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Legend of the Seeker vs The Sword of Truth

Updated on February 16, 2010

Explaining the Rage to the Unitiated

The TV show, "Legend of the Seeker" is in its 2nd season and people still continue to rage on about the changes that have been made from the books. To people who have never read the books and are simply enjoying the show, this probably seems very silly but the changes are so profound, they've essentially changed the story. I have read all of the books, several times, and I've watched the show from the beginning. While I completely understand the rage, I tihnk all of the book readers need to understand that they need to take the show on it's own merit and not compare it to the books.

That's for me to do now for all of you who have never read the books and don't understand the rage:

The first season is all about Richard becoming comfortable with his new role and so is the book it's based on "Wizard's First Rule". There are, of course, many differences in the story presented in each. Also, please understand that the books are NOT rated G or even PG - the books can be very brutal at times.

The Book of Counted Shadows doesn't exist anymore! - In the books, Richard is given this book as a child to learn and memorize. He is then told to destroy the book, believed to be the only copy. In the books, Darken Rahl needs Richard to recite the book from memory in order to use the Boxes of Orden (i'll explain issues with that later). In the show, he destroys the copy he has and they are forced to find another one for Richard to read and learn from.

Darken Rahl is Richard's Father! - The basis of the books is that Darken Rahl doesn't know his relationship to Richard until the very end of the first book - and when we do find out - from Zedd - it's that Rahl is Richard's father. At the beginning of Season 2, they explain how Panis Rahl wooed Zedd's daugthter. In the books, Darken Rahl forced himself on her. Through this union, a child with the gift for BOTH sides of the magic is born, he gets Additive Magic from the Zorander bloodline and Subtractive from the Rahl bloodline. Such a wizard has not been born in 3000 years and is the basis for the entire rest of the story.

Kahlan is the only confessor left - When Kahlan leaves her "sister" dying at the streambed in the first episode, that confessor dies and Kahlan is the one and only Confessor left. All of the storylines with Confessor's in Season 1, which were well done, don't have anything to do with the books. The description of why male confessors are bad is relevant but that's about it. Also, Kahlan doesn't have a sister. The confessors considered themselves sisters but are not related. In the books, Kahlan has a half-brother and half-sister who are children of her father's first marriage before he was confessed and taken as a mate by her mother. They have no contact and we don't even know about them until book 5 or 6.

Jennsen and Richard's Mother are introduced - I have to say that while I loved the episode and I think the Jennsen character was used well, she shouldn't be here, and neither should Richard's mother. In the books, Richard's mother has died, quite awhile ago. Jennsen, is the child of Darken Rahl and another woman - she is actually Richard's half-sister and we don't see her until a book called "Pillars of Creation", which I think is book 7. Again, the changed ancestry of Richard for the show allowed this storyline but it doesn't really fit.

The Boxes of Orden are Completely Black! - Every time they show the Boxes of Orden lighting up when being used drove readers crazy - for good reason. First, the boxes are supposed to be completely black, as if they suck the light of day into themselves. Two, nobody tries to use them until Darken Rahl has them all together at the end of the book and then it is revealed that they not only have covers on them, but that they are actually like boxes that you can flip the cover off of. You don't have to put them together, you need the three of them and instructions in order to choose which one to OPEN!!

Shota is completely misrepresented - In the books, Kahlan absolutely fears Shota, with good reason, but Richard has never heard of her so he doesn't know what to fear. When they go to her, he learns from her and an odd relationship grows between them. None of this relationship exists in the show. In the show, Shota is meddlesome at times, helpful at times but isn't really all that menacing the way the Shota in the books is. There is also no mention of her companion Samuel who covets the Sword of Truth. The prophecy about the new Seeker introduced this year never happens in the books and was probably the worst idea the writers came up with. The whole point of the importance of the Seeker and that it's Richard was completely thrown out the window. The title is not something they bestow all the time. It's not like there HAS to be a Seeker - there is one because he's the right person - and a rare person. The show writers completely devalued the title by introducing the new seeker...

Richard is a wizard - While I touched on this before - the show really had done nothing with that information in Season 1 and is tip-toeing around it in Season 2. Richard, for the show watchers, is the most powerful wizard born in 3000 years. They alluded to that at the Palace of the Prophets in Season 2 but they don't explain it. And they have apparently removed his "Han" so I'm not sure where they are going with it.

Denna is completely misused - In both the show and the books, Denna captures Richard and tortures him. He is able to use his compassion, forgive her and turn the blade white in order to get around the magic and kill her. He loves her, and she him, and that bond is used throughout the rest of the books as Denna is considered a "Good Spirit" who helps RIchard and Kahlan several times. You've seen the show version of Denna, it isn't even close to the book version of her.

Nicci and General Trimack are dead? - Hmmm, again, I don't know where they were going with this or how it resolves. General Trimack was introduced at the beginning of Season 2 and was quickly killed. He actually never leaves the palace at D'Hara and doesn't actually die until much later. Nicci, in the books, is a Sister of the Dark. She manages to capture Richard and take him to the Old World where he eventually converts her back to the good side. She then becomes a trusted and extremely important ally for the remainder of the books. She doesn't die and I was completely surprised when they killed her off. Seeing Jolene Blaylock again was also very cool but Nicci, in the books, is a statuesque blond so the description was a bit off.

Verna is old - The Verna in the show looks much older than the Verna in the books and the journey she takes with Richard to get back to the Palace of the Prophets forges bonds between them that we only kind of see in the show. She certainly is more on Richard's side which is proper but their relationship isn't the same.

Where are the Mud People? - These people, who are the first people Richard and Kahlan go to for help after coming to the Midlands in the book, are extremely important. The bond between Richard and Kahlan grows there in the books and we see the Mud People countless other times throughout the remainder of the story. They have been completely ignored for show purposes.

Where was Scarlet? - In Wizards First Rule, Richard befreinds a dragon and helps her get her egg back. In return she helps him and they become fast friends. Scarlett is a big red dragon who has been completely left out of the show.

Michael Cypher is a pig! - Richard's "brother" in the show was a low-end bad guy. In the books he completely betrays Richard to Darken Rahl (and tries to pull Kahlan away from Richard when they first meet). When Richard wins, Michael is beheaded for his crimes against his own people. They soften him up on the show and give him a good turn which never happens in the books.

D'Harans are bonded to the Lord Rahl - This hasn't been explained and might be in an episode this year but, all D'Harans are bonded to the Lord Rahl and can sense who he is and where he is. This completely goes against the storyline in the first episode of this season. All D'Harans, by now, know that Richard is Lord Rahl and nobody would say otherwise.

The Palace of the Prophets is not a bad place - I'm not sure why the writers of the show made the Prelate into a "bad" guy but she isn't. She is meddlesome in the extreme but she knows exactly who Richard is and what his role is and wants to help him - she doesn't always do that well but she isn't evil.

The time at the Palace of the Prophets was way too short - As I said before, they are just glancing around Richard's wizard powers but much of the book Stone of Tears is about Richard's training and what he learns at the Palace. We haven't met Warren the Prophet, a gar named Gratch, or Nathan Rahl just to name a few.

The Stone of Tears is not lost and it never was - This season is the find the stone season so far but that isn't at all how it happens in the books. After Richard defeats Darken Rahl, in the Garden of Life in the Palace in D;Hara, the Stone of Tears comes out of the box of Orden that Darken Rahl opens (incorrectly I might add which leads to his death). Zedd recognizes it immediately and places it on a necklace to be worn by Rachel who is cared for by Chase. He tells her to keep it safe for when Richard needs it. Obviously, none of this happens in the show as our heroes are still looking for the stone.

Cara is introduced way too early - Cara is here early and without others who should be here too. Throughout the next few books, Richard is shadowed at all times by Cara, Berdine and Raina (2 other Mord'Sith) as well as two D'Haran guards, Ulic and Egan. They don't show up until Blood of the Fold which I think we may be seeing as Season 2 progresses.

The Dreamcaster is introduced so early it's crazy! - Sorry but the dreamcaster sequences, eery as they are, just don't happen, ever. That dreamcaster is named Jillian and in the books, she can't even do it until Richard helps her. We don't even meet her until Book 10 Chainfire so the show writers are just pulling her in to create episodes.

The Season 1 Ending was interesting but it never happens - These books never use time travel and that season 1 ending was completely fabricated by the writers. It was cool and it resolved the storyline as they built it, but it never happens in the books.

There are many other inconsistencies but these are some of the major ones. For those of you who enjoy the show, that's great, you should. For the Sword of Truth readers who aren't happy, you need to understand the show is just presenting Richards tale in a different way, that's all.

I, for one, love seeing these characters on screen. I didn't think they casted Richard right in the beginning. I still don't think he's as imposing as he should be but he's grown on me. Kahlan was casted perfectly and Bridget Regan does an amazing job. Zedd was also casted well ( and yes he's Trainman from the Matrix movies). The other castings were also done well, though Shota doesn't come across well on screen.

The debate rages on and hopefullt for those of you who haven't read the books, this article will give you some clarity as to why the book readers were/are so irate. The differences are profound but it's still all about Richard and Kahlan so, for me, it's all good.

Feel free to ask questions...


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    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      7 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow so interesting .. i don't watch a lot of tv .. HBO or other channels like that.. unless its on the movie channel with all the old movies.. lol

      this is a great hub


      I wish I knew the name of your 9/11 hub..

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      You won't get an argument from me. I liked Craig Horner and I think he did as much as he could with what the writers gave him but I've said it several times before - Richard the War Wizard is ten times the characters in the books than Richard the Seeker is in the show. They made him a far more "vanilla" type hero in the show which made him very bland. They also took the exclusivity away when they appointed another Seeker. I don't think people realize how much damage that did to the credibility of the show - the whole point of the show was that he is the one true Seeker and there hasn't been one in a really long time. There also hasbn't been a war wizard in 3000 years so the writers really did nothing with Richard as a character. I wish HBO would take this on like Game of Thrones - imagine how that would be....

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It would have been a lot better if Richard was as powerful in the show as he was in the books. Even though he's the Seeker, he seems so pitifully weak compared to his book version. Also, when Kahlan uses her power there should be some kind of severe impact around her, but it doesn't seem to happen in the show.

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      The two are COMPLETELY different. The books are far better and a great read

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 

      8 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Thanks for writing this. I was debating whether I wanted to read the books based on having seen a few episodes of the series. I'm still considering...

    • M. T. Dremer profile image

      M. T. Dremer 

      9 years ago from United States

      You've outlined it pretty well, though I'd like to see it updated to include the rest of season 2. (The woman they cast as a resurrected Nicci matched the book description a lot better). I love the books and the show and I noticed that the changes were a lot easier to swallow the second time around (when I re-watched episodes). The only ones that still kind of bug me are the Darken Rahl as a brother (and still alive?!?!) and Richard losing his Han. They had better give it back to him if we get a season 3.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Oh illidan, you are missing a great show. I think you are a bit cheeky making comments about 2 seasons of a series when you have only watched half an episode. Yes, there are a lot of things not the same or in the same timeline as the books, which I absolutely loved, but as dblyn says, it is great to see the characters and worlds on the screen and the show is in the spirit of the books. It would be impossible to follow the books exactly in a series format and still have an entertaining show for all, and not just Sword of Truth lovers. It is such a terrible shame it has been cancelled, it's my favourite show on TV.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      what i do not get is that they changed it all, they have Goodkinds permission and his agreement to do the show. i agree that they had to change some to make it acceptable for T.V. buuuut why so drastic? ive read all of the books and i shut off the T.V. series halfway through the first episode that i waited so long to watch with disapointment. i just wonder why Goodkind did it?

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      I think Tabrett is a great Cara. The storyline that casts Cara out of the Mord'Sith was done well but, again, never happens in the books. In the books, Cara does lead the remaining Mord'Sith and as Mord'Sith usually has a braid in her hair (as we've seen from Denna). I've enjoyed Tabrett as an actress and I think she's doing a very good job. I'd like to see her get more dialogue with Richard, trying out her sense of humor more as she does in the books... but that is up to the writers.

    • Necros profile image


      9 years ago from Hungary

      What do you think about Tabrett Bethell as Cara?

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      Thanks for the link. I felt the show watchers should understand why the book readers aren't happy. I for one, love the show, AND the books (though I still find myself comparing them all the time - ha!)

    • valbond profile image


      9 years ago from UK


      Good comparison on the differences. I have referred and linked to your hub on my site so that if people are interested in the differences they can find you.



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