Oh Light, it's so nice that the show is finally here. I've been having a lot of fun with it even when some stuff doesn't really work for me.
I whole-heartedly agree that the first episode needed to be longer. They clearly had to end with Winternight so it was always going to be rushed. I just don't get why the episode was 10 minutes shorter than 2 and 3. I really would have appreciated a scene of them saying their farewells and justifying a little bit more why they're going away with a stranger Aes Sedai now. Also, here's your sword, son.
Personally, I don't really like the way channelling looks. It's much more involved than what I imagined. It does work that it seems to take a little bit loinger though because that makes Warders much more valuable.
The fridging…is fridging, you're right. I don't really have a problem with it, but I acknowledge that it looks bad.
The only other thing that didn't work for me has also been mentioned already. Liandrin and the other Reds chasing a rando channeller was wonky and mostly unnecessary. I get that it sets up the end of episode 3, but it seemed like a strange place to start. I will say it's definitely a choice to have one of the very first characters to appear to be...of the man-hating kind. Not sure what the intention was.
My standout moments from the first three episodes:
- Nynaeve nudging Perrin towards spending time with his wife; subtle, but not; very Nynaeve
- Thom's song is really growing on me more and more
- the Manetheren speech! I was so disappointed when it didn't happen in episode 1 and then when we did get it I was tearing up. Really just from the joy of getting to experience it like that
- Dana was surprisingly effective as our introduction to Darkfriends and I like that she clarified that they don't want the Dragon dead
Some more words about the prophecies and changes involved. Book spoilers follow
! In the established lore of the books (and beyond, as in interviews), souls have an affixed gender which means that the Dragon will always be a man. I think it's a good idea to let go of that restriction so I'm fine with the potential female Dragon Reborn. It does sort of take away some of the fear when it's a 50-50 chance of the DR going mad or not, but then that will only be relevant in the first season anyway. What I'm more surprised by is the fact that Egwene is a contender considering her age. I assume she's also 20 in the TV series or Moiraine's thought process makes no sense at all. She did rule out Nynaeve already. Oh, another great scene, btw, when Moiraine is just trying to figure out Nynaeve's age and she immediately takes it as commentary about her presumed inexperience. Anyway, I guess Egwene will also be a Ta'veren? Sure, why not. But I don't really get how word has spread about four Ta'veren in a random village. It's not like we are introduced to weird, probability-defying things happening around the boys and Egwene. They probably only just became Ta'veren anyway, it's a temporary thing after all. But it's a shortcut for TV. I'll take it. Not that the term has been brought up again or explained at all…
Oh, and we do see Moiraine packing 'her' Angreal in the very first scene (or some sort of statuette, at least), so I assume she has been making use of it during the battle. Actually, I feel like it wasn't made that explicit in the books either, but I could be misremembering. A scene establishing that in the show was probably an easy cut. Sort of like Perrin's wife.
Anyway, I have very high hopes for the rest of the season and I get the feeling that certain choices are generally paying off when I watch non-reader reactions to the episodes. Which I have been doing. A lot.