Winter Dragon: A Wheel of Time ‘Pilot’

Dear Wheel of Time fans,

My name is Anexandros. Those on the Wheel of Time board Dragonmount know me as “Mr. Moon.” I have had a love/hate relationship with Wheel of Time. My wife loves the series. She talks about the series. She is a major contributor to Dragonmount. She does projects and games and activities for the board and she even has met several friends through the boards across separate states and countries. To say my wife is a fan is an understatement. My wife is a fan of Wheel of Time like emo-goth kids are fans of Poe and Robert Smith.

wheel of time books
Moon Sedai’s Book collection

I however, am not. I have tried to get into the Wheel of Time. I have read the comic discussing the prologue and a couple afterward. I have talked with my wife to get an understanding of the hurdles and obstacles I might face in tackling the thirteen Encyclopaedia-thick texts. I even tried downloading the audiobooks and force-feeding the first book while I was a captive audience moving out of my home state of Texas to the desert wastes (it was not as bad as I thought) of Arizona. Three whole days and I still never finished the first book.

I am more the kid brother buzzing around the cool gang of Wheel of Time kids. I get most of the jokes because I have heard them before or my wife explains to me. I meet the friends and compatriots of my wife, but I am no means in-the-know or even what one would really even call a “native speaker”.

Which brings me to the last couple of hours. As has been brought up elsewhere, a film portraying the prologue to Eye of the World by Robert Jordan was recently shown on the FXX channel at 1 am in Phoenix. Arguments and anger and venom and vitriol have been surfacing for a bit and I am writing in response to that.

The wheel of time
I assume this is the Symbol for the series.

My wife has a bonded named “Naked~Frog” who is, in my mind, much like a raven, impossible to kill, likes shiny things, and always manages to hear the neatest things (I am thinking Hugin/Munin, they are thinking “DarkOne”). Froggy is the one who broke the information about Winter Dragon to my wife and much of the conversation I have understood says she was also in close discussions with Brandon Sanderson (Collaborative Writer) as to his updating on What/Who/How/When the show was airing and the explanations as such. As I said, Raven to Odin.

Harriet McDougal Rigney (Jordan’s widow) has issued a statement saying it was unapproved. Sanderson has expressed non-complicity. The director died in a car accident with his last twitter being “My show is going to be shown (Kauggh)! Generally nobody wants to take credit for finally getting Wheel of Time onto the screen, so since the fans don’t want it either, then I am fine with using this as proof that “the fans don’t get what they want , don’t want what they get, and don’t get to enjoy any of the benefits that might occur.

As I said before complaints up and down the board have been expressed about “movie mistakes” from” the wrong color hair” for a woman who only gets seen in the prologue post-mortem…to the Dragonmount mountain not being seen as it formed from Lews Therin’s Sith SuperSaiyan Rage… to the fact that the first episode has none of the principal characters in it …to the fact Billy Zane was in it and Billy Zane vehicles always fail(Marty McFly who?)…to the fact the production company was going to lose their rights if the show wasn’t made. I am sure there are more complaints about this episode than the entire Jedi series and my opinion, which is the only one that matters, sports fans, boils down to these four words – It’s about F***ing Time!

Billy Zane Ishamael
“Call me Ishamael”

Throughout all of the complaints, no one I have seen (yet) has gotten excited that it is actually being made. Regardless of how long the producers sat on their asses like a high schooler with a homework assignment, at least the book report got done before test day. Sure, They stayed up late and had to burn FXX’s midnight oil to get it done. They ended up spending their own money to “Buy airtime” like a cheesy infomercial, but at least the pilot is made. At least there is something to go with from that point onward. Red Eagle doesn’t strike me as blooming with billions so if the quality sucks, then maybe the fans should offer to help get it done by volunteering time, acting experience, make-up skills, sound editing, production time, coffee-running, lighting and electricity, location scouting, donating money to buy the “good” actors “we” want like Sir Alec Guinness or that guy who was in that thing. Maybe instead of complaining because the first episode had two people talking like a Peter Jackson vehicle, we should acknowledge that the first chapter is …two people talking like a Kevin Smith vehicle.

There seems to be a lot of secondary anger(I’m mad because he is mad) at Red Eagle/Universal/”those darn kids on Jordan’s lawn” because Jordan was mad at them in 2007 and his wife Harriet is mad at Red Eagle in 2015. The information I am seeing on that collective frown is something long the lines of Mr. Jordan making a comment that in a few months (during which I will pass away) the Red Eagle deal will end.

So if the deal ended in 2007(+/- 6 months) then who-in their-literary-mind (assuming Harriet Jordan/Brandon Sanderson) resold the contract to Red Eagle? From what I am seeing, Red Eagle’s contract in 2007 time period was contingent on “Doing something with it.” A simple enough requirement and a fair expectation from either side of the board room table. Red Eagle talked about making some video games for the Big 3 game consoles but never followed through. So if they did not meet their time period-critical release schedule, they why, seven-ish years later in 2015, are they still in control of the property? No residual income from related merchandise being received by the Jordan estate, no intellectual property permissions.

If Red Eagle had the contract and Winter Dragon was, as they admitted, a ploy to extend the property, then Harriet, icon of every female Wheel character, should have supported the episode on the condition that the next episode get posted as well, and the next one, and the next one too. One infomercial does not a show make! The contract was for the Wheel of Time, not the first chapter. At minimum, I expect the first book to be worked on, which means if the actors were hired for the run of the season and the season is not over yet….then Zane needs to get back in his dark suit, call himself Ishmael, (SIC) and go spear a big white whale at what I am hoping is the end of Eye of the World. Winter Dragon was not a movie (15 minutes if we skip commercials), and not a show.

I admit: it would’ve been cool to see one of these in the pilot

And so we come to the last 48 hours. The show is up. The fans are displeased that they have something Wheel related. The community at large did nothing to get the film done, but are immediately in line to make sure that the first Wheel of Time network release never sees a second episode. The problem now with the armchair quarterbacks is that they have probably now in the last 48 hours given EVERY network executive the ammunition to shoot down any future Wheel of Time media under the two guises that (a) There is no interest in a Wheel of Time series (b) Making it is too risky and we should pass on that property. What should happen despite any fans preference for something better is… to support what little flame you have so you can build it fan-wise, network-wise, and It would almost make one glad to be a Firefly fan. The Whedonites got “most” of their first season on the air, even if it was pre-empted by baseball and dyslexic ordering. Would you forgive Fox the Firefly debacle if they finished and pushed to continue the Wheel series beyond just the Winter Dragon episode?

This singular episode COULD have been a primer for a non-fan to get into JordanWorld. This is the only Jordan World episode to so far fight and battle its way to the flatscreen. I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of the Jordan fans who worked So Very Hard in the last 48-72 hours to get it cancelled. I would like to thank you for guaranteeing I won’t have to share my cable box to watch JordanWorld or stay up late to see it “live”ever again. Winter Dragon and JordanWorld any won’t suffer from additional episodes premiering on a later week or a sensible time slot or even a major network in the single digits (or premium cable) rather than somewhere in the channel 700 range. Thank you for helping Jordan bury his work in backbiting and pettiness. It sets the perfect tone for ensuring the fandom fades.

A final thanks to my wife’s friend, Froggy (taken from Moon’s Facebook feed):


And that’s the redeeming sentence that would make me want to continue reading the Wheel of time.

It’s on, and Majestic as F&*(.



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