Part one brought us only one minute into the show, with two men running away from some Red Sedai. I’ll explain what this means later. I’ll also put off focusing on something that is difficult to convey in words, which is how tropey the sound, editing, and cinematography is in this show.
I’m going to focus on this scene in some detail, since it serves as a microcosm of the entire show. Since this is a text review I’ll focus mostly on the dialogue.
One of the women in red causes rocks to fall in a very conveniently narrow crevasse that the men had to run through. This causes both of them to fall down to the ground, despite none of the rocks hitting them. This doesn’t make any sense, and shows the almost unimaginable lack of attention to detail from Rafe Judkins and (((Jennifer Salke))).
Guy 1: We can’t die like this. You can fight them, use it.
Guy 2: Don’t hurt him. It’s not his fault.
Red Bitch in Charge: Who are you talking about? There’s no one else here.
Guy number one then starts looking around, showing us the audience that there is in fact no one else there.
If you read The Wheel of Time you’re probably scratching your head right now wondering why they decided to introduce this particular bit of worldbuilding right now.
Red Bitch: The madness already has him.
Red Biatch then dismounts and walks towards the crazy guy.
Red Bitch: You see what we’ve come here to do… it’s a gift. You should thank me really. This… power… it’s meant for women, and women alone. And when you touch it, you make it filthy.
Guy: Please. No.
He continues to beg, before starting to scream as the red biatches do something to him. Well clearly they kill him, or at least still him, but as we hear his screams the camera pans up to Moiraine and Lan.
I have no idea why Moiraine and Lan are just here on this random cliff overlooking this. This will become a recurring refrain in this series, but no, this doesn’t happen in the books.
Moiraine: It’s not him.
Lan: He was born 20 years ago, almost to the day that the prophecy of the reborn predicted. He’s able to touch the source.
Moiraine: It’s not him.
Lan, who is Asian now, simply nods like the good little boy that he is.
Lan: Where next?
Moiraine: The Two Rivers.
Lan’s only response is to sassily cock his eyebrow. This doesn’t accomplish much other than assassinating his character from the books.
Moiraine: There are rumours of four ta’veren. All the right age. The old blood runs deep in these mountains. Let’s hope it’s prepared them for what’s coming.
That’s it. The scene is over. We’re three minutes in and we get show credits.
This might sound hard to believe, but this is probably the best scene in the entire show. Or at least, it’s the least terrible scene, despite the incredibly on the nose dialogue and the pratfalls for no reason. Book readers will wonder why they introduced these facets of the world now, when it’s so unnecessary, and show only watchers will have no idea what just happened. It’s complete fanfiction, but at least they were trying to establish that the Red Sedai girls are total biatches, that men who channel go crazy, and Moiraine and Lan are looking for The Dragon Reborn.
All of this was established far better in the books, and we already knew that Moiraine and Lan were looking for The Dragon Reborn, making their opening scene redundant. Furthermore, there is no reason to introduce this facet of the world now, which is precisely why Robert Jordan, the author of the book series, didn’t do that. But as bad as that scene was, I can at least see where they were coming from.
That’s not the case with this next scene, a fanfic about The Women’s Circle. Above you see Nynaeve. Sorry, let me clarify that. Above you see Show!Nynaeve, she’s Black now. She’s talking to Show!Egwene, who’s some weird Abo-Mulatto, in front of the Show! women of Emond’s Field, who are extras from the Bronx.
The dialogue is stupid and generic, but luckily also very brief. There’s also a lot of unnecessary smiling going on. That might sound random, but trust me, this will also be a running theme for the show. We’ll get there later.
Show!Nynaeve pushes Show!Egwene off a cliff and into the water for some reason. She then floats down the river eventually before washing up.
This is the show’s retarded version of the initiation into the Women’s Circle in Emond’s Field. If you’re wondering what the book version was, there wasn’t any. Jordan did not cover this because women were chosen based on how well liked they were in the community, not whether they could survive being thrown off a cliff into whitewater rapids. This show is fucking stupid.
But with that out of the way we finally, get to the one and only scene in the first episode that is actually in the books. This is it, Rand Al’Thor, and his father, Tam Al’Thor, bringing the cider they made on their farm into the town of Emond’s Field for Bel Tine, the yearly festival. This is a fairly long scene in the book, and rightfully so since it follows directly after the prologue, and establishes every part of the world that the reader needs to know at that moment.
Tam: I remember when this road was just a little deer path winding down the mountain.
Rand: How’d you get the wool to town?
Tam: Carried it.
Rand: And the brandy?
Tam: That stayed down. Your mother could drink.
More wolves now!
There is a small tumbling of rocks, which causes Rand to draw his bow.
At this point I’m regretting not doing this review as a video, because there is this hilariously bad wolf howl sound they put in the background. It honestly sounds like a guy going “awooooooooooo awoooooooooo,” over and over again. Or maybe they got their hands on GenericWolf.midi in one of those sound effects starter packages and just decided to roll with it.
Soon the scary wolf menace is revealed to just noises in the forest, and they immediately put their weapons away while Rand moves some rocks around.
Tam: Sometimes they get pushed down from the mountain. When you was just tiny we let you out in this world alone, out looking for berries. And you’d always save a basket of it in a band to take to Egwene.
Rand: Sounds like I used to be a real sap.
Dear lord this show. This dialogue. I can practically feel the gears clunking into place as they transition from “be afraid of wolves,” to “reminisce fondly over Rand’s childhood.” This isn’t helped by them constantly looking at each other with these big goofy grins on their faces.
This manages to never be charming, not one time. It is only ever irritating or unintentionally hilarious. And with these goofy smiles the scene is over.
One of the problems with this show is that they changed absolutely everything. If I keep saying that it’s going to get repetitive, but this is literally the only scene from the books that made it into the movie, and they cut it short before it established much of anything.
Look, this is not me being pedantic, Robert Jordan wrote The Eye Of The World the way that he did for a reason. The way this scene plays out in the novel is that Rand and Tam are walking along a misty road into Emond’s Field with the cider. In addition to establishing everything that’s going on in the world the most important part of this scene is that Rand notices someone malicious is following them.
When Tam looks back to see, he’s gone. Later we find out it’s a Mydraal, pardon the spelling, and this hints that things will not go so well at Bel Tine, as well as being our first non-prologue introduction into something mystical in this world. This, and anything approaching this, is totally absent from the show. Instead the show builds up the anticipation at Bel Tine by… not doing that and just having some random guy we don’t know get shanked by some Trolloc offscren. I’m skipping ahead, but not exaggerating.
But getting back to this scene, in addition to this crucial bit of foreshadowing the chapter also establishes:
- What Bel Tine is.
- That Tam has some serious martial arts skills.
- That Tam is a loving father.
- That Rand really likes Egwene.
- That Tam owns a farm.
- That Tam is on the Men’s Circle.
- Many other things.
The adaptation managed to check off three of these boxes, being most charitable. Tam is a loving father, owns a farm, and Rand likes Egwene. It also totally ruins the ominous tone of the scene, and replaces it with this saccharine Young Adult Fiction garbage. The one and only scene from the books and they still fucked up.
Next time I’m blitzing through the rest of this garbage. It’s nowhere near as topical as Rangz of the Kangz, so I can’t justify any more of my life on this drek.