“The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills…”
Robert Jordan’s beloved high fantasy series The Wheel of Time is coming to the screen. Finally. The first book, The Eye of the World, arrived on shelves in 1990. And now, decades later, Amazon Prime Video is bringing the world of Rand al’Thor, Matrim Cauthon, Perrin Aybara and so many more to life. It’s a rich story, dense with lore, magic, and about a million characters. The Wheel of Time series contains 14 novels, with Brandon Sanderson completing the last three books after Jordan’s passing. Adapting that much story is a challenge, and a TV series seems like the best way to approach it.
If you don’t know what The Wheel of Time is all about, read this article. Essentially, it’s a sprawling take on the Chosen One myth with adventure, romance, and kick-ass women (Aes Sedai) wielding a type of magic. If you’re ready to learn everything we know about The Wheel of Time TV series so far, keep reading.
How It Will Be Adapted
Amazon Prime Video
We know season one has eight episodes, but we don’t know how much story those eight episodes will cover. It’s possible they’ll cover roughly one book per season. Or more likely that they’ll bring in elements from different books as the adaptation dictates. That would be a more flexible way to tell the story. We’ll certainly update you when we have concrete information about this.
Season one’s directors include Uta Briesewitz, Wayne Yip, Salli Richardson Whitfield, and Ciaran Donnelly. Rafe Judkins is serving as showrunner We know titles for the first six episodes:
“A Place of Safety”
“The Dragon Reborn”
“Blood Calls Blood”
“The Flame of Tar Valon”
We’ve seen a glimpse of the set in a too-short video. This is a look at The Winespring Inn in Emond’s Field. The village is home to Rand, Perrin, Mat, and Egwene before their worlds turn upside down. It’s fleeting, but just seeing this location made me wipe tears from my eyes.
And we have a first listen with a new audio clip. So many goose bumps!
The imagery in the above clip depicts saidar and saidin, the female and male halves of the One Power, respectively. The One Power is this world’s source of a kind of magic. And it sure sounds like Egwene and Perrin running from a certain attack on Emond’s Field…
The weaponry in Wheel of Time is no joke. One notable item is the Heron Mark Blade. Blademasters, masters of sword-based combat, can add the heron mark as a decoration to their blade. And only blademasters are permitted to do this. I don’t want to get into spoilers, so I’ll just say the heron symbol plays into an important moment in the series with our lead character, Rand al’Thor. He carries a Heron Mark Blade, passed down to him from his father Tam. The above video from Amazon Prime Video goes behind the scenes showing one such blade from book, to sketch, to design, to set.
And continuing on weaponry, we have another look at a key blade: the ruby-hilted dagger. We hear the voice of Matrim “Mat” Cauthon say, “All right, let’s make a deal.” In the books, Mat finds this weapon in Shadar Logoth, a pretty freaking evil place. We get a tiny peek at it in the video as well. Perhaps some of that evil rubs off on Mat?
The Incredible Cast
Amazon Prime Video
The Wheel of Time books have a massive cast. Like, Game of Thrones has nothing on this series. Judkins has mentioned that he’s not cutting a ton of characters either. Bless him. Amazon announced the first actor in June 2019: Rosamund Pike as the indomitable Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred. She’s at the heart of this story. The first character Amazon Prime Video revealed a look at is Moiraine. And she’s channeling the One Power! We see her using saidar, the female half of the One Power, and we possibly hear it too. She’s warning someone, saying, “Do not underestimate the women in this tower.” She’s referring to the White Tower, the home of the Aes Sedai. The video is a brief five seconds, but we’ll take it.
They shared the news of other key cast members in succession:
Madeleine Madden as Egwene al’Vere
Marcus Rutherford as Perrin Aybara
Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon
Zoë Robins as Nynaeve al’Meara
Josha Stradowski as Rand al’Thor
Additionally, we have all these amazing folks:
Daniel Henny as al’Lan Mandragoran, Michael McElhatton as Tam Al’Thor, Alvaro Morte as Logain Ablar, Hammed Animashun as Loial, Alexandre Willaume as Thom Merrilin, Johann Myers as Padan Fain, Lolita Chakrabarti as Marin Al’Vere, Michael Tuahine as Bran Al’Vere, David Sterne as Cenn Buie, Christopher Sciueref as Abell Cauthon, Juliet Howland as Natti Cauthon, Mandi Symonds as Daise Conger, Abdul Salis as Eamon, Stuart Graham as Geofram, Pasha Bocarie as Master Grinwell, Jennifer Preston as Mistress Grinwell, Izuka Hoyle as Dana, Darren Clarke as Basel Gill, Maria Doyle Kennedy as Illa, Narinder Samra as Raen, Daryl McCormack as Aram, Sophie Okonedo as Amyrlin Seat Siuan Sanche, and Kae Alexander as Min Farshaw.
Season one of The Wheel of Time should debut in 2021; it will have eight episodes. Amazon Prime Video hasn’t announced a specific release date yet though. The coronavirus pandemic shut production down in March 2020, but they already had six episodes in the can. They’ve since returned to film the final two episodes.
Amazon Prime Video has not officially greenlit season two, but showrunner Rafe Judkins has mentioned working on season two with the writers’ room.
Featured Image: Tor Books
Originally published on October 28, 2020 with updates on December 2, 2020, February 17, 2021, and March 17.
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