I started watching the series...sigh.
- They didn't spend enough time in the Two Rivers
- They completely skipped Baerlon (where they meet Min for the first time). This was a big deal to the Two Rivers kids because to them it was a big city, reinforcing their small town origins.
- They skipped the fight scene before entering Shadar Logoth.
- No white bridge, no journey to Caemlyn, no Elayne (so far)
- No Warder's cloak. I get that they probably didn't have the budget to make it right, but that's almost as much a part of Lan's character as his hadori, at least they didn't forget that...
- No gleeman's cloak. This is less of a deal for me, but still, it was part of the gleeman's appeal.
- Emphasis on Aes Sedai hands. I know in the books, weaves often emanate from the hands, but it's definitely not a requirement to be able to wield the One Power.
- I agree that Mat is mischaracterized. They get the gambler aspect, but he's more a mischievous prankster than a thief.
- I don't like that they made Abell a neglectful adulterer. That coupled with Rand and Egwene sleeping with each other turned the Emond's Field into a sleazy town, versus a proud town with conservative morals and small town politics at play. What is Egwene, some Domani hussy? At least they didn't make Rand brag about it to his friends.
- No mordeth.
- I wish they made Loial's ears bigger.
I get that they can't follow the books to a T, but there's so much character development that's lost by skipping many of these scenes. Like the fight with Trollocs on Bayle Domon's boat. The boom swung towards Rand, by luck, or by ta'vern, or maybe an unconscious use of the One Power. Then the scene where Mat and Rand are trapped by darkfriends in that Inn. Lightning strikes the room so they can escape. Without those things happening, there's no build up to believing Rand is the Dragon Reborn. I understand that they want to sow doubt by demonstrating that the others have great power, like Nynaeve's healing scene, but by that time, they haven't demonstrated Rand can do much of anything, except barge through a door, and that Dragonmount seems familiar to him.
Anyways, for now I'm just going to pretend like this is one of the possible past/future worlds the Dark One shows Rand, or one of the alternate worlds you can access through a Portal Stone.