Brandon Sanderson on Changes in the Wheel of Time TV Show: “Majority of These Decisions Are Excellent Choices”

Author Brandon Sanderson jumped into the Stormlight_Archive subreddit and r/WoT subreddit over the holiday weekend to answer questions, give updates, and generally be awesome (you can see most of the answers collected here) and naturally we got some additional details on how the Wheel of Time TV show is progressing.

Sanderson initially commented that the TV show would have noticeable differences from the books, then elaborated:

I found the mast [sic] majority of these decisions to be excellent choices–things that will give the show its own soul, but still in line with the feel and tone of the books. I can’t say for certain, but my instincts say the fanbase will in general respond to them positively. There are a few I offered suggestions on, and we’ll see.

I can’t say too much, not just because of NDAs, but also because the show is very much still in flux as Rafe makes decisions on how he wants things to go. As the alterations go, I’d say they fall in line with positive changes made in bringing LOTR to the big screen–things that were altered in order to make the films work for the medium.

Overall, the thing I’m most impressed with is Rafe himself, who really seems to be guiding this show with a balance between love for the source material and his own creative vision. I’d much rather get this, personally, than something like the first two Harry Potter films–which felt like someone trying to bring the books to the screen with exact scene-by-scene recreations.

I’m certain there will be polarizing decisions made by the team, but the changes are coming from a good place, and I really like most of them. And let me tell you, the first of the two scripts I read was sharp. Excellent dialogue, nuanced characters, great pacing. The second of the two was in a rougher shape, so while still good, obviously was still undergoing revisions.

Although showrunner Rafe Judkins has mentioned previously that the show (or at least its opening episodes) will center around Moiraine, it remains to be seen what other changes may take place as the narrative shifts from the books to television. And, as Sanderson mentions, since scripts and casting and filming are still ongoing, we’re not liable to know about any changes for sure until the show nears its premiere.


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