The Wheel of Time TV series is heading to Amazon Prime Video, and it promises to be the next big fantasy event series.
With Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series still almost a year away, and HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon due sometime in 2022, this will be a good chance for fantasy fans to get their fill.
So, what do we know about The Wheel of Time? Who’s in it? When does it come out? How can you watch it? Read on for answers to these questions and more.
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What is The Wheel of Time TV series it about?
The Wheel of Time is a series of fantasy novels by American author Robert Jordan, launched in 1990 and completed posthumously by Brandon Sanderson. While originally planned as a six part series, The Wheel of Time is comprised of 14 main novels, as well as a prequel novel, several short stories, and two companion books.
The books take place in an unnamed world, though fans have come to know it as the Randlands or the World of the Wheel. The story concerns an ancient battle between the forces of light and the forces of dark. An order of women known as the Aes Sedai who wield magic fight the servants of the evil Dark One. Both sides seek a reincarnated dragon that could tip the balance of power to defeat the Dark One. Young potential reincarnations are on the run but work to unite kingdoms in opposition to the evil forces that hunt them.
The Wheel of Time TV series will reportedly follow that plot quite closely.
Amazon describes the series as follows: “Set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists and only certain women are allowed to access it, the story follows Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), 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’s still not clear whether the show will stick only to the first book in the series, The Eye of the World, or include elements from different novels and shorts.
When and where can you watch it?
The Wheel of Time TV series will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in over 240 countries and territories globally.
The first three episodes are set to premiere November 19, with subsequent episodes rolling out weekly on Fridays from then on.
The season finale is scheduled for December 24.
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Amazon has already confirmed a second season.
Considering the massive budget and early buzz around season one — as well as the 15-book source material — it’s probably fair to expect future seasons beyond that too.
Who is involved?
The biggest name in the Wheel of Time TV series is Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Die Another Day, Pride & Prejudice). Game of Thrones fans will recognize Michael McElhatton from his role as Roose Bolton. And horror fans may know Zoë Robins from the 2019 Black Christmas remake.
The main cast of The Wheel of Time series is as follows:
- Rosamund Pike as Moiraine Damodred
- Daniel Henney as Lan Mondragoran
- Josha Stradowski as Rand al’Thor
- Madeleine Madden as Egwene al’Vere
- Marcus Rutherford as Perrin Aybara
- Zoë Robins as Nynaeve al’Meara
- Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon
- Sophie Okonedo as Siuan Sanche
- Kae Alexander as Min Forshaw
- Michael McElhatton as Tam al’Thor
- Alvaro Morte as Logain Ablar
- Juliet Howland as Natti Cauthon
- Christopher Sciueref as Abell Cauthon
- Lolita Chakrabarti as Marin al’Vere
- Michael Tuahine as Bran al’Vere
- Alexandre Willaume as Thom Merrilin
- Johann Myers as Padan Fain
The Wheel of Time books are adapted for television by executive producer and showrunner Rafe Judkins.
Uta Briesewitz directed the first two episodes and serves as executive producer along with Larry Mondragon and Rick Selvage of iwot productions, Mike Weber, Ted Field of Radar Pictures, Darren Lemke, and Marigo Kehoe.
Other episode directors are Wayne Che Yip, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, and Ciaran Donnelly.
The series is co-produced by Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television.
Was The Wheel of Time TV series affected by COVID-19?
Filming had already gotten quite far along in Prague when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The global public health crisis impacted virtually every aspect of life, including film and TV production.
In March, 2020, production on The Wheel of Time paused, setting the shooting schedule back by several months. Production eventually wrapped in May, 2021, with season two beginning filming almost immediately two months later.
The Wheel of Time joins a huge number of shows like Apple TV Plus’ The Morning Show, HBO Max‘s Gossip Girl, Hulu‘s The Handmaid’s Tale, Netflix‘s Grace & Frankie, FX’s Y: The Last Man, and more that had to postpone production due to the pandemic.
What to expect
The bestselling fantasy book series has never been adapted to film or TV before, so this will be uncharted territory, up to a point.
There have been numerous Wheel of Time video games and comics though, and even a soundtrack inspired by the books. Despite several attempts in the last 20 years, earlier series and films just never made it to the screen.
The trailer doesn’t offer a ton of information beyond the overall dark and epic tone of the series as a whole. (Though fans of the books will likely recognize glimpses of certain characters, steed, the Ring of Tamyrlin, and more.)
Between The Wheel of Time and The Lord of the Rings TV series, Amazon is making a pretty big play to fill the gap left by Game of Thrones.
Of course with Netflix’s The Witcher and HBO’s future Game of Thrones spinoffs, that field may get a little crowded soon.
You can check out The Wheel of Time when it premieres on Amazon Prime Video November 19.