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Wheel of Time Discussion - Spoilers(with book spoilers)

Bolares

Hero
Yeah, depowering means you can still have her around, rather than have her temporarily killed by the balrog/Darth Vader/Morgan-le-Fey.

If it was 1st edition, she could have an unfortunate run-in with a vampire...
Yeah, and in a pratical sense... Rosamund Pike carries this show in an acting sense. She does almost all the heavy lifting, you can't loose her in season two without having other cast members rise to her standards... and that's really hard to do.
 

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TheSword

Legend
Glad to see that Matt is being replaced with someone funny. Matt is supposed to do a lot of the comedy heavy lifting in the books. The S1 actor was just moody.
 


Mercurius

Legend
Even my 13-year old daughter found the final episode rather disappointing. We were laughing at how bad the Trollocs looked, especially that dark shot with them coming out of the valley, which looked like a ten-year old video game on pause.

I can live with the "compression" effect -- cutting stuff is unavoidable. Although I wish they would have kept stuff like the White Bridge, as it brings flavor to the world.

I can even live with the sometimes mediocre acting, because no one stands out as truly bad and it is partially made up by some good performances.

I'm also OK with world-building incongruences, as they have benefits (e.g. a more diverse, interesting cast).

I don't even mind the tinges of GoT gratuity, because it isn't over-the-top, just a bit more than the books. As long as Mat doesn't become the Littlefinger of Tar Valon...(actually, that would be kind of fun).

But the two things that linger as significant issues for me are:

1) The effects. It is just a head-scratcher, given the supposed big budget for this series. Either they rushed it or it isn't as high budget as it seemed, which is odd considering how much weight the Amazon marketing has given it. Given its popularity, maybe we'll see improvement in season two, but for now it looks a bit too much like a SyFy show from 2005.

2) The writing/directing. Some of it is just bad. The forced drama that I mentioned up-thread. You've got to earn that. Or a bit that really annoyed me: the arc of the Fal Dara king. I mean, they tried to make it so his death would be impactful, but it just wasn't. He shot a few bolts and then was speared. Who cares.
 
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Bolares

Hero
1) The effects. It is just a head-scratcher, given the supposed big budget for this series. Either they rushed it or it isn't as high budget as it seemed, which is odd considering how much weight the Amazon marketing has given it. Given its popularity, maybe we'll see improvement in season two, but for now it looks a bit too much like a SyFy show from 2005.
The budget for this episode apparently was severelly eaten by COVID filming restrictions. Lews Therin's scene was supposed to be done in two days of shooting. It took a month. Testing, every three days, safety equipment for the whole crew, locations shoots cancelled, longer time to shoot anything, working on CGI from home.... all that is said to have contributed to th problems with the CGI.

Brandon Sanderson described episodes 7 and 8 as "crisis mode" for the production. That they could make 7 so good was a feat of it's own.
 
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Even my 13-year old daughter found the final episode rather disappointing. We were laughing at how bad the Trollocs looked, especially that dark shot with them coming out of the valley, which looked like a ten-year old video game on pause.

I can live with the "compression" effect -- cutting stuff is unavoidable. Although I wish they would have kept stuff like the White Bridge, as it brings flavor to the world.

I can even live with the sometimes mediocre acting, because no one stands out as truly bad and it is partially made up by some good performances.

I'm also OK with world-building incongruences, as they have benefits (e.g. a more diverse, interesting cast).

I don't even mind the tinges of GoT gratuity, because it isn't over-the-top, just a bit more than the books. As long as Mat doesn't become the Littlefinger of Tar Valon...(actually, that would be kind of fun).

But the two things that linger as significant issues for me are:

1) The effects. It is just a head-scratcher, given the supposed big budget for this series. Either they rushed it or it isn't as high budget as it seemed, which is odd considering how much weight the Amazon marketing has given it. Given its popularity, maybe we'll see improvement in season two, but for now it looks a bit too much like a SyFy show from 2005.

2) The writing/directing. Some of it is just bad. The forced drama that I mentioned up-thread. You've got to earn that. Or a bit that really annoyed me: the arc of the Fal Dara king. I mean, they tried to make it so his death would be impactful, but it just wasn't. He shot a few bolts and then was speared. Who cares.
From what's come out, Episodes 7 and 8 were a nightmare coming back from the Covid break, with restrictions and Mat's actor gone. They had an actual location scouted out for the Blight they could no longer use. They had dozens of extras, mainly Trollocs, who had already been practicing the final battle, who could no longer be used and had to be hastily replaced with CGI. Mat's actor leaving resulted in massive last-minute re-writes. Luckily Episode 7 came out ok, but you can see how it all effected Episode 8...
 


Well, finished season 1 today. I haven't read the books, but on its own terms the series works for me. I still think the most egregious misstep was the weirdly rushed voice over at the beginning of episode 1, which explained nothing that was not explained better later on in the episode. It's less than one minute of running time, but it makes a very weak first impression that left me starting episode one concerned if the series creators knew what they were doing. I suspect they didn't want a now standard "Galadriel narrates what happened in olden times" fantasy opening, but that late in production they got feedback that people would be confused what was going on and slapped that thing together.

I really dislike this sort of nasty implication. I'm talking about world-building, not race relations. I don't care about the skin color of the cast, just how it clearly ignores any pretense to well-considered world-building for the sake of pandering. From a world-building perspective, the ethnic diversity of the Two Rivers and the world in general doesn't make sense. It could make sense, but they haven't bothered to make it do so.

I will say that I spent the first four or five episodes wondering if it was just inclusive casting decisions with no worldbuilding consistency or if the rules of their fantasy world were actually different and involved children having random physiognomy unrelated to their parents, because I was baffled that Two Rivers seemed to be an ethnic melting pot where, even after many generations, no melting happened and that, in fact, there was not a nondiverse community in the entire world so far as we've seen. I genuinely thought maybe it was just supposed to be a world where (what are to us) racial features are determined by the star you are born under or some other fantasy conceit.

I'm all for a diverse cast, I was just a little disappointed that they didn't take advantage of the genre being fantasy to do some worldbuilding that actually explained why an insular community didn't all look like not-so-distant cousins after a few generations.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
The budget for this episode apparently was severelly eaten by COVID filming restrictions. Lews Therin's scene was supposed to be done in two days of shooting. It took a month. Testing, every three days, safety equipment for the whole crew, locations shoots cancelled, longer time to shoot anything, working on CGI from home.... all that is said to have contributed to th problems with the CGI.

Brandon Sanderson described episodes 7 and 8 as "crisis mode" for the production. That they could make 7 so good was a feat of it's own.

Fair enough. Episode 4 and 7 were the best iirc.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
The effects. It is just a head-scratcher, given the supposed big budget for this series. Either they rushed it or it isn't as high budget as it seemed, which is odd considering how much weight the Amazon marketing has given it. Given its popularity, maybe we'll see improvement in season two, but for now it looks a bit too much like a SyFy show from 2005.
A point to consider: while yes, this is a very high budget TV show, it's still less than $10 million per hour: the full ~9 hours city around $80 million, which is a fraction of the budget for, say, Avengers: Endgame for much more screen time.

I'm pretty convinced that the only way to do the visuals of the novel full justice would be as animation, where the budget is more flat and the goal more artistic than "realistic."
 

Zardnaar

Legend
A point to consider: while yes, this is a very high budget TV show, it's still less than $10 million per hour: the full ~9 hours city around $80 million, which is a fraction of the budget for, say, Avengers: Endgame for much more screen time.

I'm pretty convinced that the only way to do the visuals of the novel full justice would be as animation, where the budget is more flat and the goal more artistic than "realistic."

This. The show and Mandalorian/Foundation probably redefining special effects by TV show standards.

Don't expect MCU/Star Wars movie levels of effects.
 

Mercurius

Legend
A point to consider: while yes, this is a very high budget TV show, it's still less than $10 million per hour: the full ~9 hours city around $80 million, which is a fraction of the budget for, say, Avengers: Endgame for much more screen time.

I'm pretty convinced that the only way to do the visuals of the novel full justice would be as animation, where the budget is more flat and the goal more artistic than "realistic."
Yeah, but you don't need an MCU budget to do better than they did. I mean, some of it was just bad, worse than it should have been.

But I think Bolares and Demetrios explained it: they were rushed, and thus did a sub-par job. This is really illustrated by the unevenness of it. If it was really just a matter of budget, then I think it would have been more consistently solid, but instead we have a wide range of great to awful, in terms of effects.

(The image that stood out to me in particular is at 30:34-35...and I think that exact same bit was repeated once or twice)
 

Bolares

Hero
Yeah, but you don't need an MCU budget to do better than they did. I mean, some of it was just bad, worse than it should have been.

But I think Bolares and Demetrios explained it: they were rushed, and thus did a sub-par job. This is really illustrated by the unevenness of it. If it was really just a matter of budget, then I think it would have been more consistently solid, but instead we have a wide range of great to awful, in terms of effects.

(The image that stood out to me in particular is at 30:34-35...and I think that exact same bit was repeated once or twice)
I think the issues should be just that, an explanation. But not an excuse or justification. The correct thing to do was to delay the show to make the last episode better, and that responsability falls with the studio.
 

Ryujin

Legend
I think the issues should be just that, an explanation. But not an excuse or justification. The correct thing to do was to delay the show to make the last episode better, and that responsability falls with the studio.
Production companies are going out of business, while they wait for this mess to end. It's either deliver what you can make, or don't deliver anything.
 

Bolares

Hero
Production companies are going out of business, while they wait for this mess to end. It's either deliver what you can make, or don't deliver anything.
That's why I said the responsability was with the studio. They have the power and money to push things to a latter date to ensure a quality material is delivered. Amazon had every reason to delay this show a bit...
 

Ryujin

Legend
That's why I said the responsability was with the studio. They have the power and money to push things to a latter date to ensure a quality material is delivered. Amazon had every reason to delay this show a bit...
Quite the contrary. With all of the major competition that was being released around the same time, they had every reason to rush it.
 



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