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Stills And Shots For A Trailer

DataWoTData is back, with a few numbers about the recently released trailer for the second season of The Wheel of Time.

This article contains some vague spoilers about the second season of the Wheel of Time.

A grey and blue map of the Wheel of Time world, with a lot of vertical lines containing 0s and 1s. On the left, a black wheel  with "Data? WoT Data?" on its edge. On the right, on top of the map, the title of the article, "Stills And Shots For A Trailer"

We’ve been waiting for a while, and now it’s finally out! Last Wednesday, Prime Video released the first trailer for the second season of the Wheel of Time. Thanks to WoT Series, who uploaded all the stills online, I got to dive into the various shots that composed it. Since this wouldn’t be a Data, WoT Data article without a good spreadsheet, here are a few numbers for this 2m26s video.

The trailer contained around 3215 stills, which can be split into 107 shots from the Wheel of Time TV show. Note that each camera change is considered a new shot, even when two consecutive shots are part of the same scene. I then looked at which characters are appearing in each shot, which led to the following plot.

An histogram representing the number of shots per character in the trailer. In order, we get: Rand (17); Nynaeve (12); Moiraine (11); Egwene (10); Perrin (8); Liandrin (6); Lan and Lanfear (5); TDO, Siuan, Turak, Elayne, and Aviendha (4); Mat and Suroth (3); Leane, Sheriam, and Uno (2); Logain (1).

Since a shot can contain a very variable number of stills, I also kept track of the number of stills per character.

An histogram representing the number of stills per character in the first trailer. In order, we have: Rand, Moiraine, Liandrin, Nynaeve, Lanfear, Egwene, TDO, Perrin, Siuan, Lan, Turak, Suroth, Elayne, Uno, Logain, Leane, Sheriam, Mat, Aviendha.

Note: as always, take those numbers with a pinch of salt, as I’m not exempt from mistakes.

And, since some of those characters also got to speak during the trailer, here’s another chart about the most talkative characters. There are actually two voices I couldn’t identify: whoever said “You know you have something inside you. Something that calls for blood.” while Perrin was staring at a wolf, and whatever voice whispered “Kill them all” while Rand was choking Moiraine (how dare he). I have vague hypotheses for who those voices belong to, but without much proof (and because my ability to recognise voices and accents is non-existent), I will leave them as “Unknown Man” and “Corruption”. Also, I am 90% sure that “There are many paths to walk through the night.” was Moiraine (it’s definitely not Kate Fleetwood), but I’m open to other suggestions.

An histogram representing the number of words spoken per character in the trailer. In order, we have: Moiraine (53), Nynaeve (21), SIuan (18), Rand (17), Liandrin (14), Egwene (12), the unknown man (12), Turak (6), Lan (6), and the corruption (3).

So, what can we tell from all those numbers? Well, a few things:

  • If you have any doubts the TV show has forgotten about our Dragon Reborn, well, fear no more! Rand is visibly there, significantly leading both the number of shots and the number of stills. Our boy will get through it, and we’ll be there to watch that. However, this is still an ensemble cast, which means Rand certainly won’t make it to the A-plot of every single episode of this show. He may not even appear in some episodes, who knows! Let’s take a big breath and not freak out if or when that’ll happen: I am sure we will get plenty of content of our sheepherder.

  • Moiraine comes third in shots, second in stills, and first in words spoken. That last one should not come as a surprise considering the first season. Moiraine is a mentor figure within our main cast and told us a lot about the world we were (re)discovering last season. As a result, well, she does a lot of exposition in this trailer. I’m expecting her to stay a major character in the second season, but I’m interested in seeing how the full-season breakdown will evolve from S1 to S2, especially as other characters get more and more of a voice.

  • Compared to the other Two Rivers folks, Mat was only faintly present in this trailer. I can see two reasons why. Following Barney Harris’ departure after S1E6, Mat’s storyline had to change a lot. I have many theories about what he will do during the second season, and the trailer was great at… confirming and infirming none of them. Guess we’ll have to watch and find out! We also have to consider that casual viewers will need to be reintroduced to Mat and the new actor playing it. In the trailer, Mat got a similar treatment as Elayne or Aviendha, who are two significant book characters unknown to show-only folks, with a comparable number of shots and stills.

  • Liandrin is the third character with respect to the number of stills, as that came as a huge surprise to me. For those who have read the books, Liandrin does have an interesting plotline in The Great Hunt, but it seems that season two will give her character even more to play with. Considering how amazing Kate Fleetwood is, I sure will not complain about this.

  • On a different level, I was genuinely excited about seeing Siuan in this trailer. She got a lot more than I thought she would, and we got a hint that one of my favourite scenes from The Great Hunt may be happening after all. And a flashback with Moiraine, which makes me think Cold Open… Siuan Sanche, the Amyrlin Seat, was only present for a single episode during the first season. Here’s to hoping she’ll be there for a few more in season two!

  • There were a few absences that surprised me! For example, where is Padan Fain? I also missed Alanna and her warders, even if I know she’s more of a fun side character…

And that’s about it for my thoughts when looking at those charts. What else are you noticing in those numbers? What are you most looking forward to for season two?

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

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