The first Wheel of Time episodes dropped today. We have been building up to this TV series since we started the podcast in February (how has it been less than a year that we’ve been discussing Jordan’s books??). We are looking forward to looking at this show and seeing how his works are updated for a modern viewer. We are also interested to see how the Wheel of TIme introduces new fans who haven’t read a single thing about hair tugging and plunging necklines (#teamtug). With that said, here are a few thoughts, hopes, and fears we may be having at this current moment.
Hannah: I honestly cannot wait to be frustrated by a show. It’s been a while since I mentally watched a show that has been adapted from a work I’ve looked at so closely. I can’t wait to see something and go “Wait…that’s not how it happened!” in places where I loved a plot line and it just isn’t there. I’m also super fascinated with the fact that they pulled different parts of the first three books in these eight episodes. How does that happen? One thing I do hope they change is making Mat a bit more complex from the start. Laura and I struggled with Mat in the beginning, saying emphatically that we couldn’t understand all the love he was getting from readers. Now he’s one of our favorite people to read about! We have had the best discussions about him! So I am really hoping we get to see that from the start. Then again, a huge part of Mat is the fact that he is judgmental and a bit bigoted in the beginning about Aes Sedai and men who could potentially channel. That story is important for us to see, so I am definitely conflicted by this change request.
I am so excited to see Egwene in action. I have a lot of hopes they will fix some of the things about and give her enough time to grow into her storyline. I don’t want them to rush to find her settled in work and relationship. I cannot wait to see everyone’s arcs. It’s so exciting to start a journey with these characters and see them in action. They’ve been in our heads and ears for nine books, I can’t wait to see them on screen.
In addition, we of course hope that they update the women and actually give them more personality that aren’t so similar. I want to see Moiraine’s steadfastness and Nynaeve’s capabilities and Egwene’s craving for better things without them getting angry every other sentence. We want to make sure they are fully realized and that the matriarchal societies that we see in these books have a bit more dimension to them and a bit more femininity in how they rule. We want to be shown more and told less.
Laura: If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times that although the Wheel of Time series is touted as a “feminist text,” it is ultimately a book about a reluctant young man who will save the world. So what am I most looking forward to about the show? The writers giving the women more agency! I love stories with strong women characters, and while the book series has those, I’d love to see Amazon Prime expand upon them and make them even greater. And definitely no spanking…
Who else am I excited to see on the screen?
NYNAEVE! She is one of my favorite characters and I am so looking forward to seeing Zoe Robins’ portrayal and Nynaeve being awesome in general. Give me less Lan-crazy Nynaeve and more capable, powerful, caring, bad-ass Nynaeve.
Mat! Hannah and I were both hesitant at first with how to feel about Mat in this series, but after finishing book 9, he’s earned himself a spot as one of the most interesting characters with the best storyline. It will be really neat to see the shenanigans Mat gets into on TV.
Darkfriends/Forsaken/Shadar Logoth. I’m not sure why, but I tend to get the many different Forsaken/Darkfriends confused in my mind and they often come off as people who don’t seem to have a clue what they are doing (I blame the extremely long prologues for my thinking this). I think there are a lot of opportunities to make the Forsaken (and crew) truly terrifying and have their meetings and motives become more clear than they have been so far in the books.
From the trailers, we can tell that Amazon Prime seems to be doing great by casting diverse actors and with the cinematography/special effects. The actors chosen seem great, and I’m really hoping that the battle scenes and creatures we see in the books are done justice (Amazon, do not make Loial ridiculous or I will cry).
All in all, it will be fun to see this book series “brought to life” and to reflect on what we have read so far. We want to take all the things we like and leave all the things we hate. Doing this work in 2021 gives so many opportunities to give us more than we could ever hope for. Let’s watch together, shall we?