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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Which series do you think has the easier time in adapting -

Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 4 2018, 7:13pm

Post #1 of 18 (2592 views)
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Which series do you think has the easier time in adapting - Can't Post

Wheel of Time - pro - it has a completed huge world to work from...however, con - it is soo..large and has so many characters and character plot lines it will require massive editing to make it watchable for TV.

LOTR - basically, has to be written from scratch with only an outline in the appendices.

I am not a writer, but for those of you who are, which is the harder task - adapting complete works or building from an outline?


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Nov 4 2018, 8:00pm

Post #2 of 18 (2564 views)
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I think LotR will be easier [In reply to] Can't Post

Not just because Wheel of Time is sooooooo much bigger, with so many confusing storylines and sub-storylines, and sub-sub-storylines, as well as ten-billion characters, but also (and this should be a genuine concern) because the whole WoT story is incredibly flawed, meanders into a ditch every few chapters, and then spends an entire book trying to pull itself back out. There are books in the series where half of the main characters are not present, and not even mentioned, and then there are books where suddenly every single plot collides with each other. There are characters dying left and right, getting reborn in the next twenty minutes, switching genders, taking new names; there are about eighty or ninety different cities, plus other locations; seven or eight different "Ajahs" of magic just for the Aes Sedai alone; the big bad villain is a voice in the sky who really is not that ominous, and, since he barely ever shows up, is also easily forgotten, making the whole plot seem kind of "what are they even fighting for?". There are love rhombuses so tangled and confused that even Rand can't figure out what's going on - though that's his fault; I honestly despised his bizarre love-quadrangle with three separate women, who all had some sort of polyamorous relationship going on with him - there are times when the main characters can't seem to figure out what they're doing, there are so many prophecies, there are about twelve or thirteen different main villains, all of whom turn out to be incredibly easy to kill off one-by-one. Rand is a mentally unstable main character who is extraordinarily difficult to relate to. Mat stays exactly the same for the first seven or eight books, and if the dice don't stop rolling in his head I will literally scream. Perrin's whole storyline seems to be based around him being bearded, sometimes. Lan is a fifty-something year old who marries a teenager. The female characters are handled horribly, some of the worst I've ever read: Elaine, Min and Aviendha are only there for Rand, and can't ever stop thinking about him; Moiraine comes in randomly with a grave warning that "we are all in terrible danger" and then just sits and ponders solemnly. And then (SPOILER!) dies. Egwene breaks up with Rand…only to fall so madly in love with somebody else that she can't stop thinking about him. Even Suan Sanche (I think that's her name) ends up falling in love. Every single female character seems to be conniving and power-hungry, and (oh yeah) incredibly beautiful. The men always distrust them, but can't help from falling in love with them - and then killing them. It's taken for granted that women hate men, men hate women. There are lesbians who can be "tamed" by men, or something bizarre and disgusting like that. There are so many parts where the whole story just falls over and collapses in on itself, especially at those points where Rand has yet another breakdown and can't prevent himself from killing people - and then, creepily, he starts reciting the list of women he's killed. Birgitte, the only female character I liked, vanished from the storyline somewhere along the way. Faile was as annoying as is humanly possible. I have no clue what Morgase's purpose in the story was. I gave up around Book 70, so incredibly bored by what I was reading that I literally could not continue. Oh yeah, and Padan Fain kept coming back from the dead to attack rand yet again and then run away yet again; he was so irritating. The entire first book was also a blatant rip-off of everything LotR. This series will, apparently, be made, but it will not be watchable for me.
So yeah, rant over.
I think Lord of the Rings will be easier, because it's simpler, not built on sexism, and does not involve three-thousand characters all acting suspenseful without anything ever actually happening, while Rand goes more insane than he already is, and fulfills yet another boring prophecy, bringing him one step closer to death. As much as I wanted to see Rand die, I couldn't bring myself to finish the series and get to that point.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Chen G.
Lorien

Nov 4 2018, 8:11pm

Post #3 of 18 (2558 views)
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Each has its own difficulties [In reply to] Can't Post

But I would say adapting the fully-drawn work is the harder of the two: you have more anticipation from fans of the source material for fidelty and yet you have to do whatever necessary to fit a leaner, more visual format.

The series that only has an outline to go on really functions like an original story - and we of course have plenty of those. Its very liberating for writers.

This is an usual case where, although there is little to follow up, with regards to source material, there is a lot to live up to with regards to previous adaptations. There may be no anticipation with regards to substance (i.e. plot) but there most certainly is with regards to style.


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 4 2018, 8:13pm

Post #4 of 18 (2554 views)
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Hmm, I think you need to expand on your point some more! ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you finish the books? After Brandon Sanderson came on he made them more streamlined with fewer chapters of Nynaeve hair tugging etc etc. At the end, I was happy with it but at the same time was very exasperated over the middle books that essentially went nowhere at 800 pgs a pop. Oh sure, there were some character developments but the going was soo slow. However, Jordan and Sanderson are skilled at world building and epic battle scenes. WOT will live or die on the writing as it trys to edit together a story thread that can be followed without having to recall a prologue in Book 3 when you are on Book 10.

LOTR will live or die on the writing because it has so little to go on other than the outline. The challenge will be to write in a manner that is consistent with the world we know without going off into zany plot lines and dialogue. It has to have a point as everyone is going to wonder what can be said as we know the outcome. Making those middle years interesting can be done but it is fraught with potential issues.


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Nov 4 2018, 8:20pm

Post #5 of 18 (2550 views)
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True! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm very sorry, but when I hear Wheel of Time mentioned I can't help myself from ranting angrily. Sorry about that.

(Though, I've never liked Brandon Sanderson's writing either: I did get up to book 12, but stopped there - I think I page-skimmed through Books 8, 9, 10, 11, which I never do with other books. I didn't think the world building was particularly great, honestly, though Jordan did write some compelling battle sequences.)

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 4 2018, 9:06pm

Post #6 of 18 (2544 views)
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I was amused! It is a love hate relationship with WOT. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was just happy to have finished it....finally. Doubt I will ever do a full re-read...life is too short and there are too many books. I might do some summary reading as the series comes on line,


I am on the WOT Facebook group and there is a lot of character casting suggestions going on.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Nov 4 2018, 9:10pm)


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Nov 4 2018, 10:08pm

Post #7 of 18 (2528 views)
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Is the casting not locked down for WOT? [In reply to] Can't Post

Weird, I thought it was. I thought Nicholas Hoult was being cast as Rand, and that was enough to make me walk away from the series even if it wasn't an adaptation of books I loathe Laugh Hmm, well, I don't know who I would cast as Rand, and I don't really want to attach the names of any actors I like to this franchise…maybe Alex Pettyfer? Too old, perhaps. The actress/singer Jihae comes to mind for Suan Sanche, for some reason.

Anyway, I agree with everything Chen G. already said. I think he made his point well - much better than me!

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 4 2018, 10:17pm

Post #8 of 18 (2524 views)
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As far as I know nothing has been communicated other than a 2022 start date. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


squire
Half-elven


Nov 5 2018, 12:25am

Post #9 of 18 (2516 views)
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What's to stop the LotR writers from making every single one of those mistakes? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know anything about Wheel of Thrones, but will start from your criticism as it merely frames the point about the new Tolkien adaptation: there's nothing to adapt, in terms of story.

The only things known are the physical setting (in a general sense, not a city, town, region sense), and possibly a few characters who may well be treated differently because the events are in a different period of their lives. All the rest -- how many plots and cities there are, how many villains there are, how men and women get along, the rate and manner of deaths, complexities of relationships -- are completely open to the writing team.

It seems useless to protest that 'they would never do [WOT mistake] to Tolkien's world' when we've already established, even in casual speculation on this board, that a great many non-Tolkien approaches to story will be 'necessary' because of the different medium and format.

I would agree with other comments here that the LotR extension is the more difficult adaptation, because the problem is one of pure invention from almost ground zero - in the face of expectations of both readers and New Line film fans - while the WOT adaptation is just one of choosing and organizing a complete existing story.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 5 2018, 12:43am

Post #10 of 18 (2506 views)
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IMBD has him in other shows [In reply to] Can't Post

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0396558/

He is in "Tolkien" https://www.denofgeek.com/...d-everything-to-know


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Nov 5 2018, 12:48am)


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Nov 5 2018, 1:04am

Post #11 of 18 (2502 views)
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What's to stop them? Nothing, but- [In reply to] Can't Post

At least they're building off source material that is not inherently flawed, whereas the Wheel of Time TV series will be forced to expand on a source that is lengthy, meandering, complicated, tangled, at times disturbing, not fit for modern sensibilities, predictable, dry, faulty, over-populated with unnecessary characters, etc, etc. And I never said that the writers for Lord of the Rings wouldn't do all those things to Tolkien's world - I don't remember ever saying that. I'm cautiously optimistic towards the LotR project, but for now I don't have much hope that they'll do it justice. But in my opinion nothing can do WoT justice, because it's flawed from the very first page, and the entire first book is in fact a cheap rip-off of LotR. If you haven't read the series, I encourage you to go try it out - if you can get through fourteen grueling books, which even I couldn't. As for your last comment, WoT also has its own fan-base who will have high expectations, just as high as those of any LotR reader or film-fan. The WoT adaptation, if it is any good, will do a lot more than just "choosing and organizing" to put together its story, because the books are some of the most convoluted novels I've ever read - and you can't argue otherwise until you've read the series for yourself and see what I'm talking about. A good WoT adaptation would rewrite whole swathes of the story from scratch, abandon vast chunks of incredibly boring material, exterminate probably half the characters, and I would also seriously encourage those writers to take a good look at Jordan's female characters and consider seriously whether they want to commit them to screen as they are. Ground zero is where any good adaptation of WoT should begin, honestly. All that is my own opinion, of course, just as it's your own opinion that LotR will be harder. But I'm not favoring the LotR project except in the general sense that I infinitely prefer LotR to WoT: and in the end, the LotR writers at least can figure out where to begin. Open any WoT book at random and try to figure out what is going on, and you will probably end up so lost not even the cats of Queen Beruthiel could ever guide you home! Smile (though I suppose they'll get real WoT fans to write the script? Though, we have no proof yet that they did that for LotR…)
Anyway, I don't see why having almost unlimited room to create new storylines, to let imaginations run wild in the vast expanses of Middle-earth, should be harder than trying to push and pull Jordan and Sanderson's massive and monstrous epic to make it fit into a TV series format, when it didn't even work properly stretched out across fourteen books, in my opinion!

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Nov 5 2018, 1:10am

Post #12 of 18 (2498 views)
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Nicholas Hoult is one of my least-favorite actors [In reply to] Can't Post

and the fact that he is playing J.R.R. Tolkien still scares me. I have to hope he does justice to the role. His "Beast" in X-Men is the worst: Dev Patel is the only man who should be playing Beast. I'm glad Hoult's not in Wheel of Time, though!

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


squire
Half-elven


Nov 5 2018, 1:22am

Post #13 of 18 (2501 views)
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Good points [In reply to] Can't Post

I apologize if it seemed I was putting words in your mouth. I guess I was responding to your implicit idea that the Tolkien adaptation will be easier because his books don't have the flaws that the WoT books do, in your opinion. I felt it was a weak argument because the LotR writers are not actually 'adapting' a superior text, which does not exist, but are instead making almost everything up from scratch. The proposition that Lord of the Rings is a much better written work than Wheel of Time is debatable but meaningless in the context of the original question, because only Wheel of Time is actually being adapted. 'LotR-project' is being created from almost nothing.

Even as I read your reply, I formed the thought that the WoT screenwriters should take it on themselves to 'fix' the structural flaws in the WoT books - and then you suggested the same thing!

At this point I'm prepared to call it even: both Amazon projects could go in almost any direction. The quality and nature of the books they're based on will have far less weight with the writers than their own artistic agenda and/or their calculations of what the fan base expects and will enjoy.

Thanks for your sensible invitation that I try reading WoT. You certainly don't sell the idea very convincingly! "Rip your eyeballs out. You'll get a much better idea of the problems of the visually handicapped that I've been talking about."



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Nov 5 2018, 1:41am

Post #14 of 18 (2499 views)
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No problem! :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually reread my post and thought I was way too harsh, so I'm gonna apologize too! Blush But anyway, you're right: both projects could go either way, very good or very bad, or maybe something in between, and it will be up to the writers, not the merits of the novels off of which both TV shows will be based (or the novels off of which one TV show will be based, and of a few pages out of the appendix of another novel off of which the other TV show will be based. Put that way, it sure looks like WoT has the easier time!).

And, uh, yeah, I didn't really sell the idea of reading WoT very well, did I? Laugh Maybe I'm overly harsh towards those books, too…but seriously, it is like ripping out your own eyeballs. Smile

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."

(This post was edited by Thor 'n' Oakenshield on Nov 5 2018, 1:44am)


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 5 2018, 5:18am

Post #15 of 18 (2473 views)
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I disagree on the characterization of WOT as a "cheap rip off of JRRT". [In reply to] Can't Post

In that all fantasy novels have some essential similarities that does not make one a rip off. WOT is very different from LOTR in almost all significant ways. The "magic" system is completley different, the role of men and women is completely different, the adversaries are different etc. I enjoyed WOT despite some of the books being slow going. I think it finished very well. It is no Shannara.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wheel_of_Time Very little in common with JRRT


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Nov 5 2018, 5:25am)


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Nov 5 2018, 1:23pm

Post #16 of 18 (2401 views)
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The first book of WoT [In reply to] Can't Post

Not the rest of the series. But the first book basically is a rip-off (Black Riders follow Rand down the road, he escapes across a ferry out of Two Rivers to Baerlon, which has a huge Inn, and then they meet tree-giants who don't like being hasty, etc.) I was only talking about Eye of the World, not the rest of the series.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Meneldor
Valinor


Nov 5 2018, 1:25pm

Post #17 of 18 (2398 views)
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I recommend the first 3 books of WoT. [In reply to] Can't Post

Those felt like an epic story that was going places, and comes to a decent interim climax. But after that, the story seems to wander off the tracks, characters just going places and doing things and none of it means anything, IMO. I think I read about 7 of the books before I gave up on the series.

But anyway, if you read the first 3, you'll have a good idea of what WoT is about and who the main characters are, and there's a good chance you'll enjoy the story. If you decide to quit after that, I certainly won't criticize your choice.


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. -Psalm 107


Chen G.
Lorien

Nov 5 2018, 2:59pm

Post #18 of 18 (2375 views)
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Great [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
as it merely frames the point about the new Tolkien adaptation: there's nothing to adapt, in terms of story.

The only things known are the physical setting (in a general sense, not a city, town, region sense), and possibly a few characters who may well be treated differently because the events are in a different period of their lives. All the rest -- how many plots and cities there are, how many villains there are, how men and women get along, the rate and manner of deaths, complexities of relationships -- are completely open to the writing team.


Which is great! Its so very liberating. Its probably my main reason for being at all excited for this Television series.

 
 

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