I don’t remember the exact timeline, but I read The Hobbit…uh…oh, shit. Okay…okay, wait, I remember reading it on the car ride to Michigan for a summer trip, and my sister and I were singing All Star a lot, so it was either the summer of ’99 or ’00. Tangent: The first time I ever saw a black squirrel in my entire fucking life was literal days after reading about them being in the Mirkwood. They’re not a thing we had in New England, okay? I thought they were a fiction, and then three days later I see one of the motherfuckers scurrying up a tree in Michigan. Perhaps why I’ve never been back.
So, of course after reading The Hobbit I went straight on to The Lord of the Rings, and I was somewhere in the third book when the first trailer showed up for The Fellowship of the Ring.
Fuck. Yes. My tweenage brain was blown. Second tangent: there was a guy in my showing of Fellowship who had brought the book with him and was attempting to follow along with an Itty-Bitty Book Light.
All of this is to say that The Wheel of Time series that’s coming out is the second time in my life that an adaptation has come out within months of me finishing the books. Am I excited? Yes! Do I believe this adaptation is going to be as good as The Lord of the Rings trilogy? No! Because I’m an adult and I generally don’t believe that the best or even the middle of the road ‘good’ option is ever going to happen ever again, but also because The Lord of the Rings trilogy being so fucking great is probably the only actual miracle anyone has ever experienced.
Last tangent: does anyone else remember how people on the news were getting mad at The Two Towers because they thought it had something to do with 9/11? Because I sure fucking do. It was mostly a joke, but you know for some people it wasn’t.
Anyway, here’s some things I hope are in the new WoT adaptation.
Already a Good Start Keeping It Away from the Networks
As I’ve said before, repeatedly, like, a lot, fuck network television. When they were the only game in town creators would put up with whatever sort of bullshit restrictions executives would come up with to keep the Steak-Ums people happy because God forbid ABC try to exist without that sweet, sweet Steak-Ums ad revenue or whatever, but now that there’s a bunch of websites who don’t have to simp to advertisers and an ever-increasing percentage of viewers that have cut their cable apron-strings I seriously question why anyway would want to try to get their shit on broadcast television anymore.
I’m not talking about sex. Besides a lot of ceremonies and rituals where the ladies have to strip down to their business and a seriously curious amount of women getting spanked, the book series is strangely sterile. There are only a few sex scenes in fourteen books, and those are more of the ‘kissing in bed and then the camera pans away to the window’ variety than the ‘someone find out if the Cheerios people are okay with nipple’ sort. I’m talking about the double-handfuls of other reasons nothing should be made for network television anymore.
If this show were heading to NBC, the first season would be twenty episodes long and somehow drag in the middle. Every episode would be tailored to forty minutes (to fill the hour with commercials, of course) and if it wasn’t doing exactly as well as they hoped by the fifth episode it would be shifted around on the schedule and hemorrhage viewers, so it would be moved around again, until finally it would be put in the Friday Night Death Slot and cancelled by April. Do they still do the thing on broadcast television where they cover the bottom quarter of the screen with ads for their other shows? Because if they do, that would happen. Loial would be entirely CGI for some reason, despite the fact that they barely have the budget for convincing costumes.
I’m not saying the show is definitely going to be good, but it’s probably going to be better on Prime than on any of the single digit stations.
No English Accents
I’ve seen the trailers and this one is already blown out of the water but I’m putting it here anyway because I still want it. I hate that anyone making a high fantasy show or movie feels the need to make everyone have an English accent (I mean, also, any period drama at all no matter where it’s set, like motherfuckers running from the ash in Pompeii were all, ‘I say, good sir, it appeahs to have gotten quite gloomy!’). Fine, a lot of the old stuff was written by Englishmen in England and locations were based on the stuff they were used to. Still doesn’t make Middle Earth fucking Derbyshire.
The Wheel of Time series was written by Robert Jordan, an American southerner, and Brandon Sanderson, who is from fucking Nebraska and currently living in Utah. A place so diametrically opposite to England it’s a scientific fact that any person from Great Britain who sets foot past the state lines will simply be warped back to a specific field outside Cardiff as a safety measure. Furthermore, the books don’t really take place anywhere recognizable. Based off a few scenes, it would seem like they take place on something approximating our Earth, but so far in the future as to be completely unrecognizable. There is no England, so why the fuck would everyone be talking like it’s almost time for cucumber sandwiches and Doctor Who?
Even beyond all that, the world Jordan created is so intricate that different nations have accents and dialects so recognizable other people can instantly ping where they’re from after a few sentences. It’s not some island nation, it’s an entire fucking continent that characters routinely mention takes weeks or even months to cross. Moraine is Cairhienan and Rand and the others are all technically Andoran, which means she should have a different accent than the others but nooooo, it’s all the same shitty accent that’s as bland as their food.
Yay, I’m angry.
Steal Shit From Game of Thrones
I only ever watched the first season, I remember basically nothing, and then the ending was so terrible mothers were dragging their five-year-olds into the social security office to change their names. Meanwhile, Mr. Martin’s current plan to finish the book seems to be dying of old age and appointing someone else to do it in his will. I’m not watching that series and I’m not reading that series so go ahead and steal whatever the fuck you want because I will either not notice or not care.
Except the opening credits, which should 1000% be stolen. The evolving credits are, like, the only thing about Game of Thrones I remember and like and literally every show in this genre should be unabashedly stealing that. It’s a great idea.
Jack Black as Thom Merrilin
I know they cast another dude, I don’t give a shit. Now that I’ve had this thought I literally cannot imagine any other person as Thom. Can you not picture it? Jack Black, in his technicolor dreamcoat, juggling and playing the harp and whipping knives at people with a ‘skidoosh?’ Maybe if they hadn’t been cowards and decided everyone had to be vaguely European…God, I’m still so mad about this. Who do I have to talk to around here to get some high fantasy filled with fucking Brooklyn accents and Minnesota nice and ‘howdy, y’alls?’ Why is the only company with the sort of balls to break from the mold and make a fantasy in the desert with grizzled prospector types Square Fucking Enix?
This should have been an American cast, or barring that, make up a fucking accent like they did for Wakanda. You know what?
Which Accents Should Have Been Used to Represent the Different Nations
Fucking strap in, because we’re going Full America, folks.
The Two Rivers
The Two Rivers is East Bumfuck. They technically belong to Andor but they’re so isolated no one in the Two Rivers knows that and no one from Andor has been around for taxes or anything so fuck it. They’re basically abandoned hill folk and should speak as such, which is why I think a southern accent, specifically from the Kentucky area, is perfect. Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve should all be talking like they haven’t left their holler in years. I want y’alls and drawls. Everybody already thinks Rand and company are a bunch of hicks and are shocked when they’re not only competent, but great at something, so given our own biases out in the real world a thick southern accent is perfect.
The nation that the Two Rivers belongs to should also be a southern accent, but given their high royalty and sort of up-their-own-butts attitude, I’m thinking an old fashioned, Tennessee Williams Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Big Daddy Southern accent. Long, slow drawls. “I do declare.” “Maggie, you are ruining my liquor.” Just a bunch of old southern belles being bitchy to each other and doing that southern thing when they meet one of the Two Rivers folk, you know, that slow lookover with their eyes and a ‘Bless your heart.’ Real Foghorn Leghorn shit.
The Shienarans live right on top of the Blight and their whole thing is fighting back trollocks and generally being badasses. They live far to the northeast and don’t need your fucking help, ever, which is why I think these guys need a good Maine accent. Have you ever actually met someone from Maine? Stubborn as mules, especially the old guys. As a nurse I once had a patient from Maine who insisted he didn’t need me doing my rounds and that if he needed something he’d get it himself. He was there because his blood pressure had tanked and he’d passed out in a JC Penney’s, so when I told him he wasn’t even allowed to get out of bed without calling someone he was pissed. Bonus: they’ll all sound like they’re from terrible Stephen King adaptations.
Okay, here me out on this one: Aes Sedai are from everywhere, but they congregate at the White Tower for pretty intense training. Part of their whole thing is being ambassadors to rulers, so that means they have to be understandable to everybody, right? Who, in our society currently, spend a chunk of their training learning a particular American accent to be able to be understood by the whole country?
That’s right: newscasters. Aes Sedai, no matter where they’re from, should be able to speak in that over-pronounced General American accent that is the staple of every Cindy Mapleton and Joe Shortsleeve across the country. Bonus points if they have a scene where they code switch back to their actual accent.
A nation on the water with lots of little waterways pushing into it and already canonically with an odd dialect where ‘He’s going to the boats’ becomes ‘He do be going to the boats’ means I want the thickest Cajun accents imaginable for these guys. Nigh unintelligible.
I could keep going but there’s still, like, fifteen other groups to go. You get the idea.
This was supposed to be about more topics but apparently I’m going to be super salty about the accents the entire time I watch this show. Hopefully there will be other great things about the show to distract me, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to be pissed they’re all talking with the same fucking English accent all seven episodes.