Yesterday on Reddit there was a Wheel of Time showrunner AMA with Rafe Judkins. We also have a new Episode 4 clip below showing a bit more of Logain. I will cover some of Judkin’s most interesting responses that are not too spoiler filled. After all, most of the questions were from fans of the books and therefore some answers get into territory much further into the series. If you want to check the full AMA for yourself on Reddit, you can do so Here.
First though, check out this teaser clip for The Wheel of Time Episode 4. As introduced at the end of Episode 3, it appears we shall be learning more about Logain (pictured in cage above) this week.
The new episodes drop at midnight for me, this evening. So in a few hours I will be enjoying Episode 4 for myself. Still, this Episode 4 clip hypes the new episode without spoiling anything I assume will be in it for me.
On to the AMA now and below I am just going to post some questions and responses from Rafe Judkins. Again, for a full look, go there and check it out. I am trying to keep away from more spoilerific answers. First off, has Aviendha been cast? Rafe confirmed that popular book character Aviendha has been cast, however does not say who will be playing her. I won’t get into who Aviendha is yet, for now she’s simply a character you will meet likely in Season 2 or 3.
Asked about a longer Judkins cut amid rumors he wanted a longer opening episode?
Ha, I wish. But the JudkinsCut never really made it out of script form. And to Amazon’s credit, a real focus in streaming nowadays for all of the networks is “pace” and “bingeability”. Anecdotally (and apparently statistically now), tons of non-book fans made it through the first episode and right into the series without stopping down or turning it off. Maybe in the next turning of the Wheel, there’ll be the two hour season premiere featuring unlimited scenes of smithing, Coplins, Congars, and more.
Asked about some negative reviews and how they deal with that?
Yeah, I think it’s always important to hear people as they take in the show and comment on it, but not be chasing approval. If you try to make a show that EVERYONE likes, you’ll have an actual pile of trash at the end. Better to make a show that some people truly love (even if others think it’s a pile of trash ha).
In terms of pacing, it’s a balance you have to strike. We as creatives are always wanting more time to intro the characters, spend time with them, understand their emotions, etc. And the network will want the show to be brisk and pace-y so that no one ever has a chance to turn it off. Both things are valuable, and maybe Amazon was right about pace as the first three episodes of WoT have one of their highest completion-rates in history, which is perhaps the most important single piece of data on a tv show today.
Some fans had concerns about the leaked images of Loial. Why was he designed so differently from the description in the books?
Hammed is INCREDIBLE. For his physical appearance, we really tried to find ways to do a nod to what is in the books while making him a character that doesn’t require VFX for us. We just can’t afford at our budget level to do a fully VFX core character well. So it would mean that he ends up getting cut from scenes so that we don’t have to spend on him, and I didn’t want that, as I love Loial and I love Hammed.
Judkins was asked why no iconic swearing from the series has been used yet?
Blood and ashes, give us some time. It’s coming. And just wait until you meet Uno…
(Burn me Rafe, that’s a bloody good answer. But blood, and bloody ashes how’s Nynaeve going to feel about that?)
Where does all the budget go on a big production like this?
The hidden costs are the worst ones. Wig fixes. The millions of dollars that go to wig fixes make me cry at night.
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The final question I will cover here is about Perrin’s wife. If you’ve watched Episode 1 you know Perrin accidentally kills his wife. However, in the books, Perrin didn’t have a wife in the beginning of the story. So, why?
Well, firstly in the longer version of the script I’d had Perrin being the apprentice to the town blacksmith, who he then accidentally killed during the Trolloc attack. It really was important to me that he have an iconic moment of violence in the first episode that would underpin his long term journey with violence and whether he’d choose the axe or the hammer. So I’d made that blacksmith his mom.
But as we had to trim a bunch of page length down in the scripts, it became a simpler story to tell it as his wife, and also felt natural that if these characters were in their early 20s in a small mountain village, that one of them likely would be married. There’s a scene in the books where Perrin talks about if he’d stayed in the Two Rivers he might’ve married Laila Dearn, and voila, Laila was born. My only sadness is we couldn’t have seen more of her. Helena Westerman who played her was AMAZING.
This remains the only change so far which has really jarred me for some reason. I’m quite easy going about the other changes made so far as to me they all make sense to serve the larger story. I can see what Rafe is saying here, but just like consultant Brandon Sanderson, I still think using Perrin’s gaffer Luhan would have been better. I can’t get into this too much though without spoiling future seasons.
Leave any comments about Wheel of Time showrunner AMA with Rafe Judkins below. Plus any thoughts you have on the Episode 4 clip.