LGBTQ+ Inclusion in the Television Series

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time TV Show' started by Jeffan Caliarthan, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. Jeffan Caliarthan

    Jeffan Caliarthan Aes Sedai

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    As a preface to this entire thread, all comments need to be made in a respectful manner, regardless of your opinion of LGBTQ+ inclusion.

    There's not much in the way of LGBTQ+ inclusion in the source material, unfortunately. Yes, there are two named gay male characters (Algarin Pendaloan and Lord Baldhere), and there's references to female/female relationships in Pillow Friends and the like, but even those are seen as existing only when men aren't available.

    Robert Jordan himself stated that homosexual relationships are just taken "as a matter of course", which leads me to believe that a lot of these relationships existed, but they weren't featured at all in the books, which is disappointing.

    What changes do you think could be made in the television adaptation to improve upon LGBTQ+ representation?
     
  2. Leira Galene

    Leira Galene Aes Sedai Head of the Brown Ajah Forum Moderator

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    Since Rafe stated they might change Rand's relationships, I would definitely be down for Elayne and Avi being a couple :look
     
  3. Jeffan Caliarthan

    Jeffan Caliarthan Aes Sedai

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    Rafe clarified in a late tweet that he wants to focus more on the polyamory instead of the polygamy, which I take to mean that it's going to focus on the four of them being in relationships with each other rather than Rand having a relationship with each of them.

    @Dralyn Montsier explained the actual terms to me, so if she has time, she can do a better job explaining.
     
  4. Leira Galene

    Leira Galene Aes Sedai Head of the Brown Ajah Forum Moderator

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    Totally fine with that. I'm down for multigender poly any time.
     
  5. Jodea Kegan

    Jodea Kegan Aes Sedai

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    They could certainly make ti clear that many of those Aes Sedai continue on with female relationships when there is a male presence. Same with the whitecloaks, black tower, and the kin, not to mention just normalizing the idea of same sex families throughout the series
     
  6. Ashlyn Sindal

    Ashlyn Sindal Aes Sedai

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    One thing I'd really like to see is just casual existence of queer relationships. Replace the problematic idea of Pillow Friends with actual relationships between women in the Tower. Have some of the men who show up with their families to train at the Black Tower bring husbands instead of wives. This isn't to say I wouldn't like to see queer relationships between more prominent characters, but having them exist as an unremarkable occurrence in the WoT world be awesome.

    I'm both excited and nervous to see how they handle the Rand/Elayne/Min/Avi dynamic. On the one hand, I am so there for bisexual poly representation, and I've been wanting to see Elayne and Avi together since I was 16. On the other hand, there is so much cultural baggage around relationships with one man and multiple women being portrayed as inherently titillating and male gaze-y, and the conflation of bisexual/poly/slutty, and the push for every new fantasy TV series to be "the new GoT" that I'm nervous it will be overly sexualized with little focus on the romantic and personal relationship aspect. And I generally trust Judkins as a showrunner, so I'm not super nervous, but still. A little nervous.
     
  7. Jeffan Caliarthan

    Jeffan Caliarthan Aes Sedai

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    For some reason, I have very little concern that they're going to sex WoT up to make it more like GoT. It's just not the vibe I get from Rafe. I don't know why I trust him so much. :p

    And yeah, casual queer representation would be amazing.
     
  8. Alyria Savoinya

    Alyria Savoinya Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    I like the idea of just casual Pillow Friends because I like the idea that women can casually have sex without the need of a relationship and it not be a big deal. That women can be sexually active without being in a committed relationship (and without necessitating male involvement,) would be huge for me to see on television.
     
  9. Elania al'Manir

    Elania al'Manir Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    Ideally the show would have both casual and more committed relationships, whether same- or opposite-sex.
     
  10. Bracken Farthyne

    Bracken Farthyne Novice

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    Given that RJ said what Jeffan quoted, this seems like the obvious choice. It would be so easy, and they have the author's pronouncement to back them up against any fans who get their briefs in a bunch over "political correctness".

    I also feel like they won't sex it up, but for me it's less trust and more that I don't think it's a smart business decision. Trying to be Game of Thrones would just make them Discount Game of Thrones, and people won't want to watch that. They already have the original, and they already know and care about the characters in that one.

    If they want this to blow up like they hope it will, they're going to have to hit a different niche, and Wheel of Time's source material was already so much more family-friendly that I suspect they will want to lean in on that difference some.

    That makes me hopeful about how representation will play out. If you're not trying to titilate, there's less temptation to get all "male gazey" on a bisexual polyamorous relationship, for example. Romance can be romance, love can be love, without needing the camera to like... leer at it.

    Man, though, I'm nervous about the poly angle, because of how high my hopes are. It could be so great to have a wholesome bi/poly family in fiction. I honestly don't think I've ever seen it done. I once read a novel that was set in a world where mixed-gender marriages of four or five were the norm, though, and I still think fondly of that story. It was a really interesting flip-side image.
     
  11. Aratouial Delafeld

    Aratouial Delafeld Citizen

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    I desperately want Elayne+Aviendha. So. Bad.

    I would love for part of Leane's story of overcoming her stilling being to embrace queerness. I think it already has queer overtones to it for me as a queer reader, and I think it would be nice to see someone owning their bisexuality/pansexuality without it being a huge "coming out" narrative. Not everyone knows their entire life that they're LGBT+, so to see a woman awakening to that in her 40s-50s could be really wonderful (I also don't want Siuan and Leane to be aged down because of the stilling. They should look late 30s at the youngest, IMO).

    The entire Red Ajah has always read to me as political lesbianism a bit. Showing that could be tricky, since it's bound to be the Slytherin Ajah, basically (even though there's actually a Deatheater Ajah in Wot, this is inevitable). We'd need a lot more positive representation of Reds (like Silviana) in order for me to be cool with Red Ajah being an Isle of Lesbos.

    I want Egeanin to be amazingly butch, and for Tuon to be ace. Perrin should definitely be demi/grayromantic, and for Birgitte and Mat to be our Disaster Bisexuals.
     
  12. Eveanyn al'Grace

    Eveanyn al'Grace Aes Sedai

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    Birgitte and Mat definitely need to be our Disaster Bisexuals!! :lol
     
  13. Leira Galene

    Leira Galene Aes Sedai Head of the Brown Ajah Forum Moderator

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    I am HERE for all. of. this.

    ...Maybe that's the reason I always loved Birgitte so much. :lol
     
  14. Durin Ironfist

    Durin Ironfist

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    Guys, I am definitely not here to insult anybody and if you feel insulted by this text just ban me from this thread are the the whole tarvalon.net if this is really a representative opinion of all of you, but I have to state my own opinion here:

    In my personal point of view the ideal is a monogamous relationship because this is a very special bond between two people which cannot be that deep and trusting if more people are involved. If you have another opinion here this is perfectly fine for me as long as nobody enforces, especially in a medieval society, any queer ideology or see his personality attacked if there is not enough queerness in it. The point of queerness is in the first place that it is QUEER so that it is not a usual behavior in society. Because of that you just cannot say that every character is totally queer. Probably you have heard the following argument many times, now, but it is very important and strong so I will put it here, again: how a character evolves and how he or she is written should be much more important as if they are part of the LGBTQ-community. If it fits to the character itself is part of the LGBTQ-community and, most important, fits to the books and the story arc, if the series is based on one, then it is fine to me. An example of a well-written LGBTQ-character would be Oberyn Martell to me. So you see I also think that it is possible to integrate LGBTQ in a show, but it has to be in a way that fits to the show and the characters and especially not change them and their message too much. In my opinion in many modern shows and movies things like the LGBTQ-community are only included in first not to hurt anybody and second to bring more diversity into society, but that often destroys stories, characters and even creates an image of diversity which is actually wrong. You cannot portray every minority perfectly, not in politics and not in a show or movie. There are too many minorities for that and a human being is also built up much more than just the minorities he or she belongs to.

    But let‘s come back to the actual topic: Although RJ might have said that such things are just taken „as a matter of course“ it can also here change things too much. There are only a few good possibilities, to be honest: The idea with Leane isn‘t actually that bad. When she decides to enjoy life and to be not that formal anymore you could put also a bit queerness to it. Except of that she maybe secretly loves Siuan which would explain even in the books a bit better why she stays that loyal to her even after Siuan´s disastrous downfall in Tar Valon. Adding to that you could bring a few homosexual relationships in the Black Tower or the Far Dareis Mai. But at least in the first one it should stay secret: That homosexual marriages are allowed in that medieval society seems to be very unrealistic to me.

    BUT PLEASE don‘t change anything which is officially stated in the books only for LGBTQ. Especially the Rand+Min+Elayne+Aviendha-relationship is one of the most important points in the whole series: Rand´s inner conflict that his ideology according to love is kind of „heteronormative“, but although he loves and has a relationship with three women at the same time is very important to his inner conflict how to stay a „good“ guy, while being a good and efficient leader. Mat is in fact the most heterosexual guy I have ever heard of. Birgitte is more interesting here. In her many lives she could also have made love with some women and could even in this life be attracted to some, but her relationship with Gaidal has to stay the most important thing to her.

    Of course this all is Rafe´s decision, in the end: I am also not one of these idiots who start a petition to remake a season or movie. If he wants more or less LGBTQ in the show he may do this, but I won‘t be disappointed at some point.
     
  15. Alenya Al'Roran

    Alenya Al'Roran Aes Sedai Director of Marketing Forum Moderator

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    Mod note: this is an all inclusive community. We respect everyone's right to an opinion, but ask that we are all mindful of each other's feelings when we post. Please continue!

    Personal opinion: I would hope that Rafe is focusing on the story with personal relationships secondary. They should add to the story and not detract from it.
     
  16. Eluial Aldaran

    Eluial Aldaran A real gaydin Aes Sedai

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    1. the setting of the books is not medieval Europe (or anywhere else). If you absolutely want to try to pin them down to a period that corresponds to RL periods, it's a mix of late Renaissance and mid Early Modern Period (probably the Age of Discovery). There are a lot of "historical" markers throughout the series, the most significant of which is the discovery of the steam engine, which IRL happened right around 1700. But even that is fairly misleading, because it's clear that magic (more on this later) has slowed down technological developments up until very recently in the book timeline.

    2. I really, really, like, super duper wish people would stop talking about what is realistic and what isn't in a series that has talking trees, tall elf furries who just want to be nerds, flying batman succubi, monster-animal mashups, and MAGIC.

    3. People have ALWAYS been gay. Feel free to google it. Yes, even in medieval Europe. But even if that wasn't true, *points to #s 1&2

    4. Not gonna lie, it's pretty weird to come to a site, resurrect a thread where the last post was 5 months ago just to post a rambling monologue about how you don't want something in the show and then insist at the end that you're actually cool with whatever the show runner decides. If you're cool with whatever Rafe decides, what was even the point of your post?
     
  17. Alexstrasz Ruskein

    Alexstrasz Ruskein My pronoun is They, for I am Legion Aes Sedai Historian Forum Moderator Mafia Admin

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    Sooo....... the solution is to make everyone a white, cis, straight dude? Oh, and I guess a few token females so the dudes can have love interests. Because, if you can't have a 100% accurate portrayal of a minority, nor a 100% accurate number and type of minorities to reflect your target audience, there's no point in trying?
     
  18. Morgana Arakos

    Morgana Arakos Aes Sedai

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    Am I the only person who read Moiraine and Siuan's backstory as way more than platonic in A New Spring? I would love for it to be canon in the show that they had a more intimate relationship in their youths at the tower.
     
  19. Atarah al'Norahn

    Atarah al'Norahn Aes Sedai Director of Research and Records TVT Editor Historian

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    Morgana, I did too. And that they had an intimate relationship as Accepted and early Aes Sedai was confirmed in the Companion :)

    As someone who specifically studies the Renaissance/early modern period, the "realistic" argument always bothers me because the Renaissance period was so very, very queer in a lot of ways. There is so much going on with both sexuality and gender in the period. Same with the medieval period. The terminology and societal context might be different, but queerness has always been here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  20. Durin Ironfist

    Durin Ironfist

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    Yeah, I know the last post before mine was quite some time ago, but I just joined tarvalon.net on Monday so I couldn‘t write something much earlier. I was even thinking a while if I should really write something to that, but I wanted to make some things clear.

    What I wanted to tell you is actually a detailed version of what Alenya Sedai said: you can add some things to the story, but you should not change too much and detract it. Many people here were like Elayne and Aviendha have to be together, for example. Why? It is definitely stated in the books that their relationship is more like sisters. Most sisters do not make love with each other.

    The thing with Rafe I might not have formulated very well, sorry for that. What I meant is, that I accept and respect his decisions about the show, but I and many other people may not like every single one of them. I wanted to explain to you why this is and while you may have another opinion, please do try also to understand this.

    Of course no fantasy book can make a perfect portray of an actual historical era, this is also not their goal, but most of them let their society follow one of them in a coarse way, usually the Middle Ages. But in whatever age WoT may play, I hope you are with me when I say that it is no utopia: People are different and not perfect and so are cultures and nations. Independently from if it is possible or not it would feel strange if everything was fine and every minority was portrayed perfectly. Some things first have to evolve in a world and a human society and there have to be ways of fast communication and exchange before most people really start to think about it. Of course this all only makes it less probable, but nothing is impossible. Maybe there were homosexual marriages in WoT.

    At last I would never say that there was no homosexuality in the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, but the way society dealt with it is different to the way we do and especially want to do. This is the same in the world of WoT in my opinion.