With Amazon’s The Wheel of Time looming so close, I analyze and share my thoughts as they stand before it premieres to the world.
As of the time I am writing this, the cast members of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time as well as some key members of the fan community have begun arriving in London. Soon, they will be hobnobbing on the red carpet for the premiere of the first two episodes of the show. And just a few days later, the rest of us will be settling in around our TVs, computers, tablets, phones, and other devices and clicking that little right-pointing triangle button as we begin to take in the show that many of us have waited a long time to behold. The feeling is mind-numbing. A mix of excitement and trepidation overwhelms us as we wait for that day to come.
Over the past few weeks, there have been an onslaught of drops and releases in preparing for this moment from the show’s marketing team. It has been a lot to take in and sort through. Trailers, BTS clips, snippets, and more have all given us little glimpses at the show and what to expect. Us fans have been like the crowds outside of the chocolate factory, peering through the gates and wondering at what marvels can be found within. The marketing blitz has given us a fair taste, but like a spoiled child, we want more!
And yet it is not without a bit of hesitation as we sort through the material and info. Afterall, many of us have been embroiled in the series for a long time. For myself, I have been reading since 2007. After a brief break, I returned to it in 2008 and have been a fan since. Of course, many have been a fan much longer than me… since its inception in 1990. Because of that, we have grown attached to the characters and events and are cringing at some of the changes unfolding with the marketing releases. So, without further ado, I break down my feelings, thoughts, and analysis of what we have seen so far.
**SPOILER NOTE (This post may cover some spoilers from the books (mostly minor) and from the show (potentially major). Please proceed with caution or come back after watching the show first before reading.**
Overall, I have enjoyed the trailers and everything that I have seen. The familiar aspects have got me excited to see them on screen and the new parts (whether they are additions or changes) have me intrigued. To me, most of the cast looks wonderful in their roles. While some have complained that it is too colorful, I love the vibrancy and how the colors just pop. It makes the darker parts even more impactful through the contrast.
Another complaint that I have heard a lot was that everybody looks too clean. As if the characters, especially the villagers, should be covered in mud and feces. I think people are (one) thinking that this show is set in medieval times and (two) that because of that, they were dirty all of the time. As I have learned from watching YouTubers such as Shadiversity and Metatron, that simply was not true of people of those periods. Besides, the point is moot as the setting would be more the equivalent of an early renaissance period. Not to mention that the society was actually quite advanced in the prior age.
Watching the trailers and other materials, it is clear that there are a number of changes from the books. I’m not going to say that changes “should be expected or “are a must.” That has already been said a million times by many others covering the show. While I do agree to a certain extent, I also disagree. Regardless how I feel, most of the changes that I have seen, either from the released materials or from possible leaks, don’t really bother me. I can accept their reason for the changes and be excited for what is to come. Some changes I even love. Judging from the trailer, the White Cloaks are going to be more of a threat in the show where they were more of just an annoyance in the books. I am interested in seeing how they play out.
While I can accept most of the changes, there are a few that have my hackles up. One such change is to that of the Waygate. I must admit… I’m not a big fan. I’ll have to see how it plays out in the final show, and it is something I will just have to live with. Another change has to do with a leak that has been out for a while that looks more and more to be true. This is where the spoiler warning really comes in. If you don’t want to be spoiled, skip the next paragraph.
[Spoiler] It has been alluded to that the character of Perrin is married as the show begins and his wife dies during the attack on Winternight. Some claims even state that he is the one that kills her. I don’t think I like this change (if it is true). For one, if he is the one that kills her, what would be the reason? Does she turn out to be a dark friend? That just wouldn’t make sense to me. Was it accidental while he was fighting Trollocs? Either way, he would be dealing with some major trauma that the Perrin of the books did not have to deal with. The psychological repercussions alone would have major impact on his character development. [/Spoiler]
Whatever, the case, I suppose if it is true, it is something else I will have to live with. By and large, I am happy and excited over most of what I have seen. Once I have seen the episodes, maybe I’ll have a different perspective.
But that does bring me to the reactions from the public. So far, the countless trailer reactions both from established fans and newbies alike have been positive. That is a good thing. But as the show starts to unfold and delves deeper into the series, how will those reactions carry through? Will they remain the same or will they begin to dwindle? These are slight worries that only time will tell.
This week is going to be a rush of emotions. Within the next 48 hours we will start getting reactions from those at the premiere in London as well as those that were lucky enough to score tickets to the Monday night premiers in select cities across the United States and elsewhere. Unfortunately, I was not one of them. By the time I signed up at the closest to me (Silver Spring, MD), it was already filled up. I’ll just have to wait a few more days with everybody else.
In the end, my trepidations and worries are few. I am mostly content with what I have seen so far and excited to see it play out. I know there is MUCH more that we haven’t seen yet. I even inquired about a tweet that the show guru, Sarah Nakamura, tweeted out back fore the age of madness where she teased us about what she was looking at. She replied that she still couldn’t answer that question and to come back in a few weeks.
In any case, the clock is ticking. This weekend, I half expect social media to be abuzz as people swarm it with thoughts and impressions of the show. I plan on being one of those. Shortly after watching the first three episodes, I will publish a general review and reaction of all three episodes (mostly spoiler-free). Then by the end of the weekend, I plan on having much more thorough (and spoiler-filled) analysis of each episode. It’s going to be a wild ride from here to December.