So The Wheel of Time is going to be a TV series.
There is no other story that I have as much history with. I started reading it over 25 years ago, when I was 13. It was my Harry Potter. I read it through all of high school and university and then, like many people, I took an extended break at around book 9, before coming back two years ago, rereading the whole thing, and going on to finish it. More than that, The Wheel of Time was my introduction to online fandom, back at the old WoTism boards. In a way, I might not be quite who or what I am today if not for The Wheel of Time.
It’s not my favorite story ever, but given my history with it, it doesn’t have to be. It’s not perfect, I realize that, but at the end of the day, it is a fictional world I half-lived in for years, so to speak. Some of the characters I loved, some of them I loved to hate, and others irritated me, a lot. Some of the characters that irritated me ended up among the ones I loved. The ending left me gutted in several cases, disappointed in a couple. One case in particular is possibly the most incredible, well executed, emotionally devastating and glorious character death I can think of. Overall the ending was incredibly satisfying.
All this is to say, I am a huge fan of this story, even if I haven’t been active in the fandom for years. And my initial reaction at the news was excitement. It still is. I’ve spend most of the last day refreshing the WoT subreddit, reading opinions, particularly interested in the discussions about how it will have to be edited in order to work as a tv series. Because when a series is fourteen books long, it will have to be changed and condensed. Whole storylines will have to go. I can accept that. I may not agree with all the decisions, when the time comes, but I realize it’s how it has to be. Overall, I’m happy that it looks like I will get to see this story come alive in a new medium…. but I do hope I will be able to accept the changes with mostly good grace. Just don’t mess up Egwene. Or Mat. Or… well, you know.
Another topic that is coming up a lot is the question of just who it is that will be trying to bring The Wheel of Time to tv. This is one of the points where I feel most trepidation now, around 24 hours after the announcement. I want to believe that if Harriet McDougal is excited, it must be good news, but… it could all go wrong so easily, in the wrong hands. Or even in the not perfect hands. This will need budget. This will need a company willing to be patient and supportive. This will need show runners that can service very different masters: how to give it broader appeal, how to make it financially viable, how to please new and old fans.
So much could go wrong. But so much could also be pretty damn great, if not perfect.
“Dovie’andi se tovya sagain.”