Brandon Sanderson, the author of the Mistborn series and the novelist who finished The Wheel of Time book series following Robert Jordan’s death, recently detailed what he finds objectionable about Prime Video’s live-action adaptation of The Wheel of Time.
Sanderson previously took issue with the characterization of Nynaeve and Thom as well as the introduction of the Tinkers in blog posts discussing the first three episodes of the series.
However, as part of his State Of The Sanderson 2021 blog post, the author wrote, “Hey, the Wheel of Time television show is out! I don’t agree with all of the decisions made in the creation (and it includes some content that I find objectionable).”
He added, “However, I do like the team working on it, and I feel they’ve listened to my voice as I’ve advocated for a lot of things behind the scenes.”
As for what he specifically found objectionable, Sanderson would elaborate in the brandonsanderson subreddit when a user speculated that Sanderson found the violence of the series objectionable.
Sanderson responded to this user revealing that what the show has done to Perrin is what he finds objectionable.
“Mostly Perrin. Objectionable might not be the right term here,” he wrote. “Also, the gore has been a little over the top in places. Not to give spoilers, but there are several later scenes that made my wife pretty nauseous.”
Sanderson elaborated, “I wouldn’t, for example, show the show to any of my kids–and I let them play Doom Eternal. (Granted, that gore is cartoony and over the top on purpose.)”
“But that’s a smaller issue. I think the team is doing a great job in general, but I do wish it weren’t trying quite so hard to be grim and dour,” he concluded.
Sanderson previously criticized showrunner Rafe Judkin’s decision to have Perrin kill his wife, who was an original character created for the show, in his reaction to the first episode.
In that post, Sanderson explained, “Biggest thing he and I disagreed on was Perrin’s wife. I realize that there is a good opportunity here for Perrin to be shown with rage issues, and to be afraid of the potential beast inside of him. I liked that idea, but didn’t like it being a wife for multiple reasons.”
“First off, it feels a lot like the disposable wife trope (AKA Woman in the Fridge.) Beyond that, I think the trauma of having killed your wife is so huge, the story this is telling can’t realistically deal with it in a way that is responsible,” he elaborated.
He continued, “Perrin killing his wife then going off on an adventure really bothers me, even still. I have faith that the writers won’t treat it lightly, but still. That kind of trauma, dealt with realistically and responsibly, is really difficult for an adventure series to deal with.”
Sanderson went on to reveal he suggested Perrin kill Master Luhhan instead of his wife, “I suggested instead that he kill Master Luhhhan. As much as I hate to do Luhhan dirty like that, I think the idea Rafe and the team had here is a good one for accelerating Perrin’s plot.”
“Accidentally killing your master steps the trauma back a little, but gives the same motivations and hesitance,” he explained.
He concluded his thoughts on Perrin writing, “One thing I don’t want this WoT adaptation to try to do is lean into being a tonal Game of Thrones replacement–IE, I don’t want to lean into the “Grimdark” ideas. Killing Perrin’s wife felt edgy just to be edgy.”
What do you make of Brandon Sanderson calling what Rafe Judkins and Prime Video did to Perrin “objectionable?”