ChariTuesday – Ready, Set, BID!

ChariTuesday – Ready, Set, BID!

A message from our Director of Charity Events, Jeff “Hopper” Bernard:

Already this year, we’ve seen quite a bit of interest in the Charity Auction. We have some amazing items so far and are expecting quite a bit more. The profound interest you all have shown is extremely appreciated and we have noticed the many requests for access to our auction at https://www.32auctions.com/JordanCo2022.

Last year JordanCon used 32Auctions.com to help maintain social distancing and avoid all the touchy-feely aspects of using paper bid sheets. Based on our experience with this online bidding system and how much it streamlined everything, we’ve decided to continue using it this year. It is important to note, though, that access is only available for JordanCon Members who are physically on site.

We have started accepting access requests to the Charity Auction by checking names against the current membership list.  If you have tried to join the auction, but have not been accepted, or have any questions about the process, please come see us on Friday or Saturday at the convention. Just show us your Badge and we’ll be able to help you in less than 5 minutes.

If you won’t be attending, I am truly sorry, but we will not be accepting your request to join the auction. We understand there may be some disappointment for those who won’t be in attendance, but we’ve had extensive internal conversations about this, and we simply do not have the infrastructure to manage all the shipping required to open the Charity Auction to others. Maybe some day we’ll be able to open our auction to a more widespread audience, but unfortunately, we’re not there yet.

We have, in the past, had attending members who are willing to bid and pay on the behalf of people who could not attend.  If you would like to take this route, I strongly recommend that you only work with someone you know and trust. We have no problems with this, but JordanCon will not be responsible for any portion of the transaction outside of accepting the payment on site and handing the items over to the winning bidder.

For those of you who will be attending JordanCon later this month (OMG it’s this month!!!!), we can’t wait to see you.

Why wait? Meet our 2022 guests now!

Why wait? Meet our 2022 guests now!

Not to toot our own Horn of Valere, but every year JordanCon brings you some pretty amazing guests. Well, 2022 will be no exception. To make sure you’re prepared for all of the wonderful talents, our very own JordanCon experts—Thom DeSimone and Aleena Jack—have put together some amazing interviews for your viewing pleasure.

How can you watch these?

Well, there are several on our YouTube channel right now. You can click this link and see our interview with 2022 Author Guest of Honor Faith Hunter as well as many others.

But wait, there’s more! Quite a few more, in fact. And we’ll be releasing them in waves all the way up until con! So subscribe to our YouTube channel, like our Facebook page, follow our Instagram, and find us on Twitter to get each and every interview update as they happen!

If you don’t do social media, check out the featured guest pages on our site to read more about each guest and see the videos of their interviews on their pages as they’re uploaded.

And if you like these interviews, please let us know here, or at any of the links listed above, and tell us if you’d like us to continue these in years to come.

See you all in April!

 

The Wheel Of Time Ep. 1: Establishing Outsiders Via Costume

The Wheel Of Time Ep. 1: Establishing Outsiders Via Costume

By Kathryn Paterwic

In the first episode of the new Amazon Prime series adaptation The Wheel of Time, we meet our main seven characters, five from a small village called Emond’s Field and two from the outside world. Establishing that those two, Lan and Moiraine, are different right off the bat is key, and to do that they need to establish a base aesthetic style in Emond’s Field to play against. 

Emond’s Field is a small village in the Two Rivers region, which is in the kingdom of Andor. Emond’s Field however is so small and isolated that they don’t even know they are part of a larger kingdom. This starts informing the style of the Emond’s Fielders. We can assume that: One, they are making everything from scratch and; two, there are very few new garments. Clothes will be hand-me-downs, and new garments are extremely valuable — maybe sentimental. Additionally, the majority of their clothing materials will be wool, fleece, or natural fibers that can be found in the surrounding area. 

The first thing you notice about clothing in Emond’s Field is that there are very few bright or pure colors, and most of the garments have closures around the neck and chest. What does this mean on a deeper level? 

The lack of pure or bright colors means that these clothes get worn and washed and re-dyed over and over. Bright and pure colors can only really be achieved when the original fabric is white, giving the pigment a clean base to apply the color. If you dye already dyed fabric, it will start to take on a more muddy coloration. This gives the villagers clothes a much more muted look.

The fact that almost every garment has a button or toggle closure is another clue to its hand-me-down nature. In a world with very little stretch material, closures like buttons and toggles make a garment more accessible to more sizes. Move the buttons a bit and that alone can alter the fit. Buttons around the neck and chest area make it easier for people with larger heads or chests to get into the garment. You would much rather have a garment too big in the shoulders and chest then too small because an alteration to make a small garment bigger is not easy. As for length, if a garment is too long, they would roll it up or cuff it just like we do today. Buttons will also make them more seasonably adjustable, and allow them to be worn in a wider variety of climates. All of these techniques make garments easier to hand around and therefore stay in use longer. 

In the Two Rivers region there are very few new clothes, and there are going to be very few garments made from non-local materials. The primary clothing material is locally sourced fibers such as wools, linen, I would even say things like nettle hemp since you might be able to find them naturally or grow them. Emond’s Field is a farming community after all but they are known for their wool and sheep. Wool is sustainable but there are very few leather goods, because you would need to kill the sheep or ox for the leather. Effectively it’s a question of wool for years, or leather for now. Milk, cheese and help for years or leather now. People that have garments out of sheepskin or leather need it to keep them from the elements, which will make Moiraine stand out.  

We spent a lot of time on her in the first article so just a quick overview. Rosamund Pike (Moiraine) is already a tall, slender woman, and the designer has chosen to accentuate this with her garment choices. Pants, shirt, her full length coat, even her Caireanan puffed sleeves (which puff up more than out) make her seem taller. The lack of visual closures or even a belt buckle tells me she is not big on ornamentations or decoration. All her garments are sensible and chosen for a reason. This could be an Aes Sedai trait, but when we encounter other Aes Sedai, we see this is her choice. Even the purity of all of the shades of blue shows me that these garments have never been dyed anything but blue. These garments were meant for her and only her — this is not a hand-me-anywhere. Going back to the leather, she is seen with these amazing leather shoulder pieces, which is not a very useful place to put leather but aids in that tall silhouette.

While we are on silhouettes let’s talk about Lan, whose overall look is not as different from the Two Rivers residents as Moiraines, but is still giving clues that he doesn’t belong. Lan has a very obscured silhouette, the garments give his look a North Asian feel, which is not an aesthetic seen in Two Rivers, and gives viewers very little to go on as to his physique. While he is still definitely an outsider in Emond’s Field, his costume doesn’t stand out as much as Moiraine’s does. I would say mainly due to the color, his garments blend in with the general surroundings. He is dressed in not only one color, but in one shade, a natural brownish gray with a touch of green, whose texture blends with trees, rocks, dead leaves, all things in the forest he travels through. It will be interesting to see if his overall color changes with the seasons and landscape, like camouflage. 

When taking color, style, fit and even materials into consideration, our outsiders will probably blend into a town or city at a quick glance, but upon closer inspection they are definitely “not from around here.” In a larger village, no one looks twice at a traveler. In the Two Rivers region, their color palette, fabric choices and silhouettes make Lan and Moiraine stand out as strangers. 

I will be looking at costuming choices and how they work within the story and world of The Wheel of Time for individual episodes going forward, so I hope you look forward to those.

 

Costuming in the Wheel of Time Television Show: Intro

Costuming in the Wheel of Time Television Show: Intro

By Kathryn Paterwic

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (and finished by Brandon Sanderson) has been a high fantasy staple for years, and in 2017 Amazon Prime announced the start of production on a multi-million dollar, multi-year and multi-country streaming live action adaptation. Amazon seems to have high hopes for the fourteen-book series, reportedly spending an average of $10 million an episode—and from what I have seen it is worth it.

I was given a chance to preview the first three episodes for this article, and while I am not a costume designer for this series, I have worked as a costume instructor for years. This gives me a unique perspective when it comes to theatrical adaptations of the written works, especially from a costuming standpoint, and the costume choices and execution will be the focus of this article.

The series The Wheel of Time is full of descriptive worldbuilding, encompassing fourteen distinct nations (not to mention cultural groups), which all get visited at least once by at least one of the seven main characters. Breaking this down will be an intimidating task. So let’s look at some of the ideas designers think about when turning books into visual media.

Let’s take the first two episodes. The story starts in the backwoods of nowhere, (eventually we will get an interesting contrast between our humble main five and the richer denizens of this world, but later). Who are the characters at their core, and what are they trying to accomplish? In this article we will look at three distinct groups. Our main five characters, just trying to live in a small town, a powerful visitor and a group that wants you to think they are something they are not.

The characters from Emond’s Field (specifically Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene and Nyneave) are just living their lives where things like fashion might be YEARS behind other areas of the world. People in Emond’s Field make things from scratch, they will alter them, redye them, re-style them, until the garment falls apart (we see this in our own history with clothing from “the peasant and working class”). Effectively, who cares if it exactly matches something you already own, it took someone three days to make it after working all day on something else.

Garments might be gifts or have more sentimental or utilitarian appeal than wearing clothes. Emond’s Field is known for their wool production, so any garment you see made from wool or that is woven is more valuable outside the town’s home region of Two Rivers. So clothes for new garments in a place like Emond’s Field is harder to come by. This doesn’t mean they are not interesting—as a costumer you can put in little easter eggs like the color of Nynaeve’s (Zoë Robins) coat for example juxtaposed to the color of the inside lining (foreshadowing future important aspects of her character), or Rand’s (Josha Stradowski) coat, the fact that Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) is the only one actually wearing fur (also foreshadowing) but that is for another article.

On the opposite side of the spectrum we have Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) who is trying not to make a stir when she first appears in Emond’s Field. Not only does everyone know everyone in a town this small but she visually doesn’t fit, even her protector Lan (Daniel Henney) doesn’t (though he fits better). First, she is openly wearing pants, and the fabric doesn’t have any kind of pattern, even the fact that her garments don’t tie or button make her stand out. Her clothes might be made of wool but the clothes themselves are much finer than the townspeople. Her overall silhouette is tall, narrow and streamlined. From a costumer’s perspective, Moiraine needs to be utilitarian — she is traveling a long way through inhospitable terrain, trying not to draw attention to herself but she was raised in comfort (to say the least). From what I’ve seen, she’s sticking out like a sore thumb. Her colors are too rich, her clothes fit well, her silhouette is too sophisticated, someone born to nobility in a city they’ve never seen.

An interesting example of costume theory is the look of The Children of Light, which plays a much more subtle and psychological game than with Moiraine. Commonly referred to as the White Cloaks, these are the group dressed completely in white. I think the costume designers are showing the White Cloaks as THEY WISH to be seen, not how the world actually sees them. They are religious zealots first and foremost, and they need to be warriors out of necessity because they see The Shadow is everywhere. But, they don’t have armor. No one would attack them, and they believe, so deeply, that the Light will protect them, that they don’t need it. They want to give off an authoritative air, but not a threatening one. If they scare the people they are “protecting,” it will make their job harder. This non-threatening appearance is in stark contrast with their actions when we, the audience, are introduced to them, which are brutal and reprehensible.

While I know that this isn’t how they are described in the book, it should end up being more nuanced and more realistic than a heavily armed group of soldiers stomping around the woods for no reason. This way the designer is letting the actions speak and leaning in on the jarring contrast.

This article only covered costumes, but I hope it gives you some sense of the wheels turning behind the scenes. While there are fans of the books who have loved them for years, who may be hesitant that the story will be done well, we will need more new fans to love them if we are going to see the Last Battle come to life. On that front, I can tell you that those who cherished the books will love this adaptation, if they go in with an open mind and remember that no one can make everyone happy all the time. Those who have never read the books should be able to follow with no trouble. For those who like to binge watch and rewatch, there is more to discover with each viewing. I was driving after watching the first three episodes and found myself slapping the steering wheel yelling “Blood and bloody ashes, how did I miss that! That was amazing!” Overall, I’m very excited for the direction that this show is taking, and look forward to breaking down even more costume theory as the show progresses through the story!

The WoT Meme Recap – Episode 7

The WoT Meme Recap – Episode 7

Welcome to the Penultimate Mostly-Kind-Of-But-Not-Really Accurate WoT Show Meme Recap!

(Warning: Spoilers for Episodes 1-7)

Tigraine grabs a solidier's cape, pulls him down, and stabs him, then yells, "NO CAPES!"

Episode 7, titled “The Dark Along The Ways,” begins with a pregnant Aiel woman just trying to give birth in peace. But for some reason, a bunch of dudes in armor really don’t want her to. She is amazing, though, and proves Edna Mode correct in her assessment on capes. She beats the soldiers soundly so she can relax and give birth in the nice comfortable snow.

Back in the show’s present, our protagonists, with the help of nice Ogier Loial and some keen eyes from Perrin, navigate through the ways.

In the Ways, Perrin says "There's something up there." After the group glares at him dubiously, they move forward to find a navigation stone covered by a Shen Yun poster. They really are everywhere.

They find a navigation stone, but Loial, being as slow as an Ent, needs time to read it. He doesn’t get it, though, as Trollocs show up. Someone accidentally channels and Machin Shin comes running, so they sprint for the closest Way Gate. They make it, but Machin Shin overcomes them and reveals uncomfortable truths (lies?) to them.

Machin Shin overcomes the group, close on rand it whispers: "You will never find another game as beautiful and satisfying as Shadow of the Collossus, so you might as well stop playing games.

They stumble out of the Way Gate at Fal Dara. But most of the crew has never left the Two Rivers and demand an explanation.

Outside the Way Gate Nynaeve asks, "Where are we?" Loial responds, "The fortress city of Fal Dara. The last bastian of Blockbuster Video." It ends on a shot of a blockbuster before Tarwin's Gap.

They enter the city and seek out its head to deliver a message, but Lord Agelmar does not want to hear it.

Moiraine says, "I am--" but is interrupted by Lord Agelmar who gives a very long speach about how he needs no aes sedai help. Moiraine finally continues, "Lord Agelmar, if you had let me finish you would know i'm here to reach you about your car's extended warranty."

He apologizes and makes a generous offer.

Lord Agelmar: "If you need anything, just ask" Moiraine: "There is one thing... Could you knuckle your mustache? I just want to know what that looks like."

Their business with Lord Agelmar complete, Moiraine takes the Two Rivers folks to a bar. But along the way, Perrin notices something suspicious…

Perrin glances around as he walks. Suddenly Jean Ralphio and Mona Lisa dance by singing "Don't be suspicious, don't be suspicious!" He glares after them.

In the bar, Moiraine meets with Min, a seer who glimpses imagery from the pattern around people. She tells the Aes Sedai what she sees around the Two Rivers folk.

Panel 1: Min, "The one on the left has yellow eyes. So help me god, yellow eyes." Panel Two: Perrin sits with an image of Scut Farkus from A Christmas Story grinning over his shoulder.

Later that night, everyone has a big fight because the story gods demanded it and they split up. Nynaeve follows Lan to a group in the city he secretly knows.

Panel 1, Lan says, "Everyone this is Nynaeve, Nynaeve this is everyone. " Panel 2, the D&D group from freaks and geeks sit around a table and glare toward the camera.

Most everyone else attempts to get some rest, but Nynaeve stays with Lan and asks the important questions.

Nynaeve: "Why did he call you The Weasel?" Pauly Shore: "Because i'm the Weasel, buuuudy!"

She’s not the only one who needs answers, though. Rand goes to Min and finds out that, yes, he does continue to look like a certain Jedi.

Rand, "What do you see when you look at me?" Min: "Anakin Skywalker."

But apart from that, she also confirms he is the Dragon Reborn. With the assumption that all but the Dragon will die when he faces the Dark One, he sneaks off with Moiraine and the episode ends with them heading into the Blight.

Rand: "What is it?" Moiraine: "The Great Blight. A part of the world corrupted by the Dark One's Touch." We end on a panel of the Blight, right behind a sign that says "Florida welcomes you!"

Episode seven was my favorite yet! Or maybe it’s right behind four… They’re both pretty close. The opening with Tigraine was FANTASITC, and the rest of the episode really proved how the show could adapt the books without being exactly like it. The location was spot on and the character arcs were the right ones for our characters, just brought forward from later in the books, and the world building was great. It was great seeing Min and her visions and the Blight, though different than how I imagined, just looked right. I can’t wait to see what the finale brings!

Now it’s time for your free meme template! This one comes from the current episode, and it involves Moiraine’s warning about the Eye of the World.

Moiraine: "I don't want you to die, any of you, but whichever of you goes to the Eye of the World and is not the Dragon... you will die there. Ground to dust between two forces of nature." Rand: " You mean like getting between a Southerner and a Waffle House?"

Now let’s see what you’ve got! What weird or silly metaphors does Rand have?

Until next week, remember: the Wheel memes as the Wheel wills.

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