Wheel of Time Episode 1

It’s been awhile since I updated, in large part because I’ve been pregnant for most of the year! We’re expecting a little girl in February. Unfortunately, this means I’ve been unmedicated and struggling with pregnancy brain so I’ve barely done anything. My mind is like a sieve, depression is always lurking around the corner, and I have no momentum because I’m stuck in a sort of limbo. I have all the time I could want to work on writing, but none of the brainpower. Looking at my notes and I feel overwhelmed, like I can’t tie all these threads together the way I did before. It’s just unfiltered noise in my head. So, I have just been trying to keep myself entertained while I get through this phase of my life.

In the meantime, I’ve been turning to comfort media a lot. I lost interest in a few things that I had enjoyed before I got pregnant–certain games, music, reading new books. I read most of Sanderson’s cosmere earlier this year, but after that, instead of finding something new, I went back to the Wheel of Time. I’ve been listening to the audiobooks again, often to soothe my mental chaos so I can fall asleep. I read maybe the first 10 or 11 books in high school, but they were still being released back then. After a long break between releases, I had forgotten so much of the series that I knew I would have to start over to get back into it, so WoT got put in the TBR stack. Finally, after I finished college in 2019, I picked it back up from Eye of the World. I replaced my old paperbacks that were falling apart and bought the last couple books in the series that Brandon Sanderson had taken over and I ended up devouring them (well, mostly; there’s still the dreaded slog).

When I finally finished A Memory of Light, I was left with such a hole that I haven’t felt with any other media I’ve enjoyed. After a brief mourning period, I moved on to a few other series in the TBR, but Wheel of Time still stuck with me. I could probably write essays on some of the flaws of the series–the pacing, the unnecessary exposition and some of Jordan’s writing habits, aspects of the portrayal of female characters and the interactions between the genders–but at the end of the day, when it all that blends together into one complex narrative with characters that I have watched grow up, the final product ultimately became extremely satisfying. I had immersed myself so deeply that I felt like I inhabited that world, and when the story ended, it was like the ground fell out beneath me.

Since then, I have occasionally listened to the audiobooks in the background. Since I got Audible, I’ve been using my monthly free credit to pick up the next book. Every time I listen, I find more details that I missed the first and second time, more foreshadowing that had gone over my head. I really appreciate the intricacy and dedication to detail that Jordan put into the series.

I believe it was hearing that Amazon was going to produce a Wheel of Time show that had finally motivated me to pick the series back up. I’ve been cautiously optimistic, and finally the time has arrived! Knowing that the show runner and many of the actors are fond of the series has made me hopeful, but there of course will be a vocal segment of the fandom who will feel that it doesn’t hold up to the books, no matter what. The fact is that in visual adaptations, there will be a lot of nuance lost. We don’t have access to the internal exposition of characters, so that must be translated into other cues. Jordan’s writing is rather dense and heavy on details, and he introduces a lot of background characters through the eyes of his POV character. When you have an hour of media to work with, there is only so much you can fit in and it’s a hard task to set the scene and convey the most necessary information in a satisfying arc. Sometimes the creators will do this successfully, sometimes they’ll miss the mark. It’s the sacrifice we have to endure when transitioning from the page to the stage.

From here on there will be spoilers for the books and show.

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