Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Sword of Truth TV Miniseries

Rate this topic


Hakarmaskannar
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm completely disappointed with the TV episodes. I watched about 20 minutes of the first one and I just couldn't stomach any more. I'm not watching another second of any.

I think the show has been picking up in it's latest episodes, and it has started to introduce some philosophical concepts. In one instance the D'Haran insisted that they had killed all the children in a town 'for the greater good' and the towns people rioted in response, in another a good discussion arose in regards to magic whether it was fundamentally good or bad, ending up in the result that it was neither, just a tool that people could use for good or bad.

It's unreasonable to hold a television show up to the standard of a book, it would have never even been made into a show. The audience and requirements of a television show are an entirely different context than a book. The production and distribution costs of a television show require it be made to appeal to a wider audience to be profitable. While some of the characters are changed significantly, these are not essentials. How much does it matter that chase is not a gruff assertive domineering man when the stories still represent the struggle and themes that Goodkind's writing conveys?

I mean, come on!

One of the most crucial things of the novel was for Kahlan to keep the fact of her being a Confessor from Richard! What happens at the beginning of the first episode? They're not even friends. Heck, Kahlan doesn't even care for Richard, not even after Zedd names him Seeker

.

Kahlan was keeping from Richard the nature of a Confessor, sure they revealed in the first episode that she was something called a confessor, but not what a confessor does, a few episodes later they play off her 'confessor' title suggesting she is something like a judge for the midlands, it's not until episode 7 or 9 that she reveals what the confessor power is, and thier affection for each other has been developing over these episodes.

It's not a perfect show, or even great one, but it certainly has the potential to be a decent one, and it's unfair to hold it to the exacting standard of the Books. Does it matter really that

Richard burned the book of counted shadows in the opening episode or that he burned it with his father when he was younger?

or

that there were 8 people chasing Kahlan instead of four? or that her hair doesn't actually go down past her waist and not all the women in the Midlands have short hair?

What matters most is the story of Richard rising to a great challenge and developing his own courage and devotion to reason and logic in order to overcome these challenges, forming the appropriate rational mutually beneficial relationships along the way, and ultimately directing the course of events in that world to the outcome he desires. The series is doing a halfway decent job of building to this.

Edited by Matus1976
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 63
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

The production and distribution costs of a television show require it be made to appeal to a wider audience to be profitable.

I'll give you two examples. First, Harry Potter. The books are great! The movies are great. They don't take away anything from the characters, and they don't change them in ANY significant way whatsoever. Their depth shows on-screen as much as it does off it (in the books). Second, The Lord of the Rings. I'd say that characterization in the movies is even better than that in the books which is something I've never seen before, or after. In both cases, the philosophy behind the novels has remained intact when transferring it to screen. You will note that the popularity of both movies is enormous. OK, so Sword of Truth is a TV show, so maybe it's different. But that's just nonsense. Dr. House has been characterized brilliantly in his show; Captains Picard, Janeway, Archer, Kirk and Sisko have been perfectly characterized in their respective shows - and all of these have enormous popularity - and very little has been lost or changed. Yet here changes are so extensive that except by similarity in names it is virtually impossible to recognize what book this show was filmed by.

You tell me I'm being unfair... I've seen a part of the first episode, I know what impression the characters have left on me - "Friends" has more interesting characters than that - and judging by how people talk about the show (e.g. "oh yeah, I remember that there was this brief moment when someone actually used brains in ep. X"), I seriously doubt anything would change if I see more of it.

Kahlan was keeping from Richard the nature of a Confessor, sure they revealed in the first episode that she was something called a confessor, but not what a confessor does,

Which diminishes the character of Richard, who, in such a situation, would ask "What is a Confessor?" At least, Richard from the book would - and did for that matter.

It's not a perfect show, or even great one, but it certainly has the potential to be a decent one,

Which means, in other words, it's not even decent. A fetus has a potential of becoming a child, but the mother still (should) have a say in it.

and it's unfair to hold it to the exacting standard of the Books.

I think I've shown that it isn't.

Does it matter really that

Richard burned the book of counted shadows in the opening episode or that he burned it with his father when he was younger?

Well, for one thing,

Richard in the TV show doesn't know the book by heart, and that was one of the most crucial things at the end of the book. I haven't seen this, but if he committed it to memory in this episode, that's just too ridiculous to be convincing.

One makes a connection between a work of art and the real world because art is a selective re-creation of reality and not a selective distortion of it.

or

that there were 8 people chasing Kahlan instead of four?

No, that doesn't matter much, but still it's one less thing to like about the show - the book had it beautifully explained why

there's exactly four people in a quad.

or that her hair doesn't actually go down past her waist and not all the women in the Midlands have short hair?

Well, it certainly diminishes the part where

Rachel meets Richard and Kahlan.

What matters most is the story of Richard rising to a great challenge and developing his own courage and devotion to reason and logic in order to overcome these challenges, forming the appropriate rational mutually beneficial relationships along the way, and ultimately directing the course of events in that world to the outcome he desires.

What matters is not only that he does it, but also how he does it. Face it, in the show, Richard is less than a half-wit, at least in that part of the show that I've seen. In the books, whenever he found out something new, he asked questions about it so as to explore what this new information means. In the show, he's fed information and he's like "oh, OK, whatever", or "oh, I'm gonna have a bit of a problem with it, but eventually I'll go along with it because it's in the script". The show turns characters into exactly the kind of characters that Objectivist writers (including Ayn Rand) were accused of creating - shallow, one-dimensional, uninteresting. Why should I pick watching this over Xena the warrior princess, or Hercules? Heck, even the two of them do more "brainwork" per minute of show than Richard (in the show).

The series is doing a halfway decent job of building to this.

Which, again by your own words, means it's not even decent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I have had the somewhat unique experience of discovering the books and the TV show simultaneously. I was curious about the books thanks to posts here, and bought and am listening to book 1 now. Shortly after starting book 1, I found out about the TV show, and saw the latest episode - the one with the mistress and the pain stick - which seemed pretty much like stereotypical TV Fantasy fodder. So I found and watched the first episode of the TV show, and then the 2nd episode.

I don't care about little plot changes. The plot changes I dislike deeply are the character changes.

Richard isn't seeker in the TV show because of the nature of his character. He's seeker because some watery tart who chucks swords at people said he was. (Ok, it was just a prophecy, Monty Python's Lady of the Lake doesn't actually say give it). The role of Seeker in the book is of one who pursues truth. In the TV series? He's legendary hero. The Seeker in the book is completely free to act as he chooses to pursue his answers. The Seeker in the series is compelled to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

In short, the series on TV is starting out as typical altruistic pablum requiring absolutely no cognitive ability whatsoever to watch (and having any probably detracts from the series), while the book actually requires you to think about things.

I'll probably continue to watch the series to see how it improves, if it improves - I've only made it thru the pilot and the episode w/ the maps so far. But my hopes are dismal for it to conjure up anything philosophically worthy of consideration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well it sounds as though the next episode might be decisive whether or not I'll continue watching. Ep. 10 is called "sacrifice". From what I can tell from the preview it involves Richard defending a newborn from being sacrificed to a ritual of some kind. I'll be interested to see what they have to say if anything. There was a decent quote in the preview as well:

"You cannot wish evil away, you cannot love evil away, you can only destroy it".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Are you still watching? I've completely stopped. 5 minutes into episode...3 I guess it was...where Richard goes off hunting while Kahlan is doing confessions and Zedd is hooking up w/ some hottie, I had enough.

Edited by Greebo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This quote by Richard, from episode 3, probably turned most Objectivists off: "It shouldn't matter that she deserves our help. It should be enough that she needs it."

I've watched a few episodes, and can't really tell the difference between this and the old Xena- and Hercules series. They even put that goofy actor who played "Joxer" in one of the episodes. Their main strategy is identical as well; it consists of tight leather armor and lots of cleavage.

I certainly like the actress who plays Kahlan, but the actor who plays Richard looks like a little boy next to her. They're horribly mismatched.

Edited by JMartins
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Am I only one who found the battle scenes to be extremely painful to watch? Slow-mo can be used effectively (See 300, for example), but it is just WAY overused used in the episodes I saw (1 and 3).

Later episodes roll back the slow-motion a bit. Yes, it was definitely over-used in episodes 1 and 3. Episode 3 was the worst episode of the series. The most recent episodes have improved in many ways, but the show is still a very watered down version of the books and most of the philosophy has been soft-pedaled at best, sabotaged at worst. I have continued to watch the show looking for signs of improvement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

to be brief, there things I like about the series I like but I also have a lot of issues with it. why for instance did Rachel go live with the cook instead of Chase's family, assuming they get that far she is integral to the story. But what really burns me is the way they ended the story line of Richards brother :lol: why such a complete reversal of the plot?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 2 years later...

I am about to order the first box set in the Sword of Truth series. Looking forward to it! As a newcomer to Objectivism and Ayn Rand, I am excited to read other works of fiction that explore the ideal of Reason in opposition to mysticism and self-hatred.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone that has now seen a lot of the first season : Do yourself a favor and avoid the TV series. It is very poorly written and fails to capture the theme(s) of the books. They also changed a lot of things for no apparent good reason. It is just bad....and not even bad enough to be amusing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...