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Dec 18

The Grand Wizard of Earthsea

I love the Earthsea series of books. I’ve read the original trilogy and the follow-up,
Tehanu. I hope to pick up the new stories some day soon. I was really looking forward
to watching the Sci-Fi Channel’s screen adaptation of the first two books of the
trilogy, but now I’m less enthused.

A Whitewashed Earthsea
How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books.
By Ursula K. Le Guin

On Tuesday night, the Sci Fi Channel aired its final installment of Legend of Earthsea, the miniseries based – loosely, as it turns out – on my Earthsea books. The books, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, which were published more than 30 years ago, are about two young people finding out what their power, their freedom, and their responsibilities are. I don’t know what the film is about. It’s full of scenes from the story, arranged differently, in an entirely different plot, so that they make no sense. My protagonist is Ged, a boy with red-brown skin. In the film, he’s a petulant white kid. Readers who’ve been wondering why I “let them change the story” may find some answers here.

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