Anyone watching this or familiar with the books? I read the entire series a couple of years ago after getting hooked (which is rare for me as I don’t read book series that much these days). So far they’ve released the first three episodes of the first season on Amazon and I really enjoy it. I could be saying this as a fan of the books, but considering a lot of book fans and purists are mad about it, that makes me think I’m not too biased.
I believe Jackson’s LOTR Trilogy is still the gold standard of adaptation despite what the purists say as I believe an adaptation needs to make necessary tweaks to a story because if I wanted a line by line adaptation of a book, I’d just listen to the audiobook then.
I think the show does a good job as an adaptation. Things I like so far include
- Spoiler: Show
1. The visuals. Literally everything is visually how things should be in the book and I think how they present Shadar Logoth and Mashadar is top notch.
2. Casting is great. I was hesitant about Daniel Henney playing Lan as I didn’t think he’d be buff enough, but he does a good job playing Lan’s stoic Samurai nature. And of course Rosamund Pike is perfect as Moiraine and her moral ambiguity.
3. Characterizations is well done. I agree with the show to make the main Two Rivers five older as when the series was first written, the first book is a coming of age novel. Over time the novels became more mature and complex. Making the five younger in the first season runs the risk into turning the show into an YA story which turns off many viewers, so I agree with making the five older so they sound less like annoying kids. Also does wonders for Mat as in the first two books he’s an annoying character that just seems like an obnoxious kid sidekick. I’ll admit I don’t know how I feel about making his parents fucked up losers as I liked the idea that most people in the Two Rivers were good people despite their humble background.
- Spoiler: Show
1. Some of the characters’ current background. I alluded to Mat’s above, but I also don’t know how I feel about Perrin being already married. Rand and Egwene also already having a sexual relationship does make me ambivalent as well. Don’t dislike it, but I felt like it should’ve been him finding out Egwene may become a wisdom rather than them making love and finding out later because it gives a soap opera feel to it despite the point of aging characters to make them less YA.
2. Pacing is a little weird for me as I read the books. However, this is a slight nitpick as we will see what the finished product looks like when the entire season is finished. It just feels like they’re leapfrogging back and forth and will accelerate certain characters’ plots (Rand/Mat, Egwene/Perrin) while decelerating others (Lan/Moirraine/Nynaeve). It may all change when all the arcs converge, but I feel like they maybe could’ve done a better job editing some of the plots in the third episode.
Recommend it to those looking for a new fantasy series as Sanderson, who finished it, and the late author’s wife are consulting producers for it. The series is made by people who you can tell do love the books.