No TV show has really captured the worldwide conversation like Game of Thrones did. Since the HBO series concluded in 2019, there’s been no shortage of shows lining up to take on the mantle, but, unless you’re a Marvel or Star Wars fan, these event series don’t come around that often. The Wheel of Time may change all that.
While it isn’t fair to compare every new fantasy show that comes along to Game of Thrones, it’s easy to see some similarities in Amazon’s The Wheel of Time TV series. Here are just a few of the reasons it will be the show to have us all talking again.
The Wheel of Time is based on a hit series of books
Like Game of Thrones, Amazon’s new fantasy drama is based on a sprawling series of epic high fantasy novels. Unlike George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan actually finished his series.
This occurred even though Jordan (whose real name is James Oliver Rigney Jr) tragically passed away before he could finish his final volume. The series was originally intended to be six books but ended up expanding to 14.
To ensure the series was finished properly, Jordan prepared notes on how he envisioned his ending. After his death, fellow fantasy author Brandon Sanderson turned these notes into a further three books that ended the series in 2013. Sanderson is also a consulting producer on Amazon’s The Wheel of Time.
What is the TV show about?
The Wheel of Time takes place in an epic fantasy world where magic exists, but only women have access to it.
Here’s the synopsis:
The story follows Moiraine, a member of the incredibly powerful all-female organization called the Aes Sedai, as she arrives in the small town of Two Rivers. There, she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women, one of whom is prophesied to be the Dragon Reborn, who will either save or destroy humanity.
It seems Amazon’s retelling will stick fairly closely to its source material but will take some liberties as all adaptations do. For example, one of the big changes this time around is that the Dragon Reborn could be either male or female, meaning Egwene and Nynaeve are both ones to watch.
The TV show is taking a blended approach to the structure of the book series, so it won’t be as simple as one book equals one season.
Now you can’t put all the Game of Thrones comparisons on me because the showrunner, Rafe Judkins, also described the series as “the connective tissue between Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones” at a Comic-Con panel earlier this year.
Amazon recently dropped the first trailer for The Wheel of Time and it’s easy to see why those comparisons have arisen.
Here’s another trailer from Amazon which gives us an even better look at the action to come.
Similarities aside, The Wheel of Time looks like one hell of an adventure for both fans of the books and newcomers.
How many seasons will there be?
The first season of The Wheel of Time consists of 8 episodes.
As you’d expect, 15 epically long fantasy volumes simply cannot be squeezed into one season if you want to do the story any sort of justice, and Amazon’s faith in The Wheel of Time seems to be strong because the TV show has already been renewed for a second season.
In an interview with Gizmodo, executive producer Rafe Judkins said he’d love to cover all the books in Jordan’s series but that 14 seasons would be unrealistic.
“I hope that we get enough time to tell the story that is told in those 14 books too because the ending exists and it’s amazing. I’d love to be able to get there.” Judkins said.
This isn’t the only live-action The Wheel of Time adaptation we’ll be getting either, because a prequel trilogy of movies is also in the works.
The Wheel of Time: Cast
The cast of The Wheel of Time is as epic as the books.
The name that will be most recognisable is Rosamund Pike who is playing Moiraine.
She’s joined by Daniel Henney as Lan Mandragoran, Josha Stradowski as Rand, Marcus Rutherford as Perrin, Zoe Robins as Nynaeve, Madeleine Madden as Egwene, Barney Harris as Mat and a whole lot of others.
Take note that while Barney Harris will play Mat in season one of The Wheel of Time the character will be portrayed by Dónal Finn in season two.
The Wheel of Time: Release Date
After a very long wait, it’s been confirmed The Wheel of Time will premiere on November 19, 2021. The first three episodes will drop all at once followed by episodes weekly on Fridays until December 24.
The series will be available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.
Set your reminders for each Friday night because you don’t want to be the one friend out of the loop when The Wheel of Time becomes the show everyone is talking about.