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Brandon Sanderson tried (very hard) to change one character arc on the Wheel of Time show

At C2E2 2024, the Mistborn author revealed that he wrote a different beginning for Perrin Aybara

Image credit: Brandon Sanderson, Amazon Prime Video

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It might not surprise you to learn that Brandon Sanderson, one of today's best-selling fantasy authors, co-authored the final books of Wheel of Time, one of today's best-selling fantasy series. What may surprise you, however, is that Sanderson actually tried to rework the Amazon Prime Video adaptation of the series. And what might surprise you even more... is that he failed.

Speaking at C2E2 2024, Sanderson proclaimed his love for the series before bemoaning the show's portrayal of one of his favorite characters.

"Sorry about Perrin on the show," he told the massive crowd of people, "It's not my fault. I tried. Oh, how I tried."

Well that sounded like a story that needed to be told. And fortunately for his assembled fans, Sanderson obliged - beginning with being quite honest about the object of his diapleasure.

Related: Writing Tips from Brandon Sanderson

"There are certain things," said the Stormlight Archives scribe, "Certain forces moving. You know that Jeff Bezos, at one point, said, 'I want Game of Thrones, buy it for me.' And they were like, 'You can't have Game of Thrones,’ and he was like, 'Buy me something that is my Game of Thrones' And there are certain forces at work."

Apparently, those 'forces' made choices about the character of Perrin Aybara ("my boy Perrin," Sanderson calls him), that Sanderson didn't agree with. So when he found out about the show's intentions, Sanderson came up with an idea of his own and brought it to showrunner Rafe Judkins.

"Rafe really went to bat for me," Sanderson says. "I presented a completely different thing to do with Perrin that would still get what they wanted. Minor spoilers for the television show’s first episode - but instead of the first big event that happens, [my idea was] what if he wounds Master Luhhan? He's worried about the rage inside of him - you can get all the same beats without doing the thing that you did, and then he also won't be traumatized for the entire first season. And he can actually go on fun adventures with friends."

But despite all of Sanderson's credibility with the Wheel of Time series (not to mention the fantasy genre as a whole) and the fact that the showrunner was on his side, his idea was scrapped. "They took it all the way to the higher-ups and fought for my version of it," Sanderson told the crowd, "and they said no."

Even after he told the story, the author still had good things to say about the crew working on it, telling Chicago not to "rag" on the creators. He shouted out Rosamund Pike in particular and said that "there are some really good writers on that show," who were "working very hard to give you a fantastic experience." But before he moved on from the subject, Sanderson shared what could certainly be interpreted as still-harbored disappointment.

"There's just lots of forces at play," he said, "I'll just say that."

Re-live the majesty of C2E2 with our the C2E2 2024 Main Stage panel videos on-demand, all the major things Popverse found at the Chicago show, and C2E2 2024's best cosplay.

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