1 are quite likeable on screen. A week ago, it was reportedly the most pirated tv show so I hope that the series can keep going, but it’ll be some feat.

    I’m curious to see where the TV choices will lead to. It makes sense that the quiet/emotionless characters from the book have been adapted for telly, similarly to Dune, need to give something to the viewer without using naff voice overs. I am a tad bit disappointed with some of the deviations from the books in terms of some character costumes/set pieces (but can get over them), Lan’s colour shifting cloak, and Moraine’s staff.

    I really like the intro and the detail they went into, beginning with the breaking, a loom weaving a new tapestry showing the seven ajahs, and finishing with the serpent. I thought the choice to go with the Great Serpent as the show's logo was a good one. All in all, I’m trying and failing to manage my expectations of the show, I can’t help but raise my hopes after two decent episodes. Looking forward to Friday! 😁

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep

    What's helped me enjoy the show a little more is just letting go of the expectation that this will be an accurate rendition of the source material. It's clear that there will be quite a few more significant changes that have been made, so we might as well make our peace with it early.

    Some decisions don't really matter that much, but as others have said they do seem to be storing up plot problems with their insistence around a broader cast of potential candidates for Dragon Reborn.

    As readers of the books know, there was never a question but that it was Mat, Rand or Perrin. Why? Because the Dragon Reborn was to be a male chaneller. If someone wanted to change that, fine, but it's actually a lot more awkward from a plot point of view than something like rewriting James Bond as a woman, or changing the sex of Starbuck in BSG. The male half of the One Power has been tainted by the Dark One, and part of the tragic arc of the first chunk of the series is that the Dragon Reborn is going to go mad and might break the world again. It's why a good chunk of people are as afraid of him as they are of Shadowspawn. If the Dragon could be a woman, then there should be a collective sigh of relief as it means no madness, no obvious reason for world-breaking. It would dramatically change the plot of the books. There would be no reason for Tar Valon and specifically the Red Ajah to be so aggressive towards Rand for most of the series.

    At some point I think the problem with male chanellers will have to be made more explicit, the metaphysics of the magic system in WOT will have to be spelled out, and maybe the TV writers really are going to basically go "Yeah, tough luck, the Dragon didn't turn out to be female so now the people of WOT have this set of problems they otherwise would have avoided".

    But if they want to keep a huge amount of Rand's character arc, and the plot of the series, they do need to keep madness / the taint linked to the male sex.

    Of course, that does present a whole other cartload of problems for a minority of contemporary viewers. I've been reading some criticisms of Jordan for years written by people who don't like that he made a binary distinction between males and females based on sex, when it comes to the One Power. I think his magic system is absolutely awesome and cool as hell, but there's definitely a cohort of people who are not happy with the idea that someone's biological sex dictates what half of the One Power they can access. It's pretty at odds with progressive notions of gender identity being more important than biological sex. I've read 'wish lists' from some progressives who imagine that there could be a trans WOT character who has one biological sex but channels the other side of the One Power because they that gender, or even a non binary character who can channel both sides, but I think it's fair to say that that becomes challenging to put in there without unravelling long plot arcs which really depend on the divide in the One Power and, basically, men going mad.

    One prediction I will definitely make is that when Rand is revealed as the Dragon Reborn there will be a **** ton of people saying that Mat or either of the women would be a better choice. It's inevitable! Not just because at the moment they are doing way more interesting things than Rand, who is wandering around like any moody B-list fantasy film hero, but because his actor reminds me of Hayden Christensen in the Star Wars prequels, i.e A charisma free zone.

    The thing about Rand as the Dragon Reborn is that he's this outsider given the power of life or death over the world, the ability to sweep away the established order, and it's completely a result of fate. And a lot of the books are him wielding that power, getting some things right, and some things wrong. He pursues his interpretation of justice, in a pretty bloodthirsty way, and of course he's this tragic figure because of the madness in the wings. He can be very interesting, but it's not clear this TV adaptation is going to be able to bring that out without making him just really unlikeable.

    Post edited by Black Sheep on

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I'd point out that later in the books we get at least one example of a character who can channel the power contrary to the gender they present as. But that's by the by- Jordan wrote the books a certain way and there's no 2021 gender identity ideology undercurrent and if the producers want to get mixed up in that they'll run into problems that they may or may not be able to resolve with the story- they've certainly shown a willingness to change things up so far and I don't think necessarily ruined anything (albeit changed in very significant ways the world the story is going to play out in)

    Good posts though, agree with it all.

    Anyone who can tell me how to spoiler gets a like!

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,544 ✭✭✭Ave Sodalis

    When you start typing in the "leave a comment" box, on the left had side, there's a pilcrow (paragraph) symbol. Click on it, and then click on the inverted double commas.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,111 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    There's an extensive guide about the new formatting options here;

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Thanks folks

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,926 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Anyone know how to quote part of a post rather than the whole thing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,926 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Have to agree with the others, its very hard to rewrite this story and be gender neutral. Without making a completely different story.

    Is there anything to be said for Midi-chlorians...:)

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,222 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    Only if you're happy for the child to watch pure gore.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep

    Jordan believed in the importance of biological sex as a reality in general terms. His whole magical system is predicated on the divide in the One Power, major plot points are driven by the madness that effects men, and on the social level his societies often have sex-based roles. There are a few exceptions, like the way Aiel allow female fighters to behave.

    But Jordan's not a male chauvinist. I say that because although he clearly believes men and women are different, and a lot of the character clashes are based around that, I think as someone else said above he is pretty balanced in terms of how he assigns out power and prestige. In terms of society in the WOT a massive thing is the existence of Tar Valon and all the power they wield, there wasn't ever anything like that in our world. The closest equivalent would have been if the Church of Rome was a matriarchy.

    You have sex role conforming manly men like Lan and Perrin using hard power, and you have girly girls like Berelain using soft power, but you have non-conforming characters as well... There's quite a few heroes and villains who are non confirming in one way or the other (Mainly women springing to mind here, actually). I think it's fair to say that if he has Rand, Mat and Perrin on a hero's journey, Egwene and Nynaeve's plot arc is just as big and he spent significant plot time on them.

    I think the issue is that these days the suggestion that sex is quite important, but that you can have people who are non conforming to socially constructed roles based on sex, and that's ok, is kind of a problematic thing for a lot of younger people. Because it doesn't go far enough for them, it doesn't decouple enough from biological sex to focus on gender identity instead, as they would prefer. Jordan's worldbuilding doesn't really provide for a situation where you might have a female Aes Sedai who comes out as trans in her 30s and then starts channelling the male half of the Source (And would she go mad, who knows). Yes there is one male channeller in a female body later in the series, but that took a lot of plot ingenuity to make happen - a giant maguffin in the form of the Dark's Ones powers of reincarnation of the soul.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,252 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    You can't unfortunately. The work around is to do this

    Anyone know how to quote part of a post rather than the whole thing.

    To get someone's attention type @Flinty997

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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,810 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    episode 5 seems to have landed

  • Registered Users Posts: 675 ✭✭✭Gary kk

    Feck that was more like it the ending was brilliant

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,810 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    I don't think I'd be letting any 13-year-olds watch Episode 5😲

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,260 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep

    In terms of difference to books, Whitecloaks abducting people within eyeshot of Tar Valon, it's bit absurd to be honest. Also, Loial would definitely have remarked on Rand using a sword if he believed him to be an Aiel. And look who Loial found!? What a coincidence... I'm also not convinced on the Loial makeup, but we'll see. In the books Perrin kills two Whitecloaks (and this is integral to his character and several huge plot points later in the series), now he hasn't done that and Egwene has stabbed Valda. I'm beginning to not really be sold on Perrin's actor, but I suppose I'll have to give him a chance.

    I also thought the scene at the end with the warder ceremony was a bit silly looking really. Particularly the tearing open your shirt and screaming into the air, pure cheese.

    A big step down in terms of quality from Ep4 for me.

    Post edited by Dave_The_Sheep on

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Didn't think this was good as an episode of the tv show nor do i think any of the changes this time helped the story along at all tbh

  • Registered Users Posts: 45,524 ✭✭✭✭Mr.Nice Guy

    Didn't really like this week's episode much. They built up the White Tower as this grand place, yet it looked pretty small and unimpressive based on the scenes they shot. Also felt like there was far too much focus on a character that ultimately was meaningless.

    The ending with Lan was a bit OTT for me. One minute he's the strong, silent type and the next minute he's ripping his shirt off and writhing over his fallen friend. I got some 'YOU'RE TEARING ME APART, LISA!' vibes with that scene.

    I'm still none the wiser as to how this Aes Sedai/Warder relationship works. It was said in a previous episode that it's stronger than any bond, even that of a husband and wife. How so? If it's not a sexual relationship, then what is it akin to? A strong sibling relationship? Besties? I assume this is better explained in the books than it has been on screen so far.

    'It is better to walk alone in the right direction than follow the herd walking in the wrong direction.'

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,926 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    On one of the other forums said, for all the budget it actually looks and feels like budget TV show. Clothes don't look lived in, and look like costumes. Sets feel small and cheap. Its jarring. I wasn't expecting it to slavishly follow the books. But as others have said they've made some strange choices thus far.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,926 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    From memory (and its been a while)  Aes Sedai/Warder is mean to be like a mutually beneficially symbiotic relationship. They draw strength from each other and can sense each other. They have an awareness of each other which basically means they coordinate (and fight) much more effectively. A bit like twins who can finish each other sentences. I thought if one gets hurt the other feels it, and if one got drunk so would the other. I seem to remember that while some (only the greens? not sure) do form a romantic relationship with each other, its not common (at least thats my memory of the books, I could have forgotten as is a long series). The TV show makes it seem every night is a swingers party for everyone. While there seems to be a gender power struggle in the world itself, I seem to remember the main characters in the books are pretty much grounded in equality. They are friends who treat each other as equals. Which is the point of them coming from quiet stoic village etc.

    I'm not sure the backstory is being that well explained in the TV show. Its not that they've simplified it. Its that they've changed it, and left gaping holes with no explanation. For no real reason.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭kerplun k

    I’m absolutely loving this. Sure the actors are still finding their feet, and the costumes are a little cosplayee, but the cinematography and set design is gorgeous and I’m enjoying the story.