Andrew and Lee are doing episode 5 of The Wheel of Time: Funerals Everywhere!

Rand and Mat finally arrive in Tar Valon.
Enlarge / Rand and Mat finally arrive in Tar Valon.

Andrew Cunningham and Lee Hutchinson spent decades of their lives with Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson Wheel of time books, and they put that knowledge to good use by recapping each episode of the new WoT TV shows. These recaps won’t cover all elements of every episode, but they will contain major spoilers for the show and the book series. If you want to stay intact and haven’t read the books, these recaps aren’t for you.

New episodes of The wheel of time will be released to Amazon Prime subscribers every Friday.

Lee: Greetings, dear readers! Part Five marks the start of the second half of our eight-episode season, and we resume with a funeral, the aftermath of the attack that ended episode four. White seems to be the funeral color in the world of Wheel of time, and the dead are enveloped in it as we close the pre-credits scene with a cool aerial shot showing a circular arrangement of graves. Aerial views and direct circles are a strong recurring visual motif this season – and this isn’t the last time we’ll see a similar shot.

And after that we have a big time jump of a month, then we go to Tar Valon!

Minas Tirith Tar Valon! ‘> Minas Tirith Tar Valon! »Src =” https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/WOFT_S1_UT_105_200213_THIJAN_00712_1_thumb-640×426.jpg “width =” 640 “height =” 426 “srcset =” https: //cdnica.technica . net / wp-content / uploads / 2021/12 / WOFT_S1_UT_105_200213_THIJAN_00712_1_thumb.jpg 2x”>
Enlarge / Ahh, Minas Tirith Tar Valon!

Amazon Studios

André: For book readers, being in Tar Valon so early will show how far off the map we are, in terms of adaptation Eye of the world. A lot of our characters, especially Rand and Mat and Egwene and Perrin, are all caught up in storylines that aren’t actually much different from the book’s version of events. But we are far, far away from Caemlyn, the town that anchors these history beats in EotW, which means we’re skipping or delaying some major character introductions, and also the inter-Aes-Sedai storylines are a bigger part of the story.

Lee: Can I do the Comic Book Guy thing and talk a bit about how Tar Valon looks?

I promise I won’t make this kind of poo a habit, but the Tar Valon of the series doesn’t quite match my headcanon appearance. I do not see any Ogier masonry flow, no fluted bridges and connecting towers. The close-ups of the city streets with their dirty white stone appear to have been taken from Minas Tirith in Return of the king. And the White Tower itself is a stub of half-melted wax, like you put the book version of the White Tower in a microwave and kind of let it … collapse on top of it- same. If there is an architectural antecedent to the design that we see on screen, it would be something like Angkor Wat, except without the grace or the beauty. Sorry, Amazon, but the Shining City is a swing and a dud for me.

crazy.”>Poor Logain. He's maybe looking a little, how do you say, <em>crazy</em>. “src =” https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/WOFT_S1_UT_105_200213_THIJAN_00917_1_thumb-640×426.jpg “width =” 640 “height =” 426 “srcset =” https: // cdn.  arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/WOFT_S1_UT_105_200213_THIJAN_00917_1_thumb.jpg 2x”></a><figcaption class=
Enlarge / Poor connection. He looks maybe a little, how do you say, crazy.

Amazon Studios

André: Huh, Tar Valon’s gaze didn’t jump out at me because wrong, even if I know what you mean. It’s Minas Tirith passing through King’s Landing. He could definitely try harder to be his own thing. But I admit I was mostly checking to make sure they had faithfully recreated the, uh, distinctive topography (we only really see the city in profile, but it looks like it does?).

We’ve talked a few times about the differences in how One Power is portrayed on this show, and I walked out of this episode thinking about something that’s kind of separate from that but also kind of not? Everything we see about Warder culture on this show models an emotionally open and vulnerable version of masculinity that is truly beyond me as a book reader. Most (if not all) of these men spend the books talking about duty and self-sacrifice and how too DANGEROUS they are to have friends or lovers. No one ever takes his childhood friend by the shoulder and asks him how they hold up. Book-Lan gives Nynaeve the Pee-Wee Herman “I’m a loner, Dottie, a rebel“speech more or less verbatim.

But in the series, we regularly see groups of men having emotionally mature conversations, crying, and just be there for each other? We briefly noted this last week, when Rand is checking out Mat because he’s worried about him. I’m sure this will piss off some elements of the fandom, anyone who thinks this affected machismo is something to emulate and not (as the books ultimately describe !!) a character flaw. But I found it surprisingly refreshing.

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