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Let's Talk About Sex

A very non-serious column about sex, nudity, and related data in the Wheel of Time TV show.


This article contains spoilers for the first season of the Wheel of Time TV Show.


The Randland map overlapped with vertical lines of 0 and 1. On the left, the "Data? WoT Data?" logo, a wheel with the slogan on its borders. On the right, the title, "Let's Talk about Sex".

I know, I know, it has been forever since I last wrote an article for The Great Blight. I have not forgotten this Data, WoT Data? column, but sadly, collecting data takes time, and well… Between starting a podcast with a few friends from the Wheel of Time community (it’s called Queers of Time! Go check it out!) and moving from the US to the UK, I’ll admit that my available time has been somewhat limited.


And then something happened.


The 7th episode of Queers of Time was focused on sex and nudity in the Wheel of Time TV show, as a response to a Twitter poll made by Bree Bridges (@mostlybree). Bree is a Romance author with many published books under her belt and we were very grateful to have her on the podcast for this episode.


But as we were preparing for the episode, she mentioned her experience of dealing with people complaining about the amount of sex in her books, with readers sometimes even coming up with my level of data on how there was not enough sex or too much.


My level of data, you say?


It sounded like a challenge. So obviously, I rewatched the Wheel of Time TV show to come up with a bunch of (sometimes absurd) sex-related data about those first eight episodes. The quiz below is what I ended up sharing at the end of the 7th episode of Queers of Time, but since this is full of random numbers, here’s the written-up version…


[Disclaimer: do not take this post too seriously. It is meant to be crack, and while most of the following numbers should be close to their true value, approximation and slight errors are to be expected.]


 

As I was preparing for this episode, I found many reviews commenting on the sex and nudity of the show. As I quote, “the nudity is frequent and moderate, with butts and breasts on display”. Another comment mentioned the “sexualized nudity”, with “two women in the bath kissing” and breasts being shown. I still haven’t found out where those naked kissing ladies were, but this type of comment intrigued me.


In a twist of events that will surprise absolutely no one, I started a new spreadsheet and opened the Wheel of Time TV show on another screen. I had been given a new mission: finding the porn of the Wheel.


And now I am here to give you a pop quiz.



Q1. Since some of those comments mentioned butts, I decided to start with the obvious, and by that, I mean Daniel Henney’s impeccable behind that we got to see in the first episode. His were the only buttcheeks we’ve got to watch during this first season. But do you know for how long did we get to see them?


A1. A bit more than 6s (I measured 6s33). FYI, this is 0.024% of the show's total length (7h13m13s).



Q2. That single butt did not seem sufficient to reclassify the Wheel of Time TV show into porn. I thus had to look for more. From the first episode, I immediately skipped to episode 6, to the offending bath scene. Then I slowed down the speed… and counted the boobies. Can you guess the final result?


A2. 7 boobs, which appeared for 17 to 18s on-screen (0.07% of the show's total length). Honorable mention to Moiraine’s side boob we got to see later in the episode.



Q3. There’s no reason why we should only focus on female boobs. After all, as queer folks, we love saying fuck to gender norms. Men also got to show their nipples in this show. Can you remember who, when, and how many nipples did those men show?


A3. Only Lan and Rand got to show their nipples. Total count 8, as Lan only showed one nipple during the bath scene in Ep1, and one during Stepin’s funeral.

​Episode

Character

Scene

Nipple Count

1

Lan

Bath scene

1

1

Rand

Discussion with Egwene

2

5

Lan

Stepin's funeral

1

7

Lan

Pre-sex with Nynaeve

2

7

Rand

Post-sex with Egwene

2


Q4. We did have a few scenes with completely naked characters. But who was involved, and how long did they last?


A4. Technically, for on-screen scenes, only the moment where Lan is getting into the bath and the scene with Egwene and the Whitecloaks should count. But we could add the full bath scene from Ep1, as both Moiraine and Lan are naked in the bathtub. Additionally, if you consider that only wearing a towel around your hips is still being naked, the bath scene from Ep6 can be added.

Episode

Characters

Scene

Length

Technically?

1

Lan

Bath scene

6s33

Fully count

5

Egwene

Whitecloaks

34s82

Fully count

1

Lan & Moiraine

Bath scene

1m15s13

Suggested

6

Many women

Bath scene

2m18s78

Towel

Fully count: 41s15 (0.16% of the show's length). Fully count + Suggested: 1m49s95 (0.42% of the show's length). All: 3m68s73 (0.96% of the show's length).



Q5. To this, we could add other scenes where a man has his upper body naked. Hint here: that’s 5 additional scenes! Which ones?


A5. Total time: around 4m30. This is 1% of the show's total length! We’re getting somewhere. This means we had around 8m of “nudity” in the show, or 1.8% of the total show length.

Episode

Character

Scene

Length

1

Rand

Discussion with Egwene

13s83

6

Perrin

Asleep, counting on-screen time only

27s09

7

Lan

Pre-sex with Nynaeve

1m15s35

7

Lan

Post-sex with Nynaeve, nothing below upper chest though

2m15s7

7

Rand

Post-sex with Egwene

18s3


Q6. After that, I thought I was done. Shouldn’t that be enough to prove that no, the show was not overtly sexual? But then I remember that some people expected our TV show characters to be as sexually repressed as our book ones, in which we talk about weddings before even kissing. So, hum. Kisses? How many? And, more importantly, which one was the longest?


A6. 7 kisses. Longest: Lan/Nynaeve. Total Rand/Egwene: 35s74. Total: 52s02 (0.2% of the show length).

Episode

Characters

Length

1

Rand/Egwene

9s08

1

Rand/Egwene

7s08

6

Moiraine/Siuan

5s61

7

Lan/Nynaeve

10s67

7

Rand/Egwene

10s06

7

Rand/Egwene

5s20

8

Rand/Fake Egwene

4s32


Q7. I cannot talk about sex in the TV show without mentioning “On Your Knees”, one of the best quotes of episode 6. I was not expecting Moiraine to repeat that sentence to Siuan, in the fish hut scene. While the fade to black here was very tasteful, Moiraine did get to spend quite some time on her knees in this episode. But how much time?


A7. A bit more than 5m (I counted 5m3s). All that time was during the two scenes in the Hall of the White Tower.



Q8. The next logical question is obviously about the oath rod. After all, Rosamund Pike called it an engraved dildo. So, for how much time did Moiraine and Siuan hold that oath rod dildo in the last Hall scene?


A8. 1m59s15. I have counted from the moment where both started to hold to when Moiraine removed her hand from it, even if the oath rod stays offscreen for most of that time (i.e. when the camera focuses on Moiraine or Siuan's face).



Q9. For a long time, a character surprisingly invading someone else’s personal space was pretty much one of the few types of crumbs of subtext queer folks could get in mainstream media. While we got a lot more queer textual content in the show, we did get some “WTF why are those characters getting so close” moments. But from who?


A9. Liandrin with Moiraine, Perrin with Rand.



[Note: I’ll be honest, for those last three questions the counts are probably approximative. It’s highly possible that I forgot some moments.]



Q10. Guess that since I’m here, I could also count moments of affection. One of those is hugs! How many hugs involving the main characters did we get during this first season? Who was the most prolific hugger of all?


A10: 28 hugs. Half of those involved Egwene. Her love language is 100% touch. I did not count them as hugs, but she often is hanging on someone’s arm: she did that with her father, and she also did that a lot with Perrin while they were traveling together. No wonder Perrin got a crush, I’d have one too if a pretty girl was constantly hanging on my arm.


Also, honorable mentions to all the dudes putting a hand on someone’s shoulder as a way to provide some comfort. I did not count them, but I remember a few. Lan with Stepin. Mat with Perrin.

A graph showing the number of hugs per episode. Ep1: 8, Ep2: 2, Ep5: 1, Ep6: 6, Ep7: 4, Ep8: 7.

Character

Count

With who?

Egwene

14

Rand: 4, Perrin: 3, Nynaeve: 3, Joiya: 2, Bran Al'Vere: 1, Mat: 1

Perrin

8

Egwene: 3, Laila: 2, Nynaeve: 1, Mat: 1, Rand: 1

Rand

7

Egwene: 4, Nynaeve: 1, Perrin: 1, Joiya: 1

Mat:

5

His sisters: 3, Egwene: 1, Perrin: 1

Nynaeve

5

Egwene: 3, Rand: 1, Perrin: 1

Lan

4

Moiraine: 1, Uno: 1, Zahir: 1, Family member: 1

Moiraine

1

Lan: 1


Q11. In a similar vibe, sometimes characters hold hands. I went above and beyond and counted all instances where hands are touching, one of those hands being the hand of one of the main characters. How many instances did I find?


A11. Way too many because of Bel Tine and episode 1 in general. 34. Egwene is still at the top.

Number of hand holding per episode. Ep1: 18, Ep2: 3, Ep3: 2, Ep4: 2, Ep5: 6, Ep7: 2, Ep8: 1.

Character

Count

With who?

Egwene

16

Perrin: 6, Bran: 3, Rand: 3, Laila: 1, Moiraine: 1, Aram: 1

Perrin

12

Egwene: 6, Laila: 6

Mat

6

Sisters: 4, Nynaeve: 1, Helga Grinwell: 1

Rand

4

Egwene: 3, Tam: 1

Nynaeve

4

Lan: 2, Mat: 1, Stepin: 1

Lan

4

Nynaeve:2, Moiraine: 1, Stepin: 1

Moiraine

2

Egwene: 1, Lan: 1


Q12. Now the question WTF. I thought it funny, and definitely did not question it while finishing this quiz at 2:30 am on a weekday. Maybe it’s because of my obsession with hands (would I even be sapphic otherwise). Maybe I just wanted an opportunity to bring up some interesting moments that had not come up before. So, we’re going to talk about rings, especially Aes Sedai rings. Here, we’ll consider any action that would involve an Aes Sedai ring (thus the title “Are we playing with rings today?”). Putting it on, removing it, playing with it, and anything else involving doing something with this Aes Sedai ring. How many of those moments does the show have? Can you guess why I even wanted to bring this up?


A12. 15. Mostly because of the last two moments, which are about Moiraine kissing Siuan's ring, and Moiraine grabbing Amalisa's ring. I'm sorry, this was for a queer podcast, I consider these needed a mention. Also because I saw Valda stealing a ring and I asked myself whether that would fit in the hand-holding category.

Characters playing with rings per episode. Ep1: Moiraine (1); Ep2: Moiraine (1), Valda (2), Lan (1); Ep5: Moiraine (1), Lan (1), Stepin (3), Egwene (1); Ep6: Moiraine (2), Egwene (1); Ep7: Moiraine (1).

And that's it for a series of very weird data. Hope this was somehow entertaining!




Camille, also known as RationalNerd on Twitter, is a regular contributor to thegreatblight.com. Every few weeks, their “Data? WoT Data?” column sheds some light on various numbers of the Wheel.

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